Thursday, August 31, 2006

Tea Cafe

If you're looking for a nice, quiet place to have tea when you're in the Raffles City area - try Tea Cafe. This place is an untouched oasis with zen decor, a range of very interesting teas and a fantastic atmosphere to hang out and catch up with friends.

After walking up the stairs and entering the cafe, the first thing that hit me was how quiet the place was. Not that it was empty or anything... after a while, I got used to the quietness of the place and realised that whispering was not really necessary :)

Now for what we had... I wasn't in a terribly adventurous mood so I picked something safe - Iced Apple Tea $8.

Doesn't the presentation look totally exquisite? The white bracelet-looking thing at the right-hand side of the tray is actually lightly grilled cuttlefish. Iced tea with cuttlefish... the last time I had this combination was at the bubble tea place at Wisma years ago! :)

The order of White Peony Tea $10 came served on a little wooden tray and the left-over tea leaves are packed into a little bag for you to bring home. We also had the Cucumber Sandwiches $8 which were just delicious! No photo unfortunately...

The service here is really really slow. With only two people doing everything here (and one is a middle-aged auntie) and such care taken with the preparation, it will take at least half an hour before you get your drinks or food. Get comfortable, soak in the tranquil ambience, spend some quality time with whoever you're with... and just relax.

Tea Cafe
38A Seah Street
Singapore 188379
Tel : 6333 5400

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Long Beach UDMC Seafood Restaurant

This is the second time this month that I'm having seafood... and, erm, I'll be having seafood again one more time before the month is up :P

Someone told me that crab is high in cholesterol and I was bit concerned with the excessive crab consumption this month, so I checked out the Health Promotion Board website for the actual nutritional value.

One whole crab served Black Pepper Style has 114mg of cholesterol... half the amount of cholesterol in a plate of Char Kuay Teow! So not that high really, considering I eat Char Kuay Teow more often than I eat Black Pepper Crab. Just slightly depressing knowing how unhealthy most local foods are so check the website out at your own peril!

In any case, it's all about moderation right?? :P

So anyway, back to the food... of course we had Black Pepper Crab - the must-have dish at Long Beach.

It was nice and peppery, but really not that different from the one I had at Jumbo...

We had Chilli Crab too and the sauce was really yummy. What I was really happy about was that the Fried Mantou were not like the dinky little ones they have at No Signboard and Jumbo, but they were bigger ones that were much better to wipe up the sauce with.

And my other favourite seafood dish - Deep Fried Sotong Kia! Hmm... what is it called in English... Deep Fried Baby Squid? I love the crunchiness of the deep fried sotong and the black sweet sauce it's fried in goes amazingly well with it.

Was going to say that I've had more than enough crab to last me a long time but my sister was just telling me about this place in Ang Mo Kio that has the most delicious Butter Pepper Crab :D

Long Beach UDMC Seafood Restaurant
1202 East Coast Parkway
#01-04 East Coast Seafood Centre
Tel : 6448 3636

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Crystal Jade Kitchen

I love Dim Sum, especially Siew Mai... I could eat Siew Mai everyday and never get sick of it :D I order Siew Mai from the coffeeshop outside my office so often that the guy sees me approaching and immediately starts preparing it without me having to say a word...

The last Crystal Jade Kitchen I went to was the one at the basement of Ngee Ann City - the food was crappy... and that was after waiting half an hour for a table! Never going back to that branch again - the quality is definitely affected by the quantity that they churn out.

The branch at Shaw Centre is pretty safe - I've never had to wait too long for a seat and the food is usually up to Crystal Jade standards.

Of course I have to order Siew Mai :) I prefer the type that is made using huge chunks of meat as opposed to the minced meat kind but this one is pretty good anyway...

The Pan-fried Carrot Cake here is really yummy... especially when it's fried till the edges are crispy. They sell it at the Crystal Jade Cakery too but it just does not taste the same.

The other thing I love is Deep Fried Beancurd with Prawn... erm, it's more like minced prawn meat. It's another really popular dish at Crystal Jade - more than once, it was sold out when I wanted to order it!

I was craving Red Bean Pancake but they only have it at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao - so I was pretty excited to see what I thought was Red Bean Pancake on the Dim Sum menu... unfortunately it turned out to be this instead. It's like a glutinous ball with sesame seeds around it and it's filled with red bean paste. It wasn't bad, just wasn't what I was expecting...

And the best thing to have with Dim Sum - a bowl of Cantonese-style porridge... light, healthy and tasty too! I used to have Meatball Congee at the Noodle House (or was it Noodle Garden?) at the basement of Centrepoint when I was young and still order the same thing when I'm at Crystal Jade Kitchen...

