Crunchy Bottoms

Striking the caloric balance. Barely.

Category Archives: Italian

Brunetti – an Italian café experience

I figure I should test the waters of the current state of my writing, because unlike investments, it’s not going to appreciate by just festering in a corner over 3 months. So let’s start of with what I had for tea.

I was introduced to Brunetti – one of Melbourne’s most iconic Italian cafes – just this week, 2 days before it opened it’s first branch here in Singapore on the 29th of September. It came as a recommendation, for Italian coffee, pastries, gelato and the whole shebang. And trust me when I say that Brunetti is your one-stop wonderland to almost every Italian treat from biscotti, to millfoglies, hand-made chocolates, paninis, cornettos, espressos, straciatella gelato, and pignolos. Hand your wallet over to someone reliable, because you’re your own worst enemy in the face of at least 10 metres of glass displays with glistening pastries so shiny and vibrant you’ll need shades to gawk.

Brunetti has been around in Melbourne for more than 30 years now, and diehard fans of the outlet at Carlton have been anxiously waiting ever since there was news that it would open its doors here at RWS. But thank goodness it’s Tanglin Mall they’ve decided on instead of Sentosa. I can’t imagine having to go out of my way for a good cup of Italian roast or what could be the closest experience to sitting in an authentic Italian café.

It’s the tiled floor, the mosaic pieces, the black and white photographs of people sipping coffee, the sheer amount of sweets, and the smell of deep, smokey coffee that slows time down, draws you in and teaches you that a cappuccino should last a good, long conversation instead of having it taken-away and chugged down as you’re walking. There’s an otherworldly charm about Brunetti. It whisks you off to another time and place, and if you tried hard enough, maybe, just maybe, you’ll be able to hear the staccatos of rapid-fire Italian over the buzz of the cafe. You won’t have to try as hard for Singlish though. Just saying.

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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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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

Ricciotti – 1 for 1 Pizza

Pizza Al Crudo

 

I seem to be having pizza every week now. Which isn’t a bad thing by any means, of course. 

For a self-proclaimed bread fanatic, this is pretty much a given. As long as something required yeast in the making, I’ll be all over it like a plague of locusts that would put Moses’ to shame. 

Alright, so that wasn’t the most flattering of similes. But really, if you don’t like pizza, well…who are you?! 

So tell me you could skip merrily by a restaurant signboard, boasting a not-so-modest chalked scrawl of ‘1-for-1 Pizza’ and I’ll instantly drop all previous allegations. I promise. 

I’m talking about a restaurant from the Garibaldi group of restaurants (aka Italian Food Done The Proper, Respectable Way). I’d pick this over Canadian 1-for-1. 

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Villa Di Parma (Formally Ristorante De Parma)

Pizza E Funghi

You would think that ever since I’ve stopped working to concentrate on university applications, my life would reach a tranquil reprieve of sorts, that it would be when I finally get to claw my way up to break the surface, sucking in my first gasp of fresh air since selling my soul to paperwork and sending screwy sms reminders to students.

Nothing much has changed.

I still sit at the computer the entire day, and the only differences would be the absence of my pores shrivelling up under sub-zero conditions with the air-conditioning blasting in my face and the lack of need to wear two jackets for 8 hours. Oh, and of course the steady emptying of my wallet. Silly me, how could I forget.

I’ve been so busy reading…things on the computer that I don’t even remember what they were!

But, you know, if it’s one thing I’d remember, it’s food – in the sense that I had yet to settle the date, time and venue for the meet-up with the girls that’s been delayed for almost a month already. It was probably hours before I sourced out this restaurant offering an in-house promotion for Tuesday Pizzas Night, where a selected assortment of thin-crust pizzas go for $12.90 each. Budget pizzas for budgeted students! What other fantastic way to spend Tuesday night could there possibly be?

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Skinny Pizza

Macadamia Roasted Pumpkin Pizza

I’ve been talking about dragging Gushi to an outlet ever since my first bite of cracker-thin Skinny Pizza at Wheelock Place. Today I did. Lugging 4kg of assessment books and textbooks from Novena to City Hall and through Citylink to Suntec City, (because poor students like us have to make peanuts from selling used books at second-hand book stores and stingingon transport fares) I met up with her during her lunch break.  Read more of this post