Food

Nestled along Rowell Road (between Little India and Jalan Besar) is Sideways Singapore, a wood-fired dining concept that does both brunch and dinner. I was recently invited by Sideways Singapore to try out their new menu, but ended up learning more about their restaurant and the awesome people behind it.

Sideways Singapore is a recently opened, sister food establishment to The Hangar. It’s currently housed in a refurbished 100 year old shophouse.

Unbelievably, the restaurant is just under 6 months old but it is already full of character. The chairs, tables, wiring, pretty much everything was put together by Singaporean Pav, who co-owns Sideways Singapore with his Italian partner, Giulia.

When we spoke with Pav and Giulia, they both seemed to really love living in Singapore (having lived overseas), and they both hoped to create something special and unique for Singapore.

As for the menu, almost everything is cooked in a beautiful wood-fire oven, which was lovingly made from scratch by Pav.

He shared with us that it took him 3.5 weeks to finish building this oven, and I was really impressed by his ability to pick up these skills and to be able to make his very own oven!

The ambience at Sideways Singapore is very welcoming, almost warm and homely, there’s lots of natural ambient light that filters in in the day time. And I hear that Sideways Singapore is even more magical at night, so I’ll have to come again.

I like the attention to detail everywhere, and the beautiful tiles on the flooring provide a reflection of the 100 year old shophouse’s Singaporean heritage.

Even the outdoor washroom round the back has its own unique charm 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the exposed exterior wall of the shophouse, which is covered in a beautiful, almost 3D-esque street art created by two American graffiti artists back in 2010.

Before I forget, let me tell you about the food!

First, we tried their delicious signature wood-fired sourdough [$4+].

The bread served at Sideways is made fresh daily.

They do sourdough, ciabatta, everything! So if you want to buy a loaf, do give them a call in advance (I’ve listed their telephone number at the end of this post).

The wood-fired sourdough was definitely one of the best sourdoughs I’ve had in Singapore. It’s really unforgettable.

Really airy, crispy, fresh, soft and fluffy in the centre! A must-order at Sideways. The portion was generous/just nice for me, and we had it with an avo pesto dip [$9+] made from feta, pesto, basil, tamarind, olive oil, pepper and mint. Really good, savoury stuff and so easy to spread on the sourdough. I’m craving it just thinking about it. It’s really tasty.

Next, I tried the Sicilian Crostini [$12+] which is spicy nduja spread, creamy burrata with mint served on wood-fired sourdough toast.

This is one of their mains. It’s really hearty, filling and full of flavour. If you’re a big eater, order this. The sides of the sourdough was really gorgeously charred and crusty! Taste-wise, I found that the dishes we tried all had a commonality among one another, I think it lies in the use of mint, basil and pepper that gives the food at Sideways its own original character. We found it hard to label the cuisine at Sideways – it seems to be a melting pot of different influences, that comes together to form its own sort of identity. I wouldn’t say it falls under fusion per se, but it is a mixture of different food cultures.

Next, we tried the oven baked artichoke. On its own, we found it pretty vinegary and tasted quite pickled. I felt like it could pair nicely with a drink, or maybe couscous? Perhaps pita? I’m not sure what people generally eat artichoke with, I usually have it on pizza. Besides artichoke done this style, Sideways also does a fried version, which actually sounds pretty good..

After that, we tried something new on their menu – Stuffed Pita with Veg [$16+]. This is their wood-fired pita filled with eggplant, peppers, pesto, melted mozzarella and sprinkled with parsley. It’s a little like a calzone, and tastes similar to the other items we tried! I think this is worth ordering if you are craving something very homely and easy to eat. I suspect that this stuffed pita with veg would be a hit with children.

Last but not least, we tried the Cauliflower Steak [$12+].

The cauliflower is cooked in the wood-fire oven and has a nice, lightly charred flavour. The cauliflower is topped with a beautiful beetroot tahini and lots of sesame, pepper and parsley. The tahini has a rich and wonderful sesame flavour, and the tiny cubes of beetroot were delicious – very fresh and floral and not at all earthy or muddy tasting. Again, the flavours in the tahini were rich and yummy.

