Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dong Po Colonial Cafe @ Kandahar Street

Dong Po Colonial Cafe
56 Kandahar Street 
Singapore 198904
(nearest MRT: Bugis)

opening hours: 
10am to 10pm daily

It was fortunate for us to chance upon this cozy little place while making our way towards vintage delicafe (which turned out to be closed, so I'll write about it when I get to eat there in future!). The black signboard that said: freshly baked SCONES drew me into the shop because i ABSOLUTELY love scones. And I definitely didn't regret the visit at all. 

They served lots of pasteries from cupcakes (with cream and deco on it for less than $2), cornish chicken pie, biscuits, tarts, LOTS OF COOL STUFF. And i forgot a shot of it:( will do it the very next time I get there!!

The best part of this cafe was the elegance, comfort and good food comes at an unreasonably cheap price! I got a scone set and an almond macaroon for $5. WHERE ELSE CAN YOU FIND A DEAL LIKE THAT IN SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT?! This cafe has officially become my favourite.

The interior of the shop was nicely renovated and beneath the tabletops were items from Singapore during the colonial times. The area was spacious and cooling, perfect for an afternoon tea if your legs get too tired from shopping at Haji Lane or sightseeing along Arab Street!

Almond macaroon: The top is crisp, the inside bottom crust tastes like a perfect egg-tart crust but with  a chewy, sugary, cotton-candy-like-tasting inside. In other words, if you have a sweet tooth, it is PERFECT. 

The scone (with fresh cream and homemade jam -strawberry, marmalade or lemon) came with teh/kopi at a very affordable $3.30. The scone was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside with a heavenly buttery taste. The only downside was that I think they microwaved the scone to heat it up so as it cooled down the texture of the scone because slightly chewy. Nonetheless, it was really really REALLY good. The teh was also really fragrant and not too sweet, balancing off the scone really well. 

So these, plus a teh, for only $5!!! 

//edit: I went back to check more pastries out :)

The one in the middle: three-hole cookie: $1.70
The one on the right: almond finger: $1.70

The Three-hole cookie lies on the buttery side. If you leave it overnight on a piece of kitchen towel, a lot of the oil will be absorbed. Having said that, the taste of the cookie is not compromised by having it left overnight on the kitchen towel. The jam-filled center are slightly tangy, off-setting the buttery taste and making it light for the palate. I love it for breakfast when I am rushing for work.

The almond finger lies on the sweet side, with its crisp meringue-like topping on a butter finger. With the recommendation of the owner, I paired the almond finger with kopi-o, which was thick, aromatic and not too sweet (the way I like it). This combination makes a perfect tea-time snack before getting back to the office. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ayam Penyet Ria @ Far East Plaza

Ayam Penyet Ria 

Far East Plaza #05-22

Opening hours: 11.30am to 10pm

We visited the restaurant on a weekday evening (around 6.30pm) and we had to wait for a couple of minutes before seats were emptied. The queue continued to form as we proceeded with the meal but if you want a short summary: don't even bother queuing for it. 

With regards to service, the staff were extremely unfriendly. They did not smile at customers, and entirely ignored customers when they said 'thank you'. 

The gado-gado ($5.90) was served with overboiled cabbage and long beans, and the tomato in it was stale such that I could taste that it was already turning bad. The sauce tasted alright, but the whole dish tasted like it was made with leftover vegetables. 

The signature Ayam Penyet was only worth its reputation for the chilli. The chilli was very fragrant and nice. However, the chicken served was dry and the batter on it was not even crispy. The meat within also tasted like it has been re-cooked after being kept for a long period of time. 

I wouldn't dare conclude this about other branches, but there are far better Ayam Penyets to try (like the one at Seah Im food center or Plaza Singapura's Kopitiam) with better price, taste and value. We were extremely disappointed by the standard of food and service provided at an establishment with quite a number of branches.

//edit: I decided to give the branch at Lucky Plaza (#04-25) a shot and the food and service was so much better! The batter was crisp, the vegetables were fresh and the chicken was tender. The difference in the standard cannot be overstated. Since the two branches are so close to each other, go for the Lucky Plaza one.

Enak Enak Hongkong Tea House @ Simpang Bedok

Enak Enak Hongkong Tea House

342 Bedok Road
Simpang Bedok


opening hours: 10am to 6am

Simpang Bedok Houses a variety of eateries that Singaporeans often visit for their supper. Amongst which lies this restaurant which serves Halal Dim Sum!

We visited the establishment on a Saturday night around 8.30pm. Although it was already full, we were promptly directed to a table. Despite the fact that they were almost full, the outdoor seating area was sufficiently ventilated and comfortable enough for us to enjoy our meal. 

They serve a huge variety of food including Thai, Western, Indian and Chinese/Hongkong cuisines. The food items were reasonably prices and the staff were extremely friendly, making our experience at the place even more pleasant. The range of dimsum they served were rather limited, but if you are looking for the basic ones like siewmai, xiao long bao, har gao, charsiew bun, lotus glutinous rice, they definitely have it on the menu.

Chee cheong fun with shrimps. This steamed rice roll (hong kong style) was well seasoned and the shrimps in it were fresh and succulent. The texture of the rice rolls was soft, but the surfaces stuck together and they were slightly to the mushy side. Overall, it was still quite nice:)

We were really disappointed by the liu sha bao. Although the salted egg yolk taste was excellent and fragrant, the filling was to the hard side and nothing flowed out (refer to the next picture), which is usually the best part of the liu sha bao!

We were extremely curious to find out how the Xiao long bao tasted, because it was made with chicken instead of pork. The xiao long bao had juice on the inside (one of the most important factors!) and it was definitely tasty enough! however, the skin of the xiao long bao was slightly too thick for its standards. nevertheless, it is a good option if you are looking at halal dim sum!

We also ordered the horfun to try. if you noticed it was a vegetarian version of it which the staff very amicably agreed to  helping us make! The signature wok hei of a hor fun was definitely present. The serving was HUGE, but it was slightlyyyy sweet which I didn't like (but some prefer it this way!)

Overall, our visit to the restaurant was pleasant, the food was reasonably priced with generous serving, the staff was friendly, the environment was friendly and if you want to bring your Muslim friends to try out Dim Sum, it is definitely representative enough of what Dim Sum should be :)