Tanjong Pagar

Tanjong Pagar was a historic centre for Singapore's Chinese community. It is now a cosmopolitan area within walking distance of the CDB with a wide range of old and new shops. It is a good place for a lunch time meal with office workers, a post work hangout area for pubs and fine dining and a pleasant place to explore cafes and eclectic shops on a lazy weekend afternoon.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Some updates in the area 31/3/12

Some news I read on Business times today:

News 1: Le Petit Cancale
Le Petit Cancale which is part of the the Deliciae group behind L' Entrecote, 83 and Sabio is finally opening next week in Duxton Hill. All their restaurants so far have been in the Tanjong Pagar Area. They are over running this area but fortunately, their food is alright. This place looks like seafood will be the focus.

News 2: Absinthe
Absinthe is relocating to Boat Quay end of April. I'm not terribly upset by this. The food there is good but not really unique. With so many places in Singapore popping up, I will say it's not really the place to go anymore compared to 3 years ago.
Apparently, taking over the Absinthe spot will be a restaurant called Hashi, helmed by former head chef of Nobu Melbourne, Tadashi Takahashi,

News 3: Le Nicholas
This is sad news to me. One of my favourite restaurants in the area Le Nicholas is moving on after 5 years in the Keong Saik Road Spot. It will reopen in a different area in Jul or August.

News 4: Fifty Three
Fifty Three will be moving to 42 Tras Street. I haven't had the chance to try this place and finally will.

Purple Mustard

Finally, a hotdog place and it's not bad!

I had the chorizo with beans, guacamole and sour cream. The bread was pretty decent. It was not the cheap hotdog bread in Ikea. It held the sausage and ingredients properly. The chorizo had some heat which was good but I didn't think the sausage was juicy or savoury enough. I wanted the juices to spurt out. The toppings were generous but it overwhelmed the taste of the sausage to the point that the sausage was no longer the star.
My opinion is that toppings should only complement the sausage not overwhelm it.

As for sides, chips are pretty good. I'm not sure about the coleslaw (needs to be creamer) or drinks. We had the Jamaican for our drink and I  think it's a bit too exotic for me. I rather have iced tea.

Location: 12 Gopeng Street, Icon Village 01-31/32
Website: http://www.facebook.com/purplemustardhotdogs

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Group Therapy

I went to this place when it first started but haven't really been back since because they only had a limited menu when they started. 

However, it looks like they have expanded their menu to serve proper lunch.

Turmeric and Squid Ink ravioli with stuffed roasted mushrooms topped with tomato basil sauce

The above sounds fancy and looks good. It doesn't taste bad but I would say it looks better than it tasted. I would have preferred a simple ravioli with more stuffing as I could not taste much from the squid ink or turmeric. It was too mild to add any value. The tomatoes tasted a wee bit too tart without much juicy sweetness. There was truffle oil. While the aroma was in the dish, the taste was not evident. It would be better to use simple and fresh ingredients. Serving was also quite small for $20

Waffles with fruit, chocolate and maple sauce and almonds

The waffles weren't bad. But in my opinion, they pale in comparison with what you get in L'entrecote and Restore. I think warm waffles should always come with contrasting cold ice cream which this plate didn't have. Also the chocolate sauce was way too sweet and tasted like it came from cheap bottled stuff. For $12, I won't go back.

Group Therapy is a nice space and venue, but I find it too expensive for the quality of food. Service is a bit slow. But given I was not in a rush, that wasn't a big issue. 

Location: 49 Duxton Road 02-01
Prices: I spent about $40 for a drink, main and dessert

Monday, March 26, 2012

NTUC Finest at the Amara

I heard that NTUC Finest is opening at the Amara.

I'm over the moon. I can get all my herbs, cheese, bread and cold meats at this new place.

Bonheur Patisserie

This place has been opened for a while but I have only been there 3 times.

Cakes aren't bad but the reason for my infrequent visits is really because there are so many good choices for dessert in the TP area. Also I find the cakes quite expensive.

Opera cake

I went for a opera cake this time. It is layers of almond sponge soaked in coffee syrup layered with cream and chocolate ganache. It wasn't bad but wasn't spectacular which is pretty sad as the small slice was $7.50. I found the coffee cream too buttery and it didn't meld well with the other layers.

What I like there are actually the hot drinks- yuzu tea and hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was thicker than I would have liked it but at least it was rich and luscious.

Location: 70 Duxton Hill
Website: http://www.bonheurpatisserie.com.sg/
Opening Hours: Mon- Thu: 10am- 8pm; Fri- Sat: 10am- 10pm
Contact number: 62211148

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Loola at Esplanade- City Hall

This is a restaurant by Awfully Chocolate.

Didn't think it was great for the price.

Lobster with pasta sheets

Lobster didn't have much taste and seems a bit rubbery. Pasta had too much salt for my taste.

Chocolate profiteroles

As you can see, this has a different texture from the normal profiteroles. More crunch. It was quite good.

I would say, have your mains somewhere else and come here for dessert.

Location: Esplanade, 8 Raffles Avenue #02-14 
Prices: Main and Dessert about $60
Opening Hours: Sun- Thu 12pm- 10am; Fri - Sat 12pm - 12am
Contact Number: 63369563

Bibigo- City Hall

I quite like this Korean chain Bibigo. I think its probably because most korean food is very oily but this one isn't and I find most of the things quite tasty. BUt I have heard that the bimbimbap isn't good. I have never tasted that so I can't judge.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Korean seafood pancake

Grilled squid and mushroom

Location: B1-74 Raffles City Shopping Centre

Buyan Russian Restaurant

It's pretty hard to find Russian restaurants in this part of the world. Even in Sydney, there were only one or two Russian restaurants. My first encounter with real Russian food was when I was doing a course on Russian culture studies in university for fun. I was invited for a Russian night, where a lot of the Russian community cooked for that night and most of them were at the event. My friends and I pigged out major. I discovered their use of sour cream and potatoes. I think I have been craving for that sort of Russian comfort food since.

This is probably one of the very few Russian restaurants in Singapore. This place has three levels. I have only ever been to level one for food. The place is quite dark with log wood panelling that gives the feeling of one being in a log cabin in Russian or Siberia. Except its not cold enough outside.

I have been here for dinner and find it quite expensive. Lunch though like a lot of places is affordable. The three course meal is $35+.

Some dishes my brother and I had:

Lamb Stew

This reminds me of a minestrone. It has that dominant tomato taste to it. The difference is that this dish has lamb and barley. Its a rustic dish but doesn't seem unique to me.

Crab soup

This reminds me of another dish. Shark's fin and crabmeat soup without the shark's fin.

Chicken Kiev

Nicely battered on the outside and moist on the inside. Even though this popular dish seem simple, I have had plenty of places get it wrong. Chicken is easy to overcook but this is a good chicken kiev.

Roast Chicken with spices

This tastes quite Indian. I guess Russian is a place where East meets West so it shouldn't surprise me that so many dishes have Eastern influence. When I asked the waitress what was in the dish, she said the spices were a secret Georgian mix. But the yellow of the chicken indicated to me that there was turmeric in the dish. The other obvious spice in it was ginger. I must say I'm not sure what else they added into it but I don't think its cumin as the spices are pretty mild. Not a bad dish but I won't go WOW.

Sorbet and a fruit pastry

Nothing very special about this. I don't know if I have much to comment about this. 

I would come here for lunch. Not sure about dinner. I am not really blown away by the food. 

Location: 9/10 Duxton Hill, Tanjong Pagar
Opening Hours: Rest 12pm - 12am
Price: $35+ for lunch
Contact Number: 62237008

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Noodle Bar

One can probably get a good cheap bowl of prawn noodles opposite the road at Blk 5 Tanjong Pagar Plaza. But if you want to enjoy the comfort of slurping a bowl of prawn noodles in aircon, this is the place.

I ordered a Kopi C and prawn noodles. Paid about $7.

Prawn Noodles

This wasn't bad. The prawn and pork stock was sweet. I prefer my stock to be more "prawny" in taste but  this days, it is harder and harder to find that. After all, prawn heads and shells need to be used to achieve that making it a potentially very expensive dish. 
This portion is not large. So if you are looking for a large lunch, I don't recommend this place. But otherwise, i think its a good size for lunch.

Other dishes they have are laksa and other variations of the prawn noodle.

Location: 1 Tras Street #01-16 Orchid Hotel, Tanjong Pagar
Price: Usually under $10 for Noodles and a Drink

Monday, March 5, 2012


I haven't been posting my blog in the last few weeks as I have been in Sydney.

It was a great trip catching up with family and friends. Bringing our little bub around Sydney also made us see the place with fresh eyes.

Avalon Pittwater

We spent a week up in the Avalon Pittwater area which I consider to be one of the most beautiful areas within Sydney. Also, the nice thing about this area is that it is quite far out from the city and is probably one of Sydney's best kept secrets! The food around there is great as well. Unfortunately I don't have many great pictures of the food.

One place I did take pictures of the food is a local joint called The BoatHouse Palm Beach.
This is place is very popular with  the locals and also Sydneysiders on weekends. You have to wait about 30 mins for your meal with no reservations. However, with such beautiful scenery, one can relax and wait.

Avocado Toast- $19

This is avocado, bacon and a tomato salsa on rye toast. Delicious and generous. Every thing was seasoned beautifully. My only complaint is that I would have preferred a white bread to rye bread which seemed a bit dry. This was a full meal.

French Toast

My husband ordered this. It was french croissant toast with mascarpone cream, berries and maple syrup. I liked this better than mine. Have not had such good french toast for a while! Even the pictures are making me drool.

I also tasted the yoghurt here. It was extremely rich, creamy and flavourful.

Coffee is Australia is good everywhere. I miss my coffee already.

Other places worth visiting in Northern Beaches Sydney

1) The Cooks Larder at Avalon

I can't even begin to tell you how good this place is. I only wish I didn't chomp down all my meals and remembered to take pictures. But the food was really that good.
The coffee was excellent, meals were extremely fresh and had an innovative twist. Plus, the place have a large range of desserts and cakes they make themselves daily.
Some dishes we had french toast with honeycomb butter, mussels with saffron linguine, prosciutto and figs salad, ginger cake with ice cream … Yum yum yum
Every cafe should be this good. If I was in Singapore I would eat here every week.

This is a bit of an establishment in Sydney North with 3 restaurants. We went to the restaurant in Manly. The food is not highly innovative and doesn't always strike gold. But seafood here is fresh and simply cooked. Sydney is all about seafood. The clean waters make the quality of seafood as good as it gets.

 My husband caught 3 fish out on a jetty in Avalon and I cooked it the next day. It was so fresh and good that almost nothing needed to be done to it. All I did was to grill it. That is how good seafood in Sydney is.