Hidden Gem

The Fabulous Baker Boy Cafe at River Valley

A long time ago when policemen wore shorts, there was a public swimming pool at the foothills of Fort Canning along River Valley Road. It is no longer there. The only link to the past is one of the buildings in the RV Swimming Complex which was fortunately saved and is now occupied by The Fabulous Baker Boy restaurant. Nearby, there was the National Theatre and, more importantly, the Van Kleef Aquarium where aquatic critters, ranging from nurse sharks from the oceans and piranhas from the Amazon could be viewed for a small fee. All those are now gone. Some construction work (MRT?) is taking place on the theatre and the aquarium locations, the pool is a patch of grass.

Fabulous Baker Boy - 15 Read More »The Fabulous Baker Boy Cafe at River Valley


Hidden Gem at Alexis – Ristorante Takada

Chef Masahiro Takada

If you want a fine dining restaurant with Italian food carefully prepared and beautifully presented by a Japanese Chef, but do not want to pay sky-high prices, try Ristorante Takada at Alexis. Where is Alexis? That was what my lunch partner asked when I suggested going there for lunch. Near Leng Kee, just opposite the Mercedes car showroom, I told her. She wasn’t too impressed but went along with me to the fine dining restaurant for ordinary people.Read More »Hidden Gem at Alexis – Ristorante Takada


Lunch in Bali, Blue Bali in Singapore, that is. (Closed)

Blue Bali-15

Tired of eating at the same old places in Singapore? How about lunch in Bali? Not the real Bali of course, but Blue Bali in Singapore.  We were astonished to discover such a restaurant in the heart of Singapore. The dining area looks and feels like a restaurant in Kuta, from the structures, the worn out wooden furniture and the lush foliage. Such a place may not be surprising if located in some far away place like Sungei Kadut or Changi, but Bali Blue is just next to the Botanic Gardens – along Cluny Road, five minutes from Orchard Road.

Blue Bali-16

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Bread Yard, bakery and cafe in Fusionopolis

Bread Yard Fusionopolis Cafe - 1

Continuing our discovery excursions into the Fusionopolis area, we ran into the Bread Yard cafe. According to their website, “Bread Yard sprouted on campus in the early and inspiring days of the Singapore University of Technology and Design. It became quite the food icon of the university, drawing in crowds from outside the campus.” It is a good thing that they have decided to venture out into the real world because there seems to be a great demand for their freshly baked bread and pastries. This small cafe was quite crowded. The first thing that came to mind was that this reminded us of the early days of Cedele in their bakery and cafe in Siglap, before they hit the big time.

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La Barca (moved and rebranded Volare by La Barca)

see Facebook Page of Volare by La Barca

La Barca Singapore Italian Restaurant - 8

We had lunch at La Barca Italian restaurant recently and concluded that this was the best Italian restaurants in East Singapore that we have tried so far. It is quite an unusual  restaurant. For one, it is located in an inconspicuous location in Katong, the Goodman Arts Centre along Mountbatten Road in the East side of Singapore. Except for the staff and visitors to the Arts Centre, there is no casual pedestrian traffic to capitalise on. The folks at La Barca Ristorante & Wine Bar must have been quite bold to take such a big space in such an obscure location, and confident as well, considering the amount of other food options available in that area and along East Coast Road nearby.

NOTE: We are informed that La Barca had moved to The Odeon Katong and renamed as Volare by La Barca.

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Cosy dinner at Pastamore Italian Restaurant (Renamed Mezza Italian)

Mezza Italian

Pastamore Italian Restaurant (renamed Mezza Italian) is listed as part of Rochester Mall in Buona Vista, near the more famous Star Vista. But this tiny single-storey structure lined with traditional red bricks is a stand-alone building and dwarfed by the modern and sleek Rochester Mall building. It looks like it was an auxiliary building to one of the colonial bungalows nearby. A small family-run Italian restaurant such as Pastamore Italian Restaurant looks like an appropriate tenant for such a quaint space. We had dinner there on a dark and stormy night recently.

Rochester Mall - 1

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