A food blog from everywhere!

Singapore: Toast Box at Tiong Bahru Plaza

On the morning of our third day in Singapore, I left my parents to enjoy their Holiday Inn buffet and walked over to the nearby Tiong Bahru Plaza to get brekafast. The restaurants there seem to open pretty early so I had a lot of choice. That morning I settled on Toast Box, a fast-paced style cafe not unsimilar to HK-style cafes.

Kaya jam, a sweet coconut-egg spread, is very popular in Singapore. They sell huge jars of it in supermarkets and one can always find them in breakfast joints. I decided to try some of it that morning and ordered kaya toast with milk tea (which they call “teh.” And coffee is “kopi.” Cool eh)

The milk tea came first, served steaming hot. Sort of strange to be drinking steaming hot beverages in the steaming hot Singapore climate but I guess people get used to it. The milk tea was fine.

Then came the kaya toast! More like a kaya sandwich, with kaya jam and butter nestled between two slices of snowy white bread. I didn’t like the butter. It would have had a purpose had it been salted but it wasn’t, adding just a rich gooey feel to the sandwich. I don’t really like the thought of eating plain butter like that, I guess…makes me feel guilty =P

The kaya was darker than the varieties that I’ve seen in supermarkets. The ones elsewhere are usually smooth and green but the one here was grainy and brown. I guess they have different varieties.

Did I like this grainy brown kaya? It was all right. I couldn’t taste much coconuttiness in it; I just registered the sweetness. Yeah, I just thought it tasted sweet, like sugar sweet…it wasn’t really amazing and didn’t blow my mind in any way.

January 8, 2010 Posted by | Cafes, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | 1 Comment

Singapore: Oio at VivoCity

After lunch I walked off to get frozen yogurt at Oio. Oio was a pretty small, chic-looking store with clean white sterile looking walls very characteristic of yogurt places. Sadly, though, the plethora of flavours that I was expecting weren’t there; they only had original and I think two fruit-based flavours. It seems that most of the Asian cities I’ve been to aren’t yet too keen on frozen yogurt…oh well, they’ll catch up to the West eventually.

I got their brownie parfait, which consisted, from bottom to top layer, of:

  • Hershey’s chocolate sauce
  • Brownie blocks
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Fruit (I chose blueberries)
  • More frozen yogurt
  • Strawberry sauce (I chose this)

Quite frankly, though, I didn’t really like this strange concoction. The yogurt was very refreshing and didn’t have too strong of a tart, yogurt taste, but everything else was a miss. The brownie pieces had obviously been sitting out for too long cause they were extremely dry and unappetizing. The blueberries were unripe as well. So really, the brownie parfait wasn’t worth it at $8. I think it would have been more satisfying (and cheaper) had I just gotten a small cup of frozen yogurt with some random topping.

January 7, 2010 Posted by | Desserts, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment

Singapore: Bosses Restaurant at VivoCity

Omg, more malling! Yeah, we basically just went to malls during our whole time in Singapore. Sorta lame, eh? We should have gone to Malaysia or done something less materialistic. Oh well.

During our second whole day in Singapore, we headed off to VivoCity and had lunch at the Bosses Restaurant. My parents got a laugh out of the restaurant’s Chinese name, which is rather catchy and creative. It translates into mafia.

When we first sat down they gave us this small plate of fried fish skin as an appetizer. I didn’t try any…I’m sort of skimmish around fried stuff.

According to our waitress, this place is known for their dim sum, so we ordered some. Their mushroom dumplings were very good. It had a filling of various mushrooms and daikon, I believe, and a glutinuous rice wrapping. The wrapper wasn’t too thick and doesn’t distract from the filling, which was slightly crunchy and provided nice texture constrast to the gooey chewy wrapper. The whole thing tasted even better dipped in chili sauce.

Our other dim sum order was their custard egg yolk bun, which was AMAZING. The egg yolk custard inside was runny (unlike the thick, mash-like stuff that you get in some places) and had a wonderful sweet-salty taste. The bun encasing the filling was pretty normal but it accompanied the smooth, velvety filling just fine. My only complaint is that they served this way in the beginning of the meal and, not wanting to eat sweet stuffs before the mains, my bun cooled before I got to it. Not the most optimal way to enjoy steamed buns…

The gailan was good. Crunchy and savoury.

Chili crab is one of Singapore’s specialties but I don’t think this was the right place to try it. Firstly, it was expensive, much more so than what can be gotten from a hawker place I’m assuming. And secondly, we didn’t really like it. The sweet and spicy chili sauce was rather overwhelming…we couldn’t taste the actual crab meat, which somewhat defeats the purpose of eating crab. So yeah, not exactly what we expected.

The Bosses Restaurant seems like a pretty upscale place and if I lived in Singapore I would like the place, but it’d have to be an occasional indulgence since its prices are rather high.

January 6, 2010 Posted by | Chinese, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment

Singapore: Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao at Suntec City

Open kitchen

That night we had dinner at Suntec City. In the mall’s basement area around the Fountain are tons of restaurants. Most of them were rather sparsely populated, but Crystal Jade had a sizeable amount of customers so we went in there.

