BEE HOON AND CHEESE DESSERT
Kunefe is the signature dessert of four-month-old Turkish restaurant Ottoman Kebab & Grill. The traditional baked-to-order delight is made with a very thin rice vermicelli and cheese, both imported from Turkey, coated in a light sugar syrup and covered with crushed pistachios.
I know what you are thinking: Bee hoon as a dessert and with cheese can't be good. But it is. The crunch from the rice noodles that are baked to a golden crisp is the highlight here. This, along with its cheesy centre - a mild, Turkish version of mozzarella - and its pool of syrup that isn't too sweet, makes for a fine way to end a meal.
Where: Bedok Mall, 311 New Upper Changi Road, 01-75 MRT: Bedok Open: 11am - 10pm daily Info: Call 6702-4031 or go to www.firstgourmet.com
LUSH TARTS AND HEALTHY BUNS
Of the three bakeries in the Housing Board blocks along Sunset Way, Drips Baker's Playground is the newest. It has been open for about 11/2 years.
All the bakeries - the other two are Balmoral Bakery and Swisslink - are within 15m of one another. They have mostly different offerings, save for items such as chicken pie, and even then, they all taste different.
I usually head to Drips Baker's Playground to get freshly baked multi-grain bread loaves, priced from $4 for a 500g loaf. The bread is soft and the grains are always well distributed throughout the loaf.
Last weekend, I bought the Sukara Grain Bread ($3.80) instead. Here, six round multi-grain buns are baked together and resemble a large flower. I was drawn to the buns because each is covered with different grains, from pumpkin and sunflower seeds to flaxseed and oats. These are great if you like variety, and also make for perfect sandwiches for kids - the buns fit in their hands.
When you are here, I recommend that you also buy its elegantly decorated tarts. You won't be disappointed.
Options include individual berry, lemon meringue, chocolate and cinnamon egg tarts. Each is priced between about $4 and $8.
My favourites are the strawberry and mixed berries tarts. The short and buttery tart shells are filled with a thin layer of almond filling before being piped with lush and rich creamy custard and topped with ripe berries. They never disappoint.
Where: Drips Baker's Playground, Block 109 Clementi Street 11 MRT: Clementi/Holland Village Open: 8am - 8pm (Mon - Sat), 8am - 6pm (Sun) Tel: 6776-0400 Info: www.drips.com.sg
FIERY CHILLI WITH ZING
Good food, will travel. I live in the west but will travel to the east for my wonton mee fix.
There are a few stalls that I enjoy, of which Eng's Noodle House in Tanjong Katong Road is one of them.
A bowl of springy al dente noodles, slices of char siew, some leafy greens and a few house-made boiled wonton costs $4.50 a serving. Be sure to order an extra plate of fried wontons to go with your noodles too.
What I, and many others, travel here for is the stall's fiery and complex chilli sauce. It is so spicy that I start sniffling each time I tuck into my noodles which I, admittedly, slather with the sauce. Sometimes I tear too.
Still, my wonton mee would not be the same without it. Not only does this chilli have zing, but it also has a subtle saltiness that brings the humble noodle dish to life.
Where: Eng's Noodle House, 287 Tanjong Katong Road MRT: Dakota Open: 11am - 9pm daily, closed on alternate Mon. It will be closed this Mon Info: www.facebook.com/EngsNoodlesHouse
Pies & Coffee, a cafe chain which has four outlets islandwide, recently rolled out three preservative- free house- made jams ($8 for a 220g jar).
I like the Citrus Passion Fruit Ginger Jam the most. The liveliness of the fresh young ginger is evident in each bite and does well to perk up the senses.
I like Strawberry Balsamic Jam for its ripe flavour and chunks of fruit.
Often, strawberry jam is one-dimensional in texture but this one is a nice surprise.
Only coffee addicts and those mad about mangoes need try the Coffee Mango Jam, made with pureed fresh mangoes and ground coffee beans. Unique but not quite my cup of tea.
Where: Pies & Coffee outlets such as 232 Tanjong Katong Road, tel: 6342-1667, open: 9am - 11pm daily; The Grandstand, 200 Turf Club Road, 01-10, tel: 6463-5573, open: 9am - 10pm daily; Robertson Walk,11 Unity Street, 01-25, tel: 6733-9272, open: 8.30am - 10.30pm (Sun - Thu), 8.30am - midnight (Fri & Sat); & Rochester Mall, 35 Rochester Drive, 01-02, tel: 6570-0080, open: 9am - 10pm (Sun - Thu), 9am - 11.30pm (Fri & Sat) Info: www.piesncoffee.com