Paddy Hills’ New Menu

IMG_2925 edit

I still remember all those days last year that I spent brunching at the then talk-of-the-town café Paddy Hills. I nearly finished trying all the food and drink items on the brunch menu. Cray. You can still view my post here but it’s not that relevant anymore, I guess. For Paddy Hills has rolled out an all new brunch menu!! From what I saw, nearly all the old dishes have been switched out for new ones… Does this mean that I’ll spend more café hopping days here again?

 
IMG_2920 edit

I always thought that Paddy Hills does very decent non coffee and tea related drinks and this time they have upped their game with an even wider range of ‘quenches’. Among the drinks we had we unanimously voted the Beer Slushie ($12) to be our favourite. This alcoholic slushie of dragon fruit & margarita and topped with popcorn not only stole our hearts because of its colourful appearance but also of its refreshing taste with a sweet and spiked finish.

IMG_2887 edit

We also had the Mount Matcha ($13) which was sinfully good and felt like a mountain to finish, what with that incredibly tall glass filled to the brim with matcha milkshake, matcha sauce, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, cereal and cotton candy. Sounds like a mouthful already. And then there was the Bubbly Yuzu ($8) comprising yuzu, plum & grape jello. Take that shot before the bubbles start popping.

IMG_2941 edit

IMG_2934 edit

Admittedly, I was pretty skeptical about the(Black) Rice ($22) at first. Yet it turned out so much better than expected. The squid ink flavoured rice was not overly salty or fishy at all, and was well complemented with the mentaiko mayo and sous vide egg. Yes you’ve gotta crack that egg and mix it well with the rice so be ready to get your hands sticky. And watch out for yolk porn! Just a little pity that the PH fried chicken was salty, on top of all that squid ink. Move over, squid ink pasta.

IMG_2952 edit

No ramen in the Ramen Risotto ($25) – expect a Japanese inspired risotto instead. Since a tonkotsu ramen broth is used to soak the grains, the ‘risotto’ is not as sticky and dense as its Italian counterpart. I found this more suited to the Asian palate. The tender slices of kurobuta cha shu also deserve a shout out. If only that quail’s egg can be replaced by ajitama with a molten, flowy yolk… ahh.

IMG_2950 edit

Though the famed Berry Ricotta Hotcake is scraped, it is not completely gone. Their new version of the hotcake is set to be the next signature. Essentially, the two pieces of ‘muffcake’ in the Berry Muffcake ($20) has the same taste and texture of the then hotcake. This revamped dish is however enhanced with vanilla bean ice cream squares, chocolate crumbs, magic balls (let them burst in your mouth), pink milk & pumpkin seeds compared to just berries and seeds. With such added texture and flavour, it’s definitely a change for the better.

Without a doubt, Paddy Hills is one of the few places which does food that looks as good as it tastes. Sooo looking forward to my next visit here😉

Thanks Paddy Hills for the invite!

38 South Buona Vista Road

Singapore 118164

Weekdays 10.30am – 5pm, 6 – 10pm, weekends 9am – 5pm, 6 – 10pm

5 Hipster Spots to Visit in Bangkok

IMG_2416 edit

  1. Rocket Coffeebar S49

People who know me would also know that Rocket S49 is my kind of café, my kind of haven. Rocket Coffeebar has several locations in Bangkok and most would agree that S49 is the most gorgeous. The two-storied café is spacious with loads of natural light flowing in, and definitely suitable for large groups to chill. From the honeycomb tiles to the all-white marble counter, there is no reason why you wouldn’t fall in love with the interiors. Don’t forget to head upstairs for an aesthetic view of the café.

IMG_2428 edit

IMG_2413 edit

IMG_2432 edit

As a Nordic inspired café, the food here is largely Nordic inspired as well, which explains the shape of the Berry-Berry Waffle (THB180, SGD7) I had. This Scandinavian style waffle is thinner and topped with berry compote and cream. Interestingly, the waffle was on the savoury side and made a unique combo with the sweet berries. Other brunch items to expect are egg dishes, Nordic inspired open faced sandwiches, healthy salads and pastas.

IMG_2443 edit

IMG_2444 edit

Note: Rocket is about 15 minutes walk away from the nearest BTS stations. Alternatively you can take an Uber/Grab, tuktuk, normal taxi or motorcycle taxi.

46, 21/13 Klang Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110

BTS Station: Phrom Phong/Thong Lo

Opens Sun to Thu 7am – 9pm, Fri to Sat 7am – 11pm

IMG_2391 edit

  1. Slow Café by Room111

This café lives up to its name indeed. Somehow, the atmosphere here was very relaxed, very slow, quite in contrast to the vehicle-jammed main roads a couple of alleys away. Perhaps it was due to the white sofas propped against bare concrete walls, or the moody lighting. Whichever it was, this place seemed like a refuge.

