Thanks to the good people at Food & Travel Magazine (named the Food Magazine of the Year by Marketing Magazine) and Westgate Shopping Mall, we were treated to an afternoon session of food trail – that equates to an I-can-skip-breakfast-and-dinner day. If you have no idea where Westgate is, or how it looks like, you are most likely an Eastie. Well, if only the East is as exciting as the West..
We were led to our first stop – a café, likely to have our stomachs and mouths warmed up for the rest of the day to come. Gourmet sandwiches and coffee make up a large porportion of the menu at Café Crema (#01-06). The sandwiches are around the range of $10 – $15, while the coffee the usual, $6 or thereabouts. The space houses both an indoor seating area and an alfresco dining area – take your pick at the café as it is free-seating. There is also no GST and service charge imposed.
I must admit, even though I drink coffee whenever I am in a café, I am not the most well-versed when it comes to all these different terms, as pictured. So it was intriguing and a good knowledge-board placed at the café. Not only will you be entertained for a couple of minutes (I sure was), you will know exactly what is going down your throat.
This was my second visit here; the first just a cup of coffee. My grudge was that I could not detect the almond in the Café Almond Latte. It remains the same this time round with its Iced Almond Latte ($6.50). Their Café Latte ($6) was amazing, on the other hand. Made of 100% Arabica beans, the coffee was well-balanced in its acidity and flavour. It is rather potent, which is much to my preference.
And then this time, the second time, I had their Classic Ham & Cheese ($11). The thing about it being classic is that it can be easily replicated at home. It was just simple and straightforward, though not something I would pay for despite a passable taste. I would try its other gourmet sandwiches, which should be more value-for-money. The toast itself was not bad, with evidences of charred surface.
For me, Café Crema is worth a visit for its beverage but not for a full-blown meal.
Voted ‘Best Indian Restaurant 2013‘ by the Restaurant Association of Singapore, I went into Zaffron Kitchen (#01-20) with a higher expectation. Admittedly, I am no fan of Indian cuisine; but as courses after courses of both North and South Indian food were dished out, I found that not only were the food here more than acceptable, they are reasonably-priced too.
Even though this stunt has been played quite some time back, I am still impressed whenever a restaurant makes iPad their menu.
Teh Tarik Brewer Vincent acceded to our request of him pulling his signature, facing us, as opposed to habitually doing it back-facing the crowd. He was a hilarious man, commenting that his hands would shake in nervousness if he was to face us. Well obviously he did not. It turned out to be a good cup, and Teh Tarik is always a must in an Indian restaurant, if not a Lassi.
A start with the carbohydrates was a let-down. The Basmati Biryani Rice ($5++) was not fragrant enough – a factor that is one of the most important for me when it comes to Biryani Rice. Otherwise, the grains were pretty alright in terms of moisture level. The Plain Naan ($3.50++), likewise, was disappointing. I love my naan to be warm and not too dry. Their rendition of naan here was also a little too bland in terms of flavour. If anything, I would skip the plain one and go for the flavoured ones.
Its chicken concoctions left a pleasant mark on my palate. The meat was tender and flavours bursting with each bite. The Chicken Chettinad ($13.50++) is a spicy chicken curry made with aromatic spices, and the Butter Chicken ($16++), a plate of Chicken Tikka marinated in a yogurt and spice mixture, then simmered in a rich tomato, cashew nuts, and butter flavoured gravy accented with dry fenugreek. The latter is a hot favourite amongst diners, and I can only understand why.
I cringed a little when I saw that it is drenched with rich spinach gravy. Later, it turned out tolerable; though the spinach flavour was relatively strong, it didn’t come across as overpowering. The generous chunks of cottage cheese went well with the gravy. Palak Paneer ($13++) is a vegetarian dish.
The grills offered are generally more expensive than the rest of the mains. The Tandoori Mixed Grill ($29++) consists of chicken tikka, malai tikka, fish tikka and seekh mutton kebab, while the Tandoori Mixed Grill (Vegetarian) ($22++) comprises panner tikka, tandoori gobi and tandoori mushroom. The grilled items were slightly overdone, in my opinion, causing especially the meat to be a little dry. Flavour was captured, but could get a little boring with its similar flavour. It will be fine as a sharing platter.
I do not mind heading back to Zaffron Kitchen if any of my dining companions is craving for Indian cuisine. Here, it’s affordable and of a reasonable standard.
Eggs & Berries
This was my third visit at Eggs & Berries (#02-06). My maiden visit was at its Changi City Point outlet. Then, I travelled all the way from the far West to the far East just to try its brunch. I was quite pleased. Second visit was at the Westgate outlet, where I tried a few of its main courses and desserts. Fast-forward to now. We had its Homemade Crème Brûlée ($4.90++). It turned out to be just a pretty face. It was served in a cutesy plastic egg-shell. It tasted ordinary, nothing to shout about. The waffle platter, Over the Rainbow ($17.90++) was alright though. Served with creatively cut fruits and a scoop of ice cream. It is quite a big portion, good to share between two. Its waffles was somewhere in between very crispy and very soggy, which is good. I also had its Mango Tango Pancakes ($16.90++) but was greatly disappointed. The pancakes were very dry and flavourless, and the mango that came along tasted artificial and had no freshness whatsoever.
If I were to go back, I would only go for its Egg Benedict ($14.90++) (the more reasonable-tasting main I have tried) & Over the Rainbow, tops.
Photos by Kathleen.
Address: 3 Gateway Drive, Westgate Mall (next to Jurong East MRT)
This was a media session. Thank you Food & Travel Magazine.