LiHo!! – Lychee Jing Syuan Tea

Way back to the start of June 2017, we were all greeted with the shocking news that Gong Cha,one of Singaporeans’ favourite bubble tea brand, was going to be replaced with new local LiHo brand. This brave move to close down one of the most popular bubble tea chains in Singapore is a strategic business decision made by RTG Holdings who felt “betrayed” by business associates, and decided to build a home-grown brand as Gong Cha’s parent company in Taiwan, Royal Tea Taiwan, was recently sold off to Gong Cha Korea, resulting in changes in contractual terms.

LiHo is a made-in-Singapore creation with a new menu, including cheese tea drinks. It will rely on completely different suppliers for its tea and other raw ingredients, as well as using different methods of making its drinks.

The top picks at Liho include Lychee Jing Syuan Tea ($3.30, $4.30), Fresh Lemon Juice Kanten and Golden Ai Yu ($4.00 and $5.10), Golden Yuzu Juice and Golden Ai Yu ($3.70 and $4.70), and Vitagen ‘n’ Peach ($4.10, $5.40).

My personal favourite from LiHo will be one of their top picks – Lychee Jing Syuan Tea. I like it a lot because it tastes really refreshing, especially during our ‘summer’ period in Singapore. I top it off with white pearls, making it a total of SGD$4 (medium). I personally feel that we are paying for the cup because, unlike Gong Cha, LiHo drinks come in plastic cups of better quality and plastic lids, different from the usual plastic seal on most bubble tea. Although it may be expensive as compared to Gong Cha, the cups can be recycled and used for other purposes after washing which makes it worth the money. Although I have yet to try their cheese milk tea and royal milk tea, I have been hearing both good and bad comments and these drinks have been constantly compared to another known brand – KOI.

I really encourage you to try out the Lychee Jing Syuan Tea from LiHo in this hot weather!

 

Sources:

http://mothership.sg/2017/05/heres-a-look-at-lihos-full-menu-and-some-of-their-drinks/

http://mothership.sg/2017/05/gong-cha-closing-down-in-spore-rebranding-as-liho/

http://danielfooddiary.com/2017/06/01/liho/

Rachael Fong

3T

Food Review: Chimney Cake

Chimmey cakeChimney cake, also known as Kürtőskalács, is a split cake that originated from Hungary. It is made from sweet yeast dough, and its unique shape is achieved by wounding it on a wooden spit then roasted over a charcoal fire until golden-brown. Traditionally, the surface of the cake is then topped with either ground walnut or powdered cinnamon.

If you want to try this delicious treat for yourself, you can! Located at Scape Orchard, Chimney Singapore is the first Hungarian pastry shop here in Singapore, and is quickly gaining attention for its photogenic, sweet and savoury treats sold nowhere else.

Upon arriving, you can choose between sweet- for cone coating of either cinnamon sugar, peanut or oreo, and an extra $1 for toppings such as nutella, peanut butter or cream cheese- and savoury-for a cone coating of garlic and herb butter with either mozzarella or cheddar and extra toppings include chicken ham, turkey bacon or salted egg.

Another option is chimney cake with softserve, where they add (homemade) chocolate or vanilla softserve to your chimney cake- the owners’ contribution to this sweet treat. The temperature contrast between the two creates a treat worth trying, even at its slightly higher price.

For 10 minutes, the waiting time is rather long- but justifiable, because the cones are made upon order to ensure its crispy texture, adding to the customer’s consuming pleasure.

So if you ever have the time to spare, do head over to Scape to try this Hungarian treat for yourself!

