Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jungle Breakfast

To the locals, the Singapore Zoo is one we remember deeply since childhood; to the foreigners, this is a must-visit place in Singapore.

Ah Meng Restaurant @ the Singapore Zoo

Talking about the Singapore Zoo, one of the most mentioned animal is none other the late Ah Meng, a female Sumatran Orangutan. In fact, apart from being an icon of the Singapore tourism industry, the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board conferred Ah Meng a "Special Tourism Ambassador" in 1992. Thus, one of the highlights the Singapore Zoo provides is the Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife where one gets to have breakfast with the Orangutans.

Jungle Breakfast

Appearance of the Orangutans

This would be a dream breakfast for most kids. Breakfast with Orangutans :) At $25++ excluding admission charges to the zoo, you will have buffet breakfast plus opportunities to take photos with the orangutans. Of course you will also get to touch a baby python. Having to see them at such a close distance, one will be able to observe the mischievous behaviour of the orangutans; and get to understand their daily habits and the different type of species through the verbal introduction by the zoo-keeper.

Feasting time

The spread offers is pretty wide, which includes local favourites such as pratas, baos and fried bee hoon; western-style breakfast such as scrambled eggs, sausages, hash brown, ham, french toast. For those who prefer a lighter breakfast, breads, croissants, danish pastries, cheese and cereals are all included in the buffet. Of course, not missing out the live section where chefs are there to ensure freshly cooked sunny-side ups.

The buffet bar

Bread, crossiants and pastries

Muffins, Salads and Fruits

Assorted cheese

Special dining companions

No doubt, this is one highly recommended breakfast if you are spending a day in the zoo. Since the restaurant is near the Shaw Foundation Amphitheatre, Splash Amphitheatre and Elephants of Asia, one can enjoy 3 animals shows consecutively after the breakfast, namely Rainforest Fights Back @ 10:30am, Splash Safari @ 11am and Elephants At Work & Play @ 11:30am before coming up close and personal with over 3,200 mammals, birds, reptiles and fishes in this 28-hectare “open” zoo.

Rainforest fight back

Splash safari

Elephants at work and play

Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife
Ah Meng Restaurant (Terrace)
Availble daily from 9:00am – 10:30am
$25++ (Adult); $16++ (Child between 6 - 12years)
Tel: 6269 3411 / 6360 8560

Singapore Zoo
80 Mandai Lake Road
Singapore 729826
Zoo admission - $18 (Adult); $9 (Child between 3 - 12years)
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Friday, May 29, 2009


It has been a year since Yuan created this blog and I have to admit this entire blogging year has been an eye-opening experience, ranging from the knowledge of food, photography and the pressure to write well. Before I started blogging, my impression of food blogs stop at googling an eatery out and screening through the pictures. In fact, I don't even know the existence of hungrygowhere till recently. Since May 2008, I realized the efforts to put in for every entry is not an easy task and for the past few months, I have the privillege to meet some of the bloggers in person and learn from their experience.

This year's food blogger's lunch was arranged by Brad and Yixiao at a popular French restaurant along Purvis street and was planned perfectly where Chef Gunther presented a 4-course Carte Blanche menu, which includes two starters, a main course, dessert and a cup of tea or coffee.

Gunther's Modern French Cuisine

The ambience this place offers is a nightmare for photographers but lovely for private dining. The choice of charcoal-grey walls matched with leather chairs provides a sense of class, style and sophistication. The paintings, painted glass bowls and other ornaments transform the entire place into a chic museum. Moreover, the use of dim lighting and spotlights lightens the mood to exclude a chic fine dining scene.

The bar at its entrance

Not forgeting the bar at the entrance with its wide selection of wines. To be precise, there are more than 350 labels.

Private dining areas

What makes this restaurant pleasant for special occasions is the way the restaurant is partitioned, with a main dining room where the food blogger's lunch was held and 2 private rooms to provide minimal disturbance to the diners.

