Sunday, November 29, 2009

Once Upon a Milkshake

Made an impromptu trip to Once Upon a Milkshake for a pre-dinner snack, after the extreme gruelling Saturday lecture. It's located at the very hard to find Maxwell Chambers, and although we missed the turn and made a huge loop, the trip was more than worth it.
I had Agent Strawberry - 100% fresh strawberries, which beats all the other strawberry milkshakes I've had hands down. The milkshake is thick, creamy and is not frothy at all. The milkshake is so thick that you have to suck really hard on the straw. My strawberry milkshake was smooth and creamy, and had just the right sweetness.

Grumbling Raisins: Flavourful rum with rum-soaked raisins
This is exactly like rum and raisin ice cream, but in the milkshake form. I could really taste the rum and raisins in the milkshake, and the alcohol content is just right - doesn't mask out the flavour of the raisins. I think that they should really have more alcoholic flavours like baileys cos it's sure to be a hit.
Nutty Peanut Butter: Smooth and Creamy peanut butter with crunchy peanuts
The Nutty Peanut Butter was rich and creamy, with lots and lots of peanut butter. I felt that it would have been even better if they had grape jam blended in, to form a peanut butter and jelly milkshake instead of a plain peanut butter milkshake.
Chocolate Truffle Castle: Mouth-watering chocolate with Truffle Bits
This is a definite must try for chocolate lovers - the chocolate taste is very strong, but it isn't so sweet that you feel full halfway before you're through.
Cerious Maple: Maple syrup with crunchy maple cereals
One of the more interesting milkshakes from OUaM, since I've never tried a maple flavoured milkshake before. The maple syrup is very fragrant, and I liked how they added cereal bits on top.
Other flavours which we didn't try were the Sir Cookies and Cream, Spooky Mocha, Vanilla pot and their new flavour, Pirate Peach Queen.
The very thoughtful people at OUaM every give out a 50cents carpark coupon so you can enjoy your milkshake in peace - and not worry about the carpark attendant.
Mini ($3.30 for 210ml) and Regular ($5.80? for 360ml) sizes
The place is really very pretty, with purple and white decor and interesting tables. I really liked their purple butterfly clock. It's a perfect chill-out place for a lazy weekend afternoon, or for post work dessert indulgences, though I'm sure that it'll be flooded in no time soon. Hope they open another branch at a more accessible place, so I'll be able to get my milkshake fix.
The milkshakes here are spectacular. It's not often that I feel compelled to return to a dessert place right after I've tried it, but I really felt like going back there after dinner, and very nearly went back there today (just that I was so stuffed from brunch, I didn't in the end). My favourite flavour was the strawberry (cos I really like desserts with strawberry), followed by the Nutty Peanut Butter and Grumbling Raisins. I could have totally easily had another 2 more minis, or 3 for the matter... One mini is definitely not enough. Especially since it's not cloyingly sweet like most other milkshakes.
I've just visited their website, and they actually make the ice cream themselves. I must really try the ice cream the next time I'm back. Which I hope, will be very, very soon.
32 Maxwell Road
#01-08 Maxwell Chambers
Tel: 9823 3779
Daily: 11am-11pm

