Monday, December 31, 2012


Hello everyone! Sorry for the lack of updates - was busy stuffing my chicken(s) and stuffing myself :p I've decided not to be so lardy and to update a bit more (I've been having great inertia in typing out my posts even though I have my photos up on blogger already!)
I shall end this year with a nice post on Kitchenette which is one of my best finds this year (too bad it was so late in the year!) Hope that everyone has a great new years celebration! :D 
Went to Kitchenette for brunch again - the menu has changed a bit but they still have their really nice eggs benedict (with a side of either salad or soup, $11.50++), their nicely roasted new potatoes and a cup of tea/coffee. 
 Soup of the day - pumpkin soup $8 with a very tasty garlic bread
Somehow this wasn't as thick as my vegetable roux the last time, but still homely - nice and thick with some rustic spices. I really liked the crispy garlic bread which was adequately buttered and with enough garlic to be called a respectable piece of garlic bread (unlike some places where there's more butter than bread)
 Chicken sandwich - lots of crusty bread and vegetables (I think this was about $15?) as far as crusty sandwiches go, I think it's hard to beat Drip's - partly cos I like the humungous servings of vegetables (roasted and fresh! and watercress too!) so I thought that this paled in comparison. Though to be fair, it's not a bad sandwich - just that I have tasted better.
 My croque madame ($8) with lots of emmental cheese and ham stuffed between 2 thick fluffy pieces of bread, and a runny fried egg. I think I like this more than the eggs ben - and I would get this again the next time I'm at Kitchenette. (I've been having mega cravings for this the past few days! Urghh need to walk over there one day when I'm free to satisfy my cravings)
Berry tart - not as good as Drips' but it comes close with the buttery shortcrust pastry and creamy custard base. Ok I think I just need to go back to drips and eat their nice sandwiches... but the croque madame is fantastic! For $8 it's really a steal! (On another side note - I really like Kitchenette and I hope it won't be too crowded and overpopulated just like everywhere else - that's just the selfish part of me talking...)

51 Goldhill Plaza
#01-01 Goldhill Plaza
Tel 63527484

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Carpenter and Cook

Merry Christmas everyone! I've been gorging myself this festive season, and trying to clear up the backlog of posts. 
Finally tried Carpenter and Cook - despite it being so near my house I seem to be the last person to try it... Was bemoaning the absence of good dessert/teatime places in the area sometime last year when Udders seemed to be the only dessert place around.

A pictorial for Carpenter and Cook - lots of freshly baked goodies - costs a pretty penny but oh so good! And tweedle dum and tweedle dee are there to greet you at the entrance.
So many choices - but so little tummy space - makes it a real dilemma for me!
Buttery croissants - no chocolate croissants so I didn't try this but acc to my friends its good!
Lemon tart
Bundt cake with lavender - not my favourite cake (even though I was the one who chose this - good things are made for sharing ^-^) cos I found it a bit hard and dry, not sure if all bundt cakes are meant to be like this?
Our four tarts/cakes - the salted caramel chocolate tart (I don't particularly like chocolate, or caramel, so I wasn't crazy over this but its supposed to be one of their famous tarts), passionfruit meringue tart (hot favourite), lemon tart (zesty, tangy lemon curd), and my not very nice bundt cake.
2 of my favourite tarts
Good food is meant for sharing, and sharing means we get to try more - the frangipane tart with berries. Frangipane isn't the flowering tree that's found by the road side - it's a layer of almond filling in the tart.
Ham and cheese brioche - if it were any cheaper, I'd have taken away many of these to warm up in the mornings. Cottony soft buttery brioche with a piece of spiced ham and cheese rolled inside. It's ridiculously addictive - ask them to warm it up for you. (Btw I love the dark brown greaseproof paper - I don't want to know the amount of oils I'm ingesting - unlike TBB's chocolate croissant which makes the paper bag an oil slick).
Hot chocolate - because I don't drink coffee but wanted something warm to go with my brioche.
Tried an assortment of teas - I like the pomegranate one the best (can't remember what the exact name is) - very sweet smelling and fragrant.

Carpenter and Cook
19 Lorong Kilat
Tel 64633648

Friday, December 21, 2012

Kko Kko Nara

There's a massive K-pop craze in Singapore and with that wave comes a Korean food craze. There's so many Korean restaurants along Tanjong Pagar road now... If you remember, a while back, Posh Nosh the resident eater/writer for the local papers reviewed 2 Korean fried chicken restaurants - Woori Nara and Kko Kko Nara. I've tried the chicken at Woori Nara a while back (I'm sure it has a place in my heart, in one of my coronary arteries - hopefully it's not in somewhere that's critical) and decided that I wasn't a great fan of Korean Chicken.

