Tanjong Pagar

Tanjong Pagar was a historic centre for Singapore's Chinese community. It is now a cosmopolitan area within walking distance of the CDB with a wide range of old and new shops. It is a good place for a lunch time meal with office workers, a post work hangout area for pubs and fine dining and a pleasant place to explore cafes and eclectic shops on a lazy weekend afternoon.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Five Spice Prawn Fritters

Given this is in the neighborhood. I thought I'll give it a try. It only opens from 11am-2pm from Mon to Sat. I went down there at 1245 on a Saturday to be told o come back 30 mins later to collect it as they needed more time to cook my order. She said that there were already plenty of others who had booked for it earlier. Also, when I offered payment, the aunty said it was not necessary. A shop that doesn't need down payment and also needs me to wait 30 mins?? this only indicates to me that even if I didn't collect my dish, there was a continuous stream of people waiting behind me to buy it. 

Shop front

Noodles that come with the dish

5 different types of fritters- Prawn Fritters, Pork Rolls (Ngoh Hiang), Pork Liver Rolls, Egg Rolls and the Pork Sausage

All the above for $4. How many decent things can you get these days for that price.  No wonder it is that popular. My favourite is the prawn fritters. The rest is good but really not spectacular. I will probably go back. 

Location: Blk 5 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #02-04/05 Teck Kee Coffee Shop
Opening Hours: Mon- Sat 11am- 2pm
Prices: $4 per serve

Friday, October 28, 2011


One of the bottle shops in the Tanjong Pagar Area.

The shop sells Beer, Spirits and Wine.

The Beer and Wine collection is pretty limited. Beers include your typical Tiger, Heineken and Corona. The Wine selection isn't very different from what you can find in a cold storage or NTUC e.g. Jacob Creek. It is a bit strange that they don't attempt to distinguish themselves from supermarket brands.

Among all alcoholic drinks in the shop, the liquor selection has the largest variety. There is an entire shelf of it. I'm not sure if the selection is reflective of the nature of alcohol consumption in Singapore.

The prices of the beers are pretty reasonable (especially in 24 pack as expected).

Location: 118 Tanjong Pagar Road


Etna is part of the Sicilia Mia Group of Italian Restaurants in Singapore. The group seems to specialise in Sicilian Cuisine.

Food there is generous, decent and relatively reasonable.

A lot of the pastas are handmade an about $20- $25 per dish. This is reasonable for the price of hand made pasta in Singapore. 

Some dishes that I have had there:

Bresaola Alla Contadina
Marinated raw beef with rocket salad, cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese

I am not a fan of this and like beef carpaccio better. The difference between this and the beef carpaccio is that the bresaola is marinated and the carpaccio is not. 

Soft cheese from Puglia with parma ham and a rocket cherry tomato  salad

The cheese is creamy and soft. This cheese classically paired with good parma ham is a selection that is hard to go wrong. 

Pizza with parma ham, cheese, mushrooms and pistachios

The mix of parma ham and cheese is a bit too salty for my liking. I'm not sure if the pistachios add much to the taste.


You can see pistachios are used quite a lot in Etna. The staff proudly tells me that the pistachios come straight from Bronte in Sicily and are some of the best in the world. This product is apparently more superior and expensive than the pistachios in Turkey and other regions. 
The tiramisu is their top dessert recommendation. 3 of us shared one to try. None of us were tiramisu fans but we all agreed that it was very good. I think that most tiramisus are far too sweet but this one has a good balance of coffee, liquor and cream. What makes it stand out is the pistachios. The pistachios enhance the tiramisu and is the star of this dish. It's quite interesting that there isn't that much pistachio but it still manages to stand out. 

Pistachio Mousse

I love pistachios but this mousse is pistachio overdose. Apparently they also call this the pistachio bomb. They use pistachios, pistachio cream, pistachio powder and something else pistachio. The texture is too thick and heavy to be called a mousse. It was closer to a paste. 

Website: http://www.sicilia-mia.com/etna_res.html
Prices: About $15 for entrees, $25 for mains, $12 for dessert.
Speciality: Pistachio Tiramisu


Shop on Main Street Tanjong Pagar Plaza

The nice thing about Artease is that there are a couple of seats in the shop. One can sit there for a short time and have a quick chat. 

The flavors that are sold are also a bit different from Woobee. So while they seem to be bubble tea competitors, they each have their own niche. 

I think Woobee has a purity in the tea while artease is less intense in tea flavour. It comes down to how you like your bubble tea. 

Summer Blossom Tea

This is a plum flower tea. Initial sip tastes a bit too salty/ sour, the overwhelming flavor of plum (unless you like it). However, as a refreshing drink it does grow on you. The hints of flower do emerge and the taste of plum gets more muted.

Website: http://www.artease.sg/
Location: 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-35
Prices: About $2.50- $3.50

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


One of my favourite things to do in the evening after dinner on some occasions is having a sinful after dinner dessert at L'Entrecote.
L' Entrecote is at Duxton Hill which is a lovely little cobbled lane lined by trees and shophouses.

