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/





Cedele – More than just sandwiches and cakes

24 05 2013

When I think of Cedele, what comes to mind is the relatively healthy sandwiches and the carrot cake but it seems that such is just the tip of the iceberg and applies only to their bakery cafes. There are quite a number of other outlets that do all-day dining (Great World, Wheelock Place, Raffles City) and semi-dining (Rail Mall, Parkway Parade, Serangoon Gardens, Marina Bay Link Mall to be open soon, Greenwich V) as well , where an impressive array of hot mains are available.

The Company’s philosophy of “Eat Well, Be Well” drives Cedele’s operations and is evident with their stand on using organic unrefined sugar, grapeseed oil and ingredients with no trans fat. In addition, much emphasis is also placed on making food with ingredients that are as natural as possible (which I guess is also a healthier option), so no preservatives, emulsifiers or premixes are used in their kitchen.

Running slightly late for this tasting, I had the Apple Cranberry Cinnamon Lassi ($6.70) to cool myself down. Organic yoghurt was used to create the lassi, which was slightly lighter as compared to its Indian counterparts. Didn’t take to the cinnamon though, as it made the drink too powdery such that it didn’t go down my throat smoothly. Moreover, the liberal use of cinnamon musked the apple and cranberry.

Nothing too fancy about the Burmese Shan Tofu ($8.90). It was more or less a simple tau kwa (豆干) dish in Balsamic Dressing garnished with homemade Garlic & Onion Flakes and Fresh Coriander leaves. What I did like though was the garlic and onions, which tasted freshly fried.

For those on a low carb diet, you might want to consider their Grills & Greens Salad Meal: Chicken & Walnut ($15). Different dressing are available such as the Sesame with Plum which coincidentally tastes very much like the plum sauce used for yu sheng (鱼生), the Honey Mustard and the Caesar Dressing. My favourite would be the Caesar. Might be my mind playing tricks on me but their Caesar dressing tasted a lot less unhealthy then what I’m more used to having. Not complaining though, I did eat a KFC Double Down Max with an accompanying piece of Chicken for lunch.

The Vegetable Stacks ($18) was made by stacking a Potato Kumara Cake (a type of Sweet Potato from New Zealand) at the base, followed by a Grilled Eggplant, a Portobello Mushroom and Red Pepper, which is then surrounded by a moat of Tomato Coulis scented with Marjoram. Credits have to go to the Tomato Coulis, as it complemented the vegetables really well and was not overly tart.

Unlike some restaurants which soak their prawns in sugar or salt solutions to give their prawns a nice springy texture, I was given assurance that nothing of the sort was practiced here for the Prawn Paprika Risotto ($17.90), so the fresh crunchy texture I experienced from the prawns was the real deal. To give the risotto a healthy twist, pumpkin and edamame beans were also used as ingredients and it all turned out well.

Finally, something somewhat less healthy for a change, the the Black Pepper Crab Pasta ($17.50)! I like Fried Soft Shell Crabs in general. The one I had here was not as crispy as expected though. That aside, I really loved Pasta, which was scented with Curry Leaves and Pepper. It packs enough heat to make one reminisce the last black pepper crab dinner without being overly choking.

The Lemongrass & Lime Fish Pasta ($17.90) was a nice sequel to the crab pasta. I thought that the lemongrass and lime was titillatingly tangy enough to placate the spice. I’m not a fan of Sea Bass because it tends to get too lean and dry for my liking upon grilling. Apart from the extremely generous size of the fillet, there was nothing extraordinary about the Grilled Sea Bass but it did give off vibes of home-cooked food with the healthy toppings of tomato salsa and edamame beans.

I have to say that desserts were the climax of the meal. I was given a tasting portion of 7 cakes, of which the salted caramel isn’t shown below. My favourite would undoubtedly be the Black Sesame Tahini Cake. It had a very light texture but oh so rich. I literally had a little tingle when I popped the first piece into my mouth. Utterly heavenly.

