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Archive for the ‘Brunch’ Category

Loysel’s Toy

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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!

Big L Breakfast

Big L Breakfast

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

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.

Loysel’s Toy
66 Kampong Bugis

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Written by foodphd

December 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Penny University

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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.

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon

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.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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.

Penny University
402 East Coast Road

Written by foodphd

November 11, 2013 at 8:25 pm

The Providore

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Lobster Mac & Cheese

Lobster Mac & Cheese

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.

The Providore
#02-05, Mandarin Gallery
333A Orchard Road

Written by foodphd

November 9, 2013 at 1:18 am

Posted in American, Brunch

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Tim Ho Wan 添好運

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Widely touted as Hong Kong’s most famous dim sum, Tim Ho Wan has never failed to draw long crowds outside their 2 branches since the first outlet opening in March 2013 and its second outlet in September 2013. We are definitely attracted to the Michelin-backed good food, but with mixed reviews about the Singapore outlets not matching up to the Hong Kong’s standards, we stopped short of joining the horrendously long queues during the 1st couple of months of opening. And another way to escape the long queues is to visit the 2nd, off-town outlet outside of peak lunch and dinner times.

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan

The menu isn’t very extensive and was presented simply on a single page. There aren’t many fanciful offerings, most of them were traditional dim sum fare.

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 酥皮焗叉烧包

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 酥皮焗叉烧包

As we observed trays and trays of freshly baked BBQ pork buns being dished out from the ovens and almost every table having at least 1 serving of this, there was no doubt that the most popular dish was the Baked Bun with BBQ Pork 酥皮焗叉烧包 ($4.50 for 3). The buns were unique, and unlike any served in other dim sum restaurants. The crust was crumbly with a tinge of sweetness. The aroma of the freshly baked crumbly crust was irresistible. It wasn’t overly thick and doughy. The inner fillings of the BBQ pork wasn’t as likeable as the outer crust. The quantity of fillings wasn’t to our expectations. It was a bit too sweet as well. Texture wise, the proportion of meat seemed to be lacking, and there just wasn’t enough bite and meaty tenderness to it.

Pan Fried Carrot Cake 香煎萝卜糕

Pan Fried Carrot Cake 香煎萝卜糕

Another one of Tim Ho Wan’s Big 4 Heavenly Kings is the Pan Fried Carrot Cake 香煎萝卜糕 ($4.50 for 3). The searing on the carrot cake was adequately done – just enough to give it that extra crisp and charred flavours, without being overly burnt. The carrot cake seemed pretty soft though, as it was on the verge of disintegrating just be the mere pick up using chopsticks. And there wasn’t any dried shrimps or Chinese sausages embedded in the carrot cake – that was pretty disappointing as it made the carrot cake seemed one-dimensional and boring.

Vermicelli Roll with Pig's Liver 黄沙猪润肠

Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver 黄沙猪润肠

One of the more unique items was the Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver 黄沙猪润肠 ($5.50), since in Singapore, pig’s liver is not typically found in vermicelli rolls. The vermicelli roll was thin, semi-translucent, smooth and when immersed in the sauce, it was very fragrant and savoury. The fillings of pig’s liver wasn’t really our favourite, mainly due to the fact that we aren’t fans of pig’s livers to start off with. It had a queer texture and the characteristic taste of pig’s liver just didn’t go well with us.

Steam Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp 鲜虾菠菜饺

Steam Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp 鲜虾菠菜饺

The Steam Spinach Dumpling with Shrimp 鲜虾菠菜饺 ($3.80 for 3) was pretty mediocre. The proportion of spinach was overwhelming and completely masked out any taste of prawns. It was just too much spinach and every mouth was just spinach leaves and stalks, which was just not appetizing given that the spinach was under-flavoured and the prawns were just non-existent.

Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp 美味燜鲜竹卷

Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp 美味燜鲜竹卷

The Beancurd Skin Roll with Pork and Shrimp 美味燜鲜竹卷 ($4 for 3) was a simple and comforting dish. The sauce was very thick and savoury. There was a good balance of pork and shrimp, with neither outshining the other. Fresh crunchy prawns with the sweet minced pork, tied together with a thin layer of beancurd skin, and drenched in a viscous thick sauce – nicely done.

Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake 杞子桂花糕

Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake 杞子桂花糕

The meal ended on a perfect note with a sweet and refreshing Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake 杞子桂花糕 ($3.50 for 3). The jelly wasn’t too soft, was still bouncy and chewy. The wolfberries were almost like raisins, they added burst of sweetness to the jelly. The osmanthus fragrance and flavour formed the backdrop of this jelly. This cold dessert drew a perfect closure to an otherwise porky dim sum feast.

Tim Ho Wan
#02-02, ERA Centre Toa Payoh
450 Toa Payoh Lorong 6

Written by foodphd

October 24, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Posted in Brunch, Chinese, High-tea

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Toby’s Estate

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Brunch at Toby’s Estate!

Toby's Estate

Toby’s Estate

Situated amongst the private condos at Roberston quay is Toby’s Estate – a name synonymous with good coffee and all-day-breakfast.

Toby's Breakfast

Toby’s Breakfast

We went for the crowd favourite’s Toby’s Breakfast ($18) – bard laid eggs (poached), espresso maple bacon, roasted cherry tomatoes, sauteed mixed mushrooms, brioche toast and classic hollandaise sauce (+$2). It was a pretty sight – a hearty breakfast full of colours and flavours. The espresso maple bacon was pretty unique – on 1st bite, the saltiness was pretty mild but there was a strong charred fragrance. With each gradual chew, the saltiness started to intensify. Complementing the bacon and mushrooms together with the bread  significantly reduced the saltiness. The hollandaise sauce was smooth, creamy and buttery, but not overly rich. The poached eggs were perhaps the most disappointing element of the breakfast. It was overcooked and the egg yolk had already tended towards a slightly solid curd, rather than it being an oozy liquid. And sadly, the lettuce which was placed beneath all the elements had turned into a soggy mess after absorbed all the oil from the bacon and mushrooms.

On the whole, it was still a delightful fulfilling breakfast set from Toby’s Estate.

Toby’s Estate
#01-03/04, 8 Rodyk Street

Written by foodphd

September 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Posted in American, Brunch, High-tea

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Strangers’ Reunion

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Baked Eggs in Shakshuka

Baked Eggs in Shakshuka

Brunch session at Strangers’ Reunion saw us trying the Baked Eggs in Shakshuka ($17). Shakshuka is a Tunisian/Moroccan dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, and various spices. This dish was more soupy than we thought, as we had expected a thicker and more gooey gravy. The middle-easten origins were quite evident as the shakshuka was accentuated with lots of spices, with the sour tomato-based sauce forming the backdrop. The eggs were pretty raw – on the surface, the egg white seemed cooked, but within the soup, the egg white were still in its original raw colourless form. It seemed like the egg was only cracked and added onto the shakshuka after the dish was removed from the oven. Still, the soupy shakshuka did make an interesting middle-eastern flavoured dip for the accompanying bread.

Matcha Azuki

Matcha Azuki

Be it brunch, lunch or dinner, we can never escape the temptations of having a cake to end our meal. The Matcha Azuki ($7.50) wasn’t too sweet though, as it exhibited the characteristic bitter green tea flavours. This cake consisted of alternating layers of matcha sponge and matcha cream. It was rather light, typical of a Japanese-inspired cake. The red beans embedded in the matcha cream provided that slight additional crunch and sweetness to the cake. Overall, there wasn’t much surprises to the cake – a straightforward matcha cake, everything that you can expect.

Strangers’ Reunion
33/35/37 Kampong Bahru Road

Written by foodphd

September 27, 2013 at 3:07 pm