Archive for the ‘1.4 Cafes’ Category

South Union Park (Cafe)

Hundreds of cafes have opened in Singapore in the last 2 to 3 years, however not that many actually have opened in the East. And by that I mean East of the East, ie Eunos towards Airport area. So I was really glad to find out about South Union Park, which opened several weeks ago in the residential area of Kembangan. It took over the spot of French casual restaurant Vis-a-Vis which closed in January 2016 after 24 years in business.

I’m quite familiar with the Kembangan area as I live in the East also and I have several friends living in the Kembangan area. But strangely, I’ve never known of this cluster of shops. This area is about 10 minutes walk from the MRT station, and the walk is largely unsheltered unfortunately, or you could take the bus as the bus stop is just outside. Fortunately, if you make the trek in, you would be rewarded with good fare.

South Union Park - Short Rib Ragu Pasta $22 (2)

South Union Park is helmed by chefs who have had fine dining backgrounds. I was speaking to chef Terrence, who worked at Jaan amongst other fine-dining restaurants, and has more than 10 years experience as a chef despite his young looks. He shared that they wanted to be able to showcase food using fine-dining techniques but at affordable prices. So for much of the menu, you will find that the ingredients used have been lovingly prepared onsite. For example, all the pasta is made in-house. The fish is lightly cured in house as well. The short rib used in the short rib pasta is slow-cooked for more than 10 hours. With prices of the mains ranging from $17 – $22 (no gst, no service charge!), I’m already thinking of making a second trip back there. (It also makes you wonder how on earth some other cafes have the cheek to charge this amount while serving nondescript dishes)

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The Plain Jane Cafe

The weather has been relentlessly hot these last few weeks so when the BFF invited me to check out The Plain Jane today, it was with extreme reluctance that I agreed. In fact, he had to entice me with a free taxi ride to Serangoon before I agreed (he lives near me you see).

The Plain Jane (2)

I was not particularly keen to visit either because it seems like The Plain Jane sells mainly Swiss rolls and little else in terms of food. What if I wanted more to nibble on? Thankfully, my fears were quashed as the Swiss rolls we tried were very good! These are unique Swiss rolls quite unlike those you might find from places such as The Polar Cafe. The sponge is thinner while the cream filling makes up the bulk of the pastry. I was wondering if it would be too much cream to sponge but because the cream has a wonderful and unique flavour, the ratio some how worked out! I wouldn’t mind if there was more sponge though.

The Plain Jane - Swiss Rolls

I tried the Nutella Swiss Roll while the BFF tried the Earl Grey Swiss Roll. The Nutella flavour isn’t very strong I must say, but it was still good as a normal chocolate roll. We both agreed we preferred the Earl Grey Swiss roll as it had a pleasanter and more fragrant flavour.

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Where to get Salted Egg Croissants in Singapore

Apparently the Salted Egg / Liu Sha croissant craze has been going on for a number of months overseas including places like JB, but it’s only just begun on our shores a week back! If you’re a fan of anything salted egg, you must try Antoinette’s salted egg croissants. They are the real deal man. THREE salted egg yolks go into each of these babies.

Antoinette Salted Egg Croissant (2)

Yesterday was the launch of Antoinette’s liu sha croissants at 11am at their Penhas outlet in Lavender. By 12 noon, they were completely sold out! And it’s not as if Antoinette were just selling a couple of croissants. The staff had to start preparations in their 12 degree kitchen at 3am yesterday, painstakingly preparing the 900 salted egg yolks that would eventually be stuffed into the French style croissants. The salted egg yolks are combined with sugar and milk, and then sieved several times to reduce the grainy texture that is typical of salted egg yolks. In fact, if you ask me, there’s no need to apologise for the grainy texture because that’s what real salted egg custard should be like! We should in fact be aware of places that tout smooth salted egg custard (liu sha bao especially) because those are probably made with custard powder instead and contains little salted egg.

Antoinette Salted Egg Croissant (1)

Anyway to cut the long story short, Antoinette will be selling these liu sha croissants at $6.50++ daily at their Penhas outlet at 11am each day. From Feb 10 onwards at 1pm each day, they will also be available at the other Antoinette outlets. Hurry before they run out!

Cutting a croissant

BTW if you want a picture perfect salted egg croissant, you can get the staff to help you cut the croissant with a serrated knife. If you just use the normal knife, you will end up flattening the croissant.

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Assembly Coffee 2016

It’s been 2 years since Assembly Coffee opened at Evans Road. How time flies! I remember I was so happy to have a 3rd wave cafe opening near my work place, and since then, Singapore has been inundated, with cafes galore. What a difference 2 years makes.

Despite my love for coffee, I’m not one of those who needs a fix every day. I don’t get a buzz from drinking coffee, and I can have it even at night. It’s more of the idea of relaxing over a cup of beverage that perks me up, so I’ve only visited Assembly Coffee once in a while, when my colleagues have time during lunch to sit down for a cuppa, which is not all that often. I actually dislike doing takeaways as it just defeats the purpose for me.

Anyway, last weekend I was back in the office to do some clearing up and decided to indulge a bit by getting their waffles. Assembly Coffee is not just known for its coffee, they do a mean waffle too. There are currently 5 waffle options on the menu and the 3 of us decided to share the mixed berry compote with vanilla ice cream one.

Mixed Berry Compote Buttermilk Waffles (1)

Mixed Berry Compote Buttermilk Waffles $12.50

I must say the 3 of us unanimously agreed that the waffle was fantastic. The waffle was crispy on the outside, but still fluffy on the inside. We don’t really like waffles that are just crispy throughout, then it feels like we’re just eating crust or something. The generous dollop of vanilla ice cream and mixed berries went really well with the waffle, softening the crispy exterior. Being the sweet toothed me, I wouldn’t mind if it were just a little bit sweeter though. Even the taste of the waffle itself was slightly different from the more one dimensional versions that you get from average cafes. I guess it’s the buttermilk at work.

Mixed Berry Compote Buttermilk Waffles (2)

Another waffle picture just for the fun of it. Scroll down if you want to see Assembly Coffee’s 2016 menu.

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PAUL Singapore – New Savoury Dishes

They say there is bread, and there is French bread. In my opinion, few things are nicer than eating a well made baguette with a huge dollop of butter. It is good to know that every PAUL bakery not only makes their baguettes and pain de campagne on the premises, their bakers also creates their speciality breads fresh every single day. Even the bread flour used is special, over 300 French farmers grow wheat exclusively for PAUL!

Paul Singapore -  Baguettes and Breads

PAUL, which was established more than 100 years ago in 1889 in Lille France, has grown into a worldwide presence with 568 boulangeries in 33 countries. Although PAUL seems to strike the Singaporean as a little pricey and upmarket, thanks to their 1st outlet at Ngee Ann City, they are as ubiquitous in France as Breadtalk is to Singapore. The first thing I ever bought when I arrived in Paris was a bread roll from PAUL at the train station!

Paul Singapore -  (9)

The only grouse I have with PAUL is that they only provide Beurre doux, which is unsalted butter. I prefer Demi-sel, which is salted butter and have never liked unsalted butter, no matter the brand.

Paul Singapore -  (4)

Check out my friend who was positively swooning at the huge bread basket placed in front of us.

Anyway, PAUL Singapore recently introduce 28 new menu items to tantalise their loyal customers and entice new ones. We had a chance to sample several new items on the menu as well as a few refreshed ones. With all these savoury dishes, PAUL is beginning to feel more like a full-fledge restaurant rather than a cafe!

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