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

Big D's Grill

31 August 2009

I finally made my way down to Big D's after reading so many reviews about it on fellow food blogs. Thanks must go to the best friend for patiently tagging along as we tried to find our way around the HDB blocks in Holland Village. The coffeeshop where Big D is located at is really old, and at noontime the signboard isn't as lighted up as the picture you see above. But they're well in business and I was glad.

Beer Battered Fish and Chips: 4/5

The fish and chips was better than expected, the fish was really fresh and the batter crisp and light. Two healthy portions of fish fillets and a good side of potato wedges made this a filling meal indeed, though I would personally prefer crispy salted shoestring fries (like those from McDonald's!) instead =)

Crabmeat Linguine: 4/5

I recommended the crabmeat linguine to the best friend because it's one of those dishes from Big D's that has had rave reviews from the food bloggers. The best friend, like a trained foodie, commented that there's a "good balance between the sourness and spiciness" of the linguine, but added that the taste of crabmeat was not entirely discernible. She said that the portion was just nice and it was worth the money. I had a forkful of the linguine and thought it was quite good as well.


$8.90 for the beer battered fish and chips
$10.90 for the crabmeat linguine

Blk 46 Holland Drive, #01-359.
Beside the Buona Vista Bus Terminal / Community Centre.

Additional Comment
First picture source here.

The Pasta Shop

30 August 2009

Many of us have heard of Pasta de Waraku but less can probably be said about one of its competitors, The Pasta Shop by Sakae Sushi, which has a sole outlet in Wheelock Place. Me and Daphne had never planned to dine here, but the crowds all over Orchard Road (especially at Orchard Ion) on a bustling Friday night literally pushed us to its fringes. Tired and hungry, we picked the nearest restaurant that we could find, and one in particular without a queue that would force us to wait for more than thirty minutes.

Iced Green Tea: 1.5/5
Spinach Soup-of-the-Day: 3/5
"Mentaiko" Salad: 2/5

There was this special set ($16.80++) that seemed appealing enough with its chilli crab pasta. It was also appealing to me because the set comes with a drink! The Pasta Shop is one of those infamous eateries still operating in Singapore that simply refuse to serve free iced water and yet charge relatively high prices for its drinks ($3.80++ for a coke). Maybe all of its iced water goes into its iced green tea, which was terribly tasteless. The soup of the day meanwhile was alright, but the "mentaiko" cold salad wasn't appetising at all with its mix of spice and cheese.

Chilli Crab Pasta: 3.75/5

At least the chilli crab pasta saved the dinner! There was that nice, familiar hint of the same chilli crab gravy that many of us slurp greedily up at seafood restaurants, though a tad more eggs and a much thicker gravy would have been better. The softshell crab needs to be a bit fresher too.

Carbonara Pasta: 3.25/5

It was okayyy, but Daphne found it just too creamy for her liking. She had trouble finishing it up.

Excellent, very polite and friendly. I did observe that it would be a tad hard for an understaffed restaurant to serve free iced water, because that would mean having waiters to tend to calls for refills as well. If hiring extra staffs is out of the question, I don't see why they can't invest in small water jugs, like those at 3 Monkeys Cafe for example.

$16.80 for the chilli crab pasta set
$12.90 for the carbonara pasta
$6.80 for a glass of "tea freeze"

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

Wheelock Place, #02-13/14.

Additional Comment
First picture source here.

Sakura Halal Thai Chinese Restaurant II

26 August 2009

If you're looking for affordable, simple and especially Halal-certified restaurants in the City Hall area, there's Sakura Restaurant and Magic Wok located at Capitol Building just diagonally opposite of Raffles City Shopping Centre. I was actually thinking if there's anymore distinctively Halal eateries in the area and I realised that actually... there isn't! Of course there's Pizza Place at Raffles City which doesn't serve pork or lard, but it isn't certified Halal. Some of my friends have been asking me for suggestions where they could take some of their Muslim friends out for dinner and I have to say it's not easy finding a suitable place here. Perhaps you could consider Breeks, Swensen's, Tambuah Mas or Seoul Garden at Marina Square, or Secret Recipe, Bali Thai or House of Sundanese Food (link to Great World City outlet) at Suntec City. If you look at the list, it's pretty much the same old restaurants all over again and so for the sake of my Muslim friends I do wish there could be more interesting eateries in future. Sakura and Magic Wok aren't as fanciful as these restaurants, but the food is fairly decent.

Fried Wanton: 3/5

These were just simple, crunchy delights. Daphne commented that it had a slightly sourish aftertaste but I thought it was alright actually.

Sambal Kangkong: 4.25/5

The staple dish the both of us always order. I liked it a lot because the vegetables were fresh and the sambal chilli nicely spicy.

Hotplate Beancurd: 2.75/5

Very typical, standard fare.

Very good.

$4.00 for the fried wanton
$6.00 for the sambal kangkong
$8.00 for the hotplate beancurd
$1.00 for a plate of white steamed rice
$1.80 for a glass of lime juice

11 Stamford Road
#01-04 Capitol Building.

3 Monkeys Cafe

22 August 2009

I thought the concept of this place is pretty interesting, plush monkeys lying around the restaurant, waiters and waitresses in safari-like uniforms, even a manager in the safari ranger shirt. 3 Monkeys Cafe at Holland Village is the second branch to open in Singapore, with the first and main restaurant located at Orchard Towers.

3 Monkeys Cafe is a great spot for gatherings with their long tables and benches, so if you're looking for a place to monkey around (alcoholic drinks available as well) here's one to bring your buddies to. You would notice that there wouldn't be much reviews on the food in this post, in part because everyone agreed that the food was "alright", "okay", "not bad" but not necessarily awesome. The good thing was the 1-for-1 UOB Card offer for main courses (note: one card for one pair of main courses, promotion from 1 August till 31 October 2009) which made dinner cheaper.

Italian Meatball Spaghetti: 3/5

I stifled the urge to try the "Mighty Joe Burger" (Double beef patty, double cheese, double turkey bacon and double turkey ham) and settled for the meatball spaghetti instead. Wrong choice as the spaghetti was quite ordinary and the meatballs were close to the ones from Pastamania, the latter of which goes for half the price.

Black Pepper Burger

Yiwang had this and it did look heartily good. He found the portion a tad too big for him though, and the patty was quite thick indeed.

Sambal Bali Fish

This dish has been receiving quite a lot of favourable reviews online because of the spicy sambal chilli. Portion could be improved though, the two slices of dory fish looked quite small.

Catch of the Day

The "catch of the day" was dory fish cooked with some type of mushroom sauce, topped with greens. You could always opt for fries if you prefer them over broccoli and cauliflower, well, I know I would :)

Creamy Tarragon Chix

For simplicity sake, it's like a chicken chop with cream sauce, served with a small side of pasta. Not an easy photograph to take because the plates were quite long.

Diavolo Chiz

This is the tomato sauce variation of the creamy tarragon chix above.

Supreme Brownie

Looks nice right, I would have ordered it if not for the pants ha.

Pretty Water Jug

Yes, they serve free iced water.

Very good, they try to be attentive despite operating at full house for a Friday night. It was quite a wait for the food though, but they seemed apologetic enough.

$16.90 for the Italian meatball spaghetti
$15.90 for the black pepper burger
$16.90 for the sambal bali fish
$15.90 for the catch of the day
$15.90 for the creamy tarragon chicken
$15.90 for the diavolo chicken
$7.50 for the supreme brownie

* Prices subject to the usual 7% GST and 10% service charge.
** Have at least a couple of UOB cards ready for the 1-for-1 deal ;)


267 Holland Avenue, Holland Village.
Along the Swensen's, Essential Brew and Foster's row of restaurants.

Additional Comment
No pork, no lard.

Oriole Cafe & Bar

Oriole Cafe & Bar is a serene little place near the Orchard Road belt of glassy shopping centres and just a five minutes walk away from Orchard Cineleisure. If you're getting tired of the crowds at Ion, perhaps Oriole would be a good place to calm your senses down for a peaceful dinner.

Oriole Burger: 3/5

Everyone who reads this blog regularly know that I'm a huge fan of burgers, but that also means that expectations have definitely gone up. The burger here was ordinary, nothing to shout about and quite uninspiring. The patty was a tad burnt and the one good addition - the fried egg - was also a bit overdone. The wedges were a bit too salty as well.

Bangers and Mash: 4.25/5

Daphne loved the pork sausages, and commented that the gravy and mashed potatoes were equally tasty and good.

Very good.

Around $18 for the Oriole burger
Around $14 for the bangers and mash

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

96 Somerset Road
#01-01 Pan Pacific Serviced Suites.

Swissotel, The Stamford

16 August 2009

Hey Everybody! Hope everyone is doing great!

