Singapore has a whole host of hidden gems, undiscovered eateries and fine dining experiences...but where do we even begin?
Sometimes it's easier to slide into a seat of our favourite food joint as we know what to expect and the quality of dishes served.
Nestling into what you know is all well and good, but discovering new places can be even better...especially if you have an expert's review on the venue first.
Saint Pierre’s New Adventure
Go on a dining journey at French fine-dining restaurant Saint Pierre, which has introduced a new Adventure menu ($238, add $168 for wine and $28 for cheese).
It features 26 dishes which represent the 26 letters of the alphabet.
Some highlights dished out by chef-owner Emmanuel Stroobant include fine de claire oyster with crab, oscietra caviar and tuile; mushroom tartlet with Serpolet pigeon and horseradish; and Rhug Estate lamb saddle with hummus and carrot-cumin.
The meats are cooked perfectly and I like the delicate elements of each dish, such as the tuile and mushroom tartlet.
Old Saint Pierre favourites on the menu include Indian turmeric foam with herb-crusted purple artichoke; and kaffir lime leaf with scallop, coconut and jalapeno.
The decadent meal ends with a medley of six refreshing desserts, such as the vanilla rice emulsion with raspberries, and XP5-marinated pineapple, lemongrass, coconut and meringue.
Do not underestimate these small bites. I left the restaurant satisfied, although I wish I had a bigger portion of my picks.
WHERE: Saint Pierre, 02-02B One Fullerton, 1 Fullerton Road MRT: Raffles Place
WHEN: 11.30am to 3pm (Tuesdays to Fridays), 6.30 to 11pm (Mondays to Saturdays), closed Sundays
INFO: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Afternoon tea delights at d’Good Cafe
There is nothing more relaxing than tucking into a relaxing afternoon tea with sandwiches and desserts. But you do not have to break the bank to do it at a hotel.
The English-themed d'Good Cafe's outlet in Ngee Ann City has rolled out two new afternoon tea menus ($38++ for two people, including coffee or tea).
I try the Fulfilment Set (above), which has savoury items such as tomato, herb and cheese tart; torched tiger prawn with caviar on toast; barbecued chicken and gherkin sandwich; and the quintessential cucumber sandwich.
The prawn item is my favourite. I can definitely eat a whole prawn roll of that.
For sweets, there is matcha Swiss roll, raspberry almond cake, Black Forest cake and baked cheese tart.
I find the Black Forest cake a tad sweet - the matcha Swiss roll and cheese tart are more to my liking.
The Beatific Set has a different selection and includes truffle-scented egg mayonnaise sandwich; bacon, gruyere cheese and onion jam on toast; and an Earl Grey lavender cream puff.
Both sets come with plain, raisin and cranberry scones - served with housemade matcha cream, strawberry jam, cream cheese and butter. The matcha cream is absolutely delightful and rich in green tea flavour.
An afternoon well spent.
WHERE: d'Good Cafe, B1-56 Ngee Ann City, 391 Orchard Road MRT: Orchard
WHEN: 2 to 5.30pm daily
All things delicious
The coconut lemongrass meringue cake ($62 for a nine-inch cake) is moist and perfumed with the aroma of coconut and lemongrass. I like that the topping is torched meringue, instead of cream, with pretty edible flowers.
Other options include orange-infused sugee cake ($38 or $48) and gula melaka drizzle cake ($68 for a seven-inch cake).
The menu also has a houseblend granola with dates, as well as a selection of delicious cookies, including gula melaka coconut, sugee and chocolate almond. They are priced at $25 (500ml jar) or $39 (1-litre jar). The cookies - especially the gula melaka coconut - require warnings on the label. You cannot stop at one.
WHERE: All Things Delicious, 34 Arab Street MRT: Bugis
WHEN: Until June 24, 3pm
Flaky Pasties at April’s Bakery
There has been plenty of hype surrounding two new brands in Tampines - fluffy sponge cakes at Le Castella, which is from Taiwan, and pastries from April's Bakery, which hails from Bangkok.
If you are not in the mood to queue at Le Castella, head to April's Bakery. You will not be disappointed.
The small takeaway store sells a selection of pies (above) that are more like Cantonese-style piah, with oh-so-thin flaky skin.
I try the Thai milk tea, taro, pumpkin, green tea, sweet egg floss and coconut flavours. Each one costs $2, except for the smaller sweet egg floss, which is $1.50.
My favourite is the Thai milk tea, which is not too sweet and has a smooth, custard-like filling. My next pick is the taro - it has a ginkgo nut in the middle - which is like eating orh nee (yam paste) in a pie.
I am not usually a fan of coconut, but I enjoy the sweet coconut flesh in the filling, which adds bite to the paste.
I did not get to try the purple sweet potato and sesame flavours, which I hear are yummy too.
While there is barely any queue for the pastries, it is best to go at about 9.30am to get the popular flavours.
I have never had them in Bangkok and now I want to try April's Bakery on its homeground.
WHERE: April's Bakery, 01-03, 20 Tampines Central 5 MRT: Tampines
WHEN: 8.30am to 9.30pm daily
Article first published on StraitsTimes