Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blogger meet-up @ The Lobby Lounge

Met up with my regular foodies friends, Daniel, Harris, Kaelyn and Phoebe; and let me have a disclaimer before I blabber my way through. I don't usually elaborate the cakes we have during blogger outings as
- first, it is not accurate since we only have several mouthfuls. Tasting and eating the entire thing is a different affair;
- second, with great company, food will naturally taste good so to a certain extent I do have my reluctance to blog about outings. Do take my comments with a pinch of salt.

Personally, I haven't been a huge fan of Marriott as my first encounter with their chocolate orange cake 3 years ago was disappointing, the cake loaf was dense and dry. Subsequently, I visited Marriott cafe for a buffet dinner with my colleagues and it didn't impress either, be it the spread nor the desserts. To be honest, if not for this blogger outing, I am not sure when my next visit to Marriott will be.

Blogger dessert degustation

Among the 7 pastries we had that afternoon, Yuan and I have a favourite in mind and I shall focus my entry on these 2 pastries. My favourite is the same as Kaelyn and Phoebe, the Strawberry Tart ($6.90++). Although Kki's has stayed at the top of my list, what makes Marriott's good in my opinion is the shortcrust base that is meaty core and crisp, crunchy exterior. Kki's strengths lies in the buttery taste which both Yuan and I adore but falls short on its crunchiness when compared to Marriott's version. I find both good so depending on where I am, I am happy with both tarts. For picky tarts eaters like Yuan, his choice is clear between the two.

Strawberry Tart

Lychee Mousse (described to have Lychee Mousse, Kirch, Sponge Finger, contains alcohol, $6.90++) is another favourite among the females and I did point out to Yuan that the thick proportion of sponge and a curd-like lychee mousse is very similar to the cakes we had in KL. Nice refreshing treat but the excessive gelatin makes it ponder to try it a second round.

Lychee Mousse

Opera ($7.90++) turns out to be Yuan's favourite among the entire lot. Often, the opera we had so far were dry with chocolate overshadowing the coffee buttercream but this is moist and evenly layered with the basic requirements of an opera. Each of the layer (i.e. almond sponge cake soaked in coffee syrup, ganache, coffee buttercream and chocolate glaze) are distinctive in taste and the entire combination is moist with a good balance of coffee and chocolate.

Opera

The remaining cakes for the afternoon, Rich Chocolate ($5.90++), milk and dark chocolate mousse with a hint of alcohol, a combination that won't go wrong except the missing hazelnut feuilletine

Rich Chocolate

Strawberry Cheese ($5.90++), New York cheese with strawberry glaze

Strawberry Cheese

Cherry Michelle ($5.90++), a banana cake taste-alike that is actually chocolate almond cake crumbs with dark cherries

Cherry Michelle

Easter bun ($3++) with either a chocolate egg or hard boiled egg on a danish pastry

Easter bun

One thing to note, the turnover of the cakes was very fast on a Sunday afternoon and this is one of the factors that (I would say) determine how good and popular the pastries are. With fast turnover, the cakes are ensured fresh at all times. Should your favourite cake be missing in the shelf, just check with the staff, considering how fast they replenish their cakes.

28 April 10: Called up the hotel to ask about their evening promotion. They have a 25% discount daily from 7pm to 9pm.

The Pastry Shop @ Marriott

The Pastry Shop
Marriott Hotel
320 Orchard Road
Singapore 238865
Tel: 6831 4551

Operating hours for The Lobby Lounge,
7am to 1am (Last order at 12.45am, daily)

The Pastry Shop opens daily from 7.00am – 9.00pm
Website

12 comments:

ice said...

fen, the sable breton tart base of K ki's strawberry tart is lined with a thin layer of almond frangipane on top. That's how meticulous Ken is. This explains why it's not totally crunchy (unlike the coconut sables) if that's what you mean. Ken gave me an extra yummy tart base to bring home hehe, but it never made it home...

I see Marriott's tart base as a normal pâte sucrée shortcrust pastry, like that of Delifrance's no?

*Harris said...

you're right, food naturally tastes better when eaten with you guys :)

see you next time fen & yuan!

foodaholic said...

can't wait to see you guys soon again!

