Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Monthly Archives: May 2010

Bistro Du Vin

Bistro Du Vin

I love surprises. 

I really do! 

Especially if you say you’re going to surprise me with food. 

But – and I know you’ve been expecting a ‘but’ – here’s where I stop getting giddy and giggly and springy and skippy, and where I show you that I am fully capable of doing a one-eighty and turn homicidal in the blink of an eye. 

I very much appreciate the quaint French bistro decor, charming and homey with deep-red walls covered with framed pictures, low-hanging cafe lights above marbled table tops with jet black finishing, handsome wine bottles reclining comfortably on racks… 

Which is when it hit me that it’s French and there isn’t such a thing as cheap French food anywhere, and heaven forbid it actually, since any native French wouldn’t hesitate to try to bring the place down if it’s the last thing he’ll do just to uphold the integrity of French food. Even the tiny things are pricey (that is not to say that they aren’t worth the price though). When was the last time you bought a croissant? Hmm? Which is probably the reason why everyone just heads for Breadtalk now anyway. 

Ok, so I’m joking about turning homicidal. 

I’ve wanted to try French for the longest time but haven’t because of the hefty price tag that comes with it. 

This, in hindsight, was truly a surprise and certainly didn’t warrant my pouting and whining about how a main starts from $22 onwards. I apologise, Oliver. But it was either French, or the Italian to its left, or the mysterious looking Japanese to the right with no view of the restaurant from the outside and just a door curtained by heavy cloth leading into the darkness… 

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Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart

Crunchy-Bottomed Lemon Tart

 

  

Enough of those sorry excuses for lemon tarts. 

Stale, dismally soggy, not citrus-y enough… 

Forget it. I’m done getting disappointed with expanding empty calories on sub-standard pastries. 

I’m making my own, damn it. 

This has been a long time coming, you have to agree with me, and what’s surprising is that I didn’t turn my frustration into an entire Rant Post about the slow, drawn-out death of my glimmer of hope for one good tart. Just what is so difficult in making a decent lemon tart?! 

HA! 

This’ll show you, you…you phony pastry parlors! 

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Bakerzin (United Square)

Bread Basket

The first time I went to Bakerzin was about three years ago, perhaps four. 

Now if I had known that they had a bread basket, and that helping yourself to copious amounts of ciabatta, whole grain and rye breads, and slotting them into an adorable roller-toaster of sorts was completely unlimited (provided you order a set meal of $13.80+), I’d have frequented them sooner – and perhaps would have made a huge dent in their revenue. 

Come on. It’s bread. Fresh bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to go with. Now we’re talking carbohydrates. 

I would admit though, that the main reason we ended up consuming about five to six plates of bread could really be blamed on my over-enthusiastic delight of dropping the slices into the toaster, watching them roll across the red-hot grill and waiting on bated breath for them to plonkplonkplonk and slide merrily down the little metal slope to a stop before my eager plate. It’s kind of like a grown-up version of how I used to slot every single coin I could find when I was a little tyke of 3 or 4 years-old into the air-conditioning vents of the family car, to the point where my parents had to practically yank them out and exhume the damn pipes before they could sell the vehicle off. I’ve always been a rascal, except that I’ve grown more practical and responsible over the years (I don’t pee in convenient stores and break toilet bowls anymore) – I made sure to finish every single slice. 

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Lamb Shank Cassoulet

Lamb Shank Cassoulet

Say hello to my first night-time photos. 

If I could keep the sun up all the time, or better yet, summon it whenever I need it present for a proper shot, I’d be happy. Which is why I only ever bother with photos during the day (which all happen to be desserts D:). Shots of otherwise vibrant hues of Chicken Paprikash under sickly, stark, hospital-flourescent lighting? I’d rather eat my food while it’s still warm than bother ransacking drawers for daylight-balanced bulbs or a pocket-sized sun. 

But Mother’s Day dinner couldn’t simply be left uncaptured at all. Especially since I want to look back half a decade later and laugh and cry and remember how I bound myself to the kitchen for 4 concrete hours and how I burned a toe (Yes, a toe. The big toe on my left foot to be exact) when a splotch of molten white chocolate decided my foot to be a more desirable destination than the frickin’ bowl. 

Such are the joys of the kitchen. 

I planned a Main, a Side and Dessert. 

Nowhere did I bother to insert Taking Photos as part of the menu, short of risking dropping the Nikon into the pressure cooker while accidently getting spattered with scalding, popping bacon fat and impaling my palm with the jagged edge of the opened can of beans as I blindly reach for a towel amidst the spray of blood. I was this close to turning the night into something out of an episode of Happy Tree Friends, so if I only cared long enough to drag my room lamp downstairs and grab that black vanguard board for a picture, I’m glad the end product even looked like food. Although perhaps if you looked closely you’d be able to spot a severed fingertip among the chorizo sausages and beans… 

I’m known for my morbid sense of humour. Excuse me.  

Rest assured that I’m completely intact to type out a blog post.  Read more of this post

Jones The Grocer (Mandarin Gallery)

 
Jones The Grocer

Raise your hand if you knew Jones The Grocer existed right smack in Orchard Road.

Keep your hand raised if you know where Mandarin Gallery is.

Mmhmm…I’m keeping my hand down on both accounts.

Perhaps you’re like me too, or not since I have somehow managed to walk past Mandarin Gallery with my eyes closed, never knowing it existed and then where it was after hearing of it.

Recall passing by a gargantuan palatial silver building just after Takashimaya while walking towards the Somerset-Dhoby Ghaut direction?  The one that makes you feel like an insignificant dust mite under the watchful and glamorous presence of Mont Blanc, D&G, Just Cavalli and Marc by Marc Jacobs that it flaunts? The one that looks far too atas, out of your league, and just so darn intimidating to even want to venture a step in?

Yea, that’s it.

But maybe that’s just me, who somehow never once saw the name of the building since it was always overshadowed and eclipsed by dear Marc.

Then again, you know, I know some people who would frolic and skip around inside the building like a playground, fully comfortable and right at home surrounded by all those designer labels.

That’s fine by me, really. They can graze and spree and party and bounce from one branded boutique to the next like a pachinko ball at the hands of a jaded Japanese salesman.

But me? I don’t care for that when there’s Jones (but that is not to say that I even could).

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Universal Studios Singapore

Universal Studios Singapore

 

What took me so long huh?    

Well, if you haven’t been to South East Asia’s first movie theme park and have been patiently waiting for friends to be willing to be $66 poorer with you, grinding your teeth on the inside in jealousy while you see news of people enjoying the thrills and spills of Universal Studios Singapore…    

I suggest you don’t.    

Yet.    

Why?    

Because the Transformers attraction won’t be ready till 2011 (I’m assuming it’ll be cool), and other attractions are still undergoing maintenance.    

Like the Battlestar Galactica mega coaster that I went there for.     

I can’t even begin to describe my anguish.    

Oli and I were at the ticket counter when we were told this and he almost had to drag me kicking and screaming into the park after paying because the sexiest attraction in Universal Studios wasn’t open.    

And I was so psyched. I was ready to ride it at least 5 times on the Human and Cylon coasters each, even if that meant alone since Oli would’ve turned inside out from emptying his stomach cavity. I wanted my corkscrews, loops and barrel rolls. And we went on a weekday! Perfect time to spam roller coasters!  And the Universal Studios website says nothing about which rides are under maintenance.    

So wait.    

Unless you don’t care for coasters, then by all means go ahead.    

But don’t go with me. Read more of this post