Saleduck Food Blogger Award 2016 – Vote for me! haha

thumbnail_Blogger - Food

Hello everyone! I am nominated for Saleduck Food Blogger Award 2016 organized by SaleDuck. If you enjoy reading my posts, feel free to vote for me over at http://www.saleduck.com.sg/awards/food-blogger-award-2016 ! I am located at the 3rd Row of nominees. Simply click on the ‘Click here to vote’ button and that’s it! Bottom will be a picture of my profile photo just in case it’s difficult to search for me. =)

IMG_7336

Here’s the brief introduction to my blog:
Leading a pretty stressful life we city beings are, food, apart from travel, forms a major part of the many activities that we seek solace and joy in. What started off as just a personal blog, still remains as a truthful diary till this date that hopefully could brighten up your day as you join me for a gastronomic experience! Happy reading!

thumbnail_Blogger Award 2016 button

Voting ends on 30th September 2016.

Dishoom – Indeed the cafe of the year in London

Dishoom

22 Kingly St, London W1B 5QB, United Kingdom near Oxford Circus station

IMG_9201This Bombay cafe seems to be taking over the cafe scene in London as it breathes a heavy breath of fresh air into the otherwise monotonous, stifled cafe culture that has been seeing fluffier waffles, runnier poached eggs, thicker french toast or yellower hollandaise sauce appearing everywhere (at least that is the scene in Singapore). Deviating greatly from the usual, Dishoom has taken a risky but very successful step in making Indian cuisine the norm in the cafe scene. Initially skeptical, I was floored the moment we got our first appetiser together with our drinks and I knew it would be an awesome lunch which then again brings me back to the point that I did not have a single bad meal in London this time. Highly excited to debut my 2016 London restaurants with Dishoom

IMG_9207Dark chocolate Chai. This hot chocolate was beautifully cut through by the light spices and we loved the light spicy aftertaste. £2.90.

IMG_9206IMG_9205Okra fries that have been fried to render a light crispy,spicy overcoat while retaining the stretchiness within. Definitely a very addictive appetiser! £4.20. (Vegetarian) And that is it, at this point, we know we are set for a great lunch!

IMG_9215House Black Daal. Termed as the Dishoom signature dish, this black, plump daal was simmered for over 24h for the extra harmony; is dark, rich and deeply flavoured, as it has been permeated thoroughly by the flavourful sauce. £5.90. (Vegetarian)

IMG_9212Chicken Ruby. Redolent with spice and flavour, this is definitely a good thick bowl of curry while the tender chicken is brilliantly soaked in this rich silky Makhani sauce. £8.50.

IMG_9211And how else to finish every drop but to mop it up with the crispy, fragrant garlic naan. £2.50 for 2 pieces.

IMG_9209Chicken Berry Britannia. This biryani, slow-cooked and layered beautifully in a pot, was thoroughly perfumed by the light curry-like spices and refreshing cranberry aroma. Where’s the chicken we remarked and we then realised a generous portion buried right underneath. £8.90.

IMG_9216Mango Kulfi on a stick. I have had kulfi in Singapore before and felt that that overly thick creamy texture overpowered any other tastes. But the one over here was not only creamy and thick, the mango flavour came through strong yet not tasting too artificial. We like. £3.50.

And there we go, everything spot on the first time at a London Bombay cafe with the great balances in the numerous spices used. Just to emphasise how good it is, Dishoom was revisited just after a few days during the precious 9 days in the United Kingdom (turned precious due to a last minute meeting scheduled with the collaborators).

d1And these two foodies were satisfied!

Verdict: An excellent cafe 4.5/5

IYEMON SALON CAFE LOUNGE 伊右衛門サロン – Polished dinner menu

IYEMON SALON CAFE LOUNGE 伊右衛門サロン

80 Ogura-cho, Karasuma Nishiiru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo-ku | Chiso Bdg 1F, Kyoto 604-8166,Kyoto Prefecture, Near Karasumaoike station

6 months ago, during the transition into the blazing summer season, Iyemon Salon Cafe was visited for its super delectable lunch sets that are priced at an almost unimaginable affordable rate. And this autumn, we have decided to revisit it for dinner which definitely has raised the bar on our expectations for cafe food back in our own home.

DSC_0821Green Tea Miso Tofu – I reckon green tea could be used as an ingredient in almost any course, savoury or sweet, when you are in matcha fanatic Kyoto. Perfect tofu with the silkiest texture one could have imagined, the more savoury, sweeter miso has been cleverly utilised to gel the matcha bitterness together with it. ¥460

DSC_0823Red Sea Bream Carpaccio – So fresh this sea bream is, that is immaculately tossed with salt sauce, while its overall taste lifted naturally by a light citrusy drizzle Continue reading

Lipton TeaHouse リプトンティハウス店 – So hearty!

