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thedessertprince
This is thedessertprince living in Tampines. I am a Social Worker, work in Tiong Bahru. I like to hang out in Tanjong Pagar, Joo Chiat, Tiong Bahru. French, Italian, Singaporean are my favorite cuisines. I also love Café, Hawker Centre, Restaurant and Steaks and Grills, Desserts and Cakes.
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Categories : Western Variety | Café | Burgers and Sandwiches | Brunch

 
Up until recently, I always thought the entire historical district of Kampong Glam was a place devoid of anything interesting (food wise that is). Haji Lane was more like a sleepy lane before more unique boutique shops moved in while middle eastern cafeterias weren’t quite to my liking.

But I’ve been reading many reviews about the cafes there lately. Only to realise that the entire community has a pretty vibrant cafe culture now that could rival any foodie enclaves.

I found quite a handful of which a few I have went more than once just because I love the cafe vibe or simply just wanna something that caught my eye from the previous visits. One of which; Working Title, a cafe along Arab Street that I have bookmarked at the back my head.

 
On first look, it doesn’t seem hippie at all. Cold hard tables with metallic chairs with rather intentionally run-down interior look? Did I mentioned it’s also rather dark too (even though it’s bright sunny outside). I don’t find it comfortable sitting in intentionally dimmed places. Let’s not about talk about photography in here.

Tsk tsk tsk. Doesn’t entice you to drop by right?

But I shall give you another reason to visit here. Take my advice- walk all the way in, pass the kitchen counter then through the door and viola! A really cozy open concept space fitted with sofa and comfy armchairs. It’s almost like alfresco dining just with the cool breeze from the AC blowing overhead.

 
Menu was rather comprehensive encompassing anywhere from pizzas and finger snacks to main course and simplified brunch. The lasagna seems like a good choice or how about the good old classic deep fried fish and chips?

There’s a lot to choose from but nothing in particular that I desire after glancing through each narrative descriptions. But come here on the weekdays say from 1pm to 3pm just for their set lunches. At $9.90 for a sandwich set or $14.90 for a main course that comes with a soup of the day and drink, this is as good as an excuse to use up your remaining cash at another cafe or order a dessert to share.

 
While I reckon my lunch partner’s Smoked Salmon Sandwich with focaccia bread and chips serving was dull and plain compared to what I ordered- The One And Only Burger That We Used To Have. The name doesn’t invoke much within me.

Probably because I’m not a vivid fan of bread and meat combination but I have to admit that this is a pretty a decent beef burger to make a meal out of. Although I think it would have better if the beef patty was a little more juicer.

 
As for the truffle fries that came along? Let’s just say that when you have tried pretty good ones out there, chances are you won’t suffice for anything mediocre. So reminding yourself: It’s only a simple no-frill lunch.

 
Their desserts are instantaneously recognisable to any experienced cafe hoppers. Pies from Windowsill, gourmet ice cream sandwiches from The Ice Cream & Cookie Co. as well as cakes from various and famous local cakeries.

It might not pleases you to know cafes these days outsource their pastries and cakes. But hey! I would rather have something that has stood through the test of time (and reviews) than one that seems unworthy of my body’s daily calories intake or worst; unappealing and disastrously presented. Trust me, I’ve seen and taste a lot of bad desserts to make the statement above.

 
Overall, I find Working Title a nice cafe to pop by if you’re in the vicinity. While the food here wasn’t exceptionally impressive, the prices and the backdoor ambience is always worthy another revisit from me. I probably wouldn’t mind a few finger snacks and craft beers the next time I’m here too.
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 14, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $14.90(Lunch)

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 3  |  
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 4  |  
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 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 4

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Smoulder Mooncakes 2013 Smile Aug 26, 2013   
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Categories : Bakery | Desserts and Cakes

 
The softcore bakers from Smoulder are well known among my dessert-loving friends for their exceptionally delicious lava cakes with creative flavours that you don’t get to see in the typical molten cakes. From my personal favourites like White Chocolate Lemon and White Chocolate Pistachio to stronger tasting Milk Chocolate Rum & Raisins and Milk Chocolate Mocha. Smoulder is definitely one dessert specialty shop set to challenge our mindset of eating all things sweet.

In preparation of this year’s mid-autumn festival, Smoulder has launched their own mooncakes series with an eye catching statement: The Moon has never tasted better. It almost sounded like a challenge to other established competitors and given the fact that there are so many mooncake makers already, they better be prepared for the annual competition. Everyone is vying a share of the festive pie but not every eateries can handcraft out such pastries successfully.

 
When I think of mooncakes especially snowskin ones, I don’t really reminisce about the past and I certainly don’t picture the moon in my head. All I care is when should I have them instead. I personally regard mooncakes as desserts. Great to have during afternoon tea or taken as an after-dinner dessert. Hence I always prefer lighter sweet tasting ones as compared to the stronger pungent savoury ones.

