Monday, July 06, 2015

米粉被谁骗了?�� 因为鱼骗米粉!

Two of Dad & lil bro's prized fish. After my fingers have been sliced, stabbed, pricked and my nails ruined to the moon and back, all while trying to gut, clean and fillet fish, I have newfound respect for all fishmongers! 

And I'll pay any amount to have fish soup outside.

But for now,

this was what came out of a whole arvo spent in the kitchen from 11am till 4pm.

Just to make things clear though. 
I've never cleaned or filleted a fish before.
So this could all possibly be done in a fraction of the time for the more skillful chefs.
Or really, just get the fishmonger to do it for you. :)



Bubble, bubble. Toil and ALOT of trouble.



But it was all worth it!
Presenting fishhead rice vermicelli soup UPSIZED! :)




  • One fish of 1-2 kg (Slice the fish flesh in thick pieces and set aside fish head, bones and tails)
  • 5 stalks of spring onion – White portion
  • Few stalks of choy sum (Chinese flowering cabbage)
  • 5 cm of ginger, sliced into thin pieces)
  • 250 grams of rice vermicelli – blanched and set aside.
  • 3-4 leaves of salted vegetable (sliced into thick pieces)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (cut into 4 quarters each fruit)
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of anchovies
  • 1 cube of chicken stock
  • 1 – 1.5 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Chinese cooking wine
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of XO alcohol (optional)
I added slices of bittergourd. Sliced thinly. :)
Fish meat marinate (depends on the quantity of fish meat that you have)
  • Some sesame oil
  • Chinese Shaoxing Wine
  • Kikkoman Soya Sauce
  • White pepper
  • Marinate the fish meat with white pepper, sesame oil, corn flour and salt for about 1 hour. I skipped the deep frying part so I just left it to sit in the fridge after marinating.
  • Use the same oil to deep fried the  fish head, bones and tails for 2-3 minutes or until the exterior is cooked. This step is optional and the main purpose of this step is to remove some fishiness of the fish and to preserve the exterior texture of the fish. You can deep fried these either with flour or without flour. Dish up and set aside.

  • In another stock pot, put 1-2 tablespoons of oil and the sesame oil above, Sauté the ginger slices until fragrant, add the anchovies, the white part of spring onion, add water gradually just adequate to cover fried fish head and bones earlier. You can always adjust the water later.
  • Put in the fish head, fish bones and tails. (Note that at this stage, you can add in the salted vegetables if you want to. However, it will be very difficult to serve the  vegetable as it will mix with the fish bones. Therefore, I have advised to add it at a later stage though adding the salted vegetables at this stages will yield a tastier soup). Bring to boil and let it simmer at medium heat for at least 30-45 minutes. Add water gradually if you find that the water level is low.  In this process, you will witness the fish stock will become cloudy. *Achievement unlocked! Once done, sift the stock from the first pot to another pot. Throw away the fish head and fish bones.
  • In the new pot, add the chicken stock, Chinese cooking wine, salted vegetable, diced tomatoes and bittergourd. Bring to boil and add seasonings of your choice (fish sauce, dashes of white pepper). Once boiled, off the heat, add the XO (if any) and set aside for assembly. Meanwhile, have a pot of water, blanched the choy sum with some drops of oil and followed by the bee hoon. Drained and set aside.

  • For assembly, have a bowl, put some bee hoon in the serving bowl and followed by some gravy adequate to cover the bee hoon,  put some blanched choy cum, tomatoes and fish meat on top of the rice vermicelli. Garnished with deep fried shallots, dashes of white pepper and chopped coriander or Chinese celery if preferred.  Best served with red cut chilli and some light soya sauce and usually served as a standalone noodle dish. If you do not like rice vermicelli, it can be served as a soup dish that goes well with white rice.

Credits to : https://kwgls.wordpress.com/2014/07/28/fish-headfillet-rice-vermicelli-soup-%E9%B1%BC%E5%A4%B4%E7%89%87%E7%B1%B3%E7%B2%89%E6%B1%A4%EF%BC%89/

East Eats @ Tampines 1!

Because the Journey to the West would entail too many trials and sufferings with Monkey King...

I, the Zhu Ba Jie, decided to head to the East to stuff myself silly. 

With the compliments of Asiamalls management team, I was led on a gastronomic experience around one of their newer malls in the East at Tampines 1.

