California dreamin’ (Part 1)

Trying to get this post in before the year ends because as usual, life has gotten the better of me and I haven’t been the best at posting. About a month ago, Tdy and I went to California and did a road trip from LA to San Francisco. We were incredibly fortunate to have experienced the beautiful sites the Pacific Coast Highway offered and got to eat some pretty good grub along the way. Most importantly, we were lucky to have also missed the outbreak of the fires in Ventura, which we passed by on our way to San Francisco.

We took the SIN-ICN-LAX flight into Los Angeles International. We picked up our car at the Hertz centre off site from LAX with no huge issues – pro tip: sign up for gold membership (it’s free!) before making your booking. Makes picking up the car super seamless.

I’m going to be writing about this trip in chronological order so it’ll be easier to track the direction in which we are travelling. This first part deals with:

LA – Santa Monica – Anaheim – LA – Santa Monica

My favourite city this trip has got to be Santa Monica! Free parking for the first 1.5 hours, easy walkable distance to shops and the beach, and generally, a beautiful, quaint beach-side city. Truly could not ask for more. Prior to driving down to Anaheim, we had lunch at a really good local institution in Santa Monica –Β Gjelina (pronounced “Jelina“).

We shared a chorizo pizza – housemade chorizo, tomato, cream, fennel, basil and chili and a braised spigarello with crispy guanciale, confit leeks and calabrian chilli. Both were excellent. Gjelina’s vegetable menu is one of the most extensive we would see all trip and I would most definitely return to try more things. Everything on the menu sounded interesting, and unlike anything we’d get from a casual bistro here in Singapore.

My birthday was spent in Disneyland, and Teddy (with Liv, my cousin) had specially arranged for a surprise birthday dinner for me at Napa Rose – which I plan to write as a separate Disneyland entry.

The day we returned to LA from Anaheim, we stopped by Huntington Beach and Seal Beach, both of which were absolutely gorgeous – clear blue cloudless skies and lots of palm trees (see above), the only thing was was missing was a hammock and a coconut, really.

We got into LA around noon and set off to Sqirl for lunch (Tess had insisted it was extremely innovative – it was). At 1 pm on Friday, there was a line outside the door at Sqirl – no joke. We got the sorrel pesto rice with the works, and a long-cooked chicken and rice porridge as well as a persimmon scone with house-made jam to share.

I’ve never tasted anything quite like the sorrel pesto rice. It really is quite delicious and it grows on you. The add ons really made the dish pretty epic – the avocado added some creaminess and cut through the tang of the kale, the bacon made for more texturally fun eating and the egg added a lot of flavour. My favourite on the plate were the pickles, which are usually too sour for me but this was not overly crunchy or sour and helped to balance the flavours on the plate. The chicken porridge was reminiscient of a Malay-style chicken soup with rice porridge, so while it was bold on flavour, it really wasn’t very special for me because it was easily found at home in sunny Singapore. Would recommend the persimmon scone with jam though (it was also great without)! It’s the perfect end to the meal, and I loved that it was not too dry.

We visited one of the nicest outdoor malls around – the Americana at Glendale – and it was all decked out in its Christmas finest. Really could feel the festivity in the air right there, and the fact that I was on vacation truly sank in there… We headed for the Griffith Observatory and the Angel’s stairway on a La La Land tour (it’s one of Tdy’s favourite movies!) after. Watching the sunset at Griffith was pretty magical, and brings new meaning to the term paddle pop skies. Definitely don’t miss out on the Griffith – the sunset and the exhibits inside. I will definitely return to explore the Griffith again.

We then adjourned for dinner with Liv. I had booked Bestia about 2 months in advance, and when we arrived, it was completely PACKED. Bestia is located in the gentrifying arts/theatre district in DTLA (hope I got this right!) and I would recommend paying $8 for valet parking as the surroundings are a bit sketchy with very little street lighting.

Everything at Bestia was good, but not everything was great – my favourite dish that night was the roasted heirloom cauliflower with smoked paprika aioli, dill, mint and lime zest. Other than being presented so beautifully, it was an excellent veggie dish that we didn’t find anywhere else on the trip. This was reminiscent, just vaguely, of Sin Lee Foods’ roasted broccoli. We were given the tortellini di mortadella (brown butter, lentils, spinach, pistachios and fresh thyme) on the house as we had to wait a while longer for our spaghetti rustichella (dungeness crab, citrus, calabrian chili, thai basil, onion seed) and the tortellini ended up second favourite dish of the night – I’m a massive brown butter fan. But I should stop rambling, because I think the pictures show for themselves how bloody amazing the meal was.

We left LA the next day. Before we left, we ate atΒ Huckleberry, a fave spot of my Aunt E and Liv.Β We got in just before 10am, and managed to snag the last seat in the house. Free parking out back as well, so don’t feed the meter!

We got the green eggs and ham, which is two fried eggs with house made pesto and lots of rocket – the house made pesto was excellent, and had no cheesy aftertaste which I absolutely abhor, and the rocket just covered the entire plate. A really neat way to eat your greens. We also got a kouign amann cup and monkey bread to share. The kouign amann cup was buttery and flaky and just had the right amount of blueberry jam. It was a real treat and was a good size. There’s a normal sized kouign amann but it would have been too much for breakfast. The monkey bread was just alright, but I liked the one I had at Stanford better.

