With the recommendation from Stephanie, Polly and I went to Il Pappagllo Caffe at Hastings St and Sperling for our third cake meet. It was quite a long drive from Richmond.
Pappagallo Caffe is a small, cozy caffe with lots of retro posters decorating its walls. The caffe has a good flow of customers.
There are a few cheesecakes to choose from; blueberry, strawberry, caramel, turtles, tiramisu, etc.
Polly went for the turtles cheesecake. It was topped with chocolate, caramel and nuts. It is a very rich tasting cheesecake. The crust is quite thick and crumbly though.
Polly enjoyed her cheesecake with a cup of cappuccino topped with cinnamon powder.
I opted for the strawberry cheesecake for its vibrant color. The tanginess of the strawberry accentuates the cheese flavor. The cheesecake cost only $3.75 per slice and the serving is really big, value for money. The presentation of the cheesecake is rather plain and homey style unlike those served in Trees Organic Coffee and Death By Chocolate.
I had a caffe latte topped with chocolate powder to go with my cheesecake. The drinks cost between $2.50 and $3.00.
Stephanie, thank you for such a great recommendation.
Updated 14th Jan 2011: This restaurant had been closed according to Urbanspoon.com.
It’s cake meet time again with Polly. We continue our quest for the best cake place in town.
This time, we decided to try Death by Chocolate in Metropolis. We were there around 10:30 am and we were the only customers there.
We were quite disappointed with the menu as there were only about five to choose from instead of the many we saw in their website. We ended up with Heavenly Dilemma which has both chocolate and cheese in it.
The Heavenly Dilemma is served in a pool of white chocolate sauce with dollop of milk chocolate sauce. The crust has a very intense chocolate flavor. The cake is topped with some dark chocolate icing too. This thin slice of cake costs $7.95.
We enjoyed the cake with a chai tea and hot apple cider.
We did some window shopping in Metropolis before we ended up in the food court for lunch. It was about noon and the crowd had started. We browsed through all the food stalls and finally we made up our mind to have Nandos Chicken and Tim Horton’s new chilli and garlic bread combination.
The chilli has meat, beans and mushrooms but not spicy. It goes well with the garlic bread. We wished we had more garlic bread as there was more than enough chili for dipping. This costs only $3.99.
Polly also bought a cheesy scone from Tim Horton for only 50cents. Polly loves scones.
We had a fun day out and look forward to the next meeting.
A few weeks ago, Polly invited me to join her in search for the best cheesecake in Vancouver. We both loves cheesecakes a lot. So, we did some research and found this place called the Trees Organic Coffee from the internet. Polly’s friends also recommended this place.
Trees Organic Coffee is located on Granville between West Hastings and Pender in Vancouver. The shop was decorated warmly with tables inside and outside of the shop. It is a trendy boheniam cafe. We decided to sit inside at a window sit to enjoy our cheesecake as the weather is a bit too cold for us that day.
Yup, they did put up a sign saying that they have the “Best Cheesecake in Vancouver”.
We were there before 11:00 am and there was not many customers at the time. After browsing through the cheese cakes on display, I decided to order the New York Cheesecake. The New York Cheesecake was really creamy and just melted in your mouth. Most of the slice cheesecake cost $5.60.
I also ordered a grand Cappuccino to go with the cheesecake. The drink cost $3.55.
Polly ordered a slice of Mocha Cheesecake. The Mocha cheesecake has a chocolate crust which goes well with the Mocha flavour cheesecake.
Polly also ordered a grand Latte for $3.55. The bitterness in the coffee compliments well with the creaminess of the cheesecake.
I noticed that the shop uses organic and fair-trade coffee bean as there is a huge bag of coffee bean with the fair-trade label on it. As in any great coffee, they are roasted in-house.
At around noon, there was a steady crowd of customers coming in for lunch like panini sandwiches, quiche, subs, etc.
