Monday, May 31, 2010

Seng Huat Bak Chor Mee at North Bridge Road

Bak chor mee
This is a fairly well-known bak chor mee. My first taste of it was when hubby packed home one portion for me late one eveing. I thought the bak chor mee would have gone soggy, but was amazed to find good texture still. Best of all, the noodles had soaked up lots of flavour.

So I definitely had to try them fresh one day....


Friday, May 28, 2010

Hot Box Bistro - Restaurant-style Western Fare in a Coffeeshop

Creamy Mix Pasta - garlic, bacon and shiitake mushrooms in cream sauce
This plate of Creamy Mix Spaghetti - garlic, bacon and shiitake mushrooms in cream sauce - was much better than I'd hoped for. Served piping hot, the pasta was of a good firmness. The bacon and mushrooms were juicy and generously given. Portion was just right too - I felt satisfied without the cream getting to me. All in all, a well-executed dish for S$7.

Thanks to a reader of mine who wrote in, I discovered this coffeeshop stall named Hot Box Bistro. The only problem was I live in the East and it was so far away in the West. Jurong West Avenue 1, to be precise. But as luck would have it, I was at the Science Centre yesterday for the Pixar exhibition, so I hopped onto a feeder bus after that to suss out this place. After all, how can you not be curious about an eatery with a name like that?

Pixar - 20 Years of Animation

Lifesize Sully and Mike
"Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life"- yes, I have always been insanely envious of artists working in animation (especially Disney and Pixar). It's a lot of hard work, but the creative satisfaction is matchless. Pixar's movies have always had a leading edge, because they focus first on the story, not the effects.

Pixar: 20 Years in Animation shows you what goes on behind the scenes and how movies are made at Pixar. At first I thought it would be a great place for kids, but it's actually got a lot of content for the mature enthusiast.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe 早安南洋 at Chinatown Point

UPDATE Sept 2014: The flagship branch has closed for now, and is looking for a different location. Meanwhile see newer post featuring the behind the scenes operations at Good Morning Nanyang Cafe.  for other locations.

Orange Ciabatta Kaya Toast
Have you tried the orange ciabatta kaya toast at Good Morning Nanyang Cafe? Baked with caramelised orange peel, the ciabatta carries a hint of citrus fragrance that works very well with butter and kaya. It is served lightly toasted, so you have a gently crisp exterior. The ciabatta is so delicately soft, the kaya oozes out with the slightest pressure. Oh yes, I was a messy eater, but a happy one. 

Kaya toast is one of Singapore's perennially popular local breakfast items. For years, it's remained the same. Thin slices of ordinary bread grilled crisp. Using ciabatta as a chic upgrade was the brainchild of cafe owner Byron Shoh a few years back (first featured by Leslie). It's certainly proving popular - check out reviews on HGW.

Ciabatta Toast
There is also the regular ciabatta toast (S$2.30). This one is like the macho version of the orange ciabatta. It's thick and rugged-looking but don't be deceived, it's still soft and fluffy inside (like most macho guys too).

Every day they make two tubs of kaya fresh on the premises
The kaya is made fresh on the premises. Lots of patience goes into the stirring this coconut custard on low heat. They make two tubs of it every day. It's thick and fragrant without being too sweet. The kaya recipe comes from an old uncle in Segamat who runs a "Nanyang Cafe" there. Byron adapted the recipe to make green kaya, which Singaporeans prefer.

Ice Kopi is just what we need for this sweltering weather!
Of course, we must have our drinks with kaya toast.

An ice kopi like this is a life-saver during scorching weather (which we so often have). It's good coffee - soothingly smooth, creamy and fragrant. Here it's served with a dash of evaporated milk. The coffee's not too sweet and has none of the nasty bitter or acidic taste. And at S$1.60, it is a complete steal. No wonder some people come here three times a day for their coffee. It still costs less than one Starbucks drink!

If the coffee is this good, I am coming back to try the tea.

Orange Ciabatta Kaya Toast
The orange ciabatta is a must try. It really is quite unusual. I can't resist showing you the inside. Don't you just want to lick the kaya? I had such cravings for this while doing up the photos and the post...

Interestingly, this cafe also serve scones. Come on Saturdays at 10.30am to catch the oven fresh batches made personally by Byron himself.

Many choices at affordable prices
(click photo to see bigger version)
Of course you can get the usual traditional toast (S$1.60). They also have the thick toast (S$2). Pick from sets that let you enjoy them with two soft-boiled eggs and your favourite drink.

Considering that this is an air-conditioned joint, prices are incredibly wallet-friendly. No wonder the place sees lots of regulars - from lawyers in spiffy full suits to elderly folks. The place is popular with families on Saturdays and public holidays.

