[SNACKS] Aroma Truffle: Black Summer Truffle Chips in Original and Parmesan Cheese Flavours

Hello everyone!

When work gets overwhelming or uneventful, it’s human nature to gravitate towards snacks to keep us going. That’s why my personal pantry – or otherwise known as my kitchen – has been stocked with snacks (goodbye diet) ever since my home has doubled up as my workplace. The pile of midday nibbles lined up on the counter just keeps getting bigger, with the latest addition being the few packets of Aroma Truffle chips that I recently ordered from Shopee (evil, evil app 馃捀) upon a friend’s strong recommendation. This gourmet snack was the talk of the town for much of last year, but I just couldn’t justify paying S$10 for a packet of chips, that is, until now.

Delivery from Aroma Truffle! The opening of the bag was sealed.

Delivery from Aroma Truffle! The opening of the bag was sealed.

For the unacquainted, Aroma Truffle (self-proclaimed “The world’s strongest truffle brand”) was established in 2018 after co-founder Johnathan Chan conjured an inimitable truffle recipe while attending a fine food masterclass in France. This discovery sparked off the idea to create the first batch of black summer truffle chips and since then, two more flavours have been introduced, all of which made with natural ingredients that were extensively researched and guaranteed to be of superior quality. The black summer truffles used in making the chips, for instance, were farmed in, harvested and airflown from the Italian suburbs. The company has several physical stores including one in Hong Kong, and they are normally filled with the unmistakable scent of truffle which can be detected from a distance away. I’m not kidding!

Aroma Truffle Outlet at Jewel Changi Airport, level 2. Opens daily from 10am to 10pm. If you're based overseas and will be stopping by Singapore in the near future, you can consider getting your truffle chips here! (Image from Aroma Truffle Facebook)

Aroma Truffle Outlet at Jewel Changi Airport, level 2. Opens daily from 10am to 10pm. If you’re based overseas and will be stopping by Singapore in the near future, you can consider getting your truffle chips here! (Image from Aroma Truffle Facebook)

The packets of chips I bought came in a bundle of four comprising two flavours – original (3 packets) and Parmesan cheese (1 packet) – priced at S$39.95 which is merely 5 cents less than usual. I could have gotten them for cheaper at the flash sale but I didn’t have the patience to wait for it to happen.

Inside the fanciful paper bag

Inside the fanciful paper bag

Aroma Truffle Chips in Original and Parmesan Cheese flavours!

Aroma Truffle Chips in Original and Parmesan Cheese flavours!

After two dreadful weeks, my order finally reached me (Aroma Truffle’s customer service claimed that a technical error had resulted in a delay in the processing of all orders made on the same day as mine 馃え so in hindsight, I should have held back) and I wasted no time to try both flavours. It’s great that the packaging has a ziplock closure to prevent the chips from becoming stale between uses so I didn’t have to finish both packets in one sitting.

Original Flavour (S$10)

Aroma Truffle Chips in Original flavour

Aroma Truffle Chips in Original flavour

Nutrition facts of the original flavour

Nutrition facts of the original flavour

Ingredient list for the original flavour

Ingredient list for the original flavour

These ridge-cut potato chips are said to have smothered in the finest grade of olive oil, then tossed with generous bits of black truffles and a hint of parsley. A closer look at the ingredient list (which isn’t available on their website, hmmm..) reveals that olive oil is, in fact, listed pretty much at the bottom while palm oil, a less healthy oil alternative, takes second spot (meaning that it has contributed the second-largest amount to the making of the product). Therefore, these chips might not be as healthy as the brand implies (and to be fair, they’re not explicitly touted as a healthy snack; just the copywriter doing his/her magic).

This is NOT a true representation of the quantity in the bag. (Sorry I couldn't resist the truffle fragrance and just jumped right into eating it before I remembered about taking a picture LOL!)

This is NOT a true representation of the quantity in the bag. (Sorry I couldn’t resist the truffle fragrance and just jumped right into eating it before I remembered about taking a picture LOL!)

