Category Archives: Western

Tippling Club

S, L, Z and I headed to Tippling Club for this month’s Spiffy Lunch. And spiffy it was!

2 of us opted for the 3-course set lunch ($57++) so that there would only be 2 desserts to share (for added info, the 2-course lunch is $42++). Even before the appetizers were served, we were treated to 3 small snacks, each a surprise in itself.

Snack 1: Tippling’s interpretation of curry

20140613-171110.jpg Curry (or actually more like Laksa) tasting creamy froth with rice krispies for crunch. Unique and interesting!

Snack 2: Charred red peppers with soy wasabi

20140613-171231.jpg This was my favourite dish of the whole meal! The crisp charred skin, the sweet soft interior and the salty soy wasabi contrasted and yet blended so perfectly together. The zen presentation was cool to boot too.

Snack 3: Freeze-filtered tomato gazpacho with basil

20140613-171358.jpg In short, clear tomato juice. A clean taste to cleanse the palate.


I had the Hokkaido Corn Soup.

20140613-171411.jpg The 3 scallop ceviches, with corn bits, popcorn(!) and basil puree were served soup-less in a soup plate – it was quite a pretty sight but I didn’t manage to snap a photo before the server poured in the piping hot creamy soup. Taste-wise, the soup was sweet and you get the occasional swirl of savouriness (possibly from the basil puree). It is not one-dimensional like most soups – the scallops were fresh and soft, the corn bits gave the soup some bite and I guess the popcorn was just a playful touch ;).

The other 3 had confit salmon.

20140613-171611.jpg Definitely a visually pleasing plating. Everyone gave it high praise.


Iberico Pork Belly was a straightforward choice for me.

20140613-171715.jpg The meat was super tender and flavourful with roast chicken jus (trust S to question what then happened to roast chicken, which no one had the answer to). The only frightening bit was that it was served on a huge bed of peas! Thankfully, they were unlike frozen peas and were quite manageable.

S and L both had the roasted barramundi (served in garlic soup). I had L summarized it for me – “crispy skin, very fresh, very good.”.

20140613-171803.jpg Desserts

First was the Dark Chocolate Coulant.

20140613-171855.jpg The centrepiece is like a magnum ice cream – dark chocolate shield with vanilla cream within – sitting atop a mount of Chantilly cream. The 2 side pieces were light, porous coffee wafers.

The other dessert was the Pear Tart 2014.

20140613-172032.jpg Extremely intriguing dessert and very hard to share amongst 4. The tart is literally pear shaped – it was a green gelatin-like coating (not exactly sure what it was) encasing caramel ice cream. A light and sweet dessert.

And just as we thought we were done with the meal, along came petits fours served on a metallic rack.

20140613-172210.jpg Dining at Tippling Club was truly a fun and delightful experience in culinary creativity – the interplay of taste/textures, the splash of colours and the combination of foods one would not ordinarily pair together – highly recommended!

20140613-172301.jpg 38 Tanjong Pagar Road
Open Mon-Fri 12nn-3pm / 6pm-late


Parsley & Thyme

R whisked me to the Kampong Bahru area last Friday in search of inspiration for a new blog entry. We went by Strangers Reunion which was crazy crowded, and then Waffle Slayer but waffles for dinner just seemed weird to me. Then we came to this small space with bold red walls, Parsley and Thyme. I was sold the moment I saw French Onion Soup topped with melted cheese on the menu.

20140505-110912.jpg I chose the set dinner ($38.50++) and R had the Prawn Aglio Olio ($22++).

French Onion Soup

20140505-111031.jpg Rich beef broth with chunks of caramelized onions, topped with a toasted crostini and melted cheese. It was very flavourful but slightly too salty.

Beef Cheek

20140505-111123.jpg True to the description in the menu, this was indeed “meltingly tender”. The mash potatoes and grilled vegetables were well done too. Thumbs up.

Prawn Aglio Olio

20140505-111206.jpg They ran out of linguine and R had to make do with penne. It was very garlicky and R really enjoyed it, though I think some chilli flakes would have given it a perfect score. I assume the tiger prawns were fresh and crunchy since R finished all 6 of them by himself, without offering me any (hmpf!).

