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Archive for September, 2009

Lasik!

24hrs ago, this is what my world looks like without contacts/specs:

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Thanks to bladeless lasik, I’m on the way to having 6/6 vision now! Life is good. And whoever says lasik is painless lies! It hurt like crazy once the anesthetic wore off. But hey, that’s a small price to pay compared to what I’m getting in return: no more specs/contacts for *hopefully* decades!

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Caffe Pralet

I like cafes that are out of the way hidden in charming neighbourhoods. If business can prosper in a remote location, it goes to show that they must be doing something right, right? The cafe was absolutely packed and we were lucky to snag the last unoccupied table.

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I’ve eaten many renditions of Tofu Burger ($8) and this version is 1 of the better ones around. What makes it so nice is the combination of caramelized onions and mustard atop the pan fried patty. You get sweet, savoury and a hint of spiciness all in a bite.

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Herb Grilled Pork Chop with Black Pepper Sauce ($10.80) is one of the specials for the day. Served with fries and garden veg, this is a complete meal by itself.

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Don’t even think of leaving without trying their cakes! The signature Chocolate Pralet ($4.50) is a must try for a 1st timer like me. It tastes of quality French chocolate: smooth & bittersweet. I like it but it didn’t have the “wow” factor. It’s just nice. Average nice.

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Now, I was impressed by the Green Tea Gateau ($3.90). Extremely light and soft, the sponge cake is not overly sweet with a slight bitterness from the green tea powder sprinkled on top.

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Thought there’s no GST & service charge, service was very friendly though a little absentminded at times. Perfectly understandable since there are just so many diners that it’s a scene of organised chaos. Reckon I’ll be back again!

 

Caffe Pralet
17 Eng Hoon Street
#01-03/04, Eng Hoon Mansions
6223 5595

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Ben & Jerry’s

On a whim, I dropped in for a break from all the retail therapy walking I’ve been doing.

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As usual, I took my own sweet time in choosing the best right flavour. In the end, I went for the safest choice: Chocolate Therapy ($4.90 per scoop). It’s chocolate all the way: Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookies & Swirls of Chocolate Pudding!

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Compared to other local parlors like Island Creamery and U.d.d.e.r.s, B&J’s flavours are becoming downright boring. Nothing excites me.

 

Ben & Jerry’s
#08-01, Orchard Central
6884 9505

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Umami #1

Let me rave! Lunch was oh-so- good fabulous! I’m definitely bookmarking this place for future reference.

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I’m such a sucker for anything with the word “truffles”. The Omelette Truffle Oil ($8++) is good! Firm, eggy and savoury. I find it hard to describe the taste so just go and try it, ok? This is off the menu so you need to ask the waiter for it.

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I like everything on the Saba Nitsuke Set ($18nett)! Light and tasty side dishes of beans, potato, mushroom and boiled veg; meaty and juicy braised saba.

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Do you know mackerel has always been a poor man’s fish  in Japan? Guess I’ll gladly be poor to eat this everyday!

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The chef kindly substituted a salad when I requested for no rice. Expecting a patronising serving of the usual unappetising lettuce type salad, my jaw dropped when I was offered this colourful plate with cherry tomatoes, avocado(!), alfalfa etc. Just lovely!

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“Excellent presentation!” was my 1st thought when Wagyu Burger Steak Set ($18nett) was served. Set comprises of the steak, fried ebi, french fries, tamago, braised veg, rice & miso soup. A very filling lunch!

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Service (friendly yet professional) and ambience (think dim and soft lighting) were really great! Current promotion of 1-for-1 set lunch for DBS cards is extreme value for money!

Umami found.

 

 

Umami
#01-26, Liang Court Shopping Centre
6333 1166

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The name says it all, this is the place for hard-core meat lovers. Ironically, I don’t fall into that category, not by a long shot.

What am I doing here?

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“Churrascaria” = Portuguese for barbecue restaurant. For $40++, it’s an endless flow of rotisserie-roasted meats as the knife-welding waiters move around the tables, carving meats ranging from beef & lamb to butterfish & roasted pineapple from large skewers onto your plates.

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The Italy merlot ($14++) was lovely. Full-bodied and smooth, it’s a perfect companion for dinner.

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My personal favourite is the salad bar which has a comprehensive selection of hot and cold salads and appetisers such as fresh greens, roasted eggplants & potatoes, and sauteed mushrooms. Look at the impressive number of awards the restaurant has secured!

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Surprisingly, it was a very fulfilling meal though I didn’t have any meat. Service was very friendly and prompt. I like that they didn’t give us the evil eye for being the 1st to arrive and the last to leave!

