Posts Tagged ‘Dempsey’

Happy Birthday to ME!

Happy Birthday to Me Cake

Happy Birthday to me….. I made this chocolate birthday cake because no one else wanted to buy a cake for me. I know how because BITC taught me how. Valrhona chocolate on the inside, Ghirardelli chocolate on the outside. I think it looks quite okay, if I say so myself. It could have been better but I didn’t have a turntable and I had to use the plastic plate as a makeshift base instead of a proper one. I made this at home last night, iced it this morning, and brought it to Il Lido restaurant for my birthday lunch. I wanted to pipe rosettes but there wasn’t enough time. Il Lido kindly provided a little candle plus the white plate.

Happy Birthday to Me Cake slice I ate the ME slice of course…

I celebrated my birthday with my parents and The Partner at Il Lido today. Yesterday, I had a pre-birthday celebration with The Partner at The Prime Society in Dempsey. I had the most fantastic piece of meat I have eaten in a very long time, perhaps ever to date. It was SO DELICIOUS it was almost unbelievable. It was a Wagyu Tri-Tip. More about that in a separate post.

Next week, the celebrations will continue as The Partner will take me to Guy Savoy. Looking forward to that, although I may have to postpone it to space out the rich food. Oh and Restaurant Week’s at the end of March and my friend is taking me to Brasserie Les Saveurs at St Regis. It’s good food galore. Man I love celebrating my birthday like the King of Thailand (ie month long….)

AND, The Partner is taking me to the Tott Store to pick out a kitchen gadget as my birthday gift. Can’t wait!

Barracks Cafe

Finally made it to Barracks Cafe after having known about the place more than a year ago. It is yet another cafe in the Dempsey Hill area. It always surprises me how well packed the eateries at Dempsey Hill are. You practically need a car to get to Dempsey. Even though there is a bus stop right outside Dempsey, the steep hill surely must deter many? Well, Barracks Cafe was 99% full when we got there on Hari Raya Haji at 2pm, and we managed to snag the last table. 

The place is quirky. The furniture is a mish mash, some chairs cushioned, some with arm rests, tables made of wood or metal. You can choose to sit outdoors and they even have a cool looking greenhouse. I wonder if the diners in the greenhouse get a free suntan? Sitting outdoors is not that bad an idea because the tables overlook lots of greenery.

Barracks - American Sliders (3)  Barracks - American Sliders (2)

Barracks - American Sliders

I ordered the Old Fashioned American Sliders $22 – You choose toppings for the meat patty. I chose sauteed mushrooms and onions. They also have toppings such as blue chese and bacon, truffled aioli, cheddar cheese and bacon.

I thought the burger was just average, something I would not remember at all. However, the truffle fries were really nice. They were too salty, but I really liked the interesting truffle flavour the fries had. Plus they were so crispy. I had fries for my mains, rather than the burger. To enhance them further, I dipped the fries into the creamy mixture in the salmon hash, and it was wonderful!

I know it’s truffle season now, but it seems that truffle fries have been sprouting on the menus of many eateries. I don’t think you need to be in truffle season to have truffle fries because it’s probably just some essence they use. The other day, I saw that Fullerton Bay Hotel was also serving truffle fries, which I have heard is very good.

Barracks - Oregon Salmon Hash (2) Barracks - Oregon Salmon Hash

Oregon Salmon Hash – Creamy creamy creamy goodness. The cure for hangovers, so the menu says, and I don’t think I could dispute that. This is comfort food. Salmon was nicely done and not overcooked. Only thing is, we were expecting a hash hash, but the potatoes were just cubed.

Barracks Cafe

8D Dempsey Road, Singapore 249672

Tel: 64757787    Fax: 64764462




The Disgruntled Chef

Met up with a good friend of 12 years to go try out The Disgruntled Chef the other day. After all these years, she’s still so passionate about teaching. As she put it, it is indeed a blessing that she has found her true calling, and so early on in life. We had a good time chatting and catching up.

The ambience of the place is quite nice. The lighting is low and soothing, which makes for a very romantic setting suitable for lovers. And that’s in addition to the sharing concept too. There are some booth like seats but those look like they are reserved for parties of 4. I had originally imagined The Disgruntled Chef to be a really casual looking restaurant thanks to the rather casual name, plus the fact that they employ the communal eating concept here. But really, with the wine glasses on all the tables, plus the low lighting, it looks like an upscale restaurant instead.

As for the communal sharing concept, there are 20 Small Plates on the menu, each about $15 – $20. They are small enough such that each person can easily polish off at least 2 plates worth of food. You could also order the Big Plates, which are entree-sized dishes. We decided to go for the Small Plates so that we could sample more dishes.

The Disgruntled Chef - Steak Tartare and soft quail egg

Steak Tartare with soft Quail Egg and fries – $16

I don’t believe I’ve tried Steak Tartare before, or at least not in this quantity. I have to say it was damn delicious. From the minute the beautiful square of raw meat was placed in front of me, I could hear it calling my name. The taste was divine. If only I just didn’t have to share!

I wonder if a lot of people out there have a problem with eating raw meat, because I certainly am not in this category. In fact, the raw look of the meat appeals to me very much…And I don’t think of myself as eating raw meat, I just think of it as eating really tasty meat!

The Disgruntled Chef - Steak Tartare and soft quail egg (4)

The Disgruntled Chef - Steak Tartare and soft quail egg (2)

There’s the quail’s egg which is to be mixed into the steak tartare

Runny quail egg with juicy steak….ohhhhhhhhhh!!!

The Disgruntled Chef - Baked Bone Marrow with Persillade

Baked Bone Marrow with persillade & sour dough toast – $14

This was also very delicious. The bone marrow was soft, fatty and oh so tasty! Once again, I wish I had the whole thing to myself! I had a hard time trying to make sure I didn’t scoop out more than 50% of my allocated portion or I might incur the wrath of my friend, who was also enjoying the dish tremendously. This was served with bread. The greenish thing in the background was the Persillade, which is a mix of parsley and garlic. Imagine bread with lots of garlic, everyone loves garlic bread right? Now top that off with fattening bone marrow. Can things get better than that?

The Disgruntled Chef - Curried Mussels

Curried mussels with sourdough toast – $16

This was also very nice. Don’t expect some really spicy local curry though, this is more like Ang Moh curry. This was a little hard to share. I wish they’d given us bowls so I could slurp down the curry!

The Disgruntled Chef - Chicken Liver Parfait

Chicken Liver Parfait with red onion marmalade & Brioche toast – $14

The Liver Parfait’s in the chicken essence bottle thingy. This one had a texture like pate, but had the strongest pate taste I’ve ever encountered. I loved it very much, but my friend only managed to eat 1/4 of it. They should have given us more than 6 pieces of toast though. Luckily we had a lot of bread from the other dishes so we used those to finish up the parfait.

The Disgruntled Chef - Baked Camembert Fondue

Baked Camembert Fondue with chicory, toast & apple sauce – $18

This was a little bit of a let down, especially after having tried the other dishes. At $18, I thought it was way too pricy for something I could just pop in the oven myself. Also, the Camembert was pretty mild, so the plain bread wasn’t exactly the best delivery vehicle in this case. The apple sauce in the bowl was nice, and lifted the flavours somewhat, but I didn’t order this dish just to taste apple sauce.

The Disgruntled Chef - Baked Camembert Fondue (2) The Disgruntled Chef @ Dempsey Hill

Conclusions: The food is really good. I’ve described them in detail above, so I shan’t elaborate again here.

However, there were a few things that kinda made me wonder if I would return again.

1. Beware what you choose. We only realised that we’d chosen 4 dishes out of 5 that come with bread. Nothing wrong with that, but on hindsight, it felt like it was a big bread feast, with many delicious toppings to choose from.

2. The pricing wasn’t exactly expensive, yet it was neither cheap. Our bill came up to approx $87 after tax, which meant that we spent about $45 each on “appetisers”.

3. The sharing system felt a bit cumbersome at times. Eg, the curried mussels and the oozy cheese, not a very simple thing to share if you don’t want double dipping.

4. The style of the food required a lot of work on our part. It wasn’t a scoop and shovel into your mouth thing. There was a lot of “effort” required to scoop stuff onto the bread, and add the garnishing. Ok it’s not a lot of effort if 1 or 2 dishes are like that, but when all are like that, it’s a little overwhelming.

Still, because the food is so nice and unique, I think I’ll still take the Partner to come try the place out. But, it won’t be some place I come to relax after a hard day’s work.




The Disgruntled Chef


T: +65 64765305 F: +65 64765306

Click this for directions

The Farmer’s Market is on again tomorrow!

For those who have been having some trouble thinking of what to do this weekend, you may be glad to know that the Farmer’s Market organised by The Pantry is on again tomorrow at Loewen Gardens Dempsey. It used to be once a month but now they’ve increased it to every 1st Saturday and 3rd Saturday of the month from 8:30 am to 2 pm. It’s great fun. You’ll get to sample a lot of fresh produce, gourmet meats, cheeses, wines, jams, breads, cakes and more. Go hungry and bring your wallet!

Click here to read my review on the Loewen Gardens Farmers’ Market as well as see the pictures I took in June 2010.


Address: 75 Loewen Road, Singapore 248844

How to get there (courtesy of The Pantry’s website): via Dempsey Road, follow signs to Loewen Cluster. Easiest access is from Tanglin Road. Turn into Ridley Park towards Tanglin Village. Road becomes Loewen Road. Loewen Gardens is on your right in Block 75-81. Free Parking! Click on this link for a map on how to get to the Farmers Market.

It is not possible to walk in from the main road (ie Tanglin Road) because it would probably take 20 minutes or more and it is steeply uphill!

Farmers’ Market at Loewen Gardens Dempsey

Jun 6, 2010 @ 14:38

Here are the photos of the new Singapore farmers’ market organized by The Pantry. It is also the largest farmers’ market in Singapore as far as I know. Contrary to my fears, the farmers’ market is very much like the farmers markets you see in NZ, UK and USA. They had lots of stalls selling fresh produce, artisan breads and jams, brownies, cakes and muffins of all colours and sizes. Go hungry, because there are lots to sample and how else can you tell whether what you’re buying is good?

My only grouse is that most of the items on sale are more expensive than what I am used to when I visit the farmers markets overseas. This is undoubtedly because a lot of the premium ingredients have to be shipped from overseas.

Despite the initial drizzle I’m glad I did make it to Loewen Gardens in the end. You can see the roads are wet, but it’s fine because all the stalls are under tents. In fact, it was pretty cooling even though it was noon. I had a wonderful time taking in the vibrancy of the place as well as taking photos.

For such an “off-the-map” location by Singapore standards (you really need a car to get here or risk walking uphill for at least 20 minutes?), the market was pretty crowded. Most of the people there, be it customers or stall-owners were Caucasian. I wonder if this is because Singaporeans are not interested in Farmers’ markets. Does the average Singaporean even know what a Farmer’s market is? Or is just because the farmers’ market was the brainchild of a Caucasian woman, and the word-of-mouth has yet to spread to the locals? Whatever the reason, it’s definitely a treat to spend a Saturday morning at Loewen Gardens whoever you are.

The Pantry - Inside

Inside The Pantry cafe. I love how the goodies are stacked on the counter top in full view.

The Pantry close up shot of muffins

Closer shot of the muffins. Now tell me you can resist this and I’ll tell you you’re lying!

The Pantry - Scones

Scones from The Pantry

Wild Honey baked goods and jams

Wild Honey – They sell jams and loaves of cakes here. They also have a cafe at Mandarin Gallery along Orchard Road.

Wild Honey baked goods and jams close up shot

Close up shot of the Wild Honey goodies – According to their facebook page, they were selling brioche breads, granola, jams and honey, doughnuts, chicken pies, tea breads etc The stuff is not cheap. We tried their delicious jam and wanted to buy some but it cost $18 per bottle! The tea breads cost $15 I believe!

Zenxin stall

Zenxin – Zenxin is also available at Shop & Save. In my opinion, Zenxin sells the cheapest organic produce in Singapore.

Unnamed organic vegetables stall

Imported Organic vegetable seller

Unnamed fruit stall

Another stall selling organic veggies and fruits

The Pantry Baked Goods

Baked goods and artisan breads. No more generic Gardenia or Sunshine for me.

Open air cooking of paella

Open air cooking of Paella (seafood rice dish) $5 per serving


MadzChef – Baked goods of all sorts

Freedom Eggs

Freedom Eggs from Chews I believe– No more battery hens. About $2.50 for half a dozen

The Pantry's alfresco area<br />

The Pantry’s Alfresco area for you to rest after a hard day’s marketing, or to watch the shoppers haggling

Farmer's Market kids playing

The little ones can be amused at the painting area, or the trampoline

More pictures below and directions on how to get to The Farmer’s Market

Read more »

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