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! =)

DO.MAIN BAKERY
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

Brunch @ The Hideout // CLOSED

October 27, 2014 in European (cafe)

It was by sheer chance that I was heading down to the East. And with a quick text, I managed to get my girlfriend (who’s stationed in the East) to join me for a quick tea break! =)

We came on a weekday late afternoon. It being a weekday, it was no surprise that the café was a little quiet. Occupying a corner unit, The Hideout is pretty spacious and has sufficient tables and chairs to sit 20 or more people. And with a clever use of an almost full-height mirror installed along one span, the café looks bigger than it already is.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Cake set (+ $3 for coffee) comprised of:-


(A) Red velvet lava cake (above) – We paid $3 more (on top of the cake price) to get a cup of coffee. If not, cake alone cost $6.50, or $8.90 with ice cream. We chose dark chocolate for our ice cream flavour. This was not too bad. And instead of the usual chocolate within the lava cake, The Hideout used white chocolate ganache.

(B) Latte (above) – Otherwise $4.80 if ordered a-la carte.

2) Salted caramel overload, $12.90 (above) – With salted caramel ice cream, biscuit and sauce. This was indeed an overload. A perfect choice for salted caramel lovers! If not, one can also order buttermilk waffle with choice of flavour for one’s ice cream. Ice cream was thick and smooth while waffle was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. However, I thought the waffle left a slight weird aftertaste, although my girlfriend did not taste anything funny.

With 2 cafes located just a block away within the Cassia Crescent estate, it’s inevitable that I would compare the two against each other. In terms of waffle, I would prefer the other. However, The Hideout attempts to be a one-stop-for-all by offering ice cream (Read fellow blogger MyFoodSirens‘s review on their ice cream) and savoury food like pasta and pizza.

Thus, if one prefers to have everything at a place, The Hideout will be the answer.

THE HIDEOUT
Blk 32 Cassia Crescent, #01-50, Singapore
6440 0971, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon, Wed – Sun : 12:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 6
* Closed on Tues
Service: 6

Brunch @ Three Years In A Balloon

October 1, 2014 in European (cafe)

“Let’s check out 3 Years In A Balloon”, texted my girlfriend. But after a few clicks on the internet, I realised the cafe only opens on weekdays.

And with that, I managed to pop by when (yet) another friend was able to drive over for a quick lunch.

Parking is definitely tricky. Carpark lots are only available in front of some shophouses. Not the entire stretch. And where carpark lots are not provided, most shophouses’ owners either parked their cars or put rubbish bins to prevent others from parking illegally and thus blocking their shop fronts.

We ended up parking at the private estate which is behind the stretch of shophouses.

The cafe impressed with its exterior. Three Years In a Balloon occupied a corner shophouse, and had its external walls painted black (Not too sure if it was painted by the previous occupier or by them). The cafe is easily identifiable with their large logo painted in white against the black walls. Entrance is a sliding door operated on a pulley system, instead of the conventional swing door.

Menu for savory was limited to quiche, pie and crepes (3 flavours). My friend went ahead with the lunch set menu which allowed him to choose either meringue or cookie for side, on top of his main. while I decided to go a-la carte.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Lunch set menu, $8.80 comprised of:-


(A) Main (above) – For main, we chose savoury crepe over pie and quiche. And we went with chicken ham & cheese as our flavour for the crepe. However, this was a shocker. I definitely did not expect the presentation to be what-you-order-is-exactly-what-you-will-get. No salads at the side. It was as though we were at a prata place where we ordered paper prata with fillings. Item was disappointing too. It was just sliced chicken ham (that’s easily available from supermarkets) and cheddar cheese thrown together.

(B) Side (above) – We opted for meringue which would otherwise cost $2 if ordered without the set.

(C) Drink – With option of soft drink, bottled water, cranberry juice or iced lemon tea, we topped up $2.50 to get a cup of latte instead.


2) Waffle with maple syrup & butter, $3.50 (above) – With only two quarters served, portion was still reasonable for it’s attached price tag. Waffle was crispy on the exterior, fluffy and light on the inside. Not too bad.


3) Lemon curd gateau, $6 (above) – The light sponge was countered balanced with a heavier cream that was more sweet than tangy.


4) Gianduja mousse & feuilletine, $6 (above) – With chocolate sponge in a milk chocolate glaze. This was really rich. However, the sponge was slightly… Hard. Am not too sure if it was because the cake was ;very) chilled or it had been on the display shelf longer than it should be.

5) Classic hot chocolate, $5.50 (above)

All in all, Three Years In A Balloon is not a place for getting the stomach properly filled with food. The portion of the mains were barely enough to fill up our stomachs. Which some may argue it’s a good thing cause that would give us much space for their desserts which were more generous in portion.

Three Years In A Balloon is definitely a desserts place. Which really is their intention as it’s stated in their Facebook that they specialise in decorative cakes. And that can also be seen where half of the unit is set aside for the kitchen, with glass windows for customers to witness baking process of cakes.

I say, skip the savoury and go straight for their cakes.

THREE YEARS IN A BALLOON
163 Upper Paya Lebar Road, Singapore
9236 7366, Website, Facebook
Overall: 6
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 6
Mon – Fri : 12:00 – 19:30
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
* Closed on Sat, Sun
Service: 6