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Melon Soda
This is Melon Soda . Japanese, Korean are my favorite cuisines. I also love Bakery, Café and Desserts and Cakes, Dim Sum, Ice Cream and Gelato, Cake and Chocolate.
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Categories : French | Bakery | Desserts and Cakes

 
Being a fan of chocolate, I decided to pay Laurent Bernard at Takashimaya a visit when I was in the area before Christmas last month. The kiosk was nicely done up with a wonderful display of a variety of chocolate pieces and seasonal chocolate that just looked so tempting!

 
Intense Vanilla ($10.50)
There was a rather limited choice of cakes when I went and the ones I wanted were unavailable so I just went with the refined-looking Intense Vanilla as I've not tried this before. There were multiple layers of rich chocolate with creamy vanilla filling inside, although for some reason, I didn't find the vanilla to be very intense. Instead, it was the ganache layer, which was silky smooth, rich and bittersweet, that I thought was the most awesome!

 
30g Chocolate ($6.00)
This was a really small, thin piece of chocolate bar for the price, but it was firm and bittersweet, which would make it ideal for those who does not like their chocolate too sweet. Even so, I didn't find this to be particularly memorable and would have rather spend the money on another cake instead.

 
70% Cocoa (Left) and Pistachio Marzipan (Right) Chocolate Pieces ($7.00 for a Box of 2)
There were quite a variety of chocolate available, but the ones I wanted were all not available. The 70% Cocoa was recommended by the salesgirl so I got it instead, and I'm glad I did! The chocolate was silky smooth and bittersweet with a tinge of sourness. On the other hand, I wasn't too keen on the Pistachio Marzipan as I didn't find it flavourful enough for me. At $7.00 for two pieces, it was a tad pricey but it came in a nice box which would make a nice gift.

Indeed, the prices here are mostly on the high side considering these are luxury chocolates but I wouldn't mind giving the chocolate pieces another chance since there were just so many flavours. I'd also love to try some of the other cakes like Pure, Pleasure and Chocolate Tart and hopefully these will be available when I pay them another visit the next time! It helped that the sales staff was knowledgeable and helpful with her various recommendations, which impressed me, and she was also patient when I took my time looking over the display!

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Intense Vanilla,70% Cocoa
 
Date of Visit: Dec 19, 2013 

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

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Categories : Japanese | Bakery

 

 
At Woodlands Xchange located at Woodlands MRT, you can find a number of shops selling Japanese snacks and confections. One of them is Dora Keiki, which specialize in dorayaki, mochi and several other Japanese cakes and confections. This easily makes them one of my favourite shops at this stretch. You just gotta love their colourful display of various Japanese treats! I had my first taste of their Chocolate dorayaki when they opened for business, and has been hooked since. Since then, they have expanded their product offerings to include other confections like daifuku and even muffins! Not that I have any complaints about that. lol

 

 
Dorayaki ($1.50)
This was served chilled and the pancake was quite soft with a decent portion of thick filling inside. I've tried Chocolate, Oreo Cheese, Chocolate Cheese, Custard and Red Bean and my favourite was chocolate which was quite chocolate-y, although I thought Chocolate Cheese and Custard were pretty good too. There were also quite a variety of other flavours like Strawberry, Mango and Durian so there's bound to be a flavour you like!

 

 
QQ Mochi ($1.20) - Right Row
Like the Dorayaki, these QQ Mochi were chilled and also came in an array of flavours . As usual, my favourite was the Chocolate. This mochi was kind of bread-like and not the sticky glutinous rice kind which I was expecting, but on its own, it was tasty and also quite chewy. My favourite part of the mochi has to be the filling inside, which was smooth and rich, especially for the chocolate, and the portion was quite generous too. Yummy!

Japanese Daifuku ($1.20) - Left Row
This came in some different flavours from their Dorayaki and QQ Mochi range, like Strawberry Mousse and Red Bean Cheese. I got the Matcha Red Bean, Chocolate Red Bean and Custard Red Bean to try. The daifuku was probably the only item on their menu where my favourite flavour was not Chocolate but the Matcha Red Bean. This was smooth and chewy and there were two layers of filling inside, one of which was red bean, which was just the right amount of sweetness for me!

