Tag Archives: Bakery

Snack Review: IKEA Cinnamon Buns

15 Mar

I love cinnamon buns, but they are not very popular here in Hong Kong and I haven’t found a bakery that sells really tasty ones, so I haven’t had them for quite a long time. Two days ago, I was at IKEA looking for a bed light and some storage boxes, didn’t find what I want, but instead I found these frozen cinnamon buns at their food section. They look pretty delicious, so I decided to give it a try.

IKEA Cinnamon bun

IKEA Frozen Cinnamon Buns (HKD$29.9)

There are 6 mini cinnamon buns in a pack, and sold at HKD$29.9. They are not really expensive, and seem to be a convenient choice, as it only takes 15 minutes and you will have “freshly-baked” cinnamon buns at home.

Ready-to-eat cinnamon bun

Ready-to-eat Cinnamon Bun

The overall texture is okay, the outer part gets a bit crunchy while the inner part remains soft. They are not bad, but definitely not even close to the ones I had in Canada, and the cream cheese icing is missing!

There are 2 things I don’t like about these frozen cinnamon buns:

  1. When you buy them at IKEA, make sure you get a pack that is not thawed. I already chose a pack that isn’t thawed, but when I arrived home (less than 30 minutes after I left IKEA), they have become a bit soft (even during winter), and started to stick to each other, which makes it difficult to separate them apart when I take them out of the freezer and want to bake them.
  2. It gets a bit messy when taking them out of the package, as the sugar topping falls out and sticks everywhere.

My conclusion: I wish we had Cinnabon in Hong Kong!

Restaurant Review: Hong Ha Hot Bread, Mascot

25 Jan

Oh yes, I’m at Hong Ha Hot Bread again! I really like their Vietnamese roll, so I decided to go there again to try their chicken roll.

Since it was raining today, the queue wasn’t that long this time, approximately 8 customers waiting. The store also had some rolls prepared in advance, so when customers need extra ingredients, they just need add them and your order is done.

Chicken roll, Hong Ha Hot Bread

Chicken roll (AUD$5.00)

When I saw the chicken roll, my first impression was “the chicken rolls seems to have less ingredients”. There’s shredded chicken, pickled carrots, coriander, mayonnaise, special sauce and seasonings. The shredded chicken tastes very good and juicy. The bread wasn’t as crispy as last time, which I believe it’s because they were made ahead of time and they added too much mayonnaise. The chicken roll is still nice, but I definitely like the pork roll more!

Environment: N/A

Service: 7.5/10 (Average service)

Food:  8.5 /10 (I personally prefer the pork roll more!)

Overall: I’m definitely going to miss this so much!

Address: 1151 Botany Rd, Mascot, NSW 2020

Official website: www.redroll.com.au (Doesn’t seem to work though)

Restaurant Review: Hong Ha Hot Bread, Mascot

17 Jan

Half a year ago, I remember I was taking the bus to the airport to pick up my friend, it passed by this local bakery at Mascot and I saw this long queue outside. I didn’t know what they were waiting for, but I remember writing down the name of the bakery. I completely forgot about it, not until a few days ago, I was reading some blog posts about Cabramatta and some bloggers mentioned about the Vietnamese roll at Mascot. So I decided to go there to have a try, since I don’t live very far away from Mascot.

I got there at 12:30pm on Tuesday, and there were at least 15 people in front of me and more than 5 people behind, so you can imagine how popular their Vietnamese rolls are. You get really hungry when you are in line, because the smell keeps coming out from the bakery; luckily it wasn’t a really long wait, I got my order and was back on the bus 10 minutes later.

According to the notice, there has been an increase in price since 2nd January, but AUD$5 for a roll is still a pretty good deal. For the same price, I would rather get this Vietnamese roll than Subway.

Pork Roll

Pork Roll (AUD$5)

I am very picky with baguette, and there aren’t a lot of bakeries in Hong Kong that make real tasty baguettes. I have to say Hong Ha Hot Bread’s baguettes are beautifully crispy yet soft and fluffy inside, they are not dry yet still crispy. Not completely sure what they have inside, but I can see pickled carrots and onions, coriander, cucumber, pork slices, pate, and some seasoning and sauce. Absolutely delicious! I don’t remember if I ever had these Vietnamese roll before, but this has to be one of the best sandwiches ever!

Hong Ha Hot Bread

I heard that they have stores at other locations, though some people say the original store in Mascot is still the best. I tried to access their website, but it didn’t work. Anyway, this is a really good place to stop by for lunch or for a teatime break.

Environment: N/A

Service: 7.5/10 (Don’t expect super friendly service, they are just busy, but they are not rude)

Food:  9.5 /10 (Best sandwich ever!)

Overall: Be patient, especially during lunch time. It’s not a convenient location for most people, but definitely worth trying!

Address: 1151 Botany Rd, Mascot, NSW 2020

Official website: www.redroll.com.au (Doesn’t seem to work though)

P.S. Check out my other blog post for a review on the chicken roll.

Restaurant Review: Adriano Zumbo, Balmain

16 Jan

Oh yes, it’s Adriano Zumbo again! I’m leaving Sydney soon, so I decided to explore more before I leave, so here I am at Adriano Zumbo’s Balmain store. I went there pretty late, 30 minutes before it closed, so there weren’t a lot of choices left. I was going to try the Grandma’s Soap, but they didn’t have it, so I ended up choosing Snnowmanoor and Man Goes Peanuts. I had a pretty bumpy bus ride back home and the weather wasn’t really good; but luckily the staff put some tape to secure them, and they still look very nice when I got home.

Adriano Zumbo's Snnowmanoor

Snnowmanoor (AUD$9) 

Official description: Pâté a choux, bubble tea custard, lychee coconut crème légère, lychee gel, coconut crunch  

This cake is delicious, a combination of different texture! In the middle, there is lychee gel and a sweet paste inside, which I’m not too sure what it is, it looked like red bean paste, which I’m sure I’m wrong. Or maybe it’s the bubble tea custard, but I don’t know why it is named so, because nothing tasted like bubble tea. I also like the bottom layer, the coconut crunch, which gives a different texture from the crème légère and cream puff. This is probably one of my favourite cakes from Adriano Zumbo!

Adriano Zumbo's Man Goes Peanuts

Man Goes Peanuts (AUD$9)

Official description: Peanut butter crunch, mango compote, mango burnt honey mousse, pain 

I love this one even more! This cake is also a combination of different texture, the crunchiness of the peanut butter crunch, the creamy mango mousse, the bread with peanuts and the jelly mango compote. After eating the cake, your mouth will be filled with the taste of mango and peanut!

Environment: N/A

Service: 7.5/10 (Better than the staff at Manly)

Food: 8.5 /10 (These two cakes fit my taste more than the previous one! Delicious!)

Overall: Not sure if I would have a chance to try more cakes before I leave, but the cakes at Adriano Zumbo definitely have the best presentation! Will try to come back again some day!

Address: 296 Darling St, Balmain, NSW 2040

Official website: http://adrianozumbo.com/

Childhood memories

13 Jan

Today I decided to visit a place that reminds me of my childhood! Had a really long walk around the suburb and ended up having blisters on my feet! Luckily I had a great time revisiting some places I have been to when I was young, and happy to find that things haven’t changed a lot.

Local bakery

Local bakery at Padstow

Egg, bacon and cheese meat pie

Egg, bacon and cheese meat pie (AUD$3.20)

I have totally forgotten about the meat pie with an egg on the top! I remember the day when my mom bought me this meat pie for breakfast before heading on the train, I was super happy and satisfied, and I think this was the best meat pie I have ever had! Today when I walked pass this local bakery, I suddenly remember the meat pie, and rushed into the bakery and found that they still have it. I can’t be 100% sure it’s still the same bakery, but I still had the “Wow” face after eating the whole meat pie! It’s delicious and I still like the egg! Wish someone in Hong Kong knew how to make real meat pie like this!

Banana milk

Banana flavoured reduced fat milk (AUD$1.70)

I love banana flavoured milk when I was young, and chocolate flavoured milk too! I think that Moove was one of the brands I used to buy, but I think my taste has changed, because I didn’t like it. It has a very strong plastic smell and taste, don’t know if it’s the plastic bottle or what, and it doesn’t have a a hint of banana flavour, not even artificial banana flavour! I just didn’t like it. Maybe I’m no longer a little kid…

Restaurant Review:, Adriano Zumbo, Manly

11 Jan

I saw their new menu a couple of weeks ago, and was so excited to try out their new cakes, particularly the Grandma’s Soap and V8 Christmas. Although I was very full after having BenBry burger, I still insisted going to Adriano Zumbo to try out their new products. This is actually my second time at Adriano Zumbo, but I was at their Balmain store last time. This store is located at a quiet area, a street away from The Corso, where most tourists walk by. Luckily I checked out their address before going there, because the sign is so tiny and I think people would not notice its existence at all.

Adriano Zumbo Manly

The tiny sign outside the Manly store

Adriano Zumbo

Shaded area around Adriano Zumbo

According to my previous experience, the cake might melt or fall apart on my way home, so I decided to eat it right away. There are some chairs and tables at the nearby area, and has a beautiful view of the harbour too!

