[UK] Maiyango Kitchen Deli

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Being a patron of Hotel Maiyango in the past years living at Leicester, I was pleasantly surprised when I return this January and realized that they had opened up a new kitchen deli! Named after the boutique hotel with an impressive restaurant lined with press-cuttings and culinary accolades, the kitchen deli is located just a stone's throw away. Serving only homemade produce, all products are exclusively prepared by their award-winning chefs from the restaurant, with the finest locally sourced ingredients. 

All the prepared food are presented at the kitchen table inside the deli, set thrice daily at breakfast, lunch and dinner times respectively. The best part is that there is a small kitchen table at the front of the deli, where you can grab a copy of the day's newspaper or some magazines and browse through while savouring your pastries. Alternatively, you can either have it on the go, or the best part, have it delivered to your doorstep (limited to city centre locations only)! It is actually one of the only local delis around in the vicinity which I know offers such service.

What I particularly favour about this deli is their operating ethos, providing locally produced food using the best local producers. In addition, they take a step forward by engaging in social responsibility and doing a part for the community. All boxes and packaging are plain recycled paper (products) and all deliveries are carried out by the 'Maiyango Man on a Bike'.

Carrot Cake (£1.25/slice = S$2.50/-)

Personally, I am not a huge fan of carrot cake (other than the Singapore's version, i.e. fried carrot cake), but I must say that I was rather impressed with this.

(+) Rich butter taste and fragrance, carrying a tinge of sweetness.
(+) Could taste strands of carrot, which helped enhanced the texture of this petite slice.

(-) The carrot cake tends to be slightly too oily for our liking.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Lemon Tart (£2.50 = S$5/-)

Being a fan of lemon desserts and tarts in particular, we have a rather high expectation. So far, we have yet to find a contender for Maison Kayser's lemon tart.

(-) The balance of sweet-sour was tilted towards more of a sweet treat.
(-) The tart was not taut, seemed a bit too 'soft' for our liking.
(-) Technical fault with baking, cos the lemon custard split in the middle of the tart.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Pain Au Chocolate (£1.50/- = S$3/-)
This is the BIGGEST chocolate croissant which we had ever tried. In fact, this was the reason why it appealed and attracted us in the first place at the deli.

(+) One might assume that considering the size of this croissant, it would be very 'airy' inside, however to the contrary, there were several layers of pockets of 'fluff'.
(+) The amount of dark chocolate filling was a generous amount too, matching the size.
(+) Very crispy pastry exterior, which crumbled with every bite, leaving flakes all over.

Verdict: 9.0/10

Pear Quiche (£1.50/- = S$3/-)
We were rather intrigued when the server explained that this was a pear quiche. Could not help but scratch our heads how a sweet-tasting fruit could possibly fit into a savoury snack, but we were about to find out...

(+) Interesting combination of flavours, sweet and savoury (inclined towards a saline taste)
(+) Due to the bread dough tart used, it was not greasy at all. (Not sure if it would be regarded as a healthy snack, considering the abundance of cheese...)
(+) Individually portioned to a petite size, unlike the usual slice served.

(-) Would have preferred it better if the pear was firmer, but it was rather soft.
(-) The cheese flavour was rather overwhelming, so kinda love or hate relationship.

Some might prefer their quiche in the more prevailing, popular short-crust/puff pastry sort of texture (due to the buttery fragrance), however this was the more conventional sort, made from bread dough. Depending on individual's preference really, distinguished primarily from the abundance or lack of butter, personally, I would have liked it better if it was the short-crust quiche.

Verdict: 7.0/10

Toffee-Chocolate Muffin (£1.25/- = S$2.50)

(+) We enjoyed it particularly cos the toffee taste was not overwhelming, but rather, it grew upon us with increasing bites.
(+) Not overly sweet, well balanced by the dark chocolate used.

(-) The surface area was way too hard for a muffin, tasted like that of fresh toast.
(-) The interior of the cake was alot denser than the usual muffin (which would be soft or even melt in your mouth)
(-) The overall taste did not quite resemble that of your expected muffin.

Despite the discrepancy with the texture of the muffin, we favoured the taste and the growing liking with each bite, hence we did not penalize it too much to do it injustice.

Verdict: 7.0/10

Upon entering this corner deli, one would be greeted with a melody in the background, playing gently through the speakers. It sounded like some European classics, coupled with the fact that the lady serving us was of European origin (certainly not British from her accent), it seemed like a temporal departure from British lands, literally. The server was very accommodating and gentle in her tone in explaining the types of confections available and presented us with samples of their deli's new products. Her warm and hospitable service with the warmness of the interior decorations was certainly more welcoming than the harsh winter colds howling outside.

I credit the below set of pictures to their website, which might give you a further idea of the range of products offered.

These small tarts are really small though.. (the lemon tart we ordered was considered 'large')

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