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jiaksimipng
This is jiaksimipng .
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Great food and great vibes! Smile Jul 01, 2014   
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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Café | Burgers and Sandwiches | Salads | Brunch

 
The Lokal is a new cafe situated at Neil Road beside Goethe Institure, which is also affiliated to Telok Ayer cafe, Sarnies. It's menu offers pretty much western grub; featuring burgers and sandwiches, salads and soup with some bakes as well as plated desserts. One of the interesting things The Lokal does is that the chefs here cure their meat, smoke their fish and does the yoghurt from scratch; so expect really fresh, homemade ingredients being served in the dishes here.

 
One of our dining partners were severely late so we decided to share the Roast Chicken Panini ($14.00+) while waiting for him to arrive. Coming in Crispy Pancetta, Tomatoes, Avocado, Cos, Aioli and Bacon, it was served slightly near cold, as though it was meant to be a cold dish. The tomatoes were insanely fresh; sweet with a tangy flavour, matched well with smooth avocado puree that is used in place of butter and bacon which provided a touch of savouriness, while the chicken was tender and lightly roasted for some flavour. Even the bread was impressive; it has some sort of elasticity that gave it a real nice chew. It was easily one of the most memorable chicken sandwiches that I had.

 
When the second dining partner came, we went for the Roast Beef on Rye ($15.90+). If the Roast Chicken Panini was impressive, the Roast Beef on Rye was beyond words; crispy bread coupled with tender and succulent beef that did not taste gamey in any way with a balanced portion of vegetables to beef, it was so well proportioned that it did not feel tiring and we were left craving for more. Did I also mention that the caramalised onions were also really sweet?

 
Our original decision was to get a side but we ended up undecided on which dessert to get instead as we were attracted to both the Sticky Date Pudding and Apple Pineapple Crumble Pie with Ice-Cream ($9.00+). Eventually, we went for the latter; a really sweet-yet-sour combination that was generous on chunks of both fruits and came with a real crunchy crumble and a vanilla ice-cream that was rich in its aroma. One of the dining partners found it too sweet for his liking, but the two of us thought that it was that that made the dessert so good.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: http://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/the-lokal-neil-road/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Apple Pineapple Crumble with Ice-Cream,Roast Beef on Rye,Roast Chicken Panini
 
Table Wait Time: 20 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $15(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Categories : European | Bakery | Café

 
Keong Saik Road had recently seen a few quite interesting openings, such as Afterglow, Muchachos and most recently Potato Head Folk. Opened barely a week when we visited, Bread & Hearth is an artisan bakery that bakes their bread fresh in-store everyday. Their menu consists of tarts, freshly-baked bread and sandwiches, serving organic cola/lemonade, coffee and Gryphon teas for beverages.

 
The Matcha Orange soft roll ($2.80) caught our attention as it was a daring attempt of putting two ingredients rarely matched together. It went to be rather fine, as the Matcha flavour was really light on the palate while it included some orange bits to chew on for a bit of citric zest to tantalize the tastebuds. The downside was however the soft roll itself; a wee bit dry and dense that it was rather hard to swallow.

 
Only one tart was available, and it was the Salted Caramel Tarte ($6.00). Coming with a generous amount of Macademia nuts, they provided a great break for the heavy scorched flavour of the caramel. I was fine with how it tasted, but the sticky and gooey salted caramel was too heavy for my dining partner to handle. Tart base was rather cookie-like; a wee bit hard to cut without trying to attract too much attention from surrounding diners. Due to how heavy it tasted, it probably be good to share this with one or two more friends.

 
They were very secretive with their coffee beans used for their coffee here; the cashier was telling me that she thought it was imported from Italy and asked the barista to find out more, only to return with an answer that they use their “own” blend for their coffee. No matter what it is though, the Flat White ($5.00) had a pretty medium body that had nutty and chocolatey tones.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: http://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2014/06/19/bread-hearth-keong-saik-road/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Salted Caramel Tarte,Flat White
 
Table Wait Time: 10 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $9(Tea)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Categories : Spanish | European | Paella

A newly opened restaurant in Orchard Central, Milagro Spanish Restaurant is a Spanish restaurant that is opened by a Singaporean. Keeping everything to the bare minimum, its interior is nearly bare except for a few ornaments here and there. The open windows provide ample sunlight in the restaurant which is warm and relaxing. Menu is varied; offering from tapas to mains such as Paella as well as entrees, with a selection of desserts as well. Wine is being served here too.

 
For the main, we decided to share the Pan-Fried Norwegian Salmon ($13.00) that came with sundried tomatoes, apples, fennel salad and polenta. Seasoned with salt, the salmon was flaky and succulent and seemed fresh. Skin was also rather crisp, while the parmesan foams added a savoury and foamy touch. The polenta was mushy but still had chewable bits which were light and enjoyable, mimicking some sort of mash. The fennel salad was crunchy, juicy and sweet, while the sundried tomatoes were soft and tangy. It was a marry of different textures and tastes, and it came off as rather decent.

 
These Leche Frita ($6.00) was my main purpose of the visit; its hard to find these Fried Milk Fritters in Singapore despite them being a traditional Spanish snack. I am not really sure how it is supposed to be like as it was our first attempt on the dish, but it was custardy on the inside and really milky tasting without being really sweet, while crispy on the outside. The cream at the side had a little tinge of orange in it; a great dip though overwhelmed that light milkiness of the fritters.

 
Their Hand-Pressed Churros ($5.00) is being prepared upon order. Unlike the traditional Spanish ones, they came with cinnamon sugar, though it was not really enough to bring its flavour. We thought it was well-fried, but a bit too plain. A scorched caramel dip comes at the side, but was too burnt for our liking as it was relatively bitter.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: http://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/milagro-spanish-restaurant-orchard-central/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pan-Fried Norwegian Salmon,Leche Frita,Hand-Pressed Churros
 
Table Wait Time: 35 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $12(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : Café | Burgers and Sandwiches

 
The Tastemaker Store is a two-week-old cafe (at the point of visit) situated just a short distance away from the Beo Crescent Food Centre. Unlike other cafes of the late, they ditched the grungy, industrial and dark decor with a simple, bright and minimalist interior that many found to be rather Muji-inspired (think clean, clutter-free furnishings). It is also rather unique for its concept as a cafe, serving both brunch-style meals such as Pizza and Sandwiches with some injection of local flavours by offering the well-loved Yam Cake and Glutinous Rice without any influence from western dishes. They also sell a selection of bakes, all of which supplied from Maple & Market from Cassia Crescent.

 
I decided to get something fit for breakfast, but did not want to have the Kaya Toast Set as I had a similar breakfast before heading there, which made the Lemon Curd Toast with Clotted Cream ($3.00 a-la carte, $5.80 as a set) a clear choice for me. Technically, it was not really a toast as it came with English Muffins which we really light, soft and fluffy. The Lemon Curd spread atop was thick and generous; providing a real tart flavour that was of the right level of sourness but mildly sweet as well, with the clotted cream taking away some of that sourness away. The combination was pretty simple, but delightful. As a toast set, this also came with two soft-boiled eggs and coffee (which I eventually topped up for Latte for an additional $1.50). The soft-boiled eggs were runny and smooth; pretty faultless despite the lack of soy sauce and pepper for that local touch.

 
Since the Lemon Curd Toast was pretty western, my dining partner decided to try out their Glutinous Rice ($3.80). Coming in a tin, these were initially stored in the display fridge together with the cakes and pizza and warmed up before serving with a blob of sambal at the side. My dining partner was initially skeptical how this would come out to be, but the glutinous rice was seemingly light as it was missing of that heavy and moist texture, though still maintaining some sort of stickiness throughout. The generous amount of shallots, dried shrimps and dried mushrooms and pepper also helped put in that savoury factor into the Glutinous Rice. It was not particularly flavourful in a manner of those from hawker centres would be like, but it has a gentle touch of all flavours that made it felt pretty premium and upscale. The blob of smabal chili was rather surprising for cafe standard; bold with its saltiness and spiciness, it gives a kick to the Glutinous Rice to turn up the notch.

 
When I asked the staff about their coffee, I was not expecting too much for my cuppa as it was from Boncafe; a choice that cafe owners these days would not really consider using. Nonetheless, the Latte that came with the Lemon Curd Toast with Clotted Cream set was decent; probably even better than some cafes out there. The foam was just smooth; not being too bubbly nor stiff that it affects the overall texture of the coffee. It’s rather medium-bodied, and definitely just right in the extraction without being overly acidic nor tasted too watered down. Quite impressive I would say.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: http://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2014/06/13/the-tastemaker-store-blk-22-havelock-road/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Latte,Lemon Curd Toast with Clotted Cream Toast Set,Glutinous Rice
 
Table Wait Time: 10 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $6(Breakfast)

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

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Cafe haunt in town! Smile Jun 20, 2014   
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Categories : Café | Pasta | Burgers and Sandwiches

 
The recent cafe scene in Singapore is bustling of the late with various cafes opening throughout the island. The Assembly Ground sets its location in the heart of town at Dhoby Ghaut, pretty unlike the ones of the late.

 
The Assembly is a new boutique that opened its doors in late May at The Cathay. The Assembly Ground takes over its space from Gramophone and operates as the cafe wing of the boutique. Being a cafe, it is somewhat obligatory to serve all-day brunch, but other menu items include pizza, pasta and sandwiches. For beverages, one can choose from coffee, tea, milkshakes and even craft beers.

 
We were somewhat on an adventurous mood that day, so we went for the Rosti Omelette ($14.00+) which also came with Bratwurst and sour cream. This was somewhat a fusion of an Omelette and Rosti, where the grated potatoes find themselves a home beneath a fried egg. While we could feel the texture of the potatoes, the light spices from its seasoning was the only flavours that went through the omelette. The omelette tasted rather Chinese; something one would probably expect from a tzechar stall instead. While it was not really terrible, it did not really hit the spot for me either.

 
We were expecting better with the Moroccan Baked Eggs ($15.00+), but we found the eggs cooked too thoroughly as the whites were completely stiffened. The Shasuka was of a below-average spiciness, which is good for those who cannot handle spicy food well. Lamb sausages came underneath the eggs, but a wee bit gamey. Toast were seemingly uninspiring; probably the use of artisan breads would help improve the dish.

 
The desserts menu was unavailable during our visit, but there were a couple of bakes and cakes available. We went for a Cinnamon Pecan Swirl Bundt ($7.50+); a combination of Cinnamon Swirl and Bundt Cake. Cream cheese frosting was drizzled atop, and anything cream cheese would never taste wrong. The toasted pecans had a tinge of nuttiness, and the insides were filled with crispy bits of cinnamon that was sweet and complimented well with the cake.

 
The Assembly Ground serves two blends for their coffee; one from Nylon Coffee Roasters and one from Common Man Coffee Roasters. There is also flexibility to choose between a single Espresso shot or a double shot. We went for the Common Man Coffee Roaster Blend for our Double-Shot Flat White ($5.50+) and it was a full-bodied and highly acidic cuppa which was great for a morning perk-me-up.

 
For more photos and the full review, please visit: http://jiaksimipng.wordpress.com/2014/06/12/the-assembly-ground-the-cathay/
 
Table Wait Time: 20 minute(s)


Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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