River Safari, Singapore

As part of the Buddy Programme at SMU, we had an outing to the newly opened River Safari.

River Safari is the newest wildlife park opened by Wildlife Reserves Singapore, and is inspired by the world’s most famous rivers such as the Mekong, Nile and Yangtze. While I am a big fan of the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, the River Safari failed to impress as I felt that it was quite barren compared to the other parks. Of course, the highlight of River Safari is the Giant Panda Forest, home of Kai Kai and Jia Jia – the pair of giant pandas which is a gift from China to celebrate 20 years of Sino-Singapore relations. But mind you, it is just a 10 year loan.

IMG_6514Kathy, Anton, Dj and I (at my chubbiest)

The Amazon River Quest is a boat ride that brings you through “the Amazon”, showcasing many species of wildlife from the Amazon. That was pretty fun too, I guess. However, like how the trams are at the zoo and Night Safari, you may not get to see the animals if the timing is not right, since the boat will not stop. Fortunately, we got to see the jaguar, which was to me, the highlight of the whole ride.

IMG_6541 IMG_6544 Spider monkey

IMG_6553 Brazilian tapir

IMG_6558 Jaguar

IMG_6563Flamingoes – always an amusing bunch

IMG_6569 My buddy and I

IMG_6572The lovely couple

Of course, no trip to River Safari would be complete without having a meal or a little snack at Mama Panda House, the resident café serving up Chinese food such as bamboo (surprise, surprise) rice and their signature Panda Paus. I am a HUGE fan of paus, especially red bean pau, so I ordered one for myself. These paus do not cost the same as paus we get at neighbourhood food centres; they cost about $2.90 each but they are also bigger than they kopitiam compatriates. The paus also come in Chocolate Custard flavour. The paus look adorable, almost too cute to eat. Almost. To make it more bearable, eat the eyes and nose first, then you will have the heart to devour these yummy paus. They were soft and fluffy, and filled with a generous amount of red bean paste. Yup, worth the $2.90. Almost as yummy as the $2.50 tau sar pau at 40 Hands.

IMG_6576 Red bean Panda Pau from Mama Panda House

IMG_6584 Posing with the pandas outside Mama Panda House

IMG_6586 Gazing at the long bridge that connects the park, it felt like I was transported back to the past. This somehow looks very “kampong” like.


We wandered into the Giant Panda Forest. Other than the famous giant pandas, it is also home to the red panda, which reminded me of a reddish-brown racoon.

IMG_6594 Just hanging

We spotted one panda lazing and grazing. Not sure if it was Jia Jia or Kai Kai.

IMG_6599 IMG_6612

Suddenly, we heard some rustling, and saw the other panda scurrying from one side of the exhibit to the other. Just like paparazzi, we followed suit with our cameras, capturing photo after photo of the panda.

IMG_6623 They really are the celebrities of the River Safari.

Towards the end, we saw the alligators of the Yangtze as well as the giant catfish of the Mekong.IMG_6636 Close up of a Chinese alligator

IMG_6643Giant catfish

Thank you SMU for organising this trip for our buddies! Although I felt that it was pretty disappointing compared to the zoo, I am hoping that River Safari has gotten better since last year when we visited since I believe it is now fully operational.

River Safari, Singapore

Brunch at Carpenter and Cook

Finally met up with Hector after he got discharged from the hospital a few weeks ago. I felt really bad because I was supposed to visit him at his place, but I got too caught up with my own things, preparing for exchange etc. We chose a place as close as possible to his place, so that it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle for him to hobble down with his crutches. He’s so nice, he wanted it to be convenient for us too, but we insisted. Anyway, Lorong Kilat is a walkable distance from the 961 bus stop that drops close to Beauty World. I never realised that Carpenter and Cook was so close to the Chicken House, which I always saw across the street from Ng Kim Lee Confectionary at Chun Tin Road. ImageImageImageThe cafe has a very artsy vibe to it, with interesting antiques on display and on sale. We arrived at about noon and it was empty. I’m guessing it’s more of a tea place as they don’t serve a lot of savoury items on their menu as compared to sweet items such as their cakes and tarts. It’s not the typical eggs benedict kind of brunch place.

We saw many interesting antique items on sale. Mirrors, clocks, crockery, tea sets and lights just to name a few. I kept looking around while waiting for Hector to arrive. It’s safe to say I wouldn’t get bored here waiting.ImageImageImageImageClockwise from top left: The Swirly Bun, Passionfruit Meringue Tart, Banoffee Tart, Cook’s Amazing Quiche served with side salad.

