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SIFU debuts in Singapore with inspiration from the Hong Kong dining scene, to bring a reinvented take on the east-meets-west classic quick meals. Striving to challenge the boundaries of casual dining, this café-restaurant offers a modern and relaxing sit-down ambience suitable for dinner dates and group gatherings alike, complete with the delicious aromas of freshly-baked pillow buns from its in-house bunnery. In line with SIFU’s philosophy of all-things handmde, dishes are made by the chefs and bakers from scratch, from fish pockets to dumplings alike.
From Hong Kong’s favourite beef stew and noodles dishes to all-day dim-sum items, SIFU brings customers a variety of comfort meals at affordable prices.
A local touch
So what makes SIFU stand out from the dozens of eateries that has dedicated their menus to the Hong Kong dining scene? Well, led by a Hong Kong chef, its team of cooks put their unique touch on classic dishes by balancing original tastes with local palate preferences.
The Signature Caramelised Roasted Ribs in special sauces is a bold interpretation served in single-rib portions. A different take on Western-style ribs that one may be familiar with, the SIFU ribs boast a rich caramelised taste on first bite with a delicious, savoury ending on the palate. Served as a single rib with each order, customers can now enjoy ribs whilst still leaving room for other dishes on the menu.
Other menu highlights honed from traditional recipes include the Soup Noodles served in a hearty soup-base as well as the flavourful and hearty Beef Stew. The star of the meal were undoubtedly the Handmade Pillow Buns ($1.20 per bun).
Think a bun made the way a traditional Xiao Long Bao is usually made. At SIFU, the key to a pillowy soft bun lies in the technique of wrapping the filling. Individually handmade, each SIFU Pillow Bun is made using the same wrapping technique for a Xiao Long Bao to leave an air pocket cavity above the filling on its base, and giving the bun its soft bite. Each Pillow Bun takes a whooping 98 mins to be handmade and baked, from dough to bun!
The handmade buns come in four fillings, ranging from the traditional Hong Kong-style savoury Char Siew (Roasted Pork) and Hong Kong-style creamy Sweet Custard, to the creative Azuki (Japanese Red Bean) Custard and refreshing Yuzu Cheese. A personal favourite was the Char Siew bun, where the bun’s soft and smooth texture upon every bite really complemented the tender meat with sweet sauce.
Hong Kong cuisine, café style
Enjoy Hong Kong’s best in comfort. SIFU is designed as a casual diner, and draws inspiration from the minimalistic styles of cosy cafés. The inviting ambience has touches of playfulness in its choice of décor, such as a bicycle that serves as a countertop.
Sleek teal and grey armchairs, high-backed booth seats as well as a combination of marble and wooden tables provide a modern yet comfortable setting for diners and black-and-white ceramic tiles line the floor juxtaposing criss-crossed wooden planks that adorn the ceiling works to give the restaurant a touch of laid-back chic.
Also in SIFU is a bunnery – to highlight the section where the soft pillow buns are baked fresh daily. The bunnery takes prides of place at the entrance of SIFU, enticing diners with wafts of freshly baked buns. Customers can choose to order the buns for dine-in with their meals or walk in for over the counter take-away.
SIFU, Bugis Junction, #01-69, 200 Victoria Street, Singapore 188021
By Eu Shuqi