Saturday, April 27, 2013

Unassuming meals at The ART restaurant

Oh.... it's so boring in the north west thought Cuchi.... It might seem so due to the fact that a lot of cool places are located in the central part of the island. However, Cute Cute remembered spotting the signage of a restaurant near Upper Bukit Timah Road, Bukit Panjang area. The signage was plastered on a makeshift board in front of Assumption Pathway School and on further investigation, it seems like there is a restaurant in the school compound. Hmm... the Lion's curiosity was piqued. The restaurant is called The ART (Assumption Restaurant for Training) and it is actually a training restaurant for students!
Lush surroundings at The ART restaurant
The Art is sequestered in the Assumption Pathway School and one might have a wee bit of problem finding the restaurant as it sits on an elevated plain. Nevertheless, the Lions managed to find The Art along with friends of theirs, Ms Body Beautiful, Stevie Wonder and Mr Darlee.

Spacious and airy, The Art sits around 70 diners and the student wait staff have plenty of room to maneuver around easily. The Art is a training restaurant that provides a realistic working environment for Assumption Pathway School students who are specialising in food preparation & service and baking. A semi-fine dining restaurant with an al fresco option, The Art serves local and Western cuisine. Once Lions and friends were seated, they scanned through the menu and did their ordering.
Soup of the day: Mushroom Soup.

For lunch, The Art has a set menu with a variety of main courses to choose from. Good thing the Lions came with their friends so they had a range of main courses to try.
Quesadilla (Chicken)
This dish is one of The Art's specialty dishes. The portion of the quesadilla was huge and the filling inside was generous.

Grilled Cajun Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce
Now this was another gem. The cajun chicken with tangy lemon butter sauce paired very well with the butter rice. 

Salmon and Mushroom Pasta
When this dish appeared, the Lions were surprised at the generous portion of salmon served. The overall presentation also scored extra brownie points. Overall the pasta deliciously creamy but not overtly heavy. 
Dessert and coffee/tea came with the set lunch. But wait, despite Lions and friends being too stuffed for words, they eyed the Dessert Platter greedily and sipped on a few refreshing specialty drinks as well. 

Dessert Platter
The dessert platter consisted of 5 different kinds of bakes all lovingly prepared from scratch back in the kitchen. The cakes were a steal at $5 accompanied by a hot cup of coffee/tea.
Cute Cute managed to snap photos of the huge kitchen of The Art. Diners are able to watch the students working in keen concentration through a glass panel.

The al fresco side of The Art that overlooks the vast green field of Assumption Pathway School.

Oooo... they sell souvenirs too!
The Art restaurant is a wonderful place to have your lunch and at the same time, contribute to a good cause. Patrons also have the option of actually making a direct donation to the school. The Art restaurant opens during weekdays from 12noon to 4pm (school days to be exact) so do make reservations before heading down.

Here is our review for The Art Restaurant:

Food Quality: 7.0 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 8.5 pawprints out of 10

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address:

The Art Restaurant
30 Cashew Road Singapore 679697
Tel No : 6892 6187

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Rock a bye Baby at Rokeby

When you are busy at work, time really flies and once again Cute Cute and Cuchi found themselves staring into the start of the weekend - Friday night! But that night was slightly different. Ms Bees, Cute Cute's colleague, was wondering if she could crash one of the Lions' food hunt and observe how things are done. The Lions welcomed her but informed her that there are no flowers for Bees before they went off. =)
After a round of drinks to start their weekend, the Lions decided to bring Ms Bees to Jalan Riang for Rokeby. Pretty unsure what they are up against, the Lions simply flew over to Rokeby to have a go at their food.

''Oooo so exciting.." said Ms Bees as the Lions flew across terrace houses before a row of quaint shophouses appear in front of them. No surprises that all the eateries along Jalan Riang were packed including Rokeby but fortunately enough, the Lions managed to get a table in there for dinner. Interior decor was more straightforward compared to their hipper counterparts, maybe it was a way to distinguish themselves. Nevertheless, the Lions found out that Rokeby is also a coffee joint and that perked Cute Cute up immediately.

