Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wild Honey across both outlets

wild honey

Till this day Wild Honey still attracts the same maddening crowd no matter what time I patronize it. From a 40 minute wait on a weekday past noon to dinner which also required a fair amount of waiting. Nary a minute goes by that you can effortlessly walk in with a table - unless the planets were well aligned.

tables

Very rare sight.

empty

Unbelievably empty.

wall of

Corners within Wild Honey that gets me intrigued.

mags

Never had the chance nor time to read a mag at Wild Honey...the tables are always in so much demand.

arm candy sits

Cosy chair for the arm candy!

sugarcubes

Somehow liked the presentation of sugar cubes. Glasses of water get served almost immediately upon getting the table.

cutlery

Haphazardly laid table.
banoffee brulee

Banoffee Brulee ($9)

I remember vaguely loving one of their drinks and thought it was Banoffee. Visually a please and tease. The toasted marshmellow mountain cap was all but sweet - slightly bitter. The drink itself was more than decent -  though lacking in the same pizazz as the last.

honey

Morning After ($9)

The pals went for a hot drink and this was way too sweet for comfort, a shocking kind of sweet.

tunisian

Tunisian ($18)
Sizzling pan of red pepper, onion and tomato concisse (stew) studded with sliced chorizo sausage and crowned with two fried eggs

You must love your eggs runny to even consider this. A mistake I made because runny eggs and I are star-crossed lovers. I simply do not have a habit of having my eggs half boiled, cracked, doused in soya sauce and have my toast soaked in them. That, to me is...odd. This is what Tunisian is. A bland tomato stew with runny eggs and thick brioche toasts are used to soak up the stew.

Oh yes, the sizzling pan IS very hot..and the same hot pan does not insulate heat very well..the food turned cold pretty quickly.

While the companions loved it to bits and only swear by this every single visit, I am definitely not on the bandwagon, purely out of preference.

european

European ($18)
Eggs Benedict, Two perfectly poached eggs, sauteed mushrooms, proscuitto, homemade brioche, hollandaise sauce

Poached eggs seem to be the only forms of runny eggs I would stomach with much glee. Wild Honey pretty much nailed this to perfection - for once, I had a glimmer of surprise and was finally enlightened on the prowess of Wild Honey. For all the yaysayers that I have snubbed, I rest my case completely for this eggs benny.

egg porn

Usually not a fan of brioche which lacks bite, Wild Honey's has a good density without losing any of its lightness. Having the delish proscuitto wrapping the eggs was such a pretty sight and gave it a much needed flavour. The only setback being hollandaise sauce which lacked the familiar sour touch. Otherwise, all is good. I found a favourite at last!

big breakfast

English ($22)
Scrambled eggs, back bacon,  sauteed mushrooms, dad's baked beans, breakfast potatoes, grilled vine ripened tomato and signature brioche

Only for the raving hungry. Here's the rundown of the hearty-

Scrambled eggs was not too bad, just the right shade of yellow and eggy enough.

Back bacon, sauteed mushrooms and tomato - Usual works but these were well done!

Dad's baked beans - Larger than usual beans, these packed a lovely spicy aftertaste.

Breakfast potatoes - Yummy!

Last of all the signature brioche which had more bite than its usual fluffy texture.

pancakes

Canadian
Three old fashioned pancakes, canadian back bacon, wild forest berry compote, imported canadian maple syrup

Found another place that serves good pancakes - Wild Honey! Surprised that I never paid much attention to the pancake option on the menu until this visit.

pancake blueberry compote

Dense yet fluffy, these had a nice bite and paired with either berry compote or maple syrup - complementary indeed!

bacon

The back bacon was mildly sweetened, tasted almost like bak kwa!

table of brunchies

Seeing a table full of food always makes me trigger happy. 


apple crumble

Apple Crumble ($6.50)

One crumble that literally crumbles. The tart fell apart too easily without any resistance. I liked the apples and the crumble but everything stalled at the tart. Would have been ideal with icecream...but then again, who has icecream for brunch.

orange sponge

Orange Cake ($6.50)

I have a weakness for layered cakes, especially those with frosting. We cheekily checked with the next table how they found the cake before making an order - not that they had really high scores for it. Sorely disappointed with the overly soft sponge and whipped buttercream frosting. The only brownie point went to the orange wedges and thankfully not soggy combination. The cake lacked zest and perhaps a weebit more refinement in taste. 

Service is an issue at Wild Honey, the lack thereof coupled with a certain snootiness. With the second outlet opened at Scotts Square, the congestion at Mandarin Gallery has eased quite abit!

I normally do not bother enough to withstand the queues at Wild Honey, yet for the outlet at Scotts Square, it was a ridiculous one hour wait. 

menu

Menu with slight variations.

side chairs

Loving the stools!

insides

Packed like crazy.

american


English ($22)

Still as hearty!

colours

Santa Fe ($20)
Tortilla, cheddar, tomato, jalapeno salsa, fried egg, sour cream, grilled kernels, diced avocado, red onion

A Scotts Square exclusive, this colourful one not only looked colourful but brought along with it a multi-dimensional taste.

santa fe deconstructed

For once, I relished red onions for the kick that it gave.
For once, the runny egg yolk was not such a dampener in the dish.
For once, I did not mind "soggy" one bit.

Amazing flavours and taste.

Lovely surprise with Santa Fe. If Santa Fe was this interesting, I wouldn't mind booking an air ticket right now!

Scotts Square would triumph for larger space and longer loitering time within the cafe. Wild Honey has regained its special status as favourite brunch place. I once did not understand that moniker, but now I do.

Cannot wait to chomp down the rest of the menu!

Wild Honey
Mandarin Gallery
Scotts Square

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

His Glory Cafe @ Clifford Center

cafe

Hidden in a corner, this cramped cafe sits 10 at a stretch and manoeuvring around it is tedious. Great coffee, I was told. Not that I am a coffee drinker per se but there is just something about this cafe that makes it cosy, down to earth and so easy to love.

menu

Manned by a couple who loves God amongst other things and of course, coffee, the menu is limited. The only nibbles found are toasts.

drinks

Cafe Americano ($1.80)
without milk

The coffee addict claims it's the best around and getting a seat was godsent. Coffeebeans ground well, the right temperature, the right technique thrown in...the cuppa's all good. 

Honey Lemon Drink ($2.20)

While a random barley drink goes for $2 or less, here's one slightly more expensive but really good. Honey and lemon sounds easy? Perhaps so but this was

A good alternative to overhyped Ah Mei, Coffee and Toast and Mr Teh Tarik even.  When you think CBD is all about Starbucks and Coffeebean, think again. Here is His Glory Cafe with a fraction of those prices and way more wholesome.

His Glory Cafe
#02-03 Clifford Centre

Monday, May 28, 2012

Salt Grill and Tapas Bar @ Raffles City

salt tapas bar

Salt grill and bar first created waves when Ion Sky opened and at that point I was interested after a launch event I attended. They opened a literal down to earth version at the ground floor of Raffles City, from heaven to earth? The place has been plaqued with teething problems since the open – Closed for an extended weekend because of a leaking roof.

Two dining options – al fresco for car watching or inside for a firehouse cosy setting. Tables were placed too close for comfort though, conversations made could be heard within earshot, uncomfortable much! This entry was written from two separate visits, yes I was so sold I headed back for two weekends consecutively.

leaves

Greens.

salt

Limited items.

counter

Tempting.

lights

Lovely ceiling lights!

salt tapas

Napkin rings.

sangria

Luke Mangan Sangria ($17)
Brandy, cointreau, orange juice, red wine, lemon juice, sugar syrup, lemonade, lemon, lime and orange wedges

White Sangria ($17)
Brandy, cointreau, orange juice, chardonnay, lemon juice, lemon, lime and orange wedges

Lighter than the red, both had fruity undertones. Brandy based cocktails aren't for everyone though, I ended up with a headache thereafter.

truffle fries

While I was tempted by the Jamon Ham staring at me straight in the face, we went for the friendlier Parmesan and Truffle Fries ($10)  to kickstart the night. Crispy fries with a generous drizzle of truffle oil and parmesan cheese. For the portion, this had to be the most value for money item on the menu.

