Dinner @ Etna Italian Restaurant

April 8, 2017 in Italian

I was impressed much by the food served at Etna when I last dined in… 2010. Gasp. I remember packing the unfinished pizza which my younger brother (who’s not easily impressed by food) gave his nod of approval.

My team mates would regularly head out for after-work dinner and drinks. And since our office was in the East and me wanting proper food instead of bar food, I suggested heading to Etna. Actually, I wanted to thank my colleagues for covering me when I was away for my holiday in Japan, and I felt it was only right that I treated them at a proper restaurant. Ie, one that I know won’t disappoint us with the food.

Reservation is a must. We went on a Friday evening and the restaurant was running at full capacity. At least 2 groups of walks-in were turned away.

And from the dinner menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), we ordered:-

1) Bread platter, Complimentary (above)

2) Antipasto Etna, $38 (above) – Italian cold cuts, marinated vegetables and baked ricotta cheese. And they actually meant pickled when the menu stated ‘marinated vegetables’.

3) Calamari e ceci, $18 (above) – Grilled fresh squids with chickpeas puree, caper powder and seasoned breadcrumb.

4) Parmigiana di melanzane, $18 (above) – Baked eggplant parmigiana layered with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. This must be eaten once served to the table. We enjoyed it better when it was warm. So good.

5) Ciriole alla norcina, $28 (above) – Homemade semolina pasta with mushrooms, homemade sausage and truffle paste. A colleague and I wanted to order this, but I decided to get something else cause I was told the homemade sausage contained bits of beef. I don’t eat beef lah. But it was interesting that the homemade pasta reminded us of udon. Hmm…

6) Ravioli all’ aragosta, $36 (above) – Homemade lobster ravioli with butter pistachio cream and prawns. My dish! I thought the ravioli could be thinner at the rim. You know, where the 2 pieces of pasta sheet were pressed together. But my Irish colleague gave this dish the thumbs up.

7) Filetto di maiale al marsala, $34 (above) – Glazed pork tenderloin with marsala sauce, roasted potatoes and gremolata.

8) Tonno scottato alle erbe, $36 (above) – Seared fresh yellowfin tuna loin breaded with herbs, erved with broccoli flan and red onion.

9) Burrata pizza rosse, $32 (above) – Tomato, fresh burrata cheese, parma ham and rocket salad. And Etna didn’t disappoint with their pizza. =) Decided to go with another flavour (from what I tried in 2010) because my taste has since evolved and I almost always had to have burrata cheese when I am having Italian. Thankfully my colleagues love burrata cheese too. Keke.


10) Biancomangiare, $16 (above) – Almond panna cotta with white chocolate. A colleague loves her panna cotta. She never fails to order it when it’s available on the menu. And I was glad she ordered the panna cotta cause we didn’t expect an elaborate presentation to come with it. “I need to pour this quickly when the chocolate is hot”, the waiter said. And he followed to pour dark chocolate over the dome that’s made with white chocolate. But the dark chocolate wasn’t as hot as it should be because the dome only melted in small areas. And when the waiter realised it wasn’t going to melt any further, he flipped the dome to reveal the panna cotta beneath.

11) Tiramisu al pistacchio di bronte, $14 (above) – Classic tiramisu with authentic pistachio paste (from Bronte, Sicily). Unfortunately, I remembered Etna’s tiramisu use to be better. Unless my standard went up over the years? This was too creamy for my liking.

Dinner at Etna must be good because my colleagues and I left the restaurant happy and inspired to have Italian for our next after-work dinner. Keke. Will I recommend Etna? It’s a big “yes” from me if one is in the East and craving for Italian cuisine.

That said, one event still bothers me to date. The group of ladies seated beside us apparently ordered more than what they could eat. One of their leftover was the pizza where they left 4 slices untouched. Our assigned table was just beside the area where food was served from the kitchen and where waiting staff would return finished plates (for washing). I witnessed the staff transferring the ladies’ remaining pizza to a container. Clearly for their consumption. Some may argue it’s acceptable since it’s the same logic as me packing my unfinished pizza home. But I just felt it was wrong for hygiene reason. So I guess… If they wanted to do it, they should have at least ensured it was done out of any customers’ sight.

110 Upper East Coast Road, Singapore
6444 9530, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 14:30 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 7

Lunch @ South Union Park

June 9, 2016 in European (cafe)

It was one of those crazy and spontaneous moments when I decided to take leave to join my colleague (who has long planned for and had applied her leave) to chill our afternoon away at a cafe. Ha. And since we both had plans for the evening and that our evening activities were taking place in the East, I did a quick search for a cafe that’s in the East.

So that’s how my colleague and I decided on South Union Park.

I have actually learnt about South Union Park a few weeks back. Another group of friends had wanted to check them out, but cause we were living in the North and West, we gave it a miss. So I was glad I finally got the opportunity to visit! =)

And since my colleague and I came on a weekday, we almost had the entire place to ourselves. Ha.

And from the menu, we ordered:-


1) Fried chicken, $11 (above) – With corn bread, honey butter. This was good! The pieces of chicken were fried with its skin on. And it was crisp on the exterior, and moist and juicy on the inside. Superb! I didn’t touch the honey butter cause the chicken was good on its own. =) I (also) asked my colleague for her opinion about pairing the corn bread muffin with the chicken. Though the corn muffin was good, I felt the two were different items to be enjoyed separately. Maybe they are fans of Kenny Rogers Roasters?

