Coccogelo

We’ve walked past this joint numerous times but never ventured in. So last Friday, we were looking for dessert and decided to check them out.

Housed on the ground floor of a refurbished shop house, the gelato joint is a mix of chic dark brown colors with intersecting Wallpapered chars gets right out of a Grimm Brothers fairy tale. The ice cream display counter is towards the back of the shop, and boasts about 10 flavours, such as grape Yakult, banana Tim tam, pistachio, strawberry, and chocolate.

Greeted by a couple of enthusiastic servers who looked like Uni students earning some pocket money, we were given taste samples of the flavours on show. We settled on a mix of the grape Yakult and banana Tim tam in a cup. It’s cost $4.80.

The gelato was good, with the right amount of flavoring and ingredients. The ice cream was a little too sticky for my looking, but generally went down well.

The place was nicely packed on a Friday night by a coterie of after-dinner people and some students out for some ice cream. The ambience was a nice relaxed chill, with enough noise to feel that your conversation isn’t echoing off the walls.

Good for hanging out with friends.

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Red Art nasi padang

Wow! Was looking forward to Friday lunch at Dadi’s along East Coast Road but found Red Art instead.

The uncanny thing is – aside from the new signboards, everything else looks the same. The display cases in front of the shop, the food display fronting the kitchen, the cashier’s counter, even the shop, were exactly where they were at Dadi’s.

The food on the menu looked about the same – I ate a bowl of mee siam for $3.00 – but there were newer food items on offer, such as a nasi padang special or something like that.

The food quality is okay, and I didn’t really try other dishes. But I was a little surprised that Dadi’s has gone. I wonder if it was just a name change? And if their paper prata is available at Red Art?

Will find out next time. Red Art is along East Coast road, opposite the Paramount hotel.

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Cupcakes with Love

Blink and you might miss it. That’s probably the intent of the owners of Cupcakes with Love – a new shop at 348 Tanjong Katong road.

The nondescript shop blends in with its neighbours, which are a provision shop on the left and a dry-cleaners on the right. The only giveaway is a small sign overlooking a bus stop in front of the shop.

The cupcake display counter greeted us as we entered the shop. Its interior is cement-screed chic, with a spartan Nordic feel, featuring low birch tables and chairs spread about the shop.

Individual cupcakes are sold at $3.80 each, and a half dozen costs $22. We bought a box of 6 to sample.

Special care and attention to detail is paid to each cupcake, and you can see the loving way each one has been baked. We liked the chocolatey ones, with just the right amount of moistness. However, the others in our sample box were a tad too sweet for our liking – it may suit those with a sweeter tooth.

Will return to check out their coffee soon.

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L’etoile cafe

We were en route to the civil service club when we chanced upon this new cafe – at the corner of Owen and Dorset roads. It looked charming from the outside, and reminded me of a petite European street cafe – with air conditioning.

Inside, diners are greeted by the cashier’s counter, which sits alongside the confectionery display. We ordered their coffee, which was aromatic and strong. Nice brew that compared well to more established coffee joints.

Furnished tastefully with simple Ikea furniture and cocooned with acid jazz piped music, L’etoile seems and feels like an ideal chill out space for residents and visitors alike.

Will return to sample their food.

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Staycation – June 7-12

For about 5 days in June, we decided to become local tourists instead of traipsing around other countries in search of a break.
While not exactly a dream vacation, the upshot was that we needn’t worry about flights and accommodation, and exchange rates.
Still – parts of Singapore held some attraction, and though we couldn’t visit every venue on our list, I thought we did a decent enough job.
To recap, we:
1. Went ice-skating
2. Went cycling & blading at East Coast park
3. Went to the movies at Film Garde Kallang
4. Went to the Singapore Science Centre
5. Went to Artscience museum
6. Shot the breeze at Marina Bay
7. Went to the neighborhood car wash
8. Went to Universal Studio in Sentosa
9. Went to MacRitchie reservoir to soak up nature
10. Dined at Siglap and had good coffee in Tiong Bahru

Add in my reads and music consumption and I was glad we spent time at home.

I’ll continue to publish more jaunts as this exercise has whetted my appetite to further explore what my Singapore has to offer – glitzy shopping in Orchard road notwithstanding.

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A short review – Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The book, aimed at the teenager, is a fantasy tale about the how true love can overcome all difficulties. Young Tristan Thorn, the main protagonist, sets off on a search for a fallen star so that he could bring it back to his professed love, Victoria. However, the journey entails crossing over from the human side of Wall – his sleepy village – into the realm of Faerie, which is the world inhabited by non-humans. There, he encounters numerous characters who help him or hinder him, but he manages to find the fallen star, in the form of a girl.

As he journeys back with his find, there are others also searching for the fallen star, and for sinister purposes. It is a fairy tale ending for all, as could be expected of a book for teens, but caution for parents thinking of buying this book – there is almost graphic depiction of sex, so you might wish to discuss those issues with your teenage reader after they finish the book.