Posts Tagged ‘Cafe’

Lots Gourmet Stop – Another Cafe in the East

Even though it has been raining torrentially in the afternoons these last few days, it was unbelievably scorching on Sunday. After visiting Bark Cafe adjacent to Changi Museum, the Partner and I, plus a friend who met us for lunch thought it extremely appropriate to gravitate towards a cool cafe selling iced cold drinks. It was nice at Bark Cafe, but one hour in the non-air-conditioned Bark Cafe was as much as we could tolerate. While driving along Upper Changi Road North to get to Bark Cafe, we had spied a small nondescript cafe, so that’s where we headed to.

Changi Garden

I’d never been to this area which calls itself Changi Garden. I don’t suppose most people would know it too, unless you live in the vicinity. I know the famous Porta Porta Italian restaurant is located here, and after more than 10 years, I have yet to try it! I must make a mental note to try this Porta Porta out.

Lots Gourmet Stop (8)

Lots Gourmet Stop is a nifty little place, decked out in bright colours, and with little trinkets and decorative plates plastered on the back wall. Alas, it isn’t air-conditioned too, but it seems more shaded than the previous Bark Cafe. There is an upper inner balcony with air-conditioning, but we were told that it was reserved.

Lots Gourmet Stop - Iced Chocolate $6

Iced Chocolate $6

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Strangers’ Reunion Cafe

Strangers' Reunion - (7)

When I first saw the name “Strangers’ Reunion”, I did a double take. But times have changed. Strangers’ Reunion is hardly strange when you compare that to Chye Seng Huat Hardware, which is neither a hardware store or related to Chye Seng Huat, whoever he may be. I wonder if he’s still alive actually. And just in case you were wondering, Chye Seng Huat Hardware is a cafe, opened by the people of Papa Palheta! They’re closing their Hooper Road store, so you can only catch them at Tyrwhitt Road. Woe betide all those living in the Bukit Timah area.

Strangers’ Reunion is very small! Be prepared to SQUEEZE‘

Strangers' Reunion - Red Velvet Cupcake

I didn’t eat this, but I took a picture of it because I thought it was so eye catching and pretty! It’s amazing how people can wolf down cakes made of beetroot yet they can’t imagine drinking beetroot juice. For the record, I LOVE beetroot juice, and I would highly recommend it to everyone for its health properties.

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Au Chocolat at Marina Bay Sands

Some things are too good to share, and when I first feasted my eyes on Au Chocolat, I really wanted to keep it a secret for as long as possible. This place is as amazing as it is humongous. There is the sweet shop, where you can get all sorts of colourful little sweets, or bonbons if you will. There is the dessert display case, where you will find it really difficult to tear your eyes away from the chic and decadent looking desserts. And there is the cafe/restaurant where for a few hours, you can pretend you are far away in Paris, in a time gone by, with not a care in the world. There is even a Choo Choo train running the length of the cafe! Hats off to the person who conjured up this wonderful fantasy place.

Sometimes, a picture speaks a thousand words, and for Au Chocolat, that is indeed so. This post will showcase pictures of Au Chocolat, while the next post will feature what I tried at Au Chocolat. Yes I’ve been there 3 times already as we speak! Will you believe it if I told you that I took my pre-wedding photos here???

Click here to read my review on the Au Chocolat Cafe dishes we tried or scroll down further for a pictorial review of the cakes and sweet shop!

Au chocolat (15)

Au chocolat (38)

Au chocolat (25)

Au chocolat (19)

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Devonport Deli Cafe in Auckland

After my bank breaking trip to Norway and Denmark last year, this trip to New Zealand is much more pocket friendly. New Zealand is really a very affordable country to visit. Restaurant and cafe prices are very similar to that of Singapore, and I would even hazard to say that the cafes are cheaper. I haven’t seen a latte that costs more than $4.50 here, even from the cafes in a crowded mall. And don’t get me started on food at the supermarket, it’s crazy! Meat and fruits are half the price! But more about that in the next post.

I thought I would be blogging daily during this trip, just like how I did it for the Norway trip. However, this being my 4th visit to New Zealand, I haven’t gone to any of the key tourist attractions except for the Auckland Zoo and Devonport. The highlight for this trip was actually for us to take our pre-wedding photos in New Zealand, and this we managed to do on Wednesday, after scrutinising and fretting over the weather reports daily. Can’t share any photos of that for now as they are still with the photographer. Yoo hoo photographer, if you’re reading this, where are the photos?

