Jack's Cola Cafe...

As we all probably know, eating in a café can be extremely wounding to the wallet. The total bill can easily amount to almost or even more than a hundred each time you visit a café. If you are lucky enough, you “pay for what you get”, meaning the food is worth the money spent but unfortunately, there are times when we are served atrocious food (be it quality or quantity) that’s not equivalent to the amount we spent. At Jack’s Cola Café, they serve a wide range of decent Western dishes at a really very affordable price, nothing above S$15 and everything is in Nett price (the price reflected on the menu is the amount you pay).

Jack’s Cola Café, is the brand extension of Jack’s Place but more of a hipster and youthful rendition, and is definitely the place for youngsters to hang out without having to worry about spending a lot of money. Also, Jack’s Cola Café is having a collaboration with home-grown brands such as Smitten Coffee and the renowned Udders. Located within Paya Lebar Square, Jack’s Cola Café’s revamped menu which features their new All-day Breakfast dishes is one to watch out for. 

In frame, featuring their (Starters/Sides) Popcorn Chicken, Truffle Spud Fries with Shredded Cheese, (All-Day Breakfast) Jack's Cola Salad, Cola Biggie Brekkie, Happy Cow Fajita in Filo Pastry, Eggs Ben and Smokey Sam, and Distressed Cheesy Ham Toasty.

Jack’s Cola Café also serves relatively decent coffee and each coffee comes with a almond cookie
(Espresso: $4.50; Long Black: $4.50/$5; Cappuccino: $5; Caffe Latte: $5/$6; Piccolo Latte: $5; Mocha: $7.50/$8) 

Truffle Spud Fries with Shredded Cheese // $5

Are you kidding me? Truffle fries for only $5!??!! Yes, the truffle fries at Jack’s Cola Café is only priced at $5. The portion was unbelievably huge for a $5 truffle fries. They were also very generous in the amount of truffle they put in the fries. The truffle flavour was strong and aromatic, and the shredded cheese further adds texture to the fries. Definitely very addictive! Once you start, you can’t stop!

Popcorn Chicken // $5

Again, the portion was big for a $5 but I’m not complaining. The chicken was not too bad, well-marinated and crispy. It was also relatively tender, perhaps because we left it on the table for quite awhile to take photos). The tartar sauce was really good and it complements the chicken really well. I ate the sauce on its own as well because it was that good!

Jack's Cola Salad // $8

Iceberg lettuce, shredded cucumber, tomato concasse, corn kennels & sliced ham and cheese, topped with bacon bits & a healthy vegetable dressing
The salad was refreshing and well-dressed but I thought the dressing was relatively sweet for me. If you like your salad to be a little sweet, then I think you will like this salad. The lettuce was also very crunchy. 

Happy Cow Fajita in Filo Pastry // $12

Lighty marinated beef fajitas served with shredded lettuce, scrambled eggs & tomato concasse, served in filo pastry.
Like what the name of this dish suggests, I was very happy with the beef. It was tender and well-marinated. It was quite a filling dish!

Distressed Chessy Ham Toasty // $8

French toast with ham & cheese filling, topped with over easy eggs with a garden salad.
This reminded me of the breakfast I had when I was in Primary school. The ham & cheese were good, goes very well with the French toast.  Definitely feeling very nostalgic when eating the sandwich.

Cola Biggie Brekkie // $12

Chipolata sausages, bacon & smoked salmon on French toast slices & pancakes, accompanied with scrambled eggs and a mesdun salad.
Pancakes were soft and fluffy (a bit too sweet for me though), the scrambled eggs were also soft and fluffly, and the bacon was not too bad.

Eggs Ben & Smokey Sam // $12

Poached eggs served with smoked salmon on French toast slices, served with a garden salad.
Eggs benedict is one of my favourite meal to have in the morning. Running eggs are the best and I’m so glad this didn’t disappoint me. It was so flowy and so good to have it with toast. The smoked salmon was also fresh!

Besides their really affordable mains, Jack’s Cola Café also have a range of milkshakes and cakes.

Strawberry & Chocolate Classic Milkshakes // $8.80 each

Not too over the top but very decent for the amount you pay. If you really like sweet stuff, this is the one for you but I would advise you to share with your friends.

They also have a fair selection of interesting and exquisite Halal cakes to choose from.
Thank you Jack's Cola Cafe, Jack's Place and Sharon for having me! Really enjoyed myself at this young and vibrant cafe!

Nearest Mrt Station: Paya Lebar
Location: Paya Lebar Square, B1-15/16
What To Order: Eggs Ben & Smokey Sam, Truffle Fries, Popcorn Chicken
Cafe Ratings: 3.5/5
Food Ratings: 7.5/10

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)

The Quarters...

The café scene in Singapore is too saturated, lacks creativity and has no differentiation. This social stigma, or what I called a lack of understanding and knowledge about the F&B industry, is completely unfounded and untrue, and does not paint an accurate picture of the café industry in Singapore. We do have a few outstanding and amazing cafés that seek to modernise and promote familiar local flavours to the public. At the Quarters, you can expect to see a wide variety of locally-inspired dishes set in an unpretentious and comfortable environment. 

Located within Icon Village, the Quarters is well-known for its creative creations such as the Durian Crème Brûlée, Wonderffle, Satay Burger and the list goes on. Their recent launch of the Real McCoy which uses Salted Egg as the main ingredient has also become a big hit. So if you want to find out how creative local flavours can turn out to be, you should definitely pay the Quarters a visit! 

In frame, the newest Real McCoy, Chilli Crab Pasta and Salted Egg & Chilli Crab Fries (Quarters Shiok Fries).

The Quarters also serves beer (Happy Hour starts from 5pm to 7.30pm) and you'll get bar snacks such as Salted Egg Fries and Chilli Crab Mantou for free. Definitely the place to unwind with your friends or colleagues after a long day of work. 

If you love their Salted Egg and Chilli Crab Sauce, you can purchase them (prettily packed in a container) home as well. The Quarters also serves pretty decent coffee. 

Quarters Shiok Fries // $14

Best of both worlds! No wonder it is named the Shiok Fries, really very shiok especially because I’m a huge fan of both Salted Egg and Chilli Crab Sauce. The amount of sauce drizzled on the fries were really generous. Perfect snack to go with an iced cold beer!

Satay Burger // $17

The peanut sauce was aromatic and fragrant. It was also rich and creamy, and there wasn’t a tinge of jelatness but rather it got me more and more addicted with each mouthful. The chicken thigh was well-marinated, tender and juicy. The handmade rice patty was crispy and chewy, and it definitely complemented the satay sauce very well. The salads on the side were also refreshing. A must-try at the Quarters!

Chilli Crab Pasta // $18

They were very generous in the portion of crab meat they put in the pasta. Seeing the huge chunks of crab meat in my pasta have already captured half of my heart. The remaining half was captured by the flavourful and richness of the sauce. Very filling and definitely satisfying!

Real McCoy // $16 (August 2016 Promotion: $14)

Here comes the real deal. This was my favourite at the Quarters. The burger was intimidating but in a good way (it looks really appetising). The bun was lightly-buttered, chicken was tender and juicy, and the sauce was just mind-boggling. The salted egg sauce was rich and creamy, and I just love the saltiness of the sauce. Definitely worth the calories gained.

Durian Creme Brulee // $8.50

Who can resist Mao Shan Wang? I can’t! This durian crème brulee is so aromatic and smooth. The top layer was well-torched and well-caramelised, crispy but not burnt, and also not too sweet. The inner layer is so smooth, and it really melts in my mouth. No wonder this is one of the best seller at the Quarters.

Bibik's Brownie // $11.80

To be honest, it got me quite awhile before I got used to the taste. Buah Keluak wasn’t a flavour that I’m familiar with but it got better after a few mouthful. The brownie was not too bad, quite rich and soft. Overall, I would say that it’s a pretty interesting dish that you should at least try once. You may not like it but trust me, you’ve got to try it once at least.

Wonderffle // $12.80

This dish is really a representative dessert of Singapore. Handmade Lemongrass, Pandan Ice Cream with Gula Melaka glaze – I believe we are all very familiar with these ingredients. They complement one another so well that I think I could gobble up two waffles on my own. If you like lemongrass, this one is for you because the lemongrass flavour was really strong but in a good way.

Thank you Deming for the great hospitality and I looked forward to more of your creations in the near future!
The Quarters is about 5-10 minutes walk from Tanjong Pagar Mrt Station!

Nearest Mrt Station: Tanjong Pagar
Location: Icon Village 16 Enggor Street #01-09 Singapore 079717
What To Order: Real McCoy, Satay Burger, Durian Creme Brulee and Satay Burger
Cafe Ratings: 3.5/5
Food Ratings: 8/10

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)

Roosevelt's Diner & Bar...

