Food Spy Lifestyle

6 Indian Snacks to Savour this Deepavali

Nibble on these delicious morsels, which reflect diverse culinary traditions and beliefs.



Deepavali (12 November), the Hindu Festival of Lights, celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. It is associated with a rich tapestry of traditions such as lighting oil lamps (diyas) and feasting with family and friends. For those who celebrate the holiday, the festive period isn’t complete without tables heaving with traditional Indian snacks, from savoury bites to melt-in-your-mouth sweets.

Many of these treats are prepared with ghee (clarified butter), which symbolises purity. In Hindu prayer rituals, sweets are commonly offered to deities, a practice which is extended to Deepavali to offer thanks and seek blessings. In Singapore, you can find a dizzying array of traditional Indian snacks at various stalls and restaurants around Little India. If you’re not sure of what to sample, here’s a starter list of familiar favourites and lesser-known specialities.




Several years ago, it was near impossible to attend an Indian wedding without hearing the risqué ‘Jalebi Baby’ by Canadian rapper Tesher. This once-trending track can be seen as an ode to its namesake dessert of deep-fried wheat flour batter slicked in a sticky, rose-flavoured syrup. Jalebi is instantly recognisable for its bright orange or yellow hue and spiral shape, which symbolises continuity and is thus considered auspicious.

Where to find it: Moghul Sweets (48 Serangoon Rd, #01-16)

Gulab Jamun


These spongy, deep-fried dough balls composed of milk solids are soaked in a cloying syrup redolent of cardamom and rose water, and sprinkled with chopped nuts such as pistachios and almonds. Served warm, it is an indulgence enjoyed during special occasions. Its sweetness denotes the joy and celebratory spirit associated with Deepavali, while its round shape represents good fortune and positivity.  “Gulab” refers to the syrup, while “Jamun” signifies the dark colour of the fried dough balls.

Where to find it: Komala Vilas (4 Upper Dickson Rd)

Ras Malai


Ras malai is a dessert of creamy cottage cheese dumplings steeped in a fragrant, sweet milk and garnished with slivers of pistachios or almonds. The pale, cardamom-flavoured discs symbolise purity and auspicious beginnings, thus making it an apt Deepavali sweet. There are competing accounts of its origins. Some contend that it is derivative of a Bangladeshi dessert called kheer bhog, while the great-grandson of famous Kolkata sweet shop KC Das’ founder claims to have invented it as part of an experiment while working as a research assistant. What many can agree on though, is the irresistible quality of the luscious, velvety concoction.

Where to find it: Kailash Parbat Restaurant (3 Belilios Rd, #01-03 Hilton Garden Inn)



Rooted in India’s Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh regions, palkova is a portmanteau of the Tamil words paal (milk) and kova (a thickened milk sweet). It is prepared by heating milk till it reduces to a semi-solid, fudge-like consistency. Like many traditional Indian sweets, it represents prosperity and positivity and is consumed during religious festivals and occasions. In Tamil Nadu’s temple town of Srivilliputhur — where shops ply the sweetened, curdled, dessert — the Srivilliputhur Co-operative Primary Milk Producers Society is said to churn up to 3,000 litres of milk a day to make paklova during the festive or pilgrimage seasons.

Where to find it: A2B Vegetarian Restaurant (276-278 Serangoon Rd)


Pani puri


According to a report by Indian daily The Hindu, Google India charted a 10 per cent spike in searches for pani puri recipes during the country’s COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. That’s an indication of the snack’s appeal. Best described as miniature puri (deep-fried bread), the round, hollow puffs are filled with a moreish mixture of ingredients such as mashed potato or chickpeas, mushy peas and finely chopped onions, before being dunked in a tangy cold sauce (pani) of tamarind, cumin and spicy green chutney. They are consumed in one bite, to best appreciate the medley of vibrant flavours. Pani puri is eaten year-round but Deepavali is the perfect time to enjoy it with family and friends.

Where to find it: Delhi 6 (35 Upper Circular Rd)



Made from a semi-solid dough of rice flour, urad dal (black gram lentils) and a blend of spices that’s kneaded, piped and pressed into various patterns before being deep-fried, murukku is a popular South Indian snack consumed during special occasions such as Deepavali. Its name is roughly translated as ‘to twist’ in Tamil, which explains the spiral shape of many murukku variants. Manapparai, a small town in India, is so famous for its murukku-making tradition that the Tamil Nadu government even applied for the town to have a geographical indication tag, which associates a region with a food product.

Where to find it:  A’s Kitchen (Blk 496B, Tampines Street 43)



While food is central to Deepavali festivities, the event is also marked by rituals rich in cultural and religious significance.

Kolam: These vibrant and intricate floor decorations are created using coloured rice flour, chalk or flower petals. Their geometric designs — typically brought to life by family and community members — are meant to welcome guests, dispel negativity, and invoke blessings from the divine.

Diyas: The lighting of oil lamps, also known as diyas, symbolises the victory of light over darkness. Rows of oil lamps and colourful electric lights adorn homes and temples during Deepavali, their warm, inviting glow lending a magical quality to the celebration.


As part of HomeTeamNS Khatib’s month-long event, Culture Shiok, celebrate the Festival of Lights  at the clubhouse’s Indian Culture Week (14 to  19 Nov), which will feature activities such as a flower garland making workshop, a Bhangra dance performance and tantalising culinary experiences. Meanwhile, HomeTeamNS members can look forward to redeeming complimentary packs of murukku at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir. Also, HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok will be holding free Henna sessions for HomeTeamNS members on 12 Nov. Stay tuned for more details on our social media channels.

Check out this video of HomeTeamNS Volunteers, Staff, and President, HomeTeamNS, Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim tasting some Indian delicacies!

Interested in serving beyond your obligations? Consider the Volunteer Extension Scheme, which allows PNSMen who have completed their NS liability to continue serving beyond their statutory age. PNSMen (With NS liability) who have passed their statutory age of 40 years (Junior Officers) & 50 years (Senior Officers) may apply.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Food Spy Lifestyle

Meet the hawker chefs bringing 5-star food to the heartlands

Hawker chefs: Their culinary ventures are our gain, as they add even more variety to Singapore’s unique culinary scene.



Hawker culture has long been at the heart of Singapore’s culinary culture. It’s no wonder that it became the country’s first element on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

From renegade street stalls in the 1800s to the first hawker centres – Chomp Chomp Food Centre, Block 51 Old Airport Road and Tiong Bahru Market – in the 1970s, this continues to evolve today.

An increasing number of chefs have been setting up stalls in hawker centres, perhaps inspired by the “unpretentious good food” ethos. From the ex-Cicheti chef who started a western stall at Bukit Merah selling S$7.80 Spaghetti Carbonara, to Raffles Hotel’s former dim sum head chef turned chee cheong fun hawker, here are our top finds for standout meals that won’t leave a hole in your pocket.


3752 Bukit Merah Central, Singapore, Singapore

S$7.80 for a plate of Spaghetti Carbonara may seem pricey for hawker fare, but when it’s cooked by an ex-Chicheti chef, you know you’re in for something special.

Located at Maddox Canteen in Bukit Merah Central, Eightisfy Western is headed by Chef CK, who was in charge of pastas at the famous trattoria before coming out to serve his local western fare. Expect classics like Chicken Chop, Grilled Fish and Burgers, all featuring his own marinade and crowd pleasers like the crunchy, battered Spam Fries. But one must try the pasta of course – picking from savoury offerings of Bacon Carbonara, Mushroom Aglio Olio to Tomato Ragu to satisfy any craving.


Photo: Chef Leung's Facebook page

Blk 335 Smith Street #02-096, Singapore, Singapore

Chef Leung Tze Cham worked for 30 years as a dim sum master at the illustrious kitchens of Raffles Hotel, before leaving for China to start his prawn farm. After the pandemic affected his business, he returned to Singapore and opened his own Chee Cheong Fun hawker stall at Chinatown Complex.

