Pierre Herme Macarons

The macarons from Pierre Hermé are the best macarons I’ve ever had in my entire life! It was the first place my better half wanted to go to when we were in Paris earlier this year. We went to two of his shops – the original one is at Pâtisserie Pierre Hermé Paris in Bonaparte but their Macarons & Chocolats Pierre Hermé Paris boutiques at Galeries Lafayette has seating arrangements!

Macarons Chocolats Pierre Herme

Pierre Hermé also sells a wide variety of fantastic chocolates and pastries but we were here for the macarons so we got a pack of 7 macarons and opted to eat at the beautiful rooftop with an amazing 360 degree view of Paris instead of at the boutique itself.

Lafayette Roof

My dear liked the Les Incontournables De Paris (The Essentials Of Paris) box so I got that for her. It costs €18 for a box of 7. The friendly attendant was even kind enough to let us pick the flavors (it’s supposed to be a fixed box set) and even include *limited edition macarons* from the Pierre Hermé Paris ‘Les Jardins’ Collection 2014!

pierre herme france

Pierre Hermé has a total of 23 (!!!) flavors of macarons at any time. However, most of their box sets have a theme e.g. the Initiation 20-piece Assortment (€59) only has 4 different types of macarons. There’s no set price per macaron, it depends on what you get and the price can range from €2 – €3 per macaron. We got ours for slightly over €2.50 each (about RM 11 per macaron).

pierre herme chocolates

The French guy serving us allowed us to choose anything (including limited editions) from the 23 different flavors for the 7-pack, so we took turns choosing macarons:

pierre herme les jardins collection

HUILE D’OLIVE & VANILLE
Olive Oil Fruite Vert, Vanilla & bits of Green Olive

CRÈME BRÛLÉE
Vanillas & Caramel bits

MOGADOR
Milk Chocolate & Passion Fruit

MILÉNA
Fresh Mint & Red Berries

MONTEBELLO
Pistachio & Raspberry compote

JARDIN DES 8 TRÉSORS
Lotus Seed, Red Date, Wolfberry, Rosebud, Dried Orange Peel, Dried Longan Fruit, Chrysanthemum and Osmanthus

INFINIMENT ROSE
Rose & Rose Petals

Les Incontournables De Paris

I just love how weird and quirky the flavors are! It’s not just for the “wow factor” too, the combinations works very well! My first choice was the delectable Huile d’olive & Vanille with bits of *real* green olive!

olive vanilla macaron

I’ve never had an olive macaron (with REAL olive pieces inside) before and we both loved it!

Pierre Herme

My dear went for the Crème Brûlée which actually tastes remarkably like the real thing! I couldn’t believe it.

rose petal macaron

The delicate Infiniment Rose is made from rose and has rose petals (!!!) in the macaron!

milena macaron

We loved every single macaron – there were no duds or mediocre ones in the box, every single macaron was balanced well, not the sickly sweet macarons we get here but an amazing symphony of perfection.

Jardin des 8 Tresors

The other highlight was Jardin des 8 Trésors – the April 2014 monthly limited edition macaron from the Pierre Hermé Paris ‘Les Jardins’ Collection 2014 with 8 different Asian treasures packed into 1 macaron – lotus seed, red date, wolfberry, rosebud, dried orange peel, dried longan fruit, chrysanthemum and osmanthus with incredibly complex flavor and texture profiles.

mogador macaron

We were munching on the macarons in a sky park on top of Galeries Lafayette on a sunny spring day with lots of other locals camped out to enjoy the fresh air and the amazing panoramic view of Paris.

pierre herme us

It was one of the highlights of our trip – enjoying good food, each other, and the Parisian experience!

montebello

I have never had a better macaron than Pierre Hermé in Paris! Adriano Zumbo comes close and Ladurée is a distant third. I highly recommend eating the original ones from France in France, you can’t keep it for more than 4 days and I dub Pierre Hermé the best macarons I’ve ever had in my life and my dear agrees! :)

zumbarons adriano zumbo

I have heard about the wonderful macarons from Adriano Zumbo in Australia for quite a long time. Thus, I took the opportunity to purchase the entire range of macarons (affectionately dubbed “Zumbarons”) from Adriano Zumbo Patisserie when I was in Sydney. smirk

mylo can

Adriano Zumbo is also credited with making the Zonut, and his version of the croquembouche – the Macaron Tower (available in 65 and 95 pieces). He also makes a lot of beautifully quirky and delicious pastries and cakes like the mylo can.

