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

The Daily Scoop

26 November 2009

Ice-cream... That first lick, that first nibble, that first bite - that feeling of love. I'll have ice-cream everyday.

The Daily Scoop has received many favourable reviews by bloggers and online forumers alike, and it's clear that accessibility has not been much of a concern for many of them. Tucked in a small building housing a mid-sized supermarket, a bakery and then some, the Daily Scoop seems to be the one with the most share of customers this one sunny afternoon.

Waffles with Ice-Cream: 4.5/5

I liked the ice-creams more than waffles actually, because the waffles are of a softer sort like those at Icekimo (come to think of it, they even look identical) and I personally prefer those hot and crisp (maybe even a little burnt) ones. I had the "house favourite" Kookie Monster, which was more milky than chocolatey, and the delicious Bailey's with Chocolate Chip, which on the other hand seemed more chocolatey with a hint of liquor. I think I'm growing to have a bigger preference for mixed ice-creams like those at Cold Rock or Ben & Jerry's, you know, the kinds where you have more bits and pieces of stuff in them. Just a personal preference.

Brownie with Ice-Cream

The brownie was comparatively smaller, but it looked dense enough. Tyler paired it with Macadamia Nut-flavoured ice-cream, and he did seem to enjoy it.

Double Scoop Ice-Cream

The couple shared this pair of Hazelnut and Durian ice-creams, and I think the consensus amongst the three at the table was that the Durian flavour was the clear favourite - me, I don't like durian much. Rebecca mentioned how it had bits of durian in the ice-cream, so durian fans should love this quite a lot. The Hazelnut one meanwhile was milder, yet very smooth and milky.

$8.50 for the waffles with double scoop of ice-cream
$5.50 for the brownie with single scoop of ice-cream
$5.20 for double scoop of ice-cream
$3.00 for single scoop of ice-cream
$2.00 for "kids" scoop of ice-cream

41 Sunset Way, #01-04 Clementi Arcade.

Ootoya Japanese Restaurant

23 November 2009

I don't normally have lunch alone, but it was just after an interview, barely noon and my friends were either busy studying or busy at work. I decided that I wanted somewhere peaceful downtown and I knew immediately where I could count on: Orchard Central. And hey, since so many food bloggers have been raving about Ootoya, it seemed like an automatic choice as well :)

Grilled Chicken Oyako Don: 4.5/5

I was trying to make sure that I got the name of this dish right, and I came upon this interesting find on Wiki that "Oyako Don" literally means "parent-and-child donburi" (donburi is a type of Japanese rice bowl dish) because of well, the chicken and egg! Ootoya's Grilled Chicken Oyako Don is the best of its type that I've eaten here in Singapore. The chicken was grilled to perfection (no wonder there was a bit of a waiting time) while the eggs and onions completed the full flavour of this dish. At first I was a bit concerned that parts of the eggs were still runny, but I mixed it around and it wasn't a problem at all. Simple, but oh so delicious.

I didn't expect this to be so filling, because I was aiming the desserts as well. I only heard recently that the dessert servings are pretty small, so in retrospect I should have gotten something sweet to wrap it all up. Maybe soon. I'm open to any invitations from anyone who wants to head there for lunch or dinner in December :)


Free flow of cold or warm green tea. The green tea had a "smoky" flavour to it, but I got used to it after a while. I was willing to accept that anything here was authentically Japanese, in part because majority of the customers this afternoon were Japanese haha. How nice to hear their words and exclamations.

As I waved for the bill, the (cutest) waitress came up to me with a shy smile and slipped her hand into her apron - I thought she was going to take out her handphone, a small notepad to write her number maybe... oh, a wet towel. Gee. That aside, service here is excellent.

Orchard Central, #08-12.

Golden Wings Restaurant

20 November 2009

Tacky name for a restaurant, but looking at its middle-aged owners I would think they were probably on this (conventional) attempt to translate something that is more... "prosperous"-sounding. Probably. But hey, let's talk more about the food ya!

