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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Peranakan Buffet Lunch @ Indocafe the White House at Newton

35 Scotts Road, Singapore 228227
Tel: 6733 2656

For years I have been passing by this beautiful, cultural Colonial-style white bungalow located off Scotts Road, and have been wanting to check it out. The day has finally dawned, and thanks for buddy *Zachery for the company. So here we are, immersed in cultural richness and exquisite settings while pondering between a la carte orders or their signature Peranakan buffet.

Anyway, to share a little about this charming two-storied building, it is home to Peranakan fine dining, fine coffee appreciation as well as cultural arts performances. Service crew members are all dressed immaculately, unfailingly polite and the restaurant has a quiet elegance about it that we enjoyed.

We settled on the A La Carte Peranakan Buffet (SGD$29.00 on weekdays / SGD$33.00 on weekends) excluding prevailing charges. There is a list of 20 dishes to choose from, including savoury dishes as well as desserts.

Sotong Panggang (marinated and grilled squid with sambal sauce) graced the table first - rather huge pieces, succulent and mildly spicy with sambal, a dish that pleased our palates immensely.

Stingray Panggang (marinated and grilled stingray with sambal sauce) was served with crunchy string beans - we actually preferred these over the fish ironically. Flavour of stingray was rather good, but we are more accustomed to saucier stingray dishes.

Next, Kueh Pie Tee - tiny crispy pastry cups served separately from bowl of turnips, crabmeat, cuttlefish and shrimps. We inserted the bowl of shredded goodies into the pastry cups with a tiny scoop of garlic chili, and happily bit into the bursts of flavours and textures.

The Hokkien Hae Mee (prawn soup noodle) was a bowl of clear dark broth with yellow noodles, prawns, water spinach, eggs and beansprouts. I thought the broth was a little too sweet for my liking.

Belachan Kay (a type of chili mixture with chicken, "kay" is chicken in Hokkien) marinated with shrimp paste, served with chilli sauce on the side. Rather enjoyed the crackling skin and juicy, tender flesh, but totally loved the taste - it's prawn paste chicken with a different name.

Pasembur was served next, a dish made up of sweet turnips, eggs and crispy deep-fried beancurd cubes served with sweet and sour potato dressing. A light, simple and refreshing dish it was!

Then Otak Klasik -  steamed egg custard a la chawanmushi, with Barramundi fish fillet - the entire dish was flavorful and smooth, filling the palate pleasingly.

Next, Lor Bak, made up of deep-fried beancurd, yam, century egg, Ngoh Hiang, fish cake and sausages, served with chili dip on the side. I quite enjoyed this dish as well, for the assortment of snack-like items.

Following that, Tu Boh Sui - blanched baby octopus served with chili peanut dip. The baby octopus were succulent, even juicy; they were bland in flavour but made tasty by the dip.

Jiu Hu Eng Chye - blanched cuttlefish with water spinach and peanut dip - immersed in a light and tasty gravy. Cuttlefish was chewy, crunchy and vegetables were crisp, making for a lovely dish.

Finally, Iced Chendol being our choice of dessert - coconut milk over crushed ice, rice flour jelly, palm sugar and red beans. The coconut milk was sweet and creamy, a cooling relieve from the heavier dishes we had before. There's less ingredients than the normal Chendol that we are accustomed to, but we enjoyed the taste overall.

Enjoyed our experience here at Indocafe the White House, from the settings to service to food, we were pleased with everything. I shall love to come back soon, maybe for ther a la carte items this time.

Outfit of the Day - cherry red dress with pleated hem

"All my life I've pursued the perfect red." — Diana Vreeland 

Bright cherry red dress - the folds look a little odd due to the material. Pity, cos I loved the pleated hem. Might've been perfect for Christmas or Lunar New Year.

Dress: The Editor's Market
Bracelet: Tiffany's & Co
Watch: Rado

Monday, 27 February 2017

Dinner at La Ventana Catalonian Restaurant @ Dempsey Hill (Revisit)

16A Dempsey Road, Singapore 247695
Tel: 6479 0100

There are some places that stay in your mind after visiting, making you yearn to revisit again and again; there are some dishes that tug at your heartstrings, making you crave for them repeatedly - La Ventana is one such place, and the Pigeon Paella is one such dish (for me, at least).

So we returned after a year (review on past visit here). This time round, there were 5 of us, both a celebratory and farewell dinner, in one.

We started with Cocktails and a special bottle of Tempranillo Matsu El Picaro 2014 Red Wine (SGD$84.00) available exclusively here. After a toast or two, food was served.

Some Breadstick with Lentil Dip served on the side kickstarted dinner - loved especially the crunchy breadsticks.

Foie-gras Terrine Cookie (SGD$18.00) was indescribably delicious, creamy mashed duck innards spread generously between flakey puff pastries with apple sauce - scoring high on textures and taste. This sure whetted our appetite for more.

Next, Surf and Turf Meatballs with Baby Squids (SGD$18.00) - huge, meaty and tender minced beef balls were pooled in a thick, savoury sauce together with tiny, springy squids. The sauce even contained tiny chunkþs of minced beef (flaked off from the meatballs?).

Following that, we ordered the Jamon Iberico de Bellota (SGD$26.00) - papee thin, salted Iberico ham on crispy bread with tomato - every bit as good as how we remembered from the last visit, if not better.

Then the Catalan Roasted Pularda (SGD$22.00 for half / SGD$32.00 for whole), pan-roasted Bresse chicken with prunes, apricots and pine nuts. If the ingredients sound suspiciously to you like a festive dish, don't be surprised, this dish was created for Christmas menu but it stayed because of its popularity among diners. I can see why though - what's not to love about very succulent, moistened chicken with my favorite fruits and nuts?

The much-craved Pigeon Paella (SGD$45.00) - whole pigeon with canaroli rice and porcini mushrooms. The grainy rice were crispy with a good bite, the mushrooms added delicious earthly notes, and the tender pigeon was almost half-cooked, soft and moistened.

Final mains was the Black Rice (SGD$38.00) - carnaroli rice infused sumptuously with black squid ink giving it a lovely murky taste, slipper lobster flesh and raw clams of the day. Grainy rice was crunchy, seafood were succulent and freshly sweet - this was another dish gobbled up quickly.

Moving on to desserts! Cheesecake (SGD$15.00) made with a dash of white chocolate, was cheesy, smooth and rich but not heavy at all; sitting atop a buttery biscuit base adding crunch to its beautiful texture. I loved the beautiful assortment of fresh berries served as plating as well.

Then there was Deconstructed Cosmopolitan Cocktail Dessert (SGD$14.00) - squares of sponge cakes soaked generously with Vodka, citrusy Mandarin Orange sorbet, raspberry coulis, Cointreau foam and lime juice. Whoever wished they could take apart their favorite cocktail drink and eat it, has now attained their wish. Loved this sweet and sour creation.

[Poem] Stepping Out

I step out of my dress, 
Pool of silk on the floor, 
Cream rose and sprawling, 
Smooth like my waxed skin. 
Your eyes are smoldering, 
Burning up the inches between us, 
I stand cold in my nudity, 
Yearning to step into your arms. 

Resistance is hugging me tight, 
From behind, a possessive lover. 
As the mind remembers the pain 
I felt, after every rendezvous. 
I pull up my dress, 
The cool silk touching me 
In places where you should be. 
But the heart says to run.

I step out of your life, 
Pool of tears on the streets, 
Warm like your kiss used to be, 
The night wind never howls louder. 
Your smile is cruel, 
But most of all, baffled. 
You do not understand why 
Or when I woke from your nightmare.

Copyright © 2017 WinePoetess

Outfit of the Day - Champagne Colored Long Off-shoulders Dress

"The best things in life are free. The second best are very expensive." — Coco Chanel 

Off-shoulder, long canvas dress, who would've thought? Quite comfortable, but I might look washed out in this shade.

Dress: Southaven (SGD$100.00)
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co
Watch: Rado

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Outfit of the Day - gray cocktail dress with beaded details

"I wanted to give a woman comfortable clothes that would flow with her body. A woman is closest to being naked when she is well-dressed." - Coco Chanel

One of my favorite cocktail / events dresses - a short gray number with beaded details at neckline #throwback

Dress: Eurago (SGD$188.00)
Shoes: Pedro (SGD$89.90)
Bag: Christian Dior

[Poem] Hear Me

Twirled around your finger, 
Are strands of my hair, 
A dark waterfall waiting, 
To cascade down your body. 

They say games are fun, 
But do they know about the pain 
Of being beaten? 
To see the rewards stolen? 

