I’ve always bullied my sister when we were small. We fought over everything from pink towels to our bunk beds. I still remember THAT pink towel. Why must I take the blue one when I chose the pink first??! When we were small, we were never very close to speak of and I sometimes silently hated that our mum always arranged my younger siblings to tag along in my class outings and excursions. It was never hatred between us but I guess we just didnt clicked.
Fast forward 15-20 years later, we started to get very close and to truly understand each other better. Our relationship improved tremendously and we supported each other with open hearts after we got married. We finally have a SISTER after 20 years! My friends would know how loving my sis is towards me and the kids. She makes me feel like I’m the little sister instead of the other way round. hahah!
With an invitation to Blogger’s Food Trail at Tampines 1 Mall which fell on the last Sunday of June holidays, I asked my sis to come along when Audrey couldn’t make it. Knowing that what I really needed was her company, she obliged despite expressing that she would rather my hubby go paktor (date) with me and leave the kids at her house.
The day started well with a morning meeting at Tampines 1 Mall. We were briefed that we will be visiting ThaiExpress, Yamazaki Boulangerie Chaude, J.CO Donuts & Coffee, Awfully Chocolate, Pepper Lunch and Milk Cow.
It’s been so long since I last had a decent Thai cuisine without the need to check if all the dishes on the wish list are kids-friendly. Oh c’mon, give me all the chilli and up the spicy level too if you can! ThaiExpress is a restaurant serving modern Thai cuisine in a contemporary setting at a pretty reasonable prices. The restaurant chain makes it a point to use fresh ingredients and only Thai indigenous spices in their characteristically traditional Thai cuisine. A large availability of food choices is available under the respective categories of appetizers, main courses, beverages and desserts on the menu.
We started off to a great lunch with starters like Thai Mango Salad and Prawn Toast, both of which are our favourite dish. The Thai Mango Salad has lots of roasted peanuts and green mango, onion and red chilli. The onions were surprisingingly sweet. In fact they were so sweet that I wiped them out to the last bits. The Prawn Toast was another dish of delight. It’s made by deep-frying prawn paste mixture spread onto pieces of triangular-shaped bread.
I ordered my favourite Chiang Mai Mango Blend to go with my meal. If not for my sis ordering the Lime Rose Drink, I wouldn’t have discovered another refreshing drink on the menu. I would certainly order the Lime Rose Drink in future as it is way lighter than the Mango Blend. It’s certainly a great way to save stomach space for the other dishes on the menu.
Below are the main courses we got to try out. Phat Thai Talay, a stir-fried Thai noodle dish with seafood with chunky pieces of fish, crunchy prawns and squid. It is served with generous serving of dried chilli flakes and roasted peanuts, together with a piece of lime to add that soury flavour to the noodles. Being a kuey tiao lover, this dish is almost always on my table whenever I order Thai cuisine.
Poo Phat Pong Kari, Rice with Soft Shell Crab, Egg and Onion Curry is apparently a dish created by a Japanese Chef and Thai Chef who came up with this unique flavour to serve guests at their wedding reception. This was the first time I tried this dish as honestly, I would not relate deep-fried soft shell crab with Thai food. It is more of a Japanese delicacy in my opinion. However, I welcomed the wonderful crisp from the well-fried crab. It also paired pretty well with the egg and onion curry that served as a gravy for this dish.
Massaman Chicken Curry with Thai-style Pancake, voted #1 by CNN, is a highlight that ThaiExpress proudly proclaimed. This pot of curry was painstakingly cooked over fire for hours and apparently more than 20 different spices were used to cook this dish. The thick curry has a deep and smokey flavour to it which would be ideal if generously drizzled over white rice. The chicken was cooked until so soft that the piece of thigh meat I had slid off from the bones easily. ❤ The Thai-style Pancake on the other hand, was somewhat like thinner slices of it’s Indian counterpart but lack that oily, crispy and fluffy texture. The $13.90 portion is also too big as a main course. The curry is however, ideal for a party of 4 for sharing amongst other dishes.
Khao Gai Phat Krapow is a main course consisting of rice with Stir-fried Spicy Minced Chicken with Thai Basil. The portion is again generous amounting to large spoonfuls of minced chicken on the plate. I have not tried this dish before as I prefer chicken in chunky portions than having it minced. By now, we were almost too full to even talk anymore. With so much gorgeous food to sample over lunch, I secretly made a resolution to burn off all the calories the following weekend.
Before I could “resolutionalize” my thoughts on burning off the calories, I found myself digging spoon after spoon into this seemingly not-much-to-scream-for cup of chendol-lookalike thingy – ThaiExpress’ Signature Dessert, Lod Chong. We were told that the green “worms” are actually made using freshly-squeezed pandan leaf juice. The cup of icy-cold light coconut milk based dessert is topped with copious amount of Lod Chong and a handful of attap chee. It would be perfect if the shaved ice is smoother instead. Nevertheless, this has just fallen into my list of next-time-must-haves if I’m at ThaiExpress again. The dessert ended the sumptious lunch with a nice and refreshing touch. We simply loved it!
