Friday, March 28, 2014

Wing Zone

When I found out that Wing Zone just got their Halal-certification, I was like, "Huh? What's that, again?"

But I got really curious because:
1- It's located in Century Square, Tampines. Very near home.
2- I love chicken wings!
3- Goodness, they sure have many varieties, or what?

I checked that you'll get to try at least 2 different flavours with purchase of at least 12pcs. So I hatched a plan to gather my fellow foodie cousins. The more, the merrier and higher chance to try more flavours!

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The restaurant appear spacious. However seats seem to be limited somehow. To accommodate our group of 7 pax, I have to wait patiently before I can get 3 tables in a row.

There are bottles of chilli sauce and tomato ketchup on every table. Yay!

Orders are to be made at the counter and no menus available on the floor so the queue get easily held up by those making last min. decisions after browsing through the menu at the counter itself. I'm smart enough to browse through their menu online so I was well-prepared and even had people gave way to me when they can't decide yet on what to order. Heh.

Their menu can be seen HERE.

Their drinks are served fast-food style (from dispensers/fountains) and there's a jug of ice-water available on the side (self-service). Each table is given a disc upon order and it will light-up/vibrate when food is ready for collection at the servery counter.

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30pcs of wings and  jumbo portion of wedge fries

With 30pcs of wings, we were given a choice of 3 flavours. *rubs hands in glee*

We kept referring to the Flavour Zone but can't really decide which ones to choose. Their flavours are graded based on their heat/spiciness level :
1- A polite dose of spark
2- Get your engine going
3- If you like to really sweat
4- BURN with pleasure

Curious about the 'Nuclear Habanero' which is the only flavour that's graded 4 but I fear that it's might be history repeating itself like in the Nene Chicken experience. And it's habanero, le. One of the hottest chillies ever. Chili Padi (birds-eye chilli) are only 50,000-100,000 Scoville heat units. Habanero is 200,000 - 300,000!

So we opt for the next in the list: Hotshot (grade 3), Tokyo Dragon (also grade 3) and Garlic Parm (Grade 2).

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From top: Onion rings, mozzarella stix, carrots & celery

Ordered the Family Pack, which comes with  30 wings (Original or Boneless), 2 Jumbo Wedge Fries (changed one of that to Onion Rings), 2 Ranch or Blue Cheese dip (took one of each) + Carrots & Celery.

Yes, literally large, chunky sticks of fresh carrot & celery- Healthiest. Side. Ever.

I have to admit that they go really well with both the salsa and blue cheese dip, though.

We also add on the Mozzarella Stix (single portion only). I love that the onion rings are real onion rings that's coated with batter and fried .

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Wedge Fries

Not many are fans of wedges (maybe it's the mushy centre?) but it's interesting to see these wedges are crinkle-cut as well.

Came out piping hot. No complaints there.

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Ranch and Blue Cheese dip

The ranch dip is basically mild salsa. And yes, the blue cheese is stinko. Although not as pungent as I expected. Love it all the same!

Works really well to neutralise the really tangy buffalo wings sauce.

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Hotshot

Maybe I overlooked the description that says: Buffalo flavour. Maybe I've forgotten my dislike for Buffalo wings. Buffalo sauce- if you're curious, taste very much like Tobasco sauce. Period.

Salty, sour and... that's it. Spicy?? NO. Argh!

The only way I can tolerate this is to dip in the sweet chilli + blue ranch sauce .

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Garlic Parm

'Parm' being short for 'Parmesan'. I expect some strong cheesy flavour (maybe reminiscent of the one from Nene Chicken?) but all I got was some tangy taste, not unlike the Hotshot, actually.

Haiyah, another bad choice. So much for something cheesy for an alternative taste.

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Tokyo Dragon

And… Finally. Something that we ALL like.

"Hot honey meets classic teriyaki for an experience of ginger, soy and heat."

