Fat Cow, Singapore

located pretty randomly on the ground floor of camden medical centre, fat cow is the perfect place to go to satisfy a donburi craving! i had always thought it was rather pricey but after spotting their set lunch menu on display outside the restaurant while i was at camden for an eye appointment one day, i decided that i had to give the decently-priced set lunches a try.

went on a saturday afternoon (yes, they offer the set lunch on saturdays too – YAY!) with the mother and the sister to check out if it was worth the hype. the conclusion: the signature fat cow donburi definitely was, but the other things we tried weren’t mind-blowing though still above average i would say.

we were seated at the counter which i really liked because unlike some counters that tend to be cramped and result in you elbowing your neighbours when you eat, this counter was big and spacious, with a great view of the chefs doin’ their thing to boot!20130907_133020

here’s the set lunch menu:20130907_133150

the sister and i had a fat cow donburi each, while the mother decided to go for the fat foa-gura don. besides that, we ordered a medley of mushrooms in a garlic, butter & yuzu sauce (if i remember correctly) from the a-la-carte menu to share.

despite them being pretty crowded, service was prompt and the meal started with us being served a salad, chawanmushi and miso soup:
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the salad was nothing out of the ordinary; the greens were fresh but i would have preferred the salad to be more chilled. as for the miso soup, it was tasty but very normal, without any additional ingredients besides the usual tofu and seaweed that would have made it that bit more exciting. the chawanmushi was pretty good though! there was this strange gooey layer of sauce on the top but it was fine once we dug into it and it got mixed with the rest of the chawanmushi. it was very smooth and contained some whole ingredients like prawn and scallop etc so that was nice, but i think it could have been a tad lighter and less dense!

as mentioned earlier, we also ordered a mushroom medley from the a-la-carte menu. i LOVE mushrooms so this was my cup of tea! the mix of mushrooms was nice and they were very well-fried, retaining a nice bite but without a hint of any raw crunchiness. the sauce was very yummy – i think it was garlic, butter and yuzu (if i’m not wrong; sorry my memory fails me!). it was added in just the right amount to the mushrooms, resulting in them being coated in it but not swimming or being drenched. the serving was also just nice to be shared among the 3 of us as a nice accompaniment to our sets.20130907_134401

the fat foa-gura don that the mother dearest ordered:20130907_134904
glazed foie gras and wagyu beef over rice

the mother decided to be (kinda) adventurous and go for the foie gras donburi instead of the classic fat cow donburi. we were disappointed though! they were really generous with the foie gras which was cooked to perfection (melt-in-your-mouth goodness) and absolutely delicious, but what marred the perfection of the dish was the sauce! we all felt that the sauce was much too sweet and was added a little too generously, so much so that i felt the dish became quite blandly sweet (if you know what i mean)! it was a real pity because the beef and foie gras were actually really delicious. don’t get me wrong though – this donburi wasn’t terrible at all, in fact i would still say it was above average, but just not what i’d go for or what i’m looking for in a donburi. it also seemed like we were just eating plain rice with the beef and foie gras on top; i felt there wasn’t anything that brought everything together (like the egg yolk in the fat cow donburi). i think its safe to say that we’re all going to opt for the trusty fat cow donburi when we return.

and now, saving the best for last, presenting to you… *drumroll please* the famous fat cow donburi!!!

various fat cow donburi-eating stages:
stage one – shamelessly snap a pic (or as many as it takes to get a good shot) of it in all its glory. won’t be too hard to get a good pic cuz its one of those foods that’s so good it’s photogenic from all angles wahahaha.20130907_135259charcoal-grilled wagyu beef with onsen egg and shiro negi

stage two – break your egg yolk (if you are a fellow runny yolk lover, i understand your pain; this is the hardest part HAHA), mix it all in and EAT!!!20130907_135344

stage three – when you reach your last spoonful, stop to snap another pic and try not to feel too sad that such an amazing bowl of food is now close to empty.20130907_140840

stage four – observe a moment of silence for the loss of the food in the bowl but trust that it has gone to a better place.20130907_140852

the fatcow donburi was amazingly yummy (as you can probably infer from my bowl that was wiped completely clean); i’d go back and order this in a heartbeat! we ordered the beef done medium rare and it came in the perfect shade of pink. mixed together with the onsen egg that was spot-on with its runny yolk factor, this bowl of rice was worth every bit of carbs (for the weight watchers among you) and definitely worth getting fat on 😉 my only complaint is that the beef we had that day wasn’t as juicy and tender as i had hoped. i’ve had other wagyu beef that’s tasted better – more marbled, tender and naturally sweet (i felt the beef in the beef with truffle donburi i had at tamashii robataya was better than fat cow’s though fat cow’s is certainly better value for money. read about tamashii’s donburi here!). despite this, the donburi still proved itself to be one of the best i’ve had; i think it was the general mix of everything in the bowl that made it taste so so good.

ended the meal with ice cream that was also included in the set lunch:
20130907_141642the ice cream we had that day was honeycomb ice cream, and it was a very nice end to the meal. it surprised us all by being not too sweet at all, and was smooth and creamy with crunchy honeycomb bits within. i could have done with a bigger scoop though 😉 hahaha!

all in all, we had a great lunch experience at fat cow. be sure to make a reservation if you’re going though! we didn’t expect them to be so popular especially because of its sightly odd location but were surprised that we were only offered the late seating (1.30pm) when we called to make a reservation and even had to wait for a while before being seated when we arrived at 130pm. this is definitely somewhere that i’m adding to my ever-growing list of must-eat places when i’m back home for the holidays 🙂

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Fat Cow

1 Orchard Boulevard, Camden Medical Centre #01-01
Singapore 248649

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Department of Caffeine, Singapore

despite the myriad of cafes in the duxton hill area, DOC has managed to stand out from the crowd instead of going unnoticed amidst the sea of eateries in the area. since its opening early this year, it has gleaned rave reviews and recommendations from many of its patrons for both its food and coffee offerings, and in my opinion, rightly so! a friend who was interning around tanjong pagar had the opportunity to try most of the cafes there during her lunch hours and DOC came out tops on her list of favourites. i can definitely see why after trying it for myself!

everything about DOC exudes a cool vibe – from the extremely understated exterior (i nearly walked right past the shop and its nondescript frosted glass windows with black frames) to the use of wood and black as the interior colour scheme to the young and seemingly hipster service staff. the shop, which is not big but seats a decent number of people at any one time, is designed in a modern and stylish manner while managing to remain cosy and inviting. the atmosphere is casual and rather buzzing when it gets crowded, especially because it is the kind of cafe where you place your order and pay at the counter before the food gets brought to your table shortly after.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

the menu is simple and concise yet sufficiently extensive to get you excited about what you should pick:
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we didn’t have a very hard time making our decision that day though, as we already had our minds (and stomachs) set on the waffles which looked too good to pass on. moreover, we were planning on heading to tsujiri tea house after for what i think is the best green tea soft serve ice cream in singapore (see here) so we agreed to exercise some self-control and not overdo the ordering. we did pretty well on that, i must say, opting to share a waffle and a salad between us.
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first up, the waffle:
(omg, just look at that picture and salivate now please!!!)
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sundried tomato & herb waffles with bacon, scrambled eggs & maple bacon jam – $16.50

they have both sweet and savoury waffles at DOC, but it was the savoury one that we settled for, in anticipation of dessert after. this was definitely the highlight of our meal (not that there was very stiff competition for the coveted title with only one other dish in the running hahaha)! we could not stop spazzing over how good it was; even when we were 3/4 done with it, we were still repeating “omg. this is soooooo. good.” over and over. the waffle was amazingly crisp on the outside but fluffy on the inside, and the batter itself was infused with herbs which made it quite special. truly a savoury waffle through and through, and not just a waffle with savoury toppings! the scrambled eggs and bacon were also nicely done – the scrambled eggs were creamy and fluffy and the bacon would have been perfect if fried just a little crispier (but that’s a personal preference). topped with maple syrup, the waffles here at DOC are definitely one of the best buttermilk waffles ever (i hear wimbly lu ones put up a good fight)! my only complaint is that towards the end of our waffle-devouring adventure, the waffle soaked up some of the moisture from the scrambled eggs and became slightly soggy but i suppose that can’t be helped!

we also had a salad to share:
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regular salad – $13 (roasted butternut squash with semidried tomatoes, baby spinach & feta/chargrilled broccoli with chilli, garlic & lemon)

they have 3 different salads displayed at the counter daily for your picking pleasure, and i love how you can pick 2 salads to mix in a bowl, regardless of the salad size that you opt for!  we chose the spinach + butternut squash salad and the broccoli salad, and were pleasantly surprised that despite it being a small serving, the quantity was quite sufficient for us to share. the greens were extremely fresh and the butternut squash and spinach salad came with a lovely dressing which we couldn’t quite place but was very yummy nonetheless. as for the broccoli salad, the broccoli was perfectly cooked (ie not too soft, crunchy but not too hard) and cut (big, chunky pieces) for salads, and we loved how it was so nicely char-grilled, giving it a subtle smokey taste.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA there was also some lemon zest added to it which gave the salad a very refreshing lift. fyi, the menu also offers an option of combining the salads with a main – they had a choice of either a roasted chicken leg or some poached salmon for the main while we were there.

i will definitely be back at DOC! this is the place to go if you’re looking for some great buttermilk waffles (another hot favourite is wimbly lu), and i’m looking forward to the next opportunity i get to return to try their sweet waffle with ice cream offerings and possibly their churros with kahlua-spiked chocolate sauce! besides their sweet treats (they also have freshly baked goodies on a daily basis), i hear their sandwiches are good too! the pulled pork one is especially popular.

another great thing about DOC is that they are happy to take reservations. this makes it the perfect place to visit on weekends especially after having a nice lie-in; no worries about long queues or waiting time that could ruin the pleasure of a relaxing weekend brunch!

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Department of Caffeine

15 Duxton Rd
Singapore 089481

ps. dessert was as mentioned earlier, a shiratama parfait at tsujiri:
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MATCHA HEAVEN IN A CUP!!!

pps. the domestic doyleys also got to work in the kitchen that afternoon, and successfully baked an earl grey chiffon cake! it was so yummy and we were pleased as punch heehee. a day full of fabulous food yay!
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Llao Llao, Singapore

llao llao is one of the newest kids on the frozen yogurt block in singapore, and is probably my family’s current favourite place to get our froyo fix! since discovering it about a month ago, we go by whenever we’re in the marina square/city hall area.

llao llao is a spanish frozen yogurt chain, and chose singapore as the place to open their first store in asia! thank goodness they did because they have brought some amazing frozen yogurt to our sunny island that i felt was lacking really good pinkberry standard froyo. before discovering llao llao, red mango and yoguru were my go to places for froyo (especially the green tea flavour that yoguru has at their lucky plaza and great world outlets!!!). now however, llao llao is definitely the one to beat!

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walk through marina link and their bright green signboard as well as the brightly-lit shop are hard to miss! besides the froyo itself tasting really good, i love how there are seats in the shop for you to have the option of chillin’ and properly enjoying your froyo while seated instead of buying a cup and having to eat it while walking around.

