CATfeine – Cafe with a relaxed vibe in Bukit Timah

It’s always fun to spot a new cafe while exploring your neighborhood. Nestled in The Hillford on Jalan Jurong Kechil is the warmly-lit cafe called CATfeine that exudes a relaxed vibe when you see it from the road. The interiors exhibit a liking for cats, right from the decor, to plush toys, to the ordering counter. The owners clearly have an affinity towards the feline creatures. Though pets are not allowed inside the cafe, there are some seats outside which are are pet-friendly.

Catfiene

Catfiene

The Orders
Other than specialty tea and coffee, CATFeine offers sweet and savoury bites like waffles, pies, sandwiches, bagels and cakes on their menu.

A good croissant pairs best with a cup of coffee. CATfeine’s ‘Croissant’ was buttery and flavorful and not at all greasy. Served warm, the thin and light layers were beautifully flaky and had a lovely aroma.

Croissant

Croissant at $3


When we visited the cafe, we observed that was a waffle order on almost every table. So we decided to try the ‘Honey B ‘ which is the most basic version of the other tempting homemade buttermilk waffles on their menu. When the waffle was served, it was so appealing that one can just admire it for some time. It was served with honey, butter, biscuit crunch and tasty sea-salt caramel ice cream which was quite indulgent. Everything about their waffles is top-notch – from the texture to the overall doneness. The sea-salt ice cream lent the right balance and was just perfect in taste. It can easily be shared by 2 people. For me, it easily made it to the Top 5 Waffles in Singapore – so quite highly recommended.
Buttermilk Waffles

Homemade Buttermilk Waffles at $11


If you are not looking for a quick caffeine fix, then try the ‘Spiced Hot Chocolate’. They have kept it simple and that makes it a delectable cup of hot cocoa.
Spiced Hot Chocolate

Spiced Hot Chocolate at $6.5


Overall, CATfeine is a must-visit if you are fan of coffee, waffles or desserts. Additionally their friendly service deserves some brownie points.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Cafe ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Beauty World
Address: 182 Jalan Jurong Kechil, #01-50 The Hillford, Singapore 596152
Timings: Wed-Fri: 8am – 8.30pm ; Sat: 9am – 9.30pm ; Sun: 9am – 7pm ; Mon: 8am – 8.30pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Catfeinecafe/
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PocoLoco Pizzeria – Italian food at Golden Mile Tower

Breaking the clutter in what is known as Little Thailand or Golden Mile Tower is an Italian joint called PocoLoco Pizzeria. It is situated right in front of the escalator that goes down from the Rex Cinemas entrance. They have a long counter which enables you to see the chefs busy at work and the dining seats are spread out in the open. This fuss-free outlet serves quality Italian food at affordable prices. At a place that spoils you for choice in terms of Thai food, PocoLoco Pizzeria was a pleasant find. This Golden Mile Tower outlet essentially specializes in pizzas. They have other outlets in Ang Mo Kio and Jurong. Since this outlet has a limited number of seats, it is better to reserve in advance in case of a slightly larger group (more than 4 pax).

PocoLoco Pizzeria

PocoLoco Pizzeria

The Orders
The menu has the standard offerings but I missed the ‘V’ symbol clearly demarcating the vegetarian dishes. Having said that, there are quite a few options for vegetarians and they are open to a reasonable customization of pizza toppings which was nice. Apart from the standard menu, they also have daily specials mentioned on the blackboard placed at the front of the restaurant.

To begin the meal on a warm note, we tried the ‘Mushroom Soup’. It had an earthy flavour and was well-seasoned. It was a decent and simple dish.

Mushroom Soup

Mushroom Soup at $4


Since we were informed that the main courses would take some time, we decided to try the ‘Garlic Bread Pomodoro’. The thing to note here is that this is served in the form of a pizza and is placed under the ‘Pizzas’ section on their menu. So you have to imagine this as bread that can be consumed with soup or a bruschetta serving that can be shared. It works as an appetizer and not as a pizza since it does not have toppings or cheese.
Garlic Bread Pomodoro

Garlic Bread Pomodoro at $5


The vegetarian pizza that we ordered was the ‘Ortolana Pizza’. I was able to customize the mixed vegetable toppings with some standard options like onions, bell peppers, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. When the pizza arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see a colored pizza dough base. We got a red color base which was from the usage of beetroot. Upon inquiring, I got to know that they serve different colors on other days of the week and that was quite whimsical. The quality of mozzarella cheese used was very good and the toppings were top-notch. The 10-inch pizza had a crisp crust and is worth ordering.
Ortolana Pizza

