Sunday, May 31, 2015

La Patissierie des Reve : Snow White's "Poisonous" Apple

What are Japanese cakes? I have been asking myself this question as I find that there is a huge gap between the cakes in Japan and the kind of "Japanese" cakes we see in Singapore. Honestly, I don't think cakes in Japan are Japanese. Like breads, cookies, chocolates, the cakes have evolved significantly over the years and are influenced by European countries, especially France.

Many renowned France patisseries from Pierre Herme to Sebastien Bouillet, have entered Japan in a bid to snatch a bite of the sweet pie. Needless to say, majority of the chefs working behind these shops are still Japanese. It's the intimate cross-influence of the culinary styles of France and Japanese that continues to intrigue me and spur me on my pastry conquest in Japan. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Basilico @ Regent Singapore: Flavours of Northern and Southern Italy

 Whenever I am asked to recommend a good Italian restaurant in Singapore, the first place that came to mind is always Basilico at the Regent hotel as I have never forgotten the wonderful dining experience with my mother here several years ago. Featuring an antipasti and dessert buffet that comes along with ala carte main course options, this award-winning restaurant continues to captivate the taste buds with its latest installation "Viaggio Italiano", a unique year-long gastronomical journey through Northern and Southern Italy!
Diners can look forward to a unique selection of ala carte main courses, which will add on to the existing ala carte menu alongside the buffet of delicious antipasti and desserts for $88++. Keeping in line with the changing theme every quarter of the year, Executive Sous Chef Angelo Ciccone traces back to the roots of his birth town, Puglia, by showcasing the authentic flavours of Southern Italy for the period of July 1st to September 30th.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Gobuylah : Shop Online for Food and More!

A new wave of online groceries ranging from Japanese ingredients, halal food to gourmet meats and organic vegetables has swept the local market scene in recent years. But where should one go when you need to get an assorted items from local snacks to overseas gourmet produce?

Much to my delight, I learnt about this one-stop online supermarket where I can look for daily essentials or some exotic gourmet ingredients without stepping out of my house!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Malebranche 京都 マールブランシュ : My Favourite Omiyage Shop in Kyoto

Instead of getting those all-too-common regional edition Kitkat, Collon cookies etc., why not get some sweets of excellent quality that could represent the flavors and style of Kyoto at Malebranche? 

Besides the Kitayama main shop, there several outlets in Kyoto, including two new openings in Arashiyama and Gion. The first must-buy is the Okoicha Langue De Chat. I've tried countless brands of langue de chats and this is truly the cream of the crop.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Celebrate SG50 @ Artisan Boulangerie Co: WIN $250 vouchers and EXCLUSIVE invite to launch party!

What is your idea of a uniquely SG50 pastry?
 A Durian Croissant?
 A Chilli Crab baguette?
If you are have any ideas of pastry inspired by Singapore local ingredients, simply submit them on the facebook contest page from NOW to 31st May and stand a chance to develop your idea into reality with celebrity chef Eran Mayer and Artisan Boulangerie Co. ! Be it sweet or savoury, the pastry can be a fusion of popular SG ingredients or even your grandma or grandpa's heritage recipe!
How about a Kaya Butter Eclair?
The winners will not only get to WIN $250 worth of ABC vouchers, but also WORK with Chef Eran in the concept kitchen for a pre-launch tasting before attending the exclusive launch party to be held in July!! Remember to SHARE your ideas with your friends to increase your chances of winning!! Enter your idea now on before 31st May now!*

*Terms and Conditions Apply 
For more details, visit here for more details.
This post is brought to you by Artisan Boulangerie Co.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rookery Singapore : Comfort Food and Skillet Desserts

A Friday night couldn't be better with great company, food and beer at Rookery, a cafe . bar. restaurant whose name actually refers to the dense and sleazy slums in 19th centuries London. It doesn't really matter that their brunch/lunch seemed more popular and delicious than the  dinner selection because the section that I am most interested in is available all day.
Yes, let's start talking about the desserts. The Beautiful Mess ($12) is indeed, a gorgeous mess that surpassed the glory of a classic Eton Mess, with colorful mix of dried berries, nuts and chocolate ice cream. However, the meek taste of chocolate could not pull the other components together, even in the presence of the crushed cinnamon caramel cookies.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nakano-ya なかの家 Osaka: Family-friendly Izakaya Restaurant

