I’m at the twilight of my twenties. (Should I be worried?)
I hope in 2015 I’ll be spending my 30th birthday bringing my family to Korea or Taiwan. #wishlist
This year though I had to tone things down. Originally, I wanted to have a theme party (I’m like THAT). Pajama party, nachos party, sausage party (!!), 80s Stripclub party, barbecue party… But to cut costs I scrapped all of that.
I thought of having a Singapore staycation with my boyfriend. Think boutique hotels like Wangz, Klapsons, and Kam Leng Hotel. My budget is SGD 200.00 or less. But all the prices I saw were SGD 300.00++.
Due to current budget constraints… Chili’s would do for my 29th birthday. The rest of the afternoon unfolded into a food mini-trail along the sleepier portion of Orchard (Hint: There are no MRT stations in this area). The area in the vicinity of Napier, Grange, and Zion Roads. We eventually ate at:
- Chili’s (Tanglin Mall) – one of three branches in Singapore
- Da Paolo Gastronomia (Great World City) – for desserts
- Peperoni Pizzeria (Zion Road) – for my margarita fix
- Skinny Pizza (Great World City) – for our takeaway dinner
We took the train to Orchard MRT and made our way to Exit B (back side of ION). We crossed the street to get to the bus stop Opp Orchard Stn, which has several buses running in the direction of Tanglin Mall, our first destination.
BRUNCH AT CHILI’S
I made reservations via their website and we arrived on time. I picked isolated Tanglin Mall because I thought the Clarke Quay and Sentosa branches would be crowded with tourists. I had no idea an entire Chili’s could be filled up, no matter where the location is. It was a Sunday afternoon and the restaurant was packed with patrons, almost half of which appeared to be expats bringing their families for a good Sunday brunch. For a moment it didn’t feel like I was in Singapore. Because these days Singapore = MRT connection at the basement.
Started off with Bottomless Tostado Chips (SGD 8.00). Appears to be the same size and shape as those served in the Philippines, but darker. It’s the oil I guess. Which leads me to wonder how different food tastes like when it needs to be halal or not. The salsa was exactly the way I remembered it from back in Tomas Morato.
Bottomless Soda (SGD 5.00) / His, Bottomless Lemonade (SGD 4.00) – almost a must if you ask me. What’s the point of bottomless tostado chips when you only have one soda. I would have preferred to have a margarita (at 2:00PM) but I promised to accompany my boyfriend for the Sunday 5:30PM mass.
For entree I had my favorite Crispy Chicken Crispers (SGD 23.00) which comes with fries and corn on the cob. The fries were a bit darker in color but the crispiness was perfect. I forgot to request for my corn to be shredded before serving. It tasted wonderful. I suddenly miss eating corn! The chicken crispers themselves were definitely CRISPY, not fillet-soft like in the Philippines… which I miss badly.
His, Crispy Chicken Burger (SGD 20.00) – which I didn’t get to try. But my boyfriend described it as tasting almost exactly the same as my crispy chicken crispers but in a bun. Hmm.
I was really impressed by our smiling wait staff. She didn’t have a name tag on (and when we left, she was no where in sight). She enthusiastically refilled our drinks and our tostado chips. In fact it’s her smile for why I ended up having four or five refills of soda! Thank you.
I had to skip the margarita here. I’ll try it next time!
After brunch we did a little exploring at Tanglin Mall. Being far from an MRT station and closer to embassies of several countries, the demographic is upscale. Not MBS glitz, but a more regal expat kind of upscale. It’s like an island away from the hurried rush along the sidewalks of Orchard Road, a few bus stops away. There are several interesting stores here that sell Asian trinkets. The closest mall in the Philippines’ to match the ambiance here would be Powerplant.
DESSERTS AT DA PAOLO GASTRONOMIA
We were thinking about where to hear mass. We almost went to the Lady Gaga church in Dhoby Ghaut. I call it such because of the multitude of lamps and colorful lights which gives it a purple-pink glow during mass. Since we were at the backbone of Orchard I suggested we hear mass at St. Bernadette right across the mall Great World City, which was just a few blocks away.
