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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 : 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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Categories : French | Japanese | Fusion

For pictures and fill review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/05/26/miam-miam/
Miam Miam, which means “yum yum” in French, marries the ingredients of Japanese cuisine together with French artisanal cooking techniques. Offerings are made from scratch, using only the freshest and most sustainably sourced ingredients. Food and desserts are prepared upon order, hence do set aside a sufficient time to thoroughly enjoy a meal at Miam Miam, as many items require 15-20 minutes wait.
The ambiance is casual yet trendy. The back (not pictured) of Bugis Junction outlet looks prettier, decorated with pastel coloured chairs that add a whimsical touch. Service is lovely -staff merrily chirp “Bonjour” and “Merci” when diners arrive and leave. Drizzled in light Caesar dressing, topped with smoked chicken and sprinkled with parmesan cheese, the French Salad ($7.50) was surprisingly appetizing, despite its humble appearance.
The signature pasta, Miam Miam Spaghetti ($16.80) twirled its way into my heart. The al dente strands were tossed in a captivating concoction of French butter, secret broth and shoyu, then bumped up with frankfurters, tomatoes, baby spinach, eggplant, shimeiji mushrooms and bacon. A single half-boiled egg completes the wholesome dish.
If you prefer more oomph, go for the Lobster Bisque Pasta ($20.80), which features a savoury and rich soup base, grilled tiger prawn and parmesan cheese. Every aspect was delightful except for the prawn, which was overcooked, dry and tough.
Cheese lovers will adore the Mac and Cheese ($15.80)! Served bubbling, the over-baked fresh pasta shells are coated with a combination of 4 special cheeses and blanketed with crunchy Japanese breadcrumbs.
Served piping hot in a casserole, Riz Au Curry ($14.80) is essentially baked rice with homemade Japanese curry, pork frankfurters broccoli, cheese and a wobbly sunshine egg. I find curry too salty and was struggled to finish it. The portion is small for the price tag.
This is my first time trying savoury soufflé. Miam Miam’s Souffle De Nuage($17.80) is an interesting dish of ham, chicken and shimeiji mushrooms mixed with tomato sautéed rice topped with clouds of egg and cheese. The soufflé’s texture is amazing- airy and fluffy, but lacked a prominent flavour. Halfway through, my stomach felt queasy (too much air?) and hence I only ate the baked rice, which was lovely.
Miam Miam is well-known for thier sweet treats. I highly recommend the French Toast, Soufflé Pancakes and Chocolate Soufflé. Thick cuts of pillowy French Toast ($15.80) are stacked together, doused in maple infused syrup, dusted with icing sugar and crowned with airy whipped cream. It’s very filling and can be a meal on its own. I can see why this is an all-time favourite. Price is steep but I’m willing to ignore that as it’s just soooo good!

The Original Soufflé Pancakes ($8.80) put all the regular pancakes that I’ve had in this lifetime to shame. Its soft and fluffy texture is a dream.

Soufflés are commonly served in fine dining restaurants but you can enjoy them at Miam Miam without breaking the bank. The utterly divine Valrhona Chocolate ($13.80) has an ethereally soft and airy texture and a oozing chocolate centre. Hands down the best soufflé I’ve tried so far

I would’ve liked the Berries Cheese Cake Parfait ($12.80) if there was some gelato layered between the fresh berries, digestive biscuits and cream cheese.

On weekdays from 11.30am to 2.30pm, Miam Miam @ Bugis Junction serves complimentary soup of the day with every main course ordered. For an additional $2, you’ll get a coffee or tea.
To sum up, I’m pleased with Miam Miam’s quality offerings can see myself revisiting for that much needed mid-week perk me up.

Supplementary Information:
Miam Miam Signature Pasta, Original Souffle Pancakes, Valrhona Chocolate Souffle, French Toast
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 01, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $30(Lunch)

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

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Affordable, quality fine dining  Smile May 06, 2015   
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Categories : French | Italian

For pictures and full review, pls visit:
http://madamechewy.com/2015/05/06/violet-herbs/

Occupying a 2-story shop house along Tras Street, Violet Herbs offers quality Modern European cuisine at wallet-friendly prices. The semi-formal fine dining restaurant is owned and run by husband and wife team, Chef Edward How and Danni. Chef Edward has 19 years of culinary experience, and held executive roles in the kitchens of Restaurant Ember and The American Club Singapore. Violet Herbs differentiates itself with the extensive use of herbs in all its dishes and signature cocktails. The establishment even has a herb garden on the rooftop.

We dined on the first level, a space with clean lines and purple tones, exuding easy-going charm. The second level features neutral shades of brown.

Dinner started with an amuse bouche of Beef Tender with Madeira Sauce and warm Saffron Bread.

Kindly note that the following dishes are in tasting portions.

Nesting on a bed of Parsnip puree, the Mango Scallops had a smokey touch. Decorated with mango gel and micro herbs, the appetiser was spruced up with mango salsa and potato chips. The combination of sweet and savoury in this dish were expertly balanced.

There is something intrinsically satisfying about this bowl of Parsnip Veloute -an intense and velvety soup of parsnip, crumble and herb oil. Hidden beneath the depths, lie chucks of fresh, succulent Sri Lankan Crab Meat. Superb!

Ah decadence! The Truffle Foie Gras came with a golden one hour poached egg, summer truffle, cepes reduction and shiso cress. A jab with a fork unleashes a river of sunshine. The beautifully poached egg did a good job of toning down the richness of the melt-in-the-mouth Foie Gras. I recommend taking a bit of everything and let it mingle in the mouth-you'll be pleased by the medley of flavours.

While waiting for the mains, we had a glass of zesty Yuzu Sorbet to cleanse our palates.
Lying on carefully arranged asparagus sticks, the tender Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly was elevated with spicy blood orange sauce. Not only did I enjoy the aromatic meat, I also enjoyed the crispy homemade herb fries.

I dislike miso cod as previous experiences at other restaurants turned me off with the liberal use of overwhelmingly sweet miso. Chef Edward's Marinated Red Miso Cod pleasantly surprised with the light-handed use of the marinade, which highlighted the natural sweetness of the fatty cod. The side dish, almond eggplant, wasn't all that thrilling as it was too bland.

Gratify your sweet tooth with Frozen Nougat dessert, constructed with chewy frozen nougat, lychee sorbet, chocolate soil and crumble. Mixed berries offer a tongue-tingling contrast to the sweet frozen nougat.

Violet Herbs is here for serious business. Not only are items priced reasonably, execution and quality of food are not compromised. On weekdays, Violet Herbs offer 3-course set lunches and 4-course set dinners at $32+ and $48+ respectively. Their 6 and 8 course degustation menus are at $98+ and $128+. Excellent value!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Truffle Foie Gras,Parsnip Veloute,Mango Scallops
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Apr 29, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $60(Dinner)

Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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