Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Prologue : It's not just about books!

Just last weekend, I met up with a girlfriend of mine, Lixx to talk nonsense and discuss the silliness of boys and men. We like to find new places to eat and there was this one place I had been wanting to visit but not yet had the opportunity to do so.

Down at Orchard Ion, there is a pimped up version of popular bookstore called Prologue. It's pretty upmarketish and has it's own floor dedicated to lovely stationary and they sell a fairly wide range of comics. Love the fact that they stock indie titles. :3

Inside Prologue is a cafe called Jams. I have passed by Jams several times but nork always pulls me away. I think he worries I'll eat everything on the menu and trust me it's very hard not to! Sadly I have no menu shots for this place but I'll put down what I can remember.

These lovely tins of cookies await you as you enter the cafe. It's more a dessert place really, or a tea time place. I wouldn't come here for lunch but tea and high tea are a certain must. They serve things like Eton Mess and blueberry scones and giant ice cream cookie sandwiches and apple cobbler. 'tis delightful!

Lixx was hungry though, so we looked through the savories. They have a couple of sandwiches and pasta but I wasn't too interested. The only thing which caught my eye and my nose were the wafting smells coming from the soup pot; CLAM CHOWDER. It's just a pity I wasn't hungry enough or I'd have ordered that in a heartbeat.

QUICHE. Uber delicious combination of egg, onions, ham and crumbly pastry. I took a nibble and was socked by the herby egg flavour and I'd have taken more than a nibble if I didn't stop myself. Definitely recommending this for a tea time snack. And soup. Mmm soup.

As for me, I like scones!

A blueberry scone! No cream but that's ok, these things are tasty enough to eat on their own. They did have a scone set that came with cream and jam but it was $8.50. Wasn't so keen on spending that much on scones that day.

Then drinks. I was up to my armpits trying to figure out what to order. They had milkshakes AND hot chocolate and not just any hot chocolate, this was Couverture chocolate, chocolate drops that dissolve nicely in hot milk and cream. I fought with myself and eventually succumbed to the hot chocolate. On my next visit though, I am definitely having the cookies and cream shake and the salted caramel shake.

Yay. Mine is on the left, Lixx on the right. She ordered the black and white which is really just dark and white chocolate buttons. I had the house chocolate which was just dark buttons. Whisk the buttons into the milk and they break up and kinda dissolve into the milk. Let it sit a while and it becomes a wonderfully rich but not overpowering chocolate concoction.

I forgot to add that they serve cakes and cupcakes here too. Lixx and I couldn't decide which one to get and I was too busy thinking about dinner to bother. Isn't this terrible. Thinking of the next meal when you're not even done with the current meal. Tsk.

This is a lemon banana cupcake. I think that's a macaron on top. The cream whip is cream cheese I think, infused with lemon and the cupcake itself was stuffed with banana which is great. I don't like fruit cupcakes which have smidgens and specks of the supposed fruit in it.

Overall I love this place. There is an awesome view of the city from the cafe and you're in a book shop; great for book lovers out there. Service is awesome and the staff are really helpful with giving recommendations as to what to order. Prices are reasonable too! All the desserts are under $10 and hot chocolate is $7.50; some might find this a bit steep but it's not powdered chocolate they're using here! Milkshakes run at $6.50.

There's also a promo at the moment now, if you order a dessert, your drink gets a dollar off.

I'd put it about $15 per head, for dessert/food and a drink. Coming back here again! There are more desserts to be had! :D

Fat Boys!

Admittedly I've been neglecting this blog. I've been busy with school applications and running around to job interviews and doing my commissions; yay commissions. And now that I'm a little more free I can post some things I've been nomming on.

This is fatboys! It's a newish burger joint that opened near my house, about 10-15 minute drive away. I think I've already established the fact that I'm quite a burger person so of course I HAD to come down and try this place. I did try to go there with a friend before but it was raining and the parking situation there is really really horrible so we ended up going elsewhere.

Last week though, fortune smiled down upon me and granted me and nork a car and the opportunity to visit fatboys. Parking was still a horror but it was much easier since it wasn't raining.

... oh noes I didn't take any environment shots. Meh. Well it's a smallish place with very loud sticker decor on the walls. Lots of red, black and white with a very urban cementy feel. Let's get down to the food!