2) Crabcakes, $12 (above) – Remoulade. This was good! We were expecting bite-sized pieces since it was an appetiser, so we were surprised when it was presented in one big piece. A cake, literally. Ha. And this was definitely best consumed when it was served piping hot. When I sliced through it with my fork, I could hear the evident crackling sound.

3) Mussels, $18 (above) – South Australian mussels, chorizo broth. Since I don’t take beef, I enquired about the chorizo and got to learn that it was pork chorizo. But what we didn’t expect was that these chorizo were made in house. Wow! And one must definitely dip their freshly baked brioche into the broth. So good. Although the brioche served to us was a little too grilled.

4) Duck confit (homemade) pasta, $19 (above) – Tagliatelle, sautéed spinach, hazelnut cream. Not surprising, but the pasta at South Union Park is handmade too. Because I prepare my own meals, I truly appreciate handmade food. Especially items like bread, noodles, etc which most people fail to recognise the amount of effort that’s put into creating these because they are easily available. And the pasta was great.

5) Poached salmon, $20 (above) – Mediterranean cous cous, onion salad.

6) Apple crumble, $10 (above) – Butterscotch, yoghurt, vanilla ice cream.


7) Passionfruit soufflé, $13 (above)

8) Latte, $4.50 (above)

It was through enquiring about the chorizo that we learnt from one of the chef (who served our dish as the sole waiting staff was busy taking order) that they make everything from scratch with exception of the ice cream and fries. Wow. I really like and respect them for taking pride in hand-making everything.

Location wise, they are a 8-12 minutes walk from Kembangan MRT station. As my colleague and I met at 1pm, the walk from the MRT station to the café was a sunny affair. As South Union Park occupied a shophouse unit which was located within a private estate, there was no shelter to shade us from the blazing sun.

And I can’t emphasize enough how I love it when cafés are not fully occupied. Which is one reason why I don’t mind taking leave just to chill at a café. If work permits too. Ha. The interior of the cafe wasn’t exactly designed to wow, but it was cozy enough for my colleague and I to spend our entire afternoon where I settled both my lunch and dinner there. Haha. However, make sure one comes with a fully charged laptop as they do not have any power point except for one right at the entrance.

Did I enjoy my leave spent at South Union Park? I certainly did. However, after having tried almost everything on the menu in this one trip, I hope they would update their menu with significantly more new dishes soon for me to return!

101 Jalan Kembangan, Singapore
9061 8703, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues : 17:30 – 22:00
Ambience: 6
Wed – Thur : 11:30 – 22:00
Value: 8
Fri – Sat : 11:30 – 23:00
Service: 6
Sun : 11:30 – 22:00
* Closed on Mon

Brunch @ The Laneway Market

January 17, 2015 in European (cafe)

With many cafes opening up in the East of late, my friends and I decided to head down to The Laneway Market for brunch. And because we stayed in the North and West, we were hoping the brunch experience would be worth our 1-hour bus journey.

The Laneway Market was unfortunately not located near any MRT stations. One could take the train to either Paya Lebar or Dakota station before taking the bus for another 3 – 5 bus stops (continued) journey. After alighting from the bus and walking along Tanjong Katong Road (in the same direction as the bus), I got a little confused as the cafe was nowhere in sight although I was reaching what seemed to be the last shophouse. Apparently, The Laneway Market was along Boscombe Road (perpendicular to Tanjong Katong Road). So one would need to make a right turn (to Boscombe Road) before coming to unit 266.

The cafe was nice and bright. We initially chose to sit at the table which was directly in front of the entrance, but moved to the communal table (which was on the left after entering) as the cold air from the air conditioner was blowing straight to our first choice of table.

And from the menu (pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5), we ordered:-

1) Truffle fries, $11 (above)

2) Nacho chicken, $10 (above)

3) Scrambled eggs, $15 (above) – Scrambled eggs, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, pumpkin jam spread toast, chicken and pork chipolata. My friends and I were debating between the ‘scrambled eggs’ and ‘French toast’, but we decided to go with the former. Reason being, from where we sat, I could see the chef plating the dishes through the opening where the waiting staff would collect the food. And the scrambled egg looked so good. Indeed, it was fluffy and slightly runny.

4) Pulled pork burger, $19 (above) – 12 hour braised pork in beer infused BBQ sauce, purple cabbage slaw, truffle fries, mesclun. Somehow, the pulled pork reminded me or pork ribs. Which shouldn’t be a surprise since BBQ sauce was used as the base marinate. However, we did not like the burger which we felt was a little leathery and hard.

5) Pancakes, $14 (above) – Thick pancakes, berry butter, berries.

6) Latte, $5.50 (above)

Generally, the food served at The Laneway Market was acceptable. It did not exactly wow us though.

But what stood out was their service. While we were debating to change seats, it was nice that the staff came up to us asking if it was cold. You know how some staff would pretend not to hear? So yes, I liked that the staff took the initiative to approach us. They wanted to increase the temperature of the air conditioner for us, but we proposed changing seats and share the communal table instead.

So yes, The Laneway Market is a nice cafe to drop by if one is in the East.

266 Tanjong Katong Road, Singapore
6719 8832, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Tues : 10:00 – 21:30
Ambience: 6
Thur – Fri : 10:00 – 21:30
Value: 6
Sat – Sun : 09:00 – 21:30
Service: 8
* Closed on Wed