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x2dino
This is x2dino living in Bukit Panjang. I am a Executive, work in Toa Payoh. French, Thai are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Café and Seafood, Steaks and Grills, Buffet .
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Life's simple pleasures Smile Apr 07, 2013   
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Categories : American

Meatloaf with Petit Cakes and Green Tea Latte

Meatloaf with Petit Cakes and Green Tea Latte

 
More Petit Cakes

More Petit Cakes

 
The husband and I headed to Spinelli over the weekends for a cozy afternoon tea.

Their Petit Cakes (3 pcs for $6) were lovely and exquisite. My favourite was the Passion Berry Cup which was sweet with a tinge of sourness, leaving a refreshing aftertaste. Another worthy mention would be Opera which tasted rich and moist.

Their Meatloaf Pie ($5.90) was a surprising find! The mashed potato was buttery yet light and blended well with the minced beef.

Their Green Tea Latte, however, paled in comparison to Starbucks as we found it too sweet and lacking the natural flavours of the authentic Matcha Green Tea.

Overall, a great place to simply chill and relax over a cup of tea and cakes.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Passion Bery Cup,Opera,Meatloaf Pie
 
Date of Visit: Apr 07, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $10(Tea)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Salad Bar? More Like Buffet Lor! Smile Dec 23, 2012   
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Categories : American | Restaurant | Steaks and Grills | Salads

Since the wife works at HDB Hub, we thought of going to Chums for a hearty Friday dinner (any steakhouse resonates in my being, she'll tell you), since we noticed it during a family visit to Saizeriya a month back. Hey, it's Christmas time and good ol' feasting never goes out of rhyme, aye?

The first thing you'll notice isn't so much the decor, but a rather strategically located wine shop known as 1855 The Bottle Shop right smack within the walls of Chums (the illuminated shop sign is right at the entrance before you even enter!). Aficionados will be familar with 1855 as the year in which the famous wine classification of Bordeaux took place at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III (nephew of the famous general) with the intention of showcasing the best of Bordeaux (deemed the most important wine-producing region in France at that time) to international visitors to the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris (a world expo of sorts). This classfication resulted in what we know today as the famous Grand Cru Classe wines of Bordeaux with 1st Growths like Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Margaux amongst five labels categorised in this rank.

Well, as much as I would like to rattle on about wines (I love wines as much as steak), OpenRice isn't quite the place for a sermon about them as much as about food. So just note that there's a really interesting partnership here between Chums and 1855 The Bottle Shop in sparing no effort to deliver the best combination of steak AND wine. Great! Here are my parting comments about 1855: The wine selection is pretty good (a healthy blend of Old World and New World wines, and hard liquor to boot), although slightly above four grand for a 2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild is in my opinion, a little pricey compared to market rates. Still, you might wish to settle for a half bottle (375ml) of Chateau Calon Segur (can't remember the vintage) to go with your meal especially on Valentine's Day or Proposal Day (whichever comes first) at a more affordable price of 125 SGD++.
1855 The Bottle Shop

1855 The Bottle Shop

 
Anyway, the decor of Chums will serve to a fitting prelude to a great meal to come: wood-finished walls juxtaposed with green pillars that lend a soothing atmosphere akin to a fireplace amidst a lonely winter (the rainy weather provided a similar feel to that), but yet, the installation of full-length glass panels facing the Toa Payoh plaza square instead of the same wood-finished walls brightened up Chums with a twist of contemporary chic - the effect of which is rather unique in not fully whisking you to that cottage place (I don't think you'll feel very much in a cottage-mood with a full view of the hustle and bustle of the Toa Payoh heartland amidst commercial buildings in plain sight). Chums is thus ideal for diners finding the notion of a fireplace meal too musty for their liking.
Decor

Decor

 
The next sight that'll greet you is the "Salad Bar", which ironically, seems to be the highlight of the place with an elevated platform leading up to it, bright downlights that seem to have burrowed their way out of a jewelry shop, and a bar counter located next to it - instead of the steaks (it's called Chums Steakhouse, no?). This sight promises to be a pleasant one because greens are but a mere offering of this "Salad Bar", which I'll come right to in a minute.
Salad Bar - Overall

Salad Bar - Overall

 
Since the wife was already entralled by the "All-You-Care-To-Eat" Salad Bar (that's the actual for it, no kidding) at a price of 17.50 SGD++ for dinner (cheaper for lunch, I recall), it was left to me to actually order the steak which decidingly came in the form of a 250gm Fillet Mignon served medium-rare at 32.90 SGD++. All entrees come with the "Salad Bar" too (just like some insurance riders), so you really get a bang out of your buck here at Chums!