Looks yummy don't it. I'm so glad they serve pork burgers here, they're very hard to find in Singapore and I am still missing the McPork from Japan. Anyhoo, nork ordered the fat basterd. It's a whopper!

The french fries resembled planks but that's ok for they were tasty tasty golden fried planks of yum. For myself, I like build your own burgers so here's the menu for it.

I got myself a honey oat bun with a skinny beef patty, sautéed mushrooms, bacon and mozzarella cheese. I'd have chosen provolone cheese if they had it, and I think they should. It's a very tasty cheese when melted over burger patty yumminess.

Doesn't that brown bun look delicious. I like the fact that I can taste the flavour of the bread when I eat this burger. The mozarella is a little.. too tame though, for this mish mash of flavours. Mushrooms were tasty, bacon was ok; I've always championed apple smoked bacon so I tend to be a little picky when it comes to that.

We were incredibly full when we finished the burgers. I had originally wanted to order onion rings to go with the burgers but it's just as well we didn't. We might have eaten ourselves into a food coma.

What's a burger without a milkshake. They serve some pretty neat shakes here; no photos though, sorry. I ordered it to go because I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to down all of it while sitting in the restaurant. I got a malted strawberry shake. It was tasty and very fruity and the best part is that it wasn't so sweet. A lot of shakes I've tried are often very sweet and leave a burning feeling in your throat, like the oreo shake from Carl's Jr.

Over all this is a lovely burger joint, the service is pretty good and the staff are fairly attentive. No service charge or GST here which is an awesome plus. Water is self serve but that's not a big issue; walking hasn't killed anyone. :D

Per person, average bill can come to $20 if you order burger and a drink.

I'll mos def be going back again to try another burger combination!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Saddle Club Yums

Today I went down to the Rider's Cafe down at the Saddle Club at Bukit Timah. It's a lovely place with a nice view of grassy meadows and the occasional horse which wanders by. One of my favourite restaurants is actually located here; The Mimolette, but I'll save that review for another time.

I went down with a friend and since we didn't make reservations, we had to wait for about half an hour for it to clear up some. Sunday morning/afternoons are crowded! I'm thinking it must be the brunch crowd. Saw two NYP lecturers having brunch there, would have talked to them but they seemed busy. :3

We wandered around the grassy plains while waiting for our table to be ready and were mildly startled by the appearance of two horses with their riders behind us. Nice horsies!

Upon finally being seated, I was quite delighted to find out that brunch lasted till 2pm and I happily ordered the Rider's... breakfast? I think that's what it's called. It consisted brown toast, a choice of bacon, sausage or ham, eggs either scrambled or sunny side up, breakfast taters and baked beans. My friend ordered pancakes with whipped cream and berry compote.

Are these pancakes not lovely. Fat fluffy things dusted with a layer of powdered sugar. Mmmm. Apparently the cream was very good but I didn't try any because I was preoccupied with this.

You know, very often my scrambled eggs are dry and tasteless and otherwise quite inedible without a good lashing of cracked pepper and tomato ketchup. But these eggs were different. Rich and bursting with savoury eggy flavour, these were really tasty and needed no condiments whatsoever. The baked beans were a tad bit too salty though, and the bacon really fatty and a little thin. Breakfast taters were good, hard to go wrong with that. And brown toast was just that; brown toast with a huge gob of whipped butter. I didn't touch the grapes or the conserve though. o.o

I really recommend this place to hang out during the weekend or when you feel like escaping city life. Rider's cafe is a lovely and inexpensive place to have brunch, lunch or breakfast and after dining you can wander around outside to look at the horses.

Price per head is about $15-20.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

OT Night : K-k-koka noodles

OT nights suck. I don't get paid. I work my butt off. And no one buys me dinner. Ever. And so tonight I wandered off into the nearby supermarket to bring some nourishment back to the office in the form of instant noodles.

Alright I admit it, I kinda really like instant noodles and the only reason why I don't eat them often is because of the high MSG levels, the sodium and overall you really shouldn't be eating anything that can be cooked in 3 minutes with just hot water. Even instant soup isn't all that good for you. But tasty.

I normally eat Nissin brand chicken flavoured cup noodles, my favourite. Beef or Bulalo flavour in the Philippines when I'm there. And in Japan.. well. Too many and too weird.

Today though, I got Koka. Never tried Koka. Why no Nissin? Chicken flavour was out of stock and so was mushroom chicken. So Koka for me.

