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Archive for May, 2013

PARK at Holland Village

PARK at Holland Village has appalling CMI (cannot make it) service.

No one entertained us at the door and we had to ask for coasters. And serviettes. And water. And sugar. The most classic (and awkward) part was when the pastas arrived without any cutleries and his sarcastic “errr, we are finding it a challenge to have our meals” wasn’t even met with an apology. Just a subtle nod. Hello, we are paying the 10% service charge for this?

Fail fail FAIL.

Chef is another fickle minded fellow. My request to have smoked salmon instead of bacon for my eggs benedict was initially given the green light. Then 3 sec later, the waitress came back and said no he changed his mind. I countered with “I’m willing to top up” and suddenly, it’s “ok!” again.

Sheesh, money really makes the world go round.

Food was a hit and miss. I liked my eggs ben; eggs poached well and toasted rounds of bread were good. Likewise, he raved about the ciabatta for his chipotle chicken sandwich. Makes me wonder who supplies the bread to PARK. Taro chips were more addictive than truffle fries (yes it’s possible, truffle doesn’t always win) and unfortunately, their pastas were “not nice” (exact quote!), oh well.

Gotta choose wisely, folks.

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Cappuccino ($5.50++)

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Truffle Fries ($8.50++)

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Eggs Benedict ($13.80++) with Smoked Salmon (additional $2++)

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Tiger Prawn Aglio Olio ($17.50++)

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Seafood Marinara ($17.50++)

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Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta ($11.80++) with Taro Chips

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PARK at Holland Village
#01-01, 281 Holland Avenue
9721 3815

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Overdoughs, the bakery offshoot of Artichoke Cafe, has launched a simple but absolutely delicious lunch menu! Extremely pleased to drop by for a tasting after the wonderful meal we had at Artichoke a few weeks ago.

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Located at Sculpture Square and sharing the same space as Artichoke, the lunch menu is available for takeaway or to be enjoyed at the alfresco area, in the midst of Artichoke’s edible garden.

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A perfect thirst quencher is the homemade mint & basil lemonade ($3.50), so refreshing! The herbs are freshly plucked from the edible garden above!

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How lunch works (12-2pm, weekdays):

1. Choose a base: pita bread, nacho chips, or spiced rice infused with cumin, turmeric and peppered with currants
2. Choose the fillings: Lebanese roast chicken ($8.50) marinated in yoghurt and spices, gluten-free flourless Turkish beef meatballs ($9), or garlic mushrooms ($8) for vegetarians

What brings it all together are the exotic sauces: toum (hot garlic sauce), zhug (green chilli sauce), ezme (Turkish tomato salsa), and tahini (roasted sesame sauce). I was initially skeptical about mingling so many sauces together but it works! The folks at Overdoughs know their stuff.

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Creamy hummus ($2.50) is my favourite! Get extra Arabic bread to mop up the chickpea spread!

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More of the addictive garlic mushrooms! Locally grown by Kin Yan Agriculture, the mix ranges from meaty abalone or golden oyster mushrooms to the delicate willow variety, depending on what’s fresh that day.

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We were supposed to be only tasting Overdoughs’ menu but owner Bjorn kindly fed us more food, awesomeeeee!

Scrambled eggs and maple glazed bacon chop is a present classic at brunch. Basically heart attack on a plate, super thick and fat bacon chop is what you get!

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Smoked salmon with beetroot tzatziki on za’atar toast looks so beautiful! Top marks for presentation. If you like your food colourful and flavourful, Artichoke is where you want to be!

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After all that savoury food, it’s time for a lot of sugar!

Lemon/passionfruit meringue tarts have been done to death recently so Overdoughs’ soursop meringue tart ($5.40) is a welcome change. That said, I prefer the boring lemon/passionfruit combi since the tanginess is more distinct and pronounced. I like sour>sweet desserts!

