Sunday, June 30, 2013

Fruit Paradise @ Raffles City Basement

Fruit tarts were the rage when Tampines 1 opened, with queues snaking so far and wide that I was scared to even attempt. And then I did, more than once. It has to be these subpar visits that caused Fruit Paradise to be notches away from top of mind recall when it comes to takeaway dessert.

Truth be told, fruit tarts are a dime too many in Japan and in fact, every fruit tart looked uncannily like those from Fruit Paradise. Hence, I still did not veer towards eating those made locally after visiting Japan. 

I blame insolence for the last minute decision not to order in advance and be left with so many mind boggling options just hours shy of our Father's Day dinner.

strawberry mango

They released a more consumer friendly size of approximately 6 inch fruit tarts just for Father's Day - hooray for small families without sweet tooths. Their usual sizes of 19cm is a challenge to even complete in one seating.

Mango Strawberry is their topseller at the Raffles City outlet and thankfully they could make the tarts upon demand with customization! I had a mixed fruit tart sold under my nose before I could order and the family who triumphed threw us smirks - disgusting!

fruit tart 

Always request for your tart to be sliced professionally to avoid ruining the piece of art and definitely, feeling so annoyed with the tart massacre.

Mildly sweet, this dessert number was delicious. I loved the custard, cream and fruit combination - a tropical delight for summer! The tart base was crunchy and crumbly at the same time, double loves. The companions at dinner had nothing but raves too.

$28.95 if I am not wrong for this petite one. 

All it really takes is one good visit to spin off the next...and for Fruit Paradise, I am sold!

Fruit Paradise
Raffles City Basement

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Icecream Gallery Revisited @ Tanjong Katong Road

icecream gallery

I blame the sweltering heat for icecream cravings and dessert visits just to feed them.

doors

Welcoming door handles that look like icecream sticks.

rows

Look above the shelves to find rows of obsessively neat cans and pints.

mural

Pretty mural on the wall - too cute!

icecream

Roasted Almonds - A terribly fragrant flavour with almonds embedded. I loved the roastyness of this!

Strawberry - I'm hardly a fan of strawberry icecream - must be the makings of the artificially flavoured Wall's Icecream I have been fed since young. Yet this fruity number was refreshing and delightful with frozen strawberries churned in.

Seasalt Caramel - The ideal would be to marry both seasalt and almonds together which is what Cloud9 at cedele does.

$8 for triple scoop, supplements start from $0.50 more for special flavours.

I am not a fan of their pricing strategy, infact most of the flavours require top ups and what seems like a good deal ends up otherwise at the cashier. Unfortunately, I am still a one price fits all flavours consumer. 

Icecream Gallery
242C Tanjong Katong Road 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Thefoodchapter's getting married: Themarriedchapter



Here's a shoutout to all my readers - I've got another extension of the blog! If you haven't already noticed, there's something new on the sidebar. While I have thought long and far about converting this blog from food to lifestyle, there is a certain reluctance because this place holds too many memories.

So I've decided to be a bit more conscientious to maintain both! :) For those who've yet to see any photos of me in this blog...you'll find some in themarriedchapter. Hence, the titling themarriedchapter rather than have so many spinoffs - theweddingchapter, thebabychapter, thehousechapter...all the way until theretirementchapter. I wish blogosphere would last that many years!

Food will still be an integral part of my life, so posts will be daily (try as I might and for as long as I can!). Thank you for your support and well, hop over if you are curious about how a foodie plans her wedding!

Meanwhile, keep chomping!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Windowsill Pies @ Horne Road

windowsill pies

The first brush with Windowsill Pies was at Savour 2012 though prior to that, I was aware of its presence at Pandan Valley Condos. I suppose they have not looked back since.

