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Tag: Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea at Pollen

Hello! This slacker here finally woken up from her food coma and resumes her writing. It has been a filling and delicious few months, and I cannot believe it’s 2014! I ate so much and I am amazed that my stomach has yet to explode.

My friend, Evie was back for her year-end holidays, and I suggested tea at Pollen for some catching-up. Unlike the hotels, Pollen’s afternoon tea menu was rather small. However every item that is served to you is well planned and paired beautifully. We were given a platter savoury and sweet treats.

Evie and I started with the bread basket of toasted sourdough and cod branade. At a glance, the cod branade looked tasteless – it was not fishy, and it was creamy with a slight hint of saltiness. We finished our bread and cod branade in rapid speed and were horrified when we discovered the table next to us did not finish theirs.

For the savoury items, we had Scotch eggs with piccalilli relish, and seared beef with zucchini relish and onion brioche. Though the Scotch eggs did not have the traditional minced meat encasing the egg, the latter was cooked perfectly with a runny yolk. Paired with the cauliflower piccalilli relish which was pungent and sharp, it was a delight to put this small bite in my mouth (and this coming from someone who don’t like eggs).

For the seared beef, it was cooked to medium rare hence the meat was not chewy. I prised open the onion brioche, and filled it with slices of beef and zucchini relish, and ate it like a sandwich. It was awesome. I definitely have no making of a dainty tai-tai. The tartness from the relish cut through the richness of the beef and brioche. And I almost did an “Oliver Twist” and ask for more.

Personally, I think the sweet did not fare as well as the savoury. There were some hits and misses. My favourite on the platter was the éclair with fresh strawberry and cream. Though Evie found the strawberry to be rather sour, I quite liked it as it was refreshing amongst the thick, luscious cream. The choux pastry was crisp without being dry.

On the platter, we also had an orange and cranberry scone, macarons and a banana tea cake. The scone was beautifully scented with orange but it was way too big. I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it. The banana tea cake was not too bad but I don’t fancy the buttercream on top which was a tad heavy. And the cake itself was also a bit stodgy. The macarons we had that day was raspberry and chocolate, and lime and coconut. They were quite well made and the flavours complemented each other.

Pollen’s afternoon tea looked little, but seriously how much can one eat. It is not a competition to see how many open sandwiches you can eat. It is about a comfortable space, where one can chat with friends and enjoy some delicious afternoon delights.

Pollen
Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay,
18 Marina Gardens Drive, #01-09
+65-6604-9988
Afternoon tea starts from 3.00pm – 5.00pm (daily)

oink’s guide to … Copenhagen! Conditori La Glace has the best tasting Danish pastries

While I was in Copenhagen, I told myself that I must stuff my face with lots of Danish pastries. I love Danish pastries, and I also had my fair share of disappointment. Especially in Singapore, no one does really good Danish pastries – they are usually commercially made and they don’t taste very nice.

I braved the morning rain and after walking in circles for almost half an hour, I finally managed to locate Conditori La Glace – the oldest confectionary in Denmark. Opened its door in 1870, Conditori La Glace has been serving delicious cakes and pastries. This historical café is beautiful, laced with history. I got there really early (I was their second customer) hence there was a limited pastries and cakes on display. And unfortunate for me, the staff at the counter did not really speak English so I did the “look what’s nice, point and order”.

While I was waiting for my pastries and tea to be served to me, I stared at the walls of Conditiori La Glace. It was decorated with family pictures from different generations. Every picture is telling a story about this café. At the same time, I started to notice all the cakes are rolling out to the display counter. I could only wish for a bigger stomach to have a taste of all the cakes.

When my pastries were at the table, I noticed I ordered two similar looking bakes. Still I was excited to sink my teeth in them. Though the pastries were not warm up, the moment I bit into them, the puff pastry just shattered. I love the custard centre which was creamy and not too sweet. And to my surprise, I don’t mind the marzipan icing. I personally detest almond-based product but the icing was pretty good and it complimented the puff pastry.

I enjoyed my breakfast at Conditiori La Glace so much that I returned a couple days later for afternoon tea. Despite the rain, there was a long queue and it was impossible to go in. This left me quite sad, as Conditiori La Glace really made the best Danish pastries I ever tasted.

Conditori La Glace
Skoubogade 3, 1158 København K
+45-3314-4646 (No reservations)
Opening hours: 8.30am to 5.00pm (daily)

oink’s cafe guide to … Perth! Coffee at Gino’s

One of my favourite things to do in Perth is to plant myself at Gino’s (located at Fremantle’s cappuccino stretch), enjoy a cuppa and watch people (and birds) pass by. Going on holiday does not mean fighting against time, rushing from one place to another. Sometimes, all you need to do is sit down and enjoy what is front of you.

Gino’s
Cafe 1-5 South Terrace, Fremantle, Western Australia
Opening hours: 6am till late (daily)

oink’s guide to … Perth! Koko Black

Started in Melbourne, Koko Black is a delightful chocolatier which recently made its way to Perth. Besides the wonderful array of chocolate treats, Koko Black’s salon also featured delicious tea-time snacks.

