Afternoon Tea at the W Singapore

I have to admit, I miss afternoon tea. There’s nothing like a few cups after a morning of shopping or getting dressed to meet your girlfriends for some gossip. My husband has sworn off afternoon all teas since he says all we do is talk about other people.

I was invited for afternoon tea to celebrate a birthday. Quite a different experience since it was warm (maybe an iced tea would have been better) and the view was of the sea and the spectacular W pool. It was fab just the same! Thanks to A & C for the invite 🙂

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The sweets came in a cage. A CAGE!!! I Love it!

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The deconstructed cheesecake in the mason jars were my fave.

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The savouries were the best – I ate more than my share of the wasabi sashimi (ooops). The foie gras tarts (check out the bling!) and prosciutto burgers were tasty as well.

Afternoon tea at the Woobar is served daily from 15:00-17:00.

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Kanin Club – my favourite Filipino restaurant (in the Philippines!)

I’m alive! Not sure if anyone’s noticed I was gone but I just got back from a long holiday in the Philippines and with food being at the heart of Filipino culture, every meet up / trip / activity was related to food. In fact, they way we say hello is “Kumain ka na?” which means “Have you eaten?” another is “Ang taba mo na!” which means “You’re so fat!” but let’s not go there.

I’ve been dying to eat authentic Filipino food since forever (well it’s been a couple of years since I’ve been back) so I finally tried one of my sister’s favourite restaurants. Kanin Club offers a fresh take on traditional Filipino dishes without the pretentiousness of other establishments 🙂

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Sinigang Rice – the Filipino version of Thailand’s sour soup (Tom Yum) without the spice. It’s among the top 7 dishes that every Filipino cooks on a weekly basis. Although the original is a soup dish like Tom Yum, this is an exciting twist wherein we mix the flavours with rice. Pretty cool considering Filipinos eat everything with rice, even noodles!

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Bicol Express – named after a city south of Manila (Bicol) where the cuisine is spicy and made with a lot of coconut milk. This version has wing beans and pork belly. Filipinos love unhealthy cuts of meat with lots of fat. Fact.
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 Crispy Dinuguan – deep fried pork belly (unhealthy x 2) in blood. Yes really, pig’s blood. The sauce is made with pig’s blood and vinegar. This is a tricky dish because it can go horribly wrong, even in our family we only eat this dish when we know who is cooking it. This is a great version – couldn’t stop eating it.

Cheap & Cheerful – Cheng Li Yuan

I love Geylang.

It gets a bad rep from being the red light district of Singapore but it has an amazing local food scene. It doesn’t feel like you’re in Singapore, if that makes sense. I felt like I was in the streets of Vietnam or Bangkok – not the polished streets of District 1 or around Paragon but the gritty side streets that makes getting lost worthwhile.

Now Geylang is not easy to navigate. Since it is very local, there are times when English is sparse at best. So Chris and Steve (my sister’s lovely friends) recommended their favourite Chinese restaurant. Steve, bless him, texted me what to order in Chinese which saved me a whole lot of trouble since I just showed the waitress the SMS.

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Watch out for this sign, it’s almost impossible to find the resto without this – and don’t be scared if all you see are groups of men drinking. I was the only female there aside from the waitress.

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Pumpkin and salted egg (南瓜咸蛋黄) – an amazing starter

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Eggwhite with crabmeat and broccoli (赛螃蟹). This is served with raw egg on top which the server will mix around and let cook in the dish’s heat. It’s then topped up with black vinegar for a tangy finish.

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Cereal Prawn (麦片虾) – always a classic

Steve also recommended the beancurd skin (东北大拉皮) but we had too much already, maybe next time!

Cheng Li Yuan can be found at 136 Sims Avenue Singapore 387584.

Dabbous

A friend couldn’t recommend Dabbous enough when we saw her a few weeks back. I agree with her – the menu was full of fresh, clean flavours presented in a beautiful way.

