Posts Tagged ‘food republic’

What to eat at the newly renovated Suntec City?

I had a quick walk around Suntec City after dinner at BreadSociety. Have you been to the basement of Suntec City? It’s totally revamped!!! I must say it looks pretty cool now, and the space is better utilised. The mega Fountain of Wealth is still there but the main difference now is that there are cafes and eateries lining around the Fountain of Wealth, in addition to the original circle of restaurants! So double the number now, with many cafes to choose from! Don’t worry, you won’t get wet from the fountain because the original glass walls are still there.

Most of the cafes and restaurants will be familiar to you (which is a little disappointing because I would have liked to see more new names). The familiar favourites and previous restaurants that are still there include Paradise Inn, Crystal Jade, Ichiban Boshi and Muthu Curry.  Food Republic is now the new food court and sports a very open concept as compared to the previous food court which I thought was a very linear and enclosed thing. Cafes wise you have CoffeeBean Beanstro, Gelare, etc. Pack’d from the Les Amis group is new, and so is BreadTalk Cafe and All Things N’Ice, both by BreadTalk. Together with Food Republic that is also owned by BreadTalk, BreadSociety and ToastBox, it looks like the BreadTalk Group has practically taken up half of the F&B space at Suntec! With their recent grand opening of the BreadTalk Headquarters, they really are going places!

Anyway, enough of talking, and just enjoy the pictures.Oh did I mention that Carrefour is no longer, and Giant is now the supermarket of choice?

Suntec City Basement Restaurants

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BreadTalk IHQ

Did you know that BreadTalk has a spanking new Headquarters at Paya Lebar iPark along Tai Seng Street? It’s just directly opposite the Tai Seng MRT station and next to the Sakae Sushi building.

I missed out on the opening celebrations for the $64m building but I managed to visit it a few weeks later when I attended the Nanyang Kopi Appreciation Workshop held at Toastbox. If you’re a fan of any of the BreadTalk concepts, you should really visit the BreadTalk IHQ. The 5 concepts are all sited under one roof! BreadTalk, Toast Box, Din Tai Fung, Ramen Play and Food Republic! I rather like the IHQ because it’s not as jammed packed as what you’d experience visiting any Orchard Road mall, or suburban mall for that matter. There was free parking for the 1st hour too during the opening month, but I think that’s over already. Scroll down to see more pictures of the various eateries.

BreadTalk HQ (15)

~~ BreadTalk ~~

BreadTalk HQ (13)

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Food Republic at 112 Katong – Snacks and Drinks

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I shudder to think how expandable my stomach capacity is. When I was in baking school and we had to pack our own lunch, I survived very well on 2 pieces bread sandwiched together with peanut butter and jam. In fact, having just 1 extra slice would have made me bloated and lethargic! On the contrary, the capacity grows when I am called upon to obtain my money’s worth at a buffet, or at 16 food court stalls in the span of 3 hours.

Yeah you heard me right. 16 stalls. And my job, along with the other bloggers, was to sample the delights from each of the 16 featured stalls at Food Republic at the newly opened 112 Katong. The good thing though was that each stall could only feature 1 signature dish, so it was quite manageable in the end. Ha.

BTW, if you haven’t already visited the newly opened 112 Katong, you should! It’s totally different from the old Katong Mall. I love the carpeted floors! There are quite a number of interesting eateries like Max Brenner and Da Paolo Gastronomia that are worth trying out too!

As there are 16 stalls, I shall breakup the posts into Noodles, Non-Noodles and Snacks/Drinks.

Let’s start with the Snacks and Drinks first.

Yong Soon You Tiao $0.90 each.

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Yong Soon You Tiao Stall You Tiao - $0.90

I think they were very smart to go first, because we would surely not have been able to down the fried dough if it had come at the end. I have to say though that this You Tiao is one of the best You Tiao I have ever eaten. I don’t claim to eat a lot of you tiao but I recall in my younger days, you tiao would be limp and lifeless if you didn’t eat it hot straight away. Even the ones you get as garnishing on porridge become chewy after a while. The amazing thing was that this you tiao still retained its crispiness even when cold! Still crispy, fluffy, not oily tasting and not too salty either! Thumbs up to this fattening dish.

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Yong Soon You Tiao Stall You Tiao - $0.90 (2) Mmmmm

Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wings $1.30

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Huat Huat BBQ Chicken Wings $1.30

Huat Huat BBQ has over 20 years of history. I seldom eat BBQ chicken wings like these because they tend to be over charred or too dry. These here would appeal to people like me who like clean tasting chicken wings. I didn’t find the BBQ taste to be very strong. It almost had a kind of braised flavour which I did like but I would have preferred it to be a little bit more crispy. The chilli sauce is quite deadly so go easy with it when you first try it.

Ice Shop Chendol $2.40

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Ice Shop Chendol $2.40

The Ice Shop offers over 15 cold and 5 hot dessert selections. We got to try the Chendol drink. I thought this to be a very value for money dessert! As you can see from the picture, they are very generous with the amount of red beans and the coconut milk! When mixed together, the drink tasted rich and refreshing. It was also very easy to eat this as all I had to do was to suck all the ingredients up the straw! I told my father about this as he is a fan of Chendol and we will definitely be back to try this again.