Not too big, not too small!

Not too big, not too small!

The thickness

The thickness

Once the heat-sealed part of the packet was cut out (mind you, I haven’t even opened up the packet yet), my nose was instantly hit by a powerful aroma of truffle oil (hence the name聽馃槤) and it was at that moment I knew I was in for a true trufflicious treat! The chips were thick and substantially crunchy (as opposed to the airy kind of crunchiness that we are all familiar with) and there was hardly any crushed pieces because the packaging was properly inflated with air to cushion them from any impact. The earthy notes of truffle was the strongest when first popped into the mouth. But that distinctive flavour was fleeting (although you get to experience it again in your next burp 馃ぃ), leaving just the saltiness and taste of other flavoured seasoning behind towards the last bite.

Parmesan Cheese Flavour (S$10)

Aroma Truffle Chips in Parmesan Cheese flavour

Aroma Truffle Chips in Parmesan Cheese flavour

Aroma Truffle Chips in Parmesan Cheese flavour

Aroma Truffle Chips in Parmesan Cheese flavour

Nutrition facts of the Parmesan cheese flavour

Nutrition facts of the Parmesan cheese flavour

Ingredient list for the Parmesan cheese flavour

Ingredient list for the Parmesan cheese flavour

The texture of the chips was generally comparable to that of the original. The Parmesan cheese version was garnished with dill to accentuate its flavour and this strategy worked because the taste of cheese really stood out in this one, so much so that it kind of overshadowed the truffle (the scent still stands, but not as pronounced). Either that or the proportion of the truffle has reduced because I couldn’t really taste much of it. That said, both the cheese and truffle flavours complimented each other very well. However, because this essentially tastes like cheese crackers, I thought it would be more worthwhile to get the original flavour.

Refer to the picture above for the quantity instead 馃榿

Refer to the picture above for the quantity instead 馃榿

One chip

One chip

All in all, Aroma Truffle chips get my seal of approval in terms of taste, but will I repurchase? Probably not, unless the cravings for truffle hit me hard. My spending limit for snacks still remains at $5 unless they come with a chock-full of nutritional benefits. But if you have these lying around in the house when I’m there as a guest, do be mentally prepared for them to be guzzled by me.

What are your thoughts about Aroma Truffle chips? If you’ve tried both flavours, do you agree with my review? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Aroma Truffle 路 Buy from PHYSICAL STORES 路 Buy from SHOPEE 路 For more information, please visit Aroma Truffle FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE

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[FOOD DELIVERY] Enjoy Premium Sushi and Sashimi by Sushi Delivery Singapore at the Comfort of Your Couch!

Hello everyone!

Staying at home (involuntarily) has opened my eyes to the scores of food delivery options which I would not have otherwise known if I had continued to eat out. Just yesterday, I had the luxury of relishing a spread of Japanese food on my dining table without stepping out of my house because Sushi Delivery made it possible 馃檹馃徎

Sushi Delivery website

Sushi Delivery website

Not like any other sushi joint…

An adopter of the virtual kitchen concept, Sushi Delivery debunks the notion that takeaway foods are of inferior quality with little to no nutritional value by procuring ingredients from Japanese sources and staying true to traditional preparation methods for their sashimi.

Let’s begin with the promised taste: the flavour and texture of the fish is preserved through the employment of the ikejime technique which involves disrupting its brain and spinal cord to mitigate all the effects of biochemical reactions, thus allowing the flesh to develop an umami dimension. Since the fish is sourced only from ikejime-trained suppliers in – where else – Hokkaido and Tsukiji, you can be assured that only the freshest, high-grade catch is used for your sashimi to give the soft, melt-in-your-mouth goodness in every bite.

