Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wheelhouse @ Tanglin Club

Most of my childhood years were spent at The Tanglin Club, trying to drown myself during swimming lessons. The teenage years were spent in their amazing library which does reminds me of the one in Hogwarts school and tucking into countless chicken pies by the pool side and as I inched towards the official key to freedom, I remember most about slurping Ghana soda drinks and wishing someday happy hours would be spent in The Tavern.

Tanglin Club does hold some special memories for me, the 21st birthday, the first dizzying fall from the slide in the playground and bearing witness to skinny dipping (accidental or not) in the early 1990's. This visit back was bittersweet.

table

Back at the casual WheelHouse Restaurant for dinner!
diners

Filled.
crackers

Crackers specked with herbs, yum!
breadrolls

Freeflow bread with every mains ordered, the bread corner is every bread lover's dreamland. Cranberry, wholemeal, multi grain, baguette and even simple loaves! Loved the herb butter since day one, still as good!

toasties

Toasties.

gunner


Gunner ($2.80)

A drink I grew up with literally, parts of ginger ale, lemonade and angostura bitters. This passes off as a soda drink but is delish cocktail in disguise. 

nasi goreng

Nasi Goreng ($9.80)

Colourful dish of fried rice, fried egg, chicken wings, satay and achar! Pretty well done. 

salad

Salad Bar ($10.50)

The selection at the salad bar included sushi as well as a good portion of proteins and veggies. Tuna and smoked salmon for the carnivores. Pile them high up for this one portion and tuck into it heartily.

tanglin club

Tanglin Club Sandwich ($8.50)

Listed as a signature and for reliving the memories sake, I headed for this all time favourite. After all the carbs, this toasted brown bread with stacks of ingredients stuffed within was less than ordinary. Average at best, even the fries could barely save it.

satay

Chicken Satay ($12)

On the sweet side, satays are usually such great appetizers.

cheese naan

Cheese Naan ($3.50)

butter chicken

Butter Chicken ($8.80) and Fish Curry ($10.80)

The Naan was soft with kraft cheese melted, would have loved if it were mozzarella instead. Butter chicken was on the sweet side. Fish Curry fared better with a bit more punch.

spinach

Spinach mashed so fine, was alright as a whole.
Wheelhouse was rather busy for a Friday night and bustling with people. Food while really affordable in Orchard did not impress too much.

Here's a couple more snaps that I took around the club.

hall

Hall.

pool

Poolview after sundown.

pool view

Poolview at night.
Wheelhouse
Tanglin Club

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Coccogelo @ East Coast Road

cocco gelo

Coccogelo, at long last! I have lost count of the times that I have mentioned I wanted to dropby. Enough entries have gone out praising their gelatos to the skies.

counter

Cute counter girl seems to be the recipe for success across most icecream-gelato-sundae shops these days and Coccogelo does it no different. I like how samples are given on either on a cone shard or spoon. At least you get to taste it on the cone!

interior

Relatively empty for a weekday.

triple scoop

Pear Sorbet

Like my favourite Weis Lemon Sorbet, this was no ice queen. Mildly flavoured with pear, this sorbet has quite a density and still retaining much of its lightness. Easy to like.

Green Rice

Described as tasting much like nonya kueh with rice grained churned in. Reminded me of Vietnam's national flavour. Well replicated with the rice grains doubling up like sago beads. Delish!

Pistachio

Their bestseller, one rich flavoured icecream and pistachio bits within. Loved it!

Their icecream flavours are a mind boggling and dizzying range but at any one time there are 10 flavours at best. So I guess that does encourage return visits more!


3 scoops for $6.80

Coccogelo
East Coast Road

Monday, February 27, 2012

Paul @ Takashimaya

Paul has been one of those bakeries I would take an extra effort to drop by be it in Europe or Shanghai and to date, it has given me such fond memories. 

takashimaya paul

Paul has taken Singapore by storm, quite nearly with queues on weekdays and needless to say even on weekends. I thought by visiting the boulangerie months after its opening would mean an effortless encounter, it proved otherwise.

window seat

Window seats?

interior

Crowded, max.

