Friday, March 17, 2017

Patissez @ Holland Village, Singapore

Trying something new...

"When one door closes, another opens..."

As our favourite (convenient) Sunday brunch place was no longer available**, we were forced to look for a new place to go to. After racking our brains, we headed over to Patissez, a new-ish café located on the Ground Floor of the new Raffles Medical Center in Holland Village.
(** They suddenly decided they don't want to be open on Sundays anymore)


Outside Patissez

Overall, it's nice inside, although I did note that about half the tables are equipped with hard, uncomfortable, wooden "You are welcome here, but please don't stay too long" stools.
(We quickly swapped out our stools with the nearest available cushion-ed chairs once our buns started aching)

Interior of the café

The coffee was decent - I had the Iced Cappuccino (S$ 6), and The Husband had the Flat White (S$ 5):

Caffeine, my best friend

There was a decent (but not extensive) selection of brunch items and mains. After some deliberation I chose the Corn and Zucchini Fritters (S$ 15), which was served with smashed avocado, kale pesto, poached eggs and a grilled tomato.

I didn't like the kale pesto, which I found had a slightly bitter aftertaste, but was completely wowed by the so simple but so perfectly cooked, smoky grilled tomato (A pity there was so little of it though). As for the fritters, I enjoyed them - 3 generously sized pieces, which were moist in the middle and slightly crisp on the outside.

Zucchini Fritters


Interior of The Pattissez

The Husband had the Get Pig'd (S$ 20) - Pulled pork served with eggs benedict, bacon jam, atop a crusty sourdough slice and a side of spinach.

At first we were a bit disappointed by how small it was for the price, but it turned out to pretty filling as there was quite a lot of meat packed onto that little plate. The pulled pork was ever so slightly dry/ stringy but overall, it was enjoyable.

Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

When I was preparing to write this post, I looked around online and there seem to be quite a mixed bag of opinions on this café. Apparently, the "famous" milkshakes here are way too sweet? I didn't try them, but just FYI so you can manage your expectations before you head over.
:)

So, it's: Decent food at ok prices, convenient location (just steps away from Holland Village MRT), friendly service BUT some of the seating is very uncomfortable (hard wooden stools)....


Summary Information:
Patissez @ Holland Village, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Mon to Wed 10am – 6pm,
Thu to Fri 10am – 10pm,
Sat to Sun 9am – 10pm.

Phone: +65 6262 3616

Address: 118 Holland Avenue, #01-06, 278997
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Lady Iron Chef
- Daniel food Diary
- Lirongs

Herd of Bots?

How weird...

What a strange place the internet is...

It seems like a travelling herd of bots visited my blog, poked around and did not return...
(Look at high it spiked on that one day! Wow...)

Sudden spike in stats...


Ah well. It was interesting/ nice having such amazing stats, if even just for a day
:)

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!
(TGIF)

Cheers,
J

Friday, February 24, 2017

Neon Pigeon @ Kheong Saik Road, Singapore

Cool Izakaya with modern Asian small plates...

"What a cute name", I thought, as I walked around looking for the Neon Pigeon to meet my friends.

It wasn't far from Outram Park MRT (about 6 minutes walk), but was a little hard to find as it didn't have a clear sign - Look out for the (literal) small neon pigeon so that you won't accidentally walk past it like I did:

Very discreet sign

Inside, it's quirky and cool, with the typical(?) hipster style mix of exposed brick, warm wood furnishings and cool graffiti style wall art.

It was also dark and noisy (music volume as well as fellow diners), which may suit younger folk. Conversely, not so young folk like me may find it a bit uncomfortable to have to shout conversations when trying to catch up with friends.
(Ok lah - I can see that this could be a good date spot because of its romantic lighting, and "oh, you don't want to but you just have to move closer to hear each other" kinda thing but that's not the life stage I'm in right now...)

