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Baked to go.

imageI had an early morning yoga session at Tanjong Pagar and made a little detour on my way home for some takeout breakfast from ‘Tiong Bahru Bakery’.

I was starving and even though I tried to be reasonable about it, seeing all these delicious looking baked things I totally over-ordered anyway. Back home I opened my takout boxes and started with the ‘Forcaccia‘ topped with a generous layer of salty parma ham, some fruity cherry tomatoes, savory cheese all under a bed of fresh sharp red onions and bitter arugula, cutting through the other more heavier flavors. That was pretty darn delicious and actually would have been enough as the rich forcaccia bread together with the cheese layer filled me up rather well. The stuffed bread loaf, I forget the name of, was unimpressive soft and nearly tasted sweetish. All in all it wasn’t too memorable if not maybe for the hearty and chunky filling of ham, cheese onions and herbs but I definitely preferred the forcaccia over this. It also seems that recently I add something sweet to my order more often and today it was an interestingly looking ‘Chocolate Snail Pastry‘. At first it seemed quite dry on the outer twist but became more chocolatey, sticky and fudgy the further I circled my way in. The chocolate also wasn’t too sweet either which I appreciated.

I liked this place a lot besides maybe the higher price tag but proper baked goods are a rare find so I didn’t really mind paying a little extra. People are welcoming and friendly, the self service proceeds rather fast considering the crowds coming through here and it seemed also quite a nice place to sit down and spend an hour with your friends over a good breakfast or brunch. I’ll be back to try more.

Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street
#01-70
Singapore 160056
Tel: +65 6220 3430
http://www.tiongbahrubakery.com/

More brunching in Tiong Bahru.

imageI had been here for a cold drip a couple of weeks ago and wanted to come back and try that delicious looking ‘Smoked Salmon & Scrambled Egg‘. I asked them to make it well done but I think it got mixed up with my friend’s dish as her’s was perfect while my eggs were still quite runny. Nevertheless they tasted pretty good, were creamy and worked very well with the thick layer smoked salmon drizzled with some herbal olive oil. The english muffin could have been a bit more toasted and more arugula would’ve been nice too but all in all a very flavoursome dish to start your day.

I liked the place, elegant interior and a nice layout with an open kitchen so you can see your food come together if you’d wish to do so. If they now tune down both the aircon and the prices a little bit I’ll stop by more often to get my brekkie on.

ODP – Open Door Policy
19 Yong Siak Street
Singapore 168650
Tel: +65 6221 9307
http://www.odpsingapore.com/

Birthday Blunch at Dempsey.

imageA friend from Hong Kong came over on her birthday for a business trip this week so we gathered the troops for a birthday brunch/lunch at ‘Dempsey House’. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and I saw some tired faces in our round but nothing that a ‘Pineapple Pitstop‘ or a ‘Bloody Mary‘ couldn’t fix.

It felt a bit too late for brunch so I ordered their ‘Braised Pork Shoulder Rigatoni‘ which came on a nice looking, interestingly shaped plate. The pasta was slightly past al dente but the pork was braised nicely, tender and soft. The creamy tomato sauce glazing it all was quite tasty and light with a meaty flavor but I wished they would’ve been a bit more generous with it. Aside I had their ‘Coleslaw with Green Papaya‘ which in contrast to the pasta was lovely crunchy spicy and a mix of textures and Western-Asian flavors.

‘House’ has a great setting within the greenery on the back of Dempsey Hill. Today the service somehow was irritatingly slow and seemed slightly confused, the food and drinks though were nice but as in most places up here a bit on the pricey side. Still a good choice for weekend mornings.

Dempsey House
8D Dempsey Road
Singapore 249672
Tel: +65 6475 7787
http://www.dempseyhouse.com/

Brunch hunting in Tiong Bahru.

imageA friend and I wanted to catch up over brunch and went scouting through Tiong Bahru as we hadn’t been to any of the not so new places that had opened around here some time over the last year or so.

Since ‘Tiong Bahru Bakery’, ‘ODP’ and ’40 Hands’ seemed rather packed at the time we just walked around the corner to ‘Flock Café’ that a friend who lived around here had recommended, parked my bag at a free table and ordered their signature ‘Pork Cheek & Gruyère Sandwich‘ and two sunny side up.

It looked pretty good and because it was already way after official brunch time I hastily took a huge bite. The bread was apparently ciabatta and even that toasted it was very soft, more like a turkish flatbread and could’ve used a couple of more minutes on the grill. I was starving hungry but would have taken the time but at least it tasted nice. I didn’t think much of the gruyère cheese which unfortunately wasn’t entirely melted but the braised pork cheek they used was really tender and super moist also due to the fat soaking from the cheese, meat and juices into the bread and forming a little grease puddle under it. There was supposed to be mustard but I didn’t taste anything and actually didn’t look for it either. It all tasted good but after I had finished it up I felt rather unpleasant and a bit like a greaseball.

It’s actually a nice place, like all these new hip and stylish brunch joints but maybe some more eggs and other breakfast options from the menu would have been a better choice for me today. Now that I have been here already I will most likely check out the other cafes around the area first but might come back to ‘Flock’s’ eventually.

Flock Café
78 Moh Guan Terrace
#01-25 Tiong Bahru Estate
Singapore 162078
Tel: +65 6536 3938
http://www.flock.sg/

Busy for Brunch!

imageWe had a very early morning cycling session through Singapore as some of my friends are prepping themselves for the Triathlon in a couple of weeks. Some weren’t exhausted enough after 40ks and decided to have a swim at Sentosa so after refreshing from the ride I made my way out there to join them for brunch at ‘Coasts’ on Siloso Beach.

A friend and I shared the ‘Greek Salad’ and as I found ‘Crab Cakes‘ on the menu, my main selection was fixed as well. The salad came first and I actually liked it a lot. It was fresh and the cucumber and tomatoes were cut in big chunks as they are supposed to be. Kalamata olives brought a rich Mediterranean flavor to it but there definitely too little onions involved. I don’t really like feta cheese but appreciated the areas that were touched by it and therefore tasted a bit saltier. My friend must have nearly overdosed on the feta as she had to finish it all by herself. The dressing was nice and simple as you expect it, just mixing a good quality olive oil with a dash of lemon and pepper. Just the salt could have been put forward a bit more.

imageWhen the ‘Crab Cakes‘ arrived I had a feeling that the amount of crab in there wasn’t really in my favor. Starting digging in I was proven right. Even though it tasted okay there wasn’t too much crab meat there or at least it was outplayed by it’s potato-y doughy opponent. Also it could have used much more of the advertised coriander, much more. One interesting thing was the red tomato based dipping sauce. It was cold and slightly spicy but what I couldn’t nail down was where the fishy, shell-like taste came from. The closest I did get to was a memory of small clams which tasted like this. I couldn’t find any in there and maybe my taste buds just played a prank on me but if I should come back here and it’s not that busy I will try to ask someone.

I tend to forget to mention the service but here I didn’t have any complaints. Yes, you had to order yourself at a counter but the staff was very friendly and the delivery of drinks and food was fast especially considering the amount of people here. I might come back but so far more due to the fact that it’s situated directly at the beach, the food has yet to convince me.

http://www.coastes.com/

Coastes Singapore                                                                                                                                                50 Siloso Beach Walk                                                                                                                                       #01-05                                                                                                                                                       Singapore 099000