Bangkok Brunch: Chu chocolate bar and café

Having my own home, kitchen and not so crazy about food as in my fat days, I’ve been eating out a lot less.  However, don’t get me wrong, I still go out and enjoy good food.  Today my good friend recommended we go try this new place in town called “Chu: chocolate bar and café” as we wanted to have “Eggs benedict” and this place served breakfast all day long as well as a variety of chocolate drinks and desserts.  My favorite kind of place for a lazy weekend breakfast.

It’s still it’s soft opening, but it seems to have attracted quite a bit of clientele with its new space and great atmosphere.   It’s furnished fairly simply in an industrial style with open ceilings, cement floors and wooden tables.  Simple, yet comfortable and most importantly, spacious.   Something that is now harder and harder to find in Bangkok.  It has a lot of natural light which is great, even though there is no view.  There are seats for every kind of customer. If you just wanted dessert, there were soft sofas where you could rest, and if you were eating alone, there’s a high table with high chair where you can look out of the restaurant and people watch. Lovely.  A seat for everyone.

What about the food?  We ordered Eggs Benedict with Norwegian Salmon, Norwegian Scramble, Homemade Pancakes with blueberries, Chicken Ciabatta with pesto, walnut .  For dessert we had Lava cake and Chocolate con churros.  What a feast it was.  So what’s the verdict?  I think overall the food was average.  The ingredients were fresh, presentation beautiful, but taste wise it wasn’t the best place in town.  The Eggs Benedict were a bit disappointing.  I had expected the jumbo poached egg to just melt into the smoked salmon and sourdough muffin base when pierced, but instead the yolk was soft boiled.  I wanted runny eggs to just melt into the hollandaise sauce and permeate the smoked salmon and muffin.  That’s how I like it.  The sauce was okay, but I think there was slightly too little of it to offset the jumbo egg.

The Norwegian Scramble was good though.  I love anything with eggs and the scrambled eggs were a delight to eat.  Soft with mascarpone cheese and smoked salmon, it melted with each bite.  I just wished I had a little more of the scrambled eggs. Portions are not exactly on the large scale here, but good if you want to watch your waistline.

My favorite was the Homemade Pancakes.  I think it was probably the only dish to which I have nothing to comment on.   The texture was nice and fluffy, the fruits fresh and the maple syrup just lovely.  I enjoyed every bite.  Chu only provides you a little pot of syrup though, so if you are the type that loves to just drench your pancakes in maple syrup then you’d better ask for more.

The Pesto Chicken Ciabatta with Walnut Sandwich was okay.  I always like chicken and pesto so for me, it’s always a good choice to order.  It tasted great, but if you want to use fork and knife, it gets a bit hard to cut.  I ended up using my hands to eat the sandwich.

Dessert was chocolate lava cake and Chocolate con churros.  It’s okay, but I thought the lava cake slightly too sweet, the outside not soft and fluffy enough.  If you’ve had chocolate and churros in Spain, of course it’s no way as good as the original.  I miss San Gines in Madrid and wanted the Chocolate con Churros here to be like the one I had in Madrid, so was a bit disappointed at the small size of the churros and the chocolate that wasn’t liquid chocolate.  It could be from a different part of Spain, but helas I’ve only had the one in Madrid.

Service?  It was fast, friendly and efficient, but I was a bit surprised when one of the waiters did not speak Thai.  Hey, I’m in Thailand!  It was also a bit inconsistent. Before dessert, they cleared the dishes, but failed to finish clearing all of it.  Minor details which I am sure will be improved upon once the restaurant is fully opened.

Overall?  I still like the place and thoroughly enjoyed sitting there for almost three hours without feeling rushed.  The food was average, atmosphere pleasant and a great place for a lazy weekend breakfast with friends.  It’s great if you are indeed of a quick meal and are not necessarily in search of the best Eggs Benedict in town. Will I go there again?  Yes.  Location is great. Atmosphere lovely.

It’s at Asoke BTS, Exchange Tower 2nd Floor.  Convenient and you can even go walk around Terminal 21 afterwards to digest. Bon appetite!