Food Bloggers' lunch

Speaking of the dishes, no fanciful ingredients but yet every bite was filled with a punch. For instance, the Japanese tomato was refreshing and sweet while the angel's hair pasta was of the right texture though the truffle oil was a tad strong. Not much to add for the white asparagus but I enjoyed every single bite of the Black Angus Beef which was tender and well-seasoned to my liking; pairing with it was a nicely grilled sweet Japanese corn. Did I miss out emphasizing the crunchy and juicy kernels and that it was sliced nicely to avoid the mess and biting into the cob. Last but not least, simply miss the lovely sugar-coated crust of the apple tart.

Baguette with Olive Oil
Baguette with butter / olive oil

Japanese tomato
Japanese tomato

Cold Angel-hair pasta, caviar
Cold angel hair pasta, Caviar

Poached white asparagus
Poached white asparagus

Grilled Cote de Boeuf, Japanese sweet-corn, sauce Bordelaise
Grilled “Côte de Boeuf", Japanese sweet-corn, sauce Bordelaise

Fine apple tart a la dragees, rum & raisin ice-cream
Fine apple tart a la dragées, Rum & raisin ice-cream

It is no surprise that Gunther's is well-heard despite its short period of opening and that has received many accolades and awards. In fact, Gunther's has won awards for being the Best Singapore Restaurant in the 'New' category in 2007 and 2008.

Awards in Excellence

Before signing it off, the meal would not have been memorable without the company of fellow bloggers and it was indeed a pleasure to be able to chat with Dave, Jiaxin, Antonio, Maureen, Nic, Yixiao, Ivan, Karen, Catherine and to catch up with good old friends, Evan, Elaine and Brad.

Some of the other updates by fellow bloggers so don't miss them out...
Foodies Queen - Gunther's
Scrambled or sunny side up... - Top Gun
Singapura Daily Makan Photos - Gunther's at Purvis Street
food.recentrunes - It’s the Annual Singapore Food Pornographers Luncheon!
LadyIronChef - Gunther's food blogger lunch
Timeless facade - Gunther's
Jaime-La-Nourriture - Gunther's
Rattles and Blabbers - Saturday lunch at Gunther's
Camemberu - 2009 Annual Food Blogger Meeting at Gunther's
Divine Essentials - Gunther's
The Hungry Cow - Massive Food Blogging at Gunther's
Some like it haute - Food Bloggers' Lunch at Gunther's
Black Tie, White Lie - Tell-A-Tale (Part 42): Where Lunch is Lunches

Gunther's - Modern French Cuisine -
36 Purvis Street
Singapore 188613
Tel: 6338 8955

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Muffins by Chocolat N Spice

Banana and Walnut Muffin

Muffins here are priced between $1 and $1.30. I tried their banana walnut muffin and I must say that it was pretty nice. The dough was slightly moist and has a slight hollow center to house a small slice of banana in the core. However some readers may find the egg taste too strong.

Chocolat N Spice
Blk 1 #01-18 Tanjong Pagar Plaza

Operating Hours -
8:30am to 6pm (Mon to Fri)
8:30am to 6pm (Sat)
Closed on Sundays
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Madagascar Rose by Cookie Museum

Madagascar Rose

Madagascar Rose ($38 per tin - now at $35 if you pay by cash)

I was deciding between buying the Madagascar Rose(Vanila Rose) or Tiffany (Almond Rose). What made me choose the Madagascar Rose was that the rose scent was stronger though it lack the crunch which Tiffany had.

Anyway, the overall texture of this cookie is very loose, it will smash easily in the tin if you do not carry it well. I would say that the cookie base is similar to those you find in pineapple tarts. Tastewise not too sweet and has a light rose scent. For people like me who like the chunky chocolate chip kind of cookie, you will surely be disappointed. However if you would like a light piece of cookie to munch with your afternoon tea, you may want to give it a shot if you didn't find it expensive.

Do note that the shelf life of these cookies are 10 days since there is no preservatives added.

