Sorry about the flooding of Taiwan posts, I just want to get them out of the way so I can be back to blogging as per normal – not as if there’s anything particularly interesting happening in my life right now besides having so much work and being so inefficient that I want to repeatedly stab myself in the chest.
Risotto – “Ah Mao” – a little chain of cafes we found in Xi Men Ding specializing in an almost Asian style risotto.
Think risotto ft bibimbap!
Anyway the cafes are really cutely decked out – they even have a golden retriever mascot, the “Mr Furry” in question, who rotates around the branches there. He wasn’t there when we stopped by to eat, but we saw him the next night making friends with some little kids.
Cafe is pet friendly – wish we had more of those back home.
So in English they are called “Risotto” but the translation is hot-stone mixed rice, which is actually Bibimbap !
Neutral colors, kid-friendly furniture, a nice home style cafe with chirpy and super polite staff
Even the cutlery pockets were whimsical.
I chose the carousel with ribbons – they made me squeal!
There’s a pretty wide range of risotto dishes on offer – even squid ink! We were lemming to try that but it was our first meal of the day and we didn’t want blackened teeth in the rest of our photos. Spicy seafood seemed like too much in the morning, and chicken cream sounded too cloying. So.. seafood cream it was, haha!
It comes in a set – mine was with bacon corn soup and creme caramel for dessert. We shared – wanted to make room for desserts and snacks after !
Other very cute little touches in the cafe:
I started off really resenting this new Sanrio character – he usurped all the cute merchandise in HKG, wiping out my Miss Bunny, Marie, and Charmmy Kitty stuff. But I’ve been officially won over, although I’m not sure why – maybe its because he loves to cook and they have released a new line of Rilakumma stuff which involves pretty cream macarons!
I now have Rilakumma fleece blankets, files, and even a pot.
Hugging shakers !
Then the food came –
Does it look yummy? Thats ‘cos it was! I think its really more like fusion risotto than anything else? The rice was definitely not arborio or carnaroli rice traditionally used for risotto – rather, it was something like Tohoshiko Japanese Rice – I’m not complaining, because I love Japanese and Korean rice – its more starchy and actually perfect for risotto.
The rice was yummily al dente and coated well with the sauce. It was hearty, soul warming stuff – rice bound in a light cream sauce, with prawns, a little squid, mussels, some fresh veggie. We wiped it out!
The Korean hot stone pot was also a nice touch – it kept the meal warm throughout. I’ll actually go out on a limb to say that I prefer my Risotto done Mr Furry way – some of the risottos I’ve had in fine dining restaurants have an odd sour taste from the liquer used – I never got used to that.
Dessert was a simple creme caramel in a cute little white ramekin – satisfyingly sweet.
Popped by Japanese donut chain Mr Donut , famous for its “Pon De Ring” donuts !
We tried the French Custard crullers and a Strawberry Pon De Ring.
Don’t the donuts look lovely – they look just like the donuts from my Sylvanian Family donut shop!
We were a little divided on the donuts, to be honest.
I mean they were really cute, and the toppings tasted very fresh, but the texture was something that I wasn’t very used to.
Instead of the typical light, airy glazed donuts you get from Krispy Kreme or J Co, Mister Donut’s donuts use a slightly more glutinous grain for their dough, I suspect. The texture is somewhat mochi-esque and definitely chewier than your normal donut.
For first time eaters and donut purists, the chewy texture may even hint at a staleness, but I found that it grew on me – but it could be that I’m already a mochi lover to start with.
K didn’t like it so much, but he enjoyed the french chocolate custard crullers, which unfortunately I don’t have a picture of.
cutesy donuts FTW!