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CASA TARTUFO


Casa Tartufo
Forum, The Shopping Mall
583 Orchard Road
Singapore

PRICE: $$$$
RATING:

We celebrated Father’s Day early since Chris would be away in Seattle on the actual day (boo!). I wanted to try someplace that all of us had never been to before, and so decided on Casa Tartufo. Located in Forum shopping mall, it doesn’t look obviously like a restaurant from the outside, since you can’t see the tables inside easily, so it’s really easy to overlook and I never even knew the place existed until the day we dined there. It’s cosy inside with lovely warm service and an efficient kitchen.

Our family

Parents!

Inside Casa Tartufo

Boys waiting for their food

With my 2 favourite Dads :)

Mummy and me

I’d read online that the Burrata cheese with truffle heart was a must-try, and so was keen to try that out. It didn’t disappoint – I loved how unusual the dish was, I’ve never had it in my entire life! The Burrata cheese was actually pretty un-cheese like! It didn’t have that heavy taste and was not too overwhelming a dish. I’m not sure why they say it has a “truffle heart” because ours had no such thing. Instead, there were truffles blended within the whole cheese, lending a subtle flavour. It was AWESOME paired with their homemade warm foccacia.. mmm..

Burrata cheese with truffle heart (SG$45)

I personally felt their main dishes were good, but not blow-me-away spectacular. I did really enjoy my Omelette with truffles (not pictured below, I forgot!) and thought it was well done, but the presentation was quite plain. I thought the best main was the Tajarin thin egg noodles with truffle sauce which was a very simple dish with no meat in it, and was a tiny portion, but the sauce really packed a punch. I must caveat that Mum thought it was only so-so, so I suppose it’s all a personal thing!

Tajarin thin egg noodles with truffle sauce (SG$25)

Angus burger with mushrooms, bacon, mozzarella, onion and truffle fries (SG$26)

Beer battered Dory fillet, Parmesan, Truffle fries, Arrabbiata sauce (SG$24)

I thoroughly enjoyed the Sticky Date Pudding, apple crumble and hazelnut ice-cream which was sweet, decadant, and unusual with the hazelnut ice cream. The crunchy crumble pieces were a fun touch, though didn’t taste anything like apple ;) The Tiramisu with a touch of truffle had zero truffle flavour which left me confused, but I thought the tiramisu itself was lovely. I love really wet/moist tiramisu, and this one hit the spot. The others felt it was a bit too wet though, but it was fine with me.

The service at Casa Tartufo was very warm, and they were so attentive, which I appreciated. As we left, we were greeted by the owners which was a nice personal touch. Check it out if you’re really into truffles, as you’ll be able to stuff yourself with them here at very reasonable prices. And even if you’re not a truffle fan, you’ll still be pleased as there’s quite a few truffle-free dishes here too.

Sticky Date Pudding, apple crumble and hazelnut ice-cream (SG$14)

Tiramisu with a touch of truffle (SG$16)

Hello Mr Big Eyes

All of us! (errr.. minus the baby)

Happy Father’s Day :)

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Posted by on 20 June 2011 (Mon) in Singapore food reviews, Uncategorized

 

PIQUE NIQUE


Pique Nique
#B1-01 Takashimaya
Ngee Ann City Tower A
391A Orchard Road
Singapore

PRICE: $$
RATING:

Met up with who I’ve known for years.. we first met in Australia and are both now living in Singapore – so coincidental! Our hubbies are mates too, which is great, ‘cos we can do double dates ;) Of course, now we have baby in tow, so gone are our days of freedom and wandering around without a care in the world!

We hit Pique Nique (pronounced “pic-nic”) which is said to be a ‘New York-style bakery-cum-bistro’. It’s all about clean lines, white washes, and understated furnishings. It’s evidently supposed to be dessert-centric, so it was a bit silly of us to skip dessert! Instead, we opted for their American diner style food. Overall, I’d say the food is decent but not spectacular.