His menu features handmade rice noodle rolls that are soft and light, wrapping premium ingredients selected by the chef. He achieves the texture with house-milled rice batter that takes three hours to make. He then tops this with his addictive peanut and sesame sauce.


Photo: Cat in the Hat Instagram

505 Beach Road #01-106 (Army market)

Nothing beats having established chefs brightening up our hawker centres with their pretty bakes. Case in point: Former hotel pastry chef Ellis Ng, who opened Cat in The Hat at Golden Mile Food Centre in March this year.

Ng offers other dainty French pastries such as Caneles, Financiers and Tarts on her menu, all freshly-baked daily. There are local twists to be found with their Lychee Rose (Bandung) tart and Ovaltine Chocolate tart. The best part? With Madeleines starting at S$1.50 and lemon meringue tarts at S$3, these sweet indulgences won’t break the bank.


Photo: A Noodle Story Facebook page

1 Wallich St, Singapore #B2-32, Singapore, Singapore

A ramen stall that’s been listed on the Michelin Bib Gourmand since 2016? They’re definitely doing something right. Maybe it’s because chefs Gwern Khoo and Ben Tham have seen the kitchens of Michelin-starred restaurants such as Waku Ghin, Saint Pierre and Iggy’s, and cracked the code on what makes good dishes remarkable.

Expect their Singapore-Style Ramen to be a flavour bomb with servings of juicy Shrimp Wantons, braised Pork Belly Char Siew, and crunchy Ngoh Hiang (spiced meat roll). Their new Smoky Char Siew Wanton Noodle and Nyonya Curry Chicken Noodles look set to be winners too.


Photo: Meat 4 Meat Instagram

228 East Coast Road, Singapore 428925

71 Ubi Crescent, Singapore 408571

Fancy a Beef Wellington served in a coffee shop? Then you probably appreciate chef Jimmy Teo’s aim to bring items usually found in high-priced restaurants to the masses.

The co-founder of Meet 4 Meat (with chef Gerald Lau), he brings over 20 years of experience working in professional kitchens like his stint as chef of Wooloomooloo Steakhouse at Swissotel. There are two outlets located along East Coast Road and Ubi Crescent. Each of his menu offerings is thoughtfully cooked with a premium experience in mind. Items like the Marinated New Zealand Lamb Cutlets are done with his secret sauce and pasta dishes are all handmade.


Photo: Mat Western Facebook page

122 Bedok North St 2, Singapore, Singapore

This halal stall is stirring up fans with their hefty pizzas. Frenchman Umar Fabrice, who’s a Muslim convert, and Singaporean Hidir Kasim opened Mat Western after years in professional kitchens, so one can expect a keen eye and extra flair when ordering from the stall.

The pizzas there, for example, use doppio zero flour – the finest milled variety, and feature freshly-made dough everyday. On top of traditional Italian classics, one can also enjoy options with Asian ingredients for a satisfying familiar taste. Lemak Chicken Pizza and Tom Yam Pepperoni Pizza? We’re sold.


Photo: Miss Tam Chiak

335 Smith Street #02-215 Chinatown Complex Market & Food Centre

Located in Chinatown Complex Food Centre, this chicken rice stall is helmed by Hong Kong-born chef Wong Keung. Using kampung chicken for a firmer bite, the poultry is poached in a savoury five-hour broth made of dried scallops and octopus.

The result? Generous chicken pieces that feature a bright buttery-yellow skin, slippery with juice yet with a satisfying chew. The soy sauce chicken variety features a similar texture, but a less powerful flavour than the specialty-broth variety. If you’re looking to try a new spin of a national classic, you won’t be disappointed here.

Without a doubt, it’s to Singapore’s benefit that these chefs have joined the hawker fraternity. They not only expand the meaning of what it means to be a hawker, but also open up interest in those wanting to enter the food and beverage industry. Hopefully, this new breed of entrepreneurs will inspire a new generation of hawkers and uphold the legacy of affordable, delicious food for a long time to come.


If you’re craving good hawker fare after visiting a HomeTeamNS clubhouse, you’re in luck. Several hawker centres are just a short drive away from HomeTeamNS clubhouses:

HomeTeamNS Khatib: Chong Pang Market & Food Centre (7 min drive), Yishun Park Hawker Centre (6 min drive)

HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier: Balestier Market (4 min drive), Whampoa Food Centre (5 min drive)

HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok: Choa Chu Kang Market & Food Centre (7 min drive)

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir: Bedok Reservoir Food Centre (4 min drive), Bedok 538 Market and Food Centre (5 min drive)

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Food Spy Lifestyle

We tried 10 innovative mooncakes for Mid-autumn Festival 2023

Do their flavours live up to their fancy names? Find out in our reviews of these baked and snowskin delights, assessed according to creativity and quality of presentation, ingredients and flavours.



It’s a tradition to eat mooncakes during the Mid-autumn Festival, which is celebrated annually on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, and falls on 29 September this year. The event sees people attending “moon viewing” (the moon is apparently brightest during this time) parties in lantern-lit gardens, where they sip tea and savour mooncakes. These pastries are shaped like the full moon, to symbolise reunion.

Restaurants and bakeries are getting increasingly creative in their choice of mooncake fillings, which — beyond the traditional lotus paste — may incorporate local twists and premium ingredients such as truffles. To help you narrow it down, we sampled a variety of baked and snowskin mooncakes and classified them according to creativity, quality of ingredients, presentation, and most importantly, taste. Here are our top picks for 2023.


For the health conscious: Bi Luo Chun Tea Lotus Seed Paste from Si Chuan Dou Hua (Halal-certified)

Recognising that Singaporeans are becoming increasingly health-conscious, Si Chuan Dou Hua is offering low-sugar mooncakes this year. Furthermore, your purchase backs a good cause. Besides working with Extraordinary People (a charity that supports individuals with special needs) for the design of the mooncake gift box and fabric bag, the restaurant also hires differently-abled persons to help assemble the boxes. Tea connoisseurs won’t be disappointed by the new Bi Luo Chun Tea Lotus Seed Paste mooncake. The lotus paste is elevated with a generous infusion of the world-famous biluochun green tea from Suzhou, China, which results in a subtle floral finish with a slightly gritty texture.

From $36 for a box of two.

For the discerning: Yam with Black Sesame and Shredded Coconut from Shang Palace

Shangri-La Singapore has been a go-to for generations of mooncake connoisseurs as well as young couples looking to impress their in-laws. As it turns out, it’s not just the hotel’s more traditional mooncakes that boast refined presentation and taste. Take, for example, this new addition to its baked collection, which is presented in an elegant three-tier jewellery box in a choice of three colours. The golden-brown pastry skin makes a great first impression too — it’s delicately thin and distinctly aromatic. Inside, moist yet not gooey yam paste is studded with coarsely-shredded coconut that provides texture and depth of flavour. Finally, a layer of black sesame paste in the centre lends a pleasantly nutty note.

From $84 for four.

For the adventurous: Assam Tea with Lemon, Mung Bean and Raisin from Jade Restaurant

This year, The Fullerton Hotel Singapore presents its Jade Signatures Tea Series baked mooncakes in an elongated red or teal gift box adorned with peony and peacock motifs. There’s also the option to purchase a cannister of TWG Fullerton Grand Tea in matching colours to pair with your mooncakes. The standout in this series of four flavours — which include Tie Guan Yin with Orange and Apricot; Green Tea with Multigrain Brown Sugar and Hongyu Black Tea with Pomelo, Red Date and Pine Nut — is the Assam Tea with Lemon, Mung Bean and Raisin. While its combination of ingredients may seem unusual, they translate into a well-balanced and nuanced flavour profile. Under the wafer-thin baked skin is a silky-smooth paste that boasts top notes of a full-bodied assam tea, peppered with a dash of bright tamarind and citrus flavours, while raisin bits add a pleasant bite and subtle sweetness.

$86 for four (25 per cent off till 18 September for selected credit cards).

