Dessert

All posts tagged Dessert

Ootoya 大户屋

Published January 21, 2019 by piggie

Before I begin, allow me to highlight that this is a sponsored food tasting session initiated by J Passport.

This is the 2nd time I visited their outlet in Singapore, both visit at their Orchard Central branch. The first time was a few years ago and I didn’t bother to blog. But I was immensely impressed after visiting their branch in Sendai (Japan) last Summer, hence when J Passport offered me this opportunity for a food tasting here, I decided to re-visit.

The motto of Ootoya is to serve traditional Japanese home-cooked food with healthy and hearty ingredients that a mum would normally prepare for the family. As such, don’t expect flamboyant setting despite the slightly higher pricing as compare to their franchises in Japan, after all, somebody gotta top up the premiums for air freight, and naturally, it’s the customers.

I was offered the selection of a set menu, an à-la-carte, a Serio Soba, and a dessert. But as I don’t feel easy simply walking away without paying anything, therewith I also ordered a side plus beverages.

Serio Soba

It took quite a while, and the Serio Soba was first served.

There were apparently some communication breakdown here. Upon invitation, I indicated that I would be bringing a dining companion along, so I was assuming, as per my previous food tasting session, that each of us would have 1 set each. Perhaps I should have clarified, but when I learned (and it wasn’t from the staff) that there would be only one set for us to share, my dining partner had already finished up a big portion of it! LOL! By then, the Soba noodle wasn’t even cold anymore. So, what can I say about the taste? To be absolutely honest, whatever I have to comment would certainly be heavily discounted, but to quote what my dining partner mentioned, it was nice. And that the Soba noodle was at least chewy.

All I can add is what I researched from their menu, that they are using buckwheat flour imported from Hokkaido, and handmade in-house. In addition, I really like the way Ootoya indicates the ingredients on their menu, informing patrons of any potential allergic upfront, that’s pretty thoughtful!

Seriously, I won’t mind paying additional for my dining partner (then I won’t bother ordering the side), but if the food is meant to be shared, then at least provide another cup of Soba sauce (for hygiene reason) and perhaps additional plate, then there won’t be unnecessary ambiguity. Of course, I could have simply come out my own money for a fresh order, but it’s quite a big portion, besides I would rather try their other dishes in that case.

I hope that’s a fair statement.

Charcoal Grilled Atka Mackerel Hokke Fish Set

The accompanied rice, Miso soup, and condiments

I didn’t find any opportunity to ask the staff, but it is believe that the Atka Mackerel Hokke fish was harvested from Okhotsk Sea, wind dried, and then grilled prior to serving. It still retains a chewy texture with a mild umami. I must say, at $22.80++ for the set meal (or $17.80++ alone), the price is reasonable for half a grilled Hokke fish. Though to be honest, I thought the condiments were a little mediocre, perhaps the idea was not to take excessive limelight from the Hokke fish. Anyway, the motto was to serve a Japanese home styled meal, like I said, nothing flamboyant, but decent heartiness. For paying patrons, I think it’s possible to ask for free rice refill and a switch to more healthier rice such as Gokoku Rice, Tororo Gohan, Jyako Gohan, or Yasai Gohan, but once again, I didn’t have an opportunity to clarify.

Grilled Yongenton Silky Pork Belly Marinated with Shio-Kouji

Now, THIS IS HEAVENLY!

The marinated pork belly ($19.50++) was grilled to distinction with an excellent crisp and succulence that it’s so good to eat on its own, the sweetness is absolutely remarkable! And sprinkled with a zest of lemon gives it an extra dimension, not to mention the enclosed wasabi!

Yongenton is a crossed breed of 4 different pig species, or more commonly known as Silky Pork. Surprisingly, it originated from USA. These are what I researched, and the taste is probably better than some Kurobuta I have tried. As for Shio-Kouji (塩麹, 塩糀), it’s a natural seasoning made of salt, water, and rice kouji (Kouji is the key ingredients in making miso), and Ootoya’s menu mentioned that they are adhering to a recipe passed down from Sendai 300 years ago.