Nutella Chocolate Mousse

20140505-111247.jpg Nothing too fancy – chocolate mousse served with crushed hazelnut praline (which was pretty tough-going on the teeth) and toasted hazelnuts.

It must be hard being in F&B these days. The food was good (definitely a few notches above average) but I don’t quite see us returning often. The dishes are not unique enough to draw us back and if we were to venture out, there are just too many new eateries jostling for attention.

61 Kampong Bahru Road
Open Mon-Fri 12-2:30pm, 6-10pm / Sat 6-10pm

Entre nous

Another recommendation by L… a French creperie… a melodious name like Entre-nous (but not like I knew how to pronounce it exactly)… and I was envisioning a giggly girly lunch with MissY and S over crepes and tea in a lavish and extravagant French boudoir setting. But I came crashing (albeit gently) down to earth when we arrived at this little simple space along Seah Street.

20140430-181226.jpg For first timers, the menu was quite hard to navigate as it is not one of those things where you instinctively know what you want (and the squiggly font didn’t help – maybe it is a sign of age). After some squinting and spying on other diners, we made our choices.

Gavrinis ($20.80) – avocado mashed with garlic and cream, roasted chicken

20140430-181335.jpg Cheese and avocado rank high on my list of loves, so it was a toss-up between the 2 ie. Gavrinis or La ouessant (see below). I chose this cos’ it sounded more unique and didn’t regret it one bit (or bite, hurhur)! The creamy garlicky avocado mash went well with the crispy crepe and the roasted chicken bits broke the monotony and gave more textural bite.

La ouessant ($21.10) egg, ham, emmental cheese and mushrooms with cream sauce

20140430-181520.jpg This was MissY’s crepe; she had her eggs scrambled instead of sunny side up. Pity – it would have been a cuter photo with the sunny side up peeking out. They sure didn’t stinge on the emmental cheese and it was cheesy. But overall, with the ham, the dish was too salty for me.

Stephan’s favourite ($20.20) – roasted chicken, wholegrain mustard and caramelised onions

20140430-181713.jpg Some of the dishes on the menu go by first names and we were guessing that they are names of the family of the owners, sharing their favourites. MissY had the brilliant idea of yelling out all the names to suss them out and had a giggling fit whilst I was more concerned with potential chaos as some fellas has more than one favourite and different dishes have the same name!

Back to this dish – the bite of the mustard with the sweet caramelized onions made this dish interesting. But the flavours didn’t all quite come together; I think I’m not with Stephan on this and would still pick the Gavrinis on my next visit.

Geraldine’s favourite ($14.90) – salted butter caramel, cooked apple and vanilla ice cream

20140430-181811.jpg Definitely a great dessert choice! Both MissY and I were initially wary of the thick goo coating the crepe fearing that it would be sickeningly sweet. But it wasn’t! It was more salty than sweet on the first bite and then the caramel-y sweetness came through later. The cooked apples in the folds provided further warmth and tartness and the ice cream gave it a icy cold and sweet contrast. I would recommend this!

Overall, a great place for crepes – huge variety, innovative ideas and some gems on the menu; but be warned that the prices are a little higher than other crepe places.

27 Seah Street
Open Tue-Fri 12nn-3pm/6-10pm, Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-6pm


I heard good things about Concetto, so when both S and I were “abandoned” by our hubbies for dinner, I dragged her, and subsequently L, to check it out.

It was really crowded for a Tuesday night; thank goodness they have 90 seats over 2 levels. The set-up is industrial-chic, with cement floors and long stone benches, and to add some quirkiness, there is a herb garden in the midst.

20140423-173712.jpg Their menu is divided into Earth (appetizers), Land (vegetables and meat), Seas (fish and shellfish) and Light (desserts).

We shared 2 appetizers – S said one looks better than it taste and the other taste better than it looks (can you figure which is which?).

Grilled Octopus ($10.90++)

20140423-173203.jpg Cold and rather bland, unless you pick a piece which caught the sea salt. Better if you eat the octopus together with the fennel salad and anchovy sauce.

Buffalo mozzarella ($8.90++)

20140423-173307.jpg Couldn’t quite tell that the buffalo mozzarella was supposed to be the star; it was more like a tomato bruschetta. I didn’t like that the bread was soaked through and soggy with the balsamic vinegar. The various bits also kept falling off the bread and the various tastes didn’t come together.

