We discovered Alfero Artisan Gelato quite sometime ago – it’s a gem of a place, quiet and conducive for having a cuppa or enjoying gelato. Housed at one corner of Marina Square, the gelato is quite simply, the best gelato I’ve eaten in Singapore – creamy, delish and consistent. I know some people like Gelateria Italia (now at Plaza Singapura and Bugis +) but the texture of the gelato is so chewy that it doesn’t even taste like gelato.
..but I already feel that it’s raining in my heart.
Love the ads below- if only girls looked like that all the time.
Perfect weather for a public holiday- I tried the food at Hummerstons, a stone’s throw away from Canele in Robertson Quay. Good food and atmosphere. Review for that as well as Pique Nique in Ngee Ann City coming up.
Mooncakes- Peninsula’s Egg custard mooncakes and their golden lotus paste with egg yolk are divine.Perfect pick me up for a slouchy day.
“Chef Pang WE LOVE YOU!!!!” (or so go the giggly girls who crowd around him go). At Chef Pang Kok Keong’s new pastry cafe, Antoinette, you’ll have an opportunity to say that to him if you’re lucky. We did (have the opportunity that is, not tell him we love him!) – the affable Chef Pang was stationed at the cake counter painstakingly and lovingly explaining each and every cake to us.
So it’s been a while since we’d seen Chef Pang (he left Canele Patisserie last October), and it was with great anticipation that we headed down to Antoinette for breakfast last Saturday (we didn’t manage to get a reservation but reached the cafe at 1015am and crossed our fingers, hoped and got lucky). To start, we had the Antoinette’s Breakfast (eggs / bacon / sausage / grilled tomatoes / pain de mie, and a choice of juice / coffee / hot chocolate and some mini viennoiseries). While I know of people who would scorn at paying close to S$20 for a breakfast, I thought this was really nice and good value. Sausage was succulent, bacon well fried, and the only thing we had to complain about the fry-up was that the egg yolks were broken (probably in the transfer to the plate?). The mini vinnoiseries came with a most delicious tasting clotted cream (or whipped butter – not sure), and together with the croissant (yes i know – heart attack heaven) was just to die for.We also had the Savoury Blinis with Bacon and Mushroom Ragout. Again, the bacon was great (by great, I mean lean-ish, but crisped up and not quite so salty), and the mushroom ragout was flavourful and had a slight sweetness (sherry or martini perhaps?). I didnt quite like the blini texture – slightly on the dry side, and I’d envisaged smaller blinis (though to be fair they never said “minis”). Overall still a nice dish with well-executed accompaniments.
The piece de la resistance (or pieces de la resistance) at Antoinette, however, must be the cakes and macarons. After all, Chef Pang IS the sugar (and macaron) daddy of the Singapore pastry industry. The macarons reminded us of (gasp!) Pierre Hermes in Paris – we had the Antoinette and the Grand Cru. The Antoinette revealed a berry centre, and married the tanginess of the berry well with the sweetness of the macaron shell.We also tried the Antoinette, which was an earl grey infused mousse with a (very interesting) raspberry coulis wrapped in a gelatin pouch on the top. This was a very nice balanced cake, with earl grey permeating each mouthful. It was not heavy on the palette and each bite reminded us of why we’d missed Chef Pang so much in the past few months!In the name of blogging (hurhur), we made a special trip down again this evening after work just to try more of Chef Pang’s new creations. We ordered the Chocolicieux and the Cafe Caramel Tarte. Unfortunately, we didn’t get pictures of either, but the Chocolicieux is a chocolate lover’s delight. A dense chocolate cake enveloping chunky hazelnuts and covered with a chocolate and nut coating, this looks exactly like a magnum icecream bar, and the taste of it will linger in your senses for some time (yes, it’s THAT dense). The tarte was equally delicious, with the caramel having a delicious burnt flavour with a hint of coffee that drags the caramel-ly flavours just oh-so-much-longer.
So that’s our review of Antoinette. A small little place with plenty of heart, and a great affable owner to boot. What more can you ask for? Suffice to say we’re COMING BACK! Chef Pang, WE LOVE YOU(R CAKES)!
30 Penhas Road (off Lavender Street)
Mon–Fri: 11am – 10pm
Sat: 10am – 11pm
Sun: 10am – 10pm
With the Japanese nuclear / radiation situation as it is right now, I’m guessing many of you out there are going to be hesitant about having Japanese food that comes from Japan. While I agree we have to be cautious about what we eat that originates from Japan, I hope that good Japanese restaurants (such as the subject of this review) don’t suffer during this period. To our Japanese readers our there (if any), ganbatte kudasai!!!
Now, on Hide Yamamoto, I guess amongst the foreign culinary stars that have opened shop at Marina Bay Sands, Yamamoto-san is probably (for want of a better word) the least “famous” of them all. After all, it’s hard to stand tall in the midst of giants such as Guy Savoy, Tetsuya Wakuda or the late Santi Santamaria. But I must say, the food at Hide Yamamoto is still very much up to par, and best of all, value for money.
At Hide Yamamoto, there are several seating areas, and are divided into the robata grill section, the ramen section and the sushi section. Greedy as we could be, foodsmithone and myself picked to sit at the ramen section because that was the way we could try food from all the various sections. We each ordered a set lunch, and supplemented the very ample portions with additional a la carte orders.
First up, the set lunches:
1) Special Set Lunch (S$38+++)
This came with an appetiser of Marinated Octopus and Salad, Tempura Moriawase, Char Siu Rice and dessert of Berry and Lychee Sorbet.
All the dishes (yes, including the sorbet dessert) were very well executed pieces of Japanese cuisine. Our particular favourite was the tempura, where the batter was crisp and crunchy, yet light and non-oily. It was easily one of the better tempuras we’d had in Singapore in a long, long time (Inagiku could learn something here).
2) Special Chirashi Set (S$38++)
This also was a good rendition of a Chirashi Sushi. The rice was topped with chunks of sashimi so fresh and smooth that they just glided down our throats. I’m afraid there just isn’t much to describe the dish by – it was overall satisfying.
As part of our attempt to sample the food since we’d come so far into MBS (I know it’s a sorry excuse), we ordered the foie gras skewer (from the robata section) and some sashimi to sample (it’s just not enough to try sashimi chopped up in your chirashi sushi unfortunately).
The sashimi, as expected, was fresh and simply put, YUMMY. I did however, wish they hadn’t served salmon in the sampler plate (not when the plate costs close to S$60). After all, you hardly see salmon sashimi served in a good Japanese restaurant in Tokyo for an omakase plate. But still, it was decent, and the tuna belly (chutoro) and the yellowtail / hamachi had just the right amount of fattiness. Paired with freshly grated wasabi (i’m a sucker for restaurants that use fresh wasabi), the fish was elevated to a higher level altogether. As for the foie gras skewer, the charring was just what we were looking for on the outside, but I guess the coals were too hot for the foie gras as the interior was way overdone – it lost the silky smoothness that one usually expects with well-cooked (!!! i.e. slightly wobbly) foie gras.
Overall, this was a meal that was perfectly value for money, and at S$38 per person for set lunch, I’d go back there in a heartbeat. Do recommend this place to your friends as well, Hide Yamamoto is really a gem in the mammoth building that is MBS. Don’t get frightened off by the fact that it’s on the 2nd floor of MBS amongst the other restaurants that will only warrant a visit on the most special of occasions, you should hopefully be able to find something that meets your budget (the ramen goes for under S$20) at the restaurant. If you do try this place out, let us know what you think, and whether you agree with our views!
