Food Hunter

Toss & Turn @ Ion Orchard

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Before an extensive 4k walk to church, I wanted to pack some healthy food for dinner and was craving for a good sandwich and salad. Having passed by this place a couple of time, I decide to try Toss & Turn, a soup and salad bar by Cedele.

Packed in a designer style wrapper, the combo was a mixed grain loaf with chicken avocado and with a side salad.  One bite and you get the flavours from the roasted chicken and the freshness of the vegetables. The avocado had a slight sweetness to it and the good thing about it was that it was slightly mashed and not too chunky on the mouth. 

On the other hand, the salad was piled with lots of goodness; edamame beans, purple and green lettuce, carrots and croutons. The plus to it was the free flow sunflower seeds and pomegranate dressing that I could add to my salad from their counter. The pairing of the sweet and light dressing with the sunflower seeds and the croutons added a nice dimension and texture to the crunchiness of the salad. If you think that pomegranate dressing is too wild for your taste bud, the counter also serves other types of dressings, like the usual Caesar, Thousand Island to the fruity or less heavy kind for the salad.

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I was surprised that the portion of the food left me feeling quite full from the hearty meal! Judging by the stream of people that visit this outlet from office people to school going students, it seems to hit the right notes to appeal to people to eat their greens. I even went back a second time to try to create my own salad to take-away.

However, their service was a let down as I was kept waiting at the cashier while the staff was busy minding other customers and errands. While the regular salad portion was huge, their food prices is a bit steep ($9 for a regular bowl, $7.80 for half a bowl) just for greens and I think having it too many times seems like high maintenance? Maybe I’ll stick to buying fresh veggies from the supermarket and tossing them myself.

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Coffee Connoisseur

Loysel’s Toy @ Kampong Bugis

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Singapore’s weather has been terribly temperamental of late. Remember the day Sam and Chonghao got caught in a flash flood? The day one of my kids and I decided to check out Loysel’s Toy was the exact opposite. It was scorching hot and it did not help that the cafe was located right at the end of Kampong Bugis. It was a good 10minute walk from Lavender MRT station and Google Maps never gives the most convenient route. We ended up walking along a dusty, deserted street, past a worn Hindu Temple, various construction sites and industrial buildings before finally spotting the warmly lit cafe at the end of the road. For the longest time, we thought Google Maps had us on, but as with all good cafes hidden in lesser-known parts of Singapore, I knew better than to give up when roads get quiet.

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Loysel’s Toy is a riverside gem surrounded by lush trees. Quiet and peaceful on a weekday with both indoor and outdoor seating, it was the perfect place for a catchup session. Located just along the Kallang Park Connector, the cafe offers bike rentals with the option of fold-able bikes as well as ones with baby seats for the more adventurous looking to work off the teatime calories.

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Hot and thirsty from the long walk, the kid chose a Pineapple Passion Popsicle from Popaganda sold at the cafe. They carry a good range of refreshing flavoured ice popsicles that are indulgent and healthy at the same time. The Pineapple Passion one we had had a good balance of both pineapple and passion fruit flavours. Tangy and not artificially sweet, it made for a terrific thirst-quencher after the long walk.

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Pineapple Passion | Salted Caramel & Coffee Marshmallow

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Meanwhile, my choice of a teatime snack came in the form of the Salted Caramel & Coffee Marshmallow. Being a fan of salted caramel, and since Loysel’s Toy is known for great coffee, I expected the dessert to feature some great coffee flavours balanced with the salty-sweet caramel. However, what I had instead was abit of a let down. In the dish was a layer or salted caramel crumbs, followed by coffee marshmallow and topped with chocolate and peanuts. The crumbs were rightfully salty-sweet, but the taste of burnt sugar didn’t come through as much as I would have expected it to. Instead, it tasted more buttery and had a peanut butter flavour more than it had caramel. The coffee marshmallow did not live up to expectations as well. It felt more like a spongy layer than melt-in-you-mouth sticky marshmallow. Also, I could barely taste the coffee that presumably flavoured the marshmallow. Although not a bad dessert in itself, I felt that it did not live up to its name. My expectations could have been set a tad too high though!

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Salted Caramel & Coffee Marshmallow | Iced Mocha (using 1000 Cups blend) | Cafe Latte (using Terra Firma blend)

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Loysel’s Toy uses Papa Palheta beans and offered a choice of 1000 Cups and Terra Firma blends when we were there. I chose the Terra Firma blend for the cafe latte, which had a description of being nutty and citrusy with a chocolatey bitter-sweet finish. The coffee had a medium body and was mildly acidic and well-rounded – quite easy on the palate and not too heavy. The milk was also well-steamed – creamy and rich at just the right temperature.

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Meanwhile the kid chose to have an iced mocha. She drinks coffee like water, I’m not even kidding. The problem is, she’s only been drinking Starbucks coffee and mostly frappes (ridiculous amounts of sugar and little else heh). So this being her first cafe hopping experience, she decided to go easy on the coffee. The 1000 Cups blend used in her coffee has taste notes of baker’s chocolate and hazelnuts with a mildly fruity acidity that cuts through every sip. But honestly, with all that chocolate in the iced mocha, I could barely discern any specific flavours. She enjoyed every bit of her drink though!

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Loysel’s Toy also offers the options of hand brew and cold brew coffees in a multitude of funky looking apparatus.

