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Archive for the ‘restaurants’ Category

I don’t know about you, but my family loves Japanese food. Asher, especially, could eat it day after day. In fact, for his recent school show-and-tell on the topic “My Favourite Food”, he chose sushi!

The boys like picking plates off the conveyor belt, but you know how quickly that adds up right? So you can imagine my delight to find a place where all plates are $1.60. I thought to myself, even if the sushi is smaller than usual, at the rate the kids eat, it is still worth it.

2015-07-26 13.40.31

So I made plans to bring the family to Nihon Mura Express at Kallang Leisure Park.

2015-07-26 13.40.16

I’m no food expert, and I’m generally not picky with my food, but I really do think that the quality of the sushi at Nihon Mura Express was pretty good. I mean, probably not the high-end restaurant standard, but good enough for a regular meal, even a treat! I was pleasantly surprised to find that even though the amount of sushi rice per sushi was less than usual, the size of the fish on top was the standard size! That was great! We could try more flavours before getting stuffed! I suppose that is their plan too anyway, but it’s win-win.

Unlike regular conveyor belt sushi places where all the items are placed on the belt with no order whatsoever, here, the food comes in groups. What I mean is, all the appetisers will come first, then all the sashimi, then all the different types of sushi in their groups (gunkan, rolls, etc), then all the desserts. Initially I was wondering why they did that because then you’d have to wait for your group to come. But later on we realised that made things very predictable. You could eat what’s on the table first, and when the category you wanted came by you just look for the exact item you want.

I also liked how they kept the conveyor belt neat by having regular intervals of “stack me up” plates for the covers to be piled on. This probably makes it easier for them to pick up the covers for washing too.

At $1.60 a plate, the boys happily picked whatever they wanted (observing the rule that they had to finish whatever they picked), and I ordered all the sashimi I wanted. I’m sorry there are no pictures of food. We were all too engrossed with eating!

So engrossed that we ended up with 36 plates!

YUM!

YUM!

As we left, guess what I saw? A birthday offer. And oh my, what an offer. Basically, on the day of your birthday, and plus-minus one day (that’s three days in all), you only have to pay $1 per plate up to your age! My birthday wasn’t far away so I made a note to come back then.
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And we did! This time without Jon, but we still made it to 28 plates. And I paid a grand total of $28 plus tax on it!

The cashier told me of how the week before, there was a family of six that came three days in a row to celebrate their grandmother’s birthday. She had turned 82. They could only make it to 66 plates at the most, but what a deal. Three days in a row is a bit much, but hey, I guess they really love sushi. Or a really good deal.

I don’t know when the deal ends, but if you or your kids like sushi, and there’s a birthday round the corner, maybe you could consider going there.

The place isn’t that well known I think, so there aren’t any crowds to contend with. Parking is ample too. Perfect!

Nihon Mura Express
Kallang Leisure Park
5 Stadium Walk, #03-03
Tel: 6241-4260

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This is not a sponsored post. It’s just a good deal I wanted to share!

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This place is so new, I can’t believe I’ve been there before the word is out! It’s barely a week old and there hasn’t been any write ups on it. I’m not one of those cool types that keep up with the latest happenings and openings in Singapore. But this one I’ve seen almost everyday because I often drive down this street. From when it was just hoarding, to placing a logo, to the final reveal. I saw that it had something to do with a cafe, architecture and interiors, and my interest was piqued. Each time I drove down Joo Chiat I’d glance over to see if it was open yet. And on Monday I saw that it was!

Avenue

Avenue

Avenue is a cafe, store and office rolled into one along Joo Chiat Road. Opened by Quadwork Pte Ltd, an interior design company, the cafe tries to immerse you in design. Besides soaking in the design of the interiors, some of the chairs, lamps and cushions that decorate the place are for sale, and there is a corner featuring apparel and lifestyle products for purchase as well.

Inside the cafe

Inside the cafe

Alyssa liked that cat cushion!

Alyssa liked that cat cushion!