Lipton TeaHouse リプトンティハウス店

Shijo Teramachi-dori, Kado, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture near Kawaramachi station

If not for the fabulous experiences at the Japanese cafes (Hoshino Coffee, Watanabe Coffee, Muji Cafe etc) opened recently in Singapore, I could have regrettably skipped this genre of ‘Japanese cuisine’ during this trip to the Kansai region. Not strictly Italian fare, the cafes here however, have cleverly turned it into a successful tantalising Italian-Japanese hybrid. And Lipton TeaHouse, though was a random cafe we chanced upon that rainy night, left us with an extremely satisfied tummy thereafter. Not stingy in serving, yet presented with perfected techniques and creativity, this is definitely a place highly recommended.

DSC_0888

DSC_0881Western Style bento. It was almost impossible to resist such an oxymoronic item on the menu. As without a hint of Western plating, the chef has undertaken the 5-colour rule to turn it into a beautiful Japanese bento. Served in the bento: A plump breaded salmon, creamy stuffed croquette, juicy beef hamburg steak complemented with the impeccably poached egg with Japanese rice at the side topped with the lightly sweet chestnuts (once again, the evident subtleties in Japanese cooking), al dante flavourful speghetti with saute shrooms. The most expensive set on the menu at ¥1800 but with so many going on, this could be the heartiest of all too!

DSC_0878DSC_0876Seasonal Vegetables, Shrimps and avocado salad. A huge bowl of crunchy greens, with huge cuts of creamy avocado, lashed with a refreshing sauce, completed with a net of flaky cheese above, this was a simple but impressive huge bowl! ¥980

DSC_0886Roasted Tottori-grown pork chop with demiglace sauce. Lip smacking slab of pork here, made even heavier tasting with the thick demiglace sauce. ¥1280

DSC_0891Kyoto wazuka matcha and black soy bean waffle. With a slew of waffles available, the battle was really down to trying newer, bolder flavours such as the special mont blanc, or sticking to the largely favourite Matcha one that could hardly be found back home (Or even if there is, isn’t impressive at all). And the Matcha prevailed. Crispy outer layer while the fluffy sponge within is heavily stained with the green Matcha. Fabulous taste on its own that is beautifully completed with the decadent Matcha ice cream! ¥980

DSC_0892And we ended the perfect meal with a moist chestnut sponge cake.

And as you might have guessed already, this is indeed a very worthy meal as the bill didn’t pass S$35 per pax. What a steal!

Verdict: An excellent cafe

Jiki Miyazawa 食宮ざわ – The all sesame tofu that gave it its fame

Jiki Miyazawa 食宮ざわ (1 star)

553-1 Yaoha-cho, Sakaishijo Agaru Higashigawa,Kyoto 604-8123, Kyoto Prefecture

Near Gion Shijo station

DSC_0830Bridges, you would soon realise, is an integral form of architecture in the kansai region as they give these cities their unique character and charisma. While those in the more modernised Osaka exuberate a grander, sky-scraper laced skyline, those in Kyoto consolidate its rustic charm. Now we may seem to be slightly out of point here, but the gorgeous view you would get en route to Jiki Miyazawa 食宮ざわ じき宮ざわ from Gion Shijo subway is definitely unignorable.

DSC_0831DSC_0835Having searched for quite a few Japanese michelin restaurants previously, we have grown wiser to keep a lookout for the less conspicuous and quieter side road. And there we were, got past the curtain, ushered promptly to our comfortable counter seats, and got a Lager Kirin beer while waiting for the ¥3500 set lunch.

DSC_0833Starter – Plump and refreshing crab meat forming the base, topped with the lighter radish and salmon roe

DSC_0836Clear soup – Perfumed throughout with the shimeji mushroom fragrance, while its refreshingness is further lifted by the citrusy yuzu zest; all with the purpose of bringing out the natural sweetness of the scallop encased tofu.

DSC_0838These Spanish mackerel sashimi were lightly steamed at the side yet still maintaining its tenderness, while the rawness is preserved within, thereby increasing the complexity of its overall texture.

DSC_0841Showcasing its culinary acumen, the Sesame tofu, topped with a blob of savoury sesame sauce and lashed with sesame sprinkles on top is definitely the star of Jiki Miyazawa. Lightly sweet, savoury, fragrant, the nuances in the sesame flavours have been brought out by the different textured ingredients. With so many elements in just a seemingly simple course, this is definitely not straightforward but has been prepared with much finesse. Notably, the tofu has a thicker and bouncier consistency yet still maintaining its silkiness, this is the first kind that I ever have had.

DSC_0849Rice course: Together with the peppercorn sardine, it was a good finish to the meal. Do not be shy to ask for more if you need more carbo as they will gladly scoop more for you!

DSC_0854Considered as the fruit in Autumn or winter, the fuyugaki (literally winter persimmon), with a meltingly soft flesh, tasted very sweet and juicy. All ended by the sweet hojicha macaroon counterbalanced by the ultra bitter quality matcha.

DSC_0840While I wouldn’t say that this lunch is mindblowing as most of the tastes, we were already familiar with. However, at just ¥3500, that includes the brilliant sesame tofu, I say it is worth a visit.

Verdict: A good restaurant.