However, after Tsujiri, we needed to find a place for dinner (yes we ate dessert before dinner because it was Tsujiri and I was so excited about it) and we stumbled upon Kko Kko Nara.

Since they have plastered a mega-sized poster of the review article by Tan Hsueh Yun all over their front door, we decided to try it. To recap, the article says that the owner, Ms Lee used to rummage through the dustbins behind famous fried chicken restaurants in Korea, and used the ingredients she found to concoct her own special to come up her own special batter and blend of spices for her chicken. Great determination that lady has! 
 The fried chicken platter - 3 different flavours - original, sweet and garlic. It's really very steep at $25 for 9 winged sized portions. I really liked the sweet sauce - it wasn't that spicy and I liked the sticky, sweet sauce (it has some fruity undertones but I'm not sure what fruit is it). I wasn't a big fan of the original - just tasted like oily chicken with batter. I found some of the chicken parts rather hard and dry - no complaints about the chicken wings but there were some weirdly chopped unidentifiable parts which were very dry and tough.
I can't remember what this was but has kimchi, tofu and glass noodles in it. Another $25 bucks.
And the pot comes on top of a portable stove - but guess what - the stove wasn't even lit!
Service here was horrible +++ from the minute we stepped in - inattentive and there's this really rude woman (quite young) who seems to be in charge of allocating the tables. The place is dingy and cramped, food is only passable, and service is lousy - they took forever to give us the bill (ended up walking to their counter to pay cos they kept ignoring us) and I don't think that 9 pieces of chicken is worth $25 before taxes. I will definitely not go back. Unless you're in the area, and you're crazy over Korean fried chicken, I won't recommend this place to you.

(Btw, pictures are from my iphone 5 - not bad for lousy lighting and tweaking right?)

Kko Kko Nara
51 Tras Street

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Brunos - Finally!

Brunos has been on my restaurant wish list for eternity, because it's in the East and I have great inertia to drag myself over there. I first read about Brunos on atetoomuch's blog - and I've been wanting to go there for a long long time. When the opportunity arose (meeting my friend who is an eastie) I rushed to secure a booking at Brunos. They have 2 seatings - from 6-8 and 8 till closing. 
One of the daily specials - mussels in white wine sauce. (If I'm not wrong this was about $28?) - it's a massive heap of steaming mussles, all tender, plump and juicy.
 Eggplant parmigiana - came to the table steaming hot - was really good - the tomato sauce was not too salty, just right, lots of molten cheese, and soft flavourful eggplant (which has been soaking up all the tasty goodness). It goes really well with the restaurant bread - dip some in the tomato and cheese sauce. Yum!
The King prawn pasta with lobster cream sauce ($24.50++) comes with 3 juicy big prawns, linguine and creamy crustacean infused sauce. The lobster sauce was tasty and rich with the sweetness that crustaceans give out - linguine done al dente, king prawns fresh and juicy. I wonder if they do a pure lobster version?

I still prefer Valentio's lobster liguine with pink sauce (trust me, it's to die for - my all time favourite, worthy for dragging my DSLR out) because of the cleaner and richer taste but for the amount of prawn and pasta at half the price, it's a real steal.

I've read online that the service is lousy and slow, but it was pretty alright when I was there. Definitely not the speediest service but neither was it snail paced. I suppose that if you're a slow eater (unlike me) you should choose the 2nd seating cos the food takes about half an hour or longer to be served - and you won't want to be shooed out of the restaurant before you're done.We gave desserts a miss because of the time limit. The food here is served piping hot - and all the dishes we ordered came out steaming +++. And the portions are extremely generous for the price.

Anyway, however it tastes, because the calories and LDL matter to me (extremely limited budget for each), and Brunos is all the way in the east, I'd pick Valentinos. But if you're an eastie or on a tight(er) budget, Brunos is a great place to go to for simple, good tasting affordable Italian fare.

