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thefoodchapter
This is thefoodchapter living in Kembangan. I work in Bukit Panjang. European, Japanese, Cantonese/Hong Kong are my favorite cuisines. I also love Hawker Centre, Restaurant, Bars/Lounges and Burgers and Sandwiches, Desserts and Cakes, Dim Sum.
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Overhyped has-been Cry Oct 01, 2013   
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Categories : European | Hotel | Fine Dining | Brunch

Once known as Compass Rose, Equinox is no stranger to the dining scene having been touted as the city's tallest dining sky scraper before the likes of 1-Altitude appearing.

Perched on 70 floors, it still has the best view of the city and is still highly sought after for buffet lunch and sunday brunch.

The original intent was to head to Mikuni that was unsurprisingly full for the night and then we headed to Equinox. Why not, since none of us had been there before. City view seats we missed out but we had adequate time to enjoy the views before the patrons arrived.

Two rounds of bread were served before mains decided to make their grand appearance. A mighty long time to wait for food and truth be told, the bread filled us up considerably. Sour dough, mini baguette, onion olive and cheese bun all smelt heavenly. Personal favourite went to the onion olive roll for being fluffy and fragrant.

Salted french butter to top it off.

Amuse bouche of tomato and cucumber, a savoury yet refreshing starter.

Baked Scallop in Shell, White Wine, Fennel, Broad Bean Ragout, Warm Leek Vinaigrette ($30)

Theatrics aside of unearthing the overfed scallop, it looked hardly marinated.The bouncy texture was a gastronomical delight, the doneness was executed precisely and well, the broth was good enough to drink up on its own.

Yuzu Glazed Pork Belly, Butternut Squash, Sage, Crackling, Peas and Shimeiji Mushroom Broth ($68)

I should have been more wary with "roasted" nowhere mentioned in the description, neither did "slightly crispy" in the waiter's words not cause some alarm when I expected it to be done roast pork style with a cackling so addictive, I would give up my allegiance to roast pork.

Yet it was none to be. Jellied fats and meat in perfect layers, and though it melted into a greasy delicious, the over marinated meat was nothing more than ham. A great pity for a promising chunk.

Australian Pink Snapper, Bravas Potatoes, Broad Beans, Chorizo, Charred Squid, Black Ink Vinaigrette ($75)

The worst stoke of luck with a terribly fishy slab and all the waiter could manage was "anything else for you?", by then we were all too stuffed to bother with a replacement.

Poached Salmon Fillet, Star Anise Oil, Braised Lettuce, Beetroot Gnocchi, Razor Clam Sauce ($68)

Beautifully poached with some degree of rawness, I loved the razor clam inclusion.

Loin of Welsh Lamb, Slow-Cooked Shoulder, Tomato, White Bean Ragout, Confit Baby Shallots, Verde Sauce ($70)

Lamb done three ways and kudos to the white been ragout that was simple but yet so delicious with the crumbled topping.

Hazelnut Praline ($24)
Hazelnut creme, Espuma, Mandarin Orange, Lemon Coulis

Meant for one but good enough for four with a mouthful eat. I do not suppose I want more than a mouthful of this, however. Hazelnut cream and mandarin orange was an odd bittersweet then sour flavour. Crunchy bits of torched candy and the rest is all a mismatch.

Disappointing to say the least, we expected way much more out of Equinox apart from the unbeatable view. No wonder it is usually full during Restaurant Week - prices are more justifiable that way.

Full review and photos up on: http://www.thefoodchapter.blogspot.sg/2013/09/equinox-restaurant-swissotel-stamford.html
average tart

average tart

 
delicious scallop

delicious scallop

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  scallop
 
Date of Visit: Sep 16, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $100(Dinner)

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

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Much ado about nothing Cry Oct 01, 2013   
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Categories : Bakery | Café | Desserts and Cakes | Brunch

We finally made a trip to Drips Bakery after getting over the top obsessed with Windowsill Pies. Well, a tart for a change.

I missed the fruit tart by a couple of minutes and was left to decide between macadamia, plum and cherry.

USA Blackforest Ham Sandwich ($15.80)

It did not quite dawn on us how exorbitantly priced and tragically portioned this was till we had a face off. No bigger than my palm, this sandwich looked as simple to put together as any other sandwich I have made for myself. Saving grace was perhaps their chilled eggplant and japanese cucumbers that gave this a crunch yet otherwise, the nagging thought was I could exchange this for 3 tummy bursting and mind-body-soul satisfying Bahn Mis from Namnam or even 2 gourmet sandwiches from Cedele would have been a better bang of the buck.

Cherry Brandy Tart ($8)

The brandy soaked cherries were bursting with alcohol - at least it made the 8 buckeroos somewhat worthwhile though the rest of it appeared pretty much as an almond cake with a crumble biscuit tart base.

One mentioned that Delifrance could have given a better deal, mmm..maybe?

Iced Long Black ($5.50)

Overcooked beans, the coffee ended up on a sour note.

Service was aloof and detached for most part of the short visit - not quite a place I would return just for service. Maybe it was the end of the day but hey, smile at least! Not hurrying back for a visit so soon, maybe just to try my luck at their fresh fruit tart.

Full photos and review up at; http://www.thefoodchapter.blogspot.sg/2013/09/drips-bakery-tiong-poh-road.html
too pricey

too pricey

 
mediocre at best

mediocre at best

 
 
Date of Visit: Sep 20, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $15

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

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Queen of crepe cake OK Oct 01, 2013   
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Categories : American | Café | Desserts and Cakes

When Lady M's shop space was still under renovation, I passed by one time too many and was tempted by the checker's cake - too beautiful to ignore in fact. They are poised to introduce what crepe cake is all about, I never had one that made me renounce my allegiance to red velvet nor carrot cake.

