Sunday, January 31


To some people, Wednesday is known as the 'hump day' because once you get past Wednesday, the weekend comes into sight and you start to feel slightly better. For me, my 'hump day' is Thursday because it is the longest day of my week. Unfortunately, my birthday fell on a Thursday so I had to get through a long day of lessons before celebrating my birthday proper. However, my last lesson of the day was cancelled because my facilitator wasn't feeling well so I managed to get out of school before sunset! =)

Initially, we wanted to go to Mietta's for dinner but we were told that they no longer have dine-in and they only do catering! =S We sourced for another restaurant that we thought would be nice to have a relaxing and chillax birthday celebration and ended up making a reservation for Graze.

It was my first time visiting Rochester Park and I didn't expect to see a row of old-colonial-houses-turned-restaurants. It reminded me of a quieter and more private version of the Dempsey area.
We had the option of sitting outdoors (where movies are screened silently) or indoors. As it was pretty warm, we chose to sit indoors. Apparently we were the only ones who opted to sit indoors because the rest of their diners sat outdoors! The good thing is that we had the entire indoor area to ourselves.
Their interior of Graze gives off a very homely feeling, probably because of the woody furniture and warm lighting. If you notice, you'll see that they deliberately placed at least three different kinds of chair at each table! I thought it was an interesting idea but I pity the person who has to sit on the steel-y chair as it looks quite uncomfortable.

The table setting's pretty normal but their knives are pretty unique because they naturally point downwards! I think all knives should be designed this way because it's easier to hold.

I've no idea how we ended up with sparkling water ($9) instead of the usual iced water but I'm glad we were given this because it tastes pretty nice! (: It's like tasteless sprite.

Complimentary bread. Nothing to rave about as it was only average.

Caesar salad ($11) for starters. They were very generous with the caesar sauce and leaves but bacon pieces were a little too overcooked and hard. We found this dish very palatable.

As I'm a big fan of pumpkins, I was thrilled to see pumpkin ravioli ($27) on the menu! (: To be frank, I expected to see a few pieces of normal sized ravioli pieces but instead, I was served two big pieces of ravioli stacked on top of each other! Each ravioli was stuffed with pumpkin cubes and other vegetables and these ingredients literally spilled out when I cut the ravioli open. Despite the abundance of ingredients, I found the ravioli slightly lacking in taste. Perhaps I will go for something more 'Australian' in future if and when I return to Graze.

Jeffrey ordered a spring chicken ($29), which he said was the best fried chicken that he has had. He liked it so much that he named it "high class KFC chicken", which is actually a compliment because Jeffrey adores KFC.

The best course of this meal is undoubtedly dessert! (: I wanted to order their dessert platter, which consists of a small portion of every single dessert on their menu but I figured that the both of us wouldn't be able to finish all of it so the sensible part of me decided to forgo that option. We chose to have Black and White ($18), otherwise known as the pudding plate. Apart from the two tiny globs of vanilla and chocolate icecream, we had chocolate lava cake (black) and flowy custard pudding (white). Seriously, this was nothing short of awesome and everyone should try it! Upon eating it, you'll feel instantaneously happier and the world will seem like a finer and dandier place to live in. You MUST try it!

Graze is definitely a good place to go if you want to unwind after a long day. The ambience is lovely and the staff are attentive but non-intrusive. I'm glad I celebrated my birthday there!Thanks Jeffrey for celebrating my birthday with me (: (: (:

Friday, January 29


A few days ago, I went for my first Ladies' Night buffet at Greenhouse at Ritz Carlton Hotel. Prior to this visit, I've never been to Grenehouse nor have I attended any function at Ritz. Ritz Carlton, in my opinion, is an extremely up-market hotel so I never thought much about dining there because I know the experience would probably cost quite a bit. My best friend, Joanne, and I took advantage of their 1-for-1 Ladies' Night dinner buffet promotion to celebrate my birthday and to catch up over dinner.

We were given a table at the far end of the restaurant, which was pretty alright because it was quieter and we could talk without worrying about whether we were disturbing others or whether they were eavesdropping on us. The only downside to our table was that we didnt' have much lighting! We finally couldn't take the darkness and asked for a candle to be placed on our table.

Anyhow, the buffet spread was pretty big. There was a bread corner, Japanese food counter, Indian food counter, salad and sides corner, roasted meat corner, on-the-spot-noodles-corner, a round about cooked food display counter, a crepe and ice-cream corner as well as a dessert bar. There's definitely sufficient variety to cater to people with different tastes so that's a plus point for this particular buffet.

Here are some photos which I managed to snap (the later photos were taken with flash because there was hardly any light at our table after sunset!).

