Friday, May 24, 2013

Granny's Pancake

  In the mornings, Ghim Moh Food Center is packed like sardines. Almost every stall has a long queue snaking in front of it, and finding a seat is near impossible. This makes for a very difficult experience for a "new-comer" to the food center. Which are the really really good stalls that we should try from? With so many long queues to guide us, it was hard to pick which to join.

  As the title of this post may have already suggested, I joined the line in front of this stall called Granny's Pancake. The signboard displayed pancakes in four fillings: Red bean, Peanut, Peanut butter or Coconut. However, I was a little surprised to see the display shelf in front of the stall empty. What? No more pancakes? How wrong I was. The two-man team behind the stall (well, one woman and one man, actually) were busy making the pancakes and filling the pancakes as the customers made their orders. So in a way, the pancakes are made to order. Unlike in other stalls, where many of the pancakes are made in a huge batch so that by the time you purchase it, it gets really lukewarm and soggy.

  No prizes for guessing which filling I picked! (Red bean)

Ah, the pancakes were so good! The pancake skin was crisp on the outside and soft, but not thick, on the inside! Almost like a waffle, but better. The red bean filling was excellent too. It was not overly sweet and was well spread throughout the entire pancake.

  I just thought that I should share that I had two of these delicious red bean pancakes. After queuing once and just buying one red bean pancake, I joined the queue yet again just before I left the food center and placed orders for two red bean pancakes and one peanut pancake. The old lady in front of me actually ordered an entire pan of red bean pancakes! Hmm, I may just do the same one day!

  I'm just really glad that I've found a good pancake stall that sells traditional Chinese pancakes. The ones sold in Jollibean or Mr Bean definitely pale in comparison to this. You can be assured that I will only satisfy my (Chinese) pancake cravings from Granny's Pancake from now on.

Granny's Pancake
20 Ghim Moh Road
#01-24 Ghim Moh Market and Food Centre

Fei Siong Seafood Restaurant

  Tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood, just on the fringes of a busy road lies Lorong Kilat. Known to many as the home of popular café Carpenter and Cook, Lorong Kilat also boasts a few other hidden gastronomic treasures, which include the Fei Siong Seafood Restaurant.

  It is the typical Singaporean Chinese tze-char restaurant, whipping up any type of dish that you can possibly imagine. From crabs, chicken, pork, beef to fish, you name it, they have it (and probably ten other ways of preparing it). What I would recommend, however, would be the Fish Head Curry and the Claypot Ee-Mian. Being such a regular customer that the waitresses recognize me, I do believe that my recommendations are worth something!

  Let’s start with the Fish Head Curry ($23 for my pot). If you are expecting a meaty fish head in the big clay pot that they serve you, well, be prepared to be a lil’ disappointed. Initially, I felt a little cheated when I saw the fish head with not much meat on it. However, scooping up the globs of curry with the ladle, I found pieces of fish floating about the thick orange gravy. The pieces of fish were extremely succulent and meaty, and tasted absolutely fresh.

  The curry was not to disappoint, either! The taste of coconut milk made its presence known, but was not too overpowering as well. The curry had just enough spice to leave my tongue tingling – a sensation I absolutely love. There were many different vegetables in the pot as well, including large pieces of cabbage which got soggy when absorbing the curry. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad thing. The cabbage, when bitten into, burst into spicy curry goodness! I loved loved loved the cabbage soaked in curry and ate every once-green-turned-orange bit of it. The one thing lacking, however, would be the pineapple slices. I love pineapples in my curry so I guess this is the 美中不足 of the dish!

I literally ate a little portion of rice together with curry and vegetables!

  Another of the good dishes that Fei Siong whips up is the Claypot Ee-Mian. It seems as though they are very competent in their claypot dishes! Anyway, the noodles are thin and browned, just the way it should be. It is soaked in a thin gravy with lots of seafood and other ingredients in it, including mussels! The gravy is not too thick that it makes you feel extremely full and unhealthy after you finish slurping it all up. Which, of course, I didn’t.