One glance at the Fillet Mignon immediately brings to attention the starved amount of sides (what you see in the photo is exactly what you get: one baked potato, half a tomato, and a miniscule piece of broccoli). "Why", you ask? No prizes for guessing that Chums really does diners a favour in only providing enough sides to NOT make your steak look like an island on the plate so as to maxmise your appetite for the "Salad Bar"! Thank you indeed!
Tender and Juicy Fillet Mignon!

Tender and Juicy Fillet Mignon!

 
Since Chums IS a steakhouse after all, I shall review the Fillet Mignon first. The tenderness of the steak really gets to you, as my usual 'tear' test of tenderloins, where I attempt to rip the meat instead of slicing through it, was performed with relative ease. Generously coated with brown peppered sauce, the Fillet Mignon does justice to Chums although I'm pretty sure I've eaten more flavourful steaks elsewhere. Perhaps the temperature wasn't quite enough to bring out the full flavour of the steak, although the succulence and tenderness more than made up for this slight dip in flavour.

For readers dying to know more about the "Salad Bar", the first thing that needs explanation here is, "why the inverted commas"? This "Salad Bar", as I've mentioned previously, is rather more of a buffet bar actually: a resonable spread of greens nestled amidst ham, chicken breast, and smoked salmon (yes!), plain pasta with separately placed tomato sauce, a bevy of salad beauties like apple, caesar, potato, seafood, pasta, and hawaiian, generous amounts of nachos and potato wedges, and three (yes, three) different types of soup - Mushroom (the chunks of Shiitake in the pot are really a sight and taste to behold), Clam Chowder (which we found to be a winner in terms of ingredient chunkiness and flavour, even better than some ala carte servings offered someplace else), and Tom Yum (yum!) which, when consumer at the right moment, will serve as a "reset button" for your appetite -allowing you to enjoy more goodies! The vegetarian Tom Yum is rich in flavour and definitely comparable to the other two soups. On top of that, there's ice cream (vanilla and chocolate) with a variety of DIY toppings!! Woohoo! Lastly, as with other salad bars, you get freshly sliced fruits and fruit jellies - for the health conscious (but why would they be here in the first place? Hmmm...). There is a hot beverage section with free-flow coffee and different types of tea too, but diners will need to pay an additional surcharge to enjoy them.
Salad Bar - Front

Salad Bar - Front

 
Salad Bar - Back

Salad Bar - Back

 
Salad Bar - Pasta

Salad Bar - Pasta

 
Tom Yum yummy!

Tom Yum yummy!

 
In all, we (even the wife) ate like no tomorrow, truly befitting of the Doomsday occasion! If you're still reading this and salivating, do yourself a HUGE favour and dine at Chums - now.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  "All-You-Care-To-Eat" Salad Bar,Fillet Mignon
 
Date of Visit: Dec 21, 2012 

Celebration:  平安夜 

Spending per head: Approximately $30(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 5

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Christmas Feast! Smile Dec 27, 2014   
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Categories : Australian / New Zealand | Bars/Lounges | Steaks and Grills | Fine Dining

We celebrated Christmas at Wooloomooloo as we thought their 4-course Christmas Set Lunch ($68++/pax) was a steal.

We were first served a huge loaf of warm, fluffy focaccia bread topped with cheese, onions and rosemary. It was one of the tastiest breads I’ve tried!

 
Crispy Duck Salad
Served with braised red cabbage, orange segments and candied walnuts, the duck confit was well prepared with its crispy skin and tender meat. It was not too salty or oily; making it light enough as an appetizer.

 
Lobster Bisque
Their lobster bisque was quite unique in taste as it was scented with Kaffir lime with a hint of chili (or perhaps curry spices?). The soup was smooth and mouth-watering and was complemented with a large chunk of lobster meat. I especially like their presentation in the iron-cast bowl which brought about a rustic country feel.

