DUCK RAMEN IN HOLLAND VILLAGE
New duck ramen specialist Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke is my current ramen obsession - I have already eaten here three times since it opened at the beginning of this month.
The shop uses Irish duck to make its stock, which is simmered for about six hours for the clear, slightly herbal version (above), and nine hours for the rich and thick version. Prices start at $14.90 a bowl.
I am a fan of both. Add a smidgen of yuzu kosho to the broth for more depth and a little bit of tang.
Other options include spicy miso, tsukemen and mazesoba, as well as duck rice bowls.
The slices of duck are sweet and supple. I especially love the yuzu duck meatballs. Soft and bound together with egg, they are not stodgy and delicious enough to eat on their own.
WHERE: Ginza Kamo Soba Kyudaime Keisuke, 16A Lorong Mambong MRT: Holland Village OPEN: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5 to 10pm (weekdays); 11.30am to 10pm (weekends) TEL: 6463-4344 INFO: www.keisuke.sg
FIREBAKE'S NEW DAY-TIME OFFERINGS
Vegemite, a salty, malty and strongly flavoured spread popular in Australia, has been a staple for me since I was a child. I never tire of Vegemite toast. Add avocado or cheese and I'm in heaven.
It's hard to get Vegemite-anything outside of home. So I am delighted to find out that Firebake in East Coast has an all-day bun called the Cheesymite ($4) - a bun with swirls of Vegemite and cheese.
The dense bun has a lovely sourdough flavour and familiar notes of heady Vegemite and mature cheese. Slap on some cold butter to enjoy.
Not a fan of Vegemite? Try the Morning Buns ($3.50 each), sourdough buns with cinnamon and zesty lime, instead.
Both buns are available from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
There are also all-day sandwiches, chicken, beef and lamb pies, and baked eggs served with bacon.
For tea, opt for the scones ($10 for two, with tea or coffee), which have a full flavour and a bit of heft, or the moist and fragrant lavender lemon cake ($8 for a slice, with tea or coffee, or $5 a slice without a drink).
WHERE: Firebake Woodfired Bakehouse & Restaurant, 237 East Coast Road MRT: Eunos OPEN: Breakfast, 8.30 to 11.30am; lunch, 11.30am to 2.30pm; afternoon tea, 2.30 to 5.30pm; dinner, 6 to 10pm, (Tuesdays to Sundays), closed on Mondays TEL: 6440-1228 INFO: www.firebake.sg
A HEARTY KEBAB
Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, one of the newest hawker centres to open this year, features 22 stalls run by new-generation hawkerpreneurs. These stalls, which sell everything from braised Iberico pork on a mix of brown and Japanese pearl rice to Korean army stew, are located on the second floor. The ground floor features more traditional fare such as oyster omelette and prawn noodles.
It's great to see such a wide variety of food at reasonable prices.
EPIKebabs specialises in Middle Eastern-style kebabs (from $6) or shawarma (above) - a pita filled with shaved meats that have been grilled on a vertical spit, typically accompanied by salad, pickles, hummus and other sauces.
It also serves meat - beef or chicken - with rice ($6.50) and sandwiches ($6). The juicy, flavourful meats are marinated overnight in a punchy blend of spices. I like garlic mayonnaise with mine.
After the kebabs are wrapped, they are grilled in a panini press to give the pita - the version EPIKebabs uses has a texture similar to prata - a nice crisp.
WHERE: EPIKebabs, 02-04 Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre, 110 Pasir Ris Central MRT: Pasir Ris OPEN: 11am to 9.30pm daily INFO: www.epikebabs.com
NEW DISHES AT MORSELS
Morsels is my little oasis for a good lunch. I like its weekly lunch noodle sets ($28), which are luxe and more refined takes on dishes such as wonton noodles and prawn mee.
Its chef-owner Petrina Loh has also recently revamped her sharing menu, which is available for both lunch and dinner, with more dishes available at dinner time. Prices start at $45 for five courses at lunch and at $55 for six courses at dinner.
I am particularly wowed by her Toast - fermented iceberg lettuce and mushroom ketchup on multi-grain toast. It isn't the prettiest of dishes, but, boy, is it packed with flavour.
There is a sweet tartness and a little bit of spice to the crunchy iceberg, which has been fermented in a brine with juniper berries, Sichuan peppercorns and star anise. It goes well with the concentrated umami flavours of the mushroom ketchup and the zingy housemade ricotta that has been mixed with umeboshi flesh.
Another stand-out dish is the Truffled Braised Korean Abalone (above). The dish comes together very nicely - the abalone is braised in truffle dashi with aka miso and fermented red beancurd, and served with earthy pickled wood-ear fungus, and nutty wheatberry that is toasted before it is cooked in truffle-infused milk. A splash of squid ink vinaigrette gives it acidity and balance.
WHERE: 01-04 , 25 Dempsey Road MRT: Farrer Road OPEN: Noon to 3pm (Tuesdays to Saturdays), 11am to 3pm (Sundays), 6 to 10pm (Tuesdays to Thursdays), 6 to 10.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays), closed for dinner on Sundays and all day on Mondays TEL: 6266-3822 INFO: Go to www.morsels.com.sg or e-mail email@example.com
Book a meal at Firebake - Woodfired Bakehouse & Restaurant and Morsels with Chope.