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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Brunch at Two Bakers Cafe @ Jalan Besar (Revisit)

88 Horne Road, Singapore 209083
Tel: 6293 0329
Having visited Two Bakers Café on the first week upon its birth into the world of cafés, I was happy to head back when *Celine suggested. To start, you might be keen to read about my first visit here.

The interior is as I remembered it – simple but thoughtfully adorned with lots of pretty little things such as flowers. Crew members and owners were generally friendly and smiley but note that this is a self-service café all the way, from the placing of order to the collection of food (at the collection point at back of restaurant just in front of the restrooms).

The highlight is really the array of desserts – there are so many selections and each one is beautifully decorated. Apparently Two Bakers are very good at cake designs, as evidenced by the little Monkey and Easter ones sitting by the side of the display shelf.

*Celine started with a Mushroom Melts (SGD$8.80) made up of sandwiches and salad by the side. The robust earthly aroma of the mushrooms were easily detected the moment the plate was placed on our table; thick, juicy and coated by the melted cheese between bread slices.

We had the Luncheon Fries (SGD$9.80) as well, since I’ve missed it since the last time I was here. Every individual strand was crispy, tasting of luncheon meat’s raw sweetness but not too salty or greasy at all. In fact, we were pretty sure that the luncheon fries were coated with egg before being deep-fried.

Mt. Fuji (SGD$8.00) was an irresistible dessert – an ivory mound of cream sitting atop soft matcha chiffon cake sapid with green tea’s mildly bitter flavour, which in turn rests on a dark, bittersweet crusty chocolate base. Within the soft bosoms of the matcha cake, buried lots of huge, soft red beans (azuki) , giving us the perfect touch of Japan and we conquered the Mt. Fuji happily.

Yuzu Summer (SGD$9.80) looked so pretty, like a snow-white planet with its own spherical glow. This glossy, smooth creation gave off a zesty punch that settled gradually into lusciousness; it was refreshing to have this pretty dessert for sure.

The final dessert was Chendol Éclair (SGD$7.50) – its name and appearance both caught our attention – an interesting mix of a local’s favorite dessert made into éclair version. The cream was non-descript, probably lightly-infused with chendol’s taste, but the beans and green jelly studding the lovely dessert authenticated its venture to fusionize unto a crunchy-based éclair pastry.

My Coconut Latte (SGD$6.50) looked common but the first sip left us swooning – the strong coconut aroma fortified the aroma of the milky coffee, lifting our spirits immediately. I never thought this combination would work, but it did, like a charm. Every sip was bursting with flavour.

*Celine enjoyed her Iced Salted Caramel Latte (SGD$9.00) tremendously as well, douses of saltiness within creamy, sweet coffee basking in caramel’s distinct taste.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Lunch at Bumbu Restaurant @ Telok Ayer Street

Photosource: http://www.bumbu.com.sg/

125 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068594
Tel: 6536 8636

Photosource: http://www.bumbu.com.sg/

Bumbu Restaurant is an interesting blend of Thai and Indonesian cuisines fusion-ed into one beautiful, culturally-rich Asian restaurant. They currently have 3 outlets in Singapore - Kandahar Street (Bugis area), Queen's area (Bukit Timah) and Telok Ayer (Raffles Place). We went to the latter.

Service was efficient and fast, maybe because it was lunch hour and lines of hungry executive types were filled in the outside the restaurant.  Menu was rather comprehensive, comprising of different items from curries to meat to seafood to vegetables etc. Interior decor was simple, Southern-Asian rich in decor and comfortable. We started with some crackers (keropok) to munch on while looking through the menus.

Each of us took some steamed rice, since the dishes we ordered would be rather heavy in flavor. We were served the Green Curry Chicken (SGD$10.80) first, filled with tender pieces of chicken meat and squash. The green curry gravy was not too thick, but smooth, robust with aromatic green curry's spicy goodness.

