Archive for the ‘Epicurious’ Category

Awfully Chocolate

Never really understood the hype about Awfully Chocolate’s chocolate cake.

It all started when the owner of the brand got tired of chocolate cakes that were less cake and more mousse and cream instead. I too hate the frivolous use of mousse and cream, where’s the bite in that? She had a vision of a chocolate cake that was substantially cake, one with a rich chocolate taste, yet not so sweet as to be offputting. This cake was to be an object of desire. And so, she came up with what is now Awfully Chocolate’s signature chocolate cake. Layers of chocolate fudge between layers of chocolate sponge.

Awfully Chocolate chocolate cake

Admittedly, the cake does have more substance than a chocolate mousse and cream cake. I performed the Squish test on it, a very scientific method where I used my spoon to squash the cake down. The cake yielded a few mm. PASS.

And yes I would also have to agree that it is a cake that is not so sweet, so you do not run the risk of getting sick of it after a few mouthfuls. PASS

HOWEVER, and here’s the clincher, the cake just doesn’t taste THAT great to me. Frankly speaking, it tastes like chocolate kueh rather than chocolate cake. It definitely looks chocolatey enough, but to me, it didn’t feel like I’d had my daily dose of chocolate after eating the cake. I’m still hankering after a chocolate drink at this point in time. Maybe the sweet tooth in me just can’t process the idea of a chocolate cake that isn’t sweet.

Maybe I have to start my own business selling rich dense chocolatey chocolate cakes for sweet tooths. In the meantime, if you’re craving for a rich, sweet and dense chocolate cake, these are my all time favourite chocolate cakes in Singapore:-

1. Coffee Club – Viennese Chocolate Cake $5

2. Canele – Le Royale $7

3. Cafe Epicurious – Devil’s Chocolate cake (flourless and has mascarpone cream in it!)

Cafe Epicurious – Family Style Dinner

Last week, I was privileged to be invited by the owners of Cafe Epicurious at the Rail Mall to try out their new Family Style Dinner menu. Having enjoyed the brunch menu tremendously at their other outlet (Epicurious at Robertson Quay) twice before, I was delighted to receive this invitation. 

Cafe Epicurious - Seating area in front of happy wallIf you’ve been to Epicurious at Robertson Quay, you will know that the indoor portion is quite squishy, so most people sit outside. Cafe Epicurious at the Rail Mall on the other hand is more spacious. The red wall with little photo frames hung all over made the whole place look very bright and cheery.

Cafe Epicurious has come up with this new Family Style Dinner concept whereby if you choose from this menu, all dishes served will be for communal sharing. Depending on the number of persons eating, the food portions will increase accordingly, with the exception of the main courses whereby each person selects a main course of his choice. The 2 course Family Style Dinner costs $28/pax while the 3 course Family Style Dinner costs $35/pax.

My mother and I decided to go for the 3 course Family Style Dinner. My father went for a main course from the normal menu (but included himself in the sharing of the Family Style Dinner anyway!)

Since only my mother and I ordered the Family Style Dinner, the items featured below are portioned for 2 people and not 3.

 Cafe Epicurious - Mixed Tapas 2

Epicurious Platter – Ah Ma’s deep-fried curry chicken wings, savoury beef meatballs with tomato-basil sauce, devil shrimp with garlic and chilli, melted cheese and sweet onion quesadilla. The quesadillas were particularly delightful in my opinion. It’s almost unbelievable the the quesadillas are the amalgamation of only 3 main ingredients! My parents loved the spicy prawns and they almost forgot to leave me a piece.

Cafe Epicurious - Grilled Seafood Risotto

Grilled Seafood Risotto – Creamy Arborio rice with spinach and mascarpone and topped with grilled prawn, scallop and calamari

Okay I haven’t eaten risotto all that much in my lifetime, but what I can say is, if risotto everywhere tastes like this, I have been missing out big time. Once again, this was simple comfort food at its best. You could taste the creaminess of the rice in each mouthful, and I liked the fact that the rice grains still remained firm to the bite.

Cafe Epicurious - Grilled Seafood Risotto (2)

Here’s a close up view of the wonderful Risotto. You know, for this dish alone I plan to make another trip back to Cafe Epicurious.

Cafe Epicurious - Braised Angus Beef Short Ribs Braised Angus Beef Short Ribs – Slow-cooked off the bone in red wine until it falls apart in your mouth. Served with buttered carrots, sugar snap peas and horseradish cream. 

