Category Archives: Clementi Area

Astons at Prince Georges Park (NUS)

Astons
27 Prince George’s Park Blk 8 Level 1
(Foodgle Food Court)
Tel: 6776 2832
Opening Hours: 11am to 9.30pm
Website: http://astonsspecialties.blogspot.com/           

 After hearing all the fantastic reviews about Astons, I was elated when I found out that Astons had a branch in the west!  So arming myself with an empty stomach, I skipped and hopped to Prince George’s Park on 26 Mar 2008 for lunch. 

I didn’t have a hard time looking for this place as I am quite familiar with the venue (if you want to visit there, I would advise taking the free internal shuttle bus from NUS – either Service A1 or A2.  The bus will drop you off in front of the PGP residences.  Just go down the flight of stairs and keep right.  You will see Red Dot Café.  Besides this café, there’s another short flight of steps.  At the end of the steps to your right, you will see a glass door.  Go inside and you’ll end up in the Foodgle Food Court.  Keep walking along the rows of stalls – Astons is somewhere in the middle.) 

Looking at the menu was a difficult thing coz there were so many food I wanted to try.  I did balked at the high prices especially for the beef steak (almost S$10!) so I finally settled on char-grilled chicken.  I didn’t know that the meal came with 2 sides and the person taking my order wasn’t that helpful either.  He simply asked: “What sides do you want?” and waited while I pondered.  He should have offered suggestions as to what sides they have instead of waiting.  This poor service left me a bit peeved!  Anyway, I ordered the side of fries & coleslaw and he gave me a receipt and told me my queue number was XXX.   This is an excellent idea as I can go search for a seat and get my order only when it is ready; sort of like waiting for the doctor. 

My 2nd disappointment came when I saw my order.  I did order char-grilled chicken but what was served to me looked like an ordinary chicken chop with some sort of brown sauce on top of it.  And to think that I paid S$5.30 for that when I could easily get a similar meal at half the price elsewhere in NUS. 

This char-grilled chicken didn’t have the tell-tale signs of being char-grilled at all.  By this, I meant you should be able to see the criss-cross black marks on the chicken that says it had been char-grilled.  The one I had looked like simply grilled.  This is a great difference to me as the taste of char-grilled and grilled chicken is simply opposite side of the poles.   

The only saving grace of this dish was the generous amount of coleslaw and the great tasting fries.  The fries were fried to the crisp and they probably put some red chilli powder on it.  These are the skinny fries (not the chunky ones).  Think of Long John Silver’s fries but the skinnier version of it.  It’s not too spicy at all; the chilli powder gave it the reddish look and just a touch of spiciness on your tongue.  

Perhaps I will come again to try the beef steak or maybe I should somehow make a trip to Astons @ East Coast.  But never again will I try the char-grilled chicken at PGP.  Save your $$ for elsewhere. They have 3 other outlets mostly in the East.  Check their website for more details.

717 Trading/727 Cakerie

717 Durian Cake 717 Durian Mousse 
717 Trading/727 Cakerie
Opening Hours: 7.30am to 4.30pm, Mon to Fri; 7.30am to 1.30pm, Sat; closed on Sun
Website: http://www.717trading.com/717trading/

They have 6 outlets in Singapore; you can find details of their outlets in their website’s FAQ.

I managed to hunt down another cake shop that sells durian cake.  Only thing is that they deliver if you make purchases above S$100!

I’ve not tried their cakes but I find the prices pretty reasonable.  Can’t find a review on their cakes either. 😛

So guess you’ll have to try it yourself or wait for me to write my review. 😀

Classic Cakes

Classic Cakes Shop Chocolate Mille Crepes Cake of Crepes
Classic Cakes
41 Sunset Way #01-06 Clementi Arcade
Tel: 6762 8019
Opening Hours: 2pm to 9pm, Tue & Sun; 11am to 9pm, Wed to Sat; closed on Mon

Classic Cakes in Clementi Arcade, which started selling a wonderful cake called Mille Crepes last year, has come up with different variations on the theme. Not that there’s anything wrong with the original. It remains unbeatable – a stack of 20 crepes placed on top of one another, with a vanilla pastry cream holding them together and a caramelised topping.

But for those who want something more exciting, baker Charles Quek has come up with three variations.

The Chocolate Mille Crepes (see picture above) ($6 a slice, $60 for a 1.5kg cake, left) has thin, floaty flakes of dark chocolate between the crepes. It is ethereal, light and to die for.

