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Disappointing Brunch Cry Nov 18, 2013   
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Categories : Café | Desserts and Cakes | Pasta | Burgers and Sandwiches | Brunch

What I saw

It’s difficult to miss the shop since it stands out like a giant bright red phone booth along Tanjong Pagar Road. And of course, what’s more befitting than having its name decked street-sign-style? Look in and you’ll notice limited seating inside: A quaint corner with wooden crates for seats and some bar seats beside the counter. But what greets you at the door besides the day’s specials is a fortunate “More Seats Upstairs”. Phew.

 

 

 

 
It’s true. At Drury Lane, you pay as much or as you like for those muffins. While this does give them great feedback against other muffin competitors out there, I believe we should be gracious and pay a decent amount, unless of course they were that bad.

 
While I unfortunately did not get good shots upstairs, it was definitely the more popular level of the two with its cosy attic-like feel. But it was just a fair bit too noisy for my friend and I, so we headed down instead. The downside though? You’ll start to smell like the day’s orders because of their open kitchen concept.

What I ate

 

 

 
I must say that neither the coffee nor my eggs benedict satisfied my raging tastebuds. The coffee ran a little thin for my liking and held an acidity that departed from comfort. For the eggs benedict, something just wasn’t right with the hollandaise sauce with its consistency more runny than thick. The three streaks of honey-cured turkey bacon you see? Not my thing because it was just so hard to bite into. If I’m being totally honest, they tasted like the local delicacy – ba kwa. My friend didn’t enjoy her order of baked eggs with tomatoes either. “They tasted like canned tomatoes.” (They probably were. And she’s more of an eat-fresh girl.)

On the whole

It wasn't the most pleasant brunch experience and I had to head elsewhere after that to settle my caffeine craving. But to be fair, my visit was some time in August and perhaps, just perhaps, the other items on their menu aren’t too shabby. And maybe they got better. A little bird told me their pancakes were ones to try, so I might return to give them a second chance. Probably just with caution.

For more of my reviews, head to: http://www.aquaintsense.wordpress.com
 
Date of Visit: Aug 14, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $15(Lunch)

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

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Great after-dinner desserts Smile Oct 30, 2013   
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Categories : Desserts and Cakes

At Block 463 of Jurong West St 41, walk past a minimart and a comic bookstore: You’ll find Kim Lotus Dessert and probably a long queue too thanks to its great desserts at reasonable prices.

While you’re in the shop, you’ll feel transported to the 1990s with that metal counter and television raised up near the ceiling, usually with Channel 8 on display. The self-service system ensures you don't have to wait impatiently to get the server's attention though the queue does stretch a little far especially on weekend nights.

Much to my dismay, they were out of Burbur Hitam and Mango Sago so we had ice cold servings of Cheng Tng and Burbur Chacha instead. Nonetheless, no disappointments there!

 
Kim Lotus certainly doesn't stinge on the amount of sweet potato and yam in the Burbur Chacha ($2.20), or any other dessert for that matter. The ingredients were fresh and blended well with the coconut milk in the shaved ice, not to forget the tapioca pearls that add on to the colourful mix in the bowl.

 
Light with just the right amount of sweetness, the Cheng Tng ($1.70) was refreshing and just perfect for a humid evening with such a generous amount of ingredients. It sure tasted as good as it looks.

Some other desserts available: Gingko Nut Barley, Mango Ice Kachang (tried and would recommend) , Durian Ice Kachang, Aloe Vera Peach, Soursop, Honeydew Sago, Mango Longan, Tau Suan, Red Bean Soup, Chendol, Grassjelly Drink.
 
Date of Visit: Sep 21, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $2(Other)

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

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Brunch at Five & Dime Smile Oct 30, 2013   
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Categories : American | Café

Interior

 
It’s not difficult to fall in love with the interior of Five & Dime Eatery if its minimalistic exterior didn’t impress you even a slightest bit. I love how their chairs carry that pop of mint on the sides, breaking that almost synonymous hue of brown throughout the shop. Apart from their robustly chalked up black board menus hung up against the brick wall, my favourite spot has to be the white pegboard holding pairs of totes and frames.

