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Okonomiyaki Fugetsu at ION Orchard in Singapore

Okonomiyaki Fugetsu at ION Orchard in Singapore

Pancake...or omelet?

The word okonomiyaki doesn’t roll off my tongue smoothly; I often get stuck after o-ko-no, which annoys me. OKONOMIYAKI: It’s a cabbage-laced pancake that doubles up as an omelet with squiggles of mayonnaise, sweet-sour brown sauce (that is almost teriyaki-like) and shaved bonito flakes on top. I’ve never eaten one, but a few people recommended this after reading my post on Gindaco Takoyaki. Since the okonomiyaki stall was right next to the takoyaki stall, I thought, “Why not?”

Plain cabbage, pork, prawns or seafood?

There is a choice of plain cabbage, pork, prawns or seafood to add into the okonomiyaki – I went for the obvious: pork (SGD5.50). The cook poured the flour batter, water and egg on the hot grill and while waiting for it to cook, he added cabbage shreds, scallions and your choice filling. He cracked an egg on top and waited until the pancake was properly cooked. The whole process took about 20 minutes.

Okonomiyaki with pork

It doesn’t look very pretty because the auntie placed my pancake/omelet into the plastic container before I had a chance to snap a picture. The sides were grilled till crispy and the centre was gooey and almost fluffy, like the centre of a good takoyaki ball. Minced pork bits were buried in there, giving the okonomiyaki a fuller bite.

That said, I didn’t enjoy this as much as I enjoyed the takoyaki; it was tasty, but not exactly mind-blowing. rif however, liked the okonomiyaki better so you’ll have to try this and the takoyaki to decide which one you like best.

Okonomiyaki Fugetsu
ION Orchard

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Cocotte at Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore

Cocotte at Wanderlust Hotel in Singapore

Pretty table setting

I was alone for the day in Singapore as Jeen was heading back to KL. She did however, leave me with suggestions on places to try and Cocotte was one of them. I’m not a spontaneous person; at least, not as spontaneous as I would like to be. Random isn’t something that best describes me – that’s meant for Christy.

Quirky decor

But I decided to do two things that were out of my norm that day – explore the city on my own and not read up on “how to eat French food” before going to a French restaurant. Yes, French dining was (and still is) never my forte and I always felt intimidated especially at places like Sage and Cilantro.

More of the decor…

Finding Wanderlust Hotel (where Cocotte is at) wasn’t easy because a) I don’t live in Singapore and b) Geography was never my best subject. Luckily, a nice man pointed me to the right direction; he works as a chef at a popular restaurant in Little India called Gayatri, not too far away from Cocotte. The term “cocotte” refers to the pot, not prostitute but I was told the area had a reputation for the latter.

I reached Cocotte hungry and slightly flustered from the sun. “Table for one?” asked my waiter. I nodded and he led me to an available spot and handed me the menu. I was there for the 3-course executive lunch set (SGD29++ including coffee or tea), which was pretty good value for money.

Bread roll with French unsalted butter

Unlike some places in Singapore, the staff at Cocotte didn’t have a problem with me snapping photographs with my camera. The bread served was dense and chewy, but not rock hard. Alas, the unsalted butter that came with it was too hard to spread.

Pear, Bleu D’Auvergne Salad

Crisp greens with pungent blue cheese. Like!

I decided to skip the soup du jour for the Pear, Bleu D’Auvergne Salad. This was a lovely assemblage of pear slices, generous pieces of blue cheese, crisp garden greens and toasted hazelnuts, tossed in a light lemon-hazelnut dressing. The table next door had the soup (cream of mushroom soup with truffle oil) and I could smell the truffle from where I sat.

Pan Seared Seabass on a bed of summer vegetables in a seafood nage

For my main course, I opted for the Pan Seared Seabass. Those who know me well would know that I almost never order fish when I eat out. This random choice came from Julia Child, who painted a delicious image of seabass cooked the French way in my head. The seabass skin was amazingly crispy, giving way to a moist and firm centre. Even the sides of the fish were crispy.

Good portion

Moist and firm flesh

The seafood nage was a tad salty on its own, but paired nicely with the fish. Despite their meaty texture, the clams had a slightly fishy taste which I didn’t fancy. The asparagus was beautifully cooked – crisp on the outside, yet tender within. Also decent were the zucchini slices while the potato cubes were deliberately undercooked with the skin intact. I rather enjoyed the latter.