Known for serving modernist interpretations of American classics, Roosevelt’s Diner & Bar recently revamped their menu and is here to impress. Located at New Bridge Road, this contemporary American restaurant and bar serves a wide range of sandwiches, pastas, salads and waffles. Also, they are the first in Singapore to provide a comprehensive specialty coffee menu, as well as an exhilarating wine programme that features only natural, organic, and biodynamic producers. The nice ambiance and settings at Roosevelt also make it the perfect place for a romantic date with your spouse over a good meal.

New menu hits Roosevelt, featuring in frame their Squid Ink Fish & Chips, Truffle Potato Foam with Croissant and Beef Cheek on Potato Pancake.

Quote my name “Yong Wei Kai” to the service crew to enjoy a 10% discount on your total bill!

Matcha Latte

Besides the really pretty latte art which you can see in the picture (They drew an elephant on my latte), the Matcha Latte at Roosevelt is probably one of the nicest that I’ve tried so far. It was aromatic and not too milky. The matcha flavour was strong, rich and creamy. The latte was also smooth and there’s a subtle bitter aftertaste which I really liked. Definitely a treat to both the eyes and mouth!

Beef Cheek on Potato Pancake // $22

Melt-in-your-mouth beef cheek braised with Chianti, served on crisped potato pancakes, cayenne buttermilk, free-range poached egg, toasted hazelnuts.
They say never judge a book by its cover and that applies to this Beef Cheek on Potato Pancakes. I was really very sceptical about this dish when it was served to my table. The portion was really small and I couldn’t make out what it was. I was wrong to jump to conclusions without having even to try it because this dish blew me away. The beef cheek, liked what they mentioned in their menu, did melt in my mouth literally and the beef was juicy and tender. The potato pancakes tasted very similar to hash brown, and it was well-seasoned with the outer layer very crispy and soft on the inside. The poached egg was also on point, very running and it goes so well with the beef cheek and potato pancakes. Definitely worth trying!

Truffle Potato Foam with Croissant // $20

Garlic panko breadcrumbs, free-range poached eggs, bacon bits, white truffle oil, torched parmesan.
The way to eat this: Dip the croissant into the cheesy truffle potato foam. The white truffle was really strong but I’m not complaining and I didn’t know it goes so well with poached egg and parmesan. Fans of cheese and truffle would definitely love this dish. The croissant was not too bad, lightly-buttered and very crispy. However, it gets a bit jelat at the end and I think it would be better to share this between 2-3 friends. 

Squid Ink Fish & Chips // $28

With a light beer batter, served with house-made mint cider tartar sauce and thick cut fries.
I have never ever come across any black (Squid Ink) fish and chips in my life before. Definitely a very refreshing concept! The Squid Ink fish and chips is very crispy on the outside (very well-seasoned and battered) and soft on the inside. The flavour of the squid ink wasn’t very strong and it does not have a fishy taste. The house-made mint cider tartar sauce was really addicted and I couldn’t stop myself from finishing it. It wasn’t very sweet and it complements the fish very well. The chips were crispy and well-seasoned. 

Strawberries & Ricotta Waffle // $16

Strawberries compressed with pink peppercorn and vanilla bean, served atop a bed of Moroccan rosebud-infused ricotta, basil waffle, cinnamon spice, and balsamic honey.
If you guys don’t know, Montana Singapore which is well-known for their delicious waffles is a sister company of Roosevelt and that’s why you can also expect the waffles at Roosevelt to be top-notch. The waffles were really soft and the yoghurt was a good complement to the waffle. The cinnamon spice also added an extra texture to the waffle. A scoop of vanilla ice cream, if added, would further complete the meal but it sure did satisfy my sweet tooth.

Thank you Roosevelt’s Diner & Bar for the great hospitality and Ying for the invitation. Don't say I Bojio! Quote my name: Yong Wei Kai to enjoy a 10% discount off your total bill!

Nearest Mrt Station: Outram Park
Location: #01-02, Dorsett Residences, 331 New Bridge Road, 088764
What To Order: Beef Cheek on Potato Pancakes, Squid Ink Fish & Chips and Matcha Latte
Café Ratings: 4/5
Food Ratings: 7.5/10

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)

Caffe Pralet...

To celebrate their 10th anniversary in the F&B industry, Caffe Pralet by Creative Culinaire undergoes a series of changes to their logo, menu and even renovation to give the whole café a brand new outlook. Under the management of a young but experienced team, Caffe Pralet offers an extensive range of Asian-Western fusion dishes at a very wallet-friendly price. Besides their delectable mains, they also serve an assortment of cakes as well as provide cake customization services. Furthermore, there’s no GST and service charge at Caffe Pralet.

