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Authentic, wholesome bingsu Smile Jun 17, 2015   
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Categories : Korean | Café | Desserts and Cakes

If you can't find O'ma Spoon in Marina Square, just ask any passerby where the infamous Hotpot Culture buffet restaurant (publicized recently for a dead cockroach in its salted veg dish) is located and you'll get directions to the cafe. 

Owned by a Korean lady, O'ma Spoon is famous for its injeolmi bingsu or shaved ice with rice cakes and roasted soy powder. Not soya fans, my dining companion  and I opted for the signature 'OMG bingsu' instead. This is a heavenly combo of mango cubes, berries, almond slivers, cheesecake and shaved ice. 'OMG bingsu' comes in a slightly smaller, lower priced version which goes by the name of 'Mango Cheese  Bingsu' or if you're alone, you can order this item in a takeaway cup 'Petit Bingsu' but the mini version does not have almonds, berries and cheesecake. So it's better to visit Oma Spoon in a group so you can order the regular portion to share or try different flavours at one go.

We've visited both Nunsaram and MOF Snowman for their bingsu but our vote goes to Oma Spoon for the best mango bingsu king  in town, in terms of texture and quality of ingredients used. The ajuma owner certainly doesn't stinge on quality as we spied cartons of Paul's brand UHT milk in a corner of the shop. wow This is the milk that goes into the making of the shaved ice at Oma Spoon. yummy The bingsu's texture here is finer, like and the fresh mango topping for the bingsu is of better quality, compared with the desserts served at both Nunsaram and MOF Snowman. At Nunsaram, fake tasting dried mango strips are mixed with the fresh mango in the bingsu, while at MOF Snowman we were served acidic, unripe mango cubes in our bingsu.  The cafe environment at Oma Spoon balloon is more pleasant and relaxed than both Nunsaram and MOF Snowman too (the latter is like a school tuck shop dining area located next to a busy corridor right in front of a table BBQ restaurant).

Besides the injeolmi bingsu and mango cheese bingsu, the other item that is popular among customers at this Oma Spoon Cafe is the banana chocolate brownie bingsu. We will be revisiting this cafe soon to try this item.

 
 
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jun 13, 2015 

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Snow Drop Smile May 16, 2015   
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Categories : Korean | Ice Cream and Gelato

I was wary about trying Milk Cow's Korean soft serve ice cream after a sickly sweet encounter with a similar product, Honey Creme, but went along with my friends who insisted that I give their favorite new dessert stall a chance.

Everything looked tempting but I avoided the honeycomb topping this time and opted for Snow Drop $5.90 which was a cup of their signature ice cream made of organic whole milk topped by a mound of candy floss. Can choose jelly beans or M&M to go with the ice cream and I opted for the latter.

 
The ice cream tastes divine - it was  very smooth and every mouthful was full of the wholesome, rich and full bodied taste of full cream, fresh milk. This is a great way to meet my daily calcium quota. I liked that Milk Cow's soft serve was only faintly sweet so I can finish the whole cup without feeling guilty about consuming too many calories. It's very filling and perfect on a hot day.

Milk Cow is not for the lactose intolerant as every twirl of the ice cream is power packed with the goodness of dairy milk. It's either a love it or hate it experience depending on whether you like or dislike fresh milk. Honey Creme's version contains more sugar and lacks the smooth, creamy taste of Milk Cow's soft serve. I would rate Honey Cream 3.25/5 and Milk Cow 5/5 on taste.
 
Date of Visit: May 16, 2015 

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 3

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Eat and Go Cafe OK May 13, 2015   
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Categories : Korean | Desserts and Cakes

It's not easy to locate Snowman Desserts unless you hang out at NEX pretty often. You won't find a listing on the mall directory. It's actually on level 2 taking over half of the premises of Japanese restaurant MOF, near Watsons. The Korean owner started off at NEX with a branch of Daessiksin, the popular DIY Korean BBQ buffet that grew from a single outlet opposite Novena Church (now moved to United Square) into a chain of several restaurants. The enterprising businessman has turned the NEX shop space into a 3-in-1 restaurant, offering the Korean BBQ buffet for lunch and dinner, and the Ssiksin fried chicken and dessert (Snowman) throughout the day to maximize returns from the rent on his shop unit.

Customers who order the fried chicken and desserts are seated at long tables at the front end of the restaurant, near the walkway in full view of the unending stream of weekend shoppers strolling in the mall. If dining as a couple or small group of three or four pax, you'll be seated with and rubbing elbows with other customers, just like eating at a school tuckshop at recess time.

Prices start at $3.50++ for a cup of soft serve ice cream served with freshly fried churros. Takeaway price for these cups is $3.50nett. The highlight of Snowman's menu is Korean shaved ice or bingsu whose prices range from $10.50++ to $14.00++. We ordered the fruit-based bingsu for dining in at $14++ or $16.48 nett per bowl. Each bowl serves up to two pax. The cheapest bingsu in town is at Tom N Toms Coffee which are priced from $9.50nett with free wifi thrown in. Snowman's price point is on par only if it excludes service charge as there's no free wifi and the makeshift environment lacks the cool, relaxed vibe of a cafe where customers can chill and chat.

The quality of Snowman's bingsu is good - its fine, smooth and velvety texture makes every spoonful a pleasure. Condensed milk is served on the side for the diner to drizzle on top of the bingsu to his/her desired level of sweetness.

