Saturday, October 12, 2013

Lola's Cafe - A Marvelous Brunch Venue in Kovan

Lola's Cafe
5 Simon Road, Singapore 545893
Opening Hours: 
Tue-Thu: 10:00 am - 11:30 pm
Fri - Sat: 10:00 am - 12:00 am
Sun: 10:00 am - 11:30 pm
(Closed on Monday)
Contact: +65 6284 0349

Before I heard of Lola's Cafe, I'll always travel to places like Bishan Park, Changi V, Rochester Park, etc for a good weekend brunch with my boyfriend, thank you for fetching me all over Singapore ^_^. I'm a super fan of having good brunches during weekend. Now, with Lola's Cafe situated within walking distance from my house, I can no longer complain about not having a decent brunch venue nearby! It is only about 3-5 minutes walk from Kovan MRT Station, take the exit towards Simon Road and you'll see the cafe on your left after you walked pass Kovan Residences (condominium). There're parallel parking slots along the stretch of Simon Road too, a good place to practice parallel parking, especially the flat terrain behind Kovan Melody (I practiced over there before). =P

Lola's Cafe Signboard
Good old school feel
I arrived at about 5-10 min past 11am on Saturday and there were two groups of people (each group has 4 or more people) waiting outside the cafe. The cafe uses a reservation system on an iPad where you can reserve a table by keying in your number and they will give you a call when it's your turn. Looking at the queue, I thought that the cafe was full and I went forward to type in my details onto the iPad. A helpful waiter approached us and after knowing that we want a table for two, he ushered us into the cafe as there's a small cozy table available for us.

Our table was right in front of the counter and thus it's very easy to get the attention of the waiter and waitresses when we need their assistance. I read from a blog post (written 3 months ago) that this cafe was set up by two graduates from SMU and they were the only people managing the cafe on a Friday afternoon. However, I saw about 4 people in the cafe today. I guessed their business has been getting better and better! Congratulations! Also, the menu shared by the blogger was a little bit outdated in terms of pricing. For example, under the weekend brunch menu, the Avocado Eggs Benedict was SGD 13 nett three months ago and now it's increased to SGD 15 nett. There's no GST and service charge, very easy to divide the cost among friends. =)

They have different menus between weekdays and weekend. Their weekend brunch menu is only available from 10am to 3pm, after which they'll have a different set of menu.

Brunch Menu

Snacks and Desserts Menu

We ordered Lola's Full Monty Breakfast (SGD 15 nett) and Avocado Eggs Benedict (SGD 15 nett) as our main dishes, Caramelized Banana Earl Grey Tart with Pistachio Topping (SGD 4 nett) as dessert and two glasses of warm water (complimentary).

Lola's Full Monty Breakfast

Avocado Eggs Benedict

Bon Appetit!
Lola's Full Monty Breakfast consists of a gourmet bratwurst sausage, honey-baked ham, honey bacon, scrambled eggs, garden salad and multigrain toast. The sausage was fantastic! Ham was very fragrant, bacon was tasty, toast was yummy, garden salad tasted just right but the scrambled eggs was okay as compared to others. I'd recommend this dish if you're a lover of big breakfast!

Avocado Eggs Benedict consists of avocado and honey baked ham with two poached eggs served on multigrain bread slices and topped with hollandaise sauce. I was doubting the combination of avocado and eggs benedict BUT the taste of the food proved me wrong. It tasted heavenly!! I'm so gonna order this dish instead for my next brunch visit to Lola's Cafe!! If you love eggs benedict, you should never miss this gem. I kept stealing little portions of the avocado eggs benedict from my BF's plate. =D

Caramelized Banana Earl Grey Tart with Pistachio Topping

Close up of the tart
Nice backdrop
We were given two forks for the tart. WARNING, do not try to use the fork to 'cut' the tart, it will result in a piece of tart flying out of the dish, onto the floor. =( The waitress who witnessed the scene kindly came over to offer us knives. Aiyo so malu (embarrassing). The tart was very solid, it's still quite difficult even with the help of a knife. We ended up eating with our bare hands. The tart tasted good! Earl grey paste was fragrant, the sides of the tart was crunchy, caramelized banana with pistachio was good as well. Ahhhh why did I drop 3/8 of the tart. =((( I believed that other dessert dishes will taste as good, given the standard of this tart we munched on! I would love to make multiple visits to try more dishes in the future. I saw on a blog that they serve Wasabi White Chocolate Mousse (SGD 7) but it wasn't on the menu today. Thus, I asked the waitress about this dish and she explained that this dish has not been decided to be put on the menu and told us that they have tiramisu (not in the menu) if we'd like to order. Hopefully they will slot in Wasabi White Chocolate Mousse into their menu officially soon because I'm very curious about how it will taste like! =)

If you wanna give this cafe a shot, do remember to bring enough cash or NETS as they do not accept credit cards payment. I see a good potential for this cafe to make it big as their food and service were really commendable. I'll be back for either another round of brunch or dinner, or even both!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bandung - Day 2-3 05-06OCT13

Day 2
05 Oct 2013

We started our day with Ya Kun Kaya Toast at Bandung Supermall next to our hotel (ibis). Ya Kun's toast's standard in Bandung isn't as good as that of Singapore's. Do note that they charge 10% tax on top of the price stated on their menu. This was the same for A&W we had the previous night.

