Assembly Coffee

For those who prefer something other than your usual ‘Big Breakfast’ or ‘Eggs Benedict, this is the place for you. A relatively new addition to the F&B scene on Evans Road (just next to Prata Wala), there seems to be more emphasis on coffee than food at this cafe. Seating is limited, so go early to beat the brunch crowd.

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Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with croissant ($13.90): Creamy yet fluffy and light at the same time, this is everything a perfect scrambled eggs should be. I would have preferred it better with croissant, but they were out of it when I was there. Nonetheless, it was still a lovely dish. Must try!

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Pasta salad ($11.50): The weakest link among the food we tried, the pasta salad was nothing but a disappointment. The pesto failed to pack a punch and it certainly didn’t help that the pricing was also on the high side for its serving size. No loss if you skip this.

Waffles ($11.50): You HAVE to save space for this. We couldn’t decide between Salted Caramel or Earl Grey Caramel, so we got both. The waffles were fragrant and buttery; crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I like my waffles less sweet so it doesn’t get too cloying when I eat it with the ice cream and sauce, so this was perfect for me. Both waffles come with a scope of New Zealand Natural vanilla ice cream, but differs in the sauce and toppings.

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Earl grey caramel: I am big on earl grey, so this was a natural choice for me. The delightfully rich earl grey caramel sauce perfumed the waffle and the strawberries added a nice touch of freshness. Must try!

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Salted caramel: Luscious, buttery caramel taste with just the right amount of saltiness. Definitely one of the better ones around, but not as outstanding as the earl grey caramel sauce.

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Iced mocha ($5.50): I don’t usually order mocha because they are often too sweet for my liking, but I’m glad this turned out fine. The drink was velvety smooth with just the right amount of chocolate such that the aromatic coffee does not get lost in the drink.

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Iced chocolate ($6): One of the few non-caffeinated drinks on the menu, but unfortunately, not one that I will recommend. There was too much milk for the amount of chocolate in the drink, and I hate to say this but it was pretty similar to iced Milo. Do bear in mind that it is a chocolate drink after all (unlike the former which was a coffee drink with chocolate), so naturally it should be luscious, sinful and chocolate-y.

Overall, we had a good meal (despite some misses) and it was a unanimous decision that this is one cafe that we would definitely go back for more Earl Grey Caramel waffles and chocolate tarts (not reviewed in this post but it was divine!). Hence, it goes without saying that this cafe is highly recommended!

Assembly Coffee is located on 26 evans lodge and is open every Tuesday to Sunday from 0800 to 1900. 

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Anthesis

New weekend, new cafe. Sunday brunch continues at yet another cafe near town. Situated on the Robertson Quay stretch of the Singapore River, Anthesis is not the most public transport friendly cafe; but looking at the Sunday crowd, its location sure has not deterred brunch goers.

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We started off with the usual suspects – truffle fries and lattes while we waited for our mains. I am so glad we did because our food took ridiculously long to arrive at our table. You know what they say, a hungry man is an angry man.

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Truffle Fries ($12) : Thick cut fries tossed in truffle oil and topped with sprouts – seriously?? Totally random and the grassy taste did not go well with the truffle flavour at all. Serving size was small for the price and truffle flavour was barely there. We could definitely do with more fries and truffle oil. With such disappointing fries, brunch was definitely off to a shaky start.

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Eggs Duet ($14) : Eggs done two ways and sandwiched between two mini burger buns. The frittata was dry and bland; and while the scrambled egg fared slightly better, it was not creamy enough too. Additionally, we found the bacon and sausages too salty for our liking as well.

P.S: The default set comes with smoked salmon, but you can opt to change it to bacon at no extra cost.

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Sizzling Beef Pot Pie ($16): We waited for almost an hour for this dish, despite constant checks with the waiting staff. Each time we were brushed off and told it will be coming to us in 5 minutes. Not cool. Adding to our disappointment was the fact that the pot pie did not have a top crust. While I am aware that some variations do not have it, but hey, crust is always welcome. The cartilage and fats to meat ratio was off the charts, and to make things worse, it was poorly seasoned too. The only saving grace of this dish was the gooey melted cheese top.

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My Breakfast, My Way ($18):  This is great for those who prefer to customise their breakfast/ brunch. Choose your preferred style of eggs and two other sides to go with it. I have to say the selection was pretty decent, and it includes prosciutto, smoked salmon and avocado. This dish comes with a side serve of greens too. Not only was the dressing lacklustre, the greens were old and wilted too.

