July 28, 2011

Some of my favorite things.


Carrot cake topped with a fabulous cream cheese icing, buttery scones served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam, honey lemon drink and an incredibly moist dark chocolate brownie from my favorite café.
Chai latté, my favorite drink at Starbucks.
shinori roll
From the recent Summer Hokkaio Fair at Isetan: Shinori roll, a delightfully soft sponge roll filled with fresh cream.
arles wild berries rare cheesecake
Arles' wild berries rare cheesecake earns a 10/10 from me. Ieating it semi-frozen.
milk pudding
Otaru Yakata milk pudding, also best consumed semi-frozen!
LE Cafe buttercream cakes!
Old-fashioned sponge cakes from L.E. Café, featuring an addictive salty-sweet buttercream. Nice cakes don't need to cost a bomb.
Another old-school favorite: Sara Lee pound cakes. My favorite is the chocolate swirl variant, how about you?

July 16, 2011

Ramen Champion @ Iluma

Six acclaimed ramen-yas hailing from various Japanese prefectures have recently opened outposts at Iluma Bugis. They will be open until June 30 next year, and a popularity contest based on sales and votes will determine the Ultimate Ramen Champion who will be invited to set up a restaurant here.

Following the Straits Times' recommendations, I settled on a regular portion of Ikkousha's signature Hakkata Ajitama ramen ($13+). Other dishes on offer here include Bario ramen, mori soba from Taishoke, Tetsu's Very rich! Paitan tsukemen ramen, Negitama ramen from Iroha as well as Ganetsu's special miso ramen.
Ikkousha Ramen
Ramen Champion uses a magnetic strip card system a la Marché. Like in Japan, a disc-shaped electronic device is issued to you upon ordering and beeps when your food is ready for collection!
Hakkata Ajitama ramen
Ikkousha's noodles are skinny and slightly crisp to the bite, though not as resilient as I would have liked. Texture aside, the kansui (alkaline) taste of the noodles could have been more subdued as well. Simmered with pork bones and soy sauce, the broth was smoky and piquant, and was topped with some crunchy black fungus and negi. My favorite item in the bowl would be the flavorful chashu, which was tender with a great fat to meat ratio. The onsen tamago, however, could have been more tasty, and it was unfortunate that the yolk wasn't molten either.

For the ravenous, a larger serving of the Hakkata Ajitama ramen is available at $15+, and you can ask for kaedama (替玉) ($2+) if you want a refill of noodles.

All in all, this was a decent bowl of ramen but I'm too sure if Ikkousha deserves the title of Ultimate Ramen Champion. Santouka's pork cheek ramen still reigns in my book and I hope to be back to try the other stalls here in the year ahead.

Ramen Champion
201 Victoria Street
Iluma @ Bugis

July 4, 2011

A new love @ Beard Papa Sweets

earl grey paris brest @ beard papa sweets

 Love Beard Papa's cream puffs? You've got to try their Paris Brests. I adore the green tea version, which combines a fabulous matcha-infused frosting with light, donut-shaped choux pastry that guarantees a burst of cold, airy vanilla bean custard cream in every bite. The earl grey variant (above) is delicious as well. Other flavors include chocolate, coconut and hazelnut- I can't wait to try them all! (With the exception of the plain version.) 

Available at selected Beard Papa outlets such as Takashimaya and Bugis Junction at $2.50 each, or $18 for a box of eight.