Delicius Pasticceria – Lau Pa Sat

Its been quite a while since the extremely popular Lau Pa Sat got refurbished. It now has a lot of stalls offering a variety of cuisines to office-goers in the area. When I was roaming this area post-dinner, I spotted a well-lit cafe that had a very enticing cake display counter which was visible from the road. That’s how I landed at Delicius Pasticceria, a cafe serving interesting pastries. It originates from Osaka, Japan. After glancing through the pastries, their names sounded on the French-Japanese side. But what surprised me the most was the affordable prices in this central area of town!

Delicius decor

Delicius decor

The Orders
Chocolate lovers should not miss the delicious ‘Chocolate Raspberry’ cake. The tangy raspberry taste cuts through the moist chocolate and gives a refreshing feel. Their plating was quite neat and artistic. It definitely added a visual flair.

Chocolate raspberry

Chocolate raspberry at $5.8


For those who prefer not to taste berries in their desserts, they have an option with the ‘Caramel Chocolate’ cake. It looked like a mousse cake but had a firmer texture. Have a bite with the cream served on the side for an enhanced taste.
Caramel chocolate

Caramel chocolate at $5.5


And for the exclusive chocolate lovers, there is the ‘Chocolate Cake’. Well, this could definitely have been better in terms of texture and taste. Since I have tasted quite a few chocolate cakes around Singapore, my standards are higher in this regard.
Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake at $5.8


We also decided to try one of the many fruity offerings they had on display. We chose the ‘Green Apple Tart’ as we found it to be unique. It was quite tangy and the green apple presence was quite strong. So you will have to pace your dessert and savour the taste. Other than that, it was interesting to try as a different option.
Green apple tart

Green apple tart


Apart from these options, their fig tarts, apple cheesecakes and matcha soft serves are supposed to be pretty good which I plan to try next time. They also have cookies and candies that you can buy off-the-shelf. For their really unique offerings, for the price point and for their continuous change in variety of cakes, Delicius Pasticcerie is highly recommended.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Cakes ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Raffles Place
Address: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
Timings: Mon-Sun: 8am – 11pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/DeliciusSG/
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Blackbird Bistro and Bar [Permanently Closed]

While roaming at Dhoby Ghaut, I was surprised to find a New Zealand themed eatery hidden in plain sight! Situated at Handy Road in the stretch between Plaza Singapura and the Cathay, Blackbird Bar and Bistro spells charm. The well-done interiors, good music, and friendly welcome by staff elevated the initial impression of the restaurant. There is ample seating space as the restaurant is deceptively large. If you are watching a movie at the nearby theaters or looking for good happy hour deals or brunches, this place shall not disappoint you. Their 1-on-1 cider deals are totally worth getting during happy hours.

The Orders
I was in a bread and cheese kind of mood and ordered the ‘Summer Squash’ sandwich. What I love about a good grilled sandwich is that as you bite into it, the whole combination should be crispy, gooey, salty and comforting in all ways. This sandwich was all that and more. It had grilled aubergines, zucchinis, capsicum, basil pesto and brie on Turkish bread. The bread had a nice panini press feel to it and is worth trying. The fries on the side were well done and this item is quite filling.

Summer squash sandwich

Summer squash sandwich at $13.90


We also ordered the ‘Rigatoni’ as the pasta main. It was cheesy and piled high with vegetables. The pasta was slightly overdone and the dish needed a little more seasoning. A decent dish, but not one of their best efforts.

Rigatoni

Rigatoni at $17


As we liked the food, we decided to try the desserts as well. Their ‘Fig and Honey Ice cream ‘ definitely looked like something that should not be missed. Seated on a soft bed of berries, this huge scoop of ice cream looked regal. The sprinkled icing on the sides made it look like a planet in the solar system. Extremely tasty, highly recommended.
honey and fig icecream

Fig and honey ice cream at $5


Chocolate fans will not be disappointed with the next dessert offering. The ‘Lava Cake ‘ was an eruption of luscious chocolate. When we cut into it, the ganache flowed right out of the center. The scoop of vanilla ice cream lent a nice balance.
Chocolate lava cake

Chocolate lava cake at $10


Since the dessert portions were huge and were pocket-friendly, we also tried the ‘Custard Cake’ which was the daily special.
Daily Special

Daily Special at $5


I had heard about their charcoal buns and would have liked to try them if Blackbird offered a vegetarian burger on their menu. For their affordable bistro food, top-notch desserts, friendly service and the ambiance, Blackbird Bar and Bistro should not be missed.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Bistro food ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut/Bras Basah
Address: 6 Handy Road, Singapore 229234
Timings: Tue-Sun: 11.30am – 3pm ; 6pm – 10.30pm
Website: http://www.blackbird.com.sg/

Apple and Oats Halwa – A century of posts

It feels surreal to have completed 100 posts on this ‘Deelightfully Veg’ blog. The blogversary also happened last month and it has been fun sharing food posts with all my readers. It’s enriching to interact with fellow food bloggers from all parts of the world and learning things in this journey. Today, I want to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to each of you for taking the time to read my blog. Your comments and valuable inputs mean a lot. To celebrate this century on a sweet note, today’s recipe is ‘Apple and Oats Halwa’. When I saw deep red apples in the market, I bought them in bulk. And then I thought of using them in desserts so that I could finish them. Halwa is an Indian dessert typically made with milk and ghee and generally made during festivals. This Apple Halwa is ideal if you are looking for something different to make with apples. It tastes absolutely phenomenal with the right balance of sweetness and texture.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 5-6 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 5 medium-sized red apples, peeled
  • 5 tbsp oats
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp ghee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 cashews, broken in half
  • 7 raisins
  • 2 tsp cardamom powder

Apple and oats halwa

Apple and oats halwa


Method:

  • Take a small pan and add 2 tbsp of ghee. Roast the cashews and raisins on low flame till they become golden brown. Switch off the flame.
  • Take a pan and dry roast the oats. They should turn golden brown. Then turn off the flame and keep it aside so that they cool down.
  • After 10 mins, grind the oats into a smooth powder.
  • Now peel the red apples and grate them. Use the side with the biggest holes. Be quick in this as they should not turn brown.
  • Take a pan and add the grated apples. Add the roasted cashews and raisins and saute them well.
  • Meanwhile, grind the sugar and cardamom seeds together to form a smooth powder and keep it aside.
  • Now in the cooking pan, along with apples and dry fruits, add the oats powder and 3/4 cup milk and mix all the ingredients together well. Ensure low to medium flame at this stage.
  • Keep stirring till all the moisture gets absorbed.
  • Now add the powdered sugar-cardamom mixture to this and mix well. Pour the remaining 3 tbsp of ghee and mix well.
  • To balance the consistency of halwa at the end, add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk only if required.
  • Serve this delicious apple halwa hot.

Tips:

  • The apples will turn brown very quickly once you grate them. Either grate and use quickly, or store in the fridge
  • The halwa will thicken as it cooks. Add milk to bring it to the consistency you like.

Kaiserhaus – Capitol Piazza

Imagine a restaurant menu resembling the beginning of a ‘Game of Thrones’ episode where each region is introduced in all its glory. That is exactly how Kaiserhaus describes the Habsburg Empire and its cuisine. Opened in the renovated Capitol Piazza, this restaurant dishes out authentic Austrian and Hungarian cuisine. Yes, now that is something unique in the Singapore food scene! The elevator is slightly out of the way and it opens into a spiral staircase that will instantly make you feel royal while climbing down. You are welcomed to the restaurant with some pleasant live music.

Kaiserhaus decor

Kaiserhaus decor

The Orders
Let me start by saying that the menu has immense clarity in the explanation of every dish. For starters, we ordered the ‘Goat Cheese Salad’ to get a taste of the fresh ingredients. The goat cheese was of high quality and the seasonal lettuce, cucumber, shallots and lettuce balanced the dish well. But the stars of this dish were the marinated beetroot slices that greatly enhanced this salad.

Goat cheese salad

Goat cheese salad at $17


As a side dish, we ordered the ‘Crispy Roasted Potatoes’ which resembled a disintegrated Rosti. They were crispy, roasted in butter and were gobbled in no time.

Crispy roasted potatoes

Crispy roasted potatoes at $7


There are fewer options for vegetarians in the main course. But, trying out the vegetarian options in a new cuisine is part of what makes me a passionate foodie. We ordered the ‘Lecsó’ which is a Hungarian Paprika Stew. These are basically bread dumplings served on a mushy and tangy stew made primarily of chunky red bell pepper slices. The stew was lacking in balance and I had to add quite a bit of salt and black pepper to get any form of taste going in the stew. If they fix this, this stew can turn out to be pretty comforting.

Lecso

Lecsó at $19


Next we tried the ‘Spinach Spaetzle’ which was the pasta offering. Once again, the dish was lacking in balance. The caramelized onions used for garnish were overpoweringly sweet and permeated the entire dish. It took salt, pepper, and some tabasco before I arrived at a taste I liked.

Spinach spaetzle

Spinach spaetzle at $22


The dessert course was the star of the entire meal. Along with the options mentioned on the menu, they have a very good display of sweet treats on the counter. They have partnered with renowned Austrian patisserie, Zauner. We tried the ‘Zaunerstollen’ which is a nougat praline mixture with wafers, hazelnuts and chocolate. It has a nice crunch to balance the smoothness. This is recommended.

Zaunerstollen

Zaunerstollen at $5


Since the dessert counter was irresistible in its options, we ordered the ‘Chocolate Raspberry Cake’ which was divine. The cake was nicely moist and this was a winning combination all the way.

Chocolate raspberry cake

Chocolate raspberry cake slice at $8


Overall, they can improve on their vegetarian main course offerings. They have a $28 for two high tea deal which should be worth exploring as their desserts are pretty good. For an attempt in the direction of new cuisine offerings, for the ample seating space with good decor, for its central location and for their desserts, Kaiserhaus is worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: European ★★★
Nearest MRT: City Hall
Address: Capitol Singapore, 17 Stamford Road, #02-06 and #03-06, Singapore 178907
Timings: Sun-Thu: 10.30am – 12am ; Fri-Sat: 10.30am – 1am
Website: http://kaiserhaus.sg/

Honeycomb – Bali Lane [Permanently Closed]

Korean style soft serve and yogurt joints have sprung up all over Singapore. After dining at Bali Lane, we were in search of a dessert place in the area. I spotted a dimly-lit place tucked away on the street and I decided to check their offerings. The place was called Honeycomb. The menu was displayed on a wall next to the counter. This is a very small place with no more than 20 seats. Since the menu is very simple, all you have to do is choose your base and toppings and place your order.

Honeycomb menu

Honeycomb menu

The Orders
I chose a yogurt base. For the toppings we chose ‘Classic’ and ‘Apple and Cinnamon’. As we placed our orders on the table, I noticed something very intriguing. On top of the yogurt, there was 5 ml syringe which contained honey! There was also an actual honeycomb piece in the serving. The yogurt serve was topped off with apple and cinnamon granola. This made every bite nicely crunchy and it will remind you of the cereal that you have for breakfast, only much sweeter. It was nice to inject the soft serve with honey as and when required. The real honeycomb is chewy and is authentic in taste.

Honeycomb classic and apple and cinnamon granola

Honeycomb classic ($6) and apple and cinnamon granola ($7)


We also tried the ‘Caramel’ flavour on a milk base. It was too milky for my liking. I definitely preferred the yogurt base as compared to the milk base. The salted caramel sauce was average. It was also very sweet with the milk base.
Honeycomb caramel

Honeycomb caramel at $6.5


One the whole, I wish there was better lighting and a happier atmosphere to the place. It looked gloomy and the staff did not seem very interested. But if you are in the area and want a different ice cream experience, this place is worth a try.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Desserts ★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Bugis
Address: 30 Bali Lane, Singapore 189866
Timings: Mon-Sun: 12pm – 10pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/honeycombsg/

Carrot Kulfi

For as long as I remember, I’ve had a sweet tooth. Supermarkets here typically contain ice cream tubs, pastries and cakes. If I want to satiate my craving for Indian desserts, I have to make it at home. And thus began my first attempt at kulfi! Kulfis are a type of ice cream from India which are conical in shape and served on a stick. Since I did not have sticks at home, I decided to use a muffin tray to get a round shape and serve it in a bowl. The visual representation is different from the usual kulfi – but the taste and the feeling of eating a kulfi turned out to be just the same. Ever since I made Carrot Kheer , I’ve wanted to continue using carrots in desserts. Carrots enhance the rich texture required in kulfis. I was also happy with the colour that I got – it reminded me of the golden yellow colour of alphonso/hapus mangoes. Everyone at home loved the dish and that made me really happy.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 1 muffin tray
Time: 60 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 3 cups milk
  • 5-6 saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 can unsweetened condensed milk
  • 8-10 pistachios (optional)

Carrot kulfi

Carrot kulfi


Method:

  • Soak the almonds in warm water for 30 mins and peel off the skin.
  • Wash and peel the carrots. Cut them into rounds.
  • Cook the carrots and almonds together on a medium flame. Once they become soft, switch off the flame. Let it rest for around 15 mins at room temperature.
  • Now pulse the cooled almonds and carrot mixture in a blender into a purée.
  • Take the milk in a vessel and bring it to a boil. Add saffron threads into the boiling milk. Then add the blended mixture into the milk and keep stirring.
  • Once the milk has almost reduced to half, add in the condensed milk. Stir well and let the whole mixture remain on the flame for 5 more mins.
  • Finally switch off the flame and let the whole mixture rest in room temperature for 20 mins.
  • Now pour the kulfi mixture into the muffin tray and keep it in the freezer for around 4-6 hrs. Before serving, keep it out for some time so that you are able to removed the hardened ice mold easily. Enjoy this delicious carrot and almond kulfi which will make you want to eat more.

Tips:

  • Keep stirring the mixture when it is on the heat. You don’t want the milk to scald and stick the the bottom of the vessel.
  • Let the mixture come to room temperature before pouring into moulds and freezing.
  • You can cover the top of the muffin tray with plastic wrap while it is setting to avoid “skin” formation on the surface of the kulfi.

Kala Thai Coconut Ice Cream – ECP Kiosk

When in Singapore, it’s easy to go for a stroll by the beach. A gentle breeze, catching the sunset and strolling hand-in-hand along the beach quite literally spells ‘love is in the air’. Just ahead of Valentine’s Day, I thought of sharing my experience of an ice cream stall that I chanced upon at ECP. And I am glad I did! Opened in ECP (next to Cheers / Burger King) was an illuminated kiosk that was labeled Kala Thai Coconut Ice cream. It had banners stuck on it which indicated that it sold fresh coconut ice cream and bottled coconut juices. We decided to stop by and grab a scoop of this natural ice cream.

The Orders
There was only one thing to order – the coconut ice cream. We informed the kiosk owner that we wanted one cup of ice cream. Little did we know that it would be served in a smooth coconut shell that looked so pretty. The owner asked us to choose our toppings. At this point, I was intrigued as I really did not expect customized offerings at a kiosk. This ice cream came with unique offerings – corn, peanuts, water chestnuts, and some sort of plum seeds. To top all of that was a delicious dollop of Gula Melaka (jaggery juice). I was apprehensive about all these flavours together but then when I took the first bite, I realized it was totally delicious! Such smooth coconut ice cream with no compromise on freshness is a rare find. The ice cream was not overly sweet, and had great bite from the toppings. The fresh coconut on the sides of the cup was so tender that it could be scraped off with a plastic spoon.

Kala Thai coconut ice cream

Kala Thai coconut ice cream at $4


During the discussion with the owner, we got to know that it is seasonal. This time they will be here till April. The owner was very friendly and shared how the ice cream is freshly imported from Thailand. Its also easy to keep updated via their FB page where they announce when they put up a kiosk with intermittent gaps in between. So do give them a try this season. Take a lovely walk along the beach, watch the sun set and have your heart’s content of this uniquely exotic Thai dessert because some things are priceless 🙂 Keep smiling and love your loved ones!
Coconut icecream

Coconut icecream

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Desserts/ Ice cream ★★★★
Nearest MRT: Bedok / Tanah Merah / Better reachable by bus
Address: Kiosk, Next to Cheers/Burger King, Car Park C3, East Coast Park, Singapore 449894
Timings: Tue-Fri: 11am – 5pm ; Sat-Sun: 11am – 8pm
Website: https://www.facebook.com/kala.icecream