Archive for June, 2011

Group Therapy Cafe

My colleague’s sister’s cafe located in the new and improved Duxton Hill area. Quite a change from the mostly male managed cafes of the likes of Chef Icon, Papa Palheta, Loysel’s Toy, 40Hands and The Plain. I happened to be in the Tanjong Pagar area and wanted a cuppa. You may already know that a number of new cafes and eateries have set up premises in the Duxton area. I didn’t know which one to go to so I thought I’d just walk along the shophouses and stop at one that looked promising. And hey, whaddya’ know, the first cafe that I saw was Group Therapy Coffee. Well, to be exact, I saw their signboard on the 1st floor, right next to Etna Italian Restaurant. Group Therapy Coffee is located above the Etna restaurant, on the 2nd floor.

As compared to Chef Icon, Papa Palheta and so on, Group Therapy Coffee is very spacious! We were the only customers in the time that we were there, as they’ve only opened a few weeks ago. Group Therapy Coffee serves light bites like panini sandwiches, poached eggs, quiche, salads etc. No heavy cooking here as the ventilation won’t allow for it. As the place is larger than usual, with areas that can be cordoned off, private events can be held here as well.

If you can, get a seat by the window so you can look down into the streets below. The streets are quiet on the weekend but I think it’s a nice feeling to be able to stare out and just dream away.

Group Therapy Coffee - Bar Counter (2)

Group Therapy Coffee - Cafe Latte (2)

Cafe Latte $5 – Pretty good. Quite up there with the big boys. When I think that I don’t mind another cup of coffee, I can say they’ve passed the taste test.

Group Therapy Coffee - Grilled Smoked Ham Panini

Grilled Ham with mushrooms and cheese panini $14 – Quite substantial if you were to order it for lunch. I liked the combination of grilled ham and mushrooms, and there was nice light sweet sauce to go along with it. Also like the healthy cous cous salad provided on the side, to ward off the evils of the potato chips. Bread tasted good too but would have been better if it wasn’t burnt.

Group Therapy Coffee - Vegetable Quiche

Vegetable Quiche $11 – Doesn’t look so nice in the photo, but actually tasted quite good! I loved the crust very much and kept taking more even though I was supposed to be having the panini. The filling was nice, but could do with a bit more egg. $11 is a bit pricey for a quiche though.

Group Therapy Coffee - Vanilla Ice Cream with Fruits

Ice Cream with berries

Address 49 Duxton Road, Singapore, Singapore 089513 · Get Directions

Phone +65.9173.4590

Website http://www.jackisnotdull.com/group-therapy

Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11:00 am-6:00 pm

Fri – Sat: 11:00 am-11:00 pm

Sun: 11:00 am-5:00 pm

D’Pastry – Delicious Durian Puffs!

Chanced upon these delicious durian puffs being sold at Bedok Point. These are really amazingly delicious. I’ve never heard of D’Pastry before, so it was a really pleasant surprise to find such good durian puffs in my neighbourhood. The puff itself was oh so light like air. According to the sales assistant, the durian filling itself is made of pure durian puree with no added sugar! Where are they finding these good durians coz I’m not that great a fan of eating durians, yet I enjoyed these durian puffs very much! The puff combined with the durian puree was just superb. Between me and my parents, we polished off 5 in like 1 minute.

There was a sign saying that they’d won the RedNano 2010 award for best durian puffs in Singapore. I think a lot of people have tried the GoodWood Park durian puffs and consider them to be great. I’m not an expert at durian puffs as I haven’t tried all that many, but I would say these are quite on par!

The puffs are 6 for $4.20. Or you could get a single durian crepe for $2, or a durian block cake with a layer of durian puree for $7.

