FOODWISE: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf VS Spinelli Coffee Company



People often flock to Coffee Bean or Starbucks or Spinelli for a quick cuppa to start their day right. Some even go there for afternoon tea, allowing that splendid slice of cake transport them away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

But how many people actually go there for their food? More importantly, how’s the standard of their food? In chain cafes like these, the food is more often than not pre-packaged, and merely heated up in the microwave or toaster oven on request.

I decided to try Grilled Chicken Sandwiches from two cafes, to compare the standards. Here’s my verdict:

Spinelli Coffee Company
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At Spinelli, they call their Grilled Chicken Sandwich the Bountiful Chicken Sandwich (or something fancy like that). I was a little apprehensive before I ordered it since the sandwich looked rather stale sitting in the glass display.

Before heating my sandwich up, the barista added one or two measly slices of lettuce and probably squirted on some mayonnaise.


The bread was well toasted though, and crispy to the bite. In fact, it remained crispy right until the very end. The grilled chicken came in a generous portion, and even had the skin on it. My guess would be it was the chicken thigh. The chicken meat was a tad dry. The bread became a little soggy on the inside due to the mayonnaise and butter, but it was still flavorful. I would eat the bread on its own actually!

However, a major downside was that this cost $10.30. Just for the sandwich, no drink, no side salad. There are much better lunch sets elsewhere than this!

Beanstro/The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (Note: Beanstro is run by CBTL as well)


This was from Beanstro. It cost $10.50, just a tad more expensive than Spinelli. I was really impressed by this Grilled Chicken sandwich though. First off, the dish was nicely presented as you can see. The ciabatta was crispy, and the chicken was moist and well-marinated. The ciabatta became pretty hard after awhile, and was a chore to cut through. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed this sandwich, even more than Spinelli’s since the chicken was tender and tasty. The chicken used here is skinless and doesn’t have much fats on it.

The side salad was made with fresh crisp vegetables and the sandwich was filled with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. It was good 🙂


The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
On another occasion, I tried the same sandwich again, but this time at Coffee Bean, rather than it’s cafe concept, Beanstro. This, unlike the earlier sandwich, was a complete disaster.

There was way too much gravy, the bread was soft and soggy. By the time I was halfway through my meal, the bread was utter mush, and the whole dish was an oily mess. It was far from appetizing. The side salad was overdressed which made the whole dish even soggier and disgusting. This was the worst sandwich I have ever eaten.

It’s funny how the same dish can differ so much at different outlets. 

So who does it better?

I would choose Beanstro as my first choice, but since Beanstro doesn’t have as many outlets, it may be less accessible. So if you can’t find a Beanstro near you, Spinelli would be a better bet than The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Well, there you have it! I hope FoodWise has helped you make the wiser food choice when you dine out.

CRAFT Bakery and Cafe: Crafting memories.

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The first thing you will notice when you step into the cafe is the laid back yet chirpy vibe. The quaint decor makes this little cafe all the more inviting. Especially with the rows of cakes, pies, waffles and picture worthy nosh all decked out in the glass display.

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They even have a self-service counter loaded with sauces, and water. They were smart to put the cutlery and napkins in rustic buckets on the tables though, it definitely saves us some of the hassle, especially when you are ravenous. The cute plastic cutlery from Ikea is available for children who like to go cafe hopping with their mommies.

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This will just be a really short post, because I’m really exhausted, but I had to share this cafe with you guys. Located in the heart of Holland Village, across the road from Haagen Daaz, this small cafe is easy to miss. But now that you have read this post, you won’t miss out a chance to dine on some quality cafe fare.

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Pesto Chicken Sandwich

I went for the pesto chicken sandwich since I saw someone else’s photo on Instagram, which looked really delicious. I’m glad to say I was not disappointed! The description in the menu was that this sandwich was a panini, so I was expected a hard/crispy bun. To my surprise, the bread was so soft and fluffy. In fact, I think they steamed it. Whatever it was, I really liked it. The filling was generous and the pesto was flavorful. No complaints about this simple sandwich… apart from the fact that it cost me $12.50.