Order the Apple Mille Crepes ($6.50 a slice, $65 for a 1.5kg cake, second from left) if you don’t like your desserts too rich. The tart apples add crunch – very refreshing.

Of course, there is a durian version ($7 a slice, $70 for a 1.5kg cake, third from left), with pungent, creamy durian filling in between the pancakes. Like the original, they all cut beautifully, and any one of them would make a great treat for Mother’s Day on May 13.

If Mum is a chocoholic, then consider the Black Velvet ($3.80 a slice, $35 for a 1kg cake, right). This other new offering is a velvety chocolate cake flavoured with blackberry jam and topped with a snowy white frosting made of cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and fresh cream. Decadent for sure, but doesn’t your mother deserve the best?

Note: This review was extracted from ST Foodies Club.

The Daily Scoop

Daily Scoop Cafe Ice Cream With Waffle
The Daily Scoop, Ice Cream Cafe
41 Sunset Way #01-04
Clementi Arcade
Tel: 6463 3365
Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm, Mon to Thu; 11am to 10pm, Fri & Sat; 2pm to 9pm, Sun; closed on Public Holidays
Website: http://www.thedailyscoop.com.sg/

Not just frozen delights…

Their hand-churned specialty ice cream is the best way to tantalise your tastebuds! From the fruity to the creamy, the out of the ordinary to the traditional, they’ve more than 20 flavours of affordably priced ice cream to choose from. Freshly made in-store using premium ingredients, you’ll find a flavour to fall in love with at first bite!

Satisfy your dessert cravings at The Daily Scoop… they’re heavy in taste but light on your pocket!

Come by for a scoop or have it delivered to your doorstep.  Their takeaway tubs come in 2 sizes – 400g @ S$8.80 or 700g @ S$14.50.  Free delivery of ice cream worth S$50 and above on Tuesdays (except for Public Holidays) else a delivery surcharge will be imposed.  Full payment must be made when placing orders in-store or upon delivery.

Post-Makan Note:

Finally I managed to taste the ice cream here on 8 December 2007.  I had a single scoop of the rum & raisin flavour which set me back by S$2.90 in an ordinary cone.

Service here is not too bad.  The staff actually let me tasted one of the unique ice cream flavours – coconut & lychee.  I found it a bit too sweet so I settled for rum & raisin instead.

The verdict? They could use a little more rum in their ice cream.  I prefer the Haagen Daaz’s version more.  Must however give The Daily Scoop kudos for coming up with very localized flavours, such as the coconut & lychee, chendol, green tea with red beans, etc.

Overall, good value for money.  And if you’re lucky, you can actually get to see them hand churning the ice cream on the spot.

The shop is a wee bit off for passersby; you really have to make a conscious effort to come here. But while you are here, you can have lunch at Bather’s, dessert at The Daily Scoop and bring home a slice of cake from Classic Cakes. They’re all in the same row. 😀

Bao Gong XO Fish Head Beehoon

Sum Lo
Bao Gong XO Fish Head Beehoon
713 Food Court
Blk 713 Clementi West St 2 #01-115
Tel: 6778 9301

His signature Fish Head Beehoon (from $5 without the brandy) is not much of a looker. But when you realise the milky broth contains no dairy products and is made fully from fish stock, bones and a lot of wok skill, the dish is in a class of its own. Every bowl of soup is individually made. The basic stock is stir fried with the fish head till the fat and oils turn milky . When he adds the Toman (snakehead) fish and a rougher thick beehoon, wahhh…oh yes, if you want the XO brandy in(from $7), you gotta tell them ahead, so when it arrives, its double wahh! Tip…the fish head broth is richer than the fish slice broth as they fry the head for full flavour.

Next, his Sum Lo Hor Fun (Triple Flavour Kway Teow). It is totally deceiving that something so bland looking can be so flavourful. The exact opposite of Paris Hilton straddling a Carl’s Junior burger. He exalts the kway teow with three invisible flavour agents…Chinese Hua Tiao wine, sesame oil, salt and garlic and texturises it with crunchy towgay (bean sprouts) and succulent slices of clean cut toman fish. At $5 minimum, it is real value.

Wanna know what happens when this chef plays with butter, milk powder and fresh milk? He comes up with Butter Milk Ball Prawns. It takes him 30 minutes of careful stir frying a wok of butter and milk powder as he gingerly drips fresh milk in to create this little crunchy butter milk balls which are fried with prawns and curry leaves. The buttery, rich, sweet-savoury and spicy balance is so agreeable with the fried crustacean. It’ll just take you 10 minutes and $15 to enjoy it.

