Monday, February 22, 2010

Prive: Brunch by the Bay!

Another Sunday, another lazy-wake-up day. Sleeping is such a luxury these days that I would give almost anything just to catch more wink. Well almost. Brunch is so not in the list! Rise and shine to Prive!

The taxi uncle shot me irritated stares when I told him to go Keppel Bay. Yes I know its only a short distance away from Vivocity, but really, thats the logical thing to do with 3 other companions right? Long heard about its comfortable atmosphere, the al fresco area of Prive Bakery certainly didn't disappoint. We managed to get a sheltered spot with a full view of the yacht harbour and occasional sea breeze. Feels very un-Singapore!

Latte ($4.80)

I'm drinking more coffee these days not because I liked it, but because it kept me awake for morning 8.30 lessons. Latte had always been my preference with its balance of coffee aroma and milky taste. Now that perked me up happily!

Ultimate Breakfast ($17.00)

The grandest that they could offer! Toast, baked beans, tomatoes, greens, bacon strips, beef sausage and your choice of egges. Fresh stuffs that will surely satisfy the greedy you!

Eggs Benedict(Bacon), Eggs Royale(Salmon) ($13.50 for both)

A favourite for many, I guess people really loved poached eggs and their runny yorks! The hollaindaise sauce was a little dry, but still good when eaten with warm muffins and balanced the saltiness of bacon and salmon. Not much faults here!

Fluffy Pancakes ($13.50)

My friends always knew me as a savoury over sweets person. But somehow this morning, the hidden side of me craved for pancakes! Sliced banana and strawberries, smoothered with a little whip cream and drizzled in maple syrup. Now thats a sweet start for the week!

Total bill for 4 was $73.30 after taxes. Admittedly, the food wasn't exactly mind-blowing, but with its chill-laxing ambience and excellent view, it was relatively affordable compared to other brunch places. Now don't bother the taxi uncle anymore and take a nice stroll back across the bridge!

Taken with Sony T70
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chinese New Year: 虎运当头!

Happy Lunar New Year everyone! Hope everyone had a great time this holiday, catching up with family and loved ones, indulging in all festive goodies! Very sorry for the lack of updates these days, I have been busy visiting, eating, and training with my new toy!

Nikon D70

No doubt that its a 5 years old model, but I'm more than excited to finally have my own DSLR! And I have to thank my uncle in Hong Kong for giving me this! Hopefully with a bit more practice, I could upload more tempting food shots on here!

Besides backlogs to clear (debt carried forward from last year, oops), I am also looking forward to this weekend's stay: Festive Hotel @ Resorts World! More on that soon!
Monday, February 08, 2010

NIE Canteen: The Secret Bak Chor Mee Combo!

The National Institute of Education canteen is really quite a hassle for most NTU students to visit. At the edge of the NIE main block, you need to walk plentiful before reaching it, a route march distance if you start off at South Spine. Most of us wil probably visit it only twice a year for its bookstore, but I am oh-so-willing to brave the walk for its Bak Chor Mee!

While there are plenty of good stuffs like Yong Tau Foo and the original Western Food, the undisputed longest queue is at its noodles store. Priced at $2.20 per bowl, they whipped out BCM, Prawn/Pork Rib Noodles and Lor Mee that could be sold out as early as 2pm!

Now I'm letting out the best well-kept secret of the store: (At least thats what I think la) Do you know that you can order a special version of BCM at 3 dollars? This one hsa extra noodles, ingredients and comes with their prawn soup!

But here comes the hard part: The uncle at the store can be quite a Food Nazi, so he will really scold you if you don't say properly what you want, or not in the order he wants to hear it. Ready? Repeat after me:

"Uncle, 我要3块钱肉挫面,加虾汤,料随便掺!"

This loosely translates into "I want 3 dollars BCM, with prawn soup, anyhow mix the ingredients"

Minced Pork Noodles

And there you go! Its one of the few BCM that really piled you with Minced Pork, alongside generous dosage of dried mushrooms, sliced ngor hiang and fried wonton. The noodles is al dente to my liking, with a good mixture of chilli and vinegar. Not something spectacular, but very comforting!

Prawn Soup

The second highlight! Now don't expect Beach Road standards, but it was still better than many of the prawn mee stores out there. With a pork ball and fishcake slices, the soup had a subtle prawn flavour which doesn't leave you thirsty afterwards. An obvious choice over the usual plain BCM soup!

Lor Mee

Besides BCM, the Lor Mee was also very well done with plenty of ingredients, thick stock and a good balance of thin vermicelli and thin broad yellow noodles. A real hearty steal at its price!

To me, this is probably the best thing 3 dollars can get you at NTU, diligently coming back weekly for my BCM fix! I heard that you could replace the "anyhow mix the ingredients" with other items, but I have yet the courage to ask uncle that. Anyone willing to experiment this for me?
Monday, February 01, 2010

Halia: Brunch in The Greens!

What do you do on a Sunday morning? Wake up late, free from work, and looking forward to a sumptuous brunch treat. Thats exactly what I like to do! Along with 17 like-minded foodies!

Located at Botanic Gardens, Halia became our choice of January gathering as all of us had not been here before. Built with wooden planks and matching furnishing, the restaurant resembled a posh kampong house amidst lush greenery, tweetering birds and running squrrels. While they do have indoor dining, that would be rather wasteful of the closer-to-nature alfresco seatings!

Halia Infusion ($9.00)

I took their house specialty for a morning cuppa, which was a blend of coffee with sun-dried ginger and wild mountain honey. The spicy taste of ginger was distinct yet not overpowering, while the honey probably added sweetness to the coffee without any notable flavour. I felt that it was a nice change from the usual morning brews, but the price would have deterred me from ordering it again.

Poached Egg with Back Bacon (top, $16.00) or Ocean Trout (Bottom, $24.00)

Most of us went with this two choices while there is also a vegetarian option ($14.00) available. Served with roasted mushrooms, spinach and tomato, it was a wonderful combination when eaten together with the toast, dipped in the runny york! My shot didn't bring justice to the trout as it was really much thicker on the other side! There were some comments that the Hollandaise sauce was too sour for their liking, something for them to improve on?

Kurobuta Pork and Portobello Mushroom Burger

Now this one gathered some rather extreme opinions. Phoebe and Zaylene was thoroughly disappointed, comparing it to Farmland or Ramly patties. Jia Yi and I, on the other hand, thought that it was pretty good! For me, I felt that it was great to have an alternative to beef, as the apple aioli sauce went well with the tender texture of the patty and the portobello mushroom shining with juicy earthy flavour. Taste really is subjective!

Cinnamon French Toast ($14.00)

Harris had this for his main, and he said that while it was rather enjoyable at first, the toast soon became a one big mixture of sweetness overdose and weak cinnamon taste.

Cappuccino Dunkin' Pit ($10.00)

Sadly, the general comment for this was that it was much better in look than in taste. The layer of white turned out to be whipped cream instead of ice cream, making one feel stuffed after a few mouthful.

With plenty of brunch options around, Halia wasn't exceptionally memorable for their food. But with laid-back nature settings and most importantly for me, the company I had that morning, taste really became secondary!

Read about their experience here:


And knowing us, how could we end off the gathering without sweets? Heading straight to Blic!