Thursday, April 28, 2016

Paradise Dynasty 乐天皇朝 @ Lot One Choa Chu Kang

Family was in town, so had dinner at Paradise Dynasty at Lot One the other night. Rather late dinner, around 8pm. Queued for about 20 minutes. Service was rather slow that night.

hi there
wanton ramen in peppercorn sauce (麻辣紅油抄手)

Dad tried something different that night. The mala wanton ramen. It leaves a slight tingling sensation on the lips but not too strong. Thought it would be very spicy but turned out quite pleasant.

xiao long bao
sheng jian bao

The xiao long bao were quite lovely. Juicy, small plump dumplings. The sheng jian bao tasted similar to xiao long bao but its skin was too thick.

Two dishes that came ultra late, was the fried chicken and the Shanghai fried rice. Thought we were trying Shanghai fried rice for the first time but later realized, we had this before. Can't blame us for not remembering as it was way back in 2013. Read about it here. The fried rice required a major heap of those chili condiment. Too bland on its own.

Shanghai fried rice

fried chicken

The fried chicken was done quite well with nice crispy skin and moist piping hot meat. Served with sweet mayo dip.

There was a 30% promotion for Shanghai dishes including xiao long bao, drunken chicken and Shanghai fried rice. However, it turned out that we couldn't enjoy the discount for the xiao long bao. The reason was that the offer was only valid for a basket of 6 pieces only.

Expect to pay about $80 for a family of 5 adults.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Wine Company @ Dempsey Road

"Ok. Let's go."

That's our usual modus operandi. Impromptu meet-ups. It's been quite a while since last visit to The Wine Company @ Dempsey. They seem to have more service staff now (with at least 2 trainees, that night).  One of the most interesting observation is that this place do employ older employees as well as young and trendy looking ones.


The sky was threatening to rain, but I can't really tell. Weather was hot and humid, and skies darkening. Some tables were marked as 'Reserved' and, it was being reserved for pretty long while! Good for the people who made reservations. Overheard another party that arrived and seemed like their reservation was not found.

wine for you, ma'am?

"Are you very hungry?"
"I'm ok. Not very. Just order lor."

That's how we roll. Really. Hence, we chose appetisers. Fried wings, calamari and bruschetta. Not very filling, but will do. Easily paired with drinks.

dinner for the not very hungry - chicken wings, calamari and bruschetta platter

The bruschetta (@$8.90++) was crispy and had different toppings each. I got a tuna looking one but turned out to be something of a chicken liver pate and the olive tapenade.

The chicken wings, was nice but not quite satisfactory. Its marinade seemed muted for the non-asian taste.

nam yee chicken wings @$9.90++

well-fried calamari @$9.90++

And, one needa have a drink. Got myself a wine cocktail. Came with two overly ripened strawberries. Nice reddish hue though. A ladies' drink.

wine cocktail @$9.90++

Expect to spend about $40+ per pax for drinks and food.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Dose Cafe @ 139 Tyrwhitt Road

Been here twice, and this place has a comfortable, homely vibe. Was brought to Dose Cafe by Kris (@msginginly) not too long ago, as a few of us was looking for a coffee place in the vicinity after a heavy brunch.

Dose Cafe offers a quiet cosy sanctuary and serves up quite the perfect cup of mocha, in my humble opinion. It is located at 139 Tyrwhitt Road, opposite of Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee. If you're getting there by taxi/car, and taxi uncle do not know about CSHH then direct uncle to Jalan Besar Stadium as one of the more prominent landmark in that area.

Look out for the Dospa (Dose Vespa=Dospa?), that brown coloured decorative vespa made of rattan that's parked right in front of the cafe. Dospa was easier to spot as its sign at the glass door may not be obvious from a distance.

entrance to Dose Cafe and lookout for the Dospa

There are indoor and outdoor tables, with a combined capacity of about 30 to 40 pax. I'd prefer the air-conditioned cool indoors as opposed to the humid hot outdoors, especially during these recent weeks.

table for two
most often, we seated ourselves at this long table that fits 6 to 8 adults
another vespa spotted in the shop

Every cafe, and every business owners' have their own story to tell. Dose is owned by three siblings and you will likely catch at least one of them at the cafe, everyday except for Tuesdays when the cafe rests. On our visits, we had either Jacky or their Sunday barista (@just_love_coffee)  preparing our coffees. Jacky is one of the siblings who started Dose, and these siblings are doing their part to fulfill their grandfather's dream of owning a business of their own.

signboard handcrafted by the owners' grandfather
Jacky, looking serious while preparing our coffee

On a superbly hot afternoon, I'd prefer an icy cold blast of latte. On cooler days, a cup of orange mocha to tickle the palate.

iced latte @$7++
orange mocha

Am liking the mocha here a tad too much, me thinks. Balance between choco and coffee was good, and that orange mocha is reminiscent of those Van Houten's thin orange chocolate wafers. These things that kids from the 1980s might know. Try the orange mocha at Dose and let me know what you think.

For matcha lovers, you could order the Matcha Latte. And, if you'd like something new, do ask for the Black Latte.  Not too worry, the Black Latte tasted as good as the usual latte, but carries the additional benefits that charcoal gives.

