Wednesday, December 29

Au Petit Salut

Salut! =)

How's everyone's last week of 2010 going? I've been going back to school daily since the start of this week for CCA and I think I'm beginning to enjoy myself even more during CCA sessions. I'm quite proud to say that I've taken a step towards being more involved with my CCA by joining my very flexible students when they do warm up! =) It certainly beats sitting at the corner watching them do those challenging stretches and I feel like I'm having some kind of free 'yoga' or stretching session of sorts! Looking forward to our final session before we take a break for New Year celebration!

Today, I'll blog about one of my favourite restaurants in Singapore - Au Petit Salut at Harding Road. It's a popular French restaurant that I've been to quite a few times and I keep returning because of the well-cooked food and relatively affordable set-meal prices!
Recently, Jeffrey and I have taken a liking to sparkling water so we ordered a bottle of S. Benedetto ($7) to share! I like it when there's a slice of lemon in my sparkling water because it gives a slight tangy taste to the water.

A basket of complimentary warm bread buns which we absolutely love! These go perfectly with the cold butter that is served together with the bread basket.

Jeffrey and I usually visit Au Petit Salut in the afternoon so we'll go for their three-course set lunch. There're basically two kinds of set lunch: the normal one that costs $30++ per pax and the executive set lunch that costs slightly more. We opted for the normal set lunch so we paid $30++ per person!

For starters, I'd the mushroom quiche which came with a side salad. The quiche was warm and tasty and it was of just the right size - not too filling and not too small. The salad was exceptionally well-tossed because every leaf was drizzled with salad sauce. Yum =)

Jeffrey chose the normal garden salad and it was as tasty as my side salad! If you like your salad to come with a bit of zing, try Au Petit Salut's!
I think there are slight changes to the set lunch menus because I spotted a couple of items which I have never seen before but these changes obviously go unnoticed by Jeffrey because he always goes for the same thing - ONGLET WITH FRIES! =P I guess there's nothing wrong with eating and re-eating the same dish that one likes, especially if the dish is good! There were many other diners who ordered this too so I'm guessing that their onglet must be quite good!

I decided to go for the risotto which, at first glance, looked pretty pathetic in terms of portion size but turned out to be quite filling! It's one of the more flavourful risottos that I've eaten! On top of that, I thought that the chef did a good job in making sure that the rice grains are neither too hard nor too 'fat'! I liked it so much that I ate every single grain of it!

For dessert, both of us ordered a plate of profiteroles each. Profiteroles are actually scoops of vanilla icecream that sit in between two puff pastry 'bases', covered with chocolate sauce and generous sprinklings of almond flakes. It's a dessert that will fill up whatever empty space you've left in your tummy so if you're already very full from your mains, I would suggest you go for their creme brulee (which is not bad as well) or some other dessert that you fancy.

While eating your dessert, you'll also be served with complimentary coffee or tea. I like to think of these cups of coffee and tea as 'end of meal beverage' so seeing these cups of warm drinks on the table will mean that my meal has come to and end!

I honestly think that the set lunches are extremely worth it and that everyone who wants to have a taste of affordable French food should dine at Au Petit Salut. It helps that the ambience is relaxed and the staff are generally friendly! Will probably go back again next year!

Alright that's all for today! =) Enjoy the last few days of 2010!

Saturday, December 25

Cha Cha Cha

HOHOHO! Merry Christmas! (:

I'm back in Singapore! It's the first time being away for so long and it feels quite good to be back (apart from the fact that I'm painfully aware that the year is coming to an end!). My trip was pretty eye-opening and it gave me much to think about. I only wished that I'd more time to lounge about and do nothing but the tourist in me felt compelled to visit some of the 'must see' sights and the 'must visit' places. On the whole it was a fulfilling trip and I did manage to get some rest in between, so it's not too bad (: Will spend the rest of the year preparing myself physically and mentally for the new year!

Anyhow, I'll do a short post before continuing with my unpacking. I've decided to post about Cha Cha Cha partly because we had Mexican food on the first night at Bangkok. We've been visiting this city two years in a row so far! It's not that we particularly love the food or the shopping (though I must say that that both are pretty good) but because we happened to be visiting Thailand's less developed neighbouring countries and we always used Bangkok as our 'safety stop' - in case we dislike the other less developed neighbouring countries, then at least Bangkok will be some sort of reprieve. Okay I don't know why we're being so cautious but I guess since a holiday is meant to be enjoyable and this works out for us, it's good enough!

I've digressed! Okay back to Mexican food. Ever since I ate at Cafe Iguana a few years ago, I realised that Mexican cuisine goes well with my palate. So one fine day before we left Singapore, we decided to pop by Cha Cha Cha at Holland Village for some Mexican food since we've heard that it serves pretty decent food. We were there on a sunny Saturday and the restaurant wasn't full so I guess it's not necessary to make a reservation for lunches.

Our basket of complimentary nachos, which was served AFTER we ordered our dishes! This led to a slight problem because I had thought that they wouldn't be serving nachos so we ordered a platter of nachos with cheese and diced tomatoes!

This was our plate of nachos with melted cheese and diced tomatoes (sorry I forgot how much this cost). Needless to say, this plate of chips carried more taste and flavour than its plainer compatriot and it's definitely good for sharing if you're a nachos lover! Otherwise, the plain nachos are good enough as starters (:

Jeffrey ordered chicken burrito ($16) and he liked it despite its reddish appearance! I was slightly worried that it might be spicy but apparently it isn't so it was good for him!

I ordered this dish which consitst of a wrap with melted cheese and mushrooms, a ball of rice, two clumps of different mashed beans which is (if I'm not wrong) called the Flauta ($13.50) and I thoroughly enjoyed it! It's like a deconstructed burrito and you've to put the different ingredients together to get what you want =)

Finally, we decided to order a crepe ($6.50), which turned out to be crepe with banana slices inside topped with pineapple bits, three grapes and super sweet syrup! Honestly I don't think I've tasted such a sweet crepe before! I thought that the overly-sweet taste kind of spoilt the dish for me but I guess different people have different tastes so you may like it.

In short, the entire meal was satisfying apart from our little disappointment with the dessert. Service is prompt and prices are affordable so I think it's quite a decent place to have a relaxing meal. I'm not sure if the restaurant is/ will be airconditioned so people who dislike perspiring or are prone to perspiring a lot may want to avoid this place during sunny and hot days. Otherwise, it's a great place for Mexican food! (:

Alright that's all for now! Time to unpack, rest a bit and then have Christmas dinner with the rest of the limmies (: Merry Christmas everyone! =)

Saturday, December 4

The Cavern

Hello! (:

Sorry for not updating this space for a while. I was suddenly attacked by a mighty bout of flu on Tuesday and have since been on the relatively speedy road to recovery - thanks to tamiflu! =) I'm feeling perfectly fine now except for the occassional cough and the croaky/ husky voice! I'll definitely spend the next 1.5days resting and recovering because I'll be gone for the next three weeks! =) I doubt I'll be updating this space much when I'm gone but I'll update more when I'm back! (:

Anyway, a few of us dropped by The Cavern to try out its food a few weeks ago. The Cavern's currently having a 'soft launch' - which means that it's not officially launched yet (I think) and their current menu is relatively limited because they only serve certain dishes listed on their main menu.

The space that The Cavern occupies was previously taken by Brewerkz but the latter ended its lease a couple of months ago, and so The Cavern took over. Business is still slow at the moment - which is fine - since it's still going through the soft launch phase. Hopefully more people'll drop by for some pub grub when business is in full swing!

For starters, we decided to have the house garden salad ($12), which tasted slightly different from the usual vegetable salad because there were some apple quarters tossed in! I love salads with apple bits because the salad becomes slightly sweeter and crunchier.

We ordered a basket of calamari ($12) to share as well. The calamari was mediocre and isn't something to scream about so I guess we'll give this a miss in future.

If you feel like you're seeing double in this photo, let me assure you that your eyes aren't tricking you! We actually ordered two plates of prawn aglio olio spaghetti ($16 each) because the menu's very limited! This plate of prawn aglio olio has got to be one of the spiciest that I've ever tasted! My sister, who ate the other plate, also commented that it was much spicier than expected! If you aren't able to handle spice well, please refrain from ordering this though I must say that the dish was pretty well done! =)

We also ordered two servings of The Cavern's Famous Fish & Chips ($15 per serving). On the whole this dish was slightly above average - the fries weren't as nice as we expected them to be but the fish fillet was pretty tender and savoury. I guess it would help a little if we'd coleslaw/ lettuce as a side instead of the vegetable that we were served.

