d’Good Cafe @ Holland Village

Hey everyone!

Being a location that is highly frequented by (presumably) well-to-do expatriates and very cultured locals (remember the Samantha incident?) has certainly shaped Holland Village into the very happening and classy place it is today. Therefore, for people like me who live in the west and don’t like to venture too far out, Holland Village immediately comes to mind when we think of hipster food like Eggs Benedict because of the abundance of brunch cafes there.

As mentioned in my PARK review, I will be taking you through some of the cafes I lunched at with my colleagues within the Holland Village area during my 6-month internship stint (which ended in June). You probably have read numerous reviews about them since they are not exactly new set-ups but how accurate are they, considering that some of them might be written as far back as three years ago when the cafes first established?

d'Good Cafe

d’Good Cafe

Blown away by the largely positive feedback on blogs and review websites, my colleagues and I decided to pay d’Good Cafe a visit for lunch one day. It was a calm and peaceful afternoon at the three-storey cafe with only a handful of diners in sight on the third level. Majority of them were students buried in books (yes, it’s a study-friendly place) and a hungry few would occasionally take a short study break to order finger food at the cashier downstairs.

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

Cute lil figurines along the stairway

D'Good Cafe dining area

D’Good Cafe dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Photo-worthy ornaments at the alfresco dining area

Everything there was self-service, even the delivering of food to the table. My poor colleagues who had kindly volunteered to do the ordering (while the rest dealt with other tasks) had to travel back and forth between the third and the first floor – the first round to order and make payment and the subsequent rounds to collect the food (all appetisers, mains and desserts for the 9 of us). It took them at least three rounds before all the orders were completed because of the varying preparation times for different dishes. It’s such a silly system, don’t you think?

I mean, I am fully aware of the growing labour crunch that the food and beverage industry is facing but I couldn’t fathom why, in this day and age, a relatively popular cafe like d’Good would be unable to invest in the latest technology, like purchasing wireless handheld devices so that customers can send their orders to the cashier without having to leave their seats (and save a trip)? Or at least come up with a simple order chit to facilitate the ordering process, especially when it involves multiple orders? Despite its fascinating and modern decor, the cafe is so unbelievably backward.

And that’s not all.

Iced water is complimentary at the cafe but one has to take the stairs (lift was not in operation that day like seriously) to the ground floor to get them. There were no jugs and only average-sized plastic cups were available! Imagine having to go back down and up two storeys again if you need to refill your cup?! That’s intense workout man! I wouldn’t recommend people with mobility difficulties to dine at this cafe.

Ground level

Ground level

Having gone through all the unnecessary inconvenience, our lunch obviously didn’t start on a good note. We thought maybe the food would be marvelous enough to override all our dissatisfaction and we would eventually leave this place with a happy tummy. After all, that’s what most reviews we had read seemed to suggest.

But no.

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Eggs Benedict (S$13.50+) – “Two poached eggs are nestled on brioche & bacon and drizzled with homemade Hollandaise sauce. The salad on the side completes the eggs-trodinary morning boost”

My Eggs Benedict came looking like someone had stolen a huge portion of my Hollandaise sauce. In the most unappetising yellow, it looked miserable and diluted, a far cry from what I had at PARK and other cafes (of similar price range) prior to this. I also couldn’t believe that a piece of cheap-looking toasted white bread (what brioche??) was served in place of the English muffins, not forgetting the ridiculously small portion too. Although my mood was already partly dampened because of the presentation, I thought, okay, maybe it wouldn’t taste that bad. I picked up my cutlery and gleefully readied myself for the little yolk explosion that was to come.

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

MY OOZING YOLK LEH???

But lo and behold! Huge disappointment overcame me when nothing oozed out as the tip of my knife sliced through the middle. I went into a frenzy of rage when I saw the overcooked poached egg and the entirely hard and dry yolk. Without the runny yolk to combine with the (awful) Hollandaise sauce, my meal was ruined. The bacon tasted slightly cold and raw too. Argh, needless to say, I didn’t enjoy my food at all. The money is better spent on 4 sets of Kaya toast and soft-boiled eggs from a nearby Kopitiam which would most probably taste a million times better than this overpriced nonsense 😡

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ or S$3.00++ as add-on)

Lava Chocolate Cake (S$5.00++ a la carte or S$3.00++ as an add-on)

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

Sans Lava Chocolate Cake

The dessert I ordered was also a letdown. Contrary to its name, the chocolate within the Lava Chocolate Cake was nowhere near molten and gooey. It was overcooked once again hence the dense and bumpy texture. Its only saving grace was the decadently rich taste.

Still, can somebody enlighten me? Why the vast disparity between the reviews (which praised their food to the high heavens) and reality? Am I missing out on something?

Bangers and Mash

Colleague’s order: Bangers and Mash (S$12+) – “Plump and juicy Cumberland and smoked chicken sausages are grilled and served on a bed of soft mash potato with crunchy potato bits and finished off with caramelised onion”

I didn’t get to try the sausages but according to my cooking enthusiast colleague, it was alright. I wouldn’t blow 12 bucks on 2 pieces of sausages (not like they were really gigantic) which wouldn’t keep me satiated through the next few hours in the office though.

Bacon Carbonara

Colleagues’ order: Bacon Carbonara (S$15+) – “Linguine served with pork bacon in mixed herb tomato sauce”

If you’re looking to satisfy your Italian appetite, d’Good does serve pretty decent Carbonara. I tried a spoonful of my colleague’s Bacon Carbonara and really loved the creaminess but the taste gradually became heavier with more mouthfuls and you end up feeling sick of it. My colleague didn’t finish her Carbonara in the end.