IMG_2383 edit

IMG_2394 edit

IMG_2380 edit

Food choices may be limited to several pastries on display, but the drinks menu is quite extensive. You can expect hot drip coffee of different blends to choose from, tea and chocolate based drinks and a range of cold brew coffees. I had their signature Eight Latte (THB70, SGD2.7) and it turned out to be one of the better iced lattes I’ve had. Right amount of milkiness and creaminess, very smooth, no bitter aftertaste. And yes, it is just about $2.70 in our currency. This made me think a lot about the many cups of 5-6 bucks mediocre (and sometimes nasty) from other cafes. Shudders.

IMG_2405 edit

IMG_2402 edit

IMG_2400 edit

Note: Good One Hostel Café is also a stone throw away if you feel like café hopping. The space there is smaller and more cramped though.

399 Soi Silom 5, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok

BTS Station: Chong Nonsi

Opens Tue to Fri 8am – 5pm, Sat to Sun 10.30am – 7pm

IMG_2447 edit

  1. Hands and Heart

If you’re a true minimalist, Hands and Heart would be the essential coffee stop for you. Though the café turned out to be very much smaller than imagined from photos online, the Teshima Art Museum-inspired décor more than made up for it. I was impressed by how the café was relatively quiet despite there being a full-house. Turns out that it is possible to do work or read a book on a Sunday in a Bangkok café.

 
IMG_7892 edit

Just like Slow Café, the food menu here offers only light snacks. The coffee menu is kept simple with an emphasis on their hand brewed coffees. My friend had the Dirty Heart (THB120, SGD4.65) which comprised a shot of espresso poured over pudding. She called it interesting. Hmm. For myself, I ordered the Clean Hand (THB120, SGD4.65), a cold, smooth latte with salted caramel “dripping” all over the cup. You’re likely to get your fingers a little sticky but it’s worth the delight, I promise.

IMG_2455 edit

Note: More suitable for small groups. And be sure to keep your voices low!

33 Sukhumvit 38 Alley, Bangkok 10110

BTS Station: Thong Lo

Opens 7am – 9pm daily

IMG_2494 edit

  1. Demi Concept

Meanwhile, the matcha soft serve trend is taking over Bangkok by storm. The most photogenic of them all is probably the Charcoal and Green Tea Soft Serve with Chocolate Cone (THB95, SGD3.4) from Demi Concept. Unlike the other eateries serving green tea soft serve, Demi Concept is a food truck with a permanent spot (as of now) outside The Platinum Fashion Mall. To be frank, the uji matcha flavour could be more distinct and the vanilla charcoal was just alright. But having it under the sweltering sun and humidity was a joy in itself. Even more so after rounds of shopping in the mall.

IMG_2491 edit

Note: Melts almost instantaneously, so whip out your cameras first!

Outside The Platinum Fashion Mall (222 Phetchaburi Road)

BTS Station: Chit Lom

Opens Thu to Mon 1pm – 9pm

IMG_2457 edit

  1. Casa Lapin x26

Occupying the same compound as a flower shop, hostel and co-working space is Casa Lapin x26, the fourth branch of Casa Lapin. Since the flower shop takes up the front of the café, the entrance of flowers and wooden benches creates a lovely and inviting garden theme. The café itself is dim with yellow lighting and gives off a feeling of a cosy nook. It is also good for large groups, what with its long sofa seats.

IMG_2463 edit

IMG_2464 edit

IMG_2487 edit

We shared a Spicy Carbonara Spaghetti (THB240, SGD9.3) which came with an egg, bacon, garlic, dry chilli and parmesan cheese. The base is not as creamy as other carbonaras which made it not as heavy, and the dry chilli gave a good, spicy kick that did not overpower the carbonara. It felt like a good cross between an aglio olio and carbonara. Incredibly affordable for a pretty good pasta.

IMG_2469 edit

IMG_2465 edit

IMG_2459 edit

Note: You might want to take a mini tour of the hostel lobby and co-working space. Instagrammable spots lay ahead!

IMG_2479 edit

Sukhumvit Soi 26, Bangkok 10110

BTS Station: Phrom Phong

Opens Mon to Thu 7.30am – 10pm, Fri to Sun 7.30am – 12am

IMG_2516 edit

       Additional: Bake Cheese Tart

This one’s dedicated to the Singaporeans who don’t believe in queuing 2 hours or so for Cheese Tarts (THB80, SGD3.1 for 1 piece, THB450, SGD17.4 for box of 6). At the Bangkok branches, waiting times don’t last more than several minutes and sometimes there may be no queue at all.

