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30 Sep 2012

Pine Garden Cakes (Round 2)


The Hazelnut Chocolate Crunch ($2.60) was not as nutty as I though it would be as the 2 nuts on top were
the only nuts spotted around. Mainly cream that tasted like caramel with nutty tone and many tiny little
chocolates balls which added a crunch. Nothing too complicated about the slices of Pine Garden Cakes.

The alcoholic name of Bailey Chocolate Crunch ($3.10 ; most expensive slice among that rest) tempted
me as I was having some bitter-sweet cravings. Unfortunately, the flavor was quite minimal and I could
hardly detect any traces of alcohol. The pale yellowish-orange fruit remained an enigma to me but I
guessed that it was a gooseberry. It was so sourish that I wanted to spit it out after merely taking a bite and
letting the juice took effect on me. Same as the hazelnut cake, it has many little crunchy balls of chocolate
biscuits which I thought would only appeal to kids. Anyway, my first post on Pine Garden Cakes can be

found here!

*Update* (29/04/14)

Since I was nearby that day, I decided to dine in for a piece of cake to satisfy my sugar craving!
I decided to pick the soursoap moscato since it sounds rather unique and I would love to
enjoy the hint of alcohol taste. Just a simple piece of cream cake I would say, with alternating
fluffy plain sponge and cream that contained bits of soursoap pulp, giving it a slightly crunchy
texture. Skip that lone gooseberry on top if you dislike the tartness.

19 Sep 2012

Pine Garden's Cake


A bakery located around the neighbourhood of Ang Mo Kio which was only walking distance from my
place! I recalled my dad often patronised this outlet mainly because they produced affordable and decent
cakes. The Black Forest Cake has always been my favourite choice and I was glad that the standard
remain consistent. With the plump looking berry, chocolate flakes and icing sugar sprinkled around, the
combination portrayed a winter scenario or maybe a Christmas feel. Chunks of burst but still juicy berries
could be found lying hidden within the cream layer too!       

The slice of Citrus Drop Cake was indeed a product of simplicity. The tangy lemon 'flavoring' laid atop the
cake like a rounded edge star, radiating a yellow hue with the purpose of temptation. Between its layers of
plain soft sponge was also the same lemony taste spread thinly but evenly across the cream.  

9 Sep 2012

Toa Payoh Lorong 8, Blk 211 (Durians)


Finally decided to visit Toa Payoh Lorong 8, Blk 211 to try its durian buffet with Lks. It took us 40 mins at least to walk
all the way from the interchange, using my phone's GPS to finally reach this block! (Shag! We were trained road
marchers!)


When we arrived (like finally!), we were rather excited like little kids peering through the glass window of a candy
shop, eager to spend some saved up pocket money for a treat. This was the article hung outside the outlet which
showed an affordable pricing of only $15 for an hour of durian buffet feast. However, to our great dismay, the uncle told
us that the durian buffet was no longer available! Reason can be either 1) The durian season was about to end or
2) The demand of this popular smelly fruit was too great till they were making a loss. We were too depressed to find out
the reason and anyone knows if there would be a durian buffet again the next season? 

Tables and chairs all set up for customers to enjoy durians. Season ending soon and stocks running low too!

Bread Talk Cheesecake


Bread Talk cheesecake! Something light and soft but I could not really taste any cheese as maybe it was too mild.


Anyway, a simple slice for a quick breakfast before setting off. I disliked it when the base of the cake would normally
tend to stick to the paper (which the cake was on). 

Secret Recipe Macadamia Cake


When you see such a slab of cake, rough texture and multiple layering, which outlet would naturally come to mind? For
me, it would definitely be Secret Recipe. From my previous posts - link 1 and link 2, you would know what I meant. By
the way, this slab of Macadamia Cake was not from Singapore, it was from Malaysia - take away.

The macadamia cake itself was not that sweet and suitable for people who were afraid to have too much sugar intake.
(Although it has a thin layer of white chocolate along its circumference, adding some sweetness to the overall taste.)
It definitely tasted much better than those cakes that I have tried from Singapore's outlets. (Why Malaysia only have
this cake?) Both the sponge and cream had the nutty taste which would make a nut lover go nuts! The chunky bits of
macadamia nuts added a crunch but sadly they tasted like they were kept too long.

