Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Celebrate Hari Raya with Coffee Bean!

I'm not sure what exactly prompted me to get the Festive Pandan Kaya Cake for dessert over dinner one day. Maybe I have been searching for a good pandan kaya cake after Bengawan Solo's.

selamat hari raya

Festive Pandan Kaya Cake
1.2kg ($42)

slice

It was huge and heavy, bulky for a lack of a better word. Fact is, I have been a fan of Coffeebean cakes for a long while now, and within the coffee brands, they do really good desserts.

layers

4 layers in total of green kaya custard and moist sponge cake. The missing link came in the thick kueh-like custard which could do with less density and more fragrance. Looks like it is back to Bengawan Solo!

Available online at http://www.coffeebean.com.sg/coffeebean/

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Manhattan Bar Revisited @ Regent Hotel

Alcoholic friend in tow, we were set to paint the bar red since Manhattan is a newfound love. Reservations are only possible for groups of 6 and above, else try to make friends with the bartender to see if he can find you a random seat anywhere. Arrive after 930pm and literally face the folly of not having 5 other friends to share a table or not arriving any earlier.

The charm of Manhattan Bar is infectious - like a drug somewhat. We left enthralled and returned with a greater vengeance in our bid to eat and drink up the place.

arson chicken

Urban Arson Chicken ($14)
Sweet potato, buffalo style hot sauce, blue cheese

Think nacho wrap with chicken and a dollop of hot sauce that may have been the very things put into buffalo wing challenges. Spicy enough to bring tears but it was a really delicious and sweat inducing treat.

chips

House made Kettle Chips ($12)
Idaho potatoes, loaded foie gras, pan fried onion dip

I wonder how they manage to slice the potatoes so fine for a start, much less get them to taste just like chips. The panfried onion dip took on a chapter of its own in all its creaminess and yes, chips taste better with dips.

donuts

Bourbon infused Donuts ($15)

A first of its kind, alcohol infused donuts. The alcoholic punch was rather lethal with a burst of spirits in a mouth. Loved the adult twist to this otherwise child friendly dessert!

negroni

Solera Aged Negroni ($25)

remember the maine

Remember The Maine Cocktail ($25)

papaya king

Papaya King ($23)
Plantation dark rum, house-made banana cordial, all spice dram, fresh tropical juices - Angostura bitters

This is one of the two drinks they have that are accompanied with side bites. I had a flavour of their hot dog sliders, topped with gherkins, salsa and avocado. Terribly juicy and addictive stuff inspite of its morsel portions.

I should think that whiskey and I are not really BFFs of all time and I did not take to the drink as readily as I would to the slider. The drinks are not loaded with sugar but tend to be heavy on the whiskey tones.

whiskey

Whiskey

box office

Box Office Hit 

Comes with a side of caramel popcorn, the evil step sister of their savoury popcorn. Manhattan should seriously consider just selling their popcorn.

Once again so blown away, Manhattan Bar ranks tops this year. A revisit is swift on the cards.

Manhattan Bar
Regent Hotel

Monday, July 21, 2014

Nespresso's Fortissio Lungo Grand Cru - Back with a richer vengeance!

Special thanks to Deborah for the samples!

Nespresso  is proud to re-release its Fortissio Lungo Grand Cru, as a richer, more full-bodied, long coffee experience. Fortissio Lungo has been re-mastered to deliver a more intense Grand Cru which has jumped one notch to 8 on the Nespresso coffee intensity scale. 

new flavour

Together with the capsules, I was given a set of coffee infused jam and biscotti to enjoy the intense coffee with.

coffee jam 

 Very tasty stuff, if only they also retailed them. For the record, these goodies are baked and lovingly canned by Forlino.   

Nespresso

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ariston Bakery @ Athens

arizon

I am always game for a city's oldest bakery, cafe and the list drags on...and Ariston is no stranger to the Greeks. Some claim it has the best tiropita in the city, hands down, since 1910.

counter

Tiropitas are greek layered pastry food and filled with all sorts of ingredients. Ariston has at least 20 differnt types of tiropitas, sweet and savoury.

Imagine the joy and confusion of standing infront of the glass counters thinking what to order when there is a thought at the back of my head going - ALL of them.


noms

Spinach and feta cheese can never quite go wrong in the land of feta cheese, especially.

noms

I wilfully went for the double cheese pie and unlike the rest, this had a doughy texture.

noms

The melted cheese within was filled with pungence in every bite. At some point this tasted a tad overload.

noms

I must have forgotten what this was - a mix of potatoes and bacon.

noms

The heaviest weight of all - hamburger.

nom


A full patty within the flaky layers. I was not such a huge fan of this but I suppose this was time before the patty and bun era began.

pies

The great thing about these old school pastries is they are barely oily and terribly flaky. I love hearing the crunch as I bit into them. However, these are not gourmet pies, just a trip down memory lane as if I were Greek.  

They all came at a standard price of less than 2 Euros each, if memory serves me right. 

Ariston Bakery
Voulis 10, Syntagma

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oxupos Mou Xupeu @ Athens

side bar 

I raved nonstop about Slovakis being the best street food and almost passing a sweeping statement that they were the best things alive all around Athens. We chanced upon this random store en route to an open air cinema that was not open till mid May - dang!

kitchen

When in doubt, just go for the flavour with the least meat left.

 kitchen

Somehow the greeks take their preparation of food seriously - too seriously at some point.

slovaki

A wrinkled and watered down version of the famous ones we had. Regrettably, this was nowhere near the deliciosity that was inked in our minds. Fries were dry, meat was dry and for a lack of a better word - so very forgettable.

acropolis alight

One thing though, we enjoyed a really charming view of Atropolis from afar.


night 

And everything under the moon light just looks oh-so-beautiful.

