Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Croute


Went for a post call brunch at Croute, which is the sister restaurant of the now defunct Hummerstons (which serves delicious poutines). It's located in a very very sleepy Valley Point, which has so many renovations. I don't know why people go there cos there's hardly anything to do (besides to do yoga). 

Actually, Croute only opened at 10, so we went over to Lins Smoodees first (legs too tired after not sleeping the whole night). Of course, after eating, we have negated all the antioxidant benefits of the green smoothie...
 I had the pulled pork sandwich, which had really nicely marinated pork, coleslaw and a crusty bread. Not bad ( I think this was about $13 or $14?) though it was a bit messy to eat cos of all the sauce.
Extremely messy I must emphasise - I was eating like a barbarian with my hands...
 The bread platter was better than expected - we were crazy over that green dip in the middle, which is actually edamame with truffle oil. Who would have guessed that such a combination would be so heavenly! If I have the luxury of time, and not have to sleep early, I would love to  have to buy a jar of this stuff home, lie on my sofa and watch a good movie.

The other dips were not bad, but compared to the edamame dip, paled in comparison. The babaganoush (eggplant) dip was not bad. The hummus was too garlicky for my liking (if you're looking for good hummus I would suggest Pita Pan, which has awesomely creamy hummus)

The truffle carbonara pasta looked really strange, with the egg being more of a scrambled egg - but taste wise it was tasty, with lots of truffle and mushroom.

Croute (by Hummerstons)
#01-11 Valley Point
491 River Valley Road
Tel9740781
Monday to Sunday 10am to 8pm

Monday, September 15, 2014

Assembly Coffee - Evans Road

Best thing about calls are the post calls that come with it. 


 My pulled pork and apple sandwich ($14.90) - lots of soft pulled pork, some sliced green apples (which really helped balance the heaviness of the pork) topped with smoky bbq sauce
 Hmm I think this was some muffin but I cannot remember what!
 Croissant with scrambled egg and smoked salmon ($13.90)
 Shibuya Thick toast ($12) - sugar overload with honeyed toast, ice cream, icing sugar, plus honey greek yogurt on the side. Would probably recommend that you share this cos its really a bit too sweet to be eaten by one person alone.

I don't know why thick toast hasn't really taken off in Singapore, cos it's so darn awesome. And somehow, I can never ever do it at home unless I buy some really good bread... Last time I had it was when Pasta de Waraku came up with this Hanitoast so many years ago (I'm not sure if they even have it anymore, since it was so long ago and I don't particularly like Waraku).
Buttermilk waffle with New Zealand Natural Vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce ($11.50). The waffle has the perfect texture (at least to me) - which is not overly hard or crispy outside, slightly fluffy and 'kueh' like texture inside. A bit like those green colour waffles you get from those neighbourhood bakery stores. 
The seating is really limited cos the place is tiny (don't know how they manage to churn out the food so fast since their kitchen is really micro mini. Food is better than expected (since it's a hipster cafe and a lot of these cafes have been disappointing me). 

Assembly Coffee
20 Evans Lodge
Tel 67355647
Closed Mondays

Friday, September 12, 2014

Santouka Ramen

The first time I tried Santouka Ramen, when it opened its flagship store in back in 2008, before smartphones (the horrors of having to live without my smart phone, GPS and internet on the go).

The pork cheeks are still as delicious as I remember them to be. The broth creamy, slightly salty (can request for less salty when you order) and has a robust pork flavour.
The pork cheek - which has one side of fats, and the other side of really soft melt in the mouth meat - it has a different texture from the regular charsiew which comes with most ramne. Also, there's black fungus, sliced spring onions, bamboo shoots and a piece of fishcake.
The noodles, like all good Japanese ramen, came al dente. The average sized bowl is pretty filling, and I was regretting having my dessert before my dinner.

I personally prefer Santouka over Ippudo, because of the pork cheek ramen, and because I like their tonkotsu broth. Plus we had dinner really late and most of the other restaurants were closed.
 The gyoza was not bad, but not spectacular, not remarkable or memorable.
The reason why we were in that part of town, was none other than to eat Ilao Ilao (at least, for me), which is my new ice cream yogurt addiction. I heard that they're opening a new branch in United Square, so all you people near Novena can go hurry down for your yogurt fix (I'm superbly envious btw!). The queue is insane at all times. But I'm such a sucker so I just queue anyway.

