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Lucha Loco

Lucha Loco at Duxton near Neil Road

Lucha Loco is a taqueria which has a lovely garden bar that serves Mexican food. We’ve passed by the restaurant several times whenever we go around the neighborhood and we finally decided to try their food a few weeks ago.

The hostess promptly greeted us at the door and seated us. Seating was limited to two hours as the restaurant was full and we didn’t have any reservations. I didn’t mind having limited seats since we didn’t have reservations, but it seemed like they were limiting all their customer’s stay at the restaurant that night. The service was excellent and our food didn’t take too long to arrive in between dishes.

Tostaditas de Cangrejo (Crab tostaditas with habanero oil, avocado and scallion $16)

The Tostaditas de Cangrejo or crab tostaditas arrived first and although the menu says that it serves four, I think that it only serves 2. There are four pieces but I don’t think that one piece is enough per person. The appetizer was light, refreshing and delicious. I was surprised at how I liked the dish that I was anticipating our other orders.

Taco de Carnitas (Pork belly taco with jicama and cilantro mayo $10)

The Taco de Carnitas or pork belly taco was just as scrumptious. The porky porky goodness went well with the avocado and scallion. The meat was tender and the dish was savory without being too heavy.

Quesadillas de Conchinillo (Pork quesadilla with grilled pineapple, pico de gallo & cotija cheese $18)

The Quesadillas de Conchinillo or pork quesadilla was delicious but it was not really that memorable. I liked how the dish came together but I was not as amazed as I was with the other dishes but I would still order it again.

Lucha Loco has great food, ambiance, and, more importantly, they have great service. Having an early dinner may have been a factor to the quality of their service but we would definitely love to come back at another time with our friends. This restaurant is a must try!

Outdoor seating

Lucha Loco

  • Website: www.luchaloco.com
  • Address: 15 Duxton Hill, Tanjong Pagar
  • Telephone: 6226 3938

Amazon Free Shipping to Singapore

I love to shop at Amazon for books and art supplies since it is cheaper to buy online and ship the items here. I was really happy when Amazon announced that they will ship items to Singapore for free if you order at least USD $125 and if the combined weight of the items is less than 20 lbs. or 9 kg.

The first time we ordered was during the haze period when all the air purifiers were either out of stock or way too overpriced. This time, we ordered some books and gifts to bring back when we go back home for Christmas.

We’ve tried this service twice and both times our orders arrived within 2 weeks. We’ve been happy with the savings and turnaround time for the delivery.

Tips:
1. Read the Help Topics at the AmazonGlobal Saver Shipping page before you start shopping

2. Be careful to shop at the AmazonGlobal page so you only add items on your cart that qualify for free shipping.

3. Note down the weight of each item every time you add it to your shopping cart so you don’t exceed the weight limit.

Best Kaya Toast in Chinatown

I love coffee and but I was never a huge fan of toast until I tried the kopi, kaya toast and runny eggs combo here in Singapore. It is the quintessential breakfast and a must-try. A good kaya toast breakfast must have a delicious kaya jam with a good balance of kaya to margarine / butter ratio, well toasted bread, perfectly brewed coffee and a pleasant place to eat to enjoy your meal.

Delicious kaya toast on white bread

Now we make it a point to try the various coffee places in Singapore during the weekends and we’re sharing our reviews on what we think about the popular kopi places in town.

Coffee was ok

Almost hard boiled!

I’ve wanted to try the kaya toast at Tong Ah Coffee Shop since it was featured in a Makansutra article in Yahoo. This place is supposed to be popular with international chefs, so we had pretty high expectations when we went there and sad to say we were deeply disappointed. The kaya toast was delicious and I loved the white bread that they used but the coffee was just so-so, the eggs were almost hard boiled and the uncle manning the shop was constantly shouting angrily at this staff. Constantly. Noisily. Shouting. The place is out of the way and the food standard is not even at par with the hawker place near my building. The uncle even went to our table and observed us trying to mash up the almost hard boiled egg when he served our coffee and left without a comment. When we tried to check out the other tables, the eggs that were served were also the same as ours. Tsktsk.

Tong Ah Coffee Shop

  • Address: 35 Keong Siak Road, Singapore 089142
  • Hours: 6:30 am – 10:00 pm
  • Coffee: 2/5
  • Traditional Kaya Toast: 5/5
  • Eggs: 0/5
  • Ambiance: 0/0

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe is a nice place to hang-out in the middle of the tourist strip in Chinatown

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe has a branch near our place and we went there last weekend. The cosy ambiance and made it pleasant to hang out there. It is a place where you can chill with friends on a lazy afternoon. The kaya toast was delicious, the eggs were runny and  the coffee was well brewed. We’re looking forward to going back there to try the other versions of kaya toast that they offer since we only tried the traditional one.

