8 reasons why you should visit a hawker centre at least once a week

Hawker centres are places close to the hearts of several heartlanders where you can find scrumptious local food delights which many restaurants and cafes are unable to provide. True enough, there may be food courts or even cafes which offer the same food choices as hawker centres but it is not always the food that matters. The ambience of the location count as well.

Laksa, Fried Kway Teow, Fried Hokkien Mee, Lor Mee, Chicken Rice and so forth are some of the food choices which top Singaporeans’ favourite list. If you would have realized, queues for local delights occur mostly at hawker centres and not food courts. What is the reason behind this? Consider the freshness of the food which are easily detectable such as seafood. Although not absolute, hawker centres are usually situated very close to wet markets where food hawkers get their food supplies from. In comparison to restaurants and cafes, food are usually frozen or kept for a few days. Of course, this is not to say that food hawkers do not resort to similar cost-effective methods, but there is a higher chance that food from hawker centres are fresher.

Compared to most restaurants that do not offer fusion of different cuisines, hawker centres sell a myriad of cuisines, including Malay food, to Thai, Indian, Western, Italian, Korean, Japanese and even Vietnamese food! You get to try out different types of cuisines at one go, that is if your stomach’s space permits. On the same footing, hawker centres are also definitely the best choice if your group of buddies cannot decide on what cuisine to have.

At a promotional price

Undisputedly, one of the main reasons why hawkers centre are ‘for the win’ is due to the obvious price differences. A plate of Fried Kway Teow, on the average, costs $3 while food courts sell them for $5. With a $2 saving, you can even get a decent cold drink from the drink stall at hawker centres and still able to save around 50 cents. Of course, the price differences attribute to the rental differences and environment. Unless you are budget-less, visiting hawker centres should be done at least once a week or even more frequent.

Hawker centres are favourite choices of many heartlanders who grew up in that area since young and who may be loyal and avid customers of their favourite stalls. Some of these stalls stay put in the same area for several years, passing down the ownership and management throughout the generations. Furthermore, the reason for such favoritism may be because certain creative hawker vendors include a different recipe or ingredient which cannot be found in other similar food in other locations.

If you are just looking to settle your dinner after work or may just want to satisfy your hunger with small bites, you need not travel down all the way to shopping malls or specific restaurants to do just that. Convenience is key to many customers and since hawker centres are easily accessible, this is the reason why you should cut your car some slack (saves petrol too!) and visit a nearby hawker centre. With that, why the need to travel down all the way to restaurants just for Hi-Tea sessions when you can now simply just head to the nearest hawker centres in your home clothes and slippers and not receive disapproving stares, and yet get to enjoy your favourite Dim Sum?

 

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As a coffee-addict to another, if you need some good ol’ coffee to keep your awake and satisfy your coffee-addiction, hawker centres is The One. They sell the best coffee and proven to be more effective in keeping one awake than coffee chains and cafes. And of course, it is much cheaper as well. ‘Cheap and good’ – why not? Never reject good offer, they would say.

If you are claustrophobic or simply hate to wait, hawker centres would definitely beat restaurants and cafes hands down due to the lesser crowd. Although there may be some queues at certain popular food stalls, with the variety of food choices, the situation is better than restaurants and cafes.

The last reason is pretty simple, because dining at restaurants and cafés is just too mainstream. Why follow the trend just for the sake of following and at the expense of your pocket? Are our local delights and hawker centres not Instagram-worthy enough? It is high time we show more support towards our local food because this hawker culture may soon vanish before you even know it.

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[Food Review] Victor’s Kitchen at Sunshine Plaza (Dim sum)

Aloha!

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, work has been crazy and that has sort of affected my mood to blog…

Not forgetting the minor breakouts I am encountering at this moment!

