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Coffee and Crust – Part II

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During our 1st visit to the Chocolate Buffet at Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard, we missed out on their signature Chocolate Bomb. This explained for this follow up visit – solely to be blown away by Chocolate Bomb!

The Chocolate Bomb was served in front of each guest by the chefs and every customer is entitled to 1 serving.

Chocolate Bomb

Chocolate Bomb

Chocolate Bomb

Chocolate Bomb

Chocolate Bomb

Chocolate Bomb

The Chocolate Bomb, arrived in front of us, looking like a nondescript chocolate ball. However, when the chef poured the hot chocolate sauce over the ball, all magic and mayhem broke loose! The thin outer chocolate shell melted immediately, revealing a milk chocolate mousse with hazelnut crumble! From a nice quaint chocolate ball, what is left now is an absolutely drop dead gorgeous and tantalizing chocolate mess. The chocolate sauce brings both the mousse and the hazelnut crumbles together and really increased the stickiness of the dessert. The nutty aroma and crunchiness of the hazelnut crumble cut through the richness of the chocolate, such that the entire dessert wasn’t too sweet. Every mouth was just rich chocolately goodness, with the hazelnut crumbles flirting in the background.

Every chocolate lover’s dream.

Coffee and Crust
Level 5, Mandarin Orchard
333 Orchard Road

Written by foodphd

September 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Posted in Buffet, Chocolates, Desserts

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Coffee and Crust – Mandarin Orchard

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Speaking about chocolate buffet and the restaurants that come immediately to mind include The Courtyard Fullerton Hotel as well as The Chocolate Bar at Marina Bay Sands. These 2 places are synonymous with “Chocolate Buffet”, with The Courtyard @ Fullerton Hotel being the longstanding, all-famous Chocolate Buffet destination.

Thus, imagine our delight and surprise when we spotted this poster at the lift lobby of Mandarin Orchard Gallery:

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

Available daily from 4.30 to 6.30pm at $20++ per pax, Coffee and Crust’s Chocolate Buffet promises an array of chocolate cakes, tarts, macarons, pralines, not forgetting the iconic chocolate fondue. The chocolate buffet is also available to diners of the Triple Three’s dinner buffet from 6.30 to 10.00pm.

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

The Chocolate Buffet at Coffee and Crust probably wasn’t as grand and extensive as the one at Fullerton Hotel. In fact, the buffet spread was only set up 10 minutes before the starting time of 4.30pm, on 5 square tables in the centre of the cafe. The chefs took quite a while to arrange the display of chocolate desserts and by the time the buffet spread was ready, it was already slightly past 5pm. Late service – not a great reflection of the resident cafe of a five-star hotel at Orchard Road.

A cup of coffee or tea was provided along with the buffet. However, do note that the tea/coffee isn’t refillable. 1 glass is all that you are going to get. And by the time the buffet spread was ready for consumption, our teas were already half drunk. No more tea to help to wash down the chocolate. Another minus point.

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

Chocolate Buffet @ Coffee and Crust, Mandarin Orchard

The buffet spread included 5 different kinds of chocolate pralines – white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, sea salt chocolate as well as chocolate mint. The pralines were of decent premium quality, and according to the serving staff, the pralines are of French origin. Decent quality, rich and decadent, perfect mouth poppers.

There were also various chocolate cakes like the triple chocolate mousse cake and a brownie-like chocolate cake. The only tart available was a chocolate caramel tart. Breaking apart the chocolate tart revealed a caramel layer within the tart. There were also other chocolate based desserts like macarons, tuile, wafer sticks and our favourite was a nut-crusted chocolate cone containing a caramel custard centre. The 4 main mini glass desserts were: tiramisu (which was sorely lacking in liqueur and tasted predominantly of cream), a passionfruit chocolate mousse (the refreshing sourness of the passionfruit cut through the rich chocolate, allowing our palates to deter away from the heaviness of the chocolate), a white chocolate mousse (with an evident taste of coconut) and a milk chocolate mousse.

On the whole, if you have the appetite and the stomach for chocolate, Coffee and Crust’s Chocolate Buffet is a value for money option.

Coffee and Crust
Level 5, Mandarin Orchard
333 Orchard Road

Written by foodphd

September 2, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Little Ice Cream Kafe

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TGIF! Every Friday, LICK offers a $15 eat-all-you-can ice cream buffet from 6 to 8pm!

Ice Cream Buffet

Ice Cream Buffet

As we went for the buffet, we had the opportunity to try most of the flavours. And sadly, most of the flavours weren’t to our liking, with only about 3 flavours garnering our 2nd try. Highlighting some of our favourite flavours:

Chocolate Brandy – Thick and rich in Brandy, this ice cream was the highlight of the night with its strong outstanding flavours.