One random night, we decided to just pay them at visit at their not-so-very-new premises. The design already stands out, don't you think?

mural

A little bird gave the secret away.

xmas tree

Enchantment seems to be the theme, or at least the owners wanted to create an environment that childhood never ends - I remember wanting to dine in the park like little red riding hood did as a kid, basket in hand and skipping along cobbled paths looking for grandma. Yes, I was that imaginative as a kiddo. The tree really looks straight off the pages of Noddyland!

tea

I digress but here's a tray to sniff your way to your choice of tea if coffee does not appeal.

smeg fridge!

I spy a yellow SMEG fridge! Guess what they store within!

jars of water

Bottles of water, so please help yourselves. I am already tempted to get a SMEG fridge after this visit.

coffee

Iced coffee for the caffeine addict, really good stuff he says.

dish

Chomp therapy! I love how these are served on a wooden tray. These are plated almost immediately upon your order at the entrance.

cherry morello

Morello Cherry Pie 

Sugared shortcrust pastry, this resembles a danish pastry from the Royal Dansk. Those were my favourite within the tin of neverending layers of buttercookies as child. Nonetheless, cherry pie this is - I have not encountered a cherry pie here before. We were warned that it would be "sour" but the level of sourness was pleasant. Encrusted with sticky morello cherries, this was too delicious to stop at one forkful.

pies

Coconut Lime Vodka Pie

Yet another sour one. Pastry is different for this alcohol infused item. Intoxicating cubes of vodka jelly and topped with a swirl of coconut cream, I completely cannot ask for more. The vodka cubes are godsent awesome as with the pairing of lime curd with it. A gentle number that proved to be more than pina-colada exciting! 

pecan

Pecan Pie

Tucked away from public view, we were told that there was a lurking one in the chiller if we wanted to try. Try we did! Pecans topped on pie filled with pecan filling that it resembled sticky date. Too sweet infact with all its richness, I would prefer that they had chopped pecans with the filling too.

grasshopper

Grasshopper pie that I wish I had space for!

Each pie slice starts from $7 and have increased since their Pandan Valley days which is perfectly understandable but let's just hope the increase does not continue.




tags 

Cute mementos for takeaway! Each comes with a different design.

Addictive pies for sure and we already made plans for returns to check them all off our list! If you sense that we are hooked, we sure are. :)

Windowsill Pies
78 Horne Road

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pies and Coffee @ Tanjong Katong Road

brunch

Pies and Coffee finally beckoned one weekend when none of us felt up for travelling islandwide for eggs benedict or pancakes. As perfect as brunch should be with them both, a change is good once in awhile.

pie and coffee

Takeaway anyone? There is a selection of pies and cakes for takeaway.

drink dispenser

Help yourself corner.

pies

The range that we ordered to share. There are two types of pies available - pastry shell as well as potato crust.

more pies

Baked till golden brown, rather microwaved till warm and served with a salad and mash.

pies

Alternatively, these other pies come served in an aluminium tin foil.

pies

I spy a heart!

duck confit

Duck Confit Pie ($9.95)

A pleasant surprise to find whole duck chunks in the pie though given the consistency of the pie, everything pretty much crumbled to nothingness. Tasted much like braised duck rather than duck confit.

wagyu beef cheek

Wagyu Beef Cheek Pie ($9.95)

Their best seller. This proved to be the sweetest of the lot. Wagyu where? It was merely tender beef with tendon in a pie.

shepherd's pie

Minced Beef Shepherd's Pie ($8.95)

Too bland for me and thankfully for ketchup and chilli sauce that saved the day. The gameyness of the meat was obvious as well.

laksa seafood

Seafood Laksa Shepherd ($8.95)

I enjoyed this best despite our initial reservations. Rich laksa broth with chockfuls of scallops, prawns, fish and squid in one pie. I relished every bite of it, yummilicious! The only thing truly missing is laksa noodles and laksa leaves to make this complete.

long black 

Meh-dinary long black coffee.

Very average pies in a casual environment. I wonder how they survive with a trickling of customers on a Sunday morning, especially when Smith's Fish and Chips next door enjoys bustling business.