Since mass was at 5:30PM we had time to have some desserts. I was looking for a Baskin Robbins but we found ourselves walking into da paolo gastronomia. We tried their Cluny Court branch at Botanic Gardens a few months ago.
Berry Cheese Crumble Cup (SGD 5.90) – heavenly! I’ve finally found a dessert to look forward to. The cup size is better for one person. Any more would be SINFUL.
His, Chocolate Banana Cream Cake (SGD 8.00) – maybe a bit too chilled (I prefer a bit warmer) but the balance of banana and chocolate was just right. Good for two.
My boyfriend surprised me with a chocolate cupcake that had a birthday candle on it. He had the candle lit before he started to sing me the happy birthday song. ❤
Being a Sunday, I accompanied my boyfriend at the 5:30PM mass at St. Bernadette.
A MARGARITA AT PEPERONI PIZZERIA (ZION ROAD)
Not wanting my thirst for a margarita to go unanswered, we trooped over to the Zion Road branch of Peperoni Pizzeria after mass. I noticed several seats were “RESERVED” already… but we managed to get ourselves a small table for two.
The wait staff were buzzing around since dinner hours had just begun.
Lime Margarita, served classic (SGD 15.00) – YES YES YES. Finally. I should have requested for the frozen margarita though. Or tried peach or strawberry. But this was enough I guess to take some of the edge off.
His, small baby bottle 😛 Heineken (SGD 9.00) – Grabe this.
Calamari Fritters (SGD 14.00) – our beer/margarita match. The tartar sauce was too salty. The red tomato sauce was fine. The calamari could easily be sliced underneath the batter. You can taste a bit of the lansa, just a little itty bit of it.
Headed back across the street to Great World City in search of a Pizza Hut where we could order take-away for my housemates. Apparently there were no Pizza Hut branches at this mall. #notsogreatworldcity
We ended up getting take-away from Skinny Pizza, right near the cinema lobby upstairs.
TAKE-AWAY DINNER FROM SKINNY PIZZA
Salami and Pesto (SGD 25.00) – wah, now I know why it’s called Skinny Pizza. I love thin crust pizza, but this is like tissue-paper thin haha. Unfortunately even as take-away, we enjoyed the pizzas about an hour and a half after they were handed to us. So the taste is affected. The pizzas are very thin… no, anorexic even. The salami was superb.
Ratatouille Pizza (The boyfriend paid for it; estimated around SGD 22.00-28.00) – he added an additional pizza after learning that even if the box is sizeably “medium”, the content is “small”.
LOL but then the two pizzas look almost exactly the same.
I can’t say much because these two pizzas were shared by six people. So that’s about
one tissue one slice per person. Sort of bitin that’s why my boyfriend cooked sisig to add some meat to the table. Haha!
LIMITED EDITION TIGER BEER
Tiger Beer – Box of 10 standard cans (SGD 25.00 from Cold Storage) – The pizza was only the beer match. I bought a small box containing 10 limited edition Tiger Beers with a National Day design. Patriotic in red and white. Nice!
Technique to cool your beer fast
- Wet a few paper towels and wrap them around the drinks
- Place the drinks in the freezer
- Should make your drinks colder in a shorter span of time
It was a birthday well-spent with my boyfriend and my housemates. Because I was unable to travel out of the country this time around, or to have a staycation… this foodie day at under SGD 150.00 was still magical.
Thank you housemates N&J for the birthday cake. Thank you Badge for dropping by too. Thank you friends, family, and strange far-flung LinkedIn connections for the greetings.
Chili’s (Tanglin Mall) – 163 Tanglin Road, #02-23 Tanglin Mall
Da Paolo Gastronomia (Great World City) – Great World City #B1-03/04
Peperoni Pizzeria (Zion Road) – 56 Zion Road, Singapore 247781 (across Great World City)
Skinny Pizza (Great World City) – Great World City #03-31/32