It’s been a while since I had this, so unfortunately, I can’t give an accurate assessment of what this was like.

I do however remember the environment of this place. It is quite a fancy brunch spot that’s located up on Telok Blangah Hill Park. Facade splashed with white, but interior was dark wood-awash. It’s the typical colonial aesthetic I suppose.

I did also remember feeling like the dishes could have been more impactful given the hoops I had to jump through to get to this place - aka its rather inaccessible location and pricey items. 😂

If you’re looking for brunch vibes to soak in over the weekends and budget is of no concern, you could consider giving this place a shot! The last I recall - it’s better to get a table reservation first instead of walking in.

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One of my favourite pastimes is walking into coffee shops just to get a cup of pick-me-up. Then half of the time, I’d feel like I could use an accompanying plate of cake or pastry cause well…having a drink on its own just doesn’t cut it. 😃

This happened the other day I was in Kampong Bahru for an appointment and chanced upon Grey Area Coffee Roasters.

I got a cup of Hot Chocolate ($6.50 est), but decided on a whim to have a slice of their Banana Bread ($4), which was recommended.

Not bad, though I prefer my banana breads to be as moist as they can get! To be completely transparent, this got drier towards the rim/crust. But I suppose a drink aids in balancing that out, so it was all good in my books. 🥸

They do have other bakes available like brownies, cookies, and quiche for the #teamsavoury people! (7/10)

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[Muslim Owned] I’m a simple person. I see shakshouka, I order shakshouka! 🤫

No but seriously, this is one of those dishes that is good to have at any part of the day. Alto Café’s Shakshouka doesn’t stray far off from what makes it already great, but it is evidently tailored for people who love spicy food because when I say I was soaked in beads of perspiration after this… 🤣

It is flavourful, savoury, and tart enough to make your lips pucker. And it’s garnished with some cilantro and feta cheese. Of course, not forgetting the staple onsen/poached egg that is nestled in the centre of the dish. This was all in all a great dish.

You get three pieces of toasted sourdough, which you can dip with the stew. Otherwise, they make for great balms from the spiciness. It dials down the heat by quite a bit…at least speaking from a purely personal experience! 😅 (7.5/10)

P.S. This outlet of Alto Café closes at 5pm daily!

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[Muslim Owned] Hot Chocolate is one of those drinks that I feel many would underestimate in how brilliant it can get.

And honestly, you can’t really blame them cause it’s not hard to imagine what goes into a cup of the non-caffeinated classic. Even the famed cup of French hot chocolate is nothing more than milk/cream and chocolate. In other words, the glass ceiling is pretty low.

However, when you venture beyond the conventional and waddle in the waters of experimentation, you can get some unexpected but darn amazing results.

That was the case with this Hot Mango Chocolate ($5) from Alto Café, a Muslim-friendly café nested in a condominium located in Bayshore. 🥭🍫 Every sip was a blend of velvety smooth hot chocolate and a punch of tropical-sweet mango flavour.

And the best bit happened at the last sip; this was the very first hot chocolate where that still tasted smooth. There was none of the grainy texture that traditionally comes with the final few sips of chocolate drinks. I personally never minded it, but I gotta say — I never knew how refreshing it was until I had this!

I still think about this, and it takes the title of the second best cup of hot chocolate that I’ve had. It’s bested only by the Hot Chilli Chocolate I had at a coffee shop in Edinburgh, Scotland during a vacation some years ago. 🤤 (9.5/10)

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If there’s one thing that will probably never go out of style, it’s matcha in its entirety. That includes houjicha as well.

When this first came to me and I got a whiff of its aroma, I immediately thought of one thing - waffle crisp cereals. The honeyed smell is somehow accentuated by the earthy, woody aroma of houjicha. Already, it was very inviting.

Taste-wise, I will admit - I could not make out the slightest tinge of houjicha. And that’s perfectly fair, because cooking it in the form of a waffle can change the original flavour. I’m not sure how exactly, but I’m quite sure there’s some food chemistry at work. 😂

Yet, I still enjoyed this. The waffle came with a delicate crisp and was chunky, moist. For perspective, it is really close to the texture of waffles you’d get at Fatcat Ice Cream Bar.

The momo sencha gelato was creamy, and had a balanced sweetness and a jab of bright, peachy flavour. I didn’t get much green tea notes though, in hindsight, which you may want to note, especially if you’re a matcha martyr. 😅 (7.4/10)

PS. I came to Natter at 4pm on a Saturday and it was still tranquil and quiet. But soon enough, it started filling up more and more seats. Sad because I wanted a peaceful dining experience hahaha. 😩

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Not much to say about tater tots, except for those who are new to it - imagine bite-sized cylindrical hashbrowns. 🥔

For Kream & Kensho, they added a generous amount of grana padano (a type of hard cheese which doesn’t have much moisture to it and more flavour, similar to parmesan).

I quite liked this, even though I’d say it’s best for sharing. The way I was STRUGGLING to finish it a third way through… 😮‍💨

That’s a good problem to have, I would think. 🤪

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Sometimes, going back to basics is key to creating something magical. This was the case for City Donut’s ring of delights – every bite reminded me of the old-school one-dollar donuts you would get at your trusted heartland bakeries. 🤤

They take it a step further with a different spin - well-loved dessert flavours these days such as Yuzu Cream, Orh Nee and Ondeh-Ondeh. They speak to the kid in me and the adult me who’s got a sweet tooth. 😍

The best part about their donuts is really just how affordable they are - prices start from $1.30 and the highest it goes is $2.50. I could get at least 50 of these if I could. 😅

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Nostalgia is one powerful emotion to appeal to, but works only when used wisely.
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Brotherbird were known to have closed for one entire year in light of the pandemic last year. Some people, including myself, were worried about the future of their store.
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It seems like they’ve taken a step back to reflect on the operations before they put a cap on it in April 2020, evaluated what worked and what didn’t, and came back stronger.
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Before they closed, they did away with the Mochi Donuts with Softserve, a mainstay that was a crowd magnet, whether you were a regular or an acquaintance. They traded it with some honey toasts and gelati, which felt like a step forward too fast.
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This time, they brought it back to what worked for them and even paired it with 2 other variations (ie waffles with softserve & fried croissants with softserve). Let’s get one thing straight though - there was nothing inherently wrong with what they did last year.
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Yet, many can admit that that, in contrast to this, pointed to a pace of the brand’s evolution that was easier for the crowd to follow and appreciate.
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They still kept some of the new, which can be found among their savoury mains. They had found the perfect balance of bringing in the new and retaining the classic, which teems with nostalgia.
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I’ve been back twice now, and it’s full house on both occasions. A lot of items are sold out with 2 hours to go to closing time. It’s as though they never left or closed shop.
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They’re one of the few examples of F&B establishments that have tapped on the concept of nostalgia perfectly. All I can say at this point is: I’m happy they’re back.

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[Halal] So...I pass by this humble store everytime I go for my haircut appointment, and I’d always been curious about trying it.
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And yesterday, I had massive cravings for hummus and pita bread. I haven’t had proper hummus, let alone any Middle Eastern food, in a hot minute. So without hesitation, I searched Pita Bakery up Google and checked out the menu.
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There were so many choices that had my mouth watering, but the Full Meal Set is what had me sold. I was recommended this as it was apt for 2 people and I was with a friend.
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𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝:
1) Freshly-made hummus
2) Babaganoush
3) 9x Falafel
4) Pickled Vegetables with Turmeric
5) Tossed Salad
6) 3 Dips: Tahini (white), Harissa (red), Amba (yellow)
7) Choice of 2x pita bread
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Everything was absolutely flavourful. I couldn’t get enough of each item, even when I was already so full!
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And all these for $25?! Honestly, say no more! 🤤 They were nice enough to take me through everything, which made me more open to what I was having and I could appreciate them better. Their hospitality beyond that, actually, was pretty amazing.
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Left with a full heart and stomach for sure! 🥰

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Nasty Cookies new store is decked out with their brand’s tiffany blue that engulfs from the walls and furnishings down to the receipt! It was beautiful and an experience in and of itself.

Their cookies were pretty delicious I’ll say - thicc, chunky. They also make it obvious as to which flavour is which, from the facade alone. If I were to never reveal the flavours I got here, it’d still be easy to guess them.

That said, these were the flavours I got:
• S’Mores
• Chocolate
• Matcha

I think the one feedback I could make, and have heard among other friends actually – is that the cookies were missing an oomph factor. 😲 I do think it boils down to how robust the flavours are, as I don’t recall getting that. Still, they’re not bad or anything!

Also took the chance to ask about it; they do use halal-certified ingredients in their cookies, which means you and your Muslim friends can enjoy this together. And food enjoyed in a group always feels nicer, right? ☺️

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[Vegetarian] So when you're eating vegetarian, does that count as eating grass? 😬⁠⠀
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Back with a new post, and it's about Atmos Burger-BCC Tea Studio! They do some hearty vegetarian burgers, carving itself out a space in the local sphere of vegetarian fast food. ⁠⠀
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The buns, boasting a smooth buttered, golden-brown exterior, were pillowy. Remarkable to sink your teeth into together with the layers of meatless patty and veggies. ⁠⠀
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The curly fries were something to note as well - each piece was endowed with a detectable zing of spiciness, accentuated by smatterings of salt and other seasonings.⁠⠀
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It held its own and proved its worth by being more than just an insipid sidekick. It was the first time in a while that I was truly intrigued by something as simple as fries. 🤤⁠⠀
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Worth highlighting also that the portions were generous - it's what fast food restaurants' Large Fries wish to look like, if you ask me! (7.6/10)⁠

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If there's one thing that's been stuck on my mind for a good part of this CB period, it's the Houjicha Burnt Cheesecake ($8.50) from The Kins’. 🤤⁠

Honestly, it's been months since I had this - I just never got around to posting it at that time. All I know is that this has etched itself in my mind. I've never been a fan of cheesecake really, but The Kins' burnt cheesecakes (both the original and this) converted me just like THAT. ⁠

Houjicha has a more roasted, earthy, faint coffee-like flavour to it, so imagine combining it with the tartness, the creaminess? On paper, it sounds amazing. In practice, it's mind-blowingly good. 🤯 They are located really far away from where I live, but it is definitely worth the travel. ⁠

Once CB is over, I'm going back for more, and no one’s gonna stop me! ✊🏽(8.3/10)