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the cronut

Happy Sunday (or not). I was trawling through my photo roll, reminiscing about London and I realised that I’ve never, ever posted about the cronut. 

For the uninitiated, a cronut is a hybrid between the croissant and a donut – think of it as a donut-shaped croissant with flaky layers of buttery pastry, filled with a cream or jam, topped off with a glaze (I have no apt description for the sticky glaze on top of the cronut. Suggestions welcome.) and dusted in sugar.


And there you have it – blush peach and elderflower, May’s special in London’s Dominique Ansel Bakery. It’s a combination that’s easy to like, but unfortunately I couldn’t taste much of the elderflower. I really wanted to like it, but it was what I remembered it to be, layers of oily and dense pastry with jam and cream. And I really am not a fan of the glaze on top of the cronut. My dining companions – Sarah and Tdy – weren’t exactly enthusiastic about it either.


When I visited Japan previously in September, I shared the Kyoto grape and mint cronut (pictured above!) with KYW, and it spoilt our appetites for two hours because we didn’t expect the cronut to be that heavy. I didn’t post about the cronut then because I thought it might just have been an off-day. After trying two, I think I’ve concluded that the cronut isn’t really my cup of tea (and I’m quite sad about that!).

That said, I do think it’s a pastry that everyone should try, should there be a chance to (just to tick it off the bucket list). I’d highly recommend sharing the cronut with a friend or two because it is really bigger and more filling than it looks. And if all else fails, there are other pastries available on display as well (picture below from the London branch).

Hong Kong: What I ate while waiting for my next meal

Taking a leaf out of YY’s book to write on the commute to work – anyway it’s been a super long time since I’ve updated, so I might as well.

Hong Kong, as always, is a great city to eat through. I’ve always liked Hong Kong for its efficiency and the food it has to offer. Japanese chains always seem to make Hong Kong one of their first outposts outside Japan, and I obviously made a beeline for them…

1) Bake Cheese Tart

This is everything I expected it to taste like – and more. Most people who have eaten with me would know that I don’t take cheese, but I really can’t get enough of these tarts!!! for cheese haters (like yours truly), this tart is more of a ‘sweet’ than ‘savoury’. It tastes like a Japanese cheesecake baked in a tart. And a pretty damn good cheesecake at that. So light and rich, yet not too rich that one tart is too much. I had it semi warm from the store, which is perfectly fine by me (and yes it is molten!) but I prefer it cold(er) rather than warm. The hype is real people, go get your hands on a cheese tart! Or pay someone to buy you one.

2) Omotesando Koffee

Tokyo’s favourite touristy coffee spot opens in Hong Kong! Situated in the middle of Wan Chai, this space is way bigger than the house they used to operate out of in Omotesando. Coffee’s still the same. Most people get the iced mocha (pictured) but I’m a hot coffee kinda person. Plus when you get a hot coffee you get to pick your beans. The coffee’s still good, strong enough to give a buzz. The kashi which was sold out in Omotesando previously when I went, was in stock this time!

The kashi is a very fancy (read: expensive) square shaped canele. Good though. Also the coffee really cost a bomb: hkd 45-60 if I recall correctly.

3) Oddies Foodies 

Fans of Oddies, rejoice. Our new favourite joint is now easily accessible at Gough Street in Sheung Wan! After a comforting bowl of ngau lam e meen at Kau Kee, swing by for a comforting scoop of gelato. Yes, this is the Oddies that I would not shut up about previously.  The usual suspects like night wolf and the mob are available, but what I got this time round was just a scoop of its bikini wax: lychee / black sesame paste / coconut macaroon icecream. I loved it. Lychee was bold and didn’t get lost like it usually does in the flavours. And black sesame!!! they go so well together.


I’d recommend that people try the drama cones. At hkd 88 per cone, you really do get a massive cone with crazy, incredible flavour pairings – does yogurt gelato, oatmeal raisin cookies, hojicha semifreddo, sesame crumble, and blueberry coulis sound good? I thought so too.

4) Elephant Grounds


I have been eyeing this place since I saw their icecream sandwiches on instagram about a year plus ago. Finally, finally made it here after a long day getting completely soaked in Macau (thanks, typhoon) and having to buy a cardigan in the Venetian because it was freezing  – though I think it turned out to be the best buy of the trip. Anyway, when we got back to HK it was about 8pm and we immediately dashed to Elephant Grounds as the Gough Street branch closes at 9. We made it, with 8 minutes to spare!

Roasted hojicha icecream sandwich with digestive cookies and chocolate popping candy for hkd 60. Kind of wish the hojicha was a bit more pronounced and less milky, but I gotta admit the sandwich was held together quite well. Everything complemented and the popping candy was fun to eat! My only gripe is that it melts too fast (just have to eat faster I suppose!) Available on weekends only at Gough Street & Causeway Bay.

 5) Under Vacuum

Getting here required us to walk about the entire Tsim Sha Tsui underground – it’s really close to TST East MTR station. In the middle of the park, I’d imagine it’d be really pleasant to hang around outdoors in cooler autumn nights.
I had the sous vide beef sandwich with an extra side of scrambled eggs. This sandwich is MESSY, but UV helpfully provides plastic gloves for eating! It’s been ages since I last had an epic sandwich and this was truly worth the hkd 53. Scrambled egg + mustard + beef = can’t go wrong. The beef was the star of the sandwich, as it should be. There were other interesting things on its menu, such as french toast stuffed with nutella and marshmallow, and deep fried stuffed waffles with green tea paste. 10/10 would recommend!

Addresses of everywhere:

Bake Cheese Tart: B2-16,B2, SOGO, 555, 555 Hennessy Rd, Causeway Bay
Omotesando Koffee: Shop no24-25,G/F., No.200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Lee Tung St
Oddies Foodies: 45 Gough St, Central
Elephant Grounds:
11 Gough Street, Central/Sheung Wan.
Under Vacuum
: Kiosk, Centenary Garden, 63 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East (Exit P2).

Sydney

TUTORIALS ARE OVER FOR THE WEEK. YES (but omg 3 next week the thought of it is just exhausting…). So I’m back to continue where I left off from Melbourne.

We went to Sydney for four days (but really had only a grand total of three days) and I kind of wish we spent more time there? Would have loved to visit Manly… and Bondi (er. Kind of forgot to go to Bondi because I was eating……. I know nobody is surprised by this.). And supposedly the Blue Mountains are gorgeous! AND I DIDN’T GET TO EAT MY WATERMELON CAKE 😦 Elaine’s food recommendations were completely spot on (thank you Elaine!!); if only I had the time and tummy space to conquer Sydney. Honestly though, while I preferred Melbourne as a city to Sydney, I think the culinary highs from the trip came from Sydney.

SYDNEY MUST-EATS:

1) Breakfast with the Sakuma’s, Devon Cafe

5452Miso grilled king salmon, 63 degree egg, smoked eel croquette, petit radish salad, kewpie mayo and a sprinkle of furikake – this is probably the most well thought out and put together dish I’ve had this year. It goes down in history as one of the most memorable dishes I’ve had & I want to fly back to Sydney just to have this. Asian fusion to me has always seemed a bit dodgy but I think this dish really took what I loved from Japanese cuisine and one of my favourite meals of the day and made it work – it is truly light on the palate but enough to wake your senses up with the umami bombs. AMA-FRKN-ZING. Whoever thought of adding furikake deserves a huge huge prize.

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I also think Devon’s rendition of Eggs Royale was spectacular!!! Instead of English muffin/bagel/rye/insert bread here, Devon uses blinis for its Eggs Blini. It didn’t look huge, but the portion was just right. The best part? The Eggs Royale was topped with ikura (salmon roe). So incredibly special. (PLUS THEY USE BROCCOLINI. I LOVE BROCCOLINI.)

I didn’t particularly enjoy my Little Lost Bread – pb&j brioche french toast, grilled banana, nutella, jam and pb icecream! I wish the banana taste were stronger because I felt like it was like separate components being slapped onto a plate, even though I have to say, the pb&j went well like… pb&j. It was like pb&j had a party and the grilled banana crashed it. Man!!! (Also, it was too sweet.)

I think Devon’s menu had other interesting things that I would have loved to try – the Korean Fried Chicken burger with gochujang & kimchi slaw sounded amazing on paper as well; except by then I had burger fatigue so, it was a no go. Their takeaway chicken salad also looked pretty yummy on display! Devon is a must go if you’re in Sydney.

2) Bourke Street Bakery

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The problem with Bourke Street Bakery is that everything looks too yummy. Um, limited stomach space here? I thought I had my eye on the chocolate tart in front of the store (and I’m not even that big a chocolate fan!!!) but once I entered and saw lemon curd and ginger creme brulee.. sorry chocolate. The lemon curd tart was my favourite, and edges ginger creme brulee out by 0.1 – purely because it is very very difficult to find lemon curd that is tart enough. I feel like lemon curd is one of those things where everyone has a different standard on – some like it sweet and others like it tart. This lemon tart is second only to Jacques Genin’s lemon tart!! And at A$5, it is such a bargain!! BUY MORE. The ginger creme brulee, however wins points for originality – cos I mean, a creme brulee tart????? LIKE WAAAOOOOOW RIGHT. I’ve never had one, and who would’ve though it would work?! Biting into a burnt sugar top is truly one of the littlest (??? little? small?) joys in life. I wish I brought back a dozen of each.

3) The Grounds of Alexandria

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The Grounds is a really genius idea. Take a huge lot in an industrial area and transform it into a grounds of sorts – a cafe on one end, and a miniature farm, a flower shop (SUPER GORGEOUS) and plenty of space for people to sit around and order take out from push carts. It really sounds like a kind of place I’d want to spend my weekends at, minus the screaming kids; but yes, it is a great place for a family to spend time together on weekends. We waited an hour for a table at the cafe – and while waiting, we…. started eating. Had a grilled corn on the cob and a green juice of kale, apple and mint to start off with! I wanted to take a picture with Kevin Bacon (the resident pig) EXCEPT I felt like the poor pig was already having its privacy invaded by the hordes of humans ): Poor pig.

