Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

Wanted to do something for my colleagues for Christmas and decided to bake something... and picked this recipe for Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti.

I tried a Martha Stewart recipe some years back that wasn't very successful but this one turned out really well! Pretty easy too! The thing that took me a long time to do was shelling the pistachios - yes, I'm told you can buy them shelled :P

Don't they look really Christmasy? And the fact that it all disappeared in 2 hours, I'm guessing means that it tastes pretty good too...

This is my last post for this year so Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Pietrasanta - The Italian Restaurant

Was Meip’s birthday and she chose this place for dinner – we were at the restaurant next door (Cicada) for my birthday lunch two months before.

The meal started off with freshly baked bread –

It was served warm and was pretty yummy!

G & X wanted to order some starters and ordered the Four Cheeses Pizza $17.90++ -

I was convinced it would end up coming with the main courses (I mean, pizza does take a while in the oven) but it did come as a starter. I love cheese pizzas and this one was not bad, with a thin crust too. But didn’t want to eat too much and leave less space for other food :D

Another starter that we ordered was the Sauteed Clams $25.90++ -

While reading other reviews on this place, I read that many people ordered the Black Mussels for $18. Ok, so what we ordered wasn’t mussels, but its quite a bit more expensive… Hmm, not much impression of it but the price puts me off (specifically in comparison to the mussels).

The birthday girl wanted to try the Escagots $13.90++ so we did...

It was served shell-less, in a tomato stew. It was ok I guess, I’m not a real fan of escargots (i.e. snails). I’m surprised by how many there were in one serving. Ok, this dish is good value… if you like snails :D

For my main course, I decided to be adventurous and order something completely different from what I would normally order – Maccheroni Verdi $16.90++ :

It’s supposed to be sheets of pasta with a white wine meat sauce. I checked and it turns out that verdi means green – for the green pasta. The minced meat kinda tasted like spam (or at least what I imagine spam would taste like). It had this cheap, artificial taste about it. Looks good, but it was quite a disappointment… and yet more reason for me not to be too adventurous when it comes to ordering.

Also tried a bit of the Ravioli Spinaci $17.90++ :

It was ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach, served with a butter and sage sauce. It wasn’t too bad, but I just never quite feel that Ravioli is worth it – that price for a few pieces?? That said, it’s normally a filling meal despite it’s seemingly small portion. A great vegetarian option!

For desserts, I tried the Melting Chocolate Cake $10.90++ -

It was not too bad, baked to pretty much perfection. Definitely one to share.

Despite the many reviews I read with bad service, our experience was pretty ok. Love the atmosphere – very rustic and homely. A bit of hit and miss with food – some dishes are quite good and reasonably priced, but some are just crap and expensive. Stick with the safe bets I reckon.

Hmm, turns out that this place is open by the same people who opened the cheap pizza place near Holland V, that has since closed down.

Pietrasanta – The Italian Restauran
5B Portsdown Road
#01-03 S139311
Tel : 6479 9521

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Shokudo Japanese Pasta & Pizza (Citylink Mall)

Came here for dinner one evening – I’ve tried the Shokudo at Raffles City before and was annoyed by how long the queue was and how bad the crowd control was inside the restaurant. This outlet one was pretty quiet, and food looked different from the main branch so I figured it was worth a try.

I had the Salmon Butter Yaki with Linguine $15.80++ :

The salmon was actually not half bad, and a pretty decent portion of pasta especially since for me :)

Tried a bit of the Hakodate Seafood Pizza $12.80++ :

Hmm, the super thin crust bothers me – something with such thin crust can hardly be called a pizza. But perfect for those with petite appetites!

Saw the Ice Cream Waffle $5.80++ on the menu and just had to have it. But I’m not a fan of green tea ice cream so I asked the manager if I could have it with another flavour of ice cream. Her reply was that the waffle goes best with the green tea ice cream…

Which mean that they didn’t have any other flavours! And it was pretty yucks, to me at least. Still do not like green tea ice cream in anyway… not the taste, not the texture, nothing at all. It’s probably just me, this green tea ice cream could actually be not half bad.