10 Bayfront Avenue, L2-05 Casino Level 2, Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 7098
Mon–Wed: 12pm–3pm, 6pm–11pm
Thu–Sun: 12pm–3pm, 6pm–3am
I watched Before Sunset again tonight – the last time I watched it was in 2005, nearly 6 years ago. The strange thing was, you know how it’s such a good film that now having grown older, and watching it again, different parts of the dialogue resonate with me. I can identify with that loss of idealism, that recognition that what was once the infallibility of youth has passed us by. It was as though the younger version of me that had watched it with innocent eyes and marvelled “Oh so that’s what it’s like turning thirty and all”. The irony is though I may be soon down that road, I now watch it with new eyes and it feels somewhat despairing and depressing. Sometimes, it feels as though all your youth, you wait with bated breath for your prime, and then when you actually have it, it’s not all that it was made out to be, or all that fabulous. And time passes like Celine says, even faster and faster as you grow older. Watching it, it reminded me of how connections, real connections, with people are so hard to find. And all the more reason to cherish. How many people can you truly connect with in one lifetime?
Part of the wonderful aspect of the film is that the dialogue between the 2 leads is so natural and so affectionate, it feels as though you are listening in on what could be 2 soulmates’(or 2 very good friends) conversations. The concept of The One is absurd, but the concept that two ple could connect with each other so nicely, is not. When Celine was angry at Jesse, I could understand why she was angry – not at him, but at for having wasted all that time searching and feeling lost. When I was younger, I thought I found someone like that, but it turned out not to be the case. Age drove us apart.
Paris is captured beautifully – the city is beautiful, in spite of its service and hangups. The trees line the sunlit boulevards, the lovely cafes lining the trees, the smell of the fresh air, the space in the city. I was there last year, but cos of various reasons, my initial happiness of going resulted in some sadness, and I remember standing by the side of the road tears welling up.
At the beginning of the film, a journalist asks Jessie if the two of them end up together- he says “well, it depends if you’re a romantic or a cynic”. I am not a romantic, but I like to believe that Celine and Jesse having found each other again after so much time apart, would end up together.
“I want to remember how your face looks like now, forever.”
I have been in better moods. Just one week more- I can last this.
So touched, and so sad after watching Chomet’s The Illusionist.
20 March 2011, 7.37 pm
All the news over Chanel recently has been of the ad campaigns of Blake Lively advertising the Mademoiselle bag- however, what is really exquisite in my opinion, was Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2011 Haute Couture collection. For one, it featured jeans. Coco Chanel was famous for saying that girls should not be in jeans, but Karl Lagerfeld felt that this reflected what modern girls wear. His inspiration for the show was none other than Blake Lively.
The show featured clothes that for a haute couture show, looked surprisingly wearable. I love the pointed black heels with the plastic see-through ankle strap, the gorgeous black ribbon worn at the necks of the models, the skinny pants with buttons on the side carelessly unbuttoned, to the metallic sheen of the tweed to the beautiful usage of tulle. Everything was astonishingly elegant,graceful and polished. The girls looked ethereal.
Cedele is better known for its sandwiches, soups and salads. For a period of time however I decided not to patronize the stalls after the bad service at a number of its branches, made worse by the fact that after writing into management to give feedback I did not hear from them at all. This sentiment of poor, brusque service is lamentable given that the quality of its breads and expanding selection of sandwich fillings is a step in the right direction. They have also had Cloud 9 ice cream but it wasn’t until today that I managed to sample. Each cup is $3(4 cups for $12)and $2.80 if you add it to a meal. There’s quite a selection of ice cream n sorbets – mango tango, blueberry cheesecake, cappuccino almond, vanilla bean, mango sorbet, sea salt caramel, lychee.
I had the vanilla bean- the texture of the ice cream is smooth and creamy with the scent of vanilla coming through. It was however in my opinion a tad sweet and strangely chalky. Apparently the ice cream is eggless without trans fats as with the advertising for the sandwiches. Half decent if you want something cold to round up your meal, aside from the cakes.
Lanvin H & M Show
While snacking on rice crisps today, I watched videos of Lanvin’s latest collections and browsed its e-shop (only open to US customers) – and came across a NY Times interview of Alber Elbaz. He must be the world’s cutest designer. Elbaz has been credited with making clothes that women love to wear, and understanding why women want to wear certain things. I say his clothes also evoke this beautiful sense of effortlessness, as though you didn’t try too hard but look very feminine and polished.Most of all, he recognises fashion is about fun. I have a particular weakness for his things – the ribbons, bows, ruffles, and frills all thrill me.
Through the interviews, you can guess why he has that special touch. Such a cute man- particularly when he steps out onto the runway at the end of the H & M show to thunderous applause. When he said he never stops thinking even after leaving Lanvin’s studio, I thought of how he very nearly faded into oblivion after not being restored as YSL’s head, and how far he has come.
One of my recent acquisitions from Doorstep Luxury was a lovely necklace from Yazbukey Accessories.Yazbukey was created by two sisters: Yaz & Emel, ottoman princesses and descendants of Mehmet Ali Pasha King of Egypt. The world of Yazbukey describes a very playful universe, inspired by old musicals & Gershwin’s music, tales of La fontaine & Grimm, the movies from Hitchcock to Tim Burton.
One of my favourite pieces that I’ve been trying to get my hands on, is the Karl Lagerfeld brooch which is out of stock. Doorstep also has the Lady Gaga brooch, which is beautiful, and I wish I had the spare change to buy that. What I love about the accessories is that it reminds me of pop art: it’s not afraid to have a bit of fun, and can be so irreverent. The accessories play on references to pop culture, and pop culture icons. That tongue-in-cheek reference reminds me so much of Warhol and Lichtenstein.
Go to Doorstep Luxury to have a bit of fun too!
Can I just say that my current major major OBJECT OF LUST is this book clutch? It is oh so perfect for bookphiles like me.
Spotted recently on Diane Kruger at the Berlin Film Festival – it doesn’t quite go with her dress, but the clutch is Divine.
On an average day strolling through Orchard Road, you can count the number of brands represented in the form of handbags. One such ubiquitous bag is the Balenciaga motorcycle bag, which actually has been around since 2001, but is still making its rounds. Part of the reason is that the brand continues to unveil beautiful new colours(this Season’s spring/summer colours are a sight for sore eyes) and new shapes (they now have a tote bag). And there are also plenty of copies of the bags inspired by the BB (not such a good trend).
However, on the runways, you rarely see a Balenciaga bag in sight. The focal point is normally the clothes – after all, Balenciaga was better known as a forerunner in constructing clothes flattering to the women’s shape. This Fall 2010 however, new bags have been featured on the runway.
Looking at the bags, I can’t decide which is worse- the clutch that looks like it has a case of mumps, or the slightly garish mix of colours. The black and white clutch is fairly beautiful, but I still say the motorcycle clutches and bags are much more palatable. At least with the motorcycle bags,the knobs and the mirror and the tassels all made for an interesting mix.
One secret habit I have is poring through fashion magazines and editorials during lazy weekends (when I am not at work, or in the salons while waiting for the hairstylist to trim my hair). It’s a guilty habit I have, because I can be quite obsessive about buying all the different periodicals on the news stand. After some time, you realise that the editorials feature the same events in the Singapore circuit, but you do get the odd occasional interesting piece. As a remedy, I’ve turned to looking at street style blogs to see what people are wearing.
Photo Credit: The Sartorialist
Impossibly chic, and beautifully radiant – these street style bloggers have become the new reference points for style & fashion. While in the past they were relegated to their virtual domains, now street style bloggers are revered for their keen eye, and for their commentary. I have to say though that my favourite ones are still The Sartorialist and Jak & Jil. Both have a fabulous eye for colours that cuts across age, race, nationality. The Sartorialist features men’s fashion quite often, and genteel gentlemen in their dapper suits, but his photos always capture a certain radiance in his subject, or a certain sadness.
Photo Credit: Jak & Jil
Jak & Jil has beautiful close-ups of accessories, and inside shots of the runaway shows.
The street style blogs capture so much beauty and sadness on the streets- real lives in the making.
Now isn’t that far much more interesting than fashion editorials in the magazines?
With the new restaurants / celebrity chefs that have zoomed in on Singapore, Singapore’s a great place to be right now for food lovers like me (and hopefully you, that’s why you’re reading this). The (long awaited) opening of the remaining outlets down at Marina Bay Sands (there may be some more, I’m not entirely sure), drew foodsmithone and myself to DB Bistro Moderne one lazy Saturday afternoon.
Born in France, chef Daniel Boulud is probably most famous for his Michelin / NYT starred restaurant Daniel. He’s also put up a few more casual dining concepts around the world, and DB Bistro Moderne is one of such ideas that have come to fruition. Modelled after a French bistro, DB Bistro Moderne has a sleek interior (sleeker than most French bistros I’ve been to), with comfortable sofa seats providing a nice cosy feel.
Neither of us are huge brunch fans – eggs and pancakes are not really our kind of tea, so we were quite happy when we saw that they were serving a mix of the a la carte dishes as well as some brunch items.
We zoomed in first on the Original db Burger, described on the menu as a Sirloin Burger Filled with Braised Short Ribs & Foie Gras Served on a Parmesan Bun. They have a number of other burgers on the menu, but we thought we would try the “Original”. We were not disappointed. The burger was moist, and the braised short ribs stuffed inside the burger gave the patty a hearty, meaty flavour. It brought out the best in the sirloin mince, although I would also attribute the juiciness of the burger to the slab of foie gras which was stuffed inside the layer of short rib. I know of people who would probably say that the use of foie gras in the burger might have been a little wasteful (you really do lose that crunchy layer that one usually gets with pan fried foie gras), but hey, i’m not complaining about a little extravagance to keep the patty juicy (and not when it’s going at S$35 a burger).
At the recommendation of our server, we also ordered the Barramundi Grenobloise, which was accompanied by cauliflower, turnips, radish and topped with a brown butter sauce (I know the photo below suggests a sauce that is not browned butter – but it was. The dark purple sauce around the fish was a tart-ish sauce that went well with the vegetables). As barramundi always is, the fish was perfectly cooked and had a meaty flavour to it. While the dish on the whole was very well executed (and definitely not pedestrian in any regard), we were probably more enamoured by the juiciness of the beef patty in the burger that this did not leave as lasting an impression. The nutty flavour of the brown butter sauce however, was something that pulled the dish together for me.
The dessert course was, however, our let down of the meal. Being a little greedy that day, we ordered the classic Ile Flottante (which is a meringue floating in a creme anglaise base), the Clafoutis Tout Chocolate (which was really like a molten chocolate lava cake), and some warm Madelines. The texture of the meringue in the Ile Flottante was as it should be, and the apple confit was also pretty complementary. However, it looked (unfortunately) more like an iceberg had broken off and was floating in the sauce. The sauce had a strong armagnac flavour to it, which is probably something that could make or break the dish for each individual (in my case, I did not enjoy the heavy lacing of the alcohol in the dessert, but I’m sure there are others out there who would beg to differ). The chocolate cake was nothing spectacular – perhaps I’m getting a little tired of soft centre chocolate cakes – somehow I’d hoped for alot more. The madelines were a good rendition of the traditional french cake, and I can imagine that a basket of those warm madelines would be quite popular amongst a group of friends.
In all, it was a pretty enjoyable experience at db Bistro Moderne. I’d say that the price point of the restaurant is about right for a nice meal out (but definitely not for a everyday meal), and you can count on them to provide well executed dishes that won’t disappoint. While desserts did not seem to be quite their forte, it could well be that we’d ordered the wrong desserts. Given the good quality savoury items, I think I’ll be back there to give them a second chance on the desserts, and at the same time, perhaps slip in another Original db Burger?
DB Bistro Moderne
Address: 10 Bayfront Ave, #B1-48 Marina Bay Sands
Tel: +65 6688 8525
Noon to 2:30 pm
Monday through Friday
5:30PM – 10:30PM
Saturday & Sunday
11:00AM – 3PM
Daily 11:00AM – Midnight