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gninethree
This is gninethree . I am a Full-Time Foodie
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gninethree  Level 3
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Categories : Bakery | Café

The Tiong Bahru enclave welcomes a new quirky tenant which effortlessly blends the new and the old by reviving an abandoned Chinese medical hall and turning it into a Western cafe/bakery. All cakes and cupcakes are baked in-house with prices starting at $3 for the latter and $6 for a slice of cake.

The Dispensary, located along Tiong Bahru road catches the eye with its bold Chinese characters, monochrome colors and oriental touches in architecture which the owners have insisted on preserving, to retain its authenticity. Medicine cabinets and a traditional Chinese weighing scale are some of the antique tools still used in the cafe and many, especially the older folk can relate and reminisce about the old times while enjoying a cup of house blend from Spinelli.

 
12 flavors of cupcakes are available every day with the usual favorites of Death by Oreo, Lil' Red (Red Velvet) and Lemon Meringue while new ones such as Kaya Cup, Lychee Indulgence and Violet Dream sure piqued our interests. While $3 may appear affordable for a cupcake, it is also worth noting that cupcakes here at The Dispensary are sized smaller than the regular ones from say Plain Vanilla.

 
Savory offerings are limited with Bagels and Sandwiches. Our Smoked Salmon Bagel was hearty with generous portions of salmon slices while the bagel itself was chewy and yeasty- honestly not too bad. But taste aside, we had to admit that $8.50 for this might be a tad on the high side.

 
For cakes, we tried their Ol' Fashioned Carrot Cake and was pleasantly surprised with how every bite was so moist and packed full with carrot bits. The cream cheese frosting too was not too heavy and evenly distributed. Rich and very satisfying. Other options include The New York Cheese and The Chocolate Banana.

Overall, while novelty is The Dispensary's main attraction, it seems that it is the only attraction. With neighbours such as 40 Hands, Plain Vanilla Bakery and Tiong Bahru Bakery all around the corner, The Dispensary does need to step up and offer something more to cafe hoppers in order to stay in the game.

Our bill for 2 came up to $31.80 with no service charge and GST.


For full review and photos: http://gninethree.com/2013/11/03/the-dispensary

 

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Ol' Fashioned Carrot Cake
 
Date of Visit: Nov 12, 2013 

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 2  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 2

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Categories : Hotel | Restaurant

Every night at 8pm, The Club located at level 57 of Marina Bay Sands is transformed into a beautiful decadent display of chocolate desserts and pastries, taking you on a gastronomical journey as the myriad of textures and flavours tease and rapture.

Be enthralled by 40 chocolate themed desserts and 12 different types of fine cheeses from France, Italy, Spain and the UK as Executive Pastry Chef Ryan Witcher and his team entertains and tempts with their hand-crafted creations available at this one-of-a-kind dessert pinnacle experience.

With a gorgeous view of our city skyline with all its lights complimented by the evening breeze blowing ever so gently and spontaneously, savouring desserts have never been more alluring.

 
Needless to say, I was thrilled to be back for an elevated and heightened experience of the newly introduced Cheese and Chocolate Bar Buffet, where the incorporation of a cheese bar coupled with six specially paired wines is set to tip the scales and bring the already glorious Chocolate Buffet to a whole new level.

Chocolate, Cheese and Wine. Need I say more?

The introduction of the Cheese Bar offers a spread of hard, soft, blue and goat cheeses for the discerning caseophile and the everyday cheese lover. From the familiar Cheddar and Swiss to exotic choices of Tomme and Red Leicester, you will not be disappointed. Complete the sophistication with a glass of wine and be spoilt silly.

 
From the Chocolate Buffet, while the classics flavors of creaminess, bitter notes and milky waves remain, Chef Ryan jazzes things up a little with his creations by combining unique elements of basil, pina colada and edible flowers for a surprising yet gratifying result.

 
It is said that more than 250 kg of chocolate from 20 different varieties are used each week to make all the desserts and pastries at the Chocolate Bar with techniques of melting and cooling used by Chef and his team to ensure that the textures and tastes of the chocolate are smooth, silky and consistent.

 
Our picks that evening include the Salted Caramel Nougat Slice, S'mores, Strawberry-Basil Truffle Pop and Pralines that had us going for seconds and even thirds. The adventurous will take to the Pina Colada Agar with Rosemary Infused Milk Chocolate and the Bontanica which features Sicilian Pistachio Sable. Either way it is guaranteed to be a sugar rushed evening.

 
Before you leave, do not forget to visit the only live station at the Cheese and Chocolate Bar for some doughnuts that you can customize on your own with vanilla, match, chocolate and cinnamon powder. Shake them all up with the brown paper bag provided before your pour them out and pop them into your mouth.

Do note that the variety of desserts and pastries change regularly and are subject to the discretion of Chef Ryan and his team- which also means that weekly visits will remain exciting and varied as the selection will always be different.

For full review and photos: http://gninethree.com/2013/11/24/the-cheese-and-chocolate-bar-buffet-the-club-marina-bay-sands/
 
Date of Visit: Nov 20, 2013 

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 4  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Categories : European | Bars/Lounges | Restaurant

The flagship outlet of District 10 Bar & Restaurant at UE Square has recently unveiled a new gastrobar dining concept which incorporates both gourmet and casual under one roof. Boasting of two separate menus that reflect the decor of the two spaces, the Al Fresco menu- matching its chilled ambiance is all about bar bites and cocktails while the Dining Room menu- similar to its sleek finishing comprises of more elegant options, Italian-inspired cuisine and an extensive list of boutique wine labels.

 
We dropped by on a weekday evening and got a sample of The Dining Room menu. While options are not exactly extensive, the prices are affordable, with Starters starting from $13++, Mains from $24++ and a Black Angus Ribeye for $28++. Old Bonta fans will find a few signature offerings familiar while others like me who had never dined at Bonta before it closed a few months back, will be in for a satisfying gourmet experience.

Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, Mustard Dressing, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms $18++


I am no fan of raw food or carpaccio styled cuisine but this admittedly was a tad more palatable than my previous encounters. The wagyu beef was sliced a little thicker than usual- Italian style but the mustard marinade made the flavor of the meat less overwhelming. Not exactly my favorite of the lot because of my initial bias but the plating was undoubtedly aesthetically appealing.

 
Crispy Goose Leg Confit, Roasted Garlic, Soft Potato Mousse $29++

While Duck Confit is mainstream, Goose Leg Confit is a tad more indie and less common. I dont quite understand why though because it was just as luxuriously fatty and succulent as its duck cousin. Though some mentioned that the meat in this one was a bit dry, I thought it was just right.

 

Signature Black Angus Beef Striploin, Fried Eggs & Black Truffle $36++


While the black truffle smell of this platter was undeniably irresistible and that gorgeous sunny-side up glistening under the light stole our attention, the most understated highlight of this dish turned out to be the natural cut fries fried in GOOSE FAT! Mind.blown. really. One does not go back to eating ordinary fries after having had goose fat fried fries. Yes it is unhealthy and yes it is probably disastrous to your waistline but the flavor, caramelization and crispy edges on every individual fry was so beautifully sinful. I believe adding a little truffle oil to the mix will just tip the scales and bring it up a notch. The striploin on the other hand sadly, was rather forgettable.

 
If you were hoping for creative and unique desserts, then this District 10 Chocolate Sundae with Roasted Nuts $12++ is as interesting as you will get. Desserts are not really District 10's strong suit so you may want to fill yourself up with the starters and mains instead. But if you must, the Cinnamon Apple Fritters $12++ and Warm Apple Crumble $14++ may be one of the better few picks.

 
In short, there is no denying that the food here at District 10 is generally good. There were a couple of standouts and dishes which I would specially return to the restaurant for. With that said, I would be more inclined towards checking out their Al Fresco menu instead on my next visit- their Pizzas and Small Bites do sound drool-worthy and the space makes for a welcoming chill-out session.

For full review and photos: http://gninethree.com/2013/11/19/district-10-bar-restaurant-ue-square/
 
Date of Visit: Nov 28, 2013 

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

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Categories : Middle Eastern/Mediterranean | European | Pasta | Seafood | Fine Dining

The only restaurant nestled within the Flower Dome of Gardens by the Bay, Pollen Singapore is an offshoot of One Michelin Star Chef Jason Atherton's flagship restaurant- Pollen Street Social in London. Collaborating with local hotelier Loh Lik Peng once again (other partnerships include Esquina, Keong Saik Snacks and 22 Ships in Hong Kong), the interior of the space- designed to mirror the experience of dining in an indoor garden has floor to ceiling glass paneled walls showcasing a backdrop of the Marina Bay Skyline and the Singapore Flyer while the rest of the decor remains decidedly simple with a woody feel and parquet flooring.

 
Though Pollen has been around for at least 1 year now and has received rave reviews from both the media and friends alike, I had not found an occasion special enough until my sister's birthday last week, to try the Mediterranean-inspired modern European cuisine served here. Reservations are highly recommended so that the restaurant can arrange a complimentary buggy-ride for you right to the doorstep of Pollen. And especially if you are dressed to the nines with heels and all that, that ride is absolutely necessary. Alternatively, you can also choose to take a slow 15 minute stroll from the main entrance.

We had the Festive Set Lunch (available from 1 Dec 2014- 1 Jan 2014) and paid $65++ for a 3 course meal which ended off with coffee/tea and Petit Fours.

Our server started us off with an amuse bouche of warm homemade baguette roll with seaweed butter on the side and Parmesan Truffle Rice. We particularly enjoyed how the umami rich seaweed butter glided on the slice of baguette so smoothly and every bite was gloriously satisfying. A simple pairing that scored points with both of us.

 
Probably the best course of all three, the mains were the highlight for me.

The first we had was the Poached Cod Fillet which was thick, fresh and sweet. Everything you could ask for in the taste and texture of a good cod, they nailed it. Complimented with some Eastern influence as promised by their concept, the fillet sat on a bed of savoy cabbage and light curry sabayon. The hint of spices was unmistakeable and brought this dish to a whole new level of exotic.

 
Next was a Bronze Turkey with Pork and Apricot Stuffing- a necessity in all festive menus, the turkey was moist with every bite and sweetened so subtly by the apricot stuffing. Loved how the confit carrots and brussels sprouts added to that rustic overall look.

 
For desserts, JAAL was a tad intense and colourful with Pollen 76% chocolate. The bittersweetness of the chocolate with a slight acidity from the dark plum and playfulness of the puffed rice pulled this whole dessert together with flair and elegance.

 
Overall, food and service were both impressive. Contrary to multiple reports that the latter was spotty and inconsistent when Pollen first opened, my experience this time could not have been more different and I was very well looked after by all the servers. A place I would definitely recommend to bring that special someone.

For full review and photos: http://gninethree.com/2013/12/10/pollen-gardens-by-the-bay
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Festive Set Lunch
 
Date of Visit: Dec 05, 2013 

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

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Categories : Fusion

Formerly known as Pamplemousse Bistro and Bar, Pidgin Kitchen & Bar- the newest addition to Dempsey Road is all about putting a creative spin on popular Southeast Asian local favorites and transforming them into unique original creations. This bold and ingenious concept by restaurateurs Adrian Ling and Cleo Chiang-Ling, takes your palate on an exciting journey of exploring familiar flavors that are presented in a whole new way. I personally enjoyed my tasting experience so much that I immediately made a reservation for a family dinner that same Friday night but was told that it was fully booked already.

The 1500 sqft space seats 56 pax both indoors and outdoors comfortably and oozes 'industrial-chic' appeal with its concrete wall features and parquet flooring.

 
Inspired by the well-loved fish paste banana leaf snack Otak-Otak, these Crab Otak Croquettes $12++ are instead snugly packed with chunks of crabmeat mixed in a concoction of rempeh spice paste and coconut milk that lends a creamy bite against the crisp deep fried skin, complimented further by a chye poh remoulade sauce which sends you on an umami rush that was simply addictive. Must try.

 
Although the hawker favorite Wonton Mee is the supposed inspiration for this Lobster Wonton Capellini $26++, dont order this expecting something similar, because from the way the noodles are prepared, to the chorizo slices and lobster stuffed fried wontons, the flavors were more subtle, fragrant and intriguing. I actually really did like this a lot despite detractors who may be missing that lack of spicy kick.

 
No soup in this Bak Kut Teh though no less appealing, Pidgin's Pork Bone Tea $24++ presents a deconstructed version with two premium slices of pork ribs marinated American style with tea-smoked beef bone marrow served in a peppery garlic jus. Tender succulent meat with a fragrant smokey flavor that was delightful.

 
For desserts, I strongly recommend the "Milo Dinosaur" Version 2.1 $15++ served on a plate instead of a mug but flavorful nonetheless. Chocoholics and Milo fans will be in for a treat as the deconstructed rendition charms with the intense 72% Dark Chocolate Flourless Cake and a scoop of Milo Ice Cream with its malty Milo Streusel bits.

 
Chef Adrian Ling's playful imagination and intriguing concepts with Southeast Asian cuisine certainly amazes and impresses. I for one am looking forward to my next visit. And yes, I made sure my reservation was made at least one week in advance. Pay a visit to Pidgin Kitchen & Bar as well! I am sure you too will enjoy the novelty.

For full review and photos: http://gninethree.com/2013/12/14/pidgin-kitchen-bar-7-dempsey-road/
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Wonton Mee
 
Date of Visit: Dec 04, 2013 

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

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