As usual, many of my photostory blog posts are image-heavy. This post isn't quite as image-heavy as the previous Christmas one though I would once again reiterate the same lines in jest (no actually, I'm serious):
"Either open this page, wait for it to load and go do something else before coming back or just click the X button on the top right hand corner of your browser window and don’t come back."
~*Eve of New Year's Eve*~
On New Year's eve eve, the hubz and I had craving for French fare. His foei gras craving was kicking in again and we thought of checking out La Petite Cuisine which was a short drive away from our home. Alas, it was closed which turned out to be a blessing in disguise for we would not have found this little gem Cotton Bleu.
"Hearty and rustic French fare awaits diners at Cotton Bleu, a family restaurant ran [sic] by Chef Herve Cotton and his wife. Chef Cotton's menu exudes a sense of warmth and comfort, with his simple yet delightful dishes..."
We often have weekend dinner and supper at various eateries along Upper Thompson but it was the first time we noticed Cotton Bleu. It must have either been new or too nondescript. The reason why we decided to dine in there was because the kitchen was still open at 9 pm and more importantly, the hubz saw foei gras on its menu. The service and food offered at this little restaurant certainly stands out from its simple nondescript light blue signboard.
Cotton Bleu was decked with Christmas decorations.
I love the cozy atmosphere though I was freezing inside.
This was the best bread we have ever eaten! Crusty on the outside; soft and fluffy on the inside.
The Escargots in garlic and herb butter with diced tomatoes were flavourful yet not overwhelming. Kh loves escargot cooked in this manner.
Kh felt that the Foei Gras Poele is one of the best Foei Gras we've eaten so far.
Kh had Steak Frites for his mains which was rib eye steak (done medium rare of course) served with Cotton Bleu's very own pepper sauce. Hmm... We prefer Aston's Wagyu Steak.
I had Boeuf Bourguignon for my mains. Tender chunks of beef stewed in red wine and served with mashed potatoes, this dish had a comforting home-cooked flavour.
Every restaurant with inattentive wait staff ought to have this gadget for their customers. With their prompt service, Cotton Bleu certainly does not need this. Still, I enjoyed pressing the button to ask for the bill.
Genoise a l'Orange et Polres Pochees was our dessert to share. Soft and light orange sponge cake with poached pears, pistachio nuts and chocolate sauce proved to be a dessert too light on kh's palate. I felt it was light and refreshing as I wasn't craving for overly sweet and rich dessert then.
[All photos at Cotton Bleu were taken using iPhone. Pardon the dimness.]
The price range for entrees is between $12--$28, $26--$39 for mains and $10 for desserts. It is considered expensive for an eatery located along Upper Thompson but affordable considering it serves French cuisine.
All in all, the hubby and I had a pleasant experience at this restaurant having gone in there without any expectations or reading any prior reviews of the place. We are only glad to have found a place that serves affordable French cuisine near to our place where we do not have to be dressed to the nines.
We would definitely be back to patronize this place over and over again since the menu would change according to the season.
Cotton Bleu does not have their own website but they do have a Facebook page. As I have forgotten the names of the dishes we ordered, I dropped them a FB message and someone managing the page replied a friendly message in less than 10 minutes together with a zipped folder containing PDF of their menu. It was a simple gesture with a personal touch that certainly left a favourable impression on me. After leaving another feedback, I immediately went to like their Facebook page.
~*A Walk in the Park*~
It was a half day on New Year's eve and instead of forcing poor souls who did not clear leave to go back to the office, our department organized a cohesion activity at Singapore Botanic Gardens.
Presenting the people who did not clear leave. Plus me, behind the camera.
Where to next?
Bees on the stigma of a flower.
There was our boss pointing at how much more we had to walk to get to the Healing Garden.
Ah Pau and CW
Shir and HL
The Black Swan Lake. (PS: The White Swan Lake is another different Lake. Apparently there is a black-white discrimination among swans as well.)
The wily pigeons tried to pretend to be ducks.
I wonder what they were looking at.
Going up close and personal with the black swan.
It left us some of its feathers.
We could make quills with them!
"Use my feathers wisely," screeched the red eyes.
Little critter crossing the road like nobody's business.
Thank God for smoke-free public spaces.
After a long walk, we were greeted with the closed gates of the Healing Garden. (It closes on Mondays.)
Next stop was to find Evolution Garden.
lichen growing on the surface of this log
And finally, we found Evolution Garden.
Honestly, I felt like I was transported to the land of dinosaurs and was quite certain that a little Dilophosaurus (the one with neck frills that killed that fatty in Jurassic Park) would pop up from behind the rocks. I soon broke away from the human trail and found myself all alone in another world, snapping photos (and risked being eaten by the Dilophosaurus.)
Artwork in the middle of the grass. I think if I were to see this in the night, I would take to my heels thinking I've stumbled onto a cult circle.
spider in the sky
a burst of pink
Christmas art along the path
The initial plan was to end the day with lunch at Food for Thought but the place was so crowded.
We went to Dempsey for Samy's Curry instead.
~*A Night of Laughter and Games*~
On the night of New Year's eve, we had a "Bimbo Sisters" gathering at Bimbo Xtina's house with Bimbo Zanne not reporting due to being "outstationed".
The invitation that night extended to our partners and hence we had some Himbos too.
With an overdose of all the Western dishes over Christmas, we ordered Chinese zi char for dinner.
Meiqin brought Apple Strudel.
The theme that night was SPLASH OF COLOURS (with props). Xtina said that all her Christmas props would work since it was still the Christmas season.
Xtina with her nerdy Harry Potter's glasses and me with my Hello Kitty glasses.
Himbo kh looked like he wiped out all the dishes in front of him
Bimbo Tiff would even do a peace sign while talking to kh, knowing that xtina was snapping candid shots.
Bimbo Gera and Himbo Clement
Lester decorated the swing which made it look like a garden swing. So pretty.
It is one of kh's dream to have such a cocoon swing in the house and he was happy to see that it could be accommodated in a HDB. But mind you, the cocoon swing he laid his heart on is so damn big, it would take up lots of space in the house.
After dinner and some Wii games, the whole jin gang gathered around the kitchen table for wine and chat.
We laughed so much as we shared bimbotic stories and summarised the whole year's interesting events in one night. (Hmm... no photos were taken as we were really engrossed in our chatting.)
After that, it was time for games! I really love playing Taboo and my ultimate team buddies from past games were kh and Gera. We could guess what each other was trying to describe very well without much input at all. However, all of us did not play very well that night.
Nonetheless, we still had loads of fun.
By using "oh ah peh ah som", all the partners were randomly separated into two different teams.
And we had to keep very close watch to "quack quack" our partners from the rival team when they used taboo words on the list.
My annoying hubz really loved to find every opportunity to "quack quack" me as my team was winning initially. (Before anyone starts to point out anything, I was wearing shorts underneath the short dress.)
Only Tiff and Meiqin were lenient with each other.
We were so engrossed in the game that when it was midnight, Tiff had to stop all of us to announce that it was 2013. We exchanged "Happy New Year" and paused for drinks and snacks as we heard the fireworks go off outside.
After Taboo, it was time for a Bear and Hunter game which Tiff taught us. For those of us who grew up in Singapore in the 80s and 90s, this game is something like "murderer" but with a lot more depth.
Eating seaweed to keep ourselves awake.
I would end the post with an anigif of us at 3 am.