Tag Archives: brunch

The Lokal

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So, so so many new cafes in Singapore. (too many?) There came to a point in time where I was coming to know about a new cafe each day without fail,  be it through Instagram, blogger friends or the world wide web in general. Pretty sure this influx of new cafes started in June or so, leaving us bloggers in a frenzy where we scurry off to as many of those hideouts as possible.

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Brought to you by Sarnies, The Lokal is Australian-inspired and has so far gotten the nod from food bloggers and cafe hoppers alike. The space is dim, with some light filtering in through a few windows by some tables. Indie vibes checked. Good thing’s that the layout is well-suited to pack people in groups of 4-5 without compromising much on spatial assets. We checked this place out just this Friday for lunch when the lunch menu was served from 11am onwards. Served from 8am to 11am is the breakfast menu which looked promising and fulfilling as well.

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Coffee here was such a delight. I had the cappuccino ($5.50) – smooth, aromatic, right acidity, no bitter aftertaste. Even the latte art’s on point! On the drinks menu there are also smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, teas and sodas so fret not, non-caffeine takers.

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My dish consists of smashed avocado, homemade ricotta cheese, pomelo and toasted almonds on sourdough ($18). A tad pricey though considering the small portion. It’s plain but it makes for something light and healthy on the palate. I’m especially recommending this to all the avocado lovers out there. And P.S. they do place some emphasis on the fact that they make the ricotta from scratch.

Another refreshing and light choice would be the Pita sabich sandwich filled with grilled aubergine, tomato, cucumber, boiled egg and hummus ($16). My friend thinks that the hummus makes this colorful dish tastes less simple as a vegetarian option.

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We also tried the Roast chicken panini with crispy pancetta, tomato, avocado cos and aioli ($15) – coming in a surprisingly bigger portion than the avocado dish. Those with larger stomachs should therefore opt for their sandwiches/burger. The Roast beef on rye, caramelized onions, watercress & grain mustard creme fraiche ($17) and Schnitzel burger, red slaw, grilled pineapple, Emmenthal cheese, lettuce, anchovy mayo on a sesame seed bun served with chunky chips ($28) are yet two other tantalizing alternatives.

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Do not leave without satisfying your sweet tooth. Both the Sticky date pudding with caramelized sauce & vanilla ice cream ($12) and Banana cake with caramelized bananas & hokey pokey ice cream ($12) called out to us so we had both. Between the two, our favorite was the banana cake which felt somewhat like a french toast. The cake was soft but substantial enough to be soaked in syrup that didn’t make it too soggy. I loved how it’s not too cloyingly sweet. Meanwhile, the sticky date pudding, though decent, was pretty average. I would prefer a spongier pudding which would soak up some butterscotch sauce instead of their version which was too dense for my liking.

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Overall verdict? I’m giving the nod too. This is one promising establishment amongst the whole new lot of them – friendly service, quality grub. They so deserve another trip down.

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136 Neil Road

Singapore 088865

Mon – Fri 8am to 6pm

Sat & Sun 9am to 4pm

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House, Dempsey – The Essential Brunch

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I mean it when I say that House is the essential brunch place. It’s almost been exactly two years since I last stepped foot into this quirky cafe-restaurant. (P.S. you can refer to my 2-year-old review here. Still can’t believe I took those photos though.) Everything felt familiar and it feels as though I’m visiting an old friend of mine. The mismatched furniture, though the same and not replaced, feels irreplaceable instead. How should I describe it? It’s like Alice in Wonderland.  From a homely dining area lined by bookshelves to a cosy tent installment to dining in the outdoors garden, it’s no wonder why some people don’t ever tire of patronizing.

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During my past visit here I tried their legendary truffle fries (my favorite thus far). Since then, they’ve introduced 4 new types of fries to whet your appetite: Pumpkin hazelnut, truffle taro, curry mustard and carrot fennel. So so tough a decision to make on just one since there were only 2 of us.  In the end we went for the Truffle Taro Fries which were straw-cut and a lot thinner than potato fries. As expected, the truffle oil was very aromatic. *inserts relevant emoji*

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House Pancakes used to be a 7-layer pancake stack which I’ve always wanted to try, however after the menu revamp the pancakes are now a more “down-to-earth” version. Inspired by the pavlova, the pancakes are topped with kiwi, passionfruit and strawberries and then drizzled with chocolate sauce. The combination comes across as a tad unsuitable but it turned out well.

I didn’t get to try much of the Black Pepper Prawns with Sweet Corn Salsa and Sunny Side-Up but there’s one thing I’m certain about it: the prawns are really fresh and the sunny side-up is fried with organic eggs.

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The dessert menu at House is even more so recently revamped. On a more accurate note, it is a new dessert menu. Yet again, it’s a dilemma with 10 tantalizing options…

At $15, the Salted Caramel Toastie may not be the most worthy for money dessert considering it just a toast topped with a scoop of ice cream. But it’s more than that. The toasted brioche was as good as brioche can get. Having caramelized walnuts to go along with the toastie upped the level of crunchiness and crispiness. That scoop of caramel biscuit ice cream fared well too, except that it melted all too quickly.

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A petite delight was the Warm Chocolate Toffee Cake, which came out pretty moist and fluffy like a sticky pudding.

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I must say that I was pretty shocked some perennial favorites from the old menu like the strawberry shortcake were removed. Still, the new options all sound promising and if I had the space for more, I’d definitely go for the banana coconut pecan cake.. and possibly a slice of lemon curd cheesecake. Apart from that, I’m grateful for the fact that weekend brunches here remain lovely.

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8D Dempsey Road

Singapore 249672

Monday – Thursday 12pm – 11pm

Friday 12pm – 12am

Saturday 11am – 12am

Sunday 9am – 11pm

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Arbite – a hearty brunch

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Arbite is no newcomer to the list of popular brunch places in Singapore. It’s cosy interiors created by wooden furniture in a white space is no doubt a less formal, more chillax place for heartlanders to have gatherings there especially on weekends. The view overlooking Serangoon Gardens may not be posh but it certainly made the place look airy.
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I jumped straight into my order immediately. With such a pretty name, the Sea Salt Banana Pancakes ($14.90) was a definite call. With huge chunks of banana heavily caramelized in between the pancakes, you’ll never have to endure an overload of plain, boring pancakes. What’s more, the plate is rimmed with caramel sauce, berries and nuts.
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In my opinion many brunch places have mediocre breakfast sets with a random mixture of sausages, eggs….. but even till now, the Arbite Breakfast ($12.90) lingers in my cravings  with a note set in my memory. A good spread indeed: veal bratwurst which was tender to my liking, greens, bacon, mushrooms, fried potato balls, a nicely grilled tomato, soft brioche and of course truffle eggs (additional $3). Even though I preferred truffle on fries, I must agree that truffle on anything is still good.
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The Truffle Fries ($10.90) here are of a thicker cut. The hints of truffle salt and oil are barely there on the fries, they’re mostly hidden in the truffle mayonnaise. So don’t forget to dip them in!
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By that time, the both of us were pretty full from such a hearty and filling brunch. Yet, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity for desserts since they sound delicious by descriptions on the menu. Sadly, My Wife’s Chocolate Cake ($8) was quite a disappointment. I would think that a wife has better standards for her chocolate cake. It was undeniably dry and normal with no kick to it. I can imagine a sallow-faced wife.

 

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Lucky for Arbite’s Gula Melaka Tiramisu ($8) which saved the day. Having a gula melaka mascarpone made the dessert extra sweet but I’m not complaining. Because of the well-infused gula melaka into a tiramisu, it has turned out to be a unique rendition which is not too heavy on the stomach.

The number of tables here are limited but you’ll be happy that Arbite has opened another eatery, A for Arbite at Aliwal Street. Both the concept and menu mimics the original outlet except for its funkier location.

66A Serangoon Garden Way

Tuesdays to Fridays 11.30 am – 3.00 pm     6.00pm – 10.30pm
Saturdays & Sundays  9.00 am – 10.30 pm

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Kith Cafe

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The new (or not that new anymore) branch of Kith Cafe at Park Mall could possibly be one of the biggest trend among cafes currently. A buzz started late last year and as Singaporeans, we go with the trend. Since then, I’ve made 2 visits to Kith Cafe and it’s easy to know why they’ve been popular for quite a while.

Kith Cafe’s strategic, central location at the less crowded Park Mall is a great advantage compared to its older location at Robertson Quay. The area is also much bigger with both indoor and outdoor seating. The alfresco area was much more appealing to me compared to the indoor area which had an overwhelming cast of yellow hue from ceiling lights, the best part is that it was hands down, one of the best places for food photography.

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To start off the meal, we chose a random side, the Spicy Batter Chicken ($10). It reminded me of a mix of tikka masala and tandoori chicken, only more crisp. A decent chicken dish to munch on while waiting for mains.

On a previous visit, I had their Amatriciana ($16) which was penne with bacon, onion, tomato and parmesan while my friend had another pasta from their lunch specials. Even though alright, I felt they were average and below my expectations. Hence when ordering the Beef Lasagna ($16) on the next visit, I had my reservations. To my delight, it was perfectly smooth, creamy and rich like how I wanted it to be. Even though not cooked in the traditional way, the texture was just right for me.

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Something worthy to note about Kith is that they serve All Day Breakfast till 3pm daily! Green Eggs w/ Toast ($14) is one of the dishes on the breakfast menu and I had that for myself. Relatively a simple breakfast dish, but definitely tasted more than that. It was of scrambled eggs infused with greens instead of the usual side salad together with basil pesto atop fresh tomatoes and toast which smelled of warm butter and buttermilk. Yumm.

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Few desserts are offered at Kith so I opted for the Tiramisu ($7). I wouldn’t have expected it but my tiramisu was nicely done and essentially a good piece of cake for a tiramisu-lover like me.

Other than the bigger space, the menu at Kith Cafe at Park Mall is also much bigger as well, with breakfast items, sides, salads, starters, sandwiches, pastas and a whole lot of beverages. I’ve got a huge eye on cafes that serve everything with consistent quality and I think this place made it to the list. On both occasions I managed to try 3 of their milkshakes altogether (hazelnut nutella, caramel cookie and banana peanut butter) and I loved their richness. Seems crazy though. I’ll gladly pick up other options like their coffee, tea or juices if I ever get back there. Chances are, soon.

 

9 Penang Road

#01-01E

Park Mall

0800 – 2200 dialy

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Privé Bakery Cafe

I have been left a pretty good impression of Prive Cafe & Restaurant by many bloggers who had spread the word about its delightful brunch items and mains from the dinner menu. Since then, I told myself I would be there. So after a few months the effort finally succeeded as made my way to the scenic Keppel Bay.

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Prive is divided into 3 sections, Prive Grill (dinner), Prive Waterfront Bar (late nights) & Prive Cafe (brunch, lunch). Prive Cafe serves comfort Western food including selections from all day breakfast, burgers, pastas, salads, cakes and shakes.

Despite the heat, the choice was made to munch outdoors simply because the view of Reflections @ Keppel Bay, the marina of yachts and clear skies of dotted white on blue seemed to be there for me to admire at. I loved their menu – how it seemed that they managed to use the perfect font for my liking.

We opted for the DIY Omelete ($15), Homestyle Pancakes ($13) and The Ultimate Fish & Chips ($19).
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I chose smoked leg ham to be in the omelete and it was a simple but delightful fare. Alongside with roma tomatoes and toast I would not mind waking up in the morning to the smell of it.
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The pancakes at Prive have been widely known as not just any pancake, but to my disappointment the pancakes were overdone that day hence not being as thick and fluffy. Was I not a starved soul on that sunny afternoon I would have called for another order. As I recount my experience I do yearn for another plate of those.
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Fish and chips was nothing fantastic to rave about which I thought was a pity. That only fed my desire to find the best fish and chips in Singapore.

The selection of cakes, tarts and other desserts were mind-boggling as all of them sounded as equally good as the other on the menu. In the end I decided to play safe and go for the chef’s recommendations of a slice of Carrot Cake ($7) and Oreo Mud Pie ($12).  The Carrot Cake could be a contender of Cedele’s signature carrot cake. Prive’s version was less dense. On the other hand, the oreo mud pie was awesome. Coffee flavoured ice cream was sandwiched between generous oreo bases with chocolate sauce. An explosion of sweetness, it reminded me of architectures of so and so pyramid. Only I call it food architecture.
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Prive. My expectations are 90% satisfied. Until then we shall meet again.

 

Marina at Keppel Bay

2 Keppel Bay Vista

Singapore 098382

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