The portion did look slightly smaller than I had expected, but given the huge dessert yet to come, the portion managed to fill the gap. The beef was as tender as how the menu had described, and the sauce was rich and flavourful. It certainly filled the spot for me in terms of  taste and quantity, but big eaters may want to opt for another dish, lest they feel underfed.

Apart from the Grilled Seafood Risotto and Braised Angus Beef Short Ribs, you can also choose to order Lamb Shank Tagine or Roasted Half-Chicken as part of the Family Style Dinner. These dishes are also all available from the usual ala-carte menu too.

 Cafe Epicurious - Red Snapper in Banana Leaf

This was the Red Snapper in red curry paste $14 that my father ordered. I was a little worried that it might be too spicy, given the generous amount of curry paste, but luckily the curry paste contained just the right amount of heat, such that the flavours of the flaky fresh fish came through very well.  If you’re not having the set dinner, you can also order the Creamy Risotto on its own to go with this Red Snapper. The contrasting creaminess of the rice and the spiciness of the fish really goes well together!

Interestingly, the Red Snapper was ordered from the Sweet Salty Spicy Restaurant next door. Cafe Epicurious and Sweet Salty Spicy share the same kitchen and wait-staff, and you can sit in either restaurant and order from the other.

Cafe Epicurious - Dessert Platter

Dessert Platter – Devils chocolate and raspberry ripple cake, classic lemon and lime tart, sticky date pudding with caramel sauce

Cafe Epicurious - Devils Chocolate and Raspberry Ripple Cake

I think this photo doesn’t do justice to the Devil’s Chocolate cake. This is like one of the BEST chocolate cake I have ever eaten. I can’t believe it’s flourless too! And whoever thought of pairing mascarpone in between those layers of chocolate cake, he/she is a genius. Promote him/her. Maybe I’m sua koo but I thought it was a really unique yet perfect combination. You know if anyone ever needs comforting, this is the chocolate cake to gift. Just remember to exercise a little bit more the next few days after eating this cake though.

Cafe Epicurious - Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce

Sticky date pudding. Not bad, but I have to admit I was never a fan of toffee type puddings.

Cafe Epicurious - Kaya Toast (2)

Cafe Epicurious also let us sample some of the homemade Kaya they made, which is usually only available for breakfast. I quite liked the kaya. It was just the right sweetness for me, although I wouldn’t mind if it was a tad less sweet. The texture and colour was also of the type that I like. However, the Kaya seemed to taste a little more like the Kaya you use in Pulut Seri Kaya (Malay rice kueh, you know the rectangular kueh, on top green, and rice at the bottom)

Cafe Epicurious - Sweet Treats Counter

And if eating dessert in the restaurant is not enough, you can also buy their valrhona chocolate cupcakes, madeleines, tarts and tartlets, cakes and cookies to bring home. I love their sweet treats glass counter, it’s so pretty I can’t help gravitating towards it!

IMG_2962IMG_2961

How can you resist?

 

Café Epicurious at The Rail Mall

392 The Rail Mall, Upper Bukit Timah Road
Tel: 6894-5926

Brunch
9am to 4pm, Saturday & Sunday

Lunch
11:30am to 2:30pm, Monday—Friday

Dinner
5pm to 10pm, Sunday—Thursday
5pm to 10:30pm, Friday & Saturday

http://epicurious.com.sg/

Epicurious – again

Yes, despite my new policy of not eating at the same place twice, or at least not so quickly, we made it back to Epicurious again, this time with the Partner in tow. There are actually quite a number of cafes in the Robertson Quay area. I really ought to give them a chance. It is sad but true that it is possible to actually overdose on baked eggs.

As expected, the service was so so. Although we arrived at 10am to beat the crowd (the website says their busiest hours are 11-1pm), it was actually more crowded than the week before. We waited 10 minutes before we got a seat, and we waited 40 minutes before we got our food. More than half the tables were waiting for food when we got there, so I really do wonder if Epicurious is crowded simply because the patrons have to wait so long.

But, as they say, there’s no free lunch, so you just have to wait if you want good and cheap food! If the pictures in the previous post did not entice you enough to go, maybe these 3 pictures will.

 Epicurious Baked Eggs with PrawnsBaked Eggs with Prawns

Epicurious Big Breakfast with scrambled eggsScrambled Eggs with bacon, sausages and tomatoes.

