Bakerzin- not a dessert post

Who says this place is just great at desserts? Our visit last night had proven that the claim isn't quite right. A and I wanted something quick before we met with his cousin that night. Every other places have people queuing up infront of the entrances, leaving us to choices of snacks or coffee shops. We've seen some changes in Bakerzin's menu and decided to give it a try.

A picked his favourite: Braised Pork Belly.  Aren't the addition of flavoured hard boiled eggs just cute? Best of all is the sauce; sweet, not too runny nor jelly-like, absorbed well by the tender pork. Nevertheless, according to A, he had a better version in his previous visit.

The long, extended pasta menu has drawn up my curiosity. Whether pastas are their specialties, I was not sure when I chose that seafood marinara. The taste was, surprisingly good. They were mixing white wine with the tomato based sauce and gave some pretty generous portion of seafoods.

I didn't expected at all that the kitchen could do some other cooking besides baking. I mean, their baked stuffs are just fabulous, but this mains gave them another applause. I've seen other tables having the pizza flakes, which I ought to try next time, which is coming soon.

290 Orchard Road
#02-09 The Paragon
Tel: +65 6333 6647

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar

After the concert ended, we decided to have some drinks before we headed home. I've been wanted to try Max Brenner's famous chocolate creations, so off we went to his cafe. It was kind of late, but still the very small group of staffs were kept busy by the crowds. We had to wait for around 10 mins to be allowed to sit at one of the remaining empty tables. The menu was equally disappointing, lots of items were not available anymore so we were left with less choices.

I had to pick the one with the least milk products in it, as I've just discovered that I'm lactose intolerant (unlucky me). I didn't really take notes of the names, I think I was having the Belgian dark chocolate drink. It was in between dark chocolate fondue and hot chocolate milk, with a little foam on top. Warm and soothing, suits well with this rainy season.

T decided to be more adventurous. She had the Mexican hot chocolate, a blend of chocolate, cinnamon and, wait for it..chilies. The first taste was a little tickling in the tongue and hot at the throat. I found it very unique, the taste was stronger than the chili chocolate bar I had before. Halfway through it, T had a difficulty in gulping the rest down. She said the spices gave an uneasy feelings to the stomach, a common case if you're not familiar with the combination of cocoa and spices.

We ordered some churros from their special threats promotion to be dipped in our chocolates. Spanish (or is it Mexican too?) style! The churros are great here, not too much sugar coatings, crispy on the outside but soft inside. They absorbed liquids well; we were having good dunks and bites (hehe).

On top of everything, we really enjoy the mugs. They are cleverly designed for us to comfortably hold our drinks, really something that we enjoy. Besides chocolate drinks, there are other sweets made from chocolates too: crepes, pancakes, cakes, ice creams, and so on. But as I said before, lots of them were not available anymore.We'll try our luck another day.

Max Brenner
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-06/08 Esplanade Mall
Singapore 039802
Tel: 6235 9556

Al Dente Trattoria

Today Maxim is giving his fans in Singapore a chance to hear him in Esplanade concert hall. It was a two-day concert but I thought the first day is better as the playing is fresh. It was just an excuse, I know, cus he played perfectly each time. It was starting around 8 so we were having some dinner before that. There are not much that you could choose in Esplanade, but at least some of them are really decent.

We settled for Italians at Al Dente Trattoria. A month before Christmas, the decor was holiday-ish already. It was raining a little, so we sat indoor at the lower floor. The service was very curtious and attentive, reminded that this is a pretty fine restaurant. We shared some bruschettas (or at least I thought there would be some of them), which came in a single toasted foccacia square, topped with some tomatoes, arugula and pesto. I love the combination of arugula and pesto but I think they could do more with the presentation. Everything scattered as we tried to cut it and the pesto weren't distributed evenly.

For the mains, we all had the pastas. A friend of mine had this Wagyu Bolognese Parpadelle. The look was very tempting and he said it was good too. Using wagyu as a substitute for the usual ground beef is genious, I think, as it will bring more flavour to the dish. As the name promised us, the pasta is cooked al dente; meaning it's not too soft nor hard. In other words, cooked til perfection.

The Aglio Olio Linguini appeared differently from what we normally had. It has some kind of watery sauce despite the usual dry combination of chili, garlic and oil. The taste, however was undeniably delicious. Though it was weird to be having it wet, the sauce actually brought an additional goodness to it. The buttery flavor mended well with the garlic and chili, making the dish more aromatic and tasty.

The last dish on the table was Penne Arrabbiata, which is what I was having. It sounds simple: penne and tomato sauces, but came suprisingly rich in flavor. Red crushed tomatoes are mixed with some aubergine, onions, mushroom and parsley, producing the most scrumptious arrabbiata I've ever eaten. All dishes are served hot, which gave them an additional score.

I would definitely visit this place again if my pocket allows me. It was a little expensive for pastas, but are still affordable compared to those high-end Italian dining places. They are currently having this promotion for the wood fired pizzas, priced at $10 each. I'll definitely checking them out.

Al Dente Trattoria
Colors by the Bay #01-13
Singapore 039802
Tel: 6341 9188

Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge

Due to the slightly unsatisfied feeling left from TWG, me and T went for another tea time, in the hope that this time it would be perfect. We were hanging out in Orchard road, which was extremely busy as it always does on every weekend. The idea popped as we wanted to escape from the crowds and give our legs some rests. Despite the fact that we've never been to Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge before, we decided to give it a shot since I read a couple of astonishing blog posts about them.

Smoked salmon and prawn open sandwich
We were served by an old lady who was very attentive inspite of the long queue waiting behind us. The place is rather small remembering that it's the only cafe in Takashimaya department, but we quite enjoy the vibe. It's casual enough for us to be comfortably chatting over teas. The only downside was the way they arranged the tables in some areas, so close with one another that I even overheard other's conversations clearly.

The tea in a cute porcelain mug
On to the foods.. We had the afternoon tea set for two, comprises of mini open faced sandwiches, scones, a quiche, a selection of cake and coffee/tea. What were first served to our table really did surprise me. The bread in the open sandiches were buried under huge stacks of seafoods. We had prawns and scrambled eggs rolled in smoked salmon, both are mildly seasoned, just as we wanted them to be. This is tea time, not lunch right? Oh and they're just simply photogenic too!

Fresh creams, raspberry jam and butter

Next up were the scones, served with butter, raspberry jam and fresh cream. These were the plain version of scones, resembled a bread rather than cake. They were lack of that crumbly texture, but they didn't have to be. The dough was so aromatic, with the right amount of butter that they're not dry nor too oily. My favourite item from the condiments was the raspberry preserves. I think scones are best eaten with jam and a little bit of butter.

Quiche filled with spinach and pine nuts.

The set came with a selection of cake that we could choose from the display fridge. I was spoiled by the wide array of scrumptious cakes. If I weren't having my huge brunch earlier that afternoon, I'd be going for some rich chocolate cakes, which are the types they had the most. The green tea cake, however, seemed to be a best seller here since it was what most people ordered. Plus, it just sounds fit to have something lighter than a creamy cake after our encounter with those treats. This cake was marvelous; generous amount of matcha powder was used to produce the bitter-sweet taste in this cake and the pickled plum added some unique overall flavour.

Two thumbs up! I would definitely go back for the matcha cake. This place is surely on my list of visit now. I just need to come at the right time, avoiding Sunday if possible.

Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge
391 Orchard Road
2F Ngee Ann City
Tel: +65 6735 6833


Here's what my friend had said last Saturday: "Lets go for a girls tea timee!", which I definitely agreed on. She's so into TWG, in fact she's been coming back for 4 days in a row before that day. Seeing the long queue, I supposed that it must be that popular among ION's shoppers. As I read the tea menu, I understood why. The extensive list of tea has thoughtfully written; some of them with names resembled those fancy mocktails.

Tea time would never be completed without some snacks. Sweet or savory, both will do. We had 2 tea-time set named "Chic", each will get you to choose 3 out of 6 sandwiches, 2 muffins/ 2 scones/ a pastry and a selection of tea. Since we ordered 2 sets, we decided to go for 6 different sandwiches plus 2 muffins and 2 scones. The tea, worth mentioned, came in a cute and rather huge golden pot. There are sencha, rose and creme brulee tea in our table, all of them are delectably aromatic as well as refreshing.

The first tier came shortly after we got our teas, or at least I thought there will be another one except that there wasn't. Honestly speaking, I was quite surprised by that. The sandwiches are smaller than I thought they would be and there are hardly anything special about the muffins and scones. I was expecting for some banana or blueberry muffins, or at least something fancier than plain-boring chocolate chip muffins. The boldest highlight would be on the tea-infused jelly accompanied the scones, which are half gone even before we finished the scones. 

As for the sandwiches, I really think that they could have done better. Sure, foie gras and salmon might be a bit pricey but pairing them with some plain condiments didn't make them appear sophisticated at all. I do understand that they might be more specialized in teas, but 50 bucks on those items was a robber for our pocket. The teas and services, however are wonderful. Maybe I'll come back for some of them but this time, no more tea sets.

ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn #02-21,
Singapore 238801
Tel: 6735 1837

Jalan Kayu Prata

Jalan Kayu Prata, one of the most famous prata place in Singapore has opened it's newest branch in Plaza Singapura. The title might contains the word "prata" but you'll see no prata in this post. The ambience is pretty cool, it's nestled outside the main mall building, near the atrium.

For lunch, I'd prefer to have something light, as opposed to what Indian food normally offers. Naan has been a better choice compared to prata as it was baked and therefore it's less oily. I like the smell of the flour when it was hot and freshly baked. Crispy outers like this one will help too.

This is what I ordered to dip the breads in: fish curry. The numerous spices used in this dish made it incredibly rich in flavour. Though I wouldn't say that this is the best fish curry, the huge fish chunks are cooked well, tender and not too flaky in texture.

Another dish that we had; chicken murtabak, which is an indian bread filled with seasoned chicken meats. They served some curry dip to go along with this as well.

Overall it was worth trying, as they are reasonably priced. This kind of eateries can easily be found in Singapore, some of which I believed has better quality, but cost you more of course. =)

Jalan Kayu Prata
Plaza Singapura

Double Bay's Desserts

I've finally found another place that has sticky date pudding and banoffee pie. The two of them are the desserts we always ordered at Marmalade Pantry. I shoud've known that I could find them in any other Australian restaurant. Anyway, my first visit to Double bay was at the correct time: afternoon tea!

Though the appearance was a little far from what I've expected (lighter toffee sauce, spongier cake and sorbet like vanilla ice cream), the sticky date pudding was actually tasted good. I would still preferred Marmalade Pantry's version but this one is a lot less heavier, perfect for a dessert for one. The innards of the cake was a little bit dry, which explains the runnier and milkier toffee sauce.

The banoffee pie, too, presented differently. They were using flaky pastry shells instead of the crumbled tart base, which again, made the dessert lighter to be eaten individually. The warm chopped bananas was sweetly paired with toffee sauce and some fresh cream on top.

These desserts were served warm and they're best to be eaten before they turned cold. Combining them with the ice cream was really delectable and I love that they gave some berries for all the desserts. Yum!

Double Bay
252 North Bridge Road
#01-22A Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: +65 6334 6530

Brunch at home

There's no better thing than waking up late in a weekend and having some huge, huge breakfast (it's your lunch too!). Finding those places for brunch in Singapore might be an easy job to do, but paying them will not be easy for my pocket. Sometimes you just want to enjoy your brunch serenely as well, away from the crowds and loud chattering. I was then came up with this idea to cook my own brekkie at home. They costed less and tasted more, as they were all home-made. The best part was that I could do them in any way I want. How fun was that! So what I did was some simple sauté and grilling, put some garlic spread on the rosemary ciabatta before toasting them. The key was on the sausages though; make sure you'll get those yummy flavoured sausages instead of the plain ones. There was only one down side that you'll find: washing all the dishes. Bon appetit!

The Handburger

The Handburger, the newly opened burger chain has differentiated itself among the other competitors through it's uniqueness. As a modern casual restaurant appeared these days, the place is nicely decorated with wooden furniture, dominated by light brown and white, to make the diners feel cozy. Flipping the browned papers in a clipboard, I found myself reading through the vast amount of creative burger creations. They've got unsual stuffs such as duck confit burger, tandoor chicken burger, vegetarian kakiage burger, to name a few.

My favourite part of the burgers lies in the bun. While the recommended bun flavour for the patties was written in the menu, we can also choose the bun we preffered. I had the stuffed portobello burger with spinach and ricotta bun and chilled tomatoes. I would say that it was incredibly good. There were bread crumbs on top of the veggie stuffings which went along greatly with the grilled portobello.

I wasn't satisfied with the chilled tomatoes that came with my burger. Stuffed with coleslaw, it has failed to impress me. Then I saw my favourite thing in the menu: sweet potato fries! For the price, it was really worth it, since the portion can feed 2-3 people.

Another additional side, onion rings. It was pretty ordinary but I should mention that they have great dips. I think it was mixed with some garlic or onions, scruptious!

The works burger, as the name suggested, will make you work harder to eat it. It was a tall stack of beef patty, sunny side up, onion rings, sauteed mushrooms and bacon. I don't really fancy a burger with any eggs on it but this one was quite ok.

Every table seemed to be having this drink: lychee mint crush. The blended fresh mint leaves gave that fresh combination to the lychee, making it a perfect companion to the heavy meal.

Though we were full, we couldn't resist for some desserts. The list might be short, but the prices aren't more than 5 bucks. I was too curious of how they'd be and had the warm sticky banana pudding and it was surprisingly good. Despite the price, it came in a pretty huge slice and accompanied by vanilla ice cream and strawberry compote.

The handburger has a fresh idea about foods but I think they could do better with the services. Value for money, it was definitely up. I left with 98% full stomach that I skipped my dinner for that day.

The Handburger
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-77/78 Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: +65 6334 4577