I think the successful dishes which really worked at Sideways were those with a mix of more plain, light flavours combined with more richer, more intense flavours to balance it out. I particularly liked the signature wood-fired sourdough. Highly recommend it, together with the avo pesto dip. Also recommend the new cauliflower steak with beetroot tahini. It’s super good.

Who I think would enjoy Sideways Singapore:

– People who love cafe hopping and finding new restaurants in Singapore;

– Vegetarians and vegans as the menu is pretty veg friendly;

– Anyone who feels ambience is very important in a dining setting;

– Anyone who LOVES bread;

– Anyone who loves tapas, small plates, appetisers, hummus, tahini, etc;

– Anyone who likes oven baked fish, lamb, veg;

– Anyone who likes fusion / a variety of different food cultures; and

– Anyone who is bored of what Singapore has to offer and wants an escape from the Central Business District and crowds in the shopping malls.

Sideways Singapore is truly a new experience, both visually and food-wise! It really felt like travelling to a different part of Singapore I’ve not seen before.

To end this post, I want to thank both Giulia and Pav for hosting us and letting us try their delicious food as well as explore their beautiful wood-fired restaurant.

It’s certainly worth a visit and if you are in the neighbourhood, make sure you don’t miss it! And be sure to try all of their yummy wood-fired food and let me know if you enjoyed it 🙂

Address: Sideways Singapore,

109 Rowell Road,

Singapore 208033

Tel: 6291 3441

Website: www.sideways.com.sg

Instagram: @sidewayssg

Opens on Tuesdays to Sundays

Tuesdays to Fridays: 11.30am – 11pm

Saturdays: 10am – 11pm

Sundays: 10am – 4pm

Woke up this morning craving pasta so the first order of business was a trip to Tipo Singapore, a newly opened, Halal pasta bar in the Bugis/Kampong Glam area.

Tipo was a 10-15 minute walk from Bugis MRT Station. We were greeted by a gorgeous teal and pink coloured shopfront with lots of fresh, homemade pasta in the front window.

Even though we had arrived at 12.25pm, there were plenty of customers seated and eating lunch! The menu was pretty easy to read. There were two pasta options to choose from and various sauces. The lunch set is pretty worth it, you get a bowl of pasta and a homemade iced tea for $9.90.

There’s also a Build Your Own Pasta menu. One of the toppings Tipo have is black caviar! So fancy 🙂

My brother ordered the carbonara al funghi and I had the ragu alla bolognese.

Carbonara al Funghi with Iced Tea [$9.90]

Pasta, alfredo, mushroom and a sous vide egg

The carbonara was very creamy and eggy. I’m not really a carbonara fan, so can’t comment. But my brother polished the plate clean, no complaints.

Ragu Alla Bolognese with Iced Tea [$9.90]

Pasta, raghu, parmesan

Yum. My pasta dish was pretty delicious! I love how the ragu bolognese sauce went so well with the pasta. The beef was very nice, soft and tender. Think it was beef cheek. The pasta itself wasn’t too wet or dry. My brother found the pasta too salty but I thought it was okay. I thought the sauce to pasta ratio was perfect. I think the only improvement would be if the pasta had flavourful herbs like rosemary in to it, to give it more of a depth.

On the whole, it was pretty good pasta but not the most amazing pasta I’ve had. Because it was a little inconvenient to get to, I’ld probably only head to Tipo to eat if I was in the Kampong Glam area.

Tipo Singapore

785 North Bridge Road,

Singapore 198753

www.tipo.sg

Sometimes we just need a little juju. This delightful teal coloured space at the Visitor’s Services Kiosk at Singapore Botanic Gardens is the perfect pitstop after a long stroll through this 158 year old garden. (Fun fact: Did you know Singapore Botanic Gardens is one of three gardens to be honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site?)

Juju offers up a variety of both healthy and slightly indulgent snacks (think smoothies, acai bowls, croissants, coffee, tea and other tea break kind of food).

For most of the year, Singapore is pretty hot and humid so Juju offers patrons both refreshing thirst quenchers and a respite from the sun’s rays.

Midway through my walk today, I decided to visit Juju, which is conveniently located near the Bukit Timah entrance at the Visitors’ Services Kiosk. If you’re coming from the Bukit Timah entrance, just walk straight and look out for the Visitors’ Services sign. Turn left into the narrow path and walk along the wooden path, and Juju is right behind the Visitors’ Services Kiosk.

Note that Juju is more of a humble kiosk than a spacious cafe. There are benches where you can sit on and enjoy your drink or bowl but it is not a massive space.

I tried the refreshing Juju Acai Bowl in regular size (S$8.50). I believe they are currently using Selva Foods’ acai, which is why I decided to visit them in the first place! 🙂

The Juju Acai Bowl is made with acai, watermelon, other fruits, medjool dates and filtered water.

My bowl was topped with a coconut chia seed pudding-like sauce, blueberries, bananas and generous chunks of granola. There was also some kind of nut butter drizzled over it. Perhaps almond or peanut butter.

The frozen dessert had plenty of subtle watermelon flavour, some slight earthy acai flavour to it and towards the end, I could taste a hint of naturally sweet medjool dates.

The end result of this concoction was a very light, clean, healthy but still filling acai bowl. I felt much more alive after eating it, and it’s definitely pretty healthy and delicious in its own right. There are still many other things on their menu that I don’t mind trying next time. An alternative to the acai bowl is the red dragonfruit bowl which sounds incredibly interesting and looks so pretty! I also want to try out their colourful smoothies next.

Have you tried Juju at Singapore Botanic Gardens or any other restaurant/cafe there? Let me know in the comments whether you have, and what your food recommendations are!

It’s not every day that one goes to Brasserie Les Saveurs at The St. Regis Singapore for high tea 🙂

This afternoon, my parents and I took a trip down to town for our first high tea experience at the 6 star hotel’s contemporary French restaurant.

Perhaps what was most surprising was the price. It is relatively affordable when you compare the pricing of their afternoon tea set to other places in Singapore that offer high tea.

For high tea on a Sunday, it is S$53++ per person. It includes access to the buffet spread (sushi, fruit, patisserie, cheese, crepe, sorbet, etc), a three tier high tea set, and a pot of tea (lots of TWG options/The St. Regis tea blend).

On weekdays, the afternoon tea is slightly cheaper.

For S$36++ per person on a Sunday, you get to enjoy a pot of tea and a three tier high tea set, which is quite filling and delicious on its own. I highly recommend this one, and it’s what the three of us got.

The tier comes with one chocolate financier, one raisin scone, one plain scone, one madeleine, one foie gras sandwich, one smoked salmon blini, one lemon tart and one raspberry tart.

For the high tea at The St Regis Singapore, just note that there aren’t any ongoing card promotions. But you can still enjoy 50% off with Amex if two people dine for lunch or dinner (it excludes Sunday lunch as they do brunch instead). I recommend calling in advance to confirm as well as to make a reservation.

Another great thing is that there is complimentary parking, just remember to ask the host for it before leaving the hotel.

Because of the wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and quality, you will definitely get more bang for your buck at The St. Regis.

Just imagine reclining in your chair with a cup of tea in hand, while a pianist nearby serenades you with a rendition of La Vie en Rose and Beauty and the Beast.

And on the other side of the floor-to-ceiling windows, like a gentle geyser, a row of fountains steadily toss jets of water into the air. It is all very zen.

I love that the hotel itself is also full of vibrant Asian paintings and sculptures.

The attention to detail is everywhere.

In the women’s restroom was a beautiful and well-worn dark wooden console table.

Carved into its surface was a very picturesque and detailed image that seemed to tell a story. It showed a scenery as if from an elegant Chinese painting from a long ago dynasty.

All in all, the high tea experience at The St. Regis was wonderful. Although the clotted cream wasn’t as amazing as what you can get in the UK, I thoroughly enjoyed their scones! The raspberry and lemon tarts in the high tea were also very delectable and very well done indeed.

