Archive for September, 2010

Scoop of Art

Scoop of Art

Is it just me or do you think that there seems to be many ice-cream shops popping up all over the place? There are so many in the East Coast area that you can almost bet a dollar that there’s one down every street you turn! Take for example the Marine Parade Community Centre. What used to be Cristofori the Music School, is now Scoop of Art! It’s no art school though, it’s an ice-cream shop! Singapore’s first Gelato & Art café no less!

According to their website, Scoop of Art gives everyone the opportunity to experiment with a wide variety of Gelato flavours & Art & Craft. No right or wrong. Just pure freedom of expression in a comfortable & delicious environment!

Scoop of Art - Ice Blended Coffee

I went to check it out a few Saturdays ago when I was consumed by a sudden parchness of the throat. I didn’t want ice-cream though, so we ordered an iced coffee and a coke. The coffee was OK. I guess their expertise is in the ice-cream.

I don’t think I should comment on the ice-cream, since I didn’t have any. They don’t have aas large a selection as compared to some other ice-cream parlours. However, they do have some interesting flavours like Mars Bar & Sea Salt which I’d like to try out some day. Other sweeties you can have there include brownies, crumble and waffles. Interestingly, when I was there most people were having lunch because Scoop of Art also serves hot food like pastas.

 Scoop of Art  - Menu Scoop of Art - Glass of Coke

Scoop of Art

278 Marine Parade Road, #01-03 Singapore, 449282

Phone: 63456563
Mon – Thurs: 9:30 am – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 9:30 am – 11:00 pm
Sun: 9:30 am – 10:00 pm
Scoop of Art Facebook

http://www.scoop-of-art.com

Eggstrodinary!!

The hotel I stayed in Perth provided a complimentary cooked breakfast each morning. Whatever the other side dishes are, the eggs are always the most eggciting part for me. I like mine sunny side up, whites crispy on the edges and yolks still runny. YUM YUM YUM! The Partner on the other hand likes his cooked to the core, in the form of omelettes or scrambled eggs.

The 3 days I was there, I would always specify 1 sausage and 1 hashbrown. But each time, a pair would arrive. This is despite the waitress dutifully scribbling down every word I said. I wonder if it is because the waitress is Chinese, and when I say “one”, she understands it as “one portion”.    

Eggmazing! Eggmazing! (2) Eggmazing! (3)

Eggmazing! (4)

Bin305.Wine.Food

Mantra on Murray

297-305 Murray Street, PERTH, WA, 6000, Australia

Tel: +61 7 5665 4450

SALTA Argentine Parrilla + Grocer

Be warned, this post will inundate you with lots of meat photos, so don’t read with a hungry stomach!

After work yesterday, to avoid the noisy F1, we decided to go to the Tanjong Pagar area to see if we could find somewhere interesting to dine. Having previously really enjoyed exploring the nooks and crannies of the Tanjong Pagar area, I had no doubts that we would be able to find some place nice.

Didn’t take long. We veered towards Icon Village and into Salta Argentine Parrilla and Grocer. The restaurant has a contemporary look with understated dark tones, which made it exude a comforting yet upper-end vibe, helped along by the wine glasses on every table. I like dining at nicely decored places. The photos look nicer too.

For some reason (before I saw the name of the restaurant), I had immediately assumed that Salta was Italian. Obviously, it’s not. Salta offers Argentine food, with a huge focus on meats. Apparently, Salta is the only restaurant in Singapore to serve Argentine food. As we had never tried Argentine food before, Brazilian Churrasco I presume being the closest we have tried, we gladly settled for dinner at Salta.

Salta GrillWe took a nice table near the flat screen TV which was perpetually stuck on the same image. Thanks to that image it will now be etched in my brain forever that just like New Zealand, the fertility of the Argentine soil and the temperate climate helps grow lush nutrient rich grass, which allows Argentina to produce some of the best beef in the world. Like New Zealand, the beef used is from free range grass-fed cows. It is more environmentally friendly than grain-fed cows (and tastes better in my opinion). This is as how nature intended it. The Partner will have me add that since we are in Singapore, it is better to choose New Zealand beef as compared to Argentine beef, as the carbon footprint will be smaller. Ok back to the food!

