DSC00509 (Edit)

Lake Toya, Japan

Spot of Tranquility.

IMG_8185 (Edit) (2)

Little India, Singapore

Spices, gold and splashes of colour!

IMG_7713 (Edit) 2

Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay

Garden City, City in a Garden.

IMG_6839 (Edit) (3)

Bryce Canyon, USA

Thor's Hammer

IMG_5531 (Edit) (2)

Chocolate Test, Singapore

"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt." -Charles M Schulz

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kenny Rogers Roasters

Kenny Rogers Roasters, along with restaurants like Sizzler, Jack's Place and Swensen's were the kind of places that we used to go when we were young to celebrate special occasions. 

Although I've not eaten at Kenny Rogers for what must have been a decade, the corn muffins are still my favourite! With cupcakes shop sprouting everywhere, nobody cares about the dainty cupcakes' distant cousin, the slightly coarser muffin. Don't mind me, I'm just a little sentimental that it's the end of an era for Gramophone, a place I used to buy all my CDs from.

Anyway, these muffins came out fresh from the oven- warm, not too sweet, and with little corn bits! How often do you see square muffins anyway?

I ordered the famous Roasted Chicken which came with two sides. The roasted chicken was absolutely delicious- juicy meat, non fatty skin and a nicely peppered skin!

The food here brought back memories of what it was like to be a kid, where eating Kenny Rogers was a treat. But now, it's simply not a place where you would pop by if you had a million other food options staring at you. It's just a place you would feel an urge to step into if you haven't gone there for a long time.

Kenny Rogers Roasters 
Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Road
Tel No: 6345 9117 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ellenborough Market Cafe

I have been to Ellenborough Market Cafe at least 3 times in the past few years and I think standards (both food and service) have slipped. 

Fresh sushi.

The seafood was absolutely disappointing. The prawns were not fresh, the mini lobsters were ridiculous because there was very little meat within the shell. After trying these two, I didn't bother trying the crabs but apparently they weren't fresh also.

An interesting selection of salads- curry chicken salad, squid salad etc. There was also a Peranakan section which had my favourite kueh pie tee. Chinese food was pretty ordinary. Soup (Seafood chowder) was far too salty.

The only thing that everybody remembers about this place is the durian. How often is it do you get to eat durians without your hands smelling like durians? This was addictive.

Keep a lookout for the replenishment of desserts because after this batch ran out, they changed it completely to kueh lapis and mini tarts. The Chocolate Ganache was so-so, the kueh lapis were okay, mini tarts looked like supermarket pre-made plus the kueh lapis was slightly cold and slightly warm at some parts- totally gives away that these didn't come out fresh from the oven.

A pretty good selection of kueh as well. There was a crepe station where you get to get your crepes freshly made and they will scoop whichever flavour ice cream you would like. Queue can get pretty long, so, if you want just the ice cream, too bad you still have to queue. The chocolate ice cream is rich and sufficiently bitter!

All in all, the food wasn't particular impressive but not so bad that it would enter my won't-eat-again-list. What this place sorely lacks though is good service- plates being stacked up at our tables, not getting our cups of water, water not getting refilled etc. Although they tried to spread the stations out, there was still bottlenecks and overcrowding. For $48, I think I can get a better stretch for the buck somewhere else.

Ellenborough Market Cafe 
Swissotel Merchant Court
20 Merchant Road
Tel No.: 6 239 1848

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tonny Restaurant

Ever since I read Straits Times food reviewer, Tan Hsueh Yun's review on Tonny Restaurant, I knew I had to come here. I find it slightly amusing that this place is draped in red at every corner. Well, I guess that's how traditional Chinese restaurants typically look like. 

Photos of the chef with celebrities are plastered on the glass panels of the restaurant. This chef is a bit of a big shot- Renowned chef from Hong Kong who frequently appears on Channel 8 programmes. 

This is the famous Crispy Yam with Truffle Oil ($12). This starter consists of very thin strips of deep fried yam, coupled with a light drizzle of truffle oil. This made a perfect starter- not oily and appetising.

Another famous dish- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon ($9 per pax). At this point, I was already starting to get pretty impressed with the way ingredients come together. Here, we have some lobster puree cooked with egg white. This might be enough for two to share. The egg white consistency together with the crispy shell made a perfect combination. Plus the garnish on top the lobster puree added more flavour to this already impressive dish.

The Pan-Fried Cod Fish Filled with Soya Sauce ($33) was absolutely delightful. Fresh fish with a flavourful sauce which was not too thick or salty. I'm starting to wonder, whoever's cooking these dishes has been blessed with lots of culinary talent.

I was enjoying all the food in between that I didn't even bother capturing the photos of the dishes. What happened in between- we had Crab Congee ($36- this depends on the amount of crab you want in the porridge) and Beans with Dried Shrimps ($14). 

The crab congee wasn't as impressive as I thought it would be. Anyhow, it had the interesting addition of green beans. The Beans were crunchy and the dried shrimps were deep fried and aromatic. 

Lastly, we had some noodles ($14) to round off the dinner. This had salted egg yolk in it, which made the texture of the noodles slightly different than what we are accustomed to. 

In all, this meal for 6 people cost $200. Worth every cent to try good and innovative dishes. Ambience nothing to rave about but service was pretty decent as well. Recommended!

Tonny Restaurant 
325 Joo Chiat Road
Tel No.: 6 348 9298

Cafe Brio's

It's a known fact that I love eating buffets. The more I eat, the clearer I am of which buffets really stand out and which are those that should never be visited. Cafe Brio's was average at best. 

They had quite a bit of local food. This was the nasi lemak station. I took a bit of rice try to test if it's good, didn't waste my calories on the deep fried items. The rice was a little dry and not fragrant enough.

They also had a laksa station situated outside- that was good. Slurp worthy laksa soup and a small enough portion not to overeat!

They also had chilli crabs which is not often seen at lunch buffets, unless you go for a crab buffet. As with all chilli crabs, the crux of it lies in the sauce. This, unfortunately, didn't make the cut. The crabs were pretty fresh though.

There were also other deep fried items such as You Tiao Squid. I think they failed to put the typically served mayo next to it.

I promise you will regret if you tried the fish and chips. No matter how alluring they may look, these fish and chips were pretty horrible. The fish didn't taste fresh.

Make your own kueh pie tees- these were pretty good!

These prawns were so fresh, people just kept coming back for more. Juicy and succulent, I think this was my favourite dish of the buffet.

The Japanese sushi tastes as sad as they look.

Desserts were a complete letdown. It was sorely lacking in variety. There weren't many fancy-schmancy cakes around here. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw cupcakes- they looked like what primary school students would make out of a pre-mix. Needless to say, I didn't try them. The kuehs were decent and the durian thingy was quite good- they didn't get refilled as quickly as they got taken though.

I'm quite sure I wouldn't return here again with the $42++ price tag for lunch on weekends. For $10 more, I definitely can get something much better. That said, service was good and plates were cleared from the tables quickly.

Cafe Brio's
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
392 Havelock Road
Tel No.: 6 233 1100