JUICY CHRISTMAS BIRD
Turkey might be traditional at this time of year, but the trouble with it is that it can often be too dry, too big and, if you ask me, boring to eat after one or two slices.
Cue OverEasy Orchard's Beer Can Roast Chicken ($58, above).
This off-the-menu item (just ask the waitstaff about it) at OverEasy's second outlet at Liat Towers in Orchard Road is a great alternative to the usual big, dry and unappetising bird this Christmas.
It will take about half an hour for the roast chicken to get to your table, but it is one of the best dishes at the three-month-old American diner by home-grown restaurant and lifestyle group Lo & Behold.
The entire chicken is tender and juicy; even the breast meat is moist. The skin, which is a lovely golden brown, is crisp and delicious.
The chicken is brined overnight with ingredients such as herbs, honey, lemon juice and zest and marinated with chilli powder and beer. It is then roasted upright with half a can of Budweiser beer in its cavity.
The chicken also comes with roast vegetables such as leeks, potatoes and corn and is good for three to four people.
WHERE: OverEasy Orchard, 01-01 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road MRT: Orchard OPEN: 11am to midnight, daily. The diner will be open on Dec 24 and 25. On Dec 31, it opens from 11 to 3am. TEL: 6684-1453 INFO: Go to www.overeasy.com.sg or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
DANISH JUICE BAR OPENS IN SINGAPORE
Joe & The Juice, a cult smoothie, juice and sandwich bar from Denmark, has opened its first shop in Singapore.
Located at Chevron House in the Central Business District, the brand is known for marrying fun and entertainment with healthy blends of juice.
The staff are like a high-energy dance crew, tossing fruits in the air, twirling and taking orders all at once. They can even balance a cup on their arm while pouring juice into it (above).
You can have juice shots ($3) of ginger and apple, and broccoli and apple; and shakes (from $6.90) - similar to smoothies - such as a Re-Build (from $9.90) made with avocado, banana, strawberry, granola and vanilla milk.
There are also lots of tasty fruit and vegetable juice blends to choose from, including Hangover Heaven - apple, elderflower and mint; Green Shield - cucumber, kale, broccoli, spinach and apple; and Sex Me Up - passionfruit, apple and ginger.
All of the blends are invigorating and will make you feel great (from $6.90 to $10.90, depending on size and blend).
While you're there, grab one of the toasted sandwiches to go. Made with imported Danish rye bread, they are more filling than you think.
Opt for the Avocado one ($10.50), with slices of avocado, mozzarella and tomato, or the Serrano ham ($11.50) option - an avocado sandwich with Spanish dry-cured ham.
WHERE: Joe & The Juice, Chevron House, 30 Raffles Place, 01-35A MRT: Raffles Place OPEN: 8am to 8pm (weekdays), 8am to 3pm (Saturday), closed on Sunday. It will be closed on Dec 25 and Jan 1. TEL: 6221-2126 INFO: Go to www.joejuice.com or www.facebook.com/joeandthejuicesg/
HALF-PRICE DIMSUM TREATS FOR LUNCH
When a friend suggests dimsum for lunch at Red House Seafood in Prinsep Street, I raise an eyebrow.
Why would one head to a restaurant with a strong reputation for seafood items, such as chilli and pepper crab, for dimsum?
My view changes after dining there last week.
The obvious draw is its current 50 per cent discount promotion on dimsum items for lunch, which is value for money.
Most dimsum items are priced between $5 and $10 before discount.
The har gao or prawn dumplings are sizeable, while the savoury char siew sou or barbecued pork pastries are flaky with plenty of filling.
I like the restaurant's moist siew mai, which is made with prawn and small chunks of succulent pork encased in a wonton skin. The delicate truffle wild mushroom dumpling (photo) is good too.
And if you like chilli crab, be sure to order the takesumi chilli crab buns - steamed soft black bamboo charcoal buns loaded with lush chilli crab filling.
The chilli crab buns, char siew sou and siew mai, among other items, are available as part of a dimsum set (minimum of two people) priced at $16.80++ a person, which also includes a dessert of the day.
WHERE: Red House Seafood, 68 Prinsep Street MRT: Dhoby Ghaut/Bras Basah OPEN: Dimsum promotion is available during lunch time only, until Dec 31. 11.30am to 2.30pm (weekdays), 11am to 2.30pm (weekends) TEL: 6336-6080 INFO: Go to redhouseseafood.com or e-mail email@example.com
BROTHER BIRD'S CHEWY DOUGHNUT
The trio behind Stateland Cafe, known for its waffles, have created another brand called Brother Bird.
It specialises in chewy rice doughnuts topped with soft-serve ice cream (from $13, left). Soft-serve flavours change periodically.
The doughnuts, which are made to order, come out hot. They have a nice crunch on the outside and a soft, chewy texture on the inside that reminds me of Japanese mochi.
It is so good that I find myself indulging in a little bit more of it than I should.
The slightly salty doughnut, when paired with sweet-savoury cookie butter and taro soft-serve, is glorious.
Kudos to local start-ups and innovative desserts.
WHERE: Brother Bird, 30 Bali Lane. On Jan 1, it relocates to the second floor of its next door unit, above Stateland Cafe. MRT: Bugis OPEN: noon to 10pm (Wednesday to Monday), closed on Tuesday. From Jan 1, opening hours on Friday and Saturday will be extended till 11pm. TEL: 9800-7628