Thursday, 27 June 2013

Spathe Public House: where comfort food is as steady as the vibe

So I went to Singapore for a bit of a break before seeing the fam bam in Manila. I was really keen on 'getting my eat on' because I've been hungry for good food for quite a while. 

Plaid Boy and I went down Mohamed Sultan Road, Singapore's so-called mecca of chill-steady dining and nightlife, for some post-work grub. He suggested Spathe Public House, possibly thinking I've missed European cuisine after my exodus three days earlier. True enough, a glance at the menu reminded me of London barbies, Spanish fiestas and Italian picnics and it all felt familial. 

Everything's supposedly designed for sharing so if you're doing portion control you best grab some buddies to help you out. 

Wine and food ordered, we scoped the scene. It's slightly reminiscent of those pretentiously unpretentious pop-up restaurants in London and New York but the vibe spoke a different tune. Steady, communal, chilled out. And they played music from the 'in between' years aka alternative tunes from the noughties. I liked it.

Punters did come in groups and it almost made our twosome sore like the puny kids who get picked last in gym class. But hey, the place itself is so steady we couldn't care less. Twas fun to find a place where it's almost mandatory to take photos of your food so you can 'Instagram that sh*t!'
...and I had a happy boy with me so can't complain much!
So what did we have?

The yellow fin tuna poke was a hit (SGD18). It looked and tasted like a mini timbale of a quasi modern twist on the classic tuna tartare.

The fish was pretty fresh in its chopped state and the added flavour of avocado and roasted garlic made it rather special. The fried shallots gave it awesome texture ie the kind of crunch you need when eating something as delicate.

Plaid Boy chose the potato gnocchi (SGD18) over the pork belly which was fine by me. The sauce had mushrooms, spinach, roasted garlic and dollops of pumpkin ricotta. I normally prefer marscapone for pasta sauce and ricotta for desserts but this was gooooood. The gnocchi itself was steady albeit a bit too filling. I would love, love, love to recreate the sauce at home using a lighter pasta like cappellini or tagliardi.

I ordered an 'individual' serving of the Spanish octopus salad (SGD18) which arrived plentiful and was actually good enough to share between two to three people. I'm not a fan of sous-vide cooking but the octopus came out so tender and so moist! It had a pleasant smoky flavour and I can only imagine how delicious this would be if they used baby octopus. Plaid Boy claimed this dish as the surprise of the night. I'd have to agree.

Of course we had to order the grilled aussie rib-eye (SGD38) with Spathe's garlic fries.

I caved in to Plaid Boy's medium rare request because I am a good girlfriend had zero expectations (as I've said before, I'm a sucker for rare steak).
The beef was good in the most unassuming way you can describe good steak. Seasoned appropriately and served with some herby butter, this was my favourite dish of the night. The garlic fries were pretty good too!

Three 'Spath矇 Classics', a salad and a glass of full bodied red later, I was too full for dessert so we passed on pudding (we did have some mini Magnums a few hours later though). That ordering guide was pretty accurate! Our total bill came to about SGD120 (roughly £60) which I thought was a pretty good price for two full happy bellies.

Overall it was exactly what the doctor ordered after long work hours: exciting food, engaging service, laidback setting. I think Spath矇 succeeds in harbouring the feeling of comfort not just through their menu but also through the concept of sharing a good meal with good friends. I'd definitely go back.

Spathe Public House
8 Mohamed Sultan Road #01-01 Singapore 238958 | Tel: 65 67351035 | Email:
Visit their Facebook Page here.
Ave spend SGD50pp (about £25)

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Six Tracks for June 2013

Better late than later =)

1975 - Sex
Last featured here in April, the Mancunians are finally releasing their debut studio album in September. Exciting times. Here's another old one from one of their EPs of yesteryear.

Smallpools - Dreaming
It's a feel good tune indeed, but they definitely remind me so much of Passion Pit.

Kodaline - Love Like This
Feel good song of the British summer c/o this Irish rock quartet.
I can already imagine this in feel good summer adverts.
And wedding AVPs.

Ella Fitzgerald - Too Darn Hot RAC Mix
Gotta love anything mixed by RAC, gotta love sweet ole Ella.
The title speaks much about the track, shame you can't say the same for this year's Summer weather.

Daft Punk feat. Pharrell - Lose Yourself To Dance
Another track featuring Pharrell off their new album Random Access Memories (which is another reason why I love the French by the way), Daft Punk punches a good funky track for the steady vibes of summer.

John Mayer - Paper Doll
First single off John's sixth studio album, Paradise Valley (to be released in August this year).
I honestly think it's about a minute too long, but it's good to have Johnny back with something promising post vocal surgery.


Thursday, 20 June 2013

When life gives you lemons...

I love how the idea of lemons, like coconuts, can cheer you up. The colour is an optical delight and the scent is just a summer olfactory stimulant. They're also super versatile so you can find some sort of concoction anywhere - in toiletries and house care, in main viands and desserts, in cocktails and tea.

I myself am not too keen on them and always end up getting the alternative - key lime pie over lemon merengue, peach over lemon iced tea, coconut scented diffusers over lemon basil candles... I'd even choose to slap my body with berry-based lotion and shower gel than smell like a citrus tart.

So it was strange when I started craving for the scent and the taste of lemons last month. Perhaps it had something to do with us finding sunshine beyond grey clouds on a supposedly good day for a barbie. Or the idea of beating the summer heat with £1 cups of lemonade. Or just plain missing the sun. In grey and grim England.

And then there was R's lemon syrup loaf. If you can remember, R also made those naughty brownies.

It was the hallelujah of all summer cakes and I could not stop eating it even when I've stuffed myself silly. I wanted to recreate it at home and have asked for the recipe which she's gladly shared.

R's Lemon-Syrup Loaf Cake

For the batter:

175g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
2 large eggs or 2 1/2 medium eggs
zest of 2 large lemons
175g self raising flour
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
23cm x 13cm x 7cm loaf tin buttered and lined

For the syrup:

Juice of 1 1/2 large lemons
85g icing sugar (or start with 70g and increase as per taste)

For the cake:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
  2. Butter and line your loaf tin well.
  3. Cream your butter and sugar, add eggs and lemon zest beating them in well.
  4. Gently fold in the flour and the salt then add the milk and half cup of lemon juice.
  5. Spoon the batter into your prepared tin and bake for 45 mins or until cake tester comes out clean (spear a knife at the centre of the loaf)
For the syrup:
  1. Heat the lemon juice and icing sugar into a small saucepan gently until the sugar dissolves.
  2. As soon as cake is out of oven, puncture all over with skewers and pour over the syrup.
  3. Leave cake to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  4. Decorate with icing sugar and candied lemons.
I am super salivating for this now. God knows we need some sort of Summer back in the UK.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

This one's for the amazing Plaid Boy

So I promised to tell you the story of Plaid Boy before, right? 

Normally I'm better at using words but when you find someone who leaves you speechless and awestruck most of the time, you definitely need something a bit more creative and a bit more, uh, special.

Ladies and gents, this is how it all began. (To view, click on 'Start Prezi', wait til you see the full world map then click on the right arrow. You can also check out the bigger version here.)

I've never been a fan of long distance relationships, but as I found someone I am sure of going through it with, I have become a believer in love and all its possibilities.

Plaid Boy, you've been such an amazing partner. Thank you so much for being a super loving and a super caring boyfriend, a great intellectual sparring buddy, a really cool best friend and a fantastic dining date. I love you beyond security checks and immigration lines. And I will always be your partner even when you wear stripes.