Salta doesn’t have an extensive menu. There are about 10 main courses on offer, mostly meats, with 1 or 2 seafood dishes, and 2 pasta dishes. They have beef skirt, beef rump, sirloin, ribeye and lamb chops etc. We found it hard to decide on which dish to choose so we selected the Parrillada mixed grill for 2 people. All the meats and veges are grilled on a charcoal infused parrila.

Parrillada Mixed GrillThis is the mixed grill for 4 people: – Beef Sirloin, Beef Skirt, Chicken, Kurobuta, Sausage, Sweetbread, Vegetables & Potato

Parrillada Mixed Grill - Meats

This is the size of the mixed grill for 2 people. Same meats, but smaller portion.

 Parrillada Mixed Grill - Vegetables - Copy

This is the grilled veges and potatoes

Most of the meats were quite tasty and juicy. The most outstanding piece of meat to me was the Beef Skirt. Skirt steak is a long, flat cut below the diaphragm of the cow, that is prized for its flavour rather than tenderness. I have to say that without a doubt, this is one of the tastiest, if not the tastiest pieces of beef I have ever eaten. On my next visit, I am definitely going to order the skirt steak as my main dish. I don’t know how Salta did it, but that skirt steak was pretty tender too.

Another highlight was the sweetbread, which is not related to bread at all. It is meat from the neck of the animal. This one was grilled lightly and tasted like extra tender and tasty chicken. I’d thought it was chicken, until the Partner suddenly wondered if sweetbread was brains. It wasn’t brains, which I’d like to try someday. Unfortunately, I think you can’t order sweetbread as a main-course on its own.

The vegetables were pretty ordinary in comparison to the meats. I thought they were a bit too greasy for my liking too.

The Parrillada Mixed Grill costs $70 for 2 people. The portion was just right for the 2 of us, but big eaters may still feel slightly hungry. For such people I would recommend the individual main portions as they range from 200-300gms. Still, the mixed grill is a good choice as it allows you to sample many of the nice meats on offer. The main courses range from about $20 – $35, which I think are very reasonable prices for the quality offered.

Salta does not charge GST or Service charge, so you pay the exact same price you see on the menu. Also, there is an OCBC credit Card promotion going on, which gives a further 20% discount. A really good deal!

We didn’t have time for dessert, maybe next time! Read about my 2nd visit to Salta Parrilla for Christmas Lunch.

Salta - Beef TenderloinSalta - Grilled Pork SausagesSalta - Dulce de Leche - Cream Caramel Salta - “Dulce de Leche” crepe with vanilla ice cream

SALTA Argentine Parrilla + Grocer

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Icon Village, 12 Gopeng Street #01-56 Singapore 078877 
Phone: 6225 8443
Mon – Thurs: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm ; 6:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30 am – 2:30 pm ; 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm
http://www.facebook.com/SaltaParrilla

Read about my 2nd visit to Salta Parrilla for Christmas Lunch

See these links for more on what to do in Tanjong Pagar.

Craig’s Place

Pink Dining & Bar

TWG Tea Salon

I said I would do a post on TWG Teas. Well here it is!

Did you know that TWG Teas was started by 2 businessmen in Singapore only about 2 years ago? They must have a really solid team working behind the scenes because it took them less than 2 years to get themselves branded as a premium tea seller. TWG is available at many upscale places such as SIA, Fullerton Hotel and even Harrods! From the look of their 2 Tea Salons in Singapore, no one would fault you for assuming that TWG has been operating for years!

I’ve been to both the TWG Tea Salons at Republic Plaza and Ion Shopping Mall. The Ion salon seems to be packed all the time. When I was there on a weekend, I had to line up for 10 minutes before I got a table. They do take reservations for weekdays though. The seating area is rather small and very cramped. You can almost touch the person at the next table. Since people are there to relax over a cuppa tea after a hard day’s shopping, no one is in a hurry to vacate their seats. The Republic Plaza salon on the other hand was pretty empty save for a few corporate looking types talking business when we were there, and naturally so since few people purposely venture into the business district for fun.