Maki page

Maki page

The sushi-meshi (sushi rice) is made of premium Japanese shortgrain obtained directly from Miyagi prefecture – a place famous for its fertile environment that enables rice paddies to flourish. The rice is processed and packaged in the same year in which it was harvested (“shinmai”) to retain its moisture and flavour, that’s why it has a more glutinous, sticky and plump texture when cooked.

Committed to beating the clock…

Each of the seven kitchens located islandwide is helmed by a Japanese itamae (or head sushi chef, an exceptionally prestigious and revered title given only to those who have undertaken years of training and apprenticeship), and is equipped with state-of-the-art appliances and technology to ensure efficiency and food quality. Orders are also assigned to kitchens with the closest proximity so that they are fulfilled on time. To help you take your mind off delays, a $10 discount code will be given to you to use on your next Sushi Delivery order if they fail to deliver within the selected 1-hour window and the subsequent hour (i.e. delay of more than 2 hours). Granted, it’s not the best way of doing damage control but at least there’s no restrictions on the redemption (apart from having to pay S$5.90 for delivery if you do not meet the minimum order amount of S$60) – it’s $10 off regardless of order amount (their cheapest items are makis, so there’s that 馃お).

Dropdown menu

Dropdown menu

My order arrived at 7.23pm, well within the delivery window that I had chosen (i.e. 7.00pm – 8.00pm). The friendly deliveryman carefully handed me two bags at the door – one containing the sushis and makis, and the other the mains, and I must say the neat presentation of the finger foods – despite them having travelled on the roads – had left me really impressed. The dishes looked almost like what you’d expect to see if you were to dine in a Japanese restaurant!

My order (sans salmon sashimi)

My order (sans salmon sashimi)

Thank you, Mr Deliveryman for safely delivering our dinner to us!

Thank you, Mr Deliveryman for safely delivering our dinner to us!

To sidetrack for a moment, that the layout of the website struck me with a sense of deja vu. Like, I thought I had seen it somewhere before. Then, it hit me – it has similar design to that of 8 Crabs! Now, I don’t know if both businesses are run by the same company or if they’re merely using a very common e-commerce website template (and the same delivery model), but I do know both websites are managed by different registrars and were set up on dates far apart.. so I guess these put my suspicion to rest?

Here’s what went into our tummies, courtesy of Sushi Delivery:

Containers came with see-through lids.. and many, many packets of shoyu sauce and wasabi 馃槄

Containers came with see-through lids.. and many, many packets of shoyu sauce and wasabi 馃槄

What a spread!

What a spread!

Salmon Aburi Maki (8 pieces, S$15.90)

Salmon Aburi Maki

Salmon Aburi Maki

Salmon Aburi Maki

Salmon Aburi Maki

THICCC

THICCC

Drizzled with rich mentaiko mayo and black tobiko, the salmon slices were flame-torched to a nice brown texture to give a mild burnt fragrance. There were also tamago and Japanese cucumber wrapped inside the roll for an added crunch. This was a pure pleasure to eat, and definitely worthy of its chef’s recommendation status.

Mango Maki (8 pieces, S$16.90)

Mango Maki

Mango Maki

Mango Maki

Mango Maki

This felt like a party in my mouth. Grilled unagi was used in place of avocado (which is a common ingredient in mango maki) inside the roll, giving the maki a savoury yet slightly sweet flavour. There was also diced Japanese cucumber which acted as a crunchy, refreshing ingredient. The top of the maki is blanketed by a generous slice of mango topped with a dash of mayonnaise and tobiko, which made the whole dish even more tantalising on the palate.

Multi-layers of goodness

Multi-layers of goodness

The chef who came up with the list of recommendations must have made a mistake. Why isn’t mango maki featured when it’s so delectable? Even my mother, who isn’t really a fan of Japanese cuisine, couldn’t resist the urge to have seconds! This was easily my favourite dish of all!

Salmon Sashimi (5 pieces, S$9.90)

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Sashimi

Salmon sashimi wasn’t shortlisted for this review originally because past food delivery experiences had made me weary of receiving lukewarm sashimi. But the Sushi Delivery representative I corresponded with decided that I should still give it a try because… which Japanese food review doesn’t talk about the most beloved sashimi? Silly me!

The salmon sashimi was included in the bag with the other makis and I was pleasantly surprised it came chilled, owing to the ice packs beneath those thick, smooth slices. True to Sushi’s Delivery promise, it was fresh but didn’t appear very dark-hued, which could suggest that the salmon was farmed.

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento (S$12.90)

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

Saba Shioyaki Set Bento

The bento box menu is ideal for people who aren’t fond of raw food (like my mother). This bento set, in particular, included a piece of severed grilled saba (mackerel) seasoned with salt, and sushi rice topped with furikake served with a side salad and Japanese pickles. It was all right but nothing to write home about. My mother did remark that the freshness of the fish wasn’t quite up to her standard, though.

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don (S$15.90)

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

Cheesy Unagi Aburi Don

This bowl of sushi rice was served with thick slabs of unagi slices, grated parmesan cheese, slices of Japanese cucumber. The unagi was slightly crispy on the outside and tender inside with a balance of sweet and savoury flavours, and the unorthodox addition of cheese lent a salty note.

There is a mistake in the official description (which I believe was copied from Unagi Don) – the egg ingredient isn’t onsen egg but tamagoyaki, as you can tell from the accompanying image on the website.

Bara Chirashi Don (S$16.90)

Bara Chirashi Don

Bara Chirashi Don

Bara Chirashi Don

Bara Chirashi Don

The Bara Chirashi Don might look like a mossy mess in pictures but it was actually loaded with a generous amount of ingredients that still felt a little chilled to the touch. There were diced salmon, maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellowtail) and tamago (egg), topped with slices of Japanese cucumber and kizami nori (shredded seaweed), and not once did my spoon emerge from the dish without an ingredient. The portion was more than substantial for me. In fact, I was unable to finish my sushis and makis after having this! (I kept them in the fridge and had them at a later time, don’t worry.)

Besides the taste and quality, prices, in general, are also comparable to those of Japanese restaurants. But since Sushi Delivery operates out of a virtual kitchen, you get to save on service charge and prevailing government taxes, which usually work out to be quite a sum.

That said, I would still prefer to dine in at Japanese restaurants because there’s just something about the experience that food deliveries cannot duplicate. Maybe it’s the act of sipping on a cup of hot Japanese green tea while waiting for my orders to be served, the Japanese music playing in the background that sets the mood, or the fact that I can actually see the sushi chefs in action. However, if the need arises for me to dine at home in the future (but please, don’t let it be due to COVID-20!), Sushi Delivery would be one of my choices.

What are your thoughts about Sushi Delivery? Would you give them a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Sushi Delivery SIngaporesushidelivery.sg 路 Delivery hours: 10.45 am – 9.45 pm (daily) 路 For more information, please visit Sushi Delivery FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY SUSHI DELIVERY FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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馃榿

[FOOD DELIVERY] Freshly Cooked Seafood Delivered Right Up to Your Doorstep by 8 Crabs

Hello everyone!

We are now a month into the circuit breaker and the idea of home-cooked meals has probably gotten stale by now. Plus, with Mother’s Day around the corner (it’s this Sunday!), many of you might have been tearing your hair out over how to honour the most important lady (or ladies) in your family this year amidst all the restrictions.

Worry no more as 8 Crabs is here to save the day!

8 Crabs…?

I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve never heard of this establishment prior to reading this review, considering that the 8 Crabs website was only set up a month ago (yes, I did my background check because I was sceptical as well, and as for why there are reviews dated to 2017 on the website, I’m equally puzzled about it and have sought clarification). But that is not to say that they are inexperienced in the culinary arena. In fact, its parent company Eight Foods Pte Ltd (not the business’ originally registered name so I’ve reached out to find out more too) is one that specialises in the import of live seafood such as wild-caught crabs, sea cucumber, prawns, grouper, and tilapia from Sri Lanka. Peeved at the prevailing dishonesty in the food industry, Eight Foods started 8 Crabs to fill the gap for providing the freshest crab at a fixed rate.