Ya Kun Kaya Toast Branch in Bandung

Butter set meal - Toasts with coffee/tea and two half-boiled eggs at IDR 44000 inc. 10% tax (approx. SGD 4.85)

We were extremely excited as Volcano Tour - Tangkuban Perahu Trip was in our itinerary today! All of us thought that this would be the highlight of our trip and we were looking forward to it ever since we saw it in our planned itinerary from Jack Tours. We stopped by somewhere as Fred wanna purchase a top up for his ID SIM card and Jon wanted to get a new SIM card for data usage. We snapped quite a lot of photos while waiting for them to finish registering for their new ID SIM cards.

Credits to Mauricio

Sorry Shujuan! I don't know how to use photoshoot to remove your pimple! =x Nice picture anyway! :)

Credits to Mauricio

Credits to Mauricio

Credits to Mauricio

However, we were not so lucky. Upon reaching the entrance, the person in-charge told us that due to a mini eruption in the morning, the Volcano's closed to visitors. =( Ahhh, what a bad bad bad news! It was a long drive up the hills too. Haizz. We were so disappointed but our tour guide Ganis mentioned that we could try again later in the afternoon.

Many horses were spotted while we were on our way to the Volcano

We moved on to our next destination - Tea Plantation. The air was OH-MY-GODLY FRESH!!!! I got so hyper after breathing in those fresh air, I felt that my lungs had expanded! Not exaggerating okay! My colleagues couldn't stand my hyperactive behaviour as if I was on cloud nine. Hahaha! The tea plantation was very steep and if you wish to visit, you should come prepared with covered shoes and insect repellent!! Also, if you do not wish to get sun burn, apply sunblock before going to the plantation. The weather may be cooling, the sun can be very strong! We took a few hundreds of photographs with 2 semi-pros and 2 DSLRs. Enjoy the pictures below!

Group Photo at Tea Plantation
Right after a joyful and relaxing time at the plantation, we moved on to take a tour in a tea factory. The tour in tea factory costs IDR 25000 (SGD 2.80) per pax. There are several processes for tea leaves to be extracted and packaged before they are ready to be exported.

Bags of leaves were delivered via conveyor belt

Leaves were blown by cooled air for days

Tea factory's office

Free cup of tea and free box of tea packets (x25) after the tour!
You can purchase their tea boxes too! Comes with different flavours like green tea, lemon, jasmine, ginger, etc. It's only IDR 15000 (SGD 1.75) per box, with 25 sachets. I bought 3 boxes back for my family and BF's family. We were famished after visiting the factory and agreed to go for lunch.

We had lunch at Kampong Daun Cafe. Perfect lunch ever. Every group of diners will have their private space with spectacular nature view. This is a MUST GO place if you ever visit Bandung.


My Strawberry Juice

Dessert all for myself =P
There're cushions for us to lie down and rest after lunch! Everyone's so sleepy~
Another smaller hut in the cafe
The scenery's really fantastic here! We spent IDR 160,000 (about SGD 18.50) per pax, including tips, for all the food. Even though this was the most expensive meal we had in Bandung, I felt that it was really worth the price. Is there anywhere in Singapore that can offer you full course meal, comfortable setting, scenic view and most importantly fresh air at approx. 20 degrees celsius at below SGD 20? No way. More pictures below!

Cute parrot near the entrance/exit that will oppose Oliver's actions by tilting it's head left and right
We held our hopes high as we drove back to the Volcano, but to our greatest disappointment, it remained closed. =( No luck at all man. I wonder when will I ever come back to Bandung since there're so many other destinations I've yet covered. Oh well, time to move on to our next stop - Cimahi Waterfall (Curug Cimahi).

Wild monkeys were crawling around the railings next to the entrance of Curug Cimahi. Don't worry about them as long as you're minding your own business. They will not disturb you if you don't disturb them in the first place. The entrance fee's IDR 10000 (approx. SGD 1.20)  per person. Upon entering, after a few steps down, you will be able to see the waterfall! It's about 87m tall according to Wikipedia, though the tour guide told us that it's 100m. We had to make our way down 596 steps to reach the foot of the waterfall. Going down was easy.... 有下就有上 (direct translation: if there's 'down', there'll be 'up').. Nonetheless, the time spent at the waterfall was really wonderful!!

Cirug Cimahi

We're nearing!

