The U Factory at Gillman Barracks
The U Factory is a temporary experimental platform curated by Underscore, dedicated to discussion, exchange and execution of shared visions. From 7 November 2013 to 26 January 2014, they have brought together as a community an eclectic mix of trail-blazers from the fields of art, film, music, food, design and culture.
Brunch by Maison Ikkoku
Block 39, 01-01
Singapore lifestyle brand, Maison Ikkoku is serving up its popular brunch menu including Big Breakfast, Portobello Florentine, Salmon Florentine, Turkey Ham Eggs Benedict and French Toast with Caramel Banana.
I struggled with my brunch choice and in the end went ahead for the most photogenic option, Turkey Ham Eggs Benedict.Great flavors from the turkey ham, poached eggs and home-made hollandaise sauce! Known for its coffee, we also ordered a cup of Chemex brews coffee ($7) which uses the infusion method. Its unbleached filters are a little thicker than those used by auto-drip filters, resulting is a slower brew and a richer cup similar to drip coffee in terms of body and taste. Ethiopia yirgacheffe has a silky body and clean finish.
Maison Ikkoku is open:
Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday 9am – 5pm
Rakusaba by Preparazzi
Block 39 01-10
When the word “Laksa” is mentioned, what comes to your mind? A bowl of rich coconut gravy with thick vermicelli? At Preparazzi, things are a little different. Unlike a traditional laksa, this dish is served with the noodles separate and you are encouraged to dip them in the thick laksa cream that is served on the side. The noodles are also a departure from the usual rice vermicelli and are made of wheat and eggs without any alkaline.
This is just like a Singaporean version of Japanese tsukumen! The laksa broth is thick enough to be used as a dip for the noodles. The broth, an ultra-intense lemak with the essence from hei-bi provide much of that wonderful umami richness. Forget about being demure or whatsoever, just slurp it loud from the bowl!
The dish comes with condiments of Preparazzi’s signature salmon otak otak gratin, a soft boiled egg topped with “heibi hiam” (spicy dried shrimps), lotus root and cucumber pickles, all sitting on a green base of home-made pesto. You may also ask for crispy you tiao (dough fritters) to be eaten with the laksa cream. After finishing your meal, you can ask for a finishing prawn and pork broth in their bowl.
Preparazzi’s innovative take on the traditional laksa dish is aimed at challenging people’s perceptions of what constitutes a laksa and to encourage diners to engage in a wider conversation about the changing nature of what is deemed ‘traditional’ Singaporean food. There is only bar seating where you will be served by handsome noodle chef Jeremy!
One advice for you, be there early as there’s only limited portions each time. When I was there last Sunday, it was already sold out before 1pm!
Rakusaba is open:
Friday 6pm – 11pm
Saturday 11am – 11pm
Sunday 11am – 3pm
Ramen Burger by The Travelling C.O.W.
Block 39, 01-10
The Travelling C.O.W. has introduced their version of the Ramen Burger, a food craze with its origins in NYC. Each ramen burger consists of two golden crisp ramen patties, layered with fresh butterhead lettuce, juicy sweet tomato, filled with your choice of succulent meats and finished off with drizzles of Chef’s secret dressing.
The crispy ramen patties remind me of Mamee, which is my favourite childhood snack. Because the ramen patty is dry and crisp, it is paired with a wetter version of succulent meats such as Bulgogi Beef, Chicken Teriyaki or Spicy BBQ Chicken. I preferred the Bulgogi Beef version with the crunchy and juicy flavours burst in the mouth at first bite. Bulgogi Beef can be stronger in flavor though.
Ramen Burger is open:
Friday 6pm – 10pm
Saturday 12pm – 8pm
Sunday 12pm – 8pm
Oh yeah, we missed The Baker’s League because they weren’t there last Sunday. It is a vegan bakery housed in the same room as Rakusaba and Ramen Burger. The Bakers League aims to make vegan food accessible to all, by providing food, drink and desserts that are delicious and fun. All items on the menu are vegan and are made without egg or dairy products. Opening hours are Saturdays, 11am – 11pm & Sundays, 11am – 3pm
The U Factory is happening at every Tuesday to Friday at Gillman Barracks (9 Lock Road). If you want to visit the F&B stalls, they are only opened from Fridays to Sundays. For more information on participants, events and workshops, visit www.theufactory.com