Paddy Hills

IMG_4583 edit

This is kind of a late post since my first visit to Paddy Hills was about 6 weeks ago but I thought I should visit a couple more times since I was pretty impressed by the initial dining experience here. I was getting bored of the other new cafes that opened so much so that I started to appreciate the old places I frequent a lot, but this new café that opened this year was surprisingly very promising.

IMG_4384 edit

The café occupies a relatively huge space with a bar counter dividing the place into two halves. There are blue walls, wooden tables, green tiles and gold counter tops which seem like a mismatch of colors and textures but eventually gave rise to a pleasant aesthetic and ambiance. Stellar effort put into the décor for sure.

The menu splits into Daytime Eats (9.30am to 5pm) and Nightime Nosh (6pm onwards) and is packed with a variety of interesting eats. You’ll probably take some time to browse through the entire menu and pick the items. Word of advice: Order your items quickly as waiting times can be pretty long especially on the weekends.

IMG_4381 edit

IMG_4761 edit

I’ve skipped the coffee here since reviews were not too impressed with it, and went ahead with their more popular fruit-based drinks. Taste like purple ($7) is made from cold pressed grapes. Albeit a little sweet, the basil taste kept the drink refreshing enough to go with the heavy main courses and sides here. It’s probably a wise choice to skip the caffeine here and go for their truly thirst-quenching drinks. Others include the Yuzu effervescence ($7), Rise and Grind ($7) and Pinkish Lemonade ($7). Otherwise there are also milkshakes like the Hawaii ($11) – a smooth coconut milkshake but came with an acquired taste.

IMG_4458 edit (2)

IMG_4442 edit

The fluffiest pancakes award definitely goes to the Orange ricotta pillows ($18). The stack of 3 came with a generous pool of orange caramel sauce along with a scoop of coconut ice cream. The caramel sauce which came with a mix of citrus, coconut and custard is possibly the X factor of this dish as well.

IMG_4394 edit (2)

Though not as soft and chewy as the traditional Korean version, the Toasted spicy rice cakes ($15) was oddly addictive as well, especially with the gochujang mayo which came on the side and added some spice to it.

IMG_4421 edit

IMG_4410 edit

Who knew that mantou could be used for sliders? The Golden man tou sliders ($23) features beef patties with a great consistency in between sliced mantous. They came with an equally good sweet potato fries on the side. Well I’ve had a couple of versions of sweet potato fries recently and I must say that their thin, crispy purple sweet potato fries is one to beat. They tasted even better when dipped in their homemade BBQ sauce.

IMG_4370 edit

Possibly the most popular item on the menu would be the Berry ricotta hotcake ($19), what with its rave reviews and photogenic aesthetic. I like how the edges of the hotcake come with a slight crisp to it, while the insides are fluffy as ever. Strangers’ Reunion has a similar hotcake which I happened to try as well but this alternative seems a lot better. Some has even compared it to the famous ones from Top Paddock in Melbourne. I just wish they could give extra maple syrup on the side to pour over it.

Some other items I’ve tried:

Small breakfast ($12) – toasted bread, truffle polenta mash, sous vide egg, double roasted mushrooms. I thought that the truffle-infused polenta, or cornmeal, was pretty good. This dish is good for small eaters.

Salmon carpaccio ($18) – the portion was a tad small but I was impressed by the freshness of the house cured salmon.

Kimchi fried rice ($20) – the addition of a salted hangar steak and sous vide egg made this simple Korean dish a lot more exquisite, hearty and flavourful. I wish that there could be more traces of kimchi in the fried rice though.

Chicken in a bag ($15) – these pieces of fried chicken came in a paper bag on a plate. “So does fried chicken tastes better in a paper bag?” I asked. These came with the homemade bbq sauce which comes along with the golden man tou sliders as well. The fried chicken was decent but nothing to shout about.

Unlike other cafes, Paddy Hills whips up dishes with each dish having its own uniqueness. This is one place you should never tire of. Its location in an ulu area near Haw Par Villa means that it might not be the most accessible café around, but I assure you that the venture will be worth it.

38 South Buona Vista Road
9.30am – 10pm daily

Mille Crepes from The Udder Pancake

IMG_4149 edit

The original plan was to head to Carpenter and Cook (haven’t been to the main store at Lorong Kilat for ages), or to the newly-opened Revelry which seems to serve up some decent waffles. Alas, both were closed. You would think that after years of food hunting I’ll do my research beforehand all the time…

Next to Udders along Lorong Kilat is its new born sister, The Udder Pancake. Udders does have some pancake dishes on their menu but now this outpost which is directly connected to Udders instore has larger range of pancakes on the menu, from sweet to savoury. Oh, there’s truffle fries too. You can also get ice cream and waffles from Udders next door and chill at this larger space. The cushion seats are a lot more comfortable than those wooden stools at Udders.

