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

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Canton Paradise @ Marina Bay Sands : New Outlet with All Day Quality Dim Sum and Cantonese Cuisines

Renowned for its high-quality Cantonese dishes, Canton Paradise has launched its sixth outlet at Marina Bay Sands, doling out all-day dimsum and Cantonese wok dishes that will attract diners of all ages.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Quiche Yoroizuka : Latest New Quiche Specialty Shop in Tokyo

If there's anything that smells as good as tarts in the oven, it's gonna be quiches. 

Quiche Yoroizuka is the latest venture by famous Tokyo patissier Toshi Yoroizuka. He has always wanted to open a quiche shop since at the age of 29 years old when he was working at a cake shop. Kitchen meals would always be the quiches sold from a shop in front of the train station and the attractive aroma and flavors unique to a quiche made him dream of his own quiche shop.

I guessed it's finally dream come true for Chef Yoroizuka as he has not only opened 2 takeaway outlets in Ikebukuro and Shibuya but also a full bistro cafe on quiches  in Aoyama.

The menu is divided into two sections: Deli Quiches and Sweets Quiches. The savoury fared better than the sweet quiches mainly because the pastry shell was flakier and its  inherently savoury qualities made it a natural partner for the deli fillings. This could also be a reason why savoury quiches are more common than sweet ones.

I recommend you to dine-in at the cafe unless you have an oven at home as the quiches can be reheated. This definitely helps to boost the crispness of the quiches as they  tend to turn soggy faster than tarts. The Quattro cheese (\380) is a must-try for all cheese lovers as the intensity of the cheese can challenge the supremacy of Pablo's version. Encased in a butter-rich crust, Egg Benedict (\480) did not fail us with its oozy egg yolk and nondescript sauce. On the other hand, the Strawberry Custard was exceedingly sweet but luckily less so for the Matcha.

Unlike the classic tall and rich French quiches, these Japanese versions are smaller and lighter which I very much prefer. It's not difficult to can be easilypolished

Quiche Yoroizuka
5-10-19 Minamiaoyama 青山真洋ビル 
Daily 10am-9pm

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Louange Tokyo: Membership-Only Cake Salon

2000 yen for a piece of cake?

Yes. If Chanel is the name for luxury bags, then Salon De Louange is the name for luxury cakes, at least in Japan.

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