  I personally felt that for $5.80, the portion was a little small. However, that may be because I enjoyed the dish so much that I between spooning noodles into my mouth and swallowing them, I had no time to realize that I was finishing it all up too quickly! Oh well, if you are a big eater, you may also choose to buy a bigger portion as they do have Medium-sized ($10) and Large-sized ($16) bowls as well.

  Fei Siong Seafood Restaurant does have its hits and misses (shall not spend time talking about those) but it remains my most frequented tze-char restaurant as it is very consistent with the quality of food it produces, as well as its easy accessibility (within walking distance of where I live!). However, I do acknowledge that the price may be a little on the high side for me to be patronizing them on a daily basis.

Fei Siong Seafood Restaurant
17 Lorong Kilat
#01-01/03 Kilat Court
Tel: 64656067

Thursday, May 16, 2013


I'm sure many of us (students) are facing with a great hurdle at this point in our lives: the Mid-Year Examinations. For some of us, it is something to tremble in fear about as we spend the few hours of sleep we get each night thinking about how we wished this period would fly by as quickly as the holidays have. Perhaps a few of us even enjoy this period of intense revision, seeking solace in the routine of studying, eating and sleeping (ha). Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with the examination period.

For one, we get to be dismissed immediately after completing the papers that we have to complete for the day! There really is nothing quite as wonderful as going home bright and early in the morning. Unless, of course you have a day with examinations back-to-back all the way until the afternoon. Still, most days are relatively "light" and no matter how late the paper ends, we will still reach home earlier than on a normal school day.

Then again, some people may argue that going home early is not exactly a good point as we are going home early Well, all I can say is, if you have been consistent with your revision and are clear with what is going on in school, then there should be no major mugging happening as what you ought to be doing would just be revision, reminding yourself of the information that is already tucked in some corner of the vault of knowledge that is your brain. Besides, there are days when the subject examinable the next day is a manageable subject like, say, Elementary Mathematics. Then, there really isn't much to study really painfully for, is there?

However, with all the free time given during the examination period, I do feel a little bored. Just because it is the examination period, we are expected to be studying our brains off, spending time with our books day in and day out. This restricts the activities that are open for us to do during this period. After all, what good is having spare time if you have nothing to occupy you with? Hence, it is rather ironic how we are free but yet enslaved during this period.

After reading all this, it would be no surprise for me to say that I rather enjoy the examination period. Think about it. This is the time when we actually have time to lavish upon ourselves! When the school terms resumes yet again, we will be occupied with piles of assignments and heaping amounts of new content to learn that we will hardly ever have time to just, well, chill. I really wished that my friends are like-minded with me on this issue as many of my friends (actually, I presume most students are like this) see the examination period as a time to burn midnight oil and saturate their brains with information on the various subjects. Thus, even though I long to use this time to relax and take a step back, there isn't anyone to accompany me. Where is the fun in just lazing about if you're alone?

Oh well, I guess this is partially the Singaporean trait of being kiasu kicking in. Nobody wants to do badly in an examination as it is seen as having a greater value or weightage than the normal class test. Everyone wants to excell, everyone wants to emerge tops. And does doing incredibly well equate to spending long hours a day memorizing and practicing questions? Most definitely not. I wonder when people will start to realize that, if they ever do. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ben and Jerry's

It was the best impromptu decision I ever made. After a quick workout session and bath, I flew out of the house to meet Sang Ah and Naasyidah for ice-cream. Sounds like the perfect post-workout treat, doesn't it?

  We went to the Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop at Rochester Mall, after picking up lunch from Cold Storage. (Yes, sushi and bread is enough to suffice.) After all, why stuff yourself with food when the space could be filled by ice-cream instead? Ben and Jerry's ice-cream, no less.

