Tag Archives: noodles

David’s First Overseas Trip – Ho Chi Minh City

Adrian had to go to Ho Chi Minh City for a trip with his colleagues so I tagged along too. We brought Baby D with us because he’s still nursing and Anya because it was her birthday weekend. Poor Adam was left with my parents. David was relatively ok for his first flight ever. He was restless and cried a few times but it was no worse than his usual behaviour. We spent most of our time in HCMC eating and also checked out a couple of tourist attractions, namely the post office, Notre Dame and Ben Thanh market.

I really wanted to go to the Cu Chi tunnels and we even booked a trip but decided that it just wasn’t worth a 2-hour car ride there and back with the kids. Ho Chi Minh City is not a very kid-friendly place. The traffic is terrible and the air is not great. While we were there, we got several concerned looks from the locals whenever they saw David. Back home, we only got nagged by old folks but in HCMC, even young people would stare and point! Turns out that in Vietnam, babies below 3 months of age (and their mothers) are not supposed to leave the house and David was just over 1.5 months then!

Pho Hoa Pasteur

Pho Hoa Pasteur

Anya's bananas!

Anya’s bananas!

the pho and the coffee are so good

the pho and the coffee are so good

had dinner on a boat

had dinner on a boat

driving our dinner boat

driving our dinner boat

enjoyed a cultural performance

enjoyed a cultural performance

checked out the night market

checked out the night market

bought coffee

bought coffee

General Post Office

General Post Office

it's still functional, unlike ours which is now Fullerton Hotel

it’s still functional, unlike ours which is now Fullerton Hotel

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

inside

inside

found the Lunch Lady

found the Lunch Lady

people at the Lunch Lady

people at the Lunch Lady

banh canh cua

banh canh cua

house of flying claypots

house of flying claypots

rice being thrown across the room

rice being thrown across the room

inside Ben Thanh market

inside Ben Thanh market

busy place

busy place

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Pasta La Vista at Swensen’s

I love my carbs and I’m delighted that Swensen’s, one of our favourite family-friendly restaurants, has four new fusion pastas on the menu from today to 30 April. The exciting flavours are definitely worth trying out!

four new pastas

four new pastas

My personal favourite is the Chili King Prawn Pasta ($17.50). Juicy king prawns are served over spaghetti in a tangy homemade chili crab sauce. The balanced sweet and spicy flavours really appeal to me and it is such a comforting dish. I can imagine Anya enjoying this even though it’s slightly spicy!

Chili King Crab Pasta

Chili King Prawn Pasta

Adrian’s vote goes to the Japanese-inspired Short Ribs Shabu Shabu Pasta ($16.50). Angel hair pasta with tender shabu shabu beef, mushroom, quail eggs and cherry tomatoes in a homemade chicken broth is light on the palate but doesn’t compromise on taste. He’ll probably have to share it with Adam who is a big fan of soup.

Short Ribs Shabu Shabu Pasta

Short Ribs Shabu Shabu Pasta

The Crabmeat Squid Ink Pasta ($17.50) in a yummy cream sauce has sweet chunks of crabmeat and shimeji mushroom. Very tasty and hearty, this is perfect for those who love cream-based pasta dishes. Great for kids!

Crabmeat Squid Ink Pasta

Crabmeat Squid Ink Pasta

The Mac ‘N’ Chic Laksa ($16.50) with succulent chicken skewers and quail eggs over a bed of macaroni in Singaporean laksa paste is a spicy delight that is sure to please where Asian flavours are preferred.

Mac 'N' Chic Laksa

Mac ‘N’ Chic Laksa

Complete your pasta meal with any of the refreshing iced teas ($5.90). There is Blackcurrant with Passionfruit Tea, Peach Tea and Green Tea Apple Soda. I love the last one because it really helps to quench the thirst in the recent heatwave that we are having!