ImageThe Swirly Bun – $5

I know it seems extremely pricey for a bun, but the Swirly Bun was amazing! The brioche was so soft and fluffy. I just went “mmm!” when I ate it. Stuffed with ham, tomato (or was it red pepper) and topped with cheese, it was yummy. I much prefer it to the quiche. So if you’re looking for something savoury, the Swirly Bun beats the quiche!ImageCook’s Amazing Quiche (Spinach and Tomato), served with side salad – $7

Also a little pricey for its size, the quiche was just average. They were serving two kinds of quiche, the spinach and tomato one that we ordered, as well as a bacon version, but we chose the spinach because the staff recommended it. Well, maybe if it was warm, it might have tasted better. I just picked at the crust, as I always do with any sort of pastry.

ImageBanoffee Tart – $6.50

We had to order the Banoffee Tart! Hann Khee and I are obsessed with Banoffee, ever since we had that obscenely good one at Delicious last year. However, this was no where as awesome. In my opinion, it was a little too light, with more cream, and too little banana and toffee. The sprinkling of cocoa powder on top of the cream also made it a little too bitter for us. We tasted a little hint of coffee powder, but maybe it was just the bitterness of the cocoa. I wouldn’t say it was bad, it would probably taste good to someone who isn’t making a comparison.

ImageImageImagePassionfruit Meringue Tart – $6.50 and Cinnamon Tea – $5

We ordered the Passionfruit Meringue Tart also because Ivy and I fell in love with the one we had at Overdoughs a couple of months back. Once again, this paled in comparison, but wasn’t bad. This was not as tart as the one at Overdoughs, the meringue wasn’t as sweet or anywhere as sticky, and the crust is a simple one, unlike Overdoughs’, which is a cornflake crust. I would have preferred it to be at least a little more tart. (Review of Overdoughs here and here)

Ivy and I also ordered a pot of hot cinnamon tea to share. The cinnamon tea has a slightly sweet aftertaste. It very much reminded me of the oatmeal I have for breakfast. I love cinnamon. I put cinnamon in a lot of things that I bake because it simply has the best smell coming out of the oven 🙂

ImageChocolate Sea Salt Caramel Tart – $6.50

After finishing our initial four orders, we ordered the Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Tart. I wanted to order it at first, but no one seconded me! Anyway, the staff did recommend this tart, and I was eyeing it because I had read many good reviews for this tart. How could you go wrong with chocolate and sea salt caramel?! The sweet and salty flavours combined perfectly. I declare this the winner in the tart battle.

At about 2pm, the cafe started filling up and was fully packed as we were about to leave.
ImageMy lovely friends. Two injured fools and the beautiful Ivy, all coincidentally dressed in shades of blue.

No more meet ups with friends, for I am leaving for Europe tomorrow! Just the last few items to pack and I’m all set. I can’t wait. It’s going to be an epic adventure 🙂

Carpenter and Cook

Website: http://www.carpenterandcook.com/

19 Lorong Kilat

#01-06, Singapore 598120

Operating hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays: 10am – 10pm
Sundays: 10am – 7pm
Closed on Mondays

Tel: 6463 3648

Brunch at Carpenter and Cook

Brunch at Hatched

Finally met up with my favourite people, the Muay Thai peeps. Ho Seh Bo, Tok, and my angels, Ivy and Cindy 🙂

Headed to Hatched for brunch. I have been meaning to try Hatched for the longest time! However, just a couple of days before this brunch, I read a review from a popular food blogger on Hatched that was rather disappointing. Apparently, all the poached egg dishes he ordered weren’t runny. We still gave it a shot though!



A little spoilt for choice. They have such a good menu. Pretty much everything sounds good. They have a very nicely designed menu, colourful and the some of their dishes have cute names such as Popeye’s Salute and Burly Benedict.




Our dear Wei Guang couldn’t make it for brunch, so we made sure his presence was still felt 😛


They have cute Easter egg salt and pepper shakers too!


The best thing about eating in a large group is you get to order a variety and pick at everyone’s food.

Hatched allows you to choose between just one, or two eggs for their poached egg dishes. I was starving because Cindy and I gymmed in the morning before brunch. So proud of us, that we managed to reach SMU gym by 9.30am to work out.


Popeye’s Salute: Creamed spinach on English muffin, topped with poached egg and served with homemade mash – $19 for 2

I much prefer the Eggs Florentine Cindy and I had at Canopy. Though this one feels more “clean”, the creamed spinach was hardly creamed and tasted a little too raw for my liking. The mash that came with the dishes was yummy! The mushroom gravy that topped it knocked the ball right out of the park! The poached egg was also runny. YAY!