For now, there is only one outlet at Chinatown Point. Byron is opening a second one at Robinson Road soon and is currently looking to hire. So if you are diligent and want a career in making good coffee, get in touch with him!

133 New Bridge Road
Chinatown Point
Singapore 059413
(just go up the escalator and you'll see it)

Tel: +65 8133 1882 (Byron)
Open 8am - 7pm (Mon-Fri)
10.30am - 7pm (Sat & Public Holidays)
Closed Sundays

has moved to
20 Upper Pickering Street, #01-01, Singapore, Singapore 058284.
(around the side of the Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre)

Opening hours
Mon - Fri: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Sat: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm

It has three other branches at

Pagoda Street:
75 Pagoda Street, Singapore, Singapore 059234

The Grandstand:
#01-34A, 200 Turf Club Road, The Grandstand, Singapore 287994

Far East Plaza:
14 Scotts Road, #02-23 Far East Plaza, Singapore, Singapore 228213


Monday, May 24, 2010

Singapore Blog Awards 2010: Finalists in Best Food Blog Category


The Singapore OMY Blog Awards are here again. I love discovering more new blogs through this - not just food blogs but all kinds of other blogs I may never come across on my own. I'm very honoured to be selected again as one of the ten finalists for the Best Food Blog category this year, and I do want to thank those who rallied for me.

Voting is open again until sometime in July 2010, and this year voters can win smartphones and resort stays. Click on the little pink banner to vote - it's free (unlike those SMS votes), but you can only vote once a day. Good luck and happy exploring new blogs!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Kki (ケーキ) at Ann Siang Hill

Little Red Riding Hood is 70% dark chocolate, Valrhona of course
I'd been wanting to try Kki for some time now. So when we were in the vicinity today, we made our way up Ann Siang Hill to take a peek at this quaint little cakeshop. We're glad we did because the stuff here is incredibly good.

The Little Red Riding Hood (or LRRH, S$8.50) above gleams as it telepathically dares you to be the Big Bad Wolf. Well, you shouldn't hesitate. This 70% dark chocolate (and only Valrhona will do) mousse with raspberry centre was made to be devoured. Amazing how it is rich and dense, yet light and smooth at the same time.


Friday, May 21, 2010

New Lucky Claypot Rice in Clementi

Update: This place has moved to 44 Holland Drive, #02-19.

New Lucky Claypot is probably the most famous and popular claypot offering at Clementi. It's been around for 40 years. This is rice cooked from scratch in the claypot over charcoal fire, so there is a minimum 20-30 minute wait when you order (45 mins or more at peak hours). It's a good idea to call and pre-order if you are going for this.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pad Thai a la Chez Pim

Homecooked Pad Thai

Tonight's dinner is a simple Pad Thai. I followed Chez Pim's guidelines - she's gone into great loving detail about how to properly prepare this dish.

I do hope Bangkok will be able to find peace soon. Looks like some order has been restored after the burning madness, but the the bloodshed will not easily be forgotten.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant

Hae Cho - Deep-fried Crispy Prawn Roll

This is a much belated post. The April 2010 Makansutra dinner took place at Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant (Novena Garden branch). It was a 10-course dinner, full of merriment as usual, enhanced by bottles of wine along with friendships, new and old.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Keisuke Tokyo Ramen in Singapore

Keisuke Prawn Stock Miso Ramen Special
Julia, Momo and I checked out Keisuke Tokyo Ramen for its signature shrimp-based broth. They have basically two flavours - plain and miso (Keisuke Prawn Stock Miso Ramen Special, S$20, above). We were wondering how different a prawn stock ramen would be from the usual pork bone broth that we are much more used to. Would it be an eye-popping new experience or would it taste like an expensive "hae mee" (local prawn noodles)?


Thursday, May 13, 2010

40 Singapore Foods We Can't Live Without

Here is a compilation of 40 favourite local foods I did for Some of you may have already seen this, since it was published last month, and also shows up on the Yahoo Travel portal. I don't know why I didn't think of sharing this here earlier.

Forty dishes may seem like a lot. But I had still difficulty keeping it to only that and choosing which ones to include, because there are really just so many dishes we love on this little island. Even harder was the task of singling out just one eatery for each dish.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sheikh Najib Nasi Lemak - Supper with KF Seetoh!

