Tag Archives: western

Le Jardin D’ Antoinette

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Antoinette has been making waves in Singapore with its exclusive dining atmosphere and pastry creations. The inconvenient location of the Penhas outlet, together with the too claustrophobic outlet at Mandarin gallery, has created an imaginary barrier stopping me from stepping into them. Then came the latest outlet at the quiet Palais Renaissance which was simply what I was hoping for.

Themed Versailles, this new hideout could be one of my favorite casual dining places now. My favorite part of this outlet, other than its food, is the roofless gazebo which is stunning and that made up for the fact that there is no view of orchard road from the restaurant. Unfortunately I was unable to secure seats in it (even though it seemed empty and reservation-free the whole time I was dining there).

The menu for Antoinette is extensive and offers all day breakfast, french toast, pancakes, main courses, crepes and their signature pastries and teas. To play safe, I opted for Burger Antoinette – consisting of layers of pan-fried apple, chicken leg patty, house dressing, veggies and chips to go along. Preferably I would pick fries to chips to go with the burger – sometimes it’s best to go with the norm. Yet I liked how the ring of apple was decently good when paired with chicken.
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The Club Honey Baked Ham was more like a sandwich except that it was huge. This one came with omelette and honey baked ham as main ingredients. Less heavy compared to the burger while eating but it makes you equally full.
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Desserts are a must at Antoinette. In fact, I gathered that majority of its patrons want desserts here the most. 3 macarons – Chloe (citrus yogurt and yuzu), Brittany (caramel with fleur de sel) and Passion (Milk chocolate passionfruit ganache). My personal favorite was Chloe. I’ve had many sweet macarons, so I loved how it refreshed and redefined macaron for me. Otherwise, Passion and Brittany were not bad as well.
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It’s a cakes galore at Antoinette. Simply too hard to choose the perfect cake at Antoinette, so I go with my girly instincts on the prettiest one. Saint Honore l’Amour (or just call it rose) is composed with choux pastry, rose petals, raspberry, glaze and strawberries. It was not overly sweet but just the right balance of strawberry and cream.

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Antoinette is definitely one of the places to drop by if you’re in the orchard area. Mandarin gallery’s outlet features dim lighting and royal upholstery while Palais’s is classical, romantic and airy. Reservations are recommended.

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390 Orchard Road

Palais Renaissance

#B1-08/09/10C

1100 – 2200 daily

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Dean & Deluca: All Day Breakfast

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Dean & Deluca has finally reached the shores of Singapore 3 months ago, taking over a small but airy corner of Orchard Central. If unknown to you yet, they are a chain of upscale grocery stores first established in SoHo, then expanding to countries round the globe including Tokyo, Dubai, Taipei and Seoul.
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There was a huge hype about it when it first opened. Despite only visiting the place about a few weeks after its opening, we were still greeted by a snaking queue and eventually managed to grab a table after an hour’s wait. The dining area was rather small, accommodating no more than 20 diners at one go. Next to the dining area is a stretch of retail area for specialty foods. Other than its size, I loved the clean and white space.
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The menu offers breads, pastries, salads, burgers/sandwiches and their popular all day breakfast. I was taken aback by the so many choices I could make, but I picked a pastry, a savory item and a breakfast item.

The Sticky Bun ($3.4) was a great way to start the meal. Topped on a warm, cinnamon bun was nuts with a sticky sweet paste over it. Coupled with a Hot chocolate ($5.5) seemed like the perfect combination. Also, do not forget to try their coffee.
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I saw the mac & cheese ($10) in the glass counter in an odd shape of a cuboid. For $10, it was a rather huge serving. Unfortunately, the cheese was too dry and insufficient to give mac and cheese its flavor. Hence it felt seemingly impossible to finish the entire block.
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The most popular section of its menu would be the all day breakfast. Almost every table had either the french toast or pancakes as I made the observation almost immediately. I had the Berries and flapjacks ($18) which was a work of art. The pancakes were dense and very, very sweet, appearing to have been soaked in buttermilk. The mixed berries were added beautifully and even though my pancakes were not stacked neatly, I could not have asked for more. Others on the menu include caramelized french toast, eggs iberico and new york breakfast.

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After a hearty meal, take a walk down the gourmet grocery section and you can expect to find sweets, chocolates, baking ingredients (like colored sugars), mugs and gift sets. Dean & Deluca remains on my bucket list and I will expect to find myself there again.
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Orchard Central

181 Orchard Road

#04-22/23/24

1100 – 2200 daily

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L’etoile Cafe

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Reading reviews after reviews of L’etoile Cafe got me so excited to hunt it down. There is this joy that cannot be explained when you find a new place on your own, just based on a digital map of grids and grids. But anyways, L’etoile is pretty much accessible from Farrer Park, just a couple of streets away. Being there on a weekday afternoon, I had almost the entire cafe to myself and my eating companion. No wonder it is a favorite hangout for local stars.

