Monday 26 June 2023

Halcyon & Crane – Creative Wholesome and Delicious [MEDIA INVITE]

Halcyon & Crane (H&C) is a concept by The Foreign Project Group, which includes Birds of A Feather and Sichuan Alley. Located in Paragon Shopping Centre, right in the centre of Orchard Road shopping district. H&C is not your average café, their concept is focused on creative, cosy, wholesome, plus some spicy twist in the menu.

Halcyon & Crane
We started our brunch with the latest addition to H&C menu. Dearborn Granola and Milk ($9). Inspired by “Eat Well Live Well” theme, H&C served this handcrafted popular boutique granola from Dearborn. The granola is roasted to crisp, delivering a crunchy, light and aromatic texture. The dried fruits and melon seeds deliver added a different texture to the granola. Perfect to go with fresh milk. There is also an option for oat milk or coconut milk.

Dearborn Granola and Milk 
Dearborn Granola and Milk
Crispy Squid ($18) – Green Chilli, Sichuan BBQ spices, Sticky Pepper Fish Sauce. Not your regular crispy squid. It is crispy, evenly coated with pepper and fish sauce. A dash of lime added a tangy spark to this dish.

Crispy Squid
Nutella & Banana French Toast ($23) – Crispy French Toast, Nutella and Banana Filling, Almond Flakes, Mascapone Cream, Ice Cream. Super duper yummy breakfast. The bread is coated with a light crispy batter, like “pisang goreng” (fried banana fritter) batter. The fillings in the middle are the irresistible Nutella and fresh banana. The ice cream and mascarpone cream lighten up the flavours on the plate, while the berries cut through the sweetness in this dish. A must-order dish at H&C. Yummy!!

Nutella & Banana French Toast
Nutella & Banana French Toast
Dan Dan Spaghetti ($26) – Pork Ragout, Peanut Sesame Butter, Onsen Egg, Kale. We choose the non-spicy version of this dish. It is an East Meet West dish. The spaghetti is al-dente, while the pork ragout is full of Sichuan-inspired spices together with peanut sesame butter. The onsen egg binds the dish nicely, while the bitter fresh kale provided the healthy ingredient in the dish.

Dan Dan Spaghetti
Grilled Tiger Prawn “Risotto” ($32) – Grilled Tiger Prawn, Oriental Corn Multi Grains and Pumpkin “Risotto”, Black Fungus, Toasted Sourdough. Not the traditional Arborio rice risotto. Instead, it is the blend of corn multi grain and pumpkin. I like the crunchiness and burst of flavours, while the tiger prawn is spices up with chilli powder. The sourdough is light and crispy, providing the base to accompany the "risotto".

Grilled Tiger Prawn Risotto
Grilled Tiger Prawn Risotto
Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte ($14) – Coffee Ice Cubes, Fresh Orange Juice, Yuzu, Passion Fruit. My drink to accompany the breakfast. I am getting used to having orange juice mixed with my coffee. Though it looks good and taste good, the coffee cube did not melt fast enough and the orange juice is cold. Once the orange juice is finished, I poured some water to make full use of the coffee cube.

Orange Yuzu Passionfruit Coffee Cubes Latte
The ambiance of the café is very comforting, blending the concept of East and West. The seats are very cosy and comfortable, inviting you to stay longer and chillax. Service here is friendly and efficient.

H&C Coffee & Bar
CBK verdict: A cosy and comfortable, serving creative, wholesome and delicious food with a spicy twist. A great place to meet up and a nice hideaway at Orchard Road. Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8.25/10
Value: 6.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $26 - $50

Halcyon & Crane
290 Orchard Road
#03-09 Paragon Shipping Centre
Singapore 238859

T: +65 9727 511
OH: Daily 11.00 – 20.30

Sunday 18 June 2023

Jia Li Seafood Soup – Yummy Seafood Soup [MEDIA INVITE]

Jia Li Seafood Soup, formally known as Sin Kee Seafood Soup started off in Singapore’s North area. Armed with an established secret recipe that is passed down to the founder, Jia Li Seafood Soup (“Jia Li”) is known for its addictive and umami-rich seafood broth.

The secret of the signature seafood broth is the premium Japanese dried scallop. It is slow-cooked over several hours together with other ingredients such as chicken and pork ribs. To deliver that irresistible flavour in the MSG-free broth, the secret sauce is added to every order.

For this tasting, we went to their Upper Serangoon Road outlet.

Jia Li served three types of fish for their seafood soup: Dory Fish, Batang Fish and Red Grouper. They also served three types of seafood soup: regular Seafood Soup, Seafood Soup with Crayfish, and Seafood Soup with Crayfish and Prawns.

Seafood Soup with Crayfish and Prawns with Red Grouper
We started with their Seafood Soup with Crayfish and Prawns with Red Grouper ($23). The bowl of soup is packed to the brim, while the mountainous ingredients just whet your appetite. The broth is cloudy and a bit reddish from the prawns and crayfish. Once we sip the broth, it feels like we are inhaling the essence of the seafood, packed with umami, a touch of brininess and sweetness from the bone essence.

The Crayfish
The prawns are big and crunchy, while the crayfish are juicy and easily peeled off from the exoskeleton. The red grouper is fresh, but it seems that it was a bit overcooked as the flesh easily fall apart. The surprise flavour bomb here comes from the meatballs. Made fresh daily, it is packed with minced pork, mushroom and secret ingredients.

The Prawn
The Awesome Meatball
Red Grouper
The second soup that we choose is the Seafood Soup with Batang Fish ($11.50 for big). Our first impression, it looks almost the same as the crayfish version. However, once we sip it, we realise this version is sweeter and less briny compared to the one with the crayfish. Unlike the red grouper, the batang fish flesh is firmer, sweet, moist and silky. It was just delicious. Not forgetting the super yummy rustic-looking meatballs.