Maybe our tastebuds are more inclined to Asian tastes? Or maybe we prefer sweet over sour? I guess the flavours we may enjoy could be the HoneyQ, Thai Chili and Sweet Samurai…?

Many have remarked that the average price of around $1.40 for a piece of wing (drumlets and mid-joint are 2 separate pieces, mind you) is a tad expensive. I gotta agree. I've also read comments from people fretting that their wings came out less warm than they prefer. Maybe service can be a lil' inconsistent, I guess.

I guess I'll only come back here where I'm very curious to check out a certain flavour or something. Or I should just get the 'Wings & Sticks' from Nene Chicken (at least I know I'll like their flavours).

Wing Zone (Singapore)
Unit: 01-19/20/21/22
2 Tampines Central 5, Century Square
Singapore 529509

Tel: 6222-WING (9464)

Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm
Their website HERE.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Ottoman Kebab & Grill

Long overdue post. Seems like with this pregnancy, I'm more keen to prepare or cook food, than talk/blog about them.

It was a Friday, the one day every week where my colleagues and I didn't pack any lunch (a 'cheat' day of sorts). As we were planning on where to go, my boss called us up and excitedly told us that Bedok Mall is already open and it's hee-yuge!

Erm… Boss, ah. I been there many times, already leh…

So when there, we were wondering as to where to eat. Given a chance, we would love to go back and sweat ourselves out at our old favourite, Ayam Penyet Ria. However, we now have a new colleague who's a strict vegetarian and I guess we gotta' reconsider that option.

That's when our boss recommend that we try out that new 'Turkish' place.

It's finally open! Back then, while many restaurants have opened their doors, this one remained closed for some time.

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The menu

Quite an decent spread.

Sets

Each set comes with the soup-of-the-day and drink (go try the apple tea!). With additional $2, you can get dessert in the form of Sutluc/Sutlac, a Turkish-style Baked Rice Pudding.

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Nice interiors

Contemporary, chic yet still carry subtle Mediterranean accents… Love it!

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Tabbouleh

Mid-Eastern salad made of 'bulgur' (cracked wheat), tomatoes, cucumbers, finely chopped parsley, mint, onion and garlic. Seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Sometimes the 'burgur' is replaced with semolina.

Very refreshing starter/appetiser.

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Fried calamari

Yeap, we ordered this in a mid-eastern restaurant and guess what? They did a pretty good rendition of it!

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Doner chicken wrap

2 of my colleagues had this. Very savoury. Chicken was nicely marinated and tender.

Another colleague ordered the Mutton version but was later told that they've ran out of mutton so she replaced it with beef instead.

The beef tasted awesome! Its taste reminded us of Satay. I think it's because of the cumin, which is prevalent in most mid-eastern meat dishes.

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Shish Adana mutton skewer

My order. Spicy, marinated minced meat, grilled on skewers that looked a lot like little swords. At least here, they remove the skewers, prior to serving. One restaurant I went to, served the skewers as well.

Sooo dangerous! Hurhur. 

 This also tasted awesome. The tender meat was nicely marinated and beautifully charred at the right places.

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Ottoman Shish Platter

A large platter of grilled meat - beef, chicken & seafood, sitting atop some 'Pide'-Turkish flat bread. There's also grilled veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and red peppers.

Strictly for sharing, because it's indeed a large portion.

The meats here came in generous chunks. However, they carried less taste and depth as compared to the meats in the doner wrap or even the skewers.

Maybe, unlike the elaborate marination process for the other types of meat, these were simply sprinkled with salt and pepper before being tossed onto the grill?

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Rice Pilav

I this this came as an accompaniment to my Shish Adana mutton kebab. But why are there 2 lumps? Didn't manage to ask the staff.

The rice comes off a a bit tasteless, if you ask me. I thougt pilav/pilaf rice is cooked in some kinda' seasoned broth or something?

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Tomato soup & hot apple tea

One of my colleague had the set and these are the accompaniment to her Doner wrap.