We would return only for the melon bingsu $14++

 
which looked and tasted great (See photos).  The strawberry bingsu $14++ was disappointing as it arrived with the strawberry snowman dropped on the serving tray. We had to send it back for the snowman to be fixed/perched on top of the mound of shaved ice so that the dessert was photo-worthy.  

 
The chef was rather stingy with the strawberries too. The mango bingsu $14++ would have been good had the restaurant used sweet and ripe mangoes. Unfortunately the mango chunks served were so tart that the only way we could eat them up was to dip them into the tiny container of condensed milk.

 
Our feedback to the server was futile; she shrugged her shoulders, looked blankly into space and proceeded to serve other customers.

We felt that Snowman's staff are obviously more used to clearing tables for DIY buffet; they do not look approachable or perhaps they just lack the training to deliver a passable level of customer service. The lady behind the cash register was also mechanical and made no eye contact with customers who were taking turns to settle their bills.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Melon Bingsu
 
Table Wait Time: 10 minute(s)


Date of Visit: May 09, 2015 

Other Ratings:
Taste
 3  |  
Environment
 2  |  
Service
 2  |  
Clean
 3  |  
Price
 3

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Specialty Cafe (Updated Review) Smile Jan 08, 2015   
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Categories : Japanese | Desserts and Cakes

 
Maccha House is a Japanese cafe chain that specialises in green tea beverages and desserts, with several one dish meals offered for customers who want something more substantial. Hot beverages are priced from $3.40 while iced beverages, which has an upsized/large option, are priced from $3.90. Prices are lower than its competitors like Tsujiri and NaNa's.
Tsujiri operates takeaway kiosk at 313 Somerset that uses disposable cups but Maccha House has seats and proper tableware for their drinks and desserts. The vibe here is casual but we prefer the Orchard Central outlet which has nicer ambience and more spacious seating capacity.

We ordered the traditional matcha ($3.90) and the signature matcha parfait ($10.90). The former was great value. A bowl with a generous amount of good quality Kyoto green tea powder is served with a small pot of hot water for you to prepare your own beverage, and a bamboo bristle stirrer is provided for you to whisk the powdered matcha till it is well blended and dissolved. Full bodied matcha flavour with the sheerest hint of bitter ~ an acquired taste that needs getting used to. The beverage was accompanied by a saucer holding two baby mochi floating in maple syrup, to lift the bitter edge of the matcha. The concentrated green tea was so good that we ordered a second serving after we had finished our parfait.

The signature green tea parfait was topped by a generous twirl of matcha gelato and two pieces of velvety matcha flavour nama chocolate. It was divine; we should have skipped dinner so that we could each have a glass of this delightful parfait to ourselves. My colleague and I prefer the matcha parfait here to the version served at Nana's Green Tea Cafe. The latter's version of matcha parfait is over the top, so heavy that it leads to sugar overload and a 'jelak' feeling (Malay for overloaded). Nana's version which costs $13.90 has two tiny scoops of ice cream, three pieces of nama chocolate and lots of whipped cream and green syrup. Maccha House's version is less fattening, but without giving any less pleasure, as the dessert artisan here had a very light hand with the cream and syrup.

Service was prompt. It is a pleasant place to relax and chat, without free wifi to draw you away from your companions to your mobile devices.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Signature Green Tea Parfait
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jan 05, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $10(Other)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 4

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Specialty Cafe Smile Jan 07, 2015   
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Categories : Japanese | Café | Desserts and Cakes | Ice Cream and Gelato

 
Maccha House is a Japanese cafe chain that specialises in green tea beverages and desserts, with several one dish meals offered for customers who want something more substantial. Hot beverages are priced from $3.40 while iced beverages, which has an upsized/large option, are priced from $3.90. Prices are lower than its competitors like Tsijuri and NaNa's.

Tsijuri operates takeaway kiosk that uses disposable cups but Maccha House has seats and proper tableware for their drinks and desserts. The vibe here is casual but we prefer the Orchard Central outlet which has nicer ambience and more spacious seating capacity.

We ordered the traditional matcha ($3.90) and the signature matcha parfait ($10.90). The former was great value. A bowl with a generous amount of good quality Kyoto green tea powder is served with a small pot of hot water for you to prepare your own beverage, and a bamboo bristle stirrer is provided for you to whisk the powdered matcha till it is well blended and dissolved. Full bodied matcha flavour with the sheerest hint of bitter ~ an acquired taste that needs getting used to. The beverage was accompanied by a saucer holding some two baby mochi floating in maple syrup, to lift the bitter edge of the matcha. The concentrated green tea was so good that we ordered a second serving after we had finished our parfait.

The signature green tea parfait was topped by a generous twirl of matcha gelato and two pieces of velvety matcha flavour nama chocolate. It was divine; we should have skipped dinner so that we could each have a glass of this delightful parfait to ourselves. My colleague and I prefer the matcha parfait here to the version served at Nana's Green Tea Cafe. The latter's version of matcha parfait is over the top, so heavy that it leads to sugar overload and a 'jelak' feeling (Malay for overloaded). Nana's version which costs $13.90 has two tiny scoops of ice cream, three pieces of nama chocolate and lots of whipped cream and green syrup. Maccha House's version is less fattening, but without giving any less pleasure, as the dessert artisan here had a very light hand with the cream and syrup.

Service was prompt. It is a pleasant place to relax and chat, without free wifi to draw you to away from your companions to your mobile devices.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Maccha House Signature Parfait
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Jan 05, 2015 

Spending per head: Approximately $10(Other)

Other Ratings:
Taste
 5  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 3  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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