Chicken Rice: 3.75/5

Sometimes I indulge in all the sweet treats, sometimes I splurge on the higher-end stuff. But like Yuan from Sgdessert said recently, sometimes you just want to go right back to the basics. And so here we have, chicken rice! I personally like this chicken rice because the rice is drier and not too oily. The chicken is also very tender and I like the light marination to it as well.

Hot-Plate Beancurd: 3.75/5
Sambal Kangkong: 4.25/5
Seafood Tom Yum Soup: 3.25/5

I like simple and well-prepared dishes like these, which explains for the pretty high (and perhaps, pretty biased) ratings. The sambal kangkong was reallyyy good by the way, it came all hot and spicy. Fairly generous portions and worth the price. It's Halal-certified as well, so it's perfect for our Muslim friends out there :)

Very good.

$3.80 for the chicken rice
$8.00 for the hot-plate beancurd
$6.00 for the sambal kangkong
$6.00 for the seafood tom yum soup

Yew Tee Point, #01-36/38/39.

Bloggers Outing: 1 Caramel

16 November 2009

Ever since the enjoyable food blogger outing at Cafe Oliv, the momentum has been on a high for the next gathering. Fifty-one (excited) emails later, we managed to settle on a theme, a place, and a date - Sweet Treat Sunday at 1 Caramel. This time, there were more of us food bloggers, and I am sure you would be seeing this post about 1 Caramel popping up in five other food blogs within the next few weeks. Here's the "guest list" for the day:

Kaelyn from My Food Sirens
Elaine from Divine Essentials
Angeline & Janelle from SistaFood
Harris from The Simplest Aphrodisiac
Fen & Yuan from Indulgence After Workout
Michelle from Never Trust A Scrawny Foodie

This wasn't an invited session, and the staff had no idea that a group of food bloggers were here with a craving for everything sweet and delectable. I could tell everyone was clearly amused when the cameras were being whipped out, and they watched us as we gleefully handed the cakes around the table for that one perfect shot. For us, it's like on automatic really, lining up the cakes, tilting the shot, snap snap, calling for another, line tilt snap snap. The cakes, pretty as they were, posed proudly for us. Enjoy :)

Red Miso Soufflé: 4.25/5

This was certainly a unique soufflé that got the girls squealing in delight. The "salty goodness" of miso is paired with a scoop of sourish vanilla ice-cream (the ice-cream needs a bit getting used to for some) for that welcomed hot-and-cold balance. Soft, light and delicious.

Brownies Almond Cake: 3.25/5

The menu promised something moist, but the brownie came quite dry actually. They should warm the brownie up and pair it with ice-cream. I wouldn't mind paying a little more for it if it's going to taste way better, especially since at $4.50 it's already quite a steal. The brownie is rich and chocolatey, so it just needs to be a bit more moist, warmer and well, ice-cream always helps.

Carrot Walnut Cake: 3/5

We had expectations for this cake, but oh no, it didn't impress at all. As Elaine mentioned, it didn't have that "spice" that a good carrot cake should have, and I'm thinking she's probably referring to the cinnamon taste that I'm familiar with some other carrot cakes as well. This cake in particular had a bland aftertaste, and I'm quite sure it's not because our tastebuds got numb after all the sweets and sugars.

Hazelnut Pear Torta: 3.5/5

The pear torta was just about alright, a spongy (slightly dry) type of middle with caramelised pear slices to top it up.

Peanut Butter Cheese Tart: 4.5/5

I would like to think that the people managing 1 Caramel somehow read my earlier post on their peanut butter cheese tart. I'm saying this because the tart has improved a lot since then, and much of it lies in the thicker layer of peanut butter (yums!) that I simply adore. Perfect for peanut butter lovers of course, though others may find that it's a bit too much for them. Still, I like it the way it is now, and I'm sure those who love their peanut butter thick toasts will lap this up ever so willingly.

Midori: 4.25/5

This won the hearts of many at the table, and I think it's because of the unique blend of matcha, yuzu and azuki beans. This is a relatively new addition to 1 Caramel, and judging from the nods around, I think it will be something to stay.

