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DISCLAIMER

The views expressed in this blog are based entirely on personal tastes and preferences. Please do not take them as professional interpretations.

If you have any comments/suggestions/places you think serve great food, do share with us! Email me at qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com or leave a comment in the tag board. Thanks and cheers to future gastronomical adventures!

MY TO-GO LIST

7ateNine (Eaten!)
Au Jardin (Eaten!)
Au Petit Salut
Buko Nero (Eaten!)
Cugini (Eaten!)
Forlino (Eaten!)
Gunther's
Jaan (Eaten!)
La Strada
Le Bistrot
Nicolas
Pasta Brava (Eaten!)
Sage (Eaten!)
Tatsuya
Tetsu (Eaten!)

I LIKE

Canele
Cugini
Kuriya
Le Figue
LivinGreens
Nanbantei
Ootoya
Original Sin
Pasta Brava
Sage
Tetsu
Valentino

PAST ENTRIES

April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Revive (13th Visit)
33 Lorne/280 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand
(09) 303 0429

The Turkish Moussaka with Aubergine and Yoghurt Sauce (NZD$14.90) was tantalising to the tastebuds. The vegetarian version substitutes minced meat for lentils which suits me just fine since I love lentils! My only gripe with the dish was that the proportion of eggplant to potato was skewed with the latter encompassing the bulk of the moussaka.

Apparently, there are many versions of moussaka which origins from Greece but is closely associated with the Middle East. In the Arab world, moussaka is a cooked salad made up primarily of tomatoes and eggplant, similar to Italian caponata, and is usually served cold as a mezze dish. I would really like to try that for myself!

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1:59 PM

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Dorothy's Sister
265 Ponsonby Road, 3 Lamps Ponsonby, New Zealand
09 376 2433

Ponsonby has a somewhat "colourful" reputation due to its association with the gay, lesbian and transgender community in Auckland. This cafe apparently caters to these "colourful" people in mind. Kinky ornaments and flashy colours screamed at you from the very first moment you step into the cafe.

The desserts are officially the worst I've ever eaten! The Chocolate Brownie (NZD$6.50) looks decadent but alas, looks can truly be deceiving. It was so sorely underbaked and I felt like I was eating chocolate dough. Even the brownies I bake are 101% nicer than this!
The Lemon Tart (NZD$6.50) is no better. Again, it was like eating dough but with an artificial lemon flavour this time.

The only saving grace for the cafe is the interesting theatrical decor that combines sparkly heels, lush swathes of satin and silk, and ironic little touches like chandeliers and a disco mirror ball in a birdcage. I did a little google search after this horrible experience and oh my, Dorothy's sister is an ex bordello madam and there's Drag Shows on Friday nights!

Fascinating decor aside, the desserts were really crappy with a capital C. From my google search, I found out that reviews ranked this place a 4 out of 5! Hello? I would rank 0/5 for the desserts alone. To be fair, I didn't try the main courses and cocktails. But crappy desserts totally spoilt my mood for the rest of the night. Yes, that's how serious I take my desserts!

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9:32 PM

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Renkon
2/175 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand
09 376 3090

Not knowing where to eat, Sandra and I ended up at this tiny Japanese shop after cruising around the neighbourhood.

The menu was pretty limited with only either udon or rice bowls to choose from. I don't like either one of them but I dislike rice more so it was udon for me. The Salmon Teriyaki (NZD$11) was surprisingly good! It was juicy and tender.

Sandra's Unagi on Rice (NZD$11) looked so delicious! She finished it in record time since she was hungry from not having lunch earlier.

The Octopus Balls (NZD$4) were decent enough but I'm not a big fan of octopus as I don't like chewy seafood (squid and abalone make the list).

The place was very small and narrow. I reckon that this is more of a takeaway place. The kitchen is helmed by a Japanese chef which is a real relief since many Japanese eateries in Auckland are opened by Koreans.

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7:14 PM

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Revive (12th Visit)
16 Fort Street, Auckland, New Zealand
(09) 307 1586

One reason I don't get bored with Revive is that there's new stuff to try every week. Today's lunch was the Cranberry, Brie and Broccoli Tart with Plum Sauce (NZD$14.90). It's absolutely delicious! I requested for a slice in the middle so that I don't get the pastry at the sides. The tart was "eggy" (is there such a word?) and had a nice balance of ingredients. Luckily for me, the brie was hidden well as I couldn't taste it at all.

This is definitely one of my favourites at Revive so far!

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12:14 PM

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Revive (11th Visit)
16 Fort Street, Auckland, New Zealand
(09) 307 1586

The Spicy Bean Burger with Aioli (NZD$14.90) is the weirdest "burger" I've ever seen. Or rather, eaten. It defies the conventional idea of a burger: a patty sandwiched in a bun. I love this because I hate those soft burger bread. Revive's rendition of the burger is fabulous! Every bite was full of fresh ingredients such as potato, onions and kidney beans. And the degree of spiciness was just right.

A fantastic lunch and the weekend is here! What more can a girl ask for?

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12:47 PM

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mezze Bar
9 Durham Street East, Auckland City, New Zealand
9 307 2029

Zoey and I met up for a late lunch before she flies back to Hong Kong tomorrow morning. For this farewell lunch, I brought her to this Auckland icon established since 1992. It's not very easy to find this place as it's hidden along a narrow lane.

