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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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

kiseki, orchard central

not really a very good japanese buffet – but if you aren’t too fussy and want a buffet, this one gives you an option at a pretty decent price.

buffets are a difficult format to serve, in any case – food gets dried out from constant cooking by the ambient heat of the foodwarmer, the spread tends to be unimpressive unless you pay quite a lot, and quality gets overlooked in favor of quantity.

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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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rabbit carrot gun, katong

to follow on the brunch theme (does one post a theme make?), I’ve finally made my way to rabbit carrot gun – which is as strange and awkward (and can I say, unuseful) a name as an eatery could have – doesn’t really tell you anything apart from the fact that their owners are are probably modern types having an inside joke.

it’s a corner cafe in katong serving up fancified british, at prices the people of that fair isle would likely balk at – dominated by katong-type yuppies and expatriates all sitting al fresco in the heat (no one else but the too-cool and foreign would brave it – generalisation, yes, but stereotypes exist for a reason).

my bowl of homemade muesli served with yogurt and berry compote was decent, if small and unfilling. it was the french toast that really surprised us – thick bread that held its structure despite soaking enough egg-and-milk for a custardy inside, served with proper maple syrup and berry compote – it was delicious, and well-worth an order.

if you’re in the area for brunch, the food is pretty decent. which is to say I might come back again (although not travel specifically for) – but the prices are somewhat prohibitive (even for what is supposed to be an overpriced meal), and I like air-conditioning with my food.

Rabbit Carrot Gun
47 – 49 East Coast Road
Singapore 428768
tel +65 6348 8568
$$.5: 30 per person

majestic bay seafood restaurant, gardens by the bay

really rather good dimsum in this quite stunning restaurant set in the idyllic compounds of the gardens by the bay (one of my favorite places).

I had rather a far-too-much spree of dimsum a couple years ago, and so I very gingerly tread my way into dimsum restaurants these days, because of the very one-ness of their characteristics – they really only differ in quality. but at least this one was pretty much worth the calories (and repetition of flavors), and that view out the window is nothing to laugh about.

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potatohead folk, keong saik road

eh, okay, burgers at this trendy singaporean outpost of a balinese cool hangout. located at hipster keong saik road, in a building that once belonged to a much-loved cze char place, this place is fashionable and knows it.

the food isn’t bad, but it’s rather pricey for what is essentially an upscale burger boutique, with a menu comprised of a dozen burger options and some sides and desserts to go with. and while it isn’t as overwhelming impressive as the hype made it out to be, it does make for a decent enough meal (just a rather expensive one, and with pretty bad service).

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grilled cheese

it’s a lazy sunday! perfect time for a grilled cheese – especially since many of you guys must be feeling the cold weather. even hot-hot-hot singapore is going through a bit of a cold, wet spot.

grilled cheeses are really the result of technique rather than any exact ingredient choices; here, we took spinach and sauteed it with garlic and soy sauce, piled high our cheddar-mozzarella grated mix, and laid on strips of black pepper ham over our seeded rye bread.

if you’re making one, make sure you press the water out from your cooked greens, pile the cheese high (there’s no such thing as too much – anything that doesn’t stay in the sandwich forms a crispy tuile), and spread lots of butter on the two sides of the sandwich that meet the pan. you want to fry the bread – there’s no dieting here.

have a great rest-of-the-weekend!
xx

the lokal, bukit pasoh

eh-alright brunch food at this newish brunch place at bukit pasoh. it’s a menu of rather typical cafe-style food, as well as an assemble-your-own-breakfast section of breakfast meats. I can’t say I was impressed – service was rather spotty, even though the place is small – and the food was pretty normal-going.

if you’re in the neighborhood, and there are seats – then it’s an option for a meal. but if there’s a queue – well, I can’t say I’d be bothered.

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