wimbly lu chocolates, serangoon

really good desserts at this small store in a surprisingly hipster part of serangoon – I live near the area and never knew this place even existed (except for all the posts floating about the blogosphere on this place and its cajun neighbour). I didn’t really know what to expect, actually – I tried to come with tempered expectations in case it didn’t actually live up to the hype – but came away liking it quite a bit.

warning: giant photos up ahead as I’ve been playing with a square crop with my photos – more on that later.

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boulangerie saint preux, paris

located at 8 avenue jean jaures, just across the entrance to the metro.

great breakfast/quick lunch spot near the jaurès metro in paris. this cafe was a short walk away from the lovely apartment we were staying at in paris, and so we popped in every morning lured by the prospects of freshly baked goods and something not often found in boulangeries – tables and chairs.

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borough market, take 2

I’m feeling quite terribly homesick for london right now, so I thought I ought to dash this one right off into the blogosphere. there is something about london in winter, and I wish I were back there – even with the blighting cold that seems to have hit earlier this year.

you’ll see now that my photos mark the date at which I was in london – it was barely midway through autumn where pumpkins abounded with mushrooms and other seasonal goodies, and mulled wine was starting to make its presence felt in the market through long queues at stores and the smell of alcohol and spices wafting through the air.

the medley of mushrooms in the second photograph are especially beautiful in light of the fact that you can barely get such a variety in singapore – and if they are available here, the prices are far too ridiculous. I had also never seen mushrooms as blue as the ones I saw at the market that day, and I think they would be amazing wilted down in a knob of butter and grated garlic.

there is much to enjoy in singapore food-wise, but especially on days like this one, looking at photos of my adventures in london take me back to a wonderfully unforgettable – and dearly-missed – period of my life.

recipease, london (the deli)

pretty little deli belonging to jamie oliver in the heart of notting hill. this is a sequel to my earlier post on the cafe at this same site – and I have to say that just as much as I enjoyed breakfast at the cafe, I loved walking about the deli. bread, pastries, jams, oils, chocolates, utensils – I mean you name (a food-associated) it, they probably have it.

these photos are just a tiny distillation of the huge space downstairs. there is a sort of giant island in the centre, where people take cooking lessons – that night there were a group of adults learning various methods of cuttings vegetables, such as dicing, matchstick-ing and julienning. surrounding this are shelves full of food: jamie-branded jars of jam and mustards and pickles, colourful bottles of oils and vinegars, and loads of straight-away-edibles such as chocolates and biscuits.

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sip babylone, paris

located at 46 boulevard Raspail, 75007 Paris. more information available here.

decent cafe near the marche raspail in the 7th arrondissement. we popped by this place after a leisurely stroll in the beautiful organic market located along the boulevard raspail – where I had gorged myself on blueberries and heavily-fruited bread – since my parents were hankering after a cup of coffee with which to start the morning.

I haven’t many photos here, but they do serve a mean fluffy omelette, huge and filled with cheese and ham, as well as a very fluffy brioche. there are displays of pastries and cakes by the window, but we opted for a fluffy brioche and a couple of cooked breakfasts. they ran out of croissants when we were ordering, but I saw them bring up huge trays of freshly-baked croissants mid-meal that looked fantastic – so maybe you ought to try those!

bring your french though, as the waiters aren’t the most friendly and the english menu isn’t really comprehensive – we ended up gesturing and pointing to the omelette another diner was having.

rose bakery, paris

located at 40 rue de Debblyeme in the Marais district, Paris.

great little cafe hidden away from the chaos of paris. this is hidden in terms of location, but I suppose it really is a sort of open secret – we had to wait for nearly twenty minutes in order to get a table for four, and the tiny cafe was lined with tables and hipster-type parisians.

it was only after going to the bakery and doing a bit of research – as any self-assuming food blogger would do – that I found out that this place has incredible internet presence, turning up a torrent of blog posts – even from dorie greenspan and clothilde – and that it was open by a french-british couple who decided to emulate the british cafes so prevalent in london. I’ve already written much about my love for these establishments, and so it ought to come to no surprise that I rather liked this cafe. I do have to say though, that it’s very apparent that the environ and food are meant to be of the british-cafe-sort (as I see it in my mind), it is very clear that you are nowhere in the UK.

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recipease, london

pretty good breakfast in notting hill. this was the first breakfast I had in london since arriving, and it was more a convenience meal than a destination one – I hadn’t realized it was a jamie oliver establishment until we walked through the door – since it was only about 5 minutes away from where we were staying.

I’m not sure how to go about describing this place, but it felt very much like a british cafe, the like of which I miss in singapore – vibrant but calm, welcoming, and somehow feels like you’ll get a good cup of tea (only now do I realise how spoilt I was by the countless steaming cups of tea I had back in college) in there. it also fits with the impression oliver has been portraying these few years – it’s not something I can necessarily describe, but suffice to say that if you’ve been watching his shows and enjoy his aesthetic, you’ll feel at home here.

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butter loaf cake

time to break review programming a bit and bring you a slice of cake. this cake is the second favourite of my parents (after the lemon cake, which is their favourite, as well as my partner’s) and is a very asian type of cake – that is to say that it is very simple in flavours and quite basic, but with a moist crumb and not too sweet.

this is also a very simple cake to make, and don’t let the first picture scare you with its amount of butter and eggs (as I was making about three different sizes of this cake to give away to relatives). the cake requires just creaming butter with sugar, before mixing in a bit of flour and milk to turn out an oh-so-buttery and moist cake that bakes up glossy brown and very tasty.

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salon de thé, lyon

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good cafe for a sit-down in old lyon, along rue st jean. I didn’t manage to catch the name of this quaint little cafe, which only had salon de thé emblazoned on its windows. it was just one of many cafes we saw while walking along the streets of lyon, and we came in here because france, like many places in europe, have a strict policy of restaurants only opening at 7.30pm for dinner.

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