Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Red Mango

My #2 favie Froyo right after Yoguru

The health-freak's yogurt. One of the lightest Original without missing out on smoooooth milk content... complemented by mild pulses of naturally-occuring lactose & my favourite bunch of fresh berries. Plus, they've got a wednesday Green Tea flavour to screammm for.

Anyone keen to franchise this lovely korean chain may contact the owner Bernard at the shop on weekends. please keep them going & expanding so i can have my endless supply of Red Mango till i grow old~ Lol.

Because i love myself.

Red Mango
#01-140G Suntec City Mall
Tasty Treats Section

Monday, April 27, 2009

Laurent's Cafe & Chocolate Bar

"floating" madeleines

This is an entry about ieat's floating theory

I admit im more a berry, nuts or citrus anything than a chocolate person. My low tolerance level for chocolate is evident from the multiple times i struggle through cocoa decandences under the appalled scrutiny of my chocoholic pals. I'm not easily suppressed by chocolate's inherent dogma but there's one thing i would mystifyingly get fanatical about...

It's Laurent Bernard's no doubt.
(Making it two, it'll be Pontini's chocolate lava cake)

Specifically Laurent's heavenly 30-minute Chocolate Souffle ($16.50). I'll order this under no obligations, joyfully savour it from peak to bottom, then scrape the whole ramekin clean. The power of Laurent's.

I begin with the risen crown. The top is baked to a latching solidity, peeling off beautiful flakes of meringue-soft crusts once disturbed. The innards- fluffy and saccherinely controlled by the use of quality chocolate (though i remember it to be clearly wetter the last time). Trickle in some bitter chocolate sauce to moisten... and voila! im on my way through the natural anti-depressent pitch.

And there is a convincing reason why Raspberry Sherbets (or sorbets) often tie the knot with choc souffles. Its icy refreshing character, together with raspberry's tangy punch shields you from any potential chocolate overwhelm. The result is a wonderful balance.

If you're prone to opting for vanilla or more chocolate, i urge a reconsideration.

*sigh of cocoa satisfaction.

Worth the wait & calories.

On the cakes & pastries side, we rely on the Flourless Chocolate Cake ($6.80). A supreme rendition of the wheat-free classic, excellently textured and served with whipped cream on the side. Flourless, would be the last word in your mind.

My vote's thrown in for their premium tea selections as well. A South African Vanilla Bourbon ($7) was sensually soothing of blended green tea leaves, osmanthus flower & french vanilla. Withstands until the third brew.

Chocolatiers like this are what makes the world go round.

Laurent Cafe & Chocolate Bar
80 Mohamed Sultan Road
#01-11 The Pier @ Robertson

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bakerzin, Vivocity

My impression of Bakerzin have long stagnated at the profit-maximising-dessert-cafe status. Everything else besides their desserts completely ruined hopes of voluntary revisits. And oops, i so forgot to warn my ex-classmate about it.

Lunch at Bakerzin, was a very random decision.

Seafood Pasta ($15.80)

Bakerzin's Pasta. We all know it, indubitably nothing to rave about. The Seafood Pasta- clams, mussels & prawn tossed in a bright red tomato sauce. Im just surprised no complaints were voiced either. It must have been the post-bookout syndrome lol.

Sauteed Mushrooms Sandwich, plus Chicken ($11.80)

Bakerzin's sandwich. Passable stuffs, if not for the overly generous use of oil and a grease-soaked ciabatta slice. I'm fond of chicken & funghi combinations.

3 dessert tapas & icecreams ($9.80)

Bakerzin's desserts: their saving grace. Despite a careless flavour blunder on my side, the chocobanana-themed Arabella & whitechoc based Manjuri were no turn-offs. The icecream fanatic in me took over once again.. no sweetness can kill me (:

Coupe Blackforest

Our choices were such a chocolately lineup that we slowed down at the Coupe Blackforest. Chocolate icecream, chocolate brownie, kirsh-soaked cherries & chocolate sauce. Chocolate's a murderer.

We surrended.

1 HarbourFront Walk
#01-207 VivoCity

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blueberry Cheese Tarts

As a child i loved visiting neighbourhood confectioneries. I would stop & oogle at those inflated sugar-coated doughnuts, figurine-topped cakes, rainbow chip swissrolls and these beautifully swirled cheese tarts. Then compare their drool-factors on the mind scale.

If cheese tarts took victory, its solely because of their pretty face. Many bakeries make vulgur digestive crusts and with sooo little jam inputs that i often regret my choice, but still fall for the fraud again. A typical visually-influenced consumer, hah.

So i wised up and decided to recreate my own rendition.

Whipped up a philly cheese filling (similar to cream cheese frosting but with extra coagulating ingredients) and paired it with Michel Roux's pate sucree recipe- and im surprised by how well it turned out.. except that cheese-deflation flaw after cooling.

The pastry dough was extremely soft at first (from the use of whole eggs instead of egg yolks) but firmed up easily with refrigeration. Once chilled, it became amazingly smooth and pliable yet free from sticky trouble that usual doughs pose. The product? Crispy, non-soggy shells so nicely browned all over.

