Archive for December, 2013

Rokeby Cafe Bistro at Jalan Riang

*Media Invite*

Jalan Riang is another of those up-and-coming laid-back type street lined with cafes and cool restaurants. I’ve been meaning to check it out for the longest time, but being an Eastie, Serangoon has always been so called off my radar. Well, I finally made it there for lunch on the Saturday just before Christmas at the kind invitation of Rokeby Cafe Bistro.

I was told I could bring a guest, but because it so happened that my parents were with me, I lugged them along for the tasting session well prepared to share everything, and thank god I did because Rokeby was so generous with the food, there was no way the Partner and I could have finished the feast!

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Rokeby Cafe/Bistro is an Australian inspired establishment serving delectable gourmet food and artisan coffee with unique latte art. Coffee beans are freshly roasted from Western Australia and gourmet teas imported from Melbourne. Staying true to its roots, Rokeby serves Australian wines and offers a variety of Australian beer.

I really like the woody tones used in the decor at Rokeby, and of course a pretty Christmas tree during the Christmas season is never a bad thing.

Rokeby Cafe Bistro - Vegemite Glazed Chicken $11.90 and Mushroom Fritters $9 (2)

Mushroom Fritters $9

We left it to Denyse Janz, co-owner of Rokeby to recommend us dishes to try. Rokeby has been reinventing and upgrading itself ever since their opening earlier in 2013. You will find that even the colour theme as change, not to mention tweaks to the menu. Quite a number of dishes we tried were only just introduced into the menu.

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Christmas Afternoon Tea at The Regent Singapore

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you managed to have a great celebration together with loved ones and friends! Christmas is undoubtedly my favourite time of the year and I really wish it were 12 days long instead of just one! I love all the Christmassy decorations, the “colder” weather, the festive atmosphere and of course, PRESENTS!

Christmas at The Regent Hotel (28)

Every year as is tradition with The Partner and I, we like to go for a nice Christmas meal outside. The last few years we have always gone to The GoodWood Park Hotel for their Christmas day buffet lunch, but we decided to say enough is enough when prices got way over $100 per pax. Yeah, I mean I can understand that restaurants jack up prices during Christmas, but to pay double what they would normally charge, you gotta wonder whether it would be more worth it to enjoy the buffet on a normal day, then you can have it twice!

Christmas at The Regent Hotel (2)

So I thought I would have to forgo the restaurant festivities this year, when I thought of a good plan. Did you know that apart from Christmas lunch and Christmas-Eve dinner, there is also Christmas afternoon tea buffet? Christmas afternoon tea buffet was exactly what we went for today, at the Regent Hotel. Instead of paying well over $100, we just paid $65++ per pax for an equally enjoyable Christmas lunch! Yes, the afternoon tea was served in 2 seatings, so we took the earlier seating from 12-2.30pm. The afternoon tea buffet is obviously not as lavish as what you would expect for a lunch buffet, but it was still lavish enough that I barely sampled half the items at the buffet! I’m definitely going for the Christmas afternoon tea buffet next year if given the choice. I hope that me letting this secret out won’t cause prices to inflate!

Christmas at The Regent Hotel (20)

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Last Minute Christmas Presents from Cold Storage

By now, I’m afraid if you haven’t already pre-ordered your roast turkey and festive sets, it might already be too late for Christmas. The last I checked, there were still a lot of turkeys in the frozen section, if you so wish to do the honours yourself. It’s actually not that difficult, as long as you have a large enough oven. I’ve always wanted to roast a whole turkey myself, but each year I always end up eating out or being invited to friends’ Christmas parties.

As for last minute Christmas gifts, I have a great tip for you. Forget about squeezing with the Orchard Road crowd because that will most probably drive your blood pressure up. I think supermarkets are one of the best ideas for last minute Christmas gifts. You can consider buying your last minute Christmas presents from Cold Storage, I think that would be a saner option. And I’m not lying when I say that I’ve done so on many occasions!

Here are my top picks of great last minute Christmas gifts from the supermarket!
  • Olive oils (look for the artisanal ones or olive oils infused with herbs)
  • Teas (You can get Gryphon Tea here too!)
  • Ghiradelli Hot Chocolate (a Californian brand of which I’ve been wanting to visit their factory!)
  • Cake-mix, whisk and cup cake papers (yes, quite unconventional I know, but good for girlfriends who have been swooning over pretty but overpriced cupcakes? Get them to make their own! This must surely be a unique gift idea!)
  • Tea biscuits
  • Wine (see the list of wines that Cold Storage is retailing below)

Traditionally made double chocolate chip biscuits, stem ginger and lemon biscuits (2)

Traditionally made double chocolate chip biscuits, stem ginger and lemon biscuits

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The Garden Slug Revisited

The Garden Slug is a laid back cafe in Telok Kurau that has quite a character. I think it’s quite evident right, from the name of the cafe! But most importantly, because it is situated next to the popular Telok Kurau animal clinic, there are quite a number of cats roaming around. They take no notice of you and have no desire to move from their seat even if they are not welcome at the table. When I visited again earlier this year with my parents and the Partner, a kitty had taken up permanent residence on one of the seats, as a result, the Partner had to sit at the side of the table! But we are cat lovers so we felt lucky to be graced by the cat’s presence. I guess you could call this the very 1st cat cafe in Singapore, sort of!

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This was our 2nd visit to The Garden Slug, the 1st visit being back in 2011, so we were familiar with the healthy yet hearty dishes served here. Alas, they didn’t have the lovely seafood broth I so wanted!

The Garden Slug - Ohmelette with bacon, cheese veggies $12 (1)

Ohmelette with bacon, cheese veggies $12

I can’t resist eggs for brunch so I got this omelette dish. It’s really appealing the way they put the ingredients on top of the eggs instead of wrapped up and hidden inside. The Partner was particularly attracted to all the lovely pieces of bacon calling out to him.

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Host your Christmas Party with Crystal Jade!

Have you been wondering where to spend your Christmas or which restaurant to have Christmas-eve dinner? I did a quick look at the prices charged by the hotels for Christmas-eve dinner and Christmas day lunch and I nearly fell off my chair! The prices are really exorbitant! Most hotel’s Christmas buffets are $100 and upwards! Sure they throw in a lot of festive goodies, but it’s a little painful to have to part with so much cash just for a bit of Christmas cheer.

One way to not miss out on the Christmas festivities is to organise your own Christmas Party. You don’t have to do all the cooking because you can simply find a reputable caterer who will do the job for you.

Santa's Hat Starwberry Cupcake

Or you could consider ordering from Crystal Jade’s Christmas Takeaway menu! I would never have thought of approaching a Chinese restaurant for Christmas goodies, but I’ve looked at their menu and it does look really good! Check out the 2 affordable deals below. I mean for $330, which probably feeds 3 at a restaurant, you can have your own party for 10 pax! This is in fact the 7th year running that Crystal Jade has had a festive Christmas menu and the food is prepared on the same day of collection so that you don’t have to reheat before serving.

Deluxe Candilicious Package

The Deluxe ‘Candilicious’ Package

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