8 reasons why you should visit a hawker centre at least once a week

Hawker centres are places close to the hearts of several heartlanders where you can find scrumptious local food delights which many restaurants and cafes are unable to provide. True enough, there may be food courts or even cafes which offer the same food choices as hawker centres but it is not always the food that matters. The ambience of the location count as well.

Laksa, Fried Kway Teow, Fried Hokkien Mee, Lor Mee, Chicken Rice and so forth are some of the food choices which top Singaporeans’ favourite list. If you would have realized, queues for local delights occur mostly at hawker centres and not food courts. What is the reason behind this? Consider the freshness of the food which are easily detectable such as seafood. Although not absolute, hawker centres are usually situated very close to wet markets where food hawkers get their food supplies from. In comparison to restaurants and cafes, food are usually frozen or kept for a few days. Of course, this is not to say that food hawkers do not resort to similar cost-effective methods, but there is a higher chance that food from hawker centres are fresher.

Compared to most restaurants that do not offer fusion of different cuisines, hawker centres sell a myriad of cuisines, including Malay food, to Thai, Indian, Western, Italian, Korean, Japanese and even Vietnamese food! You get to try out different types of cuisines at one go, that is if your stomach’s space permits. On the same footing, hawker centres are also definitely the best choice if your group of buddies cannot decide on what cuisine to have.

At a promotional price

Undisputedly, one of the main reasons why hawkers centre are ‘for the win’ is due to the obvious price differences. A plate of Fried Kway Teow, on the average, costs $3 while food courts sell them for $5. With a $2 saving, you can even get a decent cold drink from the drink stall at hawker centres and still able to save around 50 cents. Of course, the price differences attribute to the rental differences and environment. Unless you are budget-less, visiting hawker centres should be done at least once a week or even more frequent.

Hawker centres are favourite choices of many heartlanders who grew up in that area since young and who may be loyal and avid customers of their favourite stalls. Some of these stalls stay put in the same area for several years, passing down the ownership and management throughout the generations. Furthermore, the reason for such favoritism may be because certain creative hawker vendors include a different recipe or ingredient which cannot be found in other similar food in other locations.

If you are just looking to settle your dinner after work or may just want to satisfy your hunger with small bites, you need not travel down all the way to shopping malls or specific restaurants to do just that. Convenience is key to many customers and since hawker centres are easily accessible, this is the reason why you should cut your car some slack (saves petrol too!) and visit a nearby hawker centre. With that, why the need to travel down all the way to restaurants just for Hi-Tea sessions when you can now simply just head to the nearest hawker centres in your home clothes and slippers and not receive disapproving stares, and yet get to enjoy your favourite Dim Sum?

 

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As a coffee-addict to another, if you need some good ol’ coffee to keep your awake and satisfy your coffee-addiction, hawker centres is The One. They sell the best coffee and proven to be more effective in keeping one awake than coffee chains and cafes. And of course, it is much cheaper as well. ‘Cheap and good’ – why not? Never reject good offer, they would say.

If you are claustrophobic or simply hate to wait, hawker centres would definitely beat restaurants and cafes hands down due to the lesser crowd. Although there may be some queues at certain popular food stalls, with the variety of food choices, the situation is better than restaurants and cafes.

The last reason is pretty simple, because dining at restaurants and cafés is just too mainstream. Why follow the trend just for the sake of following and at the expense of your pocket? Are our local delights and hawker centres not Instagram-worthy enough? It is high time we show more support towards our local food because this hawker culture may soon vanish before you even know it.

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Cafe-hopping (Drury’s Lane & Department of Caffeine) x Sugar App

As I’ve mentioned previously, these few weeks have been and will be a very hectic period of time for me, but thankfully, I managed to find some time to meet up with the primary school buddies! It’s been 15 years since we were friends and only recently, did we get back in contact with one another. We are actually hoping that more of our ex-classmates would be keen to join us for regular meetups and all but well…I guess it may be awkward since most of ur have lost contact for the longest time!

Anyway, we went cafe-hopping and since this is like the ‘in’ thing currently, I suggested it to my friends. We didn’t really hop-hop because we only ‘hopped’ 2 cafes on a day. But well, at least we tried 😀

Some of you may already have known that I am one of the Brand Ambassadors for this very awesome phone app known as ‘Sugar‘. Don’t worry, my role is no where near sales per se but only to promote and create awareness of this app. I’m not saying this only because I’m their BA but it’s really really cool.