  I had a one-for-one coupon, which allowed us to buy any size of ice-cream and get another of the same size for free. We ordered a scoop each of Strawberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Therapy, Clusterfluff and last but not least, Berry Berry Sorbet. Feeling greedy, a chocolate fudge brownie was added to the mix.

  Unfortunately, the brownie cannot be seen under all these humongous scoops of ice-cream. What a pity, as it was by far the best brownie I've ever had, and also the only reason why I suggested going to Ben and Jerry's (yes, it was my idea to drag my friends there).

  Do I really need to justify the heavenly bliss that we were all floating with? I think not. The brownie was true to its word - all fudge and all chocolate. Absolutely amazing. Enjoying a warm brownie with ice-cream, without being fazed by distasteful nuts is one of my favourite indulgences. Taste is subjective, so for the nut-lovers out there, you may be disappointed by the brownie. However, to all the nut-haters, welcome to paradise.

  Using the one-for-one coupon, the total bill of four scoops of ice-cream and a fudge brownie amounted to only $14.10! That worked out to be $4.70 for each of us. It was an absolute steal, as without the coupon, it would have been $23. I probably would not buy ice-cream from Ben and Jerry's if I did not have any special discounts as the ice-cream there is extremely expensive - $8.90 for two scoops! Can you believe it? Even artisan ice-cream shops sell their frozen treats at much more affordable prices. I know Salted Caramel offers three scoops for only $7! If you have a craving for Ben and Jerry's' wide array of ice-cream flavours, I would suggest buying the tub, as it costs only $23.90 for two tubs. (Yes, my mother used to bring home tubs of B&J ice-cream every other day.)

Ben and Jerry's
Tel: 66849606

31 Rochester Drive
#01-01 Park Avenue Rochester

da Paolo Gastronimia III

Ah, once again I am back at Gastronomia to treat myself after a long six hours of studying. What better treat is there than delicious Italian food from Gastronomia, part of the da paolo group?
Initially intending to order the Smoked Salmon with Horseradish panini, walking by the pizza counter swayed my mind and I made the switch to a Salmon Pesto pizza in a few seconds.

Salmon Pesto Pizza ($7.50)

  The pizza came in a dainty rectangle, pre-sliced into four triangular slices for easy (and graceful) eating. The slices of baked salmon layered on top of the crisp thin crust looked absolutely mouth-watering. However, upon demolishing one triangle of pizza, I found the plate soaked with a yellow liquid...oil. My greatest fear. Resigned to the fact that there was no way I could eat the rest of the pizza without eating the oil as well, I tried my best to squeeze out some of the oil but to no avail. Oh well, at least it was olive oil...

Spaghetti Carbonara ($14)

  The mother ordered the spaghetti carbonara with bits of bacon infused in the swirls of pasta. The cream sauce was perfection: not too watery with just the right consistency. The pasta came with a very generous serving of bacon, which left my mother feeling very full indeed.

  Reluctant to leave the deli without buying some of their tempting desserts and pastries, we scoured the dessert counter. It was a hard decision to make. The cakes in Tupperware boxes looked heavenly, while the pastries lining the counter looked equally appetizing. In the end, we settled on a chocolate chip scone, which was heavily dotted with rich dark brown chocolate chips. I carried the doggy-bag happily home.
Once we reached home, I wasted no time in popping the scone into the microwave oven and set it on medium heat for two minutes. In a jiffy, the "ding" sounded and the whole kitchen smelt of warm chocolate. It has been a long while since the house smelt of chocolate. I miss that aroma.

  Everyone knows that scones are best eaten hot. Plating the scone on a plate and settling ourselves down in front of the television, my brother and I greedily tucked into the scone. We weren't as uncouth as we sound. We used forks.

  Nevertheless, the scone disappeared in less than fifteen minutes. It was that good. Imagine a big warm ball of dough, pimpled with a googolplex of chocolate chips.  Maybe it is a little hard to imagine, so here's a photo of it to give you a rough idea of what I mean. If you need it, of course.

Chocolate Chip scone ($4.20)

  The pastry was rich and dense, without being overly buttery. It was like a harder version of a chocolate chip muffin, without the airiness of a muffin. And perhaps inflicting damage much worse than a muffin top. Ah well, an occasional indulgence is fine...right?

  I am seriously contemplating returning to Gastronomia tomorrow to buy another scone back to share with my brother, to celebrate the end of his mid-term examinations and to satisfy my gluttony. But that would be an outright contradiction to what I just said...less than three sentences ago.

  Decisions, decisions.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Alfero Gelato

  After a good meal at Pink Candy, Sang Ah, Jamie and I ventured into the culinary paradise of a street, Lorong Kilat. Lorong Kilat is home to well-known establishments such as Kim's Family Restaurant, Carpenter and Cook, Alfero Gelato and Udders, to say the least. We were looking forward to having pancakes at Kim's Family Restaurant but to our dismay, we had arrived too late and had missed its lunch session. Nevermind, there is always Carpenter and Cook just down the street. However, Carpenter and Cook is closed on Mondays, and that left us panicking. Where shall we sit and rot and stuff more food into our mouths? Looking ahead, Alfero Gelato seemed to be calling out to us, and we obeyed our calling...

  Third time lucky, they say. Not only was Alfero Gelato open for business (oh ha ha) but we were also the takers of the last waffle available! At first, the man working there apologetically told us that there were no more waffles for the day, but after hearing our cries of dismay and disappointed faces, he quickly quipped that he could still check if there was enough batter for one last waffle. Lo and behold, there was! So, greedy us got the last waffle and ate it with scoops of Pistachio, Hazelnut and Snow White flavour gelatos.

We settled ourselves down comfortably on a bar-top table with the accompanying bar stools. There was no ambiance to speak of, but the café was reasonably well-lit and designed to make it seem as spacious as possible. There were groups of other people enjoying one another's comapany over gelatos as well, but thankfully they weren't rowdy and boisterous teenagers shouting about. We sat comfortably and talked about the most absurd things, simply enjoying the time spent together.

Having the last waffle was seriously one of the best things that happened that day. The entire café smelt of aromatic waffles from previous batches of waffles that it would almost be a torture to have to eat gelatos in without the waffles. The waffle was crisp on the outside and extremely soft and, though it may sound cliché, but fluffy on the inside. All three of us loved it and devoured every cube of waffle and every scoop of gelato in silence. Words were insufficient to express the bliss we were enjoying. The hazelnut gelato (my choice, of course) was absolutely brilliant. I adore hazelnut-flavoured foods and hazelnut gelato is one of the best creations ever. The pistachio and Snow White were not bad as well, though I felt that the Snow White was a bit too creamy for my liking! The waffle, however...words are just inadequate to describe it.

When the waffle and gelato disappeared into our tummies completely, conversation resumed and we spent a large part of the afternoon talking and talking and talking. It was an afternoon very well spent.

  To be honest, my previous encounter with Alfero Gelato was when it was newly opened and they offered a 1-for-1 promotion on their gelatos, as well as one free scoop of gelato. I was not very impressed and found the gelatos a bit too overpriced. It costs $4.50 per scoop, but with the waffle and three scoops of gelato, the damage was only $12, as $0.50 was added for the premium flavour (Pistachio). I would say that is is worth the money, as Udders offers waffles with only two scoops of ice-cream for $10.50, and Udders' ice-cream cannot compare to gelato.

And according to Alfero Gelato's website...

Alfero Gelato
21 Lorong Kilat #01-01
Singapore 598123Tel: +65 64633835 

Pink Candy: Korean Snack Bar Café

  The end of a literature paper calls for a celebration...a feast, to be exact. Thus, with only one intention in mind: to eat and eat and eat, Sang Ah, Jamie and I set off happily from school, to the secluded Beauty World Plaza to dine at Pink Candy, a Korean restaurant that Sang Ah has been raving about since for ever. If a Korean highly recommends a certain Korean restaurant, you know that you have to visit it.