8 Crab website

8 Crab website

Rather than operating from brick-and-mortar restaurant, 8 Crabs is based out of a virtual zi char kitchen (yay to no GST and service charge!) that offers islandwide delivery of its premium cooked seafood without a minimum order. Today, Sri Lanka is home to their own processing premises where freshly caught crabs are brought in daily by their fishermen, and delivered from to the local airport which is just an hour’s drive away. The strategic location of their premises means that the packing time is drastically shortened, thus heavily reducing the risk of ammonia excretion (the byproduct of the decomposition of seafood) in stressed crabs. In addition, the fished crabs also have to be examined and approved by their crab graders before they are exported, so you can be assured of the quality – and meatiness – of your crab!

My apologies to my Muslim readers as 8 Crabs is non-halal.

Wah, crabs?! Confirm expensive!

When 8 Crabs offered to credit a certain value into my account for me to pick out any dishes I wanted to try within given budget, I couldn’t help but snigger a little. As a crab enthusiast who dines at seafood restaurants at least twice a year (because I like to spoil my parents rotten on their birthdays), I know very well how crabs are priced – by their weight – and I had the inkling that the amount was not going to be enough to cover the price of a crab for three. But I was so wrong! I did my math and figured that I could actually get a complete 4-course meal – crab inclusive – for my family with the voucher 馃槺 I was shookth. Crabs can be affordable!

Seafood, meat and poultry, vegetable options at 8 Crabs

Seafood, meat and poultry, vegetable options at 8 Crabs

Crabs section

Crabs section

The prices vary according to the size of the crab: S$60 for medium (2 pieces), S$68 for large, S$118 for extra-extra large (depending on the catch for the day, some sizes may not be available). These prices are reflected clearly on website with no hidden charges so you won’t get a rude shock when you cart out your order!

My first 8 Crab order!

My first 8 Crab order!

Impressed by the transparency of 8 Crabs, I went on and added two crabs and other complementary dishes聽to the cart, gladly exceeding the budget given to me. Of course, I paid the difference out of my own pocket (it’s not a lot anyway 馃槈). After my order was completed, I received an invoice in my e-mail and was surprised that it was billed by Masons Home Decor Pte. Ltd. instead. There is no mention of their affiliation anywhere on the website (or anywhere on the internet) so I presume Masons Home Decor is just a sister brand of 8 Crabs.

[6 May 2020] I’ve contacted the marketing team for clarification of all the questions raised in this review and will update here once I get a response 馃檪 For now, let’s just focus on the food! [As of 23 May 2020, no response received]

Just how.. does crab delivery work?!

My order met the requirement for free delivery (free for orders above $120. Otherwise, S$8 for same-day delivery or S$18 for express delivery) and I was prompted to select my preferred delivery time slot at checkout: 12:30-13:00 (lunch), 18:00-19:00, 19:00-20:00, 20:00-21:00, 21:00-22:00 or 22:00-23:00. Since this was meant to be dinner, I opted for the first evening time slot (18:00-19:00), bracing myself for a possible delay during that peak hour.

The doorbell rang. Time check. It was only 5.45pm and the deliveryman was already at my door with plastic bags containing my dinner in his hands. For a moment, I panicked because my mother was still in the kitchen preparing some other dishes to go with the crab feast and she wouldn’t be done until at least 30 minutes later. Oh well.. I guess that’s a small price to pay for not taking their promise of one-hour delivery seriously! I mean, they even promise a full refund if they are late!

8 Crabs' pledge of excellence!

8 Crabs’ pledge of excellence!

So.. what did I order? (Warning: do not proceed if you are burning the midnight oil)

Black Pepper Crab (Large, S$68)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view)

Black Pepper Crab (aerial view) – LOOK AT THOSE PINCERS!