Another colleague ordered Chicken Tikka Masala (Indian-spiced chicken stew with Japanese rice) as well but I didn’t manage to snap a picture of it because she was seated at the far end of the table. Before I could react she had already dug her fork into the chicken meat 😛 I vaguely remember it looked delicious and the portion was quite generous.

All in all, I think d’Good is an overrated (sorry!) cafe serving subpar food at inflated prices. It’s probably only popular because of its lovely and beautifully whimsical decor and latte art which are both very Instagram-worthy (hence words spread fast like wildfire). But now that I’ve tasted the food, I kinda doubt the credibility of any positive reviews (like, y’know, the 4-star rating on Facebook) about this cafe. Therefore I don’t see myself returning to try other stuff on the menu unless I see visible improvements (will be keeping a lookout for food pictures on Instagram). Honestly, my Eggs Benedict was so bad, it was a shame! :\

That’s all for my review! Share with me your thoughts in the comments below if you’ve been to d’Good Cafe 🙂

+ All prices are not inclusive of 7% GST

d’Good Cafe
273 Holland Ave
#02-01/02
Singapoe 278992
Tel: 62199807
Website | Facebook

PARK @ Holland Village

Hey guys!

My internship officially ended and apart from the fulfilling and rewarding experience I’ve gained from this opportunity (will talk more about my experience in my upcoming University post), I was also exposed to many great eats at Holland Village which is just an MRT stop away from where I worked. Holland Village is known for its eclectic mix of restaurants and cafés, making it a favourite haunt for foodies as well as working adults from nearby places like Buona Vista. Therefore, it is usually bustled with people (including students from schools around the area) especially during lunch hour.

Despite living in the Western side of Singapore all my life, I hardly travel to Holland Village so most of the food establishments there were new to me. But thanks to my wonderful colleagues who seemed to be a lot more well-versed in food trends than me, I now know where to head to when I crave for affordable Eggs Benedict or any American breakfast dish in general. Seriously, there’s a lot of cafés and restaurants selling such hipster food at Holland Village so naturally prices are kept to a reasonable level to keep up with the competition (all clustered at the same area). *secretly happy*

So, my young colleague friends (actually also interns like I was) brought me to this rather popular café that is apparently owned by local television and film actor Adam Chen. If you’re familiar with the place, you should know which establishment I am referring to because there’s only one celebrity-owned café there lah.

Yup, it’s PARK. Unlike its direct competitors D’Good Cafe (will review soon) and Hatched, it’s very conspicuously located beside the traffic intersection at the open junction of Holland Avenue and Holland Road. I remember seeing it a few years back when I was at Holland Village but it was closed (was on a Monday) so I never got the chance to visit it. After a long wait, my chance is finally here!

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PARK @ Holland Village

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PARK @ Holland Village

Indoor seating can be quite limited and it fills up fast especially during peak hours. Outdoor seating is available but I’m not fond of those tall chairs placed outside as I don’t like the idea of having my legs hanging free (and not forgetting they make getting down a whole lot more troublesome).

I think it’s also worth mentioning (to the boys) that the ladies who served us were friendly and… exceptionally pretty. Ah, eye candies to ogle on top of the good food offered at PARK. You’re guaranteed to have a smashing good time there! 😀

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(Friend’s order) Steamed Milk with some really old school biscuits

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Steamed Milk

If you’re yearning for a drink that is sweet and comforting yet healthier than the usual hot coffee or chocolate, perhaps Steamed Milk would make a great choice! It’s something I seldom see on the beverage menu as a standalone item too because it’s usually a dessert, like Steamed Milk custard, right?

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(Friend’s order) Eclair – maybe a new addition because it’s not found on the menu online

This is strictly for huge eclair lovers only because it’s nothing special really, just a blown-up refrigerated eclair.

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Truffle Fries (S$11++)

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Truffle Fries – “Our perennial favorite of fries tossed with white truffle oil and paste, sprinkled with a layer of parmesan cheese.

My colleagues and I had been to PARK together twice and both times we ordered the truffle fries because we really loved it! Depending on personal preferences, I love it for the added generous amount of truffle oil and of course, the grated cheese that melded beautifully with it. The fries were perfectly crispy as well and remained that way towards the end. However I do feel that it’s slightly overpriced because I could get equally good (or even better) and a way bigger portion elsewhere for the same price (or top up $4 for Truffle Shoestring Fries, that’s impossible to finish, at P.S. Cafe). Nonetheless, it’s probably the best truffle fries at Holland Village if you don’t wish to travel so far to satisfy your craving.

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Park Wings (S$9.50++)

We ordered the wings on our first visit and didn’t like them as they really tasted meh – overly dry, bland and lacked the distinctive flavours of the “variety of spices” (really interested to know what kind of spices were used though because I generally love anything with spices) stated on the menu. You wouldn’t want to reach for the second piece after the first and it didn’t help that we kinda overordered and were satiated by the time we finished out mains. But determined not to waste any food, a few of us forced ourselves to finish the wings. It was a torment. 😐

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(Friend’s order) Baked Eggs with Chorizo Sausage in Cocotte (S$15.50++)

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Baked Eggs with Chorizo Sausage in Cocotte – “Baked free range eggs, chorizo sausage, tomato sauce, and vegetables in casserole. Served with rosti, mushrooms, mixed greens, bacon and grilled tomato.”

