June 30, 2011

Missing Pierre Hermé

This is a very backdated post, but I felt a strong urge to rave about Pierre Hermé's incredible macarons after an acquaintance of mine posted photos of the Ladureé macarons she had in Paris (she couldn't locate Pierre Hermé's boutique, unfortunately). 

Just one bite is enough for one to understand all the hype. There's no doubt that Pierre Hermé's macarons are the best. Ever. They make my world go round.
 
The macaron shells had gorgeously thin and crisp crusts and delightfully soft and airy innards, which yielded to the most dreamily smooth and creamy fillings in inventive but yet amazingly complementary flavor combinations. Rose, a rose macaron filled with rose petal cream, was definitely my favorite of them all; and the divinely delicious Infiniment caramel version (caramel macaron biscuit with salted butter caramel cream) came a very close second. Milk chocolate and passionfruit make a great pair, and Mogador (Macaron biscuit, milk chocolate and passion fruit ganache) was no exception.

If only the tea macarons from a certain local patisserie were as good as Pierre Hermé's Jasmin, which featured a delightfully fragrant jasmine tea cream. Sigh.
Missing Pierre Hermé
Here's a list of the other flavors I had, which were all lovely as well:
 Huile D'Olive & Vanille: Olive oil, vanilla (Macaron biscuit, olive oil cream and vanilla)
Éden: Peach, apricot and saffron (Macaron biscuit, peach and saffron cream, moist pieces of apricot)

Arabesque: Apricot, pistachio and pistachio praline (Macaron biscuit, apricot cream with moist pieces of apricots, crunchy pistachio praline)
Mosaïc: Pistachio, griottines & cinnamon (Vanilla macaron biscuit, pistachio and cinnamon cream with griottines)
Citron: Lemon (Lemon macaron biscuit, lemon cream)
Chocolat: Pure origin Venezuela Porcelana dark chocolate (Chocolate macaron biscuit with a lush Venezuala Porcelana dark chocolate ganache)
Fragola: Strawberry, balsamic vinegar (Macaron biscuit, balsamic vinegar cream, strawberry compote)

Knowing my love for Pierre Hermé's macarons, my dear cousin carted some of these dainty babies back to Singapore for me some time ago! The shells became a little stale after the 13-hour-long flight back, but the flavors remained just as incredibly delicious as before.
From top: Marron & Thé Vert Matcha - Chestnut & Matcha Green Tea (Pretty good though the green tea flavor could have been more pronounced), Pietra (Hazelnut Praline: Decently nutty), Infiniment Caramel
From top, clockwise:
Rose, Pietra (Hazelnut Praline), Infiniment Caramel,
Dépaysé (Matcha Green Tea, Azuki Red Bean, Lime & Ginger: The matcha element was delightfully intense, though I could barely discern the lime and ginger in the buttercream. A winner!)

June 28, 2011

Wooden Spoon

I've been on the hunt for great scones ever since trying Cornish cream tea in England, and am happy to report that Wooden Spoon's version is one of the best I've had in Singapore. Crisp on the edges and crumbly inside, these buttery scones are a steal at a dollar each. And now that Cold Storage 360 Marketplace stocks Rodda's clotted cream, you can replicate the Cornish cream tea experience at home with these scones and some jam!
scone @ the wooden spoon

The light egg cakes also pleased with their moist and fluffy texture. If only they didn't sell out so quickly- they're sometimes all gone after lunchtime! Skip the cookies though- the wide assortment might be tempting, but I found the varieties I tried rather forgettable and pricey.

Wooden Spoon
100 Beach Road
#01-24 Shaw Leisure Gallery

June 12, 2011

Aoki

Having dinner at Aoki is a pricey affair, starting from $165++ per pax. But it's possible to get a premium sushi fix at the restaurant without bursting your budget, for Aoki dishes up affordable set meals during lunchtime (at $30++ and above), without compromising on quality or portion size.

Being one who'll never pass on a chance to catch the skillful sushi chefs in action, I opted for a seat at the counter. But the tranquil atmosphere of the restaurant makes it an ideal location to catch up with friends- you should consider sitting at the private booths on the second floor if you intend on doing so.
The meal started off with a tasty braised renkon otoshi ($3++), followed by a simple but refreshing salad- for a dose of fiber and vitamins!
salad  
Salad tossed in a soy sesame dressing
mazechirashi
What makes Aoki’s mazechirashi an excellent deal is the vast variety of seafood it features. Unearthing the assortment of fresh sashimi piled atop, I discovered pieces of buttery uni, shoyu-marinated ikura, as well as cubes of ebi, tako, shime saba, kanpachi, shiromi, maguro and chutoro. The well-seasoned sushi rice was also topped with delightfully spongy cubes of tamago castella, slices of cucumber, nori strips, shreds of perilla and a dollop of nama wasabi. Needless to say, I polished it all off with much relish!
tsukemono
Colorful tsukemono, pickled ginger and a bowl of prawny miso soup were served along with the mazechirashi.
trio of desserts  
Variety pleases me, and the trio of dessert miniatures- namely plum wine jelly, smooth milk pudding drizzled with caramel sauce and icy muskmelon sherbet– certainly made for a light but satisfying ending to the meal. A cup of genmaicha was also served to aid digestion- a thoughtful gesture on the kitchen's part!

Food aside, the service was attentive and I loved the pretty tableware. To round it all off, I had great company as well! 

The mazechirashi set is priced at $35++.

P.S. Do make a reservation before visiting Aoki as the restaurant can be quite packed at lunchtime. If you're planning to order the mazechirashi, it would be wise to indicate so in your booking- I heard that the restaurant only makes 10 bowls of it a day for lunch. どうぞめしあがれ!

Aoki Restaurant
1 Scotts Road
#02-17 Shaw Centre
Opening hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 6.30pm-10.30pm (Mon-Sat), closed on Sundays

June 3, 2011

My favorite donut @ SomethingToGo

In commeration of National Donut Day, today's post will be about my favorite donut in Singapore!
Donuts from SomethingToGo
Though the donuts from the bakery at SomethingToGo at Regent Hotel are priced at $3 each, their cost is justified by their size- these donuts are nearly twice as large as regular ones. Powdered sugar, almond & white chocolate (top) and hazelnut & dark chocolate (left) donuts all make tempting options, but the blueberry & custard version (right) is the one to go for.

SomethingToGo's donuts were all nicely doughy and fluffy, and were less greasy than most of their counterparts to boot. Take extra care when you bite into the blueberry & custard donut. You wouldn't want to waste any of the wonderfully juicy blueberry jam and rich, silky custard filling.

Happy National Donut Day everyone!

SomethingToGo
1 Cuscaden Road
The Regent Hotel
Opening hours: 8am-9pm daily