Seafood Soup with Batang Fish 
Seafood Soup with Batang Fish 
Overall, LD and I feel both of Seafood Soup are equally good, however, if we have to choose, we will go for the Batang Fish Seafood Soup. The broth is less briny, robust and loaded with umami flavour. If you like crayfish, the Seafood Soup with Crayfish and Prawns will be the perfect choice for you. Cheers!!

Thank you very much Protegie and Jia Li Seafood Soup for the media invite.

Food & Drink: 7.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: N/A (Media Invite)
Ambiance: Coffee Shop
Budget per Person: $0 - $10; $11 - $25

Jia Li Seafood Soup @Upper Serangoon Road
941 Upper Serangoon Road
Singapore 534709

Fri – Wed: 11.00 – 23.00
Thu: 11.00 – 22.00

Other Location:
21 Woodlands Close, #01-23/24 Prim Bizhub, Singapore 737854
3 Gateway Drive, #B1-28/29 Food Republic @ Westgate, Singapore 608532
33 Lor Liput, Singapore 277744
26 Upper Changi Road, New Gem Coffeehouse, Singapore 462026
(Operating hours differ for each branch).

Wednesday 7 June 2023

Daniele’s Pizza – The Best Pizza in The East of Singapore

Daniele’s Pizza is a pizzeria founded by Pizza Chef Daniele Colaiacomo. Born in Rome, Italy, he honed his pizza-making skills in Rome, UK, USA and finally landed in Singapore. After a stint at a high-end pizzeria and a few years in the private club in Singapore, Pizza Chef Daniele settled down in Changi Business Park.

Daniele's Pizza
With more than 25 years of experience, Daniele has perfected his dough, which requires 36-48 hours of fermentation, creating a light pizza dough topped only with quality ingredients. This is Pizza Chef Daniele’s passion for delivering only the best pizza.

Owner & Pizza Chef Daniele Colaiacomo
Daniele’s Pizza serves Pizze Rosse (tomato sauce base pizza), Pizze Bianche (cheese base pizza), Pizzini (pizza sandwiches), Pastas and Antipasti (starters). The standard pizza size is 12 inches, but Daniele’s served 10 inches version during weekday lunchtime, Mondays to Fridays, 11.00 – 14.30.

Menu P1
Menu P2
Pizza Parma ($24) – Tomato Sauce. Mozzarella Cheese, Parma Ham, Rocket Salad and Parmesan. The pizza comes in two parts. The first part is the hand stretch dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese that went into the oven. Once it is out, the additional toppings of Parma Ham, Rocket Salad and Parmesan complete the pizza.

Pizza Parma
When I hold a slice of the pizza, I can feel the light and crispy crust, followed by a moist and heavy part of the pizza as it is filled with the toppings. Once I bit into the middle part, I can taste the overflowing tomato sauce and savour the rest of the delicious toppings. Yummy!!

Pizza Parma per Slice
Pizza Burrata ($24) – Tomato Sauce, Burrata Cheese and Cherry Tomatoes. We usually like to order Margherita Pizza; this is to test out the freshness of the ingredients. However, since Daniele’s have the Burrata pizza, we just directly order the burrata. The crust is just awesome, like the Pizza Parma. The toppings here is just a mixture of tomato sauce, creamy burrata cheese and the explosion of sweetness from the cherry tomatoes.

Pizza Burrata
Pizza Gustosa ($23) – Mozzarella Cheese, Gorgonzola Cheese, Spicy Salami (Pork) and Artichokes. This white pizza is cheesier compare to the pizza burrata and pizza parma due to the cheese base. The spicy pork salami is thinly sliced, once it’s cooked the salami turns out to be crisp and crunchy like bacon texture. The artichokes are soft and moist.

Pizza Gustosa
Pizza Burrata E Porchini ($25). A must order for mushroom lovers. The cheese base pizza enhances the flavour of the porcini mushrooms. Once you bit the mushroom portion, the flavour and the juice of the mushroom just burst in your mouth. Yumz!!

Pizza Burrata E Porchini
Pizza Burrata E Porchini - Slice
Fettucine Bolognese ($21). I find the fettucine was cooked over the point of al-dente. The Bolognese sauce was alright; however, it just did not wow me and was easily overshone by the pizza.

Fettucine Bolognese
Spaghetti Seafood ($24). At first, I was a bit worried about the flavour, as the dish looks a bit bland. However, I stand corrected. The spaghetti is cooked perfectly to the point of al-dente, infused with robust seafood essence. With each mouthful of pasta, the seafood flavour just gets stronger and stronger. Feels like I was eating the Italian version of Hokkien Mee. Amazing!

Spaghetti Seafood
The decor of the restaurant is simple, minimalist and modern. You won’t miss the striking red colour pizza oven, which is the centrepiece of the restaurant. To date, I only see Daniele handling the oven. Service friendly and efficient. You can place your order through the QR code on the table, or at the counter up front.

Daniele's Pizza - Front & Part of Dining Area
Daniele's Pizza - Dining Area Refreshed
Image Credit: Daniele's Pizza
In summary, LD and I agree that Daniele’s Pizza served the best pizza in the east of Singapore. The pizza is light, fluffy and crispy, while the ingredients are fresh and of the highest quality. We’ll definitely return for more of our pizza fix here. Saluti!! Cheers!!

Food & Drink: 8.75/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Budget per Person: $11 - $25, $26 - $50

Daniele’s Pizza
1 Changi Business Park Cres
#01-19 Plaza 8
Singapore 486025

Mon – Sat: 11.00 – 14.30; 16.30 – 21.00
Closed on Sunday

Our Popular Reviews: