Sunday, November 22, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Tart Blanc

Location: Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Recommended: Various tarts, Mint Cucumber tea

I have to confess that Millenia Walk is not my usual haunt - in fact I have never been there before if it wasn't for a Groupon voucher which we purchased to try out this store named Tart Blanc. For SGD11.80, we get to enjoy a tea set worth SGD24 for 2 that include 2 tarts and 2 hot beverages. With such an irresistible offer, how could we not give it a try?

Tart Blanc fits the description of "hole in the wall" literally by fitting into a small space, accommodating at most 5 - 6 couples, its counter occupying the other half of the store. With an unassuming exterior, we almost missed it if we were not looking for it. However my limited French allowed me to appreciate this artisan cafe's choice of various shades of white as its main theme, from the Chinese lantern styled lamps to the paint on the wall, for "blanc" is "white" in French.

Tart Blanc - it is French for "tart white", an apt description of their main selling pastry and the color of choice for interior decor.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Oriole Coffee & Bar

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: There are a number of food spots under the same name but with different focus. This post is written base on the dining experience in Oriole Coffee and Bar in 313 Somerset branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Fully Loaded (SGD20), Capelinni Crabmeat (SGD26), St Louis Pork Ribs (SGD26), Oriole spiced ships (available with Fish and Chips, or St Louis Pork Ribs)

There are few food spots or cafe in Orchard Road where we would enjoy a lovely brunch and Oriole is one of those. Although the cafe cum bar opens until late night, we almost always patronize for brunch or lunch, not dinner. It has a hip kind of feel to its decor and I like the way they attend to the details, from the simple but stylish menu to the fonts on the table numbers.

There is an outback look to things in Oriole on the exterior with its wooden tables. The similarity to an outback is distinctly less so in the mostly ocher interior. Seated at the planked tables outside enhanced that feel but fortunately the interior is air conditioned, so we can still choose to enjoy a less outback setting in a comfortable atmosphere. Sometimes the interior is fully seated and we have to take a seat outside, which could be quite comfortable if it is not too hot.

Oriole's stylish menu

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Paul @ Takashimaya

Location: Orchard, Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Takashimaya Shopping Center's branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Chocolat Frappé à la Menthe (SGD6.50), Mint Cucumber (SGD8.90), Roulade de Poulet (SGD23.90), Piece de Boeuf (SGD28.90), Cabillaud Royal de Méditerranée (SGD29.90), Millefeuille nature (SGD6.80), Tarlette Chocolate (SGD6.30)

Paul should be quite well known to most in Singapore. If you are not familiar with one, just visit the one in Takashimaya like I did – you will not miss the snaking queue of diners waiting impatiently for a spot to sample their patisserie. They have set up branches in various spots but my favorite haunt remains the one in Takashimaya.

I usually prefer to patronize Paul before noon for a hearty brunch, a time when the crowd is thinner and the queue more acceptable. I prefer a seat within, admiring the interior decor reminiscent of European styles but sometimes I can only get a seat outside of the cafe, staring at patrons of the mall and get stared back in return.

Paul, and a certain somebody behind...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Perak Man of Lenggong Valley @ Lenggong Archaeology Gallery (Galeri Arkeologi Lenggong)

Location: Lenggong, Perak, Malaysia

I like to experience the culture and history of my travel destinations, so naturally UNESCO World Heritage Sites are on my itinerary. And it would be a short leap of logic that I search for such sites in Malaysia, revealing only a disappointing 4, with only 2 of them cultural, the rest natural. The one which piqued my interest was the Archaeological Heritage of Lenggong Valley, a short hour drive away from my hometown of Ipoh.

Prior to this visit I would not lay my eyes on Lenggong. It was an unassuming town that spanned a few streets and nestled within a lush valley. A February rainy day changed my perception by providing a different scenery to the driving experience. The road trip under low hanging clouds when we approached the town felt surreal, and I pretended for more than once that I was driving into a hidden valley isolated from the rest of civilization. If I can drive into such situations in the future, I would not hesitate to do so again. I may even drive to Lenggong just to enjoy the experience.

Lenggong Archaeological Gallery - the parking lot was quite empty...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Singapore 2015 World Stamp Exhibition Philatelic Passport

I was arranging my philatelic properties when I spied upon the Philatelic Passport from the Singapore 2015 World Stamp Exhibition. A philatelic passport is a folder or booklet that is created in conjunction with stamp exhibitions so that visitors, enthusiasts and otherwise, could go on a treasure hunt to collect stamps of various nations to fill up the blank spots of the passport. This not only give visitors a chance to engage themselves in an immersive activity but also helped generate extra income for the stamps traders.

For me that was the first time I engaged in such activity so naturally I was excited to get started. The booth to get the appropriate nation's stamp is marked next to the nation's slot in the passport to help hunters get the stamp easily. With my passport in hand, I started going around to find the relevant booths, each offering various stamps from the nation for my selection and a cancellation after I applied it to my passport.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Singapore Food Blog - Sanpoutei Ramen 三宝亭

Location: Holland Village, Singapore

Recommended: W Soup Tonkutsu Ramen (SGD17)

After Hatched, this was the second time I visited Holland Village for lunch, and unlike the last, this was a ramen shop. It was recommended as our destination for a get together, and off we went to visit my latest ramen experience.

It wasn't difficult to locate the Sanpoutei Ramen, its distinctively Japanese shop front gave itself away with bamboo decors, its name in gold emblazoned across carbon black backgrounds. Its interior, though small and packed, was likewise decorated, immersing diners in an atmosphere as close to Japanese as they can muster.

Sanpoutei Ramen, from Niigata since 1967. Quite a history.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Singapore Food blog - Tim Ho Wan 添好運 @ Plaza Singapura

Location: Central Business District (CBD), Singapore

Note: This post is written base on the dining experience in Plaza Singapura branch. Experience may vary from that of other outlets.

Recommended: Prawn Dumpling (晶莹鲜虾饺) (SGD6), Pork Dumpling with Shrimp (鲜虾烧卖皇) (SGD5.50)

Every time I walked past Tim Ho Wan in Plaza Singapura, I was amazed by the sheer amount of people willing to brave the queue to get a taste of dim sum. Of course the fact that they advertised themselves as a Michelin star restaurant from Hong Kong did help push up the hype that generated such a loyal crowd. Me, who despise long queues, did not get the oppurtunity until a day when I saw that the queue was just the length of a few customers. So naturally I availed myself the chance to sample a taste of a 1 star Michelin restaurant specializing in dim sum.


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