Meat Smith, Telok Ayer Street

Meat Smith calls itself a casual diner, one of the newer ventures of Singapore’s renowned hotelier and restaurateur Loh Lik Peng’s Unlisted Collection group. It exudes full-on edginess with its blacksmith’s workshop ambience, and as the name goes, this modern American-style smokehouse specializes in all things meaty.

Situated just across the road from its sister restaurant The Market Grill, Meat Smith holds its own very well, if not better, and you’d be hard pressed to get a table without reservations on a Friday afternoon. The indoor dining area features communal tables, bench seating and cool, heavy metal high chairs with seats that looked like manhole covers, as well as a semi-open kitchen.

Their often-updated menu, while not extensive, covered every course and portion preference, and their daily specials are written on prominently-displayed chalkboards.

Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Crispy Pork Rinds

Crispy Pork Rinds (SGD5.00)

Perfect with a glass of beer, these crispy pork cracklings were polished off within minutes, but it is definitely not a sharing portion. Social obligations begone – nobody should have to share their pork cracklings!

 Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Beef Tongue

Beef Tongue (SGD13.00)

Paper-thin slices of beef tongue were topped with peanuts, a slightly spicy “aioli” and negligible (read: easy to flick off) bits of coriander. It all came together in a delicious harmony of flavours, perfectly light and refreshing as an appetizer.

Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Fish Tacos

From their Specials of the Day board, we got the Fish Tacos which were sublime – mini tortillas topped with nori, crispy breaded fish, coleslaw and a zingy sauce that exploded with flavour from all the elements. I really wish they’d put it on their regular menu!

Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Nashville Fried Chicken

½ Nashville Fried Chicken (SGD20.00)

There was a Southern option which was good ol’ buttermilk fried chicken with an almost shattering crisp on the outside while retaining juicy and tender meat inside. But it is the Nashville style fried chicken that you’d remember, with its red-hot fiery colour and heavily coated with a spicy blend of chili powder, not unlike the Japanese shichimi togarashi. I found it a tad too spicy to enjoy the flavours properly without gulps of beer/iced water between each bite, but those with higher spice tolerance would enjoy this.

Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Pork Ribs (Dry)

½ Pork Ribs (dry version) (SGD25.00)

St Louis spare ribs were barbecued to fall-off-the-bone goodness, then dry-rubbed with a similar spice blend as the Nashville fried chicken, but with more restraint and hence much more enjoyable. I’ve had this a couple of times with my colleagues, and it had consistently garnered appreciative grunts around the table as those carnivores stuffed their faces. There was also a wet version on the menu, which I suppose would come slathered with the classic BBQ sauce.

Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Brisket

Brisket (180g) (SGD26.00)

Described as California USA 365-day grain-fed Angus, all these hyped-up beef jargon meant little if the dish was not executed skillfully. Fortunately, the meat was incredibly tender and unctuous, thanks to all the marbling. There were no other fussy elements to interfere or mask the quality of the meat, reflecting simplicity at its best.

Picking a sweet ending to round up the meal here was easy as there were only two dessert items on their menu. These safe selections would please most palates with a chocolate item and a fruity one.

Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Mississippi Mud Pie

Mississippi Mud Pie (SGD10.00)

The epitome of American diner desserts, this decadent, silky chocolate pie with an Oreo cookie base was an instant hit, and the plate was practically wiped clean.

 

Yours Yummily | Meat Smith | Apple Crumble with Smoked Ice Cream

Apple Cobbler with Smoked Ice Cream  (SGD7.00)

The tart, cinnamon-y apples and the crisp pastry were alright but forgettable, and all of us found the “smoke” flavour too odd. It was a good thing we saved  some of the mud pie for last.

In all honesty, Meat Smith displayed a stellar performance in its meaty offerings, complemented by a neat selection of craft beers, cocktails and other thirst-quenchers to wash the guilt down. The only thing left for them to do is to step up their dessert game by a few notches!