IMG_2530 edit

Note: The texture of the tarts changes after refrigeration. Advice is to try one on the spot while the core is still creamy and molten. The tarts taste more like cheese cakes after keeping them in the fridge.

7th Floor of Central World (999/9 Rama I Road)

BTS Station: Chit Lom

1st Floor of EmQuartier (637 Sukhumvit Road)

BTS Station: Phrom Phong

Opens 10am – 10pm daily

UsQuBa Scottish Restaurant & Bar

Fancy something more adventurous, like a new cuisine in the Marina Bay area? Not many of you would have tried Scottish cuisine in Singapore. In fact, the only other eatery serving Scottish food I’ve heard of is The Highlander. With the newly opened UsQuBa Scottish Restaurant & Bar in One Fullerton, you might just want to consider it as another fine dining option besides the usual western or Chinese fare along that stretch. Helmed by executive chef Guven Uyanik, UsQuBa presents New Scottish cuisine using French cooking techniques with an Asian touch.

IMG_1725 edit

The restaurant emits a casually swanky kind of vibe, with carpeted floors, plump orange sofas and mahogany tables. There is even a more private dining area at the back that has a better view overlooking the river and MBS. What really caught my attention though was their long bar which features a curated selection of whisky, artisanal gins and craft beers.

IMG_1723 edit

IMG_1643 edit

After a round of cocktails and focaccia with cherry tomatoes and topped with shaved truffle, we were ready to start with a few starters on the menu. It seemed impossible to pick a favourite out of the three – they were equally as competent as the others.

IMG_1681 edit

For a refreshing start, go for the Orkney Islands Scallop Ceviche ($25) with compressed cucumber and apple, horseradish snow and sea urchin. The sweetness and juiciness of the scallops prove how fresh they are.

IMG_1699 edit

The Seared Foie Gras ($21) is made a tad interesting since it’s paired with spiced persimmon, pickled apple and a slice of waffle. Some of us were unsure about the purpose of the waffle though. Nonetheless the foie gras was seared perfectly.

IMG_1692 edit

The Lobster Ravioli Soup was divine, especially with that lobster broth that we polished off in no time.

IMG_1712 edit

Another round of cocktails – we tried one of their signatures this time, B.O.B the G.O.A.T ($30), consisting of Arbikie Highland Estate Kirsty’s gin, Fever Tree Indian tonic water, black pepper and blueberries. This is a must try for the gin and tonic lovers out there.

IMG_1718 edit

Moving on to the mains, we had the Duet of Aberdeen Angus Beef ($56) – grilled tenderloin, braised short ribs, plum jus. The braised short ribs at the side stole the limelight of this dish, what with its tenderness, causing the ribs to melt in your mouth. We were expecting more from the grilled tenderloin which we felt was a little tough.

IMG_1759 edit

It was my first time tasting pigeon and it probably says a lot when I say that I loved the Baked Pigeon ($32 for half, $46 for whole) with calamari, peas and squid ink sauce. We agreed this was our favourite among the main courses we had. Underneath that golden brown skin was meat that was very moist, tender and silky tasting. It also turned out to be very smooth on the palate.

IMG_1726 edit

IMG_1735 edit

The UsQuBa Fish and Chips ($32) – Sous vide cod, mushy peas and mint, pommes maxim.

IMG_1765 edit

Another favourite of the bunch of us is the Butter Poached Lobster ($58) with peaches, beetroot, fennel salad and lobster jus.

IMG_1772 edit

IMG_1788 edit

Desserts were alright, although we wished that more Scottish influences could be infused into them. The Tastings of Strawberry ($15) comprises pistachio cream sandwiched between pistachio biscuits, strawberry sorbet and strawberry juice. Meanwhile, the Chocolate Delice ($15) was a more memorable dessert for me, what with the scoop of coffee flavoured Bailey’s ice cream which paired so well with the small but rich slice of chocolate cake. Pair it with one of their dessert wines if you would like!

Not a drinks expert, but I can tell that the bar here alone could be another reason for many to visit.  Or for me to revisit…

Special thanks to UsQuba and Jill for the invite.

 

One Fullerton

1 Fullerton Road, #02-03B/04

Singapore 049213

Opens 11.30am – 2.30pm daily for lunch, 6pm – 10.30pm daily for dinner

1st Pokemon Cafe in Singapore – Here’s a preview of the menu!

