Casa Bom Vento Restaurant – Peranakan and Eurasian food

casa bom vento

Happy Hari Raya everyone! To celebrate this Muslim festival, I decided to have some Peranakan/Eurasian food at Casa Bom Vento, which is located at Joo Chiat. Peranakan food is an amalgation of Malay and Chinese food, and is unique to Singapore and Malaysia. This is only about the fourth time I’ve had Peranakan food. The first time was in Malacca, and the next two times were at True Blue Cuisine.

Casa Bom Vento was cosy and warm. It was a perfect place to have a relaxing weekend meal.

peranakan food singapore

I didn’t know much about Peranakan or Eurasian food so we decided to go with the recommended dishes. The signature dishes were the curry debal (or devil’s curry) and the grilled baby stingray with black peppercorns and curry leaves. We were warned that the curry debal would be very spicy and not for the faint-hearted. Continue reading Casa Bom Vento Restaurant – Peranakan and Eurasian food

Yanant Thit Myanmar Restaurant – smelly and yummy

Myanmar food has a particular smell. It’s obvious once you step into Peninsula Plaza. To most of my friends, it evokes an “Eww my hair is going to stink” reaction but to me, it causes me to salivate. I think it’s the smell of fermented fish and fermented beans.

I have noticed as well that Singaporeans tend not to like Myanmar food. Every time I eat at one of these restaurants or cafes, I’m the only Singaporean in a sea of Burmese people. Sometimes the stall keepers don’t even speak English. They don’t need to because their client√®le are all their people.

myanmar food singapore Continue reading Yanant Thit Myanmar Restaurant – smelly and yummy

Absolute Thai restaurant – are you sure it’s Thai food?

I love Thai cuisine. Something about the combination of aromatic herbs like basil, lemongrass and mint, as well as coconut cream, appeals to my taste buds. Thai food, when cooked properly, can also be very paleo and nutritious. I remembered the first time I went to Bangkok, I was shocked at how small the food portions were! For every bowl of food the Thais ate, I could eat two times of that! That’s how Thai people remain so slim!

I have been to Absolute Thai a couple of times now. It’s an easy restaurant to eat at because it’s seldom crowded compared to the other restaurants in the vicinity of Tampines such as Din Tai Fung. Well, there is a reason why it’s usually empty – the food is just mediocre.

Absolute Thai Singapore

Continue reading Absolute Thai restaurant – are you sure it’s Thai food?

Restaurant review: Dian Xiao Er

Dian Xiao Er seriously sells the best roasted duck ever. I would be perfectly happy eating their roasted crispy duck every day. Granted, Chinese restaurants are, in general, not paleo friendly at all, given the amount of soya sauce and starches that go into their sauces but I found that several dishes in this restaurant fall into my “tolerable” range.

This restaurant looks rather gaudy with its red lanterns and Chinese inn-style decorations. I would have never stepped into this place if not for my mum’s recommendation. She, who didn’t really like the taste of duck, said that the duck sold there was heavenly. Prices were also very reasonable.

dian xiao er singapore

Since then, I have been to Dian Xiao Er three times. It has become my family’s favourite weekend Chinese dinner haunt. Continue reading Restaurant review: Dian Xiao Er

Restaurant review: Red Pig Korean Restaurant

I found another paleo-friendly restaurant!

Red Pig is a Korean restaurant that specialises in BBQ meat. It has a similar concept to Mookata, the Thai BBQ place I reviewed recently. I think I prefer Red Pig because the meat have less sauce and feel less heavy in my tummy.

It was Alicia’s suggestion to go to Red Pig for a girl’s night out. We made a reservation for 730pm on a Thursday night because it was known to get packed really quickly.

Red Pig Singapore

All the tables came with a BBQ grill and some vacuum tube from the ceiling that sucks up the BBQ fumes. Nonetheless, be prepared for your clothes and hair to stink after Red Pig. Continue reading Restaurant review: Red Pig Korean Restaurant

Restaurant review: Mookata Tradtional Thai BBQ

I didn’t know what a Thai BBQ steamboat was until I tried Mookata Thai BBQ for the first time yesterday. In fact, yesterday was the first time I stepped into Golden Mile Complex, which is located at Beach Road. I’ve only been to Golden Mile to take the bus to Malaysia and didn’t know that it’s considered to be “Little Thailand.”