Velly lomantic lighting inside

There was a decent selection of interesting fusion Japanese dishes on the menu, and we started the night with the Soft Shell Crab Bao (S$14/ $26). Really enjoyed this as there was a generous amount of fresh, crispy soft shell crab which went well with the moist bao, creamy avocado and seared corn kernels:

Crabby buns...

We also tried the Chicken Tsukune Bahn Mi (S$ ?) which wasn't bad - chicken was moist and there was nice "punch" from the pickled veg, all nestled in a crusty bun. Unfortunately, as I have been spoilt with AMAZING freshly made bahn mi made by my dear Vietnamese colleagues, the one at Neon Pigeon paled in comparison.

Mini Bahn mi

The Roasted Bone Marrow (S$19/ $36) fared better - although just a bit too greasy, it was well roasted (still jiggly, but with a nice char), and enjoyably decadent, pairing well with the crunchy bits of garlic and umami furikake seasoning:

Sinful to the core...

The Crispy Brussels Sprouts (S$15/ $28) were also nice - moist texture with a bit of char/smoky fragrance, pairing well with the large chunks of not too salty mirin glazed bacon.
(Would have preferred the sprouts to be a bit more crunchy though, but I do tend to prefer my veggies underdone)
Lovely sprouts...

Some at the table were a little taken aback by the lifelike presentation of the Charcoal Grilled Barracuda ($ ?), as it looked like it was ready to swim away (Lol).

Taste-wise, while the skin was moist and the flesh conveniently bone free, I didn't find it particularly memorable.
(Not sure if I'd order this again)

Looks like a wiggly eel...

Sorry I didn't have all the exact prices by the way - I'll be more careful with the receipt next time.
(It also doesn't help that the restaurant doesn't post up prices on their website so I couldn't check the ones I missed)

Overall, it added up to an expensive but enjoyable meal... Wouldn't mind going back again at some point to try out some of the other menu items, once my wallet recovers.
(Note: There were also a lot of interesting cocktails available but it was a "school night" so I didn't have any)

Pigeonus Giganticus Onna Wallus


So, it's: Cool ambience, good variety of fusion Japanese dishes and cocktails, convenient location, friendly service BUT some hits and misses on the menu, a bit too loud inside and gosh, it's pretty pricey as the small plates add up very quickly....


Summary Information:
Neon Pigeon @ Kheong Saik Road, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 6pm-midnight

Phone: +65 6222 3623

Address: 1A Keong Saik Road, #01-03, Singapore 089109
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Daniel Food Diary
- TRP The Ranting Panda
- Gourmet Adventures
- Sara Ann K

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Island Creamery @ Serene Centre, Singapore

Serving up yummy ice cream with a local spin since 2004...

Recent events in the news have got me thinking about random (and unfair) life can be...

I never would have expected such a tragedy to happen in the Singapore Botanical Gardens. :(
My heart breaks when I think of how sudden it would have been, and how it happened in front of her twins and husband.  :( :(
(RIP)
....
..
.
So, reminder to self:
Life is short, and the only thing certain is that you will never know for sure when bad things will happen. Therefore: Be kind, be happy, cherish family and friends. Spend quality time with the baby and husband. Work hard, but not at the detriment of everything else. Plan, but don't worry too much/ overthink. Balance. Breathe.
.
..
....
Now, I'll start on the actual food related post, shall I?:
A few weeks ago, we went for a walk in the Botanical Gardens, and it was getting too hot. This inspired us to head over to the Island Creamery at Serene Centre, to cool off with some ice cream.
(It's just about 5 minutes walk from the Botanic Garden MRT).
Exterior of Island Creamery, Serene Center

While there is a decent variety of their fixed classic flavours (eg. Cookies & Cream), local flavours (eg. Pulut Hitam, Teh Tarik), and new seasonal flavors (eg. Pineapple Tart), I tend to stick to my favourites: The Reverso and the Burnt Caramel (Single scoop $3.80, Double scoop $5.8) - these 2 flavours just go well together, with the slightly too sweet chocolaty Reverso balanced by the slightly smoky Burnt Caramel ice cream.
Double happiness

We also decided to try one of the signature ice cream pies there, the S'Mores pie ($6.50).

