Tapas Club – Orchard Central

In the Singapore culinary context, there is always some interest in Spanish cuisine. Tapas Club, situated in Orchard Central is a restaurant set up with a focus on serving authentic Spanish cuisine at an affordable price. The space lends itself to a casual tapas dining concept. The decor has glazed wall tiles, wrought iron grills and wine barrels. The celebratory music adds to the upbeat vibe of the restaurant.

Tapas Club decor

Tapas Club decor


Tapas Club decor

Tapas Club decor

The Orders
Since the restaurant aims at serving tapas, the plates are perfect for sharing. The menu hits the right spot in its simplicity and attempts to showcase Spanish dishes by keeping it minimal in terms of ingredients. Bar snacks in a Spanish restaurant are incomplete without ordering a plate of ‘Patatas Bravas’ . The crisp and deep-fried potatoes blanketed in spicy brava and alioli sauce were a good start to the meal.

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas at $9.90


Next, we ordered what turned out to be my favourite dish of the meal – the ‘Croquetas De Setas’ which are basically Mushroom Croquettes. These were deep-friend, made wonderfully creamy using Bechamel and turned out to be extremely tasty tidbits of Spanish goodness. I know quite a few people who are not a fan of mushrooms – but this dish is highly recommended.
Mushroom croquettes

Croquetas De Setas at $10.90


A unique dish to try here is the ‘Padron Peppers’ which originate from the region of Padron in the northwest of Spain. These tiny peppers are cooked with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. They are usually mild in taste. The Tapas Club version had a certain amount of juiciness to it and tasted better with a squeeze of lemon.
Padron Peppers

Padron Peppers at $13.90


We also tried the ‘Spanish Omelette’ which is a fritata made up of potatoes and eggs in an open-faced style. The omelette was well seasoned, dense and rich. It can be easily shared and can be considered a “main”.
Spanish Omelette

Spanish Omelette at $9.90


For a more filling option, we ordered the ‘Vegetable Paella’ which was loaded with greens. The rice was cooked with the right amount of smoky and charred flavour and the vegetables were cooked al dente that added to the texture and colour. On the whole, a good dish but it was lacking in salt.
Vegetables Paella

Vegetables Paella at $20


For an overall reasonable and authentic Spanish tapas casual dining experience, Tapas Club is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Spanish ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Somerset
Address: 181 Orchard Road, #02-13 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896
Timings: Mon-Thu: 12pm – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm ; Fri-Sun: 12pm – midnight
Website: http://www.tapasclub.com/
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Pastaria Abate – Craig Road

The food scene in Craig Road is changing and the newest kid on the block here is Pastaria Abate, a casual Italian restaurant serving affordable food. It is a restaurant started by a couple who serve traditional pasta made in-house and want to serve authentic Italian food that is easy on the wallet. The space furnished in a modern chic manner has tables laid out in a linear manner. The decor is neat and minimalist. The arrangement of tomato sauce cans piqued my interest since it boasted of San Marzano tomatoes which are known for their natural sweetness.

San Marzano tomatoes

San Marzano tomatoes

The Orders
Pastaria Abate has a self-service counter where you have to go and place your orders. The placement of orders is on the lines of creating a DIY pasta – select your type of pasta, sauce base and additional toppings, if required. In pastas, they have plain pasta, egg pasta and specialty pasta. In the sauce base they have options as red sauce, cream sauce and white sauce. They also have affordable Italian wines which act as a good accompaniment to your meals.

To start our meal, we ordered the ‘Fresh Garlic Bread’ which is one of those Italian appetizers that will never go out of fashion. The fresh and chewy baguette bread with garlic butter is guaranteed to whet everyone’s appetite with its good taste.

Fresh Garlic Bread

Fresh Garlic Bread at $4.80


As I mentioned earlier, I got impressed with the tomato sauce cans and decided to try the ‘Penne with Marinara Sauce’ combination. As additional toppings, I asked for broccoli which they were kind enough to accommodate and that was priced at $2. The pasta could have cooked a little longer but my main gripe was the tomato sauce. It needed to cook longer for the raw taste to be removed and the fact that it was under-seasoned did not help its case. Overall, this pasta dish left a lot to be desired.
Penne with marinara sauce

Penne with marinara sauce at $10.80


Next, we tried the ‘Linguine with White Sauce’ which was the Mixed Mushroom dish. This pasta dish consisted of four varieties of mushrooms in a cream sauce. This was one of the better seasoned dishes and the combination of mushrooms worked perfectly. The pasta was al dente and the dish came together very well.
Pasta with white sauce

Pasta with white sauce at $12.80


Overall, they have to iron out their teething issues in the kitchen, especially the ones related with seasoning of food. There are a few vegetarian options in terms of the menu and since they mainly serve only pastas, I expected better in terms of taste. For their friendly prices, warm ambiance and a central location, visit them if you are in the area.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Italian ★★★
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar
Address: 43 Craig Road, Singapore 089681
Timings: Mon-Sun: 10am – 10pm
Website: http://pastariaabate.com/

The Reason to buy Flowers Online

For some people, going to a florist to buy flowers can be intimidating — especially for the ones who know nothing about flowers. You might have no idea about what is the most suitable type of flower to buy, or you might have no idea about how to order a flower bouquet. In this case, buying flowers from an online florist like That Flower Shop might be a great solution for you.

Flower Bouquet

Flower Bouquet


Nowadays, there are so many online florists you can find, especially here in our beloved country Singapore. It is a solution for those of you who don’t like to go to a florist alone, yet you need the flowers for a gift to send to your special someone. Other than that, there are more reasons why you should buy flowers online:
1. Worry free
If you have concerns about what other people might think about you going to a florist to buy flowers, then you don’t need to worry about this aspect. There is also no need to worry about the lack of knowledge about flowers and not knowing what flowers to buy.
Just simply use the ‘Contact Florist’ option and ask for some suggestions in choosing which flowers would be suited for a certain occasion and they would be happy to help you choose the perfect bouquet that suits your needs.
2. Spend less energy
Since you don’t have to go out or visit the flower shop by yourself to pick the flowers, you are spending less energy. What is the most convenient way to buy flowers other than with just a few clicks in the comfort of your own home right?
Flower Bouquet

Flower Bouquet


3. Delivery service
With the delivery service that an online florist provides, you will be able to send the flowers to your special someone even if you live far away. This is a great alternative to send a gift and surprise your special someone if you are out of town.
4. Reasonable price
Actually, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. A lot of online florists provide a reasonable price that fit your budget. Even so, always keep in mind that the best flowers with a good deal only come from a trusted online florist. You need to consider and get to know them before you buy flowers from them; make sure that they are reliable and have a good reputation among the customers.
Having read all the reasons mentioned above, you should be convinced try to and buy flowers online with no hassles. As long as you know the right place to get the flowers, you won’t be disappointed with the idea of buying flowers online. Now you can make the people who are special to you happy by bringing them happiness in the form of a beautiful flower bouquet; anywhere and anytime.

Hans Im Glück German Burgergrill – Delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan burgers on Orchard Road

In Singapore’s burgeoning food scene, it is heartening to see the newly opened Hans Im Glück German Burgergrill on the busy Orchard Road. This international German chain has chosen Singapore to be its first outlet in Asia and its 50th outpost in the world. The cushy and green ambiance – in the form of a rainforest promptly catches your attention if you are walking past the Royal Thai Embassy in Orchard. Named after the famous German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Im Glück has a sprawling space that seats 180 covers and extends in a narrow and linear passage perpendicular to Orchard road.

Hans Im Glück

Hans Im Glück

The Orders
Their menu is modeled after a storybook and is well-made with great visual appeal. By practice, I opened the second last page of the menu hoping to find some vegetarian options mentioned there. To my pleasant surprise, vegetarian and vegan burgers lead the menu. Apart from that, there are a total of 11 vegetarian and vegan burgers on the menu that boasts of a variety that will make you squeal in delight. Kudos to that as the menu shows that it not only Portobello that can go into making a vegetarian burger.

