Sunday, August 23, 2015

Quinoa Goreng at Red Baron @Gillman Barracks

Nothing prim, stilted nor regal here... ...the lions love the laidback, easy vibe at this little joint in the middle of almost nowhere (near mrt now lah)... ...will be back for their in-house bakes and coffee... ...
Oh and they're not affiliated to Artistry even though you might see a familiar face around... ...

Little cub lepark like a boss on rattan chair.
Red baron supposedly refers to the indigenous lalang in
the area .
Stand alone glass and brick structure.
Love the alfresco area facing a little garden patch but too humid in the
afternoons. Saturday afternoons are a little quiet for now, nice... ...
Look daddy, i don't need the gym to grow those muscles.. ..
Taking in the refreshing greenery and admiring the little edible garden patch.
The signature quinoa goreng ($16) inspired by the local dish,
nasi goreng, hits the right spot with a good dose of heat.
Comes with pieces of crunchy prawns and chicken, topped
with a cheerfully runny sunny side up. The lion washed this
down with a pint of hoppy Proper Job ($15) from the tap.
Beefy Ploughman ($14) comes with generous
slabs of striploin accompanied by caramalised onions and
melted cheese.

Another night without the cub saw the two cats chilling at Nekkid @Gillman Barracks (space formerly occupied by The Naked Finn) before a gathering... ...

Rattan chairs - the "in" choice of furniture right now
Premium ingredients like tiger prawns and
sakura ebi make up the homemade keropok ($5) that
have undergone drying for a week. The lioness' granny used
to make keropok at home and she can attest that they are
lip-smacking great here. Not so enamoured by the smoked
duck with pear sauce ($10) though.
Grilled baby squids ($8). Finger seafood bites are generally
good at this sister watering hole to The Naked Finn that has
since moved to a bigger and prettier space.
Damn, they ran out of the "orh jien" ($6) made out of squid
innards that day.
Air-fried winglets ($7) didn't sound so enticing till the staff
waxed lyrical about the dish and yeap, this has gotta be
one of the most tasty renditions they've tried. Enuff of
kfc (korean fried chicken) already, the winglets here
are marinated in a medley of local spices.
Deep fried batang fish roe served with sambal ($10),
another interesting bar snack. The sauces that accompany
the bites at Nekkid are also scene-stealers in their own

Red Baron
45 Malan Road
Singapore 109455

41 Malan Road
Singapore 109454

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Chateraise Cream Puff vs La Donatella Lemon Roll

Two take-away bakeries with pretty refined sweets touting the allure of "original", "premium", "fresh" and "air-flown". One of them hails from Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, and the other from the Venetian coast, Italy.

Somewhere near Alexandra Food Centre... ...

Rattan shop closing for the night.
Desserts were almost sold out for the day. Just a few
remaining Italian sweets looking eagerly out of the
dismally empty refrigerated shelf for interested patrons.
The divine Limone Rulle or Lemon Roll ($3+)

Meanwhile, somewhere in Jurong... ...

The signature cream puff with a sublime blend of fresh milk
and egg custard cream at $1.90.

Ingredients from both bakeries are air-flown directly into the Lion City from their respective country of origin to retain an element of "authenticity". However, Chateraise still manages to keep its sweets affordable with cakes rarely going above the five dollar mark. That explains the snaking queue during peak hours and its popularity among the value-seeking masses who sweep boxes of its signature puffs. La Donatella, on the other hand, carries rarely-seen Italian desserts like the cannolo siciliano on top of stellar mainstays like the tiramisu but prices hover at an eye-popping range of approximately nine dollars per slice. The lemon roll, a must try with its pillowy soft sponge and delicately perfumed cream, is one of the more affordable options at this nondescript shop.

Chateraise Patisserie
Isetan Singapore
Jurong East Store B2 Basement
3 Gateway Drive, Westgate
Singapore 608532

La Donatella
370 Alexandra Road 
Anchor Point 
Singapore 159953

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Singapore Butter Latte @7Kickstart

The lions had a pretty laidback SG50 holiday. They had wanted to join in the picnic at Marina South Pier watching the Black Knights in action but the little cub was still fearful of loud noises and logistically, it was rather tricky with the kiddo in tow. They also sought to avoid the mayhem at most of the free attractions during the long jubilee break. The National Museum and the Singapore Art Museum (SAM) didn't seem so daunting though, so off they went.

