Best things we ate this year

From a humble chicken cutlet to a mighty seafood tower, here are the culinary finds that bowled us over this year.

Chicken cutlet
By Jessica Lin

What: RedRing Treasures' Double Chicken Cutlet ($5.90)
Where: Food Republic Wisma Atria, level 4, 435 Orchard Road; Gourmet Paradise Food Court, B1-01 HDB Hub, 480 Toa Payoh Lorong 6

This stall's Double Chicken Cutlet is uniquely tasty and succulent, thanks to a 24-hour marination process.

For me, the large cutlet goes best with RedRing's precision-cooked noodles.

And if I am feeling extra hungry, the Onion Flower never disappoints with its crisp exterior and garlic aoli aroma.

Chilli crab pizza
By Tay Hui Zhen

What: PizzaExpress' chilli crab pizza (about $25)
Where: B1-08/09 Scotts Square, 6 Scotts Road

Photo: PizzaExpress

It's been more than four months, but the mind-blowing moment I tried this is still etched in my memory.

The chilli crab sauce was quite different from that of the real dish - it didn't have the sweetness which I'm not a fan of anyway, so it was a major plus point for me.

Then there was this chilli oil that complemented the pizza very well.

The generous amount of crab meat that came with it and its fresh-tasting crust wrapped this up as the most memorable meal I've had this year.

Japanese-style rice bowls
By Karen Lim

What: Kaisen Don from Teppei Syokudo ($15.80 for medium size)
Where: ION Orchard Food Hall

Photo: The Straits Times

This is a place where you can DIY your own bowl of sashimi rice with your favourite types of raw fish and toppings. There are different sized bowls and eight types of raw fish or seafood to choose from. Premium seafood and other toppings like avocado, seaweed and corn are available too.

What makes Teppei Syokudo stand out is the generous servings of sashimi that is fresh as well. You can also opt to change the rice to salad if you're looking for a low carb option. For raw fish or sushi lovers, this is a great and affordable sashimi fix!

What: Genki bowl from Ninja Bowl ($16; top up $2 for rice)
Where: 15 Duxton Road

Photo: Ninja Bowl

The Japanese-inspired bowls from Ninja Bowl are also known as "healthy bowls" that have a good balance of carbs, protein and fibre. The Genki bowl consists of unagi, roasted pumpkin, beansprouts, onsen egg and pinkled beets. Mix them all up and you get some sort of a Japanese bibimbap! The different flavours and textures make the bowl very tasty.

Seafood tower
By Candice Cai

What: Captain K Seafood tower
Where: #01-02 Income@Prinsep, 30 Prinsep St

The most memorable meal I had this year would probably be this tower of seafood that was brought to our table to be steamed.

Who knew lightly steamed oysters could taste so good? The prawns were succulent as well.

The broth at the bottom of the tower which collects the drippings then becomes a seafood-y hotpot base for you to dunk all your favourite steamboat items into.

It is pricey (about $170 for four tiers of seafood, including hotpot items) but worth a splurge at least once.

Taiwanese Lu Rou Fan (braised pork rice)
By Deborah Wong

What: Eat 3 Bowls' Braised Pork Rice
Where: Seah Imm Food Centre #01-21

One of my favourite food picks in Taiwan has to be the humble braised pork rice or lu rou fan, consisting of plain rice topped with braised pork, with a delectable savoury dark sauce spooned all over the bowl.

You'll be hard-pressed to find the same quality of this simple dish in Taiwanese eateries here.

But a snaking queue at Seah Imm Food Centre led me straight to Eat 3 Bowls, where each bowl of braised pork rice is topped with minced pork, and slathered in a thick and wonderfully fragrant gravy. Every bite took me back to those rainy nights in Taipei.

Read also: 7 mouthwatering delicacies you've gotta try in Taiwan

It is not a hearty helping, and those with ravenous appetites can opt for their set meals or simply order two bowls of rice.

And for just $2.50 per bowl? It's a definite must-try.