Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Blackball Experience

Hey there munchies! ;)

Have you guys ever tried the much talked about Blackball? A dessert chain originated from Taiwan, Blackball is known for its super smooth grass jelly, and its signature desserts :) So... when I saw that it had opened an outlet in Singapore, I anticipated the day I would try their yumz!

Conveniently located at The Star Vista, at a prime spot - literally, since it's the first stall you see once you hop onto the escalator that leads from Buona Vista MRT, it is sure to attract many dessert nommers. Not to mention that they've got quite a fanbase & a lovely alfresco dining area :D

Blackball outlet @ The Star - with a ton of  ppl in line (way more behind in the Q)

Alfresco dining - very nicely furbished!

Huge banner on the indoor seating area,
showcasing their signature dessert

There's a Q number on each receipt! Take a seat as you wait...
I got seats on the inside, and started to wait for my queue number to be called. We waited, and waited, and waited - till we wondered what on earth was taking them so long! >.< If you're in a rush, or don't intend to wait for more than 10-15min, I think you guys should wait till the next time, when you've got time to spare. Coz apparently, it took about roughly 15-20min before it came, and the whole bunch of us were getting kinda restless from the long wait.

Anyways, without any further ado, I present to you, Blackball's signature dessert!

Blackball's Signature dessert - their pride & glory
Loaded with super smooth grass jelly, chewy pearls, red beans, and all the kinds of glutinous balls filled with different sorts of fillings like, 2 yams, sweet potato, lotus (I'm not sure what else there are, but there was quite a variety). Besides that, nommers have the option of having this served up in 4 different ways: Hot, Cold, Warm or Icy. My mum ordered the Cold version.

This dessert also comes with a cute lil' creamer, which is really interesting, as I've not seen it been used in desserts, just your usual coffee or tea.

Since I had my red bean milk ice blend, I didn't really eat much of the dessert - also coz I just ate ahballing glutinous rice balls the previous day :X - but my mum did mention that the dessert was good, but not so good till the point she would order it again. As for my verdict, the grass jelly was really good, and I loved that part, but when I bit into one of the balls, it had this squishy (too chewy) texture, and I didn't fancy that.

I guess it would be based on personal preference for this one, if you love your glutinous chewy balls in a variety of different fillings, this is something for ya! :)

Red Bean Fresh Milk (Ice Blended)

A closer look at the nice blend of red beans & milk
This drink was something I decided to order after seeing that it had a "good!" symbol beside it on the menu, haha! :D I was just itching to try something unconventional & new. Guaranteed, the red beans are nicely blended with the milk and ice, and I like how the flavours were all balanced out, and if you let it melt after a while, the mixture would be perfect (how I know this? I brought half of it back home lol) :D I would so buy this drink again, and for all those who adore red bean, this is a drink you'll put on your fave list for Blackball! ;)

Black Tea! Simple, but a very strong aftertaste of zesty tea
As for the Black Tea, my dad ordered this, since he wanted something without milk for today ;) It had a strong zesty taste, and the tea aftertaste lingers in your mouth, like how good tea does :D Of course, there's 30% sugar added, I do wonder if it would still hold its good balance of zest & sweetness even at 0% - because if it does, to me, the drink will earn its place on my top faves :)

Alrighty-o! Hope this post satisfies (ahem, or rather, enhances) your Blackball cravings - go get some! :D Final verdict: I will definitely patronise this place again, and will try out other drinks, and will share them all with you guys ^_^

Check out Blackball's website:

There are outlets at The Star Vista, Clementi currently. More outlets are opening at 112 Katong, Bugis+ & Bedok (should have opened by this time).

Opening hours for The Star Vista outlet is from 10am till 10pm (Sun-Thurs), 10am till 11pm (Fri-Sat).

Btw, I'll be quite busy over the next few weeks (or should I say, the first half of Feb), so I do apologise for the wait between new posts :) But hey, good nomx is always worth the wait <3

To all you dessert fans,
Cherlyn xoxo

Sunday, January 20, 2013

High Tea @ Jones The Grocer

Situated cosily in Mandarin Gallery, lies a bustling level full of hungry people - and obviously, food. Jones The Grocer is guilty of one. ;D Queues, Queue, Q, the line of diners in waiting never really ends, does it? We Singaporeans seems to eat all the time XD

Was supposed to live it fancy at Antoinette's. but the pathetic size of the place turned us off haha. (Will go there next time, but diff place) So, apparently, even after nomming lunch (which was random fishball noodles that I do not care to review), I headed down to Jones The- okay for goodness sake, let's just keep the name simple & just say "JTG" - and met my mum who was already there, and my dad who was with me :) This all happened on a very fine day, the last day of 2012. ;)

It was a gathering for my parents & their church server pals, and the random me who had nth to do, when I heard of food, decided to tag along. The life of a food blogger :> and I certainly don't regret it hehe.

When I first stepped into JTG, I was greeted by an aroma of double chocolate chip cookies (it smelt exactly like the time I baked cookies), and it was quite a pleasant sight to see - there were pastries, varieties of cheese & sweet treats displayed when you walk in/out, there's an entire wine section for those who love to accompany their cured meats or cheese with it. Merchandise & take home mixes is bountiful in this store too, very tempting not to buy one haha.

Their menu is very extensive, and it may be confusing if you're there for the very first time. :D They split their menu into sections, into the dishes they offer at a certain time of the day, so I advise you guys to get the waiter to assist you on that ;)

Now, food!

Blackforest Cheesecake
The blackforest was nicely tart, and wasn't too sweet, and that is a factor that is very important - coz I can't stand sickeningly sweet stuff XD The cheesecake was overall, very good, and is something I would order again (if there was no particular cake I wanted to try). It's delightful, and isn't "heavy", just gives you a sense of creamy satisfaction ^_^

Mint Hot Chocolate
Yaye for mint infused drinks! For you readers out there, I loveeee mint a lot xoxo
Those normal mint sweets aren't even minty enough for me, but something that would come close to the kind of mintiness I adore is "XXX extra strong mints" {found in Candy Empire stores for Singapore}. So, as you can tell, if there is a drink that has mint in it, naturally I would order that.

Take a whiff~
At JTG, they are known for churning out hot chocolate that is indulgent! They not only have mint infused hot chocolate, but they have a myriad of flavours to choose from :) So, for those who want a different infusion, I say, go for it & try something totally wacky ;)

I like how they topped it with a heart & a dash of cocoa, much to my delight ^_^ At first sip, I could taste the chocolatey goodness AND the mint, which is awesome, because at some other places, the mint either takes all the glory, or is practically non-existent. Haha, so I loved the balance of both in this drink :) Good cocoa source, definitely. OHH! It comes with 2 uber cute marshmallows too :D Plop them both in your cuppa, and let it melt....

Red Velvet Cake
For this Red Velvet Cake, I can't say whether it tastes good/bad, coz I didn't try it ;D It was the order from my parents' friends side. They didn't say it was fantastic, or even, anything. Yknow people, when food is good, you gotta say something, right? >v< Well, it certainly was of a big portion, so those who love their red velvets, come get some o'er here! 

If you've had this before, and wanna share your thoughts about this piece a cake, do drop a comment down below :)

Fresh Mozzarella with Eggplant, Tomato, Capsicum & Zucchini
My mum decided to order something random off the daily specials menu they had, and it turned out to be vegetables (hahahahahahahaha) - it was $15. So, when the plateful came, she was like... umm okay, I so did not just order vege for $15 in JTG. Anyways...

How can vegetables taste this good? ;)
It was surprisingly delicious! Even though it was just good fresh mozza & slices of a few vege. The mozzarella was undoubtedly fresh, and since I love cheese, so does the rest of my family, we loved loved loved it. The vegetables, to me, were very crunchy and full of flavours, and the eggplant was done very well. (I love vegetables, just in case y'all were wondering) :D

Verdict wise? Okay, $15 for this? If you're feeling like splurging a lil', go ahead, it's worth. But if you'll rather reserve your cash for something more wholesome, like meat... try reading the dish down below ;)

Wagyu Beef Pie w/ a side of rocket greens doused in balsamic vinegar
This was the dish I ordered! *hip hip hooray*
I was looking for something meaty, and since beef is my fave meat, well, there ya have it. Wagyu Beef Pie, with a side of balsamic dressed rocket leaves, it might just leave your tastebuds tingling!