The food here is ok, as long as you keep your expectations low (which I did). Service here was pretty spotty. We had some trouble getting the attention of wait staff when we wanted to order dessert and get the bill, but the service was good, once we got their attention. Well, except for that stupid recommendation to have green tea ice cream…

Shokudo Japanese Pasta & Pizza (Citylink Mall)
1 Raffles Link
#B1-23 Citylink Mall
Tel: 6341 9542

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

PS Cafe (Palais Renaissance)

This place opened around August - I heard about it then coz some friends were walking around Palais Renaissance before my birthday dinner at Marmalade Pantry. I’ve since been there three times :) so this is a culmination of all those visits.

My first trip there was for brunch, I had the Welsh Rarebit Trio $12++ -

Such a weird name right? Don’t worry there’s not rabbit in any shape or form. I thought the portion seemed small when I was first served it, but it was actually pretty filling. The toppings on the three slices of French loaf was crabmeat, spinach and bacon and tomato. The poached egg gave it a breakfast twist.

The other thing that I had a bite of was the Crab Tart –

Slightly unimpressive especially when compared with the Crab Caesar that I tried at Marmalade Pantry just downstairs. I can’t remember exactly how much it was but I think it was about S$27++ - I reckon it’s overpriced and not that great value.

The next trip here was for brunch again. I had the Breakfast Stack -

A very decent portion and all the little bits of the dish (grilled asparagus, poached egg, portobello mushrooms, roasted tomatoes) came together to make a perfect breakfast, erm or brunch :D

Also tried the Egg White Omelette (egg whites with feta, mushrooms and spinach) –

It wasn't bad but the fact that it was just egg whites kinda put me off... too healthy :P

The desserts here are a definite must-try, if you can get past the fact that they're so expensive :s

The Stick Lemon and Chewy Florentine Cake was our attempt at trying something non-chocolate.

It was lighter than expected, but I kinda prefer very lemony cake so it could stand to be a tad more sour.

Ordering the Chocolate Crunch Doorstop was a given the moment I saw it but it was pretty expensive at $15.90++ -

It's layer after layer of decadent chocolate - bottom layer of brownie, nuts, followed by mousse and topped off with Maltesers. To die for... but do keep a glass of water handy, it is extremely rich and thirst-inducing.

The Double Chocolate Blackout is another one of PS Cafe's signature desserts -

Multiple layers of chocolate fudge cake - so many layers that it can't even stand :)

I've sat at both the indoor and outdoor seating areas and the outdoor definitely wins hands down. The colonial feel of the decor and furniture is enhanced by the revolving ceiling fans. You also have to check out the bathroom - it's really pretty!

The service here is surprisingly better than most places I've been to recently - attentive, with constant top ups of ice water, and always there when you need service.

A really nice place to have a meal - food is pretty good and not over-priced, but always remember to share the desserts! The fact that they have slightly different dishes from the other branches, together with the fact that the ambience is great, and the better than average service, I would totally come back here again.

PS Cafe
390 Orchard Road
Level 2 Palais Rennaissance
Tel : 6887 2207

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cedele (Wheelock Place)

Haven't been here for a while so decided to come here for dinner with mum and sisters. The menu has been revamped since my last visit so I was excited to try some of the new items.

I’ve tried the Chilli Crab Linguine from Marmalade Pantry and while it’s not that bad, I’m not particularly impressed and can never figure out why everyone orders it. Cedele has a similar dish at a much lower price – Red Chilli Crab Pasta (crabmeat cooked with red chilli tomato sauce, finished with spiced soft shell crab) S$16.90++ -

Loved it! The chilli crab sauce was not bad but my favourite part was the deep-fried soft shell crab. Ok, admittedly it might be because I haven’t had soft shell crab in quite a long time so this tasted super yums! But the soft shell crab definitely added a interesting touch to what would be an otherwise now pretty common pasta dish.

Sis had the White Mushroom Bacon Pasta (bacon and mushroom in a white cream sauce) S$14.90++ - better known as Carbonara… and I picked at it a bit -

I always like cream sauce pastas but they’re so heavy and near impossible to finish! So it worked out perfectly that I got to pick at my sister’s one :)

Of course I would pick a Pavlova for dessert!

