Friday, January 30, 2009

Sweet Indulgence: Slice of Bittersweet

Pink, sweet, girly. Charming things.

Sweet Indulgence is all about title-appeal. To begin, a name that sounds good enough to bite. To end, glamoury descriptions and discerning prices which may not permanently please.

i admit my mixed feelings about this place.

A close friend's insistence set me on a swift street-navigating around Tanjong Pagar. We arrived, number ones. With proud illusions of booking the entire small-scale restaurant for at least the first half an hour.

Complimentary Foccacia

And the dinner began well. Blocks of foccacia bread, warm and soft like how i would imagine them to be. The complimentary pizza was all thats hampering me from accepting a second helping.

Seafood Platter ($18.80)

The awesomeness continued. we were both taken in by the seafood platter's array of fresh variety sauteed in its sweetish white wine stock. liked the crystal prawns, albeit tiny, but felt the scallop flesh was way too XXS in size.

Chicken & Mushroom Pizza
($17.80, complimentary w every 2 main courses ordered)

And more.

I was still slurping the platter's wine reduction when my friend's sudden "OMG" grabbed my attention.... "the pizza is sooo good".

Nods my head in agreement. Sweet Indulgence's chicken and mushroom pizza honestly sat chunks of chicken, juicy white button mushrooms, onions, roasted green peppers & fresh cheese on a pizza base so optimally rolled out. There's this charred fragrance about its crust that gets me going.

takeaway-whatever's-left-behind policy holds.

Baked Salmon Fillet ($24.80)

One step back. the baked salmon fillet was pan-seared, and almost dried up of the herb butter sauce at consumption midpoint.

Chilean Black Cod ($32.80)

Two steps back. heavily flouring the chilean black cod and coating it with a gimmicky homemade lobster jus performs no justice to the prestigious specie, and its extortionate pricetag. The nuttily-dressed salad was more brilliant than that.

Warm Chocolate Lava Indulgence ($10.80)

Warm Chocolate Lava Indulgence. The chocoholics wouldn't miss out on this people-see-people-like hotshot. decent rendition, minus the burnt base, for any trace of molten dark cocoa lava and a non-magnolia/marigold/kings scoop of vanilla darling seals the lips.

I love stuffs pink, sweet & girly.
But a pity, the sweets don't tie with full agreement.
PS. envying their 19-year-old dessert chef!
Sweet Indulgence
2 Stanley Street
6223 7707

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

those colorful dotties...


this ain't a cake to send me into heavenly flutters like canele's. this ain't a cake that would trigger my flow of praises. but this cake called out to me. this cake swings me back to childhood.

anything with r.a.i.n.b.o.w c.h.i.p.s is yes!

Bento Parade: One to Seven!

Bentō (弁当 or べんとう) is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables as a side dish. Containers range from disposable mass produced to hand crafted lacquerware. Although bento is readily available in many places throughout Japan, including convenience stores, bento shops (弁当屋, bentō-ya), train stations and department stores, it is still common for Japanese homemakers to spend considerable time and energy producing an appealing boxed lunch.


Trust the japanese for such cheeks-pinching, adorable innovations.
And i salute these japanese women.
Months ago i found myself hooked to admiring photos of the painstakingly-prepared bentos online, and days later, the urge for creation struck.

This sudden frenzy invovled many victims.

Me, a victim of inadequate sleep. For fresh bentos, mornings make the best workshifts. Planning and preparing's a chore, waking up at unearthly hours to assemble the components took commitment.

The food i worked on, poor things. Being subjected to slitting, slicing, cutting, disfiguring and all sorts of unsightly actions.. it's obstrusive food cruelty. Well at least the final transformations display a beautiful death (:

Appointed kiddy-bento consumers, an undecided blessing or curse. Belt-tightening excuses may sound feasible but the dwelling attentions from colleagues and superiors?
it really depends.
(the above applies to my dearest daddy and sister.)

A Rabbit's Tale
rabbit onigiri stuffed with cooked salmon flakes, cocktail sausage 'carrots', ham corn & cucumber salad, (store-bought) tamagoyaki, macadamia brownie nibble.

i named all my bento-babies!

One of the least complicated brain-child (before all the zany ideas sprung to mind) is the debut, featuring miss bunnie-innocent with an unpolished crossed lips because strips were the easiest way out.

Panda Meets Octie
riceball stuffed with corn kernels, takoyaki balls, sausage "octopus", tako sashimi w bonito flakes, carrot stars, chocolate chip cookies, mayo & sauce.
This is my personal favourite (: Huge contentment gained from the identifiable resemblence of my riceball with china's symbolic animal mascot.
it's a xiong mao!

Sunshine Hokkaido
yakisoba, omelette flower, teriyaki-glazed scallops, sushi rice cup, kanisticks, quail egg, chocolate almond cookie

The scallops became the highlight of this double-carb lunch box.

Sandwich Savvy
disney ham & cheese sandwiches, duo-tone peanut butter+nutella & tuna myo sandwich squares, cheesy fish fingers, tartar sauce dip, watermelon cubes

Bentos need not mean rice or mee. it could be handy sandwiches in a two-tiered container, centered with your favourite fillings, ready-to-grab and ready-to-eat! And a great way to put my disney cookie cutters to use.

Something Fishy
omelette fried rice w shrimps, sesame-seasoned spinach, breaded fish flip-flops, tar tar sauce dip, strawberry pucca biscuits.
A random thought of a fishie-themed lunch, starring the weirdest creation out of omu-rice. fishes are love! <3
salmon! cod! snapper!....
Mousey Trap
mouse riceball w flaked salmon fillings, strawberry riceball, shrimp cutlets, seafood cake, fancy fishcake, quail eggs, wakame salad, cheese cube, fancy gems
Lively Marine
kani mentaiko spaghettini in wafu sauce, sausage octopus, simmered lotus roots, shiitake mushroom, homemade tamagoyaki, shrimp cutlets, fancy gems

Alas, a lunch pumped in with more sophistication. More fine-tuning trials needed after this virgin attempt of tamago-yaki making! i need master assistance, lol.

Food with faces...
full of smile-incurring self satisfaction.
i enjoy it!
(more to come...)

La Nonna: Granny Italian

Italian for 'grandmother'.

La Nonna behaves with adherence to its name, nothing short of that respected female figurehead's traits. Soft warm ambience, earthy wood interiors, well-mannered service, heartwarming fare... just like how grandma would conduct it.

And also locate it. deep within the Namly suburbs.

Drive/ have a driver ir you're not a Sixth Avenue frequent.

piping hot complimentary bread

The kickstart didn't hold back.

A bread basket living off the oven's warmth already pushed my expectations high. Neither one of that fresh white roll or pizza-crust triangles disappointed.

The next wave grabbed my approval by storm. Spaghetti Pasta with Mixed Seafood in Tomato Sauce ($18) captured to aldente-perfection, beautifully dressed up in a thick, untainted red tomato coat. Plus a bunch of seafood freshies, of course.

I couldn't stop twirling and twirling and savouring its goodness.

No complaints about the Linguine Pasta served with Clams in Squid Ink Sauce ($16) as well. Black Vongole. Nothing could screw up with trusty squid ink and La Nonna's team of chefs.

Tiramisu ($10)

Truly satisfied with the mains, desserts ripped half my smile away.

No, it wasn't the traditional venetian-styled Tiramisu, or the fact that my preferred choice of Panna Cotta ran out for the night. It was how the Mele grappled with my self-reluctance to declare the meal's bad ending.

Mele- warm apple tart with vanilla icecream ($10)

Dry, droning and (the centre pastry custard) honestly unbearable. The Apple Tart was not sleep-inducing, it triggered me into active protest and feedback. Thank goodness the scoop of lemon-jazzed vanilla icecream was present to comfort my disappointment. A teeny-weeny bit.

They've passed two years in business. To think i was clueless about this Senso-owned italian gem before a magazine article revelated its existence.

Now i know!

And i present my new find with pride and joy (:

La Nonna

76 Namly Place

6762 1587

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


These guys are the prowess in froyo-making.

Not only securing a bustling spot in Raffles City but owning a genius machine that churns out wonder. And it grows on me.
grow, growing, grown.

mixed & original, fave fruits & chopped almond toppings

Its hard to make out the two flavours- Original or YoguBliss (pomegranate & dragonfruit), both like taste-identical twins. But a combination paints a prettier picture. Huge (i mean it) cups of lavishly fluffed, rich milk swirls with the most exclusive taste... almost like guilt-exempted icecream. Plus, blueberries and chopped roasted almond nuts as sugar-low distractions.


