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bsmint
This is bsmint living in Yio Chu Kang. I work in Ang Mo Kio.
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Categories : American | Halal


Earle Swensens x Dilmah Tea Pairing Session was hosted by OpenRice SG at the Vivocity outlet of Earle Swensens.

 
This beauty was a hot water dispenser and it always serves as a teapot warmer!

 
There was a wide range of tea put on display. And I wish we could've tasted some of these flavours too!

 
All of them were in luxury leaf bags, better known as the pyramid tea bags.

 
Besides looking fancypants, these pyramid tea bag shapes allow the tea leaves to completely unfurl in the process of brewing tea. Which allows for one to better taste the tea as compared to when you get the traditional tea bags which may make for a stronger brew and perhaps even a more bitter taste.

We were first brought through a presentation on the background and philosophies of Dilmah and introduced to the basics and essential of tea from growing, to manufacturing and eventually the production of the different types of tea.

You'd be surprised to see how little most people know about tea. I was glad to learn about the different stages in the production of different teas and how teas like Oolong and Green tea essentially come from the same plant - Camillia Sinensis. How the taste and fragrance of these teas differ would then be dependent on the temperature and surroundings of where this plant is grown and processed. It would also be good to know that the cleanest ceylon teas come from Sri Lanka where the climate and soil conditions are optimal for growth.

I was also very inspired by the work of Mr Merril J Fernando, the founder of Dilmah Tea. The name Dilmah coming from the combined names of this two sons, Dilhan and Mahlik. He has dedicated all of his adult life to tea making and is still actively involved in the business, training the next generation (of his grandchildren). He has a MJF foundation which was established to fulfill his commitment to make his family business a matter of human service. The foundation renders assistance to underprivileged people of Sri Lanka and drives the ethical and sustainable efforts of Dilmah. Every purchase of Dilmah goes towards supporting this foundation so keep calm and drink Dilmah.

Here at Earle Swensens, they have made an ethically conscious partnership with Dilmah in their tea time promotion. A choice of the Neapolitan Cake Slice or Chips 'n' slaw Sandwich with a cup of coffee or tea from the Dilmah Exceptional tea range costs just $6.90 with service charge and GST. A $3 top-up will get you a salad bowl too!

At this Tea Pairing Session, we got to try four different varieties of Dilmah tea and both offerings of the tea time promotion.

 
English Breakfast (Single Origin) and Pure Peppermint (Infusions)

 
Who would've thought chips made for such a brilliant sandwich filling?

Parmesan topped sandwich breads and a filling of potato chips and their signature coleslaw that greatly lessened the guilt factor.

I thought this went well with the Pure Peppermint but mum thought better of the English Breakfast.

 
And then we were given the chance to brew our own tea.

As good students, we took out our tea bags after leaving it in the hot water for no more than 3-5 minutes.

And no refilling of hot water allowed!

Because each teabag which contains about 2g of tea should only be used to brew a 200-250ml glass once.

 

 
Elegant Earl Grey and Ceylon Green Tea (Exceptional)

The vote was unanimous for this.

Earl Grey would be the choice for ice cream pairings.

Or perhaps we were just too used to Iced Earl Grey concoction over at O Coffee Club tongue

Many thanks to Dilmah, Earle Swensens and Openrice for this Tea Pairing Session.

We learnt a lot and savoured our tea time together with the other attendees.

So the next time you're wanting to have an affordable high tea option...

I'll see you over at Earle Swensens!

*All opinions are the writer's own. smile

Supplementary Information:
$6.90 Tea time promotion
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Chips 'n' Slaw Sandwich,Neapolitan ice cream cake,dilmah tea
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Oct 07, 2015 

Dining Offers: 試食活動


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

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My Little Tapas Bar Smile Mar 01, 2015   
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Categories : Spanish | Bars/Lounges


It was a little intimidating at first.

The usual sight merrymakers gathered in the al fresco dining areas, drink in hand and a delicate tapas in the other.

It looked like a perfect night out with the mates.

Except. I had my mum with me.

But of course, that wasn't an issue at all.

The warm lights within My Little Tapas Bar and the rustic and simplistic interior decor of their indoor dining area was very welcoming. And it was the 5th day of the lunar new year. It felt like I was doing a chinese new year visitation to someone's house.

And you know what? That. Was exactly the kind of experience they wanted to recreate for the diners. 'Mi casa es su casa - my house is also your house', Maria Sevillano says, as she shares about their concept for this homely diner.

And the warm welcome continues with their house sangria.

I've an allergy to alcohol but the royal red brandy with the chopped fruits was intriguing enough for me to take a sip.

Strong. But resplendent with fruity notes.

 
Being the only Spanish restaurant with 5 legs of Jamon on offer, their next sampler plate gave us a taste of two of the five Jamons available.

The darker red Jabugo jamon from the well known 10 Vetas, was a crowd favourite.

It went perfectly well together with a cut of the Manchengo cheese and Jenga style baguette sticks.

Pop an olive in to complete the experience.

And rosemary baked almonds to cleanse your palate before the next round.

 
The Croquetas de Jamon were deep fried morsels of addiction.

Don't bother with half pieces.

It really was just for the camera effect.

I took a full one for myself after. smile

These croquettes are made the traditional Spanish way, with no potatoes.

No potatoes you say?

Yes, that's what they said.

Bechamel and Jamon stuffings, encrusted in a delicate shell.

On a bed of garlic aioli.

Once you pop, you can't stop!

 
The next dish was a yet another Spanish tradition- the flatbread.

With the most amazing colors and flavours on every single piece.

