If one didn’t know any better and happened to scroll through my instagram, they would most likely make the inference that I spent 10 days in Sydney eating and doing nothing else. They wouldn’t be entirely correct but in no way would I say they were completely wrong either. With the days I spent waiting for ‘pending’ or ‘processing’ paperwork, I was determined to meet up with as many of my friends as possible; a corollary of this being the copious amount of coffees and brunches which came into existence. There really is no better way to catch up with someone than over a relaxing brunch. Additionally, many of my foodie friends were enthusiastically recommending all of the ‘must-try’ hot-spots and dishes which I had better add onto my list before I left. Without further ado, the food ‘log’ shall be revealed…. *inhale*
I have always loved these dining outings with my family, especially now when I the time I spend with Mama and Lil’ Bro is rather limited. It provides an opportunity to explore and experience new things together as well as share our stories, thoughts and amateur food critiques ;)! The photo below only reinforces to me the joys that my family brings me every day.
To say that Singapore’s cafe scene has grown over the past few years would still be an understatement.
At present, there is no shortage of cafes to choose from when Western dishes or hearty breakfast fare is being craved; a far cry from a time where I remember McDonald’s being the only place we would visit to appease Lil’ Bro’s desire for ‘non-hawker’ food. Singapore has what appears to be an infinite list of cafes making their mark across the island city in unique locations, however there are certainly a few which have stood out.
An animation to whet the appetite….
Five and Dime Eatery is another one of the consistently trending cafe/restaurants, which I had been meaning to try since its existence first surfaced on Instagram. Unlike the typical brunch/lunch fare, Five and Dime adds a Japanese nuance to its menu.
For the last six months I have been travelling between Sydney and Singapore, visiting my Lil’ Bro who has undergone quite a dramatic life-change; moving to Singapore (post-HSC) for National Service. Although there was initial worry for him, in terms of adapting to such change, Lil’ Bro took the challenge with a determined and positive attitude and recently graduated from his Basic Military Training.
The final challenge of this component of his service was a 24km route march from the Training Centre to the majestic location of the Floating Platform at Marina Bay, which is surrounded by the beautiful icons of the city. Following this gruelling but what Lil’ Bro describes as an emotional and breathtaking march, symbolic of their 10 week intensive training, the ‘recruits’ take part in their ‘Passing Out Parade’ (shortened to POP) where they are met by their family and friends.
This event was highly anticipated by my family, however my suspicions are that I was the most eager of all. The night before the POP, I set numerous alarms to ensure that we would be able to secure front row seats for the best photo opportunities – I was out of my bed at 4.00am. My parents and aunt were amused by my eagerness, especially when we ended up being the first to arrive at Marina Bay although I insisted that we were already arriving very late!
The first half of this semester at university has definitely taken upon itself to race full speed ahead and now I find myself embarking on my 7th week back with the prospect of Easter Break acting as my ‘pacemaker’. One more week before I can truly take a semi-break as I jet off to Singapore for a quick visit before my Lil’ Bro heads into the army!
It has been a busy start to the year, to put it simply and any food spotting or life sharing has been limited to the world of Instagram. So…in a brief moment to breathe I thought I would make a quick visit to this space and share a little something which I always enjoy the most during my Singapore trip.
Although we eat out 99% of the time and I could rave about the Singaporean food scene for an infinite amount of time, it is the family gatherings composed of homecooked meals and sitting around a relative’s living room which I miss the most when I am back in Sydney.
On my past trip, which was longer than usual I was able to celebrate my twin Auntie and Uncle’s birthday. My Si Yi (Auntie No. 4) is no amateur in the kitchen, preparing ‘Peng Cai’, a Chinese New Year delicacy full of culinary delights such as abalone, with each holding a significant meaning. The birthday girl definitely deserved to be showered in affection after providing our stomachs with pure content.
Of course there was cake from our family favourite, ‘Bengawan Solo’ the makers of Nonya Kueh, what I have crowned one of the best desserts in the world…my tastebuds may be biased…
Blackforest Cake was featured as well as my newfound love, the Pandan Kaya Cake.
Until next time!
Hello again from Sydney!!
The last few weeks of my stay in Singapore played out with much more haste than I had hoped for. From Chinese New Year onwards, each day was filled to the brim with last minute but nevertheless important rendezvous, running up and down Orchard Road as I made (very) important retail decisions (hehe) and of course ensuring that I had fulfilled my cravings for the local fare. Hence the late post on my family’s Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner!
While Singapore is ever changing, there are traditional elements to it which I hope never change. Coincidently, I had a foodie experience, which I felt to underscore this notion.
MODERN LOCAL: Pidgin Kitchen and Bar
It is a rare occurrence when Lil’ Bro and I have the chance to go on a food related outing together. With Papa Ho returning to Sydney and Mama off being a busy bee, we decided to venture around the area of Kampung Bahru before Lil’ Bro’s ‘work training’… Yes, embarrassingly for jobless me, my little brother secured an ‘intermission’ job before starting his internship as he waits for his army enlistment in May.
Originally, I was planning on heading towards a cafe hotspot around Duxton Road. Sometimes I become caught up in my determination to check out one of the many locations on my foodie ‘wish list’, which ends up in hungry stomachs and walking around in an endless search for a well hidden cafe. On this occasion, I was reminded by Lil’ Bro that time was limited so as I was about to turn back and settle for a cafe near his work place, I spotted ‘The Provision Shop’ hiding behind a bus stop and underneath a towering block of HDB flats. As per usual, I had been enlightened of its existence by the wonderful world of Instagram and immediately rushed towards this surprise discovery.
At 5pm on a Tuesday, the cafe was relatively busy. After teaching Lil Bro how to differentiate between different types of coffee, he decided upon an Iced Latte while I chose the Iced Long Black…yes the climate is rather warm here! Both were enjoyed and I definitely appreciated the break from milky coffees.
In addition, the growing boy had his heart set on the Chocolate Cheese Cake from the minute we entered. From my sample of the cake, it was not overly rich and had a great texture that lay in the spectrum between the dense New York Cheesecake and light Japanese rendition. Lil’ Bro was definitely a fan.
After talking to the friendly staff in charge I was informed that the cafe was very new and only open for about 2.5 months. My first impression was that it was definitely holding its own for such a new kid on the block. In addition to usual cafe items, The Provision Shop is also open for dinners offering pasta dishes until 8pm. Hopefully I’ll be able to make my way there with the parentals for a meal before I leave!
Oh Yes….Lil Bro has caught the Instagram bug….. Hehe
So I suppose the moral of the story is sometimes when we stop searching we stumble upon just what we are looking for. Enjoy the journey because you never know when life may take you on a pleasant detour.
Address: #01-79, 3 Everton Park
In an unassuming corner of an old-time ‘Kopitiam’ aka Singaporean Coffee Shop usually selling local fare, there is a glass counter, commercial oven and a young entrepreneur running the show. This is the physical extent of Nicher Bakery. The reason for the simplicity of the business is ingenious; the increasing amount of cafe/restaurant competition growing in Singapore but more crucially in Tiong Bahru. You can read about the story behind this business venture here.
What I found most interesting was how such a simple concept was still able to bring so much to the foodie community. I’m not entirely sure just how many Pound Cakes and Muffins are churned out everyday, but their freshness is maintained by glad-wrapping each loaf individually before boxing them.
We resisted the temptation of buying anything after our lunch at Flock Café and quick stop off for the sell-out Tau Suan dessert stall in the iconic market, but admired how successful and original a simple idea could involve into.
With a few upcoming Christmas parties, we thought that the Pound Cakes would make the perfect presents or contributions to pot-luck! Mumma rang up the bakery on December 23 hoping that they would be open for a pick up on Christmas Eve….alas they were and a large order was put in. One of the cakes we had wanted to order was originally unavailable, but Melvin, the brains and baker behind the venture very kindly offered to bake another batch for us which would be available at the end of his working day.
So Mumma may have been slightly enthusiastic in her Pound Cake ordering….