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spruce - Brunch

Pleasantly surprised that Spruce's brunch was pretty good. After the so-so dinner there nearly half a year ago, I wasn't expecting much.
Had a lazy brunch at Spruce during the public holiday (since I have school on Saturday) - a much needed break from the madness of school! So glad that there's a PH this week. I was nearly tempted to get the Garden Breakfast ($15++) which the table opposite us was having - a heaped plate of avocado, tomato, grilled vegetables, garden salad, mushrooms, goat's cheese and brioche toast looked really good!The Eggs Benedict with Corn Waffles ($12++)
Though it looks like a small portion (half a waffle), it's actually rather filling. I was quite stuffed after finishing it. The corn waffles were incredibly soft, and there were kernels of juicy fresh sweetcorn in it. It's a unique twist to the usual eggs ben with muffins, and I'm quite glad that I ordered it instead of the more ordinary Garden Breakfast.
I don't particularly appreciate streaky bacon (unless it's in my carbonara), but I enjoyed the leg bacon, which was lean and not too salty. However, part of the reason why I liked it was because it tasted more ham-ish than like bacon.
The poached eggs were done nicely, with the yolks still runny. The hollandaise sauce was thick and creamy, and they're pretty generous with the sauce, though they didn't go overboard with it. I liked how they used chives and not spring onions, which is the cheaper alternative used in some restaurants here.
I was quite amused that it was served on a porcelain plate which looks like those plates you find in Chinese restaurants.
The Spruce Big Brekkie ($16++) with Eggs, bacon, German Sausage (beef), Roasted tomato, potato, mushrooms with focaccia bread.
The sausage is really huge and juicy looking, go here for the review on the sausage since I don't eat beef. Mushrooms were so-so - would have been better if they added garlic and herbs to it.
The scrambled eggs were creamy and moist, slightly runny and lightly seasoned. The portion is pretty good - you'll definitely be stuffed when you're done eating this, especially since it comes with 2 big pieces of lightly buttered toast (supposed to be focaccia, but I think it tasted more like Brioche? not too sure, the waitress said it was focaccia).
Banana Pancakes with Honeycomb butter and blueberry syrup ($13++)
Which was sorely lacking in honeycomb butter! Plus, there was less than 1/8th of a banana in there. They should consider re-naming it, since the honey is apparently mixed into the blueberry syrup?
I didn't like the grated orange zest in the pancakes (since I don't like orange). The pancakes were light and fluffy, and tasted like the kind you can make at home with those instant pancake mix. I especially liked the grainey bits of crumble sprinkled over them. The amount of blueberry sauce was too little, but fortunately, they gave us additional maple syrup for the pancakes.
Arnold Palmer ($6++) which is half lemonade and half unsweetened lemon tea.
Looking at my photo makes me feel like brewing my own sun tea, especially since I've been waking up extremely early even on weekends, it'll be done by noon if I make it once I'm up.

The pricing here is pretty reasonable for the portions, much better than Dempsey's breakfast portions in general, and I liked the ambiance (sat outside on their wooden patio, overlooking the garden/playground this time). Despite the scorching hot sun today, the large shady trees in the garden kept the dining area cool and airy.

Would have given it 4/5 stars, but service could have been much better - they were extremely slow, kept forgetting our extra orders (like hot water, tomato sauce etc). Though we took our order by a nice Chinese waitress, who kindly recommended that we don't order the banana pancakes along with our mains, since we will be too full. But we were greedy and ordered it anyway (couldn't finish my half). Plus, there was a fly on the pumpkin pie we wanted to eat...

320 Tanglin Road
Phoenix Park
Tel: 6836 5528
(Opposite Brunei Embassy)
Lunch: (Mon-Fri) 10.30am-2.30pm
Bakery, Tea & Coffee: (Mon-Sun) 2.30pm-5.30pm
Dinner: (Mon-Sun) 5.30pm-10.30pm
Brunch: (Sat, Sun & PH) 8.30am-2.30pm
Do go early or book a table, since it got really crowded around noon. Free parking, though there's not many spaces once the restaurant starts filling up.

I've just realized that I've been posting really very little during the month of November. It's probably my record for the least no. of posts in the whole month :/ Hopefully it'll be better in December! Crossing my fingers now.
I really do believe a dslr makes photos look 1000x better even though I have no photography skills!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


If you're wondering how come I have Big D's grill on my to blog list for such a long time, it's cos I sent my C902 hp for repair after dropping it, and I can't upload the photos from the m2 memory card onto my comp without my hp, since I don't have the adapter.

This is from 2 saturdays agi, when I went to 1Caramel cake overload outing as organized by harris:
The strawberry shortcake ($8.90++) is the best one I've had -considering I don't particularly like cakes which are full of whipped cream. The strawberry shortcake was layered with strawberry flavoured cream, which had the light fruity fragrance of strawberries. The pairing of the texture crumbled, sugared flaky puff pastry with the soft sponge cake gave a twist to the usual strawberry shortcake.
It's not a permanent fixture on their menu, but hopefully it will be in the future. The hazelnut pear tart ($6.90++) was lovely - moist tart base with grated pear chunks which gave the tart a natural fruity sweetness. I couldn't really taste the hazelnut though I suppose that the black specks in the tart filling are the ground hazelnuts?Although pink is my least favourite colour, I have a weakness for pink coloured foods especially if it combines lychee and rose. The Lychee Rose ($7.90++) cake is just like the ispahan macaroon, but in a cake form. The rose taste was very subtle, and the lychee bits were located within the layer of jelly. The cake was a bit wet, perhaps because we had the last slice of cake.
The peanut butter cheese tart ($6.90++) comes with a layer of hazelnut praline, which is lost on me since all I could taste was the overwhelming layer of peanut butter. I wasn't able to make out the cream cheese. The tart is really heavy, and I think that unless you're a hard core dessert person, you shouldn't attempt this tart on your own. Midori ($7.90++), which means green in Japanese, is a mix of green tea sponge cake, red beans and yuzu infused bavarios (cream thickened with gelatine). I don't like citrus fruits, but this cake was tolerable as the yuzu flavour was very mild. Chocolate Praline Cake ($7.90++)
1Caramel's signature cocoa cake was slightly disappointing. I thought that it wasn't as nice as I expected it to be, and I prefer Rive Gauche's. I did like the varying layers of chocolate mousse and hazelnut praline feuilletine, but it's not unique or extremely spectacular.One of the more interesting desserts of the day - Red Miso Souffle with Yuzu Ice Cream($12.90++).
The souffle was salty but didn't taste really like miso soup. It was very well done, with the top lightly crispy, and the souffle was wobbly and airy. I didn't try the yuzu ice cream, for obvious reasons.