Pique Nique

Little desserts

Biscuits and jams on sale

The Whoopie Fries came out first, and the dish really disappointed us. For SG$8, you’d expect the fries to be freakin’ outstanding. They were not. They were SO DOUSED with salt & seasoning that they were…… inedible. We are both greedy people *ahem*, so it takes a LOT for us to reject fries. And fries are my favourite food, so it takes a CRAPLOAD for me to reject them! But we just ate a little and had to stop. I told the waitress that they were inedible and way way way too salty, and she was pleasant, but just said “Oh, really? I’ll tell the chef” and that was it. No making a new batch, no taking it off our bill, nothing. Big thumbs down.

Whoopie Fries – INEDIBLE.

Next was the Carbonara macaroni and cheese. It came in a cute skillet with a poached egg on top. I thought the egg was rather random, but turns out it was a great idea as the creaminess of the egg yolk went well with the dish. This was basic and nice, though I thought the sauce was a little lumpy and not as smooth and creamy as it could’ve been.

Carbonara macaroni and cheese

The Mushroom Swiss hot dog was AWESOME. I loved the soft fluffy bun, the tasty sausage, the lashings of sliced mushrooms and the melted cheese. And the plain fries it came with were FAR better than the sorrowful Whoopie Fries we ordered.

Mushroom Swiss hot dog

I’d go back for the hotdog, and perhaps try out their milkshakes and desserts.. but I definitely wouldn’t order those fries again! Then again, I was a little disgusted with their lack of effort to make-good on an inedible dish, and I do think that with so much competition around, cafes need to be aware of what customers say and do something to make things right.

Anyway, Hunter was all decked on in his little sailor boy outfit, a gift from . Chris and I adore it, especially Chris, because he loves sailor outfits on his son, so this was perfect :P

The outfit!

Hunter in it (hard to see)

Pic stolen from !

 
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Posted by on 18 June 2011 (Sat) in Singapore food reviews, Uncategorized

 

OUR LAST NIGHT IN SHANGHAI


Shook!
23 Nanjing East Road
Shanghai, China

PRICE: 元元元元元
RATING:

So as I was saying… I liked Shook! so much I decided to go back that same day for dinner – this time on a quiet dinner date with Chris. Co-incidentally, it was also our last night in Shanghai, so we wanted something memorable… hence the location at The Bund.

This time, Shook! was transformed into night time dining.. with mood lighting, much quieter ambience, and a different menu offering their full range of a la carte dishes. The menu is pretty exhaustive, and so tantalising that we had trouble figuring out what to order ;) It took a bit of back-and-forth and listening to the waiter’s recommendations before we finally decided on our choices. We were very fortunate to be allocated the best table there – a corner table right by the glass windows overlooking The Bund area. Gorgeous!

We were treated to a complimentary champagne with bubbling pearls. OK I think it had a much more eloquent name than this, but I forgot ;) It was fascinating to look at – the pearls going up and down the bubbling champagne, and they burst as we drank. Novelty!

We thoroughly enjoyed the dishes, which were all brought out beautifully presented. The portions are not large (considering the price), but enough so that we were full at the end of the meal. Fine food, lovely ambience, and good service – a nice way to remember our last night in Shanghai :)

Our table view at Shook!

Champagne with bubbling pearls

Our last night in Shanghai :)

Amuse bouche

Trio of crab

Lightly dusted cajun spiced seabass with pimento mayo, avocado, cucumber salad and a twist of chilli

Slow braised grain fed beef cheek with a humble mash, crisply cooked bacon, and caramelized grenadine onion

Sides of fries and mushrooms

Tiramisu with creamy white chocolate, marsala panacotta, and espresso

Lemon tart with mint sauce

Mint cocktail

Upstairs balcony area for drinks

 

ALL SHOOK UP!


Shook!
23 Nanjing East Road
Shanghai, China

PRICE: 元元元
RATING:

OK a throw back to our Shanghai days again.. my ‘last meal’ with my Ladies Who Lunch group was at the very cool Shook! on The Bund. It’s all about high ceilings, awesome views, attentive service and excellent food. I was excited to try it out as I hadn’t been there before, and they have a super special 88RMB set lunch on that we were all eyeing.

It didn’t disappoint. We were attended to by a flurry of waiters, headed up by a cute Frenchman (errr forgot his name). He explained all the dishes in detail and left us salivating ;) I liked the menu as it was a nice blend of Asian and Western/French dishes, so everyone can be sated. The portions of the food were very reasonable – definitely enough to fill us. It even included tea/coffee and a lovely plate of pretty petit fours for dessert.

All the dishes were tastefully presented and very well cooked. I was more than impressed with my Slow cooked confit of duck with natural jus, peas, bacon and potatoes that fell from the bone easily and was sublime. In fact, it was better than what I’ve had in restaurants in France!

Shook! is an excellent spot to lunch with friends – the large glass windows and high ceilings make for a very cheery afternoon. However.. turns out it’s a lovely place for a romantic dinner too – as Chris and I discovered when I was mad enough to book dinner on the same day ‘cos I was so impressed with the restaurant I wanted to bring Chris back there, haha!

Pretty decor at Shook

Assorted bread basket

Girls!

Gado Gado salad with fragrant peanut sauce

Chilled tomato and raspberry soup with cucumber salsa and mint pesto

Slow cooked confit of duck with natural jus, peas, bacon and potatoes

Wok fried rice

Toasted beef baguette with Asian style salad dressing and chilli chips

Pan-fried red mullet with light risotto and curry bouillon

Tea and coffee

Petit fours

The Ladies Who Lunch

And with more of ’em!

And of course, a video of…. who else? Hunter ;)

 
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Posted by on 15 June 2011 (Wed) in Shanghai food reviews, Uncategorized

 

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE FUDGE COOKIES, IN A PINCH

OK a throw back to our Shanghai days… my VERY LAST baking escapade was full of hilariousness as all our stuff had gone, but I felt the big urge to bake for a bunch of my girl friends. And so, what did I use to bake?

1 plastic container
1 plastic fork
1 oven

Fortunately, I had all the ingredients, it was just the utensils that were ridiculous – as I had no sifter, no measuring cup, and no measuring spoons ;) But guess what? IT WORKED! I guess I’ve baked enough in my life to be able to judge volumes of ingredients by just looking at them, haha. Chris was a bit dubious, but was then quite impressed that the cookies turned out very nice indeed :P

And so, here’s how you make triple chocolate fudge cookies, super ultra soft and moist.. with the most basic of utensils ;)

Melt 110g dark chocolate chips + 110g unsalted butter

Add in 1.5 cup white sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Fold in 1 cup plain flour, 0.5 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 0.5 tsp baking soda, 0.5tsp salt.

Fold in 110g milk chocolate chips until all combined.
Drop dough onto baking tray in meatball-sized dollops.
Bake for 15 mins until surface of cookies just crack, but inside is still very soft.

Fresh out of the oven SUPER SOFT fudge cookies!

What they look like on the inside

 
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Posted by on 11 June 2011 (Sat) in Baking, Food, Uncategorized

 

MUMMIES WHO LUNCH @ WILD HONEY


Wild Honey
333A Orchard Road
Singapore

PRICE: $$$
RATING:

It was the first time for all 4 of us that we were out with so many mummies & babies, so it was a pretty epic day! 4 mums, 4 babies. Lots of commotion, and LOTS of fun ;) Plus, it was 2 of the ladies’ FIRST time out by themselves with babies, so it was a memorable luncheon!

The place of choice was at Wild Honey, that serves all day breakfasts. They had to re-arrange their tables to help accommodate all of us and our massive strollers (I didn’t bring my Bugaboo and carried Hunter in the Ergo carrier instead, but there still wasn’t much space) and were ultra nice when I was holding a sleeping Hunter and brought me the desserts to select and let me pay at our table (normally you order/pay at the counter). I like attentive, nice service like that :)

Wild Honey’s interior isn’t like the usual Singaporean cafe scene. It actually reminded me of cafes in Melbourne. Cozy, with magazines around, a couch in the middle, and lots of ladies hanging out and eating/drinking. I hear they’re always busy as they’re one of the more popular cafes, but we got there before the lunch rush so all was good.

I had a tough time deciding what to get, since all the items actually seemed pretty similar to me, largely ‘cos it’s all breakfast ingredients. So I went with ‘s recommendation of the Tunisan dish, which was a skillet with soft tomatoes and peppers, eggs, and fantastic chorizo! I really liked the fluffy super-thick slices of bread it came with, though it should have come with lots of herb butter.