Hidden at a corner in Tiong Bahru, Caffe Pralet is an unpretentious café that promotes very strong family-oriented values. The cosy environment and friendly service at Caffe Pralet have also garnered them a huge pool of regulars. So if you have no idea where to spend your weekends with your loved ones, head down to Caffe Pralet for a nice meal with your families and friends without having to burn a hole in your pocket!

NO GST! NO SERVICE CHARGE! At Caffe Pralet, be blown away by their 'East Meets West' fusion cuisine. In frame, Hei Bi Aglio Olio and Satay Chicken Chop with Rosti and Spiced Salsa. To complete your meal, you can just add $2 to get a drink, add $6 to get a drink and a cake, and add $7 to get a drink, a cake and a soup. Also, everything in Caffe Pralet is made in-house.

Crinkle Cut Fries // $2 Add-on

Available as an add-on to the mains, the Crinkle Cut Fries which is heavily spiced with 12 different ingredients is flavourful and addictive. Only priced at $2, the portion is relatively huge and definitely can be shared among two people. One thing that I thought could be further improved would be the consistency of the fries. The fries on top are not as well-seasoned as the fries at the bottom. Perhaps a good toss of the fries would do the trick! But overall, I'm more than willing to pay for this bowl of fries! A must-order with any mains purchased!

Hei Bi Aglio Olio // $12

Dried Shrimps, Belachan, Shitake, Prawns, Shredded Eggs and Fine Beans.
I believe many Singaporeans are very familiar with Hei Bi Hiam (Spicy Dried Shrimps) and most of us loved it. This Hei Bi Aglio Olio is aromatic (Could already smell it when it was taken out from the kitchen) and flavoursome (Generous portion of Hei Bi Hiam). The spice level was tolerable (I can't really take spicy food but I thought it was relatively mild). The noodles were not too dry. The prawns and shredded eggs further add texture to the overall dish.

Satay Chop Chicken with Rosti and Spiced Salsa // $13 Ala-carte & $18 with a Cake and Drink

Asean Spiced Marinated Chicken Thigh sauced with Satay Creamy Sauce, Potato Rosti, Sour Cream or topped with Pineapple or Cucumber Salsa
This was my favourite dish at Caffe Pralet which also turns out to be their signature dish. The satay sauce was rich and creamy. The consistency of the sauce was also good, not too watery or dry. The chicken was well-marinated and tender. The rosti was particular good with the sour cream and satay sauce, definitely very well thought out. The seasoned pineapple and cucumber adds a very nice finishing touch to the overall dish! A must-try at Caffe Pralet!

Iced Latte // $6

Not the best Iced Latte in Singapore but decent.

Soursop // Available as an add-on to the mains

Refreshing and not too sweet, made in-house.

Caffe Pralet is also famous for their delicious and pretty-looking cakes. In frame, Red Velvet Cake ($6), Gula Melaka Mousse ($6) and Signature Pralet ($6.50).

Red Velvet Cake // $6

To create the colouring for the Red Velvet Cake, Caffe Pralet uses mostly natural colouring from Beetroot instead of artificial colouring (they still do but a small portion of it). The Red Velvet Cake was a little too dense and dry for me. Perhaps more of the cream cheese (good consistency) on the cake could neutralise the dryness and jelatness of the cake. 

Gula Melaka Mousse // $6

The Gula Melaka was not too bad but I thought that the coconut flavour was a bit too strong, overpowering the Gula Melaka. But overall, the cake was fragrant and moist.

Signature Pralet // $6.50

The Signature Pralet was amazing! The cake was rich and creamy! The different layers of chocolate in the cake brings a new surprise to the taste buds. Definitely worth the calories gained! 

To commemorate their 10 years anniversary, Caffe Pralet is having a birthday promotion where they will be selling 10 mini cakes (their Top 10 best-selling cakes over the years) at $10. Go grab it before the offer ends on 31st August 2016!

Thank you Salina and the team at Caffe Pralet for the great hospitality!

Nearest Mrt Station: Outram
Location: 17 Eng Hoon Street #01-04, Singapore 169767
What To Order: Satay Chop Chicken & Signature Pralet
Café Ratings: 3.5/5
Food Ratings: 7/10

Written by: Yong Wei Kai (Follow me on Instagram @yongweikai or @sgcafehopping)
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