Yay. Chicken flavour, no MSG! But still no good for you; just the lesser of several evils. I added the powder, the dead veggie bits and water and left it to steep.

Um. Tasty, hot and veggielicious, only when you're hungry. Which I was. At $1.40 a bowl it's not too bad for a quick meal before getting back to work.

I must be bored, writing about my bowl of cup noodles. Oh dear.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vday Part Two : Handburger

I shall now talk about burgers. Mmm burgers, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. I have always been a sucker for a good burger and encounter many lovely varieties during my travels and adventures. In fact now that I think about it, I've been having burgers for my birthday nearly every year now. Turning 18 trumped it all though with burgers in the afternoon and burgers at night and burgers the next day.

Constantly searching for the 'perfect' hamburger, I have discovered that my favourite combination consists a caramelized onion bun, lightly toasted and buttered, topped with hand chopped beef held together preferably with eggs, breadcrumbs and a particularly leafy veggie I haven't figured out yet. Top this with a slice of melting provolone cheese, sauteed button mushrooms and two streaks of applewood smoked bacon, onion rings on the side. Perfect.

Handburger has offered a not so expensive place to dine on a variety of delicious hamburgers. From the classic cheeseburger to the pulled pork burger and the fried dory burger, there's something for everyone here. My personal favourite here is the burger titled 'The Works' which contains.. a lot of toppings up high. However it often proves too challenging for me to eat so I often settle for the handburger original, the humble cheeseburger.

Right now, they're having a get your second burger at 50% off deal which I think is fantastic when you're dining out with another burger loving friend.

That's onion jam on the cheese and on the bread, very tasty, tangy burnt sweet... savory. Choice between fries or a chillled stuffed tomato. I find chilled stuffed tomato very funny, just substitute tomato with other words like chilled stuff aubergine. For some reason I find it hilarious. If anyone's wondering, it's coleslaw in the tomato pinata.

It's a difficult burger to pick up and eat and more often than not I eat it with a knife and fork which is really not the best way to eat it. You want to get all the flavours together in your mouth, not one at a time! Need to work on burger picking up skills.

We had a root beer float to go with the burgers; it has been EONS since my last root beer float and this was a deliciously bubbly and creamy concoction. Dessert was a warm sticky banana cake with a side of vanilla ice cream and strawberry compote. Compote seemed sickly sweet and resembled alien goo with cake+ice cream combo was awesome. Want to try the chocolate or lemony pot the next round. :3

About S$15-20 per person.

Vday Part One : Daikokuya

Hooray, Valentines Day, a day to eat roses and drink rum and be merry whether you be single or taken. The flavour of the day though was ramen. We were going to catch Percy Jackson at Cineleisure and decided to find lunch at Paragon. Oh Paragon how you have changed.

A lot of restaurants have shifted location or had a remake done to the facade. A small handful of new restaurants have also opened up. One of these restaurants was Daikokuya. It was a tough choice really, between Canele and Daikokuya because I love my French food and I love my Japanese food. The ramen won though.

There has been a recent spate of ramen shops opening all round Singapore, I'm guessing this has to do with Ippudo opening and this has resulted in fad ramen shops opening up all over the place. All the new malls have one ramen place there at least now, really.

Daikokuya has a lovely range of ramen available from different parts of Japan like Tokyo, Sapporo and Kyushu, each with their own unique broths and noodle types. ... I really should have taken photos of the menu.

Tokyo ramen boasts a finely made chicken broth base, cooked for 8 hours long and slightly thickish ramen noodles. Sapporo ramen uses tonkotsu broth, better known as pork bone broth and is cooked for 12 hours, giving it a rich creamy flavour. Kyushu ramen also uses chicken broth but this time infused with charred garlic oil. Very interesting! There are also shoyu and miso variations of the soup so one is very spoilt for choice here.

So this is what I got. Yes it's a camera phone photo. With flash. I am terrible. This is Sapporo ramen with tonkotsu base. See how nice the soup is. That's black fungus, some pickled.. brown things.. and lovely slices of pork belly. Oh my goodness the pork belly was so tasty and so fatty it's almost just as good as the more traditional roast pork rounds.

