Fresh Fruits Lab

Armed with a strong recommendation from a friend, I trotted to the unfamiliar east side for brunch today.


    
Sitting right by the roadside, Fresh Fruits Lab (FFL), wasn’t too hard to spot but it’s a winding walk from the nearest Kembangan MRT station. They don’t allow reservations so it’s lucky that we got there just a step ahead because the place filled up quickly on a Saturday afternoon, both indoor and outdoor seats. The subsequent queue formed haphazardly around the building in the afternoon sun, not the best place to be.

We were given this complimentary rack of cold pressed juice shots even before fully settling down with the menu.  I would have preferred if some introduction of the juices were made as I had no idea what was in the, albeit cute, test tube shots. After tasting, we concluded the green one to have cucumber and the orange one to be a citrus mix. Sorry not too helpful here hahaha.


True to their fruit promise, there was a whole list of interesting fruit teas on their menu that saw me trading away my usual coffee. Piccolo, $5, green rooibos tea with honey, apricot and sweet berries came with a heady candied fragrance that didn’t translate to actual sweetness in the drink. You can still taste the rooibos, refreshing and warm to the tummy. We also tried the Paradise Green, $5 (pictured below), Japanese green tea with tropical fruits and flower petals, which carried the usual comforts from green tea with a fruity twist.

I had a specific recommendation for their Messy Breakfast, $17, with truffled scrambled eggs, toasted English muffins, pork oxford sausages, roasted sweet potatoes, bacon wrapped pineapple bars, fruity salad and it lived to expectations. The scrambled eggs were a favorite around the table with generous lashings of truffle oil and I would gladly have a whole plate of it. Bacon wrapped pineapple needed more time on the grill but was striking decent sweet-savory notes. The English muffins, sweet potato and salad with cubes of watermelon and pineapple were a nice change but I’ll pass on the sausages as they felt a little floury.


Creamy Alfredo, $18, white wine cream based pasta with a variety of fungi mushrooms, turkey ham, fried enoki strings and shaved Parmesan. The portion was generous and the fried enoki added delightful crunch between bites of penne. The thick sauce coagulates when it turns cold so do eat this fast!

Fruity Berries Pancakes, $11, berry pancakes with apple compote and maple syrup. 3 thick homemade pancakes packed with strawberries and blueberries was better than expected! There’s also a banana version of this.

Overall FFL was a comfortable space with good value-for-money food offerings. If only it was more accessible to me!
Fresh Fruits Lab

351 Changi Road, Lorong Mazuki, S419818

Closed on Mondays.

http://www.ffl.com.sg

3 Points on Singaporean Food Culture 

  

Most people will probably insert an image of a familiar, well-loved local dish here as a representative visual as they write about Singaporean food culture. 

…and instead I chose this box of cupcakes. How is that remotely Singaporean?! That’s Ondeh Ondeh cupcakes, bottom right, with a pandan cake base, topped with gula melaka icing & drizzle and toasted coconut shreds. An ultimate Horlicks cupcake, top middle, with a Horlicks malt base, Horlicks icing and sticky Horlicks fudge. Locally made fresh by a small bakery helmed by young Singaporeans #inthebrickyard and that’s the first Singaporean food culture, we mix flavors from different cultures just like how the city is a mashpot of cultures and create great food with it. Peranakan food, laksa pasta etc you name it. 

We’re into foods fads and queues. Notice a spike in the availability of cupcakes both on the streets and on your social media feed these last 2 years? From cupcakes to bak kwa to nasi lemak, we kiasu Singaporeans are willing to queue for both new faves and old loves. 

We’re strongly united through food. Got good food? We spread the word and buy a box of cupcakes to share although probably confident that one of us can finish the whole box. Our food radar works just as well overseas, often helping to connect people through mutual homesickness of local food. 

And just for the record SethLui & FoodPanda , my favorite local food is char kway teow ;)

Sugarhall

IMG_2319-0.JPG

Sugarhall, the sister restaurant bar of Jigger & Pony, was rather randomly chosen by us on a late Wednesday night after listing out places we would want to try based on one keyword, and the keyword for that night was Cocktails.

Their cocktail menu, which heavily features their impressive stock of over 50 rums, is cleanly sorted into collections of ‘Clear Spirits’, ‘Dark Spirits’ and ‘Tropical’. What I appreciate however, was a thoughtful scale of ‘Hungry-Full’ pegged to each craft cocktail that hints to you how heavy your drink will be. If like us, your stomach was already lined with food, you can take some direction from the scale and try options that are closer to the ‘Full’ rating for example.

Mai Tai ala Sugarhall, $22, pictured above, listed under the ‘Tropical’ selection. My glass of Mai Tai definitely made an entrance, being set down on the table glowing and immediately capturing everyone’s attention on the exquisite blue flame that was burning steadily against a dish made out of fresh lime. While enthralled by this sight, I start registering details, like the dehydrated pineapple garnish, and spot the dull glaze of brown cinnamon dust on the lime burning together with the flame to produce that peering scent I caught a moment ago but couldn’t identify.

The first hit of the amber liquid was strong, perhaps due to the addition of some spiced apricot brandy that is not usually present in Mai Tais? Combined with 2 types of rum (1 light 1 dark) and orgeat (sweet almond syrup), this is not a flirty fruity drink but a well-balanced strong-flavoured glass that will well serve the kick of alcohol you need.

There is no happy hour in Sugarhall and I really really hope they will reconsider because that will certainly help when I return to try the rest of their creations.

Sugarhall

102 Amoy Street, Singapore, 069922

6222 9102 / 9732 5607

Operating Hours: Monday – Saturday: 6pm – midnight. Closed Sunday.

Pierre Herme III – Mystery Flavor?

20140607-210406-75846938.jpg

Imagine my surprise when I was presented with a Mystery-Flavored Pierre Herme Macaroon. It is one thing to be unable to discern flavors due to language barriers but this my friends, the name and flavor of this particular macaroon was simply a mystery, and the same answer was received when we asked the sales person in the shop. This seems fun if it was launched occasionally!

Continue reading