Saturday, April 20, 2013

Everything with Fries

Ventured into the crazy-packed streets of Holland Village last night with the family for dinner. It was a Friday night and so the entire street was pulsating and throbbing as if it had a heart of its own. With all the pubs and restaurants and cafes, it probably did. After hearing so much about Everything with Fries, I was dying to give it a go.

We waited close to twenty minutes to be seated as the restaurant was full-house, even though it was just six-thirty. All right, so maybe it was full-house because it was six-thirty. Anyway, the wait allowed us to carefully peruse the menu and decide on our orders upon being seated in a really cozy corner of the restaurant. I ordered the tandoori chicken sandwich, but opted for a burger bun instead. After all, why have plain white bread when you can get freshly-made buns! (or so they claim)

My tandoori chicken burger with curry shoestring fries, served with a side of Caesar salad. ($11.90)
The tandoori sauce was really really really good, a pity they only lathered it on the bottom bun. The buns turned out to be nothing fantastic, and left me wondering if I should have stuck to plain white sandwiches instead of subjecting myself to the buttery bun. The Caesar salad was surprisingly good, and not too much dressing was used. The fries were rather mediocre. The curry powder was not evenly spread among the sticks of fries, with some having an overwhelming curry flavour while others hardly had a sprinkle of orange on them.

The mother's cheeseburger with garlic herb fries. ($11.90)
The fries barely had any taste to them! They might as well have not put any garlic herb seasoning on the fries and it would've tasted the same. The burger was all right though, not spectacular but not bad either.

The brother had battered fish burger with sour cream and onion fries. ($13.90)
All I can say is, don't get your hopes up for this either.

After finishing dinner (yes, we polished off all the fries with the help of the ever-reliable chilli sauce), we ordered the Nutella tart with a scoop of Vanilla ice-cream. ($8.90) After all, the tart was crowned the star of the restaurant, so how could we miss out on that? Besides, EwF is a sub-restaurant group of the Awfully Chocolate chain, so we were definitely expecting something that would make us swoon with each mouthful.

The tart was, no kidding, somewhat a Nutella praline. It was no cake, just pure Nutella cream, held firm on a Oreo cookie base. It was so so so rich, and the ice-cream did not help to lighten the chocolate-y taste. Maybe it works for others but just not for me.

I would say that I was rather disappointed by this experience, but it may be because of my having really high expectations of the place, after hearing so much about it. Maybe I will come back some other time, but I would definitely not take great pains to visit this franchise. Besides, it is rather expensive for such average-tasting food.

Everything with Fries

40 Lorong Mambong
Holland Village
Tel: +65 6463 3741
(Closed on Monday)

Plastered eggs recipe

After trying a plaster egg prata at Prata Wala, I felt the urge to find a healthier way to make the delicious dish. After all, who can enjoy a meal when he knows that a substantial amount of oil was involved in its creation? So, one day after school, I decided to take to the kitchen after a really long time and fry my own egg. It turned out really successfully, even if I do say so myself.

Step 1: Pour a little oil on a saucepan, and use a piece (or two) of tissue paper to wipe it around the pan, as well as to remove excess oil. I used olive oil as it was a healthier alternative. Butter may also substitute oil.

Step 2: Heat the pan on medium-low heat. To know when the pan is heated enough, flick water onto the pan and if it splatters, it's ready for cooking.

Step 3: Pour an egg onto the pan, unmixed, of course.

Step 4: After a few seconds, fold a piece of bread (I used wholemeal) onto the egg. Make sure that the yolk is fully covered. If need be, use a spatula to gently press down the edges of the bread down onto the pan as the yolk may cause the bread to not be in contact with the egg white.

Step 5: When the whites start to harden, flip the bread over and serve whenever you feel that it is ready to be served. :-)

My brother was literally drooling at the outcome, but greedy me devoured the entire snack by myself, oops! It's a really simple dish (I would hardly even consider it a dish!) and can be prepared as a breakfast item or a snack whenever you feel peckish. Besides, eggs are really healthy and have been proven to contain lots and lots of different useful nutrients!

Before cooking

After cooking

I believe this qualifies as a successful first attempt?

Ben and Jerry's

Last week, even after Free Cone Day, we couldn't get enough of Ben and Jerry's, so we went up to Dempsey after dinner at my favourite coffee shop in Bukit Batok to get some sinful desserts! We used the buy-one-and-get-the-next-one-at-half-price coupon that was given out during Free Cone Day. (The coupon applies to sundaes only.)

We got the brownie with Clusterfluff ice-cream and a Berry sorbet, with caramel poured generously across the creamy concoction, along with a "Double Cookie Euphoria" which comprised of four quarter-cookies surrounding two huge scoops of Coffee BuzzBuzz and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice-cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with granola bits.