Sources:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCrt%C5%91skal%C3%A1cs

http://sethlui.com/chimney-ice-cream-singapore/

Chen Yu Yang

2 Truth

Food Review: Shabu Sai @ Suntec City

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During the March holidays, my friends and I had lunch at Shabu Sai at Suntec City. It is an authentic shabu-shabu and sukiyaki all-you-can-eat buffet. A quick search on Google defines ‘sukiyaki’ as a form of Japanese hot pot, served with meat, vegetables, and other ingredients such as tofu. Shabu-shabu is similar, but is less sweet as compared to sukiyaki, which is made with sugar, soy sauce, and a sweet rice wine known as mirin. For our meal that day, we had the privilege to enjoy both types of hot pot, we chose sukiyaki and tonkotsu shoyu as our soup bases.

A peek into the restaurant is immediately rewarded with a wide array of dishes spread out for the buffet, including eggs, tofu, ramen, glass noodles, rice, various types of vegetables, and many Japanese condiments. There was even a sauce bar where patrons can create their own sauce concoctions. For an extra charge of $1.99++, one can enjoy a free flow of soft-serve ice cream and soft drinks too!

A price of $19.99++ per person for lunch on a weekend or public holiday lets you enjoy the fragrant aromas and mouth-watering buffet spread for 70 minutes. Customers can choose 2 among 6 soup bases and any of the 3 meats offered: beef, pork, or chicken, as well as the buffet spread. It was extremely affordable and price-appropriate, as we ordered more than 50 pieces of thinly-sliced beef and more than 30 pieces of pork strips, in addition to lots of noodles, vegetables, and egg. Although most people may feel that buffet food is usually not on par with that of a restaurant specialising in that food, it is safe to say that the dishes offered at Shabu Sai exceeded expectations!

The beef was soft and sufficiently marbled and went well with the sukiyaki broth, while the pork was leaner but tougher, but was a pleasant combination with the tonkotsu shoyu broth. The broths were placed in a traditional Japanese hot pot, with a divider through the middle to ensure that we can enjoy the best of both worlds. I was surprised to note that the tonkotsu shoyu broth tasted very similar to the ramen broth I had enjoyed in Japan last year, and was not choked full of MSG and other artificial flavourings.

I definitely recommend this amazing restaurant to you! Why not take a trip down to any of its 6 outlets after the mid-year examinations?

Sources:

http://www.hungrygowhere.com/singapore/shabu-sai-suntec-city-hall/menu/#buffet-menu-887

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirin

Chua Wei Ting

3 Purity

Food review- KFC Chizza

As many of us know, the KFC in Philippines introduced the ’Chizza’ in 2015. It has then been introduced to other countries such as Thailand, Taiwan, Korea and Japan, and finally, to Singapore on 8 February 2017.

Chicken or pizza? Many chicken and pizza lovers find it really hard to choose. If you are a lover of both like me, the Chizza is the best option for you! 100% chicken fillet, marinated, perfectly seasoned and cooked to a glorious gold, then layered with delicious pizza toppings such as pizza sauce, chicken ham, pineapple chunks, mozzarella and topped with signature KFC cheese sauce.

Although the real Chizza might look quite unappealing compared to the pictures provided by KFC, it is really delicious. The Chizza has a great balance of textures from the warm gooey cheese that complements the crispy chicken fillet perfectly.

The Chizza was smaller than I expected, but the taste paid off and overall, I still enjoyed the meal.

You can get an a’la carte Chizza now at KFC for only $5.10, or else you can choose to get either the Chizza Meal, consisting of 1 Chizza, 1 medium fries and 1 soft drink for only $7.50 or the Chizza Box consisting of 1 Chizza, 1 chicken, 1 regular whipped potato,1 potato winders and 1 soft drink for only $9.50!

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Reference: https://www.kfc.com.sg/whats-new/chizza/

http://www.ladyironchef.com/2017/02/kfc-chizza/

http://sethlui.com/kfc-chizza-singapore/

 

-Desiree Lim

1 Grace

 

Food Review: Sunday Folks

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Love delicious Belgian waffles topped with mouth-watering soft serve ice cream? Love cosy hideouts with good food as well? Sunday Folks, located at 44 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-52 Chip Bee Gardens, 278116 is the perfect place to go!

