Friday, 23 March 2018

Hoshino Coffee Bedok Point | We waited 45 minutes for the food!

I was scrolling on Bedok Point's food directory to decide what to have for dinner and noticed that Hoshino Coffee has already opened on the same day! I was excitedly informing bf about wanting to try out the new outlet. The restaurant was located just at the entrance of the mall and it's difficult to miss. As we were entering the new outlet, we were greeted by enthusiastic and friendly staff that brought us to our table at the corner.

Since it was our first visit, we wanted to try the Souffle Dessert (which they are famous for). The drinks menu looked extensive as well so we decided to go ahead with their $60++ promotion for 2 pax - 2 Main Dishes + 2 Drinks + 1 Dessert.

FYI, it is only worth it if you choose the more expensive choices. 

We were told that we could have either 2 cakes or 1 Souffle dessert. Souffle it shall be.  

The restaurant was very spacious and could accommodate quite a lot of customers, hence we didn't really have to wait for a seat. I love that they had the big sofa leathery seats which were so comfortable to sit in. I would say the ambience makes it a pretty good place for a date.

We asked for recommendation for the drinks. Bf picked the Ginger Ale while I had the Fruit tea, which was popular among ladies. The generosity level is legit. Look at that huge jar of fruit tea, I couldn't even finish half of it, what a waste.

Turns out that the Ginger is made from scratch in the restaurant. The ginger kick is quite a punch to your taste buds and I wouldn't recommend it if you're not in for that kind of surprise. If you're a fan of Ginger Ale, go ahead. 

I love the fruit tea though! It was very fruity. If you think fruit teas are supposed to taste fruity then you are WRONG. I have tasted some really tasteless ones unfortunately. 

I was craving for pasta that day and soft shell crab is one of my favourite Japanese dishes of all time! I haven't seen this combination before so I just had to try it! The pasta is packed with so much flavour. I initially thought it was a little too salty, but turns out I just didn't mix them well enough yet. The soft shell crab was also super crunchy.

At this point, I was filling up their feedback form because I loved the drinks, my dish and their exceptional service as well. I thought so. 

After my pasta arrived, we waited so long for the next dish to arrive (bf's order). And you know how restaurants shouldn't serve 2 dishes apart for too long in case people wait for each other to eat? Either way it's just weird. 

We chased them a few times and the dish only arrived 45 minutes after the order was taken, which is about 25-30 minutes after mine arrived. You should have seen how LONG I took to slowly eat my pasta just so that I could at least eat together with him. The wait was so long yet the beef was cold when it arrived (We didn't bother to send the food back to the kitchen because we waited too long already). 

The beef tasted nice but it was unfortunately overcooked and cold. Only the rice and wedges were still piping hot. What a disappointment.

Thankfully, they didn't make us wait too long for the baked Souffle dessert and it looks delicious! Bf is not really a fan of it due to the very eggy and custard taste. I wouldn't say its my favourite type of dessert but I would definitely love to try some other flavor, perhaps Matcha next time! 

Surprisingly, Souffle isn't as gelat as I thought it to be. It was quite airy and fluffy with a custard-like texture in the middle. 

We were initially quite happy with the service and food quality, however the long wait (also part of the reason why the food became cold) really ruined the rest of our dinner. The giveaway here looks tempting, but I won't be posting a 5 stars review anytime now.

While we were upset about the long wait and cold food, it might be a one-off issue due to shortage of staff. But they should have known better since it's their first opening. There are still many items on their menu that I would love to try and hopefully they won't disappoint the next time!

Hoshino Coffee

799 New Upper Changi R
 #01-01, Bedok Point, (S) 467351. 

Contact: 6284 1344

Saturday, 10 March 2018

3rd Visit to Dim Sum Icon HK | Garfield Theme

It's a yearly affair with Dim Sum Icon whenever I go back to Hong Kong. NOPE, not bored of it yet. Obviously not because they change the theme about twice a year. I actually preferred the Spongebob Squarepants theme because I can relate to it better, but we totally missed it! I was quite surprised that the Garfield theme managed to impress us even though we're not really a fan of the cartoon.

The menu also had more items as compared to previous years so we had a difficult time ordering our food. And we only had 1 hour to dine in. The time limit was crazy given that you needed time to order, wait for the food to arrive, take tons of pics before digging in. But we can totally understand why this is necessary, there was already a huge crowd waiting in line before the restaurant even opened at 11am.

Dim Sum Icon Menu:

As usual, the food standard is average, but definitely higher than most cartoon cafes in Singapore (Sadly that's the truth). There's a few hits and misses, some of the Har Kau had quite a thick skin and was a tad dry. Other than a few criticisms here and there, most of the food tasted quite nice if you don't visit with high expectations.

The average price of each dish is about HK50 = SGD8 (I think it's really reasonable given that they really spent so much effort on the design!)


(Sometimes I wonder to myself why do I still get so excitable when I make so much cartoon desserts myself hahahhaha) 

I wouldn't recommend ordering drinks as it's not really worth it in my opinion, my drink tasted like artificial flavouring. There was a cookie decor on the drink which was pretty cute. But the cookie was so hard to bite. And I had to rush my drinks so quickly due to the time limit.

I'll probably continue to visit every year if I could, even if the characters are not those that I love or even relate to. In fact, how often do you get to visit such a non-mainstream cartoon cafe?

I was actually hoping for a Tsum tsum theme, but maybe not. It's too common. I hope they will come out with more nostalgic cartoon - perhaps Tom & Jerry?

Dim Sum Icon
The One, L308
100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

DIY Cup Noodles Museum at Yokohama Japan

Cup noodles have been an essential part of my supper life. Admit it, even though it doesn't taste that fantastic as compared to a proper meal, it is truly a difficult temptation to get rid of. I ate so many cup noodles in my life and now I have the chance to create my very own unique cup noodle (And ramen too)!

The Momofuku Theatre at Cup Noodles Museum showcases the story of the cup noodles creator - Momofuku Ando. It is inspiring to know how much failures Momofuku has experienced before he became successful. For those who find that cup noodles are unhealthy and should not be eaten as often, it was actually an essential product during the wartime.

DIY Cup Noodles activity is a must-do when you visit Cup Noodle Museums at Yokohama. Remember to prebook your slot at the counter and return within the stated timeframe.
Price per person: 300yen (~SGD 3.7) 
I feel that it's really worth it because they don't even charge a lot extra for the whole process! The whole DIY process takes about 30 - 45 minutes depending on the crowd.

Don't worry about the complicated process, everything is really simple. Most of the steps include picking your flavours and turning the knob when you are told to do so. You will not get the chance to actually make the noodles from scratch by yourself. (But you can enjoy this experience at the Ramen activity instead)

You will have to pay 300 yen and get an empty cup at the vending machine.

Decorate your cup with the provided colour markers on the table and write today's date. The cup noodles are only good for a month!

My brother tried to be funny and made a Korean spicy noodle cup design on Nissin cup noodle brand. Tsk tsk.

We can pick from 1 main flavour and 4 different ingredients from the counter. I picked the spicy tomato flavour, can't really remember what else. I was quite sad that I didn't get to try my own creation in the end as I became sick the next few days. It's the experience that counts though, isn't it?

We signed up for the Ramen workshop at the last minute and we were lucky that there were a few slots left! 

Price per person: 500yen (~SGD 6) 

Unlike the DIY Cup Noodles where you only get to choose flavours and decorate the cup, this workshop involves more hands-on activity with the manufacturing process of the instant ramen noodle - including making the noodle dough from scratch. We had to keep our hands clean and our parents could only take photos from afar.

Don't we look cute with the chick headband?

We worked in pairs during the workshop. The process involves a lot of kneading and mixing, something I was already familiar with but it was still interesting as I had not worked with noodles before. I was actually a little concerned about language barrier, but the staff actually spoke to us in really good English. Quite impressed.

They also labelled our noodles so that we were able to claim the exact noodles that we have made.

Head over to the Noodles Bazaar if you are keen to try noodles from all over the world!

From this museum, you are able to view almost all cup noodle designs from different timeline and countries. Spot any of your favourite flavours?

This looks familiar right?
If you're looking for interesting attractions at Japan and prefer something more family-friendly, I highly recommend the Cup Noodles Museum which is suitable for most ages (even if you're not a cup noodle fan).

Friday, 23 February 2018

Shabu Shabu at Talay Kata Orchard Central

If you want to enjoy Mookata or hotpot session in the comforts of a spacious and clean environment, Talay Kata would be at the top of my recommendation list as always. 

They are always coming up with different concepts to keep customers like me happy! Previously they have came up with a huge Seafood platter and cheese dip. You can read more HERE.

Recently, I had the chance to try their Shabu Shabu set. Let's be honest here, I have never been a huge fan of Mookata but when it comes to Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu? It's a solid YES. So I was definitely more than willing to try it out.

You can pick from different soup bases such as Beef, Duck, Tom yum, Chicken, Bonito and Salted Egg. We had the Beef soup which was recommended by the manager. The set comes with Crayfish, smoked duck, prawns, mussels, meatballs and a plate of thinly sliced beef.

Talay Kata used to serve several types of marinated meat, but they have recently made the decision to focus on non-marinated meat to allow eaters to experience the real taste, while being able to enhance the flavors through the use of spices and sauces. I personally lean towards non-marinated meat as they tend to be less salty. 

Their standard has really improved from my last visit. As the beef was thinly sliced, the meat was cooked within a matter of seconds and it was really easy to chew on. The soup, on the other hand, was not really impressive to me. I would have opted for Tom Yum, but I was relatively fine with it as long as I'm not drinking the soup. 

Their buffet spread was sufficient to satisfy my cravings, in fact I didn't even have the stomach space to finish trying every single item. I still love the fact that they have more non-marinated choices now. Unfortunately their stirred fried clams were unbearably salty for my palate. To give them some credits, the non-marinated ones were much nicer though.

If you don't want to drink the soup from the Shabu Shabu, they have 3 different soup flavors Shark's Fin, Green Curry and Tom Yum. The Tom Yum and Green Curry was lacking a bit of the spicy kick and was towards the sweeter flavor. For those who love Tom Yum but cannot tolerate spiciness, this is totally for you!

They also have a new waffle counter!! Having someone serve you at the waffle bar isn't in trend anymore. Seems like DIY is more fun! Look out for their instructions on the wall. 

Talay Kata surely has standards that are worth your spending, and did I mention? Starting from $16.90 nett per pax, you won't even have to burn a pocket in your hole to indulge in a delicious meal with your friend! That's really affordable and let me remind you, Talay Kata has restaurant standards which means you can enjoy your meal comfortably. Just beware that you might have quite a strong BBQ smell after walking out of the restaurant!

See how happy he is! :P

Talay Kata
181 Orchard Rd, 08-04/05, Singapore 238896
Contact: 6634 0551

This is an invited tasting session but all opinions are my own :)