23/01/2015 § 2 Comments
I love coffee. I usually go around town to visit cafes that interest me, and to find out where good coffee is served. But my interest in coffee doesn’t end there. Actually, it went up a level higher recently.
I was always fascinated with the latte art whenever I order a cup of cappuccino in a stand alone coffee shop. So, I started to learn how to do it. I tried watching videos and read instructions so I could do it myself. My problem is that the microfoam needed for the proper way of doing latte art is not possible with the machine that I was using. I thought of giving up on it and just enroll myself to a class, but then, after a few adjustments, and several trial and error, I was able to get a milk consistency that is closer to the velvety microfoam that I need.
I probably have too much caffeine in my system now because the minimum two cups of coffee a day became four. It was all because of the practice that I was doing. I still can’t make the tulips and rosetta and stuff because my milk consistency doesn’t allow me to make it. My coffee art are mostly free pour and just drawing on the foam, and I am satisfied with it. At least for the time being. It’s still kinda frustrating that I can’t make the latte art that I want though.
Well, after getting a better milk foam consistency, I realized a new problem. I need to improve the way I pour the milk as well. From the videos I watched, there were quite a few ways of doing it, and to be honest, I have not tried it. So right now, whenever I try to make something, it’s sometimes good, and most of the times not. Which is fine, because I have not properly studied the professional way of doing latte art. I am thankful that I have an artistic side to me to make up for it.
The best part of it is that the guests always compliments the coffee I serve them, saying how good it was or how nice the art was. I would say that I still have to improve on the ratio of coffee to milk because my cappuccino is becoming a latte since I started doing the art. I find it too milky. Perhaps the single shot espresso is not enough for me.
Besides doing latte art, I started learning various kinds of coffee drinks as well. Some guests would come to me, and order a flat white, or americano, or cafe au lait, and I would be like, ‘how is that made?’. The machines that we use are calibrated to make lungo, espresso, cappuccino, and macchiato. And since it is a machine, there were still quirks on it which I am very familiar to by now. I am probably the only one who knows of it though.
Anyway, to be able to make a coffee drink that the guest actually wanted to have, I started doing research on various kinds of coffee drinks. There were a lot for both black coffee drinks, and coffee and milk drinks. The thing is they were all similar, just varying in the coffee to water or milk ratio, and the serving sizes. I like to drink coffee but actually doing the coffee drink is pretty tedious. man, I wanted to try working in an actual coffee shop just so I could improve.
Below are some of the latte art that I did myself. I am so sorry for being an amateur. Not all photos are below, I usually upload my photos in Instagram with the hashtag #lisamakescoffee.
23rd January 2015
All photos were taken using Samsung Galaxy Note II.
16/01/2015 § Leave a comment
A friend of mine came to Singapore for a visit and we had arranged to meet. It was another friend of ours who made the arrangement actually, and as per her recommendations, we went to Cross Street for a laid-back dinner.
I’ve been in the vicinity of Cross Street before, when I was doing my Beer Trail. But at that time, I was only at 25 Cross street, which is a cluster of restaurants and bars. The place in general was quite good for drinks and dinner because the target market for that place was mainly the office workers. Now, we visited the other side of that area which is literally just across the road – 20 Cross Street.
The place has the same ambiance, but with a much more romantic feel to it. What adds that kind of atmosphere was the led lights that decorated the ceiling of Nankin Row which made it look like stars. It was very pretty that my friends and I can’t get enough of taking photos there.
The restaurant that we visited was The Mad Poet Gastrobar, which my friend and her colleagues frequent. Honestly, I had a hard time finding the place because the signage for its name was so small and pretty much hidden. After a few rounds in Nankin Row, and careful inspection of the every restaurant’s signage, I managed to find it.
Food. My friend was confident about the food menu of the establishment, mainly because she had already tried everything in it. Trusting her sense of flavors, we just ordered what we wanted. We had a chili con carne, chicken cordon bleu, and crispy potato skins, the last two were my requests.
I’m not a big fan of Mexican food, mainly because I can’t handle spicy dishes well, but ever since I tried Baja Fresh, I started to like it. The chili con carne at Mad Poet tasted really good, maybe I just have not tried other chili con carnes, but it was tasty. It was spicy, but the cheese makes the spicy flavor milder. It was served with nachos and ciabata too, and the bread was so good.
The cordon bleu was not the typical deep fried style, but more like an oven-baked chicken meat-wrapped bacon-wrapped cheese. It is served with asparagus and cherry tomatoes, and hollandaise sauce. So far, it was the best cordon bleu I have tried.
The crispy potato skins were delicious but I find them more typical. One plate comes with four potato skins, so that makes it two potatoes used. It wasn’t literally potato skins per se, but the skin with a thin layer of potato, served with bacon bits, cheese, sour cream, and spring onions, and salsa on the side.
The servings were good for sharing, and the prices were reasonable. I got to enjoy good food, in a nice place, and I only had to pay twenty dollars for it. That twenty dollars even include a glass of red wine that my friend ordered for herself. So I would say that with the quality of the food, the prices are very reasonable.
Great food. Great service. Great ambiance. The Mad Poet Gastrobar is a place that I would definitely visit again.
The Mad Poet Gastrobar
20 Cross Street, #01-23/24
Mon – Thurs: 1100hrs-2300hrs
Fri: 1100hrs – midnight
Sat: 1100hrs – 2300hrs