  Thankfully, I live very near Beauty World and am familiar with navigating around the area. If not, we would have been lost for hours and hours and our hungry tummies would never be sated. Beauty World is almost a ghost-town, with hardly any life in it. I expect that it will undergo a renovation soon, when the new Beauty World MRT Station is ready and draws crowds to this quiet area.

  Pink Candy is located on the top floor of Beauty World, alongside the hawker centre there, and beside Oishii Bakery. It does not look much, and would be easily overlooked by many, who will be instead drawn towards the heady smells of homely hawker fare wafting in the air. However, we were on a mission, and no delicious-smelling local food would deter us from our pursuit for what is dubbed (by the dear Sang Ah) the most authentic Korean food in Singapore.

  Stepping into the restaurant, there was only another couple who were finishing up with their meal. The kindly waitress led us to a table surrounded by (fake) wooden panels with our own privacy screen! Seeing a fellow Korean, she started chatting animatedly to Sang Ah in Korean, and as Sang Ah and the waitress conversed in fluent Korean, Jamie and I exchanged confused smiles and left the big boss to order the dishes that were on her Must-Try list.

  We did not have to wait long for our food to arrive, alongside a small serving dish of cabbage kimchi.

Looks unappetizing, tastes amazing. Also, kimchi is a great weight-loss food, though I can't envision myself eating this every day. The saltiness would be too painful to bear, as Koreans love their food salty.

Korean rice cake in spicy sauce ($8)
떡볶이: Ddeokbokki
I was quite apprehensive at first, as my first encounter with Korean rice cakes was at a stall selling Korean snacks in Bugis Junction. Saying that it was unsatisfying would be an understatement. However, Pink Candy's rice cakes blew me away. The thick strips of rice cakes swimming in the spicy sauce was amazing! The sauce was delicious, not your average chilli or tomato sauce. There were also slices of fishcakes swimming in the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed this, but only ate about two or three fat sausages of rice cakes as they are incredibly starchy and will fill you up quickly. (They remind me so much of chicken sausages!)

Jajangmyeon ($10)
This was another wonderful dish. Although you probably can't see it, the noodles were thick and yet not too thick, and were very springy. It was even better than instant noodles (duh) or Japanese ramen! I loved the salty black soy-bean paste as well, though it tasted rather sweet to me. The cubes of potato and slices of onion only increased its appeal to me. I would gladly have a bowl of these lovely Korean noodles any day as a meal, but the sauce is laden with calories that I dare not think about. One queer thing about this is that on the menu, it is called K-Pop Noodles. Jamie suggested that perhaps they named it K-Pop Noodles so that K-Pop fans a.k.a teenagers would buy their noodles. Any other clever suggestions, anyone?

Pork cutlet ($12)
I don't know what the Korean name for this dish is, so I'll just stick to its English translation. The pork was, though deep-fried, very delicious. I enjoyed the robust taste of the meat, lathered with the brown gravy which was suspiciously like Japanese curry, but which Sang Ah insisted was not. The rice was a different kind of rice - sticky and shorter-grained. Jamie absolutely adored this! I, on the other hand, loved its accompanying salad of lettuce strips, mayonnaise and cherry tomato. The mayonnaise looks like the ordinary mayonnaise from a Kraft bottle but its taste belongs to a whole different realm of fat-laden sauces. I am ashamed to say that I loved it and ate about half of it. No regrets, though!

  I enjoyed spending time with my friends and talking over food, each of us in a happy Korean-food-induced daze. I enjoy visiting different places to try different kinds of food and this whole experience was further enhanced by the fact that we had Sang Ah with us, adding to the cosmopolitan-cy (?) of our group. I suppose the waitress served us a little more cheerily because we had a fellow Korean among our little party. Having friends from different cultures does, indeed, have its perks!

