Monday, February 2, 2009

Ivins, Riders' Cafe, Brewerkz (Bukit Timah)

It was a very lazy Sunday afternoon and despite the night up playing mahjong at Marcus, I was up for Sunday lunch! We were all over Bukit Timah today... First up, Ivins Peranakan Restaurant (19 Binjai Park)..

Ivins has been around for many years now, and is quite far inside Binjai Park..I never saw it despite passing by that Caltex station opposite Maplewoods all the time in the past. Ivins is known for Peranakan cuisine on a budget - each dish varies from the 5-10 bucks range and it is possible to overorder since its inexpensive - but each dish is actually small. We each ordered a bowl of white rice (at 80 cents each) to eat with the dishes. I don't suggest you try a low-carb and avoid the rice because the dishes are quite rich and salty and the rice will be good to eat with the gravies.

Stuffed Chilly Selar $8
IVINS' sambal belachan stuffed in two deep fried gold-banded scad
The fish came first. I thought the fish was kind of dry - fried not to a crisp but fried to death. I liked the sambal that was inside the fish though, it made the hard flesh more palatable.

Terong Goreng Chilli $3
fried eggplant served with chilli

This was our favourite dish because the eggplant remained taut and slightly crunchy and the chilli gave it that spicy kick. Very good with rice.

Sambal Kangkong $4.50

It is supposed to be a crowd favourite but I didn't think the sambal provided enough kick - the sambal was not strong enough! Somehow the kangkong was too garlicky for me.

Lady's Fingers Sambal $3

I don't know how these people fry their lady's fingers till there's no sap at the cut surfaces - when my grandma does this at home, there's alot of those gooey stuff at the cut areas. I thought this was clean tasting, not too oily. The lady's fingers were crunchy too!

Ayam Buah Keluak $5.90
Chicken braised in thick spicy tamarind gravy with buah keluak nuts
This was our favourite meat dish, if not the favourite dish of the day. The gravy was really quite spicy and Kheng and I almost choked on the gravy cos it was really quite hot. But I loved the gravy! It was very thick, and the meat on the 2 drumsticks were tender and the gravy suffused the meat thoroughly. I was moping up the gravy towards the end..

Beef Rendang $4.90

Authentic Indonesia dish done peranakan style

I'm not sure how beef rendang is supposed to taste peranakan style..but this makes me miss my grandma's beef rendang (she only whips it up on Hari Rayas and Chinese new year during those family gatherings). This wasn't very rich, and the beef was slightly tough- I prefer my beef rendang to be more tender and spicier.

Itek Tim $5.50
This is duck and salted vegetables soup... it is really very salty and garlicky! I think it is quite an acquired taste. The duck meat was quite little though..some ribs and a chunk of breast meat. You should have the soup with rice cos otherwise its really too salty.
We were then thinking of having icecream but all I could think of was the Death by chocolate cake over at Riders' Cafe (51 Fairways Drive) so of cos the guys could only follow..haha...
Today being a Sunday afternoon, we saw more horses than my sister and I did on a weekday morning - spot the houses amongst the pesky leaves..
and we saw a black stallion! My sister and I were complaining the last time we had breakfast here that we didnt see any black horses, only spotty brown ones...
Death by Chocolate cake $12
with vanilla bean icecream
This is what I came here for!! I love the breakfast here so I was back to try their desserts (and eventually I'd be back to try their entrees)
Okay it looks too exposed here and metallic looking - well it certainly looks alot more chocolatey than it really is..
It gets really messy.... I guess we are really chocoholics cos eventually the chocolate sauce ran out and the cake became really dry to eat after that...the cake itself is not very fudgey or chocolatey so it was basically a mild chocolate sponge cake drowned in the chocolate sauce... Enjoyable as long as the vanilla bean icecream (very yummy with the chocolate sauce) and chocolate sauce lasts..

Then we remembered that the Australian Open finals was was already 5pm (time flies when you indulge in greed and sloth) and the match started at 4 pm !! We scurried over to Ba Ba Black Sheep (failed again, the bar doesnt screen tennis matches!!!!!) so for 2 days in a row I was at Brewerkz (903 Bukit Timah Road) !!

Everyone is glued to the tv....
The match was quite exciting and lasted all the way till 9 pm...such a heart wrencher for Federer..

Oh I must say that this place is really interesting to people watch..families come to have meals, guys for their mugs of beer, and the passerbys along Bukit Timah.. its not too crowded, its breezy, and the service impeccable - they refill your iced water all the time if you just order the food and not the beer.

Nachos $14.99
This is the first time I am eating it in the daylight... I've eaten this COUNTLESS TIMES (and todays makes it twice in a row this weekend) tbut I never grow sick of it.. Though I really cant wait for the Cafe Iguana at Greenwood to open - it is supposed to open this i can scurry there for my nachos fix! The nachos there are soooo much better!


Fen said...

How was the Death by Chocolate cake compared with the double blackout cake from P.S. cafe?

julie said...

I haven't tried the blackout cake but I don't think this death by chocolate cake is a must try...the cake itself is a tad dry so it needs the distraction of some very good dark chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice-cream...

Fen said...

Hmm... quite a few of my blogger friends wanted me to try this... but frankly speaking, the blackout cake didn't impress and I am hesitating to eat a cake served in this manner...

For chocolates, I would rather travel for Laurent... Man, I am salivating the moment I am thinking about his chocolate tart...

julie said...

correct! i think its just a facade, the huge cake. I guess you compromise on quality! but still, i love HUGE portions if the food is good!