A Food & Travel Blog

I'm a New Yorker at heart and I can have up to 2 bagels a day when I'm back in the city. Oh love. And I'd gladly join the queue at Katz's Delicatessen for their towering pastrami sandwiches. Obviously it depresses me so that Singapore doesn't do any of the above food items well. But that could change with Singapore's version of a NYC Jewish deli Sacha & Sons. Located at the prime Mandarin Gallery spot which was previously Wild Honey, Sacha & Sons is a nice complement to the all day breakfast spot which moved next door. They are both opened by the same owners.
Expect meats like pastrami, corned beef, roast beef and smoked fish. Cream cheese and pickles aside, Sacha & Sons offers other Jewish deli staples such as bagels ($3), latkes ($10-$16), chopped liver ($14), kugel ($7), and matzah ball soup ($12.50).
I do enjoy liver e.g. foie gras and pate, but the version at Sacha was so metallic I had to wash it down immediately with water. Thankfully we had some smoked salmon and that got rid of the pungent aftertaste.

We had a taste of the pastrami ($16, $24, $35), and immediately decided that whatever we ordered, there must be pastrami in it. The slices were sufficiently juicy when carved and salty enough to satisfy a savory craving. I was torn between a Reuben Sandwich ($16) and a bagel (there's no denying my love for bagels. Even though there is a Bagel Reuben option, i was adamant that only Rye bread goes with the juicy brisket. Yea yea I'm particular that way.
In the end, Z and I settled on the Scrambled eggs with pastrami and toasted bagel ($18). I'm glad to report that the bagels were satisfying. Exactly the kinda dense chewy dough with a shiny crust that I miss. However, I think the texture has been tweaked a little to cater to Singaporeans who can't take hard food (roll eyes).

There are only sesame flavored bagels because they are more versatile for sandwiches I guess. Sigh. We had the herb cream cheese to go with and it was thick and rich in terms of flavor and texture. If you dislike garlic, you'd be put off by this one. It's so pungent that it can kill a vampire but it's oh so good and savory! I haven't had a schmear so good in singapore. Go for the smoked salmon cream cheese (or lox cream cheese) if you want something saltier (it was very good). I hope they up their bagel game. We could certainly do with variety like say maple bacon walnut.
We didn't know that the dish already comes with cream cheese so we added another side of that garlic herb ($3) for good measure. Turns out each portion was just about enough for a half of a bagel. Sacha & Sons was generous with the cheese but if you have tried a real bagel in NYC, you'd feel short changed.

The scrambled eggs were sufficiently runny and had nice layers in them. They may resemble a chinese fried omelette a little. The pastrami was cubes and cooked with the egg and that resulted in a drier texture. What a pity.

Would love to give the Reuben and traditional Latke (fried potato and onion cake) a shot next time but the bagel is gonna be my staple here.

We had the Sweet blintzes ($12) which is a crêpe stuffed with cottage cheese, and paired with sour cream and jam. It reminded me of the waffles we had in Stavanger, Norway. That was my first time pairing sour cream with waffles and we were told it's a tradition.

On its own, the crêpe was really oily, and the sight of it soaking in oil put me off the dish. Crepes and oil do not go well at all. It was soggy (with OIL) and bland. The sour cream and overly sweet jam could not take away that eeky mouth feel. I'd rather the Norwegian version with a light and crispy batter rather than wet mess.

I'll head to Sacha & Sons if I have an NYC bagel craving, simply because my choices are limited in Singapore. At $8 for a bagel with lox cream cheese, they are certainly not marketed as a typical delicatessen. Well well, so much potential to cultivate a bagel culture in Singapore but not tapped on. Hopefully they stay around for a bit.

Sacha & Sons
333A Orchard Road #03-02 Mandarin Gallery
Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 6735 6961
Sun - Thu: 9am - 9pm
Fri, Sat, Eve of PH: 9am - 10pm
If I have to pick my favorite business class lounge, it will have to be the Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul at the Ataturk Airport (for now)! Sorry Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines, TK wins hands down! Why? Read on!
Traveling in business class on any Star Alliance flights allows you to fast track through an otherwise insane immigration queue. Access to the sprawling 5900sqm Turkish Airlines Istanbul Lounge (THY CIP) is made available to Turkish Airlines business passengers, Elite and Elite Plus members TK's Miles and Smiles frequent flyer program. Star Alliance Gold members departing on a Star Alliance flight are also entitled to using the lounge. 
Of the cities that i visited in Cuba, Santa Clara was certainly my favorite. Havana was scam heaven, Camagüey a little gritty, Trinidad a recluse's oasis, and Santa Clara the charming City of Che (as i call it).
Getting There
Like i mentioned in my previous Cuba travel post, Viazul provides several buses a day to/from major cities such as Camagüey, Havana, Sancti Spiritus, and Santiago de Cuba. A daily service to Varadero, Cienfuegos and Trinidad is also available.

