Saturday, August 16, 2008

Food roundup!

Bumped into a friend the other day and he asked me if I'd checked out any good or interesting makan places lately, told him to check out my blog and I'd better make good on my promise, so... here are my latest hangouts. Seeing these foods brings back the good times spent with friends savoring these delish offerings coupled with great conversations! :)

Just realised tt the following covers everything - from appetizers to main meals to desserts! :)

My apple crumble with cookies and cream ice cream and green tea mousse as trimmings @ Essential Brew. It wasn't fantastic and the presentation took a hit with the less than appetite-whetting green tea trimmings. My friend's brownie with ice cream was much better though. Friendly and prompt service for a nice chillout-catchup hangout.

Essential Brew
269 Holland Avenue
Holland Village

Operating Hours:
Sun - Thurs: 11am - 11pm (except Wed 12.30am)
Fri, Sat, Eve of PH: 11am - 2am

Checked out this Indonesian restaurant in town, lotsa interesting offerings over there, we had the fried catfish as well as the Bakso (Beef ball soup) and the Ayam Bumbu Rojak (Roasted chicken in spices sauce). Good hearty fare all round, the friend catfish was crunchy, and the flesh firm and delicious. My fav was the Bakso soup - very flavourful stock and the beef balls made me a convert from my beef ball adverse days. The beef balls had a nice, chewy texture and the meat was tender and delish.

The Ayam Bumbu Rojak would have been a nondescript chicken dish except for the gravy - it was like out local satay sauce, but with with some cooked/friend coconut taste to it. The result: it has a unique, slightly smoky flavour to it, as compared to having squeezed coconut milk in our curries here. Good stuff!! Price was also reasonable for a meal for the two of us. Apparently I hear that the Sup Buntut (Oxtail soup) is nice as well, but we did not get to try as it was only available on the weekends. :)

Pondok Jawa Timur
Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road #02-66/67

Operating hours: 11:30am-9:30pm (Daily)

Decided to drop by The Central@ Clarke Quay to have a quick dinner before heading out for live music on a Wed night. Marutama Ramen caused another wave of ramen frenzy when it first opened at The Central last year, fueling the demand for more ramen retaurants to open. Ironically, my gfs and myself tried the other new one for A's bday (which was featured in Urban this week but more about that later). The Char Siew ramen at Marutama is lighter in terms of the taste as well as the texture of the ramen broth. While the fatty part of the meat does not melt in one's mouth, it is not bad if you like your ramen to be a light meal. We also shared the gyozas - while they tasted better than they looked, it was an alright meal overall, nothing to really shout about.

Marutama Ramen


6 Eu Tong Sen Street

#03-90-91 The Central @ Clarke Quay

Operating Hours:
Daily: 11.30am - 10pm

From left top: Curry Dolce, Soffiato, Cassata Siciliana.

Me and G went over to Ricotti after dinner to try the desserts, must get him to tell me where the chinese dessert place is next time. But for that evening, we had Italian desserts. The Curry Dolce was interesting, it was a mix of the sweet and the savoury - the slight spicy curry tang on the outside with mascarpone cheese in it. The Cassata Siciliana was dark chocolate on the outside with pistachio and marscapone inside. My fav of the night was the Soffiato, which was basically warm chocolate cake. It was absolutely decadent and a little too rich for some palettes I'm sure, but I loved it! A nice mix of warm and creamy coldness. Had some trouble finishing it though. Thank goodness there was G who can be depended upon to help out and made sure I finished the Soffiato which made me one v happy gal that night. :)

Ricotti (The Riverwalk)
20 Upper Circular Road
#B1-49 The Riverwalk

Operating Hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am - 10pm
Sat-Sun: 9am - 10pm

Dropped by The Canteen after reading reviews about it lately. This little establishment is beside the new Canele outlet at Shaw Center, and is reputed to be packed during lunch hours. C and myself got the Thai meatballs (yes am still in my meatball phase), Toast with chilli crabmeat and Laksa Udon (pics not here). Three words sum up this establishment - retro, spicy, fusion. it has an eclectic modern white exterior but upon closer inspection, the utensils were retro, the menu even offers Kickapoo!

The Thai meat balls were flavourful - spices in them though they were a tad dry. The laksa was spicy and the udon were an interesting replacement for the usual noodles/thick bee hoon usually used. There was also the distinct taste of coconut in the laksa gravy as well. I did not try much as I was not a laksa fan, but it definitely delivered a spicy shock for my palette. Which made the spicy crabmeat toast taste less spicy in comparison. I liked the spicy crabmeat toast - not too spicy, generous serving of crabmeat slathered on a hick slice of toast to soak up the gravy. Smart presentation and q delish to boot! Service was prompt and attentive, always a plus for me!

The Canteen
1 Scotts Road
#01-01B Shaw Center

Operating Hours:
Sun-Thu: 11am - 11pm
Fri-Sat: 11am - 12am

After Morton's yest, stuffed full with steak sandwiches and chi chi company for over two hours, C and myself walked over to Raffles City in an attempt to try to walk off the stuffed feeling. We ended up at Canele - which was packed on a Fri evening. We rounded up our evening with Canele's Cafe Caramel (the dessert chef took time to explain to me the different cakes and recommended a couple of others, but us gals had already had our eye on this yummilicious creation before we had seated ourselves! And it did not disappoint. Together with our Bushmen Brew tea, Cafe Caramel was a creation of layered dark bitter-salty-sweet pleasure. There was alternating layers of dark choc/coffee/cake/salty caramel. The layers kinda reminscent of life yea? Good way to end a good-strange-bad week.

Canele Restaurant (Raffles City)
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-81/82 Raffles City Shopping Centre

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