Our trip to The Cavern wasn't disappointing nor did it floor us with what it offered. The service was friendly and prompt and our dining experience was pretty pleasant. I hope that there'll be a wider variety of choices after The Cavern's official launch so that I'll be able to sample other Cavern-delights when I return in future! =)

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, November 28

Rose Veranda

Hello! (:

Today has been a really slow and lazy day but I'm loving every bit of it because it's rare to be able to catch up on restful sleep. I say restful sleep because I've been having really tiring dreams of late! I dream almost every single time I sleep and it's tormenting becuase the dreams that I have aren't relaxing or sweet, instead they're always about having to do this mission or having to run from this place to another or trying to solve something before time runs out! It's extremely draining and I often wake up feeling as exhausted as I was before I slept =S Thankfully, there seems to be an invisible time limit for my tiring dreams (at least for now) because I didn't dream the second time I napped today! Whoopee! Yes I know it's awfully piggish of me to do so but I couldn't fight the fatigue!

Okay enough of sleep talk! I shall post an entry on our trip to Rose Verada at Shangri-la! Prior to our visit, we heard from our friends who had been to Rose Veranda that the savoury food isn't that great but their tea is pretty amazing so we went there only having high expectations for their tea. Contrary to what our friends have said, our verdict at the end of our very long meal was that the food wasn't as bad as we had thought it would be - in fact, most of the dishes served were great - and that the tea that was served certainly lived up to its reputation!

We visited Rose Veranda on a Saturday afternoon and the meal costs about $40++/ pax. There are two seatings and we chose the earlier one because we wanted to have lunch instead of tea.

This photo was taken from where we were seated. The restaurant had floor to ceiling glass windows and that definitely helped to brighten up the place. It actually rained while we were eating so we actually weathered a storm that day! =P

This is a photo of Jeffrey's English Breakfast tea. We chose the cheaper high tea set which did not allow a change of tea but if you were to opt for the slightly more expensive high tea set, you will be able to change your choice of tea twice during the meal (: The tea is refillable so you can drink as much tea as you want!

I chose to have iced tea instead (I can't remember if it's a fruit tea). Both our teas had very strong tea taste and I supposed that's why most peoplt (including us) really like it (: If I'm not wrong, Rose Veranda gets their tea from TWG so I suppose TWG serves good tea! Speaking of TWG, we were at Takashimaya this afternoon and we saw the teapot that Rose Veranda uses at the TWG booth so if you really like the teapot and tea at Rose Veranda, you can find these items at TWG (:

Keeping in mind that this buffet at Rose Veranda is meant for high tea and not lunch, I would say that the range of food served is quite large! It's definitely comparable to Goodwood Park's L'espresso (which I'm very fond of!) but I would think that the savoury food at Goodwood taste slightly better. The desserts at both places are of premium quality and they're bound to make any dessert lover happy! =)

Alright here are some snapshots of the food that we had that day! It was one of those rare days that both of us were feeling hungry so our already huge appetites were larger than usual! The end result is that we ate many plates of food and forgot to capture some of them so here are those that we actually remembered to take!

From left in clockwise direction: some lettuce, fresh crabmeat sandwich (yum!), mini spinach quiche

From left in clockwise direction: egg and ham sandwich (not bad!), slices of some kind of meat (turkey?), some lettuce

From left in clockwise direction: plain rice (I wonder why Jeffrey took that!), fried beehoon (surprisingly okay), salami sandwich, smoked salmon

From left in clockwise direction: baked salmon and spinach pie with sauce (YUM!), mini spinach quiche, some vegetables, smoked salmon and some sushi

From left in clockwise direction: fried beehoon, more sandwiches, a strip of chicken, more smoked salmon and two siewmais

From left in clockwise direction: carrots and cauliflower, chilli squid and prawns, fried beehoon, steamed prawd dumpling, crab meat sandwich

Ooh next comes the desserts! Because I'm a dessert monster, I tried MOST of the desserts on display! =) Feeling mighty proud of myself for that! haha Here are some photos!

From left in clockwise direction: a small piece of chocolate, bread and butter pudding (YUM!), eclair with rose filling, scone (MUST TRY!)

