Wild Sweets – 2017 Chinese New Year Collection

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

With the Christmas holidays over, Wild Sweets has moved on to the next holiday – Chinese New Year or also known as Lunar New Year. The new collection is available until February 4, 2017 or until supplies last.

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2017 Year of the Rooster Chocolate Art Bouchées Series

Putting a twist to their Bouchées Series, Wild Sweets has reinvented the flavours to fit in with the lunar new year collection. They feature a cookie with caramel nut jam and a soft ganache made with different fruit-based liquid caramels. They are then enrobed in a bean-to-bar dark chocolate and topped with a beautiful almond paste disc with a rooster head design.

 

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The collection features the following flavours:

  • Lychee Longan Caramel Ganache, Sablé cookie & Black Sesame Nut Jam
  • Mandarin Orange Caramel Ganache,  Sablé cookie & Coconut Nut Jam
  • Peach Persimmon Caramel Ganache, Sablé cookie & Almond Nut Jam
  • Mango Green Tea Caramel Ganache, Sablé cookie & Peanut Nut Jam

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2017 Lunar Limited Edition ‘Year of the Rooster’ Chocolate Art

The lunar new year collection of chocolates feature soft ganaches made with different fruit-based liquid caramels and contrasting textural elements. The collection features the following flavours:

  • Chestnut Vanilla Bean Caramel Ganache & Organic roasted chestnuts
  • Pomelo Fruit Caramel Ganache & Ginger Lemon Honey Nut Cream
  • Apricot Vanilla Bean Caramel Ganache & Cubed Sticky Rice Cake
  • Kumquat Orange Caramel Ganache & Citrus Honey Nut Cream

 

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Crispy Biscuit Series

Many of their chocolates including the following below have also been re-designed and make perfect gifts for the lunar new year. They all come packaged in a beautiful box of four.

 

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Caramel Nut Jam Series

 

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Sablé Florentines Series 

 

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Fruit Macaron Series

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During our media event, they also created a huge rooster display made entirely of chocolate. It’s just missing it’s eyes!

 

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Overall, Wild Sweets has a great selection of gifts if you’re looking for something a little different this lunar new year. The sweets are a work of art with many items decorated or painted by hand. Plus, the beautiful red packaging makes it perfect for the occasion.

 

Wild Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Milk & Eggs

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Milk & Eggs is one of the newest spots in Richmond, located in the plaza on Odlin and Cambie. They started off with only dessert, but looks like they have expanded their menu for dinner. I decided to check it out with J on a weekday for dinner, but was surprised to find we were the only patrons dining. Seems like not many people know about the place. However, later in the night, it did pick up but most people only came here for the desserts and not dinner.

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Garlic Butter Fries

We started off with the Garlic Butter Fries which came with a side of home made ketchup and aioli. The flavour was on point, but I have no idea why the fries were so short. It made it very annoying to eat and it felt like we were given the scraps. If they could fix this, then they would be perfect.

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Mussels in White Wine Cream Sauce

We ordered the Mussels in White Wine Cream Sauce but got it in the appetizer size, which was great for sharing. Sadly, we found these to be just average. Nothing wrong with them, but the sauce was not as good as many other restaurants we have tried. For the price, I would much rather go to Rodneys.

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Shitake Mushroom stuffed Meatballs on Fettuccine 

What we enjoyed the most for dinner was the Shitake Mushroom stuffed Meatballs on Fettuccine. The flavours for the pasta was spot on and we loved the cheese on top. The meatballs were stuffed with shitake mushroom and were huge and crispy on the outside. Really tasty, but the portions are quite small for $15. For a cafe style restaurant in Richmond, the prices are hard to compete even if the quality is there since there are so many options for diners.

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Ice Cream Party Bowl

We decided to go all out for dessert even though we were super full and got the Ice Cream Party Bowl. It’s recommended for a maximum of 4 people, but J is a huge dessert guy, so I was counting on him to finish this. Milk & Eggs is known for their homemade ice cream with many Asian flavours, such as durian and thai iced tea. We got M.E. Vanilla, Black Sesame, Thai Iced Tea, and Earl Grey. The flavours were all really strong and we especially liked the Thai Iced Tea. However, they can work on the consistency of the ice cream as it’s not creamy enough. As for all the decorations for the party bowl, I honestly didn’t really like it as they were too sweet with fruits and oreo cookies. Therefore, next time, I would just stick to the individual scoops of ice cream and skip the fancy party bowl.

Overall, service was friendly and attentive. Ambiance is dimly lit and very cozy for a restaurants in Richmond. However, I don’t know if I can justify coming back for dinner with some of the prices and portions you get. It’s hard to compete with chain restaurants and I feel like the clientele in Richmond just won’t pay these prices. However, I am excited about their ice creams as we really don’t have any homemade ice cream shops like Earnest Ice Cream in Richmond. Plus, they open late so it’s a great place to go for a date or hang out with friends.

Pros:
– Ice cream flavours are very strong
– Open late

Cons:
– Dishes for dinner are slightly on the pricey side

Price Range: $20-30

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 3 Overall: 3

Milk & Eggs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wild Sweets: 2016 Holiday Collection

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Still looking for last minute holiday gifts? With the launch of the 2016 holiday collection, Wild Sweets has you covered whether you’re looking for the perfect cake to bring to your holiday parties or if you’re looking for a box of chocolates for a gift.

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Venezuela Ocumare Chocolate ‘Bûche de Noël’

A beautiful and elegant cake that will be a showstopper at your parties, this chocolate brownie cake has a variety of textures. The cake features crispy crêpes hazelnut praliné, dark chocolate & vanilla bean ganache, dark chocolate Crème Brûlée cream, dark chocolate sabayon mousse and dark chocolate gelée.

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Crispy Chocolate Cherry Orange ‘Tea Cake

One of the most surprising cakes for most of us was this one. They based the cake with the ingredients in a traditional fruit cake but completely modernized it. Usually, I hate fruit cakes because of how dense it is, but this had so many layers, creating a lovely texture.

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The cake is laced with dried cherries, cranberries, and orange peels which have been soaked in brandy. The cake is then placed over a crunchy buttery ‘sablé’ cookie topped with a hazelnut chocolate praline cream with crispy crepe flakes, and finished with a dark chocolate coating. I highly recommend giving this a try.

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Crispy Cherry Ganache Collection

This has a similar cake component to the Tea Cake, but is placed on top of hazelnut chocolate praline cream with crispy crepe cookies. A soft ganache made with different fruit-based liquid caramels is poured over the crispy praline / cake components.Each collection features an assortment of 4 chocolate bouchées with the following flavours,

  • William Pear & Chestnut Cream Caramel Ganache
  • Lychee Rose & Raspberry Caramel Ganache
  • Cassis Blackberry & Elderberry Ganache
  • Mandarin & Orange Zest Caramel Ganache

These reminded me of moon cakes but a chocolate cake version.

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Cocoa Bean Chocolate Tea

I believe when you make a purchase for both the Tea Cake and the Crispy Cherry Ganache Collection, you will receive a pack of the Cocoa Bean Chocolate Tea. I was confused when they told us we were trying chocolate tea. Did they mean they were going to melt chocolate in tea? But how come it looked literally just like tea? Well, the secret is the tea is made entirely from roasted cocoa beans and husks only. There is no sugar other than vanilla bean powder added. Seriously very tasty and something everyone should try!

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Santa-Sphere, Orna-Tree

Making great gifts, Wild Sweets also has Holiday cocoArt Sculptures for sale. These are made with milk and/or dark chocolate. And if you know the story of Wild Sweets, all their chocolates are made in-house from origin cocoa bean-to-bar chocolate.

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Tree

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Snowman

 

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Sleigh

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2016 Vintage Canadian Icewine Collection

Moving on to boxed chocolates, this box is perfect for those who enjoy ice wine. The box features an assortment of 12 chocolates, each comprising of 2 types of fillings: one is a honey nut and Canadian Icewine praline cream while the other is a soft ganache made with different Icewine and fruits purees associated with the specific tasting notes of 4 different types of Vintage Canadian Icewine with some as old as 1999. I’m a fan of ice wine, but I found that the ice wine flavour was too light and I could barely taste it.

The collection includes the following ganache flavours:

  • Cabernet Franc Icewine & Strawberry Apple Ganache
  • Riesling Icewine & Peach Orange Ganache
  • Vidal Icewine & Pineapple Passion fruit Ganache
  • Gewürztraminer Icewine & Lychee Rose Ganache

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2016 Vintage ‘Ganache Classique Nougatine’

This box features an assortment of four different types of chocolate made from Single Origin cocoa beans. Each ganache filling is topped with a piece of salted butter cocoa nibs nougatine before being enrobed in dark chocolate. Therefore, I loved the slight crunch and chew this collection had. This was probably my favourite of the chocolates.