Venezia Gelato Italiano


A quick entry before going to work real soon! (I just started work 2 days ago, 12 hours per day, 6 days per week and
hardly had the time to blog nowadays. Luckily it was just a month's temporary job.) I had green tea with red bean and
hazelnut flavour a couple of days ago for desserts. Both flavours had dominant taste and I felt that they were trying hard
to snatch my attention from the other. The green tea's bitterness was not intense enough for me to thoroughly enjoy,
and I enjoyed the nutty-but-light hazelnut.  


As for Nyy, he took a dark chocolate flavour and another chocolate flavour (or maybe he took 2 same flavours in the
same cup). The chocolate button was given as part of it, just like the red beans with my green tea. He was another
big fan of bitter chocolate just like me, the more bitter the chocolate, the better! (I just noticed the shape too, look at the
little pointed part on the top! What shape/object it reminded you of?)

Vietnamese Snack


Bought this basket for 20 USD. Do not 'WA?!' yet as I have not finished my sentence! This 'cui' looking basket was
made by hand, even the handle was rather dreadful to carry as it was too prickly. Inside the basket, it contained 5
handmade boxes of snacks. Nyx and I shared the cost and distributed the snacks evenly. (1 of the box was given to our
polytechnic friends to share, and I did not want to keep that basket though.)  


The reason why the 'xi xi' sticker was pasted on top of the box was because the snack was called 'fu qi bing' (couple's
biscuit).     

10 individual snacks in a box, each individually packed. The fragrant of the leaves that were used to wrap the snack was
strong but sadly, it was not infused into the snack itself.

How it looked like and munched!

I found that it did not taste as good as the first time I tried while I was on the coach in Vietnam. (Maybe during the long
boring journey on road made me lose my senses, especially taste.) The outer was a green layer of tasteless agar agar that
encased the yellow bean paste within. The thickness of the agar agar was a little too thick and I felt like I was eating a
modern style of Ang Ku Kueh.

Antoinette Macarons


After trying out Antoinette's cake the first time, I fell for it. I told myself that I would be back for the other desserts. Just
nice that day after I had renewed my passport for my coming Vietnam trip, I dropped by Antoinette. (Since one of its
outlet is located around Lavender.) My focus that day when I stepped in was these colourful and attractive looking
macarons! Although priced about $3 per piece (a little steep), that did not stopped me from ordering 2 plump looking
macarons.

The 2 flavours which I took away were Antoinette (left) and Praline (right). Pointless for me to dine in for 2 macarons and
to pay for the Gst and service charge!

Look at its thickness! The filling was so thick! Anyway, Praline was actually hazelnut. Sandwiched between the sugary
flavoured shells, the filling contained bits of hazelnut chunks which added to the crunch. I felt like I was eating a cookie
for a moment or two as I nibbled it, enjoying the nutty richness.   

Antoinette, as expected shared the almost similar taste to the cake which I have tried before. The sense of familiarity hit
me hard and made me recalled how I really enjoyed the cake previously. Tasted of earl grey and chocolate which
matched so well, I bit further in to find its centre concealing a small pool of raspberry jam! (Just like the cake, only that
this time the jam was well hidden and appeared unexpectedly.)

Fiesta Japanese Cheesecake


My mum bought this Japanese cheesecake from the Ichiban outlet at Ang Mo Kio Hub. The mere sight of this
cheesecake made me retrospect myself back then when I was young (primary school), when I eagerly peered into the box
as my mum began to lift the cake slowly out of it. I just could not wait for my mum to cut finish and I started pinching off
tiny portions to nibble. 

Alright, enough of past stories. Upon opening the box, I was greeted warmly by the Fiesta's cow with its chef hat on,
smiling happily at me. It just looked too adorable to be eaten!

Sorry cow, but I had to slice you up into many slices in order to enjoy the cheesecake you were 'printed' comfortably on.
My advice is that it should be served chilled. The cake itself was spongy and really soft (even a toothless person could
enjoy). The centre portion is usually my favourite part as the edges tend to be slightly harder. It is also light and airy and
I could have easily finished half of the entire cake. 