  I may visit Pink Candy again with my family and see how it fares against the popular Kim's Family Restaurant just a few roads down. I must say it is the ddeokbokki that left the greatest impact on me, and I am thinking of the soft, juicy white rice cakes as I type this...oh man.

Pink Candy Korean Snack Bar Café
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#04-03 Beauty World Centre
Tel: 82823950

Operation Smile: A Reason to Smile

Initiated by the The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, and joined by Singapore Marriott Hotel, A Reason to Smile is successfully completed for the third year now with overwhelming response.
Pastry chefs from both hotels had teamed up to produce delectable Valrhona Chocolate Banana cakes and all the proceeds were given to Operation Smile Singapore to use towards expenses relating to sending Singapore medical and support volunteers to help our Asian neighbors in the treatment of children suffering from cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.

  My mother heard about this charity project and decided to be a blessing to others as she was celebrated for being a blessing to our family. In short, we bought a cake from the Marriott Hotel on Mother's Day and enjoyed every last morsel of it, happy in the knowledge that the money that was spent to buy the cake was used to help the less fortunate, and shallowly in a happy chocolate-induced daze.

Look at that thick layer of chocolate banana cream! It tasted spectacular frozen. I am ashamed to admit that I had three (small, I insist!) slices of cake that night...

  The chocolate banana cake was made with real Valrhona Chocolate and banana cream. As we made the mistake (or not) of leaving the cake in the freezer compartment of our refrigerator, the creamy parts of the cake turned out a little like ice-cream. That was the best mistake we had made that day. I absolutely loved the chocolate-yet-banana mousse sandwiched between two richly, dense and heavily laced with cocoa sponge cakes. For $30, this was an absolute steal.
  My opinion on the whole Mother's Day celebrations is that it is quite unnecessary as it is a reflection of society today. Do we really need to set aside a day to remember to celebrate our mothers, who have made sacrifices on a daily basis for us? If that is so, then Mother's Day does not have any meaning at all, as it implies that the hard work that mothers put in for three hundred and sixty four days is only worth a day of thanks and gratitude. All these cheap flowers and sugar-laden chocolates? They all mean nothing. However, if you buy a cake for your mother in support of a charitable cause, then I feel that it is justifiable as you are doing a good deed, by helping the less fortunate and letting your whole family enjoy the cake (as it is not sold slice by miserable slice, but by the whole circular chocolate-y goodness).
  Whatever your intention may be, though, do remember to appreciate your mothers as they are the people who will love you the most, unconditionally. Treasure your mother, and do not take her for granted, and never ever ever let a day slip by without telling her how much you love her too.
  Happy Mother's Day!

Brunetti Pasticceria

  As the whole world probably knows, Mother's Day fell on Sunday. While many families made reservations at posh restaurants days, or even weeks, in advance, my family was one of the few families who were clueless as to where to treat our beloved mother to for Mother's Day. We usually just pick a restaurant on a whim, perhaps a few hours in advance? (or minutes, rather) So, we ended up roaming the floors of Tanglin Mall as we searched for an Italian restaurant that dished up a mean spaghetti alle vongole, which is my mother's favourite pasta dish. We dined at the restaurant some years back and knowing how times have changed, we should have expected to see it replaced by another restaurant, called Brunetti.

  As we had already parked our car in Tanglin Mall, we had to choose either Chili's, Nando's, Cedele or Brunetti. It was an easy decision to make. The display of desserts lining the front counter of Brunetti appealed to us, and though the restaurant seemed a little...cramped, we settled ourselves down and tried our very best to enjoy the afternoon. Thankfully, we didn't have to try very hard for it was an extremely pleasant meal at Brunetti.

Assortment of pizza slices, which all looked deliciously greasy and yummy.

All sorts of chocolate pralines.

A must-have in any pastry shop nowadays: macarons and cakes.

The tarts look so lovely!

I ordered the salmon bagel ($10) and it came freshly toasted, with a slab of cream cheese in the center, like a doughnut ring. How cute! However, my bagel came a good ten minutes or so before the other dishes, so I waited ten excruciating minutes before I could sink my teeth into the sesame-spotted bagel. With each passing minute, thoughts of the bagel getting cold agonized me. However, family comes first and I like to observe traditions such as waiting till everyone's food has arrived before eating.

I spread the cube of cream cheese all over the top bagel and boy, was I tempted to devour every single bit of it!

The slices of smoked salmon, as you can see, are thick and orange and simply drool-inducing. The combination of flavours - cream cheese, smoked salmon and spinach, were absolutely divine, making me savor every single bite as the bagel slowly disappeared from my hands. I felt that this was one of the better smoked salmons that I have had, and tried not to envision cold pre-packed salmon bagels being hauled from delivery trucks and then proceeding to the magical microwave oven before being plated before me. I preferred to imagine a chef patiently assembling the bagel layer by layer and filling it with care and love (ha) before presenting it to the waiting customer. Nonetheless, it was a good and healthy meal, and rather affordable too!

Fish and Chips ($17). My brother did not clarify that he wanted the Fish and Chips from the kids menu, and thus ended up being served a plate of good ol' Fish and Chips double the price of the one that he had originally intended to order. However, the fish was fried rather nicely, with the coating of batter being quite tasty. It was not simply thrown into a pot of boiling oil and smothered with flour, but was carefully fried, thus resulting in a crispy and browned exterior. The tartar sauce that came with the fries was lovely and we mopped up every but of sauce with the french fries. The french fries were well fried, and they had better be. After all, any one would be entitled to a full-blown fit if he paid $17 for McDonald's-rate greasy fried potato strips.

My mother's Seafood Aglio Olio ($18) looked a little small-sized, but toss the pasta and you unearth a whole mine of seafood goodies. There were even pieces of codfish in the pasta, which were absolutely divine. My mother enjoyed her pasta tremendously. After she had slurped up every last strand of spaghetti, I saw the layer of olive oil lining the bottom of the bowl and felt so relieved that I had not chosen to eat the spaghetti. Oops. I guess my mother deserved the treat, since, after all, it is Mother's Day... ;-)

The father's Pan-Seared Red Snapper ($19.90) was another winning dish. The fish was very well-cooked and the presentation of the dish in its entirety simply blew us away. It was very classy-looking, and the serving of truffle by the side was an delightful surprise. I enjoyed the taste of the snapper and could taste the herbs and spices added in the cooking of the fish. Every bite oozed fishy goodness...mmm.

  After a satisfying lunch, we looked around and the wide array of desserts beckoning us. Should we? Should we really? We shall.

  Armed with my wallet and a greedy smile on my face, I marched towards the gelato counter and was immediately spoilt for choice. There were two counters-full of gelato, each with exotic flavours of gelato that were in such pretty and tempting hues. In the end, we decided on a large cup of Di Prendo, Cappuccino and Extra Dark Chocolate gelatos which set me back $9.50, but was well worth every cent.

The gelato was honestly one of the best gelatos that I have eaten. Even beating many of the ones I've had in Rome, which is well-known for its excellent gelatos. The Di Prendo was basically chocolate hazelnut, and the hazelnut was extremely powerful in this, over-powering the chocolate. Just how I like love it. The Extra Dark Chocolate was good eaten together with the Di Prendo as its slightly bitter taste complemented the husky hazelnut extremely well. Dark chocolate is supposed to be the healthier choice for chocolate as it is known to have anti-oxidising effects and will boost metabolism. The Cappuccino was rather average, as I am not exactly a lover of caffeine-flavoured products. I'd choose a cuppa any day over some artificially-flavoured coffee candy or ice-cream. However, my brother loves anything coffee-flavoured and thus I only ordered this flavour to satiate him. My reward was to see his beaming smile as he scooped up all the Cappuccino gelato enthusiastically. Also, I did not want to quarrel with my brother over such trivial matters, not on Mother's Day at least...tee hee!