It's been quite a while since this blog has seen a new entry, in part because school has just started for me and there's been quite a bit (an understatement, surely) of work that has been screaming to get my time and attention. I do have a couple of dinner appointments lined up in the week ahead, so stay tuned for posts on those ya!

Here's a post about room-service dinner from Swissotel, The Stamford, where me and Daphne stayed over during the National Day weekend.

Complimentary Bread

The buns were alright, but we thought the wholemeal raisin slices were a bit too dry for our liking. We dipped the buns in the smooth and buttery mashed potato (came as a side to my main course) and it worked wonders.

Mushroom Spring Chicken: 4.25/5

A well-fed bird, this spring chicken definitely filled me up for the night. The meat was tender and evenly cooked, with a hint of light mushroom sauce. The fries were thick and potatoey, which was nice.

Char Kway Teow: 4.25/5

Daphne wanted something less-Western, and I suggested that she order this so I could share the chicken with her. The noodles came in a large, hearty portion, but without the usual oilspill that's typical of the char kway teows sold at hawker centres. Adequate portions of ingredients too. It may be a bit pricey for a plate of fried noodles, but well, this is how in-room dining is.

Chocolate Fondue

We had chocolate fondue the following afternoon at the lobby lounge, and I have to admit I had high expectations for this largely because I associated the good, dark chocolate fondue from Swiss Culture to a hotel with well, similar origins. Alas, the chocolate fondue here was more of a milk chocolate variation, and it wasn't heated up that much. I would definitely prefer the addition of tealight candles (to keep the chocolate warm), marshmallows, cookies and maybe a bit of ice-cream as well please!

About $65 for the dinner, including taxes.

Swissotel, The Stamford.

New York New York II

07 August 2009

The New York New York branch at Lot 1 (Choa Chu Kang) is the only New York New York branch that has a "no pork, no lard" menu but I doubt this is anything of a move towards eventual full Halal-certification across its outlets. Non-Muslim folks who aren't too aware of the difference(s) between Halal and "no pork no lard" should always consult their Muslim friends first before making any prior meal arrangements, because few actually would accept the latter.

Rotisserie Spring Chicken: 3.75/5

This turned out better, and certainly larger, than I had expected it to be. I thought it would be pretty small like those at the food-court "Tenderfresh" stalls and was not prepared for a big, well-fed bird to be on the plate in front of me. There were two orders for this, and the both of us took quite some time (and quite a bit of arm/wrist strength) to get through the chicken with our forks and knives. On taste, it was quite good actually, not too dry and almost evenly marinated.

Giant Meatball Spaghetti

I can't remember the exact name to this dish, but it came with two to three large-sized meatballs that were quite dry and tasteless. My friend also commented that the spaghetti was a bit too hard for his liking.

Baked Sausages with Cheese

Whoops, didn't get the name of this dish too! My friend quite liked it but I think he thought I had the better deal with the chicken. The sausages were medium-sized and I would think it's a wee bit over-priced.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken

Almost standard type of chicken chop.

Very good.

$15.90++ for the rotisserie spring chicken

Choa Chu Kang Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall, #01-05/06/07.


04 August 2009

Placed on the quieter end of the Holland Village stretch, Mykii (pronounced as "mee-kai") promises not only a getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life but also a getaway for the tastebuds with its fusion cuisine. I've always wondered if you could really call fusion food part of a cuisine by itself, then I looked it up on Wiki and got a simple answer - "fusion cuisine combines elements of various culinary traditions while not fitting specifically into any". Probably that's why the best friend says fusion food doesn't do much justice to cuisines, I suppose she likes her food in their... purer form.

Me, I've always looked to fusion food with a certain type of interest, and with a certain type of expectation. You never really know what you're going to get (like Forrest Gump would say of a box of chocolates) but you hope that the mix would be good, that it would yin-yang sort of good and not some weird mismatch of tastes. At least in Mykii, while you're going through the menu and pondering over what to order, you're treated really well by the friendly and polite staff, so that eases you a bit. And then you order. And then you wait patiently and see what the chefs whips up for you...

Seafood Linguini with Laksa Pesto: 4/5

I could tell the best friend wasn't impressed, but to be honest, I liked this linguini-version of laksa (for those wondering what this is, it's a type of spicy, coconut-based noodle soup). It's less watery than our typical laksa, certainly more like a spaghetti gravy, but spicy and flavourful nevertheless. There was an over-dosage of laksa leaves (otherwise known as Vietnamese coriander) that I thought the dish could do less with. Perhaps a couple more prawns would be nice too. I'm already thinking of using spaghetti, linguine or even fusilli the next time my mother cooks laksa!

Seafood Curry with Tomato Cheesy Pie

In short, seafood curry with plain pizza. It looked quite plain when it arrived and for a while I felt bad for suggesting to my friend to try this. He said it was not too bad though, but noted that there was not much "fusion" going on between the pizza and the curry. He would prefer the cheese blended into the curry, somewhat like the Cheese Curry Udon at Wakashachiya.

Pot Roasted Chicken

The chicken is described as being slow-cooked with Mediterranean vegetables and served with olive and almond pilaf rice, and to me it looks like a Mediterranean version of the Indian briyani rice. Tyler didn't say much, so I'm guessing it was alright but not exactly impressive.

The service was a winner here. A couple of us came earlier and they sat us down with glasses of iced water and politely offered to go through the menu should we need any help. Our glasses were consistently filled throughout the meal too.

$15.80 for the seafood linguine with laksa pesto
$15.80 for the seafood curry with tomato cheesy pie
$14.80 for the pot roasted chicken

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

17D Lorong Liput Holland Village.
Opposite Subway, next to Petit Provence.


03 August 2009

Be merry and frolic under the sun, or grab a cool cup of yogurt from Frolick, or just go ahead and do both. Be prepared though, amidst the cheeky slogans, lively surroundings and cheery girls, you're going to pay more than you should for those spoonfuls of delight.

The cups come in the typical small, medium and large sizes (but worded as Cup A, B and C for the obvious connotation) and cost as much as $3.50 for a small cupful of plain yogurt. A medium sized cup costs $4.80 and would give you the choice of a free topping, but as the best friend asserted, she should get it as well for the price she is paying for her plain yogurt. Frolick claims that its yogurt stays "hard longer than ice-cream", but I'm wondering if that's only to suit its sexual innuendo theme since it didn't stay frozen all that long actually. The (ordinary) kit-kats gave a sweet, chocolatey taste to the smooth and milky yogurt.

More of the cheeky stuff. The yogurt is pleasant but as you can tell I personally feel it's a bit too overpriced. For that price I rather be a little "unhealthier" and get flavoured ice-creams! =)

Smoochies Bistro & Bar

I learned about Smoochies while clicking around some of the reviews on the Hungrygowhere forums and thought it might be worth a visit. It's tucked in a small business area just opposite of the PSA building along Alexandra Road, and is perfect for those who really want a quiet night away from... well, almost everywhere. Since it's after all surrounded by offices, the afterhours would be fairly peaceful for you to enjoy your dinner.

It was pretty quiet too for a Saturday night, just a few couples lounged outside listening to a lady sing and strum on her guitar. Me and Daphne sat inside because there was no way I could take pictures of the food in the dark and we had the restaurant all to ourselves for at least forty good minutes (then again, it was 8.30pm by the time we got there) before a group of girls came in for drinks.

No, they don't serve these as food, but Daphne bought them while waiting for me to pick her up from work and they look so cute right! Maybe she was so hungry that she had a similar expression as these brown guys haha. On to some real food then, shall we? =)

Pizza Frutti Di Mare: 3.75/5

Sounds like a fruit-based pizza but it really is seafood pizza. I liked the pizza because it had the optimal thickness to it - not too thick that it would be bread-like, nor too thin that it would be cracker-like. The cheese was well done as well as you can see here, a nice golden brown. The pizza was unique in the sense that it has salmon chunks in it, but to be honest I thought the taste of the salmon threatened to overwhelm the pizza and I found myself eating the salmon separately from the pizza. Probably better to stick to normal fish fillets. The squids were a tiny bit overdone but otherwise okay.

Fish and Chips: 4.25/5

I think this is my kind of fish and chips, as compared to the ones at 15 Minutes that were closer to that of a deep-fried chicken cutlet - it's all in the type of batter. I prefer a smoother texture with a golden brown hue like the ones you see in the picture above, though others may have their own preferences. The fish was fresh and tasty.

Very good, polite and attentive.

$15.00 for the pizza frutti di mare
$16.00 for the fish and chips

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

991B Alexandra Road, #01-10.

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