The soft serve is available in 6 different flavours: Summer Strawberries, Roasted Pistachio, Earl Grey Lavender, Madagascar Vanilla, Sea Salt Gula Melaka, Dark Chocolate. Having a soft serve stacked on two square waffles costs $11.80, or if you prefer a petite size, go for the single slice with ice cream at $8.80. Or, have your tasty ice cream concoction in a cup (S$7.20) or handmade cone (S$7.20). Available for weekdays only, Sunday Folks also offer tea sets at $10.

Café hoppers and foodies alike flocked to the spacious café to sample Sunday Folks’ delectable offerings of freshly baked Belgian waffles and mouth-watering ice cream. The one-year-old café’s menu is fairly limited – there are only six ice cream flavours – yet sees no lack of customers till date.

The sweet treats at Sunday Folks do not just look good – they taste good too. The folks at Sunday Folks aim to present their desserts in the freshest form, and this vision had soon became their winning recipe. To ensure freshness in orders, waffles will only be baked after your order is taken and the same applies to the preparation of the freshly churned ice cream. As a result, a minimum waiting time of 15 minutes is required and subjected to increase when volume of orders is high.

If you have a sweet tooth like me, or you are just looking for a sweet treat, head over to Sunday Folks this weekend! They are open on Tue to Fri from 1pm – 10pm, Sat to Sun: 12pm – 10pm, and they are closed on Mondays.

Germaine Ong (3P)

Crème brûlée

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Originated from France, the crème brûlée is a dessert consisting of a rich custard base made from a simple combination of cream, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla, topped with a contrasting layer of caramel. Served in individual ramekins, sugar is sifted onto the custard and then caramelized with a blow torch or a broiler.

To many, it may seem to be merely an egg custard with a hard, toffee crust, but to those who’ve tasted this classic dessert at its best, the crème brûlée is a symphony of sweet, creamy perfection.

The first recordings of this delicious dessert in its French form were in 1691, but, its origin might not actually be French at all. While eggs had been used as binding agents in cooking in Ancient Roman kitchens, it was not until the Middle Ages that custards were widely adopted as sweet fillings and binders for tarts, flans and other desserts.

Trinity College in Cambridge, England claims to be the birthplace of the dessert. In fact, their kitchen possesses a special hot iron used to burn the college crest onto the sugar on top of the custard. It is said that a young college student came up with the dish — a creamy unsweetened custard with a caramelized topping, sometime in the 17th century. The cooking staff then replicated the recipe and dubbed it ‘Trinity Burnt Cream’. While it really cannot be proven that the Trinity College in Cambridge had anything to do with inventing the delectable treat, the kitchens there are still well known for making and serving their version of crème brûlée.

Besides that, the French version is very sweet, whereas the British version is unsweetened, and usually has a thicker and crustier topping. Early French versions of the dessert also had a separately prepared caramel disc layered on top of the custard, rather than the British method of caramelising the sugar directly onto the custard.

The Spanish claim that their dessert known as ‘crema catalana’, is the true predecessor of the crème brûlée and that they invented it in the 18th century (about 100 years after England’s claim to custard supremacy) It is also a rich custard topped with caramelised sugar, often flavoured with lemon or orange zest. However, the crema catalana, unlike the crème brûlée, is not baked in a bain-marie and is generally served as a cold custard with a hot topping. No one truly knows if it is the genuine predecessor of the crème brûlée, or just another variation of a custard that has been around for hundreds of years.

Whatever its place of birth, the iconic combination of a smooth and crunchy texture has kept the crème brûlée unchanged for centuries, and has perpetuated its popularity internationally. The wide availability of high quality kitchen equipment has made crème brûlée as popular in homes as it has always been in restaurants, and many interesting twists on the recipe, such as the inclusion of lavender, pumpkin, saffron, tea or seemingly any fruit imaginable, have kept boredom from setting in.

