Hoshino Coffee @ Plaza Singapura

For a place so boring, plaza singapura sure can draw the crowds. The Bangkok Jam and Skinny Pizza outlets at Wheelock Place are always empty, yet people queue to get into the same ones at plaza singapura. I don’t get its appeal, but I recently braved the crowds to try the new Hoshino Coffee. Can you imagine when Tim Ho Wan is set up there, the madness that would ensue?

Hoshino Coffee is known for its hand dripped coffee in Japan, but the outlet in Singapore incorporated food items from hoshino’s sister cafes in Japan into its menu. I don’t drink coffee, but I came by for dinner anyway.

Lots of sweets on the menu, but the dinner items made my mouth water. Sadly I made a bad call with my Daria soufflé with cheese and meat inside. It was way too foamy, I didn’t know whether I was supposed to be drinking or eating my dinner half the time. The meat inside was miserably miserly. And the cheese was overwhelming. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it.

GT ordered a lobster bisque spaghetti and yum that was good, especially if lobster bisque is your thing.

The other items on the menu looked good, I would have gone for the curry rice instead, if I could have read thecrazyshakes before I visited hoshino! You guys are the lucky ones.

For dessert we had two soufflé pancakes that were thick, fluffy and fresh. However they are very very filling so be warned.

(We spent $50 in all)

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Season Recap

Taking a break from all my food posts for another one of my loves, television… Plopping my ass down to be a couch potato after a long day is my favourite activity. TV first, computer second. 🙂

Downton Abbey Season 3
Other TV series have been name-dropping Downton Abbey, which I see as a really great honour that trumps even an Emmy because these OTHER shows are telling THEIR viewers to watch YOU, because you’re THAT good. When I first started with Downton I thought it was a girl’s thing. Only girls are into costumes and opulence and historical dramas right? Then I realized men were watching it too. And then viewers across the pond in America loved it, too. There’s no sex, no nudity in this, it’s just a really good drama that I think everyone would really love. I cried a lot this season. And the ending was even more tragic. But Downton isn’t usually that depressing. The tumultuous plot makes for very good drama.

Suits Season 2

Um I’m so confused, why is it that Pearson Hardman is always at “war” and thinks everything is a “game”. The corporate battle is getting old and confusing especially when they keep introducing new characters. Can they please go back to solving good cases, with small romances at the side? Otherwise I might give this a miss next season. The quote I hate the most? “Our backs are against the wall”. If I hear it uttered one more time I’ll really stop watching.

The Carrie Diaries Season 1
If you didn’t know, this show is about a 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw before she made it big with Sex & The City. If I were 16 years old I would probably love this show.

Homeland Season 2
I have the season finale on my backburner I refuse to watch because this season was painful. This is supposed to be in the thriller genre right? Then why was I constantly bored. And I can’t watch another scene with Carrie and Brody in it. They’re the fakest couple ever with zero on screen chemistry.

90210 Season 5

It’s the final season, finally. I’ve been a loyal fan all along and it’s a great teen drama. It didn’t spiral downward like Gossip Girl did, it didn’t get all lame and incredulous. But yes it’s time to wrap things up. I would have loved for Naomi and Max to stay married though.

Whitney Season 2
Favourite! Way too underrated. They’re the most hilarious on screen couple and nobody realizes! Damn.

Girls Season 2
I don’t hate Lena Dunham, I hate the character Hannah, there’s a difference. Lena Dunham is brilliant for creating Hannah, because she is almost too spot on about the traits of today’s young adults. But the selfishness, irresponsibility, brattiness and general entitlement that Hannah thinks she deserves has become increasingly annoying because yes life is hard, but her attitude is so bad. She is actually luckier than the rest since she’s privileged, from an upper-middle class family. But wow I’ve never seen a more self-centered, narcissistic and childish person. I get so angry everytime I see Hannah. And the thing is I think a lot of us (me and my friends) are quite similar to Hannah because we are equally entitled and privileged, and it’s no secret that our generation is selfish and lazy. Seeing Hannah is like looking into a mirror sometimes which is why Lena Dunham is a hipster genius but also why I get really angry.

What I think Girls should do is zoom out from Hannah’s life and divide the spotlight equally among the four main girls. Because there’s always a free spirit, a pretty one, and a goody-two-shoes in our midst. It’ll be good to take a break from Hannah’s whining.

I can’t believe I wasted so much time watching shit shows. You know what, I’m going to stick to South Park from now on, it never lets me down.

Valentino’s

I’m just glad that it is ten minutes away from my place, makes it an easy decision any day. Free parking, no ERP gantries to pass through, it’s almost a miracle. And to top it all off, a super extensive menu spoiling you with every page. At Valentino’s you’re in good hands, just bring good company and your wallet! It’s super family friendly too, so bring your grandmother here for her 70th birthday if you want to.

What I found really cool was the whiskey collection they have on display at their entrance. Limited edition Macallans from every year, Japanese whiskeys, exotic whiskeys, mmmmmm the owner and I should be friends.

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The grilled octopus was $35.. Most starters are $20-30, Mains about 30 ish!

Ristorante Da Valentino
200 Turf Club Road

Ember

On the 8th of March 2013, GT turned 22. To mark this special occasion, we dined at Restaurant Ember, where one of the longest running and most loved set lunches in Singapore resides. It was my first time there because I finally learnt to call at least 2 weeks in advance to reserve.

The star of Ember is undeniably the foie gras. Many restaurants tend to name drop foie gras in their menus to make their food sound like delicacies, and when they’re served you realize you’ve been duped when you see the miserly crumbs of foie gras, if you can even call them that. Ember gives you a whole slab of foie gras as a starter and to be able to taste the foie gras on its own, unadorned and uncomplicated, is pure bliss! Choose from pan-seared or roasted, both are equally delicious and perfectly well done.

The desserts are also worth a mention because they are all elaborate and fancy in sizable portions. Don’t expect a scoop of chocolate ice cream here because that would be an insult to them. I had a fig cake with grand manier ice cream, while GT had a crispy pear tart with baileys ice cream.

It still saddens me that we can’t be forever 21, but I still have a month to enjoy this innocence, recklessness and youth that comes with being “not a girl, not yet a woman”. I asked GT how he felt about turning 22, and he said there isn’t any difference at all. But slowly, age is catching up. The clubs are filling up with 18-year old boys who are way too young to be with. Time is ticking and rushing you to graduate and get a job. I think there’s a huge divide between 21 and 22. I promise myself that before April 8 comes around, I’m gonna go up to a club bouncer, flash my ID in his face and scream, “21 BLACKJACK MOTHER FUCKAAA”.

(We spent about $60 each)

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Alkaff Mansion

My second time at Alkaff mansion was pleasant. Alkaff Mansion is a beautiful colonial style restaurant that never fails to make me want to take a million photos. It’s so well decorated, and thoroughly maintained. My only gripe is that the menu is quite limited, I can’t help but feel that they tweaked it a bit since my last visit. Pizzas are no longer on the menu, and the osso bucco that I had before has also been removed.

My meal on this occasion consisted of the amuse bouche, Australian wagyu beef carpaccio, lobster bisque, and a pasta. My boyfriend had prime ribs that were really good. I liked everything we ordered. But to be honest, Alkaff Mansion is more about ambience than food. It’s just too stunning.

It sits atop a hill on Telok Blangah Green. Inaccessible I know, but there’s ample parking anyway, so drive! I didn’t take any pictures of the facade this time, but here are some I found online.

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My food:

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This place would be great for events like weddings and corporate functions too!

Gems of Little India

My girlfriends and I decided to take an excursion to Little India the other day. Besides an increased cultural awareness and a trip to Mustafa, I’m glad to report that we’ve unearthed a few hidden finds, off the beaten track. Nestled among the vegetarian curry restaurants and goldsmiths, are a few chic western eateries that have chosen to settle in Little India. It’s no secret that the nearby Jalan Besar is currently making waves in the hipster scene, and it looks like the waves have spread here.

I’ve lived in Singapore all my life but this was the first time I’ve ever visited that area on purpose. If you are Chinese like me, you will definitely be among the minority, which can be disorientating. The whole experience is just not something we are used to. I can’t decide whether the arrival of hipsters in Little India will dilute the culture or bring attention to it. But I think they should leave Little India be… Hipsters are a meddlesome bunch.

Steam Sia
5 Hindoo Road

The first cafe we visited was Steam Sia, local slang for something hot and sizzly, most often used in sexual contexts. I don’t understand why they would choose to name their cafe as such, besides that it is local-themed, otherwise the name is completely irrelevant. As I said, the cafe follows a very vintage Singapore theme throughout, with vintage posters, furniture, and collectibles used as decor. The whole cafe is modeled after a flat from the 60s, with a ‘living room’, ‘dining room’, etc.

I get where they are going with decor, and I can understand their vision, but the execution was plain poor. What could have been quirky and cool turned out to be old and ugly. The cafe was also poorly lit, which made the place seem even more dingy.

The food though, was a pleasant surprise! I had a Tom Yam Seafood Spaghetti and even though it tasted more like Assam than Tom Yam, it was still a really good pasta with juicy prawns ($16). The other food items on the menu were similarly fusion styles, or classic nonya food like curry, fried rice, etc. They all looked good, and I don’t doubt the food standards at this place, just the questionable decor.

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Broadcast HQ
107 Rowell Road

This place is beautiful, has a great concept, but sadly isn’t drawing in any crowds at all. During our visit, only two other tables were occupied and the staff outnumbered the customers. I think they serve Australian food, mostly meat dishes, and it is very music focused. They have a DJ deck, and have open deck nights every Thursday. We were there on a Thursday, but only crickets were manning the decks *silence*. They have headphones at every table too, and have their special menu in a DVD box. There is also a vinyl shop within the restaurant, that sells records. What I loved the most was the menu, because it is presented in a namecard holder booklet, and each slot is filled with a ‘namecard’ with a food item on it. Interesting! The graffiti mural outside the restaurant is also pretty cool.

Foodwise, nothing to shout about. The banana + black glutinous rice sounded so good on paper, but was only ‘meh’ when it came, and definitely not worth $14. The peach jelly sake was also a waste of my money, I was drinking syrup.

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Do you know any other places worth checking out around Little India? Apparently Komalas, the Indian fast food chain, is amazing!