Category Archives: Singapore
Dubbed the Mitju-inspired cafe with its clean finishes, white-washed walls, minimalistic interior and predominantly wooden furniture, the opening of The Tastemaker Store in an otherwise old and sleepy estate of Beo Crescent created some waves for being different and such a unique addition among the old-school coffee shops and food stalls.
To give the cafe some credit for trying to fit into the neighbourhood, they do serve up local delights such as breakfast sets of kaya toast and half boiled eggs, traditional yam cakes and glutinous rice which are jazzed up a little, while the usual suspects of matcha latte and Instagram-worthy cakes from Maple & Market are also on the menu.
Instead of going for the usual kaya and butter combination, we decided to be more adventurous and tried their exotic-sounding Lemon Curd with Clotted Cream $3 instead. Served between two toasted English Muffins (which somewhat reminded me of a particular fast-food joint’s breakfast), the layer of lemon curd was thick and sinfully complimented by a blob of clotted cream. Interesting mix of ingredients but surprisingly, it worked really well. The curd itself was tangy, a little sourish with subtle sweet notes while the richness of the cream pulled it together. Two thumbs up! Top up $2.80 for a side of half boiled eggs and cup of coffee.
Tiong Bahru Bakery first made its foray into our local cafe scene in collaboration with Spa Esprit Group two years ago and fast earned the title of the ‘best croissant in Singapore’ as dubbed by many media heavyweights and food critics. The man behind this successful bakery and its baked goods made from traditional French techniques, is none other than celebrated French baker Gontran Cherrier. Two years later, he is back again in Singapore to introduce more delectable goodies for the fans of Tiong Bahru Bakery.
This humble bakery which used to pack in the crowds since the day they opened their doors at the corner of Eng Hoon Street in the hipster enclave of Tiong Bahru (hence its ‘heartland’ name) has also since launched two more outlets at Raffles City and Tangs Orchard as an answer to the demands for Gontran’s well-loved breads and viennoiseries.
First up on their new menu is the Panini Lunch Set $9.90 which comes with a choice of either Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese or Bacon and Mushroom Curry. We tried both paninis and thoroughly enjoyed the classic combinations of those ingredients put together. The former was my personal favourite while the latter though delightful barely had a hint of curry spice flavour. We think that calling it a Bacon and Mushroom Panini would suffice and it would still be as popular. Each panini also comes with a side of Caesar salad freshly tossed with croutons, bacon and parmesan cheese and so well-dressed that even those adverse to salads would be happy wolfing this down.
Also new are these two hot dog viennas- Spicy Pork Hotdog with Black Sesame Vienna and Chicken Hotdog with Pepper Vienna $5.30 each. While the price may be a tad steep for plain ol’ hotdog buns, these are actually hardly plain and neither are they run-of-the-mill. For starters, its hearty size is almost justification enough for its price, next would be the fluffiness of that sesame/pepper bread and finally how the thick overlaying melted cheese ties it all together so beautifully. The chicken one actually packs a punch with its subtle spread of dijon mustard while the pork hot dog tasted somewhat like smoked cured chorizo.
From the same people behind home-grown ice-cream brand Creamier at Lor 1 Toa Payoh, comes a new soft-serve dessert concept located in the heart of Chip Bee Gardens. And almost an entirely different concept it is indeed as compared to their predecessor, as Sunday Folks serves mainly just 6 flavours of soft serve ice-cream and a range of cakes which changes routinely. Rest assured however, their famous crisp eggy waffles are still on the menu.
The space itself is much more luxurious than the cramped few seats there were in Creamier, with this being a lot more spacious and airy, sitting roughly 40 people quite comfortably. The interior too while minimalistic, bears some attention to details with vases of flowers on each table, light brown wooden furniture complimenting the cream-coloured walls, creating an overall cosy and comfortable feel.
A few weeks back, I did a feature on the overview of the 21st edition of Singapore Food Festival (SFF) 2014, which is happening from 11 – 20 July. Thanks to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), I was invited to attend the official launch of the festival which took place at Chinatown Food Street last Friday and caught a glimpse of what the Singapore Chinese Dialect Heritage Feast had to offer.
This event, which saw us being entertained by a “flashmob” of samsui women, policemen in shorts and street hawkers from the olden days, definitely set the tone for an exciting week long of gourmet festivities spanning across our different cultures and heritage, brought together by a common theme of “A Walk Down Memory Lane”.
And a walk down memory lane we certainly did as this heritage feast featured 20 of Singapore’s Chinese dialect dishes that have been lost in translation or just lost over the years as our country evolved and grew increasingly cosmopolitan and westernized. From Traditional Hakka Yong Tow Foo to Abacus Seed and Rickshaw Noodles, we were being transported to the good old days of roadside stalls and pushcart hawkers via our taste buds.
A couple of us crazy girls decided to embark on our cafehopping trip at 9am on a rainy Saturday morning. Reasons being, this discreet and hidden gem of a cafe only opens on selected
weekends (word has it that it is only Saturdays now!), we heard that practically everyone was making plans to visit it that same weekend and knew that it had such a cosy space that was way too small to accommodate a crowd. So we went there bright and early to secure a table and mind you, we were still not the first to arrive when we reached.
There is nothing not to love about this place. It has a cutesy name- Whale & Cloud, the route to the cafe feels like an adventure itself, entry is only via the door along the back alley, you have to knock on it before the door is opened for you and when it does, it feels like walking into a whimsical wonderland of trinkets thrown together for that homely feeling. The red bricked wall, the vintage Cathay cinema seats, the bakes on sale for the day sitting on an oven top and the stalks of Baby’s Breath adding a touch of femininity to the place- clearly the owner takes pride in the details and it shows at every corner of the cafe.
Although we were told that the owner bakes her own cakes and cookies to sell sometimes, the ones we had last week were from Kisses Bakery instead. Not complaining because I got to try their Red Velvet Slice $4 and amazing Carrot Cake $5 that was so moist and rich with that layer of thick cream cheese. I would have ordered a few more to takeaway if I was going straight home that day! Not sure if the owner will eventually decide to bake her own or cater from Kisses Bakery but either way, there will definitely be sweet treats on the table when you are there (while stocks last!).
Other items on sale at Whale & Cloud include chocolates, bags of coffee beans, cooking books and even Kinfolk which the owner has brings back from her trips overseas so almost everything here is technically “limited edition”.