All this talking about Dim Sum is making me crave it again! :D

Crystal Jade Kitchen
1 Scotts Road
#04-00 Shaw Centre
Tel : 6738 0733

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Brewerkz Restaurant & Microbrewery

You cannot keep this girl away from processed meat - sausages, ham, luncheon meat, beef balls, pork balls, sotong balls, crabstix... anything that's been put through a machine and artificially manufactured into something totally different - I love :D

My love for processed meat was probably... erm, definitely caused by my mum's banning of anything processed from our kitchen... something about all the chemical and preservatives in it *hmph!* Hmm... if u ask me, it might just be all that chemicals and preservatives that added to the taste of the processed meat! :)

So despite the fact that I had bangers and mash just the day before, I still ordered the same thing here :) Ok, it looks kinda gross coz I forgot to take the photo and started eating and making a mess of it...

One Spicy Italian and one Bratwurst sausage with Mashed Potato... more than enough processed meat to make this girl happy :)

We also had the Chocolate Fudge Cake, Oreo Ice Cream Cake and Brewerkz Brownie and they were all really good. Strange coz I've never been particularly blown away by the desserts here. Yes yes, Oreo again - just proves my point about how Oreo anything is yummy :D

Too slow in taking the photo of the food... and totally forgot about taking photos of the desserts. Now the moment I sit down, I take the camera out and leave it on the table so I don't forget. No problems since then :P

Brewerkz Restaurant & Microbrewery
30 Merchant Rd
#01-05/06 Riverside Point
Tel : 6438 7438

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Yet Con

Had a craving for Korean and wanted to go to Jeju but it was full *Sigh* Wandered along Purvis Street and ended up eating at Yet Con instead... it more than made up for missing out on Korean food :)

Talk about old school - walking into this place makes you feel like you've walked into a time warp... everything looks like it's straight out from the 70s! This is a family-run establishment so everyone who works there is at least 60 years old.

We were not too sure how the seating goes... Luckily the guy in front of us was in the know - he said that whoever comes first just gets the next available table. So an informal queue forms around the entrance and you basically seat yourself. We were there at 7pm and didn't have to wait too long for a table - the turnover's pretty fast.

Here's what we ordered - steamboat (beef and seafood) and chicken rice for two persons. Everything was good! The beef cooked in the steamboat was tender and tasty despite the seeming lack of seasoning. The seafood plate consisted of fish, squid, cockles and prawns - all very fresh. I tried drinking the soup after we had finish eating and it was face-scrunchingly salty from all the stuff we'd put in it :D

The chicken was good too but I could not stop eating the chicken rice - could be because I haven't had chicken rice in a long time, but this one just tasted amazing! The chilli was surprisingly non-spectacular though...

We ate till we were totally stuffed and had to literally roll ourselves out the door. All for a grand total of $27! Plenty of other tze-char dishes on the menu to try the next time. Just have to remember not to mind the surly old folk working there... and they may be a little slow but they do get the job done.

Yet Con
25 Purvis Street
Tel : 6337 6819

The Cheesecake Cafe

Whenever I have coffee in the Siglap area, I seldom venture away from the Coffee Club/Cafe Cartel/Starbucks cluster... yeah, boring I know... Finally got to try a new place - The Cheesecake Cafe! Ok, this place is not new - it's been here for over4 years :P I've been meaning to try one of the places here (along the row of shophouses next to Siglap Centre) but parking seemed like it would be a hassle so I've never tried coming here. Note : I ended up parking at the landed estate across the road.

I ordered the Oreo Cheesecake which was pretty yummy... but then I have this theory that Oreo anything tastes good. I've even tried making Oreo Cupcakes :)

As the name implies, they specialise in cheesecake here... and they do a pretty good job of it too, but there are also drinks and food on the menu. Service was excellent - our waitress was friendly, prompt and helpful.

This is a great place to chill out with friends over cake and drinks. I love the decor of this place - it's got a very Zen look with a water feature in the middle, dim-lighting and wooden furniture... all making the place feel really cosy. Here's a strange coincidence - I was talking to my sis and it turns out her friend had a hand in the interior design of this place!

Definitely a good alternative to the generic coffee places when you're in the Siglap area.

The Cheesecake Cafe
685 East Coast Road
Tel : 6448 7725

Friday, August 18, 2006

Blk 16 Bedok South Road Hawker Centre

Came all the way to this hawker centre to try the famous Hill Street Char Kway Teow... unfortunately, it was closed. Note : the stall's operating hours are 11am-7pm. I've heard its really good, and it's also one of the stalls featured on the TV show "Makan Places - Lost and Found". Definitely want to come back here another time to try it...

