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

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

Brunch @ Do.Main Bakery

December 17, 2014 in European (cafe)

My friends and I were in the East with the intention to brunch. However, we were left stranded when we reached the cafe only to learn the kitchen had closed! But thankfully, fellow blogger JiakSimiPng had earlier instagram-ed of a new (French) café in the East which was a 8 to 10 minutes drive from where we were. And with that, we were off. =)


Parking can be a little tricky. With no parking lots along the main road, we tried circling in the private estate that was directly behind Do.Main Bakery. But no luck there. Thankfully, one of my girlfriends was familiar with Katong. Just across the road, there’re (carpark coupon) parking lots behind the stretch of yellow-painted shophouses at 50 cents per half hour.

We entered into the café which was dominated in white and black. I liked the idea that the pop colours in the café would be the food we were eating. Ha. We chose to sit at the seats further away from the entrance where we were treated to live ‘performances’ within the kitchen! The full-length glass allowed us to watch the staff, including the man himself (chef Frederic Deshayes), in action. What a splendid way of telling us everything is handcrafted. And don’t be shy to return their smiles if they happen to ‘catch’ you watching them. Ha!

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

1) Quiche lorraine, $8 (above) – Wanting to try their savoury, we chose quiche over sandwiches and croque monsieur. And when I took my first bite, the very first thought that struck me was how fresh the egg was. I kid not. It just tasted very different, in a good way of course. I liked how they managed to keep a good balance between the egg and bacon. Vegetarian version was also available with a ‘quiche veggy’!

2) Apple tart, $5 (above) – With flavours like apple, bourdaloue (pear) and fruit available, we went with apple. I liked that there was another layer of minced apple filling under the top layer of beautifully laid caramelised apple slices. A must try.

3) Phitivier, $7 (above) – An enclosed pie of puff pastry and almond cream.

4) Salted caramel eclair, $5 (above) – These came out fresh from the kitchen. And yes, we are aunt-ish in a way where nothing could stop us from ordering items that’re freshly made! Especially if we saw it with our own eyes. Haha. And this certainly did not disappoint. The choux pastry held itself well and was crispy (instead of becoming soggy) although it was fully piped with cream.

5) Millefeuille jivara, $8 (above) – With milk chocolate being the main ingredient, this was pretty good. I liked the different textures where the blob of chocolate was smooth and creamy with the bottom being crunchy with nuts yet airy. Although my girlfriend mistook the bottom layer to be lao hong (漏风). If only the price could be adjusted to be more affordable. Maybe $6?

6) Latte, $6.80 (above)

So yes, we were impressed with what we had at Do.Main Bakery. I definitely recommend giving Do.Main Bakery a try.

I wanted to try their dough range of croissant, orange danish, etc, but we were too full. I don’t normally think of taking away when I am very full. Ha. So I guess I will definitely be back not just to try the other baked stuff, but to buy an apple pie (back) to share with my family too! =)

226 Tanjong Katong, Singapore
6348 1406, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Tues – Thur : 08:00 – 21:00
Ambience: 6
Fri – Sun : 08:00 – 22:30
Value: 6
* Closed on Mon
Service: 7