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Food Republic at 112 Katong – Rice and more

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Ju Shin Jung Korean Cuisine Stall Mixed Vegetables Rice in Hot Stone $7.80

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Ju Shin Jung Korean Cuisine Stall Mixed Vegetables Rice in Hot Stone $7.80

Ju Shin Jung started out as a simple family business in Korea, which has now expanded to 3 full fledged restaurants in Singapore, with Ju Shin Jung at 112 Katong being their first express counter. I have always liked Bi Bim Bap aka Mixed Vegetables Rice due to the colourful assortment of vegetables and the mandatory raw egg right in the middle. But, when compared to Thunder Tea rice, Bi Bim Bap $$$ is on the high side, and when compared to Chinese mixed rice, this is a few times more expensive. But I guess that’s the price to pay when you want to savour non Singaporean dishes. This Bi Bim Bap was a little special as the rice was purple in colour! I forgot to ask them the reason for the colour, but the rice tasted pretty much like white rice, perhaps just a little bit fluffier.

Dapur Padang Stall Nasi Kuning set $6.90

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Dapur Padang Stall Nasi Kuning set $6.90

What you see here is Nasi Padang, which is a traditional Indonesian cuisine. I love the way they presented the dish, don’t you find it so appetising? When you order the Nasi Kuning set, it will also be presented this way, minus the little cap on the top of the rice. Speaking of the rice, it is nice tasting but a little on the hard side, perhaps due to the fact that it was pressed into a conical shape. Of all the dishes, I found the mutton to be the most outstanding. It was supremely tender and every mouthful had the melt in the mouth sensation. Mutton tends to be stringy but this wasn’t at all. The pile of cracker looking thing on the right bottom is a pile of crispy potato and tempeh (fermented bean). I’d never had anything like it before. It was on the sweet side but I loved the crunchy texture!

Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice Stall Chicken Rice with Dumpling set $6.50Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice Stall Chicken Rice with Dumpling set $6.50

I think chicken rice fanatics should be pretty familiar with the name Wee Nam Kee. The flagship store is located at 275 Thomson Road, opposite the Novena Church. Rings a bell now? The restaurant was also invited to participate in the Singapore Day in Shanghai. I can imagine all the homesick Singaporeans lining up to taste Singapore’s most famous local dish! The Wee Nam Kee stall at 112 Katong is actually a mini restaurant within the food court. You can order stuff like cereal prawns, assam fish head and chilli crab amongst other things. Hey I would have liked to try the chilli crab, how come we only got to try the chicken rice???

Indian Express Stall Butter Chicken with Garlic Naan $9

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Indian Express Stall Butter Chicken with Garlic Naan $9 (2) Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Indian Express Stall Butter Chicken with Garlic Naan $9

Have you heard of the Song of India restaurant? I’ve never been there but I love Indian food and I know that it can get expensive dining in an Indian restaurant. Now you can try the dishes without paying through your nose at Indian Express, which is owned by the Song of India. I tell you, that Naan looked absolutely beautiful when it arrived at the table. It had such an appetising and glossy sheen. Went so well with the butter chicken curry. The butter chicken curry would appeal to tomato lovers as there is a strong sweet tomato flavour too. Will definitely be back.

Fragrant Hot Pot Stall Hot Pot Ma La Triple Set $21.90Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Fragrant Hot Pot Stall Hot Pot Ma La Triple Set $21.90

Ok this Ma La Hot Pot, I will only recommend to my enemies. The dish was so so so so so so spicy that just eating 1 sliver of cabbage was enough to make me surrender! Luckily I was warned by the victims before me or else I shudder to think what would happen. In that 1 sliver of vegetable, I did detect a very strong peppercorn and peanutty taste in the broth. Unfortunately I am unable to comment beyond this for obvious reasons. I am told that Fragrant Hot Pot originates from Beijing and the Hot Pot is widely popular with Chinese nationals. What you do at this stall is that you choose the individual ingredients that you want, kind of like how you choose your yong tau foo items. The items will be weighed and you will be charged accordingly. They have lots of meat and vegetable dishes to choose from.

Pepper Lunch Stall Pepper Steak $15.90Food Republic @ 112 Katong -Pepper Lunch Stall Pepper Steak $15.90

Pepper Lunch is the 2nd mini restaurant within Food Republic. To be frank, I have never liked Pepper Lunch. I find it to be a novelty feature that I have to cook the steak myself. It is different from steamboat because if you ruin or overcook something, its a small item and there are many more items in your steamboat anyway. Ruin or overcook this steak, and there goes your lunch. Besides, I like my steaks to be medium rare. Maybe the 1st piece is fine but by the time I reach the last piece, the steak would have been well done. The one and only time I ate at Pepper Lunch, I found myself hurrying to eat the steak, and as a result I burnt my tongue. Not a very good impression eh.

