Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jones the Grocer, PS Cafe@Dempsey, Starbucks@ Cathay, MOS Burger@Plaza Singapura, Ice Monster, Saybons

All in one day!

This must be the most enjoyable day amidst the disastrous exam self study period - my best friend Kels and I had so many gastronomic triumphs today (wish there were more academic ones though =P). An intensive exam period is an even better excuse for good food!! Then we have all the energy to fight on O&G - we need all the energy we can get. I think this must be the post with the most eateries in one post - since i prefer to post my gastronomic feasts in a day all into one post =) and it was actually quite spontaenous, we didnt actually plan to conquer at least 3 eateries that I wanted to try (Jones, PS Cafe, Saybons) but somehow through some circumstances we covered many many places in our bid to keep our burning (hopefully brain) metabolism. And i feel a great sense of accomplishment typing out this post than finishing many many oral topics today. Oral exams are a nightmare I really cant imagine final year examinations man.

Anyway, my mouth was really busy today swinging between getting rewarded with good food and getting tortured practising orals

But my best friend made all the difference she is the best company I can ever wish for xoxo

There was some strange coincidence - Today was really dessert overload we had 3 desserts with mango in them with different permutations and combinations with other fruits and flavours (although in total we ate more than 3 desserts)and we had at least 3 scoops of vanilla icecream with black vanilla pods in them (although in total we had more than 3 scoops of icecream). And it was also a caffeine overdose since I was supposed to stay away from coffee (though I Missed my Americano from Starbucks!) cos I dun wanna ruin my nicely polished teeth from my recent dental visit (sigh) – I realise my mantra of restricting my behaviour doesn’t work and hopefully my resolve to stay away from swimming after a hair job diminishes soon =P

First up, we zoomed to Dempsey to try out the breakfast at Jones the Grocer (sorry short I got there first without you!). As I said before in my Riders Café post im so not a breakfast person so if not for the OSSE exam today I will never make it to the breakfast here (breakfast is served till noon on weekdays and 3 pm on weekends) – yeah even weekends cos I wake up very late afternoons if I can help it.

the very cold cheese room at the far end

If you noticed, the tables at Jones actually promote communal eating with the long long tables but the tables were unnecessarily big (for what? Not as if your portion size of the food is humongous) such that if you sat across your partner you will still be quite a distance away. Ie. Not a good dating place. But real interesting to people watch. Me and Kels had such a good time seeing many many young couples and their cute little curly haired kids running around. Many expats here as well, and many ladies – there were 3 menopausal-aged ladies who sat in a row in front of us (Kels and I sat beside each other at a table for 6) and they were talking about baking baking baking and collecting baking tins at Holland V later (I suspect it’s the one at Chip Bee gardens!) Haha when will my life ever revolve around cooking and baking a la domestic goddess Nigella Lawson?

But if I were to look like those 3 ladies….


alrights anyway looking down more closely of an eye candy of the menu...everything sounds so good right! this is the breakfast menu available till noon only. After that, there is a different menu for lunch - tapas, starters, mains and desserts.

It didn't take us long to zoom into the options of the coconut pancakes and the poached eggs on sour dough bread with smoked salmon.

Coconut Pancakes with fresh mango slices and palm sugar syrup + jones vanilla bean icecream $12.50
The pancakes had more of a cake like texture than a fluffy pancake – and I prefer my pancakes fluffy like the pancakes at Riders' Cafe. The pancakes here were thick and floury and I couldn’t detect any coconut taste in it! They served the pancakes with a scoop of vanilla icecream (with vanilla beans – yes this is the start of the many many vanilla bean laden icecreams =P) as well as mango slices(1st mango-containing dish of the day too), and palm sugar syrup. There was no butter so we had to request. And! There was no maple syrup!! The palm sugar syrup was tainted with a cinnamon flavour and scent but I liked it that way, though Kels prefers the more traditional maple syrup. This makes her miss the hotcakes at Macs (and makes me miss the pancakes at Riders haha). I almost asked for whipped cream but I didn’t!
Poached NZ eggs on toasted sourdough+smoked salmon, asparagus, Jones' Hollandaise sauce $14.50
the portion was miniscule for the price! Taste wise it was quite an interesting touch of Hollandaise sauce which was quite salty – and there was some black beans which were extremely salty. But overall the sandwich was average, nothing much to complain about the nicely smoked salmon and the perfectly poached egg which burst nicely all over the bread. How come the smoked salmon bagel looked so good on Camemberu’s blog!!
I would say that I prefer the breakfast at Riders Café though. At that time, my sister and I tried almost the same items and for a slightly cheaper pricing, Riders Café food was actually much better in terms of quality, variety and quantity.
Affogato $4.50
2 shoots of expresso topped up with vanilla bean icecream (2nd vanilla bean icecream of the day) provided the needed caffeine boost for the unexpectedly long day out.
we walked around the store and saw many many candies and chocolates and home made icecreams and sorbets. They sell gourmet chocolates like Prestat and Amadei as well.

but what truly attracted us were the very cheerfully colourful cupcakes! And the humongous scones and muffins.
and of cos the fudges. We almost wanted to try the rocky road but we decided to adjourn to PS cafe for desserts!
This is another place to chill – I realise Dempsey is quite the place to just leisurely spend your day with a magazine, with some close girlfriends for a quiet afternoon together. It was not too crowded everywhere on a weekday afternoon, and best of all the parking is ample and free. Although the PS parking was slightly further away cos you’d have to walk across this wooden pathway to the bungalow where it is situated. And you would have to park under some trees alongside the road (parallel parking) and there was a warning sign to beware of falling branches. Yes I fear for my car.
PS Café actually serves only desserts during its tea time and it actually closes at 545 pm for tea. It opens for dinner later. They do not take reservations – only walk in, and another senseless rule is that each person must make at least one order.

the alfresco dining area
but of cos aircon was important for us (remember our burning metabolism) so we opted for the comfortable woody indoors

we sat next to a Christmas tree (and we were tempted to use the lone power point supplying the power for the christmas lights - my laptop no batt!! - but of cos the ever considerate us didnt=P) the birds actually had real feathers and there was a genius which placed the tree under a fan so it was as if the birds' feathers were ruffling in the winds (and us being totally morons sitting under the cold fan with the wind blowing all the dust to us and our food) but when we asked them if they could switch off the fans they kindly obliged.

So we ended with 2 cakes – the banana mango crumble was highly recommended by short. We wanted the double chocolate blackout cake but due to its massive nature and we might suffer a massive sugar crash later we decided to opt for the more manageable chocolate pecan pie which we enjoyed a lot. Other options we considered were their signature desserts - the ginger pudding and the key lime pie - maybe for another day when we are feeling more adventurous. We need comfort food like CHOCOLATE!
Chocolate Pecan Tart $12.90
Had a lower fudgy layer and slightly chewy upper brownie layer with plenty of chopped up pecans in the pie as well as toppings of whole pecans. Except for the hard pastry (I prefer flaky pastry like the chocolate tart from Laurent's) we really enjoyed the tart very much. The chocolate wasn't overwhelming, it was sufficiently dark and the nuts added much crunch to the gooey chocolate layer and chewy brownie layer!
Strangely we didnt spot any vanilla bean speaks in the vanilla icecream.
But in the next dessert.....there were vanilla beans in the vanilla icecream! Why the discrepency??
Banana Mango Crumble $12.90
When I first ate the crumbs at the top i was really impressed by how crunchy it was - the freshly added biscuit crumbs went very well with the sweetened and soft mango and banana slices. (after a while we couldn't really differentiate between the mango and banana cos they were both yellow and mushy and sweet and tasted the same ) But good recommendation, short! 2nd dessert of the day to have mango slices, 3rd dessert of the day to have vanilla bean icecream. This dessert raised cravings for that goreng pisang (and fried cempedek!) from Bedok interchange though ooh that would be wonderful with some ice-cream - the hot cold savoury sweet combination will be a fantastic idea.

We revised many many topics before getting chased out at 545, not before spying what the staff got to eat for dineer - they all ate rice with fried chicken from the kitchen - well it did smell very good! but they ate mainly at the alfresco area (i guess they dun want the fried food smell to linger around)
On the wooden boardwalk on our way to Harding Road where we parked. So pretty right the way they arrange the frangipani so neatly on the pathway! No casualty to my car, thank goodness.

And on our way driving towards Au Petit Salut towards Orchard we whizzed by White Rabbit and I couldnt resist making an abrupt u-turn to check out that place. It was actually a chapel before and they revamped the place and it is now a swanky restaurant. And because of that abrupt uturn it was again a damn big coincidence that I left my camera in my car (so eventually I couldnt take pictures at Starbucks) and Kelly also misplaced her book because of the abrupt turn and the book rolled right under the seats behind. Ok only Kelly and I will understand that haha.
but too bad White Rabbit was closed AND locked so I couldnt even check out the menu but the interior did look very cosy and there were glass stained windows, very pretty. And check out what we saw when we went around the chapel! Random grass animals. Simple things and little discoveries keep us happy during hard times. Euphenism for cheap thrill la, duh.