Three words describe Bao Gong’s makan…simple, clean and confident. While he is no former master chef from some top restaurant which serve dishes that come with an attitude, his simple and firm ways with his ingredients and the wok makes his food comfortably scrumptious. His little kitchen is not stocked up with all Earth has to offer but he makes full use of what little he has and is comfortable with…basic stock, Chinese wine and brandy, garlic, soy sauces, sesame oil, onions, salt, chilli sambal, pepper, sugar etc….

Note: This review was extracted from MakanSutra.  I have personally eaten their Sum Lo and it was delicious.  Don’t forget to help yourself to a dish of the fried pork lard to go with the Sum Lo.  Excellent in my humble opinion!

Sakura, International Buffet Restaurant

Sakura Sakura 1st Storey Food Area 2nd Storey Food Area
Sakura
Opening Hours: 12 Noon to 2.30pm (lunch) & 6pm to 9.30pm (Dinner), Daily
Website: http://www.sukigroup.com.sg/sakura.htm

They have 8 outlets over in Tampines Safra, Toa Payoh, Pasir Ris (halal), Jurong Town Hall, Clementi Road (halal), Orchard Road (halal), Marine Parade & Jurong West (halal).  Check their website for details (look under the heading “Subsidiary”).

Buffet prices are:-

  • Lunch (Weekdays): S$21.40
  • Dinner (Weekdays): S$25.65
  • Kids (Weekdays): S$11.65
  • Lunch (Weekdays – Orchard Outlet Only): S$23.55
  • Dinner (Weekdays – Orchard Outlet Only): S$27.80
  • Kids (Weekdays – Orchard Outlet Only): S$12.75
  • Add additional S$2.15 for weekends, eve and public holidays

For the prices you pay above, you will get up to 100 different varieties of Japanese, Western and Oriental foodfare everyday. To briefly entice you, appetizers include baked oysters, lobster salad, mussels, cold prawns and sashimi. The main entrees encompass an assortment of dim sum, Teppanyaki (including lamb chop, salmon and beef, etc.), tempura and grilled items. A wide selection of mouth-watering sushi will also be prepared for all consummate sushi fans. Last but not least, deserts such as cheesecakes, fruits, ice cream and beverages complete the buffet with a satisfying touch.

Update on 10 March 2008:

After a 2-year hiatus from eating at Sakura, we finally made our way to the one at Clementi Woods on 10 March 2008.  How dining works here is that you pay at the counter on the 3rd level and then you will proceed to either Level 1 or 2  for your seating.  On your table, you will see some small clothes pins which has your table number printed on them.  These you can use to order some of the dishes that require some cooking time, eg. fried vegetables, seafood, satay, otah, squid, tau pok, etc. which will then be served to your table once it is ready, which basically saves you waiting time.  Excellent idea I must say!

First the price almost crushed us.  It used to be S$22 nett but now we have to pay S$24+ (which amounted to S$25.65) per person.

Then we were appalled by the drop in food quality and some of the missing good food such as the paper-pot steamboat with live prawns, frozen strawberry with stuffed yoghurt in it.

I ordered the dou miao with abalone and some bamboo shellfish with black pepper  – both were served cold, although they were prepared on the spot.  Portions are tiny – although this is alright with me as I can go for unlimited rounds.  But because quality is not good, I never went for seconds.

Another of my used-to-be favourite dessert was their durian cream puff.  Used-to-be favourite now because the pastry is hard and you can hardly taste the durian paste.  Thumbs down!

I’ve always skipped the dim sum, pizza and pasta corners because having tried them once, the quality was really bad even way back then.  I think it is unlikely that they have improved.

Skip the deep fried stuff at table no. 7 (refer to 1st storey food area map above).  Deep fried stuff must always be eaten hot – if it’s cold, it really tastes bad.

I also tried the oat prawns at table no. 13 – the prawns are not fresh and because the prawns had been deep fried earlier, the crunchiness was seriously lacking.

Sushi and Sashimi were still good – I had unlimited helpings of salmon & tuna.  You can also try their silverfish sashimi but my friend said it tasted a bit fishy, so I gave that a skip.  They also have other sushi – but I’m a bigger sashimi fan.  Standard here remains the same, although I noticed that there were more varieties of sushi available this time.  You can also have edamame (a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean – usually boiled and lightly salted).

Another item that I love very much is the laksa (from table no. 5).  The gravy was thick and tasted great! It was served in small bowls but again, since this is a buffet, you can have as many bowls as you want.

You can also have free flow of beverages – soft drinks, green tea, brewed coffee, etc.  Also, do try the ice cream with the various toppings – great fun for the kids.

Unfortunately, I am very unlikely to visit this restaurant again – memories of good and cheap food that I had here are alas just a memory.  Still, for the price we paid and the varieties they serve, if you don’t mind quality but want quantity, you can always drop by this restaurant.  By the way, it’s halal so you can also invite your Muslim friends there.  But please note that not all Sakura restaurants are halal, so do check their website for details.

New Lucky Claypot Chicken Rice

Claypot Chicken
New Lucky Claypot Chicken Rice
Blk 328 Clementi Ave 2 #01-220
Tel: 6778 7808
Opening Hours: 12 noon – 1.30pm, 5pm – 8.30pm, Off on Wednesday
Website: http://www.sbestfood.com/newluckyclaypot.htm

You can smell the claypot rice cooking even before you reach the coffeeshop.  The mix of the ingredients and the rice cooked in a claypot over a charcoal fire is simply heavenly.  Cost of this heavenly dish is from S$10 to S$25.  Call at least 1 hour in advance to place your order if you do not wish to wait at least 30 minutes for your food to arrive.  They also have tasty herbal soup that goes for S$3 (for 1 person’s share).

Clementi Brother Rojak

Clementi Brother Rojak
Blk 449 Clementi Avenue 3 #01-211
Opening hours: 11am – 9.30pm, closed on Sundays

This rojak boasts a perfect balance of thick, gluey gravy and very fresh ingredients like turnip and cucumber. It helps too that the stallowner brothers, Tan Boon Hwa and Tan Boon Heng, are friendly and efficient in their service. Both learnt to toss the salad from their father, an itinerant hawker in the 1960s.

I’ve been eating their rojak since my days in Singapore Polytechnic and their standard remained the same.

I especially loved it when I take away their rojak and they will automatically separate the gravy from the rojak for me, so that my you cha kueh and tau pok are still crispy by the time I manage to partake this delicious rojak.

Botak Jones

Cajun Chicken U Crazy Wat Chilli Dawg 

Check Botak Jones’ website at http://www.botakjones.com/ for the locations and opening hours.

 The website says it all, “Damn Good Food at a Damn Good Price” – Authentic American Food.  Need I say more? Go check them out!

Post-Makan Note:

I finally went to their Clementi outlet on 10 Oct 2007 to try their food.  I had the Cajun chicken and originally, I wanted to try their apple pie but alas! They didn’t have it.  So I tried their Mango Tango cheesecake.  First I got their menu from the counter which is printed on yellow A4 paper (they even have the menu in Chinese which is printed on the blue A4 paper). Then I joined the queue.  One of their staff will approach you to ask which table you’re sitting at (please note that all the tables are not numbered, so there’s no way you can tell which table you’re sitting at except to point it out to their staff).  She’ll magically write a number on a small piece of paper.  With this piece of paper, present it to another staff who will take your order.  What I love most is that the staff know their food very well and can make excellent recommendations.  At the cashier, they also ask if they want a larger portion of fries at no extra charge! But take it only if you think you can finish all the food (I’ve seen a lot of sides like the coleslaw and fries being dumped into the rubbish bin; such a waste!).

You’ll also be told how long you need to wait for your food (of course I’ll wait for my food; having been in the queue for 20 minutes already! Duh! But it’s good to know though. :P).  You’ll also be asked your name and you may then proceed to your seat.  Another staff will come along in a couple of minutes, verify your order and put the relevant condiments (I got tomato sauce, chilli sauce and mustard) on your table.  Then comes the long wait for your food.

Another interesting bit about Botak Jones is I didn’t even pay for my food until I’m almost through with my dessert.  Another staff (I think they have an army of staff there coz I saw different staff for different needs) came over and ask if I could settle the bill and took my money and gave me my change back. 

Overall, I give the food 8 thumbs up for its quality, quantity and excellent service despite it being in a coffeeshop (1 thumb less coz I asked for my cheesecake to be served immediately but they only gave it to me after I finished my main course and 1 thumb less because the cheesecake was too ordinary).  GST and service charge is already added to the price shown on the menu. And yes, the food looks exactly like that in the menu, which you can view from their website.  I’ll definitely be back, bringing more pple next time.  My parents are my next target!

Note: Thanks to Charlene for the recommendation! 😀