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roundtumtums
This is roundtumtums living in Hougang/Kovan. I work in Alexandra. I like to hang out in Jalan Besar, Hougang/Kovan, Alexandra. Japanese, Thai, Taiwanese are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Café, Food Court, Street Food and Chinese Soup, Sushi/Sashimi, Pasta.
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A true hidden find Smile Feb 14, 2014   
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Categories : Café

I like to think that cafes which are usually out of the way from the main roads with few human traffic is considered “Hidden Finds”.

Well that was until I learn about Backstage cafe which is located in a “bird dont lay egg” ulu like mad location that I am pretty sure if I ever try driving there without my GPS, I will be hopelessly lost. Despite that, it was a foodie trip which I dont regret and definitely look to be heading there often in future for the excellent food served up to us that day.

 
Once you step in, you will be overwhelmed by how spacious the cafe is, emitting a welcoming and casual vibe. I like how the service counter is right in the middle of the restaurant so that we can see the barristers busy at work, serving up their artful creations to eager hungry customers. Tall ceiling, warm lightning, sofa and table seatings, the Backstage cafe is definitely a cozy spot for dinners with friends.

Given the out of the way location, this would also be a nice spot for those who are seeking a quiet spot for their afternoon coffee and readings.
MOCHA & CAPPUCINO

MOCHA & CAPPUCINO

 
With Papa Palheta supplying the coffee beans, the cappuccino and mocha was robust and balanced in flavour. Accompanied with delicate latte art, I am sure this pretty drink will definitely make anyone’s day better!
SGD 4
SIGNATURE PORK CHOP

SIGNATURE PORK CHOP

 
It is no surprise that this was one of the signature dishes at Backstage Cafe,. Thick rich peppery sauce was drenched all across the tender soft meat which doesn’t come with the “porky smell”. The sundried tomato butter also adds on a rich flavour onto the meat.

To make the meal less sinful, equally yummy buttered mash potatoes and well seasoned sauteed vegetables were served on the side.
SGD 18
CHILLI CRAB PANINI

CHILLI CRAB PANINI

 
Spicy sweet crab meat fillings were sandwiched in between thick slices of bread which helps mute the spiciness of the dish. The chunky mash potatoes drenched in brown sauce was velvety in texture and definitely not to be missed. Another recommended dish, especially for lovers of spicy fiery flavours!
SGD 10
SPICY BUFFALO WINGS

SPICY BUFFALO WINGS

 
Boy did these set our tongues on fire! I had to gulp water down after each bite case it was just so crazy spicy! Definitely shiok to enjoy with some icy cold beer or as a snack. If you are having the buffalo wings, try not to order with other spicy items, Because we were so spiced up by the Chilli Crab Panini, this one came as a overkill for us.

VERDICT

Definitely a place worth going back, it is rare to find a place which serves great food in such generous portions! For weekdays, set lunch menus are available from 11am – 3pm and they are offering set meals as low as $9!

Great service with friendly smiles, I definitely see myself heading there over during one of the Saturdays to perhaps try out their desserts and all day breakfast menu and chicken roulade which was sold out during my visit. If only they are opened on Sundays where I have the time to gather my friends for brunch.

smile
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Recommended Dish(es):  SIGNATURE PORK CHOP,CHILLI CRAB PANINI
 
Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

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

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Cozy place with comfort food Smile Feb 14, 2014   
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Categories : Italian | Pasta | Seafood

 
Taking up quite a substantial space in Vivocity, the place gives off an extremely comfortable vibe with the red leather couches, wooden seats, cushy armchairs and metal rivet tables. Natural sunlight brighten up the place through the ceiling high glass windows, while metal overhanging orange lamps gave it somewhat of a vintage flair which I like.

 
I was seated near the the open kitchen where I can see the bustling activities as orders from the lunch crowd stream in demanding for dishes of Italian food fare. Best spot in the restaurant if you are having awkward conversations with your first date, and you can just go “Oh look at how they are plating the spaghetti! “
MEATBALL SPAGHETTI

MEATBALL SPAGHETTI

 
The tender meatballs were served with a light pink centre and I like the addition of vegetables to the dish, giving it a healthier spin. If there is one thing I would have to pick at, it would be that the handmade spaghetti was a little mushy from being overcooked. Still a generous dish which will be able to fill a grown man up!

SGD 29.90
CAPPUCCINO

CAPPUCCINO

 
Order a cup of Cappuccino that turned out rather thin, so I would give this a miss.
WILD TRUFFLE RISOTTO

WILD TRUFFLE RISOTTO

 
In my mind, I was expecting a grayish looking dish cause truffle = mushroom? So naive me was caught by surprise upon seeing the bed of white rice drizzled with truffle oil and scattering of truffle bits around this dish.

The flavors in this dish lightly dance over your senses instead of overpowering it, prevent the dish from being too “jelat”. However I don’t particularly fancy the rice which has a slight bite to it. it gives me a feeling as if it was uncooked. Usual mushy sticky short grain rice for me!

Objectively, it is a recommended dish to order as my colleague did love the entire dishsmile

SGD 16 (small) / SGD 24.50

VERDICT

Despite the small amount of dishes which I tried at the establishment, the great service and food will definitely see me making a second trip. Spending SGD 30 per head, it will probably not be a common weekday lunch stopover, but definitely one for gatherings and celebrations.

Even though I haven’t tried this before, but I have long heard Jool’s Favourite Sicilian Tuna Fusilli; a dish which Jamie Oliver prepared for his wife’s pregnancy cravings. There are many good reviews from my friends around me, it will probably be a dish I would try the next time!

smile
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Recommended Dish(es):  WILD TRUFFLE RISOTTO
 
Spending per head: Approximately $30(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Hotel

Located within Hotel Re! a local boutique hotel, the restaurant is located next to the check in counters, and was surprisingly small. It looks more like a cafe than a restaurant as the name suggest.

 
There isnt much for a crowd at the restaurant despite being a weekend night, however I did notice that most of them werent even hotel patrons. So what is so great about this restaurant that we can see people travelling up to Outram just to dine here?

We ordered a starter and 2 mains and it was a good choice cause we were stuffed full at the end of the meal!
CAESAR SALAD WITH SMOKED SALMON

CAESAR SALAD WITH SMOKED SALMON

 
Ample amount of smoked salmon atop a well dressed vegetables, this caesar salad is a generous starter to have while waiting for the mains.

SGD 13.80
SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

 
SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA

 
If you are in the mood for something a little extravagant, I would recommend the laksa which happpens to be the signature dish of ReFill! It comes in a huge portion with baby abalone, prawns and scallops as accompanying ingredients; and it will definitely fill you right up!
The price tag is definitely not the cheapest if compared to Katong Laksa, and the taste is definitely milder if compared to the latter. It would be a good choice for those who wants something less spicy and more rich in coconut flavour.

SGD 23.80
SALMON & CHEESE SAUSAGE LINGUINE WITH CRAYFISH SAUCE

SALMON & CHEESE SAUSAGE LINGUINE WITH CRAYFISH SAUCE

 
Crayfish sauce is something which I am hearing for the first time, and it was a sauce that came rich in seafood flavour. The entire dish is definitely well flavoured however it lacks a little wow factor. I wasnt amazed by the taste to see myself shelving out the same amount of money again for it. in addition to that, it also came a little oily, which didn’t tickle my fancy.

SGD 22.80

***

VERDICT

The dishes at Re!Fill are definitely generous enough to fill you up without ordering sides. The tastes are not too bad however there are better alternatives for western food dining for the same price range. It would be a great place to head to if you are there for a staycation, but I wouldnt see myself heading up to ReFill! for any of the dishes in particular, unless I am in the mood for atas laksa.

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Recommended Dish(es):  SIGNATURE ABALONE SEAFOOD LAKSA
 
Spending per head: Approximately $30(Dinner)

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

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Categories : Multi-Cuisine | Hotel | High Tea | Buffet

 
Great service, wide selection of tea, , extensive range of savoury bites, decadent desserts with a chocolate fondue as its centrepiece; the high tea session at Shangri La’s Rose Veranda is an affair not to be missed.

With 2 seatings available one weekends, we had chose to sleep in and settled for the 2nd seating at 3-6pm. Do note that even if you arrive early, you have to wait till 3pm to get settled into your seats.

The moment we were seated, we were passed leather bounded menus where we chose our tea choice for the day. Crazy hard for a tea lover like me who just want to try everything. The Japanese Geisha, Rose, Boudoir are good choices that you are go for toosmile
Laksa Goodness

Laksa Goodness

 
One of the key highlights in the session, was the laksa station on the buffet spread!
Pick your own ingredients drench the thick flavoursome coconut based broth all over it, one mouthful and you will be hooked! If you are a fan of Katong Laksa, you will find this to be a thicker and more coconuty version here. Definitely sinful, but oh-so-good!
Salad section

Salad section

 
Mains

Mains

 
The other savoury offerings range between Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Western dishes, so you will be sure to find something that you will definitely like!

 
Selections from the cheese platter

Selections from the cheese platter

 
A small selection of cheese platter is also available, and I do love the pairing of sharp red cheddar cheese with wholemeal bread. Do try it if you have the chance!
Dessert Section

Dessert Section

 
Dessert Selections

Dessert Selections

 
The desserts corner in comparision to the savory treats has fewer selections but they were all good. I didnt managed to try all of them as I was too full. I have a particular fondness for the raspberry tarts and vanilla creme brulee though.

Definitely a good place for high-tea, I really really love the service level provided here, where there is always someone nearby to cater to your needs. Desserts if possible, I hope it can be replenished much faster as the macarons often runs out. I didnt manage to try everything out as I was so stuffed, but so far even my dining partners are impressed by the food served.

Here’s a little savings tip for you! Place an online booking and you get 15% off the bill pricesmile

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Recommended Dish(es):  Laksa,Cheese platter,Desserts
 
Spending per head: Approximately $50(Tea)

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

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Categories : Italian | Pasta | Halal

 

 
I was invited to Domino’s to try out their latest Cheesy Crust pizza, which cheese lovers will be sure to love!
Made from handstretch fresh dough, mozerella cheese is wrapped into its crust and later generously sprinkled with tasty Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and parsley. All of that gave the new crust a crunchy flavorsome bite!
Thin Crust Pizza

Thin Crust Pizza

 
I personally fancy their thin crust pizza which is less filling and the crunchy bite is very shiok!
CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE

 
The chocolate lava cake really ooze! The picture I had of it was so bad, you have to contend with this one tongue A little too sweet for me, but I did see a lot of the ladies who had a preference for this. Oh well, who can say no to chocolate!
CARAMEL STICKY DESSERT

CARAMEL STICKY DESSERT

 
This is my favourite one out of both, as it came with a caramel crusted top and moist batter soaked in caramel goodness! It also helps that it wasn’t overly sweet so you can enjoy quite a few mouthfuls of it without getting je
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Caramel Sticky Dessert,Thin Crust Pizza
 
Spending per head: Approximately $15(Dinner)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 2  |  
Price
 3

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