Suprette – An American-inspired Cafe with a Kickass Burger

26 11 2014

Nothing has been said about Suprette for a while now and it only resurfaced recently when a friend mentioned that her brother owns a stake in the joint and it was her favourite go-to place for weekend brunch. While I did take her comments with a pinch of salt given the potential conflict of interest, she was also someone whom I could reasonably trust with food recommendations. Hence, I made it a point to schedule a weekend brunch here to catch up with some buddies from back in university.

Housed in a Kam Leng Hotel, a boutique hotel that preserves the nostalgic setting of old school Singapore, Suprette couldn’t have been more different, exuding very young friendly hip vibes. The staff were also extremely approachable and motivated.

If you are in the mood for a hearty breakfast, try out the Shakshuka ($19++) of middle eastern origin, where you get a dish of poached eggs in spicy tomato sauce, feta cheese, lamb sausage and crusty bread. Personally, I would think that it’s hard to go wrong with this dish, given that the execution seems pretty straightforward. Oddly enough, what I really liked from this dish was the bread. They didn’t lie about it being crusty and you will surely need it to tone down the tangy tomato-based stew. The cafe is pretty flexible, so there’s pretty much free reign to swap the lamb sausage to chicken or pork sausage instead.

The Suprette Burger ($20++) comes highly recommended by many local food bloggers and it’s easy to see why. First, the doneness of the beef patty is cooked to your liking. Opting for medium rare, you can see based on the pictures that they got that right, with the patty retaining a healthy pink hue. Second, the patty is juicy and doesn’t fall apart easily when prodded. Most importantly, the burger fares well on the taste-test, with extra flavor from the visible green herbs in the patty. The fries are also executed well, with a nice garlicky aroma. Add-ons are available to make the burger less humble. For us, we got the Mushrooms and Bacon ($3++ each). Was eyeing the Foie Gras add-on ($12++) but guess that’s for another day.

The Chicken Pot Pie ($15++) wasn’t bad but didn’t receive as much praise as the other dishes, since it wasn’t very much differentiated from a generic Chicken Pie. Still, it deserves a premium for being freshly baked, so do expect a 20 minutes wait.

The coffee here are good as well, in the $4-$5++ range.

Overall, Suprette definitely gets my stamp of approval. The cafe see constant turnover but was never packed, service was great and portions are extremely generous, which was why the staff advised us to just get three items to share between the four of us.

Suprette

383 Jalan Besar, Singapore 209001

Tel: +65 6298 8962

Website: http://www.suprette.com

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Penny University

7 09 2014

Quoting from Wikipedia: 

Penny University is a term originating from the 18th-century coffeehouses in London, England. Instead of paying for drinks, people were charged a penny to enter a coffeehouse. Once inside, the patron had access to coffee, the company of others, various discussions, pamphlets, bulletins, newspapers, and the latest news and gossip.

This environment attracted an eclectic group of people who met and mingled with each other at these coffeehouses and through these interactions, one could ensue in wide-ranging conversations ranging from the commercial, to the political, and the purely intellectual; the idea that one could acquire an education for the price of a cup of coffee, that is, a penny, took hold of the poetic imagination…

Situated along East Coast Road, Penny University isn’t the most accessible of cafes, with no MRT stations within walkable distance. What this does is to help regulate diner traffic, which is especially vital given that the cafe isn’t large to start with. Still, one can expect a waiting list to form on weekends. Alongside a minor revamp of the menu recently, prices have also undergone a slight increase but are still kept at fairly reasonable levels, in the low-$20 range for a Full English Breakfast with Juice or Coffee.

MZ had the Honey-infused Greek Yoghurt with Granola ($6.50+) and the Scrambled Eggs on Toast ($5.90). The thing I like about the scrambled eggs here lies mainly in its texture and consistency but tastewise, I would have liked a richer creamer flavor.

I had the Full English Breakfast ($16+) and it was one of the better ones I have had recently. From what I have read, the cafe does not have a halal certificate but runs a halal kitchen and only uses halal ingredients, so don’t be too surprised to find the texture of the bacon slightly different from usual. It still tasted awesome though. Loved the very flavorful sausages and the garlicky sauteed mushrooms too.

Wanted to have desserts but was too stuffed from the generous brunch portions.

