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Located inside a furniture store, Arteastiq is actually a tiny strip of space that is very well-utilised. One side of the strip is furnished with Alice-in-Wonderland like cushion chairs, tables and printed couches while the other side of the strip is the kitchen.

The tea lounge is not very crowded, although service can be slow and the “waitlist” can be intimidating. We were told to wait for half an hour but I noticed that some tables were not cleared and were unoccupied. After a second check 15 minutes later, we were given a table.

Do you expect yourself to leave this place in half an hour? No, I don’t think so. It’s too comfortable and serene here.

The tea lounge has a pretty extensive list of tea menu and if you need to be numbed in the afternoon, you can opt for the alcoholic tea drinks too.

Food-wise, there is a selection of savory small bites and desserts range was just a couple of cakes and a few flavours of ice-cream.

<< As you can tell, I blended well with the chair.

My French Rose Tea ($11), complete with sugar cubes, almond crisps and fine china. The tea was aromatic and rejuvenating. Another recommended tea that we like was the Pomelo Tea ($11), which was served in a small tea cup with pomelo puree, and some cranberries at the side.

We ordered some cakes and ice-cream. My favourite was the Apple Cake ($8), which was light, fluffy and simply divine with the thinly-sliced apples.

Verdict:

Good place to chill-out in the afternoon with a good book or good company. Now you know where to seek refuge when you are free in the afternoon. 🙂

Arteastiq
333A Orchard Road
#04-14/15 Mandarin Gallery
Tel: +65 6235 8705

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Tucked at an area called “Phoenix Park” at Tanglin, I initially envisioned Spruce to be a building out of nowhere in the midst of the Tanglin greenery. The place was surprisingly easy to find and only a short drive away from town.


Photo credits: Spruce

With its contemporary interiors and relaxed ambience, it didn’t feel like Singapore at all.

I had a Spruce Eggs Benny on Corn Waffle with Leg Bacon ($12). I never knew that waffles could be savory! The eggs benny were very well-done and blended well with the sweet waffle and the salty leg bacon. The affordable price is also something to smile at.

My favourite all-time beverage is hot chocolate. Spruce’s Hot Thick Chocolate ($6) did not disappoint. The texture was velvety and the taste was strong but not overpoweringly sweet.

Desserts were Spruce Sundae with Valrhona Fudge Sauce and Brownie Bits ($15) and Steamed Ginger Date Pudding with Chocolate Toffee Sauce ($12).

The brownie chunks and huge walnuts buried in the ice-cream were amazing, although we shouldn’t have chose sorbet. The ginger date pudding was moist and delicious. Of course, it didn’t go wrong with the vanilla ice-cream and warm chocolate sauce.

Verdict:

It is simple. I like Spruce and I would love to go there for lunch and dinner in future.

Spruce
320 Tanglin Road
Phoenix Park
Tel: +65 6836 5528
Brunch: 8.30am – 2.30pm

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The T Spot In the final post of my Shanghai series, I am going to introduce you to a cafe/bar that is set up by a Malaysian chef. hoF (House of Flour) is set up by Brian Tan, spreading its food(foot)prints in Shanghai with 3 outlets and is popular for the chocolate desserts and cocktails!

I visited the cafe at Sinan Road, which was really near the H&M flagship store on Huai Hai Middle Road. You can take a break there after all the crazy H&M shopping!

And I was there for brunch…

I started off with hot chocolate that came with a shot of Bailey’s. I am a fan of Hot Chocolates and this is a good cup of Hot Chocolate – thick consistency, pleasant aroma and sweet, but not too sweet.

And for the record, we were supposed to drink from the tip of the cup.

My Croque Monsieur was delicious and surprisingly filling. Things never go wrong with ham, cheese and bread although I was slightly disappointed that it left me with no space for desserts.

Some photos of what I had missed. hoF also serves cocktails, so you can actually pair your desserts with their special concoctions for the best experience.

Verdict:

Great food, great location and good ambience. This is the place where I can go to at any time – start the day with brunch, take a short mid-day break with afternoon tea or head down for a good dinner or just chill at night with their desserts and drinks.

hoF (House of Flour)
30 Sinan Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu (思南路30号, 近淮海中路)
+86 21 6093 2058

Other posts in the Shanghai series:

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The T SpotShanghai – the finance and business hub of Asia’s major economy – and an increasingly cosmopolitan city in the region. I had the chance to check out some interesting eateries during my recent trip there and will be introducing these places on the blog.

I have been to Xintiandi when I was in Shanghai 7 years ago. Then, Xintiandi was this dimly-lit place with some eateries and bars and European-like decor, which didn’t really appeal to me. 7 years later, I decided to give Xintiandi another go since everyone seems to say that it’s THE place to hang out!

Photo credit: Flickr

Truth to be told, Xintiandi has not changed much, although there are more eateries and clubs now. We took a nice stroll around and went to a desserts place nearby called Bellagio 鹿港小镇 .

Bellagio sells Taiwanese food and is apparently quite well-known for their Chinese desserts! As the cafe opens till late, it’s a great place to meet, enjoy affordable sweets and escape from the cold weather outside.

Mango rice balls with coconut 芒果椰丝糯米滋

This is a famous Hong Kong dessert! I was so excited to find it in Bellagio! Each ball is made from glutinous rice flour, with fresh mango encrusted in the middle. Every piece is then dusted with the desiccated coconut that helps to add some crunchy bite to the dessert.

It was a pity that the rice flour was too thick. I would have preferred it if the layer was thinner and the interior was packed with mangoes!

Glutinous rice balls in fermented rice wine with 桂花酒酿鸡蛋小圆子

This dessert is Shanghainese. I tried it once in Shanghai years ago and was not a fan of it because the smell of the rice wine was too overwhelming. Bellagio’s version included osmanthus flower and egg. I know how this bowl of dessert looks like a bowl of porridge with rice, wine, egg and rice balls but it was really delicious. I believe the osmanthus deserves some credit for adding a refreshing zest, and balancing out the strong taste of rice wine.

Red bean paste with rice balls 红豆沙

Unlike most red bean paste desserts I have tasted in Singapore, Bellagio’s offering was thick and pasty. The texture was smooth and the sweet taste complemented well with the rice balls. This is one of the best red bean paste desserts that I have ever tasted!

Verdict:

This place can be crowded, but it is evidently a place where Shanghainese yuppies and youths hang out.  Bellagio has several branches in Shanghai, as well as other parts of China. Do stop by there after an obligatory visit to Xintiandi.

Bellagio 鹿港小镇
Address: 上海市卢湾区太仓路68号 (Taicang Road No. 68, near Shunchang Road)
Tel: +86 021-63865701

Other posts in the Shanghai series:

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Hairloom & Caramel is a salon+cafe tucked at a corner of Shaw Towers. Hairloom, as the name suggests, is the salon whereas the cafe is known as “Caramel Cafe”. The cafe is as sweet as its name suggests and literally a girl’s dream-come-true with the quaintest furniture and decor. Definitely an ideal place for afternoon tea and girlish tête-à-tête!

There is no food menu – the selection of salad/sandwich/mains is written on the blackboard and there were about 10 choices with very reasonable price tag. The desserts deserve thumbs-up though!

hairloom2

Japanese Goma style spaghetti with chicken (S$13.50): Very light and simple dish. Ordinary.

hairloom3

Green Tea Azuki (left) and Citrus (Right) cupcakes (S$3.90 each). Miss Glitzy loves both cupcakes! Although expensive, these exquisite cupcakes were good stuff with the cream neither overpowering nor hopelessly sweet. Miss Glitzy is drooling now while browsing their cupcake collection on the blog.

hairloom4

Bread Pudding (S$5.90).  Miss Glitzy is a fan of bread pudding. Maybe that’s why she thinks she is beginning to look like a bread pudding. Anyway Caramel’s version is a tad different from the usual. The pudding is slightly harder and less creamy. It’s like a slice of Nonya kueh with a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream and loads of vanilla sauce and raisins! While the dessert deviates from the usual soft and lumpy texture, Miss Glitzy likes this new interpretation.

hairloom5

Chocolate Banana cake (S$5.90). This looks like decadent indulgence but surprisingly, the chocolate layer was not heavy or sinful. The banana layer was quite thin but blended well with the chocolate cake. Miss Glitzy thinks that even peeps who hate bananas are gonna love this!

On the whole, Miss Glitzy would love to head back to Caramel for tea and cakes again! There was a group of young folks having a birthday party there and it looked fun! Miss Glitzy gonna shortlist this place for cozy party, gathering.. maybe a book club meeting?

Hairloom & Caramel
100 Beach Road

#01-50/52 Shaw Towers
Singapore 189702

Tel: 62952188

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MsGlitzy.com is a women's lifestyle and fashion blog based in Singapore.

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