Paris Baguette Cafe

Was out on a date with my neighbour and her baby, she was excited to try this new cafe called “Paris Baguette Cafe” that opened up in the middle of Wisma Atria in Orchard Road about 3 months ago, and it intrigued me the moment I caught sight of it.

 I knew I’d want to share about this place with y’all because everything about it is interesting..

1) Paris Baguette Cafe. What an awful name, but it’s kinda funny and it sticks.

2) It’s not even from Paris. It is a popular Korean chain bakery.

3) Look at those flashy neon lights. So attention grabbing, so cheesy, so awesome.

Beautiful cakes that greet you at the front of the cafe!!! These are the kind of cakes you look at once, and just have to stare at them for a few seconds longer. I bake cakes too, but these look amazeballs. :)

Look at all those juicy mangoes!!!! OMG I died and went to cake heaven. I want to pluck those plump mango pieces off my computer screen and put them into my mouth. I have half a mind of going back there next time and buying this whole cake for myself.

It makes so much sense that this cafe is from Korea. You don’t really see much of indulgent cakes such as oreo cheesecakes or chocolate truffle cakes at Paris Baguette Cafe. You see really light, fluffy, elegant, pretty cakes… which Korean girls wouldn’t mind eating, because they’re so pretty and light. How often do you see a fat Korean girl???

Awww this is SO gorgeous!!! *wants* I might just layer my cake with rose petals next time! What a fantastic idea.

If you’re constantly on the look out for an all day brunch place in Singapore like I am, you can add Paris Baguette Cafe to your list. There’s this one item that keeps me coming back.

Bacon Croissant Brunch, $17. Flaky croissant… crispy bacon piece… garlicky, butter mushrooms… side salad.. wedges with tomato sauce. MY kind of brunch!!!

The mushrooms are completely out of this worlddd.

I had this twice in a week because it was that good. I’d take this over Eggs Benedict or any other popular brunch food any day! If you love croissant, bacon or mushrooms (uh I love all three) then you NEED to try this. I find it very reasonable pricing because breakfast food prices tend to be on the high side for what it’s worth normally, I think (IIRC) Paris Baguette Cafe does not have the 10% service surcharge, and GST is also included in the pricing.

 17% at the end of the bill usually adds up to a lot y’know!! So this is definitely a plus. What you see is what you get.

The other main course for our brunch, Cheese Omelette With A Difference, $18.

I’d say it’s decent enough but over priced for eggs, really. It’s not that hard to make a good omelette (I make a mean one at home!) all you need is some butter, milk, and perfect timing. Oh and cracked black pepper + truffle oil makes scrambled eggs / omelettes DIVINE. This dish has got nothing on the bacon croissant but I suppose if you’re mad about eggs and wanna go for a less sinful brunch, this would be it. Although I didn’t appreciate how it was only half warm and a little bit too runny on the side…

Besides serving all day brunch items (other choices include pancakes and ratatouille), they’re supposed to be well known for their bakery. To be honest I’m not that big a fan of bread at all, I look at pieces of bread like they’re giant pieces of carbs, which essentially… is what it is. Although their bread items were quite aesthetically pleasing, I found the taste factor to have fallen flat on its face. My neighbour thought their pastries were decent though. *shrugs*

We didn’t really have space in our stomachs after our main courses to try big pieces of bread, so we tried the petite looking Mushroom Foccacio, which was the most blah thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Tasteless bread, cold mushrooms….. I didn’t even bother taking a second bite.

The Chocolat Blanc, which is bread encasing a gooey white chocolate center, was ok… I think neighbourhood bakeries are generally better than them :/ I know these are strange bread choices but my friend picked them, so…..

If you walk over to the other side of the cafe, you’ll find they also serve pre-packed sandwiches and salads. I’ve tried one salad which was meh (most cost around $8-9 per box) and my neighbour said her sandwich was also uninspiring.

They don’t stand out at all and taste like just… food. It isn’t bad, but it’s certainly not great. They’re just neatly packed and stacked, that’s all. Save your money and calories, go for their brunch items or if you’re that kinda person, try their breads. At least those were actually very fairly priced.

