Cake

All posts tagged Cake

Henri Charpentier

Published March 7, 2021 by piggie

Henri Charpentier started way back in 1969, as a café initially, in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture. Hence, despite its name sounds French, Henri Charpentier is in fact a Japanese patisserie. I have been attempting to visit Henri Charpentier on many occasions and lost counts of my attempts, because it’s so difficult to grab a table, notably ever since their Guoco Tower (then Tanjong Pagar Center) outlet closed. And just last weekend, when me and my dining partner were still hungry after finishing our ramen, we wanted to find some Japanese dessert, and there we found Henri Charpentier with empty table!

As we quite encountered it by chance, we didn’t do any homework, so we asked the cashier for recommendation. She suggested we should try their short cake, cheese cake, as well as their Financier, and these were what we ordered.

The Shortcake, $10.20+

Firstly, their Short Cake. Not sure why they truncate away ‘strawberry’, but anyway, this is their signature cake with fresh cream and strawberries between a soft sponge. If you go onto their website, you will find three full strawberries on top, resembling the candle flame in their logo. But don’t ask me why it ‘kiu chwee’ here in Singapore, or at least from that outlet we patronised. Nevertheless, the texture of the cake is soft, with strawberries obviously coated in thin layer of sugar syrup.

The Financier (front), $2.50+; Double Cheese Cake (rear), $8.50+

The cheesecake we ordered is Double Cheese Cake, the one without lemon. They actually have two types of Double Cheese Cakes, but we would like to try the conventional one first. Our Double Cheese Cake are made with 2 layers of Mascarpone and cream cheese, and covered with Sablé crumbs on the outside. I am a massive cheese lover, I find both the sweetness and richness of the cheese cake moderate, not excessively thick, quite to my liking.

Last but not least, The Financier, which means financial professional in French. It was said that the origin of financiers is that a pâtissier who was running a pastry shop by the street near the stock exchange in Paris devised this form of small pastries so people can quickly eat without having to worry about soiling their suits. These Financiers are made using well-blended gourmet almonds such as Marcona and Fritz, along with cultured butter from Hokkaido. The texture is a little crisp, and one bite, the texture and the aroma of the gourmet almonds will be captivating. This is one that I will recommend over and above the two cakes I mentioned earlier.

Well, that summarise my first visit to Henri Charpentier. But I’m certain I will return for more.

Mellower Coffee

Published September 25, 2019 by piggie

Mellower Coffee @ Bugis

OK, I confess I’m not truly a coffee lover, and wasn’t actively following Singapore’s cafe scene. I didn’t even know Mellower Coffee’s existence until now, some two years after it set foot Singapore shore from Shanghai. It’s hard to associate the coffee chain with China initially, noting that its name did little to suggest that, but then again, coffee is not a China thing, it’s a western influence that’s fast gaining popularity all over the world, including China (I can rationale part of the reasons being Chinese are more receptive of anything foreign, on the other hand, with such name, it’s much easier to venture oversea). But end of the day, be it Starbucks, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or even Mellower Coffee, none of their own country produces coffee beans, at best they roasted the imported beans, and in principle, it’s this process they are selling.

I probably won’t have set foot into this cafe if it wasn’t firstly a free treat. They are still relatively new, and their locations, apart from the one at Somerset, are quite out of the way for me, with their Robinson branch almost exclusively serving CBD patrons, and their Bugis flagship store more associated with National Library, I mean, there are so many cafes inside Bugis Junction and Bugis +, why would I walk further up the road for Mellower Coffee especially if I have to expose myself under the sun? Well, I shall explain shortly.

This review is a compilation of several visit, but for convenience sake, I will just document it under one post.

Let’s compare my favourite Starbucks beverage and Mellower Coffee’s, sense the difference? Yes, the coffee art. And it wasn’t just limited to Latte, Mellower Coffee applies that to most all of their hot beverages that contain milk, not to mention their pricing is competitive. But of course, if the taste isn’t great, no matter how much gimmicks you input makes little significance. Well, if you are asking about the taste, I’ll have to say it’s a matter of hit and miss.

Oh, by the way, the Latte art is not fixed, it is not a mean to identify your order and is actually random.

Cafe Latte, $6.20

Generally, whenever I first try a new cafe, I started with their Latte. I have heard rave review on how great it is prior to visiting, but actually, what they did was merely adding cinnamon powder into it, giving off an additional aroma to the usual Latte. So, for those who don’t mind cinnamon, it’s just a little surprise, nothing spectacular really. In any case, cafe like Starbucks do provide optional cinnamon, vanilla powder etc, patrons can add to their desire amount to create a personalise flavour. Unfortunately, my cuppa partner isn’t a big fan of cinnamon, no prize guessing her dislike for this. In any case, I am more of a vanilla person, I would have prefer a richer vanilla flavour. So for this aspect, I think it’s wise to keep it basic, and let patrons determine the portion of spices they desire.

Cappuccino, $6.20

Their Cappuccino is decent, rich, but otherwise very disappointing, because mine was served lukewarm. That happened to my cuppa partner’s Latte too. It may be that the barista is new, but for this price, there is absolutely no reason why the hot beverage can get lukewarm almost as soon as I fetched it to the table. I’m not expecting it to be pipping hot, it can’t, but it certainly cannot be lukewarm at the other extreme as if it had been brew and left cool for more than 15 minutes.

Matcha Latte, $6.00

Those who’s gunning for a genuine Matcha treat may be slightly disappointed with this, though this one was served at an adequate temperature, the Matcha powder just ain’t rich enough. I understand Mellower Coffee attempts to be a little special, but being outstanding doesn’t mean having to (in fact it’s wrong) reduce the characteristic of a Matcha Latte. Only mild Matcha aroma was presence, which led me to wonder whether it’s because of their more competitive prices. I do believe the proprietor must have tried Starbucks’ version before, in addition, I can share even McDonald’s in China serves better Matcha Latte than this.

Matcha Frappe, $7.00

I actually like this perhaps for the whipped cream on top. I could be wrong (then again, there ain’t right or wrong answer on this aspect actually, just personal preference), but I found myself more acceptant to their cold beverages despite this also has less Matcha aroma than I anticipated. I like the sweetness it brings as well as the chilling factor in a hot afternoon. Who knows? Maybe if I visited in the evening, I may have generated different perspective, but I’m more likely going for their hot beverages if I did anyway. But yeah, I like its richness nonetheless.

Sweet Little Rain, $9.80

This is Mellower Coffee’s signature item, and as they put it, it’s actually hot American coffee coupled with sweet little sugar rain dripped from candy floss cloud. One thing for sure, it’s gimmicks, perhaps one for the Instagram. Nonetheless, kudos to Mellower Coffee’s creativity in bringing fun to a cuppa, and if you pay close attention, you can really see a drizzle of candy rain flying all over the table, melted by the heat from the coffee underneath, you gotta be careful don’t let the candy drizzle stick to your belongings! However, when it comes to the taste… erm, once again, let’s be very clear, if you are getting this, you are in fact paying for the gimmicks, not the coffee. The coffee itself is very acidic, great for those coffee addict perhaps, but a little too strong for my preference. Personally, I find myself needing some sugar even after the entire candy floss was dipped into the coffee, yes after a while, my patience runs thin, and I simply dip it in. LOL!

Ondeh X Latte, $9.80

Ondeh X Latte is Mellower Coffee’s exclusive creation for Singapore, although not as flamboyant as Sweet Little Rain, but cost just as much, but is actually more than just a shot of expresso plus a glass of coconut milk with gula melaka. You can probably notice coconut flakes intentionally sticking to the glass rim to create an Instagram-savvy impression, most importantly, it has a marvellous taste to match!

To be honest, when it was served, I had to ask the barista how am I suppose to appreciate this. She told me to adjust the quantity of the coconut milk into the coffee to create my favourite proportion. I ended up pouring them all in anyway! 😀 But really, come to think of it, it really should be the other way round, that the coffee to be poured into the coconut milk, cos that’s more of a drinking glass after all.

Alright, I think for the time being, that’s all I have to say about their beverages, let’s go on the the pastries.

Grilled Chicken Pesto, $7.90

At $7.90, I’m expecting their Grilled Chicken Pesto to be more flavourful. Unfortunately, it gave a stale bland taste which left me pondering whether we should have eaten our dinner at Delifrance or Subway earlier.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake, $7.00

We were frequent patrons of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and absolutely love their cakes, but this Salted Caramel Cheesecake was another disappointment. The taste is OK, but the texture, erm… slumpish. Once sliced, it crumbled like semi-molten lava, which I suspect was due to not been fridged long enough.

New York Cheesecake, $7.00

This is really how a decent cake should look and taste like, the cheesey taste is moderate, and in perfect firm cake shape, unlike our previous experience with their Salted Caramel Cheesecake. But in truth, it’s just average, nothing spectacular, and nothing to grumble about.

Matcha Mousse, $6.80

Their Matcha Mousse is at least refreshing, notably on its design. The macaron is interesting, along with the pyramid cube on the other end. Its appearance easily outsell the taste, which wasn’t bad really!

Earl Grey Lavender Cake, $7.00

I’m not sure whether Mellower Coffee’s cakes are seasonal, but when I wanna try their Matcha Mousse again, it was nowhere to be found, I saw their new Earl Grey Lavender Cake, and ordered this instead. As a big fan of Earl Grey Tea, I am having big expectation for this, and it certainly didn’t fail. I find the Lavender and Earl Grey aroma blending very coherently, and simply love the nutty texture of the cake.

I think I will visit again, I guess that tells I’m still satisfied with this cafe.

Rive Gauche Patisserie

Published September 26, 2017 by piggie

Yuzu Cheese Cake, $8

I used to have very good impression on Rive Gauche Patisserie, and thought they are making premium cakes. Well, I found out in pricing and presentation maybe, but sadly, the quality betrayed its image drastically. Before I had my first try, I actually bought them for the old folks at home, and when they told me the taste was at best average, I found it unbelievable. When I eventually tried it for the first time, I regret ever walked in.