The crème brûlée is a great example of simple, classical cooking. It is memorable, delicate and yet simple to prepare. It is one of my favourite desserts and I prefer it when it is served warm. The crisp layer of caramel and the smooth consistency of the custard is simply irresistible as it melts in your mouth, tantalising your taste buds.

For those of you who love cooking, why not try making your own crème brûlée? Pair it up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a handful of berries and you’ll be on your way to seventh heaven!

Laura Zheng (4U)

Nene Chicken

nene.pngEven the name alone is enough to trigger a funny bone, but do not belittle this humble fried chicken chain. In the recent months, it has taken the country by storm with its lip smacking chicken chunks bathed in all kinds of sauces. I have only visited the store once, but it has been a tantalising experience for my taste buds. The chicken arrived glazed in a garlic coating, and was cut up into little pieces. Fried chicken is a common finger food among Singaporeans. Hence, I did not expect the opening of this chain to turn many heads. However, what is unique about this particular store’s chicken is the spices involved in its cooking. In addition, the meal is consumed with picks. The store provides these picks as well as gloves to make the eating process clean and fuss-free. I personally enjoyed my meal more because my hands were not greasy nor was the chicken in any way inconvenient to consume. Maybe it was an impression they gave by portraying the whole experience to be of a more comfortable one, but they definitely won me over. Of course, fizzy drinks and fries were served alongside the fried chicken, but this is typical of most fast food joints. An interesting side dish they provided though, was coleslaw. The coleslaw was largely made up of corn and crabmeat. The sauce was not too creamy, hence it was not overly coying like most coleslaws are in nature. Instead, it was refreshing and gave my taste buds a good kick of sweet and salty flavour.

Fried chicken is definitely not a unique food item, or something one would die to try, but we cannot deny that the once-in-a-while indulgence is something our stomachs can still resonate with. As a foodie, I feel that besides going hunting for the interesting, exotic and less seen foods, we should take time to stop and give the unassuming fried chicken a chance.

 

Nicolette Kum

4 Wisdom

Food Review

yum.pngJapanese cuisine is well known for being delicious, yet costly, especially the higher end restaurants located in hotels. Did you know, however, that you are able to find the same food in hawker centres, for a fraction of the cost?

Konomi Zen

Address: #01-59, Ang Mo Kio 628 Market, 628 Ang Mo Kio Street 61, Singapore 560628

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 11am to 8pm, closed on Sundays

I chanced upon this hawker stall and was amazed by how cheap all the food was. The dazzling array of food included katsudon (pork cutlet bowls) and signature dishes salmon or teriyaki chicken bento (single portion meal) all starting from only $3! I decided to try the teriyaki chicken bento, which came with shredded cabbage, tempura (deep fried dish), a bowl of rice, miso soup, and of course, chicken. The chicken was tender, completely drenched in teriyaki sauce. However, I was surprised to find that carrots were used instead of sweet potato in the tempura. Konomi Zen sure lived up to its tagline of ‘Restaurant standard, Hawker price’.

Buta Kin

Address: #04-41, Beauty World Food Centre, 144 Upper Bukit Timah, Singapore 588177

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11:30am to 8:30pm, closed on Mondays

Buta Kin offers various Japanese curry and ramen (noodles), most not more than $6. I tried the Special Tonkotsu Ramen, which came with pork belly, black fungus, half boiled egg and seaweed. The roasted pork slices were amazingly succulent and the yolk of the egg was perfect, not too runny or firm. The black fungus strips added a good crunch, while the noodles were a little too soft. Overall, it was a extremely reasonably priced at only $6.90, with an enticing presentation, and I’ll definitely be back for more!

Give these two hawker stalls a try, or even the many others dotted around the country, and you will soon come to see how Japanese food doesn’t have to be expensive to be tasty! Personally, I find it ridiculous how restaurants charge over the top prices for tiny portions of food, when one can discover a multitude of options right at the heart of Singapore, in humble hawker centres. Just take a look around, and you will see how our nation has been dubbed the ‘foodie’s paradise’.