Pies and Coffee
Tanjong Katong Road

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Koh Sushi and Grill @ Food Republic, Wisma Atria

queues

Be greeted by this if reservations are not made in advance. Prudent me decided to do so before heading down. A 45 minute wait is considered kind, harsher waits can last up to an hour or longer. The wait definitely does not stop there - the wait continues to order, food to arrive and even for top ups to the orders.

For what?

Koh Sushi, my dears.

This sushi joint within Wisma's Food Republic has been causing much traffic problem since they opened.

Even when we left, the queues hardly showed signs of stopping.

pitan tofu

Pitan Tofu ($4)

A Japanese dish that I usually forget about but it has wowed since the first bite. For sure it is not as stellar as a restaurants but this homemade one was hearty and very down to earth. Appetizing for sure but with portions so small, I wish for seconds almost immediately.

grilled chicken

Grilled Chicken Salad 

Well grilled chicken with a salad and Japanese dressing. Simple things done so right - we were already grinning like idiots at this point.

miso brinjal

Miso Eggplant ($5)

A baked sliver of gooey goodness smeared with a semi-sweet miso paste. Heaven on earth, we are quite nearly there.

chirashi don

Chiraishi Don ($25)

The salmon don surely takes the cake for worthwhile at half the price but opt for this if all seafood are friends. Fresh seafood slices slapped on a bowl of warm rice topped with nori. While memories of the Wasabi Tei of yesteryears came flooding back for the companion, I can only take heart that this is deserving of a mention.

seaweed

Wakame to really just kill time with. I joked that this could be taken fresh off from a packet but I suppose it was not overly sweet made it different from the Sakae offerings.

shiok maki 

Second Generation SHIOK Maki ($16.80)
Crispy prawn wrapped around lightly roasted salmon

Word has it that the first generation of roasted salmon and eel was so successful, they had a second generation of it. I should have just gone for the first before the second as the previous order of wakame caused a boring moment when the sushi finally arrived. The sweetness did interfere with the overall enjoyment but that being said - an overload of fish roe and secret creamy sauce makes this maki roll oh-soooooo-SHIOOOOK.

And oh yes, be prepared to wait for this shiok number. It was the last to arrive and since they do it in batches, it is completely up to heng-and-suay for the chef to decide to start making it.

Portions are not huge hence I say order all you can at the start if not face forever waiting for the order to arrive. Service tries to be warm and attentive but with shorthanded going on, I can only appreciate they are trying. Cheap, this definitely is not but for the bang of the buck...value for money is the case.

Koh Sushi and Grill
Food Republic, Wisma Atria

Monday, June 24, 2013

Onaka @ Alexandra Retail Center

Onaka stands for Optimum Nutrition Kitchen Art and means "stomach" in Japanese. Previously located at Rochestor Park, I deemed it too far to venture and then it shifted to Alexandra Retail Center, I just had to give it a try! Especially when it is packed during lunch. At $18++ for a 2 course set lunch, sounds like a great deal already!

watermelon sashimi

Watermelon Sashimi 
Sous vide watermelon, kambu, agar wasabi "tobiko", daikon 'tamari' dip

This probably got me all interested first. Modelled just like tuna sashimi down to its limpness, the only thing that would give its fruity origins away are the seeds.

sashimi

Fair enough, it was a magical dish - looks and texture but failed in the taste test unfortunately. If this were a fairytale, it became just a chilled watermelon when I chewed it. If anything, the wicked use of daikon tamari dip was appetizing! Loved the hint of vinaigrette.

carrot cake

Carrot Cake
Savory pancake with shredded carrot cake, fried scrambled free range egg, daikon confit, kizami nori, chilli jelly

A healthier take on an otherwise unhealthy char tow kuay. Found the carrot cake a tad mushy in texture but the brilliant use of daikon confit and chilli jelly made it taste like the real stuff.

soba mushroom

Roasted Mushroom Soba
Roasted mushroom ragu, organic, buckwheat soba, mushroom dashi, truffle aroma, kizami nori, daikon cress

I like smelling my food before it appears - fragrance test, I term it. Naturally a truffle infused dish smells awesome and so was this. A clean tasting noodle dish with a simple display of mushrooms. Like mee sua in fact, soba was. Our main grouse was it being too salty.

soba

Slurp!

char siew burger

Char Siew Burger
Souvis vide sakura chicken char siew, multigrain bun, fried 63 degrees free range egg, pickled cucumber, butter lettuce, top secret sauce, baked sweet potato fries

I give them credit for the top secret sauce that was tangy and somewhat like mustard. The char siew looked the part but was not as addictive as the real deal.

sweet potato fries

The baked sweet potato fries lacked in crisp too. Sin food without the desired sin, unfortunately.

tea

Coffee or tea to end the meal, unfortunately both were hardly memorable. 

Decently priced lunch sets for a different kind of dining experience.

Onaka 
Alexandra Retail Center

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dumpling Festival 2013: Hai Tien Lo

xo bakzhang

The pick for our families this year - Hai Tien Lo's. Premium rice dumpling filled with dried scallop, pork belly, barbequed duck, Japanese mushroom, egg yolk, lotus seed, chestnut, green bean and Thai glutinous rice.Serving four to five, priced at $28.80++, it is a mighty steal.

I loved it to bits. Albeit a tad salty but the flavours were absolutely-orgasmically spot on. Every mouthful seemed to get me a different type of meat or ingredients. Pork and duck in one dish - supremacy. Hai Tien Lo seemed to have redeemed themselves completely after Pan Pac's major makeover, I cannot wait to try their restaurant soon!

Well maybe repeats next year!

P.s. I can never get on the line or remember to place my order for Hoo Kee's, a perpetual sell out. It's like the L.E. Cafe of rice dumplings. Boo. Better luck next year then (again I say!).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Austrian Wine Tasting @ Buyan


Malat Winery is into its 9th generation and fiercely keeping to the Austrian tradition. I joined their complimentary wine tasting last week at Buyan with Michael Malat introducing wines to us. All along my knowledge of wines is terribly limited, for sure I know my chardonays and sauvignons but any further would render me blur. Italian, french and south australian wines are those that I started out being acquainted with then Chilean but Austrian? Complete noob.

glass at the door

Welcome drink at the door. 

chilled

Looking swell for a bubbly night ahead!

cellar

A celler-bration for all drinkers.

It was a really casual event - wine in one and tapas on the other. I am glad I arrived early enough to get a table and look pretty. Buyan serves awesome food - just two items and I was happily stuffing myself silly.

bread rinds

We could not resist helpings of their fried bread rinds - sooooo yummy and sorethroat inducing!

more

Never stop at one bowl. 

fried bread

Khachapuri (flatbread) with Cheese Fillings and Meat Fillings

Both combinations were really good though I favour cheese over beef. Crispy bread served piping hot and peppered with ingredients.

snacks

Pirozhki (with cabbage fillings and meat fillings)

Less stellar since this was on the bland side but honestly, any nibbles are great for a wine tasting. Tasted just like bread with soonkueh fillings

proste!

Malat Gruner Veltliner
Made with austrian grapes, this vibrant number was a favourite since the flavour was more complex with deep notes.

wine
Malat Riesling
Easy to like and drink hence it was popular amongst the ladies. 

Malat Sparkling Wine
Like a champagne, this light number was the reason of celebration for the impending weekend.

DSC_0057

Definitely no connoisseur but this was an experience for sure. While it seemed like a less than polished introduction of his wines, at least I left the event more aware that Austria is another country to consider for wines.

All wines mentioned above are available for purchase at Buyan Restaurant, prices range from $65-85.