Polly and I had a good time enjoying our cheesecakes and coffees. We chatted about everything from work, kids, families and even about our retirement, :-). We decided to have this get together every other Tuesday. Our quest is to find the best of cakes in Vancouver.
Anyone care to join us? Send me an email at email@example.com.
Thanks for enduring my many postings on my trip to Singapore and Malaysia. This is the final posting in this series. From tomorrow I am gonna take a long rest from blogging and pass the baton over to Suanne. It was just a 2 week trip but did manage to blog 28 entries in all. Wow, Suanne had not blogged for 4 straight weeks — that’s not fair!
Joyce treated me to dinner at the Zipangu Japanese Restaurant in the Shangrila Kuala Lumpur. The Shangrila KL is perhaps still the No 1 hotel in KL. It used to have been voted as the No 1 hotel in the world. Joyce had a corporate membership in the hotel. For that she gets 50% off.
We were deciding over whether we should go for the RM$98 (US$ 25+) Buffet or try something different. We opted for the Japanese restaurant because there were a long queue at the buffet restaurant waiting to break fast (it was Ramadhan then).
The entrance were grand. We had to wind our way along walls of wine. Pretty amazing and I was thinking … gosh! how much is this meal gonna cost!!
The restaurant were impressively laid out. We could see the kitchen at work from where we were. This is so authentically high end Japanese restaurant. The service were prompt. They must have the best waiters and waitresses in the entire city. They not only looked pretty/handsome but they do come across as very intelligent and professional.
Joyce and I could not recognize most of what was in the menu. So, we opted for the Set Dinner. Each set dinner costs RM98, same price as the buffet. I went for the Tempura Set Dinner while Joyce chose the Salmon Set Dinner.
What came first was a tea pot for each of us! I initially thought that it was tea.
Opening the lid, we found out that it is soup with piece of meat in it. We mulled for sometime over how we’re supposed to take this. That was when the waiter came over and ever so politely explained to us the dish.
You see, we are suppose to first pour the soup into a small plate and sip from it. Forget the lime on the plate — it’s supposed to be squeezed into the pot.
After the soup’s gone, we picked the meat from the pot and eat it from the plate. It’s basically one prawn and mushrooms. This was really good — great start.
They also served a small bowl of salad. I am never a fan of cold salad.
Next dish looked good until we’re told that it’s duck liver! I wished they did not described this to me because it tasted really good. At this point, I really felt like one of the judges on Iron Chef tasting unique and exotic food.
Some vegetables. Nice and crunchy … don’t know what it is called. I like it even though it is a cold dish.
This is Joyce’s salmon main dish. The salmon fillet looked too small to me. Joyce said it was really good.
Oh yeah, what do you call this? Daikon?
This is my partly eaten Tempura main dish. It was not bad but compared to Joyce’s salmon, I wished I had ordered that instead.
Miso soup … must have miso soup, right? BTW, is it right that the proper way to drink it is to slurp as loud as possible straight from the bowl? I guess it is because they did not give us soup spoons like those we find in chinese meals.
We ended up with green tea ice cream with a dash of red bean paste. It was quite different but would still prefer chocolate anytime!
For Malaysian standards, this meal is really expensive. For Canadian standards, this is a steal. Anyway, thanks for this meal Joyce. It was great meeting up with you again and catching up on old times.
So … here it is … the last posting on my trip to Singapore and Malaysia! What do you think? You think I had fun? At the end of the two weeks I was hopelessly home sick and was just dying to get home to Vancouver.
Recipes for the next few weeks … no more travel … over to you, Suanne!
On my last full day in Malaysia, I brought my niece and nephews for brunch in the neighborhood shopping mall. It was only about a 5 minutes drive to the Jusco shopping mall in Kepong. There were a lot of choices at the mall and it took us a while to decide where to eat.
We came across the Red Door. What enticed us was the big poster of their menu. They serve mainly traditional Malaysian food, specifically Nyonya cuisine.
