Tag Archives: Holland Village
If you have not heard of “Tai Cheong Bakery”, then you, my friend, might just be missing out on what was deemed as ‘the best egg tarts in the world’ by Chris Patten. That said, some probably might not even have a slightest inkling as to who Chris Patten is, except for the fact that he was the last governor of Hong Kong. Notwithstanding, let’s just say that these custard-filled tarts are popular and charming enough to form hour-long queues at both the Takashimaya and Holland Village outlets.
The Holland Village outlet is the brand’s first dine-in-concept in Singapore which opened its doors in mid-November 2016 to allow customers to enjoy an authentic cha chaan teng (Hong Kong-style teahouse) experience. This 42-seat restaurant comprises two sections – an air-conditioned indoor space for guests to relax amidst an open-concept kitchen and an outdoor area for those who prefer a warmer, windier environment. Dine-in customers would also be pleased to know that the restaurant does not impose service charge and prices stated on the menu are already inclusive of GST.
Occupying the space that used to once belong to Cold Rock Ice Creamery, a new bakery/cafe has recently joined the slew of eateries in Holland Village. From the same creators of Molten Chocolate Cake Specialty House- 3 Inch Sin, CRAFT Bakery & Café is instead a full-fledged eatery, offering an extensive menu of refreshing Salads ($11-$14), Mains such as Bacon Mac N’ Cheese and Prawn Aglio Olio ($12.50-$18), Grid Pizzas smothered in homemade tomato sauce ($9.90-$12.90), exotic Desserts like Orange French Toast ($7.90-$9.90) on top of their famous Chocolate Molten Cakes in 5 different flavors ($9.50).
Barely opened for a month, but already fast earning a following, CRAFT has just the right combination of Papa Pahelta Coffee, Gryphon Teas, Asahi Beer specials, Cakes & Pastries for a lovely afternoon or chill-out evening. To sweeten the deal further, they are also offering a 1-for-1 deal on all their mains and sandwiches from 12-2pm on weekdays.
From the full-paged list of Sandwich options, we quickly narrowed it down to The Craft $11.50 which simply stood out because the description read ‘maple-candied bacon in between waffle grids’! How does one say no to that? For the complete experience, cut through the waffles to get a bite of that fluffy dough, mustard dressed green apple slaw and a punch of sweet and savory from the candied bacon altogether.
The Da Paolo group is no stranger to our local dining scene. Since their induction back in 1989, this homegrown wholly family-owned group is now fondly known for their unpretentious Italian fare, absolutely photogenic desserts which they display unapologetically on their counter tops and charming takeaways of gourmet salads and homemade pizzas that remain fresh even after you reach home.
With a restaurant, bistro, pizzeria and eight gourmet delis to the Da Paolo name today, the group does not rest on its laurels and is instead committed to improving their food, creating new dishes and revamping the menu constantly- all while retaining the classic flavors of Italian cuisine for their customers. The pizza bar in particular, located along the row of al-fresco dining spots in Chip Bee Garden has recently added Weekend brunch (9am-5pm) and all-day-breakfast items to their predominantly signature thin-crusted pizza- based menu.
We dropped by one Saturday morning to have a taste of their exciting new items which include names like Popeye’s Breakfast $17, Pumpkin Pancakes $16, Croissanwich $22 and Chicken First $20– not your usual boring same-olds of Egg’s Ben and Big Breakfast. Food establishments really ought to get a little creative with their dishes and names to keep it exciting and fresh for the customers!
The Big Fry Up $20– Da Paolo’s version of the Big Breakfast was a hearty affair. With poached eggs, bacon, sausage, grilled tomato, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms and hashbrowns, this plate was perfect for sharing. The components were individually well executed and had that spot-on grilled flavor to it. Those sauteed mushrooms with sweet caramelized onions were standouts though the eggs tasted as though chef had accidentally tipped a whole bowl of vinegar into the boiling water while he was poaching them. Too much!!
The Royale Stack $19 was in fact Eggs Royale with hashbrowns and avocado interlaced with the smoked salmon instead of the usual muffins. Those hashbrowns were truly excellent- substantial, crisp, not oily and beautifully browned. Not usually a fan of them but these, I could not help reaching for more. Purists may not be too pleased with the Hollandaise sauce though, the consistency was a tad watery with an absence of the rich creamy buttery flavor that is an absolute prerequisite in my most sincere opinion.
Stashed away at the second level of a shophouse in Holland Village is a lovely little cupcakery- Plain Vanilla. I have heard many rave reviews about their cupcakes and have been impatiently waiting for an opportunity to have a bite into these pretty little things.
Lucky for me, I received a box of four from a good ol’ foodie buddy who seems insistent that I have a try as these were ‘really good’ according to him! But since these cupcakes were gifted, I do not have any photos of the shop itself though a little birdie told me that it is a quaint cosy space with tempting displays of cupcakes but no actual seating area so people mostly do takeaways when they come here!
Let’s open my brown paper box to see what’s inside!
While cafes, bars and restaurants in Holland Village are more commonly known for being loud, in-your-face and always crowded, MU Parlour is clearly the opposite. It’s white, chic, eclectic and whimsical, almost quite a different world when you climb up the stairs and enter the cafe on the 2nd floor. All the chairs and furniture here are clearly mismatched yet somehow still manages to tie in together almost perfectly with the quirky theme and white-washed brick like furnished walls.
The menu here is all about gourmet burgers and fries, cakes and pastries that they have on display and of course the very essential coffee and tea selection that is so important for a good afternoon.
I am not too sure if the lack of crowd was because the place is still relatively unknown but my friend and I were sure pleased with the quiet, space and the simple ability to hold a nice conversation without the need to shout over another person’s voice. And if you get a seat by the full glass window, it is also the perfect place to while the afternoon away by yourself with a book and a nice cup of tea.