Friday, August 28, 2015

East Manhattan Bakery Cafe @ Lorong Kilat

Being a full-time chef is never easy. Neither is being a full-time boss managing your own business. So one can imagine how tough it must have been for banker-turned-F&B entrepreneur John Wee who started selling his artisanal sourdough breads in Katong, and gradually expanding his business by opening a cafe in Upp Bukit Timah area. 
Amidst the competitive cafe scene, what makes East Manhattan stands out is the insistence of making almost everything from scratch, from the breads to the pastries to the sauces in the dishes. Take for example the Manhattan All Day Breakfast ($16.80) that is served on freshly made Spinach-Rosemary instead of English muffins. The eggs seem to be accidentally scrambled that day but this platter is pretty substantial to fill up any ravenous individual.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thye Moh Chan : Mao Shan Wang Durian Tau Sar Piah

With all kinds of mooncakes in fanciful flavors in the mooncake scene, it is always good to take a break and enjoy the teochew tau sar piah mooncakes. After all, these are still genetically mung bean paste pastries with a savoury touch, which implies that they are easier to consume than the average cloyingly sweet lotus-paste filled mooncakes.

Two years ago, I wrote about Thye Moh Chan's traditional tau sar piah mooncakes but not the durian version. This year, I finally have the luck to taste the premium Mao Shan Wang tau sar piah mooncakes. Encased within the flaky pastry shell is the durian-infused bean paste with a smooth texture nearly similar to a thick custard. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kagairo Kaiseki 日本料理 花外楼: Since 1830 in Osaka

Who says you have to order one set of kaiseki for yourself and become too full after that? At least not at Kagairo, an Osaka restaurant that is established since 1830. 

It was another unplanned visit just like the Nakano-ya but this hit the jackpot once again. As a restaurant which specializes in Japanese kaiseki, Kagairo played an important role in Japanese history as it was the venue where Osaka Conference was held in 1875 (Meiji 8). 

Several key agreements that were set during the Conference laid the foundation for subsequent political reforms including the Meiji Constitution. Hence, this is why I think it has positioned itself as a high-end restaurant that aims to preserve the essence and heritage of traditional Japanese cuisine.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dulcet & Studio : Back for the Ultimate $2.50 Giant Cream Puff

Even though I've restarted by baking engine, I still enjoy eating pastries more than baking them. Once in a blue moon, I still need to satisfy that damn cake craving of mine. There are plenty of cafes which sell cakes in Singapore but I can only name about 10 for the good quality ones. Put the cost-price performance into the picture and I can count less than 5. 

One of it is Dulcet & Studio, which I returned again mainly for their Choux Puffs. Years ago when cookie Choux puffs were not as popular as current times, Tampopo Deli's big and heavenly cream puffs were the best ones I could find in Singapore. 

Now that I am back to the same place renamed as Dulcet & Studio, their humble cream puff is still a miraculous wonder to indulge. With the lavish touch of vanilla beans in the overflowing amount of cream, it is quite unbelievable that they have kept the price unchanged at $2.60 or $2.50 per piece if you get two. 

Perhaps in light of the intensified market competition, there are new (or maybe not-too-new) Choux creations that caught my fancy. The Matcha Choux $3.20+ (see top pic), for example, retained the craggy and crisp shell but piped with matcha-vanilla cream swirl. Just like the perfect matcha roll cake which I raved non-stop previously, the scent and the flavour of the tea is intense and marvelous. 

Maybe it's also time for me to check out Tampopo's contender, Cafe Ma Maison, whose cream puff was remembered to be of the best quality and value at only $1.30 back in 2011 

I've lost count of the number of chiffon cakes I've had here before but I guessed I'll never be bored of them. Be it the matcha or the chocolate chiffon ($6.50+ each), the flavors come through the airy pockets beautifully, just like their cheese chiffon.

Possibly the only thing which disappointed slightly was the vanilla eclair ($5.20+). Pretty and dainty as it is, the pate de choux did not subscribe to the ideal crispness but was a little doughy. Perhaps I was too excited by the exotic corn and crunchy praline buenos filling that I overlooked the pastry side during my previous visit. But this issue is not too difficult to iron out. 

The Paris-trained Japanese chef just has to transfer some of the magic from the fantastic Choux crust into here. 

Average spending for 5 cakes per pax $13.70

Dulcet & Studio 
177 River Valley Road, #01-41/42 Liang Court, Liang Court, 179030
Daily 11am-11pm
No Service Charge
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