Brunch @ Jones The Grocer

October 7, 2012 in European (cafe) by thywhaleliciousfay

Brunch is not meant just for our girlfriends, but good to go with our Moms too. And that was what I did on one Sunday afternoon. Having had a very brief breakfast experience at the Dempsey branch, I decided it’ll be a good choice to come to their Orchard outlet. Since our shopping was heading (and ending) in the direction of Somerset too. Hee!


There was a queue when we reached in the late afternoon. And while waiting for our table, we were given the menu and was informed that only the brunch menu is available. And well, there was not many to choose from. And in a way, I felt guilty. I should have researched better and chose a better place for my Mom. (^^lll)

And from the brunch menu, we ordered:-

1) French toast ($16) (above) – These came served with berries, clotted cream and maple syrup. My Mom felt it was a little too sweet for her liking. I pinched a little of her dish and felt this was very normal. I mean, really, it’s pretty straight forward making a decent French toast. My Mom, being vegetarian for the day, chose this for she did not have any other to choose from.

2) Croque madame ($20.50) (above) – Comprised of smoked ham, fried eggs and bechamel, this was served with slices of parma ham placed on top of the bread. Other than that, my plate was bare. Fortunately, one dont need lots (of sides) when the main is good. The bread being brioche was light and fluffy with a tad of sweetness on its own. Nice!


3) Duck confit salad ($16.50) (above) – This was ordered in hope to give my Mom a little more variety. The chef could have worked a little harder in its presentation. We were greeted with a bowl of unexciting greens. We did not touch much of the dish except for some baby spinach by my Mom and some slices of (cold) duck meat and sugar-coated walnut by me.

4) Strawberry milkshake - And this was ordered after spying it being drank by another customer. We were attracted by the (light) pink drink with (darker pink) strawberry jam in it. And it tasted as good as it looks. Nice!

Oddly, we did not enjoy the dining experience as much as we thought we would. While it’s a nice place to be at, it was a little overwhelming in terms of the noise level and comfort, especially when the place was packed to the brim. My chair was bumped into at least twice.

JONES THE GROCER
333A Orchard Road, Mandarin Gallery, #04-21, Singapore
6836 6372, Website
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 09:00 – 23:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 6
Service: 7

Lunch @ ReStore // CLOSED

September 1, 2012 in European (cafe) by thywhaleliciousfay

It was one of the few rare days I get to be in the CBD area during weekdays. Thus, I called my girlfriend (who, unlike me, is working in the CBD area) to check out ReStore Cafe during our lunch breaks.


It was definitely interesting to walk into the long, narrow interior of the cafe, which occupied the first level of a shophouse, where a row of (vintage) furniture is flanked on our left and a row of tables for us to sit and have our food on the right.

We got curious and stole a peak at the price tag of one of the chairs which was hung on the wall and was alarmed to see a “$360″ shouting back at us. Well, I guess it’s always true that vintage items dont come cheap. Though frankly, I did like a fair bit of the vintage furniture they had.

And it’s interesting to note that in front of the kitchen, there’s a pile of books of fabric. I guess one gets to customise their purchase too?

And from the menu, my girlfriend and I ordered:-

1) Caramel Banana Homemade Waffle, $9.80 (above) – This was not too bad with the batter being slightly salty such that it left a little after taste. The whipped cream which was served together with the waffle was smooth and on the denser side.

2) Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with maple syrup walnut cream cheese, $5.50 (above) – This, shockingly, did not impress despite all the past raves. Bagels are meant to be crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. While the bagel was crispy on the edge where it was cut into halves, the other parts of the bagel was tough on the outside and very dense on the inside. We were not able to finish the bagel cause we got so full (easily) from all the dough. But it’s interesting to note that we get to choose the flavour of our cream cheese with the choices being i) Plain cream cheese ii) Caramel cream cheese iii) Maple syrup walnut cream cheese. I actually liked the cream cheese!

3) Caffe Latte with earl grey cookie, $4.50 (above) – The coffee did not impress.

Overall, it’s a nice place to chill and pass time. The lady offered to cut our bagels into quarters when she saw us struggling on how to cut our bagel to share. Nice! But I would not recommend the CBD crowd to head here for lunch for they only offer bagels, waffles, muffins and cookies. I guess selling vintage furniture is really their core business. And I will, in fact, recommend dropping by here if you are looking for some nice, quirky furniture!

RESTORE
124 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore
6222 3510, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Tues : 11:00 – 19:00
Ambience: 6
Wed – Sat : 11:00 – 23:00
Value: 6
Sun : 11:00 – 19:00
Service: 6
* Closed on Mon
  

Dinner @ Mikuni

August 29, 2012 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

Having read a few recent reviews on Mikuni, I was curious to check the restaurant out. And the address can be a little misleading as the restaurant is not located within the hotel.

We entered into a restaurant which is very zen with its large usage of black and blue lighting for its interior. Immediately on our right is the sashimi station, ahead is the sake bar and right at the back is the robatayaki counter. And because we decided not to go for any of the Tour Menu, we chose to sit at the sashimi station for an omakase styled dinner.

While noting that not all sashimi dishes were captured on camera, the chef presented us with:-

1) Crispy ebi cracker, Complimentary (above) – This was addictive. Or could it be that I was just hungry. Hmm…




2) Various sashimi (above) – Of all the sashimi dishes, this will be my absolute favourite. All three ingredients (squid, urchin, seaweed) went perfectly well together. I wish I could have more. Again, do note the above four are not the only sashimi dishes served. I did not take photograph of the sashimi slices which the chef will place at random intervals onto our individual wooden plates that’s in front of us.

Noticing that all our dishes were sashimi, we enquired with the waitress if there’re any cooked dishes. To which the waitress said that the omakase served was solely sashimi, unless otherwise requested by the customers. And with that, we placed order for a few more (other) dishes.

3) Grilled kinki fish (above) – This was decent. Fish was fresh with the meat being slightly sweet. Though I did notice the skin was a little damp despite it supposedly to be grilled.

4) Clam soup (above) – Wanting to try the soup, the waitress gave us a few options of which we opt for the clam. However, the portion was unexpectedly small. It felt more like it was a teacup (clam) soup.

5) Green tea ice cream, red bean waffle (above) – And when we further requested for the desserts menu, the waitress told us that our omakase styled dinner comes with a dessert. And the presented dessert was definitely a delight. The waffle crumbled once it came into contact with our mouth, while the red bean was not too sweet. Again, green tea and red bean is almost a fool-proof combination.

All in all, it was a so-so dining experience for us. I have been to a few omakase styled dinners while being seated at the counter, but Mikuni’s chef was not interactive as how I thought he should be. In fact, we had a very bad encounter with him.

10 minutes after the waitress asked if we had any last order, we enquired if we could order additional (cooked) dishes. To which, the waitress (who is also assigned to serve us) very kindly said she will check the kitchen for us. To which, of course, she brought us good news. However, when she left a second time to pass our orders to the kitchen, the chef behind the sashimi counter came up to us. Now, this shall also be his first conversation with us. When he learnt that his fellow colleague had taken our orders despite it being past last order time, he bad mouthed his colleague saying that she must not know what she’s doing to be taking our orders despite me clarifying that his colleague had indeed checked with the kitchen first. To me, I felt the chef helming the sashimi counter was highly non professional. Who goes around talking ill of his colleagues, to customers too?

MIKUNI
80 Bras Basah Road, Fairmont Singapore, Level 3, Singapore
6431 6156, Website
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 7
Service: 5