For truffle fans: Low-Sugar Chestnut with Cashew Nuts and Truffle from Cherry Garden

Mooncakes most commonly feature lotus seed or red bean paste as the main ingredient. This year, Mandarin Oriental Singapore’s Cantonese restaurant Cherry Garden bucks the trend by introducing a new baked creation made from chestnut paste with reduced sugar instead. These are packed in individual tins, which are housed in matching ivory or red trinket boxes embellished with floral embroidery. A distinctive aroma of truffles (of the fungi, not chocolate variety) emanates from the golden-brown pastry as soon as its packaging is unwrapped. This rich ingredient lifts — instead of overpowers — the otherwise dense and earthy chestnut paste, which gets its crunch from the inclusion of coarsely-chopped cashew nuts.

From $48 for two. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 35 per cent off all mooncakes from Mandarin Oriental Singapore. Other flavours include the Snow Skin Lychee Pineapple with Pine Nuts and the Baked Oriental Beauty Tea with Ginger Red Date.   

For fashionistas: Lychee White Lotus Paste from W Singapore – Sentosa Cove

True to form, W Singapore – Sentosa Cove’s foray into mooncakes delivers the standard of style we’ve come to expect from this luxury resort. The treats are packaged in embossed mooncake-shaped handbags designed with a gold-tone turn-lock, top handle and detachable strap. Aesthetics aside, the mooncakes seem a tad too small to justify their price, which leans towards the higher end, and their red-hued baked skin is a little thick. While the lychee white lotus paste is fragrant and smooth, it could do with the addition of melon seeds for textural contrast.

From $118 for a box of four.


For dessert enthusiasts: Mini Snowskin Cheesecake from Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant

Xin Cuisine Chinese Restaurant at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium never fails to pique our interest with their novel snowskin mooncake creations. And being cheesecake aficionados, we were naturally intrigued by this sweet treat inspired by the classic New York cheesecake. Each pastel yellow snowskin mooncake is filled with white lotus paste that encases a cream cheese praline. Though the latter isn’t quite cheesy enough, it blends well with the fragrant snowskin and smooth lotus paste and has a melt-in-your-mouth quality. It’s worth purchasing in a gift set of six assorted flavours as the perfect after-dinner dessert to share — or not.

From $76 for six.

For those seeking the familiar: Peanut Butter Snow from PAUL Singapore

French bakery and brasserie PAUL Singapore is known for familiar yet delicious snowskin mooncake flavours such as mango, chocolate and pistachio. These are presented in a striking red tin and thermal carrier to ensure that they stay chilled. Our favourite variant in the assortment of four flavours — a creamy combination of slightly savoury peanut butter and sweet lotus paste — is particularly addictive and was wolfed down in seconds. The peanut butter, which fills a chocolate truffle in the centre, is reminiscent of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and just as moreish.

$72 for four.

For the young at heart: Popping Candy Truffle with Dragon Fruit Lotus Paste from Mdm Ling Bakery (Halal-certified)

Founded by millennials, Mdm Ling Bakery is known for its wallet-friendly, quality bakes that marry old-school recipes and local flavours with irreverent surprises, which is evident in its range of mooncakes. Not least in its new Snowskin Fruity Truffle Mooncakes collection, with variants that include the Yuzu Truffle with Mung Bean Paste, Lychee Truffle with Mung Bean Paste, and Peach and Passion Fruit Truffle with Dragon Fruit Lotus Paste packed in a floral tin. Of the four flavours in each set, the Popping Candy Truffle with Dragon Fruit Lotus Paste is a standout, with its semi-sweet, mildly citrus filling that doesn’t crowd the palate. Those who grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s — as well as kids — will get a kick out of the mooncake’s bubblegum pink-and-blue truffle filling that contains popping candy. A fun treat, if not slightly gimmicky.

$76 for four.

For durian lovers: Superfood Snowskin Durian Mooncakes from FORBIDDEN (Halal-certified)

Snowskin mooncakes are meant to be stored in the freezer and slightly thawed (not for too long, or they will get gooey) before consumption to ensure optimal texture and freshness — as per instruction from the various restaurants — and this one is no exception. Though cutting into these treats takes a bit of effort, the reward is a rich ice-cream-like dessert that offers true melt-in-the-mouth decadence for any durian lover. According to FORBIDDEN, the fruit are sourced directly from the hills of Raub in Pahang, Malaysia. Each classic metal tin contains two varieties: Mao Shan Wang durian encased in acai-infused snowskin and coconut snowskin filled with D24 durian. The rich, bittersweet notes of the durian fillings really shine after 15 minutes of thawing, which also makes for the ideal snowskin texture. Though neither “superfood” flavour left much of an impression, the pulpy fillings sure hit the spot.

From $95 for four (up to 25 per cent off).

For those with a penchant for local flair: “Ondeh Ondeh” Pandan Gula Melaka with Grated Coconut from Crowne Plaza Changi Airport

Having been named World’s Best Airport Hotel in 2023, it’s no surprise that Crowne Plaza Changi Airport chose to reference its identity in its mooncake box design. Featuring laser-cut orchid motifs and gold-tone airplane-shaped drawer knobs, the midnight blue trinket box holds a quartet of assorted snowskin mooncakes. These include the Teochew Orh Nee Taro Lotus with Ginkgo Nuts, Pulut Hitam Roasted Dark Glutinous Rice with Coconut Cream, and Black Sesame Paste with Peanut Crunch and Gold Dust. Rounding off the four is our top pick, the Ondeh Ondeh Pandan Gula Melaka with Grated Coconut, which shines with its chewy snowskin in a banana-yellow shade, and conceals a moist lotus paste whose green hue comes from pandan extract. Grated coconut steeped in gula melaka perfectly recreates the flavours of its namesake traditional kueh.

$80 for four (up to 40 per cent off).


It was a true struggle to determine my favourite mooncakes among those that made it to this top 10 list. But at the end of the day, it is Crowne Plaza Changi Airport’s “Ondeh Ondeh” Pandan Gula Melaka with Grated Coconut and Assam Tea with Lemon, and the Mung Bean and Raisin from Jade Restaurant at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore that made the most lasting impressions in the snowskin and baked mooncake categories respectively. Even though they feature innovative combinations of ingredients, both manage to retain the essential traditional flavours — definitely worth the extra calories!

More mooncake deals for HomeTeamNS members

  • Goodwood Park Hotel Singapore – Try their new Pineapple with Custard snowskin mooncake, sample their signature durian creations, or delight your kids with the adorable Bunnies Tubbies. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20 per cent off a minimum of $100 worth of mooncakes.

  • Peach Garden Chinese Restaurant – Savour healthier choices including the all-new Immunity Boosting Orange Mooncake With Orange Peel And Pine Nuts, which is available in both baked and snowskin varieties. HomeTeamNS members enjoy up to 30 per cent off online mooncake orders.

  • Golden Moments – This durian mooncake specialist is offering a one-for-one promotion on its premium snowskin mooncake selection. HomeTeamNS members enjoy an additional 5 per cent discount on top of existing online deals.

  • Hua Ting Restaurant – Using only the finest ingredients, each mooncake encapsulates a harmonious blend of authentic flavours and modern flair. Now with new flavours such as Mao Shan Wang, Kumquat & Yuzu, and Chendol Lotus with Melon Seeds, HomeTeamNS members can enjoy up to 25 per cent off mooncakes.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Food Spy Lifestyle Shape Up

6 things to do to experience Thailand in Singapore

Golden Mile Complex may have shuttered, but there are still ways for you to shop, dine and get pampered like you’re in Thailand.



With the closure of the iconic Golden Mile Complex – dubbed Singapore’s “Little Thailand” – in May, long-time visitors lamented the loss of the 50-year-old building that invoked the Land of Smiles with its restaurants serving regional specialities and grocers proffering exotic produce such as banana buds.