Bruno's Pizzeria and Grill
338 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel 64404525 

Monday, December 17, 2012

LavaRock Grill

When I was in JC, I used to eat from this western grill stall at Ghim Moh hawker centre which had this amazing chicken chop, fried rice and coleslaw after my CCA ended. There's something special about all these hawker centre grills - tasty and affordable western fare - at a fraction of the price of what you will find at Swensens/Billy Bombers etc. Lava Rock specializes in grilled meats and western food - for such a small stall, it has a really good variety food. 
 Classic cream of mushroom soup ($2.50) had lots of real mushroom bits inside.
 Toasted garlic bread ($2) - crispy baguette, great for dipping into the soup.
 Appetisers - breaded oyster and mushroom with home made special sauce
 My favourite dish of the night was the breaded oysters ($5.90)- I'm a huge oyster fan (especially the raw freshly shucked ones!) and the breaded oysters were very fresh, plump and juicy. The batter is made from panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and the oysters were very creamy. I must say that these oysters are really value for money cos they're not the tiny miserable ones which are so unsatisfying.
Breaded mushrooms ($3.90) - paled in comparison to the oysters, but for people who don't like oysters, this will be a good appetizer -
Herbed garlic fish ($7.90) - pacific dory with herbs - this was my favourite dish of the evening. The fish was moist and tender, and this is one of the better fishes I've tried from western grill stalls.
 Sizzling hotplate Rosemary Lamb chops ($11.90) - I'm a sucker for hot plate anything and since I don't eat beef, lamb chops are the next best substitute.
I'm not a big fan of all the sauce so I requested for less sauce, but the usual dish comes doused with lots of brow sauce (can choose from mushroom, blackpepper and classic brown sauce). You can also request for the sauce to be separate.
Honey mustard chicken ($6.90) - chargrilled with sweet honey mustard sauce. The chicken is very tender and tasty.
Flame grilled rosemary peppered pork chops ($11.90) - I'm not crazy over pork dishes (unless it's grilled pork ribs).
Herbed Norwegian Salmon ($13.90) Very tasty, flaky falmon with creamy sauce.
Ribeye - my dining companions who all devoured this dish in a jiffy all said that this was the best dish and and they kept saying that I'm missing out loads in not eating beef. They also serve premium cuts of beef - I've read online that some people who ordered the expensive beef dishes were disappointed - I recommend that you do the math and see if your'e willing to spend $20-30 on the premium cuts of beef in a hawker centre/coffeeshop setting before ordering it. After all, spending 20-30 bucks won't change the ambience.

The main courses all come with either herb rice or fries, and a choice of 2 sides.
 Cheesy Fries ($3.20) - lots of cheesy sauce and bacon bits. The cheese sauce is similar to the very synthetic kind of cheese sauce that comes with the nachos from most cinemas - somehow I really like it lol! Normal fries (sides) can be upgraded to cheese fries for $1.20.
 Sides of pasta salad and coleslaw.
Glazed carrots and butter corn. The carrots were surprisingly delicious since I'm not really a carrot loving person but I found these really nice and ate quite a bit.

Granted, the prices here are higher than the usual Western stores you find at most hawker centers, but their menu is much more extensive, and there's a really good variety of food. I definitely return to eat the breaded oysters (I'm feeling super hungry thinking about it) and the dory fish and oysters. The foods comparable to Astons, but the menu is more extensive. They also have very affordable set lunches if you're working in the area.

Thanks to James and Joan for hosting us - we had a great time sampling the food.

LavaRock Grill House Outlet Addresses:1) Blk 681 Hougang Ave8 #01-853 S'pore530681
2) Blk 153 Serangoon North Ave1 #01-512 S'pore550153
3) Blk 449 Clementi Ave3 #01-211 S'pore120449
4) Blk 713 Ang Mo Kio Ave6 #01-4032 S'pore560713
5) Blk 147 Potong Pasir Ave1 #01-93 S'pore350147
6) Blk 530 Ang Mo Kio Ave10 #01-2379