Remember, choose your slovaki vendor wisely.

Oxupos Mou Xupeu
Near exit of Acropolis station

Thursday, July 17, 2014

RWS Presents Cooking with Friends with Chef Timothy Montgomery at Osia

Special thanks to Cheryl for the invite!

osia

Due to popular demand, Osia is once again hosting Cooking with Friends with guest Chef Timothy Montgomery from 16 to 19 July. A celebrated Australian chef, he was previously singled out as South Australian Chef of the Year and has recently taken on Executive Chef roles at Berardo’s Restaurant as well as Noosa International Food and Wine Festival. His special menus for Osia will be a representation of his passion for fresh regional produce, using ingredients such as coconut and jasmine rice. 

The menu up for review was thoughtfully put together by both Chef Tim and Osia. In my previous visit so many yonks ago, set lunch was memorable

condiments

Table condiments that may come in handy later in the meal. 

bush tomato

Stone Hearth Flat Bread ($11)
Macadamia Pesto, Truffled Kalamanta Olive

These flat breads are to die for, the density is addictive. Goes great with lemon seasalt, olive oil, butter or even the bush tomato paste. 

bush tomato

Squeeze it like a toothpaste. 

cauliflower soup

Cauliflower Soup 
Quail scotched egg, pickled mushrooms and truffle

I hardly raise an eyebrow for cauliflower, simply because it is a less flavourful alternative to broccoli yet Chef Tim made it shine in this creamy broth. Mushrooms, a wonderfully scotched quail egg and truffle sent me to heaven and back.

sea bass

Sea Bass 
Brandade, organic egg, smoked potato espuma and Avruga caviar 

The ingredients used seem to run through from the appetizer and was a slight overkill but that being said, he managed to pull off a sea bass dish as if it were cod. Firm and very succulent, it was a complete joy eating this.

poached egg

Watch it drizzle. 

flow

The gorgeously poached egg was executed with precision too, and that wondrous flow of yolk left me dumbfounded. 

cherry ripe

Cherry Ripe 
Chocolate, Coconut and Cherry

It takes a man to know a man, the man muses. It takes a woman's man to understand a woman and Chef Tim is all of that in a single dessert. Put chocolate mousse, dessicated coconut, coconut icecream and brandied cherries and I was completely sold. And the chocolate twigs, loved the bitterness so cleverly woven into it.  The way it all came together so beautifully, a sweet finale that left a lingering sweet memory.

tea

Coffee and tea to end, I wish there were petit fours for that encore finale.

white

Overall a really well thought through menu with very strong courses. If I may suggest, they go very well with their in house Sauvignon Blanc 2011, a very light and fruity wine.

tim montgomery

I had the privilege to speak with Chef Tim, a terribly humble chef who has a larger than life passion for food, believing in using local produce. Being Australian also means a great deal to his craft, choosing to use local produce and the food trends as an inspiration to several of his dishes. He gives credit to his mom for inspiring his sea bass dish.

He counts spicy foods as one of his favourite foods and when nudged further, he let in that he has yet to take on our chilli crabs and bak kut teh. I certainly look forward to his revisit next year and hopefully get to see some of these spicy inspirations in his menu.

3-course Set Lunch: $50++/ 4-course Set Lunch $60++
3-course Set Dinner: $90++/ 4-course Set Dinner $115++/5-course Set Dinner$135++
Available from 16th to 19th July 2014

Free cooking demonstration by Chef Timothy Montgomery: 19th July from 3pm-5pm on a first come first serve basis (max of 15 pax; reservations recommended) Book your seats early to avoid disappointment!

rwsentosa

 Indeed it was a moment to remember at Osia. That's me, a hungry mate signing off. #rwsmoments

Osia
Resorts World Sentosa

Metropoleos @ Monstraiki, Athens

street 

This shop defines the best of Athens' best street food - slovaki. Call it misleading that they should have an outlet right smack in the country's most visited area amongst tourists - Monstraiki. It could very well be missed as a tourist trap given the number of people that come and go or dine in.

behind the scenes 3


Souvlaki is also known as the Hamburger of Greece, these are sold all over the streets of Athens. Priced at 2 euros each, this were even better priced than the burgers at Mcdonalds.  

behind the scenes 2

The window that gets me delicious. The process is simple - pay at the counter and wait for your slovaki to be made but there is just mere seconds of interaction - chicken or lamb? And then silence is kept in respect for my lunch being made.

behind the scenes

Nifty hands make the job easy - a pinch of this and that and by folding everything in, my slovaki is complete.

lamb

Lamb slovaki snugly wrapped in layers. As simple as it looks with lamb slices, a tomato wedge, a bunch of crisp french fries and a dollop of yogurt sauce - it was a man food version of sandwich. So hearty and gratifying, I could not stop munching at first bite.

The fries made a huge difference to the texture of the sandwich and truly, nothing tasted better than this cheap eat.

slovaki

The chicken had less bite but still as good. I wish we could dedicate an entire meal to Metropoleos!

deliious

Do pay them a visit if you are around the corner - oh yes, they offer complimentary use of their wash rooms too. This is a huge draw especially when everyone else either charges for entrance or require you to have a full meal.  

Metropoleos
Monstraiki Square