Thursday, July 24, 2008

Dessert’s Bar @ Mont Kiara Shoplex

Who would have thought our paths crossed?

I was running my errands when it happened. It took more than a glance to notice. Not that you were not attractive. In fact, my friends thought you were hot. Sad to say, you were not my type. And you know it.

Introducing oneself is not that difficult, isn’t it? You just have to enter, not too deep, and offer a kind word or two. A smile is always appreciated, of course. I remembered how the cute J-styled staff looked like. On my second visit, she was not there anymore. So weren't you. And the glorious sunshine.

And that necklace? We both knew that it was compulsory. A must, if you must. When the heaving, sweet little girl asked for a donation for a credible charity, who could say no, right? And I placed the token where it belonged. A glow followed.

It’s funny how unexpected dates usually take place in bars. Perhaps under the influence, things are prettier. But here? At Dessert’s Bar? Is sugar the new alcohol? Are colours the new hues of darkness? Still seductive, nonetheless. Especially if it’s red.

What a typical choice we made? Homemade Vanilla and Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream. Quite a contradiction or perhaps an insult to the cutting edge, ergonomically designed furniture in the bar, wasn’t it? Heck, even the martini glass spoke of contemporaneous. But the ice cream tasted just alright. Slightly coarse, the texture. Sweetness was well adjusted but somehow, there wasn’t any reason good enough to distract that moment.

I did not tell you about Ohana-chan. Perhaps the perceptive you would have known. My Tofu Margarita was everything Japanese. The coarse, slightly savoury scoop of black sesame ice-cream. The faint, firm soy-based tofu panna cotta. Me? To add a dash of excitement, there were fruits like honeydew, grapes and strawberries. I liked it. As much as.....

Was there a reason to celebrate our intertwinement? If not, the Grapefully Champagne would have been consumed in vain. The glass was definitely champagne but the apple juice jelly wasn’t. So weren't the cubes of grapes in the jelly. Like some fragments of our conversation, the yoghurt and dried apricot shreds were good complements to sweet jelly. And silence.

We parted.
I promised we’ll meet again.

And what was your name?

Dessert’s Bar
Lot 1A, LG Floor
Mont Kiara Shoplex
15, Jalan Kiara
Mont Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: (+603) 62013227
A well-constructed website :

Tofu Margarita - RM10.00
Grapefully Champagne - RM10.00
Double Scoop Ice Cream - RM8.00

Other experiences:
Lyrical Lemongrass

Tom's Palette

The flavours of the day included Longan Red Dates, Strawberries, Rum And Raisin, Hazelnut, Black Sesame, Banana + Honey Roasted Nuts, Chocolate Stout, Lavender, Oreo Cheesecake, Salted Caramel Cheesecake, Pink Guava, Apple Pie, Mango and Buttered Pecans.

How about the other days?

Think Chrysanthemum, Horlicks, Bittergourd, Green Tea, Banana Cinnamon, Bailey Irish Cream, Mustard + Honey, Pineapple + Banana + Milk….etc. And I am just reading from the board.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I enjoyed talking to Chronos (the boss) when I visited Tom’s Palette for the first time. This man gave up his mundane job to venture into the colourful yet uncertain world of ice cream with his lovely wife. It’s all about the interest, he said. And I guess that’s pretty inspirational, don’t you think?

Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Indeed.

The impeccable service and generous rounds of sampling one can endure before settling for the preferred flavours are pluses to the startling array of creatively flavoured ice cream. Yes, flavoured, not named. And that’s solid.

As for the ice cream, it’s 100% homemade and consists of less butterfat, as compared to the generic ones. Instead, milk is added to sustain the smoothness and creaminess of this much-loved dessert.

