For Chicken lovers

At Nando’s, it is all about chicken and their Peri-Peri sauce. Choose what you want to eat with the chicken and decide how spicy you want the chicken to be. It is something like buffalo wings, but portuguese style!

Peri-Peri, the Swahili name for Bird’s Eye chili, comes in four flavours: extra hot, hot, medium and garlic. More tangy than spicy, chilli-padi-friendly folks should have no problem with the extra hot Peri-Peri sauce from Johannesburg.

The flame-grilled quarter chicken (S$14.90) was mainly breast meat but it was tender and moist. I always have a difficult time choosing my sides because I like the grilled vegetables and colesaw which are definitely healthier than the yummy Peri Chips that are like the super crispy version of Botak Jone’s slightly spicy fries. And then there’s also the carb-heavy spice rice that goes well with the chicken too.

If you really like their Peri-Peri Chili Sauces like one of our colleagues who requested for 3 bottles of it for Secret Santa last year, you can purchase them at the Nando’s outlet. Their Peri-Peri sauces are 100% Natural, Kosher, Parev, Halal, contain no MSG, GMO, Artifical Colors or Flavor.

Nando’s
200 Victoria Street, #01-85 Bugis Junction, Singapore

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Who let the dogs out

Entering Doggiestyle Cafe, you’d note that the door can only be opened by you. The people-only door ensures pets are allowed to roam freely and are not able to escape from the cafe.

Allowing your dog to mingle with others in a small enclosed environment can be very nerve-wrecking for a first-time dog owner. But getting over this fear can be rewarding as it allows your dog the opportunity to make friends with others. My heart melted a little when I saw Sweetie, my little English bulldog, play with the two resident French bulldogs, Tofu and Pickles.

We ordered dinner for ourselves and cupcakes for the dogs. Pet food came in cardboard boxes so that pets can gobble up to their hearts’ content without making too much of a mess.

What makes this cafe different from other pet-friendly cafes:
– there is a pee pad and water fountain at the side of the cafe
– grooming & dog sitting services are available
– there are other food options for pets from food to custom made cake

… and you can eat in peace and be sure no one will be giving you weird or angry stares when your dogs run havoc around! 😉

The Canopy at Bishan Park

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There is a little gem which sits in the lush greenery and annoying rattle of the construction site at Bishan Park – where we had a pretty pleasant alfresco brunch at The Canopy.

Two of us had the egg royalés ($12), they were surprisingly good. We had to wait a while for it, but the eggs didn’t disappoint- they spilled golden runny yolk at the gentle poke of the fork. It was a mouthful of delight – the melted cheese, salmon and hollandaise sauce. Even the muffins were fresh! The sautéed spinach from the egg florentine was well cooked too.
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If you want to give yourself a treat on a weekend and fill up your plate just a little more, you have the option of adding sides. They have a pretty good list to choose from. We had sautéed mushrooms, hash brown and sausages. The plain-looking pancakes were fluffy but it tasted quite one dimensional with the banana. Think strawberries and apricots still work with pancakes better 😉 The fruit juice was $10 but it tasted no different from what you’d get for $2 at a local hawker centre.

It is a place to chill out, so don’t expect tip top service. The staff are crowded indoors where the air-conditioning is, and it may take some frantic waving before you get their attention.

Additional bonus for animal lovers like me: pets are allowed. 🙂

The Canopy
1382 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1, Bishan Park II, Singapore

Velvety love

Red velvets are a perennial favourite for most girls (besides chocolate chip cookies) because they are so addictive to eat, lovely in pictures and perfect for gifts. There are many recipes I’ve tried but I prefer the one from Allrecipes because it uses a little bit of salt and sour cream which makes it even easier to pop one cupcake into your mouth after another without courting cavities. This recipe is also really a no-brainer to follow (important for amateur bakers like myself) and you get a batch of delicious cupcakes – easy pronto.

Be really generous with the frosting because it isn't any good without a heap of cream cheese

Follow the baking rule and fill cupcakes to 2/3 of cups. I was a little conservative, could have done better.

Sprinkle with hearts or rainbow rice and they are ready to go on show!

Red Rainbow Velvets

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 (1 ounce) bottle Red Food Color
2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar

Paul fails to impress in Singapore

It took us 15, 20 minutes to queue before we got a seat at Paul on a Sunday late afternoon. Our choice of caffeine that day were café au lait and mocha. It was the first time I tried café au lait, so I can’t make a good judgement. All I can say is that it tasted like coffee flavoured milk. The mocha, on the other hand, had a rich dark chocolate taste. I was really excited when I ordered the crépe mixte but it didn’t turn out the way I expected it to be. The crépe had the right texture – soft and thin – but it didn’t blend well with the ham and cheese. It barely filled me up and there wasn’t any dressing on the side salad..

The saumon croque-monsieur was cold when it was served. Nothing special about this dish too other than the few fish bones we found. The portions are small and the salad was plain.

Not to mention, the staff at Paul definitely need more training. It was a feat to get their attention and the waitress did not get back to us when we tried to order the tartelette citron. She said she would check if it was available but she didn’t get back to us after 15 minutes.

An authentic all-day breakfast place

All-day breakfast places are such a hype these days that the hipster in me refused to patronise them for the past few months. I am happy with my local hawker food and teh ci peng siew dai (milk tea) that don’t cost an arm and a leg. The mood to try somewhere new finally hit me on Saturday and it was a toss between Maison Kayser and Wild Honey. We eventually chose Wild Honey because we felt that we would probably order quite a bit to fill ourselves up if we ate at Maison Kayser.

Caffeine was our top priority! Muahaha. The ice vanilla latte was great but the roasted almond latte was puuurfect. The thick layer of foam came with a smiley face and the nutty aroma would send you to caffeine heaven in a sip.The Aussie was probably the most humongous dish in the menu. 240 gram of steak came with fried potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms and a big piece of charred toast. Mushrooms are a must for us, and those tomatoes were the overpriced ones that I have been eying at the grocery store for a while! Every part of the dish was well thought off and executed although we felt the steak was slightly blend.‘I Love New York’ truly deserves its name. I have been craving for a bagel for the longest time ever since I was back from US three years ago, and I can finally say with a huge grin that I have tasted a kick-ass bagel in Singapore.

To give you an idea how difficult it is to find a decent bagel, I have actually tried all the bagels I have seen – Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Pullman Bakery, NYC Bagel from the supermarket and even tried it in the New York cafe at Tokyo Disney Sea.

$24 is not what I would expect to pay for a bagel, but this is different. They made their own cream cheese and there was smoked sturgeon and caramelised onions in their fluffy scrambled eggs. It would have definitely been a fishy disaster if it wasn’t cooked well.

The deco of the place was cute, and we were very well attended by the staff which doesn’t happen as often as I would like in Singapore. Certainly spurred the holiday mood in me and that’s money well spent. 🙂

Wild Honey
6 Scotts Road, #03-01 Scotts Square, Singapore

A bit of everything

International buffets are usually a hit-or-miss for me because different cuisines don’t really go well with each other. Thus I didn’t have high expectations when we went to Todai in late November. The place was packed when we arrived, and we were really lucky to be offered a private room for the five of us.

My first instinct was to go for the rows of sushi that caught my eye when we were walking in. The california rolls and sashimi were great! I could just fill up on them and be happy without venturing into the other sections.

But I headed over to the roast counter after my first plate. Everyone was raving about the roast beef and I had to try it. I paired the roast beef with some cold cut meat and broccoli before grabbing an oyster to try too. Then came more roast beef and potato gratin that will remind you why you can’t live without carbs.Everything was well replenished all the time except for the chilli crabs where there was always a queue. I was in my lil happy bubble eating a year’s worth of cheesy prawns and scallops that I didn’t even consider about the crabs which were limited to 2 pieces per pax.It is a pity that the dessert section was very forgettable, or I wouldn’t mind going back again in a few month’s time.

Todai
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2 Bayfront Avenue, #b2-01, Singapore 018972
Lunch buffets start from $42++ & dinner buffets start from $54++

PS: Todai was in the news recently because of a food poisoning incident. I think it’s probably a one off-thing as we had a lot of raw food that day and we were fine.