Tag Archives: Brunch

London Eats: Bill’s Restaurant Cafe & Store, Covent Garden

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Brunch is and always will be a favourite meal. And after this experience at Bill’s, there is no changing that fact for a long time. Bill’s Restaurant Cafe & Store as its name describes it, is a restaurant, cafe and store. Pretty much a 3-in-1 deal. With more than 5 branches located all over the UK, we picked the most convenient and the one closest to where we were staying- Covent Garden.

We arrived at about 11am on a weekday morning and boy was this place already bustling and crowded. Seats are also available upstairs for a nice view of the courtyard and a quieter experience perhaps for couples who wish to have some privacy. But take it from me, be patient and wait for a seat downstairs. You will enjoy the cheerful atmosphere of waiters rushing from table to table, doling out huge plates of hearty portions and the morning bustle of fellow brunch lovers enjoying their fare.

Not forgetting that floor to ceiling gorgeous and colourful display of homemade bottled jams, local produce and basically just everything you would find and need in a well stocked pantry that catches your eye when you first walk into the cafe. This place is inviting and homely with a vintage flair.

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Bill’s Breakfast 7.95
with bubble and squeak 1.50

Bill’s version of the big breakfast, it is every morning essential on that plate. From sausages to fried eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon & toast, yes they got it pretty much covered and the portion could definitely fill two people with small appetites quite easily. Yes, every breakfast place has their own version of this but not everyone gets all aspects done so perfectly and satisfying. There was absolutely nothing to fault. We enjoyed every part of it and needless to say, this plate was clean by the time we were done with it!

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Eggs Royale 7.50

Yet another popular brunch item but Bill’s version is by far one of the best I have ever tasted. The poached eggs were spot on, with a quick to run yolk when it was cut through. The toast was nothing outstanding but complemented the hollandaise sauce well. The smoked salmon serving was generous, fresh and not excessively salty. BUT! The highlight of the day was an extremely beautiful and well done hollandaise sauce that stole the whole show. The ironic thing was that it tasted nothing like the usual hollandaise that I was so used to back home. This was light and airy but buttery and substantial. I could not stop raving about this for days and sadly it will be difficult to go back to regular hollandaise after having tried this one at Bill’s.

Food For Thought @ Singapore Botanic Gardens

The mission of Food For Thought Cafe has always been to serve food for a good cause, of which one of their main goals is to raise funds for the provision of clean water to third world countries. Recently, they have just moved from their original location at North Bridge Road to a much bigger one at the Singapore Botanic Gardens which can now accommodate more than a hundred people with both outdoor and indoor seating. The premises are spacious with bar counter chairs, long communal tables and regular sized tables, just few of the many seating options you have when you come here. Not forgetting the huge running space and playground for the kids just outside the cafe, FFT at the Singapore Botanic Gardens is the perfect spot for families, couples and large group gatherings.

The two of us dropped by one Tuesday afternoon before our movie at Shaw Lido for brunch and as the place was relatively empty, we had free reign to choose where we wanted to sit. Unlike the FFT at Queen Street or the North Bridge branch, orders are made self service at the counter where you pay upfront as well. After which, you return to your seat and the food will be served to you. The bonus? No extra service charge on your bill!

We started off with The Duo of Pancakes with Granola, Fresh Cream and Gula Melaka $12. Everyone knows that pancakes are a must-order here at FFT because it is definitely one of the better pancakes in Singapore. I find it especially unique that Gula Melaka is used in place of regular maple syrup or honey but with the rich and thick texture of the palm sugar syrup soaking through the fluffy pancake, this unique combination is certainly a great one.

The Fried Chicken Wings at 3 for $5 were pretty much a steal but taste wise, they were nothing much to shout about. I still think the best fried chicken wings are those at IKEA!

Late Plate @ Shaw Foundation Alumni House, NUS

NUS students will be more than happy to know that one of the most currently talked about brunch bistros in Singapore is conveniently tucked away in the corner of level 1 of the Shaw Foundation Alumni House at the National University of Singapore (NUS) campus. With Australian Chef Roland Graham who has an impressive 35 years of culinary experience under his belt as the man behind the scenes, you know you are in good hands here at Late Plate.

Though only opened for barely a few months, Late Plate has already created for itself quite an impressive track record, serving up good all-day-breakfast food in sizeable portions at affordable prices with no extra GST and service charge. The bistro can get pretty crowded at lunch times and reservations are highly recommended especially for big groups. Alternatively, sitting al-fresco here can be a pleasant experience as well because the open area is largely shaded from the sun and relatively windy.

We came here for brunch on a Thursday and was greeted by a very friendly and personable lady at the counter who patiently and enthusiastically recommended certain ‘must-tries’ as well as what was popular here at Late Plate.