D'Pastry -Durian Puffs for $4 (2) D'Pastry -Durian Puffs for $4 D'Pastry at Bedok Point

D’Pastry

799 New Upper Changi Road

#01-K3, Bedok Point, Singapore 467351

Tel/Fax : 6242 6738

Website: www.d-pastry.com

Casa Verde at Botanic Gardens

Recently, I received an email from a lady living in Australia asking me for recommendations for 2 “must visit” cafes in Singapore when she is here. After thinking long and hard, and taking into account proximity to tourist locations, I finally recommended Casa Verde at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

I love Casa Verde because of its unique location. It’s right smack in the middle of the Botanic Gardens, which means you get to dine in lush greenery, with the sounds of some fountains to aid your digestion. The breakfast at Casa Verde is quite good, and very affordable. An English Fry-up aka Big Breakfast aka Gourmet Breakfast costs only $14! If you come before 11am, you get a drink thrown in as well. There are some local favourites like Laksa and Mee Siam too, but I’d rather go to a hawker centre for that.

Seating is a bit of a problem on the weekends when everyone descends upon this place, children, dogs and more. If you don’t mind not having the free drink, you can still enjoy the all day breakfast at other times of the day.

Here’s what we enjoyed for brunch some months ago. We arrived just after 11am so we had to order from the lunch menu.

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Scrambled Eggs (2)

Whole Day Gourmet Breakfast (Choice of fried or scrambled eggs, mushrooms, back bacon, Cumberland sausages, has brown, grilled tomato & 2 slices of toasted country bread served with butter and preserves) $14 – You know I have this love affair with eggs, I just can’t resist posting close up shots of eggs. I think for $14, this is a pretty good deal! My favourite breakfast joint Epicurious still takes the trophy, but this is not too bad either. Only thing is, they don’t have baked beans.

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Sunny side Up

Casa Verde - Gourmet Breakfast with Sunny side Up (2)

This is also part of the Whole Day Gourmet Breakfast Set, just that I have chosen eggs done sunny side up instead of scrambled. I like it that the bacon used is back bacon. Streaky bacon just feels too oily and sinful for me when not cooked by myself.

Casa Verde - Toast with butter and jam

Lovely warm toast to go with all the eggs.

Casa Verde - Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia Casa Verde - Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia (2)

Tuna Mayonnaise on Foccacia $12 – There are not that many pescetarian options at Casa Verde so my father was forced to order this despite not liking tuna all that much. In the end, the tuna mayonnaise was a bit too creamy to his liking. We have eaten really good tuna mayonnaise sandwiches before at Egg3 Cafe and this one at Casa Verde didn’t quite match up.

Casa Verde - Club Sandwich

Casa Verde Club Sandwich $12.50 – Loved the chicken within the sandwich. It was tender and flavourful. Tomatoes and lettuce tasted fresh and complemented the chicken well. Once again, the chef was rather heavy handed with the mayonnaise. If you don’t like too much of it, be sure to tell them in advance.

Casa Verde by Les Amis Group

Crowded crowded crowded! This was 1pm on a Sunday!

Botanic Garden

Dining amidst greenery is a really good way to spend a lazy weekend

Casa Verde (by the Les Amis Group)

Visitors Centre, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Cluny Road Singapore 259569

Tel: 6467-7326

Sundays to Thursdays: 7.30am – 11am (Breakfast) 11.30am – 6pm (All-day Dining) 7pm – 11pm (Dinner – Last order at 9.30pm)

Fridays, Saturdays and eves of Public Holiday

7.30am – 11am (Breakfast) 11am– 6pm (All-day Dining) 7pm – 11pm (Dinner – Last order at 10pm)

http://www.lesamis.com.sg (click here for menu and prices)

Casa Verde Facebook

SoHo7 Cafe and Bistro

Once upon a time, I used to work in a lovely part of Singapore. Not only was it a convenient location, the place was steeped in history. The oldest church in Singapore was situated just next to my office, not to mention that there are several museums in the vicinity as well. Those were good times.

A few years ago, the building next to us, 36/37 Armenian Street, was acquired for refurbishment. Although we (or I at least) was sad to have to see the character of the old building change (hey there used to be people living in the upper quarters and we could see their laundry from our boardroom!), the consolation was that the building would be turned into something hip and happening, with cool cafes to cater to the Peranakan museum tourists. Alas, we never got to experience these cool cafes because we vacated the premises before the refurbishment was complete.

Anyway, the first cafe SoHo7 Cafe & Bistro is now open and I paid it a visit last week. Driving to Hill Street, it felt like being back home again, even if it came with a twinge of sadness. Standing along the street I could see that our old furniture was still there. The movers were just beginning to attack at it after we’ve left for nearly half a year.

Ok enough of the reminiscing and on to SoHo7 proper. It’s a tiny little cafe that occupies the corner unit of 36 Armenian Street. I think it can probably fit 30 people inside. There are a few high tables outside. Not a bad idea to sit outside on a cool day, sipping a cuppa while watching the cars whiz pass. It really is a peaceful hideaway just off the main road and 5 minutes from City Hall MRT.

Soho7 Cafe and Bistro

SoHo7’s focus is on breakfast dishes as well as burgers and sandwiches. The breakfast dishes are served daily from 8am until “the moon shines”.

Soho7 - Soho Best Ever BurgerSoho7 - Soho Best Ever Burger (3)

SoHo7’s Best Ever Burger (with egg, bacon n swiss cheese) $9.70 – Very decent price for a burger this size. It’s chock full of ingredients and made to order. SoHo7 has this special sauce which really enhances the burger. The meat was also very juicy but a little fattening in my opinion. Interesting the way the stick a knife in the burger but that’s required due to the sheer amount of ingredients! Don’t wait too long to eat the burger because it will get slightly soggy with the amount of juices from the patty and the sauce. I did feel a bit sinful after eating this burger but if you’re lost for choice as there are quite a number of burger selections, you won’t go wrong with this one.

Soho7 - Chicken Bacon Swiss Cheese n Avocado Burger (3)

Soho7 - Chicken Bacon Swiss Cheese n Avocado Burger (2)

Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Swiss Cheese n Avocado Sandwich $8.70 – All the ingredients complemented each other. Not a single ingredient overpowered the rest. The lettuce was crisp, the bread was nice and fresh. The chicken was tender and tasty. Seriously, this sandwich costs like only a few dollars more than a burger from a fast food restaurant. I’d definitely go for this, knowing all the ingredients are fresh and the food is made with love.

Soho7 - Cappucino (3)

Soho7 - Cappucino

Cafe Latte $4 – Good coffee for a decent price.

Soho7 - Iced Chocolate

Iced Chocolate $4.50 – Actually this is quite chocolatey, which is how I like it. But I didn’t like it that it is served in a cheap looking plastic cup.

Soho7 - Macchiato

House Blend Coffee  – Nice flavour, medium body.

Soho7 - Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes (2)Soho7 - Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes with peanut frosting $2 !! – Unbelievably good. The chocolate flavour was intense and there seemed to be a tinge of something different in it. Can’t quite put my finger on it. It seems denser than usual for cupcakes but I really don’t mind because what I want is flavour! You have to try this cupcake if you’re at SoHo7. Kudos to whoever who supplies these goodies to them.

Soho7 (13)

Soho7 (12)

Beware the evil arm…

Soho7

PS: Ventilation here ain’t that great. Don’t wear your best shirt here!

SoHo7 Cafe & Bistro

36 Armenian Street #01-08, Singapore, Singapore 179934

Mon – Fri: 8:00 am-8:30 pm

Sat: 9:00 am-6:00 pm

Sun: 9:00 am-6:30 pm

There is a open-air car park diagonal to 36/37 Armenian Street.

Carrot Cake

Just felt this urge to post something but I didn’t want to have to do a full length feature for now. Here’s some pictures of carrot cake consumed some time ago. Actually it’s not that fantastic and I’m sure there must be loads of places serving better carrot cake. But this stall is near my place, and for convenience’s sake, it’s quite okay. Do you know of any good carrot cake out there? I would love to try them out. Carrot cake aka Chai Tao Kuay is one of my favourite sinful local foods! But first, I need to amass some makan kakis to go try these stuff out. By the way, I happen to like the black one more than the white one.

Carrot Cake (2)

Carrot Cake (3)

Carrot Cake

PS: Carrot cake in Singapore refers to fried radish cake! Check out wikipedia if you want to know more!

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