Our first stop was at Thai Express Bistro (#04-09)



Singapore has been getting too hot to handle these days and what better way to cool off than with a Chiangmai Mango Blend. The smooth and creamy sweet treat came as a cool relief and it whetted my appetite for what was to come.

Starting off with Mango Salad- Yam Mamuang and Prawn Toasts - Kanom Pang Na Kung. The Mango Salad is a familiar starter to any Thai meal for many. But this time, my first bite of the unassuming prawn toast was so crisp and flavourful, I'd definitely order this on my next visit. A simple taste of homemade comfort. 


The items came in succession and all the dishes were made with fresh ingredients and cooked to order daily.

I'm not a usual fan of soft shell crabs but this plate of Poo Phat Pong Kari with the Chef's secret batter changed my impressions of soft shell crab curry. The sweet curry did little to overwhelm the crisp batter and was in fact, an honourable accompaniment to the battered crab. I could hardly resist having some rice to go with the curried crab.


The Massaman Curry served with Thai style pancake, which in essence would be what you and I know as roti prata, was quite the crowd pleaser. This curry contains more than twenty ingredients and spices and takes half a day to prepare and all that effort culminated in a curry that was mild on the spice charts but bursting with a myriad of flavours with fork tender chicken parts. It's little wonder that this lesser known dish of debatable Thai origins, was voted as a winning dish on CNNGo. 



With a satiated belly, we headed over to Awfully Chocolate (#03-21)

We were given three sampling tins of their delectable chocolate trufflettes. 
From L-R (clockwise) Cafe Cacao Nib Trufflettes which are power packed with caramelised brittle of chocolate, coffee and cacao nibs, Cacao Brittle Trufflettes with chocolate brittle and dark chocolate ganache and Hazelnut Truflettes made from dark chocolate smothered with hazelnut croquant. Each retailing at $8.90 and only available at Tampines 1 and Vivocity outlets. 


Forget love. I'd rather fall in chocolate :)



And Sundays are made even sweeter at J Co. Donuts (#01-08/10)

The unmistakable whiff of fresh donuts is a charming allure to shoppers as they walk into the mall from the MRT station.


This lifestyle cafe chain originating from Indonesia serves up clever wit alongside its delicious donuts. With standout puns like Al Capone - a befitting moniker for their Most Wanted Donut, dressed up with Belgian white chocolate and almond silvers, how could you not be attracted to try a piece. 



The Oreology is not their most photo worthy donut but you couldn't possibly resist the pillowy softness of oreo cookie toppings and a deliciously white creamy filling.

But of course, the title of Miss Photogenic would go to their newest offering, the Dazzling Queen donut. Tickled pink with strawberry chocolate and a light strawberry cream filling within, the soft coconut flake sprinkles does wonders to up its razzle-dazzle factor. 

The soft and light dough base of the original donut brings pleasure in every bite. You'd certainly be spoilt for choice when ordering. That's probably why donuts are sold by the half dozen/ dozens. Definitely make it a dozen.
I couldn't possible decide on just 6 flavours now, could you?

In true summer fashion, J Co. is also serving up cool promotions with a one for one promotion till 16/7/2015 on their Coconut Mocha Frappe. Indulge yourself with the rich fragrance of coconut cream while taking your much needed caffeine boost.


And the universal balance of taste would be simply to go back to the savoury after all the sweets. 

At where else? But Pepper Lunch (B1-16)

Go big or go home. 
The Giant was a slab of juicy marbled Ribeye steak served with ginger silvers, mashed potatoes, buttery sweet corn, long beans and rice.
The side dip of brown sauce added notches to its flavour scale but these thick, tender and succulent strips were delicious on their own.
Just to note that they cook pretty quick on the hot plates so get some work done by picking up your chopsticks and flipping those cuts.


               I had an order of a lychee float while Angelus had a mango float. The soft serve was delish in the light of the heated meal plates but the aforementioned flavours were significantly missing from our drinks. My pastel pink treat tasted like an original soda float.


Pepper Lunch is also offering a Seafood Chilli Crab main on a limited offer basis. Just for the months of July and August, they are bringing back a crowd favourite in support of SG50 and what better way to pay tribute to our nation but with the chilli crab that we're famed for? I don't know about you but I love chilli crab and I especially love it when I don't need to get my fingers dirty. Chunks of crab meat in irresistably savoury chilli crab sauce mixed into scallops and prawns on the hot plate. Mmmm!


And of course, after salty comes sweet.
Universal Laws of dietary balance.

Milky sweet, to be exact, over at Milk Cow (B1-K17)
This soft serve hand-made ice creamery originates from Seoul. Because it is 100% natural and made from organic milk from eco-friendly farms, the ice cream on its own, would constitute guilt-free eating.

I figured since I was too stuffed, I might as well just pick one that would be Insta-worthy.
So Snow Drop was an obvious choice out of the fourteen options available.
I was asked if I wanted M&Ms or jelly beans as my choice of toppings.
It was an airhead moment but I just had to ask which would give me a prettier photo.
Unfazed by my blonde moment, the server very decisively obliged me with a mix of both.
He must get this request very often.



And This! was my favourite Sunday Sweets. :)
Forget what I said about being stuffed,
After a whole round of photo takings, this soft serve did not melt into a nasty lukewarm shake.
I was pretty impressed that the ice cream could still hold its own on a spoon.
I'm an overgrown kid who loves her milk so I'm sold on this milky goodness in a soft serve.
This was much better than, say, Honeycreme.
I loved the colours of the M&Ms and jellybeans that ran into the milky white base of the ice cream but to be honest, these were too hard to be savoured.
It might be a different case if I had eaten it immediately.

We ended off the trail just a step and a hop away at Yummi House (#B1-16)
Sweet on sweet does nothing to wake up my taste buds.
So judging by sight, the sleek packaging and clever lighting displays of their sea swallows' bird nest was cause enough to capture the attention of quite a few shoppers during the short ten minutes that we were there.
The promotion in the photo is still ongoing so drop in for a tasting and pick up a bottle if you're one who believes in the benefits of eating bird's nest.



We also went home with a grab bag of assorted Yamazaki breads which included their signature mochi bites. 
I love the cheese mochi that has a delightfully addictive chewy texture and I was hoping the green tea red bean one would be just as nice as pictured in the foreground. Unfortunately, it didn't sit that well with me and I'll be one to stick with my cheese mochi at the back.


And that, brings me to the end of my food trail at Tampines 1. For today, at least. With all the sweet and savoury offerings that Tampines 1 has to offer, I know I'll definitely be back again for more, next time with my family in tow. Thanks to Jennifer from Asiamalls who spent her Sunday with us and thanks to all the participating outlets who so generously fed us with the delicious offerings. 

*All opinions and text are writer's own.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Yam rice with pork belly, chinese black mushrooms, dried scallops and dried shrimps :)

I'm glad to say that my first attempt at yam rice was a yammy-licious success! :)

  •  Half a purple yam, peeled and cubed *1 whole purple yam, 450g
  •  5 garlic cloves, chopped
  •  5 shallots, sliced
  •  1 dried scallop (conpoy) *8 large dried scallops
  •  100g dried shrimp *150g small dried shrimp
  •  4 dried mushrooms *8 dried mushrooms, sliced
  •  1 Chinese sausage, skin removed, sliced *not used
  •  300g pork belly, sliced *200g lean pork
  •  1 tsp salt
  •  2 tsp sugar *1.5 tsp sugar
  •  1 tsp dark soya sauce *2 tsp dark soya sauce
  •  1 tsp light soya sauce *0.5 tsp concentrated chicken broth
  •  5 rice cups of rice
  •  6 rice cups of water *1 extra cup of mushroom reserve water, 20ml of scallop reserve water
  •  5 tbsp of cooking oil *1 tbsp of sesame oil



  • 1. Wash the rice and set aside.
  • 2. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until soft. Rinse and slice.
  • 3. Rinse the dried scallop, then soak in a little hot water.
  • 4. Shred the scallop.
  • 5. Rinse the dried shrimp and soak in water.
  • 6. Heat two tablespoonfuls of oil and fry the yam until lightly browned. Set aside.
  • 7. Heat one tablespoonful of oil and 0.5 tbsp of sesame oil and fry the sliced pork belly till brown. Set aside. *Pour reserve oil into prewashed rice.
  • 8. Heat two tablespoonfuls of oil and 0.5 tbsp of sesame oil, fry the garlic and shallots until golden brown, then add the scallop, dried shrimp and mushrooms.
  • 9. Add in the washed rice, fried yam and pork.
  • 10. Add in one teaspoonful of salt and 1.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar. Add in one teaspoonful of light soya sauce, two teaspoonful of dark soya sauce, 0.5 tsp of concentrated chicken broth
  • 11. Remove the mixture from the wok and transfer into the rice cooker.
  • 12. Add six cups of water + 1 cup of mushroom reserve water and 20ml of scallop reserve water. Use the rice cooker to cook the rice until done.
  • 13. Serve with chopped coriander and dried shallots .(optional)

  • All my adaptations of the recipe have been indicated with an asterix * next to the ingredients list. We love our rice with a chockful of ingredients :) Dad loves sesame oil so he suggested the addition of sesame oil. I didn't want to just add it into the rice. So I've incorporated it into the frying of the ingredients. Just a little sesame oil does bring up the fragrance of the rice!

