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:

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?

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.

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.


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…

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.

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'??

Which? Sandwich

When bosses are away… (you complete it). So my colleagues and I planned to have some sort of a 'leisure-lunch'.

We eventually settle for the Arab Street zone, a place where chic & trendy hipster cafes seemed to have sprouted; like mushrooms after the rain.

Initial plan was to check out the oft-talked about I Am Cafe. Then again, we're well-aware that it's Chinese New Year Eve and most folks got their 1/2 day… Unlike us (boo-hoo). So we expect some crowd and got a back-up plan ready, for we need to get back to the office after that.

True enough. The tiny premise was packed-out and there's even a queue outside! That's it. Time to activate our back-up plan. Head over to Baghdad Street and look for Which? Sandwich.

People kept bugging for Subway to be Halal (which doesn't seem possible, by far) so I guess this is one of the next best options. A halal-version?

Check out the menu below.

Sandwich menu

Stack sandwiches and hot dogs

Pizza/kebab & beverages/desserts

Which? Sandwich seems to operate within a tiny coffee shop premise. Diners will share eating space with others patronising the Indian food stall (murtabak etc) and Champs Wrap & Roll, which sell kebabs, burgers and even fried rice, noodles and other 'zhi char' items.

Having our meal on a hot afternoon seems like quite an uncomfortable affair. We even end up sharing table space with a family of tourist. It's THAT cramped.

When we place our order, we asked if they serve sides like nacho chips or fries but they've ran out of it. I had a feeling that we won't be quite full after our sandwiches…

I was surprised that our food took sometime to arrive. Having seen how Subway sandwiches are prepared, I expected these sandwiches to come out in a jiffy. Guess not.

6" BBQ Chicken Ranch

My colleague remarked that the marinated chicken could have been more flavourful. I think this is the same meat for the chicken kebab?

6" Cheesy Meatball

I had expected the meatballs to be some hand-rolled minced-meat balls ala those in spaghetti meatballs.

Oh wait… I think I've been drooling over the Subway's version a tad too much, I guess.

Anyway, these chicken meatballs with the cheddar cheese filling is reminiscent of the ones you can get from the frozen food section at Sheng Siong. I think, even I Am Cafe served something similar as their appetiser.


6" Cheese & Steak

Posted the above pic on my IG and one of my friends commented, "Looks like a veggie sandwich with a side of steak."

Hurhur. It does appear that way, huh?

Truthfully, I don't mind. I love my greens and all but I sure wouldn't mind a bit more of those steak slices, there. The taste come out nicely balanced, though. And the meat was tender. No regrets.

I do hope that they come out with a variety for the breads too.

All in all, if you crave sandwiches ala Subway and don't bother to drive up to JB for their nearest halal subs, just head down here! Just don't keep your expectations wayyy up high and I think you can get your craving satiated.