You would usually associate salad with French dressing, Thousand Island dressing etc, but that’s not what Ootoya did here. They use soy sauce, and the outcome was rather interesting! But to be honest, the pork is so good which rendered the accompanying salad as mere decorations.

Yakko, $4++

Oh, I also ordered their Yakko (a.k.a. Tofu). As I mentioned, I don’t feel right walking out after meal without paying, so I ordered this Japanese Tofu (as well as green tea). I have done my research before heading down for the food tasting, Ootoya claimed that their tofu is house made, and in their menu, this is suppose to come with freshly grated dried Bonito flakes, but the Bonito flakes never came (I only remember that when I’m reviewing my pictures for this post). I ended up pouring some soy sauce to ‘enjoy’ it with the tofu, along with the supplied ginger, which otherwise tasted bland. Sorry, but this failed, especially without Bonito flakes, the chief ingredient that lifts its flavour.

Maccha Parfait

I had the Maccha Parfait ($8++) as dessert, and it can be noted Ootoya is sparing no effort to mark off a hearty dining with this. In the picture, you will find Maccha ice cream, red beans, and the cube stuffs behind are the Warabi mochi dipped in Maccha powder. What you can’t see underneath are Castella (sponge cake) cubes, Maccha Jelly, Maccha Pudding. Take my words, it’s a very fulfilling dessert for someone who loves Maccha!

I have come to the end of this post, and as a pre-requisite for the food tasting, I am obliged to include a link for Ootoya’s offer tie-in with J Passport. J Passport members get to enjoy free Limited Seasonal Pumpkin Parfait with every meal ordered. Kindly refer to the following link for details:

http://bit.ly/ootoya_parfait

The above offer is valid until 31 Jan 2019, but you can always refer to their page in J Passport for more ongoing promotion. If you ain’t a member yet, you can join J Passport for free to enjoy these benefits. Ootoya currently has 3 outlets in Singapore, kindly refer to their website for information and promotions. Lastly, many thanks to Ootoya and J Passport for hosting us!

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Hokkaido Ramen Santouka らーめん山頭火 (2018)

Published April 19, 2018 by piggie

This is another complimentary tasting session by Santouka, who is introducing their new Spicy Shio Ramen, Kaisen Hiyashi Mazesoba, and dessert Parfait Strawberry. Hence, I am segregating this post from my other posts on Santouka.

We were not allowed to choose the location, but were allocated their outlet at Cuppage Terrace. I have been to their The Central (a.k.a. Clarke Quay Central) outlet many times, but this is the first time I’m visiting their outlet at Cuppage Terrace.

Cuppage Terrace is a happening area, particularly popular for those seeking a drink after work, and I suppose that’s the reason why many restaurants there are having a break in-between lunch hours and dinner hours. In view of that, we made an attempt to be at Santouka’s Cuppage Terrace at 5.30pm, the moment they resume business in the evening, before the madding crowd comes in. The crew at Santouka Cuppage Terrace are mostly very young and energetic, and seems excited at our presence, they spent extra effort in explaining the new items to us, which really makes penning this post a lot easier.

Kaisen Hiyashi Mazesoba, $12++

The Kaisen Hiyashi Mazesoba was the first item served. Before I go on further, let me elaborate, that Kaisen is Japanese for Seafood, Hiyashi means chilled, and Maze is mixed, soba is of course the noodle. Just like many other ramen restaurants, Santouka ain’t using the buckwheat noodle in their Mazesoba, they use the same noodle as in their ramen. Me and my dining partner were quite surprise at its price, as most ramen restaurants serving Mazesoba usually charging very much more, but mainly using other ingredients. As you can see from the pictures, Santouka’s Kaisen Hiyashi Mazesoba was served on a rectangular plate, which almost taken up the entire width of our single table, so that gives a rough idea of its generous portion.

That’s not all, diners who order Santouka’s Kaisen Hiyashi Mazesoba also get to choose three additional toppings (1 meat and 2 veggie) from charshu strips, eel, beef slices, bamboo shoots, egg, black fungus, broccoli, garlic, coriander leaves etc. Now that really makes the noodle more appealing!

In general, taste wise, there’s a rich nutty fragrance, and I sense the presence of sesame sauce, overall it’s very appetising! In Japan, chilled noodles such as soba and udon are very popular over summer, it’s very much like chilling down a hot summer with a mug of beer. Although in Singapore, it’s quite different, most of us still favour a hot broth despite our monotonous hot and humid climate. As the name suggests, the key ingredients here are the seafood, which include salmon, scallops, shrimps, salmon roes, and apart from the shrimps, all others are served raw. Such ingredients go down well with chilled noodles, not hot, hence I can understand why Santouka only come out with a cold version of their Kaisen Mazesoba. I suspect this may well be a testing balloon of patrons’ reception, that if popular, they may start introducing more flavour and premium ingredients such as crabs and sea urchin. Let’s wait and see!

Spicy Shio Ramen, $16.50++

Santouka’s Spicy Shio Ramen came a little unconventional, firstly, it’s missing their signature plum found on their usual Shio ramen, secondly, the presence of fried onions (which is rarely found in Japanese ramen). Other ingredients include leek, coriander leaves, sesame, and of course, charshu. It is obvious their intention is to raise the flavour amidst a stronger spicy broth, so as to bring out the character of the ramen. And despite the spiciness, the sweetness of the rich and smooth tonkotsu based broth is still very noticeable. Unless I’m mistaken, I didn’t observe any obvious presence of chilli oil, which means the spiciness is likely the result of chilli powder, which of course, makes it less oily. All in all, I find this ramen packs a good punch and balance for someone who likes hot stuff. If anything, I feel it possesses a very prominent local flavour with a good fusion of Japanese touch.

Parfait Strawberry, $12.50++

Wait, I know it’s a far cry from its look in Santouka’s pamphlet, but I have to reiterate this parfait was really how it looked when it was served, we had not yet eaten it. First and foremost, the crew were quite apologetic that they didn’t have the correct glass available for it. Secondly, they informed us that the parfait melts very fast, and they assured us they tried their best to squeeze in as much ingredients (which also include corn flakes in the middle of the parfait) as possible. But cosmetic issues apart, the fact being there weren’t as many strawberries as I was anticipating, perhaps due to the fast melting whip cream that they couldn’t squeeze in more. In addition, the strawberries didn’t taste very fresh. Despite these down sides, I still quite enjoyed the parfait overall. Ultimately, Santouka is a ramen restaurant, not exactly a dessert bar. Let’s hope the restaurant irons out these technical matters before the Parfait is officially made available.

Kazan Wing, $5++

As per my normal practice, I tried not to leave the restaurant without paying anything, so we added this Kazan Wing. It was much better than ‘finger-licking good’, capable of giving those fried chicken franchise a run of their money! On their menu, it was stated that preparation takes about 10 minutes, that means it’s freshly fried, and the meat still retained that tenderness, not stale. What really made these remarkable is firstly, the lemon, excellently complementing the miso onion paste, truly spicy and delicious! This is not part of their new item, but I would highly recommend it.

Last but not least, a little information about Santouka’s upcoming promo, for more information and promotion, do follow their page on JPassport.

 

 

黑丸嫩仙草

Published November 24, 2014 by piggie

pokka-bb-1之前没听过黑丸嫩仙草这名堂,即使碰巧经过我想我也不会刻意光顾。从照片上看来,佐料蛮丰富的,虽然名堂上有些普通,第一印象就是充其量将各式台湾甜品融合在一个大碗,就这么混着吃,但如果你也抱着我这粗浅的想法就大错特错了!

WP_000025_BlackBall

招牌大黑丸甜品,$5.4(冰沙吃法)

首先,我澄清并不是为这Pokka的促销宣传,台湾的甜品在新加坡已经说不上新奇,若不是偶然在超级市场发现Pokka有这么一项优惠,我大概也不会发现这漏网之鱼。

黑丸嫩仙草的佐料包括芋Q、金薯、芋圆、地瓜圆、红豆、黑珍珠,当然还有其招牌嫩仙草(请别联想起“老牛”噢!哈哈!)。仙草在东南亚没什么稀奇,关键在于名堂上那个“嫩”字。黑丸的嫩仙草滑溜溜的,有入口即溶的感觉,一尝之后,你大概不会留恋传统的仙草了,就像是试过台湾的冰沙就不再喜欢刨冰一样。

而黑丸的招牌大黑丸甜品(就是优惠的赠品啦)的噱头并不仅限于此,另外还有冷、热四种吃法(真是4种,没写错)!分别是烧式吃法(Hot stuff),热式吃法(Warm the soul),冷式吃法(Chill factor),以及冰沙吃法(Frozen flourish)。我只试过热式及冰沙吃法,前者只是加热,即便外带,一小时内还是余温尚存。冰沙吃法顾名思义,加入台湾著名的冰沙,融合了嫩仙草、芋圆等,口感极佳!冷式无须繁叙,烧式应该是液状的烧仙草(这…大概不能再用嫩来形容了吧??)。

另外,黑丸也让顾客自佩佐料,冰沙亦有传统冰沙口味与冬瓜冰沙口味供选择,不过价钱是否有差别就不晓得了。

http://blackball.com.sg/

 

 

 

Maccha House抹茶館

Published March 31, 2013 by piggie

I had been wondering whether to blog about this, partly because I only went there for the dessert. Frankly speaking, their noodles entries didn’t appeal to me at all, and I won’t think I’ll ever come here for a proper meal. With that in mind, pardon me if this post may sound a bit shallow. Having said that, please recognise that desserts are their forte, not noodles. Just like Kyoto is famous for Maccha, Kaiseki Ryori, but seriously, not noodles (well, alright, perhaps you may still unearth some hidden gem here and there, but I’m speaking in general term here).

My friend and I ordered a beverage each, and shared a dessert. After all, we were still quite full after dinner at Kitakata Rahmen Yamakichi. I didn’t want to order any beverage there, since it would probably be over-priced and anyway Orchard Central is just one street away, might as well have some better drink there, under a more cosy environment.

Maccha Cream Latte ($4.90)

Maccha Cream Latte ($4.90)

After the order, and payment made immediately after, I was surprise how quick were the beverages prepared (they took some time processing my payment, that’s why). I was initially a bit annoyed when they asked me to fetch my own order. However, soon as I found out they didn’t include any service charge in the bill, my annoyance dispersed. I had a Maccha Cream Latte, which I found quite rich, the maccha tasted as authentic as those I tried back in Japan, same as bitter, but a nice blend with the latte nevertheless. I wasn’t sure whether they were using Uji maccha powder, for Uji Maccha is the best in Japan and usually more expensive. Seriously, I couldn’t tell!

Hot Maccha Chocolate Latte ($5.40)

Hot Maccha Chocolate Latte ($5.40)

My friend had Maccha Chocolate Latte, and found the maccha too bitter, although the chocolate latte is sweet. LOL! That’s how Maccha suppose to taste.

Maccha Cream Anmitsu Shiratama ($8.90)

Maccha Cream Anmitsu Shiratama ($8.90)

And our ‘main course’… The maccha ice cream was creamy and rich in maccha taste, bitter in my friend’s opinion, but nice for me. The white dango was expectingly tasteless, but they provided a small pint of syrup to dip in. I found this a bit pricey, but still cheap if you compare to what you would be paying for in Japan, the thing is, I don’t know whether they imported the ingredients from Japan or sourced locally, which I greatly doubt the former.

Getting to the end of this post, let me reiterate that I had never read any review before visiting, but I was impressed by their dessert just from the look of it. After trying it out, I came across a few reviews and found some hardly justifiable. First of all, a handful of reviewers criticised their poor services. Though I admit their services left MUCH room for improvement, but at the end of the day, what services were they expecting when they were not even paying for service charge? Haven’t they ever visited a McDonald’s before?

I already knew Maccha House also serving noodles before I patronise Kitakata Rahmen Yamakichi. Even then, I never thought of dining here despite they were offering more variety. Well, within a stone throw away I could have found Ippudo and Santouka plus a few hidden gems, do I really need to have ramen there? Got the hint??

Maccha House 抹茶館
#B1-40, 181 Orchard Road
Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Tel: +65 6636 5830
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 22:00 HR

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! 😀