Sunday, December 29

Donna Carmela

Hello (:

We kinda messed up our plans today and that caused us to be REALLY hungry at dinner time so we decided to go to one of my favourite restaurants near our area, and possibly my favourite Italian restaurant in Singapore, Donna Carmela for dinner!

I was craving for warm pasta and other yummy Italian goodness but what awaited us was BETTER than what I had wanted - a $49++/pax special end-of-year buffet dinner that came with a glass of Italian sparkling white wine each! (But I changed my drink to sprite!) (: (: (: Since I was famished, this option looked very enticing but I still wanted to have some warm food for dinner.. so I decided to ask the waitress if there's any main course available and she said that there were 3 types of lasagne and of course, upon hearing that, I was SOLD. Wheeee (:

Food galore: 

There were more desserts of course but we were so stuffed from eating lots of salad and lasagne that we could only have these! Truth be told there is only ONE dessert from this restaurant that I would order - their special rendition of WARM tiramisu. It is THE best tiramisu I've tasted in my life! (: I shall remember to order that the next time I visit Donna Carmela.

Alright it's time to hit the sack for a long day awaits me tomorrow! Goodnight! (:

Friday, December 27

The Tea Lounge @Regent Hotel

Hello (:

I woke up extremely early today to send a couple I know to the airport and on the way back, I started to crave Ya Kun's Kaya Toast but since it was way too early and none of Ya Kun's outlets are opened (save for the one, ironically, at the airport), I went to Bukit Timah Market for some toast and carrot cake (: It was nice eating some local fare for breakfast because I realised that I usually eat bread from bakeries for breakfast during term time.. and I didn't realise that I actually quite enjoy eating local breakfast food till I went to the market today. So it was quite a nice surprise (: Perhaps I'll try to go to the market once or twice more this holidays before I'm back to my bread-for-breakfast routine when school starts.

Speaking of local food, I think I don't really have a "local palette" because I don't particularly miss eating Singaporean food when I'm abroad, maybe because, like a close friend pointed out, I seldom eat local food when I go out nor do I actively make it a point to eat it. I'm fine with not having a local palette cos it doesn't mean that I don't enjoy.. it just means that I don't particularly like it or love it. Am fine with or without it (:

Anyway, enough of talking about local food. Shall move onto the main topic of this post - English High Tea.

I have always known that I prefer English High Tea to other types of High Tea. In fact, one of our very first meals after our return from Japan is a weekend high tea buffet at The Tea Lounge at Regent Hotel (: Since it was near Christmas when we visited The Tea Lounge, there was a huge inedible Christmas centre piece in the middle of the Tea Lounge, the pianist at the piano played Christmas songs, and there was a Christmassy mood all around (: It was a nice welcome back to Reality and I enjoyed the couple of hours spent there, just indulging in good food and good chatter (: The only downside was that they decided to replace their famous Chilli Crab with Fried Mantous with Christmassy food like turkey and ham so we didn't get to eat our share of mantous dipped in chilli crab sauce that day! But it's alright, we're most likely to go back anyway so we'll have that another time.

Okay enough of blabbering. Time for photos! (:




I'll be posting photos of our other High Tea session at Goodwood Park Hotel (another favourite of mine!) soon (:

Happy Friday and enjoy the last weekend of 2013! (:

Tuesday, December 24

Choupinette and Eggs&Berries

Hello (:

I am totally over my eggs benny phase (I think being in Japan helped a bit) but I'd like to post two other kinds of eggs benedicts that I tried last month (:

I've long noticed the crazy queues outside Choupinette, especially on weekends, so I made a mental note not to visit this place during the weekends to avoid the crowd. Thankfully, they serve eggs benedict even on weekdays so we popped by during one of the weekdays last month and got ourselves a nice table in the centre of the relatively quiet cafe.

The eggs benedict set is actually pretty affordable at Choupinette because you get a glass of fruit juice and a cup of warm drink with every meal that you pay! (: I like this concept because it is almost a given that most diners who eat breakfasty things would like a breakfasty beverage to go along with it and to give not one but two complimentary drinks along with any main course ordered is considered, at least to me, very generous (: I had a glass of orange juice and a cup of hot chocolate and my friend had a glass of lime juice and a cup of cappuccino. The warm drinks were slightly above average so they tasted pretty alright (:

We were pretty famished that day so we ordered soup of the day aka Mushroom Soup ($9). I know it sounds ridiculous to pay $9 for a bowl of soup but this bowl of mushroom soup didn't taste like the normal kinds that other cafes usually serve. It had a more mushroomy taste and I think they added truffle oil to the soup as well, which gave it more body. The butter at the side is for the slices of french baguette, which were crispy on the outside and warm and chewy on the inside as they are supposed to be.

Photos of our two mains:

Eggs Royale Set ($23) that comes with said main course and two drinks.

Eggs Florentine Set ($22) that comes with said main course and two drinks.

Based on the limited samples of Eggs Benedict that I've had so far, I must say that Choupinette impressed me the most though I felt that it could be a tad saltier? The hollandaise sauce was definitely creamy enough and it went very well with the spinach and the eggs (: Yumyum.

And because I had such fond memories of having eclairs at Choupinette during my younger days, I convinced my friend to share an eclair and we had the dark chocolate eclair ($5.90), which  sadly seemed to have fallen from grace =( Maybe the normal chocolate eclair would taste a bit better but I'm hesitant to try. Perhaps next time (:

Our friend, knowing that we're on an eggs benny trial phase, recommended Eggs& Berries at Changi City Point and the three of us travelled to try their version of eggs benny! Eggs and Berries has an extensive menu and I must confess that I was nearly tempted to try something else but I stuck to my main objective of going to Eggs and Berries (which is to try their eggs benny) so I chose eggs benny with mushrooms (in replacement of bacon) in the end! (:

As you can see from the photo above, Eggs & Berries' rendition of the dish isn't what we would normally expect and it was a filling meal (thanks to the potato rosti). Their eggs were poached well but I don't think their hollandaise sauce was very tasty to me. It had less viscosity than I expected but it wasn't bad at all. I liked their generous serving of baby spinach leaves (: In all, it was a rather exciting dish and I don't regret trying this at all (: In fact, I am game to try other dishes that they offer! (: Maybe I'll make a trip to the far east again in the near future (:

Alright that's all for now (: Can't believe the year is ending already.. shall try to enjoy whatever that's left of this year before the whole crazy busy cycle called work life resumes again in 2014.

Merry Christmas everyone! (:

Friday, December 20

Osaka Food Adventure

Hello! (:

I am back from Osaka and I shall post photos of some of the culinary delights we had (: In general, there is loads to eat and you can find really good food if you do some research and take the effort to get to the places/ areas that sell the type of food that you wish to eat (: I'll be selective and showcase the food/ meals that I found interesting/ memorable (: I won't be elaborating much on each photo but I might give a comment or two on a particular meal/ type of food so that I can add these information to my memory bank (:

Dotonbori - Osaka's famous food street! (: If you love to eat street food, and you have an adventurous spirit, you must visit Dontonbori! (: It's near Namba Station and you can easily find a wide range of Japanese food here! (: This place comes alive at night so you might want to visit it in the evening (:

Eel rice bowl. This might seem pretty nondescript or merely average to you but this meal was memorable because it was our first lunch in Osaka and the eel tasted good! (: It's kinda pricey though but you get good service and well-cooked eel (:

Okonomiyaki is one of the must-try dishes when you visit Osaka because Osaka's (apparently) famous for it! (: We were lucky that Fugetsu (a chain outlet that serves Okonomiyaki) opens till 11pm everyday so we had our first meal after touching down in Osaka at night at Fugetsu! (: We shared an okonomiyaki with noodles the first time so we decided to head back there again a week later to try the one without the noodles (: They are all yummy! (: You can find an outlet at Yodobashi Shopping Mall, which is next to Umeda Station. There are many others around as well so I'm sure you can find one that is convenient for you to get to.

Udon. I find it funny that we tasted great udon at the most unexpected of places - Rinkku Town! We decided to make a day trip to Rinkku Town to see if we can some shopping done at their premium brands outlet mall (which was only average to us because we didn't get to buy clothes that we could wear in Sg since most stalls were selling winter clothes). The set lunch that we had at a randomly picked restaurant was fantastic! (: If you ever are at Rinkku Town, you should head here for some good food at reasonable prices! (:

Soba. We were really lucky to be staying quite near this 1* Michelin soba restaurant called Makino. It's in between JR Fukushima and JR Osaka stations (: You must remember to go at opening time because it is a small 20-seater restaurant that is well-known by the locals and it fills up within 10mins of opening time. Also, the restaurant closes once their soba sells out so it's best to go early to avoid queueing/ disappointment! (: The soba, needless to say, was simple yet wholesome. You really have to try this if you are a soba fan.

Kushikatsu. Our first taste of kushikatsu at Dotonbori left us craving for more so we visited another kushikatsu restaurant at Osaka Station's Isetan Shopping Centre Dining Floor (: It has 5 kinds of sauces/ salt for you to dip the various fried food items into to eat. The interesting thing is that the waiter(ess) will actually take the effort to place the fried item such that the stick points to the sauce/ salt that best complements it (: Cool!

Sukiyaki. This was my first time having Sukiyaki and what an experience it was! (: I thoroughly enjoyed watching the very experienced lady cook our meal for us (: The beef didn't disappoint and my dinner companion was more than pleased with the beef, especially the marbled slices! (: But this particular restaurant is VERY popular so you must make a reservation at least 3days in advance to get a table.

Japanese Fine Dining. We didn't think we would end up having a fine dining meal this trip but Hanano's food looked pretty enticing so we went ahead and make a reservation for two for dinner. Frankly, it was one of the most filling meals I've had in my life and I felt so stuffed after it! =( I don't know how the people sitting at the tables around us can manage to eat way more than us! Erps. The meal is very pricey and the food, though good, lacked the refinement or 'wow' factor that I thought I would taste. Granted I am not a connoisseur of fine dining dishes, nor do I frequent fine dining restaurants a lot, I guess I was hoping to taste that something extra, which was kind of missing (in my opinion) that day. Nevertheless, if you want somewhere with a nice, comfortable, homely ambience, you can go to Hanano.

If you love food and love to eat as much as I do, then Osaka is THE city you must visit if you decide to go to Japan (: "Kuidaore" , which literally means "to eat oneself bankrupt" or "eat until you drop", aptly and adequately describes the food culture which many people and visitors like myself see and experience in Osaka.

Yup that's all for now! Till the next adventure! (: