Thursday, 27 June 2013

Zomato: Write For A Bite Contest – I won!

Writing and food have always been huge interests of mine, so this recent bout of food-writing has certainly gripped me, and is something I'd definitely consider doing after – or even alongside – my dance career.

So I decided to start posting up some of my restaurant/café reviews on and for the fun of it, to stick my nose into the world of food-writing. I added 10 reviews on Monday, all taken from this blog and some slightly edited to make sure there's no missing context.

I knew that Zomato had a weekly contest of some sort, but I didn't know that I would win it 4 days after posting up my reviews! (Well I guess posting 10 lengthy reviews in a day did help with my chances...) In particular, the review about Assa (Zomato. Blog.) got me the reward. I got a congratulatory email from an admin from Zomato asking for information about postal address so that they can send me a voucher for a free meal at a top restaurant in London, as well as a goodie bag. (Which hasn't arrived yet)

I thought it wasn't a big deal, and that I'd just get some sort of ' £5 off your bill when you spend more than £20' thing, but the card entitled me a shocking £50 to spend at Bacco Restaurant & Wine Bar in Holborn! This made me so, so happy because a) free meals are heaven for students b) this free meal is in an actual, proper restaurant, so it's in a place higher than heaven c) It means that my review is good, and I officially have a definite 1% chance of becoming a food writer!

Friday, 21 June 2013

Café TPT

Tau huey is a favourite dessert among many young people in Singapore, and consists of silky-smooth, gelatinous beancurd in a sugar syrup. It is often served warm, but I personally prefer it chilled because of Singapore's tropical climate. It tastes sweeter too!

Anyway, Café TPT is a Chinese restaurant located on Wardour Street in Chinatown. It serves a wide array of common Chinese dishes, but their meat (pork and duck) were popular choices as noticed from the tables which my friends and I passed to get to the second story of the restaurant.

It isn't the prettiest place – plain, tiled floors, cream walls, crammed with as many tables as they can fit into the space.

However, many customers are keen on their dessert menu, which sells regular tau huey (chilled) for £3.50, and everything else at either £4 or £4.50. All the desserts are liquid-based, and are served in aluminium-lined wooden tubs – deep ones!

Although there are many choices, some dishes differ from another just by the addition of a fruit, or sago jellies. For example, the regular tau huey can come in mango 'soup', with red bean, or with fruit, among several other additions and variations. It's like how salad is basically lettuce, cucumber and dressing, but the British have created Niçoise, Wardour, Caesar, which are basically additions or renditions of what is, essentially, giraffe chow.

I ordered a tempting 'Mango & Coconut with Black Glutinous Rice & Sago'. The mango & coconut refers to a thin, creamy 'soup' with both flavours. It was served cold as well, and very delicious and refreshing! However, due to the use of coconut milk and the seemingly endless depth of the dessert tub, it's a good idea to come here with an empty stomach.

Café TPT is definitely a recommended place to visit with friends for a taste of good quality Chinese dessert!

Café TPT
21 Wardour Street
Soho, UK
020 7734 7980

Café Tpt on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Kit Kat x4! | Chunky Coconut, Chunky Hazelnut, Green Tea (Japan) and Cookies & Cream

When it comes to chocolate, I choose Cadbury over Godiva. I choose Mars over Hotel Chocolat. I choose Nestlé over fancy-schmancy Chöcôlatéei de Poshé (est. 89 BC). For me, a fat chocolate bar under a pounder brings me way more happiness than a skimpy box of chocolates with strange or boring flavours.

When I have a sweet craving, I want a Kit Kat Chunky to munch on, and not little bite-sized, heart-shaped truffles with a ruddy lemongrass filling. (I still have that horrid gustatory memory etched in my head. "Unpleasant" doesn't even cover a quarter of it.)

A shelf of chocolate bars is bound to be available just round the corner if you are anywhere near ample civilisation here in London. You will always find the usual: Mars bars, Aero, slabs of Cadbury Dairy Milk, slabs of Galaxy, Wispa bars, Bounty, and of course, Kit Kat Chunky bars.

Kit Kat Chunky Coconut was one of the four flavours participating in the Kit Kat Chunky Champion Campaign 2013 (Might as well call it the Kit Kat Khunky Khampion Kampaign) which ran from mid-January to mid-March, during which four new Kit Kat flavours were available in supermarkets, and consumers could vote for their favourite flavour online. The most popular flavour would then continue to be sold while the rest would just disappear slowly from our lives.

The coconut flavour came simply from the addition of a taste and fragrance. However, the bar is still no Bounty equivalent yet – much of it is still like any old regular Kit Kat Chunky. Coconut fans would relish, but I wouldn't go out of my way to get one of these, nor would I choose it over a normal Kit Kat Chunky.

Hazelnut and I have a connection. When I was a kid eating Nutella on toast almost every morning, I assumed that Nutella was simply the best-tasting chocolate product ever for a magical, unexplainable reason. I don't know why it took me such a long time to find out that the addition of hazelnut is accountable for bringing a nutty extra to the taste of chocolate in a Nutella jar, but when I did, I worshipped this combination – Ferrero Rocher made so much sense at last, and Hanuta was expectedly divine when I first tried it.

Naturally, the Kit Kat Chunky Hazelnut is my favourite of the lot. There's a creamy layer of hazelnut cream above the wafer layers, and it is all coated in chocolate – nothing can go wrong here.

I didn't bother with the other two flavours, but mint won, while choc fudge retreated into the corner with a crestfallen face that said: 'chocolate within chocolate... I thought I was special...' Like everybody else who was strongly rooting for a flavour other than the mint contender, I started a riot in my bedroom when I found out about the results online. I never eat anything mint, because it reminds me too much of toothpaste. Choc fudge just didn't make any sense to me at all. ('But... I swear I'm special...')

It might be way too late for any of this, but a last word must be put out there for the sake of justice: Kit Kat Chunky Hazelnut is the true winner. And you all know it. Deep inside.

I got Green Tea Kit Kats as a gift from my housemate when returned from Japan, her homeland. The bars are considerably smaller than Kit Kats sold elsewhere.

The bar is completely green, with specks of green tea powder. Nothing chocolate-related in sight so far.

My first reaction when biting into it was thinking: 'this simply tastes like white chocolate...' However, a very mild green tea taste rests on your mouth after a while, which is good, as it can go very wrong when it comes to tea, which can tread into the bitter zone. The chocolate also has a slightly grainy texture due to the green tea powder.

I wouldn't hesitate buying this flavour regularly if it were sold in the UK. White chocolate can tend to be too sweet and sickly sometimes, but the thinness of green tea helps to counter that – a really good combination choice. Arigato, Japan.

I was so psyched after hearing that they sold a cookies & cream flavour of Kit Kat. Cookies & Cream remains my favourite, staple ice cream flavour to date.

I don't really care if each twin bar is 107 calories, I just want to eat chocolate, which is undeniably unhealthy and fattening anyway!

In retrospect, this is a very poor interpretation of the blessed cookies & cream flavour. Eating it was a pleasure, with a combination of white and milk chocolate used in the coating of the regular wafer biscuits – the best of both worlds. But they could have either put in a little bit more effort and actually include cookies or cream in it, or rename the product.

Kit Kat is the first that comes to mind when I think of a chocolate bar. The variety of flavours caters to a wide range of tastebuds too! (not mentioned here are orange, peanut butter and dark chocolate)
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