The Bravery Cafe on Horne Road

The Bravery
66 Horne Road
Singapore 209073
Online menu: Click here
Online reservations: Click here
Whatsapp reservations: +65 9388 2973

Opening Hours
Sun to Thu: 9am to 6pm
Fri to Sat: 9am to 10pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~S$17-22
Recommended dishes: Eggs on Toast with add-ons (my perfect plate costs $18.50), Salmon Bagel Set (S$14.50), Salmon RIce Bowl (S$12.50)

Okay so this being sick and having to stay home thing is really doing wonders for my blogging frequency. Today I felt like blogging about my favourite brunch spot The Bravery at Horne Road. I went there for the first time some time in the middle of 2016 (literally, my first ever review of the place and it was like average, LOL.) I wasn’t too ravey about the food, but look now I’m all hey guys this mah fave spot check it out. So what’s changed?

Not the decor because it still pretty much looks the same, with the non-obvious doors and the same cosy-industrial-chic feel. No more metallic horse sculpture on the common table though, sad.

The decor is pretty much the same as in 2016, sans metallic horse which we all miss.

I think the menu is pretty much the same (please refer to this one on their website for accuracy):

I think they change this quite regularly so it may not be there by my/your next visit LOL

I think what’s changed is perhaps their portions? Also now I’ve figured out the perfect items to order!! My absolute favourite thing to do here is to build my own brunch platter like so:

Toast with poached eggs (S$8), avocado (S$2.50), sautéed mushrooms (S$3) and beef sausage (S$5). Gosh my mouth is watering. 10/10
Can you tell these are the exact same orders from two different visits?

So to start I go for the basic Poached Eggs on Toast (S$8), add a half avocado ($2.50), sautéed mushrooms (S$3) and beef sausage (S$5) so it all adds up to $18.50 for this plate of beauty. Quite expensive but idk i derive SO much pleasure from it. You can skip the mushrooms, they’re still filling enough without. I also sometimes swap out the beef sausage with smoked salmon to make it a little healthier. YUMMMMM. 10/10 would recommend. Also if you guys want to recreate this at home to save money you can try using Saudia’s Halal Smoked Gouda Chicken and Beef Sausage (I bought mine from Redmart) because they are SOOOO good.

My friend got the Bagel Set (S$14.50) when we brunched together and NGL it was also pretty good!

Bagel Set (S$14.50) – 9.5/10. I love that it has a bit of everything in it. Cream cheese cubezzzz yassss.

The bagel was pretty good; chewy but not tough, soft but with good bite. I def prefer poached eggs over scrambled eggs, so I hope they still let us have the option to have the eggs poached the next time I visit! Their online menu only says scrambled eggs so I am a little worried LOL. 9.5/10 for the bagel set.

On one of my other visits, I had a friend visiting from KL who had the Salmon Rice Bowl (S$12.90) and really enjoyed it:

Salmon Rice Bowl ($12.90) – not bad but my build-a-brunch will always be better. 9/10

The salmon chunks, edamame, diced tomato and onions are lightly coated in a Japanese marinade, and served on a bed of brown rice. It’s def really nutritious but I really disliked the raw onion taste and TBH I would have A Poke Theory any day over this, but objectively this is a really good bowl for the more health conscious eaters who find themselves at The Bravery. I guess as a creature of habit I’ll always want my usual brunchy platters whenever I come here. still, 9/10 for the salmon rice bowl.

I like to end my weekend meals here with a cup of Flat White, which is usually pretty solid:

Yummy flat white, perfect for sipping in between some weekend reading

So yeah that’s The Bravery for you – good honest food, great chill ambience for weekend catchups with friends or a solo coffee while reading. Service is attentive (you order and pay at the counter but sometimes if there’s hardly anyone around they’ll close one eye and let you pay later.) Thankfully no one really reads my blog so it’s not like the the crowds are gonna be ruining the place for me anytime soon lol.

The Bravery
66 Horne Road
Singapore 209073
Online menu: Click here
Online reservations: Click here
Whatsapp reservations: +65 9388 2973

Opening Hours
Sun to Thu: 9am to 6pm
Fri to Sat: 9am to 10pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9.5/10
Average spend per pax: ~$17-22
Recommended dishes: Eggs on Toast with add-ons (my perfect plate costs $18.50), Salmon Bagel Set (S$14.50), Salmon RIce Bowl (S$12.50)

Advertisements

The Halia at Botanic Gardens’ Weekday Easy Breakfast

The Halia
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore 259569
Reservations: +65 8444 1148 or general.hsbg@halia.com.sg
Note: Reservations not accepted for brunch and tea
Weekday Easy Breakfast Menu: Click here
Ala Carte Menus: Click here

Opening Hours
Weekday Easy Breakfast: 9am to 11am Mon-Fri except PH
Mon-Thu: 12pm to 930pm (Last seating)
Fri & PH eve: 12pm to 10pm
Weekends & PH Dinner: 4pm to 10pm (Last seating)
Weekends & PH Brunch: 10am to 4pm
Weekends & PH Afternoon Tea: 3pm to 5pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Favourite Dishes: Chilli Crab Eggs (S$14), 62.5deg Poached Eggs (S$18), The Banana & Almond Drink (S$7) 

Okay so in my last post I totally forgot to ask – did you guys go for the Backstreet Boys concert two Saturdays ago?!?!?! I diddddd and it was great, although I truly preferred the one from 2015 because I felt they were fresher then. Plus the venue was the Star Performing Arts Centre at the Star Vista, which was smaller and much more intimate! They just seemed more tired this time, and Brian was struggling to get his voice out – it was kind of heartbreaking actually ugh. I think it’s their Vegas residency tiring them out! Did you guys know they’ll have to perform 26 shows within 1 year from Mar 2017 to Feb 2018? Pretty intense huh.

Anyway, they still managed to put up a good show and I had a memorable night with my girls! I hope it was just as fun for those of you who went, sauna feels notwithstanding.

Sooooooo I was invited to try the new Weekday Easy Breakfast menu at The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty tragic that I had to take AM leave for this menu that would only be accessible to folks living the dream and able to have leisurely breakfast outside in the morning, but ok no whining.

Again, you guys can check out the menu here.

We dove right in to the Chilli Crab & Eggs (S$14) which consisted of chilli crab dip with two 62.5 deg poached eggs and some crostinis for dipping:

The_Halia_Chilli_Crab_Eggs

Chilli Crab & Eggs (S$14) – 9.5/10

OMG guys this was actually my favourite item on their Weekday Easy Breakfast menu for real. The chilli crab dip was tangy, mildly spicy and came with a generous portion of crab meat. The sauce with the runny eggs and the crispy crostini made for a dream combination. I liked that because it was crostini rather than bread, it made the dish lighter and more suitable for breakfast. They probably should do a mantou option though for those more accustomed to heavier breakfasts!! UNFFF I love a good fluffy mantou bun. 9.5/10

On a side note, did you guys know that for their regular menu Chilli Crab Pasta, it is a little sweeter by default to cater to international tastebuds, but you can inform your waiter to make it a little spicier to suit your preference? I think I would def do that next time as I don’t like it quite as sweet.

Anyway we moved on to the 62.5 Deg Poached Eggs (S$18), feauring sautéed spinach, smoked capsicum & truffle salsa, and two perfectly poached eggs on top of a thick slice of toast:

The_Halia_Poached_Eggs

62.5 deg Poached Eggs (S$18) – 9/10

So 62.5deg is the precise temperature at which time the whites of the egg cooks, but not the yolk, so you get the runniest of eggs yummmmmm. And my friend is going to call me a basic brunch bish for liking this (you know who you are, Z) but I dooooo!! I loved the whole combination of runny eggs with the savoury sautéed spinach and the smokey salsa. It was balanced, nutritious, and delicious. A little bit steep for what it is though. 9/10

Next up was the Smashed Avocado on Toasted Sourdough (S$12 per slice/ $22 for 2 slices), consisting of avocado, tomatoes and feta cheese on a bed of sourdough:

The_Halia_Avocado_Toast

Smashed Avocado on Toasted Sourdough (S$12 per slice or $22 per 2 slices) – 6/10

Yet another millennial brunch staple, the avocado toast has gotten a pretty bad rep among the older folks of a more… crotchety disposition. Like the Australian millionaire who implied earlier this year that the younger generation can’t afford to buy property because they’re frittering their money away on fancy toasts and overpriced coffee (eyeroll). You guys can read all about it here lol.

