October 31, 2009

The Pancake War: Weekend Breakfast at Swensen's

Being a fan of breakfast foods, I jump at opportunities to have a sumptuous morning meal during free weekends. I've been lovin' Swensen's Blueberry Pancakes Set ever since they started serving breakfast. (Lol sorry to the Golden Arches for stealing your slogan...).

Actually, it's the only thing I ever order.


Country Style Pancakes Set

The Country Style pancakes set comes with two pancakes, scrambled eggs, half a grilled tomato, a hash brown, two decent small cheese sausages and creamy mushrooms, as well as a choice of hot coffee from Gloria Jean's or tea and a cup of orange or apple juice. All for $7.95++. Isn't it value for money?

It comes with a choice of 5 pancake fillings- buttermilk, bananas, blueberry, cheese or ham.

The size and quality of the pancakes seems to have dipped a little when compared to my previous visits. One of the pancakes was a little overcooked so I faced problems cutting it up. However, being a pancake AND blueberry jam lover, I naturally still enjoyed this. (Fresh blueberries might have made a better filling, but blueberry jam is good enough for me.)
Oh boy, I can never resist fluffy and soft pancakes!

The portion of scrambled eggs seems to have shrunk too. On the contrary, it was creamier than before. No comments about the hash browns as I don't eat them.

As usual, special commendation goes to the superb creamy mushrooms! Tiny slices of portobello enveloped in a luscious creamy sauce...you've got to try this!

I was too bloated to finish the apple juice upon drinking up my cup of Lipton tea. Still, it was nice to have two drink options with my breakfast. Perhaps Swensen's could consider serving fresh juices? Hmm...

My dad ordered a Buttermilk Pancakes Set, which came with the same sides as my Blueberry Pancakes set, so I didn't take a photograph of it before he tucked in. Don't try Swensen's Cheese Pancakes though- each pancake is simply

Our pancakes came with a jug of maple syrup and butter pats. It's fun to pour syrup all over your pancakes from a jug! But my pancakes were sweet enough from the blueberry filling, so I didn't need it.

Dad remarked that he preferred his usual order of banana pancakes. Don't bananas make a great match with pancakes? Still, blueberry pancakes are a firm favorite of mine.

Hearty American Breakfast Set

This picture shows y brother tucking into his Hearty American Breakfast set. It came with two slices of crispy Traditional French Toast, scrambled eggs, a rather long herb sausage, ham, hash brown, creamy mushrooms and grilled tomato.

The herb sausage packed a sodium punch. I like my molten cheese filled sausages much more!

Traditional French Toast

This is my mom's Traditional French Toast set. Two thick slices of French Toast, an overcooked sunny-side up (I like mine runny!), accompanied by two small cheese sausages, creamy mushrooms and grilled tomato.

The French Toast was done HK-cafe-style. Mom liked it, but I prefer the 'normal' type of French toast.

Though I have to admit that the overall quality of the food isn't particularly outstanding, Swensen's breakfast is a great way to start the day!


Swensen's
Compass Point
B1-28/29
Weekend breakfast is served from 8.30am to 11am at this outlet

October 30, 2009

Keyaki

I took part in an online contest and received a voucher that entitled us to complementary sake and tuna, salmon and hotate sashimi at Keyaki! Heheh. So my mom and I headed to the Pan Pacific Hotel for our first-ever meal at a fancy Japanese restaurant!

I love the Pan Pacific's glass lift. Don't you find taking rides in them thrilling? Especially when you're going down!

Go past the glass door and you'll find yourself stepping into a charming Japanese garden, complete with a pond filled with koi. You can choose to dine inside the classy, air-conditioned restaurant, or enjoy your meal outside with the great cityscape view.

Keyaki is divided into two sections- one for diners seeking a teppanyaki fix, and the other for those planning to order other dishes. So if you're planning to order mainly grilled dishes, do request for a seat in front of the iron griddle and enjoy the novelty of watching the teppanyaki chef fry up your food.

Here's the exquisitely-presented sashimi, adorned with daikon slivers that served as a palate-cleanser. I particularly enjoyed the sweet and succulent hotate sashimi!

We ordered a set lunch to share ($58++), comprising of salad, seafood tempura, seafood teppanyaki, rice, miso soup and fruits.

The tempura course featured a humongous prawn, one shitake mushroom, eggplant, julienned carrot and a piece of fish. Encased in feather-light and flaky batter, they were fried to a crisp, golden perfection. (On a side note, don't you find the substandard, oil-logged tempura sold in many food courts disgusting?) The star here was the Ebi tempura which had a lot of bite!

In addition to salmon and bean sprouts, the teppanyaki course also included two pieces of prawns and scallops that were simply divine. The very thought of their flavorful juices perpetually resurfaced in my mind for the rest of the day, and even haunts me as I compose this way overdue review...

What's Japanese food with sushi? My dining partner and I sought recommendations from the chef and subsequently ordered Hamachi and Kanpachi sushi ($6 and $7 respectively) as the two types of fish were freshly flown in that day. Hamachi (young yellowtail tuna, or amberjack) has a milkier taste than kanpachi (greater amberjack- a different fish!), which is sweeter.

The freshness of the hamachi was very commendable, and the moist, fluffy rice grains blew me away! The top-quality short-grain rice, flavored with a balanced vinegar to sugar ratio, were definitely the most memorable part of the meal.

Boy I'm really glad that I chose to have a bowl of rice instead of udon or soba... Keyaki's rice is superbly delish! But the best way to enjoy it here would be to have it moulded into an elegantly-shaped sharidama, with the rice grains packed to the perfect firmness, and topped with a thick slice of fresh sashimi.

We ended off the meal with sweet, juicy slices of melon and watermelon.

The service was brisk and very good. The kimono-clad waitresses were attentive but unobstrusive, polite and helpful. A walk around the garden made a great ending to the pleasurable lunch outing.


Keyaki
Pan Pacific Singapore, Level 4
7 Raffles Boulevard
Marina Square
Singapore 039595


Weekday lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm
Weekday dinner: 6.30pm - 10pm
Weekend Buffet Lunch: 12pm - 2.30pm

October 27, 2009

Peony Jade Flaky Teochew Oror Nee Mooncake

I love Teochew Oor Nee mooncakes, and Peony Jade's rendition is undoubtedly the best in Singapore.
The light and delicate flaky pastry of these fair beauties has nary any trace of grease, and the yam filling contained inside is smooth and light. The orh nee filling is not too sweet as well. I can't decide which version I like better- the version with a single yolk or the version with a centre of sweet pumpkin pulp! Do note that these mooncakes are best eaten on the day they're made, and should not be kept for more than a day for optimal freshness.