October 27, 2011

Sweet meets salty @ Tom's Palette

Mention sweet and salty, and salted caramel (and possibly Tom's Palette's salted caramel cheesecake ice cream) immediately jumps to mind. If you're keen to try another salty-sweet flavor combination, do drop by Tom's Palette to try the new flavor for this month - Savory Crunch! Who knew that crunchy, salty potato crisps would taste so good sprinked in milk ice cream?
pistachio and savory crunch
Good ol' pistachio (above) & Savory Crunch
milk ice cream! and kaya
Fleur de Lait & Kaya (an experimental flavor)

Tom's Palette's milk ice cream tastes great with chocolate-coated almond bits too (left), but I personally prefer Savory Crunch over the former!

 Tom's Palette
100 Beach Road
#01-25 Shaw Leisure Gallery
Opening hours: 12pm-9.30pm (Mon-Thu), 12pm-10pm (Fri-Sat), Sunday 1pm-7pm (closed on the last Sunday of the month)

October 22, 2011

Alfero Artisan Gelato

I firmly believe that ice cream parlors should not be stingy with samples- how are customers supposed to be satisfied with their purchase if they haven't found the flavors they like? Thankfully, Alfero Artisan Gelato passes in this aspect with flying colors- the friendly staff kept handing its patrons sample after sample during my visit there!

Unlike most of its competitors, Alfero does not showcase its wares behind a glass display- it stores them in metal containers instead, which apparently help preserve the freshness of the gelato.
Not only was the service at Alfero commendable, the gelato was excellent as well. I really liked the exquisitely silky mouthfeel of its gelato- you should try it out yourself! While Coccogelo's pistachio gelato was slightly more intense in flavor, Alfero's version is unparalleled in smoothness- I can't decide which I prefer. Wanting a refreshing perk-up after dinner, I chose to have a scoop of lemon sorbet as well. Although it was decent by all measures, I'll rather go for double or even triple scoops of gelato the next time I visit Alfero!

Price: $4.50 for a small cup (1 flavor), $6.50 for a medium cup (2 flavors), $8.50 for a large cup (3 flavors)

6 Raffles Boulevard
#02-226A/B Marina Square
Opening Hours: 10am-10pm daily

October 15, 2011

Ikada Bakery

Ikada Bakery might not be a fancy pâtisserie, but its cheese tarts are not to be sniffed at. Be prepared to be greeted by an oozing molten cream cheese when you bite into the tart, which comes along with a decently buttery and sturdy shortcrust. Even better, they're heftier than your average cheese tart and are priced at just $1.40 each. I prefer the blueberry version over the chocolate as the fruit jam helps to cut the richness of the cheese filling.
chocolate cheese tart, beancurd egg tart
I liked their egg tarts ($1 each) even better. Less eggy and custard-like than its counterparts of the same name, the filling in Ikada Bakery's egg tarts is refreshingly silky, beancurd-like and sweetened just right. It seems that I'm not the only fan of them- these proved to be a hit amongst guests at a reception I recently hosted!

P.S. They do delivery for orders above $150.

Ikada Bakery
Block 108 Depot Road
#01-09 Depot Heights Shopping Centre
Opening hours: 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-7pm (Sat-Sun), closed alternate Sundays
Tel: +65 6273 5442

October 13, 2011

Tai Tai-ing @ TWG

The luxurious furnishings and old world charm of TWG's tea salons makes them them easily mistakable for outposts of a premium Parisian tea chain, but did you know that the company was actually established in Singapore in 2008? Bewitched by its beautiful decor and the numerous tea canisters on display within the glass-walled enclave, D and I joined the queue outside TWG's Ion Orchard outlet one day for a classy afternoon treat.
afternoon tea @ TWG
I ordered the 1837 tea time set menu ($18++), which included a pot of TWG tea as well as a choice between two scones, two muffins and a patisserie from the trolley. To my disappointment, the raisin-studded scones looked better than they tasted- they were dry and overly crumbly, and weren't buttery enough for my liking. At least they were warmed before serving.
whipped cream and tea jelly
While the red tea jelly was quite nice, I would have preferred my scones to be paired with rich clotted cream instead of whipped cream.
TWG vanilla bourbon tea
A pot of tea at TWG costs $11++ and upwards, and no refills of hot water are provided as the tea has already been strained before serving. (FYI: No sharing of teapots is permitted.) Fragrant and calming, my Vanilla Bourbon Tea was just one of the numerous teas on offer- you'll definitely have a hard time choosing your beverage here! I didn't take to its slightly sour tang though.
TWG macarons
On another occasion, I picked up some macarons ($2 each) from TWG's booth at Takashimaya Food Hall for tea. While credit has to be given to TWG for giving a spin to the ubiquitous macaron by infusing them with tea, the shells were too soft and sweet for my liking. With the exception of Bain de Rose (pink), which featured beguiling floral notes, the tea flavor in the other macarons was too muted. That being said, I adored the sticky caramel filling in the Napolean tea & Caramel macaron (black) and found Grand Wedding tea, Passionfruit & Coconut (purple) and 1837 Black tea & Blackcurrant (dark pink) pleasantly fruity.

#02-21 Ion Orchard
Opening hours: 10am-9.30pm daily