Undoubtedly one of the best doughs ive worked with.

Tart, filling, cheese, filling.
I'm finally getting the taste of blueberries..
No more choking digestives & dry cheese tarts for me!

Pate Sucree
from Eggs by Michel Roux

250g plain flour
100g butter, diced & slightly softened
100g icing sugar
small pinch of salt
2 medium eggs

1) Put the flour on a work surface and make a well. Put in the butter, icing sugar and salt.
2) Using your fingertips, mix all the ingredients in the well, then add the eggs and gradually draw in the flour, little by little, and mix well.
3) When everything is completely amalgamated, knead the pastry 2 or 3 times with the heel of your hand to make it completely smooth. Wrap it in cling film and rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours before using.

(cheese tarts are from Thousand Deli, hougang central)

NYDC Diner

Not a for nothing.

Since the secondary school days i've been madly attracted to this upbeat teenager dinespot. Boney the mascot, quirky food titles, comfort junkfood i love gorging on, and a divine dessert to-die-for... all part of the magnetic force.

Heeren's outlet now takes on a new location on the fifth level and proudly renamed as NYDC Diner. Classics kept plus an additional menu inserted for more selections. Think ribeye steaks, lamb shanks & barbequed ribs... at your own risk.

The bestie's initial distraught over the non WOW!-labelled The Parmesan ($14.50) was acceptably eased. Not that it fared beyond any good chicken spaghetti dish, but the garlic butter parmesan sauce safely pulled through.

My Roasted fillet of Cream Dory ($16.50), flavoured rice substantiated, featured cute little roulades of dory fish baked in a rich garlic & herb sauce. Rich. the harmless-looking white sauce could fill you before you even work on the rice.

Full, but never too full for desserts.

Nydc's dense digestive-crusted cheesecake is either a love-it or hate-it compound. If you comply with the former, Priscilla's favourite ($10.50) may be doubly satisfying for you. Ally's New York cheesecake, double choc chip icecream (we requested for a vanilla sub), chocolate chips & a pitcher of warm choc sauce to please any cheese-choc fans around.

I'm sticking to the hands-up-for-light-cheesecakes! club.

the best apple crumble, till date.

And all hail the almighty nydc Apple Crumble ($6.95) i absolutely looooooove, thermally contrasted by a scoop of creamy French Vanilla icecream. Boasting of a thin base, chocolately cinnamon layer, stewed apple pieces and a crumble topping that mushes in the mouth to produce a harmonious lipsmacking sensation~ *im on cloud nine.

(one more for takeaway)

This is my definition of a perfect apple crumble.

I amend:
Full, but never ever too full for Apple Crumble(s).

NYDC Diner
260 Orchard Road
#05-05/13 The Heeren

Uzumaki's Triple 3

If you thought 3 scoops of japanese icecream for $3 on a 3rd anniversary is a steal, think again. On price-driven impulse i merrily picked three flavours and got nothing more than dissatisfaction.

The Black Sesame was trashy whilst the Milk Tea & Green Tea clearly lacked depth. Badly cream-deficient to even be called icecream. I would have gladly preferred the original Uzumaki out-of-a-dispenser swirl, or not waste that three bucks at all ):

And to note: the scoops were tinier than any Kiddy's Meal dessert.

Learnt my lesson.


#B1-K18 Bugis Junction

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rise & Shine

Breakfast is important. Since young i've never acceded to skipping breakfasts due to busy schedules or oversleeping excuses. Be it getting up early, munching during car rides or lapping food before the school bell goes, i'll ensure my morning mouthful is fulfilled.

Sundays are just slightly more elaborate.

The only day i get to rummage my pantry and whip things out of whatever's available. The only day my family could gather for a leisure breakfast in the comfort of our own home. Very recession-friendly too =D

french toast, bacon streaks & sunny-side-up stack

On days where my sister has to rush for other appointments, i make the most express & rudimentary food. Bread, eggs, bacon & mushroom basics.. you can't go wrong with them.

French Toasts needn't always be sweet. Savoury versions are just as appealing. I stacked up two french toast slices, crispy bacon and a cheery sunny side up, sided with some creamy mushrooms.

french toast, bacon & scrambled eggs stack

Dad loves scrambled eggs. Mine's done with a dash of cream and a non-systematic folding method. If not for the hurry, i would have beaten the eggs more evenly and used a bain-marie for closer perfection.

Creamy herb mushrooms & French Toasts

Seeing to mum's vegetarian commitments is another challenge. Meat-free, garlic/onions-free, yet looking and tasting as good? I'm still trying. Here's one french toast dish topped with seasoned white buttonMs and a drizzle of herby cream sauce.


Breakfast doesn't stop all at once, it recedes like a tide...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Paco Roncero: XX1st Century Appetit!

Our senses were pampered at the peak of Tower Club.

Four seated with eager gastromical anticipation, three immersed in a silent countdown for some fireworks finale to prod. Alongside, captivating harmonies of guest chef Roncero's 13-course spread.

Paco Roncero.
One Michelin Star chef hailing from El Bulli, Spain. Master of Molecular Gastronomy and renowned olive oil virtuoso.

Kicking off, a concordant agreement over the acidity of eggwhite-crowned Frozen Daiquiri. Harshly sour at a tiny sip, bitter when drunk. Clearly more for the ladies than gentlemen.

the most AMAZING foccacia bread~

We stood by the bread basket's arrival with smiles. I absolutely heart their excellent Foccacia slices enhanced with speckles of sundried tomatoes, cheese & a friendly dash of mint. Superbly moist and spongy reflected pure quality baking. I could go on & on nibbling on these yeasty goodness like there's no tomorrow.... (& no 12 courses ahead haha)

Then came the showdown of 6 distinguished tapas masterpieces.

By instructed order we ate, the first unglamourous brown blob Liquid Chicken "Croquette" triggered sparks of fascination. Woah~ Swallowed in entirety, chicken broth supremeness burst out of its humble veil & breadcrumb accessories. blown away.

A pity we cannot encore that.

I also swore by the Raspberry Fondant with Wasabi, ingenius pairing of caramelized berry and wasabi nib that shook wasabi pea illusions. And the atypical Sesame Sponge with Miso crafted like nothing before.

Other novel tots included the Tomato Biscuit with Basil, Foie Gras in Red Wine, & signature Extra Virgin Olive Oil Butter served in a tube.

Our platos began with sleek Spanish Omelette XX1st Century. elegant potato mousse complemented with tasty sweated onions.

Only the Lobster, Grapefruit, Virgin Olive Oil Soup paled in wow factor. Didn't draw any favorable impressions.

The Brittany Sea Bass in "Salmorejo" was seared to mindblowing perfection, sealing tender white flesh under its crisp skin.

Highly positive opinions revolved around the Wagyu Beef with Lemon Puree, helmed as Morton's-on-par by Timeless Facade.

The male lead draws the first stroke of the scheme..

For Postres, we had Orange Sorbet, PX, Extra Virgin Olive Oil. One of the best citrus sorbets ever, fullstop.

He swiftly engaged in the formulated tactics.
She nodded.
A nuptial agreement was secured.

And the Fizzy Sweets, Virgin Olive Oil Gummies arrived aptly to end the night on crackles. crackily crackily crack went the cocoa sprinkles, lingering in the mouth just like how some smiles prevailed....

My sincere congrats to the couple.

Highly esteemed Mister EVOO prodigy (:
Atlantic Dining Room
9 Raffles Place
Republic Plaza Tower 1
#62-64 Penthouse

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Scream Cookies & Creammmm

Making icecream is so much fun.

While browsing through my cookbook collection i found a gem lying in unjustifiable vain: Making Icecream & Iced Desserts by Joanna Farrow and Sara Lewis. I couldn't believe myself putting such a comprehensive and splendidly photographed guidebook to waste. But not anymore.

I promptly skimmed through the pages, pulled out my ingredients and followed the instructions as closely as i could. The art of icecream making begins by forming a custard base, adding your preferred flavourings then whipping it in an icecream maker.. but yippeee, it is absolutely possible to achieve it by hand.

The result was extremely satisfying. After as series of hand-whisking & hours of freezing, i excitedly scooped the frozen custard out of the tub. The icecream was icy hard initially but begins to melt down really quickly. a yummy vanilla-smacked oreo flavour dotted with some soft oreo chunks. Mmmmm...

Plus i love its versatility. The very next day we had it over warm buttermilk pancakes for breakfast and it got mum knotted in disbelief. "huh? did you just say you MADE the icecream?!!" Yes mummy, i did.

And with some leftover choux batter, i created one-bite icecream puffs coupled with a splash of warm chocolate sauce. Another after-dinner dessert settled.

What's there not to rave about homemade icecream?

*i'm slurpin' it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ooki Taiyaki: Simply Oooh-some!

I just found another awesome snack to dig in.

Pumpkin Kaya Taiyaki ($2 for 2- opening special)

Just as gelato-loyals are mourning over MOF's (Raffles City) sudden farewell, im happily swooning over the mall's lastest tenant. OOKI TAIYAKI officially occupies the prominent corner, introducing a new sidekick to the dying donut scene.

Making a good taiyaki is no easy job.

Tracing back to my Hokkaido memories.. the bestest was perfectly crisp-skinned and compact with flowy homemade fillings, briskly tossed out of hot moulds by adept japanese pancake masters. And it ignominiously chastens our skimpy-entrails local versions to shame.

Until i saw the OOKI action.

On first layer, the girls used a spatula to spread the batter flatly across the mould. Thin base checked. Huge spoonfuls of ingredients plopped in the middle. Generous fillings checked. Another drizzling of batter over just enough to cover the innards. Thin crust checked.

checked checked checked. A Pumpkin Kaya for me. One bite and warm orange magma gushes out of its promising shell. Pleasantly sweet, water chestnuts-studded & fullbodied with kaya fragrance kind of magmatic flow. Pure messy bliss. Chomped up in less than ten steps away.

Not flawless to yell about, just the closest to the Nipponya's. Im so glad they opened.

252 North Bridge Road
#B1-49 Raffles City Shopping Centre

missing my Hokkai goma snowman-yaki badly~


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