Nunsongyee, the Korean Dessert Cafe and their signature Bingsu

Nunsongyee (눈송이), the Korean Dessert Cafe and their Bingsu

Address (Google Map): 45 Burghley Drive #01-04, Burghley Lifestyle Hub (beside Tennis Court)

Opening hours: 10.00 am to 10.00 pm. Closed on Mon

Introduction

Nunsongyee (snowflake) is a relatively new Korean dessert cafe that is situated in one of the really ulu location, among the landed properties at the Serangoon Gardens vacinity. They specialise in authentic Korean dessert, mainly Bingsu, and things like toast and even spicy rice cake. It was quite empty at 11.30 am and i took this opportunity to have a short conversation with the young Korean lady boss.

Miss Eun Jin, the lady boss, quits her job in Singapore after two years and decided to open a cafe selling her country’s most popular dessert – Bingsu. She is confident that Singaporeans, that are well known for the love for food, will embrace this dessert.

She also explained between lower rental, larger shop area and convenient location, she chose the first two. She does not want to sacrifice the larger floor area, which equates to her customer’s comfort, in exchange for a convenient location in town.

Menu: Click to enlarge

Injeomi Bingsu

Bingsu, the signature dish of Nunsongyee, is currently the most popular dessert in South Korea. This cafe is best known for it’s unique Injeomi Bingsu. Injeomi is basically sweet Korean rice cake (tteok) made by steaming and pounding and the end product is usually tossed in powdered coating that is made from dried beans, nuts or seeds.

It’s something like our Muah Chee but they grind the powder really fine. I think the roasted soy bean and almond taste are the most evident and with added sugar. Don’t judge the taste of this Injeomi Bingsu by it’s appearance.

In my opinion, Nunsongyee’s Injeomi Bingsu is really well done. Usually we don’t associate cold dessert with powdered nuts or beans because the end product would be messy and lumpy. The saw-dust-like finely shaved milk ice and the powder mixed unexpectedly well and creates a blend of peanut-butter-like texture when consumed together. The sticky rice cake goes perfectly with the not overly sweet mixture and it completes the dish by adding a dimension of chewiness into the crunchy, ice sweet texture.

The Bingsu I had in Seoul also pales in comparison to this. And the secret to the great taste? Mother’s love. No. Really. Miss Eun Jin’s explaned that her mother personally selected these ingredients and sent it over from South Korea in order to preserve the authentic Korean taste.

Korean Strawberry Bingsu

If you like to have something that is less sinful, this premium strawberry Bingsu may be a good choice. Note that the premium is in term of ingredient but not such much about the taste.

Stacked with slices of fresh Korean Strawberry with crunchy red beans hidden beneath the shaved ice, it’s topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Fans of Korean Strawberry will find this a delight. I find this especially enjoyable during a hot sunny afternoon (or probably lost your way while trying to look for this place).

In term of taste, I still prefer the Injeomi Bingsu because no matter how sweet a strawberry is, it unavoidable that it still has a tinge of sourness. But there’s also a scoop of ice cream that made up for it, which is nice. For people who has a sweeter tooth, there is also a cup of condense milk blend provided. I poured everything in by the way.

Honey Toast with Ice Cream

This is also my favourite. At $12.90, it’s actually kind of pricy for a serving of toast but i really love the taste. How should i describe this dish?

Imagine a generous serving of butter melted over two slices of thick crispy toast, with pieces of sweet chewy rice cake sandwiched between the toast, drizzled with honey and topped with a scoop of smooth creamy ice cream.

It reminds me of a less fluffy version of Shibuya Toast that i had in Bangkok, only not as thick. If you ask me, will i pay $12.90 for this toast on my next visit, I probably will say yes.

Conclusion

I thought Nunsongyee has a first mover advantage because Bingsu is not a craze in Singapore, yet. No matter the price, as long as taste is right, we Singaporeans are generally willing to spend a bit more and to travel abit more.