And… it’s goodbye to LA and Santa Monica for now. I’m convinced that Santa Monica is where food dreams come true, and the next few cities on the trip would have a lot to live up to.

Next stop: Malibu!


San Francisco: Bay Area, Stanford & Palo Alto

Yes, I know, I came back from San Francisco more than a month ago – somehow I feel like chronicling my foodventures through the places I’ve been is a lot simpler and easier than just a restaurant in itself. Feel like a place does influence the kind of food people tend to cook cos 1) culture and 2) profitability. I mean, you see like a smorgasbord of pressed juices/green juice/kale in SF, which is definitely not as prevalent as say, HK (yes, HK post coming right up). Also what better time to write a new entry than when I have 3 tutorials in the next 3 days?? Gah, ethics….

After the culinary high that was Melbourne and Sydney, I have commented to people that I doubt I’d be able to find a place that matches up to them both because almost every single meal was a “WOW!!!” from me. For people who don’t know me, I categorise my life/experiences into roughly these 5 categories: ‘wow factor’, pretty great, good, alright and meh.

(disclaimer: my time was spent mostly around Palo Alto, a chichi suburban neighbourhood where Stanford is located, and it honestly felt pretty dang good to be away from the crazy ass city life for a bit.)

1. La Tacqueria, The Mission District

Ah, tacos in the mission district. This is definitely a MUST DO in San Francisco. Alight at 16th Mission and take a leisurely stroll down (or up?) to the 24th. La Tacqueria is conveniently located on the 23rd if I recall correctly.

THESE TACOS ARE NOT NORMAL TACOS. They are soft tacos wrapped around with a crisp hard taco and filled with the most luscious guac, pico de gallo and whatever choice of meat you choose. Rj ordered for us and BOYYYYYYY these were fan-freaking-tastic. They were dripping with goodness, (yum I love messy food) but THE TACO SHELLS (skins???) RETAINED THEIR STRUCTURE TILL THE VERY END. I did not want to give up the last mouthful to Tebello.. but anyway the point is. Come eat here. I haven’t had that many tacos before, and I’m not sure if taco joints all around the world do this soft taco/crisp taco thing, but that was the highlight for me. That and the perfectly charred meat and copious amount of guac heaped onto my taco. We also had agua frescas but they tasted like sugary watermelon & mango juice diluted with water. I’m not sure I’d try it again… but damn these tacos. If I ever go back I’m not sharing any.

So the Mission isn’t really my favourite part of town because the only word to describe it is DODGY (or sketchy, if you’re American)…. and the smell of pee is everywhere. Walk one block down to Valencia and it’s a whole new world. I would like to own a house on Valencia tbh. It is such a hip, happening place with great spots like…

2. Craftsman & Wolves

THIS PLACE IS EPIC!!!!! C&W is most well known for ‘The Rebel Within’ – a savoury muffin with sausage, asiago, green onion and an entire gooey soft cooked farm egg in the middle. Don’t even know how they manage to keep the yolk runny, but what a gorgeous sight when I sliced it down the middle. So, the verdict on this? I wished it was warmed up.. and I think fans of cheese would love The Rebel Within. It was one of the most unique things I’ve ever tried, and a pity I couldn’t truly appreciate its full awesomeness because well, I don’t like cheese. That said, the farm egg in the middle is a genius idea – who would’ve thought? My coffee was excellent & my takeaway blackberry muffin was bursting with blackberry goodness. Topped with bran flakes, it made a wonderful lunch. I love it here.

3. Tin Pot Creamery, Palo Alto
Stanford students have it so frkn good, and I am insanely jealous of every single one of them because they have this frkn epic ice cream shop at their doorstep. When Rj told me Tin Pot was voted best icecream shop in Palo Alto I was kinda skeptical, but after having it, I think it should be declared best icecream in San Francisco. Humphrey Slocombe cannot compare. AT ALL. I had the blueberry lavender & pumpkin and oat strusel; I think the latter was a halloween special. I really cannot stand it when my icecream is icey and this was pure, creamy goodness. Blueberry lavender is such a special lavender pairing; seriously, earl grey lavender was so last year. It was creamy, floral and fruity at the same time. I really want a tub of it right now. I wouldn’t recommend pumpkin to anyone who doesn’t even like pumpkin but I gotta admit that oat strusel makes for fun eating, texturally. THIS HAS MUCH WOW FACTOR!!!! And if I had to pick a #1 item on this list, THIS WOULD BE IT

4. Evvia, Palo Alto

My first experience with Greek food! Grilled octopus, the most lovely charred lamb riblets and marithes tiganites – crispy smelt with a garlic and potato skordalia. Okay food aside, doesn’t SKORDALIA REMIND YOU OF A POKEMON????? Or izzit just me?? FYI: a skordalia is a sort of thick, chunky dip. Here the skordalia made my entire meal. The lemon rly complemented the bold and punchy garlic and the crispy smelt was the perfect fish to hold it all together. Taste & texture wise, it was faultless. Ok think: fried crispy fish with the most garlicy dip in the world. YUM??? The lamb riblets were a bit gamey for me; I generally have a distaste to lamb, BUT I really wouldn’t mind having more of this; and the grilled octopus…. just….wow…. I feel like my favourite dishes at restaurants are those which are cooked simply with the freshest ingredients; while I enjoy the oohs and ahhs molecular gastronomy brings to food in general, sometimes the best kind of food is choosing the best cooking method to let your choice of ingredient shine. GIVE ME MORE OF THAT OCTOPUS

Tbh, most of my time was spent eating great food at Casa Italiana where RJ lived – I am still in awe at how catered food can taste this good. I’m quite sure freshman 15 would not be limited to just the freshmen, considering the open kitchen at Casa, and the food that Jose churns out day after day.


HONOURABLE MENTION: Food at Casa Italiano; the monkey bread & kale mojito at CoHo

I’ve already talked about how frkn amaze Casa’s food was but honestly everyone needs to go visit Stanford just for the Monkey bread! Crisp buns of walnuts and drizzled with just the right amount of honey? caramel? when toasted make the best. snack. ever. And also, it will be one of the best $3 you spend in your life. I also miss the kale mojito, a juice blend of kale, mint, mango, celery, parsley and orange juice. I swear all green juice skeptics will change their minds on kale and green juice AFTER HAVING THIS. It is refreshing and exhilarating and makes me feel like I’m at a beach with a hot bod when I clearly am sitting at Coho with an expanding waistline instead.

OH, AND ONE LAST ONE (how could I have forgotten):

In-N-Out: just because you’re in the West Coast. Also, it’s better than Shake Shack.



TUTORIALS ARE OVER FOR THE WEEK. YES (but omg 3 next week the thought of it is just exhausting…). So I’m back to continue where I left off from Melbourne.

We went to Sydney for four days (but really had only a grand total of three days) and I kind of wish we spent more time there? Would have loved to visit Manly… and Bondi (er. Kind of forgot to go to Bondi because I was eating……. I know nobody is surprised by this.). And supposedly the Blue Mountains are gorgeous! AND I DIDN’T GET TO EAT MY WATERMELON CAKE 😦 Elaine’s food recommendations were completely spot on (thank you Elaine!!); if only I had the time and tummy space to conquer Sydney. Honestly though, while I preferred Melbourne as a city to Sydney, I think the culinary highs from the trip came from Sydney.


1) Breakfast with the Sakuma’s, Devon Cafe

5452Miso grilled king salmon, 63 degree egg, smoked eel croquette, petit radish salad, kewpie mayo and a sprinkle of furikake – this is probably the most well thought out and put together dish I’ve had this year. It goes down in history as one of the most memorable dishes I’ve had & I want to fly back to Sydney just to have this. Asian fusion to me has always seemed a bit dodgy but I think this dish really took what I loved from Japanese cuisine and one of my favourite meals of the day and made it work – it is truly light on the palate but enough to wake your senses up with the umami bombs. AMA-FRKN-ZING. Whoever thought of adding furikake deserves a huge huge prize.


I also think Devon’s rendition of Eggs Royale was spectacular!!! Instead of English muffin/bagel/rye/insert bread here, Devon uses blinis for its Eggs Blini. It didn’t look huge, but the portion was just right. The best part? The Eggs Royale was topped with ikura (salmon roe). So incredibly special. (PLUS THEY USE BROCCOLINI. I LOVE BROCCOLINI.)

I didn’t particularly enjoy my Little Lost Bread – pb&j brioche french toast, grilled banana, nutella, jam and pb icecream! I wish the banana taste were stronger because I felt like it was like separate components being slapped onto a plate, even though I have to say, the pb&j went well like… pb&j. It was like pb&j had a party and the grilled banana crashed it. Man!!! (Also, it was too sweet.)

I think Devon’s menu had other interesting things that I would have loved to try – the Korean Fried Chicken burger with gochujang & kimchi slaw sounded amazing on paper as well; except by then I had burger fatigue so, it was a no go. Their takeaway chicken salad also looked pretty yummy on display! Devon is a must go if you’re in Sydney.

2) Bourke Street Bakery


The problem with Bourke Street Bakery is that everything looks too yummy. Um, limited stomach space here? I thought I had my eye on the chocolate tart in front of the store (and I’m not even that big a chocolate fan!!!) but once I entered and saw lemon curd and ginger creme brulee.. sorry chocolate. The lemon curd tart was my favourite, and edges ginger creme brulee out by 0.1 – purely because it is very very difficult to find lemon curd that is tart enough. I feel like lemon curd is one of those things where everyone has a different standard on – some like it sweet and others like it tart. This lemon tart is second only to Jacques Genin’s lemon tart!! And at A$5, it is such a bargain!! BUY MORE. The ginger creme brulee, however wins points for originality – cos I mean, a creme brulee tart????? LIKE WAAAOOOOOW RIGHT. I’ve never had one, and who would’ve though it would work?! Biting into a burnt sugar top is truly one of the littlest (??? little? small?) joys in life. I wish I brought back a dozen of each.