Pretty small one which worked out fine as I was already quite full from my pasta. Not bad… funny how expensive ones (i.e. the one at Marmalade) are not necessarily better than cheap ones :)

Still one of my old favourites when it comes to good and reasonably priced food… and now with the menu, I can try new stuff! Or at least try hard to convince myself to try new stuff – everyone knows I keep eating the same old things :)

Cedele (Wheelock Place)
501 Orchard Road #03-14
Wheelock Place
Tel: 6732 8520

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Marmalade Pantry (Palais Renaissance)

Yet another extremely late post on one of my (numerous) birthday dinners :D

I’ve eaten here and at the Marmalade Pantry at Hitachi Tower, and have never been all that keen on their food, but this place was picked out of pure convenience.

But we were all pleasantly surprised by the portion of the Crab Caesar $22++ :

Huge portion with lots of chunks of crabmeat!! We ordered this to share but this can comfortably be a main course, well for a female at least.

We also ordered Homemade Dips with Pita Wedges $9++ to share -

The brinjal dip had an interesting Asian twist to it – it was spicy and familiar tasting but I could pinpoint what was familiar about it. Other than that, this was just ok.

For my main course I had the Foie Gras Burger with Sundried Tomato Relish $26++ :

Never understood why burgers are called foie gras burgers when there isn’t much foie gras in it. It was a pretty ordinary burger, not much complaints from me. Hmm, didn’t I have a burger at my other birthday dinner at Cicada?...

For desserts, we ordered a few to try. Of course, I HAD to order the Toasted Almond Pavlova with Summer Berries $12++ :

Loved all the summer berries but wasn’t all that thrilled with the pavlova. Seemed like it was harder than it should be… or maybe I’m just being overly critical.

We also ordered the Sticky Date Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream $12++:

It was pretty good but the best one I’ve had so far is still the one at Brown Sugar Bistro Café - and having had it pretty recently, I can verify that it still holds true :).

Service was so-so. We had to change our orders a few times coz they ran out of a few items on the menu – pretty unforgivable, seeing how it was only 8pm on a Friday night. It got to the stage where you could tell the waitress was visibly embarrassed to come back to our table to tell us that something was unavailable.

Other than the Crab Caesar, the food was as unimpressive as before. Mostly the default option for a nicer dining place in the Orchard area, but with the opening of PS Café just upstairs, there is now a viable alternative. Look out for an up-coming review of PS Café :)

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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Genesis Vegetarian Health Food Restaurant

I've eaten here a few times - and also was asked to try this place by two other friends (who had no idea I've actually been here multiple times :). Since it seemed to be very popular, and the food is quite good, I thought it warranted a post.

One of my favourite things here is the Organic Mee Sua (brown rice mee sua, seasoned with a delicious cashew sauce and topped with cruncy raw vegetables) $5.90 -

Well, to be honest, I love mee sua - could eat it everyday and not get sick of it. I'm also a big fan of veggie fish, and this one is much healthier (less salty) than the others I've tried. The mix of mee sua, veggie fish and the crunchy carrots makes this a winning combination.

The other thing I love here is the Japanese Rice (seasoned with seaweed, soy, carrots, mushrooms and sesame, topped with fruits and and served on a delicious toasted nori sheet) $6.50 -

I tear off little bits of the nori sheet to eat with the rice - it's yums. Also love the raisins and mango bits, nice sweet touch to the dish.

The Rojak $3 here is also quite tasty -

despite the fact that it does not use prawn paste. Besides the usual pineapple, cucumber and turnip, they also put apples in this dish.

The Zha Jiang Mian (smothered in meat-like sauce and served with shredded raw carrots, cucumber and soy) $5.90 -

This is just ok. Well, for that matter, I'm not even a fan of non-veggie zha jiang mian...

The Mango Salad seems a tad bit expensive at $12 but it's meant for 2 - 4 persons -

Erm, we didn't know you were meant to mix this up before eating it :)

The Bak Kut Teh $6.50 is not that great here -

Well, of course it will never have the flavour of Bak Kut Teh cooked with meat. So it's not as tasty and the soup kinda thin in comparison.

This place can get quite busy during lunchtime, but do come here for some healthy veggie options!

Genesis Vegetarian Health Food Restaurant
1 Lorong Telok
Tel: 6438 7118

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Came here as part of my birthday celebration feasting, erm a few months ago :)

It's located at the up and coming Wessex Estate and it's next to impossible to get to if you don't have a car. The place itself is pretty nice, but not many tables considering it's got quite a bit of space, especially outdoors.

The menu was not all that extensive - I settled on the "Infamous Cicada Burger" $28.90++ :

It was actually not too bad - nice and juicy without being under-done. One of the better Wagyu Beef Burgers I've had... Didn't like the fries much tho - but that's probably a personal preference, I prefer the skinny crispy type.

The vegetarian-in-the-house ordered the only veggie option : the Moussaka -

It was truly horrible. We all agreed that it was the worse possible way to cook eggplant, no idea how they managed to make such a yummy veg so absolutely tasteless. The bechamel sauce didn't help the flavour at all. Yucks yucks yucks.

The meal was quite disappointing so we were hopeful that dessert would go some way in changing our minds. I settled on the Peanut Butter Brownie Crunch Cake -

I had high hopes when the dessert was served - doesn't it look gorgeous?? The high hopes were quite quickly dashed when I started eating it... it wasn't bad, but it was bizarre how a cake that looks like it would be so incredibly sweet, wasn't. Weird... and I read other reviews of this restaurant where there were pictures of this cake, and mine seemed to have an extremely thin layer of peanut butter :s

Service was also quite bad - the waitress who took our orders was so confused that she kept serving the dishes to the wrong person. And some dishes took an inordinately long time to arrive.

Recently tried Pietrasanta and that's a better option if you want to check out the restaurants in this area...

7 Portsdown Road
Tel: 6472 2100

Friday, October 10, 2008

Azabu Sabo

Had a generic lunch at Waraku at The Central and decided to try out this Japanese dessert place on the ground floor.

Was pretty stuffed after lunch so just ordered the Hokkaido Hot-balls with Ice Cream $7.80++ to share -

Bet you can guess why I ordered this - coz it had glutinous rice balls :D The hot-balls were really deep fried sweet potato balls, and I really don't like sweet potato... but the combination of something hot (the sweet potato balls) with something cold (ice-cream) is as usual a sure win combination.

A might on the expensive side, but reasonably priced if it is to share. Lots of other stuff on the menu that looked like it might be worth trying (food and dessert)...

Azabu Sabo
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#01-68/69 The Central

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The White Rabbit

We came here for G's birthday celebration in July - yes, that's how far behind I am in my blogging. Thanks to X's connections *wink*, she managed to get a nice big table smack in the middle of the restaurant, despite the fact that it was only a few days notice... quite a feeat seeing this was quite soon after they just opened. A lot of hype about this place so I was quite excited to try it out.

The place used to be a church which was transformed into an indoor restaurant and bar area and an outdoor bar area. The stained windows were pretty (but I suspect it would have looked even better in the day with sunlight streaming in) and the mosaic-tiled floors were gorgeous too. Outfitted with simple chairs and tables, the chic place does take your breath away.

And now for the food... to start off, we tried a salad, which I have barely any recollection of -

Ok, the picture reminded me that there was truffles in the salad. The salad was not too bad, but obviously it was unmemorable.

For the main courses, I had to order their signature White Rabbit Mac & Cheese -

Yes, more truffles... The use of truffles contributed to the dish having an interesting flavour but it added to the "heaviness" of the dish and was impossible to finish by myself. I'm quite a big mac and cheese fan, but after this one, I'm inclined to think that cheapo is the way to go for mac and cheese. Or maybe my tastebuds are just proletarian :D

I tried a bit of the Mushroom Pasta -

which was similarly unremarkable.

For the desserts, we tried the Baked Alaska -

and the Strawberry Romanoff -

I was just slightly disappointed that the Baked Alaska was not lit in front of us - very 80s I know, but I miss the drama of this dessert! Tastewise, it was not too bad though... mostly it was a meringue and I never met a meringue I didn't like :) I've never had Strawberry Romanoff before so didn't know what to expect. It turned out to be a simple dessert of thinly sliced strawberries with a sheet of what tasted like strawberry jelly, and a scoop of ice cream.