Green Tea Apple Soda

Green Tea Apple Soda

The pasta dishes and iced teas are available at all Swensen’s outlets (except Bugis Junction) until 30 April. Check them out while you can!

Symmetry

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Symmetry so I took advantage of the Deepavali school holiday to have brunch there with Anya. We were the very first customers there at 10.30am but the place filled up very quickly within the hour.

9 Jalan Kubor

9 Jalan Kubor

the good life

the good life

inside

inside

menu for the day

menu for the day

busy doodling

busy doodling

Anya directed and took this shot

Anya directed and took this shot

Anya loves to order soft boiled eggs and toast if it’s on the menu. I was thinking of something breakfasty as well but decided that I didn’t want to have to finish up my toast and hers so ordered the prawn aglio olio. That was a good call because the prawn aglio olio sounds absolutely ordinary but tasted very good! The sauce was yummy and it had little sesame seeds and bits of seaweed in it. In fact, Anya liked it so much she ate most of it and I was stuck with her eggs and toast. Hmmph. The drinks were good too.

a mocha for me

a mocha for me

a mango banana yoghurt smoothie for Anya

a mango banana yoghurt smoothie for Anya

provided kid's cutlery without any prompting

provided kid’s cutlery without any prompting

soft boiled eggs and toast

soft boiled eggs and toast

prawn aglio olio

prawn aglio olio

Symmetry is cosy and quirky and the service is great. It is located in a really interesting area but I can see how parking would be a problem. It’s open everyday which is rare these days because I always have a problem finding an interesting place to go to on Mondays and Tuesdays. The menus for lunch and dinner look like they are worth checking out so I think we’ll be back!

street art nearby

street art nearby

peeping man

peeping man

Necessary Provisions

I used to hang out at the now defunct Henry Congressional while waiting for Anya to finish her Berries class and the people behind that cafe have set up Necessary Provisions at Eng Kong Terrace which is really near our place.

They have the most amazing iced latte consisting of cold milk poured over frozen cubes of espresso. So good. It’s the only iced latte Adrian is willing to drink without adding any gross sugar syrup. The iced dark chocolate is fantastic too, especially if you generally prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate.

So far we’ve only managed to try some of the breakfast items (mee siam, panini with nutella and bananas, toast with cashew butter, french toast), the scones and the beef pastrami sandwich. What we’ve had so far is all very decent, but I’m dying to go back to try some of the items on their kitchen menu because I’ve seen pictures and the food looks yummy.

Love the place and it would be great if they could invest in a few baby chairs and maybe some unbreakable plates and cutlery for the little ones so I can eat in peace without worrying that one of the kids is going to drag a plate to the floor!

love the colour scheme

love the colour scheme

some of the yummy baked goods I remember from Henry Congressional

some of the yummy baked goods I remember from Henry Congressional

the kids

the kids

waiting for food

waiting for food

best iced latte

best iced latte

milk + coffee = bliss

milk + coffee = bliss

iced dark chocolate

iced dark chocolate

babyccino

babyccino

drinking his babyccino with a straw

drinking his babyccino with a straw

toast with cashew butter

toast with cashew butter

mee siam

mee siam

weird and wonderful

weird and wonderful

impromptu dance

impromptu dance

my mad family

my mad family

vintage ride-along car outside

vintage ride-along car outside

Eat Play Love Cafe

Finally made it to Eat Play Love cafe at Aliwal St after hearing so much about it! We were there on a drizzly Friday evening and the place was quite empty at that hour. We paid for the kids to craft for 2 hours ($5) and allowed them to run wild at the craft area.

I love that the place is so bright and colourful, and the little knick knacks and decorations make the cafe so charming. The craft area is set up with all the craft materials a kid could possibly want for a simple session. Additional craft materials such as a doll kit or shrinky dink plastic can be purchased and used on the spot.

The menu is another big plus for me. I greatly approve of any place that has both chicken macaroni and tom yum on the menu. Of course, they have other food like burgers and such as well. They are introducing a children’s menu soon!

