Ichikokudo Hokkaido Ramen

Just like any other newly Halal certified restaurant, the queue at Ichikokudo was long and the waiting time on this Saturday night was about 30 minutes.  I made reservations and recommend to do so especially if you are planning to go there on weekends and/or with big groups.  Noticed that they are also shorthanded which does not help with the weekend dining crowd.

Was looking forward to the meal especially after reading rave reviews (most times I would read it with a pinch of salt until I tried it for myself) but my friend, R and I were fairly disappointed with our meals.


The Ichi-Beef Ramen ($12.90) was very oily and the texture of the ramen is not as smooth as the ramen from The Ramen Stall.  I am aware that the type/recipe of ramen from both stalls are different but for now preference is still from The Ramen Stall.

The oil from the thick broth made me feel rather sick that I was searching for something sour immediately after the meal (managed to find/buy a scoop of Yuzu ice-cream and it helps alot).


The Hokkai Jigoku Smoked Duck ($15.90) broth was not as oily as mine and it was not as spicy as we thought it would be.  The noodle does not taste or looks like ramen but more towards yellow mee.


Decided to try the boiled Gyoza instead of the fried version and it was tasty without any ‘doughy’ after taste.  Out of the four items that I tried, I really liked the Japanese Garlic Karaage.  Very crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside plus the garlic sauce is not too strong and goes very well with the freshly fried garlic.

I wouldn’t want to cross out Ichikokudo just yet as I am still curious and want to try their tomato based broth, don and teishoku.

Till the next time.

Disclaimer: Just like art, food is very subjective.  The opinions above are solely mine and it is up to individuals to agree or disagree.  But only disagree after you had experienced it for yourself.

Of Durian Chendol Ice-Cream & Cakes

When in Arab Street:

(1) Always hard to resist temptations.
(2) Always spoilt for choice – from traditional desserts at Hjh Maimumah, to artisanal breads and pastries at Konditori, to various shops/cafes selling various flavours of ice-creams and cakes.
(3) And of course, needless to say, the aplenty halal cuisines ranging from Malay Nasi Padang, Indian (Zam Zam murtabak is all time favourite), Mexican (Afterwit, which I have yet to try), Vietnamese, ramen, dim sum (The Ramen Stall and The Dim Sum Place respectively which both have yet to disappoint, in my opinion) to whole lot of hipster cafes.

And yet, thanks to the humid weather on this Saturday afternoon, this heart craves for Overrun Durian Chendol ($8).  Look at that…it does taste as good as it looks.  Had it many times prior and yet to disappoint.  The flavour of the day was Thai Milk Tea ($8), but this still steals my heart.


While waiting for the delicious Durian Chendol to be made (there were four orders ahead of mine), decided to check out Julie Bakes which has been awhile since I bought their cakes.  I think they are now focusing on slice cakes rather than cupcakes as the range of cupcakes were limited.  Unless of course the majority has been sold as I was there around 2+pm. Out of the range that were on display, only these two I have yet to try.

Both the Cookie Dough ($8) and the Chocolate Mint ($8.50) uses dark chocolate (yum!). The cakes are still as moist and light (that’s why the Cookie Dough toppled, or perhaps it was sliced too thinly).  The  mint in the Chocolate Mint cake was not overpowering (trust me, I’ve tasted a cake that tasted like a toothpaste before).  And best of all the cakes are not sweet.

To be honest, if I have not been to Julie Bakes or tried their cupcakes or cakes before, I would and could get turned off when I saw the cakes on display.  It does not look as appetising/appealing/clean as when I had first walked into the shop.  Luckily, it tasted as good and I am going to use the ‘looks could be deceiving’ cards here.


I did stop by Mother Dough as been wanting to check it out and been reading a lot of positive reviews from various websites.  I like the concept of the bakery but the range of items on display was not as appealing as other bakeries that I have been to.  It also does not have a ‘bakery smell’ (you know like those freshly baked items smell).  The only thing that caught my eye was the Lemon Pound Slice ($4.50) and decided to try one. Surprisingly the cake was moist and the icing had a nice lemony tang to it.  It would have been a perfect cake if the cake have a bit of lemon zest in it.

Okay, the crave for Overrun was so strong that I had totally forgotten to take a photo of the cake.

It really doesn’t help that for now till early December that I will be at Aliwal for rehearsals for an upcoming show in December.  Really…it really doesn’t help as the desire to stop at my favourite joints is really strong each week.

Lastly, as much as a glutton that I am, all the items above are shared with my family members.

Disclaimer: Just like art, food is very subjective.  The opinions above are solely mine and it is up to individuals to agree or disagree.  But only disagree after you had experienced it for yourself.

A Weekend of Gluttony

A company who needs good food to destress after an emotional crazy work week.  And so it became a Saturday full of food, thanks to yours truly.  We did walked it off in between window shopping, chats and exploring the East side of the island, Bedok and Paya Lebar (I stayed in the North while my friend, R, stayed in Central) – so it kind of balance things off, I reckon?