The carrot cake with walnuts, topped with cream cheese frosting. I didn't really like the carrot cake, partly due to diminishing returns and also because I felt that it could do with a thicker layer of cream cheese frosting. Cedele's carrot cakes are my gold standard for carrot cakes. Their cream cheese frosting is so thick and luscious. The brownie almond cake ($4.50++) was value for money - a thick, generous slab of brownie, though it fell short in the flavour department. It was pretty dry and hard, and I probably won't order this again.
Once again, my favourite cake of the day - the Strawberry Shortcake. The service here was pretty good, and they serve iced water, which is a definite plus, especially for dessert restaurants. Their cooked food menu looks promising, I won't mind coming back to try their lunch sets.

Elaine - Divine Essentials
Kaelyn - My Food Sirens II
Harris - The Simplest Aphrodisiac
Fen & Yuan - Indulgence After Workout
Angeline & Janelle - Sistafood

6 Handy road
#01-01 The Luxe (Beside Cathay)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I've just completely messed up my diurnal rhythm by taking a 6hr nap and I've got to wake up uber early again tmr (and for the next 4 weeks). And I've just unhappily dropped my sony ericsson C902 and I'm going to be around $80 poorer. Anyway, I'm trying to clear my backlogged posts now!

Had Mykii for lunch sometime last month (or the month before). It occupies the place where Marmalade Pantry used to be in Holland V. We triedEveryday selection ($13.80++), which came with soup of the day, main course, drink and dessert. The mushroom soup which had lots of pureed mushrooms in it, but since I was having a blocked nose that day, I could hardly taste anything... It's pretty good according to my friend...
The Forest of Mushroom pasta, which came with a creamy base, sauteed enoki, shitake and button mushrooms. It was pretty average, and a bit too watery for my liking, though I did like the pretty generous amount of mushrooms they added to the pasta.
Chicken Tofu Burger with Romaine Lettuce
I misread the menu in my haste to order (rushing back to school for lecture), and thought it was a chicken tofu patty, but it's actually fried tofu sandwiched with grilled Cajun chicken breast. The portion is really tiny, and if you're hungry, you should really avoid this. The peanut oriental sauce was pretty salty, and it was quite interesting (but not particularly spectacular) to have over the romaine lettuce, though I won't be ordering this dish again. One of the highlights of my meal - the iced lemon tea, which was unsweetened. I really like this kind of iced tea, cos you can choose how much sugar syrup you want to add. Plus, it comes in a nice tall glass, so it means more drink for me.Dessert of the day was Profiteroles, which neither my lunch partner nor me liked cos they were pretty hard. Perhaps they would do well to just give ice cream.
Not bad for a $13.80++ lunch, but the portion of the chicken tofu burger was too small. The place is pretty quiet, but maybe it's cos we had lunch really late. Service was pretty good, but perhaps it's cos we were the only ones there? I won't be dying to go back, but the laksa leaf pesto pasta looks really tempting.
17d Lorong Liput Holland Village
Tel: +65 6468 2838

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mei Heong Yuen - Ion Orchard

I don't know why but Snow ice seems to have taken off really really slowly in Singapore. It has been around for quite long (at least for the last 3 or 4 years? or longer?) already, and yet, in a country which is always sunny, its not as popular as I would have expected it to be. Hopefully, that will change soon since Mei Heong Yuen, one of the more popular snow ice stalls has set up a branch right in the heart of the Singapore's main shopping district. Mei Heong Yuen's signature mango snow ice, which is a towering yellow mountain of fluffy, slightly milky ice, topped with lots of mango sauce and diced mango.The almond and sesame ($6) is really interesting to look at, since it's stripey like a zebra. It's topped with some almond flakes. I thought that the almond taste was too mild, and the black sesame was very overpowering. Nonetheless, it's an interesting change from the usual mango snow ice. Green tea with red beans ($6) is another hot seller at Mei Hong Yuen. The green tea is rather icy and watery, and it's not milky like the mango ice. The green tea is sweet and bitter at the same time, and the sweet red beans go really well with it.
Though the portions here are really generous (for one person), it's still less than the portions I got from the Chinatown branch. Perhaps it's because the last time I went there was eons ago. But I have a feeling that it's cos of the higher rent in Orchard... But since it's much more accessible than Chinatown (Temple Street), I'll definitely be back for more mango ice.

