Tag: food

Not far from the CBD and nestled in a pristine shophouse along 9 Craig Road in Duxton is Coucou Singapore, a new, authentically Swiss restaurant from the team behind much loved Italian restaurant Senso Ristorante & Bar. It is not too hard to spot, with its bright red and white signage (Swiss flag colours and Singapore flag colours are coincidentally the same).


So what does the name Coucou mean? I am told that it has three meanings. First, cuckoo clock, second, hello in French, and now, the restaurant!

Much attention to detail (and décor of the place) is paid by Coucou’s Head Chef Yves Schmid, who grew up in Switzerland himself.

On the walls are an assortment of beautiful, colourful cuckoo clocks (that actually go coo-coo) and majestic portrait photographs of the massive Matterhorn, a mountain of the Alps between Switzerland and Italy. (I just recalled that it was not too long ago, that in solidarity with Singapore, the Swiss had projected the Singapore flag onto the Matterhorn!)

The resulting atmosphere of the restaurant is very relaxed and casual for weekend lunch yet also formal enough for special occasions.

The place has a very family-oriented vibe, and is perfect for large gatherings on the weekends or simply for a dinner for two on weekday nights.

I love that there is both shaded outdoor and indoor seating, so there’s always the option to dine al fresco on balmy nights. If you prefer to eat inside the restaurant itself, there’s a skylight which allows the natural light to come in, making the restaurant well ventilated, brightly lit and cooling.


There’s also a bar counter (inside and bar seats outside) which makes Coucou the perfect pitstop for a quick, delectable Swiss wine after a long day at work.


I also love Coucou Singapore’s adorable bar stools with the black and white cow print, and even the chairs indoors look so nice. They’re actually incredibly comfortable and I could probably sit there all day. Another interesting touch was the cool antler chandelier.

After I was seated, I had a look through the menu and had the hardest time deciding what to order. Everything looked so good.


Coucou Salade

I decided to start off with the Coucou Salade. I must tell you, it is my absolute favourite dish at Coucou Singapore. It is so good that I ordered a second helping! It is probably the best salad I’ve ever had in my life and I still think about it sometimes.

The delicious Grand Pere salad dressing was crafted by Chef Yves Schmid’s grandfather, who was a chef in Zurich, Switzerland. What I love about the Coucou Salade is that it is so refreshingly crisp and clean, yet tasty and tangy at the same time. I highly recommend the Coucou Salade, make sure you order it!


Malakoff

After I polished off the salad, I had the Malakoff, which is a traditional, deep fried Swiss cheese served with a fragrant and rich mustard sauce, a beignet au fromage if you speak French.

I found the Malakoff to be filling and also incredibly delicious, and would 100% recommend sharing this. Or if you’re greedy like me, you can have one all to yourself.

Be sure to order the Malakoff if you are a cheese lover!




Spätzli

Next, I had the Spätzli, which is an egg pasta found in Switzerland and other countries like Hungary, Germany, Austria. The name itself means little sparrows, which maybe describes this intriguing pasta shape (I did not know that other cuisines outside of Italian food had pasta!) The Spätzli was definitely unique and also just so slightly cheesy and doughy. It kind of reminds me of gnocchi, and the menu describes it as a “soft dumpling Swiss pasta style”. The portion, like the food at Coucou Singapore, was incredibly generous!


Rosti Burger

My main meal was the rosti burger, which is essentially rosti with a beef patty, melted Swiss raclette cheese, onion and rucola (FYI, Coucou Singapore also does fondue!).

I loved the adorable Swiss flag, and only recently realised that the Swiss flag is square in shape, different from most flags from around the world.

The crispy rosti was really nice and hot and went well with the juicy, tender beef. I really enjoyed the rocket which paired perfectly well. As mentioned before, the portion was large, so if you come with friends and family, there will definitely be enough to go around. I can only imagine how delicious this kind of warm, hearty food would taste in the Swiss Alps!

I would love to try all the other mains (and also drinks!) at Coucou Singapore, there’s really a lot of delicious food to choose from, and I can guarantee that you will go cuckoo.

 


Dessert and Tea

For dessert, there was a lot to choose from, but I decided to order this lovely, light sorbet with really fresh redcurrants. Then, to end my meal, I decided to have a peppermint tea, the perfect calming and detoxing drink after a heavy meal 🙂


New on Coucou’s menu is their Set Menu @ Home, choose from the Spring Menu or the Swiss Traditions Menu.

Spring Menu

The Spring Menu (S$48, no service charge and no GST) comes with Green Peas Veloute, air-dried beef and Sbrinz cheese, Pike Perch Fillet served with Lentils Ragout and Bacon, and a Lemon & Dark Chocolate Tartlet.

