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Archive for July, 2011

Service at Room with a View was excellent; we actually reached after its closing hour but the lady boss graciously allowed us to have a quick meal while they cleaned up the small kitchen area. Dinner was a simple smoked salmon grilled panini ($12.50) with melted cheese, obviously made with care so points given for not feeding us a rushed slipshod sandwich. We even had time for cakes and the lemon slice ($4) topped with citrus peel was delightfully light but what I like even more is the signature carrot cake ($5)! So moist with a rustic chunky texture, this may very well surpass Cedele’s as my favourite carrot cake (in Singapore)~

Room with a View 
17 Carpenter St, #05-01
6438 4230

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While The Book Cafe may not be a foodie destination, it’s a great place to nua (a.k.a. laze) the whole afternoon away. No one will chase you away with subtle hints that you are occupying the super comfy couches longer than you should, and there’s lots of magazines and books for company if you are here as a lonely soul. Besides pasta and sandwiches, an all-day breakfast menu is available. My smoked salmon with sunny side up eggs and toast ($14.95+) looked very meh and was indeed nothing fantastic, but I still enjoyed it cuz it’s exactly my kind of brekkie, haha.

The Book Cafe 
Seng Kee Building
20 Martin Road

6887 5430

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Sad to say, I hate this green tea & red bean roll ($7) as much as I love its kaya counterpart from Rich & Good. Scant green tea fragrance, tough azuki beans and the greasy aftertaste reminds me of cheap cream, ick.

That’s it, no more adventurous eating. I shall stick to my boring but oh-so-good kaya roll next time~

Rich & Good Cake Shop 
24 Kandahar Street
6294 3324

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A Curious Teepee

At the risk of sounding like a mountain turtle, I’ve got to tell you that this is my first time to *scape! Being surrounded by too many teenagers at one go sounds too depressing and makes me feel old. Not that I’m old. I’m not. But still.. I miss the good ol’ school days~

Anyway, I went there cuz I was curious about A Curious Teepee.. It’s an all-in-one “lifestyle store, café/ bar and social space”. Talk about being ambitious, huh. For a jack of all trades, the food here is surprisingly good and I even found a new favourite! Read on :)

Coffee beans are from Papa Palheta so there’s no need to worry about getting a crappy cup of caffeine.

While the friend was entertaining me with her funny stories, I was discreetly devouring my vegetable tart ($8.50) at the speed of light. It was food, I was hungry, so it was all good, haha.

Have you ever tried a savoury waffle ($15.80)?

It’s like an interesting open-faced sandwich sans the bread, with toppings of chicken, bacon and cheese. Somewhat an acquired taste since it’s a jumble of textures in the mouth.

I mentioned about my new favourite earlier, didn’t I? Here it is, the flourless orange almond cake ($8.50)!! Super moist and dense texture, and the orangey fragrance makes this a double yum.

Love love l.o.v.e. this. It’s the perfect afternoon tea cake!

Also well-loved by us, the best seller apple drummer ($8.50) has chunks of apples hidden within a warm buttery crust. How cozy. And I’m so happy that the vanilla ice cream sitting on top of the cute drummer (it collapsed soon after the pic, lol) has real vanilla beans in it! That, to me, speaks volume about the quality of the food A Curious Teepee serves. Will be back, yes!

A Curious Teepee
2 Orchard Link
#02-24 *Scape

6820 1680

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I was away from Singapore for the past week so I didn’t even know that Singapore Food Festival has already started! WOLS me, I know, haha.

Anyway, in conjunction with the annual foodie festival, The Line Buffet at Shangri-La Hotel is launching The Spicy Line Up from 15 to 24 July 2011. Using spices as the focus, 9 dishes have been specially created by the chefs for this event. There’s lamb, beef, ribs, chicken, salmon, ox tongue and even a unique five spices cake! Add these to the usual raw seafood, salads, cooked food, sushi and sashimi, desserts etc from the 16 live cooking stations and there’s definitely something for everyone!