This is undoubtedly one of the more popular dishes at PARK but I didn’t get to try it because I was too engrossed in my own food. Still, my friend only had good things to say about it and just looking at the pictures (and the ingredients – gosh, that’s a lot of stuff in there) can already make you salivate. I mean, you can never go wrong with runny baked eggs 😉

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Egg Royale (S$16.50++)

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Egg Royale – “Poached egg sit on toast, snow pea and smoked salmon, mixed greens, rosti potato, and sautéed mushrooms, served with home-made hollandaise” One thing not mentioned in the description is the unlimited supply of streaky bacon that came with the dish.

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Egg Royale

Perfectly runny eggs, thick and satiny Hollandaise sauce coupled with a heaping serving of healthy sides which I could never finish (oh là là the grilled cherry tomatoes that burst with juiciness in your mouth). The streaky bacon was way too much and slightly overdone. But on the overall, the dish was good and worth the money. And to prove my unwavering love for the Egg Royale, I actually ordered the same thing on both visits.

Apart from Egg Royale, there are also the standard Eggs Benedict and Egg Florentine (don’t know why only the “eggs” in Eggs Benedict is in plural form oops sorry for the grammar nazism) which really impressed me because finally we have a cafe that knows the different variations of Eggs Benedict. Click here to read more on the different types of Eggs Benny and be enlightened. You’re welcome.

Right after our hearty and satisfying lunch, we figured that we had some time and energy for camwhoring (we kinda devoted most of our Friday afternoons to intensive camwhoring sessions, especially after I bought a new selfie camera). Please bear with me while I share with you three of my favourite wefie shots outside PARK!

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Too much free time after lunch

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Everyone loves to camwhore using my camera hahaha

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❤ Miss this group of people so much!

And that’s about it!

Thanks for reading 🙂

PARK
281 Holland Ave
#01-01
Singapore 208996
For reservations, SMS no. of pax, time
and date of booking to +65 9721 3815 or
email info@parkgroup.com.sg
Operating hours: Tuesdays to Thursdays, Sundays – 11:00am – 12:00am,
Fridays and Saturdays – 11:00am – 2:00 am,
(kitchen may close a few hours prior to official closing)
Closed on Mondays
Website | Menu | Facebook

Valentine’s Day Dinner @ Privé Grill

Hello everyone!

So much love was in the air last weekend because of Valentine’s Saturday. While every boyfriend scrambled to the florists and jewelry shops to get their girlfriends flowers and an expensive gift, I stressed to my boyfriend that I didn’t want anything. After all, I never liked flowers (partially because I’d feel utterly embarrassed to be holding a bouquet of flower everywhere I go) and jewelries (especially if it’s just diamonds. Useless stones. Yeah I said it) and I hated the idea of having to pay for ridiculously marked up restaurant food prices. Although I consider myself to be independent, I still feel the pinch for my boyfriend whenever he splurges on exorbitant stuff.

Simply put, I’ve never considered Valentine’s Day to be anything special. I can spend the entire 14th February idling on the bed. No problem.

But contrary to my character, my boyfriend is a hopeless romantic. He wouldn’t let the day go by without doing something. He knows I’m never into all this Valentine’s Day hype, but he also knows that I’d never say “no” to food. So he booked a table at Privé (pronounced as “pree-veh“) Grill for 13th February (because the actual day was full) as the restaurant was also having a Valentine’s Day promotion – a 6-course dinner set menu at S$118++ per pax (early bird price of S$108++ from 6-7pm). Ouch.

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Marina at Keppel Bay

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Outdoor dining (we were given an indoor seating)

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All ready for a tantalising 6-course dinner!

Valentine’s Day may be over, but my passion for food lives on. So here’s my review!

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Complimentary potato chips

We were served an unusual choice of starter – a small bucket of potato chips – that was nice and crisp at the beginning. But it quickly lost its crunchiness and became soggy when it cooled down, leaving nothing but a whole load of oil on the base of the bucket. The amount of oil used to fry these chips was terrifying. Still, I really enjoyed it while it was hot.

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Complimentary bread and a spoonful of.. diced tomato?

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Ciabatta. poolish and sourdough (yes we ate them all even though we’re still on a low-carb diet. We decided that Friday the 13th was another cheat day for us *grins*)

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Off to a healthy start (pun intended hehe)

Then came another complimentary starter with two components. I believe this was supposed to be Tomato Bruschetta where you’d have to eat both together (by spreading the diced tomato on top of the bread). But there was obviously too little tomato for that to be done so we just ate the bread and the tomato on its own. 😛

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Smoked Norwegian Salmon Belly

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Fried egg yolk

Our appetizer was a salmon dish with crispy seaweed crackers, fried egg yolk (quail egg, I guess), pickled cucumber and candied (sweet) ginger. The salmon was fresh and sliced to perfection. Thick and slimy, it was such a joy eating every piece. What intrigued me most was the egg because I didn’t expect it to be in this form. Loved how the runny yolk spurt slightly in my mouth 😀

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Oysters and Pearls

Served with poached oyster and avruga, this charred leek and potato soup was something new and unusual to my palate. It wasn’t the usual soup course with an explosion of flavours in the mouth, but it was pleasant, light and surprisingly delectable. The pearls (avruga) gave the oyster a smoked taste. Not bad!

