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.  :( :(
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

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

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

- 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

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

Phone: +65 6270 1355

Address: 120 Tanjong Beach Walk, Sentosa, Singapore 098942


- Seth
- 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):

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

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


- Lady Iron Chef
- Follow My Wanders
- Bumble Bee Mum

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Wild @ Westway Mall, Singapore

Change is constant...

------ start update ----

Update (20 Feb 2016):
Change is constant, indeed! So, turns out they are not open on Sundays anymore.
New opening hours:
Mon to Sat 12 - 9pm
Sun and Public holidays closed

------ end update ----

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

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 12pm-9pm
Sunday and Public holiday Closed

Phone: +65 9687 2269

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


- 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

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


- Seth Lui
- Daniel Food Diary

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