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Singapore: The Dempsey Brasserie

8 Apr

If you’re looking for a new place in the Dempsey area to wine and dine, consider The Dempsey Brasserie – an “eatery with a strong emphasis on drinks”. I’ve been here a few times for both weekend brunch and dinner and am quite partial to it. Its industrial New York loft interior, modern bistro food and yummy cocktail list is quite a winning combination. What I also like about it is though it’s chic, it’s not too try hard and is spacious enough that you’re not forced to eavesdrop on your neighbours’ conversation. Just the kind of place to let your hair down over comfort food with close pals.


A very tall and green glass of French Maid (cucumber, mint, lime & ginger beer) ($8) was perfect for post clubbing hydration. I never knew cucumber juice could taste that good.

The unfailingly rich and hearty French onion soup with thick crostini and gruyere cheese melt ($14) was indeed one of the best onions soups I’ve had in Singapore. Always a must order when I’m here.

I wasn’t too crazy about the Mini prime Angus cheese burgers served with skinny fries ($18) as the patties were a little dry and hard. But when you can upgrade your plain skinny fries to the heavenly truffle, parmesan and rosemary fries for a small fee – that’s instant redemption. Love the fries here!

The Whole roasted ‘poussin’ chicken with creamy mashed potato, buttered root vegetables and cranberry sauce ($30) was a definite winner. The chicken was very moist and probably brined in a herb bath as it was very flavourful.

For dessert, the Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla bean ice-cream ($14) wasn’t quite a worthy opponent to Marmalade Pantry’s, but still satisfying.

**For weekend brunch they also have more typical brunch food like eggs benedict and croque monsieur. Some of the dishes I had above are also available for dinner.


I absolutely love the coolers here. The Dempsey Gunner (Stolicnaya vodka, ginger beer, ginger ale, lemon, bitters) ($15) was an alcoholic update of my favourite mocktail – the Gunner. Ginger beer/ale FTW.

If you’re in the mood for Belgium’s best invention, look no further and get their Signature mussels and fries ($36) which were fresh and plump. Their mussels are air flown from Boston Bay, Tasmania. There are a few flavours on offer but I always pick the classics: Vin blanc (shallots, garlic, parsley & dry white wine) and Mariniere (shaved fennel, shallots, white wine, cream). Fries upgrade available here too :)

For the meat eaters, they do have a selection of steak cuts here. Ribeye steak served with skinny fries, side salad and a choice of sauce ($38).

We went a little crazy with desserts that night. All that we had were not bad. This was the Banana & Rum crumble with chocolate ice-cream ($14)

Profiteroles, toasted almonds and warm chocolate sauce ($12)

Warm chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice-cream ($14)

Bar counter

Booze booze booze

Their gorgeous real Christmas tree that was huge and smelt so good.

The Dempsey Brasserie is the kind of place that I would keep coming back because of its whole package. The food’s pretty delish, ambiance is lovely, the menu (including the drinks menu) is huge, and the prices are reasonable too. A must go for folks like me who love having good cocktails with their food.

Price: $$-$$$
Location: Block 7, Dempsey Road #01-03, Singapore 249671
Tel : +65 6473 4500

Singapore: Five & Dime

15 Mar

After dinner at UE Square we were looking for a dessert & drinks place nearby. Thankfully there’s Five & Dime along River Valley Road – a new bistro that is supposedly a modern take of an American diner in the 60s that is just a short drive away.

Stylish decor

Chairs with Tiffany blue legs

Cute flowers and sugar hearts on our table (it was V-day!)

Wall decor

Five & Dime serves food including a weekend brunch, but since we were there post dinner, we were just looking for some drinks and cakes. They have quite a big menu of drinks – cocktails, wine, beer (including some craft beers), mocktails, coffee, tea etc. Think PS Cafe.

We tried some of their cupcakes on display. These were the sea salt caramel cupcake and Guinness stout mini cupcakes. My friend found them a little dry, but I thought they were okay. I liked the flavour of the Guinesss stout ones – they didn’t stinge on the stout!

Iced lemonade

Little Creatures Pale Ale – loved it!

Iced mocha with marshmallow topping

And for me, a cocktail of course :) This was the Asian inspired Gin & Jade ($18) – lychee liquor, lemon, gin, pandan syrup. I’m a sucker for anything pandan and liked the light vanilla-ish taste here.

Since we didn’t eat there, I can’t comment on the food. But for a drinks and (some) desserts place, I thought it was a-okay, nothing to shout about but it’s a quiet place to chill at night. I wouldn’t travel to River Valley area for it but if I’m in the area, sure why not. I took a glance at the food menu and they have the standard fare like fish and chips, cajun chicken, steak, and a weekend brunch menu. If you do try dining there, let me know it goes!

