Wednesday, 4 February 2015

SINGAPORE: Artease and Bun Master (This is a food review don't worry!)

Greetings Ladles and Jellyspoons!

Song here, just reassuring readers who may be slightly confused  both Artease and Bun Master are real food places. The latter is not some strange exercise machine. Anyways..

So last evening we got a call saying that we'd be by ourselves for dinner that night (we're usually taken out by our brother and co.) and to be honest, making a choice wasn't something we'd done in a while. After thinking about it for a while we realized, there was simply too much choice and then we decided that we were probably too lazy to go anywhere spectacu... I'm sorry, did I say lazy? I meant that for you wonderful readers, we decided to show you some of the less local stuff that you can try, because we know that even though Char Siew and Fish ball soup may be great, it starts becoming less great if you have it everyday for a month. So let's get started!

For those who have gotten the hang of the train system you can take the Green line to reach Tanjong Plaza and follow the signs for exit A to Tanjong Pagar Plaza which is near to where both places are found.

Artease is a little shop located near the outside Tanjong Pagar Plaza. I suppose they were going for a small cafe/eatery but to be honest it pretty much looks like an upgraded hawker centre stall. From what we saw of their menu they serve two things; drinks and sandwiches. However when I looked at their website they had a range of pastries as well. For more info you can just head over to here for the complete menu.

It's useful to note that they close at 8:30pm on the day we went (Friday) which, is kind of surprising seeing as most Singapore shops don't close till about 10 onwards. But the staff there were real troopers even when we arrived at 8:20pm and didn't complain as we placed our order (yes I know we sound like bad customers but we did order to takeaway!) We only managed to try the honey mustard chicken sandwich, as we both felt like the same one, but to be honest it felt like it was the only one worth getting although the egg sandwich might have been a contender if they didn't make the honey mustard chicken one look so tempting. Actually the rest looked so overly simple like cheese and ham or tuna so the chicken was really the only viable option.

When we got our food, they came in a paper bag, so it really felt like a packed lunch, nice touch. When I opened mine though, I kind of thought that they might have given me the wrong order because it certainly looked nothing like the picture, nor did it look anything like chicken. It resembled a tuna sandwich and was about to complain but my sister had the exact same thing. So false-ish advertising but to be fair it probably wouldn't have fit in the sandwich if it was a whole piece of chicken, and they'd probably have to use more to fill the sandwich so.. smart move Artease. The taste was, nice, can't really taste the honey or the mustard, more like a slightly bland mix of the two. Don't get me wrong, it's not like the sandwich had NO flavor it just wasn't what I thought it would be like. The texture of the sandwich was well, pretty much like tuna. The grilled sandwich toast was nice though, albeit kind of oily but that just added to the experience.

We also ordered a strawberry green tea milk tea (that's a mouthful I know), a standard milk tea, and a hazelnut ice chocolate (starting to sound like a Starbucks yet?). The prep time was pretty standard so nothing special to comment about it (so why I'm still typing about this I have no idea). Another interesting thing about this place is that you can choose the percentage of sugar, from 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and then 100%. I'm not sure how you'd manage to make a caramel milk tea 0% sweet but maybe I'll find out one day. The hazelnut ice chocolate was a tad bit disappointing, you could taste a real subtle hint of hazelnut but when I buy something that has hazelnut IN the name, I expect it to be able to taste it in at least 75% of the product. Basically tasted like a Milo with a dash of hazelnut thrown in.

The strawberry milk tea was confusing to the tastebuds, to say the least. On one hand it had the bitter flavour of green tea that was quite strong, and yet at the same time there was the taste of strawberry milk in the background that you had a better impression of with the aftertaste. Also there were little strawberry seeds at the bottom, that was yum. Also, there's a 2 hour time limit to drink it, presumably so the flavour stays the same.

Moving onto the Bun Master.

Didn't get to try it :(

Aside from it's weird name this place is actually really decent. They only have a few products to sell but most of them, if not all, are notable. So if you ever get a chance to try this place out I would recommend it. From what I see on their Facebook page, they have two stores. One, in Tanjong Pagar, the other in Toa Payoh, but if anyone knows of any others or realizes that I didn't read it properly, feel free to let me know in the comments below. We'll just review the really notable ones because well, they're the ones you definitely have to try, but at about 0.90 cents a bun, you can pretty much grab one of everything without feeling the burn in your wallet.

One of the buns you absolutely HAVE to try is the HK style Polo Bun. They make it so the top is crispy, and this combined with the soft bun and the warm char siew inside makes for a pretty darn good bun for 90 cents.

The next one would have to be the Golden sand bun. I know this sounds super weird but hey, you're buying from a store called the Bun Master so surely you didn't expect it to be normal. It's not sand, but custard inside. Though I can't really explain it, it's similar to the Crystal Jade steamed egg custard bun, so its a more liquid-like custard. Either way it's delicious when warm (and note I do say when warm because when it gets cold it becomes kinda weird to eat. You could always reheat it if you wanted to bring it home though). They supposedly have this amazing bun called the magical milk bun but we didn't see it that day but if we do get to try it we'll update this, or someone can, again, leave us a comment on how it was. Do NOT confuse  with the standard polo bun and come after me with pitchforks and torches saying I didn't warn you. (I'm totally not saying this from experience or anything..ha...ha.. it's not like I ordered 6 of them only realizing when we got home that they were the wrong ones)

So these two stores are something to add a little variety to your Singapore experience. I would probably just recommend Artease for it's friendly staff, I think it's products still need a fair bit more work but if you're craving a sandwich then head over to there (After typing about sandwiches, that's exactly what I'm craving right now, so you'll be sure to see a post about sandwiches soon) but I think there'd be a ton of other places to have a sandwich that would probably open till a later time too. I definitely recommend heading over to Bun Master to check out the buns I talked about, it would be well worth the trip.

The Lambs

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