3) The Grounds of Alexandria


The Grounds is a really genius idea. Take a huge lot in an industrial area and transform it into a grounds of sorts – a cafe on one end, and a miniature farm, a flower shop (SUPER GORGEOUS) and plenty of space for people to sit around and order take out from push carts. It really sounds like a kind of place I’d want to spend my weekends at, minus the screaming kids; but yes, it is a great place for a family to spend time together on weekends. We waited an hour for a table at the cafe – and while waiting, we…. started eating. Had a grilled corn on the cob and a green juice of kale, apple and mint to start off with! I wanted to take a picture with Kevin Bacon (the resident pig) EXCEPT I felt like the poor pig was already having its privacy invaded by the hordes of humans ): Poor pig.

I suppose the highlight of the Grounds would be its dessert table??????? The problem as always is just choosing ONE. I was torn between the passionfruit cheesecake (how unique really, PASSIONFRUIT!!!!) and the pear tart but was recommended it so I went for the pear. I mean, it was a good pear tart, but it didn’t make me go ‘!!!!!’. I had forest mushroom salad that came with a gooey egg encased in a panko batter. HOLY GUACAMOLE, THIS IS EGGYOLK PORN AT ITS FINEST!!!!!!!!! And it really did taste as good as it looked. As silly as it sounds, the house chips at the Grounds was really great – NO SOGGY FRIES AT ALL (I cannot stand soggy fries) and a beautiful chilli aioli that had a great garlic punch without being overwhelming. Since my description and vocabulary is limited: the grounds is simply Pinterest in REAL LIFE.

Honourable Mention: The Paramount Coffee Project.


This was the first place we ate at when we touched down in Sydney. It is a gorgeous open space, with ceiling to floor windows (ALWAYS AWESOME!) and beside it is a proper mini cinema! The cafe is in front and at the back, all decked out in industrial grunge is a bicycle (and handmade goods??) store. Yep. This takes hpstr to a whole new level, except the food is anything but pretentious.

We had the crab po’boy and a cola braised pork with waffle. I preferred this to Hammer & Tong’s personally but Nick felt that there was no difference cos they were both AWESOME. This is a lot messier because there’re more sauces but I love it when a burger is messy because that is how it’s supposed to be! Don’t bother paying extra for the onion rings. The waffle meanwhile… was an acquired taste for me. It was creative and unique, but while I didn’t agree with the taste, Nick loved it. I do believe that this flavour combination is worth a try though!!


I think I’ve been spoilt by the brunch options available in Melbourne and Sydney that brunch in Singapore will never (ok maybe not a long while) live up to anything I’ve had. I suppose with brunch being very ‘in’ and fashionable, the challenge is coming up with an excitable brunch menu. Nearly every place we went to in Melbourne and Sydney had their own flair. Though they may be serving an eggs benedict/royale/florentine, most cafes/places always have their own interpretations of these brunch classics. That really differentiates each place and gives them their individuality. & I think this is what keeps people coming back! The fact that menus change according to what is in season is also something I really respect.

I feel like I wasn’t in Sydney long enough to actually see half of it. Totally regret not going to Bondi/Manly – I mean which losers go to Sydney and then don’t visit one of the most popular attractions?!?? BUT AT LEAST WE MADE IT TO THE OPERA HOUSE AND HARBOUR BRIDGE. The greatest thing I’m taking away from my trip to Australia is probably just the niceness of Australians. PEOPLE ARE JUST SO FRKN NICE. We met the nicest airbnb hosts (Martina & Gavin!) and people on the streets were friendly and always keen to help with directions (I can’t read maps..). I really can’t wait to go back.

Till next time, super travellers!


Alright, it’s been more than a year, and what a difference a year makes. So what inspired this – basically ET asked me to update and today Trish asked me about Melbourne AND about Tummytay in lecture and during lunch. So why not? And also, I feel like I may never have such satisfying meals for a while since almost every meal was an epic meal in Melbourne and Sydney.

Plus it helps that I have to watch a video in preparation for mediation tomorrow. Obviously I should write a hugeass long post about food instead of preparing for it.. #priorities.

Without further ado, I present:


1) Coconut-Pandan gelato at Spring Street Grocer
And I thought I tasted the mother of all gelatos in Italy. I was wrong. Completely and utterly wrong. This was *magical*, the pandan and coconut were like pb & jam, yknow? THEY GO SO WELL TOGETHER. Like Britney and Justin. (They are still my OTP. Do not judge.) It was incredibly smooth, with NO ICE CRYSTALS AT ALL – don’t you hate icecream that is icy? AND IT IS SO HARD TO ACHIEVE THAT FEAT. Gelatos for the win. Who needs iceream or any other gelato flavour anyway? This gelato spoilt the market for the other gelatos I had in Melbourne, and none of the others I tried even came close to this. Not even the famous Messina.

2) Fried Brioche at The Hardware Societe

I think I loved this mainly because it was an infusion of all the flavours I enjoyed – rosewater/earl grey panna cotta/fresh raspberries – that reminded me of Pierre Herme’s famous ispahan. Prior to visiting Melbourne I had heard so much about THS (OMG SAME INITIALS AS ME?????) and I was not disappointed at all. The portions are huge, and because the flavours are quite complex, and the brioche is fried, it does get a bit heavy. But no problemo, it just means that you have to eat two dishes so as to alternate between that and the fried brioche. Which brings me to….


This was beautiful. I love baked eggs but I find sometimes the problem with brunch food/eggs is that I can easily replicate it at home. NOT THIS I CAN’T. three baked eggs sitting pretty in a pot full of warm tomato stew, silvered almonds and hidden spinach at the bottom. This really warmed us up on a blustery winter morning.

3) Grilled lemongrass banh mi at Ba’get

One thing I really missed about western nations: their sandwiches. Alright, banh mi is asian… but wowowow. Perhaps it was because Nick and I were RAVENOUS after trekking half of the CBD to get here (so much for me saying “it’s really nearby”. No one should ever trust my direction sense. More to come later). The baguettes were crisp and provided a REALLY satisfying crunch when we bit into em. I also enjoy pickled vegetables so this sandwich really ticked the right boxes for me. The best part: $6.95 for each banh mi. SAY WHAT???? It also stays fresh for a long time because I brought half a banh mi onto the plane home. It was still as great 6 hours later. Dammit sometimes I wish Willy Wonka’s TV were real then I’d be able to reach through my screen and grab whatever food I want and EAT IT.

4) Soft shell crab burger at Hammer & Tong 412

Hammer & Tong’s logo is reminiscent of the CCCP for some reason (Communist Party), and that’s another reason why I like it. The soft shell crab burger has been talked about so much by the online food community (thank you urbanspoon.) that I think one of the stupidiest decisions I made in Melbourne was to share the burger with Nick. It should not be shared. Period. CRISP SOFT SHELL CRAB, PILLOWY BRIOCHE, and forgettable greens. It was also very light!!! Deepfrying a soft shell crab is not that easy ok??? Alright, maybe the Bill Murray at Lucky Chip has a greater wow factor (hellooooo wasabi mayo + secret sauce, how not to win!?) BUT THIS WAS A GREAT BURGER ON ITS OWN MERIT. Tummytay approves.

5) Original beef burger with the works at Andrew’s Hamburgers


RLY ANNOYED BECAUSE I WAS SO FULL SO I COULDN’T FINISH MY HALF. Any burger with bacon and egg is also a winner in my books. And honestly? Andrew’s is better than The Royale Brothers whom we made the trek out to Middle Brighton to search out. Don’t know how to describe just how awesome (see, running out of adjectives) this burger is, so please just look above for the gorgeous cross section. Dammit why aren’t burgers this accessible in Singapore? WHY? (Answer: we don’t grow our own cows, that’s why.)

6) Spaghetti Scoglio & Lobster tail tagliatelle at Villa Romana Trattoria
2767No trip to Melbourne is complete without a trip to Lygon Street, even though food has been said to be a hit and miss, cos yknow as places become touristy, food standards just plummet ): But!!! THIS! WAS! SO! WOW! Alright, so the Scoglio was a bit dry for my liking and I felt there should have been a bit more white wine – yes yes I know the irony of this statement considering how alcohol and I are not friends – so as to create a nice vongole type sauce. But hey, I’m not the italian so.. ohwel. Other than it being a bitttt too dry (not ‘moist’ enough. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) it was A GREAT HEARTY DISH OF CARBS AND SEAFOOD IN A HUGE PAN. I would highly recommend this dish; it is pasta done simply and done well. The lobster tail tagliatelle was also for two, but there was a creamy sauce instead, just right to coat the pasta without it being too cloying. We loved it. Maybe a bit more than the Scoglio… but just a tiny bit.

7) HONOURABLE MENTION: Vegie Bar (no pictures though. OOPS.)
Vegie Bar is the kind of place I think Adele and I would frequent if we lived in Melbourne. It is completely vegetarian but in Singapore there tends to be this stereotype that vegetarian food = tasteless rabbit food and that there is a sense of being ripped off paying the same price for a dish that has no meat. I regret not taking pictures of the wonderful place but its menu is quirky and innovative, and EVERYTHING SOUNDED YUMMY – baked mushroom with quinoa!! vermicelli and soba salads, omg. The serving plates were also bigger than my face. Though the interior was dark, and lighting was a bit sleep inducing, I enjoyed the bar concept of it (neon lights! YAY!) and how they have managed to make vegetarian food cool.


So there was this day we were supposed to meet Ray at this lovely brunch spot in the middle of nowhere (HPSTR ALERT!), called Mart 130. Mart because it’s tram spelled backwards and it is literally right at the tram stop. Like when we stepped off the tram, crossed the tram tracks – I LOVE CROSSING TRAM TRACKS. “You are waiting for a train…” (DOES ANYONE GET THIS REFERENCE) – and there it stands, on the other side of the platform. Alright, silly me didn’t think to capture a picture of it on a digital medium – I have it in film. I think everyone should pay this a visit, I have never seen anything like it before. Just don’t make the same mistake as me and take the tram in the wrong direction (THE TRAM IS NOT TOWARDS EAST BRUNSWICK.) only to realise that we’ve gone in the wrong direction at the tram’s second last stop. #winner


3730Another thing I really enjoyed about Melbourne was the availability of great coffee. I love how serious the coffee culture is and as much as I try to pretend I’m into the whole thing, I only describe coffee as whether it is ‘gao’ enough. The best part is waking up at 10ish everyday and making a pilgrimage to a new coffee spot while Nick sleeps in (what a pig.). I enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with sitting at a coffee joint alone with my coffee and kindle. It is quite a thing to be in a city but yet be able to stay grounded and not lose yourself in it. I love it. My favourite coffee spot was a little bird told me… possibly because it was the nearest to us (ha!!) but also of it’s non-cramped space and open interiors. Brother Baba Budan‘s interior decor was incredibly quirky – a ceiling full of chairs!! but it was a bit dark for and cramped for my liking. Maybe now Singaporean hipsters will be inspired to adorn their cafes with chairs instead of just BICYCLES. Bicycles are so 2012.

Next up: Sydney!!!



Hello friends!! I know, I have been LAZY in updating but because Kenneth reminded me that I have a legacy of tummytay to upkeep/maintain/omg idk how do I describe continuing a legacy? I am BACK. It’s one of those days that I’m not swamped with work (yay!) and so more pictures too. This entry is all about L-O-N-D-O-N because I’ve visited London about 4 times this year and have had really good food thr, albeit expensive because well, it’s London. Without further ado..

The Elvis milkshake (the creme one) was outstanding, with a strong peanut butter taste coming through. I LOVE. The breakfast shake was so-so, with strawberry, bananas and oats.

Eggs Royale: Didn’t like the hollandaise sauce which was very thick.

This was the American breakfast I think. The pancakes were lousy and a disappointment. They were chewy and tough to cut. The sausage was burnt and tough, which made it really quite hard to eat. The golden syrup wasn’t enough for me and when I requested more they charged me extra for more syrup >( However, being really famished and upset from the 6-1 loss, I guess food was still… food. Can’t complain much.

I think The Breakfast Club has quite a cool concept (Wild Honey anyone?) but the food is really kind of overrated, and for the amount that I’m going to pay I can eat better elsewhere.

There was a better cafe that I went to, however…

Lantana toasted banana bread with whipped blueberry butter

Poached or scrambled eggs on white sourdough toast – I’m sorry for this picture, my lenses were dirty and it was quite difficult making a mountain of eggs look good due to my lack of photography skills

This was a quaint little cafe around Goodge area that Peter brought me to; it was AMAZING. It felt like a place where I could sit around with my cuppa (they do a mean latte by the way) and read my day away.. your typical Australian cafe, really. People were friendly, food was good, especially the banana bread with blueberry butter, OMG that one was something different – never knew how banana + blueberry could actually complement each other until now!!!!! Writing about this is making me very hungry at 12am… I want some warm banana bread now 😦

The Breakfast Club
33 D’Arblay Street
London W1F 8EU

13 Charlotte Place
London W1T 1SN

Aeroplane food, again!

So I’m very lucky to be able to eat some good food on the plane this time round again. And yes, I don’t really get to enjoy it all the time, so I’m counting my blessings that I can take pictures of such yummy food and put them on tummytay for all my loyal readers HAHAHA. Singapore is awesome, I love hot weather more than cold weather, so the weather here suits me just fine. The first meal that I had when I came back was….. truffle fries at PS Cafe with Nat & Jac. Ok, ramblings aside, pictures and foooooooooooood!!!

Refreshment from Manchester to Munich:

Baby papaya with kiwi, orange and strawberry
Pan seared salmon escalope, seasonal greens and potato with olive oil dressing

My other option was focaccia with roasted chicken and smoked mozzarella, seared tomato and basil pesto. Thinking about it now maybe I should’ve gone for the focaccia. Cos when the salmon was first served my first reaction was ‘zomg hall dinner’. But honestly, the salmon was done well, the lemon juice that was added really brought out the flavour of the fish. The potatoes were not the starchy kind that is eaten all the time in the UK. But the highlight of my meal was the fruit bowl. I think I really began to appreciate tropical fruits so much more while studying in the UK, cos maybe I hardly eat them, but whenever I buy berries they’re always fresh and sweet and bursting with juice πŸ™‚

Lunch from Munich to Singapore:


Salad of poached lobster with potato and watercress vichyssoise
THIS WAS MINDBLOWINGLY GOOD. Look, I know the green stuff looks dubious, but it’s such an eclectic mix of potato and I-don’t-know-what and it goes so well with the lobster omg. But then again, the lobster itself was already so sweet, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to eat it with the watercress vichyssoise. Omg it was such a good mix and balance of sweet and savoury and I wish they gave me more lobster I could eat this as a main IT’S SO GOOOOOOD. SIA always does lobster very well I’ve come to realise!!!! And this was a dish concocted by Gordon Ramsay specially for SIA, I think. I cannot emphasise how the flavour explodes full on into your mouth – I would rate it as one of the best dishes I’ve eaten, on par with the first time I ate pan seared foie gras at White Rabbit. Anyway, vichyssoise is ‘a thick soup made of purΓ©ed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. It is traditionally served cold, but can also be eaten hot’. Thank you Wikipedia for the definition.

Garlic bread
I ALWAYS choose the garlic bread over any other bread roll. There is this pretzel thingy in the bread basket that I’ve always wanted to try but never did. Maybe next time….. if there is a next time.

Oriental chicken soup with quail egg and mixed vegetables
Another thing SIA does right: chinese soups. This is clear soup that is full on flavour. The ingredients don’t distract you from the soup itself and make solid accompaniments to the soup. Yummy.

Pork loin in Grand Mariner sauce with roasted vegetables and sauteed potatoes
Meats are hard to do well on the plane methinks, because it’d either be tough or dry, or both. And this was a bit dry, but the meat was not as tough as I expected it to be. The Grand Mariner sauce was actually quite sweet! And it went well with the pork, though it wasn’t spectacular. I didn’t like the roasted vegetables at all, and barely touched them. While clearing my plate I was hoping that the air stewardess didn’t think that I was a spoilt brat who didn’t eat my vegetables cos I skipped salad too (I didn’t want to look like an even bigger pig by ordering every single course)

Warmed chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, tropical fruit salad and tulle
Arrrgh my chocolate cake wasn’t warm enough but it was good, as always, just like the chocolate cake in this entry. I think it’s the same cake! Anyway I liked my dessert, cake and fruits; made me feel healthy πŸ˜€ The colours just make you happy, no? And the raspberry sauce was tart, so the dessert wasn’t too sweet. It was a pretty good end to lunch. Though I think that the lobster set the standards really, really high for the other dishes.

Breakfast from Manchester to Munich:

Fresh fruit plate

French toast with maple syrup, gammon ham, frittata and roasted tomato
Ok so I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get my bee hoon soup because.. there weren’t any left. But it’s okay! Time to try something new! Between the spiced pork sausages, french toast and the fresh eggs prepared on board, I went for the french toast cos the other two reminded me of hall breakfasts heh. Anyway the french toast was a good choice, because it’s something I haven’t eaten in a while, and I LOVE MAPLE SYRUP. So maple syrup + french toast = great breakfast. The gammon ham was yummy too! Not too salty and really happy that it wasn’t the thin sort of ham you get in supermarkets πŸ™‚ The roasted tomato was good stuff. I had a croissant with blueberry jam on the side which I didn’t manage to finish but what I love most about the breakfast pastry basket is the little jars of jam that they provide on the side – choice of strawberry, marmalade, honey, etc. The croissant isn’t amazing but the blueberry jam + croissant was yummy! Maybe I should switch to blueberry jam in the future instead of strawberry jam… hmmm… Oh man writing about this makes me want to eat some french toast with maple syrup now 😦 😦 and I kind of want to watch Nikita (was eating breakfast and watching Nikita at the same time).

Oh yes, sorry for the crappy breakfast photos I really didn’t want to use flash on board the plane and it was all dark outside. I should be updating tummytay with photos from Italy (food I mean, omg the foooood so good.) soon. I’m quite excited for that, but it’s a lot of work cos we ate SUCH GOOD FOOD. And had a mini gelato trail. And yes, if you were wondering, I am fatter now. Nnnnnngh so hungry 😦

Yummy food onboard SQ 327

I flew back to Singapore about 5 days ago and I finally, finally had good food. On the aeroplane, no less. Woke up at about 6am in the morning to cab to the airport with Keith where we both checked in real fast, and even had time to visit the Lounge (which was pure crap, really.) The flight to Singapore was.. REALLY LONG. Really wanted time to pass quickly & I suppose I really looked forward to the meals (I mean who doesn’t!?)

On SQ 327 they were serving refreshments on the Manchester-Munich leg, and lunch and breakfast on the Munich-Singapore part of the journey. Because there was no one in First from the Manchester-Munich leg, I was given the Business Class menu instead of the First. On the menu were bircher museli with citrus fruits and mint (for starters), a choice of either Thai Fried Noodles with Chicken or Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce, Muffin, Roasted Tomato and Ham (Eggs Benedict I suppose?).

TBH I’m not that big a fan of muesli but I suppose the citrus segments (orange and pink grapefruit) made it refreshingly yummy. So it wasn’t so bad, but I couldn’t finish it cos I had to save space for the fried noodles yum yum – after months of being in Manchester I was looking forward to some REAL fried noodles. Even if it’s from airport catering.

I just realised I deleted the photo of the museli SIGH!!! 😦 Way to go aspiring food blogger Tay 😦 Anyway this is the noodles and honestly it was kinda gloopy – the Thai sauce, whatever it was supposed to be. I thought it’d be spicier though. Wasn’t that great a meal, but I was too happy to be eating CHINESE looking noodles that it didn’t really matter.


