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  • KNUCKLES in Kovan!

    Having opened in Kovan since October 2013, walking into this place felt like strolling into our own backyard and finding a bustling carnival operating secretly for years without our knowledge. How did we miss this?!


    The name “KNUCKLES” might give a slight hint about what is sold here, but the décor of the place gives nothing away. Even then, the place–by its smart use of tables and wooden furniture–exudes a simple rustic charm that is open and inviting.

    Being woody isn’t the most interesting thing about this place, what we were most interested to find out was that one of the founders was a Master Butcher in an international chain hotel in Singapore for over a decade up till recently–soon after he started this place. With all that experience, little wonder that the burger patties and sausages are prepared in-house according to their own secret recipes! Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so, here we go…


    The first dish we tried was Knuckles’s Beef Burger. It had a homemade beef patty, cheese, runny-side-up egg, and greens trying madly to balance and squeeze themselves in between two sides of a soft buttery bun. With that incredibly juicy and flavourful patty, this is some serious yummy stuff. Cheese always goes well, but enrich the whole experience with a runny yolk, and you’ve got yourself a winner of a burger. It’s so good that it begs a certain regret–if only it was bigger… or maybe just give me two of that! Rawr. One other thing: we wonder why potato chips are the carbs or choice when there are fries available on the menu. Surely hot fries would make this dish a beast! We get carried away by footnotes. Back to the main point, a very satisfying real beef burger that packs a mighty punch! (ooh, another reason for “knuckles”?) Served with simple greens and potato chips. Knuckle’s Beef Burger = 76 Brownie Points! ($10)

    Next up was this whole German pork knuckle that really gives such a wonderful sense of occasion and would be suitable for any gathering whether special or casual.


    It looked really well done; golden-browned nicely with proper crackling in all the right places. If you forget to buy a birthday cake, this knuckle would do just fine with a birthday song. After you’re done, get it cut up and plated for serving.


    On the serving plate, mashed potatoes, Sauerkraut (fermented finely cut cabbage), and a dipping sauce are added. As you can see, the skin of the pork knuckle is crushes under the pressure of the cutting knife. And as you cannot tell from the picture, it’s texture is crisp to perfection when crushed between teeth. The meat itself is good, but dip it into the sauce with each mouthful and you get an irresistible combination. The Sauerkraut’s light acidity cuts through all the fatty goodness that has built up, and pushes the “reset” button of your tastebuds–ready to go at it again! Where else are you going to get such a dish in a simple setting? Definitely worth the try, whether in a single portion or as a whole knuckle. German Pork Knuckle = 80 Brownie Points! ($10 for single portion; $30 for whole knuckle)


    We also tried Knuckles’s Signature Pasta. It was a simple seafood pasta dish in spicy tomato sauce. The sauce was pretty spicy in a good way–Singaporean style, we like! While the mussels, prawns, and squids were in good quantity, we did not find them particularly noteworthy. Probably a good choice if someone feels like not eating knuckles when coming to Knuckles! =P  Knuckles’s Signature Pasta = 68 Brownie Points! ($12)


    Does what it says; what else could you ask for?


    Block 212 Hougang Street 21
    Singapore 530212
    Tel: +65 6285 0549
    Opening Hours:
    12:00PM to 2:30PM (Lunch)
    6:00PM to 11:00PM (Dinner)

  • Delicatessen in Shangri-La

    Shangri-La: a remote, beautiful, imaginary place where life approaches perfection… And, this utopia can be found in Potong Pasir! 😉 Maybe, maybe that is true, especially to residents and the community of Potong Pasir. It is a wonderful estate — peaceful and full of its own charms, and really a place with its own soul–soulful. But more than that, this estate is actually where Shangri-La is located. Not that imaginary land, but the confectionery and, as they call themselves, delicatessen. That is one amazing thing to call yourself (a German word); they must have been super posh back in the day when they decided to adopt the long form of deli in their name.


    And this is particularly eye catching for a bakery this old. Delicatessen would be a shop where delicacies or fine foods were produced and sold, and you must have something really special–something we had to find out about.

    The shop was not desperately filled to its brim with all kinds of products, as most bakeries are today. It had this nonchalant attitude, the kind of quiet confidence that we love. It did not take very long to go through all that they were selling; some noteworthy stuff they had were a baked light cheese cake, decorated birthday cakes (black forest, chocolate, etc.), dessert pies (awesomely interesting for them to be selling that!), indie bread, egg tarts, and curry puffs. And then, they had this:


    You will not easily find this anywhere else. This was like opening a door in the zoo and finding a bunch of unicorns chilling together. What are these? They are bags of meringues! They are basically egg whites beaten to foam, with a sugar of choice beaten in slowly, and finished with some form of heat applied. Only problem is that it isn’t that basic. It requires technique and perfection at various junctures in the preparation process, so that it is a really difficult confection to sell. For example, just a little bit of fat or oil–even residual on the bowls or from egg yolks–can result in very poor foam result for the beaten egg whites. Even the final product is difficult to keep, especially in humid Singapore. Egg whites and sugar tend to attract water and so meringues weep and bead when refrigerated or exposed to humid conditions. We figure that they would only produce and sell meringues because they have another product that uses only eggs yolks… probably their egg tarts. =)


    Their meringues were lovely. Simple and pure, they snapped as meringues should when bitten into. They were not only well made, they were also fresh and well kept–old or poorly kept meringues are probably not worth eating. This pure sweetness and beautiful texture truly justifies their name as a delicatessen. What makes this most special is that it is sold at a fraction of what we would pay for it–but please, don’t tell anyone! A bag of 6 meringues costs $1.20. No, that is not a typo! Meringue = 90 Brownie Points! ($1.20 for 6 meringues)


    We also tried their humble egg tarts. You could say these egg tarts are egg-siblings to the meringues since they were probably made from the same eggs! Their tart pastry was soft, light, and not overly buttery. The custard had a natural texture and pleasant taste without being too tough or eggy. It was an easy and enjoyable eat as neither the tart nor the custard were struggling for centre-stage. Definitely, one of the best egg tarts we have tried in a long while. It comes down to simple things done right–just like the meringue–and Shangri-La has definitely got it right for these two products. Egg tart = 85 Brownie Points! ($0.80 each)

    You need to come back as there is probably nowhere else!


    Shangri-La Confectionery & Delicatessen
    Blk 148 Potong Pasir Ave 1
    Singapore 350148