Fancy fare at Cluny Food Court from the Les Amis Group
Cluny Food Court
1J Cluny Road, Tel: 9625-3593
Opens 8am to 9.30pm (opening hours vary for stalls)
Cluny Food Court has been described by the Les Amis Group as a multi-concept dining destination - but let's face it, it's a foodcourt.
And a good one too.
It offers greenery, affordable food and a relaxed atmosphere. If you don't drive, getting there by bus is tricky. If you do, there is ample parking.
It's also cashless, so you don't have to carry a wallet.
Five brands are available, so there's something for everyone.
S'Mao Barbecue (Wednesday to Monday, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 9pm; closed for lunch on weekends) has my favourite platter - the All In Plate ($24) with pork ribs, honeyed pork belly and a side of pulled pork, fries and coleslaw.
The meat is seasoned with salt and coarse black pepper and grilled over a hard wood fire, creating an eyes-rolled-back level of juiciness and tenderness.
The sides are competent but the true stars are the meats, especially the ribs.
It's perfect for a warm day, with a beer in one hand and ribs in the other.
Laifaba Express (Tuesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 6pm) is an offshoot of Laifaba, which is famed for its wanton noodles.
The BJT Char Siew & Wanton Noodles ($8) is the reason there is always a queue, and a Combo Platter (from $16.50 for two meats for two) is recommended as well.
The Crispy Roasted Pork is delicious and the char siew has a well-balanced ratio of meat and fat.
Meanwhile, Project Penyek by Ansar (weekdays 11am to 2pm, 6pm to 9.30pm; weekends and public holidays 11am to 9.30pm; closed on first and third Mondays of the month) has food heritage.
It's owned by Mr Hairi Ansar, a second-generation hawkerpreneur who used to help out at his family's stall at Changi Village.
He then opened his own place at ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre in 2018, and this stall at Cluny Food Court is his second.
Popular here is the Nasi Ayam Penyet ($6.50).
For me, the sambal is the star. The spiciness is tempered with a hint of umami, and it is wonderful with plain rice. The chicken was a tad dry though.
SATAY IN A CUP
Also from Project Penyek by Ansar is Satay in a Cup ($5, served from 6pm). You get five sticks of satay, rice cake and peanut sauce in a cup.
The satay uses a recipe inspired by Roxy Satay (the stall operated by Hairi's father in the 80s).
This way of eating satay is ideal for those on the go, or even while you enjoy a concert at the Singapore Botanic Gardens nearby.
Lastly, Peperoni Pizzeria opened a sister outlet here called Piccante Pronto (opens Friday to Wednesday, 11.30am to 9.30pm), serving Roman-style thin-crust pizzas.
I had a Suprema pizza (from $12.50), with chicken sausage, shiitake, chilli padi and onions, but it wasn't memorable.
When there are many other options across the island, a forgettable pizza just won't do the trick.