Coffee and cakes

Coffee and cakes

Clothes and lifestyle products for sale

Clothes and lifestyle products for sale

Renovation works are not complete yet, but the cafe part of the place is open. I popped in there with a friend today for coffee and a hot dog and left very happy with my meal. They have a limited menu but if the offerings are as yummy as the hot dog I had today, they’ll be fine. Aside from a variety coffee and cakes, hot dogs are the key highlight of their menu. There are just five flavours to choose from, and these are inspired by the cuisines from five countries – China, Singapore, Germany, Korea and Mexico. The Singapore hot dog is playfully named ‘Hor-Log’, the way it is often pronounced in Singlish. With the cute name, SG50, and going local being the trend, how could I not try it?

“Wan hor-log, pleez,” I ordered.

‘Hor-Log’ features a steamed hot dog topped with dijonnaise mustard, achar (pickled vegetables), sliced chillis, fresh onions, bacon bits and toasted peanuts. Who would have thought achar and hot dogs would make such a good pairing? But I suppose it make sense. Instead of regular pickles, use Asian style pickles.

Hor-Log

Hor-Log (pardon the blurry photo, I was holding a fidgety Alyssa and snapping the pic at the same time)

I really enjoyed it! They use a mild achar that is light on spiciness but still has a tangy twist. The flavours melded together nicely, making each mouthful a good mix of flavours and textures, without any particular ingredient standing out too much. Soft bread, light scrunch of the hot dog, crunchy achar, and firm bite of the real bacon bits; sweet dijonnaise mustard, spicy and tangy achar, savoury bacon and sausage. It’s not gourmet, but I think it makes good comfort food. I would eat this again.

And now I want to try the other hot dogs too!

The hot dog comes with shoestring fries, and I liked that they were crunchy (yep, I’m a crunchy fry person) and easy on the oil. Turns out they use an air fryer for their fries. I’m no coffee expert so I can’t tell you how the coffee compares to other coffees, but I liked my cup.

I will be back!

Avenue Cafe is found at:
454 / 456 Joo Chiat Road, Singapore 427667
Tel: +65 6779 7153

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Post note 13/7/16: I went back again several months later, only to be very disappointed. The hot dog and bun was not warm when it was served. Also, the shoestring fries were no longer served with the hot dog too! Instead of crunchy shoestring fries, there were cold, soft crinkle cut fries. I had brought a friend to try the place with me, and was slightly embarrassed that my recommendation flopped. Needless to say, I’ve not been back since. I’m not sure how the food is like now, but I do hope they went back to shoestring fries, and serving food warm.

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I’ve noticed a new place that has sprouted up along East Coast when I drive along the ECP. Well, maybe it’s not new, but it’s certainly new to me. I popped there one day with my ex-neighbour to explore a bit. It’s a stretch of cafes, restaurants, and bars, and even has a sports store and a laser tag arena. So many interesting places to try! I straightaway made a mental note to come back again with the family.

Just one of three stretches of shops at Parkland Green

Just one of three stretches of shops at Parkland Green

She highly recommended Bakery & Bar St Marc. I wasn’t too hungry as I’d already had a very early lunch since I eat with the boys before they head off to school. She ordered the Japanese curry, and I ordered a plate of truffle fries thinking it’ll be a snack size serving. Well, it’s a snack for 3-4 people! Wow, what a big serving of fries. Really great for friends. It’s even topped with two eggs and strips of ham and sprinkled over with grated cheese! A decadent plate of fries. But it serves it purpose as a snack very well. You pick and pick….I ended up almost finishing the entire plate! I didn’t ask how her Japanese curry was, but as she wasn’t raving about it I assume it was just ok. But she did rave about the chococro and made me promise to try it next time!

St Marc

St Marc

Truffle fries

Truffle fries

Japanese curry

Japanese curry rice

The laser tag arena called Tag Team Inc is suitable even for children as young as 4 years old. I’m tempted to bring the boys to try this haha! Will have to see what the hubby thinks first.

Parkland Green is at Area C1 of East Coast Park (just across the highway from Parkway Parade). There’s plenty of parking, but at night it gets full.

 

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After I dropped Asher in school for his sleepover, Ellery and I had our special day (or evening rather). He was playing in the sandpit and made me sand pies, so for dinner we decided to have some real pies at Pies & Coffee.

