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Singapore: K ki ケーキ

8 May

I finally got my ass over to K ki ケーキ on my recent trip back. It’s one of those places that I’ve been meaning to visit since it first opened but I had let it drag out for maybe…2 years? I remember reading that the owner is a self taught baker and was pretty impressed by that.

Off to while away my Friday afternoon…

K ki is known for its airy mousse Japanese-style cakes. Almost all their cakes are mousse cakes, except their cheesecake. The pretty lady at the counter went through the whole list of cakes available with me, before I finally decided on the Emily (Champagne mousse with strawberry centre) ($8). This was very light and balanced in the tart and sweet flavours. I loved the consistency of the airy mousse, and it definitely had an alcoholic kick. Unfortunately I could only squeeze in one since I was really full from my lunch at Luke’s but in my normal state, I could have polished 2-3 cakes on my own as they were really that light.

To wash down my cake, I had a pot of Gryphon Tea’s Vanilla Sencha. I normally stay away from anything with vanilla if I can but this was a surprisingly lovely combination of green tea with a light vanilla aroma.

K ki shares its space with an outfit called the little drom store that sells assorted knick knacks and trinkets; including bags, clothes, books and accessories. Quite a lot of things are by local designers. I couldn’t resist picking up this cute asteroid shaped enamel necklace.

Though slightly pricey for its size, I can’t wait to come to try the rest of their popular cakes including the Antoinette (White chocolate mousse with mango centre), Little Red Riding Hood (Dark chocolate mousse with raspberry centre) and Mont Blanc (French chestnut paste with fresh cream centre). This is definitely not a place for those who like their desserts big and hearty, but more for those who crave for (literally) a little slice of Japan. Service was friendly (they even loaned me their iPhone charger) and they were forthcoming with refilling hot water for my tea and iced water. It is a small space though so I can’t imagine what it would be like on the weekend as it was almost full house when I was there.

Price: $-$$
Location: 7 Ann Siang Hill, Singapore 069791
Tel: +65 6225 6650

Singapore: The Marmalade Pantry (Pantry At The Stables)

28 Mar

I was always a fan of old The Marmalade Pantry at Palais Renaissance since the mid noughties, back when it less popular and at its more obscure basement location along Orchard Road. But somehow when they moved to their new digs at Ion, things didn’t feel quite the same with that in the open concept location and meh food quality (not desserts though). So when they recently rebranded and opened a new branch – Pantry At The Stables – at Fairways Drive taking over the old Mimolette (next to Riders Cafe), I was pleased that my (very late) weekend brunch experience was much better than the Ion branch (food and definitely ambiance wise).

Surrounded by lush greenery at its entrance

Minimalist indoor seating area

Cupcake table – don’t miss trying one! You’re in Marmalade Pantry after all.

Their signature flower :)

I order their steak sandwich with wasabi mayonnaise, caramelised onions and rocket every single time I eat at MP (yes I’m boring like that). The addition of the creamy wasabi mayo, spicy rocket and sweet onions here really seal the deal for me. Even the sweet potato chips and accompanying salad in citrus dressing are stars.

The seared scallop linguini with tiger prawn bisque was also surprisingly good despite its plain looks. Loved the rich and seafood-y prawn bisque sauce.

The crabmeat linguini with pine nuts, tomatoes and chili is one of their signature dishes and I always try to encourage my friends to order it so I can pinch off a bit ;) Tangy, slightly spicy and oh so moreish! I will be the wrath of my countrymen but give me this over messy and laborious chili crab any day.

The truffle fries on the other hand were nothing to shout about. I wished they were thinner and prefer the ones at Barracks/Skinny Pizza to the ones here.

We tried the Granny Smith and stem ginger pudding served with salted caramel ice-cream since we often order the ginger pudding in PS Cafe. This was pretty good too but much less sweet and gingery than PS Cafe’s, which is totally fine with me. I love the apple, ginger and caramel flavour combination.

But to me, the must order at Marmalade Pantry have always been and will always be the sticky date and toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream. And if you can, don’t share it because everytime I do, I always end up regretting but not feeling spoilt enough to order a second helping. Food fads come and go, but this pudding will always be my number one favourite dessert in Singapore. It’s my ultimate comfort food. I usually don’t like vanilla ice cream but this one doesn’t spare the vanilla pods and it really makes a difference in the flavour.

Marmalade Pantry also does decent but not overly pretty cupcakes, which were popular long before the cupcake fad in Singapore. My favourite is the Elvis (Chocolate banana cake with peanut butter frosting). I also like the Limonata, Hazel and Chocolate Deluxe. Some of the other flavours like Geisha and William sound good on paper but are just too sweet for my liking.

The scenic, un-Singapore landscape around Fairways Drive

Horses at the nearby Bukit Timah Saddle Club

While I wouldn’t say the food was really good, it’s definitely pretty decent with some sparks like the pudding. Its relaxed vibe, idyllic location and wide menu ranging from drinks, savouries to sweets more than makes up for it though :)

Price: $$
Location: 55 Fairways Drive Singapore 286846
Tel: +65 6467 9328

London: The Orangery

18 Jul

I wanted to do afternoon tea at least once in London, since England is after all the birthplace of afternoon tea. My friend suggested The Orangery in Kensington Palace, which is dated from the 18th century and has quite a lovely regal setting. It was apparently once Queen Anne’s greenhouse and entertaining pavilion. They don’t take reservations so we had to queue under the scorching sun – and it was really hot, felt like 35 degs celcius!

I’m sorry I wasn’t very diligent in taking nice pictures of the place, as I was too bothered with sweating especially since there wasn’t a/c inside either. But the place decked up entirely in white is really pretty!

There was an orange tree on each table as a centerpiece, which actually blocks your entire view of your dining companion sitting opposite from you. Pretty hilarious.

The view from our table. Would probably be lovely to seat outdoors on a cooler day, since it overlooks the lush and manicured Kensington Gardens.

I shared the Signature Orange Tea Set (£15.15) with a friend. It comes with an assortment of finger sandwiches, hand-made afternoon tea pastry, a signature orange scented scone with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a choice of tea or coffee. My favourite part was probably the sandwiches and to be honest I felt the scone was too dry. I wanted an iced tea since it was really hot but they ran out of ice (like seriously) and half of their cold drinks on their menu. I guess they weren’t prepared for the sudden change in weather since it was still freezing cold the day before – that’s London weather I suppose.

This was my friend’s Scone with Raisins. I thought this was better than the signature orange scone.

Londoners sunbathing on the grounds of Kensington Gardens.

The Orangery’s probably more known for its setting and history than its actual food. We wanted to also visit Maison Bertaux and Bea’s of Bloomsbury for tea but unfortunately we didn’t have the time.

Price: $$
Location: The Orangery, Kensington Palace, Kensington Gardens W8 4PX