pamplemousse bistro + bar, town

pretty good food and a value-for-money set lunch in a secluded part of dempsey. a girlfriend and I decided to come here for lunch one day – and they have a pretty cool fusionish menu, which I think would be a tad overpriced if going à la carte, but perfecty delightful at lunch-set-price, which is also offered on weekends (a nice gesture not often seen in restaurants). the food was generally surprisingly good and better than average, even if it wasn’t remarkably outstanding. and perhaps the best recommendation I can give is that I see myself coming back here again.

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40 hands, tiong bahru

not-so-great over-hyped hipster brunch-type place in tiong bahru. I’m late to this place – which many bloggers have already hyped about – on purpose, primarily because I don’t care for queues and hype, and only came to this place while visiting some friends. it’s not crazy expensive in itself, and the food wasn’t bad, but it certainly isn’t cheap enough to return on that account – nor is the food great enough to return for (though apparently the coffee was pretty good).

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pho 24 restaurant, ho chi minh

decent pho at this chain all over ho chi minh. we always pop by here before or after a bout of shopping at ben thanh, and always for the same order: a bowl of noodles for each of us, plus a platter or two of starters.

the noodles come with four options: meatballs, rare slices of beef, well-done beef slices, and a bowl of everything – which includes tripe, meatballs andboth rare and well-done slices of beef. my favourite are the rare pieces, which are incredibly beefy and cook up as you’d like in the hot broth, as well as a side order of the bouncy meatballs. throw in the aromatics they provide you on the side, and it’s a quick, tasty, and very healthy meal.

service is quick here, and the food comes quick and good. portions now appear to have gone towards the modern fashion, with the same large bowl of noodles, but diminishing portions of meat from our visits a few years ago – despite that, it’s still an incredibly good deal for lunch., town

great little hideout and girlfriend-lunch place for brunch near chinatown. ps cafe remains close to my heart for one reason: their sticky toffee pudding. the location of their outlets are also fortuitously convenient – which means town, for me – and while the prices off their menu are always a tad more than you’d like to pay, it does mean coming here feels particularly like a treat – which is also good for the waisteline for I’d eat my weight in toffee and cake otherwise.

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au chocolat, town (take 2)

decent-okay food, and even better desserts. I promised you more photos – and here I deliver. just look at that last photo of the innards of a lemon-meringue tart: how gorgeous is that! it is so gratifying (as both a foodie and a budding photographer) to be in a place that allows for great photography and tasty enough food – and au chocolat definitely fulfills both criteria. before you slobber all over your screens, let’s get onto the food, shall we?

I told you on my last post that the desserts here were pretty good, and this visit didn’t disappoint. I must say qualitatively though that this place pushes out sweet foods of consistently higher standards than its savouries, which fall quickly into the recesses of your probably-won’t-get-it-again list.

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artichoke café + bar, bugis

really good, but also rather expensive moorish more-ish food near bugis. I’ve wanted to come here since a few years ago, but for reasons I cannot remember now, I arrived with a girlfriend and sat down, only to decide to leave without having tried anything. it’s a quaint, kitschy sort of place, hidden away from what is a pretty old estate – but then that profile suits most hipster joints in singapore these days. I really like this place though, and am really looking forward to the next visit – but the high price point means that it’s in competition with many many places at dinner time, which also means that next visit is probably long-coming.

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cafe rouge, heathrow

decent frenchish at london heathrow’s terminal four. gone are the days when I expect airport food to be mediocre – there are multiple decent chains in the london airport, and even singapore’s changi airport is turning itself out to be more like a mall that so happens to have some runways by the side. this was our last meal in london before we flew back to singapore, and thank goodness it was pretty good as we were in the middle of a great british airways fiasco.

we had got on our original late-night flight from heathrow, woke up after 10 hours of travel time for the customary before-touchdown breakfast, only to be told by the captain that we were on the way back to london due to engine failure – and that we had been on the return route for 6 hours by then. we had to queue up for more than 3 hours to try and get a return ticket home (24 hours after our first one) and by then we were famished, and not very happy people.

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oriel grande brasserie, heathrow

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decent diner in heathrow terminal 3. so airport and airplane food is typically bad and not quite worth paying too much for, which is why I usually stick to sandwiches but this time it was like sort of saying goodbye to london and so we decided to go for something more special.

oriel’s has a large bar in the front, and the inside was a mock-up of a retro-style paris bistro. it has a medium-sized menu typical of restaurants in this style, ranging from all-day breakfasts to french ‘classics’.

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le 31 bistro, marseille

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decent bistro food in downtown marseille. the harbour at marseille was under heavy construction while we were there as they are preparing for their position of the city of culture in europe next year, and so it really was a bit of a mess. we spotted this cafe, which was furbished rather modernly and most importantly, had a good screen showing the wimbledown match between tsonga and murray.

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