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Merely Ice Cream, Sunshine Plaza

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Getting lost in Singapore has its merits! Look what I chanced upon — Merely Ice Cream at Sunshine Plaza! Best thing about it? It’s a handmade ice cream shop! Located just a road across Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, I reckon this is the only ice cream shop located near town that handmakes their ice creams!

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Salted butterscotch. $3.30 for a single scoop.

It was a bit too sweet for my liking, but I can’t complain much since afterall, it’s butterscotch flavoured! I would want to try the pandan ice cream the next time I’m there. Saw bits of pandan cake in the ice cream; am eager to find out how it tastes like!

The ice cream was filled to the brim. My money was worth it! Plus, I think because it’s opposite NAFA, you would enjoy looking at the doodles that were placed under the glass pane on the table by their customers. I definitely enjoyed looking at the many designs of namecards that were left behind, and I was awed to see so many local talents (videographer, editor, visual arts…).

I would visit again!

Where: Sunshine Plaza, #01-13
91 Bencoolen Street
Operating hours: 12pm to 11pm
Website here.

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Da Paolo Pizza Bar, Holland Village

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I’m always intrigued by a place with fancy pizzas.

At Da Paolo, you get fresh, topping-generous, delicious pizzas. What I liked was that they had a selection of pizza bases. Not all the pizzas came with your usual tomato basil pasta sauce, an indication that the restaurant put effort and thought into their food to create the perfect, harmonious taste.

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I had the Portofino ($32), one of their speciality seafood pizzas. It has crayfish which was the highlight of the dish, and well as really juicy and yummy tomato slices that will, trust me, leave you wanting for more. At first glance you would think that the only bits of crayfish you were getting were those sprinkled sparsely on top. Mistake. Bits of crayfish are embedded within the cheese — I don’t mean a few bits, I mean the entire pizza base is covered with them!!! Shiokness!

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We also tried their wrap, specifically the Wagyu wrap ($27), and boy it was a good choice. They wrapped the food before putting it on the grill, so you not only get a delicious and flavorful wrap, but an aestically pleasing one as well.

Would I come back for more? Pizza-nitely will!!

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Dontaku, City Square, Johor Bahru

This Japanese restaurant was rather disappointing. Pictures of its food do not look like reality when served. Yes, I get disappointed when I’m faced with such situations, especially when it applies to the food im eating. A little deviation is fine, but the salmon wrap roll was totally off.  Thought I had a photo of it but (un)fortunately no.

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I also tried the aburi prawn, which my friend said was not bad because it’s aburi-ed. Warm food does make people happy aye? Erm the salmon sushi next to it? Check out the white bit. The salmon slice was too thinly sliced. Fatal error for any restaurant I would say.

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My favourite dish which took the longest to arrive. I don’t blame them, bacon can be difficult to cook. Doesn’t really look impressive, but tastes okay.

I also tried their gyoza. Wasn’t crispy like how it should be 😦

Overall, the meal came up to RM 37. I haven’t tried their ramen, but I’ll make it a point to stay clear of their sides.

Where: City Square, Johor Bahru, Malaysia (just across the Singapore Woodlands Causeway), level 3

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Tian Tian Chicken Rice at Maxwell Food Centre

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I can see it’s appeal — why this chicken rice shop, amongst the many others at Maxwell, has two tremendoualy long queues on a Saturday afternoon.

The chicken doesn’t come doused in your usual slight salty soya sauce. Instead, it comes with a pale mustard colour slight gooey sauce, which wasn’t too salty nor plain.

I usually gauge how good a chicken rice stall is by looking at the consistency of their dark soya sauce. I believe that stall owners who believe in using the finest ingredients, down to their condiments, says a lot about their quality. Boy this was good. Not only their dark soya sauce, but also their ginger chilli sauce. Spicy to my liking!

The only disappointment I had was the rice. Yes it was fragrant, but it was a tad dry/hard. I didn’t finish my rice, sadly.

For the above (a whole chicken plus a plate of veggies), plus 4 plates of rice, I paid $32. Reasonably priced I would say.

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Warung Lele

Tell someone who knows about this place and you’ll hear them shout, “ayam kalio!!!!!”

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Unfortunately my phone’s camera is too lousy. The picture does not do justice to the food at all. At first glace it looks spicy but don’t be apprehensive, it’s not spicy at all! It’s super delicious! I focused all my attention on it so much that my friend was very amused as she filled my plate with the other food (broccoli and BBQ squid) we ordered.

I also had their highly popular avocado drink topped with a choice of cocoa (not as sweet) or gula melaka (sweeter). I chose gula melaka as it sounded more traditional. Avocados are great for a smooth complexion, and this rendition is rich and creamy. I could drink a cup everyday! A pity there were only two of us so we didn’t try their fried catfish and the yellow rice that my friend so raved about was sold out by the time we got there for dinner. However, based on the three dishes we ordered and the friendly and homely staff, im definitely going back there again!

Where: 8 Shenton Way, AXA Tower, #01-16/19, Tanjong Pagar
Opening times: 1130am-10pm
Website here.

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Kazoukutei

I decided to eat at this Japanese eatery in Junction8 that specializes in handmade fresh udon.

The udon comes in a big bowl, literally. The bowl is huuuge but the serving was just right. Needless to say, if you do order their side dishes, you would find trouble fitting them onto your table, a problem i had which annoyed me quite badly because it just made the meal awkward.

Imagine this: me stretching over my huuuge bowl of udon to reach the tempura. Not that I scalded my armpit though.

For the price, the food is reasonable and decent, though I must say that you must not be too quick to set your expectations based on the pictures you see in the menu. The udon itself is handmade, so you get fresh noodles in every bowl, definitely a scoring point of this place. For a casual dinner, it’s about an average of SGD$20 bucks for a bowl of udon and a side dish. Reasonably priced I would say.

Where: Junction8. I think they have a branch at Plaza Singapura as well.

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