Salmon sashimi. The slices were thick and fresh! (: I loved having this as my starter!

Clockwise from left: calamari salad, smoked salmon on plate (yum!), goose liver, fruit salad, fried ngoh hiang.

Clockwise from left: Fruit salad, Indian styled potatoes and vegetables, lettuce with roe and dressing, sauteed mushrooms

Clockwise from left: oyster, vegetable salad, Japanese-styled salad, roasted meat, tuna on plate

Clockwise from left: tamago sushi, Indian styled fish (yum!), cod fish, broccoli, fried noodles (yumyum!)

Clockwise from left: Creme brulee (yum!), white chocolate, mango with coconut milk sago (yum!), lime flavoured mousse on sponge cake

Clockwise from left: milk chocolate with praline (yum!), chocolate mousse (yumyum!), creme brulee (yum!), tiramisu

Mango with coconut milk sago (yumyum! but a bit filling though), raspberry sponge cake, dark chocolate cake with crunchy base (base was a bit too hard)

Lemon-y mousse with whipped cream topping (it was shockingly sour!), chocolate coated strawberries and marshmellows

Best dessert of the night: crepe with strawberry slices and (choice of) icecream

On the whole, I thought that the meal was quite worth it given the 1-for-1 offer but I don't think I would pay the actual price to dine there because the quality wasn't as good as I expected it to be. Joanne commented that the standard of their cooked food was extremely disappointing and I have to agree with her though I think that their fried noodles were fantastic! =) Thanks Joanne for treating me to dinner and for spending time with me! =) I'd a great time and I hope you did too! (:

Thursday, January 28


I think the last week of January is probably the most indulgent week in the entire year (foodwise) for me because I get to eat good food almost every day! As much as I enjoy eating, I'm subconsciously a little worried that my system may not be able to cope with the sudden influx of copious amounts of rich food! Nevertheless, it's always wonderful to eat, chitchat and gossip with wonderful people who make the effort to celebrate my birthday with me (:

This year, my week-long birthday feast started at Goodwood Park Hotel's L'espresso! Five of my very generous friends (Huixin, Jake, Jieqi, Nicholas & Vera) decided to give me an English hightea buffet treat after school on Monday! =) The six of us zoomed down to Goodwood Park immediately after class and spent our entire afternoon eating and chatting. As I seldom go out in groups, I was very surprised at how relaxed the entire outing was and I really enjoyed myself. Thank you very much for celebrating my birthday with me and for treating me! =)

As I feel that it is quite rude to keep snapping photographs when I'm out with friends since they may not believe in practising the same pre-food ritual as me (i.e. taking photos of food before eating), I didn't take photos of every single plate of food that we had. Nevertheless, I'd like to share some photos that I managed to take to showcase what's on offer at L'espresso.

L'espresso is located next to the swimming pool of Goodwood Park Hotel. It has a very cosy living room seating arrangement which appealed to most of us. Their tea cups and saucers look very English because of the floral patterns on them.

We could choose two kinds of tea/ coffee to compliment our free flow of food. Actually, you can also enjoy free flow of tea as long as you choose teas that come in teapots (i.e. hot tea and not iced tea). If you choose to have something that comes in a single glass (e.g. iced tea or latte), you will not get any free refills.

Latte (non-refillable).

Cute little teapot that contains seemingly endless supply of tea.

Tea leaves sieve. I was especially intrigued by this little device! It helps to keep your tea leaf-free! Amazing (:

From left to right (clockwise): Carrot sticks, sandwich (yum!), toasted cheese and vegetables bread, salmon with caviar on bread (yum!)

Left to right (clockwise): Kueh pie tee (yumyum! a must try!), egg mayo sandwich (yum!), toasted bread with tuna filling, some other kind of sandwich (yum!)

From left to right (clockwise): Vegetable pasta (yum!), toasted cheese and tomato bread, croissant with salami, kueh pie tee (yumyum!), prawn fritters, some random cucumber slices.

From left to right (clockwise): Crepe roll with condiments, open-top tapas-like sandwiches (yum!), croissant with ham, potato balls (yum!)

From left to right (clockwise): Vegetarian pasta, salmon with caviar on bread, potato balls (all are yummy!)

Bread & butter pudding with vanilla sauce. Ooh I liked this a lot! (: Would have liked it even more if the bread & butter pudding was warm but it was still good enough to satisfy my bread & butter craving! (:

Creme brulee. This is an absolute must-try when you dine at L'espresso! It's really one of the best creme brulee that I've ever tasted.

Left to right: Strawberry coated with chocolate sauce, matcha and cheese cake (yumyum!), chocolate hazelnut cake (yumyum!)

