Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dilmah High Tea Set @ Carpenter and Cook

Carpenter and Cook (C&C)  is probably the cafe that we visit most often because it's in our neighbourhood. We will walk in and pick up a pastry or two on the way home. For the longest time, I have never blogged about this place because we don't want to invite people into our neighbourhood and cause a 'congestion' to a place we love.

So, why am I blogging about it now? There are now more cafes along this "Carbo Street" (aka Lorong Kilat) to spread the cafe crowd, so it's a good time to introduce this gem in our neighbourhood.

If you love their pastries and other baked goods, you might probably wish they come in a smaller size so that you can order a variety to try.  Good news! C&C is participating in the "Host a Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge" and they will be pairing food with the Dilmah Exceptional Premium Tea Series.

It will only be available this week (20-28 June 2015).

Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set
Dilmah High Tea Set for 2 ($20 per pax)

For $20 per person, you get to choose 1 flavour of tea from the Dilmah Exceptional Premium Tea Series and a selection of different pastries and other bakes.  

If you prefer to dine alone, you can still have the tea set (which comes in a 2-tier platter) and sample the variety of food.

(This Cafe is also a shop that sells furniture and other antiques, you'll be served on these lovely antique china and cutlery! When they first opened, I set my eyes on the church pew chairs and wanted to replace our dining room chairs with them, but it was a bit out of my budget then.)

Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set

What we had earlier today:

- Earl Grey & Lavender Mini Loaf
- Valrhona Caraibe Chocolate & Maldon Sea Salt Caramel Tart

Their Earl Grey and Lavender Mini Loaf this week is made with the premium series Dilmah Earl Grey. Still having the texture and fragrance of Earl Grey. Not too strong for me.

My favourite of the day is the Valrhona Caraibe Chocolate & Maldon Sea Salt Caramel Tart. I have to confess I am bias to anything chocolate. Made with one of the better chocolate around, it's something you got to try.

Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set

This is something that Anglophile loves. Scones and Clotted Cream. The scones (made with French butter) and jam are made in-premise.  The only thing that they do not make are the clotted cream - they import them from Britain.

They served both good old plain scones and mixed fruit scones.

Carpentar and Cook, Dilmah High Tea Set

The green apple and cucumber finger sandwiches were lovely.  Sis bit into it and said it's brioche because of the noticeable fragrant buttery taste.  I have never had green apple, cucumber and yoghurt sandwiches, and was pleasantly surprise that it was refreshing.  I thought they added a secret ingredient because I tasted something pickled in the sandwich.

Their Tiramisu is made from the coffee which they brew with the coffee machine. They don't use the usual 'coffee liqueur' that most home bakers use (i.e. kahlua or amarula). I am not telling you what they use, I am sworn by secrecy. Taste it and see if you like them.

Macarons! Everyone love a macaron that has been nicely aged, still having a hard shell and slightly chewy inside. It's best paired with the Rose with French Vanilla Dilmah Tea. Why? It's a raspberry and lychee macaron! They use fresh lychee that is now in season. French dessert fans will know what flavour that will be! Ispahan!

What would you recommend?
- This set during this week is good and it's a good price. Our usual takeaway of 2 items already cost around $14. This set allows you to sit and have the items above and also a pot of tea.
- If you have room for more food, we love their Lemon Tart! It's one of the items that we always have for takeaway.

Baby notes:

Crowded cafes are usually a no no for babies. Weekends are really busy here, so parents with babies should avoid it. Weekdays are all right though, we live nearby and we know when people flock to our neighbourhood.

Other notes:
This was an arranged tasting session, thanks to Dilmah Teas. We paid for our takeaways that we could not resist, i.e. the Lemon Tarts.

Carpenter and Cook
19 Lorong Kilat
Singapore 598120

Tel: 6463 3648
Hours: Tuesdays - Saturdays: 10am - 10pm / Sundays: 10am - 7pm / Closed on Mondays

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

The wife and I have been wanting to try HamBaoBao since it's in our neighbourhood. Everyday around evening, we would have to think what to have for dinner. Depending on baby's mood and the weather we plan where to go. Evenings are when I take over from the wife the 'duties' of taking care of baby. It's time when mummy eats a hearty meal so she is energized for the next day's routine.

The day was right, cool weather, this is going to be at a hawker centre on the 'rooftop' of Beauty World Centre where it's usually warm. So we hop on the bus and stop at the upcoming Beauty World MRT station stop.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

The tables were mostly packed with everyone ordering from different stalls at this hawker centre. The 2 tables that were empty were right in front of the stall. Maybe it's our day to try it.

Looking at the menu and peeping at the orders that were going out, the wife knew she can wallop 2 of the burgers. The appetite of BF mums are enormous. They can eat and won't grow in size because of the calories burnt breastfeeding!

So the wife ordered and they asked if you wanted fairy fries, the wife said no, thinking it was just like other fries serves elsewhere. It was until we saw other people's orders of fairy fries that we decided we should try it as well, and she went to add one portion of fairy fries.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Crispy Pork Belly HBB ($4.50)

I had a smile on my face. My favourite meat with hoisin sauce, English mustard 'kiap' between a burger. Some meat with mustard over it, then topped with cucumber and the crispy bits!

The burger came together nicely. I love dipping my Crispy Pork in mustard to give it that bit of zing, the splash of English mustard they spread gave it the zing that I like. The cucumber also gave it a nice refreshing crunch and a little moisture as you bite into it. 

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

I thought it deserved another shot that here it is. I am becoming quite pro taking photos using the iPhone 6 without anyone noticing and I have a baby in kangaroo pouch position in front of me.

I also like the fact that it comes with a piece of paper so I can eat the burger holding the paper so that my hands are clean to take care of baby and nothing will drip on baby that's in front of me.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
The Classic Beef HBB ($4.50)

The wife's first burger was the classic beef. Simple yet quite good. A beef patty, cheese, homemade tomato sauce, pickles and lettuce. If you like a simple burger and a meat eater, this is a good choice.  If you are a big eater, order 2, it can be small to some. The pricing allows you to order 2 without burning the pocket.

The wife always uses her hands eating her burgers. Since it's the husband's time to take care of baby, she can use her hands and get deliciously sticky hands. No fear, all well prepared mums have lots of wet wipes and tissues in the SG50 Skip Hop Diaper Bag! 

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

Oh yes, Fairy Fried are hand cut potato wedges. It's pretty addictive too.
No wonder everyone was ordering it.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

Dat Dory Fish HBB ($5)

The wife loves fish burgers and this was her second burger. She said she'll gladly come to the fourth floor than to eat the fish burger on the first floor. (This only residents around this area will know what's on the first floor.)

A palm size piece of dory with tartar sauce, zucchini, red pepper and cheese. The wife likes it because of the grilled pepper and the tartar sauce. The fish has some char and was juicy, you can see it in the photo above. The overall bite into the burger is very balanced. She said this left a nice impression on her.


Fast forward 2 or 3 weeks later, we thought of the burgers again. Weather has been too warm and humid to bring the baby out, so I packed the burgers back.

Speaking from our experience, I would recommend that you eat there instead of packing it back and the Fairy Fries will become a little limp and also the burger buns have absorbed all the moisture from the burgers.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre

I misread wife's SMS and ordered a Dory plus extra beef patty in a burger. She wanted 2 individual burgers, but I ordered the 2 in 1. Well, now we know it can be done, fish and beef in a burger!

I am not a fan of Ayam Buah Keluak, but I ordered it because we have tried everything in the menu. The only thing we haven't tried. I should buy it for the Father-in-law who is Baba, he would appreciate the 'weird' taste of buah keluak.

Sis was also on our chat group and she said she want to try the burgers too even though she already had her dinner! She wanted the pulled pork burger.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Ayam Buah Keluak HBB ($5)

It tasted ok, I am not a fan of the taste of buah keluak, but I ate it, so I think probably Babas would love it. Knowing Babas and Nonyas, they are also a bunch of super picky people, so half of them will like it and half will say, my grandma's version is better. (I doubt their grandma will make a burger right? haha)

It's minced chicken with the rempah and buah keluak. It's a piece of dark patty. For the veggies, they use chap chye!

Buah Keluak fans, try and let me know if it's ok for you.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Dat Dory Fish HBB plus additional beef patty ($5 + $2.50)

The wife's fish and beef burger in 1. It does look good right?
I think next time I will have the Classic Beef + additional patty for myself.

Hambaobao @ Beauty World Centre
Spiced Pull Pork HBB ($5)

It's pulled pork shoulder, cheese with homemade coleslaw. This is sis' order. I had a bite and it's not bad, but I prefer Crispy Pork Belly and the Classic Beef.

While waiting for my orders I read KF Seetoh's write up about them that was hung on the stall. This couple was previously studied food science diploma and nursing and decided to open up a hawker stall. Both of them are only in the 20s.

What would you recommend?
1.Crispy Pork Belly
2. Dat Dory Fish

Baby notes:
This place is a hawker centre, so it can be quite warm for babies on certain days. Find a table that's on the sides and it might be cooler. Baby was sleeping all the while in her BabyBjorn Carrier. It's a quick meal so you can bring baby back to the shopping mall to cool down a bit before going home.  Can't remember if there's a feeding or nappy change area as we did not need it.

144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Beauty World Centre
Singapore 588177

Hours: 12 pm to 8 pm. Closed Mondays and alternate Tuesdays

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