Saturday, April 29, 2006

Parkway Secret

Lately, there has been a number of reviews on this new place in Parkway Parade. Hidden in a corner on the first floor and being surrounded by shops such as Marks & Spencer, Novo, Topshop and Esprit, The CaffeBar is a perfect place to chill and rest shopping-weary feet.

I first visited it about two months ago with a friend and tried their crayfish pasta and shakerato. The latter is a shot of espresso shaken with syrup and an ice cube before being served in a martini glass. This drink is ideal for those who dislike the strong bitter taste associated with espresso as the syrup tames the bitterness. The crayfish pasta was good though not fantastic. As for the service, it was then overly-efficient but with little communication between the serving crew. I had to tell four different waitresses at four separate times within 10 minutes that my friend and I had needed more time to look through the menu. I was also informed that they had ran out of Ciabatta bread and was offered normal toasted white sandwich bread instead. To be fair, The CaffeBar has just opened a couple of months back and should be given time to sort out teething issues.

On my latest visit on the 22 April, the service was still as efficient and I no longer had to inform four different people that I had needed more time before making my order. This time round, I ordered an Asparagus Bruschetta, together with a Gourmet Set which comprised of free flow Ciabatta bread (which they had this time), Soup of the Day(Cream of Pumpkin), main course(Spaghetti Bolognese) and a non-alcoholic beverage (Shakerato, thank you).

The Asparagus Bruschetta ($4.80) had three thick stalks of asparagus on warm bruschetta and topped with grated Parmesan. A small salad drizzled simply with olive oil and seasoned with salt accompanied the bruschetta. I enjoyed this item and think it would be great for those seeking a light lunch. The thick Cream of Pumpkin was rich and went well with the Ciabatta. As for the Spaghetti Bolognese, it was too dry for my liking. I felt that it could have been done with more sauce and more flavour. The Gourmet Set is priced at $18.80++ and you get to choose your main course from five available choices as well as pick any non-alcoholic beverage.

The next time I return, I shall try their Salmon Roulade and Duck Confit which are rather unusual items on a cafe menu. By the looks of things, this secret may very soon be an open one.

The CaffeBar
#01-34E Parkway Parade
Chew on this: The owner of Bakerzin is also behind The CaffeBar.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me

To celebrate my birthday which falls on 12th April, my family and I decided on Triple3 Buffet Restaurant at the Meritus Mandarin Hotel. Triple3 with its brick wall, wooden floor and large glass panels, gave a comfortable, posh country feel.

The buffet spread was huge. There was a section serving various breads, cheeses and crackers. Salads were set in martini glasses and beside them was a dish of cold udon with kimchi. On another table, Thai squid salad, small potato salad balls and smoked salmon were available. The cold food featured salmon, tuna and squid sashimi, mussels, prawns and raw oysters. The main entree selection included roasted leg of lamb with mint jelly, baked ham with pineapple sauce and grilled Australian prime-rib of beef, steamed broccoli and roasted eggplant and zucchini, a baked dish of potato and spinach layers, blacken fish with herb, seafood ragout in a pastry cup, baked scallop in shell and more. Each diner was entitled to half a lobster, baked with garlic and butter. The spread was also big on desserts and fruits. Three flavours of Ben & Jerry ice-cream were good but what tempted me more was the chocolate wheel (instead of the common fountain) with it's accompanying strawberries, dried apricots, prunes, cookies and assorted fruit skewers.

My favourite dish there has got to be the lobster bisque. Bright creamy orange and with lobster bits, this soup is a winner. I really enjoyed two bowls of it together with a few slices of rye and wholemeal bread. On the flip side, I felt that the rib of beef was a tad over done. It could have been more tender otherwise. The fettucine stirred through with pesto was also over-cooked. It didn't help that the young chef who prepared it was neither helpful nor friendly. Fortunately, he was the only bad apple among the rest of the staff who were polite and warm.

On the whole, I feel that there is a good variety of food with an outstanding lobster bisque. Don't expect every dish to be perfect though. Oh and chocoholics will love their range of chocolate desserts from rich molten dark chocolate from the chocolate wheel to valrhona chocolate mud cake and the many tarts and assorted paralines. An elegant yet comfortable place good for family meals, couples and colleagues get-together. Another plus is the Filipino trio of merry men, armed with a cello and two guitars, they go around from table to table, seranading and taking song requests. They may even surprise you with a Chinese song or two!

Triple3, The Buffet Restaurant
Meritus Mandarin
Dinner: 6.30-10.30pm
Price: $55+++
Chew on this: UOB cardholders get a 15% discount. (Do check the terms and conditions)

Monday, April 10, 2006

Virgin Entry

This is my first post and what a better time to start than around my birthday! Firstly, a brief introduction. This hungry cow is food-crazy and grazing, or eating, is a passion. I first gained the four-stomach capacity back in 1994 and with it, celebrated a decade of solid eating two years ago. A versatile eater who enjoys both hawker food as well as more indulgent stuff at restaurants, I constantly trot around seeking more gratification. It is this intimate passion for food and eating that lays the foundation for this blog. From market places, road-side stalls, hawker centers, foodcourts, restaurants, cafes, hotels, small secluded eateries to infinity, one cow shall rule them all. *evil moo*

Please do note that reviews posted here are based on my personal tastes and opinions, but then again you do already know that ya?