Kopi Tiam @ Swissotel Stanford

In a span of a week, I had dinner at the Swissotel Stanford’s Kopi Team 3 times! The main reason was because the FAR card was expiring and I was trying to use up the  vouchers. In general the Kopi team can be described as a very expensive local coffeeshop. They have all the local food served in a hotel restaurant. I didn’t have high hopes for the food but our first visit was such a nice surprise I went back a second time after getting quite tipsy at a happy hour event. The third time was with my parents and it was on the 3rd day of the Chinese New YEAR holiday.

In general the food is rather good.  In fact probably better than the food at the Tang’s Island Cafe. My main quibble was the price. Obviously eating there isn’t cheap. Not by local standards anyway. But when you are paying that much you expect better service. The waiters were often distracted. I suspect they were short staffed or something.

I really liked their hor fun.  The smell was amazing and you know there was sufficient ‘wok hei’.

We also tried the assam fish and mixed it up a bit with some oyster omelette.

And because it is #cny2017 we ordered the herbal shrimp for some giggles.

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And a yam ring for a sweet year.

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And for dessert bo bo char cha was ordered because you really can’t claim to offer local delights if you can’t make good bo bo char char.

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The goreng pisang was ordered because the pisang literally melts in your mouth.

 

Well if you are in town and looking for a nice place to sit and rest your legs….this might be a good place to try!

 

Saturday 6–11AM
12–2:30PM
6–10:30PM
Sunday 6–11AM
12–2:30PM
6–10:30PM
Monday 6–10:30AM
11:30AM–2:30PM
6–10:30PM
Tuesday 6–10:30AM
11:30AM–2:30PM
6–10:30PM
Wednesday 6–10:30AM
11:30AM–2:30PM
6–10:30PM
Thursday 6–10:30AM
11:30AM–2:30PM
6–10:30PM
Friday 6–10:30AM
11:30AM–2:30PM
6–10:30PM

 

 

 

 

A hipster cafe in the heartlands

A couple of weeks ago, mom and I were undecided on what or where to eat. We just knew that I wanted to eat something but what? We went all the way to the airport, thinking maybe we might have some Thai food but somehow after we got there, it didn’t seem so appealing anymore. Then mom had the bright idea of going back to Bedok North Ave 4 and trying out one of the fancy hipster cafes that she had heard so much about. It was only 5pm so we figured it won’t be hard to get a table (and thankfully we were right!)

Together Cafe, I gather, has been around for a bit. It has all the features a hipster cafe should have including raw-ish looking walls, exposed piping, cutesy inspirational messages on the walls. The staff were all extremely young, probably all students. They don’t accept credit cards, only cash or nets. But how is the food?

According to the World Wide Web, their forte is the molten cake with ice cream. We made the mistake of ordering it without ice cream. The cake was pass-able but I can’t see anything to shout about. The steak was quite tender and the chicken chop was good. But again, nothing to rave about. Their peach ice lemon tea was quite good though. Between the two of us, the bill came up to be about $35. So not super pricey. But not super cheap either. I still can’t believe that my old ‘hood has gentrified so much that a place like that exists. But there you have it. Times change and I just have to accept it.

 

ADDRESS

 84 Bedok North Street 4 #01-25/27

Singapore 460084

Tel: 6445-1011

OPENING HOURS

Monday – Sunday  11:00AM – 10:00PM

Last order at 09:15PM

 

Burning Oaks for some atas meat

So when someone says let’s go to bedok simpang for dinner! What goes through your mind? Zhi char? Satay? And if it’s in a Saturday night and you are same like me you would probably say no! Because that place is insanely crowded on a weekend night. All the different eateries around the place are fully occupied in spite of the lack of air conditioning for most of the restaurants.

Hence when some colleagues suggested a meet up there I wasn’t particularly keen. But the meetup was on a Tuesday night and I haven’t been to the second floor of the Bedok simpang food market. But as all of our pockets are quite light after the recent spate of expensive buto delicious outings recently, a less expensive choice seemed a more practical idea.

