Category Archives: Dessert

Singapore, Singapore – marché Mövenpick

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Food & Locations – We had never heard of the marché Mövenpick until we came across it in the 313@Sumerset mall the other day. On the main floor, it looks like a coffee shop and bakery (it has some very nice breads and rolls). If you go downstairs though you find a full, very large restaurant.

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This restaurant is one of 80 around the world (only two in North America, and unfortunately they are both in Toronto, Canada), though I have never come across them before. They seem to be very family friendly and even offer birthday packages for kids.  These packages start at $29.90 SD (Singapore Dollars) per child with a minimum of 10.

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When you enter the restaurant, you are given a card, much like a credit card. As you wander about the floor you choose the items you want to eat. You hand the cook/server your card and they electronically record your selection. You do have to be careful or you could easily run up a pretty hefty bill.

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When you are done eating, you exit through a cashier who scans your card and then prepares a bill based upon your selections. I was happy to find that Apple Pay was accepted here.

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We tried marché for dinner one night, then again for breakfast. The food was very good and, for the most part, prepared to your order. It is a little expensive, but then Singapore is an expensive city to live in. Shown above is the daily special of “White Asparagus Savory Crepe” at $19.90 SD or about $14.80 USD at today’s exchange rate. You do get a good meal for your money. That Crepe is about 14″ long and about 3″ in diameter and comes with a side salad.

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There is a station (shown above) where you can have a pasta dish prepared.

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There is also a salad station where you choose a small, medium or large plate, then fill it with your choice of salads and vegetables.

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There is a selection of meats and fish that you can have prepared to your taste. About the only difference we saw between the dinner and breakfast menu was the availability of omelets and waffles during breakfast. The omelet was good, but the ingredients were fixed – onions, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

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There is a dessert station where they have ice cream and baked goods. After our dinner, we tried a couple of their desserts. A Vanilla Marange and a piece of Praline Chocolate cake. They were both very good.

Would I come back to marché? – definitely, though I am not sure if I would come for breakfast again. If you are in the Somerset MRT (subway) Station area in Singapore, this is a place I would recommend.


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Japan, Tokyo – Cookie Time Cookie Bar Harajuku

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We were out exploring Tokyo a few days ago. We came out of the Harajuku subway station and started down the street. We unexpectedly came upon the Cookie Time Cookie Bar. The shop is located at 1-21-15 Jingumae | 1F Napole Harajuku Bldg., Shibuya 150-0011, Tokyo Prefecture. This was quite a different dessert place.

They had several different types of cookies, but we controlled ourselves and only ordered three. They were served warm, and they were all very good.

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We thought that the “freakshakes” (see the red sign to upper left) looked intriguing. As we sat discussing which one to try, an American couple sitting next to us overheard us talking about the shakes. They suggested the Nutella shake, which they had ordered. We took their advice and we were not disappointed.

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What can I say? This was an awesome shake. And yes, that is a chocolate cookie topping it off.

I chatted with some of the young women working at the shop. CookieTime got its start in 1983 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two Cookie Bars are now open, one in Queensland and the other in Tokyo. My wife and I both believe one of these shops would do great in the Domain or Domain Northside areas back in Austin.

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I told the young ladies working at CookieTime I wrote a blog and asked them for a photo. They (two Americans and an Australian) gathered around their “cookie monster” and posed for the shot above.

If I am in Tokyo again and have the chance, I will be returning to CookieTime! If you are in Tokyo and near the Meiji Shrine or Takeshita Street, take a few minutes and drop by CookieTime. You will not be disappointed!

 


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USA, New York, New York – Zabar’s

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While in New York, I unexpectedly ran into a friend from when I worked at IBM in Austin, TX. While we were looking for a place to eat dinner, he introduced me to Zabar’s. Zabar’s is located right on Broadway at 2245 Broadway (at 80th Street), New York, NY 10024. Zabar’s Store Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am – 7:30pm, Saturday: 8am – 8pm, and Sunday: 9am – 6pm.

Zabar’s was opened in 1934 at their current location. The beginning found Zabar’s with a modest 22-foot wide storefront, today it nearly spans the entire block. As they say on their website:

The principles and practices of our founder and father continue to guide us: Respect the customer. Never, ever stint on quality. Offer fair value. And last but not least, keep searching for the new and wonderful.