Ortolana Pizza at $12


If you are a cheese lover, try the ‘Bella Italian’ pizza. This pizza will tease you with a dual combination of melted mascarpone and mozzarella cheese. The easy to spread tomato sauce on the base was good and enhanced the overall taste of the pizza. The quality of cheese used in their pizzas is really good. For the fresh burrata cheese lovers, do not miss on the ‘Caprese’ pizza which is rightly marked as the chef’s recommendation on the menu.
Bella Italian

Bella Italian at $13


For the pasta dish, we tried the ‘Pesto Pasta’. The pasta was cooked al dente and the pesto was smooth and coated the pasta perfectly. Personally, I think the dish needed a touch more seasoning.
Pesto

Pesto at $9


It’s very tough for me not to order the ‘Tiramisu’ at a Italian joint. This Tiramisu had a smooth and soft texture and came garnished with cacao powder. The presence of Italian sweet liqueur in the bottom-most layer was distinct and the dessert was delicious on the whole.
Tiramisu

Tiramisu at $6


The ‘Crème brûlée’ had a layer of burnt caramel on the top that could be cut into easily. The egg custard was creamy and red vanilla beans were used for a fragrant taste. If you are not a fan of a strong taste of eggs when used in desserts, then it’s better not to order this dessert.
Crème brûlée

Crème brûlée at $5


For quality Italian food that is value for money, for friendly service and for their rainbow dough pizzas, PocoLoco Pizzeria is absolutely worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Italian ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Nicoll Highway
Address: 6001 Beach Road, #B1-65/66 Golden Mile Tower, Singapore 199589
Timings: Mon-Sun: 12pm – 3pm , 6pm – 10pm
Website: https://pocoloco.com.sg/

Noshery by Nosh – Rochester Park

The upscale restaurant Nosh has been around for years in the quiet enclave of Rochester Park. The more casual version of this restaurant is the relatively new space, Noshery which is a cafe by day and a bar by night. With this extension, Nosh has embraced the all-day dining concept. The cafe is an idyllic getaway that’s reminiscent of a cabin in a hill station. Decked out in wood, greenery seems to be the theme of this cafe – from wall motifs to the potted plants adorning the tables. I like this kind of setting for a weekend brunch as it enables an intimate dining conversation. The view from our table was this outdoor patio that gave a sense of instant calm. This space would also be perfect for small private events.

Noshery by Nosh

Noshery by Nosh

The Orders
If you go for a brunch, make the calories count! And so we ordered the ‘French Fries’ to start the meal. The portion size was huge and that was a welcome sight when the dish of fries was placed on the table. These fries were long and thin and had a crispy texture. The thick ketchup on the side went well with the fries.

French fries

French fries at $5


I love ordering salads if I can visualize them to be colorful. The description on the menu helps me to determine if my interest is sufficiently piqued to try it. I chose the ‘Pesto Salad’ in the same manner. The salad was simple just with four ingredients – tomatoes, Romaine lettuce, mozzarella and pesto. The simplicity turned out to be the best part as the generous use of pesto brought all the ingredients together and made it a very tasty dish. The quality of the ingredients was top-notch. Highly recommended.
Pesto Salad

Pesto Salad at $12


My husband ordered the ‘Shakshouka’ which is a Middle Eastern dish. Tomatoes are the backbone of shakshouka and the only common thing across variations of this dish. The peppers had a touch of crunch and the onions were soft and folded wonderfully into the sauce. The eggs were correctly soft cooked and the yolks added a touch of richness. The only disappointing parts of the dish were the eggplant fritters. Thankfully, they are served separately and don’t affect the dish itself.
Shakshouka

Shakshouka at $19


Thirst quenchers are always welcome to beat the humidity of Singapore. I found the mention of ‘Yellow Watermelon Juice’ to be intriguing. To begin with, it tastes quite different from the red watermelon. This juice was refreshing but had a bitter note at the end, maybe because of the rind. So as the juice came to room temperature, the bitterness was more pronounced. Hence I have mixed feelings about the juice – refreshing but not instantly appealing.
Yellow watermelon juice

Yellow watermelon juice


With its scenic locale and eclectic mix of delicious food, Noshery is a lovely hideout. Its ideal for midday catch-ups and a good conversation. Head there for this long weekend maybe? On that note, wishing all of you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for reading this blog filled with vegetarian rants and also patiently waiting for new posts.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Western ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Buona Vista
Address: 9 Rochester Park, Singapore 139220
Timings: Tue-Fri: 11.30am – 4pm ; Sat-Sun: 10.30am – 6pm
Website: http://www.noshery.com.sg/

