If you have any comments/suggestions/places you think serve great food, do share with us! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the tag board. Thanks and cheers to future gastronomical adventures!
MY TO-GO LIST
Au Jardin (Eaten!)
Au Petit Salut
Buko Nero (Eaten!)
Pasta Brava (Eaten!)
Friday, March 27, 2009
TCC, the coffee connoisseur #4
It has sort of become a norm for Sis and I to spoil any healthy meal we've had with some sinful desserts. Intending to do so at Aerin's, we walked all the way to City Hall from the Little India area. However, nothing caught our eyes when we got there. Since I haven't been to TCC ever since I returned from New Zealand, we decided to indulge there instead. Commenting on how good the Ti-Rum-Misu ($5.80++) was the last time I was here, Sis ordered it without hesitation. This time, there was too much mascaphone cheese to me but the coffee and rum kick was still there.
Wanting to try something new, I ordered the pretty looking Chocolate Grottine ($6.20++). The wait staff told me it's a chocolate mousse sitting on a sponge cake and surrounded by a hard chocolate case, topped with strawberries. This simple dessert was quite ordinary with nothing to shout about.Oh ya, the waiter also mentioned that there was a brandied cherry in the mousse and I almost laughed out loud when I saw it finally. Instead of being plump and juicy, the cherry was small and shrivelled with no brandy taste at all. How pathetic!
Wow, prices have certainly increased since almost a year ago. We ordered the tiramisu from the display counter rather than from the kitchen as it costs almost twice more with merely a few fruits as garnishes. I actually asked the staff about it and she assured me that both the counter and menu tiramisu is the same, just that the latter comes in a nicer presentation. Food and prices aside, the service and ambience were great. The waiter volunteered to make some recommendations for drinks without us asking and was very attentive throughout the time we were there. Nevertheless, the desserts failed to make an impression on me this time and I'm not sure I'll be back.
16, Madras Street
Sis and I have known of this restaurant specialising in organic food for a long time but somehow, we have never tried it until today. It was formerly known as Yogi Hub but was renamed when it had a change of owners. Situated in a rather obscure location along a row of shophouses, we finally located the restaurant after asking for directions at a nearby hotel.
We had 2 orders of the 7 Sensations Moussaka ($12.80+) since the other items on the menu didn't seem interesting enough to warrant a try. The moussaka arrived looking just like what the menu described: braised lentils layered between sheets of eggplant, topped with homemade white sauce and fresh breadcrumbs. Taste-wise, I suppose it's somewhat of an acquired taste as the strong turmeric was a strange contrast to the slightly sourish sauce. This weird combination proved to be too much for Sis as she didn't enjoy it at all.
We also ordered the Shredded Ginger with Koniako ($12.80+) as a side to share. I wanted to see how the chef imparted flavour to the otherwise bland Japanese yam as I've been wanting to try cooking with Koniako for quite some time now. The texture was very much like mock meat but the ginger didn't stand out as there was too much sauce.
In retrospect, I'll start with what I like about 7 Sensations. Presentation of the food was good and the service was friendly. Perhaps what I like best is the ambience and vibe of the restaurant with its high ceiling, white-washed walls and spacious dining area. However, the price was also relatively higher than the other organic places we've been to so far. Moreover, the food didn't leave much of a good impression on me. I'd rather go to LivinGreens or Nutrihub for a healthy meal since I like their food better and the locations are more accessible. That said, if you want to make a reservation here, be prepared to make your reservation in chinese as all the waitstaff seems to be from China.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Le Grenier a Pain
#01-01 Sembawang Shopping Centre
Sis read about this French bakery as it was featured in today's chinese newspapers and we decided to make a quick stop at the new Sembawang Shopping Centre before going home.
While Mom and Sis were browsing at the bread area, I entertained myself at the desserts counter where many small and delicate looking cakes were on display. I was attracted to Carolines as it incorporated all the elements I'd like to try: profiterole, macaroon and of course, chocolate! Since I'm not into bread, I bought a piece of Carolines for an after dinner dessert at home.