they have the usual range of toppings available – a good mix of healthy fruit toppings (on the left in the picture below) and the unhealthier option of the normal chocolate/biscuit dry toppings (on the right):20130908_144240

besides toppings, llao llao also has a range of sauces to be drizzled on top of your froyo! i thought this was quite interesting as most other yogurt places just have the usual hershey’s chocolate/strawberry sauce etc. i didn’t try any because i prefer my yogurt sauce-less but will consider getting some next time, especially the more unusual ones like the raffaello and chococrock; they sound pretty interesting! they also only have original-flavoured yogurt, so i suppose the sauce is a way to “flavour” your own yogurt?20130908_144233

here’s the medium cup + 3 toppings that we got for $5.50:20130908_144405

the froyo here at llao llao is definitely the creamiest and smoothest i have had in singapore. i LOVE pinkberry and snog froyo in london, and to me, this comes pretty close! their frozen yogurt has not a hint a of iciness and is perfect froyo in my opinion! it is thick but not heavy, and besides having a really great consistency, it tastes good too – not too sweet but not too sour like plain yogurt can sometimes be. they were also generous with the toppings which were fresh, and the medium cup contained a very substantial serving of yogurt so i felt it was really worth the price we paid! all of us had nothing but praise for it.

oh and they also have really cute spoons that are very long and made of very sturdy plastic! i love how they’re so streamlined in shape such that when you dig deep into your cup of yogurty goodness, no yogurt gets stuck like in the groove on the back of regular spoons!

even more extra points for a super cute and delicious-looking menu:20130908_145547

the sanums looked very good and seemed to be a popular choice among the steady stream of customers that patronised the shop while we were there, so that’s definitely what i’m going to try next time. (they are the layered cups shown in the bottom row of the leftmost panel of the menu below)20130908_145412

llao llao is currently my pick for the best frozen yogurt in singapore. if you are a froyo fan, this is the place for you!!! and even if you’re not, this is still the place for you to possibly become a froyo convert 😉

UPDATE: i have since returned to try their sanum and it was really a case of love at first bite. craving for more and really need to pay llao llao another visit soon! i know i have a ready companion in my mother, who is as hooked to the froyo there as i am. (i really hope they open another branch somewhere closer to me soon; having to make a trek to the marina area whenever i’m craving some amazing froyo is very unoptimal! 😦 )20130923_150310
sanum: froyo + 2 crunch toppings + 3 fruit toppings + more froyo + 1 sauce – $5.90

i tried my best but just could not get a good picture that showed all the layered toppings. i picked crushed walnuts and oreo crumbs for my 2 crunchy toppings, and blueberries, strawberries & kiwis for my fruit toppings. absolutely love how 5 toppings + 1 sauce allows you to pick a wide variety of stuff to have your froyo with – this is customisation at its very best! the serving was huge and i very happily lapped up every bit of it. i thought it was really value-for-money especially since a medium-sized cup with 3 toppings is $5.50. just $0.40 more for 2 additional toppings and a sauce!

for my sauce, i picked the raffaello which the girl at the counter described to me as white chocolate with coconut and cookie crumbs. i am normally not a huge fan of coconut but decided to give it a try anyway, and i was really pleasantly surprised to find that it was really really delicious. definitely going to get this the next time i go; there’s no question about it 😉

here’s a picture of my half-demolished sanum:20130923_150745sorry i know its not a particularly appetising picture but trust me, it was seriously YUM. you can also see how generous they are with the serving size from the picture; the cup is so deep and it isn’t just filled full but way beyond the rim of the cup! the toppings are all very fresh too; my only qualm is that i wish i they had granola as a crunchy topping. but that’s most definitely not going to stop me from returning to llao llao again and again. and again.

and more sanum pictures from a 3rd visit with my momma just before i left for london:
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YUMZZZZZZ

open a branch in orchard/somewhere i frequent more than the marina square area soon please??? 🙂

Llao Llao
Marina Link # B1-04
(Marina Square Basement link to Esplanade MRT)

UPDATE: really exciting news – llao llao has since opened a 2nd branch at somerset 313! its been quite a while (nearly a year!) since i first wrote this post about llao llao and today (28/6/14), i am proud to say that i still love it as much as i did then 😉 i can never pass on the opportunity to get a sanum whenever i’m in the vicinity, and it still never disappoints though i have to say the serving sizes have decreased quite significantly of late, and the range of toppings has also been more limited the past few times i visited! also, for sanums, you are also now only allowed 1 crunch (which is added twice – i honestly do not really understand the logic; what is the difference between getting 1 crunch as opposed to 2 different ones if the same total quantity added is maintained?) 😦 nevertheless, i am still addicted to this creamy goodness and as the following pictures will show, still take pictures of the towers of goodness every single time i’m there… #somethingsdon’tchange
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check out how they’ve really shrunk in size from the early days 😥

New Ubin Seafood, Singapore

had heard about the increasing popularity and seen on various instagram and facebook feeds quite a bit about this place recently, so decided to drag (okay fine i didn’t have to drag; the fam bam is always willing to hunt down good food teehee) my family there for a meal one sunday evening.

we had previously visited this place once, but it was a long time back before it became the popular seafood haunt that it is today. i remember being very young and bewildered that we were having dinner in a coffeeshop-like setup in the middle of a bunch of car workshops!

the set-up remains the same today, but i now see the place as being charming in its own way, the kind of casual family place which people visit in their shorts and flipflops, with the menu scrawled in multiple colours on a chalkboard that stretches across the wall. its a bit like a secret shack hidden amidst car workshops nestled in sin ming, which i guess some might find appealing since it offers something very different from the usual modern set-ups that we so often visit these days.20130825_195714

we ordered 3 types of crabs, their famous beef, a plate of hokkien mee, and of course some glorious fried mantous (cannot live without, especially when there’s chilli crab sauce to be slurped up) for the 5 of us. they were having a buy 2 crabs get 1 free offer when we visited (there was a huge banner outside announcing this deal so i won’t be surprised if its a perennial offer) so that’s why we went for 3 crabs; if not for the fact that anything more would have been too much food, i think we might have given the other interesting options on the menu (like the pork knuckle) a try!

the crabs were all rather small and the meat was not particularly sweet or firm, though they were reasonably fresh. they were decent crabs though, and very reasonably priced if you take up the buy 2 get 1 free offer. the highlight of the crab dishes for me was definitely the different sauces of each style of cooking.

the first kind of crab we got was the black pepper crab:
20130825_185113besides the fact that the crab was on the (very small) side, we all thought the sauce was really delicious! it wasn’t the kind of black pepper crab that is very dry. instead, it was a little more sauce-y than usual (though from the pic it doesn’t appear to have much sauce at all on the plate i know); i prefer it this way but i’m not sure if everyone has the same preference! the sauce was very tasty and of the right consistency and pepperiness. i generally prefer crab done in other ways, but thought this was good nonetheless!

we also got a salted egg yolk crab:20130825_184613more tiny crabs! i’d like to think it was because they chose the smaller ones for us since we were a relatively small group attempting to eat 3 crabs? i am generally in love with anything that has salted egg yolk in it; i absolutely adore salted egg yolk and all its super savoury and tasty goodness. this dish was certainly no exception and was in fact one of the better salted egg yolk dishes i have had. they were generous with the egg yolk coating, and in my opinion, totally nailed the rich and grainy texture of the salted egg yolk paste. i could not get enough of this and am also guilty of licking the crab shells clean. shell-lickin’ good? i also polished off every single bit of the paste left on the lettuce leaves. am definitely getting something in this style the next time i visit, if not crab then squid!

the third type of crab we ordered was the quintessential chilli crab which no seafood dinner in singapore is ever complete without:20130825_185014
the chilli crab gravy was also very yummy and i loved the fact that there was plenty on the plate for us to drench our fried mantous in. it was of the right consistency – thick enough but not too heavy, and was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy! super yummy.

