Hype or Hit: New foods that got us talking in August

Pizza Hut's Cheesy 7 Pizza, Ben & Jerry's Pint Slices, and more exciting foods we tried this month

Hype or hit: New foods that got us talking in August
Hype or hit: New foods that got us talking in August
27 Aug 2018

Hype or hit: New foods that got us talking in August

In between Pizza Hut's 7-cheese pizza, Chew Chor Meng and Dennis Chew's new porridge stall, and Ben & Jerry's Pint Slices, it has been an eclectic and exciting month for food. Here's what we tried: 

Pizza Hut’s Cheesy 7 Pizza ($23.90 for a regular)
Pizza Hut’s Cheesy 7 Pizza ($23.90 for a regular)
27 Aug 2018

Pizza Hut’s Cheesy 7 Pizza ($23.90 for a regular)

There’s nothing we love more on pizza than cheese, so we didn’t need to taste Pizza Hut’s Cheesy 7, which is basically cheese x7, to know that it is pure genius. Made with a cheesy blend of sharp cheddar, aromatic parmesan, edam, gouda, nutty emmental, mozzarella, and cream cheese, and topped with chicken pepperoni, the result is a truly indulgent and magical combination. It’s rich, stretchy, oozy, and awesome. Also noteworthy is the crust, though thicker than what we’d like, but still fluffy and crispy, and topped to the edge with cheese, of course.

Hype or hit? HIT! Think we died and went to cheese heaven.

The Cheesy 7 is also available in Original and Hawaiian variants till Sep 12. Meaty Medley Trio will be launched on Sep 13.

McDonald’s Rendang Sedap Angus Burger ($6.95)
McDonald’s Rendang Sedap Angus Burger ($6.95)
27 Aug 2018

McDonald’s Rendang Sedap Angus Burger ($6.95)

To satisfy Singaporeans’ appetite for local-inspired offerings, McDonald’s rolled out the Rendang Sedap Angus Burger on National Day. We gave it a try to see if it lived up to its name.

The moment we unwrapped the burger, we were greeted by the aroma of spices. Drenched in a spicy rich sauce made from a blend of coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime, onion, garlic and spices, and topped with a bed of fresh and caramelised onions, the burger was bursting with complex flavours with each bite. It’s fragrant, hearty, with a nice tangy kick from the kaffir lime, but it doesn’t taste like rendang, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hey, at least it wasn’t crispy.

Hype or hit? It’s not bad. It tastes more like richly spiced up beef satay than your mak cik’s beef rendang. Oh and try to ease up on the onions. We felt like we had to gargle our mouths post burger.

Ben & Jerry’s Pint Slices
Ben & Jerry’s Pint Slices
27 Aug 2018

Ben & Jerry’s Pint Slices

As if Ben & Jerry’s weren’t addictive enough, two of their most popular flavours now come in easy-to-eat Pint Slices. Think of it as a more environmentally-friendly version of a popsicle. Or as a cookie-less version of an ice cream sandwich. Either way, we love how the Pint Slices save us the trouble of doing  the dishes.

Hype or hit: Hit! Just try not to eat too many in one sitting.

$13.90 for a pack of three, available in two flavours (Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough) from September 1.

TOKIDON
TOKIDON
27 Aug 2018

TOKIDON

Address: 16 Raffles Quay, Hong Leong Building #B1-33, Singapore 048581

The sister outlet of sake gastrobar Kabuke, fast-casual dining concept TOKIDON serves up gourmet beef bowls, sake and bar vibes the flagship is known for, but at more affordable prices. If you are not feeling like rice, swap it out for cha soba and salad.


Truffle Wagyu Don ($23.90)

The Truffle Waguy Don comes beautifully assembled with glistening pinkish slices of marbled striploin, wobbly onsen egg and cured kelp on a bed of Japanese rice, and drizzled with a house blend of truffle soy sauce. Give the bowl a good mix so you get a taste of truffle and egg with every bite.

Hype or hit? Hit. Although the beef was topped with sauce, it was flavourful enough to savour on its own and melts in your mouth. Our dining companion pointed out that they could be more generous with the truffle sauce, but we like that it wasn’t too overpowering.


Wagyu Sukiyaki Don ($17.90)  

Instead of striploin, you get thin slices of medium rare wagyu short plate, meiji mushrooms, sautéed onions, mixed with a house blend sukiyaki sauce. If you are feeling indulgent, top up $11 for a slab of buttery foie gras.

Hype or hit? Hit. The beef slices, which come with light pockets of fat, are gorgeously seared and get elevated by a hint of sweetness from the sauce. Wash it all down with their specially curated selection of sake.

TOKIDON
TOKIDON
27 Aug 2018

TOKIDON

Salmon Cha Soba ($16.90)

For non-beef lovers, there’s Salmon Cha Soba, which features a teriyaki glazed, sashimi-grade salmon and ikura over a bed of soba, and for some light bites, we highly recommend the Tori Karaage skewer ($1.90), super tender and juicy chunks of fried chicken that went amazingly well with yuzu mayo.

Hype or hit? While the karaage, with its ultra-light batter, was one of the best we’ve ever tried, the Salmon Cha Soba was all right. Perhaps we were too bowled over by the gyudon that this didn’t really appeal to us.

Verdict: The selection may be limited but the emphasis here is on quality, and that, we think, is top-drawer. A must if you are a fan of gyudon.

The Famous Zhou
The Famous Zhou
27 Aug 2018

The Famous Zhou

Address: Tian Tian Lai Coffeeshop, 421 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Singapore 560421

Actors Chew Chor Meng and Dennis Chew are slowly building up their food empire one hawker stall at a time. The latest addition to the family is The Famous Zhou which serves up good old-fashioned bowls of thick Cantonese-style congee so well cooked until the rice almost disappears into the broth. Best eaten with a raw egg dropped in.

Mermaid Chok ($5)

Cooked with fresh seafood such as scallops, sliced fish, and prawns, the porridge may look unassuming but it tastes like home. The secret lies in the congee base which is prepared daily at 5am using chicken and pork bones as well as vegetables, and then stirred and left to simmer with the rice for hours. 

Hype or hit? Hit. It’s been a long time since we had such a hearty bowl of porridge. It was umami, velvety-smooth, with the freshness of the seafood shining through. Our only complaint is the dough fritter which was a little too hard and dense.

Photo: The Famous Zhou

The Famous Zhou
The Famous Zhou
27 Aug 2018

The Famous Zhou

You Are So Beautiful Chok ($12.80)

If you are feeling extravagant, get the You Are So Beautiful Chok, which is a zhng-ed up Mermaid Chok, with cuttlefish, a small abalone, and collagen powder on a spoon.

Hype or hit? Hit. We love our seafood so the more the merrier. The chewy, briny abalone gives the chok an added dimension, though we find the collagen a tad gimmicky.

Verdict: Delish and affordable, the congee are perfect comfort food for the soul. Just not on a hot afternoon.

KFC’s Cheesy Chicken Ham Twister ($4)
KFC’s Cheesy Chicken Ham Twister ($4)
27 Aug 2018

KFC’s Cheesy Chicken Ham Twister ($4)

Earlier this month, KFC introduced a new breakfast item featuring the winning combination of scrambled eggs, chicken ham, and jalapeno cheese sauce stuffed into a toasty tortilla for easier eating on the go.

Hype or hit? We like that the cheese sauce gives the wrap a little zing and kudos for getting the scrambled eggs fluffy and slightly runny, but the wrap got a bit too jelak for us towards the end.

Available during breakfast hours only.

Egg Stop
Egg Stop
27 Aug 2018

Egg Stop

Address: 60 Paya Lebar Road, Paya Lebar Square, #01-62 Singapore 409051

Not to be confused with Korea’s Egg Drop, Egg Stop offers the Korean breakfast sandwich du jour in a far-flung aisle of Paya Lebar Square. The menu offers six sandwiches (with prices ranging between $4.60 - $7.40 a la carte), which include the Instagrammable Beef Teriyaki and the obligatory Avocado & Egg sandwich. Here’s what we tried:

Beef Teriyaki ($7.40)

While the beef is certainly succulent, the drippiness can be a little scary if you’re wearing a white shirt – and it doesn’t help that you need to mix it with a raw egg yolk. The sandwich itself didn’t taste bad per se, but the greasiness and the difficulty of eating it neatly – on top of the $7.40 price tag – would deter us from ordering this again.

Hype or hit: Hype. Order it once, post a photo on Instagram, and you’ll probably be fine with not ordering this again.

Egg Stop
Egg Stop
27 Aug 2018

Egg Stop

Egg Stop Signature ($4.60)

Containing scrambled eggs, caramelised onions, fresh cream, and the Egg Stop signature sauce, this sandwich is the simplest item on the menu. As much as we wanted to dismiss this as something we could make at home,  we’ve got to admit that it was the complete package: filling, affordable, and a nice combination of savoury and sweet.

Hype or hit: Hit! Not a bad choice if you woke up too late to scramble your own eggs.