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The skewers of meat on display at the entrance

Enticing, isn't it? There's another display fridge showcasing all the desserts. Sadly, I can't find the famous Turkish sweet, the Baklava.

Oh, yeah I totally forgot to mention my vegan colleague. After all that meat-fest above, you must be wondering, "Just what did that poor girl eat?"

Initially, I had confidently introduced the Falafel to her. I told her just how similar falafel is to Masala Vadai, a staple Indian snack. Save that, instead of just lentils, falafel are made of ground chicken and maybe fava beans.

She agreed on the Falafel Wrap. While waiting for our food to arrive, we were later told that they've ran out of Falafel. Can you believe it? We were like, "Erm, it's too late to leave, right?"

We were at loss as to what she can eat. Luckily she was sharp enough to notice Prata Wala next door and true enough, these two eateries are actually affiliated. They gave her Prata Wala's menu and she easily chose herself a Paper Masala Dosai.

When it arrived, I was so amazed by the size and how beautifully done it was. And forgot to snap a pic. Pfft.

Ottoman Kebab & Grill
311 New Upper Changi Rd
#01-75 Bedok Mall

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Taquería ~ Affordable Halal Mexican!

Stumbled upon this VIDEO on HungrygoWhere's FB. Makes me excited!

Can check Taquería's FB.

Note the opening hours, though:
weekdays 11:30am-2:30pm

Weekday lunch only liao. How to go??

Taquería
Market Street Food Centre (Golden Shoe)
#03-29

Singapore 048980

Currently the menu isn't extensive and I hear the fish tacos are well recommended!









Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Buffet City is now Halal!



Boy, don't we love good news like this?!

Buffet City International Buffet Restaurant

101 Cantonment Road #01-04
Tanjong Pagar Community Centre
Singapore 089774

Hotline: 6410 9084

Fax: 6722 8520
Email: admin@buffetcity.com.sg

Carpark
Plenty of Car Park lots beside the Tanjong Pagar Community Centre

Bus Stop
75,167,196

MRT Station
Outram MRT NE3 / Tanjong Pagar MRT EW15 (walking distance)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Nene Chicken re-visited

Took the morning off for a doctor's appointment. With time to spare before I head back to the office at 2pm, I decide to pay Nene Chicken at Bedok Mall another visit.

After having tried the super-spicy one and the cheesy one (opposite ends of the spectrum!) the previous time, this time I plan to try something else.

I'm very curious about the Green Onion version, where fried chicken pieces were topped with sprigs of shredded green onion/scallions; supposedly from Korea.

I gotta' confess that I'm a big fan of green onions, dragon's breath be damned.


Green Onion Tenders meal - $9.90

With the usual suspects, accompanied with the refreshing cubes of pickled radish and the yummy buffalo sticks.

This time, I've learnt my lesson and ordered a small tub of sauce to dip into ($1). Curious as to what 'Swicy' taste like, I got that sauce. 

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Green Onion Tenders

Fear not. It's not really fried chicken simply topped with the shredded green onions. The crispy chicken meat were doused in this yummy sauce; which is a mix of soy sauce, mustard and sugar. Very much Asian flavour.

Awesome combo!

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My receipt

Anyway, that day was weekday and I stepped in right before lunch hour so the place is empty and food came out fast.

My dining experience even had an added bonus; in the form of a group of Korean ladies seated at the next table, chatting merrily. Boy, does that feel like in Korea or what?

I was curious as to what they might order. They had this:

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Green Onion 2pc chicken rice meal

Even they chose the Green Onion.

I almost ordered this set too. Somehow prefer actual pieces of chicken (bones and all) instead of the tenders (fillet strips). However, I love for the buffalo sticks too much to substitute them with rice. :P

Next time, it will be the Black Sesame! And maybe the Bulgogi Wings & Sticks.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Junshin Express - 50 cents Sushi!



This picture is enough to draw me to their shop. Oh, bless social network!

Shopfront

Yes, they aren't kidding with the 50cent declaration. It's the price of ALL sushi varieties, mind you.

