Archive for November, 2011

Homemade Pork Chops

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Dad's Pork Chops

My dad is quite an amazing self-taught cook, and he cooks almost every day, even more than my mom (who is a great cook too btw), so I get to taste yummy home cooked food quite often. Occasionally, when I come home,  the delicious aroma of nicely browned (with some burnt edges) pork chops wafts around in the air, and it makes the tiring day at work totally worth it. And when I finally sink my teeth into those chops, it just feels.. awesome! One day, I will learn how to cook from him. One day. Hah.

Categories: Musings

The Broers Cafe

November 19, 2011 Leave a comment

How I ended up at The Broers Cafe is an interesting story.

A pair of close friends of mine recently welcomed their first little bundle of joy, Daryl, to this world. When they texted me the good news, I immediately planned on going to visit first thing after getting off work. I start work pretty early, so my day ends early on some days when I don’t have meetings and whatnot. So I left work and proceeded to Gleneagles straight, all excited to meet Daryl. Being the very considerate me, I asked if Daryl would be available for viewing (yes, they are somewhat like exhibits) as I was about to reach, and my friend said to give them another hour, because they had just sent him back to the nursery to rest. So with one hour to spare, I was forced to make a snap decision on how to while away the time as I cruised along Bukit Timah Road. A brilliant idea struck me and I ended up at The Broers Cafe for a quick cuppa before meeting the kiddo. Don’t ask me how my extremely random brain came up with this cafe, but it’s been in my radar for a while now, and I suppose my brain came up with an algorithm to finally sieve out The Broers Cafe, taking into consideration location (it’s not too far off from where I was), my need for a caffeine fix (it has been a dreary week) and my preference to try some place new (else I would have headed straight for PPP, it’s a no brainer). Hah, isn’t my brain the best? Not.

So I managed to squeeze my station wagon into a tiny parallel lot, and got myself acquainted with The Broers Cafe’s cappuccino and a scone. Let me just say that this is not a place you would just pop by on the way to somewhere else, because its location is hardly on the way to any where I can think of. But there are many backpackers hostels in the area, so exploring tourists might chance upon it. But anyways, the cafe is a no frills kinda place. Feels a bit aloof initially if you ask me, but the friendly owner, Kiat, more than makes up for it with his affable disposition. He asked me if I happened to come by the area, and I told him that I drove there purposefully to have coffee. Maybe I looked like an anomaly amongst his usual clientele?

The Broers Cafe

The cappuccino I had was smooth. I was quite impressed because I have had so many coffees from so many places, and so many leave an acidic aftertaste for me (maybe it’s my weird taste buds), but their cappuccino was honestly good. I asked Kiat if they roast their own beans, and he said they get them from a supplier.. which makes me even more impressed. I mean, so many people get their beans from suppliers and end up with sucky coffee, yet these folks managed to brew such a wholesome cuppa from supplied beans… they must have something the rest don’t. I think their coffee has alot of heart. Sounds like a profound idea, but it’s just the vibes I get. It’s a pity I was in a rush, else I would have sat at the bar seats and asked more about their coffee. Hah. Next time perhaps. Will be back!

The Broers Cafe

No 3 Petain Road,
Singapore 208108
(Along Somme Road)

Mon and Sun :10:00 am-8:00 pm
Wed and Thu :10:00 am-8:00 pm
Fri and Sat :10:00 am-11:00 pm

Tel: 6295 5426

The Orange Thimble

November 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Wear a thimble to prepare yourself from the little pricks in life!

The burgeoning coffee scene in Singapore is a joy to explore, for a coffee junkie like myself, and The Orange Thimble is the latest place I went to, to sniff out a noteworthy cafe. The above sentence is their tagline, and it’s pretty catchy I must say. What makes it more priceless is the innuendo; little pricks. Hurhur. Yes, I digress.

So The Orange Thimble is a new addition to the deluge of cafes/eateries at the Tiong Bahru area, and it is named as such because the shophouse space used to be a sewing shop. Why orange? Well, orange is a rather vintage colour, and the cafe no doubt emanates a quasi vintage feel from the outside.

The Orange Thimble is what I call an iceberg cafe, because what you see from the outside of the cafe, is just the tip of the iceberg; What you see is not all you get. The cafe is further compartmentalized into spaces that extend into the backyard, and every compartment has a slightly different feel to it. I mentioned a quasi vintage feel because the cafe has vintage paraphernalia here and there, but the furnishings are somewhat modern, and nice photographic pieces adorn the walls. My favourite “compartment” was the space all the way to the back, where natural lighting came in through the ceiling, and the brick-lined walls complemented the long wooden communal bench that I chose to sit at. Moreover, it was a rainy day when I went, and there weren’t that many people, so I had the entire space to myself. Most importantly, I am super afraid of cold, so the space was the only place (other than the seats along the corridor at the entrance) that wasn’t overwhelmed by air con. Hah.

The Orange Thimble

Quiche with bacon and chorizo

The Orange Thimble

My usual cappuccino with cute retro gem biscuits ( i like the biscuit more than the sugary bit btw!)

The Orange Thimble is a nice hideout to read a good book, to catch up with a friend, or simply to immerse in the sobriety of the Tiong Bahru estate. There are places you would return to for their exceptional food/drinks or for their attentive service, or simply, for how shiok the place makes you feel. The Orange Thimble, I believe, falls neatly under the last category for me, and I would definitely return; It’s high on the shiok scale.

The Orange Thimble
Blk 56, 01-68, Eng Hoon Street
+65 9750-3989

Tues / Wed / Thurs / 11am – 9pm
Fri / Sat / 9am- 10.30pm
Sun / 9am-9pm
Mon / closed

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Santa Clara

November 14, 2011 2 comments

Met up with some friends, J and P, at Cooking Papa located in the heart of Santa Clara that serves pretty authentic and delicious HK styled food. The place sure was crowded like any of the other HK restaurants in the Bay. Private Parking was really limited but street parking was easily available and the wait wasn’t that long before we got seated. Chatted a little and our friend, J, whose been there couple times ordered.

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Santa Clara

Roasted Peking Duck wrapped with Steam Bun

Food in general was pretty good and the environment was kinda cozy but loud like what you would have expected in most Asian Restaurants.

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Santa Clara

Rice Noodle Roll with Beef Fillet & Mushroom

The rice noodles roll was really good, probably one of the best I had in the bay.

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Santa Clara

Shredded Pork & Preserved Snow Cabbage Rice Noodles

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Santa Clara

Stir Fried Glutinous Rice

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Santa Clara

Hong Kong Style Egg Puff

The puff were huge and it tasted kinda like donut according to P. I heard alot of people really like this tho. It’s also one of their signature desserts. J had been there several times and commented that the puff was not as good as the last couple times he came.

Anyway, I really like this place and definitely will visit them again the next time I drop by the area. However, be warned, its CASH ONLY.

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Santa Clara
2830 Homestead Road
Santa Clara, CA 95051
(408) 247-3748
Opening Hours:
11am-2:45pm, 5pm-9:45pm (7 days a week)
Cash Only
No reservation accepted

Cooking Papa Restaurant, Foster City
949A Edgewater Blvd
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 577-1830
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11am-2:30pm, 5pm-9:30pm
Sat-Sun: 10:30am-3pm, 5pm-9:30pm

Cup for keeps

November 13, 2011 Leave a comment

If you are a coffee junkie, and have done your part by supporting fair trade coffee and all that, it’s time to move one notch up the coffee snob ladder, by reducing your carbon footprint! Stop wasting paper cups at your favourite coffee joint when you buy coffee to go. Get the KeepCup! This is an Australian product, and it is a barista standard reusable cup. It’s lightweight, dishwasher save, microwaveable, splash proof.. yada yada you can read up on their website. I admit, I did not get the cup with reducing carbon footprint in mind. I got it because I fell in love with the colourful range of cups at Papa Palheta. Plus because I have a coffee machine, and I drive around quite a bit for work, I thought it would surely come in handy when I need a cuppa on the go. And apparently, if you bring the cup to Loysel’s Toy, they would give you a discount. So all in all, this cup is for keeps! I got this for $16.50 at PPP. It’s been serving me well thus far 🙂

keep cup

Grey, pink and yellow for the win!

Categories: Coffee, Musings Tags: , ,

Group Therapy

November 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Had a rough day at work today, so Group Therapy comes to mind; After all, what is a better balm for the frazzled soul than good food and splendid company? Group Therapy is on the 2nd level of a shophouse at Duxton Road, and it is a cafe of sort, serving food and coffee. Their coffee and food is however, not their main appeal. The concept behind Group Therapy is that it is a space for people to gather and huddle over F&B, trade stories and in the process of doing so, nourish the soul. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense because gatherings are always somewhat therapeutic when you come together and just rant about anything you want to. So yup, Group Therapy is the place to head to if you want a breath of fresh air from the CBD hustle, yet can’t stray too far, or if you just want a quaint shophouse space for a cuppa to catch up with an old pal. People don’t go there for the food, but for the simplicity and raw-ness of the place, which IMO, is quite alluring for a nuah-ster like myself!

Group Therapy, Singapore

Grilled smoked ham, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese panini

Group Therapy, Singapore

Ravioli roasted wild mushrooms in black squid ink & tumeric parcels with tomato basil sauce, truffle oil

Group Therapy serves all day breakfast items and their menu changes from time to time, so I was quite surprised to receive the menu in the form of a piece of A4 paper, with the date on the top right corner. Goes to show they try to throw in something different every other day. The space in Group Therapy is often used for dinner parties, corporate workshops and whatnot, so if you are interested, you can approach them for more details I suppose. Oh, and that was my first time trying couscous, which came as a side salad for the panini. Was quite fascinated by it (yeah, call me suaku). Heh. Oh and if you drive, there is an open air carpark near Duxton Hill, or you can park at Craig Place if you come by Craig Road. Duxton Road is a one way road, so do enter by Tanjong Pagar Road (turn into Duxton Hill) or Neil Road. And the place is above an Italian restaurant called Etna, so don’t miss it!

Group Therapy
49 Duxton Road #02-01 
(above Etna Italian Restaurant)
Tel: +65 6222 2554
Opening Hours
Tues – Thurs: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sat: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sun: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Closed on Mondays

Mien Nghia Noodle Express

November 7, 2011 Leave a comment

My friend, C, had take out from this place before. His friend bought it for him and there was no chili in it. He had to go back there to give it another try since his friend told him that it tasted better with chili. We drove to Rosemead for this and of cos Half & Half after. I believe it is a Vietnamese eatery but the food they served was more of like Sarawak’s Kolo Mee or the Singapore’s Mee Pok if you are familiar with that. The lady came over and asked for our orders but we werent quite ready yet. She came back again and we ordered. We had BBQ Pork with Egg Noodles which was basically Mee Pok.

Mien Nghia Noodle Express

BBQ Pork with Egg Noodles

We were trying to figure out the different noodles offered which was egg noodles, rice noodles and there was an option of egg & rice noodles which I believe was just a mix of both. We were asking if they had the thick egg noodles and the lady went “Oh Mee Pok ah?” which sounded kinda funny. It was pretty good, portions are generous and probably the closest to Mee Pok that you will ever have here in California. My friend, J, felt that it was kinda oily though but i tot it was alright (I have low tolerance of oil though). Would definitely recommend this place to Singaporeans thats missing the local fare and needs a quick fix.

Mien Nghia Noodle Express
7755 E. Garvey Ave
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 288-0177
Opening Hours
Mon-Thu 7:30 am – 6 pm
Fri-Sun 7:30 am – 9 pm

Categories: Asian, Chinese, Los Angeles