By a stoke of luck, I waltzed in without a hitch. No choice of seats.

paul

Menu given and shown to my seat, decisively placed my order and then the wait began. 5 minutes, 10 minutes almost 20 for a croissant and lemon tart off the rack. Truly how hard was it to lift them off the rack? 20 minutes to bake one seemed like a stretch even. Then, the waitress explained...

1) She completely forgot about my croissant.

Astonishing reply. I was left so dumbfounded I did not know how to react. It was not as if I wanted a croissant buttered or stuffed with ham and cheese and it could get forgotten!

croissant

So my croissant ($2.50) arrived at long last on a warm plate served with jam and butter in 30 seconds flat.

I tilted my head so close to the table to catch a whiff of that familiar buttery fragrance, as much as that sounds like a spectacle to behold - nah, no fragrance.

croissant cross section

Slicing through the pastry and awaiting that melodious crushing of layers met with equal disappointment. A tad oily, the croissant was miles off from Jones The Grocer's, nothing extraordinary. I did like the strawberry jam with whole strawberries in them!

2) Her recommended bestseller of a "lemon tart" was not available that day.

strawberry alert

No decency to inform me at all. Replaced it with their strawberry tart ($6.20). Visually it looked the way a delicious strawberry tart would. Biscuit base topped with custard and strawberries glazed with jelly.

strawberry tart


Not a fan of this biscuit tart at all and the overall sweetness that made it artificial.

Payment for this took a mistake, eternity and my credit card taking a stroll around the cafe before being handed over to me. Service is as bad as I can imagine for a one week cafe despite the ample help they have from two French door men or woman clad in doctors' cloak and tons of waiters and waitresses dressed in chamber maid outfits. As much as the croque monsieur is beckoning, I am so going to think twice.

The experiences at Paul in Paris and Shanghai have been much better, unlike I am ready to take on another attempt!


Paul 
Takashimaya

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Around the world with Mcdonalds

I have a dream - a really weird one, to try Mcdonalds in all the countries that I have visited. For QC or really just the kick of it, the same fantasy as some people have with visiting Hard Rock Cafe in every country. As you can tell, this entry began almost 2 years back through the travels and most if not all the time I try to attempt items that are not available here for a cheap thrill.

Bali

I remember being down to the last couple of thousand rupiah at the airport, after tipping my really good guide. We could only afford fries and a cone each, if not I would have gone for something more substantial for sure!


mcs

IDR 1,000 (Regular Icecream cone)
IDR, 5000 (Small fries)

Icecream was too whipped cream in texture, not a fan even if it's way cheaper than our 70 cent cones!

Hongkong

red bean pie


Red Bean Pie, HKD 6

I had this in late 2010, despite being so full from a dimsum lunch I insisted on gorging this limited edition pie! Actually liked it, the mildly sweet red beans made quite a nice dessert. If only they made this permanent!

yam pie!

Yam Pie, HKD 6

Suppose this is a summer edition when I visited in late May 2011. The yam bits were a tad undercooked and came in a lilac shade too artificial to pass off as a yam pie.


Japan

Japan probably has the most innovations of the countries attempted, the bacon ham pie was completely sold out in Tokyo which further reaffirmed how obsessed the nation is with limited editions.

DSC_0201 (2)

Choco pie eaten in Dec 2010. They intelligently recreated a pie from their famous snack Chic Choc, cleverly replicated down to the layers of pastry and molten chocolate! The chocoholic gave her two thumbs up for this.

DSC_0198 (2)

Pork burger that is obviously missing from our menu, did not think this was too memorable unfortunately.

Taiwan

mcds

Bagel from breakfast! They have overtaken Mc Cafe for having a more upmarket menu.

bagel cream cheese

NTD 30 for a cream cheese bagel is considered cheap, the bagel was dense and chewy with a crusty finish. Eaten Dec 2011.