You can choose your nasi lemak toppings - here, fried chicken wing, ikan kuning and omelette (all in only S$3.50!)
Sheikh Najib Nasi Lemak is one of Little India's best kept secrets for a good value meal. It should be called Supersized Nasi Lemak, cos that's what the portions are like. You get double mounds of soft, warm and lightly fragrant coconut rice with toppings of your choice. Here they give not one but three ikan kuning. We also had omelette and extra crispy fried chicken wings. Some may find the fried batter a little too hard, but crunch-seekers will be delighted. The sweetly spicy sambal is a generous dollop, just right for that quantity of rice. Can you believe all this only costs S$3.50? The otah here (S$0.80) is not too bad either.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gryphon Tea "Heritage Art Series" Contest Giveaway

Gryphon Tea kicked off the Heritage Art Series with three tea blends
Gryphon Tea has launched its Heritage Art Series, a special initiative to help promote awareness of Singapore's history and give exposure to local young artists. It's supported by the National Heritage Board (NHB).

Lots of companies give support to the arts and culture, but I got the feel that Gryphon Tea's founder and director Mr Lim Tian Wee is truly passionate about the arts (well, his own father was an artist). At the launch event last month, he spoke with great enthusiasm about this labour of love that he championed.

The three artists showcasing their work
What Gryphon Tea did was identify three budding artists (yes, all three just happen to be female) and commission them to freely create their interpretation of how Singapore's heritage inspires them. The NHB gave the artists full access to its museums.

The designs were then parlayed into special edition boxes for three tea blends. These are quite pretty. Take a look.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Magnum Gold?! and Iron Man 2 Review

Benicio Del Toro and Caroline de Souza Correa with Magnum Gold
By now you would have seen the print, outdoor and TV ads for the new "Magnum Gold?!" (and yes, the "?!" is part of the product name). They feature Benicio Del Toro and Caroline de Souza Correa paired together with an uncanny resemblence to Brangelina.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Kedai Makan & Minuman Dianfa (Dianfa Eating House)

Dianfa Eating House
I love humble little "cze-char" (cook and fry) eateries that serve good food. During my trips back to Batu Pahat, my brother introduced us to this Kedai Makan & Minuman Dianfa (Dianfa Eating House), and we've been coming here quite often for dinner. It's little more than a rundown shack, and doesn't even have an official address (it shares the same address numbers as the lightposts in front of it). While it's not fancy, the owners keep the premises reasonably clean, and there are large fans to keep customers cool on warm nights. The good food and affordable prices bring brisk business, so it's good to arrive early for seats.

These are some of the dishes they have - I collected photos over two dinners.

Curry fish head
Their signature dish is curry fish head (RM22 or US$6.80 - conversions are approximate). I'm usually not a fan of fish head, but this one is pretty good. The curry is so "lemak" (rich) and tasty, I wished I had some prata to mop it up with.

Kam hiong pork
Someone mentioned that "kam hiong" (either means golden and fragrant, or dry and fragrant) style seems to be the rage in Malaysian cze-char outlets these days. Well this is my first time trying it. Kam hiong pork (RM10 or about US$3) here is rather darkly sauced, with bits of curry leaves and chillies. It's intensely savoury and goes well with white steamed rice.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Recipe: Sambal Petai with Tempeh and Ikan Bilis

Sambal Petai with Tempeh and Ikan Bilis

Sambal petai is a popular Malay/Indonesian side dish, although I can quite happily eat this alone as a main with just rice. Petai or sataw is also nicknamed "stinkbean" for its strong smell, which you can still detect in urine and flatulence (don't ask me about other bodily fluids!) even up to 2 days after consumption. But it's purported to help treat many conditions - diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, anaemia, PMS, depression, constipation, and even hangovers! Sounds like a wonder bean, no?

Here is a simple recipe for sambal petai with tempeh (fermented soybeans) and ikan bilis (dried anchovies). As with most of my recipes, it can very much do with improvement, so feel free to adjust to your taste. I like it with more sambal than beans, but some may prefer it the other way round.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Camemberu is 3 Years Old!

I'm very pleased to unveil the (very overdue) new look for! The blog turns 3 today (we share the same 'birthday' but how I wish I was still three). Is three years a long time to dedicate to food journalling? Not really, but eating has certainly become serious fun, and photography an expensive hobby (ouch). Amazingly, I've had the privilege to meet my food and travel heroes Bob Blumer and Ian Wright. But most of all, I'm awed by the many people who read this blog, and I've gotten to know some of you through comments, Twitter, Facebook and in real life.

You might also know the OMY Singapore Blog Awards are back for 2010. We had a blast last year. Last night, someone kindly nominated me in the Best Food Blog category. I went in and saw quite a few blogs in there already, and I rallied for Teczscape. If you haven't seen her blog, go now! I always learn something from her well-researched posts. Go nominate your favourite food blogs or check out some new ones.

We're seeing lots more food blogs these days - well, "good food must share!" right? Yes, and in the words of Nigella whom I found out loves food blogs, "'s just a bigger banquet!"
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