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Roasted Quail

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Quail meat

Deboned to make the lives of poultry lovers easier, this dish was served with mushrooms, pomegranates, parmesan polenta, warm pistachio with Muscat dressing. The nicely-cooked quail was very meaty and saporous despite its size. The polenta was creamy (almost mistook it for cheese) while the pomegranates gave the dish a crunchy and sweet punch. All in all, this was a plate of flavours which worked.

Service started to slow at this point as more patrons started pouring in, angering a few existing diners who had waited for close to an hour for their food. Our main course was also delayed for more than 30 minutes and it was until we queried about it that they really started to expedite our orders.

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Josper-Grilled Brandt Filet Steak

We had a choice between the filet steak and Salt-Baked Atlantic Cod (with grilled Maine scallops, prawn ravioli, crisp squid tentacles, zucchini and saffron-cream sauce – just for the record) for the main course. As we had previously dined at Privé Grill twice before, we knew that the restaurant’s specialty is steak. Hence the filet steak for our mains.

Josper-Grilled Brandt Filet Steak came with gratinated lobster tail, cumin-carrot purée, asparagus, bone marrow and red wine sauce. Juicy, tender and in reasonable portion, the steak has never disappointed us so far. The lobster tail was succulent and firm and I felt that it was a bonus on the plate. Eating the bone marrow was another first for us at Privé Grill. Basically just soft fats, it’s actually quite delicious with the salt and pepper seasoning.

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Rose Panna Cotta

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Raspberry on lychee

For dessert, we had Rose Panna Cotta with raspberries, lychee, sheep’s milk skin and tonka bean ice cream. It was one of the best dishes of the night. The Panna Cotta was tangy and creamy, and its sweetness balanced out the sourness of the raspberries. It was a very hearty end to the meal 🙂

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What’s next?

The last item on the menu was either coffee or tea to cleanse our palates.

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We chose tea!

After settling our bill, I was given a bag that contained a slice of banana cake, courtesy of the restaurant. Yay, free food! It was probably given out to couples (more specifically, the ladies :D) who bought the Valentine’s Day dinner package. I shared the cake with Bf on the spot as I didn’t wanna bring it home.

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Complimentary treat at the end of the meal

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The fragrant banana cake was generously thick (although it’s free) and fluffy. Loved it. Thanks Privé!

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Thanks for the treat, dear!

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It’s time to go home! But first, let’s take a selfie

I guess $118++ for these scrumptious dishes was a worthwhile spend. They would probably cost more if ordered individually. But I really wouldn’t mind if the money was spent on something less extravagant. Oh well. ^^’

That’s all for this food post!

Oh, it’s the Lunar New Year already, so here’s wishing everyone a Happy Year of the Goat, 新年快乐 and 恭喜发财! ❤

Thanks for reading!

Privé Grill
2 Keppel Bay Vista
Singapore 098382
Operating hours:
Mon-Fri 11.30am – 3pm (lunch), 6.30pm – 11.30pm (dinner)
Sat & Eve of Public Holidays 6.30pm – 11.30pm
Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays
Contact number: +65 6776 0777
Email | Website | Facebook

Jamie’s Italian @ VivoCity

Hello everyone! I’m back in my blogging mode now that my exams are OVER! *pops champagne*

Today’s topic will still be food, but I believe many of you would be able to relate to this because..

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It’s Jamie Oliver’s restaurant!

Jamie Oliver opened his first restaurant in Asia on 17 July 2013 at VivoCity Mall, Singapore. I had somehow forgotten that he has a venture here until I unknowingly walked past his restaurant one day while trying to get to the taxi stand. I told Bf that we had to try this one day and we finally did last Sunday!

Tucked in a more secluded corner of the mall, Jamie’s Italian is clearly crowd magnet because it was the only restaurant with a queue among many others there, albeit a short one. They have an excellent table reservation system which would send the waiting guest a text message when a table opens up (thus explaining the short queue). As it was an impromptu decision to dine there, we had to wait awhile (for only 30 minutes, a reasonably short time considering that it was a weekend) before we could get a table. But with that system in place, we were able to wander around the mall while we waited.

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There’s an ongoing contest which patrons can join to win a Vespa!

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The menu (click to enlarge). There’s a cocktail section at the bottom but I cropped it out because I won’t be featuring anything from the bar here!

I like that the menu is nailed onto the wall next to the restaurant entrance so that anybody could view it without having to feel pressurised by the wait staff to dine there. It’s not their fault, I know. But don’t you just hate it when someone in the restaurant comes up to you when you’re merely browsing the menu on the display stand? I do! And rejecting them would make me feel so bad 😦

The items on the Pasta section have two different pricing because they signify two different things. The lower-value is for starters while the other is for mains.

You can hardly see what’s in the restaurant from the outside because it’s so dimly-lit, making it an almost-hazardous place for people with terrible vision like me because I may just trip over something if not careful. Some patrons even needed the light from their handphones to read the menu. It was that dark, too dark for photo-taking too (hence I had to depend heavily on the camera’s flash). I hope the management would do something about it because I don’t find dining in darkness a form of enjoyment. I would like to see clearly what’s on my plate, please.

But that’s at night. I’m not sure if it’d be brighter during the day so perhaps you guys can give it a shot during lunchtime.

Let’s move on to our orders!

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For beverage, we had a non-alcoholic cocktail called Refresher (S$7.50++).

Refresher consists of fresh lemon, elderflower, cordial and cranberry juice. topped with lemonade. We were initially contemplating between their Homemade Italian Lemonade (S$6.50++) and Berry Blast (strawberries, passion fruit, lemon and cranberry, S$8.50++) but we settled on Refresher in the end because it seems to have most of the stuff found in those two drinks. Haha money-pinchers.

