Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oriole Cafe and Bar @ Pan Pacific Service Suites



I'll apologise for the lousy quality pictures simply because the flash overexposes the pictures and..somehow I didn't bring the digicam out. The best I took are of the surroundings more than the food. :(

Pan Pac Suites is right smack in the middle of Orchard and I once mistook it for another hotel, well turns out it's serviced apartments...very chi chi indeed. The papers have done their fair share of promoting this place, starting with the fish and chips which I've not tried yet and then the pub grub. Headed to Oriole for coffee one weekend. There are currently just two joints at Pan Pac Service Suites..Oriole and Bedrock. Bedrock's the more atas of the two, judging from the exterior.



Oriole's tucked at the end of the walkway, I adore the lights (dangling chandeliers)...the ceiling even! Looks paraquet-ed. With handwritten menus that change every week, you can imagine how often the waiters have to scrawl on the glass walls to write. Yes, inconsistency in handwriting kept us amused.

I was told by the company that when they first started out nearly 5 months ago, they changed their menu daily. Now, it's weekly...probably a hassle to change your menu or the item names so frequently!

This place rocks on ambience, warmly lit, cushy chairs...lovely.

The dessert menu is limited but we all found something to eat.

My choice of pear tart ($3.50), a warm flaky tart with pears, would've preferred if the pears were infused into the tart, the tart filling was more cake though, it got slightly pasty towards the end. Plus point, not too sweet.

Bread and butter pudding, another warm dessert that was well balanced in terms of sugar levels. Not too bad.

Brownie and Ice-cream ($5.50), the sweetest of the lot, the brownie's dense and very chocolatey indeed. It won't send you to heaven but a decent job done.

I stole a peek at the fish and chips..looks so good! As with the toast...

Service is friendly too! It's a hidden gem of Orchard. The desserts didn't wow totally but good enough for Orchard's standards. It was only after the visit to Oriole that I realised it's under the management of Whitebait and Kale, not sure if that adds to the rating of the place but I'm sold on Oriole. Seconds!

http://www.oriole.com.sg

Oriole Cafe and Bar
#01-01 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Provence Bakery & Cafe Takeway



A gf so kindly helped me pack some stuff from Petit Provence Bakery, yes it's related to Provence Bakery at Holland V. I've walked past it once at Central and didn't feel so compelled to buy these petite lil things until the gf raved on and on and on about how good they are and how I must try them..and I did.

I'm impressed how good they smell. Throughout the whole time the bag of goodies were sitting under my desk till the time I reached how, the fragrance wafted out of the bag..like how perfume difuses? Absolutely fragrant!



Cheese Bun ($0.80)
Brazilian Cheese Bun with Soybean Flour ($1.10)


Very unassuming balls of fried dough these are. Looks ordinary, almost like dry bread that comes complimentary with butter. Anyway a bite into the small ball, I am impressed at how it explodes, "chewy, cheesy and sticky" as described. It's got the right level of each all in a bun, cheese isn't overpowering, neither is it too chewy. All in, a brilliant ball of dough. And it fills you up considerably, don't underestimate its prowess.

The Cheese bun was lighter in taste, still chewy and sticky and cheesy.

Absolute yums these little delights are!



Cinnamon Roll ($1.50)

Basically a flaky cinnamon pastry with cream cheese. I like how the pastry isn't dry and bears a well balanced cinnamon flavour. Surprised that cream cheese and cinnamon go quite well together.



Croissant ($0.60)

Small but delicious.

That's Japanese-French baked goods for you, petite and pricey. Worth the experience though. I figure if I were at the bakery itself, I'd have gone crazy bakery shopping! The gf bagged 20 pcs herself. Not quite an unbelievable feat when it's Provence.




Choco and cream wassant ($0.60)

It was hot off the oven! Soft and tasty. I like how the cream is woven into the layers of bread. Nice!

The choco wassant had a light hint of chocolate, very light as well. It smells stronger of chocolate than it tastes of it.

www.provence.com.sg/petit

Petit Provence
6 Eu Tong Seng Street,
#B1-29 The Central

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Delifrance Takeaways

Amidst the sprouting up of bakeries/dessert places of all sizes, cuisines...at every whim and fancy, there are certain diehards like me that'll once in a while go for the old timers for "old time's sake", pun not intended.

Delifrance used to be premium for after-meal desserts and sandwiches. Off the back of my mind, Delifrance serves up decent madeleines and pastries...ok, french pastries though they aren't really french, french.



Mini Chouquette $3.50

Chewy mini puffs with icing cubes daintily dusted. Only good eaten on the day of purchase, thereafter gets progressively harder.




Muffins (Apple, Chocolate, Butter)

Majorly surprised by their muffins. I microwaved them the next day, buttery, fluffy muffin that doesn't fill you until you polish it off. Thereafter, it fills you to the brim till after lunch! Oh, I had it for breakfast. The apple muffin has crumble on top, quite an interesting take on the humble apple crumble. Light hint of apple though.

Standard seems to have dipped a weebit...but I suppose that's normal these days.

http://www.delifrance.com.sg/

Delifrance Drive Thru

Monday, April 27, 2009

Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff @ Mountbatten Hawker Centre



Checklist to see if it's a sin-food
  1. Deep fried
  2. Has potatoes
  3. You wish there's more than one.
Chanced upon the stall one breakfast after walking round and round and round the hawker centre getting so distracted by the choices aplenty. These are moments I wish I didn't have that many options!



Crispy Curry Puff ($1.10)


Does it not look uncannily like Tip Top or A1/1A curry puffs? The familiar layers of crust, much like an artwork by itself. It's like a teochew yam mooncake fried, with potato fillings. Too flaky for my liking, the filling's too runny..doesn't quite hold up to the heavy weights like Old Chang Kee. Just potato and it's $1.10.

Other choices; sardine, black pepper, yam

Wang Wang Crispy Curry Puff
#01-126
Mountbatten Hawker Food Centre

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tiong Bahru Lor Mee @ Mountbatten Food Centre



Lor Mee's another weakness at food centres and more so when there's a relation to the famous Tiong Bahru one. The queue at Mountbatten Food Centre snakes and people just appear from everywhere to join the queue, well it doesn't shorten btw..only gets longer.



Priced the same at Tiong Bahru, $3 gets you a bowl of yellow flat noodles doused in thick gooey gravy, chicken slices, fish cake slices and fried wanton skins. No sign of their famous shark meat fritters. Taste wise I find the original stall stronger. Somehow it's been ingrained that lor mee should come with ngoh hiang or shark meat..and without either, something's plain missing. No amount of garlic or chilli sauce made it any better..so much for claiming its authenticity!

Tiong Bahru Lor Mee
Mountbatten Food Centre
#01-129

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Din Tai Feng @ Paragon

This was given complimentary with Citibank card.

Steamed Glutinous Rice Dessert ($4.30)

At the looks of it, doesn't look too appetising with the colours of the steamed ingredients. I was told it's Eight Treasures steamed with glutinous rice. Anyhow, it's red bean paste inside the glutinous rice with 8 different dried fruits (lotus seed, candied cherries, dried dates). Tasted quite like the sweet dumplings that those bak zhang stalls sell, just warmer and bland. Not quite my kinda dessert however.

Din Tai Feng

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ying Ying Beef Noodle @ Mountbatten Hawker Centre



I remember growing up with a very famous beef noodle stall in Katong, the broth so tasty, I'd slurp it up as if it's the tastiest dish on earth. The bouncy beef balls, beef slices...all are but a piece of history. They closed during the mad cow disease in the late 90's.



A different type of beef noodle as compared to the usual clear soup. Thick gooey gravy with yellow noodles, sprinkled with chopped chives. The gravy was plain weird, a mishmash of flavours but not exactly sure what. I liked the bouncy beef balls though. It's a case of "somewhere out there but not exactly there".

Ying Ying Beef Noodle
#01-03
Mountbatten Hawker Centre

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Werner's Oven @ Siglap



Werner's Oven, another that goes "Finally". Since discovering this place till we eventually checked it out, it's been almost a good 9 months materializing it.



The interior that has a bar counter, a cashier on the other end and "Paulaner" hangs high.



How could I go without german beer?

Hefe-Weissbier, a golden, naturally cloudy wheat beer with a delicate fruity aroma. 330ml of it. Somehow I prefered the beer at Brotzeit. It's smoother than regular beers, as with most german beers.



My usual table setting shot.


Fritierter Camembert Kase ($9.80)

Breaded cheese served with cranberry sauce. I found the cheese not as melted as I imagined it to be, just silken cheese, not too heavy on the tastebuds. The cranberry sauce was more of a jam, too clumpy.




Cheese Sausage, $21.50

Coarse pork sausage with cheese served with mashed potatoes & sauerkraut. I didn't find the cheese sausage extraordinary, the cheese juice squirted out with every cut, was expecting melted cheese inside, at least. The mashed potatoes and sauerkraut were exceptionally good, a nice degree of sourness.