Long Black:
Not so heavily bodied, smooth and light with an ashy hint. Not a bad cuppa, I must say!

Latte was pleasantly good. The milk did not overpower the coffee despite the coffee being not so heavily bodied.

After a round of coffee, the food was served.
The baby lions are back!
Rokeby Salad
The Lions ordered the Rokeby Salad to start things off. And since the salad was named after Rokeby maybe it was something special. Well.... it kinda of just taste like a plain salad. Maybe the salad needed more dressing. The Alfalfa dressing on top was a nice touch though.

The Carbonara was not too bad. Not too dry but Cuchi lamented that she wished that there was more creamy sauce in the pasta. Cute Cute however, liked the part where one has to break the yolk and stir it into the pasta.
Fish and Chip
The fish and chips was a bit too salty for their liking. In fact, the Lions found out that it was the batter that was salty and not the fish.

Rokeby is a nice cosy place to hang out and chill out since it is isolated. The coffee is decent and goodness me, they do not charge GST and service charge! This time round the Lions didn't really have a ball of a time with the food, but Cute Cute did see that the burger dish at the other tables was popular. Perhaps, another visit is in order.

Here is our review for Rokeby:

Food Quality: 6.5 pawprints out of 10
Coffee Quality: 7.5 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 7.0 pawprints out of 10

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address:

15-9 Jalan Riang
Singapore 358987
Tel: 9106 0437

Home-grown Liberica beans at My Liberica

The Lions always wondered whether there are any good boutique specialty coffee joints in Johor Bahru. JB is known for their seafood and hawker dishes but specialty coffee? Hmm... that's quite a nice little challenge for the Lions. Ever curious, Cuchi checked the web and found that there is a few of them. However, the one that stood out was My Liberica.

Situated at Jalan Molek, My Liberica is a short drive away from the city centre. Wasn't really hard for the Lions to spot the coffee beans on the signboard. My Liberica cafe is named after the Liberica coffee beans which are grown in Kulaijaya, Johor. What patriotism - to use home-grown coffee beans and name a cafe after it!

Smurfy junior helping Cute Cute to do the choosing

The Lions were surprised by the number of customers at My Liberica. It was full house and the Lions had to wait for about a good 10 minutes before they were ushered to seats. The waiting made Cuchi very eager to try the coffee and ordering was almost immediate.

My Liberica Black Coffee Heavy
My Liberica is unique in a sense that, on top of the type of beans, you have different varieties of roast to choose from. Cute Cute took the heavy and he was satisfied. Strong but not acidic and with a nice aroma, My Liberica's long black certainly made it worth the caffeine rush.

The milk based latte looked so good at another table
(thank you next-table neighbours for this pic),
much to Cuchi's dismay as she was sharing the long black with Cute Cute.
Chicken Pie
The small chicken pie was in one word - AWESOME. It was sold out just as the lions wanted to grab a second piece. It was crustily hot and deliciously savoury.

Green Tea Mille Crepe
My Liberica is also known for their pastries. Their Mille Crepe is one of them. In fact, their Mille Crepe comes in many flavors! Cuchi took the green tea mille crepe and it was a great choice with sweet azuki beans cushioned in the premium cream. 

Mango Swiss Roll
The Japanese-inspired mango swiss roll was recommended by one of the staff of My Liberica. However, it was average and failed to leave much impression on the Lions. Oh well, guess they are spoilt by the benchmark set by the famous Rich and Good swiss rolls back home.

My Liberica is certainly a great place to sample good coffee in Johor Bahru. Just be prepared to brave the crowd during weekends.

Here is our review for My Liberica:

Food Quality: 8.0 pawprints out of 10
Coffee Quality: 8.5 pawprints out of 10
Ambience: 7.5 pawprints out of 10

For those who are interested in going there, here is the address:

My Liberica Coffee
73,Jalan Molek 3/10,Taman Molek, 
81100 Johor Bahru