Sunday, 28 June 2015

Mia's Review: Velvet Confectionery [Media Invite]

Over the weekend, I was really glad to be stuffed with nothing else but cakes, along with my blogger-buddies, JanelOYHZ and Andrea over at Velvet Confectionery.

 Located at Watermark Condominium, near Kith Cafe, it's a pretty simple looking, 'no gimmicks' kind of bakery cafe that can give you a river view with pretty simple alfresco seatings. 

But I do agree that the nearby construction works and buildings are a big distraction to a potentially awesome chillax weekend, sipping a cup of coffee 'by the river'. 

With minimal decorations to the cafe, patrons are directly shown the best of what they've got to offer upon stepping into the cafe. Their selection of cakes for the day!

But of course, they do serve pretty good coffees, tea and even some sparkling sodas to quench your thirst on a hot day.

Floral Berry & Passionfruit Sparkling Soda

It's a pity the cute straw didn't work out very well, as it kind of melted down in the drink for it's actually a layer of paper wrapped over plastic.
The icy soda was truly a saviour in the unforgivably hot weather and the taste is actually very light and with just a slight sweetness of the berries flavour and with a hint of floral. 

And... here comes the cakes!

Nutella Cheesecake

This definitely has to be my favourite of the lot with it's soft, creamy texture of nutella flavoured cheesecake seated on top of a generously thick later of cookie crumbs based that tasted just like the oh-so-yummy caramalised biscuits. 
Plus, there's even a Ferrero Rocher to up the omph-factor. Can you imagine that?

Carrot Cake

One of their best sellers, this carrot cake is truly of a monstrous serving size! Not a fan of carrot cakes at all, because I believe they're savoury (Andrea did mentioned she has tried a carrot cake elsewhere that's more savoury than sweet too), this carrot cake did kind of surprised me for they're pretty sweet! Stuffed full of carrot bits, raisins and chopped walnut, this will indeed be a popular choice for those who love a sweet carrot cake!

Red Velvet Brownie

A layer of densely packed, moist and slightly chewy brownie with an equally thick cream cheese layer with beautiful red velvet swirls that's chocolatey and yet not overly sweet. A good choice for those cream cheese and red velvet lovers out there. 

Lemon Olive Oil Yoghurt Loaf

Baked without any butter, but substituted with olive oil and yoghurt, this is indeed their more diet-friendly choice for those ladies who's keeping a tight watch on their waistline and yet is losing a battle against their sweets-craving. The omission of butter has given this cake loaf a pretty dense and moist-crumbly texture while it's taste is very lemony, light and not too sweet.

And that's not all, for we also have some cute cupcakes!

Devilish Chocolate Cupcake

I had this with a cup of coffee (they have pretty good coffee too) the previous time I visited and it was a true comfort to my pretty bad (and rushed) day at work earlier. I mean, chocolate and coffee, how can this combination not lift up your mood, huh? 

The cake can be pretty dense when it's just served straight out of the fridge, so do leave it sitting around for a while before digging in. The chocolate cake is actually pretty light in taste by itself but makes a good match when paired up with the rich chocolatey frosting. 

 Blue Velvet Cupcake

This is just like a red velvet cupcake, made blue. Just like the chocolate cupcake, the cake itself taste really light while the cream cheese frosting packed in all the sweetness you'll need for a cupcake. 
Well, kind of sick of looking at a red velvet cake, why not have them blue instead? 

And just a behind the scene shot....

Oyhz came without the mother of my Samsung NX Mini (her big, pink samsung camera) and had to use her trusted iPhone to snap pictures instead. 

For the month of July, Velvet Confectionery will be giving a promotion for all my lovely readers out there. All you have to do is to follow them on Instagram (@velvetconfectionery) and quote "MollyMia" to enjoy your choice of cake with a cup of hot coffee (latte or cappuccino) or hot tea for just $10 on weekdays. 

Velvet Confectionery is located at 7 Rodyk Street, #01-30 Watermark @ Robertson Quay
Opens 1030am - 630pm (Closed on Tuesdays)
For more information, visit their Facebook HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Mia's Review: Sinpopo Brand Revamped

Last year, I've visited this quaint, oldies cafe, Sinpopo Brand, located at the Katong area and when I revisited recently, I was surprised to find that they've revamped, both the decor and the menu!

Gone were the 60s feel to the decor, although the netty chairs still remain, and a more hip and chic feeling has taken over. 

Sng Muay Pop - $5

Brought over from the old menu, there's every reason for this drink to stay. Tangy and refreshing, topped with frozen ice balls with a piece of Sng Muay (sour plum) in the middle, it is a definite must try if you're looking to quench your thirst on a sweltering hot day.
Katong Jelly - $7

Apparently a popular drink in the 1960s, this icy concoction of lemonade, soda and agar agar definitely was a $7 well spent! The citrusy, refreshing drink paired up with chewy bits of agar agar was truly addictive.
Frisee Salad with Crispy Muah Chee - $10

Frisee lettuce tossed with battered muah chee, shimeji mushroom, sesame and nori, drenched in garlic hollandaise dressing.

First up, I usually go without dressing for my salads because I cannot stand the taste of most of them. But this garlic hollandaise sauce is absolutely delicious!
The lettuce is fresh and crisp, and the nori shreds and grated cheese just added on to the flavour of the salad, albeit I would have preferred less cheese (not a fan of cheese).
And those battered muah chee! The fried batter is crisp and fluffy, while the muah chee within were soft and chewy, with a mild sweetness on its own.
I'll gladly get a plate of them, anytime, if Sinpopo were to ever offer them as an ala carte dish.

 Chargrilled Pork Chop - $20

Premium cut of pork marinated in old school marinade and served with roasted potatoes and curry.

 I'm not a big fan of pork, but this grilled pork is really not bad! Even though not exactly tender and succulent, the cut is thick to give it a good bite and of course, more flavour. The roasted potatoes might be a little too hard for some, but the tasty curry gravy totally made up for it.

Gula Melaka Cake - $7

I know, $7 for such a small piece of humble-looking cake does seem exorbitant, but the cake is so dense, moist and packed full of the sweet-salty gula melaka flavour that it made the price tag seems more than acceptable. 

Sinpopo Brand is located at 458 Joo Chiat Road.
For more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Part Time Jobs for Students: 4 questions to ask yourself before you say yes to more money

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To all tertiary students out there, I’m sure at one point of time (especially when your timetable for the new semester felt pretty empty) you had asked yourself this question: To work part time, or not to work part time?

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Earn while you learn and learn while you earn by holding some part time jobs for students, why not?
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Even the superheroes are holding part time jobs, so why shouldn’t you start looking for some part time jobs in Singapore?

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But before you jump onto the bandwagon and start googling for part time jobs Singapore, there’s a few questions you should ask yourself first. 

1. What type of work do you enjoy?
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Well, it might be just a part time job that takes up at most just 4 hours of your time a day for that few days per week. But still, finding a part time job doing things that you enjoy doing will give you loads of happiness and fulfillment on top of a fatter wallet, so why not be a chooser?
Be it telemarketer, home tutor, service crew, or even a uber/grabcar driver, just take your time and think it though. If you were to spend 4 hours of your day doing something consecutively, what would you rather do?

2. What hours can you work?
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Can you afford to throw in a few hours of work before or after classes on your weekdays? Or would you want to ‘burn’ your weekends and say no to social life once and for all? The type of hours you can afford to work greatly determine what kind of jobs you can take up, so start looking at your class schedule and start planning!

3. How much money do you need?

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Well, are you looking to kill time due to an exceptionally free class schedule this semester or you’re actually cash strapped?
A F&B service crew probably earns you barely $10 an hour while being a home tutor can easily fetch you 3 times that hourly pay, along with more stress and responsibilities.
Decide on exactly how much money do you need (not want) and then put in just that amount of effort to earn enough. Remember, you’re a student taking a part time job, not a full time salaried worker taking part time studies.

4. What are your priorities?
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As mentioned in point 3, you’re a student taking a part time job, not a full time salaried worker taking part time studies. You always have time for things you put first, so set your priorities right. This is coming from my own experience, so do not take this with just a pinch of salt (take at least two, lah!). When I was in my 3rd year in university, I was blinded by the amount of cash I was getting from my part time job, so much so that I compromised on my studies just to chalk up that few extra hours a week to earn more. Needless to say, my results took a huge hit. Semester GPA of less than 1, have you heard of that before?
As a student, your top priorities should always be your studies. You may compromise on your social life for more cash, and that’s the limit.

Never, ever, allow your part time job to affect your studies.

Till then,
Mia Foo

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Mia's Review: Bricks'N'Cubes Cafe

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Finally, I'm back with another food review!

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Located at The Cathay, Bricks'N'Cubes Café is a colourful, lego-themed café, designed with a passion for imagination. Their brightly coloured design utilises Dr. Max Luscher's colour psychology to inculcate happiness and foster creativity.

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Attracted by their avengers-themed burger set groupon deal, I took great pains to persuade T to drop by with me on a Sunday early afternoon, and found the café absolutely deserted. Frankly speaking, I was really surprised, judging from the fact that there is a groupon deal ongoing and I've expected a huge crowd on a Sunday.

And apparently, there's supposed to be an iPad at every table, with some sort of kid's game loaded inside, but they've already removed all the iPads at the tables (holder stands and all) and left them at a circular table at the other end of the café. Whether they're still powered on and loaded with the game(s) or not, I have no idea.

And first up, their service didn't really impress me much. I had to walk to the counter myself to get a menu from the staff, and get reminded by him, albeit in a very polite tone, that I have to return to the counter to make my orders.
And the real first impression killer was the menu. The menu book really.... sucks.
It's just a worn out clear folder slotted with crumpled papers with dish names and prices printed on them. You don't even get to see what the dishes (will/may) look like when served.

Anyway, let's move on to the main topic. Their food!

Avenger's Burger Set - $14.90

The result of a collaboration between a few brilliant local chefs, these colourful buns are made from natural ingredients, with no artifical flavouring, no gluten and no trans fat. 

Each set comes in 4 different coloured mini burger but there's only 3 flavours to choose from: Grilled Chicken,  Grilled Fish or Classic Beef. 

Needless to say, this is indeed an instagram-worthy dish! Such adorable looking mini burgers with such bright colours. 
But the good things end here.

The buns are pretty, but dry and hard, especially the outer skin. There seems to have a slight tinge of flavour in the buns (especially the orange bun, with a hint of citrus flavour) but it really didn't add any brownie points to the dish. 
The grilled chicken was pretty poorly done, with a strong 'frozen chicken taste' to it and thick globs of fats under the slightly slimy skin (the chicken definitely wasn't fully cooked on the grill, but probably in a microwave).
Grilled fish, albeit better than the chicken, was still nowhere near good. Just, acceptable and not as bad as the chicken. 
The french fries were also slightly soggy and dry inside. Didn't taste like they were freshly out from the fryer either. 

Rocky Beef Burger

T chose a beef burger and his only comment was: At least the food is (temperature) hot. 
So, unless you have young kids who absolutely adore playing with lego blocks, you might want to bring them over and perhaps, get them an ice cream treat (really, skip the mains). But if you're looking for a good, filling meal. My advice to you will be, "Go elsewhere."

Bricks 'N' Cubes Cafe is located at The Cathay, Level 2.
For more information, visit their website HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo
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