open farm community, dempsey

pricey (what else would you expect of the spa esprit group?), but decent lunch/ brunch place for women. that last part isn’t any manifestation of feminism, but an observation that the only men in the restaurant throughout my meal were the ones in the kitchen.

this is my second time here, and on both occasions I’ve ordered the mud crab curry papardelle. I’m not sure if this consistency says more about the cooking, the menu choices, or me, but it’s a rich dish that marries the sweetness of crab with a slight, ever-so-moreish heat. you see from the photo that it comes with plenty of crab meat, as well as crispy sage (?) leaves that I wish were more generously sprinkled, because they sure add an alluring fragrance (and flavour).

my sister had the red snapper this time, which was beautifully-plated – a thick fillet of fish fried crispy, mounds of barley cooked in squid ink, and other daintily-plated accoutrements. quite delicious, but not quite filling on its own.

it’s a nice place, and very well-designed – rather reflective of what the spa esprit group has come to be. I’d recommend lunchtimes here as the sunlight streams in in a most delightful manner, and the yummy mummys create an ambience all of their own.

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joie restaurant by dozo, orchard central

really, surprisingly, good vegetarian fine dining atop orchard central. I’m a big fan of vegetables, not so much of vegetarian eating – the latter with its not-always-positive connotations of overt ingredient manipulation, and the unhealthiness you often see in the Asian understanding of the cuisine (i.e. deep-frying and excessive use of gluten products).

I came here with absolutely no expectations – no review-reading, no foodie-asking – and they delivered a quite remarkable meal full of fresh ingredients and many surprises. and whilst the plates belie a care expected of the fine-dining standard they aspire to, the prices don’t (in other words, great for dates and impressing without being hard on the pocket).

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may may, tras street

for all you resolution-makers, health-bunnies and aspiring yuppies, this place is for you. a modern, luxe restaurant that serves up balanced grain bowls at lunchtime and transforms into sexy bar at night – this place has been garnering more-than-decent reviews across the board (and I have finally visited something while it’s still very trendy).

AND, if you’re up for something sweet to balance all that healthfulness out, they’re known for their salted egg yolk donuts. there should be a law for so much overindulgence in a single form.

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the halia, raffles hotel

still very good food at the halia – a little expensive, a little exclusive, just the right spot of uppity for a dressed-up weekend lunch. it’s been a while since I last came here, and I’m impressed: they still know how to strike the right balance of intrigue and classic, and prices are just high enough to keep the atmosphere classy.

there’s just something about the way they blend their dishes and flavors that feels interesting, but at the same time hits all the right (comforting) spots.

I’m not too impressed with the photos I took this round, so unfortunately what isn’t displayed is the halibut en papillote, of delicious, tender white fish cooked under parchment in this CRAZY delicious soup of incredible savoriness.

served with sushi rice, you’ll need to grab a smear of the truffle aioli (which imparts yet another savory, umami note) and a mouthful of fish and soup to truly get the experience.

then and only then, do you truly get the experience.

what is pictured here is off their weekend brunch menu, three fluffy pancakes topped with bacon, maple butter, strawberries and what seems like crispy iberico. that last component makes a lot of difference to the dish, bringing quite a bit of sweet pork goodness to already properly-fluffy, well-cooked pancakes.

good food, but definitely on the pricey side – although I can’t help but feel that if I had to spend money, this is a good place to do so.

Halia at the Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road, #01-22/23
Singapore 189673
tel +65 9639 1148
$$.5: 20-40 per person

babette, jalan besar

ah, the by-now-famous flowing green matcha lava cake at this small restaurant in jalan besar. it’s a bit of a seedy area interspersed with these hipster, modern places – not the most comfortable area for ladies to be walking about late at night, but at least it’s relatively close to the main road.

I thought the food was just about alright – good for a first visit, and the cake was pretty good, but the food came very slowly, so we rather lost our patience.

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xperience at the sofitel so, robinson road

tasty modern dining at the in-house restaurant of the new sofitel so, the boutique arm of the chain. located in the central business district, it makes sense that the restaurant does this sort of european-fusionish cooking – the clientele looks primarily business-type travelites, and it is located next to lau pa sat, which has the local thing covered.

and the cooking and flavors are pretty fantastic, though the tasting portions we were given ran a little small – it felt even smaller when I realised I actually wanted more of what was on the plate.

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kilo, orchard central

I really like kilo. I don’t visit it nearly as often as I’d like, but I think very often of visiting it, which has to be the best indication of a good restaurant (cafe is more accurate here).

I’m not sure there’s a better accolade I can give it – it goes beyond the tasty food to the minimalistic, concrete-slathered space (hipster, but not irritatingly so) that’s brightly sun-filled on weekend mornings – it’s sort of what you’d expect brunch and lunch out in an (australian/ american, take your pick) town would feel like, but with air-conditioning (a definite must).

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violet oon’s kitchen, bukit timah

peranakan done up all fancy-like. it’s good food here, if you’re hankering for something a little out of the brunchordinary: local classics dished up pretty, as well as nonya interpretations of brunch classics.

I heard quite a lot about the food here before coming, and it’s gratifying that the food didn’t disappoint. especially since it’s rather a bit of pain getting here by public transport (try to cab or drive if you can).

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the disgruntled chef, dempsey hill

hello, all! so I was missing for the greater part of this week on a gallivant through hong kong (so much good food I can’t wait to share) and did you miss me?

it’s now sunday, so it’s just about appropriate to do another brunch one – though it’s a shame that this ain’t going to be a pretty one (metaphorically – the photos might mislead in their aesthetic pleasantness).

I was rather disappointed by this place. I went with high hopes, bolstered by a slew of wonderful praises about the ingenuity of the food here, and the suspense was ever-more built by the fact that I had tried to brunch here more than a couple times (and something always happened to stop it*).

*maybe it was the gourmand gods/ fate.

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OCF singapore, boat quay

expensive french (or european fusion, more like) restaurant, with a fantastic location at boat quay and gorgeous both within (all dark, sleek modern) and with-out in its gorgeous colonial housing, but serving dinky-sized dishes and slightly pompous service.

we had come here buoyed on the man’s high expectations – read a lot, imagined a lot – only to be met with tiny dishes that barely kept us satisfied at the end of meal, exacerbated by slow serving.

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