Cakes, glorious cakes…

Overall, I had a pretty positive experience having Saturday brunch here and would recommend it to Easties. The service staff was friendly, the meal was unrushed and despite sitting at a long communal table, it wasn’t too cramped so I could actually get a conversation going without the heightened perceived risk of having other diners around me listening in.

Penny University

402 East Coast Road, Singapore 428997

Tel: +65 9008 9314

Opening hours: Mon: CLOSED / Tue – Thu, Sun: 8:30am – 6:00pm / Fri – Sat: 8:30am – 12:00am





Woobar @ W Hotel – High Tea, or more accurately “Low Tea”

10 05 2014

Whenever I hear the term “high tea”, I get an impression of luxury and indulgence. After all, it does sound like a step up from just “tea” right? So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that many eateries and cafes use the term “high tea” loosely, not knowing that it is in fact, a misnomer.

The story goes that in the past, the Brits used to get by with just 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner. However, it became fashionable for dinners to be served as late as 9pm (my guess is that most Brits hit the tavern after a day’s work first…and it seems like little has changed since then). Unable to stomach the long interval between breakfast and dinner, the Duchess of Belford at that time, a lady named Anna, made it a habit to have bread, cakes, butter and tea be served to her room in the afternoon, giving rise to what we now know as afternoon tea, or “low tea” as this meal was often eaten on low parlour chairs.

“High tea” on the other hand, used to refer to the hot dinner with strong tea served to rejuvenate industrial workers after a hard day’s work. The term “high” was used because these dinners were served to workers sitting on high back dining chairs.

Definitions aside, I would say that my experience with Woobar’s High Tea Set ($58/$68++ per set serving 2 pax on weekday/weekends) was in general, a positive one. I personally felt that the pricing was really reasonable, given the location premium, free-flow of tea/coffee, the amount and quality of the food. What’s more, diners can request for complimentary parking as well 😀

The key downside however was the seats, low sofas that were not at all conducive for eating.

One of the salient features of this tea set is the “bird cage” presentation, which is more novel than functional. The teeny bite-sized nibbles do add up to quite a bit of food so my advice would be to have a light lunch before embarking on this journey.

The bird cage comprises of 3 tiers. At the top most tier, served in what looked like a fishbowl, was the Chocolate Crackle and Pop which reminded me of coco pops.

The second tier comprised of savoury items. I especially liked the Tikka Inspired Salmon with Mint on Spiced Pappadum, which was like an aburi salmon marinated with curry powder among other Indian spices. The Torched Double Brie Pickled Cucumber Nigiri was nice as well, especially since I’m a fervent cheese lover.

I’m still on the fence about the Chocolate Foie Gras Ganache with Port Wine & Gold Leaf. It’s a creative idea but the flavours weren’t very compatible in my view. The liberal use of port wine also resulted in a slightly overwhelming alcoholic flavor.

On the other spectrum, the Twice Cooked Hen’s egg Mantou Chili Crab was really forgettable, mainly due to the egg that hardened up somewhat from being twice cooked. Furthermore, I could hardly make out the chili crab sauce and felt it tasted like sweet Thai chili instead.

The bottom tier comprised of the sweet items. Of the lot, I had a penchant for the Assorted Macarons and the Almond Whoopie Cookie Sandwich. Items I felt were so so were the Bambolini Ball (Lemon Infused Lemon Curd Ball) and the Fresh Berry Trifle Shots.

What I didn’t like were the Chocolate Cupcakes that I found dry and overly dense, not exactly the best attribute to have after numerous rich and heavy desserts.

As part of the tea set, we were also served Crones (a light filo pastry) of varying flavours such as Passion Fruit Butter, Marmalade, Strawberry and Blackberry. This was my favourite item of the afternoon and what I liked best about it was that it was not overly sweet or cloying, while retaining a mild buttery tone and flaky texture.

We also ordered a side of Truffle Fries ($15++), which was rather pricey given the petite portion.

Woobar @ W Hotel

21 Ocean Way, Sentosa Cove, W Hotel Singapore

Tel: +65 6808 7258

Website: http://www.wsingaporesentosacove.com/en/woobar





Spathe Public House – Weekend Brunch at Robertson Quay

26 02 2014

Spathe Public House is best known for its communal dining concept, featuring items such as a metre long currywurst on their menu. On weekends however, the communal menu is replaced by a separate weekend brunch menu during the earlier part of the day (before 5pm).

While diners are left spoilt for choice in the number of brunch places around Robertson Quay, with the likes of Kith Cafe, Hummerstons, Toby’s Estate, Five & Dime and Epicurious all within walking distance, Spathe is my top pick. There just aren’t that many places that consistently serves up perfectly poached eggs with a decent Hollandaise sauce to boot. The spacious interior makes for perfect catch up sessions too!

Eggs Royale ($18++)

Eggs Mushroom ($16++)

Spathe Public House

8 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-01, Singapore 238958

Tel: +65 6735 1035 

Website: http://www.spathepublichouse.com/





[Amsterdam, Holland] – Of Pancakes, English Breakfasts and Chinese Roast Meats

20 11 2013

While there are many coffeeshops in Amsterdam, not many actually sell coffee so it was great that we managed to find a decent cafe called Greenwoods that served a proper English Breakfast. I’d imagine it would be a great way to perk yourself up after a visit to the coffeeshop that does not sell coffee.

Ground Floor of Greenwoods

I had the Full English Breakfast (9.95 Euros), comprising two eggs with bacon, sausages, grilled mushrooms & tomato, baked beans and toast while friend JS had the Eggs Royale (8.95 Euros), comprising two poached eggs with smoked salmon on toasted English muffins topped with Hollandaise.

My toast was crisp but at the same time rather airy, the grilled mushrooms were flavourful, the eggs poached to perfection and the Hollandaise sauce rich and smooth. Nothing short of excellent.

Full English Breakfast

Eggs Royale

Another plus point was that while the cafe was pretty popular, the staff were uber friendly and I never once felt rushed during the meal.

Another cafe that’s hugely popular and also worth visiting is The Pancake Bakery, which has the widest selection of pancakes I have ever seen. Initially I was a little bummed, mainly because I perceive a restaurant with a wide menu selection as a jack of all trades but master of none. Thankfully, I was painfully mistaken this time around.

Question marks all around whenever someone asks about what foods are authentically Dutch. Well, something I learnt from this trip is that the Dutch invented a type of mini-pancake called Poffertjes. We had the Poffertjes with Honey, Nuts, Mandarins and Whipped Cream (7.10 Euros) and it was wonderful. Compared to the other pancakes we had here, this one was more on the fluffy side, with the texture of hotcakes but with a lighter body and less floury taste.

If you like Hawaiian Pizza, then you will surely love the Pineapple and Bacon Pancake (9.95 Euros). It was my favourite of the 3 pancakes we ordered. The bacon wasn’t overly salty and there was a pleasant smoky tinge (from the bacon) lingering within the batter.

Pancake with Apples, Cinnamon Ice Cream, Cinnamon Liquor and Whipped Cream (12.15 Euros)

Having had to skip lunch to make it for a bicycle tour of the city, we were pretty famished when it was over and couldn’t wait for our pancakes to arrive. So while waiting, we had some Taco Chips with Melted Cheese and Chili Sauce (4.65 Euros) to nibble on. Was appreciative that the cafe took the effort to toast the chips before serving.

For tourists, do remember to flash your Holland Pass to enjoy a drink on the house.

Zaanse Schans Windmill Village

PS: This advice is mainly for Asians in Europe hankering after a decent Roast Meat and Roast Duck Rice. Say goodbye to 4 Seasons in London, Amsterdam’s Nam Kee is the place to be for Roast Meats. It might just run some stalls out of business if it ever opened shop in Singapore.

Nam Kee

Zeedijk 113, 1012 AV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 624 3470

The Pancake Bakery

Prinsengracht 191, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 625 1333

Greenwoods English Tea Room & Restaurant

Keizersgracht 465, Amsterdam 1017 DK, Netherlands

Tel: +31 20 420 4330





Stranger’s Reunion – A Lively Cafe

31 08 2013

I first heard of Stranger’s Reunion from ZH last year but never got the chance to drop by (actually I did once without checking opening hours and it happened to be closed). One year down and the once humble cafe has since expanded; now taking up two shop units at its flagship location to cater to the strong demand, as well as opening a second outlet called Strangers’ @ Work at Collyer Quay, with a 3rd outlet in the works.