I actually got this offer of any sliced cake with tea for only $7 at Rive Gauche Patisserie. Otherwise selling for $8 alone, their Yuzu Cheese Cake certainly looks tantalising. However, the white chocolate and the glazed Yuzu mousse are perhaps the only plus point that this cake has to offer. I like the fresh citrus zest it brings, but when it comes to the texture of the cake… umm… can’t make it. The texture of the cake taste like as if it had been left overnight (maybe it did, but I was there in the afternoon, not morning), and at such price, this is not what I would expect of a Japanese or French Patisserie. In fact, cakes I bought from neighbourhood confectioneries taste better, but appearing less fancy and cost merely a fraction of its price.

Black Velvet Cake, $7

My friend ordered their Black Velvet Cake, likewise in their $7 sliced cake + tea deal. Even worse. The Oreo on top was no longer crisp, likewise for cake texture, which hinted it had been left overnight. I won’t say it’s terrible, just that the quality wasn’t there, and definitely not worth that price tag.

Was it just me? No. So far, of all the 4 associates I asked, 100% responded it’s forgettable. That is the comment they would normally reserve for neighbourhood confectioneries. Then what on earth was I paying a premium for? Maybe I should have tried their Guanaja instead, which is what they are famous for. But I probably ain’t likely getting their cake again.

As for the tea, it’s TWG tea. I had an Earl Grey, I think there are about 4 variation to choose from. No milk or creamer was given, only sugar.

Hokkaido Ice Cream Short Bread, $7.80

Over at their CityLink Mall franchise, their only one to date that sells ice cream, offered all Yotsuba Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream at $5 each during a promotion sometime back in August. Naturally, I got the most expensive one, Short Bread.

Their Short Bread ice cream is actually soft serve made with premium Hokkaido milk, along with their soft sponge softcake, corn flakes, mini eclairon and jelly. Though it may just look like a giant McDonald’s sundae with extra condiments, this one tastes a lot more fragrant, notably from the richer taste of Hokkaido milk, we found it thoroughly enjoyable! Though the plastic container looks a bit cheapskate, but saved the staff’s hassle from cleaning.

Bakerzin

Published March 3, 2013 by piggie
L-R: Tiramisu ($6.50), Black Forest Cheesecake ($6.50), Sweet Pleasure ($6.90)

L-R: Tiramisu ($6.50), Black Forest Cheesecake ($6.50), Sweet Pleasure ($6.90)

I suppose Bakerzin needs no further introduction.

My first encounter with Bakerzin was as late as last November, when I utilise a voucher I got from Dell on a piece of Tiramisu cake. It was nice, in my opinion, not excessively sweet, but then I always have a sweet tooth 😛

So, let me start by elaborating on the Tiramisu!

By now, most would have known that Tiramisu originated from Italy, though how it started was still as mystical as there are several versions circulated. But I bet not many understand the meaning of Tiramisu, which literally means “pick me up” or “make me happy”. Well, made me happy it certainly did! Bakerzin’s Tiramisu appeared to be coated with a top layer of thin chocolate powder, and the cake tasted like ice cream, with a soft creamy texture, and it melts in my hand really fast, no wonder I was advised to fridge it within an hour after purchase. Anyway, it’s a delight that I am looking forward to savour again and again.

Black Forest Cheesecake is basically a cheesecake with Black Forest topping, ie, chocolate flakes. I love cheesecake too, and I found Bakerzin’s contains an adequate level of sweetness, and the powdery sugar on top of the chocolate flakes not only adds appeal to its outlook, but spice up its taste too! But mum found its texture too moisten and sinful, as for me, I have no complain.

Can’t elaborate on the Sweet Pleasure though, didn’t try it. But on appearance, it’s certainly a pleasure to enjoy! I ask dad how was it, but being stingy with words and description, he merely uttered “Good”. I know he really meant “Good” if he asked about the cost, and he seemed startled by the price of $6.90 (exc GST). There is one thing I don’t like about Bakerzin. Like many restaurants, they didn’t include GST in their prices, and that left my mind working hard to calculate the total amount as I placed my order, carefully not to exceed much the $30 voucher I had at hand, which I almost forgot totally had mum not reminded me its validity left merely two days.

Foret Noir ($7.80)

Foret Noir ($7.80)

Anyway, let’s move on to Foret Noir! It was larger in size than the 3 cakes above, and reasonably priced higher. It sounded French, but actually meant Black Forest (Noir = Black, and Foret = Forest in French). I have no idea why Bakerzin gave this German delight a French name, I couldn’t tell otherwise if they had given this cake a French touch, for basically, it’s just a Black Forest cake. I had tried the genuine Black Forest cake from Stuttgart’s S-One Expo, and I can tell Bakerzin’s tasted genuine, with whipped cream and chocolate flakes topping over layers of spongy cakes with cherries within. Mum loves it, and so was me. My regret, if any, was that the cake somewhat moisten on my way home, and perhaps I should have removed the plastic sheet before shooting, but I was too lazy to wash hand again before taking picture, so pardon me! 😀