Gather – French Crepe Café at Raffles Hotel

The refurbished Raffles Hotel offers a repertoire of restaurants serving different cuisines. Gather is a café situated in Raffles Arcade and quite hard to miss due to the colonial vibe on its arched doors and windows which are visible from the road. Opened by the team behind Punch and the now-defunct Ronin, Gather has large windows that allow sunlight to pass in. Add to that a minimalist décor and marble tables and you get a well-lit, classic café look.

The menu mainly focuses on galettes, crepes, sandwiches and beverages. For vegetarians, there are limited options, but the ones that are present are done well. The staff are welcoming and polite and made sure that we were seated comfortably. The Ratatouille on the menu may not be available at all times, so it would be better to inquire if you are heading to the café specifically for this item.

To begin with, we ordered the Grilled Cheese Sandwich from their menu.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

This sandwich is sinfully delicious. Your first bite will be filled with crunchy toast followed by cheese that slowly oozes out and give you that stringy cheese-pull effect that crispy sandwiches are made of. Highly recommended if you enjoy grilled sandwiches with strands of cheese.

The menu is primarily divided into savoury galettes and sweet crepes. We ordered the Plain Crepe with sugar, Bordier butter and lemon juice served with fresh fruits. It was soft and comforting and had the right balance of tartness and sweet in terms of the overall composition. The place combines traditional French recipes with Japanese way of execution to illustrate how to make ingredients stand out in a simple dish.

Plain sweet crepe

For the drinks, we ordered the Hot Chocolate and were impressed with the generous portion of chocolate spread on the sides of the glass. It was served at a temperature that was soothing and packed the required punch. In terms of visual presentation, the glass seemed to have a marble effect which was pretty cool.

Hot Chocolate

If you are looking for a casual brunch outing in the city or some vegetarian crepes in Singapore along with good coffee, then Gather is definitely worth a visit.

In a NutshellDeelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Crepes and coffee★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: City Hall
Address: Raffles Hotel Arcade,#01-12,
328 North Bridge Rd, S188719
Timings: Mon-Fri: 8 AM – 6 PM ; Sat-Sun:8 AM – 8 PM
Website: https://gathershop.co/

Hundred Acre Creamery – Themed café open till midnight at Sunset Way, Clementi

Nestled in Sunset Way is a cutely themed café bringing Winnie the Pooh and the Hundred Acre Wood back to life. As soon as you enter this gelato place, you will notice that the place oozes with positivity, right from the décor on the walls, to the wooden furniture, to the spirit of the staff. Though it is relatively new, the café had a steady flow of customers indicating its popularity in the neighborhood.

Hundred Acre Creamery

The shop only has 6-7 tables and is suited for smaller groups or takeaways. They have 12-14 gelato flavours on display in the counter which can be paired with waffles, plain cones, or rosemary cones. They also have 3-4 flavours in the vegan friendly, dairy-free section. Apart from this, the menu has a Vietnamese influence since one of the founders hails from there. The menu clearly describes the towns in Vietnam called Da Lat and Tuy Hoa where the ingredients are sourced from.

Hundred Acre Creamery Menu

We ordered the waffles with double scoops and for the flavours we picked Sea Salt and Butter Caramel and Ispahan. The saltiness of the caramel balanced with the sweetness of the ispahan and tasted good as a combination. Texturally, the gelato was smooth and well-made. Ispahan is a combination of rose, lychee and raspberry and had a slight tartness to it. The overall presentation with the chocolate sauce on the rim of the plate was a nice touch.

Wcaffle with Double Scoops

Vietnam is the second largest exporter of coffee in the world. Coffee drinking in this café is a nice and slow experience as you wait for the coffee to drip through the filter into the mug. If you want to avoid the bitter taste of coffee, then going for the usual amount of condensed milk is recommended. The coffee was authentic and it is definitely worth trying.

Vietnamese Hot Drip Coffee
Vietnamese Hot Drip Coffee

For their unique flavors, for their good balance in vegan gelato options, and for the overall positive vibes of scooping happiness, Hundred Acre Creamery is definitely highly recommended.

