Friday, January 20, 2012

Min Jiang Kueh Hunt Round 1

Hi! I'm looking for the best MJK in Singapore! This is just part 1 of my MJK diaries! Okay let me give you my criteria:
  • Generous fillings
  • Filling must not be too sweet, must have the nice roasted peanut aroma
  • Kueh must not be rubbery, must be soft and pillowy
  • Good kueh to peanut filling ratio
  • Ideally, it shld be hot! (because to me, that's when you can truly enjoy MJK!)

Contender #1: Weng's Pancake

Have been reading quite a few reviews on Weng's Min Jiang Kueh so I decided to try it out! I guess the kueh's green cos pandan is infused into it? But I couldnt taste any pandan. The peanut filling was quite little, towards the end there was no peanut filling alr. Kueh was soft no doubt. Peanut wasnt v aromatic, didnt have the attack-nose peanut smell? But this was cheap, 50cents for one! 3/5

Contender #2: Pastry King

Min Jiang Kueh

The first time I ate this, I thought I was in MJK heaven haha. Because the kueh was pillowy and soft, piping hot, and the nuts smelled so darn good and it wasnt too sweet! Just nice! And there was a lot of filling. So add that up all together and I was in MJK heaven (: And best part was, there were bits of crispy stuff at the sides! Like the thinner parts of the kueh dough/where they cut it so it was crispy too at some parts! I reallyyyy loved this one and was glad to have found this! 5/5

However, I must warn you, there are days when quality of this isnt good at all! That day, the aunty just made it and I bought 2 pieces immediately thinking they'd be awesome since its freshly made but to my disappointment, this time the peanut filling wasn't enough! Measly in fact though the fact that it was piping hot made up for it a little! And there was another day when the kueh felt like it wasn't like the first time I tried, so yup. Guess its down to luck man haha. This is $1 per piece

Butter cake

Mom commented that the butter cake was not bad, quite loose though butter taste could be stronger!

Egg Tart

Please DO NOT try the egg tart. I saw quite a few people buying so well, I jumped on the bandwagon as well and to my horror (I now know I shld trust the rational side of myself who learned not to go w the masses so easily) I was sorely disappointed!! The tart was quite hard and the custard was just ew. Not fragrant and tasted super duper eggy. Fails in every category. Maybe it was just an off day, but argh no more egg tarts from here for me!

Contender #3: Some coffeeshop in Compassvale

My Mom heard from her friends that this store sells awesome MJK so she brought me there and we tried, but sadly, peanuts were a little too sweet and kueh too chewy at some parts maybe cos its been left out for too long? Peanuts weren't v crispy and a little lao hong or tastes a bit old? 3/5

I've heard great reviews abt the one at Pek Kio FC and of course, I've yet to try the famous Tanglin Halt! If yall have any recommendations, please comment!! OR anywhere yall want me to try out! (: Am v bummed that the one at Kovan FC isnt selling MJK anymore :( The boy used to be a fan of theirs but now they arent selling it anymore!! Have been reading rave reviews abt them online as well (thought quite dated ones) But argh, so wasted :(

Contender 1: Weng's Pancake
Maxwell FC

Contender 2: Pastry King
AMK Central, the coffeeshop next to Courts!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

camille patisserie

This is considered a relatively new patisserie? Although it has already been featured on 8days (saw the mag spread while eating the cakes there haha) and they're featured rather extensively as well! I think the pics of the feature are on their fb page!

Anw so the boy and I decided to hunt it down and explore a side of Chinatown that we have yet to explore (we have, since I became a little crazy over food/desserts, been really good at navigating through the streets of Chinatown). And it was like an eye-opener really! Far East Square is such an interesting place!

Entrance to the small little patisserie

Cakes & Macarons on display

According to the lady behind the counter, there will always be a few signature cakes on the shelf such as the Mademoiselle, and the cafe (as in coffee) then tarts, if I'm not wrong lemon tart is always there as well? The stuff on the top row are macarons! When we went, there was a promotion of getting 2 cakes and get 3 macarons free! This was on 27th Dec 2011, so I'm not sure if the promotion is still available!

Mademoiselle $7.50
Almond joconde biscuit, light bavarian cream, strawberry mouse, fresh strawberries

Well its like a thin layer of soft cotton cake wrapped around the strawberry mousse and cream? I thought it was quite interesting because I've never eaten a cake like that before. The mousse is rather smooth, but not as smooth as kki's mmm, strawberry taste was quite strong. A light yummy cake for an afternoon. 4/5

Lemon Tart $7.30
Sweet pastry tart case, special lemon cream, livening glaze, fresh orange slice

The orange slice went really well with the lemon tart I felt!! The lady told us that the tart shell is really crispy so she offered to cut it for us since we were sharing! And boy were we glad we did that! Else it'll be reallyyyyyy hard to eat it w a fork! Because its really super crispy! Crispiest tart shell I've ever eaten! If you like this kinda crust, then this is for you. Personally, I like it a little bit less crispy because to me, it doesnt feel that much like a tart anymore! But that said, the lemon cream was reallyyyy good. Tart and tangy, and like I said, went really well w orange slice! 4.3/5

The 3 macarons we got w the promotion

(L-R) Earl Grey, Lavender, Black Sesame
$1.80 per piece
$8.50 for 5

(and the price list goes on for more, they have up to 25 pieces, please check here for prices)


This had a reallyyyy strong lavender taste! Shell is the chewy kind that I like and its filled w ganache instead of cream, so yup ticks the first few boxes I have for macarons! I liked this for its strong floral taste. 4.6/5

Black Sesame

This didnt have a strong black sesame taste :/ 3.5/5

Earl Grey

Strong earl grey taste that really made me wish this macaron was a bigger piece!!! The ganache inside was perfumed with earl grey as well, yummyyyy. Earl Grey is one of my fav things in the world! 4.5/5

In short, I wished the macarons were bigger and the cakes are certainly rather expensive because well they're quite small. Most are either $7.30 or $7.50 so yup. But the pastry chef is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef so I guess thats what you're paying for? Head on down to this relatively new patisserie to see how it compares to your fav patisserie! 

Far East Square #01-05 (look at the map in far east square to navigate your way around!!!)
Closed on Sat
Mon-Fri 11.30am-7pm
Sun 1-6pm
(info copied from HGW)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Vanilla Bar & Cafe

Here's a view of some parts of their menu! Since I cant seem to find them online. 
Think prices are really v reasonable and portions arent small either!

Pork Katsu Sandwich

At first we were a little scared that the pork cutlet inside will be dry, making the sandwich dry overall. But luckily, we were pleasantly surprised when we took a bite of the sandwich! It was juicy but still retained its crispyness from the layer of breadcrumbs. The tomatoes and I think they used some sort of relish/jam or sth, because it was really juicy and moist! The boy was v happy cos he was craving for good katsu sandwich and this certainly did satisfy his craving! The pork isnt fatty nor does it taste oily! Certainly makes it feel as if its a guiltless treat! (: 4.5/5

Mini Pancakes with Vanilla Ice Cream

We were trying to guess how mini the pancakes were gonna be but we certainly didnt think they'd be this mini! They remind me of the Hong Kong egg waffles! Well they're flatter than the HK ones obviously and they're really fluffy!! Addictive to eat them w the vanilla ice cream that was made with real vanilla beans! Maple syrup was also drizzled rather generously on it which made it even more yummy! Am a maple syrup girl (: So yup, if you're looking for fluffy pancakes that arent too filling, this is your choice! 4.6/5

They have the typical Jap dons, pastas and more and its quite crowded on weekday afternoons cos of the working crowd! Oh its a good place to have a cheap and good lunch as well if you're part of the working crowd! (: V near many office buildings too! Be warned though, cafe's rather small so yup. Service is quite good though a little slow sometimes! But nonetheless, its a great place to sit and just catch up with friends or read a book or something! Great relaxing atmosphere!

Vanilla Bar & Cafe
3 Boon Tat Street 

Psssst Muffinry's just behind it! So pop by and grab some yummy muffins/pastries etc! (:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Jewels Artisan Chocolate & Orchard Central Food Recommendations

After hearing good things about their macarons, I finally get the chance to try them! FYI, I like chewy macarons with ganache type of filling and not the cream kind. Okay I'm more picky about chewy shells instead of fillings so gimme chewy shells anytime!

Set of 5 macarons

Filled with raspberry conserve & rose almond cream

This was sour-ish, raspberry taste was definitely there and we immediately loved the chewy shells (: Plus the fact that it wasnt just cream but the middle had a raspberry filling! We were also v glad that the macaron stayed almost true to the raspberry flavour and wasnt v sweet! 4/5

Passion Fruit
Filled with passion fruit conserve and almond cream

This was sour! Great for passion fruit/sour lovers! Wonderful after a meal I say. We love passion fruit so we loved this! 4.5/5

Butterfly Pea Bloom
Filled with kaya and pandan almond cream

Now I must really salute Jewels for coming up with something so local in taste but works out beautifully! I must say, its a perfect match! Love how we can really taste the pandan flavour and in cream and then later you taste kaya! Wonderful little macaron (: But well, only thing is you kinda know that they used food colouring or sth to make the shells such a pretty blue colour. But wtv, its pretty and it tastes wonderful, so who's complaining? :D 4.6/5

Black Palm Island Sea Salt
Filled with salted egg & almond cream topped with black palm island salt

THIS IS A MUST-TRY!!!!! Just like what most reviews have said/recommended, this is truly their signature macaron and something that you must-try! It is very unique and here, I applaud Jewel once again for creating something so unique, with local taste buds in mind and producing something so pretty and tasty! Lemme tell you the different layers of flavours you get in this small tiny macaron (idk if you can tell but its smaller than the rest and I was kinda grumpy at first abt that because I was thinking, no quality control? Why is this smaller than the rest??)

First, you get the slightly sweet chewy macaron shell, then you get a rather strong salted egg yolk taste (mmmm love it. Its like Tom's Palette's salted egg yolk ice cream!) then finally during the last few moments you feel the salt disintegrating on your tongue leaving a saltish taste. And then your eyes sparkle and you go "wow I cant believe that was a macaron" because really, salty and macaron? They dont really go together. Macaron + sweet, most will agree. But this is real good manz. I recommend yall to try it! 5/5

Oh yea, after trying it, I totally forgot abt being "annoyed' that it was smaller than the rest haha and proceeded to stay in macaron bliss and only remembered abt it when typing this post. Sorry if I sound easily satisfied, food does that to me.

Green Tea
Filled with green tea & dark chocolate crunchy pearl

A little bit sad for this macaron because we ate it after the amazing sea salt haha but if I didnt rmb wrongly the green tea taste wasnt very strong. Think this was my least fav macaron! 3.8/5

We went there on a Monday night around 8.30pm? There wasnt anyone in the shop, the waitresses were friendly and we were sitting opp Lush 99.5 FM's studio! Dont think there was anyone inside though haha. But anyway, its a great place to chill/have afternoon tea/have desserts at in bustling Orchard Road! And Orchard Central's looking really pretty with Vday decorations! Do head down to take pics and check Jewels out! (:

Other places in Orchard Central you might consider going to for food (its quite a foodie heaven!)
  • Parlour by Ashley Isham - its on the same floor as Jewels and it sells mille crepe cakes! In many diff flavours! They import it from this Malaysian bakery which is pretty famous in msia I think! But there are only abt 5 flavours at a time on display
  • cacao7 - low calorie chocolate desserts that sounds yummy! Its at B1 I think!
  • Kuriya Penthouse - v good quality jap if you have $$ to spend! (tried this before - one of my fav places in Spore for jap!)
  • Covelli - good Italian as reviewed here
Jewels Artisan Chocolate
Level 2 Orchard Central

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Covelli Italian Bistro & Wine Bar

The chef used to be from Michelangelo's and since I've been a fan of Michelangelo's ever since the boy and I ate there 2 years ago (must keep reminding myself its the new year alr!), I decided I've got to try out his new restaurant located conveniently at Orchard Central! The menu is very similar to Michelangelo's!

Look at the difference

Complimentary focaccia bread 

Pan-seared prawns and scallops with caviar and lemon butter sauce

I thought the prawns were more nicely done compared to the scallops, they were very crunchy and fresh while the scallops were just, well slightly less yummy? Mm, not that perfectly well done I think. The sweet onion confit underneath the scallops were good, I think the caviar doesnt really do much for this dish because you can hardly taste it. 3.8/5

Fruitti De Mare

This is same as what Michelangelo has! You can choose your type of sauce, tomato/white wine/squid ink, and your type of pasta! It can be pasta or risotto. I have been to Michelangelo's I think at least 3 times? And all 3 times I've been eating this seafood squid ink risotto! So this time I decided to try something else and went for linguine instead! In my opinion, this is the MOST WORHT IT PASTA dish ever! Think its about 20+ or close to 30? But lemme tell you what it has:

2 mussels, NUMEROUS clams, more than 2 scallops, more than 2 prawns, squid, octopus. ALL V FRESH and cooked nicely!

Its like a seafood buffet in your bowl just that its cooked and in a delicious sauce! Here they give you much more sauce than Michelangelo's! I'm not sure if this is because its pasta and not risotto (risotto w lots of sauce is a bit weird) but anyway I certainly will never complain abt the sauce! As you can see, I finished every single last drop of it (or at least tried to) because it was that yummy imo! Its slightly salty like the sea, and I'm not sure how to describe it? But its just good! Best squid ink I've tasted and I've eaten quite a lot! Plus with the medley of seafood? Hands down best place for this I feel!

The boy kept kop-ing my sauce as well and totally agreed w me that its v yummy hehe  5/5

Taglioni with prawns and asparagus in cream cheese fondue

We were attracted by the "cream cheese fondue" and since we both love prawns (all 3 dishes have prawns!) we decided to order this! Sadly, it came w no asparagus and since we were super hungry we decided to not tell the restaurant abt it and just tuck in! The sauce was reaaaaaly cheesy/creamy so if you're looking for sth like that, you know where t find it! The boy didnt get sick of eating this cos he was craving for creamy stuff so yup! I dont know the ratings for this but he says it totally satisfied his craving so I'm assuming 4/5?

The desserts are those usual stuff you find in restaurants but heard the sticky toffee pudding's good? We decided to save our stomachs for Jewels Macarons that Oysterdiaries kindly recommended which I'll post about in my next post! (:

The service was a little sub-par, not friendly like I'd have expected because staff at Michelangelo are friendly. They give me the impression of being part-time waitresses that dont really know how to serve customers because they're still new at it and stuff. The restaurant was quite empty. Think they'd have to improve on their service. But I'll prolly be back for the squid ink pasta/risotto whenever I'm craving for it! And they have some 1-for-1 pasta promotion during lunch I think? Can call up to ask! (:

Covelli Italian
Orchard Central

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