If you’ve not heard about it by now, here it is – the 1st Pokemon cafe in Southeast Asia is set to open at Singapore’s PARCO Bugis Junction (4th floor) from 27th May (Fri) – 31st July (Sun). Opening hours are 11am to 9.30pm (last order) daily.

pokemoncafe2

Battle on Pikachu! Level-up with Rare Candy! ($20) – Beef patty and mashed potatoes covered with crepe, Pikachu with ears made of monaka, vegetables shaped like Pokeballs

pokemoncafe4

Pikachu Latte Hot ($8) – Served with a biscuit shaped like Pikachu’s tail

pokemoncafe5

Pikachu Latte Iced ($9)

pokemoncafe6

Pikachu Smiling Rice Omelette with Magma Sauce! ($25) – Saffron rice shaped like Pikachu’s face, omelette shaped into Pikachu’s ears, Primal Groudon’s magma sauce. Comes with a separate original Pokeball mug for you to bring home!

pokemoncafe7

Pikachu’s “Thunder Shock” Parfait ($15) – Fluffy and crackling cotton candy ball, sponge cake

pokemoncafe8

Pikachu’s Sweeeeet Pancake ($20) – Monaka shaped like Pikachu’s ears, Pikachu’s face-imprinted pancake, maple syrup (from the mug). Also comes with a separate original Pokeball mug for you to bring home!

pokemoncafe9

Pokeball Cream Puff ($20) – Cream puff, cotton candy, chocolate pen

pokemoncafe10

For takeaway only! Pokeball Cream Puff ($5.90 each, $20.90 for box of 4) – Crispy puff with soft custard filling

pokemoncafe11

Mix Au Lait ($8) – Inspired by Pokemon’s “Lemonade”

pokemoncafe133

Special Move “Fire Blast”! Primal Groudon’s Bolognese ($20)

unspecified

“Volt Tackle” Soda ($10) – Passionfruit soda with mango sherbet

pokemoncafe12

Soda Pop ($8) – Inspired by Pokemon’s “Soda Pop”

Besides the above food and beverages, there will also be original goods like tshirts, clear files, cotton tote bags, memo pads, post-it pads, stickers, badges, key holders and more on sale. Will you catch ’em all?

All photos credit to Pokemon Cafe Singapore and PARCO Singapore.

Savour 2016

IMG_1419 edit

If you’re still looking for that one place to brunch at tomorrow, you might want to head down to Savour 2016 for their last day of event! Have been there twice in the past few days and I must say that the queues are definitely shorter in the day than night, so it’s good to be there early. Yes, entry is complimentary and it’s a full day event from 11am – 8pm tomorrow. Location is at Bayfront Avenue, just next to Marina Bay Sands and you can get there easily via Bayfront MRT Exit A. Here are some highlights:

Artichoke

IMG_1417 edit

MUST TRY! Artichoke Fried Chicken ($12) – Truffled Hummus, Honey, Pickles, Shaved Haloumi. Crisp skin, uber juicy and tender meat within. Nuff said. P.S. The actual portion is that of two chicken wings.

IMG_1412 edit

Foie-ffle – Corn Waffle, Foie Gras Butter, Orange Blossom, Golden Syrup ($12)

Buona Terra

IMG_1454 edit

Homemade Tagliolini, Mushrooms, Saffron, Parmesan and Black Truffle ($12)

IMG_1462 edit

Nougat Parfait with Sweet Wine Sauce ($6)

Cato

IMG_1469 e dit

Pan Seared Black Cod with Salted Egg Veloute and Fennel Salad ($12)

IMG_1471 edit

Coconut Panna Cotta with Below Zero Apple Mousse and Gula Melaka Crumble ($6)

Saveur Art

IMG_1495  edit

MUST TRY! Egg Confit, Truffled Potato Mousseline, Macadamia Nuts, Brown Butter ($6)

Tropical, Passion Fruit Sorbet, Mango Curd, Roasted Penja Pineapples, Coconut Sable, Cream ($6). An incredibly refreshing treat in the heat.

Lower East Side

IMG_1441 edit

Jamaican Spiced Chicken Taco, Pineapple and Mango Salsa ($6). Decent, but nothing to shout about.

Gattopardo

Raviolone ($12) – Homemade Raviola with Rosso di Mazara, Burrata and Summer Black Truffle

IMG_1511 edit

MUST TRY! Paninazzo Italiano ($6) – Braised Wagyu Beef Burger, Sicilian Tomoato, Fresh Pecorino Cheese and Spicy Mustard. Between the raviolone and wagyu beef burger, I say go for the latter for that firm, moist wagyu patty. One of the better burgers out there!

 

Bar-A-Thym

IMG_1478 edit
Wagyu Striploin, Mushrooms, Beans and Truffles ($12)

IMG_1490 edit

Valrhona Chocolate Mousse, Passion Fruit and Almond Crumble ($6). This is one darn good, thick and substantial chocolate mousse.