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Food for Thought - Brunch

Food For Thought's Full Works ($18) - I was insanely hungry that day and decided to conquer the full works - scrambled eggs (nice and creamy, but a great pity that it was not served hot!), bacon (don't like bacon, so no comments here), chicken sausage (which were cut up into little pieces - I don't know what's up with the bite sized portions - I'm not a fan of easy chew diet), sauteed mushrooms (nice and juicy), roasted tomato salad (comes with a zingy dressing) and hash brown balls (didn't like this - it's straight out of a packet) and toasted thick brioche bread,
It's pretty much self service - and there's jams, butter and other condiments at the side counter. I found their pink dragonfruit jam very interesting and they also have marmalade. 
 The tomato salad as a full dish - can't remember how much this costs.
 Their English scone ($3)- it's really very big about the size of my palm and is very rich and fluffy. Comes with clotted cream. It's really value for money - considering that in most of the newer cafes, the scones are half the size and nearly double the price...
Berry pancakes ($10) - I liked the texture of the pancakes - not so cakey, slightly glutinous (like a kueh), and just the right thickness (for me, its the thickness similar to Macdonalds pancakes - still the most comforting pancakes in my opinion). I also thought that substituting the usual maple syrup or honey for gula melaka was a fantastic idea - the smoky gula melaka gives the pancakes a refreshing twist - and I'm sure it costs a fraction of real maple syrup.
Some lemon dessert which was not bad (can't remember what it was since I didn't order it and stole a bite ^_^)
Prices here are very reasonable and portions are big - the only grouse that I had was that the food wasn't served hot - it was only slightly warm. I don't know if it was all ready made and then plated, or if it was just left sitting around for a while before it was served as the place was really crowded.

For the good prices (nett, no service charge!) I'd definitely return again.

Food for Thought
1 Botanic Gardens
(On the Gleneagles side, not the NUS law campus side)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tsujiri - 150 years of green tea history

 I first ate at Tsujiri when I went for my grad trip to Japan - visited 2 of their 4 branches - their original branch is in Kyoto and the brand is ancient - it's been around since 1860! I'm extremely happy that some Japanese business man/woman has brought Tsujiri to Singapore! I've been waiting for Tsujiri to open for months and I was so extremely happy when Jane whatsapped me a photo of the Tsujiri store. Despite the lousy weather today, I dragged Fish down for some green tea desserts before dinner. It was raining and I parked really far away from the 100am mall cos I didn't know where it was and we spent a good 20minutes trudging around in the rain looking for it - and I got splashed when a car drove over a puddle :/

Tsujiri specializes in green tea desserts - especially the parfaits. They don't have the whole menu here - but a very simplified one. So no towering mega parfaits here! Just the smaller ones. Also, the parfaits come in disposable cup (how practical - high labor costs in Singapore+++). It's self service - so choose your dessert, pay up at the counter and they'll call you to collect (Starbucks style). 

I had the Shiratama Parfait ($7.50) which has mochi balls, katen jelly (cubes of agar-agar like jelly, supposed to have very little calories and supposed to be very healthy), red bean and soft serve green tea ice cream on top. The brownish powder is kinako powder (roasted soya bean). I really liked the soft chewy mochi - reminds me of the tang yuan my grandma makes :)
I think that the Anmitsu Parfait ($7.80) will be the best choice for someone who hasn't been to Tsujiri before - it has the most ingredients including one mochi ball, some chestnuts, extra jelly and this other pinkish mochi. Their Shaved ice desserts are also really popular, but I think I'll save those for another time - my pancreas is already overworked. 
 The O-maccha roll cake ($4.50) -soft fluffy green tea cake with a rish fresh cream centre. I liked the cake but I'm not crazy over the cream (it's fresh and doesn't taste as if it came out of a can but I just don't particularly like whipped cream).
The green tea chiffon cake ($4.20) - no takeaways allowed because this cake is served warm. The texture is similar to the pandan chiffon cakes that we have locally. The green tea taste is very strong but I prefer the heavier texture of the O-maccha roll cake. 

I also tried their Green Tea cappuccinno ($6.50) -thick green tea with frothed milk - really beats the Starbucks green tea hands down. It comes with sugar on the side so you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. I've never been able to successfully froth my green tea like that at home - perhaps I should buy that wooden ladle thing...

Sadly, they didn't bring in my favourite green tea pound cake (intensely rich green tea taste with a soft, buttery cake) because it would cost too much to import T-T It really tops the two cakes above in terms of texture and taste. And they don't have the green tea butter biscuits either. Hope they expand their menu soon and start bringing all these yummy goodies in.

I hope that they will continue to expand and hopefully open a branch in Novena ;) I find their desserts on the sweet side (yes I know desserts are supposed to be sweet but it's just sweeter than most other desserts) perhaps because it's not tweaked for the local palate.  After Tsujiri, I'm so tempted to go to Japan for holiday but I'm worried for my thyroid...

100 Tras Street, 100am Mall (Groung level, near cedele)
Tel 65436110
Opening hours 10am to 10pm