I seldom have pimples and when I do, it’s either I’m very stressed or am using some facial product that is not suitable for my skin…

BB cream isn’t my thing but recently, I switched to that just for the fun of it and it actually seems quite okay. The only concerns I have when using BB cream/liquid foundation is how ‘thick’ the layer will look on my face and how clogged my pores would be 😦

I’m not too sure if this is the course of my breakouts but I am not ruling out the possibility of the increasing work stress as well 😦

Nevertheless, today I will be reviewing on this dim sum place which the bf saw Dr Leslie Tay (ieatishootipost)‘s post on his Facebook page.

The place is located at Sunshine plaza (Middle Road) and is called Victor’s Kitchen.

I actually googled it (I love googling almost everything and anything!!) and saw some poor reviews on the customer service on Hungrygowhere.

Read below to see if this is really true.

What we ordered :

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Nemo’s porridge – $4.50

I thought the name of this porridge was kinda sad…? LOL. And yes I note the “‘s” which means it can actually belong to Nemo and not that we are eating Nemo….okay nevermind. #grammarpolice

Anyway, we chose Wala Wala porridge initially and chose Phoenix porridge after we were informed (rudely) that the former is out of stock. Then we were informed (rude again) that the latter is out of stock as well and settled on this Nemo’s porridge.

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Deep fried shrimp dumpling – $5

OMG, I didnt know this was so over-priced until now that I’m blogging about it. I didn’t check the prices cause the bf was the one who ordered (and paid, teehee!).

It was delicious no doubt but looking at the prices, on second thought, I don’t think it’s worth getting it.

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Char siew chee cheong fun – $4.50

 

The chee cheong fun tasted not bad but could be tastier though.

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Their signature golden egg yolk lava bun, aka liu sha bao – $4.50

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The mandatory picture of liu sha bao

Friends and reviewers said that their liu sha bao is awesome but I thought it was so-so. This could be because I didn’t have them immediately after they were served to us as I was struggling to finish the other dishes!

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Scallop, sausage carrot cake with xo sauce – $4.50

I read the review on this dish on one of the food blogs before heading down to actually have a taste of it myself.

To be honest, this was actually my first experience trying out the traditional steamed carrot cake. Be it steamed or pan-fried, they are both actually reddish instead of carrot…

Anyway, although it was interesting I actually prefer the usual pan-fried version.

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Victor’s King prawn dumpling – $5.00

I thought the skin was quite thick which isn’t really my preference. I don’t like it when one bite of it forces the prawn and skin to be separated from each other kind, you know?

Anyway, I’m not a fan of ha gao so….yeah.

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Tasty queen size siew mai – $4.50

Now, don’t let its name fool you. I didn’t thought of it as ‘queen size’ until I read its name now.

It’s not that gigantic and somewhat similar to the usual normal size.

Taste is quite yummy though.

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Iced coffee ($3) and Yuan Yang ($2.50)

Iced coffee tasted okay, cannot comment on the yuan yang because I didn’t try it.

But OMG, both seems quite pricey especially my iced coffee!! 😦

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Bird’s eye view of our super late lunch or early dinner, however you want to call it.

Now onto the customer service which I really place loads of importance and significance upon when judging and reviewing food and eateries.

I must say that, sadly, I have to agree with the reviewer’s view on the poor customer service.

When we first arrived at the small, unmaintained small shop, we were not served.

We were instead ignored when the bf told the staff ‘Table for 2’ and I was quite annoyed about that.

When the bf was placing his orders with the lady cashier (younger one), he remarked that she was quite rude as well, giving that nonchalant attitude. And when she had to come by our table to inform us twice for out of stock items, she was giving the same rude attitude as well.

However, I actually witnessed that the old lady was quite friendly towards the end and to other customers.

Could it be because they despise younger customers?

Whatever it is, my take is that they should improve their customer service quality as well as upgrade their shop, taking care of hygiene issues too.

Victor’s Kitchen

91 Bencoolen Street

Sunshine Plaza, #01-49

Singapore 189652
T: 98382851

Mon-Sun:   10:30am – 8:00pm

Open on public holidays.