And the fountain as companion.
I make it a point to get my froyo cuppa, always.
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-55 Raffles City Shopping Centre

Monday, January 26, 2009

CNY: Bake to Aid Sudan!

I named it Project Food for Thought.

pineapple tarts

Not that i had the excess brain juices to whip up a cheesy name, or found some desperate way to tide over recession fears. But i began to charge for my yearly festive bakes... for a thought-invigorating purpose.

Sudan's starving in the grip of famine.

Nothing crumples my heart as much as unveiling a mail from the World Children's Fund. Terrible images of skeletal malnutritioned children suffering from a famine crisis in Darfur, Sudan. A letter sincerely appealing for donations to fund the airlifting of food and supplies over.

An empty return envelope.

Tens of thousands of children are at risk, plenty who are abandoned, distressed, endangered, exploited, homeless, hungry, sick or suffering. They need to be rescued. And i wanted to play my part.

This year i have initially planned to do four items- pineapple tarts, kueh bangkit, almond crisps & cashew sugi cookies. Unfortunately due to time constraints, two of them have to be scraped. That was huge regret on my part.

kueh bangkit

That left me with just Pineapple Tarts and Kueh Bangkits to chalk up the amount from. I packed all i could into handy square containers, going for $12 each. Though the final production was minuscule in quantity, i do believe a little goes a long way.

heart-shaped pineapple tarts, $12 for 18 pieces.

Why Food for Thought?

I wanted every piece to remind us of how fortunate we are in terms of food accessibilty, and realise the many still suffering from global disparity. Compared to the children in Sudan and other third-world countries, we are all living in luxury. And this blessed privilege should never be taken for granted.

Share it.
a little goes a long way.

The World Children's Fund, a donor funded organisation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Straits Cafe @ Rendezvous

Now i know, Rendezvous isn't just about Restaurant Hock Lock Kee (the nasi padang since dad's childhood days) anymore. The 4-month-old Straits Cafe @ Rendezvous reopens like a new-born after an intensive refurbishment project of the hotel.
... where a food tasting session took place.
with compliments.

Well, i thought the traditional-turned-modern transformation was worth the investment. The play of colours worked, and the apt lightings wasn't stripping of comfort or spaciousness.

Toss to the new year. An opening Prosperity Yusheng adorned with chains of auspicious lines to feel hopeful about. Though the dry shreds failed to shine, i found comfort in that luscious salmon morsels and crispy golden crackers pairing.

An extravagant showdown. The Poon Choi ($198 for 5 persons) featured bountiful layers of abalone, shark's fin, scallops, prawns, sea cucumber.... luxurious delicacies vying for every inch of attention. 15 ingredients, 6-hour long immersion, tagged with the chef's efforts and a hefty pricetag. Just a pity blemished by unjust flavour.

Fanciful salads & chilled seafood greeted at the buffet line, adjuncted by a range of condiments and sauces. The DIY Yusheng bar also provided free-flow of supplies for self-assembly. Comes in handy for Lo-Hei addicts who can't get enough of that festive staple.

A couple of them scored. The chicken salad and smoked salmon were adequately seasoned; and i found total delight in those succulently plump and saucey japanese baby octopuses.

Steamed beancurd with prawn mousse in lobster butter sauce was eye-littingly novel to see, yet falling into the love-it-or-hate-it category. Think chilli-less otah paste dressed up in a western suit.

The mediocre chilled somen with unagi and fishy-as-ever tuna maguro sashimi may be worth skipping, but you wouldn't want to miss their salmon sashimi. Voluptuously silky and fatty... it oohs me.

Over to the dessert section, an equal mix of western and asian slices stood. My personal advice: hit the chocolate walnut brownie, tiramisu icecream, then proceed on to the asian players like pandan kaya fudge cake, durian puffs.. or the notably-praised durian penyet.
Steer clear from the 'blueberry cheesecake', big time.
Special thanks to Christina, the marketing communications manager, for her kind hospitality throughout the meal.
Thanks for making my first food-tasting session possible.
Chinese New Year Festive Buffet (28 Jan-9 Feb)
Lunch $38 (adult), $23 (child)
Dinner $48 (adult), $29 (child)
Chinese New Year High Tea (31 Jan, 1.7.8 Feb)
Adult $35, Child $21
Straits Cafe @ Rendezvous
Rendezvous Hotel Lobby Level
9 Bras Basah Road


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