Each week may be hectic, but the Life! food team can recommend an array of comforting treats that are either excitingly new or soothingly familiar.
Think Korean soft serve ice-cream that is all organic goodness, the return of hairy crab season, and unadorned but perfect Cantonese porridge.
Korean soft serve ice-cream
Taiwanese brand Honey Creme, known for its soft serve ice cream topped with organic honeycomb (from $5.90), has just opened on Sunday at 313@Somerset.
Other signature items, served in cone or cup, include Organic Mixed Grains (from $5.90), a blend of ice cream and mixed grains such as flax seeds, oats, black beans, rye and barley; Honey Creme Organic Cotton Candy (from $5.50), which is soft serve ice cream served with organic cotton candy and macarons (from $2).
This is Honey Creme’s first franchise in South-east Asia. The brand launched in Taiwan in March and also has outlets in Hong Kong and Macau. - Eunice Quek
Twist to hairy crabs
The best way to eat hairy crabs, now in season, is to have it steamed with dried perilla leaves and washed down with ginger tea. The leaves remove any strong smells from the crab while the heaty tea balances the cooling effect of eating the crabs.
Cooked this way, one can savour the creamy roe and the sweetness of the crabmeat.
But diners may be piqued by the varied ways of preparation at Royal Pavilion. There is baked hairy crab with wild mushroom and sake, steamed hairy crab with egg white and Chinese wine, and flambeed hairy crab with sea salt served in claypot, among others.All are priced at $68 a crab. The dish that survives the extra treatment best for me is the crab buried in sea salt and flambeed. The touch of saltiness is light enough in this case not to spoil the crab.
But if it’s your first hairy crab of the season, go for the plain steamed one. It’s cheaper too, at $60 each. - Wong Ah Yoke
Where: Royal Pavilion, Level 1, Park Regis Singapore, 23 Merchant Road Open: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm (daily). Hairy crabs are available till mid-NovemberInfo: Call 6818-8851
The pleasure of pork pie
The Dickinson & Morris Melton Mowbray Pork Pie ($9.80 for a 140g pie) is a delicious little thing that fits in the palm of my hand.
It is made in the town of Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, well-known for its artisanal, hand-formed pies. The roughly chopped British pork is seasoned pretty simply – with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. But that is enough because this is comfort food and the flavours don’t have to be fancy.
The pastry manages to be crisp even right out of the fridge and has anutty flavour.
Why am I eating it right out of the fridge? Because that is how it is meant to be eaten. Cut open the pie and there it is, that requisite layer of pork jelly between pastry and filling. - Tan Hsueh Yun
Where: Huber’s Butchery, 18A Dempsey RoadOpen: 9.30am to 8pm (weekday), 9.30am to 7pm (weekend)Info: Call 6737-1588
Teppanyaki prepared with Tsukiji seafood
Japanese restaurant Takumi Kacyo introduces teppanyaki, with seafood flown in from Japan’s Tsukiji market.
Menu highlights include Japanese bouillabaisse in Kacyo Style ($38); premium A5 wagyu tenderloin ($120); a meat and vegetable platter of Sakura chicken, Iberian pork loin, A5 wagyu and assorted vegetables ($200, serves three to four); and Yaki Shabu-Shabu served with Ponzu Sauce ($45).
Dinner set menus are also available from $120 to $210. - Eunice Quek
Where: Takumi Kacyo,2 Keppel Bay Vista, Marina at Keppel Bay, 02-01Open: Noon to 2.30pm, 6 to 10.30pm dailyInfo: Call 6271-7414
Guangdong Porridge in Neil Road deserves to be better known for its faultless dishes. One of its best is the mixed pork porridge ($5), a Cantonese classic featuring liver, intestine and pork balls that few stalls get right any more.
In Guangdong’s version, the liver is served a little bloody, leaving dark red trails that are just beautiful.
The intestine is silken and perfect while the pork balls, accented with dongcai or preserved vegetable, are masterful – a martial arts master probably pummelled them to make them compact and springy.
The stall prefers plain flavours. The congee in the century egg and lean pork porridge ($3.50) is barely flavoured, so the salted pork stands in relief.
A plate of raw fish ($5) is dressed with sesame oil and little else. It’s naked, daring and inspired. - Foong Woei Wan
Where: Guangdong Porridge, Henly Huat Drinks Food Court, 122 Neil RoadOpen: 7am to 7pm daily, closed on the first and third Thursdays of every month