Tender wagyu beef waiting inside... 
I like how the pastry is buttery, you can just taste the amazing-ness that encases the super tender beef. As you delve further in, you meet tender, oooh so tender wagyu beef, with gravy too! :) Lemme tell you, this is really really good, and I would order this again. Just that, if you're incredibly famished, this pie won't fill you. ;D The salad was alright, as the greens were fresh, but were a bit on the bitter side, so I didn't fancy it as much as I wished. You can enjoy this at $14. 

On a whole, I enjoyed high tea there, and I recommend it for gatherings or girly chit chat sessions, coz you can stay there for as long as you wish, and the waiters won't bother you a single bit :) 

Cherlyn xoxo

P.S. Check out my friend's new food blog, :) She started it for a school assignment, and she's about to review desserts for today - so all you dessert fans, you're in for a treat. (Her first post will be up tonight)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Gospelicious Bak Kut Teh

Hey there tummies! XD Rumbling yet?

Anyways, you must be wondering about the questionable title. Like, Cherlyn, what on earth is "Gospelicious Bak Kut Teh" manzz? O.O We feed on the Word, but umm, literal-wise?

*gives the cheeky grin* okay, okay.
On Christmas Day several weeks back (mygoodness, Christmas was nearly a month ago), me and my family visited this Bak Kut Teh eatery in the food-laden road of Jalan Kayu :) Yes, we all know that Jalan Kayu is an area that boasts of good food! But... did you know that this particular eatery is not a place that serves up delicious dishes, but is founded by a Christian boss, who is an ex-convict. He started the business coz he wanted to help other ex-convicts to earn a living, impact others' lives, and to live life like any normal person.

It's really amazing that someone who had such a shady past, is so open about how he was last time, but shares about how his journey with Jesus changed him supernaturally. Jesus is the solution ;) Anyways, here's a link to the story:

New Soon Huat - A Bak Kut Teh heaven
What caught my attention when I first sat down, was the familiar music that I heard before.. and to my surprise, it was playing Sidney Mohede's album on the speakers - can you imagine??? Everyone is eating, waiters are serving, God is exalted thru all this. Awesome x infinity.

Alrighty-o, let's cut straight to the mind-blowing food!

Here's the Braised Pig Trotter that we had!
Braised Pig Trotter
I must be dreaming. This is too good to be true. This pig trotter surprisingly didn't have much fat on it, and had such tender, tender, tenderrrrr meat, it is so crazy good, I CANNOT EXPLAIN IT. A MUST TRY. Absolutely marvellous.

Tow Gwa - Fried Beancurd Skins
Tow Gwa is actually Fried Beancurd Skins... before y'all say "whutttt", lemme tell y'all this. This is hands down the BEST beancurd skins I have ever eaten anywhere in Singapore. It is crisp, cooked just right, with good gravy to boot! Goodness contained in a bowl.

Bak Kut Teh broth, with tow gwa floating on top haha
Of course, what's a bak kut teh meal w/o bak kut teh? Naturally the star of the meal, this bak kut teh is different from those peppery garlic ones you get normally, it's the herbal version, and yes, of coz with tender pork ribs! On first slurp, it's not immediate fall-head-over-heels kind of reaction, but as you drink more, addiction begins. And then you begin to raise your hand to request for a refill of soup broth ;)

Braised Egg & Tofu
Egg, yes, egg. Good, but not fantastic :D But the Tofu, is simply delightful! Has a nice bite, not too soft nor hard, and it is something I would order everytime I go there.

Salted Vege
Salted vege to me, is a dish that is a necessity for bak kut teh yumz, as it compliments the bak kut teh well, and it is great to have some nutritious vege! Although, please don't eat too much of this as well, coz it is - s a l t e d. But I love how this is not too salty, making it extremely palatable for people of all ages.

