Friday, April 30, 2010

Old Chang Kee Takeaway


Old Chang Kee Curry puffs have been my source of comfort food for the longest time. Their strategically located kiosks island-wide has made me prey to their sinful snacks. Of their ever growing list of mouth watering delights, I only adore their curry puffs.

Their signature rotund bellies, chewy dough and twisted at the end, stuffed with potatoes, curry chicken and a sliver of boiled egg...deepfried. Honestly, anything deepfried cannot go very wrong, unless overfried off course.

My main grouse about this is, the chicken is limited to just one piece...a far cry to its generous heydeys. Priced at $1.20 and increasing...still adoring this local favourite as opposed to sardine or black pepper chicken cousins.

Oh yes, the other reason that keeps me going back; still tastes as good days after.

Old Chang Kee

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Polar Curry Puffs

Polar belongs to the generation of confectioneries that have risen beyond their initial start ups, flourished to a multi-kiosk set up...and taken innovation up a couple of notches. Another on the list of comfort food that has accompanied me through the years. :)

Apart from their sugar rolls, I'm still a huge fan of  their curry puffs despite the regular price hikes. Gone are the days you'd fine snacks below $1, how I miss those days.



Curry Puff ($1.50)

Unlike OCK, Polar's curry puffs signature crispy flakes are the few flaky ones that I actually adore! Comparatively, the chicken portions are way more generous but naturally that comes with a pricier tag. Of late, the kitchen seemed to have upped the spiciness...loving it still!


Picture taken with Nikon D5000.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Coffee and Crust @ Mandarin Orchard

Coffee and Crust is Mandarin Orchard's deli. Strange as it is, Triple 3, Coffee and Crust and 5 on Bar are located all in the same area, it is certainly normal to overlook any of them. That was the case for the gf and I. 




White Chocolate Citrus ($7.50) - Cake of the month

Shaped like a dome despite the uneven creaming, I was tempted first by white chocolate. The lady over the counter described this as "Chewy, soft and very delicious" and "not mousse". I probably will not get a more pointblank and matter of fact description ever.



Yes, she was right though I would refrain from quoting her verbatim. Certainly was not mousse but like jell-o, with a certain firmness. Beyond the white chocolate lies a zesty citrus layer, almost like the psuedo eggyolk in the jelly or icecream mooncakes during Mid-Autumn's. Overall it was sweet and reached a cloying point towards the end but I liked it enough.



Mushroom Quiche ($7)

Smelt awesome, even from a distance. I did not get a chance at this but from the way it was polished off, I'm sure it was more than just delicious.

Pick from a wide array of crusts; quiches, danishes and tarts. Illys coffee or Twinings Tea are up for pairings with the crusty delights for the strict afternoon tea patrons. I will be back at Coffee and Crust, for a nice slow afternoon tea. Fuji Apple Tart and the savouries look droolicious!


Coffee and Crust
Level 5
Mandarin Orchard

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tampopo Deli @ Liang Court 2

Do not belittle the power of cravings, I've learnt. Riding high on the Tampopo fever (not that I've given up on K Ki and my stoke of bad luck with the pumpkin puddings and strawberry tarts) and the newly found luck, I returned for seconds thirds ...more!

Brushing aside the impatient waitress, I took an hourglass worth of sand-trickling moments to hem and haw over my picks of the day.



Cream Puff ($2.60)


This was left to cool for a weebit longer than the last attempt resulting in lighter pastry puff and more flowy cream! The cream spills out of the shell like lava would from a volcano, almost naturally and yes, I would dirty my fingers for this and this alone. Cry me a river, Justin Timberlake croons...I say, Cry me a Creampuff.

It was rainbows-unicorns-ponies fantabulous while it lasted.


Twin towers of delight.



Tart Pudding ($6)

Wobbly like jelly, the caramel pudding on top the tart was most distracting. I double gulped after spying it behind the glass panels. Have it, I must!

Caramel pudding so wobbly and meltworthy with a delicate torched sugar shell. I fell in love with the pudding! Prod further, you reach an almond tart so crunchy and fragrant...the balance was pure sublime. Two loves, wondrously encapsulated...yes, it blew my mind, breath and thoughts away.

It's not quite me to sex-sationalise food but...I lost the battle here. Orgasmically good, if "Mmm" is as far as I go...I gasped, coo-ed, giggled and almost moaned in delight with every bite.


Pass the tissue to stop the drool, please.


Delicious.

Mont Blanc ($6)

Will the real Mont Blanc please stand up?

Wiki says...The Mont Blanc is often a cupcake, tart, or rollcake, topped with cream. Often a chestnut that is cut in half will top it.

That, explains the difference. I shall sum it up within my narrow means.

