An Introduction

An Introduction
The Simplest Aphrodisiac

Flavours of the Month

Flavours of the Month
Rocks Urban Grill & Bar

Overseas Trips

Overseas Trips
The Reason to Travel

The A List

The A List
Featuring the Best

15 Minutes

31 July 2009

Just only about a month old, 15 Minutes is a hip, up and coming café located at the new LASELLE College of the Arts building along Prinsep Street. First-time visitors here may find themselves trying to draw a similarity between Timbre and 15 Minutes because of the drinks bar and live band performances, but from what I see the latter certainly has a younger crowd going for it and is a place for budding singers and band members to get those precious minutes of stage time.

If fame is not exactly your thing (for now), this is still a great place to chill-out with friends and schoolmates after a day's work. Enclosed in an architectural glasshouse, 15 Minutes is divided into two levels - the upper deck where the food is ordered and served, and the lower deck, where the bar and live band stage is. The couches you see above are on the lower deck, and here you can have your drinks, your food and your merry band of friends as you listen and groove to the tunes for the night.

When I was there a couple of days ago, a group of LASELLE students was performing and just listening to their lead singer sing tells me that there is much hope yet for Singapore - I'm beginning to think Singapore Idol is increasingly being modelled as a comedy - I simply loved her rendition of Maroon 5's "Won't Go Home Without You" and I do hope we get to hear more from her and her band soon.

A couple of steps up, the upper deck houses wooden "class"-like benches and makes up the main dining area. Great for class gatherings don't you think, the perfect setting to reminisce those college, poly or uni days where news and the latest gossips are abound around the special class bench. Meanwhile, as you can see in the picture on the left, there's also chairs on the side for you to watch whatever is going on at the lower deck - guess that includes people-watching as well ;)

The food, I have to admit, isn't something worth raving and screaming about, but it certainly isn't bad either. I would think for a new eatery like 15 Minutes there would be a few fine-tuning in the works and I do hope one of them would be about extending the menu a wee bit more, maybe add in some delectably sweet desserts as well. For now, I have a good feeling about this place and I can see it growing even more popular with the younger crowd.

Chef Burger: 3.5/5

I have high expectations for my burgers, in part because I eat so many of them ever so often, and I have to say the Chef Burger here is pretty decent. I like the way the bread was toasted with butter (nice!) but found the beef patty itself a tad too overcooked. The patty seemed hand-pounded alright, which is a plus point. And oh, fries were thick and crisp - I like.

Fish and Chips: 4/5

Daphne gave this a pretty high score and I felt it was pretty justified insofar as the freshness of the fish and the taste of batter are concerned. I do feel it was a bit overfried though, and I personally would prefer that the overall texture of the fried batter be smoother than what it looks like here.

Spicy Prawn Aglio

Daphne's mother had this and she felt it was not bad. Portion appeared a tad small though, and it wasn't as spicy as the staff made it out to be.

Spaghetti Bolognaise

Daphne's younger cousin had the classic spaghetti bolognaise, which came quite... wet and gravy-like. Daphne insists it's quite good, so did her cousin.

Southern Fried Chicken Wings: 3.75/5

If you're in need of some pub grub while enjoying the music or some beers, you could get a small bucket of deep-fried chicken wings (nine mid-joints) for $5.90. I was wondering why nine not ten parts, since the typical chicken wing is made up of two parts yes? Oh well haha. The chicken wings were alright, but it made me miss those chicken wings at Cuscaden Patio even more!

Very good. The staff are sincere and polite, waitresses have nice smiles too.

$12.90 for the chef burger
$12.90 for the fish and chips
$9.90 for the spicy prawn aglio olio
$9.90 for the spaghetti bolognaise
$5.90 for the southern fried chicken wings
$4.50 for a glass of apple or lime juice
$3.50 for a glass of sprite

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

LASELLE College of the Arts, 1 McNally Street.
Behind Sim Lim Square and/or Burlington Square.

