Acapulco Mexican Bistro and Bar – Telok Ayer

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/
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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/

Two Men Bagel House – Icon Village

One of the best times to roam the Tanjong Pagar neighborhood and soak in the warm sun is on the weekends. I say this because it is unusually calm and quiet with the absence of office crowd. It helps you see the area in a new light. During one such weekend outing, I stumbled upon Two Men Bagel House situated in ICON village. Bagels are quite popular in New York but they are hard to find in Singapore. I was excited to try this place and it had a great deli aesthetic – from the open well-lit counters, to the cutlery, chalkboard menu and the seats. Quite a few customers (who looked like regulars) stopped by to pack their takeaways. Started by two friends, there was infectious enthusiasm among the lads in the kitchen who were eager to serve their freshly-made bagels. Yes, freshly-made since they roll and bake these circles of happiness right there!

Two men bagel house counter

Two men bagel house counter


One glance at the menu and you know that there is only one vegetarian option (T.A.B). But, don’t worry, some bagel combinations can be customized and made without meat.
Two men bagel house menu

Two men bagel house menu

The Orders
A warm bowl of soup is comforting any time of the day. So I was happy to spot ‘Smoked Tomato Soup’ on the menu. And they were quick to add that it comes with bagel croutons which was something new. The soup was seasoned well and tasted good with the smoky effect. I felt that it was a little thin and could have done with some more body.

Smoked tomato soup

Smoked tomato soup at $4.9


Next on the list was to order our bagel picks. We knew we had to try the ‘T.A.B’ as it was the sole vegetarian option. Also – what’s not to like in avocados, cheese and basil with tomatoes. The fresh ingredients used in the filling definitely adds to elevating the inherent taste of the bagel. You also have the option to pick the type of bagel and for this we went for the sea-salt bagel. The bagel got a bit too salty and we struggled to combat the chewiness. So it would be better try another bagel type with this combination.

TAB

T.A.B at $10.9


We decided to customize the ‘LOX’ without the salmon as our next order. The Black and White Seasame bagel was our choice for the lovely ingredients which consisted of pickled beets, cream cheese, dill, capers and red onions. One bite into this bagel and you knew that it was delicious. Everything combined beautifully in this one to give a superb combination of taste and texture.

LOX

LOX at $11.9


They also have a refrigerator on display with juice options. I picked ‘Gorilla Cold-Pressed Apple Juice’ and I must tell you that this was really very good. Just the right sweetness, fruit freshness and the thirst-quenching ability for Singapore’s humidity. This was an ideal accompaniment to the bagels. Do try it!

Cold pressed apple juice

Cold pressed apple juice


If you are working in this area, then I am sure you know about this place already. But if you don’t, and you have mood to try fresh bagels for a change coupled with good service or looking for quick takeaways while in this area, do pay Two Men Bagel House a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Bagels Deli ★★★
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar
Address: 16 Enggor Street, ICON Village Altez, #01-12, Singapore 079717
Timings: Mon-Fri: 8am – 7pm ; Sat-Sun: 9am – 6pm
Website: http://www.twomenbagels.com/

Buttero – Tras Street [Permanently Closed]

If you are looking for some after-work comfort food or to catch up with friends for dinner, then Tras Street is just the place. The casual Italian eatery, Buttero located on this street serves some great Italian food. The menu has interesting dishes which aroused my curiosity – I just had to try them! The restaurant has an open-kitchen concept where you can see the chefs in action. I particularly liked the mug in which water was served as it literally gave a starry feel.

Buttero mug

Buttero mug

The Orders
When we chatted with the chef and informed him of our liking for good cheese, he promptly informed us that fresh ‘Burrata Cheese’ was in the offing. We were impressed with the quality of the cheese – it was extremely soft and buttery. It was served with a roasted cherry tomatoes salad.

Burrata cheese

Burrata cheese at $23


I was interested in trying the eggplant dish called ‘Parmigiana’ which was served in a griddle pan. The grilled eggplant was the star of the dish but I must mention the tomato sauce as the base was delicious. It contained Parmesan in the right amount and was well-seasoned. If you are a fan of eggplant, go for this.
Parmigiana

Parmigiana at $18


In a Italian menu, gnocchi generally interests me because even though it consists of simple ingredients, it is not easy to get it right. The ‘Gnocchi Gratinati’ was served in a sizzling creamy sauce and was a flavour bomb of cheese, mushroom and truffle. It was rich and very indulgent.
Gnocchi gratinati

Gnocchi gratinati at $22


As every dish was tasting great, we also ordered the ‘Spinach Ravioli’. The dough was very good and the ricotta cheese added a perfect taste to the delicious tomato sauce base.
Spinach ravioli

Spinach ravioli at $24


You just cannot finish this delicious meal without desserts. Since we were quite full, we decided to go with our favourite ‘Tiramisu’. It was the perfect end to the meal – rich and creamy, with just the right amount of sweetness that pulled you in for the next bite.
Tiramisu

Tiramisu


The best part of our meal was that we could forget about pizzas for a change and enjoy vegetarian Italian cuisine in other forms. For its quality offering in terms of ingredients and taste, Buttero is highly recommended.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Italian ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar
Address: 54 Tras Street, Singapore 078993
Timings: Mon-Sat: 12pm – 3pm ; 6pm – 10.30pm

Pita and Olives

From Tanjong Pagar, this place has now moved to Pasarbella at Suntec City where they have a food counter with seats scattered around. When I got down to seeing the menu, I was thrilled to see the sheer number of vegetarian dishes featured on it and I sensed that my dinner was going to be one hearty meal.

The Orders
My first order was the ‘Sabich (without boiled egg)’ where the grilled eggplant was the star of the dish. The taste of eggplants complemented the crunchy cucumbers and tomatoes perfectly. It is served with Hummus and Pita bread. The salad also acts as a healthy component in this dish. Highly recommended.

Sabich

Sabich at $12.90

Middle Eastern food would almost be considered incomplete without the order of ‘Falafel’. All their main course dishes are served with salad and pita bread as accompaniments.The thing that impressed me was that their falafels were baked and they tasted great! The texture of Hummus is amazing and you can keep eating it just by itself.

Falafel

Falafel at $12.50

Our next dish was interesting as I had never tasted it before. The dish was called ‘Stuffed vine leaves’ which basically consisted of rice and herbs wrapped in the vine leaves. The leaves are a bit sour, but when combined with other offerings on the plate, they tasted delicious. If you like to try something different in food, you should go for this.

Stuffed vine leaves

Stuffed vine leaves at $11.90

After their highly consistent main course, I knew I had to try their ‘Baklava’. It was served as small bites. That actually worked for us since we could finish it in our own pace and it was not too heavy for a dessert. It was a tasty and satisfactory end to a delicious dinner.

Baklava

Baklava at $4

For quite a number of vegetarian options, for their healthy and tasty food, for takeaways and for authentic Middle eastern cuisine, Pita and Olives is a must visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Middle Eastern ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Promenade
Address: Pasarbella @Suntec , #01-455 North Wing Suntec City, 7 Temasek Boulevard, Singapore 038987
Timings: Mon-Sun: 10am – 10pm
Website: http://www.pitaandolives.com/

Cake Spade

The hunt for a nice and cosy dessert joint is always a pleasure. During one such outing, I ended up at Cake Spade situated near the Orchid Hotel in Tanjong Pagar. This place stands out in a neighbourhood filled with ramen and burger joints. The first thing that made me venture into the shop was the tempting display of cakes. The place also has an interesting logo which reminded me of a pack of cards. Even though the place does not have more then five to six tables, it is packed with people. On a weekend evening, you might have to wait for some time for a table.

Cake spade decor

Cake spade decor

The price list is clearly mentioned on the wall. If you are confused on what to order, the service people at the counter are nice enough to suggest items to your taste.

Cake spade price list

Cake spade price list

The Orders
We first ordered the ‘Dark Chocolate Banana Cake’ which had banana wafers attached to it on the top. Its amazing how much visual appeal matters with respect to food – specially desserts. The cake was rich in texture and quite tasty. The chocolate layer was moist and enhanced the taste.

Dark chocolate banana cake

Dark chocolate banana cake at $6.20


I had never heard of tofu being used in a cake. So I decided to try the ‘Peach Tofu Cheesecake’ which had a tempting dark yellow colour. The peaches enclosed in the top jelly layer looked attractive and could be tasted clearly. There is a digestive biscuit crust at the bottom with the cheese layer in between. I am generally OK with mild cheese in my cheesecakes and so I enjoyed this cake. This cake is also available with a strawberry filling.

Peach tofu cheesecake

Peach tofu cheesecake at $5.90


If you are hanging out in the area and are on the lookout for decent desserts, then Cake Spade is worth a try.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Deeserts ★★★
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar
Address: 83 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088504
Timings: http://www.cakespade.com/contact/index.html
Website: http://www.cakespade.com/index.html

Quarter to Three [Permanently Closed]

A good dessert place is a place that makes you smile – no matter how the meal was. Quarter to Three is a small and cozy café situated in Tanjong Pagar. Wooden furniture always catches my attention and I really liked the broad table where we were seated. The display counter was well-lit and adorned with cakes, cookies and desserts in a jar.

Quarter to three menu

Quarter to three menu

The menu was of the size of an examination writing pad and had everything clearly stated. As you can see, some of the names are quite interesting.

The Orders
As chocolate fanatics, we first ordered the cake called ‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’. This cake was soft and we just dug into it immediately. The taste of coffee did not overpower the taste of chocolate and it was a sinful delight to eat.

Happiness is a warm gun

Happiness is a warm gun at $7.20


The desserts displayed in a jar definitely seemed worth trying and so we decided to try ‘Panna Cotta in a Jar’ in both the strawberry and mango flavors. The texture was cream-like, rich and smooth and I could taste the flavors clearly. They gave us a sample cookie with the Panna Cotta. These cookies are available for sale.
Panna cotta in a jar

Panna cotta in a jar at $5.20



The final dessert that we tried was the ‘Crème brûlée with Biscuit ‘ which had a rich custard base. This can easily be shared by two people.

Creme brulee with biscuit

Creme brulee with biscuit at $7.90


The place also has their own Artisan Breads section which serves baguettes, focaccia and ciabatta breads. They also customize cakes for special occasions. For the tasty desserts, for the friendly staff and for the wallet-friendly prices, this place is totally worth a visit. Signing off on a sweet note by wishing all the deelightful readers a very Happy Diwali…

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Bakery, Cafe, Desserts ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar
Address:88 Tanjong Pagar Road, Singapore 088509
Timings: Mon-Sat: 12 pm-10.30 pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/quarterto3