BREADTALK IHQ (30 Tai Seng Street)
Level 1 Food Street
Lots to eat here: you’ll find flagship brands BreadTalk, Din Tai Fung, Food Republic, RamenPlay and Toast Box. What we like: the long-queue Teochew fishball mee stall ($4 dry/soup) in the old street style Food Republic (#01-06), Din Tai Fung’s (#01-02) signature 18-folds xiao long bao ($9.80/10pcs), and BreadTalk’s Black Pearl bread for tea. Parking deals: Mon-Fri free first hour; Sat-Sun, PH free first two hours.
Three floors of retails
Apart from necessities like 7-Eleven (#01-07), UOB (#01-01) and Watsons (#02-03), you’ll also find: Thye Shan Medical Hall (#02-04) which offers herbal soup tasting on weekends; Cherie Hearts Little Play House (#02-12/13) to drop your tots off at; and N-Tech Car Grooming Services (#03-01) which offers express grooming at only $10.
SAKAE BUILDING (28 Tai Seng Street)
Hei Sushi (#01-02)
Drop by for halal conveyer belt sushi that’s also available for delivery (min. order of $40). Also enjoy specially Hot Bean hotate ($7.38) and kaisen ramen ($15.88), or the Hei Warai party set ($58.88) for birthdays in the office. Dim sum also available on weekdays from 2.30-5.30pm. Daily excl. PH 11.30am-9pm. Tel: 6382 1494. www.heisushi.com
Sweetest Moments (#03-01)
This custom cake shop offers packages for baby’s full month (from $5.90/gift box), birthdays, weddings and other celebrations. Free delivery over $200. Daily 9.30am-5pm, PH 9.30am-1pm. Tel: 6286 2553
At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy (Level 5)
We can’t skip this culinary institution. With a faculty of chefs, food professionals and qualified instructors, it’s a great head start if you’re eyeing a career in F&B. Alumni include chef Immanuel Tee of Immanuel French Kitchen. www.at-sunrice.com
UE Print Media Hub (61 Tai Seng Avenue)
You’ll find 12 stalls at Eat Inn selling fare like chicken rice (from $2.80 steamed/roasted), Korean hot plate spicy chicken ($5/set), Halal Khadijah Kitchen’s kampong porridge ($3) and the newly-opened Ah Hoe Mee Pok which dishes out sliced abalone bak chor mee ($4).
The Commerze @ Irving (1 Irving Place)
It’s a hive of activity and new F&B energy here. Tenants include Grasso Coffee (#01-27/28)–choose from sock-brewed or artisanal coffee, with fun flavours like cotton candy; 23 Jumpin (#01-25) for tiramisu duck leg confit ($16); TomorrowFree KaFei/Ooh Cupcakes (#01-20) for homecooked fare like laksa ($3.50) and toast sets; Round 8 (#01-24) for cold-pressed juices ($5.50) and tortilla wraps; SWAG (#01-26, salads wraps and greens)–opt for seafood galore ($9.90) or create your own; and Teapresso (#02-19) for kanten collagen jelly tea dessert ($3.90) or a creamy tiramisu coffee latte ($5.50). Cold-pressed juice company’s A Juicery has its kitchen and production area here too. When the building’s fully operational, there’ll be a staff canteen, a swimming pool and gym.
LC Food Court @ Trivex (8 Burn Road)
What stands out from the usual fare of mixed rice, ban mian, etc is Nature Park Seafood (#01-12) with sam lou horfun ($5/8/10) and even affordable tze char sets: $53 for 5-7 pax (coffee pork ribs, sambal kangkong, spinach with trio egg, dried meat floss prawn balls, hot plate beancurd, bittergourd with beancurd soup). Daily 11am-3pm, 5-10.30pm. Tel: 8575 3232
The Living Room (15 Playfair Road, #04-01)
Chill at this Christian cafe which also provides F&B training for ex-offenders above 21 years old. Look out for the specials: we love the chicken roulade ($9). Other mains include Mongolian pork chop ($8.90), and fish and chips ($6.50). Add $3 for soup of the day (mushroom’s yummy) and a drink (freshly brewed iced lemon tea). Mon-Fri excl. PH 11.30am-3pm. Tel: 8678 8033
Dressabelle (15 Playfair Road, #02-01)
We found the brick-and-mortar store of this online shopping site. Dresses for events from $33, chic tops from $25, and $30 work pants–great deals! www.dressabelle.com.sg
Lin Ho Building (29 Playfair Road)
You’ll find stationery of every kind here: from their Panda Brand items like letter trays (from $4.50 for two-tier), to watercolours (from $2 for 12 colours). They’ll also prepare gift sets for you–pop by to choose what you need. Free delivery above $80. Tel: 6283 7122
Kapo Factory Building (80 Playfair Road)
Look beyond the grey facade to find the vintage-hip Red Point Record Warehouse (#06-11, Blk B), a recommendation from our design colleague. Then wander to The Rocking Chair (#03-08, Blk A), our editor’s pick for furniture and furnishings. By Invite Only’s office is here too (by appointment only, www.byinviteonly.info).
Tong Yuan Industrial Building (85 Playfair Road)
Two furniture and lifestyle stores for you to check out while here: Egg3 (#07-01)–we featured their bread box with chopping board ($59) in our inaugural issue, and Grafunkt (#02-01/02) for a Hug two-seater sofa and a Beam coffee table for your home’s New Year sprucing.
UPPER PAYA LEBAR ROAD
The BiTES team walk this road for flavourful and wallet-friendly nasi padang from Muslim Delights (No. 117), Chinese white/rainbow bread from the traditional Jie Bakery & Confectionery (No. 123), pricey (above $10) siew yok and char siew rice from Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint (No. 125), and dry bak kut teh with tau huay to finish at Old Street Bak Kut Teh (No. 129). We highlight two more below.
Pancake King (Golden 88 Cafeteria, 107 Upper Paya Lebar Road)
We love the pancakes with the gentle crisp exterior and pillowy soft dough. Opt for a mix of coconut and peanut if you can’t decide between the two. What we love most, however, is chatting to the sprightly auntie who makes these snacks a la minute, puts in extra filling, and carefully wraps each piece ($0.80/slice, $3.20/whole). Mon-Fri 7am-5pm
Three Years in a Balloon (163 Upper Paya Lebar Road)
Opened by the folks behind Wimbly Lu, this newish cafe (opened Aug 2014) focuses on cakes (summer berry cheesecake, $6), pies, cookies, sandwiches and coffee. We also like the sparkling lychee quencher ($3) that had hints of ginger ale. Also try: house-churned salted caramel ice cream ($3/scoop) and waffles (from $3.50). For celebrations, order a whole cake (from $25 for 5-inches) by 3pm to collect at 5pm the following weekday. Mon-Fri 12pm-7.30pm. Tel: 9236 7366