Checking out: Happenstance Cafe [dog-friendly]

Miss Ene recently brought Miss Moon to a pet-friendly cafe called Happenstance Cafe.  I saw the pictures on her Facebook and was immediately excited about bringing Sparky along with us. Told the Man, ‘We must spend some quality time with Sparky before Baby Girl arrives!‘ The arrival of a little one into the household is, of course, a happy thing but we’re also not sure how Sparky would take it. Thankfully, he’s always been of good temperament so we are hoping that he will take to the little one really well and vice versa. Fingers crossed!

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I’m also hoping he will play the role of a ‘big brother’ and protect the little one. We think she’s likely to ‘terrorise’ him when she’s much older but that’s a while more. For now, I will be happy if he stays by her side and watches over her while she sleeps. Perhaps he can also channel those ‘Z Monster’ vibes to her so that she sleeps through the supposed sleeping hours giving us, parents, the much-needed sleep that I hear new parents are often deprived of. Say hello to eyebags and concealer who’s going to be my new best friend!

IMG_6125We arrived at Happenstance Cafe in time for lunch and though crowded, we did manage to get a seat.  Sparky was the only huge dog there for many of the other doggies were of smaller breed.  Fine by us, we just hope he wasn’t a nuisance to the other doggies.

IMG_6127The place was airy and the environment was inviting.  Plus point?  The tables were high enough for Sparky to weave in and under.  That meant that he didn’t need to jump over the same tables and steal the human grade food.  One point goes to the humans!

IMG_6126Loved that they had a menu specially for the fur-kids : pasta for S$6.50.  As I mentioned previously, we are quite conscious about giving Sparky human-grade food.  I guess this counts as a little treat for him.  🙂

IMG_6128This is the portion of the pasta that we ordered for Sparky.  Portion is just right for a treat but if you have a smaller dog, then this would probably count as a full meal.

IMG_6129Trying to get the fur-kid to calm down before feeding time is always a challenge.  It’s even more challenging when we are outside.  All commands seem to just go out of the window.  *Face palms..

IMG_6130And because Sparky went to eat this other doggy’s food which she was feeding, She tried to ‘steal’ some of Sparky’s pasta as well. Thankfully, Sparky understood the concept of sharing and graciously just let her have some of his meal.  No dog-fights nor dogs were harmed during the eating process. Phew! IMG_6131And after he had his meal, he went about to sniff the other doggies before doing what he does by, lying down and watch the world go by while us humans could enjoy a decent meal.

IMG_6113Before heading to Happenstance Cafe, the Man did ask what’s there to eat there? I simply said, Fish and Chips and maybe light snacks. I told him not to expect gourmet portions of the meal for it’s a pet cafe afterall and our experience with most pet-cafes are that they serve relatively decent meals for the humans. In fact, I thought their food offerings were slightly better than the ones that we have been to.  We shared the Beer-battered Fish & Chips as well as the Beef & Mushroom Cheese Fries.  IMG_6121Being a huge Fish & Chips fan, the Man is rather particular about how it’s done.  It passed his taste test.  I had some of the Fish & Chips and thought it was pretty good.  The tartar sauce served on the side had a different twist to the usual ones served outside.

IMG_6120The Beef & Mushroom Cheese Fries were a little salty on the side but I still enjoyed it very much. I loved the minced beef bits soaked with cheese.  One thing that they could possibly improve on? Go easy on the sauce. There was too much sauce at the bottom of the dish which resulted in soggy fries.

They also offer desserts to complete the meal with but we didn’t want to stuff ourselves too much. So we skipped that and just spent the rest of the time watching Sparky interact with the other doggies and human pals. Will come back again if we need to bring him out for a treat. Happenstance Cafe is indeed welcoming to humans and doggies alike and it’s our hope that more pet cafes will spring up in Singapore and survive! 🙂

Give them your support with your furry pal!

Happenstance Cafe
Address: 35 Opal Crescent, Singapore 328425
Telephone: 6341 7871
Opening hours: Daily from 11am to 10pm
Reservations not necessary.

Checking out: iii Cafe [doggy-friendly cafe]

[Update as at 22 Nov 2014: Ceased its operations]

Pet owners (in the East especially)  rejoice!  Another pet-friendly joint has just opened up.  This time round, it’s air-conditioned for our furry ones to run around in a confined area while us humans enjoy the bites.

iii Cafe was a tip-off by the studio manager over at Power Work Studio.  I decided to head there over the long weekend to meet up with Horlicks (the bf@w’s new fur-kid).