From left to right (clockwise): brownie, soursop with mango shooter (yumyum!), layered chocolate cake (yumyum!), raspberry sponge cake.

From left to right: a slice of pear tart, some fruits, soursop and mango shooter (yumyum!)

From left to right (clockwise): Matcha and cheese cake (yumyum!), layered chocolate cake (yumyum!), fruit tart, chocolate eclair (yumyum! must try!)

I would highly recommend this buffet to anyone who loves dainty English bite-size tea nibblers and tea! =) It's a good place to eat and catch up with friends because it's pretty quiet (apart from the piano player's music) and the ambience is nice and relaxed. I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon there with my friends. Thanks again, the five of you! =) I left Goodwood feeling full and contented (:

Sunday, January 24

Tiffin Club

Bonjour! (:

I'm feeling pretty perky this weekend despite the horrific amount of work that I've (yet) to do but I guess being slightly detached from work at times isn't too bad a thing yea?

To kick start the weekend, Jeffrey and I made our way to Tiffin Club, which is located somewhere near Chinatown. We don't usually frequent Chinatown area and if we do, we usually go to People's Park Food Centre for good hawker fare. Anyway, it was nice driving past Chinatown because we saw Chinese New Year decorations being put up! =) I would love to visit Chinatown again when it's closer to CNY to see the light-up and take in the festive atmosphere.

We managed to find Tiffin Club without much difficulty, probably because it takes up quite a huge corner of this particular row of shophouses. Although it may look quite big on the outside, the interior area is actually much smaller than expected.

There are three levels in Tiffin Club. The bar area occupies the first level, the main dining area is on the second level and there's a relatively small living-room-like seating area on the third level.

The third level of Tiffin Club - in-house living room.

The second level of Tiffin Club/ main dining area. Their decoration is simple and minimalistic, which I like a lot. As their floor area is small, their seating capacity isn't big either. I'd think that the restaurant can house 20+ people at most at any one time.

Although it was lunch time, the restaurant was surprisingly empty when we arrived. We'd the pleasure of feeling like we were eating at someone's place instead of a restaurant, at least until two other families joined us. Nevertheless, the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant.

Their interesting menu which is pinned to a round-bottom board.

For starters, we shared a tofu and grilled vegetables salad ($12). I'm starting to realise that I'm quite a fan of grilled vegetables so I was more than happy to see that they actually offered such a dish. The vegetable slices were a little too thick for my liking but they were grilled rather nicely. The tofu cubes were fried ala Japanese fried tofu style, which was good because Jeffrey likes them. The most unique feature of this dish is its peanut sauce! It's slightly spicy and somehow it somehow manages to give the entire dish a very exciting twist.

For mains, we had the spinach ravioli ($16), which I didn't like a lot because of a particular strong herby taste and smell. The raviolis were very well done though (:

We also had the fish & chips ($15), which tasted much better than it looked. The crusty breaded layer went extremely well with the soft and fresh dory fillet. We felt that the fries were pretty average and could have been better.

As I was feeling greedier than usual yesterday, I chose to order two desserts instead of sharing one despite feeling pretty full. Another 'justification'/ excuse I can give for my gluttonous behaviour is that the waiter told us that the dessert portions are usually quite small, hence we decided to go for two. Anyhow, we settled for the spiced bitter chocolate pudding ($8), which tasted more like mousse rather than pudding. While I must admit that this was a little too much for me to finish on my own (Jeffrey hardly ate this because he didn't really like the taste), I was glad that I ordered it because it made me realise that non-sweet chocolate mousse can taste good as well! I especially liked the crackly cornflakes-like-things that came with the pudding. Definitely something special which you should try if you're feeling adventurous.

The other dessert that we ordered was more conventional - molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream and coffee sauce ($10). I think it's a pretty smart idea to place the molten chocolate cake in a cup as seen in the photo because it prevents the 'chocolate lava' from running all over the plate. The relatively bitter coffee sauce was a good contrast to the sweetness that oozed from the cake and icecream. The molten chocolate cake was pretty good though I think the 'lava' wasn't very flowy because the cake wasn't heated up long enough.

On the whole, we enjoyed our experience at Tiffin Club a lot and we'll definitely go back there again in future! (:

Tuesday, January 19

The Dining Room

One of the factors that attracts me to a particular dining place is ambience and surroundings. Personally, I like going to restaurants that are not extremely crowded or noisy so that I can have a decent conversation with my dining companion(s) without having to raise my voice to make myself heard or to strain my ears to hear what is being said. Although I prefer quieter surroundings, I don't feel very comfortable being in top-end, relatively quieter restaurants where the atmosphere is loaded with poshness.