Overall rating: 6.5/10

Location
Meat Smith
167/169 Telok Ayer St,
Singapore 068620
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer

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The King Louis Grill & Bar, VivoCity

The King Louis Grill & Bar is the first medieval-themed restaurant in Singapore, located at an obscure spot at VivoCity. This place has been around for about four years now, but I have always wavered between finding this place gimmicky and mysterious, boosted by the life-sized sword-wielding armoured knights  “guarding” the restaurant’s castle-like entrance and placed at prominent spots around VivoCity as advertisements.

We finally took the plunge recently, sampling a few items, enough to form our opinion of this long-intriguing place. The split-level dining area was furnished with wooden tables , chairs, and padded benches, resembling cozy taverns from the Middle Ages. Quite befittingly,  the mounted TV screens were showing How To Train Your Dragons, but on mute while songs from the radio played through speakers. This was a bit odd and vexed me a tad but I guess the staff were sick of watching that movie. Tables at the third and lowest level overlooks the deck and over to Sentosa, where you can see people riding the Battlestar Galactica rollercoaster.

Their menu was true to the medieval theme and many items had names of Kings, Queens and Knights.

DSC06742
Castle Chicken Winglet (SGD14.90)
5 pcs deep fried winglets with hickory BBQ dip

I was craving some wings after watching the Summer Party Platter challenge on Masterchef US (ok, any excuse to have wings, really!). When you see the word “winglets” in the menu description, you’d think it was just the mid-joints or the drumlets or something, but it turned out to be 5 whole wings, sectioned in two. The moment it was served, our first thought was “Are we able to finish this???”, but two seconds later, my mind went “Yay, wings galore!”

The barbecue sauce was served in a separate sauce cup instead of being tossed to coat the wings like we usually get elsewhere, which is a good thing because I get to enjoy the crispy chicken wings on its own, especially since barbecue sauce has that very strong hickory flavour that I am not crazy about. The wings, while very crisp and tasty on the outside, was completely bland and lacked any hint of seasoning inside, suggesting no or insufficient marinate. The corn salsa drowned in thousand island sauce on a bed of lettuce was skippable.

DSC06750
BBQ Ribs Combo (SGD34.50
)

One of the four main combo sets that came with a choice of secondary item from the given list. We picked this Barbecue Spare Ribs with Tomato Mussels. The combo came default sides of Mixed Mesclun Salad, Corn Salsa and Baby Roasted Potatoes.

The ribs were fall-of-the-bone tender, which is always one of the benchmarks of good barbecued ribs. However, it went downhill from there. The mussels were cold, even with the tomato sauce. Not chilled cold, but left-forgotten-on-the-pass cold. The salad was negligible, and I wish there was more corn instead, as these were not swimming in salad sauce at the very least. The only other thing I enjoyed on this plate were the, silky smooth baby potatoes but that is not reason enough to return.

DSC06760
New York Cheesecake (SGD4.90)

We thought we could salvage this meal by getting some dessert, and ended up with New York Cheesecake from their very limited selection. You’d think that was a safe bet right? What came was a completely white “cake” on a cookie crust. It looked like artificial vanilla ice cream, and I thought, hey, maybe this was their own special rendition – a cheese-flavoured ice cream cake! But once the fork went in, the thing crumbled. I don’t know how to accurately describe this abomination of a New York Cheesecake, but it was like eating tiny ice cream shavings. It did not get any less weird with each tentative bite.

DSC06764[4]

I really wanted to say that this is a fun, casual themed-restaurant that I will return to with family and friends in tow and have a magnificent, kingly feast, but sadly I don’t think I will. Maybe you’d still like to check it out for yourselves if you haven’t done so already. Just…make better choices!

Overall rating: 4/10

Location
The King Louis Grill & Bar
1 Harbourfront Walk
#03-07A VivoCity,
Singapore 098585
Nearest MRT: Harbourfront

Bread Street Kitchen, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (Singapore)

In keeping with the demands of an increasingly food-obsessed, chef-idolizing society, one renowned chef came to get a piece of the Singapore pie sometime in mid-June 2015. Perhaps you may have hear of a charming little character called Gordon Ramsay. Notorious for his uninhibited swearing on TV as he berates chef-wannabes to essentially not suck at what they are doing,  the world is divided in its opinion of him.

