OverEasy : Do look past the drinks menu

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Following a rather good experience at OverEasy during a late night rendezvous with the ladies previously; I was ready to be impressed on my next invited session. Lured by the promise of a phenomenal burger by restaurant manager Raj, I was led nose first into a possible blindsided situation.

It was Thursday night when I dragged my boyfriend down avec moi to the river side joint. To my astonishment, the entire grounds was packed with people, spanning the outdoor high chair area all the way thru to the cosier interiors. Ties flung aside, top buttons undone and coy flirtatious smiles filled the room. After work drinking hours... how I've missed those. That aside, I was here on a mission.

Jang, the general manager present at the moment brought us a couple of drinks to start the ball rolling. Laphroaig Single Malt Whisky with a dash of coke for him (this one carries such a rich oaky flavor its almost like licking a freshly varnished wooden door, pardon my very amateur view that reflects my immaturity with regards to single malt whiskies) and a glass of pinot grigio from Veneto for me. Do note that Overeasy has a rather extensive drinks list with the likes of Lagavulin and Yamazaki being offered at reasonable prices, not to mention, their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard.

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Moving on the food, we had the Tortilla chips with a choice of two dips($16) as starter, with that, we plunged deep into the homemade guacamole and pork sausage cheesy dip. The former was delicious, a good blend of textures with a good hand of seasoning. The pork sausage cheesy dip served warm reminds me of the thick bolognaise sauce thickened with the addition of more Parmesan cheese. Strangely addictive. A strong recommendation for anyone heading there for drinks with a sudden case of munchies.

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The preceding mains followed closely, The "To Die For" burger ($20) for the mister and the Big Blue Burger ($24) for me. He was instantly sold once he laid his hands on the accompanying side of handcut haystack fries with rosemary and parmesan. Extremely addictive stuff, a fact I've reiterated since my last visit.

Truth regarding the burger, it was delicious. Simple, cooked to perfection (medium rare as I requested), well seasoned and those buttered buns with loads of horseradish mayonnaise spread over, I'm a real sucker for those. Dissecting my treat, I found most entities to be delightful, especially the surprise bits of savoury blue cheese scattered throughout the patty. A very good burger in my opinion.

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For an awesome burger coupled with a good selection of bar bites and an awful lot of fun, do visit OverEasy. I'm for sure, sticking a 'favourite' on this one.

Any recommendations for burgers joints in Singapore?

1 Fullerton Road
#01-06 One Fullerton
Tel: 64230701

Hong Kong Street family restaurant: Zi Char that is easy on the wallets

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Recently, a dearest friend of mine announced her short trip back to Singapore and Malacca. I was to pick her up from the airport and decide on a dinner venue suitable to satisfy the hankerings of a starving Asian (especially after her flight). After feverishly flipping through my choices mentally, I settled on Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant situated in Bedok North; just a short ride away from the airport.

A Zi Char restaurant in air-conditioned settings, this no frills joint offers a wide array of dishes not uncommon to most neighbourhood coffee shop joints. However, truth is that the menu is dotted with handful of gems, if you heed advice and order the recommended items, you'll certainly be in for a treat.

The Prawn Paste Chicken gets my strong stamp of approval. Salty, aromatic and crisp, this version is extremely addictive, so go ahead and order a bigger plate if you must. Definitely a place to get my Ha Jiong Gai fix.

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Our next dish of Stir Fried Sweet potato leaves was a mandatory vegetable order that proved a little mainstream, paling in comparison to Soup Kitchen's rendition. Not flavoursome enough and cooked a little too Al-Dente, the greens failed to impress.

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Next up, the signature San Lou Hor Fun, which comes with a commendable amount of delicate fish slices and delectably sauced and slightly charred noodles. Definitely one of the better ones I've tried locally.

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Last of all, the Cereal Prawns. I adore this dish, choosing to succumb to it as I slowly spooned by way through the mountain of nestum flakes on the plate. The combination of sweet with the savouriness of the crispy prawns complimented with the occasional curry leaf for that aromatic touch was certainly well executed in this dish.

Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant, judging from the throngs of people filling the dining area on a typical weekend night; has won the hearts of many patrons with it's simple zi char dishes done to top notch standards. Should you have a family occasion approaching and am afraid to burn too big a hole in your pockets, this place would definitely be a good choice.

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A picture thrown in for good measure. To Elicia, who is safely back in Sydney once more... Till we meet again my friend.

