UGLY, YUMMY MUFFINS
Uggli muffins do live up to their name. When I took a few boxes of the muffins from a Toa Payoh hawker stall to the office, a few of my colleagues took a look at them and sniffed: "They look burnt."
The dark colour may make the muffins look a bit charred, but do not let that put you off. They look a bit misshapen too, but take a bite and you will find that looks in this case are deceiving. The muffins are not as fluffy as I would like, but they make up for that with such delicious flavours that I find myself reaching for one after another. And because they are pretty small, I can.
The flavours are interesting too, including sweet potato ($1.10), Oreo cookie ($1.10) and banana and walnut ($1.40), and not too sweet. Buy a box of 10 and get two extra muffins.
I also like the chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies ($6 for 100g), which come with a whole nut in the middle of the light, crisp cookie ball.
WHERE: Uggli Muffins, Block 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1, 02-34 MRT: Toa Payoh/Braddell OPEN: 10am to 2pm, closed on Monday INFO: ugglimuffins.com
BIRD'S NEST INDULGENCE
If you are in the mood to pamper yourself, the bird's nest promotion at Yan Ting will do the job nicely. The a la carte dishes do not come cheap, but since the efficacy of the delicacy does not increase greatly with the amount you consume, you can try just one or two. The benefits of bird's nest, if you believe them, include good health and better complexion.
Even if you think that is hogwash, the dishes by chef Tony Wun are well executed and delicious, such as the stir-fried bird's nest with egg white and Yunnan ham ($55 a person, above).
If you want more, the seven-course menu ($218 a person) will satisfy your craving. Dishes include cheese-baked crab shell filled with bird's nest and crabmeat, and braised ginger rice with bird's nest.
WHERE: Yan Ting, The St Regis Singapore, 29 Tanglin Road MRT: Orchard OPEN: Till May 15, noon to 2.30, 6.30 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6506-6887
NEW, MEATIER OSIA
Osia has undergone a revamp with slight changes in ambience and food direction - and is much better for it. The restaurant, helmed by celebrated Sydney-based chef Scott Webster, has dropped its Australian focus and is rebranded as a grill, with meats and seafood cooked in a stone hearth oven.
Some of its old dishes remain, such as a smooth and sweet Chilean Sea Bass ($40) that comes with soya milk curd and a shiromiso glaze.
But the spotlight now is on the grill plates with meats sourced from reputable farms. My favourites are the beef selections, which include Grainge Black Angus Beef OP Rib MS2+ ($164 for 1kg) and Mayura Station Matsusaka Signature Full Blood Wagyu Beef Rib Eye MS9+ ($180 for 200g). The Australian wagyu is not as well marbled as the Japanese variety, but makes better steaks as too much fat often ends up just killing one's appetite.
Here, the beef tastes great and I do not need any of the sauces, which include hot chilli, mushroom black pepper and apple butter barbecue.
WHERE: Osia, Resorts World Sentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway MRT: HarbourFront OPEN: Noon to 3pm, 6 to 10.30pm daily TEL: 6577-6688
CHIC FRENCH CHICKEN
In the spirit of the Reframing Modernism exhibition that the National Gallery Singapore is co-curating with Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Gallery & Co cafe has introduced two rustic French dishes to its menu. Created by Cocotte chef Anthony Yeoh, they are Beef Daube En Provencal ($26.90) and Chicken A La Moutarde ($16.90, $24.90 for two persons).
The beef stew was not available when I dropped in for lunch, but the chicken was.
The single-person serving (above) consists of a whole braised chicken leg covered in a creamy mustard sauce with mushrooms and sage. The chicken is well seasoned and fork-tender with a nicely browned skin. The sauce, while heavy, is delicious. The dish comes with buttered haricot vert (thin green beans) and herb-roasted potatoes.
Also try the Brisket And Kimchi Burger ($16.90) from the regular menu. Instead of a meat patty, you get thick slices of flavourful and tender smoked brisket topped with melted cheddar cheese in a soft brioche. Ask for the kimchi to be served on the side instead of in the burger, so you get the option of eating it two ways. I prefer to eat the burger without the kimchi because I can taste the beef better. There are also potato chips on the side.
WHERE: Gallery & Co, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road, City Hall Wing, 01-05 MRT: City Hall OPEN: 10am to 7pm (Sunday to Thursday), 10am to 10pm (Friday & Saturday) TEL: 6683-6683