GastroSmiths Bistro & Bakery @ Beach Road (Food Review)

GastroSmiths opened its doors very recently on Beach Road, just diagonally opposite my office. We have walked past GastroSmiths a few times while on our way to the usual lunch place at Chongqing Steamboat and we finally decided to try it out on Friday.

Maybelline and Serene walked over first and managed to get a long table for our group of 8 outside the cafe. Pretty breezy (after a morning storm), so outside was fine. The rest of us got there at about 1pm and the indoor seating was already pretty full – looks like people have started noticing this place!

Now I’m excited coz this place serves egg brunch items as well!

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I am especially interested in their 63 degree eggs. According to the friendly waiter, the eggs are cooked with that temperature, resulting in eggs with softer whites than poached eggs and yolks remain runny (something like that, it was such a long sentence and I was hungry..)

So I ordered Sea-ly Eggs and a cappucino to try, since the waiter gave very high praises for their Highlander coffee beans.

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Here’s their beverage menu. The best cappucino I’ve tasted was at November8 where there was zero sourish aftertaste. Let’s see how GastroSmiths coffee turns out to be!

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The cafe isn’t very big – I walked through the cafe to get to the toilet and it seemed quite small inside – but I don’t find that an issueΒ at all – being compact and practical is the in thing nowadays isn’t it? As long as the food is good – i don’t really care about the space, as long as it’s clean and comfy.

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This is the first cappucino I see that’s served with a sachet of sugar, which I really appreciate. Other cafes serve their coffee assuming that everyone takes them without sugar! Maybe someone can educate me – should we drink coffee without sugar, so as to show that we are true coffee drinkers? Or is it jus a matter of personal preferences? Whenever i am being served coffee without any sugar on the cup or on the table, I get the vibe that I am not supposed to add sugar.

Anyway, this cappucino had a slightly sourish aftertaste – so it didn’t win the one at November8. But it was nutty and pleasant nevertheless!

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Jasvir’s cappucino with less milk – there’s another name for it – something-cino. Jasvir told me but I forgot! 😦

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Messy basket of utensils – but they look clean enough πŸ™‚

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My Sea-ly Eggs came in a HUGE plate with this deep hole in the middle. There sat the 2 eggs and on top of it were slices of smoked salmon, seaweed, scallions and a piece of toasted bread.

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The first impression that Tricia and I had was “Wah looks little”. The shape and size of the plate had a lot to do with it. Seriously, if you serve this to a hungry woman (like me), I won’t be very pleased coz the impression is that – it won’t fill me up!

Actually it will look much better if they add a second piece of toasted bread, so the plate won’t look so bare. Hor?

Anyway, taste-wiseΒ – I was happy with it. The addition of chilli oil enhanced the taste of the eggs and of course the smoked salmon did its part by adding salt to the whole meal, in a good way ahaha. Overall it was a good combination of the ingredients.

63 degree eggs – it totally looked like Yakun soft-boiled eggs to me – except that it somehow tasted and looked slightly thicker than soft-boiled eggs.

I have to mention the toasted bread though – it was really good and crumbly for a simple piece of bread!

I finished my meal in 5 minutes. Didn’t feel really satisfied, but I did feel full the rest of that afternoon lar.

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Andrea’s Mushroom sandwich – looks yummy – but I would have preferred french fries to go along if I were the one eating.

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My first truffle fries – John graciously lent his hands for the picture πŸ™‚ Yup I could taste the truffles and they were good – but it’s my first time trying truffle fries and I shall reserve my comments. Where else serve good truffle fries??

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Tempura wings – everyone liked this! I was okay with it but mine was a bit undercooked.

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Jasvir’s chopped eggs sandwich. Now i feel like going back there again for their sandwich because I loved the toasted bread that came with my Sea-ly EggsΒ πŸ™‚

Service wise – the waiter who served us was friendly and very smiley – he even asked us if we used to frequent some place at Clarke Quay coz he finds us familiar lol. The boss of the place (I assume he’s the boss coz he’s in civilian clothes) also asked us how was the food.