Knusperiege Schweinhaxe ($21.50)

Crispy pork knuckle served with mashed potatoes & sauerkraut. I was slightly disappointed with the crispy pork knuckle. The skin wasn't as crispy as it looked, there wasn't much to chew on either, mostly chewy skin as opposed to the desired crispy crackling. Meat was salty and on the dry, tough side.



Altdeutscher Fruchtkuchen

Old-fashioned German fruit cake with apple & sour-sweet cherry filling served with vanilla ice cream
. We decided to give this a go instead of the usual German Apple Pie, it's much like a fruit crumble with few cherries inside, slightly pasty and served warm. A different interpretation of a fruit cake.

Service is polite and attentive. The food's nothing much to wow about however. Not the best I've eaten, Brotzeit's more outstanding.

http://www.wernersoven.com.sg/

Werner's Oven
East Coast Road (Next to NTUC, Opp Gelare)
Closed on Mondays


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Opus Deli @ Lau Pat Sat



Another of the snacks from ST's Top 100 Yummiest treats; Opus Deli Green Apple Crumble. The dodo in me walked round Lau Pat Sat in an attempt to locate this, only to realise that it's right next to Prima Deli!



Their board of fame, there's carrot cake (chinese), swiss rolls, apple crumble, durian tart and their cheesecakes on it...that kind of sums of everything they have.



What they've got to offer!



People streamed in and out of the tiny shop buying their most popular item, yes, the green apple crumble. The gf told me they've got cemepedak crumble as well but those weren't sold that day. Durian tarts are sold every now and then too.

The crumbles are baked freshly, the bakers were busy baking the new batch of crumbles while I made my purchase. I like how the fragrance of freshly baked goods fills the air. :) Makes the food yummier.




I zoomed in on the signature.



Green Apple Crumble, $2


It's not as small as imagined, the size of a small apple in fact. A crunchy dense biscuit base is filled up with diced green apples and juicy raisins and topped off with a crumble-cake like crown. I loved the top of the crumble best, moist and fluffy yet crumbly too! The filling isn't overly sweet, and best of all a crunchy base! Now this is one serious crumble that has two of my favourites, the crumble top and biscuit base.

I overheard the girl behind the counter assuring the freshness of the crumbles, they can be left up to two days without refrigeration. I didn't test that out, they're too good to be left overnight.

Update: I had seconds of this place barely days after the first. The crumble fared not as well as the first. Inconsistency? The sis agreed that the biscuit base is less crunchy, more crumbly in fact this round.

I'm looking forward to their cempedak crumble though, missed it again!

Opus Deli
Lau Pat Sat (Next to Prima Deli)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oat's Pancake @ Mountbatten Food Centre



I can't resist minjiang kueh anywhere these days. I was attracted by the curry puff tool they used to fold in the kuehs.



There you have it, my curry puff looking peanut minjiang kueh. Quite a no-brainer watching the uncle doing it. He takes a flat pancake, slots it into the mold, spoons crushed peanut into it and presses the mold. Ta-dah! There's a choice of either the curry puff shaped or the regular sliced ones.



A bite into the 80 cents kueh, the kueh's soft and chewy, good that it's fragrant too! Main grouse, the peanuts should have some peanut butter, or at least sticky to hold it together. I ended up with a peanuts scattered nearly everywhere after breakfast.

A gf excitedly told me about a peanut-corn minjiang kueh being sold..but forgot to tell me where to find it. Does anyone know?

Aunty Oat's Pancake
Mountbatten Food Centre
#01-110

Monday, April 20, 2009

eCreative Cake



A gauge of one's age is by the number of events you get invited to; ROMs, weddings, baby showers, full months and kid's birthdays. Gone are the days whereby sweet 16's and 21st birthdays were a great deal. I've always lamented to the Mom how the size of the cakes shrinks as you grow older with the exception of the 1st and 21st birthday (well partly because we get bigger and taller and horizontally challenged as well!) so it's pretty much insane if I get a cake the size of myself.

My first 1st birthday of a toddler and it's all things sweet, sugary and spectacular. I didn't know candles were so cute these days! Can't quite see it here but it's basically a chunky candle with "It's fun to be One!" I realised at the end of the whole song singing, candle blowing, family picture taking process why the candle had to be so chunky. Not only for aesthetic purposes...so it lasts for as long as you're trying (so darn hard!) to take a proper picture of the child. They move faster than the shutters can capture.



The cake's from eCreative, basically just light sponge with buttercream. Gone are the days of wafer flowers, it's all things buttercream!

http://www.ecreative.com.sg/

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tony Roma's @ Suntec City



Headed to Tony Roma's partly because of the voucher I had, 25% off the St Louis Style Ribs over weekends. 30% off on weekdays. I'm not quite a fan of ribs because the meat's usually measly with the bones forming most part of the dish and being the ultimate carnivore, the ribs hardly satisfy. I've only attempted ribs at Billy Bombers and the occasional Cold Storage takeaway, yes those in contrast are ghastly over salty and leaves this leftover taste in your mouth.



Table setting, fuss free for the messy eating that'll begin!



Complimentary warm baguette with herb butter. I like the herb butter, slight hint of garlic.



The Roma Feast ($58), Carolina Honey Ribs served with BBQ Chicken, special sausage, corn on the cob and coleslaw

In true American style, the combo sets came looking so mighty and huge.
The BBQ chicken's too tender, not much of a taste. I love the corn on the cobs best! The corn's sweet and not overcooked, it's thoughtful that it came with sticks for you to gnaw on.



St Louis Style Ribs, Full Slab ($31.90) Blue Ridge Smokies Smokey flavour ribs combined with sweet molasses. Sides of ranch style beans and french fries

This was what I came for! The flavouring's towards the sweet side, could've been the sweet molasses used to season it. Meaty ribs, the meat was quite easily pulled off. I found the meat on the bland side towards the centre of the rib rack, they were tastier at the edges.

Ranch beans tasted quite good, infused with Indian herbs hence the unique taste about it.



The Ocean Feast ($58), Crispy Fish fillet, fried shrimps and calamari rings served with crab sticks and potato salad

Basically a fried combo, I majorly loved the potato salad.
It came with three different sauces which more or less masked the taste of the fried food. The shrimps were artificially crunchy, fish was just alright.



Apple Crisp ($10.90) Tangy Johnathan apples baked with yummy crumb topping and covered in vanilla ice-cream and caramel sauce

I was surprised by this. Pretty good! Not just an apple dessert, the diced apples were juicy and crunchy, together with granola chunks and finally the ice-cream with partially solidified caramel. I went to dessert heaven almost immediately. Arguably one of the more impressive desserts from a restaurant!

Service is friendly and helpful but will be better if we didn't have to keep asking waiters to take our order. Seems like servers and waiters are separate, a server can't take the order. Food wise, pretty decent ribs..not the best somehow. The dessert's worth the while no matter how stuffed. :) Oh, doesn't hurt that it's just by the koi pond and has a glass house concept.

Tony Roma's
Basement
Near Spinelli's (used to be cedele)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Cheesecake Cafe @ Siglap



The Cheesecake cafe's been one place that I've always said "I want to go" and never materialises. It provides al fresco dining and I've always thought that's all about the place, cheesecake and al fresco. They're closed on Mondays and Tuesdays by the way. Taking a step into the cafe unveils one of Siglap's best kept secrets in terms of interior. The interior and exterior are world's apart.



The entire place beyond the order counter is quaint, with a dash of victorian, mystique...artistic statues and paintings...and it leaves you quite enthralled. There's even a water fountain! Felt almost as if I stepped into a Museum.



We were given a cosy corner with a sofa and cushions.



Menus came in cd holders...! If only they had them in scrolls and the waiters had caps with feathers in them. Ok, now that sounded very costume-ish.

Apologies for the lousy pictures, they had a "no photography and videography" rule but everyone was breaking it anyhow. I just didn't want to be singled out and outrightly chastised with cheese cake thrown at me.



Strawberry Oreo Cheesecake ($6.90)

Looks much like the yogurt cheese cakes at Secret Recipe. The strawberry's light with full oreo biscuits embedded in it. The cheesecake is smooth and generally a slight hint of strawberry throughout. Imo, not spectacular.



Peanut Butter cheesecake ($7.50)

It's peanut butter cheesecake lathered with a layer of crunchy peanut butter. I preferred this of the two, a strong punch of peanut butter. That explains why this is signature. Surprisingly this didn't come across as cloying in taste nor an overload. The cheesecake testure is soft and generally complimented the various flavours. Of the two, I'm for the peanut butter though the gfs thought otherwise.

These are pricey cakes to begin with. Service is passable. The cafe's got a rule about each diner ordering an item off the menu and that may deter diners who are only heading there for dessert. I'm more sold on the decor of the place more so than the cakes. Probably Rum & Raisin next! Or any of the signature cakes that seem to be stronger on flavours.

The Cheesecake Cafe
685 East Coast Road
(Near Siglap Centre)