Food Review: Assembly Coffee

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Assembly Coffee is sandwiched between Mr Prata and The Wine Company at Evans Lodge. Its premises are very small but attracts large crowds. There are few items on the food menu and its list of drinks seems to be more lengthy than the food menu.

I came here on a Saturday morning and I’m pretty sure there can’t be a worse time to visit a cafe. The tables were very close together so everyone was kind of squeezed. The cafe was also full of chatter and it just didn’t give off a cosy and chill vibe.

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Iced Chocolate ($6)

To kick-start a series of letdowns, we were served a way-below average drink. We saw how they made this drink – they put a scoop of vanilla ice cream, filled half the cup with Meiji Milk, poured some chocolate sauce and lastly, sprinkled some chocolate powder on top. It was pretty pathetic, to say the least. I’d hate to give bad reviews but really, there’s no nicer way to put it and I feel that everyone should know about it. It’s also very overpriced and my friend commented that the ice cream tasted like the ones from the supermarket.

image Ham & Cheese Crossiant ($6.50)

This was so-so. It was one of the better dishes that we had ordered. The crossiant was decent and there was nothing special to it, although some people have raved about it.

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B.E.T Sandwich ($13.50)
Streaky bacon, sunny-side egg, malted mature cheddar sandwich topped with argula

This was a delicious and heartwarming sandwich. However, on the downside, there was a lot of cheese and it got a bit jelat (singlish for when you have too much of something and get sick of it) at the end.

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Salmon and Eggs ($15)
Atlantic smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, homemade cream cheese greek yoghurt served on toast

Hopefully they were just having a bad day, because this dish wasn’t that great either. The scrambled eggs were creamy and fluffy but tasteless. The rocket leaves provided the extra kick that the dish needed. On the other hand, the smoked salmon came in large, thick slices and was not overly seasoned.

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Chocolate & Strawberries Waffle ($11.50)
Homemade chocolate sauce, fresh strawberries, topped with vanilla ice cream

This was the saving dish of the day. The waffles are a must-try at Assembly Coffee and I really recommend them as well. The waffles are crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside. They didn’t become soft or soggy despite the ice cream placed on top. This is truly waffle heaven.

Overall, Assembly Coffee has a few hits and misses. Their staff are friendly and waffles to-die-for, but the rest of the food is average and their interior is way too small.

Will I return again? Not really, no. I think that it’s overpriced and it’s relatively inaccessible. Unless I’m nearby and I have a strong desire for waffles, I’d skip this cafe.

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Rating:
Food
7/10
Aesthetic
6.5/10
Price
6/10
Service
8/10

ASSEMBLY COFFEE
26 Evans Lodge, Singapore 259367
(Nearest train station: Botanic Gardens)
Tel: 6735 5647

Opening hours:
Tue – Sun: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm

http://assembly.sg/

Food Review: MELT ~ The World Cafe – Mandarin Oriental Hotel

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I wish my stomach was a bottomless pit, especially at buffets.

My parent’s 25th Wedding Anniversary definitely called for a celebration and what better option than to treat ourselves to a feast? In my humble opinion, I feel that Melt – The World Cafe is the best buffet in Singapore, in terms of spread and overall food quality.

Sadly, I didn’t manage to take pictures of everything but I tried my best.

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Cold seafood section consisted of crabs, lobsters, scallops and mussels. They were extremely fresh! However, I was a tad disappointed because I read that were oysters and I didn’t see any.

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Salad section: For the people who want to fool themselves they’re being healthy at a buffet

I walked past this without a second glance.

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Japanese section: Skipped all of these but my brother said the salmon sashimi was very good. I’d say save your stomach space for the other food.

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Anti-pasti

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Bread

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Indian section: My dad liked the naans and curry a lot. I thought it was decent but Carousell wins this one.

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Roasted Chicken

Chinese section: There was roasted chicken. Sometimes there’ll be roasted duck and pork too. They also have noodles of the day, ranging from lor mee to laksa. We got laksa with lobster meat in it and my dad said it wasn’t too bad.

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Grainfed Australian Cereal-crusted Beef

Roasts section: This was sooooo good. It was cooked to perfection. Three words describe this roast: juicy, tender, flavourful.