In a NutshellDeelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Gelatos, waffles and coffee ★★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Clementi
109 Clementi Street 11, #01-37, Singapore 120109
Timings: Tue-Sun: 12 PM – 12 AM
Website: https://hundredacre.sg/

Cuba Libre at Frasers Tower – 4-course Vegetarian Valentine menu for dinner

The long weekend of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day overlap this year and there is nothing like an elaborate dinner on one of these days to spend time with your loved one. Having stayed in Singapore for a while, I have found it difficult to get a full-course vegetarian meal on occasions at wallet-friendly prices. Fret not as Cuba Libre at Frasers Tower in Singapore have launched a special 4-course vegetarian Valentine menu for a limited time. This occasion-specific dinner will be available from Feb 12th – 14th 2021 at this specific outlet. Do not miss the chance to spend quality time with your loved one with some great food!

Their menu is priced at $45++ per pax without alcohol and allows wine pairing at a slightly higher price. This Latin American vegetarian menu has been curated by Executive Head Chef, Alex Morano for couples to enjoy in the cozy ambiance at Cuba Libre.

Vegetarian Valentine menu for dinner at Cuba Libre at Frasers Tower in Singapore

The first course was the Chef’s Kale Salad which had kale, avocado, green apple, lemon zest and parmesan cheese shavings. The freshness of the kale coupled with the crunch of apples and the tang of lemons made this a flavorful dish and it disappeared from the plate in no time. There is an option to add egg to this salad, if you want. I opted for the eggless version.

Chef's Kale Salad at Cuba Libre in Singapore
Chef’s Kale Salad

For the appetizer course, we had the Impossible Baked Meatloaf. The verdict is clear on the Impossible series items that people who consume meat would be able to tell on how close the texture is compared to the real version. For me, a vegetarian by birth and choice, the Impossible series has a different meaning when it comes to taste. This dish was chewy and too dry for my liking . The pickled peppers, beet sauce and pesto by the side helped it a lot and I wish there were more of the accompaniments.

Impossible baked meatloaf at Cuba Libre
Impossible Baked Meatloaf

For the main course, it was heartening to see the traditional Wellington made in the vegetarian version. The presentation was top-notch with farm-fresh ingredients. The filling consisted of lentils and mushrooms tied together inside a crisp puff pastry. The pumpkin gravy as the base with the sprinkle of chilli flakes added the perfect balance and brought the whole dish well together. A substantial main course dish that was quite filling.

Mushroom Lentil and Nut Wellington at Cuba Libre
Mushroom Lentil and Nut Wellington

For desserts, there were panellets – chocolate balls with freshly grated coconut filling. The exterior crust with almond breaks gently and forms one wholesome bite. This dessert has some lovely textural contrast between the shell and the filling.

Panellets de Coconut and Chocolate at Cuba Libre
Panellets de Coconut and Chocolate

The creamy strawberry cheesecake was a delicious dessert. It had almost no crust and was so smooth with the taste of fresh strawberries in the sauce that you would be left wanting more.

Strawberry Cheesecake

For the visual appeal of all dishes in terms of presentation, for their unique take on curating a 4-course vegetarian menu with no compromise on taste and for their nice ambiance, Cuba Libre’s Valentine’s Day menu is highly recommended. Rev up the romance with the right meal!

In a NutshellDeelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Latin American★★★★
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer
182 Cecil Street, #01-06/07 Frasers Tower, S069547
Timings: Mon-Sun: 10.30 AM – 10 PM
Website: https://www.cubalibre.asia/

Please note that this was a tasting hosted by Cuba Libre but the views and opinions expressed in this post are solely mine.

Plentyfull Bakery & Deli – Café with lot of vegetarian options at Great World City

Hope the New Year has started off well for each of you! As I was exploring Singapore on one of the weekends, I reached Great World City. I was pleasantly surprised to see the facelift and refurbishment that the Great World City mall had gotten. The new design looks great and there are definitely more food and beverage options to choose from. In the mall’s revamped basement, I came upon Plentyfull Deli, a bakery serving freshly baked breads and cakes along with hearty mains.

Plentyfull Deli at Great World City mall in Singapore
Plentyfull Deli at Great World City mall in Singapore

There are quite a few vegetarian options on the menu, especially for brunch time. They have two main sections – the ‘Freshly Baked’ section for breads, cakes, pastries etc. suitable for takeaways, and the ‘From the Kitchen’ section for dine-ins. For a quick bite, we started with the Grilled Cheese Toastie. This bread offering comes with a mix of cheddar, mozzarella and provolone cheese fused and melted in between slices of toasted bread and served with a basil-infused tomato sauce on the side. The crisp exterior along with the stringy cheese was a great combination and made each bite a delight. Highly recommended.

