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biba8169
This is biba8169 . I like to hang out in City Hall, Tanglin, Orchard. French, Italian, Japanese, American are my favorite cuisines. I also love Restaurant, Bakery, Café, cakes, muffins, strawberries, coffee.
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Categories : Japanese | Buffet

For a full story coverage, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/kiseki-japanese-buffet-restaurant-singapore/

I am not a typical fan of buffet-style meal but I am happy to have it once in a while. And specially when the group is large, I can rest assured that each of them will find something fanciful among the 8 self-help stations. This is achievable, given the mega spread Kiseki is offering. Not sure if its a blessing, but close to 40% of the range are non-Japanese cuisines. While the Japanese dishes still make up the majority, I am one of those weirdo who only eye for that fluffy looking deep pocketed batter cake resting on the iron rack. For all you know, I am dotty about waffles.
waffles

waffles

 
In my view, a buffet feast equates a marathon participation. Just as the gun sounded, I find myself derailed and taking shortcuts to the finishing line – dessert station. There, my eyes are fixed at the lady behind the waffle maker, counting the number of waffle wedges she is dishing out and eye balling frantically for condiments for a switch up. Fresh fruit dices -nope. Candy rice – nope nope. Jellied puddings, mochi and Daifuku – nope nope nope. Until I reached the chilling box with 6-8 flavours of gelato – yes; black sesame, green tea & vanilla checked. Then that chocolate fondue drizzles – again marked! They are invited to join me at my table.

 
Not to worry if waffles didn’t wow you, there are bite-size green tea azuki and cheese cakes to make you smile too.

After the off-track, I joined the rest on the official route – pacing up and down the counters, examined each food items closely. I picked a few sizable tempura from the Agemono sub-section – ebi, kani stick & yasai (broccoli), all tasted fresh and crunchy of which, I liked the vegetable most. Okay, crowned me a vegan if you like.

 
Then slightly to the right, there are Teppanyaki & Robatayaki where you find monstrous grilled salmon fish heads, shishamo, baby tender chicken teriyaki sticks and grilled plumply shitake mushrooms. Towards the end of the row, I ordered some wok fry assorted vegetables, mostly bean sprouts with a few stringy choy sum – not bad though I’d prefer marche’s. My girlfriend ordered a portion of Teppanyaki pork collar in ginger sauce which I thought was pretty delicious, moist and very tender, not fibrous and the seasoning was just right. The cook done it better than the garlic beef steak which tasted leathery. Oh, please bring along those table-numbered mini file clips found on your table when ordering so that the wait staff could send the food when it’s ready.

 
Walk around the bustling see-through kitchen, another row of food items revealed. At the left-hand corner, you could order Italian pasta of 3 choices – Wafu vinaigrette dressing, creamy carbonara or konkase tomato sauce; alternatively, pick up a ready thin-crust pizza with teriyaki chicken, Japanese curry or seafood toppings. Potato-goers could give the Rösti a shot, its shredded surface was pan-roasted to crisp but it lacked that robust buttery flavour I used to know.

Stroll along and you get to reach out to more fried items like potato ebi rolls, cheese crab balls, seafood Croquettes, Haru Maki (spring roll) seafood. Next, I flipped open the steamer cover and help myself to the hearty winter dish – Japanese oden with plentiful of squishy quail eggs, fish cakes with hidden popping fish roe, perfectly stewed daikon, glutenous konjac (greyish starch corms) and the most delightful Kinchaku pouch - deep fried bean curd wrapped with fish cake. I enjoyed the light soy sauce broth that makes everything taste homely.

 
While I skipped the egg plants and roasted chicken, I took a bite on the Japanese curry udon placed along the next counter. I am glad that the udon didn’t taste overly soggy but the curry seasoning was a bit loud, somewhere didn’t fare quite right. I heard the pork shabu ramen did better. Well, I was unlucky then.

You may want to try out Chawanmushi or Tamagoyaki in the bamboo tray plus a bowl of steaming hot seafood soup. Or simply walk to the adjacent counter for some cold seafood selections – chilled prawns & mussels or clams, salads, soba, sushi and sashimi.

With so much to offer, what else could make my people über happy? I don’t know.
 
Date of Visit: Oct 23, 2012 

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 3  |  
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 3  |  
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 3

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Categories : Bakery

For a full story coverage, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/2012/10/freshly-baked-singapore.html

For 3 years now, it seems to me that there are new breakfast parlors & coffee joints opening every month. All-day-breakfast and coffee tasting (surpassing wine tasting these days) becomes suddenly fashionable. Many are made to rediscover the art of coffee drinking and cultivate the new societal norm of brunching. No one could be spared.

While some are untroubled by queues, others like myself, gets irk by it. Those that comes with a long line, therefore needs either entice me with real stuff or delude me with some marketing gimmicks which I may fall trap at times. With a bit of luck, one could still find authentic flavourful eatery without having to join the crowd in the bustling street of Orchard - but allow me to echo; "that's when you are in luck." Betting at it, I seek out the less congested spot in downtown.

Nestling along a quieter lane at Killiney road, this 5-year-old deli-bakery shop is a stone away from the signature kaya toast at Killiney Kopitiam. I remembered savoring the optional coconutty kaya jam & that slightly salted slab of butter that cuddle 2 slices of warm French toast and washed down with a cup of old-fashion brewed coffee. And today, I met with Freshly Baked by Le Bijoux for a similar nostalgia experience - no queue absolutely.

I enjoyed its unpretentious makeup with sturdy wooden dining furnitures, withholding some traditional elements. The well-ventilated shophouse is most welcoming. But more inviting is the lady behind the baking countertop who was once the executive pastry chef at Saint Pierre who struck out on her 5 years ago. This baker - Audrey has tempt patrons with her homemade sweet cinnamon loaf, butter cake, walnut raisin bread. Some make their way there for the affordable breakfast sets (nett prices). I hear them, and so I turn up.

I was greeted with a firm but friendly tone, the moment I stepped into the shop. The place was empty at 2pm on a Saturday. I quickly pick up the menu placed in an acrylic holder against the wall. Without delay, I went up to the payment counter to make my order and pay for them. The cake choices in the glass shelving were narrow - forget about having any fanciful slices, Audrey bakes traditional confections.

The burger bap arrived with a loud bang. The sizeable bun came with an authentic softness with an easy to chew texture and airy interior, nothing more. The salt-cured beef slices didn't taste too briny but a little too greasy. Instead of assembling them into a à la mode burger, I forked the sunny side-up and get excited watching the yolk exploding in all direction atop the bap. The result was a moist and eggy bread combo. Unimpressed, the baked bean stood motionless on the plate. Though it didn't wow me greatly, I appreciate the homely bread offered.

2 slices of thick wholemeal bread helped fix one's hunger pangs. I feel the crust crackling apart as it revealed large to medium air pockets in the crumbs. I figured that I tasted too many well-baked European breads these days that the ones I had here failed to surprise me further. The set came with some crisp bacon strips and a pool of scrambled egg - moist but bland disappointment. The stalk of romaine looked out of place on the plate; too little to call it salad, too bulky on its own - I don't understand. Still, I am pleased by the customer-oriented gesture here. I feel good not for the cappuccino but the biding good-bye when you make your exit to the door.

 
 
Date of Visit: Oct 04, 2012 

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 3  |  
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 3

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Categories : Restaurant | Pasta | Kids-Friendly

For a full story coverage and pictures; please drop by:
http://www.epinosh.com/podi-the-food-orchard-singapore/

 
The new "bold" eatery; PODI - the brainchild of Cedele, unveiled a spread of high-end dishes. One pointed that PODI bares the meaning for Bold, the Germans call it. To me, while the name represents the new restaurant's philosophy for being dauntless, creative and being exclusive, they deliver more towards International cuisines. A few on the Westerns - Grilled sea bass, seared NZ beef steaks; then the Italian range with pasta & risotto; Turkish range - Stone-baked Pide Pies, all of which without the influenced from the Germans. In my opinion, PODI epitomizes the beauty of healthy eating, taking care of those with strict gluten-free diet in exciting form with quinoa, millet and brown rice being featured in the dish. They are serving breakfast/Brunch from 10:00am - 12noon (not 8:00am per their webpage upon clarifying) with a varied pancake range and herb omelettes. Those who yearn for a light alcoholic kick, may go for Mojitos, Sangrias, Martinis and many more under the cocktail listing, wines are available too. Seriously a wider pick from a food orchard.

 
Paying close attention in the preparation of food, PODI delights customers with fresh and healthier choices. Here, you will be able to begin with small plates, ideal if you have a larger dining group. I wouldn't mind having a small plate as a teaser. Small plates, not exactly bite-sized that comes with meat, seafood and salad options. Particularly, I am attracted to the Mini Burgers.

 
A huge fan of Cedele's bread, I get to savour slices of wholemeal bread with balsamic & olive oil dips, here at PODI serves complimentary. At Cedele, one requires to pay $1 for a free-flow of bread unless a regular bowl of soup is ordered. So, it's a inexpensive deal.

 
Adorable puny burgers arrived in pair. This is one of the delicious burgers I had under the Cedele's Group. The size makes a perfect starter, and 2s can be quite filling if you ordered a salad small plate along with. The buns, glazed with a touch of rosemary accentuate a louder note than one without herbs. Each mouthful was met with a bit of that crunchy Italian bacon strip, it's saltiness intertwined the moisture in tiny slab of tender, juicy beef patty; creating a different layer of robust flavor and mouth-feel. I love that tangy with a light garlic scent mayonnaise spreading underneath the bun, tingling softly to keep your taste buds awake.

 
While waiting for my treats, I sit back to observe things around me. Its not uncommon to find people willing to swing here for a caffeine fix, their table having a slice of cake. Most of them are attracted to this bright casual spot for a quick get together - in pairs - in small group - young and old. The new restaurant (open-concept space in the mall) has a pleasing ambiance - spontaneously like the All-Day-Dining outlets at Wheelock Place & Raffles City.

 

 
The Cinnamon honey cake fared slightly better than the Whoopie pie. The cream frosting here is soft & smooth but overly sweet. While the crushed walnut in the cream enlivened the cake with a bit of crunch, the nutty flavour becomes the spotlight. I find the cinnamon spice a bit faint, though the cake texture is moist and fluffy. Not knowing exactly what was covering the cake, it tasted like some sort of a spiced almond meal. I chose to do away with the almond cuppaccino ice cream and have a solo cake instead, paying for $12 instead of $15. That is to say, you saved $3 for that scoop of ice-cream, $0.80 less than what would cost you at Cedele for a scoop of Cloud 9 version - Eggless & No trans fat! Alternatively, they offer 2 scoops that plate with roasted nuts, mixed fruits with a dollop of chocolate sauce at $10. Didn't like things look complicated, I'd prefer getting a 2 scoops from Cedele's counter. I only liked ice-cream in its simplest form.

You will be delighted if you hold a Cedele member card, from 15th November till 02 Jan, 2013, you will get a 20% off on all food items. And if you are looking to order some cookies this Christmas, they are having this Chocolate Crinkles Cookies - a dark chocolate fudge-like soft cookie, capped with confectionery sugar, available from 15th November onwards.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Mini Burgers
 
Spending per head: Approximately $35(Lunch)

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 2

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A good try! OK Jul 30, 2012   
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Categories : Japanese

For a full story and more pictures, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/2012/07/mr-obanyaki-singapore.html

In existence for quite a while, Mr. Obanyaki has been anchoring at the basement of Takashimaya shopping mall as early as 2008. If the name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps "車輪餅" in Mandarin or "Pancake" (think of Mr. Bean's pancake) or "Imagawayaki" (thick round version)/ "Taiyaki" (fish shaped), the way the Japanese named it.

I get to choose over a few fillings; Blueberry Cheese, Chocolate Cheese, Kaya Cheese or merely red beans. And if you know me well, I can be somewhat adventurous when it comes to trying out new flavour plus I am quite a sucker for things that are rare or are made limited. This time, the small cupboard says "limited edition / New opening specials" (new openings - I figured that it has been renovated) for Azuki bean in Green Tea & Mixed dry fruits with Banana - I know I had to have.

Azuki (Red Beans) in Green Tea batter cake - you can't go wrong with the combination, seriously. For those who dislikes the bitterness in green tea, this didn't taste the slightest bit. Instead, it has a faint green tea aroma in each bite. The cake was soft and moist. It balanced up the overly sweetened azuki beans fillings, I am glad.

Limited edition's Mixed fruits with Banana version had been inferior by an inch. I should have scrutinised the display to see what kind of fruit mix they were talking about - yes, you probably have guessed it; those cherries, citrus peel, sultanas mosaic (commonly seen here - Silver Bird brand)! The batter cake had the same texture as the green tea's, of course minus the tea fragrance. Though the candied dried mix fruits were plain ordinary, the fresh banana stuffing did a good job; allowing the cake to taste starchier with that additional moisture. Unfortunately, I didn't quite like the candied mosaic.

Still, these 2 Imagawayaki did ease my mid-day hunger pangs.

 
Date of Visit: Jul 17, 2012 

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 3  |  
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 2  |  
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 3  |  
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 3  |  
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 3

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Categories : American | Café

For a full coverage and pictures, please visit:
http://www.epinosh.com/2012/07/dean-deluca-singapore.html

Some New Yorkers hot-favorite, no doubt. It rocks the island the day it made its debut here, choosing to open at 8pm in the evening and attracting its fans to queue as early as 7pm for the opening special goodies bags. I wasn't one of 'em but was hoping to pay an opening visit if only they have started their business in the morning.

Didn't had a chance to drop by Orchard Central until lately. I normally wouldn't walked to the far end of Orchard Road unless there's a good reason to. And today, I had a valid one - Brunch at Dean & DeLuca.

The All-day-breakfast selection written on the blackboard was limited. I had The Belgian Stack - was dainty and makes me feel so princessy sweet. The deep waffle pockets were filled with organic maple syrup and a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. The batter cake was baked to light crisp on the outer with a rich buttery center. Served with berries and chocolate sauce - the most conventional way. I could only comment that it was overpriced given its portion. For S$21+, I could get a more hearty breakfast to fill my day.

The other breakfast I have tried - American Country Breakfast for S$22+. This was a lackluster! The most classic dish but the worst I have ever tasted. Nothing lived up to D&D's except for the pork sausage which has a blasting sausage skin and flavorful pork fillings. They failed in their scrambled eggs which was cooked dry and too coagulated. Sautéed mushroom a tad ordinary while the bacon strips were too soft and layers of fats seen 'raw' instead of charred crisp. However, the harsh brown was house-made I presumed. Unlike the mass produced 'McDonald's' version; this big mashed potato ball with bits of ham embedded, was tasteless. I only figured it out at the end of the meal, that this was the harsh brown D&D refers to, in their dish description. Was it me who's slow to find the association? Anyway, I regretted having American Country breakfast, but I wish I could have more choices when the hot-favorite Brioche French Toasts was sold out for the day.
waffle stack

waffle stack

 

 
 
Date of Visit: Jul 15, 2012 

Other Ratings:
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 1  |  
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 3  |  
Price
 1

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