Oh my plate ran out of space so I took this on its own: rose creme brulee. Very interesting (: You should try!

From left to right in clockwise direction: sponge cake with lemon meringue top, what I thought was pineapple tart but no, it was some kind of tart with lotus paste filling =( Didn't go very well with me, the absolute winner on this plate: rose macaroon! I tried ALL their macaroons and I still think that this is the best =)

From left in clockwise direction: tiramisu with chocolate top (YUMMY!), strawberry in a chocolate boat filled with custard, strawberry mousse with flakey top and base.

From left in clockwise direction: strawberries covered with chocolate fondue sauce, rose macaroon again (just can't get enough of it) and some fruit cum cheese tart cake.

We were so stuffed at the end of our meal that we had to sit a while before taking a tour around Shangrila! We'll definitely go back again but we probably won't go back too soon because we're hoping to see a slight change in menu the next time we return. Otherwise it's okay with us as well.

Alright that's all for now! (: Hope you'd a good weekend. Bye!

Thursday, November 25

Everything with Fries


It's a cold, rainy night! I hope everyone's safe and warm at home! I'm currently waiting for my damp hair to dry so I'll write a little post about my family's visit to Everything with Fries. I've blogged about this place previously but since my family members had ordered different dishes during our visit, I thought I'd blog about this pretty fabulous western food joint located at Holland Village again!

On that day, we were feeling particularly adventurous with drinks so we ordered a strawberry milkshake, a nutella shake as well as a vanilla milkshake ($4.90 each). The photograph above features Everything with Fries' thick vanilla milkshake which was truly enjoyable (: I know some people think that milkshakes are fattening (and I don't deny that they are) but if one were to consume a milkshake, why not drink one that's of superlative quality? Everything with Fries' milkshake reminds me of Once Upon a Milkshake's milkshake, which I'm determined to bring my siblings to try before school reopens!

Tandoori chicken sandwich with caesar salad and original shoestring fries ($10.90). This may look pretty small to you but trust me, it's formidable! I guess the generous chicken portions help to make this dish filling so you won't feel hungry even though this is a 'sandwich' dish. This sandwich is particularly appealing to those who like a slightly indian-y flavour to your chicken! Overall it's quite an enticing dish (:

If you prefer something a little 'safer', you can order the grilled pork chop with coleslaw and original shoestring fries ($13.90). The thing about 'safe' dishes is that they are seldom spectacular, and this particular dish is no anomaly. My mother, who ate this dish, said that it was 'okay only' but the portion was 'just nice'. Try not to order this dish if you want to be wow-ed!

The lamb burger with caesar salad and original shoestring fries ($9.90) took the longest time to arrive! I'm not sure if it's because our order got lost in the kitchen or that the lamb patty takes a long time to put together and be cooked but yes we had to wait a very long time for this to be served! The lamb burger was certainly above average but it wasn't something to scream about. Nevertheless, it's a nice and filling dish to have, especially if you're in the mood for burgers.

We also ordered spaghetti bolognese with coleslaw and straight cut original fries ($10.90). It was our first time seeing and eating Everything with Fries' straightcut fries and we were really surprised to see that the straight cut fries were so thick! Each straight cut fry was at least twice or perhaps even thrice as thick as a normal shoestring fry! If you're a person who doesn't really like much flavouring on your fries, I'd recommend that you order the straightcut fries because the powder to potato ratio is lower for straightcut fries compared to shoestring! I think most people prefer shoestring though - my family tends to like more flavour in our food!

The only dessert that we ordered that day was the famous hot banana bread pudding with vanilla icecream ($5.90). If you are a fan of hot-and-cold desserts, then you'd love this! Otherwise, I'd suggest you go for their other signature desserts like their nutella tart or their mille crepe cake! I personally prefer the latter because it's unexpectedly light and sweet! =) I love it!

Alright that's all for tonight. It's late and I've to go to bed! Shall blog again during the weekend. Have a good Friday and a great weekend! Goodnight! =)

Sunday, November 21

The Marmalade Pantry


It's the weekend again! To me, weekends are for languorous brunches, spending time with family members as well as catching up with friends! I've a few favourite/ usual weekend brunch haunts and one of them is The Marmalade Pantry at Ion! =)

I know I've posted about The Marmalade Pantry before but I think I'll do another post on it simply because I think it's an absolutely amazing place to meet up with friends. Despite its slightly overexposed seating area, the restaurant still carries a relatively relaxed and laidback atmosphere which I particularly like.

