Birthday@The Boiler

Apart from our loved ones, having close friends celebrate one’s birthday is one of life’s most treasured event. Every year, our group of seven, celebrate each others’ birthday with much aplomb in terms of a good meal. Yes, this means we get to dine and celebrate once almost every month! The birthday girl gets to select the meal and venue and will return the treat with coffee and dessert. Most of us have been friends since our secondary school days and still counting! Cesebon!

This year, I decided to celebrate mine at The Boiler last month, as it met both my requirements – nearby and seafood. I was also quite sold after reading the review by Clara (explodingbelly). And here’s what I discovered:

Ambience  – indeed a hipster outlet set amidst an industrial site. Bright, spacious, their chic black and white industrial themed interior blends in well with the area. It was also nice that for a Saturday afternoon, it was not too crowded. The last thing you need when having a celebration is another rowdy group celebrating?!;) Not that we are rowdy..!;)

Location: if you follow directions from explodingbelly and take exit B from Tai Seng MRT, you will find yourself in the middle of nowhere. Because it is nestled amongst the different buildings with no distinct landmark, one wrong turn and you can easily end up on a different road/path, even though it is only 5 mins from Tai Seng MRT. Better to have their number handy. (I was ‘found’ by my friends!;) Perhaps they are counting on repeat customers but for first-timers, good directional signage helps!

Now, the most important part: The Food
Here’s what we ordered:

This is good for starters. The chicken wing is well done, crunchy on the outside, yet moist and tender on the inside. Everything is yummilicious with the dipping sauce!

Sample (1)
The Sampler

We didn’t go for the lobster or crab since we wanted a few mains to share. This bag of seafood was as reviewed – fresh and delicious! Especially the mussels and prawn. But the surprise was the sausage – salty, meaty, yum. This Boiler’s Duo Bag ($49++) got some of us getting some Beer early in the day just for the pairing! Cesebon!


They now have a selection of three types of sauces but its hard to go wrong with garlic butter so we went for the safe bet.

The portion may be alot for two persons but as one of the main course for a group, I wish it could’ve been a bigger bag tbh. Perhaps they go by weight and not no. of heads.

For Seafood lovers!

This Fish n Chips was disappointing! Too dry, too much batter. They need to get the proportion of the batter and fish right.


We also ordered a spicy Pasta dish which was greasy and too spicy for some of my friends.

Cesebon says: Not as good as reviewed. Inconsistent food quality. Still, at prices one-third of what you’ll be charged at East Coast and/Jumbo, this is a good option for seafood lovers or even that occasional craving, in a relaxing, cozy setting, right in the neighborhood!

Overall it was a good dinning experience and celebration, with the ambience, friendly staff service and novelty of it all. As one of us said, “the last time we ate with a bib was when we were a baby?!”

If not at all, go for the finger lickin’ fun!


Almost, old world

As one of the oldest mature estate in Singapore, the neighbourhood centre at Lorong 1 Toa Payoh is anything but ‘old’ or ‘sleepy’ on a rainy Friday afternoon. Getting off from Braddell MRT, the row of shops opposite Singapore Press Holdings was teeming with activities and students getting back from school, especially since its the only ‘shop’ with an alfresco that stands out with its 24hr sign and awnings – yes, it felt strange yet almost gratifying that this MacDonald’s seem to blend in outstandingly, amongst the compact row of shops.

With the curiosity and even excitement, as a first-time visitor to the area, I soon found myself hopping in and out of these old-style shops. It’s rather amazing how the shop owners can pack so much stuff within such small spaces with low ceiling. Almost all of them from those selling daily necessities, fruits, to sundries and furniture had their goods displayed right out the shopfront; it’s hard not to stop and have a look see!

There’s even a Phoon Huat and Redman, for the bakers or baker-wannabes like me;) Time also seemed to have stood still for the 7-Eleven store from when they first set up branches around the island – with racks and boxes of unpacked goods lined along the nooks and corners of the shop wherever there is space. Unfortunately, it’s managed by staffs who are unnecessarily suspicious! As I went trigger happy for the blog, I noticed strange, suspecting glances from a staff right from when I entered. As I mull over a new drink on the shelf in a corner, an ‘unusually friendly’ cashier started greeting me aloud from the counter, offering that “if you need me to take anything down just let me know ya!” Next thing I know, she came telling me, poker-faced that “Mam, you cannot take pictures here”. “Why?”, “I’m just taking pictures of the packaging..”; “No, you cannot take pictures here.” she repeated. “Ok, fine.”

Then, “Please delete what you just took.”

“What?! You mean this?!”

Feeling like a criminal caught red-handed?!? I decided to pay and buy this home to try! Check out my review here.

Anyway, relac lah dei, it’s just drinks okay!!? And since when is it a crime to take pictures of drinks that are displayed on the shelves?! If that’s the case, maybe 7-eleven should just keep all its goods unpacked and safe in their nooks and store corners.

Despite the unfortunate incident at 7-Eleven, the place with its eclectic mix of tenants, has its own charm, though not the old-world-charm. I went to try out the 吃Western’s raved smoked duck salad, got some unexpectedly good deals from Phoon Huat, try out new food, drink and even got a $3.80 hair cut, all in one rainy Friday afternoon. Cesebon!

So which old neighbourhood is worth spending an afternoon next? Does anyone have any recommendations?

Cesebonblog says: old town HDB neighborhoods that are near MRT Stations, with interesting mix of shops or unique charm welcomed.