Tag Archives: Coffee

La Renaissance

La Renaissance Patiserrie’s ham and cheese croissant

In a recent trip back to Sydney for my dad’s 70th birthday, we decided to opt for a hotel near Circular Quay, overlooking Sydney Harbour, rather than our usual hotel choices nearer to the retail district of town.

It meant that every morning we had the luxury of being able to walk outside of our hotel (we stayed at the Four Seasons), and out be straight out on to the Rocks area of Sydney.

Projection of the symphony conductor on to the Sydney Opera House

Sydney’s a very young city, relative to the rest of the world, being just over 200 years old, and the Rocks area is where it all started.  I used to learn about it in school (social studies) and this area has not only been preserved – building facades and areas still paved in cobblestone – but enhanced by a activities around the area to take advantage of the breathtaking location. Activities like projecting a broadcasted symphony onto the sails of the Opera House.  Or the Rocks Markets where you can take a leisurely stroll on a weekend to view various arts and crafts.

The one thing D and I took advantage of was our close proximity to La Renaissance Patiserrie. Part of Bistro Baroque, a wonderful French Bistro, this small patisserie was pretty much where we had breakfast every day.  Eating al fresco on Argyle Street watching the world slowly wake up, sipping our coffees and enjoying La Renaissance’s amazing array of pastries and macarons (which were savoured for morning or afternoon tea).

You get a glimpse of the kitchen when your order – all balloon whisks and the smell of sugar and butter permeating the air. It was just such a joy to be close to that much pastry 🙂

Highly recommended (although not if you’re on a diet) are the croissants – I simply had to have them while I could, especially with the close of Mirabelle patisserie in Singapore (anyone know if they just moved from Mackenzie Street rather than closing down please tell me !).  The ham and cheese croissants were also decadently delicious.

A charming and delightful way to enjoy a morning (or afternoon) cup of coffee.

La Renaissance Patiserrie
47 Argyle Street The Rocks Sydney
Tel: + 61 2 9241 4878


What would I do without my Nespresso ?

Apart from the genius ads they have starring George Clooney (my favourite pictured here), I can honestly say that Nespresso has changed my coffee-drinking life.

Coming from Sydney – the city which has a pretty damn good coffee in almost every street corner (see my previous post on my local favourites when I used to live there) – I have struggled to find a good coffee close to home now that I live in Singapore.  We inherited a Nespresso machine from my parents when mum needed a more streamlined version to fit into her new kitchen and ever since then, I have had the wonderful benefit of a McDonalds-type coffee, any time I want, in the comfort of my own home.  Seriously, because the coffee comes in individually vacuum-sealed capsules, you are guaranteed the same great coffee, EVERY TIME.  No need to store the coffee in airtight containers in the freezer, no need to worry how much water to put in the percolator, just consistently terrific coffee that needs nothing added – no milk, no sugar – to be enjoyed.

I have to admit, the name “Nespresso” to me, came initially with a good dose of skepticism, with its association with awful instant coffee, but I have learned my lesson and it is NOT bitter heehee.

And I’ve been to the Nespresso boutique in Ion on Orchard Road to buy more coffee capsules, and there, you can try new roasts or just enjoy your favourite cup of coffee.

I also appreciate the no service required AND the no-mess cleanup – you simply bin the empty capsules.  No messing about with wet ground coffee beans.

I swear I think every home should have one.  And every workplace too !  I’m sure it would guarantee an alert team of employees who would also be happy at not having to pay $6 for a cup of dishwashing water from Starbucks.

Nespresso boutique in Singapore
ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn , #01-14
238801 Singapore

who’d have thought?…

…that tucked away on the second floor of Palais Renaissance would be the best cafe in town?  PS Cafe at Palais Renaissance has got to be one of the tai tais’ best kept secrets, because honestly who else would go to Palais Renaissance (except perhaps to go to Marmalade Pantry).

I was meeting a friend there who was running late, so I had the luxury of time to settle in and really soak in the ambiance of the place before she arrived.

I was transported into a different world.  A mix of a French bistro (or even Kong in Paris), and an English sunroom where one would drink tea in the afternoon (I think epitomised by the scene in My Fair Lady where Prof. Higgins goes to his mother’s house and finds Eliza having tea there with his mother). Very schizophrenic when I write it down, but the place just … works.

High ceilings, lots of glass, street-cafe furniture, classical music and GREAT tea (and apparently also great coffee) make this a place that I would be happy to retreat to, again and again.  I didn’t get to try any food, but they did have the now-ubiquitous truffle fries on the menu so at least I know I’ll be sure to like one more thing there.

PS Cafe

390 Orchard Road
#02-09A Palais Renaissance

Tel: +65 6887 2207

Brrbrbrbrbrrrr…need my morning coffee…

But does anyone around here know of where to get a decent coffee ? After being relatively spoilt by being able to get a good coffee from almost any corner cafe in Sydney en route to work, the coffee here just seems…well…crap, for want of a better word. After four months here, I’ve yet to find somewhere that can make a coffee that I can actually say I like.

Is it the milk ? All the milk here seems to taste like it’s had sugar added to it, yet I also need to now add sugar to my coffee now just so it has some flavour.
Perhaps it’s just that your local Spinelli staff member, whilst very friendly and helpful, just ain’t no barista…
I hope I’m not still clinging on to memories of Sydney and I shouldn’t compare the two cities. Maybe I’ll have to contend with a hot cup of teh halia for my morning caffeine hit. In the meantime, I live in hope that I’ll stumble upon that perfect cup of coffee sometime soon.