i heart zumbo

He’s been regularly featured in MasterChef Australia and I’ve wondered just how good his macarons taste compared to Ladurée at Champs-Élysées, Paris and Pierre Herme – both of which we tried during our trip to France earlier this year.

passionfruit honeycomb

I actually went to two of his shops, the bigger of which is located at The Star. The shop also doubles as a cafe and carries 12 different flavors of his macarons. I bought a 12-pack which comes in a nice sliding box with one each of the entire Zumbaron range in the shop:

zumbarons

  • salted butter caramel on toast
  • hazelnut praline
  • malted milkshake
  • francesco brownie
  • passionfruit & honeycomb
  • caramelized white chocolate
  • fingerbun
  • berry brulée
  • lime & mandarin
  • caramel au beurre sale
  • salted butter popcorn
  • toasted marshmallow

zumbarons macarons

Adriano Zumbo’s two most popular (famous?) macarons would be the salted butter popcorn (with real popcorn covering the shell of the macaron) and the malted milkshake (a rather interesting blue hued macaron).

adriano zumbo macarons

Each Zumbaron retails for AUD 2.50 and there are *no bulk discounts*. You can get a nice 2-piece box of Zumbarons for AUD 5 and the 12-piece long box costs AUD 30. That comes up to almost RM 8 per macaron!

adriano zumbo

It’s worth every cent though! I had two of them fresh and bought one to eat on the spot too. There’s a sign that says Zumbarons don’t travel well and I made sure to keep a gentle hand on mine since I wanted to bring the 12-piece sliding box with every single Zumbaron flavor I managed to find back for my better half to try.

adriano zumbo star

Adriano Zumbo actually has 40 different Zumbarons that rotates seasonally but those are only available with a pre-order. I visited a couple of his shops and found that the one with the most variety on offer is at The Star at Sydney with 12 different flavors on offer.

salted popcorn malted milkshake

We both liked it and we thought it was way better than Ladurée and slightly better almost on par with Pierre Hermé in France. I particularly liked the salted butter caramel on toast (which actually has toast) and the francesco brownie (which actually has bits of brownie). My dear also liked the lime & mandarin which packs a refreshing, zesty bite.

zumbarons pack

His malted milkshake Zumbaron is pretty good too and the salted butter popcorn is just pure genius with bits of popcorn on the shell – no wonder it’s the two most popular flavors. His macarons are made for the adult palate and doesn’t have excessive amounts of sugar – some of them even taste slightly salty!

zumbaron kit

I also bought a bake-at-home Zumbaron kit so we’ll be making our own salted caramel macarons soon! :)

zumbaron range

You can find Adriano Zumbo Patissier in Melbourne and Sydney. Adriano Zumbo at The Star is their latest exciting concept store and carries their full range of cakes, pastries and Zumbarons. It’s the main one I went to and you can find them at:

Adriano Zumbo Patissier
The Star
80 Pyrmont Street, New South Wales

aloha us

48 hours. 3 meals. We went to my grandma’s house for dinner on the 15th day of Chinese New Year so these are the selected places we ate at last weekend in Sibu when my dear came over.

1. Sarawak Laksa @ Aloha Cafe

laksa stall

My better half had wanted to eat Sarawak Laksa for ages so this was the first place we went to. It was early in the morning, I had just dropped off my dad at the airport and we were heading back to town for breakfast when my dad commented that Aloha Cafe has the best Sarawak Laksa in town.

sarawak laksa
Regular (RM 5) Sarawak Laksa

Everyone has a favorite place but I personally don’t like the dish that much. However, I haven’t eaten it for years so I ordered a Sarawak Laksa Supreme (RM 10). My dear wanted to go for the regular one (RM 5) but I convinced her to have the special (RM 7). The difference in prices is from the prawns, not the amount of noodles.

sibu laksa

The RM 10 dish has the largest prawns while the RM 5 has tiny shrimp meant for regular cooking. The RM 7 option lies somewhere in between – the prawns are large, but nowhere near the jumbo shrimp of the RM 10 dish.

big prawn laksa
L-R: RM 7 and RM 10 Sarawak Laksa with jumbo shrimp

Just look at the size of the monsters!

big prawns

Aloha Cafe is right behind my alma mater so I used to eat here when I was in high school. There’s a rather interesting signage that says that they won’t be serving 170 ml cup-and-saucer drinks anymore. These are the old school glass receptacles that hot drinks used to be served in, my late granddad loves pouring the coffee into the saucer to cool it down before sipping it. The regular glasses was considered “large” back then.

aloha drinks

I thought it was a rather interesting passing-of-an-age.

