Thursday, July 3, 2014

Necessary Provisions

before i stepped into the cafe today, i honestly only had a very vague notion of having heard the name Necessary Provisions being thrown about before by my chichi coffee drinking friends who spend weekends hunting down the latest and coolest haunts with the best cuppas.

but i heard it again today though when it was suggested by my fellow friend of leisure after a fairly lazy walk around bukit timah, and i was really glad we headed over afterwards.

tucked away in the bowels of Toh Tuck (that's just off Jalan Jurong Kechil, for those as lost i was before i finally made it there), it is a rather unexpected place. almost painfully edgy and cool, it stands out from its charmingly quaint surroundings. i found a provision shop in the row that looked like it never made it out of the 80s. it sells biscuits in the huge square tins and grated coconut from the grating machine sitting at the roadside in front of the shop. but i digress.

while i loved the dark and eclectic design aesthetic (it rhymes!) of the cafe, the really polished and sophisticated display of its goods on the dark wood shelves and tables, it does come across as trying a little too hard, particularly given the super homey feel of its surroundings. food wise, i had the sardine melt while my friend had the beef pastrami sandwich. we both agreed that the sandwiches were hearty, tasty fare and quite satisfying after our morning hike. also fairly good bang for the buck at $9.

what i was slightly disappointed about though, was the coffee. granted that i didn't have a proper coffee but the iced chocolate with a shot of expresso, the end product was a rather sour concoction that didn't quite sit right on the palate. i would like to think that perhaps its just this product that's a bit of a miss and certainly i am intrigued enough by the place to go back again some time to try the coffee proper.

find Necessary Provisions at 21 Eng Kong Terrace, Singapore 598993. it's closed on mondays and first tuesdays of each month mind.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Silo by Joost


The Silo breakfast at Silo by Joost was probably the best brunch I had in my short sojourn in Melbourne earlier this year. Really simple, really divine.



I love the philosophy behind this joint, both in the way it is run as well as the experience you get. Its a communal table with an open kitchen so you can watch your meal being put together.


I also like the industrial chic decor.




I'm looking forward to heading back here again.

Silo by Joost 123 Hardware Lane Melbourne 3000

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Restoran Soo Kee (Redux)

this is turning out to be a night for reduxes - but it goes to show how if its good food, we should go back for more!

in this case, Restoran Soo Kee. i first reviewed this back in 2007 and five years on, nothing much has changed. the chicken is still as smooth like you cannot believe, still bathed in that yummy oyster sauce, and the horfun is also still a winner.

probably, the only thing that has changed is that i've probably grown sideways.

anyhow, just the photos, for posterity.

view from the inside


oh hello there.

and hello to you too.



Bistro Soori (Redux)

Round three - and still going well. I love this place.

Another 7 course degustation on the menu this time and still no repeats save for the Butter Lobster in that absolutely lovely tamarind sauce and fennel.

To start us off:  a tuna tataki done just right, lightly coated with a tempura batter, served with flying fish roe, wasabi mayo and cherry tomatoes.


simply done and depending largely on the flavours of the base ingredients, save for the wasabi mayo. i'm not usually a fan of wasabi, but this wasabi mayo i can do. i liked this.

next up: seared foie gras with fig compote


what surprised me about this one was the fig compote. the sweet richness of it actually worked pretty brilliantly with the foie gras, and you could adjust the amount you liked. i personally am not a fan of sweets in general so i didn't actually take that much of the compote, but enough to make it work for me. i really liked this.

next up: the star of the evening for me - the pork belly with yuzu


remember all that i said about sweet stuff? that's all out of the window when it comes to this dish. this is absolutely brilliant. i am in love with it. the pork belly is slowly braised and slathered in a heady concoction of yuzu and i do believe it is honey. slightly sticky, fairly sweet and yet, despite the heavy flavours and the taste of pork, made fresh on the palate by the twist of the yuzu. fave rave!

moving not so swiftly on after the pork (i was given to linger on that one), was the truffle and caviar risotto


good stuff - and also a reminder again why good things come in small packages. i think if this had been in any bigger a portion, i'd have been absolutely destroyed by the end of the evening. the risotto is done just right, al dente with a bit of bite, and it is made rich and flavourful by the truffle and caviar. as risottos come and go, this was good but not the best i've had from them. i think the best is still the uni risotto from my first visit. that was something else altogether.

things slow down again for me in the next course: the butter lobster in tomato tamarind sauce and fennel.


this is a gorgeous dish and it is really the tamarind sauce really makes this work. slightly tangy, rich and almost like a bisque, it makes the lobster (which is already really fresh) stand out even more. happy marriage of tastes this one. my dinner partners have been known to mop up the sauce completely on this one.

and the final main course of the night: beef baby!


medium rare and juicy, topped with some roasted vegetables and a balsamic reduction for the sauce. lovely.

aaand finally: the sweets - the pandan souffle


i've been waiting a while to try this and i must say i really like this, even though i'm not usually that much of a dessert / sweets person. light but with that asian twist, it had us scrapping the bowl clean. i loved it.

so yes. all in all, still probably one of my favourite restaurants this year.