Labyrinth

Labyrinth Chilli Crab ($12) – Tempura Soft Shell Crab, Chilli Ice Cream, Caviar

IMG_1448 edit

MUST TRY! Siew Yoke Umami Rice ($12) – Roasted Pork Belly, Crispy Nori, Japanese Umami Rice

Drinks-wise, a central Badoit booth hands out free sparkling water, a Harry’s pop out offers some booze and a mini Martell bar makes some potent cocktails out of Martell. My favourite cocktail is the Cucumber Cooler!

Special thanks to the Savour team for the invite.

5 Cafes to Visit in Seoul

IMG_9397 edit

  1. Takeout Drawing – For inventive AND organic desserts and beverages

(Read the full review here)

Fancy a very instagrammable cup of coffee? Then the Paul’s Meringue Factory (KRW7500, SGD8.80) from Takeout Drawing is sure to draw attention from your followers. Albeit small, this cutesy cup of espresso with milk topped with a meringue cookie scores in aesthetics. The two-storied café is also full of instagram-worthy corners and walls for that shot. I guess no fancy latte art this time round!

IMG_9422 edit

IMG_9408 edit

For dessert, I had the Green Tea Dacquoise Cake (KRW8000, SGD9.30) which was decent except for the icy lump of cream in the middle. Good thing that most of the ingredients used for the drinks and desserts here are organic.

IMG_9394 edit

IMG_9435 edit

683-139 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu

Hangangjin Subway Station Exit 6

Mon – Fri 11am – 11pm

Sat & Sun 12pm – 11pm

IMG_9214 edit

  1. Chansbros 2 – For good coffee in a charming yet quiet spot

Chansbros 2 is the second outlet of Chansbros Coffee which is further down the main road. It’s a little hike up a small hill to the second outlet, but all worth the trip as well. Unlike the flagship which boasts a wooden theme, Chansbros 2 features white-washed walls and gives off a minimal feel. This cafe is perfect for solitary reading and relaxing.

IMG_9208 edit

IMG_9217 edit

I noticed that coffee in Seoul is not cheap, being slightly pricier than that in Singapore. But my Cappuccino (KRW5000, SGD5.85) was smooth and full-bodied, without a bitter aftertaste. So I left feeling satisfied more than ever.

IMG_9223 edit

31 Noksapyeong-daero 40-gil, Yongsan-gu

Level 4

Noksapyeong Subway Station Exit 2

Mon, Wed – Sun 9am – 11pm (closed on Tue)

IMG_9239 edit

  1. Beliefcoffee Roasters – For lovers of brick walls and industrial spaces

Over here, it seems as though you will never run out of hipster corners to photograph. From an area completely filled with natural light streaming in through a see-through ceiling to concrete walls lined with shelves of coffee equipment, this café is a wonder to explore. Don’t forget to check out the basement as well… this place is huge, by the way.

IMG_9248 edit

IMG_9244 edit

IMG_9264 edit

IMG_9265 edit

For a café that roasts its own beans, you can also expect coffee to be taken pretty seriously here. They also try different blends. No food is served here once again other than some pastries and an array of macarons. Pairing with my Latte (KRW5500, SGD$6.40) were the yuzu and lavender macarons which were surpisingly good, we belief. Pardon for bad grammar.

IMG_9250 edit

IMG_9253 edit

IMG_9257 edit

39 Yanghwa-ro 7-gil, Mapo-gu

Hapjeong Subway Station Exit 2

9.30am – 11.30pm daily

IMG_9119 edit

  1. Felt – For the minimalist

I think I found my haven, for this café is white, white and all white. A sleek white Slayer Espresso machine sits atop a white coffee counter together with white acaia coffee scales, and all of these fit perfectly against a backdrop of white-washed walls. Talk about minimalism – there is only a communal bench for visitors and only coffee is served here.

IMG_9098 edit

IMG_9115 edit

IMG_9124 edit

IMG_9105 edit

I had the Mocha (KRW6000, $7.10) here which was decent, but I wished they didn’t put sweet chocolate sprinkles on my coffee which hid its true flavor. It is kind of pricey for a mocha too. Perhaps I should have opted for the Latte (KRW3500, $4.10) instead.

IMG_9112 edit

2-47 Changjeon-dong, Mapo-gu

Seogangdae Subway Station Exit 2

Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm

Sat & Sun 11am – 6pm

IMG_9287 edit

  1. Mr. Holmes Bakehouse – For girly desserts with your girlfriends

(Full review coming soon)

Too many cafes to choose from while wandering in Garosugil? Then you might want to drop by Mr Holmes Bakehouse, which originates from San Francisco. This outlet in Seoul is the only one outside of the United States.

IMG_9299 edit

IMG_9317 edit
For something more interesting besides the prettier-than-average Scone (KRW3800, SGD4.50) we had, go for the Cruffin (KRW6000, SGD7.10) and Brioche Donut (KRW3800, SGD4.50), both of which are sold in different flavors each day. You can even check out their instagram @mrholmesbakehouse_kr to know the flavors in advance. We had a grape-flavored cruffin (croissant + muffin) and a blueberry and coconut brioche donut that day. Now time to get your instagram video or snapchat ready!

IMG_9292 edit

IMG_9324 edit

34 Apgujeong-ro 10-gil, Gangnam-gu

Sinsa Subway Station Exit 8

10am – 10.30pm daily

Seoul 2016 – 5 Things You Must Try

A month since my Korea trip, and I’m still hung up on everything I ate there… from my simple triangle kimbap breakfasts to hearty barbecued meats. Even Churros 101 felt like heaven on a 1 degree Celsius night out shopping. P.S. Watch out for photo spam ahead.

1. Korean street food – Forget gloves and heat packs. All you need is Korean street food to keep both your lips and tummy warm while you shop along the streets of Myeongdong. For instagram-worthiness, the tornado potato or the twister potato is a must (got mine dipped in cheese). For something luxurious, try the grilled eel which the vendors will blow-torch in front of you. And yes, it was tasty as hell. For the sweet teeth, there are items like my favourite honey or red bean hotteok (filled Korean pancake) and crazily tall soft serve ice creams.

IMG_8974 edit

IMG_8977 edit

IMG_8983 edit

IMG_9045 edit

IMG_9044 edit

IMG_9046 edit

IMG_9057 edit

IMG_9048 edit

IMG_9059 edit

IMG_9069 edit

2. Authentic Korean BBQ – Be ready to revel in the buzz of nondescript barbecue restaurants. The voices of grown (and possibly drunk) Korean men may be slightly off-putting and you may leave with a less than pleasant smell on your clothes, but trust me, you will miss this experience. Mapo Jeongdaepo – 183-8 Dohwa-dong, Mapo-gu. Gongdeok subway station exit 8. 11am – 2pm daily.

IMG_9088 edit

IMG_9074 edit

IMG_9079 edit

3. Hipster cafes – A must for coffee lovers and especially the café-hopping instagrammers out there. Sadly, coffee in Seoul is a little pricier than that in Singapore, but go for the quality and experience anyway. Out of the many cups I’ve had there, I did not get disappointed by any one of them. I was also amazed by the work put into the interiors of the cafes there, and just how they have gigantic units for cafes. I say ‘gigantic’ in comparison to our local cafes. Read my guide to 5 Cafes to Visit in Seoul here.

IMG_9263 edit

IMG_9093 edit

4. Sweet treats you won’t find better elsewhere – Who says only the Japanese do great stuff with green tea? The renowned green tea desserts at O’sulloc Tea House are not only refreshing but are light on the tastebuds and are not cloyingly sweet. Don’t forget to pack some jars of green tea milk spread home! O’sulloc Tea House – 12, Myeongdong 7-gil, Jung-gu. Myeongdong subway station exit 6. Sun – Thu 9am – 10.30pm, Fri & Sat 9am – 11pm. We also chanced upon this quaint little store in Garosu-gil selling mochi fruits, and they looked as pretty as they tasted. Mochi Story. Made by Minsu – 2F, 40, Gangnam-daero 152-gil, Gangnam-gu. Sinsa subway station exit 8. 10am – 9pm daily.

IMG_9013 edit

IMG_9030 edit

IMG_9007 edit

IMG_9331 edit

IMG_9339 edit

5. Western brunch – I know it’s hard to ever get sick of Korean street and traditional food, but a superb western brunch should never be missed. Bills restaurant which has Aussie origins opened two restaurants in Seoul not too long ago, and is a brunch haven for many Koreans. Recommended items are the Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana and Honeycomb Butter and the Full Aussie. Check out my full review here. Bills – 1F Lotte World Mall, 300 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu. Jamsil subway station exit 11. 8am – 11pm daily.

IMG_9133 edit

IMG_9182 edit

IMG_9153 edit

IMG_9162 edit

IMG_9184 edit

IMG_9200 edit

Some other places I ate at in Seoul:

Andongjang – For Korean Chinese comfort food. Specializes in jjajangmyeon (thick noodles with black soybean paste) and tangsuyuk (sweet and sour pork). 315-18 Euljiro 3-ga, Jung-gu. Euljiro 3-ga subway station exit 10. Mon – Fri 11.30am – 9.30pm, Sat 11.30am – 9pm, Sun 11.30am – 8pm.