While we walked back, Andrea, Maybelline and I were talking about the food. Maybelline and Serene loved their Shio Koji Prawn Linguine coz there were many prawns inside! I again spoke about the small portion of my eggs wahaha and went :

“If a meal makes me happy and full, I don’t care how much I pay”. I recall my first cafe experience at Comman Man Coffee Roasters where their breakfast made me soooooo satisfied – and that meal cost me double the price of this Sea-ly Eggs, yet I was bursting with happiness that time wahaha.

I may be back again for their dinner items – and maybe have a try again at their coffee!

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November8 @ Sin Ming Thomson V Two (Food Review)

It has been a really hectic weekend for me – well life with kids is never a piece of cake!

I’ve been wanting to visit November8 ever since I heard about it through Cruz Teng (via his Instagram feed) and it’s in the same building as my elder girl’s tuition centre..no reason why I should not review this place since it’s so near to me.

So we brought the family to brunch on Saturday after tuition. It opens at 12pm on Sundays so at 12pm, there was already a small crowd along the narrow alleyway outside the cafe. It’s located INSIDE Thomson V Two, and you will need to enter via L1 Arcade. Thomson V Two is basically a maze-lookalike set up.. so you may get lost.

The most you end up walking 1 whole round, then you see L1 Arcade entrance. πŸ™‚

I have to apologize for the pics quality. A few of them are not very clear.. I have to entertain my toddler while snapping pics – so pls forgive me!!

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Simple 2-page menu, drinks in front, food behind. Hubby and I weren’t very hungry as we had roti prata for breakfast, so we ordered a Big Breakfast and a Plain Waffle to share with the our girl, while the toddler had porridge brought from home. Oh I ordered a latte too, just to check out their coffee (haha majiam i coffee expert).

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Their interior is quite quirky with different bits of furniture and accessories. The toddler liked the blinking lights on the tree πŸ™‚

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But her favourite has to be this waterfall wall. She was hesitant to touch it at first but in the end she did and she was damn happy about it. Kept ahh-ing over it. I noted that the cream sofa was quite dirty…

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BLUR PIC. So these people you see here were the initial crowd waiting outside. Not bad for such a location. Shows how popular the cafe culture is in Singapore nowadays.

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Free flow iced water is available, just go top it up yourself. At that red counter, there’s also all kinds of condiments. Cool. I also like their colourful pipes πŸ™‚

The aircon wasn’t very strong though, probably due to the huge windows right beside the tables. But it gave very good light for my pictures wahaha.

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Latte served in a cappucino cup? Is it in trend now?

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I added a sachet of brown sugar and tasted it – NICE LEH. very smooth and rich – after a big sip you will feel like going ‘AHHHHH…..’

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Plain waffle drenched in maple syrup with 2 slices of butter.

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I enjoyed this! Or rather, we all enjoyed this very much. The waffle was drenched very evenly in maple syrup and the fluffy-ness was just right in my opinion. Again, I am no waffle expert but this is one of the much better ones I’ve tried!

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Our Big Breakfast with scrambled eggs, toasted foccacia bread,ham, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, and salad. And potatoes I realised.. Didn’t notice that, hubby probably ate it all before I even saw it lol.

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The girl had majority of the scrambled eggs and she loved it. The foccacia bread was nicely toasted and very soft on the inside.

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The ham and bacon is super salty, but of course you should eat it with the eggs and bread la. Overall it’s good! We’ve got no complaints on the food.

Service was okay too, water was served very promptly and the 2 girls on the floor were sweet and smiley. I just noted something though. Both girls on the floor, plus 1 girl in the kitchen, had very messy hair. The girls on the floor both had long hair, untied and it was literally all over their shoulder. Their hair was messy enough for me to notice and talk about it. The girl in the kitchen – she had her hair tied up but i think she doesnt know how to tie her hair…it’s still very messy!

I dunno, I just feel that f&b staff handles food all the time and messy hair is an absolute no-no. Hair may suay suay fall onto the food that you are serving. Don’t say hair. If your hair is not properly tied up, other particles from your hair (not visible to the eye) may fall into the food as well.

There are another 2 guys behind the counter, 1 doing coffee and 1 doing the cooking. They got neat hair and looked quite pro πŸ™‚ I just wasn’t comfortable with the girl in the kitchen with messy hair and using her bare hands to grope around with the food :/

Other than the messy hair, it was a good filling lunch with my darling family πŸ™‚

OZ Specialty Coffee @ Thomson V Two (Food Review)

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It was a lazy Saturday morning. Well i felt super lazy coz i am always in lack of sleep on Saturday mornings – my cellgroup ends super late on Fridays and after that I take care of the baby.. so yes it means interrupted sleep. After hubby and I dropped Al at her tuition place, we decided to check out the cafe beside the tuition centre – OZ Specialty Coffee.

So the pic on top shows the carpark at Thomson V Two. Not a big carpark but it will have to do. Charges are quite okay – $1 plus 2 plus?

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Hmm Thomson V Two is quite a complicated place. It’s like a maze and you will need to really walk in, out, around and through. Thankfully OZ Specialty Coffee is easy to find as it is located facing the road leading to the Sin Ming Ville flats. Hubby and I sat at the indoor bar counter coz it was a hot morning. We were the first customers!

I like the giant Scrabble alphabets πŸ™‚

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Here’s the alfresco area – clean white furniture against the greenery – very nice.

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Hubby ordered the big breakfast while i ordered the smoked salmon platter. Drinks – thai iced coffee and iced mint chocolate!!

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My camera’s a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX68.

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I didnt notice these at first…hahaha. SO CUTE RIGHT!

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And here’s hubby’s thai iced coffee looking normal.

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and quite small too. sorry ah – we are cafe noobs. maybe this size is normal la. The thai iced coffee wasn’t to hubby’ liking…I didnt like it too coz it wasn’t the type of kopitiam coffee i liked πŸ˜›

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My bag resting prettily against the brick wall.

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Tada – my iced mint chocolate! I totally didnt regret ordering this.

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It tasted like a dessert all on its own πŸ™‚ the mint was generously given and it was a great pair up with chocolate!

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Hubby’s big breakfast. Yum yum.

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Portion isn’t too shabby and the bread was soft and warm, better than the rock hard toast at Common Man Coffee Roasters. but then again, maybe there are people who like hard toasted bread?

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my smoked salmon platter – with generous serving of smoked salmon.

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See see see – not bad right. i actually like everything on the plate. the salad dressing was slightly sweet, which is quite different from the usual vinaigrette andΒ i loved it. the bread was super nice too which i will elaborate more below, the egg was filling, slightly runny and not too salty, and the smoked salmon was really a lot.

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and they give a small pot of honey for my bread – amazing – how did they know i love honey!

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Close up of the bread – i am so inspired to learn how to make scrambled eggs.

(yes i dunno how…hahahhaa. dun laugh k)

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Well, this cafe’s food is simple. full stop. sometimes, simple food is sufficient. If you are looking for fancy stuff, you don’t come here.

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and yes i would like to elaborate on the honey…and the bread….i tell u, this combination isΒ one perfect couple.

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No i did not finish the pot of honey. No i did not take it home either. wahaha.

Service – we were greeted by unprepared faces when we first went in. then we realised that they have not really opened for business yet. only when we sat down, a staff went to the door and flipped the CLOSED sign to OPEN *lols*. After that, everything was alright. It wasn’t really friendly chirpy service, but the staff did her job by informing us we gotta wait 10-15 minutes for our food. What mattered was we got our food within the time frame, food was good, drinks were okay!

Will I go back again? Yes i probably will, mainly coz it’s right beside Al’s tuition center. And it is a good place to chill and chat with hubby πŸ™‚