May 29, 2010

Finally back at K Ki!

After two more visits to K Ki, Stargirl has yet to stumble across their Strawberry Tart and Pumpkin Pudding . Still on the search...

Antoinette ($8)

Light, smooth white chocolate mousse sitting on a thin layer of sponge, enveloping a heart of mango puree for a mildly refreshing twist.

A peep of the inside

I've always associated white chocolate with "overly sweet" and "rich". But this cake has given me new perspective; the cloudlike white chocolate mousse here is sweetened to just the right degree.

LRRH ($8.50)

My, what a flawless complexion you have! As with all of K Ki's cakes, this LRRH has been perfectly assembled. Look at how even the sheen of chocolate is! Stunning, isn't she?

And of course, nothing but Valrhona dark chocolate would do. There's some raspberry puree hidden within the smooth mousse which lightens the richness of all that chocolate. Good for people like me who don't quite fancy chocolate mousses for that reason!

Kinabaru ($8)
I love passionfruit. No wonder I'm especially enamored with this layered creation of etherally light coconut mousse and sunshine-yellow passionfruit creme. While the well-balanced flavors were mild on the tastebuds, this creation deeply impressed.
Kinabaru, you're clearly my favorite thus far... I'll be having you again! I think Mom will take a fancy to you too. Maybe I'll get her a large version of you on her birthday!

See how precisely the Kinabaru has been sliced? And how the different layers are perfectly parallel to each other? (:
K Ki comes up with simply refined creations. One thing that I like about the cakes is how they're sweetened to just the right degree, another is how beautifully presented they always are. One's gotta love the warm and friendly service too!

May 25, 2010

Favorites @ Mr Bean

I always have trouble deciding what I want to get at the soya bean chain, Mr Bean. Outlets have been popping up everywhere recently, especially at MRT stations (they're two outlets at Raffles Xchange oO), and I'm ever often tempted to go inside and grab a snack.

As I have mentioned many times before, I love pancakes. And it's great that they come in so many forms, from hotcakes, min jiang kueh to okonomiyaki.

Mr Bean sells yet another pancake I love:

A tip: Prey hard that you get these Japanese pancakes fresh off the stove, and make sure you gobble them up right away. It's worth the time to patronize stalls with long queues (eg. SMU) and hence a high turnover to ensure that you get warm ones!

Red Bean Pancake ($1)

Out of their seven (now eight) pancake flavors, the red bean one's my favorite. This springy pancake, encasing a not-overly-sweet azuki bean filling, is easily one of my favorite snacks. The cheese and blueberry ones are good too- the former has a triangle of soft Cowhead cream cheese inside while the latter is filled with blueberry jam (yay!).

Don't bother trying the peanut and chocolate ones though. The peanut one is stuffed with dry chopped peanuts while the "chocolate" filling is made from *gasp* melted chocolate rice. Wouldn't it be nice if they sold a pancake filled with Jollibean's addictively creamy peanut spread? Haha that'll surely reduce Jollibean's (round) ban jian kueh sales.

Egg mayo pancake

Till the end of this month, Mr Bean will be retailing an egg mayo pancake too. I didn't think too much of it at first but decided to give it a try yesterday anyway. And it was surprisingly good! The egg to mayo ratio was just right and a generous dash of pepper provided a nice kick to round it off. How I wish this could stay on Mr Bean's menu permanently! Note that the egg mayo flavor is only available up to 11am and is unavailable at their Century Square, Tampines 1 and People's Park outlets (why?!?). (Update: The egg mayo pancake is now a permanent flavor! Hooray~)

Soya chocolate

The egg mayo pancake can be purchased with a cup of soya chocolate or coffee as a discounted set at $2.80 (U.P. $3.30). I didn't expect much from the soya chocolate as I doubt that good-quality chocolate was used. But this turned not out be a chocolate drink with the milk portion replaced by soya milk, but a steaming hot cup of soya milk with chocolate undertones (i.e. chocolate-flavored soya milk). Just the perfect thing to start the day! I liked this even more than my usual drink (next up).