I wanted to do a review of Mookata because I think it’s a great place for paleo eating. The first thing I noticed when we sat down to eat was that lard was used to coat the grill.

thai bbq golden mile Continue reading Restaurant review: Mookata Tradtional Thai BBQ

The perils of eating at Chinese restaurants

We set off for dinner with the best of intentions. We were only going to a Chinese restaurant to eat the meat and vegetable dishes and leave out the rice and starchy stuff. It wasn’t going to a perfect paleo night out (when is someone going to open a paleo restaurant in Singapore?) but we should be at least 80% in line with clean eating, right?

This restaurant that we chose was called the Penang Seafood Restaurant right next to Aljunied MRT Station. It was known for its assam Penang Laksa, which of course we were going to avoid because of the noodles, and order the other dishes instead.

Little did we realise that the dinner we were about to have would be the most un-paleo meal in a long while.

penang food restaurant

We picked two meat dishes – pork ribs and pork belly – and one vegetable dish – broccoli with mushrooms.

The pork ribs and broccoli arrived first.

mongolian pork ribs

Both these dishes were covered in a thick sauce. The vegetable dish looked like it contained oyster sauce. What is oyster sauce, you may ask?

“Oyster sauces today are usually made with a base of sugar and salt and thickened with corn starch. Oyster extracts or essences are then used to give flavor to the base sauce. Other ingredients, such as soy sauce and MSG may also be added to deepen the flavor and add color.” – Food Reference

Sugar? Corn starch? ARGHH. I don’t understand why vegetable dishes can’t just be cooked in garlic and oil. They are always covered in some brown sauce that almost always happens to be oyster sauce.

The next dish was the mongolian pork ribs. It had no bones, which was greatly disappointing for me because I like to gnaw on them as I rip off the meat. But the main problem was that the meat was covered in a very thick red sauce. No, it was definitely not paleo. A quick search online suggests that the sauce contains sugar, some bean paste and soy sauce.

The last dish was the worst. This was what we thought we ordered:

pork belly

Now, nothing in the picture suggests that it would have any sauce. It looks like your typical siew yoke, which is roasted pork belly with a crispy skin. Siew yoke is not a perfect clean food but it’s as good as you can get from Chinese dining.

This was what arrived:

breaded pork belly

It was breaded pork belly. Now, please tell me I’m not blind. This dish looks nothing like the picture in the menu. This clearly has a batter and the picture shows the pork belly in its naked glory. How am I going to eat grain-free when the picture in the menu doesn’t look like the real dish and the description doesn’t say “deep-fried breaded pork belly?” ARGH.

Despite all my complaints, we still polished them off because we were hungry. From a purely food tasting perspective, the food wasn’t that great and I wouldn’t go back again. To get good Mongolian pork ribs, I would recommend Dian Xiao Er, where they serve pork ribs with the bones and a non-paleo but very yummy coating of sauce. Dian Xiao Er also serves this amazing duck meat dish. Just ask them not to pour the sauce over the duck and you’re good.

Eating at Chinese restaurants is definitely treacherous. Any tips to avoid this problem again in the future would be much welcomed!

Where to eat at Raffles Place

Eating paleo can be treacherous if you are dining out. The best way is to cook your own food at home and bring it to work. However, if you find yourself around Raffles Place without home-cooked food, here are some places that are good for paleo eating. Most of them still require careful thought on your part in choosing the correct ingredients. In order of decreasing cost, they are:

1. Urban Bites Mediterranean Cuisine $$$

532633_415895891779234_1179339792_nSource: Urban Bites

Address: 161 Telok Ayer Street

Urban Bites serves Lebanese food, which includes lots of meat, cheese, yoghurt and fresh salad. I visited their restaurant last week for dinner and was blown away by the food. I wanted to try everything on the menu! Even before the meal was finished, I was planning my next visit. Just remember to pass on the rice and flat bread.

2. Sushi Tei $$$

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Address: 20 Cross Street, China Square Central, #01-28/30

I love Sushi Tei’s sashimi salad. The sashimi is always fresh and portions are generous. Very strict Paleos may have issue with the salad dressing, which contain soy sauce. The problem with soy is that it contains phytoestrogens, which can contribute to breast cancer.¬†I also can’t tell if the dressing contains sugar.

