Suprette – An American-inspired Cafe with a Kickass Burger

26 11 2014

Nothing has been said about Suprette for a while now and it only resurfaced recently when a friend mentioned that her brother owns a stake in the joint and it was her favourite go-to place for weekend brunch. While I did take her comments with a pinch of salt given the potential conflict of interest, she was also someone whom I could reasonably trust with food recommendations. Hence, I made it a point to schedule a weekend brunch here to catch up with some buddies from back in university.

Housed in a Kam Leng Hotel, a boutique hotel that preserves the nostalgic setting of old school Singapore, Suprette couldn’t have been more different, exuding very young friendly hip vibes. The staff were also extremely approachable and motivated.

If you are in the mood for a hearty breakfast, try out the Shakshuka ($19++) of middle eastern origin, where you get a dish of poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce, feta cheese, lamb sausage and crusty bread. Personally, I would think that it’s hard to go wrong with this dish, given that the execution seems pretty straightforward. Oddly enough, what I really liked from this dish was the bread. They didn’t lie about it being crusty and you will surely need it to tone down the tangy tomato-based stew. The cafe is pretty flexible, so there’s pretty much free reign to swap the lamb sausage to chicken or pork sausage instead.

The Suprette Burger ($20++) comes highly recommended by many local food bloggers and it’s easy to see why. First, the doneness of the beef patty is cooked to your liking. Opting for medium rare, you can see based on the pictures that they got that right, with the patty retaining a healthy pink hue. Second, the patty is juicy and doesn’t fall apart easily when prodded. Most importantly, the burger fares well on the taste-test, with extra flavor from the visible green herbs in the patty. The fries are also executed well, with a nice garlicky aroma. Add-ons are available to make the burger less humble. For us, we got the Mushrooms and Bacon ($3++ each). Was eyeing the Foie Gras add-on ($12++) but guess that’s for another day.

The Chicken Pot Pie ($15++) wasn’t bad but didn’t receive as much praise as the other dishes, since it wasn’t very much differentiated from a generic Chicken Pie. Still, it deserves a premium for being freshly baked, so do expect a 20 minutes wait.

The coffee here are good as well, in the $4-$5++ range.

Overall, Suprette definitely gets my stamp of approval. The cafe see constant turnover but was never packed, service was great and portions are extremely generous, which was why the staff advised us to just get three items to share between the four of us.


383 Jalan Besar, Singapore 209001

Tel: +65 6298 8962



Kilo – Doesn’t live up to the hype

11 05 2013

Kilo has been operating for 2 years now and yet still packs a full house on week nights. I still remember a year ago when I tried (twice) making a reservation 2 weeks in advance and got declined due to the place already being fully booked. Something was definitely going for them and I was curious to find out, especially since I was a fan of Raw Kitchen Bar (what Kilo was called before they shifted to the current premise).

The setting of Kilo is of a casual cafe style and since there’s no air conditioning in the eatery, be prepared to sweat a bit if you are coming in formal work attire on a warm night.

We had the Seared Scallops served on White Wine Mushrooms topped with Sweet Mushroom Reduction + Momotoro Tomatoes ($23++) for appetizers. I just love scallops but the highlight of this dish would actually be the robust mushroom cream sauce. If only there was a piece of bread to wipe the plate clean.

Our favourite for the night was the Sesame-Avocado-Wasabi Flavoured Tuna Tatare + Flourchips ($22++). I’m not a fan of tuna sashimi but the ones here feels slightly fattier and doesn’t taste as bloody and as what one might get at a Japanese restaurant. The gentle hint of wasabi was refreshing and the creaminess of the avaocado probably helped to tone down the spice to an optimal level.

While it’s one of their signatures and the better of the two mains we ordered, I wasn’t thoroughly impressed by the Day-night 12 hour Pork Belly with Purple Potato Wedges, Sour Cream & Crackling ($29++). The pork belly wasn’t as tender as I had anticipated and some parts of the crackling were so tough that one might risk breaking a tooth or two.

