Hype or Hit: New food and drinks that got us talking in December

Are Chee Kei’s wonton noodles, KFC’s new bucket and Nayuki’s cheese teas worth the hype?

New food and drinks that got us talking in December
New food and drinks that got us talking in December
18 Dec 2018

New food and drinks that got us talking in December

Every month, along with the opening of new eateries comes a host of dishes to try and drinks to imbibe. Often, the hardest part is figuring out what’s really worth your limited time and stomach space. So with Christmas looming (read: more festive bingeing to ensue), we decided to keep things a little healthier this month. Sure, there’s still fast food (who can resist fried chicken?), fruit teas (a diet staple, heh), but also tons of fresh seafood and wholesome Cantonese nosh to warm the cockles of your heart.

Chee Kei
Chee Kei
18 Dec 2018

Chee Kei

Address: Changi Airport Terminal 2 (Departure area, near the Skytrain to T1)

Rejoice, fans of popular Hong Kong wonton noodle chain Chee Kei! You no longer have to fly to Hong Kong or Taiwan to get to the 24-year-old brand’s delicious dumplings. Chee Kei opened its doors in Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 2 end November and though it has only brought around 70 percent of its menu from Hong Kong, you can enjoy all its signature dishes as well as crowd pleasers like the Beef Tendon with Turnip. Here are our favourites:

Shrimp Wonton Noodles ($8.95)

Their signature Shrimp Wonton Noodles lives up to the hype. Each bowl contains five ping pong-sized wontons filled with fresh pork, shrimp and black fungus, accompanied by springy egg noodles (no alkaline taste, thankfully) and fragrant, umami broth. The dumplings are handmade from scratch here and we’re told they have to be made more than a day in advance in order to meet demand.

Hype or hit? Hit! If you’re a wonton noodle fan, this bowl of goodness will definitely leave you fully satisfied. It’s pricier than what you get in Hong Kong, but the portions are also bigger.

Chee Kei
Chee Kei
18 Dec 2018

Chee Kei

Braised Beef Tendon and Brisket with Rice ($13.95)

With large flavoursome chunks of beef brisket accompanied by huge pieces of soft turnip, it’s no wonder this is a crowd favourite in Chee Kei.

Hype or hit? Hit. Despite the thick cuts, the briskets were fork tender, with just the perfect amount of meat-to-fat ratio, and soaked up all the flavours from the gravy. Not as umami as its pork rib counterpart but still a great accompaniment to the rice.

 
Shredded Pork & Century Egg Congee ($9.95)

Silky-smooth and almost grain-less, the congee, which comes with a generous serving of well-seasoned lean pork and century egg, is hearty and flavourful. The secret is in the rice which is soaked in shallot oil and sesame oil before it is simmered.

Hype or hit? Comforting and truly hits the spot. Tasty on its own, but we couldn’t resist having it with the gravy from the beef tendon. 

Chee Kei
Chee Kei
18 Dec 2018

Chee Kei

Mango, Pomelo and Sago Sweet Soup ($6.95)

Unfortunately, their dessert menu is pretty limited with just three items and we weren’t left with much choice but to go with the Mango, Pomelo and Sago Sweet Soup, their only chilled offering available.

Hype or hit? A little pricey for the serving size, but the taste made up for it. The refreshing Mango, Pomelo and Sago dessert came packed with fresh and deliciously sweet mango cubes swimming in thick, creamy puree. Love the burst of tang from the pomelo pulp. 

Verdict: We love our Hong Kong-style wonton noodles and this definitely rates as one of the best we’ve tasted. Not sure if we’d journey all the way to the airport just for it though.

Mr Bean’s Vegetarian Bak Kwa Eggwich ($3.50)
Mr Bean’s Vegetarian Bak Kwa Eggwich ($3.50)
20 Dec 2018

Mr Bean’s Vegetarian Bak Kwa Eggwich ($3.50)

A new addition to Mr Bean’s family, the Vegetarian Bak Kwa Eggwich launched to some confusion earlier this week when some thought the soya bean chain was offering pork items. The bak kwa is actually vegetarian and consists mainly of textured wheat protein, textured soy protein and mushroom fibre. For $3.50, you get their classic pancake filled with sweet minced vegetarian bak kwa and topped with an egg. Add 70 cents for the combo set with black soya bean milk.

