Sunday, August 8, 2010

Brunch @ SPRUCE, Tanglin Road

Reservation: Best done beforehand, otherwise be prepared to wait up to 30 minutes especially for Sunday brunch.
Go if you want to: Enjoy alfresco dining surrounded by mature greenery of Dempsey.
Parking: Free, at open-air carpark at the foot of the restaurant.
Tel: 6836-5528
Menu avail @

Checked out a new venue for lunch at SPRUCE. We drove past the usual Dempsey rendezvous to this new place embraced by natural botanics around it. Without any reservations made, we waited 20-25 minutes for a table for 5. It would not have been an ideal situation if anyone of us were moody or grouchy. Cheerful chatter made the wait bearable... and it was well worth waiting for. Food was above par for brunch, better than our usual places at Da Paolo Pizza Bar and PS Cafe. Service was efficient and speedy... water served promptly without being asked.

Turkish Chicken Egg Benedict
Soft Scrambled Eggs with Avruga, Caviar
& Basil-cured Salmon
Spruce Breakfast Sandwich
Spruce British Brekkie
And the finale? A great cuppa latte! And then, we were off to SBR and Praying for the Nation at the Sanctuary, PL.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Brunch @ RELISH [before renovation]

On a Sunday we didn't want to go far from home for a decent meal, and hopefully with decent coffee for me, we finally checked out RELISH at the Cluny Court. Surprisingly, at brunch time, there was only one other family in the restaurant. We took the larger table in the centre and  quickly became comfortable.

Servers were mainly youths and were milling around the counter. Hungry as usual at this time, we were pretty lost as to what to order. Good thing was, the food turned out very decent and tasty; that is, apart from Krystle's over-salty pasta which I requested a change.

The Menu board at the entrance of RELISH
The Brunch Menu right at the back of the dinning area

A graffiti wall
My juicy burger - think it was chicken
Tessa's Blood Orange with her burger patti with octopus,
fries on the side
Kenny went for the bite-size Kid's Meal fare
Krystle's over-salted shrimp spaghetti

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Taiwanese Porridge at Goodwood Park

Feeling happy on a cool Sunday afternoon after having lost his credit card holder and later returned to him in one morning, the man of the house decided to head towards Orchard Road for lunch. We had earlier agreed to no curries, nothing not tried and not tested, and no Japanese today. Just when we caught sight of Goodwood Park Hotel along Scotts Road, he suddenly had a fancy for some nostalgic Taiwanese porridge.  Reasoning that the three girls had never heard of Taiwanese porridge at Goodwood nor been there, we felt compelled to enter!

We arrived at 1:20pm, and the coffee house was full but with prayer and favour, we got a great spacious seating with window view in 10 minutes!

They no longer have a la carte menu for Taiwan Porridge but a Taiwan Porridge buffet at a rather steep S$39++ with durian festival dessert buffet that ends at 2:30pm. When we sat down, we were told the last order for Taiwan Porridge was at 2pm! We wasted no time to give them our full order!

While waiting for the food, Krystle took out origami papers and got all [except me because I had a book to read] to fold hearts that stand. I thought it was a brilliant idea - doing something new as a family!

The girls & daddy folding heart-shaped origamis.
Familiar Favourites -
Egg fuyong, Crispy deep-fried squids (2 plates),
Sambal kangkong, Beancurd with pork & bean sauce
Salted Eggs
Chilled beancurd with porkfloss & sweet sauce
Fried Fish
Pork with preserved vegetables [only husband touched it]
Kung Pao Chicken
Dream Durian Desserts!!
[Clockwise from top] Durian Puff, Durian Crepe,
Duriamisu, Durian Oreo Cake
'Lesser' desserts for non-durian enthus!
The meal was great though the place seemed understaffed. What I noticed is that most people came in families or groups. Interestingly, the group beside us seemed intent on some serious bonding. We ate slowly and enjoyed some people-watching.

Unrushed, we stayed till my latte disappeared about about 4pm.
I love today's meal and time together with the family but sad that the old ambience and colonial flavour of the coffee lounge is completely wiped out by an odd mix of modern fixtures randomly put together. Like why did they put a glass (or is it acrylic) sheet at the lower bottom of the lovely wooden windows? Maybe marble floor is easier to clean and maintain, but I prefer the thick floral carpets at the window area years ago. It was a place that allowed for quieter and more private conversations that I had enjoyed.

On our way to the lounge earlier, we also passed by Ming Jiang Szechuan Restaurant that is so updated it no longer seems to have any oriental flavour, apart from the menu. The design is so run-of-the-mill that there is no Szechuan or Chinese character to it anymore!