Such a long post and I haven't even gotten to my gripes about this place. First gripe - the service. I think we got special attention because of X's connections, but we still saw glimpses of incompetence. I asked the waitress whether the Mac & Cheese was vegetarian, and she said that it wasn't, but couldn't tell me what was in it that wasn't vegetarian. Someone further down the table asked the same question and was told that there were bits of meat in the Mac & Cheese. Erm, I sure as hell didn't see or taste anything vaguely resembling meat in the Mac & Cheese.

Also, I feel this place is somewhat confused in its identity. The food are of minute proportions and the prices are definitely in the range of high-end establishments, but the table settings (paper napkins :o) and the substandard service is more reminiscent of a bistro or deli. It certainly does not help that the food is very mediocre.

I'm glad I had the chance to come here, coz then I never have to come back here again. Well, maybe just to take in the atmosphere of the outdoor bar area...

The White Rabbit
39C Harding Road
Tel: 6473 9965

Thursday, September 18, 2008


You're probably going - luxem what?? :)

I discovered these lovelies on my trip to Switzerland last December. I first saw them in Zurich, and despite being a big fan of anything vaguely meringue-ish, I was unwilling to buy them - they were not cheap! But I finally caved while I was in Lucerne and ate them while walking to the Dying Lion of Lucerne monument.

I went from one extreme to another - from not wanting to buy any to getting two of each flavour they had in the shop :D And they were as heavenly as I imagined...

Didn't take very long to finish them all despite me taking every effort to make the experience last as long as possible :) Unfortunately they don't travel well so I couldn't get hold of any - till now. Thanks so much, Stefan!

What exactly are luxemburgerli? Wikipedia describes it as something "similar to a small French macaron", meringue-like cookies. But the Luxemburgerli is very cutely bite-sized and is much lighter than a macaroon. You can only get them from Confiserie Sprüngli in Switzerland.

If you ever go to Switzerland, this is a definite must try (the other must try is Teuscher Champagne Truffles).

Confiserie Sprüngli

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Franky's Kaffe Kitchen

Looking for a new place to try, as usual, and I suggested this place tucked away in a quiet corner of Millenia Walk. It was as quiet as I guessed it would be - nearly totally empty during Sunday lunch!

I'm quite a sucker for cheese fries so was quite happy to order this to share.

Cheese Fries for $7.50+ - I never understand why cheese fries cost so much more than normal fries... is melted cheese so expensive?!? Just ok but not worth the price I think.

Gerry tried the Vegetarian Avocado Sandwich $9.90+ -

I didn't get to try it so can't say how it is. I'm a newly converted avocado fan though - recently tried some in a sandwich with portobello and it's brilliant! I've always been kinda adverse to avocado just because the very first face wash that I used was Eversoft - avocado base - and the smell of avocado just reminds me of face wash :D But like I said, I'm a newly converted fan now :)

I had the Philly Steak Sandwich $11.60+ :

Yeah, sandwiches don't photograph very well. But this one was decent, a wee bit on the salty side though. I used to love the Phlly's Cheesesteak at the other side of Millenia Walk that's closed down some time back - this is a pretty good substitute.

We decided to order just one dessert to share and tried the Brownie $4.20+ :

I asked for a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to go with it and was totally surprised that they didn't charge me for it! Pretty amazing considering most other places would charge you at least $2.50 for a scoop of ice-cream. The brownie itself was not too bad, and the ice-cream wasn't cheap ice-cream or anything like that.

This place is perfect when you want to have a quiet place to catch up with friends. Service is friendly and food is decent (a few korean options that we didn't try). A good option when you're in the Millenia area...

Franky's Kaffe Kitchen
9 Raffles Blvd
#01-55/56 Millenia Walk Mall
Tel: 6336 7641

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Thai Express (VivoCity)

Ok, so Thai Express is nothing new, but I haven't been here in a while and on a recent revisit, decided to try something new and it's now my current fav here. Love the Phat Woon Sen Poo Nim Phrik Thai Dam (Claypot Black Pepper Soft-shell Crab Glass Noodles) $13.90++!

