Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Jackson Plan : Can British Plan?

This is British Gastrobar that has been received mostly good reviews so far. So I was quite eager to go for a try. Looking at the pigtails, scotch eggs,chicken liver mousse, to black puddings, they really offer quite a unconventional selection. Some said that to be prepared for a high cholesterol meal when one visits The Jackson Plan.

Clearly, you can't find any trace of Italian or French cuisine here. It's really the kind of comfort hearty rich British food that reminds me of Jamie Oliver.
The service was apt and the ambience is like an old school style. Very simple but quite 舒服。perhaps because we were the only ones there on a quiet wkday, it was as though we booked the entire place for our makan trip...hehe:)
Starters 一人一个 感情不会散
We ordered one to share. Just nice there were 3 of each.

The crab cake is nicely seasoned and crunchy with the onions inside.

However, I would prefer if the entire is pan fried longer so that the outer layer is much golden brown and crispy. So for the quality and size, I think this dish is overpriced.

Main: Fisherman Pie

This was recommended in many reviews and so I went for it. Those that crave comfort food will definetely not miss this. The mash potato layer is soft inside but crispy at the top. What's more, it has been mixed with cheese....oozy goodness. That's why the mash had so much flavour.

The filling of salmon and prawns were quite generous too.

I am not too confident of it's freshness but most of the fish chunks were baked nicely. However, the prawns were overcooked and way too hard to chew.Like a rubber, probably because the size of the prawns are small, tiger prawns were not used.nonetheless, it was quite an enjoyment to have this dish.
Berkshire Pork Cheeks with White Bean Casserole

The pork cheeks were very soft and tender. It was weird to see a pork dish being covered in white sauce. But the taste was good. Could not really taste anything particularly strong from the cream.

There is a lump of pureed watercress or some veggies. It looks odd as well but it had a natural sweetness to it. The mash potato was totally different from the fisherman's pie as it was lighter and less savory. But still creamy and soft. There were also beetroots in the dish so overall I still find the looks of this dish rather strange. Pink, white, green and red or meaty red??
Beef shin with bone marrow and potato cakes

Wah... Was my reaction when I saw the pinkish red beef shin. Not that it is uncooked but this was the first time that I see a thoroughly cooked beef that had the reddish brown colour of char Siew.

The potato cakes were great. Taste like savory pancakes that are toasted just right. The beef shin is again so fork tender and I like that better than some beef stew. The shin had a little fats here and there that literally melts in your mouth.

My companion was adventurous to choose this as none of us had actually tried bone marrow. But ooh...this is so buttery fatty and rich. I think supposed to pair with potato cakes because it is like what my friend said, eating butter. Nope, should be that kind of lightly salted butter. There were some sour capers to balance the richness but I think the creaminess will just linger on......But an interesting dish.

Desserts....we were already bloated as we did not expect the mains to be so filling. We wiped
all plates clean. Hah...but of cos desserts are a must for greedy people like us.
Faquhar Mess
Meringue with Whipped cream, Gula Melaka and Mangoes

This was an Asian twist of the classic Eton Mess. The portion came larger than expected but it was oh so good. The heavy cream was whipped till less than the usual soft peaks and covered the mangoes below. I could not really taste the gula Melaka that clearly as the whole pot was sweet, including the mangoes. The cream was sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon but the taste of the obvious.

But each spoonful literally just melt in your mouth. No need any effort to chew.

Eccles Cake with Homemade Rum and raisin ice cream

Hmm....this was a hot and cold pairing. The puff pastry contained mincemeat(marinated dried fruits) that would most commonly be eaten during Xmas. The pastry was baked really crispy and good. But I just find that the ice cream was nothing awesome. Rather than rum and raisin, it was just simply vanilla ice cream with dried raisins. I could not taste the rum in the raisins and they were not soaked till plump.

And for the portion of the 2 Eccles cake, I think they can afford to give bigger scoop as the size of that day's ice cream seem rather pathetic.

In all, given that most food there was something that I have not tried before, I think it seems like a exotic food journey. Of cos, our options were rather safe, as we did not try the unusual pigtails or black puddings(猪血糕) There is not many places like this in Singapore I guess so it is difficult to compare standards. But nonetheless, it was a satisfying and enjoyable rustic gourmet experience.


The Jackson Plan
40 Duxton Hill Singapore
For Menu: http://www.thejacksonplan.com/index.php




and not to forget the sweet treats i received that day from 两位美女.....
Assorted Colourful Crackers from Thai

Chocolate Okashi=)

Thanks;)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cake over Heels



This is a shop that actually specialises in wedding cakes and big birthday cakes. So I guess we cannot really find exquisite individualized cakes but sliced cakes made from a whole one here. Upon reading that the chefs were from 1-Caramel, I wanted to try out to see how similar or how different they are. Actually, the strawberry cake below resembles the one at 1-caramel, but the rest not at all.

Earl Grey Strawberry Cake

This is their signature tall cake. The moist soaked sponge layers are sandwiched with light pink earl grey cream and strawberries. I would prefer if the Earl grey taste is stronger and the ratio of cream: cake to be higher as I am a cream person. But actually I think the cream is sufficient to most people.

One good thing is that the cake layer is very moist and not sweet at all. It was a pity that the millefeuille flakes coated around the cake was no longer very crunchy due to their contact with the moist cream. Or perhaps the flakes were not toasted enough.

The Mango Pomegrenate Cake

Had this about 2 months after I tried the above strawberry cake. This time, it recalled memories of the Earl grey one above as the sponge layers are very similar, except that the mango here has less cream. but I don't think the name should include pomegranate because i could not find it anywhere in the cake except 3 tiny pieces on top of the cake as decoration?

The base is a crunchy puff pastry layer but this one was crispier than the Strawberry Cake. But there was a sweet glaze between the last cake layer and the puff pastry that makes the bottom little too sweet.

However, the spongy moist cake layer here left a deeper impression than the Earl Grey Strawberry one, perhaps because this time round it was softer. This is definitely a better choice than Mooshi's Mango Custard Cake because both the cream and cake is more superior in quality than the latter. You can tell when you tried both.

Oreo Mud Pie

Besides their 2 signature cakes, they also sell others like this one. A very straightforward cake with cream cheese sandwiched between two chocolate brownie like layer. I have not seen something like this for quite some time except on tv food shows. It was quite interesting looking and decided to give it a try.

Warmed it up in microwave as I think the textures will be softer ad the taste stronger. Not a whole block of cold hard cake. And yeps, the chocolate layer was especially rich moist, like a brownie. The cheese layer was a good balance to this because it was not sweet at all:) As this is rather rich and creamy, I would recommend the tarts here as the crust is really good. Crumby and not too thin or thick.

Lemon Meringue Tart

The tangy lemon curd suits my preference for a sour lemon tart. The thickeness of the filling is just right and can contrast with the marshmallow like meringue. It may look very normal or predictable but I prefer this to Pique Nique's lemon chiffon pie because this has less sugar and the filling really is curd, and not some very light mousse.
Baked Chocolate Tart

Chocolate tart lovers should try this besides the usual ganache cream filled version to know how this is different. It is not pudding but a really much soft cakey like chocolate filling in the crust. Yet you won't fill too full as if it is a baked choc pound cake. It was bittersweet and tastes better again after warming it up.

(The Straits Times wrote that they do supply this choc tart to The Plain Cafe)
Mascarpone Eclair($2.70)

This is a value for $$ eclair as the filling of marscarpone cheese already cost quite a lot for those who uses it for tiramisu. It is not too sweet and the porportion to the choux was just nice. The choux pastry was not much diff from the rest but acceptable.

Macarons:
The 1st & 2nd time I went there, there is only 1 kind of Macaron. This green coconut dusted Macaron with passionfruit filling.
The crust is fragile and light. The passionfruit buttercream did also taste of passionfruit but not as sour as the real fruit.


It was great to see more selection now.
Blueberry (the one in blue), Chocolate (green one) and Peanut Butter (white one)

They all tasted like what they should be(luckily it was not blueberry jam but cream filling for the blueberry Macaron) and my favourite is the Peanut Butter. No reason just personal preference.

