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.

Dum Arbi / Colocasia Curry

Arbi goes commonly by the name of taro root or colocasia. It is a starchy root vegetable and is high in fibre content. In South India, arbi is prepared in the traditional style with a bit of tempering and turmeric and letting it crisp in oil till it achieves a beautiful golden colour.
This time I decided to try the North Indian gravy based dish using colocasia called Dum Arbi. This is a delectable gravy dish cooked in a spicy yogurt base and goes well with rotis or dal and rice.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 45 mins
Difficulty: Medium
Ingredients : 

  • 500 gms of Arbi
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes puréed
  • 1 garlic pod, finely minced (optional)
  • 2 tsp ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi
  • A pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves, finely chopped for garnish

Dum Arbi
Method:

  • Wash the arbi nicely so that the mud is washed away. Add the arbi in a pressure cooker with lightly sated water (enough to cover) for 3 whistles on medium flame. Switch off the flame once the whistles are done.
  • Wait for the cooker to come to room temperature. Upon cooling, open the cooker and peel off the skin of the arbi.
  • Cut the arbi into equal cubes, it will be a bit slippery, so cut with a blunt knife if required.
  • Cool the vegetables for a few minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Add the arbi cubes in this pan and fry them till golden brown outside and remove them on an absorbent paper and keep them aside.
  • Now in another pan, take 1 tbsp of oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida.
  • Add chopped garlic, green chilli and onion and sauté it till the onions become translucent.
  • Add ginger and tomato purée and again sauté it for 3 minutes. Add red chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and saute it till oil separates.
  • Add the yogurt now, mix it well and stir it continuously in the pan till it comes to boiling point. To balance consistency, add water (around 1/4 cup) to boil the gravy again – keep stirring it at this stage.
  • Now add the fried arbi cubes, salt and mix it well so that the cubes get coated uniformly with this gravy. Cover it with a lid and cook it for 5 minutes on low flame.
  • Dum Arbi
  • Switch off the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and serve it hot.

Tips:

  • Fry the arbi in batches – do not overcrowd the pan.
  • You can shallow fry too , as long as you cut the arbi into small cubes.

Carrot Paniyaram

Many thoughts fill my mind as I write my first post of the new decade. The year 2020 has brought in a lot of uncertainties with it but one thing that I have held on to is hope. The time at hand has allowed me to try quite a few recipes on the weekends and I decided to share them with each of you.
Paniyaram is a South Indian dish prepared by cooking the fermented idli or dosa batter in a mould. They are like dumplings and served during breakfast or as a tea-time snack. Usage of minimal oil with ability to stuff various vegetables as fillings makes this dish an instant hit with the kids. For this recipe, I have used carrots and onions to make this wholesome recipe. Typically, paniyarams are best paired with onion or mint chutney.
Paniyarams are made in a paniyaram maker which is a vessel made of steel or soapstone with mould pits of equal depth.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 3 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients :

  • 2 cups of idli/dosa batter
  • 1/4 cup of finely grated carrot [use the smallest marker size of the grater]
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped or grated onion
  • 2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • Salt to taste

 
Carrot Paniyaram

Method: 

  • Heat the oil in a cooking pan. Temper the urad dal and mustard seeds till they splutter and become slightly golden.
  • Now add in the finely chopped green chillies and onions and cook them till they become translucent.
  • The add in the grated carrots, ginger and salt and cook the veggies for five minutes.
  • Cool the vegetables for a few minutes and add them to the batter. Mix well to combine
  • Take the paniyaram maker and heat it on a low flame. Pour 1 tsp of oil into each pit of the pan. Once the pan is hot, pour the batter into each of the pits. While pouring, fill it to 3/4th of the capacity of each pit since the batter will rise once heated.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 4 minutes. Now turn over each paniyaram with the help of a chopstick and cook it till a toothpick inserted at the centre of the paniyaram comes out clean.
  • Serve and eat them while they are piping hot.

 
paniyaramtwo

Tips:

  • Do not overfill the mould with the batter and leave some space in the mould pit for the batter to rise.

Acapulco Mexican Bistro and Bar – Telok Ayer [Permanently Closed]

After office hours, the busy Robinson Road turns into a convenient spot to relax and unwind. Filled with watering holes and restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, people have umpteen options to head to for a nice meal and drinks. In this stretch is Acapulco Bistro and Bar, a restaurant which specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine. The restaurant is small but has a festive atmosphere and an awesome live band that plays on Fridays. If you like good food along with classic English songs, head here right away!

The Orders
The menu is filled with handcrafted, traditional dishes from Mexico and the whole vibe of the restaurant lends itself to make it feel like a home-cooked meal. All the main Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos and quesadillas have vegetarian options, hence there is no hassle while placing the order. First, we ordered the ‘Burrito Bowl’ and directly sprung into the main course. Burritos are all well and good but sometimes you just don’t want to deal with the messy and tearing sides of the tortilla wraps. This burrito bowl was served with Mexican rice accompanied by capsicum, tomato, onions, pico de gallo and melted cheddar cheese. This flavoursome bowl with well spiced veggies has you covered for a delicious meal.

Burrito bowl

Burrito bowl at $12.50


If you want to simplify your ordering process and not think too much, then most of the times you can rely on ‘Veg Fajitas’ for a quick and easy meal. They offer the Norteno Fajitas which is nothing but Tex-Mex, a blend of styles born from the Norteno border of Mexico and Southwestern border of the US. In this version, the veggies were seasoned to perfection and served along with a flour tortilla. The guacamole and sour cream on the side brought the whole dish together making it tasty mouthfuls of goodness for me.
Veg Fajitas

Veg Fajitas at $12.50


Since I was not in the mood for cocktails, I went for the ‘Apple Juice’. Refreshing, crisp, and light – a glass to enjoy while soaking in the music.
Apple Juice

Apple Juice at $6


I have tasted many veg quesadillas in Singapore at various restaurants. Most of them have stringy cheese oozing out of them along with some veggies as fillings. All you can taste in these is the cheese. In Acapulco’s ‘Veg Quesadillas’, you can actually taste the (generously filled) veggies which is such a welcome change for a vegetarian like me. The melted cheese, chopped jalapeno, sour cream, pico de gallo and guacamole made for perfect dipping for these absolutely well-made quesadillas. Highly recommended.
Veg Quesadillas

Veg Quesadillas at $12


A special mention to the live band – https://www.facebook.com/Clique-The-Groovy-People-369261880123695/ who were absolutely fabulous. For their authentic Mexican taste, use of loads of veggies in their dishes and friendly vibe, Acapulco Mexican Bistro and Bar is a must-visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Mexican ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer / Tanjong Pagar
Address: 138 Robinson Road, #01-03 Oxley Tower, Singapore 068906
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 11pm
Website: https://www.acapulco.com.sg/