I came with low expectations; thinking that the 50 cents charge only apply to the cheapest or most basic sushi types like the (canned) tuna, Kanikama (imitation crabmeat), Tamago (omelette), Inari (sweet tofu skin) or even sweetcorn.

Boy was I wrong. That's when I got delirious and wanna buy EVERYTHING!

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Temaki, Sake & Chuka

Here's where the non-50cent stuff are.

On the top shelf are the Kani temaki (sadly, only 1 variety) ~ $1.80 each.

Below that are Sake (salmon) sashimi ~ $4.80.

After that are all the Chuka (seasoned items). Like Chuka Wakame (seasoned seaweed), Chuka Idako (seasoned baby octopus), Chuka Chinmi (seasoned scallops), Chuka Kurage (seasoned jellyfish) ~ $2.80

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Bottles of Halal sauces

Soba sauce, sushi shoyu (dipping) sauce and even sushi rice vinegar. All have the Halal symbol on the bottles.

They also have a fridge full of vegetarian sushi. Yes, you read right. Stuff like sushi topped with fruits and veggies. Doesn't really pique my interest, though.

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Kani temaki, Tobikko sushi, California maki

Kanikama (imitation crabmeat) handroll, California Maki and Tobikko (flying fish roe) sushi.

There's a yellow version of Tobikko available- supposedly flavoured with yuzu? And another green one (definitely wasabi).

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16 sushi(s)

…To be shared with my colleague, Sri.

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Up close

(Top-from left) Chuka Kurage (seasoned jellyfish), Chuka Chinmi (seasoned scallops), Tako sushi (cooked octopus), Octopus salad, Chuka Idako (seasoned baby octopus)

(Centre-from left) Chuka Chinmi, Chuka Wakame (seasoned seaweed) x 2, Octopus salad, Shimeji (Japanese beech) mushrooms

(Bottom-from left) Sake (salmon) sushi, Tako (cooked octopus) sushi, Chuka Idako, Unagi (eel) sushi x 2

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Today I have another doc appointment, and yes! Another morning off.

Reminiscent of 2 days ago, I came back to Bedok Mall and of course, Junshin Express for more (cheap) sushi!

Since I now know what the hits and misses are, I'm more confident with my selection, this time.
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2nd round!

(clockwise from top-left) Octopus salad, Chuka Wakame, Chuka KurageChuka IdakoChuka Chinmi, Kani salad, Octopus salad (again), Tako Sushi

If you ask for my favourite amongst all, I dare say it's the Octopus Salad. That's why I took 2 of them, this time. And now I wish I had taken at least 3 instead.

Seeing that I'm currently preggers, I skipped all the raw fish stuff like Sake (salmon), Maguro (tuna), Shiromi (white-flesh fish) or Ika (squid). I got some for my colleague, though.

I still eat sashimi, mind you. But to play it safe, I'll pay more to have them at higher-end places or the Sakuraya Fish Market; where I know that they take pride in providing really fresh, quality fish.

You can view their menu HERE (not that updated, though). You may find some items unavailable when you're at the shop but you may also find others that aren't listed, being available.

You can get updates through their FB, too.

Payment is currently cash terms only. They give ample packets of shoyu & wasabi but you can buy more at 10 cents each.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nene Chicken

I saw someone post pics of her Nene Chicken meal online and I was like, "Halal, meh??"


A quick check on their FB page and… homaigawd!! I. Must. Try. It. Out!

I have been lusting after their chicken ever since I read this post and this post. Yes, it's been over a year! I've seen the branch at Star Vista and it was reaaally tiny. So I brace myself when I head down to their Bedok Mall branch.

It's still a tad small for a fast-food outlet but definitely bigger than that branch in Star Vista. The menu board showcased the 6 different chicken flavours and that's it. I won't fault you if you think that they only serve drumsticks. Only when you reach the counter and saw the actual menu, do you rush to make last-minute decisions… pfft!

