Five & Dime Eatery River Valley Road

Five and Dime Big Brekkie

Located at 297 River Valley Road, Five & Dime Eatery is easily one of the prettiest restaurants in town.

Even though Five & Dime has only been around since the start of the year, it has already garnered a strong following, which is no mean feat considering the number of new restaurants and cafes.

Several of my friends were turned away when they went there without any reservations during the weekdays. And for weekend brunch, they offer three different seating at 10am, 12noon, and 2pm – a testimony of their popularity.

After going there for brunch recently, I can understand why they are so popular. While the food is not out-of-this-world good, I love the dining concept, and I had an enjoyable experience there. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Five & Dime Eatery is one of the best new restaurants in 2012.

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Cafe des Federations Bouchon Lyon

Cafe des Federations

Over the years, I’ve read many wonderful things about the bouchons in Lyon, it’s always been my dream to dine in one – which is my main reason for visiting Lyon.

The bouchon, for the uninitiated, is the Lyonnaise version of the classic French bistro. It serves traditional Lyonnaise cuisine; the food is rich, humble, generous, and flavourful.

We managed to get a table at Café des Fédérations – one of the few Les Authentiques Bouchons Lyonnais (certified authentic bouchons in Lyon). It was one of the best meals in my life.

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Mandarin Grill at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Mandarin Grill“Flower pot” salad

On my recent trip to Hong Kong, I had one of my best meals this year. I’ve heard about the restaurants at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, but somehow, I didn’t get the chance to go there during my previous trips. Boy am I glad I finally had the chance to go Mandarin Grill. And I think you should make an reservation if you’re going to Hong Kong soon.

Mandarin Grill is an one Michelin Star restaurant at Mandarin Oriental, one of the best hotels in Hong Kong. The lunch that I had was amazing. A-m-a-z-i-n-g. Even though it’s only April, I can confidently say that this is definitely going into my list of Best Meals in 2012.

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Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar

Skyve Bistro

I had brunch at Skyve Elementary Bistro & Bar a few weeks ago, and I fell in love with the place the moment I stepped inside. The folks behind Table 66 took over the space which used to belong to District 10 Bistro, and I have to say that I am very impressed by the way they transformed the interior.

It was done in a classy and elegant manner, with glass panels letting in lots of sunlight during the day. I can imagine it to be a very pretty and romantic restaurant when night falls.

The bistro is divided in half. On one side is a casual lounge; on the other, is the bright, airy space which is perfect for a lazy weekend brunch. Skyve Bistro and bar is my new favourite brunch place in Singapore.

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Bistro Soori

Slow Roasted Pork Belly

Bistro Soori is one of those off-the-radar restaurants that you will never know of unless someone recommends it to you.

It is a cool, cosy, informal restaurant with a small open kitchen and a few tables, which makes you feel as though you are dining in a friend’s place. The prices aren’t too high (although not too low, either), and you can have a good meal without spending ridiculous money.

The meal that we had at Bistro Soori was a revelation. The food was simple and unpretentious, prepared with just enough care that you know you are dining at a restaurant where Chef Benjamin McBride and his team take their food seriously.

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JAAN Restaurant Swissotel The Stamford

Jaan Restaurant

Most people have the impression that I always eat at fine dining restaurants, but my friends would know that I usually prefer going to casual places that are cosy and provide good food at reasonable prices.

But sometimes if you want a very good meal, you really have to fork out top money for it. JAAN Restaurant at Swissotel is the prime example. I had one of my best meals of 2011 at JAAN. I’m going out on a limb and say that they are among the top restaurants in Singapore.

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10 Best Meals of 2011

Jaan Singapore

Wow. Another year just passed by like that. This year was a big one, and I couldn’t have done it without you guys. Thank you for being here.

I ate a lot last year, and I managed to travel quite a bit as well. Like what I always say, travelling is just an excuse for me to eat more. So I’m not surprised that some of the best meals that I had last year were during my travels.

To be frank, it’s quite difficult to impress my jaded palate nowadays. You see, the problem of having too much good food is you will always have a benchmark to compare against, and this will lead you on a (never-ending) quest for something equally good, if not better – which is often quite impossible.

Thankfully, I’ve had several really good meals throughout the past 365 days, and I hope that I’ll be able to share with you more good food this time next year.

So for now, here are the 10 Best Meals that I had in 2011.

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Antoinette Parisian Patisserie Tea Salon

Strawberry Baba

Antoinette is a Parisian pâtisserie and salon du thé by Chef Pang Kok Keong, who is one of Singapore’s best pastry chefs.

Sugar Daddy Group – which currently includes Antoinette and Pique Nique – is Chef Pang’s first business venture after a career of working for different hotels and Les Amis group’s Canele restaurants.

I was over the moon to hear about Antoinette Patisserie. Needless to say, I was very excited to try all the desserts. My first visit was a media tasting session and we had the chance to try quite a few dishes.

Since then, I’ve been there on numerous occasions as a regular customer, and ordered various items on the menu. My goal was, or still is, to try all the cakes by Chef Pang.

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