Another thing that I liked was how healthy the sandwich was. It was light, not the slightest bit oily, yet satisfying at the same time. A worthy contender to Cedele.

photo 4 (60)Just a quick side note, while I was chilling in the cafe, having a heart-to-heart talk with my friend, it suddenly dawned on me how little I knew about some of my friends. Its scary to think about how my years as a student are coming to an end.  It has made me realise that some friendships were more important to me than I thought. I’m looking forward to more occasions spent with friends simply studying together, or having a meal together at adorable cafes like Craft Bakery & Cafe.

If you have a sweet tooth, Craft Bakery & Cafe, which was opened by the creators of Original Sin, offers their famous lava cakes at a rather hefty price of $9.50. I have yet to try them, but loads of people have given positive reviews, so you could give it a shot! They also offer pastas, and even wacky dishes like a waffle sandwich! I’m definitely coming back to try some of their other dishes, after I save up a little of course.

Rating: 7/10 (+1 for ambience)


Product Review: Sunnyhills Pineapple Cakes

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Its a sunny yellow banana day… Sound familiar? Anyone else remember the hilarious commercial with the dancing cow advertising HL’s banana milk? Oh dear, looks like I’ve gone on a tangent before I’ve even started my review.

Well, I was blessed with the opportunity to try Sunnyhills Pineapple Cakes after winning a box of 10 Pineapple tarts in a giveaway by Palate. This box of 10 is worth SGD$25, and are individually wrapped. I was not paid to review this, and all thoughts and comments about this product are my own 🙂

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Their shop is located in a quiet stretch of shops on Level 3 of Raffles Hotel, do look out for it cause its rather easy to miss!  Sunnyhills pride themselves in freshly baked pineapple cakes made with natural ingredients and red-yolk eggs. In fact, they recently became Halal-certified, so this could be a go to place for Hari Raya gifts!

Honestly, I have absolutely no idea why its called a Pineapple Cake, when it looks and tastes like a Pineapple Tart, with the buttery casing and all. For those of you who have no idea what a Pineapple tart is, it is a small pastry either topped with pineapple jam, or in some cases the pastry encases the jam, which is commonly eaten during Chinese New Year.

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Each Pineapple Cake comes individually wrapped in paper, which allows for easy, mess-free consumption. I really liked their cardboard box which added a sort of down-to-earthy yet classy feel to the packaging. Since no preservatives are added, the pineapple cakes are good for 3 weeks at room temperature. My recommendation is to consume them as soon as possible as the quality does drop over time.

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The pineapple jam is surrounded with a flaky, buttery crust.. a rather sturdy crust I must add, since it kept its rectangular shape. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The crust was dry, and the pineapple filling did not fare much better, since it was dry and fibrous as well. One thing that I liked was that it wasn’t overly sweet, like many of the commercially made pineapple tarts.
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Perhaps it was due to the lack of preservatives, and the fact that the box I received was already a week old… nonetheless, despite their not-so-spectacular pineapple cake, I would like to commend them for their excellent service.

Since it was my first time to Raffles Hotel, Little Ms Blur here ended up at the back door of the shop. Yet, the shopkeepers gamely led me in from the back, all the while smiling, and not the slightest bit annoyed that I had entered their work space. They offered me a cuppa tea and a tart to try before I collected my box, but I politely declined since I had to rush off elsewhere. The two lovely ladies efficiently gathered my goods, while chattering away about how the pineapple cakes were made, and how soon to consume them. Their amiable service was much appreciated, and I definitely felt more than welcome in their cosy little shop.

If you plan on giving them a try, do take time to sit down in their shop and enjoy the laid back vibe and eclectic furniture as you have your tea and cake.
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For those of you who are more health-conscious, the nutrition facts are quite a shocker. Despite the short ingredient list, and the all-natural ingredients, one pineapple cake along will set you back 205 calories. That is one very calorie dense pineapple tart!

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Great service, but not so great food? It pains me to give them a bad rating, but its all about the food isn’t it? I would like to give them a raving rating like all the other food bloggers out there, but I have to be honest. Their pineapple tart/cakes were not up to standard. Nonetheless, I’m willing to give them another go, hopefully when its fresh, so I can taste it at its best! But for now, Sunnyhills loses out to L.E Confectionery’s golf ball sized pineapple tarts for sure. Buy it or fly by it? I’d go with fly by it. Its not worth 205 calories.