The St. Regis Singapore is such a nice hotel, I can’t wait to come back again for their quality high tea, as well as to try their lunch and dinner. And maybe a staycation (one day!)

Been procrastinating on this review of La Taperia by Les Amis mostly because typing out the name of each dish was a little bit tedious, but now that it’s the weekend and I have a bit of time, I have no excuses!

La Taperia is a Spanish tapas restaurant located on the 2nd floor of Shaw Centre (next to Shaw House). Reservations can be made through www.quandoo.com.sg

The restaurant is dimly lit with a cosy, steakhouse kind of vibe. It’s also not too noisy which I appreciate!

On the whole I think our meal averaged to about $85 per person. A tad bit expensive IMHO but probably okay if you have deep pockets or celebrating a special occasion!

Drinks

Sangria Tinto ($15)

What better way to kick off our meal than with a glass of red sangria each!

La Taperia’s sangria is pretty sweet and fruity (yum!) and reminds me of Pimm’s. The sangria itself wasn’t too heavy and sour, it was just nice. I’ld definitely recommend getting a jug ($52) of the sangria for sharing because it is just so good.

Warm Tapas

Croquetas de JamĂłn ($15)

Croquette of suckling pig bechamel & jamón ibérico

This looked really good online. Crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, this tapas dish was too pricey and didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me. I much prefer Japanese croquettes from Muji/Mos Burger.

Gambas Al Ajillo ($20)

Prawns cooked with garlic chilli and extra virgin olive oil

I don’t eat seafood so most of our food was confined to meat.

My friend ordered this prawn tapas though, and the prawns looked pretty juicy. There was plenty of garlic and sizzle when the dish arrived!

Costillitas de Cordero a la Parrilla ($26)

Charcoal grilled lamb rib confit glazed with honey mustard

I love ribs. The meat is nice and tender and the sauce is just right, not too sweet. There’s a slight charcoal burnt flavour too. This was pretty yummy, I would definitely recommend ordering this!

Albóndigas en Salsa Ibérica ($18)

Homemade meatballs (chicken, pork and beef) cooked in chorizo ibérico sauce

Ahh I’ve been craving meatballs after Subway have temporarily banished their Meatball Marinara from their menu. Sadly the La Taperia meatballs were too pink and chicken-y for my liking. I prefer my meatballs to have a little more beef. The sauce was quite tomato-y and a little on the plain side. Perhaps it would be more appealing to people who prefer a much lighter and cleaner flavour?

Correderas de Carne ($16)

Beef cheek sliders, pickled vegetables & aioli sauce

These cute burgers were so tiny and reminded me of Krabby Patties from Spongebob! The beef cheek was definitely very soft and tender and melt in your mouth.

Bread

Grilled Baguette ($4)

Our waitress recommended that we order the grilled baguette to go with the meatballs and the garlic prawns. I had my eyes on the Crystal bread with diced tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil ($6) and probably should have ordered that instead.

The grilled baguette was quite tough and to me tasted a lil stale and it didn’t come at the same time as the meatballs and prawns so we didn’t have anything to eat the baguette with other than butter which was a little strange..

So maybe skip the plain grilled baguette and opt for the Crystal bread instead!

Sides

Coles de Bruselas Con Chorizo ($10)

Brussels sprouts with chorizo

My friend wasn’t a fan of this dish but I quite liked it. Thought it was one of the more affordable and yummy dishes on the menu. It’s very tasty and homely. Even the sauce tasted of Brussels sprouts. A good side dish of veggies to order!

Desserts

Crema Catalana ($12)

Catalan cream enriched with mango bits and Ă  la minute crispy caramelised topping

I quite liked this dessert, the top layer was nice and crispy and the cream underneath was soft, sweet and creamy. Nothing too sickeningly sweet.

If you’re a fan of creme brûlée, try this dessert! Besides this, La Taperia also does churros and many other Spanish desserts! So leave space in your tummy for some delectable sweets.

Have you tried La Taperia? Let me know in the comments what you’ve tried! Or if you haven’t, what your favourite Spanish tapas restaurants are in Singapore so I can check them out! 🙂

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