2. Cafe Cafe

cafe cafe sibu

Back in the early 90′s, there was one “cool” restaurant in town to hang out at. It was called Country Cafe and all of us high school kids went there during weekends. The place serves all sorts of food, including some wonderful fusion dishes that other places in Sibu didn’t have back then. One of the guys that I hung out with was called Peter, a classmate of mine who dreamt of opening his own cafe.

noodle house

15 years later, he opened Cafe Cafe and it was a resounding success and led to many other restaurants and last I heard, he was starting a new one in Kuching. My dear hasn’t been here before so I brought her here for our (belated) Valentine’s Day dinner.

mee mamak

The Mee Mamak (RM 11) is a localized version of the nationwide favorite, with lots of tomato and chilli sauce. It’s probably the dish that gets ordered the most coz the portion is HUGE and it’s relatively cheap. I had fond memories of this and I ordered one to share with my dear and it’s still as good as I remembered it, although a more refined palate tells me it’s really not that great, nostalgia wins out for this one. smirk

salmon lemon butter

My dear went for the Norwegian Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce (RM 28). We were rather interested in seeing if they took the time to pluck out all the bones from the fish and it turns out that they did! The sauce was good but it’s ultimately frozen salmon and you can taste that in the plated dish, which isn’t generally a good sign.

chicken maltaise sauce

I went for the Breaded Chicken with Spicy Prawn Sauce (RM 19). Unfortunately, they had run out of the sauce, so I switched it to Maltaise Sauce – an orange and Hollandaise blend. I really liked the chicken – the portion was good and it was from a cut that I enjoy, but what takes the cake is the Maltaise sauce. It’s delicious!

molten lava cake

However, there was barely a *spoonful* of the lovely sauce on my dish, so I think they were running low on it as well. It would have been perfect if I had more sauce to go with the chicken. It was a nice dinner though, loved the chill ambiance at the back instead of the noisy booths in front.

3. Noodle House

honey wings kampua

This is where we went for our kampua fix before flying back to KL. I had the Sizzling Honey Chicken Wings Kampua (RM 13.50) while my dear went for the Sizzling Spicy Seafood Kampua (RM 13.50). I wanted to try the new Sizzling Beef Rendang Kampua though but my better half doesn’t eat beef so I went chicken instead.

sibu kampua

Noodle House has good Sibu local fare in a cafe format and I like the concept. We also ordered some kompia stuffed with pork meat.

kompia sibu

My dear wanted to try their Crème Brulee but I convinced her to go for the Molten Lava Chocolate Cake instead. It’s absolutely fabulous – easily the best dessert I’ve eaten in Sibu. The hot molten chocolate oozes out from the mud cake when you break it open with a spoon.

molten lava choc

There’s also a scoop of ice cream and a dusting of cocoa powder to top things off. Lovely stuff.

sibu forever

We had chosen the places we wanted to eat at wisely and managed to go to all, except another visit to Payung Cafe, which was closed for Sunday lunch. It’s a good weekend trip back home! :D

bettys kitchen

I remember going to this pork friendly (or rather unfriendly, if you’re a pig, it really depends on where you stand smirk) establishment way back when it opened. I stayed at Dataran Prima Condominium when I came to KL again in 2008 and this was just around the corner. It generated a lot of buzz when it came out – and I thought it closed down and haven’t been there in years, until last night.

bettys midwest kitchen

It was a rainy night and also a Chinese festival (Winter Solstice) and we decided to go back to see if it’s still open. It was…and business is booming!

bettys aman suria

I mean that literally, we arrived early so we were seated within 5 minutes but there were others waiting on stools while it rained for an hour! It’s the only shoplot that has a security guard to direct and seat people too. Haha!

(He did also help us get into the car by escorting with dual umbrellas)

Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale (RM 18)

dead guy ale

This is a “craft brewed” beer that’s brewed in Oregon, following the Midwest theme. They have a couple of beers from that region (mostly from Rogue Ales) at a reasonable price so I had this maibock with dinner. It’s an import, robust (it’s a bock, not an ale as the name suggests) with all the sediments you’ll expect to find, I liked it.

pigs

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen is known for their porcine menu offerings – I remember their “Dog Food” best, which is fries and pork and cheese all churned together into a melted and delicious mess. This time, we ordered three mains:

Pulled Pork Burger (RM 12)

pulled pork burger

This is another popular offering – a filling main with fried burger buns and pulled pork at a reasonable price. I like the way they fried the buns and the slow-roasted and shredded pork tastes good with their “secret” BBQ sauce.