The Grilled Mushrooms and Polenta Triangles (NZD$19.50) came with crumbed feta and a leafy salad. The portion of mushrooms was generous and I like the sweet and tangy dressing. However, the polenta wedges were sorely underseasoned as they were rather bland and tasteless.


Zoey had the Smoked Chicken Salad (NZD$18.50) which was drizzled with lemon juice and chilli, served with wood fired Turkish bread. I didn't try it but the presentation looked fabulous.

I like the relaxed and ambient atmosphere which makes this inner-city space very warm and inviting. The staff were very friendly and even helpfully took a photo of us.

The food was nothing out of the extraordinary but value for money since the serving was huge. This is a good place to stop by for a slice of cake after shopping at nearby Queen Street.

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3:29 PM

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Revive (10th Visit)
16 Fort Street, Auckland, New Zealand
(09) 307 1586

The Asparagus, Tarragon and Feta Tart with Red Peppers (NZD$14.90) is a new item on the menu this week. It was almost as nice as the Italian tart! I knew I couldn't go wrong with the Pacifika Lentil Salad with Spinach and Coconut either.

It's hard to get bored with a cafe such as this when the food is so consistently good all the time!

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1:04 PM

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bambina
268 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, New Zealand
09 360 4000

Sandra drove us to this Italian bistro for a lazy Sunday brunch. Ok, lazy for me but not for her since she went for an early swim before picking me up.

Initially, I wanted the Breakfast salad but being the fickle minded me, I changed my order to Poached Eggs on Grains Toast (NZD$8.50) less than 5 minutes later after spotting a woman eating that. I love the way the runny yolk just flowed out when I broke it and the toast soaked it up like a sponge. Sounds yucky but it's delicious!

The Corn Fritter with Bacon and Slow Roasted Tomatoes (NZD$13.50) was good too. It wasn't oily and the generous corn kernels were sweet. This reminded me of my grandma's homemade prawn fritter.

The place was packed when we arrived and we sat at the large communal table scattered with magazines and papers. I kept eyeing a cute little boy with chocolate on his face!

The bistro is very simple and casual but I suspect it's deliberately designed that way. I like the name "Bambina"! It means "young girl" in Italian. I'm a bambina!

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3:37 PM

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Revive (9th Visit)
33 Lorne/280 Queen Street, Auckland, New Zealand
(09) 303 0429

The Regular Salad (NZD$10.90) allowed me to have 3 choices from the very enticing salad bar. With almost no hesitation, I went for the Lentils with Roasted Beetroot, 4 Beans Salad including Chickpeas, and the Sesame, Spinach and Broccoli Salad.

As usual, this was a very satisfying lunch. I've never thought that combining lentils with beetroot would work!

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1:25 PM

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Revive (8th Visit)
16 Fort Street, Auckland
(09) 307 1586

I would say that it's difficult to find a good lasagna anywhere, especially in a cafe that's not Italian. Ususally, the proportion of pasta to filling is skewed or the lasagna falls apart at the 1st cut. The Wholemeal Lasagna with Organic Lentils and Spinach (NZD$14.90) had the 1st problem: too little filling to my liking. Overall, this is decent but definitely not the best I've eaten.

I was invited to be a secret shopper by Revive this week! It was quite fun to observe the activities going on in the cafe discreetly. I hope more cafes in Singapore would implement this system so that they can get specific and honest feedback on their performance.

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1:06 PM

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Revive (7th Visit)
33 Lorne/280 Queen Street, Auckland
(09) 303 0429

The Tuscan Vegetable Bake (NZD$14.90) was a very hearty and filling meal. I like the White Beans and Roasted Kumara with an Orange Dressing Salad especially! Kumara is the Maori word for sweet potato. This sweet tasting root is a nice complement to the creamy beans.

Having eaten here quite a number of times, I think this has made it into the "Top 3" meals at Revive. The ingredients used are so simple yet the end product is healthy and delicious!

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1:57 PM

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WELCOME!

In ancient Greek mythology, sirens are creatures which have the body of a bird and the head of a woman. They have such sweet voices that sailors who heard their songs were lured into grounding their boats on the rocks on which the nymphs sang.

To me, food are like the sirens in so many ways. Intoxicating, wonderful, beautiful and yet, so very deadly if you let them get the better of you. Food is a big part of my life and it’s meant to be appreciated and savored slowly. I admit that I am extremely particular about what I eat. If it’s not something I want to put in my body, I’d rather not eat. Some people eat to live while others live to eat. I’ve yet to discover which side of the camp I’m in… What about you?

I hope that you will enjoy reading about my food adventures as much as I like writing them. And many thanks to my family and friends who always wait patiently for me to take photos before digging in!

LOCAL FOODIES' BLOGS

Ate Too Much
Gastronomic Ruminations
She Bakes & She Cooks
Singapore Daily Makan Photo
Small Potatpes Make the Steak Look Bigger
The Orthorexic Foodie
The Skinny Epicurean
Timeless Facade
Food Glorious Food

FOOD FOR THOUGHT