V8 Christmas

Christmas v8 (AUD$10)

  • Cinnamon Creme Chantilly
  • Morello Cherry Jelly
  • Pain D’épices
  • Toasted Nougat Brulee
  • Vanilla Chiffon Cake
  • Vanilla Ganache
  • Pistachio Crunch
  • Pistachio Dacquoise

The cake was nicely presented, you can see each layer clearly, but I’m sorry to say that I was a bit disappointed. Even though I have a sweet tooth, this cake was way too sweet that I didn’t want to finish the last bite. The cherry jelly was very obvious; I’m not a fan of cherry, but luckily they had that layer there, because the fruity and slightly sour taste helped to lower the sweetness of the cake. Although I didn’t like this cake, I love the truffle on the top of the cake.

I still want to try other cakes, but maybe I should go back to the Balmain store. The staff at the Manly store wasn’t too enthusiastic; and when she put the box into the plastic bag, the box fell on the side, and the cake slide to the side of the box, luckily the cake wasn’t ruined. I also went back to ask her for a spoon, but she had no intention giving me a napkin, which was just next to the spoon.

Environment: N/A

Service: 7/10 (The staff wasn’t too enthusiastic, and she nearly ruined my cake)

Food: 7.5/10 (A bit disappointed)

Overall: Wasn’t too impressed this time, hopefully it would be better next time.

Address: Shop 1a/40 The East Esplanade, Manly, NSW 2095

Official website: http://adrianozumbo.com/

Restaurant Review: Adriano Zumbo, Balmain

11 Sep

My friend invited me to her home for dinner, but I didn’t know what to bring. I have been thinking of trying Adriano Zumbo for a long time, so I decided to go there to get some of their cakes for dessert. I went there on a Saturday afternoon and it was packed with people. The shop is very small, I nearly walked pass it, luckily there was a queue outside the shop.

Adriano Zumbo

(Left Top to Bottom: malt & teaser, passiondor, lukas on the ride)
(Right Top to Bottom: what a great pear, passionfruit tart)

malt & teaser (AUD$9)

Official description: chocolate sabayon mousse, almond malt dacquoise, malt bavaroise, vanilla creneaux, almond praline feuilletine

It started to melt when I got home; before I got to my friend’s home, it kinda of collapsed already. I didn’t put the cakes in the fridge, thinking the weather was still cool… maybe I should put them in the fridge next time. Anyways, despite the ugly appearance, this cake is so good!

passiondor (AUD$9)

Official description: hazelnut dacquoise, praline feuilletine noisette, passionfruit milk chocolate ganache, passionfruit milk chocolate chantilly

Liked the different layers and texture. For me, it was a little bit sour, but still acceptable.

lukas on the ride (AUD$9)

Official description: macadamia dacquoise, macadamia praline mousse, vanilla chantilly, pear tatin and macadamia nougatine

My favourite out of all! I was given a small piece to try when I was waiting to be served at the store, and I was immediately impressed by it! My friends like this one too!

what a pear (AUD$9)

Description: choux pastry, pear & vanilla creme patissier, almond crunch, pear mousse, pera gel, chocolate square and marzipan

The green colour actually looks a bit scary to me, but it was good, it’s like a creme puff with pear jelly inside.

tarte aux fruits de la passion (AUD$6)

Official description: passionfruit curd and pâte sucrée

We were all shocked by how sour this fruit tart was, I guess it’s because everyone was expecting it to be a fruity tart with a hint of sour. For those who like sweet treats may not like this one. Although I didn’t like it at the beginning, it wasn’t that bad after all, you just need to be prepared before you have a bite.

Oh no, I’m so bad at describing food! Sorry for the bad quality photo too! Although my description is so bad, Adriano Zumbo’s cakes are amazing, should definitely try them if you have a chance!

Environment: N/A

Service: 8.5/10 (The staff were friendly and helpful. Even though it was fully packed, she explained to me in details when I asked her about the cakes. She even told me to be careful while handling the cakes, and it would be better to hold with both of my hands rather than carrying it in a bag.)

Food: 9/10 (A little bit pricey but super delicious!)

Overall: I love their cakes so much! Their location is not convenient for me, but will definitely revisit again!

Address: 296 Darling St, Balmain NSW 2040

Official Website: http://adrianozumbo.com/

Restaurant Review: La Renaissance Pâtisserie Française, The Rocks

12 Jun

Tranche au Chocolate

Tranche au Chocolate (Take-away AUD$6.0)

Description from official website: Valrhona chocolate Ganache with layers of flourless chocolate biscuit sponge and pistachio nuts. (Gluten free)

Went there for the first time during the weekend. My friend didn’t want to eat any sweet treats, so I only get to try one slice. The Tranche au Chocolate was really delicious, very rich chocolate ganache and the bottom sponge tasted like chocolate mousse.

Definitely will try again next time!

Environment: N/A
Service: 7/10
Food: 9/10

Overall: Would love to try more, but I think the restaurant is always packed with people, not a place I would like to sit down and relax.

Address: 47 Argyle Street The Rocks Sydney NSW 2000

Official website: http://www.larenaissance.com.au/