the populus coffee & food co., bukit pasoh

very hipster, very young clientele, similarly young baristas – decent food on a rather impressively-large menu for a coffee-focused place, but rather too-cool-for-you service that could be a little off-putting if you’re an old, plodding person soul as I am.

but these places sure know how to use design to create ambiance – I loved the wood, cork and black metal used all over here, and look at these lovely vintagey amber glasses.

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ryan’s grocery, binjai park

cute little grocery in binjai park, with a focus on gluten-free, complete with an in-house butchery and shelves of amazing imported goods. I have a weakness for supermarkets, and spend an inordinate amount of time in them on holidays (hello and sorry, fiancé!) – and I especially love seeing new things you can’t get in our ntucs and cold storages.

so it’s fair and likely embarrassing to admit that I have a love for imported goods – just for the variety – and while I don’t have gluten-free requirements (hallelujah bread!), this place is a veritable haven for them.

(and OH MY GOD, but did you know that mary berry has her own mayonnaise?!)

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don quijote, dempsey

very surprisingly good, even great, tapas at this restaurant hidden away in dempsey road. I’m really surprised by this place, and it might just be my new favorite spanish. rustic plates here differentiate it from the more refined dining at una (the other spanish restaurant high up on my list), and the ambiance is more friend-friendly than the latter’s date-friendly vibe.

my first visit here was on a tasting, and we returned two weeks later to verify if the food really was that good on a more regular basis – and it most definitely is.

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bistro du vin, shaw house

this place is an institution for french food in singapore – and to my mind, rightly so. it’s been around for years but I’ve only got to it recently, and I like the food and the vibe. it feels like your round-the-corner french bistro (if you’re lucky enough to have one), with decor that recalls that balanced kitschy-but-cool decor I associate with paris.

there are two classes of french food – the poncy, and the rustic. my tastes run to the latter, which is what they do here, served up hearty and without fuss.

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da laura, chinatown

just-ok italian food at this new-ish restaurant near the hip-and-happenin’ duxton road area. I really wanted to like this place – it’s meant to be rustic italian, it’s a small restaurant in a converted old shophouse, and it had just the right sort of intimate buzz going about it. but the food was disappointing – and while I would like to chalk it up to teething problems, it doesn’t make for much recommendation.

and it doesn’t have much of a dessert menu, which was terribly disappointing.

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le pain quotidien, london

lpq (1) lpq (2)

my ultimate favourite brunch place in south kensington, and all of their branches. this is going to be a short exposition on the chain that is le pain quotidien.

rather, it is going to be a short homage to their white chocolate spread known as the blondie. I don’t ever eat white chocolate, but the thing about this spread is that it is creamy and rich, and goes so well with all types of bread (and even without). it is also far too easy to eat too much of it, which is why I never dare to buy a jar (they do sell them) or allow myself to come too often.

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