You were mine, 
I feel it in every inch of my core, 
I hope when you kiss her, 
It's my whispers and moans you hear.

Copyright © 2017 WinePoetess

The Honeymoon Series [xii] - Lake Titisee in Black Forest, Germany

After visiting stunning Switzerland (review here), we cross over to Lake Titisee, Blackforest region in Germany. Now, Germany is an interesting Western European country with diversity - its capital Berlin which is rich for cultural, art and nightlife scenes, its city Munich known for Oktoberfest and famous German beers, and Frankfurt being the modern arm with skycrapers and central brank.

We had a short stay in Germany itself - basically merely crossing through the beautiful Black Forest region, renowned for its beautiful forests, black forest cakes and cuckoo clocks.

A beautiful mountainous landscape with a dark cape of evergreens (pine trees) so dense, the shine could not shine through - that was how it's name was derived. Stretching west to the Rhine River and south into the Alpine foothills, the Black Forest is a must-visit for tourists in the Baden-Wutterberg (Swabia) region -it is also the biggest national park in the country with 130 years of tourism.

Besides a beautiful natural scenery, the Black Forest also houses some of the best restaurants, more than 30 spas, as well as the Cathedral of Freiburg, which is said to be one of the most beautiful gothic churches in Germany.

Strandbadstr 4. 79822 Titisee-Neustadt, Titisee, Germany
Website: http://www.blackforest-tourism.com/Media/Attraktionen/Titisee-lake

A beautiful lake surrounded by low mountains and forests, this natural setting is perfect for photography, relaxation and tourist's visitation. The Lake Titisee covers an area of km2 and is approximately 20 metres deep.

One may also be keen to visit the largest waterfall in Triberg here, the largest in the country.


Besides Cuckoo Clocks, one may be very keen to do shopping for other merchandise as well. Housed in the same building are lots of other brands as well, from Mont Blanc to Pandora to Coach to Longchamp. You cannot walk away without a gorgeous, secure Rimowa luggage! And it was surprising to note that the prices of certain branded watches were about SGD$1,000 less than what we bought in Switzerland (gasps).

Seestraße 37-41, 79822 Titisee-Neustadt, Germany
Website: https://www.drubba.com

How could one miss visiting the house of the Cuckoo Clocks? We were treated to a demonstration of the mechanisms and history of the famous exquisite clocks, with a better understanding of how they work. I never knew there were so many types of cuckoo clocks - some tell stories, others chime melodies instead of the usual birdie's coo-ing.  This is a lovely place to be at.

There are many small hotels and restaurants, bars etc here so one could easily find food and drinks to fill their tummies or satiate cravings. When in Black Forest, one must eat their Pork Knuckle with Saukernaut and Black Forest Cake, as well as try German Beer and / or Wine!

Seestraße 37-41, 79822 Titisee-Neustadt, Germany
Website: https://www.drubba.com/en/drubba/drubba-services/restaurants/restaurant-zur-muehle

Also under the Drubba Group, in the same building, is a beautiful café restaurant offering one a clear view of the surrounding forest through its full glass windows. Be it Summer or Winter, one dines in a gorgeous natural surrounding, served by cheerful service crew and warm hospitality over delicious, authentic German cuisine.

Here concludes our tour in Germany, and also the last city we visited in Europe (sadly). We bode the wonderful coldness goodbye and moved on to our last Honeymoon destination next - the exotic Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Keep a lookout for it next week. Thank you for reading, and smooches my dears.

For backtracks:
(i) Honeymoon Series part 1 - selecting the destinations (click here)
(ii) Honeymoon Series part 2 - researching and booking (click here)
(iii) Honeymoon Series part 3 - preparing for the trip (click here)
(iv) Honeymoon Series part 4 - Rome, Italy (click here)
(v) Honeymoon Series part 5 - Siena, Florence & Pisa, Italy (click here)
(vi) Honeymoon Series part 6 - Venice and Milan, Italy (click here)
(vii) Honeymoon Series part 7 - Lorraine and Fontainebleau, France (click here)
(viii) Honeymoon Series part 8 - Paris, France (click here)
(ix) Honeymoon Series part 9 - Swiss Alps and Bern, Switzerland (click here)
(x) Honeymoon Series part 10 - Interlaken and Jungfrau, Switzerland (click here)
(xi) Honeymoon Series part 11 - Lake Titisee, Blackforest, Germany (click here)