But the most important meal of the day beckoned, of course. The lions decided to hit themselves with an ang moh-fied version of kopi gu you (coffee with melted butter). Nothing like downing 5oz of patriotism early in the morning. The traditional cup of kopi gu you might take you back to the prewar days of our forefathers on the island where scarcity demanded a little creative cheat code. Hence, the extra dose of energy in a slick stick of butter.

The barista at 7Kickstart promised the lions that it would be a creamy, comforting concoction but hmmm... ...the Singapore Butter Latte was a little of a letdown, other than an oily mouth feel (duh), they could not detect the hint of "salted", "toffee" nor "caramel" notes that some writers have mentioned in their bittersweet eulogies to the dying traditional cup. The Caffe Milo was also more like a latte dinosaur.  Milo was not blended into the drink but sat rather aloof over the latte. Maybe the lions caught the cafe on an "off" day. The bites were also a hit and miss affair.

Caffe Milo
Singapore Butter Latte
Chicken Satay Quesadillas ($12.90)
Breakfast Burger ($12.90)
Other interesting coffee-based creations by 7Kickstart. Yikes Hipster-Meister
marries redbull with coffee. Wah lau, can die!
Meow! The lion spotted this interesting kapok voucher.

At the Singapore Art Museum (SAM):

Activities include mask making and polariod picture
taking (above) with props.
Baby loved the mirrors at the After Utopia exhibit but was
freaked out by artist Chen Shaomin's installation of lifelike
figures of dead communist leaders in glass coffins. Ok
we know, not age appropriate lol... ...
What remains of former National Library outside... ...

National Museum:

An absolutely must-visit exhibit is "Singapura:700 years", bringing visitors through the riveting history of Singapore. The highlight there has to be the Singapore Stone on display; it's like our very own Rosetta Stone with inscriptions dating back from the 13th century. Cool national treasure.

In case you didn't know that the Lion City was a misnomer.
Love the prose.
Can you remember this? Yup another of the lions' favourite relic at the
Singapura: 700 years exhibit tee hee... ...
Another exhibit worth your time... did you know that
Van Houten chocolates used to be made in the Lion City?
Some fun outside the museum.

Winding down the day at Curious Palette cafe by the folks behind Strangers' Reunion:

Interior scores but the damage was $27 dollars for two cuppas and a mushroom
soup, yikes, so ex... ...

71 Bras Basah Road
Singapore 189555

Curious Palette
64 Prinsep Street
Singapore 188667

Monday, August 17, 2015

Collective Brewers

Trying to chill at a cafe during the long jubilee weekend... ...with a hyper active cub... ... the nice little lady beside the lions complimented them on being considerate as they apologised for the little ruckus... ... Daddy had to head out of the premises with the figety tyke for a while... ...ironically having a cub tend to turn the lion into somewhat of a babe magnet as the little one coo-ed and grinned at the fairer sex sitting at the alfresco section, and they in turn returned the favour.

The robust flat white was sublime ... ...too bad they didn't have a chance to ask about the blend; the lion was busy chatting to the nice little lady about raising kids on the island while the lioness had her hands full with baby-led weaning. The cakes and pastry selection here is sadly limited though and the only bite they had - pork belly chips - was no pleaser. But boy, was the service A*** excellent. Will be back for caffeine.

Collective Brewers
301 Changi Road
Singapore 419779

Plank Sourdough Pizza

The master baker from New Zealand takes on the quintessential Italian dish, and the result is no less satisfying. It makes perfect sense as the cornerstone of a pizza is its crust. And according to Dean Brettschneider - the guy behind the success of Baker & Cook - the perfect pizza has a hand-kneaded, (no rolling pins) tangy sourdough base that has been subjected to a long fermentation process at a controlled temperature, with just a handful of simple ingredients.

The lions are regular patrons of this dude's bakeries; so on a date without the cub, they headed over to the quiet Opera estate for an evening breather and some pizza.

With a straightforward selection of just 6 pizzas (up $24) plus daily specials on the menu (desserts are sweet pizzas), patrons can supplement their meal with sweets and coffee from the adjoining Baker & Cook. In fact the lions sat at Baker & Cook for caffeine and ordered from Plank. The smoked salmon pizza ($22) with wild mushrooms, prawns, capers and sour cream could have fed 3 cats yikes... ...a little overkill on carbs with the addition of the garlic bread... ... they only wished Dean had done his sourdough donuts venture here instead of in London... ...that would have been interesting indeed... ...  

Plank Sourdough Pizza
1 Swan Lake Avenue
East Coast
Singapore 455700