Chuncheonjip Dakgalbi Makguksu – Order the cheese dakgalbi set and get drooling! Specializes in dakgalbi (spicy, boneless grilled chicken). 1, Yonsei-ro 5ga-gil, Seodaemun-gu. Sinchon subway station exit 1. 10am – 6am daily.

Elbon the Table – Owned by South Korean celebrity chef Choi Hyun Seok. One of my most memorable fine dining experiences till date, where every course felt like a main course and we were simply stuffed to the brim. Also featured on the latest episode of Running Man (Ep 291, the restaurant Gary and Jihyo went to). Specializes in modern European cuisine with a Korean twist. 530-5, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu. Apgujeong subway station exit 6. Mon – Fri 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm, Sat 12pm – 11pm, Sun 12pm – 10pm.

HanCook – A Korean buffet restaurant in N Seoul Tower. A truly romantic place for dinner, what with the panoramic view of Seoul. 1F, N Seoul Tower, 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu. Myeongdong subway station exit 3. 11am – 11pm daily.

Maple Tree House – Where I had one of the best beefs of my life. Specializes in hanwoo (Korean beef). BF1 Mokhwa Milart, 113, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu. Gangnam subway station exit 1 or 12. Mon – Sat 11.30am – 11.30pm.

Samgeori Butchers – A must-visit for YG fans. Bigbang, 2NE1, Winner and Lee Hi have all visited before. Epik High’s studio is also right across. Specializes in barbecued pork. 1F, 361-10, Segyo-dong, Mapo-gu. Sangsu subway station exit 1. 11.30am – 2am daily.

Easter Brunch Extravaganza at The Knolls, Capella

IMG_0423 edit

No plans for Easter Sunday yet? The Knolls at Capella warmly welcomes you to their Easter extravaganza this year featuring a free flow Sunday brunch buffet and an Easter egg hunt with enticing prizes to be won. (First prize is a one night stay in a one-bedroom garden villa, second prize is a nespresso machine and the third prize is a Sunday brunch for two adults and one child.) Headed down to the preview just last weekend and I must say that the brunch experience there was one of the best I’ve ever had!

IMG_0391 edit

IMG_0382 edit

For the savoury side, the meats station has got to be my favourite.

IMG_0375 edit

And for the seafood lovers out there, no extra words are needed I presume….

IMG_0389 edit

Mojitos and margaritas!!

IMG_0385 edit

More savoury stuff there include a cured meats station (with so many types of salami, pastrami… you name it), a large station dedicated to French breads (the croissants are recommended), cold salads and fresh sushi and sashimi.

IMG_0430 edit

We also had a great time being entertained by Capella’s culinary director David Senia who was full of jokes and warm hospitality. He even prepared this memorable foie gras crumble pastry for us that day.

IMG_0415 edit

If you feel that you are getting way too stuffed, it’s time to fill your second stomach with the impressive array of desserts. What still linger in my mind are the chocolate-based cakes and tarts. Surprisingly, The Knolls whip up some pretty good churros that can go on par with my favourite ones from authentic Spanish restaurants, so don’t skip them.

IMG_0398 edit

And so we gradually slipped into a massive food and drinks coma, which is a state I wish I could be in every Sunday.

 

Date: 27 March 2016

Time: 12.30pm – 3pm

Venue: Grand Ballroom

Prices: $78++ per child (4-6 y/o) with free flow specialty mocktails, soft drinks and fresh juices

$118++ per child (7-12 y/o) with free flow specialty mocktails, soft drinks and fresh juices

$188++ per adult with free flow specialty mocktails, soft drinks and fresh juices

$228++ per adult with free flow Magnum Taittinger champagne, wines, specialty cocktails & international beers

$258++ per adult with free flow Vintage Taittinger champagne, boutique wines & international beers

For more information or to make your reservation, please contact The Knolls at 6591 5046.

Thanks to Melissa and Capella Singapore for the invite.

 

1 The Knolls

Sentosa Island

Singapore 098297

Hyde & Co. – New brunch offerings!

IMG_8947 edit

It has been ages since my last post on Hyde & Co., and since then the menu has undergone tons of facelifts and improvements to suit the local palate more. The latest revamp would be that of their brunch menu (which is only served on weekends!) including both savoury and sweet treats.

IMG_8894 edit

Let the chicken and waffles war begin. Hyde & Co. also dishes out their own rendition of the Har Cheong Gai Waffle ($17) comprising prawn paste fried chicken on waffle, honey dijon syrup, fried egg and fries. That is a whole lot of savoury goodness for just 17 bucks.

