Friday, April 21, 2017

Kyoyo Shoku Akatsuki 京洋食 あかつき @ Shibuya Hikarie : Kakigori and other Japanese desserts

Friends were looking for a dessert place after Okonomiyaki dinner at Shibuya Hikarie and I suggested Akatsuki, a Japanese-western fusion restaurant that serves Kakigori in its desserts menu. This is actually very rare as most Japanese restaurants, especially those located in department stores, usually offer predictable sweets like parfaits, ice cream or pudding. Everything but Kakigori.  I've always wanted to try the unique pumpkin miso Kakigori but it was unavailable as guessed since pumpkin is likely a seasonal flavor.

Nonetheless, I was delighted to find Kurogoma Kinako on the menu. The kurogoma flavor was present but the intensity might not satisfy avid sesame fans. I could barely remember tasting any kinako. I preferred the special matcha Kakigori, which uses matcha from Marukyu Koyamaen and served with a big scoop of matcha ice cream. The texture of the ice was very fine and melted effortless in the mouth. One person could easily finish this as it wasn't too big.

The Houjicha Pudding was robust and tasty as well, though some found the bitter caramel sauce rather overpowering. Overall, the desserts here are reasonably priced except for the two puny scoops of ice cream that cost \420. Delicious, but one might be better off at an ice cream parlour. One of my friends said that the food here is pretty good and I will definitely be back to check it out when I'm in the area.

東京都渋谷区渋谷2-21-1 渋谷ヒカリエ6F
11am-5pm (lunch) 5pm-11pm (dinner)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Delifucius : Premium fish burgers by sushi chef

 Fucking delicious?

Well, not quite there yet but I must say the fish burgers here at Delifucious are delicious. Opened barely for a month, Delifucius has become the next hot spot in Nakameguro where one can find artisanal beer, cheese and pizzas. Delifucius means delicious + fucking, and it sells unique fish burgers which you can’t find elsewhere. And who could have been so upfront and confident in his food? Someone who has been dealing with fish, of course.

Monday, April 17, 2017

厨菓子くろぎ Kuriya Kashi Kurogi : Excellent MUST TRY Kakigori Hidden in Tokyo University

 WOW! How can Kakigori ever taste SO GOOD?

I was almost rendered speechless upon the first taste of the Kuromitsu Kinako Kakigori at this new Wagashi cafe that opened in May 2014. It is the sister café of high end Japanese restaurant Kurogi and strategically located right in Tokyo University aka Todai. Here, one can find modernized wagashi in stylish presentation which they call "artisanal works". Given that Kurogi is said to be one of the best ryoriya in town, one can expect standards of the sweets here to be no less remarkable.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Mercer Brunch @ Roppongi : Back for Uni Omelette

And so I went back to Mercer Brunch as Miss K. wanted to try the Uni Omelette, which is only available at the Roppongi outlet. Since I love uni and omelette too, I thought why not? 

The Uni & Scallop Omelette with Uni Cream sauce (1600yen) is found under the Homemade Bread Brunch Section, together with Lobster & Fresh Tomato Omelette with Lobster Cream Sauce (1600 yen). Eventually, we ordered both as the omelette serving was considerably small. Similar to omurice, the omelette is soft, semi-runny on the inside but rather salty. So that's when the bread comes into the picture. Just like the French Toast, the bread rolls were excellently fluffy and delicious for mopping up the sauces. But I can imagine myself having them alone with the butter. 

Ok, I almost forgot that the main star is the omelette. Both Uni and Lobster scream indulgence and it is hard to pick one if you ask me again. The Lobster Omelette tastes like lobster bisque with subtle sweetness from the tomatoes while the Uni Omelette has a more robust umami, slightly briny flavor typical of sea urchin. 

So take your pick and you will unlikely be disappointed 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pariya vs Sadaharu Aoki : Seasonal Ice Cream Treats

The weather in Tokyo has been cranky lately but this can't stop one from having ice cream. Thanks to my makan kaki, I learnt about S.Aoki's seasonal edition matcha glacé, which took me by surprise because his only frozen confectionaries so far are the glacé sandwiches.

