DINING AT THE KRANJI COUNTRYSIDE
Forget air-conditioned malls and take a trip to Singapore's Kranji countryside.
At Bollywood Veggies, a farm and bistro, let your kids play outdoors and experience the sights and smells of nature.
The bistro cooks with plants grown on the farm, including blue pea flower, pandan leaves, lemongrass, lady's fingers, long beans and kang kong - it cannot get any fresher than this.
I was there on Wednesday and had a wonderful meal that included fragrant nasi lemak, gado gado and chicken in a laksa gravy.
Try the Warrior's Platter, which includes chicken curry, vegetables and fried fish fillets, among other things.
Prices range from $5 for a starter to $40 for a large platter.
WHERE: Bollywood Veggies, Poison Ivy Bistro, 100 Neo Tiew Road MRT: Kranji OPEN: 9.30am to 6.30pm (Wednesday to Friday), 8am to 6.30pm (weekend and public holiday), closed on Monday and Tuesday TEL: 6898-5001 INFO: Go to bollywoodveggies.com
CHEAP AND GOOD TRUFFLE BEEF BOWL
I have a weakness for Japanese-style beef bowls and eat it fairly regularly, trying expensive and cheap ones.
When it comes to cheap, Grilllo at Pasarbella in Suntec City does a pretty tasty version, with a decent portion of beef atop short-grain rice.
Its Truffle Short Rib Bowl ($14.90) is made with tender and flavourful USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Prime short rib, which is sous vide then seared.
The beef bowl is served with a housemade truffle wafu sauce, an onsen egg and topped with garlic chips that have been fried to a crisp. Each serving also includes a side of coleslaw with Japanese ginger-sesame dressing.
WHERE: Grilllo, PasarBella at Suntec City, 3 Temasek Boulevard, North Wing, 01-455, Stall 6 MRT: Promenade OPEN: 10am to 10pm, daily INFO: Go to www.grilllo.com or e-mail email@example.com. Its bowls are also available for delivery via Deliveroo, UberEats and CaterSpot
SAVOURY TARTS FROM PLAIN VANILLA
Plain Vanilla, which started out as a single-operator bakery in Holland Village in 2011, is better known for its cakes and cupcakes and its divine salted caramel truffle chocolate tart.
Owner Vanessa Kenchington has expanded her business in terms of outlets - there are now three, with a fourth opening at Cluny Court next month - and food offerings.
There are now delicious savoury quiche-like tarts ($9 each, photo), which have caught my fancy.
I particularly like the roasted pumpkin, sage and pine nut tart. These flavours always go well together, but combine the rich filling that is not heavy and a wholesome pastry with a glorious texture, and it makes for a real winner.
Other fillings include goat cheese, mushroom and leek; ham, asparagus and gruyere; and smoked salmon and dill.
WHERE: Plain Vanilla Bakery, 1D Yong Siak Street; Cafe by Plain Vanilla at In Good Company Concept Store, Ion Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, B1-06; Plain Vanilla & Co, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St Andrew's Road, 01-10 MRT: Tiong Bahru/Orchard/ City Hall OPEN: Tiong Bahru: 8am to 7pm (Monday to Saturday), 9am to 6pm (Sunday), tel: 8363-7614; Ion Orchard: 10.30am to 9.30pm, daily, tel: 6509-4760; National Gallery: 10am to 7pm, daily, tel: 6385-6681 TEL: For advance orders, call 6465-5942 INFO: Go to www.plainvanillabakery.com. For orders, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
TAIWANESE SHAVED ICE
At this time of the year, an icy dessert to beat the heat is essential, be it cheng tng, ice kacang or Korean bingsu.
Of late, I have been indulging in Taiwanese-style shaved ice - ribbons of shaved ice with various toppings.
Smoothie House, a popular shaved ice chain from Taiwan, now has three outlets here and its soft, layered shaved ice has a finesse that many other stalls here do not.
It is most famous for its Mango Snowflake Ice (from $7.90 a serving, photo).
My favourite is the shop's Tie Guan Yin Jelly Milky Snowflake Ice ($9.90), a cold, deconstructed milk tea that is served with tie guan yin tea jelly and tapioca pearls.
WHERE: Westgate, 3 Gateway Drive, 01-08; Paya Lebar Square, 60 Paya Lebar Road, 02-15; One Raffles Place, 1 Raffles Place, 03-25 MRT: Jurong East/Paya Lebar/ Raffles Place OPEN: Westgate: 11am to 10pm daily, tel: 6710-5567; Paya Lebar: 10am to 10pm, daily, tel: 6702-2221; Raffles Place: 10am to 9pm, daily, tel: 6532-1025 INFO: Go to www.smoothiehouse.com
Correction Note: An earlier version of this article spelled Grilllo as Grillo. We are sorry for the error.