It’s undeniable that Singaporeans’ love affair with the Southeast Asian country is nowhere near flaming out, with its capital Bangkok routinely appearing in lists of top destinations for travellers from the Lion City. But if you’re not up for a vacay yet, or simply want to prolong your Thai experience post-holiday, here are some ways for you to feel like you’re in Thailand.

1. Shop for Thai goodies at Thai Supermarket at Aperia Mall

Due to open anytime now, this Golden Mile Complex mainstay relocated to the first level of Aperia Mall after the building was sold en bloc. Besides grabbing takeaway from cooked food stalls selling Thai favourites such as grilled meat and seafood, noodle dishes, and Yaowarat buns (Thai-style charcoal-grilled buns with fillings), you can also stock up on authentic Thai groceries such as fresh native herbs and spices, a dizzying array of sauces, and interesting Thai-inspired snacks. The latter include boat noodle – and crab curry-flavoured Lays potato chips and Koh Kae battered-peanuts. Look out for the piquant J-Koong crispy shrimp typically sprinkled as a topping for noodles and other dishes.

2. Have an authentic Thai massage at Sabaai Sabaai

Sabaai Sabaai
Relax and rejuvenate with a Thai Tradition Massage (PHOTO: Sabaai Sabaai).

Singapore has no shortage of spas offering Thai massages, among which Sabaai Sabaai comes highly recommended. Indulge in their classic Thai Tradition Massage, where a therapist not only helps you stretch your body, but also applies rhythmic pressure using the hands and forearms to the meridian points to ease stiffness. The meridian system is a concept under Traditional Chinese Medicine whereby life energy (qi) flows through paths known as meridians. Besides this, there’s also the Thai Herb Massage, where a heated herbal compress is applied to promote lymphatic circulation and overall wellbeing. With two branches at Boat Quay and Wisma Atria, this spa has been in business for 14 years – so you know you’re in good hands.

3. Learn Muay Thai from experts at Chowraiooi Muay Thai

Chowraiooi Muay Thai
Try your hand in Muay Thai at Chowraiooi Muay Thai (PHOTO: Chowraiooi Muay Thai).

Muay Thai is a form of traditional martial arts that has gained mainstream popularity in recent years as a sport – it has gotten Olympic recognition. In Singapore, beginners and experienced practitioners alike can train at Chowraiooi Muay Thai, which is an affiliate of Thailand’s Chowraiooi Gym that is run by the country’s national Muay Thai coach, Adjarhn Chat. He produces some of the top Muay Thai champions in Thailand and together with head trainer Robert Yap, they hope to do the same in Singapore.

4. Staycay at the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore

Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore
Soak in the stunning vibe of all things Thai in this local five-star luxury resort, Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore (PHOTO: Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore).

Located within the stunning grounds of Laguna National Golf Resort Club, the vibe at this five-star luxury resort that opened in the thick of the pandemic is decidedly elegant and contemporary Thai. You may want to splash out on a guest suite overlooking the green. Besides the subtle and soothing Thai touches in the resort’s decor (lounge on the three-fold triangle cushion in your room) and food selections at the biophilic Greenhouse restaurant, you’ll of course enjoy the legendary Thai service and heritage of the Dusit Thani brand. A treatment at the Thai-inspired Devarana Spa may include the signature massage, which combines Thai, Ayurveda, Shiatsu and Swedish massage techniques with aromatherapy to invigorate, revitalise and relax the muscles.

5. Enjoy authentic Thai food at Penguin’s Kitchen, Siam Kitchen, and Cheese Story Mookata Buffet

Enjoy the new Thai Green Curry Chicken with Nomjeen dish at Penguin's Kitchen (PHOTO: Penguin Kitchen's Facebook Page).

Hidden in a dusty MacPherson industrial estate, Penguin’s Kitchen is an almost-secret gem, with its tasty and Thai-level-spicy food and casual atmosphere reminiscent of a Bangkok street. For something unique, try the Century Egg Salad or Stir Fried Hot Basil Seafood.

Then there’s Siam Kitchen, which prides itself as the melting point of old and new. With chefs from Thailand, the café-restaurant presents authentic Thai favourites in a casual-modern setting. Must-tries include the Blue Swimmer Crabmeat Omelette and the Hat Yai Fried Chicken Cutlet. HomeTeamNS members get 10 per cent off the total bill at Siam Kitchen at HomeTeamNS Khatib.

Cheese Story Mookata Buffet just opened its outlet in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier (PHOTO: HomeTeamNS).

Finally, fans of Cheese Story Mookata Buffet that was previously at Golden Mile Complex will be thrilled to know that they’ve relocated to HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier. Enjoy marinated meats, seafood and vegetables with their rich, cheesy dipping sauce. HomeTeamNS members are entitled to a 10 per cent discount on their total bill when they flash their HomeTeamNS digital membership card upon checkout.

6. Visit Thai Buddhist temple Wat Ananda Metyarama

Wat Ananda Metyarama
Learn more about Buddism and its philosophies at Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddist Temple (PHOTO: Wat Ananda Metyarama).

You don’t have to be a Buddhist to appreciate the religion’s philosophies and Thai Buddhist temple architecture, which is distinguished by its soaring gilded stupas and steeply sloping tiled roofs. Immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the hilltop Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple, the oldest of its kind in Singapore at Jalan Bukit Merah. Aside from its more recognisable traditional carvings and hand-painted murals depicting the Buddha’s life, the centenarian stands out with its modern, angular $6 million five-storey extension designed by Czarl Architects. The arresting V-shaped building houses a cultural centre and shrine.

Those who want to experience the real thing can head to Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya. With its central location near Pattaya Beach, the resort is an ideal base when visiting this tropical paradise. It’s a five to 15 minutes’ drive to attractions such as 3D art museum Art in Paradise Chiangmai; Sanctuary of Truth, a magnificent unfinished wooden castle; and the world-famous Alcazar Cabaret Show.

HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20 per cent off the best flexible room rate with a minimum two consecutive nights’ stay with breakfast.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Food Spy Lifestyle

9 unpretentious restaurants in Singapore for a casual night out

For low-key yet standout date nights and gatherings, check out these dining gems, some of which offer great discounts for HomeTeamNS members.


Date night shouldn’t be a chore. Some of the most enjoyable meals with family and friends are laidback – but nonetheless satisfying – affairs. For those who eschew the hype of celebrity restaurants with stuffy vibes and strict dress codes, here are some unpretentious establishments that not only serve outstanding food that won’t break the bank, but also won’t have you feeling sheepish about rocking up in your shorts and T-shirt.


Source: South Union Park

Featuring a minimalistic vibe, South Union Park specialises in handmade pasta among other Italian and Western dishes with a twist. Its signature pasta is the Duck Confit Tagliatelle, a luscious marriage of housemade egg pasta, shredded duck confit, hazelnuts and masala cream. Another must-order is the Squid Ink Bone Marrow. Described as “meat butter”, this consists of seared bone marrow, squid ink soffrito, garlic crumbs and chives, served with grilled country bread – smear the marrow like butter on the bread before popping it in your mouth. Although tucked away in a residential area off Kembangan MRT, this restaurant is quite popular so head there early.

101 Jln Kembangan, Singapore 419139


Source: Suki-suki Thai Hot Pot

For a twist on the regular hotpot, check out this halal Thai-style buffet steamboat joint. It offers six Thai soup bases – such as Clear Tom Yum, Red Tom Yum and Sweet Basil Chicken – and over 40 quality ingredients, including Wagyu beef, flower crab and homemade fish paste. Brought to you by the people behind Siam Kitchen and Bangkok Jam, the eatery goes the mile for authenticity as even the dipping sauces are Thai-inspired. Free-flow drinks and dessert are included in the buffet price. There’s a 10 per cent discount for HomeTeamNS members.

2 Yishun Walk, #01-01 HomeTeamNS Khatib, Singapore 767944


Source: Porta Porta Italian Restaurant

“Porta porta” means “door to door” in Italian. In this case, from their home to your tummy, this Muslim-owned establishment has been serving guests for over 25 years. Located in a rustic shophouse at Simpang Bedok, a unique feature here is the fai te (you do it) set that allows you to sit back and be surprised by multiple delicious discoveries prepared by the chefs — an Italian omakase, if you will. Otherwise, their pastas are especially recommended. Try the Pasta Con Salsa Di Gamberi (pasta with prawn cream sauce), which features nonna’s (grandma’s) secret marinara sauce, or the Tagliatelle Al Nero Di Seppie (egg noodles with black squid sauce), which is always interesting and fun with its tongue-staining black squid ink.

No. 32 Jln Pari Burong, Singapore 488698


Source: Indulge

For hearty Western fare with a Japanese twist, you’ll indeed be able to indulge at Indulge. From its roots as a humble stall in a coffeeshop, Indulge has expanded into a chain of several outlets, including this flagship restaurant. Omitting pork and lard in their recipes, Indulge is popular for its customisable rice and salad bowls, and pasta sets. Each of them comes with a base and protein of your choice – we like the flavourful and succulent chicken chop, and for the pasta, the innovative hae bee hiam (dried shrimp) or mala sauce. However, it is their teppanyaki sets that you must try at this branch. Each set comes with a protein option, a choice of black pepper or yakiniku sauce, and a variety of greens, including broccoli, baby carrots, bean sprouts and corn. The Seafood Set is particularly mouthwatering, consisting of a hotplate teeming with prawns, scallops and clams. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 15 per cent discount on their total bill.

31 Ah Hood Rd, #01-04, Singapore 329979


Ela Singapore
Source: Ela Singapore

One of HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok’s healthier dining options, Ela is The Black Hole Group’s (wildly popular Tipo is another brainchild) answer to halal Greek cuisine. Here, grilled meat and seafood served with naked salads take centre stage, alongside piquant dips. Order a Dip Party Platter to share among friends – its charred eggplant melitzanosalata, salty cod roe taramasalata, ricotta and red bell pepper spiked tirokafteri and garlicky yoghurt-based tzatziki are paired with warm, fluffy Pita bread to whet the appetite. Mediterranean cuisine is known for its fresh seafood, so don’t miss their chunky Swordfish skewers as well as springy Octopus, which rests on a bed of garlic and potato mash and is drizzled with a lemon sauce and olive oil. HomeTeamNS members enjoy a 20 per cent discount here.

2 Bukit Batok West Ave 7, HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok, #01-07 A/B, Singapore 659003


Source: Woody Family Cafe 

Ensconced in a little corner of Sembawang, this rustic cafe specialises in Peranakan fare, with some creative interpretations. Interesting dishes to pair with their signature nasi ulam (rice mixed with shredded herbs) include the Duck Rendang, German Pork Knuckles Garam Assam, and Lamb Shank Rendang. Woody also has a special fried rice menu, including highlights such as the pungent Sambal Chinchalok Fried Rice and Buah Keluak Fried Rice. Spice lovers can also take up the Woody Buffalo Wings challenge – with nine levels of spiciness ranging from “Very Mild” to “Towering Inferno” to tingle your senses.

12F Andrews Ave, Singapore 759930


Source: Sri Bistari

Previously known as D.U.I.T, located at the now-defunct HomeTeamNS Sembawang, Sri Bistari is a familiar favourite among HomeTeamNS members. It is well known for its nasi ayam penyet (smashed fried chicken with rice) and grilled seafood options such as sotong (squid), stingray and prawns. Its popular dessert of a warm Belgian waffle, topped with your choice of gelato, certainly hits the spot after all that spicy sambal. There’s a 10 per cent discount for HomeTeamNS members.

900 Bedok North Rd, HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir #02-01, Singapore 479994


Source: Hub & Spoke Cafe

This under-the-radar cafe overlooking a leafy courtyard is your reward for venturing to a comparatively lesser-known area of Changi Airport Terminal 2. You can choose to have local or Western fare within the eatery’s colonial-themed glasshouse setting, where an abundance of natural light filters through floor-to-ceiling windows, or alfresco under a canopy. We recommend The Big Brekkie, which comes with buttermilk pancakes, brioche toast, eggs, sausages and tater tots; the Truffle Crab Roll; or the Wagyu Beef Burger. Classic local fare such as kaya butter toast, nasi lemak and mee siam are also available, alongside the requisite kopi and teh.

60 Airport Boulevard #01-T2S-02, Singapore Changi Airport, 819643


Source: Orchid Live Seafood

For the ultimate comfort food, you can’t go wrong at this Teochew seafood stalwart. A must-order is the restaurant’s signature Live Lobster Porridge. Made since 1999 from a secret recipe, it features succulent fresh lobster meat and is seasoned with fragrant sesame oil and spring onions. Served piping hot, it is an umami flavour-bomb. Pair it with Steven Chicken, the other famous dish at Orchid Live Seafood. Deboned and specially marinated with a sauce created from a 20-year-old recipe, the juicy chicken wings are then fried to perfection. You will not be able to stop at one. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10 per cent off their total bill.

2 Yishun Walk, #03-01 HomeTeamNS Khatib, Singapore 767944

To discover more membership promotions, please visit our website or official Facebook page for the latest updates.

Featured Food Spy

What to eat at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

Fuel up at the HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir clubhouse on everything from traditional Singaporean breakfasts to Chong Qing specialities and Indonesian delights.



You’ve read all about the exciting array of facilities at the newly-opened clubhouse. Perhaps a weekend staycation at one of its beautifully designed waterfront villas has already been pencilled into your calendar.

But, if you also happen to be a foodie worth his salt, it’s time to map out your meals for a weekend escape at the clubhouse. There are multifarious choices available, whether you’re an early bird looking for a family-friendly breakfast or a night owl chatting with friends over supper. From kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs at Fun Toast to fast food fixes at Burger King, we’ve got your main meals covered.



Fun Toast

Rise and shine with an authentic Singaporean breakfast of kopi and teh, along with charcoal-grilled kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs at Fun Toast. Founded in 1941, the local chain prides itself on its signature Yuan Yang soft bun – a fluffy, freshly-baked bun slathered with homemade kaya butter and lightly toasted.

If you’re anticipating a busy day ahead, Fun Toast also offers more substantial local favourites such as mee siam, curry chicken, chee cheong fun and soy sauce chicken. And for those who are bored with the usual kopi-o (black coffee with sugar) or teh-c (tea with sugar and evaporated milk), check out their old-school red cane leaf iced drink topped with crunchy bits of water chestnut. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 15 per cent discounts, for ala-carte food items only (excluding toast).

Location and Operating Hours

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

900 Bedok North Rd, Singapore 479994


Daily: 07.30am – 08.30pm


Burger King (Halal)

Stash away that dismal looking cereal box and spark joy in your little ones with breakfast at Burger King. For the most important meal of the day, take your pick of your beloved Burger King creations – how fast can you say, ‘Mushroom Swiss’? – sandwiched between flaky golden croissants. And nothing says, ‘fun weekend food’ quite like a breakfast platter stacked with warm pancakes drizzled with maple syrup, sitting cheek-by-jowl with toasty tater tots and a succulent sausage. HomeTeamNS members enjoy selected value meals at exclusive prices, as well as a complimentary soft serve cone.

Location and Operating Hours

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

900 Bedok North Rd, Singapore 479994


Daily: 08.00am – 10.00pm


PHOTO: Shutterstock

Sri Bistari (Halal)

A familiar favourite among HomeTeamNS members, Sri Bistari – a halal eatery formerly known as D.U.I.T at the now-defunct HomeTeamNS Sembawang – is well known for its nasi ayam penyet (smashed fried chicken with rice). Online reviews say that the juicy chicken is truly sedap (delicious) and the chilli so fragrant, you’ll want more rice to eat it with

But if you’re not in the mood for fried chicken, Sri Bistari offers options such as grilled sotong (squid), stingray and prawns, as well as Western dishes like black pepper sirloin steak and fish and chips. Sweeten the experience with a warm Belgian waffle topped with your choice of gelato. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10 per cent discounts off their purchases.