We decided to eat here anyway... we had Black Carrot Cake, Fried Oyster Omelette and Penang Char Kway Teow - ordered from a stall opposite the Hill Street Char Kway Teow stall, and Chicken Satay from a nearby stall... some of my favourite hawker dishes of all time :)

Nothing spectacular about the food we had... and it brings to mind the article in Life! section last Sunday about how the quality of food in Singapore is deteriorating despite us being a 'food paradise'. Totally agree - besides some exceptional hawker stalls, most of the food tends to be incredibly generic... carrot cake from a hawker stall in ang mo kio pretty much tastes the same as carrot cake from bedok. Especially for things like satay - have a feeling that most places get the satay from the same supplier as it seems to taste the same everywhere you go...

Not that the food is bad... just generic. Well, can't complain - even though it doesn't taste fantastic but I can still get to eat all this anytime I want. Sorry all you guys overseas, I just had to rub it in :P

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Blog is 100 Days Old!

This blog got off to a slow start, but I think I've got some momentum going now...

It's reached the stage where people are getting used to me holding up the eating while I take photos of the food... And while some are embarrassed at my seemingly touristy ways and obsessive photo-taking, it is also often accompanied by suggestions on how to take a better picture :D

Thanks everyone - for all the comments, encouragement, suggestions and for going with me to new places to eat!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Jumbo Seafood

Realised it's been a long time since I've had seafood so was very glad when an opportunity to indulge came by recently... it's been even longer since I've been to the Seafood Centre at East Coast! Was very surprised by how crowded Jumbo was - tables spilling out of the restaurant and a (short) wait for a table despite a reservation...

Boy, did we have a feast! Here's what we ordered :

Drunken prawns (300g) $19.50 - I was a bit worried that it would be served the old school way where they bring a bowl of jumping live prawns and mix it up with the liquor in front of you (just slightly disturbing, if you ask me), but it came fully cooked. Quite yummy, but not much of the liquor taste so I don't quite see the whole point of the "drunken" bit. Or maybe I should have drank up the soup...

Black Pepper Crab (1.1kg) $36.30 and Yu Tiao $8. I haven't had Black Pepper Crab in literally years! Have fond childhood memories of my favourite Black Pepper Crab at Long Beach... The Black Pepper Crab here was pretty decent - but I remember Black Pepper Crab being much hotter when I was younger, or maybe my tastebuds were not used to spicy stuff then :) The Korean couple sitting next to us were so intrigued by the Yu Tiao that they pointed it out to the waitress and ordered it too!

We also had Garlic Fried Dou Miao $10 and 10 sticks of Chicken & Beef Satay $6 but somehow still found space in our stomachs for Sambal Crayfish $16 and 3 Fried Man-tou $1.20... I didn't try the Crayfish but couldn't stop myself from dipping the Man-tou into the Sambal sauce - one of my favourite parts of eating seafood :)

In case you were wondering, there were *only* three of us eating all that food... apparently I'm not the only person who eats a lot :D It came up to about $34 per person - much less than I expected. There's an upcoming post on more seafood at Long Beach :)

Jumbo Seafood
1206 East Coast Parkway
#01-08 Seafood Centre
Tel : 64423435

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Baking : Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Had a request for Earl Grey Tea Cookies so I whipped up a batch recently -

Here they are cooling on the wire rack just after baking...

...and here they are sitting pretty in the jar. Had enough to fill the jar and a few left over for myself to munch on :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Honjin Japanese Restaurant

*Haven't had time to post and also had some trouble up loading photos. Will try frantically to catch up on old posts. Come back soon :)

Erm, it's Japanese again :P

In a bid to be even more objective about Ikoi being my favourite Japanese buffet, I went to try yet another Japanese buffet. Have heard good things about this place from a few people so I thought it might be worth a try...

The menu is pretty similar to the other Japanese buffets but with less variety than Ikoi. We started off with Kani Maki (Soft-shell crab maki). Picture turned out a bit blur so decided not to use it :P

Then we ordered a plate of Sake (Salmon) and Hamachi (Yellowtail) Sashimi, Ebi Tembura and Teppanyaki Beef.

It's kinda bizarre that the Hamachi turned out looking pinkish but it's actually white in colour. Have to check the settings on my camera...

