[Review] 2-Storey Tsui Wah Outlet Opens at Heeren


And so, I managed to squeeze in time for lunch at Tsui Wah's second and latest outlet at Heeren (Orchard) on its second day of operations!

This Hong Kong cafe, most famous for its Condensed Milk Crispy Buns and authentic Hong Kong Milk Tea and Yuen Yeung (coffee & tea), is one of my parents' favourite Chinese cafes. For those who want an alternative to bubble tea, freshly brewed cold Takeaway Hong Kong Milk Tea (S$5) is available exclusively in this outlet in a screwcap bottle.


2-Storey Building
Complementing Tsui Wah's first outlet at Clarke Quay, this new one takes up 2 storeys and can be easily spotted when you cross the road from Mandarin Gallery. Indoor seating is only available upstairs, while both floors offer alfresco dining.


As I was expecting a large crowd during these initial first days (like how the Clarke Quay outlet opened to much fanfare several years ago), I was surprised to be immediately ushered to a seat immediately at the 2nd floor alfresco area (though indoor seating would have required a 30 to 45-minute wait).


Food
The menu looked largely similar to what was available at the Clarke Quay side, except that I noticed that the prices seemed a little higher than what I recalled.


I placed my order, and the food arrived within 15 minutes. While the meat in my Pork Chop Bun (S$8.50++) could have been more tender, it was juicy and the golden-brown toasted butter bun made up for it.


What really stole the show though was the Hong Kong Milk Tea (S$3.50++), served super-hot with the right proportion of tea and milk.


Service
I would say that service was overall prompt and attentive - and perhaps even better than that at the usually-busy Clarke Quay outlet.

I am not sure if it would be the same when it is fully open (the ground floor was still closed), but what definitely would help is this self-ordering/ payment service that is available.


Overall
Interestingly, the alfresco area wasn't warm and even offered a sense of calm as I watched busy shoppers shuffling below me whilst I was sipping on my drink. An indoor seat would have instead provided me with that typical bustling Hong Kong cafe feel.

Overall, I would return for Tsui Wah's cup of milk tea and try their other main courses - and also reminisce that taste of Hong Kong which I probably won't get any time soon.


TSUI WAH SINGAPORE
The Heeren
260 Orchard Road #02-02, Singapore 238855

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[Recipe] Ondeh-Ondeh Inspired Baked Mooncakes


As some of you already know, I have been baking my own mooncakes for several years already. Being a little bored with the usual Lotus Paste Mooncakes, I have so far baked mooncakes using durian paste as well.

To push the boundaries a little further this year, I decided to bake ondeh ondeh inspired ones. Ondeh ondeh, a type of Peranakan kueh, is one of my favourite local desserts as I love how the gula melaka playfully squirts into my mouth as I bite into them.

In these fusion mooncakes, I make use of the various ingredients of the ondeh ondeh, such as gula melaka, desiccated coconut, pandan etc. Whilst this mooncake will look closest to the original kueh in snowskin form, I decided to keep to the baked form as I am wary of the (unhealthy) shortening used in snowskin mooncakes. Do note that I have also reduced the sugar content through my experimentations, so don't worry about needing to cut down further yourself. :) 

So do you prefer mooncakes in traditional or fusion form? If you have used my recipe, share/tag your photos on my Facebook or Instagram and stand a chance to be featured!

Ondeh-Ondeh Inspired Baked Mooncakes

Yield: 15 mini mooncakes, 50g each

Ingredients


(A) Skin
120g top/ cake flour* (all purpose flour is ok)
50g golden syrup* 
30g gula melaka
3/4 tsp alkaline water* (this helps to make the dough more stretchable and give the skin the golden-brown colour)
30g peanut oil (or any other types of oil)
1/2 tsp pandan paste

(B) Filling
480g pandan coconut paste*
40g desiccated coconut


(C) Egg wash for glazing
1 egg yoke
1 tsp water

Tool: Mooncake mould plunger*

* If you are in Singapore, these items can be purchased from Phoon Huat/ Kwong Cheong Thye (KCT). Click here for my review of KCT!


Directions

1. Mix together all (A) ingredients, except flour.

Tips: Remember to mix the gula melaka well, otherwise there will be (ugly) brown patches on your mooncakes skin.


2. In another bowl, sieve the flour and make a well in the centre. Pour ingredients from Step #1 into the sifted flour. 

3. Combine the mixture with a spatula until it forms a soft dough. Wrap with cling wrap and place it in the fridge to rest overnight. This step is known as 醒面.

Tips: The longer you let the dough rest, the easier you can wrap the fillings later.


4. The next day, divide the dough into dough balls of 15g each. For this recipe, you will get 15 pieces of them, with some leftover for "patching" later - if needed. Return the dough balls back into the fridge and keep them chilled.






5. Next, mix together ingredients in (B).

6. Make 15 balls of fillings, each 33g.
7. It is now time to start making your mooncake balls. Remove 1 of the dough balls from the fridge and place it between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper. Press to flatten the dough ball and roll it out thinly into a flat circle.

Tips: Only remove dough balls from the fridge when you are about to use them. Warmed-up dough can become very sticky and difficult to work with!
8. Wrap the flattened dough around the filling and shape it into a mooncake ball. Ensure that there are no exposed parts. (Repeat to make next 14 mooncake balls.)

9. Place the mooncake balls, 1 at a time, into mooncake mould plunger. Press hard so that the impression can be properly made (this is my favourite part!). Release the plunger and gently place them onto a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Spray with water to prevent the mooncakes from cracking during baking later.















10. Preheat the airfryer at 160 degrees for 4 min. Bake the mooncakes at 160 degrees for 10 min.

11. Meanwhile, prepare the egg wash by mixing well 1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water. If you would like the egg wash to have a more even consistency, pass the egg wash through a sieve.

12. Remove the mooncakes from the airfryer and leave them to cool for at least 15 min (do not skip this step). Thereafter, glaze the top and sides of your mooncakes thinly and evenly with the egg wash.

13. Return the mooncakes to the airfryer. Continue to bake for another 4 - 6 min until golden brown.
14. Cool the mooncakes completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for at least 3 days. This allows the mooncakes to 回油, so that the skin can soften. It will also produce a glossy and shiny surface, and the flavours can be better developed. 

PS: If your kitchen is too warm, you can put it in the fridge sooner.
15. After 3 days, you will find that the mooncakes' surface will turn glossy. For optimal results, wait for up to 7 days. Keep in the fridge if your home is warm.

16. The mooncakes are now ready. Serve with hot Chinese tea and enjoy!





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For more mooncake recipes using airfryer, click here.

[Review] KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities


Extraordinary. Surreal. Mesmerising. And simply world-class.

Throughout the 2.5 hours, we kept gasping about how those acts were just breathtaking (literally) and some were just not even imaginably possible!

 

KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities 

I seldom share lifestyle reviews on this page, but KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil, the highlight of our weekend, definitely deserves mention.

Made up of an international cast of 47 artists from 17 countries, the act was a collection of otherworldly characters made up of world-class gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, hand-puppeteers, yo-yo wizards, clowns, actors and musicians.

 

Choreography and Set-Up

I wouldn't want to share too much spoilers here, but the whole choreography, music, set pieces, and stunts were just really perfectly and harmoniously put together.

Journey with the Seeker to find out his craziest ideas and grandest dreams, and you will be rewarded with an extraordinarily mysterious yet surreal experience. The acting was world class and stunts were jaw-droppingly unbelievable.

 

Audience Engagement

And oh yes, we loved the audience engagement too. At certain points, the act also came up close to us.

 

Our Favourite

One of our most memorable segments was the rola bola, with the performer standing on multiple cylinders on a swinging swing without holding on to the sides! (I would have just fallen while standing on a swing haha!)

 

More Photos

*Warnings alert* Below are more photos. Don't scroll on if you dislike spoilers! :) 

Contortions:

Upside Down World:

Rola Bola:

Banquine:

Yo-yo:

Aerial Straps:

 

Ends on 18 Aug 2019

The Singapore leg ends soon on 18 Aug 2019, before heading next to Australia.

Tips: Do arrive early. Look out for the photo booth and be seated at least 15 minutes beforehand for some teasers!

Tickets are from S$95. Discounts are available with selected credit cards.


Cirque du Soleil Singapore

Under the Big Top
Bayfront Avenue, 
Beside Marina Bay Sands 
(exit from Bread Street Kitchen side)

[Review] 4 Insta-Worthy Soft Serves from Watanabe Coffee


Watanabe Coffee, the cafe located at Isetan Scotts Shaw House, serves traditional Japanese and Western fusion cuisine. Given its location, it offers a convenient yet quiet spot for an afternoon tea session with friends or just for a cuppa after some shopping.

Watanabe's Signature Coffee

Well-known for its signature fragrant hot coffee carefully siphoned from Brazilian Cerrado beans, I recall how the cafe's Specialty Coffee (S$7.80) was so good that I didn't need to add any sugar or milk. 

It is lightly aromatic and has a perfect balance between astringency, acidity, sweetness and bitterness. It makes you just want to savour the pure coffee on its own as adding milk or sugar would be to ruin its purity.


Insta-Worthy Soft Serves

Recently, the cafe expanded its repertoire to include soft serve as well. Made from Hokkaido milk, the soft serve is milky yet surprisingly refreshing. The cafe offers an innovative range of soft serves and kudos should be given for how it tries to cater to the Instagram-crazy generation today where camera eats first. 

We tried several of their latest offerings, available from end July 2019:

Originating from Kagawa Perfecture in the southern part of Japan, the Oiri Soft Serve (S$8.30) was traditionally served at wedding parties for everyone to celebrate during the joyous occasion. For those who are wondering, the colourful balls are made from Japanese mochi glutinous rice flour.

Also known as a "good luck soft serve", it was once said that dreams will come true after eating this soft serve. Definitely not a bad idea for students to have this to destress - and of course "eat" some good luck before their exams. :)

For a more dramatic version, try this pretty version with cotton candy! Who is already on cloud nine just looking at this? :)

For something less indulgent, the 5 Fruits Parfait (S$15.80) is a great option. Created in collaboration with Perfect Break Time, an upper fashion brand in Nagoya, this soft serve is its interpretation of edible fashion. 

Indeed, apart from the beautiful presentation, I love how the soft serve offered a refreshing mix of flavours - with the generous addition of fresh strawberries, kiwifruit slices, orange slices, soft cake, aloe vera etc. I heard that the staff even flew in from Japan to personally train Watanabe Coffee's staff on how to create this true to its original form and consistently!





The cafe shows off its creativity in yet another item - the Champagne Parfait. Available at S$25 for the original version (with alcohol), or $12.80 for the non-alcohol/ child-friendly option, this was a great example of how one shouldn't constrain one's mind into thinking that ice cream should be served in just cup or cone.

So, would you have the soft serve and the champagne separately, or dig your spoon in to savour both the champagne and soft serve?

Overall

Overall, the soft serves may admittedly be a little on the pricey side, but it's a small price to pay for indulging in the cafe's high quality soft serve in a relaxing environment - and of course for the Instagram.

Exclusive deal: Enjoy $1 off the 5 Fruits or Champagne Parfait when you post a photo of it on your social media and tag #watananabecoffee!



WATANABE COFFEE
350 Orchard Road
#01-01 Isetan Scotts Shaw House 
Singapore 238868
Tel: 6235 0608

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