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The cafe consists of two storeys, with the first storey being more structured like a cafe and the second storey almost a fairytale-like corner with all sorts of furniture. Many would associate L’etoile cafe with their pretty wall decor of bird cages and tree branches, all beautifully painted by hand. A corner re-enacts the scene of a child’s playroom; another by the windows with lace curtains gives it a classic French environment.

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L’etoile is a Japanese-French indie cafe serving coffees and simple western dishes. There is an all-day breakfast menu much to patrons’ liking including the usual big breakfast ($14.9) and eggs benedict ($12.9). The Banana nutella toast I had was a simple affair but nothing could go wrong with nutella and sliced bananas on toast. Not a thing seemed out of place and it made for a sinful yet fulfilling breakfast.
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Of course, coffees are a must have at indie cafes. I had a cup of latte which came with a piece of old school biscuit. Despite the fact that the coffee was not hot enough for my liking, it was rather a good cup of latte, taste wise. By night, wine is also served, making it a romantic hole. I imagine star and moon gazing through the french windows with laced curtains – I wonder if it is as effective realistically.
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Besides the food, L’etoile cafe is also a lifestyle store with all sorts of cute/quirky items which you can choose to purchase. And also,  reading while dining in l’etoile seemed to be something that everyone did. The place was a great spot to do so.
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160 Owen Road

Tuesday – Friday 1100 to 2200

Saturday – Sunday 0900 to 2200

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The Coastal Settlement

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It took me a long time to figure that I need a food therapy on both the extreme ends of Singapore, which seem to be abundant with food spots. After looking up reviews on the place, together with recommendations from my dear friends, I finally made the move down to The Coastal Settlement – a lonesome cafe sitting atop a barren piece of land among the lush of Changi.

Surprised was I to find that The Coastal Settlement – or what they call themselves as TCS, was bustling with the Sunday brunchers. This was despite the rain and inaccessibility.
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The menu did offer a wide variety. We had Truffle fries ($15) for appetizers – one of my favorite foods after my maiden encounter with it at Barracks Cafe @ Dempsey. The version over here was thicker and crispier.

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My plate of Fettucine bolognese ($24) was huge with a generous serving of cheese of bolognese. Texture wise, I would prefer a spaghetti version compared to the fettucine. I get the idea of an attempt of a special rendition but unfortunately it did not pull off very well. Still, nothing could have gone wrong with bolognese.

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The Cod and chips ($26) was rather normal – akin to missing a key to something.

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On the other hand, the desserts were much more delightful. Accompanied by a scoop of chocolate ice cream, strawberries and bananas, the Waffles ($14) were thick and dense, especially suited for cake-lovers.

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The Sea salt caramel cheesecake ($12) was my hit of the day. The styling of “spewed” caramel won my eyes over first. After that the awesome slice of cake won over my stomach. Let me mention also that their dessert accompaniments were well prepared – with a shout out for their nuts.

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There are several distinct areas of the cafe which all boast different styles to them. The front and back of the cafe is of antique theme and sandwiched in between is the bar area and comfy sitting next to it. Then there is the outdoor dining – a myriad of colors and “scenery”. Each table tells a different dining experience – I knew that from hopping the tables myself. At the rear end outdoors I found childhood memories as well.

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With the above average prices of food from a casual eatery, it may be wise to think of making the money worthwhile. Yet I would not mind paying for a pleasant mix of food and atmosphere. That is the love-hate relationship we often have with food. Recently I have been choosing to love than to hate. I shall end this post with my favorite shot of the alfresco area.

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200 Netheravon Road

Singapore 508529

Tuesday to Sunday: 1030 – 0000

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The Marmalade Pantry II

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I had fell in love with the Marmalade Pantry after my maiden visit to grab some cakes. You can read that post here. Since then, I’ve made another two visits to the Pantry, one for lunch and the other for dinner. Of course, I’m more than delighted to conclude that not only do they serve great desserts, their mains are equally competitive.

Hot Chocolate ($7)
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The Spaghetti Carbonara with poached eggs ($24) is one of the more popular choices for main courses and it’s not hard to understand how. Presentation wise, it has already won over stomachs with its sleek classiness. I like that the cream sauce is much more fluid which is surprisingly better for the carbonara.

I also had the Pork & fennel seed sausage lasagna ($24) as to which I felt was a tad to0 dry within the layers and especially the mushrooms.

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The Sticky date and toffee pudding ($14) reminds me of Plain Jane who shot to fame. Lightly drizzled with caramel, it is accompanied by a sweeter vanilla scoop of ice-cream. Though a simpler creation that wouldn’t seem much, you would still be able to be preoccupied with it. Perhaps a light way to end off a heavy meal.