  Brunetti would probably be the place I would go back to for gelato and maybe the occasional smoked salmon bagel. However, I find that their main meals are a bit over-priced and not really worth top dollar. However, their cake and pastry selection looks very impressive and I may decide to try some one day when I am in need of a sugar rush. If only they offered pastries like these at a buffet...

Brunetti Pasticceria
163 Tanglin Road
#01-35 Tanglin Mall
Tel: +65 6733 9088
Sun to Wed: 8am – 9pm
Thu to Sat: 8am – 10pm

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Simply Bread

  There seems to be no lack of bakeries popping up around the island nowadays. Many of these bakeries also offer a dine-in option for customers to chill out with a cup of coffee and pastry, watching the world go by. One of the bakeries that I have had the opportunity to visit recently was Simply Bread. There are two outlets, one in Fifth Avenue and the other in Cluny Court. Both locations show that the bakery targets the expatriates living in Sngapore as their customers, from what I saw, were mostly foreigners.

  Seeing some enticing pictures from Instagram of Simply Bread's offerings, I dragged the family along to Simply Bread for an after-dinner snack on a Saturday and for breakfast the next morning.

After reading a few reviews, the Sticky Bun ($1.85) seemed to be its best-seller. My brother loved this as it tasted like McDonald's Cinnamon Melts. While I enjoyed the cinnamon glazed generously over the roll, I felt that the bread was not soft enough, and that McDonald's Cinnamon Melts was way better than the sticky bun.

Scrambled eggs with toast ($6.50) The scrambled eggs were marvelous. They had the deep yellow of macaroni and cheese and were perfectly runny, just how scrambled eggs should be. I enjoyed smothering the eggs onto my toast and enjoying its warm bliss. However, the toast was thin and very hard, not at all a pleasant companion for the lovely eggs.

Omelette with mushrooms, served with toast ($8.10). The omelette looked extremely unappealing but the mushrooms embedded inside were plump and juicy. If not for the thin and pathetic-looking omelette, I would have said that this would make quite a good breakfast. However, with the addition of sad-looking eggs and stale-tasting bread, the overall impression it left on me was not positive.

Corn Cheese Potato Roll - Isn't it rather peculiar? How can a roll of bread comprise of corn, cheese and potatoes together? I would never have thought of such a combination. However, the roll was delightful, if it contained only corn, that is. There was hardly any trace of the potato, and if you were expecting a gooey molten mess of cheese inside the roll, well, prepare to be disappointed. The only sign of cheese was the hard cheese top of the roll. The saving grace of the roll was its soft and fluffy savoury interior, with bits of corn hiding in the white fluff. I enjoyed the roll, sans potato sans cheese.

Unassuming-looking raisin roll which was one of the better items we had. The raisins embedded in the roll gave it a naturally sweet taste. However, the roll looked really ordinary and plain that I would never have ordered it (it was on my mother's insistence that we bought it).

The drinks (Iced cocoa, Hot cocoa and Cafe latte) fell flat as well. Totally not worth the $12 spent on drinks. (Yes, that is a total rip-off)

  Overall, I must say that I was disappointed with Simply Bread. The layout of the eatery is pleasant though, for the Fifth Avenue branch. It is very big and spacious, and the white colour minimalist theme helps to make the shop look even bigger and more spacious than it is. However, the Cluny Court branch's seating capacity is rather small, and the air-conditioning was not working when we visited. The front-line service staff were rather unpleasant as well, greeting us with frowns and impatience laced her tone.

  Unfortunately, I may not come back again.

Simply Bread (Guthrie House)
1 Fifth Ave
Singapore 268802
Tel: 6466 7767

Simply Bread (Cluny Court)
501 Bukit Timah Road
#02-07 Cluny Court
Tel: 67632621