Oh yeah, I had always wanted to say this. In Malaysia, the standard cutlery is a spoon and a fork for almost all food except for noodles. When I first came to Canada, it took me a while to get used the cutleries issued, which is just a fork and knife. We got to ask for a spoon. Canadians used a fork even for rice where in Malaysia, the spoon is used to scoop up the rice and the fork is to push food onto the spoon.
I ordered the Sambal Fish Rice. This dish came with two fish about 8 inches long. Don’t know what type of fish this is though. The chilli sauce is a bit sourish and certainly spicy. The okra (known better as ladies fingers in Malaysia) and eggplant (or Brinjal) adds a good balance to the spicy-sourish taste to the chilli.
The Sambal Fish Rice came with prawn crackers, fried peanuts, eggs and the sambal. I like mixing it all up before diving in. This dish costs RM9.80 (less than USD $3)
I can’t remember who ordered what but here are the rest of the dishes we had. Below is the fried rice. It’s a simple dish served uniquely on a small wok. This one costs RM5.80 (about USD $1.50).
Theirry ordered the Asam Laksa which is a sour fish based soup noodles quite popular in Malaysia. I think this one is very spicy because I think Thierry was struggling to finish the entire bowl. This dish costs RM5.80 (about USD $1.50).
Sambal Prawn Rice came with a choice of steam rice or Nasi Kerabu. We had a mix. Nasi Kerabu is the blue colour rice. The prawns in the sambal was quite small. Looks really good.
For appertizers we ordered something called Top Hats. It came with fried cups and filled with shredded vegetables. The dipping chilli sauce was great — really hot. This is about RM3.50 (USD $1 only).
We liked the Golden Money Bags. It is basically the same as the Top Hats, just packaged differently. I was thinking that this type of food would be great in picnics or parties — good conversation pieces.
My favourite niece, Tracy, ordered the Hainanese Chicken Chop. It looked very delicious — with fried potato wedges and carmelized onions on gravy.
This is what I had for drinks — cendol. I had so much shaved ice dessert the past few days. I can’t get enough of them. I am gonna miss these type of shaved ice dessert when I get back to Canada.
The ABC … looked awesome except that I hate red beans in the ABC.
This is the penultimate posting on my series on my trip to Singapore and Malaysia. I have been posting for the past three weeks. After this series, Suanne will take over and post her recipes. She had quite a bit lined up already. I had a few emails from people saying that they miss Suanne’s recipes … so stay tuned.
Met up with James over lunch in PJ. He suggested Chicken Rice near his work place and so I made my way to PJ after spending the morning in KL downtown and the Central Market. I wanted to post yet another non-food entry but decided, no, I should just stick to food!
If I recall correctly, this restaurant is called the New Ipoh Chicken Rice. In chinese, it’s better known as nga-choy-gai (chicken with bean sprout), This is a typical Hainanese Chicken Rice dish.
The bean sprout is a specialty of Ipoh which produces beansprouts quite unlike those you find elsewhere in the country. Ipoh people believes that this is because the hard water in Ipoh makes their beansprouts particularly tastier.
We had a choice of the normal farmed chicken or the kampung (village) chicken. The kampung chicken are leaner because they are not couped up in dens and are left to run freely. We ordered the kampung chicken to share.
I ordered their “oiled” rice (yow-fun). It’s steamed rice and mixed with the chicken fat. It give a really nice aroma and flavour.
Daniel decided to have noodles instead of rice to go with the chicken. Ipoh is also famous for their sar-hor-fun (flat rice noodles) in soup.
I really like the innards of the chicken. I know a lot of people get turned off by these stuff but I really like this. It had liver, intestines, heart, lungs … yummy!
Beef balls in soup rounded off the order. It was a really nice and simple meal. Not sure how much these costs though — hmmm, I can’t even remember if I paid for it or Daniel did.
It must have been a special birthday for my mum this year. It had been many years since she had all her three children present to celebrate her birthday. I can see the gladness in her eyes that I was there this year.
To me, my mum had gone through a lot. I did witness some ups and downs. She was never a person who would let us know her problems — I wish she would be open. I will always remember her sacrifices for me and making sure that I had what I needed over her own needs. She does not ask for much at all.
When I was in my teens, I had a serious car accident in which I almost died. Mum was there in the hospital with me every day — even though she had to travel almost a hundred kilometers to bring me lunch. That is because she wanted me to have better food than what was served in the hospital.
My brother bought a coffee flavoured birthday cake for her. My sister came around too with her kids. So did my dad’s youngest sister. I can guess what her birthday wish was for … must have been wishes for others more than for herself!
After the cake at home, we decided to go out for dinner. For nostalgia sake, we decided on going to a favourite restaurant of ours. Leong Ya had been in business since I was really young. I remember that the family took a long drive on weekends every now and then. Back then Leong Ya operated from a shack and their specialty was Yong Tau Foo and Paper Wrapped Chicken. Their business grew over the years until the time when they moved to a building of their own. Their business was so good that one had to endure long waits for a table and then wait for like 30 minutes before they come by to take our orders!
However, Leong Ya had seen better times. They are now operating from a shoplot and a lot more smaller than it used to be. When we were there, there were only four tables of customers. The guy who come around to take our orders (yeah, the one who we had to wait for 30 minutes!), is still there.
We ordered some Yong Tau Foo, which is a variety of fish paste filled food.
You have seen these on a previous posting — paper wrapped chicken. They are very well known for this dish and maybe one of the first to serve this in a big way. People travel a long way for this.
The Wild Boar Curry is another specialty of Leong Ya. This is considered exotic meat in Malaysia. You don’t find many places that serves wild boar meat. The meat is tougher and darker than pork.
We also ordered some greens fried with sambal.
My parents seems to always order gu-low-yook whenever we’re eat out in a chinese restaurant. I don’t know what’s the better word to describe this in English. I only know that it’s a deep-fried pork dish and cooked with tomato sauce.
I asked for a plate of noodles too because it looked so good on a table next to ours.
There were 12 of us in this dinner. Guess how much this costs? It’s only RM140 … about USD$40. I can see why Leong Ya had so few customers these days. While the menu is basically still the same but it tastes just so-so.
I met up with Sin Seong, Kok Keong and Terence right after the supper in Putrajaya. They were my Boys Brigade buddies. We had served in the Boys Brigade from our early teen days right up to our twenties. I remember that we used to go out for supper until very late at night, talked during camping trips the whole night … those were the days!
We met at the Secret Recipe Cakes and Cafe. I don’t know where I was really because Terence did the driving. KL had changed a lot and there are a lot of new neighbourhoods. Anyway, it appears that there are a lot of Secret Recipes all over the city.
Secret Recipe’s specialties are their cakes — in particular chocolate cakes and cheese cakes. We ordered some drinks and a few pieces of cakes to share. Sin Seong claimed that their chocolate banana cake is the best around. It was really creamy and has a rich layer of chocolate coating. The banana provides a certain lightness to the flavour. This is really good … hmmm, I wonder what Suanne would say if I asked her to try making one of these. By the way, each piece costs RM5.50 (about USD$1.50).
We also ordered a Black Pepper Lamb Pie. I actually did not eat this at all — not that it’s not good. The filling looks very appealing and juicy. This one costs RM5.80 / USD $1.50.
The Chocolate Fudge Cake is a lot like the chocolate banana cake. Equally creamy and rich. I had hoped that the slices are bigger.
Over all the prices of the cakes are quite OK but what is expensive is their drinks. A small glass of Coke is RM4 / USD$1 — truly exorbitant for Malaysian standards.
While the cakes were great, what I truly enjoyed the most was the time I had catching up with them. Even though it had been so long since I last met them, it was like it was only yesterday.