Vegetarian Villas – Jurong West St 41

If you are a vegetarian staying in the West side of Singapore then Vegetarian Villas is definitely not a new name for you. It has been on my bucket list for a long time and I finally got a chance to visit this small restaurant situated in a row of HDB shophouses in Jurong West. Even though I had heard of its popularity, I was taken aback by the loyal set of customers who were pouring in on a scorching Sunday afternoon. The place has indoor and outdoor seating. The standard menu is displayed on the wall for you to decide on the options in advance as you wait in the queue to place your order. We reached by 1 pm, by which time most of their items were sold out. Hence it is advisable to reach there by 11.30 am if you are looking to taste all their specials.

Vegetarian Villas

Vegetarian Villas


Vegetarian Villas Menu

Vegetarian Villas Menu

The Orders
For fans of soup, they have a huge DIY section from which you can build you own soup along with their farm-fresh ingredients. Be prepared to find all form of healthy Chinese veggies at this counter. You will also be spoiled for choice looking at the variety of mushrooms and mock meat on this display. This is a fully vegetarian restaurant, so do not be confused with the usage of meat names in their menu.

Vegetarian Villas Soup and Salad Counter

Vegetarian Villas Soup and Salad Counter


From the appetizer section, we ordered the ‘Fried Chicken Nuggets’ which were chewy fritters that paired well with rice. The crispy coating added to the bite and the taste was quite good.
Fried Chicken Nuggets

Fried Chicken Nuggets at $4.80


Vegetarian cuisine has evolved to create successful versions of popular dishes without compromising on the taste. The ‘Veg Nasi Lemak’ served here was quite decent. Out of the served mock meat, the one made with soy was good. The peanuts were crunchy and added texture. The chilli paste served on the side brought the dish together for me.
Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak at $4


Since they had run out of Laksa, we ordered the ‘Claypot Noodles’. The noodles were cooked just tender and had a lot of flavour from the soup base. However, the base itself needed more seasoning and vegetables. A little more spice would have also helped.
Claypot Noodle

Claypot Noodle at $4.30


They have quite a few varieties of health drinks in their freezer. I found the bottled ‘Honey Drink’ to be extremely refreshing and devoid of the overdose of sugar. Worth trying.
Honey drink

Honey drink at $2


Overall I did not dislike any of their items but I will have to visit them again to try their Laksa since I have heard that it is one of their hot-selling items. For their simple food and extremely friendly prices, they are definitely worth visiting if you are in the area.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Lakeside
Address: 479 Jurong West Street 41, #01-264, Singapore 640479
Timings: Mon-Tue: 10am – 9pm ; Thu-Fri: 10pm – 9pm ; Sat-Sun: 8am – 9pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/VegetarianVillas/

Fresh Fruits Lab – Kembangan

Nestled in the calm neighborhood of Kembangan is a fun cafe called Fresh Fruits Lab, a laboratory themed joint serving Western cuisine with a fruity twist. And yes, it is as exotic as it sounds – science themed decor with burettes, pipettes, magnifying glasses to read the menu, test tubes and colorful diagrams! We went for a weekend brunch and the restaurant was full! It definitely looks like they have regular customers. They have high tea, a la carte, brunch and even supper menus. It is around a 10 min walk from the MRT but the different dining experience made the travel worthwhile. Also worth mentioning is their periodic table drawn with symbols of fruits which was very innovative and unique.

Fresh fruits lab

Fresh fruits lab


FFL periodic table

FFL periodic table

The Orders
To begin with, they serve complimentary juices filled in test tubes. This helps you try out different flavours and then order according to your preference. Water is served in beakers and juices in conical flasks and thus they stay consistent to their theme.

Welcome drink

Welcome drink


For me, tomato soup is a familiar and beloved comfort food. FFL offers the ‘Roasted Roma Soup’ which is a herbed stew made with Roma tomatoes, zucchini and croutons. The colour was dark and looked like a thicker version of homemade pasta sauce but the taste was good. There was slight sweetness in the soup which was nice.