What is Sugar about?

This App helps you to seek awesome cafes, restaurants and even lifestyle outlets such as beauty salons, dance classes, music classes and even self-defense classes! And to encourage you to constantly try out new things in life because you only live once, Sugar provides an incentive whereby you can try these new stuffs at a lower price than usual!

How do you go about using Sugar app?

1. Download the app – search for ‘sugar’ or more specifically, ‘wewantsugar’ in your App Store.

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2. Register an account using your mobile number. This is how they identify the user as you would need to use your mobile to redeem your orders.

3. Key in the OTP code and you’re done!

You will receive free $10 credits upon download and will be able to receive more free credits when you top up!

4. Start using the app by searching what’s nearby by ‘pulling’ the page downwards to refresh and for the App to check your location (please remember to allow and approve this function)

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5. If you would like to search for a particular location, click on this and type into the search box and click ‘go’

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6. Click on this button to ‘skim’ the price. You can use the usual price beside the selling price on Sugar which is in grey and stuck off.

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After ‘skimming it’, the button will change to a blue one and this is where you get your friends to join in the fun and help to skim the price!

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Please note you may only reduce the price for that particular item once a day.

You may choose to buy the item after you and your friends have skimmed or wait till the lowest price available.

If the item has reached its lowest price, it will show it as the picture below and there will be a ‘pop out’ notification to state that the item has reached it lowest price for the day.

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You will also be notified should the item is sold out for the day.

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7. If you would like to only search for yummy food, click onto the top left hand side and there would be a drop down menu which you can choose your preference.

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8. Check your cart for your orders that are pending, purchased or purchased

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9. View your settings for your account balance, FAQS etc

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Your user name would be the mobile number which you used to register the account with.

How to top up your credits?

10. Click on ‘Account Balance’ under the ‘Settings’ page and choose your preferred amount. As mentioned, you will be able to receive more free credits when you top up!

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After which, choose your preferred payment method.

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11. Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions before purchasing as some orders may only be redeemed at specific timings/days. The address of the merchant will also be stated on the same page.

You may consider making reservations to prevent disappointment as some of these outlets are really popular!

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12. Schedule a date with your buddies and head down to redeem the item by just informing with the staff that you would like to redeem your order. The staff would have prior knowledge of what to do. All they need is to key in their merchant code to verify the order and tadah, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy your food or lesson!

On top of that, there is a Sugar event tomorrow, 8th July, held at Mariko’s which you must come…!!!

Photo: In just 8 days from now, Sugar will be hosting the most epic private event of 2014 - featuring a full Nyotaimori presentation! Tickets will be available exclusively through the Sugar app from tomorrow. Download Sugar at www.wewantsugar.com to ensure you don't miss out!

Named after Mariko, a fictional prostitute by Tatsumi Yoshihiro, the Japanese inspired bar-restaurant is a homage to Jiak Chuan Road’s seedy past as a former red-light district. Echoing the tongue-in-cheek concept, Mariko’s bar-favourites include cheekily named cocktails, The Wife and The Callgirl Martini.

This event is Sugar’s ultra-exclusive launch which will be held on the 8th July where you will be able to literally eat sushi off the body of a gorgeous model! Get ready for a full-frontal assault on your senses, including a feast for both your eyes and palate!

Photo: Four more sleeps until the launch event of the year. The guest list is oversubscribed three times over. Have you got your tickets? Download Sugar at www.wewantsugar.com now!

How to get those tickets? Simple, by just downloading Sugar app! But be quick because tickets are selling out like hot cakes!!!

I will be there so I hope to see you there as well! 😀

***

So, as I was saying about cafe-hopping yesterday, I managed to snag a very delicious ‘Brekkie in a Bowl’ at Drury Lane for ONLY $2.00!!! The usual price is $12!!! So that’s like what, $10 difference?!

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I must say that although I got it at only $2, the portion and quality was not compromised. The service was awesome as well! 🙂

My friends both had this :

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And their drinks :

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While I had a cafe cappuccino :

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Overall rating :

4 stars

***

I’m sorry this is such a lengthy post, but on to my next cafe review!

We proceeded to Department of Caffeine next after one of my friends recommended and because I’m such a coffee addict, I chose this 0ver another cafe called ‘Restore’.