Cookie Museum (former V Tea Room)
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-02/04 Esplanade Mall
Singapore 039802
Tel: 6333 1965

Operating Hours -
12:30pm to 10:30pm (Sun-Thu)
1pm to 11:30pm (Fri and Sat)

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Cookie Museum

Popular in South East Asia, this place has a wide variety of cookies flavours, in fact over 200 cookie varieties, all handmade in their humble shop at Esplanade...

Cookie Museum @ Esplanade I

Formerly known as V tea room, the ambience of this place is worth mentioning. As described by 8 days (No. 967, April 30, 2009), this Quaint English decor with plush chair is a chic chic place for meeting up for good old friends. However, there is limited seating area given that half the shop front is filled with their retail products so for large groups, particularly during peak hour, don't forget to make a reservation.

Cookie Museum @ Esplanade II

While waiting for your orders, the staff will allow some cookies tasting session. As the cookies are made without eggs, the cookies are of a softer base, something similar to a Sugee Cookie with a buttery and crumbly texture.

The floral base that leave a stronger impression would be the Madeline Rose which is definitely a good gift for females. The rose fragrance is sufficient to linger in the palette, providing a calming after-taste.

Berry lovers will be impressed by the Berry Lite (made of organic blueberries and macadamia nuts) for the chunks of chewy blueberries incorporated in the light cookie dough.

For flavours inspired by local dishes such as Nasi Lemak, Hainanese Chicken Rice and Hae Bee Hiam, they are generally crunchy and tasted more like crackers. For instance, the initial taste of Nasi Lemak does resemble the Cashew Nuts Cookies, which is led by a slight spicy after-taste. Hainanese Chicken Rice is strong on its garlic, thereby similar to crunchy garlic bread and has a similar spiciness after-taste as the Nasi Lemak Cookie.

The cookies are sold in tins, packed with 500gm worth of cookies and costs $38 to $45 (depending on the flavour). Being handmade, pre-orders may be required for certain popular flavours.

Handmade cookies

Apart from the cookies, Cookie Museum has a list of tea infusions. Comparing with TWG Tea Salon, the main difference between the two is that the former has a huge library of "solo" tea and in-house blends while Cookie Museum, with a shorter list, focus more on tea infusions, where each tea is a combination of two or more ingredients. The floral tea which I had was a bed of roses ($12++) and I like the whiff of rose fragrance but not its blend taste.

Charming floral tea

Yuan settled with the Baileys Cap ($15++), which he felt that the liquer was barely detectable and prefers a similar version he had at The Lounge (InterContinental Singapore). In terms of the aroma of the coffee, he thought it was pretty ordinary.

Iced Coffee Blend
Front: Chai latte, Back: Baileys Cap

Apart from the cookie sampling session, we were given 3 pieces of complementary cookies and these Raisins with white chocolate cookies, like the previous are soft in its cookie base. I thought soft cookie base tends to complement better with floral or fruity flavours rather than chocolates so my preference will be the Madeline Rose and Breakfast at Tiffany's. Nevertheless, these cookies aren't very sweet and are acceptable in my opinion.

Raisins with white chocolate cookies

At the entrance of the shop, freshly baked cakes are displayed and we have decided on a neutral flavour, the Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur Teacake. Was indeed impressed by its presentation and this cake has a texture of a freshly baked butter cake, is soaked in coffee and topped with cream. Accompanied with it was a mini jugful of Baileys. The uniqueness of this cake lies in it being soaked in coffee giving a sweet creamy aroma but having soaked in such a strong base, the fragrance of the cake is completely being overwhelmed by the coffee.

But amazingly, despite being soaked in the coffee, the texture is not soggy at all but moist and dense. At whopping price of $19++, it is a little steep to justify what this dessert has to offer. Other flavours available for this version of cake includes Oak Whisky Liqueur, Kahlua Espresso Liqueur and Three Queens Liqueur.

Signature Liquer Tea Cake

The premium cake melt was highly recommended and this creation is baked with fresh fruits, cuts of Philadelphia cream cheese and Hawaiian macadamia nuts. The creamy durian ($22++) we had consists of powdery curd-like durian pudding with a pieces of kueh-like cake. Other flavours available for this version of dessert includes Liqueur Wild Blueberry, Choco Cheese and Honey Mango.

