Wednesday, 23 March 2016

NOM Bistro & Bar | Shouldn't they light the candle for a birthday cake surprise?

If someone were to ask me to name one thing about my experience at NOM Bistro & Bar, it is most probably not going to be about the rainbow cakes. But instead, I am going to bring up about how the staff managed to almost ruin a birthday surprise which I have planned in advance for SH.   

Okay, but complaints aside, the rainbow cake was really delicious! I even bought one home for my brother! 

I had quite high expectations about the cafe because I have seen it appear in my Instagram and other social media feeds all the time. But we had a shock when we arrived at 7pm. The place was COMPLETELY EMPTY. And it's just really awkward and funny that Siyuh has to tell the staff that we had made a reservation. 

Yuzu Pear Blossom Tea
Shizouka green tea with yuzu, white orchid and nashi pear

We expected tea leaves but the tea was served with tea bag instead. Quite disappointing to be paying $7.9 for a tea bag :/ 

Root Beer Float

Hazelnut Latte

Such a disappointment.. The coffee was my biggest regret order.. I didn't even want to finish it if not for the money spent. 

Truffle Fries

Grilled Pacific Dory 

Bacon Aglio Olio

Portobello Fingers

Mushroom Alfredo

I only ordered this because of the word truffle. Yeah apparently, truffle fries isn't enough to satisfy my truffle cravings. But I realized that most truffle pastas do not contain meat, I'm not sure why though. The truffle taste was really strong and I even dipped my fries into the pasta sauce. It would have been perfect if I could change the pasta to Spaghetti and perhaps add some bacon/ prawn. 

The other dishes were pretty decent, but the downside was that the mash potato for Grilled Pacific Dory tasted like the ones I had in my school canteen. The sauce was quite flavorful though, I think it's probably one of the more worthy dishes since it's only $16.90, as compared to the pastas which cost $14.90 already. 

Anyway.. back to the birthday surprise incident.. 

Salted Caramel Rainbow Cake

When SH went to the toilet, I told the staff that when he's back, they can bring out the slice of cake with a candle for a surprise. I even called to reserve beforehand, and asked whether they could just serve after our meals because I didn't want to walk to the counter and make things suspicious. They told me that it's better for me to tell the staff personally in case they are too busy. (Btw, the cafe isn't even crowded at all, but fine.. I secretly told the staff when I headed out looking for toilet)

When SH was back, the staff walked over and asked me if there's one more person. Like seriously? we're the first group that step into the cafe and you cannot even remember how many people there are. I don't blame her entirely for that, maybe she has too much things on hand. But how about you double check with me beforehand while I was informing you about the surprise? I didn't hear what she was saying but Siyuh did. Not sure if SH heard anything but then I had to step away from the table to clarify with her.

The staff only had a simple task to do. Light up the cake and bring it out for a birthday surprise.

Who on earth will place a lighter on the table and expect us to light the cake ourselves when it is meant to be a SURPRISE? *rolls eyes* I already told her that it's a surprise... I think I have to really make it super clear if I am ever planning another mini birthday surprise for someone.

"Please prepare a slice of cake, put the candle on the cake and light up the candle before serving it."
So when the cake was served.. Siyuh & I exchanged looks with some awkward silence before we just said ok nevermind, Happy birthday SH! And we lighted the cake ourselves before singing him a birthday song.

[Rant done]

I still hope you like the half ruined surprise though! HAHA. 

On a positive note, at least the cake was quite delicious, the texture was soft and fluffy and the caramel wasn't too overpowering. It's not easy to find rainbow cakes that I will like, probably because of the overmixing when it comes to adding colours. I have tasted a few rainbow cakes before, they either tasted medicore or way too dry. So I was really happy with this! 

NOM Bistro & Bar
400 Kallang-Paya Lebar Way
Macpherson Community Club Level 1
Singapore 379131

The dishes are decent, but I can't see myself making a second visit to this cafe, unless I am craving for their rainbow cakes. The cafe didn't have much pretty ambience that entices me to go back anyway. 

Remember to ask them to light the candle if you're preparing for a birthday surprise :0

BTW, just a short shoutout to Photolove prints! Thanks for sending me a set of 24 pcs! 

Get your own set of vintage prints with a 10% discount code <monsdiary10>

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Little Twin Stars Cafe @ Dim Sum Icon Hong Kong

Perhaps it's girls nature, I really love visiting any type of character theme cafes! I got to know about Gudetama after the cafe went viral on social media. I see videos of people poking holes into Gudetama buns with "shit-like" filling flowing out of the butt. And then I started to take note of this character. So lazy and cute. 

I told my family that it's a must to include this in our Hong Kong itinerary because I really wanted to squeeze shit out of a bun take photos of cute Gudetama buns.

But it turns out that Gudetama theme was already over, and it's replaced with Little Twin Stars. I'm totally fine with that, especially because Little Twin Stars is my mum's favourite cartoon character! She says that Kiki & Lala resembles my brother & I (How sweet). 

No Gudetama? That's fine. Because I was already so excited over all the pastel pink and blue decorations.

By the time I catch a glimpse of the menu, I was hyperventilating while glancing through the adorable food designs. You know what? Before stepping into this cafe, I already had a few meals. But I just had to stuff in more food because it's LITTLE TWIN STARS. 

Meanwhile, we're trying hard to hit the minimum order/pax because my dad doesn't want to eat anymore. 

We ordered a teapot of tea because of the free gifts!! Kiki and lala coasters! Super adorable!!! I just can't bear to use it. My mum got one set for herself too! I wanted to use the pink coaster to match my pink princessy room but I just didn't want to dirty it. At first, they served us the tea in normal plain teapots. But when we asked if it was possible to have the Twin Stars teapots, they immediately changed a new set for us! #supergoodservice 

No Gudetama buns, so we ordered the smiley face buns with custard filling. 

Egg yolk buns
$39 HKD / 3 pcs
$6.90 SGD

Only one reason to order this...

It's actually quite messy because the custard will leak everywhere onto our hands. But it's worth to look at this. Even better if it's Gudetama pooping. Sigh.

Steamed Egg White w/ Milk in Coconut Shell
$69 HKD
$12 SGD

Their Little Twin Stars desserts are very delicate and pretty as well. Coconut egg pudding is actually one of my top favourite HK desserts of all time! It definitely doubled my excitement! Although the dish was already not very hot by the time I tasted it, it was still considered not bad. After all, I don't really mind about the taste of a themed cafe as long as its decent enough! 

Milk Tarts (2pcs)
$39 HKD
$6.90 SGD

The egg tarts are so lovely too!! And their utensils are in Little Twin Stars designs as well. Although the prices are a little more expensive than usual, I think it's worth it because you can't get Insta-worthy food like these at other places. It's definitely worth to drop by at least once! I'm really curious what will the next character theme be! 

Having a Little Twin Stars meal at Dim Sum Icon was a highlight of my HK trip! I highly recommend Sanrio lovers or anyone who likes cute cartoon characters to give this a try! Do drop by at Mak's Noodle and Australia Dairy Company for a tea break too! 

Take a look at the menu here! 

Dim Sum Icon
L308, 3/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Road, 
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
(Tsim Sha Tsui Station, Exit B1 or B2)

Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon-Sun)

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

I'll never go back to Marmalade Pantry again

I don't usually write really bad reviews on my blog, but I think this is worth mentioning because I was really upset that the price of the food did not deliver in terms of quality and taste.

I was really looking forward to dinner because I was really hungry that day and I was very excited to meet my Uni friends for a catch up session. I chose the outlet at Novena (Oasia Hotel) since I had a 1-for-1 mains promotion on my Entertainer app. But even with the discounts, what we paid for was still not worth it at all. This might or might not be a one-off problem, but it has definitely left me a very negative impression, and I never want to go back there again.

My friend was shocked when I told her the truth about my personal experience, because she thought that Marmalade Pantry is a cafe worth visiting. But here's my verdict.

Since I paid about $10 for a cup of milkshake, it is only reasonable for me to expect a creamy, thick and naturally-sweet tasting milkshake. But it's nothing like what I thought. Instead, I feel that I am drinking a less than average smoothie that tastes more like a cup of ice-blended drink. How I wished I had spend that $10 on 3 cups of bubble tea instead.

I was less than satisfied but I decided to pin my remaining hopes on the mains. 

Spicy Crabmeat Pasta

I haven't had a single piece of meat for the whole afternoon and I was really really craving for a good piece of meat (Sorry, I'm a true meat lover). I wasn't anticipating for anything luxurious but I also didn't ask for pieces of "minced" crab meat. Not sure what word should I use to describe. But oh well, I surely made the wrong choice of seafood but I took my first bite anyway. 

My first response was, "This tastes like Microwaved food!"

I am not Gordon Ramsay and I cannot 100% determine whether the food is microwaved, but the standards made me felt that way. It was really bad. If not microwaved, then the food truly needs some professional help. And if anyone thinks that I'm just being picky about my food, the 3 of us felt the same after tasting the food. 

The pasta was soggy and dried. It didn't taste freshly out from the pan, and my friends commented that their dish wasn't very hot. It only felt warm. 

Pat's seared scallop and prawn was still acceptable because of the prawn bisque sauce, which helps to prevent the pasta from drying out. But it was probably just a borderline pass for a price of $24. Perhaps too expensive for some.

And check out the plating of these dish. What does it remind you of??

In-flight meals!!!

I'd prefer in-flight meals though, at least it comes with appetizers, snacks, drinks and a dessert. This baked Snapper ($30) is not worth it. The fish is overcooked, dry and just the look of it is already not appetizing. If a dish is lacking in presentation skills, then the least the chef could do is to make it delicious to compensate for the plating. But nope, all of us felt that choosing this place was a mistake.

Pat and Jamie wanted to give the desserts a chance because reviews mentioned that the cakes were great. They ordered the Smores cupcake ($4.90). I personally prefer light and fluffy cakes, and this was too heavy and rich for my palate. But this is just my personal taste so I am not going to comment more about it.

Oh and on a side note, Jamie also noticed that the chef placed something into the MICROWAVE in the open kitchen. But when we asked the manager whether they use the microwave to heat up any of the mains, they told us that the microwave is only used for the lava cakes.

I am giving them the benefit of doubt since I did not see it for myself. But I am definitely not happy with the food.

Even though it was an unpleasant experience, I was really glad to meet the both of them!! See you girls soon!