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The cinnamon spiced apple cake with cream cheese frosting ($7) felt somewhat like a carrot cake. Although there may be better renditions, it was a good attempt by the marmalade pantry that would make it rank above average.

Chocolate lovers can fret not as there is the Old fashioned chocolate fudge cake ($7). It’s name gives an apt description of itself – so don’t expect to find thick and rich chocolate cakes.

Other ‘hot’ items on the menu include steak and eggs, the mexican chicken salad and of course my favorite sea salt caramel cheesecake. The Marmalade Pantry is a place I wouldn’t mind going again and again: accessibility and elegance of the location appeals, high quality of main courses tempts, contenders of cupcakes, tarts and cakes make you hungry again.

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2 Orchard Turn

ION Orchard

#03-22

10 am to 10 pm daily

// Also: today’s the first anniversary of my food blog. So far I’m enjoying the process. And relishing every moment of morsels in my mouth. Even though I can only be considered an amateur on casual mode half of the time, my blog is definitely growing. None of these would have been possible without you people and I would especially like to send my kisses to all followers, viewers, commenters, hosts and close ones who have eaten with me in one way or another.
Cheers to another year of eating. Come and eat with me.
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SPR MRKT

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Spr mrkt (read: supermarket). This recently opened eatery along Tanjong Pagar has been getting the attention in the media. It has the prospect of a eatery and a retail corner at the same time and perhaps literally like a supermarket. The space inside can seat no more than 25 people yet I am amazed by how such small eateries can be so charming. Best part about spr mrkt is that it’s concept is kept simple and clean in a very chic way.

The menu at SPR MRKT changes daily with a small selection to ensure that the food maintains its quality and to minimize food wastage. On Saturdays, a brunch menu is replaced with the norm for the entire day. Foodwise, I was pretty impressed by their standard and quality. First we had Fork Mashed Potato ($6) as a side.

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The mains available on that Wednesday were a duck sandwich, penne and pork ribs. I opted for the Duck Rilette Sandwich ($12) and found it great. Despite the small dish, the croissant, with that certain type of mustard, went especially well with the shreds of duck meat.

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The small bites did me well as I had the space for desserts – pastries here are not to be missed. What I like about the pastries and tarts here is that they are rather special and their versions are difficult to replicate elsewhere. The Marble Cheesecake with Homemade Strawberry Sauce ($9) grew onto me immediately, being an avid fan of cheesecake. The marble element went smoothly well with the cheesecake and definitely a cake I wouldn’t not be able to finish.

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Other than that, I also tried their Bread Pudding with Vanilla ($6) – light, fluffy and warm. A very good way to end the lovely lunch I had at spr mrkt.

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Also: Don’t miss their tagliatelle carbonara on Tuesdays, pumpkin and saffron risotto on Fridays and the english breakfast on Saturdays.

A wall of shelves next to the dining area is dedicated to selling all sorts of things – notebooks, wine glasses, eggs, carrots and even cookery. There is even a fruits stand standing in front, so now you know how it lives up to its name.

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2 McCallum Street

Singapore 069043

Operates 0800 – 2100 on weekdays

0900 – 1600 on Saturdays

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The House of Robert Timms

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Despite passing by and brushing it off when I step into town, I finally had the chance to dine at Robert Timms when a friend recommended it to me.

Classy glass panels line the restaurant from the entrance from outside of Wheelock Place. The alfresco areas make a great drinking spot (like slurping cocktails on a beach) with its chic furniture and fans. The interiors are distinctly divided into two areas: one of the light and airy with natural light filtering from glass walls; the other of a bold black and white backdrop hidden from the front.
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The House of Robert Timms originated from Australia so you can expect to find newly added uniquely Australian items such as the kangaroo loin steak and crocodile curry. Not having the feel for foreign meat, we decided to get a few dishes we were comfortable with. Nothing can go wrong with the spicy beef wraps we had as a side. The other mains we had were the barramundi with butter and herb spring roasted chicken. The food here is fairly competitive with generous portions.

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Items here average $25 and the menu has a range of breakfast items, pastas, mains and steaks to choose from. Another outlet can be found at Orchard shopping centre but I would prefer Wheelock one’s to it mainly because of ambiance.

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501 Orchard Road

Wheelock Place #01-02/03

Singapore 238880

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40 Hands Cafe

Nothing’s old with the Tiong Bahru estate nowadays, what with the sprouting of chic cafes and retail stores among the neighbourhood. Yong Siak Street is merely one of the many lanes of goodies. Here you can find unique bookstore Books Actually and cafes like Open Door Policy, PoTeaTo and Centre Ps.

