Thursday, November 30, 2023

Columbus Coffee Co Cafe near Thomson Plaza in Singapore

It's a fact that I am seldom impressed with cafe food so when a friend suggested dinner at Columbus Coffee Co; I was hesitant yet didn't want to sound rude. To me, what's the worst that could happen, except to prove my point?

Truth was further than that as I actually returned for another meal, and this time, I brought along my parents as the some of the food served would fall into the Asian category, which they generally prefer. 

Do keep in mind that the cafe was extremely popular and you may wish to scan the above to join the e-queue! I am putting it up here for ease of reference, for my next visit! 

Interior of the cafe, with options for outdoors. Latter might not be a bad option since there's a ceiling fan right above each table. For this visit, we were seated outdoors as the wait for indoor seating seemed quite long.

Cakes counter - nothing that quite caught my fancy. 
For desserts, we opted for something else. 

Complimentary water, and they provided a large bottle for ease of refill. This is something that's so uncommon and this cafe didn't even impose a service charge.

Order and pay via this QR code! 
Let's now proceed with our food. 

Unagi Donburi - my mom loves unagi and I assumed this would be a good enough dish for her. What I forgot was that she had tried really nice unagi before at Man Man Japanese Unagi Restaurant and Uya Unagi Restaurant.

As far as unagi was concerned, the unagi was okay, and definitely failed to win the epic ones from Man Man and Uya. Saving grace was the the flavorful rice, which was enhanced by the salty pops from the ikura (fish eggs).  

Beef Steak Donburi - if you look gyudon, this would be a strong competitor! Instead of slices of beef, the beef here came in generously large chunks that were already pleasing for the eyes. 

Taste wise, they were delicious with a touch of pepperiness. Texture of the juicy beef cubes was tender and I was so loving the the onions that were caramelized with teriyaki sauce! I accidentally ordered a second serving and it was still so good when I ate them a few hours later. 

Halibut & Scallop Pao Fan - honestly, I don't know what to make out from this as the the rice was definitely not soaked (pao). That's where the porcelain pot came into play. 

Drenching the ingredients! Since pao meant soaked, I am unsure how long we would need to soak the rice for. Whatever the case, my dad was hungry and he dug in shortly after I poured the soup. 

Soup impressed the taste buds with its umami flavor, albeit a tad spicy. Scallop was large and the fish meat was firm and fresh. This would be nice to have on the nice, cool weather we had today. 
Candied Bacon with Ice Cream Waffle - with options for maple & better, salted caramel with ice cream, and candied bacon with ice cream; I chose the third one as it's something that my parents had never tried before. 

Bacon was like gourmet bak kwa and I love the texture of the waffle; crispy added with a nice, buttery aroma. I would say some of you might not like the texture though as there's no chew to it. Not an issue for me. 


I would be back for sure! 

220 Upper Thomson Rd, 
Singapore 574352
(near Upper Thomson MRT Station)

As above.


Operating Hours
Tuesdays to Saturdays - 9am to 10pm
Sundays - 9am to 7pm
(Closed on Mondays)

As above.

Unagi Donburi - S$24.20
Beef Steak Donburi - S$24.20
Halibut & Scallop Pao Fan - S$25.10
Candied Bacon with Ice Cream Waffle - S$15.60
(Inclusive of GST)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Food at Light Cruise in Halong Bay @ Vietnam

Food, not buffet, was included as part of our day tour to Halong Bay, on board Light Cruise; one of many, many cruise ships that sailed within the UNESCO World Heritage bay. 

Shortly after we board, we were shared a plate of cut cucumbers, carrots etc. As the table was good for six persons, do note that this small plate was to be shared among all six of us! Given how hungry I was, I was half expecting this plate to be for one person!

Don't ask me why pineapples were served next since fruits should likely be last. Yellowish and crunchy, I would love to have more but once such plate, again, was to be shared. 

Before I could grab my camera, the plate of steamed prawns was already down to the three in the above photograph. Two words to describe the taste; so fresh! With freshness come sweetness, it was delicious!

Neutral with this fish dish.
p.s. not a huge fish fan.

Anything deep fried would be well loved by me! 

The squid was mindboggling good; the texture was tender, not rubbery and it had the sweet taste of seafood, departing from the normal where the taste of squid was rarely very strong. This was the first time I had such memorable squid, that wasn't deep fried. 

Worst was the clams; fishy! 

Our lunch, which included plain rice and even a plate of stir fried cabbage. Frankly, the food wasn't sufficient for me. Drinks were not included; hence, be prepared to pay like 40,000 dong for beer or 30,000 dong for soft drinks. 

After the last itinerary for the day tour, a plate of watermelon, and biscuits were placed on our table. A sweet conclusion to the trip, although I would love to have some ice creams instead. 


Part of Halong Bay Day Tour on Light Cruise! 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Dim Sum Garden Restaurant (园林点心屋) @ Melaka [Malaysia]

[Permanently Closed]

It's no secret I have a lot of backlogs for this blog and it doesn't help that I am also on full time employment, and hence, prefer to watch video clips whenever I am off work. However, it still caught me by surprise that an eatery I patronized in early October decided to close shop within one month of my visit! 

Okay, I am actually not that surprised and you would have to read further to understand why. In a nutshell, our visit was a matter of wrong identity as my brother in law had keyed in the wrong dim sum restaurant in his GPS and we were too hungry by the time we reached Dim Sum Garden Restaurant.

Even though it was a Friday, I was still taken aback by how empty the restaurant was at about 10.00 am. Back then, I was self reasoning that travelers to Melaka would only come in maybe after 6pm on Fridays; hence, the lack of customers. 

While there was the option of ordering from the menu, another way was for the service staff to bring along a large basket of steamed dim sum for you to pick! In such times, I always lament that humans should have four stomachs, like a cow! 

Like sushi plates, each dim sum had an assigned price category ranging from RM 3.00 to RM 6.50. Meaning the most expensive item cost just S$2.00, whereas in Singapore, each basket was minimally S$3.00! 

Fried Carrot Cake - disappointing; served not even lukewarm, the texture of the carrot cake was hard and the flavor was primarily just spicy. This was a disgrace to carrot cake! 

Hakka Yong Tau Foo - this cost RM 9.00 but it's a mixture of quite a few things; do no complaint here. I only managed to secure one piece as we were too hungry! This was okay but would have commanded a higher review if they were fresh out from the boiling oil.

Glutinous Rice with Chicken - pretty good with substantial amount of meat. I did feel that the rice was a bit mushy although taste wise was above average.

Siew Mai - for something that's so common in dim sum, it frustrated me when an eatery can doom it. The filling didn't scream of juiciness and what got to my taste buds was just the taste of unappetizing meat. 

Har Gow - another dish synonymous with dim sum, this was better tasting than the siew mai but instead of prawns, it was more the flavor of pork. This should have been named siew mai instead of har gow.

Chee Cheong Fun - decided to order both the prawns and pork version since one portion would only be sufficient for Alex. Turned out the sauce had a strange sweet flavor that didn't quite gel and the char siew had that distasteful porkiness.

Century Egg Mai - as a century egg fan, I needed to give this a try. Again, the meat didn't impress even though I still enjoyed the unique century egg pungency. 

Big Pau - to be frank, I wasn't too hopeful with the big meat bun as what we had so far didn't capture our hearts. Turned out the meat was juicy and deliciously savory and it helped that the skin wasn't overly thick! Pity we were a bit full by then! 

Banana and Red Bean Roll - I was wondering why these were in the form of nuggets! Don't be deceived by their looks as they were bursting with the sinfully nice filling! The outer texture was also crispy and the only one issue was that the banana was literally overwhelmed by the red bean. 


Before and after. Nothing much for me to add as the eatery is no longer in operation. I did feel that the prices were economically although I wouldn't mind paying slightly more for a high quality. 

3-1 & 5-1, Jalan Tamby Abdullah, 
Banda Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia

As above.

Business Hours
-Closed Permanently- 

As above.

Fried Carrot Cake - RM 6.50 
Hakka Yong Tau Foo - RM 9.00
Glutinous Rice with Chicken - RM 4.50
Siew Mai - RM 4.00
Har Gow - RM 4.50
Chee Cheong Fun - RM 6.00
Century Egg Mai - RM 4.00
Big Pau - RM 5.00
Banana and Red Bean Roll - RM 6.00