Smoulder snowskin mooncakes came in four flavours: Dark Chocolate, Raspberry, Green Tea and Rum & Raisins. They are certainly all dessert-worthy pastries and it shouldn’t surprise you that these four flavours are also available in their lava cakes too. Apart from the commonly seen green tea ones, dark chocolate was superbly rich especially at the chocolate truffle core. But awesomeness has surely gotta come in the form of the petite pink mooncake. Most of my family and friends who sampled the raspberry flavour sang praises for being refreshingly fruity.

 
For dessert lovers who adore sweet treats with an additional kick, I say Smoulder rendition of the rum and raisin would suffices without being excessively alcoholic. All their mooncakes have a lotus paste base with a chocolate core made with Belgium chocolate. I don’t find them artificially sweeten like some bakeries does so this is one place you can definitely grab a box for personal consumption or as a gift to someone close.

 
 
Other Ratings:
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 4  |  
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 3  |  
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 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
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 3

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Tan’s Tu Tu Coconut Cakes Smile Jun 29, 2013   
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Categories : Singaporean Chinese | Chinese Desserts

 
Unlike today’s pasar malam, the night market in my days was much more vibrant with auctioning running with CDs playing Hokkien songs and the lights from all the stalls seemed to light up the night. It was so packed that it seemed like everyone from the neighborhood were there.

Set aside the toys you could win by fishing floating “frogs/ducks”, the next most important aspect has got to be the food. It’s a must have this and a must have that. From oily tapioca cakes to a packet of chewy muah chee but a “I confirm must eat!” food has got to be petite flourly tutu kueh!

 
Sad to say, finding someone who makes tutu kueh is no longer as pre-dominant these days. It’s almost like a dying trade like you can’t find old cobbers repairing your shoes on the streets that easily. Somehow, by a stroke of luck, I managed to stumble upon one hawker stall that solely makes them for a living. To see the steamers in front of the stall, was enough for me to relive my childhood but I just need to try one for myself to complete the nostalgic feeling.

 
Upon buying, I was disappointed. Disappointed to see that my tutu kuehs weren’t steamed on the spot but picked from a stack hidden under some towels. Although it was still warm, I just prefer mine to be piping hot. I wouldn’t mind waiting for them to be steamed you know?

The disappointment was gone as soon as I stuffed one of those puffy treats into my mouth. Especially savouring the grated coconuts. They were easily the best tutu kuehs I had in years but I can’t say much for their peanuts. One moment it was sweet and the bite was salty. I can’t say what happened to the process since I am no expert in roasting nuts.

Eating these tutu kuehs were like relieving my memories as a child running around the night market, pestering my mum to buy me new toys, playing with my neighbors and always nipping a bit of tutu kueh all in the name of fun, laughter and joy.
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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Gone were the good old days... OK Jun 29, 2013   
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Categories : Fusion | Café

 
Gone were the good old days when lunch was just walking down to the school canteen and buying back food up to class to enjoy or walking with a bunch of friends to the nearby Ang Mio Kio hawker centres for dinner. I really missed those good old times with my classmates when school life was about looking for the next place to eat as one big group.

Not that I don’t organise outings after graduated from poly life. But to gather everyone out now when they are busy working and finding jobs is definitely a challenge now. Nevertheless, we still compromise with each other’s timing just for sake of savoury food. And what better place to meet that is central and still convenient for all to meet? You thinking what I thinking?

I’m thinking how about Tiong Barhu or to be more precise, Open Door Policy.

 
Started by the same people behind Tiong Barhu Bakery and 40 Hands Cafe, Open Door Policy functions more than just another brunch serving cafe that popularise the area but also a modern casual dining restaurant. It was an early weekend evening when my friends and I dropped by for dinner. To my surprise, the place was already running on full-house capacity. It sure speaks of their quality of food I thought to myself.

The three of us were gestured to sit by the glass panel kitchen. It does helps facilitate your decision to order since you could just observe what are the dishes that appeals you more when the chefs are busy preparing the dishes for someone else. Occasionally, you get to see the kitchen staffs mistake and you'd wish you just have a huge piece of paper with a statement “I saw that!” and flash it to the chef as they nibble on the fries off your plate.

 
I thought our food will served promptly but 30 minutes into our wine-sipping conversations, I realised that our food wasn’t even anywhere near our table. I got a nasty shock when one of the female servers told me that some of the dishes we ordered have a waiting time of 20 minutes on average.

I could totally understand that some places like to prepare their dishes upon customer’s order but shouldn’t these restaurateurs take the courtesy to inform diners about the waiting time? Well, when I first made my orders, no one actually bothered to tell me and that particular female server expects me to know from my first visit and walks away without apologising? In any case, it sure left me with a bad impression of their service that’s for sure.

