• Delicatessen in Shangri-La

    Shangri-La: a remote, beautiful, imaginary place where life approaches perfection… And, this utopia can be found in Potong Pasir! ūüėČ Maybe, maybe that is true, especially to residents and the community of Potong Pasir. It is a wonderful estate — peaceful and full of its own charms, and really a place with its own soul–soulful. But more than that, this estate is actually where Shangri-La is located. Not that imaginary land, but the confectionery and, as they call themselves, delicatessen. That is one amazing thing to call yourself (a German word); they must have been super posh back in the day when they decided to adopt the long form of deli in their name.

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    And this is particularly eye catching for a bakery this old. Delicatessen would be a shop where delicacies or fine foods were produced and sold, and you must have something really special–something we had to find out about.

    The shop was not desperately filled to its brim with all kinds of products, as most bakeries are today. It had this nonchalant attitude, the kind of quiet confidence that we love. It did not take very long to go through all that they were selling; some noteworthy stuff they had were a baked light cheese cake, decorated birthday cakes (black forest, chocolate, etc.), dessert pies (awesomely interesting for them to be selling that!), indie bread, egg tarts, and curry puffs. And then, they had this:

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    You will not easily find this anywhere else. This was like opening a door in the zoo and finding a bunch of unicorns chilling together. What are these? They are bags of meringues! They are basically egg whites beaten to foam, with a sugar of choice beaten in slowly, and finished with some form of heat applied. Only problem is that it isn’t that basic. It requires technique and perfection at various¬†junctures in the preparation process, so that it is a really difficult¬†confection to sell. For example, just a little bit of fat or oil–even residual on the bowls or from egg yolks–can result in very poor foam result for the beaten egg whites. Even the final product is difficult to keep, especially in humid Singapore. Egg whites and sugar tend to attract water and so meringues weep and bead when refrigerated or exposed to humid conditions. We figure that they would only produce and sell meringues because they have another product that uses only eggs yolks… probably their egg tarts. =)

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    Their meringues were lovely. Simple and pure, they snapped as meringues should when bitten into. They were not only well made, they were also fresh and well kept–old or poorly kept meringues are probably not worth eating. This pure sweetness and beautiful texture truly justifies their name as a delicatessen. What makes this most special is that it is sold at a fraction of what we would pay for it–but please, don’t tell anyone! A bag of 6 meringues costs $1.20. No, that is not a typo! Meringue = 90 Brownie Points! ($1.20 for 6 meringues)

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    We also tried their humble egg tarts. You could say these egg tarts are egg-siblings to the meringues since they were probably made from the same eggs! Their tart pastry was soft, light, and not overly buttery. The custard had a natural texture and pleasant taste without being too tough or eggy. It was an easy and enjoyable eat as neither the tart nor the custard were struggling for centre-stage. Definitely, one of the best egg tarts we have tried in a long while. It comes down to simple things done right–just like the meringue–and Shangri-La has definitely got it right for these two products. Egg tart = 85 Brownie Points! ($0.80 each)

    You need to come back as there is probably nowhere else!

     

    Shangri-La Confectionery & Delicatessen
    Blk 148 Potong Pasir Ave 1
    #01-37
    Singapore 350148

  • Pau WAO in MacPherson!

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    And so, on a lazy afternoon, we crept into this sleepy coffeeshop along MacPherson Road. It wasn’t our first time there, but the way time moves at half the speed over there is still pretty amazing and worth mentioning.

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    For sure it was sleepy, because the uncle behind the counter was face down in his hands on the tabletop having a nap–and we were almost shouting at him by the time we decided that maybe someone else had better serve us. Well, he must have been really tired–so no worries–and we got the coffee uncle to serve us instead. We told him that we were going to take some photos, and feature the shop, and it was really nice of him to straighten up his bow-tie and up his customer service factor by a couple of notches–awesome.

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    The first thing we tried was Lotus Leaf Rice; you would notice it looks as¬†appetising as a leaf ever would, thanks to good sunlight and great technology… But honestly it looked alright in real life, and we couldn’t wait to open up and tuck in.

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    It was EXACTLY how it looks in the picture–WET. It wasn’t oily, but it was surely wet. We suspect that people did not really have the time to wait for their Lotus Leaf Rice to be heat up upon order, and so the uncle had a serving always in the steamer and ready to go. And we just happened to get the one that was ready-to-go since don’t-know-when. It wasn’t a great impression, but we went ahead to taste it anyway–we always give food a chance, however bad it looks (our brownies didn’t have toppings in the early days too, and so many people still gave us¬†a shot!). The glutinous rice was overdone as expected because of the over-steaming, and so it was almost losing its texture as rice and somewhat soggy–but we know some people do like it that way. Another problem from the oversteaming, the insides smelt just a little too grassy–that would probably be the leaves overcooking, causing unwanted notes to show up in addition to the intended Lotus Leaf fragrance. The positive thing was that the package was filled with so much tasty ingredients that rice didn’t really seem that large a factor after awhile; there were pieces of chicken¬†and¬†pork, a chestnut, and a salted egg-yolk.

    However long it was steamed for, the fact was that we finished every last grain of the Lotus Leaf Rice. Reason? It grew on us as we ate more and more of it. There was this rustic quality that comes with home-cooked food and indie hawker stalls–stuff you would not get in shopping malls. Where are you going to find such strong Lotus Leaf flavour anywhere else? And probably only mummy overcooks her rice from time to time and you know you are having something that cannot be found anywhere else. Lotus Leaf Rice = 73¬†Brownie Points

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    “Mr Pau, penny for your thoughts?”

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    Next up, we tried the Da¬†Pau. It was great as usual. The pork was delicious and succulent, cooked right in many aspects. The bun that encapsulated the meat was perfect–thin without being flimsy, and firm enough to hold its shape. With just the right amount of¬†gravy soaking into the bun, this was one truly satisfying Pau. Da¬†Pau = 80 Brownie Points

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    We were almost done when this Kong Bak Pau caught our attention. Why was it made like that? Typically, there would be a larger bun with just a little meat and fat visible¬†at both ends. This was terribly interesting–but you wonder if it was the taste buds or curiosity asking the questions. In any case, this Braised Pork Belly Pau was summoned to our table for a full inquiry. =) It is difficult to describe how it went, but let’s just say it was over pretty quick and we had only good¬†to say about it. Kong Bak Pau = 80 Brownie Points

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    One more thing–okay, okay, three more things–before we left, some Dessert Paus. On hindsight, it wasn’t that good an idea because first, we were beyond full by then, and second, we tend to be really strict on sweets… But oh well, from left to right: Coffee Pau, Pandan Pau, and Corn Pau. They definitely looked fun and interesting, but the buns were too thick relative to the fillings. The flavours could have been represented better and the textures could have been more fine. Probably something for the rare customer who isn’t full even though the rest of the table is; but we still rather recommend having half a Da Pau for dessert any day (we will share with you). Dessert Paus = 55 Brownie Points

    Worth coming back for all the right reasons!

     

    Lai Ji Handmade Pau & Dimsum
    458 MacPherson Rd
    Singapore 368176
    Telephone: Unknown
    Opening Hours: Random (Whenever uncle is awake.)

  • Building Kindy Confidence, One Brownie at a Time

    So our brownies recently went for an adventure together with a kindergarten teacher. She leads a class of young children who need extra help with their English–and how wonderful these children, to learn English using brownies!

    As they are a little weak in their conversational skills, the idea was to let them sell something so that they would have to carry out a tiny conversation with someone. In that time, they would have to greet and make small talk (haha!), introduce their yummy brownies, throw in a little bit of persuasion tactics, make that sale, and offer gratitude before saying “Bye!” Though that may seem pretty easy for many of us, these children needed more work in this area, and this was going to be a really good exercise for them. Some of them did not know the concept of Dollars and Cents, and so a sale activity was going to help explain this in a real way.

     

    Brownies for Sale!