I suppose the hype created by
1) It is from New York. Anything from the US of A seems to create some buzz. Case in point: Garrett's popcorn that made us relook at the sinful snack and take it seriously - price included. Carl's Junior too made us sit up and look at burgers priced more than $10.
2) Crepe cake mania - fact is, the crepe cakes never quite took off like cupcakes.
3) Lady M, sounds like some regal high and mighty highness of cakes. Maybe the moniker, maybe the whole fuss about trying to effeminate a cake shop - it worked for me. A name like Master Bruce for pancakes would not work, since mainly females partake of the heavenly and whine till the cows come home about the calories.

First day I popped by, they had a decent selection and people were frantically taking away most of those out on display and I was not in the mood for dessert #horrorofhorrors.

Second visit, I had to wait for a table and all they had was crepe cake on display - 3 whole ones and the rest were slowly peeking out. Man, this sounds like an eternal wait for a Birkin. The moment the baker appeared with cakes, the queues started and a mini rush was created.

Crepe Cake ($7.50)

Do not attempt to leave the premises without trying a crepe cake - it is signature, afterall. Layers of crepe and cream made this a delectable dessert. Nothing fancy about crepe and cream but they nailed it brilliantly. A word of caution that one too many may cause an overdose of cream.

Checker's Cake ($8)

This only appeared there after and I had to have it since it was a love at first glance back in its reno days. Beautifully put together like kueh lapis, the vanilla and chocolate sponge were rather complementary with adequate amount of whipped cream to hold the cake together.

Iced Americano ($5)

The caffeine addict deemed this good for a cake shop and I suppose this is a signal for one too many visits to come.

Service is casual, pretty hit and miss. Queues for takeaway and ordering can get confusing - if all things fail, just raise your hand for a waiter. There is repetition of the same whipped cream in their cakes but one thing's for sure, I am enamoured.

Full review and photos on : http://www.thefoodchapter.blogspot.sg/2013/09/lady-m-marina-square.html
too beautiful to eat

too beautiful to eat

 
crepe cakes are a must

crepe cakes are a must

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  crepe cake
 
Date of Visit: Sep 21, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $15(Tea)

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

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Average night joint OK Oct 01, 2013   
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Categories : Italian | European | Café | Coffeeshop | Pasta | Kids-Friendly

Two Face, like Alibabar has gone down the path of nostalgia. Kopitiam by day and a bar by night. They recently opened another outlet at Tanjong Katong to bring rivalry to a completely new level. Yet for diners - we always welcome competition and truly, may the best prevail.

With tunes from the 70s-80s playing on the background, part of me wishes there were a gramophone somewhere to complete the experience. Everything screams old school from tiles to tables to signages and well, I really just needed an old ah pek to hobble over to take my orders. Blast from the past I must say.

The perils of being housed in a matured estate - uncles who insist on communal dining. Cai png from the template and a really hungry old man.

Truffle Fries ($10)

It was a tragic case of foie gras with fries versus truffle and the latter was highly recommended yet it was just a basket of fries with cheese. Wherein smells the truffle? Beats me, I actually questioned the smell buds of the order taker who claimed it signature.

Anatra Pasta ($18)

Reads pasta with duck ragout - an absolutely tasty dish with a generous portion of duck ragout, it could pass off as mee pok even and earn brownie points for marrying East and West. \

Meat Lovers Pizza ($18)

The molten cheese made this beyond delicious - well just the cheese since everything else was forgettable and pizza base was not the best eaten.

Two Face Signature Drink ($4)
Pineapple, Cai Xin, Sour Plum

Yes, chye sim or cai xin was blended into a wheatgrass lookalike and neutralised with the tropical flavours of pineapple and infused with sour plum which effectively turns the whole drink one flavour - like fairy godmother's wand would. Sour plum fans, only.

Average food with an ambience that speaks so much louder - in short, a pity. I would be back to check out their morning offerings - Jalan Tua Kong's famous Bak chor mee anyone?

Wait, I did not even know of its existence.

Full review and photos up on: http://www.thefoodchapter.blogspot.sg/2013/09/two-face-pizza-taproom-eng-hoon-street.html
average

average

 
the best of the lot

the best of the lot

 
no trace of truffle

no trace of truffle

 
 
Date of Visit: Sep 20, 2013 

Spending per head: Approximately $25(Dinner)

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

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Quaint cafe with a history OK Oct 01, 2013   
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Categories : Bakery | Café


My late grandfather owned a dispensary and as a little girl the only recollections of it were his specially concocted bottles of calamine lotion and cold tar that would calm any raging bout of rashes. Medicinal smelling premises and toddlers or even kids does not reconcile and I regret never once stepping foot into it.

The Dispensary is a refurbished cafe retaining most of its previous charm - a dispensary complete with lovely touches like wooden chests and even the signboard.

Riding on the whole nostalgic theme that most of these cafes and nook and cranny shops have popped up along Tiong Bahru have adopted, I can only welcome them with open arms.

Red Velvet Cupcake ($3)

I was eyeing the red velvet cake but it was sold out so I made do with the cupcake version. Texture is amazingly moist and a tad sweet but the cream cheese frosting had a queer shortening texture. Not the red velvet to have in my last meal but I do look forward to its other cakes.

Iced Americano

Caffeine addict did not mention much here, mediocre at best.

Out we snuck from the backdoor and down the dark alleys of this beautiful gem of a neighbourhood. How I wish my grandfather had some foresight to save us some history but at least I have step foot on a dispensary before!

Full review and photos up at: http://www.thefoodchapter.blogspot.sg/2013/09/the-dispensary-tiong-bahru.html
mediocre fare

mediocre fare

 

 
 
Date of Visit: Sep 20, 2013 

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

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