Chocolate Research Facility

28 July 2009

For a chocolate lover like me, the Chocolate Research Facility at Millenia Walk is a paradise indeed. The Facility doesn't look much, it's quite minimalist actually, and what you see is really the end-products arranged neatly on a single, long table. Not exactly Willy Wonka and his zany factory, or some space shuttle facility lookalike.

The bright little boxes caught my attention alright, they are really quite pretty. I was going through the different flavours one by one and had to resist the strong temptation to grab all of them at once. I love chocolates with nuts, so you can imagine this small pile was probably one of the most interesting stacks to me.

Like chocolates with fruits? Lemon peel, apricot, mango, lychee, wild berries, cranberry and so much more. This stack in particular features "double fruits", so you have flavours like apricot with dried apricot, cherry with dried cranberry or green apple with dried pear. I was more interested in the alcohol series though haha, cognac, irish cream and their bestseller - lychee martini.

One side of the Facility is stacked with boxes like these, making it seem like a small chocolate warehouse. The girlfriend peeped into a couple of boxes and found them empty. Probably just for show, though I heard those are really the storage boxes for the chocolates. Can you see the small font on the boxes, especially the last line? "Happy food makes happy people" - how true! =)

There's a few seats and chocolate-bar tables for you if you would like to just sit down and enjoy some chocolate brownies or drinks. Interesting design of dripping chocolate on the walls, which is also replicated on the Facility's website.

So what did I get? Well, I got the Cappuccino flavour earlier on and it was fan-tas-tic. It had a sliver of caramel-like leak, which is really cappuccino. The milk chocolate was so rich and good that I just went on to finish the whole bar instead of saving it for later. The Cognac flavour meanwhile was quite unique but the liqueur taste was not as strong as I would expect it to be. My only grouse would be the price, since it costs $8-$12 (depending on the series/flavour) for a really small bar.

I wanted some cheer-me-up so I decided to indulge and get the Iced Chocolate-Caramel. Tastes just like the real caramel chocolate, only now in liquid form. Lovely. I do feel that it would have been better if it's ice-blended though, with maybe even tiny chocolate pieces in it to chew on. A suggestion for the Facility! =)

$8-12 for a box of chocolate,
$7.50 for the iced chocolate-caramel.

Millenia Walk, #01-30.

Ah Loy Thai

Ah Loy Thai is a small eatery nestled in a fairly quiet corner at Shaw Towers but come lunch or dinner it's bustling with activity. Not surprising though, good food at good prices will certainly draw a crowd, don't you think? And oh, Ah Loy should not be confused with Ah Roy at Funan IT Mall as the latter also serves Thai food, albeit in a finer (and therein, more expensive) setting.

Seafood Tom Yum Soup: 4/5

One of the better tom yum soups here in Singapore. My friend prefers the clearer, spicier rendition of this soup though, but I think that's only because most Singaporeans prefer spicy dishes at their spiciest, they don't really like to settle for mildness haha. I meanwhile would think this soup had a good balance of spicy and sour. Good portion of seafood ingredients given the fairly low $5.50 price tag. We also ordered the chicken tom yum soup because Huixiang wanted "variety".

Tom Yum Fried Rice: 4.25/5

I couldn't exactly taste the tom yum, but perhaps that's because I was happily drinking the soup at the same time that I couldn't tell the distinctive flavour in the fried rice. Very tasty fried rice with the right amount of moisture and oil. Pretty generous with the seafood ingredients too.

Phad Thai: 3.75/5

Looks can be deceiving. The phad thai looked whitish and bland-tasting when it arrived (yes, it did look like it would be bland) but it turned out to be much more flavourful. I would prefer it to be a tad spicier with a little more grated peanuts for the extra crunch.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Kimberly and Huixiang both ordered this, it looked alright but I didn't get to taste it. Doubt it was as good as my fried rice! Hahaha. It was a healthy portion and well worth the price.

