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Sunday 31 July 2016

Lunch at With A Pinch of Salt Cafe @ Tanjong Katong

297 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore 437080
Tel: 6348 2297

I discovered With a Pinch of Salt (by Kyra) Cafe by chance, whenever the car passed by the rows of shophouses along Tanjong Katong Road. I was informed that this cafe has been around for 10 years.

The cafe's name caught my attention, so I decided to pop by one day after training nearby. Service of the girls was so personable and friendly, making the dining experience very pleasant overall.

The interior was pretty in a very girly way, a little taste of cottage meets vintage. I loved the windows especially, with the blue-and-white window awnings.  They have a very "side-street" styled alfresco area as well, outside the windows.

A recommended Hazelnut Cafe Latte (SGD$4.90) started the lunch session off - pretty, foamy and light in texture as well as taste. Nutty notes teased amongst the stronger coffee taste, lovely enough but nothing mind-blowing.

The Black Lips Pasta with Seafood (SGD$15.90) was basically squid ink spaghetti with an array of shellfish, prawns, crabstick and squids. I had thought the colors meant pasta shaped like lips, then I realized it was meant to stain the lips black, white, pink or green. Lol.

The murky taste of squid ink was rather strong, covering over all flavors of the pasta and seafood. It was a little oily, but I appreciated the generous portions of seafood and tastiness.

Finally, Rainbow Cake (SGD$6.90) - very pretty, and each colorful layer was uniform and boldly distinctive. Texture was light, melty and not too sweet - pleasant, every layer tasted consistently similar.

Overall, we thought this cafe was good but not remarkable (save for the adorable decor and excellent service); pricing was reasonable and there was a good selection of items to choose from each category. The Handmade Cookies by Chef Chan looked tempting as well, and the cafe posts an inviting sign to "come in and try".

For reviews on other rainbow cakes, check out:-

(i) Quarter to Three Cafe (here)
(ii) Backstage Cafe (here)
(iii) Le Chocolat Cafe (here)
(iv) The Bakery Chef (here)
(v) One Degree Marina (here)
(vi) Medz Bistro & Bar (here)
(v) Fresh Fruits Lab (here)

Thursday 28 July 2016

High Tea Session at Anti:dote Lounge @ Fairmont Hotel

2 Stamford Road, Level 1, Fairmont Hotel, Singapore 189550.
Tel: 6431 5315

Been wanting to hit this hightea lounge up for a long time, so I must thank my wonderful foodie group for their patience in waiting till my wedding was over, before we finally headed for this interesting, Instagram-famous chest-of-drawers hightea at Anti:dote Lounge @ Fairmont Hotel.

Anti:dote Lounge is elegant and posh in decor, primarily a cocktail bar for lounging, but now it has its daytime use as well. Loved the comfortable settings as well as impressive chandeliers among dim lighting and polished countertops. 

The afternoon hightea is available every weekday from 3.00pm -5.00pm, but they have 2 seatings on weekends (Fri-Sun) as well as Eve of Public Holidays and Public Holidays, being 12noon -2.00pm for First Seating or 3.00pm - 5.00pm for Second Seating.

Price per adult is around SGD$45.00++ and there are 2 sets to choose from (the difference mainly being the starters; the chest of drawers contain the same items) - The Anti:dote Tea with organic egg, sea urchin, salmon roe and caviar, or The Oriental Tea with selection of steamed and fried Hong Kong dimsum.

We started with pots of TWG Tea (various flavors available) served in pretty pink teapot sets. Choice of tea or coffee is included in the buffet - for tea, subject to one round of refill. One may add SGD$15.00 for a glass of Champagne.  I had a Silver Moon Tea.

The Organic Egg with sea urchin, salmon roe and caviar was breathtaking in appearance, served in black egg shells and looked like a mini golden pool. However, whilst the sea urchin was buttery, salmon roe popped deliciously, and caviar added a umami note, the egg itself was bland, tasteless, dry and hard (a congealed cross between hard-boiled and soft-boiled). 