Good coffee and kaya toast

Good Morning Nanyang Cafe

  • Address: 75 Pagoda Street, Singapore, Singapore 059234
  • Hours: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
  • Coffee: 4/5
  • Traditional Kaya Toast: 4/5
  • Eggs: 4/5
  • Ambiance: 5/5

Our favorite kopi and kaya toast set

Ya Kun is everywhere. When we started going around looking for the best kaya toast, I didn’t expect such a commercialized  coffee place to be my favorite so far. We desperately wanted to vote for the little hole-in-the-wall places and patronize small businesses over such a large chain but the food speaks for itself. I’ve never been dissapointed when we go to have coffee at Ya Kun. The kaya toast is delicious, the eggs are runny and the coffee is great. The only things that the place lacks character.

Ya Kun Kaya Toast

  • Address: People’s Park Centre, 101 Upper Cross Street, Level 1 Atrium, Singapore 058357
  • Hours: 8:00 am – 8:45 pm
  • Coffee: 4/5
  • Traditional Kaya Toast: 4/5
  • Eggs: 4/5
  • Ambiance: 3/5

Do you have any other places to suggest? Leave a comment below and we will try out your recommendation when we’re in the area.

Two Blur Guys Cafe

Our friend Suzi from Tiramisuzi recommended the Pulled Pork sandwich at Two Blur Guys near Tanjong Pagar MRT and we finally went there a few weeks ago.

Two Blur Guys at Orchid Hotel

Lex ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich which was delicious but the Prime Beef with Streaky Bacon really stole the spotlight. The gruyere chese complemented the perfectly cooked and juicy beef patty. The sides were great specially the potato salad.

Prime Beef with Streaky Bacon ($17.95)

We will definitely come back to this place to try the other burgers on the menu.

The Wolverine

We’re both huge X-Men fans so naturally we’d catch The Wolverine as soon as possible. We managed to watch it a few days after it was released here in Singapore. The movie was entertaining but it was short of being awesome. If you haven’t watched the movie, stop reading now. Spoilers below.
TheWolverineIt bothered me that Wolverine and Mariko lacked on screen chemistry and I found it hard to believe that Logan would risk his life to help Mariko. This thing kept bugging me throughout the movie specially since he had a very touching scene in the end when he was letting Jean Grey go and he even had more chemistry with Yukio that his supposed love interest in the movie.

The fight scene between Yashida and Wolverine bored me a bit since it seemed almost impossible that he could beat the old man in a gigantic robot with adamantium body. The director could have shown him doing something that exhibited great physical strength before this fight scene so that it didn’t seem so implausible that he could actually bear the fight scene.

Overall I found the story was great but it was very predictable. The quality if the 3d effects was great but you don’t have to watch the movie in 3d. It was entertaining but it fell short of my expectations.

Baby Shower for Shanta and Kyle

Our group of friends hosted a baby shower for our buddies Shanta and Kyle last weekend at the Canopy Garden Dining and Bar. We chose this place since it very good review online and it was hailed as one of the best places to have brunch in Singapore.

Antonette was in charge of the guest list and the party was an intimate celebration with close friends. We made a mermaid cake topper since Shanta was planning on decorating the nursery in a mermaid theme for their baby girl and we had some fun and games courtesy of Kim and Maimai. 

Pan Seared Red Snapper

We were seated at the Green Room and the place great for a small celebration. We had the pan seared snapper and the eggs le grand.

Awesome Eggs Benedict Le Grand

The fish was ok. It was cooked well but it couldn’t compare to how delicious the eggs benedict were. We will attest that the hollaindaise sauce they serve with the poached eggs is one of the best in Singapore. We’re are definitely going to come back to this place for brunch sometime soon.

World Street Food Congress

The World Street Food Congress was held in the F1 Pit last May 31- June 9. We went on June 1 which was a Saturday and we were excited to sample different street food from all over the world. Our overseas guests were the ones who asked us to bring them there.

We were surprised that the wasn’t a huge crowd at the F1 pit.

