Banana Pudding and Red Velvet.
Magnolia Bakery Takeout
Just down the street from our friends in West Village was the famous Magnolia Bakery so eventually, we had to make a stopover here and get some of their famed red velvet cupcakes and some banana pudding, which was highly recommended to me by my friend Baked HK.
Red Velvet Cupcake
The cupcakes were a bit of let down in my eyes as there were no distinct or exciting flavors present, the frosting was just sweet and it was all a wee bit too dry. The banana pudding in the contrary was just addictively yummy. As it was chilled and squashy (in a good way) it reminded me partially of a gooey fudgy ice cream and even though the mass was fairly dense and filling, the doughy biscuit pockets somehow balanced it all out and made it kind of light. The banana flavor was strong in this one and only some little sprinkles of dark bitter chocolate sauce were missing to make this perfect for me (note to myself).
Oh, and all the people working at the shop were really nice to us, answering questions, making recommendations and just being generally kind. The only problem I have now is how to get my hands on that crazy good banana pudding ever again. Please help.
Get Your Grub On!
Magnolia Bakery (open ever day)
401 Bleecker Street
United States of America
p: +1 212 462 2572
Mango & Amazeballs.
After a very questionable fish head steamboat dinner my friends took me down Liang Seah Street for some Asian dessert. At first I wasn’t too excited but boy was I up for a surprise. This place was awesome and had a pretty similar menu to Lui Hau Shan which I learned to love so much during my last trip to Hong Kong. I was already ecstatic but the absolute kicker was that here one could order as many of those off the hook squishy glutinous rice balls as wanted. Oh yeah.
I had the works; mango mousse, mango ice cream, sago, pomelo and a batch of seven awesome squishy balls. It tasted great, maybe not as great as its’ prettier Hongkongese twin but surely great enough to make me just a little happier. Cooling, fruity, not too sweet with some bitter pomelo popsicles and heapz of textures going on as well – moussy, creamy and chewy. I reckon they could’ve dropped the crushed iceberg floating in the middle, which was always in the way but I guess when you’re in the tropics you have to keep stuff cool, so no hard feelings.
It was ridiculous and I was so happy to have finally found a place like this in Singapore. And obviously I wasn’t alone as it was bustling down here with a constant crowd waiting on the street for a slot to open up. It was so busy that a while after we had finished our desserts, chatting away, the staff kindly asked us to give up our seats so the next round of customers could get their sweets on. Absolutely loved it.
Ji De Chi Dessert 记得吃
No. 8 Liang Seah Street
Tel: +65 6339 9928
Baked to go.
I had an early morning yoga session at Tanjong Pagar and made a little detour on my way home for some takeout breakfast from ‘Tiong Bahru Bakery’.
I was starving and even though I tried to be reasonable about it, seeing all these delicious looking baked things I totally over-ordered anyway. Back home I opened my takout boxes and started with the ‘Forcaccia‘ topped with a generous layer of salty parma ham, some fruity cherry tomatoes, savory cheese all under a bed of fresh sharp red onions and bitter arugula, cutting through the other more heavier flavors. That was pretty darn delicious and actually would have been enough as the rich forcaccia bread together with the cheese layer filled me up rather well. The stuffed bread loaf, I forget the name of, was unimpressive soft and nearly tasted sweetish. All in all it wasn’t too memorable if not maybe for the hearty and chunky filling of ham, cheese onions and herbs but I definitely preferred the forcaccia over this. It also seems that recently I add something sweet to my order more often and today it was an interestingly looking ‘Chocolate Snail Pastry‘. At first it seemed quite dry on the outer twist but became more chocolatey, sticky and fudgy the further I circled my way in. The chocolate also wasn’t too sweet either which I appreciated.
I liked this place a lot besides maybe the higher price tag but proper baked goods are a rare find so I didn’t really mind paying a little extra. People are welcoming and friendly, the self service proceeds rather fast considering the crowds coming through here and it seemed also quite a nice place to sit down and spend an hour with your friends over a good breakfast or brunch. I’ll be back to try more.
Tiong Bahru Bakery
56 Eng Hoon Street
Tel: +65 6220 3430
Never give up on your pho.