We started with the cucumber salad, which was very simple and refreshing. However, I found the one at the Crystal Jade in Harbourfront in Hong Kong to be better since it was fancier.

The beef and tofu hot pot was pretty good. A bit spicy, with nicely marbled + thinly sliced beef. The other ingredients inside were somewhat uninteresting but not bad.

The panfried pork bun had a flavourful filling but there was no soup! >=(

Yeah, I didn’t eat much that night due to that chocolate block from Canale. My parents had lots of other stuff that I didn’t try, so I’ll just post the images below.

Beijing dumpling

Scallion pancake

January 5, 2010 Posted by | Chinese, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment

Singapore: Canele Patissarie at Raffles City

After lunch on the first full day we trekked over to Raffles City for more window browsing! Yay. In the afternoon I came across Canele Patisserie in the mall’s basement and, after seening the cafe’s extensive display of cool desserts, decided to give it a try.

I took a really long time deciding what to get cause there were a lot of choices, but I finally ended up with this chocolate nougat cake block thing whose proper name I cannot remember. It seemed like a very complex dessert, consisting of multiple layers. Ok, let’s dissect the layers!

    Choc Nougat Cake Block Thingy Layers:

  • surrounding layer: chocolate covering
  • Top layer: chocolate cake
  • Second layer: chocolate ganache
  • Third layer: nougat
  • Bottom layer: chocolate cake

Edible gold thing on top

How was it? My goodness, it was awesome! It was dense and chocolatey and intense in every way. Even though it got a bit too rich by the end, I still finished every crumb. Go out of your way to try it if you get the chance; it’s definitely worth the rather hefty $10 price tag.

January 4, 2010 Posted by | Cafes, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | 1 Comment

Singapore: Roti Prata at Clifford Food Court

During our first full day in Singapore we visited Raffles Place, where I came across Valrhona chocolate at Le Chocolatier for the first time! I’ll make a post about that sometime (hopefully).

But really, I think at this rate, I won’t be finished with the Singapore posts until the end of January. Provided that I even keep up to task, which I’m rather bad at.

Anyways, so, that day we ate lunch at the Clifford Food Court in one of the many malls surrounding Raffles Place. My parents had noodles (which they said were very boring) while I had roti prata from…er…I think it was Mr. Prata or something along those lines. I had specifically the mutton curry prata, which came with two pieces of flaky pastry, a small bowl of regular dipping curry, and a slightly larger bowl of lamb curry with quite a lot of lamb meat inside.

I found their regular curry rather bitter…didn’t really like it.

The roti, however, was nice and flaky, but it was rather a bit thick. It didn’t have much of a buttery flavour either.

The mutton curry was pretty good. The pieces of mutton were very tender and easy to chew with many spices to augment its flavour. However, I felt that it could have been richer; the sauce tasted somewhat watery.

I think all that costed something like $5. Pretty decent deal!

January 3, 2010 Posted by | Indian, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | 1 Comment

Singapore: Breakfast at Holiday Inn Atrium’s Melting Pot Cafe

My parents are pretty Chinese in the fact that they’re always ready to accept a good deal, so going for our hotel’s free breakfast buffet was a no brainer for them. They went there every morning during our stay…

Well, I joined them for the first two days but then got bored with the offerings. There were some local specialties, such as laksa and nasi lemak, but the quality was generally lacking.

The cheese platter had a decent selection of cheeses but their quality was only decent. I tried the goat’s cheese log, which is one of my favourite cheese, and that was just all right. Too bad they ran out of crackers to go with the cheese…I was stuck with dry tomato bread which was pretty lame.

I tried their nasi lemak, which was nice. A decent selection of condiments. I liked the rojak the best. It was crunchy, spicy, and refreshing. The coconut rice was very nice and flavourful, not too overcooked at all.

I also tried the vegetable dhal, but that was disappointing. Very one dimensional in flavour…

Pinkgrave juice

There was a nice selection of juices though: mango, pineapple, apple, orange, and something called pinkgrave. I have no idea what that is but it tasted..er…sweet and fruity. Yes, all fruits taste like that, huh. Well it didn’t really have a distinctive taste I guess is what I’m saying.

Other random shots below:

Breads and cereals

Plate of boring Western breakfast foods

Another section of the buffet

Nasi lemak w/ condiments

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Buffets, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment

Azabu Sabo Hokkaido Ice Cream at Central

After our Japanese meal, we wandered around the area and came across a Japanese Ice Cream parlour outside of Central. So to continue with the Japanese theme of the night, I went and got ice cream.

Me, I got the black sesame. The flavour was there, and it was better than most sesame ice creams that I’ve had, but the creaminess was lacking. There was also this slight bitterness to it. I guess I’m still stuck searching for a decent black sesame ice cream…hey, maybe I should make my own! I’ll see.

My dad got the caramel with sea salt, which was AWESOME. I have to say, though, that the flavours here were very subtle. The caramel was present in the sweetness of the ice cream, but the sea salt…harder to identify. Still, though, the awesome creaminess of the scoop made up for its misses. It was milky + creamy + sweet…all that ice cream should be.

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Singapore, Travels | 1 Comment