Monday, July 28, 2014

Merchants Wine Bar @ Duxton Hill

menu

Merchants like Pralum, specialises in wine. Most of the drinkers arrive as early as 530pm on a Friday to partake of their first sip of the night - well, the night is always too young anyway.

counter

I fell in love with the prints over the counter.

table

Every wine place seems to have some wine wisdom of their own.

wall

Canvas prints up for sale.


Ribeye Steak and Salad ($28)
Bearnaise sauce

The platter of meat that arrived was gorgeously pink, the only time I ever tuck into such raw meat is for beef only. These were impressively tender, very juicy and so well executed, it left us so surprised a random wine bar had such good food.







sandwich

Winemaker's Steak Sandwich and Truffle Fries ($25)

This is the only other time that I would head to a place for steak sandwiches - next to Marmalade Pantry who first started my obsession with meaty steak sandwiches.

fries 

Great service is replacing my fries with truffle when the kitchen forgot about it. Their famed truffle fries were just perfumed with oil, nothing much to scream about unfortunately.

quesadilla

Pulled Pork Carribean Style ($18)

Whatever Carribean meant, this was just a barbeque sauce doused pulled pork quesadilla. An average attempt and that was it.

Looks like a return is a must for their wines since most people head there for that more than food but if you must, the steaks are worth a visit!

Merchants Wine Bar
52 Duxton Road

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kko Kko Nara @ Tras Street

Business at Kko Kko Nara must be so good that they are opening a two shopfront outlet at Tanjong Pagar road.

starters

A set of appetizers gets served up first, none of which were that authentic though. Mostly picked vegetables and that was it.

We greedily went for a platter of 3 flavours ($20)- 

 more chicken

Sweet

Trust the Koreans to master the receipe for juicy fried chicken and for once, I lean towards a sweet flavoured fried chicken.

chicken

Garlic

This was a tastiest of the three with a delectable sticky sauce.

platter

Original

Think a juicier version of KFC.

chicken

Hot and Spicy ($15 for half)

I loved the marinate, the way my teeth sinks into the piping hot and greasy fried snack. Worth the calories indeed.

hite

Nowhere else will I indulge in beer and wings over lunch but Kko Kko Nara.

While I enjoyed my sinful lunch, I still do not get the hype and insane crowds that follow for dinner. I've had a more gratifying one at Chicken Up.

Kko Kko Nara
57 Tras Street

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ciel Patisserie @ Hougang

ciel

Once upon many moons ago, there was an influx of bakeries opened by aspiring bakers - specially under 25. Ciel Patisserie was one of them and I finally had enough resolute to head over to Hougang to suss it out.

ta1bles

The cosy surroundings filled with tables for twos only. 

fuji

Fuji ($5.20)

fuji

Word has it that this was an accidental experiment of green tea mousse and lychee jelly. How vavavroom was that eureka moment I do not know but it certainly did not work for me. Mousse was curd-like and green tea flavouring had occasional moments of too rich and thick whilst the rest of it tasted mild. Lychee jelly somehow did not work for this nor for me.

ispahan

Ispahan ($5.80)

lychee

I proceeded with the second mousse cake - strangely, though I was quite keen to check out the strawberry shortcake. Two mousses went wrong - the same consistency stuck, rose and lychee albeit a universally tested and fawned upon combination was a miss once again for me. Soggy amidst other things and barely discernible.

coffee

Iced Americano ($5)

A shot of espresso and diluted, the coffee addict was displeased to say the very least.

The harsh fact is there are one too many French confectioneries around and the bar keeps getting set higher and higher. Granted the items I attempted may not have been their creme de la creme but for me at least, there is no motivation to head back to try the rest. For a start, mousse cakes are not their thing.

I do applaud Chara's tenacity and guts in taking on her pastry dream but mediocrity is all there was.

Ciel Patisserie
124 Hougang Ave 1
#01-1444

Friday, July 25, 2014

La Barca Ristorante @ Goodman Arts Center

la barca

Goodman Arts Center is home to both La Barca and Cafe Melba. Known or benownst to the public both serve brunch on top of their dinner menus. I checked the former out this visit over the weekend and found it almost empty.

dried sunflower


There is a showcase of dried sunflowers - quite a good idea!

table soccer

Table soccer anyone? It is also kids friendly with a dedicated play area for the kids as well.

interior

Being on a furniture shopping rampage also taught me to appreciate the homeware around me.

table

Some wise words indeed.

flowers

Cheery posies for the weekend!

roast beef

Slices of Roast Beef, with Salad and Scrambled Eggs ($26)

I felt these were sliced too thin, almost carpaccio but with such a pretty pink I really cannot fault the chef. More of a salad than a mains though.

cheese toast

Mozzarella in Carrozza - Italian Toast ($22)
Mozzarella filled savoury toast, homemade chicken sausages, cannelli beans, hard boiled egg with pink sauce, roasted potato wedges

sausages


Gotta love them juicy meaty homemad sausages!

cheese toast 

And there was a savoury toast that reminded me of stuffed french toast.

Food was more than decent, very tranquil and deserving of a Saturday morning. I would love to be back!

La Barca Ristorante
Goodman Arts Center

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Corelle Snapware - Stylish Kitchenware for cooks to Serve Proudly and Store Confidently

Special thanks to Andrea for the invite! 

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The Corelle Snapware is an easy-to-use Vitrelle glass serveware that makes serving and keeping food very convenient. No more washing up of plates just to serve food nicely - the Correlle Snapware is stylish and comes in five different designs to give your dishes a special touch.

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Beautiful snapware!

We were treated to a hands on cooking class, all thanks to Cookyn Inc., which specializes in cooking demonstrations and classes of all levels.

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We were split into a few teams and we were tasked to make a quinoa mixed salad.

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None of us really cooked before but thanks to Cookyn Inc. all our ingredients were prepared and we just put everything together in our Corelle Snapware. The airtight lid was very useful to keep the salad in meal portions, and great if you wanna shake and mix your salad evenly too.

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Wasn't too bad in taste I must say, good try for most of us who were cooking virgins.

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Then came the mystery box challenge: we had to make a dessert with chocolate, cream, butter, strawberries, and pound cake, in an hour flat. No time to waste!

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I was tasked with melting the butter to let our other kitchen geniuses decide what to do with it. Easy, even for a cooking idiot like me.

Then I made a chocolate sauce with cream, chocolate, and sugar. As a fan of dark chocolate I only added a tablespoon of sugar in it, but if it was up to me there won't be any sugar in it.

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Our final product looked quite good actually! Tasted as good as it looked.

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And... Our team won the cooking challenge! But there wasn't any prize to win. Ah well. Our pride then!

Thank you Corelle Snapware and Cookyn Inc. for the fun hands on cooking class!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Celebrate Hari Raya with Coffee Bean!

I'm not sure what exactly prompted me to get the Festive Pandan Kaya Cake for dessert over dinner one day. Maybe I have been searching for a good pandan kaya cake after Bengawan Solo's.

selamat hari raya

Festive Pandan Kaya Cake
1.2kg ($42)

slice

It was huge and heavy, bulky for a lack of a better word. Fact is, I have been a fan of Coffeebean cakes for a long while now, and within the coffee brands, they do really good desserts.

layers

4 layers in total of green kaya custard and moist sponge cake. The missing link came in the thick kueh-like custard which could do with less density and more fragrance. Looks like it is back to Bengawan Solo!

Available online at http://www.coffeebean.com.sg/coffeebean/

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Manhattan Bar Revisited @ Regent Hotel

Alcoholic friend in tow, we were set to paint the bar red since Manhattan is a newfound love. Reservations are only possible for groups of 6 and above, else try to make friends with the bartender to see if he can find you a random seat anywhere. Arrive after 930pm and literally face the folly of not having 5 other friends to share a table or not arriving any earlier.

The charm of Manhattan Bar is infectious - like a drug somewhat. We left enthralled and returned with a greater vengeance in our bid to eat and drink up the place.

arson chicken

Urban Arson Chicken ($14)
Sweet potato, buffalo style hot sauce, blue cheese

Think nacho wrap with chicken and a dollop of hot sauce that may have been the very things put into buffalo wing challenges. Spicy enough to bring tears but it was a really delicious and sweat inducing treat.

chips

House made Kettle Chips ($12)
Idaho potatoes, loaded foie gras, pan fried onion dip

I wonder how they manage to slice the potatoes so fine for a start, much less get them to taste just like chips. The panfried onion dip took on a chapter of its own in all its creaminess and yes, chips taste better with dips.

donuts

Bourbon infused Donuts ($15)

A first of its kind, alcohol infused donuts. The alcoholic punch was rather lethal with a burst of spirits in a mouth. Loved the adult twist to this otherwise child friendly dessert!

negroni

Solera Aged Negroni ($25)

remember the maine

Remember The Maine Cocktail ($25)

papaya king

Papaya King ($23)
Plantation dark rum, house-made banana cordial, all spice dram, fresh tropical juices - Angostura bitters

This is one of the two drinks they have that are accompanied with side bites. I had a flavour of their hot dog sliders, topped with gherkins, salsa and avocado. Terribly juicy and addictive stuff inspite of its morsel portions.

I should think that whiskey and I are not really BFFs of all time and I did not take to the drink as readily as I would to the slider. The drinks are not loaded with sugar but tend to be heavy on the whiskey tones.

whiskey

Whiskey

box office

Box Office Hit 

Comes with a side of caramel popcorn, the evil step sister of their savoury popcorn. Manhattan should seriously consider just selling their popcorn.

Once again so blown away, Manhattan Bar ranks tops this year. A revisit is swift on the cards.

Manhattan Bar
Regent Hotel