Please note that this is not on the Sugar app.

All the cafes are actually located very close to one another, along Duxton Hill/Tanjong Pagar.

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Now, what did I tell you about the severity of my addiction? :O

The cafe mocha was great and quite chocolate-y and because my friends were quite full from the food they had at Drury’s, I ended up snacking alone… #FAT

I had Fried Dory for finger food…I thought this was quite exp as it costs $8 for 4 fish bits…?

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The place is quite small and the service was okay. Except that they told us that their kitchen closes at 6pm and their cafe at 7.30pm and they were sort of hurrying us to finish up. I wasn’t even done with my last fish bit and the waitress actually wanted to clear it already, which made me quite pissed.

The mocha was great but maybe be a tad too chocolate-y and the fish had uneven batter as in some parts were saltier than the rest.

Nevertheless…

Overall rating :

4 stars

[Food Review] Spizza @ Katong

I brought the bf and treated him to Spizza for his commendable exam results recently at the Katong branch. I have been wanting to introduce this awesome eatery cafe because I enjoyed myself there previously with my ex-colleague and ex-boss, who treated me for my farewell lunch but it was at the Jalan Kayu branch.

We made a reservation for 2 and headed down for a TGIF dinner that evening.

These were what we ordered :

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We wanted to order 4 initially but the bf is a chicken-wing lover and so we ordered 6 and totally regretted…Not tasty at all!

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I had carbonara previously at the Jalan Kayu branch but chose this mushroom and chicken pasta, which was quite tasteless 😦

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I can’t remember the name of this pizza (Spizza name their pizzas after women’s names…) but includes sausages, mushroom and I recall that the sauce base is spicy.

 

Sad to say, I was extremely disappointed with the taste and quality of the food at Spizza at the Katong branch. Totally embarrassed me in front of my bf although there should be nothing to be ashamed of since we are such a close-knitted couple…but still! Gosh!

Perhaps the only saving grace was the pizza which tasted the best and their customer service was quite awesome (staff taking initiative to pull out another chair for us to place our bags and another chair to place the pizza due to space constraint), but still, we left the cafe devastated, especially myself.

My take is to dine at the Jalan Kayu branch. The Katong branch seriously need to reflect on their other dishes other than the pizzas.

Spizza East Coast

217 East Coast Road
#01-01 Tides
Tel: 6440 8300

Overall (Katong branch) :

1 star each for Customer Service and another for the pizza.

1 star each for Customer Service and another for the pizza.

Dinner date at Doggiestyle Cafe with 2 loves of my life!

Finally….The bf and I have been wanting to head down to Doggiestyle Cafe like for the longest time! Although the cafe is located just a stone throw away from my house, we have been bad bad bad parents to Jingles because we procrastinated 😦

Anyhoo, we finally dined there a few weeks ago!

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The food was quite acceptable taking into consideration of their affordable prices.  However, the bf thought that the truffle fries were not worth it for its price….

When we arrived at about 8+, there weren’t many customers. Those who were there whom I believed are friends of the owner left earlier than us and we were the last customers to leave.

They had 2 french bulldogs (hope I got this right) there who were friendly.

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And they have 2 cute bunnies too, although I think that white ones are cuter…more innocent with the doe-eyed look…

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It’s great to bring along your dogs for such ‘socialising’ activities because Jingles stay home most of the times and does not get to interact often with other dogs. Consequentially, she becomes quite a shy and timid dog, and she would always come back to me and look at me with those puppy eyes, as if to ask for help. Haha!

Here’s Jingles’ food!

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It was served piping hot and I had to smash the chicken pie up and let it cool down first before serving it to Jingles 🙂

Surprisingly, she did manage to eat a little. I recalled the last time we brought her to another dog cafe, she wasn’t even one bit interested in the food. Could be the cause of staying home too frequent….? 😦

Then she decided to stop inspecting the place and rested beside me. I was skeptical and afraid to unleash her because of the fear or what she and the other dogs might do. But my baby girl behaved rather well, except for sniffing strangers and got a little defensive and barked at the owner when he approached her. I guess she’s as wary as her mummy! 😛

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I was a happy mama when I saw she took interest in the pie but was left disappointed in the end because she didn’t finish it. There was still lots left and the 2 french bulldogs have been eyeing on the leftovers for some time but didn’t dare to get close to the dish bowl. The bf and I thought that since Jingles couldn’t finish it, it would be good if other dogs could help to finish to prevent wastage. And we pushed the dish bowl towards them, who approached it cautiously…Their owners did not know after awhile though and scolded them for eating Jingles’ food…HAHA!