K Ki - Tart, genoise sponge, chestnut,cream, chestnut swirl

Canele - Tart, whipped cream, chestnut swirl

Tampopo Deli - Tart, chestnut, whipped cream, chestnut swirl

 
I've fallen prey so dangerously to the swirls of chestnut paste. Every sighting leaves me weak in the knees and refusing anything else but it. Tampopo's edition is explained above, slightly different from the rest. After the heavenly tart of Caramel Pudding Tart, this falls short. Crumblier and less firm, still delicious but I wish there was more crunch. The chestnut embedded within had been soaked in alcohol, a lovely find! Unlike K Ki, Tampopo's chestnut swirls are slightly on the sweet side and less rich.

Teatime Light Cake ($1.80) 


These cups made perfect for tea. Soft sponge that their famous scoop cakes and chiffon cakes are made from...no, it does not stop there. A generous squirt of cream within....lovely!

Yet another dazzling display by Tampopo Deli. Cream's my newfound BFF. 

Move over black pig ramen, Tampopo's desserts should be crowned signatures instead. Quees at Tampopo Deli? Sold out? I totally understand why.

It's a tough fight between K Ki and Tampopo for both deserve my sworn allegiance. Unintentially I compare both, K Ki's desserts are light hearted...Tampopo's solid with a punch. The satisfaction is where you see and taste it, given the substantial portions. I've found my King and Queen of Hearts...I hope you have, too. :)

Did I mention they have petit fours up for grabs? For the fickle like me, miniatures of mont blanc and some other tarts at a pocket friendly $2 each. "2 hours later" was a cold-faced reply when asked when they would be ready.

I could really just ignore the lacklustre service for this BFF.

Photos taken with Nikon D5000.

http://www.cfc.com.sg/

Tampopo Deli
Liang Court
B1-16

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cafeteria iL Lido @ Suntec



Cafe iL Lido, a cheaper cousin of Sentosa's iL Lido, promises Italian food stripped to its bare basics. A good chance for the hungry to experience iL Lido more affordably.


The lamp I fell in love with.

 The widely promoted "1-for-1 mains" was enticing enough for me to can dinner at Bali Thai for this. I figured the promotion was good enough to ignore negative reviews on the place.


Four Cheese Pizza ($14.90)
Thin crust pizza with tomato, mozzarella, mascarpone, parmesan and cheddar


























This rivals Skinny Pizza in terms of thickness of crust, almost paper thin in fact. I felt the pizza base was far too thin to taste the wholesomenesss of the bread. Four cheese? Hardly discernible save for mozzarella and mascarpone cheese. Otherwise, it's a toasty pizza lacking in punch.






















Chicken Parmiana ($13.50)
Fried breaded chicken breast with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese served with french fries and lettuce


Adored the generous portion of the breaded deepfried chicken cutlet sliced the right thickness. Comes with thick fries and lettuce.

Great value Cafe iL Lido offers, more so with the promotion!  Pleasantly surprised I am, in fact.

Having been to iL Lido, surely the two are as different as chalk and cheese. The cafe is more casual and like an eatery as opposed to the fine dining that the restaurant proper offers. Do not expect to find traces of finery at the cafe as it is afterall, just an eatery. To put things into perspective, it's perhaps in the ranks of Swensen's or Aston's.

http://www.il-lido.com/cafeteria/

Cafeteria iL Lido
Suntec City Basement

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Almond Cookies @ Macau


Almond cakes with Pork, how more literal can you get?




This is a classic example of delicacies gone mass to suit the busy traveller. These came across as dry, too sweet and an explosion of delicacy gone wrong, no doubt still ensuring the key ingredients like pork is used. I'll prefer my traditional handmade ones anyday! Please keep the tradition alive...!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Max Brenner 2 @ Esplanade

Hardcore would probably be the word to describe my eating habits these days. Within a span of a week and a half, I've made repeats to some places to check out those I missed out..Max Brenner's one of those. A half an hour wait is dreadful even by the shopping queens standards.






















Eighties Milkshake ($11)
Thick milkshake made with vanilla and chocolate cream topped with a floating scoop of vanilla icecream covered with crunchy chocolate


Certified better than the hot beverages I attempted previously. The hot comes across as way too sweet, the cold locks in the rich chocolate taste nicely, a nice control of sugar here..even with a scoop of icecream attempting to shock the body with a lethal sugar overdosage.























Waffles Tutti ($15)
Warm waffles topped with strawberries,  blueberries and chocolate chunks. Served with toffee bananas, vanilla icecream and warm melted chocolate sauce


Waffles versus crepes and waffles won. For once amongst the many times I actually did not cave into other temptations, I stuck firmly with my waffles order.

The service or lack of it struck.

"Can I replace the chocolate sauce with white chocolate sauce?"

"We don't have white chocolate sauce."

"Oh, I'll go for Waffles Tutti then but I want to replace the chocolate chunks with..."