Rating: 4/10

Sophie Bakery @ Novena Square: Oui or Non?

I’m feeling excited today. All my sideline exams/tests/competitions are over! Now I can finally focus on my academics, just 4 months until the exams that truly matter… the A levels. :O

But we’re not here to talk about me. We’re here to visit the streets of Paris… the quaint sidewalk cafes, the beautiful bakeries with the tantalizing smells of freshly baked goods tempting you to have a croissant, maybe twoand perhaps a tarte au citron?

Imagine strolling along Novena Square, and all of a sudden, BAM, you’re transported to Paris. Ah, the country of love. You can just hear all the croissants and tarts calling out your name as you stroll along River Seine. But you keep moving, you know there’s the perfect partner just down the road. Just then you see it. The dark green exterior with its gold lining catching your eye as you round the corner… You’ve found her. You enter Sophie Bakery, your heart pounding as you catch sight of her, where she always is, in clear view, just behind the clear glass panel. You take a deep breath in as you finally hold her close, smelling her sweet sweet scent, and you slowly bring your lips close…

and take a big bite.

Say what???

Haha, I ruined a perfectly good love story. But fret not, this beautiful damsel does exist… just that she comes in the form of a ginormous chocolate eclair. Hmm, maybe this ending isn’t ruined after all.

I know I usually save the best for last, but today, I’m going to jump right in!

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Chocolate Eclair ($3)

Look at the luscious chocolate cream filling, encased in the crisp pastry, and topped with more chocolate. Ahh, for me to like this is saying something, since I’m not a fan of chocolate. Sophie Bakery’s chocolate eclair is good for two to share, seeing as it is about the size of a banana. Unless you are having a bad day, then by all means, dig in, you need it.

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The pastry shell remained crisp, unlike most eclairs which get soggy and have a stale taste after some time. I really liked the smooth chocolate cream filling, although it hovered on the verge of being too sweet. Maison Kayser still does better chocolate eclairs to me, since the taste of chocolate is more intense.But Sophie Bakery has done an extremely good job, nonetheless. I could really taste the quality of the ingredients. I’d recommend this for you to try!

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Chocolate Croissant ($2.50)

This was not bad as well. They were rather generous with the chocolate filling and the croissant was of high quality as well. Of course, decadence comes at a price, since the brown paper bag had oil spots from the croissant.

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Croissant ($2)
Likewise, apart from the oil stains on the paper bag, this croissant was definitely above average, comparable to its competitors like Maison Kayser and Tiong Bahru Bakery. Well, as my foodie in crime would put it, the croissant definitely”tasted French”.  Authenticity at its best perhaps?

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Ah, what an apt description. I just noticed that they called themselves an authentic French bakery. Indeed! When I walked into the store, I was promptly greeted by the friendly service staff. They offer dine-in options too if you want to pretend you are in a Paris sidewalk bakery, sipping coffee and munching on a croissant. I liked how the bakery had a very homely feel, with the mountains of freshly baked croissants, breads, muffins and cookies all decked out before you. Despite the wide array of choices, you don’t feel pressured to choose and just grab and go, the bakery makes you want to stay and enjoy the atmosphere as you pick out some nomworthy goods to savour. I noticed they sold giant cookies for just one dollar.. so I would definitely suggest you put down that commercially made Subway cookie, and grab one of these babies instead. Way bigger, cheaper, and probably has a shorter ingredient list.

Affordable prices with quaint decor and a cosy feel? Oui for me!

Rating: 7.3/10

Birthday Bash with Sun Moulin

Well, whaddya know? I completely lost track of time, but its already been a year since I moved this blog on to WordPress! I guess that calls for a celebration 😀

Now, what better way to celebrate than with cake?

Here’s what we’ll be enjoying today, Sun Moulin’s much raved about Strawberry Shortcake. This light, fluffy cake was both a treat to the eyes and my tummy. 