Balsamic Duck Leg with Butter Parsnip Mash & Sesame Asparagus ($30++). On a spectrum, the mash would be closer to the coarse and chunky side. A bit too dry and not buttery enough for my liking. The texture of the duck wasn’t bad but given that the sauce tasted somewhat similar to the one from the pork belly, we got bored of it quickly.

Truth be told, Raw’s Lava Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream ($15++) was really disappointing, possibly the most overcooked lava cake I have had at a restaurant. There was no lava whatsoever, so it was more of a chocolate muffin. The Ice Creams here are made in house and it was decent. I have attempted (or more like my friends attempted and I watched) making lava cakes at home so I could tell they screwed this one up real badly.

Had a bottle of their Gewurztraminer (a type of White Wine). Alongside Rieslings, it’s probably one of the easier wines to drink given its high sugar content.

Left the place feeling slightly perplexed as the experience was short of the dinner I had at Raw Kitchen Bar. However, given all the rave reviews I have read online about Kilo and constant stream of customers, I think a reassessment is in order.


66 Kampong Bugis

Tel: +65 6467 3987

Hand in Hand Beijing Restaurant – Revival of the 小笼包

20 03 2011

Recently I was doing some equity research on BreadTalk and found out that they are the ones who franchised Din Tai Fung over to Singapore which I’m really thankful for. I honestly think that it was this single action that ignited our local xiao long bao craze. But have you ever wondered how the xiao long bao came about? Well, I have a theory…

You know how it gets super chilly during the winter months in China (I visited one of my China classmates in Jilin a couple Decembers ago and it got as low as -16 degrees celsius!) Anyway we all know how the Chinese love their wantons but I’m guessing that they aren’t shown as much love when they and the soup they are in turn cold within 3 minutes being out in the open during winter. So one fine day, an enlightened China man experimented putting his soup inside his wanton to keep it from turning cold and that became what is now known as the xiao long bao!

Not sure if that’s how it really went down but it sure sounds logical, doesn’t it?

While Din Tai Fung might have started the craze, sadly their xiao long bao standards have been falling over the years, leaving many in despair and gloom. But there’s finally some good news!  A really decent xiao long bao has been spotted at Hand in Hand Beijing Restaurant!

It’s more of a neighbourhood joint, somewhere you would go for casual family dinners or even to down a beer or 2 over some small eats after work. The menu is an extensive 10+ pages long which is affordably priced, catering to customers who just want a simple pork rib la mian to the more sophisticated diner who wants his four treasures of the sea (abalone, sharks fin, sea cucumber and crab!).

For appetizers, I would recommend the Sliced Pork with Garlic ($9.80++) if fats aren’t too much of a concern but if it is, just tell yourself that fats contain collagen which is good for you. This goes really well with rice!

As I mentioned earlier, the xiao long baos ($6.80/8 小笼包) are really good. The skin is soft but not too brittle, with a solid soup stock.

The Chinese Chive Puff ($6.80++) was meh. You’d do better saving stomach space for better alternatives on the menu.

Spoiled by mum’s home-made dumplings, I found the Cabbage Pork Dumplings ($13++) to be just so-so. Do eat it with a dash of vinegar!

I loved the Homemade Beancurd ($20++) topped with a layer of seaweed. Really silky smooth and tasty!

Delightful little Deep Fried Prawn with Salad ($27++) they have here too.

The Steamed Grouper ($26.80++) provided was much too small for our large group but given the fixed price (instead of going by weight), I guess there isn’t much to complain about. It was fresh but might have been slightly oversteamed given that the fish was real thin.

Despite being a signature dish, I found the 3 Cups Braised Chicken ($27++) to be nothing spectacular. It was just slightly better than the average economic rice stall.

Stewed Pork with Preserved Vegetables aka 梅菜扣肉 ($15.80++) was pretty awesome. The pork was braised till a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness that went well with the buns provided.

Can’t believe the plain Pea Shoots ($16++) cost more than the 梅菜扣肉!

Overall, dinner here was splendid and satisfying yet affordable at about $25/pax.

Bon Appetit!