But Refresher was good and refreshing! It tasted a little like Ribena but of course, way better and more sophisticated.

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Also got ourselves iced water because one cup of Refresher was obviously insufficient.

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Crispy squid (S$11.50++)

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For appetizers, we had Crispy Squid (or Fried Calamari in Singaporean’s term) which was basically fried squid but with garlicky mayo and lemon. The squid unfortunately wasn’t exactly crispy because it wasn’t sizzling hot. Bf remarked that it might had sat on the kitchen table for some time before it was delivered to us as it was a slightly cold and soggy. The dip that came with it was on the sour side, but it went well with the squid. All in all, it was a passable dish. There’s nothing really fantastic about it.

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Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli (S$17.50++)

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For starters, I had Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with pine nuts and fresh sage in creamy mascarpone, Italian butter, lemon and olive oil. I felt that the dough was a little too thick and firm and it kinda overwhelmed the fillings. I think there were about 5 or 6 Raviolis in there. The fillings were nice though! And the nuts in the creamy sauce added crunch to the dish. Once again. this is also nothing to wow about.

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Wild Mushroom and Smoked Mozzarella Risotto (S$16++)

This Wild Mushroom and Smoked Mozzarella Risotto is the bomb. It is an Acquerelle rice with fresh and dried wild mushrooms and oozy smoked mozzarella. Sadly, this starters belonged to Bf so I couldn’t dig more into it. It was extremely creamy and rich with a nice, thick texture, all thanks to the cheese in it. The rice also had some chew to it and it was really delicious! This is going to be a main course the next time we’re there.

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220g Rump Steak (S$28.50++)

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For the mains, Bf and I shared a 220g Rump Steak served with garlic and parsley butter, rainbow coleslaw with natural yoghurt and skinny fries. The nicely cut steak facilitated the sharing and I’m so glad it came this way because otherwise, the hungry Bf would slice a bigger portion for himself, leaving me with a measly piece of meat. *victoryboymeme.jpg* (Just kidding later he scold me)

The garlic and parsley butter is such an unusual topping but I actually love it. It had the right amount of saltiness and it’s so amazing I wanted to wipe it all off onto my own portion. The steak was soft, tender and cooked to juicy perfection. The entire dish was simply indulgent. I couldn’t get enough of it.

I kinda regretted sharing the main course because I was still hungry towards the end of the meal. So lesson learnt, never share anything at Jamie’s Italian. Hahaha.

On the whole, the food was not too bad but there’s definitely still room for improvement. Don’t go there with high expectations (Jamie Oliver’s not the one cooking after all) or you’d be disappointed. I also think that my experience was let down slightly by the unsatisfactory service in the restaurant. Our orders were only taken after beckoning to the wait staff several times and each time we’d be asked to wait but no one would come to us in the end. It might be due to the weekend crowd but yeah, it was really tiring to have to keep getting hold of the wait staff.

But the risotto was really, really awesome so you guys must go there and try it!

On top of that, the prices are actually quite reasonable for a reputable restaurant in a luxury shopping mall, don’t you think? I will definitely return for other items I’ve yet to try on the menu! Any recommendations? 😀

Okay that’s all for this post!

Thanks for reading 🙂

Jamie’s Italian @ VivoCity
1 Harbourfront Walk #1-165-167
Singapore 098585
Operating hours:
12.00pm to 10.00pm (Sun – Thu),
12.00pm to 11.00pm (Fri & Sat)
Tel: 67335500
Website | Facebook | Menu

Les Bouchons @ Ann Siang Hill

Hey everyone!

Inspirations only come to me at night, so here I am, back to tempt you with more food pictures at this unearthly hour! (It’s almost 3am in Singapore FYI)

After much dilly-dallying, I finally got to meet my girls from Folks Like Us for lunch on Tuesday at this quaint little hidden treasure at Ann Siang Hill which Atheena was raving to us about. It also marked my first trip to Ann Siang Hill because I always had the impression that it’s very inaccessible (and that there were more bars than anything else, thus it’s also very popular spot for expats). But now with the newly built Telok Ayer MRT station, you can easily get there within 7 minutes.

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Reservation is necessary due to very limited seating at Les Bouchons. Upon entering the French restaurant, you’d be surprised at how small it is. It was only able to fit 6 tables at most but there were more (probably 4) tables outdoors. I had to squeeze through a tiny gap between two tables to get to my seat. But despite its size, the place was actually pretty cozy. It’s not some kind of high-end restaurant where you’d feel pressured to put up a demure front because everyone would be dressed casual and chatting so heartily during meal.

But that does not mean that the food is going to be of low or mid-range standards.. well, maybe except for the complimentary bread basket.

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The complimentary bread basket

The bread came tough and stubborn so we had to request for it to be heated to make it softer for consumption. The service staff gladly complied and even added more bread to our basket. Thumbs up for great service!

At Les Bouchons, you can expect to find standardised prices for their entrées and plats (main course). All entrées are priced at S$18++ while plats (including their Ribeye and Sirloin Steak) are at S$38.80++ each. Fairly reasonable, I’d say! A meal there would definitely not burn a huge hole in your pocket.

For starters, I got myself Burgundy Escargots with Garlic Butter.

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The sauce was a tad oily but it was actually quite delicious! The amount of herb in the garlic butter was just right, and the sauce also made good complement to the free bread. The 9 pieces of escargot were served plucked out from their shells. They were fleshy, properly salted and well doused with the butter. Classic!