 

Carnivore Brazilian Churrascaria
#01-29A, Chijmes
6334 9332

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Yan Palace Restaurant

This old established institution specialising in Cantonese cuisine has been around since I was a kid (probably even before I was born) and it’s a popular haunt of many businessmen and families (mine included!). I wanted to try the dim sum but disappointingly, it’s only available during lunch. Is it weird unconventional to want dim sum for dinner?

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The Roasted “Pi-Pa” Duck ($35++) made an appearance shortly after we ordered since it barely needed any preparation besides plating and serving. By consensus, this was the favourite dish of the night. Though I think this was quite a skinny duck, the winning formula lies in its crispy oily skin which was relished with delight.

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The 1st comment when the Braised Deluxe Dried Seafood ($20++) was served? “Wa! Such a small bowl!” With delicacies such as sea cucumber and scallops in it, I dug in with gusto. Within minutes, the pot was wiped clean. Note to self: order a larger serving next time!

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A common dish to be found in Chinese restaurants, the Sauteed Scallops with Broccoli ($22++) was faultless with the fresh ingredients used and simple execution by the chef.

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The Fried Noodles with Prawns & Egg ($16++) came in a large portion. I like the runny scrambled egg with asparagus and mushrooms though the sodium level was a tad too high. Prawns were large and succulent too!

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I love anything and everything pumpkin so the Braised Pumpkin Casserole with Seafood ($18++) is my personal favourite. Steamed till soft, the whole sweet pumpkin acts as a bowl to contain the savoury braised seafood. Two thumbs up!

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I was fully prepared to like it (since I like yam almost as much as I like pumpkin) but the Deep-Fried Yam Ring ($20++) didn’t make the cut. Everyone agreed that the yam was bland to the point of being tasteless. The only saving grace was the stir-fried mixture of assorted veg, chicken cubes and cashew nuts.

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In my dictionary, no meal is complete without desserts. I was surprised to like the Chilled Mango Pudding ($3.50++) since it’s not as gelatinous as I had expected. Milk was added to complement the sweet mango.

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 I felt cheated when I saw the Chilled Sago Cream with Mango & Pomelo ($4.30++)! I thought it would be the type sold at “Ji De Chi” since its Chinese name on the menu reads “Yang Zhi Gan Lu”. This is more like honeydew sago cream with a change in fruits. Disappointing, to say the least.

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A bitter dessert is an oxymoron but I take my Chilled Herbal Jelly ($3.80++) without honey since I like its bitterness. The best herbal jelly eaten in my life is in Hong Kong (let me know if you want the address!); this doesn’t even come close but it’s not too bad.

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It’s nearly always a must to have the Yam Paste with Ginko Nuts ($3.80++) at every Cantonese Chinese restaurant. I like that the paste was not overtly smooth as I like texture in my food. Mixed with liquid lard and coconut milk, this is definitely artery-clogging in every bite but so worth it!

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This being a weekday night, we practically had the whole place to ourselves. Which was great because it means the staff had only us to be attentive to! If there’s a chance, I’ll love to come back for a sample of its dim sum!

 

 

Yan Palace Restaurant
Blk 531, Upper Cross Street
#01-49, Hong Lim Complex
6222 2516

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RedDot Brewhouse

This post is dedicated to QW, a dear friend who celebrated her special day at the uber cool Dempsey Hill with Bingo games, a live band (which is fantastic!), food & drinks (what’s a party without these?!), and of course, loved ones (yes, I know you love me!).

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A little reminder to show that I care
A few thoughts in my mind, openly shared.
Where should I begin, before time runs out?
Has it already been another year?

Margarita Lime: tequila, lime & sprite on  the rocks

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From the beginning, you made us laugh,
With your silly jokes and candid actions.
Who would have guessed; after five years (and counting),
We are still friends, the everlasting type.

Monster Green Lager: brewed with spirulina for that unique colour

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Each year your birthday reminds me,
That I really want to say
I’m very glad I know you;
A truer friend is hard to find.
 

Weizen (Wheat Beer): chilled liquid gold

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Happy 21st birthday, my precious friend,
My love for you, I wish to extend.
Experiences filled with joy and laughter,
Special memories, we shall recall after.

French Fries, Potato Cheese Balls, Onion Rings, Calamari etc: the usual deep-fried pub grub

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On this special day, I wish you much pleasure and joy;
I hope all of your wishes come true.
May each hour and minute be filled with delight,
And love always surround you!

To my funniest friend ever, QW: Happy 21st birthday! I’m honoured to be part of your special day.  Love you! 

 

 

RedDot Brewhouse
Blk 25A, Dempsey Road
#01-01, Tanglin Village
6475 0500

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