Food & Travel


Text: Akis Temperidis
Photography: Renato Zacchia

Eighteen Chefs - Underworld flavours. #04-02 Cathay Cineleisure.

Chef Benny's story of rags, drugs to riches is surely a heartfelt one. Taking in ex-addicts or ex-cons and rehabilitating them where no other employer would already wins him the blue ribbon but his culinary skills are actually pretty good. Also having spent a stint with Jamie Oliver under the same re-hab scheme has given Benny a East meets West flavour. 

Return of Changi Village Hokkien Mee.

When they shut Changi Village Hawker center for renovations we lost our favourite Hokkien Mee stall. It was over a year before they opened the hawker center again. Then we found Changi Village Hokkien Mee had returned to to the newly renovated CV hawker center. There are now a couple of immitators but there is just one original one. Look for it in the middle at 01-53.

Casa Tartufo - Forum Shopping Mall, #01-17, 583 Orchard Road. S238884

There is another Italian food outlet that you should know about that is located centrally along Orchard Road. It is not a pizzeria that serves spaghetti and pizza but a proper and high end Italian diner. We must admit we were attracted by the juicy Steak Florentina, their signature dish. They do it medium rare and it is done to perfection. Just bring an empty stomach and your credit card as it is a 1-kg T-bone steak which costs $170. But it is excellent and highly recommended.The other recommended dish is the Tajarin pasta, again their signature dish.

Malaysia comes to Singapore - Malaysia Boleh #03-28 Jurong Point 2

We were wondering why it took so long for Malaysian food to make it across the causeway. However we heard that there is a place at Jurong Point that has just about every M'sian hawker fare there is. 

Of course we headed to our favourite, the KL Hokkien mee. Be prepared to queue because they make it in batches of 4-6 plates but the queue is longer than that. However it turns out its worth the wait. Well honestly it is not quite as good as the Ah Hwa Hokkien mee but that is over 300 km away. We had tried the Kong Kee black mee and rated that good enough but not near the best. We'd venture that this offering is a tad better than Kong Kee's mee and it comes in two prices $4.50 and $6.00 and that is great value as there is quite a lot per plate. 

Valentino's moves to 200 Turf Club Road, #01-19

Our favourite Italian Restaurant has moved to their new premises at Turf City from their original place at Jalan Binka. After spending a million and a half on renovations, the new Valentino is bigger and better than before. Having been in operation for a month now, everything has smoothened out. The ambience is like an Italian castle, well inside that is. While the food is as wonderful as ever, the larger premises makes the dining occasion rather more grand.

2012 Sepang Track Days (June-July Updates)

A compilation of known Sepang or Pasir Gudang 2012 track-day sessions for our readers' information.

If you know of any other sessions, please drop us a line at: or

Valentino's - 11 Jalan Bingka, Singapore 588908

Italy truly comes to Singapore. After sussing out numerous restaurants in Italy, it has dawned on us that Valentino's is really and truly an excellent Italian restaurant. Located along Rifle Range Road, away from the hustle and bustle, Valentino's proves that location is not everything. Like many great restaurants in Europe, one has to drive quite a distance out of the way to get to these places after having booked months in advance. And when you get there in the wilderness, it is really packed with patrons from all corners of the world.

Italy, Florence : Buca Lapi - Via del Trebbio, 1 50123 Florence

Ristoranti Buca Lapi is one of the better restaurants in Florence. Should you be in Florence a couple of days, this would be a typical Florentine restaurant to go to. Here is the latest update on this restaurant. It is advisable to make prior reservations as they are usually fully booked weeks in advance and for good reason too. The restaurant is located to the east of the main square of Florence. It has no real frontage and is easily missed if one is walking along via Trebbio. Just a door to indiate where it is because it is one level below.

Italy : Marione Ristoranti - Via della Spada 27R, 50129 Florence

This famous traditional Italian restaurant in Florence serves one of the very best Florentine steaks ever. The locatiion is within walking distance of the main square and bridge but is not on the usual well trodden path of most tourists. It is so understated that you could just walk past it. Used to be where locals go to but they have been getting more tourists. Just glad they have not dropped their standards. 

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