Other flavours I would recommend as well are the Red VelvetCarrot Walnut Cake and Blueberry Hazelnut Cheesecake while skippable flavours would be the Chocolate Banana Espresso Cake, Strawberry Rose Cake and Salted Caramel (not shown below).

From left, Black Sesame Tahini, Red Velvet, Strawberry Rose Cake, Carrot Walnut Cake, Blueberry Hazelnut Cheesecake, Chocolate Banana Espresso Cake

This meal was sponsored by Cedele. Special thanks for the invitation.

Cedele

1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-01/02 Great World City

Tel: +65 6836 1426





The Fabulous Baker Boy – Keep Calm and Eat Cake

2 10 2012

“It’s hard to find cafes that can be categorized as hidden gems nowadays. I’d die for a quiet place on the fringe of town, where they serve great food and is supported by a team of interactive and friendly staff…” is exactly what I would have said a week ago but no longer.

Just over a month old, The Fabulous Baker Boy is the brainchild of Juwanda Hassim, an ex-theatre performer who also has had experience running f&b establishments. From what I hear, he used to retail his cakes online but due to the increasing popularity, he decided to take the leap into opening a cafe.

Joining him in this venture is Haryanto Soemito, head barista from the now-defunct Pause Cafe. Dropping by on a lazy Thursday afternoon when there wasn’t much of a crowd, we managed to chat with him for a bit when he came to the al fresco area to see how we were doing with our cakes. And yes, we are happy to say that he’s a friendly and charming chap.

Almost all the seats are al fresco so it might get a little warm in the mid-afternoons if the sun is out. That’s why friend P got the Iced Tea, a cold brew of Earl Grey. From my very limited understanding of brewing, I would say there are 2 main ways you can brew iced tea. First would be the tradition way, steeping tea leaves using hot water and subsequently adding ice. Or, you can do it by means of a cold brew, meaning to steep the tea leaves in cold water over a couple of hours. The difference lies in the taste and texture. In general, you can associate cold brews with having a more subtle, smoother and sweeter tasting tea, which was the case for the Iced Tea P had, where there wasn’t any bitter aftertaste nor tannic texture from the tea.

The cafe interior is not that spacious but large enough to surround you with a variety of desserts that leaves one spoilt for choice. I love the little touches of creative potential, like how a cake recipe adds character to the wall at the till area. It just makes the place feel more personalized and less commercialized.

The main menu isn’t all that extensive but sufficient if you need something warm and substantial to fill the tummy before getting down to desserts. However, there is a separate brunch menu which is only available on Sundays.

On this occasion, I had a latte which was done reasonably well but what was most remarkable was the Red Velvet ($8.50). It was moist, light as a cloud and did not crumble apart like how some other annoying cakes do. It wasn’t too chocolatey either so it didn’t leave us cringing with dry throats.

We also tried the Green Tea Cake. It had the texture of a butter cake, meaning it was slightly denser and drier than the Red Velvet. Given the sweetness of the cream, I couldn’t detect the matcha flavours. It didn’t trouble me however, since I’m no green tea fan.

The Fabulous Baker Boy is a nice hideaway just opposite Liang Court, somewhere you can just take out a magazine and while the day away but with ample media attention surround this new gem, I suspect afternoons here might just get a little rowdier.

The Fabulous Baker Boy

70 River Valley Road, #01-15 The Foothills

Tel: +65 6694 8336





Shunjuu Izakaya – Defining Sumiyaki

26 09 2012

Shunjuu Izakaya is a sake dining bar specializing in sumiyaki, and carries over 40 types of sake. Having discovered it over summer thanks to one of my NUS law friends (who had been frequenting this place during her law internship at the expense of her associates, jealous max…), I decided to organize a friend’s birthday dinner here given that my virgin experience had been a positive one.

I have mentioned this before in one of my previous posts but I think now’s the perfect time for a refresher course on Grilled Japanese foods 101, whose terms we are so guilty of mixing up. Sumiyaki means “Charcoal Grilled” (Sumi meaning charcoal and Yaki meaning grilled). Kushiyaki means “Grilled on a Stick” (Kushi meaning Stick), in short Japanese Satay. Yakitori means “Grilled Chicken”, so it is more specific than Kushiyaki or Sumiyaki which can be used to refer to other types of grilled meats or seafood too. Robatayaki (meaning fire-side cooking) refers specifically to a method of cooking; hearthside grilling.

Hope this clarifies things a bit.

Shunjuu doesn’t seem to receive much publicity nowadays but back in the heyday, it used to be a major contender for dining awards, evident from its wall of fame. I guess extra publicity is redundant now anyways, since a full house during weekends is more or less assured for this sumiyaki heavyweight. So, reservations are recommended. The general consensus is that dinners here can work up to quite a fair bit but I believe that with strategic orders and abstinence from booze, dinners under $40 are still very possible, which in my view is reasonable given the quality of the food.

We took up a very friendly auntie staff’s suggestion and got the Tofu with Century Egg Sauce topped with Ebiko. It was a great opener to the meal and on hindsight, we should have gotten individual portions and not go through the pains of having to share something so tasty.  A similar one can be found at Fukuichi Japanese Dining at TripleOne Somerset, which happens to be one of their signatures.

For first timers to the restaurant, it’s really easy to get lost on what to order so I would suggest going for the prix fixe sets which comprise of an assortment of 5 grilled items, and further supplementing the meal with additional orders. There are 3 different sets available, of which Set A and B are meant for 1 pax, while Set C is meant for 2 pax.

For Set A ($20++), you get a stick of Beef Short Ribs, Asparagus rolled with Pork, Chicken Meat Ball, Golden Mushroom rolled with Beef, and Pork Belly.

The Golden Mushroom should have been rolled in beef but due to its unavailability, we got ours rolled in pork instead, which turned out great and is definitely one of the highlights from Set A. My other favourites from the set are the Chicken Meat Balls and the Beef Short Ribs. I usually scoff at meat balls but the ones here are clearly legit, hands down best chicken balls I have had the pleasure of eating.

from left: Chicken Meat Ball, Pork Belly, Asparagus rolled with Pork

Golden Mushroom rolled with Pork, Beef Short Ribs

For Set B ($28++), you get a stick of Grilled Ribeye, Scallop rolled with Pork, Rice Cake rolled with Pork, Chicken Wing, and Goose Liver. The star would be the Goose Liver, whose wobbly interior is encased by a smoky lightly charred surface. Less memorable items included the Scallop rolled in Pork. I could hardly discern the bland scallops whose flavour was overpowered by the savoury marinade from the pork. The Grilled Ribeye was also slightly too chewy for my liking and was not as tasty as the Beef Short Ribs from Set A.

from left: Chicken Wing, Scallop rolled with Pork

From left: Goose Liver, Ribeye, Rice Cake rolled with Pork

Apart from the grilled items, Shunjuu does their staples amazing well too. The Udon with Sesame Sauce ($7++) is served chilled which contrasts with spicy sesame sauce it is served in, causing a tingling sensation to the throat as one slurps it down. The spiciness of the sauce is of a right level which makes the dish super addictive.

The Garlic Fried Rice ($8++) is worth ordering too, as the pearly grains are evenly cooked with bits of aromatic crisp garlic bits garnishing the dish.

My favourite staple though is the hearty Fish Porridge ($12++), which is on a totally different league from what is available from hawker stalls. It has a naturally sweet flavour and creamy consistency, with very generous chunks of Salmon and Mackerel.

Instead of having desserts at Shunjuu, I would recommend heading to Laurent Bernard’s Chocolate Bar just opposite for their ice creams there chocolate tart.

Al Fresco area of Laurent Bernard’s with Shunjuu in the backdrop

Another enjoyable dinner at Shunjuu Izakaya cements Shunjuu’s status as one of the best sumiyaki restaurants around. Competition is stiff however, so next stop for sumiyaki will be Kazu at Cuppage Plaza, where we learn who defines sumiyaki best.

Shunjuu Izakaya

30 Robertson Quay, #01-15 Riverside View

Tel: +65 6887 3577





The Square @ Novotel Clarke Quay – What’s The Big Deal? Promotion

10 06 2012

Just an update on what this foodie has been up to recently:

It’s currently university holidays now so I’m interning at a private equity firm for 10 weeks and I’m currently in my 6th week now. I would say that the firm I am at is quite unconventional. While most private equity firms function with a high degree of corporate culture (since most of the partners and founders of such firms tend to come from an investment banking or consultancy background), the firm I’m at is pretty “creative”. I go to work in casual attire (tho a polo-t with jeans is the minimum I would tread) unless I have have a nice restaurant dinner scheduled that night (I hypothesize that service staff tend to treat me better in working attire than when I’m in casual attire). There’s a drum set, guitar, keyboard and amps in the meeting room where my colleagues sometimes jam (everyone is musically gifted except me), and sometimes we project youtube using the projector, where my colleagues will play to the beat and I will just sing along. I will be traveling with my colleagues to Korea in July for 5 days (which intern gets to travel overseas during their internship?!) so I’m quite excited as well, and since the trip falls on the last week of my internship, I’m considering extending my stay over there to travel around Korea a bit more since the last time I was there was a decade ago. After that, I will be heading down to Hong Kong, Macau and Hainan Island for a long relaxing 11 day trip till end July before I start school in mid-August.

Apart from internship, there are a few other reasons why my blog posts are coming out in a tad slower than expected. I just started taking up golf lessons with some friends. I’m finding it pretty fun but it takes up quite a bit of time since I try to go twice a week. I also pre-ordered Diablo 3 and am slowing making my way through the game as well. Overall, think summer hols is gg great for me so far 😀

Anyway, I visited The Square on 2 separate tastings as coincidentally, a tasting was also extended to SMU Gourmet Club (that I’m a part of) and I went a second time on behalf of the club, playing the role of the meal photographer, so I guess I have a pretty good idea of what’s good here. The buffet is priced at $38++ for Lunch (Everyday), $48++ for Dinner (Sun-Thurs) and $58++ for Dinner (BBQ nite, Fri-Sat).

Unlike The Line from Shangri la, Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts or Triple Three from Meritus Mandarin, admittedly The Square @ Novotel Clarke Quay isn’t very well known for their buffet and most of the patrons here are hotel guests. But with newly appointed Head Chef Jean-Philippe Couturier at the helm, has the buffet spread at The Square been rejuvenated?

I’m not a buffet person per-se. I used to be when I was younger, when the appeal of having free-flow sashimi was still there but now, the elements of authenticity and having freshly prepared dishes seems to take precedence so I have been slowing moving away from buffets. As such, dishes that I find decent here are in my mind, really laudable for buffet standards.

Currently, they are having the What’s the BIG Deal? promotion, where 3-4 BIG dishes are featured every night during dinner such as a variety of risottos cooked a la minute. This promotion lasts till the end of June. They also have an upcoming Father’s Day Special every weekend, where fathers get to dine for free with every 4 dining persons.

On the buffet line, there’s a selection of appetizers to choose from, such as assorted sushi, salmon and tuna sashimi, potato and pasta salad, oysters, chilled prawns & shellfish, brie cheese, club sandwiches, seaweed, golden coin bak kua, ham and parma ham just to name a few.

The Roast Beef at the carving station is pretty good but it requires diners to carve it themselves. Although the intention might have been good, to ensure that the beef does not dry up when left in the open for too long, few people actually take the effort to carve the meat themselves and end up missing out on this splendid roast.

As mentioned above, some of the “big dishes” will be prepared a la minute, with the risottos being one of them. On my first visit, I tucked into the Seafood Risotto which I found rather pedestrian. If only there was a pure-scallop risotto (I’m sure they can whip it up), scallops are my favourite!

However, on my second visit, I received a Vegetable Risotto which came with a side of Parma Ham. I thought this was much better executed than the seafood risotto and something I might consider ordering again. The cheesiness was balanced well with the the hint of tomatoes puree and basil pesto and if the parma ham served with the risotto isn’t enough, just head down to the buffet line to get a refill.

Ironically, my favourite main here is only available from the ala carte menu, the Poached Cod Fillet in Spicy Coconut and Prawn Broth, served with Sauteed Vegetables and Chicken Rice ($34++). The gravy tastes like a creamy sweet laksa sauce with a little more concentration and richness than the usual laksa gravy. This is fusion done right.

The Laksa prepared at their live cooking station falls short when compared to the cod dish. The gravy is a tad too spicy and not as smooth as what you can get from the reputable hawker like Katong Laksa.

The buffet line also features a vast array of other international and local dishes. Other dishes that I found palatable were the Fried Kuey Teow which had a nice “wok hei” character and the Curry Mutton.

As for desserts, the Chocolate Mousse with Mint Chocolate (left of bottom pic) is clearly unrivaled. It is so darn good and chocolatey that it was the only dessert I took that I left none for the ants. Seriously, save stomach space for at least 2 of this, or maybe 3 because it’s the star of the buffet. I would even come back specifically for this if it was served ala-carte. The Green Tea Panna Cotta (bottom left of bottom pic) is not bad as well.

Overall, I would say that the buffet is priced at fair value. The selection and quality might not be as good as some of the more renowned buffet restaurants in Singapore, justifying the more affordable buffet prices at The Square but there are definitely a few gems here that are waiting to be discovered. Coupled with the current What’s the Big Deal promotion, it might just be worth dropping by.

On a random note, guests who stay in the “executive rooms” of Novotel Clarke Quay also get access to their premier lounge, where they get complimentary food and booze (wine included), plus a great view (bottom) from the private balconies in the lounge. I believe the executive rooms are around $60/night more expensive than the standard rooms, so I think its quite a good deal to just upgrade since you get a larger room and I’m pretty sure most of us can guzzle $60 worth of booze a night easily.

Special thanks to Novotel and John for hosting an enjoyable evening.

The Square

177A River Valley Road, Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay Level 7

Tel: +65 6433 8790





San Sui Contemporary Japanese Dining & Bar – Expensive Food for a Cheap Experience

13 05 2012

If you have been to Butter Factory, you might have noticed San Sui’s flagship outlet at One Fullerton, which specializes in Sumiyaki. I tend to mix up the various terms of Grilled Japanese foods and I’m guessing quite a few of us are quite guilty of that as well, so I’m just going to list a few terms to clear the air once and for all. Sumiyaki means “Charcoal Grilled” (Sumi meaning charcoal and Yaki meaning grilled). Kushiyaki means “Grilled on a Stick” (Kushi meaning Stick), in short Japanese Satay. Yakitori means “Grilled Chicken”, so it is more specific than Kushiyaki or Sumiyaki which can be used to refer to other types of grilled meats or seafood too. Hope this clarifies things a bit.

San Sui has now opened its second outlet at Clarke Quay, choosing this time to specialize in modern Japanese Dining. I attended their restaurant launch last week and got the opportunity to tour the restaurant and sample some of its food offerings. This is the second restaurant launch that I have attended and based on experiences, it’s usually not very interesting unless you bother to mingle with random guests there (which we did today by mingling with some Japanese magazine journalists). Food and booze were free flow, though not review worthy since it was geared towards atas catering, rather than a preview of what’s actually available on the restaurant menu. Anyway, here’s some pics from that event.