Baby Back Ribs (RM 32.50)

baby back ribs

This is probably the most expensive item on their menu. It’s grilled pork ribs marinated in their special rub and sauce and grilled to succulent tenderness. That’s the menu description, the reality is a bit of a let down. I remember them having way better ribs than this. The dish we had last night was rather disappointing.

I recommend Racks Bar and Baby Backs in Changkat Bukit Bintang if you’re looking for awesome ribs (wonder if it’s still open?).

Pork Chop with Apples (RM 23)

pork chop apples

Hot off the pan, their pork chops are pan-fried to juicy tenderness and served with their delicious house mash potatoes (love their sauce). There’s two huge chops and the apples naturally goes well with pork – you know the cartoon pig with a *shiny red apple* in its mouth ready to be roasted? :)

I liked this dish, it’s one of their better ones. The entire meal cost RM 94.05 for the both of us. Betty’s Midwest Kitchen charges RM 0.30 for iced water according to their menu but they waived it for us in the bill.

betty us

Overall, the service was decent and the food was good. However, it wasn’t as good as when I ate here years ago. It’s still intensely popular and they enforce a lot of rules (like no seating until entire party is there) so I guess they must still be doing something right. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s just not the awesomeness that I remember it to be.

tong yuen

My dear made me some tong yuen for the Winter Solstice and that’s a wonderful dessert to end the night! <3

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen
Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

hardware lane melbourne

Breakfast at Hardware Lane is one of the greatest Melbourne institutions. Hardware Lane is filled with tiny little sidewalk cafes that crowds into each other, every one vying for your attention and crammed with people eating and drinking coffee.

breakfast hardware lane

It’s more of the coffee culture and the breakfast (they also serve lunch, of course) that I go for. POP Restaurant is one of the most well known nowadays, offering modern Australian cuisine. Part of the ambiance of Hardware Lane is the people stuffed into small tables and chairs on both sides of the narrow lane.

pop restaurant melbourne

I wanted Ling to experience this so we took a tram to Elizabeth Street and walked over to Hardware Lane. I remember making this very same commute 10 years back. :)

cappucinno

POP Restaurant has their POP Breakfast from 9 am – 3 pm on weekends. It’s basically an all-day breakfast or close enough to make no difference.

Atlantic poached eggs, salmon and hollandaise (AUD 14.50)

atlantic poached eggs

There are various sides on offer – bacon, hash brown, sausage, mushroom, spinach, baked beans, ham, avocado, grilled tomato, salmon, prosciutto, parmesan and hollandaise sauce. You can add one for AUD 3 for choose a package of 2 or 3 sides for AUD 5.50 and AUD 7.50 respectively.

bacon avocado salmon

I added on bacon, avocado and ham but they forgot my ham and I didn’t want it by the time it came out. Thus, this breakfast set me back AUD 19.50 which isn’t too bad if you don’t convert. It’s almost RM 63 if you do. ;)

French Toast with rhubarb and almonds (AUD 14.50)

french toast rhubarb almonds

This is what she ordered from the Sweet Tooth menu. I thought it was pretty good – I like the rhubarb jam on top of the nicely done French Toast and the sprinkling of almonds but she thought it was the worst French Toast she ever had.

poached eggs

My bad, dear. I gave her some of my breakfast instead.

pop restaurant

It showered slightly (as weather in Melbourne tend to do) in the middle of our breakfast so we shifted slightly inside so the patio covers the worst of the rain.

pop restuarant bill

I like the service at POP Restaurant, I’ve always had positive experiences at Hardware Lane in Melbourne. Granted, I only go for breakfast, but that’s the most important meal. ;) The waitress apologized for messing up my order when I asked for the bill (they forgot the ham) and told me the other two sides I ordered are on the house. I thought that was a really nice gesture.

hardware lane breakfast

I ended up tipping her just about the same amount so the karma balances out. smirk

nadeje

Nadeje Patisserie Cafe in Melaka serves a lot of food you’ll expect to find in a fusion restaurant but the menu has been eclipsed by their fabulous Mille crepes. Nadeje is famous for Mille crepes and a lot of people come in just to have that. Mille crepe is a popular French cake made of many layers of very thin pancakes sandwiching a sweet cream concoction.