I found out later that the Caucasian dude who sat in my cabin on my flight from Munich to Singapore was on the Board of Directors’ of the Airline. How cool is that! I see cool people around. And there was this Asian Ugg Girl behind me. Everytime I see people on the plane I get reaaaaally curious about their life stories. And I always want to see what they choose to eat because.. I’m really nosey like that.

Satay to start with. SQ has been serving this satay for as long as i can remember, but I think the skewers have been growing skinnier in recent years πŸ˜€ The peanut sauce is still as uh, peanutty as before, but the chicken was a bit dry. I don’t eat mutton so I didn’t touch the last stick! But it was really comforting to eat satay after so long away from proper Singaporean food.

Lobster salpicon with brunoise of vegetables
We were given a choice between the lobster and fresh malossol caviar, but I didn’t feel like being a risk taker that day so lobster it was! AND IT WAS A VERY, VERY GOOD CHOICE. Frankly I have no idea what the words salpicon and brunoise meant. From wikipedia, Salpicon is a term in French cuisine applied to a preparation consisting of one or more ingredients, diced or minced, and bound with a sauce. The resulting mixture is used to stuff tartlets, canapΓ©s, croquettes, rissoles, timbales, vol-au-vents, croustades, eggs, roulades, etc, while Brunoise is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is first julienned and then turned a quarter turn and diced again, producing cubes of a side length of about 3 mm or less on each side. OMG this is one of the best things I’ve tasted in a while. The lobster was sweet and the brunoise of vegetables was a savoury resulting in a complete flavour explosion in the mouth because they just complement each other so well. Honestly though I thought it was EGG MAYO only with vegetables. IKR, way to ruin the atas image of this dish. But this was really the star of lunch! And possibly the entire plane ride, apart from dessert. Writing about it is making me hungry..

Also, I skipped the soups: puree of white bean soup with black truffles, or chinese chicken soup with herbs.

Classic Caesar Salad
The romaine was fresh and crisp (something that is pretty hard to achieve on an aeroplane, I should think!), there was a lot of real bacon in the salad, and shavings of parmesan (something I cannot appreciate – don’t like cheese), the croutons added a real crunch to the salad and the dressing was just right, not overpowering. I would say the dressing might even be too little for the average person, but I was content with it! I really liked the kick in the garlic dressing.

Stir fried beef with sesame and honey, stir fried bamboo shoot, gingko nuts, carrot, bok choy and steamed rice
After the first two winners, I thought that this was going to be the BEST MEAL ever on SQ. But alas it wasn’t meant to be. This wasn’t amazing. It was.. average I suppose. The cuts of beef were good – tender and generally done pretty well and the rice wasn’t too dry.. but the sesame and honey sauce was too salty. And I like salty food. What a pity really, if not it would have been amazing. The bok choy was also overcooked but I suppose they had to microwave the entire dish together so it couldn’t have been helped.

Warm chocolate cake with rum infused raisin and espresso icecream
It was more of a pudding than a cake! But no complaints at all!!! I love steamed pudding, and what more, warm chocolate pudding yummmm. Not a big chocolate fan, but all I can say is, it tasted as good as it looked. Best part was that the chocolate pudding wasn’t too sweet, so the espresso icecream really went very well with it.


Keith came over halfway through the flight and we wanted to ‘pop bottles on the ice’ (a la Like a G6) for a certain Genia Kek and take picture of it HAHA but we didn’t in the end lest we piss the stewardess off. The plane ride got pretty turbulent for a while though so it was kinda freaky. I pigged on paprika chips and grapes while watching Hawaii Five-O πŸ˜€

Breakfast was: juice to start the day, a fresh fruit plate, choice of cornflakes/birchermuseli, choice of main: wanton mee, glutinous rice wrapped in leaf, eggs benedict, fresh free range scrambled/baked eggs, choice of breakfast pastry, coffee or tea to round things up. I went for the fresh fruit and the main, skipped everything else. I tried the croissant but it was too tough to handle and wasn’t impressive at all, a far cry from the warm and toasted garlic bread they serve usually.

Fruit plate with Iced Mocha (instead of the juice I asked for Iced Mocha)! Well, the fruit plate was very colourful, with quite a variety of fruits so it was not bad I suppose. How horrible can fruits get anyway?!

Wanton Mee
I always choose the soup options for breakfast because soup isn’t readily available on the plane and I’ve had good experiences with the soup options on board before – particularly the fish meat noodles which I had once. This was quite a good choice I would think. I was surprised that the wantons were made from minced prawn though, I thought they would have given a complete shrimp wanton! The egg noodles were a bit soggy, sort of like the kind that Genia would like, but I like my noodles firm to the bite, so the noodles were so-so to me. The broth, as usual was amazing and flavoursome but really what made the meal pretty awesome was the addition of the fried shallots. It’s so strange what little fried pieces of onion can do, but it really made the me enjoy the meal more πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

The most comprehensive entry on this little blog to date! And I have loads of pictures coming up soon – a great cafe in Manchester, a ramen place in Singapore (still wondering if I should review this), or if I get lazy, just pictorials of food that I’ve been eating at home! πŸ˜€