    Now, they made their own little signs to be attached to their paper plates of P.Osh brownies, and in that they learnt to write Dollars and Cents, with a little bit of Math work too. Beautiful, huh! Ready to go now!

     

    Would you?

    And so they went around their little kindergarten to sell brownies to teachers, and even outside to sell brownies to passers-by who were interested in getting some yummies for tea! Kudos to the other teachers who were patient to listen and talk to these enthusiastic learners of English!

     

    Would you?

    Teachers would also ask questions, and get the children to think beyond their scripts and get into actual, real-life, communications. And yes, the children did very well!

     

    How do the brownies taste?

    After all the hard work, it was time to taste some brownies! Reviews were rave, words of praise flowed, and we blush to see the extravagant praise lavished on those brownies… Well, anyway. So those brownies were an excellent reward for the day’s work, but more excellent were the lessons in English learnt! We hope these children continue to improve and never be afraid of speaking English–well, it’s only as hard as selling a brownie isn’t it? =)

    P.Osh

  • Blog = Brownie Log?! =P

    Well, a Brownie Log was what we did for Christmas many years ago…

    Anyway, hello again! Today, we are going to introduce some interesting and important stuff about the P.Osh Blog. There are a million things to talk and write about, but time only for about 1 post a week. So, we’ve got to pick and choose, and bring to you information that would be relevant, useful, exciting, etc. for our dear readers! And of course, we will keep updating everyone about P.Osh–’cause that is super relevant to you, isn’t it?

    Our love for food requires that we blog about food! What kind of food? Well, there isn’t time for bad stuff, so we’ll only take on the good stuff. And so we’ll bring to you information about all kinds of good food around Singapore in a very organised manner (or so we hope!). IF you trust our taste, you may follow our recommendations, and feel free to tell us how accurate we were… or otherwise that we have half-dead taste buds–uh oh. And yes, we happen to have the most awesome grading system ever… BROWNIE POINTS! Though this sounds like some heavenly match up, honestly, we didn’t plan this (we’re not that great!). But why not, we will give honest feedback about the food establishments, and grade them according to Brownie Points. We have always been really strict on taste… but we will try to be gentle OK? Should you know of any place that could do with a review, suggestions, or tips, (or some publicity, heh) do suggest that place to us and we just might visit them soon!

    Our love for what we do requires that we blog about all things to do with baking, chocolates, and sweets! Yes, recipes, products, techniques, new stuff in baking, and everything else imaginable. If we think it might interest you, we will show it to you. So, if you have any questions about these things, do let us know, and we will do our best to help you out! Just don’t ask us about P.Osh recipes OK? =P

    Our love for good requires that we blog about what good our products have been up to! As you might know, our brownies and cookies have been used for fundraising activities and charitable causes for many years now. We have long thought about helping to give these various causes some publicity to let people know about their meaningful work and how they might help out. So we will do our best to shine the limelight on these good causes, and hopefully it will benefit them as well as our readers.

    And finally, our blog will not be complete if we did not share little P.Osh secrets about upcoming products, developments, and stuff like that! At P.Osh, R&D is immense fun and you would surely enjoy being a part of it. Give us your thoughts and suggestions, who knows, you may even become a Brownie Stylist soon enough!

    If we have left out something… oh wait, we must have left something out! So please, do let us know if there is a certain mainstay topic that you would like us to cover from time to time, and we will definitely consider adding that to our¬†repertoire.

    Sounds good so far? Come back next week for our next post!

    Till then, be good.
    P.Osh

  • We’re P.Osh like that.

    Welcome to the P.Osh blog!

    Here is where you get to hear from us–news, upcoming promotions, interesting stuff, and… something you would love. (come back soon to find out!)

    We will post weekly–or more often–so do visit whenever possible! What you can expect from us in this blog is the same honest-to-goodness quality that we carry throughout the P.Osh brand, and that streak of unreserved fun that we have always had.

    That’s all this is about for now; we hope to see you back here soon for our next post! =)

    Till later, be good.
    P.Osh