Eventually we decided on the Communal Dining Set for min 2 to dine which turned out to be awfully worth it. The communal set came with an individual soup + a salad to share + any main you choose (U.P. $12-16) + a dessert platter of 3 desserts to share and all for just $19.90 nett each!

This Cream of Carrot and Potato Soup is certainly the king of all cream soups. Comfort food at its best, this was soothing and warm with such rich carrot and potato puree flavour. It was not too filling or heavy either, making it a pleasure to drink right to the very last drop!

The ‘Porky’ On a Roll (original price $16.90) with honey glazed pulled pork ribs was supposed to be served on a baguette roll but the staff were flexible enough to allow me to change my type of bread to Dark Rye. The pulled pork ribs were delicious and each mouthful was bursting with flavour. The meat was so tender, sweet with the honey glaze and chewy, I enjoyed my sandwich very much. This also came paired with a handful of potato chips and homemade coleslaw.

Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier

Barely 2 months into opening, Tiong Bahru Bakery by Gontran Cherrier has already generated much hype and waves in the media and blogging world. Touted as one of the best bakeries in Singapore at the moment, the man behind this very successful artisan bakery is none other than one of Paris’s most celebrated bakers- Gontran Cherrier. Situated right next door to The Orange Thimble, this bakery stands humbly and inconspicuously, as it fits right into the neighbourhood with its white-washed walls, light brown wooden frame borders and single swinging entrance door.

Tiong Bahru Bakery is a collaboration with Spa Esprit Group, who currently already have Forty Hands and Open Door Policy under their belt, which are also conveniently just located a few blocks away.

It is said that all the loaves, bakes and especially their signature croissants that have had everyone talking about, are baked on site using traditional French techniques which have been very meticulously adjusted and adapted for the humidity in our country so that Singaporeans are still able to enjoy the freshness and full flavours of all his bakes and pastries despite the weather!

The three of us made our way here for brunch one weekday and were lucky to find seats in the dining area which had a relatively fast turnover rate. The queues were also not as daunting as many people had described and moved along pretty quickly. We were soon back at our table with this white tray of two croissants, two sandwiches and one dessert tart.

Starting with the Plain Croissant at $2.50, the first thing that I was drawn to, was how beautiful and intricate the layers were. Clearly, only true skill and experienced hands in the laminating process could have produced this end result. One bite into this crescent-shaped baked dough and I was sold. It was fluffy and delicious even without a spread of butter. Additional points for the absence of the heavy after-feeling of eating a croissant because this was not oily at all and crisp on the outside without being too flaky. Definitely felt less guilty eating this one!

Choupinette on Bukit Timah Rd

Choupinette is this little French Bakery/Cafe/Restaurant located along Bukit Timah Road, right next to Coronation Plaza. This place has been here for like almost a decade now and we were all reminiscing about how our bus used to drive past the iconic multi-coloured striped banner on the way to school but we had all somehow never stepped in before.

Known for their Eggs Ben and authentic French pastries, Choupinette has been in the spotlight lately as the it-place for brunch. And this place has been on our list for like 2 months now but with all our different schedules, the five of us only managed to finally pick a common date recently to try this place out!

We called up and made a reservation because though it was a weekday, we were definitely not taking any chances. However, when we arrived, not only did the lady say that she had not received our reservation, the cosy 40-seater restaurant was also full house! It was a bit of a spoiler but luckily the server was quick to point out that a table of patrons was finishing their food and if we were to wait for 15min, they could clear it for us.

About 20min later, we were all finally seated with menus open and ready to order. Everyone zoomed straight for the Eggs Ben and called first dibs on it. Clearly, this was going to be a hot favourite at the table. So we all compromised and decided for variety sake, we were going to order five different sets to share.

Each set comes with a juice and hot drink. The juice choices were grapefruit, apple, orange, cranberry, lime and pineapple. Three of us chose grapefruit the first round but the lady soon came back to tell us that they were out. She then took my second choice order of pineapple before returning another time to say that it was also out. I would have gotten a little annoyed but our server was really nice and apologetic, it seemed almost impossible to get upset with her. So apple juice it was because that was all that was left.

The reputable Eggs Benedict soon arrived at our tables. $20++ is a steep price to pay for an Eggs Ben and we were about to find out if the price tag was justified. Unfortunately, the eggs were a little overcooked and did not flow quite as easily as beautifully poached eggs would have, but the Hollandaise sauce was excellent. Perfectly rich and buttery, it was so smooth and creamy, I almost forgot I was not having beautifully poached eggs. The ham slices too were shaved right and not too salty. And the baguette that the eggs were sitting on? Oh so good. Well buttered, crisp and delicious.

Next up, the Eggs Florentine $20++ was a healthier version of the Eggs Ben. Wilted spinach done right that was not too soggy but tossed for just the right amount of time, it was also great with the Hollandaise sauce.