Next, the Sambal Kang Kong (SGD$8.80) aka water spinach / morning glory. A platter of leafy green vegetables made fragrant by the flavorful sambal.

The Tahu Telor (SGD$8.80) was utterly crispy on the exterior and meltingly-soft on the inside, wobbling with tofu's sweet goodness.

Following that, we had the Butter Oat Squid (SGD$12.80) - not that crispy, but definitely tasty with the buttery taste and I enjoyed the chewy texture of squids as usual. A good calamari dish, I would say- one that is coated deliciously so there is no need for mayonnaise sauce.

The Fried Fish House Chilli (SGD$27.80) consisted of a huge fish battered and fried till golden brown. It was crispy on the exterior, flanking white flakey flesh that was sweet with freshness. The chilli sauce added a kick to the palate.

Finally, Salted Egg Yolk Prawn (SGD$22.80) richly coated with luscious salted egg yolk sauce and fried so crispy that part of the shell could be eaten. I enjoyed the decadent flavor of this dish.

Overall, this is a nice place with good food at reasonable prices, allowing to have the best of both worlds. The only drawback is that the dishes do not come in different sizes for sharing, so you have to order more repetitions or varieties if sharing with a few friends / family members.

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Les Miserables Singapore @ Esplanade Theatre

1 Esplanade Drive, The Esplanade,Singapore 038981
Tel: 6828 8377

Les Miserables is a blockbuster musical performance that needs no introduction, having enthralled the world since 1980, underwent various productions and dazzled the world despite various versions and languages.

Set in 19th century backdrop during revolutionary France, and based on the life-touching classic by Victor Hugo, this musical brings its audience through an emotional roller coaster - from rage to happiness to heartbreak, portraying the lives and dreams of different people.

The current version by Cameron Mackintosh is made up of the following crew:

Simon Gleeson as Jean Valjean
Earl Carpenter as Javert
Patrice Tipoki as Fantine
Cameron Blakely as Thenardier
Helen Walsh as Madame Thenardier
Kerrie Anne Greenland as Eponine
Emily Langridge as Cosette
Chris Durling as Enjolras
Paul Wilkins as Marius

An overview of the inside of the theater from the top

While the story steals one's heart easily, packaging a very moving story that reflects life during that period, I very much loved the settings as well. Effects and props were very realistic - thanks to technological advancement - it was easy to lose oneself in the scenes that unfolded and being transported back in time rather literally. I could easily imagine myself on those streets with the characters, in the woods with Eponine or even witness the barricade in person.

The vocals were quite beautiful as well - crystal, synchronized and moving, pleasing to the ears and piercing the soul so gently. I can definitely understand why this was and still is a hit, and I would love to watch it again.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Lunch at Miam Miam @ Bugis (Revisit)

200 Victoria Street #02-14 Bugis Junction / BHG, Singapore 188021
Tel: 6837 0301

The first visit (review here) was sometime back, where *Celine and I tried everything from drinks to mains to desserts.   For a quick catching-up lunch without the crowd or long queue during lunch hour in Bugis Junction area, *Charmaine and I chose Miam Miam French, Japanese Kitchen.

*Charmaine had the Miam Miam Spaghetti (SGD$15.80), with springy strands of spaghetti, tomatoes, bacon, eggs and mushroom. Like the last time I tried this, the deceptively simple ingredients and delicious broth has made this dish very flavourful.

I had the Lobster Bisque Pasta (SGD$20.80) - pasta basking in the luscious and rich lobster bisque. The lobster flesh was also saccharine and firm, making for a rather tasty lunch dish.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

[Media Invite] Dinner at Two Tall Trees Cafe @ Serangoon Gardens

14B Kensington Park Road, Singapore 557265
Tel: 6238 1286

So, right at the very edge of a row of shophouses along Serangoon Gardens Way, is a new cafe named Two Tall Trees. While searching for it, I was almost expecting to see two tall trees literally, distinctively at the main entrance, but that wasn't the case.