Um. What can I say?

I didn't enjoy this at all: While it was an interesting mix of flavours and textures (crispy Graham cracker base, and ice cream topped with marshmallows), it was frozen solid and hard as a rock.
(I think next time I'll stick to the ice cream scoops)
Smores ice cream pie

Feels like it hasn't changed much over all these years - not that it's run down (although it has seen better days), but it does bring a feeling of nostalgia.

Looking up at the wall of polaroids (which you can add on to, using the in house camera): So many happy faces, mostly young/ school kids, teens and families. It definitely got me reminiscing to days gone past.

Wall of photos

So, it's: Good selection of ice creams with a local spin, decent pricing, friendly service BUT hits and misses on the menu (didn't like the ice cream pie)....

Summary Information:
Island Creamery @ Serene Centre, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 11am to 10pm
Fri, Sat, Eve and Public holiday: 11am to 11pm

Phone: +65 6468 8859

Address: 10 Jalan Serene #01-03, Serene Centre, S258748
Map: CLICK HERE

NO PORK (but some of the ice creams have alcohol)



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Foodie FC
- The Dessert Prince

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Tanjong Beach Club @ Sentosa, Singapore

Fun, sunny family day out at the beach...

I have been going Tanjong Beach Club (TBC) on and off for years; was introduced to it by friends, and we went there for people watching, drinking and general partying.
(Love the Truffle fries there! It does seem a bit funny though, stuffing my face with sinful carbs, while some of the best exhibits of eye candy flounce around... but oh well!)

I hadn't been there for quite a while (my partying days are long, LONG over lah), but it was a beautiful day, and we decided to drag the baby (and about 10kg of baby stuff) out of the house, for a family day out.
(Basically: The Baby is in her "learning her voice" stage right now, and our ear drums needed a break - she behaves so much better outdoors, because there are enough distractions)
Beautiful, sunny day

We finally got to Tanjong Beach, and proceeded to our table.
(Note: Best to book ahead if you want to dine there... If the weather is good, it can get packed pretty quickly - it's not as hard to get a table as during it's peak popularity years ago, but you don't want to have trekked all the way to the far end of Sentosa Island and find out there's nowhere to sit)

We started our meal with the Barbecued Octopus Salad ($24). The octopus was perfectly cooked and had a nice smokiness, served atop a bed of fresh baby spinach, quinoa, fennel, pomegranate, and orange segments. I didn't like the dressing, a sherry vinaigrette which I found the sweet, but my husband thought it was ok.

Overall, an enjoyable salad which I would order again (but next time, will tell them to put the dressing on the side).
Octopus salad

Next, we had the Chorizo Orecchiette Pasta ($33). The minced Spanish Iberian chorizo was spicy without being overpowering, and went really well with the perfectly cooked Hokkaido scallops and al dente pasta.
Delicious pasta

To me, a day at the beach is synonymous with Fish & Chips ($28). The one at TBC was delightful - moist fish (snapper) encased in a crispy batter that wasn't too heavy, served with pickled cucumber and fries.
Classic western dish

We were pretty stuffed at that point, and proceeded to swimming pool to splash around with the baby.
(Note: While we didn't drink (alcohol) that day, I've had the cocktails there before and they're good)

It's not a very a big pool, but no complaints! - nice view, all the facilities you need close by, and as much good cocktails and foods as your wallet can afford just right there. In the morning/ early afternoon, it's a very different vibe, with families and kids having fun VS. the young, fun, partayyyyy! shenanigan-y vibe in the evenings/ night.
(Note: There is only a changing room (no shower) at TBC, and they charge $10 for towel rental. So, remember to come equipped with everything you need and just proceed to the public showers which are just a few steps away from the restaurant)
Cheeky sign near the pool:
"Unattended children will be given Red Bull and Super Soakers"

While it wasn't a cheap and cheerful day out, we thoroughly enjoyed it - felt like quite the treat, and gave us a vacation feeling without leaving Singapore.
Small pool, but it works



So, it's: Good food (although a bit expensive), convenient facilities (changing room, showers nearby), friendly service BUT a bit hard to get to if you are not taking a taxi/ driving directly....