Epicurious Sunny Side UpSunny side up. The REAL way to eat eggs!

 

Read about my 1st visit to Epicurious.

 

Epicurious at The Quayside

#01-02 The Quayside, Robertson Quay
Tel: 6734-7720

http://epicurious.com.sg

Lunch
11:30am to 2:30pm, Tuesday—Friday

Dinner
5:30pm to 10pm, Tuesday—Sunday

Brunch
9am to 4pm, Saturday & Sunday

Epicurious at Robertson Quay

Having been curious about Epicurious for quite some months, I finally managed to make a trip there for brunch with my parents. I’ve read quite a number of good reviews, including a TimeOut article rating Epicurious as having the best brunch menu in Singapore! With high hopes and hungry parents in tow, we arrived at about 11am.

The staff were flying about all over the place and we only managed to get their attention and a table a few minutes later. We were lucky, it seems we got the last table before a queue started forming. By the time we wanted to order, there was a queue about 5 deep (that’s 5 tables worth, not 5 people). The staff were flat out and no matter how much we waved, they were oblivious to it. And one staff was still trying to get more people seated. If you ask me, they should have the sense to serve the existing customers, then we can free up the tables sooner for those still in line!

Anyway, we finally managed to place our orders. I was already feeling quite pissed off by the service by then. Who on earth was the one who said this was a good place to have Brunch?

Things improved tremendously when the food arrived after a 20 minute wait. We were okay with the 20 minute wait because my parents had ordered the Baked Eggs with Toast Soldiers and it was already stated in the menu that it would take 20 minutes. I had ordered the Customised Big Breakfast and it arrived together with the Soldiers.

The Baked Eggs with Toast Soldiers (2 eggs with tomato and cream and choice of ham or mushroom or shrimp, covered with cheese and baked until gooey) was as good as the menu’s description. If not better. The cheese was absolutely baked to gooey perfection. It was like digging into a steaming treasure bowl, full of melted cheese, mushrooms, bread and eggs. The cheesy and eggy combination had me momentarily distracted from my own breakfast as I tried to attack some of my parents’ dish before it disappeared.  This is really comfort food at it’s best, and only $12!!!!!

As for my own “Customised Big Breakfast”, I was superbly pleased with it. It is 2 eggs scrambled or fried, served with buttered toast $6, and you choose sides such as tomato, chopped spinach, baked beans, cheddar, ham, chorizo, mushrooms, smoked salmon, bacon and sausage. I could have taken the Full Monty for $20, which gets you 3 eggs plus fixed sides, a coffee AND orange juice, but since I didn’t want the orange juice, the customised Big Breakfast suited me just fine and cost just over $12 for the items I chose.

The whole plate was laden with all the goodies I had chosen. Epicurious is really generous with the portions. When I chose sausages, I thought there would only be about 2, and look at the size of the cheese slice. I only wish for maybe a little bit more bread to mop up the goodness of the runny eggs. The eggs were fried just the way I wanted them. The whites were still crispy at the edges, but tender and fluffy all around, with a runny egg yolk centre. Delicious like anything!!

So what started out like a really bad morning was saved by the really good breakfast served. It says a lot when my parents proclaim that they will actually return. After all, they prefer beehoon soup, teochew porridge or nasi lemak for breakfast than the western fare we just had.

So I conclude with these tips. Go to Epicurious for very good Brunch food at very affordable prices. But don’t expect friendly service. I briefly googled and saw a lot of similar negative comments on the forums. Unfortunately I doubt that Epicurious will be upping its service, not for the weekends anyway. They aren’t crowded at all on the weekdays so it doesn’t make sense for them to hire more staff. And they will always have enough customers on the weekend thanks to the numerous expats living around Robertson Quay.

Epicurious Customised Big Breakfast

My very own customised big breakfast. The eggs and buttered toast are fixed, but be sure to order the delicious mushrooms and sausages at the very least!

Epicurious Baked Eggs with Toast Soldiers

Baked Eggs with Toast Soldiers, and choose from Mushrooms, Ham or Shrimp.

 Epicurious Flat White  Flat White $3.50 – So cute, served in a local old style coffee cup

Epicurious long queue of customers  Long queue of very patient diners – not just cranky old men serving good wanton mee or char kuay teow know best how to snub your presence

Epicurious breakfast menu

Epicurious weekend breakfast menu, served 9am – 1 am Those green eggs and ham sound delicious, and I saw a lot of people ordering eggs benedict too.

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