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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love.

Birthdays have never been a big bang in my years of living, but it has never been THIS bad (and not the kinky kinda bad) like this year. The best birthday treats however, are free meals with enjoyable company.

I'd say if part of your healing process for a broken heart is to burry your face in food, at least choose the healthier choice!

So you won't get fat and unwanted.

Station 1:
Skinny Pizza @ Barracks Cafe
Photo from
 I love going to House at Dempsey, primarily for my favourite pizzas but also because of the free parking (free shuttle bus from Orchard. Schedule here.) Brightly lit, it has an industrial feeling. They have special glass houses for large groups, but there needs to be a minimium spending.

It is, however not birthday celebration friendly as there is a cake fee of $15 (if you bring your own cake) under the minimum spending of $100.

 Reasonably priced, I only order 3 things from the menu, and i'd stick to it every single visit.

Sweet potato fritters ($9), Squid ink pizza ($23) and Truffle Mushroom pizza ($23).

The killer to the bill are its drinks. A glass of juice start at $8, a mocktail is $12, but i really love the Bombay Sapphire (which is $65 for 4).

Photo from
It comes in this Tiffin, the type that my grandma will take to the market.With an ampule of Champagne to fizz up the ice-cold fruity mix of grapefruit, lychee and ginger.
Photo by Ryan Phillippe Lee
I remember they had really weird ice-cream flavours. like chilli cheese and truffle. It actually had mushroom bits in it, albeit like Campbell soup. I wouldn't have a scoop, even if it's for free ( i sampled it). The churros with chocolate dip (tastes very coconut-y) is quite nice too (found in other outlets).

I always liked poping up to The Beauty Emporium while i'm there, although i will never buy anything (very expensive!) I LOVE the concept and deco of shopping for beauty products in a supermarket.

Bill: $180 for 7

Affordable romantic place to nurse a broken heart.

8D Dempsey Road, Singapore 249672

Tel: 6479 0070

Station 2:
The Handburger

I usually steer clear from burgers (because of the fat and grease), but the gourmet burgers found in the basement of Somerset 313 passes the health check. I have tried the duck confeit, grilled chicken and portebello mushroom. Only health freaks and vegetarians should go for the last because of the blended puree made of pine nuts, walnuts and some greenish stuff. Skip the buffalo wings, pick the chilled stuffed tomato (huge juicy tomato stuffed with coleslaw, sourish though) for your set meal. $18.80

You dine in a communal way, like in a school canteen.

Bill: $25 for 2 (shared the burger)

hook-up place as you sit side-by-side with potential strangers!

313 @ Somerset


Station 3:

Photo from
I've heard alot about this cafe hidden away in Phoenix Park (outskirts of Orchard). So my friend invited me for brunch as a birthday treat. I was disappointed, given the much rave reviews of this place. Parking is free but limited. I ordered the tandoori chicken. I was surprised to have it like a fried cutlet, topped on scrambled eggs and bread. Came with a small side salad of olives and pickles. The tea bag (lemongrass ginger) came in a cute little box, but wasn't strong enough. Better to make reservations, as the queue can get long and people waited as much as 20 mins. You could do better at the kopitam, $2 for eggs and bread compared to $20 for the same fare at Spruce.

Bill: $60

While the afternoon away, cosying up with a book here.

320 Tanglin Road

Tel: +65 6836 5528

Station 4:
The University Club

This is a hidden gem, quiet with excellent service and quality food. With an embelm like that, it looks like a very exclusive private club that only the prestigious, rich and famous will enter.

 Looking posh, this place is newly opened by the Prive Group.

 Start off with a starter of Crab Soufflé in Lobster Bisque with Cognac & Fines herbs ($15?can't remember).
It's tangy, rich and leaves an after taste. Forgettable.

My main was Pan Roasted Miso Cod with Baby Leeks & Nameko Mushrooms in Miso Broth ($32). The fish is soft and slides down the throat. The miso broth was a tad too salty but you feel very healthy. My partner's pork dish fared better. I never really like pork because of its pungent taste/smell (and they say castrated pigs will smell better), but his was tender and succulent. The grilled apple slices on the side were also appropriate.

You must NOT forget the deserts!  All deserts were delectable, but i chose the sticky date pudding ($12?) and i definitely hit jackpot! Parking is free once sun sets, car park 15 is the closest.

Bill: $110

Dessert is any girl's comfort food!

11 Kent Ridge Dr, Lvl 4 Shaw Foundation, NUS
Tel: 67798919

Station 5:
The birthday feasts ended on a high note. The best saved for the last. 4th floor of Pan Pacific Hotel, is Japanese traditional fine dining. You walk through a mini Japanese garden with koi ponds, bamboo, pebbles and rocks. The waitresses panter around in restrictive kimonos, everyone bow and greet you as you walk across.

We chose to sit outside, so we can listen to the waterfalls. Starting with appetisers like grilled pufferfish ($12), marinated shell ($18) and 3 variety of sashimi ($45).
Everything was presented beautifully. The puffer fish was nice, abit salty and leaves an aftertaste like cuttlefish. Didn't they say puffer fish is an extreme delicacy that can cause death?
The killer was the Sukiyaki beef. It was nice, wagyu beef with vegetables in a sweet broth. $65 is too much for 5 peices of meat though. A bowl of rice and cha soba as our staple.

Ending off with plum wine serbert with grapes (only take it if you like plum wine). I shouldn't have been adventurous and stick with my usual citruz yuzu gelato at Japanese restaurants. Air-flown pears and apples were also on our plates.

As we exited, i tricked my male dining partner to rub the balls of the Tanuki for luck! Haha.

Bill: $325

Definitely a place to impress!

7 Raffles Boulevard

Singapore 039595
Tel: 6826 8335

And so, that's how i healed my soul along with good friends and food.


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