Crème Brulee

I initially wanted to order the citron tart but my waiter recommended the Crème Brulee instead. It tasted as beautiful as it looked. The thin layer of glaze broke at the gentle tap of my spoon and I ate the content as slowly as possible to savour each bite. I tasted hints of lavender in the rich custard and a bittersweet flavour from the caramelized sugar.

Rich custard with a bittersweet flavour from the caramelized sugar

It might be a tad heavy for some, but it was perfect for me since I had a light main course. If you’re having something heavy as your main, I reckon the tarte au citron might be better.


For coffee, you have a choice of latte, espresso and cappuccino; I’m not sure about the tea options though. My latte was a disaster. It was very bitter. I suspect the beans were over-roasted and the coffee left a nasty aftertaste that lingered for a while even after sips of water. This was too difficult to drink so I left it alone after two sips.

Save for the latte, I enjoyed my lunch. I liked that the Cocotte was casual and unpretentious, which allowed me to indulge in my food minus the fear of being judged. Lunch came up to SGD34 after tax and service charge.

Ambiance: 7/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 7/10 (non halal)
Verdict: If all French food were  like Cocotte’s, I wouldn’t feel so intimidated anymore!

No. 2 Dickson Road
Singapore 209494
+65 6298 1188
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://restaurantcocotte.com
Closed on Sundays

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Antipasti Buffet at Spasso Milano in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Antipasti Buffet at Spasso Milano in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Mussels with tomatoes, onions and herbs

I often receive emails from readers asking me to recommend a good Italian restaurant in KL that wouldn’t burn a hole in their wallet. And for the past one year, my answer has been Spasso Milano. When it was in Ampang, getting there was a bit of a hassle especially during rush hour but now that it’s in Pavilion KL, there’s hardly any excuse not to try the food.

Grilled brinjal, chicken and cheese meatball & mussels

Spasso Milano’s antipasti buffet is still available for RM28++. In its Ampang location, the antipasti buffet was RM18++ and an additional RM3 or RM6 for a main course. The new antipasti buffet doesn’t include a main course; instead, customers get “The Grill of The Day”. I like this better because you can have a second helping (or more) since it’s included in the buffet line-up.

Rosemary roasted chicken with red wine gravy

It gets quite packed during lunch but fret not, as the buffet spread is constantly replenished. The grill of the day that afternoon was the Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Red Wine Gravy, a classic and delicious main dish. The chicken skin – spiked with red wine and seasoned with rosemary – was crispy with a silken layer of fat beneath. I liked that the dark meat was fork tender and the chicken breast was moist. Some people may think roast chicken is a cliché (I thought so too), but hold your judgments until you try this.

More roast chicken, grilled asparagus and garlic focaccia


Clockwise from front: Gratinated potato with mozzarella cheese, grilled mushrooms, garlic focaccia & baked pumpkin

rif's plate

Regular favourites include zucchini slices, mussels with tomato and herbs, frittata, grilled vegetables, torta salata with onion and my all-time favourite, pumpkin soup. Felice’s pumpkin soup made me a convert and I can’t get enough of its silky texture and buttery sweetness. I insisted on this as one of the soups for my ROM and my guests loved it. There was also minestrone at the soup counter that day but it was a tad salty.

Pumpkin soup


Tasty: Pork and potato spezzatino

Now that Spasso Milano is non-halal, the buffet included some pork dishes like the pork and potato spezzatino. The savoury stew was a tasty medley of tender pork pieces, cubes potatoes, onions, carrots and perhaps a few dashes of white wine. For a more balanced meal, you can help yourself to the Caesar salad or the grilled vegetables. I opted for the latter and liked the bell peppers best.

Grilled vegetables

More pork & potato spezzatino, torta salata with carrots & vegetables frittata

Strawberry & vanilla cream cake

Raspberry & chocolate mousse cake

Desserts include the raspberry and chocolate mousse cake, strawberry and vanilla cream cake, tiramisu and ice cream. The first two cakes were rich yet tangy from the berries. I enjoyed the tiramisu better but felt it could have done with more alcohol. But come to think of it, who would want to saunter into the office tipsy, right? 😉 The gelato was too icy due to storage problem so I suggest you skip this and have another slice of cake.



Skip the gelato

Chinotto San Pellegrino -- RM9.90++

It gets quite busy during lunch hour (crazy busy when I was there) so you might have to forgive the slightly disjointed service if you’re ordering ala carte.

Ambiance: 7/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 7/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: For RM28++, it’s a pretty good deal. Go try!

*The antipasti buffet includes a selection of appetizers, salads, two types of soup, grill of the day and desserts. It is available daily including weekends.

Spasso Milano
Level Six,
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2148 0688

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