TIONG BAHRU BAKERY DINER
You may know the Tiong Bahru Bakery chain for its croissants and coffee. Now, two of its outlets have been renamed Tiong Bahru Bakery Diner, with an elevated food menu that pays attention to fermented ingredients and includes vegetable options that don't compromise on flavour.
One of my favourite dishes here is the hot chicken salad and caramelised pumpkin ($20), which has chicken breast marinated with tamarind paste, lemongrass, garlic and rosemary. A drizzle of brown butter completes the dish.
My other pick is miso wholewheat spaghetti with broccolini ($19), topped with grated grana padano cheese and served with confit eggplant and basil and almond pesto.
Save space for the on-trend 100 per cent sourdough waffle, which is made from a 158-year-old starter that goes through a two-day fermentation process. The waffles have a tangy flavour, crisp exterior and fluffy interior. Also good are the brown butter pancakes, made with a buttermilk batter fermented for 24 hours and whisked with brown butter.
Both the waffles and pancakes are available in a savoury version ($23), with a sunny-side-up egg, crisp bacon, maple syrup, goji berries and ricotta; or a sweet option ($21), with Thai mango, caramelised almonds, salted butter caramel sauce and lemongrass-infused chantilly cream.
I'd go savoury, just for the bacon.
WHERE: 04-22 Funan, 107 North Bridge Road; and B1-11 Raffles City, 252 North Bridge Road MRT: City Hall OPEN: 8am to 9pm daily (Funan), 8am to 10pm daily (Raffles City) TEL: 6877-4866 (Funan), 6333-4160 (Raffles City) INFO: tiongbahrubakery.com
PICNIC FOOD PARK'S NEW EATS
Three new concepts have set up shop at Wisma Atria's Picnic Food Park, selling premium chicken rice, Japanese rice flour souffle pancakes and daifuku (Japanese mochi stuffed with a sweet filling).
Brother Cheng's Chicken Rice banks on Picnic owner Cheng Hsin Yao's grandfather's recipe. The key components include corn-fed kampung chicken from Malaysia with a distinctive yellow skin, Thai jasmine rice and house-made chilli sauce.
While it may not look particularly attractive hanging at the stall, the chicken - cut into thick pieces - is tasty and succulent. I wolf down my bowl of rice, which is fried in chicken fat and Bentong ginger, then steamed with pandan leaves and chicken stock.
This is one time I don't reach for the chilli sauce as the chicken and rice are flavourful enough on their own. Prices start at $14.90 for a one-person set which includes a side of oyster sauce vegetables and soup.
After the chicken rice, make a beeline for souffle pancakes from Tokyo's Riz Labo Kitchen, which used to have a pop-up store upstairs. Its new flavour is Mont Blanc pancakes (from $19 for two pieces) with chestnut puree and sweet potato paste.
If you have room, try another Japanese sweet treat from Daifuku by Seizan, which offers customisable daifuku ($6 each). My favourites are yuzu with cheese mousse, yuzu honey and mixed berries; and chocolate with a chocolate mochi skin, custard cream and Oreo cookie. Alternatively, make your own mochi by choosing the flavour of the mochi skin, paste and filling.
WHERE: Picnic Food Park, 03-15 Wisma Atria, 435 Orchard Road MRT: Orchard OPEN: 11am to 10pm daily TEL: 6734-8352 INFO: picnicsg.com
SUPER SIMPLE+ SALADS
There are days when all I want is a salad.
My new go-to chain is Super Simple+ at one-north. Unlike its sister outlets at International Plaza and China Square Food Centre, Super Simple+ has its own seating area and a slightly different menu.
What sets it apart is its uncomplicated approach to food. Its made-from-scratch ingredients speak for themselves. Salad dressings are made in-house with no additives and no sugar.
Build your own small, medium or large box (from $9.90) with an order form. The protein list includes tandoori chicken thigh, miso-glazed tofu and wild-caught barramundi. Add on supplements such as herbed zucchini, curried cauliflower, roasted pineapple and pickled beetroot. Top off your salad with dukkah, a petite herb mix or sakura ebi, followed by a pineapple-infused hot sauce or parsley pesto.
I like that the portions are generous. I leave feeling full, virtuous and pleased with myself for eating clean.
WHERE: 01-28/29 Galaxis, 1 Fusionopolis Place MRT: one-north OPEN: 11am to 3pm, 5.30 to 8pm (weekdays only) INFO: facebook.com/supersimple.sg