Without question, this last point has accounted for some memorable moments. Back in the 1960’s, we introduced New York to Brie, in the ‘70’s we brought them sun-dried tomatoes and gnocchi, and in the ‘80’s, we got so excited about caviar – and wanted everyone to taste it – that our prices set off a so-called “Caviar War”. (Incidentally, we won.)

Over the years, the business kept growing, and today we span practically the entire block front. With our sons, daughters and their cousins, we’re still at it – hand-slicing meltingly delicious smoked fish behind our deli counter…offering tastes of the latest artisanal cheeses…setting out fresh-baked batches of rugelach (it’s our Bubbe’s recipe)…overseeing the roasting of our special coffee blends (we sell 400,000 pounds a year!)

You can find all sorts of things to eat at Zabar’s. They have a large bakery with all sort of goodies. They also have a wide range of fish, meat, and cheese. There is also a small cafe attached to Zabar’s and the second floor is filled with various housewares. In addition to what you can walk in and buy, they do a brisk online business, particularly at holidays. They have nice catalogs of both their food and housewares offerings.

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For those who want to pick up something pre-cooked to take home, they have a great selection. I took my wife and granddaughter into Zabar’s the night after I was introduced to it and they loved it. We each were able to pick something appealing out of the ready-made counter (photo above) to take home for dinner.

We liked it so much we returned the next night for dinner again. We would have made three nights in a row, but it closed (it was a Sunday) before we could get there the third night.

Should I find myself in New York, hungry and near Broadway and 80th, Zabar’s will be where I go.


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Spain, Barcelona – chök the chocolate kitchen

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2016 cruise – Day 3 – After visiting Late Pau Claris, we came back to La Rambla for a little shopping. We had read about the cafe “chök the chocolate kitchen” that specializes in chocolate and specialty donuts. The shop we visited is located at c/ del Carme, 3 t: +34 933 042 360 and was just off of La Rambla.

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This turned out to be another wonderful bakery!

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We chose a couple of their donuts as a ‘second breakfast’ to sustain us for the rest of our day in Barcelona.

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As you can see from the photo above, these were not your everyday donuts. These bakeries were wonderful places to visit, but I am glad that they are so far away. Having them close at hand would be too much of a temptation.


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Spain, Barcelona – Laie Pau Claris Bookstore

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2016 Cruise – Day 3 – While on our travels, my wife and I like to visit local bookstores. On our third day in Barcelona we had breakfast in our hotel then headed to the bookstore Laie Pau Claris (Carrer de Pau Claris, 85, 08010 Barcelona, Spain).

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Not only was it a nice bookstore, it also had a very nice cafe where we had a cup of hot chocolate.

You can follow Laie on Twitter


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Spain, Barcelona – El Arte del helado

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2016 Cruise – Day 2 – After our wonderful dinner at the Restaurant La Rambla, we headed on up the La Ramba towards our hotel. Along the way we came across the El Arte del helado. They had a wide selection and we each got a gelato to top off our evening.

There seemed to gelato or bakeries in every block. This wrapped up our second day in Barcelona. I finished the day with 16,176 steps according to my Apple Watch.


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Netherlands, Amsterdam, Cafe Chocolat (Schiphol Airport)

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2016 cruise – In route from Houston to Barcelona to meet up with our cruise ship we passed through Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. We discovered the Cafe Chocolat there two years ago. It was every bit as good as we remembered.

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The Cafe lives up to its name as you can see in the photo above. YES those are platters of large chocolate chunks you see in the photo above. Several different kinds of chocolate. But they have several other goodies to help pass your time.

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I have had coffee, hot chocolate and one of their little chocolate cakes and it was all enjoyable. If you are passing through Schiphol Airport and have the time, drop by Lounge 1 and satisfy your chocolate cravings. You will not be disappointed!


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Happy National Dessert Day!

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Yes, today, October 14, 2016, is National Dessert Day. Who knew? I certainly didn’t until I saw an announcement, but I have added it to my list of date to celebrate each year in the future.

How should you celebrate? Go out to a dessert shop or restaurant and indulge in one of their tasty treats. Or if you are creative and have the time, whip up a family favorite recipe. See some other recommendations (“Happy National Dessert Day! Here are some of our favorite treats to celebrate“) from the anchors of TODAY. You might also want to check out the article “25 ways to celebrate National Dessert Day“. Join the celebration by posting photos on social media with the hast tag #NationalDessertDay.

It is not surprising that there are various establishments offering promotions in celebration. Some good sources of these are: