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 issue 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 🙂

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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-wise – 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 🙂 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 Eggs 🙂

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!

Mignon’s Steak and Grill at Takashimaya Shopping Centre (Food Review)

This was our second time at Mignon – the first time was early last year before I gave birth – I was low in iron (I still am, actually) and I needed to load up on iron – so I had a striploin there and absolutely loved it.

So we were at Taka recently again – went Tiffany & Co to change my ring size and needed to do a quick lunch – so Mignon popped up in our heads and that was where we went!

Hubby had mixed grill  (with beef) while I had striploin again.

20140723_130602I never liked mixed grills because it’s a bit of everything… I am the type who rather have purely 1 item that I like a lot hahaha.

But that sunny side up looked damn perfect… *shrugs*

Anyway hubby had an issue with the sausage. When he sank his teeth into it, IT WAS COLD. It also did not appear to be grilled – no grill lines, no grill taste. It tasted weird in fact, like it was RAW. So we got the staff over to ask her about it.

The lady staff was really very patient and nice about it though. She explained that this new batch of sausages couldn’t be grilled coz it will split open and look really ugly if grilled – hence they had to blanch the sausage. Hubby went ‘But this is a mixed GRILL… and besides it was served cold and it tastes raw!’.

The lady then got us a sample of the same sausage when grilled, and also the sausage they used to have when grilled. So cute right – I think she was really trying hard to make us see why they had to do things that way 🙂 I do appreciate her gesture. But anyway, hubby’s the JUST-GET-ME-WHAT-I-ORDERED type of customer so he was disappointed.

20140723_131229My huge striploin. It actually was supposed to come with fries as well, but I asked for steamed vegetables instead and it came later on a small plate.

I got no complaints at all! 😀

20140723_132143Lovely medium doneness.

Both these items are below $20. Mine was about $16.90 if I don’t remember correctly. The striploin was really very worth it coz the portion was quite big. I personally prefer striploin to sirloin or ribeye coz I like more muscular beef where I can slowly chew and enjoy the taste.

Will I go back for the strip – YES 🙂 Hubby should just get the ribeye next time 😛

 

 

 

Yoogane Singapore @ Bugis Junction (Food Review)

Instead of Paris Baguette, we went to YOOGANE instead! Been wanting to try Yoogane ever since it opened its doors a few months ago!!

It was a group of 7 of us who went at 12pm – Young, Kai Lit, Tricia, Serene, Hwee Yee, Maybelline and myself. Hungry, and all ready to eat.

Thankfully Tricia reached there early to chop 2 tables for us. So we managed to get seated immediately after we arrived 🙂

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Every table has this stove obviously… coz it’s a Galbi restaurant. A quick search on Wikipedia says “Kalbi or galbi generally refers to a variety of grilled dishes in Korean cuisine that are made with marinated beef (or pork) short ribs in a ganjang-based sauce (Korean soy sauce).” I have had Dak Galbi in Chinatown some time back with Belle and it was a really good dinner. And of coz my meals in Korea during my trip there were all so memorable!

Ok on to Yoogane.

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I was sitting with Kai Lit and Maybelline, so we ordered this Seafood and Chicken Galbi for 2-3pax. Looks good hor hor hor.

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WHile waiting, we kept ourselves busy by going to the banchan counter and helping ourselves to the kimchi and pickles. Not a big variety but it was okay 🙂 I had the kimchi only.

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Iced water was served. I thought it was iced brown rice tea lol. Oh well.

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Kimchi was good! Argh i wanna go somewhere with 5-6 banchan dishes soon.

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And the big pan came. Filled with all my favourite stuff – leeks, toppoki, vegetables!

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Cooking will be done by the friendly staff. They pour the meat in and waited a while for the stove to heat up. OH and they will put the round cover before they start cooking, so it doesnt get spilled over.

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When i was in Korea, i remembered doing the cooking for my table for 4..

[FOLLOWING PICS ARE FROM MY KOREA TRIP]

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There – the meal in Korea! Managed to locate the pics! YUM YUM YUM. I tell you, in Korea, the portions were WAY BIGGER. Check out the amount of cabbage!! And the cabbage in Korea was like 200% sweeter!

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After I stir fried it with rice added – imagine the aroma and hungry tummies heehee.

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If I don’t remember wrongly, We managed to finish nearly all of it haha. U know la, winter time, anything hot tastes so good! Hubby gained 4kg when we came back from the 8-day trip lor hahahaha.

OK BACK TO YOOGANE.

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I really felt like doing it myself u know. more feel mah lol.

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The squid was cooked in the end, which was correct.

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After cooking, the food has shrunk and suddenly it didn’t look enough for the 3 of us anymore :X

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But it still looked very appetizing regardless!  Couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into one of those juicy leek pieces.

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Maybelline kindly helped me take this picture. As you can see, the amount didn’t really look that big in the end. Or is it just me?

Rice is a separate order. Maybelline and I went without rice but Kai Lit (our guy colleague) had a bowl.

(in Korea, rice was free flow.. and their rice was ridiculously yummy for some reason)

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Their squid was beautiful and tasty, the texture was soft and wasn’t tough at all!

