27 December, 2007

HV Special 4 of 4 - Foster The English Rose Cafe

Nestled in the midst of Holland Village, Foster – The English Rose Café is the place you would love to spend a lazy afternoon having a heart-to-heart talk with your friends over a cup of piping hot tea. Served from 3pm to 6pm daily, they are famous for its Devonshire Cream Tea that consisted of its signature oven hot Scones, coupled with cake and finger sandwiches and a choice of coffee or tea of your choice.

The good vibe about it lies in the Butter, Homemade Strawberry Preserve and Fresh Cream spread for the scones. Sinful yet delightful, I love the fresh cream with the scones best. The décor and ambience of the place also gets top marks from me, as the old English cottage-styled setting charms one.

But with the pros comes the minuses –the Fruitcake and Sandwiches that come with the set are simply laughable. The cake is similar to those night snack rations the army dishes out and the sandwiches are plain tuna and cheese between two pieces of dry bread.

Where we were seated, the air was also stuffy to the extent warm, and we suspected that they are tight-fisted on their electric bills. Level of service was also found wanting as the waitress did not seem to enthusiastic to serve us.


Food: 2.5/5 (Yummy Scones but the rest disappoint)
Service: 2/5 (Uninterested)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Cosy setting)
Price: 2.5/5 (Not value for money for the tea set)
Total: 11.5/20
277 Holland Ave
Holland Village
Singapore 278994

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21 December, 2007

HV Special 3 of 4 - Marmalade Pantry


Small Talk: Peeps!! Sorry for the lack of updates as I have just returned from Morocco for a business meeting, and will be heading to Hong Kong for holidays in a few hours. The scenery is amazing in Morocco and I will be posting pix of the trips real soon... so stay tuned after Christmas!

Labelled as the chic, elegant bistro-dining place essential for ladies (or Tai Tais) to meet, the Marmalade Group opens its 3rd branch (after Palais Renaissance & Hitachi Tower) of Marmalade Pantry at Holland Village.

Located right next to Aburiya along Lorong Liput, this outlet features the same modern interior design (in white furnishing this time) as the rest of the other two outlets.

We were there for their dessert after our brunch and we promptly decided on the Chocolate Deluxe Cupcake and Cherry Crumble Tart.

As I wanted something sweet and chocolaty that day, the cupcake certainly lives up to its tag of “The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcake”. However, perhaps it is an inexperienced me eating a cupcake for the first time, but I do find the cupcake slightly hard – perhaps someone can educate me on it’s supposedly texture.

The Cherry Crumble Tart however is a fine piece of art. Full of cherry flavour and soft in its texture, the taste did not come off to sweet either.

Service was prompt and staff were pretty friendly, but it does comes off a bit noisy to be called a perfect Sunday brunch experience.


Food: 4/5 (Good desserts)
Service: 4/5 (Service staffs were friendly)
Ambience: 3.5/5 (Chic modern design, but slightly noisy)
Price: 3/5
Total: 14.5/20
17D Lorong Liput
Singapore 277731 [CLOSED]

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12 December, 2007

HV Special 2 of 4 - Yi Bao

What used to be called Yee Cheong Yuen Noodle Restaurant in a coffeeshop, is now air-conditioned and renamed as Yi Bao. The used-to-be queue and order system has also been upgraded to a serviced system restaurant.

I remembered hordes of people used to queue up at the counter before the revamp on a Sunday afternoon, as families would gather there for lunches. However, when I visited them on a late Sunday morning, the crowd was not to be seen. Being a noodle stall, people would not usually associate it with the authentic chicken it served.

However, as it dishes out its famous Ipoh Hor Fun, you will come to realise it produces a mean piece of chicken (Remember to order the Chopped Chicken version instead of the Chicken Slices version usually served in hawker centre). The chicken is always served cool so that the skin is firm and there is that layer of gelatin just under the skin. I assumed it was dipped into a bucket of cold water before served, just like how Tian Tian Chicken Rice @ Maxwell Food Centre does it. What I also like about the Hor Fun is that it comes in thin version – similar to those I had when I was in Ipoh earlier this year.

However, I did find the oyster gravy too starchy for my liking. So if you happen to be around the corner do give the chicken a try! I’ll bet you anything that it tastes better than Wee Nam Kee’s.


Food: 3.5/5 (Chicken is very good but gravy failed)
Service: 2.5/5 (The PRC service staffs are pretty rude)
Ambience: 3/5 (Preferred the old nostalgic coffeeshop setting)
Price: 3/5
Total: 12/20
31 Lorong Liput
Singapore 277742

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09 December, 2007

HV Special 1 of 4 - Aburiya

Aww… just like my second home, Holland Village has always been my favourite hangout place. From the posh restaurants, to nice chill-out coffee joints, hawker food to pubs for a drink or two, this little bohemian enclave is the perfect setting to catch up with your friends and spend a day away. Tucked away at Lorong Liput, the quiet corner of HV is Aburiya – a Japanese Charcoal BBQ restaurant.

If you happen to grace past their other branch at Robertson Quay, you would notice how pack that outlet is and the tantalising smell of grilled meat.

But over at HV, you would observe the immediate difference – and that’s what I love this place for – we went there on a Friday, and it was not packed at 7pm. We opted for the tables outside the restaurant (open-air under a canvas shelter) for obvious reasons – as we do not wish to end up smelling like the meat by sitting inside. We ordered the set that consisting of Beef, Chicken and Prawns.

In addition, the set also comes with a Shitake Mushrooms, Kimchi, Salad in Japanese Sesame Dressing, as well as Stewed Beef with Carrots and Potatoes.

Special mention to the Stewed Beef, as the meat is so tender and so flavoursome, a perfect complement to the Sticky Japanese Steam Rice.

Oh, I also loved the Wasamayo dipping sauce for the chicken so much that I was dipping the rest of my items into it.

Sensing that the set is not enough for 5 people, we also ordered everyone’s favourite – Salmon. A pity that the serving was pretty small because it was snatch up the moment the fish was done cooking.

We also ordered the Assorted Vegetables that consist of Capsicum, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onions, Corn and Garlic.

But the highlight of the night definitely belongs to the Beef Tongue.

We tried both the normal and premium versions and definitely the Jo Tan Shio, or the Premium Beef Tongue justifies its price tag. It was served in much bigger slice and the texture is much chewier. The marbling bite is just so juicy and heavenly and that alone would justify the reason why I would come back to this place.

I really have to say that all the ingredients were fresh and delightful that night, perfect BBQ food to wash down with Asahi Draft Beer.

The night was wrapped up with servings of Black Sesame and Green Tea Ice Cream – not the best I have tasted but nevertheless a fitting ending.


Food: 5/5 (Fresh!)
Service: 4/5 (Service staffs were friendly and accomodating)
Ambience: 3/5
Price: 4/5 (Reasonable considering the quality and freshness of food)
Total: 16/20
17E Lorong Liput
Singapore 277731

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04 December, 2007

Fiery like Wasabi

Wasabi, known as Japanese Horseradish, must be very finely grated before use and has an extremely strong flavour. Its hotness is more akin to that of Hot English Mustard.

However, on the 5th floor of Far East Plaza, lies a small cosy Japanese restaurant run by a couple of Food Nazis – the chef with the lady boss are notorious for their temperament – said to be fierier than the wasabi they dished out, we soon experienced it when she told us in a not so friendly tone, “Don’t bend the laminated menu or else it would spoil”. However, like the short-lived spiciness of the wasabi, the bad attitude and service is soon forgotten the moment the food arrived.

Seated in a small U-shaped counter for 16 pax, the Salmon Belly Sashimi is to die for – it is the most generous serving I had ever seen! The fish was very thick and the fatty meat was very smooth and fresh (It so happened that we visited on a Friday – an insider source mentioned that most Japanese restaurants get their supplies of sashimi on a Tuesday, or a Friday – so now you know).

The Uni Sushi, or the Sea Urchin, is not the Roe, but rather the Gonads, or organs that produce the roe. The serving was once again very liberal and I must say it was very satisfying. The Seaweed was crisply fresh and the gonads were equally faultless.

The California Roll was also very well presented with Ebi Roe nicely coated all over the Mat Sushi, and the Avocado and Crabsticks were plentiful with each mouthful.

The Unagi-Don was also expectedly filled with chunks of Grilled Eel and the wait was worthwhile. Nicely grilled to produce the charred tang, this dish comes seemingly close to the one I had when I was in Japan.

In fact, the food was so good that we wanted to go for a 2nd round of sashimi, but we were promptly refuted by the lady boss who commented, “The chef is too busy and you probably need to wait very long.” Wasabi, they definitely possessed, but I seriously questioned where the “Tei” part comes in? Oh, and do go early because of the limited space, and be expected to queue after 6.30pm. For what you know, you might be standing right behind me, for I would definitely be back!


Food: 5/5 (Fantastic!)
Service: 1.5/5 (Long queue, long wait for food, grouchy service)
Ambience: 4.5/5 (Cosy family-styled restaurant, but smokey)
Price: 4.5/5 (Value for money for the standard of food)
Total: 15.5/20
14 Scotts Road
#05-70 Far East Plaza
Singapore 228213

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