Available till Chinese New Year.

Hype or hit? It’s okay. The bak kwa tasted too sweet and rubbery, but the smokey flavour was on point. We were also a little disappointed that the egg wasn't runny. An interesting offering, but it isn’t going to win over bak kwa lovers.

KFC’s Dip, Dunk ‘N’ Share party bucket ($15.95)
KFC’s Dip, Dunk ‘N’ Share party bucket ($15.95)
18 Dec 2018

KFC’s Dip, Dunk ‘N’ Share party bucket ($15.95)

‘Tis the season for sharing and KFC has launched its new Dip, Dunk 'N Share party bucket just in time for the holidays. Each bucket comes with six pieces of Hot & Crispy tenders, 12 nuggets, medium sized fries, and condiments of sour cream & onion sauce, chipotle BBQ sauce and spicy BBQ pops – two tubs each so no fear of double-dippers.

Hype or hit? To be honest, this party pack is nothing without the spicy BBQ pops – crunchy little balls of flavour the size of sago that elevate the chicken tenders and nuggets to a whole new level. Spice lovers will enjoy the chipotle BBQ sauce but we recommend dipping the chicken in the tangy sour cream & onion sauce and then sprinkling the pops for a party in your mouth. The balls pack a spicy kick and were so amazing that we ate them as a snack! Hit.

The party bucket is available at all KFC outlets.

Nayuki
Nayuki
18 Dec 2018

Nayuki

Address: VivoCity, #01-207, 1 Harbourfront Walk, Singapore 098585

With a Japanese-sounding name and adorable Euro-style bakes, one might be confused about the origin of newly-opened tea and bakery café Nayuki. The brand is really Chinese and its success in the motherland has inspired a wave of tea bakeries emerging across China and other parts of the region. With more than 150 stores in China, Nayuki partnered with the BreadTalk Group to open its first overseas outlet at VivoCity on December 8. 

Supreme Cheese Strawberry ($8.30)

One of Nayuki’s signature drinks, the Supreme Cheese Strawberry featuring a pulpy blend of fresh strawberries and Jasmine tippy tea and topped with creamy cheese crown, is so popular that the brand invested in a strawberry farm in Yunan so they could meet demands and customers can have it year-round. Also available in mango and grape variants.

Hype or hit? To fully enjoy this drink, have it sans straw. The fragrant strawberry tea blend combines with the salty, velvety nai gai to create a burst of flavours in every sip. We also love how generous Nayuki is with the strawberries. Our drink came two-thirds filled with strawberry pulp, so it’s like literally drinking fruits. Hit.

Nayuki
Nayuki
18 Dec 2018

Nayuki

Supreme Orange ($6.50)

Not a fan of cheese drinks? Try Nayuki’s other bestseller, the Supreme Orange, which consists of two whole oranges, one freshly squeezed and the other sliced.

Hype or hit? Refreshing and not exceedingly sweet, the green lemon slices give the fragrant tea an added dimension.

Nayuki
Nayuki
18 Dec 2018

Nayuki

Strawberry Blush Mystique ($6.80)

We were quite excited to try the popular strawberry fresh cream bread, which is made with dragon fruit-infused dough, fresh strawberries and drizzled with strawberry chocolate. Also available in Dark Oreo ($5.80), which is filled with chocolate cream, dark cocoa powder and chocolate cream.

Hype or hit? We like the chewiness of the bread but weren’t impressed with the artificial taste that reminded us of strawberry Pocky. Hype.

A Farmer’s Harvest ($5.50)

Thankfully, the savoury breads fared better. Our favourite was A Farmer’s Harvest, a fluffy bread dotted with bacon, basil, olives, and diced cheese.