Carolines ($6.20) is basically a cake with layers of chocolate mousse and cake on top of an almond sponge, covered with a rich and dark ganache. A profiterole and blueberry macaroon complete the entire dessert. I was told that it's made with 70% dark chocolate and the choux pastry was imported from France. The vanilla cream in the profiterole was smooth and not overly sweet. Likewise for the cake which was quite good! I didn't like the macaroon as it wasn't light enough and the colour looked so artificial that it turned me off.
Prices are quite expensive as we ended up spending almost $18 for the slice of cake, a baguette and some bread (I forgot the name) which is apparently one of their hot sellers. The bread are sold by weight and then priced accordingly which in my opinion, can amount to quite a lot if you think that the mini breads do not weigh much (they are actually quite dense and heavy!) and thus, pile them on your tray with no hesitation!
Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant #3
#05-132 Far East Plaza
Our impromptu lunch with Wendy Auntie was at Nanbantei at my suggestion. Since all the set lunches come with rice, I decided to just order the Unagi Kabayaki ($15++) from the ala carte menu. It took such a long time to come that I almost asked the waitress whether my order was forgotten. But the wait was so worth it! The grilled eel was charred, soft and complimented the sweet sauce nicely.
Mom and Sis had the signature bento set ($12.50++) with 5 assorted different yakitori.
Auntie ordered the Tenju set ($14++) which had tempura on a bed of rice. I tried the preserved radishes which was quite appetising as the vinegar taste was very distinct.
This place is easily becoming one of my favourite Japanese restaurants! Food quality is always high and consistently good. I can't say the same for the service though as sometimes it's haphazard with the waitresses forgetting to bring my fork and spoon, or neglecting to fill up our glasses. Luckily, I'm not that particular about service. As long as the food is good, I'm definitely going back!
Friday, March 20, 2009
Island Creamery #3
#01-03 Serene Centre
After mentioning Island Creamery countless times to Sis, she had a chance to try the ice cream here finally. Somehow, I always chose the mudpie over the other desserts displayed at the counter, probably because it looked more sinful and decadent. Not this time though as Sis and I shared the Baked Alaska ($4.80).
Basically, it's strawberry ice cream on sponge cake and covered with meringue, torched with a flame for the nice burnt sugar effect. Initially, I was worried that the meringue would be too sweet for my liking but I'm so wrong! The whole dessert was not cloyingly sweet at all.
Of course, how could we come here without ordering any ice cream? As usual, I had my favourite scoop of Blackforest and surprisingly, Sis chose the ReversO though she's hardly a chocolatey person ($4.50 for 2 scoops). I realised I must be in a hurry to devour the ice cream as I didn't even care that the photo was blurry!
I want to grumble a bit about the bad service this time. While I was trying to decide on what flavours to choose (though ultimately, I always choose blackforest. But still!), the girl behind the counter was so unfriendly and looked like the whole world owed her money. Her stance was obviously impatient and she asked "Ready to order?" within a mere 3 mins. I mean, hello? If I want to order, I will make myself known. Oh well. At least the blackforest ice cream more than make up for the poor attitude!
La Petite Cuisine
#01-05 Serene Centre
Since Sis wanted to try French food without burning the pocket, I brought her to this well-known eatery specialising in exactly what she wants: tasty French food at an affordable price. Luckily, the place was opened for business this time (closed on Tuesday when I was there with Yoke Yee). The smell wafting out the kitchen hit us even before we were seated.
Warm complimentary bread was served before our meal. The bread seemed quite good as Sis finished both rolls! Or perhaps she was just hungry.
Ok, call me boring but I don't care. Though I just had salmon a couple of days before, I ordered the Fillet of Fresh Salmon ($14) without any hesitation. It came with butter rice but I had it replaced with a simple salad. The salmon was delicious! The tender flesh was still rosy pink in the middle and complimented the lemony sauce perfectly.