The brownie didn't have nuts in it. Hallelujah! I absolutely loved the brownie, especially when it was eaten with a forkful of Clusterfluff ice-cream (that is, peanut butter). It was dense, moist, rich, everything a brownie should be. The only gripe I had was that the ice-cream was melting too quickly, so I devoured my brownie and ice-cream in such a hurry I forgot to savour each and every bite properly. Thus, you can imagine my disappointment when I realize that the plate is only left with crumbs...and a river of melted ice-cream.

Oh well, it was heavenly and as the saying goes, be glad that it happened and not sad that it ended. ;-)

Poor photography skills did no justice to the brownie.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wimbly-Lu Chocolates

The exterior of the cafe. It's tucked in the heart of a labyrinth of semi-detached houses, so it's near impossible to get there without a car and a good GPS.

After Chomp Chomp, we headed straight to Wimbly-Lu Chocolates after reading so many good reviews about it! I was already set on what to order, and quickly placed the order as soon as we were seated.

The decoration of the cafe screams coziness and laid-back vibes pulsate through the entire room. The brick walls and vintage armchairs are simply lovely, perfect to lie on and spend a lazy afternoon while enjoying slices of heaven. Do remember to get there early though, as by 8 p.m., the after-dinner crowd arrived and the queue stretched out of the cafe, snaking out the door!

Root beer cake ($6)
Think a moist, dense brownie with traces of root beer, soaked in a puddle of warm chocolate sauce, with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream that doesn't melt even after ten minutes in the open. Heavenly.

Molten Lava Cake ($6)
The thin layer of chocolate cake on the surface broke into a warm, gooey mess of rich melted chocolate. It was more of a bowl of melted chocolate than a lava cake, which is what made my brother scoop up every single speck of chocolate in the bowl. I wonder how he could finish the entire thing (mostly) by himself, as after two spoon-fulls (yes, full) of chocolate, I felt rather sick of the chocolate-y taste.

I always believe in letting the photos speak for themselves. ;-)

Waffle with Chocolate Truffle ice-cream ($8.50)
Supposedly the best waffles in town! The waffles were crisp on the outside yet soft and fluffy on the inside. However, I felt that the scoop of ice-cream was rather pathetic for such a large waffle. The family didn't think the waffles were spectacular. Well...

Wimbly-Lu Chocolates is a really nice cafe, pity the inaccessibility of the location. However, they still manage to bring in a steady stream of customers. The food may be a little on the expensive side, but the service is still adequate (though a little slow) and the ambiance is worth paying a little more, just to while time away. If you can afford that time though, as after coming home from Wimbly-Lu at around 8 p.m., I started doing biology revision till 2.30 a.m...

Wimbly Lu Chocolate Cafe
15-2 Jalan Riang
Tel: +65 6289 1489
Tue to Fri: 12pm – 10.30pm
Sat & Sun: 9am – 11pm

Chomp Chomp Food Centre

I'm sure all Singaporeans are familiar with the name "Chomp Chomp". After not eating there in a really long time, my family and I decided to venture out to Serangoon for dinner after exercising at the country club!

We were early (6 p.m.-ish?) and were able to get a seat quickly in the "cooling" area of the food centre, away from all the barbecue smoke. However, halfway through the meal, we could feel sweat engulfing out backs. Ew.

Huge cup of sugarcane juice ($3)

Fried white carrot cake ($3)
This is carrot cake I've ever tasted. Look, it even comes with two prawns! Even the radish is perfectly fried so it doesn't taste too starchy, and the serving of egg is generous.

(This is the stall right outside the food centre! Aaaaaalllll the way up front, in the corner!)

Chicken satay and Pork satay
This was merely mediocre, but the pork skewers were better than the chicken ones. Apparently my mother ordered from the "wrong" stall. The "better" one was supposed to have pineapple slices in between the pieces of meat.

Chicken wings
I did not partake in this sinful drumlet of oil, but my mother said it was delicious. Eat at your own risk, I say.

Sambal BBQ sting-ray and La La ($21.90)
The sambal sting-ray was really good. The sambal sauce was very spicy and the sting-ray was fat and meaty! Yum! The La La was disappointing, though. There were many empty clam shells and the clams were so tiny! Hardly worth the eight dollars, I would say.

Satay Bee Hoon: I don't like the peanut gravy so...


There is a hokkien mee stall somewhere along the row of stalls near the middle of the food centre, which whips up plates of hokkien mee to hungry patrons. Expect to wait at least half an hour to get your food! But really, it is worth the wait as it is probably the best hokkien mee in the whole of Singapore!!!

Overall, I think Chomp Chomp is one of those places where every Singaporean has to visit at least once!

Ajisen Ramen

Visited Ajisen at IMM a few days ago and well, I wouldn't specially go back there again unless I'm having a huge craving for ramen like my mother had that day. There are pretty few good ramen places here in Singapore so I guess one just has to settle for whatever is available! Price-wise, I wouldn't say it is the best value-for-money as the prices start from $10 upwards for a bowl of ramen. However, they do have ramen sets where you get a bowl of ramen, an a-la-carte side dish and a drink for less than $15.

The brother ordered the Beef Ramen ($14.90)
The carrots were really good! Haha that is all I can say for this dish, as my brother refused to let anyone sample his beef. If you trust his taste, then well the beef was really good. :-)

I had the Spicy Ramen ($7.90) [Anniversary Special]
The waitress said there was chicken in it but didn't mention that it was minced chicken! Felt quite cheated, as I hardly could taste the minced chicken anyway. However, at least the noodles were good, and the soup was delectably spicy.

Mother ordered the Aso Ramen ($7.90) [Anniversary Ramen]
Aso is just pork, and the slices of pork were rather fatty.

I'm not sure what my dad ordered but it was good! The pork was not very fatty and they were more generous with their serving of meat.

Baby Octopus was not that bad. The marinating sauce was a tad bit too sweet for my liking though.

Fried white fish.
The batter was really oily but really yummy, haha. *guilty*

We are Gold(en)


All right, maybe the distinction was quite expected (honestly!) and well, fifty-two (+-) other bands in Singapore also attained the Distinction award! I guess the thrill of achieving the highest award is no longer as strong as it used to be in this sense. However, I'm still very happy that all our hard work paid off! This is proof that you reap what you sow. :-) We're really a miracle band because six months ago, we really doubted if we could even attain a Bronze award and now, well, let the music speak for itself!

The results were released on Thursday, and somehow everyone started yelling and squealing and this news got passed along to all the band girls in the school. During biology class, my teacher was turning on her laptop and then the SYF results were just there, on the screen for everyone to see! I didn't want to find out our results this way, so I shut my eyes and ears and just made it in time to miss the schools that came after St. Andrew's. Actually, in retrospect, the way I found out the results wasn't very exciting either. During our lunch break, Sandra and Celestine burst into our class and started squealing and well, we all know what that meant. Oh well, it was fun though! I got so emotional I almost cried! Hahahaha I guess I was just really overwhelmed with joy.

After school, Sandra, Victoria, Emily and I went to celebrate the distinction by going to Strictly Pancakes! I ordered the short stack with scrambled eggs and sauteed mushrooms, together with rum and raisin butter. It was so good, and so much cheaper than the other savoury pancakes! (sorry but students aren't rich y'know) I enjoyed talking to them and we laughed a lot and spent time enjoying one another's company. :-)

Apparently iPhone's front camera isn't very good.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wild Honey

I wanted to have Saturday brunch with the family last Saturday but because of time constraints, we were unable to do so. On the same day, Victoria recommended this restaurant called Wild Honey to me for brunch and since I have read lots of glowing reviews about the restaurant, we went all out for it on Sunday!

We wanted to call to make a reservation beforehand but they do not take reservations. Hence, upon arriving at Mandarin Gallery at 12.30pm, we waited close to an hour before getting a table! There were nine tables ahead of us in line, so you can roughly estimate the waiting time for just one table! On hindsight, it might have been wiser to visit the restaurant during odd hours, such as 4pm or 5pm, where it may be less crowded. Nonetheless, the atmosphere was great and our grumpiness from an empty stomach was left at the door as we stepped into the cosy restaurant. The ambiance simply oozes the "chillin' by the fireplace" vibe and the furniture is really vintage. It reminds me a lot of Carpenter and Cook! The chairs are (intentionally) mismatched and they are just so plush! I could fall asleep on one of those (much to the annoyance of the many hungry customers on the waiting list hee hee).

We ordered the three signature items: English, European and Tunisian.

Be prepared to drool.

Bad lighting, but it says "Wild Honey // No place like home".

Tunisian ($19)
Sizzling pan of spicy shakshouka (tomato, onion, red pepper, chilli), studded with Chorizo sausage, crowned with two fried eggs, signature brioche and Israeli salad. TO DIE FOR.

I mean, just look at that heavenly-looking yolk!

European ($19)
Eggs Benedict with two perfectly poached eggs, sauteed mushrooms, imported Italian prosciutto and home-made Hollandaise sauce on signature brioche. My favourite dish, especially when the runny egg yolk oozes all over the brioche. Mmm, high-cholesterol goodness I say!

English ($24)
The full works. Scrambled eggs, back bacon, Cumberland pork sausage, sauteed mushrooms, Dad's baked beans, breakfast potatoes, grilled vine ripened tomato and signature brioche. Reminds me so much of the English breakfasts I indulged in in London. :'-)

Further scenes should be censored for fear of sending you into howling envy.

Does this really need a caption?

The tomato from the English still had the stems on! It was juicy and succulent all right, no fear for genetically modified tomatoes here!

All in all, I feel that Wild Honey is the kind of restaurant that you should visit at least once in your lifetime. The price is rather steep for a brunch item but I guess occasional indulgences are healthy for the soul (though not for the pocket), right? I would recommend the scrambled eggs and the brioche more than anything else! The next time I visit, I am just going to order the bread basket ($15) and a side of scrambled eggs!