Bangkok

chicken rice

The latest of all Mcdonalds conquests goes to Bangkok visited in February 2012. They were promoting the Namtok Rice at THB 59. There is a choice of beef, chicken or pork. Really decent rice dish! The chicken nibblets were packed with just enough spice.

nacho cheese fries

Additional THB 15 for the nacho cheese dip, the fries were an unfortunate case of over frying and soggy. The nacho cheese dip barely rivaled KFC's cheese fries. 

peepo!

THB 29 for their latest ham and egg pie! Savoury pies seem to be on the agenda of Mcdonalds across the region.

ham and egg croissant


























I was not impressed with the ham and egg combination, very pedestrian in taste.

Onto more mcdonalds' conquests!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gunther's Revisited @ Purvis Street

gunthers

Gunther's for dinner this time around without reservations as well - I just dig such impromptu decisions. Unlike lunch, dinner is surprisingly a less solemn affair. It could be the tables booked for the night - bantering that went on and on and on, drowning any form of light chatter.

modern french

Curtains that hide the activity within.

interior

Black and white - so sleek.

black slate

Matching black slates for plates.

amuse bouche

Amuse Bouche of prawn tempura, thoughtfully deshelled yet the taste was somewhat compromised - texture of prawn was too soft.

loaves

Their complimentary bread rolls once again won me over for easy refills and crusty sides.

bread buttered

Carb heaven, almost...until we were too full to touch the last remaining roll. French butter, always a welcomed addition.

pasta

Angel-hair pasta, chili Monte Poro, dried prawns, kombu, chives ($38)


twirls


Served warm, I consider this the evil twin of their famed cold angel hair pasta that won me over fingers-toes-and-belly-up. This was alot like mee sua - flavour was hard to tell as well. Disappointing one.

veal

Roasted pork flank, coquille pasta, "Harissa-style" ($45)


Presentation was pretty waaah-inducing - arranged in such detail. Pork chunks and shell-shaped pasta alternated around the dish. The roasted pork flank was unevenly cooked - terribly tough at parts and tender at some. Shell pasta lacked flavour and oomph to it; ending up hardened by the time I made it to the last bite. Reminded me of laksa, with the flavours strangely. Not quite a dish that wowed, neither was it one reminiscent of Gunther's prowess.

Both dishes belonged to the category of - I wish the portions accorded were smaller. Sad but that was the case. 


As much as desserts were high on the agenda, I cannot bear to make any more wrong food choices henceforth. Did not enjoy this visit as much - head for the set lunches for the bang of the buck and at least, some form of satisfaction. Dinner was a gamble to take and it backfired. Service is contrived - most expectedly. No running through of daily specials though drinks were refilled considerately. Did not bear to tell the manager straight in the face how much we did not enjoy this. 


Gunther's
Purvis Street

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bangkok Souvenirs

I used to joke about Lin Zhen Xiang being the marriage of Lim Chee Guan and Bee Cheng Hiang in Bangkok. Their flagship store is at Chinatown that is usually packed with tourists. Fret not, their prepacked goodies can be purchased at MBK or Platinum Mall Top floor but at a more limited range and possibly marginally higher prices too.

pork floss sticks

Pork Floss Sticks, crudely named "Dog's Poop" in chinese. These dense pork floss sticks are get as snacks.

floss crackers

Rice crackers sprinkled with pork floss, I believe Lin Zhen Xiang does have the equivalent but these are not under the same label. Crispy rice crackers meets tasty floss. Comes in original and spicy flavour!

lin zhen xiang goodies

Bak Kwa does taste so different in Bangkok. I remember lugging them back by the kilos previously. It was absolutely love at first bite!

bak kwa

Comes in quite a few flavours and personal favourite is black pepper bak kwa! These prepacked ones certainly do not taste as good as those freshly grilled. A tad oily, these can be regrilled for a less oily finish. On the sweet side with a mild ginger aftertaste. A different kind of bak kwa, liking it still!

Bangkok