Matcha Latte @$6++
Black Latte @$6++

Feeling a tad peckish? We were and tried the spicy drumlets as snacks. Rather good and served piping hot with thai chili sauce. Yums!

lovely bouquet of hot & spicy drumlets @$9.90++

For something more substantial, we heard that their all-day-breakfast is pretty popular. However, on Wednesdays, they offer Chili Crab Linguine for just $13.90++. If you think that is the best part yet, no. On weekdays lunch hour (and on Wednesdays for a choice of Spicy Chili Crab Linguine), you can order up their combo set lunch for just @$12.90++, and get a drink on the house. Wow!

Chili Crab Linguine @$13.90++

Was hosted to a meal at Dose to try out the Chili Crab Linguine, and while it was not the best that I had, it was good value for money. The pasta was nicely cooked and well-seasoned. Tasty on its own but better when having it with the chili crab sauce. Spice level was comfortable and its heat was not sweat inducingly hot. Plenty of sauce to go with the noodles, and some left to be scooped up by the pumpkin mantous.

nice flavours

For those who has low tolerance towards spices, a glass of iced latte will definitely help to put out the fire. As usual, the chili crab sauce has a sweetish, spicy savoury approach. Shared this with Kris and with the aide of a bowl of those finger-licking good hot & spicy drumlets, we felt quite full by the end of the meal.

help yourself with the water, sauces and paper napkins

Oh, have I mentioned that Dose Cafe has free wifi? No? Now you know. Weather outside too hot and you're nearby? Come in for a short respite. Enjoy a cup coffee and a slice of cake during tea-time (3pm to 5pm daily) for just $10++. The cakes are on display at the counter and depends on what's available for that day.

rainbow cake slice
other cakes

We also spied other table ordering the Wafflelicious Yin-Yang @$14.90++ with 2 scoops of ice-cream. Looked pretty good too. Perhaps, next time.

Overall, Dose Cafe offers a small cosy hideout with free wifi, music and personable service. Decent coffee and must-try mocha, with reasonably priced tasty food.

Expect to spend about $20 per pax for a main course and a drink on weekends.

Good news for my readers. For a time-limited promo, show this "Purple Taste" post to Dose Cafe and get a 10% discount off ala-carte food and drinks (even on weekends!). This promotion is not applicable to any other ongoing promotions in the shop or to combo set meals.

Also, don't forget to try your luck in a store organized contest. Here's a picture of the contest:
more information at Dose Cafe FB page

Peace out and excuse me, while I chill with some reads and a cup of coffee.

browse-a-mag, with a cup of Miloso (Milo and Espresso YuanYang @$6++)

Thank you Jacky for spending time with us and Kris for recommending this potential hangout place.

Dose Cafe on social media:
Instagram: @dose_tyrwhitt


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

[Media Invite] Lin "林" Rooftop Bar @ Link Hotel Tiong Bahru

Was invited by fellow makan kaki, Hence, to try Lin Rooftop Bar at Link Hotel located in Tiong Bahru. Never been there before, so went online to search for some information and of course, to get directions to the place. The only other rooftop bar that I've been to, was way back in 2014. Read about it here.

at level "R" of Link Hotel
all the specials

Happy Hours are from 5pm to 8pm daily, where their Asian cocktails go for $12 nett per glass and a half pint of draught beer goes for $6 nett. Ladies night happens on Thursdays where one could enjoy daiquiri or margarita just $10 nett.

terracotta in da house
table for two

Went to check out its bar, and ordered a drink to accompany the food. Was quite intrigued by Spirited Away (vodka, strawberry liquer and lychee syrup) but Roy recommended Rustic Sky as one of Lin's popular choice. Ok, can do too.

But first, he made an off-menu drink; a mocktail that tasted like lemon tea but with a twist.

Asian Lemon Tea mocktail
Rustic Sky, coming right up!
(right to left) Asian Lemon Tea and Rustic Sky (rum, sour plum, lime juice)

I like sour plum, so quite liked the Rustic Sky cocktail. Get it for $12 nett during Happy Hour, otherwise $18++. Not strong on the onset, but gradually hits you when it was almost towards the end of the glass.

When in a bar, eat bar food. Yup, how about a basket of beer battered luncheon meat with cheese center? Hot from the fryer and served with a honey mustard dip. Did not feel too greasy, and luncheon meat was somewhat moist but not much of cheese flavour though. A nice snack to start.

Lin "林" Dynasty @$10.80++

Also tried the Wu Xiang Pop, which was really popcorn chicken bites tossed with five-spiced powder, deep fried till crisp and served with Sriracha sauce. Quite addictive to pop one after the other into the mouth. Thought it would be awesome with pork belly version.

Wu Xiang Pop @$9.80++

For more substantial food, order the mains. Ever heard of Juicy Lucy? Beef burger served with a huge mound of shoestring fries (seasoned with five-spiced powder) and coleslaw.

Juicy Lucy Beef Burger @$18.80++
streaky bacon, melted cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, some rockets

homemade juicy beef patty

The burger has all the essential ingredients but it was a tad too salty for my liking, unfortunately. The five spice in the fries was too mild to be detected. Wondered if curry would work better?

The pasta was enjoyable, with the spaghetti done al-dente, tossed with lots of black pepper and some chilies and has a slightly sweetish sauce to it.  The sauce did scream Asian flavours! The slices of smoked duck was more than generous.

Asian Smoked Duck Pasta @$14.80++

Thought the food prices are rather reasonable and of good portions. Drinks prices are quite attractive during Happy Hours. Nice place to unwind, and not too crowded on Thursdays. Didn't get to try their marinated pork belly or also known as "Babe", as this item is usually prepared in limited portions. Just our luck that this was already sold out on our day of visit.

Thank you Roy, Lin Rooftop Bar for hosting us, and the friendly crew for your service.Thank you Hence for the invite!

Here are some sources of information on Lin:
Instagram: @linrooftopbar

Monday, April 4, 2016

[Media Invite] ChokChai Mookata 泰式火锅铁板烧 @ Blk 340 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1

Mookata in the heartlands. Want to have mookata in your neighbourhood coffeeshop? Now you can. ChokChai Mookata is currently nestled deep in the Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 neighbourhood. About 15 minutes walk from Ang Mo Kio MRT. We headed towards AMK Hub, and then crossed the road towards the HDB blocks. Cut through the blocks and you will pass by one or two coffeeshops before arriving at the destination.


The place is a brightly lit coffeeshop. On our night of visit, we spied that there were about two other tables that were enjoying mookata as well. Otherwise, one could opt to have prata as the other stalls seemed to be closed.

If you are a family of four adults and two children, the $45 set menu should be sufficient. If more food is needed, there are ala-carte options as well. The meat options starts from $3/$6 per portion, while vegetable portions are priced at $1.50 each. If you don't feel like having the fixed items in the set, then you can go on full ala-carte options with a minimum order of $15.

ChokChai Mookata $45 Set Menu
Our group of 6 adults (5 ladies and one guy) had the $45 set menu comfortably, with some additional items such as liver, Thai instant noodle and cheese tofu.

Thai instant noodles @$1
cheese tofu @$2.50
The set includes Thai black pepper chicken, Thai garlic lean meat, pork belly, prawn, sotong, scallop, pork balls, fish balls, crabsticks, hotdogs, xiao bai cai, cabbage, golden mushroom, sweet corn, carrot, tang hoon and egg.

meaty affair
ChokChai Mookata takes pride in their mookata broth and chili dips. According to Mr Len Wang, owner of ChokChai Mookata, the broth is boiled from pork bones, pandan leaves and other ingredients, while the chilies were imported from Thailand.

golden pork broth
ChokChai Mookata green and red chili dips

Both the red and green chili dips were rather spicy with the red being the spiciest of the two. I'd dare say that the red was of two notches in spice level above the green. The green chili is named as seafood chili and is more tangy savoury salty while the red is slightly sweet and more spicy. Joy, one of the native Thai service staff, recommends to dip the sauce separately to get its full taste, but I think the mixed version was rather nice too.

First step in mookata dining (after turning up the fire, of course), is to oil the hotplate. Pieces of lard were utilized for this purpose. Reminded me of  ジンギスカン.

oil the hotplate naturally

Then, just pile the meats onto the hot grill and the rest of the hardy vegetables and meatballs into the soup.

let it sizzle, let it boil

While waiting for the food to cook, one could order up a plate of prawn som tam as appetiser. Be warned that this plate could be rather spicy for some. Lovely salad and we were ready for the grilled stuffs.

ส้มตำ (som tam goong) @$5
almost done

Communal dining, cooking your own food, cooking for your family/buddies, were all part of the experience. We became somewhat loud, boisterous and basically, had fun.

let's eat

Marinated meats were tasty and I particularly liked the garlic pork. Slightly sweet but tasted so good with the chili dips. The pork liver was fresh and cooked easily. The cabbage was really sweet and after having our fill of the expertly sliced thin liver cooked in the broth, the broth became almost like the bak chor mee soup. So robust and tasty!

more soup please

Used to think that mookata was difficult to manage. The meats would usually slip into the broth due to the dome shaped grill. Glad to report that we didn't have that problem at ChokChai Mookata. However, wished that the circular section could have more depth and slightly wider to cook our vegetables and noodles.

Am of the opinion that mookata could be quite popular with families dining out on weekends. My neighbourhood foodcourt used to have one and it gained popularity after some time. The smell and sound of meat sizzling was the main draw.

Thank you Len and ChokChai Mookata for hosting the dinner, and Hence (@chubbybotakkoala) for the invite. To my makan kakis; Kris (@msginginly), Jennifer (@jellylovesfats), Melissa (@cptslowyeo) and Tiara (@tiara_star), you guys are fun to be with! Thank you and let's meet again!

ChokChai Mookata

Location: Blk 340 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1, Singapore 560340
Contact: 9778 3942 or email:
Instagram: @chokchai_mookata
Business Hours:
Mon-Sun: 17:00 - 23:00

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