Pearly Bandung Soya Milk ($2)

Isoflavone-packed soya milk livened up by the addition of rose syrup, coupled with bouncy, chewy pearls. My usual drink at Mr Bean (:

This year, Mr Bean has been launching seasonal drinks monthly. The previous few, like the Icy Chocolate, Icy Mango and Strawberry Banana were fine. In my opinion, one should stay away from the Icy Rum and Raisin though (no alcohol for obvious reasons, contains Da Vinci Gourmet syrup instead which is used for coffee drinks). It's expensive at $3.80 a cup, and tastes just average. I hate the shriveled-up raisins inside too.

And not to forget...

Soya ice-cream (: I'm always hoping for a super tall cone of it! ($1.30 for cone, $1.50 for cup but you get more ice-cream)

Haven't tried it before? You might not take to the distinctive, uh, soya milk taste of this ice-cream at first. But give it another chance, and you'll find yourself getting accustomed to the flavor. By your third try, you should have become a convert :D (Not to worry, I still like normal ice-cream made from cow's milk though!)

Despite being low-fat, Mr Beans's soy ice-cream is still creamy like normal soft-serve. For those who count calories, a 100g serving contains 136 calories. There's also green tea flavored soy ice-cream available at certain outlets like Tampines 1. The matcha flavor is rather mild but I still like it anyway, more than the original flavor.

Actually, I like it a lot.

Mr Bean's adorable mascot!

Mr Bean

May 24, 2010

Barcook Bakery, revisited

I urged my friend, N, to join me in my venture to satisfy my craving for the a simply shiok bun. So off we headed towards Chinatown!

It was almost noontime. Once most office staff emerge for their lunch, we'd be in for a long wait. So, upon getting off the bus, I led her to Barcook Bakery, the frequency of our footsteps twice as fast as regular pedestrians'.

Unglamorous shot of THE raisin cream cheese bun

Ooh la la. I fell in love again.

If you take public transport, don't you always feel a tinge of jealousy whenever you spot a fellow commuter with a bag of these babies?

This must have been my lucky day. I was the first to get my hands on the batch of raisin cream cheese buns that just came out of the oven!

On another visit to Barcook Bakery's other outlet at Central@Clarke Quay, I spotted quite a few German Muesli Loaves. They're not available often (i.e. they were reserved/snatched up) at the Hong Lim outlet, so pop over to Barcook's Clarke Quay outlet if you want to get this.

German Muesli Loaf ($2 for half a loaf)

This bread comes packed with loads of seeds. Oops, I mean flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. There're raisins and walnuts too. Soft and tasty! While this can't beat my favorite raisin cream cheese bun, it's worth a try. Greedy me scarfed down several slices of these down after finishing two raisin cheese buns!

Barcook Bakery
Blk 531 Upper Cross St (Hong Lim Complex)
Mon-Fri: 8am-7pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 8am-4pm

Central @ Clarke Quay
Mon-Fri: 8am-9pm
Sat: 9am-9pm
Sun: 10am-9pm

OUB Centre
Mon-Fri: 7am-7pm
Sat: 8.30am-4.30pm
Closed on Sun & PH

May 21, 2010

Frozen Swirl @ Coffee Bean

Seeing that the Coffee Bean was offering blended coffee- and tea-flavored froyos, I took a closer look at the flavors and was glad to see that my favorite drink, Black Forest Ice-blended, was in the list!

Black Forest Blended Swirl Yogurt ($5.50 for a small cup. A regular cup costs $6.20)

As expected, Coffee Bean's froyo failed to live up to the frozen yogurt kings. It tended to the icy side, and was a bit watery. It could have been smoother too, i.e. more consistency's needed. Another thing, don't expect the tanginess of yogurt- these frozen swirls are as sweet as- and actually bear a closer resemblance to- soft-serve ice-cream.