It's got glass noodles (tang hoon) stir-fried with lots of garlic, heaps of whole black peppercorns, mushrooms and spring onions, and topped with a very decent-sized serving of deep fried soft-shell crab. I'm not a huge garlic fan so that's the first thing that gets picked out *bleagh* But I love the very peppery tang hoon! And I haven't eaten much soft-shell crab in the last few years (for no particular reason) so it's a real treat to have it again now :)

Another thing which I absolutely adore here is the Khao Niao Mamuang (Sweet Glutinous Rice with Fresh Mango and Coconut Milk) $5.90++ :

Whenever I'm in Thailand, I have mango glutinous rice at least once every day... but I still prefer the one here :D The authentic one you find in Thailand tends to have tough individual grains of rice with a thin coconut milk sauce. The one here, on the other hand, has a mound of sticky, chewy glutinous rice, with sweetened cocunut milk. YUMS! Beats the real thing hands down, if you ask me.

I'm a renewed Thai Express fan - the service is still spotty, but there's some pretty good dishes here and prices are reasonable.

Thai Express (VivoCity)
1 Harbourfront Walk
#B2-30 VivoCity
Tel: 6272 1912

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge

I actually came here once a few years ago for tea and didn't have any strong impression of the place, except for the fact that it was populated by tea-sipping tai-tais. Looking for somewhere to have late lunch / tea with sis and mum and decided to come here...

Mum loves foie gras so we ordered the Foie Gras Salad $19.90++ as a starter -

It was surprisingly good, cooked perfectly, and a very decent-sized portion for that price. Totally melts in your mouth...

I had a very different dish for my main course, Roast Chicken $15.90++. I say it's different coz I don't think I've ordered roast chicken in years!

My main reason for avoiding roast chicken is I don't particularly like being served the whole chicken and having to deal with bones - but this one was boneless, yay! Reasonably tasty, the simple use of baby carrots added a sophisticated touch to the dish.

Sis ordered the Breakfast Set $18.90++ despite having had a breakfast set at Cedele the day before... sounds more like something I would do, eh? I think it's called Pytti I Panna on the menu; at least that's what its called on the receipt :)

It was just ok, not that great value for money I reckon - $18.90 for sausages and egg??

Mum loves salmon so ordered the Salmon and Potato Gratin $19.90++ -

Based on the name, I expected to see a gratin of salmon and potato, but it turned out to be a slice of salmon with a serving of potato gratin :D It was pretty decent, I only had a bite of it... but much better value than the breakfast set.

One thing that's mentioned in a lot of the reviews that I read is the Copenhagen Scones $6.90++ -

They were not too bad but there were the cake-y kind of scone - I actually prefer the biscuity type. The jam and cream were also not amazing. But a nice thing to have during tea... speaking of which, we ordered a pot of Earl Grey Tea $6.50++, how can you go to a tea lounge and not order tea? :D

I also ordered the Green Tea Cake $4.90++ after a long perusal of the cakes in the display case near the entrance -

It really wasn't very good. It was way more dense that I like my cakes... the Japanese tai tais at the next table didn't finish theirs either.

Mum also loves ice cream so she ordered a Sundae $9.90++ -

One interesting thing about this place is that they serve strawberry and mint-flavoured water - yummy and so high class! :D

As mentioned in most reviews on, the service here is pretty bad... I would go so far as to call it abysmal. Seating was quick and our orders taken reasonably fast. Food came without incident... but thereafter it went downhill. It was near impossible to get the attention of the waitresses when we wanted to order more things, and we had to ask at least three waitresses, and wait over half an hour before we got our bill! Granted, that's not a bad thing when you are there to have a lazy afternoon tea :D

A good option if you looking for a place to chill out and read a book during afternoon tea. But beware the bad service may spoil what you expected to be a serene afternoon... just remember to be zen about it and chill :)

Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge
391 Orchard Road
Takashimaya Department Store
2F Ngee Ann City
Tel: 6735 6833