Salad with walnuts and light vinaigrette dressing

Medium rare steak and fries

The restaurant only serves one main. So if you are not a steak lover, this isn't the restaurant for you.
If you are a steak lover, the meat is well cooked and goes well with a lovely acidic sauce and crispy fries. There is even a healthy salad on the side to complete the nutrition of the meal.

Profiteroles with chocolate sauce

Waffles with Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream

The waffles are crunchy to bite and moist. Caramel is not overpoweringly sweet but with a hint of bitterness that adds depth to the sauce. Store bought caramel does not have this.

Crepes Suzette with Vanilla Ice Cream

 Seats outside L'Entrecote

Dessert can be served at one of the outdoor tables. When its a nice cool night, this is a pleasant place to enjoy conversation with good company. 

Location: 36 Duxton Hill
Opening Hours: Mon- Fri noon to 1030pm, Sat & PH 6pm to 10:30pm
Price: $30 for steak and frites. Desserts about $15. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Made in Candy

Made in Candy claims to be Asia's first independent candy kitchen.

Candy making in action

Walking past it in Tanjong Pagar and smelling sweet smells waft out of the shop does entice one to enter to take a peek. 

Candy can sometimes be seen handcrafted in the store. Its candy is sold in store in small packs or Jars in mixed flavours or single flavours.

Jars of wonderful candy

As you can see below, there are plenty of flavours to choose from. 
The design of the candy can also be custom made if there is enough volume. This could make a good wedding bomboniere or gifts for large parties. 

Mixed Candy bag

Location: 88 Tanjong Pagar Road
Prices: About $3 for above candy bag

Monday, October 24, 2011

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King

Soup base comes in plain, black spicy and red spicy.
My favourite is black spicy. It gives a Szechuan peppery kick to the rich pork broth.

Black Spicy Ramen

You can choose the strength of your broth base, texture of noodles, amount of chicken fat (tastes good but can give you a heart attack).
There is also free complimentary stuff like boiled eggs (this is not the one that is runny inside), marinated bean sprouts and sesame seeds.

Complimentary sesame seeds and boiled eggs

The broth is excellent but pork slices are ordinary. But the key to any good ramen is the broth! Hearty, strong and favourful, it makes for an excellent meal.

There are always crowds outside, so get in eat and move on somewhere else for a chat. Otherwise, you may see plenty of unhappy people queuing outside and glaring at you through the glass.

Location: 1 Tras Link, #01-19 Orchid Hotel
Opening Hours: Daily 11:30am- 3pm, 6pm-10:30pm
Prices: About $12- $17 per pax

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meii Sushi (Moved to International Plaza)

Tiny Japanese Restaurant beneath HDB. Sets only about 15 max.

Dinner is a bit on the pricey side but set lunches are good. Set lunches are between $10-$20.

Set lunches come with a small salad dressed with ponzu sauce.

The lunch time dishes we tried

Salmon Sushi

Sushi and Sashimi is meant to be the speciality here. $10 for a portion. The lunch time sets for sushi and sashimi are about $20 and I think are better value for money. However no complaints as the slices here were very thick and fresh.

Chicken Karaage Set lunch

This is really value for money at $12. Chicken is quite nice and crispy on the outside and comes with a sourish thick dipping sauce. It isn't bad, but I think i like fried chicken with a more crunchy batter. The soup comes with a few clams. Rice and salad completes the meal. 

The special here available for dinner is meant to be Omakase- meaning leave it to the chef. Its supposed to be "cheap" at $100 per pax. I still cannot bring myself to pay for that price but perhaps I will try one day. 

In the meantime, lunch is a bargain. 

1) This place is not child friendly
I tried to go in for lunch with my newborn and I was told apologetically that babies were not allowed in. I'm not sure if this is because the seating space is very small but it looks like I won't be going there for a while.
2) This place does not do takeaways
I'm not sure what the reason is behind this. My gut feel is that the owner may be a purist who believes that all meals be eaten straight after preparation?? Maybe you guys can query it for me.

Location: Blk 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-108
Opening Hours: Mon - Sat 11am- 2:30am, 5pm- 1030pm
Prices: About $10-$22 for lunch

Littered with books

Independent book store with decent prices.

Browsing through books in this shophouse on a lazy afternoon is the thing to do. The prices are pretty decent and the staff are friendly without being over bearing.

There is coffee and water available for the wanderer.

 Cupcakes at a book launch

There is a good selection of fiction, children, non fiction and cook books.

Location: 20 Duxton Road
Opening Hours: Mon- Thu 12pm- 8pm. Fri 12pm -9pm. Sat 11am- 9pm. Sun 11am - 8pm

Woobee Bubble Tea

Woobee is one of the best bubble teas around Singapore. A lot of bubble teas are syrupy without the genuine taste of tea. Woobee has decent tea in the bubble tea and uses natural raw sugar which means there is none of the artificial syrupy taste!

Funky Shopfront

One can also choose from big or small pearls or puddings.

The lunch time office crowd during weekdays is truly crazy. Delivery is also available if you are within a close range.

I like the Citron green tea which isn't available in most places or only in japanese shops.

Lychee Red Tea, Passionfruit tea, Caramel Milk Tea 

Website: http://www.woobbee.com/en/
Location: 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-18, Singapore, Singapore 082001
Best Sellers: Pearl Milk Tea
Prices: $3-$4 average for most teas. A bit pricer than the average for this premium product
Opening Hours: Mon- Fri 10:30am- 7:30pm, Sat 11am- 5pm

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Flor Patisserie

Flor is a fantastic little shop based on Duxton Hill.

The Cakes. Don't you feel hungry already??

Most people think that Sponge cakes are just Sponge cakes. Flor makes the ordinary sponge extraordinary.
The sponge is light and moist, eating it is a bit like floating on air. The cream also has the same lightness that accompanies it. 

Some Picks:

Waguri Millefeuille
French chestnut cream with layers of  crisp, flaky puff pastry and topped with  Japanese chestnuts. I love the taste of chestnuts in this one and the texture is excellent. Chestnut cream then crispy millefeuille layer, soft cream and then light sponge. Yum Yum.  Its a bit unusual given there aren't many chestnut cakes around. 

Earl Grey Chocolat
Earl Grey infusion is subtle. Bananas and cream are at the centre of the surrounding sponge that make up the base of the cake. Very yum. Texturally, the Waguri Millefeuille is better. 

Wakakasuyama is a very delicious green tea sponge cake with cream. Green tea was not overwhelming or powdery but melded well with the cake.

Flor has a couple of seats in the bakery to have afternoon tea
Website: http://www.cakeflor.com.sg/
Address: 01-01, 2 Duxton Hill
Specialities: Waguri Millefeuille, Wakakusayama
Business Hours: Mon- Sat 11am-7pm, Sun & Pub Hols 11am-6pm
Prices: About $6-$7 per slice. Tea/ coffee & cake set $9.


Restored Furniture Store and Cafe.
Nice spot for a chat and some tea.

Restored Chairs reupholstered with brightly covered fabric

Waffles with ice cream.

Cafe has excellent waffles and ice cream. I do strongly recommend the waffles with vanilla ice cream and homemade caramel. You can see the hints of black from the vanilla pod in the ice cream indicating the use of fresh vanilla pods.

Hot chocolate and Chai Latte with complimentary biscuits

I love the biscuits. Don't really recommend the chai latte though. I prefer the original indian chai latte made straight from boiling the spices.

Subsequent visit

Raisin Bagel with caramel cream cheese

This was a good sized bagel which was toasted nicely and came with a lovely caramel cream cheese. The salty sweet caramel cream cheese set this bagel apart. I wish this place opened earlier and did breakfast.

Location: 124 Tanjong Pagar Road
Opening Hours: Tues- Sat 11am - 7pm. Sun 12pm- 5pm
Price: $12-$17 for tea and dessert

Sweety Moments

The shop just opened about a week ago. It replaced Pink which was a health conscious cafe.

In Tanjong Pagar, rental is high and so is the turnover. You constantly get new shops in the area that replace old ones.

My husband and I decided to try it on the first day.

Deco of the shop is plain compared to most places in the area. In fact, now I think it is quite strange given the fact that it is still hidden by the old Pink sign. It almost doesn't want customers to find the place.

We ordered a black glutinous rice with ice cream (about $5) and a fried mango ice cream (about $3.50).

Glutinous rice was tasteless and ice cream was melting when brought out

Fried mango ice cream was a sad looking puff with sour mango ice cream.

This is possibly the worst dessert shop I have been to in a while. I cannot take it seriously.

I have no pictures to prove it. But I'm NOT intending to go back as far as I'm concerned.

If you feel curious enough, you can find out for yourself.

Location: Ground Floor 4 Craig Road (this is so that you will not step into the place to try!!)
Prices: $3-$5 for dessert

The Plain

This is my regular Saturday morning breakfast spot.

The Plain has a simple unpretentious Melbourne style feel to it. So it will be no surprise that the the owner Vincent learnt his cafe trade from Melbourne, Australia.

The strengths of the Plain is without a doubt its coffee. Good milk froth and well extracted coffee at about $4 per hit, it makes this place hard to beat. Especially since the general market price for even coffee half the quality of this one is about $6. The fact that Vincent engages with his customers is also part of the charm.

You can just see the quality of the froth in the picture below. Bad frothing means plenty of bubbles. Good froth produces a meringue type feel to the cappuccino.

Breakfast selection is limited but whatever you order will be of decent quality.
Some Regular picks for Breakfast

The Toastie

1)The Toastie is a classic tomato, cheese, ham on toast. The bread is crusty and fresh, tomatoes ripe and with the right cheese. All the good fresh ingredients needed for a good toastie of simplicity.
2) Dean's breakfast is toast with vegemite, cheese and poached eggs.
3) Fruit Salad with yogurt

Other things available
1) Summer breeze. This is a refreshing fruit iced tea. Vincent's concoction
2) Cakes. It's hard to know what is available that day. Vincent's sister in law makes good desserts at a decent price.

Prices: About $15 per pax for breakfast & Coffee. Very decent value for good quality
Location: Ground Floor 50 Craig Road