Before I could even finish, the sweet young thing of barely 20 snapped "I already said we do not have white chocolate sauce!"

And all I wanted was to replace chocolate chunks with WHITE chocolate chunks which they obviously had and after the walawalabingbang, it was replaced. If it had not been for the waffles I wanted so badly to try and being the worrywart I am about waitresses spitting in my food, I'd have given her two waffles worth of criticism.























It arrived all pretty and delicious..strawberries and berries never fail to dress up any dessert. The waffles I have been hemming and hawing and waiting all night for were in short: Crispy without the fluff. Overbaked at some parts. My favourite vanilla beans were missing from the icecream, yelling obviously Magnolia or Wall's.  It ended up soggier from the soaking in caramel and icecream faster than expected. In a waffle-shell: Not such a great deal, afterall.

Sigh, prettier to look at than to eat.


So that wraps up the much anticipated waffle treat at Max Brenner's. I may not return for the crepes despite the yummish outlook.

Max Brenner
Esplanade

Friday, April 23, 2010

Yummi Chiffon @ Tanjong Pagar Xchange

No Preservatives, no colouring, low fat...the lady over the counter even gently reminds you to refrigerate them should you not consume them within the day. All in the quest to maintain freshness. Rows and rows of these mini chiffon cakes are sold throughout the day, by the time the clock strikes 6-ish, not much choice is left. 

Some additional nuggets of info about sponge and chiffon cake though till this very moment I was mistaken about certain things.

Myth: Sponge and chiffon are the same hence they can be used interchangeably..like how sponge to me used to be a huge umbrella of Japanese, Genoise...Victorian even!

Fact: Nope, they're as separate as black and white.

The category of foam cakes includes sponge, biscuit, roulades, genoise, chiffon, angel food, meringue, and dacquoise.These cakes have a high proportion of eggs to flour and are leavened solely (except chiffon cakes) by the air beaten into whole eggs or egg whites. They contain very little, if any, fat and have a spongy texture.



Mini cakes...


Perfect for after dinner dessert.


Banana Chiffon ($1.30)
Orange Chiffon ($1.30)

These are very light on the palette...both in terms of airyfairy feathery lightness and calorie intake. So light, you barely taste it, so light it comes across as a tad dry as compared to Bengawan Solo's famous export.

Orange was more outstanding with orange peel scattered throughout to enhance the fragrance and taste. Perhaps the bananas weren't over-ripe hence the lack of taste in comparison.

Yummi's good for those days you want your cake and have it, without much sin.

Pictures taken with Nikon D5000.

Yummi Chiffon
Tanjong Pagar Xchange

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tampopo Deli 2 @ Liang Court

After the last crestfallen attempt at Takashimaya, I somehow had to get the scoop cake. On Ice's strongest recommendation, I had needed to make a visit down to Liang Court's Tampopo Deli for the scoop cake and cream puffs. Unfortunately or not, it was another of those "I want it, I must have it" moments.

I remember Harris and a couple others warning about their bake times, so I arrived at 12 sharp on a weekend, totally on a whim. Spying them from afar, I was this close to skipping there. ;P


Cream Puff ($2.60)

Baked to such a delicious brown, the cracks on top were more beautiful than not. The slightly salty pastry puff plumped up with such a generous squirt of delish vanilla bean cream, I swear if my tongue could smile..it would. Creamy, milky...smooth custard. I enjoyed every bit of the vanilla specked cream and wished this happiness would never ever end.

Have I eaten the best? ...I really think so. Tragically, Beard Papa and the likes would never be looked upon the same way again.






















Scoop Cake ($6)

I peeled off the plastic wrapper gingerly and took a lick of the cream...yes, yes yes! That's the way it really should be. Light whipped cream instead of the stiff curdled one from Takashimaya. Sponge cake so soft and moist, whipped cream so delectable...I never loved cream this much!



Banana Tart ($5) 

A new item on sale. The crispy layers of tart so fine and defined, you really can hear the insanely addictive cracking of pastry with every poke of the fork. I felt guilty ruining such an art piece. Caramelised bananas, custard and crispy tart..is what this is all about. The bananas albeit sweet were marred by the slight bitter taste which came from the burnt sugar. Still adored the crispy layers!

If Tampopo were a cream paradise, I'd gladly frolick in the foamy waves embracing this newfound love. Stick with the scoop cake, sponge cakes and cream puffs as definite palette pleasers. Mont Blanc, Strawberry Tart and...Caramel pudding tart are on the waiting list!

P.s. Ice: You needn't be punished with more cakes! ;)

Pictures taken with Nikon D5000.

Tampopo Deli
Liang Court
#B1-16

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tanjong Rhu Pau & Confectionery @ Geylang



The first encounter with Tanjong Rhu Pau goes back a couple of years when the ex-boss would buy breakfast for the department and got me and a few others to be "Dimsum Dollies", going round the office distributing these lil paus.