Ice Cream Art (Buffet)


Having bought 2 groupon vouchers for $9 each, which entitled Nyx and I to
have an ice cream buffet for an hour at Ice Cream Art. The location was bad
as it required me to travel all the way from my home (Ang Mo Kio) to Tiong
Bahru MRT station, and then a bus to Sports Lifestyle Centre. When we
entered, we were stunned as we did not expect such a small outlet. We started
our 1h buffet spree and the lady boss (I supposed) was really friendly. I also
requested the scopes of ice cream given to be slightly smaller than normal as
we both wanted to try all the flavours. The flavours available that day were
green tea, oreo cheese cake, horlick malt, dark chocolate, raspberry swirl,
cookies and cream, raspberry cheese cake, mango, lychee, soursoap, green
apple yogurt, strawberry yogurt, kiwi and durian! (Only last part than noticed the
existence of durian ice cream.)        

While waiting for the waffles to be ready, I started off with green tea (had slight milkiness and mild bitterness), oreo
cheese cake (thought that it was cookies and cream) and horlick malt (strong taste, but not my type of ice cream).  

Next I went for the dark chocolate (thick and chocolaty, had an unusual smell), raspberry swirl (a bit sour, not much
raspberry though) and cookies and cream (had a little dough texture).

After the normal flavours, I went for the fruity ice cream selections. I had mango (was thick and tasted weird, my least
favourite), soursoap and lychee (both had mild flavour and were rather soothing, great for such horribly hot weather).

Finally our waffles came! We each had 3 scopes of ice cream on it. Freshly made waffles are always crisp and moist,
perfect combination for ice creams!

Nyx's 2nd waffle with 2 of his favourite ice cream flavours from the selection.

My 2nd waffle too, with lychee and cookies and cream ice cream again.

Antoinette's Antoinette


Finally I had the chance to try out Antoinette's Antoinette (the cake which I
ordered). Luckily for me, that day was not crowded as compared to weekends.
I got a cosy seat by the corner, right under the light so that my pictures were
clear (so fortunate as the whole place was a little dim for clear shots). Right
after being seated comfortably, I ordered straight away and waited super
impatiently for my cake to arrive.

The cosy interior of Antoinette really suits me! Classy, cosy, sensual. A perfect place for small group gathering
(provided the group do not make too much noise to spoil the ambiance). More perfect for a date with your lover as
well as with family members. 

My cake finally arrived in front of me! I suspect that I may have a strange fetish for
smooth and glossy looking cakes as I could not help admiring its surface. The booklet
behind was actually the menu which I did not even flipped once as I was aiming the cakes 
from the display counter the moment I stepped in.

Instead of digging into Antoinette, my first reaction was to poke the red bubble resting on top of it. It was firm but
clearly contained something within. I made a cut across the bubble, causing a small flow of jam to leak down slowly. I
have no intention to spoil your appetite but it really reminded my pimple bursting (No offence). Alright, enough of
playing around and let my mouth do the job.

Sorry for the ugly cross-section of my dig-half-way cake! I actually spread the sourish raspberry jam over the cake,
hoping that it was the right way. The bubble was like jelly and I ate it appreciatively. Before I knew it, I have already
eaten half the cake! (You must be dying to know how was it?) One word, heavenly! The first wave of taste that hit me
unaware and flooded my mouth was the earl gray. After a few mouths, the taste of earl grey no longer lingered, but was
overtaken by the more intense second wave of the chocolate (mousse/chocolate/crunch/sponge)! It was really an
exclusive treat that inspired me with awe. 

Hum Jin Pang (Maxwell Road)

Also located at Maxwell Road Food Centre, Lks and I decided to 
queue at this Hum Jin Pang stall which I recommended after eating our
fried sweet potato dumpling. At first I was quite reluctant to eat,
felt that I had enough deep fried food that day. After much persuasion
by Lks and also the price was $1.00 for 6 pieces (can you imagine that!?!?,
and he can't finish all 6 by himself too), I finally agreed to eat 2 pieces only.

This was the stall that sells only Hum Jin Pangs. Quite a number of people were already queueing up. There were 2 types
of Hum Jin Pangs available. The plain or with red bean paste.

Let me explain how this stall works. This lady just rolled those doughs (or stuff them 
with red bean paste) and tossed them into the boiling oil in front of her. We as costumers 
were the cooks!

The sizzling battle started! Tossed into the arena of hot oil and sesame debris of the previous victims, chopsticks came
naturally upon them as I started flipping those 'starting-to-get-swollen' doughs. Another pair of chopsticks whom the
user was an auntie joined in the dough tormenting session with me. 

Lks and I took turns exchanging our tools, the pair of chopsticks and my camera to snap nice shots with our fake hawker
cooking pose.

This was it! The final outcome of the doughs. After being fried, they were coated rather unevenly with icing sugar. A
war between sweetness and saltiness fighting over to gain dominance in our tastebuds took place. I welcomed the
sweetness wholeheartedly while Lks took the opposing side!

Fried Sweet Potato Dumpling (Maxwell Road)


Located in Maxwell Road Food Centre, this was one stall which I found really
unique. The stall name was 'Fried Sweet Potato Dumpling', and I have tried
from it a couple of times before when my dad bought a few for the family
for munching purpose. That day I brought my friend Lks to Maxwell just to
snack on some of the popular food which I thought would deserve applause
and would also appeal to snackers like us. By the way, do not go too early to
avoid disappointment as this stall only start its business around evening time.

These golden brown spheres and oblongs were the fried sweet potato dumplings (that was what the stall called them).
They have the plain ones as well as those that had fillings stuffed into their cores.

The stall is run by an elderly couple which used this industrial and high-tech looking 
machine to deep fry those dumplings. (The swirl was way too fast for my lousy camera 
to capture....actually I was too lazy to adjust the shutter speed.)

Lks and I bought only 2 each although we were rather tempted to buy more to try out all the fillings available. Despite
being a bit oily, we could not wait for the minimum oil to be slowly drained into the plastic itself. We have already taken
bites after bites and enjoying the mild sweetness of the sweet potato snack. 

This was the plain one and we both agreed that despite being 'empty', it tasted the best! From within the crisp crust, the
glowing orange hue emits. It certainly was as expected, remarkably chewy! (Not overly hard or sticky.)

This was the one with the red bean filling which I ate. The paste added an additional boost of sweetness to the overall
taste. A bomb with added addictive 'posion' within. (In this case, I meant it to be in a positive way.)

Bengawan Solo


Since there were seats available at Singapore General Hospital, I ordered a slice of pandan kaya cake after visiting my
dad in one of the wards at that area. (Sorry, but I prefer to keep it private and not going to say the reason why he was
hospitalised.) Anyway, although the cake was simple, I like it very much. (Sometimes simplicity can be the best!) The
pandan and kaya combination went rather well together, emerging as one unique taste. They were like 2 ores, alloying
together to form a stronger material. (I must have played too much games in the past) Another thumbs up was because
of the alternating layers of sponge and pudding-like kaya, it did not contain any cream! (Do not count the decorations
on its surface; I did not like cream.) 


Mum loves coffee and I have already guessed beforehand that she would order the coffee cake. Coffee sponge with
coffee flavoured cream. Everything about it was just coffee. I still preferred my pandan kaya cake!

These kuehs were take-aways. Kueh dar dar, kueh lapis and tapioca cake. They were so-so to me, maybe because it was
already night time and they were no longer as fresh as they were just prepared. As usual, my favourite was the kueh
lapis as I loved the chewiness when biting it layers by layers. 

Scoopz


That day while I was along Upper Thomson Road, I decided to try out the ice cream at Scoopz since the weather was
rather hot. I ordered 2 medium scoops of ice cream for $3.90 and the serving size was pathetic. I was quite disgusted
when I started looking for a place to sit and realised that the place was full, except for a few tables that was not cleared.
(I had no choice but to sit at the table with 2 empty cups.) The two flavours I had were chocolate ganache and durian.
Both were supposingly strong flavours but I did not find them fantastic at all. I wanted to enjoy the melting-point of the
ice cream as they would melt slowly, coating its surface with cool liquid instead of poking into solid hard ice cream. I was
quite disappointed as the ice cream was against me and purposely did not want to melt readily. I felt like I was a teacher
forcing a student to read a passage from the textbook when they did not want to (when I started to smash the ice cream).