3. The Rotisserie $$

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Address: 51 Telok Ayer Street #01-01, China Square Food Centre

I go to The Rotisserie for both breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, they serve something called the Aussie Breakfast, which is essentially a “full breakfast” or “English breakfast” that allows you to choose from a variety of fried dishes, including eggs, bacon, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. It’s not cheap at $12 but it can be an occasional treat. The meal comes with two slices of sourdough bread that you can request to be left out. For lunch, you can order their roasted chicken, which comes with a choice of vegetables or salad.

4. Salad Stop $$

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Address: 1 George Street, #01-01

Salad Stop sells quality salad. The variety is really good, which means that it should be quite easy to pack your salad with hearty, clean ingredients. You can choose your own ingredients or take one of the pre-designed salads. It’s better to make it yourself so you have full control over what you’re eating. The dressing will be the issue here as I can’t tell what goes into them. If in doubt, choose the oil and vinegar dressing.

5. Platypus Gourmet2Go $$

platypus

platypus gourmet2go

Address: 50 Market Street, Goldenshoe carppark, #01-14A

Platypus Gourmet2Go deserves kudos for their twist on the burgeoning salad trend. Instead of having a huge variety of ingredients, they focused on a few well made dishes and is cheaper than Salad Stop. You can stuff a small lunch box for just $6.50 with a maximum of two meat dishes. The salmon is the best and the most popular. Alas, by the time I headed to Platypus, there were none left and I had to go with two chicken dishes. Buried underneath the meat are olives and almonds – yummy!

There are no seats. Everything is take away.

6. Munch Salad Smith $$

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munch china square

Address: 112 Robinson Rd

Munch is located at China Square food court. They are similar to Platypus in that the salad is warm and cooked rather than cold and raw. One meat and two side dishes (as above) cost $13.90. They also sell breakfast including bacon and eggs, as well as mushroom omelettes – those go for $5.

7. Sarnies $$

Sarnies paleo

Address: 136 Telok Ayer Street

Sarnies is a nice little cafe tucked way at Telok Ayer Street. Two items on the menu caught my eye when I last visited:

  1. Paleo steak salad with mixed lettuce, tomato and guacamole $16.50
  2. Grass fed steak with mushrooms, caramelised onions and mix greens. $16.50

This is paleo heaven. Plus the coffee was really yummy. Pricey but then good quality food is always pricey.

8. Yong Tau Foo $

yong_tau_foo_550Source: Travelfish

Address: Mei Hua Foodcourt, 9 Raffles Place, #01-01 Republic Plaza

Yong Tau Foo can be found in most hawker centres and foodcourts. These are all the ingredients you can put into your bowl of soup, including vegetables, tofu, fish balls and squid. I usually take a glance at the type of ingredients the stall has before deciding to eat there. If everything is stuffed with tofu, I will not eat at the stall. Fishballs are not to be eaten too. Contrary to the name, the balls contain flour and sugar as well. But if the stall is selling lots of vegetables and meat, yong tau foo dishes are a good and cheap choice for healthy eating.

My favourite is the yong tau foo at Mei Hua Foodcourt. The portions are generous and they have a good balance of leafy and starchy vegetables. I always go for the pumpkin, tempeh and brinjal. Beware though, it gets extremely crowded during lunch time.

9. Chicken rice $

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Similarly to yong tau foo, chicken rice can also be found in most hawker centres in Singapore. Order chicken rice (without rice) and you’re all set to go. Yummy yummy.

10. Economy rice $

The final option is economy rice, also known as cai fan in Chinese. I love cai fan. I practically grew up on it. I love that you get to choose your dishes so every meal is different and interesting. Technically, you can order meat, vegetable and egg dishes without the rice but I find that most stalls drench their dishes in questionable sauce. The sauce tends to be thick and contain thickeners like corn starch. There are very few dishes cooked simply in just garlic and oil. So I would avoid those dishes that are covered in sauce.

What do you think of these paleo options around Raffles Place? Do you have your own favourite restaurants and eateries?