Hans Im Gluck vegetarian and vegan menu

Hans Im Gluck vegetarian and vegan menu


To begin with, we ordered the ‘Beer-battered Onion Rings’ to start our meal. Cooked in a light and airy batter, these golden onion rings are perfect as a simple snack. An appetizer that’s ideal for rustling up and sharing with friends. It disappeared in no time and I wished for more rings for that price point. They have four sauces on every table: Sweet Chilli, Orange Mustard, BBQ Sauce and Vegan Mayo. The Orange Mustard and BBQ are a must-try and go very well with the onion rings. Highly recommended.
Beer-battered Onion Rings at $10

Beer-battered Onion Rings at $10


Next on the side, we tried the ‘Sweet Potato Fries’ which were well-seasoned. These fries are loaded with salt, crispy on the exterior and quite addictive. A tasty nibble that goes well as a side along with the burgers.
Sweet Potato fries

Sweet Potato fries at $6


After staring at their menu for 10 minutes and being spoiled for choice, we ordered the ‘Wolpertinger’ Burger. This contains a spicy corn patty with aged cheddar cheese and avocado cream. They offer 3 options for the burgers – Sourdough, Multigrain in buns and the Naked version – without a bun. We tried the Sourdough bun which is specially flown in from Germany and went well with this patty. Add in the BBQ sauce to elevate this combination on the whole. They also offer an option to double up your patty at an additional price of $4 as mentioned on their menu. But when I inquired, the option to double up on a vegetarian patty comes at an additional price of $8 which is not mentioned on the menu. I wish they sort this out soon and keep the price at $4 which is the same as the other burgers.
Wolpertinger

Wolpertinger at $15


The other burger we tried was the ‘KÄSEBOR’ which has a spinach and cheese patty, parmesan and pesto. The pesto is on the salty side and you’ll need to take one or two bites to get used to the overall taste. This burger was top-notch in its overall rendition – packed with flavor and texture. It paired very well with the multi-grain bun. Their burgers give the wholesome meal experience because of the quality ingredients used in their preparation. For those who work or are roaming in the Orchard area, their daily lunch set is available from 11am to 5pm.
KÄSEBOR

KÄSEBOR at $16


Apart from this, in their drinks, we tried the ‘Still Lemonade’ in the mango-ginger flavour. An apt thirst-quencher to to get your taste buds to a fruity fresh feel. I’m sure I’ll head back to this place soon to try the other vegetarian burgers and the desserts.
For their lush and green environment and a convenient location, for their ample options for vegetarians and vegans and for offering quality ingredients at a good price point, Hans Im Glück German Burgergrill is a must-visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Burgers ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Orchard
Address: 362 Orchard Road, Singapore 238887
Timings: Mon-Thu: 11am – midnight ; Fri-Sun: 11am – 1am
Website: https://hansimglueck-burgergrill.sg/

Byblos Grill – Bussorah Street

If you’re looking for Middle Eastern food in Singapore, look no further than the Kampong Glam neighborhood. The Turkish lamps and Persian carpets add to the colorful atmosphere of this locality in the evening. Bringing the touch of Lebanese cuisine to Bussorah Street is Byblos Grill which is done up in an ambiance that feels like home. Authentic ingredients are imported from the Mediterranean and food is cooked in traditional cooking utensils.

The Orders
On their menu, they have quite a few options for vegetarians which include a variety of salads, hot and cold mezza platters and wraps.

To begin with, the ‘Mezza Platter’ is a good appetizer to share. It consists of 5 items – Hummus, Babaganoush, Labneh, Moussaka and Arabic salad. The hummus and labneh were the star items on this platter. Freshly baked pita bread and delicious dips make this platter worth ordering if you are a group of 3-4 people.

Mezza Platter

Mezza Platter at $27.50


Halloumi is a cheese commonly used in Mediterranean cooking. We tried the ‘Grilled Halloumi Cheese’ which was a bit salty and had great depth of flavour. Its grilling method helped it to retain its shape well and is an apt choice for cheese lovers.
Grilled Halloumi cheese

Grilled Halloumi cheese at $16.50


There is no debate on the fact that ‘Falafels’ form a protein-rich meal for vegetarians and vegans in a place serving Mediterranean cuisine. These chickpea fritters are a favourite for most because of their crispy exteriors and fluffy internal texture that plays well in sandwiches and wraps. The Byblos Grill version was good with an authentic taste.
Falafel

Falafel at $12.50


Falafel Wrap

Falafel Wrap at $13.50


Next, we ordered the vegetarian casserole ‘Moussaka’. It had cubed eggplants, chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, and green pepper topped with fresh cream and cheese. The whole dish had simmered well but it could have done with more seasoning.
Lebanese Mousakka

Lebanese Mousakka at $17.90


For dessert, we ordered the ‘Baklava’ which came as an assortment. It was not heavily drenched in syrup like the Turkish Baklava. This was more dry and crunchy and mainly filled with walnuts and pistachios. This was not one of my favourite dishes from their offerings since this could have had a much better texture.
Baklava

Baklava at $12.90


Overall the food of this place was good in taste and has a reasonable variety for those looking to try Lebanese cuisine. The lacking factor for me was the quality of service and the wait time involved with absolutely no intimation on the progress of the order. And this can definitely be improved.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Lebanese ★★★
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: 14 Bussorah Street, Singapore 199435
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 1am
Website: https://www.facebook.com/BYBLOSGRILLSG/

Bliss Restaurant – Ang Mo Kio (Cheng San Community Club)

Singapore has active community clubs in almost every area of the country. They conduct courses and recreational activities and occasionally have coffee shops or juice machines for light bites. But I have never visited a sprawling space in the form of a restaurant in a community club. Hence I was pleasantly surprised to see the lovely ambiance of Bliss Restaurant situated on the side of Cheng San Community Club which is around a 5 minute walk from Ang Mo Kio MRT. They have spacious indoor seating in the form of long community tables and four seater tables and the alfresco area consists of white furniture and a bar. The space is well-lit and has a vibrant atmosphere in the evening. Bliss restaurant is a social enterprise that offers employment opportunities to all without discrimination, even those with immutable traits. We went there for dinner and the place was abuzz with people indicating that it was clear favourite among people who stayed in and around the area.

Bliss Restaurant

Bliss Restaurant

The Orders
The menu is quite exhaustive, but in terms of vegetarian options there are starters, juices, pastas and desserts. I wished they had 1 or 2 more vegetarian options in their mains section.

To begin the meal, we tried the ‘Cheesy Garlic Loaf’ which was substantial for 2 pax. The bread had been baked to garlicky perfection with the cheese nicely melting into the crevices and made it a good starter option. Its the pull apart bread that allows you to enjoy the strings of cheese as you grab a bite.

Cheesy garlic loaf

Cheesy garlic loaf at $7


For the mushroom lovers, you have the ‘Mushroom Soup’ or the ‘Fried Mushroom’ dishes as starter options. At the onset, let me tell you that I am not a mushroom fan but I don’t mind trying it sometimes depending on the type of cuisine. Both the mushroom dishes lacked seasoning and I found the soup to be better than the mushroom fritters. The soup could do with a little more richness and was bland and hence the garlic bread on the side helped to lend more balance to the dish.
Fried mushroom

Fried mushroom at $6


Wild mushroom soup

Wild mushroom soup at $6


For light bites, we took a break from the usual potatoes and ordered the ‘Sweet Potato Fries’. One word that I would use for these fries is addictive. The fries were crunchy, a perfect mix of salt and sweet in taste and were well-seasoned. Highly recommended.
Sweet potato fries

Sweet potato fries at $6


It was heartening to see ‘Sugarcane Juice’ made using the actual sugarcane machine and that makes all the difference. Apart from that, the addition of chia seeds was a good way to pack some nutritional punch in the juice. I was thankful there were no artificial sweeteners or sugar added in the juice to make it extremely sweet. This was quite refreshing as a thirst quencher.
Sugarcane juice with chia seeds

Sugarcane juice with chia seeds at $4


In the mains, for vegetarians, there are only pastas. The pastas can be made in 3 cooking styles – rich cream, aglio olio and marinara. And for toppings, you can choose from garden vegetables, plain pasta or mushroom. We tried the ‘Garden vegetables Pasta’ in aglio olio and marinara cooking styles. I was so glad to see that there was no dearth of veggies in the pasta and it has broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers and long beans. Both the pastas were top-notch and made with correct seasoning and doneness. In terms of the sauce, the Aglio Olio pasta has the cleaner flavour with the veggies taking center stage. On the other hand, the tomato sauce is well made, has the right consistency and complements the veggies. You can’t go wrong with either choice. I can safely say that for now, it features in my ‘Top 3 Vegetarian Pastas’ in Singapore. Highly recommended.
Aglio Olio with garden vegetables

Aglio Olio with garden vegetables at $10


Marinara with garden vegetables

Marinara with garden vegetables at $10


To end the meal, we tried the ‘Chocolate Cheesecake’. This turned out to be a small, but sinful dessert. I would have liked the texture to be a little looser and lighter. It was a touch too dense and rich. I’d recommend sharing it.
Chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate cheesecake at $6


Overall there were many hits and few misses in terms of the dishes. Its a good place to hangout with friends and families and eat quality food at affordable prices. If you are in the area, its definitely worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Western ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Ang Mo Kio
Address: 6 Ang Mo Kio St 53, #01-01 Cheng San Community Club, Singapore 569205
Timings: Sun-Thu: 5pm – midnight , Fri-Sat: 5pm – 1am
Website: http://blissrestaurant.com.sg/Bliss_Restaurant/Welcome.html

Green on Earth – Phoenix LRT

As you explore a neighborhood, it’s always fun to find eating places that you haven’t visited before. And if that happens to be a fully vegetarian joint, then as a foodie, it adds to the joy of a food hunt for me. The Bukit Panjang area has developed quite a bit and the Hillion Mall is a new hangout place for people staying in and around the area. Further down from this mall, towards Phoneix LRT, is Green on Earth whose well-lit green signage cannot be missed from the road. The entrance to the restaurant is through a winding set of stairs that lead upward and take you to a white patio which seats the diners. Its a cozy little place serving simple Chinese vegetarian food.

Green on Earth cafe

Green on Earth cafe


Green on Earth seating area

Green on Earth seating area

The Orders
We went there for dinner, so be prepared that all items mentioned on the menu need not necessarily be available. So it is better to enquire in advance if you are headed there for a specific dish. They do have daily, weekend and festive specials as part of their menu variations.

When I visit a place serving Chinese veg food, I’m always happy if the menu has ‘Vegetarian Laksa’ listed as one of the options. A good bowl of laksa with generous use of ingredients is always a welcome sight and their version was really good. The gravy was rich, not too spicy and does not disappoint. The tofu and noodles had embraced all the flavours of the gravy and it made for a delicious bowl of laksa. It is definitely one of the must-try items on their menu.

Veg Laksa

Veg Laksa


On the owner’s recommendation, we ordered the ‘Rendang Curry’ as we wanted a rice dish. The Rendang curry was a little too spicy for my liking and was made with mushrooms, vegetable oil and spices. I wished for the curry to have bit more gravy since that would have helped in eating it with the rice.
Rendang Curry

Rendang Curry


Since the owner is quite friendly, she insisted that we try the ‘Shirley Temple’ which she gets from Australia. The drink tasted like a mix of lemonade and grenadine and was quite refreshing. The contrast of the sparkle and acid of the lemonade base blended well with the sweetness of grenadine.
Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple


Overall, the service was friendly and the food is average with some hits and misses. It is a decent eating option if you are in area and are looking for vegetarian food.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Chinese vegetarian ★★★
Nearest MRT: Bukit Panjang / Phoneix LRT
Address: 2 Phoenix Road, Singapore 668156
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 10pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/GreenOnEarth/