BUT I LOVE AVOCADO TOAST! When done right, that is, and unfortunately I didn’t quite like The Halia’s version. The smashed avocado combined with the juices from the diced tomato to make the bread pretty soggy. Plus who wants that much tomato on their avocado toast, and in such giant chunks?! Please, no. The cut chilli with the feta cheese thankfully salvaged this dish from becoming a total mess. 6/10

Some side comments – the best avocado toast I’ve had was from Sydney – the avocados (and generally most produce) are just so, so fresh in Australia, and sliced rather than mashed. This version had some lime, chilli and coriander (my fave omg) so altogether it was pretty friggin delishussss.

We then had a selection of yet more Toast with a Trio of Spreads (S$12), consisting of  sourdough, baguette, brioche & focaccia, served with pineapple ginger jam, homemade kaya & honeycomb butter:

The_Halia_Toast

Toast with Trio of Spreads (S$12) – 6/10

OK I love toast, but I think we were so busy trying to take photos of the food that by the time I got around to eating it, the toast was pretty stale and not great. I can imagine though if they were still freshly toasted, crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, they would taste pretty good.

The_Halia_Ginger_Jam_Kaya_Honeycomb_Butter

L-R: Honeycomb butter, pineapple ginger jam, and homemade kaya

My favourite spread was for sure the pineapple ginger jam, which tasted a little like the pineapple tart jam, yum! Plus the hint of ginger spice prevented the spread from becoming too cloying. Not a big fan of the kaya which, while being fragrant, also possessed a slick texture not unlike mayo (which I really do not like). Pass on the kaya. The honeycomb butter was also not really to my liking. The texture felt like butter lite, or like whipped cream plus butter, and the taste wasn’t buttery enough to balance the sweetness from the honeycomb. Pass. 6/10

Another side note – my favourite butter ever is Pepe Saya butter which I tasted for the first time in Sydney a couple of years ago. UGH THE BEST. I always buy a couple of wheels back home with me when I go over for work.

Finally to close our savoury mains, we tried the Braised Wagyu Masala Beef (S$22), which is a playful rendition of Nasi Lemak, using wagyu beef for the ‘rendang’ and paprika hazelnuts instead of anchovies, served alongside coconut pandan rice and topped with a sunny side up!

The_Halia_Braised_Wagyu_Masala_Beef

Braised Wagyu Masala Beef – 6.5/10

Oh boy I had high hopes for this dish, particularly for the beef, but I found it quite a letdown. I thought the beef was a little dry and not as tender – I was really expecting some melt-in-your-mouth savoury deliciousness exploding in my mouth for real, but this was a little underwhelming. I really liked the sambal, thankfully – it’s made with gingerflower and was really light and tangy with just enough heat. I also dug the pickles on the side, those were really yummy too. I think once you get everything together in one spoonful, it’ll taste great, but the beef remains disappointing. 6.5/10

We moved on to the sweeter dishes starting with the Superfood Granola (S$12) with Greek yoghurt, poached blueberries, kiwis and honey:

The_Halia_Granola

Superfood Granola (S$12) – 9/10

The_Halia_Superfood_Granola

Mmmm i liked this a lot! The yoghurt wasn’t overly tart, and there were bits of chewy dried fruit within the granola for added texture/sweetness. You can sweeten the granola to suit your taste, so that’s good. Super delicious and nutritious. One thing though is that I thought S$12 for granola is a little steep, but I guess you can indulge once in a while. 9/10

Finally we tried the Organic Chia Seed Porridge (S$13) with strawberry and mango smoothie, fresh fruits, dried papaya and kiwi:

The_Halia_Organic_Chia_Seed_Porridge

Organic Chia Seed Porridge (S$13) – 5/10

Oof as a matter of personal taste I truly did not like this. It was just like mouthfuls of mush, and everything tasted like candy, so maybe both kids and their grandparents would have enjoyed this more haha. Jokes aside, this was def one of the weak points in their breakfast offerings to me. 5/10

ANYWAY the drinks were so good!!! My absolute fave was the Banana & Almond Drink (S$7) with vanilla extract, yoghurt and honey. It’s so delicious without being too thick or sweet, and comes with dehydrated yoghurt around the rim of the cup for that refreshing tang.

The_Halia_Banana_Almond_Smoothie

Banana & Almond Drink (S$7) – 10/10

I also tried the exceedingly pretty Lychee & Thyme drink (S$8) which came deconstructed with a side of thyme syrup and two lychees:

The_Halia_Lychee_Thyme

Lychee & Thyme Drink (S$8) – 8/10

The_Halia_Lychee_Thyme_Drink

Gorge.

So that was my take on the Halia’s Easy Breakfast menu; I’d say this would be a terrific breakfast option for a business meeting, or for people who an work remotely. For me though if I had the morning off I’d much rather stay in or get like kaya toast (steamed versh) from downstairs or something haha. The 2 items that would draw me back would probably be the Chilli Crab Eggs (S$14), and the 62.5 deg Poached Eggs (S$18).

The Halia
1 Cluny Road, Ginger Garden (enter via Tyersall Avenue)
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore 259569
Reservations: +65 8444 1148 or general.hsbg@halia.com.sg
Note: Reservations not accepted for brunch and tea
Weekday Easy Breakfast Menu: Click here
Ala Carte Menus: Click here

Opening Hours
Weekday Easy Breakfast: 9am to 11am Mon-Fri except PH
Mon-Thu: 12pm to 930pm (Last seating)
Fri & PH eve: 12pm to 10pm
Weekends & PH Dinner: 4pm to 10pm (Last seating)
Weekends & PH Brunch: 10am to 4pm
Weekends & PH Afternoon Tea: 3pm to 5pm

Halal status: Halal-certified
Halalicious Rating: 8/10
Favourite Dishes: Chilli Crab Eggs (S$14), 62.5deg Poached Eggs (S$18), The Banana & Almond Drink (S$7) 

Icebox Café on Rangoon Road (Permanently closed)

Icebox Café (Permanently Closed)
89 Rangoon Road
#01-02
Singapore 218375

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Fri-Sat: 12pm-11pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$9.50

So last Sunday after a lovely staycation at Hotel Jen, one of my friends suggested we try  Icebox Café, the newly-opened, 100% halal, Muslim-owned, Korean bingsu place near Farrer Park MRT. In case you didn’t know, Bingsu is a popular dessert from Korea comprising shaved frozen milk with sweet toppings that run the gamut from cut fruits, to condensed milk, to oreo cookies. Bingsu cafes are evvvvvrywhere in Singapore right now, but Icebox Café is the first halal bingsu café in Singapore.

We were the first to arrive – literally, the owner Mus was still putting the chairs out at the storefront, but he gave us a warm – if slightly apologetic – welcome. Off to a good start.

According to Mus they were still not done tricking out the place, but I liked what I saw:

image

The cosy corner where my friends and I sat. Also, wake your ass up says the rooster!

 

image

Lovely! The computer in the corner plays music videos for a bit of a party/chill vibe. I’m not sure if they accept requests, but that would be awesome (if, a little disruptive).

image

The counter area with assorted gelato

 

image

MILK COOKIE SHOTS!!!! Probably inspired by Dominique Ansel Bakery’s version in New York City! I will forever regret seeing this ONLY as we were leaving the place 😦

image

Love the lighting, très Parisian salon (omg so step)

image

LOVE THIS MADNESS. “Jolok motosikal ya bang?”

image

Closeup of the hanging bike of Babylon

Icebox Café’s menu has some range and is definitely skewed towards the sweet-toothed diner:

image

Shakes in your face!! So great. Also note the slogan of the cafe: Take a chill pill. NOICE.

image

The toast selection is not for the faint-hearted.

image

Nasi Lemak available Fri-Sun! For when you want to take your family here, but then the older people need proper food. The ‘braided’ is regrettable, but I forgive them because they were the loveliest people