Besides fried noodle, the next thing that one can have is a little booze after a day of exhausting mundanity. When combined with Belgian Chocolate, the Chocolate Stout tasted wonderful! I enjoyed the dense flavour of the stout (the amount of alcohol was impressive). The richness of the chocolate laced the stout beautifully. Apparently, the alcohol content will be increased. I’m ever thankful! The Rum and Raisin was rather potent as well, but much sweeter. Slightly coarse, the Black Sesame has character. With a hint of savouriness, it was interesting. Creaminess was somehow lacking, though. As for the Banana Walnut, the aroma was interestingly subtle which goes to show that fresh ingredients were used instead of some artificial flavourings.

Tom’s Palette closes on Sundays.
So cool!

Oh, I should thank Xiu Long Bao because I would have stepped into the Filipino café nearby instead of an ice cream parlour, if I ever visit the Shaw Tower.

Tom’s Palette
100, Beach Road
#01-25, Shaw Leisure Gallery
Singapore 189702
Tel: (+65) 6296 5239 / (+65) 9070 7701 (Chronos Chan)

Small Cup - S$2.50
Medium Cup - S$3.40
Large Cup - S$4.40
* A second scoop of a different flavour is free-of-charge!
* They sell by the tub as well.

Other reviews:
Xiu Long Bao

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Provence Bakery & Cafe @ Holland Village

A Japanese style bakery, making European pastries.
In a Dutch Village.

It doesn't get any more interesting than this.

Many in the neighbourhood know of this petite bakery. A few doors from Palais' Marmalade Pantry, it's a favourite among expatriates, Japanese in particular.

Colleagues have been telling me about this bakery for the longest time but somehow, I can never find the time to break the belt. The bakery closes at 8.30 pm daily but the wassants are usually sold out by noon, I was told.

A more-expensive-than-thou-tasteless-chow-get-me-outta-here-now dinner on a Saturday night in the Village prompted us to seek consolation in a nice, warm dessert at the Pantry. On the way, we met a beautiful meg ryan. I mean Provence. Serendipity? Oh, that was Kate Beckinsale, wasn't it?

So, what is it with J-bakes? What makes it tick? For me, it's refinement. Somehow, the texture is smoother and the taste is more subtle.

Like the Chocolate and Custard Wassants (S$6 for a pack of 10, if I recall correctly). If the swirling folds don't attract you (we've seen millions of these, haven't we?), the texture will. It was soft, I mean real soft and subtly sweet. The chocolate wassants were more defined with that optimal chocolaty aroma. I kept some for the photography session the next day, making it only softer and more flavoursome. No wonder this is one of the bestsellers.

Technically, this is not sweet. But the texture of the Creamcheese Sesame (S$0.80 per piece) scored, yet again. The pastry was soft and refined, with nice buttery touch. The best part being the generous amount of black sesame adhered to the pastry, creating a mini explosion with every bite. However, the taste could have been more appealing though, as the cheese filling was rather bland.

When in a Japanese (semi or full) bakery, I try to try at least a piece of something with green tea (flavour). So far, Sun Moulin's green tea roll has been quite good. Provence's Green Tea Cake (S$1.50) did not disappoint as the green tea flavour was really dense. Coupled with a hint of sweetness, this moist, little green hulk was rather good. Comparable to the size of a muffin, it was quite worth the price as well.

And after spending almost S$9.00 at Provence, I skipped the Pantry and headed home.

Apparently, there's another new outlet at The Central (Clarke Quay), called Petit Provence. It has a love theme which of course, doesn't appeal to me. Having said that, I will still sacrifice for good food. So, maybe (just maybe), I'll be mushy for once. Ewww...

Anyhow, it's good to know that besides Sun Moulin, there are other good J-bakeries out there. If you know of one, do tell me, ya!

Provence Bakery & Cafe
17A, Lorong Liput
Holland Village
Singapore 277731
Tel: (+65) 6467 6966

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ochacha @ The Gardens

It has been scientifically proven that this energy (in form of light, with wavelengths between 520 to 570 nanometers) provides a calming effect. Perhaps this is the reason why we are advised to take some time off to absorb in the sights of greenery surrounding us after spending the millionth minute in front of our computers.

Let’s see this from a wider perspective. If the above paragraph is true, then Ochacha must be striking all the right chords with its desserts. Theoretically.