Sadly and oddly enough, we didn’t get their pancakes. I’ve been eyeing their mille crepes and I was previously disappointed by Udders’ pancakes. Between the two of us, we shared a Geisha Matcha ($7.90), Brandied Chocolate ($11.90) and a Baileys Tiramisu ($11.90).

IMG_4133 edit

IMG_4174 edit

They tasted as good as they looked. My personal favourite is the Baileys Tiramisu, which came with a shot of baileys in a syringe. It’s pretty therapeutic to inject it in and watch the liquid flow in between and out of the layers of the crepe. Tiramisus were made to be a lighter, fluffier, mousse-like cake but I thought this denser crepe version could give the original a run for its money. The cream might put off some people though.

IMG_4144 edit

IMG_4156 edit

Green tea lovers would be a fan of the matcha crepe. It is hardly (artificially) sweet at all and the essence of green tea is great. On the other hand for the brandied chocolate crepe I felt that the brandy was overpowering the chocolate crepe. Wouldn’t recommend it if you’re not accustomed to alcohol.

The mille crepes are a tad pricey but I say go for it if you’re looking to try something different. Maybe I should’ve got some ice cream next door to go along with the cakes…

IMG_4164 edit

17 Lorong Kilat

#01-09

Kilat Court

Mon – Thurs 12pm – 11pm

Fri 12pm – 12am

Sat 11am – 12am

Sun 11am – 11pm

Tiong Bahru Bakery: CNY treats

IMG_4189 edit

A Sunday morning spent at my favorite bakery with the bestie is always precious. This time, I realised that the back of the bakery has undergone a slight change and all I can say is that I’m loving it. The tables at this area at the back (near the toilets) used to be in partial darkness but now it seems that the area has brightened up. This shelf which used to be next to the entrance was also removed, allowing more light to enter. It feels as if the entire cafe has been livened up.

IMG_4203 edit

This is a little late, but Tiong Bahru Bakery has launched some new festive treats in lieu of the Chinese New Year – the Chocolate and Hazelnut Kouign Amann ($4.5), Pineapple and Coconut Tart ($8.5) and Orange and Chocolate Marble Cake ($4.5 per slice/$18 whole cake). We only tried the former 2 though and they were great. The newly flavored kouign amann in particular was very memorable. Instead of the usual, fully caramelized signature pastry, this one’s fully chocolate flavored with traces of nuts on the inner layers. A little less crunchy than the original kouign amann’s caramelized layers, but the dense chocolate flavor more than made up for that. If only this could be a permanent item… Meanwhile, the pineapple and coconut tart was lighter on the palate. It featured a pineapple mousse on a sugar biscuit crust topped with coconut cream and then a white chocolate disc. This was not too sweet at all, perfect for all to enjoy.
IMG_4195 edit 2

This is not part of the new items, but rather an old favorite – the Vanilla Millefeuille ($8). Apart from the kouign amann, this is a must-have for me whenever I’m here. The vanilla cream in between the flaky layers may be a tad too sweet for some to handle, but I love how it is thick and substantial. Watching the cream spill out whenever you attempt to cut into this pastry has also gotten fun for me. The Chocolate Brownie ($5.5) left the least impression on us though it was decent.

IMG_4180 edit

IMG_4199 edit

You can head down and get the special festive items which are available till 3rd march (not much time left!)

P.S. Thanks F for the lovely day out and for the advanced birthday “surprise”!
IMG_4184 edit

56 Eng Hoon Street

#01-70

Sun to Thurs 8am – 8pm

Fri to Sat 8am – 10pm

Fatcat Ice Cream Bar

IMG_3005 edit

The infiltration of cafes into HDB estates never stops. This time, an ice cream bar serving up exquisite flavors of ice cream, waffles and plated desserts has opened under a block of flats in Bedok. They dedicate themselves to using fresh ingredients and creating their own unique flavors with modern cooking techniques – the concept turned out quite refreshing indeed.

IMG_2942 edit

IMG_2926 edit

You might gasp at the small serving of the Lime Mojito Sphere ($4.5) as it is only a mouthful but you probably won’t regret it. Put it entirely in your mouth and let the liquid mojito burst out completely. A moment of silence, please.

IMG_2944 edit

IMG_2935 edit

IMG_2964 edit

And here I present to you the most beautifully plated dessert here, the Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake ($15) – comprising cinnamon shortbread crumble, strawberries, cinnamon cream cheese mousse and a scoop of raspberry sorbet. Every component came in together nicely, in terms of both visual appeal and taste. We were literally trying to scrape every inch of the plate for more. There’s also a pre-dessert for this –  carbonated strawberries and amuse-gueule.

IMG_2938edit

IMG_2996 edit

Of course, any dessert cafe now can’t do without the staple of cafe goers- the waffle.

Their Gourmet Waffles ($6), aka charcoal waffles, are slowly becoming the talk of the town. Not just because they are black and different from the usual buttermilk waffles, but also because they come with salted egg yolk custard sauce for you to drizzle on the waffles.  The first bite taken of the waffles together with the egg yolk sauce may seem strange since it’s savory but as you continue on it becomes oddly addictive. I have been very compelled to request for more sauce each time. They also come with salted caramel sauce drizzled round the dish, and the bits of lavender in the caramel sauce gives it a refreshing edge. The original buttermilk waffles drizzled with chocolate sauce are also served here, but those are just so passé.

I had two scoops of ice cream on top of the waffles – Banana Hazelnut Sorbet ($3.9) and Butterscotch ($3.9). The former contained traces of mashed bananas (which explains the heavy taste) which kind of overpowered the hazelnut but I’m not complaining. The texture of the sorbet was surprisingly smooth to my liking. The latter, on the other hand, was mildly sweet.

On another occasion, I had Cherry Brandy Sorbet ($4.5) and Butter Beer ice cream ($4.5) to go along with my waffles. The cherry brandy was refreshing while the butter beer was sweet with a bitter beer aftertaste. Something interesting to note – they make all their ice cream from scratch.

IMG_2983 edit

IMG_3014 edit

IMG_3016 edit

My least favorite was the Banana Nutella ($9) which came with Hay & Honey ice cream and Nutella soil on caramelized bananas. Could be better if the bananas were more caramelized and the nutella soil didn’t make the dish seem dry.

As for their drinks here, the coffee is pretty decent and I’ve yet to order their signature hot chocolate but I heard it’s worth the try. I really like that they have my favorite Moscato as well since you can hardly find any cafes offering them.

IMG_2971 edit

If you’re planning on visiting (and you should), I suggest you to head down quick. There was only a one week gap between my first and second visit yet the number of patrons have gone up by a fair bit. Another piece of advice – go early. There are limited quantities of the desserts and generally their plated desserts (excluding waffles) are only limited to 20 servings a day! The plated desserts are also rotated on a daily basis so it’s not a guarantee that all that you want to try is there. Hipster enough, eh?

Blk 416 Bedok North Avenue 2

#01-25

Mon, Wed, Thu, Sun 12pm – 10pm

Fri, Sat 12pm – 11pm

Sin Lee Foods

IMG_2716 edit

Another (not so new) addition to the Tiong Bahru cafe scene has got to be Sin Lee Foods. Unlike the other hipster cafes in Tiong Bahru, Sin Lee Foods is located at a much quieter, less well-known area underneath a HDB flat at Jalan Bukit Ho Swee. Yet you will be surprised to find a crowd of people almost filling all the tables indoors, each table bearing their signature items that keep the hipsters visiting.

IMG_2714 edit

Not a fan of broccoli at all (I know I know…), so I skipped the Aburi Broccoli Salad ($12) that my friend had. So I’m relating her words over here: “Best broccoli I’ve ever eaten.” With their unique way of preparing this dish – the florets are smoky torched and tossed with white balsamic and papadum – I can somewhat imagine how good it must be for a broccoli lover. It smells nothing like the usual broccoli too.

IMG_2686 edit

You might notice that they offer truffle fries on the menu… skip that, and opt for the Salted Egg Sweet Potato Fries ($12) instead. As if sweet potato fries aren’t tasty enough on their own already, these are served with their house made salted duck’s egg sauce. The sauce tends to be heavy and on the salty side, but the combination of it with the sweet from the potato fries is fantastic. This is equally, if not more addictive than truffle fries. If only I can have a second helping.

As for my own main course, I had the beautifully plated Beef & Grains ($24) after fighting the dilemma between it and the fried chicken on waffles. Accompanied by a fried and runny sunny side up was no doubt the star of the dish – the 180gm marbled striploin. I was amazed at how it was seared to a nice pink. Texture-wise, it may be a little touch to chew it completely. Underneath the beef and egg was wet orzo “rice”, which is actually a type of pasta shaped like large rice grains. On top of it all is furikake, a dry Japanese seasoning, which is sprinkled all over the dish. I just thought that they may have used too much sauce for the orzo which made it soggy and overly salty.

IMG_2722 edit

Overall, the food served here is not without room for improvement but it’s impressive how they handle the fusion of ingredients from various sources such that the dish turns out unique and palatable at the same time. I also liked how the cafe has retained a nostalgic feel – you’ll know it when you see it.

Blk 4 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee

#01-164

Tues to Fri 10am – 9pm

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,246 other followers

%d bloggers like this: