Monday, February 9, 2009

Graze, Laurent Bernard Chocolateir, FREE Frolick!, Marina Barrage

A recent fetish for breakfast food brought me to Graze (4 Rochester Park Tel: 6775 9000 ) with the girls on a Sunday morning.. Yes I am an early bird now I've finally kicked the nasty nocturnal habit and it feels great to kick start a day with a mighty big breakfast especially with the fantastic company of my closest friends.
Graze offers brunch only on Sundays and they serve modern Australian food. Their popular barbeque menu is also available during lunch on Sundays - although I hardly saw anyone eating that - everyone was tucking into the yummy brunch food.
I booked an indoor seat but we realised its much nicer to dine al fresco..there are no mosquitoes and we actually sat under a tree (which has low lying leaves - and we are all very tall). We were very scared throughout the whole meal that the leaves and branches will fall all over the food but luckily it didnt.

The ambience here is great for a Sunday breakfast ! Very relaxing sitting in the rattan chairs in the courtyard amongst the plants and water features. I feel like I am having breakfast in someone's house...overseas! Yes, the huge influx of expats is inevitable..

We were served complimentary toast with marmalade and butter.. It was thick toast and there was some variety in the bread- white and multigrain (although it wasnt very nutty). The marmalade was very good though, a very slight lemony taste.

The cast iron pan $18
Bratwurst sausage, Smoked bacon, mushroom, tomato, baked beans, country potato, plum chilli salsa
I didn't eat the meats, but this breakfast fry up is not as massive as it sounds.. very protein loaded and quite an oily feast - I especially liked the mushrooms.
Cinnamon raisin french toast $13
drizzled with maple syrup
simon johnson double cream

This was FANTASTIC! It was Eliza's and my favourite dish ! The french toast was crisp and the cinnamon taste was really permeating through the bread - divine with the slightly sweet double cream and the bits of raisins. You don't even need to add much maple syrup. I would return for this.
Banana pancakes $13
smothered in grilled bananas, walnuts and redcurrant syrup
with icecream

I thought the pancakes were rather floury and they crumble quite easily.. They are cinammon flavoured I think - certainly not banana flavoured. All these adjectives in front of pancakes are SO misleading! Like I thought the Coconut pancakes at Jones meant the coconut permeated the pancakes but it seems like in both cases they were not what they seemed! And all of us thought the redcurrant syrup was butterscotch and Jasmine and I drowned our pancakes in the syrup because it tasted so good. I prefer the fluffier pancakes at Rider's Cafe though.

Simply eggs benedict $16
with smoked salmon and spinach
There is a classic version and I figure that must be the version with the ham since Eggs Benedict always come with ham. But here, there is the option of smoked salmon and spinach instead. I always look forward to poached eggs (cos I cant seem to get it right at home) and I simply cant resist this whenever I have breakfast outside! This is good, it is like a combination of what I had at Rider's Cafe (spinach) and Choupinette (smoked salmon). I cant find any fault in this - everything is perfectly done from the egg to the smoked salmon, muffin and the Hollandaise sauce, although I still prefer the Eggs Royal at Choupinette if given a choice.
Ooh awesome runny egg yolk.
All our yummy food! (too bad about the half eaten cast iron pan!)
The mystery of the sweet tinge of strawberry-lime in your iced water solved.
For those nocturnals who don't believe in waking up for breakfast (I am reformed but I might not stay so for long =P), the last order is at 2.30pm. Reservations are recommended esp for al fresco seating.

And of cos desserts are a must with the girls and we went to Laurent's Cafe & Chocolate Bar (5B Portsdown Road #01-02 Wessex Village Square)

We were able to spy in the kitchen (and take all the photographs we want) because we sat at the common courtyard (shared with Pietrasanta) right inside and again it was another al fresco affair...
But it was worth the sweltering effort cos it is so interesting watching the chef at work! Eventually Mr Bernard (no this photograph is not of him the photophobic creature, of cos - he is not balding - yet) did appear and oh my the stuff he made were really droolicoius..
Though it was sweltering hot (the area is not as nicely ventilated as Graze's) - the music was really good - it is like those from a gramophone and again chilling here feels like being in someone else's home away from home. And no, the cafe didnt play that old English music - there was art exhibition going on and that was where the music was coming from. Again it was another interesting sight watching the patrons waltz in and out and a very curious group of children seemingly having an art lesson in the midst of it all..

Although the oil from the canvas was quite smelly, we were so zen that we hardly noticed.
Pleasure $9.80
Of cos good desserts played a big part in the zen-ness I finally got to try the Pleasure cake and oh my, it was really good! Layers of milk chocolate with the crisp hazelnut layer - easily collapsible but heck, the mess is so delicious. The top layer was really quite soft though - goes to show how hot the weather was to melt the chocolate layer so quick .

Chocolate tart, $6.50
I blogged about this before and would gladly blog about it again because thin as it is, the tart is awesome nonetheless - layers of chocolate and hazelnut chocolate on a flaky base - I was careful not to let the raspberry sauce contaminate the cocoa goodness though..
Iced Chocolate
Yi Qian ordered this and I stole a sip - it was rather powdery though and it is really very rich.
Don't waste your money (and calories) on their fruit drinks or fruit teas. Taste very syrupy according to those who ordered.
Porstdown Road is part of the Wessex estate where there are many colonial bungalows and there are many art gallery and eateries. We spent the lazy afternoon just strolling around the rustic area, and chanced upon this patch..We loved the tire hanging from the tree... Yes of cos the thought of who looped the rope through the impossible tree branch did pop up...

