Thursday, January 29, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Ronin Cafe (a.k.a. 17 Hong Kong Street)

Location: Clarke Quay, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Recommended: Matcha Toning (SGD5.50), The Wicked (SGD5.50)

The initial impression I received when seeking this café out in Hong Kong Street was that it was hard to find unless you remembered its number due to its lack of signage. However it was quickly obvious that it stood out among the rest of the buildings, being the one with a chic dark marble outlook among the various aging neighbors. If it wasn’t for its online popularity, I guess I would not even notice its name as Ronin Café although many start to recognize the café as “17 Hong Kong Street” instead.

The only place in the whole cafe to inform diners of the establishment's name - the cashier.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Hai Di Lao Hot Pot (海底捞火锅) @ 313 Somerset

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in 313 Somerset branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Ramen (捞面) (SGD4), pork slices (五花猪肉片) (SGD14)

I wouldn't expect that a hot pot restaurant could garner so much support, and wouldn't even dream of finding it located in an upscale mall. Yet Hai Di Lao Hot Pot did just that - locating itself on the top levels of 313 Sommerset, one of the malls along Orchard Road and its legendary queue is testament to the support it garnered.

I only managed to enter this restaurant on my second try. A queue numbered ticket needs to be obtained upon arrival, which the waiter manning the machine will estimate from his long waiting list how long you need to wait before your turn is up. On my first visit we were told to wait for 2 hours, and it was 7 p.m. at that time, which meant we could only dine at 9. The hunger in my stomach had not such patience so we decided to return another time.

On our second visit, we were much earlier, arriving at 5 but still was told to wait for 2 hours. This time we had the patience to wait, and were treated to some pleasant surprises.

What else do you expect from Hai Di Lao Hot Pot? Hot pot of course! We asked for chicken soup and tomato soup (鸡汤番茄锅) (SGD22) as our stock.

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