{Foodie Fridays} – Rabbit Carrot Gun

Yes, that’s the name of a cafe. With a name like Rabbit Carrot Gun, it’s hard not to be curious about what it has to offer. Have I also mentioned that its only a five minute drive from my place? I was still lamenting that there is a lack of English brunch places in the east a couple of weeks back. So imagine how pleased I was to find out about newly opened Rabbit Carrot Gun, which occupies a shophouse space along east coast road.

We were there for brunch so I only looked at the weekend brunch menu.

Being the boring predictable person I am, I ended up with the Eggs Pacifico (poached eggs with smoked salmon served with homemade hollandaise sauce) and YS ended up with the Game keepers Shooting Breakfast (which is really a mix of everything – choice of eggs, sausages, toast, mushrooms and bacon). Not quite a kid-friendly menu with names like these. Haha.

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The food was decent. In fact, I think they did a good job with the poached eggs and the hollandaise sauce. Ys also liked his scrambled eggs (hey, scrambled eggs have the potential to go really wrong ok). But somehow, I wasn’t too excited about the food. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t taste bad but nothing stood out and nothing called out to me. Coffee was a disappointment though.

YS and I agreed that we will give their lunch or dinner menu another shot though! They seem to have a rather extensive menu that features rather interesting items. So we will definitely go back!

Food aside, I liked the vibe of the cafe. It has a quirky laidback English style. There are retro looking furnishings throughout the shop, including the old school motorcycle ride, which now stands outside the cafe. I also liked that the owner retained certain features of the old shophouse, including the flooring. The result is a charming and rustic interior.

I truly enjoyed my Saturday morning at Rabbit Carrot Gun. It was peaceful and quiet and it does help that i love the katong neighborhood. And at least they have high chairs for kids and tables are placed far apart enough for a family to fit a stroller. In any case, there is outdoor seating as well (with ceiling fans above, yay).

Oh, and above the restaurant are 7 gorgeous (from the pictures I see online) boutique suites! So it’s really a bed and breakfast. I would stay there if I were a tourist!

Sharing a few pictures I took that morning.

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Just a little tip, (parallel) parking can be found along Ceylon Road or Marshall Road. If there are no lots, park at Katong Shopping Centre and take a five minute walk.

Rabbit Carrot Gun
49 East Coast Road
Singapore 428768

Gem in the East – Penny University

I love good coffee and I love pretty cafes but it’s not easy to find both at the same time.

Hip coffee joints have been sprouting up across Singapore in the last two years but never in the east where I live! The closest was Loysel’s toy, which is still considered central rather than east.

So I was really excited when I learnt about Penny University opening along east coast road. I have been hearing rave reviews about this cafe (esp about the desserts) but never had the opportunity to check it out until last Saturday. It had been raining the entire day and we were in need of our coffee fix, and was thinking of a place where we could just chill out, and enjoy a cuppa and a dessert. So we decided it shall be Penny University.

It is located along east coast road (beside margarita’s) near the junction of east coast road and telok kurau road. Parking can be a problem but we managed to find parking along telok kurau road near the junction.

It’s a charming little coffee joint with an indie laid-back vibe – has 2 booth seats, about 7 or 8 tables for smaller groups of 2 or 3, and a bigger communal table (which is a concept that is gaining popularity these days). I liked that it was casual and fuss free. You get your own seats, order and pay at the counter, and your food and drinks get delivered to you.

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They have a small menu consisting of sandwiches, all-day breakfast items, and daily selection of pies, pastries and cakes. Coffee orders are straightforward – either espresso with milk or espresso without milk. I love small menus. It means I spend less time angsting over what to order and it usually also means these guys know what they are good at and keep to it.

We got ourselves espresso with milk. Some may find the coffee a tad too acidic for their liking but I loved it. In fact, I loved it so much I dropped the sugar. We also ordered a lemon strawberry tart to share. I may not have tasted many lemon tarts in the last three decades of my life but can I just say that this has to be my favourite by far. The smooth lemon filling was refreshing, not too sour and not too sweet, and just tangy enough for me.

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We intended to only have coffee and dessert but couldn’t resist ordering cheese toasties with marmite and poached eggs from their all-day breakfast menu to share. All I can say is, it was yumz. I thought it was worth every cent of the 6 bucks we paid! The poached eggs were done well, the bread was toasted to perfection and I loved the marmite, cheese and poached eggs combi to bits!

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Ok, granted we didn’t get to chill out much since we had Aly with us (toddlers and chilling out are mutually exclusive) but we really enjoyed the food and coffee and will definitely return. For date night perhaps?

What’s your favourite cafe in your neighborhood?

**Just a note, it’s not a kid friendly place (and I am not surprised and don’t blame them). I asked for a baby chair and was told they didn’t have one, so we ended up taking turns to have Aly sit on our laps. Tight spaces between the tables also mean that strollers may not be that practical.

Penny University
402 East Coast Road
Singapore 428997

{Review and Giveaway} The Shepherd’s Pie

I have always been a huge fan of meat pies, it’s my ultimate comfort food. Unfortunately, there isn’t that much of a pie culture in Singapore, and I’ve not been able to find what I deem a good pie….until I stumbled upon The Shepherd’s Pie, that is.

Ever since we moved in to our new place, we have been hosting a series of get togethers at our new home, and each time, I struggle with the question of what food to get for the party. It is a source of stress for me since I am not a good cook and with Aly, it is difficult for me to set aside the time to whip up some homemade food for the party (ok, I admit this is just an excuse. It’s really cos I can’t cook for nuts!). After a while, we also got tired of the usual pizzas and fast food. So, two weekends ago, when I invited my bunch of girlfriends over for tea, one of them suggested ordering from The Shepherd’s Pie and so we did. After some discussion, we decided on the classic chicken and black pepper beef pies.

I called The Shepherd’s Pie at their hotline, and was promptly directed to an operator who took down my orders. The process was simple and fuss free. For advance orders, it is also possible to place your orders online. On the day of the get together, the pies arrived piping hot within the stipulated one hour time frame, and payment is made upon delivery. Each pie is 9″ by 9″ and two pies were more than enough to feed a bunch of 8 girls and the husband, leaving all of us extremely stuffed but satisfied. The pies got a thumbs up from all my friends and were extremely well received.

Last Saturday, Ys and I decided to eat in because he wanted to stay home to watch a soccer match and we decided to order the Rendang Beef pie (since we were somewhat in an adventurous mood) from The Shepherd’s Pie again. It turned out to be the perfect (comforting) dinner for the cold and rainy Saturday evening.

The ultimate comfort food

The makings of a good pie – A golden crust of mashed potato.

Golden crust of mashed potato

Golden crust of mashed potato

Underneath the crisp crust is a layer of buttery smooth mashed potato and mozzarella cheese followed by a layer of flavourful beef stew, with generous amounts of onions, carrots, corn and spices.

A cross section of the pie

A cross section of the pie

I like how The Shepherd’s Pie adapted the traditional Rendang dish for their pies. The result of this fusion is an interesting one. I also liked that the coconut milk taste was not too rich nor overpowering, and was just enough to bring out the flavour of the ground beef. All I can say is, the creamy coconut base and mashed potato makes a perfect pairing, and is the ultimate comfort food. I have to confess though, after about two helpings, it got a little jelak which is why I would recommend this as a pie to share with friends or family! (Here’s a little tip – unfinished portions can be kept chilled in the fridge for up to two days and reheated whenever you want to have the pie again. It tastes just as good!)

It was also not as spicy as I imagined it to be. In fact, I thought the black pepper beef pie was spicier! So for those of you looking for pies with some punch, go for the black pepper beef/chicken pie. The black pepper pie is my current favourite, after trying three different flavours! Ys’ vote goes to the rendang beef pie though.

I also liked that all three pies we tried were not too salty (and this comes from someone who has a low tolerance for salty food), and is a welcoming change from all the salty take out food we consume everyday.

So, all in all, I am really pleased with both the service and quality of pies at The Shepherd’s Pie and foresee myself turning to them for future potlucks and gatherings. In fact, I would even order a pie from them if we are too lazy to head out to eat and would just like some comfort food for the weekend.

I should also mention that the pies from The Shepherd’s Pie are halal certified, which is great for us, since ys and I have quite a number of Muslim friends.

The different flavours available on the menu at The Sheperd’s Pie are:

  • Beef Options – Classic Beef, Black Pepper Beef, Rendang Beef
  • Chicken Options – Classic Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken
  • Others – Veggie Lovers, Lamb Special

The Shepherd’s Pie is opened everyday, from 11.00am to 9.00pm and orders are taken from 11.30am to 8.30pm.

For same day deliveries, please call 6789 0707. For advance orders, you have an extra option of placing an order via their website.

Craving for a pie already? The Shepherd’s Pie has kindly agreed to sponsor a giveaway for the readers of this blog! Just complete the following three simple steps by 21 January 2013 and you may be the lucky reader to have a piping hot pie of your choice (either Classic Chicken or Classic Beef) delivered to your doorstep!

  1. Like The Shepherd’s Pie facebook page.
  2. Leave a comment and let me know if you would like to have the Classic Chicken Pie or Classic Beef Pie and who you would like to share the pie with.
  3. In your comment, leave an email which I can contact you at should you win the giveaway.

Terms and Conditions of Giveaway:

  1. This giveaway is open to persons residing in Singapore only.
  2. Giveaway will end at 8pm on 21 January 2013.
  3. The winner of the giveaway will be chosen randomly via Random Picker.
  4. Results will be announced on this blog on 22 January 2013.
Good luck!
**UPDATED
Winner of the Giveaway is MIRACULE
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Disclaimer: I received a Beef Rendang Pie for the purposes of the review. All opinions stated herein are my own.

