Long Chim–Affordable eats at MBS Celebrity Row

Well by affordable, I do mean relative to the other celebrity restaurants at Marina Bay Sands. The recently opened Long Chim takes the space that was formerly Guy Savoy. The thing that struck me most when I first heard that Bangkok based Michelin-Starred Australian chef David Thompson would be opening a restaurant in Singapore, was the rather unflattering name of “Long Chim”. Long Chim means “come and taste” in Thai, which is the restaurant’s invitation for you to come and try out its street food inspired Thai dishes.

I’m afraid my photos don’t do justice to the food this time round, as the restaurant was dark and bathed in yellow hues. You’re best checking out the mouth watering dishes on the Long Chim website itself.

Our friend from the UK was in town, and we were torn between impressing our friend with the Chinese cuisine at 9Goubuli (also at MBS) or checking out something new, ie Long Chim. Turns out said friend is a fan of Thai food, so the choice was easy. Interesting to note that the English are more used to spicy food, as compared to say the New Zealanders, probably due to the large population of Indians and Pakistanis.

Long Chim (1)

Long Chim boasts a very impressive entrance, despite its humble motto of featuring street food inspired cuisine. The wait staff will ask you if you’re going to have a drink first or head straight to dinner, which reveals David Thompson’s roots.  We took a long time to decide on the dishes to try because the menu is just 2 pages long, with the 1st page being more of single pax dishes type.

Long Chim (2)

Recently awarded the No. 7 spot on San Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 and 13th on World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014 for his restaurant in Bangkok, Long Chim is Chef David Thompson’s first venture into casual dining. At first glance, the menu seems affordable, as most of the dishes are around $20+. But then again, it’s comfort food in casual plating that we’re talking about, even if the food does please in general.

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Enak Enak HongKong Tea House : New Halal eatery in East Coast Park

Our Muslim friends can rejoice at the opening of the very popular Halal eatery Enak Enak HongKong Tea House. If this sounds familiar, yes Enak Enak of Simpang Bedok has expanded with its second outlet now located at East Coast Park Seafood Centre, opened in early April. The outlet boasts prime sea views as well as a huge car park nearby. Although most people may not realise it, there is a strip of beach in front of the Seafood Centre, and otters were spotted there last month!

If there’s one thing that won’t escape notice when you step into Enak Enak, it is that of its extensive menu. It is so extensive, it is more than 10 pages long, and mind you, each page has like 20 items listed! Practically anything under the sun is sold here, ranging from dim sum, to Western grilled dishes, all the way to steamboat, peanut soup and banana milkshake? The list is almost endless. Scroll down to check out sample pages of the menu. And get this, they are open 24 hours every day!

Even English Premier League fans will be happy, as there are a couple of TV screens televising the EPL matches every weekend. Seafood Centre is no longer just the home of the chilli crab…

Enak Enak HongKong Teahouse (1)

Enak Enak Hong Kong Tea House occupies the corner left unit of Block 1202 of the Seafood Centre. Come early morning or in the evenings to enjoy the cool sea breeze! The pricing is very similar to that at Simpang Bedok, or hawker centre pricing but perhaps 10-20% more. The food generally tasted good as well.

Enak Enak HongKong Teahouse Ayam Penyet

Ayam Penyet

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WildFire Kitchen + Bar

Visited Wildfire Kitchen + Bar back in February when they first opened (and again yesterday). Although it is a skip and a hop away from my office, my colleagues had till then not been too keen to check it out because firstly, not everyone likes burgers, and secondly, spending twenty bucks on lunch is not everyone’s cup of tea either.

But, it was my birthday so everyone gamely trooped there to check it out. Although there are quite a number of staff milling around, WildFire is a self-service restaurant, meaning, you have to place and collect your orders at the counter. Don’t be shy to plonk your butt down at the nearest available table, seating is self-service too.

WildFire Kitchen and Bar

Burgers are Wildfire’s speciality. There are a total of 12 burgers to choose from, in addition to 2 hot dog types, as well as fish and chips, and hanger steak. When they first opened in February, there were 7 types of steaks to choose from, but I guess they were removed from the menu because most people know Wildfire as a gourmet burger outlet. It’s not hard to see why, as the beef patties used are 100% beef patties, as opposed to having cheap fillers in them.

Wildfire Kitchen   Bar Chili Con Carne $19 and Umami $17

Chili Con Carne $19 and Umami $17

All burgers are cooked to chef’s recommended doneness, unless otherwise requested. This usually means a doneness of medium rare. However, during my first visit, most of my colleagues complained that the patties were overdone and too dry. The running joke for that day was that the burgers were done very well… However, yesterday, when I was there with the Partner, who is very experienced in burger eating for obvious reasons, his lamb burger was quite rare. We had to have it exchanged and the 2nd one came back perfect. My classic 001 was medium rare to rare, so it was okay for me.

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Dazzling Cafe Singapore

Can you remember the most important things to you when you were 22? Probably thinking of what modules to take next in Uni, or how to tackle the upcoming exams? Well Serene Tan has done all that and started her own cafe in Singapore by the age of 22! Have you heard of the Dazzling Cafe brand from Taiwan, which is renown for its sky high honey toast? I am told it that you have to wait 5 hours just to snag a table at the cafe! Such a pity I never got to check it out when I was in Taiwan a couple of years ago.

The brand was launched in 2010 and has now expanded to 9 outlets all over Taiwan, in addition to 4 outlets in Shanghai, 1 outlet in Hong Kong, and now also available in Singapore! Savoury Creations, owned by Serene Tan plans to open a couple more outlets in Singapore featuring different concepts.

Dazzling Cafe (1)

Dazzling Cafe is currently in its soft launch stage so it is only open from 12 noon – 8pm. On the day that it opened, I heard that people were already lining up at 8am. Crazy or what? I was lucky enough to be able to check out the cafe sans the queue. Smile

I think it’s only obvious that we start with a review of the desserts first…. Dazzling Cafe serves the Shibuya style French toast that are all the rage these days. They have somehow come up with a technique to render the French toast at an amazingly even crispness. I don’t recall seeing it in the menu but apparently you can ask for the toast to be either normal, medium or crispy, depending on your personal preference, and whether the toppings are more moist or not. And apparently, there are FOUR generations of French toast!

Dazzling Cafe - Matcha with Azki Beans Honey Toast $19.90

[4th Generation French Toast] Matcha with Azuki Beans Honey Toast $19.90

One of the more popular choices at Dazzling cafe despite the hefty nearly $20 price tag for toast, as it’s literally the tallest dessert here, and matcha anything always seems to up the interest factor. The toast was generously laden with thick cream, hiding some ice cream inside as well. The Matcha flavour is definitely distinct. While enjoyable, we all agreed that more ice cream and less cream might be a better combination. The azuki beans were kinda non existent too, or perhaps so in the portion that I took.

Dazzling Cafe - Valrhona Chocolate Waffle With Bailey's Ice Cream $12.90   $2.50  (1)

Valrhona Chocolate Waffle With Bailey’s Ice Cream $12.90 + $2.50

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AEIOU Cafe

I hadn’t planned on visiting any cafes yesterday as the parents were going to take us to try this delicious fish soup stall in Jalan Besar that they had recently discovered. It’s at this coffeeshop that has a multi-storey car park attached to it. Alas, because it was the Labour Day holiday, the stall was closed!

Instinctively, the parents and the partner turned to me and said “what next”? As if I am a walking Google Map of all the cafes nearby! I did my usual thing, which is “Just drive until I see something interesting!” We were on Horne Road which has 3 cafes, but we’d already been to Two Bakers, and I really didn’t want to have to step into The Bravery (stepped in once and it was full of cooking fumes and noisy like hell).

AEIOU Cafe

You won’t find the AEIOU sign outside. I tried. They’ve kept the previous owner’s Oriental Antique House signage instead.

So we turned down King George’s Avenue, where we immediately spotted a tiny sign proclaiming “CAFE Restaurant”. The truth be told, the exterior looked really run down, with what appeared to be several of the oldest and dirtiest looking furniture placed outside. It was really Retro taken to the extreme if you ask me, but I later found out that these were all up cycled furniture! Certainly all very Instagram-friendly, but not very welcoming we all agreed. Still, the menu with an emphasis on clean eating did win us over eventually.

AEIOU Cafe - Frittata $12.90  (1)

Frittata with onions and bell peppers $12.90

The frittata was really tasty, not oily, with just the right amount of egg. The veggies inside were crisp and evenly distributed. Additional salad was also generously tossed onto the frittata. The only thing is, it was missing some sort of a carbo, so we ordered the $2.90 garlic bread to go along with it.

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