Friday, November 07, 2014

And then there were two. Plus two. :)

The sun was relentless.
The training?
Gruelling.
But then the doc decides to jog over from his place and wasn't content with just that.
He wanted to do more.
And so he did.
And so we did.
Kinda.
I hardly kept pace!

But onward we go from there to where a new cafe has just sprung up!
At Horne Road.
The Lavender enclave that is home to many cafes but always space for another.

Just a few doors down from Windowsill Pies,
Two Bakers occupies a pretty neat corner unit with gate grilles painted with a pop of yellow.
And adorned with congratulatory flowers.
Yes, these guys are the new kids on the block.

And they offer some yummy grub.


Seafood pasta rich with crabmeat and happy white clams.
Wide open, these guys' mouths were.
The chilli flakes gave a much needed kick to this linguine dish. 


And all good food is about sharing isn't it?
Large rings of calamari battered and fried to a delicate golden brown.
Battered to death.
Not.
These were served with lemon yoghurt and wasabi mayo.
Lemon yoghurt me anytime. :)

The mozza sticks were yet another deep fried indulgence.
The herb batter gave an added dimension to an otherwise flat mozzarella dish.
Good enough on its own.
Ketchup not needed.

So that was round one.
And we were saving all that space for desserts!


Passionfruit & matcha profiteroles.
It looked like an overwhelming amount of chantilly creme at first.
But the generous serving of light creme was all gone in an instant.
Nothing like smearing pieces of crisp chewy choux and craquelin with generous amounts of creme before putting it into our mouths.
The matcha flavour was evident but not overwhelming.
And the passionfruit added a nice zing to the light tasting creme.
Mmmm.


This key lime tart was a crowd favourite.
A buttery tart shell filled with a deliciously refreshing lime custard.
Subtlety is key.
To the lime tart.
Pun entirely intended.



Give this le chocolate noir some centrestage love.
This was quite the death by chocolate.
Last to be started on.
And last to be finished.
If you had to have some chocolate.
This would be a whole load of chocolate love for you!


And these are a few of my favourite things.
No.
Men. :)
We'll be back.
Because hey, we've still got another half of dessert list left! :)

Monday, November 03, 2014

Paprika & Cumin @ Chijmes

This is a Pan-European Mediterranean gastropub with a bar counter boasting more than 200 wine labels and cocktails.
And what's to do for a non-alcoholic like I?
We eat.
Fill up the tummy, I shall!

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Bruschetta

As I worriedly held onto the bruschetta, I wondered how much of the crisp baguette I could take.
And it was love, and ease at first bite.
I've got tooth issues and they don't do well with anything too hard.
So it was a huge relief to bite into only a crisp exterior and a soft interior.
The minced garlic and diced tomatoes were a delightful burst of refreshing flavour.
Simple.
But a winner in every way.



Tournedos Rossini

Foie gras balancing precariously atop a thick slice of beef.
I'm nary a fan of this. Those images of violence too cruel for me to enjoy this.
So I tried a small piece of foie gras which was pan fried to a delicate crisp. 
The liver melted immediately in my mouth.
Mmm.
Taking my first cut into the thick piece of beef, I was presently surprised to see that it was wrapped with a piece of bacon.
Keeping all the juices of the beef locked within.
This was a medium well order with a slightly pinkish hue in the interior.
The beef was full on flavour.
I was full but I could hardly pass up a dish of red meat just like that!



Chilean Sea Bass

A substantial chunk of sea bass arrived on a platter of happy summer colours.
Thick flaky pieces of fish fell apart just with the use of a fork.
This was a brilliant departure from the rich taste of the red meat.
But taken on its own, could be a little bland for some.
The sweet potato patty on the bottom would've been better if there was the addition of some crab meat for an added dimension to taste.
Perhaps a little more sauce to be served on the side as well?
It does get a little too dry with all the pan crusted fried items on this plate, as a matter of personal opinion.



Apple Filo Pastry with Vanilla Ice Cream

Now this.
Was a paradoxical surprise waiting to be unwrapped.
Altogether hot and cold.
Sweet and salty.
Crisp and moist.
This was my idea of a perfect end to a delicious meal.
I was expecting diced apple pieces alike those in the apple pies from McD's
But in that parcel?
It was a whole apple cored and held together a deliciously creamy cinnamon filling.
Eaten with the crisp warm filo pastry outside and topped with a nib of cold vanilla ice cream.
Aaaahhh.

I'd be back for this.
Just because,
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Right? :)

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Jamie's 30 minute meals. MADE.

How to whip up a meal that impresses.
All the time.
Every Time.
In 30 minutes.
These were some of Jamie's 30 minute meal recipes that we've tried and tested this long weekend.
Adapted from the recipes on 
www.jamieoliver.com/

Perfect roast potatoes

Tips & tweaks:
Use Yukon Gold potatoes.
They are my gold standard for baked carbs that are worth every single calorie.
Salt generously.
And those cloves of garlic would be so sweet, you wish you put more in the first place.


Mustard chicken with leek


Tips & tweaks:
Even a non mustard lover would eat this all up.
The taste of wholegrain mustard is not the same as mustard from a squeeze bottle on hotdogs.
Just so there was gravy,
some chicken broth was added.
And because bacon ANYTHING tastes like heaven,
some roughly chopped pieces of bacon were thrown in. 
Leek.
More leek definitely.
It was a lot more watery that planned but the unmistakable sweetness from the mustard and savoury tinge from the bacon was unmistakable.
And perhaps the added taste dimensions of some pan fried crisp bacon as toppings in the next attempt.


The best pork chops sans the crackling

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/pork-recipes/the-best-pork-chops-with-fresh-bay-salt-crackling-and-squashed-purple-potatoes



Cubed carrots and beetroot.
Sage.
Rosemary.
And a generous drizzle of olive oil.
As always.
Roast them for half an hour at 220 degrees celcius.

Tips & tweaks:
The meats were marinated for about 3 hours.
The honey was omitted.
The apple cider did wonders to lock in the juice in the pork chops.


Side salad of lettuce, chopped sundried tomatoes, pitted olives and cubed feta cheese.
Generously drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Top with roughly torn pieces of turkey breast.

Now that's what I call a HAPPY MEAL :)
and a healthy one at that.
Yum.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Where tired feet become happy feet :)


Located at 4A Maju Avenue,
this outlet at Serangoon Gardens was a breeze for me to locate.
Right above Cedele, opposite myVillage.

The main glass door albeit a little too cluttered with information,
offered everything that one needed to know without having to walk in to ask about services AND prices.
Which I really appreciated. :)


All these weary feet getting their rest upstairs.
I could hardly wait to get up there myself!


I was a little early for my appointment which gave me time to google about Foot Haven.
To be honest, I took the reviews with a pinch of salt. 
My only experience of a foot massage was in the Siem Reap night market.
While that was awesomely cheap and good, I wasn't one to take tickles and pain on the soles of my feet and calves well.
Especially not when I'm just a bunch of knots, a day after my Gunung Berlumut climb with Y-Treks.

I was gently jolted from my reverie when the lady at the reception stepped in. 
She immediately served some hot tea and even offered some biscuits in case I was hungry.
How's that for service?

She also brought over the treatment menu for me to pick my preferred treatment.
On her recommendation, I picked their popular signature of 30 minutes of foot and 30 minutes of shoulder and neck.

http://www.feethaven.com/services.html


Oxygen therapy- CPR anyone?
This was an interesting product indeed.
I wonder how they're used.


The interior was dimly lit and could have up to 6 people doing their foot massages at the same time.
I saw a couple of customers walking in and the phone line was kept really busy but there were however, only three male masseuses available today.
Too many tired feet, too little hands.


This lady was a regular customer and she had some special tea leaves added to her foot soak.
When she asked her masseuse why?
She was told it was simply because she was special.
Awh.
And you wonder why people keep coming back.
It's like home. :)


While I didn't get tea leaves, I did get a pair of SPORT shorts!
I was in a short skirt which although would've been covered well by the felt blanket,
would not have been the most comfortable for me to stay in for the session.
Especially not if I was about to squirm in pain.
So Alan, thank you.
It was a gesture I appreciated.


That's what heaven feels like.
Say hello to -almost- happy feet.
What really impressed me was how Alan seemed to know everything at his fingertips.
Literally.
One press and he knew.
Not general statements that pain on some area of the sole equated to some area in our human system.
But through the course of the massage, he was spot on that my heartbeat was slower than the average.
Which was exactly what my TCM lady had told me.

There was also an area near my shoulder blade which he pressed and left me yelping in pain.
He asked if I always drank cold water- which I unfortunately always do.
When I asked if it meant I shouldn't drink cold water anymore, he wasn't quick to give a definite yes.
He just told me that it could mean early onset of arthritis and told me to get a rubdown more frequently to prevent it from happening.