The first dish we tried was from The People’s Pig is by Chef Cliff Allen from Portland Oregon. The Porchetta is an Italian pulled pork meat which was moist and well seasoned. The arugula with lemon cut the fatty flavor of the pork and fresh ciabatta rolls completed the sandwich. This was our favorite among all the dishes we tried that we had it one more time before we left the venue.

Our favorite Porchetta Sandwich ($9)

The fish tacos from Tacombi by Chef Aaron Sanchez from New York was another favorite. The fish was moist and the breading was crisp.

Perfect Fish Tacos from Tacombi ($10)

The soft shell crab burger by EuroTrash Food Cart from Portland, Oregon was surprisingly good. I was hesitant to try it since I couldn’t image a soft shell crab burger but the spicy mayo yogurt sauce elevated the burger. This dish makes me want to go to Portland to try all the awesome food carts there.

Soft Shell Crab Burger with Zesty Mayo Yogurt Sauce ($12)

The seafood tostada from La Guerrerense by Dona Sabina Bandera Gonzalez from Mexico was nice and refreshing. They brought some ingredients from Mexico and you could choose how spicy you wanted the tostada. Lex was raving about how fresh and delicious the ceviche was. I’m not a fan of ceviche but I appreciated the dish.

Seafood Tostada ($10)

I couldn’t imagine why there wasn’t a huge crowd at the venue since the dishes we tried were amazing. The only drawback from our point of view is that the serving size is too small for the price that they charge. We do hope that there is another World Street Food Congress next year since we’ve become huge fans.

What to Eat at Chinatown: Chinatown Complex Smith Street Food Centre

If there is one thing I tell our guests when they come to Singapore is that they must try the food at the hawker centers. You can find cheap and delicious local food at these food courts and most of the time the quality of the dishes in hawker centers even surpass those in restaurants. Just look for the hawker stall with a long line and most likely this place sells the best food in the area.

We’ve moved to Chinatown and I must say that I love it here. Everything we need is only a few blocks away. The best thing about moving to a developed estate is having tons of food options. We decided to create a series of posts about what to eat when you’re in this area. We’re foodies but our palates are not as sophisticated as compared to Singaporeans in judging local cuisine. These are just the dishes we prefer over those we’ve tried. Take our advice with a grain of salt.

Note: We will updating this post whenever we find other dishes we like at the Smith Street Hawker Centre

Where: Chinatown Food Centre ( Block 355 Smith Street )

There is a huge hawker centre right beside the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple at Sago Lane. The Chinatown Complex Smith Street Food Centre has over 100 hawker stalls.

Entry 2:  May 6

Terry Katong Laksa (Stall #02-004 )

Is this the best laksa in Singapore?

This place is supposed to sell the best laksa in Singapore since they use coconut milk and not evaporated milk. There is even an article on display comparing their laksa and those sold by other famous laksa places and theirs is hailed as the best.

Laksa with Coconut Milk ($3)

Well we’d hate to disagree but we don’t think so. Their laksa is great but not the best. The broth is favourful but it is too thin for our liking. We were talking about the laksa during our entire meal and we’ve compared it with those we’ve had in the Katong area and we still think that the Famous 49 Katong Laksa is the best because the broth was so creamy and the flavourful was very roboust.

Hong Kong Mongkok Tim Sum (Stall #02-135 )

Take a queue number and wait for it to be called so they will get your order

So I guess it is pretty obvious that we are dim sum fans. Since we were craving dimsum and our favorite xiao long bao place was closed we decided to try this stall.

Siew Mai (3 pcs for $2.30) and Prawn Har Gao (3 pcs for $2.30)

The siew mai was ok. It tastes slightly better than most siew mais sold in Singapore. We loved the prawn har gao since it was cooked well, tasted fresh and the prawn was succulent.

Prawn Chee Cheong Fun ($2.30)

I’ve always loved Chee Cheong Fun and Lex doesn’t really like them which is odd since he’s not a picky eater like I am. The prawn were cooked well and the black sauce was delicious. This shop really knows how to cook prawn. He did love the this version of the dish and even mentioned he would love to have it again.

Char Siew Buns (3 pcs for $2.30)

We’ve tried so many char siew buns and most are disappointing since they look good but taste so bland. We were so glad that we tried their char siew buns. The filling was dark and savoury while the dough was fluffy. This now our go to char siew buns place.


Entry 1:  April 16

Zhong Guo La Mian Steamed Mini-Buns (Stall #02-135 ) – closed on Mondays

Made fresh daily

We were so happy to find that my favorite Xiao Long Bao or Steamed Mini-Buns stall at Alexandra Food Centre had a branch here. We actually go to Alexandra Food Centre from Ang Mo Kio just to get our dumpling fix every month or so. Honestly I prefer their soupy dumplings over those at Din Tai Fung.

Soupy Dumplings with Chinese Black Vinegar (10 pcs for $5)

The broth of the dumplings and the filling is tasty and the skin is not too thick. Most xiao long bao in hawker centers are pretty bland but this one hits the spot. The price is another plus. You get 10 dumplings for $5. Be careful when biting into the dumpling as the soup has the tendency to drip or squirt out of the dumpling. This is served with black vinegar and shredded ginger which compliments this dish well.  We also recommend their Pan Fried Dumpling and the Szechuan Spicy Wonton.

Shi Xiang Satay (Stall #02-079) – closed on Wednesdays & Thursdays

Our favorite pork satay stall

This Chinese Satay stall comes highly recommended by Makansutra. This stall is try to find since it is located in a secluded area in the hawker center. Just look for the sign that says “More Stalls”. The lady who sells the satay didn’t speak English and a customer was kind enough to translate my order. She only sells one pressed rice cake every $5 order and she usually runs out of rice at around 7 pm.

10 pieces of Pork Satay for $5

The stall sold pork and chicken satay but we only ordered pork. The satay itself is very flavourful and the accompanying peanut sauce is tasty but I must say that I had better sauce elsewhere. That said, the satay is still a must try because of how well seasoned and marinated the satay is.

The Market Grill

We met up with our friends at The Market Grill months ago but I thought I would still post this review even though it’s so late. Joyce from Chic Noir recommended this place since she knows the chef and it was close to the Red Dot Museum where we were headed after dinner.

The place is cosy and the lighting is romantic but the place is also small. The counter and kitchen occupied more than half of the restaurant. A party of six would have a hard time getting a table just like what happened to us. Our party was split into two. If you’re on a date this place would be ideal on a weekday.

Wagyu Salad with Balsamic Shallot Dressing $19

We had the Wagyu Salad to start. It was ok but I expected it to be more savoury since there was Wagyu meat.

CW Cod Burger $26

My first choice was the blue cheese burger but it was unavailable that night which turned out to be a good thing. I’m very picky when it comes to fish and I rarely eat it but it is so weird that I like fish burgers. The CW Cod Burger is my all time favorite fish burger in Singapore. The fish was cooked well, parmesan bun was almost like brioche and the herb lemon mayo brought it all together. I would highly recommend the cod burger.

CW Burger Breakfast $22

Lex had the Burger Breakfast which was suprisingly delicious. I’m not used to having sunny side ups in burger burger hence the surprise. The beef patty was well seasoned and grilled perfectly and the aged chedar and bacon made this burger extra sinful. You should get this burger if you’re looking for a heavy meal.

Rum Banana Pockets $15

For dessert, we had the Rum Banana Pockets. The dark rum was infused into the pastry and caramelized bananas. It was delicious and I’m a big fan of desserts with rum but I didn’t like the brand of rum they used. A sweeter type of rum would have made this dish better.

The Market Grill

  • Does not take reservations
  • Address: 208 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068642
  • Contact #: +65 6221 3323
  • Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30 am – 2:15 pm and Dinner 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm (Closed on Sundays)

Ritz Apple Strudel

We saw several branches of Ritz Apple Strudel popping up around Singapore and we almost tried their pastries several times. The large size was a bit off-putting since there was usually just the two of us and we couldn’t imagine finishing such a large piece of pastry. We saw that they were selling a mini version and finally decided to give it a go last week.

Ritz Apple Strudel
I’m glad to report that the apple strudel was super delicious and very fresh. The pastry was light and super flaky while the cream paired well with the apple filling. We saw them assemble each strudel with every order and I guess that’s why it isn’t soggy. I’m thinking of trying the peach or the mango strudel next.

Updated on May 16

We’ve tried the Strawberry and Mango strudel and since we’re not fans of durian will not be trying that flavor. The mango was ok. Nothing to rave about. The mango was fresh and they put a generous helping on our order but the taste of the mango was a bit bland. I’m used to the taste of Philippine mangoes so whatever variety they used did not wow me at all.
Strawberry Strudel
Our favorite is the Straberry Strudel. The strawberries are fresh, juicy and sweet. The creme they used pair well with the flaky crust. We’ve had it more times than I can remember since their store is right outside the bearest Fairpice in my area.