Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Category Archives: Cafe

Canelé – Les Petits Gateâux

Le Royale

There is no better chocolate cake.

I don’t care what you say about Awfully Chocolate, because like all the times that I’ve commented on how they aren’t awfully-chocolatey enough (except maybe for the Super Stack Cake), I’ll say it again – they can’t hold a candle to Canelé’s Le Royale.

Of course you’ve got the main contenders: Rive Gauche’s Guanaja and Sheraton Tower’s Crunchy Chocolate Praline Cake.

But neither of those have the depth and bitter-sweet fullness, courtesy of a crackling bottom layer of hazelnut feullitine, a thick 66% chocolate mousse center layer, almond success (I don’t know what that is, but since I like it, I suppose it’s a success anyway), and a chocolate genoise tier soaked with rum. You can see it, can you? That thick, obscene layer of mousse? And what I would do to get my hands on the recipe for that crusty base.

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Cafe Hacienda

 

Cafe Hacienda

 

In a direct one-eighty to the Choupinette post I put up a while back, I’m embarrassed (well, a little) to admit that yes, I’ve been brunch-ing far more frequently than I would normally and that I will now openly declare that I’m brunching as opposed to just having a late breakfast. It sends a chill up my spine that I realise that I don’t think I can return to that normalcy. I’m afraid, very afraid.

The thrill of finding an awesome brunch place now supercedes the steady thinning of my wallet.

Well almost.

See, the novelty of doing something unconventional (like having brunch dishes at 4pm, brunch-ing on a weekday before class, playing with Google Man to find brunch places..) will never wear out as long as this idea of brunch is still shiny and new to me.

And as long as I keep chancing across gems like Cafe Hacienda, nestled in the lush foliage of Dempsey Hill, all peaceful and warm and blissful and cozy and empty during weekdays and with killer Eggs Benedict…

I’m saying tata to breakfasts and lunches.

 

Interior

 

All-day breakfast and brunch places are sprouting up all over the island, and while Café Hacienda’s brunch and breakfast spread of waffles, egg dishes and pastries aren’t going to win an award for variety, it is much appreciated and admirable that they make up for the lack by executing the few that they have to offer fantastically. Now that’s reliability – doing one thing right and well each time without fail, namely, their Eggs Benedict.  Read more of this post

Choupinette

Choupinette

I’ve never been a brunch person.

At least not intentionally because, I mean, can I be blamed if I sleep in and have breakfast at 10-11am? I still consider that breakfast, by the way. Feel free to contend with me on what you’d like to call a meal at that time. I thrive on confrontation.

Meals, to me, are the fundamental three: Breakfast, Lunch and then Dinner.

Anything else in between is subject to preferential labeling. Brunch, tea, lunchner, dinch (you know, since breakfast + lunch = brunch. Therefore lunch + dinner = lunchner/ dinch), dinper, supner. Whatever.

I don’t care what time I’m eating something at, because regardless of how school life has been granting me only lunchners and supners, the only and important fact to me remains: I’m eating.

‘Nuff said.

Yet this was a planned brunch. Afternoon classes make certain of that. And have I mentioned how there should be more weekday French brunch places to cater for the increasingly prominent crowd of late-rising tertiary zombies? Oh any kind of brunch place is fine. But I’ll be a regular at any French cafe. Give me a piping hot croissant anytime and you’ll seal the deal. Read more of this post

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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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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