my awesome cafe, tanjong pagar

I think it takes guts to use an adjective like awesome in one’s name – especially because it invites comparison where there might not have been any.

like, do I usually give cafes concessions for serving not-nearly-up-to-the-mark food? yes – because they pander to the hipster and the cool, and so sometimes the food gets overlooked for the decor or the drinks. but when a place calls itself awesome, it sets up expectations that might be difficult to fulfil.

but that’s not to say that the food here is bad, because it isn’t: it’s hearty and quite filling and rather delicious, BUT the name just makes me wonder if I’d have naturally said that it was awesome (or would anyone, unless they had lived as a or was stuck in the persona of a teenager in 90’s america).

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lijiang eats, china

lijiang had the best eating we did in this yunnanese trip – we arrived armed with low-to-no expectations and were met not only with interesting options, but good ones as well. there was a good mix of restaurants and small-store options that helped bridge the gap between meals, and that helped engender this town even more to our affections.

sometimes, it’s good to be a tourist in a touristy town.

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spathe public house, clarke quay

sigh, meh. it’s a friday and I’d hate to be depressing, but the food here falls right into the new-cafe-with-uninspiring-food category. it’s not the easiest cafe to get too, especially if you’re on public transport, impractical heels and under the (darn-it-still-blistering-) hot sun that so hates loves us in singapore. and at the end of the trip, to be smacked met with a lackluster brunch – well, it doesn’t make one cheery at having got up early, eh?

the best part of this meal was that they topped up my nutella without charging me anything, and service can be pretty friendly (when present).

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kith cafe, park mall

I have to say, I was all prepared to give this place a rather meh sort of review and leave it at that, but bernie-the-hungry-bunny has just given it a thumbs up (after a first thumbs-down review), and so I’m willing to give it a more forgiving second-verdict-pending prognosis for now.

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letoile cafe, farrer park

this place is very cute. it’s a pleasant little two-storey cafe in a part of little india I’ve never ventured to (thanks to carmen for the suggestion – it wasn’t even on my radar) – and escapes all hipster pretensions by being both incredibly homey and quaint at the same time. there’s a bit of that japanese homestay feel about it, with friendly service from the moment you step into the door, the little bits-and-bobs and magazines strewn across the store, as well as the generally frill-free decor of the place (not the deliberate frill-free scandi we’ve been seeing, but the sort that comes from a simple home).

and, the cake was great. given that I now expect to be disappointed more than not when having cake outside, this last point is vital.

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ah chew dessert, bugis

so-so dessert at this overhyped tongshui (cantonese 糖水, literally sugar-water, metaphorically dessert) cafe along purvis street. this place draws long queues and large crowds – and has so much business, in fact, that they stretch over two storefronts on this ‘ip-and-‘appening street in the bugis area.

it’s well-known for their dishing up of hong kong desserts (almost every blog will point you here) but I’m going to raise a dissenting hand here – what is that hype all about? my steamed egg custard wasn’t that smooth (and took an unbelievably long time to arrive), and all the other desserts that arrived at our tables didn’t impress neither.

I’d say this was on par with the mei hong yuen dessert chain that is much easier to find (and easier to get a seat at) – it feels commercial, and not in a good way neither.

my favorite dessert place remains gong he guan at 28 upper cross street – we’re talking two bowls of dessert per person, and cantankerous service. it’s not anything that rivals the marvels you’d get in hong kong, but as close as you’d get it here in singapore (my opinion, of course).

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creamier handcrafted ice cream, braddell

okay ice-cream, though not quite worth the hype (nor queue, nor the inconvenience of locating). this place is the latest stop on our conquer-ice-cream tour about this too-sunny island, which (unfortunately for it) resulted in a less favorable comparison.

it’s not bad by any means, but the ice cream gallery almost definitely has smoother ices (this here is a tad icy, slightly ironic given its name), flavours on the muted side, and portions small.

and for its hipster pretensions (small shop breaking the peace of an obscure old estate), it’s crazy packed: cramped inside and teenagers forming a noisy queue.

but, it is the cheapest scoop on our list-of-such, and worth a look-try if you’re in the area (the butterscotch was the best we tried that day).

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w39 bistro, clementi

it is the weekend! which means it is brunch – and here is a good place to get a decent one, even if more than a little far out. this rustic little cafe is unpretentious (pretty rare in the recent crop of cafes), and it serves up an averagely-decent brunch menu that spans american brunch classics to local delights.

it’s just the right sort of place if you’re looking for a kitschy breakfast-lunch spot for the weekend (and have a car) – order the right items and you’re set.

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