Monday, February 16, 2015

Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro ~ One KM Mall

A spontaneous company lunch trip where we suggest this latest branch of Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro at the newly opened One KM Mall.

Layout is spacious and it was quiet on weekday lunch.

2 of us opted for the lunch set which includes the soup of the day, Panbiff (home-made beef patties with mashed potato & lingonberry jam) as their mains and dessert of the day.

Svensa crepes

My female boss's order. She wanted to try their crepes and she settled for a hot, savoury one. Grilla kyckling med ost, tomate och krasse, which translates to: 'Grilled chicken with cheese, sesame mayo and tomatoes, topped with alfalfa'.

The crepe on its own is pretty good actually. Crispy outside, soft inside and the savoury filling is really tasty! The other types of hot crepes are roast beef and a vegan version of mushroom with leek and cheese.

Chilled crepes come with seafood fillings like smoked salmon or skagen (shrimps in dill & mayo topped with roe). Sounds good, doesn't it?

Pytt i Panna

Sauteed diced beef, potatoes and onions and topped with a sunny-side-up egg and pickled red beet on the side.

This dish is pretty simple, yet flavourful. But the beef cubes were a tad overcooked, making them slightly dry.

Fiskarens pasta combo med hummer

Another colleague's choice of 'Fisherman's pasta combo with lobster'. Creamy pasta with abundant seafood, including a lobster. Who can resist?

This version is a large portion meant for (at least) 2 persons. There's a single portion version, sans lobster though.


I've always used this name in the context of  'a large mixture of many different things' but this is the first time that I actually encountered a REAL smorgasbord.

And Wow, was that impressive!

Fika's version of smorgasbord include:

Cold items on right (from top) - side salad, crisp rye bread & cheese, turkey ham, Surströmming (pickled herring), skagen and smoked salmon w/ capers.

Hot items on left (from top) - Swedish meatballs w/ lingonberry jam, grilled chicken w/ creamy whole grain mustard sauce, Black Angus sirloin served on a bed of mash and asparagus wrapped w/ bacon and homemade cream sauce.

This really is an awesome way to sample and share their food. Everyone loved the meatballs (wayyy better than Ikea, they say). Grilled chicken was good but the beef was also a tad over-cooked (again).

I personally love the cold portion, especially the pickled herring. It really is an acquired taste because it's pretty fishy (being pickled raw fish and all).

All in all, it's been a satisfying, if not hearty lunch. Will definitely come back for more. This time, I'm gunning for them meatballs!

Fika Swedish Cafe & Bistro
11 Tanjong Katong Road
One KM Mall

Tel: 65  6702 2456
Their website HERE.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Dapur Penyet @ City Plaza

My colleagues and I now have another favourite Ayam Penyet place for lunch. We used to troop down to Ayam Penyet Ria at Bedok Point but we've stopped since they moved to Bedok Mall.

We were planning to have some fried chicken at Arnold's in City Plaza one day, when we saw a poster in the lift, advertising this new restaurant called Dapur Penyet. There were pictures of food items in their menu and needless to say, we were taken in.

Below are a compilation of pictures from our many trips there; from poor quality images to better ones (after I changed phones).

Counter & menuboard

I love it when restaurants have pictures of their food on the menu boards. Sometimes, you just need to see the pictures to decide what to order. Or you want to know how some dishes actually look like. Especially when you're fickle.


Bright, spacious and contemporary.


The ever popular 'Soda Gembira' (Happy soda)-made with Strawberry syrup+condensed milk+carbonated drink (eg. Sprite/7up).

I would advise getting something milky to help ease the spicy heat that might have built-up at the end of the meal.

3-Layer Tea

I got adventurous and tried this new drink on the menu. It didn't cross my mind that this is like tea latte sweetened with… palm sugar (gula melaka).

…It really is an acquired taste.

Keropok & condiments

A bit of warning here: The sambal terasi (prawn-paste chilli) is SPICY…! The kind that makes you hiss and your tongue to sizzle kind of spicy. Apparently, they stick to the original recipe and the folks in Indonesia sure like it hot. In fact, almost all the ingredients are imported from the motherland.

The black sauce in the middle is the dark soy sauce (the thick, sticky kind). Something I like to mix with the sambal terasi because it adds flavour and helps reduce the heat.

The black sauce with things floating in it, is a menace. It's just so fun to dip the keropok in it because they go so well together. But the thing is, those things floating on the surface are actually chilli seeds. And the heat builds up over time when you least expect it; given the deceptively sweet taste of the sauce. Soon after… BUUURRRNNNNN…!

Sup Buntut

Oxtail soup. My male colleague's favourite order. Pretty flavourful with fall-off-the-bone tender meat.

The thing about this place is that they serve a small potion of soup with every order of mains so it's not really essential to order a separate bowl of soup (unlike other restaurants).

Sate Ayam

Finally found another place selling Indonesian-style sate! I miss the ones that I used to get from Waroeng Penyet.

Juicy, skewered chicken meat doused with spicy peanut sauce, then drizzled with dark/sweet soy sauce and sprinkled with fried shallots. If only they use mutton (goat), just like in Indonesia. Shiiiok!

Bakso Penyet

A side order to share. This usually comes with plain rice but we request to omit it.

Ayam Penyet

My colleague, the picky eater; he loves their version. And unlike the usually suspects of tahu-tempe-kangkong-kobis for the sides, here there are 2 generously-sized tofu, a slice of cucumber and blanched cabbage.

I read an ARTICLE (in Malay) on Berita Harian and it was said that the chicken is boiled with spices and tumeric for 2 hours before being deep-fried. Guess that explains why the flavours permeate into the meat so well.

Ayam Sambal Hijau

Fried chicken with green chilli. This and another main- Ayam Balado were dishes that hail from Padang region, in Sumatera. The balado chilli has a salty-tangy flavour and is something common in the Minang cuisine.


Ayam Bakar

This grilled chicken dish has its origins in Solo, Central Java. Tender grilled chicken that has soaked up the sweet and savoury flavours of the sauce.

I guess the chicken has been marinated prior to grilling?

Ikan Bakar

The fish tasted like it's been soaked in the same sauce as the chicken above. I don't know how long it's been marinated but the pomfret taste almost like it's been… pickled.

Ikan Penyet

The fried pomfret's meat also has some flavour too. Maybe it's also been boiled or marinated?

I've also tried their beef options; both the Empal Penyet and Empal Bakar. MAybe I'm someone who loves her red meat but these 2 are my favourite dishes here. The sauce goes REALLY well with the beef.

Next stop: The Iga Bakar (grilled beef ribs).

Sample of their menu (for M'sian market, but it's similar)

Dapur Penyet
810 Geylang Road,
#01-43 City Plaza
Singapore 409286

Other locations are at: 
Baghdad Street, Clementi Mall, Tiong Bahru Plaza, Lot1, City Square dan Hospital Universiti Nasional (NUH) New Medical Wing

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Garuda Padang Restaurant (Katong)

A quick update on one of our quick company lunches.

It was a colleague's birthday and Le Boss was somehow craving for Nasi Padang so the wife came upon this grand idea of bringing all of us along just so that we can try many dishes at one go.

She's been aiming to try out the food here because she always noticed it whenever she drive by Katong area. We were all wondering if this will be similar to the high-end version (collaboration with Tung Lok group?) at Vivo City.

As soon as we come upon the entrance we looked at one another and realised that, nahh… maybe not. This place is more down-to-earth, like a typical Nasi Padang shop at Arab Street.

All the dishes are presented in large platters behind the glass display. We were all swooning over the various dishes and my lady boss was like, "Okay, let's do it this way. Which are the dishes that you do NOT want?"

Haha, she was so game to try almost everything so we opt out those typical dishes like the Telur Balado (boiled eggs in balado chilli) etc.


I personally am VERY curious because I'm pretty used to eating real Padang fare because my Father-in-law is a Minang (ethnic of folks in Padang) and of course he loves to eat the cuisine of his ethnicity. My Mum-in-Law (MIL) even learnt how to cook their authentic dishes from her own MIL. So things like sambal balado, dengdeng goreng, kalio/gulai and rendang are often in the menu at home.

And from the looks of it, the dishes here seem like the real deal. I am sick and tired of places claiming to be selling Nasi 'Padang' and yet, they sell stuff like 'Sambal Goreng', "Urap' and even 'Asam Pedas'. Those dishes are a mish-mash of Padang, Javanese and even Malay cuisine! They might as well claim to serve Nasi 'Campur' ('mix' rice) instead of Nasi Padang.

The spread

From top-left: Lemak pucuk ubi (tapioca shoots in creamy coconut gravy), telur dadar (omelette), gulai kambing (mutton stew), acar (pickled veggies), sambal udang-petai (prawns & stink beans in chilli), sapi ijo (beef w/ green chilli), ayam balado ijo (fried chicken with green balado chilli), sotong hitam (squid in ink gravy), sambal balado ijo/merah, gulai ayam (chicken in coconut gravy), rendang sapi, terong balado, gulai sayur nangka (lodeh).

You might wonder why we ordered the omelette when it's such a simple dish? Well, NOT the Padang version. Their omelette has things like scallions, dessicated coconut and rice flour that makes it crispy like fritters!

Sapi ijo - one of my fave dish

All their dishes get my thumbs up! And the beef rendang's dark appearance may be a turn-off for some but that actually means that it's been simmering for a long time over low heat so it's really full of flavour (though a bit tough).

Doesn't look like much because we opt-out 3-4 dishes in the display. My boss later add-on orders for the more popular dishes. But these are for only 6 pax, mind you (yes, ours is a small company).

I went to the washroom at the back of the restaurant and realised that their kitchen staff are truly Indonesians. From Padang, no less.

Restoran Garuda (Authentic Indonesia Nasi Padang cuisine)
220 East Coast Road
Singapore 428917

Tel: 6441 0220