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Cake Avenue Bistro

Cake Avenue to many, is probably synonymous to its bespoke cake designs, such as the unicorn cakes and designer cupcakes; basically any elaborate design you want on/of a cake, they will be able to do their magic. Recently, they have expanded their operations from their cosy store along Lorong Kilat (near Beauty World MRT station) to also include a full-service bistro with American and Italian cuisine.

Cake Avenue Christmas Menu

I was invited to sample their 2017 Christmas menu just last week, which will be available from 25 November (today) all the way till Christmas! In true Cake Avenue bespoke confectionery fashion, Chef ET has come up with a range of Christmas-themed desserts, from the conventional Yule Log, macarons and cookies, to the adorable entremets and a signature reindeer cake. They have also created a menu of savoury dishes which include braised lamb shank, chicken lasagna, and a selection of canapés.

Diner Dessert Menu

We also were treated to a new addition in their menu, to introduce their bistro to customers: the Diner Dessert series. At first glance, they look like your normal run-of-the-mill western diner food, such as burger and fries, nacho chips, alphabet tomato soup, and meatballs. But on closer inspection, they’re actually creatively designed with cakes, ice cream and the likes. For example, the “Diner slider and fries” were actually dark chocolate ice cream ‘patties’ sandwiched between vanilla butter cake ‘buns’ and topped with raspberry ‘ketchup’ and passionfruit ‘mustard’, served with warm cake ‘fries’. Such deceptive, so confuse. Nevertheless they were delightful to take pictures and enjoy after!

Sweet Deals!

From now till Christmas, Cake Avenue’s Christmas menu will be available for dine-in and takeaway in a few value-for-money festive packages! They’re pretty good for a small to medium gathering such as your office parties or pot lucks at your BFF’s place. Do give at least 3 days notice if you would like to order these special menu items though. Check the whole list out here and call/message/email them to make your order early!

More Information

Cake Avenue
33 Lorong Kilat
#01-01/02
Kilat Centre
Singapore 598132
Email: sales@cakeavenue.com
Phone: 6877 9008 or  9666 2022 (Whatsapp)
Operation hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 8.30pm
Closed on Mondays
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They are Halal-certified!


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Roti Prata is, admittedly, a guilty pleasure of mine as a Singaporean. In fact, this dish is so entrenched into our food culture that we become defensive when being told otherwise what is “Singaporean food”. It transcends ethnic and socioeconomic boundaries as well; public figures have also been known to host distinguished foreign guests with these staple foods to impress on them not to mess with us when it comes to food.

Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food

Started more than 35 years ago right in Maxwell Food Centre (then called Maxwell Road Hawker Centre), Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food dutifully dishes out stacks (yes!) after stacks of roti prata even before first light comes, as the early birds of office workers queue up to fuel up for the day ahead.

Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food Roti PrataHajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food Roti Prata

Likewise, nothing much really beats a fluffy double-egg prata in the morning, with some tangy curry at the side, and a cup of teh tarik to wash it down after. Mr Kumar, the owner affectionately known just as ‘uncle’ by just about everyone, remembers his regulars so well that all it takes is just a mutual nod to get the order taken! After pledging my first child patronising them for close to 5 years now, sometimes ‘uncle’ does the flipping and folding personally just for me, something pretty rare as his head cook does most of the work *Aww*

Apart from roti prata, they also sell some really good bryani (not pictured) in the afternoon, but for them it also means that they stop the roti prata orders until late night so that they are not overwhelmed by demand.

Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food Roti Prata Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food Roti Prata

Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
It’s a hawker stall in a popular food centre; so the vibe isn’t that strong of what you will expect.

Price:
With my double egg prata at $2 being near the top of the prices, it’s sure affordable!

Quality:
I can attest that although there’s no prominent blog review (I tried) to recommend this, it’s definitely a delightful experience (come on, it’s prata leh) even if you don’t eat the roti prata here.