next, we had what nearly every beef-eating patron at ubin seafood orders, the rib eye steak!
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this was DELICIOUS. seriously good stuff. the beef is black angus rib eye from the states and is reasonably priced for its quality. we requested for it to be done medium-rare, and it was broiled to perfection – super yumz! i loved how the outside was done till it was just very slightly charred and hence crispy with a hint of smokiness, while the inside remained super moist and juicy. served on a large wooden board accompanied by wedges and caramelised onions, the smallest serving of this that you can order is 500g so this is perfect for sharing! it seems like this is the star dish of ubin seafood, and rightly so. a must-order when you are there!

besides the onions and wedges, the beef also comes with a complimentary plate of beef fried rice:20130825_184906
they use the beef fats that were cut off from the meat served to you to fry this super sinful plate of rice. it is a very simple dish with a bit of a smokey taste which really reminded me of claypot rice. though there are many others that rave about it, i thought it was pretty good, but definitely didn’t think it was outstanding enough to warrant having an entire bowl of something so sinfully unhealthy!

we got a plate of hokkien mee to end off the meal:
20130825_191522look at all that pork lard on the top screaming unhealthiness hahaha. this came highly recommended by the staff at the restaurant, and i thought it was pretty good! they were generous with the ingredients and i liked how it was the wet kind of hokkien mee, not the kind that’s fried dry. the sauce was tasty and despite the substantial amount the noodles came with, it remained rather light and wasn’t heavy. not a bad choice if you’re looking for some carbo to order.

all in all, it was a satisfying dinner with food cheaper but as good as that at the usual big seafood chains! i will definitely be back to satisfy future seafood cravings if i’m in the mood for somewhere casual and slightly off the beaten track. not sure if i’ll bring tourist friends here for seafood though; i feel it’ll be nicer to take them somewhere by the water instead and will probably be worth paying that bit more for a nicer ambience.20130825_185339

oh and be sure to make a reservation early before you go; the place is packed on weekends!

New Ubin Seafood

27 Sin Ming Road
#01-174, Sector A Sin Ming Industrial Estate
Singapore 575680

Lady M, Singapore

lady m and its amazing sweet treats have finally come to singapore!!! once we read in the papers that they were opening today, the sister and i marked it down in our calendars and headed to marina square as planned this afternoon!

the sister fell in love with their cakes when she tried them in new york last year, and very kindly carried a whole cake across the pond from new york to london so the cousins and i could get a taste of their super yummy handmade signature mille crepe. we were really impressed that the cake survived the flight just fine and still tasted as good as ever!

which explains the immense excitement that we can now get our hands on such goodness in our home sweet home:
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lady m at marina square 

besides their signature mille crepe cakes, lady m also serves a range of other cakes, tarts and pastries that are laid out at the counter for you to take your pick! they adopt a minimalist look/approach to the cake display which is very much like that of the outlets in new york, according to the sister.
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they also have a range of drinks on the menu, all of which my family thought were really reasonably priced, making this a great place to relax with a slice of cake and a coffee. they even have champagne if you’re in an exceptionally celebratory mood 😉20130908_141150

we ordered a slice of their signature mille crepe as well as a slice of their green tea mille crepe at the counter, and they were served to our table rather promptly. considering it was their first day in operation, their service was pretty good and efficient!

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mille crepe – $7

this is lady m’s signature cake which consists of 20 layers of crepe stacked on top of each other, with layers of cream in between. the crepes are handmade and the layers are very thin, which i feel is what sets lady m’s version of the crepe cake apart from others who have tried to make the same thing. the cream is light and layered in just the right amount such that they do not overwhelm the taste and texture of the crepe layers. the top layer is caramelised which gives it a melt-in-your-mouth effect – super yummm. the sister and i agreed that the cream tasted a little different from the new york version though! it seemed to have a cheesecake-type taste while the one we had from the big apple had a more ‘neutral’ taste if you get what i mean – over in the US, it was more like just very light fresh pastry cream.