oyster

Ready to be un-capped. Lift the pearly shells up to reveal the aphrodisiac.

oysters

Oysters served natural, smoked tomato salsa ($5 each)

Sprinkled with rock salt, the oyster was not huge but the sweetness shone through and lingered in the most memorable way. 

soft shell prawns

Crispy Soft Shell Prawns with Chilli and Garlic Aioli ($15)  

This made us furrow the eyebrows – to be honest, prawns can be eaten wholesale when fried till crisp yet the description did get me stunned for a nanosecond. 

prawns

Fried till crisp, this was the perfect company for beer. Spices and herbs made such a joyful dish of it, meaty little crustaceans were so delightful to eat alongside mustard and a dash of lemon. What annoyed most were the inevitable jabbing of the gums by the sharp pincers of the prawns. A small price to pay for such a treat!

prawn tacos

Taco of tempura prawn, pineapple salsa, chipotle aioli ($13)

It was a tempura prawn burger in the form of a taco - delicious much! The crisp tempura meets flavourful dressing and finally an equally delish taco.

wagyu sausage

Wagyu sausage, soft polenta, capers and tomato ($14)

While the wagyu was not that discernible but it was a tasty sauce with a complementary polenta. The grainy texture was easy to like as were the capers and tomato.

meatballs

Sumac spiced veal and pork meatballs, fontina mash ($14)

I have lost count of the number of times I have chided myself for falling prey to wagyu meatballs – the lack thereof bite and most times being all but mush. This was the case even with an outstanding mash. Three petites to the song of 14 buckeroos or five for twenty-two, pricey stuff and not quite worth the hype.

seasalt caramel

Seasalt Caramel Icecream ($4) lacked the oomph that the tapas dishes exhibited. Came across as a demure interpretation of a flavour that could have wowed. Icy without the usual creamy finish, I was disappointed.

churros

Churros and chocolate ($11)

After the greasy dense churros attempted at a Spanish place, Chef Luke Mangan did justice to this spanish snack - I foresee my future Spain travels featuring this as a staple or even a trail of its own. Crisp layer with a cottony soft texture and dusted with cinnamon sugar. The bittersweet chocolate provided much contrast.

liquorice parfait

Luke’s liquorice parfait ($12)

Signature of Salt Grill at Ion, I loved the crunchy cookie as much as the parfait. Lovely flavours that hinted more of pistachio than liquorice. Fell head over heels for the zesty rinds embedded.

I have always thought of tapas as solely Spanish and encounters so far have been far from ideal. Chef Luke Mangan however, brought the game home. Tastefully executed and well flavoured, returns are on the cards. Note the plurality. Salt Grill and Tapas Bar is an Ember in the making, worth the numerous revisits.

Salt Grill and Tapas Bar
Raffles City

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hup Lee Cafeteria @ The Arcade

queues

Word has it that this is Raffles Place’s best sliced fish soup. So good and so popular that OLs have taken time off their official lunch hours of 12pm to start hogging seats at 11-ish. So hot that people are willing to brave neverending queues of at least 40 people to get their fish soup fix. So addictive that the companion actually had this for a week straight. By the time I reached slightly after noon, the place was so packed, manoeuvring in between tables was an archaic task and if I were any bigger than I already am, I would have problems exiting the eatery. Immensely thankful for good ventilation – at least I did not reek of fish soup!

fish soup

Fresh Fish Soup ($4.50) for the health conscious.

fish soup fried

Fried Fish Soup ($4.50) comes with a clear based broth, seaweed, chinese beancurd, preserved vegetables and breaded dory fish filets. There is a difference between fried fish and breaded dory fish filets, the latter ends up soggy with the crumbs. The dory fish was hard to miss, with the distinct taste and smell that comes with it. Otherwise, the rest did determine ingredients for a good fish soup. Loved the fried garlic and chiil though. Definitely was not wow enough to warrant a week’s worth of revisits.

Hup Lee Cafeteria
#01-35, The Arcade