I am beginning to think that restaurant tables should be lined with some sort of a table mat so that the waiters and waitresses can shorten the time taken to clean up after each table of customers leave. However, I'm also aware that these paper tablemats aren't exactly the most eco-friendly items so maybe some other material should be used instead.

That day we chose to have pomegrante/ apple soda ($8) - which tasted pretty normal. I think the most worth-it soda that I've drunk to date is the soda elephancino at NYDC! You'll get a HUGE cup of soda at around the same price if I'm not wrong.

Jeffrey really loves his eggs any style ($18) because he never fails to order it whenever we're there! We went back to Marmalade Pantry again not too long ago and he ordered the same dish but chose to have his eggs sunny-side-up instead of scrambled! I must admit that it's a wholesome brunch dish to order!

And because I was eyeing a special dessert treat, I chose to stick with eggs florentine ($17) because I know that the portion isn't too big and it'll give me sufficient room for my dessert! Eggs florentine is essentially poached egg with spinach and smoked salmon on half a muffin, covered with creamy hollandaise sauce! =) My good friend, Jo, has successfully learnt to poach an egg and she claims that it isn't too difficult so perhaps I'll try doing it soon!

Finally, the new dessert that Jeffrey and I decided to try that day was the thin slice of chocolate nemesis ($14). Can you believe that this thin slice of chocolate fudge cake cost us $14! I actually asked the waiter if the portion was large because the chocolate nemesis costs nearly twice as much as a slice of cake from Marmalade Pantry but he gave a dubious reply - "it's enough to share". I've now learnt my lesson NOT to order the chocolate nemesis if I'm feeling particularly dessert-greedy because the portion is shockingly small! I guess we're paying for the density of this chocolate cake but I didn't feel that its rich texture warrants a $14 price tag. In the end, we had to order another slice of sea salt caramel cheesecake ($7.80), which was twice the size of the chocolate nemesis and tasted as great or even better! =) I would highly recommend the sea salt caramel cheesecake, especially if you're looking for a cheesecake with something different!

Alright that's all for now (: Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and have a great week ahead!

Wednesday, November 17

Original Sin

Hello! (:

After hearing that a particular family with a healthy sense of humour considers chicken 'vegetable', I decided to blog about my favourite vegetarian restaurant in Singapore to date - Original Sin.

I first visited Original Sin early last year and I was completely blown away by the menu because I can eat every single dish that's stated on it! =) I'm what some people call a pescatarian, which means I'm somewhat of a vegetarian who eats fish (and seafood). As a result, I usually am not able to eat at least some dishes in most restaurants that I go to and that also explains why I've never been to 'meat-ier' restaurants!

Recently, Jeffrey and I popped by Original Sin again after watching his school's drama production for a very late dinner and we were, again, pleased with the food that was served!

The must-order dish whenever we visit Original Sin is the Mezze Plate Starter ($20) which consists of warm pita bread, fried vegetable 'nuggets' and different dips such as hummus (my favourite!) and pumpkin! I really like this platter and can probably polish the entire dish off as a main course! Even Jeffrey, who's not a very mediterranean-foodie, liked this so I guess it is pretty palatable!

That night, I chose to have the lagsana ($24), which filled me up very well! The portion may not look like much at first but the generous servings of cheese and mushrooms in the lagsana made the dish very filling! This dish is great for a hungry person like me but I would suggest sharing this with another person if you are not someone who can stomach a lot of cheese/ pasta!

Jeffrey ordered the sicilian pizza ($22), which was surprisingly flavourful even though there was no meat on it! We also thought that it was a good idea to sprinkle some vegetables on the pizza for more colour (and also to provide some fibre!).

We were very satisfied with our late dinner/ supper and we will definitely return for more vegetarian food! (: It's advisable to make a reservation if you are intending to visit Original Sin during dinner time, especially on weekends, because it can get slightly crowded. So far, we've always managed to get a table indoors, which is good because it's much cooler. I hope to continue visiting Original Sin from time to time to try new dishes! =)

Alright that's all for now (: Have a good rest-of-the-week!