TEL: +65 6297 1398

Cacio e Pepe – Authentic Italian Fare

26 12 2010

This is what food blogs should be about, reviewing and unearthing restaurants with potential that are tucked inconspicuously away at uhloo places. When I first read about Cacio e Pepe roughly a year ago, I decided to KIV it first and get back to it when I had the time. Since then, I have had 2 separate friends randomly coming up to me raving about it so I knew it was finally time to check it out personally.

Lunch Sets are available here at an affordable $12.80++ and comprises of a Soup of the Day, Pasta of the Day and a Drink (Coffee, Tea or Soft Drink).

Today’s Soup of the Day was the Potato and Leek Soup.

Pasta of the Day was a Choice between the Chicken Penne and Mushroom Fusilli.

The Chicken Penne came in a Tomato Base and I really loved the flavourful tang that hits you only after some mastication.

Out of the 2 Pasta Choices, I preferred the Mushroom Fusilli which had the perfect kick-ass cream sauce. Just the right amount of thickness and richness.

Feedback from my friends was that they found the pasta slightly too chewy and the portions too minute. In Cacio e Pepe’s defence, personally I prefer my pasta with more bite so the chewy pasta was fine for me, and when you pay $12.80 for a set lunch, I guess we can’t complain much about portion size.

On the other hand, if you order ala carte as I did, the portions are slightly larger.

My order of the Spaghetti Vongole($18) was well-executed. The spaghetti was uber smooth and very palatable. The only downside was the bitterness from the clam juice which I found slightly overbearing.

For Dessert, I had the Chocolate Lava Cake($13) which comes in both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version. I chose the later. I didn’t find very impressive as the exterior of the cake wasn’t crisp, having the texture of a butter cake instead, not to mention it’s slightly overpriced. You’d be better off having one from Bakerzin.

Overall, I felt Cacio e Pepe did a decent job for their pastas, especially the pasta sauces and given the extensive array of choices on the menu, I will definitely be back for a better assessment.

Bon Appetit!



TEL: +65 6281 1905

Lai Wah Restaurant – Founder of the Yu Sheng and Yam Basket

24 12 2010

Don’t we all just love the examples of longstanding traditional neighbourhood Chinese Restaurants? A few off hand I can think of off-hand are Chin Lee Restaurant at Bedok North, Hua Yu Wee at East Coast Road and lastly Lai Wah Restaurant at Bendemeer Road, all of which possessing it’s own unique and illustrious history, offering dishes that have been around for the past 30 years or more.

Lai Wah’s history is exceptionally rich in that it was the inventor of the Yam Basket, as well as the Yu Sheng (which we toss during the Chinese New Year) which has permeated into present society as so much more than just a dish, it now forms part of the Singapore culture.

While set lunches are available, I felt that ordering ala-carte here did not equate to much of a price differential from the set meals, and since this was my second visit, I had some idea of what to order this time round.

The Cereal Prawns ($20/5 pieces) was pretty decent. I liked how the large prawns remained crisp over time and that there was little observable excess oil from the frying.

As the founder of the dish, every visit to Lai Wah warrants an order of the Yam Basket with Cashew Nuts and Prawns($18). I was blown away by the Yam Basket on my previous visit and had determined that Lai Wah served the best Yam Basket out of all the Yam Baskets I had feasted on, but somehow today’s one didn’t strike the same chord.

For our daily vegetable fix, we ordered the Mushroom mixed with Vegetables($14) but if you are more of a carnivore like me, seriously just screw the veg and get another meat dish!

One of the main reasons why I suggested we eat at Lai Wah was because of the Crispy Squid with Salted Egg Yolk($14). The waitress screwed up my order and gave us a small instead of a large($18). Anyway, even if it’s just 3 people eating, trust me and just get a large!

Although it’s supposedly one of the signatures here, I felt that the Mandarin Stewed Chicken($22) was lacking somewhat. The meat was not tender enough and the gravy was too watery and not very flavourful.

Ordering desserts are quite unnecessary here as everyone got a free serving of Almond Jelly with Longans after the meal.

Though the food wasn’t bad, I was slightly disappointed given my heightened expectations from the previous visit. STILL, THE SALTED EGG CALAMARI IS A DEFINITE MUST ORDER!

Bon Appetit!



