Saturday, 25 February 2017

Wimbly Lu

I foresee a very busy week ahead hence the morning post again. Been catching up with friends and exploring new food in between work breaks this past week. Sometimes I feel like I'm adding value to people's lives through food by giving them new experiences. Haha, positive thinking to assuage the guilt of pigging out.

It's very rare I visit the same cafe twice simply because there's too many new cafes to dine at. Usually, a return to somewhere nice happens only when you bring new friends there to try food. In this case, the story started with what nice dessert is there in Nex? I told my friends none and told them the nearest dessert I really really liked is at Wimbly Lu, just a 5 mins drive away.

We settled for Cookie Dough Cheesecake ($6) like all their other cheesecakes is so rich in flavour I recommend you share it. I felt that the cake was a little too hard such that it's difficult to fork through with the complete chocolate icing, cookie dough, cheese and cookie base. I still prefer Mel's Double Chocolate Cheesecake ($6) which I ate the last time.

Another recommended dessert we tried was the Root Beer Float Cake ($6). The vanilla ice cream blended well with the root beer cake which tasted slightly chocolatey. I felt it can be further improved with a stronger root beer taste. I also felt that a semi-melted vanilla ice cream soaking into the cake tasted very much more like the Root Beer Float taste the dessert seek to attain.

And finally, the waffles with ice cream ($11.50 for double scoop) that first brought me here to try Wimbly Lu in 2013. I recalled googling top 5 waffles in Singapore back then and this came up as top 5. I'm pleased to say that the waffles I had recently tasted much better than what I tried back in 2013. As someone with a relatively sweet tooth, the choice of salted caramel ice cream and cookies and cream coupled with maple syrup was a good combination. I also enjoyed the waffles on its own which was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Good waffles can be eaten on their own without the add ons and you can do that with the waffles here.

Wimbly Lu remains my favourite dessert place in Serangoon. I especially like the red and white vintage beetle parked outside the shop and won't get tired of having dessert there. The fairy lights decorations still give me that whimsical feeling I've travelled out of Singapore and it's definitely a good place to chill.

Wimbly Lu
15-2 Jalan Riang

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Alter Ego

It's weekends and I'm writing early this week. Too much stuff on my to-do list to clear, I'm getting down to write early morning. Spent the past week enjoying a few rounds of good food with colleagues and friends in between work. My colleague actually asked if I specially hunt for food everyday.

I managed a mid week lunch with Fat Fat at Alter Ego. I specially picked the place after I saw this Southern Chicken Sandwich on one of the blogs but alas, its only available in March. Why they even market the food so early?! Disappointing start to the lunch. Alter Ego is the sister outlet to A Poke Theory. Its focus on semi-sinful food is a contrast to the healthy bowls at Poke Theory.

Kicking off the meal, Fat Fat and I decided to share a Grilled Cheese ($11) and the Original Poke Shaker ($16). Fat Fat as her name suggest even wanted to order another main and I had to stop her! The Grilled Cheese is one of their popular dishes and does live up to its popularity. The grueye and taleggio cheese combi gives off this gooey stretch to it when you bite leaving you with cheesy satisfaction. The tangy tomato sauce on the side was the perfect match to the wafer-like cheesy crust, reminding me of good pizza. Definitely worth a try!

The Original Poke Shaker is made up of original shoyu salmon, with their signature sushi rice top with fresh ingredients like pineapple, lime avocado and fresh roasted cashews. Yums! It definitely adds healthy balance to all that sinful cheese. I felt that it would make a satisfying lunch fix on its own especially so for the health conscious. I found the salmon fresh and the cashews has this addictive sweetness that made me can't stop eating.

Fat Fat wanted more food so we added a side French Onion Dip ($10). It basically is a blend of mayo, cream cheese, sour cream and balsamic caramelized onions served with tortilla chips. The taste wasn't as strong as we liked it but I enjoyed the chips. I felt that this dish added a satisfying finish to the meal but the dip certainly has room for improvement.

On the whole, it was a satisfying mid week lunch with Fat Fat. I'm still a little disapproving about the marketing efforts which promoted a burger which wasn't available yet. I saw it late January. How long ago was that?! To be fair, the food is decently priced and the meal teeters between healthy and sinful depending on what you pick on the menu. A perfect place for afternoon lunches with colleagues and friends which caters to all sorts of taste buds. I like it that weekdays they are generally empty (probably due to its location) and it means a cozy place for catch ups with respectable food as well!

Alter Ego
8 Raffles Avenue, #01-13D, Esplanade Mall
(Please note that Alter Ego morphs into a bar grub at night, they also serve alcohol for people who wish to chill)

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Yan Ting @ St Regis Singapore

Yesterday was 元宵节, the 15th day of Chinese New Year. I spent the entire week eating to be honest and at the rate I go, I'm going to put on 5kg at the end of this year. Vain Pot is going overseas for a work trip so we spent the weekends shopping in town. I also discovered that if I think about ice cream in the Orchard side of Orchard Road, there's no special ice cream I can come up with besides Llao Llao. All the nice sweet desserts are congregating at Orchard Central, Orchard Gateway and 313 Somerset.

We finally tried Yan Ting at St Regis after shortlisting it 2 years ago. There was a time we were dim sum crazy and tried the really good dim sum at Royal China. Ladyironchef rated Yan Ting his top two dim sum alongside Royal China, so we really wanted to try the premium version of quality dim sum. The article was written 2-3 years ago. In any case, I promised Vain Pot I'll bring her to try however, given the myriad of food selection in Singapore along with our individual weekly cravings, we kept putting this visit off. So it's with great excitement that I'm finally fulfilling a promise and trying a much anticipated dim sum.

We kick started our meal with Shrimp Dumpling with Ginseng Soup ($14/pax). The soup was rich in flavour and the shrimp dumpling definitely met expectations that it was well prepared. Shrimp was fresh and crunchy and the entire dish was an exquisite experience.

We also tried the Char Siew Bao ($7 for 3), Steamed Scallop Dumplings with Spinach ($9 for 3), Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings ($9 for 3), Dumplings filled with Celery, Lotus Root and Mushroom ($7 for 3) and Mini Egg Tarts ($7 for 3). The Char Siew Bao met expectations, it was soft and fluffy, char siew was marinated with slight sweetness making the dish just right for the palette.

The rest of the dishes on the other hand while well executed really lacked the 'wow' factor. It probably matches every competently done dim sum at many known establishments but it didn't give me the satisfaction of having eaten dim sum. In fact, this experience kind of made me swore off premium dim sum in the future. It's too overrated and the price premium has nothing to do with the quality of the chef but rather the service and premium ingredients used. I'm not sure if this has to do with a drop in quality standards since it's rated a top dim sum 2-3 years ago.

Will I be back again? Not for the dim sum. I noticed that my surroundings were eating the other mains so if I'm feeling rich and indulgent I might come back to try the mains. As for dim sum, I'm sticking with my all time favourite at Royal China.

Yan Ting 
The St Regis Singapore, Level 1U, 29 Tanglin Road
(Please note that complimentary parking is offered for spending of a minimum $100)

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Fish Mart Sakuraya

This is the first weekend after the Chinese New Year break and everyone is adjusting to life back to work. To tell you the truth, I was pretty excited about my weekend because I was looking forward to my Foot Reflexology and Shoulder Massage. In a year where I'm pretty obsessed with Singapore's best, I found Feet Haven to be the winner of Harpers Bazaar's Best Quick Fix Massage. The massage which won was the one I tried, 30 mins Foot Reflexology and 30 mins Neck and Shoulder Massage for $55. I'm pleased to share that it's really awesome! Been getting shoulder and muscle cramps on my legs but the masseuse got all the right pressure points which was a first kind of experience so good job to them!

Prior to massage, I went to Fish Mart Sakuraya for lunch. This is a rather impromptu visit. Contrary to my usual practice where I usually don't let those I dine with choose the dining venue, I let Vain Pot pick whatever she wanted to eat at Parkway Parade. So Sakuraya it is. Fish Mart Sakuraya as the name suggest is a Japanese supermarket with a section specialising in fresh fishes. They also have a dine-in section serving Japanese food.

One of the key highlights of the fish mart, especially for dine-in customers is that you get to choose your own fresh fish for the chef to slice up. The fishes are so in-demand that when Vain Pot went to choose, there's only one slab of salmon left. Oh well, the salmon taste really fresh so there's nothing to complain about! Prices are by weight, and the one you saw cost us $15.50.

Aside from sashimi, we decided to share our food to get more variety. I picked the Kaiso Futo Maki ($10) which was made up of tuna, salmon, prawn roe, seafood salad and cucumber. I found the Maki to be well-prepared and definitely met my expectations. I need to stress I don't usually order makis so I don't carry unusually high expectations on this dish.

Vain Pot selected the Una Don ($15) which is basically an Unagi rice bowl. I found the Unagi to be prepared flavourfully and the bowl is pretty satisfying on its own. The slices of unagi are cut to avoid the tiny bones and the flesh thickness was just right.

We kinda over ordered when we greedily decided we wanted to try the Kani Creamy Croquette ($6). It was fried till crispy without it being excessively oily which is something I place strong emphasis on because I hate oily food. The creamy crab meat inside the croquette was also seasoned flavourfully and made the croquette very addictive. I'll strongly recommend you to try!

The discovery of Fish Mart Sakuraya is a hidden gem to me. The prices are decent and food is fresh. It offers a good fix to Japanese cravings and the crowd is just right. I'll definitely be back again! This place is perfect for Japanese food lovers who do not want to blow a big hole in your pocket.

Fish Mart Sakuraya
#B1-83D Parkway Parade, 80 Marine Parade Road