Koko Black

Though it was not the first time I dined in Koko Black, I went there with a purpose – to meet my webby friend and fellow food blogger – The Food Pornographer (TFP). TFP and I have been exchanging conversation via twitter and emails for almost a year. Her website always left me hungry, and made me miss Perth very much. We bonded over our love for instant mee (specifically Mee Sedaap), and we graduated from the same university and she is one of those few people who will understand when I start to blabber about semiotics and discourse. The biggest reason why I am such a big fan of TFP is her approach towards food – besides overwhelming her readers with a lot of food shots, she is brutally honest about her gastronomical experience.

I arrived early and struggled to find a seat. I was unclear of the seating system – the signage said “wait to be served” while the waitress told me to just grab any table which was available. After a while, I managed to find an empty table. While waiting for TFP and her partner Jac to arrive, I studied the menu and knew what I want – Alice lamington. Lamingtons, originated from Australia, are essentially butter sponge cakes, coated with chocolate icing and desiccated coconut. You can eat it on its own or filled it with cream.

Iced chocolate (A$7.90)

Once TFP and Jac arrived, we quickly ordered our drinks and food. Beside the Alice lamington, I also got myself the famous iced chocolate. It was huge and it was topped with two big scoops of ice cream. It was every chocolate-holic’s dream. As it was my third cup of liquid chocolate of the day, I did not manage to finish my drink – I am such a failure.

Alice lamington (A$4)

The Alice lamington was everything I wanted – it was not too sweet, the cream was delicious and it had a good dollop of sour cherry jam which cut through the richness. Thanks to TFP, I have been dreaming about Alice lamington and I was so happy to finally sink my teeth in one.

Queen of Hearts (A$39)

TFP and Jac shared “Queen of Hearts” which comprised of sandwiches, sweet and savoury tarts and of course Alice lamington. They both generously shared their tea snacks with me but I was stuffed from my lunch and the iced chocolate. Judging from their faces, I think it was safe to say everything on the plate was delicious.

Jac had to leave early for her weekly netball hockey game, and TFP and I stayed at Koko Black to chat. I thought it was pretty amazing that we both chatted like we were old friends. Our conversation was not just about food, but also our daily lives. I was glad to make this last minute trip to Perth and catch up with a wonderful (new) friend.

Koko Black
Claremont Quarter, 23 St Quentin Avenue Claremont WA 6010
+61-8-9284-2049
Opening hours: 9.00am–6.00pm (Mon), 9.00am-10.00pm (Tue-Thu), 9.00am-11.00pm (Fri, Sat), 10.30am-6.00pm (Sun)

Maison Kayser

If anyone asks me what is the best cure for Monday blues, I would say, go get a MC (medical certificate) and skip work for the day. Well, one can only use that excuse sparingly. I guess the next best thing would be to start the day with an awesome breakfast.

Maison Kayser, the celebrated French bakery has finally made it ways to our tiny shore. And I have been hearing nothing but praises for this bakery. So on a Monday morning, I trotted my way to the newly open chi-chi Scotts Square and was amazed there was a queue at 9am.

Once I was near the display counter, I don’t know what I should have. I looked left, right and everywhere. There were so many choices – pastries, bread, cakes. In the end, I settled for the classic croissant and a cappuccino.

We all need to start our morning this way

Why are you not warm up?

When I tear up the croissant, I was surprised that it was not warm, and I was slightly disappointed. The croissant itself was buttery and fluffy, but I really wanted it warm*, hearing that shattering sound when I bite into it.

Financier

The cappuccino that I ordered came with a small financier (which they also sell them in bags). The plain almond financier was very sweet but it went very well with the dark rich cappuccino. While I was checking my receipt, I realised how reasonably priced was the croissant. It was only S$2.60 but the coffee was the shocker – S$6. It has been awhile since I pay that much for coffee.

Of course, I cannot leave the place with just having a croissant. I bought quite a bit of pastries home too – chocolate éclair, citron tart, pain au chocolat and pain au fromage.

I love the chocolate éclair. The choux pastry was not “eggy” or light like the ones I usually would have. Rather it was dense, chewy and almost pie crust like and I really quite enjoyed it. Maison Kayser was also very generous with the chocolate filling – which was rich and sweet.

Chocolate eclair and citron tart

The pastry I most look forward to was the citron tart. I have this affinity for all things sour and lemon. However this tart was very sour. For someone who loves sour things, this tart was unbearably sour. It took me quite some time to finish it.

For the pain au chocolat and pain au fromage which I had a couple days later for breakfast**, they were equally delicious. I especially enjoyed the pain au chocolate – warm, crispy and the melting chocolat. Délicieux!

These days, it is becoming near impossible for me to go Maison Kayser and not get anything. For a city bakery, the prices are very reasonable (except for the coffee, in my opinion) and almost everything is delicious. And yes I am thoroughly addicted the smell of fresh bakes.

*A couple days later, I went back to Maison Kayser and brought home some of the croissants. The next day, I defrosted and toasted the croissant – it was divine! Pastries must always serve warm.

**If you plan to buy the pastries and keep them for breakfast, I would strongly recommend to put them in the freezer, even if you are having them the next day. Putting in the fridge or leaving them at room temperature, I feel, will deteriorate the texture and taste of the pastries.

Maison Kayser
6 Scotts Road, Scotts Square, #B1-09
+65-6636-3672
Opening hours: 8.00am-8.00pm (daily)

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