Five Ten

If I were asked to make a guess as to why this place is named Five Ten, I would probably thought it is because the shop operates only from 5pm to 10pm (maybe some co-sharing of shop space concept?). Little would I have guessed that its because their dishes are priced at either $5 or $10. To set the record straight, they are opened for lunch too.

The menu here features dishes inspired by Taiwanese street food and are meant to be enjoyed like small plates (tapas style). From the $5 selections, we ordered the Tau Kwa | Century Egg deep fried tau kwa, century egg, house special sauce and Fried Chicken | Seaweed Mayonnaise sesame & soy marinated chicken, nori mayonnaise.

Thankfully the tau kwa used is not the fermented tofu that is a famous street food in Taiwan. Though there is still a fermented element in this dish in the form of century egg which is more palatable to me. The tofu with a light batter topped with crispy shallot topping paired with a dark savoury sauce was a decent start. However the fried chicken (tenders) was surprisingly addictive, as we quickly polished it up – generously dipping the crispy chicken into the small dollop of nori mayonnaise.

The other 3 dishes were from the $10 selections. Starting with the Grilled Squid | House Glaze grilled squid, house-glaze, kalamansi which was a tad small in portion and mostly the tentacles. Although flavour-wise it was acceptable and the squid was chewy, I can’t help but think that I could get a whole squid if I paid a little more at some eateries.

Another dish we tried was the Steak | Crispy Garlic Oil | Pickled Chinese Cabbage seared sirloin steak, house pickled cabbage, garlic crisps where we got about 4-5 slices of the medium-rare steak. It was tender and juicy.

The most value-for-money dish was undoubtedly the signature dish – Lu Rou pork braised in special house sauce. The pork was soft and well-braised. Plain rice is also available on menu. If you do not wish to let the gravy go to waste, drizzle it over the rice and you would have a filling meal. PS if you visit during lunch, the Lu Rou Fan is available at $10 and comes with a sou-vide egg.

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Nespresso Limited Edition Capsules – Intenso and Leggero on Ice

At the point of writing this post (in Nov 17), I have a record backlog of Nespresso Limited Edition Capsules posts to be completed. The next few months would see Nespresso introducing a whole slew of limited edition capsules – faster than I could drink!

This is also the first time (in my 8 years of drinking Nespresso) that they introduce capsules for the Summer to beat the heat. These 2 capsules Intenso and Leggero were meant to be prepared as per normal coffee but served cold by adding ice cubes.

The concept would be the coffee would be remain strong so that it would not be diluted after the addition of ice cubes.

Nespresso didn’t indicate the intensity of these capsules but provided precise instructions on how to prepare them.

  1. Add 90g of ice cubes
  2. Extract Espresso 40ml into glass
  3. Add 90ml of cold water and stir well.

However other than trying out the recommended method, I tried to do ice coffee cubes.

The Leggero is a mild coffee which was rather fruity and a tad acidic in taste whereas the Intenso is a rich coffee with deep roast flavour. My preference was Intenso over Leggero.

These ice coffee capsules are certainly a welcomed introduction to all Singapore Nespresso fans. We could quench our thirst with iced Nespresso coffee as we try to survive the sweltering heat…

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Kumoya Singapore X Cinnamoroll Pop-up Cafe

Most character cafes in Singapore does not seem to be able to sustain its hype and draw in constant crowd. Hence I thought it was a nice concept to work with a cafe to do a pop-up featuring a particular character for short stints like this one featuring Sanrio‘s Cinnamoroll*Pop-up was held from 17 May to 13 Aug 2017*

To be honest I was mentally prepared that the food would look better than it tasted and was also prepared to pay a slight premium for the cost to decorate the cafe with the cutesy mascot (& friends).

The menu specially curated and designed (styled) by Little Miss Bento featured the protagonist from the drinks, to meals and even desserts. Naturally with a huge gang of ladies, we took quite a while to finish snapping the photos. Till the point where the cotton candy started drooping and poor Cinnamoroll grew “beard” at the chin hahaha.

The Fun with Friends Cold Pasta main dish cost the same as the dessert Cinnamoroll Berries Fantasy Parfait. Somehow oddly I felt that the dessert was more value-for-money due to more customisation such as the printed macarons, the meringue clouds and the cyan coloured soft serve twirl.

However I think most fans would agree that its not exactly about the taste of the food, but more for the ambience and photo opp!

We had a great time taking tons of photo at the sweet-candy coloured place.

Following the Cinnamoroll pop-up, the same cafe play host to Miffy from 5 Oct to 31 Dec 2017. Working on same concept, the food would be designed by Little Miss Bento as well. So Miffy fans can plan for a visit soon.

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Two Chefs Eating Place (Commonwealth)

It has been a while since I last visited Two Chefs Eating Place, at least a few years gap and the crowd seems to have grown exponentially. I didn’t recall ever seeing such long queue at the place in the past and was glad that we had made reservations for a table for this visit.

The Drunken Cold Cockles covered in generous amount of chopped garlic, chilli, spring onion and doused in the special sauce, is one-of-a-kind. I haven’t seen this dish replicated elsewhere. The strong mixture of flavours can be a tad daunting for the less adventurous eaters, although it was meant to minimise the briny taste of the cockles. Conquer your fear of Hepatitis B (or better still get yourself immunised if you are regular cockles eater) and you will be rewarded with a chance to change your perception of how refreshing cockles can taste.

The other signature dish is the Butter Pork Ribs with Milk Powder. The fried pork ribs are coated in a generous pile of slightly savoury milk powder before being served. This dish usually had us scooping for the milk powder even after finishing the meat. The Hae Zhor (Prawn Rolls) was nicely fried to golden brown skin without drying out the fillings.

Instead of our usual order of Herbal Chicken (which is also a perennial favourite amongst the crowd here), we ordered the Assam Fish Curry. The slightly sweet, sour and tangy taste of the curry goes well with plain rice while the fish meat was firm and fresh.

With some space left in our stomach, we added a plate of Deep Fried Squid. Once again this dish had a bit of Thai influence with its sweet and sour taste.

If you are looking for some innovative tze char dishes, this place would likely fit the bill for their cockles and milk powder pork ribs.

116 Commonwealth Crescent
#01-129
Singapore 140116
Tel: 6472 5361

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Redpan

Sundays are for sleeping in till late morning. Having gotten special passes to access the Singapore F1 Circuit Tour meant I had to get up early for it.

After completing the tour, I decided to reward myself with a good lunch by stopping by redpan in Marina Square.

The mall had somehow been in the doldrums since its major revamp a couple of years ago. However Redpan was one of the eateries that has brisk business on a weekend. Redpan is a partnership between DP Architects x GRUB. I was quite fond of GRUB’s noodles – until they closed it.

Over at Redpan, they specialise in offering modern fusion dishes. I tried the Prawn & Hae Bee Hiam Pasta tagliatelle tossed with housemade spicy shrimp paste &
sautéed prawns and Seared Salmon in ‘Laksa’ Gravy seared scottish loch duart salmon, smashed potatoes & laksa sauce. The pasta was slightly spicy and not too oily. I liked that they used tagliatelle which is usually paired with rich creamy sauce instead. i was not that impressed with the salmon with laksa gravy. I felt that the laksa gravy didn’t go well with the fish. We have curry fish head locally but not laksa fish right?

Round up my meal with dessert of Banana Donuts ‘Milo Dinosaur’ with milo crumbs, condensed milk & hazelnuts (top up with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream). The dessert has a good mix of textures as we munched on the warm donuts, with crunchy peanut, chocolately Milo and creamy vanilla ice-cream in every mouthful.

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Chen’s Mapo Tofu

It is hard to believe that Chen’s Mapo Tofu could be a distance relative of the two-Michelin-star Sichuan-Japanese restaurant Shisen Hanten. One is a fine-dining restaurant housed in a hotel along Orchard road while another is a casual set-up located right smack in the financial district area.

But this gives us the chance to try the parent restaurant’s signature Mapo Tofu at an affordable price. Ordered the signature combo with 1/2 size Mapo Don and 1/2 size Dan Dan Mien.

For folks who don’t take spicy stuff, there are some items that are non-spicy available, like the Chuka Don (Chop Suey on Rice Bowl) – stir fried seafood and vegetables on riceChukadon is a popular Japanese fast food dish which is similar to our Mui Fan.

This joint is a decent place offering a comfortable aircon dining environment in the CBD area. However if one could endure the harsh weather and venture to the nearby Tanjong Pagar cluster or Amoy hawker centre, you’ll be rewarded with much better food choices.

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The Masses

After leaving Saveur (known for serving up affordable fine French cuisine), one of the former co-owners set up The Masses with similar concept. A place for diners to indulge in quality produce at affordable pricing. Admittedly I was attracted by instagram photos of their C & C Pasta (Served Cold) Crabmeat, Caviar, Lobster Bisque priced at $14 only! The starter portion is available from $9.

Somehow the final product was plated differently for everyone? Mine just looked like a lump of orangey ball, whereas others looked like a pretty pasta swirl tower. Nonetheless the ingredients used were pretty solid and I could taste quite a fair bit of the shredded crabmeat in every bite. The angle hair pasta was al-dente and the addictive lobster bisque gravy had us scrapping the plate for every bit of it.

We also ordered a starter of  Aus Fremantle Grilled Octopus Tentacle Pickled lotus root, Gochujang aioli. The grilled octopus was nice but I’m not sure how the pickled lotus root and gochujang aioli match up as the chargrilled aroma from the octopus was pretty strong. We didn’t really needed the gochujang aioli, just ate the pickled lotus root to cut through the oiliness.

The other main we tried was Duck Leg Confit Croquette, Candied Orange, Foie Gras Sauce. This seems to be a competitor of Saveur‘s version of Signature Duck Confit. The meat was really tender with a crispy fried skin. Instead of mash potato in the former version, here they replaced it with fried Croquette. I would suggest choosing the duck leg confit over the octopus if you are conscious with budget.

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