Last weekend, Jeffrey and I went to The Dining Room at Sheraton Towers for their weekend high tea buffet and I was pretty impressed with the dining environment that the restaurant offers.

The Dining Room sits on a squarish-plot of land on the ground floor of Sheraton Towers and it is flanked by waterfalls and ponds on two sides of the restaurant. I really liked the 'natural' surrounding and it helped me get into the weekend mood. The sizeable high tea crowd at The Dining Room also helped to keep the atmosphere lively and happy.

We could have opted to have a la carte dishes but decided to go for the buffet instead since we've been waiting rather patiently to try it! It seems to us that this particular buffet is pretty popular because we were told that the restaurant was fully booked during the past few times that we called to make a reservation.

Complimentary tea.

Mini peking duck crepe roll which was pretty good.

Mango paste sushi, salmon sashimi and tamago slice. The mango paste sushi was interesting because I've never tasted such a sweet sushi before. Frankly, I didn't quite like it because I felt that mango and Japanese rice don't go well together. Other than that, the salmon sashimi slices were fresh and juicy! The tamago was nice as well.

Thai fried tofu with chilli sauce, Chinese popiah, tamago slice and more salmon sashimi. The thai fried tofu was superb! (: The chinese popiah was a tad disappointing because it was cold and it wasn't as flavourful as it could have been.

A variety of sushis and egg-and-ham sandwich. Their sushi weren't the best that we've tasted and their sandwiches were just.. bad. The bread was hard and the fillings were very bland =(

Clockwise direction from back: egg sandwich, shrimp dumpling, Chinese popiah, Vietnamese fried spring roll, fried flour fritter (with some filling which I forgot). The Vietnamese spring roll and the fried flour fritter were the best tasting dishes on this plate so I'd suggest you go for these two items before sampling the rest if you don't wish to waste your stomach space on less-than-desirable dishes.

Clockwise from left: fried fritter, Chinese popiah, Vietnamese popiah, shrimp dumplings, Singaporean style fried rice, black pepper chicken. Their fried rice has got to be the WORST that we've ever tasted in our lives. Not only was it bland and tasteless, it had this sour taste (which I attribute to the addition of diced tomatoes into their fried rice) which repelled the both of us from the dish. Their black pepper chicken tasted much better in comparison.

Clockwise from left: egg and cheese sandwich, black pepper chicken, fried rice, shrimp dumpling, Chinese popiah.

There was a laksa counter but since neither of us was in the mood for laksa, we didn't try it. Instead, I made a beeline for the dessert counter! I was pretty relieved when I saw what they'd to offer for desserts because honestly, I was disappointed with their non-dessert dishes. Thankfully, the quality of their desserts was much better than expected so this buffet experience was somewhat 'saved'.

Walnut cheesecake, chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse with crunchy base cake. Jeffrey and I adore the chocolate cake with crunchy base! The chocolate mousse and the crunchy base are a match made in heaven, intoxicatingly delicious!

Durian pengyat. As most of you know, I'm pretty fond of durians and duriany stuff so I consumed two (or is it three?) bowls of durian pengyat! The durian flavour was very strong and the paste was thick enough for my liking. Yumyum.

Chocolate & banana bread & butter pudding with vanilla sauce. This was THE highlight of my entire meal at The Dining Room! Initially, I was a bit skeptical as to how this would taste because my previous encounter with a chocolate bread and butter pudding wasn't very friendly but this was PERFECT! (: I loved it so much that I had two big bowls of bread and butter pudding! You MUST try this or you'll be missing out on good stuff!

More chocolate mousse with crunchy base cake and mango cream puff! Initially, I didn't want to try the mango cream puff because it looks suspiciously dangerous but in the end I decided to give into my curiosity and took one back to the table! It actually tasted pretty good but I felt that the mango filling was slightly too artificial for my liking.

Chocolate lava cake and vanilla icecream. You've to place a special order for this from the lady at the counter because it's not displayed prominently. The chocolate lava was pretty thin and the vanilla icecream tasted odd. It was definitely not the best that we've had but it still makes a relatively decent dessert.

For a restaurant that gave us the impression that it serves wonderful food because it was fully booked whenever we attempted to make reservations, I think The Dining Room falls way below my expectations. Their dishes contained a mixture of hits and misses but I feel that there were more misses than hits (considering most of the hits came from the dessert section). Moreover, the range of food served is not very extensive. For about $33/ pax (after 15% credit card discount), I think we could have gotten better food at other restaurants but I'm still glad I visited The Dining Room for a taste of what they've to offer.