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springtomorrow
This is springtomorrow . I am a Business Owner & Lifestyle/Food BloggerI like to hang out in City Hall, Dhoby Ghaut, Tiong Bahru. Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Singaporean, Thai are my favorite cuisines. I also love Bakery, Café, Restaurant, Hawker Centre, Coffeeshop and Seafood, Steaks and Grills, Sushi/Sashimi, Dim Sum, Desserts, Soups.
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More misses than hits Cry Mar 05, 2014   
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Categories : American | Café | Desserts and Cakes | Steaks and Grills | Salads | Kids-Friendly


Palais Renaissance in Orchard Road is probably on one of the less busy stretches of the area. I only frequented this particular place during my school days in the 90s when I was working part time at a Brit company located in Orchard Towers and the office manager would sometimes treat me to lunch at Fosters that was located in Palais (pronounced ‘pa-lay’) then.

It’s nice to just come by Palais again after it has been revamped with new shops and dining establishments. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of the prime shopping scene so it’s really a nice place to dine in peace.

 

 
This was like a non-alcoholic version of a mojito which was really refreshing with a citrusy punch from the lime and a slightly menthol taste from the mint leaves. However I found the drink a tad too sweet for me after mixing it up as the sugar syrup sat right at the bottom. The husband had to help me gulp down a big mouthful of it (his tolerance of sugar was way high!) so I could mix in some ice water just to dilute it.

 
I liked the texture of this thick and creamy mushroom soup which didn’t taste too starchy and heavy. I wished it was more mushroomy as there was heavy usage of cream that kind of masked the lovely earthy aroma of portobellos. It was still a decent mushroom soup as compared to many other places but I’d still prefer the one from Muddy Murphy’s which was to die for.

 
This was probably one of the best crab cakes I’d ever eaten. Not just the crab cake alone but the sauce was pretty good too. One bite of this perfectly fried crab cake and I was sold. It was full of sweet and juicy crab meat, so fresh and so delicate. The breaded crust exterior was crispy but not overly greasy. And the tomato chilli sauce really resembled the sauce from seafood restaurant’s chilli crabs which was more on the sweet than spicy side. Nicely executed.

 
While I thought the earlier mushroom soup was mediocre, this mushroom sauce was slightly more palatable than expected and went well with the bland beef which was also a little dry. The meat was done medium (but some parts were rare which I didn’t appreciate) and somehow it was just more chewy than tender. It could do with a darker crust too. It was as though this steak had been cooked on a pan that wasn’t hot enough, that’s why juices were not sealed in as the sides were not seared quickly. Anyway this is really not a place for steak frites. For the same price or cheaper, I could easily get a better one at Les Bouchons or L’Entrecôte.

 
The husband ordered their signature burger which looked quite impressive. Chargrilled Wagyu and US Chuck Patty topped with gruyere and mozzarella cheese, tomato slices, mesclun greens, sauteed mushrooms and spiced crispy onions. I took a bite of the burger and really liked it because of the different dimensions of the various ingredients. In the end, the husband gave me half of his burger and he ate my steak as he loved his meat anyway. I loved how thick and juicy the beef patty was. Full of meaty goodness. And the gooey cheese on top was just tantalizing. I wasn’t a big fan of the heavily battered onion rings though as they oozed oil when I bit into them. Comparing with the steak, this was definitely the better of the two.

For full review and pictures, please go to http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/01/19/ps-cafe-palais-renaissance/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Crab Cake
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 2  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Yummy Carrot Cake Smile Mar 05, 2014   
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Categories : Singaporean | Chinese | Hawker Centre

 
Those residing in Ang Mo Kio are probably very familiar with this popular carrot cake stall at the hawker centre in Ang Mo Kio Central that only sells the white crispy version. It is located next to my favourite drinks stall (read my previous review here) that serves up one of the best home-made ice lemon teas. Carrot cake + ice lemon tea = BLISS

 
What I like about their carrot cake is that every slab is generously enveloped in eggs. The exterior is pan-fried to perfection while the interior remains soft and moist. This stall makes and steams its own carrot cake instead of using factory-made ones. A hefty amount of chye poh (preserved radish) is also used so every bite boasts of a nice eggy flavour with a lovely crunch from the salty radish bits. The home-made special chilli paste has the right amount of spice and goes really well with the carrot cake. I just like breaking the slabs into smaller bits and mix them up with the chilli and spring onions. Best of all, this is not overly greasy as compared to others. Vegetable oil is used here which is a healthier alternative. This carrot cake is definitely worth trying!
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 4

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Try the Mont Blanc! Smile Mar 05, 2014   
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Categories : French | Bakery


The husband brought home these two delightful treats to cheer me up as I was feeling a little stressed up recently. And they did brighten me up!

 
Sooooooooo cute! That was what I exclaimed when the husband took this out from the box. Though the name was Brownie Bear, it really was just a chocolatey cupcake with chocolate frosting, bear cookie and a sugared bow. The size was quite small so when the husband said this cost $6.50, I was flabbergasted. How expensive for something that you can devour in two bites! The chocolate cake was really rich and chocolatey, moist and bouncy. And the frosting wasn’t overly sweet too. The cookie had a lovely, buttery flavour but wasn’t greasy on the outside. Apparently, the Brownie Bear wasn’t on their regular menu so it was a promotional item for a limited time only. Though overall it tasted good, it wasn’t exceptional and definitely didn’t worth its price tag.

 
Vanilla sponge layered with chestnut filling, whipped cream and topped with a Japanese chestnut. Absolutely delicious! This was one of the best Mont Blancs I ever had. The chestnut puree was smooth and creamy (like eating the Teochew Yam Paste aka Orh Nee) and the chestnut flavour was just so rich and intense with the right amount of sweetness. The sponge was of course soft and moist and the whipped cream wasn’t cloying either. You just have to combine every layer in every bite to enjoy that textural wholesomeness of the cake. Thumbs up! I highly recommend this!

For full review and pictures, please go to http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/01/23/rive-gauche-patisserie-revisited/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Mont Blanc
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Excellent Banh Mi Smile Mar 05, 2014   (Related Review)
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Categories : Vietnamese


While the pho was good and worth returning for, what got me hooked are their Banh Mi or toasted baguettes stuffed with savoury meats, pate, mayo, chilli peppers, pickled carrots, daikon, cucumber and coriander. It is incredible that all these flavours could marry in a roll of bread. The saltiness of the meat, the sweetness of the vegetables, the sourness of the pickled carrots, the heat of the peppers, etc. You could taste a little of everything in every banh mi.

 
Every banh mi is made to order whether for in-dining or take-away at this counter. The baguettes are kept in the toaster oven below so every piece is warm and crispy.

 
For take-aways, do note there is additional surcharge of $0.50 per banh mi.

 
Don’t be deceived by the seemingly dry look of the baguette as the inside is actually quite light and fluffy. This is probably one of the best bahn mis I’ve ever had. The pork belly is nicely braised, flavoursome and very tender. The pork pate spread has only a very insignificant tinge of pork liver smell, perfect for people who don’t really appreciate pork liver but it is this pate that makes the bahn mi different from other sandwiches. The vegetables give a good crunch and the mayo with other seasonings simply just make this even more finger-licking good.

 
Every bite is a mouthful of generous ingredients of different textures and flavours.

 

 
When the lady was making the banh mi and she lifted the lid of the tray of meatballs, I was captivated by the aroma of the braising sauce. And indeed, the meatballs were so full of flavour, soft and tender that they kind of melted in the mouth. It was the sauce that really brought this banh mi to another level as compared to the pork belly one.

And my verdict? These banh mis are absolute must-tries! Portion is adequate. Price is affordable ($5.90 per banh mi). Flavours are jam-packed in each sandwich. What’s not to like? Highly recommended! Two thumbs up!

For full review and pictures, please go to http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/01/26/vietnamese-fare-namnam-noodle-bar-raffles-city-part-2-of-2/
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Decent Vietnamese Fare OK Mar 05, 2014   
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Categories : Vietnamese

I love soupy noodles and Vietnamese pho (soupy rice flour noodles) is just one of my favourites especially when I crave for something piping hot yet light on the palates. I’ve had good ones in Viet restaurants in the States and my mother-in-law makes really good pho too so I am quite particular when it comes to the broth as I think it’s really the broth that makes a good or bad bowl of pho.

 
NamNam Noodle Bar specialises in Vietnamese pho in either beef or chicken stock, Bahn Mi (French inspired savoury baguettes), noodle dishes from Southern & Central Vietnam as well as Viet desserts.

 
Most of the time, this place would be packed to the core with endless flocks of customers but I happened to come here almost near to closing time for a late dinner so the crowd was less intense.

 

 

 
On every table sits a row of bottled seasonings and sauces which you can use freely to flavour your noodles. I like my pho with fish sauce (middle bottle) and chilli sauce (last bottle on the right).

 
The husband ordered the Pho Beef Steak Slices that came with thinly sliced, tender beef which broke apart easily as we chewed into it. The beef broth was extremely flavoursome. We squeezed the lime to further elevate the flavour of the broth with a nice refreshing citrusy taste. I liked how the broth wasn’t seasoned with too much salt so I could add additional seasonings if I want to.

 
I had the Pho Beef Combination that came with beef steak slices, beef balls, beef shank, tendon and tripe. I wasn’t a big fan of the tripe as it was really chewy and tasteless. What I did like the most were the tendons that were slightly firm yet soft to the bite. Collagen bliss! The beef balls were also springy. And the beef slices and shank were just perfectly tender.

I enjoyed the rice noodles that were cooked till al dente and had maintained this firmness and chewiness in them. While the accompaniments of sliced red chillies, chopped spring onions and coriander gave the pho extra textures and colours, I would have enjoyed this more if there were bean sprouts and mint leaves just like the real thing in Vietnam.

For full review and pictures, please go to http://www.springtomorrow.com/2014/01/25/vietnamese-fare-namnam-noodle-bar-raffles-city-part-1-of-2/
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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