My boy had a shoya cha shu ramen which had a chicken broth heavily flavoured with shoyu. When I say heavily flavoured, I mean it; the soup was a deep rich brown colour, nicely complementing the roast pork slices which were floating gently on the noodles. I've never been a big fan of shoyu based ramen, I've always felt that the shoyu was often too salty and overpowering, thus not giving a 'pure' flavour of the broth and noodles. No photos though. D:

What is ramen without gyoza. I LOVE GYOZA. Crunchety crispetty grilled on one side steamed on the other pork goodness. And so good with vinegar on the side. An order comes in 6 or 10; we ate two before I remembered to take photos. The best gyoza I've had was in Japan in small cheap ramen shop by the road side but these'll do. Mmmm gyoza. :D

All in all I enjoyed myself muchly. I'm not sure about going back there so soon though because of the many new ramen shops now available, just waiting for me to try.

Average price per head would be about S$18.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

New Banner

I have a new banner for my food blog. I think it needs tweaking but it'll do for now.

Oh yes, happy new year everyone. And happy Valentines day! If I'm not careful I might start posting art here as well. Oh dear.

Friday, February 12, 2010

First Post : TGIFridays

I am finally starting up a food blog, something my parents have been nagging me to do since day one. I've always loved food and I'm always on the search for nice tasty but not necessarily expensive yumyums. I apologize for the current lack of photos, I have yet to get into the habit of taking photos of food before I eat.

Too often I get so taken by the arrival of the food that I start whacking it and forget all about taking photos. I'd better stop that, I think or there'll be photos of empty plates here instead.

To start off the first post, I shall talk about my trip to TGIFriday's at the Heeren.

I have always loved TGIF and remember going there when I was a kid when it was still located at the glass house near park mall. I can't quite remember what I used to eat there but I remembered the decor being lively and very american. I also remember always ordering mud pies when I was there; I do adore mudpies.

I was sad when they closed and moved out of the glass house; fish and co is there now I think? And I used to wonder if they'd ever come back . They did.

So after I got off work yesterday afternoon, it being a half day and all since CNY is just round the corner, I wandered off with my boyfriend towards Orchard 313. We never quite got there. Instead I suggested trying out TGIF since it was a favourite childhood restaurant.

I have to say it was quite an experience. We were greeted and led up the stairs into the air conditioned part of the restaurant and left there with two menus. We only came in at around 3pm and that is most definitely off peak but it took forever for a server to wander into where we were seated. And it wasn't like we were the only ones in that area, there were a few other people there too.

We pored through the menu for a while before I decided on getting the Caesar salad with grilled chicken and he got the BBQ burger. Again I apologize for the lack of photos.

We flailed our arms for a bit, trying to grab a waiter's attention and only succeeded after making a spectacle of ourselves. We ordered our food and asked for two iced waters. The iced waters really took their time. It's just water man, not some cocktail. In fact the water came AFTER the food. What's up with that.

Food comes. We're hungry and we dig in. First thing I notice, my poor salad is absolutely drowning in dressing, rendering this possibly healthy choice a totally unhealthy one. It's a lie of a salad, like dousing fat all over your veggies or eating a head of cabbage with a jar of mayo. Urgh.

So picking my way through my salad, I noted a distinct lack of parmesan cheese. Tiny strings could be found, but you had to look for them. The chicken was dry but this is normal, it's chicken breast and they're not the juiciest of cuts. However it lacked kick and tasted like warmed smoke flavoured chicken. Then I began to wonder, where are the croutons? Surely they were not forgotten.

I dug around my salad and lo and behold there they were, hiding under all the leaves, sitting in the dressing and becoming bread soggies. I don't like bread soggies. Why oh why would you put croutons at the bottom where the dressing is sure to collect, thus making my croutons waterlogged and icky. Like a soaked rusk.

There wasn't any bacon and really I wasn't expecting any since it wasn't put down on the menu but the bacon might have saved it. The sheer tang of the dressing was getting to me and some smokey bacon might have offset the affront it dealt to my tastebuds.

The boyfriend burger was well, a burger. Very tasty onion rings I have to admit, patty itself was so-so, bun was boring and cheese was the colour of a crayola crayon. Oh yes, he mentioned the fries were limp and overfried.

So yes, I had high hopes for you TGIFridays, I really did, I was hoping for something much better than this. I tried TGIF in Cebu and got ribs and burger and they were both awful.

Ok that was an incredibly long first post. I'll try to update as and when I have interesting food experiences. :D