What does make an impression is their desserts. Evidently, from the start of this post you could tell.. I’m a big dessert person! :P

 I was told Paris Baguette Cafe’s star item is their Royal Pudding. They have mango and berry flavored puddings, that have a more panna cotta texture and taste than pudding. If you’re expecting their mango pudding to taste like the typical kind you find in Chinese restaurants with milk, forget it. You’re going to be disappointed. To me, it was like panna cotta with brown sugar. I liked it for its unique taste! I just wished the mango flavor was more sour and strong.

Strawberry Shortcake, $7.50

It looks like a sizeable portion in this photo, but it was pretty damn small in real life. Nevertheless, it’s so pretty I couldn’t not have it!!!! Texture was very light, elegant and fluffy, and was gone in seconds. Other than that, not really special… way too small a portion to properly enjoy it. Neighbourhood bakeries sponge cake also fluffy what, right? But I think that’s the whole point of this strawberry shortcake – to be light, small, and pretty. Like I said, this cafe is targeted at ladies. You’ll find at least 80% of their customers to be young and middled aged women, in their 20′s and 30′s. Even though I just said it was nothing too special and way too small a portion, I’d still probably order it again if I’m there. LOL because I am a fool for marketing gimmicks. And I wanna try all their other cakes!!! …I’m a girl, what do you want from me?

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My verdict is that Paris Baguette Cafe is a hit-and-miss place. I quite fancy their desserts and interesting brunch options (do we really need another place serving Eggs Benedict?), and also for the fact that it’s in the middle of Wisma Atria, but I wouldn’t bother with their breads and cold food.

Definitely still worth checking out at least once to see if you like it or not… and try the bacon croissant brunch that I recommended! :D I’m just happy whenever a new & interesting establishment pops up in Singapore’s food scene.

Paris Baguette Cafe

435 Orchard Road #02-48/53, Wisma Atria
Tel: 6836 2010

Food quality: 3.5/5
Service / Ambience: 2/5 (Open concept, people walking past just stare at you eating. Menu has to be asked from the counter, staff relatively haughty..)
Value for Money: 3.5/5 (Good value for brunch items and breads, horrendous for drinks, just okay for desserts)
Most suitable for: Tai tais shopping in Orchard Road, new brunch place, girlfriends looking for a place to catch up, and boys who wanna bring their girls on an interesting lunch date. Not exactly suitable as a dinner or intimate place.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

The Marmalade Pantry

A week ago, I was invited to have a lovely, quiet evening of gastronomic fare at The Marmalade Pantry…

This is a fail shot of me tryna take a picture with the menu only to realize you can’t see jack. However I did take the liberty of snapping a solo shot of the menu, so click here if you wanna see all of what the restaurant has to offer!!!

My date for the evening!

Thank goodness I had Nich to drive me there because the location was super in the middle of nowhere. In fact the restaurant is next to horse stables… (No, you can’t smell horse poo haha) but I guess that’s the appeal. It’s away from all the hustle and bustle, a quaint place to get away for a few hours and catch up with a friend over some crabmeat linguine and sticky date pudding.

The interior of the restaurant was minimalistic, in a good way. Clean, plush, and modern. I like it. It gets my vote for ambience, but how does the food fare?

Zest (apple, pineapple, orange) ($8)

It’s everything it sounds like. Zesty, tangy, and refreshing. But a little ouchie on the price. Others ordered their alcoholic drinks like cocktails and said they were really good as well, but I’m not terribly excited about alcohol most of the time so I gave that a miss. I think their alcoholic drinks might be more fairly priced.

Pan Seared Haloumi ($21)

With watercress salad and roma tomatoes. Huuuge serving of a salad, their appetizers are what to order if you want a bang for your buck! I like haloumi – this is the first time I’ve ever had any. It’s basically a type of cheese, fried. Looks like tau kwa LOL but tastes like, well, salty fried cheese. The roma tomatoes were so plump and sweet and the dressing on this salad light enough to compensate the saltiness of the haloumi cheese.