IMG_9646The place ain’t huge but good enough for the furry ones to run around.  The small touches that the owners put for the furry ones are commendable for instance doggy toys, sample treats for the pooches, poop bags, pee pens, mop and hand sanitizers on each table, etc.  Thumbs up for the attention to details for the furry ones.

IMG_9604Tired from the 20 minutes walk from home to the cafe, Sparky was more interested in taking a breather after being fed with some water.

I was worried about him bothering the other patrons and stealing their food for the tables are rather low and he could easily pinch off the food, so I kept him close to me.

IMG_9605Cam-whoring my new pair of kicks!  Loving the blue with pinks!  Hehe..The fur-kiddo couldn’t be bothered, of course.

IMG_9642Dogs have their own menu too!  Had to give Sparky a treat after the walk.  Meatballs are for the pooches and made by The Barkery Singapore (one of my fave doggy bakers).  Let’s hope that they will expand their offerings to some dry snacks that owners can purchase for their furry ones eventually.

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Expect simple cafe grub at iii Cafe.  Wings, Nachos, Fries, Pancakes, Pizza, etc are all available for the ordering.  We went with some wings, nachos and pizza to share.  Coffee and food is decent.

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And guess who got an extra treat just because it’s the Nation’s birthday?  Special National Day pup cake from The Barkery Singapore specially gifted by iii Cafe.

IMG_9655He obviously couldn’t wait to dig straight into the treat.  🙂  Thanks guys for this treat!  You made him a happy doggy today!

IMG_9664Meeting Horlicks for the first time.  Horlicks is a 4 month old Dachshund that the pal just got.  He’s so tiny compared to Sparky.  We managed to grab a couple of pics of Horlicks sitting on lazy Sparky.  He couldn’t be bothered of course.  Even when Horlicks attempted to bite Sparky’s tail, the big boy was rather patient and didn’t bark at the little one.  Good on you big boy! 🙂 IMG_9652We will be back again to iii Cafe.  I can’t get enough of the friendly service extended not to just the humans but more importantly to the furry ones.  And I recommend that you should definitely visit with your lil’ furry one in tow to this cafe.  🙂

iii Cafe
Address: 687A East Coast Road, Singapore 459055
Telephone: +65 6655 8288
Operating Hours: Tues – Thurs: 12pm to 10pm, Fri – Sun: 11am to 11pm (Closed on Mondays)

Checkin’ out: Cafe Melba [no longer doggy friendly cafe :(]

When the SPIC told me of Cafe Melba – a 4 month old bistro that opened along the East – and it’s doggy-friendly policy, I knew it was a matter of time, we were going to check it out!  You had me at ‘Hello! Doggy Friendly Place!’  These restaurants are rather rare in Singapore still but it’s changing slowly.  There are more restaurants now accepting dogs within their premises.  So a huge YAY to these places!  Dog owners like us thank you for sometimes all we really want is for our best friend to hang around and spend more time with us.

I’ve heard that weekends can get pretty crazy at  Cafe Melba and since it was a rare occasion that the Man did not have a golf game arranged on the Sunday morning, we got up early and arrived at Cafe Melba at 9am.  With a couple of tables filled with early patrons, the restaurant looked rather inviting for us to spend the day with our fur-kiddo.

The fur-kid wasn’t the odd-ball out over at Cafe Melba.  Another family brought along 2 of their doggies as well.  Good thing, otherwise we might feel a little left out.  We asked for a table nearer to the field as we were worried that Sparky might be a nuisance to some of the diners.  Thankfully, all he did was to sniff around and then just laid down to drink his cold water while us adults managed to have our breakie.

Service here was rather warm as well.  The moment the servers saw us with Sparky, they brought out a pet-bowl and filled it with cold water for the fella.  But when it came to order-taking, one of them did miss out our order of pancakes.  But no biggie, they went straight into the kitchen and had that sorted out within minutes.

Breakfast offerings were rather decent.  In fact, some of their lunch menu items do look even better.  Since it was breakfast, we went for the Eggs Benedict and the Eggs Florentine.  The poached eggs did turn out well but the bacon could have been a tad bit crispier.

The pancakes, on the other hand, were not as good as we thought. They tasted like store-purchased pancakes rather than those whipped freshly from the kitchen.

So food-wise, I think Cafe Melba serves up some pretty decent nosh.

But I think the plus point to this place has gotta be it’s doggy-friendly policy! 🙂  We probably pay another visit!  Perhaps this time round, Sparky will join us while we dig in the burgers and beer in tow.  Hehe..

Cafe Melba
Address: 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre , Singapore 439053
Telephone: +65 6440 6068
 

Update in April 2014: 
Understand that Cafe Melba has revised its policy and it’s no longer a pet-friendly cafe according to its Facebook post.  If you are planning on bringing your furry friend down, I suggest you give them a call to check on whether this has been resolved.

Dog-friendly places: The Coastal Settlement

Hooray!!!  Our fur-kiddo, Sparky passed his temperament test last Sunday and will be joining the ranks of other Therapy dogs come the next couple of weeks.  We decided to celebrate this little achievement and went out for a cosy party at The Coastal Settlement which also happened to be a dog-friendly restaurant.

Dog-friendly restaurants in Singapore are few but that’s slowly changing.  I do hope that more establishments will slowly warm up to this concept.  I really long for the day where we can bring Sparky out more often with us.  Did you know that dogs in Europe are allowed in shopping malls?   I’m sure if he was much smaller, we could fit him in a bag but unfortunately, he is all of 30+ kilos. That will be one really heavy carry-on which I’m not certain I could carry along.

There isn’t a separate menu for the pooches.  I guess the kiddo is just contented lying around and hanging out with us.  The nice people at TCS also provided him with some water which he happily plonked half of his face in because it was a little warm.

Now, a review of the food served at TCS.  I thought it was a pretty decent spread.  The Strawberry and Spinach Salad that we had as a starter was hearty and refreshing.  The Man didn’t enjoy this as much as I did.

We also ordered a portion of Portobello Mushrooms to share.  Coated with bread crumbs and a hint of truffle oil, these were indeed yummy and addictive.  Couldn’t stop myself from stuffing my face silly with these goodies.

For the mains, we shared the Cheeseburger.  The beef patty was thick and oh-so-juicy.  The sesame buns used for the burger were soft and crusty.  As you can imagine, the whole burger was just delish!  Maybe I was just hungry!  Hehe..

The sun was slowly setting by the time we finished our mains.  I had just that teeny bitsy space for dessert and that Salted Caramel Cheesecake was going to be my choice for sweets BUT we were getting bitten by the mozzies, so decided to head home instead.  Sparky was getting a lil bored as well and his ears perked up when we mentioned ‘C’mon let’s go home!‘.

I think this will not be our last trip to TCS.  I would really like to come back and try their brunch specials.  And guess who’s tagging along?  I’ll make sure I will bring some snacks to feed him as well so that he won’t feel left out.  Hehe…

The Coastal Settlement
Address: 200 Netheravon Road
Tel: 6475 0200

letters from sparky:: four

hello everybody!

it’s been a while since i’ve written yeah?  well, daddy and mommy are finally home and besides spoiling me silly with cuddles and kisses, i’ve been told to go on an exercise regime.  yes, yes, i’ve piled on a couple of pounds during my absence and gotten a little lazy on walks but what do you expect?  i don’t know why i’m constantly tired myself.

anyway, the parentals are off for another trip soon and before going on their holiday, they decided to bring the entire family out for dinner.  i was excited!  i never get to go out for dinners with the family for i’m always the one left guarding the home alone.  this time round, i get to go to!

that’s a blurry shot of me (mummy keeps playing around with the setting of her camera) resting at the dog-area at cornerstone restaurant located at bishan park 2.  this place rocks, there’s a lush green park for me to go on a little walk and then i get to go into a special area for doggies at the restaurant and just lie around while waiting for my family to finish their dinner.

there isn’t a special menu for doggies but the parentals ordered quite a lot of food to be shared amongst one another.  mommy told me the buffalo wings were pretty good and it comes in different levels of spiciness from 1 through to 12.  daddy ordered 2 portions of wings in level 2 and level 5.  surprisingly, mummy couldn’t take the spiciness of level 5.  and they say she is the chilli padi queen.. hmph!

the parentals also loved the st nicholas beef short ribs which they told me was absolutely divine.  well, what would i know?  i was just lying around.

by about 9-ish, i was getting really tired and had wanted to go home but mummy insisted on ordering the earl grey jivara dessert.  i wonder how they can eat so much but i heard them oo-ed and arh-ed when they tasted the dessert, so i guess it must be good!

well, it was a really fun outing with the family and i hope we get to do it soon again!  doggy-friendly places and restaurants are hard to find in singers but looks like it’s changing a little.  yippee for me!

☆sparky☆