BRIGHTEN YOUR DAY WITH THESE ECLAIRS
The dainty and elegant eclairs at month-old Karafuru, a French-Japanese dessert cafe in the Kampong Glam area, are almost too pretty to eat.
They come in different colours including pink, yellow and pearly white, as well as a variety of toppings that range from marzipan to crumbled sables to shiso leaves.
The eclairs ($6 each, $7 each for ones with alcohol) are filled with luscious cream in flavours such as matcha, yuzu, passionfruit and milk coffee. The Ume Shiso and Matcha Azuki are divine and I love the way the cream fillings caress my palate.
The choux pastry is light. In a way, it is almost secondary to the fillings and toppings and I wish there was more choux to enjoy.
Karafuru, which is how the Japanese pronounce colourful, also serves six deconstructed parfaits ($16) that come with a generous serving of frozen yogurt, soft souffle cake, smooth and wobbly pudding, and other things such as dango, madeleines, curd, cream and langue de chat (thin crisp biscuit) in various flavours.
The parfaits are delicately plated and a joy to eat. The combination of textures is wonderful. They come in flavours such as Daizu - white miso souffle, soya milk pudding and kinako cream; and Gianduja - hazelnut souffle, chocolate pudding and Curacao sauce.
SATISFYING BAK CHOR MEE
While covering the General Election last month, I met several Aljunied GRC residents who, after finding out that
I write about food, suggested I try the laksa and bak chor mee at Block 204 Serangoon Central, a short walk from Serangoon Stadium.
The popular laksa had unfortunately sold out when I arrived in the mid-afternoon at 28 Noodles, a coffee shop stall. I had the bak chor mee (from $3) instead and it turned out to be satisfying.
The cloudy broth is the main draw here - it is robust and flavourful. I also like the chunks of crispy lard that accompany the springy noodles.
I will be having laksa for lunch on my next visit there.
WHERE: 28 Noodles, Block 204 Serangoon Central, 01-104., MRT: Serangoon OPEN: 7.30am to about 4pm (Thursday to Tuesday), closed on Wednesday
If Grain Traders was located a little closer to Toa Payoh, I think I would eat there often.
Opened by the people behind Kilo, with restaurants at Kampong Bugis and Orchard Central, it serves healthy warm salad bowls with almost everything you can think of.
For $16 nett, you get a bowl with one grain, one hot vegetable, two servings of cold vegetables, one sauce and one topping.
The offerings here are overwhelming. In fact, the food looked so enticing that I ended up adding more items to my bowl ($1 to $3.50, depending what you add).
The process works like this: Tell the person behind the counter your choice of grain. Then choose other offerings or stick to the appropriate portions to cap the cost at $16.
Choice of grain includes brown rice, quinoa, sushi rice and soba noodles, and a bed of greens. Additions include seared marinated tuna, roast chicken, chargrilled salmon, grilled beets and carrots, marinated peppers and apple kimchi.
Top your bowl with toasted crushed rice or roasted nuts for some extra crunch.
There are also different dressings - which you do not need because everything has lots of flavour - but I like the sweet-tart beetroot feta yogurt and miso caramel.
Do not like the hassle of making choices? Have one of Grain Trader's six Hero Bowls from the menu instead.
For $18, you can add a drink and a snack to your bowl - chips, a banana or a fruit bar.
WHERE: Grain Traders, 138 Market Street, 01-01/02/03 CapitaGreen, MRT: Raffles Place OPEN: 8am to 7pm (weekday), closed on weekends TEL: 6348-6559 INFO: Go to www.grain-traders.com or www.facebook.com/graintraderssg
SIP WHISKY TO FAMILIAR ROCK TUNES
Unless you know about The Flagship, chances are, you are not going to stumble on it.
It also does not help that it is located at the end of a dark, long corridor with no obvious signs to point you in the right direction.
If in doubt, ask the staff from Humpback, the restaurant next door. They are both run by the same people.
The grungy, no-frills bar, with its exposed brick walls and cement floors, reminds me of the kind of place where university students would hang out over beers and cheap shots, but with a little more finesse.
Those in their 30s will find themselves nodding along to familiar grunge and rock tunes by Nirvana and Lenny Kravitz.
The Flagship, opened by the owners of cocktail bar Jigger & Pony in Amoy Street, offers about 100 labels of whisky from well-known distilleries (above) and independent bottlers. Prices start at $10 for 30ml. Other drinks here include beers and daily whisky-based cocktail specials.
WHERE: The Flagship, 20 Bukit Pasoh Road, ground floor MRT: Outram OPEN: 5pm to midnight (Monday to Saturday), closed on Sunday. Last order at 11.30pm INFO: www.theflagship.sg