Eat Play Love is really kid-friendly but I’m looking for an opportunity to go back sans kids so I can sit down for a crafting session of my own! Can’t wait! :)

Eat Play Love

Eat Play Love

colourful posters on the wall

colourful posters on the wall

loads of crafting materials

loads of crafting materials

additional crafting kits for sale

additional crafting kits for sale

another crafting corner

another crafting corner

shrinky dink jewellery

shrinky dink jewellery

old school snacks

old school snacks

making a pasta necklace

making a pasta necklace

perfect rainy day for tom yum

perfect rainy day for tom yum

tasty chicken macaroni

tasty chicken macaroni

Nutella banana waffle

Nutella banana waffle

????????

with their pasta necklaces and other assorted bits

with their pasta necklaces and other assorted bits

love!

love!

Eat Play Love is at 28 Aliwal St #01-07 Aliwal Arts Centre. They are open from 12 to 10pm everyday except Tuesday.

ONAKA – Optimum Nutrition And Kitchen Arts

Imagine a meal at a restaurant with a strict ‘No white bread, no white rice and no white sugar’ policy and a menu that’s about 50% vegetarian. Sounds boring and tasteless? The meal we had at ONAKA was anything but that!

I was rather dismayed when someone mentioned before our meal that ONAKA’s menu was about 50% vegetarian because I really do like my meat. The appetisers seemed to confirm my worst fears because 3 out of the 4 were vegetarian! But once I had my first bite, my hesitations evaporated and I was more than game to try the rest of the food.

inside ONAKA

inside ONAKA

Asian Hummus

Asian Hummus

The Asian Hummus is made from organic tahini, organic chickpeas and chilli-marinated olives served with whole meal pita crisps. It sounds ridiculously healthy but was surprisingly tasty! When the server tried to clear away the plate that had just a tiny bit of hummus left so she could bring us more food, we were like, “Nooo… we’re not done yet!”

Watermelon Sashimi

Watermelon Sashimi

The Watermelon Sashimi was quite intriguing! We thought it was tuna sashimi at first and couldn’t figure out what it was made of. The watermelon has the texture and feel of sashimi but reveals itself with a refreshing crunchiness once you bite into it. The ‘tobiko’ is wasabi-flavoured agar!

Nicoise Paper Roll

Nicoise Paper Roll

The Nicoise Paper Roll is comprises fresh tuna, cucumber, French beans, herbed egg-salad, dehydrated olives and aioli. I know aioli is not really to everyone’s taste (e.g. my husband) but this is similar to a Vietnamese paper roll and very pleasant.

Tofu Avocado Salad

Tofu Avocado Salad

The Tofu Avocado Salad has soy brined tofu, avocado, mesclun, walnut, sprouts, hazelnut and tamari dressing. It is a tasty, wholesome and satisfying salad with the tofu approximating the texture of feta cheese.

Roasted Mushroom Soba

Roasted Mushroom Soba

Pineapple Rice

Pineapple Rice with Tofu & Tempe Skewers

After the appetisers, we tried 4 different carb dishes. The Roasted Mushroom Soba is buckwheat soba with roasted mushroom ragu,  mushroom dashi and truffle aroma. There is an earthy aroma that I find very alluring.

The Pineapple Rice is made from organic brown rice! I was quite quite amazed because I completely could not tell that it was brown rice. It also has organic quinoa, roasted pineapple, carrots, spices, coconut oil and Asian herbs.

Hot & Sour Prawn Rice Noodles

Hot & Sour Prawn Rice Noodles

Maritime Barley Risotto

Maritime Barley Risotto

Hot & Sour Prawn Rice Noodles has queen prawns in a spicy shrimp broth with shitake, Asian herbs and chili lime. The broth is yummy but I would have preferred the dish with pasta instead for the al dente texture. 

I loved the Maritime Barley Risotto! Instead of risotto rice, barley grains are cooked with mussels, prawns and conpoy in a crustacean broth and dressed with lime foam. The barley grains were a perfect replacement for the usual risotto rice and gave a hearty texture. This is coming from someone who doesn’t ever eat the barley grains at the bottom of a homemade barley drink!

Pear & Salmon

Pear & Salmon

Pumpkin Sea Bass

Pumpkin Sea Bass

We were nicely full after the carbs but they brought us more food! I was a bit too stuffed to try everything so I can only really comment on the ones I ate. There was Pear & Salmon with seared 47°C Norwegian salmon, Asian pear julienne, soft-boiled egg, spring onions, pine nuts, and sesame and soy dressing. The other fish dish was the Pumpkin Sea Bass which was roasted pumpkin seed crusted sea bass, haricot vert salad with smoked tomato puree.

Duck Pancake

Duck Pancake

Portobello Mushrooms

Portobello Mushrooms

The Duck Pancake was so yummy! Reminiscent of Peking Duck but it is actually duck confit served on tumeric crepes with five spice and orange caramel. Loved how crispy the skin of the duck was. We also tried Portobello Mushrooms with quinoa and grilled vegetables topped with cheese.

Miso Lamb

Miso Lamb

Beef tenderly cooked for 48 hours

Beef tenderly cooked for 48 hours

I am such a red meat person so my favourites were the Miso Lamb and the Beef. The Miso Lamb had shimeiji mushrooms and carrots and was so tender! There was also no gamey taste so those who avoid lamb for that reason can definitely try this. The Beef was…wow. Cooked for 48 hours and served with pumpkin and sweet potato mash, this was utterly melt-in-the-mouth goodness. I think I had more than my fair share of beef because it was so irresistible.

Brownie with Homemade Banana Ice-Cream

Brownie with Homemade Banana Ice-Cream

Although I was so stuffed, I couldn’t leave without trying some dessert. The chocolate brownie with homemade banana ice-cream was a sweet ending to a really good meal! I must admit that I was sceptical initially but I’m so glad ONAKA proved me wrong.

ONAKA caters to special dietary needs and some items on the menu are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, and/or vegetarian. These are all words that make the husband run in the opposite direction so I really need to find a way to convince him to go to ONAKA with me because he will definitely enjoy the food there!

mummy bloggers at ONAKA

mummy bloggers at ONAKA

ONAKA is at 460 Alexandra Road, #01-32 PSA Building, Singapore 119963. Operating hours are 11:30am to 10pm from Mon to Fri. On Sat & Sun, brunch is served from 10am – 4pm and dinner from 6pm onwards.

Disclaimer: This review is written based on food review session I was invited to. All opinions are my own.

Ramen Bari-Uma at Tanglin Shopping Centre

I’m quite a big ramen fan and I tend to crave for a big bowl of steaming hot noodles every now and then, especially on cool rainy evenings. After Adam’s gym class last Saturday, we headed to Tanglin Shopping Centre to try Ramen Bari-Uma from Hiroshima. There’s actually Uma Uma Ramen at Forum where the gym class is but Anya thinks it smells funny and refuses to let us go back.

The ramen at Ramen Bari-Uma turned out to be pretty good! The soup was rich and tasty, the noodles thin and springy, the chashu tender and the egg very nicely done. You can choose the hardness of your noodles (firm/ original/ soft) and we opted for the original hardness and we liked it that way. However, my spicy kara uma ramen was way too spicy and the chilli oil overpowered the delicious soup base. Will probably ask for it to be less spicy the next time we go or eat the original non-spicy version instead.

they are very energetic

Ramen Bari-Uma

inside

inside

menu

menu

kid's ramen (comes with a drink)

kid’s ramen (comes with a drink)

bari-uma

bari-uma

kara uma spicy ramen

kara uma spicy ramen

slurp

slurp

hands-on eating

hands-on eating