Our food did came ultimately but unlike Abe’s Diner’s Seafood Gratin, this causal dining place sure wasn’t worth the wait. Their Roast Chicken with Chickpea Cassoulet and Wet Polenta ($26.00) which was just two slabs of petite chicken fillet nicely decorated with chickpeas and wild rocket leaves sitting on a huge dish plate. It does not help to know that it took them 30 minutes to roast them tough and dry instead of tender and moist.

For that kind of price, I might as well head down to the nearby hawker centre and order one whole roasted chicken to go with a bowl of rice instead.

 
Next up was their 48 hour Braised Beef Cheek with Mochi Potatoes, Carrot Puree and Pea Tendrils ($29.00) which I felt was really nothing special even after being braised for two days as they claimed. Surely the meat was tender and soft but that should be expected since it’s braised so long. Just a pity the accompanying sauce failed to bring out the wow factor in this dish.

Among the three dishes we had, I only held in high regards of their Braised Duck Ragout with Pappardelle Pasta and Smoked Tomato Sauce ($25.00). I like the fact that the pasta is evenly coated with the smoked tomato sauce with bits of duck ragout with each mouthful but otherwise, I would expect a bigger portion for the price I’m paying.

 
Their desserts on their other hand were their saving grace. This time, we were informed about the waiting time involved into making of the Chocolate and Pistachio Souffle with Creme Anglaise ($18.00). We weren’t disappointed when we saw a cup of creamy custard cream poured into the souffle right before our eyes.

Light and fluffy and still tasted the subtle pistachio from within. I wouldn’t mind telling you this might just be one of the better souffles in downtown Singapore!

 
The last dessert we had was the Apple Crumble with Vanilla Custard ($15.00) which was also well-received by the three of us. If only their main dishes could match their desserts then it would have been the perfect dining experience.

 
I certainly wasn’t impressed by Open Door Policy with what they have to offer. The prices they charge are definitely much more than most places similar to what they serve. I wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon unless I am in search of somewhere with nice coffee to go with souffle. I wouldn’t even recommend this place for a simple light causal meal but maybe their much rave brunch food is more worth going for instead.

But if you do see yourself coming down, do make a reservations just to secure table. Another plus point would be their alcoholic drinks going at $8 after 6pm if you had make a reservation.

For me, I will always be looking elsewhere to meet my friends over meal and I think I have just found another in Tiong Bahru again. Just stay tune and watch this space!
 
Other Ratings:
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 2  |  
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 3  |  
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 1  |  
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 3  |  
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 2

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Categories : Japanese | Buffet

 
I love birthday celebrations, whether it is my birthday or my friend’s because it is the perfect excuse to go out and have good food without having guilt for killing my own wallet. Making full use of my good friend’s birthday, she dragged me down to Orchard Central for a Japanese buffet. We didn’t make a reservation at all and it was a huge mistake.

The restaurant was fully packed with people even though we went on a weekday lunch hour. Having to queue 45 mins before we could enter the restaurant, we were famished and with a quick glance, I was a bit disappointed. The restaurant didn’t seem to have as much varieties as I expected.

 
The one thing I looked forward to was sashimi and to my pleasant surprise, they actually have about 3 different kind of salmon sashimi apart from the raw ones. Their Salmon marinated in sauce left quite an impression on me as it tasted really fragrant and it did not lose the sweetness of the salmon itself. All the salmon sashimi were fresh and were snap away by hungry diners as soon as they are refilled.

 
Moving on to their cooked dishes, one of it was their Salmon Hotpot. The broth was too salty and we couldn’t taste the salmon flavour in it. Worst part of it was that we couldn’t even reach our hand near the pot due to the fire underneath it as it was too big and covered the rims of the hotpot with its flames. Only when it died down then we reach for the soup which I think is not only irritating but dangerous.

 
The Chawanmushi on the other hand was smooth and silky and tasted as great as it looks. The grill meat section have 3 selections; Pork, chicken and Vegetables. The grilled pork was the best and it was cooked just right thus it was juicy and tender while the grilled chicken was dry and slightly tough.

Another huge favourite among diners and myself too was the cold fresh prawns which was fat, really sweet and very addictive, the bbq prawns were a let-down as the meat was overcooked and tasted bitter. As for the Tempuras, they tasted good but very plain and normal too, not worth a try as they are soggy after being put out for some time.

There is wasabi ice cream served in Kiseiki which is very spicy thus wasabi lovers will love the dish, for non-wasabi eaters like me, we can go for the others which are the black sesame which is not only sweet and fragrant, you can taste the small specks of sesame mixed into the ice cream paste. The Mochi and Waffles on the other hand were not worth a try as they tasted almost like what we could buy from outside supermarket.

The desserts overall are a disappointment due to lack of varieties and mundane taste.

 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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