Bistro Soori Collage

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Food For Thought, SBG


and so, i was at Food For Thought at the Singapore Botanic Gardens a couple of weeks ago for a small group outing.

once a quiet, really beautiful place to chill out in the gardens with fairly decent food at okay prices, its now transformed into a bustling, super busy space filled with people from all demographics. the oldies on the way to / from a garden walk, couples on a date, young people on a group outing (kinda like us, i'd like to think hehhehheh - obviously the word young is in question here) and multi-generational families with kiddoes going crazy at the play area.

i think the concept behind Food For Thought doesn't hurt at all either.

but all that aside, i actually do really like this place and i really love the space. as i was telling my friends, i could absolutely see someone booking out close to the entire space for a cool, casual, afternoon wedding reception. any takers? there's decent parking too.

anyway, all that aside, lets talk about the food.

this time we were there for a late lunch. for me though, having woken at about noon, this was brunch. and appropriately, i had this:


simple, uncomplicated eggs and toast. for about S$6 i think. i'm not much a bread person but this one was pretty good. thick, crust at the sides and soft in the middle, i enjoyed it. eggs were ok i suppose. but i think the real star of the day was this:


chocolate and raspberry pancakes. also for about $6 i think. these were really, really quite good. sinful and rich and not too sweet. really comforting food for a brunch out.

we also shared a plate of fried chicken wings on the side, also for about the same price. now that was good value for the money and the yum.

so yes, all in all - Food For Thought hasn't blown my mind food wise as yet and i'm guessing it might never will, judging from the mains that my friends had. but i can still see myself heading back again and again. its a convenient and pretty stop for visitors to the gardens or people just there for a bite on the weekend.

what main course would you recommend from Food For Thought?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

HY California

pre-Annie, post a few crazy weeks at work, we get this and a golden sunset over the bay on the weekend before national day.


the Hokkaido seared scallops, quick seared with sushi soy sauce. simply done, sweet and fresh with the squeeze of lime.

and then we had these:


the Philadelphia roll (salmon, cream cheese and onions), the salmon and avocado roll and the quintessential spider roll. these were really very good. these come in your choice of 3 or 6 pieces. as you can tell, we were going light this day. the bff liked the Philadelphia. i liked the more boring pickings. less complicated on the palate.

what was also not complicated, was the mojito.

sometimes that's all you really need. simplicity. on a golden saturday evening in the middle of town.

i would like to come back to hit up HY California again soon, perhaps for the mains the next time. but for a light evening bite, this does very well.

HY California 
Level 1 of Marina Bay Sands Shoppes
Next to the Art Science Museum

Friday, June 15, 2012

Bistro Soori

i've been a very naughty girl.

it's friday today and the second time in two fridays that i've hit up Bistro Soori. my pocket is crying for mercy but truly, that's just a whimper lost in the loud noises satisfaction i've probably made over two dinners at this divine place.

without further ado: tonight's 5 course degustation menu.

Bistro Soori

the first appetizer was the scallop sashimi served on a bed of cherry tomatoes and cucumber, dressed with dressing that had notes of yuzu, and of course, topped with caviar. key words here: light and so very balanced. the sweetness of the scallop, the saltiness of the caviar, the cherry sweetness of the tomatoes, the light crunch of the cucumbers (and i don't usually eat cucumbers) all totally works with the tart freshness of the dressing.

this was not the first scallop appetizer i've had at Bistro Soori. at last week's 7 course degustation indulgence, we began with the seared scallops with pistachio pesto, arugula and truffle vinaigrette that absolutely started us off on a great note for that evening. this evening was no different.


the second appetizer of the night was the pork with pumpkin and lettuce, served on a pretty slate plate that absolutely appeals to my minimalist heart. heck - the decor of the whole place appeals to my minimalist heart. lots of white? check. clean lines? check. wood and mirror finishes? check. window that opens to nice green garden? check check check.

anyway yes. this pork was really quite good. tender and fairly delicately seasoned, it went well with the sweet pumpkin and what tasted to me like honey truffle sauce - i might be wrong on this one but for someone like me who can't really tell individual ingredients that well just on taste alone, i'm not sure i really care what goes into it. its the experience that counts, and this experience rawked.

contrast again the last pork dish i had at Bistro Soori last week: the braised pork cheek which was unbelievable tender, rich in flavour and not the least porky. you know what i mean.


entree number one: the truffle risotto. nomnomnom.

creamy with generous flakes of black truffle and the risotto done just right with enough bite left in them. gorgeous, but having had the uni risotto last week, its not gorgeous enough. not even close. that uni risotto was really something awesome. the creaminess of the fresh uni on top with each bite of the uni and yuzu infused risotto was quite, quite ridiculous. it had my dinner partner last week in all sorts of bliss, being a big fan of uni. so yes - the uni risotto wins this round.


entree number 2 for the evening: the braised beef cheek on garlic sauteed spinach and mash with beef jus.


hands down the dish of the evening. the beef was so unbelievably tender that you wouldn't have needed a knife really, it was so soft. the mash potatoes - probably one of the creamiest and most awesome mash i've had in a while. and then there was the sauteed spinach. oh my gosh. each mouthful was an explosion of flavour of garlic and a hint of truffle as well. now imagine all of that in a single bite.

excuse me a sec while i go back to my happy place remember this. sigh!!!!!

absolutely divine this one. no other word for it. but this isn't the only divine entree on the menu i can tell you that. from my experience on the seven course degustation menu the previous week, the brown butter maine lobster with tomatoes, fennel and tamarind sauce also totally rocked my world. totally rocked my world.

my only regret from the previous week is really just that i was seated at a place where the lighting didn't afford much photo opportunity. which was a pity. because that evening, we also had the following: a super light angel hair tossed in mayonnaise and caviar (another favourite of mine) and a rib-eye with roasted potatoes and caramelised onions (ooh!) - both of which were also fabulous. Bistro Soori has really surprised me, blindsided me even, with the awesomeness.

coupled with generally great service and knowledgeable staff, these two fridays have been probably the best dinner experiences i've had this 2012. the meals to beat this year, y'alls.

and now, to plan to go back for their brunch.

Bistro Soori
2 Teck Lim Road
Singapore 088385
T. +65 6438 3802