Tastebuds

A food blog from everywhere!

Singapore: Copthorne King’s Princess Terrace Cafe

403 Havelock Road

On Christmas Day (2009! Super-late post, sorry)¬†we had dinner at the Princess Terrace Cafe at Copthorne King’s hotel. Lots of sources seem to point out this restaurant as one of the more reliable ones for local cuisine, so we decided to give it a try.

Rojak: I was too lazy to mix this all up, so I just topped some miscellaneous fruits with the sweet + spicy rojak sauce. This was my first time trying this dish so I don’t have anything to compare it to. Well, the sauce was pretty tangy and accompanied the fresh fruits/veggies quite well. One of the veggies/fruits, however, had that raw taste that I find really off-putting.

Random cube of chicken salad chicken: Very lame. No idea why I bothered trying this.

Beef stew: I ate this off of my dad’s dish. The beef was pretty tender but didn’t have very complex flavours. It was one of the three Western Christmas dishes on offer so I’m guessing this wasn’t one of the restaurant’s specialties.

Turmeric glutinous rice: Great chewy texture but somewhat lacking in flavour. Because glutinous rice isn’t the type of grain that one eats w/ accompaniments due to its density, this dish’s subtle tastes didn’t quite work. The little peppercorns strewn throughout did add an extra kick, though.

Curry chicken: I found this rather bland because the large piece of chicken that I got had yet to soak up the curry’s flavours. Also, sadly, as with most chicken in Singapore, the chicken used wasn’t free-range and alas had that boring, floury texture.

Pig trotters stew: Decent, but the flavours weren’t complex enough. Adding some star anise in there would have been nice.

French green beans: Nothing special, just needed some veggies.

Chicken satay: Awesomely juicy satay with an sweet-spicy peanut sauce. Now, I know that raw cucumbers and onions are often served as accompaniments w/ satay but how exactly does one eat them correctly? W/ the meat, or separately? Oh, and apologies for the crappy photo…

Pho-like soup noodles: I forget the actual name of this dish, but it was prepared fresh. Awesome flavourful soup. Tasted like pho with a non-beef soup base.

Otak-otak: Again, I’ve never had otak-otak before so I can’t make comparisons. Otak-otak is apparently fish paste seasoned w/ spices and grilled in banana leaves. The version that I had here was very soft and salty. Creamy, but too salty.

Bak choy: Found this too oily.

Herbed rice: Lemony + crunchy w/ the herbs.

Popiah: The first time I tried popiah and I loved it! Such complexity in flavours and textures: sweet + spicy from the sauce, the savouriness from the stuffing, and the crunchiness from the bean sprouts, the chewiness of the wrapper, and the slight gooey-ness of the other vegetable stuffing that I was unable to identify. I’ll be trying to recreate this at home sometime.

Bean sprouts + veggies w/ sweet sauce: Nice sauce.

Vermicelli salad: I found the noodles too mushy.

Marinated veggies: Standard.

Pig stomach soup: VERY good broth. The offals were nice and creamy, too.

Chili clams: Spicy + slightly sweet. Wow, lots of spicy + sweet stuff around here.

Peanut pancake: Made fresh, so that was a plus. The pancake part was nice and crispy but I found the filling rather too wet from the steaming. Peanuts should be crunchy!

Pancake w/ banana sauce: The pancake had large holes and tasted a little yeasty, which was fine with me. The banana sauce was neither too sweet nor mind-blowing. Just all right. I think when it comes to creative dishes or dishes that require considerable effort to prepare, complexity of flavours is a must in order to achieve an optimal product.

Desserts: Sooo many, all with slight variations in taste. It seemed, however, that coconut was present in all of them.

Shaved ice w/ toppings: I didn’t like the watered down condensed milk sauce that was basically tasteless. The green jelly stuff was pretty tasteless too. The creamed corn was VERY weird…tasted like it belonged in soup, not a dessert. The only part that I liked was the red beans, which were really only mediocre at best. It was fun making the dessert but not that fun eating it.

Oh my goodness, such a long meal! It was fun, though; buffets are nice ocassional treats. The offering at Princess Terrace isn’t large, but the quality makes up for it. I have to say that this restaurant definitely stands as one of the better buffet places that I’ve tried.

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August 23, 2010 Posted by | Buffets, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment

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

Singapore: Tampopo at Liang Court

I heard that Singaporeans really know their Japanese food, so we headed to a random Japanese restaurant called Tampopo that seemed quite promising judging from its moderate number of customers.

The restaurant had nice decor and seemed like very much a family place. The staff was pretty friendly and the food came out fast.

Wow, it looks like my writing has deteriorated substantially since school ended. Argh.

Anyways, onto the food: I ordered the sukiyaki rice set, which came with watermelon slices and miso soup (which was pretty mediocre). The sukiyaki rice consisted of rice with stir-fried vegetables, pork, and glass noodles on top. It seemed like the sort of dish that I’d enjoy, with its simplicity and variety, but frankly put, it was really boring. There were no stand-out flavours at all…very bland. The menu pic showed at least 4 different kinds of veggies but the actual thing had only two. Deceptive!

Because my order was so bland, I jettisoned it and usurped my dad’s beef curry with rice. This concoction of cheese layered upon beef curry layered upon rice was served in a stone pot with a raw egg on top. It was an awesome, intense mix. The curry was very rich and not too sweet as Japanese curries are often prone to be. The presence of cheese on top added even more to the complexity of flavours without being overwhelming. The beef was nice and tender and absorbed all the flavours well. My only complaint was that the rice was somewhat mushy, but I guess that was to be expected w/ all the curry sauce.


Look at that cheese!

Oh, but then after our visit I read some reviews of this place and found out that Tampopo specializes in ramen. Doh.

December 31, 2009 Posted by | Japanese, Restaurants, Singapore, Travels | Leave a comment