Summary Information:
Tanjong Beach Club @ Sentosa, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Tue-Fri 11am-10pm
Sat-Sun 10am-10pm

Phone: +65 6270 1355

Address: 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa, Singapore 098942
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Seth Lui.com
- Miss Tam Chiak
- Lady Iron Chef

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Food For Thought @ Botanic Gardens, Singapore

Great place for weekend family time...

I've always liked the Singapore Botanic Gardens: While it's not very big, they have spaced it out nicely, with a good variety of sections; meandering paths, nice pond area, grassy fields and a scattering of interesting sculptures.
(I would recommend to avoid it on Sundays and long weekends though, because it gets a bit too packed with not just families, but also tourists, and workers on their off day)

There are a few food options within the park, and we usually head to Food For Thought, which is nearer to the Tanglin Gate/ Botanic Center side of the park.

Ok, so back to my "Parenthood" criteria for restaurants:
1) Is it child friendly? (Yes, tables are well spaced and there are ample baby chairs),
2) Is the general area child friendly? (Sort of. There's a nice play area attached to the restaurant, but no Nursing room nearby),
3) Is it easy to get to? (Yes, easily accessed by many busses (7,77,75,106) - just stop at Gleneagles Hospital and it's a short 5 minute walk to the restaurant)
4) Bonus: Is the food nice/ worth the price? (Yes... Well, I think so anyway)


Play area right next to the restaurant

The restaurant interior is modern, and comfortable, and I was surprised how (relatively) quiet it was that Saturday. Although it wasn't empty, the last time I was there (on a long weekend), it was an absolute madhouse.

Still, better to book on Chope well in advance, just in case.
(I wouldn't recommend calling their phone - maybe it's just my luck, but they hardly ever pick up)
Restaurant Interior

In terms of food, they have a decent variety: some brunch items (eg. French Toast), mains (eg. Beef Burger), as well as a handful of kid's menu items. The dishes are mainly Western, with a few having Asian twists, like the Torch Ginger Grilled Barramundi ($ 20), served with chilled quinoa and feta.This is my favourite main there, as I really like the moist fish accentuated with the torch ginger aroma.
(My only gripe?: The limp skin. I wish the skin was crispy-that would take it from good to awesome):
Barramundi

My hubby went for The Full Works ($ 22) - a plate loaded with up with scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, pomme noissettes (fancy French name for Tater Tots), garlic mushrooms, salad, and brioche toast. Nothing to fault on this - everything was prepared well and the crispy Tater Tots were addictively crispy. It is a rather large serving though - I don't think I could finish it by myself:
Full Works


There is a selection of cakes and ice creams, but we were too full for any dessert. We had ordered the Tempura Mushrooms ($ 7) as a side though. Overall, it was enjoyable - big, whole mushrooms that were coated with a rather heavy but crispy batter, served with a piquant kaffir lime mayo:
Tempura Mushroom

After a nice weekend brunch catch up with friends, we waddled around the gardens for a while in an effort to "walk off" the meal.
The Iconic Gazebo in Botanic Gardens




So, it's: Good food at good prices, convenient location, BUT gets too packed on long weekends/ holidays....


Summary Information:
Food For Thought @ Botanic Gardens, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Monday - Sunday 8am to 9pm
(Last orders at 8.30pm)

Phone: +65 6338 4848

Address: 1 Cluny Road, Tanglin Gate, #B1-00, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Singapore Botanic Gardens, 259569
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Lady Iron Chef
- Follow My Wanders
- Bumble Bee Mum

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