Nonetheless, I still liked my Black Forest frozen swirl 'cos it featured an infusion of my favorite drink. FYI, the Black Forest froyo is made of vanilla yogurt + espresso + cherry bits + chocolate-coated coffee beans. The other flavors of Blended Swirls available are Banana Caramel, Berry'd Treasure, Caramel Macchiato, Espresso, Matcha Green Tea, Peach Mango and Pomegranate.

May 19, 2010

Galta Gelato II

My first venture at Galta's pistachio gelato left me very impressed. A return visit was definitely a must and hooray, an opportunity to get my hands on more of Galta's gelato presented itself before my cluster outing to Superbowl at Marina Square last week.

With the opening of Promenade Station, getting to Millenia Walk has become much more convenient too! Teehee, another reason for me to make my way there for my gelato fix :D

Close-up of the gelato "turntables"

This time round, I chose to have Stracciatella gelato and Apricot sorbet.

Double scoop ($4.50)

Galta's version of the former used to feature delightfully crunchy chocolate balls in creamy milk gelato, but it has now revamped its Stracciatella to the authentic version. Now, it contains chocolate shavings instead of chocolate balls. Pistachio firmly remains as my favorite, but as with Galta's other milk-based flavors, this gelato was uber smooth and creamy. Joy!

Perhaps Galta should come up with another flavor featuring those chocolate balls. They really provide a nice contrast to the rich gelato.

On to the oh-so-very fruity apricot flavor! Every spoonful delivered an intense burst of the robust flavor of this golden stone fruit. Equally tasty was the apple (apple nola?) sorbet which I sampled. Galta's fruit-based flavors are refreshing and much lighter than their indulgent milk-based counterparts. They'll suit who're looking for a lighter treat.
Footnote: After reading ice's comments and doing some reading up, I realized that Galta's gelato (?) should be classified as ice-cream. Gelato is semifrozen as it is stored at a lower temperature than ice-cream, giving rise to an exceptionally smooth and creamy texture and soft consistency. It is also denser as less air is incorporated into it. Due to the lower fat content in gelato, it's also less heavy and thick as compared to ice-cream.
Galta Gelato Italiano Artigianale
#P1-08 Parco Marina Bay, Millenia Walk (next to Mizuno)
10am-9.30pm daily

May 18, 2010

Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint

Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint is set in a rather confusing tangle of roads along Upper Paya Lebar, but thanks to the recently opening of Tai Seng Station, travelling here will be much less of a hassle.

Kay Lee's famed roast meats have always been on the pricey side, and members of HungryGoWhere have complained of being overcharged (variable prices...) That explains why (many years ago) my mom and her colleagues were delighted at the prospect of having Kay Lee's char siew rice for dinner, compliments from their boss, on days when they worked overtime.

I couldn't wait to tuck in. Eating in the car...

Roasted Duck with Rice ($4)
Crispy duck skin at last! The meat was sadly not as outstanding as the former though.

Hakka Salt Chicken with Rice ($4)
Wondering what that mysterious condiment on top is? Well, it's a combination of ginger and fried garlic, with a lemongrass kick! This was not too bad, I guess.

I did not try Kay Lee's much-raved-about char siew as I felt like having roast duck that day. While the roast meats I tried above were decent, there didn't live up to my high expecatations of this joint. However, judging by netizen's sterling reviews of Kay Lee's char siew, I suppose I might give it a try one day...

Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint
125 Upper Paya Lebar Road
10am-7pm, closed Tuesdays

May 14, 2010

211 Roof Terrace Café

Located on the top floor (well, actually just the fourth) of Holland Village Shopping Centre, this cafe offers both indoor and al fresco dining. The ambience of the outdoor dining area was clearly the main attraction of the cafe, so how could we choose not to sit outside?

The al fresco area was furnished with wooden furniture and plenty of plants, along with a water foundation. For a laid-back atmosphere, good for a nice catch-up with pals (:

The Calamari Rings featured tender squid rings encased in a light, non-oily batter coating.

I have been curious about risotto for a very long time. I have even attempted to create a mock risotto by drenching fried rice in creamy soup lol! When I saw Seafood Risotto on the menu, I naturally decided to give it a try.