ThaiExpress Bistro at Tampines 1 occupies two levels within the mall and is connected by an internal staircase. I like that the restaurant interior gives a bright and cheery mood with the entire place given ample natural light due to the full height windows spanning both storeys. Hope to be back soon! I wonder if I could convince my sis to look after the kids for dessert (dessert only, I promise!) while I steal a date with the hubs.
J.CO Donuts & Coffee
J.CO Donuts & Coffee is a cafe where unique flavours of donuts and premium coffee and beverages is served day-long.
With names like Forest Glam, Avocado Di Caprio, Choco Caviar Chocolate, Cheese Me Up, Tira Miss U, Jcoccino, Heaven Berry, Mona Pisa, how does one decide which flavour to go for? Why Nut get all if there’s a potluck party coming up? Prices for a box of 6 donuts is selling at S$9.90 and a box of 12 donuts goes for S$16.50.
Without much ado, we selected 3 flavours that appealed to us most – Alcapone, Cheese Cakelicious and the latest flavour, Dazzling Queen with strawberry chocolate and light strawberry cream filling topped with soft coconut flake sprinkles. How does the taste of that combination sound?? We just had to find out.
We also had the latest beverage at J.Coffee ~ Coconut Mocha Frappe to go with the afternoon tea-break. We found it just a wee bit too sweet and prefer the original Mocha Frappe.
Of course! We did not forget to remember our hubbies as well, so decided to bring home some donuts for their enjoyment. Shh….don’t tell them we ordered too much! >.<
J.COOL Yoghurt with fresh fruits and assortment of toppings available.
J.CO Donuts & Coffee cafe also has a bright but luckily not stuffy interior, thanks to the powerful aircon. Sis and I spent some moments digesting our lunch, sipping coffee and discussing about our schedules for our next holiday! She missed our Redang Island family dive/beach holiday due to work and is terribly sore about it. Hahaha!
Pepper Lunch is no stranger. The popular Japanese D-I-Y teppanyaki restaurant came to Singapore 10 years ago and has since became a highly popular place for casual steak dining. Pepper Lunch at Tampines 1 Mall is a half self-serve restaurant. We queued up for our table, decide what to eat, then place order and make payment at the cashier. Food was served at our table by the waitering staff.
This outlet serves a better and bigger portion of steak and hence the pricier version compared to outlets found at food courts.
Using a specially designed hotplate, Pepper Lunch allows diners total control over their meal by serving the meal in its most natural raw state. There is always an excitement seeing the reddish raw beef sizzling on the plate while I rush for a dash of my favourite Garlic Soy Sauce. I don’t like over-cooked beef!
Jumbo Beef Pepper Rice, served sizzling hot on teppan hotplate with the trusted combination of Japanese rice, crunchy corn, signature margarine and freshly ground pepper.
Presenting The Giant, available exclusively at Tampines 1 restaurant, comes with a decently big portion of tender, flavorful rib eye steak. Compared to the usual Pepper Steak (Striploin), The Giant is thicker and more succulent with some marbling between the muscle tissue.
This is a little too well done for my liking. My sis prefers her beef this way and commented that there is no “beef smell”. She actually had 2 servings. Hmmz…..but I thought that should be beef aroma and that’s what I wanted!! Luckily I already fished out my portion before it’s too well cooked. Hahahah!
SG50 Meal Promotion at Pepper Lunch ~ Seafood Pepper Rice with Chilli Crab Sauce served with real crab meat, big & juicy scallops and succulent prawns. This menu will be available some time in July just for the Jubilee celebrations!
The rice is a little wet as we poured all the sauce in. It would be perfect if some sauce were left aside and 2 more pieces of “mantou” were included for us to wipe up all the remaining sauce, the typical Singaporean way of eating chilli crab. Ya?
As expected, the interiors of Pepper Lunch is smokey. We felt like we had worked in a food court for the whole day despite being inside for only an hour plus. However, all this is compensated by the nice steak and fat scallops we had just moments before. It’s OK! Let me be smelly one more time! ;>
Milkcow 밀크카우 Organic Soft Serve
Known for its healthy and organic soft serve ice cream, Milkcow opened in Singapore earlier this year and has outlets spouting out islandwide in a matter of months. The hugely popular soft serve ice cream from South Korea is thick and full of creamy, milky taste. From what we found out, Milkcow’s premium soft serve is made with 100% organic milk sourced from Italian dairy farms, topped with a multitude of ingredients, from the signature organic honeycomb, nuts, and Oreo crumbles, to the more eclectic snow drop cotton candy with jelly beans and highly addictive Affogato for coffee lovers. Milkcow uses 100% natural honey sourced from honey farms in Sydney and Tasmania.
The staff recommended us the popular M2 Milk Honey, M3 Milky Cube and the very photogenic M5 Snow Drop.
We shared a cup of Cookies & Cream and had a topping of their signature Honey Cube. This is heaven and I can’t wait to dig in! But wait, I must feed my baby camera first! LOL!
Check out this topping of organic cotton candy with M&Ms. Pretty isn’t it? Hope to try this next! There are two new outlets at IMM and Jurong Point that has just opened recently. IMM may be too far for me. But I can’t find any reason to avoid Jurong Point now. 😦
As with all other Milkcow outlets, there are plenty of photo props for foodies to have fun with. Simply tag your Instagram photos with #milkcowsg and you can get your photos printed by the store staff.
Overall, we felt that the soft serve was sweet due to the wholesome honey dripping from the honey comb. I enjoyed sucking and chewing on the honey comb and couldn’t talk to my sis for a while because my mouth was busy. I love that Milkcow uses organic and natural products, which means kids-friendly too. I will definitely pop by Jurong Point outlet regularly to try other flavours. This is the perfect poison for the hot afternoon! Kill me now, pls!
Yamazaki Boulangerie Chaude
If you are a fan of cakes and bread, I’m sure you will be attracted to the mouth watering-range of international spread at Yamazaki Boulangerie Chaude! Yamazaki promises customers freshly baked breads daily with most of their ingredients and recipes from Japan. Check out its mouth watering range of international spread like English bread, French Bread, Japanese snack cakes and Belgium waffle. What’s there not to love about them?
We popped over to grab some buns and croissant for the next day and did not forget their famous chewy mochi buns. There are so many flavours to choose from, but our favs are Choco Mochi and Sesame Mochi. The Choco mochi is chocolatey without being overwhelmingly sweet and the Sesame mochi is addictively fragrant.
What fronted the bakery was a galore of strawberry heaven that seemed to be beckoning us. Look at that! Who could resist if not for us suffering from food coma already?
Yamazaki is running an on-going cash-rebate promotion from now til 31st Aug ’15. Patrons will get a stamp for every $6 spent. With 6 stamps, you can claim for a $2 discount off the next bill.
Yamazaki Boulangerie Chaude is located at #B1-14 Tampines 1 | Tel : +65-6260 5909 | Daily 10am-10pm
Awfully Chocolate makes simple dark chocolate cakes between layers of dark chocolate fudge. Rich in taste yet moist and light, their chocolate cake is a real cake. Not just dollops of mousse or cream.
I love that Awfully Chocolate cakes and delights are not overly sweet or heavy. Chocolate is something one could possibly never be tired of.
We are glad to bring home some trufflettes to share with everybody. Café Cacao Nib Trufflettes boasts of caramelised brittle of chocolate, coffee and cacao nibs. Hazelnut Trufflettes is made using dark chocolate smothered with hazelnut crocant. Lastly, Cacao Brittle Trufflettes is made using chocolate brittle and dark chocolate ganache. From what we know, all 3 flavours are exclusively available at Tampines 1 outlet.
I have been talking about the Kefir and it’s benefits recently. Kefir (keefir, or kephir), or alternatively called as milk kefir, or búlgaros, is a fermented milk drink made with kefir “grains” and has its origins in the north Caucasus Mountains. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep milk with kefir grains. My sis introduced me to this soft curd-like milk that resembles a little of yoghurt but much less firmer yet is not totally liquid. She has also taught me how to make it for the kids’ daily consumption. The taste of Kefir, in it’s original form, is so fantastic according to the kids. But frankly, it doesn’t taste bad at all. Yoghurt lovers will easily love it plain. So, since the kids don’t like plain food, I try ways and means to introduce it and try not to add sugar. I give them topping with dried fruits and nuts from Boxgreen Singapore (see here for my review on this subscription service for healthy snacks few months ago), mixed with jam, chocolate (as above picture), gula melaka sauce, fruits, basil seeds, etc etc. You get the idea. There’s endless possibility to healthy snacking. I will be sharing more on Kefir later so keep yourself subscribed to SAys! Happy Mums for updates 🙂
After a few hours of indulgence in great food and company, my sis straightaway took out her kefir to aid with digestion. What great opportunity to top the otherwise plain and white kefir with these sinfully awesome Awfully Chocolate Trufflettes?! Sorry, I can’t control myself from nibbling at the chocolates! Let me sin once more!
It didnt strike me that I never had a we-time with my sis before until this food trail. It’s always with family members. I so need to cherish this relationship and hope that when we are old, we will still keep each other company on makan dates and travel holidays just like what my mum and her sis has been doing all these years. We (together with our cousins) watched our mums bond since we were kids. I believe every pair of sisters would want to do the same!
We don’t look like sisters right? Well, I’m picked from the rubbish bin and she’s hatched from a stone! That’s why!
~ SAys! Shirley
With thanks to Tampines 1 and the following participating tenants, we had a really great time savouring all the yummy food and desserts.
* Yamazaki Boulangerie Chaude located at #B1-14 Tampines 1 | Tel : +65-6260 5909 | Daily 10am-10pm
About Tampines 1
Tampines 1 is an iconic retail landmark in the East and a haven for fashion-conscious, savvy shoppers with its exciting array of downtown & international fashion brands and trendy dining concepts. There are 5 levels and 2 basements of retail and F&B outlets in the mall with a rooftop wildlife-themed water playground which allows kids to have fun while learning more about wildlife conservation. The mall is not the biggest in Singapore, but definitely a great way to spend the weekend afternoon with your loved ones.