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Afterall, I thought that we quite enjoyed ourselves at Doggiestyle Cafe, in terms of the food, pricing and overall ambience. Oh and the owner was quite friendly too! 🙂

5 stars

Okay, technically ‘buy’ is incorrect but would I be back? YES! Would I recommend to others? YES too! 🙂

Doggiestyle Cafe

496 Changi Road

Singapore 419902

6449 1296

Doggiestylecafe@gmail.com

http://doggiestylecafe.blogspot.sg

Pique Nique Food Review

We had brunch at Pique Nique a few days ago after my 3rd Sculptra treatment at Celevenus!

Read here for my previous treatment sessions :

1st Sculptra treatment session

2nd Sculptra treatment session

For those who have no idea :

What is this treatment about?

To summarize, it is a type of filler, injected with  l-poly-lactic acid to help stimulate and encourage facial growth via natural collagen production. By ‘natural’, it means that the collagen formed comes from your own tissue. Besides being able to achieve facial volume, Sculptra is also able to target other common areas due to loss of facial volume and ageing problems such as wrinkles, folds and skin laxity.

Will be blogging about my 3rd session soon with pictures and results thus far!

Here’s what we had at Pique Nique 🙂

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2 Cappuccinos!

Cappuccinos were acceptable. I dont prefer using raw/brown sugar because it defeats the purpose, it doesn’t sweeten the coffee at all! Abit of sugar won’t kill so imma always gonna use white sugar instead of adding packets after packets of raw/brown sugar!

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His big breakfast!

Had a few mouthfuls of his bfast and I guess it tasted okay, but scrambled eggs weren’t those fluffy kind.

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My Eggs Benny with Ham!

I kinda regretted not choosing the one with smoked salmon for my eggs benny because the ham was so tasteless! It felt as if someone soaked the whole ham into a pot of water before serving and that totally ruined the goodness of ham! I like my ham salty!

I guess the food were okay, but the customer service, especially by a guy, not sure if he’s the manager or? But he didn’t seem very happy to serve and was even a tad rude with no mannerisms. Well, maybe he has had a bad day?Other than that, the place was freezing cold, but then again, the whole takashimaya shopping mall was sooooo cold! :S

Overall rating :

3 stars

I wouldn’t say I would boycott this place altogether but given the chance and sprouts of new brunch cafes, there are certainly other better places to dine at.

Psst, for all you fellow truffle fries lovers, Pique Nique doesn’t serve that – or at least that’s what we gathered after reading off their menu.

Pique Nique 

#B1-01/02, Ngee Ann City,

391A Orchard Road 

62386705

Daily: 10:00 – 22:00

Fill your tummy with delicious food at Toby’s The Dessert Asylum!

Sponsored Advertorial

I was invited to try out the food at TOBY’s which is located at Parkway Parade awhile ago and only managed to head down just few days ago.

I brought my bf as my plus one and boy, were we both stuffed with delicious food!

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TOBY’s is easy to spotted from far due to the spacious area as well as colourful ambience.

The cafe is clean and neat, with loads of beautiful decorations and furniture but yet nothing over the top. Happy colours psychologically cheers one up! 🙂

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These were what we ordered :

For starters, we were highly recommended by one of their staff to try out their Spicy Hot Wings.

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You can see how the wings are fried to perfect golden brown and every bite you sink your teeth into, you will sure to savour every crunch. They are not too oily so it eases some guilt for the health-conscious people. They were really addictive and very yummy! I highly recommend this dish too! 🙂

My bf ordered German and Cheese Bratwurst Dawgs Combi which was served sizzling hot. Creamy cheese oozes out with every bite of the Bratwurst and they literally just melt in your mouth! Another must-try too!

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As I was craving for some breakfast meal, I opted for good ol’  MOB Omelette from their breakfast menu!

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Look at the generous fillings of mushrooms, bacon, onion and cheese! Yummy!

And wondering what to quench your thirst?

Why not pamper yourself with this rich chocolate-y coffee topped with vanilla ice cream for that extra refreshing boost!

