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Ristretto Roasters, Portland

August 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Ristretto Roasters closed its Beaumont branch and opened its doors at Couch Street just yesterday! Like when we were there at about 6pm, they were literally just opened for business, for like 3 hours or so?

Normally we go to the Nicolai branch but heard that RR was opening one at Couch St and we were pretty excited about it, because it has the latest opening hours, until 8pm, so you can grab a cuppa and chill later into the evening. Myself and T have found a lack of good coffee roasters that open past 6 in Portland, so needless to say, we were stoked to know of the new Couch St RR’s opening hours.

The place sits at a lovely corner of NE Couch and 6th Ave, and is apparently designed by Bamboo Revolution; the avant garde wooden furnishings are telling of that, and they serve awesome coffee, no less. And their iced coffee/cold brew comes in Ball mason jars, how cool is that?

Ristretto Roasters @ Couch St

Another cool place to chill with great coffee, hurray!

Ristretto Roasters
555 NE Couch Street
Portland, OR 97232
(503) 248-6767

Patisserie G, Singapore

May 12, 2013 1 comment

3D Latte Art but no 3D Glasses required..

3D Latte Art but no 3D Glasses required!

Chic japanese themed cafe located in Millenia Walk. Not a typical place that I would head to for a cup of cuppa. Heard and saw pictures of the 3d latte art totally made me want to check it out myself. Coffee beans are from local roastery Liberty Coffee was definitely a plus! Be sure to try out the desserts from the Cordon Bleu pastry chef Gwen Lim who has apparently worked under Pierre Herme himself! Pretty Awesome!

Patisserie G, Singapore

Cappuccino and Triomphe
Burnt salted caramel mousse and hazelnut sponge

Patisserie G
9 Raffles Boulevard,
#01-40 Millenia Walk,
Singapore 039596
Tel: +65 6338-7578
Opening Hours:
Mon – Thu: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sat: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Singapore

December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

*Drum rolls* CSHH is the flagship store of Papa Palheta. If you like PPP, you will definitely love this place featuring a Coffee Bar, Coffee Retail, The Roastery, The Workshop and The Annex. The roastery and coffee bar is exactly what it means, the annex is where the tasting happens (call and reserve in advance! 23 bucks!) and the coffee retail is where they display the coffee gadgets and add ons some of which are really interesting.

Jalan Besar is definitely not the easiest place to get to but I went there twice without driving. so its not impossible lol. Don’t be fooled by the front of the store, it may look closed due to the shutter grills but the “main entrance” is actually on the side, just like how PPP’s entrance was behind. Pretty cool concept and it definitely fits well into the entire row of shophouses in the area.

Check out the menu too. its really simple.. espresso + milk, espresso + water and brewed coffee. no coffee jargon involved. with a really interesting drink that I didn’t get a chance to try.. the beer (& coffee) moment where the description was something like Jungle Beer x Papa Palheta if I am not wrong. maybe someone who has tried that can let me know if its awesome 😛

Chye Seng Huat Hardware, Singapore

Espresso + Milk

Smooth, creamy with no residual bitterness.. Coffee junkies.. u know where to head to for your next caffeine fix.

Chye Seng Huat Hardware
150 Tyrwhitt Road
Singapore 207563
Tel : +65 6396 0609
Tue-Thu: 9am-7pm
Fri-Sun: 9am-10pm

Golden Gate Bakery, San Francisco

A chinese bakery located in the hearts of Chinatown in San Francisco. They are famous for their egg tarts and probably one of the better ones I had in the States. You can hardly miss this place if you walk by Grant Ave as there’s always a long line. Trust me. As long as they are open, the traffic never ends. However, they are frequently out on vacation or they are just not open. It doesn’t help that the service is like that of a classic asian place but what do you expect in Chinatown right?

Golden Gate Bakery, San Francisco

Egg Tarts

My first encounter with their egg tarts were when my aunt bought home a dozen of them. She refused to eat them unless she just got them at the bakery. They tasted pretty good even when its cold. So I had to make a trip down to Chinatown to check them out myself. Obviously it did taste better when it was freshly baked. Definitely get a dozen for 15 bucks when you happen to be in the area. Oh one last note, as usual Chinatown = Cash Only.