Hong Kong Street Family Restaurant Bedok
20 Eastwood Road
Tel: 62453881

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar: Weekend treats

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It's late into the evening. Perhaps you're scouring the net for a suitable brunch/lunch place for the weekend, maybe it's by order of the merciless girlfriend or just a plain treat u want to reward yourself with after a long weeks' worth of work. Who knows? In any case, I might have a solution to your aimless search.

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar

With a large number of establishments yielding to this concept in a bid to extend operational hours and hence profits (or so I would imagine), not many succeed in making the transition from a casual inviting bistro in the day to a swanky bar by night. One thing is for sure, Nassim Hill Bakery takes the cake when it comes to creating a cozy bistro offering brunch delights come weekend.

For starters, we had Belgian Grimbergen Beer to rake in the weekend feasting. We sampled the Blonde and Ambree options, both of which proved it's premium branding with smooth finishing and robust flavors.

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My friend's Eggs Benedict ($20) which I have nothing to comment about given that I was too obsessed with my hot reuben sandwich to even pay any attention his rather boring choice

that brings me to my Hot Reuben sandwich ($18) - sliced corned beef with melted emmental cheese, saurkraut,
onions and Russian dressing on their in-house signature Grimbergen Ambrée beer bread. Till now, my taste buds are excited by the mere thought of this dish. Generous in portions and extremely satisfying in terms of flavor profile; this brunch item delivers a real punch with a right combination of ingredients. What I loved best was the crazily beautiful Ambree beer bread that blew my mind. Guess the malt and hops in that beer really boosted the characteristics of it. At the end of it all (yeh, my gluttony surprises me sometimes), I emerged gratified; almost lost for words even.

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I promise to be back for revisits solely for the reuben sandwich. Till we lock lips again, I propose that you guys swing by this weekend for a visit.

Nassim Hill Bakery Bistro Bar
56 Tanglin Road
Tanglin Post Office #01-03
Tel: 6835-1128
website: http://www.nassimhill.com.sg

Baker and Cook: Asian Persuasion

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When tucking into the mild discontent of what is my dry slice of toast in the morning, I wish I had Baker and Cook at my doorstep.

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Here you are treated to a rainbow of baked goods. Pastries of all sizes, types and textures. Hot Cross buns, quiches, tangy lemon tarts, rustic pain au levain; you name it and they've got it.

What founder, Chef Dean Brettschneider does so beautifully in this scenario is his willingness to reconsider design and menu options in order to cater to different neighborhoods. Evidence clearly observed from his Shanghai outlets where his global baker approach has seen the sales of unique offerings such as Red Bean & Sesame Fougasse. Here in the quiet neighborhood of Hillcrest (took a walk down memory lane as we turned the corner past the back entrance of National Junior College, my alumni), Baker and Cook offers a peaceful respite for residents. Surveying the shop front whilst sipping on my coffee in the morning, the bakery, a beehive of activity, I realised how effectively it has stolen the hearts of many.

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We started off the morning trying to fix our sweet urges with a Custard Bombolini ($3.30) and the Chocolate Almond Croissant ($3.50). My mother polished off the former, stopping halfway thru to comment that the bread like texture was a refreshing change to the pillowy soft versions stowed away from neighbourhood bakeries. The chocolate almond croissant was disappointing, a stodgy affair breaking into the center, the measly coating of almond creme on top, baked to a hard and chewy texture; my jaws working extra hard on the waning corners of the pastry. I turned my focus elsewhere.

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The Spanish Omelette ($16.00) filled with peppers, cheese and chorizo was mediocre, if not forgettable. It's texture, not fluffy enough, lacked seasoning and more importantly, lacklustre in comparison to the delicious spread of pastries we were immersed in. We rescued the accompanying bread slices with some divine homemade raspberry jam found on the communal tables for sharing. My other choice of Moroccan Lamb Roll ($9.00 with side salad) proved a huger success, well executed with delicious puff pastry and savoury minced lamb thick with the aroma of the exotic middle east, it's appearance at the table managing to calm my irritation derived from the slow crawl of my cappuccino ($4.50) to the table.

Coffee from New Zealand’s Allpress Expresso was disappointing by the way. Bring your coffee cravings over to somewhere else should you be a puritan.