Menu/ Food & Drinks
Five & Dime offers quite an exquisite array of cocktails, which seem to be quite the catch. But it was just past morning and we were looking more for a couple of perk me ups for that lazy Sunday morning — Coffee! But for the young at heart, there's nothing like a frothy Banana Milkshake complete with rainbow sprinkles on top, which tasted really good with the right amount of consistency!

 

 
I’d only been to Five & Dime once before, for dinner, more than a year back but I distinctly remember how amazing their Mentaiko Pasta ($18) was. Definitely a must-try whilst you’re there. We were also recommended the Eggs Benny ($16), which didn’t disappoint one bit. The pair of poached eggs looked and tasted just about perfect, with a good and proportionate coat of hollandaise sauce going on.

 

 
It might have been the eggs and warm brioche taking centre stage on the plate but the breakfast potatoes and fruit salad did put up a fair supporting act. I certainly appreciated the latter for the two mouthfuls of freshness to ease the heavy combination of egg yolk and hollandaise.

On the whole, I adore the food and decor at Five and Dime in addition to its homey and wholesome atmosphere. My only qualm is its slight lack of convenience. Whilst there is a bus stop just opposite the building, the restaurant/cafe is a fair bit of a walk from the nearest MRT station, Somerset. Drivers needn’t worry about parking because the eatery has their very own car park just past the bright red gates on its left. It’s free too!
 
Recommended Dish(es):  eggs benedict,banana milkshake,coffee,mentaiko pasta
 
Date of Visit: Sep 08, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $20(Lunch)

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

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Yummy Dry Ban Mian! Smile Oct 29, 2013   
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Categories : Coffeeshop | Noodles

I’d only discovered the existence of dry ban mian about a year ago and I bum at the fact that it’s an uncommon find in most hawker centres and coffee shops. He Jia Huan Ban Mian sells a mean bowl with springy noodles, bagging chews that just hits the spot.

 

 

 
The magical pool of gravy sits at the bottom of the bowl, so do remember to stir it up real good. Word of caution: Do not wear white whilst devouring this amazing load of ban mian. And if you do, be careful not to get any gravy splattered on your shirt like paint on a blank canvas. Also, the gravy can get a tad spicy so be warned!

 
The gravy is quite the savoury delight, hitting salty, sweet and spicy notes all at the same time. Your tastebuds will be in for the ride and will probably thank you for that dinner.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Dry ban mian
 
Date of Visit: Sep 21, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $3(Dinner)

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

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Good croissants! Smile Oct 22, 2013   
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Categories : Bakery

A jewel to residents of Serangoon Garden and avid sportsmen of Burghley Squash & Tennis Centre, Bread King is masked by a deceptively simple and local shopfront and space, while producing some rather tasty breads baked with utmost quality. It seemed rather popular with several residents of the neighbourhood coming by to pick up bread for the home, some with bicycles and baskets ready to hold bags of freshly baked goods.

Instead of taking a long 20 minute walk from Lorong Chuan MRT Station, you might want to take bus 317 and drop 11 stops later after passing the Burghley Squash & Tennis Centre on your left.

 

 
You can choose your breads from 2 displays:
1) A hot oven display at the counter where a friendly service crew awaits your order with recommendations of their own, 2) A red pigeon-hole one on the right housing 9 different types of take-home breads such as large loaves of baguettes at $4.50 each, Muesli bread at $8.50 and a pair of Ciabattas at $4 amongst others like Rye and Brioche. A chirpy handwritten sign reads "Please let us help you!" So please, let them!

Also available is freshly brewed coffee, of which I regrettably did not try.

 
We had some freshly baked croissants and when I say freshly baked, I mean straight from the oven. At $3 a piece, it was pretty satisfactory, but my only qualm was that the insides were a tad too soft. A good croissant nonetheless! Flaky and buttery with soft tissue-like layers with every bite. Keep them in the paper bags provided though, or things might get messy.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  croissant
 
Date of Visit: Sep 28, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $3(Breakfast)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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