Archive for the ‘1.4 Cafes’ Category

St Marc Bakery and Bar

Most people know about St Marc Cafe as it can be easily found in popular malls such as Raffles City or Vivocity. But have you heard of St Marc Bakery and Bar at Parkland Green ECP? I believe it’s the only outlet that serves full brunch, lunch and dinner meals. At least i couldn’t find information saying otherwise on their website.

Ever since I tried their signature Pasta Carbonara more than half a year ago when they’d first open, I was smitten. I was hosting some event at Parkland Green so I managed to have a mouthful, but that mouthful was so wonderfully heavenly that it has been etched in my subconscious mind since. I don’t know why I haven’t been back earlier, but I finally did so last week.

Truth be told, I hardly ever order Pasta Carbonara at restaurants as I can never be sure if the sauce is too thick and cloying. If I say so myself, I do make a pretty good version using Jamie Oliver’s recipe, so I’ve always been a little risk adverse to ordering it. But I did so very much want to relive the taste I had remembered, so I took the risk this time round

St Marc Bakery & Bar - Carbonara $15.80 (Crispy Bacon, Parmigianino, Black Pepper, Egg Yolk)

Carbonara $15.80 (Crispy Bacon, Parmigianino, Black Pepper, Egg Yolk)

The Pasta Carbonara was exactly as delicious and creamy as I had remembered. This being a Japanese version, it’s slightly different from those you get from the Western restaurants. I don’t quite know what goes into the sauce but it was creamy, salty, and was just full of umami. I suppose the saltiness comes from the added Parmesan cheese. I did find it a tad too salty towards the end, but I fully enjoyed the dish for the most part. Love the bouncy texture of the Japanese pasta too, they say it is textured like a mochi.

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Percolate renovated!

My friendly neighbourhood cafe has grown up! It is now twice as big as what it used to be after the law firm next door moved out.

Percolate (5)

Percolate (2)

The layout is such that the two sides are somewhat separated by a partition wall, but the huge hole in the wall still gives the illusion of space, and yet retains a certain cosiness to it. Guess what, the interior design firm that was in charge of the renovation is my cousin’s boyfriend’s firm. I had no idea about it until after Percolate closed for renovations!

Percolate - Curry Egg Mayo Croissant $7

Curry Egg Mayo Croissant $7

Glad to see that my favourite Curry Egg Mayo croissant was still on the menu! Still tastes just as good as I remember it to be.

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Dazzling Cafe Singapore

Can you remember the most important things to you when you were 22? Probably thinking of what modules to take next in Uni, or how to tackle the upcoming exams? Well Serene Tan has done all that and started her own cafe in Singapore by the age of 22! Have you heard of the Dazzling Cafe brand from Taiwan, which is renown for its sky high honey toast? I am told it that you have to wait 5 hours just to snag a table at the cafe! Such a pity I never got to check it out when I was in Taiwan a couple of years ago.

The brand was launched in 2010 and has now expanded to 9 outlets all over Taiwan, in addition to 4 outlets in Shanghai, 1 outlet in Hong Kong, and now also available in Singapore! Savoury Creations, owned by Serene Tan plans to open a couple more outlets in Singapore featuring different concepts.

Dazzling Cafe (1)

Dazzling Cafe is currently in its soft launch stage so it is only open from 12 noon – 8pm. On the day that it opened, I heard that people were already lining up at 8am. Crazy or what? I was lucky enough to be able to check out the cafe sans the queue. Smile

I think it’s only obvious that we start with a review of the desserts first…. Dazzling Cafe serves the Shibuya style French toast that are all the rage these days. They have somehow come up with a technique to render the French toast at an amazingly even crispness. I don’t recall seeing it in the menu but apparently you can ask for the toast to be either normal, medium or crispy, depending on your personal preference, and whether the toppings are more moist or not. And apparently, there are FOUR generations of French toast!

Dazzling Cafe - Matcha with Azki Beans Honey Toast $19.90

[4th Generation French Toast] Matcha with Azuki Beans Honey Toast $19.90

One of the more popular choices at Dazzling cafe despite the hefty nearly $20 price tag for toast, as it’s literally the tallest dessert here, and matcha anything always seems to up the interest factor. The toast was generously laden with thick cream, hiding some ice cream inside as well. The Matcha flavour is definitely distinct. While enjoyable, we all agreed that more ice cream and less cream might be a better combination. The azuki beans were kinda non existent too, or perhaps so in the portion that I took.

Dazzling Cafe - Valrhona Chocolate Waffle With Bailey's Ice Cream $12.90   $2.50  (1)

Valrhona Chocolate Waffle With Bailey’s Ice Cream $12.90 + $2.50

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AEIOU Cafe

I hadn’t planned on visiting any cafes yesterday as the parents were going to take us to try this delicious fish soup stall in Jalan Besar that they had recently discovered. It’s at this coffeeshop that has a multi-storey car park attached to it. Alas, because it was the Labour Day holiday, the stall was closed!

Instinctively, the parents and the partner turned to me and said “what next”? As if I am a walking Google Map of all the cafes nearby! I did my usual thing, which is “Just drive until I see something interesting!” We were on Horne Road which has 3 cafes, but we’d already been to Two Bakers, and I really didn’t want to have to step into The Bravery (stepped in once and it was full of cooking fumes and noisy like hell).

AEIOU Cafe

You won’t find the AEIOU sign outside. I tried. They’ve kept the previous owner’s Oriental Antique House signage instead.

So we turned down King George’s Avenue, where we immediately spotted a tiny sign proclaiming “CAFE Restaurant”. The truth be told, the exterior looked really run down, with what appeared to be several of the oldest and dirtiest looking furniture placed outside. It was really Retro taken to the extreme if you ask me, but I later found out that these were all up cycled furniture! Certainly all very Instagram-friendly, but not very welcoming we all agreed. Still, the menu with an emphasis on clean eating did win us over eventually.

AEIOU Cafe - Frittata $12.90  (1)

Frittata with onions and bell peppers $12.90

The frittata was really tasty, not oily, with just the right amount of egg. The veggies inside were crisp and evenly distributed. Additional salad was also generously tossed onto the frittata. The only thing is, it was missing some sort of a carbo, so we ordered the $2.90 garlic bread to go along with it.

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Paddy Hills

Paddy Hills is one of those cafes which serves full-fledged meals, as opposed to just pastries and coffee. With so many cafes in Singapore, more than 200 (?), gone are the days where a simple eggs benedict or an all day breakfast fry up will suffice. To have staying power in this fickle cafe scene, the focus is very much back on the quality and repertoire of the menu. Have your food Instagram friendly, but let that not be the only factor. Certainly for me at least, I would not have made the journey across from the Eastern end of Singapore to the West, if not for the promise of a unique experience. Food focussed Cafes, that’s what we need more of now, and that’s where you can bring your parents without them asking you “so where’s the food”?

Paddy Hills Lunch Menu

I must say Paddy Hills boasts a very interesting menu. There were so many items on the menu that I wanted to try, although being an egg fan, I did wish that they could have included their sous vide egg into more of the dishes. I’m not one for mixing sweets with savoury though. I did so very much want to try the Orange Ricotta Pillows, but what’s a coconut ice cream doing in the midst of it?

Paddy Hills - The Maze $22 (3)

The Maze $22 – Creamy mash, lamb meatballs, cauliflower fritters, polenta chips, crumbled manchego & sous vide egg.

I ordered this, mainly because of the creamy mash, cauliflower fritters and sous vide egg. And they were so good and filling enough that I didn’t even touch a single lamb meatball! The creamy mash retained bits of textural chunks and had truffle oil or essence infused into it. The cauliflower fritters were delightfully crunchy and sweet. And the sous vide egg….wonderfully tender, almost like eating clouds. If you’re wondering, 5 lamb meatballs are currently sitting in my freezer, waiting for the day when I will thaw them out. 2 meatballs were consumed by my mother and the Partner that day. Not bad, for the price of 1 brunch I get two meals out of it!

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