That’s the beauty of buffets, ya? :)

Though I didn’t personally try 7 out of those 9 new creations, I brought my trusty makan companion along to the tasting session and according to her, the 4 dishes below stood out from the rest.

Above: Braised chicken thigh with citrus mayonnaise mustard sauce.

Below: Lamb tagine with prunes.

Spare ribs with spices and curry sauce.

 Five spices sponge cake.

This I did try and I love it! So moist and soft, and the combination of hazelnut and star anise works surprisingly well together. Brilliant~ I really hope this stays permanently!

Since I’ve got the recipe (available for all guests at the restaurant), I think I’ll try baking this at home! Anyone wanna be my guinea pig? Lol.

The rest of The Spicy Line Up: (clockwise from centre) bhattida chop; charred beef with spiced salt; braised ox tongue; Asian style cured salmon gravlax; and braised beef cheek with five spices.

From the normal buffet selections, I absolutely adore the crabmeat with avocado and mango salad. Wonderfully creamy and fresh, I thought that’s a very classy thing to serve at a buffet! And I made two rounds for the sushi and sashimi section, which has my all-time favourite unagi sushi~

Desserts-wise, the quality is quite good! There’s mango pudding, chocolate fondue, ice cream, an interesting apple wasabi cheesecake, carrot cake, strawberry shortcake, and for this month’s special, indulge in a nutty slice of piemont that’s very ferrero rocher-like, haha.

The Spicy Line Up is coming to an end this coming Sunday so if you are feeling in the mood for buffets, give The Line a go! :)

Special thanks to Grace, Communications Manager of Shangri La Hotel, for the invitation and hosting us for lunch~

Lunch:
Mon – Fri : Adult $47 / Child $24
Sat : Adult $50 / Child $25
Sun : Adult $78 (free flow selected cocktails & juices) / Child $42

Dinner:
Fri – Mon : Adult $68 / Child $34
Crabby Tuesdays : Adult $68 ($88, free flow red and white wine) / Child $34
Get Grilled Wednesdays :  $78 (free flow red & white wine, draft beer, soft drinks & juices) / Child $34
Marine Harvest Thursdays : Adult $88 (free flow red & white wine, draft beer, soft drinks & juices) / Child $44

The Line 
Shangri-La Hotel
22 Orange Grove Road

6213 4275

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Antoinette

Me: I wanna go Antoinette! Looks pretty~~

Ms Hang: Okie. Where is this ANT place? Sounds like very sweet.

Me: HAHAHA!!!

And that’s how we ended up at “this ANT place” for late lunch cum high tea. It’s a lovely place to be, an imitation of Parisian salons (think small-scale Ladurée) with vintage furniture and decor. Service is good, food is decent (the friends compared their pancakes and pasta with McDonald’s and PastaMania respectively, ouch!) and the cakes are nice but nothing exceptional. Still, I’d be back for that pseudo little slice of Paris in Singapore ;)

Brioche, kugelhopf (so missing the one from Ladurée!), pain au chocolat, almond croissants… Pastries heaven!

Salade Antoinette ($14.50++): Crab meat, boiled egg, yuzu dressing, tomato, pine nuts, toasted brioche and mixed greens.

Club Antoinette ($18++): Pain de Mie toast, crab mimosa, mustard, omelette, tomato, lettuce, and petit salad with house dressing.

Savoury French pancakes with grilled sausage, French butter, grilled tomato and salad ($13++).

Marinara ($24++): Spaghetti sauteed with mussels, scallops, squids and prawns in a white wine tomato sauce with chilli.

Le Royale ($8++): Dark chocolate mousse 64%, almond meringue, hazelnut almond feullitine, chocolate genoise, dark rum. Canele’s classic given a new look.

Tahiti ($15++): Sweet crepes with strawberry compote, strawberry coulis, vanilla ice cream, vanilla tuile and vanilla crème Chantilly.

Antoinette ($9++): Milk chocolate mousse infused with earl grey tea, chocolate biscuit, raspberry coulis, dark chocolate earl grey tea cremeux, earl grey tea crumble.

Pierce the sphere and out flows the raspberry coulis.

Multi-layered Antoinette.

I like.

Antoinette 
30 Penhas Road
6293 3121 

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In anticipation of my trip to Barcelona in Sep, I’ve been in a tapas mood lately so dinner with the friends-of-10-years-and-counting was at Sabio, the latest tapas bar in Singapore. Sabio is the type of place you either love or hate. It’s cramped (a long bar counter and 3 small communal sharing tables), noisy (think atmospheric), crowded (popular drinking hole for expats) and stifling (warm night, that’s why); I can tell that the friends hate it, I’m neutral about it since I’ve been to much smaller and rowdier makan joints in Europe.

Tapas-wise, only the eggplant caviar on roasted garlic toast ($11++) left a deep impression. It’s cold, flavourful, and made a wonderful spread on the crispy toast. Fried potatoes with garlic mayo ($8++) are essentially overpriced potato wedges (zzz), not the cubed form which I prefer. I love salt cod after having it almost everyday while in Venice and Verona, but the bacalao with red capsicum ($18++) here ain’t nice. Too tough and chewy. Tortilla espanola a.k.a. traditional potato and onion omelette ($10++) was so-so, better ones can be found at (imo) My Little Spanish Place and Don Quijote. Chicken and seafood paella ($22++) was a real disappointment.. So wet and soggy, me no like.

Sabio Tapas Bar & Restaurant 
5 Duxton Hill
6223 4645

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From 5th July to 31st August, Plaza Brasserie at Parkroyal has a really value-for-money promotion going on! “Best of Asia with the Freshest Catch” is happening at the hotel’s buffet line for dinner on weekdays.

Simply pay $45++ per adult ($27++ per child), choose your favourite freshest catch of the day (promfret, sea bass, baby snapper, sea bream, kee fish, milk fish, red and black tilapia), pick out your preferred preparation style (Hong Kong, Teo Chew, Nonya, Thai lime and chili, Indian or Malay fish head curry), sit back and relax. A whole fish will be served, no kidding. And you can try as many as you like. My advice is to bring more people with you (the more the merrier!) so that you can taste more and waste less.

My favourite has to be the cantonese style (fresh sea bass, delish sauce, nothing more I’d ask for), followed closely by the Malay snapper fish head curry. Surprising, since I’m usually not a fan of curries. The version here suits me since it’s not too spicy or heavy and the meat was cooked till tender. I didn’t quite like the Indian style cuz of the strong turmeric flavour. Teo Chew and Thai lime styles were pretty good too but the fried kee fish was terribly salty.

At the buffet line, the spread is decent, though not spectacular. Watch your laksa, roti prata (must try the chocolate prata!!), pasta, oyster omelette being prepared right in front of you at the chefs’ “live” cooking station. Then there’s your usual salads (sweet mayo crabmeat, corn with bacon, baked sweet potato or DIY caesar), cold (sushi, sashimi, oysters, mussels) and hot food (fried clams, stir-fried beef, braised oxtail, deep-fried almond prawns) and of course, desserts (chocolate truffles, bread pudding, longan beancurd, sea coconut ice jelly)! 

 I just took whatever I felt like having that day so I can’t honestly say what’s good and what’s not since I didn’t try everything at the buffet. Not too helpful, I know, haha. How about you give it a go and let me know the must-have and the better-avoid? :) Anyway, dishes which I tried and I think worth a mention are the mango salad (really cannot go wrong with this), eggplant salad (tossed and dressed nicely), soft shell crabs (very crispy and meaty!), and braised sea cucumber (not rubbery and tough at all)~

Special thanks to Karen, marketing communications manager of Parkroyal, for the kind invitation! Lunch was made enjoyable cuz of you :)

Plaza Brasserie (PARKROYAL Hotel) 
7500A Beach Road
6505 5710

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Mom insisted that I’ve tried the famous Swiss rolls from Rich & Good Cake Shop before but I really can’t remember! It must have been when I was a kid when food was just food to me. Or in this case, when cake was just cake :p

A real tiny shop along Kandahar Street, that’s where you will find (imo) the best Swiss roll in Singapore!

