Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Scrumptious Swiss Roll at Rich & Good Bake Shop (Singapore)

(Singapore, strolling along Arab street) 

Friend: Hey, we've got a fulfilling breakfast and a delightful lunch, so what do you want to do next? 
Me: Ehmm, pre-dinner? 
Friend: I know exactly where to get that!


Rich & Good Bake Shop with its signature light blue and white exterior stood out among the long line of shop houses on Kandahar Street. Just a turn from the popular Sultan Mosque, it radiates with a light simmer. One that you could easily overlook without noticing. I was fortunate to have a local friend that brought me here. She's a fashion designer by trade and a foodie by influence (from me of course). 

They have one specialty here: the swiss roll. It comes in different flavors. Chocolate, green tea, to name a few. I would usually go for the cocoa treat, but somehow my eyes were infatuated by Kaya Swiss Roll.  It sort of jumps out of the menu and scream for my affection. I went with my instinct and this time I was right. It was nothing less than scrumptious. 

The soft and airy green cake comes with a strong pandan upbringing. While the kaya jam that glues the roll together added in a touch of sweetness and a major influence of egg and coconut-ty flavor. All this wrapped in cold temperature that seals it in dessert snacking category. 

My only warning to you guys is that it is addictive. Not just because of the taste, but also the fact that it is only SGD 7.5. You'll be easily tempted to stock on it. If you brought a pack home, you could easily finish the whole foot long over the first half an hour of a movie. My suggestion, share it with a friend. That way, when you get to the end of it, you will feel less guilty. Plus, while doing that you can test whether the quote "happiness is best shared" is true. 

Man, I miss Kaya Swiss Roll already. 

Fellexandro Ruby 
Food Photographer & Storyteller

Rich & Good Bake Shop 
No. 24 Kandahar Street, Singapore
Ph: (+65) 62963334

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ng Ah Sio: Vigorous Ba Kut Teh (Singapore)

What's the best thing to do in Singapore if you have the whole weekend?

You probably see this coming. Yes, for me it would be exploring all sort of culinary delights from different parts of the little red dot. I went from the famous Hong Lim food centre, to the suburbs of Hougang, to the fancy strip of Dempsey. Here's a story of so many stories that happen in that weekend in March.

Longan Lou Han Tea (SGD 1.87)

After a morning incident and a breakfast at Outram Park Kway Teow, I called out my Singaporean friends to venture on the local recommendation. Something that stranded a bit of the tourist map, yet still a winner. My taipan friend decided its about time for some pork affair. I dare him that if he could make me happy with our next lunch, then the treat will be on me. 

A few minutes on the taxi, the happy uncle stopped on the left side of Rangoon Road, just a turn from Balestier Road. Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup it says. A quick glance on the amount of patrons inside has partially convince me, but I left no room for assumptions. Let's get the best dishes out of the long list of menu. 

Mr. Taipan quickly scanned through and ordered a few of his personal favorites. 

Spare Pork Rib Combo (SGD 6.54)

Spare and Pork Ribs Combo Soup
Its 180 degrees different from the usual ba kut teh I have in Jakarta. Here we usually pour in a big portion of medicinal herbs as the main flavoring, resulting in an aroma that resembles more of a meds potion. While here, there's a dominating flavor of spices, particularly peppers, star anise, cinnamon and heaps of garlic. I fell in love with it on the first sip. Probably because I always hated our Indonesian version of ba kut teh that makes me feels more like in a clinic than in a restaurant. 

Mushroom (SGD 4.67)

Braised Winter Mushroom
Juicy thick meaty mushroom. Well seasoned with soy, but have the tendency toward neutral flavor that let the natural shrooms taste to overrule. 

Pig Tail Soup (SGD 5.14)

Pig Tail 
My first encounter with this part of a pig and I must say it is quite of a feast on its own. If only it could be cooked a while longer to let it smooth and soften a bit then it would be perfect. It is served with the similar soup to the pork ribs. The only difference here is the tail texture compared to the softer pork meat. 

Preserved Veggie (SGD 1.87)

Preserved Veggie 
The dish that complete the whole palate. We've had sweet, salty, and spicy. This particular veggie comes in to awake our sour tastebuds. A treat to eat in between other dishes. Think about 'sayur asin' and this will be its next of kin. 

At the end of my meal, I looked at my taipan friend and fashion designer buddy with a huge grin in my face. The signal couldn't lie, I was really satisfied with what I had, and that means I'll have to stick to my gentleman agreement. All on me. Total damage: SGD 33. Not bad. Not bad at all. 

In fact, I really enjoyed it that I bought home a box of its instant ba kut the spices. One of these days, when I miss Ng Ah Sio, I could easily pull it out from my cupboard, chopped in some pork, and cook myself a bowlful of vigorous ba kut teh. 

Fellow Indonesian, I would recommend this to any of you coming to Singapore. Don't forget to mention this blog upon paying, they will give you a discount*. 


Fellexandro Ruby 
Food Photographer & Storyteller

*Nah, I'm joking. ;p

Ng Ah Sio
Pork Ribs Soup (Ba Kut Teh) 
208 Rangoon Road 
Ph: +65 6291 4537

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee : Oh The Length I Had Gone For You.

The little red dot.
The fine city.
The lion city.
The shopping city.

Despite of all the nicknames given, Singapore has grown more and more as a foodie city for me. So much that I dedicated the whole three days solely to hunt for culinary gems. I would blame this rising frenzy to I Eat I Shoot I Post, a Singaporean food blog that in a way has become my unofficial guide for this trip of complete gluttony.

It's funny how I get that extra surge of battery power prior to traveling that I manage to sleep at 12.30am and then wake up at 4am to catch the earliest flight available. I guess it's the endorphin called excitement. I was all smileful during the drive to the airport. Even more cheery upon boarding the gate with some of the hottest flight attendants alive. Yes, the ones in red. ;)

Arrived just in time for breakfast, I spared no time and rush to Chinatown right away to grab what said to be one of Singapore's most acclaimed char kway teow. With a starved belly and a I-could-eat-a-guy appetite, I must face reality when my dollar notes is rejected. Lesson's learned. Only carry small notes. Apparently people prefer to lose one customer rather than having to bear the tedious task of finding change.

Total breakfast delay time: one excruciating hour.

What happened in that precious hour? I ran to find money changer, that Indian guy say no even before I finished my sentence. I ran to 7-11, that old Chinese lady spoke something in words I don't understand followed with a go-away hand gesture. Alright, I get it ma'am. I've never feel so rejected in my life. *dramaking* Fortunately, an aha-moment came when I saw a shophouse on the side of New Bridge Road, wrapped in glass wall, a yellow banner that says Maybank, and a security guard that opens the door for me. Finally!

Off I go to Hong Lim Food Centre, jumped to the second floor and with the little snapshot of Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee taken from the web, I browsed the site for it. You should see the sparkle in my eyes upon seeing this store sign. I think there was a bit of happy tears flashing out in between too. *dramakingcontinues* 

It appears that this place has gained popularity having featured on the page of Strait Times. I was told a long queue happens almost everyday, but I was lucky coming in as an earlybird. No queue at all, and I get to take a few close shots of the uncle cooking. I noticed that he has his own way of frying the kway teow. He would splat out a few eggs to start with, let it cooked, pour in all the other ingredients, and then he'll stop in the middle, splat out a few more eggs. However, this time, he let the eggs half cooked and quickly mash the stuff all over again. The latter gave the kway teow a rather creamy wet end results.

I love this $3 goodness. I love that it uses cockles. I've been craving for a good alternative since Chopstix took it out of their menu. I love that it's more on the sweet end. I love that its hot as it needs to be. If only it could be a bit spicier, then it would be perfect. Overall, as a dish, it has all the quality that pulls you in. It made you couldn't stop until you savored the last bite.

And until the last bite I did. Enjoyed it so much, that I sat another 15 minutes just mesmerized. In that short period of time, I kept on seeing people taking the familiar kway teow on red plates and wood chopsticks to their table. If this were an MTV award, this stall would've won the people's choice trophy.

I'm happy that I started my journey with the dish that is not a tourist trap. I must say you are worth all the length that I've gone just to meet you.