For ¥401, the order comes with 2 balls of matcha ice cream which are thick, dense but still had a strong white chocolate taste amidst the green camouflage.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi : Another Pastry Jewel in Tokyo

If anyone sells a parfait for 2500 yen ($31) in Singapore, I bet nobody will buy it.
But here at Patisserie Asako Iwayanagi, almost every customer is willing to splurge on a 2500-yen parfait.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Schokoladen burg : Karuizawa Chocolate Factory

The streets were cloaked in white snow and the temperatures fell below zero degree Celsius. We were walking along the old Ginza streets of Karuizawa (not Tokyo yah?) that looked like a ghost town as there was barely any people or shop that is opened for business. Honestly I regretted subjecting my family and myself to such cold brutal winds by travelling all the way to Karuizawa, a 2.5-hour Shinkansen ride from Tokyo. I know, it's a place where most people head for summer retreat and winter skiing. But there was no turning back since we've trekked half-way on the cold pavement. Everything looked bleak until we chanced upon a chocolate factory.

CHOCOLATE FACTORY?!?! Did I read wrongly?

A chocolate factory not in London, Australia but in Japan? I immediately crossed the road and headed for the red house. All I want was a hot cuppa of chocolate, a cup that could thaw my frozen face and limbs. Our wish was granted. I had the rich frothy cocoa drink that wasn't overly sweet, along with the 2 little squares of chocolate in matcha and champagne flavor.

Those wickedly pricy treats were one of the best I've ever had; they melted gradually under the heat of the palates, leaving behind a cacao breath to behold. The dine-in menu was limited to the standards beverages like coffee, tea and a dessert--a chocolate Bavarian, became an oddity on the list. It was a long wait before the drinks and Bavarian mousse arrived as the duo (an old man and a younger one) took their own sweet time to prepare the stuff even though there were no customers.

I would probably be irritated if this was summer. But the plunging temperatures outside encouraged us to linger on. And now I finally understand why chocolate is exceptionally charming during winter.

Schokoladen burg 軽井沢チョコレート館
〒389-0100  長野県北佐久郡軽井沢町軽井沢4-2
10am-6pm daily

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Crisscross Omotesando : Triple Sakura Pancakes

Crisscross Omotesando, one of the cafes under Tyler's Group has launched the seasonal Triple Sakura Pancakes (1500 yen), a trio of buttermilk pancakes layered with white bean paste that's mixed with salted Sakura petals and draped in a rich Sakura Sauce. The presence of Sakura was evident and not too sweet at all. However, the texture of buttermilk pancakes bordered on the average and reminded me of McDonald's Hotcakes.

As one order (either drinks or food) per person is required, we deliberated over the menu and picked the Omelette Sandwich (1300 yen) eventually. The bread comes from Breadwork, it's sister bakery next door, but sadly it was not toasted. The sandwich tasted strange due to the jarring presence of orange marmalade jam. There's a light spread of mayonnaise and chives within the egg layers but nothing particularly special other than that.

Crisscross Omotesando
107-0062 東京都港区南青山5-7-28
8am-9pm daily

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Gomaya Kuki ごまやくき: World's richest black sesame ice cream

That's another marketing slogan that sounds familiar because Suzuki-en ya has used it before. Opened on 12th March 2017, Gomaya Kuki is a tiny café in Omotesano that sells 6 flavors of gelato revolving around black and white sesame. The shop is a collaboration between traditional sesame producer 九鬼 and favy gourmet group. Needless to say, the shop uses the sesame oil and sesame from 九鬼.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Atelier Kohta : Atas Plated Desserts at Kagurazaka

Tasty desserts but I'm not convinced or crazily impressed.

It was more like a dessert showmanship at L'atelie Kohta, a dessert cum patisserie in Kagurazaka which have had positive reviews on tabelog. It's one of the places on my list but not of any high priority because I actually left empty handed after visiting the shop once after realizing that none of the cakes attracted me. I know it's not very accurate to judge by looks but I guess it was that sixth sense that prompted me to stay away from them. Maybe I should give the counter desserts a chance. After all, this place is more popular for the counter desserts with so many pictures of Chef Kohta setting an orange peel on fire for his Crepe Suzette.