Ginger Sesame Chicken
wow. woW. wOW. WOW!!! I am not exaggerating. Chicken to me is not my favourite meat, as it tends to be not as tender at times, but holy guacamole, this is like manna from heaven, rained down. LOL. The chix has such lip-smacking good flavours, with such tenderness, and a quality that puts many others to shame :) A MUST ORDER. 

I can't wait to get to this place again!!! BAK KUT TEHHHHHHH. <3

Keep yo tummies-a-rumbling,
Cherlyn xoxo

P.S. If you happen to try this place out, do leave your experience in comments down below! :)

Brie Cheese Puff

Cherlyn loves cheese. Cherlyn loves cheese. Cherlyn loves cheese. Cherlyn loves cheese. ummmmm...

Hahaha hello again! Yes, as you can all tell - I love cheese! Recently, my mum made a really awesome Brie Cheese Puff, and in fact, it's the 1st time she's done it - turned out to be a cheesy success~ :D

She told me that she used 2 WHOLE TRIANGLES of Brie, and she literally just chucked them into the pastry, brushed on some butter, folded it up, baked it - and you got a crispy puff full o stringy cheese! Imagine the awesomeness.

Baked Brie Cheese Puff - amazeballs

A bite of heaven

Yum in my tum! :D You don't just cut 1 slice for yourself...
Yupps, overall the brie cheese puff was so deliciously scrummy! :D I encourage you guys to try this out. I mean like, who cares about the shape of the puff, as long as it tastes awesome, it hits the spot! ;)

Like seriously, I think this should be fairly easy to make ^_^ Just buy some frozen puff pastry sheets, any form of cheese you love (I recommend Brie for this - it holds in a pastry very well, and yet not too overpowering), and some butter/olive oil. :) Brie has a mild flavour, with nuttiness as well as a creamy texture. When melted, your tastebuds will go ooh-la-la :P 

What. am. I. doing. typing. this. at. 1+am. Cheese makes the world go round, and currently, me iz hungry. HAHA. Ah well ^_^ 

Anyways, because I wanted to show y'all how crispy & cheesified this is, here's a random short vid for you guys! 

Cheers to all the wonderful cheeses in the world, and I pray that we shall all not get fat from eating cheese hahaha! XD

Cherlyn xoxo

P.S. I will try to update w as many food posts as I can :) Keep those tummies waiting! <3

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Have "Bao Today"!

Hey there readers! Sorry for not updating for 2 weeks already >.< But hey, good food is worth waiting for, isn't it? ;)

Well, any of you guys hungry for some breakfast munch? Mmm.. shall I entice you with dim sum? 
Siew MaiSesame BaoChar Siew BaoCarrot CakeLiu Sha BaoCheong Fun... topped off with a piping hot cuppa teh siu tai. ;D 

This branch I went to is located at Marina Square, and normally, the place is pretty quiet - but I suggest you avoid this place on days which have marathons - you'll probably faint of hunger before the nomx reaches your table haha! (average wait time during marathon events: 30-45min)

Anyways, moving right along to what you've all been waiting for...

Siew Mai
The Siew Mai was pretty good, quite flavourful, and had crunchy bits in it :) I like how the skin isn't too thick, coz honestly, you want to eat more meat then the skin right? haha :D For my family, ordering this is a usual, every time we eat dimsum.
Siew Mai is everywhere - any coffeeshop sells it, even your random school vendor auntie.
How to differentiate the good & not-so-good kinds? Well, first off, the skin should not be thick, the pork should not be fatty & not oily, plus, the best have bits of chestnuts hidden in them!! :D Those are the best.

Sesame Bao
Next up! Piping hot delicious Sesame bao :D 

I'm someone who isn't very fond of baos, and I can live without them haha... so, for me to say that this has left a delectable impression in my mind, it must be GOOD! :B

Never tried a sesame bao before? Same here, till I chanced upon this at this eatery :) 

It looks okaaaay only right? Ooooh, wait for it...