Stranger’s Reunion wouldn’t be the ideal place if you are looking for a quiet cafe to catch up on reading as the place does get pretty lively, which is exactly what cafe owner cum 3-time National Barista Champion Ryan Tan has been gunning for. The concept of Stranger’s Reunion is predicated upon “old friends catching up”, where cafe goers bump into old acquaintances they haven’t seen in a while.

I was here with some old friends I have known half my life (I’m only 24). We had partied the night before (Zouk’s National Day Mambo) and decided to meet up the next day to grab some coffee and a late breakfast/lunch after sleeping in.

C had the Eggs on Toast ($8++), with choice of eggs cooked either scrambled or poached and choice of English Muffins or Olive Bread or Ciabatta. C opted for the Scrambled eggs on English Muffins. Wouldn’t recommend ordering this as it’s a little plain for my liking and there’s more exciting items available on the menu.

I had the Baked Eggs in Shakshuka with Salami, Goat’s Cheese, Dukkah & Toast ($19.50++), which was rather reminiscent of my favourite brunch item at Cafe Epicurious; Baked Eggs with Toast Soldiers, though the ones here are somewhat less cheesy with stronger hints of tomato in its place. I loved the accompanying bread as it was crisp on the outside yet soft and airy on the inside.

The Truffle Fries with Truffle Aioli & Parmesan Cheese ($12.90++) was very decent as well, hovering around Barracks Cafe and PS Cafe standards, which I find above average relative to others I have tried.

SS had the Buttermilk Waffles with Artisan Greek Yoghurt & Fresh Fruit ($11.50++). There was nothing spectacular about it in my view and on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the crispy-type waffles and 1 being the chewy doughy type, this would lie somewhere around 3-4.

The featured coffee of the day was one from Panama. While the coffee was unique from the usual non-gourmet coffees I’m used to having, I believe what took to me most was the fact that the staff took the time to thoroughly explain where the coffee came from and what was so special about it, even despite the full house. We were given 3 choices of how we would like to have our coffee done and we opted for one cup being made by aeropress and another by syphon (using a vacuum coffee maker, pic shown below). We felt that the syphon method gave a cleaner less bitter taste and both C and myself preferred it over the aeropress.

Overall, I think Stranger’s Reunion is a place worth visiting for their gourmet coffees, light bites, people watching (yes their clientele comprises a young and good looking bunch) and of course, increasing the odds into bumping into old friends.

Stranger’s Reunion

37 Kampong Bahru Road

Tel: +65 6222 4869





Savour 2013 – Nespresso Mixologist Session Preview

28 03 2013

Savour 2013, one of Singapore’s most highly anticipated annual food events, will be held from 11-14 April. As a presenting partner and sponsor, Nespresso will be holding classes again this year, which Savour participants can sign up for during the event. If you had participated in their class sessions during Savour 2012, you would have been introduced to concepts like what makes a good espresso, proper espresso etiquette and the differences between the different Nespresso capsule flavours.

From the recent preview session that I attended, it’s fair to say that this year’s Nespresso class sessions promise to be equally educational and fun, with a focus on letting participants gain first-hand experience on concocting an array of espresso-based derivative drinks. Below is what I went through for the preview and what potential participants can expect to see at Savour 2013.

The folks from Nespresso kindly prepared some canapes before we officially kicked off the class. Though they weren’t the highlight of the preview, snapping food pictures just comes so naturally for me.

Before we started off with the hands-on concoctions, we had a brief refresher on espresso etiquette and the ritual to appreciate a good cup of espresso.

We were then given a demonstration with explanation on how to create 3 different drinks (a Rose Flavoured Cappuccino, a Coconut Flavoured Mocha and an alcoholic Caipiroska Coffee Cocktail) and were given free reign to recreate these drinks under the friendly supervision of our hosts.

Our workstations

Our workstations

Cappuccino a la Rose aka Cappuccino Bandung

Layered Coconut Mocha

Caipiroska Coffee Cocktail

My general feel is that while Singaporeans guzzle coffee as much as they do water, only a minority of us truly appreciate it. So do take the opportunity to sign up for this class or any other classes offered at Savour, especially since there’s complimentary access to them (on a first come first serve basis)!








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