Price: $-$$
Location: 297 River Valley Rd 238338 (if you’re driving park inside the compound with the red gate)
Tel: +65 92365002

London: The Breakfast Club

18 Jul

The Providores & Tapa Room had set a high benchmark for brunch on my trip. But The Breakfast Club, a more rustic and hearty breakfast/brunch place with a few branches in London turned out to be quite a winner too. As we went on a weekday, we didn’t have to queue (I read on many reviews that you often have to queue for at least an hour during weekends). I really like its cheery egg yolk-ish shopfront and the clever name (named after the 80’s movie but so apt).

I wished I had a picture of the place without my face (I know, it rhymes)…but I don’t. I just wanted to show you the eclectic and rustic interior.

We started with some freshly squeezed juices Virgin Apple Mojito Pressed Apple, Mint and Lime and Carrot And Orange – both were delicious! I never knew virgin mojitoes could taste so good.

This was my Eggs Royale with Smoked Salmon on Toasted English Muffin with Hollandaise. The eggs were perfectly poached and the sauce was dreamy and not too rich. I also liked the fresh garden salad served on the side with a very zesty vinaigrette.

This was The Full Monty (Bacon, Sausage, Black Pudding, Eggs, Hashbrowns, Mushrooms, Beans, Grilled Tomato and Toast). We requested to change the black pudding into mushrooms. The scrambled eggs, mushrooms, sausage and even the hashbrowns (more like roasted potatoes actually) were really good.

We had to order the Pancakes and Berries with Maple Syrup and Vanilla Cream, which is probably its most raved over dish. How gorgeous does it look? The pancakes were really thick and fluffy, and they were very generous with the berries and maple syrup as you can see. But the real winner, was actually the vanilla cream. I’m not sure exactly what kind of cream it was, but it had a texture in between ice cream and chantilly cream and the vanilla flavour was very intense (if I’m not wrong, I spotted vanilla pod seeds in it). It was sooo good. I swear, it was the best pancakes I’ve ever had!

 I can’t wait to be back again for the amazing pancakes. Sigh, London…why do you have to be such an expensive plane ticket away, with insane hotel prices to boot?

Price: $$
Location: 33 D’Arblay Street, London, W1F 8EU (Check website for other locations)
Note: Brunch is available from 9am-5pm till items run out (yay!)

London: The Providores & Tapa Room

16 Jul

The day I had brunch at the Providores & Tapa Room was a glorious day. While I was researching for my trip, I read that it does fusion cuisine and is also very popular for brunch. And yes, if you’re wondering it’s actually “Tapa”, not Tapas as according to its website, the restaurant is named after the Pacific Rarotongan Tapa cloth that hangs on the wall, which you see in the picture below. But just to clarify, they also serve small dishes on their all day menu.

We didn’t make reservations and came at 2pm, but as expected there was still a queue. We waited for about 20 mins and got seated in the Tapa Room on the ground floor at the bar tables. The place has a busy, casual vibe. Sorry that you had to see my flat hair, but I wanted to show you the cool bar counter and display behind me.

To start we ordered the Tamarillo and Kiwifruit Smoothie (£5.50) and Hot Chocolate (£2.90). Tamarillo is actually an Andean fruit also known as a tree tomato. Together with the kiwifruit, it was really sour and tangy. Interesting!

Though we were a party of 2 ladies, we ordered 3 mains – our waitress had to confirm with us if we were sure about that :) From top right, they were Two soft-boiled eggs with vegemite soldiers (£5.80), Turkish eggs from changa in Istanbul – two poached eggs with whipped yoghurt and hot chilli butter with sourdough (£8.90), French toast stuffed with banana and pecans with grilled smoked streaky bacon and vanilla verjus syrup (£8.80). Seriously…everything WAS SO GOOD.

I really loved the Turkish eggs even though I don’t normally eat yoghurt and I’ve not tried something like this before. Together, the poached eggs with the chilli butter and whipped yoghurt just made such an insane combination I was just eating it out of the bowl with a spoon instead of slathering it on the bread. Slightly spicy, cheesy (the yoghurt), runny eggs…uber yums!

I first tried vegemite soldiers with soft boiled eggs in The Plain, an Australian cafe in Singapore and I loved it, especially the fact that you had to dip your soldiers in the runny eggs. I guess I love playing with my food while eating ;) The eggs given were actually hard boiled so we alerted our waitress who was apologetic and replaced them for us. The soldiers were on the other hand, really light and crispy and generously buttered with vegemite which is not for everyone but so addictive if you ask me. It’s the ultimate comfort brunch dish for me. I did wish the soldiers here were thinner as I couldn’t exactly dip them properly into the eggs.

The french toast was my friend’s favourite, and I could definitely see why – a french toast with bacon, vanilla, banana and pecan nuts is seriously the champion of french toasts. I liked how they stuffed the toast with the bananas and pecans instead of just using them as toppings, and opted for a vanilla verjus instead of the usual maple. And the bananas were so deliciously caramelised I’m salivating as I type this!

It was definitely the best brunch I’ve ever had. I wished we had a brunch place of this standard in Singapore, that also features a diverse range of brunch dishes ranging from the traditional to Turkish and Australian. And prices were very reasonable too, if you ask me.

Price: $$
Location: 109 Marylebone High Street, between Vincent Street and Moxon Street