Necessary Provisions

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A lazy Saturday night called for us to check out another cafe – 2 week old Necessary Provisions tucked in a corner of Toh Tuck (upper bukit timah)

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necessary provisions interior

They were pretty packed for a cafe at 10pm! I was a fan of their pop up (Henry Congressional). Necessary Provisions is much bigger, they even have space for their own roaster and a kitchen. There’s a huge communal space (pictured above) with a large vase of lilies in the middle, people sitting around working on laptops, indulging in conversations or delving into any of the magazines strewn on the table.

necessary provisions beer

Moor beer, $10

& of course we gave the coffee a go.

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Espresso, $4

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Cappuccino, $5

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Bob checking out their special grinder.

Moor beers are quite reasonably priced, come in a range of flavours and the bottles are relatively big so that’s good for 2 glasses.

Coffee: Their blend of beans is oookay, not too bad, but honestly nothing beats Societe.

necessary provisions pastry

An open table of pastry! Biscuits, cakes and muffins. What I like? They have the classic Pandan Chiffon Cake.

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…and a healthy option of granola. Perfect for breakkie.

Bob and I were famished, we hadn’t had dinner and it was 9ish… so we ordered 3 mains. DO NOT JUDGE!!!

necessary provisions buta donButa Don, $8

Seemed a little overpriced for what tasted like something you could get from any cai fan (mixed veg + rice) stall. A little bit of peppered pork, beansprouts and less peas than I could count on my hand… and the amount of rice seemed disproportionate. Less than average for me, but Bob the fan4 tong3 seemed to really enjoy this dish.

necessary provisions tagliatelle

Tagliatelle Al Ragu, $14

Best of the lot. I liked the texture of the pasta (freshly made!) but the sauce was a little under-seasoned.

necessary provisions prawn pasta

Grilled Prawns, Cherry Tomatoes & Basil pasta, $14

Another miss for me – pasta was nice and al dente, prawns were pretty good, but overall it was pretty bland.

necessary provisions salty sconesThe best thing I ate? Savoury scones ($5). My only must try, you could say.

You get a free appetizer if you order 2 or more mains, apparently.

Overall? The pasta from Necessary Provisions is pretty average but I like that it’s a quiet location, opens till midnight on Friday and Saturday, parking is free and the coffee is not bad.

Would come back to try the pastry and sandwiches.

Oh yes for the scones too.

Necessary Provisions
21 Eng Kong Terrace
Singapore 598993
Tel: 9231 7920
Email: hello@necessaryprovisions.com.sg

Opening hours:
Tue – Thu: 10:00 – 22:00
Fri: 10:00 – 00:00
Sat: 09:00 – 00:00
Sun: 09:00 – 18:00

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Department of Caffeine

So, my short lived favorite coffee place closed down. That means Bob and I are back on the quest to find good coffee. This quest brought us to DOC / The Department of Caffeine at Duxton area, after reading so many gleaming reviews online.

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So. Kinda kinda, same old same old. Wood. Cream. Black. All these hole in the wall cafes are starting to look the same! But the exterior and interior looked promising.

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Some pastry and other interesting things on the menu.

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Pear and Amaretto Cake, $5.50

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Mocha, $5.50

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Soy Flat White, $5.60 (+60c for soy)

I usually refrain from giving bad reviews because I feel bad – starting a business takes a hell load of effort and money, but for a cafe that hails itself as the “Department of Caffeine” and had a big shiny Synesso, their coffee left much to be desired.

The soy that they used did not sit well with their blend – the taste was too distinct and overpowering. Mocha was too sweet and cloying (I don’t know why Bob decided to order Mocha), so much so that Bob decided to give their coffee another chance by ordering an espresso shot.

For a blend that was supposedly sweet, rich and heavy it was none of that. Too sour. TOO SOUR. So bad that between the both of us, we couldn’t finish that tiny cup (nice cups though).

The best thing was really the cake. We left really disappointed! I would never go back again.

Bob however is a rather forgiving person. He actually visited today. But once again he was let down. Apparently the pulled pork sandwich is too salty and the cappuccino was really thin.

Sorry DOC… much to be improved. Did I just visit on a bad day? Order the wrong items? Meh. If you’re still interested in giving it a shot:

Department of Caffeine
15 Duxton Road

Opening hours:
Weekdays, 1030am – 730pm
Weekends, 930am – 730pm

Tel: 6223 3426

Great wines for average prices – #1: 2009 Honig Sauvignon Blanc

OK anyone who knows us will know that Bob is a HUGE wine geek. Like really. I’ve been asking him to start a wine blog but yeah, he never has the time to do it.

Anyway, I can’t say the same for myself but I think the least I can do is introduce you guys the hits amongst the misses. Before I met Bob, wine was just wine and it all tasted the same. But now, after trying a lot more different varieties, I realize that there are differences – that aren’t even subtle at all…and also, low price points don’t necessarily make bad wine. So this is the start of my take on great wines for average prices in SG, because there are better bottles to buy other than Brown Brothers, Cloudy Bay, Jacob’s Creek and like, Inniskillin.

So here we go – here’s our first feature.

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A 2009 Souvignon Blanc from Honig, Napa Valley. It’s available now at a (30%!) discounted price of $40 from The Straits Wine Company (we got ours at the 6th Ave outlet).

Gonna borrow others’ tasting notes, not even gonna try:

From this CellarTracker:

  • Refreshing, slightly sweet, smooth. Nice body and finish. Citrus.
  • Pretty nose of honeysuckle, tropical fruits, and rose petals. Sweet tropical fruit up front, transitions to grapefruit explosion on mid palate. But not bitter or tart. Nicely balanced.
  • If you’re looking for a wine to share with guests who don’t usually drink wine I think you might find them guzzling this one with delight. And for guests that do drink wine, if they’re not adverse to a little fruit-forward, slight sweetness to their wine I think they’d appreciate this one too.
  • peaches and cream on the nose. polished chalk. peaches and cream on the palate. very easy acid on this wine. quite a nice creamy element to the feel of this wine.

SAY WHUUUUT? Hah! Anyway, in my average vocab, it’s light, pleasant, refreshing and easy to drink. I think it’s great for our Singaporean weather. I’ve been swigging this directly from the bottle. IKR, not much of a wine connoisseur.

Plus points – kudos to Honig winery for being a leader in sustainable farming.

Let me know, if you do try this, whether it’s a hit or miss for you.

Symmetry

Symmetry is the kind of place I would actually rather not tell you about because it’s a fantastic, cosy hole in the wall that plays really good music and serves good coffee and good food and sells keep cups and cider.

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Looks like it was inspired by architectural blueprints.

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Cappuccino! Good coffee.

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This cocktail called the Symmetric – quite a refreshing drink, a tad tart.

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Duck Egg, $19. This was like the perfect breakfast dish! A fried egg on top of watercress and barley.

P.S. Secret tip – check out their toilets. And once you’re done, the way to switch on the taps outside is to step on a lever at the bottom of the sinks. I spent like, forever looking for a handle of some sort. Or trying to activate some secret automated thing. Dustbin works the same way too.

P.P.S The waitresses are cute here.

Symmetry
9 Jalan Kubor #01-01 S(199206)
Tel: +65 62919901
Email: info@symmetry.com.sg

& in case you would like to see the menu:

BRUNCH

LUNCH

DINNER

Will I be back? Hell yes.

La Barca @ Goodman Arts Centre

Okay WOW it has been a while? Just got back from Taiwan and Bob and I visited La Barca for brunchhhhh.

La Barca’s a little hard to find at Goodman Arts Centre – which was formerly some secondary school which is pretty cool. Strolling through the halls made me feel all nostalgic.

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As you can tell, La Barca is quite a big restaurant with a nice al fresco area too that has a fooseball table. It’s a suitable place to organize big gatherings, and it’s big enough for lovebirds to nestle themselves in a corner and have their own privacy.

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L’omelette al Parmigiano, $16
Parmesan Cheese Omelette, hand made beef sausages, spinach, roasted potato wedges.

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Pizza Vegetariana, $20
Tomato, mozerella, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, tomato, basil

All in all I’d give the food an okay – it was a tad too oily for our liking. Upon the first mouthfuls I thought the omelette was divine but it became too much to handle after eating the rest. I know, it’s like too much for two. The rest of the food was alright. I kind of expected more from a Michelin chef.

An A for furnishing and ambience though.

La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar
90 Goodman Road
Goodman Arts Centre
Block C
Singapore 439053

Telephone: +65 6346 5813
Website | Facebook

Opening Hours:

Tues – Fri: Open from 9am
Sat & Sun: Open from 12 noon
Kitchen closes at 10pm
Closed on Monday

Taiwan Beer

Received a carton of Taiwanese Beer thanks to the good folks at Kaimay Trading.

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I’ve actually written about the lychee beer before. It’s the best selling flavour in SG! But the carton from Kaimay contained many many other flavours:

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Mwahahaha.

Had an impromptu tasting session with Bob and 2 of his sisters, Fe and Alexis. Bob was doubting how sellable this beer would be in Singapore. I told him it will do damn well because all us girls love getting some alcohol in our systems but most of us absolutely abhor the taste of bitter hops. (Not all, but most!) Plus, they contain natural ingredients and are super yummy.

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This range of Sweet Touch beers contain 9% fruit  juice and 3.5% alcohol. The taste is pretty well balanced.

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Lychee – fave of the lot. You can read more here.

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Apple was okay

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White Grape tasted a tad like moscato gone sour… (chao sng moscato in Alexis’s words.) Least favourite of the lot!

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Moving on to… Taiwan Beer “with Fruit Flavour” – Natural and fresh, quality and tasty! (That’s what it says on the can!)

5% fruit juice (more beer), and 2.8% alcohol. I enjoyed these more than Sweet Touch because after the initial fruit juice taste you’d get the aftertaste of beer.

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Pineapple didn’t really sit well with Bob and Fe. Alexis and I thought it was nice! Didn’t think beer and pineapple would blend well but it really wasn’t too bad. This would definitely sell well during chinese new year. ONG LAI ONG LAI.

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MY FAVORITEST. Taiwan Pi Jiu with Mango! Thought this was really refreshing! I could drink many many cans.

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And of course, this is the renowned Taiwan Beer which serves as the base for the above-mentioned beers. It’s super light and has a distinctive taste of formosa rice!

I’d definitely recommend my top 2 picks – lychee Sweet Touch and Mango + Beer for a girly party or even a wind-me-down after work. NOT JUST COS THEY GAVE ME A CARTON ok. It’s much like Jolly Shandy – but more refreshing and easier to drink, since it contains real fruit juice. What’s even better is that because 25% of Taiwan beer is derived from rice it gives you a less bloated feeling too.

It IS a little pricey though. About $4 a can.

Here’s how to get your hands on this beer:

1. Sweet Touch White Grape and Lychee Beer are both available at major supermarkets! They’ll be rolling out the other flavours over a few months, so brace yourselves for that.

2. You can also order them online at qoo10.