Drama King over and out,

Fellexandro Ruby 
Food / Travel Photographer & Storyteller


Outram Park Fried Kway Teow Mee
Hong Lim Food Centre
Blk 531A, Stall 02-17
Monday - Saturday : 06.00am - 04.30pm
Closed Sunday & Public Holiday

Monday, March 18, 2013

Now Brewing : Djournal Coffee at Grand Indonesia

Because another coffee shop is just what we need, right?

No, that's not sarc, my favorite kind of -asm. It is what it is, a rhetoric. 

There has been quite a rapid shrooming of coffee houses lately. And not just that, the whole industry is getting exciting, from farmers to roaster to traders. It is only natural that a powerhouse like Ismaya crave for a share of the pie. Or maybe they just want to have it in their line of successful portfolio. Whether the earlier or the latter, when they're in the game, they never been less than serious in developing a brand. 

I visited Djournal in Grand Indonesia some time ago for a food photography production meeting. Remember the winner of our free photoshoot session? Yes, we are that serious even though for a pro-bono work. 

My eyes were astounded with the amount of details they put in the design to create an ambience that resembles none of the competitors. A bar that centers the whole area kinda tone down the barriers between patrons and baristas. Stools and chairs that look and feel as vintage as it needs to be. And the striking yet soft in the eye teal color woods. 

In one corner are the cold drip set, in another are the pour over station. It appears that Djournal is not just playing around. They really know what they're doing with the beans. Splat out a few hundred million espresso machine and prepare to be intimidated. At least that's what I thought, being a non-coffee-aficionado myself. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed their coffee too, just in my own amateur way. If I had to choose, I'd rather resort to their selections of dessert or cakes. And I did just that with their Nutella Cake, which was pretty close to scrumptious. It has a creamier outer shell with a layer of choco nutty goodness right in the middle. 

Should this write up do justice? Of course not. Especially for the coffee. I will need help on that part from you. But from what I experienced, as an alternate working space, this is splendid. ;) Right in the middle of the city, comfortable and opens before the mall does. A few cakes and desserts while meeting wouldn't hurt too.


Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer & Storyteller

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bistronomy Jakarta : Good Food And A Meet-Cute

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Dear Diary,

Today was splendid. Not in a winning-a-lottery surprise kind of way. Instead, today I was reminded, its the little things that adds color to my life. The little things that I often overlook being the ignorant prick I sometimes am. This heartwarming moment happened in the course of three hours in Bistronomy the newly opened foodplace in Ciranjang, Jakarta.

Was sitting in one corner, with a DSLR in hand and an Ahok-looking face, I suppose its almost impossible to not draw attention. I tried to reduce my presence as minimal as possible. I had my ordered secured. I believe I succeeded, until a cute looking face appeared on the other side of the window next to me. This girl stole my heart within seconds. I tried to make contact. The E.T - Elliott kind of connection, and I succeeded big time. She laughed at my silly face, a few minutes after I got her sitting across me, sharing the same table.

Meet Isabel ;)

And her playful side.

And her cheerful side.

As I fork in my Grilled Salmon Teriyaki with Wasabi, she had her nanny feeding her one spoonful at a time. Two decades apart but we had the time of our life for fifteen minutes or so. I reckon this must be how little Jenny in Big Fish feel upon crushing on young Edward Bloom. "When I'm 18, you'll be 28, and when I'm 28, you'll be 38, that's not much a difference." she said. Its a lot of difference though as it turns out. Same thing goes with my fish. Having wasabi boldly stated in the menu, I would only expect more of its influence in the dish. It ended up as a chunk of decor on the side of plate. While the teriyaki take on the fish really comfort the tongue, I still think they are taking the easy way out. Especially for the price that they printed on it.

Grilled Salmon Teriyaki w/ Wasabi (IDR 100k)

I asked her what's her name. "Isabel", she answered with lotsa giggles, right when my cold Edamame Vichyssoise arrived. I offered her to take a sip, but it appeared that what's on her plate was a lot more interesting. I myself find the Edamame equally interesting. A strong flavor of the japanese bean, marked with the green color, and the distinct smell of pureed bean, potato, cream and stock. My palate usually prefer warm dishes but I had to admit this one had win its approval, despite being a bit boring halfway through with its rather flat texture.

