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In Chef Mode


I was invited to the launch of Singapore's first truffle chips boutique located at Chinatown Point last week and managed to even speak to one of the brothers to find out more about their chips! Let's get trufflin'!

(From left to right) Kayson Chan, Kenny Chan and Jonathan Chan, the co-founders of Aroma Truffle at the launch of their very first boutique at Chinatown Point


Aroma Truffle's hand-cooked truffle chips were launched in late August 2018 and the trio have sold more than 100,000 bags since. Each packet costs S$10 but it's really reasonable since every bag comes with bits of Italian black summer truffles.

"We noticed that truffle was becoming an increasingly popular flavour. Truffle is extravagent because of its extremely short shelf-life. I wanted to create a decadent truffle experience that is affordable, and can be enjoyed anywhere," said Jonathan who is the chef in Aroma Truffle & Co.

I did ask him about how they managed to keep the aroma without the use of artificial synthetic truffles and Jonathan said that based on his experience as a chef, they experimented with a few techniques before they were able to perfect it. That is why each bag of chips are still so trufflin' good despite truffles' innate short shelf-life. He did tell me the secret but I've sworn to secrecy!

The Truffle Potato Chips 



The truffles used are flown in from a partner's truffle farm in Spoleto, Italy where Kayson and Jonathan spent half a year sourcing for. The team experiemented for half a year with close to 60 recipe variations before coming up with the final one.

The main ingredient is the Black Summer Truffle, which has a rich woddy aroma with flavours of garlic, wild mushroom and earthy hazelnut undertones.

The boutique currently retails original and parmesan flavoured truffle chips but they'll be rolling out the honey mustard version soon. I managed to taste all three and here's what I think:

Original Good ruffled chips with good truffle aroma. Quite garlicky too. Does stand to their claim of being the "Strongest Truffle Chips".
Parmesan Not a strong Parmesan flavour but is still addictive. Perhaps it's a good balance as the parmesan shouldn't be overpowering the truffle. Is a lot more salty as a result and can only be consumed in small batches.
Honey Mustard The truffle overpowers the honey mustard. I didn't taste the honey flavour although it was slightly sweeter than the original. The mustard came as a slight kick in the aftertaste.

Mum and I at the launch

What's next

"Apart from truffle chips, we are working on creating an affordable range of truffle seasoning so that consumers can add a hint of excitement to their daily meals," said Kayson Chan.

Aroma Truffle will be introducing their Truffle Butter soon and Jonathan gave me some tips on how to best consume it - on toast or a dab of it in soup. I can reckon that it'll brighten up my scrambled eggs as well. Yum!

Where to get them

Aroma Truffle's stores are located at:

Chinatown Point, Level 1 (Flagship)
Level 1, Unit #01-20
Monday to Sunday
From: 12 PM - 9 PM
Direct Purchase & Pickup available
Suntec City Basement 1 (Kiosk)
Basement 1, Opposite Food Republic
Monday to Sunday
From: 12 PM - 9 PM
Direct Purchase & Pickup available
Harbourfront Level 2 (Pushcart)
Lobby B, Near Pepper Plus
Monday to Saturday
From: 11 AM - 8 PM
Direct Purchase only


I used to really love Kit Kat when I was younger but as I grew older, I became more fond of tasting the more "exotic" flavours that the Japanese come up with for Kit Kat. I wonder why Nestle isn't coming up with other various flavours in the other countries. Hmm...

Anyway, I spotted this at Don Don Donki the other day and decided to splurge just to taste it. Do note that there is a plain sake version as well but I like plum wine so I went with this flavour instead. Each box was S$12.90 and contained 9 small packets inside. That means it's about S$1.45 per packet which is already half the size of your regular Kit Kat.

Tastewise? I liked the smell of Umeshu upon opening the packet. There is a mild plum wine flavour on first bite and it ends off with the typical white chocolate taste. Overall, it is pleasant and I liked the fact that it wasn't too sweet. However, I'm not gonna get another box unless it's below S$10. Haha...a girl can only wish.

This blog post has been long overdue and I apologise for not being consistent because I've just been so busy these days and I have hardly cooked nor ate anything interesting as I've just been ordering in. Oops.

Anyway, finally had a get-together with a group of friends to try the hype that is known as The Coconut Club. I've heard about them quite some time ago and I was impressed with how the chefs took the simple dish of Nasi Lemak to the next level by ensuring that the coconut cream was hand-squeezed (that's a lot of work) and only certain varieties of coconuts from Malaysia were used.

Thus, I had to try this plate of very atas Nasi Lemak (S$12.80++). As you can see from above, it is actually quite value-for-money! That's a quarter of chicken on my plate! The chicken was fried to perfection and was tender and juicy, while the ikan bilis was also super crispy and crunchy. The sambal was also not too sweet, which I really appreciated as a lot of chilli sauces out there are simply too sweet for my liking. But be warned. The sambal packs a punch so if your spice tolerance is low, take very very very small amounts.

