Posts Tagged ‘fries’

Au Chocolat Bistro

As promised, here is part 2 of the Au Chocolat write-up. I visited Au Chocolat a total of THREE times in the span of 1 week, BEAT THAT!!!

The first time I was there, I was there with my BFF2012 to recce if Au Chocolat would be a nice location for my pre-wedding shoot. It was a pretty easy and unanimous decision that the whimsical and quaint look of Au Chocolat would be just perfect for chocolate loving me. A food blogger having her pre-wedding photos taken in a restaurant, not a bad idea right? We were there at 4pm to recce the place, and after perusing the menu, I was so famished that I ordered dinner! Ok fine, I had a very light lunch, and I had a Spa session which would end only after 8, so it was a good time for dinner.

The 2nd time I was at Au Chocolat was with The Partner and a whole contingent of photographers and makeup artist! The staff at Au Chocolat were so sweet (a pun?) they just made our day by being so helpful throughout our shoot. I’m glad I didn’t scare off any customers. They looked more amused and curious than annoyed. And in fact, the number of passers-by that did a double take, some even retreating their steps to get a better look at us, it made me feel like a model, aww!! It must be the wedding dresses I wore, plus the entourage!

The 3rd time at Au Chocolat was with The Partner again, after a quick visit to the Harry Potter Exhibition. This time I got to eat a proper dinner, although I had to rush off for the F1 after that. While eating, lo and behold, another friend walked into the restaurant! The same friend who I mentioned Au Chocolat to, and couldn’t wait to come and try it out too!

Au Chocolat is definitely a must visit when you are at Marina Bay Sands. Even if you don’t dine there, it’s worth taking a look. The sweet shop is enough to make you wanna open up your purse or wallet. Hey, that’s what happened to my make-up artist, who ended up buying some cute sweets for her son!

Au chocolat (11)

Au chocolat (36)

Au chocolat - Croque Monsieur $16 - Sliced ham & aged gruyere cheese between 2 slices of crusty bread, coated with creamy bechamel grilled (2)

Croque Monsieur $16 – Sliced ham & aged gruyere cheese between 2 slices of crusty bread, coated with creamy bechamel grilled

Before I begin on sandwich, I have to tell you that Au Chocolat’s fries are fantastic! Really crispy on the outside, and having fluffy insides. It was a pleasure to eat every single one of them. And they arrived piping hot and crisp on all the occasions that I ordered them.

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South Coast @ MBS revisited

I had a good brunch with my parents and the Partner at South Coast some months back, and I was looking for a reason to return. The reason came along in the form of Australia Day. What has Australia Day got to do with me? Actually nothing at all. In fact, you should read about New Zealand Day instead. You see, the Partner hails from New Zealand, and if you’re from either New Zealand or Australia, or if you’ve lived there a while, you’d know about the “friendly rivalry” between those 2. Speaking of friendly rivalry, I have to ask South Coast why on earth they have a picture of a surfing kiwi bird on their website?

I happened to find out that South Coast, which is owned by an Aussie, was going to have an Australia Day party. So of course I had to attend, just for the laughs of it. Saw on their Facebook about this thong chucking game they were going to have and I really wanted to see that! My first instinct was of course to think that they were going to have an underwear throwing competition (you know those Aussies can think of anything), but then I realised that thong is Aussie slang for flip-flops! I could not find a video of Thong Chucking, but I did discover about Wellie Wanging

The Partner was not at all keen to partake in an Australia Day meal, especially when he heard that I wanted him to wear his All Blacks T Shirt there! Oh but partake he did, cuz I didn’t offer him a choice. In the end, we had a really good time there!

South Coast - Sugar Cured Angus Beef, Kangaroo and Lamb Pies, Sausage Rolls (2) We had the Australia Day Platter for 2 – Sugar Cured Angus Beef, Kangaroo and Lamb Pies, Sausage Rolls

South Coast - (12) Closer shot of the items

South Coast - (11)Sugar Cured Angus Beef

The sugar cured Angus beef had a really interesting flavour. First of all, I have never heard of sugar cured, let alone taste it. I’m mostly accustomed to the usual smoke/salt cured types. Obviously, the beef had a sweeter taste. Also, the texture seemed rather different, firmer yet squishy. I don’t really know how to describe it, but I enjoyed the sugar cured Angus beef nonetheless. I tried checking their usual menu and it doesn’t seem to be available on normal days.

South Coast - Sausage Rolls Sausage Rolls in the front, kangaroo and lamb pies in the middle

The sausage rolls that you get in Australia and New Zealand are very different from those available in Singapore, in that the filling is of mince meat. In Singapore when one hears sausage roll, one would think of a long sausage in a bun, like so. I like both types, but if you’ve never tried the Aussie/NZ version, you have to do so! Love these sausage rolls at South Coast. The mince was juicy and encased in a lovely pastry that wasn’t reeking of oil. For some reason the platter also came with some sausages. No complaints man, those sausages were TASTY!

South Coast - Kangaroo and Lamb Pie on the right Kangaroo and Lamb Pie on the right

Kangaroo and Lamb Pie was also nice. The pastry used was similar to that of the sausage rolls so it was enjoyable as well. The sausage rolls $14 are available in the normal menu. The kangaroo pies $18 are available too, but with pork instead of lamb.

South Coast - Fries Fries $8

We were still feeling a little peckish after the Platter for 2 so we ordered some fries to share. The fries were delicious and I just couldn’t stop eating them even though I ought to have been full enough. The fries were crispy on the outside and still fluffy on the inside, and they were served piping hot!

South Coast - Red Rock Beer

Red Rock Beer, and cartoon of Steve Irwin in the background

What’s Australia Day with no beer?

Red Rock Beer with Shenton Way in the background Ice cold beer after a hard day at work?

South Coast - (5) Most of the seating at South Coast is actually al fresco. I don’t like sitting inside as it is too dark and the fans are too strong

Shenton Way at twilight View of Singapore’s Central Business District from my vantage point at south Coast.

In the end, we never did stay late enough to see the thong chucking. Argh what a waste. If you’re in the vicinity of Marina Bay Sands, do check out South Coast’s menu. A number of items I would like to try out. Really, bone marrow fritters, that’s definitely what I will order when I go there again.

Read about my previous visit to South Coast for brunch.

 

South Coast (Australian Bar & Bistro)

L1-85 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore City, Singapore 018972

Open 7 days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
8am – midnight Mon – Thurs
8am – midnight Fri – Sun

Email enquiries@southcoast.com.sg

Phone +65 6688 7600

http://www.southcoast.com.sg

http://www.facebook.com/SouthCoastSG

The Queen & the Mangosteen

I think I might have mentioned before that I have a soft spot for cafes and restaurants with quirky names? Tell me if you don’t think that the Queen & the Mangosteen sounds cool. The Queen & Mangosteen is a modern interpretation of the quintessential British gourmet pub with a whimsical flourish. Rumour has it that the mangosteen was reputedly Queen Victoria’s favourite fruit. Hey whaddya know, the mangosteen is my favourite fruit too!!!

There’s something about a place being known as a “pub”. I think in the Singaporean culture, we think of pubs as sleazy places where good people don’t go to. It’s not the same case in the UK. After watching Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay on TV, I’ve come to realise that families can go down to the pub for dinner. It just happens to be a place where you can also get alcoholic drinks.

Ah well, despite me saying that I like quirky names, this is only the 2nd time that I’ve been to the Queen & the Mangosteen. The 1st time being just after they opened a few years ago. Do you recall before this, in its place was Corduroy Cafe? I loved going to the Corduroy Cafe, it had such a nice ambience, and you had to walk past a long display of tasty jams and cakes! Wish the Corduroy Cafe was still around!

Anyway, my colleagues and I went down to the Queen & Mangosteen last week to celebrate someone’s birthday. After perusing the menu, most of us got the set-lunch as the prices were almost similar to the ala carte menu but with an additional soup/dessert and drink thrown in.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Coke

Free-flow of coke! Not that I need free flow coke. One glass is more than enough for me per meal.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Green Pea and Scampi Soup

Green pea and scampi soup – This was the soup of the day. Everyone chose this except for me. The soup colour may put you off, but based on the slurps and grunts of approval, everyone enjoyed the soup very much. There were chunks of scampi (prawns) in it too. Darn, I regretted not ordering this!

