Alfero Artisan Gelato

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Alfero Artisan Gelato
Hosted in the cozy setting in Marina Square, a couple of bloggers chilled out to lovely gelatos on a lovely Sunday in April, at Alfero Gelato.   

About Alfero Gelato:
Alfero Artisan Gelato is prepared with a mixture of high quality ingredients – milk, cream, sugar, eggs, fruits, chocolate, nuts, etc. with a high nutritional value. Italian gelato contains less fat than ice cream, has less incorporated air and is served at a higher temperature (-11 degree Celsius). Our gelato provides a greater flavour experience because there is less fat that coats the tongue, more flavour per spoonful (due to less air), and the taste buds are more alive since the temperature is not so cold as to numb the sensitivity. The lower fat content also means fewer calories to burn.
Alfero Gelato is one of the 16 finalists in the Gelato World Tour's best gelato flavour competition, and that explains my excitement to try it! 

Here's a photo from Alfero Gelato, showing the man behind the gelato brand - Marco Alfero - and his gelato entry for the competition (right). 
(Photo credits to Alfero Gelato)

A side note: Many hotels and Italian restaurants place orders for his gelatos as they like its quality and texture!
Why are the tubs all closed? There's a special reason. 

The gelato tubs are kept closed to minimise their contact with air, light and the inconsistent temperatures. This helps to retain the quality of the gelatos. 

Let's Eat!
I started off with some hot chocolate. It's really smooth and not even that sweet. It's totally my style of how a good hot chocolate should be. When I tasted this, I knew that the chocolate gelato here was not going to disappoint. 

For the young ones - he's also done up a pure Milk Gelato flavour to suit the taste buds of children. It's really flavoured with milk, but it was too light for my tastebuds and I would still stick with the other flavoured gelatos.

However, the brownie totally didn't make the mark for me, so I will focus on the gelatos instead.
He is also very experimental with his products, and to appeal to the local market with the help of a staff, he came up with...

Chendol Waffles paired with Chendol Merdeka Gelato! This gelato flavour was also the one which got him into the top 16 in the Best Gelato Flavour Competition.

Combining the fragrance of coconut milk, freshly squeezed pandan juice, flavourful gula melaka, velvety red beans and smooth chendol (green starched jelly), Chendol Merdeka Gelato is created to commemorate Singapore’s 50th Birthday, which also explains why the word ‘Merdeka’ is added to the name, and the love for local food by the locals.
It was an interesting idea, and the gelato was really lovely! But I personally feel that the waffles should be crispier.

Here are the various gelato flavours we tried!

Tested Flavours (Not in order): Pistachio, Dark Chocolate, Yuzu, Passion Fruit, Durian, Strawberry Sorbet, Avocado, Mango, Chendol, Walnut and Bacio (Hazelnut and Chocolate)

My favourite flavours are the pistachio (although I'm not a pistachio person!), dark chocolate, yuzu, mango and avocado! Be sure to try these flavours when you drop by.
Looking from the photo above, were you able to spot the pistachio? 

No, it's not the cup in the front row, spotting a brighter green. Their pistachio ice cream colour is a slightly dirtier green because there's absolutely no colouring used in his gelatos.

The Pistachio ice cream is hidden here! The green one in the front row is Avocado :)
Marco sources and imports the ingredients used in his gelatos from Italy. You can be sure that you're getting the best from your 'simple' cup of gelato, as the distinctive ingredients are from the best parts of the country. 

To put it simply, for example, he'll only import from the place in Italy which spouts best pistachios! So much effort goes into a scoop, and only natural ingredients are used, that's why I love their gelato. 

Another thing I like about their gelatos are that there's no gum added in the ice-cream, that's why it melts faster than other ice-creams.

MELTING~!

Finally, my points go to Alfero Gelato as they only sport 2% to 9% fat, as opposed to ice-cream, which has about 18% to 30% fat in it! I'm sure this will be a huge score point for the girls!

Girls, time to enjoy! 

Alfero Artisan Gelato (Marina Square Branch)
Location: 6 Raffles Boulevard 02-226A/B Marina Square Singapore 039594 
Tel: +65 6338 5828 
Operation Hours: Monday to Sunday 12:00 to 22:00

Mad for Garlic Restaurant

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Mad for Garlic Restaurant
Recently, I swung by Mad for Garlic with the besties for dinner. I've always heard about this place, so I was pretty happy about checking it out. I went to the one at Clarke Quay, but there's another branch at Suntec as well.


Details

Area: 
Clarke Quay

Country: 
Singapore

Price: 
$$

Good For: 
Groups / Solos / Friends / Family 

Accessibility: 
Average 
(Takes about 10 - 12 minutes walk from Clarke Quay MRT Station)

Here's the ticker right outside their restaurant, showing the number of Garlic Snowing Pizzas served. The number is still increasing!


Some information about Mad for Garlic:
Mad for Garlic is Korea’s first garlic-themed Italian restaurant. The unique concept made its debut in 2001 through Mad for Garlic’s first restaurant in Apgujeong-dong, an affluent entertainment and residential district in southern Seoul. 
With its unique and innovative menu with garlic-specialized Italian cuisine and an excellent selection of wines, Mad for Garlic soon became one of Korea's most popular restaurant chains. Rather than having a central kitchen system, at Mad for Garlic, the entire cooking process starts with raw materials in the kitchen of each branch to bring fresh food to the table. 
In 2013, Mad for Garlic was voted by Korea Times and Korea Herald as the Best Performing Italian Restaurant concept in Korea.

It was a well-lit restaurant though its design bathed in black. I also like how the area is really wide and there is good space between tables, ample 'private' space, good enough to feel really comfortable. 

Lots of garlic strewn around, just to make a point.


Let's Eat!

Garlic Snowing Pizza ($22.50)
 Yes! I tried their signature pizza, a sweet type of pizza topped with shrimps, pineapple dice and cheese. Also, of course, not forgetting... the garlic flakes! Surprisingly, it was so garlicky but in an absolutely good way. I really enjoyed this dish!

A slice of goodness.


Lobster Cream Pasta ($23.50)
This is another signature dish from them, and you'll find no garlic slices here. Why? Because the garlic has been infused in the cream!


While this is yummy, but I don't find it very interesting as I didn't really taste too much garlic in the pasta. A tasty eat, no doubt.

Banana Chocolate Pizza ($12.90)
My friends were really hesitant to try this dessert. How does banana, chocolate, icecream and garlic sound to you?


I was glad I forced them to order it. It was really good and they turned out liking this dish too!


The chocolate was thinly spread on a nice crepe, sliced bananas and garlic filled the dessert. The ingredients went really well together and the crispy, thin crepe did not disappoint too!



Low-Down

The Best bit: Garlic snowing pizza, banana chocolate pizza (dessert) and comfortable seating.

Worst bit: Dishes are all detox machines. (Haha!)

Ratings: 7 / 10

Mad for Garlic Singapore 매드 포 갈릭
Location: Clarke Quay branch - Block 3B, River Valley Rd #01-16, The Foundry 179021
Operating Hours: Sun to Thu: 11:30am to 10:00pm / Fri & Sat: 11:30am to 11:00pm
Tel: (65) 6238 1930
Website: Link



Baek Nyeon Baekse Ginseng Chicken Soup (백년토종삼계탕)

Monday, 20 April 2015

Baek Nyeon Baekse Ginseng Chicken Soup (백년토종삼계탕)
[South Korea, Seoul] Just a few months back, we went to Baek Nyeon Baekse Ginseng Chicken Soup (백년토종삼계탕) for some nourishment during the cold winter season. Another name for the restaurant is also known to most as Baengnyeon Samgyetang. 

Details

Area: 
Hongdae 홍대

Country: 
Seoul, South Korea 

Price: 
$

Good For: 
Groups / Solos / Friends / Family 

Accessibility: 
Convenient (less than 5 minutes walk from Hongdae Station Exit 9)

It was pretty filled up when we got there, despite it being about 2pm, way past lunch hours. The place is pretty clean, so you'll be pretty comfortable eating there. 

Let's Eat!

The ajumma recommended their best ginseng chicken soup (the original version) and that's our choice! 
There are also other varieties of ginseng chicken soup, like abalone ginseng chicken soup, for example.

One bowl can be shared by 2 people, and you can order fried chicken as well. For me, I was able to finish the entire bowl, yes, by myself. Haha. 

Tender chicken!
The soup itself was already quite substantial, and did not come with rice as there is glutinous rice within the chicken soup already. As compared to Tosokchon 토속촌, the ginseng taste is milder and isn’t that strong.

It is very warm indeed to have Ginseng Chicken Soup for extra nourishment during winter season. Very shiok!

My friend was allergic to ginseng, so unfortunately she could not take ginseng soup. But lucky for her, non-ginseng items were also available on the menu, like roasted chicken and KFC - aka Korean Fried Chicken! It was lightly marinated, just a simple, nice accompaniment to the soup, if you're a big eater.

The menu:


Low-Down

The best bit: Clean, family friendly.
Worse bit: None.

Some of my friends liked this version better than Tosokchon 토속촌. But for me, I like the slightly stronger taste and so my points still go to Tosokchon 토속촌.

Rating: 7/10

Baek Nyeon Baekse Ginseng Chicken Soup (백년토종삼계탕)
Website: Link
Location: 354-12 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea




3 Concept Eyes lip color x dot edition: Let it pop!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

3 Concept Eyes lip color x dot edition: Let it pop!
3 Concept Eyes, also known as 3CE, is a popular brand amongst teens and young adults in South Korea. I bought the dot edition of the lipstick, which is my virgin lipstick with 3CE after seeing it online!


Details

Brand: 
3 Concept Eyes by StyleNanda

Product Name: 
Dot Lip Colour x dot edition (limited edition)

Type: 
Cosmetics, Lipstick

Shade: 
#801 Air Balloon 
#802 Love Sick

Price:
17,900 KRW

Where to buy:


Design

Its rectangular design of the lipstick with polka dots on its casing is somewhat appealing to the eyes and really pretty! I love the design.


Product

Lip texture: Original (moist but right in between matte and shine.)

#801 Air Balloon - Creamy textured pinkish coral


#802 Love Sick - Deep vibrant red
The lipstick has an easy, smooth glide and it's very nice to use! Even after wiping off the colour with a tissue paper, remnants of the lip colour still remain, which is good for me because I don't have to worry about pale lips after lunch!

It's good for those who'd like a nice bright pop to the lips. Of course the colour can be further lightened after application, but it'll do really well if you use bright, vibrant colours, especially the red, which really popped!



Verdict
I love the vibrant colours which bring a nice pop to the lips. However, from what you view on the site, the colours seem to differ slightly after testing.

Here's me using with #802 Love sick - doesn't the colour really pop?! haha.


Artistry Cafe: Needs improvement on service

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Artistry Cafe: Needs improvement on service
I'm going to review Artistry Cafe today. This post took a little long, after I visited this place on the last day of February.

Decided to finish up the post after returning from my UK trip. :)

To me, eating is all about the entire experience. From communicating to the wait staff, to their service, to the serving of food and then tasting of it. If one fails, honestly, would you still enjoy it? I guess not.

Honestly,  I had suggested to my friends to try the breakfast at this place, to put an end to our lovely staycation. But I was quite unhappy because in the end, my friends were put off by some lack of service, which had spoilt their experience. For me, one for example, I was taken aback that one staff literally rolled her eyes at me when I entered through the door and 'got into' her way. In fact, I was being shown in by another wait staff who told me I could have a seat inside the cafe.

Overall, thank goodness, a male wait staff had managed to save the poor dining experience we had with his friendly service, towards the end of our meal.

Details

Area: 
Bugis

Country: 
Singapore

Price: 
$$

Good For: 
Group / Solos / Friends

Accessibility: 
Convenient (about 7 - 10 minutes walk from Bugis MRT Station)


The average-sized place is cozy, what with their aged white wood decor. One would hardly find any privacy here, like what my friends and I had experienced, sharing a fairly long table which pans across the cafe in an old school classroom fashion.

A special point about this cafe is how they provide a platform for budding artists to debut their exhibitions, have talks, performances or events. But I was there for breakfast brunch, so instead of taking time to look at the artworks hanging on the wall, I dived right into the food in the midst of my dissipating good mood.

Let's Eat!

Vegetarian Aglio Olio ($18)
An expensive dish to start the brunch session. But it was well done and lovely, with cherry tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and chilli flakes all tossed in olive oil slicked linguine. Though a tad oily, but still one of my favourite dishes here, no doubt.

Big breakfast ($20)
This breakfast was huge indeed, just as their name states. Served with scrambled eggs, with pork sausage, roasted mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and multi-grain bread, it was huge but unfortunately did not surprise. The overall taste was average and but the sausages and eggs was still nevertheless tasty.

Salted Caramel & Bacon Waffles ($12)
I love salted caramel and bacon! So when I saw this, I ordered it immediately. The waffles were well done and was crispy. It went well with the vanilla bean ice cream. I was actually looking forward to this! But the salted caramel wasn't already put over the waffles, but left on the side, like it was a dip of some sort. I was looking to have the bacon and salted caramel come together with the waffles and ice cream. Nope, didn't happen.

On the side, I also ordered a cafe latte, which was overall a smooth drink.

Low-Down

Best bit: The Aglio Olio
Worse bit: The unfriendly service, expensive price


Verdict: Price on the high side, but average tasting food and service, with the pasta-hero saving the brunch items. I guess some of you might have experienced good service from them before. And honestly, I think I must picked the wrong day to visit. Sadly, I've been looking forward to this place but the entire experience was a flop for me that day.


Ratings: 6 / 10

Artistry Cafe
Location: 17 Jalan Pinang Singapore 199149 
Website: Link
Tel: 6298 2420