Monday, December 29, 2008

Breakfast at Choupinette

Met up with my bloggers buddies yesterday and it was yet another round of massive firing session. This time round, apart from Evan, Claire, Vicki, Sihan and Brad, we have a newcomer, Elaine.

Decided to drop by Choupinette for lazy brunch but I was totally wrong. The place was extremely crowded at 11am but crowds don't scare me since it is an indication that the food is worth coming back.

interior

Though the place is small for its weekend crowd, the interior part of the café is crammed full of rustic wooden tables and cushioned chairs with a sitting capacity of about 30 to 35 people. The use of pink gauze curtains provides a classic and romantic environment for the window seats. According to SD food review, diners can actually purchase the contemporary designer lampshades, table-top ornaments and other other quirky items that are exhibited around the café.

On the other side of the café, an array of freshly baked breads was displayed and this reminds me of Swiss Baeckerei since the latter also has a dine-in menu of sandwiches, salads, little French pastries and beverages.

for-flickr-1

I would say breakfast at this place is not cheap and the ambience is compromised during weekends due to the high amount of human traffic but I will just briefly run through the dishes ordered by the clique. Julie managed to snap a overhead view of the menu so do use that as a reference if you are curious of what they offer.

Anyway, Elaine and Ziheng ordered a ChouChou's Set at $22+ which includes a sandwich or La moussaka with drink and desserts. Le Noe is basically smoked salmon with homemade gravlax sauce in a warm fougasse while La moussaka is actually beef moussaka with rice. An a la carte portion of each costs $17++.

for-flickr-2

Carnivorous diners such as Yuan will be pondering on his order and thus settled with a cheeseburger ($19++). The beef patty though well-seasoned is way too overcooked till poor Yuan needs to replenish his energy (with more food) after cutting the burger. Claire suspected the beef patty was left on the grill after the café ran out of gas last morning. Thus, might explain the overly well-done beef.

Le Croque (Grilled sandwich) with a choice of Monsieur (ham), Poulet (chicken) or Vegetarian (eggplants) with emmenthal cheese and bechamel sauce ($15++) was either Vicki's or Sihan's order so I am not sure with the taste.

cakes eggs quiche copy

The quiche is a must-try and Claire, Evan, Yuan and I come to a common consensus that this baked dish has a sufficiently salted and seasoned custard with pastry crust of a right crispness.

Since Eggs Benedict's is highly recommended, Evan and I settled with their breakfast sets which comes with a juice and a drink.

Eggs Benedict's ($20++) is served with ham while Eggs Royal's ($21++) is served with smoked salmon and both are served with 2 lovely poached eggs on crispy toasts and creamy hollandaise sauce. Yuan regret not snatching a piece from my plate as I happily licked my plate clean. We liked everything of Eggs Benedict's (ham fares better than smoked salmon for its stronger taste) but not its price.

Before I continue, Choupinette's desserts mysteriously resembles the ones we saw at Swiss Baeckerei and due to the huge kitchen at the back of Swiss Baeckerei and Swiss Baeckerei pricing the cakes lower than Choupinette, I can't help but to think that the desserts either came from the same supplier or were out-sourced. Due to this factor, I wasn't keen to try the desserts at all.

Palais Royal, a dark chocolate with crunchy praline ($6.90++) was the best among the entire lot we have tried but was no where close to my top 4 chocolate-hazelnut favourites. Good but not heavenly. By the way, Swiss Baeckerei claims this to be their best-selling dessert but was sold out by the time we finished our main course that day.

Tarte au citron, a lemon meringue tart ($5.60) which Swiss Baeckerei claims to be their speciality. Yuan and I didn't bother to try it as our description fits Claire's opinion. Oh, Evan felt that Canele's Citron tart was much better so Canele's desserts are good after all, don't they?

Millefeuille frambois, custard and raspberries ($7.00++) was Yuan's choice and I think I enjoyed this the most despite its pastry being alittle soggy. Something light and refreshing after the loadful of eggs.

eclair pie mouuse mac copy

The Eclair au Chocolat Noir, a dark chocolate eclair ($5.00) has a mysterious resemblance with Swiss Baeckerei's chocolate eclair. Didn't try it either since we were sure that it is going to be a duplicate.

Vendome, a dark, milk and white chocolate mousse ($6.90) is another creation we saw at Swiss Baeckerei except for the different decoration on top of the cake. The chocolate content is weak and thus was too creamy to my liking.

Tarte aux Pommes, an apple tart (a slice costs $5.90++ while an additional scoop of vanilla ice-cream costs $7.90++), is something which Yuan and I have seen in the shelves of Swiss Baeckerei. No doubt it is an extremely thin slice of apple tart and I have neutral thoughts towards it. It is the nicer dessert among the entire lot but the ice-cream was just Magnolia, Marigold or Meadow Golds ice-cream (have I missed out anymore brands, yes... Kings).

Macarons, ah... was a... complete disappointment. The unsightly cracky shells, the hollow pockets... with the chocolate gaunche in almost all flavours... has a distinctive taste that is similar to popcorn.

tarte&vendome

The thing I enjoyed the most about the Choupinette outing is Yuan was the photographer for this entry.