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green tea mille crepe – $7

the green tea version of the mille crepe cake – i actually enjoyed this more than the original mille crepe! loved the generous serving of green tea powder that topped the slice and the infusion of green tea into every bit of the cake  – the taste of matcha was strong yet not overpowering, and the cake was light yet very satisfying. highly recommended to all green tea lovers out there!

one problem with the cakes today was that they became very soft and melty within a few minutes of being served to our table. check that out:20130908_141844
it being their first day in operation, i suppose unforeseen problems like these are bound to arise. we gave some feedback to the (very friendly and approachable) owner about this, and he told us that they would work on getting the cakes to remain firm for a longer time by leaving them refrigerated overnight and keeping the temperature in the cake display lower.

its good to know that they are working on this and hopefully this helps to “acclimatise” the cakes because the sister and i are definitely going to be back for more! the cakes still tasted great and this more than made up for the fact that they lost their shape very quickly. we also like the fact that the cakes and drinks aren’t priced exhorbitantly at all, and the service was good.

thumbs up for a first day and here’s hoping that they stick around for a long time to come!

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Lady M

Marina Square Shopping Mall, 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-103
Singapore 039594

Maison Ikkoku, Singapore

located along a quiet street in the kampong glam area, maison ikkoku is possibly one of my new favourite places for brunch in singapore! the cosy cafe is located on the ground floor of a 3-storey shophouse, while the second and third floors house a boutique and cocktail bar respectively – all part of a multi-concept lifestyle store that the people behind maison ikkoku are trying to sell.

i visited a week and a half ago and was extremely satisfied and impressed with the food – what better way to spend a saturday morning than with 2 of your bestest friends and amazing brunch food?

case in point:
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on weekdays, they only serve a limited range of breakfast items, and for a short 2 hours from 9am-11am (their weekday menu can be found on their website at http://www.maison-ikkoku.net/). if getting up before 10am and making your way to kandahar street proves to be a bit of a challenge for the more sleep-inclined among you, then besides the fact that its probably a lot more crowded on weekends, heading over on a saturday or sunday instead is a great alternative! the weekend menu is extensive and has an exciting range of all day breakfast items to choose from, which i love!

here’s a peek at the menu:
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we ordered 3 items to share, and they were all super yummy.

the first thing we got was the umami florentine – sauteed shiitake mushrooms + sauteed baby spinach with garlic + poached eggs + hollandaise sauce + sauteed asparagus + toasted english muffins! we also added smoked salmon on the side.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
umami florentine – $16 (+$4 for additional side of smoked salmon)

this dish was one of the BEST eggs benny/eggs benny variations that i have had. being a mushroom lover, i loved the addition of shiitake mushrooms which were perfectly cooked and plated in copious amounts (so much so that the sauteed spinach under the mushrooms is completely obscured). it was something different from the usual portobello mushrooms typically used in brunch food, and complemented the sauteed spinach perfectly. the spinach sauteed with garlic taken together with the mushrooms and finally topped with perfectly poached eggs was an amazing combination. the homemade hollandaise sauce was also wonderfully done; it was light (not jelat at all) and its consistency was just nice, bringing everything together very nicely. couldn’t get enough of it!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAquintessential shot of oozy egg yolk

the next thing we ordered was the french toast with caramelised bananas – thick brioche french toast with cinnamon + caramelised bananas + home-made caramel with sea salt + toasted walnuts + sour cream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
french toast with caramelised bananas – $15

if you like sticky cinnamon buns, this will be heaven on a plate for you. i happen to absolutely adore sticky cinnamon rolls so this was amazing to me – not only was the presentation super enticing with thick toast stacked on top of each other, piled high with caramelised bananas and walnuts, and drenched in an amazing caramel/cinnamon sauce, it also tasted really really good. didn’t taste much sea salt (as mentioned in the description) at all though, and we barely touched the dollop of sour cream by the side, (both of which were probably meant to balance out the sweetness of the toast i imagine) but that’s probably a good sign because i suppose we didn’t think we needed any of it, ie the toast wasn’t sickly sweet at all! the bananas were yummy, the toast was really thick and fluffy, and the walnuts were fresh and added a great crunch and texture to the dish. it is actually as filling as it looks in the picture though, so i think it’d probably be a bit too much for one person to stomach without feeling like its too heavy; this is ideal for sharing and is a lovely sweet lift to the usual savoury brunch options.

