896 Dunearn Rd
T: (+65) 6219 7077
As if Phoon Huat and Sia Huat weren’t quite enough for this little town, this slightly oddly named catering cavern has just opened its’ doors to customers in the Bukit Timah (King Albert Park) area. Gargantuan barely covers it. The place is a veritable warehouse, at least in size, generously packed with just about anything a foodie or cook could desire across no less than 36,000 square feet! It isn’t wholesale but it also isn’t astronomically expensive. The name in fact stands for Tools Of The Trade; and they do indeed stock everything from that elusive Tamis, a decent ice cream scoop (four different sizes), new Kitchenaid mixers, wooden spoons as long as your arm and pots that you could fit a five year-old in! They also stock half decent Belgian chocolate couverture, a few dry ingredients, and at the checkout you can sign yourself up for a workshop and grab a coffee. There is also everything you could possibly require for the table – glassware, crockery and cutlery abound. If you are really a serious cook, give yourself a good hour or two here…if nothing else to try and gauge the sheer volume of different culinary gems they stock. Chef heaven.
Opening Times: 10.30am-9.30pm daily
#02-42 Shaw Tower
100 Beach Road
T: (+65) 6291 1433
A Turkish restaurant on the second floor of Shaw Towers, this joint is worth a trip but not necessarily a pilgrimage. Fabulous for veggies and a real find if you are craving decent Arab (ish) food. Their sesame puffed breads and wood-fired oven baked flatbreads are really very good. They also do classic stuffed vine leaves, very good eggplant dishes and a decent smooth Houmous (though ours was a little dry at the edges). Their Cacik (Turkish version of Tzatziki) is delicious and their kebabs are definitely worth a try. It is not a very exciting mall destination and is decidedly dead after six…but brave the ghost town and get some decent Arab food in this hidden gem. It gives most of the food on Arab Street a run for its’ money and there are certainly less tourists but you won’t be able to get a beer here…strictly no alcohol…but the bill for four of us filling our boots came to $100!
Opening Times: noon til 9pm daily
34 Lorong Mambong
T: (+65) 6468 1520
If mexican is your thing then you will struggle in Singapore. Check out Taqueria – a tiny shack with outdoor tables at the top of the hill in Phoenix Park off Tanglin Road – but only go between 12 and 1.00 on weekdays. The rest of the time it is either closed or has run out of the good stuff. They are mean with their guacamole and salsa but it is good. It is also very cheap and there fish tacos are really not bad at all. All ingredients are fresh and everything is cooked to order. But that isn’t what we’re talking about here.
Nestled on a strip that can only really be described as Singapore’s answer to Puerto Banus, El Patio is halfway up the Holland Village main drag. Beware though, it is nestled slap bang next to another restaurant that is not good at all – unless of course you are after processed cheese and refried beans out of a can. Actually, if I could be sure they were straight out of the can I would be a little less uncomfortable about eating there…need I say more? El Patio is the one with the lovely poncho tablecloths and they give you freshly made tomato salsa and real corn chips while you think about what to eat. They do the best fresh lime juice that is delivered to you in a jar – very authentic and their food has not disappointed yet. It is not really anywhere to write home about – but it ain’t bad – and the service ain’t too terrible either!
Opening Times: basically 11am-11pm, but can be flexible – worth calling to book to avoid disappointment!