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Archive for March, 2011

First Thai

When I recalled the meal at First Thai last night, the first word that came to mind was “shiok!!”. It was a really satisfying dinner, and to date, it’s definitely one of the best Thai eateries I’ve discovered in Singapore so far.

First Thai is a no frills diner; there’s no air conditioning, no ambience, and no fancy decor to speak of. There’s also no GST and service charge, yay! Once you open the menu, a long list of “rules” will greet you after ‘Sawadika’. Rules such as “maximum waiting time for guests is strictly 10mins only” and “we don’t serve drinks only”. There’s even one that implements a charge of $5 for cutting of cakes (so now you know where not to hold any birthday celebration)! I think it’s pretty ridiculous to charge $0.50 for warm water and if you want ice? Another $0.50, please.

But like I said, it’s no frills so I don’t really care about all those house rules. What’s important to me was the food, and boy, it was sooo good! There’s a diverse range of dishes on the menu, and it was hard to decide which to order cuz there’s just too many I wanted to try~ Luckily, the four dishes we picked were so delicious that I’m absolutely going back for more!

I practically finished the mango salad ($8) by myself cuz the friend thought it was too sour. Me? I love anything sour, the more the merrier~

Then there was the seafood Tom Yum soup ($7) which had a perfect balance of spiciness, sourness, and saltiness!

My favourite dish of the night was the Thai vegetable omelette with Belachan chilli ($10). I’ve never seen this in any other Thai restaurants before so to me, this was pretty special. You may think it’s just eggs and vegetables but it’s very well done! Fried till crispy and non-oily on the outside, it was still moist and juicy on the inside~

Last but certainly not the least, I also love the soft shell crab with curry gravy ($15)! This looks fiery hot but it’s actually more sweet than spicy, a welcome change since the mango salad and Tom Yum soup were already spicy enough.

Oh, did I mention I’ll be back? 😉

First Thai
23 Purvis Street
6339 3123

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My plate of three salads and a main from Ottolenghi was still as colourful as before, so bright and cheery that it made me happy just looking at it! I had the salmon, aubergine and butternut squash again, prepared in a different style this time round. Everything was lipsmackingly good and flavourful as usual, though I wish I didn’t pick the oddly sourish tabouleh since it wasn’t as refreshing as expected.

Clockwise from top left:

Teriyaki grilled salmon with chilli, red onion, lime, coriander, pineapple and papaya salsa;

Roasted butternut squash with burnt butter, cardamon yogurt, chilli and spicy pumpkin seeds;

Roasted aubergine with tahini yogurt, almond and panko crust, garlic and basil;

Pearl barley tabouleh with red onion, celery, lemon, sumac and rocket.

And of course, I wouldn’t dream of leaving without any dessert! Last time it was a most wonderfully perfect passion fruit meringue tart; this time it’s gotta be the flourless lemon polenta cake which I’ve been eyeing for so long.

A gorgeous looking cake, isn’t it? I love how lemony, crumbly and moist this is, and the generous bits of crushed pistachios in it enhance the texture tenfold!

And this is such a healthy treat! Lemon (the poster child of Vitamin C), polenta (lots of fibre), and pistachios (good fats for you), jam-packed in a lovely package. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? 😉

13 Motcomb Street, Belgravia

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£1,995 worth of eggs, flour and sugar, that’s how high a price this monster princess of a cake fetches in Harrods. And that’s in pounds, which translates to about S$4,035! *gasp*

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My jaw dropped when I saw the price tag of this princess castle cake at Harrods in London.

Can you guess how much it costs??

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Cafe Hacienda

I wanted to try the popular brunch at Cafe Hacienda but unfortunately, it was way past 5pm (cut-off time for the “all-day” brunch) when the friend finally arrived. We tried cajoling the waitress to let us order from the brunch menu (after all, there’s got to be eggs left in the kitchen right?) but was rejected since “the system has closed” (whatever that means).

So dinner it was, sigh..

… then we waited. And waited. And waited. The food took a long time to come, even though only a few other tables were occupied. Hungry diners are not happy people, ok? Hmm, and the food was not even good enough to justify the ridiculously long waiting time. Nothing special, just a very diluted mushroom soup ($9++), normal Cajun wedges ($10++), mediocre fish & chips ($16++), and grilled shrimp tacos ($11++) with tortillas tasting suspiciously like what you can get from the supermarket.

I think the highlight came when the friend remarked that “Long John Silver has better fish & chips!”

Ouch.

Cafe Hacienda
13 Dempsey Road
6476 2922

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Ah Loy Thai

I’ve known about the existence of Ah Loy Thai ever since I started patronising Tom’s Palette years ago. But I’ve never been inclined to test out the food until recently when I spotted really really long queues on two separate occasions. Is that a good sign or what?

Anyway, I was determined not to join the queue so I made it a point to reach there after the lunch rush hour. It was still slightly packed but we didn’t have to wait for a table. Ordering was a breeze; just fill up the order form, hand it to the staff at the counter and pay up. Before long, our food was served, yay!

Sadly, the meal didn’t start off too well. My must-order of mango salad ($5.30) was disappointing.. Too watery and there’s so much chilli that the heat was overwhelming, so much so that my dormant tear glands were given a good workout.

Another Thai dish that always appear on my table is the fried tofu ($5.50). Average, and not as smooth or soft as Porn’s

I only sampled a spoonful of the pineapple fried rice ($5.90). Again, nothing fantastic.

Now, I’ve saved the best for the last.

In this case, I surprise even myself that the best is the fried butter calamari ($7.50) cuz I hate squid. But wow, this is insanely good! Instead of being tough and chewy-like-rubber (my perception of all things squid), this was almost meltingly tender and still slightly crisp. Of course, the addictive buttery flavour helps big time too!

I’m still undecided whether I like Ah Loy. While I love the calamari, the other dishes were rather pedestrian. I’m guessing that this humble eatery is popular cuz a meal here is so economical (no GST and service charge) and you get decent Thai food with good portions. And then there’s fantastic ice cream less than 10 steps away for a sweet ending. Not too bad a deal, aye?

For me though, Ah Loy is classified under KIV for the time being~

 

Ah Loy Thai
100 Beach Road
#01-39/40 Shaw Leisure Gallery 
9165 1543

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PS Cafe

I kind of have a love-hate relationship with PS Cafe.

I love the ambience but hate how noisy and crowded it always is;

I love the gorgeous desserts but hate the “proper” food which is seriously overpriced;

I love the idea of generous portions but hate the actual gigantic servings cuz it means bye-bye to portion control and the hope of ever getting a flat tummy;

I love what’s printed on the menu but hate the “minimum order of one menu item per customer” policy.

The last I really hate. But I guess the love outweighs the hate cuz somehow, I still find myself returning regularly.

I’ve been there countless times for desserts and with each visit, I always find a new favourite.

This time, it’s the Southern Fudgy Chocolate Pecan Pie ($12.90++)! The filling is like moist, rich and fudgy (for once, the label don’t lie) chocolate brownie mixed with lots of crunchy pecans, is that awesome or what?? 

Puddings-wise, the sticky date ($12.90++) is decent but no one except the person who ordered it (you know who you are!) liked the lemon steamed pudding ($12.90++), haha. On that note, I think ordering of desserts should be left to girls; we seem to have an innate ability to source out the good ones ;p

M’s Carrot Cake ($9.90++) was not in our radar at first but we had to get it cuz of the irritating abovementioned policy. It’s surprisingly good with a bold cinnamon flavour though it’s pretty dense for a carrot cake. 

And I just can’t go to PS Cafe and not order a chocolate cake. Not just any chocolate cake, but the Double Chocolate Blackout ($14.90++). I can’t even describe how decadent and sinful this is. This is the one cake you’ve got to try it to believe.

Actually, I’ve got a secret to confess. I actually love the Chocolate Crunch Doorstop more than Blackout. Ya, you can imagine how delicious Doorstop is if it can surpass the likes of Blackout! Sadly, I couldn’t have it that day cuz it’s only available at the Palais Renaissance outlet.

Note to self: Palais Renaissance next!

PS Cafe
28B Harding Road
9070 8782

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