Bedok had changed so much.  Growing up, I used to frequent Bedok during most weekends to visit my late grandparents and have sleepovers with my cousins.  My family used to frequent the coffeeshop next to the old Bedok library for one of the best Chicken Rice and halal Zi Char (can’t remember if the name of the stall was Alfiah or Alfian, owner was a Muslim convert).  There was another coffeeshop which was a walk away from the interchange that sells halal wanton noodle (stall name Jessie, run by another Muslim convert).  At that same coffeeshop, there was a stall that sells the best grilled/bbq seabass with sambal.

Bedok was once a go-to place growing up as I could find practically everything and anything (especially good food) there. I was staying in the North-East area then and it’s only a 25-minutes bus ride away (depending on traffic as back in the 90s there was no MRT).  It has changed so much and yet there was some familiarity.

Back to the glutton section of this post…

Burgs by Project Warung

Late lunch around 2+pm as R was working half day. This was my third time here and they have yet to fail.  Tried their Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket Burger a couple of years ago at one of the food carnival and fell in love instantly especially with their soft and buttery toasted homemade buns.

Had The Viva Classic (single) and added $3 to ‘pimp up’ the fries to Cuban Fries (fries with pulled beef brisket, spiced nacho cheese sauce).  Okay, it’s one of those greedy weekends (I did mention glutton, didn’t I?) where I want the best of both worlds – juicy homemade beef patty + tender and melt in your mouth beef brisket.

It was R’s first time there and she had the Burgs’ Bacon Cheese Burger (single, although she was tempted to make it to double) and ‘pimp up’ her fries to Cuban Fries as well.  In her own words ”one of the best burgers I ever had”.

Was the second time that I had the Honey Butter Wings.  Fried just right – crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  Best of all, the honey butter coating was not overpowering. I only wished that they marinate the wings a little (or if they had, a bit more), so that the meat is not so bland (just salt and black pepper shall do the trick).

They have two outlets serving two slightly different menus.  This was at Viva Business Park.  Never been to the one at Golden Mile Food Centre.

Photos: Honey Butter Wings & Burgs’ Bacon Cheese Burger – R

Prima Deli Chocolate Waffle
Was walking around Bedok Mall and saw Prima Deli.  R said that it’s been awhile since she had the waffle (personally it’s the best to-go waffle and the smell of the freshly baked waffle is just enticing) and that she is still full from lunch (and also for a fact that it was just about an hour or so after we left Burgs). After much deliberation on her side and convincing + tempt on my side, we shared a waffle with chocolate (did I mention, it’s dark chocolate?) filling.  Satisfied, very satisfied.

Twelve Cupcakes – Lemon Meringue Slice


Been wanting to try this eversince they launched the whole cake.  Glad that they launched the sliced version and the outlet in Paya Lebar sells the sliced cakes. R decided to buy 3 different slices as they were having a promotion of 3 cakes for $10 (no convincing required on my part).  Shared the Lemon Meringue slice with R and am pretty disappointed.  The curd is not as tangy as I had hoped and feels like they should add some lemon zest and/or juice to the sponge.  R shared the same sentiments (our sour tolerance especially mine is very high).  Unsure if there is a difference when eating it cold (ate it few minutes after we bought it) or at room temperature. Maybe I should try it again at room temperature as a final verdict.  My search for the best Lemon Meringue cake/pie continues…

Tried the Rocky Coco Crunch cake for colleague’s birthday and I love that the moist dark chocolate cake is complimented with crunchy bits.  Never tried the Cold Brew cake before.  R texted the next day “I love the subtle coffee smell which wafted out from the cake.” Maybe I’ll try the next time but when I eat a coffee cake, I like it strong.  Just like my coffee – black with no sugar and milk.

Twelve Cupcakes also sells cupcakes (obviously) and cookies.  Tried almost all their cookies and their Triple Chocolate cookie is just divine (personal favourite).

Kopi & Tarts

Last stop, at about 8+pm after walking around Singpost Centre Mall (took the train from Bedok to Paya Lebar).

Instead of going to the usual The Coffeebean & Tea Leaf or Starbucks or any other cafe, decided to introduce R to this joint.  Their tarts is not Portugese nor Hong Kong egg tart with pastry crust.  It’s just a normal egg tart with crust that tasted like graham crackers (similar to fruit tart crust).  I love that the egg custard is not eggy nor have a strong eggy smell.  The chocolate egg tart may sound weird, but I really liked it (perhaps for a fact that it is dark chocolate) and it’s a good mix.  For the kopi egg tart had it before and the coffee is just subtle, not as strong as I would like.

Yes, the iced coffee is huge.  One size for all the iced drinks.  R had a shock when she saw her order (iced kopi siew tai o: iced coffee less milk no sugar).

Photos: R

And after all that food and desserts on Saturday, had this on Sunday afternoon for dinner.  Mum cooked and kept it in the fridge since Thursday as my schedule was pretty bad on Thursday and Friday plus Saturday was a glutton day with R.  One word – HEAVEN.  The longer it’s in the fridge, the more the fish head absorbs the spices and the spicier the gravy gets.  It has always been said and proven that nothing beats Mum’s cooking.


Disclaimer: Just like art, food is very subjective.  The opinions above are solely mine and it is up to individuals to agree or disagree.  But only disagree after you had experienced it for yourself.


Off Day Bliss


Off day bliss (plus self rewarding) after early week madness plus frequent visits from Murphy on set-up and event days for client’s booth at a conference (a story for another day).

Been wanting to try the Sea Salt Gula Melaka Ice-Cream (highly recommended by friends) and waffle at Sunday Folks.  Generous serving of ice-cream which is not too sweet and the pairing of fresh strawberries, roasted hazelnuts and almond thins works well…based on my taste.  Created my own waffle ($14) instead of choosing from their Signature Sea Salt Gula Melaka menu which is Gula Melaka (plus sugar) overload.

Loves the cafe ambience and it is a great place to chill especially when everyone else is working.  However, will not intentionally go there unless it is one of those rare days when I feel like exploring Holland Village.

When it comes to ice-cream, Overrun is still my favourite.  Yes, it is of a different flavour but I prefer the texture and creaminess of Overrun ice-cream and to date it has yet to fail me.  On waffles, for now still prefers Gelare.  Although kind of liked the waffles at  Wimbly Lu (My Village outlet) – but only took a bite from friend’s, so can’t conclude for sure at the moment.

Different people have different taste buds and the above are based on mine.

And that book, its a story for another day as well.

Laugh at Yourself

At Raffles City Simply Wrapps while ordering a bowl of make-own-salad to take away after a day of info overload…

Me: Walnuts (while pointing to sunflower seeds)
Server (smiling): Walnuts or sunflower seeds?

Me: Sesame seeds (looking and pointing to sunflower seeds)

Server (chuckles): Sunflower seeds

Me (still blur): Sesame seeds (then realised & paused) eh…sunflower seeds (laughs). Sorry, brain breakdown…

Server (burst out laughing): Sorry lah kak, but you cutelah…made my day

Me (laughs): its ok, glad i made you laugh

Moral of the story: its ok to be blur and laugh at yourself cos you’ll never know when your ‘blurness’ will make someone laugh and even make her/his day…

Cupcakes Galore I – Twelve Bakeshop, Julie Bakes & Wheebake

My family and I are picky when it comes to cupcakes (in fact all desserts).  These are my take on the cupcakes that I have tried so far.  Just like art, food is subjective…

Twelve Bakeshop

Top (L-R): Mocha-Mocha, Chocolate Mint and Choc Chip Bottom (L-R): Cookies & Cream, Double Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel
Top (L-R): Mocha-Mocha, Chocolate Mint and Choc Chip
Bottom (L-R): Cookies & Cream, Double Chocolate and Sea Salt Caramel

The halal arm of Twelve Cupcakes.  Bought for the first time from the ION Orchard outlet in October 2015.  They had since closed the outlet and moved to Parkway Parade (much to my dismay). These were good! Both the cake and the frosting were not sweet, each frosting were flavourful, cake is moist and most importantly not ‘eggy’.  It is reasonably priced and the more you buy, the cheaper it is per cupcake.  Highly recommended.

Note: As per their Facebook page on 3 March, they have yet to receive their halal certification

Julie Bakes

Top (L-R): Red Velvet Nutella, Chocolate Infinity, Pisang Bakar (Burnt Banana) Cheese and Maximum Milo Bottom (L-R): Salted Egg Yolk, Salted Caramel and Churros
Top (L-R): Red Velvet Nutella, Chocolate Infinity, Pisang Bakar (Burnt Banana) Cheese and Maximum Milo
Bottom (L-R): Salted Egg Yolk, Salted Caramel and Churros

Muslim-owned. First tried on 9 April 2016. My sis heard of them and been wanting to try their cupcakes.  The cupcakes tasted like it is home-baked, moist and some of the flavours that were available on that day were quite unique.  The Salted Egg Yolk cupcake is the best of the loot.  The churros is just so-so.  They also sell epok-epok (curry puffs) which we did not get to try as they were running out and have to wait for quite a while for the fresh batch.  Will go back to try other flavours and also their epok-epok which have been receiving rave reviews.


Top (L-R): Campfire Smores, Red Velvet and Ferrero Hazelnut Bottom (L-R): Salted Caramel, Cookies & Cream and Salted Caramel
Top (L-R): Campfire Smores, Red Velvet and Ferrero Hazelnut
Bottom (L-R): Salted Caramel, Cookies & Cream and Salted Caramel

Muslim-owned. They are located at Pandan Gardens but stumbled upon their pop up while I was exploring Century Square on 23 April 2016. Have not heard of them, honestly.  It was already early evening and they were left with seven flavours (6 as per listed above, and the other flavour is Ondeh-Ondeh, a flavour which I refuse to try as prefer to have the traditional Ondeh-Ondeh). The chocolate based cupcakes were too dry and the red velvet were dry and dense.  Most were filled with Nutella.  The Salted Caramel is the best from the loot – moist and not so sweet.  Unsure will have the chance to try them again as they are not easily accessible (for me who is staying in the north) and usually have their pop-ups in the east.  Even though they do have online orders and delivery, not a strong pull factor to give another try.