 
Traditional Christmas Turkey
Their turkey was flavourful and tender. The rosemary potatoes were surprisingly delicious too!

 

Grass Fed Warrnambool Australian Filet Mignon

The beef was a disappointment. The texture was tough and lacked the natural juices of the meat. What totally spoiled this dish was however, the mismatching side dish (peanut kale salad) which tasted somewhat like CNY’s yu sheng. Perhaps it was meant to be a fusion creation which somehow backfired.

 

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Served with Armagnac caramel sauce, the pudding was moist and not overwhelmingly sweet. The vanilla ice cream was light and complemented the dessert well.

 
Panna Cotta
The soft creamy panna cotta instantly melted in your mouth and burst into full flavours, thanks to the zesty sloe gin infused forest berries. This was definitely the star of the day and a perfect ending to our Christmas feast!

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Crispy Duck Salad,Lobster Bisque,Traditional Christmas Turkey,Panna Cotta
 
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Dec 25, 2014 

Celebration:  聖誕節 

Spending per head: Approximately $80(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Awesome Chocolate Molten Cake Smile Mar 22, 2014   
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Categories : American | Coffee

We were at Starbucks for some coffee and dessert after dinner. As we’re craving for something rich, we ordered the Chocolate Molten Cake paired with White Chocolate Mocha.
This combination is awesomely deadly.

The decadently sinful Molten Chocolate Cake is good. Unlike the usual chocolate lava cakes with the gooey molten chocolate “carefully protected” within the cake, Starbuck’s version allows you to sink right into the heart of this cake and scope the molten chocolate directly. Luscious and intensely rich, this cake is a real treat for all chocolate lovers.
Molten Chocolate Cake

Molten Chocolate Cake

 
For those who couldn’t get enough of the chocolaty high, the White Chocolate Mocha will definitely satisfy all your sweet cravings.

A cosy outlet that’s recommended for chillax session after meal tongue
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Molten Chocolate Cake
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Mar 21, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $7(Supper)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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It's International Breakfast Day! Smile Mar 17, 2014   
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Categories : American

It’s international breakfast day! As we thought the free McDonalds breakfast giveaway queue was too overwhelming, we decided to relax and soak in the atmosphere at CBTL while enjoying a scrumptious spread to kick start this lovely day! Salmon Brioche Eggs Ben ($11.90)The eggs ben was tastefully prepared with the soft wobbly egg “precariously” perched right in the centre of the soft toast. The Hollandaise sauce was light and not too overpowering smile
Salmon Brioche Eggs Ben

Salmon Brioche Eggs Ben

 
Ultimate Breakfast ($11.90)A hearty portion consisting of beef patty, chicken sausage, scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, Panini bread, and side salad. It’s lovely to wake up to such an appetising breakfast set that leaves you feeling full and satisfied. The beef patty was flavourful and chewy while the turkey bacon was lightly grilled (not those crispy ones that we commonly find). The chicken sausages were tiny, cute and lightly salted. The scrambled eggs were fluffy and smooth, with a hint of buttery fragrance. Yummy!!
Ultimate Breakfast

Ultimate Breakfast

 
Country Breakfast ($11.50)Consisting of chicken sausage, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and side salad, this was akin to the little brother of the Ultimate Breakfast. This time round, the chicken sausage took centre stage and I’m glad it was equally tasty, if not, more flavourful (thanks to the additional herbs) than those found in the Ultimate Breakfast. Again, the scrambled eggs tasted great and were a perfect match to the soft toast.
Country Breakfast

Country Breakfast

 
Raspberry Cheese Cake ($6.20)And last but not the least, what’s a meal without some sweet treats and what’s CBTL without their signature Raspberry Cheese Cake! The rich layer of raspberry cream cheese was simply irresistible. Topped with white chocolate flakes and cinnamon powder, this was one delicious piece of cake that they make you come back for more!
Raspberry Cheese Cake

Raspberry Cheese Cake

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Raspberry Cheese Cake,Ultimate Breakfast,Salmon Brioche Eggs Ben,Country Breakfast
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Mar 17, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $12(Breakfast)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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