Lychee Rose: 4.5/5

It's not always that something non-chocolatey or non-peanut buttery will attract me this much (I'm not talking about ladies here of course), but the lychee rose cake is simply lovely. It's probably the "lightest" of the cakes, with a lychee rose mousee atop the sweet, juicy lychee jelly. I understand there's a "Valrhona ivory chocolate glaze" (should be the white chocolate) somewhere in the cake, but it's the lychee and rose flavour that wins it.

Chocolate Praline Cake: 4.75/5

1 Caramel's cocoa signature cake, and with good reason too. The hazelnut praline feuilletine layer is my favourite bit in the cake, and the rest of the (varying) layers of chocolate mousse just completes this cake neatly. I heard from Fen that it's not entirely unique and that it can be readily found in some of the hotel cafés that do a good job of it as well. Makes me wanna try them all!

Strawberry Shortcake: 4.75/5

If there has to be a prettiest slice of cake, it would be the strawberry shortcake. I think Angeline especially loves this, and it's certainly not surprising. Crisp flakes with soft, light and flavourful strawberry sponge and small strawberry slices all come together to make this the top favourite of the day.

This is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday indeed :)

Excellent. They don't take reservations because of the small indoor seating capacity, but if you have a larger group you might like to come earlier on the day itself to have them arrange the tables for you. All the staff were very friendly and helpful, constantly refilling our glasses with iced water even when we were lazing around for more than three hours.

$12.90 for the red miso soufflé
$4.50 for the brownies almond cake
$5.00 for the carrot walnut cake
$6.90 for the hazelnut pear torta
$6.90 for the peanut butter cheese tart
$7.90 for the midori cake
$7.90 for the lychee rose
$7.90 for the chocolate praline cake
$8.90 for the strawberry shortcake

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

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

Red Ginger

14 November 2009

There's a humble Halal-certified eatery tucked at a corner of IMM that I hear is a favourite amongst many heartlanders, and for good reason too. Simple, delicious food at affordable prices, with that hint of a home-cooked meal.

As you can see, there's quite a variety of dishes on offer, not to mention that there's also a nasi padang section beside it which serves a plethora of Malay dishes.

Tahu Goreng: 3.75/5

Not your usual tahu goreng with peanut or satay sauce. As you can probably tell this was served with Thai sweet chilli, which I thought was pretty good.

Nasi Goreng: 3.5/5

The fried rice that I had was really simple but I liked it nonetheless. Not too oily and had that "wok-fried taste" to it. Chicken wing was nice too.

Fried Bee Hoon: 3.5/5

This was delicious and came in a sizeable portion. For those familiar with mee siam, this seemed like a fried version to me.

Seafood Curry: 4/5

Red Ginger's "house favourite" is their fish head curry, but since it was out I got the seafood curry instead. It uses the same fish curry gravy, which is really good! Fair portions of seafood as well. Certainly one of the better fish curries (Malay-style) that I've tried so far.

Nasi Padang

As I mentioned earlier, they have a section where you can select dishes from, and these come in a mix of Malay and Chinese-styled cuisines. Not surprising seeing how the people managing the restaurant are Chinese.


$3.00 for the tahu goreng
$5.20 for the fried rice
$5.20 for the fried bee hoon
$6.50 for the seafood curry
$1.30 for hot beverages like coffee

IMM Building, #01-46.

Spinelli Coffee II

There's a quiet place in school that I've been to for quite a few times this semester, and like almost any other coffee place it's perfect for just sitting around idly to watch the time pass by.

On one occasion, me and the best friend decided to have lunch here because I had a cake craving and there wasn't anywhere else on campus that I could satisfy this sweet craving. It happens when you have a sweet tooth :)

Oreo Cheesecake: 3.75/5

My personal preference lies with softer, more moist cheesecakes, but this however was not. But to be fair, I had the best friend try it and she said it was quite good actually, so I'm "moderating" the ratings a little. It's harder and drier than many cheesecakes but at least it has a nice Oreo flavour to it.

Tiramisu: 3.25/5

The tiramisu was too "spongy" for my liking.

Beef Stew with Rice

The best friend had this instead, and she was amazed that I could settle with just cakes for lunch. Her stew was quite fragrant, and she also said it was "lighter" than some of the way thicker stews.

Very good.

