Friday, October 20, 2006

My Happy Meal

Where to wile away the sunny afternoon? With the haze still loitering around, I took refuge in Cedele at Raffles City. For those who have yet to pop by the newly-revamped basement of Raffles City, they know not what they are losing out on. Friends of mine would know that I absolutely love Cedele. Wholesome soup, delightful sandwiches, crusty breads and the whole works of wonderful confectionery goodies to warm the heart, nurse the soul and bring on a smile.

Three or four choices of soups are available daily and you can either have the soup neat or pay a little more to have it come with their selections of freshly-baked bread. I decided to go for the Spinach Chicken Soup with the bread option ($7) and thoroughly enjoyed the rich, creamy soup that tasted really like spinach and chicken. It was creamy in a nice way. Not the heavy stuff used to overwhelm poor ingredients. The spinach gave the soup a green colour while small chicken bits provided some bite to the soup. With a few of slices of their breads to go with the soup, it would make for a satisfying lunch.

But sometimes soup alone won't satisfy a creaure with four stomachs, like myself. And that was why I also ordered a Rosemary Chicken Sandwich ($7.50). This has got to be one of my favourites. Fresh chicken meat marinated with rosemary-infused olive oil together with crisp lettuce, tomato slices and cranberry sauce between crusty flaxseed wholemeal bread makes me drool each time. The rosemary imparts a very refreshing note without being too strong, making the chicken extra delicious. I thought it was quite ingenious to pair it with cranberry sauce. Being sweet and tart, the cranberry sauce worked well with the rosemary to produce a well-balanced sweet-savoury sensation.

Okay, so let's see. Four stomachs but so far only two food items. Good thing Cedele has a rather tempting array of cakes, pastries and other confectionery goodies. Onto my plate came a slice of Carrot Walnut Cake ($5) and a Mixed Fruit Pavlova ($4). The Carrot Walnut Cake was tasty with hints of spices and embedded raisins. The cheese frosting was also not too sweet. But I would have preferred if the cake was a little more moist. However, it would still be perfect with a cup of strong tea.

The Mixed Fruit Pavlova was very pretty indeed with strawberries, a couple of blueberries, a slice of kiwi and mango pieces set atop a meringue base. Unlike some bakeries who like to coat their fruit slices with a thick gelatin layer which I find a turn-off, Cedele does it with a very thin glaze. The fruits chosen were naturally sourish to provide some acid and tartness to balance out the sweet meringue. But in my opinion, I think the balance scale is still tipped to the sweet side. Those with a sweet tooth, sugar mummies and daddies as well as tooth fairies won't be complaining though.

And before I ended my wonderful meal, I had to try their Raspberry Thumbprint Cookie ($1) which was staring at me from inside the cookie jar. I hate it when food stares at me. I end up losing the battle most of the time. The cookie dough was buttery and almost like a bit of a shortbread and the red 'thumbprint' in the centre turned out to be chewy raspberry jam. Cute-looking and good-tasting.

I shared the above food with my sister and we enjoyed a lazy afternoon nibbling and people-watching while the world went by. What a luxury to enjoy, especially now that exams are just a month away. Damn.

Cedele by the Bakery Depot
Raffles Shopping Centre
(various branches around)

Chew On This: Cedele prides itself in using only organic unrefined sugar (unless icing sugar is required in the recipe) and unsalted butter that is supposedly a healthier alternative. Another good news is that there is NO trans fat whatsoever in any of their products. All their soups, breads and confectionery items are all freshly made from scratch. Knowing all these certainly gives a comforting assurance that is so rare in this crazy, fast-paced world where short-cuts are everything.


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