Dinner @ House of AnLi Bistro

August 21, 2017 in European (cafe) by thywhaleliciousfay

It has been a while since I last met up with my girlfriends from college. And with their preference to meet in town, I suggested House of AnLi in Tanglin Mall. And from their Facebook page, it’s learnt that the person behind House of AnLi is Belgian designer Anne-Jean Liétaer. The bistro was set up as an extension to the store, and has a Belgian-inspired menu that’s based on Anne-Jean’s family recipes.

As per our 5pm reservation time, we arrived punctually at the bistro. Reservation is definitely required for big groups, and for groups which require high chair for children; The restaurant only had 3 high chairs, and the bistro was popular wth families.

As we weren’t too hungry, we satisfied ourselves with drinks and waited till 6pm where a different menu was offered for dinner. And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4), we ordered:-

1) Panfried octopus, $22 (above) – With herbs & paprika, garbanzo & tomato salsa.

2) Carbonnade stew, $28 (above) – Beef cheek cooked in chimay trappiste beer, baby carrots, fondant potato, unsweetened apple mousse.

3) Moussaka, $28 (above) – Layered eggplant, fondant potato, minced beef.

4) Mushroom & truffle risotto, $32 (above) – Mixed wild mushrooms, shaved black truffles.

5) Pasta of the day, $28 (above) – And we added salmon at $8 to our noodles.

6) Cheese tart, $14 (above) – Fromage blanc on speculoos base.

7) Apple tart with cinnamon & whipped cream, $14 (above) – Give this a miss.

8) Chocolate tart & whipped cream, $12 (above) – Tasted similar to a flourless chocolate cake, this was pretty good. It was a hot favourite among the children.

9) Tea, $8 (1 pot) (above)

10) Latte, $6 (above)

11) Flat white, $6 (above)

We loved the space of House of AnLi. It was cosy and beautiful. I loved how natural light entered through the ceiling-to-floor Windows and brightened up the place. Though I wouldn’t say there’s much view since the bistro was only located on level 2.

The bistro was not too packed despite it being a Saturday evening. I guess not many would walk 15 to 18 minutes (like me) from Orchard MRT station. But we were also glad not many would take that long walk because my girlfriends and I agreed the space was best enjoyed when it’s not too busy.

Would I recommend House of AnLi Bistro? Definitely. But having seen the brunch menu, I would say the dinner menu looked better in terms of food offering. So probably head down in the late afternoon for a cup of coffee before enjoying mains from the dinner menu.

HOUSE OF ANLI BISTRO
163 Tanglin Road, Tanglin Mall, #03-17, Singapore
6235 3851, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 09:00 – 21:00
Ambience: 8
Value: 7
Service: 6

High tea @ Axis Bar and Lounge

August 16, 2017 in European (cafe) by thywhaleliciousfay

It has been a while since I had high tea. So when my girlfriend suggested catching up over high tea, I thought it was a good idea. However, as one would know, high tea usually starts at mid-afternoon. But I was glad Axis Bar offered theirs from 12.30pm cause my girlfriend and I had commitments in late afternoon. Keke. And with that, reservation was made via Chope.

With only 1 menu offered that’s rotates every month, we started our afternoon tea ($42 for 1, $40 each for 2) with:-


1) Dish #1 (above) – Pandan ice jelly with coconut emulsion.

2) Dish #2 (above) – From right to left, we were served i) nasi lemak cornet, anchovies and sambal jam, ii) Singapore chilli crab and mantou bits, and iii) ayam satay with peanut gravy. We didn’t like the chilli crab dish. Because the mantou bits were like crouton instead (really small pieces too), we felt like we were a big shot of spicy chilli crab gravy. .

3) Dish #3 (above) – From right to left, we had i) baker’s red beans pita bao, ii) tomato, sardine and lettuce wrap, iii) mini sub with spicy chicken floss, and iv) pandan kaya and butter toast.


4) Dish #4 (above) – Because I don’t take beef, my kampong style beef rendang pie was replaced with a second piece of nonya potato curry puff. So yes, I had 2 nonya potato curry puff, 1 tahitian vanilla scone and 1 banana scone. Didn’t enjoy the puff as the filling was pretty salty.

5) Dish #5 (above) comprised of:-

(A) 1st tier (above) – Purple yam chiffon cream chantilly (left) and palm sugar masala layer cake (right).


  

(B) 2nd tier (above) – Bandung rosella bavarious (left) and lychee strawberry choux puff (right). I really liked the bandung dessert. It was light on the palate, and not too sweet.


  

(C) 3rd tier (above) – Pineapple coconut sable (left) and chocolate almond kueh pai tee (right).