The collections includes the following origins and percentages:

  • 70% Venezuela Ocumare
  • 70% Venezuela Canaobo
  • 70% PeruOro Verde
  • 64% MexicoChiapas

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pRaliNe & caRaMel Collection N°12

I really liked the visual aspect of this box. The ‘Enrobed’ version features a soft and creamy ganache flavoured a fruit juice caramel, and coated in dark chocolate. The ‘Moulded’ chocolate is hand-painted with cocoa butter colours and filled with a rich and smooth hazelnut butter & milk chocolate cream laced with crispy French ‘crêpes’ cookies.I really enjoyed the orange flavours paired with the chocolate.

The collection features the following assortment of flavours:

  • Hazelnut & vanilla bean praline cream
  • Raspberry caramel & vanilla bean ganache
  • Hazelnut & orange zest praline cream
  • Fresh orange juice and zest caramel ganache

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cocoArt ‘Praliné Noisette’ Collection N°17

This box features sweetened hazelnut butter or praliné in various forms and with distinct textures. The collection includes 2 types of chocolates: crispy or creamy praliné. With the glitter and beauitfully painted art, this box is sure to impress.

The collection features the following assortment of flavours including:

  1. Crispy – Cinnamon Spice Praliné
  2. Crispy – Orange Zest Oil Praliné
  3. Crispy – Lemon Zest Oil Praliné
  4. Crispy – Anise Seeds & Oil Praliné
  5. Creamy – Apricot Passion Ganache
  6. Creamy – Orange Zest Ganache
  7. Creamy – Green Apple Kalamansi Ganache
  8. Creamy – Salted Butter Caramel Ganache
  9. Creamy – Double Vanilla Bean Ganache
  10. Creamy – Origin Espresso Coffee Ganache
  11. Creamy – Raspberry Lemon Zest Ganache
  12. Creamy – Black Currant (Cassis) Ganache

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cocoArt ‘Honey Heart’ Collection N°20

Each chocolate within the ‘Honey Heart’ Collection features 2 types of fillings: one is a smooth lightly scented honey-nut cream while the other is a soft ganache made with different fruit and berry juices. Super pretty and perfect for a loved one.

  • Cassis – Blackberry Fruit Ganache & Elderberry Honey-nut Cream
  • Mango – Apricot Fruit Ganache & Saffron Honey-nut Cream
  • Lychee – Raspberry Fruit Ganache & Rose Honey-nut Cream
  • Strawberry –  Pineapple Fruit Ganache & Orange Blossom Honey-nut cream

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Overall, I was very impressed with the new holiday collection, and especially with the cakes. The cakes are also priced very well at around $20-25 each. Make sure to pre-order online in advance to guarantee your cake.

Wild Sweets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

On Yogurt

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

Last month, I was invited to a media tasting at On Yogurt organized by Jacqueline to try their new menu item, Taiyaki Ice Cream. It was my first time visiting On Yogurt, and I was excited because I have been hearing about their ice fried yogurt. Ice fried doesn’t mean the yogurt is actually fried. Instead, the yogurt is flash frozen so the outside is icy and crispy while the middle smooth and creamy. The yogurt is then rolled and placed in cups and you can add various toppings. I believe this is a popular dessert in Thailand, but we luckily have it in Vancouver now!

 

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Oreo

They currently offer five flavours:

  • Strawberry
  • Oreo
  • Creme Brulee
  • Matcha
  • Chocolate

The taiyaki is filled with their famous ice fried yogurt and topped with complimentary toppings depending on the flavour. The filling below the ice cream is different for each flavour as well, including custard, nutella, red bean, and coconut paste.

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Crème Brûlée

When we first tried it, one side of the fish pastry was croissant, while the other side was the typical cake batter we are usually familiar with. This caused one side to burn quicker. Since then, they have revised their taiyaki so that both sides are croissant and therefore crispier.

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Matcha

I have to say, I really enjoyed the texture of the ice fried yogurt. You get a much firmer texture and once its in your mouth, it melts into a very creamy and smooth texture.

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Strawberry

Overall, I really enjoyed the ice fried yogurt itself, but I found that paired with the hot taiyaki, the yogurt melted too quickly even though it is already very firm. Still, it is fun to watch the ice fried yogurt being made, and I think I would stick with the yogurt just in a cup next time until they have perfected the melting issue.

On Yogurt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ice Pik Shavery

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are based on my own experience.

IcePik Shavery has been around for over a year now and features a hybrid between Hawaiian shaved ice and ice cream. They claim that this “snow cream” therefore has a nice fluffy snow-like texture. I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time now, but I don’t go to Burnaby often. So when Jacqueline invited me to a tasting, I couldn’t say no!

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You first order at the counter and then you can eat in as there are a decent amount of seats. They have ready-made combos as well as the choice to customize your own.

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Matcha Snow Cream

First, you will need to pick your size: regular ($4.50) or large ($5.50).

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Earl Grey Snow Cream

Next, you select your snow cream flavour. Flavours include:

  • Sesame
  • Mango
  • Taro
  • Original
  • Green Tea
  • Mint
  • Coconut
  • Earl Grey

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Black Sesame Snow Cream

Next up are all the toppings you can choose from. Each topping is 60 cents. My favourites are fresh fruit like mango or strawberry and mochi balls. They have a variety of mochi flavours, like mango, original, green tea or strawberry.

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Mango Snow Cream

Other toppings include tapioca pearls, flavoured popping pearls, mango jelly, almond jelly, grass jelly, lychee jelly, red bean, and crushed Oreos.

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Mint Snow Cream

You can then pick a flavour from their drizzle station which is complimentary. The drizzles include caramel, condensed milk, chocolate and strawberry sauce.

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Coconut Snow Cream

If you don’t want to worry about choosing the wrong ingredients and ending up with a funky tasting dessert, then you can choose their ready-made combos. They will be slightly more expensive at $5.95 for a regular and $6.95 for a large, but keep in mind that it includes 3-4 toppings already so is actually a better deal.

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Sea Cream Coffee

Other than snow cream, they also have coffee and milk tea for drinks. We tried their Sea Cream Coffee which I quite enjoyed. It was slightly sweet but salty at the same time because of the sea cream.

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Overall, I quite enjoyed the snow creams at IcePik Shavery. The shaved ice is not as powdery as Snowy Village’s, but it is very fluffy. I also like how they have an assortment of flavours and toppings to choose from. Will be back for sure!

Icepik Shavery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rain or Shine Ice Cream

Rain or Shine Ice Cream has been around for quite some time now and they have even opened up their second location on Cambie. For whatever reason, I had never visited the shop and thank god I finally did! MH, MW, S and I visited the Cambie store in the afternoon on a sunny day after lunch.

They make their waffles fresh in store but you can also have your ice cream in a cup. Their signature flavours are always on the menu, and the seasonal flavours will switch up based on what ingredients are fresh. “The ice cream is made from scratch in house using fresh, natural and sustainable whole ingredients, source locally, seasonally and organically whenever possible.”

Malted Milk Chocolate and Honey Lavender

We ended up choosing the Malted Milk Chocolate (on top) which features homemade honeycomb (free of corn syrup) coated in 70% dark chocolate and mixed into a Belgian milk chocolate base. Malted Barley is added to enhance the richness of this ice cream. We absolutely loved the crunch of the malted chocolate along with the sweetness of the honeycomb. The Honey Lavender (bottom) is made with organic and floral alfalfa honey from Aldergrove Farms paired with lavender from Tuscan farms in Maple Ridge. I’m a huge fan of floral, so this was my cup of tea!

Overall, we loved the ice cream here and the creative flavours they offer. The price is on par with the other gourmet ice cream shops in Vancouver and I felt the portions were pretty good for a double scoop (perfect for sharing). And did you know that their ice cream is 100% dairy with no eggs, no modified milk ingredients or artificial extracts? What goes into our food is really important these days and ice cream is no exception! Will be returning for some more ice cream before summer ends, but I guess they are open rain or shine anyways!

Pros:
– Creative and tasty flavours
– Seasonal flavours so you don’t get sick of the same ones!

Cons:
– Can have massive line ups on sunny days
– Waffle cones are okay in my opinion. I like the ones at Timothy’s more.

Price Range: $5-10

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 4 Overall: 4

Rain or Shine Ice Cream Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beard Papa Sweets Cafe

I’m sure most of you know about Beard Papa by now. It was the hype when it was first brought here from Japan, but they have locations everywhere now that it’s pretty accessible to everyone. However, a year ago, they closed down their stall inside of Richmond Centre and opened up a cafe under the London Drugs complex on No. 3 Road.