And alas I did.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Bondolfi Boncafe : Sakura Aragosta Soft Serve

To spring and all things beautiful.

While people were chasing after Sakura bloom, I was busy catching the limited edition Sakura theme food. Bondolfi Boncafe is a famous Italian Coffee brand that was established since 1855 and its 6th generation owners opened its first Japan outlet right in Tenoha Daikanyama. It has launched its own Sakura menu and the most sought after item is the Sakura Aragosta Soft Serve (600 yen).

I've always wanted to check out its Espresso Aragosta Soft Serve so this was a good opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. The Sakura Soft Serve was pretty sweet at first but I gradually grew to love the pickled taste that sung with alacrity in the creamy swirl. Perhaps because we tasted the Sakura first, the Espresso was lighter but rather bland. It should be called coffee and not espresso. There's nothing except for a mound of custard cream inside the flaky shell but it wasn't lonely with the generous serving of soft serve. As for the Sakura Latte (550 yen), it was too sweet and overpriced.

Daily 10am-9pm

Friday, March 31, 2017

MODE Cafe Gamin Tokyo : Playing a Prank on French Food


If you think an egg sandwich can never be more than just two pieces of bread sandwiched with fried/scrambled eggs, wait till you see and taste the Souffle sandwich at MODE Cafe Gamin, a casual French bistro-cafe opened by celebrity chef Takemasa Kinoshita He runs Au Gamin De Tokio, a highly popular French Teppanyaki and fine-dining restaurant that serves non-conventional French food like Foie Gras Eclair and Shirako Gratin. This isn't anything strange for "Gamin" means "prank, mischief" in French.

With so many acclaims under his belt, I decided to check out his MODE Cafe since prices are also much more affordable. One of the signature dishes here is the Fuwa-Fuwa Souffle Sando, a massive stack of wobbly Souffle omelette barely covered with the white toasts. All of us went "Wow" at the impressive size and this isn't a sandwich that you can eat with two hands.

Doused lavishly with cheese sauce, the Souffle omelette lived up to its name of "fuwa-fuwa" with its tender, delicate texture. The texture resembled an in-between of a Souffle cake and Chinese chye Poh omelette  but absence of any greasiness.

Unlike typical rich western style sauces, the cheese sauce here was probably mixed with dashi and thus the overall dish wasn't overwhelmingly heavy at all. Highly recommended to those like me who loves to suss out the yummy egg sandwiches in Tokyo,  though the bread could have been further toasted. This is a classic.

Our desserts that followed did not disappoint at all. In fact, I came here all because of the Custard French Toast Cube (¥800) . I've had all sorts of French Toasts but yet one that oozes cream like a cream puff. Prepared fresh in the open kitchen on a cast-iron pan, the toast was superbly aromatic with crispy sturdy edges. The bread was soft but yet not so overly soaked till wimpy. Drizzle over the caramel mocha sauce (choice of this or the milk cheese sauce) and there's the delicious plate of humble toast that created some brilliant bittersweet moments

On the other hand, the Burnt Butter Souffle Pancakes (¥800) were rather disappointing as there was barely any cream flow which contradicts the description of the menu. I wonder if they had changed the recipe because the pancake did not bear any resemblance to a Souffle. Maybe this is all a prank like the name of this place. Nonetheless the richer, nuttier fragrance of the burnt butter still made this pretty irresistible and enjoyable.

There's also a patisserie section inside the cafe and I have high hopes for the pastries as well since they have a in-house patissier. Cheeky, creative without compromising on flavors, I like to see if the chef and his team will be playing any more mischief with the food next time.