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Bf had another energizing and rejuvenating drink called Pear-adise. I really like how TOBY’s pays meticulous attention to the names of their dishes and how entertaining they are!

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And last but not least, how can you walk out of TOBY’s without trying their desserts? They are a dessert asylum for god’s sake!

Bf and I settled with To-By Or Not To-By Mudpie that embraces rum and raisin ice cream, rich double choc ice cream filled with truckloads of chocolate chips and crispy waffle bits!

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Toby’s The Dessert Asylum Pte Ltd 
Parkway Parade #02-68/70

80 Marine Parade Road

Singapore 449269

Check out their Facebook page for more pictures of delicious food!

Food Review : Dim Dim The Hong Kong Pantry

Sponsored Review

When I was younger, I wasn’t so much of a Dim Sum fan but as I age, I sense the thrill of having served basket after baskets of dim sum 😛

Unfortunately, I did not have the chance to try out the highly raved or overly-crazed Tim Ho Wan. Or some might say, it’s overrated.

Swee Choon and 126 is kinda inconvenient if you do not drive as the nearest mrt requires some walking-distance.

So anyway, I was invited for a food tasting session at Dim Dim The Hong Pantry at Marina Link and I brought the man as my +1 🙂

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Marina Link is a little confusing to access but if you are coming down from City Hall mrt, walk through City Link all the way towards Suntec City, just before the escalators leading to Suntec, Marina Link would be on your right. On the left would be Esplanade Exchange. From afar, you can see the ‘Dim Dim’ signage.

Here is a screen shot of the map directory for your easy reference 🙂

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We managed to try 7 signature dishes of Dim Dim :

Hong Kong Milk Tea (left) : S$2.60

Yuan Yang (right) : S$$2.80

I tried the Milk Tea and it was neither too sweet or bland. The sugar level is just nice and it wasn’t very milky either.

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Cuttlefish and Peanut Congee – S$5.00 :

Congee was served hot, I added a little soya sauce as I prefer it to taste a little saltier.

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Steamed Custard Bun – S$4.20 :

These buns were served piping hot, so much so that the custard inside came oozing out once you try to peel them bit by bit to savour. The custard was not too salty and extremelt savoury!

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Piping hot custard oozing out….hmmmmm

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Baked BBQ Honey Pork Bun Coated with Crispy Butter – S$4.20 :

Buns were baked to slightly golden brown. and the honey pork fillings were very tasty and addictive, which were generously filled.

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Tasty pork fillings :

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Steam Prawn Dumping “Ha Kau” – S$4.20 :

Ha Kau’s skin is neither too thick or thin. I totally loathe those with super thick skins that are difficult to chew on! Shrimps were fresh, plump and juicy! The perfect skin all depends on the skills of the Chef and I must say that Dim Dim has perfected it! 🙂

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Steamed Cheong-fun with Chinese Dough Fritters – S$3.60 :

Now, this was my first experience trying such innovative dish. The usual “Chee Cheong Fun” dish is normally filled with “Char Siew” (Pork), prawns etc and so far, I’ve not come across Chee Cheong Fun stuffed with crispy dough fritters although this dish is one of the traditional Dim Sum delights!

What’s more, despite being a steamed dish, the dough fritters undoubtedly remain crispy!

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This “Chee Cheong Fun” is served alongside with Dim Dim’s very own special peanut and seafood sauce for that extra oomph!

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Deep-fried Shrimp in Beancurd Skin Roll – S$4.60 :

This must be the crispiest dish of all and you would know it once you sink your teeth into them! Fried to golden brown, it’s not wonder why it’s the perfect dish for deep-fried food lovers!

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Mini Egg Tarts – S$3.60 :

Perfect bite-size mini egg tarts that are freshly baked served straight from the oven. They were neither too sweet nor tasteless, just nice 🙂IMG_5326

Here is their menu for those drooling ones right now:

Take a peep into the rest of their menu offerings (click to expand)

Happy happy tummies! :)

Happy happy tummies! 🙂

Dim Dim is located at:

DimDim The Hong Kong Pantry
6 Raffles Boulvard B1-16, Marina Square
Singapore 039594
*Situated in Marina Link, near Esplanade MRT Exit B
Operating Hours:
Sunday – Thursday 11.00am – 9.00pm
Friday – Saturday 11.00am – 9.30pm
 
Check out and like their Facebook Page!