It’s green and it’s sweet.
The essential sedates.

Green is also the colour of a promise. That a revisit in KL is a must after a not so optimistic experience at the Raffles City branch in Singapore. And a revisit turned revisits, by chance.

On the first visit, the U Call This Tiramisu (RM8.00) didn’t taste as interesting as the name. A cuppa mildly sweet and rich cream dusted with a thin layer of matcha powder, you really call this a tiramisu?? The subsequent visit, however, did offer a sweeter version, with a denser matcha layer to boost. An idealistic dessert that will trigger salivation, if done well.

With bits of nuts, the moist Topsy Curvy Brownie (RM7.00) was nice in terms of texture. As for the taste, it was sweet. Nothing more, nothing less. The supposedly cheese/matcha cream topping was rather bland and that really lowered the matchaistic integrity of this dessert. The bright side being the ever-attentive/informative staff that asked for the patrons’ opinions on the desserts. Hopefully, the taste has improved since.

Having missed the Matcha Azuki (RM9.00) in Singapore, it was only right to try out this signature cake on the revisits. The ensemble of the matcha sponge, cream and azuki paste layers was a smart and pretty sight. While the slight crumbly texture was appreciated, the cake was just plain sweet. The taste of matcha was rather faint, albeit the beautiful, lush green.

Like how the Joker and Harvey Dent overshadowed the Dark Knight, the beverages (they call it Thirstier) definitely surpassed the cakes in terms of taste, or specifically, machaism. A sip of the Ochacha Latte (RM10.50) revealed a subtly bitter, aromatic matcha flavour, embodied by a cup of warm milk. With a touch of sweetness, it was bliss. A personal favourite, definitely. A chilled version would have been good as well.

If tranquility is the green of the mind and trees are nowhere to be found through your window, the matcha latte may come in handy.

T237A, The Gardens
Mid Valley
Kuala Lumpur.

Friday, July 18, 2008

PS Cafe @ Paragon

72 hours had passed since Sunday left me high and dry. I worked extra hard to forget the longing and hoped that 24 would turn 12. That Monday and Tuesday would cheer and eat and dress like Sunday. Who was I kidding? Sundays are meaningless if not for the torturous Mondays, Tuesdays……That’s life.

Meeting that Wednesday evening was pleasant. I couldn’t wait to tell the day how much I missed Sunday and how bad Monday and Tuesday had been to me.

A disappointing dinner.


Instead of offering a piece of consolation, it led me to a building with a façade cramped with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent and Ferragamo. As if hypnotized, those words appeared oblivious, just like the hordes of pedestrians crossing the busy Orchard Road. I believe I knocked a few shoulders. Yet, the road still felt empty. I only had Monday, Tuesday and that dinner to blame.

The cubes of sugar at PS Cafe reminded me again of Sunday. Sitting across the ProjectShop(PS) boutique, I composed myself to read the menu written on the pillar of the extended open area of the cafe. I chose desserts, to see how Sunday would feel like on a Wednesday. And to forget the disappointing dinner, definitely.

There came the G3 Cheesecake (S$9.90). The three Gs represent the main flavouring ingredients; green apple, ginger and green lime. Firm and moist, the cake’s texture was lovely. Taste-wise, it was aptly sweet but lacked the level of tanginess I expected, in the presence of green apple and lime. An additional scoop of vanilla ice cream (S$2.00) provided a good contrast to the warm cake. Like how Saturdays complement Sundays.

Observing my surrounding, not all Wednesdays were sad. Most were happily chatting away, with scrumptious food in hand and/or mouth.

I suppose the Homemade Steamed Lemon Pudding (S$12.90) was intended to sedate the Wednesdays. To transport them to Sunday. To assure that Thursdays will be less painful. Exuding a strong butter/lemon scent; the soft, sweet and moist pudding was by all means, alluring. The pouring of the caramel and the scoop of vanilla ice cream enhanced the sweetness of the ensemble and provided a smoother, richer texture. A piece of well-deserved heaven, this.