Plump rice grains, swimming in a rich tomato cream sauce. The rich tomato cream sauce was tolerable at first, but soon grew too heavy. Mushy rice grains would have rendered me unable to finish the whole plate, but thankfully, I was able to finish up everything as every rice grain was well-cooked and al dente. No complains about the prawns, squid rings and mussels which accompanied the dish.

I sampled a bit of my dining partner's Organic Brown Rice with Pan-fried Fish and Mango Chutney (can't quite remember the name). This was not too bad- the rice was cooked equally well, while the fish had a flaky and moist interior.

I also had two slices of my friend's 211 Pizza. She eats rather slowly and had to rush back to school for something, so I helped her to finish her food haha. This bacon and veggie thin-crusted pizza was my favorite of the three entrees, especially the chewy cheese topping.

The draw of this cafe is clearly the ambience, and perhaps the view (which I don't find to be special, maybe because I'm accustomed to high-rise living). Portions were decently sized, but honestly, the food quality- though acceptable- was not sufficient to justify a return visit.

211 Roof Terrace Café
#04-01 Holland Road Shopping Centre
9am-11pm daily

May 11, 2010

Tong Heng Confectionery

A craving for egg tarts hit me one morning. Desperate, I gave the one from my school canteen's drink stall a try, which (expectedly) fell short of my expectations.

No more risk-taking this time round- I went to Tong Heng to get my fix. Coincidentally, the shop, located along South Bridge Road, is just a very short walk away from dear K Ki and the popular Maxwell Food Centre.

See the close proximity?

I really liked this egg tart.

Egg tart (original) ($1.40)

I'd never say no to soft, smooth egg custard. Especially when it's served warm and made even more delicious when coupled with a thin pastry base for contrast. The custard to pastry ratio here really hit the spot too!

Note that the egg tarts are best eaten when they are just out of the oven, when the pastry is still crisp, flaky and light- the pastry becomes flaccid after cooling. The custard is also slurpaliciously wobbly when they're freshly baked!

Naturally, I gobbled down my Tong Heng egg tarts in a flash.

Egg cake ($1.30)

However, I don't quite fancy the variant of egg cake sold here. I'll save my stomach for more egg tarts!

Tong Heng Confectionery
285 South Bridge Road
9am-10pm daily

May 8, 2010

Modern Peking Duck

The latest addition to Vivocity's Basement 2 food galleria that has got aunties and uncles queuing up to check out what the fuss is about. During peak periods here at Modern Peking Duck, you'll never see a moment of rest as the staff deftly chop up Peking duck and roast meat.

Modern Peking Duck's got an outlet at Ion Orchard too, but judging by the vast array of food sold there, I didn't manage to check it out on previous visits.

I ordered a box of five Peking duck rolls ($6) which were freshly assembled on the spot. The staff pluck a shiny roasted duck off the rack, chop it up into small pieces and place them on top of egg crepes. Finish them off with a refreshing slice of cucumber and a dollop of hoisin sauce... the masses can now sample Peking duck without going to a restaurant.

Someone who had placed his order beforehand was waiting to choose the best part of the duck, so I suppose what you get depends on your luck.

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with these convenient little rolls, each packing a balance of tender duck, tasty sauce and cucumber to cut the richness (though the duck is not oily!). I wish I could get thicker slices of the duck though!

Modern Peking Duck
#B2-K15 (At the end nearer to Giant hypermarket)

May 7, 2010

Bao Gong XO Fish Head Bee Hoon

I love fish soup because it's tasty enough, filling and healthy.

XO Fish Slice Soup ($7)

My order came with a generous portion of thick, flaky fish chunks, which were fried before being boiled with the soup. This hearty soup came with a strong dose of XO, which was free of bitterness. Non-fans of the brandy might wish to pick the normal version which is priced at $5.

Bao Gong XO Fish Head Bee Hoon
Blk 713 Clementi West St 2
(Next to the food centre opposite West Coast Plaza)