Inspiring Conversations

Review: Urban Relish

  • SumoMe

When I was in kid in school, I had to come up with Haiku and it went something like this:

Food, oh glorious food.

<insert forgotten 7 words>

Food, oh glorious food.

It sounded a whole lot better than, trust me. Maybe it’s a Singaporean thing or perhaps it was just after recess but yes, of all the topics in this entire world, I chose food.

So for all you foodies out there who scrounge the web for places to eat in Singapore, stop all ye clicking about because we’ve got a dining guide that will put you out of your misery. The team from Singapore Management University’s Gourmet Club took their cameras and their lust for great tasting food to the streets to create Urban Relish – a dining guide of 200 F&B establishments within the vicinity of their campus. This nifty guide lets you discover gastronomic gems as you walk the streets of City Hall, Somerset, Bras Basah, Promenade, Dhoby Ghaut, Nicoll Highway, Little India and Bugis.

The recommendations in Urban Relish are meticulously handpicked, flavors diligently sampled and pictures thoughtfully captured to accompany their savory words. Here’s what I liked:

  • The dishes are categorized into cuisines – very convenient!
  • There’s even a Grab & Go segment for times when quick decisions are vital.
  • Establishments that neither have GST nor service charge are also highlighted and you’ll know if they have wireless service as well too. Need halal food? It’s all indicated!
  • The notes are well thought through, emphasizing on information that’s essential such as price range, recommended dishes and at times, dinging atmosphere in the establishments.
  • Urban Relish is easy to read and given that it only showcases food establishments close by, it conveniently narrows down choices for readers.

Not only is the guide lightweight and handy, recipes are included too! So how could you say no to a refreshing dining guide like this?

We had the delightful to chance to meet two passionate foodies Stephanie Quek & Ang Wei Zheng, who were also the President and Vice President (2011) of SMU Gourmet Club and here’s what they’ve got to say about Urban Relish!

What do you like the most about Urban Relish?

Steph: For one we thoroughly enjoyed the process of putting the book together no doubt, but I’d say the thing we love most about Urban Relish is how personal it is. As you read through Urban Relish, it doesn’t feel so much like just a book telling you where you’ll find what foods, but it tries to find out what you like, before suggesting a place for you –somewhat like how a friend would do it.

Tell us your experience in creating the book.

Steph: The whole process took about 9 months (from conceptualizing the book to launching and distributing the finished product).

Despite the huge amount of work and tight datelines, creaking Urban Relish with a treasured group of friends, would probably be the most precious memory we’d take away from our experience in SMU. Ultimately, just being together made the loads of eating (though not due to cravings) and the many sleepless nights worthwhile.

Come to think of it, it almost felt as though we were birthing a child! Think about the look on our faces when we laid our eyes on the first copy of Urban Relish fresh out from the press!

What’s makes for a great meal?

Wei Zheng and Steph: The company! (Gourmet Club’s motto is: Where good food meets good company)

And where’s the perfect place to have that meal and why?

Wei Zheng and Steph: Anywhere friends go, a good meal is sure to follow. Why? ‘Cause good company makes for an enjoyable time –sometimes it may even make your food taste better than it already is!

Name one favourite ingredient you can’t live without.

Steph: I grew up on soya sauce –grandma puts it in EVERYTHING! (I’ve a soft spot for truffle though!)
Wei Zheng: Chilli (when my family travels overseas, we bring along bottles of chilli)!

How would you introduce a new culinary dish to someone who isn’t a foodie to begin with?

Wei Zheng: I’ll first talk about what I know about the dish and the chef who prepared the meal. If I don’t know anything about the dish, because we’re there for the first time, then “bon appetite, we’re in for a surprise”.

What kind of food would you prefer to have falling from the sky?

Steph: All sorts of cereal, nuts and mueslis!

You’re wandering the streets on your own and you’re hungry. Where would you stop for food and drinks? 

Steph: I’m a café junkie –I’d stop at a café! I love the quirky and the quaint! If I were around Tiong Bahru, I’d pop into 40 Hands; Duxton –Flor or Group Therapy; Ann Siang Hill –Kiki; Bukit Timah –Simply Bread at Cluny Court<3; OF COURSE *whips out Urban Relish* …

Wei Zheng: I’d go to Artichoke Café and Bar or Blackbird Café!

Who should be reading Urban Relish?

Anyone and everyone who has ‘food’ as their middle-name, people who frequent town, plus anyone who’s keen on finding out about eats in this area:

Why should readers own a copy of Urban Relish and how can they get one?

Urban Relish is made up of:

  • 200 recommended eats in the area shown above, divided into
  • 8 different categories of food (e.g. Asian; Western; Middle-Eastern; Fusion; Local Vegetarian; Cafes; Grab & Go), with information like
  • Their various addresses; opening hours; contact details; price range and recommended dishes, PLUS if these eating places have service charge; GST; Wifi and if they are Halal!
  • We’ve even included our very own favourite recipes into Urban Relish for sharing!

I’ll let my words be few. Here are a few teaser pages for you to feast your eyes on:

(98% of the shots were professionally taken by our very own photographers!)

If you would like to purchase a copy (at $5 per copy), write to us at and we’ll make the necessary arrangements to get Urban Relish to you.

Complete this sentence:
Cakes, Ice Cream and ALL THINGS CHOCOLATE make me feel like wiggling my toes. Especially when peanut butter is involved!

Wei Zheng:
Adine, Hana and Nicole make me feel like having dessert. Especially when Flor is nvolved!

Naughty you, asking 3 girls out on the same date?

Wonderful people, these two :) Thanks guys! Now that you’ve a glimpse of the goodness of Urban Relish, you can win a copy too.  There are 20 copies of Urban Relish to be won and all you’ve got to do is like our Facebook page (Contest is only open to Penny’s friends on Facebook!) and once you’ve done that, tell us that you want a copy with the following details:

  • Name
  • Age
  • NRIC
  • D.O.B
  • Contact number
  • Address
  • Occupation

via a Facebook message with the subject as ‘Urban Relish’, on our Facebook page (the little option on the right) and we’ll contact you if you’re our winner!

Please be reminded that this contest is only open to readers living in Singapore who are friends on Facebook. All entries must reach us by Friday, 17th February 2012!

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