Mmmm.. look at that Sesame Bao oozing with awesomeness..
Look at that load of oozing sesame! My goodness, it sure was insanely delicious! It was really unexpected, but the moment you take a bite, it's like all the past sesame paste experiences just whoosh away in comparison to this :D 

It's chockful with black sesame, and I don't know what is that called - the 'sesame gravy' that comes with it, absolutely perfecto. *drools*

You have got to try this. Pronto. If there is only bao I have to choose, woah hands down this!

Carrot Cake
Dim sum just isn't complete without ordering these crispy rectangles of indulgent carrot cake wouldn't it? ;) 

For me, I just had to try it. :D Dipping it in some sweet chilli sauce makes it tastier.

I must say, the carrot cake is good too! A great crunch as you sink your teeth in, and then, you meet with a chewy, soft interior. Not too oily, nor over-fried. Juuuust nice.

Liu Sha Bao
(apparently my sis was too eager - took 1 before I even snapped the pic haha)
Custard + salted egg bun. Fondly called "liu sha bao", meaning Golden Sand bun.

Okay wait - CUSTARD? What on earth is custard (a Western nomx), doing with SALTED EGG? :O

Fret not - this is the latest fad for baos in every dim sum eatery so far.

The quality of a perfect liu sha bao is how well the custard flows! Interesting ain't it? (at least to me...)

Liu Sha Bao living up to its "flowiness"

There you have it, once you tear the bao, the custardy goop should flow right out! I mean it - if it's good, you better be prepared, or get a napkin. ;)

For me, I don't fancy this bao due to a traumatic experience with a corn bao (yellow colour you see..), which I thought was the liu sha bao, and that corn bao was insanely putrid horrifying disgusting - alright you guys get how much I hate corn baos now. hahaha!

But, as for my sister, she L.O.V.E.S this bao, it is currently her hot fave! It must be good, I must say, but it lies in the preference of your undeniable tastebuds. :B
Prawn Cheong Fun
Ah yes, the cheong fun! Something that I wouldn't miss as well :) I like the prawn filled ones better than the char siew types. I don't know, I guess the prawns have a nicer savoury match with the lovely cheong fun.

I recommend this cheong fun, as the gravy isn't too salty, and the cheong fun is definitely made in-house, it's just the texture - it gives away everything :D It is really smooth, and watch out! It may just slide right off your spoon - nomnom.

Char Siew Bao

Char Siew bao, a classic that is eaten by nearly all Chinese people. Basically, a BBQ pork bun, that has a sweet gravy, and a hint of savoury goodness in it too!

This is great for kids, I have no idea, but they all seem to like this bao. Or maybe it's just my sis & her utter liking for baos? Since young, she has looooved this bao. Okay, not since young, since forever. ;)

Cross-section of a Char Siew Bao
This bao tears open with steam rising from it, giving you a free steam facial (okay who am I kidding) -

I like how the skin is not tasteless and just thick, thick, thick, but doesn't crumble, the texture is well done. Fluffy!

The char siew filling is pretty good too, as it was filled with a satisfying amount of ingredients, and was not tough to chew, in fact, it was tender.

Teh siu tai
Introducing the last item... TEH SIU TAI! :D Oh my love~ If you ever ask me what my favourite drink is, it's teh siu tai ^_^ I love it when the teh o is so fragrant, that when you add the milk & sugar, it enhances the flavour, and compliments it as well :) Yes, teh siu tai stands for: tea with condensed milk, less sugar.

To all foreigners out there, if you don't drink this in Singapore, you've missed out on a lot! >v< It is just awesomeness contained in a cup, just awaiting its drinker. of course, be mindful that there are places that do it right, and places that make it either too sweet/bland. Some good spots I recommend? Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Toast Box, Bao Today. That's just a few!

The teh siu tai at Bao Today is not bad, and I enjoyed it lots. For those who wish to try something else, I suggest having the yuan yang, which is a mix of teh & kopi together, and this place blends these 2 in such a way, it is like they are meant for each other :) In short, the teh and yuan yang served here is marvellous! Totally recommend.

Fun fact: I love those little spoons (not the metal teaspoons) they give with those traditional coffee cups, it's adorable haha!

Till the next post then,

Cherlyn xoxo

P.S. More food coming soon! :) Ate a lot = more reviews kekeke.