*drumroll please*


Look at that beauty. Fluffy white cream sandwiched between layers of light sponge, topped with robust and ohsosweet strawberries, finished off with sliced almonds as decoration. Ahh.. perfection.

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It looks just like the plastic Japanese toy you always see in doll h0uses or those adorable mini cooking sets. In fact, the presentation is so spot on, it makes me feel as if I’m in Japan. The Japanese do take pride in their work!

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Of course I couldn’t resist bringing out a ginormous plate of fresh strawberries, as red and as juicy as the ones of the cake. The more the merrier right? The fresh strawberries are there for more than aesthetic reasons.. I just love eating strawberries when they are in season!

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Okay this is the last photo of the strawberries as the star of the picture, I promise! I know what you are thinking.. We want cake!! Well, hold your horses, I’m getting there.. Patience is a virtue.

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Pardon the messy cutting, the cake was so generously filled with the chantilly cream, it just coated pretty much everything nearby (aka the strawberries on top), leaving me with a slightly less picturesque slice of cake.

As you can see, the cake is mainly cream, held together by two thin slices of sponge. The sponge was airy and light, without being dry. While the cream was fluffy, and had a light sweetness to it. In fact, the cake didn’t leave me feeling bloated or heavy unlike most other cakes. Just like most Japanese desserts, this was a delightful sweet treat that I didn’t mind indulging in.

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Pardon me for this little commercial break, but just look at the beauty of those strawberries. Time for a little fun food fact! Strawberries are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin C and Manganese, which means better eye health, stronger bones and a stronger immunity system. All the more reason to eat more of Sun Moulin’s Strawberry Shortcake 😛

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Just for the fun of it, I thought I would share some pictures of the birthday bash… So sit back, relax, and keep scrolling!

photo 4 (38)We started off by adding some strawberries… (above)

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Then some jackfruit looked pretty good too. For those of you who don’t know, jackfruit is a thai fruit, which can be eaten frozen, dried or canned. It feels a little rubbery, and has a fibrous texture when you bite into it. Its somewhat bittersweet.. I’m not sure how to describe it. But if you ever chance upon it, its definitely worth a try!

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We added some jellies bought from the Japanese supermarket, Meidi-ya, just to add more sweetness, you know, since fruits and cake aren’t sweet enough.

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There you have it! That’s what a birthday bash looks like in a food blogger’s house… food, food and more food.

Just a note, if you prefer more decadent cakes, like chocolate cakes, this wouldn’t appeal to you. Its suited to the people who like.. Angel food cake for example! I actually froze the last slice, to see if it would taste like ice cream.. and it was still as delicious. It didn’t taste like ice cream per se, more like frozen whipped cream. But topped with more strawberries, it was a yummy icy dessert nonetheless.

To end off, I’d like to say that Sun Moulin is one of my all-time favorite bakeries, and they have managed to uphoold a high standard of quality in most of their products, especially their cakes and puffs. Do give their other bakery breads a go if you are at Isetan Scotts 🙂

Sun Moulin [Singapore]

Shaw House
350 Orchard Road
Basement 1, Isetan Scotts
Singapore 238868
Tel: +65 6235 6093
Opening hours:
9:30am – 9:30pm (Daily)

Rating for the Strawberry Shortcake: 7.5/10

WIAW: (Southeast) Asian style

With so many of my favorite food&fitness blogs joining Jenn in the What I Ate Wednesday fun, I thought I’d give it a shot. Maybe I’ll bring the fun to Singapore! An Asian WIAW… now, THAT will be interesting.

Peas and Crayons

Peas and Crayons

So here goes!

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I don’t usually eat tarts for breakfast… but since my mother made the effort to buy them specially for me, I thought why not sweeten my day with a Mixed Fruit Tart from Delifrance for breakfast?

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Of course, as I always do, I had fruits alongside breakfast. Today, it was a nice bowl of strawberries. I love berries, but they are always so expensive in Singapore, so I do cherish every occasion that I get to eat berries of any form!


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I was feeling rather ‘snacky’ today, so I decided to go with the flow and make myself a snacky sort of lunch! I started off with 2 pieces of Wasa Fibre Crispbread topped with Wild Garden Hummus, with a side of cherry tomatoes. So simple, and so delicious! I’m definitely loving the hummus.