Location and Operating Hours

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

900 Bedok North Rd, Singapore 479994


Daily: 11.00am – 11.00pm

PHOTO: Sum Dim Sum

Sum Dim Sum

For those who want to avoid a mid-day food coma, head over to Sum Dim Sum, a local brand started in 2019 that specialises in handmade dim sum. Its wide variety of light bites, noodles and soups cater to both young and old.

Chef’s recommendations include freshly-made har gow (steamed prawn dumplings), the signature hot and spicy dumplings, golden custard buns and signature pandan crispy pork buns. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 15 per cent discounts.

Location and Operating Hours

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

900 Bedok North Rd, Singapore 479994


Mon-Fri: 11.30am – 03.00pm, 05.00pm to 10.30pm

Sat & Sun: 10.30am to 03.00pm, 05.00pm to 10.30pm


PHOTO: Xiao Mu Deng

Xiao Mu Deng

As the sun sets and the temperature dips, it’s time for a comforting steamboat dinner with family and friends at Xiao Mu Deng. The restaurant pays tribute to the rich culinary traditions of Chong Qing – a region in China synonymous with mala, a popular spice mix characterised by its tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns. Besides mala steamboat, sample the restaurant’s hometown specialities such as the fish-flavoured pork rice bowl, green pepper fat intestines and pig ear in red oil.

While sitting back contentedly around steaming bowls of soup, be sure to take a closer look at your surroundings. The restaurant’s interior, decked out in rustic wooden furniture, recalls the south-west China of yore. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 15 per cent discounts.

Location and Operating Hours

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

900 Bedok North Rd, Singapore 479994


Mon-Thur: 3pm – 11pm

Fri-Sun, & Public Holiday: 11am – 11pm




If you’re in the dark about 7-Eleven’s sheer variety of cooked food, snack and beverage options, you clearly haven’t been watching enough TikTok, where Gen Z has been busy showing their love for the round-the-clock convenience store.

There’s more than just potato chips or biscuits to look forward to at 7-11 these days: It also has onigiri (Japanese rice balls) in flavours such as grilled salmon and unagi (grilled eel), instant meals such as butter chicken biryani, kimchi fried rice, and Thai basil chicken, and desserts not limited to soft-serve ice cream. If you’re feeling hunger pangs during your villa stay, you might be surprised by what you’d find at 7-Eleven.

Location and Operating Hours

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

900 Bedok North Rd, Singapore 479994


Daily: 07.00am – 11.00pm


George’s Bar

George’s Bar is a Balinese-style hideout that boasts homemade snacks, a Western-style grill and an impressive variety of alcoholic beverages from all over the world slung at what it calls ‘MAD prices’ – perfect for a night out with friends.

It serves standout dishes such as black pepper tenderloin steak, beer battered fish and chips and the Georges burger. For finger food to accompany your beer, you can’t go wrong with chili cheese fries or calamari skewers.

The self-dubbed ‘friendliest neighbourhood bar’ is certainly popular, with six outlets island-wide and counting. With its mission to turn strangers into friends, George’s Bar will have you capping your day at HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir with a smile – and a full belly. HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20 per cent discounts.

Location and Operating Hours

HomeTeamNS Bedok Reservoir

900 Bedok North Rd, Singapore 479994


Mon-Fri: 03:00pm – 10.30pm

Sat, Sun, Eve of Public Holiday & Public Holiday: 08.30am – 10.30pm

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Food Spy

Singapore’s real culinary treasure

Hawker food has been the go-to choice for foodies in Singapore for generations. Here are some stalls that should be on anyone’s must-try list.



Singapore’s hawker culture was finally inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in late 2020. But those of us who grew up on this sunny little island need no reminding about what treasures our hawker centres truly are.

Pick one from the following list to get started on this mouth-watering treasure trail!


Address: 2 Adam Road, Singapore 289876

Foodies love Adam Road Food Centre for its selection of multi-ethnic cuisines. A perennial favourite is Selera Nasi Lemak (#01-02), with every plate of nasi lemak featuring fluffy, fragrant rice, crispy and tender deep fried chicken, moreish otah and lip-smacking sambal.

Bahrakath Mutton Soup (#01-10) serves up hearty bowls of Indian-style, mutton soup, best eaten with a side of toasted french loaf. The mutton leg is the star here, but there’s also tongue, brain or tripe for those in the mood for something more exotic.

For dessert, make your way to Teck Kee Hot and Cold Dessert (#01-31) for their green bean soup and tau suan, said to be one of the best on the whole island. Also popular is their ice kachang, which comes complete with attap seed, rose syrup and sarsaparilla drizzle.


Address: 105 Yishun Ring Rd, Singapore 760105

Wan Xing Nasi Lemak (#01-134) is one of Chong Pang Food Centre’s many claims to fame. The stall sells Chinese-style nasi lemak with its signature green-tinged rice, redolent with the aromas of coconut and pandan leaves. You can opt for the set meal or pick from a selection of dishes like fried chicken wings, otah, fish fillet and fried eggs to compose your perfect plate.

Another stall that has got foodies raving is Ho Heng Kway Chap (#01-140). Its rendition of rice noodles in warm broth, paired with an assortment of braised tau pok, pork meat, pig intestine and boiled egg, makes for a satisfying meal any time of the day.

Right next door is Super Penyet (#01-141), known for its excellent Ayam Penyet comprising fluffy and fragrant rice, flavourful and crispy fried chicken and an intriguing homemade sambal blend with chilli, shrimp paste, shallots, lime and tamarind.


Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582

More than its colonial-era architecture, Lau Pa Sat is known as one of the best spots to feast on satay in the bustling Central Business District. Indeed, the iconic Satay Street – located right by the hawker centre – comes alive after sundown and on the weekends, where hungry diners chow down on skewers of grilled, spiced meats dunked in a sweet peanut sauce.

Venture into Lau Pa Sat proper and you’ll find many more culinary delights. Seek out Shi Hui Yuan (Stall 23), a Michelin Bib Gourmand award recipient for the past five years, for their Singapore-style hor fun, served up with slices of tender braised chicken and a 30-year old family-recipe herbal sauce.

Another classic is Seng Lee 259 Prawn Noodles (Stall 10), known for its rich and flavourful noodle bowls made with slow-boiled prawn stock.


Address: 1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184

Maxwell Food Centre is, of course, where you can find the famous Tian Tian Chicken Rice (#01-10/11), which beat even Gordon Ramsey in a hawker food face-off back in 2013. Not that anyone who’s tried the divine pairing of tender boiled chicken and fluffy rice cooked in chicken stock would have expected any different.

There are many more treasures to be found too. For instance, Maxwell Fuzhou Oyster Cake (#01-05) is one of the last few hawkers that specialise in this traditional deep-fried snack filled with juicy oyster, prawn and minced meat.

If you’re hankering for Cantonese-style congee, you can’t go wrong with Zhen Zhen Porridge (#01-54). Think piping-hot bowls of silky smooth rice congee cooked to perfection with your choice of fish, chicken or pork. Add a raw egg for extra richness.

Another can’t-miss stall is Popo and Nana’s Delights (#01-70), which offers up hearty home-cooked Peranakan and Eurasian meals. Choose from classics such as Ayam Buah Keluak, Beef Rendang, Chap Chye and Shepherd’s Pie.


Address: Newton Circus, 500 Clemenceau Avenue North, Singapore 229495

Newton Food Centre is a long-standing favourite of foodies – local and foreign. It has shaken off its prior reputation as an overpriced tourist-trap by focusing on delicious hawker dishes, some of which are easily the best on the island.

Guan Kee Grilled Seafood (#01-53) is well-known for its BBQ stingray, grilled to perfection and served smothered in generous amounts of sambal chilli. Another stall that also regularly sees long queues is Hup Kee Fried Oyster Omelette (#01-53). The crispy, chewy oyster and egg omelette is well worth the extra calories.