I will say this upfront, it’s not cheap to dine at TWG. TWG - Whipped cream and tea jellyThe tea-time set comprising a pot of tea and your choice of 2 scones or 2 muffin costs $17. A pot of tea on its own is about $10.50, which means that each scone or muffin costs $3.25. Not cheap considering that the scones are on the small side. The scones were not too bad, but not spectacular enough to warrant the price. The muffin was a let down. The scones do come with whipped cream and their unique TWG tea jelly. The jelly as some TWG tea infused into it, which is an interesting touch. However, the jelly, being jelly, was too wobbly and not sweet enough to go with the scones.

The tea was very nice. They have an extensive tea menu for you to choose from that you almost become dazed at the 3 or 4 pages worth of tea names. Many of them have weird alphabets and numerals behind them, which kinda makes one wonder how it was possible to just survive with Lipton and Boh tea for the last 20 years. In any case, when faced with FTGFOP1, don’t look lost. Just know that it stands for Finest Tippy Golden Flowery Orange Pekoe 1. What that actually means is reserved for discussion another day heh.

TWG - Tea

See the thing with TWG is that that 1 pot of tea costs $10.50. However, if you were to buy 50gms of the same loose leaf tea, it also costs the same $10.50. This 50gm bag of tea allows you to make more than 10 cups of tea. And tea is not difficult to brew at home. I’ve been having their Rwandan Express tea for breakfast and tea-time in the office nearly everyday.

Secondly, if you have money to burn, won’t you rather pay a little bit more and spend your leisurely afternoon in the comfort of a spacious but equally if not more luxurious hotel lobby lounge? It will probably be more value for money. Compare TWG’s $25 set menu where you get the tea, 2 scones/muffins and 3 finger sandwiches, with Shangri-La afternoon tea buffet which offers 101 tea selections and afternoon tea buffet line at about $38. Or if you must have TWG tea, you can try Fullerton Hotel’s afternoon tea buffet at $36. Are you getting the drift here?

TWG - Scones TWG Teas

Check out TWG’s menu for weekday and weekend and see if you fancy playing tai tai for a day.

http://www.twgtea.com

http://www.twgtea.com/Download/Menu-ION-WD180810.pdf

http://www.twgtea.com/Download/Menu-ION-WE180810.pdf

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique (Raffles Place)

9 Raffles Place, #01 – 22
Republic Plaza
Singapore 048619

Tel: +65 6538 1837 Fax: +65 6534 1837

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique (Orchard Road)

ION Shopping Mall
2 Orchard Turn, #02 – 21
Singapore 238801

Tel: +65 6735 1837 Fax: +65 6736 1837

Opening hours:
Monday – Sunday, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm

Table reservations can be made from Mondays to Fridays at these times:

Breakfast 10:00 am to 11:00 am

Lunch 12:00 pm to 2:30 pm

Dinner  6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Triple Three Restaurant at Meritus Mandarin

Buffet dinner at Triple Three Restaurant some weeks back. At $80+ per person, the price was quite steep. Luckily, there was a 1 for 1 promotion going on, which then made the buffet a steal. The buffet selection was not as large as the ones at Oriental Hotel Melt Cafe or Shangri La The Line. The dessert line was also somewhat lacking. No signature rich and luscious looking chocolate cake for the eyes to feast on, and too many local kueh types.

However, what impressed me was the number of stations where food is prepared only after you order! They had a tempura station that was constantly churning out hot and crispy tempura prawns and mushrooms. They had a sashimi station where you get to choose the raw fish you want before they slice it. At the pasta station, you got to choose the type of pasta you wanted, the ingredients to go with it, and the sauce. Goodbye soggy pasta. And the best one, they even had a Teppanyaki station where you can get beef steak cooked on the spot! Can you beat that?

At $40 plus dollars if the promotion is still on, I am seriously considering going again!

Triple Three (2)Triple Three (5)Triple Three (6)Triple Three (8)Triple Three (7)Triple Three (12)

Click more to see close up shots of the food

Triple Three Restaurant

333 Orchard Road, Meritus Mandarin Singapore Level 5

Tel: +65 6831 6271

Breakfast: 6.30am – 10.30am
Lunch: 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.30pm – 10pm

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