Who’s up for some soups, breads and croissants? For today’s Munchy Monday, we will be featuring on Seattle Pike Chowder – with two outlets here in Singapore, they specialise in just chowders flown in from Seattle almost daily, and Kokomama – a cafe that specialises in Korean fusion food, bingsu and croissants.
One would never have guessed that there’d be anything much in terms of food – let alone award-winning dishes – at the Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris. Located within Fort Canning Arts Centre, getting there was half the challenge; if you plan to walk, allow plenty of time (and hill climbing). Seattle Pike Chowder is located within a gelato store called Giovanni L., and serves award-winning chowders freshly flown from Pike Place Chowder in Seattle, USA.
The first dish we tried was their signature New England Chowder, served in a bread bowl which was the recommended way to enjoy this award-winning soup. The soup itself was flavourful and thick, but not overly creamy (for those who’re worried about that ‘milky’ taste). The clams were soft and not overcooked like many other pre-cooked chowders, and the chopped celery added a nice zing to the flavour. The savouriness was well balanced with the cream base. Each batch of chowder is flown in fresh from Seattle, therefore keeping the original flavours intact. The bread bowl was freshly toasted with each order, and the server carved the bowl out in front of us – this made the bread nice and crispy when dipped into the chowder.
The next chowder we tried – they only had 2 flavours available that day – was the Seafood Bisque, which was another award-winner. This time, the consistency wasn’t as thick as the clam chowder, and it had a distinctively more tomato-and-basil flavour. Chock full of fish (salmon, cod) and shellfish (shrimp, crab), the flavour was delightfully briny and the tomato bits added a hint of sweetness. While it is still a cream-based soup, it doesn’t fill you up as much as the clam chowder.
Seattle Pike Chowder offers 6 flavours (New England, Manhattan Chowder, Seafood Bisque, Smoked Salmon, Alaskan Fish, and Scallop), although the Fort Canning outlet only serves 4 flavours including New England Chowder, and 3 other flavours which are served in rotation.
To find the place, look out for a gelateria called Giovanni L. which is run by the same folks under the Giojio umbrella. The small cafe is located in a quiet, artsy building (the Pinacothèque de Paris museum), so foot traffic is very minimal, which means getting a table won’t be an issue even though there only 6.
If Fort Canning seems too inconvenient, they have another branch at Parkway Centre (Marine Parade).
[For those interested, Giovanni L. gelato originates from Germany, and serves up to 32 flavours at the Fort Canning branch, including some interesting flavours like black vanilla and Spiced Chai Tea.]
The prices range from $8.90 to $16.90 for their bowls of soup, while the bread bowls range from $12.90 to $14.90. The small bowl of soup ($8.90 for 8oz) may be a bit on the pricey side, but upsize to a bread bowl ($12.90) and it becomes a very filling meal in itself.
Seattle Pike Chowder
Singapore Pinacothèque de Paris
Fort Canning Arts Centre
Monday to Sunday
10.00am to 8.00pm
Kokomama Marketplace Review
By Kirstin Sow
Founded by siblings of 77th Street’s owner, Elim Chew, Kokomama Marketplace offers Korean fusion food and beverages. Aptly named Marketplace, the one month old café aims to offer variety and choices to consumers as seen from their menu of bread bowls, pasta, chicken and chops, rice bowls, baked rice and croissants at an affordable rate, taking over what used to be 3 Petit Croissant’s location. One thing to note too – most of Kokomama’s food offerings are baked or grilled, making it perfect for people who are looking for a tasty, filling and healthier meal alternative.
Inspired by how the military servicemen consume their food in mess tins, Kokomama serves their baked rice similarly to offer an authentic Korean experience to the consumer. As one of Kokomama’s signature dishes, the BBQ unagi baked rice was a nice balance of flavours from the Korean spices, melted cheeses and BBQ unagi. The BBQ unagi was well cooked and slightly sweet on the palate, which pairs off nicely with the rice. The gim [seaweed] too added a nice fragrance to the rice as well, serving as a seasoning atop the ingredients.
As mentioned previously, Kokomama has a wide variety of bread, cakes and pastries as well. One of their best sellers, the French Artisan croissant was crisp and fragrant on every bite. It is no wonder really, as freshly baked daily, the croissants’ quality is ensured to be the best as such. What makes this croissant different from others though, is that premium butter was used in its production. Currently, the café is having a promotion where the breakfast set, consisting of the French artisan croissant [$1.60] and one’s choice of coffee or tea would cost $5.50.
What intrigued me next from all the selection possible, was the charcoal croissant. Apart from its dark appearance, I was very curious how the charcoal croissant would taste like. Infused with a light smoky and buttery feel, the sesame seeds and nuts enhanced the taste of the croissant, and gave it an added crunch as a texture. However, between the two croissants, the French Artisan croissant would be a winner for me as I preferred the buttery taste of the croissant more.
A new addition to the menu, the coconut and gula melaka [palm sugar] croissant combines both French and Peranakan inspirations together. With shreds of coconut and the hints of a creamy and wooden scent from the the gula melaka, the croissant was not too sweet nor soggy, despite the thick syrup. Unfortunately, I prefer my croissant savoury than sweet, hence this wasn’t something that suits me.
Kokomama’s version of the patbingsu (snow ice dessert) is another crowd favourite in the cafe. Topped with fresh fruit slices, condensed milk, ice cream and fruit syrup, the strawberry bingsu in this case was a great and refreshing way to end the meal. The milky snow ice was smooth and fluffy while the strawberry ice cream, strawberry syrup and pomelo mocha gave a sweet and tangy touch to the palate. The generous portions of sweet and sour strawberry slices too, gave the dessert a good balance that wasn’t too heavy on a single taste.
Retaining the infrastructure of the previous owner, 3 Petit Croissants, black and white photographs related to baking lined the walls. With a variety of furniture and lighting, Kokomama makes for a comfortable and spacious place to hang around with friends after school. Alternatively, it is also a good stopover after the movies to have pastries or dessert.
Main start from $6.90 onwards while drinks are from $2 onwards. Bread and pastries range from $1 and up to $6 for cakes. Food portions are relatively generous, giving you plenty of bang for your buck. As it is conveniently located in the cluster of schools, there is also a student meal combo available where you can choose from the hotdog and mushroom pasta or ham and mushroom Korean baked rice with a choice of drink and a scoop of ice cream for only $7.90 when you like and share Kokomama’s Facebook page. Similarly, those who like and share Kokomama’s Facebook page would also get 20% off their purchase in the month of September as well.
1 Zubir Said Drive, School of The Arts
Mon – Thurs: 8am – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 8am – 10:30pm
We are giving away 5 x sets of Japanese QQ Beef ricebowl (another signature dish at Kokomama!) including, a standard cold drink of your choice!
1. Like our facebook post
2. Tell us: What bingsu did we try at Kokomama?