Head to Hajah Monah Kitchen (#01-83) for a satisfying plate of nasi padang. The stars here are the beef rendang, assam fish and sambal goreng – each dish full of rich, multi-layered flavours best slowly savoured.

Meanwhile, Indian Palace (#01-61) offers classic Indian dishes that are just as good as any restaurant. You can find popular choices such as butter chicken, mutton rogan josh, kadai paneer, biryani and naans.


Speaking of biryani, Allaudin’s Briyani (#01-232) at Tekka Centre is a long-time favourite among those who love the dish. Since 1968, the stall has kept to its signature of heaping portions of Basmati rice cooked with spices, topped by an equally generous portion of chicken or mutton, with a side of crispy pappadums.

Temasek Indian Rojak (#01-254) is another beloved choice. Featuring a selection of freshly fried doughs and fritters, sausages, vegetables and egg, with each bite dunked into a sweet and spicy chilli peanut sauce, there’s nothing quite as spectacular or satisfying.

End off your meal with an ice-cold bowl of chendol from Lim Chendol (#01-315) – a simple but delectable combination of pandan jelly and kidney beans on a bed of shaved ice, with generous drizzles of gula melaka syrup. The stall’s other two offerings, pulut hitam, and ice kachang, are also well worth a try. 

For the latest updates on HomeTeamNS promotions and events, visit our website and Facebook page.

Food Spy Shape Up

Why a Mediterranean diet could benefit you

Adapting to the Mediterranean diet could offer a wealth of benefits, like improved heart health and lower cholesterol. Here’s your sign to switch up your palate and indulge in healthier food options at HomeTeamNS Clubhouses.



While the Mediterranean diet – featuring more seafood, more vegetables and less carbohydrates – was discovered in the 1950s by American scientist Ancel Keys, it has remained popular for being easy to adopt as well as relevant; with more studies substantiating its promise of multiple benefits.


The grilled salmon mentaiko rice bowl served at Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier.

Taking inspiration from the typical menus of those living in the region, such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Morocco, the Mediterranean diet boosts vegetable intake while cutting back on red meats and refined carbs.

Its most pronounced effect is that on the cardiovascular system – reducing risk of heart diseases, alleviating high blood pressure, and even helping with overall mortality. In a 2018 study of nearly 26,000 women, 25 per cent of those who followed the Mediterranean diet had less risk of developing cardiovascular disease over 12 years. The main drivers for this were attributed to changes in inflammation, blood sugar, and body mass index.

There are also increasing reports that support its role in supporting slow ageing and cognitive health as well, especially for men.

The Mediterranean diet fundamentally does this in two ways, by upping nutrient intake through generous servings of vegetables and fruit, and by relying on the use of monounsaturated fats. One of the biggest changes is using olive oil, which is a healthier fat that lowers total cholesterol and bad LDL cholesterol levels. For proteins, the diet prefers fish like sardines, mackerel, tuna and salmon. These meats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which fight inflammation within the body, and the polyunsaturated fats also reduce blood clotting, lower the risk of stroke and heart failure. They also help the body with building brain cell membranes.

Ms Jessica Bayes, the lead researcher for the UTS study found that the increased intake of fibre from the diet of nuts, fruit and vegetables contribute to healthy microbial growth in the gut, and that in turn stimulated more production of serotonin – the chemical which makes us happy.

Add to that the nutrient-rich properties of staple ingredients like tomatoes (antioxidant lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K) or chickpeas (vitamin B9, copper, manganese and iron), your diet will protect and energise with its natural goodness.


Ela at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok also offers traditional Greek soups like Fasolada.

One advantage of the Mediterranean diet is that it involves shifting your dietary preference than cancelling intake altogether.

Replace refined grains with whole grains and benefit from the added nutrients and fibre while enjoying your carbs. Swap out fried sides like fries and chips and opt for hummus, beans or salads instead. Feeling peckish? Try snacking on nuts and seeds instead of processed treats.

The meat department also needs some rotation. Try to reduce their intake to twice a week as you will be getting plenty of good protein from legumes. Also, move away from red meats and choose fish and other seafood instead.

While following the menus of this region may have you thinking that it’s pizza, pasta and ice-cream all the way, know that while those items do feature in the cuisine, the locals take them in moderation, and tend to eat them in smaller portions with plenty of sides of legumes, vegetables and fruits. This is because items like pizza can contain too much processed red meats and use refined flour, while ice cream contains added refined sugar.


The Steamed Seabass in Chili and Lime dressing served at Siam Kitchen in HomeTeamNS Khatib.

Luckily for us, Singapore has excellent access to affordable imported ingredients, which means kickstarting a Mediterranean diet is within reach! Many of the ingredients that grow on the sunny Mediterranean belt can be found in local farms as well, like tomatoes and greens.

To start, try swapping out one of your sides, or have a meal lean into the principles of more vegetables and white meat. Make small decisions; like replacing desserts full of refined sugar with fruits, or using the rich regional spices or cheese like feta and goat to flavour your food.

Singapore’s vibrant food scene also makes it easy for one to adhere to the diet. Whether it’s chowing down at Singapore Food Festival or one of the eateries at HomeTeamNS clubhouses, you can always easily find meals that line up with the diet.

For example, the Steamed Seabass at HomeTeamNS Khatib’s Siam Kitchen is one item with the fish healthily simmering in a chili and lime dressing. At Indulge Teppanyaki & Grill House in HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier, the Pan-seared Scallop Rice Bowl and Grilled Salmon Mentaiko Rice Bowl fulfil the white meat quota with sides of edamame beans and cherry tomatoes. And if you’re looking for the full experience, Ela at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok offers a delicious Greek menu with pita bread, cucumber yogurt dips, traditional salads and soups like the Fasolada, and marinated servings of chicken and octopus to complete your meal.

If you’re a HomeTeamNS member, kickstart your Mediterranean diet and enjoy 10 to 15 per cent off the total bill at the HomeTeamNS eateries above. Just flash your digital membership card in your HomeTeamNS Mobile App upon checkout.

Food Spy Lifestyle

The smart snacker’s guide to healthier treats

When the munchies strike, instead of reaching for comfort food that’s deep-fried, greasy or sweet, why not include some healthy snacks in your diet?



Maybe you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthy — but it’s the Chinese New Year period and the pineapple tarts are calling out to you. How do you satisfy your desire to indulge, without feeling guilty about increasing your cholesterol levels and risk of diabetes?

Rather than avoiding these treats altogether, it’s better to take a balanced approach by including some healthy snacks in your routine. During a long day at work, snacking can take the edge off your hunger to prevent you from overeating at the next meal, and provide a much-needed energy boost if your blood glucose levels fall sharply.

And if you can’t resist the urge, the Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends maximising nutrients while minimising calories: Choose snacks that are below 200 calories a serving while providing useful nutrients such as fibre.

Read on for game-changing tips on reshaping your snacking habit into a healthier one — without losing any crunchy or sweet satisfaction.


Air-frying snacks uses very little oil but produces a similar taste and texture as deep-frying.

Home cooking is generally healthier than buying curry puffs and samosas from hawker centres and restaurants – but if you’re overly reliant on deep-frying or reaching out for the salt shaker in your kitchen, you won’t be getting any of the health benefits from preparing your own snacks.

If you’re craving hot, crispy fries, try oven-roasting or air-frying (with very little oil) your own sweet potato fries, which offer more Vitamin A than potato fries. Tip: If using an oven, switch it to convection mode, as the dry and hot air circulation allows for crispier edges.

Once your homemade healthy snacks are done, it’s tempting to salt them as heavily as many eateries do. To avoid hypertension (also known as high blood pressure), try low-sodium salt instead, which substitutes the mineral potassium for about a quarter of the salt content. Potassium tastes similar to salt, but has been known to reduce blood pressure and improve heart health instead.