Overall rating :

3 stars

 

*A more accurate rating would be 3.5 but I dont have a pic for that 🙂

[Media Event] Brunch Food Tasting Session @ HotelRe! @ Pearl’s Hill

hotelre

With its eye-catching and vivacious colours and branding, Hotel Re! should not be unfamiliar to most of the youths.  Hotel Re! is a modern retro themed boutique hotel that is designed with psychedelic furnishings tempered with a sleek modern touch. With numerous themed boutique hotels in the metropolis, this 12-storey, 140-room boutique hotel is a wondrous surprise waiting to be discovered!

What is also interesting about this hotel besides the fact that they are 100% non-smoking hotel, is that each floor in this boutique hotel has its own colour theme and all the rooms on the floor resonates with the designated colour and décor. So for example, if you are a huge fan of PINK (I hear you ladies!!) you may put in a request and the friendly staff at Hotel Re! would always try their best to accede to your request! 🙂

You may want to read up more here and for those looking for hotel venues to hold your wedding or any other events, do check out their affordable rates and packages here!

I was very privileged to have been selected as one of the five bloggers to attend the media event held by Hotel Re! to introduce their new weekend brunch menu. What is even more exciting is that I am also endorsing one of the dishes in their new weekend brunch menu! 🙂

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This is their new Brunch menu offering scrumptious dishes all crafted out by Chef William Ang!

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A little brief background information on Chef William Ang :

  • 40 years of professional culinary experience
  • President of Society of Professional Chef, Singapore
  • Cooked for His Excellency, President Mr. S.R. Nathan at Singapore Turf  Club
  • Guest Chef for Golden Age cooking TV serial in year 2009
  • Chief organiser of Singapore record-breaking event for Singapore’s Longest Satay held by KopiTiam Group in year 2007

There are 5 different brunch dishes as shown in their menu below.

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Here are the 5 dishes taken close-up :

1. Classic Breakfast – This classic breakfast features the full range of must-have English breakfast items like the golden hash browns, chicken sausage, baked beans, toasted chef’s choice bread and crispy turkey bacon. Sautéed portobello mushroom and cherry tomatoes at the side.

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This yummilicious brekkie dish is humbly endorsed by yours truly, tee hee! 🙂

I love the classic breakfast! Even when I’m out for brunch at other cafes, I would always 99.99999% choose this dish without fail because it contains all the ‘essential’ breakfast needs, thus I am elated to endorse this dish because it’s just so ‘me’! 😀

2. Salmon Bagel – Give in to your temptations and indulge in smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, grilled tomatoes, mesclun salad all perfectly encrust in a tasty toasted bagel with homemade zesty lemon cream spread.

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Slipper Lobster Croissant – Nothing is short of premium when this delicious croissant is generously filled with a mix of grilled slipper lobster tossed with chopping celery, chive, tomato in Japanese dressing and tobiko. Accompanied by truffle fries, this is an irresistible and elevating dish!

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Egg-citing Benedict – This is no ordinary dish. After countless weeks of experimenting and perfecting his recipe, Chef William promise that you will be back for more of these poached eggs resting on toasted English muffin base, topped with a generous serving of turkey ham or smoked salmon, sautéed mushroom and grilled baby tomatoes and mesclun salad.

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BeRe!Licious Pancake – Attention all berries lover! Do not miss this mixed berries compote drizzled with chocolate and strawberry sauce. Not in the mood for chocolates? No problem. Opt for butter and maple syrup for a healthier choice!

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Just by looking at these pictures, I bet you are already salivating and cannot wait to try them out right?

Now, here is the real deal!

Always placing affordability as one of their priorities, Hotel Re! is now offering these promotions!!!

Enjoy 50% off brunch items on the first weekend of our launch (6th and 7th Sept) and 20% off brunch items for the subsequent weekends in September.

After September, quote any of the endorsed bloggers name (Jean, Sharmaine, Cherie, Eileen, Daphne) to continue enjoying the 20% discount too!

Re!Fill Restaurant serves no pork and no lard.

For F&B Reservations:
Call (65) 6827 8226 or Text us at (65) 9111 7137
Email fb@hotelre.com.sg

Terms & Conditions Apply.