Flying is also an option, and on hindsight, i should have just flown directly back to Canada from Santa Clara instead of taking the route via Havana. My advice is to get an open jaw ticket if you're headed east. Several Canadian airlines operate connecting flights between Canadian cities and the Abel Santa Maria airport so you have plenty of options. The airport connects some European cities such as Warsaw as well.

I'm an Eastie and i'm absolutely loving how there is a growing cafe scene in the east, alongside my local favorites. Carvers & Co is one such addition along East Coast Road. This bistro-carvery opened by the people behind One Man Coffee focuses on communal feasting over hearty roasts and comfort food. While roasts are the highlight, let's save that for another time because the time wasn't right and i wanted brunch.

Upon stepping into the shophouse unit, we were greeted by a strong truffle scent. 
First up, my daily dose of coffee. Flat White ($5) with a dry crema. Nutty dark roast with a light sweetness at the end.

Pretty art to boot as well.

A lean brunch menu, with a little more variety than One Man Coffee, is offered. The Paprika Candied Bacon Chips ($6) sounded interesting enough and reviews of it have been good. I do remember liking the toad in the hole at OMC pretty much and the Truffled Eggs Toast sounded like a good upgrade with the bacon chips as well so obviously i had to.

Sadly, S doesn't indulge in breakfast food as i do, else an order of the Earl Grey Custard infused French Toast ($15) would also be on the table.

An arty shot while waiting for the food. The space is pretty tight and we sat at the elevated communal table.
Truffled Eggs Toast ($15) comes with bacon jam, cheddar, sous vide eggs, bacon chips and truffle oil. On hindsight, i think they forgot the bacon chips. I didn't check back with the servers because i thought the chips could be the little bits of bacon that were sprinkled. Disappointing.

The brioche was bouncy and soaked up the egg yolk. I preferred the sunny side up at OMC instead of the sous vide eggs here as they were kinda underdone. The whites were still transparent and i don't think that was how it was supposed to be presented. As usual, loved the sweet bacon jam with a hint of spice. It tasted a bit like hae bee hiam! Truffle oil was well, just truffle oil.

Next trip, i'll be back for the roasts which change every week. Portions are limited and specials written on the board. Do call ahead to book a roast in the event of them running out. Seats are limited as well (40 pax max).

Carvers and Co.
43 East Coast Road Singapore 428764
Tel: +65 6348 0448
Weekdays: 11am - 10pm
Weekends: 8.30am - 10pm (Brunch till 5pm)
Dinner service from 6.30pm
Closed Tues
It's all about Chinese New Year dining this month as we approach the celebrations in February. From 2 Feb till 5 Mar 2015, Pan Pacific Singapore will be welcoming the Year of the Wooden Goat at all its restaurants. Here's a review of the dishes available at Hai Tien Lo

I had the good fortune to finally enjoy the Singapore Airlines Suites Book The Cook Kyo Kaiseki after missing out on that in 2013. 2014 was the year to make it happen and that also allowed me to do a more detailed review of the most premium offering by Singapore Airlines. YAY. 

It's Chinese New Year already (almost there anyway) and i've had my fair share of yusheng (chinese salad) even before 2015 started. Well well, you guys would know how hard it is to get a table at a good chinese restaurant for CNY reunion right? Here's introducing the offerings at Yan Ting (one of my ultimate favorite chinese restaurants) at The St. Regis Singapore.

