Photo Frenchescar Lim
IZAKAYA 95 (image above)
#02-05, The Punggol Settlement, 3 Punggol Point, tel: 6384-1132.
Open Mon to Thu, 5pm-12am; Fri, 5pm-1am; Sat, 1pm-1am and Sun, 12pm-11pm.
Serving up yakitori and small plates that complement a good range of sake and beer, this Japanese-style gastropub is a great relaxing hangout with friends.
WHAT TO ORDER
Go for the meats, which are perfectly grilled. While the Salt and Pepper Lamb Rack ($10) is smoky and tender, the Kagoshima Buta Teriyaki ($18) – grilled pork belly – is fatty and delicious. The Foie Gras Skewers ($10) are another highlight: They are slightly crisp on the outside, and soft and indulgent on the inside .To balance the meatiness of the meal, it is tempting to order the Hotate Skewers ($6), boasting plump scallops, over and over again.
#02-04 The Punggol Settlement, 3 Punggol Point Road, tel: 6702-2855.
Open daily, except Tuesdays, 6pm-10pm.
With seven years’ experience at fine-dining restaurants such as St Pierre and Les Amis, chef-owner Chris Fong serves up gourmet French-fusion food at pocketfriendly prices.
WHAT TO ORDER
Designed to impress, the starters and mains overwhelm the palate with a myriad of elements. The Angel Hair Pasta ($11) is a delicious starter – a twirl of pasta served on a slate tile with two types of oil – truffle and chorizo – and salmon roe, caviar and tobiko. A must-try is the Duo of Pork ($26), two different cuts of pork served with cauliflower puree, grilled daikon and grape mustard. The pork belly, braised for over 24 hours, is soft and melt-in-themouth tender. It is so good I felt the drier disc of pork tenderloin seems redundant. Our favourite on the menu is the pretty Horizon’s Garden By The Bay ($10). Served in a flower pot, the tiramisu dish is topped with coffee jelly and a generous helping of chocolate and hazelnut “soil” crumble. Edible flowers and vines finish the look and make it almost unbearable to dig in. The layered dessert is well-balanced in flavours and textures, with crunch in the sweet cream and sponge layers.
The Punggol Settlement, 3 Punggol Point Road, tel: 6702-2002.
Open daily, 11am-2.30pm, 5pm-10pm.
Be prepared to queue for at least 20 minutes on weekends. The eatery has built a reputation for its mouthwatering White Bee Hoon at its first outlet at Sembawang. The owners say the soupy dish was created accidentally: they were asked to fry bee hoon for a gathering but spilt pork stock into the wok. Instead of starting all over again, they ran with the mistake, added seafood and eggs, and served it up expecting the worst. It became their signature dish.
WHAT TO ORDER
Aside from the famous bee hoon, one of our favourites is Salted Egg Prawns (from $18). Each plump prawn is cooked to perfection and the fresh sweetness of the meat is accompanied by a coating of salted egg yolk. A surprising winner is the Meat and Seafood Rolls (from $10). The unassuming brown rolls look like regular ngoh hiang but the thin wrapper is crispy and light. Each bite gave a burst of piping hot juicy pork-and-seafood filling. Another dish to complete the meal is the crunchy and light Green Dragon Chives (from $12). The bright green chives are coated in a savoury sauce that adds to the mild, refreshing taste of the leaves.
WHISK AND PADDLE
#01-01, 10 Tebing Lane, tel: 6242-46. Open Tue to Fri, 3.30pm-10.30pm;
Sat and Sun, 9.30am-10.30pm.
One for the cafe-hopping crowd, Whisk and Paddle started as an alfresco cafe facing the Serangoon river. They have since expanded into an airconditioned unit and added a garden at the back of the building growing herbs, fruits and vegetables, which they occasionally use in their dishes. Serving up an all-day brunch and a couple of mains, the breezy and pet-friendly cafe has an outdoor play area kids will love.
WHAT TO ORDER
Waffles and French toast are staples that can be customised with eggs benedict, ham and other breakfast offerings. Our favourite is the Eggs Benedict with Waffles and Honey Baked Ham ($13). The portions are on the small side but flavours are good – thick slices of ham and fluffy waffles with crispy edges set this apart from what’s offered at other brunch places. If you want something warm and hearty, go for the Macaroni & Cheese ($13.80). Torched for acharred look and served in an iron pan, the melty, comfort-filled dish is perfect for sharing among two or three people. Dessert lovers will enjoy the Cha Yen Krup ($9.80), a Thai iced tea parfait with layers of vanilla ice-cream, Thai iced tea cream, crumbed sponge cake, digestive biscuits topped with a macaron, and two sticks of butter and sugar toast. We suggest using the toast sticks as spoons and dipping them into the cream and ice cream to enjoy the dessert fully.
LEONG JI SEAFOOD
#02-10 The Punggol Settlement, 3 Punggol Point Road,
tel: 9026-1882. Open Mon to Fri, 2.30pm-11pm; Sat and Sun, 11.30am-11pm.
Run by a Malaysian who started as a helper at coffee shops before branching out to open his own eatery, he brings to the menu a variety of Malaysian-style dishes uncommon in local zi char stalls.
WHAT TO ORDER
Start your meal with Cuttlefish Kang Kong (from $12). This is no ordinar y vegetable dish; deep-fried kang kong lightly coated in a crisp batter sits under a hefty pile of taupok, shredded mango, cuttlefish and rojak sauce – crunchy and satisfying. A great dish for sharing is Nyonya Fish (seasonal price). Served on a hot plate , it tastes like assam fish, but the tart and sour flavours come from lime, lemons and lemongrass instead of assam (tamarind) and the gravy complements the fresh sweetness of the fish. The Lotus Chicken ($12-$20) is another winner. The juicy battered chicken chunks and crunchy lotus chips were coated with a sticky sweet-and-sour sauce that was mildly spicy.