I look forward very much to every festive delivery from TWG Tea as they are always a joy to receive. For Christmas 2021, the team has planned many wonderful treats, so gifting this season will be a cinch.
All the holiday feels are found in the enchanting Festive Music Box Tea Sets that chime merrily when open to reveal four mini tins of fine harvest teas and blends.
I was most bowled over by the Heritage Chocolate Gift Set which consists of 32 excellent tea-infused chocolate bonbons (I’d gobbled up 5 at this point of writing 😋😋). This would be a perfect gift for chocolate and tea lovers alike.
Gold-specked crimson is the colour of the Festive Macarons made with TWG’s Red Christmas Tea-infused chestnut purée, blood orange and chocolate ganache.
Gorgeous Log Cakes are also available in two flavours of Strawberry Pavlova and Chocolate Pear Log. I tried the former and enjoyed its finely-crafted, chantilly cream-bedecked scrumptiousness very much.

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Growing up, I never used to like Rempah Udang as the ones I’d tried tended to be dry, have an imbalance of pulut-to-filling, lacked freshness or simply didn’t taste nice. Quite likely it could also have been just my luck to have not bought from the right places. Or there’s the possibility I wasn’t evolved enough to appreciate it properly.
Regardless, somehow, and I’m not sure what possessed me to, I decided to order @gabdominic_kuehstry’s Rempah Udang the other day. It proved to be a life-changing decision.
His version, an exquisite banana leaf-wrapped log of soft glutinous rice naturally tinged a pretty blue in places, was filled with the ideal amount of deeply aromatic spicy dried shrimp filling. I didn’t waste any time inhaling one but mere seconds later, a WhatsApp message arrived from Chef Gabriel, asking me to “panggang” (grill) the kueh in a pan. I took it as a sign that I needed to have another 😁. So since I was at my parents’ home, I dug out their old-fashioned wire grill and did it the traditional way. Good golly - the man was right!
This is one step you should not skip because while the fire charred and blistered the banana leaf, it also softened the “pulut” (glutinous rice) and sharpening the flavours of the filling. When I took a bite of the still-very-hot Rempah Udang (greedy me couldn’t wait and had reddened fingertips to show for that), the smokiness on top of everything else, had me swooning.
Having left KIN where he was making kueh-kueh day in and day out, Chef Gabriel is now able to focus fully on his home-based #Kuehstry business. I recommend following him on Instagram so you’ll know when he’s ready to accept new orders because last I heard, he’s sold out.

G I F T
Thanks to my “Ah Tee” @szeliang888 and his lovely wife @debbiengkk, I got to enjoy the Buah Keluak Brioche, a unique bake by Chef @caaveeell, once more. The first time was back when he made it for a pop-up event. Seems that he has tweaked the recipe since and increased the amount of butter (music to my ears, I say!). Followed his reheating instructions closely and was rewarded with this gloriousness! Light, crispy, flaky layers twirled with soft fluffiness tucked away in the middle. I did think it tasted a little more savoury than the previous iteration but the buah keluak’s earthiness wasn’t lost; it rolled across the plain of my tastebuds like a storm cloud of roasted dark cacao with a hint of mushroom. Beautiful.

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G I F T
Homebaker Joyce of @guiltfreefoodsg made me two Cheesymite Rolls to try last week, each with a different yeast extract - one of marmite and the other vegemite. Also mixed in together with both were three kinds of cheese: parmesan, mozzarella and cheddar. To better complement the savoury taste profile of her new bake, she has tweaked the dough. However, although it seems a tad less fluffy and light than her popular cinnamon rolls, I do see the need for it to hold its own against the bolder flavours of the vegemite / marmite and cheese fillings. She has also managed to strike a really delicious balance between the cheeses and yeast extracts that should please most people.
For the diehard vegemite and marmite fans out there, I have some good news. You’ll be chuffed to know that Joyce has also created what she calls MightyMite Rolls. These will have even more of your favourite yeast extract spread in them. Does that sound divine or what?!

You know the drill - just tap on @guiltfreefoodsg’s link-in-bio on Instagram to order 😄

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I have never not eaten at least one of these when I visit Jalan Berseh Food Centre.
“Fu Zhou Poh Hwa Oyster Cake” (stall #02-34) does the traditional Fried Oyster Cake very well. Shaped like a big round cushion, the exterior which is studded with crunchy peanuts and tiny ikan bilis, is extremely crispy while everything within remains tantalisingly moist and juicy.
What I love most about this stall is that they make their oyster cakes only upon order. However, there is no need to stand in a queue as you get a buzzer that goes off when your order is ready for collection. How thoughtful and convenient, right?
Biting into the piping hotness of a freshly fried #炸蚝饼 must be one of life’s great pleasures. As you break through the deep golden-brown crispiness, the steam that is released is rich in the intermingled aromas of oysters, prawns, minced pork and coriander. It’s the momentary tease before said ingredients storm your tastebuds and trigger a gamut of joyful facial expressions.
I highly recommend paying for extra ingredients because it amounts to only $2.50 but the additional surf and turf filling takes this humble snack to another level.

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G I F T
While we eagerly await @LeMatin.sg’s new home in Raeburn Park to open in October/November, here is a look at the V3: Harvest, the last box of pastries the team is putting out from their current location until the end of this month.
I count myself doubly blessed to have indulged in it not once but twice. The first was when @thechubbydoc sent it as a treat while the second was a sweet surprise from Pastry Chef-owner @obamatin himself as my get-well-from-dengue gift.
Both deliveries were identical save for the galette which featured a different lacto-fermented produce. Since that pastry happens to be my favourite from the V3 collection, I was really pleased to be able to try the rhubarb as well as the in-season greengage plum from France. Each, in its own way, was a desirable match with the Demerara sugar-coated, light and crispy flaky puff. I did prefer the former but the latter was arresting in its brazen savouriness.
Besides the Kouign Amann which has made an appearance in every box so far, the rest of the bakes were new, and as intriguing, creative and enjoyable as what I’ve come to expect of Le Matin Patisserie. Where else would one encounter a glamorous Purple Potato Brioche filled with lavender cream, blackcurrant and mulberry jam, accessorised by crisped shiso leaf and local flowers? Or a sea buckthorn-glazed Pumpkin Brûlée pastry flecked with bee pollen and elderflower that’s an ode to Autumn? Then there‘s the punnily named Chestnut Ta-cro with its astonishing flavour marriage of chestnut ricotta cheesecake, roasted koji ganache, puffed buckwheat and caramelised cocoa nibs.
I for one, can’t wait to see what other newness will materialise from the minds and hands of Chef-owner @obamatin and his team after they’ve settled in at their new venue later in the year. Am crossing my fingers extra hard for more exotic cruffins and galettes 😋😋

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G I F T
Lately, I’ve become a bit obsessed with cheese. I think it’s an accumulation of my meals at 3-MICHELIN @lesamisrestaurant where on every visit, @manoj_sharmahm has unerringly prepared the most incredible platter from their impressive cheese trolley, and my blissful encounter with the Aged Epoisses and Truffle Brie more recently at @odetterestaurant, another 3-MICHELIN Starred venue. So I wasn’t about to say no when a charming message about sending me cheeses came through from @la_petite_boutique_sg.
Trust the vivacious team to put together the choicest selection in such an attractive style, with fresh figs and berries nestled among their French dairy products. It was honestly camera-ready picture-perfection. Picking a favourite from the lot wasn’t possible as I enjoyed every one of the cheeses for different reasons: the cow’s milk Truffle Brie because it’s indecently rich and aromatic with truffle, the Mobier for its unique history and creaminess, the goat’s milk Selles-sur-Cher from the Centre-Val de Loire region for its salty pungence, the Comte because it offers a mild sweetness and firm chew, and last but not least, the raw cow’s milk Fourme d’ Ambert for that lovely buttery texture and intense flavour.

By the way, to thank the support they received during the Circuit Breaker and Phase 1, @la_petit_boutique_sg is doing a #giveaway on Instagram (closing date to join is 7th July 2020). Why not try your luck at winning one of their three sets of Cheese Box? Do check out the post for details on their Instagram account.

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Even before @guiltfreefoodsg’s cinnamon rolls were featured on @thesmartlocalsg’s “7 Famous Curcuit Breaker Desserts From Home Bakers”, my parents had already told me how much they enjoyed Joyce’s Cinnamon Rolls after receiving it as a gift. I immediately decided to give it a try as I am very fond of this but had not come across a good one in ages.

Shown above is her “Two Face Glaze Frosting” Cinnamon Rolls, a half-and-half with cream cheese and glaze icing and it is the ideal choice for when you can’t decide or simply want the best of both worlds. They are fragrant, pillowy soft and fluffy. So easy to enjoy!

Please place your orders for her creations via @guiltfreefoodsg’s link-in-bio.

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G I F T
The other (and rather unexpected) favourite of mine from the meal I had from Ibid was this huge cookie. In fact, I would go so far as to call it THE BEST chewy cookie I’ve had in the past few months. The chocolate chips are gooey and the fresh tasting nuts add a very enjoyable light crunch.

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G I F T E D
Not exaggerating at all when I say this Muah Chee is in a class of its own.
The simple prep requires the big block of sticky rice cake to be cut into bite-sized pieces, then gently tossed in the sweetened ground #peanut with sesame seeds (this intensely fragrant mixture comes in a separate bag) until every piece is evenly coated.
My mum-in-law who’s been deprived of her Muah Chee fix since the start of Circuit Breaker couldn’t stop herself from inhaling it.
To be frank, I don’t usually seek out this traditional snack/dessert for myself which is why I am slightly taken aback at how much I enjoyed @tiaptiapwithsoph’s super-soft and squishy version that’s even scented with fried shallot oil. I’ve told her it is my favourite amongst the food items she had kindly sent me but I assure you, it was a close fight because the others were really tasty too.
Please don’t hesitate to DM her on Instagram if you would like to order her homecooked goodies.

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Tried the signature Taiwan Special Pork Patty Sandwich. We got the hot local tea so our set cost less than what it would be if you order the Taiwanese tea which is only available cold.
The pork patty which is supposedly made fresh in-house, tastes like a cross between a Taiwanese sausage and luncheon meat - a little sweet, a little springy. It is stacked with a soft egg omelette, cheese between toasted slices of white bread. Not cheap for what it is but quite tasty.

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Mention “Tarte By Cheryl Koh” and immediately, rows of stunning, immaculately constructed tarts are envisioned, sparkling like precious gems in a showcase. But tear your eyes off those beauties for a second and you will notice they have other baked goods too. And these are definitely worth divvying up your tummy real estate for.
A fine example is this Chicken Pie. Cut through its flaky and buttery pastry crust and out tumbles deliciously-cooked chunks of tender chicken and meaty mushrooms. Perfect to have for breakfast or tea.
Instead of getting it takeaway, try savouring it with a cup of tea or coffee at Tarte sometime. Their newish premises on level 2 of Shaw Centre is chic, charming and comfortable. Especially in the day, when it is awashed with light pouring in through the glass windows. This also gives you a chance to admire the quirky, whimsical art pieces on the walls that are from one of the co-owner’s private collection.

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