nadeje melaka

The name “Mille” implies that there is a thousand such layers, but of course, that would be near impossible to pull off. However, it does have a lot of layers and the beauty of Nadeje’s Mille crepes is that each individual layer is razor thin, with a delightfully thick cream filling.

mille crepes melaka

I was in Melaka a couple of days back and headed Nadeje in Dataran Pahlawan to see what the fuss is all about. There is a wide range of Mille crepes at the counter, with favors ranging from Banana Chocolate to Tiramisu. The Mille crepes goes for RM 9 per slice – it’s very reasonable pricing considering this is likely to be one of the most orgasmic cakes you’ve ever had.

banana cafe latte

Banana Cafe Latte
This is a rather intriguing coffee drink that I ordered to go with the Mille crepes. It is basically a latte with banana pulp at the bottom, which acts as a natural sweetener. I wouldn’t have thought of it but banana goes very well with coffee.

roman holiday

Roman Holiday
Mel had this cocktail. Nadeje also serves a wide variety of fancy non-alcohol cocktails and this three layered soda-based drink is one of the famous ones. It comes complete with a heart shaped stirrer.

nadeje mille crepe

Original Mille Crepe
This is arguably the best – the original is Nadeje’s signature Mille crepe sans fancy toppings. It is still regarded by many as the definitive Nadeje Mille Crepe – if you haven’t had this in Melaka, you totally missed out.

original mille crepe

It’s incredibly light and fluffy due to the multitude of layers and the creamy aftertaste is simply divine. I could eat this all day long and not get tired of it. It’s rich and creamy without being cloyingly sweet.

nadeje melaka mille crepe

Mille Crepe Melacca
I had a slice of this coz I figured it would be apt. We were in Melaka for a road trip after all and I thought it would be interesting to try this East meets West fusion. It’s Mille crepe topped with Gula Melaka (palm sugar) and whipped cream.

melacca mille crepe

I like how the gula melaka works with the Mille crepe – it adds an extra boost of sugar to the confection and you get the unique signature aftertaste of palm sugar. Delicious!

mille crepes

The Mille Crepe in Nadeje was one of the things that we planned to eat in Melaka and it did not disappoint. I would even go so far to say that it’s worth driving down just to savor this fluffy delight. :)

However, if you don’t feel like hitting the road, there’s a rainbow buttercream cupcake promotion on MilkADeal that looks very promising.

rainbow buttercream cupcake
RM15 instead of RM27 for 6 Rainbow Buttercream Cupcakes OR 6 Glorious Chocolatey Muffins from Craves4Cakes, Subang Jaya [44% OFF]

If you have a sweet tooth, you can now get a variety of cupcakes, chocolate muffins and even an interesting swirly tricolor marble cake to satisfy your craving. The deal expires in a couple of days so grab it quick! They even do free delivery to some areas. :)

bing bernice

I didn’t go out for lunch today due to a backlog of work that I need
to get done. I wasn’t hungry anyway, so I just figured I’ll skip lunch.
However, Bernice came in with a paper bag from bing!

bing lamb wrap open

She bought me a lamb wrap from bing! the coffee shop that everyone seems to like in Kuching.

bing lamb wrap sauces

The lamb wrap comes with a small tub of sauces – mustard, chilli and mayonnaise and the familiar orange bing! sticker.

bing lamb wrap opened

I’ve never had their wraps before – there’s a lot of crisp, fresh
lettuce with a bed of lamb meat. I like the taste of game, as she
knows. I like mutton.

bing lamb wrap

I just poured the tub of sauce into the wrap, rolled it up and ate it. It’s good. Thanks for lunch, Bernice! :)

new zealand herbal lamb soup

I went on a site visit today to Choice Deli (Tabuan Laru) and
noticed this particular product on offer…NZ Herbal Lamb Soup. It’s
the plastic containers flanking the bottom left of this photo.

nz herbal lamb soup

It retails for RM 5.00 per plastic takeaway bowl and it certainly
looks tasty from the photo. However, they didn’t have a spoon (and
neither have I, there is no spoon) so I had to pass this one by.

It was only later that I realized…I could just have drunk the soup
and then picked up the meat with my fingers and eat that. Doh!

I shall return, herbal lamb soup…

…and when I do, you’ll be like…er, lamb to the slaughter

or something. ;)

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