Menu

So I shall do you a favour and put their menu here. 

…You're most welcome. : )


The Bedok Mall branch

There are 2 counters but only 1 was active that night. And the queue was quite lengthy. I was wondering why, until I saw the order chits lined up in a row.

I think the kitchen was somewhat under-staffed. Guess it'll be sometime before we'll get our food, then. *rumbling belly*

We were given a disc which will light up and vibrate when our number get called.

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Our food tray

Each set meal includes a 2 piece chicken, buffalo sticks (that'll be fries, for you), pickled radish and a drink for $7.90.

The set for the boneless chicken tenders cost $9.90.

The fries were much thinner than the typical shoestring ones and they were skin-on and spiced. But surprisingly, they weren't over-fried till it was too crisp, nor were they soggy. They were done right, crispy outside and soft inside. Addictive, in fact.

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Pickled radish

I was very curious about this and eagerly tried it first.

It was chilled radish cubes pickled in this sweet and tangy vinegar. Very refreshing! So sweet that I wondered if they used pears instead.

As with most Korean meals, I guess even the meal here comes with a 'banchan' (side dish).

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Snowing cheese tenders

Chose this out of curiousity. Besides we think that this might help to counter the heat from our other chicken order.

Read reviews saying that the boneless tenders can be quite dry. I guess it's because they used the breast meat. We were wondering why there isn't any chilli sauce given. Turns out we can have a small tub of spicy sauces (swicy/freaking hot) for $1.

A bit of warning: The cheese may come off as a bit 'stinko' at first. Like, old socks kind of 'stinko'. But you'll get used to it and may find yourself licking the cheese powder off your fingers, later on.

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Freaking Hot chicken

They weren't kidding when they use that name for this sauce.

Here's a nice little warning: They plastic gloves that's been given? Use THAT when eating this. I mean it. For I learnt it the hard way. My finger tips had this slowww burning sensation that lasted the whole night. And still tingle the next morning.

Last time I felt that was when I used to help my mum cut-up dried chillies before they're boiled.

Speaking of dried chillies, that's just what the sauce smelt like, initially. Concentrated dried chillies. Bet they must have added heaps of the famous Korean dried chilli powder into this sauce concoction.

The heat didn't hit you at first, because of the sweet taste. After a few more bites, you may find yourself tearing and a bit of snot dribbling from your nose. That's when the snowing cheese chicken pieces or the chilled pickled radish come in handy. Anything to offset that crazy heat.

Hmm… reminds me of the Hot hot Drums from BBQ Chicken.

But you either get used to it eventually or get numbed, as it doesn't seem like a big deal in the end. I even dip my buffalo sticks in remnants of that sauce!

And you know what? Our heads felt refreshingly lighter! I mean, it felts like we've been to hell and back but the outcome is that we feel… I don't know how to put it. It's just better! Read somewhere Koreans enjoy eating spicy food because they can cool themselves down after sweating it out. No wonder…

Delivery menu

And another thing: They do delivery (but only limited areas).

So what's my take? I'm so going back to try out ALL the flavours, that's what! 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Am Cafe - Cakes

As we've mentioned previously, we have every intention to dine here.

Alas, it was wayyy too crowded. And unlike other folks that day, we weren't on 1/2 day. So we can't afford to wait. Given the long queue outside and the cramped interiors, I doubt it will be soon before we get seated; not to mentioned get served. huhuhu

That's why we ended up having lunch at Which? Sandwich, that afternoon. To think that we've day-dreamed about checking out their Coney Dog, Fish & Chips (a lot of good reviews!), Beef Burgers etc... That's what happened when you eagerly check out the food pics on their Instagram account.

Anyway, we weren't too satiated with simply a 1/2 footer of a sub and our minds wandered towards tantalising desserts to try out.

Went across the road from Which? Sandwich to check out La Marelle Cafe but we backed out after seeing a queue already forming at the staircase. We want to check out Vintage Delicafe but it wasn't even open yet.

