CHYE SENG HUAT HARDWARE'S MAROU CHOCOLATE POP-UP
This weekend, head to Chye Seng Huat Hardware for a taste of the offerings from Maison Marou.
Maison Marou is the cafe arm of famed artisanal chocolate brand Marou, Faiseurs de Chocolat from Vietnam that started six years ago in a garage in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. This is its first overseas pop-up.
Chye Seng Huat Hardware is also pairing its coffee with Marou chocolates (from $8). I try the delicate Throwback blend with Marou's Bar Ria chocolate - splendid together as both have subtle notes of citrus. There are also tarts, brownies, cookies and eclairs that have been made with Marou's chocolate.
Also tuck into chocolate bon bons in six flavours that have been flown in for the collaboration. Ones to try include the Chilli & Lime bon bon with a zesty, refreshing tang and a slow and mild hit of chilli; and Pho Spice Ganache, which has the familiar flavour of a bowl of nourishing pho ($2 each, $7 for four, $10 for six ).
WHERE: Chye Seng Huat Hardware, 150 Tyrwhitt Road MRT: Lavender WHEN: Till Sunday OPEN: 9am to midnight (today and tomorrow), 9am to 10pm (Sunday) TEL: 6396-0609 INFO: www.cshhcoffee.com and marouchocolate.com
A TASTE OF INDONESIA
There is a new casual Indonesian restaurant - it has outlets at 313@Somerset and Ann Siang Hill - that specialises in various types of soup.
Offerings include the more widely available soto ayam (chicken soup) and sop buntut (oxtail soup)as well as soto madura and soto betawi - two styles of soup that I haven't had in ages.
The soto betawi or Jakarta soup ($8.80) is a mildly spicy beef-based soup with a dash of coconut milk that is hearty and flavourful. The version here reminds me of a homecooked one I had many years ago at a friend's place in Sydney. Eat it with the sambal for extra kick.
The soto madura ($8.80) has a stronger flavour of spices and a hint of ginger.
You can also have dishes such as Mie Ayam Bakso ($7.80), a staple street food in Indonesia.
The noodles are tasty on their own, but I like to add kecap manis and chilli sauce - something I learnt from my Indonesian friends from university . They would cart these two sauces around with them in their bags and add them to everything.
WHERE: Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House, B3-10 313@Somerset, 313 Orchard Road; and 18 Ann Siang Road MRT: Somerset/Telok Ayer OPEN: Somerset - 11am to 10pm daily; Ann Siang - 11am to 9pm dailyTEL: 6634-1501 (Somerset)/ 6221-1760 (Ann Siang) INFO: www.facebook.com/toktoksg
THE O.P.E.N. PICNIC
Enjoy regional Lebanese fare at an open-air picnic on Sunday at the Malay Heritage Centre.
Admission is free and the food will be catered by chefs from Tawlet, a social enterprise restaurant from Lebanon founded by foodie activist Kamal Mouzawak. They include chef Nada Nassar Saber.
Mr Mouzawak's chefs - former homecooks from various parts of Lebanon - have been travelling the globe to share their food and philosophy, and have even cooked at Noma chef Rene Redzepi's food symposium MAD in Copenhagen.
Expect dishes such as tabbouleh, manaiish (a Lebanese bread with thyme) and lamb stew with cous cous.
Take along a picnic mat.
WHERE: Malay Heritage Centre, 85 Sultan Gate MRT: Bugis WHEN: Sunday, 3.30 to 6pm ADMISSION: Free INFO: Go to www.sifa.sg/theopen/programme/shows/o-p-e-n-picnic/. Picnickers are requested not to take along alcohol and to be sensitive to the surroundings
CHEAP AND GOOD DONBURI BOWLS
I tried a few donburi bowls from Boru Boru recently, a little Japanese food stand in Candour Coffee, a cafe along Beach Road. They are good, fresh and surprisingly cheap. Prices start at $9.90 a bowl.
The Boru Chirashi, priced at $13.90, is a steal - it comes with large chunks of diced salmon, tuna, octopus and cooked prawn, marinated in a shoyu dressing over sushi rice topped with nori, roasted sesame seeds and ikura. The dressing is sweet, but not in an unpleasant way.
I also enjoy the 48 deg C Salmon Boru With Triple Egg ($16.90) and mentaiko. It comes with an onsen egg, flying fish roe, seasonal vegetables - my bowl had corn and edamame - and furikake.
I seldom order cooked salmon because it is usually overcooked, but here, it is cooked sous vide to perfection. The fish is still moist and supple in the centre, covered with aburi mentaiko - simple, tasty and satisfying.
Other offerings include cold Truffle Somen ($13.90) and a Wasabi Mayo Boru bowl with salmon or tuna (from $9.90).
WHERE: Boru Boru at Candour Coffee, 41 Beach Road MRT: Esplanade OPEN: 11am to 9pm (weekdays only) INFO: www.facebook.com/BoruBoruSG