Cafe de Amigo at Funan Centre

RIMG0012It was a bright Saturday afternoon where I was out hunting for a Nokia E61 USB charger for 143. I am converting everything to USB chargers as it is at least 80% lighter than lugging the full-sized chargers and a notebook.

Been wanting to check out Tommy’s Cafe de Amigo since it moved from Specialist Centre about a month ago. So decided to have a late lunch there.

For those who are unfamiliar, Cafe de Amigo is a bistro serving simple hearty meals. It is an OSE-themed (Oyster, Salmon and Escargot) restaurant. The 3-course set lunches and dinners are reasonably priced. And you may customize the set menus with other options such as French Onion soup or a Sirloin steak.

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Posted on 29th Oct 2006 in Bistro/Trattoria, Food and Drink, Western  |  15 comments

A tasting at Cafe Arcadia, Tampines

Tampines! The largest residential estate in Singapore; so well-designed that it won the United Nations World Habitat Award for Excellent Housing Design; so big that it even has its section of people online seeking love (warning: there’s a pop-up on the “love” link, but it’s pretty funny to see so many Tampinites there).

The name “Tampines” (pronounced “Ten-pee-niss”), according to hearsay, was named so during the time when Sir Stamford Raffles decided to see if the legend of the Merlion was true. After a long trek from the Raffles Hotel on Beach Road, he spotted a curious creature and cried, “Oh! I say, that blighter has got 10 p- Quick! Farquhar! After it!”


I think the person whom I heard say this smoked something illegal while watching Urotsukidoji and never quite recovered.

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Posted on 28th Oct 2006 in Food and Drink, Hainanese, Tze Char, Western  |  Comments off

Last day at Cafe de Amigo, Specialists Centre

The 28th of September was also the last day for Cafe de Amigo at the Specialists Centre too. So after the dinner at Club Chinois, we trooped down there.

There was more Champagne, singing and dancing where we discovered that Tommy is a passionate singer and that it’s been more than twenty years since I did the two-step.


Ok ok, I can only do the two-step.

Anyway, it’s hard to believe that Cafe de Amigo has been there for ten years.

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We’ve had many pleasant memories of dinners with great wines there. Of course, this is not the end as Cafe de Amigo has merely shifted to the second floor of Funan Centre.

Bigger premises that promises more fun to come.


Posted on 15th Oct 2006 in Food and Drink, Makankaki, Western  |  1 comment

Birthday Party at Club Chinois

collageI’ve had many opportunities to dine at Club Chinois at the Orchard Parade Hotel, but I have always missed them.

I was determined not to miss it this time, not because my friends keep beating my head over how good the place was and how I keep missing out; no, this time a dear friend invited me to celebrate her birthday there.

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Posted on 15th Oct 2006 in Chinese, Food and Drink, Fusion, Makankaki, Western  |  4 comments

Appreciating Meat at The Grill at Hillcrest

collageWas invited to a beef appreciation seminar organized by The SAFRA Food & Wine Explorer’s Club at the Grill at Hillcrest. This restaurant was formerly known as the Coq and Bull but was closed and given a new shine.

This is a good thing because The Coq and Bull was a horribly expensive suburban restaurant that had urban pretentions with prices to match.

Oh… wait…

Anyway, the theme for the dinner was “Beefy Goodness” and who could resist? I mean, it is almost every real man’s dream to sign up for this.

Besides, it was rumoured that Pichon-Longueville and the Reserva de la Comtesse would make several appearances.

Especially being an event organized by Indoguna with the Les Amis Group.

The SAFRAFWEC (it’s quasi-military, so it must have impressive acronyms that require a wipedown with a towel after saying it) people there were friendly. While Jamie lost my reservation (hey, I paid already), she was nice enough not to kick a big fuss and let me in.

I will join SAFRAFWEC. 😉

It was great to see so many friends there whose reservations weren’t lost and were let in. And so we congregated and waited for the whole thing to begin.

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First was a short talk on the wines from Chateau Pichon-Longueville and the Reserva de la Comtesse, their similarities and differences. This was followed by a vertical tasting of the different years.


Then came the talk that everyone was waiting for.

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Apparently different cultures prefer different cuts of meat. This is because of the different cooking styles, for example, the flank is usually reserved for stir-frys.

The most interesting topic and one that had the most questions was on Wagyu and Kobe beef. They are the same thing except that Kobe beef comes from (ha!) Kobe, whereas Wagyu is for the rest of the world.

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Also, there are 13 grades of Wagyu beef, but the world only gets to see at most up to grades 12 (very rare). Typically we get grades 6-10 in Singapore. Grade 13 is totally consumed in Japan.

Oh yes, there is no big difference between the Sirloin and Striploin cuts of beef.

By this time, everyone was getting hungry. It is not a good thing to talk about food when there is none at the table. A few people (me included) actually ordering pizza from the pizza joint next door (it sucked).

The statement made as the pizzas were carried in and brought to our table was profound.

And happily, the talk ended then and dinner commenced at 9pm, an hour after we sat down. First up was a beef carparccio.

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It was a thinly sliced affair with olive oil and citrus flavours. Delicious but short-lived. 😉

Next was Veal cheeks. It looked horribly dry and unappetizing at first sight. But put a slice in your mouth and you get a dense and intensely flavourful morsel that was enhanced by the dryness.

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Flavorful, almost like beef jerky but without the jaw exercise.

The main course was three different cuts of meat, the tenderloin, the Sirloin and the Ribeye.


Perfectly cooked in a red wine sauce, the three different cuts of meats had distinctively different tastes. The only thing that marred the experience was that the position of the meats were jumbled up and that no one could tell which cut was which. 😛

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It is my belief that to have a good beef steak experience, one should go for the ribeye. This was confirmed by Thomas, the person who gave the talk, as it is also his favourite cut.

The Ribeye is cheaper than the usual Sirloin but has more flavour because the marbling of fat is more pronounced.

So now you know. 🙂

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Dessert was so-so where the only point of interest was the Coconut cream tempered the sourish sauce to a tolerable point for me.

All in all, it was an interesting dinner where my beliefs were confirmed and my appreciation of beef has enhanced been enhanced with the new-found knowledge.

The Grill at Hillcrest does not only serve beef. There are other meats. Stepping in is like a meat-lover’s dream.

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Posted on 2nd Sep 2006 in Food and Drink, Meat, Western  |  7 comments

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