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Lake Toya, Japan

Spot of Tranquility.

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Little India, Singapore

Spices, gold and splashes of colour!

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Singapore Flyer, Gardens by the Bay

Garden City, City in a Garden.

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Bryce Canyon, USA

Thor's Hammer

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Chocolate Test, Singapore

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Lawn

Food unites people in pretty miraculous ways. Because of this food tasting session at The Lawn, I bumped into a secondary school senior whom I haven't seen in a really long time. 

This place just feels so comfortable- green space, clean and neat touches and colourful cuddly cushions! Honestly, any place that quotes Andy Warhol makes me instantly like the place.

We tried the different salad dressings which consisted of the classics and Asian-fusion. You won't get to see many of these dressings in other salad shops. My favourite was the Me So Spicy, which was spicy, sour and appetising. Other dressings included Honeyball, Wafu, Maple Peanut, Citrus, Manly Mango etc.

Have a look at the menu here. For $9.90, you get 5 toppings. While it may seem expensive at first glance, consider the fact that this is the CBD area and also that the servings are huge.

Normally, these grilled items would be served on top of the salad. For the purposes of the food tasting, these grilled items were served separately. Inclusion of grilled chicken/vegetables would cost an additional $3, for fish/duck/prawns it would be $4 and for beef it's $5.

These mixed mushrooms were juicy and seasoned nicely with garlic. I didn't really like the eggplant because I felt that the sour taste of balsamic vinegar overpowered the natural flavours of the eggplant.

These Prawns with Garlic were my favourite grilled item- Bouncy and fresh.

I would also choose the Butter-Seared Pacific Dory with Parsley Rub for a much needed brain boost in the midst of a working day. It was a pity that it was a tad too dry. 

We also tried a selection of grilled meat, including Grilled Black Pepper Duck Breast, Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, Char-Grilled Cajun Chicken etc. My favourite of the lot was the duck meat. For those concerned about their waistlines, you will be happy to note that although breast meat is used so that it's less fattening.

You also have the option of choosing Olive Rice + Side Salad ($8.90). A recipe from the owner's grandmother, you could catch a whiff of the rice's fragrance almost immediately when it's served. A very simple but homely rendition of the olive rice.

What's a meal without dessert? The desserts are not made in the premises but brought in from Gobi and Tiramisu Hero, both very well-known dessert places. While some may find the tiramisu overrated, I actually love this, not only is it served in a cute jar (that's what you're paying for anyway), the mascarpone to finger ratio is appropriate, the kahlua's taste is distinct yet not overpowering and it's not too sweet. Only thing that was not so satisfactory was that the coffee flavour could have been more accentuated. Otherwise, I think it's a wonderful alternative for a slice of birthday cake! 

We also tried some cakes from Gobi- Chocolate Therapy, Matcha, Oreo Cheesecake and Carrot Cake. They were all above average but my favourite was the Chocolate Therapy. 

For those who work in CBD area, this is a good place for salad if you had just eaten a whole packet of nasi lemak for breakfast. For those who don't get to see sunlight by the time they leave office, this place is good because it's open for dinner. There is an option for delivery as well but I recommend you get up from your chair and get the blood flowing! I will definitely be back to The Lawn to try the mushroom soup as well.

While salad may seem to be a boring option, as Andy Warhol says, "I like boring things." What's more this place is far from boring- selection of delicious grill, cosy ambience and good desserts to make a meal complete.

Many thanks to Jonathan for the invite!

The Lawn
AXA Tower
8 Shenton Way
Tel No: 6534 8749 

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I am a list kind of person. I love reading lists and compiling lists. Anytime you have a Top (insert number) (type of food) in Singapore in a magazine or newspapers, I'm bound to read it. Located at the basement of Katong 112, I had always walked past this place but never entered because the prices of the cakes were on the high side. 

Nonetheless, I finally got to try the Noisette ($7.50) which was in the 2008 Straits Times list of Top 50 Yummiest Cakes. The chocolate mousse was bittersweet, exactly how life feels like sometimes. I shun all kinds of chocolates that only have a sweet edge to it. The crunch praline feuilletine is always a welcome addition to chocolate cakes- who doesn't like the crunch? Together with the chunky hazelnuts, this dessert was beautifully executed.

Service was pleasant, Noisette was good, just a bit too steeply priced in my opinion. Human traffic was pretty sparse for a weekend afternoon, so don't worry about crowds.

112 Katong
112 East Coast Road
Tel No: 6 636 1073 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Putien 莆田菜馆 (VivoCity)

Putien has always given me the impression of the place to be for family reunions. 

I have never complained about a dish of Fried Egg Plant with Pork Floss ($13.90)- it's just too safe a choice that it's difficult to get it wrong!

The famous Putien Sweet & Sour Pork with Lychees ($17.90 for medium) lacked a little of the sour oomph that we are accustomed to when eating sweet and sour pork.

Everybody loved the Spinach with Salted Egg & Century Egg in Supreme Stock ($18.90 for medium).

The Deep Fried Duck with Yam ($31.80) was pretty new to our tastebuds- a layer of crispy yam wrapped around pieces of duck- combination was great if not for the fact that the duck was a little dry.

We also had a Braised Claypot Sea Cucumber with Chestnut ($35.90). The gravy plays an important role in this dish and does not overpower the freshness of the sea cucumber.

Another famous dish the Fried Heng Hwa Bee Hoon ($23.90 for large) - it was too dry.

Overall, our food choices were very safe. Food was slightly above average although if you are looking for a Chinese restaurant, I highly recommend Tonny Restaurant which I've recently been to. The utensils here are also not clean and it's difficult to get the waiter's attention as they seem not to have enough manpower.

Putien Restaurant 
1 Harbourfront Walk
Tel No. 6376 9358

Sunday, October 13, 2013


I was really excited to step foot into the Greenhouse- have been reading great reviews of this place. Alas, it was just not meant to be. I guess buffet lunch just isn't as good as its famous Sunday brunch. 

Everything seemed so promising when we first entered Greenhouse- lots of natural light (check), witty quote by Virginia Woolf printed on its cards: "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well" (check), nice little touches such as the blown glass on the walls (check). What's there not to like about this place? 

Interesting selection of bread. Unfortunately, I left my stomach space for other food instead. I tried the mushroom soup and it was rich, creamy and full of flavour with little chunks of mushroom in it.

I came back to this section again and again. I don't usually go for seconds when it comes to the salad/appetisers part, but the selection here was really quite good. Worthy of mention was the couscous and chicken. The chicken was admittedly a little tough but it went well with the couscous. The mushrooms were also bursting with juice.

The sushi and seafood section had a few hits and misses. I think Greenhouse tends to overcook its food- the cooked prawns were far too hard in some dishes, the char siew in the carving section while tasty, was too hard as well. Even the chawanmushi was lacking the jiggly consistency and instead felt more like Chinese steamed egg.

Talking about overcooking the food, I didn't take a picture of the Chinese food section. The salmon in lobster sauce was far too hard as well. I know you are concerned about us eating uncooked food... but still, this isn't the way to go! Other dishes included buffalo wings, vegetables in XO sauce etc. (all worth skipping).

The Indian food section was pretty good. I loved the pairing of nann and Chicken Curry!

If you dare display your desserts section at the entrance, my bet is that it has to be pretty good! So, there was a wonderful selection of ice cream- Good quality ice cream by the way. Not the normal supermarket chocolate/strawberry/vanilla.

But good times did not last. The kuehs were bad- I'd rather the dessert chefs stick to what they are good at as opposed to trying to make things that are not their specialities. The ondeh ondeh is one of the worst I have eaten in quite a while- extremely thick skin and no gula melaka splashing out at all! The rest of the kuehs were equally subpar.

These beautiful dainty little desserts, while at first appealing, turned out more appalling than appealing. Maybe that's putting it too strongly since the chocolate dessert was quite good. But see that orange thing in the picture, I took a bite of it, made a face and officially declared it the worst thing I have eaten in quite some time. I don't even know what it was because as you can tell, there are no signs!

The chocolate cake was rich and suitably bitter. The hazelnut cake, while acceptable, was a tad too sweet.

At $58++ for buffet lunch, the buffet was a letdown. While we were at first impressed with the service staff (one waitress was especially friendly), we realised that the service staff were a lot friendlier to tourists. This was a far cry from the impeccable service from Summer Pavilion- once we've been there, all service standards pale in comparison. 

The Ritz-Carlton Millenia
7 Raffles Avenue
Tel No. 6434 5288

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Folks Collective

Thai restaurants in Singapore can be generally categorised into the authentic ones (e.g. Ah Loh Thai), the ones you eat because you are lazy to think (e.g. Thai Express) and the cheap and good Thai food (E.g. Jai Thai). I have some problems trying to classify Folks Collective for the simple reason that it does not fall into any of the above-mentioned categories.

This place is a mish mash of designs- look at the following pictures and you know what I mean. 

Interesting decor aside, their food is pretty good as well which was why I bothered going there a second time. I had a Seafood Pad Thai ($10.90). Not too oily, sweet but not overly sweet with fresh seafood.

I think the Cereal Soft-shell Crab ($18.90) is enough for 3 to share. On the menu, it states sharing between two or more but honestly, you wouldn't want to share this. Unfortunately, considerations of an expanding waistline kick in and your are forced to share, albeit extremely reluctantly. Normally, it's cereal prawn. This cereal soft-shell crab had a certain kick to it with the soft-shell crab and the cereal deep fried to perfect goodness.

The service here is also good. Their set-lunch menu prices seem pretty wallet friendly. I heard it can get really crowded on weekdays- this place is open on weekends as well, so you might want to head there when there are really few customers!

Folks Collective
China Square Central
20 Cross Street
Tel No.: 6536 6739