Like the infatuation for Sundays, we often overlook what’s right in front of us. Like Wednesdays or any other non-Sundays. Or even Saturdays, for that matter.

It’s a pity because I would have missed the raved PS Cafe.

And that's 120 hours before the next Sunday.

PS Cafe
Paragon Shopping Centre
290, Orchard Road
Singapore 238859
Tel: (+65) 67356765

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Alexis @ Bangsar Shopping Centre


Through the window, Jalan Maarof seemed longer that particular Sunday. The vehicles that passed me by were moving at a slower pace. Lingering mid-tempo house tunes seemed to resonate with that pace as well. Perhaps there are 48 hours on Sundays. Or perhaps, that’s what we want to believe.


The bistro was chic, minimal and smart. So were the patrons.


I placed my order. Something sweet (like most Sundays) to go with my favourite Earl Grey.


My Banoffee Pie came with a nice aroma. The coffee cream was light and smooth while the chocolate-coated pieces of bananas were sweet and soft. A good combination of texture and flavour. The crust was optional, at this point.


The scent of caramelized mixed nuts (almond and peanuts) was familiar. And who can forget those layers of finger sponge soaked in a heavy dose of cognac? Smoothened by the rich, lush mascarpone, which was embedded with chocolate shavings, it was a seductive bite. Every bite. The strawberry sauce gave a nice, tangy contrast. But it was a Sunday. A sweet day that could do without a taste of sourness.



They often say waiting is the hardest thing. But on Sundays, we don’t impatiently wait for the arrival of Mondays. In fact, if we have to wait for 48 hours, we will gladly do so.

Bring on the storm! That’ll cause some delay!

As we watch the world goes by.

With pieces of sweet heaven right in front of us.

Alexis BSC
Lot F15A, First Floor
Bangsar Shopping Centre.
Tel: (+603) 2287 1388

Tiramisu – RM13.00 per piece
Banoffee Pie – RM11.00 per piece

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Tell-A-Tale (Part 13): All that glitters...

She yearns for the shimmer.
Softly, gently, she bites her lips.
Those sparkling, animetic tears.
Little girl.

How sweet is surrender?


Shower her! Shower her more!

The crunch.
Tasteful high.

The smell.
Seductive burn.

The temptation.
She goes weak.

For a smile.
Absolutely wild!

Imagination, perhaps?

Or dessert?

A sweet July.

Shall we, sugar?



Monday, July 7, 2008

Singapore Food Festival 2008 Opening Celebrations @ Lau Pa Sat

Raffles Quay - The Singapore Food Festival opened to the beat of the kompangs and Chinese drums here at Lau Pa Sat on the evening of 4 July. The guest of honour, Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry officiated the launch of Singapore Food Sampler by dishing a plate of Char Kway Teow, much to the delight of the crowd. The celebration continued with performances, black and white movie screenings and the quintessential offering of True Singapore Taste hawker dishes by some of the highlighted stalls. For more information on Lau Pa Sat and the Food Festival, do visit their official websites.

Mr. Lee Yi Shyan, Minister of State for Trade and Industry officiating the launch of the Singapore Food Sampler.

Some of the highlights of the True Singapore Taste hawker dishes at Lau Pa Sat Festival Market including satay, laksa, chicken rice and roti prata.

Wah! So many people that day! As guests, food bloggers were presented with a "media" tag (so cool!) and a S$20 TST card to enable them to feast the night away at Lau Pa Sat. Together with Keropokman & Momo from SingaporeDailyMakanPhoto and AromaCookery, we explored some of the highlighted dishes from the participating hawker stalls.

Among others, the Char Kway Teow from Lakeview Char Kway Teow (Stall 77). The sufficient amount of heat gave it a rather aromatic flavour. The Fried Carrot Cake was flavoursome with a hint of sweetness from the sweet dark soy sauce. The diced bits of the cake were firm as well. Other dishes ordered were Bak Kut Teh and Braised Duck from Taste Good (Stall 14). The group seemed to enjoy the visually appetising Rojak from Sister Rojak (Stall 34). Cuppa Choice provided us with a few cups of well-decorated, rich cappuccinos. A good finale after the mugs of Tiger beer consumed.

With a myriad of local and western delights to tantalise the tastebuds and a strategic location to boost, it's no wonder that Lau Pa Sat stands among the prominent hawker centers in Singapore. A few more visits will be needed to determine if it will be in my list, alongside Hong Lim Food Centre, among others.

As for this year's Singapore Food Festival, be prepared for a month of celebration of food and culture. And most of all, a heritage.

Join in the fun!

Lau Pa Sat Festival Market
18 Raffles Quay
Singapore 048582
Tel: (+65) 6220 2138

For more information on the food festival, check out these links:Singapore
Food Festival 2008

Singapore Tourism Board

Friday, July 4, 2008

Singapore Food Festival 2008 – Press Conference

FORT CANNING PARK – The 15th Singapore Food Festival will be held from 4 to 27 July 2008, celebrating the best of local dishes with emphasis on hawker food made popular in the 1950s and 60s. At the press conference held on 1 July at At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy, organizers highlighted the major events taking place throughout this month-long festival at certain prominent tourist locations. Among others, a Seafood Weekend at Robertson Walk on 11 July, Ethnic Food Trails from 11 to 13 July at Chinatown, Kampong Glam, Little India & Lau Pat Sat and the Sentosa BBQ on 26 and 27 July. Details of all events can be found at the festival’s official website.

Hamish Brown (of Gold 90.5 FM) with the festival’s official partners (from left): Mr Ng Yong Hwee, President & CEO, City Gas, Mr Tan Kian Chew, Group CEO, NTUC Fairprice, Mr Andrew Phua, Director, Tourism, Shopping & Dining Cluster, STB and Mr Peter Knipp, CEO, Peter Knipp Holdings.

"Hi! You are from….?"…errr, I’m Nic. Food blogger? *grinned*. I peeped at the guestlist. OMG! I was excited to see his and his name. Starstruck, me. Keropokman (himself being an icon as well) told me he had met them both before. In fact, the three of them were involved in a talk, related to food blogging sometime back. Alas, they couldn’t make it that morning.

Later at the conference, guests were treated to an array of signature Singaporean dishes, courtesy of the festival’s partners. Among others, the iconic chicken rice and satay. NTUC FairPrice and City Gas also took the opportunity to introduce some of their products.

Wah, sakura chicken! My first time!

Another highlight of the festival will be the City Gas Singapore Chef Awards, presented by City Gas and endorsed by the Singapore Chefs Association. In line with the Singaporean theme, chefs are required to create a new dish using local ingredients and will be judged based on creativity, presentation, taste and relevance.

Wah liao! I also got to vote for City Gas Chef of the Year 2008 and City Gas Junior Chef of the Year 2008, under the Media Choice category. Awesome! That aside, all the dishes looked absolutely stunning. The burst of creativity in the judging room was definitely inspiring. And I am not disclosing my choice. Hehehe…As a whole, I thought the idea of a local theme should be applauded.

The Opening Celebrations will kick off from 4 to 6 July at Lau Pat Sat, an iconic hawker centre in Singapore. With a nostalgic theme of the 1950s and 60s, patrons can expect about 100 featured stalls serving authentic local dishes. The Singapore Food Sampler offers foreign visitors a chance to savour three types of local delights for free. Vouchers are available at the Singapore Visitor Centres and core event venue, with just a show of their passports.

It’ll be interesting to have a taste of yesteryears. For visitors, it’s a big slice of cultural revelation. For locals, it’s a reminder of the food that made them who they are today. While I recall that ‘Times Of Your Life’ song from Paul Anka played at the press conference that day. Indeed.

Let the celebrations begin!

For all information on the festival, check out these websites:

Singapore Food Festival 2008

Singapore Tourism Board