Queen & the Mangosteen - Fish & Chips

I had the fish and chips with their home made curry sauce. The fish is pretty good. It doesn’t taste oily and goes well with the curry dip. Only grouse is, 3 pieces isn’t really enough to fill you up if you didn’t already have the green pea soup! The fries were also very good. Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Pot of Mussels

My colleague didn’t get the set lunch. Instead she ordered this pot of mussels in thai curry sauce with crusty bread. I managed to snag 2 mussels from her and I tell you, the broth was AMAZING! There’s a hint of Asian spice flavours to it so it’s even better than the usual mussels in wine. I could have slurped up the entire pot of broth if I’d ordered this! I bet the restaurant knows how good the broth is that is why bread is also served on the side. The mussels were also very fresh tasting to me, although it seems in the end, my colleague had to discard 5 mussels as they were unopened. I’m definitely coming back soon to try this dish again. Not cheap at $30+.  

Queen & the Mangosteen - Cottage Pie

Cottage pie (beef) – Not sure how this tasted but I don’t think my colleague had any complaints.

Queen & the Mangosteen - Panna Cotta

Ok this was the ickiest thing of the lot, and alas, it was my order! Instead of having a soup from the set lunch, I chose to have the dessert of the day. It happened to be panna cotta which is something that I like. I had in mind something like this from Gunthers, but obviously Gunther’s is in a far different league. I should have known better. Even the presentation itself was a failure. Look at the icky liquid covering the sides of the glass! Well I suppose the only good thing is that if you like the flavour of this panna cotta, there is lots of it to enjoy.

Promotions

Drink until he looks cute! Don’t you think that is so cheekily creative? I’ve a good mind to gather some of my male friends for a drink now. Ha. And I’ll pay if it works.

Queen & Mangosteen

Queen & Mangosteen Seating Area

Here are some more pictures I took off the Queen & Mangosteen’s website. As you can see, there is indoor seating as well as outdoor if you so choose.

Queen & Mangosteen - Mini burgers and onion rings

I tried those mini burgers the 1st time I went there. Pretty good and definitely pretty cute.

The Queen & Mangosteen

#01-106/107 Vivocity 1 Habourfront Walk, Singapore, Singapore 098585

Mon – Thu:11:00 am-11:00 pm

Fri – Sat:11:00 am-1:00 am

Sun:11:00 am-11:00 pm

McDonald’s Open Doors Kitchen Tours

The McDonald’s Open Doors Kitchen Tours are coming up again! If you’ve always wanted to know what goes on behind the scenes, from the time you place your order to few seconds later that you receive your fish fillet, now’s the chance to sign up for the tours and find out first hand. Us lucky bloggers were invited to get a sneak preview before everyone else, but the real clincher? Being able to bring our cameras into McDonald’s kitchens! I was pretty surprised that McDonalds allowed us to do so, but if they weren’t going to object, I wasn’t going to object.

McDonald's Fries

First stop, my most favourite stop of all, the FRENCH FRY station! When cooked well, don’t you think they are just lovely? These here are a bit messy. According to my friend who used to work at McDonalds, all fries should be placed upright, and the yellow strips on the back of the cardboard should not be visible or it means you aren’t getting enough fries! Hmmm, these here don’t really pass.

McDonald's - Freshly prepared fries

I really wish I knew how to cook fries like McDonalds. It’s too bad they don’t have their blue colour mayonnaise packets anymore. I love dipping the fries in mayo and pepper!

McDonald's - Fries being fried

The fries frying station…

McDonald's - Frying StationMcDonald's - Nuggets being fried McNuggets are also fried here

McDonald's - Frozen Fries dispensing Station

The frozen fries are kept in the fridge above, and dispensed by dropping out of the fridge automatically into the metal frying contraption

McDonald's - How to toast a bun right

Cute! Bun troubleshooting tool!

McDonald's - Mr Quick Fingers (3)

I really had a hard time trying to get a few good pictures of the guy making the burgers. Mr Fastest Fingers First was literally zooming all over the place. Before I could even snap, the burger was done. My DSLR camera can’t make it when compared to Mr FFF!

McDonald's - Mr Quick Fingers preparing the burgers

Only managed to take a picture of the McChicken after it was done. I hope he managed to get the buns toasted just right. Yeah, managed to get the Cheeseburger one. Mmmmm cheeeese.

McDonald's - Cheese glorious cheese

Speaking of cheese, here’s a close up shot. I just had to, of course. I wonder what sort of cheese they use. Can’t seem to find it in the supermarkets.

McDonald's - Mr Quick Fingers (2)

Once again, Mr FFF getting nuggets out of the warming cabinet. He’s already taken 2 before I’ve managed to get a picture.

McDonald's - Warming Cabinet

Closer look at the warming cabinet. There’s a time limit to how long the food items can be stored here before it has to be chucked out. Something along the lines of 10 – 20 minutes. If you want your food piping hot, you’re always welcome to request a fresh or customised order.

McDonald's - How long before the ingredients need to be dumped

Don’t ask me why the hands on the clocks don’t match the words…

McDonald's - (26)

Before the patties even get to the warming cabinets, they have to first be grilled. And this clam-shell contraption here does the job. First, put the frozen patties in.

McDonald's - (27)

Contraption will clamp down on the patties to grill them. With this contraption, each patty will be cooked for the same amount of time and to the right thickness!

McDonald's - (28)

When the timer beeps, remove the grilled patties!

McDonald's - (29)

Voila, they are ready! I spy a few few red spots on the patty. I guess if you want yours really well done, ask for it.

McDonalds Store Room

McDonald's - Store Room things

Our friendly McDonald’s ambassador then brought us into the store room. They should call a box room since it was full of boxes. Didn’t know that Big Mac Sauce is dispensed from a can.

McDonald's - Deep Freeze

Next up was the walk-in freezer. It was very fun to be able to step into the freezer, with the freezer fans blasting cold air right into your face. I thought I would be able to see raw meat here, but it was also pretty much more boxes. Despite that, I’m sure little kids would find it exciting to be able to venture into a freezer for the 1st time in their lives.

I actually have done this numerous times as I used to temp at the airport inflight catering centre. One of my tasks was to procure frozen food from the freezers when needed. I was only 15 at that time and I found it a treat to be able to venture into the silent freezer away from the clanking of plates and dishes outside. It kind of stopped being fun when one occasion, the floor was so slippery that I couldn’t find traction while trying to pull open the huge metal door…..

McDonald's - Staff Lounge

Next, we got to see the staff lounge. They even had a TV in the staff lounge. Hey my company should learn from McDonalds. Free McDonald meals are provided for all staff, although I wonder if one could tolerate eating from the same restaurant every single day.

McDonald's - Who's Who The who’s who in McDonald’s King Albert Park branch

McDonald's - How to prepare a perfect burger

In case the staff have problems remembering how the burgers should be prepared

McDonald's - Ordering Counter McDonald's - Ordering Touchpad McDonald's - Three types of nugget sauce

Barbecue sauce or curry sauce for you, Madam?

McDonald's - King Albert Park 1st Floor Seating Area

View of the ground floor

McDonalds - Open Doors Briefing

Bloggers listening intently to the welcome briefing. Do not touch anything for hygiene and safety purposes!

McDonald's -Family

And Ronald McDonald, Hamburglar and the 2 hairy ones bid us goodbye

McDonald's - Cheese Fries

OK I had to end off with more fries. Picture of the latest cheese fries promo…it’s really delicious…and sinful. Tastes like cheezels!

More information on McDonalds and the Kitchen Tours

This year’s Open Doors in Singapore will see 300 sessions of kitchen tours, conducted between 18 September 2011 to 19 February 2012, at 25 McDonald’s restaurants island-wide. The kitchen tours will take place every 3rd Sunday of the month. Participants will learn about McDonald’s food from “farm to fork” system. Register online at www.mcdonalds.com.sg/opendoors

Did you know that McDonald’s uses 100% beef with no additives and fillers, whole-muscle chicken thigh, Grade AA eggs sanitised and oiled for freshness, 100% vegetable oil with no cholesterol and no trans-fat? NO TRANS FATS! FINALLY!

Photography or filming is not permitted.

McDonald’s Fries

McDonald's Fries

Forget chocolate cake and ice-cream. McDonald’s French fries is the real comfort food for me. Apparently, they are now trans fats free. If your fries are not piping hot like how you want them to be, McDonalds will get you a new serving, no questions asked.

Watch this space, going to do a full write-up of the McDonald’s Open Doors Kitchen tour I attended on Saturday.

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