Robert Timms, Wheelock Place

I have not really tried the food at Robert Timms, not that I recall anyway, because the few times when I visited, I only had coffee and perhaps something sweet. The last couple of times were no exception.

Black coffee with a slice of cranberry pumpkin loaf. I kind of like these loaves, there are a total of 4 different flavours and so far I have tried two. This was the second. I find that it isn’t too sweet, by my standards anyway, and the loaf is adequately moist. Plus it doesn’t crumble, which somehow is something that always annoys me to no end when I’m eating some muffin (like CBTL’s blueberry muffin) that just falls apart the moment a fork is pushed into it.20140605-084724.jpgA closer look at the loaf, which is quite a small serving according to me. When I ordered this, I didn’t actually link it to the Starbucks Cranberry Orange Loaf that was available last Christmas that I really enjoyed. This wasn’t like that, perhaps not as nice or gives as much “omph” as the Starbucks’ version did, but it is still nice, in an understated kind of way maybe. Or just my way to describe it without being too articulate about how its taste is like, haha. I cannot really taste the pumpkin, maybe it’s just being mixed into the flour that gives it its amber shade. Another point to note is that it is not oily for such loaves. I’ve bought sliced butter cakes elsewhere that just leaves streaks of grease everywhere.

20140605-084731.jpgAnd a flashback to the past, the first of these loaves that I tried from Robert Timms, was the Spiced Prune Loaf. Again, you can see the palpable prune bits that were baked in it, rather generous I would say, to make me not wonder about its name or where the named items are in the product.

20140605-084737.jpgYou can see from this second picture what I meant earlier about it being fairly ‘solid’, i.e. not crumbling easily. In fact it was so easy to just break it up with a fork into bite-sized pieces as I enjoyed it in between sips of coffee. For it to retain such consistency, it would allude to the level of moisture within to be able to hold everything together. I think if I were to ever learn how to bake and try my hand at it, that’s a very big IF there, I would hope to achieve such a level of balance between adequacy of moisture and yet not over-grease the baked item.

20140605-084743.jpgI know, baked things are still laden with trans fats that I said I was going to try to cut down on. I am trying but it is tough. How do you suddenly just make yourself walk away from something you love? I can have such things for my meals in place of staples like noodles and rice, even if I know I shouldn’t but then there is always a difference between knowing what we should do and what we really want to or actually do. I can’t wait for the weekend to partake in my weekly weekend indulgences!

late night coffee

Last weekend, I finally stepped into a cinema again, after what felt like lightyears. These days, social life seem to have taken a hiatus but then again, it isn’t like I’m living the life of a recluse or hermit. But it is always nice to meet up with friends whom I haven’t met in a while, to catch up on each other’s lives and reconnect once more.

Caught the movie, Star Trek: Into Darkness, because ever since I caught the first one in 2009 starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, I had thought that I would want to continue watching it when they come out with new episodes. I was never really into Star Trek, rather knowing and being exposed a little more to Star Wars instead since young. And I would admit as much, Chris Pine as Captain Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Mr. Spock are a major reason for me catching on this. Haha, well it always helps to have some eye-candy in a movie doesn’t it? I liked Into Darkness more, or should I say, I actually don’t really remember much about the 2009 instalment that I watched that is all of 4 years ago! But Into Darkness had more action throughout the duration of the movie, and is certainly more action-filled.

When the movie ended, we decided to pop in to Robert Timms for a drink, and since I was there how could I resist the coffee? Despite that I have resolved to consume less coffee on a daily basis and have been fairly successful, that day I think I effectively overshot my usual dosage. But they serve nice coffee, and the thick frothy milk that comes along with the latte is also much welcomed. Perhaps the next time I should send in a request for a more special latte art? Would they actually accommodate such a request?     

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Before the show started, I wanted to have a bite since it was dinner-time but as I had something during tea-time, the obsessed me decided to go for a supposedly healthier option of a salad. Ok, maybe this doesn’t come across as looking very healthy because the meat seemed to be glistening with a sheen of oil, but well it is a salad after all, and hopefully the greens compensate otherwise.20130606-084205.jpg

This was ordered from the Cinecafe at Shaw Lido, which I thought was a good place to grab some dinner before a show because the last I recalled, it wasn’t too crowded. That day, we managed to get a seat and had a choice of several tables to pick from, but maybe about 5-10 minutes afterward, the place became full and in the first place there aren’t that many tables to go around. Food here is pretty decent, and perhaps offers a wider variety than Canele that is just next to it, price-wise it is reasonable, not really that economical or cheap since this portion of salad I had costs S$10 but for convenience I suppose it is still considered ok. This was a salad of chicken, greens, walnuts, apples and raisins, which is some sort of a modified waldorf salad maybe. I really enjoyed it and the vegetables and chicken chunks helped to make it a satiating meal, except that at the end, some of the purple leafy vegetables were a tad too bitter to eat.

Robert Timms, Orchard Shopping Centre

Back from the week-long enforced break and I think I have been gorging on CNY snacks this time round. I don’t recall eating so much of these “goodies” over the last years because I was not in town much, so probably the way to cut down and cut back on eating them is to go on holiday during this time! 

Ok, so one week basically just flew by really quickly, and it was indeed a really great one week break I had. This new year, I skipped the visiting even though I was around because I just didn’t feel like it so I spent most of the time doing what I wanted to do.

Met up with friends when I could and on one of the CNY days, we went to Robert Timms for an afternoon coffee. I can’t remember where I read it from or heard it from, but is it true you have to specifically request for latte art (other than the norm of the heart-shaped ones we have here), the likes of the bear or otherwise? The coffee at Robert Timms is pretty good based on all the times I have visited so far, but mostly I have dropped in at the outlet in Orchard Shopping Centre and only once at the Wheelock branch, because the latter seems to be busier. Have never tried their proper meals since each time I visit, it is for a mid-day coffee and normally, the thing that will go best with coffee would be pastries and cakes, or so I think.      20130218-100928.jpg

And this time, we ordered a Red Velvet cupcake! Actually we had planned to order a slice of cake, and we thought something that we saw in the cake display upfront was Red Velvet, but maybe that is just the normal carrot cake, and when we placed our order for Red Velvet, the cupcake turned up instead. Have not had enough red velvet to know what is nice or not, but this was generally moist and not too sweet, though the cream and icing probably wasn’t such a great idea for me because they elevated the sweetness index.

Good times are always too short but that’s why they are good because this is what sets them apart from bad times, no? Passage of time is a relativity concept, and in this case hours spent with friends catching up just flit by so fast, as are the hours spent enjoying my CNY break here in Singapore.

caffeine trails

I don’t know if there is a name for the building that stands next to 313, the one that houses Lei Garden on the 2nd level. That is perhaps the most resilient of all its tenants by far, since the ground floor, despite its neverending commuter traffic, hasn’t been able to keep the retailers there for a prolonged period of time.

I walk past that building often, not just by virtue of the fact that I used to work in the vicinity but also because coming out from Somerset station, if I were to take a left turn towards the cinemas at Orchard Cineleisure that is a place that I’ll pass by. So it was with a little bit of intrigue when I passed one day and saw that they have opened a new restaurant on the ground floor! Honestly, I didn’t know it was a restaurant because the way the shop front was designed and with a display of cupcakes and quiches, I’ll be wont to think that it’s a cafe. It wasn’t until one humid weekend afternoon that I was in search of a place for a cuppa and all other cafes nearby were overflowing with patrons that I dropped in, since it was rather empty at Robert Timms.

The first time we went, we had a cafe latte, and ordered a quiche to share. The coffee was decent, I would say better than the likes of coffee chains around like Starbucks, Coffee Bean or Spinelli, and the quiche was delicious too. I don’t recall exactly what was the type of quiche we had, but there was quite a lot of egg in it.

Fast forward to last weekend, when we were again out on a weekend before a movie, and as usual in the scorching heat of the afternoon, everyone was seeking respite indoors and where else but the cafes where they can order a drink and lounge for a while. So, we thought we’d head back to Robert Timms, since judging by the last time we were there, there should be available seats. Well, we were right, and wrong at the same time. While we managed to get a seat, the place was already quite packed, so I hope they will be able to sustain for a longer period of time as compared to the past tenants.

This time, I had a soy latte. I still think the coffee is pretty amazing – strong but not overpowering. And I just went to do a little bit of research: they are actually from Australia, and there is an outlet at Wheelock Place? I was racking my brains on this, and the only plausible place I can think is what used to be Borders Bistro, since all the other ground floor cafe spots are Coffee Club. Well well, Australian coffee has proven to be excellent, from the time I tried Gloria Jean’s (in Australia, because the ones I had in Singapore didn’t seem the same), to Campos in New Town, Sydney! And now, Robert Timms has brought the goodness of Australian coffee within reach. That can only be good news for all coffee lovers.