We were actually scratching our heads about places to eat and yet quiet enough for us to practise our osces and we even considered Case Verde at Botanical Gardens (plants and all their oxygen are therapeutic but insects will be a nuisance) and our tutor who actually has a stake in the place can hopefully magically appear and answer all our subfertility osces haha. We ventured towards Orchard in the end.
However because the parking along Kiliney was full, I had to enter the very ex CBD (2 bucks at 6pm!!!) and eventually we decided to head to Cathay/ Plaza Singapura area. We eventually decided to settle down at Starbucks at Cathay to study for abit so we had the Ugly Chicken Puff which shrank in size after microwave treatment. The pastry turned out very buttery and soft and soggy and had many many peas and corn and not much chicken. The sunken state of our ugly chicken puff was not too photo worthy haha, though it was not really that ugly. Had my seond dose of caffeine for the day with an Americano.
Then we decided we couldnt do without some fast food and fries so after more hard work at Starbucks we adjourned to MOS burger at Plaza Singapura..

we thought the hotdog one was very cute! but the handphone strap is so tiny!

Large fries and a packet of garlic mussels
fantastic when fresh with plenty of chilli...

tasted so good even on its own..freshly fried, this is one of my favourite items on the menu.
I love the strawberry milkshakes and the ichigo bliss here very much too. Those frozen strawberries with a topping of white chocolate is really yummy! And while we were eating Kels actually remembered one eatery which slipped off my mind: SAYBONS!! crepes!! wanted to try that for the longest time. i think our craving for fries just wiped out the other wanna-trys
I am sure you realise our eating pattern right? After a salty we go for another sweet.... but before Saybons we were something icy so we ended up at Ice Monster

this is our second visit here. Previously we tried the Mango milk ice and the redbean-yam milk ice - the latter is my favourite!! My mango loving friend Kelly loved former obviously. But this time round we decided to try something different. Oh an aside, this menu has plenty of spelling errors, to our amusement. Reminds me about Mad about English the movie.

Fresh Durian And Mango Shave Ice with Mango Sorbet and Milk $3.50
our third and final mango containing dessert. Surprisingly it went very well with the durian. Really weird right, the combination? Actually most of the combinations of mango desserts we had today were weird, but tasty. Mango and coconut. Mango and Banana. And this durian-mango combination has got to top it all in the weirdness scale man. But the durian was wonderful. It was real fresh and buttery. And the ice was really very fine, and the texture was very smooth. The sorbet was more of a fruit icecream than an icy sorbet I would normally expect.
And finally, our insatiable appetite brought us to Saybons. I think the reason why we never got around to trying this place because it was a takeaway but we spied and saw some seats at the counter. So we happily sat there and watched on as our crepe expert whipped out our yummy Nutella crepe
actually I saw Saybons setting up a temporary crepe counter at the Night Festival at the National Musuem in the middle of the year but again I don't fancy the takeaway idea. I like to sit down and savour my food =) actually I do like Crepes alot and on my crepe radar list of places to try include Out of a Pan at Raffles City, Creperie Des Arts near Selegie and Creperie Entre-Nous at Seah Street - the latter featured in atetoomuch =)we ended up choosing the dessert crepe- we were stuck between choosing the rum and raisin banana, Banana madness (valrhona's chocolate, bananas, peanuts) and Nutty Nutella (Nutella, hazelnuts) but how could we resist Nutella!! but we are gonna conquer all the crepes soon so watch this space.

the soup menu but this pricing is for group events. Saybons also supply soups directly to the movie patrons of Golden Village within Plaza Singapura.
Nutty Nutella - Nutella, Hazelnuts $2.90
Oh the crepe was WONDERFUL! A perfect sweet ending to our feast. The crepe was really chewy - you cant really tear the pastry apart. And it went so well with the hazelnut chocolate and the crunchy hazelnut bits. Sweet, chewy and crunchy.. fantastic!!
Seafood Bisque $3.90
Because we were their last patrons they actually upgraded our regular sized soup to the larger size. They were left with Mushroom Bisque (which looked really good too) and this. Fresh crabs paired with sweet flavour of prawns, indeed it was a rich luxurious bisque - tasted as good as described! No spoons though, drink it off the cup - the way Japanese drink their soups without spoons.
we were so hardworking we practised osces sitting at this counter for about 1 hour till around 11 pm when even Carl's Junior closed and it was a ghost town so we quickly left.
What a very fulfilling day with my best friend, what will I do without her! Thank you babe, this long and extremely uptodate (typed it all out the very night i came back because it was so memorable yet i was afraid i would forget!) is dedicated to you!


brad said...

wow wow wow! you are having exams yet can go so many places in one day! amazed! haaha!

i wanna go whiterabbit too. but its expensive. so u all went ps cafe order two cakes and sit there whole afternoon? they dont mind?

kels said...

hey i share the same sentiments! many gastronomic triumphs yesterday indeed.. i'm surprised at how many places we managed to cover in a day and i wonder whether we spent more time eating than studying!

anyways i may very well be a chocolate convert soon, thanks to your awesome recommendations! hah and it seems that someone is on her way to liking mangoes too..lets find desserts with watermelons and kiwis in them next! =P

p.s. hope u're feeling better babe!