One of the most charming things about being on exchange is being able to visit places around your host university and discovering what each place has to offer. Facilitated by a relatively affordable bus ride away, I made my way to New Haven where I caught up with my friends who were studying at Yale University. For dinner on the first night, we decided to head to Jeera Thai’s – a place well known around the university students for cheap and decent Thai eats.
My dish of Spicy Basil Fried Rice ($8.95) was particularly enchanting and spicy. While I yearned for a stronger infusion of basil flavours, I thought this was very appropriate for a cold winter day that demands a little heat in your body. Made with fresh chilli, garlic, onions, egg and basil sauce with a choice of beef/chicken/veggies/tofu or shrimp. It was almost perfect after a cold bus ride from Hartford to New Haven. Be forewarned that this dish is exceptionally spicy. I was demanding iced water by the time I was done by my second bite. Refreshing though. After all, American food thus far has been on the side of relatively compartmentalized safe flavours.
Those who would want some soups to start with could choose from the Thai Coconut Soup ($3.95) or the Thai Tom Yum Soup ($3.95). Both were decent enough to warm the tummy but could do with a better infusion of flavours to drive up the taste. Still, the tom yum was a little lacklustre in spice and overall notes. The coconut soup on the other hand was creamy and delish, decadent enough to entertain your tastebuds with sweet coconut fresh aromatics in a savoury chicken broth.
Pad See U – Flat rice noodles stir-fried with Chinese broccoli, egg and sweet soy sauce with beef/chicken/veggies/tofu or shrimp ($8.95).
A great catchup!
Jeera Thai is a charming little place that is a little too small for my liking. Ideally, one should order delivery or takeout if you don’t wish to jostle with the few others already in the restaurant for some elbow room. The food is good enough and cheap, and the touches of hotness in its dishes (despite how demanding it is to the tastebuds) is refreshing from the regular American palate. I would love to be back there, or simply order something to go.
For my second visit to New York, I made a mental note that I simply had to try Shake Shack (the other being watching a show on Broadway). While it looks like my Broadway plans might not be realised, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to indulge in Shake Shack burgers, not once but twice. Both times, I just had to order the Shack Stack!
The Shack Stack is the burger joint’s creme de la creme made from a combination of a decadent Shack Burger and a ‘Shroom Burger. Indulge in a cheeseburger patty made from 100% all-natural Angus beef, which are freshly ground and cooked medium [unless requested]. On top of that, bite through the crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheese that is finished with slices of fresh tomato and lettuce. The result? A mouthwatering burger that simply screams delicious and satisfying! Hearty ground beef in all its robust textures, melded beautifully with a layer of melted cheese to accentuate the flavours. Only to be followed with a crispy yet firm portobello mushroom patty that surprises you with a burst of runny cheese within. Imagine that, and only for USD8.95.
A wholesome and indulgent meal all in one.
691 Eighth Avenue
Tel: 646 435 0135
Opens from: 11am to Midnight
Greetings all! It’s been a good two months since my last posting on this blog, and after a break settling in to the USA and starting school here, it is perhaps time to get back into the swing. As I continue my adventure here for the next few months before heading back to Singapore in June, I’ll occasionally write a few articles here and there on my American culinary adventures.
Wicked Waffle at Washington, DC was a surprising discovery both for me and my friend Anthea. I was keen to find a place that was highly recommended, dishes that were tasty and best if the creation was something unique altogether. Guided by the heavenly Yelp mobile application, I found Wicked Waffle that was a good 10 minutes walk from where we stayed.
Stack of Peking Duck Waffle (top) and Savoury Nova (bottom)
The menu definitely did not disappoint with a smorgasbord of waffle varieties ranging from the sweet treat to the savoury delights. Go for the Peking Duck Waffle that comes with shreds of meat, chopped mushrooms (I guess) and a drizzle of hoi sin sauce to liven things up. The meaty, sweet and slick flavours work very well with the crisp, made to order waffles that are free from syrup or butter. An alternative would be the Savoury Nova waffle which is stuffed with slices of smoked salmon, onions, capers cream cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. The salty, slightly smoked salmon meat contrasted with the piquant capers is a bright welcome to that morning brunch.
Excellent recommendation with value for money treats, and a great way to start the day before touring the city for some of those fabulous Smithsonian museums.
1712 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
(Next to Farrago West Metro)
Tel: (202) 944-2700
The Lunar New Year is just a week away! As I’m having my first lunar new year overseas, us Singaporean students are thinking of ways to celebrate the festivities while on campus. For those in Singapore, tuck in to the luxury of visiting the Peach Blossoms at the Marina Mandarin for some festive New Year delights. Enjoy healthy offerings such as an Organic Fruits Yu Sheng or simply relish in a Vegetarian Pen Cai offering. With a marvelous view to complete the experience, this could probably be the next place to being that business client you always wanted to impress with some good food and scenery.
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Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at the Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium has been one of my favourite Chinese restaurants to visit for the past few years now. And with the Lunar New Year of the Horse coming up in just a couple of days time, the restaurant is well up and prepared for a slew of delectable dishes to welcoming in wealth into the season. Enjoy items such as the Xin’s Superior Seafood Yusheng, Lobster and Fish Roe with Scrambled Egg, and the evergreen Award Winning “Home Style” Roast Duck with Tea Leaves. End off with some decadent bites with the Deep-Fried Soursop with Bailey’s Chocolate or the traditional Xin’s Nian Gao to capture the final moment. Sounds good already?
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The months of December through February is always one where festivities are held through and through. From Christmas, to the New Year, to the Lunar New Year and then Valentine’s Day, there is almost always an occasion to break out some wine and chocolate to celebrate with close families and friends. Those keen to pop a little sparkling wine into the party will be pleased to note that one of France’s top winemakers Jailance now has products available at Bottles & Bottles, Cold Storage, FairPrice, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra, Giant, Jasons and MarketPlace in Singapore. The Sémillon and the Muscat, Clairette retail at $29.90 and $26.90 respectively and are light, tender sweet offerings that are coupled with the perfect fizz to lighten the overall mood.
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