HIP HALAL CAFE-BISTRO
Have you heard of the term "mipster"? It stands for Muslim hipster.
There's also the term Gummy - global urban Muslim.
Singapore now has a growing list of mipster and Gummy bistros that serve hip, trendy food.
Muslim-owned Word in Upper Thomson serves its signature drink, the Word Concoction ($7), a drink made with ice-cream soda, lemongrass, mint and sour plum, in a light bulb for a glass. How's that for mipster?
The cafe-bistro serves items such as Blur Like Sotong ($10), calamari rings with aioli; an Aubergine Stack ($12), a delicious vegetarian dish of panco-crumbed slices of eggplant served with grilled vegetables and addictive house-made potato crisps; brunch items; pastas and burgers.
For an Instagram-worthy picture (hashtag us #stfoodtrending), order the Handsome Burg ($20, above). The name of the dish is a cheeky take on Malay slang for a good-looking chap. This hearty beef burger, drizzled with a punchy sambal-like peanut sauce, comes in a soft rainbow bagel. Pretty handsome, if you ask me.
WHERE: Word, 906P Upper Thomson Road, near Springleaf Road OPEN: Noon to 10pm (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays TEL: SMS reservations to 9699-4829/9742-9224 INFO: www.facebook.com/wordbistro/
ICE CREAM FOR CHARITY
The ice-cream parlour Creamier is celebrating its fifth anniversary with collaborations with some local chefs and bartenders.
Each chef comes up with one flavour, which is available for one month. Proceeds from the sales of these special flavours will be donated to charity.
Kicking off the series is chef Ming Tan, who is behind Park Bench Deli in Telok Ayer Street. His flavour - Torched Pineapple Sansho Pepper Sorbet ($16 a pint at Creamier and Park Bench Deli, $4.50 a scoop, left, at the ice-cream parlours) is available until the end of this month.
It has a sweet, burnt caramelised pineapple flavour with a subtle hit of spice from Japanese sansho and cayenne pepper that comes on a little later. The spicy, tingly hint adds a nice lift.
Other collaborators include chef Willin Low of Wild Rocket.
WHERE: Creamier, Block 128, Toa Payoh Lorong 1, 01-835 & Gillman Barracks, 5A Lock Road MRT: Braddell/Labrador Park OPEN: Noon to 10pm (Tuesdays to Thursdays and Sundays), noon to 11pm (Fridays and Saturdays), closed on Mondays
NASI LEMAK WITH FRESH COCONUT MILK
The Coconut Club in Ann Siang Hill serves only one dish - nasi lemak. And it does it well, with quality ingredients to boot.
A plate of nasi lemak here ($12.80) comes with a generous serving of fragrant coconut rice made with fresh coconut milk, a fried egg, ikan bilis, peanuts and cucumber, and hot, succulent fried kampung chicken leg marinated in delicious rempah.
The sambal here, fried with onions and mixed with ikan bilis, is tangy and mildly spicy.
Add-ons include otak otak ($8.50) and fried fish (market price) served with a chilli kecap manis sauce.
Try the Cendol ($3.80) for dessert. It is true goodness in a bowl. The green chendol worms are made in-house with fresh pandan extract, and served with lush coconut milk and rich, aromatic gula melaka.
WHERE: 6 Ann Siang Hill MRT: Telok Ayer OPEN: 11am to 3pm (Tuesdays to Fridays), 11am to 5pm (Saturdays), closed on Sundays and Mondays TEL: 6635-2999 INFO: www.thecoconutclub.sg
My new go-to place for beef noodles is Kin Cow, a Thai beef noodle specialist at Chinatown Point.
The broth is the highlight here. It has a robust, unadulterated flavour with a balanced blend of spices which is not too overpowering.
You can opt to have the noodles in soup or dry with soup served on the side, or beef soup with rice.
There are four choices of noodles, from mee kia egg noodles to glass noodles. I like glass noodles because each strand absorbs the flavour of the broth.
Price depends on the cut of beef you order - brisket ($10.90), ribeye ($17.90), sirloin ($14.90), short rib ($12.90), wagyu ($22.90) or just beef balls ($10.90).
The eatery also serves Chiang Mai curry noodles ($13.90) - crispy fried egg noodles served in a thick, creamy and coconutty yellow curry.
Save space for coconut ice cream or mango sticky rice for dessert ($6.90 each).
WHERE: Kin Cow, 02-34 Chinatown Point, 133 New Bridge Road MRT: Chinatown OPEN: 11.30am to 3pm, 6 to 10pm (Tuesdays to Fridays), 11.30am to 10pm (weekends), closed on Mondays TEL: 6514-9265 INFO: Go to www.facebook.com/kincowsingapore/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org