HOMEMADE BUTTER CAKE
Call me old school but when it comes to food, taste trumps looks any time.
So while I may ooh and aah over the pretty confections frequently popping up on social media, what has really stolen my heart this past year is a very plain-looking butter cake by home baking business Joo's (@joobakes).
Amateur baker Pang Joo Soon has a few items in his repertoire - including lemon drizzle, banana cake, burnt cheesecake and brownie - but the butter cake ($28 a loaf) remains my favourite.
It is one of the fluffiest I have tasted and its buttery aroma hits you the moment you open the box. The sweetness is just right for me too.
Pang says it is based on his late father's recipe, which he modified over the years. For example, he now uses French butter exclusively after completing his baking course at the Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris. It adds to his cost, but that is what makes the cakes so good.
You can arrange for self-pick-up in Ang Mo Kio or have the bakes delivered for a fee.
HOW TO ORDER Direct message at @joobakes or WhatsApp 8282-2722 PRICE $28 a loaf, which serves four to six DELIVERY FEE $10 (outside the Central Business District), $15 (within CBD)
PARKROYAL ON BEACH ROAD
FATHER'S DAY SETS
If you are planning to celebrate Father's Day, which falls on June 20, at home, Parkroyal on Beach Road is offering set menus for takeaway and delivery until June 30.
The hotel's Ginger restaurant has a selection of meat-heavy Western dishes with prices starting from $73 for two persons to $193 for six. Items include oxtail stew, roast Angus beef, Moroccan roast lamb leg and assorted pork, beef and lamb sausages.
At Si Chuan Dou Hua restaurant, there are sets comprising Sichuan and Cantonese dishes that are priced from $136 for two persons. Dishes include fish maw soup with crab meat, steamed cod fish with golden mushroom and braised pork belly with honey sauce.
Besides the Father's Day sets, the hotel's shopping website also lists other meals and a la carte dishes.
What is interesting is Si Chuan Dou Hua's Quick Noodle Home Kit ($28 for four servings), which allows you to easily whip up a bowl of dan dan or onion sauce noodles at home. It comes with housemade noodles and packets of sauces and minced meat. A QR code takes you to a video that shows you how to prepare the dishes.
WHERE Parkroyal on Beach Road, 7500 Beach Road HOW TO ORDER Go to bit.ly/prsinparentsday DELIVERY FEE $5. Free with minimum order of $100
WAGYU RICE BOWLS
I have been staying home as much as possible in the past month and getting most of my meals delivered.
I allow myself a treat once in a while and Fat Cow's wagyu rice bowls are among the more memorable ones.
The beef specialist at Camden Medical Centre caters for different budgets, with prices for the bowls ranging from $48 to $138. I get the cheapest and the most expensive ones to see how they stack up.
The Fat Cow Donburi ($48) is a very decent and value-for-money bowl. It comes with seasoned rice topped with thick slices of charcoal-grilled wagyu, an onsen egg and alfalfa sprouts. The restaurant does not specify where the beef is from, but it is tender and flavourful.
But one bite of the beef in the 21 Days Dry-aged Nagasaki Wagyu A5 Premium Donburi ($138) and I get why it costs so much more. The meat bursts with oils and juices that linger on the palate, which you do not get from the cheaper bowl.
There are other toppings too - an onsen egg, pieces of pan-fried foie gras, ikura (salmon roe) and caviar that are perfect with the beef. And the rice is seasoned with truffle shoyu.
The richness of the toppings makes the bowl rather filling, so it is good for two persons if you add some side dishes or dessert. Sharing also makes it lighter on the wallet.
WHERE Fat Cow, 01-01 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard HOW TO ORDER Go to delivery.fatcow.com.sg DELIVERY FEE $15