  • Cook happy. And eat well. From my kitchen to yours! <3 br="">

    Credits:

    http://www.soshiok.com/recipe/yam-rice-recipe-hed-chef
  • Sunday, May 17, 2015

    Nonya Chap Chye

    Tried and tested. 
    This was such a crowd pleaser that I've cooked it the very next week after my first attempt.



    What a happy myriad of colours!



    This week's edition was same same but different.
    Using some deep fried pork belly instead.
    And I added black moss (not in picture) this time :)



    •  8 large dried mushrooms
    •  1 litre of water, or more if necessary
    •  100g haebi or dried shrimp
    •  10g dried black fungus or cloud ear fungus
    •  100g black moss
    •  10g dried golden lily buds
    •  20g tung hoon or bean vermicelli
    •  20g tau kee or sweet beancurd skin
    •  5Tbs cooking oil, and more oil for deep-frying the tau kee
    •  200g pork belly, sliced into thin strips
    •  1Tbs garlic, finely chopped
    •  2 1/2Tbs tau cheo or fermented soyabean paste
    •  1kg cabbage, washed and cut roughly into pieces
    •  100g jicama, peeled and cut into strips about 4cm long and 1cm thick
    •  10g beancurd skin
    •  1Tbs concentrated chicken stock
    •  Salt to taste
    •  Oyster sauce to taste


  • 1. Wash the dried mushrooms and boil in a small pot with about 400ml of water for about five to 10 minutes, until they have softened. Drain but keep the liquid (mushroom water) for use later. Cut the mushrooms into strips. Set aside.
  • 2. Meanwhile, soak the dried shrimp, black fungus, black moss, golden lily buds and tung hoon in separate bowls of water for about 10 minutes. Drain each item and set aside. Tie the lily buds into knots and trim the ends. Set aside.
  • 3. Wipe the sheets of tau kee with a damp cloth, then cut them into 5cm squares. Deep-fry in hot oil until brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • 4. Heat 5Tbs of oil in a large wok on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the dried shrimp and fry until fragrant.
  • 5. Add the strips of pork belly and continue to fry until cooked.
  • 6. Add the garlic, then the tau cheo and fry for about one minute.
  • 7. Next, put in the cabbage and jicama and stir. Add about 200ml of water. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  • 8. Add the mushroom water that you had set aside earlier, followed by the mushrooms, black fungus and golden lily buds. Stir. Add just enough water to submerge most of the ingredients.
  • 9. Bring the liquid to a boil. Add more water if necessary. The vegetables should be cooked and soft, but not mushy.
  • 10. When boiling, add the tau kee and black moss. Stir gently and simmer for about five minutes. Add the beancurd skin and tung hoon.
  • 11. Add the concentrated chicken stock, salt and oyster sauce to taste.
  • - See more at: http://www.soshiok.com/recipe/nonya-chap-chye#sthash.rAi3exL2.dpuf

    Credits:

    Adjustments:

    I used some of the reserved water from soaking the dried prawns as well.
    Taking the healthier (less mess too!) option, I didn't deep fry the tau kee so I've added it in together in Step 8 to let it cook for longer.
    Since I was using fermented soybean instead, I mixed the oyster sauce, salt and chicken stock cubes together before adding it in to the simmering vegetables.
    If you're using chicken stock cubes instead, you'd need one to one and a half cubes.
    I added in two tablespoons of oyster sauce and a quarter teaspoon of salt.

    And if you're wondering if sio bak or regular pork belly is better for taste, I'd say it's really up to your own personal preference.
    But if you left it to me, I'd cook with pork belly and top it off with sio bak! :)

    Happy cooking!

    From my kitchen to yours,
    Brenda x


    Monday, March 30, 2015

    Pho better or pho worse

    The day started out simple.

    The search for the best pho at 46 Bat Dan according to a travel web post.

    And to our dismay, it was already closed for the day.

    So pho better or pho worse, we decided to settle for a chicken pho at the road junction that we had passed on our pho search.

    We took our seats on these tiny plastic chairs that threatened to break under our hefty bottoms. Or so it felt like. And no, we don't actually have hefty butts.

    The lower the chairs are to the ground, the better the food's gonna taste. Right?

    Eating like the locals do, we made our order for two bowls of chicken pho and looked upon the dishes of cut chilli and parsley exposed to all the elements and impartial to all diners. Coming from the city, it's gotta be a tough call not worrying about stomach upsets.

    But since we were here, ditch those thoughts and live and eat like the locals do. The food's gotta be good for people to squash themselves at junction of a busy road (as all roads are in Hanoi).

    When this arrived? The reason was clear for the crowds.



    Heaven in the form of a bowl of piping hot chicken pho :)

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew - Time Nor Tide


    Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been admitted to Singapore General Hospital on February 5th 2015 for severe pneumonia at the age of 91. For many, we understood the grim implications of such a news release. The Lunar New Year came two weeks after and in the course of the festivities, many had pushed this piece of news to the back of their minds till the next update came about from the Prime Minister's Office. And from then forth, with Mr Lee in critical condition and a deterioration of his health, Singaporeans waited with bated breath and hoped upon hope that there would be a miracle. Somehow. 
    That he would fight back, that he would live. 

    But on March 23rd 2015, this was not to be. And the man who was the hero of our times, had slipped away peacefully at 3.18am in the wee hours of the morning to be reunited with the love of his life. For the minutes that felt like hours, and days that felt like years, it was a long time in waiting, for his ashes to finally be mixed with his wife so that they could be united even in death. His attention to detail was not lost on the people around him and you would expect even more so for his wife, Mdm Kwa. His love story has made its rounds in the news from the time of Mrs Lee's departure but here, at his final parting, we again relive through the anecdotes of how indeed, a true measure of a man is in his capacity to love. 

    The Just In Time package for schools arrived yesterday and was to be disseminated by the next morning. The assembly this morning was a 15 minute video of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life and legacy produced by Mediacorp. Even after the massive media suspension and overload from the past couple of days, many of us were reduced to tears. And how were we to teach for the next two periods? I steeled myself for a torrent of tears, if I cried, then so be it. But I bore in mind that what I had to say, had far more impact on the students than my tears. I made it through, but only barely so. I can now speak eloquently and wax lyrical about the man, his life and his legacy but yet, I'm reduced to tears, touched by what he has devoted his entire life to- the land I call home. 
    The place called Singapore. 

    For him to call this my people, my country, my home. Only he qualifies to speak as such. Some people have wrote on how they have found the term 'founding' floundering for Mr Lee Kuan Yew but for this generation of Singapore, the man we have met and seen what he has done for us as a nation, was Mr Lee Kuan Yew, not Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. And really, that was that. I'm heartened to see that at this time, many have poured out their hearts for their gratitude towards Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Growing up, I heard unhappiness and discontent in the coffeeshop talks of many a taxi driver and the older generation about Mr Lee Kuan Yew and the People's Action Party. And who are the ones who are sending their love and tributes willingly now? These very same people I do believe. In the course of Singapore's growth as a nation, they have seen and enjoyed the fruits of his labour. We put aside our differences, we stop fighting and we are united in our mourning of this great leader's passing.
     
    "Could I have lived my life differently?" Mr Lee once reflected.
    "Maybe yes, but probably not. At each stage I made what was then the best choice. Having taken that decision, I changed direction and there was no turning back."

    These Hard Truths that kept Singapore growing, I may not have agreed in all of the man's beliefs but for his decisions, to have born the weight of a country on his shoulders for all of his adult life, it is true and I salute that he has, at that time, made the best choice possible for us all. 


    And in closing, and I have changed the gender of the character in the words of Tim Rice as lyrics for Madonna's Lament in Evita.

     I could have any prize that I desired
    I could burn with the splendor of the brightest fire
    Or else or else I could choose time
    Remember I was very young then
    And a year was forever and a day
    So what use could fifty, sixty, seventy be?
    I saw the lights and I was on my way

    And how I lived! How they shone!
    But how soon the lights were gone!

    The choice was yours and no one else's
    You can cry for a body in despair
    Hang your head because he is no longer there
    To shine, or dazzle, or betray.
    How he lived, how he shined
    But how soon the lights were gone

    Eyes, hair, face, image
    All must be preserved
    Still life displayed forever
    No less than he deserved

    These words were so aptly written, for the man, who indeed, deserved no less. 
    Thank you.
    Thank you, Sir.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic


    Sunday, March 01, 2015

    My Little Tapas Bar

    It was a little intimidating at first.

    The usual sight merrymakers gathered in the al fresco dining areas, drink in hand and a delicate tapas in the other.

    It looked like a perfect night out with the mates.
    Except. I had my mum with me.

    But of course, that wasn't an issue at all. 

    The warm lights within My Little Tapas Bar and the rustic and simplistic interior decor of their indoor dining area was very welcoming. And it was the 5th day of the lunar new year. It felt like I was doing a chinese new year visitation to someone's house.

    And you know what? That. Was exactly the kind of experience they wanted to recreate for the diners. 'Mi casa es su casa - my house is also your house', Maria Sevillano says, as she shares about their concept for this homely diner. 

    And the warm welcome continues with their house sangria.
    I've an allergy to alcohol but the royal red brandy with the chopped fruits was intriguing enough for me to take a sip.
    Strong. But resplendent with fruity notes.


    Being the only Spanish restaurant with 5 legs of Jamon on offer, their next sampler plate gave us a taste of two of the five Jamons available.
    The darker red Jabugo jamon from the well known 10 Vetas, was a crowd favourite.
    It went perfectly well together with a cut of the Manchengo cheese and Jenga style baguette sticks.
    Pop an olive in to complete the experience.
    And rosemary baked almonds to cleanse your palate before the next round.



    The Croquetas de Jamon were deep fried morsels of addiction.
    Don't bother with half pieces.
    It really was just for the camera effect.
    I took a full one for myself after. :)
    These croquettes are made the traditional Spanish way, with no potatoes.
    No potatoes you say?
    Yes, that's what they said.
    Bechamel and Jamon stuffings, encrusted in a delicate shell. 
    On a bed of garlic aioli.
    Once you pop, you can't stop!



    The next dish was a yet another Spanish tradition- the flatbread.
    With the most amazing colors and flavours on every single piece.
    I feared a strong fishy taste associated with the anchovies but the sweet peppers, slightly bitter taste of the rocket and the sweet sour reduction of balsamic vinegar drizzled atop put my fears to rest, and sent my tastebuds into overdrive.



    We were also treated to their lamb rack.
    Yet another fear of its gamey taste that I cannot stomach.
    But Chef Director Edward Esmero gives his word that the gamey smell would be non-existent.
    And one would be hard pressed to doubt a man who speaks with great passion about his food and his kitchen.



    And indeed,
    the tender racks of lamb had just a tinge of that gamey smell and the juices of the meat created an explosion of sense in the mouth. The proportions of fat made it all the more tender and still retaining a certain bite.
    And while the potato chunks at the side looked like an overload on the calorie counter, these were amazingly worth the tipping of the scales.
    A crisp exterior with a moist fluffy interior.
    Do not put me on a no-carb diet.
    Move over truffle fries.
    I'd like a whole bucket of these.
    The chickpeas were also a nice complement this main course.

    And what's a dinner without dessert?



    Tarteleta de Chocolate.
    Chef Edward's entry for an International Culinary Competition while he was still an amateur in his home country of the Phillipines.
    With this dessert, he beat his better known competitors from hotels and culinary schools.
    Simply made.
    It was a dish close to his heart, and made with the purest form of sincerity and passion.


    This was a buttery tart, slightly bitter from the cocoa powder with a truffle chocolate interior which was described as chocolate ice cream but I'd think it'd be closer to a thick mousse made with 68% chocolate, topped with salted caramel almond bits.
    The scoop of strawberry ice cream was made with the Magimix, using milk and egg with fresh strawberries. Forget your creamy strawberry ice creams, this was a much less creamy ice cream with an icy texture that bore truth to its rudimentary homemade processes. This was a tasting portion and the most perfect way to end the night. The regular sized portions I'd expect to be entirely indulgent and better shared due to its richness. 

    So while I haven't yet been to Spain, this cosy experience has already created a wanderlust in me to explore the traditions and soak in their hospitable culture. 


    But of course, till then, when the craving hits for some authentic Spanish fare, I know where to be at! :)


    Thanks to Reka and Opensnap for this tasting invite jointly organised by Charles from FoodCult and also to the gracious hosts, Maria and Edward of The Little Tapas Bar.
    All opinions are of the author's own.