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Milkshake ($8) : Both avocado and mixes berries milkshakes were overly milky with a severe lack of fruit element. Also, for some unknown reason, mine came in a plastic cup. I found it really odd, considering that there was no mention of a takeaway or lack of proper serving bottles.

Iced latte ($5.50): Just when we thought we could seek comfort in coffee, the latte was yet another disappointment. Weak and bitter in taste, it was an unsatisfying caffeine fix. Tea might have been a better choice.

Overall, brunch was a let down and the food was definitely not value-for-money given the portion; not to mention the dismal service. I do not know if the service (or lack of it) was because the cafe does not levy service charge, but it certainly left a negative impression on us. Sorry to say this, but this is one cafe which I will not return. That said (and like what I always say), ours could have been a one of those ‘bad days’ incident.

2014

Now that I can catch my breath, it’s time to revive this blog again! 

Upcoming posts include new food haunts (of course), the wedding and an Italian travelogue.

Check back in a few days’ time. 

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR GUYS!!

 

On hiatus

Hi all!

Apologies for the lack of updates. I’m taking a break till 10 November 2013 to prepare for my wedding! This blog will be up and running again in 2 weeks time. 

In the meantime, feel free to follow me on Instagram at ‘eschee’ for snippets of the wedding and upcoming food posts! 

Thank you for your patience and support!

Love,
E

Old school style

Some days I enjoy chilling out in chic cafes and indulging in creative eats, but some days I just want local eats, old school style. That craving for some nostalgia brought me to heritage rich Katong for lunch and coffee.

Operating out of an old school shophouse, Mei Yuen Restaurant specialises in roasted chicken rice. Chicken rice is one of Singapore’s most iconic dishes and some even say it is the national dish. While everyone has their personal favourite (which they so fiercely defend), I am still on the lookout for mine.

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Roasted chicken and vegetables with rice ($18.50 for 3 pax): Served on a bed of beansprouts, the roasted chicken was not only tender and juicy but the skin was crispy too. Now, that is the difference between a great roast and a decent one, the skin of course. The chicken rice was fluffy and tasty with a hint of garlic. Personally, I prefer chicken rice that isn’t too strong in taste, so this was just right to me, but maybe not so for hardcore fans of chicken rice. My only gripe was that the chili lacked the kick and wasn’t spicy enough. That aside, this was definitely one of the best roasted chicken rice I have had in Singapore.

Moving on after lunch, my friends and I headed across the road to Chin Mee Chin Confectionery. A traditional bakery and coffeeshop, stepping in here felt like I went back in time. Everything about this charming coffeeshop spells old school, from its mosaic tiles and wooden furniture to the way the coffee and buns are prepared. As the coffeeshop has limited seating available, do not be surprised if you have to queue for seats. Also, if you are alone or in pairs, you may have to share table space with other diners. Pastries on display are self-service, but you will have to inform the service staff which pastries you took so they can record for you to pay at the end of your meal.

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Because I was there in the afternoon, the popular pastries such as the cream horns and custard tarts were already sold out. I opted for the toasted raisin buns, which were were served warm and slathered with kaya (coconut and egg jam) and a slice of butter. While the toasted buns were good (but not crazy good kind of good), the yuanyang (coffee with tea) was a let down. The coffee was aromatic and full bodied, but overall the drink was watered down. Diluted tea perhaps?

Overall, both Mei Yuen Restaurant and Chin Mee Chin Confectionery are worth a visit for honest food that’s cheap and good. Their proximity to each other makes the trip down to Katong more worthwhile too. And if you still need another reason, old style bakeries like Chin Mee Chin are fast disappearing and you definitely do not want to miss out on the opportunity to savour an uniquely Singapore dining experience before it becomes history.

Mei Yuen is located at 233 East Coast Road and it is open Mon – Sun: 0900 to 2100 (closed on Wednesday).

Chin Mee Chin Confectionery is located at 204 East Coast Road and it is open Tues – Sun: 0800 to 1630

Parking on the roadside is a nightmare, so you may want to consider parking at 112 Katong instead.  

 

Pilot

I’ve been putting off starting a food blog for the longest time, but I think it’s time I get it up and running. I want to document my gastronomic journeys and share my food experiences with liked minded people. I feed my curiosity and hunger for knowledge on food by reading online up and watching food channels on the television. I think it is imperative that I educate myself so I can better appreciate the food I eat. While I do have preferred cuisines and restaurants, I always ensure that I eat with an open mind. Trying food that is new excites me and I am not afraid to try things out of the ordinary. The most ‘bizarre’ food that I have had till date is fried tarantulas and I must say they tasted better than what I expected. On this note, let this be a platform for me to share my food experiences with you and to hear your thoughts as well!