Cedele – More than just sandwiches and cakes

24 05 2013

When I think of Cedele, what comes to mind is the relatively healthy sandwiches and the carrot cake but it seems that such is just the tip of the iceberg and applies only to their bakery cafes. There are quite a number of other outlets that do all-day dining (Great World, Wheelock Place, Raffles City) and semi-dining (Rail Mall, Parkway Parade, Serangoon Gardens, Marina Bay Link Mall to be open soon, Greenwich V) as well , where an impressive array of hot mains are available.

The Company’s philosophy of “Eat Well, Be Well” drives Cedele’s operations and is evident with their stand on using organic unrefined sugar, grapeseed oil and ingredients with no trans fat. In addition, much emphasis is also placed on making food with ingredients that are as natural as possible (which I guess is also a healthier option), so no preservatives, emulsifiers or premixes are used in their kitchen.

Running slightly late for this tasting, I had the Apple Cranberry Cinnamon Lassi ($6.70) to cool myself down. Organic yoghurt was used to create the lassi, which was slightly lighter as compared to its Indian counterparts. Didn’t take to the cinnamon though, as it made the drink too powdery such that it didn’t go down my throat smoothly. Moreover, the liberal use of cinnamon musked the apple and cranberry.

Nothing too fancy about the Burmese Shan Tofu ($8.90). It was more or less a simple tau kwa (豆干) dish in Balsamic Dressing garnished with homemade Garlic & Onion Flakes and Fresh Coriander leaves. What I did like though was the garlic and onions, which tasted freshly fried.

For those on a low carb diet, you might want to consider their Grills & Greens Salad Meal: Chicken & Walnut ($15). Different dressing are available such as the Sesame with Plum which coincidentally tastes very much like the plum sauce used for yu sheng (鱼生), the Honey Mustard and the Caesar Dressing. My favourite would be the Caesar. Might be my mind playing tricks on me but their Caesar dressing tasted a lot less unhealthy then what I’m more used to having. Not complaining though, I did eat a KFC Double Down Max with an accompanying piece of Chicken for lunch.

The Vegetable Stacks ($18) was made by stacking a Potato Kumara Cake (a type of Sweet Potato from New Zealand) at the base, followed by a Grilled Eggplant, a Portobello Mushroom and Red Pepper, which is then surrounded by a moat of Tomato Coulis scented with Marjoram. Credits have to go to the Tomato Coulis, as it complemented the vegetables really well and was not overly tart.

Unlike some restaurants which soak their prawns in sugar or salt solutions to give their prawns a nice springy texture, I was given assurance that nothing of the sort was practiced here for the Prawn Paprika Risotto ($17.90), so the fresh crunchy texture I experienced from the prawns was the real deal. To give the risotto a healthy twist, pumpkin and edamame beans were also used as ingredients and it all turned out well.

Finally, something somewhat less healthy for a change, the the Black Pepper Crab Pasta ($17.50)! I like Fried Soft Shell Crabs in general. The one I had here was not as crispy as expected though. That aside, I really loved Pasta, which was scented with Curry Leaves and Pepper. It packs enough heat to make one reminisce the last black pepper crab dinner without being overly choking.

The Lemongrass & Lime Fish Pasta ($17.90) was a nice sequel to the crab pasta. I thought that the lemongrass and lime was titillatingly tangy enough to placate the spice. I’m not a fan of Sea Bass because it tends to get too lean and dry for my liking upon grilling. Apart from the extremely generous size of the fillet, there was nothing extraordinary about the Grilled Sea Bass but it did give off vibes of home-cooked food with the healthy toppings of tomato salsa and edamame beans.

I have to say that desserts were the climax of the meal. I was given a tasting portion of 7 cakes, of which the salted caramel isn’t shown below. My favourite would undoubtedly be the Black Sesame Tahini Cake. It had a very light texture but oh so rich. I literally had a little tingle when I popped the first piece into my mouth. Utterly heavenly.

