Posts Tagged ‘pies’

The Big Sheila

I love it whenever a new restaurant opens near my place! This time round, it’s The Big Sheila. It took over the space that used to be occupied by Big Ben. Big Ben used to specialise in selling pies and we went once before, with the intention of returning again, but alas it is no longer there. The Big Sheila is a gourmet western home-style food store located at 15 Swan Lake Avenue, Siglap, Singapore.

Swan Lake is in the Opera Estate area, which I think holds much promise for becoming a little laid back enclave for cafes and restaurants! I really hope that happens, and if it does, remember that you read it here first! The interesting thing about it is that their food is also available for takeaways if you pre-order via The Big Sheila’s website.

The Big Sheila - (1)

The Big Sheila is opened by Fleur Glover, an expat from Australia. If you didn’t know, Sheila is a slang for woman. I would think that that would be a nasty nickname for any woman, but yep, The Big Sheila is Fleur Glover’s nickname! Don’t be surprised though when you enter that you see many Ang Mohs dining here with their kids in tow. I was the only Chinese when I had my lunch here. And I thought this only happened in Bukit Timah.

The Big Sheila - (19)

All their cakes were laid out next to the entrance. I really couldn’t stop myself from taking pictures even before I ordered my food!

The Big Sheila - Creamy baked cheese cake with tim tam base and milk chocolate top $13 per slice (1)

Creamy baked cheese cake with tim tam base and milk chocolate top $13 per slice

Is this not such a luscious looking cheese cake? If not for the fact that it seems a little pricey, I really would have wanted to order one to go with lunch.

The Big Sheila - The Banker Cake (Whisky soaked prounes, turned in a rich dark chocolate cake topped with chocolate mousse top)

The Banker Cake (Whisky soaked prunes, turned in a rich dark chocolate cake topped with chocolate mousse top)

I think Fleur Glover sure got it right when she placed these cakes next to the entrance. Grab your customers attention and after that, it’s too late to step out!

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New Zealand Auckland Zoo

Finally got round to sorting out my New Zealand 2012 photos. Sometimes I hate it that I take so many photos. It takes eons to whittle out the handful of photos that will make the cut from the hundreds that I have taken. I remember my 1st digital camera 10 years ago. With the memory card being so small, I was happy to get 50 photos at Disney World. And it’s Disney World mind you. Now, just day trip to the zoo gets me like 300 photos, and this is after much restraint!

Anyway, last month, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Auckland Zoo. The Auckland Zoo was low down in my priority list since we already have a world class zoo right here in Singapore. Also, I’ve been to a number of zoos around the world, and in New Zealand, I rather visit the petting farms where I can touch the animals than merely view from afar. But it being my FOURTH visit to New Zealand, I had to dig up something to do.

Let me get straight to the point. The Auckland Zoo is FANTASTIC! It is such a beautiful zoo and such a wonderful experience walking the grounds that at some points, the hairs on my arms literally tingled with the excitement and awesomeness of it all. If you are going to Auckland, you definitely have to take some time to go visit the Auckland Zoo. It would be time and money well spent.

The difference between The Auckland Zoo vs The Singapore Zoo
  1. Visitor Comfort – If there’s one thing that New Zealand has got going for itself, it is the weather. It is very pleasurable to be out and about without having to mop sweat off your forehead every 5 seconds. Unless a huge air-conditioned dome is built over the zoo, the hot and humid weather will always be a bugbear for Singapore.
  2. Lively animals – It’s a no brainer actually. If you don’t want to be out in crazy 34 degrees celcius, guess what, the animals at the Singapore Zoo feel the same way! I noticed a lot of the animals at the Auckland Zoo were up and in full view, pacing around, or swimming, or swishing their tails or just being plain awake. At the Singapore Zoo, most of the times, the animals were lying down, sleeping or hiding somewhere in the shade, out of view. Even the Night Safari animals seem sluggish. I know, because I’ve been there more than 10 times!
  3. Pretty as a picture – Okay I may be a little biased, given the weather and all, but I think the Auckland Zoo is prettier. It is like a beautiful park, which just happens to have animal exhibits! There is a river flowing through the park too, with lots of little duckies swimming in them. I don’t know why there are no ducks in our ponds and rivers and to me, a pond or a river just ain’t complete without ducks! Don’t get me wrong though, I do think our Singapore Zoo is pretty too, and part of the zoo overlooks the Upper Seletar Reservoir. I just think that the Auckland Zoo is nicer.
  4. Location – Auckland Zoo is just 5 minutes from Central Auckland whereas the Singapore Zoo is located in a “remote” region of Singapore. It’s like if you were in Orchard Road, the Auckland Zoo would be where our Botanical Gardens is. But given that Singapore is pretty small to begin with, this actually isn’t a significant point. And, if you were cabbing, that 5 minute ride to Auckland Zoo would probably cost you S$20, same as if you were cabbing to Mandai!

Other than that, both the Singapore Zoo and Auckland Zoo are world class zoos in their own right. The best part about these zoos are that the animal are housed not in cages but in enclosures made to look like their natural habitats. Also, both zoos boast of walk-in enclosures where visitors are able to mingle with the free-ranging animals. I would most definitely encourage tourists visiting Singapore or Auckland to visit the zoos! I make it a point to visit the Singapore Zoo every year or so.

Auckland Zoo (3)

Auckland zoo (6)

Taller than a hippo.

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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

Regent Hotel Weekend High Tea Buffet

I’ve always loved the 3 tiered service afternoon tea at the Regent Hotel Singapore on weekdays. Been there a number of times. It’s always nice to sit back and relax over a cuppa and have some nibbles. The reason why I liked Regent’s afternoon tea in particular is because of its delicious scones and clotted cream. Those of you following my blog will know that I go weak when I hear clotted cream being mentioned. Another reason why the Regent’s weekday afternoon tea is so good is because 1 tier is actually enough for 2 people, if you’re not too ravenous. Plus I always order the free flow of iced chocolate on the side.

Lately, I was reminded that Regent Hotel also serves afternoon tea during the weekends, buffet style, with a strong focus on British afternoon tea items like the various pies and sausage rolls. I immediately made reservations, only to be told that the next available spot would be 2 weeks later. Well, the 2 weeks later was last week. After having sampled what was on offer, I have to say that the experience is quite different from having the 3-tier afternoon tea on weekdays.

The buffet obviously has more food items to choose from. However, there were quite a number of misses, and a few hits. Most of the pies I felt were too dry. There was no visual appeal either as the yellow display lighting cast a horrible overcooked glow on the pies. The bread used in the sandwiches was hard, with the exception of the egg sandwiches. The dessert station featured no luscious looking chocolate cake. In my opinion, that’s a prerequisite for any self-respecting buffet! And horror of horrors, the scone was only so so. Even though I could have had as much clotted cream as I wanted, I didn’t do so because the scone wasn’t that great!

Interestingly, the best dish was the baked salmon. The salmon was so so so good. It was flaky, moist and full of flavour. The doneness was just right. Any less time in the oven and it would probably have been raw. And any longer in the oven and it would have been less flaky and moist. Delicious. I went back for 3 helpings!

Given a choice, I would prefer to go for the weekday 3-tiered afternoon tea. At least, every item on the 3-tiered stand tasted good.

Anyway….less talk and more pictures. Enjoy!

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - British Pies station

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Satay and Crab Curry Mantou station

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Dessert station

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Ice cream and waffles station

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Scone with clotted cream and jam (2)

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Scone with clotted cream and jam

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Lots and lots of clotted cream!!

Lemon curd, very traditional to the British. Probably what Kaya is to Singaporeans.

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Egg sandwich with caviar on top

The egg sandwich didn’t come with the caviar, but there is a huge bottle of it nearby so just help yourselves!

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Nibbles Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Roast Lamb and Baked Salmon

Roast lamb on the left and baked salmon on the right. Of all the things at the buffet, you MUST try the baked salmon! It’s DAMN GOOD!

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Crab Curry with Mantou

Crab curry with mantou. I just love fried mantous! Dip it in the curry and it’s so heavenly! Fried carbs, they appeal to me way too much!

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Mini Pavlovas

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Macarons

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Iced Chocolate

Don’t take the iced chocolate if you don’t want to fill yourself up too fast

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Cup of tea for you Madam Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Cuppa tea for you sir

As part of the high tea, you get a choice of 2 drinks, be it iced chocolate, teas and coffees.

Regent Hotel Weekend Afternoon Tea - Homemade Gelato

Ice cream is “homemade”. This is nice, but nothing beats the free flow of haagen dazs ice cream at the Goodwood Park afternoon tea buffet!

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