Anyway, this was a media invite attended by representatives from Hungrygowhere, as well as other reviewers / bloggers, most of whom are familiar faces.

The cafe owner Aaron made some good recommendations for the food - largely Western / American dishes - and warned that portions are huge. Interior decor is simple, stylish, comfortable and herein stands the two tall trees with barren branches arching forward as though beckoning us in. Further in, a  beautifully-painted wall transforms diners to the more peaceful realms among mountain settlements.

We started with some of their interesting bottled Long Coast ale, such as the fruit-infused Tangerine Wheat Ale (SGD$12.00) and robust roasted wheat Eight Stout Ball Ale (SGD$14.00). Besides the beers, the cafe also serves some pretty interesting drinks such as Orange Cafe Mocha (SGD$6.50) and Coconut Latte (SGD$6.00), etc.

For food, we began with a favorites from the Kids' menu, the Pommes Noisettes (SGD$3.00) - which were seasoned potato puree shaped into balls and deep-fried, so they tasted like croquette balls. It was fun to pop these into the mouth.

Then there was Truffle Fries (SGD$8.00), crispy shoe-string fries infused faintly with the earthly aroma of truffle oil.

Seared Beef Cubes (SGD$6.00) consisted of rather tender pan-seared beef cubes, moistened, and served on a light bed of vegetables.

Following that, we had Sourdough Bruschetta with Crispy Kale (SGD$8.00) - anything with delicious, nutritious kale and crispy sourdough bread is awesome. Add on to that were tomatoes and sauteed mushrooms giving the dish different bursts of flavors.

On to the mains now. We had Slow Roast Chicken Leg (SGD$16.00) - a big, nicely glazed roasted chicken leg with herbs, vegetables and mashed potato. The flesh was very succulent and tasty, a simple but wholesome dish.

Moving on, Wagyu Shrooms Burger (SGD$20.00) - comprised 180grams homemade beef patty, juicy mushrooms, crispy bacon and cheese, clasped by toasted burger buns, juicy patty with slight smokey notes and tenderness - quite a hearty delight. Salad and fries were served as sides.

One of their signature dishes, Bacon and Spam Pasta (SGD$16.00) was up next - with its signature bacon-infused sauce, crackling bacon bits, spam (luncheon meat) chunks and sprigs of parsley with springy spaghetti. Meat lovers alert - oh, and we heard that the special sauce waa the result of having been through an ice-cream maker. Interesting!

Last but not least, Mushroom Aglio Olio (SGD$10.00) tossed with sauteed button mushrooms, olive oil and crushed garlic. One could choose from the spicy or non-spicy version - we had the spicy one. A tasty and satisfying dish despite minimal ingredients - perfect for non-meat eaters especially.

Palate cleanser in the form of Japanese Iced Coffee (SGD$8.00) was served while desserts were being prepared. These refreshing cups of cold brew coffee were light in flavor, bearing none of that overly-bitter or sour aftertaste that most cold brew contain. We sipped it up like nectar.

Desserts were on the table now. Pancakes with Bacon and Berries (SGD$14.00) - 3 thick fluffy stacked pancakes with crispy bacon, strawberries and blueberries, a merry union of sweet and savoury all in one dish - feel free to order this for breakfast / brunch as well.

Then there were Pancakes with Yogurt and Berries (SGD$12.00), bringing out the goodness of healthy ingredients on soft, fluffy pancakes, a lovely combination of sweet and sour flavours.

Concluding the tasting session were shots of London Fog (SGD$7.00 for regular portions) - a lovely, aromatic blend of vanilla and citrus flavored Earl Grey tea with steamed milk, leaving a delicious trail of foam on our lips as we sipped.

Overall, we enjoyed our tasting session here, complete with wholesome, hearty and delicious cafe-styled dishes in generous portions. Of course, the warm hospitality of Aaron and his crew added to the joy of dining here as well - thank you Two Tall Trees for hosting this event, and thank you Hungrygowhere for the invite.