Other flavours I would recommend as well are the Red VelvetCarrot Walnut Cake and Blueberry Hazelnut Cheesecake while skippable flavours would be the Chocolate Banana Espresso Cake, Strawberry Rose Cake and Salted Caramel (not shown below).

From left, Black Sesame Tahini, Red Velvet, Strawberry Rose Cake, Carrot Walnut Cake, Blueberry Hazelnut Cheesecake, Chocolate Banana Espresso Cake

This meal was sponsored by Cedele. Special thanks for the invitation.

Cedele

1 Kim Seng Promenade, #01-01/02 Great World City

Tel: +65 6836 1426





Original Sin – Going Vegetarian for Once

12 03 2013

While I’d like to think myself as a rather adventurous foodie, I always chose to steer away from one particular type of cuisine; vegetarian. I guess the perception that vegetables taste bad still holds true for most people. For me at least, my daily intake of vegetables is purely for the sole purpose of playing the role of roughage. My recent visit to Original Sin however did make rethink the validity of such a loosely accepted notion.

Having been around for the past 14 years, Original Sin has established itself as one of the most well-known vegetarian eateries around. It offers Mediterranean cuisine that surprisingly rivals even non-vegetarian Mediterranean restaurants I have been to in both tastiness and quality.

We started off with the Mezze Platter ($22++), which is a typical Middle Eastern selection of dips, in this case consisting of Hummus (a dip made from chickpea), pumpkin & carrot dip, Baba Ganoush (an eggplant dip), Yogurt tzatziki, Falafal balls (A deep fried patty made from chickpea), served with pita bread. On the whole, it was pretty good, especially the Baba Ganoush that had a heavier than usual garlicky taste that I liked and the pita bread which was served freshly baked and crisp.

The Magic Mushroom ($18++) was a baked Portobello mushroom with ricotta cheese, spinach, pesto, topped with a tomato basil sauce and mozzarella. It came across as more Italian than Mediterranean but still made for a simple delightful starter.

The pan fried Haloumi ($18++) served with salad greens, roasted capsicum, lentils, cucumber and mint salad was my favourite dish of the meal. Haloumi is a type of Cheese and tasted similar to savoury fried fish roe, both in terms of taste and texture and went well with the starchy lentils.

For Mains, we had the Vegetable Tandoori ($26++), which was a dish of char-grilled button mushroom, brinjal, capsicum, onion and tofu marinated in tandoori spices served with yoghurt, mango chutney and rice. Pretty decent with a moderate spice level.

The Bosco Misto ($26++) was very tasty as well. It was basically spinach, feta and tofu patties, coated with crushed almonds and sesame seeds, served with asparagus in a button mushroom plum sauce. The patties reminded me of flavourful crispy croquettes and I loved it.

My least favourite was the Capsicum Quinoa ($26++), or roasted capsicum stuffed with spiced quinoa, carrot, chickpea and mint with tzatiki, pickled grape, onion, cherry tomato and olive salad. Compared to the other mains, the flavours from this dish was a lot more subdued, with the yoghurt more or less drowning out most of the other flavours. Having had the tzatiki from the mezza platter earlier on, this felt rather boring.

The Hazelnut Chocolate Cake ($12++) came highly recommended from our host. It was a good recommendation indeed and despite using dark chocolate, the cake boasted a familiar taste that I likened to Kinder Bueno, probably because of the crispy hazelnut base that felt similar to the crunch you get when you bite into a Kinder Bueno.

The Tiramisu ($12++) didn’t fare quite as well. It wasn’t unpalatable but personally, I found the bitterness accruing from the coffee to be a little too intense.

The meal felt totally atypical for a vegetarian meal. I was surprisingly stuffed and honestly if I had a blindfold on, it would have been difficult to tell that no meat was used in the making of the meal with the highly interactive textures and flavours of the various ingredients used. I guess for once, I wouldn’t mind going vegetarian.

Special thanks to Original Sin for the invitation and hosting the meal.

Original Sin

43 Jalan Merah Saga, #01-62

Tel: +65 6475 5605








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