HK Style Steamed Sausage, Mushroom & Chicken Rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

when we go dim sum & especially HK, 1 of our favourites is 一口饭. it’s the HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭). 🙂

not many dim sum restaurants in singapore served this, & we used to go to shang palace because they did. the other dim sum there were also not too bad especially with the 30% discount on sundays before 12pm. still, we usually prefer imperial treasure or crystal jade.

i am planning a homecooked “fine” chinese course dinner for my friends, and was looking at what dishes i could include (say) to replace paella or pasta dishes. this dish looks fine if i can produce a decent tasty version. it seems to me that the sauce we were provided to drizzle over the rice is an important element, it is mildly sweet & not salty & really enhance the flavour of the rice & ingredients. obviously either chicken or pork ribs used has to be tender (not “old” or overcook), & tasty means good marinade as well. 🙂

there were many online recipes especially if googled in chinese, but hardly any showing the drizzling sauce style, and i was not looking at a claypot recipe or fried or baked recipe but a fragrant steam rice recipe. i found one here.

HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

HK style steamed sausage, mushroom & chicken rice (香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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sausage, mushroom & chicken ingredients – 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

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sausage, mushroom & chicken ingredients – 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

i added boiling water over the thick dried mushrooms, kept overnight to soften, then cut in halves. i cut 1/2 chicken (about 1.5kg size) so (say) 750g. & marinated with the chicken marinade i prepared per below recipe. this went into the fridge for about 4hrs (i will do this overnight next time). i cut 2 chinese sausages.

i washed about 240g rice (3pax portion) using the rice measuring cup (1.5cups) & added an equal amount of mushroom water which i reserved earlier. the water to rice ratio is 1.2:1 but the recipe asked to add less water as there was water in the chicken & also mushroom, so the rice would not be soggy. i then laid the sausages & mushrooms & also the 2 chicken feet & 1/2 the sliced ginger over the rice in the rice cooker.

i then switched on the rice cooker, and waited till steam showed the water was boiling. then i added the chicken pieces, let the rice cooked, added the remaining 1/2 sliced ginger & kept warm the rice in the rice cooker for another 1/2 hr before serving.

meanwhile i prepared the drizzling sauce. it was very good.

i placed the chicken in a separate serving plate, and took out all the rice  & placed in a large serving bowl. the chicken was very tender & nice. for this first attempt i was conservative in the chicken marinade so the chicken taste would be even better with a bit more light soy sauce & fish sauce. this i will do next time. the rice was very fragrant & tasty & the drizzling sauce further enhance the excellent flavours.

so this was a very simple dish to prepare, easy to reproduce, and i am decided to do this for the friends’ dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients-

1/2 chicken (750g)
sliced ginger (2cm piece)

drizzle sauce (important):

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp water

marinade for chicken (used 1/2 chicken):

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fishsauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp sesame oil

Directions –

  1. add boiling water over the thick dried mushrooms, keep overnight to soften, then cut in halves. reserve 250g mushroom water cut 1/2 chicken (about 750g) & marinated with the chicken marinade. leave overnight in fridge.
  2. wash 1.5 rice measuring cup of rice & add an equal amount of mushroom water (about 240g). water to rice ratio is 1.2:1 but add less water as there is water in the chicken & also mushroom. lay the sausages & mushrooms & 1/2 the sliced ginger & also the 2 chicken feet over the rice in the rice cooker.
  3. switch on the rice cooker, and wait till steam shows the water is boiling. add the chicken pieces, let the rice cook, add the other 1/2 sliced ginger & keep warm the rice in the rice cooker for another 1/2 hr before serving. meanwhile prepare the drizzling sauce.
  4. place the chicken in a separate serving plate, and take out the rice & place in a large serving bowl. serve!
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Wagyu for Dinner

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

mmmm was having offer on grain-fed ribeye at S$29.90/kg. i bought some earlier & did 1 of my best pan-grilled ribeye steak, tagliata di manzo for RI buddies 10pax dinner on 24.3.2014.

offer ends on 31.3.2014, so i decided to get some more. it turned out 1.5kg more! it’s quite ok really. i can put most of it in the freezer & eat 1 month later…haha. 🙂

i needed S$50 to get free parking at west coast plaza so i need not rush & try to get to the car before 10mins grace was up, so i picked up a 220g piece of wagyu MBS 6/7 to make the goal past S$50.

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7

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australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

decided to cook the wagyu steak in the evening. for the side i used what was in the fridge – a leftover 1/2 yellow onion, & 1/3 of an open packet of shitake mushrooms (about 50g to 60g) in the chiller.

the technique is quite simple – very high heat (so vegetable oil best as higher smoke temperature than lard or butter or olive oil) & i usually flip once (can add butter at this time if required) or if the first side is not charred enough, i flip a second time. the charring, maillard reaction, gordon ramsay method and heston blumenthal’s video on resting of the meat were discussed in the post tagliata di manzo. 🙂

for the evening, i had a beautifully charred wagyu steak, rare to medium rare. simply heavenly! 🙂

my wife’s friend bought me a torch some weeks back when they came for dinner. i have not tried it out yet. will probably do on some of the grain-fed ribeye later, and experiment on the japanese aburi (烧) & torch recipes.

c.h.e.f andy

Vongole Linguine with Squid

 

vongole linguine with squid

vongole linguine with squid

was at sheng shiong the evening before & bought some lalas (littleneck clams) at S$3.90/kg.  they were quite large & plump. 🙂

toying with doing a stir-fried dish with curry leaves. anyway did a pretty good spicy vongole in white wine on 8.3.2013 which was a while ago & thought i would try again. so decided to cook vongole the following day (28.3.2014) & kept the lalas in a bucket of water in the fridge.

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vongole linguine with squid

vongole linguine with squid

vongole linguine with squid

it is really an easy dish to prepare.  🙂

i boiled the linguine (200g) with a little oil & table salt, ending just before the 11mins instructions, drained & cooled with cold water to give al dente texture.

i then did the usual slow browning of garlic cloves till they were softened & the alio olio aroma filled the kitchen. then fried the cut sotong (squid) in butter & cut chilli padi, and took them out. i then added the fresh cut basils & lalas & stir-fried for several minutes under high heat until the clams open up. usually i would add some white wine but i did not have any ready for use, so i skipped that.

i then added the linguine to the sauce pan & tossed, and added sea salt & 1 teaspoon + sugar to taste. voila, ready to serve! usually i would add some coriander for garnishing but i did not have, so skipped again! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Excellent Lunch & Company @ Clifford on 27Mar2014

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lobster salad

had a most enjoyable lunch at clifford, fullerton bay hotel, on 27.3.2014, in the company of good friends – hugo, a close dutch friend was visiting singapore, & PL, who had helped me a lot in my earlier ventures, and who insisted on buying lunch. 🙂

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baguette

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multi-grain rolls

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duck rillettes

we were served bread – baguette & multi-grain roll. both were good, and especially so as they were served with duck rillettes in addition to the usual butter. 🙂

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salmon tartar with sour cream, bit of mesclun salad

i had lunch at clifford maybe 1.5 years ago with my dining quartet which has now discontinued. food & ambience were truly excellent, especially as we had the uob 1 for 1 at S$68 (so S$34pax) 3-course lunch then. 🙂

the price is a lot more now, 2-course for S$48, and 3-course for S$58, coffee included. we took the 2-course. the appetizer choices included a salmon tartar, a mushroom veloute & i think a salad (cannot quite recall). the mains choices included a herb crusted lamb loin, a dory fillet, and a pasta (can’t recall what). there were a lot more appetizer & mains choices but they came with supplements.

PL ordered the lobster salad (top photo – looked just fabulous) – S$12 supplement, and the 220g beef entrecot (a ribeye or scotch fillet steak) – S$25 supplement. i ordered the salmon tartar & lamb loin & hugo ordered same salmon & the dory. the salmon tartar was a good-size helping.

the suave, efficient & polite restaurant manager prakash came by to ask about the food, so i gave him some feedback. i thought the salmon tartar was very fresh & sweet but the sour cream distracted & did not quite enhance the flavour (this part of course is subjective taste…). personally i like it with just sea salt & pepper & olive oil. those might already have been incorporated so perhaps just some additional fresh ground black peppers. 🙂

i thought the prices were really too high, though fortunately the regular appetiser & mains (i.e. w/o supplements) were quite excellent. compare this with les amis’ 4-course S$45pax set lunch, which included choice of patagonia toothfish (the excellent chilean seabass my favourite fish) or quail. to be fair, i have not tried the les amis set lunch yet (will do soon enough!), but you know it’s les amis! 🙂

likewise the excellent S$45pax set lunch we had at au jar din! & au jardin’s plating was also somewhat more artisan by comparison! or indeed the exquisite & simply fabulous S$48 3-course lunch at gordon grill at goodwood park, with 3 mini appetisers & 3 mini soups. 🙂

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citrus lychee drink (complementary from parkas)

prakash was very receptive & accommodating. he offered us a complementary citrus lychee drink. PL declined so we had 2 glasses.

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220g beef entrecot

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dory fillet

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herb crusted lamb loin

my herb crusted lamb loin was excellent, nicely medium rare & flavourful with hardly any gamey taste. my friends were asking what was the crust (breadcrumbs with spinach, basil etc) as c/w my own pistachio crusted rack of lamb. the dory looked great.

the beef entrecot looked perfectly charred. PL like it well done. somehow it did not quite look like 220g, not sure if it was dry aged for more intense flavours & so had some weight loss.

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petite four

we had coffee & petit fours (which means small oven & not 4 items!). macarons were too sweet. nutty chocolates were ok. i did not try the cake but it should be good.

overall, the service was efficient & responsive, the ambience was just super, and the food quality quite excellent. i can’t say food was better than au jardin though (in fact i thought au jardin’s was better) & of course the price was not just marginally but significantly higher than les amis (S$48 2-course vs S$45 4-course set lunch) or au jar din or gordon grill. i will come here for its great ambience, service & food, but sparingly. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

RI Buddies 10pax Homegourmet Dinner on 24Mar2014

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#6 5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

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#5 seafood paella

felt immense satisfaction with a near perfect dinner for my RI buddies on 24.3.2014. 🙂 nothing can ever be perfect of course, that i am indifferent to as i do not need perfection. it’s enough to feel happy & contented. 🙂 the 5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange & the seafood paella were quite well done, sufficient for my lowly standards anyway. and the teriyaki cod was just heavenly! i had planned 4 tapas = 5hrs sous vide miso belly pork, teriyaki cod, tea smoked chicken &pan-grilled grain-fed ribeye (plus a few pan-seared giant hokkaido scallops for couple friends who had missed the last dinner). then the seafood paella. then 2 mains, the duck & a fusion pot roast sirloin kuay teow terng (flat rice noodle soup). and to end the evening, a jam crumb cake, served with delightful ice creams from my regular ice cream supplier friend, & ditto strawberries from another friend. 🙂

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#1 5hr sous vide miso belly pork

i had also tried an onion bread recipe for the first time (second time i did bread my whole life). in fact, i tried too many new things this time so was just slightly late in my timings. so while i was preparing the first tapas, my friends gobbled up the fresh-from-oven savoury onion bread (forgot to take photos)..hahaha..

#1 chinese style fries (土豆丝)

#1 chinese style fries (土豆丝)

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#1 miso belly pork, pan-roasted potatoes, chinese style fries & steam oven carrot sticks

#1 tapas no 1 was a 5hr “sous vide” miso belly pork, about 600g. i didn’t have a sous vide machine, so this was an imposter along with the duck. anyway i had successful adapted Nobu miso cod 3-day marinade recipe to belly pork sans skin, and this was a crowd favourite everytime, very “jit bee” i.e. flavourful. then it went into oven in the miso marinade bath 2hrs at 65degC + 3hrs 60degC, and pan seared afterwards. to save electricity, i did my “sous vide” duck a l’orange together at one go.

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#2 teriyaki cod (3 day marinade)

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#2 teriyaki cod (3 day marinade)

#2 tapas no.2 was teriyaki cod. i made the teriyaki marinade (mirin, sake, sugar, butter, garlic) & marinated 550g cod in a ziploc bag in the chiller for 3 days, and pan grilled over high heat. this was the best for me for the evening, melt-in-the-mouth heavenly. 🙂

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#3 tea smoke chicken – pan roasted skin, 15mins tea smoked

#3 tapas no. 3 was a tea smoked chicken. since i already had duck a l’orange & i wanted to try out the new “tea smoked” recipe, i experimented this with my friends’ indulgence. i brined the chicken in sugar & salt solution for 2 days to keep the chicken breast moist & tasty, pan-roasted over high heat to get the crispy skin, then placed the breasts on a rack inside a covered pot with aluminium foil laid with rice, brown sugar, chinese tea (铁观音), anise seed & cinnamon bark & smoked for 15mins in medium low heat. meat was moist & tea aroma & fragrance were wonderful. quite a few friends liked this, not really a favourite for me.

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#4 pan seared scallops – for couple friends who missed last dinner

#4 the pan-seared scallops was a subplot. i had only 3 giant hokkaido scallops left in the fridge & i had cooked these for 2 recent 8pax dinners and a bit tired of scallops for time being, didn’t want to get a new packet. also it’s not easy to do a seared scallop. it needed to be bone dry & a very hot pan, so to do for 10pax would need cooking in 2 batches so as not to crowd the pan, lowering the temperature.

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#4 pan grilled grain fed ribeye

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#4 pan grilled grain fed ribeye

#4 i did the grain fed ribeye (2 pieces 570g) beautifully this evening. it was not the usual wagyu i served. could not get the wagyu at QB Food & mmmm did not have promotion, whereas the ribeye was a great promo at S$2.99/100g. the steak was sweet & tasty, between rare & medium rare, with a nice maillard reaction ring. very pleased with the cheap steak this evening. will do wagyu next time. 🙂

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#5 seafood paella

1454633_10152278148064494_1230534085_n 1535049_10152278149454494_81167819_n #5 seafood paella was up next. this the second time i tried this new paella recipe picked up from my favourite chef john of foodwishes.com. i tried couple times with other web recipes a year ago but could not get it right. this time it was a breeze, and using the prawn shells & head combined with chicken stock plus a very sweet base of vegetables (onions, celery, leek, red pepper) & the juice from the prawns & squid offered up a very tasty dish. though i used a cheap shokaku US short grain rice to substitute for the aborio rice (which cost an arm & leg), the rice was nicely done, not mushy & just slightly al dente (above photos). it was actually not as tasty as my first attempt but this was twice the amount of rice for 10pax, not perfect, must be improved, but i was pretty happy with the result. 🙂

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#6 5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

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#6 5hr sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange

#6 the first “main” (actually smaller serving than the tapas, imagine 2 duck breast for 10pax). this was a favourite at the 2 recent 8pax dinners. duck was fatter so after 5hrs sous vide bath quite a bit left not rendered out so i decided to use the cold pan method to render out the excess fat at low heat. once the fat were surrounding the duck, i turned to high to sear the skin. this was the best of  3 attempts, very beautiful crispy skin & tender consistent sous vide meat. the citrus orange sauce was excellent to enhance the experience, and quite beautiful to behold (top & above photos). 🙂

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#7 pot roast sirloin kuay teow terng with daikon

#7 the second main was another experiment. this one though was not quite there. i did a great sirloin pot roast last time, & when i added the leftovers the next day to instant noodles, it was excellent. so i thought maybe i will do a HK beef noodle type affair & add the pot roast. the result = my medium rare pot roast was quite ok, but my soup stock was insufficient & not flavourful enough even with the daikon & carrots & beef brisket. will need to reduce the soup & used chicken stock instead for more tasty base, not sure though if i might do this again.

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#8 jam crumb cake

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#8 jam crumb cake with strawberry 7 vanilla ice creams from marble slab creamery (brought by friend)

#8 hmmm…very proud of my jam crumb cake. like it a lot. 1 friend though still hanging on to past memories of my chocolate lava cake, which i had gotten tired of making. this the second time i made this cake, and i made all the right adjustments = reduced the sugar in the cake & crumbs, increase the jam, & increase the crumbs. excellent! my next adventure is planning a “fine” chinese dinner. my menu is going to look like this = ter kar tang (pig trotter jelly), drunken chicken, garlic pork (蒜泥白肉), tea smoked duck, poor man’s buddha-jump-over-the-wall, the shin yeh pineapple prawns, steamed garoupa, a HK style steamed sausage, chicken, pork rib rice, several vegetable dishes & orh nee (yam puree dessert). hmmm..looking at the menu, like not very “fine”, still anyhow the fun of doing it is fine enough for me. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Enjoyable Crab Beehoon Dinner @ Ming Kee Live Seafood on 23Mar2014

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cockles S$5

was in upper serangoon area & my wife decided to go to ming kee live seafood at macpherson for dinner on sunday 23.3.2014. 🙂 it was few shops from swa gardens when we had nice teochew food for our g10 dinner recently.

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ming kee signature crab beehoon 1.4kg = S$75.60

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coconut jelly S$8

i don’t take crab often as i find it expensive. but this time we were in the mood for crab. we ordered their signature crab beehoon. its S$54/kg so S$75.60 for a 1.4kg sri lankan crab. usually when eating with friends or children, don’t really get to eat much so this time just 2 of us, it was like feasting on crab. 🙂

i could not resist ordering the S$5 cockles. it was simple dish served with fish sauce & cut chilli. not the raw cockles (血蛤) i had at two chefs, small & not as fleshy..still, enjoyed nonetheless! 🙂

cockles S$5

cockles S$5

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ming kee signature crab beehoon 1.4kg = S$75.60

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ming kee signature crab beehoon 1.4kg = S$75.60

the beehoon was tasty with sweet crab flavour. the sri lankan crab was meaty & fresh & sweet. i don’t take crab often enough to judge but didn’t find it any special though. it was not bad i think the house of steam fish, golden spoon etc were better than this.

we had the coconut jelly dessert. it was just S$8 & the jelly looked like using the coconut juice & adding agar agar. it was good, mildly sweet which was just right & refreshing.

dinner was S$101 in total for 2pax. we had only crab, cockles & coconut jelly. there was GST but no service charge but S$3pax charge already for towels etc (no appetisers).

ok & very enjoyable for this evening because we were in the mood to have crab, but otherwise not a place i would usually go.

c.h.e.f andy

Late Afternoon Dimsum @ Kowloon Dimsum at AMK Ave 5 on 23Mar2014

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deep-fried fu pie quin 腐皮卷

was going to amk & decided to drop by kowloon dim sum @ amk ave 5  about 4.30pm on 23.3.2014.

the dim sum joint was located at the coffee shop at blk 151 next to hk street chun kee.

kowloon dimsum @ amk av 5

kowloon dimsum @ amk av 5

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har gao

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char siew fun cheong

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sausage chicken steamed rice

we ordered the char siew fun cheong & sausage chicken steamed rice as those were typical hong kong dishes.

the best dish turned out to the the deep-fried fu pei quin. it came with the green wasabi mayo, very crispy & tasty.

the fun cheong was edible but poor, a let down & far cry from the very smooth fun cheong drizzled with nice flavourful sauce that one gets in dim sum restaurants in singapore like imperial treasure & crystal jade & hong kong (of course kowloon dim sum is no restaurant so perhaps cannot make comparison but only as reference for the dishes).

the sausage steam rice (i forgot to take picture!) had many pieces of nice tender chicken (all wing parts). the sauce was no comparison with hong kong but still nice with the rice.

the steamed pork ribs were more meaty than most in the restaurants. the taste just good enough but not among the better ones (say) like imperial treasure or crystal jade.

the har gao was also average. skin was not smooth, filling was huge & taste ok.

the cost for 5 items was just S$16 or S$8pax, which was like 50% that in the restaurants. so price was good. food was not bad either but just average mediocre, so it was not bad & ok to try but not something i would be attracted to do again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Dinner @ Petite Menu Aqueen Hotel on 22Mar2014

onglet steak

onglet steak (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

my daughter wanted to try petite menu. she booked a 4pax dinner on 22.3.2014.

parking was horrendous. it was not something unexpected though. i had called to ask for directions to the car park & was warned that there were few lots. i followed the directions & entered from tyrwhitt road behind the hotel at 7.30pm but could not find any carpark. after dropping the others, my daughter & i circled the area & finally was lucky to find a just vacated lot along a row of shophouses at king george avenue.

well, i guess it was worth the trouble. the quality of food at petite menu & artisan presentation was outstanding really for the price. 🙂

i read a few reviews & blog posts & was looking forward to try the S$36 4-course tasting menu (bottom photo). unfortunately this was the restaurant week & the restaurant only served the S$35 3-course RW menu & ala carte. restaurant week had gone off my radar for the last 2 years. there were many good offers when it first started here but these days the RW set menus were often not as good as the regular ones.

on this occasion though, the S$35 RW menu included onglet steak (the flavourful hanger steak near the last rib which my wife & i like which we were first introduced in the early days at petite salut). so we decided to order 2 RW sets & i replaced my salmon with lavendar pumpkin soup (a lower price option) as that was an oft commented dish here.

duck salad S$11

duck salad S$11

smoked salmon (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

smoked salmon (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

lavendar pumpkin soup S$8

lavendar pumpkin soup S$8

pan-seared onglet (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

onglet steak (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

the smoked salmon was excellent – sweet, light, not salty.

the duck salad was very good standard even though by comparison, the salmon was better. the duck was done nicely, tender & flavourful, tomatoes were sweet & plating outstanding, and it was only S$11.

the lavendar soup was strange (some might say interesting or unique). lavendar was overpowering but taste, texture combination was ok when combined with the wakami seaweed.

the hanger steak was a good helping, medium rare, tender & flavourful, i would have preferred more charred, the sauce was good & so the presentation (above & top photos). overall quite excellent. i asked the waiting staff how this stood up with the S$20 torched ribeye steak on the menu. he thought the ribeye was even better.

salted egg soft shell crab fettucine S$15

salted egg soft shell crab fettucine S$15

mushroom risotto S$14

mushroom risotto S$14

my daughters ordered 2 main courses, mushroom risotto & salted soft shell crab fettucine, which were popular dishes here.

both were very good. risotto was slightly wet but very tasty, texture a bit past al dente. the fusion salted egg soft shell crab pasta was very good. it reminded us of laksa pesto, one of the early fusion pasta which we first tried (like >10years ago) at willin low’s wild rockets. i will probably try making this at home.

deconstructed black forest S$8 (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

deconstructed black forest S$8 (part of S$35 3-course restaurant week menu)

kaya toast S$7

kaya toast S$7

4-course tasting menu S$36

4-course tasting menu S$36

our 2 RW sets came with dessert & coffee so we picked 2 deconstructed blackforest cakes, which was rated highly by many food bloggers. and it was indeed excellent, the chocolate, cream, pitted cherries, and the soil that came in a tiny planter to be emptied over the cake in a bibimbap stone ware bowl. pretty, delicious & fun. 🙂

for the free dessert we thought might as well try the kaya toast. it was again very well plated, very fusion & artisan, with green kaya, toast and expresso in the middle. like the lavendar pumpkin soup, i did not dislike the dish, it was good, ok, but not something that attracted me to order again.

overall the food was not just looking nice but actually good tasting which to me was most important, so the delightful presentation enhanced the dining experience. a S$20 ribeye (if it is same or better than the onglet steak) is good value, & the risotto & pasta dishes at S$14 & S$15 were all quite outstanding for the price. and likewise the blackforest cake. there is also a $15 pan-seared seabass which i don’t mind trying & another oft commented dish – chicken leg confit. i am not hot on duck confit so can skip this one, can try also if someone else order…haha! 🙂

will be back.

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Wanton Noodles @ Kok Kee (国记) Lavendar Food Square on 22Mar2014

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was in the area & my wife suggested to have wanton noodles at Kok Kee (国记) @ Lavendar Food Square on 22.3.2014. 🙂

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i had not tried this popular stall before.  there were about 15 people in the queue & the wait was >30minutes.

it was worth the wait though! we had each a small portion at S$4. the noodle was wet yet not soggy (as commented by several reviewers) & in fact just al dente and very tasty. 1 of the best wanton noodles i had, better than red ring & the one at first centre. the char siew & wanton were good too but nothing special, no different from other stalls (as also commented by others). i like the char siew at red ring better. 🙂

unlikely to come here specially to queue for the wanton noodles though, especially with the difficulty in parking. but if around the place & already parked, will probably drop by. quite enjoyed it! 🙂 make me want to go back & try the fei fei wanton noodles at joo chiat place again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Teriyaki Cod

#6 teriyaki cod

teriyaki cod – on a high baking rack

first attempt at teriyaki cod on 28.2.2014, practising for dinner for friends later. it was pretty good, good alternative to Nobu miso cod which i had been serving out in past dinners.

i had very good teriyaki cod at keyaki & a bit more frequently at mikuni. actually bought some teriyaki sauce, but decided to do the sauce marinade as offered in several online recipes.

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teriyaki cod

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pan-seared teriyaki cod

also decided to marinade in a ziplog bag for 3 days, in the fashion of my very good nobu miso cod, hopefully to derive a more intense flavour. it did! 🙂

cod is really an excellent fish & just simple pan-grilled or barbeque or oven roasted would deliver a delightful dish, so i do simple pan-grilled also as alternative with miso cod.

with this equally great recipe (thoguh i am still partial to miso cod), there is 1 more variation on offer.

teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

roasted teriyaki cod

likewise in addition to pan-grilled, an oven roasted teriyaki cod (12mins in preheated 250degC oven) is equally wonderful.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients –

500g frozen cod from ntuc or giant or sheng shiong (IQF individual quick freeze)

sauce marinade :

  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter (30ml)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (2-3cm)

Directions –

  1. combine marinade in sauce pot & heat to dissolve the sugar.  cool the marinade & place in a zip log bag together with the cod (cut 4 or 5 pieces) & press out the air. leave in chiller for between 2 and 3 days.
  2. take out cod 1 hr before cooking to get to room temperature.
  3. place on a high baking rack in a 250degC preheated oven for 12 mins (see top photo).
  4. OR pan grill the cod over high heat in non stick pan with 1 tbsp oil. watch of colour change to opaque white on the sides (about 2 minutes) & turn over & sear for another few minutes. serve.

Jam Crumb Cake

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jam crumb cake

made a very good jam crumb cake yesterday 19.3.2014. 🙂

i not a very dessert person. so far my solitary repertoire has been the chocolate lava cake. i did a lemon lava cake variation & also an apple pie which were pretty ok & i had served them once or twice during my home dinners with friends, but they didn’t quite inspire me.

i am doing a 10pax dinner on 24.3.2014 & was looking up doable online dessert recipes. last november 2013 a friend’s wife did a very good jam cake which i liked for a lovely home fine dining dinner – so inspired i looked up a few recipes and found this jam crumb cake recipe on epicurean.

the first attempt turned out pretty good, anyway i like it enough to post & share. 🙂

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jam crumb cake

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jam crumb cake

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jam crumb cake

i have never baked a whole cake my entire life. the lava cake was the first but those were in muffin tray. i also did the lemon lava cake variation (in muffin tray as well) & the apple pie. that was about it. & i had badly failed couple times attempting macarons. so i did not know what to expect mixing flour & butter & sugar & milk & making the crumbs. anyway i followed the recipe mostly with some adjustment (like reducing the sugar & the recipe for the crumbs taking in the feedback from comments of others who had attempted the recipe).

the jam crumb cake came up beautifully, by my lowly standard anyway. the flavour & texture were great & not too sweet, and the cinnamon did the magic. I would increase the crumbs a little for my next cake & also swirl in more jam. otherwise everything was near perfect.

my adapted recipe is below. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Ingredients-

For cake

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup sugar (to reduce further to 1/3)
  3. 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted (i used about 40g)
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1/2 cup raspberry jam or preserves (i used not enough, need to add more)

For crumb topping

  1. 25g unsalted butter, melted
  2. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (will increase to 2/3 cup)
  6. preparation

Directions –

Make cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Generously butter a 9-inch square or round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, milk and salt.
  3. Whisk together melted butter and egg in a large bowl, then whisk into flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter into cake pan. Dollop jam all over surface, then swirl into batter with spoon.

Make crumb topping:

  1. Whisk together butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Stir in flour, then blend with your fingertips until incorporated. Sprinkle crumbs in large clumps over top of cake.
  2. Bake cake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides begin to pull away from pan, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

Excellent Yakiniku Dinner @ Aburiya on 19Mar2014

hokkaido wagyu jo karubi (prime ribs)

hokkaido wagyu jo karubi (prime short ribs)

had an excellent yakiniku dinner at aburiya on 19.3.2014. 🙂

had not been there for a while..just checked my blog & it was almost a year ago that i had dinner at aburiya on 26.3.2013.

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jo karubi (prime short ribs)

karubi negi (ribs with leeks)

karubi negi

yakiniku

yakiniku

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yakiniku

the prices had gone up slightly. we basically ordered similar food. for this evening the jo karubi (S$15.90) was not that great but the cheaper karubi (S$10.90) was good. we also added hokkaido jo karubi (S$21.90) which was excellent, nicely marbled and very flavourful. they did not have the ohmi wagyu though it was on the menu.

bibimen

bibimen

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kimchi chigae

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kimchi chigae

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ice sake

we always ordered the bibimen & kimchi chigae. both were very good. 🙂

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aburiya

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aburiya

the inside tables were mostly taken up at 7pm. there were still quite many tables available outdoors.

the dinner including sake (S$15) added up to S$105 for 2pax, not cheap but it was very enjoyable. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

S$9.80 Quick Lunch @ Crystal Jade Lamian Xiaolongbao HollandV on 13Mar2014

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xiaolongbao (小笼包)

had a 20mins lunch at Crystal Jade Lamian Xiaolongbao HollandV on 13.3.2014. they start serving the S$9.80nett lunch set (i think used to be S$8.80) only at 12pm! 

i had great dishes here at crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao @ hollandv on 11.8.2013 & also at the taka branch with my G8 friends on 2.9.2013. i had not yet tried the quick lunch set though so today is the day. 🙂

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S$9.80 lunch menu

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barley drink

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prawn dumplings lamian

the xiaolongbao (小笼包) here is 1 of the best, very nice tasty soup, thin & smooth skin & tasty pork fillings. 🙂

the prawn dumplings lamian serving was like 1/2 a bowl, which actually served me fine as i don’t take so much carbo anyway though others might find it too skimpy/meagre… the prawn wantons were tasty too. the set came with a drink. i had the cold barley, usual good.

for S$9.80 nett, the lunch was quite fine, and service was good. they charged S$0.30++ for the wet issue which is fine and the waiting staff told me no need to order ice water which they also charge S$0.30 which is also ok, as the set came with the drink.

it’s not quite the meal for me though. i don’t really need to eat lunch and if i do the S$18pax ++ type 2-course lunch at reddot brewhouse on 12.3.2014 would be more worth the while. 🙂 that of course is strictly my own needs, not about crystal jade’s food…

c.h.e.f andy

S$18pax Set Lunch @ Reddot Brewhouse Dempsey (Quick Update) on 12Mar2014

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we had lunch among the fundonate partners & decided on reddot brewhouse at dempsey. it is convenient, has ample free parking & great ambience & of course has the best value set lunch (S$18pax for 2-course & S$22pax for 3-course, and including drink or coffee as well). 🙂

i had lunch here several times and did an earlier post great lunch with old friend @ reddot brewhouse dempsey on 19nov2013, so this would be just a quick update.

we all took the 2-course set. i had the portobello salad. 2 friends had the bruchetta & the reddot salad. another friend had a melt (lava) cake in place of appetizer. i guess 3 of us were all watching our carbo intake.

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for the mains, 2 friends had the sirloin steak (which looked pretty good), 1 had the chicken breast. i was deciding between my usual halibut (very good here), the steak (which i do rather well at home) and decided on the chef’s special, the beef stroganoff linguine in the above photo. it was excellent. linguine was al dente, very good, and the sauce was excellent. the beef cut was not an expensive one, so just slightly tough, but overall it was an excellent dish, of good restaurant standard, and with nice alfafa & grape tomato garnish. this was a dish i tried at home once previously (pretty ok), so i wanted to try & get some inspiration. 🙂

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the melt cake was a beauty to behold. i had this the last time. the texture (lava) was excellent. the flavour was good too but probably no better than my lava cake. 🙂

1 of my friend was saying he could even come here for lunch if he was dining alone – everything was quite perfect for him.

c.h.e.f andy

Bakuteh (肉骨茶 Pork Rib Soup)

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Bakuteh (肉骨茶 Pork Rib Soup) is about the easiest delectable dish to cook at home.

usually i used the $7.50/kg frozen pork ribs bought from chinatown market. last evening when i was at sheng shiong, decided to pick up a packet (about 700g) of fresh indonesian pork ribs at S$19/kg. they were good but very fatty & took shorter time to cook (about 40mins).

if i have to compare i guess the fresh pork ribs were slightly better but fatty, and the frozen pork ribs (cost 2.5x less) were almost as good.

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i used a cheap bakuteh spice premix which i liked (photo above). this one is a non-herbal premix which i prefer but i had  very good herbal ones too (bought by a friend). 🙂

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i only added 1 bulb of garlic (about 1.5 bulbs if cooking 1 kg pork rib), and basically nothing else needed. i do not prefer it very peppery but that is something one can easily add to taste.

c.h.e.f andy

Seafood Paella

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seafood paella

tried paella couple of times about a year ago. at the time it was just passable, so i did not post.

today i decided to give it another go. i used my favourite chef john of foowishes.com shortcut oven-baked method.

medium prawns & squid fried with butter

medium prawns & squid fried with butter

for seafood, i cooked 9 medium prawns (lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in 2 teaspoon butter at high heat to about 90% cooked, and did the same for the squid.

for the stock i sautéed the heads & shells of 9 medium prawns in olive oil & tumeric & added 500ml of chicken stock & boiled for an hour.

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i had leftover leek, celery, red capsicum from a recent 8pax homecooked dinner. i finely chopped them, and sautéed in olive oil with chinese sausage (substitute for expensive chorizo) with a teaspoon of tumeric (substitute for expensive saffron), together with chopped yellow onions & garlic.

i then added 1 cup of shokaku rice (a USA short grain rice for sushi, which is a lot cheaper than aborio) & mixed well, then i laid the thinly sliced leek & red capsicum on top, added enough chicken/prawn stock to cover the rice & brought to boil. once boiling i placed the oven-proof skillet in a preheated 210degC oven for 16mins. i tasted the paella. the flavour was excellent, and in this case as the stock already had some salt in it & mindful that the prawns & squid were also seasoned i did not add more salt. the paella was about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard.

i set it aside, and when ready to serve dinner, i boiled the stock & added it over the paella to just cover the rice & heat over high heat & placed the pre cooked prawns & squid on the rice. this cooked the paella to al dente & the seafood. the taste was excellent from the sweetness of the vegetable, stock & also the prawns & squid.

it was a beautiful dish to behold & the flavour was superb. i added a bit too much stock & not wanting to overcook the paella, the rice was just very slightly wet which was ok except i did not get the burnt bottom, which was ok. will try to have that next time. 🙂

Ingredients-

  • 10 medium prawns (shelled & de-veined)
  • 1 large or 2 medium squid (cross-cut)
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 1 stalk celery (chopped)
  • 1 red capsicum (chopped & finely sliced)
  • 1-2 stalk leek (chopped & finely sliced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 500ml prawn & chicken stock
  • 1 cup shokaku rice (or aborio)
  • 1-2 chinese sausage (or chorizo)
  • 2 teaspoon tumeric (or saffron)

Directions-

  1. seafood – cook medium prawns (lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in 2 teaspoon butter at high heat to about 90% cooked. do the same for the squid.
  2.  stock – sautéed the prawn heads & shells  in olive oil & tumeric & add 500ml of chicken stock & boil for an hour.
  3.  cook paella – finely chop leek, celery, red capsicum, yellow onion & garlic. sauté in olive oil with chorizo & saffron. add 1 cup of aborio rice & mix well, then lay the thinly sliced leek & red capsicum on top. add enough chicken/prawn stock to cover the rice & brought to boil. once boiling place the oven-proof skillet in a preheated 210degC oven for 16mins. taste the paella & add salt to taste if desired. the paella is about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard. set iaside, and when ready to serve, boil the stock & add it over the paella to just cover the rice . add the pre cooked prawns & squid on the rice. cook the paella over high heat to cook the paella to al dente & the seafood. serve.