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If you think a meringue tart was all we had, guess again. Like I said, Bjorn loves to feed his guests great food and the platter of sweets he brought out had us ooh-ing and aah-ing! Such an impressive and gorgeous plate of calories, don’t you agree?

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Walnut baklava, fig chutney & pistachio baklava, cashew baklava, traditional’ baklava, chocolate & almond baklava, orange almond meal tea cakesnickers tart, roasted banana muffin (prices range from $5.40 to $6.40)… Overwhelmed, in a happy way!

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Baklavas are grossly sweet by nature so I can’t fault the phyllo pastries for being so sweet (and slightly oily). Credits to Overdoughs for taming the sweetness to suit the local palate!

Flourless orange cake with mascarpone cheese is the most conventional item on the platter and that’s easy to love.

Snickers tart is literally that, snickers in tart form: layers of peanut butter nougatine, salted caramel and peanut brittle within a cornflake crust! Isn’t that brilliant? I wish I could have it all but it’s so rich that while the heart is willing, the tummy surrendered after a couple of bites.

The best surprise is the banana muffin! Now, I generally don’t like bananas or muffins but this hearty cake with roasted banana chunks, fresh blueberries and sticky marshmallow streusel is soooo good! I certainly don’t mind having this for breakfast or tea on an indulgent day!

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My special thanks to Stefanie from Ate Integrated Communications for the invitation, and to owners Bjorn and Roxanne for the warm hospitality!

Overdoughs / Artichoke Café & Bar
161 Middle Road
 6336 6946

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… is from The Big Sheila?

$20++ for a pot of tiramisu that’s too dry, a real disappointment considering how much I’ve raved about the food previously. And it doesn’t help that just 2 weeks before our visit, the price tag was only $18++! Yo-yo pricing needs a limit, imo.

By the way, most photographs feature female hands but mine is K’s! If you want to hire him as your hand model, text me hahaha. Kidding.

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The Big Sheila
15 Swan Lake Avenue
6645 4422

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Woohoo, finally found a better-than-average okonomiyaki restaurant in Singapore! Nanjya Monjya may be located in Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, but prices are not exorbitant at all. Mostly Japanese clientele and staff, that’s assuring. Appetisers, fried food, and a bewildering selection of okonomiyaki and monjayaki to choose from, which means I took ages to study the menu haha.

One of the daily specials was a fluffy crab omelette doused with a sweet-sourish sauce, so good that it made us all reluctant to share, heh. While the guys had the gyoza, I opted for konnyaku skewers. Bland on its own, luckily rescued by the accompanying savoury black bean sauce! Okonomiyaki was the highlight imo, cooked to order, hot and pleasantly light-tasting. We ordered three variations and wolfed them down. No monjayaki because the style is too wet and runny, I prefer the cousin. Another reason why I like this place is that they use grated yam instead of flour for the tororo okonomiyaki, and let me replace the squids (by default) with prawns. Approved!

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Kani Tamago ($14++)
crab omelette

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Yaki Gyoza ($12++)
pan-fried dumplings

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Konnyaku Dengaku ($9++)
konnyaku skewers, black bean sauce

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Buta Modan ($17++); Mentaiko Dama ($18++)
pork belly okonomiyaki, yakisoba; pollock roe okonomiyaki

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Tororo Dama ($20++)
grated yam okonomiyaki, prawns

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Nanjya Monjya Japanese Restaurant
#01-03/04/05 Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
390A Havelock Road
6738 7177

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Nestled within Adam Park, on a hill overlooking Adam Road, 7Adam Gallery Restaurant sits inside an elegant black and white colonial-style building. As its name suggests, it’s part restaurant, part art gallery, with several artworks scattered tastefully around the dining rooms. If K ain’t with me for the tasting that day, I’d be inclined to bring him on a date there as I’ve since pegged it as a romantic dining destination (as we know, he’s got a thing for ambience).

Menu is contemporary fusion, European with a touch of Asian influence. Decent food, nothing too exciting, all very acceptable. Ironically, the one dish that stood out for me was what the rest of the table didn’t try: masala marinated atlantic cod! Flavour was spot on, mild instead of overpowering. Texture was soft and tender, no overcooked fish, phew~ Another dish that I really like was the salad tossed with yuzu walnuts and citrus fruits, very refreshing and if you like rojak, you would love the ginger flower dressing too! That’s also solely for me, while the rest indulged in their foie gras salad (which admittedly had a great aroma).

I also gave my vote to the deconstructed sprout risotto, crunchy, rice-less and carb-free. Oh yes, everyone in our group raved about the humble potato too! Potato galette and potato fondant were supposed to be the sides but they clearly turned out to be the stars, instead of the grilled mackerel and wagyu beef. Celeriac lasagne with mushrooms definitely can’t hold a candle to Halia’s. The latter is a powerhouse of umami flavours, and 7Adam’s rendition was too.. Weak, for lack of a better word. Need more tweaking.

Desserts were a hit and a miss; white wine poached peach was easy to love, while the components on the plate of hazelnut parfait, cocoa soil, pistachio biscotti and financier came off as too individualistic. Nice on its own, but made no sense when eaten all at once.

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veloute of trio pepper soup

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hokkaido scallops carpaccio

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celeriac lasagne layered with sautéed spinach, duxelle mushrooms, morel jus

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salad with foie gras cubes, apples, pinenuts sautéed with ginger

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thai influenced salad tossed with ginger flower dressing, yuzu walnuts, citrus fruits

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deconstructed sprout risotto, sliced truffle, emulsion of mushrooms and wine

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grilled atlantic mackerel, potato galette stuffed with parma ham, truffle olive rice

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oven baked masala marinated atlantic cod, pilaf rice, haricot beans, lemongrass infused cream sauce

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pan seared wagyu striploin, thai asparagus, potato fondant, green lime infused beef jus

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hazelnut parfait, cocoa soil, pistachio biscotti, financier

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white wine poached peach, vanilla crumble, white wine granita, sesame tuille

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Thanks to Mindy and Mei Yan from Touch PR & Events for the invitation! Happy to finally meet you ladies.

7Adam Gallery Restaurant
7 Adam Park
6467 0777

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Was a trio of salads from Ottolenghi, all the way from London!

Favourite roasted aubergine is a MUST, this time it’s prepared with sorrel yogurt, pecans and radishes. Roasted sweet potato may not be butternut squash, but hey, I’m easy when it comes to Ottolenghi. Still very delicious coated with peanut satay sauce, chilli and coriander. And that unappetising looking glob at the back? That happens to be my all-time love, hummus with butterbeans, roasted red peppers and harissa oil.

Total damage for the above: £24. Or $46. Expensive, yes. Worth it? Absolutely!

Craving satisfied now. Missing shall continue.

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Thanks, dear batchgirl, for making the trip there specially and taking such great care of this box of “atas veggie”!! Muackz.

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Full house at 11pm on a Saturday night, Nine Thirty by Awfully Chocolate must be doing something right! It replaces Mooshi Bakes and besides a more comprehensive menu, nothing much has changed.

While the guys polished off their meals (the three mushrooms penne is VERY good), I waited impatiently to get started on the desserts. Flourless chocolate cake and mousse-like cold poached chocolate were nice, but what we will keep going back for is the hei ice cream, bliss.

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Three Mushrooms Penne ($16++)
shimeji, portobello, white button, cream sauce

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Nine Thirty B.E.M. ($15++)
bacon, poached eggs, grilled portobello, cheese, sweet bun

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Flourless Chocolate Cake ($5.61++)
dark chocolate cake, icing sugar

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Cold Poached Chocolate ($5.61++)
slow set soft chocolate, vanilla cream (which I did without)

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Hei Ice Cream ($5.79++ for double scoop)

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Nine Thirty by Awfully Chocolate
131 East Coast Road
6345 2190

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