Verdict: We’ve neglected to mention what we liked most about Egg Stop: the fluffy brioche toasts, which were just the right consistency, and managed to resist getting soggy despite the abundance of fillings. While we weren’t exactly blown away by the sandwich shack’s offerings, we can’t say they’re a bad choice when you need to grab breakfast on the go.

Vatos Urban Tacos
Vatos Urban Tacos
27 Aug 2018

Vatos Urban Tacos

Address: 36 Beach Road, South Beach, Singapore 189766

Come September, the Korean-Mexican fusion restaurant, which opened in Singapore three years ago, will unveil a series of new items: Mexican Caesar Salad with Grilled Chipotle Prawn, Chicken Mole Enchiladas, and the oh-so-indulgent Kimchi Galbi Grilled Cheese are just a few of the items that set our tongues on fire (and made our mouths water) when we tried them earlier this month.

Chicken Mole Enchiladas

Vatos’ take on the classic Mexican dish includes a beloved Korean staple: gojuchang, a red, sticky, Korean chilli paste that gives the chocolately mole sauce an unexpected punch. The sauce is coated over four shredded chicken and cheese enchiladas, and sprinkled with cotija cheese and a bit of cilantro.

Hype or hit: Hit. Any doubts we had about the fusion of flavours disappeared once we dug into the dish, which is as rich as it is tasty.

Chargrilled Chicken Fajita Platter
We’ve had fajitas before, but not like this – the chicken dripping with flavour, yet without being overly greasy, and the heap of fajita veggies sizzling beneath. The plate comes with black beans, Mexican rice, guacamole, pico de gallo, cilantro lime cream, Vatos hot sauce (derived from Thai chili peppers), and pillowy flour tortillas. You can also order it with ribeye steak instead of chicken if you’re more into red meat.

Hype or hit: Hit! We love how the tortillas managed to stay intact even though we overstuffed our fajitas.

Vatos Urban Tacos
Vatos Urban Tacos
27 Aug 2018

Vatos Urban Tacos

Kimchi Galbi Grilled Cheese
Vatos Urban Tacos gets all of its kimchi from Korea, meaning that even though they serve Korean food with a twist, it all tastes super legit. This colossal grilled cheese sandwich, which features savoury sautéed kimchi, marinated Galbi short rib, and Mexican cheese between two thick slices of sourdourgh bread, was love at first bite.

Hype or hit: Hit. But unless you’re built like an American football player, this sandwich is best shared among friends – we could barely finish even half of it.

Verdict: We'll be back for sure. The unexpected camaraderie of flavours is not only delicious, but heartwarming when you consider that the Korean-Mexican genre of food originated in shared immigrant communities in the United States. 

Prices pending. All items available from September 1.

The Butcher's Wife
The Butcher's Wife
27 Aug 2018

The Butcher's Wife

Address: 19 Yong Siak Street, Singapore 168650

Gone is Open Door Policy and in its place is The Butcher’s Wife which has been making waves in the hipster enclave of Tiong Bahru. The brainchild of Founder and CEO of Spa Esprit Group, Cynthia Chua, the quaint resto which serves up modern European menu that is 100 per cent gluten-free, was buzzing when we visited on a weekday evening. Here are a few hyped-about things we tried:

Kale & Gorgonzola “Buñuelos” ($14)

Kale what, you say? In simple words, these are deep-fried golden brown balls of kale and gorgonzola cheese that taste like little bites of heaven.

Hype or hit? ? Hit. Delightfully crispy, creamy and aromatic, the fritters crumble easily, but who cares? They are da bomb. We recommend dipping it in Italian blue cheese sauce for an even richer taste.


The Butcher’s Wife
The Butcher’s Wife
27 Aug 2018

The Butcher’s Wife

Chestnuts Papardelle ($29)

On the outside, this looks just like any other pasta dish but these gluten-free ribbons are actually made from chestnut. Not that you can tell the difference taste-wise, especially when it is served with the rich fork-tender osso buco, which has been braised for eight hours.

Hype or hit? Hearty and comforting, this was the clear winner at our table. Definitely worth the carbs. Hit!

Grilled Octopus ($28)

Another noteworthy dish is the octopus which is simply marinated in bayleaf and garlic before being grilled to perfection.

Hype or hit? While the morsels of tentacles were tender, chewy and perfectly charred, the portion was a little underwhelming for the price. Mind you, this is supposed to be a main.

Verdict: The Butcher’s Wife gives gluten-free food a good name with its delicious and clean fare. And judging by the turnout, we’re not the only ones that think so.


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