Saturday, 22 August 2015

Singa-eats 2: Tian Kee & Co (Review)

Tian Kee & Co
48 Dakota Crescent, #01-48

No trip to the Dakota/Mountbatten area is complete without visiting 1) Dakota Crescent with its vintage playground and 1950s flats - best looking HDBs in Singapore in my opinion, 2) Old Airport Road Food Court. Fortunately, nestled within the charming old estates in Dakota Crescent is a once provision shop turned artisan cafe - Tian Kee & Co.

This retro styled cafe is filled with vintage memorabilia and exudes a nostalgic quaint ambience perfect for catching up with friends. No air-con though, only whirling ceiling fans that work tirelessly against the weather... That aside, this cafe is known for its cheesecakes, especially this photogenic cheesecake in the loveliest pastel shades (think Walls rainbow ice cream!). This cheesecake was surprisingly light and fluffy in texture and tasted like a blend between yoghurt and whipped cream. Not unpleasant, but it is a well known fact that rainbow cakes tend to look better than they taste...

The star of this cafe for me though was the yuan yang cheesecake as pictured below. This is much heavier in texture and taste, and I have such the weakness for teh & kopi (& of course both together).
Unfortunately I didn't try the coffee here, but I had the salted caramel drink (1st picture) that looked really charming in that retro glass mug. Unfortunately again, though not unpleasant, it too looked better than it tasted...

Verdict? 6/10
Lots of thought has been put into the look and feel of the cafe and the food/drink, but unfortunately the food/drink didn't wow me taste-wise. That being said, this cafe at the corner of Dakota Crescent wins for its nostalgic ambience and chill-out, almost kampung, vibes. I'm devastated they're demolishing the estate there for redevelopment! :( I would have loved to stay there despite the apparently deteriorating conditions. (also, what is going to happen to the families of cats there!) Moral of the story, pay this neighbourhood & Tian Kee & Co a visit before end 2016, after which this plot of land will only become boring looking BTOs/ condos. Meh.

Friday, 14 August 2015

#shuutravels 5 Places to Eat in Santorini (+Athens)

Greece was undoubtedly the star of my 2015 summer vacation - Santorini mesmerised with its insane Mediterranean views while Athens fascinated with its endless stories. Unsurprisingly however, being the piggy I am, the amazing food I had over my week stay in Greece is going to be number 1 reason why I would definitely want to revisit Greece again.

Everyday, I pretty much ate with wanton disregard for the fact that I'd be spending the rest of the day at the beach in a skimpy bikini. I don't think I would be exaggerating if I had the most value-for-money dishes ever in Greece. However, I did find that my best experiences were at restaurants in Imerovigli and other smaller towns like Perissa and Kamari - I would avoid eating at Oia and Fira if I were to visit Santorini again. Food is more expensive, service is less courteous and these two towns are too crowded for you to experience Greek Island bliss. So, here's my top 5 places you definitely need to try eating the next time you visit Santorini and Athens.

1 MEZZO Imeroviglii, +30 22860 21874
Top choice for a lovely caldera view and innovative hearty food - I've heard the sunset view from Mezzo's terrace is pretty amazing too. I loved the complimentary bread basket (olives and tirokafteri - spicy cheese dip ftw!) and the linguine with rock gruyere cheese, beef and wild mushrooms. The tenderloin with vinsanto sauce atop sweet potato mash (last photo) was also noteworthy :)

2 ANOGI Imerovigli, +30 2286 021285
This restaurant wins the award for serving me the best meal I've had in Santorini. I'm very much in love with their fried feta cheese with honey and sesame (craving it right now...), and the pork shoulder (3rd photo) was juicy, soft and cooked to perfection. I also had the grilled sea bass and vinsanto poached pears, both of which were yummeh.
P.S. This restaurant is packed every night - please book in advance!
P.P.S. You have to try vinsanto, the local dessert wine when you're here, I think it can rival ice wine hehe.

 3 KAPARI WINE RESTAURANT Imerovigli, +30 22860 21120
The most expensive restaurant on this list, but the views of the sea are breathtaking and the food was (Y). I don't know how Greek food manages taste so fresh and clean yet indulgent at the same time. The ice chocolate also surprised us by being very thick (I think they must have used chocolate ice cream!) and yummy. We didn't manage to make a reservation in time for dinner so we only managed to dine from a less extensive lunch menu, but their dinner menu looks really good so do give it a try! 

4 HELLAS RESTAURANT Perissa, +30 22860 81658
How can calamari rings taste so fresh and good??? This restaurant wins for friendliest service and most affordable prices.   

Okay, this isn't really a restaurant recommendation, but Santorini's beaches are lined with bars that offer free usage of their sunbeds and even free wifi at the beach! Fabulous deal, and we spent a couple of hours chilling at Kamari beach (very picturesque set against the imposing hill!) with cold drinks in our hands. Bliss.

5 MELILOTOS Kalamiotou 19, Monastiraki, Athens
 And we're finally in Athens. We went to this tiny restaurant on the recommendation of our super hip AirBNB host and I had one of the best pork steaks I've ever had in my life. Hear this: smoked Cretan pork steak in rosemary oil served with spicy feta and marjoram potatoes. Need to eat this again!! The best part - only EUR12! Seriously affordable. Also enjoyed their beef steak with lemon flavoured baby rocket salad, but the pork steak still steals the show for me...

That's it from me! Hope this guide was of some help and I am seriously salivating after writing this post. Unfortunately, I'm starting work for real next week so I won't be able to do that much galivanting anymore. Still, I'm looking forward to my next vacation - somewhere in South East Asia please! Till next time! xx

(^ a glass of Vinsanto - if you love your dessert wines, you need to try that)

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Singa-eats 1: Wen Dao Shi/ Wen Dou Sek Dimsum

Helloo! I've finally graduated and back in Singapore for good (or for food...) and I thought I should continue my MILF (London Food list) but in SG! I can't think of a cute acronym for this though (help, anyone?) so Singa-eats shall do for now ;)

So I shall kick of this series with a review of a cosy little dimsum stall a few roads down Aljunied MRT - Wen Dou Sek, also known as 搵到食 (it rhymes with their unit number 126! I see what you did there...)
Wen Dou Sek
126 Sims Ave

It's a busy, no-frills, 24h establishment but regulars will swear by their wide variety and amazing value for money. We ordered 8 plates and 4 drinks, and only paid about $12 per person.

Must try dishes: 
Fried banana and mango
King Siew Mai
Kimchi Pork
Crispy Yam
Honey Lemon Tea

Left: Fried Banana with Mango/ Right: King Siew Mai and Roast Pork Chee Cheong Fun
The fried banana was delish and reminded me of goreng pisang which I really like! I don't eat prawns, so I can't comment on the siew mai but my friends really liked it. The roast pork CCF is not inedible, but not memorable either. I heard the crab CCF is better though, so give that a try!

Background: Kimchi Pork; Foreground: Pork belly buns aka kong bak paus
The kimchi pork was surprisingly yummy, though I did question what kimchi was doing in a dimsum restaurant... But Wen Dao Shi's menu seems to feature a lot of random additions, like curry chicken and chilli crab for example haha! The pork belly buns, on the other hand, were only alright.

 Clockwise from left: Crispy yam, Guo Tie (Dumplings) and Fried Frog Legs/ Background: Honey Lemon Tea
I loved the crispy yam - so soft and fragrant on the inside but a satisfying crunch on the outside. The dumplings were far too doughy for my liking so I would say give this a miss... WRT the frog legs, my friend recommended it but I think it's quite the acquired taste :X I would highly recommend the honey lemon tea though! It even comes with jelly bits in the tea which was very refreshing to slurp up.

Wen Dao Shi's dishes can be quite hit and miss sometimes, but the dishes are at worst,mediocre but definitely not inedible. We still had an enjoyable time, given how dimsum is such comforting and satisfying food, so I'd definitely go back here for an affordable dimsum fix.

Till next time! xx

Monday, 3 August 2015

#shuuootd Blues & Whites

My Santorini vacay provided me the perfect excuse to unabashedly wear blues and whites together all day - my dream, considering how half my wardrobe is surely white, and another quarter is probably blue. So here I showcase some ways in which I tried to blend in with the (very spectacular) blue and white Greek landscape hahaha

Lace Kimono X The Tinsel Rack 
Bikini X Seafolly on ASOS
I'm such a big fan of Seafolly swimwear but they are so expensive so I always snag them when they're on sale - ASOS is definitely the best place for such treasures. Also managed to sneak in a trip to the Seafolly outlet store when I was in Sydney!! :D Now just waiting for my next holiday...

Crochet Bralet & Straw hat X Primark (for5 quid each!!)
Denim culottes X ASOS