Despite the sweltering heat, the queue was long on a Saturday for lunch and it’s amazing how it is getting so well-received with the people. The interiors are packed to the brim, with minimal space for moving about. It leads to another dining area which is open air at the back.

Coffee takes priority at 40 Hands. Head barista Mr. Grover believes in promoting specialty coffee in the coffee scene of Singapore and has never stopped to do so. Special house blends and single origin coffees are offered with quality.
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We had a Jaffa Swirl ($3.50) to start off with as appetizer. Such pastries are available at the counter daily and definitely the best choice to go with the must-have java drinks here. Remember the extra soft red bean buns from Barracks Cafe? They originated at 40 Hands and it now makes a lot of sense that Tiong Bahru has the best paus.
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We had a Latte ($5) and Iced Mocha ($8). Both I found especially caffeinated, hence a definite answer to coffee lovers out there.
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Other than coffees, pastries and sandwiches which are made daily, a brunch menu is also available from Fridays to Sundays. (hooray!) However, I felt that the Eggs Benedict ($14) was nothing extraordinary other than the fact that it came in a bigger serving.

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The Big Boy Breakfast ($18) was a feast. Choose from which of those to start first: the mushrooms, bacon, tomatoes, greens, eggs done the way you want it, sausages and toast.

Perhaps the brunch items did not deliver to my expectations, so the safest bet is to get their lighter sandwiches – the Jamaican being one of the favorites and a cup of coffee. If you don’t like crowds and noise it is probably the best option to be there on a weekday and enjoy some peace amongst the quiet estate.

I’ll be on my way to the many, many other new places opened recently, so which is your favorite?
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Blk 78 Yong Siak Street

#01-12

Singapore 163078

Operates Tuesdays – Sundays 8am to 7pm

Fridays – Saturdays 8am – 10pm

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Swirls Bake Shop: All-American Cupcakes

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A lovely bakery stands in a quaint corner by the Singapore River off Robertson Quay. Hidden behind Toby’s Estate and Bar Bar Black Sheep cafe is a bake shop specializing in American gourmet cupcakes just opened 5 months ago. Ever since then, they have been featured in the media on several occasions.

I was warmly welcomed by the bakers in action. The shop has an open kitchen concept with friendly staff greeting each and every customer. Danish and his wife, Alia, shared with me their story.
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They started off with a road trip in America to search for the best cupcakes, savoring and taking in everything they have tasted. Danish would opt for the red velvet in every cupcakery they visited while Alia would try out different flavors of cupcakes. Then they brought all of their inspirations to Singapore and perfected 101 cupcake flavors that will be brought out as daily specials every month. Alia who was a fashion stylist had incorporated fashion itself into Swirls which I find amazing.

I love the American concept of the bake shop together with its kaleidoscope of colors. Wondering about the special shape of the cream frosting of the cupcakes, I later found out that the frosting is crafted by use of a palette knife instead of the norm. Other than that, the cupcakes are made 3 to 4 times daily to ensure freshness that is kept.

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Red Velvet

Red Velvet is one of their most, if not the most popular item. It stands out the most too. It was the right degree of fluffiness of a cupcake and a pleasant one to sink your teeth into. Other flavors I tried included the Oh So Cocoa, Strawberry Burst, Nutella, and the Sunday special for this month, Tiramisu. The cupcakes come in two sizes, tiny and regular – which I thought is a great idea especially for those with small appetites who want to try as many flavors as possible. The tiny ones are priced $2.50 to $2.95 while the regular ones are $3.95 to $4.10.

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Foreground: Strawberry Burst; Middleground: Red Velvet; Background: Oh So Cocoa

The strawberry flavored cupcake is another one of my favorite as it takes sweetness to a whole new level. Grinning I was to find even more chocolate hidden in the nutella cupcake. A day before my visit, a new cake was put on sale at Swirls. I was lucky enough to have the last slice nicely savaged by them. It was a slice of chocolate cake with salted caramel frosting and I must say it was a good attempt with whole cakes.
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My glutton-in-crime, Amanda, would like to give a shout out for their refreshing iced lavender tea which was a great break from the sweetness before attacking another cupcake.
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Right: Tiramisu

When asked on future plans for Swirls, the reply was: not for the moment, since they are fresh in the F&B. Yet they still receive words from others to open another outlet and that is my sentiment as well. Cupcakeries are sprouting in Singapore but this is one place to head to for unique beings with a sweet tooth. Swirls’ cupcakes get sold out pretty fast so you wouldn’t want to hesitate. They do make island-wide deliveries too.

A huge thank you to Danish & Alia for inviting me to taste their cupcakes!
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Visit their colorful website at www.swirls.com.sg/ to “meet” more of the cupcakes and place orders.

8 Rodyk Street

#01-08 (off Robertson Quay)

Singapore 238216

Operates 11am – 7pm daily

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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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