Friday, April 18, 2014

Lola's Cafe @ Simon Road


I always tell my foodie friends that I find it hard to review establishments near my place because I will always tell myself I have time to check it out another day. Instead I will make all sort of efforts to travel to the other end of the island for good food. It is contradicting isn't it. Nevertheless, thanks to Charleen and Kimberley who have journey down to my hood, I managed to drag my lazy feet to meet them and finally get to check out Lola's Cafe at Simon Road which is like a bus stop away from where I am staying.

Latte 3.5/5

Lola's Cafe uses coffee beans from Dutch Colony. The blend that they used is pretty smooth drinking but the Latte ($4.50/$5.50) was lacking that sweet bitterness body that I personally preferred.

Organic Chai Tea Latte 4/5

Charleen is not a coffee drinker so she has gone for the Organic Chai Tea Latte ($5). Bonus point for the beautiful latte art.

Honey and Paprika Wings 4.2/5

I have been very skeptical about cafe food because it usually turns out bad rather than good. I can't really blame them because their focus is different. However saying that, there are cafes that are worthy of going back for the food and one such place is Lola's Cafe. We started off with the Honey and Paprika Wings ($9 for 8 pieces). Most cafe will probably just marinated the chicken, deep fried it and served with either ketchup or chilli sauce. I applauded the effort behind the menu and creation to pair it with honey and paprika. The chicken was deep fried to a nice crisp while retaining the juiciness inside. The spices and honey further lifted the flavours for a common finger snack.

Avocado Eggs Benedict 4.2/5

Brunch at Lola's Cafe is served between 10am to 3pm. Basically there are only 5 items in the brunch menu. We had the Avocado Eggs Benedict ($15) that has 2 beautifully poached eggs resting on slices of avocado, ham and a very soft brioche bread. Very delectable combination that was beaming with sunshine.

Mushroom and Cheese Toast 4/5

The Mushroom Melt ($10) is a good change to the usual French Toast or traditional Kaya Toast. The melted mozzarella cheese with mushroom and brioche bread did surprise me how 3 simple components can come together to be an excellent dish.

I am glad that there is such a nice cafe in the heartland near my place. Besides the friendly service, the friendly pricing of not more than $16 on the menu is very reasonable with the portion and delicious offering. I do look forward to try their dinner items in the very near future if I managed to drag my lazy feet out of the house.

Lola's Cafe
5 Simon Road
Singapore 545893
Tel: +65 62840349
Nearest MRT: Kovan (NE Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Thu: 10am - 1130pm
Fri-Sat: 10am - 12midnight
Sun: 10am - 1130pm
(Closed on Mon)

1) Alight at Kovan MRT station. Take Exit B. Walk straight to the traffic junction of Upper Serangoon Road and Simon Road. Cross the road and walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Red House Seafood (小红楼) @ Prinsep Street


Red House Seafood (小红楼) has been one of my favourite seafood restaurants to go for Chilli Crab all these years. Now there are more reasons for me to go to Red House Seafood (小红楼). Besides its centralize location at Prinsep Street which is near to Bras Basah MRT station, the restaurant is introducing a host of new dishes, set lunch ($38++ for 2pax) and 2 set dinner ($388++ for 6pax) in celebration of its 38th anniversary this year at its Prinsep Street outlet only from now until 30 June 2014.

The two celebratory set dinners feature both "Modern" and "Signatures" menu. During my visit, I got to try the 7 course Modern Set Dinner ($388++ for 6pax) that includes a bottle of Champagne or premium white wine or 2 jugs of tiger beer. The modern set dinner menu features a bounty of sustainable seafood that is specially sourced from the pristine waters of Scotland and flown in 3 times a week.

Chilled Spicy Whelks 3/5

The set dinner kicked off with a refreshing Chilled Spicy Whelks ($35) that is lightly tossed in a sweet and spicy Thai dressing and topped with mango and onions. I felt that the onion was a bit overpowering. A bit more of acidity may help to whet up the appetite even more.

Scottish Blue Lobster coated with Sweet Mayonnaise 4/5

Caught using environmental friendly methods and flown all the way from Scotland, the Scottish Blue Lobster coated with Sweet Mayonnaise ($148/Kg) is firm and has a natural sweetness that was further lifted by the sweet mayonnaise sauce. Simple and delicious, allowing the natural sweetness of the flesh to shine.

Garlic Steamed Megrim Fish 4.2/5

A change from the usual Seabass and Grouper is the Garlic Steamed Megrim Fish ($100/Kg), an uncommon flat fish from the turbot family. I always enjoyed my fish steamed with just garlic, spring onions and quality soy sauce. I really enjoy the silky texture and the delicate taste of the megrim fish. I hope more restaurants will be serving this in the near future.

Scottish Brown Crabs in White Pepper 4.2/5

Singaporean loves their crabs and Red House is well known for its Chilli Crab. It was even voted as best chilli crab in 2008 by Time Out Singapore Magazine. The latest creation of the Scottish Brown Crabs in White Pepper ($58/Kg) may probably be another award winning dish with its fragrant and spicy white pepper version that complements the flaky flesh.

Oyster Yuan Yang Hor Fun 4.2/5

A must try at Red House Seafood is the Oyster Yuan Yang Hor Fun ($20) that comes with deep fried swirls of hor fun and fragrant wok fried rice noodles in a delicious gravy, covered by a bed of egg and huge oysters. A very scrumptious and luxurious execution of a common zi char dish that is worth every penny.

Chilled Lime Sherbet 4/5 and Chilled Mango Pomelo with Sago 4/5

End the seven course dinner with a plate of daily greens and dessert. I did not have the greens as I am already too full but I tried both the Chilled Lime Sherbet with Lemongrass Jelly ($6.80) and Chilled Pomelo with Sago ($4.80) which were both very good and refreshing. I was asked for my preference but I could not made up my mind. So do save space for both desserts.

Spicy Seafood Combination 4.5/5

Another dish that I tried is the Spicy Seafood Combination ($28/$42/$56) which comes as a choice between the steamed megrim fish in the modern set dinner and creamy custard prawns in the signatures set dinner. The luxurious pot of seafood is cooked in a very delish gravy that is made up of red chilli, evaporated milk, lemon grass, kaffir lime and some other ingredients. The gravy goes very well with some fried buns too.

Steamed Chilli Crab Bun 4.2/5

Not to be missed at Red House Seafood is their Steamed Chilli Crab Bun ($8 for 3pc). They do also have the fried version but I like the soft pillowy texture steamed bun which paired very well with the chilli crab filling. I only wished that I can have a bit more of the crab meat in the filling.

Conveniently located in the heart of town in a beautifully restored three storey shophouse, it is also an idea place for working professionals to enjoy its new 5 course set lunch at only $38++ for 2 persons. The affordable set lunch comes with a Dim Sum basket of siew mai, mixed mushroom dumpling, scallop & chives dumpling and oven baked char siew pau. This is followed by Creamy Custard Prawns, Oyster Yuan Yang Hor Fun, Fried Daily Greens and Durian Mochi. A really value for money set lunch for 2 persons.

Red House Seafood (小红楼)
68 Prinsep Street
Singapore 188661
Tel: +65 6336 6080
Nearest MRT: Bras Basah (CC Line)

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 1130am -230pm, 5pm - 1030pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 11am - 1030pm

1) Alight at Bra Basah MRT station. Take Exit D or E. Walk to junction of Bras Basah Road and Prinsep Street. Turn right onto Prinsep Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 8 minutes.


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