Waffle and Chocolate Brioche Bun

I appreciate their effort to wrap evey waffle and bun with plastic wrap so maintain it's freshness. Warmed both of them in the oven and it tastes really good. The waffle is not chao tar but just a darker colour which I prefer rather than a light yellow one. It had cinnamon smell but tasted like a denser packed plain waffle. Chewy but not hard.

The choc Brioche is very tender and cake because perhaps due to the high amount of eggs used. It tastes diff from a typical chop chip bread in most bakeries.

There are also Cake Pops!

There is the blueberry with white chocolate coating cake pop and double dark chocolate cake pop. Those who have tried Starbucks version you will know what a cake pop is.

Very cute looking cupcakes which I had not tried

Nonetheless, for the quality, I think it is worth trying their 2 fruit cream cakes and other pastries that you like. They are located behind Ai Tong Sch and I think it is a good thing that such cake shops have opened in that area because somehow I find them lacking.

And perhaps because of it's location, the prices are more划算than others in prime districts:)The lady who is one of the co-owner of the shop is very friendly and offers sincere service and so it somehows make you appreciate the cakes even more.

Cake Over Heels
26 Sin Ming Lane
#01-115 Midview City

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Slurp! 森永牛乳プリン & Muji お菓子

Puddings are actually a favorite of many people that I know. Here are two of the new puddings in store that you can actually slurp without chewing!

 Sakuramochi Pudding($3.20)
This one is very sweet but yet extremely soft. Does not really have a strong sakura flavor but luckily they did not turn this into a strawberry one. Quite special but I could not find any mochi inside the pudding although it's called sakuramochi.

My guess is that the mochi powder may be added into it already, and thus it is more chewy or glutinous than the original one.

プレミアム牛乳プリン premium milk pudding ($3.20)
1.5x Richer.Use of Heavy Cream
This one is the better of the two. Although it is the richer and creamier version of the original version,it is not like a panna cotta...more like in the middle of a jelly and a panna cotta.

ロングセラー 「森永 牛乳プリン」のおいしさはそのままに、1.5倍量*の牛乳を使用した、濃厚なプレミアムタイプの牛乳プリンです。*「森永 牛乳プリン」と比べて

Quite sweet still but good for a once in a while after dinner indulgence. Try having this instead of ice cream. Definitely a healthier choice. I like the bright red packaging. Lights up your day!

Muji New Snacks
Got some vouchers so used them on muji snacks since I also like to check out its snacks even though I do not buy them sometimes.

Half Baked Castella

Last year in Tokyo there were so many people queueing up for a new item called half baked cheese cake. I bought one entire cake back to Singapore and the taste was so 绵密.when u cut through it the cake just sticks to your knife.
And when I saw a similar but alot cheaper castella (sponge cake) version of it here, I was delighted.

does it look like your shower cap(洗头帽)?
Although it is not cheese flavored, the texture is still like the one I had. But somehow I find it slightly sweeter. This is a really unique cake and I stil don't know the baking procedures behind this that gives it it's name 半熟。

Of course it cannot match the freshness and taste of those sold at depato but it is an economical afternoon snack nonetheless.

This one is a baked tart, so entirely dry and no cream at all. I find the green tea filling too sweet and the pastry tart was slightly soggy and so not to my liking.
The red beans are just,I guess,a conventional pair with matcha.


Lastly,this is a mini version of the very popular Baumkuchen cake. It tastes so moist and sticky after warming up. The caramel layer is limited to only the top but it lacks the bitterness of a good caramel. You can still find the distinct rings that makes it looks like tree logs. A very rich dense pound-cake-like snack.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not Hatched Yet

A lot of people have tried this and the reviews are rather mixed. Overall the experience is not too bad but considering the location price and quality of the food, there is not much interest to return.

It is a cafe located in suburbs area serving all day breakfast. The menu is cute and the names are creative but I am afraid it is a little 有名无实。
We went on a Sunday evening and the place was more than half full. But anyway the place does not have many seats either. Be prepared to share tables with other people if u are seated on a longer sch bench.

Shall talk about the better stuff first.
Oozy Baked Eggs ($10)
Eggs count: 2
This dish was savoury and cheesy. And the portion was fortunately bigger than what thought as 2 pathetic eggs in a muffin tray. Because it is in a deep transparent dish,you can guess that there are much more to just baked eggs inside:)but it seems as though they just cover it with a slice of kraft cheddar cheese that kids like to eat before placing it into the oven for it to melt.

A scoop of the fillings with tomato bacon mushrooms onions and egg yolk
 I would prefer if the egg yolks are soft and runny. Not cooked to this stage.

Smoked Royale ($12)
Poached egg, smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce on Half an English muffin.
With salad and homemade mash.
Egg Count: 1

Well for one egg at $12 and 2 eggs at $18, I think it is more expensive than cafe hacienda at Dempsey hill. The latter gives 2 similar ones at $13.50. Again, no service charge for both. Nothing very wow about the taste. Just your simple meal that features eggs.

The Sleepover ($8)
Thick Slices of sweet Brioche Toasts soaked in eggs
Egg Count : 2?
Disappointing. 名字那样好听,出来看到两片白面包配煎鸡蛋,哪里会sweet?  I thought it would be really rich in taste and golden brown in appearance but it is as though the bread is simply covered both sides with eggs. The bread does not seemed to be soaked in any egg juices before as it is white when you cut into it. Well, at least there is the old reliable maple syrup which can salvage the dish a little.

Tortilla Espanole ($12)
thick? Spanish Omelette filled with fried potatoes, capsicum, onions and tomatoes
Egg Count: ???

This was the last to be served. Look at the huge size and it is a omelette. I thought the chef forgot to fold the whole thing into half before serving because it does not look like the usual western or Japanese style of half folded omelette. 不是该像蛋包饭的蛋而不是菜圃蛋吗?就算是菜圃蛋卖相和味道也更好。

The taste is rather plain but if u are a healthy eater there is no need to add salt. The white toast is hidden below the giant omelette.This dish focuses on the quantity instead of the quality.

Papillote ($14)
Scrambled Eggs, Smoked Salmon, Served with Sauteed Potatoes, Caramelised Onions, Baked Tomato 

This one is their signature. Surprisingly the smoked salmon is less salty than the usual ones. The scrambled eggs Could be creamier. The bread here are toasted but I find it a little chewy and hard rather than crispy or fragrant. The white chive cream is really too little to accompany the whole dish. I think they can afford to give more for this price.

Cheese Toastie ($4)
Egg count: 0

The kids menu is really limited to about 3 dishes. But yet the quality is rather sad. Look at the picture and you know you can remake that at home. Even breadtalk cheese buns are cheaper and better than this.
Given that nowadays kids have much bigger appetite....这个嘛。。。

They consider pancakes as dessert in the menu ( not shown on the board here) but I do not agree. So I ordered 2 from the 黑板。

Panna Cotta ($8)
that wasn't unmold well
The panna cotta was acceptable and really milky. Paired well with the super thick and tangy blueberry sauce.

一个失败的巧克力熔岩蛋糕.....
What a pity and waste of $6 for chocolate fondant

As for the chocolate molten cake, it was a failure. I wonder if this was pre-made and frozen as u can taste that the insides are colder than the outside. But the worst thing is that there is no lava flowing out at all. It is just as though u are eating a moist brownie that is also very sweet.

Don't mistake the chocolate sauce for the lava.....the sauce was drizzled on top of the cake.
Conclusion: It's either they did not use good quality chocolate or that they've added too much sugar or that this cake is store bought and heated upon order.
They did not change their menu online here. And so there are fewer breakfast choices but slightly more main courses like pasta and stews. I'm not sure if it is their strategy to target a wider audience but from reading the reviews by others,the quality of the food here is rather inconsistent.

Hmm...Maybe they should focus more on their original concept of breakfast and eggs??
After all their name is "hatched" right?

Hatched
26 Evans Road, Evans Lodge (Nearest MRT Newton)
http://www.hatched.sg/
Daily except Mon
No GST or Service Charge
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