the third thing we ordered was the break of dawn – pork bratwust + crispy smoked bacon + cherry tomatoes + breakfast potatoes + scrambled eggs with chives + mesclun salad with almond & classic lemon vinaigrette +  double orange salad + sourdough toast.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
break of dawn – $22

this is hands-down one of the most value-for-money brunch dishes i have ever had. seriously. at bigger establishments like wild honey, you’d probably pay more than this and get something barely 1/3 the size? just check out the size of that plate – it was HUGE and piled high with an array of breakfast foods. i think two average eaters can share this plate very comfortably and leave feeling very satisfied! each component on the plate was good which i thought was no mean feat, given that its rather hard to achieve that with the number of different things they served up.

the bratwurst was of a good quality (not at all the processed kind of sausage), and the cherry tomatoes were amazingly sweet, fresh and juicy. we all loved how they were the kind that are still on the vine when you buy them, and not the more run-of-the-mill oval-shaped ones. the potatoes and bacon were not bad too – well-fried and not too greasy. as for the mesclun salad and the orange salad, they were both very enjoyable additions to the plate to cleanse the palette in between bites of heavy breakfast food. the greens of the mesclun salad were fresh and the almonds added a nice crunch to the leaves. i also loved the lemon vinaigrette which was light and refreshing. as for the oranges, they were drenched in cinnamon and i’m not sure what they were meant to be eaten with, but they were delicious all the same and as i mentioned earlier, something refreshing to accompany the more greasy foods on the plate. the scrambled eggs were delicious. we all loved the addition of chives and they were light, fluffy and creamy – a worthy competitor of nassim hill’s scrambled eggs, i thought. they also gave a huge serving of scrambled eggs (we couldn’t finish it even among the 3 of us); not sure if you can see it in the picture but it was really a very big pile, plenty to be eaten with each component on the plate. last but not least, we had 2 thick pieces of sourdough, which was really welcome as an accompaniment for the hot foods on the plate to be piled high on.

despite the fact that the 3 of us are pretty big eaters, we did not manage to finish everything we ordered. we came pretty close though, because the food was so yummy that even though we were full, we kept picking at the remnants and going back for more bits and bobs left on the plates. unfortunately that left us with no space for desserts! they have several interesting cakes in the display, which i hope to try the next time i visit! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwe were especially intrigued by the “fade to black” cake that is meant to be a tribute to Metallica. the coffee is also supposed to be good, but we didn’t have any as we found the prices for the drinks slightly steep.

all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed what maison ikkoku has to offer. great food with generous servings at very reasonable prices – no additional service charge added, so what you see on the menu is what you pay! its a great little place to hang out that has a very chill vibe, the kind of unpretentious place where you order at the counter and get water for yourself. the cafe is pretty small and it does get very crowded on weekends (we witnessed several people being turned away/being told to wait about 30 minutes for a table), so making a reservation is definitely recommended if you’re planning on going at brunch peak hour (about 11am onwards).

i’m definitely returning to maison ikkoku but i’m not sure what i’ll order this time – i enjoyed what we had the last time so much that i’m not sure how willing i will be to depart from those choices we made! maybe i’ll go on a weekday so my choices will be limited and i’ll be forced to try the rest of their offerings which i hope will be equally great! 😉

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Maison Ikkoku

20 Kandahar Street
Singapore 198885

ps. rich & good cake shop a few doors down has some great swiss rolls in variety of local flavours to offer – pop by & give it a try!!!

pps. don’t forget to pop by haji lane and kampong glam while you’re in the area! its always nice to take a stroll around a culturally rich area rather than being constantly surrounded by towering skyscrapers. some exciting post-brunch things we did that day documented by my la sardina:
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