Tak Po

25 January 2014

On the list of "must-see" places here in Singapore is Chinatown. Aside from being very colourful, it has a ton of dining options for those who want to sample authentic Singaporean food.

If our guest is the adventurous type, then I would bring them to the Chinatown Complex Food Centre where there are over 250 hawker stalls to choose from. I say "adventurous" because not everyone will appreciate eating amidst the intermingled aromas of cooked food and the wet market downstairs.

But if they have a predilection for air conditioning, then I would bring them to Tak Po. Technically, they serve Hong Kong dim sum, but since we're in Chinatown I've always thought it fitting that a meal there should be Chinese themed.

We had two orders of Siew Mai (SGD 2.60 each) and one serving of the Scallop with Seaweed Dumpling (SGD 4.20). Both dishes were palatable, but I wish they served soy sauce and calamansi with the orders as I have a penchant for dipping sauces. For me, dim sum was made for dipping.

If you're on a diet, I would suggest the Crystal Chives Ball (SGD 3.20) due to the straightforward taste of pork mixed with chives. Well, it's what I've always thought diet food would taste like.

Clockwise from left: Har Mai (SGD 4.20) - the ingredients of which elude me, but was very similar to the siew mai. Mushroom Chicken (SGD 2.80) tasted like boiled chicken in broth, thus was not a favourite. The Egg Tart (SGD 1.10 each) was like most other egg tarts here - not very sweet. We were divided over the Crispy Yam Dumpling (SGD 1.00 each) as some did not like the outer crust, but were amenable to the somewhat sweet meat inside, while I liked the whole thing. The Chicken and Pork Bun (SGD 1.50) was a crowd-pleaser thanks to it being very similar in taste to the Filipino siopao - basically a bun stuffed with a slightly salty and savoury meat filling.

Lady M Confections

15 January 2014

While waiting for the Singapore River Cruise, we sought refuge from the hot midday sun at Lady M Confections. And since we only had less than 20 minutes to spare, I decided to order what they are known for which is the Mille Crêpes, vanilla version. The website describes the cake as featuring "no less than twenty paper-thin handmade crêpes layered with ethereal light pastry cream, gently caramelized on top until golden."

At SGD 9.40 per slice, it's a bit pricey. As to the taste, well the three of us who tried this all agreed that it lives up to it's name - it's like eating layers of crêpes and lightly sweetened cream. I liked the slight crunch of the caramelized sugar on top, but I must say this is not my type of dessert.

I will definitely return though to try their other menu items to see if things get better the second time around.

Tagaytay: Breakfast at Antonio's

11 January 2014

We were home for the holidays and on our to-do list was to catch up with friends. Abigail suggested Tagaytay, but she didn't want breakfast nor did she want lunch, she wanted brunch and after checking our options, we settled on Breakfast at Antonio's.

Here's what some of us ordered:

This was off the menu and suggested by our server, Jed. Basically, it's a three-egg cheese and mushroom omelette with grilled bacon on the side. I loved the bacon, but the omelette seemed to taste saltier with every bite I took. This dish is best shared as it was huge. If I remember correctly, this was Php 480.

Smoked Pork Back Ribs
Served with Mexican Rice and Baked Beans
Php 490

Technically, this is what I wanted, but wasn't up to eating the beans that came with it. It's a good thing Junjun decided to order it and gave me a share. The ribs were good - tender and falling off the bone - much better than my cheese and mushroom omelette.

Roast Half-Chicken with Mushroom Chardonnay Sauce
(This poultry is brined for a full day and placed in rotisserie for slow roast)
Served with Roasted Potato or Potato Fries
Php 350

Jenny ordered this, but I asked for a slice and I'm so glad I did. The sauce was creamy and flavourful and if I ever eat here again, this is what I'll be having.

Fresh Corned Beef
Slices of Beef Brisket with Sauerkraut, Horseradish and Mustard
Served with 2 Eggs done anyway you want with Garlic Rice / Sautéed Scallop Potatoes / Hash Brown
Php 400

Earl and Abigail both ordered corned beef (which I also tried) and we all agreed that it was not spectacular. The beef was a bit tough and on the bland side.

Tagaytay on a Saturday in the middle of the Christmas season means that you'll spend most of your time stuck in traffic and expect that the line at Antonio's will be equally long.

Frankfurt: Ebert's Suppenstube

07 January 2014

I wanted to eat like a local, and a bit of online research helped me find Ebert's Suppenstube which is owned by the meat shop across the street. We arrived at around 2 PM and the line was still long which was a good sign.

Earl had the Rindswurst Mit Brötchen (2.80 €) and Kartoffelsuppe (4.90 €) - otherwise known as beef sausage and potato soup and he opted to have sausage pieces added to his soup (there's no extra charge for this). Both were quite good and very filling.

I had the Rostbratwurst Im Brötchen (2.80 €) and Erbseneintopf (4.90 €) which is basically pork sausage and pea soup. My sandwich was great but I was not too fond of the pea soup. The soup by itself was rather heavy and was only good in small doses (I got tired of the taste rather quickly).

We shared one bottled water (2.25 €) which was more than enough for the two of us.

All in all, it was perfect since it was near the train station, in the middle of a commercial area, and it was cheap.


03 January 2014

For our second day, we went to see Frankfurt which is just 30 minutes away. We took the train from Mainz and what a fun ride that was! Well, at least I found it enjoyable. It was not an underground train so you had a view, and I think I was just so happy to be back in Europe after 18 years that nothing could dampen my mood.

I decided that since it was Earl's birthday, we would take it easy and not try to pack everything in one day - his ideal vacation is to sleep for three days straight so walking all day long is not his version of fun.

First on the agenda was to visit a couple of shops that Earl was interested in. Afterwards, we went to the Goethe House and Museum which we both thoroughly enjoyed. Earl because of the author who once lived there and for me, I just loved the rooms.

They didn't have a guided tour, but they had information sheets in English which gave details of every room in the house.

Tickets cost 7.00 € per person.

Right before heading back to our hotel, we passed by the Altstadt (old town). Though all the original buildings were destroyed during the war, it's still an interesting place to see and also the location of another Christmas market so it was definitely a good pit stop.