Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bento: Better-ly Captured!

finally, the bentos met Mister DSLR.

Hoppy Bounty
mushroom kamameshi simmered rice, grilled teriyaki salmon, okra+cherry tomato wafu salad, minced porkballs, cocktail sausages, quail egg, mini palmiers.

Mickey's Garden
ume somen in sesame-garlic sauce, japanese preserved plum, shiitake & carrot, handshaped seasoned hamburg patties, pepper-breaded scallops, homemade tamagoyaki, california maki, tako & cucumber salad, chocolate chip cookies.

Oink Oink.

Burgers take on a new identity with shrimp cutlets, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato & tonkatsu sauce sandwiched between bakery pillow buns. Mr Piggie 1 & Mr Piggie 2.. we're just short of number 3.

The aquarium version only got uglier- it was difficult to add life to these unattractive fishes. Eventually truncated on the features and stuck rigid sausage tails to finish. Centering tempura hake fillets & tartar sauce~

Burger Boxie
Tempura Fish Fillet Burger, Shrimp Cutlet Piggie Burger, coleslaw, hashbrown stars, broccoli, mini burger biscuits.

*hooked to bento-making.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Foreword: If there ever is an italian food fanclub, i would run for president. Obssession is not the wrong word to use.. i am constantly craving for unfolded italian outlets to impress me. simply put, i possess a never-say-die spirit in search of better renditions of M&P.

Marinara/frutti di mare & Panna Cotta addict.


Evading from Bonta's extravagantly conceit menu, i saw myself plunging into Spizzico on intuition-driven impulse. And i met MINO.

The reality figure of BFG-alike Hagrid (Mr Potter's third arm at Hogwarts), Mino was sheer opposite from his intimidating frame. No haughty airs, no intrusiveness, no explosive attitude or temper... just a humble chap who gets involved in even menial tasks at the restaurant. Despite his managerial stature.

Awesome man. He made my meal.

Picture him!

The food didn't disappoint badly either.

To begin with a steaming-hot bread basket was impression won over. Excellent sheets of pizza bases in there, akin to the naans.

Spaghetti Vongole ($16)

They've got sticky sauces.

Sauces that cling so huggingly onto the strands like okra's gooey substance. Probably the effect of pasta-cooking-liquid, which unfortunately wasn't to dad's favour. Soupy whitewine sauces for Spaghetti Vongole is best for him.

Spaghetti Marinara ($22)

The next sticky thing upholds the title of Seafood Galore. Swarmed by a plethora of crab halve, mussels, clams, shrimps, squids... and crayfish! was my Spaghetti Marinara minus the cream.

Panna Cotta Caffe ($8)

Mino approached to deliver his testimonial on desserts. which all turned out to be out-of-the-box creations.

Tortino Cioccolato ($12)

From the unornamented Panna Cotta Caffe looking like an overturned tofu (and tasted like one too!) slashed with coffee syrup.. to the Tortino Cioccolato -warm chocolate cake- involved in its stack between vanilla icecream and milk-soaked cake crumbs in a sundae glass. Both were total eye-openers.

Just like how Mino conducted the night.

the pizza station. check out that old-fashioned weighing scale!

i cut off the hideous half of the photo LOL,
Mino will do~

+ the mysterious 20% discount as another reason to feel good about (:

81 Clemenceau Avenue
UE Square Shopping Mall #01-13
6333 6174

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Al Dente Trattoria

A plate of creditable, non-cloying clear-style pasta is hard to come by.
Memories of this dish have hardly disentangled from fear-inducing oil pools (worse if not quality evoo!) or murderously spicy chilli additions, for the flavourful effect.
But simplicity is beauty.

And a well-cooked spaghetti coated in mild garlic infused evoo, deglazed with an optimal touch of sweet white wine gracefully hits the bullseye.

Like this one.

Ordering from Al Dente's menu posed no hassle for me. There is nothing like a seafood marinara vs smoked salmon fettuccine dilemma to ponder about. Linguini Spaghetti con frutti di mare quickly takes on the elaine's-next-best-choice slot.

Of course the italian meal began with a bread basket. Three varieties were offered here- foccacia. baguette. pizza crust. with an exclusive pumpkin dip by the side.

Spaghetti con frutti di mare ($26)

here it is again.

The only problem lied in a communication glide with the waiter. frutti di mare here is a prawns-mussels-clams mixture. But my no mussels request was misapprehended as a no shellfish order, hence it became an all-prawn affair.

Still, a Spaghetti con frutti di mare gamberetti to slurp up.

Spaghetti alle vongole ($26)

Not to neglect, the spaghetti alle vongole and its excellent import of clams. Hailing from Tuscany are these plump and voluptuously juicy fleshes under solidly green-splashed shells. its time we dismissed the littleneck toddlers to shame~

torta di cioccolato ($10)

Perhaps because im not the all-chocolate appreciator, the waiter's recommendation of torta di cioccolato didn't win me over. A bitter-headed torte and condensed-milk-heavy raspberry ripple scoop just failed to spark up fascination.

the night gets prettier!

and especially when the customer flow is measly enough to neglect. you just feel like the area belongs to you. enjoy that feeling lots!

Al Dente Trattoria
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-13 Esplanade Mall
6341 9188

Wordy Desires


Pierre Hermes

Dessert FourPlay:
Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef
Johnny Iuzzini

The Professional Pastry Chef:
Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th Edition

Bo Friberg

Chocolate Passion
Tish Boyle & Timothy Moriarty

Reads i crave for.
Note to self: camp a day at Borders after the blocktests! (:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bento: Anpan Man

Mian Bao Cao Ren~

Ahh i was once hooked to this bread-faced man's cartoon series. And eating redbean-filled buns shaped of its irresistibly adorable face -even though half my brain was signalling towards to porkflossies. Thanks to Breadtalk and their crafty plot.

Anpan Crazy
japanese steamed rice, honey baked ham, bacon-sausage roll, anpan man potato rounds, tonkatsu sauce in anpan man sauce holder, anpan man chocolate biscuits.

At Hokkaido, a concidental meet with these fitting bento products spelled an indefensible spending. Tokyo Hands ain't Daiso where $2-ses depart with small pinches...they go by hundreds to thousands of yen! and i swear it wasn't easy to nitpick from such an extensive bento section.

They appear gloriously even at the supermarkets. from biscuits, chocolates, beverages to frozen products... Anpan man & friends are a commonsight.

ta-dah, the final product with cherry tomatoes on.
i so feel like pinching his cheeks~

Sweets for my Sweet

A Valentine's day dinner dedicated to my Mum & Dad.

Mum's a thrifty character. She is one person who would steer clear of festive menus at restaurants because those exorbitant 3-digit figures daunts her so badly.

That's mum we can't change,

But there was something i hoped i could do...

Warm Foccacia Bread
Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & balsamic vinegar

1st Entrée

Pan-Seared Scallops
With peppered tangerines, lemon cream, mesclun salad, French dressing

2nd Entrée

Sea Scallops Fettuccine
Green spinach fettuccine in butter herb sauce, confit scallops, chilli flakes, diced strawberries, balsamic glaze


Pan-Seared Red Snapper
Red Snapper fillet, wild garlic sauce, seasoned vegetable nibbles, roasted garlic baby potatoes

Mustard & Herb Pork Loin Chops
Oven-roasted marinated pork loins, deglazed pan gravy, mesclun salad, roasted garlic baby potatoes


Warm Chocolate Fondant
Molten dark chocolate centre, vanilla icecream, fresh berries

i'm praying, this devised meal would be a dinner to remember..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


"Just to let you know, our food isn't the most photogenic.."
Helena helmed in modesty as my camera made its appearance.

While restauranters today flaunt over their elaborate brain-childs, Helena'a frankess was to applaud. Well, i believe that greater satisfaction would assert if we all began with the lowest expectations. not the other deluding way round.

And brunch began with unique characteristics.

Undeniable were their crockery. Old-fashioned flowery-trimmed and nostalgic rooster imprints- a complete renounce from comtemporary intentions. Bonusing that, the sight of a caucasian enthusiastically dunking his tapas into rooster sauceplates became an oddly entertaining sight. Lol.

carrot & celery juice ($5 each)

Double-cupped fresh fruit juices, catered to our ice-it-when-you-feel-like-it whims. Carrot for bunnies, Celery for me. (the waiter showed disbelief when he heard me say celery. yes c-e-l-e-r-y)

grilled chicken tenderloin sandwich ($9)

Lunch swang in steadily with my grilled chicken tenderloin sandwich. tasty chicken fillets done old-school hawker western style, slabbed between sunflower seed-deficient bread and little mushroom inserts. Felt like Uncle ____'s chicken chop in angmoh roti. (fill in the blank as you please. i remember an uncle joe's!).

smoked salmon side ($3.40)

Sided by indian pappadums and my darling smoked salmon silvers.

I add smoked salmon to anything, and almost everything =D

Epicurious beef burger ($18, +$2 for extra bacon)

Moving on, the high profile Epicurious beef burger turned out to be Burger-in-Black. Now i can confidently second Helena's claim. BIB was, regrettably, colour gone wrong + patties gone charred + reputation-questioned. I didn't taste, but verdict's clear from the beef burger patron.

carrot cake ($5)

Thank goodness there was dessert to cheer about. Epicurious' carrot cake comes light and pleasant, halo-ed with just enough creamcheese frosting for sweetness input. i love seeing the clearly-defined carrot shreds and walnut blackies.
Neat (:

what an inventive recyclable!

it felt fortuitously like home- warm service, down-to-earth fare, and a lovely river view to digest. hmmm.. like breakfast in the garden similar. Ignoring the marring cockroach disturbance my neighbours (on the next table) faced, i think Epicurious is an appropriate non-haughty sunday brunch spot to go.

60 Robertson Quay
#01-02 The Quayside
6734 7720

Monday, February 2, 2009

Riders Cafe

For a quirky horses-in-breakfast-vicinity experience, saddle club is the place to go.

reserved appears on every table!

Looks like animal-watching have made it to the top 10 past-times chart amongst singaporeans and caucasians...
Riders' popularity only goes one-way.

They are still as occupied as ever.

On second visit, getting psyched by horsies again wasn't the most memorable to recall- the service management really has much to work on! They first get your assuring compliance to empty the table within 60 minutes (for the next reservation slot)...then daunt you with a crazy 30 minute food-waiting duration.

And how it irks to hurry through sunday breakfasts!

Camomile Tea ($3)

count on Dome for bestest biscotti nibbles.

Pancakes ($10)

Pancakes are clearly the morning bestsellers. Three griddled rounds puddled with blueberry sauce, fuss-free to easily load you up. Plus three extra points for piping the whipped butter~

pretty Smoked Salmon 'roses' ($4)

Omelette ($11)

I love headstarting my day with an ideal carbo+protein pairing. The omelette encasing my choice of mushrooms & bell peppers, thick brown toasts and chopped fruits would fit the bill if NOT blemished by the oil-overload. Even the 2 piped butters cant save that.

And i quickly vanished off after brekkie to snap the horses outside. at least they move slowly to accomodate to the lazy mornings creed. looks like i've got to find a new spot to laze my sundays away.

Farewell, horsies.

Riders Cafe
51 Fairways Drive
6466 9819
pls make your reservations!


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