The Matcha Review



Brace yourself, everybody, because this post is going to be ALL ABOUT MATCHA! 

I've decided to compile some matcha desserts I've tried in the past and dedicate a blog entry for them since I'm such a huge matcha lover! Read on for more green pictures 😆💚

Tombo Pokē & Matcha Bar


As reviewed in my previous post, Tombo's Matcha Soft Serve is by far the best... uhm... matcha soft serve.. I've ever had! You'll be able to tell just by the dark colour of the ice cream that the matcha flavour > milk flavour! I highly recommend those of you who love matcha to try out Tombo's Matcha Soft Serve.

TSUJIRI


TSUJIRI is pretty well-known globally as it has stores in the UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Philipines! Although I'm from Malaysia, ironically I have never had the chance to try TSUJIRI in Malaysia. Thankfully, with the great public transport service in the UK, I was able to make my way to TSUJIRI in Soho HAHAHA.


On my first visit, I got the Shiratama Sundae which was made out of matcha soft serve, red bean paste and shiratama (mochi balls). Compared to Tombo's matcha soft serve, TSUJIRI's soft serve definitely tasted milkier, but I really love the sweet red bean paste as it complimented well with the matcha soft serve. I'm the type of person who enjoys having something to chew instead of plain smooth texture (hence my love for bubble tea and oreo milkshake) so I love having some shiratama to chew on! It's quite chewy and your jaw WILL GET TIRED if you try to chew all three of them at the same time. It doesn't have any taste so do eat it with the ice cream and red bean paste instead of saving it for last.


I chose the Crispy Sundae on my second visit and this time I had both matcha and hojicha flavour. It consisted of brown rice puffs, matcha and hojicha soft serve, red bean paste, chestnut, shiratama and a waffle biscuit. In my opinion, the hojicha lacked flavour and if I was blindfolded while I ate it, I wouldn't be able to tell it's hojicha flavour. However, the creamy texture of their soft serve compensates the subtle flavour, which in turn makes it a decent cup of sundae to indulge in. I'm not a huge fan of having the brown rice puffs at the bottom because it's so difficult to dig it out.

Pan De Vie



This bakery serves some really amazing cakes and desserts and I have absolutely no idea why it never pops out in any of my Google search on matcha desserts. A friend of mine introduced me to it and since then I have been following their social media account.

They have a wide selection of matcha bakeries such as Matcha and Almond Layered Cake, Matcha Chocolate Fondant Dessert and Matcha Almond Croissant. Besides matcha flavoured bakeries, they also do incredible-looking desserts like this Christmas special Le Cerise.

PC: Pan De Vie Facebook 
I can't deny I'm so attracted to their fancy-looking dessert creations! 

PC: Pan De Vie Facebook

Choice of the day: Matcha Azuki Mousse

A light and creamy matcha mousse but again, the matcha flavour was very subtle. I love the layering of matcha cake, red bean and mousse as it balances the taste and texture well.
On a side note, I don't see the reason of gold foil (is that what you call it?) on the red bean. It didn't add or enhance the flavour so I'll safely assume it's just there to hike up the price of the dessert.


P.S. Tokyo 


Getting out of London, we're now in Malaysia! Matcha soft serve is definitely rising in popularity in Malaysia as more and more cafes and dessert shops selling matcha food are popping out. If you prefer a milkier texture of matcha soft serve, P.S. Tokyo has you covered. I'm not a huge fan of their matcha soft serve as I prefer mine to have a stronger matcha flavour. In terms of creaminess, I wouldn't say it's as creamy as Tombo's or TSUJIRI's. Instead, it tasted rather light.


I am, however, in love with their hojicha soft serve because you can taste the hojicha well, unlike TSUJIRI's which was pretty mild. If you enjoy the strong roasted taste of green tea, P.S. Tokyo's hojicha flavour will be the right choice for you!


Apart from their soft serve, I also love P.S. Tokyo because of the cafe's Instagrammable setting. They provide handy decoratives for those who wish to take #Instafood #Foodporn pictures, and by posting your picture on Instagram with the hashtag #pstokyo , you get to print your picture out in polaroid style with their printer for free!

Mamecha

Hop back to the other side of the world as we stop by Mamecha in Berlin for some matcha fix. Matcha is generally not a well-known flavour in Germany so there's not many Matcha cafes around. This is probably why Mamecha is always filled with customers especially in the evening as people enjoy a quiet afternoon tea.


However, Mamecha did not live up to my expectation. Their Matcha Latte had a really light matcha flavour which ended up tasting more like hot milk. The matcha tiramisu was quite a mess in the sense that it was made of slices of matcha sponge cake, topped with whipped topping and dusted with matcha powder. It lacked the most important flavour - matcha - as the whipped topping overpowered everything else.


Despite the very weak flavour of matcha in their Matcha Latte and Matcha Tiramisu, their Matcha Cappuccino was pretty decent! It had a good balance between the coffee taste and matcha flavour - perfect drink to sip on while reading a book or during a rainy day.  

That's all for our review on matcha food! Surely there are loads of places serving quality matcha food and we hope to be able to try as many as possible! But for now, we shall satisfy our cravings for matcha desserts by scrolling through #matcha on Instagram. 

Tombo Japanese Café & Matcha Bar @ Soho

Hey everybody! Back to blogging again and this time it's a review of Tombo Japanese Café & Matcha Bar! 
I've been wanting to try Poke Bowls because of its appealing vibrant colour and the hype on social media as a new healthy food trend. While I always think Poke Bowl originates from Japan, it's actually from Hawaii! Apparently, Poke is the Hawaiian verb for "sliced" or "cut", which is why it is always topped with small cubes of raw fish. 
For my first try on Poke Bowl, I decided to visit Tombo in Soho! I'm a huge fan of Tombo because they specialise in matcha desserts and I AM SO IN LOVE WITH MATCHA
If I had to choose between chocolate and matcha, I'll go for matcha without a doubt. It's matcha all the way for me 💚💚💚
I'll be reviewing some matcha desserts in my next blog post so watch out for it if you're a matcha lover! But for now, let's stick to Poke Bowls. 


My pick was Tombo's Classic Salmon Pokē. You have the option of black & white rice or courgette noodles as your base, so for those who are really trying to eat healthily or want to cut carbohydrates out of your diet, the courgette noodles choice is a good option. 
I opted for black & white rice, and my bowl was served with salmon cubes, sesame soy, white onions, edamame, sesame seeds and nori. 


My friend, on the other hand, ordered the Spicy Mayo Prawn which consisted of prawns (obviously), sriracha mayo and edamame, topped with crispy shallots and shichimi chilli. 
Presentation wise, definitely Instagrammable. I took a bite of the salmon cube and was satisfied at how well-seasoned it was - not too salty and it didn't have any fishy taste. 
However, as I took more bites, that's when I slowly realised the disaster buried at the bottom of the bowl. 
My rice (or black & white rice if you want to be exact LOOL), was soaked in a pool of soy sauce and it was SO SALTY. Every mouth of it tasted like I was taking a shot of soy sauce. It was that horrible. I insisted on finishing the whole thing because I didn't want it to go to waste but my friend and I came to the conclusion that we didn't want to risk getting high cholesterol. We did finish all the toppings which were actually really nice. All in all, the Classic Pokē could have been really good if it weren't for the soy sauce rice. 
Overall, it's a low rating of 4/10 from me because, despite the mouth-watering toppings and delicious salmon cubes, I feel that the rice plays an important role in this dish as the base. 
However, let's not have the Classic Pokē disaster discourage you from visiting Tombo because the Spicy Mayo Prawn was absolutely delicious! The mayo didn't taste like ordinary mayo, it was mildly sweet and savoury - a perfect match with the prawns and crispy shallots. The mayo tasted a lot spicier than I expected, but it's not an extreme spiciness. After a few mouths, you ought to get used to the spiciness, but for those who can't stand even the slightest spicy food, you may want to avoid this. 
Overall, I give the Spicy Prawn Mayo Pokē a whopping 10/10 because I couldn't any fault in it. 
Apart from Poke Bowls, one should never leave Tombo without getting something made with matcha! There're so many options to choose from - latte, frappe, sundae, tart, gateau, cheesecake etc. 
I settled for the most common dessert - matcha soft serve
I've had loads of matcha ice cream and soft serve in the past and I can proudly say that Tombo's matcha soft serve is by far the best I've ever had! 
My only reason is because I could taste the matcha flavour easily until my very last spoon. 
In the past, all the matcha ice cream and soft serve I've tried had a pretty mild matcha taste and they're milkier instead. After a few spoons, my taste buds just stopped recognising the subtle matcha taste and it'll taste like milk or vanilla flavour instead. But for Tombo's, it was matcha in every spoon. 
10/10 for their matcha soft serve of course! 
If you're craving for matcha desserts or even Japanese food, do check out Tombo in Soho or South Kensington. 
28 D'Arblay Street
Soho, W1F 8EW
Mon-Sat 11:30 - 21:00
Sun 11:30 - 20:00

Shoryu Ramen @ Regent Street


Hello everybody! I'm finally back to blogging after abandoning it for three months. Second year of university has been really tough because I had to juggle between assessments and diploma exams. Not to mention I was writing some articles for The National Student website as well.

Here's a short food review on Shoryu as my first blog post of 2017!
For those who are in the UK, I know there has been a long debate between Shoryu's and Kanada-Ya's ramen. Some say Kanada-Ya's ramen is the best, and some say Shoryu used to serve great ramen but over the years it has failed to keep up its performance.
Now, I can't comment on that because I have never tried Kanada-Ya, but I can let you know that my friend and I had a tough time deciding which restaurant to go to satisfy our cravings for ramen. Obviously, with my review on Shoryu today, you'll know which we had chosen.


Shoryu has a few branches around London, mainly Covent Garden, Regent Street and SOHO, so if there's a long line in one of them, you can easily try your luck at the other locations.
My friend and I went to Regent Street and surprisingly, the restaurant was empty despite us arriving just before noon.
It's a pretty small branch with around 20-25 tables so when it gets filled up, it's actually really narrow.


Brace yourself for the price because it's quite expensive, especially if you're a student. But comparing the prices to other ramen restaurants, it's actually a standard price for Japanese ramen in London.


For starters, we ordered two Shoryu buns - Char Siu BBQ Pork Belly and Tiger Prawn Tempura.

There's only a handful of fillings in it - two lettuce leaves, two slices of cucumber, the choice of your filling and mayo.


My friend and I agreed that the Char Siu BBQ Pork Belly was the best because the meat was tender and well-flavoured. The most important part was the sauce was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! The meat wasn't as fatty as we expected so we highly recommend it!

As for the tiger prawn tempura, it didn't live up to my expectation because the batter wasn't crispy. If I get to choose again, I'll skip the tiger prawn tempura. But hey, on the good side, the batter wasn't soggy and oily, and they gave two prawns instead of one.


For the ramen, we both opted for the Kotteri Hakata Tonkotsu, served with generous toppings of char siu barbecue pork belly, nitamago egg, kikurage mushrooms, spring onions, sesame, ginger and nori seaweed. 

Everything seemed perfect at first look. The egg was beautiful, the pork broth was rich and flavourful and personally, I love ramen with loads of toppings.


Ok time to dig in!

There's something about the broth which I couldn't figure out at first. It was really rich and flavourful at first but that's probably because I was starving so much, so everything tasted nice to me.
After a few mouths, I turned over to my friend and said: "There's something off about the ramen but I can't tell."
"It's really salty," she replied.

HOLY GUACAMOLY! It actually was! LOOOL jokes on me for not being able to tell.

It was so salty to the point I was so sick of it! And I could feel an ulcer popping out! 😩
Putting that aside, there's nothing to rave about the ramen apart from the egg which was near perfection (Those who had tried authentic ramen in Japan probably disagree with me but I've never been to Japan so this is the closest-to-perfection egg I ever had).

Overall, I'll give it a 6/10.


It's not a ramen restaurant I'll crave to go back but seeing how long the queue was when we were leaving, I guess most people feel that their ramen is worth the wait in the cold. If you've been to Shoryu, do let me know how you felt about the ramen because I probably went on a bad day. Who knows?

Shoryu Ramen 
9 Regent Street, SW1Y 4LR
Mon - Sat 11:15 - 00:00
Sun & Bank Holiday 11:15 - 22:30

Passengers - movie review


When I first watched the trailer of Passengers, I should have known it'll be a typical romance [you die, I die] kind of movie, rather than a nerve-racking action movie.

So what's the movie all about? 
A guy wakes up a girl because he's lonely, then tries to guilt-trip her into liking him by sacrificing his life and become a hero. #shittymoviesummary 
The starship Avalon is transporting 5000 passengers and 255 crews to a new planet named Homestead II. As the journey takes 120 years, everybody is placed in a hibernation pod to prevent them from dying of old age, and they're only supposed to wake up a few months before they arrive. However, a malfunction in the hibernation pod awakens a passenger, Jim Preston (Chris Pratt), 90 years early. He breaks down after realising what had happened to his pod, and tries many ways to fix the situation. When all attempts failed, he decides to enjoy life on the starship instead. He grows a beard, plays basketball, dances with holograms and hangs out with a robot bartender named Arthur (Micheal Sheen). After a year of living alone, he sees a beautiful blonde lady named Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence). He decides to wake her up.
The first part of the movie was more comedic than I expected. Although it showed the horror of being the only passenger awake, there were many scenes which contain a sense of humour, such as: 
  • Jim sending a video message to Earth to inform about the breakdown of his hibernation pod, only to receive an automated respond saying that his message will take more than 30 years to reach Earth. 
  • Jim being charged more than $6,000 for his video message. 
  • Jim attempting to order a cappuccino but could only get a simple black coffee because he's not a gold class passenger. 
There are more hilarious scenes, but I'll save them for you to watch in the cinema. Other than the occasional appearances of Michael Sheen, Chris Pratt was the star in the first part of the movie, and it somehow reminded me of the super boring Gravity movie. 
After Aurora was woken up, the second part of the movie displayed a strong romance between the two main leads. What else can a single male and female do in a huge empty (5,253 sleeping people) starship other than succumbing into a corny romance? #Typicalmovieplot 
After Jim manually wakes Aurora, he lies to her by saying that her pod had malfunctioned, just like his. She went berserk, trying all ways she can think of to fix the problem. After a while, she accepts her situation and begins writing a book about her experiences. Jim helps Aurora to enjoy life on the Avalon by showing her all the entertainments available. They spend time together and eventually fall in love with each other. After a year of awakening, Arthur unintentionally tells Aurora the truth (Jim was the one who woke her, not the pod's malfunction), and she went berserk again. She avoids Jim at all cost, while Jim tries his best to ask for forgiveness (by planting a tree...). 
gifs website

gifs website
Romance, romance, romance. At this point, I started asking myself if I am watching the correct movie.
From the trailer, I thought it'll be an intense action movie, but after an hour into the movie, I started wondering if there'll be any action scenes. An hour of comedy and romance was not what I expected. 
Just as I was wondering, the third part of the movie finally had the action scenes! 
As Jim and Aurora are in a cold war, another pod failure awakens Chief Deck Officer, Gus (Laurence Fishburne). He spots multiple failures in the starship's system, and the three soon discover the starship's components are overloading due to a failed component. Gus attempts to fix it with Jim and Aurora's help, but his pod's malfunctioning life support causes him to have organs failure. Before he dies, he gives his ID badge to Jim, allowing him to access restricted areas to repair the starship. Soon, they find out the cause of the system failure. The fusion reactor was overheated and Jim decides to open the vent door from the outside to cool it. However, he has to stay to keep the vent door open as it will not stay open. They successfully vent the reactor but Jim's tether comes loose and his spacesuit begins losing oxygen. Aurora retrieves him back and resuscitates him with the Autodoc. Jim eventually finds out the Autodoc has the ability to re-hibernate a person and he offers it to Aurora. 88 years later, the passengers and crews woke up to a ship's concourse fill with plants. They find Aurora's book, which reveals her choice to stay with Jim. 
At this point of the movie, my expectation had dropped from 10 to 3. It was an easy guess for what the next scene will be. Somebody has to sacrifice and it will definitely be Jim, and the whole 'you jump, I jump' Titanic romance will emerge - in this case, 'you die, I die'. And with a typical romance story, it's expected for Aurora to choose Jim over re-hibernation. 
Despite the great screen chemistry between Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, the movie plot did not live up to my expectation. The movie can be clearly divided into three parts - comedy, romance and action. Personally, I find the movie lacks uniqueness, other than the setting of being in the Avalon starship. The romance and actions were quite cliché. Quoting Peter Travers, "star power can only go so far when the screenwriter (Jon Spaihts) and director (Morten Tyldum) snooze on the job". 