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BBQ Section: This was my favourite part of the buffet. There was BBQ area outside which served grilled meats like chicken, beef, lamb and also satays. There was also suckling pig and lobster!! The grilled meats were well-seasoned, and had that charred and smoky taste to them.

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From left to right: Tandoori meats, grilled lamb, roast beef, grilled lobster

Unpictured from the buffet are: Live Pasta station, Cheese section, Thai section, Mediterranean section

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Honestly, I’d to love shrink and become small enough to swim in that fountain of chocolate.

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Bread and Butter Pudding was very good. There was a distinct eggy taste which I liked although it was a bit on the sweet side.

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Second best cake from the buffet, the first being “The Melt”, a fudgy chocolate cake which is not picture.

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Pandan Layer Cake(background) was too sweet for my liking and Red Velvet Cake(foreground) was dry and tasteless.

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New York Cheesecake and a chocolate-y cake at the back. I prefer the latter but the former was decent.

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Creme puffs on the left and some type of chocolate on the right. Heard there were supposed to be macarons so I was really upset there weren’t any.

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There was a live waffle station!!

I loved these waffles. Unfortunately, they are inconsistent in their waffles. The first one I ate was crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It also didn’t turn soggy with the ice cream on top. When I went for my second round, the waffles were a bit burnt and turned super soft.

Moreover, the first round of my ice cream was more ice than cream. Despite this, when I came for my second round, the ice cream had become smooth and rich as they had gotten a new batch.

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Additionally, there was a splendid array of fruits at the buffet. From bananas to yellow watermelon, you name it and they probably have it.

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There were also some thai desserts and local kuehs that I didn’t try.

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This buffet definitely made me melt, both literally and metaphorically. It very impressive and is one of the rare buffets that I actually prefer the savoury stuff to the desserts. Nevertheless, everything was delicious. My family came here for dinner and I’d to love to come again to try their brunch buffet or anything really.

Rating:
Food
9/10
Aesthetic
7/10
Price
7/10
Service
8/10

MELT – THE WORLD CAFE
5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797
Tel: 6885 3500

Opening hours:
Breakfast: 6.30am – 10.30am
Lunch: 12.00pm – 2.30pm
Brunch: 12.00pm – 3pm (Sundays)
Dinner: 6.30pm – 9.30pm

http://www.mandarinoriental.com/singapore/fine-dining/melt-the-world-cafe/

Food Review: Department of Caffeine

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Hidden in a corner along Duxton Road, finding this cafe was no easy feat, especially with its dull and dark exterior which did not give the impression that it was a café. However, Department of Caffeine (D.O.C) has a clean, cozy atmosphere which is perfect for lazy days when you just want to spend the rest of your day there.

Prior to coming here, my friend had called to make reservations for 1pm. Having lost our way, she called them, saying that we’d be late. The guy on the line was very nice and told us that he’d wait for us. Thumbs up for service!

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The menu is pretty extensive, offering a wide range of food, from the usual breakfast foods to main courses like Roast Chicken and Poached Salmon. Popular items are the D.O.C. Breakfast Platter – which comes served to you on a wooden board – and Buttermilk Waffles with Butter Rum Bananas and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

For the drinks, we shared an Iced Chocolate ($8). There was no ice so I’d say this drink is worth the price because it also came with a scoop of the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and was very rich in chocolate. It was a bit too thick to drink it on its own so we waited for the ice cream to melt for it to mix with the chocolate drink.

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Smoked Salmon Scramble ($15)
Baby spring onion scrambled eggs, dill dressed smoked salmon on brown butter toasted english muffins

The scrambled eggs were cooked just right – creamy and soft. The smoked salmon was a bit on the raw side which I didn’t like, but that’s to my preference. Unfortunately, the toasted english muffin was overdone and it was too crispy. On the other hand, all the ingredients came together in perfect medley and complemented each other very well.

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Main & Regular Salad ($15)
Roast Chicken with lemon, sumac, za’atar + Chargrilled Broccoli with chilli, garlic, lemon

I didn’t try the salad so I can’t comment on it but the chargrilled broccoli was good. I love love broccoli and they were generous in their portions. The roast chicken had crispy skin and the meat was very tender. It was so succulent, juicy and all the other adjectives you can think of to describe the best roast chicken. This dish is also bursting with flavour and I totally recommend getting this because it is also a cheaper yet satisfying item.