I always have a list of food places that I want to go for any holidays but Nakano House is an exception. It happened to be located at the restaurant dining floor of Abeno Harukas and online reviews on tabelog were quite good. After doing a quick research, I found out that this Osaka-originated restaurant is like an upscale izakaya that sells a wide variety from seafood to rice bowls. 
Perhaps let me jumped to my conclusion first. The food is good, cheap and the ambience is excellent because the seatings  are divided into compartments so diners can enjoy some private space. I am usually skeptical about restaurants in department stores as they are rather mediocre and expensive. However, I would gladly recommend anyone to visit any of their 6 outlets in Osaka. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Win Win Snacks: 100% Halal and Vegetarian

I never thought much about potato chips until I chanced upon these wafer-thin Potato Crisps produced by Win Win Food. Baked with real potato, they actually tasted a little like cookies but so crisp and light, without any trace grease or heavy seasonings. Out of the four flavours--sour cream, tomato, vegetable and BBQ, I tried the latter two and was instantly attached to them. 
In fact, these potato crisps are only one of the many brands under Win Win Food, an established manufacturing company that produced snacks that are 100% halal and vegetarian. These products with a touch of Asian flavors are made in their main factory in Johor Bahru and distributed to various countries including Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, etc.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Pierre Marcolini : Pierre Herme of the Chocolate World

If you know Pierre Herme very well, then you should know the Pierre Herme of the chocolate world, Pierre Marcolini. This former disciple of Pierre Herme had rose up the ranks to become of the most coveted chocolatier in the world and one need not be surprised at the enduring popularity of his flagship shop in Ginza.
Many, ladies especially, flocked to his cafe on 2F for the signature parfaits and waffles. But those with an extra budget to indulge would buy some of the exquisite pralines in his retail shop at 1F. 

To kill two birds (waffles and ice cream) in one stone, I instinctively picked the waffles.There are two categories here: one is Marcolini Waffles and Simple Waffles. The menu did not explicitly explain the differences but it seems like the Marcolini Waffles is blended with some extra ingredient X.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Ramenplay : All-New Japanese Shabu Experience

There are so many ramen houses in Singapore but I think none would have conceive the idea of adding shabu-shabu, (Japanese hot pot usually eaten during winter) to its existing menu.

Ramenplay, a brand by BreadTalk and Sanpou Co.Ltd, has launched an all-new Shabu Shabu sets where customers can personalize their own by choosing between Australia striploin beef or Brazilian pork collar for the meats and Clear/Kimchi for the soups, alongside a staple, raw egg and pickles.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Fumon-an 普門庵 : Kyoto Cafe with a Hundred Blessings

Most people easily walked past this place while heading towards the Kiyomizu shrine but I highly recommend anyone to drop by for a visit because the concept revolves around "fuku" 福. This site is believed to be blessed with fortune and luck being situated (not directly) in front of Kyoto's most renowned shrine. Walk into the retail area and you can find an array of samples for its unique snacks such as the Hyaku-fuku Manju, a traditional bean paste wagashi which has a very nice and chewy skin.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rive Gauche Singapore : The Royal Guanaja

Way before Cake Glacé, Flor and Chef Yamashita opened in Singapore, I think Rive Gauche is one of the few that established itself as patisserie that sells French-Japanese fusion cakes. There are many chocolate royaltine or crunch cakes around but I think the signature Guanaja qualifies as the cream of the crop in Singapore.

With a deep mellow chocolate ganache over a crisp and sharp feuilletine, this is the only cake here in which the chocolate components are blessed with the premium Valrhona genes. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cheese Garden Tokyo : Japanese Cheese Heaven

Nope, this is not your neighbourhood cheesecake shop. It's a restaurant cum cheese grocery store that is dedicated to their royal brand of cheese "Goyoutei Cheese 御用邸チーズ. The cheese is produced at their own farm in Nasu, Tochigi Prefecture. I'm not sure if they are the selected brand for the Japanese royal family but the term "Goyoutei" refers to the Imperial villa that is currently situated in the same prefecture .
Even before you stepped into the shop, you will definitely stopped in your foot steps as the staff will distribute generous samples of their above signature Goyoutei Cheesecake (¥1230 for a whole cake). It's rich, dense yet not over cloying like a typical NY cheesecake. One of the secret is that the cake is baked at 3 different temperatures in about 1 hour. 
But the best way to sample all their lovely cheesecakes is to get their Cheesecake Platter (¥980), which contains Shirasagi--the most expensive cheesecake of the lot (¥3300 for one whole cake). On top of the cookie base is a baked layer made with 4 types of cheese and a light sour cream made with yoghurt and fresh cream. 
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