Sir Benedict: English muffin topped with smoked ham, streaky bacon, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce and served with homemade mash – $19 for 2

The classic benedict. I found this much better than the Popeye’s Salute. Everything tastes better with bacon! Runny yolk, check! Not the best eggs benedict I’ve had – I still love love love the one at Rider’s, but definitely not bad.


El Chorizo: Scrambled eggs cooked with Chorizo, served with toast, baked tomato and homemade mash – $16

I love spicy Chorizo, but this one was… Ok. Nothing special, I guess. I remember a slight sour aftertaste that I didn’t quite like. The eggs, however, were done pretty well. Ho Seh Bo commented that the Chorizo tasted like Chinese sausage or 腊肠. Well, slightly.


Oozy Baked Eggs: Two eggs baked with bacon, cream, mushrooms and tomatoes, with cheese oozing on the top, served with toast – $12

I ordered the baked eggs for myself. I have fallen in love with baked eggs ever since I had a taste of it at Cafe Epicurious. Although the one at Cafe Epicurious wasn’t as oozy as I liked (the cheese was a little cold by the time it got to me), it was still delicious. We all agreed that the baked eggs here is the most worth it dish. At only $12, the serving is pretty big. It was fully loaded with bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes and sweet onions as well. It was also perfectly oozy. Look at the stringy cheese!


I am also a big fan of pesto 😀 Pesto + eggs + bacon + cheese. Yum. My only complaint about this dish is that the toast was already cold by the time it got to me. A little hard, so I only ate one.



The Designer with tomatoes, mushroom, cheese, onions and bacon, served with toast – $14

Tok ordered the Designer omelette after his single Sir Benedict wasn’t sufficient. This was pretty good too. They’re very generous with the ingredients, so the omelette was pretty stuffed. I’m not sure how many eggs went into this omelette but it was huge! Definitely worth it!

All in all, I’d say Hatched is a pretty good place if you’re looking to satisfy your egg cravings. Although it seems a little expensive, the servings are bigger than usual, so it does justify the price. I’d go back just for the Oozy Baked Eggs. I hit the jackpot with that order! The place is pretty crowded on weekends. We went on a Saturday at noon, but we remembered to make a reservation so we didn’t have a problem. The cafe was at full capacity throughout our meal and many people were queueing outside as well, so do make a reservation just in case!

Hatched @ Holland Village

Website: http://www.hatched.sg/

267 Holland Avenue

Singapore 278989

Tel: 6463 0012

Opening Hours: 9am to 11pm (Last Order: 10.30pm)
Closed on Mondays


I’ll miss you people! Only slightly over a month to exchange ):


Brunch at Hatched

Breakfast at Casa Verde, Singapore Botanic Gardens

Looks like I almost forgot to blog about the brunch I had on the Father’s Day weekend. Decided to choose somewhere more scenic for breakfast, so we decided on Casa Verde at the Botanic Gardens for some good food, good views and canine company!


Casa Verde is under the Les Amis Group, which also owns Canele and Peperoni Pizzeria, as well as other popular outlets. Casa Verde, which means “green house” in Italian, is very appropriately located at both the Botanic Gardens and Gardens by the Bay.

The cafe was easy to find, just beside the entrance near the carpark.

ImageI spotted the beautiful Golden Retriever and quickly took the seat beside! 🙂

ImageHann Khee and Woofy

The breakfast menu is available from 7.30am to 11am and consists of the usual egg dishes, big breakfasts, as well as local fare, such as Mee Siam and Laksa. I was craving for some scrambled eggs, so Hann Khee and I ordered the Gourmet Breakfast set, as well as a Cinnamon French Toast to share.

ImageGourmet Breakfast – Choice of fried or scrambled eggs, mushrooms, back bacon, Cumberland sausage, hash brown, grilled tomato & toasts – $15

The serving for the Gourmet Breakfast was HUGE. I definitely would not be able to finish it by myself. So at $15, it was really worth it. The scrambled eggs were soft and creamy, but not too mushy, and was perfect with the toast. The pretty much ate all the mushrooms because Hann Khee doesn’t eat mushrooms, and he ate the bacon since I don’t really take bacon. The mushrooms were yummy. Mushrooms are always a good idea! It is sheer blasphemy to not like mushrooms! Especially when they are sauteed in butter and garlic!


