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

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Wild @ Westway Mall, Singapore

Change is constant...

Life... is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get..
(Haha.. Yes lah. Lame/ overused line, I know, but I really do love that movie)

As life opens up new chapters, priorities will change accordingly. Currently, I'm at the wonderful (yet absolutely time and energy draining) chapter named "Parenthood". While I used to chase the excitement of trying new restaurants, nowadays I find myself sticking more to a set of criteria:
1) Is the restaurant child friendly? (It's just too tough eating in somewhere that is cramped, noisy or doesn't have baby chairs),
2) Is the general area child friendly? (Eg. Are there proper changing rooms nearby? Or a play area?),
3) Is it easy to get to? (I no marnee to buy car. Sinjiapore velly expensive)
4) Bonus: Is the food nice/ worth the price?

My hubby and I's most recent find that fulfils almost all of the above criteria, is a little restaurant named The Wild, located in Westway Mall (which is just across the road from Haw Par Villa MRT).
Note to families with babies/small children: I just double checked this weekend and unfortunately, the Westway Mall does not have a Nursing room, or Child friendly change room.
(Still, 3.5 out of 4 ain't bad)

I don't know if I'd call this a proper mall, not because of it's small size, but because there really aren't any retail shops to well, shop at...
(The whole mall = about 6 restaurants/ cafes, a cake shop, a darts bar on the ground floor, and a swim school at the back)

Still, I consider the quietness as a good thing, especially when we just want to go out for a peaceful family meal during the weekend. Overall, we find the restaurant very welcoming, as the tables are well spaced, and the service is always friendly.
(For those who drive - the parking lot is always fairly empty, so there shouldn't be any time wasted going around in circles)
Interior of The Wild

The restaurant has a decent selection of pastas, pizzas, mains and desserts, with a special brunch menu available on weekends. My favourite brunch dish is the Chicken and Waffles (SG $18), as the chicken is consistently moist, with crispy skin that is tasty and not overly salty or oily, atop a crispy waffle.
(It tastes even better when drizzled with syrup and hot sauce, for an awesome mix of savoury, sweet and spicy. I struggle to try anything new off the menu, because I always end up ordering this! :))
Chicken and Waffles

Another dish we order quite often is the Truffle Eggs Benedict (SG $16) - the yolks are always nicely runny, and goes well with the slightly tangy Hollandaise sauce which is accentuated by the aroma of truffle.
A brunch menu staple - Eggs Benedict

We also tried the Panna Cotta (SG $6) and found it enjoyable - not too sweet (yay!), with a nice creamy texture that went well with the jam and fresh blueberries it was topped with.
Panna cotta for dessert

After a fulfilling meal, we usually amble over to the children's play area. It's not very big, but is just a few steps away, and lets our little monster work out some excess energy (of which she seems to have ample amounts of!)
Play area nearby

I don't work close enough to this area to come by for weekday lunch or dinner, but I did notice that they have a decent weekday lunch set (prices start from $10), and some good daily deals for dinner too (eg. 50% off second pizza on Tuesday):


So, it's: Good food at good prices, convenient location, friendly service BUT there really isn't much else to do at this mall....


Summary Information:
The Wild @ Westway Mall, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 12pm-9pm
Sunday 9am-3pm

Phone: +65 9687 2269

Address: 27 West Coast Highway, Westway #01-12, Singapore 117867
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- joHoR kAki BLoGs BEsT jB sINGApoRE FooD

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Ubin Seafood @ Hillview Avenue, Singapore

A short review on some absolutely Moo-velous food in a casual zhi char setting...

I had heard of New Ubin, but it was one of those "famous" restaurants that I was so sure would be overpriced and underwhelming.... and boy, was I wrong.

Note: They have just moved from the Sin Ming area to a bigger location on Hillview Avenue, which is still casual, but a little hard to find (it's basically a refurbished food court on the 6th floor of a commercial building, hidden in the car park area).

One of their signature dishes is the US Black Angus Ribeye Steak (S$ 14/100gms, minimum order 500g), served with Fried Rice, Potato Wedges, and Caramelised Onions.

