Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fosters English Rose Cafe, Holland Village

I had the joy of having a good conversation over scones and tea recently. 

We were dressed simply, we chatted interestedly, we ate heartily.
When she spoke, I listened;
When I spoke, she did the same.
The conversations that took place, 
transcended what was in the self's interest.

Such afternoons leave me amazed,
at the peace that can be the case.
But I leaned back deep into the armchair,
sipped my earl grey tea, 
and stayed unfazed,
determined to enjoy the gentle sun's rays.

It was a laidback afternoon, 
such days are rare, 
once in a blue moon.

The cream tea set at Fosters Cafe is probably one of the worst kept secrets in Singapore. At about $12 for a person's portion of cream tea (comprising 2 scones, 1 slice of cake, 2 finger sandwiches and a cup of tea), it's hard to see why. What made the cherry on top of the icing for me was how fresh the produce was. My scones were very evidently fresh out of the oven, and stayed warm throughout my leisurely afternoon tea. Extra points too for how quintessentially British the cream tea was. Forget the fancy three-tiered sets of pompous afternoon tea that seems to be the trend around here; afternoon tea in the UK is at its best when done in the most homely fashion possible. It is inviting; it is comforting. 

Fosters has done a great job in bringing a slice of the UK to Singapore. I sure hope someone can do the same with Sunday roasts as what Fosters has done with their cream tea. Fingers crossed.

Fosters English Rose Cafe/ Fosters Steakhouse
277 Holland Ave
Holland Village
Contact: 6466-8939

(cream tea available from 3pm to 6pm)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Necessary Provisions, Bukit Timah / Eng Kong

What attracted me to check out this cafe, was its relatively secluded location. Nestled amongst the private estates at the Eng Kong and Toh Tuck area of the West, I was hoping for a place where I could enjoy some quiet cafe time, take leisurely sips of my latte or flat white while engaging in some reading or writing. Alas, like most other cafes, Necessary Provisions gives no such provision. 

Coffee here is sold by the amount of milk you want to go in your cup with that shot of espresso (or two). I got a nice blend that didn't leave an acidic aftertaste. Pity though, the turnover rate was high, and it was made pretty clear to me that I couldn't stay for long. 

The food selection also left much to be desired. Breakfast options seem limited, and dealt with with a somewhat arbitrary approach - I saw homecooked bee hoon (rice vermicelli) being offered off the menu, and a scant display of baked items. The former seemed to me as a weak attempt to elevate our local breakfast, and the latter, a token effort to provide baked items.

Necessary Provisions
21 Eng Kong Terrace
Contact: 9231 7920

Opening hours:
Tues to Thurs: 10am to 10pm
Fri & Sat: 10am to Midnight
Sun: 10am to 6pm

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chums @ Bukit Timah [Closed]

Standing unabashedly for it knows it is good.

The beer chicken was out of this world. Roasted upon order, you have something like a 40-minute wait before you get your food, but the result is worth every minute of that wait. The fats under the skin is all rendered off by the high temperatures, and drizzles down to the roasting plate to be mixed with the chicken juices. The chicken is also moist and flavoured with just the slightest hint of alcohol.

The kitchen staff helped to carve the chicken, and laid it atop the fragrant roast vegetables. N
othing was to be left behind! Every bit of the juices left in the roasting tray was poured over the roast chicken and vegetables. 

A hearty dish that had me leaving the restaurant very, very content.

Royal Ville #01-06
833 Bukit Timah Road
(Mon/Tues: 9am-5pm; 
Wed-Sun: 9am-10pm)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Simply Bread @ Cluny Court

I am a fan of some of the buns that Simply Bread serves (eg Sticky bun), but this ham and cheese sandwich left much to be desired. I found it somewhat lacklustre, and a tad overpriced for what it was. The only saving grace was, perhaps, the generous serving of cheddar. 

Cluny Court
501 Bukit Timah Road

Cheesecake Paradise @ Chezcake Bistro

A relaxing afternoon spent people-watching while eating cake is hard to come by these days.
Hence when such an opportunity arose I could not let it slip me by.

Mango Cheesecake from Chezcake Bistro

The bistro was not equipped with wireless internet, but there was beauty in that. I enjoyed every bite of the fruity-flavoured creamy cheescake, unperturbed by the usual throngs of people that frequent cafes these days. There was a wide variety of cheesecake flavours available too; I can't wait to be back to try them out!

328 Joo Chiat Road
#01-05, Singapore 427585
(Open 1pm-10pm; 
Closed on Mondays)

Pontini - Italian dining @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel

This was my second visit to Pontini. Both times I found the service to be wonderful, with staff being attentive, yet not overly intrusive. 

The crabmeat ravioli in the lobster consomme was generously stuffed with real crabmeat. However, the 'lobster' in the lobster consomme was slightly less outstanding and left me desiring for more. 

Crabmeat ravioli in lobster consomme

The saltiness of the parma ham was nicely balanced by the mushrooms and I found this to be a pleasant combination for a pizza.

stonebaked thin crust pizza with parma ham and mushrooms

The star of the night was this juicy piece of steak, char-grilled to perfection. There was a slight smoky flavour on the exterior, and the juices were well retained in the meat, resulting in a flavourful and beautiful dish.

Pontini often has set specials and credit card promotions going on, so do ask about it!

Level 2, Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel
392 Havelock Road
(12-2.30pm; 6.30-10.30pm)