If you want to go get some Wasa crackers or hummus, here’s what they look like:
wasa Wild-Garden-Hummus-Dip-Traditional-074265007104

Now, on to part 2 of lunch…

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Next up, was a small bowl of cereal with one Weetbix, and some Familia Swiss c.m cereal and multigrain cheerios thrown in for good measure. Cereal for lunch anytime 😛

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Finally, I ended off with my favorite snack, Leo’s potato and cheese crackers. If you aren’t from Singapore, you probably would not have heard of this… even Singaporeans may not remember this childhood snack, since they are extremely hard to find.

No matter how busy I am, I always make it a point to sit down for tea break. Its just something I’ve done since young.

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Today’s tea was Cherry flavored Greek Yogurt by Fruyo. (Parent brand: Fage) It was really rich and creamy, with a nice tart flavor from the cherries.


Well, I haven’t had dinner yet, but here’s what dinner will probably look like tonight…
It’s most likely going to be Japanese, but I haven’t decided if I’m having noodles or rice.

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This is a Teriyaki Chicken Bento from UmiSushi at Holland Village. Its a nice, simple grab and go meal if you don’t have time to cook.

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Maybe I’ll make some teriyaki chicken, with brown rice onigiri, and some steamed vegetables.

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Or have a nice bowl of chicken somen in pumpkin soup, and a side of tofu topped with radishes.

Peas and Crayons

I never thought that doing a WIAW would be so eye-opening! Haha, I never really realised how carbohydrate based most Asian diets are. And, it looks like vegetables will have to make more regular occurrences :O

Well. this concludes my first WIAW, and I definitely had fun doing it! I sure hope you had as much fun reading it 🙂

Dessert 90: Taste the love

Dessert 90
Stall #90 at Commonwealth Crescent Market and Food Centre

As we all know, the sweltering heat in Sunny Singapore is nothing to joke about. The humidity leaves us feeling sluggish, and the more our clothes cling to our sweaty bodies, the worse our mood becomes. During times like these, you should head down to Dessert 90 to beat the heat with their sweet treats!

My choice would be their Cheng Teng. For those of you who aren’t familiar with hawker fare, cheng teng is an asian dessert comprising of a light refreshing soup with longans, barley, agar strips, lotus seeds, and many other ingredients unique to each stall, finished off with a sweet syrup.

photo 3 (40)This bright pink stall certainly stands out from the other hawker stalls at Commonwealth Crescent Market and Food Centre, so you definitely won’t miss it. 

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Did you look at the photo above carefully?

Just $1.00 for a bowl of dessert?

Although it seems too good to be true, Dessert 90 sells refreshing and light desserts at just a dollar each, without compromising on quality.

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Gather round children, its time for a story.

Now now, don’t get your knickers in a knot. I know you’re probably wiping sweat off your furrowed brows right now, eager to scroll to the end of this post to see my verdict. Well, just hang in there a while longer.

Good things come to those who wait.

Dessert 90 is about more than food. Its about a passion. These kindred old folks behind the stall have been in this business since the 1960s, and have been selling their homemade desserts to their loyal fan base of Commonwealth residents. They are clearly not in this for the profit (A dollar for a bowl of dessert? You can’t beat this price anywhere else in Singapore) and the result is seen  tasted in their desserts. Lovingly prepared for 3 hours daily, their traditional recipes have proven to be a favorite throughout the generations.

photo 2 (45)My recommendation would be for their Cheng Teng which is chockful of healthy ingredients. Hmmm, maybe their stall is pink to secretly highlight that their desserts will leave you in the pink of health. Geddit? 😀

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The friendly couple even allowed me to take photos of their kitchen, and readily answered my questions with a smile. Look at the prepared bowls for the Cheng Teng… they are without a doubt generous with the ingredients especially for a dollar.

Now, just who is this friendly couple you keep going on about, you may ask?

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the owners of Dessert 90..  

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The jovial couple who are eager to help, and love their job.

Now, what you have all been waiting for…the food!

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They top their Cheng Teng with a huge mound of ice, just what I need to cool off in this horrible heat. Their syrup is clear, unlike most other places which have a thick brown syrup, and leaves me with a light after taste. I don’t feel heavy after this dessert, just refreshed and ready to get on with my day!

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What makes this Cheng Teng special for me is their use of natural ingredients to add the sweetness to the dessert, rather than using ladles of diabetes inducing sugar syrup. This is the only place that left me feeling light after eating a dessert. (Good news for the health conscious foodies)

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With so many ingredients added, the dessert is a symphony of tastes and textures. The red dates add delightful bursts of sweetness with each bite, while the white fungus adds a nice crunch to the dessert. They even added wintermelon which was crunchy, chewy and sweet all at once.

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The orange peel is a suprisingly nice touch, with the gummy sweet peel adding depth to the Cheng Teng. This is the first time I’ve found orange peel in this dessert. Not that I’m complaining though 😛

The chewy al dente barley pearls also helped to neutralise the sweet ingredients, and rounded off this dessert perfectly.

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The wholesome ingredients all worked together nicely, complementing each other to create a taste of nostalgia. Nothing can beat home-cooked goodness.

Dessert 90 stands out from other stalls because they provide what many hawkers have lost.. the taste of home. Healthy, yet delicious. I’ve realised that you can indeed taste the love put into cooking.
Now you know, love is the secret ingredient in every mother’s delicious homemade meals.

Do head down to their stall to seek some cool respite in this weather. Once you taste the love, you’ll keep coming back for more. Don’t worry, they won’t give you the cold shoulder, just cold desserts to appease your overheated body. 🙂 In this case, it would be apt to say that you will get the most bang for your buck!

Rating: 7.5/10


Marche 1Ahh, marche. Its been ages since I have been to Marche. I have fond memories of Marche from my childhood. We were frequent visitors to the Marche Outlet at Heeren. I remember the dim lighting, the sound of food being freshly prepared, the smells of all kinds of delectable goodies wafting from different directions.. If you faced the left, you could smell rosti being fried, the symphony of sizzles making you hungrier by the minute. On the toher side, you could smell the sweet crepes, slathered with rich chocolate and mounds of ice cream, any child’s dream. My favorite thing about Marche, however, was their playground. The cold metal structures were simple and not very inviting, to be honest, but the childhood friends I played with led me to associate that place with fun times and good food. Fun, friends, and food… Marche was my heaven.

Finally after so many years, I am back at Marche. This time, at the 313 Somerset branch (no playground here, unfortunately). The restaurant is now more brightly lit, with staff dressed in adorable uniforms, and cute decoration strung from every corner.

Upon entering the dining area, I was greeted with a beautiful sight of mountains of food piled high at each counter, there were fruits, vegetables, drinks, freshly baked bread, everything I could dream of. Marche 2Marche 3It was a feast for the eyes, for which I give Marche brownie points for creating such a welcoming and homely atmosphere that would whet one’s appetite.

Don’t skim through these photos too quickly.. you should enjoy this insiders’ view of Marche if you have yet to go there. Turns out, photography is not allowed in their premises, so these photos are exclusively for you. (One of their staff members stopped me from taking photographs, so the sneak peeks will end soon) I do not blame them for not allowing photography though, their concept is one worth learning from.

Marche 4Marche 5Marche 6I really adore their decor, it is so fitting for the occasion. It gives one the idea of fresh, homecooked goodness in a chill atmosphere. Almost like a farmers’ market, your mother’s kitchen and a cosy cafe all nestled into a brilliant package.

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Even the dining area is adorable, it reminds me of Goldilocks and the three Bears. Maybe they purchased their furniture from the same shop? Okay, I kid. Let’s move on to the food, after all, that’s what matters.

In case you did not know, they follow a credit card system here. Upon entering, each person is given a card, to pay for their food at various counters. (Think high class food court) At the end of your meal, you will be charged for whatever you “swiped” your card for. Now that I think of it, this is a clever concept since you’ll enjoy your food better without having to handover your beloved cash to get your food..until you leave the place that is.

