Situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city and near the greenery and river is Loysel’s Toy. It is near the city centre but is at such an obscure location that there is almost no chance of just “happening to chance upon it while out shopping”. And that makes it an ideal place for brunch!
The Big L Breakfast ($15) consisted of toast, chicken sausage, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, bacon, salad and poached eggs. One word could described the Big L Breakfast – bland. The chicken sausage and mushrooms were bland, under-seasoned and simply lacking in any taste. No doubt the bacon was salty, it was lacking in any fragrance. The mushrooms were dry. The entire dish was lacking some kind of sauce to tie it all together. The accompanying bread lacked the aroma and crunch of toast. On the whole, a rather disappointing breakfast.
The Hot Chocolate was decent, though not spectacular. It was like a good cup of warm, soothing milo and perhaps the most tasty item in our brunch.
66 Kampong Bugis
Arguably the most well-known cheese fondue specialty restaurant in Singapore is La Fondue. It is perhaps the 1st restaurant that comes to mind when we talk about cheese fondue in Singapore. Hence, it was quite surprising to find that we were the only customers during the entire lunch service. It just appeared like we had reserved the entire restaurant.
With a wide range of various cheese fondues, we went for the conservative option of the Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue – gruyere, emmentaler swiss cheese, garlic, white wine & kirshwasser, served with sausages, ham, seasonal vegetables and bread. If you are a cheese lover, you would definitely love this. Rich, cheesy, thick, decadent and viscous – we simply adore dipping the accompaniments into the warm bubbling cheese and seeing the strands of cheese twine around our food and forks. You could taste the exquisiteness of the cheese fondue. It wasn’t cheap mediocre cheese. But one of standard quality which was so comforting. Every mouth was full of cheesy goodness.
Dempsey Hill Green
25 Dempsey Road.
In most ice cream shops, we get to see an array of ice cream flavours at the display counter. We can even request to taste some of the flavours. So based on sight and taste, customers get to choose which flavour they would like to purchase. But at 320° Below Nitro Cream Cafe, there isn’t such a privilege as the ice cream is made on the spot! And that happens within 10 minutes. Freshly made ice cream right in front of eyes. Magic? Nope – just the wonders of liquid nitrogen!
Well, there aren’t any physical samples for us to choose our flavours from, customers just have to choose their flavours from a large blackboard.
Regular flavours ($4.80): banana, black currant, lemon, lime, lychee, pineapple, pink grapefruit, raspberry, summer fruit, strawberry, apple cinnamon, coffee, earl grey, ginger honey, green tea, horlicks, peanut butter, salted caramel, sweet potato, toffee vanilla, milk chocolate.
Premium flavours ($5.20): black sesame, chendol, dark chocolate, thai coconut, passion fruit.
Special flavours ($5.60): christmas horlicks, new york cheese, tim tam toh.
Supreme flavours ($6.00): black forest, tiramisu, baileys coffee, baileys chocolate, kahlua coffee, lychee martini, rum and raisins.
Once the flavour has been decided, the staff would concoct a liquid mixture and into the food mixer it goes.
Here comes the secret magical ingredient – liquid nitrogen! Since liquid nitrogen boils at negative 196°C, the liquid mixture immediately freezes into ice cream upon contact with the super cold nitrogen. And of course, the liquid nitrogen vapourizes into the surrounding air, leaving behind the freshly made ice cream.
We tried one of the special flavours – tim tam toh, which is essentially a vanilla based ice cream with crumbled chunks of the popular tim tam snack. We couldn’t really differentiate this liquid nitrogen made ice cream from the typical ice cream. It was a decent ice cream, but nothing too fantastic.
We took a step further and decided to customize our ice cream this time. We chose 2 flavours – peanut butter and new york cheesecake, and the staff gladly concocted this mixture for us. The ice cream turned out to be more pleasing that the 1st. At 1st bite, we immediately detected the strong saltiness of the peanut butter and as the ice cream slowly melted in out mouths, the characteristic sourness of the cheesecake emerged.
Interesting concept and a great way to see ice cream made right in front of our eyes.
320° Below Nitro Cream Cafe
#01-01, 33 Mackenzie Road
One of the more popular brunch places in the East has got to be Penny University. It was a pretty small cafe though, which probably explained for the long waiting list.
For $12, the Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon was definitely worth every penny! There was a decent serving of poached eggs and smoked salmon, atop the sourdough toasts. The homemade hollandaise sauce was smooth, rich and slightly buttery. The poached eggs were bit undercooked though, with the egg whites a tad too raw. The smoked salmon wasn’t too salty. The thin slices easily disintegrated in our mouths. The sourdough toasts were fluffy, not too starchy or heavy. Due to the thin layer of jam, it was more towards being sweet than sour.
The Flourless Chocolate Cake ($8.50) was very dense and packed full of chocolately goodness. The crust was very crumbly and generously dusted and covered with cocoa powder. The chocolate cake was akin to a slab of chocolate fudge. Decadent, smooth and bitter sweet chocolate to satisfy the chocoholics in us.
402 East Coast Road
1st look at The Providore’s Lobster Mac & Cheese ($22.50) and we immediately knew that it would not be up to our expectations. There was just a serious lack of cheese in the dish. And true enough, The Providore’s version of the American comfort food was on the creamy side and seriously lacked a good punch of cheesiness. The sauce was also too liquid-like. It would have been better if the sauce was thicker and more viscous, with the cheese binding the macaroni pieces together. In this case, it seemed like the macaroni was just mixed into the cream sauce. Macaroni wise, it was cooked al-dente. The best part of the dish were the generous chunks of lobster – fresh, slightly sweet, with a chewy texture.
#02-05, Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road
Everton Park has slowly evolved into a mini patisserie and coffee neighbourhood, with Audacious Cakery joining its community.
The Matcha Cupcake ($3.50) was possibly one of the best cupcakes we have tried. The Matcha Italian meringue buttercream wasn’t overly sweet or oily. It had a smooth and creamy texture, while exuding a rich green tea taste. This was supported by a strong, full-bodied and moist green tea cake. Every mouth was dense and rich matcha goodness. A simple cupcake at its best.
The Foret Noir ($9.80) paled in comparison as it lacked a strong chocolately richness. We also didn’t quite like the gelatine-like rubbery texture of the outer coating. The cherries were probably the star of the cake – plump juicy cherries, which had been thoroughly soaked in Kirsh, exploded with flavours when we bit into them. Other than that, the Foret Noir seemed rather over-rated.
#01-61, Blk 2 Everton Park