Sunday, September 30, 2007


my vote for best iced yuan yang (or "chum" as we call it back in KL, or at least my family does) goes quite obviously to Killiney Kopitiam's (specifically the one down at Marina Square). not too thick and not too sweet, its fab.

best vote for the hot version surprisingly goes to Ya Kun which is quite a bummer. i don't really fancy anything else from there, but their hot yuan yang really packs quite a kick. good for those breaks in between classes where i need a wake-up bash of caffeine.

i think i've reached that stage where teh ping's usually too sweet and doesn't pack much of a kick, and i'm just sick of coffee. yuan yang's the way to go man. cheap too, seeing as how gourmet coffee houses don't have this on their menu. woo!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Book Cafe & The Chocolate Factory

The Book Cafe's a great place to hang out on a friday night if the usual friday night bustle is not your thing. even though its along the mohd sultan stretch, now a bustling spot for wining and dining, the book cafe was pretty quiet, cosy and low key, although about a quarter to half-filled. more people started coming in as we were leaving though, so i suppose it might be more a spot for after-dinner lounges on the really comfy couches there.

the decor is chic and the walls are lined with books, true to their name. you can help yourselves to the books so this is probably a very good place to sit down an afternoon and just read. the orange tea was a really refreshing change to the usual iced lemon tea on most menus as well, so that probably adds to its appeal for lazy afternoon.

food wise, the food took a little long to come even though the restaurant was not full. the grilled chicken and vegetables was pretty good. i really liked the aubergines and potatos that came with the chicken - which was also not bad. i can't tell you about the zucchinis because zucchinis are like cucumbers and i don't do cucumbers man, unless its like in zha jiang mian.

i had the seafood pizza which was not bad as well. made from scratch (or so it claims), it was not outstanding but for the pocket-friendly price, it really was quite all right. the seafood was not overdone and the crust not thick but the thinner slightly crispy variety, just the way i like it. i would have preferred more cheese though.

so yeah, all in all, a pretty place with not bad eats. the mains come a bit more expensive but even then the bill only came to about $32 for the above. i can imagine spending quite a few long afternoons here ensconced on the sofas with a good book off their shelves.

after that, we adjourned to The Chocolate Factory just across the road. it sits right between Brussel Sprouts (oh hello!) and Harry's @ Robertson Quay - a stretch i seem to be frequenting of late, incidentally. i don't have any pictures because apparently they have a no-photo policy. pity really because the After 8 Souffle looked marvelous, risen all high and proud in its dish unlike the plain Chocolate Souffle which looked more like a muffin. but even then i'm not sure if the picture would have done it justice.

the After 8 Souffle is TO DIE FOR.

the light-as-air souffle is just comforting warmness on your tongue but the zing of the mint in the souffle, coupled with the warmed chocolate sauce will send you over the moon. i saw stars. it was the mint that did it. if it were just a plain chocolate souffle, i don't imagine i'd be raving about it to you right now. but the mint gives such a kick that you really can get high on that stuff.


this is a definite must-try.

The Book Cafe
Seng Kee Building #01-02
20 Martin Road

The Chocolate Factory
The Pier on Robertson Quay
80 Mohd Sultan Road #01-11

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

black pepper soft-shell crab with glass noodles

just thought i'd have something different from my usual shrimp paste fried rice or glass noodles in seafood tom yum soup at Thai Express. i'm honestly not that big a fan of the place but my parents seem to like it for a quick lunch and i go where they go anyhows.

so yeah, this to me was one of the better mains on the menu that i've had. i was not a big fan of the crabs, they were a little small and the taste of oil was a tad too strong - but that could be just me. but the glass noodles were quite good and flavourful. not too peppery at all.

but as it stands, i think the best thing i could eat loads and loads of from TE is still their mango salad and only when the mangoes are green and sour. forgot to take some snaps though, next time maybe.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


considering how terrible the weather's been of late, something like this would be absolutely heavenly right about now. but as pinkberry's only found in the california and new york, we'll have to go scrounge for our local equivalent somewhere.

i'll work on that right now.

