The lovely fragrance of floral teas greeted us as we opened the door. The place was crowded on a wintry Saturday afternoon. Seated at the counter, we struck up an engaging conversation with the server who happened to be the owner. Seeing that I was not local, she spoke English and graciously translated the names of tea for me verbally. We were too late for the lunch sets which had more savoury options. We soon settled for an afternoon tea set. Though we only ordered one cup of tea and a tea set, we were given several different types of tea to sample which I thought was rather generous. We were particularly fascinated with moringa tea, having tasted moringa powder before which we disliked due to its strong unpleasant taste. But the herb itself was known for its numerous medicinal and health benefits and we asked the owner her opinion on the herbal tea. She offered us a tea blend of moringa, strawberry and something else whose name I forgot. The taste was rather pleasant as the moringa was present in a far more palatable amount, this being a tea blend.

The scone set turned out to be just nice and delightful. The scones themselves were light – not too buttery nor heavy unlike some scones I’ve tasted elsewhere – and slightly crunchy and coupled with tea sauce and whipped cream that could also be eaten with a tinge of salt, they turned out to be the perfect afternoon tea set.

I must confess that my knowledge of tea is limited to common ones found in supermarkets like Boh, Dilmah, Twinings and TWG (which is not found in supermarkets). This shop, Echelon Tea House, was like a boutique tea house for Mlesna tea and represented the brand very well.

We left happy and bought more tea as gifts for friends – a tealightful afternoon indeed. And I know just who to recommend this tea house to.

Echelon Tea House shopfront

Echelon Tea House

3 Chome-34-3 Yoshinohonchō, Tokushima-shi, Tokushima-ken 770-0802

Tel: 088-652-7078


Give it a shot!

I have been quite amazed seeing the different ways iced coffee is being served nowadays. Here are two samples. The third one is my own attempt at replicating one of them. 

Iced coffee served with a syringe of milk


I was quite intrigued by the idea and the coffee was intoxicatingly good. The milk was insufficient for me and I asked them for a second syringe which they happily obliged. My friends and I ate there as well and here are some food pics.  

Their signature stabbed burger with charcoal buns!

Fish and chips


I was more intrigued by their coffee. Check out this cafe at 7 Kick Start, 71 Bras Basah Road.

Then there is another cafe that served their shots in the form of ice cubes! Another novel idea. 

Since it was already late at night, I settled for one ice cube instead of two. Being hot and humid here, it didn’t take long for the ice cubes to melt.

This is at Whisk & Paddle, 10 Tebing Lane, #01-01, Singapore 828836. Phone: +65 6242 4617.

Feeling rather inspired, I decided to try my own ice cube coffee with azuki beans. I’ve put all the photos together for easy reference, just for an idea!  

First, make some percolated or dripped coffee. Then, freeze them into ice cubes. When ready, put some cubes into a cup. Add milk and red beans. Top up with ice. 

Give this a shot for a different way to enjoy your iced coffee!

Dessert shop that opens till late!

We were looking for a dessert place that opened till late on the eve of a public holiday and we found this place that opened until 11p.m. They even serve local coffee!

Mango Sago with chempedak! I think the mango sago with pomelo was better. I wish they had added more chempedak so that the taste was stronger.

Chocolate snowed ice with chocolate ice-cream

Waffle with fruit and chocolate ice-cream

There were many happy children that night! I’ll try the crispy durian pancake the next time!

Something Sweet Dessert House, 8 Jalan Legundi, Singapore. Tel: 6481 1978.

Tabemono 7: Coffee and Pancakes @ Odakyu, Shinjuku

After a couple of days of not having afternoon tea, I had to have it. We were in Japan after all and if there was one thing I must have on this trip, it was nice afternoon tea so we came here.

Initially I thought the place was rather expensive. We could have a proper dinner for the price of our afternoon tea. That was until we saw the food.

Talk about perfect pancakes! They sure looked perfect.

The organic wheat pancakes were served with a choice of three condiments – maple syrup, strawberry and blueberry jam.

This coffee was a little expensive but it was really good. A plain Americano that was intoxicatingly delicious. I found out later that the coffee beans are organic.

The cafe was on the second floor of Odakyu. At the street level, someone was wearing a yukata and a face mask to promote an event.

Cafe Nature, Odakyu Departmental Store, Shinjuku Main Store, Shinjuku Train Station, Higashi exit.

Tabemono 1: Saizeriya @ Toyama City

For the next few days, I’ll be blogging about different places I ate at, while in Japan. This is the first over several days. Tabemono in Japanese means food or literally (eat + things).

Toyama City is actually well-known for its fresh seafood. But my friend was not keen on raw food so we settled for a place that had enough variety and was affordable.

Saizeriya is a famous chain of Japanised Italian food at very affordable prices. Since I liked the chain in Singapore and knowing that it had originated in Japan, we decided to go there for dinner.

The corn soup was delicious. I could have had another serving.

I ordered this without the bacon bits as I did not want it too salty. It wasn’t salty but it was a little too oily.

These were understandably not spicy enough for Singaporeans but good.