Mind you in spite of the renovations to give it a hipster/vintage/nostalgic vibe bedok simpang food center is essentially a hawker center dressed up. The surrounding neighberhood is middle class with landed property so even though it’s hawker-ish it’s not super cheap. When I walked up to the second floor where Burning Oaks is located, the place was surprisingly bright and quite clean. Because the store won’t open till 6pm we ordered a clam bucket from Wholly crabs and some sweet potato fries. It was good enough that I think I might retuend to try their entres at some point. The drinks store had happy hour all day so we ended up with 2 Heineken for $5 each.

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For entres we ordered a foie gras wagyu and another one with iberico. We basically asked the chef which were the most popular dishes and went with it.

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The wagyu foie gras was interesting. I’m not a foie gras type of person but I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. The wagyu was cooked rather well with a touch of smokiness to it.

The iberico pork was quite fatty. Delicious. But it had a lot of fat. My health conscious friend left bits of it uneaten.  I wolfed mine down. It was tender and soft and sweet.

Overall we all had a good time and we were well fed at the end of it all. We all felt it was value for money. Its not exactly hawker prices but it’s not restaurant prices either. And it’s a nice place to relax and chill.

Open today
Thursday 12–1:30PM
6–9:30PM
Friday 12–1:30PM
6–10PM
Saturday 12–1:30PM
6–10PM
Sunday 12–1:30PM
6–10PM
Monday Closed
Tuesday 12–1:30PM
6–9:30PM
Wednesday 12–1:30PM
6–9:30PM

Thai Food in Singapore

Over the course of a week, I had Thai food twice in 2 very different Thai restaurants. The first was at Nara Thai. A quick google search reveals that it is a pretty popular restaurant in Thailand. The beau and I had an afternoon to kill before his flight that night and we were just wandering around Orchard Road before the start of a movie. He had a craving for Thai Food and it was the only one I remembered in Ion.

I ordered one of the dishes on their “popular” menu, which was the Thai Boat noodles with beef. The beau, as usual, went with something spicy and had the green curry chicken. we also ordered some prawn cakes. I thought the prawn cakes were pretty good but wasn’t super impressed with the chili. The boat noodles was good. The soup was quite sweet and satisfying. The Beau did not think that the curry was hot enough.

The meal was a bit expensive, given that we had 2 main dishes and 1 appetizer, it came up to $60. But then again, we were in the middle of the shopping district. I did enjoy my meal overall. I probably will return again, at some point, with friends for a small celebration or something. But this probably won’t be my go-to Thai place.

Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #B3-21,ION Orchard, 238801
Phone:6634 5787
Hours:

Sunday

(New Year’s Day)
11:30AM–10PM

Hours might differ
Monday

(New Year’s Day (Observed))
11:30AM–10PM

Hours might differ
Tuesday 11:30AM–10PM
Wednesday 11:30AM–10PM
Thursday 11:30AM–10PM
Friday 11:30AM–10PM
Saturday 11:30AM–10PM

After the Beau left, I met up with another friend after work for some chilling out time before greeting 2017. We were at East Mall and Thai food seemed like a fairly neutral food choice. GreaThai was located at one of the storefronts of East Mall. It was fairly quiet when we went in at 1pm-ish.

Again, there were just 2 of us so we weren’t able to order much. I ordered the “chicken porridge”, which by Cantonese standards is NOT real porridge. Its just “tong fun” or rather soup with rice to me. 20161231_133859The porridge that arrived in front of me was really pretty good. It definitely tastes different compared to the one I get from Aoy Boat Noodles at the T3 Changi Airport, which had a lot of ginger in the soup. The one at GreaThai was a bit sweeter than the one at the airport. My lunch companion ordered some fishcakes (very good with the prawn chili offered) and had a rice dish of some sort.

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Overall, the food really was quite good. And it wasn’t too noisy in there and so we were able to chill out and talk for a bit without being interrupted. It wasn’t like, THE BEST, Thai food in the world, but if you wanted a go-to place to chill out with friends and eat, its pretty good. And the menu isn’t exorbitantly expensive either.