Mei Heong Yuen
Ion Orchard
Basement 4, near all the food stalls

Friday, November 13, 2009

Taste Matters

Read about Taste Matters from the Sunday Lifestyle food section (my weekly food guide) and tried it on a Thursday, when our usually long draggy lecture ended unexpectedly early. With Island Creamery just around the corner, and little frontage (it's tucked right inside Cluny court), Taste Matters is a rather quitet ice cream place. Which is a real pity, since the ice cream here beats Island Creamery hands down in terms of quality.
I loved the Lavander Ice cream, with French Tuille ($6.50)
The ice cream was infused with a hint of lavander, not too overpowering such that it feels like you're eating a bar of soap or drowning in lavander fragrance. I really liked the smooth ice cream base, which tasted rich and creamy. The plum (I think it's plum - I somehow can't remember) sauce was an interesting change from the usual raspberry/strawberry sauces.

The tuille was really delicious - buttery, thin and crispy, with a sprinkling of white sesame seeds in the middle. The thin tuille wafers are really great when it's eaten together with the luciously creamy ice cream. Hem and Haw ($6.50)
Hawthorn brings back my childhood memories - the little 'drums' of tightly packed haw flakes whcih came in a yellow, green and pink wrapper. The hawthorn sorbet is very light and airy, and has the lip-pluckering taste of hawthorn. Best of all, it's serve with bits of plum wine jelly - with real plum bits and a rather strong taste of wine.
We were also given samples of some of the other flavours they had. Vanilla tasted like a creamier, fresher version of Tillamook's Vanilla Bean ice cream, and had lots of the little speckles of real vanilla bean. I also enjoyed the Blueberry Cheesecake, which was a refreshing change from the usual Strawberry cheesecake ice creams. The ice cream had a rich cream cheese taste - and I think that it'll taste delicious in an Ice Cream Blueberry pie (ok the ice cream blueberry pie is just part of my imagination, but I think it'll taste great on top of a tart base).
I'll definitely be back to try more of the ice creams from the menu. Or maybe to buy a tub of lavender ice cream. My only regret was that I couldn't get a better shot of the ice cream, partially because I was too impatient and wanted to start eating before the ice cream melted...

Taste Matters
501 Bukit Timah Road
#02-19 Cluny Court
Tel: +65 6297 9713

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


My super long overdue post from the night before my Kelong trip (can't believe it my sister actually wants to go to a kelong after her exams!!). Was trying to rush this post yesterday night, but then I was too tired to finish it :/ Plus, it's distracting me from writing my dreaded personal statement that my entire working life will hinge on... Handburger is set up by the same people who started the Soup Spoon, but that's probably where the similarities end. There was a half page article on the Handburger quite some time ago in the Sunday lifestyle section, and I've finally gotten down to trying it. Waffle Vegetable Crisps ($3.80)
Thin cut waffle crisps of a mixed of freshly cut potato, sweet potato and taro

Personally, I really disliked the dish. Other than the sweetish sauce (which was really delicious, and goes very well with fries), which was the saving grace of this dish, the vegetable crisps tasted horribly burnt. Though I must admit that they were very addictively crunchy (makes me think of Ruffles with Ridges).
What impressed me was that when we decided that it was inedible since it was so burnt, and informed the waiter, who returned it to the kitchen. He then informed us that the chef would be cooking us another batch. When the second batch came back, served personally to us by a very apologetic chef (see the picture, it still looks as burnt) and tasted burnt, we decided to 'leave it' after a few nibbles, and not to complain. After all, it was $3.80 split amongst the 3 of us, and they had already made the effort to cook another batch. It was a pleasant suprise when the bill came, and we found that the restaurant had waived the charges for the waffle vegetable crisps. Talk about a pleasant suprise indeed:)
My Chicken Caesar burger ($12 something)
Baked chicken breast wrapped with bacon, fresh mozzarella, sauteed basil pesto, mushroom, handmade caesar dressing on a bed of romaine lettuce, tomato on toasted sundried tomato with olive bun