ImageCinnamon French toast with strawberries & maple syrup – $8.50

We were deciding whether to get the French toast, wondering if the bread used would be the everyday, thin, store-bought sandwich bread. Fortunately, when it arrived the bread was thicker than we expected and so neatly and elegantly arranged. A really pretty dish from all angles! Perfectly parallel, they seem to take a lot of pride in their presentation, which is always a plus! I found this pretty filling as well, but I finished my share anyway because it was so good! The French toast was not too eggy, and the cinnamon, and maple syrup went so well together.


Woofy can smell the bacon!

ImageBrunch buddy and me.


Casa Verde

Website: http://www.lesamis.com.sg/

1 Cluny Road

Visitor Centre, Singapore Botanical Gardens

Singapore 259569

Tel: 6467 7326

Breakfast at Casa Verde, Singapore Botanic Gardens

Overdoughs. Again.

Back to Overdoughs this week because every thing there just looks so darn good. I think if anyone were to ask me where to go for dessert, Overdoughs would be my number one recommendation. There’s still lots that I haven’t tried, but I’ll pace myself. Here’s my previous post on my small treat at Overdoughs and my surprise birthday dinner at Artichoke, and the wonderful Middle Eastern fare, and the BEST EVER date pudding: https://marymaddierose.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/my-birthday-celebration-and-reviews/


Remember this Roasted Banana Muffin?

Headed down to Overdoughs for brunch with Ivy and Joe. It was a hot hot day.






Overdoughs and Artichoke’s edible garden

As usual, I didn’t know what to order because the selection is really good, but there’s only three of us.


Didn’t expect there to be anything other than dessert, but they had some pita bread and meat for lunch. We decided to go for the Shish Taouk (Lebanese Roast Chicken) Pita.


Shish Taouk (Lebanese Roast Chicken) Pita – $8.50

Marinated in yogurt and baharat, the chicken was so nice and tender. I could do with more spice though. It was topped with lots of onion and cabbage, which I didn’t particularly enjoy, especially the onions. I think we probably left all the onions on the side. Don’t get me wrong, I love onions, just not when I’m eating out and have to go about the day with onion breath!



We asked for the sauces on the side because Ivy doesn’t take spicy food. They weren’t spicy though. I really liked the Zhug, or green chilli sauce, but I think the Ezme, or Turkish tomato salsa could use some spice kick.

Other than Shish Taouk, they also serve Turkish beef meatballs and nachos, if I recall. Maybe the meatballs would have been better? Would love to try that next. I’d imagine the meatballs would be a little more flavourful than the roast chicken.


As I was saying, it was a terribly hot day, and those who have visited Overdoughs would know that it is outdoor dining. We chose a bench that was partially shaded, and it sure helped that Overdoughs installed some fans around as well. We were perspiring, but our drink was really refreshing!


Homemade Mint and Basil Lemonade – $4

I had this drink before the last time I visited Overdoughs with Hann Khee, and we have been raving about it since then. The addition of the pomegranate seeds adds some sweetness to the otherwise slightly sour lemonade. The mint and basil is from their edible garden.

My mum makes orange sweet tea with mint, Southern style, but I’ve never had basil in a drink before. It’s good! We call it the miracle water. Definitely a must-have on a hot summer day.

Next up, dessert! Hard time choosing between the tarts, cakes, brownies, muffins and Turkish desserts. The tarts looked really good though, and they have interesting flavours like passionfruit, soursop, pineapple and Snickers.  Next time, I’m definitely going for the flourless cake and the killer looking, nut-studded brownie!

Ultimately, we decided to give the passionfruit meringue tart a go.


Passionfruit Meringue Tart – $5.40

Looks good, doesn’t it? 🙂

Lovely toasted meringue swirls. It tastes great too! The best thing about this tart is its crust, which is made of cornflakes. Crunchy!


The passionfruit curd was smooth and slightly tart, and balanced well with the sweet and sticky toasted marshmallow meringue.

However, we had a hard time eating the tart. The cutlery available was made of plastic and the crust was hard to break into. Other than that, no complaints here!


Turkish Milk Pudding

Didn’t get to try this Turkish pudding. Joe ordered this one. He did, however, comment that there’s just too many things on top for his liking.


Looking forward to my next visit to Overdoughs! Maybe before I leave for exchange in a month’s time.


Website: http://www.overdoughs.com/

161 Middle Road, Sculpture Square

Singapore 188978


And here’s my pretty BFF, Ivy WAH!



Overdoughs. Again.