TEL: +65 6294 9922

Pasta Inc

21 04 2010

It wasn’t very long ago that a young, ignorant drpiggy was content simply by the mass marketed country baked pasta from Pasta Mania. He reasoned that pasta tastes roughly the same everywhere after a generous sprinkling of Mozzarella & Parmesan and just like Mee Kia vs Mee Pok, he didn’t see the rationale in the existence of the different shapes of Pasta(apart from humouring young kids). Looking back, how so much has changed since then, when the line between Spaghetti and Linguine was more than a blur…

While authentic Italian food is often prohibitively priced, Pasta Inc manages to serve up a very decent range of Italian cuisine which caters for individuals with budgets starting from as low as $20. The 50% off every 2nd pasta ordered promotion by Hungrygowhere & Sparklette is still ongoing and is a real boon for the budget conscious.

Despite looking like an old Joo Chiat shophouse from the outside, the dimly lit restaurant exuded a classy ambience on the inside. I noticed that at least half of the diners were there on dates. The level of service was commendable, far better than what I had expected with the Captain ensuring that every part of our meal went smoothly.

Portobello Al Forno($12.90++) was a large Portobello Mushroom baked with Mixed Cheese, finished with a Dash of Tomato Sauce. Baked to perfection, the sides of the Portobello was a light crisp with the rest of the mushroom not burnt nor soggy. (Apologies for the grainy and blurred pics, I was lazy to change my camera settings as I assumed Picassa’s lighting adjustment would fix it…but apparently Picassa isn’t omnipotent).

To put it simply, Melanzane Alla Parmigiana($11.90) was Baked Eggplant topped with Tomato, Parmesan and Mozzarella. I expected a soft and smooth texture of eggplant flesh but was sorely disappointed as the eggplant was undercooked, hard and unable to assimilate the underlying tomato and cheesy flavours well.


Bruschetta($6.90++) came topped with Grilled Tomatoes, Oregano, Basil and Olive Oil. I got my hands dirty eating it but it was well worth the trouble.

The Signature of Pasta Inc has definitely got to be the Squid Ink Spaghetti with Seafood($19.90++). Imparting it’s salty and earthly flavours to the Spaghetti, it makes me wonder how this organism’s defence mechanism can taste so darn good. Skunk Secretion Pasta anyone?

I felt that the Fettuccine with Scallop, Mussels and Clams in Saffron Cream Sauce($21.90++) came across as bland and insipid. Anyway I digress, Saffron is actually the World’s most expensive spice by weight, can you believe that? More ex than truffles!

The Pasta of the Day was Lobster Capellini Aglio Olio($29.90++). The Aglio Olio was competent and spicy but the Lobster was dry and tasteless, probably the result of being overboiled. (Capellini = Angel Hair Pasta)

Since the Veal Shank was unavailable, the Captain suggested we try their Lamb Shank instead to which we acceded. I couldn’t find this this dish in the menu so I wasn’t sure how it would be served. YQ mentioned that the Lamb Shank and it’s gravy(me thinks Red Wine sauce) reminded him of Indian Tulang. I haven’t eaten Tulang before so I can’t attest to that but I felt that the Lamb still reeked of it’s gamey flavour though the gravy did help to reduce the odor marginally.

Starting from the Dessert I felt was best, the Tiramisu($9.90++). It had just the right proportion of Marscapone to Espresso soaked Biscuit and I enjoyed every bit of it. Fresh Strawberry Granita with Whipped Cream($9.90++) was real refreshing and a great way to cleanse the palate. It was similar to a strawberry ice kachang sherbet since the courseness of the strawberry ice was somewhere in between. The Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream($11.90++) was so-so. What I didn’t like was the Creme Brulee($10.90++). The custard was much too thick and the taste was somewhat weird and slightly nauseating to say the least.   

Despite the kind gesture of the Captain in giving us the Strawberry Granita as a complementary item(as I enquired about it earlier but didn’t order it), the meal still came up to $40 a pax after discount which I felt was slightly steep for students like us. The meal was a mix of hits and misses and I’m hard pressed to find a compelling reason to return(especially when the discount expires). Ok, maybe just for the Tiramisu and Portobello Mushroom

Bon Appetit!





TEL: +65 6297 7515

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