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That being said and done, Baker and Cook is definitely a gem of a bakery, a position further highlighted by it's quaint location. Service standards at the counters was exemplary, however, table service leave much to be desired. No smiles, I wish I could give the poor lads a tickle or two. And please... I suppose bending down to pick up the loaf of bread that had taken a plunge from the counter top is much better an act then just stopping in your tracks to comment to the next service staff that "I think the bread drop on the floor."

"Yup, I think the bread dropped on the floor.", replied his young colleague.


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Baker & Cook
77 Hillcrest Road
Singapore 288951
T: 6469 8834

Sun-Th: 7am-8pm
F-Sat: 7am-10pm

La Pizzaiola: Diversion Wonders

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It was pouring buckets.

Our plans to head to town took a backseat once the boyfriend and I stepped out of the bakery; a cascade of side sweeping rain and ominous dark skies greeting us sinisterly.

I can't help but wonder whether its a miracle as our random second dining choice turned out to be quite a blessed discovery.

La Pizzaiola set in the sleepy linear settlement of Jalan Riang has quite a good following, as observed by yours truly, from the full-housed dining area almost every lunch and dinner service. Stepping into the comparatively warm settings of the restaurant, we knew we were in good hands.

For starters, we picked the Burratina Con Prosciutto Crudo($16.90) to share. It arrived at our table in elaborate fashion, the imported fresh cheese scooped onto two individual plates served separately from a platter of mixed leaves with gorgeously sweet tomatoes and a good portion of parma ham. Highlight of the night by all means.

Our mains of Diavola Pizza $14.90 and hand-made pumpkin ravioli Tortelli Di Zucca ($13.90) arrived swiftly at our cramped table. The former was pretty good given its reasonable price tag, well balanced tomato sauce on a crispy based pizza, generous amounts of cheese and spicy salami. Simplicity at its best. The latter however was a greasy affair. The little parcels of pumpkin and cheese mixture bathing in a pool of butter in the bowl. Despite its inclusion in the menu description, the fattiness of the sauce took away from the natural creaminess of the pumpkin filling. Disappointment sets in as I recall my last legendary ravioli experience. I need a revival of sorts...

Will be back for more pizza someday.

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La Pizzaiola
15/3 Jalan Riang
Tel: 62825031

pictures taken using my samsung galaxy S3

Keong Saik Snacks: What's with the Hype?


A growling stomach and hunger pangs after a whole day of outdoor adventure racing brought me to Keong Saik Snacks to satisfy my post race cravings. A British Bistro with modern contemporary twists, the basis of it pass hints at satiety and hearty portions. Unfortunately, at the end of the meal, I was left sorely disappointed, albeit with spirits lifted only due to the laid-back atmosphere of the place. With such huge shoes to fill given it's management by Michelin Starred Chef Jason Atherton and rising waves of expectations as we settled into the bar counter seats soaking in the estactic rush of the kitchen (reminding me so much of my mind-blowing experience at Movida in Melbourne); I was really hoping for an extraordinary meal.

The Kimichi Burger ($20) was decent in my opinion. A good thick juicy patty cooked to perfection with the kimchi (of shrimp based origins) being a good alternative to caramelised onions or pickles. Still, portions were small (yeh.. I know they are acclaimed to serve 'snack' sized items), and did nothing for my voracious carnivorous appetite especially after the race.

Jason's Very Hot Dog ($19) fared much better, chorizo based sausage with lashings of delicious guacamole, "spicy' green chili or jalapenos and crispy shallots. This was good per Se, but left a nagging feeling on both me and my partner. given its humble beginnings for an extravagant price

Desserts as urgently requested by me were the Hot Doughnuts with Cinnamon and Vanila Chantilly. French inspired, these hot pillows of fluffy sweetness arrived at our tables quickly. Like French Beignets, the doughnuts were delicious on their own rolled in a crisp coat of cinnamon sugar. What failed it was the accompaniment of Vanilla Chantilly that somehow carried a sour note to its flavor profile, the speckling of vanilla beans deceiving the diner and its texture trending more towards a broken cloud than voluminous ripples of cream.

To those seeking to get a taste of Chef Andrew Walsh's fare, hop over to Esquina instead and give the more insolent sibling, Keong Saik Snacks a miss. That being said, service standards are top notch for a pint-sized bistro; staff were well groomed with admirable flair and armed with substantial knowledge of their products. Overall, this would be a one-off experience for me. I should visit the rest of Atherton's collected accolades though...

Keong Saik Snacks
49 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089153
Tel : +65 6221 8338