But let's talk about the rice. After all, as the name suggests, Nasi Lemak would be it if there's not coconut milk inside to make it lemak! You can see bits of the cream within the rice and the rice is not soggy. Moreover, I liked the balance between the creaminess of the coconut milk but it wasn't overpowering so you don't feel like you're eating cream.


The great thing about eating in a group is that you get to order other stuff on the menu. And my favourite is always the Otak-otak ($10.50++ per piece).


There were 6 of us, which was why we ordered 2 pieces and I do think that 1 piece is enough for 3 persons, especially since everyone would be ordering a plate of nasi lemak. The otak-otak is really very delicious. One of the best I've ever eaten and you can see and taste the chunks of fish used to make this delightful dish. Some of my friends found it a little too spicy but I reckon that it's just nice with your rice/chicken/egg.


If the otak-otak was really too spicy, then wash it all away with their chendol (S$3.80++; $1.20++ for additional azuki red beans). The coconut milk was the star of this dish again but as yummy as it was, I felt that I could've done with a lot more gula melaka.


They gave us complimentary kueh keuh!! The cakes are only S$2++ and changes daily, so you'll need to ask the staff what's in for the day. Honestly, I wasn't too impressed with the kuehs...not because it wasn't better than Bengawan Solo but...it was about the same as Bengawan? And I think that the kueh beng kah (that orangey one) was much better at Violet Oon's National Kitchen. However, my friend told me that the standard at National Kitchen has dropped...so alas, I'm not sure whether it'll be a good comparison now. Nonetheless, my point is, I've had better.

Now, you can't get a reservation at The Coconut Club and they're pretty strict about only seating you when all parties have arrived. It does get pretty crowded so do try to get there as early as you can or another strategy is to go at about 8pm to let the first wave of diners leave.

Do note that on Sundays, they only open for lunch so don't make the mistake that my parents and I made previously - going there without checking the opening hours. Otherwise, I do think that it's worth the try and enjoy the delights that they have to offer. The nasi lemak itself is worth every penny and again, I do think it's rather value for money when you look at the portions plus the quality of ingredients. Definitely a place to go on your cheat day!

The Coconut Club 
No. 6 Ann Siang Hill
Singapore 069787

Website: http://www.thecoconutclub.sg/
Tel no.: +65 6635 2999
Email: info@thecoconutclub.sg

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday 11am to 3pm
Monday to Saturday 6pm to 9.30pm

As Chinese New Year is fast approaching, I've concocted a special brew for it! Named the Orient Express, it can also be called the Eight Treasures Tea. So what are the eight 'treasures' that I've used?

  1. Black Tea
  2. Green Tea
  3. Osmanthus
  4. Dried Longans
  5. Black Wolfberries
  6. Red Wolfberries
  7. Honey
  8. Red Dates 
I've been receiving quite rave reviews for this flavour and I'm glad that everyone has been enjoying it thus far! Do order yours a week in advance so that I have enough time to brew as I brew in small batches.

To order, please click here.

If the above doesn't seem like your cup of tea (pun intended), then feel free to browse through the other flavours as listed at kombucha.thewellnessinsider.sg.

Happy Lunar New Year in advance!

Little Sheep Hotpot from Inner Mongolia is now in Singapore thanks to No Signboard Holdings and I was kindly invited to their official opening! Located at One Fullerton, Little Sheep Hotpot Singapore does have a nice view of the bay area (if you're seated next to the glass windows) and will attract quite a lot of tourist traffic.

No Signboard intends to open one outlet per year over the next five years and Little Sheep will add diversity to the group's restaurant business, which is already known for fresh seafood.


The soups

Established since 1999, Little Sheep Hotpot is famous for their lamb delicacies and their original soup base (S$9++ for small, S$20++ for large) is apparently made from 36 different spices and herbs such as goji berries (aka wolfberries), jujubes, black cardamon pods and ginseng. Needless to say, there is also the spicy mala option (S$9++ for small, S$20++ for large) that's cooked with chilli and Szechuan peppercorns. You can choose to have two soups in a pot like above with prices starting from S$12++ (small) and it depends on which two soup bases you choose from. Besides the original and mala, they also have mushroom and tomato soups (both at S$8++ for small, S$16++ for large).

Taste-test: I liked that the mala wasn't too chilli spicy and I think most people with various chilli tolerance levels can enjoy this hotpot together. If you like it more spicy, feel free to get more chilli but otherwise, I think it's a good chilli-hot level. However, in terms of flavour and fragrance of spices, I'm afraid that it is a bit lacking. The one that I had at Spice World Singapore was A LOT better.

As for the original white soup, the taste of the herbs was a bit faint. I prefer my soup to have a stronger herbal taste. It was rather garlicky and we fished out plenty of garlic that was served in the soup.

