Beirut Grill – Bussorah Street

If you are looking for Lebanese food in Singapore, then the best place to find it is in and around Arab Street. My craving for this cuisine led me to Beirut Grill, a restaurant serving authentic Lebanese and Middle Eastern cuisine. This small restaurant is designed with Arabian motifs and artifacts making it quite a colorful setting. It has both indoor and alfresco seating, which helps if you want to embrace the vibes of the nightlife of the bustling Bussorah street, especially on a Friday evening.

Beirut Grill

Beirut Grill

The Orders
I enjoy Lebanese cuisine because it usually has a lot of vegetarian options. The dishes usually have vegetables, fruits and whole grains. If you go as a larger group of people, then Beirut Grill is famous for its mezze platter, either hot or cold. But since we were just the two of us, we ordered the individual dishes.

We went with the staple order of soup to start the meal. In the Middle East, ‘Lentil Soup’ is a common dish. This soup was made with the same lentils as Indian dal, but with a texture resembling a classic soup. It was made thick and creamy and garnished with freshly squeezed lemon juice and parsley. This was a delicious soup and acted as a good start to the meal.

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup at $7


A must order side dish is the Batata Harra which is a delicious Lebanese appetizer made with potatoes and cilantro. The sautéed potatoes had such a nice spice kick to them with the chilli and fried onions. They disappeared from the plate in no time. Recommended dish.
Batata Harra

Batata Harra at $12


Falafel wraps are addictive because there is hardly anything in them not to like. Beirut Grill’s version had fried falafel, lettuce and tomatoes wrapped in a roll and finished with a spread of hummus and tahini. The falafels made from fava beans and chickpeas were crisp, had an authentic taste and were pretty awesome. The wrap is served with pickles and fries on the side. The portion size is quite good and is apt for the appetite during lunch or dinner time. Highly recommended.
Falafel Roll

Falafel Roll at $14


Sometimes they also have an ongoing special menu which also has a decent number of vegetarian items. You’ll also get to catch a glimpse of some belly dancing during your dining experience in the evenings. For its tasty dishes, for an authentic Middle Eastern cuisine fix and for its friendly service, Beirut Grill is worth visiting.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Lebanese and Middle Eastern ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: 72 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199485
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 11pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/beirut.grill.restaurant/
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Cicheti – Kandahar Street

There is no dearth of Italian restaurants in Singapore. And making the Kampong Glam area cooler with its hipster vibes and quirky decor is Cicheti located in the bustling Kandahar Street. It is a two-storey shophouse bedecked with oak tables and warm lights. For large groups, it is better to hit the second floor for privacy and it is recommended that you make advance reservations. And if you are really looking for the weekend vibes, then the rooftop patio is ideal.

The Orders
For the appetizers, we ordered the ‘Onion and Garlic Flatbread’ for a light start to the meal. The advantage of Italian flatbreads is that their surface gives room for toppings and dips to be spread on them easily. The Cicheti version was very good with the dip enhancing the taste.

Onion and garlic flatbread

Onion and garlic flatbread at $7


The menu contains a plethora of options in the form of 10 inch Napoletana pizzas lovingly made in their wood-fired ovens. For vegetarians, the restaurant was open to customization. We ordered the ‘Pollo Pizza’ without the chicken. The pizzas were nicely charred with the wood-fired spots on the crust looking perfect. The almond pesto acted as the perfect base to the greens and onions and every bite was savored with delight.
Pollo Pizza

Pollo Pizza at $25


For the cheese lovers, the ‘Quattro Formaggi’ is worth trying. The traditional four cheese pizza contained a winning combination of parmesan, gorgonzola, ricotta and fior de latte and aided in bringing a creamy lusciousness to every bite.
Quattro Formaggi

Quattro Formaggi at $22


The pastas are handmade and we tried the ‘Gnocchi’. The earthy flavour of mushrooms blended with the creaminess of ricotta cheese and was decent but not something to rave about. Personally, I missed a pasta with veggies as an option on their menu.
Gnocchi

Gnocchi at $26


One of the most interesting desserts was the ‘Panna Cotta with Rhubarb garnish’ with its perfect texture. The rhubarb gave a fresh flourish to creaminess the base and was extremely tasty.
Panna cotta with rhubarb granita

Panna cotta with rhubarb granita at $12.5


Filled with cocoa crumble and almond paste, the ‘Crack Pie’ was rich and dense. The vanilla ice cream served alongside was just nice to make this whole dessert come together.
Crack pie

Crack pie at $12.5


The ‘Warm chocolate cake’ was a safe dessert and pretty standard fare. The chocolate lovers will like it.
Warm molten chocolate cake

Warm molten chocolate cake at $12.5


You can’t go to an Italian joint and not order the ‘Tiramisu’. This version was soft and creamy with a very smooth finish.
Tiramisu

Tiramisu at $12.5


For its wood-fired pizzas, for its good service and for celebrating special occasions or just catching up with friends, Cicheti is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Italian ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: 52 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198901
Timings: Mon-Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm , 6.30pm – 10.30pm ; Sat: 6pm – 10.30pm
Website: http://www.cicheti.com/

Argo Restaurant – Purvis Street

Purvis Street is a favourite haunt of foodies – it is stacked with restaurants offering various cuisines. You will be spoiled for choice once you get here! Hidden under the radar, in the premises of Adonis Hotel is Argo Restaurant. It mainly serves as the breakfast joint for guests who stay in the hotel. A lesser known fact is that it is open to the general public to dine and has an extensive menu offering a variety of options for vegetarians. Tastefully done decor, white walls, paintings and potted plants give the restaurant a home-y feel. If you are looking for a quiet place, Adonis is a very good option in this central location.

The Orders
I was pleasantly surprised by the number of green symbols indicating vegetarian pastas on the menu! To start the meal, I ordered the ‘Soup of the Day’ which was Tomato Soup. This soup offered a zesty and familiar flavour that was ideal to start a great meal. The bread slice was soft and complemented the soup perfectly. Priced at $3, it is a no-brainer to order this excellent soup!

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup at $3


From the vegetarian pastas, the first one we ordered was the ‘Aglio Olio e Pereroncino’. The pasta is tossed in a spiced olive oil. It was heartening to see generous portions of veggies in the dish – capers, black olives, and red, green and yellow bell peppers. The garlic, capers and dried chili pepper gave the dish a nice spicy twist. Highly recommended.
Vegetariano

Aglio Olio e Peperoncino at $9.90


The second pasta we ordered was the ‘All Arrabbiata’ which was spicy and light with the right punch of garlic in the tomato sauce. Seasoned to perfection, this dish was simple and delicious.
All Arrabbiata

All ‘Arrabbiata at $7.90


Never say no to desserts at a Italian place that offers ‘Homemade Tiramisu’, especially when its priced at $4. The layers of mascarpone cheese goodness lavishly sprinkled with cocoa were moist and spongy. Worth trying for sure.
Homemade tiramisu

Homemade tiramisu at $4


For quality Italian food at such wallet-friendly prices at a central location, for their homely feel and for their affable service, Argo is highly recommended – maybe even for a staycation 🙂

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Italian ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: Adonis Hotel Singapore, 13 Purvis Street, Singapore 188592
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11.30am – 3pm , 6pm – 10.30pm
Website: http://hoteladonis.worldsignaturehotels.com/wp-content/uploads/Argo-Menu-2015.jpg

Paper Crane – Waterloo Street

Paper Crane is exactly one of those cafes that you would chance upon while roaming. A sign stating ‘Want Hearty Meals for $10?’ set in a vibrant design was what caught my attention – even on a rainy evening. Tucked away on Waterloo Street in the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations (SCWO) building, this is a fuss-free cafe offering simple food. Their menu is neatly written on a chalkboard and they keep changing it frequently. For vegetarians, the options are limited and hence it is better to inquire before you travel specifically to this place. If you are in the area, you can surely drop by to check the menu and their daily specials. I am pretty sure they can make a basic vegetarian pasta on request. Our alfresco seating was perfect (even with rains) as the cafe is well-shielded.

Paper crane cafe

Paper Crane cafe


Paper Crane menu

Paper Crane menu

The Orders
With limited veg options, it’s always safe to go for the Pasta. The ‘Spaghetti Arrabbiatta’ was a delightful experience with the sauce evenly coated across the pasta strands. The olives and capers provided the necessary bite and this turned out to be a decent dish.

Spaghetti Arrabbiatta

Spaghetti Arrabbiatta at $10


The regular readers of my blog would know by now that I consider it as a welcome sign when a cafe attempts a non-mushroom burger in the vegetarian section. The same thought made me order the ‘Falafel Burger with Fries’ with a lot of anticipation. Unfortunately, I was let down by the dryness of the chickpea burger which had the texture of a frozen patty. But it was heartening to see that the owners took the feedback in a constructive manner and I hope to try it again sometime 🙂 The fries on the side were a good munch.
Falafel burger

Falafel burger at $10


During rains, its thrilling to get a ice rush in the form of slushies which are ideal summer time treats. I ordered the ‘Watermelon Slushie’ filled with ice and this turned out to be a good slow sipping drink.
Watermelon slushie

Watermelon Slushie


The cafe has a small dessert counter with few options. We tried the ‘Carrot Cake’ and ‘Baklava’ which were strictly passable. Nothing much to write about on these offerings except that the prices were reasonable.
Carrot cake

Carrot cake at $4


Baklava

Baklava


On the whole, the dishes are friendly on the wallet and the service is extremely friendly. Pay them a visit if you are in the area!

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Western ★★★
Nearest MRT: Bras Basah
Address: 96 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187967
Timings: Mon-Sat: 11am – 10pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/papercranesg/

The Pizza Collective – Bugis Plus

Nowadays, food and technology have started to integrate in the dining scene. You can place orders using an iPad and self-payments can be done via kiosks. I happened to visit one such place called The Pizza Collective situated conveniently in Bugis Plus. Though they have a limited selection of pizzas on the menu, they offer customization of your pizzas with unlimited toppings at the same price. That is quite a steal and this ordering model is also very conducive for takeaways. They also have a limited seating space where you can enjoy your pizza with a drink. What is also worth a mention is their flowchart handout of the ordering process which helps customers who are new to the kiosk ordering method.

Pizza Collective kiosk

Pizza Collective kiosk


Pizza Collective handout

Pizza Collective handout

The Orders
This place focuses on piping hot pizzas using fresh ingredients. The customization model helps in you building your own vegetarian pizza. Right from the dough, to the type of crust, toppings, and drizzles have variety. The pizza turned out to be very good and I went for onions, cherry tomatoes, red bell peppers and zucchini as the toppings. A 10.5″ inch pizza priced at $12 is worth it. They also have dessert pizzas as options which I plan to try next time. You can also pair your pizza with a soft drink.

Vegetarian pizza

Vegetarian pizza at $12


Soft drink

Soft drink


For its central location, for its wallet-friendly good pizzas and for quick takeaways, the Pizza Collective is a totally recommended option.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Italian ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: Bugis+ #01-12, 201 Victoria Street, Singapore 188067
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 10pm
Website: http://www.thepizzacollective.com/

Bridge Restaurant and Bar – Seah Street

Seah Street in Singapore has a variety of restaurants just waiting to be explored by foodies. I am always on the lookout for fun weekend brunches and one such walk along this street led me to Bridge Restaurant and Bar. This place had a relaxing and friendly vibe. The interiors are done well and make a great first impression. They serve modern European fare at wallet-friendly prices which makes the brunch experience worth a visit.

The Orders
As we settled in, we ordered ‘Fries’ for the table. Fresh and crunchy, they were a good option to pass the time as we placed the order for the brunch mains.

Fries

Fries


The traditional breakfast order was the ‘Veggie Breakfast’ which comes with roasted potatoes, asparagus, sauteed mushrooms and choice of eggs. If you do not eat eggs, you can choose to have the dish served without them. Since my husband eats eggs at brunch menus, he ate the scrambled eggs which according to him was done quite well. I liked the freshness of their ingredients like the cherry tomatoes and asparagus and the dish was enjoyable.

Veggie breakfast

Veggie breakfast at $22


A friend had the same dish, and chose the Sunny side up egg. Bridge uses edible flowers in their plating which adds to the appeal of the dish.

Veggie breakfast

Veggie breakfast at $22


For the toast lovers, do not miss the ‘Honey French Toast’ at this place. The plate was presented beautifully with the edible flowers gently adding a purple touch. Drizzled with the right amount of honey, cinnamon and sugar, every bite of this dish was enjoyable.

Honey french toast

Honey french toast


For a sweet treat, go for the ‘Waffles’. This is another well plated dish with hot and crisp waffles served with ice cream and fruits. We chose the chocolate ice cream and bananas.

Waffles

Waffles


If you are spending time there with a large group of friends the ‘Coffee’ at this place is quite good. They have a barista counter with a decent selection.

Coffee

Coffee


If you are looking for a weekend brunch with wallet-friendly prices coupled with smiling staff who are prompt in their service, then Bridge is worth heading to (and centrally located!).

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Modern European ★★★
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: 31 Seah Street, Singapore 188387
Timings: Tue-Thu: 3pm – 11pm; Sat: 3pm – 1am; Sat: 11am – 1am; Sun: 11am – 5pm
Website: http://www.dineatbridge.com.sg

Suvai 2015 – Singapore’s First Indian Gourmet Festival

In Tamil, Suvai means to taste the flavours. When Singapore showcases an Indian gourmet festival, I knew I had to taste Indian cuisine in all its glory. Suvai 2015 is an ongoing festival running until August 2nd 2015 and it is located just outside Bugis MRT on Tan Quee Lan Street. Shielded from the rains, it is a tent like structure with ample seating and good hygiene standards. The various spices used in Indian cooking were displayed in a very attractive manner. There is also a live telecast for the attempt at ‘Guinness Book of World Records for the World’s Largest Curry’ which was extremely interesting to watch. At the time of writing this review, I do not know if the record has been made, hence I am keeping my fingers crossed 🙂

Suvai 2015

Suvai 2015


Suvai Guinness

Suvai Guinness attempt

The Orders
Chefs from various culinary backgrounds have set up their stalls. Each stall showcases three unique dishes. For vegetarians, there are dessert options in all stalls and main course options in some stalls. Let me update you on the interesting things I tried.

Chef Jonathan Lee, Head Chef at Artichoke
This was the best stall offering 2 veg dishes. First, we tried ‘Aloo Gobi Sabich’ which was fried cauliflower, potato hummus and herbs filled in pita pockets. The cauliflower was fried to perfection and along with coriander garnish, this dish was extremely tasty.

Aloo gobi sabbich

Aloo gobi sabich at $6


The chef had created ‘Masala Tea Slushie’ as one of his signature dishes. Everything about this drink was unique. Freshly brewed tea with a seven spice blend from Sri Lanka formed the frozen slushie base. It was topped with coconut ice cream and the entire combination worked like magic. The cinnamon notes from the tea hit perfectly and I would highly recommend this.

Masala tea slushie

Masala tea slushie at $5

Chef Vik
The next stall we tried and liked showcased dishes by Chef Vik. Our first order was ‘Potato and Paneer Croquettes’ which consisted of deep-fried crispy croquettes served with minty spinach puree. The dish was presented very aesthetically with fine bean sprouts and almond shavings which enhanced the taste. The size of croquettes were slightly smaller in size compared to our expectation.

Potato and paneer croquettes

Potato and paneer croquettes at $5


We tried the dessert which was ‘Paayasam Panna Cotta’ which had paayasam infused panna cotta topped with frozen meringue and fresh berries. The instant freeze using liquid nitrogen added to the visual effect of this dessert and they nailed the texture of the pannna cotta.

Paayasam panna cotta

Paayasam panna cotta at $5

Chef Devagi Sanmugham
When it comes to Indian starters, chaat is an eternal favourite. We tried a variant in this called ‘The Explosion’ which had potatoes with chaat masala, mint and tamarind chutney and pomegranates served in a crispy shell shaped like a small shot glass.

The Explosion

The Explosion at $6


As a dessert, ‘The Saffron Puffs’ had a combination of different flavours like pistachio, gula melaka and coffee in the sauce. The crispy donuts were infused with saffron.

Saffron puffs

Saffron puffs at $5

Chef Thanyadar Suteedechanon
At this stall, we tried ‘Garam Masala Tom Yum Rice’ which had the Thai ingredients like galangal and lemongrass in balance. For the vegetarian version, we asked for no prawns. I wanted the rice to be warmed better – the dish was served at room temperature.

Garam masala tom yum rice

Garam masala tom yum rice at $6


There are also ongoing live music bands and masterchef classes happening here. The festival will end on 2nd Aug at 10 pm. Check their website for timings. For unique Indian offerings, for an efficiently managed food festival, the different tastes at Suvai 2015 beckon you at the earliest! Head there this weekend for a gastronomical delight!

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Food festival- Indian cuisine variaitions ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: Outside Exit D Bugis MRT
Timings: 12 pm – 10 pm (Today and tomorrow)
Website: http://www.suvai.sg/