MODE CAFE since 2014
東京都渋谷区恵比寿3-28-3 CASA PIATTO1F
11am-11pm daily

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Seng Yan Charcoal Traditional Toast @ Sin Ming Road : 传统炭烤面包 MUST TRY

Ya Kun, Wangz Toast, Good Morning Nanyang. These are probably familiar names for your kopi and roti fix. Few would have heard of Seng Yan Charcoal Traditional Toast @ Sin Ming Road. It's been around since the times when my maternal grandparents started their tailor shop and my parents started their stone shop in the old Lakeview shophouses at Upp Thomson Road. That place was where my aunts, mother and I grew up in and also where Seng Yan used to be located.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Matchaya @ The Cathay : New Outlet with Expanded Dessert Menu

I used to lament at the shortage of authentic and quality Japanese dessert places in Singapore. Hoshino? Maccha House? Nana? Well, even though they originate from Japan, the standards belonged to the average cafe quality and nothing much outstanding.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bossi Ban Mian @ Serangoon Gardens

Discovered a relatively new Ban Mian stall at Serangoon Gardens recently and I learnt later that this is run by a young hawker. There are 5 options (dry/soup) and the most expensive one does not hit more than $5.50 for the prawn ban mian.

Since customers are allowed to change their noodles, we chose Ee-mian for the soup and the combination, to us, was better than having ban Mee soup. Ikan billis is served separately in a small dish to retain its crispness.

I had most of the dry Ban Mian ($4), served in a pretty special blend of dark soy sauce that stood out from the usual dry noodles. The noodles were slightly firmer than Mee Pok with nice chewy bites. The sweet-savory taste was strong and I was pleasantly surprised to see chye por (dried radish) in the bowl. Even the minced meat are well-marinated into a dark reddish brown with a delectably dry crispness to them. That said, I was expecting sunny-side egg as shown on the menu but it was a semi-boiled egg served in the side bowl of soup. Nonetheless, it is still quite different from the usual ban mian we have elsewhere and I think it is one of the stalls worth trying if you are in Serangoon gardens market.

Bossi Ban Mian
49A Serangoon Garden Way 01-18
Thurs-Mon 9am-9pm
Tues 9am-3pm
Closed on Wed

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lime Restaurant @ PARKROYAL on Pickering : New Afternoon Tea Menu with Local Twist

Lime Restaurant at PARKROYAL on Pickering has recently revamped its "Tiers of Joy" afternoon tea menu which interweaves more local flavors into the bite-sized selection. Out goes the classic sandwiches and in comes interesting fusion items include the Expression of Nasi Lemak, a ball of coconut rice coated in crushed peanuts with a dab of sambal Chilli at the base. It tasted almost like having nasi lemak except that the grains were rather dry and crumbly. The Peking Duck Duxelles Profiteroles were mildly sweet fillings of tender duck meat in a choux shell. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Shop Wonderland Cafe @ Telok Ayer : Sweet English Tea Cakes and a Popcorn Matcha Latte?

Chanced upon this neon pink cafe that was bustling with lunchtime crowd as my colleague and I were looking for a nice cafe for coffee and tea. We never notice its existence right next to Sarnies and a Google search revealed that this is a new cafe that adds to the list of hipster cafes in this area. Its floral studio sits on the 2nd floor where floral classes are conducted.

Apart from the list of beverage menu on the wall, the first thing that caught my eye was an elegant display of cakes. Not those artisanal French entremets sitting pretty in a chiller, but rustic English tea cakes in room temperature. Both the Rose Raspberry Pistachio ($8) and White Chocolate Passionfruit Coconut ($8) were fragrant and moist but probably too sweet that I couldn't really catch the flavors. The white cake didn't speak the language of coconut expressively except the layer of frosting topped with coconut shavings. As for the Rose, the rosy pink cream cheese frosting tasted mostly of.......cream cheese after a while. 

For the beverages, I had the Popcorn Matcha Latte ($7.50) as the Matcha Latte was sold out. Thankfully it wasn't some latte topped with popcorn. It still resembled Matcha Latte except for the additional blend of roasted rice which made it more aromatic than an average Matcha Latte. I enjoyed this drink but it should really go low on the sugar, just like the cakes. Overall, this place is a good option for sugar rush in the Telok Ayer area but note that prices are not cheap. Budget $14 ++ for a drink and a cake. 

134 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068600
Mon-Sat 8am-6pm

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