Interesting fact: hotpot can be traced back to more than 1,000 years ago where Mongolian horsemen would fill their overturned helmets with water and place them in embers to simmer before adding meat and vegetables. As they travelled throughout China, people began to create their own unique hotpot dishes by adding local ingredients! Well...I hope those helmets were washed thoroughly before being worn. Can you imagine wearing a helmet that still smells like last night's dinner? Hmmm....

The ingredients



Since Little Sheep is known for their lamb, this 3-tier is their Signature Lamb Platter (S$36++) and you get to sample a few their signature cuts. Needless to say, you can opt for individual cuts. They do have beef as well but we only managed to get a plate of what I think is their Signature Beef Selection (S$13++ for small, S$26++ for large). They also have Pig's Brain (S$8++)!!

The first bite of the lamb was very...lamby. If you don't like lamb, this might be your worse nightmare. Subsequent slices tasted a lot more like beef. I didn't find the lamb nor the beef particularly tender and I have bought more tender cuts from the supermarket (yes, for shabu shabu even).

We requested for pork and they gave us the Pork Shoulder (S$9++ for small, S$18++ for large) and it was ok. Not sure whether they misheard us or they were too busy...but we were questioning whether it was pork because the colour was quite a deep shade of red. Maybe we got beef instead?


If meats aren't your thing, don't worry as they have various kinds of seafood too and I think that their white pomfret at S$22++ is actually quite reasonable! They have lobster and scallops too...but they didn't serve those to us. We also tried their Handmade Snakehead Fish Paste (S$9++ for small, $18++ for large) and unlike other hotpot restaurants, this came in a plastic bag and squeezed out like a piping bag. It was fresh so it was good!

Similar to Beauty in a Pot, they too have the Fried Bean Curd Roll (S$5++ for small, S$10++ for large) and I love eating this as it is like a sponge, soaking up the soup but it is very light at the same time.

They served us the Fried Fish Skin (S$4.50++ for small, S$9++ for large) as appetisers but you can also dunk them in the soup. The fish skin was definitely fresh and free from any additives because they were a little bit limp after we started the hotpot.

We also had vegetables! But I didn't take the photos because...vegetables are vegetables? Mushroom lovers can also order the Mushroom Platter (S$18++) that has enoki, shiitake, eringi and shimeiji.

The grilled items


While waiting for the soup to boil, you can also order their grilled items such as the Signature Lamb Kebab (S$8++) as seen above. Do note that the lamb fat was also skewered and grilled together, which explains the tenderness of the lamb pieces. However, I felt that the meats could've been marinated a little bit better...or the spice powder wasn't as strong as I'd like it to be. Also, there wasn't a barbecued taste/ chargrill to them, although you CAN see the grilling action through the window. 

Overall 

Not sure whether the staff was frantic because it was a full house with media and influencers, but there were a few slip-ups. For example, having 1 set of soup ladles for 7 people on the table is waay too little and we had to ask for another set. My plate was cleared but a clean one was never given so I relied on my bowl...which wasn't really a big deal but it does say something about their stress-test. 

They did give us a small metal basket to boil the tofu but it was only 1 but we had 2 soup bases....which again, made me wonder whether they were a bit too frantic so they forgot?

You can't deny that the food served was fresh. But overall, for the prices, I feel more compelled to go eat the conveyor belt buffet hotpot or Spice World Singapore or Beauty in a Pot, considering how the latter two open till late. But if lamb is your thing...then yes, this is the only hotpot restaurant that I know of which serves many cuts of lamb and you can enjoy even a soup base that has been cooked with lamb! 

Little Sheep Hotpot
One Fullerton
#01-05
Website: www.littlesheephotpot.com
Tel no.: +65 6222 9959

Kombucha It is a variety of fermented tea that is produced using a "Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast" (SCOBY). During the fermentation process, enzymes, amino acids, organic acids (sometimes ethanol even), B vitamins, vitamin C and probiotics are produced. Thus, it is often consumed to help with general health by keeping a healthy gut.

You'll learn the basics of how to make kombucha, what to do and what NOT to do when brewing your kombucha. You will also get to taste a few various 'flavours' of kombucha.

Experience includes:

  • Starter kit including your own SCOBY
  • Recipe guide to kick off your kombucha experiments
  • Learn the basics of how to make kombucha
Date: Sunday, 30 September 2018
Time: 2.30 - 4.30pm
Venue: Alexandra Road (full address will be given upon successful registration)
Price: S$50 per person

To register, please complete the payment through Eventbrite.


Come and join me in this special tea (all puns intended) session where you'll get to taste various flavoured kombucha, which is fermented tea full of probiotics, paired with small bites. Learn about the benefits of this brew alongside foods that you can enjoy them with.

Experience includes:

  • Tasting of various kombuchas
  • Healthy bites
  • Goodie bag with healthy food samples (stevia, brown rice and protein brownies)
Date: Sunday, 23 September 2018
Time: 3 - 5pm
Venue: Alexandra Road (full address will be given upon successful registration)
Price: S$20 (adults) and S$15 (children)

To register, please choose one of the options below and complete through Eventbrite.