 

Jocelyn (4 Justice)

 

Food Review: The Benjamins

Freakshakes are a recent trend that describes a huge milkshake with everything from caramel sauce and chocolate chips to red velvet cakes and blueberry pie stacked precariously on top! The Benjamins is widely known for its over-the-top, exaggerated freakshakes that will definitely stretch your appetite to its limits.

Located at Forum The Shopping Mall, the bistro-cum-cafe gives off a retro vibe with soft lighting and rich brown tones. Although famous for their freakshakes, The Benjamins also serves main courses such as Aglio Olio. I visited The Benjamins in the holidays and I believe it is safe to say that the serving is monstrous! My order, the chocolatey heaven known as the Tim Tams OTT Milkshake, which costs $16, is a dark chocolate milkshake in a jar with White Tim Tams, red velvet Tim Tams, caramel Tim Tams, a massive double chocolate brownie, generous helpings of whipped cream and chocolate sauce, and complete with two chocolate wafer sticks. The freakshake was a blessing on my tastebuds and was certainly worth the hole I burnt in my pocket – albeit a small hole, since I did not have lunch after the freakshake.

I recommend The Benjamins for anyone looking for dessert after a light meal, or anyone looking to ignore their new year’s resolution and craving a sinful delight. It would be wiser to share one shake among two or three people though, since the milkshake came with two straws which I did not notice until I had finished the very last drop of chocolate milkshake. The wonderful freakshakes are definitely worth the wait and every dollar spent!

 

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Links:

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/submission/17375/freakshake

http://sethlui.com/benjamin-browns-singapore-milkshake-review/

Wei Ting

3P

Food Review: Pompompurin Café Singapore

Ever heard of Pompompurin, the golden retriever Sanrio character that wears a trademark brown beret? I bet it was part of your childhood – after all, Pompompurin was twice voted the Most Popular Sanrio Character in the Strawberry News, a magazine published by Sanrio, and it was also given first place during the Sanrio Character ranking in 2015.

Seeing the Pompompurin merchandise, furniture and wall art that are plastered everywhere in Pompompurin Café Singapore, fans will definitely be hyped up. The café covers a space of 1,900 square feet in Orchard Central, and the canine-themed decoration and adorably cute Pompompurin-shaped food and drinks served on the menu are bound to get you squealing incessantly. Furthermore, to add on to Pompompurin Café Singapore’s unique features, its “garden city” theme is in tandem to Singapore’s local culture, inspired by Singapore’s lush greenery and worldwide recognition as a garden city. In addition to the multitude of Pompompurin seats available for customers, there are also four 4-seater booths called “Tomodachi House” (Friends House), featuring one of Pompompurin’s friends each, namely Bagel the Squirrel, Coconut the Monkey, Mint the Frog and Macaroon the Golden Retriever.

Before you even ask about souvenirs, the answer to this question is an enthusiastic yes – collectibles that come along with meal sets are available! The Pompompurin collectible mug that is included in many of the dishes, including Mushroom and Bacon Carbonara ($26.99) and Bagel’s Special: Pancake Tower ($21.99), is simply adorable and is definitely the perfect keepsake to remember your dining experience at Pompompurin Cafe Singapore by.

If that isn’t enough to win you over, let me assure you that the meals are bound to have you eagerly snapping photographs to post on your social media account due to its delicately designed Pompompurin-shaped platters, even though it might be overpriced and merely average. After all, at the end of the day, it is the whole Pompompurin package you are paying for, not only the dish or drink itself, isn’t it? That being said, food options are also plentiful, with mouth-watering menu choices. Some of the more popular and photogenic dishes include Taco Rice in a Cup of Friendship ($19.99), Pompompurin’s Beef Stroganoff ($18.99) and Pompompurin’s Coconut Milk Chicken Curry ($17.99).

Chloe Kho (2P)

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