SMOOTH, CREAMY GELATO
I think I could be in love. I could eat gelato from Birds Of Paradise for days without getting sick of it.
This two-month-old shop in Katong has a range of Asian-inspired flavours that has me squealing in delight with each mouthful.
So far, my favourite flavours are Lemongrass, Strawberry Basil, Pistachio, Pandan, Spiced Pear and White Chrysanthemum and, mind you, I haven't even tried the rest of the flavours yet.
The texture of the gelato is smooth and creamy, yet light enough to not make you slump in your chair after a couple of scoops. And the flavours are natural too.
The Lemongrass is crisp and refreshing while the Spiced Pear, with cinnamon and star anise, is a taste of Christmas. The potent Pandan is robust and familiar; and the floral White Chrysanthemum, with some added crunch from cacao nibs, is refined and elegant.
Trust me when I say that it is worth the trek, even if you live in the west, like me.
Prices start at $4.70 a scoop. Opt for a thyme waffle cone for an additional $1.
WHERE: Birds Of Paradise Gelato Boutique, 63 East Coast Road (Opposite I12 Katong mall) MRT: Dakota/Eunos OPEN: 4.30 to 10pm (Tuesday to Thursday), 4.30 to 10.30pm (Friday), noon to 10.30pm (Saturday), noon to 10pm (Sunday), closed on Monday TEL: 9678-6092 INFO: Go to www.facebook.com/bopgelato or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIOLINIST'S PRIVATE KITCHEN
A group of friends and I recently dined at concert violinist Lynnette Seah's home and, boy, did we overeat.
The accomplished home cook runs a private kitchen from her home in Tiong Bahru for dinner parties of eight to 17 people.
Her food is spectacular. She has an extensive repertoire of dishes. There are Peranakan ones such as laksa, ayam buah keluak, chap chye and her to-die-for buah keluak fried rice (photo) - made with organic brown rice, buah keluak, spices and homemade haebee hiam; seafood dishes such as her version of chilli crab - fragrant and punchy - and crispy prawns fried with salted egg yolk and haebee hiam; as well as Western items.
Everything is made from scratch, including the rich chicken stock she uses in her chap chye.
Prices start at $100 a person for a meal with six dishes and from $120 a person if a crab dish is included. Have Seah cook at your home, from $150 a head, minimum 12 people.
WHERE: Details will be provided once a reservation is confirmed INFO: Go to lynnetteskitchen.com for details and a list of dishes
3-IN-1 COFFEE SHOP
Afternoon tea in Singapore can range from scones and cucumber sandwiches to good old fishball mee pok.
There is a new coffee shop on the ground floor of Valley Point Shopping Centre in River Valley that sells fishball mee from 85 Redhill Teochew Fishball Noodles, delicious handmade pau from Nam Kee (it has another outlet at The GrandStand in Turf Club Road) and curry rice.
The coffee shop may seem a little out of place here, given the mall's demographic, but there is no reason not to embrace it.
I stopped for a bowl of noodles (from $4, photo) with extra vinegar last weekend.
It was just the savoury snack I needed. Mee pok for the win.
WHERE: 85 Redhill Teochew Fishball Noodles, Nam Kee and curry rice, 01-07 Valley Point Shopping Centre, 491 River Valley Road MRT: Redhill/Tiong Bahru OPEN: From about 8am to 8.30pm daily
BISTRO IN THE VILLAGE
The new Raffles Holland V building, opposite Holland Village Shopping Centre, has a handful of new eateries, including Patissez, an Aussie bistro.
In the day, the restaurant is bright and inviting. And the food is pretty good too.
The corn and zucchini fritters ($16, photo) - a take on one of famed Australian chef Bill Granger's signature dishes and also one of my favourite things to eat - are thin, flavourful and fantastic.
They are not stodgy like most other versions. Served with two perfectly poached eggs, smoked romesco sauce, zingy pesto and avocado, this dish is a joy to eat.
Burger lovers will like the Freak Burger ($25), a hefty burger with two juicy beef patties, Monterey Jack cheese, delish bacon jam, crispy bacon, housemade barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomato, served in a fluffy brioche bun.
Other items include the Brekkie Burger, a fancy name for a bacon and egg roll; buttermilk pancakes; and Freak Shakes - monstrous dessert milkshakes with ice cream, cookies and the works.
WHERE: Patissez, 01-06 Raffles Holland V, 118 Holland Avenue MRT: Holland Village OPEN: 10am to 10pm (weekday), 9am to 10pm (weekend) TEL: 6262-3616 INFO: www.facebook.com/ PatissezSG