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Buttermilk Waffles ($15)
with New Zealand Natural premium vanilla ice cream & butter rum bananas

You can’t imagine how long we took to take pictures of this. Surprisingly, the ice cream didn’t melt very fast. Additionally, the waffles were done just the way I like them – crunchy and the inside light as air. Despite that, they didn’t stay crispy for long and became soft quickly after we began eating them. I think the batter also had a strong cinnamon taste which I quite liked and thought it went well with the butter rum bananas. The bananas were smothered in an irresistible butter rum sauce, were firm and not too mushy. This is dish would be great for those with a sweet tooth and is the perfect way to end off the meal.

Overall, this cafe is ideal for a good hearty brunch with good company! In my honest opinion, I would totally revisit this cafe to try their poached salmon and churros. Better yet, it has no GST and service charge.

Rating:
Food
8/10
Aesthetic
7/10
Price
8/10
Service
9/10

DEPARTMENT OF CAFFEINE (D.O.C.)
15 Duxton Road, Singapore 089481
(Nearest train station: Outram Park, Tanjong Pagar)
Tel: 6223 3426

Opening hours:
Mon – Fri: 10:30 am – 7:30 pm
Sat – Sun: 09:30 am – 7:30 pm

http://www.deptofcaffeine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deptofcaffeine

Food Review: Creamier

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Creamier is no longer a stranger name to those on social media like Instagram. Tucked away in a corner of the oldest neighbourhood in Singapore, Toa Payoh, is a particular ice-cream parlour serving scoops of home-made (handcrafted) ice cream to its residents and beyond, Creamier Ice Cream and Coffee. It is relatively inaccessible but this does not stop ice-cream fans from all over the country who flock to the cafe for a taste of the much-raved about waffles and ice cream. Popular options are Roasted Pistachio and Sea Salt Gula Melaka. They also have unique flavours like Thai Milk Tea and Black Sesame.

We (a group of three) visited Creamier on a Wednesday afternoon at around 3pm during the June holidays. Although it was a weekday, I did not expect the café to be full house, especially at such an awkward timing. We waited around for about 15 minutes before finally getting a table. The shop space is quite cramped and small, so I would definitely not like to be here on a weekend.

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Waffles with Earl Grey Lavender + Thai Milk Tea ($11.80)

The waffles came in a stack of two and the smell of the batter was very fragrant. The edges of the waffles were gold and crisp. Its insides were airy and fluffy. Moreover, the waffles were accompanied by a generous serving of beautifully decorated maple syrup and chocolate sauce. They also remained firm below the two scoops of dense ice cream. The Earl Grey and Thai Milk Tea flavours were distinct and you could taste it in every mouthful. The ice creams were creamy and rich. The coolness of the ice cream and the heat from the waffle complemented each other perfectly. The entire dish was aesthetically pleasing too.

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Waffles with Plain Ole Chocolate + Cookies & Cream ($11.80)

I love how the waffles are paired with the ice cream. Again, they came warm and crispy beneath the two scoops of ice cream. The chocolate ice cream was done especially well. Chocolate is the one of the most common ice cream flavours in the world, and if an ice cream parlour is able to execute it well, I’d expect the other flavours to be spectacular. The chocolate ice cream was rich and decadent while the cookies & cream ice cream was light and had a stronger vanilla taste. It was also not too sweet.

To conclude, as many have said, Creamier sells one of the best waffles in town and its huge crowds are a testament to its popularity. This sinful treat is ideal, especially on hot days – or any day for that matter. I would definitely come again to try their other flavours and to satisfy my waffle cravings. It’s a yes from me!

Rating:
Food
9/10
Aesthetic
8.5/10
Price
7.5/10
Service
8/10

CREAMIER Handcrafted Ice Cream and Coffee
Blk 128, Toa Payoh Lorong 1, #01-835, Singapore 310128
(Nearest train station: Braddell, Toa Payoh, Marymount)
Tel: 6250 1476

Opening Hours:
Tue – Thu: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm