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Food Artisans

Japanese-Inspired Halal Sweets: Miru Dessert Cafe

Jolyn Tan and Rodney Ng created Miru Dessert Cafe to share their love for sweet things with other like-minded people. It took a while to find them, though. When the cafe in Kuala Lumpur opened its doors four years ago, the first few customers walked out without trying anything. “They wanted pasta or asked for rice [dishes], but were surprised that these items were not available,” Tan explains. The initial response shocked the Miru Dessert Cafe team, Tan says. Both …

The Desserts That Won Malaysia the World Pastry Cup

Humble tins of chickpea may have helped Malaysia win the 2019 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie, also known as the World Pastry Cup. The fermented water from these tins, known as aquafaba, enabled the Malaysian chefs to create a vegan dessert – a first for the prestigious competition. The team beat counterparts from 20 other countries in the biennial awards in Lyon, France, in January. They also received the Vase de Sevre prize, donated by the French president for countries …

Bake & Bake: Biscotti with a Local Touch

It’s fair to say that Singapore is yet to fall in love with the biscotti. It’s not surprising – after all, how do you develop a taste for something you barely ever get the chance to eat? The biscotti, a distinctively oval-shaped biscuit typically filled with almond or pistachio, is rarely stocked in supermarkets or found in cafes. As a result, when Singaporeans need something to dip in their coffee or tea, they’re much more likely to turn to salty …

Whitebrickoven: From Adversity to Opportunity

Martin Prior’s first visit to Asia in 1965 lived up to expectations – until he ordered poached eggs on toast at a café near his hotel in Singapore. The Englishman was not impressed with the soggy, watery mess that he was served. “It was just strange that bread in this part of the world was the white fluffy stuff. Just not my idea of bread,” he recalls. Decades later, he stumbled on an opportunity to savour the bread he craved. …

Craft and Culture: Probiotic Drinks

To many, kombucha and milk kefir may seem like yet another superfood fad, but to Winnie Ong and Lai Zhiwei, founders of Craft & Culture, they have witnessed the benefits of the functional beverages first hand. They say the fermentation of tea and milk, which gives rise to raw kombucha and whole milk kefir respectively, have helped with managing allergies and skin ailments. Ong, who started out brewing kombucha at home more than a decade ago before teaming up with Lai …

Simple Delights: From Baking Hobby to Business

When Sylvia Lee first dabbled in baking, she didn’t anticipate that her hobby will turn into a full-time business. The mother of two tried her hand at baking 15 years ago mainly because she found cakes from bakeries were getting more expensive, and she was concerned about the ingredients that went into them. “I thought to myself, maybe I can try making these cakes myself. I tried to recall my home science days,” she says, referring to a class once …