$3.40 for each of the cakes
$6.50 for the beef stew with rice
$5.40 for a choc mint spin (yums!)

NUS University Hall.

Jumbo Seafood Gallery

06 November 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

It was the Daddy's birthday and the family got together for dinner at Jumbo Seafood Gallery at The Riverwalk, which if you're somehow wondering, is along Boat Quay. I hear this is one of the "better" branches of Jumbo, at least as far as my research online and in forums like Hungrygowhere would take me. Here, like the Dempsey branch, is pretty much tourist/expat land, with more than half of the customers that night being foreigners. It's amusing watching them eat with their little Jumbo aprons (or as we could call them, bibs!) while most of us Singaporeans seemed at ease without them. Remember not to wear light colours then, because trust me, chilli crabs are almost a staple dish here, if you get what I mean :)

Fried Scallops with Yam Ring: 2.75/5

Our appetiser, but oh boy how I miss those deliciously pan-fried Hokkaido scallops from Cafe Oliv! In contrast, the scallops here were pretty boring, and the yam paste used for wasn't exactly tasty.

Garlic Fried Chicken: 3.5/5

They don't have the typical roast chicken on the menu, but the "garlic" fried chicken looks pretty much the same to me. For half a chicken, it still got the whole family quip almost in unison: "this is a very small bird". I like the way it was done though, not too dry and with the thin and crispy chicken skin. And oh, I couldn't taste the garlic flavouring at all, if there's any to begin with.

Fish Fillet in Ginger Sauce: 3/5

The fish was fresh but I felt this was an uninspiring dish. Something even I could do better. We ordered this for "the little one" (the younger sister) actually, but yeap, pretty lacking in taste.

Claypot Beancurd with Mixed Seafood: 2.5/5

I think we might have made a wrong order, but still, this is something very basic and ordinary. You could get this at a third of the price at a lower end restaurant, and they would probably taste the same haha.

Cereal Prawns: 4.25/5

As you can tell, I'm building up to my favourites! The prawns were big, juicy and fresh, but what I loved most was the tasty cereal - sweet with a touch of spice (hot chilli padis lurking around) and lovely to eat on its own.

Mantou Buns: 3.25/5

Mantou buns have shrunk a lot over the years. They come in "mini" sizes now but I prefer them larger. We ordered multiple portions of these little buns of course, though I think they should have been warmer with a crispier outer touch. And well, no surprises why these buns are here... :)

Chilli Crab: 4.5/5

Ah, yummy. The sweet chilli crab gravy is still as good after all these years. Great with rice, buns, crabs or even just on its own. The crabs were fresh and had a lot of meat. This dish is on virtually every table.

Black Pepper Crab: 4.75/5

This turned out better than I expected it to be. I like the taste of the black pepper gravy, though I realised we didn't get as much of it as those who ordered the large portion. Perhaps it's by request. Very tasty crab, though I wonder if all the parts belong to a single whole crab because I've got one pincer close to twice the size of the other. Unless this crab has been a (very) strong right-"pincer" (I wanted to say, "right-hander"), it might be from another crab! Still, a delicious dish, and I enjoyed it very much.

Excellent, attentive and helpful staff. New/additional orders might take a while though, I think they follow a very systematic queue in the kitchen, so be patient ya.

$14.00 for the fried scallops with yam ring
$15.00 for the garlic fried chicken (half portion)
$16.00 for the fish fillet with ginger sauce
$14.00 for the claypot beancurd with mixed seafood
$18.00 for the cereal prawns
$40.00 for the chilli crab
$40.00 for the black pepper crab
$0.50 for each mini mantou bun
$0.60 for each bowl of steamed white rice
$1.20 for each serving of (refillable) chinese tea
$1.20 for each serving of roasted peanuts

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

20 Upper Circular Road,
#B1-44/-48 The Riverwalk, Boat Quay.

Additional Comment
Citibank card holders get 10% discount.