Mexican Chicken Salad ($22)

I didn’t fancy this so much, because I’m not a fan of mexican food. No beans or peas or anything of that sort for me!!! But having said that, I had a bite of it anyway just for kicks, and it was pretty flavorsome.

Braised 120 Days Grain Fed Beef Cheeks ($32)

I was looking forward to this after seeing it on the menu, however I have to admit it was pretty disappointing. The beef chunks were too scarce and soft. I know the whole point of braising grain fed beef cheeks is to have it super soft, but these were too soft that they didn’t have any bite left. Meat should always retain a little bit of chewiness… it’s not exactly meant to totally melt in your mouth.

 Hazelnut King Prawn ($32)

This is totally yummy!!! King prawns with sweet sauce sit atop a rosti pancake. I have a slight obsession with prawns and rostis so this scored big points on my list, my only gripe is that the prawns should have been bigger so they would be more succulent.

Crabmeat Linguine ($22)

One of my all time favorite pastas would be crabmeat linguine. How can you go wrong with ingredients like crab and tomatoes?! I adored Marmalade Pantry’s version (I adore ANY crabmeat linguine), but I’m totally biased in favor towards the one from La Cantina, which is still my go-to when I need my fix.

P.S tell them to hold back the pine nuts on your Crabmeat Linguine, unless you absolutely love nuts…. Texture is so much better and smoother without it!

 Lemon Sole a la Meuniere ($42)

I giggled at the name Sole. That’s a funny name for a fish, I keep thinking of feet. Anyway I was pretty mortified when this came without any side dishes (like potatoes or vegetables of some sort to accompany the fish) IMHO $42 is a pretty hefty price to pay for just a filet of fish. I don’t want to sound cheap in this post by always referring to the price tag, but I can cook pretty decently myself, so if I do go out to dine I want value for money for what I’m paying. Since I was here on invitation, we got to try everything courtesy of Marmalde Pantry… It WAS nice, I’ll give it that, but to me it wasn’t much more than “nice”. Nicholas raved about the freshness of the fish. The sauce was lemony and reminded me of hollandaise sauce :) Yum.

Lemon Brulee Tart ($14)

Zesty, tarty, custardy all in one. Love this!!! Way too big for 1 person though… good for sharing. Marmalade Pantry’s desserts leave a bigger impression on me than their savories.

Sticky Date and Toffee Pudding ($14)

Ahhhhh sticky date pudding, where do I even begin to express my love for you?! I am so excited that I am leaving for Perth in about 30 minutes (rushing out this blog entry before I fly off) because Aussie has the BEST sticky date pudding!!!! I give this one a 6.5/10 because the ice cream and sauce kinda fell flat, however the sticky date pudding itself was chewy and satisfying.. on the whole this definitely could do with more butterscotch sauce!

Their array of cupcakes!!! I make cupcakes for a living, hence I wasn’t dying to eat them, although they looked pretty… plus I was super stuffed. I don’t suppose a cobbler gets excited walking into a shoe shop. I just get reminded of work…. I have heard raves from friends about Marmalade Pantry’s cupcakes before so I guess they’re pretty good :)

I tried their popular Red Velvet flavor, and loved the texture, but felt the coconut flakes totally overpowered the cream cheese frosting instead of complimenting it.

Thanks Amanda from FoodNews for being our host for the evening and diligently serving / cutting up all the food for us, making sure we were stuffed to the brim with delicious food!!!

The Marmalade Pantry
55 Fairways Drive, Singapore 286846
Tel: 6467 7748

Food quality: 3.5/5
Service / Ambience: 4/5
Value for Money: 3/5 (Appetizers decently sized enough but main courses could do with more substance!)
Most suitable for: First dates, girlfriend catch ups, quiet nights.. people who are willing to spend a little more for the ambience and general dining experience. Oh and this would be great for dessert lovers because all their pastries and baked stuff is prepared freshly at the Stables everyday!


I enjoyed my experience at The Marmalade Pantry @ The Stables much more than the one at Ion. Compared to the always full house outlet at Ion, the Stables was much quieter and sophisticated, a good spot for romantic dates! Might drag Sam here next time when we’re feeling a little bit fancy. Service was also much more efficient and sincere here at the Stables. Certain dishes I have reviewed such as the salads can not be found at the Ion outlet, so head down to the Stables if you’d like to try them!

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess

Shahi Maharani






Hi!!!

Here you have three absolutely vain & unrelated pictures of myself to start my post with, just because I especially liked how my hair looked yesterday. Yay for good hair days.

So, on to real business. If you’ve been following my blog for as long as I’m hoping you have (lol), you’ll know I have a passion for indian food.

I absolutely LOVE indian food…. I’ve blogged about it so many times! But I won’t settle for just roti prata and any curry, I’m always on a mission to find quality indian cuisine offered in Singapore. It’s sad how misunderstood indian food is in Singapore, many people I know don’t like it because they think it’s “dirty / smelly”… they say they don’t think the food has been cooked cleanly in their kitchens. I think that’s a silly, silly stigma, because most of the hawker centres selling Chinese food in Singapore have appalling standards of food preparation hygiene, and yet we eat it everyday without complaints… Well the only complain I have is that my farts are especially deadly whenever I have indian food. LOL. But hey, eating gorgonzola cheese (italian) and caesar salad (general western) makes me gas a lot too so it’s not just limited to indian food, it really depends.

The point of my post today is to share with you guys my current FAVORITE indian restaurant in Singapore!!! I’ve gotten a lot of questions before asking about my old favorite indian place but it closed down in recent months to poor business :( It was called Mumtaz Mahal, located at Far East Plaza, and I was so gutted when they shut down. It’s now replaced by some nasi lemak or indonesian food place.I thought my butter chicken days were officially over…. every other place I’ve tried just isn’t quite the same. Like I said before, good indian restaurants in Singapore are DAMN difficult to find and I’m so glad to have chanced upon this one accidentally one fine evening, it’s our go-to for our indian fix these days, and is a lovely venue to have dinner for any occasion (if you can find indian food kakis that is, for me when I find a buddy who likes indian food I CLING ONTO THEM FOR DEAR LIFE I’m never letting you out of my sight dear friend). This place is new to Sam & I, but I’m sure it’s been around for actually quite some time, it gets very popular during dinner time we have noticed :)

So.. here are some pictures from the amazing dinner we had a few days ago!! My weight-management physician (you’ll find out more about her soon) will not be pleased, omg. Don’t tell her about this.

Bottom right, the star dish: Butter Chicken (not sure what they call it in their menu, they always have different varying names for it depending on the restaurant but just ask for butter chicken)

This is sooooooooooo ridiculously gooodddd wtf. It’s the best butter chicken I have EVER had and I’ve had many, trust me!!! Even the super pricey, famed & popular indian restaurant in Perth called 9 Mary’s that I went to didn’t match up to this (and that place was quite fabulous indeed)

The sauce is relatively sweet, not too spicy or salty to be considered “curry”, it’s very creamy and quite mild in terms of spiciness. The chicken was well marinated and tender through. Most butter chicken dishes have a decent-enough sauce, but the chicken itself is blah – too dry and plain on the inside. But this one had such an authentic taste!!! It’s an explosion of flavors in your mouth. It goes so well with…

Naan bread!

My favorite here is the garlic naan. Now, I normally prefer butter naan, but this place does the garlic naan better and has won me over :) Garlicky while not being too overpowering or “spicy”. It’s definitely not the best I’ve tired, but it is nice enough. Fluffy centers and crispy exteriors make it the perfect sponge for soaking up all that much sauce that comes with most indian main dishes.

This…. this. This is Sam’s favorite, and he says he will come back to Shahi Maharani (wow what a mouthful) again and again, JUST for this.

It’s a sizzling hot plate (hence the blur foggy picture, it was still sizzling and smoking away) with a ton of different ingredients. You probably can’t tell properly, but from my memory, the platter comes with 2 largeeee succulent tandoori prawns (TO DIE FOR), fish tikka pieces, tandoori chickens and 2 kebabs. On a bed of onions / shallots that had the time to get all caramelized, browned and lovely. I love.

If you’re not too big on indian food and don’t know where to start, get this platter & share. Their portions are actually relatively large, Sam and I more than over-ordered, but we rarely give ourselves an indian meal treat these days, so we jump at every opportunity. It makes us really happy. I adore how it arrives at our table still sizzling and smoking….. anything on a hot plate instantly makes it yummier, like drinking soup from a stone bowl, or noodles in a claypot!!!

This last dish we ordered that night is the lamb korma. It’s tender mutton pieces drenched in a rich curry, medium spiced. Sorry you can’t see much from the picture, lol, it’s all drenched in sauce. (which is why it’s sooo good!) Someone I used to know commented that she doesn’t like indian food because there’s too many spices & flavors going on, she doesn’t know what she’s putting into her mouth at the end of the day and whether they use ingredients (such as meats) that aren’t as fresh and mask it up with a thick curry flavor. You’ll have no problem with the “smelly mutton smell” (as chinese people in Singapore call it) here.

We’ve tried more dishes on other dates that aren’t listed here because I didn’t manage to take a picture of those, but literally everything we tried on the menu ranged from good to very good. Otherwise I wouldn’t bother to make a blog post out of this, I’m generally a very lazy blogger, LOL. Note that this is, in no way, a sponsored post. I wish it was though… my life would be complete. I love my own cooking, but I can’t cook indian food. The recipes are too traditional & complicated and how large a spice rack would I have to own?!

Food quality aside, this place is fast turning into one of our top restaurants in Singapore because of it’s wonderful service and ambience. Restaurant set up is very cozy, nicely decorated and is posh enough to be considered a “nice dinner” but not too posh that it’s pretentious or that you’d feel uncomfortable if you wore casual clothing. The waiters are friendly & all speak decent english, quick to fill up your water glass when it’s emptying, they’re happy to give you suggestions based on your own preferences and most of all, they want to make sure you have a good time. We are always checked up upon and asked, “how is the food?” with a smile. In Singapore, it is SO SO SO SO rare to find GOOD QUALITY SERVICE in our restaurants. Professional and friendly waiters are honestly a near-extinct species here. Why the hell am I paying 10% of my total bill for service tax when I haven’t received good service at all? So when I find a restaurant with good service, such as the Fish & Co at Changi Airport and this one, it’s like a dream come true. 

Oh, I must also mention that they have a live band - indian singers singing indian songs!! (well duh I sound stupid – if not indian singers singing chinese songs meh) Very cool experience, and the vibe we get from this place is great, we never fail to leave smiling and patting our tummies (and rolling out the front door)

See: me entering, before food is served….. see again: me exiting, food in ma belly.

Pricing wise, it’s towards the high side, but totally worth the money. If you’re on a budget, mentally prepare yourself before entering. Our dinner above costed us about $100 SGD – for 2 naan breads, 1 lamb korma, 1 butter chicken, and 1 platter to share. That’s a lot of food we had to ourselves though.. probably about 3-4 person’s worth, so technically you could almost halve that amount for a meal for 2, if you wanted to. But since I’ve started cooking regularly, I really haven’t been dining out that much, and I’m happy to indulge in quality food & service once in awhile. If the price totally puts you off, they also have a lunch buffet, it’s more affordable and it’s all-you-can-eat so knock yourself out. I haven’t tried it personally but reviews online say it’s pretty good. Thing about buffet food is…. the quality is almost always never as good as ala carte items. Well it’s your choice to make!

Shahi Maharani North Indian Restaurant
252 North Bridge Road, #03-21B Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: 6235 8840
Food quality: 4/5
Service / Ambience: 4/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Most suitable for: Families, lovers of Indian cuisine, adventurous foodies who want to try something different!

Sam & Jess, signing off! (it was actually his idea to blog about this place since I gushed about it so much)

We’re going on a sponsored trip for the next 3 days – woopie!!! Will be back with a blog post about it afterwards. I can’t wait for this well-deserved break, even if it’s going to be a short getaway nearby.

xoxo,
Jess

xoxo,
Jess
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