Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Slappy Cakes : Pancakes that Slap Me Awake!

Pancakes for breakfast has been a long thing of the past. Now, we can not only have it anytime of the day, but create our own! Established since 2009 in America, Slappy Cakes have finally arrived here after successive outlets at Hawaii, Tokyo and Manila. 

This is the third restaurant unveiled by Tung Lok Group at the Grandstand, after its successful launch of Tung Lok Xihe Peking Duck and Modern Asian Diner (MAD)

Here, you do not DIY but MYO, meaning Make-Your-Own pancakes using built-in griddles at the table with chosen tubes of batter. The non-stick griddle suggests that no oil is required at all! So here is how it works at Slappy:

Step 1: pick your batter-- Buttermilk/Whole Grain/Chocolate/Zucchini/Peanut Butter ($8 each)
Step 2: Pick some fixings

On the opening night, we tried the crispy bacon, blueberries, chocolate chip, butter and banana. Other choices include: Assorted berries/ Sea Coconut/ Granola/Almonds/ Hazelnuts/ blue cheese/Brie/cheddar/bacon/ham/chopped scallions.

Prices of sweet fixings start from $1.50 while savoury ones start from $2
Lavender Fizzy Drink
Step 3:  the toppings ($1.50-$3)
We had the 100% maple syrup and lemon curd. But there are many more interesting flavours such as coconut peanut butter, Greek yoghurt and lavender honey.

So time for fun! I started squeezing chocolate batter and whole grain batter on the heated griddle. One thing great about Slappy Pancakes is that you can do anything outrageous with your pancakes. Instead of usual round pancakes, I made a Spongebob (if you can tell...haha:D)

And I loved my pancakes crispy instead of round and fluffy. So I spent a longer time cooking the batter and flattening it like roti prata (see the dark brown "spongebob" on the right).

But if you are aspiring to be a professional pancake master, then the classic round pancakes (left) would impress anyone!

My friend who did an amazing job with her Chocolate Chips Banana Pancakes (she's a great fan of bananas) and Maple Bacon Pancakes. We initially thought that the selling point of Slappy Cakes is the fun of MYO but it is particular about the flavours as well. Our pancakes taste delicious, which means that the recipe of the pre-mixed batter must be good.

Our top 3 favourite batter were Wholegrain, Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

Waiting patiently for our Nth number of pancake to be cooked......

As much as I like to recommend some delicious combination, I think it is better for you to try and make your favourite flavour. One tip: the chocolate batter is quite sweet on its own so it can do without much adornments.
And with the pleasant buttery aroma of pancakes, rest assure that you won't smell like you just walked out from a barbecue house after the meal!

Slappy Cakes
The Grandstand
200 Turf Club Road (Inside MAD)
Singapore 287994

Tel: 6465 1814
Check out their facebook page for latest updates! 
*Special thanks to Christabel for the invite

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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thye Moh Chan: Traditional Teochew Mooncake

Are you looking forward to the upcoming mooncake festival? My first mooncake this year is not the usual lotus paste mooncake but is the Tau Sar Piah Mooncake from Thye Moh Chan 泰茂栈, a 老字号 (classic icon) that has been making traditional Teochew flaky Tau Sar Piah since 1943.

Though this is the first time I am trying Thye Moh Guan's Tau Sar Piah since it became a part of Breadtalk Group, they are still as delicious and no wonder it has been so popular over the years =D
 There are a total of five flavours, in addition to the traditional teochew mooncake.

The classic versions are of course their sweet and savoury piah. The mung bean filling which was made from scratch is so aromatic and smooth. I was surprised to find salted egg yolks in both flavours!

Another interesting flavour is the Double Delight: red bean paste and a sticky winter melon filling with melon seeds & dried orange peel. The white sesame seeds added a nice crunch to this mild-savoury piah that reminded me of lao po bing (wife's biscuit).