Mao Shan Wang Durian – Mao Shan Wang was another ice cream which didn’t stinge on the characteristic pungent taste of durian.

Peanut Buttercup – Though still losing out to Udder’s Peanut Butter version, LICK’s version was still rich and fragrant in peanut butter. One downside was the slightly soggy peanuts which were soft and missing the crunch.

Little Ice Cream Kafe
258 Tanjong Katong Road

Written by foodphd

July 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

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Zafferano

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At $38 per person, Zafferano’s semi-buffet lunch has been a popular destination for the Shenton Way lunch crowd.

The lunch kicked off with a selection of starters from the buffet table.

Antipasti

Antipasti

Cheese Board

Cheese Board

The selection of starters wasn’t as extensive as Basilico’s. But generally, the offerings  were pretty unique, of a decent standard and using fresh ingredients. We particularly enjoyed the salmon terrine and prawn salad. We were also attracted to the cheese board. There were 3 different cheeses that day – Taleggio, Gorgonzola and Parmesan. 3 different cheeses of different tastes and textures. The Gorgonzola was soft and creamy, with chunks of blue veins. The Taleggio was slightly harder than the Gorgonzola, and with a milder taste. Finally, the Parmesan was the hardest and firmest, but also the mildest in taste.

Carnaroli Risotto with Taleggio cheese & asparagus

Carnaroli Risotto with Taleggio cheese & asparagus

The cheeses from the buffet spread proved to be very important and useful in our main course – Carnaroli Risotto with Taleggio cheese & asparagus. The Risotto was very bland and under seasoned. It was lacking in cheese and the asparagus seemed to play no part at all. We had to resort to adding the cheeses from the buffet spread into our risotto, to increase the flavour as well as incorporate the cheesy and sticky texture into the risotto. A disappointing main course from Zafferano.

Roasted Iberico pork belly, balsamic vinegar sauce & mashed potatoes

Roasted Iberico pork belly, balsamic vinegar sauce & mashed potatoes

The other main course, Roasted Iberico pork belly, balsamic vinegar sauce & mashed potatoes, was much stronger in flavour compared to the risotto. However, in our standards, it still fell short as the pork belly could have been more marinated and flavourful. The texture of the pork was also on the tougher and chewier side, lacking the “melts in the mouth” texture.

Desserts

Desserts

The desserts were pretty disappointing too. General comments of the desserts – bland, forgetful, mediocre. The mango pudding looked stale and oxidized. Both the chocolate mousse and brownie were tasteless and not chocolate-rich. Not the best finish to the meal.

The view at Zafferano was great, a 270 degrees panoramic view! However, the meal was severely let down by the under seasoned main courses and unexciting desserts.

Zafferano
Level 43, Ocean Financial Centre
10 Collyer Quay

Written by foodphd

November 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Buffet, Desserts, Italian

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The Loft

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We snagged a $12.50 voucher for an ala carte dessert buffet at The Loft. We haven’t really heard much about The Loft and the main appeal was just the dessert buffet!

(clockwise from top left) Peanut Butter Tart; Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce; Valrhona Chocolate Cake; Chocolate Fudge; Mango Passion Cake; Chocolate Walnut Brownie; Choco Pot; Lychee Bavario

(clockwise from top left) Peanut Butter Tart; Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce; Valrhona Chocolate Cake; Chocolate Fudge; Mango Passion Cake; Chocolate Walnut Brownie; Choco Pot; Lychee Bavario

(clockwise from left) Blueberry Cheesecake; Raspberry Mousse Cake; Chocolate Brownie; Oreo Cheesecake; Apple Crumble

(clockwise from left) Blueberry Cheesecake; Raspberry Mousse Cake; Chocolate Brownie; Oreo Cheesecake; Apple Crumble

Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream

Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream

Banana Crepe

Banana Crepe

We tasted every dessert that was available on that day. Most of the desserts were at most mediocre and there was nothing fantastic about them. We broadly classified the desserts into 2 main categories:

1) The good ones which we went for 2nd servings – Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Choco Pot, Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Fudge Cake. Well, basically the chocolate ones were slightly better. We do have to emphasize again, that compared to our common dessert hangouts, these “slightly better” desserts were way off the scale. But at The Loft, these were the better ones. The Valrhona Chocolate Cake was pretty rich, but rather crumbly. It was like an imitation molten chocolate cake, without the molten centre. The presentation of the Choco Pot was pretty amateurish and home-made style. It was akin to a dollop of thick fudge. However, the fudge wasn’t very smooth, we tasted bits and strands resembling that of coconut. The Chocolate Brownie with dark and white chocolate chips atop was probably the best cake of the night. It was chewy and chocolately rich. The Chocolate Fudge Cake reminded us of steamed mala cake. It appeared to be flourless, and on the sticky side.

2) The bad ones which just wasted our calories – Banana Crepe, Peanut Butter Tart, Yogurt Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce, Lychee Bavario, Mango Passion Cake, Raspberry Mousse Cake, Cheesecakes and Apple Crumble. The Banana Crepe has got to be the worst crepe we have ever tried. The crepe was bland and tasteless, it was hard and stale. It was like Peking Duck skin which was left in the open for days. No matter how much chocolate sauce or strawberries/bananas added to it, the crepe was just not to our liking. We were also pretty disappointed with the Peanut Butter Tart. The fillings was just peanut butter flavoured cream, sitting in the middle of a stale and un-crunchy biscuit cup. The lychees in the Lychee Bavario wasn’t fresh. The Blueberry Cheesecake, though had a distinct cheese flavour, was too crumbly and the crust was an absolute disaster. The crust was stale, not fresh, not crunchy, utterly soft and bland. The Oreo Cheesecake tasted pretty artificial as well.

We pretty much regretted purchasing the dessert buffet vouchers. A total waste of money and time.

The Loft
41 East Coast Road

Written by foodphd

August 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Peony Jade Restaurant

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Following our last visit to Peony Jade, we were eager for more dim sum and hence we went back for a 2nd round. But this time, we went for the Weekday A La Carte Dim Sum Buffet!

Marinated Sea Blubber and Octopus

Marinated Sea Blubber and Octopus

Shark's Fin Soup with Crabmeat

Shark’s Fin Soup with Crabmeat

Wok Fried Creamy Egg Yolk Prawn

Wok Fried Creamy Egg Yolk Prawn

Amongst the spread of more than 30 items available for the ala carte buffet, there were 3 items which were limited to 1 serving per table – the Marinated Sea Blubber and Octopus, Shark’s Fin Soup with Crabmeat and the Wok Fried Creamy Egg Yolk Prawn.

The octopus was well-flavoured, fresh, with an adequate chewiness to eat. The sea blubber was slightly bland, and could do with a bit more sauce. The Wok Fried Creamy Egg Yolk Prawn was a crowd pleaser. The crunchy fresh prawns were thoroughly coated with the thick creamy gooey egg yolk sauce. It was rich in flavours without tasting overwhelmingly salty. The prawns were absolutely finger-licking good.

Beancurd Skin Roll with Prawn and Japanese Seaweed

Beancurd Skin Roll with Prawn and Japanese Seaweed

Steamed Phoenix Feet in Sichuan Chili Black Bean Sauce

Steamed Phoenix Feet in Sichuan Chili Black Bean Sauce

Baked Flaky Cha Siew So

Baked Flaky Cha Siew So

Prawn Rice Roll Cheong Fun

Prawn Rice Roll Cheong Fun

Barbequed Char Siew, Roast Duck, Baked Spareribs with Golden Garlic

Barbequed Char Siew, Roast Duck, Baked Spareribs with Golden Garlic

Overall, the quality of dim sum at Peony Jade was excellent. Regardless of which dim sum item, the chefs did not stinge on the amount and quality of the ingredients. In particular, we were once again impressed by the Steamed Custard and Salted Yolk Bun, which we ordered many times. We were also won over by the Baked Flaky Cha Siew So. It wasn’t overly oily and the crust was baked to perfection. It was served piping hot, akin to freshly baked chicken pies! The skin was crispy and flaky, with a strong buttery fragrance. The char siew wasn’t too sweet nor overwhelming with the fermented bean curd taste. The char siew was tender and had a balanced proportion of fats and meat.

Besides the usual dim sum, there were also roast meat, seasonal greens and noodles/rice available for the buffet. However, the highlights of the buffet were still the fresh dim sum.

Chilled Sea Coconut, Hot Cream of Red Bean, Chilled Mango Sago

Chilled Sea Coconut, Hot Cream of Red Bean, Chilled Mango Sago

Lastly to end the meal, there were 5 different kinds of desserts up for selection – Chilled Sea Coconut, Hot Cream of Red Bean, Chilled Mango Sago, Hot Ginger Tea with Glutinous Rice Dumpling (Black Sesame) and Chilled Longan Tofu. Our favourite was the Hot Cream of Red Bean, which was thick and viscous, almost paste-like – a sweet ending to a great meal at Peony Jade Restaurant.

For $25++ per pax (minimum 4 persons), you could enjoy a widespread of dishes from the menu. Additional charges were incurred from the wet towels, tea and peanuts.

Peony Jade Restaurant
M Level, Keppel Club
Bukit Chermin Road

Written by foodphd

May 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

Posted in Buffet, Chinese

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