Very good. I actually tried to reserve a table for five fifteen minutes before our arranged dinnertime, and the ladyboss (so she seemed to be) was nice enough to make sure we could have the table in time. She even apologised that we had to sit outside of the restaurant, but I thought it was actually cooler outside since there was the air-conditioning from the building itself.

$5.50 for the seafood tom yum soup
$6.50 for the chicken tom yum soup
$5.00 for the tom yum fried rice
$4.50 for the phad thai
$4.50 for the pineapple fried rice
$1.30 for the thai iced tea (yums!)
$1.30 for the "kumquat" (lime juice)

Shaw Towers (Beach Road), #01-39/40.
Opposite Tom's Palette.

Tom's Palette

Tom's Palette has been receiving pretty good reviews from a good many food bloggers and it was about time that I took a trip down to Shaw Towers to have a look for myself. It tries to make itself out to be one of the healthier ice-cream parlours - "Tom's Palette is also healthier as we cut half the sugar level and replaced part of the cream with milk" - while at the same time working hard to keep coming up with new, unique flavours.

I tried the "Granny's Favourite" (doubt my own grandmother would like this much, but hey, "Tom's" granny does) and it was quite good - chocolate, malt and cookie dough. When I heard the cheery girl say "cookie dough" I knew I had to have a cup of this, even if I was so full from dinner. The ice-cream was very smooth, you can tell there's a slight difference in taste and texture and I'm quite sure it has something to do with their use of milk and eggs. It melts quite fast though. Overall I would give the ice-cream a 3.75/5 and I would certainly be back to try out their other flavours.

$2.50 for a small cup.

Shaw Towers (Beach Road), #01-25.

1 Caramel

24 July 2009

At least four food bloggers that I know have written about 1Caramel and since I was in the area I decided to drop by this little patiserrie with Daphne.

Chocolate Praline: 4.75/5

The both of us were a little full from lunch and so decided to share a slice, but in retrospect I thought we should have ordered the whole cake. It was that good.

While the cake was rich and smooth, it also had a light, crunchy base that I simply adored. It does reminds you of Nutella, Ferrero Rocher chocolates and chocolate mousse all at once. For a chocolate lover like me, this was simply delightful.

Very good. Free iced water too.

$9.30 inclusive of GST and service charge. I wonder if they would just charge $7.90 if you're getting a single slice on takeaway.

6 Handy road, #01-01 The Luxe.
Just beside The Cathay.

Loving Hut

"Be Veg, Go Green". Looks like you don't just "go green" by replacing that fuel-guzzling car for a hybrid or reduce your use of electricity-sappers like air-conditioners - what you eat seems to help as well.

I was looking through some of the food blogs, as I do ever so often, and came upon a post about Loving Hut and its vegetarian dishes done to a likeness of the "real" (non-vegetarian) dishes. It seemed pretty interesting to me (for more, click here for the menu) and you can say I was curious as well on how the food would turn out to be.

Dry Mee Pok: 2.75/5

I hesitated on giving a score for these noodles because 1) I'm not exactly a fan of mee pok, and 2) I prefer knowing what exactly I'm eating, and in this case I didn't really know what were those dark, bland-tasting things that are meant to replace minced meat. Do take my review here with a (big) pinch of salt because I do sincerely think vegetarian food needs a bit getting used to especially for the more carnivorous folks like me. The chilli base was pretty alright, and so were the noodles.

Dry Wanton Mee: 3.5/5

I think Daphne enjoyed her lunch more than I did, and with good reason too. The mock meat had a better and more familiar taste to me (as compared to my "fishballs") and the wanton, though pretty empty, was crispy. I liked her noodles more.

Tofu Jacket: 3.25/5

This was probably intended to be the vegetarian version to the "ngor hiang" (Chinese spiced meat rolls) and Daphne liked this quite a lot. I didn't know exactly what I was chomping on but it was quite good since it added the much needed flavour to my own noodles.

Good and polite.

$4.80 for each of the noodles
$3.80 for the tofu jacket

#01-07 Parklane Shopping Mall, Selegie Road.

Swensen's Ice-Cream II

I was looking through my labels on the right column and I realised that I eat a lot of fried rice, a lot of burgers, and yes, a lot of ice-cream. I guess if there's any time at all when I'm wondering where did those extra kilos come from all I have to do is make a quick check on this blog haha. Well, not much introduction needed for Swensen's, it's a popular name as it is here in Singapore, though NUS students will be glad to know that they're entitled to the "student's promotion" at the Holland Village branch throughout the day thanks to NUSSU Bizcom. It's great being a student =)

Nutty Mighty: 4.25/5

"Chocolate Peanut Buttercup, Macadamia and Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream crowned with a generous measure of whole macadamia nuts, peanuts, almonds, hot fudge and caramel". Go nuts with this sundae, it's really sweet, crunchy and yummy.

Coit Tower

"A tower of Vanilla and Chocolate ice cream, strawberry and chocolate fudge toppings, fresh banana slices and almonds". Good for those who love their classics. And simplicity.

Cookie Summit & Frosted Chocolate Malt

"Mountain of Cookies 'N' Cream and Butterscotch ice cream, covered by cold fudge and chocolate balls" and "Frosted Chocolate Malt ice cream with marshmallow topping, hot fudge and chocolate balls". Rebecca had the Cookie Summit but somehow or another she didn't quite like the aftertaste of the ice-cream. I found it alright though. WeiJie got the Frosted Chocolate Malt, another one of the classics, and seemed to enjoy it.

Good. By the way, if you're here at the Holland Village branch after 11pm or so, do ask for the daytime menu for the ice-cream sundaes because the midnight-morning menu (yes, they actually change the menus) seems to have a smaller range of sundaes.

As according to the promotion, two sundaes for just $9.80++.

251/253 Holland Avenue.

The Atrium Deli @ Pan Pacific Hotel

22 July 2009

If you're in need of a quiet and peaceful teatime snack, there's The Atrium Deli at Pan Pacific Hotel. With the "Summerlicious Specials" promotion on till the end of the month, the teatime set is going for just $28++ "featuring petite sandwiches, pastries and freshly-brewed tea".

I have to admit though that there were as many misses as there were hits in this teatime set. Me and the bestie enjoyed the scones, apple crumble, sandwiches and oh, the delightful cream cheese spread (to the point we tried spreading it on almost everything) but we weren't too impressed with the cakes.

It's a very comfortable setting with dim lights and light jazz music in the background, and at times you could just drift off to sleep amidst the serenity. Service was commendable as well, the waitresses were very polite and always there to refill your tea or coffee. Still, I doubt I would be back for the teatime set, much less so without the promotion, but there's a chance I might try out some of their other cakes or famous éclairs the next time round.

Seah Street Deli @ Raffles Hotel

We meant to head to Heaven's Loft at Orchard Central for dinner but a brief lookaround the Net revealed several harsh comments about the restaurant, especially the service. We didn't feel like having anyone test our patience for the night, and I decided to bring Daphne to Seah Street Deli at Raffles Hotel instead.

Union Square Burger: 4.25/5

I added a fried agg to the burger but it came a tad dry and burnt, definitely not worth that extra $2++. Other than that, the burger was fantastic. The bread soft and evenly warmed while the 180g beef patty (mine done medium) fresh, tender and juicy. I liked the hint of black pepper sauce as well. French fries were crisp and tasty too, so much so that the girlfriend's fingers were drawn to my plate ever so often heh.

Tribeca Burger: 4/5

Daphne liked the way the cheese, beef and parmaham mixed so well in this burger. The mashed potato meanwhile had a unique, buttery taste to it.

Excellent, polite and friendly.

$15.20 for the union square burger
$18.40 for the tribeca burger
$2.00 for an additional fried egg

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Seah Street Deli, Raffles Hotel.

Bakerzin Dinner

19 July 2009

I've always been blogging about the cake promotions from Bakerzin, but you may be wondering - what about the rest of the food? One of my friends who was held up even asked me puzzledly, "There's food at Bakerzin?" I suppose he was thinking people wouldn't exactly go to Bakerzin for anything else but cakes. Fair enough, that's what I thought so too. The "All Day Set Menu" at either $13.80++ or $16.80++ seemed enticing enough (and not to mention, free flow bread), and we thought, let's give it a try.

Bread & Tomato Soup

The bread on free flow was soft and tastes even better if you choose to toast it. The soup of the day was tomato soup, which was little more than a thicker version of a spaghetti gravy. Tastes great with the bread though, we were dipping it delightedly.

Seafood Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce: 3.5/5

The seafood was fresh but I wished the sauce was thicker, it was a tad too diluted for my liking. Pleasant but not exactly fantastic.

Braised Chicken Leg served in Mushroom Sauce

Huixiang's chicken leg looked succulent and inviting enough. A pretty big leg too I must add.

Ham, Bacon and Mushroom Pizza

Kinda reminded me of some crispy deep-fried vegetarian pancake. WeiJie who had this said it was "not bad".

Ham and Bacon Penne with Cream Sauce

Three of my friends ordered this, and all three agreed that the penne was a bit too hard for their liking. The cream and ham saved the dish of course.

Very good and friendly.

$16.80 for the set meals of seafood spaghetti and braised chicken leg
$13.80 for the set meals of the pizza and penne

* Set meals consist of bread on free flow, soup of the day, main course and a choice of Italian soda or iced tea. For more on set meals, click here.
** Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Suntec City Mall, #B1-016.


18 July 2009

ZenZen is a new colourful eatery at Bugis Junction that prides itself as an award-winning European fast-food restaurant "with an Asian kick". We weren't intending to dine here at first but the pleasant service at the door won us over. What about the food you say?

Marco Polo Spaghetti: 3.25/5

The spaghetti comes in a box similar to American Chinese takeouts, and the portion does look a tad little for the price I'm paying. The spaghetti tasted plain normal, but of course I liked the meatballs for they were filling, juicy and beefy altogether. The good thing is that the meatballs, unlike those at Ikea, are purely beef - ZenZen claims to not sell any pork nor lard here.

Swedish Meatballs with Tempura Wedges: 3.5/5

The meatballs came in a sauce that is a far cry from the more delicious cream sauce at Ikea, and is instead closer to that of a Japanese curry. Still, the meatballs were nice and the wedges came piping hot and crispy. Good addition of the rice since it was pretty tasteless on its own but goes well with the gravy.

Chocolate Bao: 2.75/5

Plain, average bao (dumpling) with really usual chocolate filling. Kinda small too. Order this only if you really need something tiny to nibble on after your meal.


$8.80 for the marco polo spaghetti
$8.80 for the swedish meatballs with tempura wedges
$1.90 for a serving of rice and soft drink
$1.50 for the chocolate bao

Bugis Junction, #01-88/89.

Rich & Good Cake Shop II

14 July 2009

We're back here again for more swiss rolls! I agree with some bloggers who mentioned that it wouldn't be worth the time to travel all the way here for the swiss rolls, but it's perfectly fine if you're in the area. I got the coffee swiss roll which proved to be really nice with its soft and smooth texture and rich coffee flavour. No picture of this but hey it's good along with its kaya partner.

Mini Chocolate Éclairs: 2.75/5

They do look simply adorable but they tasted simply ... simple? Nothing much to these éclairs, the chocolate cream was quite average but at least the pastry was alright.

$5.50 - $7.50 per roll
$3.00 for a box of six mini éclairs

24 Kandahar Street,
Near Sultan Mosque.

2009 ·*the simplest aphrodisiac by TNB | Official Singapore Food Blog.