In short, I was astonished by the close resemblance of desserts with Swiss Baeckerei and I think their breakfast sets is the only thing that will justify my next visit. By the way, they have been opened since 2001, maybe I am just not in the right state of mind for this entry.

Elaine has uploaded her reviews on this place, apparently she didn't like it that much. Vicki, on the other hand, has a prelude to her photos... looking forward to her post. LIC has uploaded has views on Choupinette: Brunch, desserts and outing and Evan presents her lovely pictures on Brunch at Choupinette. Vicki has uploaded her full review on this place too.
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Yuan's Comments

Finally had the time to type in my comments. Choupinette is a really nice place for breakfast if your pocket is deep enough. (The food here is really expensive) However since this is a food blog, lets not dwell too much about the price. Fen and I ordered the cheessburger and the egg Ben. The beef patty was overly done and really a challenge to slice. The egg Ben was delicious. Poach egg with ham, what a way to start the day.

Moving on to desserts, the desserts here look and taste puzzling similar to the one at Swiss Baeckerei. I posted this question to the waiteress and she said they bake their own desserts. Hmm.. are we seeing some copyright infringement going on here.

Since Fen has given a vivid description of the desserts. I shall just highlight 2 desserts which left a vivid impression. First was the macarons. Do not be mislead by the photo you see, in fact when the macaron was served, it was already cracked. The crust was very loose. One bite and everything collaspes and the filling was all chocolate regardless of which flavour you order. Personally I would think this is contender for one of the worst macarons which I have eaten.

My personal favourite for the day is the vendome. Three different layers of chocolate mousse and of course chocolate fudge on top. Not the extremely rich kind of chocolate mousse but good enough to taste the contrast of the chocolates.

Choupinette
607 Bukit Timah Road
#01-01
Singapore
269708
Tel: 6466 0613

Operating Hours:

9am to 8pm (Tues to Fri)
8am to 8pm (Sat)
8am to 6pm (Sun)
Closed on Mondays.

24 comments:

evan 이벤젤린 said...

yuan took all these pics?? very nice leh! *thumbs up* i'll look forward to sharing more tips on using the EOS nx time, soon hehe.

i love yr comprehensive write-up dearie. most of the time you'll bother writing down the prices, exact food names, address n all. i just can't be bothered. in fact im still wondering if i'll blog about it at all. maybe not.

Fen said...

Ya, the pictures are all taken by Yuan... I only play with photoshop...

Haha, nothing better to do mah, so end up typing so much comments... should blog on it, your photos are so well-taken... plus you have regular readers...

evan 이벤젤린 said...

this is the 1st time i'm seeing him take pics hehe. he shd do it more often la. nx time he bring his EOS, u oso bring yr olympus.

i'm not so keen to blog about outings that i didn't enjoy :p

julie said...

hey fen, i just read your comment. i wanted to join you guys during this brunch but I've been having whacky sleeping hours because of exam woes..this brunch will probably be my supper..

yup the desserts looked really sad in the display so i wasnt game to try them - didn't I warn you about the vanilla icecream that they were gonna hop over to ntuc to buy!

but I think the eggs royal is the best i've tried thus far(but very very very ex although its perfectly done), a close second will be the eggs florentine from riders cafe.. i think you should go and try the death by chocolate cake at riders i think it matches the PS cafe's blackout cake..

i cant wait to resume my breakfast and macaron spree after my exams man...we should meet for some cake outing!

Fen said...

Evan: Haha, true... but for EOS, apart from the manual mode and aperture priority... the program mode is so confusing... I don't like the live view at all...

Come on, mood swings are inevitable for females... look forward to the next one then...

Julie: All the best for your exams... and make sure you catch sufficient sleep...

The desserts are not too bad in terms of appearance but the close resemblance, oh well... I said enough on the post...

Yeh, I saw your comment on the ice-cream but that wasn't my order...

Rider's cafe is quite out of the way but I won't miss out PS cafe... heard a fair bit about their blackout cake...

evan 이벤젤린 said...

the live view cannot focus at all one! if u use manual focus den u can use live view else no point. i don't use it oso, only thing abit wasted coz the screen is quite big for the 450D!

yea talking about the ice cream, what a big disappointment. not that there's anything wrong with magnolia ice cream or anything, just that i think we've had too much good stuff haha. now i only go for vanilla bean ice cream if possible :p

u going PS cafe?? when?? i wanna go oso leh. the one at harding rd rite...heard their standard dropped or something but i'm still keen. just wanna check out the ambience. gosh, we hv like so many places to go!

Fen said...

Ya, that is what I didn't like about the EOS live view... you need to press set to focus...

I am not so particular with ice-cream but Yuan does...

PS cafe, probably the one at Harding Road... I will let you know if I am popping by... Haha, you are always so enthusiastic about desserts outings...

ladyironchef said...

hahaha nice review! but aiyoh, i say many times liao, you everytime squeeze yr photos together den all so small very difficult to see!

yeah evan should blog on the outing! Julie can join us next time : )

evan 이벤젤린 said...

yea of coz, must be enthusiastic ma. being half-hearted takes away all the fun, unless i'm really not keen in the 1st place :p

LIC : maybe you'd like to click on the pictures to view them larger?