Don’t forget to check out their Facebook Page for more updates and other promotions too!

[Food Review] Dolce Tokyo x Paris Baguette @ Bugis

Last Monday during the Public Holiday, the bf and I met up with my bestie and her bf for a double-date to celebrate her bday!

I got the bday girl to choose the venue for dinner and boy, I am glad she made the right choice!

These were what we ordered :

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The bestie’s pancakes with eggs benny!

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Her bf’s chicken creamy pasta

 

 

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My very yummy smoked salmon with roe in spicy aglio olio flavour!

 

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The bf’s baked seafood rice

 

 

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We ordered a large pizza to share and by topping up $2.50 more, you get to enjoy 2 flavours!

I can’t describe how much I LOOVVVEEEEEEEEE my smoked salmon so much s0 that even my bf loves it because he kept eating mine!!! >=[

Anyway, I thought the food at Dolce Tokyo was great but their drinks were…

I ordered Cold Azuki and it wasn’t that nice because too much milk was added, and the bf ordered a cuppa Hot Macha which was rich in its green tea flavour but not to our liking. And I forgot to snap pics of the drinks because I was busy savouring my yummy pasta…heh.

Because we were intending to drop by Haji Lane to try out rainbow cake but couldn’t due to the Public Holiday, I felt that something was still kinda missing even after dinner.

So to satisfy my craving for cakesssss, we settled at Paris Baguette at Bugis Junction.

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Cheesecake, Haha cake (It’s really called as that!) and Crepe cake. Sorry I can’t remember all their names 😦

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Look at the yummy sides!

 

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The coffee-addict bf’s hot mocha which the staff at PB forgot about until we reminded them…

The cakes were quite delicious, save for the cheesecake because I’m not a cheesecake fan! The hot mocha was quite rich in flavour too! 🙂

What is a bday celeb without peektures!

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13 years of friendship and counting! ❤

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I love this photo of us! 🙂

And my casual OOTD for that evening :

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OOTD

 

Top : Womanbusy

Bottoms : Online

Bag : Michael Kors

Shoes : Online

Womanbusy is a newly established online shop which offers myriads of variety of gorgeous apparels to women.

Check out their website to view their 1st collection.

They will be launching their 2nd collection tonight, 1st Aug 2014 at 8.30pm!

‘Like’ their Facebook page for updates and promotions! 🙂

Enjoy special prices at 25% off ALL items with FREE REGISTERED POSTAGE when you shop with Womanbusy

Just enter the code ‘JEANGAN’ when checking out your items from your shopping cart 🙂

The 7th Cylinder Cafe at Jalan Pisang (near Haji Lane)

Last Saturday, I brought the bf to this awesome cafe called ‘The 7th Cylinder’ which is unlike most cafes, the7C is more masculine-inclined.

How so?

Just take a look at their concept and design, and you would understand what I mean.

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And as for the food…

I got this cuppa of hot cappuccino for only $1!

All thanks to Sugar, and it is also because of Sugar that allowed me to discover more cafes and many other wonders in life…

Read my previous blog post to find out more about this awesome app : http://blog.myfatpocket.com/jeangan/cafe-hopping-drurys-lane-department-of-caffeine-x-sugar-app/

 

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The bf’s hot latte~

 

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Don’t you just love their coffee art? It really enthralls coffee addicts like me because it’s so different from the usual ‘leaf’ coffee art design… 🙂

The bf’s Aglio Olio, it’s quite spicy actually so if you can’t take spicy food well, do remember to put in your request for less spicy!

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The formidable ‘Class 2A Breakfast’ – what a cute name, isn’t it?

This has got to be one of the best scrambled eggs I’ve eaten…and everything else tastes so good! 🙂

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And we were pretty much walking around Haji Lane to look out for more cafes to try next time. Initially, we wanted to cafehop but our tummies didn’t barge and we were hoping to catch a movie or something, but didn’t due to availability 😦

Here is our mandatory #OOTD shots at Haji.