Hype or hit? Hit. This Mediterranean-style bread is so aromatic and delectable you’d want to devour the whole thing in one sitting.

Verdict: The market may be oversaturated with bubble tea, but Nayuki provides a tasty alternative to all the pearl and sugar-filled drinks dominating the other franchises right now. Plus, the breads aren’t half bad.

Summerlong
Summerlong
18 Dec 2018

Summerlong

​​​​​​​Address: 60 Robertson Quay, #01-04, Singapore 238252

In October, Mediterranean restaurant and bar Summerlong launched its latest dinner menu, focusing on the simplicity of food and letting their natural flavours shine, so expect lots of fresh seafood, loaded salads and killer cocktails.

Market Ceviche ($19)

We kicked off the dinner with the Peruvian-style Market Ceviche where chunks of raw barramundi (sometimes scallops are used) are marinated in a lemon, lime, harissa vinaigrette and served with a crunchy sesame cracker.

Hype or hit? Hit. The generous serving of raw fish was fresh and the zesty and slightly spicy marinade nicely balanced out the flavours. The toasty sesame cracker was a nice accompaniment to the tangy ceviche.

Summerlong
Summerlong
18 Dec 2018

Summerlong

Chilled Ponzu Clams ($18)

Another highlight is the Chilled Ponzu Clams. Australian clams are sautéed with green chilli, garlic, coriander and white wine before they are chilled overnight and tossed in an aromatic citrus dressing.

Hype or hit? So simple, yet so comforting and satisfying. Reminds us of izakaya-style sake steamed clams. Hit!

Whole Squid ($28)

We were pampered with a variety of barbecued seafood, from King Prawns ($48) to Whole Sea Bass ($48), but the biggest hit of all was the Whole Squid, which was dusted with Turkish spices, paprika, and grilled over charcoal. All barbecued seafood are served with your choice of four homemade sauces - Harissa, Black Pepper & Garlic Sauce, Sumac Yoghurt or Seaweed Butter.

Hype or hit? For all its simplicity, barbecued squid is easy to mess up. But this one was grilled to tender perfection – with a nice tan char on the outside. Extra points for the Harissa sauce which gave the dish a spicy punch.

Verdict: The seafood is fresh, flavourful, and portions generous. A must if you are a fan of beachy vibes and the taste of the sea.

McDonald’s Prawn Paste Cutlet ($2)
McDonald’s Prawn Paste Cutlet ($2)
18 Dec 2018

McDonald’s Prawn Paste Cutlet ($2)

For those of you who miss McDonald’s popular Ha Cheong Gai offerings… it’s back, albeit in the form of a hand-sized panko-crumbed Prawn Paste Cutlet served no-frills in a bag like their hash browns. And the best part is, it’s only $2!

Hype or hit? The golden brown cutlet not only looked and smelled promising, but it also tasted pretty good too. Deliciously crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, though the flavour of the fermented prawn paste was not as strong as we’d like. They could also go easy on the salt and fat - we found ourselves removing the blobby chicken skin from under the batter. Not the most addictive but it makes for a great and affordable alternative when we don’t have access to our favourite Taiwanese chicken cutlets.

Tiger Radler Pomelo ($9.90 for a 6-pack)
Tiger Radler Pomelo ($9.90 for a 6-pack)
18 Dec 2018

Tiger Radler Pomelo ($9.90 for a 6-pack)

Tiger Beer has introduced a new citrusy flavour to its Radler collection just in time for the festive season. Made with a refreshing blend of the iconic lager and the natural citrus flavours of pomelo, this is a tasty alternative to sparkling wine, champagne, and cocktails.

Hype or hit? We think Tiger Beer hit the jackpot with the limited edition Pomelo Radler. Unlike some of its other variants that taste a tad artificial, the Pomelo is refreshing with a light tinge of zesty pomelo flavour. Best enjoyed with a slice of lemon and crushed mint leaves. Available at all major supermarkets and select e-retailers.

Report a problem