AFFOGATO DESSERT CUPS
The Affogato Bar is the newest food and beverage tenant to open at Cluny Court, which already has at least three other places that serve coffee.
The bar uses Dimattina Coffee blends from Melbourne and serves affogato, or ice cream with a shot of hot espresso.
It has five affogato dessert parfaits on its menu. Each is served with a double shot of espresso made with various coffee blends, ice cream in different flavours and other toppings such as cake and nuts.
I like the Carota Carota affogato cup ($13.90). It comes with creamy carrot cake ice cream with a pleasant hint of cinnamon, chunks of moist carrot cake, chopped walnuts that give it texture, a small dollop of cream cheese and a side of espresso with a fruity profile.
Chocoholics will enjoy the Death By Chocolate affogato ($13.90), with rich chocolate sorbet, brownie pieces, chocolate streusel and a thin round of dark chocolate.
If you love chai tea lattes, opt for the Dirty Chai Latte ($5.50 for a hot version, add $1 for soya milk), which includes a shot of espresso for that dose of caffeine. It marries two of my favourite drinks perfectly.
RED GROUPER FISH SOUP
At Taman Jurong Food Centre, there are a handful of popular fish soup stalls that attract long queues. I like a couple of them, including a low-key, nondescript stall called Seafood Fish Soup on the second floor.
Prices start at $5 a bowl. You can opt for batang fish or Spanish mackerel, but I prefer red grouper (from $8, above) for its texture and natural sweetness.
If you like fish head, order the red grouper fish head soup ($10) or batang fish head soup ($7).
Each bowl comes with thinly sliced bittergourd and tomato. I also like that evaporated milk is not added to this soup. The cloudy broth is fresh, wholesome and tasty.
WHERE: Seafood Fish Soup, 02-102 Taman Jurong Food Centre, 3 Yung Sheng Road MRT: Lakeside OPEN: 10am till about 7 or 8pm, when sold out; closed on Mondays
CHILLI CRAB XIAO LONG BAO
Blue Lotus, a Chinese restaurant at Sentosa's Quayside Isle, opened Chinese Noodle Bar at Savourworld, the new food cluster at 2 Science Park Drive last month.
The best thing on its menu? The novel chilli crab xiao long bao (above, $8 for four), a neatly wrapped dumpling filled tightly with flavourful crab meat and pomelo spiced with a blend of chilli and fragrant herbs. Each morsel packs a serious punch.
One is not enough and two barely satisfy.
Another dish to try is the Sichuan Spicy Beef Shank and Tendon ($9) - tender chunks of braised beef and supple tendon served in a rich gravy with a subtly spicy finish.
On the noodle front, tuck into dishes such as the Grilled King Prawn Lau Gan Ma Noodle ($16), springy egg noodles tossed in a soya sauce-based sauce with piquant Lau Gan Ma chilli paste and topped with a sizeable prawn; Grilled Soya Chicken Drumstick Noodle ($13) - opt for the soup version, where a whole chicken drumstick and thigh is served with noodles in a thick and full-flavoured chicken broth; and the Signature Crispy Pork Lard Truffle Noodle ($12), with more than enough crispy cubes of lard to make one happy.
WHERE: Chinese Noodle Bar by Blue Lotus, 01-26, 2 Science Park DriveMRT: Kent Ridge OPEN: 11.30am to 3pm, 5 to 9pm (weekdays), closed on weekends for now; walk-ins from 11.30am to 1pm TEL: 6910-0880 (for reservations), 6988-0880 (for takeaway orders) INFO: www.bluelotus.com.sg/chinese-noodle-bar/
BASILICO'S SUMMER MENU
Italian restaurant Basilico at the Regent Singapore has an impressive buffet range of cheese, cold cuts and tomatoes, which I never tire of.
It has rolled out some new sharing platters (for two, which are part of Basilico's semi-buffet priced at $88 a person), including a Pizza Dough Seafood Casserole (above).
Fresh seafood such as octopus, tiger prawns, salmon and plump clams are served with a legume ragout and rich, savoury gravy flavoured with herbs such as thyme.
The cast-iron pot comes covered with a crisp layer of pizza dough - dip it into the pot to soak up the sauce.
WHERE: Basilico, Level 2 Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, 1 Cuscaden Road MRT: Orchard WHEN: Till Sept 25, 6.30 to 10pm daily PRICE: $88 a person, $123 a person with two glasses of house wine TEL: 6725-3232/6725-3233 INFO: www.regenthotels.com/Singapore