le restaurant and asian tapas bar, suntec city

it is friday night (soon)! and I hope you have a nice one planned, because it’s the start of the work year after that lovely long break, and we all know these few weeks are the lazy lull before the storm.

if you don’t have one planned, well – maybe you could pop over here for a drink or two. just maybe not stay for the whole night though – it feels like the sort of place you come for a quick mandatory post-work drink for which you don’t want to linger.

not that the place isn’t somewhat pretty or the food bad – just that it’s rather pricey, and seems gepgraphically mislocated. let’s discuss.

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supertree by indochine, gardens by the bay

this is a half-review, so to speak, because hey, can we first talk about how beautiful Singapore is now? it boggles the mind to think that this transformation happened in less than four years – especially when you compare it to my beautiful dreamland of London, where construction often has terms spanning decades.

but look at how shiny it all is! we’ve got our own large ferris wheel, giant metal trees – and while I know there are detractors that scoff at the unnaturalness of all these – hello you, have you seen the heavily-made-up lady next to you? what’s natural? – I emphatically love it all.

so back to this blog’s raison d’etre, and I conclude this place is fantabulous for viewing our beautiful bright lights, just skip the complimentary drinks.

one probably has to appreciate that in this market of rising alcohol prices (thank god I’m basically abstinent), you get one drink (from a short list) with your $18 entrance ticket – but the white wine was incredibly dry (almost akin to the feeling you get after using a tongue scraper) , and a whiskey cola heavy on the latter.

I can’t comment on their larger a-la-carte drinks menu, because you know I nursed the heck out of my eight-dollar glass of coke (and it was rather flat! at that price I want darn humongstrous bubbles!) – but I was there for date night and the view, so it worked out all good.

have a good weekend! (and happy belated thanksgiving, if you celebrate it!)

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morsels, little india

visually appealing and tasty fusion tapas-type eating at this hideaway of a restaurant in little india.

I’ve heard a lot about this place – how the chefs returned from culinary studies to set up this tiny new-age restaurant serving japanese-influenced fusionish – and let’s be straight, the food is pretty good, and the space both cozy and modern-scandi (which really just means it’s gorgeous).

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the halia, town

really good food at this second branch of the halia-of-botanics at the wonderfully colonial raffles hotel. this place was impressive – and while it wasn’t cheap, I dare say it was rather well worth it. I’ve always wanted to go to halia at its eponymous area in the botanic gardens – it’s long been a stalwart member of the brunch-providing institutions – and I’m so glad they now have a lovely (and very convenient space).

friendly service, a quiet corner of the hotel, and retro furnishings (very appropriately so, and hence not too hipster) – and good food plus reasonable prices: I think this beats many of my recent gastroventures clear out the water.

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jones the grocer, town

disappointing expensive dessert at this town outpost of the australian delicatessen newly opened on the top floor of the ion orchard mall. here’s another looks-pretty-but-doesn’t-deserve-to dessert that rather had a lot of potential but turned out rather dismal, though nowhere near the fiasco that was dean and deluca. I wish this place actually served good food – orchard really is lacking in nice places you can sit down for a break between shopping – but I think I’ll be sticking with the marmalade pantry for now.

I haven’t tried their savory items, so while I can’t give you a full low-down on the cafe, the desserts sure don’t provide any impetus to return.

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fern and kiwi, clarke quay

rather good – but expensive – new zealandic food in this new bar-restaurant at a corner of clarke quay. the food here surprised us, and the place warrants returns: it was huge servings, good flavors, considerable quality and friendly service – though at a rather large bill.

this is my first time having new zealandic (is that right?) food – and I have to say, just as with australian cuisine, that I wouldn’t recognize its provenance at all. it’s a modern type of cooking with a focus on clean, strong flavours, and seems more fusionish than anything else – but forgive (and correct) me if I’m wrong. not that it really matters though, as long as the food is enjoyable – and this was.

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marmalade pantry, town

good, better-than-average bistro food at this branch of the yummy-mummy chain in the ion shopping mall. this is a long post, because I came here twice in barely a week – and I’ll tell you why: the food is pretty decent, the prices competitive for the area, and there aren’t much better options around for a place to sit down and have some cake and tea.

it’s pretty flabbergasting to realize that though the orchard road precinct is hangout-de-rigueur for most people on the weekends, and so ought to (and does) have a slew of eateries, there really isn’t much to eat around there, just a whole lot of overly expensive sit-down places or trendy takeaway options. this place remains my fall-back option when I’m out with the girlfriends, and has been since I first visited their palais renaissance outlet nearly five years ago.

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the fat cat bistro, serangoon

good thai-indian-europeanish food at this hidden open-air cafe in serangoon. I’ve heard of this place quite a bit – but I never knew it was quite this close to me – and it’s now become a regular friday-dinner haunt (especially since there’s the prospect of dessert just a few doors down).

it’s a baffling prospect to go to a place that serves up three cuisine options all at once – and rather a relief to find that this isn’t some madcap venture, and that the food is genuinely all good. I put this down to the fact that it’s done up food-court-style, with the cafe basically serving as a communal dining area for three different stalls (and therefore three kitchens): thai yai, masala mantra and the french onion.

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amuse bar & global tapas, town

unimpressive food at very high prices in this tiny, lonely corner of the also rather forlorn orchard hotel. this restaurant was gaining widespread hype from singaporean bloggers when it first opened, what with its celebrity chef (hadn’t heard of him before visiting) and supposedly innovative dishes – so I kept it on my list and yanked it out in time for a valentine’s-as-excuse-for-expensive-meal, by which time the blogosphere was nearly silent on it – and I think rather deservedly so.

that first photo is of the most impressive dish we had – and their most famous: an egg wrapped in crispy ciabatta and topped with ham. a modernesque blumenthalesque rendition of a ham-and-egg-sammie with unctous yolk and proper ham, served over truffled jus and spinach: terrifically good. if the rest of the meal had followed in this vein, it would have been amazing – but it didn’t.

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