Our Top 3 Eats in Hong Kong

We were in Hong Kong two months ago for a quick getaway and if you ask me, we were really just there to eat, rest and catch up with friends. Erm ok actually I think we were eating more than anything else. When asked by YL what we wanted to eat, we told her our criteria – so long as it is cheap and good, anything goes! Almost everything we ate in those four days were good, but if I were to blog about every meal we had, it will probably take me hours, so here are our top 3 picks from the 30 meals (ok, I’m exaggerating) we had in the four days.

1) Milk tea and French Toast from Lan Fong Yuen (2 Gage Street, Central, Hong Kong)

Maybe it’s because it was my first HK meal, or maybe it’s because I fell in love with the charming tea cafe (char chan teng) which made me feel like I walked right into a HK drama set. It is a small establishment with no more than maybe 12 tables (you have to share your tables in these char chan tengs so don’t be too shocked if someone just plonks down on the seat beside you). The milk tea is truly unforgettable and the french toast was all buttery crispy and eggy goodness.

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The very old school shopfront. Apparently, you can order a milk tea and sit at the counter on one of those stools!

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2) Beef brisket noodles from Kau Kee (21 Gough Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong)

If there was only meal you could have in Hong Kong, we would highly recommend Kau Kee beef brisket noodles. Apparently, everyone who has tried it so far has been toying with the idea of packing it back to Singapore! I don’t think I will do the noodles any justice if I were to describe the taste, but suffice to say, it is VERY VERY GOOD. There’s the clear broth and the curry version. I would say, go for the curry one! It’s YS’ favourite meal in Hong Kong! Do note that they are closed on Sundays though!

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Beef brisket noodles in clear broth

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3) Char siew (BBQ pork) buns from Tim Ho Wan (Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station (Podium Level 1, IFC Mall) Central)

It’s probably the cheapest one Michelin star restaurant you would ever find! It’s the perfect place to stop by when you arrive at Hong Kong Station on the airport express. The only thing that you HAVE to order from this place are the BBQ pork buns. They come in threes, but trust me when I say you won’t be able to stop at one. I can cross my heart and say that it’s the best bbq pork buns I’ve ever tasted! Just do yourself a favour and pack a few of those buns for takeaway if you really cannot get a seat.

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All this blogging is making me really hungry! I need to visit Hong Kong again soooooooon! YL and Thad, thanks for sharing these great eats with us!

Christmas Eve dinner

We had our annual Christmas Eve dinner at our place this year, since our table can sit more people! It was great as usual. What can be better then enjoying the company of people you love over good food and wine? This year is also extra special because Aly is able to join us in the celebration.

Merry Christmas from the pangz!

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The partaaaaay – preview

We just had Aly’s first birthday party! It’s an early celebration because we will be away the weekend before her actual birthday. It was a small party for family and a few friends and even though Aly was a bit cranky because she was unfamiliar with most people in the room, she was really excited about the balloons, the cake and the birthday song!

Here’s her pretty two tier cake. Will be posting more pictures once I manage to upload them!

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Let the celebrations begin with…

Brunch at O batignolles, a charming bistro along gemmille lane, which branches out from club street! Perfect way to start the long weekend 🙂

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And a visit to Kki cafe (finally), a cafe on Ann Siang hill which serves the most delightful Japanese cakes. We had wanted to visit the little drom store which shares the same premises as Kki cafe. The little drom store sells quirky vintage knick knacks which will definitely appeal to those born in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!

September Day 9 – Something you do most weekends

There’s something about Singaporeans and food. We love eating and we spend a lot of time hunting down good food.

So that’s what we do most weekends -EAT. And by that I mean we treat ourselves to a good meal at a nice cafe or restaurant.

This week’s pick was Pizzeria Mozza at marina bay sands. And let’s just say I was highly impressed, both by the food and the service. We had such a great experience there that we will definitely return to try the highly recommended burrata cheese and other pizzas!

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Tiong Bahru Bakery

I have to admit that for the longest time (living in my little well), I thought that the much hyped about Tiong Bahru bakery was a local bakery. I didn’t know much about it except that it’s become really packed and popular since it opened in (where else but) Tiong Bahru just a couple of months ago. Well, but a quick search on the Internet has revealed that it’s actually the brainchild of the local spa esprit group and Gontran Cherrier, a French celerity baker.

No wonder.

So anyway I finally managed to check it out last night because it recently opened a second store at raffles city! I was there for dinner and only a few tables were occupied. It has a weird system though. Basically you cannot get seats first. You have to queue, place your order, pay and then get assigned a table (table number will be reflected on receipt) before you can collect your cutlery and sit down at the assigned table.

I thought the chorizo croque Monsieur and the sandwich were pretty regular. It didn’t make me go WOW. But oh well to be fair I did not order their croissants which are their bestsellers. I thought the lemon tart was really yummy and refreshing though. I really enjoyed it! my only complaint was that the crust was a little bit too hard for my liking. My flat white was perfect!

I’ll probably return to try their croissants and other desserts (which looked pretty promising) someday but I think I’ll pass on their sandwiches.

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Tiong Bahru bakery
252 North Bridge Road
#B1-11/12
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore