Xin Tao Yuan

If you've been weaned on a diet of factory-produced noodles all your life, you wouldn't have an inkling of the taste explosion handmade ones can inspire until you came here. The cook expertly pulls, slaps and stretches noodles into shape, all right before your eyes.

This place is renowned for its hand-pulled noodles and dumplings, and the eatery presents a veritable smorgasbord of soups to go with those floury delicacies. The seafood noodle soup came with bits of pseudo-crab meat and one prawn, and while the rest of the dish was bland, the noodles were thick and soft. The paper-wrapped pork appears to be a distant relative of the highly popular paper-wrapped chicken. Instead of the usual chicken, pork ribs wrapped in paper were dipped in oil until they become golden brown - or burned. It's succulent, but if the old ticker's giving you problems, stay away from this.

Other exotic delicacies include the rabbit's ear in chilli and pig's ear.

Ristorante Bologna

The menu here changes twice a year, but anything you order is unlikely to disappoint. For those who like to test the waters, there's a semi-buffet lunch where you can help yourself to the appetizers and desserts. Then, you choose from the half dozen main courses.

The dinner menu features more fish, meat and dessert than you can ever finish. The spaghetti marinara comes with a plate you can take home (as a member of Il Buon Ricordo, an Italian restaurant association, Bologna hands out hand-painted collectors' items with every order).

Bologna's decor, while stylish, has not come into the new millennium. In fact, it's barely squeaked into the '70s, which is why you should go there to enjoy the food rather than the ambiance.

The Oaks Grill & Bar

Go for the 300gram scotch fillet and a more modest, less calorie-laden tagliatelle bolognaise. For side order, try a jacket potato and carrot soup. You'd be healthier eaters today if only mum had taken a tip or two from The Oaks chefs.

Pasta, salmon, steak and chicken orders come with complimentary salad so you can plunder the salad bar. For desserts, order a mocha coffee and a "strawberry fields". A strawberry-lover's dream, the fields consists of a strawberry ice cream, chunks of the fruit and a wafer. Pretty heavenly.



The wine menu here is divided into white and red wines by country and even come with recommended dishes next to them. Prices start at about $10 per glass and go up to about $17. The mushroom soup is ranked right up with the creamiest and most savory you'll ever slurp. Recommended desserts are the mud pie and a kiwi sorbet. The pie is a masterpiece of ice cream and chocolate served on a giant, fan-shaped plate, surrounded by pretty chocolate patterns and decorated with a sprinkle of sugar. The sorbet is close to turning to a kiwi juice in its giant cocktail glass, but this melted dessert will not be enough to dampen your enthusiasm for Terazza.


Baba Inn & Lounge

The dress code here is totally relaxed - patrons have been known to turn up in pajamas and slippers. Don't let the casual air deceive you, however, as they take their food seriously. The dishes were near-perfect examples of some of the best Peranakan food around.

Go for the long beans with sambal, onions and dried prawns, pork belly in a spicy tamarind sauce, giant prawns and pineapple chunks in a sour and spicy gravy and otak otak. Top it off with a homemade barley drink and a lime juice filled with shredded green jelly.

An added bonus was the waiters, who were knowledgeable about the food and thoroughly efficient in serving it.


Wan Sen Palace

Your continual search for that vegetarian restaurant with food that even non-vegans can stomach has finally born fruit - no pun intended. Try the surprisingly good salad mango and wanton, one of the most original dishes you'll ever come across in a vegetarian restaurant. The mango came cut in half and topped with salad sauce; the tasty "wantons" were filled with mushrooms and assorted vegetables. This is one dish you shouldn't miss.

Next came rice in lotus leaf, vegetarian crab meat with broccoli and vegetarian buttered prawns. The rice in the leaf is good enough as a dish in itself, and the gravy-covered broccoli and the "prawns" were equally impressive. End the feast with the vegetarian frog legs and the lor han hor fun. According to the waitress, the frog legs are really made from mushrooms. The tom yam mee is not on the menu, but ask for it anyway. If all vegetarian restaurants were this good, more animals would be alive today.



Dimly lit, this place has minimal decorations, aside from a bright band of tiles running around the walls. It also has service that is prompt and attentive. Streeters serves a wide variety of beers, including Dos Equis, a Mexican brew. For appetizers, select the excellent fresh oysters and the grilled garlic prawns from the extensive list of tapas. The main courses came off the blackboard full of daily specials: the minute steak with tomato and anchovy sauce and the John Dory fillet. Both came with the soup of the day and salad and potatoes.

It took a while for the dishes to arrive, but the food was worth the wait. The paella, which comes in ranging sizes, all chock a block with the right seafood, should be on your list.


Siong Lee Turtle House

"One who has never been to the Great Wall of China, he is not complete; one who has never taken turtle soup, his regret deep" - this sentence is exactly what's printed on the menu of this eating house. The clean, no-frills Chinese eatery was full of executives and tai-tais. Besides turtle soup, they serve a variety of delights like turtle stew, sauteed turtle intestine and skin and turtle paw.

There wasn't a turtle in sight in the appetizing kailan with oyster sauce, braised tofu and fried beef with spring onion. The sauteed turtle meat and skin looked and tasted uncannily like the fried beef dish except for the skin, which was the turtle's softened shell. The rubbery texture and bland taste will remind you of cuttlefish or sea cucumber.

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