Fen said...

Ice: Yea, the region where it is layered with the almond frangipane is alittle soft. So envious you have an extra tart base to bring back. I once asked Del if Ken bakes the base separately but they don't. Thought of getting some for Yuan, he like those bases. Actually, I was wondering how different the bases of Mont Blanc and Strawberry Tart are, apparently they are different recipes.

Marriott's tart base is not like Delifrance, only the exterior is crunchy, the interior has a soft crumbly core.

Don't get me wrong, Kki's strawberry tarts need reservation, so if I have sudden cravings and there isn't enough time to reserve, this will be a quick tart fix for me. Given a choice, my top choice will still be Kki's strawberry tart.

Harris & Phoebe: Yea, can't wait for the next outing. Enjoy your trips :). Looking forward to your Europe posts.

ice said...

The base for Mont Blanc is a pâte sucrée filled with almond paste, I believe it's the same tart base for Marriott's strawberry tart. The base for K ki's strawberry tart is pâte sablée which is a crumbly offshoot of pâte sucrée. Sablée actually means "crumbly" or "sandy".

See this: http://joepastry.com/index.php?title=the_french_tart_universe&more=1&c=1&tb=1&pb=1

So to sum up, the difference is the amount of fat used in each & how the fat is folded into the flour. The fat of pâte sablée is crumbled or "cut" into the dough while for pâte sucrée, the butter is creamed first. Pâte sablée naturally contains more fat (butter) so it's more crumbly. Both K ki's mont blanc & strawberry tart has a almond base, just that for strawberry tart, the almond is just a thin layer on top of the buttery pâte sablée base, which according to Del, Ken makes an extra effort to do so to make the texture a little "softer" & not totally biscuit-like.

I'm finding this blog very useful.

Now I'm keen to try Marriott's strawberry tart (base) to see how it compares to K ki's Mont Blanc. I think that is a fairer comparison. (I'm not going to compare the strawberries hah coz Marriott's ones are glazed with gelatin & sugar...)

Fen said...

Looks like I will need to have Kki's Mont Blanc & Strawberry Tart to appreciate the difference. Quite surprised Yuan prefers the strawberry tart base over the Mont Blanc, thought the almond paste would have caught his attention.

Judging from the photos of a pâte sucrée tart crust, you are pretty spot on when it comes to describing Marriott's strawberry tart. No wonder... Recall I once mentioned I like Ritz Carlton's Almond Frangipane Tart. The light, crisp sweet dough with the sweetened almond filling (frangipane) is something that I adored.

I didn't know that the thin layer applied on Kki's strawberry tart is the almond paste, it seems to be vanilla bean custard cream, too thin to identify what was it but it does achieve what Kenneth wants to portray in his tart.

Thank you for the compliment. I have to thank you for dropping keywords to allow me to do extra reading on what I have been eating.

Yea, skip the strawberries. I definitely prefer the sliced strawberries on Kki's tart. The ones on Marriott's tart are huge and have a high risk of choking people. In fact, I left the strawberries for the others to eat while I munched on the tart base.

ice said...

fen, the thin layer of almond frangipane on top of the pâte sablée tart base is baked together along with it, so you can't exactly see it. It's not the little dollop of vanilla bean custard.

Fen said...

Will pay more attention to this thin layer. My vague impression of this thin layer is yellowish and has black specks.

ice said...

That is the vanilla bean custard haha. The almond frangipane can't really be seen (on the tart) as it's already baked with the base. (:

Fen said...

Oh, so we are refering to different layers then.

Somehow or rather the first strawberry tart I had was more crisp than the five I bought back home. Hence I have a misconception that it was the vanilla bean custard that makes the base alittle soft.

The Girl On A Sugar High said...

Oh wow this looks gorgeously AMAZING. I can't wait for Joel Robuchon's Pastry Bar & Lounge to open!! I bet it'll be Awesome.

Fen said...

It is a pity that I didn't drop by Joel Robuchon's (La Boutique) during my visit to Hong Kong.

Looking forward to your post on Joel Robuchon's Pastry Bar & Lounge. =)

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