We arrived at Cat Ba Island early morning after a long trip involving three buses and one boat and before heading out looking for some appropriate accommodation we wanted get something nice and filling into our bellies. Since we had just booked a couple of days climbing at Asia Outdoors at the Noble House we just stayed for breakfast at the ‘Good Bar’ downstairs.
Not giving up hope to be able to find a great one, I ordered another ‘Pho Bo‘, which again was rather tasteless. The soup had bland flavours with only a slight hint of cinnamon; noodles were plenty though and the meat was super lean, juicy and with great texture. Overall it wasn’t too bad and for breakfast the light flavours were actually quite fitting.
For seconds I had the ‘Banana Chocolate Pancake‘ which was outstandingly awesome. The pancake itself was thin and buttery, topped with the perfect combination of banana and chocolate, which was of the darker kind, so it all wasn’t too sweet either. So good it made me order this nearly everyday during our stay in Cat Ba and will as well if I should ever come back here.
The Good Bar
Đường 1 Tháng 4
Cát Hải, Hải Phòng,
Tel: +84 31 388 8363
Tingling for your pleasure.
After my lunch I went outside into the sun to warm up a bit and there it was, the ‘Magnum Pleasure Store’. Dessert decision made. I chose the dark chocolate dip and let them sprinkle it with some chocolate pearls and pop rocks. Latter were a great idea as they made it so much more fun to eat, creamy vanilla ice cream, dark and slightly bitter chocolate infused with these prickly buggers, bubbly and tingling away. It was so hot though that the ice cream melted faster than I could keep up with which resulting in me making such a mess eating it, that one of the considerate waiters came out to bring me some extra napkins. Thanks so much.
Magnum Pleasure Store
1 Harbourfront Walk (in front of VivoCity)
Mango Mania and Chewy Balls.
I wasn’t too excited when our friend suggested some Hong Kong style dessert after dinner because I thought everything would be filled with some sort of beans or corn or whatever but boy, was I wrong. She brought us to Hui Lau Shan (許留山) and it was a-mazing. Everything seemed to be made out of Mango and I went for the ‘Mango Chewy Ball’, a nice mixed bowl of sweet fresh mango, funny chewy glutinous rice balls, mango ice cream and an amazing cold mango mousse. Even though it might not have been, everything tasted natural, fresh and sort of healthy. My new favourite dessert place that is.
Hui Lau Shan 許留山
G/F 2-6 Yee Wo Street 銅鑼灣怡和街2-6號地下3號舖
Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
Tel: +852 2972 2292
Restaurant Week 2013: Buyan буян
The second reservation during Restaurant Week was at Buyan, the Russian place up at Duxton Hill.
The set menu started up with the ‘Borscht‘ which was great, the root taste wasn’t too strong or sour and it was loaded with brisket beef fibre. It was my first time to try this and I actually really really liked it. Because we don’t come here very often we added another two à la carte starters for sharing. First the ‘Khachapuri‘ that I found out about on another blog recently and which was my favourite dish of the evening, thin and seemingly light dough with amazing salty cheesiness inside. I could’ve eaten that for the rest of the evening, no problem.
Second add on were the ‘Pelmeni‘, smallish cooked Russian dumplings, that even though filled with a close to hardish meat mince, tasted great and the chilled sour cream and the beetroot dipping sauce made for some awesome condiments. Perfect skin too. For main I chose the ‘Lamb Shashlyk‘ which was a bit of a let down. The meat was quite tough and far too well done and the barley, onions and peppers were oily and soft.
Thankfully they ended the set dinner greatly with their ‘Blinis‘ which reminded me strongly of an old fashioned apple strudel which, because of the paper thin crepes came across a tad lighter, with lovely baked apple and cinnamon flavours. Nice finish.
I’ll never get this iPads for menus thing as I usually prefer not to touch surfaces which others visibly handled with their butter fingers before but I generally liked the place. All food except the disappointing main was great but for just S$30++ for a three course dinner (excluding our extra starters) I don’t want to complain too much as this was anyway a great deal. Nice dark wood interior and great service on top might bring me back here for more cheese cake.
9/10 Duxton Hill
Tel: +65 6223 7008