I love the kaya version ($7) while the family votes for the durian roll ($7). Which means more leftover kaya roll for me then, haha.

My personal favourite eating method?

Straight from the fridge, when the filling is still so cold that I imagine it’s kaya ice cream being wrapped up in the most incredibly soft, moist and light sponge cake.. Mmm.

Rich & Good Cake Shop 
24 Kandahar Street
6294 3324

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It’s the weekend! Ready to chill out?

Head to Kinki Restaurant & Bar then!

Recently, I was invited to Kinki for a tasting and boy, did I have a great time there, thanks to the wonderful combination of alcohol, good food and fun company. Kinki is located by the bay so awesome views are a guarantee. Have some cocktails at the alfresco rooftop bar before dinner like I did. I like yuzu caipirinha ($16++), a concoction of rum, lime, orange, yuzu umeshu and sugar, for its refreshing bitterness. Geisha sake-rita ($16++, tequila, passion umeshu, orange liqeur, passion fruit syrup) was disturbingly bland so I’ll give that a pass next time. Spicy hachimitshu ($16++, vodka, honey umeshu, wasabi, lemon and cucumber) is for the adventurous tastebuds and the heat from horseradish is surprisingly delightful.

When dusk turned to night, we made our way down from the rooftop bar to the restaurant, where it’s a transition from light to dark… But dark it may seem, there’s splashes of colours everywhere! Far from being gloomy, the restaurant had a nice busy vibe on a weekday night.

Dinner was off to a great start with the superbly sweet and fresh momotaro tomato ($16++). A personal favourite of mine!

Get a little greens for balance. I’d highly recommend the sakura ebi salad ($18++), a fabulously wafu-dressed dish that I still remember fondly today.

 Kinki’s truffle dressing hit me immediately when the tai carpaccio ($30++) was placed on the table! Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the thinly sliced snapper :)

Our assorted sashimi platter of otoro ($80++), shima aji ($24++) and uni ($56++) was very fresh! Of course, I wouldn’t have expect anything less.

Amaebi ($35++), shrimps so sweet and lush!

Unagi & Hokkaido scallop maki ($26++) is actually quite normal. But because it has everything I like, from eel and scallop to snow crab and avocado, I think I was the one who finished most of it~

Botan ebi & uni aburi sushi ($32++) is interesting.. I’ve never seen this combination before and it works! Creamy uni goes well with almost anything and everything (biased me just saying)!

Carnivores (yours truly excluded), remember to try the foie gras & scallop sushi ($22++), one of Kinki’s signatures!

Omg, the anago sushi ($12++ for 2) is sooooo good! So soft that it just melted in my mouth. Sigh, I’m missing this.

I’ve been loving grilled fugu ($18++) ever since I discovered it a couple of years ago. A cross between barbecued cuttlefish and bak kwa, this is so addictive, especially with the spicy sesame togarashi aioli!

Love the roasted baby sweet potato ($12++) too! The sweet miso crème fraiche is a nice change from boring mayo or plain sour cream.

I’ve had countless miso cod and sadly, Kinki’s pomegranate miso black cod ($24++) didn’t leave any lasting impression. Can’t detect any hint of pomegranate at all.. It’s just decent and pretty forgettable.

Now, the last dish is also the one I honestly didn’t like. Kinki style okonomiyaki ($24++) has toppings of scallops, prawns and smoked bacon on thick toasted bread. Though described as a pizza, I think it’s more like bruschetta. Guess the okonomiyaki purist in me still prefer the traditional pancake-cum-omelette base.

No one comes to Kinki just for desserts. There’s only ice cream ($6++ per scoop, add $1++ for toppings) and nothing else (except a daily special). Black sesame, green tea and yuzu.. Take your pick! :)

Special thanks to Shasha from Foodnews and Carrie from The Marmalade Group for the kind invitation and for being such fabulous hosts!

Kinki Restaurant & Bar
70 Collyer Quay
#02-02 Customs House
6533 3471

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