Fen said...

Actually, I am having making the pictures bigger. I have been trying ways and means to make it bigger but somehow or rather, this is the size blogspot set it.

Any bigger will result in a pixelated or poor resolution picture.

Any tips to upload picture?

ladyironchef said...

haha not very sure about blogger, since i have been using wordpress all along. eh, switch to wordpress! lol

julie said...

actually i think ps cafe is quite overpriced..esp at harding or palais with the minimum one order..

and even their vanilla icecreams that accompany the desserts are some vanilla podded, some not...strange!

ice said...

Oh dear another unfruitful dessert outing, just like your previous Nectarie and 12+1. Oh anyway, 12+1 is closed for good!

Hmm... I always know Choupinette is good for their meals only, especially breakfast and not for desserts.

Maybe you guys may wish to plan a dessert outing to Ricciotti. I think the desserts there are really good! Plus there're alot of cakes to choose from I think you guys can't cover all haha. :)

Fen said...

LIC: To shift all the entries to wordpress is no joke... I am ok with what happened after the reset...

Julie: Oh... didn't know standards vary by so much... but eventually I will still need to try their blackout cake, the most chocolately cake in PS cafe...

Hmm, talking about cake guru, now I am more curious about you... You seems to know more than me... Have you catch up your sleep?

Ice: Yeh, come to think about it, BakerZin, Rive Gauche and some of the less pricey bakeries are less disappointing...

I am more picky when a place claims to be a pâtisserie and charges premium prices for their desserts, that explains why 12+1, Nectarie and Choupinette disappoints completely but the saving graze was the company I went with... the fun, laughter, friendships obtained from it are priceless...

True, I agree with you Ricciotti is good but too much chocolate selections can be cloying and taste buds won't be accurate after a few round of tasting, thus we prefer to find a pâtisserie with a wider selection...

The other place which won't disappoint when it comes to desserts are the 5* or 6* hotels, haven't seen copycats but to have it in their lounges can be expensive so I often take away...

julie said...

i sleep double digit hours during my study break its just that i don't see much daylight since i sleep at dawn =P

i don't know more than you for sure..but we do really have a sweet tooth! all this sugar does wonders in the middle of the night to keep me going during the studying =)

i just had my second allanbakes cheesecake..the white chocolate strawberry cheesecake is awesome!! but must specially order the whole cake..its not even on his menu...its really creamy with bits of white chocolate and studded with strawberries! if only you were a cheesecake fan..

Fen said...

Haha, I don't eat so much sweet stuff during my schooling days, I was more to the chips and tidbits person...

Yah, I heard about Allanbakes but the thought of finishing the entire cheesecake is quite a fair bit on my calories count... That is why I didn't do a cheesecake special yet...

Occasionally, Yuan will indulge in an Oreo cheesecake but often I will give it a miss...

ice said...

hmm...fen after reading all your reviews on Choupinette, I thought it's quite unfair as this place has never been known for their desserts. I've always brand them under good places for food especially all-day breakfasts. Maybe there's a misunderstanding about this place.

Fen said...

But if you look at the shop exterior, they do feature cakes and pastries... The other thing is that SD Food Advisor did mention about their famous macarons...

However, in my reviews, I did mention that it is a popular breakfast place and their Eggs Benedict is fantastic till I lick my plate clean...

Lastly, I emphasize I didn't taste the desserts as they look identical with another place...

P.S. Actually I don't have the habit of criticizing, in fact, some felt that I was too kind with my words...

SLYuan said...

ice: I think the point is not about being unfair to the place. I think a blog is slightly different from a newspaper. A newspaper should be objective and report news and not include the author's opinion. A blog on the other hand is meant to reflect the author's personal view towards the place. I mean would everyone know that the place is not known for its desserts? I guess when readers read a food blog, they want to know how bloggers feel towards the place and not some generic statements. So after reading the blog they can decide if they still want to visit the place for desserts

ice said...

oh haha you didn't eat the desserts here. hmm...ok maybe next time you guys should lower your expectations for any place! You'll feel better if the experience turns out better than expected! :)

Fen said...

That is provided it is not expensive... Ultimately there is a correlation between expectation and price.

I do enjoy their Eggs Ben but to pay $20++ is not really "affordable" to middle class people...

I hope you don't view us as critics, we are certainity not... We just don't want to create a false impression as we have our fair share of disappointments after following some of the online recommendations...

evan 이벤젤린 said...

ice : we think there are hits & misses to every place, so ultimately the good company/companionship is more important. i don't think we all go to any place with high expectations, at least not me. then again tastebuds are subjective, moreover the food really wasn't good at all, given the price. anyone would hv agreed. its exhorbitant to pay $18 for a burger & $21 for two poached eggs.

ice said...

nada... we are all not critics... just dessertarians. :) The difference between yourself and I: you work out and I don't. :(

Fen said...

Evan just understands my intention, don't she?

Ice, at least I didn't complain about the calories... I only feel the pinch on my pocket...

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