For sweet treats, healthier, less-processed sweeteners can sometimes offer more complex and satisfying flavours compared to plain white sugar. For example, you can mash dates to sweeten cakes or cookies, or swirl honey into yogurt as a simple dessert instead of reaching for the ice cream.


Products with the Healthier Choice Symbol meet the Health Promotion Board's nutritional guidelines – signalling that these are healthier food options.

Instead of heading straight for the familiar packaging of old snack favourites at the supermarket, look for a different sign instead: The red-and-white pyramid of the Healthier Choice Symbol (HCS). This indicates that the product is a healthier option that meets HPB’s nutritional guidelines.

This means that the item generally contains less fat (both total and saturated fat), sugar and sodium. Beneath the HCS’ pyramid symbol, you’ll also find a line indicating the main health benefit of the item. For example, if the snack is a bag of dried apricots, you might find a line stating “No added sugar”, or if it’s a box of crackers, the line might read “Trans-fat free”.

For more sinful options like chips and ice cream, the HCS will indicate if a serving is less than 100 calories or 200 calories. (Before dishing it up, don’t forget to check the product’s nutritional information for how big a serving size should be!).


If reading ingredient labels just isn’t your thing — or perhaps you’re in a rush — there’s an even simpler way to make sure you’re biting into some healthy snacks. As the award-winning science and food writer Michael Pollan wrote: “Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.”

This means sticking to snacks that are as unprocessed as possible, such as dried or fresh fruit, nuts and vegetables. Try toasting chickpeas in the oven with just a sprinkle of salt, or slicing up mangoes or papaya for an easy snack. For a spicy Mexican-style twist, drizzle lime juice and a light dusting of salt, chili powder or paprika over the fruit.

He also recommends sticking to items that have five ingredients or fewer, as well as items that have a short shelf life. For example, choose buns that are baked fresh with no preservatives instead of those in the bread aisle of the supermarket with expiry dates that stretch days or even weeks ahead. Not only do these long-life options contain artificial preservatives, they’re also likely to be laden with unhealthy sweeteners such as refined sugar or corn syrup.

Whatever you decide to munch on, it’s important to do so in moderation and with an understanding of your body’s needs. Happy snacking!

Food Spy Lifestyle

Feelgood festive treats for Chinese New Year

From hampers to hotpots, there are plenty of options to help your family make the most of the festive period.



Holidays are great, though having Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year so close together often has us asking the perennial question: Where’s a good place to eat?

The good news is that organisations like HomeTeamNS offer numerous deals that help make those celebrations a little easier – and more affordable – to plan.


We’re all missing Thailand’s mouthwatering cuisine so it’s a good thing we have plenty of authentic options like Siam Kitchen at the HomeTeamNS Khatib clubhouse.

This halal-certified eatery’s secret lies with their bona fide Thai chefs, so every serving of Tom Yum or pineapple rice is satisfyingly authentic. HomeTeamNS members can look forward to a Chinese New Year menu for two or five from S$48++, or enjoy 10-per-cent off for other classic favourites on the menu at checkout. Valid from 10 January to 28 February 2022.


Photo: HalalFoodHunt

What’s Chinese New Year without a little hotpot? Indulge in tradition while adding a twist with Suki-Suki Thai Hot Pot over at HomeTeamNS Khatib. From thin slivers of halal beef and chicken to home-made fish paste, as well as a colourful and tantalising array of Thai desserts, you’ll have an Insta-worthy table that tastes as good as it looks. Diners can also opt for a seasonal special of Tomato Soup.

From 10 January to 28 February 2022, HomeTeamNS members enjoy 10-per-cent off their bills at checkout. With lunch buffet sets starting at just S$19.90++, it’s the perfect place to have a casual meal with some hungry friends.


Photo: Fuji Izakaya Bar

Yusheng (tossed raw fish salad) is a lunar new year staple. If you’re looking for an alternative, how about trying the Sashimi Combo Sets starting from S$138.80 at Fuji Izakaya Bar at HomeTeamNS Khatib? You’ll have plenty of fresh fish to bring on the luck, and other optional add-ons like seafood, grills, ramen and rice bowls from their extensive menu.

Want to add a little extra buzz to the outing? Order up some beers or the award-winning “Izumofuji Daiginjo” sake. For all a la carte items from the menu, members enjoy 10-per-cent off at checkout till 3 February 2022.


Photo: Heavenly Wang

Over at the HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok clubhouse, Heavenly Wang has a festive creation of their own. The “Wang”derful Blossom Bundle, at just S$6.60 (U.P S$7.40) for HomeTeamNS members, celebrates Asia with some distinctive flavours and is available from 5 January to 15 February 2022.

The Yuzu Ham Blossom Toastie combines the savoury with the citrusy. Follow this up with the Iced Osmanthus Pineapple Tea – a refreshing beverage fragrant with floral and fruit.

To enjoy these benefits, just present your HomeTeamNS membership card during billing.


Photo: Noel Gifts

When visiting someone’s house, it’s always a good idea to bear gifts to offer good tidings. Pick from Noel Gift’s large range of flowers, gifts and hampers suitable for all budgets and receive 8-per-cent off for any Chinese New Year Collection order of S$80 and above.

Whether it’s a spectacular arrangement with tangerines or an abundant arm of symbolic delicacies, you’ll have until 12 February 2022 to pick those goodies for your loved ones. To enjoy the discount, HomeTeamNS members just have to retrieve the promo code from your HomeTeamNS mobile app and use it during checkout from Noel Gift’s website.


Photo: Grand Hyatt Singapore

Adding some elevated dining to your feasts is now a whole lot easier. Grand Hyatt presents their Lunar New Year menu, with a generous 15-per-cent discount for all HomeTeamNS members till 15 February 2022 with the promo code from your HomeTeamNS mobile app.

Savour the stunning Bountiful Treasure Pot (Pen Cai) and usher in its abundant blessings, or ring in the same with the Sauteed Hybrid Grouper served with mushrooms, snow peas and an XO chili sauce. They even have an option for vegetarians – the plant-based Organic Vegetable and Truffle Yu Sheng.


Photo: Novotel Singapore

Novotel Singapore is finding inspiration from a collaboration between Food Exchange and Ancient Taste (Gu Zao Wei) – a restaurant with a zero-waste precept. You’ll find familiar classics like Shrimp Paste Chicken and Fu Yong Egg on the menu, but the highlight has to be their claypots, available in fish head or a more collagen-filled mix of braised phoenix claws, pork tendons and premium Chinese mushrooms.

If you’re having a party of four to six, opt for the convenient Gu Zao Wei Set. As HomeTeamNS members, receive 18-per-cent off from now till 15 February 2022 and apply your mobile app’s promo code upon checkout.


Photo: Mandarin Oriental

If you prefer to place your orders at the same place, check out Mandarin Oriental’s offerings. The luxury hotel has anything from dishes like yu sheng, roasted goose and pork roulade to pineapple tarts and lavish hampers. There’s even Nian Gao (sticky cake) for some traditional blessings. With their elegant packaging and elevated menu, members will appreciate the 15-per-cent discount on all items (except hampers). Enter your HomeTeamNS mobile app’s promo code to enjoy the promotion from till 15 February 2022.


Photo: Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay

The Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay opened to much fanfare, partly because the lauded Peach Blossom restaurant made a welcome return. The hotel has launched an exclusive hamper, Treasure Pot and six-course meal experience on their website

You’ll be able to enjoy a 20-per-cent discount before 30 January 2022 and 15-per-cent discount thereafter until 15 February 2022.

 Email or call their hotline: +65 6845 1118. Visitors to the hotel enjoy the same discount. Just present your HomeTeamNS card at the promotions counter, which is open daily from 10:00am to 6:00pm, at the hotel lobby. Order more than S$100 and get a complimentary bottle of Peach Blossoms’ Homemade Sakura Ebi Chilli Sauce worth S$28 – a wonderful way to fire up the festivities.

Be on the lookout for more mouthwatering treats next month and don’t miss out on any promotions! Find out more about HomeTeamNS members’ deals and treats.