Salted Egg Crab (Large, S$68)

Salted Egg Crab (aerial view)

Salted Egg Crab (aerial view)

Salted Egg Crab (zoomed in)

Salted Egg Crab (zoomed in) – soaking in salted egg goodness

The crab menu is streamlined to increase efficiency in the kitchen and perhaps, save customers the headache of deciding on the flavour since there are only three to choose from: black pepper, chilli and salted egg. Is anyone else mildly disappointed that creamy butter flavour didn’t make it to the list? No? Just me? 鈽癸笍

A large crab at 8 Crabs weighs approximately 750g which I reckoned was just about right for three people. But as a family of crab lovers, one was definitely not going to cut it to satiate our appetites. Therefore, I got two in different flavours so that I could have at least one pincer all to myself! This may sound treacherous but I am not big on our national crab flavour at all so I went with salted egg and black pepper. The salted egg one was a mix of chunky and creamy, and wasn’t overwhemingly sweet (kids friendly!) while the spice in the black pepper carried some kick (your fiesty folks will love this!). Both boxes came with a generous amount of sauce in them.

The size of the crabs met my expectations and both crabs were delightfully meaty. Thankfully, most, if not all inaccessible and obscured parts of the crab were already cracked so crab crackers were absolutely unnecessary during the span of our meal. Furthermore, since both crabs were so fresh, the succulent meat just slid off the shell without the aid of any seafood picks! Yes, even the hard-to-reach meat in the fingers and pereopods (those little legs)! Ah-mazing, right?!?!

Sorry, no additional pictures of the crabs because my hands were tied and I didn’t want to soil my camera! But take my word for it – they were good.

Fried Man Tou (a set of 5, S$6)

Fried Man Tou

Fried Man Tou

Where crab dishes are concerned, it is almost an unspoken rule that they must be paired with fried man tou, or fried buns in Mandarin, for dipping into the savoury crab sauce (or condensed milk at your own expense, if you’ve more of a sweet tooth). I was thrown off by the price (as a benchmark, restaurants usually sell fried man tou for 80 cents each) at first but when I saw the buns, I understood why – these guys were humongous; each was about the size of my palm! They were deep fried to a golden brown and despite being left on my dining table for an hour, they were still crispy on the outside and light and fluffy inside. Be careful not to over-order, though, as these buns – I repeat – are super-sized.

A side-by-side comparison against the other dishes. Those man tous are HUGE.

A side-by-side comparison against the other dishes. Those man tous are HUGE.

Prawn Paste Chicken (Medium, S$18)

Prawn Paste Chicken

Prawn Paste Chicken

In contrast, the prawn paste chicken was a bit of a let-down. The prawn paste smelt slightly burnt and wasn’t as aromatic as I hoped (the unmistakable聽har cheong fragrance was largely absent). Although juicy, the mid-joint wings were pretty much meatless and the crust (or lack thereof) wasn’t crispy (to be fair, they probably lost a lot of crunch in transit, but the texture was just.. flat). I wouldn’t recommend this. Stick to their crabs, if you may, or try other dishes on the menu!

That said, dinner was a blast and went well beyond my expectation. My parents, who never had the chance to attend tasting events with me previously (thank you, 8 Crabs for making this experience possible!), enjoyed the crabs tremendously and wouldn’t mind having them again. Hopefully, 8 Crabs would consider adding creamy butter flavour to the menu before that happens 馃槵

What are your thoughts about 8 Crabs? Would you give them a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

8 Crabs8CRABS.COM 路 Delivery hours: Lunch – 12.00 am (daily) 路 For more information, please visit 8 Crabs FACEBOOK PAGE, INSTAGRAM or WEBSITE聽路 Click HERE to access their Mother’s Day Special.
PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED BY 8 CRABS FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized food updates!
Be sure to watch out for my Stories because that’s where I post my tasty encounters
馃榿