Overall:
Bored of your tasteless sandwiches from Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, or just done with clubbing nearby at Neil Road? Come get your prata fix right in the heart of the CBD!

More Information

Hajmeer Kwaja Muslim Food (Halal)
1 Kadayanallur Street
#01-103 Maxwell Food Centre
Singapore 069184
Opens 24/7, but roti prata is not available in the later morning till night.
p.s. It’s the corner-most stall nearest to the zebra crossing along the street


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I am (hehe) pretty sure most of the cafe-hopping crowd in Singapore would be familiar with I am… Cafe (yes, the name includes the ellipsis) and their signature red letter blocks at the corner of Haji Lane:

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Living on the better side of the island and don’t want to join the throngs of poor west-siders in queuing for ages? Now you can just stay in paradise!

I am… Cafe (Our Tampines Hub)

Just opened on 28 February 2017, I am… Cafe now brings all that burger and fries (with some pizza) goodness right to our doorstep in the East. Situated on the third floor of Our Tampines Hub right next to the HomeTeamNS clubhouse,  where there are already plenty of fun things to do, it takes a little bit of eyeballing but you won’t miss their trademark signage even from level 1.

Interior wise, it does remind you of Haji Lane, and I very much prefer an air-conditioned experience, although it does contain the noise of the hustle and bustle going on (it is a family casual restaurant after all so don’t expect classical music and hush-hush conversations).

I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines

Likewise, the menu still consists of old favourites such as their side of truffle fries, which is topped off with thick and creamy truffle mayo. Burgers, pizzas, and their fish & chips are also available, along with their signature mocktails (they’re halal certified). Don’t forget their desserts like the RAINBOW CAKE! Call me nitpicky, but while my ‘the boss’ burger is definitely scrumptious, I’d wish for the patty to be at least the same diameter as the buns so that I can pick it up to chomp down on it (hehe) without risking it popping out of the buns mid-bite.

I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines I am Cafe Tampines

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Waitrr Pls

One new addition since I last ate at I am… Cafe is the use of a mobile app called “Waitrr“. From browsing the menu, all the way to ordering and paying for your meal, it’s a seamless process that’s quite frankly a well-designed user experience. No more hems and haws when your service staff probes whether you are ready to order, or yelling through to them during busy weekend dinners and hoping he/she read your order right. Just scan the QR code, pass the phone down the table and pick your food and drinks! What’s also good I realised, is that you don’t have to make one person pick up the tab or get service to split your tabs (a horrible experience for large groups, please don’t do this to wait staff…). Just use your own phone(s) to order separately and pay immediately after! EZPZ!

Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
This is in (what’s becoming) a very popular hangout in Tampines, so it’s not something too out of the way. Also the brand is already a staple in halal Cafes.

Price:
Prices are still pretty fair, nothing out of the ordinary for cafes (I spent about 20 per pax).

Quality:
You probably need to order dessert if you’re really hungry, but portions are not scrimped on here.

Overall: I
Joining the fray with other cafes showing up in Tampines, like one I previously visited, I am… Cafe banks on its already solid reputation in dishing out relatively affordable premium western cuisine that’s halal-certified, right in the heartlands! Surely, a #newbeastfromtheeast!

More Information

I am… Cafe (Our Tampines Hub)
51 Tampines Ave 4
#03-04
Our Tampines Hub
Singapore 529684
​Tel: 6295 5509
Email: enquiry@iam.com.sg
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And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss.

J.K. Rowling

After a week of diving in the west, it’s time to go back to the better side. #kek

Far-eastern Singapore sometimes feels a bit left out when it comes to cafes and specialty F&B places, with most reaching only as far as the East Coast Road area or maybe even Bedok. So it’s always refreshing news that you hear of a brand new cafe deep in the heartlands of Tampines.