 
Hokkaido Cake ($2.50)
These Hokkaido cakes felt like sponge cakes and were quite soft with a generous amount of filling in it and icing on top. I opted for the Custard and Hazelnut flavours, of which I preferred Custard. The flavours were not as strong as I'd have liked but was decent enough to make this a light but enjoyable treat.

 
Muffin ($1.50)
I was surprised to see these muffins popping up in their display counter one day but these looked pretty good so I got the Chocolate and Walnut to try. These were quite moist and my favourite was Chocolate, which had bits of melted chocolate inside the muffin when it was heated and was deliciously rich and chocolatey!

I have also tried several other items here like the Waffle, Belgium Scone and "Dragon Egg" and found that most of their items tend to sit well with me so far. It was hard to choose a favourite at this shop because there were just so many I liked, but if I had to choose one, it'd probably be their QQ Mochi, although I also enjoyed the Dorayaki, Daifuki, Hokkaido Cakes and Muffins. It also helped that the confections came in an array of flavours but I personally tend to go for Chocolate.

The prices were also quite reasonable and they have discounts if you buy in bulk, not to mention that you'll also get a pretty packaging, especially for the dorayaki! The service was also pretty decent and the counter staff were friendly, smiley and polite each time I were there. Overall, I think Dora Keiki is worth a visit. I'm certainly keeping my eyes on this shop for new releases in the future!

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Dorayaki,QQ Mochi,Daifuku,Hokkaido Cake,Muffin
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 4  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 5  |  
Price
 4

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Hokkaido Buns @ Mugiya! Smile Jan 19, 2014   
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Categories : Japanese | Bakery

When Mugiya first opened its doors at Woodlands Xchange, I was initially drawn to it because Mugiya is supposedly a Japanese bakery. The banner advertising their #1 Hokkaido Bun also contributed to that impression. However, other than the Hokkaido Bun, and maybe two or three others, most of their other breads do not really scream "Japanese" to me even if some have Japanese-sounding names. Maybe they are trying to cater to local taste with their choice of product offerings with buns such as floss buns and even chinese pastries like Lao Po Bing or Tau Sar Piah, but I thought that this really felt more like a local bakery.

 
Nevertheless, their breads are quite decent and I am especially a fan of their Hokkaido buns (photo above).

 
Original Hokkaido Bun ($1.50)
The Hokkaido bun at Mugiya are really big! Sweet and soft, these buns are best eaten when they are just out of the oven, as it might 'deflat' if left too long (or even if you poke at it). I loved the upper part of the bun which was sweet, crusty, and a pleasure to bite into. The milk filling inside was smooth and worked well with the bread to deliver a taste that was a nice balance of sweetness and milkiness. Other than the original Milk filling, these buns also come in a variety of flavours such as Chocolate, Coffee and Oreo among others. My personal favourites are the Original, Chocolate, Chocolate Almond and Oreo buns!

 
Japanese Red Bean Bun ($1.40)
Also known as the An Pan, this bun was quite airy inside with an acceptable amount of red bean paste, although it'd have been nice to have a little more of it. The red bean paste was sweet but the bun itself had a slight taste which I did not really like. On the whole though, this was quite okay but I preferred the ones from Four Leaves which I personally felt were better.

 
Lao Po Bing ($4.50 ​for 4)
I was quite surprised to find Chinese pastries like the Lao Po Bing here but I got a set to try. The Lao Po Bing was smoothly and consistently glazed and baked to a nice shade of brown. The pastry was not super flaky like the ones from Crystal Jade My Bread but it was decent enough for me. I liked the filling which was sweet and chewy. The portion of the filling inside was also quite generous and nice to munch on!

Speaking of Chinese pastries, they also have the Sweet & Salty Tau Sar Piah here, both of which I've tried before. These were also quite good although I liked the salty version more. I have also tried a few of their other breads like the Potato Ham Bun as well as the other items like Cheesecake, Brownies and even cakes like the Tiramisu. However, the range of Hokkaido buns, Lao Po Bing and Tau Sar Piah remain my favourites. The Hokkaido buns are definitely worth a try!

