Thursday, March 31, 2016

Sanuki Udon @ Lau Pa Sat : Cheap and Good Find

Selling udon seems to be a tough business in local shores as there are barely few udon shops here besides Tamoya. Even at Lau Pa Sat, the sole udon stall Marusaya Udon has winded up its business. I am not a fan of udon but I was very happy to discover Sanuki Udon, a new stall that sells the traditional Kanaga-style udon. My conclusion? Cheap, huge and satisfying. 

But in all honesty, I was initially drawn not to the udon, but the charsiew pork don ($5.90), a giant bowl of rice topped with browned meat, spring onions and a molten egg. The meat was flanked with bits of fats and braised till soft and sweet. Tantalizing meat juices and sauce trickled down to the rice below; so simple yet down-to-earth delicious. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Ultra Jam X 太陽ノ塔: EEEcentric Pastries

I was stunned by these eye-catchy pastries as I stood in front of the pop-up booth in Umeda Depato, Osaka. I wasn't the only one. There were so many customers surrounding the shop and the items are selling out fast. 

The eccentrically colorful mushrooms and animal tarts (pigs, lions, pandas) reminded me of the movie Wizard of Oz. I felt as if those characters just trotted out from a dark forest. Who in the right mind would have thought for such quirky sweet treats? 

The pastries are born out of the whimsical hippie cafe Ultra jam X 太陽ノ塔 that is located in Osaka. Besides this regular series of 8 flavors, they offer innovative seasonal creations for New Year, Valentine's Day, Halloween, etc. which one can't find elsewhere. 

Kin Kin Chilli Pan Mee @ Macpherson Road

It's the chilli that makes the bowl come alive. 

Crunchy, intensely savoury and fiery, the chilli is the star of this Kuala Lumpur famous dry Chilli Pan Mee that once drew long queues when it opened an outlet in Singapore back in 2014. Without the chilli and the crispy ikan billis, this bowl of dry chili pan mee (signature No.1 bowl-$5) would be rather bland since there was no sauce in the first place.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

[RECIPE] Moo Moo Japanese Roll Cake

Many people bake and cook for different reasons. I've heard of people who don't eat the stuff they bake themselves. So strange as I love to eat the stuff I bake and I bake the stuff which I love to eat. One example is roll cakes, or more commonly known as swiss rolls. I'm not talking about the western style of swiss rolls or jelly rolls filled with overly sweet jam. Neither am I referring to those local swiss rolls from neighbourhood bakeries that are usually filled with buttercream and canned fruits.

Here, I am talking about but the soft, fluffy and creamy Japanese style rolls. I love to eat roll cakes but it is so hard to find good ones in Singapore.  It's deliciously simple in taste but making it is not easy. There are many stages where one needs to be careful, otherwise the roll cake will not turn out to be what you expect. As the name implies, it should be in a "roll" shape, with a distinctive round swirl and not flat. 

This originates from a Japanese recipe calls only for egg whites and not egg yolks, which is a good way to use up any leftover egg whites instead of super-sweet macarons or dacquoise. However do note that this cake has its pros and cons. While it can bring a white complexion, you might encounter some slight rubbery texture on the black prints section and relatively more creases than other roll recipes. Nonetheless, it is a very pliable roll and this will make your life a lot easier if it is your first time rolling one. So why not give it a try if you enjoy eating roll cakes too? :) 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

HARBS Japan : Overhyped Cream Cakes

Many have recommended me to try HARBS but the price and the copious amount cream just doesn't appeal to me. Nonetheless, I decided to give it a try recently but I'm even more convinced that it would be my last visit. 

Firstly, there was a ridiculous queue despite having several empty tables inside. The manager could simply usher those in the queue to the tables instead of taking his own sweet time. Secondly, there was a minimum order of 1 drink per guest and the cheapest drink, coffee would have chalked up ¥600. Thirdly, the awry quality of the food did not justify the price tag. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Super Lunch Sunday : Lime Restaurant at PARKROYAL on Pickering

I always think that feasting should always be an occasional indulgence. Otherwise you lost that kind of enthusiasm and excitement towards the feasting experience. And precisely because feasting is such an important affair, the location, ambience and food become key factors. One good option is the recently launched Super Lunch Sunday by Lime Restaurant @ Parkroyal Pickering.  

Available from 12.30pm-4.30pm, the 4-hour long buffet brunch offers diners to have ample time to enjoy the food and recharge for the working week ahead. Here are five highlights which are only exclusively available at the Super Lunch Sunday. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Teppei Syokudo @ ION Orchard : Fish and more fish

Fish. A lot of fish. 

I stared in awe when my bowl of Kaisen don appeared in front of me. There was so much ingredients--shirasu, salmon, maguro, hotate, Ikura, tempura crisps, seaweed, yuzu furikake--all contravening the conventions of a Kaisen don that typically contains raw seafood and Ikura. But the taste remains as delicious as it can be. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Patisserie Paris S'eveille : A Taste of Paris in Tokyo

If not for the Japanese street names and Japanese conversations around me, I would have thought that I was in Paris. 

Be it the exterior wooden signboard or the vintage inspired interior design, Paris D Seville is no different from any of the grand old pastry shops in France. But this place is not owned or run by any French patissier. Pastry Chef Yoshiaki Kaneko opened this Paris-inspired patisserie cum bistro since 2003 and the place is always packed with people especially during weekends. It is not surprising that the pastries stay rooted in French tradition as Chef Kaneko trained for several years under "Laduree", "Alan Ducasse", "Arnaud Larher" and "Le Daniel". 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Artisan Boulangerie Co.: Eggy Brunch and Pastries

While Artisan Boulangerie Co may be famous for its bread, it seemed to me that the quality of their brunches surpassed that of the pastries. Available until 5pm on weekends and 2pm on weekdays, the brunch is mostly made up of dishes using eggs that are said to be cage- and hormone-free. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Lee Wee & Brothers @ Raffles City Basement: Nasi Lemak So Shiok!

If not for the vouchers won in the 8dayseat Instagram contest, I doubt I would have known that Lee Brothers sell more than Otah. And more importantly, I would not even have learnt that it has such an interesting history. Lee Brothers was started as a humble stall in Old Changi Airport Road by the three brothers who sold otahs based on the heritage recipe imparted from their mother. 

The menu expanded into Nasi Lemak and Curry as business grew and the brothers decided to set up a central factory where the food products are made fresh daily using the ingredients that are sourced personally by the brothers.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

BAREBURGER JAPAN: Organic American Gourmet Burgers

In and Out, Shake Shack, Henry's Burgers....and now Bareburger, the New-York based joint that started in the United States since 2009 with 26 outlets in the U.S. and Canada, enters Tokyo to fight a pie of the hot burger market. 

But don't be too early to dismiss it as "fast food". It's one of the few restaurants that incorporates organic-certified ingredients into the food and markets itself as a healthy and organic gourmet chain. Though burgers can't be exactly healthy and eating organic can be pretty expensive (prices start from ¥1380 for the cheapest Buttermilk Buffalo Burger), it does bring a peace of mind to know that the ingredients are from safe sources. Moreover, the portion of the burger is huge enough to share between two. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

[RECIPE] Salted Caramel Sauce by Sadaharu Aoki

Making caramel always get me on my nerves as I have the tendency to overcook the sugar. But once you become good friends with your pan, you will become more confident at controlling the heat and avoid the mistakes made.
I first came across this recipe as I was attempting to recreate the Tarte au Caramel Sale by Sadaharu Aoki as shown above (posted on my IG @dairyandcream) It can be found in his Japanese recipe book, "パリ発!サダハル・アオキのフランス菓子”--a book which I have always been using for the past months.Ever since I had the taste of sweet success, I have been remaking this delicious recipe and even stock up jars of them in my fridge, which can be used as caramel spread on bread or dips for crackers!  

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Truly Test Kitchen : Curry Rice & "Maggie Mee"

I'm sure many have read the story somewhere about Truly Test Kitchen, a successful hawkerpreneurship story of two young people Joel and Deniece who continues the curry rice legacy of Deneice's father stall in Telok Blangah by making it bigger and better. The Curry Rice is far better than you expect for the price tag of $3, while moreish sides like the pork cutlet and cabbage to seal the deal. The gravy is thick and sweet, just like typical Hainanese curry, though I prefer it to be spicier. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kagurazaka Saryo : Matcha Fondue and SMORES

Frozen SMORES seemed like the hot food right now. 

After having the Frozen Smores from Dominique Ansel Bakery Tokyo, this is my 2nd consecutive Smores dessert which is probably inspired by the former as it is a new item introduced in recent months. But as a cafe that is famous for Japanese style sweets, it turns this half-marshmallow half-ice cream treat into a matcha version (¥810) that is served in a rectangular casserole. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Kent House @ Osaka Umeda Hankyu : Osaka Patisserie since 1927

Since the standards of most cakes in patisseries are above average, it is very obvious when one encounters poor or bad items. Such disappointing experience is rare but I could still recall the day I tried the pastries from Kent House, a patisserie located in the basement of Umeda Hanyu Department store. Debuted as a patisserie-cafe since 1927 in Shinsaibashi, it has three other outlets in major Osaka department stores.
The cakes looked promising on the shelf and vanished at a relatively quicker rate than the rest. However, the taste and flavors were sorely missed in the Konzerthaus  (¥410)  (matcha almond sponge, Yuzu ganache and lemon white chocolate cream). The cream layer is too rubbery and the sponge too dry. 
Fortunately, the Praline Noir (¥432) and the Pistache Au Vanille (¥432) reversed the unpleasant misfortunes. The coffee-cream filled choux sat on top multiple layers of almond pie, praline and chocolate mousse that were compressed so finely that they have merged as an entirety. The crunch was brilliantly sharp, no less than the millefeuilles from Pierre Herme. Meanwhile, the latter was a little on the sweet side but I'll be forgiving on this as lavish pistachio cream was a real treat for any pistachio lovers. 

It wasn't all too bad actually. Just that I need to pick better cakes next time. 

Kent House
Umeda Hankyu Department Store B1
Sun-Thu 10am-8pm
Fri-Sat 10am-9pm

Main Shop (with cafe space):
 1-21-19, Ōimazatominami, Higashinari-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 537-0013
 〒537-0013 大阪府大阪市東成区大今里南1-21-19
Daily 10am-9pm

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Totoshigure @ Shibuya : Overflowing Ikura Goodness

Do you like ikura? If yes, Totoshigure is one of the places to head to if you like to eat your fill of Ikura at a super reasonable price. It's signature dish is a bowl of warm white rice topped that is poured with a bowl of huge-sized Ikura roe at your table. The amount is so overwhelming that the rice bowl comes with a larger bowl to catch any collapsing gems, and hence its name "kobore" Ikura don (kobore= collapse)

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