Unfortunately, their Brownie dessert fell flat. It was very badly over-baked and hard/tough as hell! Instead of being soft and moist, it was like a brick, and very dry. Cake mix in the supermarket makes way better brownies :( I was so disappointed as I was anticipating a deliciously moist chocolate brownie, and was so surprised it was way off the mark, as I’d expected a lovely cafe like this to have top-notch desserts.

We had a pretty wild time with our babies, and they were so cute together! Not that they interacted much, of course.. they mainly either ignored or stared at each other. Hah! Hunter fared so-so as lately he’s been having a weird time – about a week ago, he suddenly has these moments of supreme fussiness when we’re out, and also lost his laugh. Before, he used to smile and gurgle and coo and laugh at just about anything and everything… and him crying or fussing whilst we were out was unheard of. But in the past week, he’s suddenly gotten all serious and solemn! So weird. What happened to my constantly super happy baby?? Come back, please!

Wild Honey – check out their awesome iPad menus!

Me and my son :)

My meal, the Tunisan

Ultimate Breakfast

Some sorta wrap, forgot what the name was!

Chocolate brownie :(

The lil girl looks like a female version of Hunter, no?
And check out lil boy sitting like the big boss in his stroller, LOL!

Making friends :P

LOL @ both our bubs having odd expressions!

Hunter giving his famous DEMON EYE look

Female version of Hunter (born 1 week after him)

Chilling out next to me :)

Getting burped after his feed

Mates with ‘s boy! They were born just 2 days apart.
And yes, both are chunky monkeys!

Mummies who lunch :D

and I traipsed around afterwards and shopped til we dropped ;)

 
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Posted by on 10 June 2011 (Fri) in Singapore food reviews, Uncategorized

 

VANILLA BAR & CAFE


Vanilla Bar & Cafe
3 Boon Tat Street #01-01
Singapore

PRICE: $$
RATING:

Squirreled away in a little shophouse is , a cute and simple little cafe that really hits the spot. We arrived before lunch hour on a Monday, which was a good idea as the place really packed out with office workers by 12:30PM or so. It’s a narrow little cafe that only has a few tables (and 2 or 3 outdoor ones), yet manages to churn out quite an impressive array of food.

The prices are not cheap, but they are still pretty reasonable. Portions are a tad on the small side, so expect to order a starter/nibbles, main and a dessert in order to fill up. Don’t miss their milkshakes and coffees, which are great!

My favourite meal was, by far, the Garlic prawn pasta. Lovely slippery strands of spaghetti with springy prawns, and dusted with a generous scattering of fried garlic. And phew, they really do put a lot of garlic in there! But for garlic fans like Chris and I, it was awesome :) Chris absolutely loved his Pork belly don topped with soft boiled egg, which was comfort food at it’s best.

If we’re in the Chinatown area again, I’d be keen to stop by and have a coffee and snack. Thanks to their friendly service, we felt really comfortable and well-taken care of there, despite Hunter having a bit of a yell (he’s having an “off” week, been so grumpy, d’oh)!

Vanilla Bar & Cafe

Cute paraphernalia on the shelves

Family pic :)

Practising his sitting-up

Oreo milkshake – luscious

Coffees – check out that foam!

Crispy baby mackeral ($8.90) – how FREAKY do they look?!
Was so scared of ’em, but they turned out to be v yummy.

Pumpkin croquette ($5.90) – decent, but I prefer the regular ones

Popcorn chicken ($5.90) – they looked nasty, but were awesome :)

Baked mentaiko crab cakes ($9.90) – they came in wee lil crab shells!!

Mini burger sampler ($8.90)

Fish & chips with goma dressing ($13.90)

Garlic prawn pasta ($12.90) – my fave dish

Pork belly don topped with soft boiled egg ($13.90) – Chris’ fave dish

Vanilla dirt cake – how cute is this?!?!

Our boys, just 3 weeks of age apart

Hunter’s expression = LMAO!!

Mummies and babies :)

 
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Posted by on 9 June 2011 (Thu) in Singapore food reviews, Uncategorized