Generally, I don't succumb to the hype of a new something in town. Not cool. But something did change my mind. At least in the case of Ion Food Hall. It was the raved Salt Caramel Roll from Arinco King, which I thought sounded really good. Think about it - salt and caramel. What a fantastic contrast of flavours, right?
I was informed by the apologetic and pretty staff that it’s usually sold out by 3 pm. Come weekends, it’ll be around noon. Reservation was advised but it would make me look desperate. I struck out the option immediately. And that marked my next few futile evening visits to the food hall. Okay, maybe futile might not be the right word here. I mean, I did manage to try out some other things.
Nice takoyaki from Tsukiji Gindaco.
Warning: The queue is really long.
Pork Katsu, a signature from Ginza Bairin (a famous chain in Japan).
Arinco King’s Caramel Sand. Boh hu, heh ah ho (not Japanese but Hokkien, which literally means get the shrimp if there’s no fish). In other words, a consolation. The vanilla sponge was good, given its cotton soft texture.
Arinco King’s Salt Caramel Roll. Hooray.
Arinco King’s Green Tea Roll. This, to me, was THE fish.
Famed Scott's Road Beef Noodle at Food Opera (foodcourt). It came with a generous serving of beef, tripe and meatballs. Adding some sweetness to the sauce would be nice.
Chicken wings at Food Opera (foodcourt). A random find.
Other things that I’ve tried included duck rolls from Modern Peking Duck, plum sauce pork burger from R Burger, grilled pork salad from The Orange Lantern Wraps and Rolls and assorted hawkerfare from Food Opera.
On a Saturday evening, when one least expected, I managed to get the salt caramel roll. Even the staff said that I was lucky as they stocked in more for the weekend. Some parts were relatively saltier while the caramel tasted bitterer that what I’d expected. But the overall taste was joyful. My favourite of the 3 rolls offered by Arinco King was the green tea. Fluffy sponge made with good quality matcha powder and filled with light, fresh cream. Really nice, especially when they don’t include sweetened azuki beans.
I was there again last week. The food hall was still very much alive with youngsters happily savouring small cups of Japanese desserts and a fully occupied Food Opera. With the advantages of a strategic location and exclusive imports from Japan, I guess the food hall will be around for a very long time.
Ion Food Hall
B4, Ion Orchard
Here’s wishing all Hindu devotees a blessed Deepavali. Invite me to your house! I’m craving for a good briyani and mutton curry! To the rest, happy holiday.