But my favourite was the Spicy Pork Floss (aka Yuan Yang 鸳鸯)! Paired together with the savoury mung bean and salted egg yolk, this novel invention is also highly suitable for those who can't take spicy food because the spice level has been balanced out by the tau sar.

I am a Teochew but this is my first time having this Traditional Teochew Mooncake. Made with white sesame, dried kumquat, five-spice powder, this has a light citrusy taste with quite firm, chewy texture due to the maltose. Not everyone may like this old school sweet so perhaps it's an acquired taste.

Nonetheless, the tau sar piah is available in regular size all-year round at their outlets and in various flavours such as cranberry, etc (the mooncakes are medium size) It's time for me to make a trip down and stock up supplies at home!

Price List:
-Teochew mooncake
 Sweet*/Salty*/Yuan Yang/Double Delight (Medium 4pcs/box) $24.80
-Durian Tau Sar Piah (Medium 4pcs/box) $35.20
-Sweet*/Salty*/Yuan Yang (Large 1 pc/box) $22.80
-Traditional Teochew Mooncake (Large 1pc/box) $18.00

*with single yolk

Thye Moh Chan 泰茂栈:

Chinatown Point
133 New Bridge Rd #01-45
Tel: 6604 8858

Parkway Parade
80 Marine Parade Rd #B1-85-87
Tel 6344 8885

Corporate Sales Enquiries:
6854 9732 (Tel) 6282 6116 (Fax)


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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Yong Kee Seafood : Go for Chao Da Bee Hoon!!

The family celebrated Father's Day or perhaps Grandfather's Day without our usual Teochew fare but at a zichar stall very famous for its Bee Hoon. Of course, it's not the long-queue Sembawang Bee Hoon but the Chao Da Bee Hoon(Burnt Vermicelli). 

Though we ordered the largest at $18, I felt it was not sufficient for 6 people as claimed. No wonder the boy who took my order said the large portion is not big and he could easily finish up the entire thing by himself.  Despite arriving early, the noodles took ages to be served but it was worth the wait. 
Golden brown crusty surface with moist beehoon hidden beneath. 
With crispy bits of pork lard on top, the plate was gone within seconds. I did not have enough of it, and peeped over to look at nearby tables to check out the portions. It seemed that one could get more by ordering 3 small size at $6 each rather than 1 large one at $18.  

The Stir Bak Choy, 奶白菜 ($10) with crispy whole dried shrimps was not a boring at all. The greens were not loaded with MSG, though it was not very healthy with that golden pork lard that I happily mistook as dried shrimps several times. Not a bad mistake I guess.  

But with only 5-6 deep battered prawns at $20, skip this mediocre and overpriced Salad Cream Prawns to save your wallet a hole.

Another dish which we would not order again is the Thai Pig Trotters ($22). We could not figure what exactly was very Thai about this except maybe the sauce, which was just plain sweet and nothing else. The meat was tender but the crackling was not as super crunchy as Simpang Bedok's version.  

But the Thai Hot and Sour soup or put it simply Tom Yam soup ($7) was very shiok! (perhaps better than many Thai restaurants). But the use of coconut milk and curry powder inside the soup did not find resonate with Old Ma, who still prefers the one at Seafood International. Well, try it and be your own judge.  

The Seafood Beancurd ($14) is napped in a sauce of light brown hue, topped with fish slices, sweet green peas and cuttlefish. The egg tofu encrusted in a brown case was more colorful than plain silky tofu. 

The Salt-steamed chicken ($12) was very much loved by the elderly. Marinated with chicken wine and steamed with ginger, strips of black fungus and wolfberries, the chicken pieces were not exactly smooth but penetrated with flavours. Not sure if the plate was brimming with collagen or chicken oil, but it must be some good chicken essence.  

Look out for this sign and you won't be lost

In short, the food here does not come cheap to me, but some dishes are indeed worth coming back again. Parking is an extreme hassle and avoid coming here on empty stomachs as waiting time might stretch a little. Best dish of the day? Definitely the Chao Da Bee Hoon:)

Yong Kee Seafood Restaurant
43 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208804
Close Every First Wed of the Month

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

C Side at Sentosa Siloso Beach

Wish to have a relaxing beach experience like Bali and Phuket but without taking the plane? C Side @ Sentosa is now opened with 5 beachfront venues offering its own distinct ambience, entertainment and F&B offerings!

Not every outlet is new. Take for example the biggest outlet, Coastes, has been around for 7 years.  But now it is spruced up with brand NEW design and a NEW open concept kitchen! Plus a NEW REVISED MENU!  
Good for:
-Food, food and food
-If you are looking for a beautiful exotic location for your wedding, birthday parties and company functions, Coastes is a highly popular option. 

Mon - Thu: 9:00 am - 11:00 pm
Fri - Sat: 9:00 am - 1:00 am
Sun: 9:00 am - 11:00 pm


Bikini Bar
For those who want to enjoy games of pool table while downing ice cold beers, head to Bikini Bar—the first bar in Singapore that has tied up with Indonesian pilsner brand Bintang.

Good for:
-Rock on to the music as the bar’s resident DJ spins the latest tunes every weekend from 2pm.
-All day screening of football, rugby, tennis tournaments
-Crazy beer promotions every last Saturday of the month!


Sand Bar
Casual, no-shoes required standing bar serving chilled beers and refreshing cocktails.

Good for:
-Thirst-quenchers after spending hours under hot sun  
-Live music fans (different bands will be playing!)

Flame: A brand new outlet and Singapore’s only beach rotisserie

Good for: famished beach goers hankering for BBQ on the go! (roast chicken, kebabs, pizzas, burgers……)

Mon-Thu: 2pm-11pm
Fri: 2pm-1am
Sat: 11am-1am
Sun: 11am-11pm

Photo: C Side
MAKAN2 : New Beach-style Hawker Stalls
Good for: those who wish to satisfy cravings of laksa, chicken rice and many other local delights.

Mon-Sun: 11am-9pm

50 Siloso Beach Walk #01-06, Singapore 099000

Come on down to C Side to experience our local beach culture with mesmerizing scenery and diverse entertainment selection! With this amazing beach getaway, no flights is necessary :) 

How to get there:
By Sentosa Express Train: Alight at Beachfront Station and walk about 5 minutes (following the direction signs)
By Car/Taxi: $2/entry + Beach Carpark $1/entry (cheaper after 5pm)


*Special thanks to Sera for the invite

**** ****

Some snapshots of food from the private media party (may not represent food from actual menu) :

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

DB Bistro Moderne : Back for Desserts!

After lunch at Pita Pan, I hopped over to DB Bistro, where I had visited three times previously, for their revamped menu. This place has always been one of my favourite dessert spots in Singapore and it still is :)

If you are thinking that the desserts here are over-priced or belong to the atas petite sized kinds that are gone in less than 3 big mouthfuls, then you might be interested to pop by here to have a look.

Out from the menu is the old Apricot Vanilla Souffle. The new angmoh pastry chef Benjamin Siwek has gone local to come up with this "Royale" Durian Soufflé ($15). This is by far, a soufflé with the most character. The fluffy mixture seems insubstantial as one digs a spoon in but the flavour fills up the mouth just like HD surround sound system echoing in every space. 

The queen fruit, mangosteen, was turned into a sorbet to accompany the durian but I was too busy with the soufflé. 

The peculiar thing is that the chocolate dessert here did not make a show. The Milk Chocolate Mousse with Peanut Brittle and Banana Ice Cream($15)did not have multiple textures even though it sounds crunchy. The base sat a rather dry brownie-like cake layer which did not help to score points. 

Another Southeast Asian inspired dessert was the Jackfruit Verrine ($15) which caused everyone's face to cringe with an extremely sour Lime Sherbet. But once you mixed it with the Coconut Tapioca and Palm Sugar, it all went down sweetly.
This was another satisfying experience and I am looking forward to the new items for the next season! And last but not least, I am grateful for the complimentary treat of db's (or aka da Bomb!!) Madeleines, which are still as light as those on my previous visit. They might be rustic bakes but once you try these, it will be difficult to find a better one!

DB Bistro Moderne Singapore
2 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay, Singapore 018972
Tel:6688 8525
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Monday, July 22, 2013

Nana's Green Tea : Modernizing Tea Drinking Culture

Since late last year, Japanese dessert cafes have mushroomed in Singapore and one of which is Nana's Green tea. Also known as the “Japanese Starbucks” and voted as the No.1 Japanese cafe brand among matcha lovers, Nana is extremely popular amongst the younger generation of tea drinkers.
Some people may confused matcha with green tea--the former is powdered green tea but the latter served commonly in Japanese restaurants is simply ocha or sencha. 

As a matcha speciality shop, what could be better than a cup of Uji Premium Matcha ($7.50)? 
The quarter-filled bowl of frothy matcha is pricey but the bitter aftertaste qualifies the tag. After all, all the green tea used here are imported from Kyoto

For those whose tastebuds are attuned to the over-sweetened Starbucks latte or mass-produced green tea milk, the Matcha Latte ($7) would not be your cuppa of drink. But I liked this brew as it did not go crazy with sugar. It was slightly bitter and milky, with a dark green suspension of foam sitting above the liquid.
From the chilled drinks selection, the Matcha Slushy Shiratama ($9-above pic) is a matcha slushy topped with matcha ice cream and mochi. It might be good to allow the ice crystals to thaw before enjoying the "slurry" texture or your taste buds may be too numbed to taste anything. Alternatively, go straight for the Matcha Shiratama Float ($9)  which is similar but more of a milkshake than a frozen drink.
Corn kernels and broccoli that gave an extra sweetness to the dish
Like any other cafe, Nana green tea also serves savoury food such as sushi rolls, rice bowls and udons. The Salmon Cream Sauce Udon ($14.80)  came with firm chewy udon swimming in a pool of soupy cream. I always wished there were more sauce for carbonara-style pasta but not this time as the amount was more than sufficient. Rest assure that the richness of the cream will not overwhelm, as it does not cling and coat the udon.

The best dish of the day was none other than their specialty matcha desserts--Parfaits. Like many others, I am often guilty of comparing Japanese food in Singapore to those in Japan. But the huge parfaits here were pure decadence, and admittedly better than Kyo Hayashi.
Matcha Gateaux Chocolate Parfait $13.80 
Starting from a brownie-like green tea cake that looked like this cake from Patisserie La Vie Douce, the red bean paste and delicate whipped cream, I conquered happily into matcha and vanilla ice cream, colliding occasionally with crunchy cornflakes. Stranded in sweetness, there was no end so to speak, until I reached the bottom of kanten jelly with matcha syrup. Every ingredient was fresh, especially the chewy kanten jelly that was unlike factory-made lego blocks.
Given the rarity of Houjicha desserts, why not try the Houjicha Parfait $13.80 if you had ordered the matcha drinks? Similar to the previous parfait but drenched in houjicha syrup and topped with houjicha chocolate gateaux, this dark brown dessert might be less eye-catching but equally stellar. I personally prefer this as the roasted nutty flavors intensified with every spoonful. 

Overall,  Nana's Green Tea excels in what it specializes; and that is green tea drinks and desserts. Nana's Uji Premium Matcha has an adult taste suitable for those who wish to sip an authentic pot of bitter brew. And for those who can't resist having sweets to end their meal, the giant Parfaits here cannot be missed:) Check out the ongoing set lunch promotion shown above or visit their fb page for the latest deals!

Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #03-80/82
Singapore 238839
Tel: 66844312

*Special thanks to Cecilia and Nana's Green Tea for the invite

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