The prices for the buns at Mugiya are quite reasonable averaging around $1.30 to $1.60, although there is a promotion going on around 7pm daily where you can buy the various buns for only $1.10 each, which is even better value for money! Even during this late hour, there will still be fresh batches of Hokkaido buns being brought out, which is definitely a major plus in my book. All in all, I think Mugiya is worth a visit especially for that freshly baked Hokkaido Bun at only $1.10!

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Hokkaido Buns (Assorted),Lao Po Bing,Tau Sar Piah
 
Other Ratings:
Taste
 4  |  
Environment
 3  |  
Service
 4  |  
Clean
 4  |  
Price
 4

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Dark Chocolate Cake Smile Jan 18, 2014   
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Categories : Desserts and Cakes | Ice Cream and Gelato

There was really quite a lot of foodstuff here, from potato chips to chocolate bars to biscuits and even frozen food like Rosti. I've always liked the cakes from the Ikea Cafe, such as the Dark Chocolate Cake and Almond Cake with Chocolate & Butterscotch. So when I saw they were also selling the frozen cakes here, I knew I just had to get one to bring home!

 
Dark Chocolate Cake ($8.90)
This was a gluten-free almond based cake covered with dark chocolate cream, and topped with cocoa nibs. This was quite crunchy and not too sweet although it felt a little dry, especially if not thawed completely. I can't really remember the exact price but this was about $8.90 for a small, frozen round cake which can be cut into 6 to 8 slices. This would meant that each slice would cost about $1.10 or $1.50. Certainly cheaper than the ones sold at the cafe, but I personally thought a slice of those from the cafe seem to be bigger. Nevertheless, this was good to get if you want to enjoy Ikea's desserts from the comfort of your own home.

A 1/8 slice:

 
Oxygenated Water ($1.00)
I got this only because I liked the bottle it came in LOL. This tasted like mineral water and was only $1.00 which was reasonable.

In fact, many of the food at this snack shop are really reasonably priced. I'd have love to browse longer and get more stuff if not for the fact that we were pressed for time to go elsewhere. I'll definitely be back again for more!

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Frozen Cakes,Chocolate Bars
 
Date of Visit: Jan 11, 2014 

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

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Crystal Jade Buns & Pastries Smile Jan 18, 2014   
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Categories : Bakery

The Crystal Jade My Bread branch at Causeway Point is a little small, but there is quite a decent variety of buns and pastries that appeal to my taste, especially when they have a few variety of chocolate buns and Chinese pastries like Lao Po Bing!

 
Chocolate Custard Danish ($1.80)​
For someone who likes both custard and chocolate, this danish really let me have the best of both worlds. One end was filled with custard filling and the other end, with chocolate. The filling was thick and rich and the danish came topped with icing which added an additional touch of sweetness to the bun. Even so, I didn't find it to be overly sweet. For $1.80, this might seem a tad pricey, but the danish was really quite big and I thought the portion, and taste, was well worth the price.

 
Steamed Custard Pau ($1.00)
This was sold out the previous time I came so I was glad to find this available this time. The pau was pretty soft and unlike some other custard pau I've tried before, the custard here was custard-like and not runny at all. Overall, I thought this was quite decent for its price.

 
Hong Kong Wife Pastry - Original/Red Bean/Lotus ($1.20 each)
These wife pastries, or Lao Po Bing, were a little flat. The pastry was quite flaky and the melon filling was soft but the layer of the melon filling inside was thin. I was also quite disappointed to find the taste to be a tad bland and not sweet enough for my liking.

 
BBQ Sauce Chicken Pie ($1.50)
I thought the size was pretty small for its price, but it was quite tasty. I enjoyed the crust which was crumbly and buttery and the BBQ chicken was both tender and juicy. The portion of the filling was also quite decent for its size. I only wished the pie was bigger so that I can enjoy more of it.

Overall, the prices were reasonable and some of the buns and pastries here were quite good, like the Chocolate Custard Danish. I thought the BBQ Sauce Chicken Pie was worth getting, but I'd probably give the Wife Pastry a miss the next time.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chocolate Custard Danish,BBQ Sauce Chicken Pie,Steamed Custard Pau
 
Date of Visit: Nov 11, 2013 

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

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