Any self-respecting French restaurant or eatery would have the Confit de Canard ($15) on its menu. Judging from Sis's happy face, this rendition of the duck confit must be pretty good. It was served with potato gratin which was nice but get a little overwhelmingly creamy after a few bites.
I agree with some of the reviews I've read that the food portion was small. But considering the quality of the food plus NO service and GST, I'd say that this place is a gem to be kept. Service was very friendly and the chef even came out to ensure that everyone was happy with their meals. Seriously, this no frills eatery is no worse than any other restaurant if your main aim is to enjoy above average food at below average prices.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
#01-02 Serene Centre
After wandering around Orchard for more than an hour, Yoke Yee and I ended up at Serene Centre for dinner. I wanted to eat at La Petite Cuisine but it was closed for inventory check. Just our luck after we had just found out that Blue Basil was closed too! With almost no other option, we settled for a simple meal at Yoshuku Kitchen.
The waiter came out to recommend the tea time menu while we were browsing through the menu outside. It was a good thing we were just in time for the last order before dinner as the tea time menu was much cheaper than the ala carte menu. We shared a Kani Karaage ($5++) which in retrospect, was not worth the price as the soft shell crab was not meaty and probably as skinny as me!
Of course, I had to order anything to do with salmon in a Japanese restaurant. The Sake Teriyaki ($6++) was surprisingly good! The portion was generous for the price and fresh enough though a tad overcooked.
Yoke Yee had the Potato Mentai ($4.50++) which was a simple dish of potato baked with cheese and cod roe sauce. Oh my, the smell of cheese was way too strong and overpowering for me (I don't like cheese!).
Though the food was mediocre, the service was anything but. Long after our empty plates were cleared from the table, Yoke Yee and I were still sitting there and chatting since we haven't meet up for way too long. The staff didn't seem to mind (probably because we were the only customers there) and even kept refilling our glasses without us asking. I wouldn't say that I would go back for a meal again as it was nothing memorable but it's nice to find a place where I can comfortably linger even after the food is long gone.
Island Creamery #2
#01-03 Serene Centre
What's the highlight of a meal for foodies like Yoke Yee and I? Desserts, of course! We popped next door from Yoshuku Kitchen into ice cream heaven. As usual, the parlor was crowded with students and families. After deliberating for a long time (as usual), I settled on exactly what I had on my previous visit: a Mudpie ($4.80) topped with a scoop of Blackforest ice cream (additional $2).
Seriously, the blackforest ice cream rocks! Big time. The alcoholic taste was so strong and the brandied cherry gave a nice bite to the creamy and rich ice cream. Likewise, the mudpie was as good and sinful as before. After finishing a plate each (yes, do not underestimate our eating capacity!), we left the parlor satisfied and happy!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tom's Palette #3
#01-25, Shaw Tower
After the oh-so-healthy dinner, sis and I spolit it by indulging in a sugary and fattening treat at our new favourite ice-cream parlor. We specially came here to try the Tiramisu flavour which is only available on the 2nd Friday of every month. Besides that, we also tasted some other flavours like Pear and Brandy, Apple Pie, Salted Caramel etc. Call me boring, but I had the Chocolate Stout again! I love the strong alcoholic taste which makes it bittersweet. And paired it with Tiramisu ($2.50 for small cup).
Sis also had the Tiramisu but paired it with Pink Grava which was quite good. I was somewhat disappointed by the Tiramisu flavour as it lacked a strong alcoholic punch and was too sweet to my liking. Generous chunks of the lady fingers biscuits provided a nice bite but were too dry.
Like my previous visits, the parlor was packed with people and the service was excellent as usual! It's definitely worth busting the caloric bank for the ice cream here.
325 Beach Road
The last time I came here with my family was more than a year ago. While discussing what to have for dinner tonight, sis and I suddenly remember this place and decided to make a visit here. When we reached, the place was almost deserted which was not really surprising given that it's a Friday night and I assume people would rather hang out in town.
If my memory is right, the menu has been given a makeover as more items have been added. For starter, we had the Mango Sushi Roll ($5) which seems to be featured on the menu of every organic cafe I've been to so far. It's a colourful mix of mango, beetroot, carrot, alfalfa sprouts, pea sprouts wrapped in a sheet of Nori seaweed. I like the crunchiness and freshness of the vegetables but the seaweed was made a little soggy by the sauce.
As usual, I took a long time to decide on my main course. After listening to the owner's recommendations, I finally settled on the LivinGreens Lasagna ($8.50) which is wheat-, gluten- and dairy-free. I love this! It's absolutely delicious with a well-balanced flavour and texture. Every slice of the lasagna contains eggplant, fresh tomatoes, green and red peppers, carrots, mushroom, spices and fresh herbs. I was "dissecting" every slice and bite so as to try replicating this at home.
Sis had one of the Today's Specials: the LivinGreens Burger ($8) which is another common item found in such cafes. We didn't like the texture of the bread as it was "neither here nor there". It wasn't soft but neither was it dense. It was just... weird. You have to try it to understand what I'm talking about. Otherwise, the patty was tasty enough with lots of veggies packed in it.
Remembering how this was sold out the last time we were here, Sis specially called the cafe this morning to ask whether there will be any Avocado Pudding ($4). This was great! Fresh avocado was blended with soy milk, sweetened with a syrup of molasses and palm sugar, and the result? Smooth and silky "pudding" which seems more like a mousse to me. However, I thought it's too expensive for such a small cup of dessert.
Just when I had decided to try the Black Sesame Pudding too, the staff told me it was sold out. Turns out that the lady at the next table was one step faster than me! Argh, this always happens to me! I guess I have to come back here again next time just to try that... After all, besides the healthy and wholesome cuisine, the lack of GST and service charge is another plus!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Nanbantei Japanese Restaurant #2
#05-132, Far East Plaza
After the service, Jialing and I took a bus down to town for lunch. I was thrilled when she suggested Nanbantei as I had a wonderful meal here the last time I was here. Even though I don't eat rice, I ordered the Salmon Shioyaki set ($10.40++) as it's better value for money than the ala carte menu. The grilled salmon was definitely the star: plump and juicy with crispy skin. Absolutely delicious! I finished everything but the bowl of rice was left completely untouched.
Jialing had the signature Yakitori Obento ($12.50++) which was quite a feast for the eyes with 5 assorted yakitori. I tried the quail egg which had a smokey flavour and was very bouncy. The set came with a red bean paste dessert which was great but Jialing didn't like.
From the ala carte menu, we had the Pork with Leek ($5.70++) which Jialing recommended. I didn't have the meat but the charred leek was good!
I wanted to have the shishamo initially but being fickle minded, I had it changed to Unagi with Long Onions ($5.80++) at the last minute. This is my favourite! The grilled eel was so soft and smooth that it almost slid down the throat.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Blk 451, Clementi Avenue 3, #01-309
Marcus recommended this Japanese eatery which boosts to serve the "Cheapest Japanese Food in Singapore!". After seeing the menu, I was a little taken aback by the prices. A Katsudon bento only costs $2.90! The ala carte menu was pretty limited and I ordered the Salmon Teriyaki ($5.90). The portion was quite generous but not only was the fish overcooked, it was drenched in too much teriyaki sauce. Overall, this was good value for money but nothing fantastic.
Marcus ordered the Chicken Teriyaki bent ($4.90) which also had generous portions of chicken. But like the salmon, there was too much sauce on it.
Of course, for this kind of price, I can't really complain about the quality of food. All I can say is that this is not a bad place for some budget Japanese food. However, the location is a little inaccessible for me and I think I will choose to fork out more money for a higher quality of Japanese food next time.
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