IMG_8934 edit

IMG_8944 edit

Because pour shots will never be out of trend. Inspired from the local delight, the Ondeh Ondeh French Toast ($12) – brioche french toast, grated pandan coconut, gula melaka sauce, vanilla bean ice cream is for the coconut and gula melaka lovers out there.

IMG_8919 edit

IMG_8917 edit

I have a strong belief that Hyde & Co. serves one of the better pancakes out there and the new Banana Walnut Pancakes ($12) is yet another testament to that. The batter used for the buttermilk pancakes has always been consistent and the relative thinness of the pancakes makes it hard for anyone to get sick of them. Also served with banana, walnuts, cornflakes, vanilla bean ice cream and butterscotch drizzle.

IMG_8953 edit

Due to the many tai tais requesting for high tea to be served, the Sunday Hyde Tea ($38 per set, serves two) was launched and is sadly only available on Sundays. On the savoury tier of this two-tiered high tea set are chili crab crackers, mini smoked salmon sandwiches and pulled beef brisket mantous. Amongst these, the pulled beef brisket mantous adapted from their discontinued pulled pork mantous were our favourite. Really liked how the mantous are now a lot fluffier on the inside yet maintaining a crisp exterior. The pulled beef is also marinated in a homemade BBQ sauce that is not overly salty.

And then on the sweet tier you’ll find home-baked scones (including a pretty red velvet scone with cream cheese on the side to dip), Victorian sponge cakes & brownie squares. The set also comes with a pot of artisanal tea.

Hyde & Co. fills up really fast on the weekends especially, so be sure to make your reservations early.

Thanks to Derrick of Hyde & Co. for the invite!

 

785 North Bridge Road

Singapore 198753

Sun to Mon 11am – 6pm

Wed to Sat 11am – 10.30pm

Atlas Coffeehouse

IMG_8431 edit

Fans of Assembly Coffee were certainly not underwhelmed by their new venture, Atlas Coffeehouse. Within one week of operations, the entire café was packed to the brim (with a queue outside) on a Sunday when I went on my second visit. In the end, I had to settle for seats by the counter. Look out for the very cool owner, Daphne, pulling shots by the coffee machine.

IMG_8364 edit

Interior wise, Atlas’s much bigger space gives it an edge over Assembly Coffee where I always had squeeze between tables. Minus the louder echoes at Atlas. The brunch menu is also more extensive, serving up stews, pancake, French toast, egg dishes, and last but not the least, Assembly Coffee’s signature buttermilk waffles (one of the best in Singapore). Check out their new flavor Candied Bacon ($14).

IMG_8396 edit

As expected, coffee here did not disappoint, but oddly enough, I felt that the coffees I had in the past at Assembly were smoother and less bitter. I tried the Flat White ($4.5) and I believe that other cafes usually price them between $0.50 to $1.50 more than the price here. Hmmm.

IMG_8409 edit

IMG_8413 edit

The Nutella Brioche French Toast ($15) served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and maple drizzle is quite jaw-dropping dish. Its portion makes it impossible to be finished alone, no matter how big a chocolate or nutella addict you are. The amount of nutella between the two slices of French toast is no joke. The winning factor for me was the brioche French toast which proved to be soft, fluffy and very moist. Ah so sinful.

IMG_8403 edit

A much lighter and healthier option for brunch here would be the Salmon Soba Noodles ($17) – house made yogurt dressed on poached salmon served on soba noodles, roasted shimeji mushrooms and fried egg. The house made yogurt was less thick and dense than yogurt and felt more like a lemon dill sauce which was refreshing to pair with the salmon and soba. Would love to see an option to switch out the fried sunny side up for poached eggs too.

IMG_8430 edit

Amongst the three main dishes we had that day, my friend and I agreed that our favourite was the Atlas Butterscotch Banana Pancake ($18), served with honeycomb icec cream. It seems more like a hotcake though. Unlike ricotta hotcakes, this pancake was less buttery and milky and came with a tinge of saltiness that paired well with the sweet caramelized bananas and house made butterscotch sauce. This pancake is also one of the airiest and fluffiest I’ve had in cafes. Aesthetically, it may not look as good as the pretty berry ricotta hotcakes around but taste-wise, it happens to be the opposite. Despite the huge portion size, it was not overly heavy and ‘gelat’ like the nutella French toast.

IMG_8419 edit

I’ve also heard good things about their Summer Chicken Stew ($17) and Creamy Mushrooms on Sourdough ($12), so I’ll definitely be back to try those items. Let’s hope the new cafes this year do food as well and as affordable (considering the huge portion sizes) as Atlas Coffeehouse.

 

6 Duke’s Road

Singapore 268886

Tues to Sun 8am – 7pm

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,241 other followers

%d bloggers like this: