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madamechewy
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madamechewy  Level 4
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Categories : Café | Desserts and Cakes | Pasta | Salads

There’s no short of pleasing cafes in Lavender, but AEIOU deserves mention for its unique vintage atmosphere and Avocado Coffee. Located on King George’s avenue, it’s easy to miss the cafe as the previous occupant’s signboard still remains at the front facade, which confuses first time visitors (yeap, guilty here). Do take a mental snapshot of the picture below lest you get lost.

The interior is thoughtfully done up, filled with designer furniture and decorative items for sale. Generally, the vibes are cheery and service warm and efficient.

AEIOU’s Avocado Coffee ($8) is a breath of fresh air from the usual cuppas you’ll see in other cafes. Lusciously smooth avocado smoothie is presented in a recycled vodka bottle with 2 separate espresso shots. This combination is a new experience for me and boy this is delectable! I’m not a fan of coffee (tea drinker here) but could not stop myself from sneaking repeated sips from my dining companion’s cup. Thankfully, portion is generous and there was enough for both of us.

The Mushroom Soup ($8.90) with crisp garlic bread arrived on a large wooden plank in the shape of a dinosaur (the cafe’s mascot) was quite a sight. The soup is made with white button mushrooms blended to a thick, creamy consistency, garnished with sautéed shimeiji mushrooms and basil. A splash of truffle oil completes the starter. As the flavours were mellow and texture too heavy, we didn’t particular enjoy the soup and were struggling to finish it.

The French classic, Duck Confit, is not commonly served in cafes; hence we were pleasantly surprised to see it offered at AEIOU. The French Duck Confit ($24.90), accompanied with soured cabbage and cauliflower gratin, had enticing crispy skin, but alas its meat was a tad too dry. Notice the dinosaur-shaped board? Its quite impressive.

There’s nothing too complicated with the Roasted Chicken ($16.90 for half, $25.90 for whole). Stuffed with garlic, rosemary and thyme, the aroma and flavours were mouth-watering. One thing I could not overlook was the dryness of the chicken. I dunked the meat into the accompanying mustard and mushroom sauce in an attempt to conceal the dismal dryness, but gave up finishing up the chicken after a while.

Not a common flavour, but AEIOU does a mean Avocado Cheesecake ($8). Taste-wise its appealing, but I’d have liked it more if the texture wasn’t so crumbly.
The Salted Caramel Cheesecake ($7) deserves a mention. Although the portion is small for $7, its rich creamy texture and prominent, balanced salted caramel flavour made it worthwhile.

Other attractive desserts on display include Classic Tiramisu ($8.50), Summer Tiramisu ($8.50) and Lime Tart ($6). Admittedly we were disappointed with our experience at AEIOU, but don’t write if off just yet as ours could be an isolated incident.

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/21/aeiou/
Supplementary Information:
Avocado Coffee
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 18, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $40(Lunch)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 2  |  
Environment
 5  |  
Service
 5  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Categories : American | Café

For pictures and full reiew, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/06/five-and-dime/
Back again at Five and Dime to try their famous salted egg yolk custard lava cake! This popular brunch spot is not the most accessible; the nearest MRT (Somerset) is 10-15 walk away but that doesn’t stop the crowds from coming. For those who drive, free parking is available at the back.
Five and Dime pride themselves for serving unpretentious, quality food at reasonable prices. The interior is small but stylish. Service is efficient, friendly and cheerful.
We were taken by the enticing aroma of our neighbour’s Calamari ($9) and therefore ordered one too. Crisps batter, springy calamari teamed with tartar sauce, what’s there not to like?
W had two beautifully poached eggs nesting on wagyu beef slices and brioche, accompanied with mesclun greens, spiced breakfast potatoes and a bowl of fruit salad. Five and Dime’s Eggs Benny ($18) was competently executed and gratifying.
Five and Dime is well-known for their Mentaiko Pasta ($18) and this was on almost every table. The slightly soft spaghetti was tossed in creamy mentaiko and topped with more cod fish roe. The umami pasta is a good choice if you want to jumpstart your day with a bit carbo boost, however, if you’re not a fan of fishy aftertaste, this is not for you.
The fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes ($15) adorned with fresh fruits came with butter and maple syrup on the side. Diners can opt for crispy bacon or chicken sausage to complement their pancakes. It’s decent brunch plate that will please most palates.
The highlight of our meal was undoubtedly the rich Golden Custard Lava Cake($12), a unique east meets west creation that sent us to dessert heaven. Presented in a traditional dim sum basket, the chocolate exterior breaks open to reveal a glorious river of golden elixir- salted egg yolk custard.
Ask the server for the flavour of the Crème Brulee ($12) prepared for the day. If its camomile, get it! The crème brulee is burnt enough on the top, and has a nice crunch of burnt sugar. We also thoroughly enjoyed smooth and creamy chilled custard which left a lingering trail of camomile in the mouth.
Lovely brunch plates, captivating desserts and great service; I can see why Five and Dime was full house when we visited. Brunch is served from 10am to 4.20pm on weekends. I recommend making reservations to avoid disappointment. If you wish to try the Golden Custard Lava Cake, do arrive early as servings are limited.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Golden Custard Lava Cake,Camomile Creme Brulee,Mentaiko Pasta
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 25, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $33(Lunch)

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

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Categories : French | Café | Desserts and Cakes | Ice Cream and Gelato

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/03/les-patisseries/
Les Patisseries is a French inspired cafe nestled under a HBD block about 7 minutes walk from Toa Payoh MRT. The premises itself is tiny but cosy. The bakery cafe does not accept reservations so do come early if you’d like to avoid queuing.
The brief menu is written on a chalkboard behind the counter and brunch is available from 8am to 3pm.
Instead of the usual muffin base, Les Patisseries Eggs Benedict ($11.90) is served with freshly backed mini croissants that won our hearts with its buttery flavour and flaky texture. The poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise sauce were decent but it was the amazing croissants that left and indelible impression.
Served on a black tile, the shoestring Garlic Fries ($7.50) were crisps and appealing.
Les Patisseries stand out from the crowd with its unusual waffle flavours, namely Hoffles and Waffle Ispaphan.
Hofffles ($9.90) is essentially Horlicks waffles. A familiar childhood favourite but uncommon flavour in the waffle-sphere, this is a must-try just because it’s so distinctive. Other reasons to check this out-buttery waffle with a crispy exterior and soft, fluffy interior.
Taking inspiration from Pierre Hermes creation, Waffle Ispaphan ($12.90) is constructed with rose-flavoured waffles, raspberry sorbet, and pieces of raspberry and lychee. Although intriguingly unique, I was lukewarm towards this. While the waffle had lovely floral flavour and aroma, it’s texture was too limp and soggy.
Ah…salted caramel never fails to brighten my day. Les Patisseries does a meanSalted Caramel Waffle ($9.90) with an excellent balance of sweet and salty, teaming up with warm, crisp and buttery waffle. Definitely one of the better ones around!
Despite the long journey, I was glad I made the trip to try Les Patisseries. Thumbs up for the quality food and desserts, at wallet-friendly prices. You’ll be glad to know there’s no gst nor service charge.
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Mar 28, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Lunch)

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

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Categories : Korean | Bakery | Desserts and Cakes | Burgers and Sandwiches | Salads

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/06/02/paris-baguette/
During my trip to Seoul, I tried a sandwich from Paris Baguette and had a positive impression on the brand. I also noticed many outlets littering the city, a sign that the brand is flourishing. When Paris Baguette first arrived in Singapore, I was keen to check out the Wisma Atria branch but the crowds at Orchard always put me off. No more procrastinating when the Bugis Junction outlet opened! Although named Paris Baguette, it does not originate from France but from South Korea. The bakery cafe use French baking techniques and there are more than 3000 outlets worldwide. The ambience attracts with its elegant decor of palatial styled arm chairs in soothing grey hues and granite table tops. While the bakes were more than satisfying, I found the service wanting more. Although its self-service, but managers and senior staff are sulky, curt and not keen on serving customers at the counter. The junior staff are more pleasant, with smiles on their faces. The Traditional Breakfast ($14) was filling, but nothing out of the ordinary. Its comprises of sunny side up eggs, bacon, sausage, carrots, sautéed mushrooms, and potato wedges.
If you’re a fan of cheese, go for their Cheese Omelette ($18), a simple but harmonious combination of feta, gyuyere and spinach with fluffy scrambled eggs. The competently executed eggs were accompanied with potato wedges, balsamic salad and tangy tomato sauce, which helped to break the monotony
Wake Up Jane ($6) is essentially generous amount of toppings-chicken sausage, mozzarella cheese and egg with on a pillow-y bread base. The first bite was unpleasant, as the staff did not heat it up long enough. After more heating, my view changed 180 degrees. What a lovely open-faced sandwich!
Heated over a grill before serving, the Turkey Cheese Foccacia ($6.50) charmed with its chewy texture, turkey ham, spinach leaves and melted cheese that gave a nice pull, jazzed up with mustard and caramelised onions.
The Camembert Cheese Cake ($7) is simply exquisite. A core of smooth camembert cheese is sandwiched between sponge, then clocked with a coat of cream. The ethereally soft treat leaves a hint of saltiness lingering on the palette. You’ve gotta try it to understand!
Although the serving of the Strawberry Shortcake ($7.50) is small, the cake itself was excellent-delicate yet full-flavoured. But with so many other Strawberry Shortcakes in the market at reasonable prices and portions, I doubt I’ll have this again.
Oh~my baby crepe~ ($8) should change its name to “half-past 6 crepe”. Paris Baguette rendition of crepe cake wasn’t impressive, instead of numerous paper thin layers, half of it was sponge cake instead. Get your crepe cake fix elsewhere (think Lady M).

Apart from breads, Paris Baguette is well-known for pudding and I’ve gotta say it really does live up to the hype. The Original Royal Pudding ($4) comes in a cute miniature milk bottle and is lusciously smooth while not being overly sweet. Some may find the narrow bottle opening annoying, but it forces you to savour the melt-in-the mouth pudding a little at a time, prolonging the pleasure.

To sum up, while I find Paris Baguette’s offerings appealing, the service standards are off-putting. Hopefully there will be improvements to make the experience enjoyable.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Original Royal Pudding,Camembert Cheese Cake,Turkey Cheese Faccacia
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 23, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $18(Lunch)

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

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Superb fried chicken! Smile May 27, 2015   
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Categories : Korean | Korean Fried Chicken

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/05/27/chir-chir/
I simply can’t get enough of fried chicken! I’ve had Chir Chir before in Seoul and it was such a memorable experience. Imagine my joy when it arrived in Singapore. Chir Chir is pronounced as “chi-ruh chi-ruh”, the bubbling sound oil makes when the chicken goes into the deep fryer.
Chir Chir Fusion Chicken Factory is one of the largest chicken and beer chain in South Korea, with more than 100 outlets in Korea, Taiwan and China. There are 2 in Singapore- a flagship outlet in 313@Somerset and another in Bedok Point. Only fresh, not frozen, chickens are used and sauces are imported from Korea to ensure consistency.
There is a buzzer affixed to each table which you can press to alert the wait-staff. For those who don’t fancy getting your fingers dirty, use the mini tongs.
To start, we munched on Honey Grape Salad ($18.90), which we felt was unique. It’s not uncommon to see grapes as part of the salad, but at Chir Chir, it’s the main star. Sweet seedless grapes are tossed with raisins, almonds, walnuts and pine nuts, then crowned with ricotta and whipped cream, which are made in house. The appetiser comes with honey-garlic tortillas which went very well with the grapes. I could do without the whipped cream though, which dulled the refreshing properties of the salad with its richness.
Served on a hot plate, the Nest Snow ($32.90) is constructed with juicy chicken tenders seasoned with Cajun, sweet potato puree, cheese and whipped cream, sitting in a moat of creamy sauce. The combination may sound odd, but it works beautifully. It’s no wonder that Nest Snow is Chir Chir’s most popular dish. Calorie laden I know, but YOLO!
We also tried the Garlicky Wings ($28.90), which were marinated for 6 hours before deep-frying, then topped with special soy sauce, crunchy garlic flakes and fried garlic cloves. Our taste buds reveled in the flavours, which was familiar yet intriguing at the same time. Concealed beneath the wings, were roasted sweet potatoes and chewy fried Tteokbokki (Korean rice cake). I felt this could have been better if the garlic flavour was more prominent. We love mid-wings hence were annoyed when there was only 3 of them (the rest were drumettes). If you prefer boneless chicken, go for the Garlicky Tenders instead.
I’d stop short of recommending Chir Chir Cheese Fries ($9.90), which was lacklustre, despite being served with a secret sauce.
Apart from fried chicken, Chir Chir also serves beers, cocktails and mocktails. Prices are on the high side, but servings are large enough for 3-4 people. Chir Chir does not accept reservations, so if you’d like to avoid queuing, do arrive early.
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 23, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $35(Lunch)

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

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