Grilled Cheese Toastie at Plentyfull Bakery and Deli
Grilled Cheese Toastie at $10.90

They have an extensive non-alcoholic drinks menu and we ordered the ‘Flat White’. The drink was light-bodied and serves as a nice accompaniment to the cakes or croissants on their menu.

Flat White at Plentyfull Bakery and Deli
Flat White at $6

I usually crave for a well-made Lemon Pound Cake. One of my favourite lemon cakes in Singapore is from Tiong Bahru Bakery. The Lemon slice cake at Plentyfull had the zesty fragrance of lemons but I was left wishing for more moistness in the cake. The options at their bakery counter is mindboggling and definitely merits another visit just for trying their varied offerings. Another interesting thing to note is that they make their food items from scratch, wherever possible and use farm-fresh ingredients.

Lemon Slice Cake

It is rare for a café in Singapore to have a sizeable variety in vegetarian options and serve quality food. For their diverse bakery items, for their cozy setting in a refurbished mall and for light bites, Plentyfull Bakery & Deli at Great World City mall is worth a visit.

In a NutshellDeelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Café Food★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Great World City (Once Thomson line opens)
Address:  Kim Seng Promenade #B1-K119, Great World, Singapore 237994
Timings: Mon-Sun: 9 AM – 8 PM
Website: https://www.plentyfulldeli.com/

Ratio Café and Lounge – Robot baristas at work

2020 has been a testing time for the food industry in Singapore – balancing manpower and rental challenges under lockdown. To tackle this challenge, one of the options is to use tech as an enabler to automate certain manual processes and work with F&B staff to go futuristic. One such endeavour is by Ratio Café and Lounge at Centrepoint Orchard where you will get to see the awesome robot baristas at work!

As you enter the café, you can see the two sections on the left where the robotic arms are present. One section is for cocktails and the other section is for standard beverages like Kopi. It is definitely a sight to behold to see the stations and witness how much technology has progressed in the field of AI and robotics.

The kiosk at the entrance makes the ordering process quite straightforward and simple. Their menu has over 50 alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages along with some light bites for accompaniments. The place can seat around 20-25 pax comfortably and can be a spot for a quick catchup with friends or a 1-to-1 business meeting.

Ratio kiosk

Once your orders are placed, you can watch the orders being prepared or be seated and watch the huge display board to know your order status. It is indeed a technology powered experience throughout.


The best part about the menu is that it is entirely customizable via a digital interface controlling everything from the number of coffee shots, to the ingredients added, and the number of ice cubes. The Tom Yum Martini is made with tom yum flavored vodka and topped off with chilli to give it a bit of heat. As the name Ratio suggests that these drinks are made with precision due to the proportions that the interface is programmed to implement.

Tom Yum Martini

Ratio’s Old Fashioned is a well-made drink with a smoky and woody smell. The drink is made with a mix of quality bourbon and cointreau, infused with a shot of coffee made by the robotic arm and then in a smoke chamber by the bartender. The perfect example of how the future is headed – human interaction with devices to enhance the overall customer experience.

Ratio’s Old Fashioned

I also tried the light bites like the croissant and the muffin which were the vegetarian options in the menu and they were strictly passable.

The café also serves Kopi from $1 a cup and offers different types of lattes. It is situated next to the Just Co, a co-working space – the whole vibe here is lively. For their tech innovation, for the precision involved in the drinks dispensing mechanism, for the robot barista emulating an actual bartender’s abilities in the mixing of drinks, and for adding something new to the food scene in Singapore, Ratio Café and Lounge is worth a visit.

In a NutshellDeelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Café Food★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Orchard
Address: 176 Orchard Rd, #05-06 Centrepoint, S238843
Timings: Mon-Sun: 8AM – 10 PM
Website: https://ratio.inc/

Miznon – first Israeli restaurant in Singapore

As global eateries embark on their journey to make their presence felt in Asia, it’s heartening to see Miznon open their first outlet in Singapore. The chain was founded in 2010 in Tel Aviv, Israel by renowned chef, Eyal Shani who is known for his unique take on Israeli street food.

I was very interested to see the vegetarian food options in Israeli cuisine and decided to pay them a visit. Inspite of the ongoing rainy weather in Singapore, I was pleasantly surprised to see people queuing to try the magic in every bite which the chain endorses in the tees of their staff, #MiznonMagic.

The restaurant has an open kitchen which looked vibrant with the colors of the fresh produce and has an instantly friendly vibe. There is cheer in the atmosphere and the chefs worked like clockwork to dish out the consistent stream of orders.

Miznon Singapore
Miznon Singapore

The Orders

Potatoes are used in abundance in Israeli cooking – these could be the normal potatoes or the sweet potatoes. Both the versions are done well and different to taste in terms of seasoning used at Miznon.

We tried the ‘Run Over Potato’ which was a slimmed down version of the baked potato. The potato was flattened out with a pounder and topped with butter, sour cream, garlic and herbs. It was sprinkled on the top with a generous amount of salt in the crystalline form , so be prepared for that to hit you while eating. On the whole, the taste was good and different.

Run over Potato at Miznon Singapore
Run Over Potato at S$11

The mains consist of a few vegetarian options in the form of Pita Pockets. First, we tried the ‘Falafel Burger’ which is definitely one the of the best ones that I have eaten in Singapore. The Falafel patty is more flatter, bigger and the portion completely fits into the depth of the pita bread – so you get the consistent flavours as you finish the pita. The tomato steak, sour cream, pickles and onion make it a wholesome stuffed pita experience. Definitely recommended.

Falafel Burger at Miznon Singapore
Falafel Burger at S$13

As opposed to the Falafel Burger which had the vibrant colours of the produce, the “White” , as the name suggests, is an all white dish in terms of stuffing in the pita pocket. You will find cauliflower in ample use at Miznon, even in the visual display. This dish contained the filling of cauliflower with tahini, chili, tomato salsa and spring onion. A special mention to the pita breads which were fluffy and easy to chew.

White Cauliflower at Miznon Singapore
White at S$16

Unfortunately their other recommended dish, ‘Bag of Green Beans’ was sold out – saving some items for my next visit to try along with Israeli wines. if you eat eggs, then ‘Eggs No Steak’ should also be a good vegetarian option to try at Miznon. Last but not the least, I purchased the Miznon special Tahini and will try to use it in cooking at home and share some recipes.

Tahini at Miznon Singapore
Tahini at S$12

It’s very early days, so hope they really are able to cater to crowds and maintain quality which is one of the key factors to sustain in the food scene in Singapore. For a vegetable forward menu, for a cuisine that lends itself well to vegetarian and vegan food items, for the quality of the ingredients and for the fun ambiance, Miznon is definitely worth visiting.

In a NutshellDeelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Israeli★★★★
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer
Address: 6 Stanley Street, #01-01, S068725
Timings: Mon-Sat: 11AM – 11PM
Website: https://miznonsingapore.com/

Enchanted Cafe – Secret Garden – Bukit Timah Plaza

Cafe-spotting is always a welcome sign, especially when it is a themed one which makes it eye-catching by default. Enchanted Cafe – Secret Garden is a cafe located near the taxi stand at Bukit Timah Plaza which becomes extremely convenient for those who are looking for grab-to-go brews and beverages. The signage at the entrance states Mosanco Enchanted Cafe which has been around for some years on Rangoon Road in Singapore.

Enchanted Cafe Secret Garden Bukit Timah Plaza

The Bukit Timah Plaza outlet is fairly small with 8 tables segregated between inner and outdoor seating. The cafe is quite popular among students looking for a group study venue and for those who like a nice ambiance for a quick catchup with friends.

The Orders

For a cafe, the menu has an ample selection varying from beverages of all types to small bites to meals. Since I had visited during late afternoon, I chose coffee and sides to enjoy the ambiance which was enhanced by the slight drizzle outside.

For those looking to sip a simple cup of joe, the Hot Mocha does not fail you. The caffeine hits you gently with an apt balance with the milk. It was nice to couple it with the Butter Croissant.

Hot Mocha Enchanted Cafe Secret Garden
Hot Mocha at S$5.90

The classic Butter Croissant was very good – golden and crunchy top with soft and flaky layers inside. Definitely worth trying this item and it was nice to see that it was a big croissant.

Butter Croissant Enchanted Cafe Secret Garden
Butter Croissant at S$3.30

In the other caffeinated beverages, the Rose Chocolate Latte caught my attention. Even though I was slightly apprehensive before trying it, I must say I really enjoyed this warm drink. The gentle touch of rose did not overpower the taste of latte and the barista art added to the visual appeal of this cup.

Rose Chocolate Latte Enchanted Cafe Secret Garden
Rose Chocolate Latte at S$5.90

There is nothing not to like in a bowl of fries topped with motherload of cheese! These fries were crisp and made to perfection and the gooey nature of eating them will remind you of nachos. Definitely recommended.

Cheesy Cross-cur Fries Enchanted Cafe Secret Garden
Cheesy Cross-cut Fries at S$12.90

For the variety of selection in their menu, for their unique coffees and teas and for their good food, the Enchanted Cafe – Secret Garden is definitely worth a visit. For those staying in Bukit Timah, this can be your quick stop after your NTUC shopping 🙂

In a NutshellDeelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Cafe Food★★★★
Nearest MRT: Beauty World
Address: 1 Jalan Anak Bukit #L1-CA1, Bukit Timah Plaza, 588996
Timings: Mon-Sun: Open 24*7
Website: https://www.mosancocafe.com/

Mango Phirni

When mangoes are in season, you’ve got to make desserts. And there is nothing better than Alphonoso mangoes from India to add their natural sweetness into the desserts. Phirni is a chilled dessert made with rice, milk and sugar. When you add mangoes to this classic dish, the beautiful yellow colour will leave you wanting more!
Recipe Details :
Serves: 8 pax
Time: 60 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients : 

  • 1 litre milk, preferably full fat
  • 1/4 cup rice, preferably Basmati rice
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 3-4 safrron strands
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup mango pulp, preferably from fresh mangoes or canned mango puree
  • 8-10 pistachios
  • 8-10 almonds
  • 8-10 cashews
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder

Mango phirni
Method:

  • Wash the rice and soak it for an hour.
  • Drain the water and blend the rice in a mixer/blender to form a coarse paste. If water is really required at this stage, just add a few drops.
  • Add ghee in a pan and let it melt on low flame. Once melted, add the milk.
  • Wait for the milk to come to a boil and then add in the rice paste and the saffron strands. Ensure that you stir the rice paste immediately so that no lumps are formed.
  • Lower the heat and cook till the milk reduces to half the original quantity. The phirni consistency is important, so keep stirring at continuous intervals. The phirni will get thicker in around 20-25 minutes on a low flame.The rice should also be cooked at this stage.
  • Now add sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Switch off the phirni and let it cool completely.
  • Once the phirni has cooled, add the mango pulp and mix well.
  • mango phirni

  • Add garnish in the form of slivered pistachios, almonds, cashews and cardamom powder.
  • mango-phirni-two

  • Serve the mango phirni chilled in bowls.

Tips:

  • In case you encounter lumps in the rice paste, remove it off the flame and break the lumps using a blender.

Snake Gourd Mallung (Sri Lankan Snake Gourd Stir Fry)

Over the weekend, I had an inclination to try a non-Indian cuisine and I zeroed in on a Sri Lankan style. Mallung is a form of salad mixing up various ingredients, traditionally made with leafy vegetables. The green veggies are infused with the aromas of coconut and spices through a simple stir fry.
Snake gourd is a vegetable that cooks quickly once you clean it and hence this healthy recipe requires minimal time. It is made with negligible amount of oil and can be eaten in ample quantity. Make sure to choose a fresh gourd which is firm in texture. This vegan snake gourd mallung is best served with rotis or with rice and dal.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 3 pax
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients :

  • 1 long snake gourd (500 gms)
  • 1 medium sized onion, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic pod, finely minced
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 dried red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup of freshly scraped coconut or desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • Salt to taste

Snake Gourd Mallung
Method:

  • Wash the snake gourd, peel off the skin and also remove the white layer filled with seeds from the inside of the gourd. For peeling off, because the skin is soft, it is preferred if you use the knife to scrape the skin off.
  • Cut the long snake gourds into small sections. Cut each of the smaller parts in half and then into thin crescents. Place these crescents in a bowl and sprinkle salt on them and mix well.
  • Heat a pan on medium flame and add the oil.
  • Add onions and garlic and saute them until the onions turn translucent.
  • Now add the chopped green chillies, red chilli and turmeric powder and mix them well.
  • Gently squeeze and add the snake gourd now and cook for around 10 minutes on medium flame. Add salt at this stage based on the amount of salt you had sprinkled earlier in the bowl.
  • Once the snake gourd crescents turn soft, add the scraped coconut and cook further for around 7 minutes.
  • Vegan snake gourd mallung

  • Switch off the flame and serve the delicious snake gourd mallung when hot.