The pizza was a thin crust and just nice to share between two people. No complaints here either.

I love eating their focaccia in Singapore and I love them in Japan as well.

All in all, a very satisfying meal for our first night in Japan. I love that one can eat well and affordably in Japan and regardless of where you go, there is a certain standard of food quality because the food is first catered to a predominantly Japanese clientele. There are places that cater to other races like the Chinese or Koreans, for example, but those places tend to be individual shops rather than restaurant chains.

Saizeriya, 38-11, Kamiiino, Toyama-shi, Toyama, 930-0827/

Timms’ turn… again

I actually went to another place for brunch first but they did not seem interested in my business. That was not the first time that their service left much to be desired. They weren’t even aware that customers were looking at them, waiting to be served. And that was the manager playing with his phone. So I went and got the menu myself. Then a staff came and told me that they had already run out of special coffees. And it was not even lunch yet.

I left and decided to go elsewhere. That was when I saw Robert, again.

The difference in the service could not be greater. Immediate attention, orders placed exactly as requested, quick service. The only drawback – no credit card discount. This is my fourth time patronising them and I have only been able to get a discount once. Oh well.

I ordered a chicken salad, with dressing on the side. Perfect. I like my salads, undressed, leaving me the option of how much dressing to add. Besides, I don’t really like mayo. I didn’t mind the  other salty dressing. What I really liked were the greens and the few small pieces of mango. The chicken could have been more thinly sliced though. But this has more to do with presentation than taste.

Next was the flat white coffee – with more milk. Again, perfect. I was about to add sugar until I tasted the coffee. The extra bit of milk almost made it sweet. So I put back the sugar. Yumz.

Good on ya, mate!

For earlier visits to Timms, read here and here.

The House of Robert Timms, 501 Orchard Road, #01-02/03 Singapore 238880. Tel: 6735 9201.

Kitchen terms?

Perhaps this place was a kitchen wannabe that became a cafe instead? At first sight, it actually sounded painful, like someone being whacked. But fortunately, the experience was not. 

The old place, Pit Stop, was one of the few restaurants to have a parking bay for bicycles. This restaurant is smaller and has used the space for seating. Also at one glance, one could see who needed attention – gone were the walls and blind spots where customers had trouble getting the attention of the wait staff. Alcoholic drinks are also served now, making it more of a hangout place after a meal perhaps, and helping them meet the rent.

I’d say the draw of the place is the location first, food second. I come here so I can pretend that I’m not really that close to civilisation for about 2 hours anyway.

This is along the Punggol Park Connector so one can enjoy a ride and fresh air before having something to eat, which was what we did. Or alternatively, one could chill over an evening meal, some drinks and enjoy the lovely view and cool evening breeze. I’m putting this on my keeper’s list.


Why did the lizard cross the footpath?


Seats have filled up the old parking space. The high tables are a great idea!


Part of the decor.


French toast that mistakenly turned out as waffles with sunny side up eggs and bacon. I didn’t mind the mistake as the wait that Saturday was a little long as the place was rather busy.


Eggs Benedict


Whisk & Paddle, 10 Tebing Lane, #01-01, Singapore 828836. Phone: +65 6242 4617.

Baker’s Well

This is a nice cosy place along East Coast Road. We came here for dessert after dinner. The ambience and delightful cakes and hot drinks make for nice long conversations on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

I especially liked that they had rich cheesecake as well as lighter cakes like muffins.


Lovely dried flowers at the tables



cranberry muffin & Americano coffee



black & white nutella cake


Baker’s Well, 35 E Coast Rd, Singapore 428754. Tel: 6348 6864.

Drinks take the Cake!

I have not been here in a while. It’s always nice to come in a group as well. The conversation is better as is the variety of drinks as we can order more. We already had a first round of hot drinks when we decided on a second round of iced lemon tea. The real lemon and lime juice in the drinks made them very refreshing. We ordered three Eggs Benedict trio but there were no photographs of those. Gone were the comfortable sofa seats and mismatched cups. Pity as those things added to the quaintness of the place.

The pancakes were new to the menu and light for a meal. As for the drinks, they take the cake this time!

An earlier blog post on this place can be found here.

Loysel’s Toy, 66 Kampong Bugis, #01-02, Singapore 338987. Tel: 6292 2306.






Mad about Hatter

After reading about this cafe, I wanted to visit it. I avoided going on the weekends as I did not want to go when it was crowded. So late one Thursday afternoon, my friends and I made our way there. The place is famous for waffles. Both of them – waffles with vanilla ice-cream drizzled with salted caramel and waffles with pandan ice-cream with gula melaka were simply delightful. The waffles were not sweet, which was great. Combined with the ice-cream and drizzled syrups, it made for a very balanced combination of salty and sweet, ying and yang. Perfect.





There is not GST or service charge either. Will definitely come back here again. I am happy to have this addition to the heartlands scene. The other cakes here are not pre-determined. The type of cakes changes daily.

Hatter Street, #01-333, 212 Hougang Street 21. Telephone: 69884591.