Bloggers Outing: Cafe Oliv

03 November 2009

Congratulations to the ladies behind SistaFood for the success of their first ever food blog outing! It was also the first time that I've attended a food bloggers' dinner, and I must say the experience was amazing. To be in the company of people who enjoy food and have the passion to blog about their food adventures is an honor really, and to have at least six cameras snapping away once a dish arrives is a sight to behold. Also in attendance for the tasting session was Brad (LadyIronChef) and Justin (J2K3Blogs), and together with friends, loved ones and family, we waited in all eagerness to see what Chef Kelvin had in store for us. Enjoy :)

Oliv Crab Cake Dip Cheese Sauce

The Oliv crab cake is not in the menu (yet) and it is one of the appetisers that Chef Kelvin is experimenting with. It's a deep-fried blend of crab meat, minced pork belly, herbs and spices, and is served with a cheese dip. I didnt' get a taste of this, but comments around the table was that it was a little too salty for their liking. Still, this has promise with the mix of spices.

Flame Garlic Escargot on Spoon

The last time I ate this at Au Petit Salut, I didn't like this very much. I suppose it's an acquired taste. Somehow I was able to take to the ones here from Oliv, which I figured was because of the garlic and butter that managed to mask the sliminess a little. And oh, there was wine added to it as well. Talk about an aphrodisiac man ;)

Hokkiado Scallop with Asparagus

The pan-fried Hokkaido scallops was one of the favourites of the night. It was simple, but boy was it fresh and juicy. This is going to be up on the menu very soon and I think diners will surely enjoy it as an appetiser.

Mini Cod Burger

The mini cod burger was well, mini, and for a while I was still trying to eat it with a fork and knife until I was persuaded by the rest to grab it with my hands instead haha. I've to admit I'm not one who fancies fish burgers (gimme my beef beef beef!) very much, and this doesn't change my preference at all. But then taste is subjective (as we food bloggers will keep reminding you again and again), and I did see a few people enjoy their little burgers. As Justin noted diligently from Chef Kelvin, the slices of fresh cod fish were "marinated for slightly over an hour in a heavy teriyaki sauce and then later broiled to perfection". Add in a couple of Shitake mushrooms and salad and voila - your mini cod burger.

Crab Dumpling

An odd addition to the night surely, even more so when this was served alongside chopsticks. Just like the crab cakes, I was just about to take a bit of this when I was told it contains pork. Darn. But lucky me, I heard it was the saltiest dish of the night. Hahaha. Chef Kelvin, please go easy on the salt!

Angus Beef Mushroom Kebab

For the carnivore in me, this was undoubtedly the best dish of the night. The beef was oh so tender and such a joy to chew on, and the well-grilled mushrooms were equally tasty. To top it off, the delicious mushroom brown sauce was sweet, with a tinge of spiciness. If I could, I would have asked for more!

Bacon Infused Risotto Rice Ball

While others had their rice balls wrapped with bacon, my "vegetarian" ones were wrapped with lettuce. To be frank, this does not come close to a risotto, which is meant to be more moist surely. Here the rice balls reminded me more of rice dumplings or lo mai gai (steamed glutinous rice with chicken) and like the crab dumplings, I found this to be a strange addition to the line-up.

Lamb Shank Meat Wrap

Everyone's favourite, and the close contender for top spot (I still love my Angus Beef!). The lamb shank was so soft and tender that Enlin, enjoying hers as well across me, couldn't put it any better - it melts in your mouth. This is already on the menu and is definitely one of Cafe Oliv's bestsellers. I can see why, and you've got to try it to love it.

Mini Brownie

We were all patting our tummies and commenting that we were full, but once these lovely brownies arrived, we started making excuses - hey, there's always room for desserts! This is the sisters' favourite dessert from Cafe Oliv and it was not surprising then to find it as a highlight end to a satisfying dinner. It was ordinary vanilla ice-cream yes, but rich, warm chocolate brownie and cool ice-cream is always a winner to me :)

This was an invited tasting session hosted by the ladies of SistaFood and Chef Kelvin. $25 for so much food did seem like a great treat to me though. In all, there were certainly a couple of hits and misses, but my top three would certainly be the Angus beef, the lamb shank and the Hokkaido scallops. Do check out their menu here, and don't be surprised that it's more affordable than you think. Go ahead, try it out, and tell me if the rest of the dishes are good too.

220 East Coast Road.

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