Archive for July, 2010

Toast Box banana cake

Toast Box Banana Cake

Nothing like a slice of banana cake and a steaming hot cup of tea to chase the grey clouds away. The Toast Box banana cake certainly is cheap, and for the price, it’s tolerable. I don’t think I’ve ever had really good store bought banana cake before. Does anyone know of any good places to have some? But as with Kaya, the best banana cake is a home made banana cake.

Make your own homemade kaya

365days2play's Kaya

After all that round island kaya sampling I did this month, I decided to make my own just to see if I could stand up to the big boys. Because you know they always say nothing beats home-made.

Despite many people labelling kaya making as laborious and difficult, I actually found it surprisingly easy. All I did was to whisk 5 eggs, 1 packet of coconut milk and 200gm of sugar in 1 bowl. That took less than 5 minutes. The next step was to transfer the liquid into a pot and gently simmer on the stove while stirring non-stop. I also added a few strips of pandan leaves for aroma and colour. The Kaya is ready when it has reached your desired consistency. Some like watery kaya while others like theirs thick.  The kaya you see in the picture above (I put it into my empty peanut butter jar so don’t be confused) was the result of 45 minutes of simmering and stirring.

EASY PEASY!

OK easy enough, but laborious admittedly. Still, if you manage to get your fire really low, or if you have a double boiler, you only need to stir periodically. Kaya burns easily due to the sugar content. Also, the constant stirring is to prevent the mixture from getting so hot that the eggs turn into hard boiled bits.

The recipe definitely needs some fine tuning though. It was just a little too sweet for me, so I would reduce on the sugar the next time. My mother said it lacked the eggy aftertaste, so perhaps 2 more eggs? And maybe coconut cream instead of coconut milk, for a richer kaya. But still, it was wonderful, and definitely better than any cheapo kaya you can procure at the supermarket. I put a big blob of the kaya onto some cream crackers and they were superb.

Try it everybody! Make your own kaya at home! Surprise your friends with your very own kaya (cheaper than store bought presents!)

Epicurious – again

Yes, despite my new policy of not eating at the same place twice, or at least not so quickly, we made it back to Epicurious again, this time with the Partner in tow. There are actually quite a number of cafes in the Robertson Quay area. I really ought to give them a chance. It is sad but true that it is possible to actually overdose on baked eggs.

As expected, the service was so so. Although we arrived at 10am to beat the crowd (the website says their busiest hours are 11-1pm), it was actually more crowded than the week before. We waited 10 minutes before we got a seat, and we waited 40 minutes before we got our food. More than half the tables were waiting for food when we got there, so I really do wonder if Epicurious is crowded simply because the patrons have to wait so long.

But, as they say, there’s no free lunch, so you just have to wait if you want good and cheap food! If the pictures in the previous post did not entice you enough to go, maybe these 3 pictures will.

 Epicurious Baked Eggs with PrawnsBaked Eggs with Prawns

Epicurious Big Breakfast with scrambled eggsScrambled Eggs with bacon, sausages and tomatoes.

Epicurious Sunny Side UpSunny side up. The REAL way to eat eggs!

 

Read about my 1st visit to Epicurious.

 

Epicurious at The Quayside

#01-02 The Quayside, Robertson Quay
Tel: 6734-7720

http://epicurious.com.sg

Lunch
11:30am to 2:30pm, Tuesday—Friday

Dinner
5:30pm to 10pm, Tuesday—Sunday

Brunch
9am to 4pm, Saturday & Sunday

Afternoon tea at The Courtyard Fullerton Hotel

The other day, while researching on the best hotel to take P for her birthday, I came across the Afternoon High Tea at the Fullerton Courtyard. Because we’d decided to go for the Ritz Carlton’s Chihuly Lounge Afternoon Tea, I thought I had to give the Fullerton’s Afternoon Tea a miss. Well, that was only what the brain said. The mouth and the stomach protested, so I succumbed and decided to go for 2 Afternoon Teas consecutively! My mother was only too happy to partake in this windfall…can’t go for afternoon tea alone, can I?

Afternoon Tea starts at 2.30pm, so when we arrived at 3pm, we were quite surprised that nobody had started eating yet. Everybody seemed to be waiting for something to happen. What struck us was how hushed the entire place was. It was as if we were entering a very serious place. It didn’t help that the tables were extra long, such that you are actually nearer to the diner next to you, than to your companion at the opposite end.

Anyway, I ordered a hot chocolate while my mother ordered some chinese tea. 5 minutes later, we saw the staff carrying the 3 tier stands of goodies. Goodness, luckily we arrived late and didn’t have to wait long as compared to those who arrived at 2.30pm.

Courtyard 3-tier tea service The tasty bite sized morsels, now tell me if you don’t like having afternoon tea? Everyone gets a standard 3 tier service, and you can have free refills of your favourites. You also get the choice of 2 different drinks per person.

Courtyard finger sandwiches (2) Mini burger looking things with smoked salmon in them, cucumber sandwiches…

Courtyard Egg sandwiches Egg sandwich

Courtyard sconesI have to say, Fullerton The Courtyard has one of the BEST scones in Singapore I have ever eaten. Scones can be bland, but these were so good, they could have been eaten without jam or cream

Courtyard Clotted Cream and Jam

But since jam and clotted cream was provided, there’s no reason not to eat the scone plain right? A while back, I thought that clotted cream was hard to come by in Singapore. If you haven’t eaten scones with clotted cream, you have been missing out. But it seems now it is more easily available. Perhaps in time to come, clotted cream will become ubiquitous?

Courtyard Macaron Green Macaron

Courtyard Clotted CreamCourtyard finger sandwiches

They provided so much clotted cream, I wish I had space to eat it all!

Courtyard Tea Chinese Tea

Courtyard Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate

Only allowed to have 2 drink choices per person

Courtyard Trolley of Goodies Trolley of goodies. They first serve you the standard 3 tier service, then you can choose what you want for seconds, unlimited

Courtyard Seating Area facing columns The couple next to us left quite early, so we did have a very comfortable time in the end. The Courtyard has a very bright and airy feel to it thanks to the high glass ceiling.

Courtyard Seating Area Plush chairs with your very own cushion.

The Afternoon high tea costs $36 on weekdays. Will have to check how much it costs on the Weekend. There is also a “1 dines free for every 3 diner” promotion going on.

On the whole, I enjoyed the food very much, but my mother commented that most of the items were sweet items. There was very little meaty things to eat, which is very true. The 2 drink c
omplementary drinks weren’t enough, considering that places like Shangri La and Ritz Carlton offer free flow of made to order drinks.

Also, most of the staff seemed pretty aloof and unfriendly. I get the feeling that Fullerton Hotel tries very hard to make itself look posh and expensive. When I stayed there earlier this year, there were so many signs put up in the hotel room proclaiming this and that to be chargeable, which I felt was too direct, in fact, bordering on offensive. I know they want to charge for the items, and I don’t know how else they could have done it, but I certainly didn’t get the same feeling in other hotels I’ve stayed.

Read about my reviews on other excellent Afternoon Tea places in Singapore

Capella Hotel Sentosa – The Knolls

Ritz Carlton Chihuly Lounge – Part 1 (Sweet)

Ritz Carlton Chihuly Lounge – Part 2 (Savoury)

Goodwood Park L’Espresso

Regent Hotel Lobby Lounge

Hotel Intercontinental Lobby Lounge

Check out 365days2play’s review where to find the Best Scones in Singapore

Check out Sister Hotel Fullerton Bay Hotel’s Lobby Lounge known as Landing Point (just updated in Apr 2012!).

 

The Fullerton Hotel Singapore
1 Fullerton Square
Singapore 049178
Telephone: (65) 6733 8388
Facsimile: (65) 6735 8388
Email:
info@fullertonhotel.com

The Courtyard
Afternoon tea: 2.30pm – 6pm
Telephone: 6877 8129
Email: thecourtyard@fullertonhotel.com


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Absinthe Restaurant Français

Football can be useful after all. During the World Cup, 2 colleagues decided to make a bet on who would win the Holland vs Brazil match. The loser would have to pay for dinner at an expensive restaurant. I didn’t bet at all, but I quickly stuck my head in to be counted as one of the recipients of the eventual dinner. After all, what fun would it be if just the 2 dined together? So, Brazil lost and we all got to go to Absinthe, the French restaurant located at Bukit Pasoh Road near Outram.
You know how it is with atas (fine-dining) restaurants. They lay out all the empty wine glasses, and then when you tell them you’re not having any alcohol, they give you the look before taking the wine glasses away?
I’ve always found those empty glasses pretty much an obstruction on the table. I mean like why on earth do I need so many, and why can’t they be put there only AFTER I order wine? Anyway, the answer is that first you have a glass of champagne to calm your nerves from the day’s stresses, then you progress on to a white wine and a red wine for the appetisers, and then another red wine specially chosen for the meat dish, and then finally a dessert wine.
Everyone’s spirits was high. We managed to secure a nice table behind the full length wine cabinet, so we were nicely hidden from  most of the restaurant. The couple, seated nearest to our table could still see us. Their hopes of a romantic dinner were utterly squashed by the noise generated from our table and they kept giving us the evil eye. So, if you ever go to Absinthe, make sure never to get a seat near to the wine cellar.
Everyone chose the $98 degustation set, which comprised of the following:-
Absinthe Raw Starter

Ceviche of Marinated King Fish with Lime and Coconut, Mesclun Salad

This was so good. King Fish isn’t that easily available in Singapore, and I just love the firm texture and sweet taste of the fish.

Absinthe Soup

Cheese Ravioli with pesto and sundried tomato soup

Absinthe Foie Gras

Pan-Fried Foie Gras with Warm Blinis and Morello Cherries

I hate to say this but this was superb too!

Absinthe Beef Tenderloin

Grilled Beef Tenderloin on mashed potato bed

(you have to say “medium” in French restaurants to get what is “medium-rare” in other restaurants)

Absinthe Coconut Creme Brulee

Coconut Creme Brulee with Coconut Sorbet

Absinthe Restaurant Français

Location: 46 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore, 089858
Phone: 6222-9068
Mon – Fri: 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm, 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Sat: 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm

http://www.absinthe.sg

Absinthe’s Facebook

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