That's when I suggest that we just check out I Am Cafe and 'tapao' (take-away) their cakes (if any). I believe we shouldn't have to queue for that… right??

So on our way there, we kept hoping and hoping that there're still some cakes left, especially their famous Rainbow Mille Crêpe. Undeterred by the queue outside, we marched straight to the counter, where the desserts display is.

Imagine our excitement to be greeted by this:


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Cake display fridge

3 heaped layers of Rainbow Mille Crêpe on the top shelf. A lonely chocolate cake on the middle shelf and a lone slice of the (famous) rainbow cake below, alongside 2 pies.

The middle pie looked a lot like some berry/cherry cheese tart and the one on the right is very much the S'mores tart.

While waiting for our cakes to be packed, we saw them preparing to bring out the hey-uuge Red Velvet cake. Okay, so it's the same height as the Rainbow and the chocolate cake in the display but seeing the whole cake, it does appear huge. Almost intimidating.

We resist all temptations to add another cake order to our chosen 3. Thankfully…

So… what cakes did we choose?

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Labeled box

This particular box was labelled because 2 different items were placed into these cardbox boxes and the crepes, into a clear plastic container.

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Chocolate Salted Caramel cake

Did anyone say, 'Salted Caramel?!' OF COURSE I have to get it! My Achilles heel…

This was the lone cake on the middle shelf. Didn't plan on getting it, initially because I mistook it for the Russian Black & White cake, which has coffee in it. One of my colleague don't take coffee so I thought of giving it a miss.

But when I heard what cake it really is… well, as they say, the rest is history.

When eaten straight out of the fridge, the sweetness of the icing did hit me. But let it rest for a wee bit and it gets better. However the cake portion does seem a little dense. Wish it was fluffier.

Taste-wise, I'd say it's a good pairing. The cake is chocolatey enough to not be overwhelmed by the salted caramel icing, and vice versa.

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S'mores pie

S'more is a popular campfire snack in the West. It consist of a roasted marshmallow and a layer of chocolate sandwiched between two pieces of graham cracker.

So this tart is a rendition of that popular snack. With the tart base replacing the graham cracker pieces.This one here was filled with a generous layer of chocolate fudge with marshmallows fully covering on top. The marshmallows were then torched on the surface for that 'burnt' appearance.

I had geared myself for a 'too-sweet' kind of taste to hit my tongue but it never came. Despite all that marshmallows and that thick chocolate layer. Maybe it's because of the semi-sweet/dark chocolate?

But it does get cloying after a while…

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Rainbow Mille Crêpe

There's at least 20 layers, if you're wondering. Highly suspected to be 24.

…You're most welcome. : )

Anyway, this humble yet vibrant dessert turns out to be to be our most favourite of the lot. The taste is clean and simple. Something that you'll appreciate having after a heavy meal. Even the chocolate sauce seem unnecessary.

I don't mind  having this again, if I ever get to dine there, that is.
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Oh, each slice of the above cost $8.90 each, btw. Yes, many have balked at that steep price. So was it overrated?

To each his own, really. It depends on how one prefers their cakes. In my opinion, the cake seem a little more dense/less fluffy that I expect (read many similar remarks on the other cakes; in the blogosphere too). But the taste is definitely there.

The meticulously-layered Mille Crêpe seemed worth the price if it is really painstaking to make, that is. Unlike Paris Baguette's version, which to me seemed like they 'cheated' a bit by adding some sponge cake layers; here, it's all crepes.

And the tart was a generous wedge.

However, if they can bring down the price a little if they reduce the portions/sizes, it would have been better. People can try out more varieties and couples won't struggle to finish their slice of cake (esp. after a meal). We saw for ourselves, tables leaving behind as much as 1/2 a slice. What a waste!

Anyway, I'm really enticed by their food menu and how the menu is evolving to incorporate as much Dutch influence, where possible. After all, 'I Am' is short for, 'I Am-sterdam'??