Saturday, September 12, 2009

Epicurious, Oriole, Bon Gout, JiDeChi

Picked up the girls from their houses and Orchard (in my sleepiness I had to retype that for i said orchards at first) and headed down to Robertson Quay to Epicurious (60 Robertson Quay #01-02 The Quayside) . The other time I tried to come here I had a nasty accident walking straight right to a lamp post right in front of Epicurious sustaining 7 stitches and I had a big phobia of Robertson Quay after that. Hell, the lamp posts served no function, forming a quadrangle in the courtyard in front of Epicurious and it being not lighted at all in all the subsequent times I went back. I swear its there to make people trip in their blindness or in darkness.
Anyway, the owners promised me a free dessert the time I had the accident and bleeding copious amounts - imagine I still wanted to have brunch - c'mon, no LOC and frigin accident doubly depressed. Well, thanks but no thanks, but here I am back again for the third time and finally getting to eat the brunch in one piece.
Reserved an indoor seat - you can only book 15 minutes in advance, which is totally illogical imho. Jas reserved first, and Eliza reserved next - 15 minutes one after another - but to be fair, they do hold the table for quite some time before letting it go (cos when we were there they kept the other table empty for some time!) so they are quite nice about it, not even asking for the contacts of the person making the reservation.
Anyway, had green eggs - with smoked salmon and a layer of thin toast right at the bottom of it all. I totally enjoyed this meal - an open face sandwich with plenty of creamy, salty protein right on top. Eggs were creamy without being soggy nor oily, and the basil aftertaste made the omelette really unique. Even the accompanying fried potato chunks were excellent. Everything, save for the watermelon (my most hated fruit of all time) was perfect.
Jas loved her smoked salmon with cream cheese bagel.
My 2 other friends had salads so didnt take no pictures of vegetables...a little sad came all the way here to eat greens lehh!!
Choco nana sandwich is an ingenious combination of nutella, bananas and strawberries on sugar dusted and buttered toast - think I'm gonna replicate this at home.
Cheese platter of 3 picks - Brie, Harvati, and Blue. My favourite was Harvati - a semi hard cheese which is salty without being too pungent. Love the creamy Brie too, amazing with the crackers - which by the way you can request for more (just not too many more, be nice =P)
Actually we went all the way to Tanjong Pagar cos wanted to try the cakes at Glace (which has moved to Ion Village). Note to self: extremely expensive parking at public carparks and Ion Village - $2 for half hour!!!!faints. posh car parks come with a price, there was a friggin gorgeous fountain INSIDE the carpark so damn ostentatious. So future cake indulgence = take train = good for Julie to gain some calorie credits.
So we drove to Pan Pacific Suites at Somerset and again friggin expensive parking at the public car park at Cineleisure (didnt know it was $1 per 30 min before 5pm and half price after that) and didnt wana risk getting a shit-loaded car again (rem that time, Chong - no joke its real potent unscrubbable shit) and double ex parking at Orchard went to....secret park which saved me a bundle. Huffed and Puffed under my aunty pink umbrella but don't care, save $$, chalk up calorie credits right?
Excuses. Off to Oriole (Pan Pacific Suites, Somerset Road) I went... My second time here, mental note during the first visit to come here to try their coffee - their baristas were famous for winning the national barista championship. First course: Hand cut fries - excellent, dusted with oregano and freshly fried it sends you to potato heaven (to think I'm gonna meet potato later).

Even as conversation droned on the fries still tasted good after listening to all the girl and investment talk. Mmm.
There was a sweet young family of 4 dining in front of us (with the husband carrying a suitcase, no less) and of cos that brought on the subject matter of families and children. Well guys, just don't get outnumbered.
Honey crumble affogato was something I had the first visit too and this is excellent - vanilla icecream doused in bitter expresso - it has honeycomb and chocolate bits that was an amazing contrast to the smooth creaminess of the beverage and the icecream.
Grilled Lemon Pound cake - honestly I never thought I would crave about something sour but this was exceptional. The cake was nicely dense and this subtle lemon taste - to the point of it being sweet.
Not a fan of this bread and butter pudding I've yet to find one that wows me. At least serve one that is piping hot, won't ya?
Stir your chilli chocolate mocha with the cinammon stick, before it turns cold, commands the waitress. And so I listen, forgetting I'm not a biggie about cinammon...oh well I'm a typical Singaporean, what to do?
Anyway, the coffees are potently bitter, strong, and full bodied. The chocolate did little to steal the limelight from the coffee, but the spiciness of the chilli only hits you as the coffee crawls down your throat and that sensation is quite unique. I must go and read more about the anatomy of our tastebuds - Kels was teaching me about the physiology of taste - if spiciness was actually a flavour that the tongue could detect - and if we do have separate receptors for MSG and that umami taste?
Anyway, do you know that the the sensation of the spiciness of chilli, capaisin is unique only to humans? This is because our digestive tract destroys the seeds of the chilli, and the smart chilli, in a bid to ward off its enemies, ie us humans, has its poison the capaisin, which make us realise its actually painful and we will refuse to eat it. Other animals - such as birds, whose digestive tracts do not digest the seeds, actually DO NOT have these receptors - hence they do not perceive pain, eats the chilli, and disperses the seeds for the chilli. Nature is extremely interesting, in wiring our phyiology and anatomy towards the whole food chain concept, and evolution.
Picked Pam up and headed to Bon Gout to have dinner. Her eyes litted up the moment she stepped into the shop, and considerate her decided not to pounce on the books, making conversation and enjoying the lovely dinner before I had to practically force her to browse (which she gladly did, buying 3 Jap novels, no less).
Anyway, Bon Gout (60 Robertson Quay #01-01 The Quayside) is this quaint Japanese restaurant cum library-bookshop of Japanese manga and novels. There are shelves and shelves of Japanese books and you can browse and read the books as you eat. Many of the books are still in pristine condition and the number tags on the books are the prices of the books, much to the delight of Pam who initially thought it was some code numbers of the books, since it was much too cheap to be the actual price.
The moment you enter Bon Gout, the aroma of the curry just hits you and its almost next to impossible to not order the curry rice. I had the curry chicken stew rice and the curry was thick and not overtly sweet. The rice stuck together in chunks after a while, making it even more delightful to eat with the curry.
Pam had the beef stew curry rice and we finished every.single.drop. and grain of it!
We managed to snag the coach seats by the window and looking out the insanely cute shaggy brown dog on the benches outside (now I know better than to sit on those alfresco seats at the brunch places at Robertson Quay, dogs everywhere!). In our own private corner, it was cosy browsing books (in Pam's case) and Men's Health (in my case - its definitely a much more interesting read than Shape, being much more scientific and factual than : Look, do this step by step workout). We sat till closing time, when we saw how the staff then assembled in one row and ate at the counter.
Wanted to eat at Laurent's but the queue and crowd was insane, so we drove to have Chinese desserts but Ah Chew's had a queue (horror of horrors, no first come first serve and chope your seat, now gotta wait to be assigned to your table!) so we ended up at JiDeChi (8 Liang Seah Street #01-03) across the street, with a smaller crowd.
This is my second time here, the first time being here with B. We didnt have a good experience cos we didnt fancy the durian puree here so I never had repeat visits (unlike Ah Chew where I kept going back to). But today it was surprisingly good.
The surprising find was this black glutinious rice with sesame and walnut paste - despite the paste being very rich on its own already, it can really get to you when there is too much sweet goo but the contrast of the gritty plump black glutionious rice laced with coconut, this was totally amazing.
Had the steamed milk egg white, which we had served hot - the wholesome milk taste is better appreciated this way. Tasted similar to Ah Chew's, and a level up was when we topped up this with the black glutinious rice left over from the first dessert and I was back to Hong Kong for while when this option of glutinious rice with steamed milk was actually an option in the menu.
The mango pomelo sago was pretty dilute for me, doesn't beat the one at the Hong Kong Desserts at Far East Plaza level 2 thats still the best!
Ready, Get Set, Go! Drop drop.
Potus and Julie's =)
Its been a long time, Married Wives Club.

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