The pleasures of being on leave. Hot coffee. Cold outside. People watch. iPod.
I am a self-proclaimed lover of brands and coffee. So when the two came together to form Starbucks, I was in love.
Two reasons for that love-the amazingly friendly baristas and their fresh coffee brewed to perfection and deliciousness.
My favourite Starbucks branch at Raffles City (the one opposite Chijmes).
My sister and I before church last Sunday-with my favourite holiday coffee…Double-shot Starbucks toffeenut latte with whipped cream, topped with brown crystal sugar. Mmmmm…
Thank you Howard Schultz, for creating my ‘third place’.
I was greeted by this gorgeous restaurant, tucked away in the corner of 6th Avenue. When the boyfriend and I arrived at 8pm, the place was only half-filled with families, couples and a large group of at least 16 people having a collective Valentine’s Day celebration. The crowd kicked in about an hour later.
There was a box of 6 chocolates on each table, and each chocolate had the words “I Love You” on it.
The Valentine’s Day menu. My boyfriend and I opted for the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, medium-rare. We’re both meat lovers.
While we waited for our food to arrive (which took a wee bit longer than expected), trigger-happy me starting to snap away with my camera (Fuji Finepix F31). Here’s a photo of me with the free chocolates, a view from the second floor (the restaurant was showing a film from the sixties), a photo of the stairway up to the second floor and a photo of the place-mat.
Here’s the food 😀
(From top-left, description moving clockwise)
Starter: North American lamb pastries, almond yoghurt sauce, garlic oil and toasted pine nuts.
3.9 over 5 stars – the sauce and nuts makes this dish different from a normal Chinese dumpling.
Main Course: Grilled beef tenderloin & baby lobster tail, cep sauce & lobster butter.
4.4 over 5 stars – a very juicy cut of beef with a generous amount of delightful sauce with some mashed potatoes.
Dessert: Strawberry sunburst, champagne rose jelly & lychee compote.
2.8 over 5 stars – I thought they could have done much better with their dessert and I wasn’t too fond of all that rose flavouring in it. However, the strawberry sunburst cake had saved this entire dish from failing at my ratings.
2.3 over 5 stars – Okay maybe I am just very particular about how turkish delight should taste like. I like it traditional without any additional flavourings added (rose again) and with some pistachios. However it had a very impressive ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ effect.
The meal ended with a freshly brewed lavazza coffee and some shortbread that was delicious.
Total damage: S$168
Overall rating: 4.3 over 5 stars
(Dropped slight from the previous 4.5 stars, on normal days they’re better at their food and service)
How did you spend your Valentine’s Day? 🙂
Saccharin is an artificial sweetener or sugar substitute. It is one of the five approved sugar substitutes that have been approved for use in the United States of America.
A little history lesson here. There were health controversies that surrounded the meat-packing industry in 1906 that led to the implementation of the Pure Food and Drug Act in the same year. Just merely a year later in 1907, the United States Department of Agriculture began investigating saccharin and it had not ceased till today. This is evident when the Los Angeles Times reported today that Saccharin may lead to weight gain.
Here are the claims of the article (rats and humans were used in various experiments and observations):
– Rats on diets containing saccharin gained more weight than rats given glucose
– Saccharin appeared to break the physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories, driving the rats to overeat
– Diet soda may well be the reason behind people’s poor eating habits
– Lyn M. Steffen claimed that people who drank diet sodas had a higher chance of becoming obese, than people who drank regular soda
– Food and beverage industries rejected that claim, stating that causes of obesity are multi-factorial (An increase in food portions & decrease in physical activity)
I particularly liked what Adam Drewnowski said at the end of the article:
“We now have studies showing that sugar calories are associated with obesity and the absence of sugar is associated with obesity. Pity those people trying to do something about obesity.”
There is also a survey done by the Calorie Control Council (in 1998) that showed an increase in people’s intake of sugar-free food and beverages. A 2007 survey (see article here) by the council found that the highest number of Americans in the past 15 years, 71 million, or 33% of the population, are currently on a diet.
When will this struggle ever end? My stand is to eat whatever your heart desires…only then will you cease all cravings for an extensive amount of soda or resort to diet soda… which most likely contains saccharin…which in turn might lead to obesity.
Saccharin is only a blessing to diabetics who cannot afford sugar and might want a sweet “treat” once in awhile. It is however a curse to the rest of us who consume it because it helps us in “dieting”. This totally takes out the gulit in me to reach out for another regular coke. 🙂 What do you think?