Santouka Ramen
Cuppage Terrace
Cuppage Road Singapore 229452
Tel 62351059
Openes from 12-3pm, 5.30-12am

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Spathe - Brunch

I dropped by Spathe for a Saturday brunch as I was running errands nearby, and it seemed to have pretty good food reviews online.
Their menu - like Kilo, the menu was different from the one online. I don't know why these places don't update their websites in this day and age...
We had the eggs ben and the eggs royale. Portion was good, and the garlic fries were awesome.
My Croque Madame - which was pretty good - soft bread, enough béchamel sauce to keep everything moist but not soggy, lots of cheese and a runny sunny side up egg. And of course, the wonderful garlic fries.
The eggs benedict - with lovely garlic fries - bursting with crispy brown minced garlic. You can probably tell how much I like the garlic fries here - I'm not a big fan of plain french fries, but toss on some flavourings and I'll be unable to resist them.
The hard boiled yolk in the poached egg. Very consistent as all the yolks from all 4 of the poached eggs were hard boiled. Since we were sharing, I got 1 egg. I probably would have returned my eggs if I had to eat 2 hard boiled eggs.
Our sticky toffee pudding. The pudding itself isn't bad per say, but I really prefer my gold standard Maramalade pantry sticky date and toffee pudding. I'm definitely biased.

Again the service was a letdown - we asked if the sticky toffee pudding comes with ice cream (as being the ice cream junkies we were, we absolutely needed ice cream with it). Our server said no, it only comes with whipped cream. So we topped up a scoop of ice cream (chocolate hazelnut) and told the server that it was specifically cos there was no ice cream with the toffee pudding.

Of course, the ice cream had to come out a good 15 minutes before the toffee pudding. We sent it back cos we didn't want it all melted when the toffee pudding came.

And when it finally came out, there was a heaping huge scoop of hokeypokey ice cream on top! We called the manager over and returned the chocolate hazelnut ice cream - doesn't make sense for me to pay another $6 for ice cream since the toffee pudding already comes with it.

Extremely exasperating end to the meal.
The food's above average, prices average, service poor. I'm not sure if I will come back - I suppose if you have a whole load of patience, by all means, do come and give the food a try, it's really quite decent for the price.

Spathe 
#01-01
8 Mohamed Sultan Road
Tel 67351035
Daily 11am to 11pm

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Provision Shop

Went to try the Provision shop for a snack on a weekday afternoon. It was nice and quiet, and the food was pretty good for the price. The Everton area has lots of these quaint little cafes, and it's quite nice to explore that area. 
Blueberry lemon cake - tastes much better than it looks. I'm still not a fan of lemon. Though my other dining companions liked it
Polish Dumplings ($5)
 The polish dumpling, which had lots of fluffy potato, ricotta cheese, and some fried bacon and sour cream. Not really something that I'll be craving for, but it was pretty interesting. Haven't tried anything like this before - just carbs inside carbs topped with streaky bacon and cream.
Traditional Carbonara ($14)
The pasta noodles are all made fresh in-house, so I die die had to order a pasta dish. This is the carbonara, and it's supposedly done in a very traditional style, with just eggs and cheese (parmigiano, no less, which costs more than parmesan. You can check out this link to see what's the difference).
It wasn't really piping hot when served, so it got a bit clumpy and I thought it could have tasted much better hot.
It's really worth a try if you're in the area. Their meat based mains are all sub $20, and their pasta is made fresh in house. Do note that the restaurant is really small so you might want to call for a reservation to avoid disappointment. 

The Provision Shop
#01-79
3 Everton Park
Tel 62259931
Daily 11am - 9pm

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lins Smoodees


Peter Pan Green Smoothie of the Day $8.50

Green smoothies are all in the rage (online, at least) but I've yet to try any cos the thought of ingesting a whole bunch of kale/spinach/whatever-dark-leafy-green-vegetable seemed rather unappetising.  So when we happened to chance upon Lins Smoodies I decided to give it a try. 

Check out their superbly eco friendly bamboo straw! The staff strongly discourage wastage and you'll have to bring your own tumbler to get your smoothie or have it in house (or something along that lines)

(wkr will be rolling her eyes and wouldn't touch this with a 10 foot pole)
Actually, we were waiting for Croute to open, so we decided to sit down and rest our sleep deprived selves and get a healthy drink. According to the staff there, the drink is best drunk with an empty stomach (which we had) but you shouldn't eat anything within 30 minutes of having the drink (which we did not follow cos we were eating at Croute).

Actually, I couldn't really taste or smell the veggies, mostly could taste the sweetness of the pineapple and a faint banana aftertaste, but it was really refreshing, and perhaps it's placebo but I imagine all the antioxidants counteracting the wrinkles that my skin forms when I'm post call. Comes with a small sprinkle of chia seeds for your daily dose of Omega 3 fatty acids.

They also have this really awesome granola thing with coconuts and dried snakeskin fruit. Really addictive - would totally buy this to munch on once they start production. I must have munched though a significant portion from that large glass jar while waiting for my smoothie.
The green smoodie of the day - with all organic vegetables: nai bai, wild spinach, sunflower sprouts, finger bananas, pineapple, and orange (of course, mine had no orange). It changes daily depending on the supply of fruits and they also do door to door deliveries. If you're interested in that kind of thing, check out their website.

Lins Smoodees
Check out their website here
#01-13 Valley Point (next to NTUC Finest)
491 River Valley Road
Closed Weekends and public holidays

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sunday Folks

So much hype about the new hipster soft serve ice cream store from the same people behind Creamier. Was really tempted by the numerous posts and feeds that I just had to get myself some soft serve ice cream. The Earl Grey lavender soft serve comes dressed with lavender infused konnyaku jelly cubes, blueberries, some almond brittle, and soft cubes of cheese cake under all that ice cream. Not bad at $7.50.
Salted Gula Melaka Waffles ($11.50)
Creamier is well known for their waffles, and the waffles here met my high expectations. They were fluffy, soft and eggy, and their buttery fragrance wafted out of the kitchen. However, my soft serve gula melaka ice cream melted too quickly into a soggy puddle and I felt stressed trying to slurp everything up before it melted. I don't know why this isn't the case with A&W ice cream waffles.

This place is so hipster that I was probably at least 10 years older than everyone around me. Le sighhhhh.

Sunday Folks
44 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-52 Chip Bee Gardens

Monday, August 25, 2014

Alkaff Mansion High Tea

 Went to Alkaff Mansion for a lazy brunch on a Saturday afternoon. I was glad that I was seated indoors, and not in one of those outdoor tents.
 Starter of iced tea (apparently English breakfast, though it was too sweet for me to taste anything else) and bruschetta. The pasta was from the semi-buffet station - cream and bacon penne with a dash of truffle oil.

 Crepe Suzette
I know that crepe suzette is cooked with orange juice and liqueur , but it was all ready made, and just warmed up in the pan. I don't really have issues with that just as long as they serve it warm. However, when I requested for them to just warm up the crepe alone without all the orange juice, the server refused. Seriously it's not as if it'll be a fire hazard. I don't see why they are so inflexible.
 Condiments - jam and butter
The three tiered tea set (not refillable)
Bottom Tier:
The smoked salmon sandwich was sad and dry - so dry that I knew after eyeballing it that it had been left out for too long.
The other sandwich was a beef loin, with tuna, which I didn't eat.
There was a weird foie gras pate with apple compote and some weird dry bread which was yellow in colour (that no one ate). There was also a filler of a skewered piece of ham with a small chunk of pineapple.
Middle Tier: 
Some cupcake which looked rather plain and sad
Some berry (vague 'berry' - the waitstaff didn't know what kind of berry it was) cupcake
Blackberry-pseudo macaroon - custard- lookalike thingy
Macaroon
Top tier:
Scones (didn't try, the others said it was average)

The high tea includes a small buffet spread of the pasta (seen above), crepes, and some small cakes/bites.

The whole time, it was an amazing challenge to get the waitstaff to explain what was on the tiers. Even the manager didn't know what flavour macaroon it was (probably came out from a box, so can't really blame her). I have never felt such absurd difficulty getting them to explain the dishes to me. Ever. This was the first.

Plus, initially we ordered 3 pots of Gryphon tea (to share amongst 4 people) - one of which was the White Royal Peony (white tea, apricot, English rose), which I really liked. Somehow after about 4-5 pots of the same tea (I did try some of the other teas, but didn't particularly fancy them), they gave me a new pot of White Royal Peony, which was a totally different colour (dark brown instead of a light yellow) and taste. Assuming that they might have made a mistake, I informed the server, who said that he would check to confirm.

He brought back a supposedly new pot of tea, which was the same dismal brown colour, and insisted that this was the white peony tea that I had been drinking the whole afternoon. I didn't touch it after that.

At $47 nett, and with such a wide selection and unlimited changes/refills of tea, I suppose it sort of made it more worth it, though their food selection and service has lots of room for improvement. The dining area is really quaint, there was live music (violin + cello), and there was no worry about expiring carpark coupons and carpark fees. If the food and service was up to par, I would have strongly recommend this place, but it definitely wasn't and I doubt that I would be back anytime soon. Which is a great pity cos the ambience is really nice.

Go at your own risk:
Alkaff Mansion
10 Telok Blangah Green Singaproe 109178
Tel: 65103068

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Nektar

I don't know why I never blogged about Nektar, but its my favourite cocktail bars. It was a fantastic place to chill at - not only was it conveniently located near my workplace, never crowded at around 6pm, and had free parking. Sadly, it's closing down, and doesn't have a new place to relocate to yet.
Anyway, I was really glad to have an opportunity to try some of their drinks - they don't have a menu anymore cos they have a more limited selection of alcohols - just let the bartender know what you like and they'll work their magic.

Nektar
31 Scotts Road
Singapore 228225
Tel 6836 9185