Makansutra: Think Pink Candy when it comes to breezy outdoor dining
Enjoy breezy outdoor dining with Korean dishes at Pink Candy
Stay calm and eat on.
Or rather, stay calmly away from the crowds, and eat at "safer" places, where safety measures are implemented amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Open and airy spots may be good options and if they offer a "stress relief" menu, carry on munching.
One such option is Korean eatery Pink Candy.
The old and eclectic rooftop spot at Beauty World Centre, complete with its own al fresco seating area overlooking Bukit Timah, ticks all the right boxes. And the menu is such an attractive variation from the same old hawker centre fare.
Pink Candy began as a cafe on the fourth storey of the shopping centre and then moved to this visible corner hawker stall. It has an in-your-face, point-point picture menu - very convenient for those who cannot tell what kimbap is.
Still, the menu is in English and what you see and read is what you get.
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Firstly, the smallish crowd on the weeknight we were there practised social distancing, so that gave us peace of mind.
Sit right under the evening sky and at the edge overlooking the low-rise buildings around.
The Ginseng Chicken (from $7.90) started the meal on a clear note.
I could taste only the natural essence of this pot-boiled chicken infused with some calm slices of ginseng.
There wasn't much added seasoning. Indeed, if there was any, it was unnoticeable.
It sounds bland, but it was hard to stop spooning this one up because of the clarity of the soup.
The Kimbap ($7.90, seaweed sushi rolls), with greens and some ham chunks inside, hit the spot.
The crunch, savouriness, and soft grains with the umami from the seaweed made me ready for some heavier stuff.
The Soy Sauce Fried Chicken ($12.90, which also comes in original and spicy flavours) looked like it needed some cold beers to wash it down.
It was well-battered, fried with the juiciness inside intact, tossed in a lightly sweetened soy sauce, and served in a lined basket, the kind that makes you want to tear in immediately with your hands.
We did, and that gulp of cold beer did the trick.
When they brought out the Squid and Pork Belly Bulgogi ($12.90), the hot-plate platter of sizzling thin slices of fatty pork with strips of sotong in a mildy spicy Korean-style marinate hit the spot, and then it was another two gulps of cold beer.
To further cool the heat, there's the Cold Noodles ($7.90) - done with cold stock and a dash of vinegar and a little block of iced soup. It was full of slurpy goodness.
The tangy sweetness and the springy noodles went down so easily.
There were some misses though.
The Seafood Pancake ($12.90) was very photogenic and came sliced for added effect. It was nicely crispy at the edges and soft inside, but alas, it was bland. Just a touch of seafood seasoning would have saved it. We had to settle for a dip in the soy sauce.
04-60, Beauty World Centre,
Upper Bukit Timah Road
Open 10.30am to 3pm, 5pm-9pm
Closed on Tuesdays