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Loysel’s is ultimately a coffee place serving up good, well brewed coffee. We might have had better luck with their other cakes and they do offer a menu of simple brunch food, but I feel that coffee is still their strong point. It is a great place for a laid back teatime with friends or a good book. Its location strikes it out of my daily java dose list since it would be way too inconvenient, but it hunting down the cafe on occasion makes for a good adventure. It helps that the popsicles on offer are ready thirst quenchers once we complete the hunt!IMG02530-20131023-2219_edited

Happy Monday everyone! Remember to spend some time with your family this week – maybe get out there for a coffee and rent a bike at Loysel’s if you find the time to!

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I am the baker boy

Expresso Butter recipe

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The other night, I ended up in Drury Lane with Sam and she happened to be eating banana bread with expresso butter. That drove me to perfecting my own espresso butter recipe. It’s relatively simple and you can use it for toast, bagels, muffins and whatever spreadable.

INGREDIENTS : 
3 tsp of instant coffee granules
2 tsp of hot water
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
110g of butter (the spreadable type)
1 heaping tbsp of icing sugar

 
RECIPE : 
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DISSOLVE coffee granules and vanilla extract with hot water in a small bowl

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CREAM butter and sugar in another bowl until light and fluffy

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COMBINE the two mixtures
BEAT until smooth
SPREAD IT.

 

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Food Hunter

Bread Society @ Suntec City Mall

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Cinnamon Roll x Chocolate Pistachio Pretzel

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From the people who brought you BreadTalk comes Bread Society, a bakery led by artisan baker Chef Atsushi Murata. I think the photos speak for themselves. The bread here is simply mouth-watering. The selection of bread reminds me of Tiong Bahru Bakery but I guess that’s just the whole artisan baker thing going on. They also serve not so commonly seen bread in Singapore such as the brioche, dark rye bread, tarte tatin, cinnamon rolls, pretzel and so much more! As a fan of the Great British Bake Off, these are some of the things you see the bakers bake on the show that you have never tasted before thus, Bread Society does help a whole lot by introducing these to Singapore!

All the bread there are baked on the premise thus ensuring it’s freshness. The bakery is also a cafe and some of the things they serve definitely caught my eye such as the  Salted Caramel Lava Cake and All Day Brunch. I definitely see myself visiting the place far more often in the future and perhaps even working there for a short stint just to gain some skills!

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Cooking With Dad

Cooking With Dad : Chicken Puff Pie recipe

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Normally when I end up cooking with my dad, we tend to have no recipes. My dad’s style of cooking is mainly instinctive so pretty much everything new he cooks is based on his experience and experimentation. Likewise, I do the same. We got it from my granddad. He figured out how to prepare roti prata and fish curry simply by tasting it. He would even come up with his own versions of japanese seaweed chicken (yes the ones you spend $0.30 on in school) after he saw how much my brother and I loved toasting them as sides for lunch.

And so this post is just me preparing chicken puff pie with my dad. Just plain o’ pictures and a tribute to family. Dad did the chicken filling. I did the pastry. Tag-team.

I used two basic pastry recipes for the pie. One for the base and rough puff pastry for the top.

INGREDIENTS : 
(for rough puff pastry)
150 g of plain flour
150 g of butter
pinch of salt
splash of water* (i normally just use just about 20 ml of water?)

(for tart base)
160 g of plain flour
90 g of butter
pinch of salt
2 tbsp of water*

*you normally want just enough water to get it into a dough

RECIPE : 
MIX everything in a food processor
BAKE for 200C for 15 mins for tart shell and 25 mins for puff pastry
USE eggwash for puff pastry’s top.

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It’s great to cook together with your friends and family so please do. There are more tag-team/collab recipes coming up so stay tuned!

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I am the baker boy

Bananareo Icecream recipe

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Yes it’s banana + oreo icecream!

It’s really simple. The texture isn’t quite like icecream but it does have a smooth consistency. Some people told me to add milk in order to get that icecream-like texture so I will experience with my next batch of bananas.

Maybe this time, I will do a nutella version.

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INGREDIENTS: 
4-5 frozen bananas
6 oreo cookies

RECIPE : 
CUT the bananas
BLEND bananas in food processor
ADD mashed cookies
FREEZE again for at least a day
SERVE

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I am the baker boy

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream recipe

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Firstly, I apologise for the daily lack of posts. A lot has been on our writers’ minds at the moment so we have been caught up in life. We are working to bring in more authors so thank you for your kind understanding!

Back to the post. I don’t even like cupcakes in the first place but out of all the things my niece, Athena could have requested, she asked for this so I simply used ratios to determine the cupcake and buttercream recipe.

INGREDIENTS : 
(for cupcake)
55 g of  salted butter
55 g of plain flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
55g of castor sugar
1 tbsp of milk
1 tbsp of strawberry jam

(for buttercream) 
2 tbsp of strawberry puree
70 g of butter
120 g of Icing Sugar

RECIPE :

(for cupcake)
PREHEAT to 180C
CREAM butter and sugar
BEAT in egg and vanilla essence
ADD milk and jam
FOLD in flour
POUR in muffin tin
BAKE for 10 minutes

(for buttercream)
CREAM butter and icing sugar
ADD strawberry puree
MIX well

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Well, despite that cheeky smile on her face, she didn’t enjoy the cupcake as much as she would have wanted since she expected it to be lighter and more fluffy. Perhaps I should use buttermilk and yoghurt in my cupcake recipe instead.

I know some of you out there are cupcake enthusiasts so do let me know if you have a brilliant cupcake recipe to share!

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