Before the gantry into the Burghley Lifestyle Hub

I previously had one Bingsu at a stall near Clarke Quay and it was a disappointment and too far off from the authentic taste. However it’s a different story for Nunsongyee. It’s very much similar to the ones i had in Seoul and i find comfort in having a good Bingsu without travelling to Seoul.

Nunsongyee Dessert Cafe on the left

No doubt the price is to the higher side and it’s not exactly a cheap dessert, i guess this is the premium price to pay if we want an imported authentic taste of Korean food. For me personally, I am quite certain that I will return to Nunsongyee.

Best Bangkok Mango Sticky Rice @ Sukhumvit Soi 38 (And Wanton Noodle)

Sukhumvit Night Food Street (Sticky Rice and Wanton Noodle)

Address: Thong Lor Station Exit 4, Sukhumvit Soi 38

Opening hours: Some stalls open at 6.00pm, and some at 8.00pm till late

Introduction

Sukhumvit Soi 38 is an ordinary road by day and transformed into a food street by night. There are about twenty stalls here that offers quite a variety of Bangkok street food here like Papaya Salad, Skewered BBQ Meat, Duck Noodle, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Pad Thai, the famous Mango Sticky Rice and Thai-style Wanton Noodle.

Sukhumvit Soi 38 is directly across Thong Lor BTS station Exit 4. Apparently the Pad Thai there has quite some reputation but we did not have the stomach after having the famous “Best Bangkok Mango Sticky Rice” and the Thai-style Wanton Noodle. I always wanted to do a comparison between the SabX2 Wanton Noodle and something else so this is the one.

Click here to view my full list of Bangkok Food Itinerary

Bangkok Best Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Neeo Mamuang)

Everyone surely will have a mango sticky rice or two in Bangkok, but what about the “Best Mango Sticky Rice”? Apparently, the one with such reputation is not from a restaurant, not from an eatery and definitely not from a cafe but this road side stall at Sukhumvit Soi 38. Turn right at the blue and white umbrella at the foreground as shown in the above pic to locate this stall. Remember it’s something something something 38. LOL. Any helpful soul to translate?

I was pretty curious what actually contributed to this roadside stall for their “Best Bangkok Mango Sticky Rice” reputation. I can’t be sure is this the Best Mango Sticky Rice, but this is one of the best i had so far. I had reviewed Mango Tango previously and talked about how fresh and sweet their mangoes are, surprisingly, this street food stall’s are as good, if not slightly better.

But i have to emphasis that it’s still a personal preference for individual’s criteria for a “good mango sticky rice”.  Some mango sticky rice’s are good for their coconut sauce while the glutinous rice don’t add much flavor to the overall taste except for it’s texture. This glutinous rice is flavorful, with sweet blend of slightly salty and sweet taste and the aromatic coconut sauce completes the whole package. Good mango, good coconut sauce, good rice and a bonus – good price.

Crab Meat Wanton Noodle

Apparently the wanton noodle is one of the popular stalls which has quite some good reputation online. The unique thing for this  Thai-style wanton noodle is they added fresh crab meat as the ingredient. I can’t remember the exact price but i remember it is not expensive at all. There is a good local crowd queuing at this stall when i visited.

The noodle dry is springy and the texture is quite delightful. There is a tinge of shallot and pork lard fragrance upon having my first bite. The fresh crab meat don’t exactly affects the taste much but is a nice addition to the ingredient. Unlike the Sabx2 Wanton Noodle ,this noodle is less flavorful and i can taste the sweetness of the noodle. I would like this version if i am looking for something lighter, but I thought that the SabX2 Wanton Noodle fairs better than this in term of the overall taste.

The soup is also lightly flavored by the Chye Poh (preserved radish) and the soup is pretty good and i actually prefers the soup version to the dry. I normally prefers a dry noodle over a soup noodle anytime but not this one.

Conclusion

This is my first visit to Sukhumvit Soi 38 but definitely will not be my last. I thought it is an awesome place to indulge in Bangkok’s Street Food Culture to try out the wide variety of street food here.