Largely due to location, I've never patronized their stall till an adhoc visit out of whim.



Paper boxes neatly folded...it made buying pau in quantities lesser than the box could take a heinous sin.



Trays of petites...

The staff is almost rude, if not brusque..almost as if you intruded into their routine way of doing things by making a purchase. Go after 12 if you want a fuller range of dimsum, else risk a tactless retort for arriving too early. Strangely reminiscent of the authentic service in Hongkong Teahouses.



Char Siew Pau ($0.60)

These should be heralded the smallest paus ever in dimsum history...smaller than a plump xiaolongbao at Din Tai Fung's even. Bite-size, morsel, cute...you may call it but one would need at least 5 of these to even satisfy the hunger. Now you get why people buy these in boxes.

The proportion of pau and meat is evenly distributed. Peer beyond the meat you'd get thick starchy sauce more than meat. Two bites was all I took and it was gone. Poof.

I like meat where I can see and taste it, for Tanjong Rhu Pau...it defies that, completely.

 




















Po Lo Bun ($1)


Comparatively more generous with the meat though the same 50-50 proportions come to play. It amused me knowing the ingredients are further evenly divided 50-50, one side of the bun had solely onions, the other diced char siew. Unimpressed by the bun, the sweetness of the Po Lo Bun was lost when eaten with the char siew.

Overpriced is what Tanjong Rhu Pau is for me with regards to these two items. If time or luck ever permits, the Yuan Yang Pau seems interesting! A combination of White Lotus Paste and Red Bean Paste...!

Food pictures taken with Nikon D5000.

Tanjong Rhu Pau & Confectionery
389 Guillemard Road

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Orange Clove Catering @ Botanical Gardens

Special thanks goes out to the friendly and smiley team at Neogarden who made this first ever food tasting session possible. Truth be told, I had my reservations when I first got the invite. Any prior experience with caterers have brought me on foodie adventures, from the likes of ISS and Neogarden to the more exclusive Amici and Purple Sage.

Unbeknown to me, Orange Clove is part of the Neo Group that offers more than the usual catered food fare.  More delicate, more sophisticated...and more than just a regular caterer. Move over Fried Beehoon, Deepfried Springrolls, Samosas and cream puffs, Orange Clove aims to tease and please the picky tastebuds with a newly revamped menu.



Like a wedding or a really belated Valentine's Day celebration, the cordial invited session was. Posies, candlelights, Botanical gardens, rose petals scattered all over..romance was in the air, quite nearly. The only things missing were perhaps a bride and groom to complete this make believe session.






















I almost suspected it was a bridal themed party given the location and setting.

The menu of the night...



DIY Salad

DIY Salad Bar, easy to make in fact without the tossing bowl. A nicely concocted salad sauce drizzled upon a bed of greens...throw in some croutons, cucumbers, baby tomatoes...a personal favourite!

Potato Salad

Roasted baby potatoes.


Spring Sushi Platter

Gorgeous looking platter.


Deluxe Canapes

Nibblers that are show stoppers, these look way too cute for the table.

Care for some cream puff egg mayo sandies? Innovative way of marrying cream puff with savory fillings.

Mushroom Buschettas that could do with a bit more spice and toasting.


Prawn salad shooters that could do with a bit more punch.


Assorted Sausage Platter
Honey Chicken

Bite-sized portions makes for easy eating!



Pan-fried Snapper with Miso Butter Sauce

Shaped like rose buds, these were paired with asparagus. 


Penne Pasta with Chicken, Mushroom & Pesto

Time for some carb intake...


Assorted French Pastries
Lemon Meringue, Strawberry Tart, Cheesecake

Pity these were snatched up so quick, I barely had time to react. Those who sampled declared it scrummily delicious.

Wedding Cupcakes! Marshmellow fondant based cupcakes with the Orange Clove logo imprinted on top, the fondant was way too sweet. Peel off the sweet to reveal a moist chocolate chip cupcake. I had at least two of these!

Mango Pudding with Fruit Toppings

Way too watery and sweet.

Fruit Punch 






Adore the idea of macarons doubling up as door gifts. Tiny pops of sugar.These were crafted too soft, the shells fell apart upon touch though props has to be given for a decent attempt on these.



To top it all off, Red and Whites were part of the session...almost like Yum Seng? Orange Clove does complimentary wine tastings at its partner company, Wine Mansion. Felt the red and white was too acidic for me, albeit a rather unassuming first sip..the potency kicked in almost instantaneously.

For the more adventurous couples, Orange Clove does events on board their prestigious fleet!

And there the night ended amidst the revelry and excitement of lucky draws and laughter, almost like a wedding..indeed.

 www.orangeclove.com.sg

Pictures taken with Nikon D5000.