I found the chicken breast a bit too dry and hard for my liking, but it was definitely not lacking in any flavour, especially since it was wrapped with a rasher of crisped, streaky bacon. I particularly enjoyed the juicy sauteed mushrooms, which were infused in a creamy and buttery sauce, as well as the fresh mozzarella cheese and aromatic pesto. The olive bun had the subtle salty taste of black olives, but the olive taste was not overpowering.
Pulled Pork Burger with Rustic Cornmeal bun (Around $12)
The pork shreds were moist and tender, and infused with a rich marinade. The pickled cabbage added a nice sourish tang to the pork, which would otherwise have tasted too heavy and meaty on it's own.
The Handburger Original ($13 something)
Their Original burger came with a beef patty, and is served on a caramelized onion bun.
The burgers at Handburger come with different burger buns. In fact, they even sell their burger buns (1 for $1.40, 3 for $3.80).
I'm not a big french fries fan, but the fries here are really good. Perhaps it's because I like my fries partially soggy. But these fries are the real thing - starchy strips of potatoes, with the skin on too. Sure beats the skinny, artificially golden or overly crisped fries from Macdonalds.
For people who don't mind a little rabbit food to balance out the unhealthy calorie laden burgers, opt for the chilled tomato stuffed with coleslaw. Delicious tangy and crunchy coleslaw stuffed into a poached, skinned tomato (which is rather big too - same size as my fist) drizzled with a beta-carotene rich carrot puree. This chilled tomato gives a nice zing and a refreshing tang to the oily, heavy main course.

For me, it's a hard fight choosing between the fries and the tomato - but no worries since the chilled stuffed tomato costs $3 for an alacarte order, I won't have to stress my poor little braincells thinking of which to order ;)Nutella milkshake ($6)
The highlight of this milkshake was the perfectly roasted marshmellows -they look rather unassuming at first, but once you take a bite, the crisped outer layer gives way to a gooey, strandy mess and, for me, the feeling that you get a barbecues when you roast your own marshmellows over the dying fire. The milkshake could do with way more nutella, but it's rather sweet already, so I suppose that more nutella would make it nearly impossible to drink without seriously stressing your pancreas.Lychee Mint Crush ($3.50)
Which had so many bits of lychee that it was quite a chore sucking the lychee bits through the straw. There's lots of fresh mint leaves in this extremely refreshing drink.

Service here was impressive - I was expecting cafe/bistro standard, but then I was pleasantly suprised by our waiter, who patiently took orders from 3 extremely fickle diners. I'll definitely be back, maybe to try their Prawncake burger as well as the stuffed portabello burger. And of course, I'll make sure I have space for dessert - I'm eyeing the Lemony Curd already!
The Handburger
252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: +65 6334 4577

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pasta Brava

I'm still alive, even though I haven't updated in a while - I've been super busy and tired and all my blog posts are piling up sadly. I shall make this short and sweet cos I will have to wake up in 7 hrs time... Of course, coming to a place with the name Pasta Brava, we ended up trying 3 different kinds of pastas. The pastas here are all around $20, and the portion is just nice for a not very hungry person.

The pumpkin ravioli with capsicum and cream sauce (around $23?) was the dish I was looking forward to, but I thought that it tasted too sweetish for a main course. The golden pumpkin puree encased in a square of ravioli, covered with sweet capsicum sauce was not savoury enough for me, despite the sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

The obligatory vongole with angel hair pasta.

The lamb cannelloni was my favourite pasta for the night, cos the lamb had the strong, meaty taste, and paired with thick and chunky tomato sauce. The delicious lamb sauce was enveloped by tubes of cannelloni, and topped with baked cheese. (I actually went to cold storage to buy minced lamb so that I could make some lamb pasta, but I haven't had the time or mood to cook anything...)Dessert - the Chocolate lava cake, which was pretty good - though for me, chocolate lava cakes can only attain a certain 'fixed' standard - haven't had a chocolate lava cake which completely blew me away... Some 3 layered ice cream thing, which wasn't very nice. I don't even know the name of this thing cos I forgot to take down the details from the menu :( But I think it's supposed to be liquor ice cream? Not too sure, but it really isn't very impressive.

Pasta Brava
11 Craig Road
Tel: 6227 7550
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Parking here's a pain - either parallel park along tanjong pagar road (highly unlikely that you'll get a carpark lot), park in the multi storey public carpark near the market (Yan Kit Road), or at Craig place building.
I shall now quickly go and sleep (on a Friday night! omg!) so that I'll be able to crawl to school on time tmr :/