Singapore: Lao San Kway Chup

Fourth time lucky.We went to Lao San Kway Chup in Ang Mo Kio unsuccessfully THRICE. They were either sold out and closing, or just closed. ARGHS. It got me really frustrated. By the third time, I was saying to the Hubbs, “I’m giving up!”

But of course, we didn’t. And thank goodness we didn’t.

Lao San Kway Chup is now officially my favourite kway chup place.
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Singapore: Overdoughs, a bakery/deli by Artichoke

Overdoughs is Artichoke’s sister bakery, barely two weeks old, just across the street at Waterloo centre. I usually prefer to let these places work out teething issues and early kinks before I pop by for a visit. But I was in the area and had seen a photo on its Facebook page of a passionfruit curd tart and immediately decided what-the-heck, time and tarts wait for no man.
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A small number of products like sesame cream paste, cous cous and Turkish teas are also stocked at Overdoughs

Small, casual and super laid back, Overdoughs has an open kitchen concept. The kitchen, which takes up almost half of the floor space, has no large glass windows separating it from the diners, just a counter where I imagine more baked goods would be on display at lunch. The communal dining concept continues from Artichoke with a large wooden table with high benches for diners to gather around.

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The main counter displays most of the baked goods. Some of them come with samples to help your decision.

The Middle-Eastern influenced baked goods are SGD5 each or SGD18 for 4. We ordered the passionfruit orange blossom tart and the date and stewed apple cake. There was a variety of other sweets like baklava, kunefe, brownies and sticky buns for sale.

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I really enjoyed the passionfruit curd tart which had an added crunch from a crust made of cornflakes. Maybe the meringue and curd ratio could have been tweaked in favor of the latter, and the tart could have been chilled, but overall this was one really yummy tart. Anyone knows where else I can find passionfruit curd tarts other than at Overdoughs and Carpenter and Cook?

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We have never had a dates and stewed apple cake with coconut streusel so this was one interesting cake which both Mum and I liked. The spiced cake is dense, moist and not too sweet. I can imagine it would be lovely with a warm cup of tea.

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Overdoughs also offers a simple lunch of pita bread and your choice of three (SGD10), I’ll be back to try it proper when the coffee machine arrives next week.

Overdoughs
261 Waterloo Street
#01-24, S(180261)
Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm
Nearest MRT: Bras Basah

– S

Singapore: Cherry Garden 樱桃园, Mandarin Oriental Hotel

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Cherry Garden has been on my save-it-for-a-special-occasion list of restaurants for the longest time. In particular, I was really enticed by the ala carte dim sum buffet that many bloggers have written about. The Hubbs and myself finally decided that it would be a befitting place to celebrate our wedding anniversary this year. Cherry Garden is located within the Mandarin Oriental Hotel next to Marina Square in Singapore. Reservations are necessary and for the dim sum buffet lunch, you need to pick from two time slots 11am-1pm and 1-3pm. We took the former slot and arrived promptly, sans-breakfast for good reason.

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Overall, we had a very pleasant meal accompanied by great service, in a comfy, peaceful setting. There were definitely more than a couple of hits. We left remembering the Kurobuta char siew bao, the dark chocolate and custard bao, prawn, mango and apple netted rolls, crystal dumplings with mushrooms and zucchini, beef brisket, wasabi aioli prawns, pan-fried XO beef slices and cream of mango with lime sorbet. The food porn follows…

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Kurobuta Char Siew Bao
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Wasabi-aioli Prawns with Fresh Mango and Fish Roe

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Prawn, Mango and Apple Rolls. The Prawn+Mango/Banana Combi never fails me at dim sum joints

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Beef Brisket

One of the things I don’t like about some dim sum joints is how their wrappers are so thick that you end up tasting more of the skin than the filling. Cherry Garden’s wrappers were nothing like that. In fact, I thought the thin, translucent and springy wrappers were especially outstanding.

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Decadent dumplings: Especially liked the Crystal Dumplings with Mushrooms and Zucchini with a touch of truffle oil in the bottom right hand corner

While there wasn’t the classic Lau Sha Bao (salted egg yolk custard buns), Cherry Garden had their own creative version which was a Dark Chocolate and Custard bao. The Hubbs and I really enjoyed this and wondered if it would have been even better if there was a wee bit of sea salt in the dark chocolate.

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A cheeky photo of the Dark Chocolate and Custard Bao

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Check out the insides: Dark chocolate and custard separated by a thin bao skin

We ate all the way from 11am to 1pm and, not quite sure what possessed us, but we actually ate more than 30 dishes and dimsum. While we thoroughly enjoyed the meal, I did wish Cherry Garden had some of my favourites on the menu, like Ham Sui Gok (咸水角, fried crescent dumplings), Cheong Fun (rice noodle rolls) and the original Lau Sha Bao (salted egg yolk custard bun).

I must warn you that Cherry Garden does keep to the indicated timeslots, so I would recommend you go ahead and order what you want as soon as you know it. At 12.45pm, we were asked to give our last orders and by 1pm, we were politely asked to settle the bill as they were getting ready for the second seating.

Cherry Garden 樱桃园
Mandarin Gardens
5 Raffles Avenue, 5th floor
Opening Hours
Mon–Sat: 12pm–2.30pm, 6.30pm–10.30pm
Sun: 11am–2.30pm, 6.30pm–10.30pm

-S