Swiss Traditions Menu

With the Swiss Traditions Menu (S$58, no service charge and no GST) choose between the Malakoff & Salade Coucou, Zurich Style Ragout served with Rosti or the Pork Tenderloin with Morels Sauce, Spatzli & Vegetables, and Meringues & Double Crème de la Gruyere (Meringue, Double Cream and Red Fruits).

Kids’ Menu

There is also a Kids’ Menu, at just S$17, it comes with a fruit juice/syrup, veal sausage with rosti, or rigatoni pasta with tomato sauce, or Zurich style veal ragout with Spatzli and fresh fruit salad.

Please note that for islandwide delivery, the minimum order is S$50 with a S$10 delivery fee. For orders above S$150, delivery is free. To order, email reservations@coucou.sg, call +65 6226 0060 or for Whatsapp/SMS only, +65 9731 3788!

Coucou Singapore’s current opening hours are: Wednesday 6pm-9.30pm, and Thursday to Sunday, 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 9.30pm. To stay updated on their latest menu offerings and opening hours, check out their Instagram at www.instagram.com/coucou.restaurant or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/coucou.restaurantor their website at www.coucou.sg

Many thanks to Coucou Singapore for inviting me to experience their beautiful Swiss restaurant and lovingly cooked food, would definitely recommend it to friends and readers alike. Please try Coucou Singapore and let me know what you think!

Coucou Singapore is located at: 9 Craig Road, Singapore 089669
Tel: +65 6226 0060

 

The story of Patisserie Cle is both humbling and inspiring, two Singaporean ladies who learnt the art of making French patisserie in Paris, and return home to Singapore to set up their own online pastry shop, specialising in tarts, cakes and more.

I first heard about Patisserie Cle online because one of the two founders was from my school. It’s been exciting to watch the success of their confectionery journey (their seasonal fig tarts were really gorgeous!)

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to try four of Patisserie Cle’s original tart creations.

The Tart Gift Box (Petite) consists of 4 flavours: Earl Grey Apple, Orh Blanc Tart, Cognac Caramel Chocolate Tart and the Passion Sesame Tart.

1. Earl Grey Apple Tart

This pretty tart was the first one that we tried. There was a generous amount of apple, almonds and a heavenly filling that tasted like frangipane. Although the earl grey flavour didn’t shine through and we thought the almonds could be baked a little longer, the tart tasted like comfort food, like a delicious almond croissant in tart form. Yum!

2. Passion Sesame Tart

I loved this classic lemony tart! The elegant flower-shaped part is made of a heavenly, creamy, pillowy and zesty mousse with an intense passionfruit centre. Under the yellow citrusy filling of the tart is a thin, slightly crunchy sesame base. I didn’t really taste the sesame until the last mouthful but that’s probably a good thing, otherwise the sesame might have detracted from the overall deliciousness of the tart’s citrus flavour. A winning tart for sure!

3. Cognac Caramel Chocolate Tart

This tart was heavenly. We ate it the next day but it was still fresh! The tart crust is coated in a thick, gratifying and generous salted caramel. And above, some sinfully good old chocolate. Nothing too sweet or overpowering, this tart goes down well with tea. I totally appreciate the effort that Patisserie Cle invested in creating this unique, pretty tart.

4. Orh Blanc Tart

This tart is beyond beautiful. Inspired by orh nee (a traditional Teochew yam paste dessert), it consists of fresh yam orh nee, coconut cream, vanilla chantilly and gingko nuts. It tastes just like something you’ll get from a French pastry shop. The tart was very creamy and nutty, like a twist to the classic Mont Blanc.

(On a side note, when I went to collect my tarts from Patisserie Clé in River Valley, I met two other customers in that short span of time – a testament to how good their desserts are! The second lady could not stop raving about her love for the Orh Blanc Tart.)

Now that you’ve read my review, discover and try out Patisserie Clé’s amazing tarts and cakes for yourself at www.patisserie-cle.com.

Many thanks again to Patisserie Clé for letting me have a taster of their delicious goodies!

Limited Edition Riz Labo Strawberry Soufflé Pancakes with Ice Cream, Whipped Cream and Strawberry Sauce [$20++]

Today’s my first time trying these pretty Japanese soufflé pancakes! I shared these with my mum 🍓 Decided to pay a visit after reading reviews of various new soufflé pancake places in Singapore and seeing Riz Labo being voted as the best in town.