6) Tea (above) – TWG tea company’s tea was included in menu, and I went with ‘eternal summer’.

What I really like about Axis Bar & Lounge is the space and ambience. It offers a sweeping views over Marina Bay. But what I really liked was that they did not cram the space with many furniture. Oh wait. Axis is a lounge, and not a restaurant. Haha. And mothers would be delighted to know the place is family friendly. The place is equipped with high chairs and children’s plastic plate-ware. Most importantly, because the space was big and spacious, kids could have a ball of time roaming around freely. Just like my girlfriend’s 15-months child!

Would I recommend Axis Bar & Lounge for high tea? Definitely. Afternoon tea is available from 3pm to 5pm on weekdays, and 12.30 to 2.30pm (first seating) and 3pm to 5pm (second seating) on weekends. But do read up their menu before coming. I didn’t really like the August 2017′s menu.

And if one plan to drive and park at The Mandarin Oriental, do note that they do not offer complimentary parking coupon. But because we enquired with the manager who happened to be the one passing us our bill, he gave us a $18 discount instead. Nice. Keke.

AXIS BAR & LOUNGE
5 Raffles Avenue, The Mandarin Oriental, Level 4, Singapore
6885 3500, Website
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Thur, Sun : 11:00 – 00:00
Ambience: 8
Fri – Sat : 11:00 – 01:00
Value: 7
Service: 7

Breakfast @ Bourke Street Bakery (Sydney, Australia)

July 6, 2017 in European (cafe) by thywhaleliciousfay

My colleague, who has been to Sydney a few times, raved about the pies in Australia. “You must try the pies,” she said. Unfortunately, the good ones she had were beef. I can’t eat beef due to religious reason. Thus, the hunt for good (non-beef) pie began.

While researching on-the-go, we got to learn about Bourke Street Bakery. With a few outlets in Sydney, my colleague and I decided on Surry Hill’s because it was within walking distance from our AirBNB apartment. Just perfect for us to drop by for breakfast before we went on with our travel itinerary. And because we had a long day planned ahead of us, my colleague and I reached the cafe at 8.35am. We initially planned to reach at 8am. Gasp.

However, the staff informed the pies were only ready at 9am. Since it was another 25 minutes, my colleague and I decided to wait it out. In fact, after our first visit and a more detailed research on Bourke Street Bakery, I went back again for breakfast on the last day of my trip to try the other items which they were famous for. Keke.

And from the menu and display shelf, we ordered:-

1) Ginger brulee tart, AUD5.50 (above) – So good! It’s interesting how they infused the ginger into the caramelised layer.

2) Lemon curd tart, AUD5.50 (above) – My favourite of the tarts! Be careful when one bite into the thick but crispy buttery crust as the curd within was flowy. I loved how tangy it was too. Just perfect.

3) Passionfruit curd Italian meringue tart, AUD5.50 (above) – And if I didn’t taste wrongly, there was coconut in the meringue. Pretty good!


  

4) Chocolate almond croissant, AUD5 (above)


5) Chicken, sweet potato, pea & lime pickle pie, $6 (above)


6) Pork & fennel sausage roll, AUD5.50 (above) – We made the mistake of not ordering the tomato sauce (AUD0.20) to go with it. I wouldn’t say the fillings within was dry. Rather, it lacked that bouncy texture because the filling was minced. And because it was a little bland, the tomato sauce would have brought out the taste better. As though I’m using their tomato sauce as seasoning instead of salt. Ha.


7) Carrot & walnut cake, AUD5 (above) – This was a such delight! It’s no wonder why this was a favourite among customers too.


8) Bacon & egg frittata sandwich, $6.50 (above) – Frittata, bacon, caramelised onion and homemade BBQ sauce.

9) Latte, $4.50 (regular) (above)

I definitely recommend Bourke Street Bakery! Must tries include the carrot & walnut cake and the tarts. Having tried 3 of their 4 tarts, I probably should have ordered the chocolate ganache tart too then. Keke. I didn’t expect all the 3 tarts to be so good. And I liked that the curd used for the 3 tarts won’t the same.

And if it wasn’t because I was on a short trip to Sydney, I probably would have returned for the other yummy goodies which include the lemon-vanilla ricotta cake, flourless Belgian chocolate cake, croissant, wholemeal sourdough bread… Oh wait, I can go on and on and on. Keke.

BOURKE STREET BAKERY
633 Bourke Street, Sydney, Australia
+61 2 9699 1011, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Fri : 07:00 – 18:00
Ambience: 6
Sat – Sun : 07:00 – 17:00
Value: 7
Service: 6