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Entertainment, Food & Beverage

Festive food picks

Cranola Christmas cookies from And All Things Delicious. There is something very charming about Everton Park, an HDB estate on the fringe of the Central Business District.
The Straits Times - December 6, 2013
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Festive food picks

THE PROVISION SHOP

There is something very charming about Everton Park, an HDB estate on the fringe of the Central Business District. Maybe it is the tall, leafy trees and the fact that the pace of life seems a little slower here.

There are a handful of trendy eateries here, of which The Provision Shop, a corner cafe in Block 3, is one of the newest. It serves simple food done well.

I like the Reuben Sandwich ($14) - a warm toasted corned beef sandwich with good amounts of house-made Russian dressing and Swiss cheese, and a sauerkraut that isn't too harsh. I would go back again just for this.

Wash the sandwich down with a refreshing glass of zingy cold sea salt lemonade ($6).

Other eats here include a creamy burrata with walnut pesto and sweet cherry tomatoes ($18), a smoked salmon quiche ($16) and a blueberry lemon cake ($6.50).

Where: Block 3 Everton Park, 01-79 MRT: Outram Open: 11am - 9pm daily Tel: 6225-9931 Info: www.facebook.com/TheProvisionShop

EDIBLE CHRISTMAS GIFTS

It is never nice to arrive at a Christmas party - or any party - empty handed. And during the Yuletide season of giving, I think it is especially nice to bring along something festive for the host, even if you are told that you don't need to.

Online bakery And All Things Delicious has some delightful offerings, from cakes - the sticky toffee pudding looks delish - and cookies, to a Christmas granola that goes well with plain yogurt.

The Gingerbread Butter Cookies, decorated with royal icing, are thin, buttery and crisp, and have just the right amount of spice ($16 for a dozen).

What I am really loving is Mel's Houseblend Granola ($18 for 500g) which, aside from nuts such as almonds, also includes pecans - a special addition for Christmas. Other things in this crunchy blend include rolled oats, desiccated coconut, large and plump raisins, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It is sweetened with organic unrefined sugar and treacle, and contains sea salt that to me, helps draw out the natural flavours of each ingredient. Also, that salty hint that lingers on the palate after each mouthful is addictive.

I usually eat Greek yogurt and granola for breakfast, but you can have granola with milk too. This is one of the best versions I have had in a long time. It has everything I like and is not overly sweet.

Orders of $150 and more, made before this Sunday, will receive a 20 per cent discount.

Where: And All Things Delicious is an online bakery. The pick-up location is in Katong and will be provided upon confirmation of orders and deposits. Some of the goodies are also available at Penny University, 402 East Coast Road MRT: Eunos Open: Penny University - 8.30am - 6pm (Tue - Thu), 8.30am - midnight (Fri), 8.30am - 9pm (Sun) Tel: 9382-4767 (And All Things Delicious), 9008-9314 (Penny University) Info: Go to thedeliciousbaker.com

SWEET SNACK

Cinnamon toast ($2.15) is one of my favourite things to eat at Simply Bread after a tomato salad or a roast beef sandwich. The slice of toast, which is cut into half, is buttered right to the edges and dusted generously with cinnamon sugar.

It is a sweet note to end a meal, although having said that, I could eat this as a snack at any time of the day.

Where: Simply Bread - two outlets, Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, 02-07, tel: 6763-2628; Guthrie House, 1 Fifth Avenue (off Sixth Avenue), 01-03, tel: 6466-7767 MRT: Botanic Gardens Open: 8am - 9pm daily (both outlets) Info: Go to simplybread.com.sg

TWISTS ON GIN & TONIC

A gin and tonic is often viewed as safe and unadventurous. But these days, the humble combination is a lot more than just a shot of gin topped up with tonic water.

Some bars in town are upping the ante by including components such as milk and fruit into their versions of the tried-and-tested spirit. They are also opting for choice gin brands such as Tanquery No. Ten and artisan tonic water such as local craft tonic water label East Imperial, that is made with quinine from Java and water from New Zealand.

At Bacchanalia in Coleman Street, its G&T ($20) includes ice cubes that have been made with distilled water, and elderflower and grapefruit essence. The subtle citrus and floral notes infuse the drink as the ice melts.

Over at Cache, the hidden bar at the back of modern izakaya restaurant Izy in Club Street, its gin and tonic is a well-balanced gin sour known as #10 ($20). Made with Tanqueray No. Ten, freshly squeezed lemon juice, tonic water that has been reduced into a syrup and apricot brandy, the cocktail is fresh and lively. It is also creamy and slightly frothy, from the egg white it is shaken with.

Another bar to check out is Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall in Boat Quay. As much as it sounds like a coffee shop stall, it isn't. However, it is run by an Ah Sam, who is better known as bartender Samuel Wong.

The bar's Gin & Tonic ($24.20), is served in a delicate wine glass and includes grapefruit zest and a dash of grapefruit juice. A cheerful and sophisticated drink served with a cheap, transparent coffee shop straw - gotta love that juxtaposition.

Where: Bacchanalia, 23A Coleman Street, tel: 6509-1453, open: 6pm - midnight (Tue - Thu), noon - 2am (Fri), 6pm - 2am (Sat), 11.30am - 5pm (Sun), closed on Mon; Cache at Izy, 27 Club Street, tel: 6220-3327, 6pm - midnight (Mon - Sat), closed on Sun; Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall, 60A Boat Quay, tel: 6535-0838, open: 6pm - midnight (Mon - Thu), 6pm - 2am (Fri & Sat), closed on Sun MRT: Chinatown and Raffles Place Info: bacchanalia.asia, www.izy.com.sg, www.facebook.com/AhSamColdDrinkStall

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