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Featuring the Best

The Simplest Aphrodisiac: Best of the Year 2009

31 December 2009

I think the best way to wrap up a good year for this food blog is to present to you what has been the best of the year. While there has only been about 180 food-related posts, certainly not an extensive list at all, I still feel that it would be appropriate (and good fun!) to showcase my favourites of 2009. Moreover, I'm quite sure that creating an honorary roll like this would motivate me further as I continue my search for some of the most delicious food in this little island many of us call home. 2010, or at least the second-half of it, would also mark the end of my "student budget" and I can just imagine the sheer pleasure of indulging in even more delightful gastronomic experiences. For now, the list is only 180-long, and these are the best of the best!

Best Meal of 2009: Gordon Grill @ Goodwood Park Hotel

You have heard me rave about it just a week ago and here it is once again, claiming the top spot for 2009. It is never easy to find a place where you can have a complete meal so satisfying and so complete, but Gordon Grill managed to do that with ease for me. The lovely onion rolls, the fresh scallops, the oh-so-tender beef tenderloin and the amazing crème brûlée were quite simply fantastic. Pair that with great service and you've got yourself a lovely treat. [Review]

Best Lunch of the Year: Gordon Grill @ Goodwood Park Hotel

Naturally, Gordon Grill would have the honor of this title as well. The lunch was part of a UOB Cardmember lunch promotion, priced at a most reasonable $68++ for two. I'm aware that many would try to make a comparison between Gordon and Morton Steakhouse (Mandarin Oriental), I've to admit that I've not been to the latter, so stay tuned and soon enough you'd find me writing a post about Morton! Till then, cheers to Gordon Grill! [Review]

First Runner-Up: Zac's Cafe
Delicious Meditteranean food at lunch sets starting from $9.90++. Say yes to good food at a good price! Definitely one of the better grills out there, and I find the food refreshingly different from my daily fare. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Big D's Grill
Quality Western food at a heartland coffeeshop, certainly something worth trying if you're in the area. The crabmeat linguine is one of its bestsellers, with a good mix of both sour and spicy. I enjoyed the beer-battered fish and chips, simple but really quite delish. [Review]

Best Dinner of the Year: Summer Pavilion @ Ritz Carlton Millenia

This was where I celebrated the then-girlfriend's birthday, and the dinner at Summer Pavilion really turned out way better than expected. Simple dishes no doubt, but done so close to perfection that you would be full of praise for the masters behind these dishes. The Peking Duck rivals the one served at Hai Tien Lo from Pan Pacific Hotel, while the king prawn and wok-fillet of beef were sublime. [Review]

First Runner-Up: Ah Loy Thai
This is a hidden gem at Shaw Centre, which serves pretty authentic-tasting Thai dishes at very affordable prices. Other Thai places would often have hits and misses but I think Ah Loy Thai is one of the most balanced ones of them all! Tom yum soup and fried rice are just two of the "must-tries" if you're here. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Seah Street Deli
Ah, burgers, I love them beefy, juicy burgers. Seah Street Deli from Raffles Hotel does them well, with yummy pairings of thick fries or smooth mashed potatoes. [Review]

Best Desserts of the Year: Checkers Deli @ Hilton Hotel

The good thing about food blogger outings is that you get to sample a splendid variety of cakes, simply because we love one another and we share! Amongst the number of (mostly teatime) desserts that I've taken so far, I would say Checkers narrowly edges out 1 Caramel because of it's better balance of note-worthy cakes and tarts. My big favourites include the Lemon Tart and the Snicker's Cake. [Review]

First Runner-Up: 1 Caramel
A great place to chill out on a sunny afternoon with your friends. Most of the "winners" here are ladies' favourites: the Red Miso Soufflé, the Lychee Rose and the Strawberry Shortcake. [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Privé Bakery and Cafe
Admittedly, I've only tried two desserts here, but I'm already won over. The Profiteroles are simply lovely, certainly one of the best that I've tried so far. Many blogs have praised some of Privé's other desserts, so I think it deserves this spot. You can be sure I'll be back here for more soon! [Review]

Best Burger of the Year: Dallas Restaurant & Bar

Sure, you may not find the Best Brunch of the Year (but I'm sure you will see many brunch-related posts in 2010!) this time round, so I thought I would just add two categories specially for two things that you know I love - burgers and ice-cream! The Best Burger of the Year goes to the Wagyu Beef Burger from Dallas Restaurant & Bar, a burger that was so thick, juicy and tender that I thought was out of this world! Well, it's Wagyu-grade beef after all! [Review]

