Category Archives: Modern Australian

Tiong Bahru Heritage Trail I: Flock Café, Singapore

Hello and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful festive season and 2014 has taken off with success :).

In parallel with the start of a new year I thought it would be appropriate to share with you all a ‘fresh visit’ to a place which I have explored before…

What is a new year better for than discovery?

In the past, I have written about what has been described as the ‘achingly hip’ suburb of Tiong Bahru, Singapore.  Each trip to Singapore usually includes a stroll through the neighborhood, however this year Papa was determined to follow the ‘Heritage Trail’.  Thus an ordinary family outing become one which provided new experiences and discoveries.

With what seems to be a perpetually developing café scene in Singapore, we stumbled upon a spot which I had been meaning to track down last year!  To my surprise I crossed a small laneway and found Flock Café’ at the corner of an old apartment block.

A quaint and narrow premises holds what has become a foodie hot-spot as well as a hit with the expatriate crowd.  

Features: Mumma reckons their coffee is one of the best that she has tried in Singapore and my Iced (Flat) White made the humid and warm exterior a distant memory.

Must-try dishes: Eggs Benedict and Pancakes

Perfectly poached eggs and a perfectly balanced (not overly rich) Hollandaise

Fluffy…I mean ‘cloud-like’ fluffy pancakes and a generous amount of compote

If you have enough stomach space….: Big Breakfast

If you are looking to experience something other than the hawker scene in Singapore, which in my case I have eaten quite repetitively, this is the perfect location.  Good food at modern café appointed in an area with old-time charm….yes please…

More on Tiong Bahru to come!

Ming xx

P.S. Photos taken with an iPhone 5….have been slightly poor at lugging my DSLR around hehe

Advertisements

Stress Relief: The Grace Hotel Seafood Buffet

Hello out there!  Sorry for the lack of updates- I’m still alive!!  The past few weeks have been quite hectic to say the least – second year uni has begun and my brain/body was/is still clinging on to the summer holidays for dear life! Full of lab hours and afternoon lectures, blogging time and foodie trips have been limited but I thought I would post a quick review as a break from all the scientific mumbo jumbo on nerves which have been sending me into a head spin.

The first weekend after resuming study had the family booked into ‘The Grace Hotel’s new ‘Seafood Buffet’ as a stress reliever.  What could be better than seafood to take my mind off the troubles of uni haha?! I was ‘slightly’ excited when I heard that the Brasserie would be providing my seafood loving tastebuds with an array of Sydney’s finest produce! After my fun and delicious experiences at The Grace Hotel for their ‘Flavours of…’ food festivals I felt reassured that my stomach would be in good hands!

As per usual the ‘salad station’ did not fail to impress, with a rather wide selection of cold salads, perfect for the awkward ‘it’s autumn but it feels like summer’ weather. My picks would have been the cabbage coleslaw, which was full of crunch and freshness, without being drowned out by a heavy dressing. If you’re looking for something slightly more ‘solid’ for your salads then the ‘Cous Cous with Pumpkin’ would be the way to go!
Oh and you surely won’t walk past this section of the lineage of food without picking up some mighty fine ‘King Prawns’ from a large bucket of ‘heaven’ (well in the eyes of any seafood lover). Combine the simple yet wonderfully fresh prawns with ‘Thousand Island’ sauce and I would have been quite content, but I didn’t want to miss out on the Mussels or Smoked Salmon which were both testament to Sydney’s fantastic seafood and the kitchen’s ability to bring out the best …from the best!

A tasty segue between salads and mains came in the form of a tomato seafood soup which was full of flavour and had me ready to tackle the next course!

When it came to the main course there were numerous options, even for those who want to opt for a non-seafood dish (…..no comment…….are you crazy?? Haha).
Lil’ Bro went for the ‘Roast Lamb’(which was unsurprising) and by his return for a second serving, I can safely say that he thoroughly enjoyed it!

My picks for the mains would be the ‘Steamed Ginger Barramundi with Chilli’ and ‘Pasta’ dish.
Normally, one would expect a steamed fish to be on the ‘no-go-zone’ of the buffet but having tried quite a few fish dishes at the Grace before, I knew that this was a must-try dish. The combination of ginger and chilli created a light yet flavoursome and appetising dish, that held no trace of ‘fishiness’; only the fresh taste of a well cooked, tender fish! Combining my two loves of chilli and fish, I was a happy seafood diner to say the least!

The Pasta is a fantastic option as a ‘break’ from seafood if need be. A few buffet experiences have led me to fear overcooked and lack lustre buffet pasta, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this dish. The creamy pesto and sundried tomato combination made for a simple yet effective ‘carb’ dish – I may have scraped the plate clean…shhh!

I had already spied the vast array of mouth watering desserts as I lined up for the salads! I loved how the desserts were ‘mini’ cakes and thus easy to serve with no messy cutting up involved!! It may have also aided in the process of trying a majority of the options.
In terms of ‘top picks’ for the desserts, I have to say that competition was steep! Each miniature serving of goodness was not too heavy (perfect if you want to sample a few options) but definitely not boring for the tastebuds! In the end I would recommend just choosing your dessert based on your favourite flavours, but my picks would have been the ‘Cheesecake’ and anything ‘Berry’!


Oh and if that’s not enough to satisfy your stomach, the cocktail menu is being developed and updated! I can’t quite remember the names of these creations but the fruitier watermelon option was perfectly refreshing, while the banana and chocolate flavoured option was definitely my kind of cocktail…..mmmm…such a great flavour combination!!

All in all, for $45 pp, The Grace Hotel’s Seafood Buffet is definitely value for money! The food is fresh and the kitchen has brought out the best from Sydney’s fine produce. Yeah yeah, I know there weren’t any oysters (a little heartbreaking) BUT for the price paid, I was perfectly content with my prawns and barramundi! For seafood lovers looking to kick their craving in a comfortable and welcoming environment, make a trip to The Grace Hotel before this introductory promotion ends!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Easter!!

Ming xx

Sharing is caring: Graze

As Mama says to me, “Food brings people together!”  Growing up in an Asian household, many memories were formed around the round dining table accompanied by numerous dishes laid out on the ‘lazy-susan’.  Meals have always been a family affair characterised by the sharing of daily tales and dishes.  So, when eating out, I love joints that are able to create this familiar feeling even within the world of fine dining.  Graze, Pyrmont does just that, even within its context of unusual and innovative cuisine of molecular gastronomy!

Ending the first week of university semester two (!!), the meal started off with their famous “Cauliflower Milkshake, Jamon & Cheese Toasty”.  Our waiter very kindly provided four little espresso cups, allowing us to split up the warm, creamy goodness of the milkshake.  I couldn’t resist dipping the oh so crispy toasty into the sea of joy, savouring every mouthful and sip of this unusual entrée!

Continue reading

Spontaneous Celebration: The Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay

Sometimes the things we dread the most end up pleasantly surprising us.   An impulsive booking for lunch at Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay spurred by serious fish pie cravings turned out to be the perfect way to celebrate the official end of my first semester at university – a big challenge.  This had been marked by the arduous release of results throughout the week, which definitely turned out better than my stressed out and paranoid self had expected.  Ahhh…the joys of surprises…plus food!

Boathouse is sneakily located at the back of Glebe; tucked away but overlooking a beautiful view of the Anzac Bridge.  The family and I had Mother Nature on our side, providing one of Sydney’s characteristic sunny winter’s days when we made our little dining journey.

I admit that whenever Mama and I see oysters on the menu we cannot help but sneak in an order!  We left our selection of four to the restaurant, known for their oyster expertise!  I’m sure that I was just excited by the elaborate names of the oysters, as I was by tasting them – Clair de Lune, Wonboyn Rock, Label Rouge, Coffin Bay Pacific.

Continue reading

Culinary Royalty: Guillaume at Bennelong

My first post! Let us start off with the pizzazz of Sydney’s food scene derived from its oxymoronic culinary delights! From dining at hatted restaurants to hole in the wall joints, each manages to deliver true satisfaction to the taste buds!  We begin with one end of the eclectic spectrum at the hatted Guillaume @ Bennelong.

It was the big one-eight for one of my close friends (Happy Birthday M!) and in true style, she chose to celebrate this milestone at this famous restaurant with a view. The evening began with pre-dinner drinks at the Shangrila… as we readied our stomachs for the true food connoisseur experience!

Walking up the Sydney Opera House stairs, I, or rather my appetite was bursting with anticipation, whet by those words glowing in gold.

Continue reading