Here’s what I tried,

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Rosti with Cheese Sausage ($6.20 + $6.90)

How could I not try their famous rosti? Shredded potato fried to perfection, each bite yielding a crispy web of mouthwatering goodness. Coupled with sour cream, this is a match made in heaven. The sausage was a last minute addition, although on hindsight, it wasn’t worth the extra cost. The sausage was hot and cheesy, but just like any cheese sausage you will find elsewhere. 

I would definitely recommend their rosti. If you intend to try other dishes, just share a plate of rosti without any add-ons. You’ll thank me for it.Marche 9

Strawberry and Nutella Crepe ($8.20)

Desserts, sweet desserts. A thin layer of crepe smothered in nutella, and generously topped with fresh strawberries, and a sprinkle of icing sugar. Kudos to them for making the crepes fresh! The crepe was good, not outstanding though, but enough to satisfy a sweet tooth.

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Mushroom and Cheese Crepe ($13.20)

I never knew that Marche had savoury crepes, and I am so glad that I discovered this gem. The portion was humongous, just the way I like it. The crepe is prepared right before your eyes, with generous helpings of shredded lettuce/cabbage topped with mounds of mushrooms and cheese. All this served with their special cream sauce, and a side salad. I would think this dish is pretty healthy.

They also sell smoked salmon/roasted vegetables/smoked duck/chicken crepes, so if you love your meat, you have many other options available.

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Oh, let me marvel a little longer at the sheer size of this beauty. I would say it is about the size of 3-4 popiahs. It was definitely filling and I have no complaints about that! The cream sauce was nothing to rave about, I felt that it barely did anything for the crepe. Plus, why add the unnecessary oily (check out those yellow globules!) sauce to an otherwise wholesome meal? If you really need sauce, help yourself to some sauce available at the central counter.

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As I already mentioned, the crepe was generously filled, and I had more than enough filling with each bite. It took me a good half hour to polish this off on my own. For the little ladies who can’t eat much, I suggest you share this with your fellow ladies who lunch. I liked how the fresh vegetables provided a nice crunch to the melty cheese, and sauteed mushrooms. Even though the crepe base was probably similar, I prefer the savory crepe to the sweet crepe. Please do try their savory crepes! Its one of the most value for money items in Marche 🙂

Marche is a great place to go for a meal, especially since they make up for the cost with the hearty portions. Remember to go after 12pm though, because they aren’t ready before that. I went around 11am and had to wait around for about an hour until they had set up. They should get ready beforehand though, since they stated that they were open at 11am, so they ought to be ready for business.

That’s all for now, so happy feasting, my fellow foodies!

Rating: 7/10 (+1 for ambience)

Restaurant Week: 211 Roof Terrace Cafe

211 Roof Terrace

Restaurant Week 2013

For those of you who have not heard of restaurant week, its basically a week where participating restaurants serve you a special set lunch or set dinner for $25++ and $35++, with an additional fee of $15 for the more high class restaurants. Restaurant Week is a global event, and I had the fun of taking part this year.

I booked a reservation at 211 Roof Terrace Cafe for their set lunch, so here’s how it went.

211 Roof Terrace

Located on the 4th floor of 211 Holland Avenue (hence the name), 211 Roof Terrace Cafe is a serene hideout, popular with expatriates. Lined with pretty fountains and luscious greenery, the alfresco dining area would be a nice place for dinner (not lunch, the sweltering heat will leave you melting… definitely not the ideal dining experience). Since I went at lunch time, I sat in the air conditioned area, at the far end of the restaurant.

Set lunch menuAll Day Brunch Menu

Before I begin my review of their Restaurant Week set lunch, I would just like to highlight their other offerings which are quite reasonably priced. Its a good place to go for a quiet breakfast or for high tea with your friends. (I saw quite a few groups of ladies having their cakes and a cuppa)

Now, on to the Set Lunch!

Restaurant Week 2013 Lunch

This is their menu, specially created for Restaurant Week. You won’t find these dishes on their menu. I ordered the Roasted Tomato Soup, Prawn Gnocchi and Molten Lava Cake.

Their dinner menu was slightly different:

Restaurant Week 2013 DinnerQuite worth it, if you can appreciate foie gras. Its not for me though.

Tomato Basil Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

The Tomato Basil Soup was very nice, topped with pesto, the tartness of the tomato and the strong flavors from the pesto really helped to ‘wake up’ my taste buds, in preparation for the food to come. There was a single Spinach Ricotta Ravioli inside the soup as you can see below.Tomato Basil Soup 2Tomato Basil soup 3

However, I felt that it didn’t contribute to the dish in any way, and may in fact have spoiled the dish since the pasta was hard, and the filling was dry and tasteless.

My foodie-in-crime ordered the Salad Nicoise which was topped with a perfectly poached egg and seared tuna. Salad NicoiseSalad Nicoise 2

The salad was not bad too, but I didn’t really like the horseradish sauce drizzled over. Also, the seared tuna seemed a little dry to me, in fact it tasted almost like dry chicken meat.

On to the mains! Prawn Gnocchi sounded interesting since I’ve never tried gnocchi before, and the other option of duck did not appeal to me at all. After all, the only duck I’m willing to eat is in Braised Duck Rice.

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Two generous portions of prawn gnocchi.

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There was basil pesto drizzled over the Prawn Gnocchi as well. The dish was extremely rich, and after a while, it became rather monotonous. There was no oomph, just a super thick sauce, with thick pasta. I felt that it needed something to balance it out. It was my first time eating gnocchi, and this dish reminded me of korean rice cakes and mee hoon kway, although I think I prefer those to this dish. There were also chunks of butternut squash mixed in, but once again, it didn’t help to add any dimension to the dish.

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Kudos to them for the homemade gnocchi, which was al dente and nicely chewy. Not sure if gnocchi is meant to be like that, but if the texture is supposed to be similar to that of Korean Rice Cakes, then they did it correctly.

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Given the price we paid for lunch, I expected better quality prawns, so I was disappointed to be served frozen prawns which cheapened the entire experience. The main course is supposed to impress, after all.

On the whole, I did not really like this dish.

Thankfully, the dessert was a saving grace. They certainly saved the best for last, with their yummy Molten Lava Cake!

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Unfortunately, the cake they served my foodie-in-crime was already broken, so the lava was already oozing out.   But it was rather picturesque in its own right, so I began snapping photos of it.

My foodie friend was hilarious, she tried to turn the side with the flowing lava away from the camera, saying that “Don’t take this side, its broken already. Its so messy.” I burst out laughing, saying that the lava was what people  wanted to see, rather than the ‘neater’ side.

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The lava cake was topped with a delicious Vanilla Bean Ice cream (yes, they did use real vanilla beans, you can see specks of it) which scored many brownie points. I am very particular about the use of vanilla beans rather than vanilla essence, especially in restaurants. Also, this time round, the little touches did make a difference! The raspberries were tangy and juicy and served as a nice contrast to the creamy ice cream, and rich chocolatey lava. The sweet and crispy crumble sprinkled on the plate also added a nice crunch. The Molten Lava Cake was perfect in so many ways.

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I certainly wished it could have flowed more, after all, that’s what a lava cake is about eh? Then again, the serving size was perfect for dessert, leaving us satisfied rather than stuffed.

One improvement they could make would be to use suitable cutlery and a smaller plate. By serving us the cake on a dinner sized plate, the cake appeared even smaller. Also, they served us the dessert with a normal sized fork and spoon. A dainty dessert calls for a dainty plate and dessert spoons!

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Finally, ending off on a sweet note, the chocolate lava cake was intensely and deliciously chocolatey, with a hint of hazelnut, and none of that artificial sweetener nonsense. Cold and warm, sweet and decadent, crunchy and smooth, all at once. This dessert was a stunning end to our meal. (you probably can tell from my endless raving about it)

Here’s a peek at the scenic al fresco dining area, before I conclude this review:


With above average food, (spectacular desserts!) and a nice atmosphere, this would be a nice place for a casual lunch or dinner. However, in terms of value, I feel that a restaurant like Wild Honey, gives more bang for buck.

Nonetheless, I’d recommend you to come down for a slice of cake to escape from the hustle of city life, at least once. Or at least to try their Molten Lava Cake 😛

Rating: 7/10