The food options in the Far East (and by that i mean Changi/Loyang) have been growing, much to my delight. It's amazing how The Coastal Settlement is forever packed considering the ulu location but well the food is pretty ahmazing. So so, they have opened a sister restaurant just across the road (yea you heard it from me). Jubilee Coffee House and Bar serves local and western food in a charming restored bungalow, complete with its little garden. 
As compared to The Coastal Settlement (who also does a mean Mee Goreng), the emphasis is more local flavors with snacks like Battered Otah Sticks ($13). Local delights such as Chicken Satay ($12), Chwee Kueh ($5), Fried Carrot Cake ($10) and even Chicken Porridge ($10), are available. Prices seem to be high for local dishes, well that's the impression until we were served our mains.
If there is a current F&B spot that is a big boy's dream come true, it has got to be Hungry Heroes. One can live his superhero fantasy with all the life size figurines on display, TV screens that play superheroes cartoons and at the same time, he can dig into the hearty meat platters and guzzle down craft beers. How about that!
Well for me, food was the only thing on my mind. A hot deli counter serves a range of ready-to-eat meat dishes such as the Classic Pulled Pork ($9/$14), the Veal Osso Bucco ($16) and Bratwurst Sausages ($6/pc).
Or pick your preferred cut of meat from the cold deli showcase and they'll fire it up for you on the grill. I think the 150-day Grass-fed Tenderloin ($32/200g, $43/300g) would serve me dainty.
We went for the communal feast of course. Platters come in various sizes. We had the “Steak-out” ($108, serves 5 to 6) and it featured a 200g ribeye, full rack of pork ribs, pulled pork, sausage trio, 250g de-boned chicken leg, beef stew and veal osso bucco. Yes that was a lot of food!

Now on to my favorites on the platter. Top of the list belongs to the Pork Ribs ($16/$30 ala carte). Twice-cooked, the pork ribs are first braised over low heat before being glazed with house marinades and placed in the oven to seal in the juices. I loved the caramelized crispy bits and the marinade wasn't overly sweet and definitely non-artificial. Hell, i will make a trip back for the ribs and that says a lot because I'm not typically a ribs girl. 

The pulled pork, another of my favorite, was cooked in a less intense version of the ribs marinade. It is also available in a burger form which i'll sample next time.

I practically finished the beef stew by myself as well. I would expect some secret stock to go in there (they really do have some)! It is kinda soupy so i thought it rather perfect for a cold day. If you prefer the hearty Italian style, then the tomato based veal osso bucco would satisfy your taste buds. I thought it was a good way to take away any gamey flavors of the veal.

In all, the meats were pretty well prepared. All that was supposed to fall off the bone did so easily. The exception was perhaps the steak. I felt the meat was a little too thinly cut, and our medium rare was served medium so that could have explained the slight toughness of the meat. The chicken steak was rather meh as well but the in-house created sauces kinda compensated for it. My favorite was the Hero sauce, which was a creamy pepper gravy and tasted of the yummy Christmas pimento cheese scone from Starbucks. There are plans to keep changing the sauce so you may be in for a surprise next time.
Each platter also comes with fries or roasted potatoes, caramelised onion, and sautéed buttered corn. The corn was super sweet and juicy and i found it hard to resist the starchy roasted potatoes (carbs be damned)! We ordered the truffle mash potato ($5) but it was a tad dry and nothing to shout out about (it's simply truffle oil). Luncheon fries are well luncheon fries.

The boys behind Hungry Heroes are also crazy over their craft beers and they opened bottles after bottles to induct this girl into their world. Well i didn't need much convincing with their curated list. Award winners like the Rogue Mocha Porter ($13/355ml), or the nutty Hazel Nut Brown Nectar ($14/355ml) are great accompanying beverages.
I took a liking to the Hitachino Espresso Stout ($15). Well they had me at espresso. I believe it's my virgin stout experience as well.
The boys were raving over the Beavertown Gamma Ray ($15) which was very hard to source and stock in Sg. It's kinda on the bitter end and so it's more for seasoned craft beer drinkers. 
Currently there's only 1 dessert on the menu but that gooey brownie with a heap of chocolate sauce sure does satisfy my sweet teeth. HEE,
Another thing you might notice about the restaurant would be the quirky decor. If you like something, you can probably buy it too (sans the toys)! Art Art And Away (managed by the same folks) provides these products at an affordable price if you wish to purchase something. They also provide customization and framing services as well. If i'm not wrong they have taken over a shop house unit 2 doors away.

Besides showcasing its products at the retail store, Art Art And Away will also be launching an online shopping platform in the near future. Customers can browse through the full range of products and make purchases from the website.
So yea, Hungry Heroes is a great spot to pig out with the boys. Do make a reservation as they are like waaaay packed these days. Remember to get the ribs!

Hungry Heroes
33 Tessensohn Road, Singapore 217656
Tel: +65 6295 5401 (no reservations)
Weekdays: 4pm – 12am
Sat: 11am – 12am
Sun: 11am – 11pm