Seating area
Seating area

IMG_8652 IMG_8648 IMG_8647 IMG_8644 IMG_8642 IMG_8641 Chu cute sofa corner Like their decor Chu brownies Chu seating view Chu menu Chu long table Chu menu Chu menu

Bangkok Dining: Buttercup @ Amari Residences

It’s been a busy few days for this writer but fear not, she has not forgotten Having “Me” Time.  It’s  has become a part of her life that can no longer be separated, for no matter how much there is to do, you must take time out to enjoy it a little, experience the moment, remember the little things in life.  One such way of course is to reunite with friends, chit chat, catch up on each others lives and all this while enjoying good food and good atmosphere. (Girls always like the nice ambiance)  Last weekend, I had the opportunity to explore this cafe and restaurant called “Buttercup.”

The name itself is so adorable it brings me back to my childhood days when you still ran around on the grass and got your hands dirty with dirt and flowers.    We’d play with buttercups (yes the real flowers) and put them under our chin to see if its beautiful shade of yellow would reflect onto our chin.  If it did, it was supposed to mean that your wish would come true (or something like that).  How wonderfully simple life was back then.

This cafe and restaurant was just as cute as it’s name.  I’ve always liked bright colours and this of course, to go with it’s name, this place was decorated in a beautiful shade of yellow.  Not too bright, not too orange, this was a nice soft yellow with a tinge of grey.  The minute you walk in, you feel relaxed.  I suppose the fact that it also borders on a beautiful lush green courtyard garden and the fact that it was raining the morning I went gave it all a more relaxed atmosphere.

There’s a table to greet with you a selection of scones, cookies and other little decorations.  There’s a large bookshelf cutely decorated that gives it a more homey atmosphere.  There are also plenty of magazines and newspapers for you to pick and choose.  If you want to check out the cakes, there is a large selection for you to choose from.

The seating is also quite nice.  You can sit on couches, normal dining tables as well as outdoors if you dare to brave the heat.  I suppose it would be a good place to come back in the winter months.  All the seats are comfortable so you can sit there and spend time with your friends for quite a few hours.

What’s on the  menu?  We tried chicken pot pie, spring rollls with ham and cheese, mini burgers,  fried chicken wings,  sphagetthi carbonara, spicy spaghetti with mushrooms and cake.  The food I thought was good and something you can come back again to.  It’s not out of this world delicious Michelin star level, but it’s a good everyday restaurant where you can come back again and again.  My favorite was the sphaghetti.  Both the carbonara and the spicy one were delicious.  Being a fan of pies and anything with puff pastry, I also liked the chicken pot pie.

Drinks and service? They had quite a selection of drinks from their own unique expresso with strawberry sauce (which my colleague tried), smoothies, and I had the green tea latte.  Now I’m particular about not having syrup with my drinks and always make a note to ask for it on the side.  In other restaurants, I might get a somewhat confused look from the waitress, but at Buttercup they understood my request.  A few minutes later, as desired, my green tea latte came with syrup on the side and no whip cream.  I have to tell you it’s a relief to not have to ask them to redo drinks.   Service at buttercup therefore gets top marks from me.  Everyone was friendly, food was on the slow side, but we spent the time chit chatting way, and they got the orders all correct.

So if you are looking out for a place to catch up with friends, reunions or just somewhere to go have a relaxing brunch on the weekends, I think Buttercup is really quite a little discovery. It’s quiet and there isn’t a buzz of people everywhere.   Oh the prices are also quite reasonable.  Most dishes range from around 180thb to 250thb.

Here’s their website:  They open from 9.00am to 8.00pm and their number is 02-319-9630 if you need to make a reservation.  Bon appetit!

“After You” Desserts

The other day I finally got to try out this dessert place called “After You” that has been the talk of the town for awhile now.  I just couldn’t find the justification to wait in the long line that snakes around the front of its many stores.  The line was always so long and I was always in a rush to go somewhere.  After listening to my friends rave about it’s delicious desserts over dinner, we finally decided to go there afterwards and I’m glad I did.  Their desserts are great for those who love chocolate and carbohydrates.

I went to their newly opened store at Siam Paragon Ground Floor.  Like all of its other stores at La Villa , J-Avenue, there was a long line of people waiting outside the shop.  The owner must be so proud that their hard work pays off.  We make a reservation for a table of four and surprisingly they say the wait should be less than 20 minutes.  I look at the groups of people who are there before me and get a little skeptical, but I give him the benefit of the doubt.  We wait, and surprisingly the wait was less than 20 minutes!  Service here is fast, friendly and efficient

We get our tables, order at the cashier and wait for the desserts to arrive.  If you want free water and light tea, its self service.  Wonderful.

Upon recommendation of my good friend, we order what she considers the “best” choices and I have to admit they were all good.  1)  Shibuya Honey Toast  2) Chocolate Mud Brownie 3) Chocolate Pancake and for drinks she recommends the Earl Grey Milk Tea.  We ordered enough to make anyone on a diet lose their discipline.  It’s not somewhere you want to go if you are trying to lose weight.

If you like crunchy like my dear friend does, order the “small” honey toast.  What is it?  It is basically a thick slice of butter infused toast with a sugar crust, served with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and syrup.  The syrup comes in a jar so you can have as much of it as you want.  We had a lot of it.   If, however, you want softer honey toast that soaks up the syrup, my friend recommends the “large” shibuya honey toast.

The Chocolate Mud Brownie I have to say was my favourite.  I love chocolate and this one was indeed a dark dark rich velvety chocolate brownie. I also love the fact that its served warm with vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge.  It is pure pleasure to have a bite of it.

The chocolate pancake was the heatlhiest one as it’s a pancake with rich dark chocolate sauce.  I like it for the fact that it lightens the taste buds after the richness of the Shibuya Honey Toast and Chocolate Mud Brownie.  We polish it clean as if we didn’t have a full dinner beforehand.

I look at the menu and there are still a few things I’d like to try: the Chocolate Lava and Hot Apple Cider.  There is Japanese and on the menu, of course for such a japanese inspired dessert place with the “shibuya honey toast.”

I suppose I will have to go back, but not until after I’ve been running for a bit…

Skinny Pizza at Fou de Fafa, Singapore

After a night here and a day full of activities and meeting people, I feel myself settling in and getting in pace for the next two weeks.  Being around the business district on weekends can be a bit quiet, almost isolated, but on weekdays there is a whole different energy. There are people walking around each going on their way, each with their own lives.  The energy then settles when we get to dinner time and everyone goes get something to fill their empty stomachs.   This past evening I got to reunite with a good old friend who lives here in Singapore and she introduced me to this new kind of pizza that is currently in trend in Singapore. It’s called “Skinny pizza.”

Now I’ve never heard anything about it, but it sounded delicious. Anything with “pizza” sounds good to me but I have to beware of the cheese that comes with it.  My friend tells me that its pizza made of extremely thin crust topped with vegetables and other toppings of choice.  It wasn’t baked or filled with grilled cheese like normal pizzas.  It was healthy, yet it was a “pizza.”  What a contradiction right?

I had to try it.  We went to this little cafe called “Fou de Fafa.” It’s at the base of Capital Tower Building on Robinson Road.  It’s a little place that is full of colour and unlike the usual cafe.  It has a little bohemian feel to it with painted tables and chairs and in various colours.  Tables come in various sizes, some large, some small and the menu is handwritten on blackboards with funky names.  It’s all healthy with sandwiches and other unique dishes with healthy vegetables.  Hence the name…french is always a good language for restaurants and to be “fou” or crazy for “fafa” or vegetable is always a good thing. I try the specialty “Pizza Fou’d.”  This skinny pizza is actually thin crispy dough with toppings of creative salads.

Perfect.  Perfect for someone who is in search of something healthy yet delicious and not confined to eating the conventional salads.  We order the chicken pizza to share and its huge..for S$20.   It’s the size of a large pizza yet the topping is filled with carefully sliced avocado, rocket salad, tomato and shredded chicken.  A few other things are mixed with it and the sauce blends everything together perfectly.  I love it.

I hear its extremely busy during lunch time which is not suprising, but in the evenings there are only a handful of people.  Perfect for those needing some quiet space.   I feel like I should go back….but there is much to explore here… Thank you for taking me there 🙂 I had a wonderful time and what better place than to go catch up with good friends over a healthy dinner?  See you again soon!