After the pre-wedding photo shoot, we finally had some time and peace of mind to do the more touristy stuff. Visited the Devonport area on Saturday. It’s across the waters from Auckland City central, so it seems to be more laid back and less crowded. The place looks quaint, with a number of buildings in the Art-Deco style. Lots of restaurants and cafes, and shops selling antiques, gifts and books.

Where to eat in Devonport Auckland?

We had lunch at the Devonport Deli Cafe. I didn’t google about any of these cafes before I visited. Heck I didn’t even google about Devonport before I visited. I just stepped into the cafe whose decor appealed to me the most. But that’s the great thing about food here in New Zealand. More often than not, the food (and coffee) will be good. Certainly for this entire trip, the food has surprised me on upside.

Devonport Deli (1)

Devonport Deli Cafe (5)

Deli Breakfast $12.50 – Scrambled eggs, bacon, hash brown and grilled tomato on toast, plus a flat white

We thought this was a pretty good deal as the flat white on its own already cost $3.80. See I told you stuff is cheap(er) here. Loved the scrambled eggs, they had such great flavour! Also loved the hash brown, which for some reason tasted like meat, although the texture was that of potato.

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Baker & Cook Singapore

**Only takeaways available as of 21 June 2012. License suspended for sit-down/dine-in due to traffic congestion issues!!**

Baker & Cook - Chocolate Croissant

Have you been to the Baker & Cook yet? Our President Tony Tan has! More than once in fact! It looks like 2011 was the year of the proliferation of coffee joints. 2012 seems to be the year of the bakery. Paul, Maison Kayser, Baker & Cook, I suspect we’ll be seeing more bakeries popping up with eye catching breads and pastries. For too long, our bakery scene has been dominated by BreadTalk and DeliFrance. Aren’t we all lucky that we now have more choices, or are we just late in catching up with other countries?

 

Baker & Cook - Olive Baton I know how to make this… :o)

I visited Baker and Cook in early February to suss out the place. I think I read about it in the Straits Times, and the minute I saw the photos of the place, I knew I just had to pay Baker & Cook a visit. It’s obvious from my blog that I love exploring new cafes. But did you know that I love exploring new artisanal bakeries as well? Artisan Bakery + Cafe, was it any wonder I zoomed to visit the place so soon after it was open? I wrote a brief write-up about Baker & Cook last month in conjunction with my Waitangi Day (New Zealand Day) article. Baker & Cook is one of the few places in Singapore where you can find NZ influences in the food.

The bakery is nestled in the Greenwood Area. Owner Dean Brettschneider is a New Zealander and so is his head baker David O’Brien. The coffee that they serve here, Allpress, is also a NZ brand. You can get a range of jams, chutneys, handcrafted packaged cookies, cakes, as well as cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I like to tell people that our President Tony Tan has already been here at least twice, have you???

There is no other bakery in the Greenwood area, so I think Dean really captured a fantastic location for his cafe. It is the corner shop to boot! I don’t know if the madness has died down yet, but when I was there last month, it was as crowded as can be that Saturday morning. There isn’t much seating, just a few tables outside, and a long wooden table inside. It can get very hot sitting outside. I should know, cuz my arm got tanned after sitting there for 1 hour. If you drive, you might be better off buying the goodies back home to savour.

Baker & Cook - (17)

Passion is our main ingredient. I have to attest to that. Where there is passion, there is energy, dedication and creativity.

Baker & Cook - Bread and Viennoiserie Basket

We ordered a Baked Bread & Viennoiserie basket $9.95 to share, which basically comprises of several slices of different types of breads, 2 mini croissants, butter and a selection of 3 types of jams. The breads were all the “European” type breads, meaning crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. They were pretty good when spread with loads of jam. I would have liked the crusts to be crustier. But between the 4 of us, we still managed to polish off all the bread. The croissants were so so. Not very buttery in my opinion.

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I have been taking baking classes. I completed my bread module just last week, and gone are the days where I gravitate towards soft bread. I now look at bread with different eyes. Yes I like those breads that can crack a wall if you throw them at one. The aspiring baker in me has actually fallen in love with the French Baguette and I’m not looking back! There is a reason why the supermarket loaves are so soft. BREAD IMPROVER my friends. So be careful what you ask for. I’ve no idea if Baker & Cook uses these chemical additives, but I suspect they don’t, them being artisanal.

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