The 3 of us paid $20 bucks each after taxes. According to Young (native Korean) who also tried this for the first time, he said that it’s about 70% authentic (!!!). and we both agreed that the meal will be much better WITH ALCOHOL. ahahaha.

And of course, nothing beats the real thing in Korea. I should go back there during winter time again leh, feel the super cold weather and eat the super hot stews and BBQs!

Ah Loy Thai @ Shaw Towers (Food Review)

I really think I should start skipping breakfast and dinner so I can save space for my increasingly frequent lunches.

Actually today, I was already eating my Greek yogurt in the office at about 12. Had only fruits in the morning so I was hungry.

Then Anne and Maybelline asked me to go lunch with them.. hard to say no.. so yes I went with them! Ha. So I gotta re adjust my calorie intake plan now..

We took a short walk to Shaw Towers and decided to have Thai food. as we were pretty early we managed to get a table immediately. it looks like a family business, the host who showed us to our table was a polite uncle who looked like part of the family business haha.

We were given this order chit – choices aren’t a lot but i guess it was alright. The only curry they have is green curry, and they have the usual tom yum soup, stir fry dishes etc. and today, their salad dishes were all out of stock =_= oh well, doesn’t really matter la.

The restaurant was quite empty at first, then the crowd started strolling in at about 1230-1245pm and there was even a queue outside at some point.

Our dishes came quite quickly!

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A nice portion of tom yum seafood soup. looks good with all the seafood swimming in it. I find it quite different from the usual tom yum soups I tasted elsewhere. This one was sweeter and less sour. And the spicy-ness was a bit too much for me. Anne and Maybelline found it okay though *salute*

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They give quite a bit of rice, which none of us finished.

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Basil Beef stir fry which I really liked – the beef was tender and flavourful! Very good complement to the rice heehee.

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This pandan chicken was a winner – chicken was succulent and well-marinated – every bite was juicy. And the best part was, this restaurant doesn’t use a lot of MSG  coz i wasn’t thirsty after the meal!

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This is one of my favourite vegetable – sweet potato leaf. This dish was good too – err to me every kind of stir fry vegetable is good – hahahhaa.

I did not eat as much actually, coz I was not very hungry to start with. But the company was good, Anne was very thrilled to be finally out for lunch after days of being cooped up in office piled up with work. And Maybelline, being the newbie to the company, had to be ‘interrogated’ by us haha.

And guess what, I am going out for lunch tomorrow too 🙂 to PARIS BAGUETTE at Bugis Junction basement!

Think I shall just skip breakfast…

Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro @ Beach Road (Food Review)

Had the chance to do a food review again today during lunch coz we got a new colleague and we brought her out for lunch 🙂

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it was my second time here. First time was with church friends and I had meatballs which wasn’t too impressive.

Their loft upstairs was closed during lunch so we sat below right in front of the bar.

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The rest of the seating area. It was a bit cramped in my opinion but nicely done up.

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I decided to try the roast beef crepe. The rest ordered grilled salmon, baked pasta and smoked salmon crepe! Yum.

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They actually have set lunch as well but we didn’t go for it coz it’s quite limited.

And after a short chat, the food arrived!

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Maria’s smoked salmon crepe – very healthy and neatly presented. Filled with smoked salmon!

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My roast beef crepe – it looked totally like a murtabak hahaha.

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I flipped open one end and wow it was filled with  big slab of roast beef steak and lots of creamy potatoes!

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The beef was juicy, flavourful and tender. The potatoes were so yummy and addictive leh! The wrap itself was also tasty. I’m really very happy with what I’ve ordered. Super worth the calories!

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Maybelline’s baked pasta. Their dishes got standard one – every dish looks good.

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And look at this grilled salmon – it costs $23.90 but I think the amount of fish there justifies the price. And i love the presentation too 🙂

Everyone was happy with their food! Haha the roast beef crepe has won me over on this second visit 🙂

Din Tai Fung (Marina Bay Link Mall)

Some of you may have known that I’ve recently fallen in love with DTF and their food. Yes recently. Previously I thought they were just okay, nothing worth raving about.. But I guess tastes will change as age catches on…

Ya so I had lunch today with my buddy at work. We don’t lunch together everyday cos I usually go gym. So we try to lunch together once in a while. And we both enjoy DTF!

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We ordered 2 bowls of this.. So we had 1 whole bowl to ourselves. Shiok leh. Yum yum! And on top of the already existing chilli oil and vinegar, we piled on their chilli sauce on top of the dumpling before shoving it into our mouth. Bliss.

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We ordered 10x of this crab xiao long bao too. Looks better on the pic when there are more in the basket don’t you think!! Hee.

It was crowded today. We had to wait about 20min before getting a table. But service was quite prompt as usual. Besides the above, we also ordered the spicy cucumber, the tang hoon chap chye (what’s the exact name..) and a basket of shrimp pork dumplings. Just nice 🙂

More pics coming up tomorrow, cause I’m going Paradise Pavilion for my department lunch! Sigh, this week never go gym leh… Don’t dare to weigh myself Liao..