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Kitchen Experiments and Hermeneutics

June 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Now that School is finally over, have been using rainy days to consolidate and masticate on things. Naturally, this has required the presence of Activities of Minor Distraction – like cooking and baking, the products of which have been greatly appreciated in the innumerable socials that have mushroomed now that summer is really here.

Just like a sustained period of playing around with food gives even an amateur like me some sense of the flavours and textures of ingredients and an idea of how they might fit together, so the last two years of having to handle and teach the Bible daily have been very useful for getting a tiny feel of how God’s word in Scripture works.

So a re-look at my hermeneutics, with loads of chatting with great people in both the Local Church and wider family – not a major revamp but a tidying-up and ordering of material. Hermeneutics isn’t just the preserve of biblical scholars and pastors and teachers – it is essential to understand what God is saying in his word because God’s word is essential to the life of his people; every debate in Christian history would, at least in part, be concerned with hermeneutical issues.

smoked tuna
smoked tuna on Poilâne sourdough bread

Untitled
tenderstem asparagus, rocket leaves, broad beans, Pomo Dei Moro tomatoes, mozarella cheese on Poilâne sourdough bread

rump steak, candied radishes, rocket leaves, baby carrots
rump steak, candied radishes, rocket leaves, baby carrots

ox cheek with red wine and port sauce, on wasabi mash potato
ox cheek with red wine and port sauce, on wasabi mash potato

Parking some transitional thoughts here for the moment (to be demonstrated at a later time: how each of these points should be backed up by Scripture):

  1. Assumptions: (i) that the original text of the Bible is God’s word to humankind; (ii) that God has a message that he wanted communicated to its original hearers/readers (as the case may be) and also to his people thereafter; and (iii) that there is therefore a primary meaning to the text (that must be adhered to, precluding postmodern subjective personal “I like to think that this is saying” interpretation) and it is comprehensible to humans.
  2. Original languages and translation issues. The first step in biblical hermeneutics would be to understand God’s word in its original languages – mainly Hebrew and Ancient Greek. This isn’t something that most of us can do, given that we do not have working knowledge of those languages. But if we are reading the Bible in another language, then we need to keep all the issues of translation (see Robert Stein on The History of the English Bible.) in mind as we exegete (one version of) the English Bible: for example, many words in one language may not have an equivalent in another language, so translators would have to make a decision how to render the meaning of the word without inserting it too awkwardly in the sentence. As a poor alternative, D.A. Carson suggests reading several good (query: good) versions in the destination language.
  3. Comprehension skillz. The basic toolkit laid out in books like Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach’s Dig Deeper (and its very imaginatively-named siblings) is useful, but the tools themselves need to be wielded with discernment and finesse in different passages and books of the Bible, without accidentally taking anyone’s eye out. Experience is needed to know which tools to use together and which ones might take precedent over another in each context. Then there are other more specialised instruments generally useful in comprehending any text, eg. understanding the use of rhetorical devices.
  4. Logic and textual context. Beware errors of reasoning and inference (see Carson’s Exegetical Fallacies and Must I Learn to Interpret the Bible). Remember also that meaning is linked to context. Consider the concentric circles of context: immediate context (eg. in an epistle, its place in the argument), book context (how that particular human author uses language, themes), biblical theological context (eg. covenantal – words might be used differently in the two covenants), canonical context (“analogy of the faith” – Scripture is its own interpreter, because behind the whole of Scripture is one Author – see Michael S. Horton’s (am i the only one who feels compelled to scream “Horton hears a Who” everytime i see his surname?) Interpreting Scripture By Scripture). Beware “canon within a canon” (see Carson’s Biblical Interpretation and the Church).
  5. Historical and cultural context. God has not given us a culturally or historically-neutral textbook. Beware erroneous generalisations. In relation to injunctions: (i) beware absolutising one-off commands; (ii) understand God’s rationale behind command – what God wants and so how to apply in different cultural context.
  6. Beware presuppositions. Be aware of how your own historical, cultural, theological presuppositions are affecting your reading of the Bible.
  7. Getting to Christ. In respect of point (4) on biblical theology and canonical context and point (6), consider (i) the Biblical evidence for Jesus Christ being the controlling factor in all exegesis; and (ii) what this actually means! Consider law and gospel, redemptive-historical, covenantal, typological, anti-type, kingdom of God (God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule), promise-fulfilment etc perspectives. See Graeme Goldsworthy’s Biblical Theology and Hermeneutics.
  8. Remember that it is God’s word: therefore, any exegesis is done reverently, with a view to sitting under his word.
  9. Reality check. Remember that we are fallen creatures – therefore our intellect is imperfect. Yet, remember also that we who are God’s children have God’s Spirit within us.

homemade scones scones with homemade strawberry jam
afternoon tea from scratch – homemade scones with homemade strawberry jam

raspberry bakewell cakes
raspberry bakewell cake

deconstructed apple pie
deconstructed apple pie – apple confit, crushed Digestives, homemade caramel, whipped double cream, cinnamon dust

strawberry watermelon gluten-free cake
strawberry rosewater watermelon gluten-free cake

strawberry cheesecake
stacked strawberry cheesecake

John Frame, Doctrine of the Word of God

 

Sourdough Experiments, Synthesising and Systemising Scripture

August 11, 2013 Leave a comment

Experimenting with sourdough these last few days has been great for thinking through the concepts of theology, biblical theology, and dogmatics (when i was not pulling out splinters from dough-encrusted digits, courtesy of the ultra-cheap banneton).

sourdough ciabattasourdough ciabattas: crudely-shaped i know. The sourdough leaven made for a more interesting flavour profile than the usual.

sourdough bagels smoked salmon + cream cheese + seaweed caviar bagel

sourdough bagels: can’t say i got the hang of the concept of a hole. After all, how can one grasp nothingness? Anyway, like baguettes, bagels are best eaten as fresh as possible. Gave the dough boys a hot water bath for a more chewy texture. Lovely with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and seaweed caviar.

sourdough rye breadsourdough rye: not too bad. On the second day, the rye started to smell distinctly like miso – which might be where Gontran Cherrier got the idea for rye and red miso bread? On the rye-front, I’d really like to try making some rugbrød next – dream breadbase for those lovely Danish open sandwiches.

sourdough pain de compagnesourdough pain de campagne: poorly-slashed but tasty with airy crumb.

Almost a year ago, i had a very long almost-argument with The Tutor, in a dark empty church building, about the biblical basis for systematic theology. In recent discussions about setting up ministry training schemes in various parts of the United Kingdom and abroad, this issue has come to the fore again.

The Tutor was opposed to systematic theology, for, as far as I could tell, the same reasons as Julius Kaftan – that systemisation results on the faithfulness of the content being sacrificed to form; truths might be stretched or dropped and human speculation rife so as to construct some sort of forced (and false) order. Some doctrine lectures at The School have, unfortunately, been a good demonstration of why he was right to fear the harm systemisation could bring. But these very real dangers should not prohibit all attempts at bringing order to the knowledge about God as revealed in Scripture.

My current (tentative and possibly erroneous) thinking on the matter (with much help from Herman Bavinck):

  • all humans synthesise and systemise information in order to make sense of the world, make decisions about how to act etc;
  • the goal of consciously synthesising and systemising information about God would be:
    • to know God –  our Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, Father;
    • in so knowing God, to be able to think God’s thoughts after him, understand their unity;
    • accordingly, conduct ourselves rightly  before him, increasing in faith in him, thereby glorifying him;
    • the basis of this would not be the Kantian and Schleiermacherean idea that personal conviction of faith is largely feeling, grounded in moral motives or subjective mental states, but rather in the confidence that it is based on real truth spoken by God authoritatively through his word, the Bible;
    • a dogma would be true not because the institutional church has recognised it as such but solely because God has said so in Scripture;
    • because we are merely human and fallen humans at that, God cannot be known by us apart from his revelation to us in Scripture;
    • the truth of the word of God stands independently of our will and acceptance – that is to say that his word has objective truth that persists apart from our faith, just as the world of colours and sounds would exist independently of the blind and the deaf;
    • therefore, any human attempt to synthesise and systemise outside of Scripture, and any claim to bring forth new truth that is not biblical, would necessarily be false;
    • the content of God’s revelation is knowledge about himself, with the goal that we grow in our faith in him  (that is, that God is finally the object of faith based on knowledge, not the object of knowledge);
    • therefore, revelation is of such a nature that it can only be accepted and understood and then systemised by someone with a (saving) faith in God;
    • furthermore, this dogmatician/theologian can never arrive at a further knowledge of God or goal that is outside the realm of faith in God for the glory of God.

hot smoked salmon and dill tartAll this made me extremely hungry so cobbled together a hot smoked salmon and dill tart. The hot smoked salmon was from our local fishmonger, Jonathan Norris.

Gontran Cherrier’s Rye and Red Miso Bread from Tiong Bahru Bakery, Trends, An Unfashionable God

May 10, 2012 1 comment

The appearance of bizarre (or fashion forward, depending on individual taste and future fashion) fig-leaves on an old friend reminded us all how, quite some time ago when we could (and would) fit into such clothes and some even model them, we used to hang out at fashion shows dissecting trends and cheering on friends who were trying not to slip and fall off the catwalk. The haute culture trickle-down effect was less obvious then than it is now with Zara, Forever 21, and all sorts of people scouring the web for the latest shows so they can manufacture “inspired” clothes for the masses.

Lucky Peach Issue 3: The Cooks and Chefs IssueSo it was serendipitous to read, in the most recent issue of Lucky Peach, that our plebian treats/trends had also devolved from the food gods. That molten chocolate cake, for instance, had in fact been “inspired” by the haute cuisine of Michel Bras (reinvented by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, pre-invented by Ella Helfrich for a Pillsbury bake-off in 1966, says Lucky Peach).

And perhaps just as the hundredth monkey effect gives birth to fashion trends for the season, so it is for the chefs in haute kitchens? (Though the effect now supposedly discredited due to failure to take into account a rogue coconut-washing monkey who sojourned on the other island.)

Gontran Cherrier's Rye and Red Miso Bread from Tiong Bahru BakeryGontran Cherrier‘s rye and red miso bread (from Tiong Bahru Bakery, 56 Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate) is apparently quite trendy, though it hasn’t quite started a trend of its own, perhaps owing to home bread-bakers not being in quite the same supply as home cake-bakers.

The rough + umami make a great pairing and can be used in much the same way as Marmite or Vegemite on toast – lightly toasted with a bit of butter and cut into soldiers to scoop up soft-boiled eggs;

Gontran Cherrier's Rye and Red Miso Bread from Tiong Bahru Bakery x Adam's 100% Natural Peanut Butteror with nut butters (HT: Chocolate and Zucchini) – this slice with Adam’s 100% Natural Peanut Butter was an excellent pairing;

Slices of Gontran Cherrier's Rye and Red Miso Bread Boule from Tiong Bahru Bakery x Dumpling soup from Real Food Killineyor as a very good companion to the dumpling soup at Real Food Killiney.

Gontran Cherrier's Rye and Red Miso Bread from Tiong Bahru Bakery x Sweet Ripe Pear x Morbier cheeseBeing mostly umami, it enhances the taste of whatever you put on it or eat it with – like slices of sweet ripe pear and Morbier cheese.

What was obvious from reading Jeremiah with someone on Monday and 2 Samuel with another last night was that the God of the Bible has never been quite fashionable. Where it has always been easy to control gods with offerings of their favourite food or the sacrifice of virgins, the God of the Bible could not be told what to do; he did not need sacrifices of things he created himself; he had his own mind and he set the rules. While the trend has always been for gods to reward their followers with prosperity, good health, loads of children etc., the God of the Bible has been quite different: his main concern since the beginning of the world has always been that they acknowledge him as God and obey him from their heart and therefore would bring judgement on them if they did not.

Basically, a really God-like God.

So when God’s king David despised God’s word and did evil by taking Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and then killing her husband (2 Samuel 12), God declared he would punish his sin by ensuring that his own wives would be taken by his neighbour and that the sword would never leave his own house. This was fulfilled over a number of years as Absalom kills Amnon for taking Tamar, Absalom tries to depose David and takes his 10 concubines, Joab and gang kill Absalom, fighting between the tribes who would later split into Israel and Judah (2 Samuel 13 – 20).

And a few centuries later, when the tribes had already been split into Israel and Judah, and Israel had already been defeated by the Assyrians because of their disobedience to God, God sent Jeremiah to warn Judah that they would be wiped out by the Babylonians if they did not repent and turn back to God. What God wanted was for his own people to repent from despising him and to acknowledge him as God (Jeremiah 1-6); he was not concerned with cheap victories over other nations just to show who was in control. Because the whole world was his, he did not need to keep a nation intact just to show he had power. (Nor did he need to scrounge around for the dreams of random followers, a la the old gods in Neil Gaiman‘s The Sandman.) Yet, despite his omnipotence, he always wooed his people in such a loving and patient manner, which is more than you can of minor dictators these days.

Now, that is a truly a God.

Tiong Bahru Bakery. World-building.

May 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Artisan bakeries have followed in the wake of the Third Wave specialty coffee movement. Representing the Kiwis, Dean Brettschneider’s Baker & Cook, with most of the rest being either French (Paul Bakery), French-Japanese (Maison Kayser), Japanese (Pullman Bakery, DONQ Bakery (facebook)), or French-inspired (The French Bakery, plus some German – Nick Vina, plus “old world technique” – The Bread Project (facebook)). Bread recipes seem to take to the Singapore humidity badly, so foreign bakers have had a tough time putting a rise on quality levels.

Regardless, all these new entrants are great for carb-fiends.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

The most recent opening has been Gontran Cherrier’s modestly-named Tiong Bahru Bakery (56 Eng Hoon Street, facebook), another good trend-read by Cynthia Chua and her Spa Esprit Group F&B arm, Food Collective.

Between The Hunger Games (which i had to watch for research purposes – a terrible waste of money and a great disservice to the book(s)) and some messing about with cocktails before meeting The Avengers (why did Tony Stark have the best lines? We loved the silly wisecracks and slapstick so much we kept repeating the one-liners through the night, enough that any mother within earshot would have smacked us), hoofed it to Tiong Bahru for some sustenance.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

The main door would be fantastic for a gongfu movie involving clueless baddies standing too near two-way doors, but generally not so good for clueless innocent bystanders lining up past the Synesso machine. Loads of natural light, big bold flower arrangement, requisite retro furniture (+ tables with sharpened legs), IKEA? wooden bowl lampshades, well-trained friendly staff.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

Even the toilet was note-worthy, gushed the lady at the next table, insisting that we take a look. The blue glass panes and the biscuit tins as bins were a nice touch.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru EstateAs were the bread-shaped namecards (not exclusive to toilet).

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

A good range of breads, viennoiseries, and pastries: olive bread, croissant (plain, chocolate, almond with chocolate), brioche, kouign aman [sic], raisin bun, apple crumble, brownie, tarts, baguette (plain, cereal, curry), squid ink bread, rye and red miso boules.

Bread samples, Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru EstateThe samples at the cashier sold many people on loaves they may never have thought to buy. All crusty (but not hard) with soft flavourful interior.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru EstateDecent foccacia topped with stuff, though there are probably more interesting breads to try.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

Croissant was a winner – crunchy without shattering to little pieces that disappear into your windpipe. Slight butter taste but not lip-balm replacement oily, enhanced by the good butter, Alain Milliat jams and Les Comptoirs de Saint-Malo‘s Caramalo Cafe caramel au beurre salé (oh man!) available on the sideboard.

Criossant Chocolat, Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

The croissant chocolat was similarly crisp with chewy interior and well-placed melted chocolate bits. The almond chocolate croissant was apparently quite standout stuff too.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Kouign Aman. Gontran Cherrier, Tiong Bahru Bakery

Other viennoiserie (“raisin roll”, “kouign aman”) similarly excellent.

Viennoiserie? Gontran Cherrier, Tiong Bahru Bakery Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

Other breads (eg. “Vienna Chocolate”, “Brioche”) were a bit dry on the inside.

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

Couldn’t quite appreciate the flan vanilla nor the chocolate mendiant (similar to what one usually expects of confections bearing this name, there’s chocolate and mixed fruit and nuts, but in a tartlet shell).

Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate
Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate Tiong Bahru Bakery, Eng Hoon Street, Tiong Bahru Estate

This was not going to be a destination for coffee, but 40 Hands trained the baristas sufficiently that they didn’t ruin a good brunch/lunch/tea.

Unfortunately, my hair was such a mess that the nice lady at the next table politely enquired if i lived nearby.

M. John HarrisonNo idea how M John Harrison, only one of my favourite authors, keeps his long hair quite so neat because on the best of days, i look like Hagrid…on a bad hair day. But of greater interest, Mike’s views on world-building. My quarrel with movie adaptations of books is precisely that in order to bring them into being, word-building is necessary.

In some sense, it would be like the folly of Jorge Luis Borges’ (another favourite) On Exactitude In Science, itself allegedly based on Lewis Carroll’s Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, in which there is an empire where the study of cartography is so exact that a map of the empire is the size of the empire, and coincides point for point with it.

So it is also my quarrel with those who dismiss the Bible because it does not contain the world. Yes, it does not even contain information that could be found in an encyclopaedia nor a list of answers to FAQs (like: “If God created everything and knows everything before they happen, then why did he create the serpent?” or “Why did God create us if he knew that he would have to send his Son to die for the sins of the world?”), because that is not its nature. The nature of the Scriptures is that of a message, a rather lengthy note; it tells us the danger we are in and how to be saved from this danger; it is both a warning and an offer.

I would not find issue with a Caution sign or an instruction manual just because they failed to mention the existence of dinosaurs (itself a theory we have come to believe, ironically in this context, as gospel truth!).

Baker & Cook. Grace and Election.

January 28, 2012 1 comment

Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood

Baker & Cook (77 Hillview Avenue, Greenwood), started by Dean Brettschneider -the-Global-Baker, says it is “Singapore’s only true artisan bakery & foodstore”.

Remnant breads and bagels, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood Carrot cake, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood

There was a steady stream of people coming in for a baguette but most of the bread had been sold out by early evening. They’re open from 7am to 10pm every day, so we’ll probably have to get there in the morning to grab the bread.

Pizza and broccoli salad, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood Flat white, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood

However, if the bready pizza base is anything to go by, this bakery might possibly be as good as its boast.

Fruit tarts, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood Apricot frangipane tart, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood

The apricot tart was well-made too – frangipane not cloyingly sweet nor soaked in almond flavouring nor too damp, tart shell not delicate but crisp.

Towards closing time, they started handing out complimentary pastries/cake slices to certain people. I wasn’t selected, and as I was struggling with Ephesians 1, I realised that just as it wasn’t my place to demand a free taster, neither was it my place to demand salvation.

Most people want to know what God will do for them if they deigned to believe in him. Some want to know what they can do to earn salvation or be part of God’s people. But the Bible scoffs at any pretense of contributing to one’s salvation, and really, would anyone be so foolish and shameless to demand to know what the baker would reward them with if they condescended to take a slice of carrot cake?

Already, Ephesians 1 shows that we do nothing under our own steam:

  • in Christ, God has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing;
  • in him, God chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight;
  • through Jesus Christ, he predestined us to be adopted as his sons;
  • in the One he loves, he has freely given us glorious grace;
  • in him…through his blood, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, all wisdom and understanding;
  • in Christ, he has made known the mystery of his will;
  • God brings all things in heaven and earth together under one head, Christ;
  • in him, we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of God who works all things in conformity to his will;
  • in Christ, we who were first to hope might be for praise of his glory;
  • in Christ, you were also included when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of salvation;
  • in him, you were marked with a seal, the Holy Spirit;
  • the Holy Spirit guarantees inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possessions.

Ultimately, we don’t choose God while he bites his nails in heaven, anxiously awaiting daily updates from earth. Rather he chooses his people just as he chose to make a covenant with Abraham. Even our repentance (2 Timothy 2:25) and faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) come from God, so we cannot even boast that we have done anything to deserve to be treated decently by God – which makes our salvation and new status as God’s people so very precious, and makes plain the enormous grace (undeserved favour) of God.

PS:
Lucky Last Baguette, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood
“Lucky Last Baguette”

Almond croissant, Baker & Cook, Hillview Avenue, Greenwood
Almond croissant

Maison Kayser Singapore

December 18, 2011 1 comment

Missed the plane to Perth by managing, somehow, to switch off the alarm in my sleep. Fortunately, Qantas allowed a change to the flight for S$75 fee.

So made it to church to listen to Joshua Ng preach on idolatry from James 4 (probably quite similar to the one he gave at SMACC in KL earlier this year) – something i’m naturally anxious to avoid (cue: Sam Chaplin’s Two Sins as earworm), collect Christmas cards and gingerbread men and well wishes (and jibes about not managing to wake up for anything), and to chat with some of the uni folk back on vacation from Oz.

Maison Kayser, Scotts Square Maison Kayser, Scotts Square

Sped down to Orchard Road and we camped out at Maison Kayser (Scotts Square)* while waiting for the photos for Christmas cards to be printed in Far East Plaza (old skool!), then wrote illegibly on their backs.

Hopefully, i’ll remember actually haul ass to Changi Airport this evening and get these posted.

Maison Kayser, Scotts Square Maison Kayser, Scotts Square
Maison Kayser, Scotts Square

*enjoyed the “artisan bread” most – the walnut bread had a delicate crunchy crust enclosing a soft flavourful chewy innards with freshly roasted walnuts (most of the walnuts in pastries here taste rancid). The pastries (croissant, croissant aux amande) would have benefited a lot from some oven time before being served (the server assured me they had already been heated and wouldn’t re-heat despite their being in limp distress in the Singapore humidity). Then there were the eclairs and lemon tarts (with and without meringue).

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