Photo: Strolling on a lazy afternoon.<br /><br /><br />
#hajilane #blackandwhite #favouritechillsground

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Weekends fly by when you are having an awesome time, especially with your loved ones.

1 Jalan Pisang #01-01
Singapore

Cafe-hopping (Drury’s Lane & Department of Caffeine) x Sugar App

As I’ve mentioned previously, these few weeks have been and will be a very hectic period of time for me, but thankfully, I managed to find some time to meet up with the primary school buddies! It’s been 15 years since we were friends and only recently, did we get back in contact with one another. We are actually hoping that more of our ex-classmates would be keen to join us for regular meetups and all but well…I guess it may be awkward since most of ur have lost contact for the longest time!

Anyway, we went cafe-hopping and since this is like the ‘in’ thing currently, I suggested it to my friends. We didn’t really hop-hop because we only ‘hopped’ 2 cafes on a day. But well, at least we tried 😀

Some of you may already have known that I am one of the Brand Ambassadors for this very awesome phone app known as ‘Sugar‘. Don’t worry, my role is no where near sales per se but only to promote and create awareness of this app. I’m not saying this only because I’m their BA but it’s really really cool.

What is Sugar about?

This App helps you to seek awesome cafes, restaurants and even lifestyle outlets such as beauty salons, dance classes, music classes and even self-defense classes! And to encourage you to constantly try out new things in life because you only live once, Sugar provides an incentive whereby you can try these new stuffs at a lower price than usual!

How do you go about using Sugar app?

1. Download the app – search for ‘sugar’ or more specifically, ‘wewantsugar’ in your App Store.

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2. Register an account using your mobile number. This is how they identify the user as you would need to use your mobile to redeem your orders.

3. Key in the OTP code and you’re done!

You will receive free $10 credits upon download and will be able to receive more free credits when you top up!

4. Start using the app by searching what’s nearby by ‘pulling’ the page downwards to refresh and for the App to check your location (please remember to allow and approve this function)

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5. If you would like to search for a particular location, click on this and type into the search box and click ‘go’

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6. Click on this button to ‘skim’ the price. You can use the usual price beside the selling price on Sugar which is in grey and stuck off.

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After ‘skimming it’, the button will change to a blue one and this is where you get your friends to join in the fun and help to skim the price!

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Please note you may only reduce the price for that particular item once a day.

You may choose to buy the item after you and your friends have skimmed or wait till the lowest price available.

If the item has reached its lowest price, it will show it as the picture below and there will be a ‘pop out’ notification to state that the item has reached it lowest price for the day.

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You will also be notified should the item is sold out for the day.

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7. If you would like to only search for yummy food, click onto the top left hand side and there would be a drop down menu which you can choose your preference.

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8. Check your cart for your orders that are pending, purchased or purchased

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9. View your settings for your account balance, FAQS etc

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Your user name would be the mobile number which you used to register the account with.

How to top up your credits?

10. Click on ‘Account Balance’ under the ‘Settings’ page and choose your preferred amount. As mentioned, you will be able to receive more free credits when you top up!

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After which, choose your preferred payment method.

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11. Please ensure that you have read the terms and conditions before purchasing as some orders may only be redeemed at specific timings/days. The address of the merchant will also be stated on the same page.

You may consider making reservations to prevent disappointment as some of these outlets are really popular!

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12. Schedule a date with your buddies and head down to redeem the item by just informing with the staff that you would like to redeem your order. The staff would have prior knowledge of what to do. All they need is to key in their merchant code to verify the order and tadah, you can just sit back, relax and enjoy your food or lesson!

On top of that, there is a Sugar event tomorrow, 8th July, held at Mariko’s which you must come…!!!

Photo: In just 8 days from now, Sugar will be hosting the most epic private event of 2014 - featuring a full Nyotaimori presentation! Tickets will be available exclusively through the Sugar app from tomorrow. Download Sugar at www.wewantsugar.com to ensure you don't miss out!

