Thursday, January 30, 2014

iScream under a HDB in Bedok

Gourmet ice-cream parlours are invading the heartlands and the latest to join in the fray is iScream from the guys that gave us the creatively posh tea lounge, Arteastiq, at Mandarin Gallery. Instead of tea-sipping taitais and shade-wearing yuppies, the bulk of their fans here seem to be adoring students with deep pockets. Gone are the days of humble potong popsicles, 50 cents pocket money and the discipline of saving for treats like these. We guess it's reward for all that high level cramming, monotonous assessments and teenage angst. Cold treats like these come with newfangled names and novel flavours nowadays. A happy balm for frazzled souls.

You are never too old for an ice-cream.
iScream alright. We heard you as well as hundreds of students from a
20 mile radius.
Park your set of wheels here and head in.
Sexy leather-clad vintage wheels to put yours to shame.
Posing at the front to up the hip quotient.
No more Centrepoint kids anymore. The popular school crowd
hangs out at joints like these now.
Wah! A-state-of-the-art Italian Tonda revolving ice-cream
display machine to cool the different flavours evenly.
Quirky industrial chic look with
chair handles and legs resembling pipes.
It's a brave new world. Social media has taken over our
Pulley Lamps.
Smurfy and Smurfy Jr doing the taste test that day.
Choose your topping of choice in clinical plastic
wrapping. So hygienic, a person with contamination OCD
would approve.
Would you like a sprinkling of the pill-like
mini marshmallows?
Or the life-saving Chinese antidote
masquerading as maltesers. Hiiiii-yaaaak!
Sit by the window to contemplate the meaning of life.
Or contemplate the price of your dessert which goes
by a pay-per-weight system. Unlike the rip-off
**gurt, prices are still kept friendly here at 3.5 cents
per gram with a minimum weight of 100g.
Our four scoops weigh $9.45 and they are carefully
dug out by the service staff.
Rum n Raisin, Chempedak, Chocolate with Marshmallows
and Red Date Tea scoops on a plastic tray that resembles the
black slate you get served food on at atas restaurants.
Melting fast in the hot weather. The Rum n Raisin stood out
with its punchy alcoholic notes. The rest fared well too with
bits of fruits in the chempedak and red date tea scoop.
Would go for their novelty creations like the Social
Media Plate next time. You can liquor-infuse your
ice-cream as well (add $1).

Mummy, look at my art piece!
Butter milk waffles were addictively good too.
A little out of place were the Korean Bingsu desserts on the menu.
We love the eye-catching marketing posters.

iScream is an ice-cream parlour that attempts to differentiate itself from the run-of-the-mill ice-cream joints with its own ice-cream and waffle platter creations. Folks who love to DIY their own desserts would also appreciate the freedom to mix and match ingredients and play with the extensive range of add-ons here.

Blk 89
Bedok North Ave 4
Singapore 460089

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ugly Sue at Strictly Pastry

With a pool of ardent fans, Strictly Pastry's incarnation as a brick and mortar confectionery has long been awaited. Known for her fine customised cakes for that special occasion, executive pastry chef Hannah Wong's passion and skills have finally found a home in the heritage enclave of Joo Chiat. The former Chef de Partie of The Patissier was part of the award winning team at the Food & Hotel Asia Salon Culinaire and had won the Cacao Barry scholarship to Paris at the World Gourmet Summit.

Old school biscuit tins form a pretty feature wall. The lions
walked in during the soft launch with bakes in limited quantities.
Strictly Pastry operates as a takeaway joint due to the area's strict
licensing issues. It would have been perfect as a sit-in cafe.
Oh well, the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship here... ...
Cupcakes in flavours like Yuzu & Candied Orange, Stout, Blueberries,
and Chocolate ($5 each). Whoopie pies are spotted as well.
Limited range of cakes. We grabbed the Caribbean Sunrise and Strawberry
Velure over the Hey Hey Devil's Chocolate Cake. ($7 each)
Choux and meringue pastries. We grabbed the Ugly Sue ($7 for 3) over the
Butter Choux-ger Toast ($5 for 3)

This baby was in Young Parents Magazine.
along Joo Chiat Road.
Calamansi Handmade Marshmallows. Is this in vogue now?
Shortbread Cookies.
No seats so off we go for wine at The Straits Wine Company.
A rainbow of heritage shophouses.
Ugly Sue made of  baked meringue, passion fruit mousse, fresh strawberries,
blueberries and raspberries. The texture reminds the lions of the brazo de
mercedes at Carry On Cafe. This was a heartier version chockful of ingredients.
The Strawberry Velure was a mild affair with chiffon sponge, strawberry
mousse, fresh cream, diced strawberries and chocolate feuilletine.
Not really a winner apart from the fluffy fresh cream.
The Carribean Sunrise fared slightly better with baked cheesecake,
crushed pineapples and chocolate biscuit.

We were not given any forks and had to grab some emergency wooden
ones from neighbouring Simply Eden, a new gourmet takeaway joint.
Babich Riesling from Marlborough, New Zealand.
"Outdoor" seating.
Main area to chill and drink.
Teriyaki and Buffalo Hot Sauce
chicken wings tapao-ed from neighbouring
Wings World. Finger-lickin delish.

We love the Ugly Sue but are not too enamoured about the cakes though. For CNY, you might like to try their east-meets-west version of the Kueh Bulu called the Ulu Bulu.

Strictly Pastry
267 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427521

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bang-for-Buck Blue Mountain Coffee at Blue Mahoe Showroom

The search for a bak kut teh fix at Midview City in Sin Ming led the lions to stumble upon JBM Coffee Works - the distributor of the Blue Mahoe Estate Coffee here.

They did not know what to expect but gingerly pushed the doors open.
It's a showroom for JBM's imported single origin beans from around the
world. The star attraction's of course the Blue Mountain Coffee
from the Blue Mahoe Estate in Jamaica.
This is also a retail shop for coffee accessories like bodum glasses and
nifty coffee contraptions.
The siphon.
Give it a whiff - Ethopian Yirgacheffe beans.
This is better than any perfume counter.
Grab a cuppa of choice - Long Black, Latte, Flat White, etc. Beans used
are from their signature blend. The single origin and blue mountain coffee
are currently not available due to operations being focused on their
pop-up stand in Orchard now. We hear that they will be available sometime
after 15 Feb. Fingers crossed.
As this is a showroom and not a full-fledged cafe, coffee
comes in a takeaway cup. But it was impressively good -
full-bodied, mild acidity, floral and fruity. Boiled it down to
the use of their premium blend of beans. Sign up for their
membership here ($28 for 10 cups). That makes it $2.80
a cup! The more premium coffee like the blue mountain
is deductible for an equivalent 3 cups. Prolly the most
value for money blue mountain on the island. Of course,
head to their Esplanade cafe for the full luxurious experience.
Grab your blue mountain beans here. On a side note,
they are currently running a promotion for coffee puritans.
The Classic Espresso Blend, Costa Rica Coffee, Dominican
Republic Coffee and Ethiopia Coffee will retail at $33 for
3 bags of beans! For a limited time only.
Single origin beans from across the globe.
This showroom has become quite popular among the office crowd here.
German Coffee Roaster for sale.

Blue Mahoe Estate Coffee Showroom/
JBM Coffee Works

22 Sin Ming Lane
Mid View City
Singapore 573969
Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri - 9am to 6pm
Sat - 9am to 1pm