For the mains, I had Grilled Rib Eye Steak with “Vigneron” Butter.

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The mustards for the steak! Among them were Dijun and Whole Grain. I love the Whole Grain one the most!

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All of us ordered the same food. Hahaha

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Grilled Rib Eye Steak with “Vigneron” Butter

All mains come with a huge serving of salad (as can be see above) and free flow of home made french fries. The salad was made very crunchy by the generous amount of walnuts in it. The fries were simply AMAZING. I ate every single piece of it and I wished I had room for more. Basically, everything on the plate was in large portions, even the steak itself. It was so unusually big that my friend couldn’t finish hers! So ladies, if you’re going to dine at this restaurant, be sure to bring a hungry male friend along to finish the leftovers. Hahaha!

Anyway, the steak wasn’t hot enough for the butter to melt instantly. Hence I had to manually spread the butter all over the steak. Temperature aside, the steak was actually grilled to perfection and it had the right amount of saltiness. Mine wasn’t too fatty and I could practically eat the entire steak without any difficulty.

Needless to say, this is also extremely value-for-money!

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Because it deserves a close-up shot.

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With Felin!

After the main course, we shared a dessert because the steak was an overkill. We ordered Peche Melba, a vanilla ice cream with poached peach, raspberry coulis and whipped cream.

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The vanilla ice cream was very creamy but not too sweet. The poached peach was ripe and refreshing. This dessert was a perfect ending to our enjoyable meal. I’ll try their Crème Brûlée instead next time 🙂

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Great groupmates and friends from my university! We have another member who had already returned to the U.S.

The meal in general was really good and the portions were plentiful. But this place is so underrated! It’s probably one of the rare French restaurants that don’t charge exorbitant prices for their food. I only spent about S$67 after including all the relevant taxes. That’s equivalent to the price of a piece of steak elsewhere and it may not necessarily be as awesome as the one I had at Les Bouchons. I will bring Bf along on my next visit and I pray hard that it will not be swarmed with even more reservation calls after this post.

Okay, that’s about it! 🙂

Thanks for reading ❤

Les Bouchons
7 Ann Siang Road
Singapore 069689
Operating hours:
12pm – 2pm (lunch), 7pm – 10pm (dinner)
Tel: 6423 0737

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse @ Swissotel The Stamford

Hey foodies!

Ever since trying my first Beef Wellington at SKIRT a few months back, I (or rather, Bf and I – the ultimate gluttons) have been on a lookout for more restaurants that serve that dish. No many places do in Singapore unfortunately because I don’t know, it’s more challenging as compared to preparing a steak so not many chefs know how to do it well? I think the number of restaurants that serve good Beef Wellington here can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

And one of them is Wooloomooloo! The name is like Mississippi – it’s long but I don’t mind saying out the name in its entirety because it’s so fun to mouth the word. I’m not sure why it’s called Wooloomooloo but the most probable meaning could be derived from Woolloomooloo, the name of a suburb in Australia. But the restaurant originated from Hong Kong so…. ok. Who cares? What’s more important is the food right?

Moving on…

To be honest, I was contemplating between Wooloomooloo and SKIRT for Bf’s birthday in August but opted for the latter in the end as the price seemed a tad lower. But I was so damn wrong because I forgot to take into consideration the admission fee (S$2 per entry if I remember correctly) and the hefty taxi fare from Suntec City to Sentosa. And getting out was a struggle because the hotel is tucked so deep inside the residential area of Sentosa that hardly any empty cabs would drive in, so concierge had to book a taxi for me (and I had to bear the booking fee).

But Wooloomooloo is different as it’s conveniently located at Swissotel The Stamford/Raffles City, just above City Hall MRT station. :\ Bf took me there to celebrate my birthday on Wednesday but actually we had already been there once before. We returned because the pictures taken during our first visit were horrible haha. So this time we had lunch instead of dinner when there was sufficient natural lighting.

Anyway, the restaurant isn’t very visible on the third level of the mall because it’s hidden at one corner. I guess they can afford to seclude themselves since they’re already so popular and people who patronise the restaurant would have probably known of their existence.

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Entrance

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Wine paradise

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The restaurant is sectioned into 2 – one for dining and the other for drinking. This is their bar!

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Menu

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We had still mineral water called Acqua Panna.

This is a fine dining restaurant so this is their iced water. For people who constantly lament about having to pay for iced water in eateries, I suggest you stay out of Wooloomooloo (and other fine dining restaurants) because they charge at least S$12 (excluding taxes) for a bottle of iced water. This Acqua Panna costs S$12++ by the way.

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Complimentary onion bread. Think it’s called Focaccia Bread.

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Not sure which’s the best shot so here’s two of the same thing. Haha

Almost immediately after we placed our orders, we were served piping hot onion bread to boost our appetite. It’s huge and thick (but just right for two) – about the size of my hands placed together or even bigger, and it’s absolutely delicious. Some other restaurants serve complimentary bread that’s so difficult to slice and chew but this is smooth and not tough at all. It also has the right amount of saltiness spread evenly across the surface.

The butter. It’s so, so good, so smooth and not oily at all. And it went very well with the bread. Not a single bit of butter was left in the end.

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May I interrupt this post with a photo of myself? Haha. Here’s me, the birthday girl, trying to act cute.

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For starters we had Jumbo Prawn Cocktail (S$32++)

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Served with sauce and lime

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Super fresh and juicy!

Bf was itching for seafood so he ordered prawns which were so fresh that I had no problem removing their tail with my utensils. Served cold, they were meaty and juicy but a little tasteless on its own. That’s why the dish came with a special sauce to go with the prawns. It’s a thick paste that resembles belachan and it’s bearably sour. I couldn’t really tell what the sauce was made of but the tomato taste was pretty distinctive.

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French fries (S$16++)

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Mayonnaise and ketchup to go with

I had craving for fries so poor Bf complied with my request. But I don’t feel sorry at all (oops) because the fries were DAMN GOOD. They were given in very generous amounts (duh, so expensive of course must give more right) and so addictive. The fries were thick, crispy on the outside but mashed nicely on the inside. They’re so fresh, breaking apart easily with one bite. On top of that, the crispiness remained even after 15 minutes. This is definitely comparable to the fries (my other favourite) at db Bistro Moderne at The Shoppes.

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All my lurveee in one photo.

What’s that you saw in the picture above?

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It’s the Beef Wellington! (S$74++)

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Served with Red Wine Madeira sauce.

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Done Medium Rare. Look at the pink juice oozing out from the meat. Ooooh….

The Beef Wellington is described as an “Australian filet mignon with mushroom duxelle, wrapped in Parma ham, topped with Foie Gras & wrapped with puff pastry.” You could literally see layers of the mentioned food encased in pastry in the picture above. Thus it’s actually not easy slicing it nicely with everything intact. Beef was juicy (pretty apparent right?) and tender. I love everything in the pastry, especially those mushrooms and Foie Gras. But the smell of the pastry can be a little revolting. It’s probably just me because Bf thought it smelt nice.

The first time we dined there, we were also given a choice of four gourmet mustards. I didn’t catch the names but Google tells me that they were Dijon, English, Granary and Green Peppercorn. I can’t remember which tasted like Wasabi and ordinary mustard but one was spicy. I enjoyed dipping my beef into the spicy mustard. Haha.

Strangely, we weren’t served those mustards the second time we went. I felt that the service staff were less attentive this time. Unlike our first visit (dinnertime), no one bothered to ask if we were celebrating anything. I was actually looking forward to see what they had in place for birthday celebrations. But thankfully (for them) I was really full after the Beef Wellington so Bf didn’t bother asking. Haha.

That’s what we had on the eve of my birthday. Here are some other food items we had on our first visit. The pictures are of lower resolution because I took them with my phone (and we were gradually losing all the natural lighting because dusk was falling).

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Sautéed Spinach with Mushrooms (S$14++) and this was a wrong order.

We highlighted the mistake to the restaurant staff (whom I presume was the restaurant manager) but instead of taking the wrong dish away, he told us to have it while he got the right order out. This also happened at SKIRT and I swear it wasn’t done on purpose (we not so cheapskate la). I’m starting to wonder if we have poor enunciation. 😦

Good service nonetheless. I don’t like Spinach (weird aftertaste and subtle numb feeling on the tongue after consumption) at all but I was so touched by their kind gesture that I ate quite a lot of it. Hehe.

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We wanted this. This is Sautéed Wild Mushrooms in garlic butter (S$14++)

Both were priced the same, but I feel that the Sautéed Wild Mushrooms would be a better and more worthwhile choice. The potful of mushrooms are creamy and delicious and we almost couldn’t finish it because there were a lot of them! If you love mushrooms, this is a must-order!

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For desserts, we had Apple Crumble (S$20++)

The Apple Crumble is served with vanilla gelato & custard sauce. It’d be better if the poached apple inside the pie was less sour. The sourness became a little too overwhelming for the both of us after a few bites, even when eaten with the ice cream and custard sauce. But the crust was top-notch. I wouldn’t mind eating it alone. 😀

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Here’s a picture of us (taken on the first visit) to end this mouthwatering post 😀

Just wanna thank Bf for planning such an extravagant birthday celebration (and this is only part 1 -_-). I now feel pressured to do the same thing for his birthday next year (and I believe that was his ulterior motive lol). But still, thanks dear 🙂

We spent about S$240 (after GST and Service Charge) on either day.

If you’re planning to dine there, be sure to make reservation in advance! Somehow it’s always fully packed on Mondays.

Thanks for reading!

Wooloomooloo Steakhouse
2 Stamford Road
Level 3 Swissotel The Stamford
Singapore 178882
Tel: +65 6338 0261 (for reservations)
Website | A la Carte Menu | Facebook

Boyfriend’s Birthday Dinner @ SKIRT (W Hotel)

Hey everyone! My tutee’s mom cancelled my only tuition assignment today so I shall use this time to blog about the birthday celebration I planned for boyfriend. And if time permits, I’ll also write about Father’s Day later.

To be honest, the plan was only thought up on the night before on my bed, before I fell into a deep slumber. I didn’t tell boyfriend this haha. But everything went pretty well with the exception of the last segment where I stupidly bought movie tickets for a show that boyfriend had already watched (Edge of Tomorrow – hilarious movie!).

The highlight of the celebration was dinner at SKIRT, a restaurant in W Hotel located at the prestigious Sentosa Cove. Boyfriend (and myself) had been longing to try Beef Wellington ever since watching 3 seasons of MasterChef. There are only a few places here in Singapore that serve that dish so it wasn’t difficult to decide on the place to dine at. (The other highly-recommended restaurant is Wooloomooloo Steakhouse which I will definitely try if the opportunity arises). I chose SKIRT mainly because of its mid-range pricing but having said that, their food and service are first class.