I can’t speak for anyone, but I do have a soft spot for this quick-witted son of a gun despite his insane range of insults that reduced grown men to tears (or more likely because of it).

Bread Street Kitchen (BSK), one of his many restaurant ventures, is his first foray into the Little Red Dot’s food scene. It may sound like a quaint bakery café, but the name came from its first location in a swanky shopping centre at 10 Bread Street in London.

Set up at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, BSK joins the slew of restaurants owned by other internationally distinguished chefs. It spans over two levels, with the lower (underground) level being the kitchen and a cozy dining area while the upper (bay) level had the bar and a more spacious restaurant that looked out to the waterfront and city skyline. Both levels displayed a huge selection of wines – I may have gotten tipsy just looking at it! The premises exude a casual, sleek industrial-warehouse vibe which reflected their flagship London location, ideal for a night of chilling out.

The menu prominently features British European classics, but is also peppered with some Asian flavours which I know many had raved about but I personally felt was unnecessary. While I understand they wanted to cater to the  local palates, I know for sure that if I was looking to taste coriander and ginger, it would not be here. But that’s just me, I’m a purist when it comes to certain things. Since most of their starters listed many oriental flavours, I gave them a complete miss because I can, and dived straight into mains.

Yours Yummily | Bread Street Kitchen, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands | Bread Basket

While waiting, a bread basket was served – perhaps I was just hungry, but the assorted breads and rolls were quite yummy especially when slathered with a bit of salted butter.

Yours Yummily | Bread Street Kitchen, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands | Fish & Chips
Traditional fish & chips, crushed peas, tartar sauce (SGD26)

This was what I had plan to get even before I made reservations two months ago. As I had mentioned in previous posts, it is not easy to get authentic, no-frills fish and chips around here. There’s always something missing with either the fish, the chips or, horror upon horrors, both. True to the British classic, BSK’s rendition was a crisp, battered fish, hot chips and mushy peas, served with tartar sauce and a tiny jar of Wilkin & Son’s ketchup. The crunchy, golden batter gave way to flaky, perfectly cooked fish that still had a slight translucency, yet it tasted somewhat… average. Halfway into it, after multiple bites to ascertain my opinion, I whispered to my companion – “It tastes like the one from Fish & Co.” OMG What?!

But I want to take a moment to rave about this ketchup. It was sweeter and more fluid than say, Heinz, but carried an intense tomato flavour, a refreshing complement to the hot, salty fish and chips. I could do away with the tartar sauce if I could have more of this goodness and I’d have licked the jar if no one was watching.

Yours Yummily | Bread Street Kitchen, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands | Slow-Roasted Dingley Dell Pork Belly
Slow-roasted Dingley Dell pork belly, spiced apple purée  (SGD28)

This cute-sounding Dingley Dell is a type of pig that was specially cross-bred and raised to yield ideal fat marbling that makes it tender and delicious. Pork and apple is a very traditional pairing for a reason as they go so well together. However, even with the all-important crackling present, this dish was rather bland and the finely diced apples and apple puree only barely provided the much needed tartness and texture. I supposed this was in accordance to British taste buds and should not be faulted – we are so used to heaps of umami and flavour bursts that anything less seems plain!

Feeling lukewarm with the mains, we looked forward to the desserts which all sounded splendidly comforting.

This was recommended to us by one of our servers. Again, I had already decided on having this prior to booking a table, so I was really looking forward to it, but…

Yours Yummily | Bread Street Kitchen, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands | Chocolate Fondant Salted Caramel Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Chocolate fondant with salted caramel and mint chocolate chip ice cream  (SGD20)

For a dessert that costs almost as much as a main course (their pricing through the entire menu is somewhat random) I would have expected… more. Something. Anything.  This looked like something I dish up at home on a lazy day, chocolate fondant included. The taste is in the pudding though, and the pudding, in this case the chocolate fondant, was rich and well, chocolatey, but with only a slightly gooey middle, and the salted caramel was indistinct. The mint chocolate chip ice cream was of decent quality but this was definitely a pub-quality dessert. Sorry, Gordon.

Yours Yummily | Bread Street Kitchen, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands | Treacle Tart Creme Fraiche Ice Cream
Treacle tart with crème fraiche Ice-cream  (SGD18)

All my life, I’ve wanted to try treacle tart after having read countless mentions in Enid Blyton and Harry Potter books. For some reason, I had imagined this traditional British treat to be like a sort of a silky smooth caramel flan, but it was nothing like that at all. Typically, the tart filling is a mixture of treacle, breadcrumbs/ flour, butter, cream, eggs and lemon encased in a shortcrust pastry, rendering a cake-like texture. On first bite, I thought it tasted very much like carrot cake! The scoop of crème fraiche ice cream contributed a hint of tang to cut the sweetness but melted very quickly.

Overall, the food is passable but the service was a bit too uppity for what was supposed to be a casual dining. If you had read earlier reviews of BSK, you would have seen drool-worthy items gorgeously plated. Don’t be misled like I was. Those were from the launch events so of course they went all out to impress the media! The elevated expectations is purely due to the Gordon Ramsay tag, but remove that, and all you have is a bar and bistro with a glitzier edge. I’d stay they need to take a huge step up their game if they are serious about staying for a while.

Location:
Bread Street Kitchen
L1– 81 (Bay level)
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue
Singapore 018972
Nearest MRT: Bayfront

GRAIN Singapore – Healthy Lunch Delivery (Compilation) + Coupon Code

In my previous post on Grain, I had mentioned the option to customize your meal if you are located in their Hotzone areas, so recently, I decided to try it for a Meatless Monday.

Yours Yummily | Grain | Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Spiced Tofu, Confit Cherry Tomatoes, Broccoli | My Customized Meatless Monday Lunch
Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Spiced Tofu, Confit Cherry Tomatoes, Broccoli (SGD10)

Just the list of ingredients will tell you it is gonna be a very healthy meal! These are all my favourite healthy ingredients and it’s great that I get to pick every component and not get something I am not fond of. They even provided the calories and nutrition information based on my selection!

I loved the tender sweet potatoes, and the spiced tofu was seasoned just enough to make this otherwise bland ingredient flavourful. It seems a tad pricey for a vegetarian meal where the components are inexpensive and not difficult to cook at home… but how many of us has the time to prepare all these components? Hardly any! Maybe I could make this happen one weekend in the near future if all the stars align.

Yours Yummily | Grain | Braised Pork Cheek and Spinach Donburi with Egg Tofu
Braised Pork Cheek and Spinach Donburi with Egg Tofu (SGD12.95)

Initially, it was supposed to come with chawanmushi  but I think they received some feedback on the texture and made improvements right away, substituting with egg tofu for the rest of the week. The braised pork which they emphasized as a closely-guarded secret recipe, making it sound mysterious and all, was really quite tasty and very tender, though slightly on the salty side. Egg tofu was ok, but I was a bit disappointed with the spinach and rather mushy rice. 

Yours Yummily | Grain | Chirashi-Don
Chirashi-Don (SGD12.95)

After several weeks, I finally saw an item that got me excited for lunch!  I was slightly concerned about the food safety of raw salmon travelling on the delivery rounds, but I decided to trust the Grain guys and went for it.

Boy, was I pleased! Firstly, the presentation captured me with all those brilliant colors. Chirashi means “scattered”, and this looked like a box of scattered jewels alright! Under a heap of tobiko (flying fish roe) and ebiko (shrimp roe), there was a generous portion of about 12 succulent slices of salmon sashimi which tasted fresh and not “wilted” from the warm weather like I had feared.  (Just think of those plates of sashimi that has been going around for ages at the kaiten belts of sushi chains. Ugh.) On the sides there were silky soft tamago cubes (same as the ones in the Braised Pork Cheek pic above), pickled ginger, diced cucumbers and a tiny tub of shoyu. All these laid on a bed of black rice mixed with some Japanese short-grained rice. It tasted like the Chinese black glutinous rice (hak lo mai / 黑糯米) dessert but unsweetened and slightly dry.

The creamy texture of the sashimi and tamago cubes helped ease the rice down, and there was enough salmon left for me to savour on its own after all the other stuff were gone! While I get that the diced cucumbers were there to add crunch and color, I wasn’t fond of the dry, hard nubbins bouncing around. If it was up to me, I would add a small tub of creamy goma (sesame) dressing that I could toss over those cucumbers. Perfecto!

The Cocoloco Coconut Water was incredible as usual, but I had already raved more lengthily in my previous Grain post so I shall not repeat.

Overall, I am happy with their food quality and prompt delivery and I always look forward to their new menus every week in hopes of finding something I like for a healthy lunch.

Now, here’s what you came for: Go ahead and enjoy SGD5.00 off your next healthy lunch by keying in the coupon code below when you register your account with Grain. Valid for your first order only, so do get a move on!

Grain Coupon Code by Yours Yummily

Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point (Singapore)

It is an undisputed fact that Hong Kong is one the the top travel destinations worldwide and a favourite getaway for many in Singapore. Too bad we can’t always be flying over for our food and shopping fix!

Enter Jurong Point’s Mongkok, the first HK-themed shopping street in Singapore resplendent with very brightly lit neon signages and lined with food stalls, medicine halls and random kiosks reminiscent of the Ladies’ Market in Mongkok, Hong Kong.

One of the restaurants there, Legendary Hong Kong( 港饮港食) (hereafter referred to as LHK), opened to much fanfare just over a year ago, due to its authentic cha chaan teng (HK-style café/ tea house) ambience and extensive menu. I have walked past it multiple times previously but it was always right after a meal and of course, there was always a queue. I love Hong Kong’s local fare – unpretentious, comforting and affordable with a diverse variety to cater to all degrees of hunger – so this time, I made the effort to go check it out, and I am quite glad I did.

Yours Yummily | Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point | Dining Area
A section of Legendary Hong Kong’s dining area

The quaint entrance into the restaurant simulates the narrow streets of Hong Kong, but once in, the vastness of the dining area is rather astounding in contrast. They kept the décor and furniture true to the old-school cha chaan teng with minimal frills. Coupled with the bustling  chatter of diners albeit in a smattering of Mandarin and Hokkien instead of Cantonese, it was almost like being transported to Hong Kong!

On to the food. The restaurant is made up of four subsections – Kou Yu Roast, Lung Fung Dim Sum, Hong Kong Congee & Noodle, and Pak Kung Café & Bakery. Each of these are helmed by experienced chefs from HK, bringing all the signature favourites together under one roof. 

Yours Yummily | Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point | Kou Yu Roast
Kou You Roast

One of the restaurant’s  main selling points is their London Roast Duck, their rendition of what was touted by many to be the best Chinese roasted duck, found in London’s Chinatown. (Incidentally, Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant which claimed origination of the famed roast duck has expanded to Singapore, setting up shop at the swanky, revamped Capitol Piazza.) LHK boasts of their exclusive deal with Silver Hill Farm, a premium duck farm in Ireland, hence promising consistent, top quality “Grade A” meat.

Yours Yummily | Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point | Barbecue Twin Combo - Roast Duck, Roast Pork
Barbecued Twin Combo (SGD16.80)

Hong Kongers, being innate food connoisseurs, usually opt for fattier cuts of meat to savour the juicy, melty goodness, so when I requested for leaner cuts, our server said they will try their best – in other words, don’t expect totally lean meat here! I am fine with slightly fatty meat, highly preferred it even. Just not wads of unrendered fat or grease oozing from every angle. (Sorry if I just killed your appetite!)

The Crispy Pork Belly was rather… ordinary. It’s good, but it does not stand out from the ones everywhere else. I really should have picked the glistening char siew (BBQ Pork) instead.

The Roasted Duck, though, was well marinate and tasty. I felt a sense of déjà vu but can’t quite recall where or when I had experienced this flavour before, but it just reminded me of my childhood. Way to go, brain, stop the deep thoughts and just eat.

Yours Yummily | Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point | Wonton Noodle Soup
Wonton Noodle Soup (SGD6.80)

Food enthusiasts who have been to Hong Kong would know about Mak’s Noodle, which received a coveted Michelin Star for its simple offering of wanton noodles. So it’s only befitting that LHK got the noodle chef from Mak’s to bring his expertise here.

Truth be told, on my maiden trip to Hong Kong, I did check out Mak’s but was very put off by the overpowering taste of lye that had permeated from the noodles into the soup. Maybe it was just me or that particular outlet, but I was unimpressed and let down by all the hype. Thankfully, this was not replicated here. Their signature noodles were finer than the local wanton noodles we get in Singapore and Malaysia, with a springy, al dente texture  almost to the point of being crunchy, which I quite liked. The light broth, huge, plump pork and prawn wontons and blanched kai lan (Chinese broccoli) completed the dish.

If you still wish to go to a Mak’s Noodle, they have recently opened at The Centrepoint in Orchard. I hope they toned down the lye!

Yours Yummily | Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point | Thick Rice Roll with Dough Fritters / Zha Leung
Thick Rice Roll with Dough Fritters (SGD4.50)

Known as Zha Leung (炸兩)in Hong Kong, this item may seem odd to the uninitiated as it is basically just flour-on-flour, carbs-on-carbs. However, the beauty is in its simplicity and contrasting textures when done right – soft, silky sheets of cheong fun (rice flour noodle) is wrapped around crispy, deep-fried yau zhar gwai (you tiao/dough fritters/chinese crullers) and an umami-packed sweetish soy sauce is poured over upon serving. Most dim sum restaurants here do not have this item, probably because it is not fancy enough to charge much. One point for LHK!

From the Pak Kung Café & Bakery, the selection of “Hong Kong Specials” reflected the simple yet comforting cha chaan teng breakfasts/high teas in Hong Kong, and I just had to go for it despite it being dinner time.

Yours Yummily | Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point | Corn Beef and Scrambled Egg Sandwich
Corn Beef and Scrambled Egg Sandwich (SGD4.00)

The British colonial days are long gone, but their influence remained ingrained in the food culture of Hong Kong  most evident in cha chaan teng offerings. Corned beef is one such example. Despite its name, there is no corn in it, rather, the beef is cured with coarse-grained rock salt the size of corn kernels, hence the name.  In this case, the corned beef came from a can and was stirred with scrambled eggs till the latter was just cooked, resulting in a creamy mixture which is then sandwiched between slices of crustless, fluffy white bread. It was so easy to eat and very hearty, although the filling was a bit too wet and mushy for my liking.

Yours Yummily | Legendary Hong Kong, Jurong Point | Custard Crust Bun with Butter / Bo Lo Yau
Custard Crust Bun with Butter (SGD2.50)

Ahh, the quintessential Hong Kong teatime treat, right up there with fresh-out-of-the-oven egg tarts – the common term for this is bo lo yau (literally “pineapple oil”). The bun on its own is called bo lo baau (pineapple bun) but don’t expect any pineapple in it as it merely refers to the pattern of the crumbly golden crust on top. This was good – a huge bo lo bun with a slab of butter on the side. The idea is not just to spread it thinly like western toasts, but to place the whole slab of butter into the bun. A very indulgent treat indeed!

We washed everything down with Bo Lo Ping (Pineapple Ice drink, with real, not metaphorical, pineapple chunks) and hot Chinese tea.

The dim sum was left for another visit so I will be looking forward to that! So far, Legendary Hong Kong did not disappoint, as long as you do not unreasonably expect fancy presentation and top notch service. Things are as it should be, no more, no less.

Overall rating: 7/10

Location:
Legendary Hong Kong
63 Jurong West Central 3,
#03-80 Jurong Point 2 Shopping Centre (Mongkok “district”)
Singapore 648331
Nearest MRT: Boon Lay

L’Atelier Tiramisu, The Central @ Clarke Quay (Singapore)

When we think about Italian desserts, one of the most popular desserts will spring to mind – tiramisu. Translating to “pick me up”, it is no wonder that this coffee-infused dessert became ubiquitous worldwide. It is normally just one of the several dessert items at Italian restaurants but not so for one café.

Yours Yummily | L'atelier Tiramisu, Clarke Quay Central

Opened sometime in mid-2013, L’Atelier Tiramisu (meaning “The Tiramisu Workshop”) specializes only in its namesake dessert.  Situated in a remote corner of The Central’s basement, the owner, Judith, and her French husband could be seen doing everything hands-on, overseeing the prep work for their tiramisu, making coffee and taking orders. The ambience and décor was minimalistic and very casual, and their drinks menu was just a short coffee list propped up at the counter, while their display chiller took center stage, featuring six variations of their specialty tiramisu – Classico, Dark Cherry, Lychee, Matcha, Pistachio and Brûlée. They have several size options, and their website allows ordering and customization of the 7″ ones, which is convenient for parties and events.

Yours Yummily | L'atelier Tiramisu, Clarke Quay Central | Tiramisu Flavours Sizes Variations

One of the first tiramisu I had when I was younger had coffee liqueur in it, and of course, being a kid, tasting alcohol felt kinda cool. More importantly, it lent such a wonderfully intense, boozy punch to the overall flavour of the tiramisu, hence my lifelong misconception that authentic tiramisu is one where the ladyfinger sponge biscuits have been soaked thoroughly with coffee liqueur or rum. Truth is, there was no alcohol in the original recipe of the traditional tiramisu, so moving forward, I have to change my expectations a tad.

Yours Yummily | L'atelier Tiramisu, Clarke Quay Central | Classico - Original
Classico (SGD7.20)

The Classico stayed true to tradition, comprising of sweet, creamy mascarpone cheese layered with espresso-soaked finger biscuits, and topped with a dusting of cocoa powder and chocolate flecks.  The harmony of flavours and textures was pleasant without getting too cloying, and I ate quite a bit despite not being that huge a fan of tiramisu in general.

Yours Yummily | L'atelier Tiramisu, Clarke Quay Central | Dark Cherry
Dark Cherry (SGD7.20)

My pick was the Dark Cherry Tiramisu, which seemed to me like a fusion of tiramisu and one of my all-time favourite cakes, the Black Forest. Laced with orange liqueur, the sweet and slightly tangy cherries gave a refreshing pop of flavour, cutting nicely through the richness of the cream cheese and bitter coffee-soaked ladyfingers. Thumbs up from me!

Yours Yummily | L'atelier Tiramisu, Clarke Quay Central | Drink - Iced Mocha - Coffee
Mocha (SGD5.50) with Ice (+SGD1.00)

As it was a sweltering day (like any other day lately), I got an Iced Mocha, but the strong coffee overpowered any hint of chocolate. Still, it was very good coffee and perked me right up amidst the humid afternoon. All their hot beverages can be served cold with a top-up of SGD1.00 for the ice – fair? The drink was served with a decorative tile “coaster” which served no purpose as the glass could slip around precariously on it. Not to get all pedantic but as I recall, a great chef once said, “Perfection is lots of little things done well”.

Although L’Atelier Tiramisu has been around for a couple of years and seemed to be known by many, it still felt like a hidden gem due to its obscure location and lack of queues outside. This is probably a good thing for them so that they can focus on being consistent in maintaining the quality of their tiramisu. It is not something one can/should eat every day but great for an occasional indulgence and I just might return to check out the other interesting flavours.

Overall rating: 6.5/10

Location:

L’Atelier Tiramisu
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#B1-09 The Central @ Clarke Quay
Singapore 059817
Nearest MRT: Clarke Quay (Exit F)

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri: 12pm-9pm
Sat: 1pm-8pm
Sun: 1pm-7pm

Website:
http://www.latelier-tiramisu.com/

GRAIN (Singapore)

Aspiring to be the Uber of healthy food in Singapore, Grain, a healthy lunch delivery service, officially took off back in February 2014. Upon signing up at their sleek, modern no-frills website, I browsed their menu for the day. This week’s options include Grilled Artichoke Baked Frittata, Dijon and Garlic Salmon with Mussels on Herb Rice, and Bibimbap with Beef Bulgogi as well as 3 types of beverages (no sodas of course!). I like that there are full descriptions, ingredient list and nutritional information provided for each item, a definite plus for the health-conscious. Orders must be placed before 10am for lunch delivery on the same day, else you can just order for the next day, up to five days in advance. Upon signing up, a daily email will be sent to let you know it’s time to order so you won’t miss the cut-off time. Simple enough!

