Nian Nian You Yu @ Maxwell Food Centre, Kadayanallur Street – Value-For-Money Steamed Fish Sets by Ex-Fine Dining Chef

Stories of ex-restaurant chefs striking it out on their own are hardly new. But, what about chefs that completely switched cuisines along the way? That is how Nian Nian You Yu – a fairly new hawker stall opened by a former chef of a Michelin-starred restaurant – came about. 

nian-nian-you-yu-maxwell-food-centre

Operating alongside iconic neighbours such as Tian Tian Chicken Rice and Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake at Maxwell Food Centre on Kadayanallur Street, one would never suspect that Nian Nian You Yu’s chef once churned out mod European at the likes of Bacchanalia and Sommer. Still, it’s not hard to miss this up-and-coming stall with its neon blue sign and its name spelled in both mandarin and pinyin.

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Myeongdong District @ Fortune Centre, Middle Road – Authentic Korean Street Food That Doesn’t Burn A Hole In Your Wallet

The K-wave is showing no signs of slowing down, with various Korean-themed eateries and Korean-inspired cafes popping up as of late. If you’re craving an authentic Korean street food experience, Myeongdong District – not to be confused with the iconic shopping and fashion belt – recently set up shop in Fortune Centre

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Like its neighbours, Myeongdong District sports a barebones interior with cozy tables set amidst a bright orange backdrop. A K-pop track playing in the background would definitely add to the “Korean street food stall” atmosphere. The eatery cum takeaway kiosk is operated by a pair of young gentlemen who prepare every dish to order. 

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When in Kyoto: Angel Library @ Higashiyama, Kyoto – Whimsical Underground Chocolate Cafe with a Daily Changing Passcode

We visited this place in November 2019, prior to Covid-19. Do check for pandemic-related updates and precautions before making your visit.

CACAO MARKET By MARIABELLE in Higashiyama, Kyoto, is host to a couple of oddities. For one, its quintessentially Western facade stands out from its neighbours of traditional buildings in Japan’s historical capital. For another, well – it’s home to a secret underground cafe accessible only by a secret passcode.

angel-library

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When in Kyoto: Matcha Republic 抹茶共和国 宇治本店 @ Uji, Kyoto – Traditional Matcha With a Modern Twist in Perfume Bottles

We visited this place in November 2019, prior to Covid-19. Do check for pandemic-related updates and precautions before making your visit.

What do you get when you combine a nearly thousand years old drink with a hip, modern setting and the allure of social media pictures? You get Matcha Republic!

matcha-republic

Wandering somewhat aimlessly around Uji, Kyoto and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of shops touting variations of matcha in the hometown of this marvellous, historic drink, Matcha Republic’s minimalist white storefront called out to me from the myriad traditional stores brimming with packets upon packets of matcha powder.

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Gyosen @ Fortune Centre, Middle Road – Hole-In-The-Wall Japanese Donburi and Omakase

While Fortune Centre has established itself as a foodie haven for vegetarians and vegans, that has not stopped a handful of Japanese and Korean eateries from setting up shop in this unassuming mall. Gyosen has quietly made a name for itself with its affordable Japanese rice bowls and omaksase which are housed in two adjacent units on the third level. 

gyosen

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