And he promptly went to prepare a cup of warm water for me at the end of my session.
I am impressed.
Still am.


#nofilter.
I left Feet Haven looking like I am Cloud Nine.
Those spanking reviews were all truth and nothing but the truth.

Although you could definitely take my word for it.
But you should try it to believe it. 
Not just for feet.
They have full body massages and even gua sha and ba guan which can be added on to any of the services.

Spoilt for choice?
I don't know about you.
But I've been spoilt by today's session. :)

Quote: Bloggerspecialszemin for a 10% discount.

Monday, October 06, 2014

One Tonne of Wontons! :)

 Marketing started at 8am this morning. 

Two packets of baby bokchoi.
A handful of chestnuts, prawns and minced pork.


Blanch the baby bok choi in a pot of boiling water with a dash of oil and a sprinkling of salt.

To the minced pork, diced prawns and chestnuts,
Add:
A generous sprinkle of white pepper.
A dash of light soy sauce.
A heaped tablespoon of oyster sauce.
A generous drizzle of sesame oil and shaoxing wine.
Toss them up till well combined.


Rope in the family to join in for the wonton wrapping. :)


Prepare a pot of boiling water to boil up batches of wontons.


Till you get a whole tonne of them.
And while we're at it.
Chop up some onions (since we ran out of shallots)
and fry them over low heat for some shallot oil.


These weren't burnt.
They were actually sweet and pretty yums!
Don't underestimate the fragrance that the shallot (fried onion) oil imparts to the dish.
Add it to the soup or the noodles.
Or both!


Pick up some of those roasted meats from your friendly local roast meat seller at the wet market.
Which comes with a soy based gravy.
Toss the wonton noodles in a tablespoon of the soy sauce gravy.
Top with blanched baby bokchoi, roast meats and a generous serving of wontons! :)
Serve with a bowl of piping hot chicken broth.

That was one tonne of work for some wonton noodles.
Well worth the effort.
Well fed for the night! :)


Wednesday, October 01, 2014

The Super Reigns Supreme @ Pizza Hut



Here today.
Gone -tomato-
This is going to be a -pizza- history.
-Cheese- man!

Puns totally intended.

Pizza Hut is running a $10 takeaway promotion on their regular pan pizzas.
I chose the Super Supreme.
Which comes with a whole load of toppings.
We're talking ground beef, Italian sausages, beef pepperoni, chicken ham, capsicum, onions, olives, mushrooms and all the sunshine of pineapple chunks.
Plus all that cheese.
On every slice.
Like you see on the picture above.

And having that pizza just ten minutes after my takeaway made all the difference in the world.
I'm finishing up the crust simple because it's crisp on the outside and chewy on the soft interiors.
All of that melty cheese and all-in toppings.
It was a regular pan-pizza.
But I finished it all just as it were a personal pan-pizza.

Mmm Mmm!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Terrible Thursday

Because the exams have been taking a toll on me.
With a terrible breakout and the worst kind of sinking feeling ever.
There's much to be said about faith and blind confidence.
Or none of all that and instead, painful reality.
And she was in the same kind of situation.
A same same but different type.
We desperately needed a break.

Oz Specialty Coffee it was.



Now that would make terrible better.
Yes, it did.
But not till you get past the pursed lips of the girls behind the counter.
The cold shoulder.
The aloof demeanour.
Which made us feel entirely unwelcome.
On a day like today?
That was definitely not what I needed.
And I had half a mind to just cancel my orders and leave.

But really, who else needs a terrible Thursday right?
So we took the outdoor seats along the corridor.
(There's only 4 seats at the bar counter)



Their salted caramel and banana waffles.
Being Belgian liege waffles, they were full on jaw action.
I loved the crisp exterior contrasted with the dense chewy interior.
The premium vanilla ice cream scoop melted quickly in the warm heat and was barely enough for just one waffle.
The other waffle had only bananas for company.
It was filling and pretty darn satisfying.
This would be perfect if the bananas were caramelised.

My order of an iced chocolate was a welcome respite from the heat.
And her ice cream latte was good, she said.
My coffee fast is becoming quite the reality.

I'm hard pressed to come back here because of the kind of service I was given.
But their waffles do deserve a repeat visit.
I'll just have to find someone else to do the ordering. :)