For the mains, presenting S’ “mee pok tah”, L’s “chee cheong fun” and my “porridge”! :-

Prawn Aglio (with tiger prawn and sakura ebi) ($10.90++)

20140423-173417.jpg Flavourful but super super spicy!

Pumpkin Fattottini ($7.90++)

20140423-173522.jpg This, to me, was the stand-out of the evening – innovative and unique. It was a huge stuffed pasta with pumpkin marmalade and brown butter filling. As you bite into it, the warm, sweet and buttery mixture bursts into your mouth. I will recommend trying this unless you are adverse to butter and/or pumpkin.

Crab Risotto ($12.90++)

20140423-173620.jpg The risotto was quite gooey, and I appreciate the thought to break the monotony with tiny bits of capsicum, crispy rice crackers, small pieces of baby kalian (disguising as cabbage) and crab meat. I enjoyed it but creaminess can get a bit “jelat” towards the end though. On hindsight, maybe we should have pooled our mains together to share out the richness.

Overall, a place with some interesting dishes. Worth a try!

The Cathay #01-11
Open 12nn-9:30pm


B and I were discussing steaks, and it somehow ended with a plan to go to Luke’s with him and S. It was a superb meal!

Prime ribeye “naked” style (400g) with confit garlic ($88++)

20140421-114508.jpg (1/3 of the 400g portion which they divided in the kitchen for us)

Ooooh, the steak… it was “melt-in-your-mouth” tender! It was perfectly done, seared on the outside and pink inside, with sweet iron juices oozing with every bite. I am salivating just thinking back about it. The side of confit garlic gave the dish a rustic and earthy flavour.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes ($47++)

20140421-114707.jpg This was S’ mains which she shared with us. (For those wondering, the steak was split 1/3-2/3 and non-meat-lover-S had the crab cakes to herself.) Another excellent dish, packed full of sweet crab meat.

Old Style Hash Browns ($20++)

20140421-114838.jpg We ordered this without knowing what exactly “old style” was – Macs’ style? Small round potato balls? It turned out to be rosti! Rosti is usually my “vehicle” for sour cream but in this case, it was good even without! Crisp on the outside, warm and creamy potato on the inside. Definitely a star dish.

Lobster Mac & Cheese ($26++)

20140421-115008.jpg The M&C paled next to the other dishes. It sounded like something I would love – pasta with cheese and cream, textured with ritz cracker crumbs. But somehow, the flavours were not intense enough and despite the crumbs, it was a tad mushy overall.

Double Fudge Chocolate Brownie ($16++)

20140421-115102.jpg Together with the peanut butter ice cream, this dish was power-packed with chocolate, nuts and overwhelming sweetness; a little too overwhelming for me.

Grandma’s Apple Pie ($16++)

20140421-115309.jpg I enjoyed this dessert better than the brownie – warm baked apple bits topped with maple pecan ice cream, and accompanied by freshly cut apple shreds.

Overall, an excellent place for steak but be prepared to spend.

20 Gemmil Lane
Open Mon-Sat 12nn-12midnight


We had a family dinner at Haveli and ordered quite a bit of Indian food, although their menu also features fusion western dishes.

Amongst 6 persons, we had 6 garlic naans ($3 each), 1 white rice (also $3) and 5 dishes to share. It took a little shoving towards the end but we managed to finish most of the food. The garlic naans were so-so, not quite garlicky enough and I think we would get basmati rice next time for more fragrance.

Mushroom Tikka ($12)

20140418-104729.jpg I never had this anywhere before. It’s nice! Button mushrooms with a salty chargrilled taste. I would order this again.

Bhindi Masala ($15)

20140418-104857.jpg I liked the ladies fingers as well; slightly crunchy and spicy. But check out the amount of ginger! Actually, ginger featured plentifully in many of the dishes which can be a little overpowering, leaving all the dishes with a similar lingering taste.

Kadai Prawns ($18)

20140418-105325.jpg I actually don’t remember much of this dish. It’s either I didn’t get to it or it didn’t stand out either way. R says the prawns were fresh but the gravy was not as intense as other dishes. But see what I mean about the ginger!

Butter Chicken ($15)

20140418-105426.jpg I would have preferred this slightly spicier; it was a tad too sweet. Even this had ginger hidden in the gravy!

Aloo Mattar ($12)

20140418-105957.jpg The Yeos were very excited about ordering this potatoes & green peas mix, sautéed with onion, tomato, garlic and spices. It was not too bad except I am not a fan of green peas.

Oh yes, we also had the cucumber raita ($6). It was more dilute than others I have had and also more expensive. I may skip this next time.

Overall, an ok Indian place that we would go back only because it is a stone’s throw away. It would also be interesting to try their western food.

384 East Coast Road
Open Mon-Fri 4-11:45pm / Sat-Sun 11:45am-11:45pm


I have a backlog of posts but I am skipping ahead with excitement to write about the fabulous food at Sprigs!

My ex-colleagues, (and N) and I have a fixed date every month to indulge in what we call a “Spiffy Lunch”. The term was never defined but it is our once-a-month splurge on a fancy meal at a new-ish restaurant where budget is not discussed. When our original choice was fully booked, we looked to Sprigs, a new restaurant at Purvis Street which most of us in the group haven’t even heard of.

S and N separately questioned jokingly if Sprigs fell within the parameters of a “Spiffy Lunch” given its reasonable pricing. But we (and I’m sure we speak for our wallets) concluded that price is not the determinant and I would say that the food at Sprigs surpassed some at fancier places. Service was also very prompt and the food was served quickly. The server was attentive and constantly topped up our water, which was flavoured with cucumber and (I think) mint (a thoughtful touch in itself).

For starters, I had pan-seared foie gras ($9.90) which was superb. It was a huge piece for the price. If I had to pick on something, it was just slightly over-seared at some bits.

20140414-181051.jpg L had the pumpkin carrot soup ($5.90) which was served with a wooden spoon and he insisted that the spoon should feature in the photo. Definitely a photogenic dish which was sweet and creamy.

20140414-181157.jpg N had the duck confit salad ($6.90) which he described as “nice, crunchy and not too salty”.

20140414-181301.jpg We also shared the truffle nori fries ($6.90) which wasn’t great compared to the other appetizers. I couldn’t really taste the truffle (although K did) and only tasted the seaweed from the fries which caught the seasoning. There were mixed reviews around the table but we think there were cheese flakes.

20140414-181354.jpg The mains was a no-brainer for me and I zoomed straight in for the beef oxtail stew ($16.90). A lot of time must have gone into the stew – the meat was super tender and the tendons reduced to gelatinous goodness. The base was not a thickened gravy more common with stews; but a more liquidy texture full of flavour from the meat juices. I would highly recommend this dish.

20140414-181454.jpg N and K both had the Confit Scandinavian Salmon ($16.90) served with cous cous and grilled zuchinni. The colours are very Scandi indeed. For those who do not or cannot take raw food, do note that this comes undercooked. The staff was very accommodating in re-cooking it well done for a very pregnant K though; no fuss at all.

20140414-181542.jpg S and L had the Thyme Roasted Boneless Chicken Thigh ($14.90) which smelt really fragrant and which I am sure tasted great cos’ both of them wiped their plates clean.

20140414-181644.jpg After our mains, N told the server that we will have 1 each of their desserts (there were 3 on their menu – $12 each) to share. We kept our fingers crossed that they didn’t have another 8 off-menu desserts and thankfully, only 3 came.

The chocolate slice and the crispy chocolate and caramel crumble tasted like variants of each other. Both with chocolate mousse with crunchy bits and some strawberries; except that the chocolate cake had an accompanying raspberry sorbet to add some tartiness.

20140414-181741.jpg20140414-181750.jpg The mango & passionfruit panna cotta was the only disappointment of the meal. It came with a coconut/almond-tasting biscuit base and the centre block of panna cotta was too dense. I ended up picking the aloe vera and mango bits on the top.

20140414-181852.jpg Overall, a great experience at reasonable prices and I will be back for sure! As N said, it would be a convenient place to dine before watching a show at the nearby drama centre – great idea!

20140414-181957.jpg 12 Purvis Street
Open 12-230pm, 6-10pm