Brothers in Fine Food (BFF)

Another disheartening thing about being in the heartlands is that your apart from the street (block) corner kopitiam or hawker centre, your F&B options are almost entirely dominated by chain stores. Being situated in Tampines West Community Centre (yes, a CC!), it’s no different for newcomers Brothers in Fine Food. Founded in November 2016 by the same bros behind popular cafe in East Coast, Penny University. Placed above a Starbucks AND a MacDonald’s outlet, it’s easy to miss them out as you have to walk past both of them, and up the stairs through another corridor.

BFF

Reaching the place, you are greeted with a simple facade and no-frills industrial furniture and fittings. The weather was rather gloomy for the entire day when I first visited, and it looked like a good place to wind down in the evening.

BFFbff-03333 bff-03332

The menu is a pretty interesting one, with several unusual concoctions such as the sous-vide steak with beetroot and thyme puree, which I eventually ordered. Chef Restu from BFF explained that they use modern cooking techniques and experimented with different methods to create unique recipes at heartland-friendly prices. True though, this is the first time I’ve heard of sous-vide prepared steak in such a setting, for less than $20! The other main we ordered that evening was the Salmon Fillet with za’atar roasted bread crumbs, crispy spiced salmon skin, brown butter miso sauce, atop of a pillow of giant Israeli couscous.

bff-03338Brothers in Fine Food

Of course, how do you leave such a place without going for dessert? Their Greek-yoghurt panna cotta is something different as well: the acidity of the cream and yoghurt sinfully mixed with homemade honeycomb crunch, fresh fruits and poached pears (with a secret mix of spices!). I won’t wait till the end of this post to say: Try. This.

BFF

I Had To Return

While paying up and leaving, I was told to come back for their weekend brunch menu. So being a bro to the bros, I returned a few days later! Surprisingly (actually, not really), many of their breakfast crowds are not young anello bag-toting hipsters, but working adults and their families. I even had the chance to share simple conversations with an older Malay couple who decided to drop by after reading about BFF in the Malay newspaper about this new halal cafe right in their backyard!

Being a lazy person on a lazy Sunday morning I opted for the lighter Mediterranean breakfast set, featuring the usual hummus, spinach, falafels, couscous, fresh avocado slices and the not as usual smoked aubergine (eggplant) and halloumi cheese (which is a heavy-flavoured cheese that goes well with the other staples).

BFF BFFbff-101112

Not a very big breakfast person myself, I found it rather filling despite the serving not looking its weight, and regrettably didn’t drink their coffee! So here’s something from their Instagram page showcasing their really good lattes while I return YET AGAIN this week to taste it myself (it IS pretty near to my place anyway). Of course they’re no one-dish wonders; I saw many other diners wolfing down several of their approximately dozen menu selections, such as the Dashi noodles and their signature builder’s breakfast!

The Verdict

hole-in-the-wall-ness:
Although situated in a community centre, it’s pretty much is hidden as you have to traverse through the chain restaurants and up a short corridor, without much signage ahead. So yes, not THAT ideal of a hole-in-the-wall but still living it up to this blog’s mantra.

Price:
Being a place of decent quality food, you won’t see prices the same as the Mr Teh Tarik across the street, but at about $15-20 per person (including drinks and desserts will cost you slightly more), it’s a bargain where hipster cafes regularly charge $25++ for a breakfast platter full of processed food.

Quality:
No wagyu fillet mignons or deep sea halibut here, just regular homely ingredients that are prepared with lots of attention and with creative modern twists.

Overall:
A good refreshing change of face in the heartland scene where everything has something to do with a shareholders-first global chain. Visit this people-first place now!

More Information

Brothers in Fine Food (BFF)
5 Tampines Avenue 3
#02-07, Tampines West Community Club
Singapore 529705
Tue to Fri: 12pm – 10.30pm
Sat & Sun: 9am – 10.30pm
Closed on Mondays
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brothersinfinefood
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brothersinfinefood/

BFF is Halal-Certified.


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