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Posh olives to start

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Followed by freshly baked bread. Love the stamping – very hipster!

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Avocado, basil and almonds in a chilled fig leaf broth

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Cured salmon with pickled celeraic

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Barbecued octopus, violet mustard and Jerusalem artichoke

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Braised veal cheek with toasted spelt, celery and kinome

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My favourite dessert – truffled cheese on toast

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Japanese baby peaches

Here’s a cheap & cheerful tip – most (Michelin starred or sometimes not) restaurants offer a set lunch menu where you’ll be able to sample their menu for £30++. Dabbous set lunch was £28 for 4 courses.

Cheap & Cheerful – Lee Fun Nam Kee Chicken Rice

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Soya Chicken

There will always be a massive debate whenever you ask anyone in Singapore where the best chicken rice is. It’s a highly emotional and extremely subjective topic (as most discussions on food, politics and religion are). I was pleasantly surprised with the chicken rice at Lee Nam Fun Kee. I personally was not a fan of this dish since I often find it too bland for my tastes but it was really well done here – juicy, tender chicken with a light fresh flavour. Well worth the trip to Toa Payoh.

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Steamed Chicken

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Roasted Pork Belly

Cheap & Cheerful – Soho’s Polpo

Soho is our go-to place whenever we want something casual, trendy and different. We’ve been wanting to eat in Polpo (Venetian food) for the longest time but walking in is impossible and reserving a table is near-impossible. Luckily, we were able to get one during our last Saturday in London. We almost didn’t when the host looked at us and said “Your reservation is for 2. You have a baby. That’s 3 not 2 people.” Maybe it was the look of hopelessness on our faces that made him move the seating arrangement a bit to accommodate us.

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The food was simple and delicious. A welcome break after our mad dash to tick off London restaurants from our bucket list. I especially enjoyed the cuttlefish and ink gnocchi, gremolata. The lamb and pistachio meatballs were nice. I see a lot of pistachio popping up (we had a lemon and pistachio pasta at Zucca) so it must be a seasonal ingredient.

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(L-R) Cuttlefish & Ink Gnocchi, gremolata / Pork shoulder & Pickled Pepper Pizette / Lamb & Pistachio Meatballs

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Borough Market Food Tour

Borough Market is our neighbourhood foodie haven here in Southeast London. It’s also the go-to place whenever people visit us from abroad and they tell me to take them somewhere “local”. Admittedly, it’s a healthy mix of tourists and locals but the food is fabulous and cheap. There are lots of stalls but below is the route I usually take. Just buy 1-2 of the dishes (depending on how many you are) and share so that you’ll have space for everything. Think of it as a buffet!

Starting at Southwark Cathedral, go down the steps towards Borough Market. With the cathedral to your right and the first row of stalls to your left, go to the very end to Kappacasein where they serve the most delightful raclettes and cheese toasties.

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New potatoes, gherkins and cheese – glorious cheese!

Right in front of Kappacasein is Fish! a fish and chips restaurant. Turn left towards the entrance of Fish! but do not go in. It sounds strange but the same restaurant has a takeaway counter right beside it where you can have fish and chips at half the price of eating in.

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Cut through the market entering through the arch in front of Fish! and don’t worry if you get distracted along the way, that’s half the fun). Go to the very end where you’ll see Le Marché du Quartier. In a big paellera, you’ll see duck confit being cooked. Grab a duck confit sandwich before heading to the last stop.

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Last but not least, head towards the road but do not cross it. Turn right and you’ll see Brindisa where you’ll see chorizo sandwiches being prepared.

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Go for a double (I know you want to!) – 2 chorizos, rocket and bell pepper.

If you’re not bursting yet, cap things off with a coffee at Monmoth right in front of Brindisa. They have excellent coffees from all over the world and super helpful and knowledgable staff who’ll tell you the different nuances of the beans. They’ll be able to grind your beans according to use – french press or stove top.

Do you have any favourites that I might have missed?