I feared a strong fishy taste associated with the anchovies but the sweet peppers, slightly bitter taste of the rocket and the sweet sour reduction of balsamic vinegar drizzled atop put my fears to rest, and sent my tastebuds into overdrive.

 
We were also treated to their lamb rack.

Yet another fear of its gamey taste that I cannot stomach.

But Chef Director Edward Esmero gives his word that the gamey smell would be non-existent.

And one would be hard pressed to doubt a man who speaks with great passion about his food and his kitchen.

 
And indeed,

the tender racks of lamb had just a tinge of that gamey smell and the juices of the meat created an explosion of sense in the mouth. The proportions of fat made it all the more tender and still retaining a certain bite.

And while the potato chunks at the side looked like an overload on the calorie counter, these were amazingly worth the tipping of the scales.

A crisp exterior with a moist fluffy interior.

Do not put me on a no-carb diet.

Move over truffle fries.

I'd like a whole bucket of these.

The chickpeas were also a nice complement this main course.

And what's a dinner without dessert?

 
Tarteleta de Chocolate.

Chef Edward's entry for an International Culinary Competition while he was still an amateur in his home country of the Phillipines.

With this dessert, he beat his better known competitors from hotels and culinary schools.

Simply made.

It was a dish close to his heart, and made with the purest form of sincerity and passion.

 
This was a buttery tart, slightly bitter from the cocoa powder with a truffle chocolate interior which was described as chocolate ice cream but I'd think it'd be closer to a thick mousse made with 68% chocolate, topped with salted caramel almond bits.

The scoop of strawberry ice cream was made with the Magimix, using milk and egg with fresh strawberries. Forget your creamy strawberry ice creams, this was a much less creamy ice cream with an icy texture that bore truth to its rudimentary homemade processes. This was a tasting portion and the most perfect way to end the night. The regular sized portions I'd expect to be entirely indulgent and better shared due to its richness.

So while I haven't yet been to Spain, this cosy experience has already created a wanderlust in me to explore the traditions and soak in their hospitable culture.

But of course, till then, when the craving hits for some authentic Spanish fare, I know where to be at! smile

Thanks to Reka and Opensnap for this tasting invite jointly organised by Charles from FoodCult and also to the gracious hosts, Maria and Edward of The Little Tapas Bar.

All opinions are of the author's own.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  jamon,croquetas de jamon,gambas picante,Coca de Cebolla con Pimientos,Chuletillas de Cordero,Tarteleta de chocolate
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Feb 23, 2015 

Celebration:  生日 

Spending per head: Approximately $60(Dinner)

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

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christmas came early Smile Nov 19, 2014   
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Categories : American | Coffee

yum!

yum!

 
I usually take the toffee nut latte but since the guy at the counter recommended this. i took his advice. and to my happy surprise, he put on a generous sprinkling of crushed peppermint candy canes! smile i had a less syrup option and it was still delish for a venti serving.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  peppermint mocha frappucino
 
Table Wait Time: 5 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Nov 17, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $9

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

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I heart Lazy Sundays Smile Aug 14, 2014   
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Categories : Café

Rustic

Rustic

 
It's been awhile since.
I've been back for some of these blended beans.
Love their house blend

Love their house blend

 
Still my favourite House Blend for my ever dependable flat white.

The food swiftly arrives. The table was filled with omnoms in under 20 minutes.

 
Be still my heart.
Take not your flight.
Till I have devoured this mythical creature descended from food heaven.
Never too much to be shared.

 
Of particular mention to this pretty plating of Eggs Duo.
Creamy scrambled eggs and ham and a mushroom frittata with a creamy sauce that I could not get enough of.
Mmm.

 
And the one that stole my heart.
These huge juicy sea prawns.
Just look at them.
Huge.
Definitely juicy.
A bite of these crunchy prawns sends umami juices into one's mouth.
Don't bother trying to share half of these,
the pleasure must be taken on in full.
While you're at it, don't forget the capellini.
The paprika powder added just a touch of spice and pretty colour to this dish.
My only reservation was an over generous use of olive oil which culminated in an oily mess at the base of this pasta.

I heart lazy Sundays. smile
Supplementary Information:
Reservations taken. Please do make reservations for a Sunday visit.
 
Recommended Dish(es):  Pegasus Breakfast,Eggs Duo,Sea Prawn Capellini,Flat Whites
 
Table Wait Time: 0 minute(s)


Date of Visit: Aug 10, 2014 

Spending per head: Approximately $30(Lunch)

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

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Shanghai special! Smile Aug 07, 2014   
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Categories : Shanghainese | Hawker Centre | Dim Sum

Tong Xin Ju
同心居
Special Shanghai Tim Sum with a history that dates back to the 1940s used to be at Margaret Drive is now at Maxwell Food Centre.
And still as good.
If not better.

 
Their Shanghai Nian Gao with seafood.
This is the small portion at $4.
It isn't big on seafood.
But that isn't the main star of this dish.
Their sliced nian gao is and it shines through.
Delightfully chewy yet easily digestible.
The gravy is lightly seasoned and encapsulates wonderfully umami seafood flavours within that makes one want to finish up every last drop of this!
Seafood hor fun is my favourite cze char dish but it's definitely taking a backseat to this.

And how can one not make an order for their legendary dumplings?
I went for their healthier option steamed dumplings today.
Served piping hot.
They steam only upon each order.
Generous servings of minced meat mixed with some chopped ham for that tinge of pink peeking through its translucent skin.
Perfect with ginger and vinegar.

 
Recommended Dish(es):  shanghai nian gao
 
Spending per head: Approximately $4(Lunch)

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

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