Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Binge - Cocktails & Light Bites with the Girls

When girls get together for a catch up session or a good ‘bitch’, the venue is (almost) everything. It has to be conducive enough for conversation, comfy enough for lingering, stylish enough for association.

One of my favourite places is Bodega y Tapas, a regular haunt for my girlfriend and I. It’s a pretty casual, almost rustic set up adjacent to Orchard Hotel, and what we like about it is that it’s a little more quiet than most places. Best of all, the food and wine are great value.

Wines, cava, cocktails and sangria – for which they have a few variations beyond the norm - all go one-for-one literally all day (until 9.30pm!). Their Spanish chef rolls out a menu of 35 tapas too, and I always like the Spanish cheese platter ($17) and trio of croquettes. Enough of these small dishes, plus a hearty stream of libation makes a particularly good lunch, especially if you don’t have to totter back to the office after.

The new menu offers things like pork cheeks ($15) with pumpkin sauce and Madrid-style beef tripe stew ($12) slow-cooked with chickpeas and Pimenton. For $20, you can pick three tapas from a menu of seven for a weekday set lunch, or if you have a group of girls with you, there’s Paella Española with chicken, vegetables & seafood ($80 for 4 to 5 pax), and the squid ink paella with squid and prawns ($70 for 4 to 5 pax). Only thing is, you have to order the latter two dishes one day in advance. And for upmarket foodies, this is one place that serves premium Spanish ham – the famous Jamón Ibérico de Bellota (40g at $24) and the Jamón Ibérico Reserva (40g at $20). The sangria here is generous with fruits, there’s even a bubbly cava sangria, and their Bellinis are very nice too. Chin chin!

442 Orchard Road, #01-29 Orchard Hotel
(65) 6735 3476
12pm – 11.45pm

I honestly prefer my wines ‘cos I always imagine chocolate has more calories….but if you and your gals like what the Aztecs imbibed, get your artisanal cacao fix at the chi chi Chocolate DeSténation at 313@Somerset. Cakes here are unique and super cute, like the Potato, Italian Garden Cake and the Chocolate Strawberry shortcake wrap. Drinks to have are the hot chocolate, Nippon Hot chocolate with a dash of wasabi, and look at this! …cocktails from $7.50 and on Wednesdays, 1-for-1 chocolate cocktails & wines from 5pm! Nice! And there’s more fun fun fun.

This place serves a daily breakfast set at $7.80 (inclusive of pastry of your choice and coffee/tea), 40% off pastries from 9am-12pm; all-day 1-for-1 hot chocolate on Tuesdays; and if you’re mending a broken heart by busting your girth, there’s the sinful dessert degustation set at $14.80 (inclusive of pastry, chocolate bon bon, a scoop of gelato and coffee/tea) daily from 12pm-6pm. And finally for a cake with a statement (good to know if you’re bringing dessert to a dinner party), Chef Stefano (the Italian guy who runs this place) offers quirky originals in limited quantities – check out Han’ei, an Asian inspired cake with white chocolate and wasabi, black sesame sponge and yolk custard scented with yuzu ($65) and its signature Candle, made with Tahitensis vanilla cream, caramel mousse, crunchy praline with rock chocolate base ( $80). Not original enough? Have your cake customized and eat it too, with an advanced phone call. I like!

313 Orchard Rd #01-25/25A
Tel: 68365344

Then for the top of the world feeling, I just discovered Wangz Hotel, a new barrel-shaped boutique hotel in Tiong Bahru (Yes! Don’t get too excited, Aunties – it IS just a skip from Tiong Bahru market!) Right at the rooftop, its lounge/bar Halo does one for one cocktails ($14++ per order) every Wednesday from 4pm. The range of cocktails offered on this deal changes monthly so go over and be surprised. What’s nice here is the more-than-180-degree view of the city and the surrounds, the relatively quieter ambience (jazz and bossa nova), you’re surrounded by reflecting pools of water, and best thing is, we can make reservations for the few tables so Aunties don’t have to stand on their heels all night!

231 Outram Road
Tel: 6595 1388

- by Ee Waun


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