A picture of me with the waterfall
Fred's meditating

Lastly a group photo with the Waterfall
The 596 steps back up was not simple. Shujuan's legs were wobbling! Mine was quite weak too. *Lack of exercise* Mauricio was behind and pushing us back up the hill. Good and 'strenuous' exercise though! I'm very sure that I'll have a good sleep after having insomnia for the past few days.

Roadside shop next to the entrance of Curug Cimahi
Our plan was to go to Strawberry farm after but it was closed in the evening. Initially, we were supposed to go to a recommended restaurant called The Peak. As we were still very full from lunch, we decided to go back to hotel for a quick wash up and proceed to dinner at the mall next to our hotel.

Suis Butcher

Suis' Menu
Strawberry Juice - I'm very addicted to Bandung's Strawberries
Here comes the real highlight of the day or even better, highlight of the trip; an unforgettable moment. The mall experienced a black out for 3 times. First time was like less than 1 min. Second time was about the same length as the first. The third time, the mall blacked out for a good half an hour!! Everyone in the mall were 'booooooing'. Some restaurants were prepared with candles and brought them to every table. Our restaurant remained black. I thought of using my iPod Touch's torchlight to shine onto the table, by putting it on top of the bottle of water, so that we can still see our food, that were served in the dark. Brilliant idea eh? ^^ Two other iPhones were then used to lit up our long table too.

3 mobile torchlights were used to lit up our table during the long black out
Most of us ordered the recommended dish on the top of the menu 'Suis Santory Beef' (IDR 75000, about SGD 9 after tax). This was the worse steak I had in my life. Our whole table were complaining like mad! Oliver didn't even finish 4/5 of his steak. It tasted totally like patty; Mcdonald's beef patty is even much better! Kristel ordered a Sirloin Steak and it tasted more like steak! Hers was only IDR 50000+. It was a very hilarious dinner as we grumbled about the horrible taste of the steak and even talked about switching off the 3 torch lights one by one and leave the restaurant without paying. Of course, we were not serious about it. Their chicken fingers (not literally) tasted not bad as a side dish, I would say. Fries were nahhh, I'd rate it 2/5. This was the most memorable albeit the worst meal we had in Bandung.

Suis Santory Beef
Picture of us dining in the dark using my Camera's flash (I had to blur my face as I looked terrible, lol)
We booked a room at the KTV in the mall at 2200-0000. The room charge by itself was like SGD 2.60 per person for two hours!! How cheap!! It has many selections of songs with different languages including Chinese, English, Malay, Japanese, Korean, etc.


KTV Interior
Our KTV Room

Even though Justin said that he won't sing, he's the one who sang quite a lot during the session!
As the Chinese songs have subtitles (something like Han Yu Pin Yin), Mauricio could actually sing with me. He really sound like he can sing Chinese songs! We enjoyed ourselves at the KTV. Whole department with different nationalities - Singaporean, Malaysian, Filipino, Australian, German and Colombian, actually sang together in a KTV. How cool's that! =D

Trans Studio Mall

Trans Studio Roller Coaster
Ah! During the blackout, I wondered how were the people on the coaster?!?! Since there's no big commotion, I guess everyone's safe. =) Had an awesome day today!

Day 3 
06 Oct 2013

Finally it's the last day of our Bandung Trip. Most of us (the early birds) had our breakfast buffet at the hotel while the others were still snoozing away. The breakfast was not bad, even though the variety was wide enough. Mee Goreng's nice! Anyway, yesterday we requested our tour guide and driver to pick us up later in the day for today so that we can get more rest; however they insisted that they had to come at 9am as they have something later on. We agreed to it and guess what? We waited at the lobby from 9am all the way till about 10.10am then the driver arrived. Our tour guide arrived at 9.50am to inform us that the driver's outside the main road and was making his way in. We could have slept 30min more.... Zzzzzz. This was totally a waste of our time. Nevertheless, we still gave them tips before we bid goodbye.

A long long wait at the lobby....

Do remember to print your flight's itinerary as you can only enter the airport if you're flying. The airport's very very small, hence not everybody can enter. Also, you have to pay IDR 75,000 (SGD 8.50) as airport tax at the airport, a separate counter after you've check-in, before you enter immigration.

Airport Entrance

tigerair check-in counter

Airport Interior

Waiting for our flight
We bought some souvenirs from the duty free shops in the check-in area. A small box of layer cake (kueh lapis) from Monica costs IDR 55,000 (SGD 6.10).

These two blog posts summarized my entire Bandung trip in details! Hope you've enjoyed reading it as I spent quite a bit of time (approx. 6h for two posts) on it. =) Pardon for any grammatical error if there is, as my 'angmoh' (English) ain't excellent. Honestly, the city of Bandung has limited things to offer. If you are considering to give Bandung a visit, you should go to the countryside, up the mountain and explore all the good-spectacular nature. There're many posh restaurants and hotels up the mountain too. The best part - they are very affordable, especially if your country's currency is relatively stronger.

Ps. I'll be going for a holiday in November again! Till then. =)