Address: 430 Upper Changi Road, 487048
Hours:

Sunday

(New Year’s Day)
9AM–12AM

Hours might differ
Monday

(New Year’s Day (Observed))
9AM–12AM

Hours might differ
Tuesday 9AM–12AM
Wednesday 9AM–12AM
Thursday 9AM–12AM
Friday 9AM–12AM
Saturday 9AM–12AM

2017. An introduction.

Hello there 2017. Top of the morning to you. I said goodbye to 2016 last night and when I woke up, well, there you are! Now mind you. 2016 and I had quite a bumpy relationship. I certainly hope you and I have a more congenial time together.

Not that 2016 was all that bad. Highlights include going to Tokyo for the first time. And I even made it all the way to the Denmark (where I realized how broke I was). To be or not to be …. That said, someone once told me that my spending habits were inversely related to my moods: when I’m up, the bank account is in the black, and when I’m down, its in the red. I spent a lot of money on stuff I didn’t need. And well, 2016 bled quite profusely if I’m going to be honest.

Listen, I’m not asking to be flush, 2017. But lets try to keep the bank off my back will you please. And I think you and I will get along just fine. Mind you, there was a sale at Isetan and I did just buy 4 pairs of shoes. But they were supremely comfortable and less than $20 a pair. Let’s just keep that in the plus column for now, shall we?

American chinese cuisine

I’ve always maintained that American chinese  food is a cuisine of its own category in the same  way that straits Chinese  cuisine  us not china chinese cuisine. Food, by its very nature, has to adapt to its environment. COoks have to find substitutes and adapt to the tastebuds of their clientele or their restaurants  will not survive.

While growing up, I’ve  come to accept that American chinese food is normally known to be cheap and satisfying but oily and not very good most of the time. i was extremely surprised to find out that the Tung Lok group of restaurants decided to open Lokkee, an american chinese food concept. that’s really taking chinese fine dinning to a different  level. up or down, i think depends on who is eating  it.

First of all its not cheap. for just the two of us the bill was $120. But to be fair we ordered  quite a bit of food.

And a flaming pineapple was involved. With real flames.

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The food wasn’t bad. It was definitely American Chinese cuisine. Especially the fried rice. The pineapple pork was pretty good, flames and all. Left a bit of a tangy aftertaste. The pork buns were delicious. The bread wasn’t too thick, and was just sweet enough.

We made the reservations through the Chope app and it was pretty easy. Its located in Plaza Singapura (the old wing). Its between a Thai restaurant and Swensens, on the 2nd floor, near the front of the building. Not that hard to find once you know what you are looking for.

Details:

Located in: Plaza Singapura
Address: 68 Orchard Road, #03-01, Plaza Singapura, Plaza Singapura, 238839

Hours:

Thursday 11AM–3PM, 5:30–10PM
Friday 11AM–3PM, 5:30–10PM
Saturday 11AM–3PM, 5:30–10PM
Sunday 11AM–3PM, 5:30–10PM
Monday 11AM–3PM, 5:30–10PM
Tuesday 11AM–3PM, 5:30–10PM
Wednesday 11AM–3PM, 5:30–10PM

Dazzling cafe dazzles

There have been a few changes in my workplace recently and it seemed like a dinner outing was needed for us to catch up with everyone.  I found a Groupon for 4 and made a reservation through Facebook. Simple, right? After we got there, we realised there was another branch in Orchard Central. Frantic calls were made to make sure that everyone was going to arrive at the same place! The one that we ended up going to was the one at Capitol.

Between the truffle risottos, mentaiko pastas, honey toasts, iced tea, 7 mains and 4 desserts were shared between all 7 of us. The waiter was so impressed that he even commented on it when I went to pay the bill. I told him that we East-siders are very good eaters.

Anyway, here are the deeds:

Located in: Capitol Piazza
Address: 15 Stamford Rd, 01-85 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178906
Hours:

Thursday 12–9:30PM
Friday 12–10PM
Saturday 12–10PM
Sunday 12–9:30PM
Monday 12–9:30PM
Tuesday 12–9:30PM
Wednesday 12–9:30PM