LALALAB - print great moments

"Take a picture, it'll last forever"
At some point in life, I believe everybody has the wish of decorating their room with polaroid pictures. Millions of ideas will run through your mind - arranging it to form a heart shape, clipping it with fairy lights etc.
Polaroid has always been popular since it was invented. That excitement you feel when the picture was being printed, when you and your friends gathered around the camera waiting to check the print, oh how great it was.
However, taking polaroids can be 'risky'. What if you don't look good? What if the lighting is bad? What if... What if...
As much as I love polaroids, I get paranoid every time I take one. Thankfully, I found LALALAB!

Started in 2012 by three young founders, LALALAB allows you to print pictures straight from your smartphone, avoiding the hassle of transferring pictures to your computer beforehand. 
There are five types of prints - classic, vintage, regular, large classic and large regular. 
I went for the vintage print because it has white borders around the picture which is similar to a polaroid print. Priced at £0.29 per unit, I was able to get 34 vintage prints with the £10 voucher I received from LALALAB. 


Although the size of the vintage prints (10x12cm) is larger than a typical polaroid print, it is still perfect to decorate your room. 


Instead of sticking your prints to the wall with blue tack, you can clip them up as well to create an elegant decoration in your room. 


The app also allows you to write a caption, apply filters and enhance the colour and brightness of your pictures before printing them. For confidentiality and efficiency purposes, all the pictures are printed the way they are received, so there's no worry of having your pictures cropped or edited. 

LALALAB's photographic laboratories are located in France and Germany to ensure fast delivery and optimal quality. My order, for instance, was printed in and shipped from Germany, and only took a few days to arrive in my mailbox. 


Among all your prints in the package, there's a LALAGAME scratch card. Insert the code you get into the 'LALAGAME' section in the mobile app and it'll reveal your prize. 



Besides common prints, LALALAB also offers a wide variety of customised printings. You can have a picture taken during your holiday printed into a postcard to be sent to your family and friends. 


They also do photobooks ranging from 26 to 80 pages, priced at £0.79 per page. The hardcover photobook is perfect for reliving adventures and as a baby book. 


If you wish to gift your family or friends a collection of pictures, you can opt for the Lalabox (36 to 48 vintage prints) or Biggiebox (80 to 120 vintage prints). 


Other products include calendar, magnets, posters, alu-dibond, frames, canvases and phone cases. 

For more information, visit LALALAB 
LALALAB mobile app is available on Google Play and App Store, and they offer worldwide shipping too!

credits: LALALAB 

U Pizzeria @ USJ 21



Hey everybody! Apologies for the long break from blogging. The past few months had been super hectic for me - final exams, moving out from my university accommodation, family holiday, flying home to Malaysia and trip to Singapore.
Phew~ There were so many things to do but I'll still admit that my long break was partly due to laziness HAHA.
Anyways, I'm super glad to share with you a new food review today! Shout out to Food Ink and U Pizzeria for the sponsored food session!
U Pizzeria started serving fresh quality food since last October. The 'U' in its shop name signifies 'Good' (优) in Chinese saying - portraying the owner's aim to deliver the good in everything.
Their choice of yellow for their signboard and shop's design symbolises their brand identity and happiness. The concept is to bring the family together and gather more buddies.


Chicken Wings with BBQ sauce (4 pcs) 
RM13

Our first try was the Chicken Wings with BBQ Sauce. There's also a choice of honey if you prefer a sweet taste. Personally, I find the taste of these chicken wings nothing more than normal. The slight sourness of the BBQ sauce does lift your appetite though. 


Garlic Bread Stick
RM6

Next up was the Garlic Bread Stick. Simple and chewy dough but the taste of garlic is very subtle. I prefer one with stronger garlic and butter taste. 
Now for the highlights -


U Seafood Bonanza
Personal pizza: RM16
Regular pizza: RM35
Large pizza: RM47

My eyes were filled with heart emojis when I saw this pan of U Seafood Bonanza being served right in front of me. I am an absolute fan of salmon and this pizza had me drooling despite the black olives (I hate olives). Based with U pizza sauce, this pizza is topped with yellow onions, black olives, green peppers, shrimps, grilled smoked salmon, mushrooms and cheese. Notice how there's salmon pieces on each slice of pizza? That's my definition of a good pizza. Nobody misses the good thing. 


Sambal Api
Personal pizza: RM11.90
Regular pizza: RM26.90
Large pizza: RM35.90

Every Malaysian will surely have tried sambal in their whole life. Either they love it or hate it. Eaten mainly with Malaysia's signature food - Nasi Lemak, U Pizzeria combines it with pizza and created the very first Sambal Api pizza. Topped with sambal, ikan bilis (anchovies), onions, garlic, sausages and cheese, the spiciness really does give a kick to your taste bud. I found it slightly spicy but another Food Inker was adding tabasco sauce to it! 


U Mexicana
Personal pizza: RM16
Regular pizza: RM35
Large pizza: RM47

If you're a Mexican food lover, this pan of U Mexicana may be perfect for you. This pan of wonder consists of U pizza sauce, sundries tomatoes, red chillies, jalapeños, beef pepperoni, meatballs, ground beef, red peppers and cheese. I'm definitely no fan of jalapeños and only tried a slice with the meatball. Honestly, I had some difficulty swallowing the meatball because it was dry. 


However, points must be given to the generous amount of cheese on the pizza!


Meat Delight
Personal pizza: RM11.90
Regular pizza: RM26.90
Large pizza: RM35.90

Beef lovers can opt for the Meat Delight which consists of beef salami, (lots and lots of) ground beef, cheddar and mozzarella cheese. I love this pizza because of the generous amount of meat and cheese on it! 


U Durian Delight
Personal pizza: RM 16
Regular pizza: RM35
Large pizza: RM47

Last but not least, the legendary U Durian Delight. Many people find durian disgusting, especially its smell often being described as a dead body or sewage. I am and will always be curious about how deadly the smell is to other people because I love durian and I find the smell really unique and pleasant (don't you dare judge me). I couldn't hide my excitement when I was served with my very first durian pizza. What's best is the durian used to make this pizza is the almighty Musang King durian! 
For those who are not familiar with durian, Musang King is the king of the king of fruits. According to Year of the Durian, Musang King is like black market gold. It is the most sought after, desired and expensive of all the durian varieties, selling for more than twice the price of a more average durian. 


U Pizzeria's Durian Delight is made with Musang King durian flesh, pineapples and a mix of mozzarella, parmesan and edam cheese. All these ingredients compliment each other really well and I am absolutely in love with it. 
Besides all the above pizzas I reviewed, U Pizzeria offers a wide choice of pizzas to satisfy every person's taste bud. Their signature pizzas include Aloha Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetarian Pizza. 
They also collaborate with Food Panda to provide delivery service around USJ, Shah Alam and Putra Heights. 

Address:
23, Jalan USJ 21/11
Subang Jaya, 47630
Selangor
Operation Hours: 
Mon - Sun 1100 - 2200

More info @ Food Ink