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27 Feb 2014

Making Sugar Showpieces - An art that I enjoyed!

Posting this post about sugar showpiece would meant that my graduation day is approaching!! Like finally?
Woohoo... Left a week more of school (basically examination week) before my final group presentation
and I am out of there. I shall blog about my final presentation next time! Anyway, I had a 5 days module
on sugar works and was taught to do sugar casting, sugar pulling as well as blowing. Among the entire 17
months course, this module was my favorite as I could express my artistic style through the showpieces. In
a team of 2 throughout the 5 days, my friend and I created 5 showpieces, only to demolish everyone of
them (except the last) at the end of the day.
The 1st day was basically to hands on and get a feel of the extreme heat! Despite the 2 layers of glove, the
heat could still penetrate through, making sure my hands were constantly in perspiration mode. Such heat
would not stop us from assembling our masterpiece!

 Showpiece #1 - Fruit Farm    
Started blowing sugar in the first day itself! Dam difficult to blow but managed to get an apple done! My
friend was practicing doing some twirls and leaves using molds. 

A bit too much text above? I shall go straight to the point then...

Showpiece #2 - Fruit PartyMore blowing to practice my skill although the shapes were slightly (ok, very) mutated.
Spot the lemon and bell pepper? A bit of rose petal design on the casting itself. Basically
I handled the blowing part while my friend focused on the swirls and leaves. This is what
I would call assigning specialization! 

Showpiece #3 - Do you want to build a snowman?
Based on the recent trend of the Disney movie called 'Frozen' and one of the songs 'Do you
want to build a snowman?', we too, decided to build a snowman! Not with snow and magic
but with heat and sugar LOL! Practiced a bit of shape manipulation to create objects such as
the broom. Damn difficult to blow up large regular sphere shape sugar pieces as the room
humidity was not right in the first place. I did managed to blow one up as large as your face!

Showpiece #4 - Into the depth
Day 4 already and we got more enthusiastic and adventurous, so we decided to go for
the underwater theme. That day was when I started to blow teardrop and oval shaped
sugar pieces, creating whales mating and a bird..? Underwater? Trying out casting for
irregular shaped base, with 4 rectangular blocks of water swirling design as backdrop.
Not to forget a mesh of spiderweb-like extract for additional contrast.  

Showpiece #5 - Do you want to build a snowman? Again?
The final day of our sugar showpiece module as well as our assessment day! A new
improved version of 'Do you want to build a snowman?'. A very Christmas theme with
the tree for extended height purpose and presents to showcase fine detailing of ribbons.
Hi cute little snowman! It was so much fun and I bet it would be my first and last chance
to do sugar showpieces.

22 Feb 2014

Maison Kaiser - A filling high tea set

It was a rather random choice that day as I picked Maison Kaiser for high tea with my mum. Being
tempted by a couple of other tables who had ordered the 3-tier high tea set for 2, I decided to go for the
similar set as well. I am a typical follow-the-crowd person indeed! When the 3-tier stand arrived with 3
large plates of food, it basically occupied most of the table space and it was so annoying to eat with such
limited table space. (See from the picture what I meant?)  

The set came with a pot of tea of our choice and we picked the Lemongrass and Verbena.
(Free refill of hot water available but reusing the same tea bag.) I really disliked the cup design,
as with such large surface area, the tea turned cold really fast unknowingly. 

We started off with the sausage quiche (quiche of the day) and we enjoyed it thoroughly! (My personal
favourite from the entire set.) The savoury quiche had a somewhat firm eggy custard (not watery) with not-
so-salty sausage chunks. The taste was well balanced and it was so addictive, especially for a fan of
savoury food like me. The smoked salmon side and salad were refreshing and gave the savoury part a
different texture.  

The desserts were sweetness overload to us, especially the eclair and the chocolate chip cookies. The icing
coated eclair was filled with vanilla flavoured ; custard-like cream, thick and sticky. I did not manage to
finish my piece of sugar-high cookie though. I loved the moist green tea cake with cream as well as the
large slice of mixed berries cream cake. Eat it early or you would witness the meltdown of the gelatin set
mixed berries compote (top layer).     

Last was not least, these assorted open faced sandwiches were decent and fulfilled their duty in filling us up
quite a bit. With such a filling high tea session, my mum and I probably had a bit of problems having dinner
at a standard 6+ timing that day.

8 Feb 2014

Helping out at a VIP Event @ Marina Bay Cruise Centre!

Just a little update - My last day of internship ended over a VIP Event located at Marina Bay Cruise
Centre. Fortunate for us trainees as it was our first outdoor event exposure that we get to experience,
instead of being enclosed within 4 walls of our production kitchen carrying out our boring routines.

Our job here as trainees would be to constantly refill the dessert spread whenever any desserts are
running low in numbers. The next few pictures would definitely make you salivate and desperate to dig into

the wide array of colourful petite portion desserts! I quickly snapped these pictures before the VIPs (about
800 pax) started swarming in with starving tummies.   

Some of the lovely desserts available!

Colorful background lighting as well as sculpture decorations to enhance the overall presentation of the
buffet line.  

More desserts! Too bad I did not get a chance to try most of them... I could if I wanted to, just that I did
not want such high amount of sugar intake in a single day.

Refreshing fresh cream with fruits! 

Different types of cheese, dried fruits, grapes and plain crackers.

Fact #1 - Do not be surprise if you see many people (ladies especially), going directly towards the dessert
             spread before having their main course. 
Fact #2 - Macarons were the first to be completely wiped out, including the countless trays of spare which
             I had to refill constantly throughout that evening.
Fact #3 - Some ladies really could eat up to 12 pieces of macarons (more is highly possible).
Fact #4 - Desserts could be ladies' main course instead.
Fact #5 - Top favorite macaron and first to run out was the nutella flavor (probably closest to chocolate

The lighting was kind of dim, resulting in blurry pictures. Although it was from 1.00 to 10.30pm that day, I
went at 9.00am in the morning to help out a bit. The experience sure was a load of fun, better than being
stuck in a production kitchen (wanted to stress on that point again)!

3 Feb 2014

Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons - Back again

I mentioned before that I would quit ramen dining somewhere in my previous post and I was back here
in Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons again. Not that I did not stick to my words but it was my
friend's decision to queue for it since he have not tried from this outlet before. We ended up queueing for
more than 30 minutes while he kept sharing his recent 3 weeks of experience in Japan with me. He also
mentioned that in Japan, many dining places required queueing too and he did not mind waiting at all.
(Provided you don't faint from huger first.) As for me, it was my 3rd visit and I admit that this outlet was
one of the better ones in Singapore. Like finally we could step into the restaurant and were given the
counter seats. Interesting to watch the chefs in action but annoying to have smoke flying directly at my
face while enjoying my bowl of ramen.  

I suggested the 'Autumn' ramen to my friend since he loves spicy food. He gobbled it hungrily and
agreed with me that it was really delicious, one of the better ones he tried in Singapore, even better than
Ramen Keisuke Tori King (its sister outlet).  As for me, I tried the Tonkotsu King and it sure was addictive
and I could have easily drank 4 bowls of such tasty broth. Another YUM factor was the thinly sliced
tender pork with some fats and onions which provided an additional bit of sweetness. I really would not
mind eating this bowl of ramen for a week! By the way, my previous posts on Ramen Keisuke Tonkotsu
King Four Seasons could be found here and here