It's everything you could want in a steak: Tender, juicy, bursting with beef-y flavour, and wonderfully seared, with a lovely smoky fragrance. The addition of the fried rice, potato wedges, caramelized onions, sea salt and mustard on the side give you a variety of ways to "mix up" the flavors, but the steak is just wonderful on it's own.
Fantastic steak

If you feel like something Asian instead, the Curry Fish Head (S$26) is a must try - Fresh fish, cooked perfectly, swimming in a thick, fragrant curry filled with other goodies such as succulent eggplant strips, ladies fingers and taufupok (tofu puff). This dish always causes us to "accidentally" overeat rice.
(I could eat bowl after bowl of plain rice doused with this curry sauce and be perfectly happy, to be honest)
Claypot of fishy happiness

Do remember to leave some space for dessert. My favourite (so far) is the Banana caramelised with Gula Melaka (S$5/ serving), and Coconut sorbet (S$2/ scoop). It's sweet without being overwhelming, beautifully caramelized, and goes so well with smooth and fragrant coconut sorbet.
(It's one of those "so simple, yet so good" kind of desserts)
Beautiful bananas

I can see why New Ubin earned it's place on the Michelin Singapore Bib Gourmand list (of which the main downside is that it is just impossible to go there without a reservation now), and I'm definitely looking forward to going back and trying more dishes in future.


So, it's: Good food (surprisingly, not overrated) in a casual setting, great mix of Asian and Western dishes BUT quite hard to find location, sometimes slow service (although friendly) and so packed (do not even attempt to go without a reservation)....


Summary Information:
New Ubin Seafood @ Hillview Avenue, Singapore
Website: CLICK HERE

Opening Hours:
Lunch: Tue to Sun, 12.00pm – 3.00pm (closed Monday Lunch)
Dinner: Daily 6.00pm – 11.00pm

Phone: +65 6466 9558 / 9740 6870

Address: 63 Hillview Avenue, Level 6 (Canteen), 669569
Map: CLICK HERE

NOT HALAL



OTHER REVIEWS:
- Seth Lui
- Daniel Food Diary

Friday, December 30, 2016

Uno, Dos, Tres

Time flies...

Has it really been 3 years since my last update? Wow. Time passes too quickly.

So much has happened since then:
(This list is not exhaustive, and is in no particular order):
  • I'm still living in Singapore (much to my surprise),
  • Adopted an adorable kitten who suddenly got FIP and passed away (RIP Yoda, we will miss you forever),
  • Adopted a cat named Ricki who is loud and greedy, but very patient and loves head scratches (Despite the heartache we went through with the sudden passing of Yoda, I still firmly believe that there are too many kitties (and doggies) in shelters who deserve loving forever homes, so please: Adopt, don't shop!),
  • I watched Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus (it's an awesome movie, awesomely terrible, that is),
  • I've popped out a baby (again, to my surprise - never thought this would happen),
  • Oh and I found someone who wanted to marry me, and coincidentally I wanted to marry him too,
  • My favourite aunt passed away (I miss her so much),
  • I survived a company restructure (Well, hopefully! I still haven't heard the final answer on this yet, so please wish me luck!),
  • Started going to the gym again several times (Yay),
  • Fell off the gym wagon several times (Oops),
  • Cut out 3 friends from my life (It was painful, never had to before, but decided life is too short for drama and toxicity),
  • Learned how to survive on average 4 hours of sleep (I blame the baby),
  • Went back to New York (which is now 100% my favourite city to visit on earth),
  • Laugh, cried, and ate.
  • Oh and of course, 1MDB, Brexit, and Trump (Enough said).

Ricki says, "MEW"

I do miss blogging.

It was a very dear part of my life - it gave me the chance to meet so many wonderful people, and it gave me the excuse to steal food off my friends' plates.

The past 3 years has been sometimes bitter and sometimes sweet, but I am very thankful for all the blessings I have received. Hope that you all have had days and years filled with blessings too.


Hugs,
J the Chocoholic

Friday, September 13, 2013

GREETINGS COLLEAGUES

Since so many of you have been talking about this already: Yes, I, Boring Finance Person in Office, really had a food blog.

If you really do Google for it:
*WAVES* HI!
:P

As you can see, I haven't updated properly for about 2 years, so, sorry to disappoint you....
Anyway, move along now - Nothing to see here :)

If you need Malaysian food referrals there are links to my friends' awesome blogs at the lower right side of the blog. Or just ask me in office :)


Cheers,
J the Chocoholic

PS/
Yes, I realise this is what Singaporeans can call a "bohliao" post, but I was stressed, and you guys made me reminisce over my now lapsed blog life so I took 5 minutes to post this up.
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