I suppose the highlight of the Grounds would be its dessert table??????? The problem as always is just choosing ONE. I was torn between the passionfruit cheesecake (how unique really, PASSIONFRUIT!!!!) and the pear tart but was recommended it so I went for the pear. I mean, it was a good pear tart, but it didn’t make me go ‘!!!!!’. I had forest mushroom salad that came with a gooey egg encased in a panko batter. HOLY GUACAMOLE, THIS IS EGGYOLK PORN AT ITS FINEST!!!!!!!!! And it really did taste as good as it looked. As silly as it sounds, the house chips at the Grounds was really great – NO SOGGY FRIES AT ALL (I cannot stand soggy fries) and a beautiful chilli aioli that had a great garlic punch without being overwhelming. Since my description and vocabulary is limited: the grounds is simply Pinterest in REAL LIFE.

Honourable Mention: The Paramount Coffee Project.

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This was the first place we ate at when we touched down in Sydney. It is a gorgeous open space, with ceiling to floor windows (ALWAYS AWESOME!) and beside it is a proper mini cinema! The cafe is in front and at the back, all decked out in industrial grunge is a bicycle (and handmade goods??) store. Yep. This takes hpstr to a whole new level, except the food is anything but pretentious.

We had the crab po’boy and a cola braised pork with waffle. I preferred this to Hammer & Tong’s personally but Nick felt that there was no difference cos they were both AWESOME. This is a lot messier because there’re more sauces but I love it when a burger is messy because that is how it’s supposed to be! Don’t bother paying extra for the onion rings. The waffle meanwhile… was an acquired taste for me. It was creative and unique, but while I didn’t agree with the taste, Nick loved it. I do believe that this flavour combination is worth a try though!!

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I think I’ve been spoilt by the brunch options available in Melbourne and Sydney that brunch in Singapore will never (ok maybe not a long while) live up to anything I’ve had. I suppose with brunch being very ‘in’ and fashionable, the challenge is coming up with an excitable brunch menu. Nearly every place we went to in Melbourne and Sydney had their own flair. Though they may be serving an eggs benedict/royale/florentine, most cafes/places always have their own interpretations of these brunch classics. That really differentiates each place and gives them their individuality. & I think this is what keeps people coming back! The fact that menus change according to what is in season is also something I really respect.

I feel like I wasn’t in Sydney long enough to actually see half of it. Totally regret not going to Bondi/Manly – I mean which losers go to Sydney and then don’t visit one of the most popular attractions?!?? BUT AT LEAST WE MADE IT TO THE OPERA HOUSE AND HARBOUR BRIDGE. The greatest thing I’m taking away from my trip to Australia is probably just the niceness of Australians. PEOPLE ARE JUST SO FRKN NICE. We met the nicest airbnb hosts (Martina & Gavin!) and people on the streets were friendly and always keen to help with directions (I can’t read maps..). I really can’t wait to go back.

Till next time, super travellers!

Traipsing through Chinatown

If you haven’t seen this already, the above is a video done by my friend Wong Renjie (GalleryxSpace and Gallery X) who’s a mad cool photographer. This video was made on our day out to Chinatown back when I was on holiday in Singapore! There was so much food that we ate that day – Koi Honey Milk Tea, Dimsum at Yan Palace Restaurant (one of the most authentic dim sum in Singapore; love going to places where it’s filled with old people eating dimsum :D), Cake at K Ki at Ann Siang, barbequed squid at a roadside stall, and then Crystal Jade for dinner! I really grew fatter that day 😦

Anyway on to the review! Renjie and I shared the Emily cake at K Ki. I love K Ki. It’s so quaint. Tucked away at the corner of Ann Siang Hill, you kind of need to go round the corner to find it because the door isn’t on the main road, which is what adds to the tranquility of it, I suppose. It shares a space with The Little Drom Store, which has the largest Polaroid 600 collection I’ve seen ever. (Not that I’ve seen many). I love how the space is white and very, very clean, letting light stream through the glass windows.


This is Emily, a champagne-strawberry light sponge cake. I hesitate to call it a cake because the cake layer is really really thin. It’s more of a pudding-cake. And when you lift your fork to cut a small piece of that cake, the entire thing wobbles. That’s how delicate it is. The champagne and strawberry do complement each other well I have to say – Renjie loved the combination very much. As for me.. I like cakes that are uhm, more cake-y and less mousse-y. Athena would love this because she loves light cakes. Even for me who likes light cakes – Japanese cheesecake and Lana Chocolate Cake, anyone? – this was pushing it. It was more pudding than cake which I really didn’t like. And it cost $8. I guess you pay for ambience and art. Overall, I still think K Ki is worth a visit, just to try the rest of the cakes and the coconut sables which they were baking when we were there. Nothing beats the smell of freshly baked goods.

K Ki
7 Ann Siang Hill
Singapore 069791