Next order, Maguro (Tuna), Salmon and Hamachi Sashimi, more Ebi Tempura, Maguro Maki and a plate of Teppanyaki Vegetables - such a feeble attempt at having a balanced diet :D

All in all the food was pretty ok - the sashimi was fresh and I liked that there was ice-cream included in the buffet. But my vote for best Japanese buffet still goes to Ikoi. More variety of dishes, better quality food and more complimentary dishes.

But if you're in the Raffles Place area, this is a pretty decent buffet to try. Dinner buffet at $32+++.

Honjin Japanese Restaurant
140 Robinson Road
#01-00 Chow House
Tel : 6222 2243

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Marmalade Pantry

Haven't been here in a really long time... the last time I came, their Sunday brunch was so popular that it was pretty much impossible to get a table unless you had reservations. We decided to go there on a whim so turned up without reservations, but the place (while crowded) was not as packed as it used to be.

I was planning on only having their yummy Nutella Cupcake... but I looked at the All-Day Brunch menu and everything looked so good that I caved and decided to order real food as well.

I love sausages, bacon, ham and the such, so I often end up ordering the usual breakfast dish - scrambled eggs and sausages. In the spirit of trying new things, I wanted to order the French Toast with Carmelised Apples, Fig and Honey Ice Cream - doesn't it sound gorgeously delicious??? My mouth is already watering just thinking of it again! Unfortunately, it was sold out :(

So I ended up having my usual...

This is listed in the All-Day Brunch Menu as Eggs any style with your choice of Sausage or Ham or Bacon & Baked Beans or Sauteed Field Mushrooms or Hash Brown or Chips $15+++. As is obvious from the photo, I ordered Scrambled Eggs with Sausage and Sauteed Field Mushrooms. I must have been hungrier than I thought coz I managed to finish the whole thing :P

But full as I was, I HAD to have the Nutella Cupcake. So...

Major sugar rush!!! Nutella Cupcake with Nutella frosting $3.50+++ - which if you ask me, is so much more worth it than the Chocolate Fudge Cake that I had at Aerin's. Anyone who loves Nutella has to give this a try... it is sooooooo good.

We also ordered a slice of the Oreo Cheesecake $7.50+++ and as you can tell, we were too anxious to try it out and took the photo a tad bit too late :P

It's also really fun to people-watch here... the many mirrors they have make it extremely conducive to people-watching - you can check people out without ever having to turn your head :) And there is quite a lot to see here...

Nice place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. Hope to come back again soon to have the Nutella Cupcake again!

The Marmalade Pantry
390 Orchard Road
Palais Renaissance
B1-08 to 11
Tel : 6734 2700

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


The basement of Raffles City was recently renovated and re-named "Raffles Marketplace". I thought part of Jasons Market Place was going to be converted to new shops... but turns out that they have dug further underground and increased the basement by 50,000 feet! So lots of new shops - everything from F&B to retail outlets.

It was all a bit confusing, checking out what there was and trying to decide where to go... but this place had a nice fountain with natural lighting coming in from the windows above and cozy looking decor (loved the chairs!) so we decided to give it a try.

Things didn't start out well... nothing annoys me more than standing at the entrance waiting to be seated - and being ignored! The place was hardly crowded, with at least two waiters standing around doing nothing... and no one notices there are patrons waiting to be seated??? I made a comment about it, and well, was probably said it a bit louder than I thought because the manager quickly came to seat us.

I asked to be seated next to fountain - it seemed like good idea - but the "dancing" fountain turned out to be a little more violent than we expected and occasionally drops of water would end up on our table.

The menu was skewed towards drinks. One page of main courses, about 6 different desserts, and about 5 pages of drinks! It was tea-time so I only had a Chocolate Fudge Cake and an iced tea.

I just could not take a nice photo of the cake. Either my photo-taking skills really suck... or this piece of cake is not very photogenic. I guess my photo-taking skills suck :D The cake was ok - rich and moist, not overly sweet. But I felt that for such a small piece, it was over-priced at $7++.

Then I happened to chance upon a review of this place on the asiaone website... Apparently this place is run by the same people who own Whitebait & Kale - which would explain the chi-chi decor... and the chi-chi prices...

Hard to say that how the food was seeing I only had cake and drinks... but the service really did put me off. Besides being ignored at the entrance, I also had to ask the waiter twice for the bill. The place was quite empty at that time - and still he managed to forget.

I guess I might come back here again. While I thought the price of the cake was a bit excessive, the main courses looked interesting and the prices were a bit more reasonable . And they have white wine sangria - which I haven't been able to find a good one since Project Shop Cafe stopped serving it! Hopefully their service staff would have cleaned up their act by then.

252 North Bridge Road
B1-11/12 Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: 6337 2231