Ritz & Habitat Coffee

Friday, October 18, 2013

Hello friends :-)

So today, I went on a crazy food exploring adventure before and after my Options (which was basically just going to school to watch a horror movie). I call it crazy because it's really my personal record number of cafés/ eatery places I visited in one day. Thus, I shall split my adventure into two posts - morning where I headed to Upper Thomson and the evening where I headed to Tiong Bahru. This post will be the morning one, which I spent with Sarah before heading to school for Options that started at around 2pm. 

I know that I blog about Upper Thomson quite a lot and I always go by the usual drill - Old School Delights and Salted Caramel ice cream but this time, we decided to try something different. We headed to two places that I've personally not visited before (but walked past so many times). 

First up - Ritz Apple Strudel and Pastry at 267 Upper Thomson Road! :-) For the past 4 years when I take 132 back home from school, I always catch sight of the glaring sign in capital letters, screaming at me but I've never been to try it till today. Basically we chose it because it was the eatery that opened the earliest along the Upper Thomson stretch, so why not, yes? 

I think in recent years, this bakery has expanded to sell their strudels in places like shopping malls - I've seen several pop-out stalls like that where you can buy and takeaway their pastries but if I'm not wrong, this one is the only café style shop where customers are able to sit down and have their food. 

We went to the store at around 9.45am (it opens at 9.30am) and we were the only customers around throughout the entire duration of our visit which lasted around an hour. This was understandable considering its a weekday morning. The atmosphere was pretty strange though and the lighting there was rather dim as well. 

Sarah! :-) 

We shared the "Apple Strudel Mini" which was priced at $4.50 and contrary to its name, it was fairly large and it was a nice touch that the lady there cut the strudel into two equal halves. Not exactly sure if that's the typical protocol or if she did that because she saw two of us and knew that we were sharing it but either way, it was more convenient for us! 

The Apple Strudel Mini :-)

The apple strudel was very different from the usual kinds that we normally eat, in a few ways. First, the pastry skin - this one was a lot like the Japanese biscuits I used to eat as a child which I really loved - it was very flaky and crispy with a layer of granulated sugar, partially melted on the top, and this is unlike usual strudel pastry skins where it's more moist and buttery. 

Second, was the filling! Usual apple strudels have fillings made entirely with apples, perhaps cooked down with cinnamon and sugar but this one was served with some sort of custard/ pastry cream which added a nice tough to it. 

Overall, it was different compared to normal apple strudels, but I'm not sure if we really liked it that much. It was quite a pleasant experience though. Sarah felt that the ones she used to eat as a child were much nicer hurhur. 

After the apple strudel! :-) 

We had to walk around Upper Thomson for a while because Habitat Coffee, our next destination, wouldn't be open till 11am and while we were at it, we got cheated of 20cents by this kiddy machine here. Okay actually it was 10cents because someone left their coin on the machine. 

We were just waiting in anticipation after "tonking" the coins in but it didn't start moving and we got really upset :-(

Booooooo :-( 

When the clock struck eleven, we made our way to Habitat Coffee at 223 Upper Thomson Road and fortunately, we weren't the first customers there - we were actually the third, which was great because it's a little embarrassing to be the first, in my opinion.

The interior of the place was incredibly pretty which I feel matters a lot in the whole experience of eating at the place. It was reasonably lit and I loved their display of cakes and the smell of coffee which would waft into your nostrils once you step foot into the place.

Pretty :-) 

I don't know about you, but places that feature this old school tin of baking powder intrigues me greatly, it just somehow does. 

Their menu! 

I really liked the system that this eatery worked on - there wasn't anyone to take your orders. Basically they'll give you a menu and you go to the counter to place your order and pay immediately and they'll serve you afterwards. It's more efficient this way and somehow I think that paying before you eat makes everything less of a hassle. It's also nice that the Goods and Service Tax/ Service Charge is already included in the price stated on their menu or that there isn't an additional cost, which is good because it's easier to calculate the cost beforehand. 

Yay :-) 

Once you've placed your orders, they'll give you this little placard thing for them to track your orders more easily. And the quote on it is cute too :-) 

Basically, Sarah and I shared everything (i.e. we just bought one of everything) because honestly, the portions were quite huge and trust me, by the end of all these, we were really full! 

The hot chocolate ($4.90) was presented very prettily - actually this is quite a normal design but I was just super excited because I've never gotten anything with latte art done on it so neither of us dared to stir the hot chocolate at the start. It was served with mini marshmallows too! But the hot chocolate was nothing spectacular - I'd probably won't get it again, unless I just want something to take a photo of and post on Instagram, which is a dumb reason. 

They call this The Big Ben ($14) and basically it's like a big breakfast kind of meal. It consisted of scrambled eggs and honey baked ham on what they called "English fluff" which is a bit like a pancake, a rather large chicken cheese sausage, half an oven baked tomato and three mini potato pancakes, served with some salad veggies. Oh, and there was this mysterious sauce at the side which complemented everything quite well. I was honestly quite surprised at the variety and it left me feeling quite satisfied :-) 

Sarah and Ben! :-) 

And finally, we ended our meal with the Tiramisu ($3.90) which was quite reasonably priced for a slice of cake in a coffee shop like this. It looks pretty and tasted pretty. It was a little too wet but somehow I liked how the coffee-soaked layer helped to melt everything in my mouth. I couldn't taste the mascarpone cheese very well either - okay basically my tastebuds were just overwhelmed by the coffee but I still enjoyed it :-)

Yup and that concludes our little food adventure in Upper Thomson! Thanks Sarah for the great company :-) We headed to school immediately after that and I continued my food adventure with Shermaine and Swan at Tiong Bahru afterwards but I'll save that for another post.

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