First Runner-Up: Seah Street Deli
As I mentioned earlier, good burgers. Maybe more creativity on the menu could make Seah Street Deli stand-out from the rest of the burger joints. Promising indeed, but it shouldn't rest on its laurels. Bring it on fellas! [Review]

Second Runner-Up: Privé Bakery and Cafe
Another Wagyu beef patty, fresh but would have been better if done less rare! The drawback? Where's the fries! Burgers must always come with fries! That aside, evenly-grilled and tasty enough to bring a smile to my face. [Review]

Best Ice-Cream: Udders Ice-Cream

Other than my all-time favourite Ben & Jerry's, I thought I would include some others as well. Udders Ice-Cream continues to impress with each visit, but I'm still very much enamoured to its Snickers Mars Honeycomb Vanilla flavour - a mix of everything sweet, crunchy and delicious. I hear some of their alcholic concoctions are worth a try too! [Review]

First Runner-Up: Cold Rock Ice-Creamery
Here, the art of selection counts, a lot. Take plenty of time to think through your flavours and toppings before you enter the queue - and you will be pleasantly rewarded! [Review]

Second Runner-Up: The Daily Scoop
For those who prefer smoother ice-creams with less bits and chunks in them, there's always The Daily Scoop along Sunset Way. The durian-flavoured ice-cream is a favourite amongst my friends, but if you love your chocolate like me, there's always Hazelnut or Kookie Monster. Best enjoyed on a sunny day! [Review]

And so, there you have it - the favourites and the best this blog has to offer for 2009. There will definitely be so much more to come in 2010 (I'm not only promising you but I'm also promising myself!) and I'm looking forward as well to even more food bloggers' outings with my new found friends! For my dear readers, thank you so much for your lovely support all this while, do keep reading and if you would like, start talking to me too! Stay tuned as I try to come up with a blog outing within the first quarter of 2010 :)

With all that said and done, here's wishing everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)

Yours Sincerely,
Harris Chai
Author & Food Blogger
The Simplest Aphrodisiac

14 Foodie Comments:

Anonymous said...

great post to end of the year! =) seems like some of ur favourite places are those u've recently went to. happy new year!

December 31, 2009 at 10:12 AM
*Harris said...

Yeap, I was thinking of that as well, most are recent finds. I was thinking it's like the oscars and grammys haha!

Happy New Year to you too!

December 31, 2009 at 10:17 AM
DhNy said...

Nice way to wrap up, happy new year to you!

December 31, 2009 at 11:58 AM
foodaholic said...

another great post! :) liked it. happy new year!!

December 31, 2009 at 12:13 PM
*Harris said...

Thank YOU Daniel and Phoebe, HAPPY NEW YEAR to YOU too!

Daniel, I like your dim sum idea by the way. Let's see if I can another organise an outing on this one ;) "Everything on the menu please!"

Heard that Phoebe? More outings! Yay!

December 31, 2009 at 2:33 PM
foodaholic said...

haha bring THAT on harris! *winks*

December 31, 2009 at 2:45 PM
Wen said...

Happy New Year! Dine more, blog more and post more in the coming year!!!

December 31, 2009 at 2:49 PM
*Harris said...

You too Wen! Keep eating and keep blogging!

Happy New Year to You! :)

December 31, 2009 at 2:57 PM
Angeline said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Angeline said...

happy 2010! Love the way you rank the best eats in town! :D

January 1, 2010 at 9:33 AM
Aliah said...

Hello Harris :]

Cheers to the new year to you! And oh, I am so lovin' your DSLR picture quality! Wishing you the best for the year 2010 and beyond!

Big Hugs!
Aliah :)

January 1, 2010 at 11:10 AM
Fen said...

Wow, nice sum up...

Darn, I missed the best meal of 2009 and the best desserts of the year 2009. *Sigh*

Happy New Year, it has been nice to meet you. Though just once but definitely looking forward to many more.

May the new year brings you more indulgence, happiness and fond memories...

January 1, 2010 at 11:38 AM
Anonymous said...

Happy new year, Harris! I'm looking forward to another gathering =)

January 1, 2010 at 3:04 PM
*Harris said...

Angeline: Thank you girl :) Can't wait to see you soon!

Aliah: Happy New Year Aliah, and thanks much for the compliments! Still practising on my baby, hope it gets better!

Fen: Exactly, may the new year brings us much sweet indulgences and happiness :)

Kaelyn: Thanks, looking forward to the next outing. But first, need to plan when and where!

January 1, 2010 at 10:10 PM

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