Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dessert Buffet with Durian Pastries @ Goodwood Park Hotel

After having passed by Goodwood Park Hotel countless times and the thumbs-up from many friends about their durian dessert, I finally made the reservation for their dessert buffet with durian pastries.

Upon entering the Coffee Lounge, I managed to catch a whiff of durian which instantly fired up my salivary glands. There were a decent variety of desserts to choose from but not yet a great selection to wow me over.

I was immediately drawn to the durian section which featured six types of neatly arranged durian themed pastries - durian puff, durianmisu, durian oreo cake, durian pancake, durian pudding and durian roll.

clockwise from top: durian pudding, durian roll, durian pancake and durian puff

durian oreo cake (front left) & durianmisu (front right)

My favourite would have to be the durian pudding which taste the closest to my favourite durian pengat. Next on my hit list would have to be the durianmisu with the deadly coupling of kahlĂșa and D24 durian pulp!

After stuffing myself crazy with the durian desserts, there's naturally hardly any space left in my stomach to accomodate the rest of the desserts. Fortunately (or not), my 'partner-in-crime" is a durian-hater and therefore, I managed to capture some shots of the non-durian desserts as well as nipped a few bites from his plate.

Towards the end of an almost 1.5 hours dessert marathon, I decided to wave my white flag at the ice-cream tubs and heavenly big bowl of mango sago, which under normal circumstances are my absolute must-have desserts.

Priced at $24.80 per pax, I would strongly recommend all durian-lovers to GO FOR IT before the durian fiesta ends on the 25th July 2010.

A New Addition To The June Baby List

Birthdays are almost always a welcome affair - with the "oohs & aahs" in revealing the cake, the careful arrangement of candles to complement the cake design, lighting and often re-lighting of the accidentally blown-out candles, the often shy birthday girl/boy being placed in the centre of attention, uncoordinated clappings and singings (or humming) of the all-too-familiar birthday song, the nudge from all to make a birthday wish before the final blowing out of the candles.

This was no exception on the 6th of June for Sutika, who was extremely shy but nevertheless, 'coaxed' and 'coerced' into performing the above traditional birthday rituals.

The Fruit Tart Shop @ Raffles City Shopping Centre

Let me cut to the chase. This is one of the shops in my "Little Black List".

Complain #1: Despite the fantastic marketing tactic of showcasing a great variety of mouth-watering plastic fruit tart display which has succeeded in luring me into the shop, the real edible tarts upon ordering was only down to a pathetic few which could be counted with five fingers.

Complain #2: I had to wait for more than 15 minutes before being served with my order. Isn't it as simple as dishing the pre-cut tart out onto a serving plate?

Complain #3: Generously priced at about $7 per slice, the miserable tiny slice was rather stingily (I even have to invent my own word here!) cut and appeared to be overpowered by the white serving plate.

Complain #4: Despite the nicely worded description in the menu promising a chocolate mousse filled tart with strawberry toppings, I was greatly disappointed to find my teeth sinking into 80% of fattening whipped cream with only a sparse amount of chocolate mousse deposited at the base of the tart. The only thing that didn't disappoint me would have to be the crunchy tart base (which I could have easily bought at the supermarket) and the strawberries (which I'm pretty sure wasn't harvested from their kitchen).
Complain #5: After having ingested the tart, I proceeded to cleanse my palate with a cup of ice water only to find the grand 'surprise' finale staring at me - yes, you are right, it was lipstick mark at the rim of the cup or whatever that was red and sticky remaining after a hasty attempt at rinsing the cup for the next sucker customer.

I hardly make guarantees but I can more than 100% guaranteed that I'll never ever step into another Fruit Tart Shop again! :)

Chocolate Souffle @ Bakerzin

Thanks to the birthday voucher sent to me by one of the retail stores which I have made a contribution towards, I treated myself to a free chocolate souffle at Bakerzin just two days before it expires.

It was actually quite a good deal with the $9.20 dessert presented to me free-of-charge at no requirement to make a minimum purchase order.

That said, "Happy Birthday To Me"...again. :)
And did I mention that it was yummy? :P

Okos @ Botejyu

Okonomiyaki or Okos for short (in this case) is a light Japanese dish consisting of a watery flour batter as the base with toppings or fillings such as finely shredded cabbage, egg, fried noodles and choice of seafood or meat for a more fulfilling meal.

The only eatery that I frequent which sells okos is the takeaway store located at the basement of Takashimaya. The okos sold there does not include any meat or seafood but nevertheless makes for a quick snack in-between shopping.

That said, Botejyu at Liang Court would have to be my proper introduction to this Japanese savoury pancake. The restaurant serves a decent variety of okos and as I was showed to the table, I observed quite a fair bit of customers made up by Japanese families. Thus I couldn't help but secretly congratulated myself for a good choice of restaurant made. :)

I ordered a regular seafood okos which cost $8.80 and was a little disappointed when I realised that I made the wrong order. Everything was good with the shredded cabbage, prawn and scallop fillings and it would have been PERFECT if not for the missing fried noodles! Guess I would have to make a second visit there and make sure I order the right okos the next time.

As I was working at digesting my somewhat satisfying okos with a cup of hot green tea, I noticed a little poster advertising the Ajisen membership card and realized to my shock that this is another restaurant venture by the same corporation (Japan Foods Holding Pte Ltd) which manages Ajisen Ramen! The horror came when I did a Google search and found that the Fruit Tart Shop is another of their food venture! I'll be blogging on my not-so-pleasant experience at the Fruit Tart Shop shortly. Meanwhile, it goes to show that not all business ventures takes off even with the expertise of a giant food corporation but I would have to say that they are already a success with 2 out of 3 making it into my "I-would-patronize-again" restaurant list.

Dog Competition in Villach

The Austrians really love their dogs and cats. While the cats are pampered at home with treats and toys with some allowed to roam freely in the great outdoors, the dogs get to have their daily walk at least twice a day and even their furs fluffed up for the Villach Dog Competition.

The competition was held at an indoor sports stadium which was divided into four judging zones. However, it was not quite clear to me how the competing dogs were being grouped.

It was an all-day's event beginning early in the morning till the late afternoon with the award ceremony as the great finale. We arrived an hour before the break for lunch and did not managed to catch much 'action' really.
Some dogs were paraded in front of the judges who were furiously scribbling away on sheets of paper while others were having a hell of a time sniffing at the rear ends of newly met acquaintences, with their owners having a somewhat similar great time socializing with a pretzel and beer in hand.
But I guess the outcome of the competition was insignificant compared to the time spent playing with their owners and newfound canine friends. :)