Named after Mariko, a fictional prostitute by Tatsumi Yoshihiro, the Japanese inspired bar-restaurant is a homage to Jiak Chuan Road’s seedy past as a former red-light district. Echoing the tongue-in-cheek concept, Mariko’s bar-favourites include cheekily named cocktails, The Wife and The Callgirl Martini.

This event is Sugar’s ultra-exclusive launch which will be held on the 8th July where you will be able to literally eat sushi off the body of a gorgeous model! Get ready for a full-frontal assault on your senses, including a feast for both your eyes and palate!

Photo: Four more sleeps until the launch event of the year. The guest list is oversubscribed three times over. Have you got your tickets? Download Sugar at www.wewantsugar.com now!

How to get those tickets? Simple, by just downloading Sugar app! But be quick because tickets are selling out like hot cakes!!!

I will be there so I hope to see you there as well! 😀

***

So, as I was saying about cafe-hopping yesterday, I managed to snag a very delicious ‘Brekkie in a Bowl’ at Drury Lane for ONLY $2.00!!! The usual price is $12!!! So that’s like what, $10 difference?!

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I must say that although I got it at only $2, the portion and quality was not compromised. The service was awesome as well! 🙂

My friends both had this :

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And their drinks :

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While I had a cafe cappuccino :

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Overall rating :

4 stars

***

I’m sorry this is such a lengthy post, but on to my next cafe review!

We proceeded to Department of Caffeine next after one of my friends recommended and because I’m such a coffee addict, I chose this 0ver another cafe called ‘Restore’.

Please note that this is not on the Sugar app.

All the cafes are actually located very close to one another, along Duxton Hill/Tanjong Pagar.

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Now, what did I tell you about the severity of my addiction? :O

The cafe mocha was great and quite chocolate-y and because my friends were quite full from the food they had at Drury’s, I ended up snacking alone… #FAT

I had Fried Dory for finger food…I thought this was quite exp as it costs $8 for 4 fish bits…?

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The place is quite small and the service was okay. Except that they told us that their kitchen closes at 6pm and their cafe at 7.30pm and they were sort of hurrying us to finish up. I wasn’t even done with my last fish bit and the waitress actually wanted to clear it already, which made me quite pissed.

The mocha was great but maybe be a tad too chocolate-y and the fish had uneven batter as in some parts were saltier than the rest.

Nevertheless…

Overall rating :

4 stars

[Food Review] Spizza @ Katong

I brought the bf and treated him to Spizza for his commendable exam results recently at the Katong branch. I have been wanting to introduce this awesome eatery cafe because I enjoyed myself there previously with my ex-colleague and ex-boss, who treated me for my farewell lunch but it was at the Jalan Kayu branch.

We made a reservation for 2 and headed down for a TGIF dinner that evening.

These were what we ordered :

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We wanted to order 4 initially but the bf is a chicken-wing lover and so we ordered 6 and totally regretted…Not tasty at all!

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I had carbonara previously at the Jalan Kayu branch but chose this mushroom and chicken pasta, which was quite tasteless 😦

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I can’t remember the name of this pizza (Spizza name their pizzas after women’s names…) but includes sausages, mushroom and I recall that the sauce base is spicy.

 

Sad to say, I was extremely disappointed with the taste and quality of the food at Spizza at the Katong branch. Totally embarrassed me in front of my bf although there should be nothing to be ashamed of since we are such a close-knitted couple…but still! Gosh!

Perhaps the only saving grace was the pizza which tasted the best and their customer service was quite awesome (staff taking initiative to pull out another chair for us to place our bags and another chair to place the pizza due to space constraint), but still, we left the cafe devastated, especially myself.

My take is to dine at the Jalan Kayu branch. The Katong branch seriously need to reflect on their other dishes other than the pizzas.

Spizza East Coast

217 East Coast Road
#01-01 Tides
Tel: 6440 8300

Overall (Katong branch) :

1 star each for Customer Service and another for the pizza.

1 star each for Customer Service and another for the pizza.