Riz Labo Kitchen hails from Omotesando in Tokyo, Japan, some Japanese people work there so you know it’s pretty legit.

It’s located on level 4 within Japan Food Town at Wisma Atria, near the escalators. It’s taken over what was previously Bar Nippon, so the ambience is very bar-like and dark.

The pancakes are made fresh when you order, so we waited about 20 min for the pancakes.

The menu mentioned that the soufflé pancakes are made with egg whites, and Japanese organic, gluten-free rice flour which was promising! We did find that the pancakes were pretty eggy in terms of taste, colour and smell so there are probably lots of egg yolks involved 🤷🏻‍♀️ To me, the pancakes kind of taste like chiffon cake meets pancakes.

We thought the whipped cream would have been better if it was fresh, cold + real not artificial whipped cream. The vanilla ice cream (not strawberry as stated in the menu) went really well with the pancakes.

Personally, I thought the price of the pancakes was pretty steep for the ingredients involved and also it wasn’t that satisfying. Perhaps it’s the labour costs involved in making the pancakes that explains the price 🤷🏻‍♀️

PS. They don’t serve tap water. Recommend ordering the $3 refillable English tea if you don’t have any water.

Finally had the chance to try out the new Japanese Pringles Sour Cream and Chives Instant Noodles! So was it a hit or miss? Let’s find out.

Where to purchase

As at the date of this post, you can find it at Don Don Donki at Orchard Central in Singapore. You can also find it on several local online grocery shopping sites like RedMart, honestbee, EZbuy, etc. subject to availability. There are probably a lot more places you can buy this online like Amazon but that’s the extent of my research so far.

Packaging

The packaging is very solid and good quality. And like most Japanese instant noodles, comes with a very detailed set of instructions on how to cook your noodles al dente. I have a feeling that the instant noodles were supposed to be eaten dry based on Step No. 4!

There was a tab that when removed revealed a shiny silver ventilation-like structure, but on retrospect, I think it was actually so that the soup can be poured out from the styrofoam bowl.

I’ve never seen anything quite like this so it was definitely really interesting!

Next was the most important aspect – the taste!

I suspect that I didn’t pour enough hot water… but after taking this photo I poured some more so that the noodles reached the next step in the bowl.

Taste Test

So was it nice? And would I recommend it?

The noodles were really too oily and greasy and way too buttery for me. There was a really strong greasy, buttery smell that didn’t really sit with me. To be honest I didn’t finish the noodles because the smell was quite overwhelming.

The soup really tasted and smelled more like Pringles compared to the noodles. You can really taste the same Pringles kind of essence in the soup but not at all in the noodles. But it isn’t really mind-blowing in any way.

In any case, I found it difficult to finish these Pringles Instant Noodles on my own.

I’ld probably choose to eat Pringles AND instant noodles, but this collaboration didn’t really surpass my expectations and was actually worse than expected. On the bright side, at least it didn’t smell too sourish.

For the price, I think these instant noodles were really overpriced and overhyped. I think that way more effort was spent on crafting the packaging and aesthetics of these Pringles Instant Noodles as opposed to the actual taste and flavour of it.

I would only recommend these Pringles Instant Noodles if you really are curious and really must try them yourself.

I think you don’t have to be a Pringles fan to enjoy it. But be warned, I wouldn’t say they are the best, most delicious instant noodles ever made. If you’re craving Pringles, just buy a can of those potato chips instead!

Nestled along Rowell Road (between Little India and Jalan Besar) is Sideways Singapore, a wood-fired dining concept that does both brunch and dinner. I was recently invited by Sideways Singapore to try out their new menu, but ended up learning more about their restaurant and the awesome people behind it.

Sideways Singapore is a recently opened, sister food establishment to The Hangar. It’s currently housed in a refurbished 100 year old shophouse.

Unbelievably, the restaurant is just under 6 months old but it is already full of character. The chairs, tables, wiring, pretty much everything was put together by Singaporean Pav, who co-owns Sideways Singapore with his Italian partner, Giulia.

When we spoke with Pav and Giulia, they both seemed to really love living in Singapore (having lived overseas), and they both hoped to create something special and unique for Singapore.

As for the menu, almost everything is cooked in a beautiful wood-fire oven, which was lovingly made from scratch by Pav.

He shared with us that it took him 3.5 weeks to finish building this oven, and I was really impressed by his ability to pick up these skills and to be able to make his very own oven!

The ambience at Sideways Singapore is very welcoming, almost warm and homely, there’s lots of natural ambient light that filters in in the day time. And I hear that Sideways Singapore is even more magical at night, so I’ll have to come again.

I like the attention to detail everywhere, and the beautiful tiles on the flooring provide a reflection of the 100 year old shophouse’s Singaporean heritage.

Even the outdoor washroom round the back has its own unique charm 🙂

Don’t forget to check out the exposed exterior wall of the shophouse, which is covered in a beautiful, almost 3D-esque street art created by two American graffiti artists back in 2010.

Before I forget, let me tell you about the food!

First, we tried their delicious signature wood-fired sourdough [$4+].

The bread served at Sideways is made fresh daily.

They do sourdough, ciabatta, everything! So if you want to buy a loaf, do give them a call in advance (I’ve listed their telephone number at the end of this post).

The wood-fired sourdough was definitely one of the best sourdoughs I’ve had in Singapore. It’s really unforgettable.

Really airy, crispy, fresh, soft and fluffy in the centre! A must-order at Sideways. The portion was generous/just nice for me, and we had it with an avo pesto dip [$9+] made from feta, pesto, basil, tamarind, olive oil, pepper and mint. Really good, savoury stuff and so easy to spread on the sourdough. I’m craving it just thinking about it. It’s really tasty.

Next, I tried the Sicilian Crostini [$12+] which is spicy nduja spread, creamy burrata with mint served on wood-fired sourdough toast.

This is one of their mains. It’s really hearty, filling and full of flavour. If you’re a big eater, order this. The sides of the sourdough was really gorgeously charred and crusty! Taste-wise, I found that the dishes we tried all had a commonality among one another, I think it lies in the use of mint, basil and pepper that gives the food at Sideways its own original character. We found it hard to label the cuisine at Sideways – it seems to be a melting pot of different influences, that comes together to form its own sort of identity. I wouldn’t say it falls under fusion per se, but it is a mixture of different food cultures.

Next, we tried the oven baked artichoke. On its own, we found it pretty vinegary and tasted quite pickled. I felt like it could pair nicely with a drink, or maybe couscous? Perhaps pita? I’m not sure what people generally eat artichoke with, I usually have it on pizza. Besides artichoke done this style, Sideways also does a fried version, which actually sounds pretty good..

After that, we tried something new on their menu – Stuffed Pita with Veg [$16+]. This is their wood-fired pita filled with eggplant, peppers, pesto, melted mozzarella and sprinkled with parsley. It’s a little like a calzone, and tastes similar to the other items we tried! I think this is worth ordering if you are craving something very homely and easy to eat. I suspect that this stuffed pita with veg would be a hit with children.

Last but not least, we tried the Cauliflower Steak [$12+].

The cauliflower is cooked in the wood-fire oven and has a nice, lightly charred flavour. The cauliflower is topped with a beautiful beetroot tahini and lots of sesame, pepper and parsley. The tahini has a rich and wonderful sesame flavour, and the tiny cubes of beetroot were delicious – very fresh and floral and not at all earthy or muddy tasting. Again, the flavours in the tahini were rich and yummy.

I think the successful dishes which really worked at Sideways were those with a mix of more plain, light flavours combined with more richer, more intense flavours to balance it out. I particularly liked the signature wood-fired sourdough. Highly recommend it, together with the avo pesto dip. Also recommend the new cauliflower steak with beetroot tahini. It’s super good.

Who I think would enjoy Sideways Singapore:

– People who love cafe hopping and finding new restaurants in Singapore;

– Vegetarians and vegans as the menu is pretty veg friendly;

– Anyone who feels ambience is very important in a dining setting;

– Anyone who LOVES bread;

– Anyone who loves tapas, small plates, appetisers, hummus, tahini, etc;

– Anyone who likes oven baked fish, lamb, veg;

– Anyone who likes fusion / a variety of different food cultures; and

– Anyone who is bored of what Singapore has to offer and wants an escape from the Central Business District and crowds in the shopping malls.

Sideways Singapore is truly a new experience, both visually and food-wise! It really felt like travelling to a different part of Singapore I’ve not seen before.

To end this post, I want to thank both Giulia and Pav for hosting us and letting us try their delicious food as well as explore their beautiful wood-fired restaurant.

It’s certainly worth a visit and if you are in the neighbourhood, make sure you don’t miss it! And be sure to try all of their yummy wood-fired food and let me know if you enjoyed it 🙂

Address: Sideways Singapore,

109 Rowell Road,

Singapore 208033

Tel: 6291 3441

Website: www.sideways.com.sg

Instagram: @sidewayssg

Opens on Tuesdays to Sundays

Tuesdays to Fridays: 11.30am – 11pm

Saturdays: 10am – 11pm

Sundays: 10am – 4pm

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