Edamame Vichyssoise (IDR 30k)

Shooting half eaten food, just because I can!

Right before my dessert came, the little queen made her exit as her parents called her out. Those little feet run in excitement towards the receiving hands of the father. Cliche but there's a tiny clinch in my heart. I smiled. Twice. One for that, and one for the huge Rare Mango Pudding that arrived right on time to sweeten the goodbye. It took less than three bites to get acquainted with this delightful dish. Hints of mango all over the place, even without the extra addition of mango sauce. I decided to go all the way though. It might went a bit overly sweet for normal people but hey, no such thing for this sweet toothed gentleman. Added with the crisp biscotti style topping, it was right from flavor, texture, to price.   An eight-out-of-ten closure to my lunch.

Rare Mango Pudding (IDR 55k)

Shooting finished mango pudding, just because I can!

There's only one thing left to do after all the eat-xercises: cleanse the palate. This cup of Twinings' very own Pure Camomile did exactly that and achieved what it is destined to do, it soothed and calmed me down.

Today is a good day. I'm writing it down to help me remember. Remind me dear self when I forgot what it feels like to take a pause and enjoy the tiny things in life. Remind me to realize that its not the light at the end of the tunnel, but also the light in the tunnel.

To infinity and beyond.

Fellexandro Ruby 
Food Photographer & Storyteller

More daily food thoughts and whatnots on Twitter at @wanderbites

I imagine more afternoon like this, with you.


Jalan Ciniru 1 No. 2
(Jalan Cikajang, the street next to Helen's Cake) 
Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan
Ph: 021-739-6655
T: @bistronomy_jkt

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

La Creperie PIK : Crepes, Galettes & Beer

If at the moment there's such an award as most promising eatery in Pantai Indah Kapuk, my vote will go for this one. La Crêperie has what it takes to prevail. A spacious and well designed area, an ambience that soothes at any time of the day, a good service, and most importantly a line of specialty dishes that makes you keep coming back for more.

The crêpes here are by far the closest I've met to original, so much that it sends me back to that little place in Montparnasse, a couple blocks from the Metro. Yes, you will not find one of those super crispy faux crepes. What you'll have instead is a thin layer of smooth and soft pancake.

Not stopping at that, La Crêperie also make a clear division of sweet (sucre crepes) made from wheat flour and savory (galettes) made from buckwheat flour. The latter is the typical Brittany meal that eventually spread throughout France. If you notice La Crêperie lighthouse logo, then you'll get the breton spirit embodied in it.

Crêpes with home-made salted caramel and peach (IDR 53k)

On my plate was the sweet crepes with homemade salted butter caramel and peach. My friend had the similar one with chocolate and salted buter caramel. Although I had a moment of questioning whether the fruit was fresh or canned, it was scrumptious. Any sweet tooth like me could easily fell for these two. A smooth textured crepes with generous toppings. Enough said.

Gotta admit I was so tempted to chill on my favorite Alben's cider, but common sense won. I would've gone sugar-high if I opted for that. I decided a bottle of Heineken is equally pleasing for that warm sunny afternoon. Too bad it came out not as ice cold as I expected to. Far from the minus two rule of thumb.

Gotta love the chairs! I wanna take 'em home!

Crepes with salted caramel & chocolate. (IDR 49k)

Sailor theme all over the place.

Having crepes and galettes as their main course is a daring venture, considering typical Indonesian belly that needs far more carbs to satisfy their hunger. I myself still see it in the go-to dessert place category. I have this believe though, that a food place need to have a signature item that pulls people to come back.  Lucky for them, I think La Crêperie has it. Just gotta watch for the price tag. We have a rather price sensitive crowd here in PIK and I keep finding from time to time that the most sustainable food place here are the ones who could manage that well.

Bonne chance, au revoir

Fellexandro Ruby
Food Photographer & Storyteller

La Crêperie
Ruko Crown Golf
Pantai Indah Kapuk
(next to Ikkudo Ichi ramen)
Ph: 0896-934-5555-4

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