Really getting harder to find places we had enjoyed before that we can bring the girls to. Somebody's talking about Race Course Road Indian restaurants for a while, but I have a feeling we're going to find there renovated restaurants that are beyond recognition. Thank goodness Samy's Curry remains unchanged and unair-conditioned.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day at PS Cafe @ Dempsey

Reservation: Best done beforehand for weekends. Waiting could be long otherwise.
Experience: For outdoor feel with indoor airconditioned comfort in a conservatory-like dining room. The fragrance of fresh flowers fill the air from two over-the-top-sized vases sitting on a counter near the entrance.
Parking: About 5 lots across a wooden walkway from the restaurant; alternatively, ample open-air lots 5 mins away.
Tel: 9070-8782
Menus avail @

For Father's Day, the choice of venue was clear - for all, it had to be beautiful without being too stuffy for a Sunday morning; for the dad, it had to be close to nature where there's rich foliage [and the visits of fauna would be welcome too!]; and for me, it has to have beautiful flowers, aircon and good latte! Well, clearly, many families had the same thing in mind and it was full-house at 11am! Thank God only that we had a parking space right beside and a table right after we arrived!
Anthuriums - the heart-shaped flower with a spike in the middle
- sits ceremoniously on our table this Father's Day.
Tessa sitting elegantly with her daddy as
mummy tried to capture the beautiful flowers behind them too!
Our daily bread - What is breakfast without it?
And what is life without the true daily bread?
After all, "Man does not live on great plans, good ideas,
and genuine intentions alone...
but by the wisdom that comes from above that is first of all pure..."
The father in attendance ordered the special -
Venison Sausage Potato Jacket. Typical meat-eater!
I ordered Garden Lasagne - a plate of pure veggie delight!
Krystle had Fish Croquette with Poached Eggs
Coochie stuck to the tried and tested Baked Bacon and Eggs
Baby had mushroomy Portebello Stack
Coochie with daddy who loves the Father's Day card she chose
that came with a movable cut-out of a car that bore
an uncanny resemblance to his beloved Triumph TR7! Divine choice!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No Signboard Seafood Restaurant @ Vivocity

Porridge with Century Egg and Pork 皮蛋瘦肉粥
[below left] Steamed Prawn Dumplings or Har Gow 蝦饺
[right, below] Steamed Minced Pork Dumplings with Crab Roe
or Siew Mai 烧卖
Steamed Rice Roll with BBQ Pork or Char Siew Cheong Fun 叉烧肠粉
Steamed Spicy Chicken Feet or Fong Zao
Sharksfin Dumpling Soup or Poon Tong Gow 鱼翅灌汤饺

Standard dim sum dishes my family orders when we explore a new Chinese restaurant for dim sum include all-time favourites like Century Egg Pork Porridge, Steamed Prawn Dumplings, Steamed Pork Dumplings, Steamed Pork Ribs, Steamed Chicken Feet and Steamed BBQ Pork Buns.

To beat the usual traffic crawl into the carpark this Sunday, we set out early and stepped into the restaurant promptly told by a staffer that it was 3 minutes before 11am - perhaps a sign that they were not quite ready for customers. Does 3 minutes make such a difference - couldn't they just seat us first? The restaurant was empty when we arrived and as per normal practice, they directed us to a table at the full glass panels facing the rooftop of Vivocity. Not my favourite place considering the glare of the sun if you are facing the panels. I quickly settled with my back against the glare.

We recently found that this place has Sharksfin Dumpling Soup for dim sum but as it takes 30 minutes to be ready, we ordered it soon as we sat down. It was worth the wait, arriving after we finished everything else.

The verdict:           
Century Egg Pork Porridge          
- Satisfactory [but my 3 teens prefer Crystal Jade's porridge though  nothing has taken the place of the one they loved at the now defunct Charming Garden]
Steamed Prawn Dumplings
- Dumplings stuck to each other and the skin tore when taken out of the bamboo baskets [at Crystal Jade, we would have ordered at least 3 baskets]
Steamed Pork Dumplings
- Good texture, colour and taste
Sharksfin Dumpling Soup
- Unanimously, this was the only dish that brought us to the restaurant for dim sum as many other places including Crystal Jade doesn't have this. Served 30 minutes after order @ $6 a bowl. The seafood and sharksfin flavours come through satisfactorily and the dumpling skin is just right.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ding Tai Fung [Paragon]

When the family feels too fatigued by Sunday, lunch is usually Chinese dim sum or in this case, at Ding Tai Fung for dumplings - our comfort food.

The typical food fest on the table [which even 13-year-old Shairel confidently pre-orders before her daddy arrives from the carpark!] begins with the starters to dumplings and noodles.
Japanese Cucumber Pickles
Cold Braised Beef and Cold Drunken Chicken
Plain Dumpling Soup
Spicy Dumpling Soup 
 My comfort food -
Stewed Chicken Soup [Dun Ji Tang] with Handmade noodles
Family favourite Xiao Long Bao