Golden Gate Bakery
1029 Grant Ave
(between Jackson St & Pacific Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Tel: (415) 781-2627
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun 8 am – 8 pm

The Buffet at Bellagio, Las Vegas

The Buffet at Bellagio, Las Vegas

Bellagio
3600 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Tel: (702) 693-7111
Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri 7 am – 11 am
Mon-Fri 11 am – 4 pm
Mon-Sun 4 pm – 10 pm
Sat-Sun 7 am – 4 pm

Categories: Brunch, Cakes, Las Vegas, Seafood

Maison Ikkoku, Singapore

January 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Happy Lunar New Year to all!

I had a really great reunion dinner today. It was raining, so it was really perfect for steamboat (or hotpot, as some know it by). But the best thing about reunion dinner, is really not the dinner, but the reunion! It’s heartwarming to have the whole family huddling around the steamboat, eating and catching up. (: While my dad and mom spent the entire day preparing for the dinner, I was out this lovely Sunday, at Maison Ikkoku for a spot of brunch and coffee. Yes, I know, how un-helpful right? But, I reckon the more I help, the higher the chance of me botching things up, so I figured I might as well make myself useful elsewhere, contributing to the F&B industry.

Maison Ikkoku is named after a Jap manga and translated, it means “house of the moment”. Along Kandahar St (beside Good & Rich Cake Shop, THE place to get the best kaya swiss rolls), it is a three storey shophouse functionally sectorized by levels; level one is the cafe, two is a menswear boutique, and three has an alfresco cocktail bar (which I haven’t visited). Heard real good stuff about their coffee art, and I was not disappointed when I went today. The interior of Maison Ikkoku was fodder for thought and conversation when I went there with Q this afternoon. There were copper pipings that exposed a bulb at the end (we were wondering if it’s copper or brass), the plush pin-cushioned seats, the half-cupboards hanging on the ceiling (supposed to look like they’ve sunken through the second level floor), the old door that’s reused as a table-top, and many other things that kept us entertained. So this is probably a good place to bring a date if you are worried that there’ll be nothing to talk about. :p

I suppose MI wasn’t crowded today because it’s the eve of CNY, and most people were probably busy preparing for the festivities of CNY, so it was quiet and picturesque. We just lounged around the entire afternoon there, sipping coffee, which was quite potent, btw. I hear their baristas roast the coffee themselves weekly, and they’re trained by world-renowned Jap celebrity barista and latte art specialist, Hiroshi Sawada. Which explains the perfectly crafted latte art.

Maison Ikkoku

MI Misubi
Japanese short grain rice with seasoning & SPAM ham

This is one of their house specialty, and it’s like a luncheon meat sushi? But don’t underestimate this seemingly simple looking dish, it packs some umami in it, and if not for our main brunch courses coming up, we might have ordered more of this. And I do apologise for the unusual lighting of the photo, but I was trying to bounce the flash off the wall on the side because the ceiling was not only quite high up, it was also black in colour. Please be patient with noob me 🙂

Maison Ikkoku

S.E.A.T
Norwegian smoked salmon + scrambled eggs + avocado + sourdough toasts

Maison Ikkoku

MI Latte

If you excuse the bubbles (because I took too long to photograph it, being the noob that I am), then you can see for yourself that the latte art at Maison Ikkoku is indeed, exceptional. This is quite a big cup of latte, and I ordered it to photograph it, because I already had a cappuccino before this. Bigger cup = more distinct art. Looks about right, right?

When you are done getting your caffeine fix, do take a stroll up to the boutique on level two. There are many atas menswear labels from UK, Japan, US and France. Even if you do not buy anything, just browsing around in the eclectic shop is an interesting experience.

Maison Ikkoku may mean “house of the moment”, but I sure hope they don’t just become a place of the moment; hope they stick around long enough because they serve good food and really pretty coffee!

Maison Ikkoku
20 Kandahar Street, Singapore,
Singapore 198885
Mon – Thu:9:00 am-9:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 9:00 am-11:00 pm
Sun: 9:00 am-7:00 pm

Macarons in LA

January 2, 2012 Leave a comment

First post of 2012!

I’ve been blogstipated for a while now, and it’s because I was away on holidays! But the main reason is pure laziness I suppose. Hah. Lazy and me are synonymous. So anyways, I was in The States for a while, in Los Angeles to be exact, where T is based. We drove around quite a bit and went as far as Utah and Tahoe this time round. It was a smashing holiday, and I can’t wait for my next holiday! So last Xmas when I was in NYC, cupcakes were a big thing there, what with Magnolia Bakery and Sprinkles (though Sprinkles is from California), and we had a great time photographing them, because they all look so pretty!

But this year, it seems like macarons are the new cupcakes, especially in LA. They come in so many colours and flavours, and they’re easy to eat, as compared to cupcakes; Just pop one in your mouth and savour ! The macaron is basically a French confection consisting of 2 layers of light meringue-based cookie filled with ganache, buttercream or jam. So here are some of the best macarons we’ve had in LA.

Bottega Louie

Bottega Louie, Los Angeles

You can tell how popular Bottega Louie (BL) is from the bustle once you step into it. It is a restaurant, patisserie, bar and gourmet market all rolled into one spacious, white marbled, high ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windowed entity that sits on a corner in Downtown LA. The moment you walk in, rows of delightful macarons greet you, and it’s hard to imagine anyone walking out without at least buying one macaron to enjoy. I went BL for lunch (they’ve got great pizzas and portobello fries as well!), and after the meal, we bought some macarons to try. They cost USD 2 each and you would be spoilt for choice, with 14 different flavours to try from! We bought 5 to try and my all time fave is the pistachio, so that’s the yardstick flavour. Macarons from BL make good gifts, because they’ve got really sweet boxes and ribbons. Personally, I loved the food at BL, but the macarons were a bit too sweet for our liking. But, what are desserts if they ain’t a sweet finish to the meal right? 🙂

Bottega Louie, Los Angeles
700 S Grand Ave 
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tel: (213) 802-1470
Hours of Operation:
Mon – Fri 10.30am – 11pm
Sat – Sun 11am – 3pm Brunch, 3pm – 11pm Full Menu

Lette

Paulette, Los Angeles

Lette used to be called Paulette, until they got embroiled in some trademark lawsuit over the use of “pau”, so now they’re just called Lette. I tried Lette’s macarons the last year I went to LA, and I loved them! So I was looking forward to sinking my teeth into them again this time round. They’ve got 2 outlets in LA, and 1 in Pasadena. We normally go to the one at Beverly Hills. No, I have not spotted any celebrities there yet! Tough luck for me, considering I’ve been to LA so many times. Then again, T lives in LA and he hasn’t had much luck either. Hah. Anyway, they’ve got a kaleidoscope of 12 varieties of macarons that would entice anyone to swing into the shop if they happen to be passing by. They cost USD 1.70 each and we normally buy one for each flavour. Sometimes there are extra seasonal flavours too. The macarons from Lette are soft and creamy, they melt in your mouth, and they’re my favourite! No bones about that!

Lette, Beverly Hills
9466 Charleville Boulevard at Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel: (310) 275-0023
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6pm

Napoléon’s Macarons

Napoléon's Macarons

Napoleon’s Macarons is located in a Westfield mall in Canoga Park, which is about a 40 minute drive from where we lived in LA. So we purposefully dropped by to try their macarons. They don’t really have a shop of their own, more of a counter in the mall, blink and miss kind. That’s what happened to us. We were trying to find it, but we somehow walked past it without seeing it, until we backtracked. When we got there, some lady in front of us already bought ALL the tiramisu macarons, so we were left with 8 remaining flavours, which we got one of each. They cost USD 1.70 each, and their box looks a bit similar to that of BL, but the BL one definitely looks more classy. Somehow, the state of the macarons did not feel like they would last until we got home, so we had no choice but to photograph them there and then. The quirky pair working there seemed to have difficulty getting their act together (they claim it’s their first day working together), and when we wanted to get an extra box to frame the photo nicely, we were refused, politely of course. So we borrowed the box. They normally have 17 flavours to choose from, and I thought their macarons were pretty good. Not as sweet as the ones at BL, but still, not as yummy as the Lette macarons. I suppose everything French is about opulence and extravagance. However, the entire experience from Napoleon’s Macarons was sorely lacking in that. For the 40 minute drive there to specially pick up some macarons, I would say it was not too worth the effort.

Napoleon’s Macarons
6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd
(Located in Westfield Shopping Center, K25)
Canoga Park, CA 91303
Phone: (818) 704-1741
Email: napoleonsmacarons@gmail.com
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am – 9 pm, Sun 11 am – 7 pm

So there you have it. The 3 better macarons in LA. There are probably more that we didn’t get to try, but if you search the web, these are the better ones around. For me, I still love cupcakes, but I can still have my cupcake, and eat my macaron too yeah. Cheers to 2012!