Little Diner @ Bukit Timah

Little Diner sits right almost in the middle of a bunch of shophouses along Bukit Timah Road. One of my colleagues have been telling me about the food, so one fine day, we all headed there for lunch! It’s not difficult to miss as it is very near the Sixth Avenue Station (DT7). Once you’re out of the station, another 2 minutes walk and you will be at the restaurant.

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Though not a very spacious restaurant, dim lights, wooden tables and chairs, and hearty conversations over drinks make it cozy.

They have a Weekday Set Lunch Menu which costs S$22.5++  per person. This includes one starter (from a choice of 5), one main (from a choice of 6), and either tea or coffee. For dessert lovers, top up an additional S$4++ and choose any dessert from their Main Menu!

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Rosario’s Fried Risotto Balls: Mozzarella Centre, Tomato Coulis, Basil Pesto, and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

For starters, I had the chance to try their Risotto Balls. Crispy on the outside, and a melty mozzarella on the inside. It is served with tomato coulis and a basil pesto. (FYI: A coulis is a thick sauce made from puréed and strained vegetables, or fruits.) You can’t go wrong when basil and tomato sauce are paired together, but I felt that the tomato sauce was a little on the sweet side and I would personally prefer it to be more acidic.

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Rustic Lamb Ragu: Shredded Lamb Shank in a Rich Marinara Sauce, Tagliatelle, Drizzled with Basil Oil and grated Parmesan cheese.

Instead of going for their set lunch, I was rather interested in one of the dishes on their main menu: Rustic Lamb Ragu. Lamb shank is cooked in a Marinara sauce for possibly hours resulting in meat so tender that it can be pulled apart very easily. One of my biggest pet peeves is overcooked pasta – soggy, soft, unappetizing. But Little Diner tosses the ragu sauce with al dente Tagliatelle, ends it by drizzling with basil oil and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. A pleasure in every bite.

For desserts, we went all out and chose four. Apologies for the absence of dessert photos as our mouths were faster than our phones. Homemade Apple Crumble was not too bad, but we felt that more crumble could be added to give a better combination of textures. Banana & Nutella Quesadilla was an interesting concept, but I would have preferred the use of crêpes as it is softer and it is frequently used in desserts. Chocolate Pot De Crème, a chocolate mousse top with whipped cream, was light which made it better and easier for us to finish. Chocolate Lava Cake was pretty much the star, with a well-cooked exterior and a molten interior, everything you wish for in a lava cake.

It’s worth a trip down for a nice lunch and transport isn’t too difficult! If not, TGIF can be spent over good food and a couple of drinks too!

Address:
789 Bukit Timah Rd,
Singapore 269763

Nearest MRT:
Sixth Avenue Station (DT7)
Take Exit A.

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30AM – 3:30PM, 6 – 10:00PM
Friday: 11:30AM – 3:30PM, 6 – 10:30PM
Saturday: 11AM – 3:30PM, 6 – 10:30PM
Sunday: 11AM – 3:30PM, 6 – 10PM
Closed on Mondays.

Lean Bento

Most of the people I know are into healthy eating these days, me included. (Well, ONCE IN A WHILE.) Healthy food need not be boring, tasteless and lack of variety. It can be done well, if you set your heart to it! And I think Lean Bento’s doing a pretty good job!

Lean Bento’s located in a nice spot on Holland Drive, and I don’t think you will miss this shop as it has got a pretty big sign. It is also very near Holland Drive Market and Food Centre too!

(Check out their Facebook page or their Instagram page!)

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It’s not too big as you can see from the photos, but it is still cozy. High tables on the right, normal tables on the left. If you’re coming in big groups, do take note that you might be separated.

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Once you’re in the restaurant, the menu is there in full view, ranging from breakfast, to lunch & dinner, and finally desserts.

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Water, serviettes, and cutlery are available on both sides of the restaurant so you don’t have to go back to the same spot repeatedly.

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We were there for dinner so we had quite a lot of choices, from their normal sized bento to their mega-sized ones, also known as “Mega Hero Bento”. I decided on making my own bento set with chilli chicken, sushi multigrain rice, with sides of scrambled eggs, corn, and a salad drizzled with a honey miso sauce.

I love how the rice is cooked perfectly and it is neither soggy nor undercooked. If I’m not wrong, they used chicken thighs which are more tender and cooks better as compared to chicken breast, which will become dry and hard once you overcook it. It was seasoned well, but I believe they could go easier on the salt. Scrambled eggs was quite creamy, and personally I would have preferred the really creamy ones with only bits of cooked egg. Nonetheless, it is not very common to see cafes paying attention to a simple but difficult-to-get-right dish such as scrambled eggs.

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If you’re into healthy eating, or looking for vegan/vegetarian options, Lean Bento has it!

Address:
43 Holland Drive, #01-49, 270043

Nearest MRT:
Buona Vista Station (EW21/CC22)

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 10AM – 9PM
Sat – Sun: 10AM – 6PM

 

South Union Park

Hidden in the residential areas about a 7 minute walk from Kembangan MRT station, you’ll find situated in a corner a nice little bistro that sits about 50+ people comfortably. I learnt from Danielfooddiary that they opened in March last year and how the chefs were trained in fine-dining techniques and modified their dishes for a casual dining experience.

Scotch eggs are commonly part of picnic menus over in the United Kingdom and the sausage meat is normally seasoned with herbs such as sage (sage+pork are great buddies), thyme and parsley. Over here at South Union Park, it had an oriental feel to it because there were hints of lemongrass and ginger which were pretty new to me but still tasted great! (And the eggs were cooked well, with a runny centre!)

This would definitely be a recommended dish – Squid Ink Risotto ($26). Risotto cooked al dente, topped with generous portions of well-cooked squid, prawns, and clams. The slight citrus hit would be due to the grated lemon zest which does lift the whole dish. The best thing about this dish is the absence of a fishy taste. My past experiences with squid-ink related dish has been nothing but fishy, but not this time.

Another dish that is a must try would be Poutine ($12), a ducky, cheesy, potato-y bowl of goodness. Just think fries with duck gravy and melted cheese – that’ll get you drooling.

We decided to order one of each dessert – Brownie ($9), topped with a generous scoop of salted caramel ice cream, candied walnuts, and butter scotch; Passionfruit Carrot Fondant ($14), with frozen yoghurt and a carrot ginger purée; Roasted Pineapple & Coconut Parfait ($11), with butter cookies, coconut, and oat granola; Banana Chocolate Parfait ($8), with banana & chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and candied walnuts. (Photos of both parfaits are not displayed here, but it was delectable!)

The brownie is shown above, while the fondant is shown below.

Brownie was served warm with a soft interior. It was a combination of great textures – the nuts, the soft salted caramel ice cream, the warm brownie, all enveloped by gooey butterscotch.

The Passionfruit Carrot Fondant had an unique taste – an interesting amalgamation of flavours and ingredients such as a carrot ginger puree! I wouldn’t call this dish an acquired taste, but a one that plays with your tastebuds! The fondant was cooked perfectly, with a molten centre, similar in principle to that of a chocolate fondant.

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And here’s us, with our satisfied faces after a wonderful meal. Staff were all very friendly and ready to help. I’m definitely coming back because they change their menu every 6 months! So head down to South Union Park to give the dishes a try!

Check them out at instagram here!

Address:
101 Jln Kembangan,
Singapore 419139

Nearest MRT:
Kembangan MRT Station (EW6)
The bistro is a 7-8 minute walk from the station.

Opening hours:
Closed on Mondays
Tues – Thurs: 5.30PM – 10:00PM
Fri: 11:30AM – 10:00PM
Sat: 9:00AM – 10:00PM
Sun: 9:00AM – 9:00PM