The Dimsum of Chinese Carrot Cake, Scallop Siew Mai (minced pork dumpling) and Taro Dough Fritter with Prawns fared much better, in terms of taste and variety. 

Finally, our much-awaited chests of white, 3-rung drawers were served - heavily filled with an assortment of sweet and savoury tea items. These came in servings of 2 and 3.

On the top tier were all the sweets, such as:

(i) Chocolate Coated Strawberry - looking so irresistible when the coat of chocolate resembled a tuxedo suit - makes you want to take it off. Loved this!
(ii) Green Apple Tartlet - loved the buttery crust with sour-sweet green apple fillings and the tiny crunchy malt ball atop
(iii) Dark Chocolate Cake with Shortbread and Nougat Chip - decadent, moist and crunchy in combination
(iv) Strawberry Cream Cone - crunchy on the outside, creamy on inside
(v) Black Sesame Macaron - with a subtle chocolate coating, not too sweet, but delicious
(vi) Traditional Paris Brest - rich with white chocolate - sweet, creamy, like eclair but shaped like bagels
(vii)  Lemon Sable with Grapefruit Parfait - light bittersweet zest on crumbly lemon base
(viii) Mini Strawberry Cake with Vanilla Chihoust - fluffy, rich in strawberry goodness, and pretty
(ix) Pistachio Layer Cake with Smoked Tea Cream - luscious, rich, nutty and I loved the smoked tea cream
(x) Chocolate Praline - what's not to love about a dark chocolate praline cube?

Concealed in the first rung were all the tiny savoury items, such as:

(i) Boston Maine Lobster with Pickled Cucumber, served on Dill Brioche - sweet, springy lobster chunks with flavors enhanced by pickled cucumber - I enjoyed this as well.
(ii) Wild Mushroom Duxelle Vol Au Vent - puffy, flaky pastries sapid with earthly mushroom goodness
(iii) Smoked Salmon, Lemon Cream Cheese and Ikura Roe - served on a hard, rye-like base. I loved this- and absolutely adored the cuteness (don't they resemble mini sushi rolls?)
(iv) Iberico Ham on Seasonal Truffle Tart - fluffy, flaky flavored pastry with ham
(v) Duck Confit on Foie Gras Terrine - if this ain't rich, I don't know what is. I totally dug this tiny pastry because it is made up of two of my favoritest French food items.

When we pulled out the middle rung, there were:

(i) Warm Chia Seeds Scones - loved the light sweetness and healthy chia seeds adding bite to the scones
(ii) Warm Parmesan Cheese Scones - in adorable square shapes unlike the usual scones - these savoury items worked for me too.

Finally, what's in the bottom-most layer?

(i) Sugared Butter Shortbread Cookies - melted in my mouths deliciously just as my heart melted along with this childhood love.
(ii) Homemade Raspberry Jam
(iii) Devonshire Clotted Cream
(iv) Homemade Lemon Curd - all these were made for the already-tasty scones. What a spread!

It was then I realized the stunning "lego blocks" cakes were not part of the hightea set. Kind of wished it were.

Overall, I enjoyed my hightea experience here very much - what's not to love when there's tantalising, unique food items served in innovative ways, sophisticated ambience, excellent service and amazing company to dine with?  

For reviews on other Hotel Highteas, check it out here:

(i) M Hotel's Club Lounge (click here)
(ii) Drop the T @ W Hotel, Sentosa (click here)
(iii) Courtyard @ The Fullerton Hotel (click here)
(iv) Lobby Court @ Swissotel Stamford (click here)
(v) Le Chocolate @ Club Hotel (click here)
(vi) Tuxedo Cafe @ Carlton City Hotel (click here)
(vii)  Carousel @ Parkroyal Plaza on Scotts (click here)
(viii) 10 Scotts @ Grand Hyatt (click here)
(ix)  Chihuly Lounge @ Ritz Carlton (click here)
(x) Tea Lounge @ Regent Hotel (click here)
(xi)  Rose Veranda @ Shangi-la (click here)
(xii) The Landing Point @ Fullerton Bay Hotel (click here)
(xiii) Cafe L'espresso @ Goodwood Park Hotel (click here)
(xiv)  Lobby Lounge @ Intercontinental Hotel (click here)
(xv) One Ninety @ Four Seasons Hotel (click here)