I would love to try out the Pad Thai and it’s a pity i didn’t have it for my last visit. If you are visiting here, don’t be like me, for visiting this place with an almost-full stomach.

Mr Jones Orphanage (Bangkok – Thonglor)

Mr Jones Orphanage

Address: SeenSpace Thonglor 13, Bangkok, Thailand 10110

Operating hours: 10.00am to 12:00 midnight (last order at 11:00pm) daily

Introdution

Mr Jones orphanage is located at the ‘atas street’ of Thonglor. You may have noticed that the address is exactly the same as Roast Coffee and Eatery. Yeap, this cosy little cafe is at level one of the SeenSpace, just below Roast Coffee & Eatery. I guess as a child everyone would had dreamt of such a place where there are endless candies, cakes, chocolate and ice cream. Mr Jones orphanage is exactly such a place, only that you need to pay for it. LOL.

I would have to say the selling point of this cafe is the design of their cafe instead of just food. Upon entering this “wonderland”, on the left lies a kitchen that is literally full of pastries, with the ceiling decorated with a giant wooden clock.

In the middle, there is a long table arrangement that reminds me of of mini Harry Potter’s Hogwarts dining hall.

On the right, it’s labelled as “The Playground” where there is this large carousel-design dining table in the center. The area is the most well lit and if you want to get some good food shots, dining at this area will never go wrong.

However, I am most impressed by their attic dining area and this is where i choose to have my meal. There is a ‘secret attic’ that is leaded up by a flight of narrow wooden stairs. I have to bend my knees and lay low so that my head won’t knock onto the ceiling while exploring the “secret hiding place”. Low seating sofas and tables are placed at various corners of the attic with decorative items like toy soldiers, library books and plush toys are scattered all over the dimly lit attic, with no ‘adult’ (the waitress) looking at what you are doing.

It’s like you had been transported out from Bangkok, and into a place that only exist in a story book.

As i reach there quite early at about 11 am, i had the whole attic to myself with the freedom to walk around, sleep flat on their sofa, or do anything you want. Best chill-out place ever.

Click here to see my list of consolidated Bangkok Food Itinerary

Pastries and cakes:

Since I just had my breakfast at Roast Coffee and Eatery, I didn’t get to try Mr Jones’ main course and I only ordered their desserts. Mr Jones Orphanage do offer brunch menu like Egg Benedict, Sandwich or a full breakfast platter. But now the problem is, WHICH DESSERT SHOULD I ORDER?! There are a wide selection of desserts like Lemon Meringue, Passionfruit Sponge Cake, Rocky Road, Chocolate Fudge cake, Coconut Cake, Chocolate Ferraro, Oreo Pie,  Berry Sponge and even M&M + Kit Kat cake, which they call it the “Kit Kat Monster”.

In the end, i finally settle with their coconut cake at 100 baht (cus Thailand is famous for their coconut), Chocolate Ferraro at 110 baht and their Chocky Mud Pie (135 baht).

Their coconut cake is divided into four layers, first layer with the fresh coconut shavings, then the coconut cream, the sponge cake with a layer of fresh coconut meat sandwich between the sponge cake. I thought this is something that is not commonly found in Singapore. For those who like coconut, this is worth a try.

The staff recommended their Chocky Mud Pie and this pie was served piping hot from the oven. Nothing beats a molten chocolate center that goes with a mouthful of dark chocolate ice cream.

Conclusion

Mr Jones Orphanage has actually little main courses to offer therefore i would suggest having your breakfast at Roast Coffee and Eatery at level 2 and pop by to experience this cafe and to have desserts. Don’t be fool by it’s plain-looking main door.

I think it’s worth the visit cus this is something that we don’t have and will not have in Singapore. And apology if my photos focus a little too much on the interior design instead of the food, but that is because i really really like the interior of the cafe. Definitely an eye opener and a place not to be missed, especially if you are already at Thonglor area.

Directions

The nearest BTS station to Mr Jones Orphanage is Thonglor station and takes a 15 minutes walk. Direction is exactly as coming to Roast Coffee & Eatery. Taking a cab to this place will be much easier. If you choose to walk, you just need to walk on one straight road on Sukhumvit 55 and turn left into Akkhara Phat when you see a building call “Home Place”.

L’Atelier Tiramisu (The Tiramisu Workshop)

L’Atelier Tiramisu

Address: The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #B1-09

Operating hours: 1:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Introduction

Happen to chance upon this cafe at Clarke Quay The Central. The first thing that caught my attention was their signage that reads “L’Atelier Tiramisu” and the small seating capacity of the cafe. My first thought was “If a cafe can survive just by selling Tiramisu, it must be really good”.  That’s when i decided to try it out, and i am not disappointed. This is my second visit to L’Atelier Tiramisu.

The Tiramisu comes in four flavors – Classico, Lychee, Dark Cherry and Matcha, or you can try the Sampler Set at $15.00 to try out all four flavors.

Tiramisu – Classico

Among the flavors, the Classico is my favourite. Their Tiramisu is briefly divided into five layers, with the top layer as the cocoa powder, the cheese cream, the coffee soaked biscuit (or the sponge cake), another layer of cheese cream and the bottom layer of biscuit. The biscuit at the bottom layer taste a little sweeter and is not as wet as the top layer.

The most distinguish taste of this Tiramisu is it’s really moist biscuit center that is soaking wet with coffee and i can taste the sweet coffee aroma from every bite.

I also like the moderately sweetened Mascarpone cheese cream very much. The proportion of the cheese spread over the two layers are just good enough to complement the bitter taste of the coffee. A piece of Tiramisu cost me $6.80 which i thought that it’s well worth it.

Tiramisu – Dark Cherry

I tried the Matcha flavor in my first visit and i am having the Dark Cherry this time round. The layering of the cake is similar to the Classico just that they swap the coffee to cherry juice with some very fine fruit pulp, i think.

L’Atelier also added a thin layer of icing sugar on the top of the cake before ending off with the layer of cocoa powder. I personally prefer something a little bitter than a tinge of sour taste so my vote goes to the Classico.

Pandan Tiramisu *Update as of 01 October 2013*

L’atelier had launched a new flavor today – The Pandan flavor. This time, it does not comes in slices but in a cup. The price is $7.80, a dollar more than their normal range.

To be honest, this cake surprised me. As always, their Tiramisu is really moist, with added coconut rum, and they are rather generous with the mascarpone cheese. For this new creation, there is an additional layer of crispy chocolate center well hidden within this cake and i was surprised by this. I thought i tasted Milo powder, though the lady boss said that this is a layer of Chocolate Biscuit. L’atelier then  finished the cake with a layer of coconut flakes.

The two cake layers is infused with the sweet aroma of Pandan which goes really well with the mascarpone cheese. The layer of coconut flakes add an extra crunch to the overall texture. I thought the best way to eat this cake is to eat all the layers in one mouthful to savor the flavors and different texture all at once. If you are someone who like Pandan Kway or coconut, i think this will be a hit for you.

I was asking the lady boss why was Pandan selected among all the available flavors and her reply was that she hoped to come up with a very localised flavor. She elaborated that she took three months to perfect this recipe and i think she did a pretty good job.

Lychee Tiramisu *Update as of 01 October 2013*

I also finally tried their Lychee Tiramisu and completed the full set of flavors! After having the Pandan Tiramisu, the Lychee Tiramisu appears as slightly less impressive, thought it’s still rather good. There are some lychee meat and juice mixed into the cream layers between the sweetened sponge layers and finish with chocolate sprinkle and cinnamon powder. If you ask me my order of preference, it will be – Classico, Pandan, Lychee, Dark Cherry, Green Tea (sorry!).

Conclusion

I am quite sure that this second visit will not be my last visit to L’Atelier cus i have yet to try out the Lychee Flavor. The portion of L’Atelier’s Tiramisu Cake is just nice, not too big, and not too small, which makes it the ideal dessert after a meal. No matter how full i am, i think i should be able to squeeze out a little stomach space for a L’Atelier Tiramisu.