Open Kitchen Area

As we left, we were given a nice little goodie bag as a memento, which had a nice little wooden box-cup for drinking sake in and some $50 dining vouchers for use at their restaurants (subject to a minimum spending of $100).

So instead of just blogging about the restaurant launch, I thought it would be a great idea to include what San Sui Contemporary Japanese Dining actually serves so I decided to make a reservation there for a Friday 7pm dinner.

Over the phone, I thought it was unusual when the staff asked if I was going to use any vouchers (apparently there’s also a Groupon deal going on). When I said yes, I was then told that it was full house at 7pm and 8.30pm was the next available time slot which I readily took up. Based on pure conjecture, I hypothesized that they might have implemented a policy dictating a limit to the number of voucher users the restaurant can take during peak timeslots (so as not to risk turning away full-paying customers). I only say this because when I was already around the area at 7pm, I decided to try my luck at the restaurant and see if there was sufficient space to accomodate G and me and true enough, the restaurant was pretty empty and we were allowed in immediately. Personally I don’t believe in discriminating between diners with dining vouchers vs regular paying customers but I guess Goldman Sachs was right in saying Groupon is food stamps for the middle class (source: GSElevator Gossip on Twitter).

I received a message from the management of San Sui shortly after this post was posted so I will be including their comments in purple as tastes are subjective and my palate might not be refined enough to appreciate the subtleties of the few dishes that I tried. Hopefully, this allows for a more balanced and objective blog post. The management have also assured me that they do not discriminate between diners with or without vouchers. From a business point of view, our main aim when participating in group purchase programs is to attract more diners at non-peak hours.

Before I start on the food though, I’m going to make one thing clear. I found the food horrendous and the fact that it costs a bomb just adds oil to the fire. I won’t be back even with a dining voucher. The only thing that is laudable is the plating.

The Warm Foie Gras Bamboo Sushi ($18++) was meh. The flavour combination of Foie Gras, Ikura and Cucumber was actually good but my qualms were that the foie gras wasn’t fatty enough, tasted flat and it was almost at room temperature when it was served, making me question if it had been cooked beforehand and just left at a corner. And considering that I (and most presumably most other people) bought into this dish almost entirely for the foie gras, its imperfections were just amplified further.

The Grilled Colorado Lamb Ribs ($18++) was very disappointing. It’s a great specimen that can be used to highlight the difference between nice marbling and just having a lump of fats and there was an unforgivable “chao ta” burnt taste. I wouldn’t be far off in saying you can get something better off Giant Hypermart’s Grilled Meat section.

Management comments: “The Colorado Lamb Ribs is different from the Lamb Rack, which is a more common cut of meat available at most restaurants. We selected this particular cut for its prized marbling and the ‘chao ta’ flavour you picked up is due to the use of Binchotan charcoal from Japan which imparts to grilled foods a characteristic charred but not burnt aroma and taste. The virtue of this charcoal is that it burns at higher temperature, which seals in the juices during the cooking process.”

I ordered the Kurotara ($40++) aka Pan Roasted Black Cod Fillet with Sakura Pesto, Honshimeji Mushrooms & Wakame Salad for main, thinking that nothing could ever go wrong with Black Cod and San Sui is the first restaurant to prove me wrong. The fish was slightly fishy and almost entirely bland so I didn’t finish it just to drop a hint of my displeasure. I couldn’t detect any Sakura in the Pesto, but that was inconsequential since the pesto sauce wasn’t a good complement to the fish anyway. The best thing about the dish was the salad because I like seaweed.

Management comments: “The Sakura leaf used for the Kurotara possesses a very light and delicate flavour while the homemade pesto sauce is quite different from traditional pesto as besides omitting garlic and Parmesan cheese, we used almonds instead of the usual pine nuts. This renders a mild pesto which does not overpower the light Sakura flavour. We are sorry that you felt it was bland.”

Somen ($38++) is a Japanese Noodle made from Wheat Flour and Salt. It is usually served cold with a dipping sauce on the side but the one here is served warm. Topped with Hokkaido Bay Scallops, Lobster Claw and a Prawn & Shiso Dumpling, I joked to G that it was a high class Wonton Mee and tasted as such. It was better than the Black Cod, though a little too simplistic in both its taste and preparation to pay a premium for.

Management comments: “The highlight of the Somen is to showcase the clean and natural flavours of each ingredient, an elemental virtue of Japanese cooking. The base of the soup is definitely meant to be more broth-like.”

Given the limited number of dishes we managed to try, it won’t be fair of me to say that the restaurant sucks entirely. So I’m just going to say that I’m not going to take my chances there again though I am appreciative that the management took the time to care about my feedback.

San Sui Contemporary Japanese Dining & Bar

3B River Valley Road, #01-06

Tel: +65 6336 7737





Toby’s Estate – Assessing Food, Assessing Life

15 02 2012

Summer internships applications are finally in full swing and with that, university students eagerly await their interview call ups at the various hiring firms. One of the typical questions interviewers love to ask is “what are your strengths?” and my usual response is that “I have good time management and motivation towards activities that interest me, and that has allowed me to juggle school work, cca commitments, competitions and writing a food blog all at one go, sustaining a well balanced lifestyle that most students nowadays fail to achieve.”. But actually when I think about it, I find myself working a bit too hard over the past year in building up my resume, that I’ve been neglecting getting a life. So I have embarked on a mission this semester, dedicating my lesson-free Sundays/Mondays chilling at cafes, perhaps sitting at the communal tables or bar counters, chatting up random strangers as I have brunch, you know doing the whole indie thing you’d only normally do while overseas alone. Then after a satisfying meal, I would then sip a cappuccino, whip out some readings and let my imagination drift randomly. That’s what a pretty well-balanced life would sound like don’t you think?

This was my 2nd week doing something like this (Was at Prive Cafe for brunch last week which I have yet to post about). I wasn’t alone though, good friend R was with me. We didn’t bid for any modules together this semester so Sundays were now our catch up days. We decided to drop by Toby’s Estate, which came highly recommended from friend J and I have to say, I wasn’t left disappointed.

Originating from Australia where it has already established its brand name, Toby’s Estate founder Toby Smith continues his mission of educating the public on the diversity and complexity of coffee with the recent opening of his first Singapore branch located at Robertson Quay. Unlike 0ther western brunch places, Toby’s Estate really does well with the whole communal dining thing, where the interior seating area comprises just of bar seats and a central table, providing a great avenue for friendly strangers to strike up random conversations.

They weren’t kidding when they said they specialized in coffees. The Cuppaccino ($5+) I had carried with it a rich aroma and milky froth, just what I needed to get the day going. R had a Flat White ($4.50+) which she enjoyed as well.

Toby’s Breakfast ($16+), comprising Free Range Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Roasted Tomatoes, Sauteed Mushrooms and Brioche was hearty enough to be considered my lunch. Everything was pretty standard I suppose but I have to give extra credit to the scrambled eggs which were super creamy and evenly cooked.

We both preferred the Poached Eggs, Salmon with Brioche ($12+). The yolks were runny and the smoked salmon was extra tasty for some reason, probably because it tasted rather fresh (I find smoked salmon tends to get noticeably drier and less smooth when left in the fridge more than a couple of days) and had just the right amount of saltiness to go along with the egg and brioche. A side of sauteed baby potatoes with onions for accompaniment would have been good though!

Sometimes, we just have to take a step back and reassess our lives. Take the time to smell the roses and enjoy the greenery and not be too engrossed in meaningless work. Carefree and happy, can I be like those kids in 20 years time? I really hope so.

Toby’s Estate

8 Rodyk Street, #01-03/04

Tel: +65 6636 7629








%d bloggers like this: