Full Steam, China Square Central

Wahhh… The food so steam, I steam already lah~~!!

After a brief preview of Van Cleef & Arpels’ latest jewelry and watch collections with a colleague from my sister publication at Marina Bay Sands, we parted ways. With another event to attend happening in under four hours, and my phone’s battery not cooperating, I was a tad flustered and stressed. Were it another ordinary day, I’d make my way to a cafe, sip some coffee and update my Facebook and Twitter feeds, and maybe, just maybe, squeeze in some work emails. Now, I couldn’t do that. The prospect of doing absolutely nothing in a cafe in Singapore was unthinkable! Feeling helpless, I nevertheless decide to make my way to Raffles Place, which has probably got the city’s greatest concentration of cafes. Besides your usual Starbucks and Coffee Bean, you’ve got Tully’s, Costa Coffee, Dimbullah, Jamaica Blue and so many more. By the time I got there, I started feeling a little peckish. Lunch wasn’t substantial, and it was starting to call on me. The most central of the Central Business District has absolutely no shortage of food choices, but I remembered my colleague talking about a certain new steamed food concept. As a favor to my desperation, my phone spared all its remaining battery life and yielded me my search.

Adapted from French “fast food” chain, A Toutes Vapeurs, which literally means “full steam ahead”, Full Steam at China Square Central serves tasty steamed food at affordable prices. The food is prepared, and only steamed on order, so freshness is guaranteed. Because Full Steam doesn’t renege on its vapor philosophy, there are certain limits. The menu’s severely limited to ingredients and meat that can cook together, so this automatically rules out French must-haves, such as red meat. It was a unique concept, and I was very eager to try it.

For my main, I ordered a salmon & leeks, orange with hazelnuts.

With healthy foods, you’re always going to run into the risk of bland flavors. My friend, Vincent, once brought me to this massively popular “healthy” and “organic” western food stall at Clifford Centre, and while it did taste healthy, the flavors were overall lacking any, which made it quite a hard swallow. It’s healthy, but it took the joy out of eating, and that’s what I didn’t like. With Full Steam, while it’s definitely mastered the healthy component, it doesn’t suffer from the lack of flavor as much as other health-conscious restaurants, which was a relief. I must say however, that it tasted like airplane food – like a really good Economy Class meal, and I loved it for what it reminded me of.

The chocolate pear and bread pudding was not the disaster I thought it’d be.

Admittedly, it was a tad mushy, but it was surprisingly very well done. The flavors were there, the sweet-savory of the brioche contrasted nicely against the sweetness of the chocolate sauce and caramelized pear.

I’m all for more health-conscious, organic eating, and Full Steam offers a unique alternative to those who want something more besides salads and sandwiches. My only major gripe is that the portions aren’t substantial, and because of that, the Carl’s Jr. pricing – competitive in terms of price range no doubt – still feels a tad cutthroat. I do want to come back, though.


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