A close-up of the Prenium Cake Melt
For the full serving of this dish, click here

All in all, it is an interesting concept of tea drinking and cookie tasting in a lovely Victorian decor. However, the price tag that comes with it was shocking though the desserts are extraordinary.

Cookie Museum (former V Tea Room)
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-02/04 Esplanade Mall
Singapore 039802
Tel: 6333 1965

Operating Hours -
12:30pm to 10:30pm (Sun-Thu)
1pm to 11:30pm (Fri and Sat)
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

TWG Tea Salon

Second visit to TWG was indeed a very pleasant experience. This time round, we had a good introduction towards the various types of tea from the tea master of TWG. Pardon for the wrong information in my one of my comments in the previous post, I have indeed mistaken Pu-er tea (普洱茶) as a yellow tea. Instead, this is considered a matured tea whereby the tea is purposely left to age after being oxidized completely. In a way, it is similar to fine wine whereby the older it gets the more prized it becomes. Yellow tea, on the other hand, is not completely oxidized and has only one harvest each year, thus is expensive.

Daddy being a tea drinker decided with Pi Lo Chun Imperial (碧螺春, $11.50++), a type of green tea from Jiangsu. Unlike the popular Long Ching (龙井 from Zhejiang), this tea has a refreshing and light taste. Anyway, Japanese green tea tends to be greener and has a grassy after-taste while green tea from China, being pan-fried tends to have an stronger fragrance.

Tea for 2

For non-drinker like me, I have decided on one of the tea blends available at TWG. The White House Tea ($10.50++) has a strong floral aroma but light in taste. Comparing with the Pi Lo Chun, this white tea blend has a slight sweetness and sourish while the former has a "cleaner" and slight bitterish taste. Due to its low degree of oxidation, green tea and white tea are generally low in caffeine.

For black tea lovers, one would not want to missed out Darjeeling; the unique aroma is due to the cultivation of tea at a cool environment of the hilly areas of Darjeeling district. Although the degree of oxidation correlates with the caffeine content, the South African red tea contains zero caffeine, despite it being 100% oxidized. What is more surprising is that this bush-like plant is only found in a small region of South Africa. Anyway for a brief introduction to tea and caffeine, Marigold gave a pretty nice and concise piece of information on my previous entry.

What surprises us is that Kwai Flower (Osmanthus, 桂花) is actually a type of Oolong (blue tea) from Fujian and a Chinese tea drinker like my dad was attracted by the green, rolled up tea leaves. Anyway, Kwai Flower Superior is priced at $17.25 nett for every 50gm. Also, expensive tea leaves tends to be more consistent and in TWG's context, a good tea is dependent on the age of the shoots. Apparently, the presence of the tip of the bud is a sign of quality since only the youngest shoots are used for the finest teas, thus determining the quality and the price of the tea. For instance, Yin Zhen (白毫银针, white tea) consists of tea buds thus is expensive ($45 nett per 50gm) while Pai Mu Tan (白牡丹), which contains two leaves and a bud proportion, is a cheaper alternative of Fujian's white tea ($8.25 nett per 50gm).


Of course, I couldn't resist the desserts at TWG and since I can't decide which tart to have, I settled with both the strawberry tart and raspberry tart (each at $8.50++). The raspberry tart, generously topped with whole raspberries look lovely in its presentation. Sitting on the base is a layer of raspberry jam which is a little sharp on the sour side, thereby overshadowing the rose tea infused in this dessert. The overall combination is light on the palate and has definitely impressed my daddy.

Raspberry tart

Strawberry tart, infused with Bourbon vanilla, strike the right chord for me. The pistachio paste has a similar texture to a peanut butter thereby has a rich nutty taste. In addition, the strength of vanilla is just right on the smooth pistachio paste, giving a nod to every bite.

Strawberry tart

Although the tea at TWG may be expensive to most, this might be due to a lack of understanding in which TWG is trying to deliver. In a way, they are not bringing in the most expensive tea but rather good quality tea leaves at an affordable price. Being a non tea-drinker, my satisfaction tipped towards the patisseries offered by the cafe but for a Chinese tea drinker like my dad, the information shared by the tea master and the consistency of the tea leaves prompt him to get a bag of tea leaves.

TWG Tea Salon & Boutique
9 Raffles Place, #01 - 22
Republic Plaza
Singapore 048619
Tel: 6538 1837
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ah Hoi's Kitchen

The factors that contribute to a good dining experience lies not just the food but also the memory tagged along with it. Decided to drop by Ah Hoi's Kitchen with my family and indeed the dishes for the afternoon leave all tummies satisfied and happy.

Ah Hoi's Kitchen

Most reviews I have come across, have commented that the drinks are pricey at Ah Hoi and I don't deny that. But to be fair to the eatery, they do serve Chinese tea and water (iced/warm).

Kicking start the lunch menu is Ah Hoi's combination, which consists of fried soft shell crab, achar, kueh pie tie and green mango salad. Unlike most soft shell crabs we have tried, these were fried to perfection with minimal sogginess and oil. In fact, crispy till the last bite.

Ah Hoi's combination

The crispy fried noodles are made in-house and are generously served with prawns.

Crispy fried noodles with prawns

The grilled pork ribs are meaty and tender. The irresistable tint of sweetness coating thinly on the exterior made everyone licking their lips.

Grilled Pork Ribs

Steamed cod fish served with crispy beancurd crumbs and preserved vegetables leave a very deep impression on my last visit and the freshness is worth commendable. Because it is lightly seasoned and steamed, the sweetness and firmness of the fish was enjoyed maximally.

Steamed cod fish

Butter crabs was upon my sisters' request and no doubt have not disappointed them at all. What is good about the crabs is the firm and succulent meat. However, I do find the butter crabs alittle oily to my liking, thus prefer the Chili crabs I had on my previous visit.

Butter Indonesian crabs

Steamed prawns in a Chinese restaurant often will not disappointed so this is no exception. What is worth mentioning is the egg white that is immersed in the broth, making it a delicious Chinese-style chawanmushi.

Steamed prawns

All in all, this place provides a very casual dining atmosphere and the tables are not arranged closely, thus spacious to accomodate to kids and the eldery. What makes it memorable is that, the restaurant is located beside the roof-top pool providing a very nice resort feel. In addition, having situated away from the crowd does allow a nice laid back walk after a heavy meal. Though alittle pricey, I do find it worthwhile since my family have enjoyed both the food and laughter that comes with it.


Since the food served at Ah Hoi's Kitchen are generally low in oil and salt, people with strong taste may find it mild to their liking.

Ah Hoi's Kitchen
Traders Hotel, Singapore
1A Cuscaden Road
4F Traders Hotel
Singapore 249716
Tel: 6831 4373
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Perla's Tiramisu


Like other desserts from Perla's Pastry Boutique, Tiramisu is no doubt refreshing and light.

Of course, there are two major types of tiramisu, the alcoholic and the non-alcoholic. This one has no traces of alcohol at all. Despite that, it is still good in my opinion for its light, smooth and soft mascarpone cream.

In addition, the sponge fingers are not drenched with espresso, thereby has the right amount of moisture. However, the coating of cocoa powder is alittle too much since this results in a dry canopy. Definitely one of the better Tiramisu I have tried so far but note, it is pretty expensive ($8.80 per cup).

Perla's Pastry Boutique
7 Jalan Bingka
Singapore 588902
Tel: 6462 2760

Operating hours - 11am to 10pm (Closed on Monday)
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Traditional pastries tarts from Perla's Pastry Boutique

Apart from the lovely 5" cakes available in the main cake display upon entering the shop, the tarts are the other attraction in the shop.

Available in 3 sizes, 5" ($10.80), 7"($26.00) and 9" ($36.00), the tarts are beautifully topped with fruits with selection ranging from berries, apple with pine nuts, fig and many more.

Since we are avoiding pastries with nuts, we didn't get to try Pastry chef, Perla's favourite, the Amaretto Sbrisolona, a tart made of chocolate with almond custard.

Fig Tarte
Fig Tart (5" - $10.80)

Crostata Ai Frutti Di Bosco
Custard Tart filled and topped with fresh Blackberries and Raspberries

Both tarts are pretty similar (apart from the different toppings) with a mildly sweetened, smooth (slightly watery) custard cream. For that, the tart is relatively light and the tart base (probably due to the high water content in the custard) is soft with a cookie-like texture.

Similar to my previous review, Perla's Pastry Boutique is generous with the use of berries thus will have a bit of sourishness while the thinly sliced fig on the other tart is slightly sweeter.

Perla's Pastry Boutique
7 Jalan Bingka
Singapore 588902
Tel: 6462 2760

Operating hours - 11am to 10pm (Closed on Monday)
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Monday, May 18, 2009

No. 39 Chantilly Al Cioccolato Bianco from Perla's Pastry Boutique

This was an impromptu visit when my daddy asked me for a good bakery in the West and apart from, Perla's Pastry Boutique was the other that came to my mind.

Located at Jalan Bingka, this Pasticceria is located within walking distance away from the bus-stop opposite Bukit Timah Shopping Centre (along Jalan Anak Bukit). Apparently, there is a short cut just behind the bus-stop and one can just "jay-walked" across the railway track and the bakery is within reach.

Chantilly Al Cioccolato Bianco

Apart from being the best selling cake at Perla's Pastry Boutique, this cake is also mentioned in the ST 50 yummiest cakes. Unlike the Chantilly cream found in most Japanese cakes, the cream seems to have a higher milk content. Also, the layer of custard flavoured with rum contrasts pretty well, providing extra moisture and smoothness to the cake.

The generous toppings of thin feather-light white chocolate has a melt-in-the mouth effect and the overall combination definitely appeals to the majority (at least within my 7 family members).

The general pricing is 5" - $18.80, 6" - $25.00, 7" - $32.00, 9" - $45.00 and the one in the picture is a 5-inch cake.

Since the smallest size available is 5", this is one bakery couples can consider for a special occasion to be shared by 2.

Perla's Pastry Boutique
7 Jalan Bingka
Singapore 588902
Tel: 6462 2760

Operating hours - 11am to 10pm (Closed on Monday)
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Foret Noire by Hilton

Foret Noir

Foret Noire (Black Forest) - $6.50 nett;

Having ate so many Black Forests lately, we came to realize that this cake is German in origin since the late 16th century. Little did I know that Black Forest is a region in Germany. Also known as Black Forest Cherry Cake, this cake consists of sour cherries and kirsch (brandy distilled from fermented cherries), whipped cream and rich chocolate cake.

Surprisingly, apart from the famous Hilton's American Cheesecake, Hilton Hotel was also one of the first to introduce Black Forest to Singapore in the early 1970s. Alongside with Hyatt, which brought in Austrian-born pastry chef Gottfried Schuetzenberger, it is no surprise that Mezza9 is another popular name for Black Forest. Shortly after, local chefs who had worked in the hotels opened their own bakeries in the heartland thus this cake actually end up with many variations.

Checkers Deli @ Hilton Hotel, Singapore

The main difference between Mezza9's Black Forest and Checkers Deli's Foret Noir lies in the use of dark chocolate mousse in the latter. This updated version of Black Forest cake has a generous layer of chocolate mousse, topped with chantilly cream and raspberry glace. Similar to Al Forno's chocolately Black Forest it is the presence of kirsch cherries that reminds us that it is a mousse-y, modern twist to the classic Black Forest.

This cake is also available as a whole @ $67.40 nett and UOB cardholders can enjoy a 15% off.

Checkers Deli
Hilton Singapore
581 Orchard Road
Singapore 238883
Tel: 6730 3392

Operating hours - 11:00am - 9:00pm (daily)
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