Lunch at Beanstro–The new Bistro

Sponsored Food Review

We were invited for a food tasting last week at Beanstro – a casual dining restaurant by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

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If you go shopping at Ngee Ann City often, it’s hard to miss this restaurant. You will see the familiar brown and woody deco when you glance upwards from the atrium.

This is their second halal-certified Beanstro. The first successful outlet is located at Marina Bay Sands. The company has plans to open up 2 more restaurants in Singapore.

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We were ushered in promptly. The warm lighting and cozy ambience set the mood for a great lunch!
I love restaurants which provide booth-like seats. Beanstro has them in U-shapes; thus making it easier to seat more people comfortably.

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I brought along 2 makan-kakis – Siangling & Maxie – who share common love for food. A senior server attended to us while we pored over the menu; trying to decide what to order from the extensive American-style options.

Finally we decided to share selections from the various categories so as to sample a wider variety. After we placed our orders, Steven – the restaurant manager – came by and apologised that he was away when we arrived. He said that he had a look through our orders and would like to recommend some others as those are the signatures. We were happy to take on his suggestions.

It was a short wait before the drinks and food arrived:

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Our drinks – Sunrise, Mucho Mango Fru Tea & Black Forest. All familiar drinks well mastered by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf; can’t go wrong with it.

First dish served up is one of their rustic soups: French Onion Soup.

Most of the time, it’s not my first choice of soup but I must say this proved me wrong! The piece of cheese toast complemented the soup too. Yumz!

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Next up is one of their signatures: Tuna Nicoise. This is a classic French dish; yellow-fin tuna loin coated with sesame.

The tuna is soft on the inside and slightly pinked on the edges. The accompanying raw onion and cheery tomato went well together with the tuna.

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We had 2 items from their breakfast selections:

One of them was the Classic Eggs Benedict. This was strongly recommended by Steven – a “MUST TRY”.

The poached eggs with hollandaise sauce were my all-time favourite being runny and gooey. However the chicken ham was a little disappointing; taste being too processed and tough. Otherwise, it’s a fair recommendation for a hearty meal.

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2nd breakfast item which we choose was the Breakfast Steak and Eggs.

The accompanying blackcurrant onions were yummy and sweet! Unfortunately, the beef sirloin was overdone and a tad too tough for our liking.

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We also sampled 2 vegetarian options:

1) The Grilled Portobello mushroom with melted Emmental cheese and ragout of capsicum, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula. The mushroom was grilled nicely; a little crunchy on the outside without losing the mushroom flavour on the inside. Perhaps I love a more robust taste; thus felt that further marinates will enhance this dish.

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2) Caprese – Grilled Ciabatta Sandwich with fresh mozzarella cheese and semi-dried tomato & pesto.

I loved this! Simple but oh-so fresh ingredients won my taste buds! This make a quick and light afternoon snack.

Worth a try if you are not in a meat-y mood.

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The mains were next.

A worthy mention is their signature: Vongole – Squid ink spaghetti with New Zealand clams tossed in extra virgin olive oil.

Steven told us that because Beanstro is a halal-certified restaurant, the chef cannot use wine in this dish which is commonly used in the preparation.

Instead, the clever use of chilli-padi gave this dish its’ kick and I love the fact that your mouth won’t be smeared with squid ink on a hot date!

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We also had the Chilean cod fish with mashed potatoes and sautéed greens in a seafood broth.

I am not a fan of fish dishes due to presence of bones and their fishy smell/taste; thus I would normally avoid ordering them.

Our in-house food gourmet commenter (Maxie) said the best way to know if a restaurant does a good job is to order their fishes. And that we did!

I must say the cod is fresh and when served with the seafood broth; there is no fishy taste whatsoever.

Won this non-fish-lover over!

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As all good meals have to be, we had something sweet to end the meal. Steven proposed 2 favourites amongst the rest:

Bread & Butter Pudding (my all-time favourite!) and Cheery Clafouti.

The bread & butter pudding was served in a mug-sized bowl. The buttery sweet bread was a prefect contrast with the tangy-lemony sauce & its’ serving is just nice for a sweet ending.

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My two companions loved the cherry clafouti – it’s sweet/sour taste.

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Overall it was a pleasant dining experience. Thank you Beanstro & my 2 makan-kakis for joining me!

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A conveniently located beanstro with a cozy setting for catch-ups with friends; a place for a cuppa & dessert to rest your legs after shopping the halls or a full hearty course with the family!

Do check it up when you are next in town. Smile

Beanstro – Ngee Ann City

391 Orchard Road

#B1-37 Ngee Ann City

Singapore 238872

Mon – Sun: 8am – 11pm

N.B: This is a sponsored food tasting review. All photos and opinions are based on personal dining experience on premise.

Cafe Melba @ Goodman Road

One of those lazy Sunday mornings when Xi En woke up early; we decided to checked out this tucked away cafe joint – Cafe Melba –  at Goodman Arts Centre.

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There are outdoor and indoor seating spaces. We choose outdoor seats to keep an eye on my running bunny.

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You can spot the place when you drive towards Fort Road and on weekends there will be a small bouncy castle to entertain the kiddos. It’s also a pets friendly restaurant. Smile

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PB112655I think any cafes with a bouncy castle win the kids. Smile But what I really liked is the big open space in front of the cafe.  There is large open field and a gravel ground for children/pets to run wild.

It’s a good idea to bring some digging toys and balls to keep them self-entertained. Oh, and spray on the mosquito repellent if your children has blood types which attract the mozzies. Xi En’s blood happened to taste really sweet to them.

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Food wise – Honestly, it’s not fulfilling as some other hearty brunch/all day breakfast places. I came here during lunch hours once and I believed the food/drinks was better for lunch/dinner.

Our choices for the day:

Kim’s: “Full Melba Cooked Breakfast” (not super full actually)

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Mine: “Pancakes with Berry Compote, whipped cream and maple syrup” (fluffy but the portion is still not enough for me. Maybe I am just a big eater!)

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Overall, it’s still a decent place for play dates and a morning of fun for my boy.

Exhausted by the end of the morning, he sure had a good afternoon nap. Key reason to return again. Smile

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Muffins

I love muffins –the buttery; soft and chockfull of ingredients type.

First attempt in muffin-making this morning. I followed this recipe from Noob Cook and made 2 different flavoured muffins – blueberry and walnuts.

I always prefer to look for locally based recipes as it’s easier to round-up the ingredients. Smile

The result?

Nowhere near what Noob Cook’s photos! Mine turned out a little too dry and charred on the surface. Mum said that she liked it as she likes a little crispy/charred muffins. I think she is trying to make me feel better. haaa…

Xi En is my other loyal fan.

Eyeing the first batch of blueberry muffins:

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LOOK: Giving the walnut muffin an overview first:

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SMELL: the nose can’t lie

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EAT: went for the bite!

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Nice, baby? He finished it – so I supposed it’s alright! haaa Open-mouthed smile

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Blueberry and Walnut Muffins:

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