SUBLIME SUGEE CAKE
A new cafe has joined the Sunset Way neighbourhood. Sunset Railway Cafe is located along the same row as Classic Cakes and The Daily Scoop ice cream cafe.
The highlight here is the sugee cake ($4.80 a slice) that is made fresh daily in a kugelhopf pan. Not only is the cake pretty, but it is also rich and moist, its texture and flavour, sublime. The almonds are a little coarser than usual, just the way I like it. It is served with a lemon drizzle that complements the cake well.
There is also fluffy pandan chiffon cake with no artificial colouring ($3 a slice), and pulut tekan ($4) - a Nonya glutinous rice dessert served with a housemade pandan kaya. I especially like the full and deep flavour of another version of kaya, sweetened with Indonesian gula merah , a type of palm sugar, that is used for kaya toast ($4.90 for toast, two soft-boiled eggs and a coffee). This kaya is different from what is served with the pulut tekan.
Savoury items are limited to mee rebus, mee siam, nasi lemak, chicken curry and chicken macaroni soup for now. In time, the cafe, which also has a liquor licence, has plans to extend its opening hours and roll out food specials that may include assam laksa.
WHERE: Sunset Railway Cafe, 01-02 Clementi Arcade, 41 Sunset Way MRT: Clementi/Dover OPEN: 7.30am to 7.30pm (Tuesday to Saturday), 9am to 7.30pm (Sunday), closed on Monday. TEL: 6463-0069
On the fourth floor of Beauty World Centre near the hawker centre is an unassuming Peranakan family restaurant that has had a loyal following for years.
Dulukala serves comfort food, the kind that brings a smile to your face.
It serves delicious Peranakan staples such as ayam buah keluak ($13.90) and babi pongteh ($12.90).
You must order the fried ladies' fingers with ikan bilis ($9.90). It's a simple and fragrant dish that's done well. The okra slices are dried-fried so they have a slight char and retain plenty of crunch.
The assam fish head ($25.90, above) is comforting too. The version here is more sweet than it is sour or spicy, but I like it all the same.
A serving of sambal prawns with petai (from $9.90) or bitter stink beans, is great with rice, and so is beef rendang ($12.90, above).
WHERE: Dulukala, 04-04 Beauty World Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah Road MRT: Beauty World OPEN: 11.30am to 3pm, 6 to 10pm (last order at 9pm), daily TEL: 6465-2036 INFO: www.dulukala.com
HOTEL BUFFET FOR $29 NETT
J65, Hotel Jen Tanglin's lobby level restaurant, is offering two very good weekday lunch bargains.
The buffet costs $29 nett and features everything from roast meats and chicken rice to six types of laksa and sushi.
The other lunch bargain is the option to go round the buffet once and pile food onto a plate 31cm in diameter, for $15nett. However, soup or laksa will be a bit tough if you go for this option.
Dishes rotate but if what I had there is anything to go by, they are pretty good. I love the salads, which include beetroot and pumpkin with rocket, and quinoa and roasted vegetables; as well as the lush broccoli quiche, and decadent pizzas with toppings such as artichoke, kale, mushroom and semi-dried tomato.
I managed to try two - Penang and Sarawak - of the six types of laksa (above). Others include Thai and Johor versions. The Penang assam laksa, piquant and flavourful, is better than many versions in Singapore; while the kueh, which include the rainbow layer kueh lapis, are also delightful.
WHERE: J65, ground floor, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, 1A Cuscaden Road MRT: Orchard OPEN: The buffet lunch is available on weekdays from noon to 2.30pm. PRICE: $29 nett a person for the buffet or $15 nett for a single serving TEL: 6831-4374 INFO: www.hoteljen.com/singapore/tanglin/taste/restaurants/j65/ or e-mail email@example.com
GOOD AND GRUNGY
Walk into The Hangar in Arab Street and you enter a grungy good food haven.
You can be forgiven for thinking you are in another city because it feels almost a little too indie and too underground for Singapore.
Grab a coffee, tea or smoothie, along with a sandwich. Fillings range from ham and cheese ($8.90) to lemongrass steak with mushrooms and caramelised onions ($14.90).
Other eats here include a hearty and mildly spicy braised Beef Short Rib Shasuka with eggplant and a baked egg ($22.90), and a moreish grilled Mexican spiced chicken salad with guacamole ($13.90, above).