Photocredits: the Pinkberry website


does this not warm the cockles of your heart??

well warm away but this is exclusive stuff y'all. its not everyday (month/year) that june bakes but when she does, marvels like these come along. this was absolutely gorgeous.

the icing made from scratch was that slightly crisp and just sweet enough but not overly so. and the muffin itself buttery and not too rich. lovely. you've got yourself a winner here babe!

now waiting to showcase your next few rounds too char! *hint hint* :D

*photocredits: from june

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

spicy dumplings

Spicy Dumplings

also known as 红油抄手 and is commonly found in most shanghai-nese restaurants. this one in particular is from Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao.

i find that this is probably the best dumpling dish from Crystal Jade La Mian and not their xiao long bao - although that's not bad. there's better xiao long bao elsewhere - The Eastern Restaurant at Centrepoint specifically. incidentally, the spicy dumplings there's not bad too.

i can't wait to go to Taipei mid-next month. i'm missing the stewed meat rice.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturdays should be like this

first, a late start after sleeping the morning in - 1030 this morning to be exact. next, then potter around while watching serials on and then come lunch time, when you're driven out of the house to find food for your noisy breadbasket, you meet your best friend/girlfriend/boyfriend/friend/not friend/family down at velocity to check out what's on offer.

by the time you reach, you're so hungry that almost anything will do really and so you end up in Harry's@Velocity. not your typical place for lunch but hey, its been a while since you've had pub grub (ok, its been a while since I had pub grub). and so down you sit in a little corner of the quiet pub, ignoring that annoying sizzling sound coming from Pepper Lunch that's across the corridor, and peruse the menu. and then you both order:

bratwurst with sauerkraut
glazed pork fillet with herb mash
a martini with a mixer bianco 7-up (i obviously didn't order this because i can't even remember what it was still wasn't me)
a gunner

and while you're waiting for your food to come, you get just that little bit trigger happy with your camera and camera phone. except after a while, the waiter comes to tell you that there ain't no pork fillet today (what? why!) and so you order the black pepper beef tenderloin with sweet potato mash instead.

and lo and behold, you both get served with these:

ok as pub grub comes and goes, i'd say Harry's@Velocity does it pretty well. although i can't say for sure that it'll be the best you've ever tasted, it probably will come as one of the most reasonable pub lunches around. $12.90 for each main course and all drinks at happy hour prices.

the beef tenderloin was pretty good and did well to satisfy this ongoing craving for meat of late. the sweet potato mash provided an interesting contrast to the taste of the fresh black pepper studded on the meat. the brown sauce was pretty all right and is certainly not the canteen-style slosh you get in buckets (*cough - biz canteen - cough*) and the roasted onions were just nicely done. i would have wanted more of the beans though, they were good but i only got 5 short stalks at best.

jasmi's bratwurst with sauerkraut topped with a dollop of sour cream and the oddest antler-looking garnish (i think it was sweet potato) was actually not bad as well. of course, the first thing you do notice about her food isn't exactly the garnish but how much the overall presentation reminds you of something else. in any case, spoiled as we are (she is) by Brotzeit down at Vivocity, this one came across, in her words, as really good ole pub grub. a little unpolished in presentation (understatement about her bratwurst) but still big on taste. yes, the sausages you get at Brotzeit's technically pub grub as well but somehow food at Brotzeit's got that more polished look and feel of a restaurant. any hows, i rather liked the spiciness of her bratwurst.

and of course our drinks. i had my usual gunner mocktail. it was just too early in the day for me. jasmi's ladylike drink - again her words not mine - looked really pretty but i didn't take a sip. mostly because anything after my gunner will still taste like my gunner anyways. ginger beer and dry ginger ale does that to you. generally though, i do find Harry's drinks not bad, even despite the differences from branch to branch. the one at robertson quay serves up noticeably less potent drinks while the one at the Esplanade's not bad. so there you go.

that is of course, not the end of lunch. after polishing up our food and drink, we adjourned to Bakerzin at United Square to satisfy jasmi's sudden craving for strawberry shortcake. so of course, being the good friend that i am, ordered an Ambrosia as well so that she wouldn't feel so lonely being the only one eating.

can i just say that the ambrosia was the complete antithesis to the light and fluffy strawberry shortcake? it tasted like a power-packed version of a kitkat complete with caramelized banana, crunchy nut bits and at least three different layers of chocolate. really, really rich stuff for you chocoholics out there, unfortunately i'm not really one of you. the strawberry shortcake is of course, far and away one of the best around. 'nuff said.

and what afternoon's complete without having a coffee to top it all off? so we did just that at the starbucks outside. and finally, that's as far as the eating went for the afternoon. we went after that back to down, heading obstentiously for the orchard library but was of course waylaid numerous times along the way. needless to say, my pocket does not thank me now.

238 Thomson Road
#01-59/60 Novena Square

101 Thomson Road
#01-07/60 United Square

Friday, September 14, 2007

Pasta de Waraku, The Central

There's always something about the Waraku franchise that absolutely drives me up the wall. I think it's probably the fact that every time I sit down in their restaurants, whether for Japanese or Pasta, I just can't decide what to eat.

There's just too much great-looking food just crying out to be tried!

Even so, despite this somewhat happy dilemma, the three of us took perhaps a grand total of 10 minutes to decide. Not too bad considering we were starving. Or I was at least. In any case, we tried the Waraku Carbonara, the Hamburg Steak with spaghetti and the Chicken & Scallop Doria - baked rice in other words.

Waraku Carbonara

I took only a couple of bites of Cheryl's Carbonara and I must confess that I'm not a great fan of cream sauces. This one was quite good though, by my perhaps less selective standards. It wasn't too thick, too creamy or too rich. As with most Japanese-influenced foods I've had so far, it was a lighter interpretation of the staple pasta dish. A good thing in my opinion even though I'll probably be shot by the purists.

Next to arrive was my Hamburg Steak - another dish I don't usually order. I must say I was surprised though. I really quite liked it! The bolognaise that came with it was somewhat on the sweet side - something I don't usually prefer when it comes to tomato-based meat sauces (I'm a savoury person that way) - but this was nicely complimented by the more savoury and flavourful Hamburg Steaks. This dish was really quite deliciously balanced.

Hamburg Steak

And then there was Rae's Chicken & Scallop Doria. I've had Pasta de Waraku's Eggplant Baked Rice before and I was really quite amazed then at how white their cream sauce was under the cheese. Nevertheless, despite its fresh-cream appearance, it actually is not bad. Again, its a subtler interpretation that's lighter on the tongue. Coupled with the cheese, garlic, chicken and scallops, it made for quite a satisfying dish. Cheryl and I raided Rae's plate quite a few times.

And in culmination to an already very satisfying lunch, we ordered an Ichigo Parfait to share. I'd been determined to order dessert this time, and boy was I glad we did. Feast your eyes now upon this beauty:

Ichigo Parfait

I can assure you that it tasted absolutely divine and the picture really does not do it any justice. Their vanilla ice-cream is again Pasta de Waraku's own soft-serve goodness that was, while sweet, not overly so. I was quite surprised by it as well honestly, and I think it was a brilliant idea that its soft-serve. Its a welcome change to muscling into hard or sticky balls of conventional ice-cream. On a personal level though, it really did remind me of the RM$0.50 soft-serve ice cream cones of my youth from my local Heong Kong Supermarket. Add in the tart strawberries (again, glad they were not of the artificially sweet variety) and strawberry sauce and you've got a winner - well a winner for me anyhow.

Funny how the best dish that's really left me wanting more the whole day was the dessert.

Oh, prices. The pastas were between $12.80 (the Carbonara) and $16.80 (the Hamburg Steak). The Parfaits are all $9.80 and we also had Salmon Bites to share. These weren't pictured at first because I don't really have a good shot of it, but just as well I think. Even though the burst of a slightly cheesy cream in the middle of the bites accompanied by the pretty good, tangy, tartare sauce wasn't really all that bad. Just somewhat forgettable in light of all the rest.

And so, the niggly details for the interested:

Pasta de Waraku
6 Eu Tong Sen Street #02-82/83
The Central Singapore 059817
TEL : 6534-8085
Open daily 11:30am - 11:00pm
( Last order 10:30pm )

It's really crowded at lunch time - so crowded that I actually met my boss there - so be prepared to wait a bit. No idea about the dinner crowd but somehow I really don't think it'll be deserted either. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Welcome to "I'm Not Cooking" where I am most probably not cooking even though I am admittedly in the middle of a domestic goddess-wannabe phase (product of my current circumstance). But seriously, why cook when there's so much good food to be had outside?

And so off I go for a gloriously long lunch with a couple of girlfriends down at Central - which I'm sure will span a few courses and a few restaurants too.