We had duck confit and wagyu beek cheek pie. The filling was good. The meat was tender and the gravy rich and flavourful. But I was really disappointed by the pie crust which was much too dry and crumbly. It could be an off day. I’ve been there once before and the pie crust was better.

Our pies

Our pies. The mash potato was so good!

We headed home so that Alyssa could bathe and I made a deal with Ellery that we’d go out for ice-cream after Alyssa slept. He was so excited! My goodness. When we left the house he was happily chanting, “Mei mei (little sister) is not here! Mei mei is not here!”. He did clarify later that he loves his sister but was just happy that it was him and me alone that night. I really should try to schedule in these special days with the boys more often if possible.

Ellery chose to go Ben & Jerry’s, and he chose the flavours of ice-cream, and the toppings. Brownie with Candy Bar Pie and Chocolate Therapy ice-cream, hundreds-and-thousands, and sliced almonds. I approve. Yum! We shared of course :)

Ice-cream treat!

Ice-cream treat!

After ice-cream we walked around Dempsey a bit and ended up at Jones the Grocer. I decided to bring him to the cheese room just for fun, and oh, how much fun we had! He was sooooo amused by the names of the cheese and was especially tickled by Munster and Ticklemore! I had never heard of Ticklemore cheese too and found it quite funny. But Ellery thought the names of these two cheese was simply hilarious! He laughed so loud, and long, and hard! “Mun-han-hahaha-han-ster!!! Ti-hee-hee-hee-ckle-hahahahaha-more!!!!”

We bought back some Ticklemore to try and wanted to get some Munster too but the salesperson strongly advised against it. Maybe another day I’ll get a small piece to let him try.

In the cheese room

In the cheese room

Munster

Munster

Ticklemore

Ticklemore

Laughing his head off

Laughing his head off

We wandered Cucina too to see the produce they were selling, before heading home.

Looking at veggies and fruit at Cucina

Looking at veggies and fruit at Cucina

A special day indeed. We should have another some time :)

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More on Tanjung Jara Resort in this post!

The Service

Attentive. Discreet. Classy.

That’s how I would describe it. And I firmly believe it is because of the excellent work done by the General Manager, Philippe Cavory. It’s really a case of leading by example. He’s everywhere! When we arrived he was at the lobby to greet us as we were served Tanjung Jara Resort’s apparently famous Roselle Tea. When we chilled out at the beachfront, we saw him walking the grounds, adjusting the bins and pinning back the curtains at one of the cabanas since he saw them out of place – no task too small or beneath him. At the little Malay cultural event, he was there to chat with the guests. And one afternoon when we were in the room, we received a call from the front desk saying that the GM wanted to serve us complementary wine and hors d’oeuvres. Wow!

Our surprise!

Our surprise!

It’s the little things that really leave an impression. Serving guests who were along the beachfront iced water on a hot day (all beach hotels should do this!), delivering our room service meal in record time when we told them the kids were very hungry, helping to carry my bowl of noodles back to the table when they saw my hands were full with Alyssa.

Activities

There’s a whole variety of activities to keep you busy at Tanjung Jara Resort. I’d have taken part in more of them if Alyssa wasn’t stuck to me since I’m still her milk bottle at the moment. For starters, I’d have visited the spa. The treatments sound won-der-ful. Oh well. We had planned to go for a hike as well, but the kids were having so much fun at the pool that we decided to just stay put.

We did get to enjoy the Kampong Sucimurni Lifestyle event which is held weekly for guests, especially those not from the region, to experience traditional Malay village life. There were little stations for guests to try traditional games, local snacks and drinks, and there was even a monkey climbing trees to pick fresh coconuts that are opened on the spot. The kids loved the snacks. Ellery, in particular, made hundreds of trips to the snack table to help him to more keropok (crackers).

Kampong Sucimurni Lifestyle day

Kampong Sucimurni Lifestyle day

Coffee, tea, and Roselle water (a type of hibiscus)

Coffee, tea, and Roselle water (a type of hibiscus)

Monkey picking coconuts

Monkey picking coconuts

There’s also an island nearby that’s a good spot for snorkeling. My brother and nephew went for a day trip and saw a reef shark, a turtle, lots of fishes big and small, tons of sea cucumbers, and Nemo, Nemo, Nemo.

Food

The breakfast buffet at Di Atas Sungei features a mix of Western standards and – the best part – local delicacies like nasi dagang (rice steamed with coconut milk in leaves). One of the mornings they served a soup made from pure fish stock that was sooo good. The freshly baked croissants are good too. They bake trays and trays of them. Philippe is French, so I suppose that’s why he ensures good croissants are available!

The food at Di Atas Sungei can be quite pricey for dinner though so we didn’t eat there at night. We found a wonderful seafood restaurant less than 5 minutes away from the resort that served up excellent food at cheap prices. Cheap and good – Singaporean’s love to hear that! Restoran Seafood C. B. Wee has been around since 1983 and is popular among the locals. Interestingly a lot of them come here to eat the Western food, but for all the 3 nights that we went there we had seafood.  I think we went through most their menu.

Restoran C. B. Wee

Restoran C. B. Wee

There were 8 adults and 6 kids (not counting the baby), so we really had a feast each night. Steamed fish, chicken, squid, lots of veg, small prawns, medium prawns, and giant prawns. I love prawns, but have never tried the giant ones before. It’s so much cheaper there than in Singapore. A single prawn sells for upwards of $25 at Newton hawker centre. At C.B. Wee, depending on how good the catch that day, you cold get a whole plate of giant prawns!

Awesome food. If you stay at Tanjung Jara Resort you got to eat here.

Just a few of the dishes we ordered

Just a few of the dishes we ordered

Look at the size of that prawn

Look at the size of that prawn

Overall, Tanjung Jara Resort if a lovely place to stay if you are willing to make the drive up. My brother’s friend who joined us drove straight from Singapore to Tanjung Jara in 8 hours, and he drives fast. If you do come, you can be assured of a relaxing stay with good service and good food.

Some of the kids

Some of the kids

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Was wondering around the Tiong Bahru area and stumbled upon PoTeaTo, a little bistro that’s tucked in a little corner with a pillar blocking your view of it.  It’s along the same stretch as the better known Forty Hands, and opposite Books Actually and Woods in the Books. I was looking at these other shops and nearly missed PoTeaTo. I only found it because I saw a man checking his phone, then walking intently towards somewhere then disappear.

PoTeaTo

PoTeaTo

The place is decked out in the now popular screeded concrete look, and isn’t exactly somewhere I’d describe as cosy, though it wasn’t un-inviting. I liked the space, especially since Forty Hands down the row is far from being kid-friendly. You don’t have to squeeze through a tiny walkway, and I actually saw a family with a stroller there. Good luck getting a stroller into Forty Hands. I never went back there after my first visit.

Inside PoTeaTo

Inside PoTeaTo

Anyway, about PoTeaTo. It was set up as a tea place to battle the dominance of coffee joints in Tiong Bahru. They have a tea time menu that I may go back to try one day. I was there at lunch and liked that they offer real, hearty food (again, not like the other one down the row…you can tell I really didn’t like that place huh?).

I ordered asparagus soup and bangers & mash. The soup was thinner than I expected,  but not thin on taste – which surprised me. I suppose it’s good for people who don’t like drinking heavy, creamy soups, though admittedly that was what I was expecting. The bangers & mash was great! Really yummy! There were three large sausages – one cheesy, one spicy, one plain. They were topped with a generous scoop of mashed potato and drizzled over with brown sauce. It was just the comfort food I was looking for!

Asparagus Soup

Asparagus Soup

Bangers & Mash

Bangers & Mash

If I’m in the area and pining for western fare, I’ll probably pop back in here again :) They offer brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and kid’s menus. Check out their menus online.

PoTeaTo is located at 78, Yong Siak Street, #01-18.

Opening hours:
Tuesdays – Fridays, 12pm – 10.30pm,
Saturdays, 10am – 10.30pm
Sundays, 10am – 9pm.

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