I made my reservation here in the morning and received a confirmation call about 2 hours before our dining time. At the same time, I was also reminded of the dress code which was smart casual (no shorts, bermudas, open shoes and slippers). I took a quick glance at boyfriend’s (who had no idea where I was gonna bring him to) attire and was relieved that he dressed appropriately haha.

The cab fare from Suntec City to Sentosa Cove was a whopping $22+ lol thanks to peak hour surcharge, ERP and Sentosa’s entrance fee ($2). 😦

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The restaurant was adorned with vintage-looking furniture and enthralling pieces of chandelier which turned into a really gorgeous sight when night fell. We found ourselves the only diners when we arrived. But more patrons started streaming in as we were enjoying our complimentary homemade bread which I later realised was free flow! We didn’t manage to finish our first serving though as our stomachs were partially filled by the cakes at Lady M earlier on. Came with it was a bottle of chorizo lard oil and some dip we couldn’t make out what that was. According to other online reviews it’s supposed to be seaweed dip but it didn’t taste like seaweed at all :\

Flower-shaped bread topped with 2 unusual dips

Flower-shaped bread topped with 2 unusual dips (S$free)

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A glass bottle of distilled water (Acqua Panna 750ml) costs S$12

Duofie with the birthday boy <3

Duofie with the birthday boy ❤

Some pictures of the menu for your reference:

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We waited for quite awhile before our mains and sides were served and were starting to grow a little impatient as we had a movie to catch. But we kept quiet because we didn’t want to be served rushed food. Hahaha so understanding right!?

Came shortly after the bread. The one on the left is BBQ sauce for the steak and on the right is apple bourbon juice, to cleanse your palette. Only served if you order meat.

Came shortly after the bread. The one on the left is BBQ sauce for the steak and on the right is apple bourbon juice, to cleanse your palette. Only served if you order meat.

I’m not an alcohol fanatic but the apple bourbon juice was really appetizing. I think it only has 1% alcohol content.

Dusk was falling. Henceforth, the quality of my pictures worsens as I have lost the natural lighting. My phone is terrible at taking photos in the dark. I should have brought my camera along 😦

Hand-Cut Garlic Fries

Hand-Cut Garlic Fries (S$10 but on the house for us)

We actually ordered Sautéed Portobello Mushroom (S$16; forgot to take picture of it -_-) for our sides but was given this instead (we were contemplating between the two and the one taking the orders probably didn’t catch our final decision hehe). Informed the assistant manager about it but instead of returning the fries to the kitchen, he left it there for us to enjoy while he got our right order out.

We rejected the gesture at first because we foresaw that we would be too full for 2 sides but he insisted that we had it.

“Please have it. I apologise for the error. It’s (the fries) on me.”

Exemplary service!

I’ll give a verbal review on the mushrooms since I forgot to snap pictures 😦 I thought I did though. If I remember correctly, it was a few pieces of portobello mushroom coated with unique black sauce with a sprinkle of green garnish, served in a small plate. They are rather huge! And meaty. I’m not really a mushroom person (unless you’re talking about mushroom soup – different story) so I’ll quote my boyfriend: “omg super savory and yummy”. *thumbs up*

Hereford Grass Fed, John Stone Longford, Republic of Ireland. Tenderloin 250g

My main: Hereford Grass Fed, John Stone Longford, Republic of Ireland. Tenderloin 250g. (S$62) The small thingy on the right is just garlic.

Very, very tender and chewy. Unfortunately I had my eyes set on boyfriend’s main. *salivates*

Beef Wellington

Boyfriend’s: Beef Wellington (S$62)

*angelic sound effect*

Medium rare

Medium-rare

Pastry, according to boyfriend, was a little thin and flaky so it kinda fell apart when we cut it. But it was still good for me. Other than that, the beef… oh my god. WE WERE IN HEAVEN!! I was so sad that I didn’t order the beef wellington (coz we wanted more variety to try) so boyfriend gave me one of his. In return I gave him 3/4 of my steak. Hahaha. We’re still craving for it up to now.

Boyfriend briefly mentioned about his birthday to the one bringing us the bill and we were told to stay put for 10 minutes..

..So that they could give him a cake! Or rather, a chocolate mousse cake. Whoa, so nice and generous of them! Thank you, SKIRT staff!

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Super chocolatey and sinful. (S$free for birthday boys and girls)

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Birthday boy and his glamorous cake.

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Inside the mousse cake is CARAMEL!! My fave. Boyfriend doesn’t like caramel so he gave me the cake but I couldn’t finish it 😛 Eh whose birthday was it again?

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The trainee staff offered to help us take a picture. SURE WHY NOT? Hahaha. But this is a little blur.

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Second take, much better. Boyfriend must had felt really exhausted to give that kind of face.. He definitely needs lessons on how to pose in front of the camera.

Left the restaurant in haste as we were already VERY late for our movie. Boyfriend complained that travelling to so many places in a day made him very tired. But… we went to these places by taxi -_-

Total damage by the way for the dinner was S$178.90. Ouch to the wallet definitely but the great service and food coupled with the birthday boy’s satisfaction made the splurge worthwhile. This restaurant is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

He also got his first Manchester United jersey from me on his birthday! Hope he didn’t outgrow the shirt after all the sumptuous meals. 😛

That’s all for this post and thanks for reading!

SKIRT at W Hotel
21 Ocean Way
Singapore 098374
Website: http://www.wsingaporesentosacove.com/en/skirt
Make reservation here or call +65 6808 7278