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Movie Review : Independence Day - Resurgence

Photosource: http://www.foxmovies.com/movies/independence-day-resurgence

This is a follow-up sequel to the last Independence Day movie, and is supposed to have taken place 20 years after the last episode, this time around 4th July as well.

The world is in a chaotic, panicking mass as (predictably) metres-tall waves surge towards land, collapsing skycrapers and swallowing just about everything in its wake.

Photosource: http://www.herebegeeks.com/movies/aliens-blow-up-singapore-in-independence-day-2-trailer

Needless to say, as a Singaporean, I was fascinated and disturbed by the movie using our iconic Marina Bay Sands (MBS) in one of the destructive scenes - however that was a very brief scene and the movie was action-packed, very entertaining overall.

So amidst the fear and chaos from the invasion of a monstrously humongous alien, so-termed The Queen, the United States (of course) was busy sending troops up into space and organizing manpower and firearms on land as well.

There were sacrifices and there was an interesting turn of events - the latter came in the form of an unexpected alliance - that gently brought the movie to a close.

Expect to be right at the edge of your seats throughout the entire 120 minutes,  but my take is that as thrilling as this movie is - once you've watched one or two aliens-invasion flicks, you've basically seen it all.

Have fun!

Sunday 24 July 2016

Dinner at Dazzling Cafe @ Capitol Piazza

15 Stamford Road #01-85 Capitol Piazza, Singapore 178906
Tel: 6384 3310

When Capitol Piazza opened and I was excited to explore all the dineries there, I managed to visit Angelina's (review here), Cafe 1933 (review here) and Equilibrium (review here), but never had the chance to get to Dazzling Cafe, simply because there was always a long queue. Even on weekday afternoons!

With the opening of their second outlet at, some of the crowd has been diverted and tonight, there was no queue at all. Good - I could finally get to witness for myself the prowess of this Taiwanese desserts cafe.

The exterior is a pretty shade of Tiffany's blue, sweetened by light blue flowers and a white horse carousel by the entrance. Pastel pretty jars of marshmallows adorn the shelf behind.

The interior is done in Tiffany blue and white, with a long bar counter and breathtaking patterned purplish-blue ceiling. Service was all right - not excellent but nothing to grumble about as well.

Menu consisted mainly of desserts and pasta. We both made up our minds pretty fast. *J started with a Caribbean Fruit Punch with Calpis Sorbet (SGD$8.00), a sweet, aromatic drink with refreshing touch of zest. It looked so pretty.

The Mentaiko Fries (SGD$8.90) wafted of the umami aroma of mentaiko sauce, and tasted of the same deliciousness as well. Coupled with the crispiness of the shoestring fries, it was pretty incredible.

The Scallop and Crabmeat Spaghetti Aglio Olio (SGD$18.90) was coiled beautifully into a cone when served,  with shreds of crabmeat piling the tip, like long stalks of flowers upon mountains. The pasta was quite springy, not too spicy but the sweetness of scallops and crabmeat prevailed.

Finally, the popular and Instagram-worthy desserts! I set my sight on the Valrhona Chocolate Waffle (SGD$12.90) and they asked what doneness I wanted (crispy, soft or normal); I took their recommendation and went for the 'normal', which was a combination of crispy exterior with fluffy insides. The chocolate was faintly sapid; delicious, topped with chocolate chips for crunch. I didnt need to add ice-cream to understand why these pretty, flower-shaped waffles warranted so much attention on social media feeds.

Happy that we managed to come here for our catching up session.