Monday, August 03, 2015

The Nation's Golden Jubilee Celebrations @ Padang Grandstand in photos



















































Comfort food looks like a dish of pork, potatoes and baked beans :)

Yeo Szemin's photo.
 
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  •  2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 small China potatoes, diced and parboiled
  • 1 can baked beans
  • 300g hind/ loin meat, sliced
  •  a quarter tsp salt
  •  1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp light soya sauce for marinate, 1 tsp for sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  •  half a teaspoon of pepper
  •  2 tbsp of cooking oil, 0.5 tbsp of sesame oil

  • 1. Slice the pork and marinate with 1 tsp light soya sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, pepper and sesame oil.
  • 2. Dice the potatoes and parboil for 5 minutes on high heat. Drain water and set aside.
  • 3. Use 2 tbsp of cooking oil and a dash of sesame oil to fry minced garlic till fragrant.
  • 4. Add in parboiled potatoes to pan fry with the garlic.
  • 5. Then add in the sliced onion and marinated pork to fry till the onion turns translucent.
  • 6. Add in the can of baked beans and 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup. (Add in a pinch of sugar if the tomato ketchup/ brand of baked beans is a tad too sour), add in 1 tsp of light soya sauce and bring to a boil.
  • 7. Serve hot with rice.

  • Saturday, July 18, 2015

    Tuck Shop Cafe, Pie-House and Delicatessen @ Northbridge

    Saturday brunch at Tuck Shop Cafe.

    Anything but quiet, this cafe sees lines of people patiently waiting for their turn on the weekends.

    That should say something about the food served here.

    We arrive at 1015am in a light drizzle and in just ten minutes, manage to get a table amidst the happy chatter of diners. 

    Coffee?

    I opted for a Chai Latte instead. 

    I probably should've taken the coffee option though. The Chai Latte was a little too watered down for me.

    The house specials are written on the chalk board and these inspired breakfast/ lunch/ brunch offerings apparently change daily. 

    This was my first time at Tuck Shop Cafe and of course, I'd ask for a house recommendation.
    It also helped that the boys at the next table had these amazing looking plates.

    Quite decisively, (yeah right.) I settled on the chorizo with paprika potatoes, peppers, spanish onions and crispy pork belly with a fried egg (AUD$18.50).

    It's generous and abundant. Call me a typical Asian but I wasn't expecting my pork belly to come fried to death. :p It looked dry which probably made my heart sink further. And I just have to say, that thankfully, it was anything but. Loved the crackled pork skin even though that was a lot of guilty calories I'd have to bear till the next Jacob's ladder run. Same goes for the chorizo slices. Spice kicks to start out my morning.  I did really like the paprika potatoes though :)

    And because my helpful dining companion decided I probably wasn't going to be able to finish half of what I was having, he went for a lighter option of the ciabatta with Tasmanian smoked salmon, lemon ricotta, asparagus and fennel salad (AUD$17). 
    So even though I hate that he was right about that on all counts,
    I loved this!
    What a great palate cleanser after my heavy order.
    Anything lemon would be refreshing.
    So of course we switched plates half way.
    This plate of summer colours were perfect for us seeing as how it was to be the start of winter but all we were having was just happy sunny days.
    It wasn't anything complex.
    Just the simplest of ingredients put together and generously drizzled with olive oil. It was a tad hard to get a bit of everything on my fork all at once though.

    And of course, I should've done my research before heading over.
    Their house specialties are actually their pies, baked by chef and co-owner Paul Cherry.
    And that just means I gotta stop in for some next flight out to Western Australia hey.

    It's ticket parking here for $2 an hour at a time.
    And there's apparently free parking on Newcastle Street if you're lucky.
    We got a space right outside Tuck Shop this time :)


    Tuck Shop Cafe, Pie-House and Delicatessen
    178 Newcastle Street (corner of Money Street), Northbridge
    Telephone: (08) 9227 1659
    Open Tuesday to Sunday 7am to 4pm

    Let me hear you say?


    Large BBQ Steamboat set for $50.90

    A standard set of marinated pork slices, pork belly, scallops, fishcake, tiger prawns, assorted vegetables and Mama instant noodles.

    A medium portion of chicken thigh meat marinated with raw quail eggs $16

    Oyster mushroom $5

    Homemade fish paste in a bamboo holder. $9

    A seafood broth boiled from vegetables, pork bones, crabs and corn kernels.

    That fiery hot chilli sauce that no one can get enough of.

    Let me hear you say?

    Moo.

    Mooka.

    Mookata.

    Tomyumkungfu Mookata! :)

    Friday, July 17, 2015

    Mad about Sucre @ Teo Hong Road

    Mad About Sucre is a private confection label that marries the best of French confection techniques with the glorious British designs. We specialize in handcrafting bespoke wedding and celebratory cakes & confections in Singapore.
    We are anti-thesis of modern day conveniences and do not use any cake premixes and any artificial flavorings. We reduced between 20% to 60% of sugar required in the original cake  recipes. Hence, our cakes are well-balanced with smooth natural flavors with the natural ingredients shining through.
    We handcraft every cake and confection from scratch so that you and your loved ones can rediscover the joy of eating quality cakes and confections that naturally taste as good as it looks.
    Bake with love. Bake for love.
    -Taken from their website here
    Coco citron// Light coconut mousse, light lemon curd, shattered crystals, sable tart. A pale and understated dessert. While all that glitters is not gold, this was so lightly refined it's reminiscent of the elegance that is Coco Chanel. Perfect to be served as first of four dessert selections paired with a pot of fragrant Japanese pear and Yuzu with white orchid tea.


    Jardin de Massialot // traditional French bake dessert of French Vanilla, Egg, French cream & 5 liquored- marinated citrus salad. *Hic! 
    This was altogether simple yet high society.
    Cheers to the weekend.


    And they serve their desserts in order of intensity to the palate. So this was last on the list. 
    Just before our last dessert, they recommended that we took a break in between and served us a pot of lotus tea on the house to ensure that we were not overwhelmed by their desserts.

    A very lovely touch and a definite plus on service excellence. 

    San Domingue // 70% single origin chocolate. Rum jewel box. Caramelised plaintain. Brittany crunch.
    Remove the jewel box and break it open on the sides such that the rum flows out and seeps into the brittany crunch.
    Slice open the chocolate dome and have a generous spoon of chocolate creme, plaintain (banana) and the rum-soaked crunch base for a truly orgasmic oral experience.
    We were expecting a more chocolate-y flavour but yet, this was just perfect on the palate went down our throats smoothly.

    We love this place, their creations and the people here. 

    Of course we will be back. :)



    The 5Cs are too passé. These 3Cs are the ones in demand these days. Corn carrot chicken soup!



    1 packet of 500g Australian carrots, peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks
    2 corn cobs, chopped into 3 sections
    3 large yellow onions, chopped
    3 China potatoes, peeled and diced
    1 chicken, chopped into parts e.g. wings, drumsticks, thighs, ribs, breast
    1.5 teaspoons of salt (flat not heaped)
    3 litres of water
    24cm WMF Saphir High top Casserole Pot 

    1. Blanch chicken parts in water to remove congealed blood and any bone dust or fragments in meat from the chopping process. 
    *I chopped all parts at the joint in order not to have excess blood from broken bone parts so it would be fine to skip the blanching step if this is done.

    2. Fill the pot with 2 litres of water and place all ingredients inside before bringing to a boil. 

    3. Add the remaining water and bring it to a fierce boil before lowering the flame and letting it simmer. 

    4. Add 1.5 teaspoons of salt or to taste and leave to simmer for 20 minutes before turning off the flame. 

    5. Bring to a boil just before serving with a dash of pepper and a few sprigs of parsley (optional).

    Enjoy the natural sweetness of the soup.

    From our kitchen to yours,

    Brenda x :)

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    The Plain @ Craig Road

    Blink and you'll miss it.

    But you couldn't possibly miss Monday's panic button served in a fire engine red cup. 

    Saturdays here at The Plain are altogether noisy yet welcoming. 

    'Customer recognition' and 'making everything as if it is for the beloved' are values warmly exuded from the staff and food offerings here at The Plain. 

    This is probably what keeps the crowd coming in week after week and owner Vincent Teng, attributes it to his mentors Bill and Faye Colls, who have taught him everything there is to know about running a cafe when he was working with them in Melbourne.



    A Flat White made with Genovese coffee grounds.
    Press for help on a Monday. Or every other day as needed. :)



    Since this was only available on weekends, of course we had to get it. 
    The Weekender's Eggs ($18) came with a generous serving of smoked salmon and a topping of salmon roe on a slice of Multigrain Toast. This was for sharing and there was no attempt to desperately cut up salmon pieces for each bite. 
    The poached eggs were well excecuted with a runny yolk and a creamy rich hollandaise sauce made even better with a squeeze of the lemon slice. 

    We also had a Turkey Ciabatta which was recommended by their sweet and friendly waitstaff.
    She said that there was only one left which helped us skip the grief of deciding which other sandwich to get.

    Simple interiors of gray scale walls, communal tables and a large menu framed on the wall.
    This was perfect for a kickback, chillax Saturdate.

    Selfish Gene Cafe @ Craig Road





    What's your beef? 
    Sundried tomato bread that's crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, filled with slices of succulent low-temperature cooked roast angus beef.
    The bitter arugula was quite the addiction and all that was complimented by sweet onion jam 
    smile emoticon
     Except they might've forgotten my side salad?




    The B & B was a treat for the senses.
    Homemade yoghurt waffle with berries, banana, berry gastrique, cracker crumble were visually stunning. Completed with a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream and honey maple syrup served on the side. Of course we drizzled it all! 
    The waffles are crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. 
    All those fruits made for a less guilty conscience. 
    But who's counting? All the calories were worth it!  ile emo

    Tuesday, July 07, 2015

    “料”你好看!



    Generous handful of dried scallops
    2 Knorr stock cubes - 1 ikan bilis and 1 chicken stock cube
    Tung choi - Preserved salted vegetables
    1.5 litres of water
    Sesame oil to taste

    Bring to a boil before adding in:

    Assortment of yong tau foo pieces
    Fishball
    Beancurd sheets
    Fishcake
    Toufu puffs
    He Giao 
    Fried ngoh hiang rolls

    I always leave the chilli and bittergourd as the last pieces to be added when the soup is boiled again before serving to make sure these are not overcooked.

    Chilli
    Bittergourd

    Flat white noodles/ Yellow noodles blanched in hot water

    Sprigs of parsley and cut red chilli.

    Enjoy your dinner!

    From our kitchen to yours,

    Brenda x

    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.