Today, I went for the Chipotle Chicken with Cranberry and Brie Couscous, and a bottle of Coconut Water by COCOLOCO. Had some qualms though, because I have tried many brands of coconut water and they all had a strange taste, most likely from the preservatives added in to extend their shelf lives despite claiming that it is 100% coconut water. I am still searching for one that is conveniently packed but still tastes like fresh, unadulterated coconut water, so I gave this a shot.

In the check-out, I picked my preferred delivery time (11.30am-12.00pm) from the list. Since I was located within their Grain Hotzone (areas within Marina Bay and Raffles Place) delivery was free. At 11.35pm, I received a call from a Grain runner to collect my order at the driveway of my office building. The punctuality was just outstanding! I spotted a cute orange car with the Grain logo on it, and the runner handed me my orders through the car window, kind of like a drive-thru in reverse. There were huge cooler bags of food and beverages that filled up the passenger seats, pending delivery, so it looked like they were doing quite well.

Back at my desk, I unpacked the brown paper bag excitedly, like a child unwrapping gifts at Christmas.

Yours Yummily | Grain | My Healthy Lunch Delivery
My Lunch by GRAIN

By the way, do check the menu labels when ordering, as the items are indicated as Chilled, Room Temp or Warm, to avoid any surprises of getting cold food when you wanted something hot. Mine was a Chilled item, which was fine by me.

Yours Yummily | Grain | Chipotle Chicken with Cranberry and Brie Couscous
Chipotle Chicken with Cranberry and Brie Couscous (SGD11.95)

Presentation was impressive for a packed lunch, with lots of fresh, vibrant colors to whet your appetite. Every element tasted of itself, which most of us here may not be used to since everything we eat is usually doused with fiery hot chili sauce or drowned in some gravy or another. There were no extra flavour elements in this dish other than the main ingredients. The couscous which tasted strongly of olive oil (though not a drop of grease can be found) was made palatable by some dried cranberries and raisins. Hey, that’s what your get when you want something that is actually healthy (not fake-healthy like homemade energy bars that you fill liberally with milk chocolate chips). The chicken was dry-rubbed with only a hint of spiciness.  I loved the cubes of creamy brie and punchy, just-ripe cherry tomatoes. The french beans added texture and crunch to the dish, but  it was unseasoned and just briefly blanched, so it had a raw, grassy taste. String beans of any kind are not something I would eat by choice, ever, but for the sake of an all-rounded review, I had to power through.

Yours Yummily | Grain | Coconut Water by COCOLOCO
Coconut Water by COCOLOCO (SGD5.95)

I fell in love at first sip. If I drank this blindfolded, I would  have thought it was just poured out from a fresh, young coconut. If only it wasn’t so pricey for such a small bottle, I would drink this every day. I am crazy about coconut water, having coconut trees in my backyard and hence a constant supply of fresh coconut water as a child. (Whoa, how many times did I just say “coconut”?) Now it’s all concrete and bricked pavements and no big dogs allowed. Life’s neat and clean, and yet so messed up. But I digress.

It was a good experience with Grain and I am not opposed to trying other offerings by them. Their menu changes weekly so it would be interesting to see what else they can cook up. If the food options do not appeal to you, they offer personalization for those within their Grain Hotzone, where you pick everything from how hungry you are (to determine portion size) to the contents of your lunch. For the regular portion, you get to pick 1 base carb, 1 protein, 2 toppings and 1 dressing, all for SGD10. Worth a try!

Overall rating: 6.5/10

Website:
https://grain.com.sg/

BONUS:  Sign up with coupon code below and get SGD5.00 off your first meal order!

Grain Coupon Code by Yours Yummily