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29 Nov 2013

Artisan Boulangerie Co. - Bread and Savoury Fix


I wasn't born to be a bread lover, often avoiding bread during breakfast, not until I was attached to the
bakery section of my internship place for 2 months with Lawrance. While learning to make bread, I felt the
distance between me and bread being pulled slightly closer and I learnt to accept and appreciate bread
now. Ryan, who taught us to make bread suggested that we try the kind-of-newly-opened Artisan
Boulangerie Co., which is a bakery led by award winning French baker, Eran Mayer. The products are
made by artisan techniques (from scratch by hand), can be said to be quite uncommon in Singapore. After
work that day, we headed over to Orchard and took a shuttle bus to Great World City.    

The outlet had great lighting for photography which food bloggers like me would look for. After being
amazed by the selections of bread and savoury products available, we spend quite some time on deciding
the suitable lucky dough that would end up in our tummy. Thankfully the pretty staffs were really patient
with us and I must compliment them for their great costumer service too! Ryan picked the Ciabatta, known
literally as the slipper bread, topped with half a capsicum, cucumber slices and a pile of  micro-greens. I
guessed the bright red colour of the bell pepper and those greens were for colour contrast against the dull
white-brown crust of the ciabatta. They act as a crunch as well as a value-adding element to the bread too.
The large piece of flat oblong shape bread had a crisp exterior and a soft doughy, slightly chewy interior.  

My first target would definitely be the quiche as I just love savoury food. Due to limited choices, I ended
up picking the Smoked Salmon & Dill Quiche. I was kind of surprised that my quiche came with salad with
sweet-sour vinaigrette dressing that could cleanse my taste buds. I was thankful that the quiche was only
lightly salted by the few small pieces of smoked salmon visible. It was slightly cheesy inside and I tried to
eat as slow as possible to savour it. (I could have easily eaten 3 pieces of quiche!) The crust was slightly
thick, resulting in the inner layer of the tart being raw (unbaked). I only noticed that halfway through my
meal as this happens when I had too much free time to admire my food in details.  

My other friend had the Tuna Stuffed Focaccia. It was a rustic piece of  'figure of 8' loaf and I guessed he
wanted something filling enough to be his dinner. Although the sesame seeds were sprinkled rather
randomly and unevenly, the perfect golden brown crust was really crispy! The interior was also light and

naturally flavorful, if you understand what I meant. It was sliced in half and stuffed generously with tuna.
This loaf was so photogenic that I had problem choosing the best 'pose'. (Sorry, can't see the tuna filling

from this angle.)  

Both Ryan and Lawrance added on coffee which emitted a lovely aroma. The barista did a great job
creating such an impressive coffee art which I would not bare to destroy if I had a cup too. (I did not order
as I did not want to risk having insomnia that night.) 

Last but not least, we shared the Cafe, Passionfruit and Cassis (black current) Eclairs (From bottom to
top)! 3 lovely stripes of colours on each eclairs depicting the flavor it contained and only the Cafe (coffee)
was easily guessed right. The choux pastry were towards the hard and dry side (more water than milk (if
any) used in the recipe?) and baked into a crisp dark brown hollow case. Our favorite was the Cafe, light
in flavor and not overly sweet. Passionfruit was fruity and tangy, same as the more unique Cassis. Overall,
the ambiance was not bad, great for a chilling out session or a romantic hi tea meal with partner. I was also
thankful that I was dining with patient people as it took me about 15 minutes to finish taking pictures!

25 Nov 2013

Xing Xing Odeh Odeh Tapioca Cake - Handmade kuehs


YAY! I had a weekday off that day and I decided to take a walk around the CBD area in search for
desserts or snacks to munch on while most people were busy at work. I specially went to try the popular
Tian Tian Chicken Rice for lunch before the lunch crowd outbreak and it was really tasty! I noticed a
queue of aunties at this ondeh-ondeh ; tapioca cake outlet and ended up buying a couple of those chewy
munchies.

Peering through the glass pane, I noticed that only 4 snacks were sold here. The ingredients used were
mainly tapioca, shredded coconut, palm sugar and obviously glutinous rice flour. I spotted the uncle behind
making more of these snacks by hand and I basically bought everything to try! You don't always have to
indulge in cakes and pastries to gain satisfaction as these kuehs were also yummy in their own ways.

My top favorite was the tapioca cake, coated generously with shredded coconut! It was the softest
tapioca cake I have ever eaten and I could barely hold the pieces upright without breaking them. The kueh
kosui was firmer and chewier and had a wonderful aroma and taste of gula melaka (palm sugar). I was
also addicted to this kueh. The odeh odeh / lor mai qi (glutinous rice balls) were like irregular ping pong
balls (not exactly round though) with thin extremely stretchy skin. They were soft but too sticky as they
kept annoyingly sticking to my fingers. The amount of coconut / peanut fillings were so generous that I
found the peanuts too compact, resulting in cluster formation. The worst was the Ubi Kayu which I
stopped after a mere bite. It was like eating into pure tapioca flesh, only mildly sweetened by a thin layer of
sugar on top.

21 Nov 2013

Awfully Chocolate - I doubt the chocolaty-ness


Cupcakes definitely do not appeal to me no matter how beautifully they were decorated, not to mention
the dull decorated ones like the White Chocolate Cupcakes ($5.50) above. There was a suspicious 1 for 1
promotion for these cupcakes and we actually fell for it. 

My guess was that they were trying to clear old stock. The chocolate drizzled on top was disgusting as the
texture felt like instant noodles that has not been fully cooked (hard). Buttercream with almost no trace of
white chocolate? It helped to lighten the semi-moist chocolaty sponge though. Why was the base of the
cupcake wet? Did the cupcake pissed in its cup? I have no clue.

This unworthy piece of White Chocolate Butterscotch Block cost us $7.50 (per 100g). I felt that I had
been ripped off by purchasing a load of cream. (Just like the cupcake) The swirl of sponge had 2 layers, a
darker and a lighter shade of brown that were both equally dense, thin and to be exact, flat too. The
butterscotch had a sandy texture and an overwhelming sweetness level that I abandoned consuming it.
Was the sweetness meant to go with the large proportion of tasteless cream? If so, the cake should be
served upright and not flat down.

Thankfully I did not waste my cash on any of the drinks available. My friend tried the ice
chocolate and it was like diluted milo (even before consuming the sweet cakes). Isn't
chocolate meant to be their specialty and not make me think that I am risking my chance
of acne outbreak to try something unworthy? I guess the quality and consistency tends to
drop when expansion of outlets are too rapid.

18 Nov 2013

My Term 4 Plated Dessert Exam


My Term 4 has passed, and my exam that term was to create a plated dessert with 1 main component and
3 or more sub components. Total time taken was about 10 hours which was split into 2 days. The theme
of my dessert is Fossil! Just a brief about my components below and I tried not to 'advertise' my own 

creation so much...

Banoffee Ice cream (banana + toffee with digestive biscuits for extra crunch) coated with silky chocolate
glaze, giving a gooey texture as the ice cream melted within. 

One of the criteria was to plate 4 plates of similar dessert and here's my picture of 2!

My small choux filling was salted custard cream while my big choux was salted hazelnut ganache.

My osmanthus Jelly which I loved so much! Beautiful yellowish transparency with the flower and petals
encased within. Those mint leaves gave extra minty flavor as well as colour! 

14 Nov 2013

Hifumi - Celebrating a birthday


Meeting out and gathering as a group would happen less occasionally nowadays since
each of us have our own lifestyle and work commitments to concentrate on. The only
thing that would pull us together would be a special occasion such as a birthday or a
public holiday like Christmas which would be approaching real soon! Anyway, we were
still procrastinating on where should we have our dinner that day. I ended up recommending
Hifumi since they have the concept of free flow appetizer when you ordered a main course.

I just love the feel of Jap display... 

I love capturing simple images of minimalist objects such as this unique shape bowl
containing my chawanmushi. I was utterly stunned by its silky smooth texture, although
the bottom half felt kind of powdery.  

Among all the appetizers available, this was our favorite! Glazed with sugary sweetness,
these sweet potato fries were so addictive that we shared a rather huge serving! 

Let me show you guys the 4 main courses which we ordered! Random tossing of unagi, salmon, prawns,
egg, cucumber and roes! Just the colours itself was so attractive!  

Thick but slightly dry pork cutlet embedded among moist and fluffy eggs! My second time having this dish!
My first visit can be found here

Swirly melted cheese fusing with Japanese curry rice! The surface definitely looked like it was torched
(char parts spotted).

Rather spicy curry chicken with vegetables fusion! Something which I would not have ordered...

Happy birthday!!! So many people were staring at us while we took pictures as we were making a hell lot
of noises (laughter) at a cafe. We were having fun among ourselves that those stares were oblivious to us,
LOL!

Posing with our printed polariod shots! The group shot was a tough one as we tried not to waste any films
or els someone would be angry...

Had many shots but these were the best 3!

Cheers!

12 Nov 2013

Launch of Ronald McDonald's Big Red Shoes bench!

On the 25th Oct 2013, McDonald has once again kicked off its annual McHappy Day fundraising with the launch of a travelling ''Ronald McDonald's Big Red Shoes bench'' at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station! As part of the McHappy day activities, McDonald will donate $1 per photo (instagram) with the hashtag #mchappydaysg, capped at 5000 entries, to RMHC. RMHC is an independent charity that had been running a ''home-away-from-home'' facility at National University Hospital (NUH) for families with children in intensive care.

I had a picture taken with Ronald McDonald's Big Red Shoes bench at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange! I
know my dressing style is rather horribly mismatched and I looked like I am in a sleeping attire. After
getting a stranger to snap this picture for me, I noticed that there were people queuing after me to take a
picture with this pair of large shoes! Just pass it on! Remember to upload your photo to instagram with

the hashtag #mchappydaysg !

Location of ''Ronald McDonald's Big Red Shoes'' bench

Dhoby Ghaut MRT station         26 Oct - 01 Nov
Harbourfront MRT station        02 Nov - 08 Nov
Toa Payoh Bus Interchange      09 Nov - 10 Nov 
Boon Lay Bus Interchange        16 Nov - 22 Nov

On the 10th of Nov, I had the chance to attend a casual gathering with 7 other bloggers to witness the set
out of the event where about 500 staff volunteers from McDonald would hit the Singapore street to raise
awareness for RMHC by selling 'Ronald Smile' for S$2 each! Now for more pictures!

By 12.30, everyone were smiling happily, full of energy and prepared to set out to sell those 'Ronald
Smiles'! Can you spot Ronald McDonald among the crowd?
 

One really big happy family!

How could you not spam some great shots with Ronald McDonald before setting off?

This picture is so dam cute that I posted it! 

Bloggers turn to have a picture with Ronald McDonald!

I bought a ''Ronald Smile'' for S$2 to store up some good karma points! OMG,
why my hair style like army recruit?!?   

How could I resist not taking pictures of any food or drinks that appeared before my eyes! The sweet
mango fizzy drink was really refreshing! Imagine the hardworking volunteers out there trying their best

to sell as many ''Ronald Smiles'' as possible in the name of charity!  

I got to try the newly launched (not long ago) Banana Pie too! Some may say it tasted like goreng pisang
(banana fritters) but I disagreed. I created a little mess while breaking the crisp shell apart, revealing the
golden brown banana and the gooey 'sauce' encased within. The banana texture was more towards

'stewed' and more mushy as compared to goreng pisang which has a somewhat firmer bite. It was such
a delicious snack to me since I loved the original apple pie too! 
Hey minion, stop giving me that face! Those banana pies were the bloggers' share! Haha, I
think McDonald wanted to snatch all the bananas away from those minions! 

(Minion picture from google image)

Kitson Choong (Chief Operation Officer) came to share with us more about the event as well as the
initiative! He stressed the word 'family' many times and I knew he was someone who would cherish family
and bonding really much. He also explained to us in details about the fundraising activities conducted and
the operation of RMHC that has been running a ''home away from home'' facility (Ronald McDonald
House). I felt that he was going to tear while explaining to us about children in the intensive care part...

A picture with COO!

Next, we had 2 of the volunteers who shared about their experience and why do they want to work at
McDonald for over 10 years! I know it was not easy to work in a F&B industry and what kept them going
was being part of the 'family' (the same thing COO had mentioned). 

Time to camwhore a bit with May (left) and Janet (omy blog club administrator ; right)

Picture with Angela, May, Me, Kiahgek (left to right)
I felt that I am quite bad with posing for photos and my poses were so not natural LOL!...Still more

comfortable with taking pictures of food!

Another picture with Angela, May, Me, Yuki, Kiahgek (left to right)
I hoped McDonald could attain their desired amount for charity! 
 

Thank you Omy blog club and Janet for the invitation! 

8 Nov 2013

Alfero Artisan Gelato - Polluted by durian!


Thank God this week is finally over! Had so much stress due to a report presentation and a plated dessert
practical exam which I would be posting about soon! This visit was some time back when my friends and I
decided to have desserts at Alfero Artisan Gelato which was located at Marina Square after our ramen
dinner. One of my friends tried the chocolate while the other went for the mango. As for me, I picked the
uncommon chestnut flavor since there were not many options to choose from. The chestnut taste was mild
but detectable and the texture felt a bit powdery. Definitely not my type of flavor. However, besides the
taste of chestnut, there was also another flavor being detected and it was durian! Seriously WTF right?
Unfortunately, my other 2 friends also detected the same similar stench and complained about the invasion
of durian flavor in their gelato. Such cross contamination is seriously unforgivable and it totally turned us
off.

6 Nov 2013

Baking with friends!


This post was actually more than a month back and it was still under my draft session! It was quite a
random thing as 3 other of my poly friends wanted to bake a rainbow muffin. All the 'mise en place' we
had placed on the table for a little photo.

Our rainbow muffin consisted of 5 colours and look at those lovely pastels. Luckily I told them to control
from adding too much colours as it would look too artificial, unless natural coloring were used. 

We also made green tea cubcakes with green tea kit kats stuck into them. Our whipped cream actually
failed, making our cupcakes looking under dressed. However, the green tea taste was still so awesome!

Our mini plain vanilla cupcakes with a coffee chocolate bean. Our alcohol had evaporated in the oven....
Opps!!! 

Our rainbow cupcake! Too bad the 1st batch was too overflowing and the batter flooded out while in the
oven, resulting in a rainbow smudging mess. This was the 2nd batch and I could only detect 3 colors??
Anyway, we had a really fun but tiring time and the pictures we took turned out quite unglam (so not

posting them!).