Then we wondered into one of the bungalows because we were lured by the fantastic unplugged music..It is amazing how good she is considering she only picked up the guitar 4 months back and she only sings her own music!
We entered through the doors and surprised by the gorgeous black and white films
Every piece is stunning..
The lady who owns these says that black and white film photography lasts forever (not colour) and she develops all these in a dark house within the same bungalow..she has an open house as and when she wishes and at other times she photographs others..
This is my favourite photograph..I love this couple-ish photo of innocence...
Alright..we shall go back to civilisation..we were back to town to get to the Harvey Norman sale..
So we landed at Millenia walk and of cos after changing locations we needed a snack so we landed here at Frolick (level one, Millenia walk)
Peach Flavoured Yoghurt, FREE!
I blogged about it before, but with the Zouk card, it is FREE! Free stuff taste the best sometimes!

Then we wandered into Chocolate Research Facility (Level One, Millenia Walk).. and had more free stuff! We sampled the Peanut butter chocolate and chocolate crunch chocolate..then he dished out more mystery samples and we totally couldnt guess the Mango flavour.

The many many mind boogling flavours - I even saw black sesame and tea flavoured chocolates. Chocolates are between 8-12 bucks per small bar. I'd rather invest in Laurent's, actually.
Again there is another Zouk offer - with every 5 bars there is a discount.
There is a bar here where you can order the brownies or the drinks..
For me, the vibe of this place doesnt make me feel like wolfing down chocolate(unlike Laurents, I could live on the chocolate scent of his cafe). When chocolate becomes as scientific as this, it loses its traditional home made feel don't you think? You lose the sense of who makes your chocolate or what goes into the chocolate.. I guess the contrast is especially obvious since we went to Laurents today and spent most of our time spying through the glass doored kitchen, watching the chef delicately hand make those delicate chocolates.
Went to Candy Empire (Level one, Millenia Walk) for some sweets and this Wonka sweet promised some tingling fun but NO THERE WASNT ANY! Friggin cheated of my $2.50 when I could have gotten Prez sweets at 1 buck instead.
But the colours are so pyschedelic and happyfying and the fruity taste was equally tasty.
Yi Qian had a fried food craving so of cos Jas and I koped some of her fried chicken from Shihlin Taiwan Snacks (Suntec City).. but I was feeling so heaty I needed a soya milk to wash it all down..
Rose Macaron, $1
Then we were on our way back to the Suntec carpark when we passed by the Bakerzin (Suntec City) and I couldnt resist their 1 buck promotion for their macarons! Bought the rose and chocolate ones...
Chocolate Macaron $1
The centre was really dense and chewy but the exterior was not that crispy. I liked the chocolate one much more - the dark chocolate cream was really good! I think it was a rather chocolatey day.
We had enough of civilisation and decided we needed another road trip to nowhere so we tried to go to the Marina Barrage again (our first try was a fail) - this time round, we were luckier cos we spotted the blue signs that led us there - but it was a real merry go round.
The curvaceous walkway up..
It feels like a science centre of sorts esp the exhibits..
Heh Kelly this is the splish-splash pool that the lady was talking about..for your info =)
There are many piers around..
See what I mean by being Science-centre-ish, the curvaceous walkway leads to this field and there was a big Solar panel here..

If you look carefully both signs say keep off the grass but one says newly laid and the other still maturing...looked pretty much the same to us laymen (no pun intended)
Best to come in the evening, its wonderful watching the city lights come on and the transition to darkness.
Dark. And tired... it was fun getting lost with the right company (and a petrol-loaded car). Thanks mountains I never have enough of you all! =)


Fen said...

OMG!!! You had both my favourites at Laurent and I am always amazed by your entries. You seems to have the energy to walk around Singapore, eating non-stop... I can visualize your "excursion" each time I read your article...

brad said...

lol! your breakfast-thingy again. haha. choupinette still better eh? i wanna go graze for brunch too, cos their dinner will be too expensive. yeah, agreed with fen, every of your post is like a whole-day adventure to so many places!

brad said...

and oh ya, forget to say i went bakerzin and had 7 of their macarons as well. haha.

I brought the peanut-butter chocolate bar from Choc research facility. ten bucks! lol

julie said...

I'm sure you two do try more than one place in a day just that u choose to blog in separate entries.. but that'd just confuse me so I like to write about my food trail all at one go - and I'm normally very spontaenous anyway! So end up eating more than planned =) and I'm grateful for my closest friends who share the same spontaenity and stamina too! Food does taste better with the right company.

and yes brad I still wanna try more breakfast places but I'm running out of places! Graze is great - from the food to the atmosphere I love it! I might wanna go back for the desserts.

brad said...

haha. le bistrot? whitebale & kale? those more famous one u all went already. lol! yeah it is the company that makes the food nicer

julie said...

oh i didnt know le bistrot or whitebait has brunch too! okay i shall go and check it out!