GRADE A FOOD AT PROFESSOR BRAWN BISTRO
At Professor Brawn Bistro at the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru, you get that relaxing weekend feeling even if you are there for lunch on a work day.
The loft-like, light-filled bistro is spacious and gives off homely vibes.
The eatery is the third and newest social enterprise outlet by the Autism Resource Centre. It provides job and social integration opportunities for people with special needs, with a mission to provide affordable good food with an inclusive workforce.
Be prepared to wait during peak hours, but when the food arrives, you will not be disappointed.
While the items may sound run-of-the-mill, Professor Brawn Bistro executes classics competently with close attention to detail. Prices are nett.
An impressive highlight is the Cream Of Mushroom Soup ($6.90), made from three types of mushroom which are hand-chopped, not blended. The result is a perfectly textured soup. There is also hand-chopped mushroom that is sauteed and added as a garnish.
As many food and beverage outlets take the easier way out by serving ready-made mushroom soup, you have to give Professor Brawn Bistro credit for making it from scratch.
The All-Day Breakfast Set ($15.50), which is unique to this outlet, features lusciously creamy scrambled eggs. The sausages are cooked to a Goldilocks doneness and the accompanying salad leaves are fresh and crisp.
Worth a mention is Grilled Chicken With Truffle Sauce ($13.90). The crispy chicken thigh looks deep-fried, but is actually grilled. Expertly floured, it is cooked on a griddle to a sizzling crispness, minus the grease.
WHERE: 01-17 (Academy Block), Enabling Village, 20 Lengkok Bahru MRT: Redhill OPEN: 11am to 4pm (weekdays); 9am to 4pm (Saturdays and public holidays); closed on Sundays TEL: Call 8321-2204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org INFO: profbrawn.com.sg
FRESH-TASTING CASUAL MEXICAN FARE
This fast-casual joint will change your mind if you are the type who usually avoids fast food.
Mad Mex at Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 is the first outlet here by the Australia-based brand of quick-service Mexican food with an emphasis on using real and healthy ingredients. Prices are nett.
The Burrito (above, bottom right, $8.90 for small, $11.50 for regular) is a soft flour tortilla with a filling of brown rice, black beans, lettuce, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream. Pico de gallo is fresh salsa made from diced tomatoes, onions, green jalapenos, fresh coriander, lime juice and salt.
You get a choice of filling - chicken pollo, Veracruz tofu, chicken chorizo or beef. The beans - pressure-cooked with chipotle, garlic, onion and cumin - are moist, tender and addictively tasty.
The Quesadilla (above, top right, $11.50) is toasted soft tortilla with cheese, sauteed onion and capsicum, sour cream, your choice of filling and salsa. The Grande Melt (above, top left, $12.50) is similar to the Burrito, but comes hot and toasty.
The eatery has vegan and veggie options and does not use pork or lard.
WHERE: 02-05 Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3, 12 Marina Boulevard MRT: Downtown OPEN: 8am to 8pm (weekdays); closed on weekends and public holidays INFO: www.madmex.com.sg, www.facebook.com/madmexsingapore
UDON IN HAWKER FARE-INSPIRED FLAVOURS
From now till Jan 12 next year, you can tuck into udon flavours inspired by hawker fare at speciality udon house Udon Kamon.
Udon Kamon takes pride in its sanuki udon - a type of thick, squarish udon with flat edges that is popular in Japan's Shikoku region.
The restaurant's sanuki udon is handmade in-house daily.
The Dark Sauce Dry Udon (above, $10.80++) is inspired by Kuala Lumpur's chilli ban mee. Sanuki udon is served with stir-fried minced meat, crispy anchovies and beautifully blanched xiao bai cai. The dark sauce is a concoction of kecap manis (sweet dark soya sauce), soya sauce and oyster sauce.
The restaurant prepares its chilli in-house, using dried chilli paste, belacan, dried prawns, candlenuts, shallots, ginger and onion.
Ipoh Style Chicken Udon ($10.80++) is chicken thigh steamed with ginger and Japanese leek, then dressed in light soya sauce and sesame oil.
I find the starchiness of the chicken stock-based gravy to be a little overwhelming for the thick udon, though.
WHERE: 03-315 Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard MRT: Promenade OPEN: 11.30am to 3pm, 5 to 10pm (weekdays); 11.30am to 10pm (weekends) TEL: 6266-5338 INFO: www.facebook.com/udonkamonsg