Serangoon Gardens has no shortage of good food, ranging from hearty hawker fare to some of the best eating houses anybody could ask for. Tucked cozily in the heart of several landed properties is myVillage, a boutique mall filled with restaurants and an emphasis on community.
MyVillage is a Mall with Kampong Spirit
MyVillage is as premium as a neighborhood mall can get. Gone are the usual coffeeshops and market, but rather an upscale establishment designed for its affluent customer base.
While it might not be an everyday meal choice for most Singaporeans, branch outlets like iSteaks Diner are well-known for their affordability considering the type of food they provide. The three vendors we tried – Kor Kai, The Peel 1889, and The Açaí Collective – offered quality food and unique flair that can all be found under one roof.
Kor Kai for Isaan Cuisine in Singapore
Kor Kai brings northeastern Thai food to Singapore, serving Isaan cuisine that is heavily influenced by Laos and Cambodia. The signature Thai sour-spicy punch is retained in most foods, but you might not see the standard Thai favourites.
Kor Kai’s signature dish is the Thai Grilled Chicken ($23 for whole, $13 for half) which is cooked delightfully with black peppercorns, and remains juicy and tender. The chilli sauce that accompanies it is sweet on first taste but blooms into spice at the back of your throat. The result is a smokey, succulent chicken that truly deserves its signature moniker.
We also tried the Issan Beef Steak Ribeye ($23), Stuffed Whole Squid with Tom Yum Fried Rice ($16.50), and capped off the meal with a Thai Tea Kaya Toast. The beef is marinated with a northeastern Thai sauce, and grilled to preferred doneness. The marinade is rather sweet, which could put off customers who prefer a more savoury steak. Each main comes with white rice or Thai Papaya Salad ($6.50 ala carte).
The stuffed squid is worth a try for people who like squid and fried rice, but the combination doesn’t quite compare to the flavour bombs in the spring chicken. The Thai Tea Kaya Toast is a great spin on a classic Singaporean breakfast, is generously coated with the luscious kaya. The combination works surprisingly well, with the typical unabashed sweetness of kaya being tamed and given more body by the bitterness of the tea.
The Peel 1889 for Genuine Italian Cuisine
The Peel 1889 is a pizza joint that isn’t afraid to push boundaries. Classic Italian fare like a margherita pizza, carbonara and arancini are brought to the next level, yet still remains relatively affordable.
The star of the show was the 1889 Margherita Premium Pizza ($23). While a classic margherita at a restaurant or bar will feature your standard mozzarella and tomato slices, the restaurant amps it up by using vine tomatoes, arugula, and is served with a bombastic burrata ball. Cutting into a burrata is immensely satisfying and having the luxury of spreading it across your pizza slice is honestly ridiculous. A must-try.
The Arancini ($8) and Carbonara ($17) are nothing to scoff at. Arancini are deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with mushroom and truffle that permeates through the rice, and with an irresistible aroma. The carbonara combines a creamy sauce with an eye-catching parmesan cheese crisp, providing a multitude of textures with the silky smooth linguine and molten egg. The Peel 1889 relentlessly strives to better and innovate themselves. The restaurant also offers weekly pizza specials, ranging from chilli crab pizza to a kimichi and luncheon meat combo. Coupled with the solid, hearty Italian fare on show, the sky is the limit for The Peel 1889.
Health Food in Singapore You’ve Never Even Heard Of: The Açaí Collective
The Açaí Collective in MyVillage prides itself on its all-natural ingredients. While its main offering is the superfood açaí berry and a first-in-Singapore acerola cherry bowls, the store also offers sinful selections like Milo Dinosaur açaí bowls and cookie butter toppings. Juice, soft serve, and ice creams are also available.
The Açaí Collective blends the berries into smoothies with other fruits to sweeten the taste and adds no sugar. Top it with fruits, or go wild with Milo powder, but the main character is still the well-blended smoothie. The açaí tastes good, but the acerola has a more unique sourness that really perks you up. The blend tastes similar to a classic mango, pineapple and strawberry smoothie, albeit with a harder citrus touch.