Roasted Roma soup

Roasted Roma soup at $8


Brunch and pancakes go hand-in-hand. The ‘Fruity Berries’ pancake was fluffy and moist made from a seasonal berry batter. It also had apple compote and strawberries drizzled with maple syrup. The fruity twist along with sizable portions made it a good order.
Fruity berries pancakes

Fruity berries pancakes at $11


For brunch, a ‘Frittata’ works as a ready-to-go egg dish that is somewhere between a quiche and omelette. The folding and flipping technique in the dish made with eggs, potatoes and mushrooms was done in a compact manner. It was served with fruity salad and toasted multigrain buns. Highly recommended. (if you eat eggs)
frittata

Frittata at $15


For a refreshing feel, try any of the fruit juices or sodas from their beverage section. The notable ones are ‘Strawberry Soda’ and Three to Tango which were rightly marked as the Lab Bestsellers. They were bursting with flavour and topped off with real fruits.
Strawberry soda

Strawberry soda at $6


We ordered the ‘Lychee Cake’ to try a unique dessert. The layers were drenched with lychee syrup and it became a sugar overload after a few bits. The texture was almost like a marshmallow and it was a bit too sweet for my liking. They have many cakes on their display counter, so maybe I’ll try something else the next time.
Lychee cake

Lychee cake at $6.5


For the vegetarians, there are some more soup and salad options. The staff are friendly and attend to your needs immediately. They also have ongoing lunch promotions with a menu change every fortnight. For a different dining experience, for chilling out on the weekends, for striking a chemistry with your special someone and for its good food, FFL is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Western ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Kembangan
Address: 351 Changi Road, Lor Mazuki, Singapore 419818
Timings: Tue-Thu: 11am – 10pm ; Fri: 11am – 11pm ; Sat: 10am – 11pm ; Sun: 10am – 10pm
Website: http://www.ffl.com.sg/menu/

Redpan – Marina Square

When food meets design, you get Redpan, a relatively new restaurant which has opened at Marina Square. Located in the new wing of the mall, the decor of the place is like an upmarket bistro. The restaurant is well-lit and the furnishings are designed in a way that they stand out. The menu focuses on giving Western food a Singaporean twist, throwing a spotlight on local ingredients and familiar flavours.

Redpan

Redpan

The Orders
If made well, a soup serves as a great way to begin any meal. Hence, we right away ordered the ‘Smokey Tomato Soup’ which turned out to be a satisfying dish. The tomato soup served with garlic croutons had an additional depth to it due to the chargrilled effect.

smokey tomato soup

Smokey tomato soup at $7


For the mains, we ordered the ‘Vegetable Lasagna’ for a wholesome dish. The dish was a colorful medley of vegetables like baked pumpkin, grilled eggplant and mushrooms along with tomato sauce and curry bechamel. Going meatless does not mean giving up on flavour and this dish proved its point with its great taste. Highly recommended.
Vegetable lasagna

Vegetable lasagna at $14


One of my go-to pasta dishes to order is the ‘Roasted Vegetable Aglio Olio’ because its a toss and serve kind of dish that spells comfort. This pasta at Redpan could have been better, both in terms of taste and seasoning.
Roasted vegetable aglio olio

Roasted vegetable aglio olio at $12


It is never surprising to see a ‘Portobello Mushroom Burger’ being offered as the sole vegetarian burger option in many restaurants across Singapore. I have always maintained that there should be more varieties tried in this segment for sure. Having said that, the size of a grilled portobello perfectly fits the size of a burger bun and is liked by mushroom lovers. Here, it was served with cheddar and lettuce in toasted ciabatta buns and was a solid rendition of the dish. The fries on the side were addictive!
Portobello mushroom burger

Portobello mushroom burger at $12


The desserts at this place really impressed me and the variety is mindboggling – they have the dessert options listed on the menu and the daily specials displayed on their cake counter. To begin, we ordered the most unique ‘Teh Halia Creme Brulee’ which was a classic dessert infused with ginger and tea. As weird as it sounds to imagine tea in a dessert, this offering incorporating the local milk tea is top-notch as the ginger subtly cuts through the dish and keeps the sweetness of the dessert intact. Highly recommended.
Teh Halia creme brulee

Teh Halia creme brulee at $7


The restaurant nailed it again with yet another impressive creation in the form of ‘Red Date Butter Cake’ which was fragrant and rich. A delicious scoop of vanilla ice cream mounted on a butter cake that rested on a bed of sticky local red dates and caramel sauce was a tempting sight. Worth trying for enjoying a different creation using local flavours.
Red date butter cake

Red date butter cake at $8


If you are looking for cake options, then try the Red Velvet Cake and the Dark Chocolate cake which disappeared from the table in no time. But if you are looking for a refreshing concoction then ‘Roselle Sour Plum Soda’ acts as a perfect match to a delicious meal.
Sour plum soda

Sour plum soda at $5


Considering the overall experience of the meal, the prices at Redpan are very reasonable. For its ambiance, for its experimentation in food offerings and for its exquisite desserts, Redpan is definitely worth a visit!

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Western / Modern Singaporean ★★★★
Nearest MRT: City Hall / Esplanade
Address: 6 Raffles Boulevard, #02-03/04, Marina Square, Singapore 039594
Timings: Mon-Sun: 11am – 10pm
Website: http://redpan.sg/

Panchtantra Restaurant – Syed Alwi Road

Bringing Indian folklore to the forefront right from their name, Panchtantra is a newly opened fully vegetarian restaurant located at Syed Alwi Road at a stone’s throw from Mustafa. The Panchtantra is a collection of Indian fables that has made its way globally through their interesting story narration. So it is only befitting that a story unfolds here on the culinary journey that I embarked at in this North Indian gem. Added to a predominantly Punjabi food menu are mouthwatering chaats and kebabs. With a chaat counter neatly placed on the roadside, it also helps when you want a quick chaat bite as you finish your grocery shopping in the area.

Panchtantra

Panchtantra restaurant

The Orders
Most popular among the Indian chaats is the trusted Pani Puri. Keeping up with changing times, Panchtantra have given this popular item a twist by serving them as ‘Pani Puri Shots’. The fried puri with the ragda filling was firmly placed on a shot glass containing cold and spicy paani. The flavored paani served in the shot glasses are of two types: the spicy and sweet varieties , or as we say theeka and meetha paani. When it came to taste, this non-alcoholic concoction turned out to be quite good and is worth a shot.

Pani Puri shots

Pani Puri shots at $6


Another sure-shot item to try in a Indian chaat place is the chaat variations with yogurt. On the owner’s recommendation, we ordered the ‘Dahi Papri Chaat’ which is basically a dish that consists of puris at the bottom layered with onions, tomatoes,sev, tangy chutneys and finally topped off with curd. But what clinched this dish for me was the addition of crunchy cucumbers – such a win! It also helped that the yogurt was not sour. For vegans, you can order the dish without yogurt and most of the chaat items can be modified accordingly. Highly recommended.
Dahi papdi chaat

Dahi papdi chaat at $4.90


Elevate your lunch to a royal experience by ordering the ‘Panchtantra Special Thali’ – a plate that brings the authentic taste of Punjab right to your table. Please note that as of now thalis are available only at lunch time. For dinner, items can be ordered a la carte. The plate comes with a starter, three curries, one dal, rice, a dessert and garlic naans. For the starter, there was Achari Paneer which was tasty. The Chole/ Chana Masala was top-notch with homemade Punjabi spices perfuming and flavouring the dish beautifully. The quality of paneer (which was soft) made all the smooth curries taste heavenly on the palette. The Dal Makhani which is lentils simmered in an aromatic buttery tomato sauce transported me back to the dhaba taste in the fields of Punjab. The Garlic Naans made in the form of a small potli (pouch) gave a visual twist to the plate. The Gulab Jamun was delicious too.The food is quite rich, make sure you keep space in your stomach if you order the Thali. Definitely worth ordering.
Panchtantra special thali

Panchtantra special thali at $14.50


We also ordered the ‘Patiala Shahi Thali’ which is a slightly smaller version of the Special Thali. By that I mean, this plate has one curry lesser than the main version. The Thalis are served in traditional copper plates and are quite heavy to hold but it definitely adds to the authenticity of presentation.
Patiala Shahi thali

Patiala Shahi thali at $13.90


To add the refreshing touch, both the Thalis are served along with ‘Punjabi Lassi’. It serves as a welcome relief to the humidity of Singapore.
Punjabi Lassi

Punjabi Lassi


Due to its ample offerings, there are many more items like Kebabs and Jalebis that can be tried. Also, they have launched a 1-for-1 lunch deal for the whole month of July – Order any gravy from the Main Course selection and receive a complimentary Bread Basket to go with it. Drop by at Panchtantra between 12 – 4 pm for an unforgettable lunch experience starting at just $7.90.
Its so refreshing to see a restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine getting added to the culinary scene in Singapore. For its use of traditional homemade ingredients, for its convenient location, for the variety in menu, for delicious food, Panchtantra restaurant is definitely worth visiting.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: North Indian ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Farrer Park, Little India
Address: 83 Syed Alwi Road, Singapore 207762
Timings: Mon-Thu: 10am – 11.30pm ; Fri-Sun: 10am – 1am
Website: https://www.facebook.com/panchtantrasg/