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Food Republic at 112 Katong – Oodles of noodles

Thye Hong Fried Prawn Noodle $6.80

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Thye Hong Fried Prawn Noodle $6.80 (2)

Thye Hong has a really long history, spanning over 40 years! They still insist on serving their fare on Opeh leaves specially imported from Malaysia and Indonesia. The leaves aren’t just for decoration, they actually infuse a subtle, woody fragrance to the noodles. I was trying to limit my intake of food so that I would have space for all the dishes, but I found myself returning for seconds (and thirds)! The broth was indeed very fragrant and it was a pleasure slurping up the noodles. The prawns were lacklustre as they were kind of soggy and stuck to their shells. Still, the noodles were so nice I didn’t mind ignoring the prawns.

Li Xin Teowchew Fishball Noodle Stall Mee Pok dry $4.50

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Li Xin Teowchew Fishball Noodle Stall Mee Pok dry $4.50

Yet another stall with years of history! Their fishballs are still made from the same recipe used since Li Xin started way back in 1968! The fishballs are made with yellowtail only and kept chilled and not frozen, so as to retain their bounciness. I found the fishballs to have a very strong fish taste, definitely very different from the generic ones you get nowadays. I also liked the mee pok noodles that came in a spicy yet slightly sweet sauce. I found it refreshingly different and I liked the slightly sweet sauce, but a couple of the bloggers found it weird.

Cho Kee Wanton Noodle Stall Fried Dumpling Spinach Noodle $7

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Cho Kee Wanton Noodle Stall Fried Dumpling Spinach Noodle $7

Cho Kee Noodle started way back in 1965 in Old Airport Road. Now, to cater to the modern tastebud, Cho Kee also offers noodles made of spinach, carrot and seaweed. I found the noodles too spicy for me, but I really liked the QQ texture. This above is a picture of spinach dumplings, but I was unable to taste the flavour of spinach at all. In fact, the colour was also more yellow than green, although you could definitely detect a hint of green. I suppose this is a good thing which probably means they did not use green food colouring to cheat? The soup dumplings were also very tasty. The dumpling skins were velvety soft, and they were filled with meat rather than fat bits.

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Cho Kee Wanton Noodle Stall Fried Dumpling Spinach Noodle $7 (2)

For the $7, you also get a plate of crispy wantons. These wantons are the total opposite of the soup wontons in that they are fried to a crisp! They are so super crispy that the wanton that I stuffed in my mouth literally melted away without much effort. These wantons remind me of the wantons from Parkland Wanton Noodles, except these are more crumbly/crispy and the meat more moist.

 Formosa Delights Stall Dao Xiao Mian Beef $6

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Formosa Delights Stall Dao Xiao Mian Beef $6

This is Formosa Delights’ 5th store and they are famous for handmade noodles made daily and cooked upon order. For those of you who are not familiar with Dao Xiao Mian aka Knife Shaved Noodles, the guy will hold up a block of dough and he will slice the noodles one by one. The noodles will fly though the air into the boiling pot! This felt like a healthier bowl of noodles as compared to other soup noodles as lots of vegetables are provided. Also the soup had a slight herbal flavour

Ah Yip Herbal Soup Stall Herbal Duck Drumstick Soup Noodles $13.50

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Ah Yip Herbal Soup Stall Herbal Duck Drumstick Soup Noodles $13.50

Did you know that the founder of Ah Yip herbal soup used to be a physician?  He felt that drinking herbal soups to be an effective and easy way to maintain good health and he wanted to share his knowledge with everyone. Talk about eating what the doctor ordered!  Ah Yip’s Herbal Soups take more than 10 hours to prepare. Despite that, I found this dish to have a very light herbal taste. I could see that a lot of herbs had gone into the dish as I could see them swimming around. I guess this dish would appeal to those who don’t like a strong herbal flavour and yet want to enjoy the goodness of the herbs. The duck meat fell from the bone easily without much pressure, but I found it to be very stringy for a duck drumstick.

 Fu Lin Tofu Yuen 7 pcs set with Noodle $6.80

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Fu Lin Tofu Yuen 7 pcs set with Noodle $6.80

Fu Lin Tofu Yuen serves Hakka Yong Tau Foo and started in 1994 in the East Coast area. The difference between other stalls is that all the yong tau foo will be cooked crispy and served with their special minced chicken mushroom sauce and chilli. I was at first shocked that a healthy dish of yong tau fu has turned into a fried fest, but the surprising thing was that the yong tau foo items didn’t feel oily. They were crispy on the outside yet they retained their firm and juicy interior. Very delicious and indeed the mushroom gravy was so delicious I was busy trying to get extra onto my yong tau foo pieces. It’s no wonder that according to the owner, other players have been trying to mimic the minced chicken mushroom recipe. Well you know where to get the original now.

Bangkok Gem Stall Pad Thai with Prawns $6

Food Republic @ 112 Katong - Bangkok Gem Stall Pad Thai with Prawns $6

This Pad Thai looked so appetising but failed to deliver. There was an overwhelming fried kuay teow taste and it was way tooo spicy before we’d even stirred in the chilli. Suffice to say that I think Thai Express’ version of Pad Thai is much better.

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