This got me really intrigued especially when I noticed that there were always customers sitting in the cafe everytime I drove by, no matter what time it was. Finally, I suggested to S that we take a small dinner and instead fill up with desserts! The cafe here has more than just their famous cream puffs and I could see why people liked to chill here. There were a mix of young and old and it was a great place to sit and chat since it is typically not packed.

Red Bean with Green Tea Ice Cream Waffle (+mochi)

We started off with the Red Bean with Green Tea Ice Cream Waffle but we paid extra to get mochi filling inside our waffle. The preset version with mochi inside doesn’t come with green tea or red bean. This reminded me of the time we first tried mochi waffles in Taipei. This was delicious with the warm and cold mix and is a great item to share with friends.

Cocoa Puff

Onto the cream puffs. We didn’t want to try the original ones since we’ve all had those. This time, we tried out their Cocoa Puff, which is essentially the same as the original but the puff itself is cocoa flavoured and the centre is filled with vanilla cream.

To be honest, I found the puff to be rather dense, so I much prefer their original batter.

Eclair

The Eclair was essentially what the name is. It’s the original cream puff with vanilla cream filling and dipped with chocolate sauce on top. I quite liked this as I’m a sucker for chocolate and this gave just the right amount of sweetness and chocolate flavour without the dense puff that the Cocoa Puff had.

Chocolate Fondant

Last but not least, we tried the Chocolate Fondant which also comes with the flavour choice of green tea.

Unfortunately, the chocolate did not ooze out as much as I wanted. These fondants are pre-made and then they reheat them so perhaps that’s why the ooze isn’t as apparent as those in restaurants. This was just average and too sweet for me personally.

Overall, we quite enjoyed Beard Papa’s Sweet Cafe. I think this would be a great spot to catch up with friends over drinks and sweets without having to crowd at the typical shaved ice and bubble tea joints. Service was also very friendly. Other than sweets, they also have savoury snacks and sandwiches, which seems a little odd. But I haven’t tried these, so I can’t comment.

Pros:
– Wide selection of both sweets and savoury
– Service is friendly and good spot to chill

Cons:
– Some hits and misses
– Many of their desserts seem to be pre-made so may not be super fresh based on traffic

Price Range: $10-20

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3 Parking: 4 Overall: 3

Beard Papa's Sweet Cafe  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PappaRoti

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NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary but all opinions are based on my personal experience.

PappaRoti began in Malaysia and opened their first North American store in Vancouver on Robson St. a year ago. Thanks to Sharon, a group of food bloggers were able to try a selection of their items.

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The interior reminds me of a Blenz, with a variety of different drinks and quick bites. Very spacious and I saw many people on their laptops working away.

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Crazy for Kaya

Of course, they are famous for their freshly baked caramel coffee buns. They are twice baked so that the outside is crisp and crunchy, and pillowy soft, buttery and rich on the inside. They feature a variety of different toppings and sides and Crazy for Kaya features kaya and honey. Reminds me of kaya toast which I have a love for!

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The Works

You can also choose The Works where you are able to select your choice of any four toppings. Here, they paired strawberries, whipped cream, ice cream and bananas.

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The Classic

I think my favourite was still The Classic which features nutella and banana. The two flavours are just perfect complements and paired great with the buttery bun.

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Rise and Shine

Rise and Shine features Pappa cream cheese and jam on the side. Be sure to eat these fresh from the oven to best enjoy them. I tried them cold and they weren’t as good for sure.

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Choco Banana Pappa Rollie

Their newest addition is the Pappa Rollie. These are made with a croissant dough but has the same sweet and crispy exterior. So flaky and I liked the chocolate filling inside with banana flavouring. They also have a Coconut Pappa Rollie

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Roast Beef, Chicken Chipotle, Apple Chicken Blue Cheese, Turkey & Brie, Vegan Moroccan

I always associated PappRoti with coffee buns and had no idea they had other menu items. Well turns out you can also get sandwiches and wraps here! My favourite was the Turkey & Brie.

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They also have salads including the Island Salad and Tuscan Salad, all of which make a healthy meal.

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Other than their gourmet coffees, teas and smoothies, they also carry drinks from other brands, including Revel Juice.

Overall, I really enjoyed the coffee buns but was surprised that their other items were just as good. PappaRoti is the perfect spot to grab a quick snack or even a meal.

PappaRoti Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato