My Sweet Tooth Nirvana
Green Tea Souffle Roll with azuki red beans
Vanilla Bean pound cake with an occupation of vanilla beans seeds taking the offensive with every bite. Moist and oh so aromatic if I should say so myself.
Waffles with my favourite cinnamon infused honey from the honey farm. These incredibly adaptive confections go down well with almost anything; peach yogurt, kaya and butter, maple syrup.. and the list extends effortlessly.
So what do you like your waffles with?
Posh Nosh in Flip Flops
Dining at the the Royal Copenhagen Tea lounge was a considerably spontaneous decision on our part. And as we shuffled across the marbled floor to join the steadily growing queue of impatient customers, feeling rather out of place in our casual clothing admist the glitz and glamor of the surrounding retail shops, our minds were put at ease seeing the other shoddily dressed customers. More so by the young boys still in prams with legs wide open in a less than classy slumber.
As we took our seats, it took us a while to grow accustomed to the fine finishings around the dining area. The smorgasbord of exquisite cutlery perched perilously on the walls above unsuspecting diners, the fine china plates with delicate prints used for our foods and so on. Peeking at the platters of food being carried to the neighbouring tables, temptation quickly took the leash and we were quick to decide on her majesty tea set ($29.90 ++) for 2.
Chasing closely behind were the choice of cake (from the gorgeous display in the front) and 2 scones with jam, butter and cream. Served up with our tea and coffee, one can't help but feel as though it's desserts after a mini savoury treat.
Probably familiar to those who have visited the Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge, the blueberry cheesecake was the Pièce de résistance. Creamy with a chance of tanginess, this glorious confection speckled with blueberries throughout and then enveloped with a thick blueberry compote was one of the better cheesecakes I've had in the longest time. Period.
The only hiccup that occured with the service was our forgotten order of scones which took an overbearing 15 mins after the cake to arrive, and only after a gentle reminder to the staff. Hey, I admit to being an impatient person.. but it's the infamous scones we're talking about here. No grudges beared though since observation proved that the cafe was a scene of hyper bustling activity for the better of the afternoon. The scones of course turned out great, with a tender crumb and warm thoroughly. Perfect when washed down with a cup of english tea.
So next time you're in the vicinity and craving for some good english high tea, do give the Royal Copenhagen a go. But word of caution, do take note of the snaking queues on weekends.
Royal Copenhagen Tea Lounge
Takashimaya Singapore Department Store
391 Orchard Road, Level 2
Phone: +65 6735 6833
Just another Manic Monday
Our little sanctuary for the afternoon. Shaded from the char-grill effects of the raging sun and the hustle of the lunch crowd.
The story behind my second visit despite the displeasing first; simply the blackboard perched outside the shop front with the words '1-1 dessert on Mondays'. With lips still greasy from the dim sum feasting, I couldn't resist the seductive efforts of these words playing in my head, with that, I dragged the boyfriend across the stoned patio through the cool glass doors of the facade. Tea time it would be then.
slurping on his pretty in pink drink, the beestung. A strawberry yogurt granita.
Once again, the granny smith and aloe vera crumble. Not quite how I remembered it on my previous visit; the new version had retained a tighter and crispier crumb that maintained its structure for the longest time despite the steady incoming attacks from the thawing scoop of vanilla ice cream and the moist apple and aloe vera mixture below.
The Lava, a chocolate molten lava cake. standard wise, this would be stuck between the grades 'awesome' and 'mediocre'. Still, a rather good rendition of the classic served conveniently in a martini glass to avoid the pesky leaks of chocolate goodness all over the plate.
oh darn it... why is the woman in the front taking such a long time to check out? Inching my inquisitive self forward, I took a peek into her healthily packed basket. Literally, it was a feast for health nuts.. 7 packets of the same wholewheat sesame cracker. In my mind, my evil convictions that perhaps wholesome products claiming to be good for you were in fact stripped of any of it's self acclaimed health benefits. Why would she need so many anyway? As I re-adjusted the tiny sweltering on my shorts, my eyes trailed to the floor. What the... There were 14 more replicates of the same product already bagged neatly in the largest Cold Storage plastic bag. Was she buying all the products on the shelf for a reason? Big party I guess? These would probably make wonderful hor-devours with a bit of cream cheese and smoked salmon with fresh dill on it. oh gosh, I digress.
Slowly, I came to attention of the other possessions the other shoppers around me had laid claim of. A large bottle of house brand apple juice snuggled tightly in the arms of a young teenage boy, a clever move defying the dark marketing magic of the mcdonalds just opposite the counter. A punnet of luscious red strawberries and a bottle of white wine. A young caucasian couple, very much in love, yet still trying ignite the burning white coals of passion. A young working adult male, with a carton of eggs in tow, perhaps a quick solution to his after-work hunger pangs or perhaps his curious attempt at a protein rich diet.
What did I have? Sugar and butter. That was it, along with the fundamentals of the egg ruling, I could easily have produced a cake of sorts which of course I was intending to do (speaking of which, I've got a butter walnut pound cake fresh out of the oven) Guess that was it, you could tell a lot about a person from what she/he purchases even at a supermarket.
Maybe they should even have character analysis exercises through grocery shopping...
Cooking Cross Culturally(CCC): Indian Night!
Garam Masala, cumin powder, coriander powder and tumeric. Reciting the names of the bottles off my recently expanded spice rack, I realised that visiting the spice souk in Dubai probably imposed a sound impact on me. Taking in deep drawls of the potent air mixed with the tantalizing aroma of spices of vivid rainbow colors set in clear drawers as we strolled thru the narrow pathways; I was most certain that cuisine nothing short of the description, ravishing, could be made out of these amazing spices.
Outfitted with an armful of bottles and a few recipes for Indian grills and butter chicken; I set out to create a Indian feast for the family. Sure.. it did take my procrastinating self long to get down to it; but at least I got the job done in the end didn't I? *Smirks*
Many oil-splatterings and consequential yelps later, the food was ready to be served. On the menu, butter chicken, tandoori fish, vegetable seekh patties served with garlic and herb naan and spiced rice. Crowned off with the jewel of wines, my exclusive rosemount 'O' that I had sucessfully lugged home from the airport. A slightly sparkling white with pronounced fruity notes to balance out the heat from the dishes; perfect in my opinion.
And as the family sat down at the table savouring the food, we contemplated and debated the next cooking cross culture (ccc). Thai or Japanese? Tough choice... what say you guys?
500g of any firm fish (cod/snapper)
- Cut fish into cubes. Rub salt and tumeric into the fish and leave for 30mins.
- Put yogurt, garlic and ginger paste and black pepper into a food processor and blend well.
- Cover the fish pieces with the yogurt mixture for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. ( I did the speedy version and only had an hour grace.. it still worked out fine though)
- When ready to cook, brush oil on fish and grill on a griddle pan.
- Remove from heat, squeeze some lime juice and serve hot.
That night you kissed me goodnight and said,' I can't believe that I'm still kissing you after two years.'
I returned you with a puzzled look, resolved to the fate that perhaps you found the routine albeit a little boring.
'and.. I still can't stop wanting to.'
at that instance, you could hear the sound of my heart melting.
Dubai Mall: Fauchon Cafe
Dazzling like the great pyramids of Giza in the middle of the desert, so did the stand alone boutique cafe Fauchon in the centre of a certain winglet of the enormous Dubai Mall. Be sure that sitting in the cafe would almost cause a little sense of mystification, perplexity for some, as a quick spin around on the spot would feature a gallery of glamorous outlets with the likes of Versace, Guess, Burberry and many many more.
Thank goodness for the mufffled shopaholic in me, the surrounding distractions were all but a buzzing drone in the background as I laid my eyes on the pastries gleaming from within the clear glass cabinets in Fauchon.
We settled down with our order of 6 delightful pastries. Up till this point, life was bliss.
Then I savoured the chocolate eclair; filled with a soft dark chocolate (70%) cream and dark chocolate glaze and punctated with golden globes, showered with gold dust; Life turned a notch up on the turmoil scale. Tongues in a struggle with the rich flavors experienced. Pity for the slightly dry choux pastry, the cream was revolutionary.
Shifting the plates like a merry-go-round around the gleaming reflective black table top, all of us dug into the desserts, without a tinge of reservation in tow.
Mont Blanc: yet another creation that swept me off my feet with it's tantalizing textural contrast and muted sweetness. A combination of chestnut cream, a crisp french meringue centre with blueberry jam on sable breton. Lovely.
From across the table, the black beauty dappled with crunchy tahitian vanilla meringue beckoned out to me. The Megave with it's smooth dark chocolate (66%) mousse centre was a showstopper with it's clothing of smooth chocolate globules sprayed on by a pistolet. One could certainly run smack into a chocolate ceiling with this dessert.
Not failing my expectations, the pistachio macarons were gorgeous, with a unsickly tinge of green, these beauties held an aromatic scent of nuts. Simply put; one of the best macarons yet. The other greenies to grace the table were the Carremenfraise, featuring a pistachio and orange rind sponge cake sandwiching a bourbon vanilla cream and fresh strawberries. The revelations don't stop coming.
Reaching the end of the entourage, I reached out for the 'gold-plated' carremchoc, determined to savour a bite of the sweet treat depsite my protesting innards. Smooth dark chocolate cream, again... wait a minute, digging into the centre of the dessrt, I stumbled upon the real deal. Crunchy dark chocolate sponge providing a unpredictable nutty crunch to it's rather run-of-the-mill poise.
I kid you not, Fauchon desserts were an endless line of surprises, leaving me with assaulted taste buds and a ringing buzz of euphoria. Suddenly, life emerged a little more than blissful. Almost surreal.
Why don't you fill me up,
Homemade goodness. Butterscotch ice cream with a shot of scotch whisky on the rocks thrown in and buttered walnuts working its magic.
5 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract1 tbsp Scotch whiskey
- Melt butter in medium saucepan, then stir in the brown sugar and salt.
- Whisk in 1 cup of the cream and milk.
- Warm this mixture on the stove but do not allow it to get too hot.
- Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup cream in a separate bowl and set a mesh strainer on top.
- In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks until combined. Slowly pour warm brown sugar mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly (careful not to scramble them). Scrape warmed yolk back into saucepan.
- Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon (about 160-175F).
- Pour mixture through strainer into reserved cream and stir to combine. Add vanilla and scotch , then stir over ice bath to stop cooking.
- Cover the custard with plastic wrap to prevent a 'skin' from forming on the top. Cool mixture thoroughly in fridge, then freeze in your ice cream machine according to the instructions. Add pecans in the last minute of churning.
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1/4 tsp coarse salt
Preheat over to 350F(175C). Melt butter in skillet. Toss pecans until well coated, then sprinkle with salt. Spread evenly on baking sheet and toast in oven for about 10 minutes, stirring once during baking.
so there's that little something for those craving sweet treats tonight! Try it and I'm sure you'll like it too!
would you be coming back for another latte soon sir?
Food Tasting: B Restaurant @ Bellini Grande
oh yes... the meal that cost me my flight.
Looking back, do I think it was worth it?
Without a doubt, yes a million times.
I adored the foccacia served up. Warm and toasty with ribbons of zuchini strewened thru the interior. I relished in this together with the garlic laden pesto sauce on the side.
Our shared appetisers - Beef Carpaccio and the Yellowfin tuna nicoise salad recieved sufficient media attention by the rest of the food tasters before being pleasurably savoured. The former, beautifully presented with delibrate dots of balsamic vinegrette reduction embellishing the plate was fresh and sliced thinly to perfection. The latter on the other hand, paled in comparison despite the invasion of bright colors across the stark white plate. Blame it on the taste buds as my tongue yearned for a little adventure after the delightful savoury bread starters. The fence sitting marinated vegetables on the other hand were ravishing in its glory juices; the baby tomatos bursting with flavor.
Continuing on, I shall plead with you guys to bear with my hyper frenzied moment. I shall not hide my excitement anymore. *WEEeee*.. B Restaurant has the best caesar salad ever! Apparently from what I've heard, this version has descended from the original one from Corduroy and Finch which I totally had a love affair with. Hence, this one, stepped up a notch with giant succulent tiger prawns thrown into the mixture of lucious shaved cheese and cream and crispy bacon strips was an absolute thrill to munch on. I was a
The boyfriend had his signature cordon bleu crabmeat soup with tarragon. Served in a rather peculiar bowl/ statue. The soup literally popped tiny crabs in your mouth with every silent slurp. I've never seen so many clean bowls on the table so far. But judging from the looks of it, this was a winner all around the table.
Chargrilled 200 days aged ribeye with fries and mesclun lettuce.
Gazing over from my plate of grilled tenderloin hailing from snake river farm, intense thoughts of jealousy overcame me. I imagined sinking my teeth into the succulent flesh of the ribeye steak, calming myself with the sweet burns of the caramelised chargilled flesh. Mmmm..Not that my grilled tenderloin wasn't any good... it just wasn't comparable to the 200 day aged ribeye that screamed 'boomz' from across the table. Tantalizing and pink thru the middles, the steak was certainly a pleasure to chew on, accompanied by a ratatouille lasagna; the dish fared slighty above average for me.
And as the clock slowly ticked away, the rowdy disposition of the food tasters started to surface. I figured that there was perhaps a tinge of anticipation in the air as the entourage of desserts made its grand entrance. People starting to get the cravings for sweets after a satisfactory round of savoury mains.
Out of all the desserts on the menu that we put to the test, a few of my favourite are the
- Cheese platter, mainly because I love it's value for money spread of cheeses with berry compote, fig puree and biscuits; ideal with a bottle of wine
- the Chocolate chilli tart, sneaky in nature. this innocent chocolate dessert packs quite a punch delivered to the back of the throat. With a explosion of sudden heat, this is one dessert for the adventurous lot.
- Pineapple Ravioli. No strange fusion dessert here... reminisces about the bizzare white chocolate noodle she had at buddha bar in Dubai a week back. A beautifully constructed combination with crispy fried dumplings filled with pineapple pulp and a refreshing pineapple sorbet on the side.
- and finally... the Sticky Date Pudding. not only dazzling in appearance, this was just major comfort to the soul. Every flick of the spoon with it's warm spongy innards just meant an uprising surge of happiness. I kid you not. This was probably one of the best sticky date puddings that I ever had.
Falling into the list of 'desserts not to have' is the Hot liquid chocolate coulant. This dessert did little for me given my higher expectations of the overworked offering. The cake was hollow with the thinest of walls that didn't pack an oomph with each bite. Playing on the sweet and sour contrast, the passion fruit sorbet did add a bit of dimension to the finale but unfortunately wasn't able to pull the lacklustre product out of the catacombs.
On a final note, B Restaurant, as intimidating as it seemd with its whole mafia get up, prices are surprisingly affordable and portions lean towards a brasserie rather than you typical french posh nosh. The spunky Executive Chef Jeffrie Siew, with his accumulated years of experience in the kitchen has definitely acquired a unique sense of style and mastery of particular cuisines under his belt. With most of the dishes hitting the spot, B Restaruant is highly recommended by me for it's tightly executed cuisine it's nonpareil ambience.
3B River Valley Road
#01-01, 2nd level The Foundry, Clarke Quay
Tel: +65 6270 7676