Tag Archives: Food

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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Coffee Flour?

Coffee – I had never heard about Coffee Flour until I read “What Is Coffee Flour? Here’s the Deal With the New “Superfood”” today. Just as the name implies, Coffee Flour is a flour made by either grinding up green coffee beans roasted at a lower temperature than what we drink or from a by-product of the normal coffee production process. You include it mixed with conventional flour in any recipe flour would be used in. The recommendation is to mix about 15-25% Coffee Flour with conventional flour. It will make baked goods a little darker in color and add a bit of flavor of flavor of dried figs per some who have tried it.

So why do you want to use Coffee Flour”? It does retain the caffeine that many of us enjoy a jolt of in the morning. It does not carry the bitter caramel aroma and coffee flavor that we expect with our morning cup. There are significant health benefits of using Coffee Flour (per vendor Coffee Flour):

  • More fiber per gram than whole grain wheat flour
  • More iron  per gram than fresh spinach
  • Less fat and more fiber per gram than coconut flour
  • More antioxidants per gram than a pomegranate
  • More protein per gram than fresh kale
  • More potassium per gram than a banana

 

Coffee Flour can be found at:

  • the ever popular Trader Joes
  • It can also be ordered on-line at Nuts.com ($8.99 per pound)
  • It can be ordered on-line from MarxFoods ($18 per pound)

This is something I will have to try .

France, Paris – Shakespeare and Company Books

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I had read about this establishment and was finally able to visit recently. Shakespeare and Company is an Independant and predominantly English language bookstore in Paris at 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. Shakespear and Company was founded in 1951 as Le Mistral. the name was changed in 1964 to the current Shakespeare and Company on the 100th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. The name change was also in honor of Sylvia Beach, who’d founded the original Shakespeare and Company in 1919 and which remained open until 1941.

This is a very eclectic book store that can be found just across the river from Notre-Dame in a 17th century building with room after room of books on two floors. They also have a cafe next door. Unfortunately the weather was cold, wet and windy during my visit, otherwise there would have been tables set outside the cafe.

If you enjoy a good bookstore and find yourself in Paris, Shakespeare and Company is place you need to visit.


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Top U.S. Coffee Houses 

Coffee – This is a day late to celebrate National Coffee Day. but knowing about highly recommended coffee houses is always a good thing. I save lists like this for when I am planning a trip.

Cafe Book Bean

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To celebrate national coffee day here are some of the best coffee houses across our nation.

Coffee culture is booming and with it more high quality coffee houses are opening.Each have there own style, coffee blends, unique menu items, and techniques.

There are many great coffee houses, however I chose to highlight a few that stand apart. These coffee houses are well known for uniqueness, quality, popularity, and dedication to the art of coffee.

Here are my top picks for Noteworthy Cafes in the U.S.:

Madcap Coffee(Grand Rapids, MI)

17160486-standardMadcap Coffee has won me over by offeringtasting flights, use of latte art, and serving espresso in snifters.Madcap-Coffee-table-of-cups

However, what really set them apart most of all wasimplementinga zero waste policy; trading trash cans for bus bins and sorting all of their trash into compost and recyclables.

Heart Coffee(Portland, OR)

original-5983-1404617574-3Coffee drinks & gourmet baked goods offered in stylish…

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Happy “National Coffee Day”!!!

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Coffee – It was National Drink Beer Day yesterday and today it is National Coffee Day – what a week! I didn’t hear about any freebies being given out yesterday, but there are plenty today. Check the following to see if there is a establishment near you celebrating National Coffee Day:

  1. National Coffee Day Specials
  2. Here’s how to get free coffee on National Coffee Day
  3. National Coffee Day: Freebies, discounts, specials from Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks
  4. Here’s Where To Score Free Coffee For National Coffee Day

I’ve already had my two 20 oz cups for the day.

National Drink Beer Day

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Beer – Every day is some kind of ‘National’ day. I thought that this one was worthy of celebration with your own brew of choice. Beer is one of the oldest and most popular beverages in history (personally, second only to coffee). Some breweries date back to as early as 1040. The Weihenstephan brewery in Bavaria has been in continuous operation since then.

There are many varieties, though they all fall into two broad categories – ale or lager. The simplest explanation to differentiate between the two is ale is brewed with top-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and lager with bottom-fermenting yeast (Saccharomyces uvarum). You can read more here and here. For most, the difference is in how th beer looks, smells and tastes. Ales tend to be more fruity, while lagers are more clean, crisp tasting.

If you are on Facebook, you can follow National Drink Beer Day.

Coca-Cola Plus Coffee No Sugar

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Coffee – I like coffee, and I occasionally drink a Coca-Cola. I’m not sure about this recently introduced blend of the two “Coca-Cola Plus Coffee No Sugar”. This has been introduced in both Japan and Australia.

Coca-Cola Plus Coffee is said to have a distinct coffee after taste and contains about 50% more caffeine (14 mg per 100 ml) than a regular Coca-Cola. There does not appear to be any word yet on if this new flavor will make it to the US.

Personally I think I will stick with plain old brewed coffee.

13 Health Boosts of Chocolate

Chocolate – Behind coffee, chocolate is my next food vice. I found this list of the benefits of dark chocolate interesting and i wanted to share it.

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If you’re a chocoholic, I’m sure you’ve heard some sweet buzz lately. That’s because more and more studies are finding the health secrets of chocolate consumption.

Unfortunately, there’s a catch. It doesn’t fall under the more you eat, the more healthier youll be category. And some forms of chocolate possess more benefits than others. But heck, we’re learning that eating chocolate is actually good for us. How can we not be happy about that?

So, what kind of chocolate are we talking about here? Generally, the darker the chocolate, the higher the benefits. better. This is because dark chocolate contains more cocoa solids, thus more of the “good stuff”, and additionally has less sugar. A good number to shoot for is over 66%.

If you’re typically not a fan of dark chocolate, start with a lower percent first, and gradually work your way up. Chances are you will start…

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