The first thing we ordered was the Turon (S$4.50), which is a local play on a Filipino delicacy of the same name, consisting of jackfruit and banana wrapped in popiah skin. Icebox went a little further and added ice cream and grated cheese into the mix:

image

YUMMMM this was really good you guys! I love any dessert with warm, gooey banana, and jackfruit (ahem Krave’s cempedak crème brulee) so this was an automatic winner for me. The sweetness of the fruit fillings paired with the slight saltiness of the cheese, and combined with the melty ice cream and chocolate sauce to form a veritable party in my mouth. So, so good. And at only S$4.50?! What a steal. 10/10

One of us ordered the Salty Mr Brown Milkshake (S$12.90) which had salted caramel, smores, a wafer and a cookie, drizzled with chocolate sauce.

image

I had a sip of this and found it truly, truly decadent. I loved the caramel taste of the milkshake, and the fluffy marshmellows were heavenly, but in the perennial fight between shakes and freezes, I’m an ice-blended girl through and through, so this was not for me. Oh but they do have plenty of options in case you’re not totally into sweet stuff, like the Iced Peppermint Cucumber Tea (S$3) which is perfect for cooling off on a hot day. I thought this was a little too sweet, and personally I would probably have regular drinks next time and save my sweetness quota for the other desserts. 7.5/10

For the main event we selected the Chocolatey Banana Delight Bingsu (S$12.90):

image

A mountain of yum

The bowl came together with a small shot of milky syrup as a sweetener, which we drizzled all over the ice. YUMMM. So the bananas, the chocolate powder, the vanilla ice cream, and the chocolate sauce, were all top notch and tasted delicious. For real, I mean who does not like the combination of banana and chocolate?  As for the shaved ice, I have to say, I wish the taste had been a little more milky and a little sweeter, but the texture was really great – super soft, and snowy. The sweetness issue was also mitigated by the aforementioned milky syrup, so overall it still tasted pretty fantastic. 8/10

We spoke to owner Mus, who said they were still working on perfecting the taste of the ice. However, he said they couldn’t make the frozen milk too sweet, as it would lower the melting temperature of the ice, and so the ice shavings wouldn’t hold up as long. Fair enough. One other comment we had was that we wished it wasn’t just all the sweet stuff up top, and then all the ice at the bottom – we wanted more layers, so maybe more chocolate and banana layers in the middle of all that ice. We were told they would work on that after getting the ice taste right, so we shall see! I’ll definitely be coming back to this cafe to try more flavours of the Bingsu.  

After all of the goodness above, finally came the Injeolmi Toast (S$5.90), which contained steamed Korean rice cakes, drizzled with honey, dusted with powdered soybean, and topped with vanilla ice cream (I think the vanilla ice-cream is again an Icebox addition).

image

Orange you glad to see me?

image

OMGGGG

The Injeolmi took forever to come (we were forewarned of the 20-min wait upon placing our order), but boy was it worth it. As I bit down on the toast, there was a satisfying crunch and a delicious sweetness filled my mouth – I believe that was the honey and butter from the toast. The whole thing was really sweet and super rich, so it’s not the thing for you unless you’re a sweet tooth. Which, I am, thanks. The ice cream helped to cut the richness of it a little with the cold texture, so you don’t get super jelak of it. I would still recommend this for sharing though; there is no way I would’ve been able to finish this all by myself and still keep my legs, after all the other items. 8.5/10

All in all, I think Icebox Cafe is a great addition to the halal foodscape in Singapore – the owners are delightful, and endlessly patient with all the questions I and other diners had, the prices are very reasonable, and the selection is pretty impressive (you can’t get anymore diverse than Nasi Lemak and Korean Shaved Ice). I will definitely bring more of my friends here so we can try out all the other things on the menu, like the milk cookie shots!! And actually I’m quite curious about the nasi lemak. Will see if I can try it soon and put up a review!

image

(R-L) Mus, his beautiful sister, and I think Mus’ mum-in-law who was making the goodies in the back. They were so, so nice!!! Sorry ’bout my muka sopan.

Icebox Café  (Permanently Closed)
89 Rangoon Road
#01-02
Singapore 218375

Opening Hours
Tue-Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Fri-Sat: 12pm-11pm
Closed on Mondays

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 8.5/10
Average spend per pax: S$9.50