Good Value Lunch (with Amex Vouchers) @ Chui Huay Lim on 25Jun2014

ter kar tan - S$10

ter kar tan – S$10

jumbo group have an ongoing amex promotion giving out voucher booklets for every S$120nett spend by amex card. i was given a booklet expiring 30jun2014, and 5 of us arranged to have lunch at chui huay lim on 25.6.2014. 🙂

i find chui huay lim kind of on the expensive side, but when there were substantive discounts like the good lunch we had on 4.11.2013, then it was pretty worth it.

for this time, we were using 1 S$60 voucher which require a total bill of S$150nett or above. i ordered the usual pig trotter jelly, hae chor & cold crab. also ordered 1/2 braised duck, 2 vege & a seafood meesua & ended with orh nee. including tea, bill came to S$111 for 5pax after the S$60 discount. & since we could get another voucher booklet if the net bills was S$120, we ordered 2 more ah bo ning (mochi dumplings) at S$4each. 🙂

#1 ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly) always good here.

hae chor - S$10

hae chor – S$10

#2 hae chor good too, very crisp.

teochew cold crab - S$30

teochew cold crab – S$30

#3 cold crab was sweet, among the better ones.

1/2 teochew braised duck - S$28

1/2 teochew braised duck – S$28

#4 the teochew braised duck was also good, flavour, tender, moist. 🙂

kai lan with ti pro - S$14

kai lan with ti poh- S$14

#5 kailan with ti poh pretty ok, i guess kind of standard.

#6 i ordered another spinach also S$14 (no photo).

seafood mee sua - S$18

seafood mee sua – S$18

#7 seafood meesua quite ok, also standard issue.

orh nee - S$4.50

orh nee – S$4.50

#8 the orh nee was much better than i expected, very smooth, not too sweet & nicely presented. better than ah orh which served a good orh nee too.

overall, though we did not order too many dishes or expensive ones, it was quite a good lunch for 5pax at only S$121nett & we took back a new voucher booklet include another S$60 voucher for chui huay lim. not bad la! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. photo credits to my good friend, 1 of the diners as i did not take any photo.

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Below Par (for the Price) 4pax Dinner @ Restaurant Home on 25Jun2014

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

was truly disappointed with the S$59.80+ ala carte buffet at restaurant home on 25.6.2014. 😦

probably had to do with wrong expectations, as the award winning chef tan yong hua has so many accolades, not least the first singaporean chef to win against iron Chef Thailand. also the price of S$59.80+pax would be quite ok if the dishes were good & not just mediocre.

mini buddha jump over the wall

mini buddha jump over the wall

#1 the mini buddha-jump-over-the-wall(bjotw) had a light decent soup base (not intense & maybe that was intended), a good flower mushroom, a quite small abalone which was ok & lots of chicken plus a cheap fish maw (not 花胶). i supposed average ingredients were quite ok if the soup was really tasty. it was not a bad soup. 1 of us commented any lie tong (例汤) soup of the day by tunglok or imperial treasure would beat this, so there was nothing much to say.

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

8-head abalone, mushroom & spinach

#2 the bite/texture & flavour of the 8-head abalone & also the flower mushroom were quite good. the spinach was just average, and perhaps it was more the method of preparation, but any brown sauce braised chinese abalones (ah yat, tunglok, xin restaurant etc) would be a better overall taste experience than this (not a better abalone). i guess this dish would be above average to good whereas the mini bjotw was just average.

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

salmon & maguro sashimi & mayo prawns

#3 the salmon & maguro (tuna) sashimi were ok, the lobster was buried in mayo. a wasabi or salted egg prawn would be better. the dish was ok but nondescript.

herbal drunken prawns

herbal prawns

#4 the prawns were big & fresh & quite tasty. i guess it was about as good as a herbal prawn could be. it was not a dish i would much fancy though, unlike the wow factor with the golden prawns at mikuni.

deep-fried soon hock

deep-fried red garoupa

#5 the deep-fried red garoupa was competent, good even. but as 1 diner commented, it was no better than ah yat though the garoupa tasted better than soon hock. i also thought it was not much better than peach garden miramar, not counting ban heng’s deep-fried soon hock which was very average.

roast duck

roast duck

#6 the roast duck was to me about the best dish for the evening (& it was not among the chef selected dishes above limited to 1 serving). skin was crispy, meat was tender, moist not overcooked & very flavourful.

cabmeat brocoli

crabmeat brocoli

#7 the crabmeat broccoli was another better dish, looked good, tasted great, more like the standards of tunglok or imperial treasure.

sichuan beef with rice crackers

sichuan beef with rice crackers

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

rice crackers (for sichuan beef)

#8 the sichuan spicy fish fillet (i forgot to take a photo) was ok edible not good but as 水煮鱼 it was a disaster! even the NUS canteen foodgle hub just above average S$6 水煮鱼 was better than this.

#9 the sichuan spicy beef with rice crackers was worse than the fish! beef was bad by any standard, the sinewy quite tasteless like rubber type. even the artificial tenderised beef at coffeeshop zi char stalls were better! not sure the thai type rice crackers qualified as 锅巴. if it were any zi char stall, i guess one could argue that’s just a choice of words.

osmanthus jelly

osmanthus jelly

#10 the osmanthus jelly was pretty good, i guess not so far off timhowan which was better, but it’s just jelly.

fruit jelly

rosella jelly with diced mango

#11 the rosella jelly was ok for a jelly but really a poor dessert c/w any of tunglok, xin, imperial treasure, i guess better than having red beans & green beans at ah yat.

#12 3 of us ordered the almond jelly (no photos). this was good restaurant standard.

i had earlier booked en japanese dining @ alocasia to try their S$56++pax queen crab wagyu ala carte buffet, but had canceled that to try this new restaurant. it was a manifestly wrong decision to take this ala carte buffet. it was not near as good as peach garden miramar’s (S$30.80++pax 3 paying 1 free) which was 1/2 the price. this 4pax dinner cost S$264nett. my recent fabulous 4pax dinner at mikuni cost only S$195nett. there was totally no comparison at all regards the food! 😦

1 Facebook friend who dined there recently commented that the ala carte orders –  lychee wood smoked peking duck, claypot steamed fish, tofu egg, braised pork knuckles vermicelli in oba leaf – were pretty good. i guess a sound opinion & i am not totally ruling out trying ala carte here if there are takers among my friends(but i think not likely), but the ala carte buffet is totally out for me! & i think really the organisation is still not in groove to put up this below par level of cuisine for a S$59.80 ala carte buffet. 😦

c.h.e.f andy

So Very Nice 4pax Family Dinner @ Mikuni on 23Jun2014

oysters - S$28

oysters – S$28

dinners at mikuni are always so very enjoyable. see recent post on a wonderful mikuni dinner on 31.3.2014.

we were there again on 23.6.2014. this time we ordered the chirashi don, oysters & golden prawns, in addition to the usual.

the oysters were good. at 50% discounts, it was S$14 for 3 pieces. the ones we had recently at chikuwatei was better but more ex – 2 large ones for S$22. 🙂

chirashi don - S$90

chirashi don – S$90

chirashi don - S$90

chirashi don – S$90

the chirashi don was so, so very nice. this must the best in singapore or anywhere for S$45++ after 50% feed at raffles (FAR) discounts. 🙂 needless to say, it was far, far better than sun with moon or chikuwatei. not only there was uni, 2 pieces of chu toro, & a huge botan ebi, all the other cuts like salmon, tai, hamachi, hotate were so sweet & fresh & so very many. 🙂

it was kind of a late discovery for us, as we dined quite a bit at mikuni but we tend to take the cooked food rather than sashimi.

botan ebi - S$42 for 3

botan ebi – S$42 for 3

botan ebi - S$42 for 3 pieces

botan ebi – S$42 for 3

we had the usual botan ebi sashimi (S$42 for 3 pieces) & had the head deep-fried.

sous vide octopus tempura - S$30

sous vide octopus tempura – S$30

& we all loved the sous vide tako kari kari age.

cold sake - S$50

cold sake – S$50

the sake was ex… S$50 & only 25% discount.

golden prawns - S$40

golden prawns – S$40

golden prawns - S$40

golden prawns – S$40

& the golden prawns (basically teppanyaki large prawns with lots of mayo) was really good! each of us had about 5 prawns, so there must be 20 pieces. we took very little mayo but this mayo taste was very good. 🙂

lobster uniyaki - S$48

lobster uniyaki – S$48

lobster uniyaki - S$48

lobster uniyaki – S$48

the lobster uniyaki today was below the usual standard. i had always liked the lobster but somehow this time the lobster meat did not have the usual bouncy fresh texture. couldn’t say it was bad but c/w the golden prawns, it was substantially poorer.

kagoshima wagyu konabe - S$48

kagoshima wagyu konabe – S$48

& the kagoshima wagyu konabe was as good as ever.

the bill came to S$239nett for 4pax (c/w S$205 for 4pax at chikuwatei & such huge guff in quality of food). excluding the sake, it would be S$195nett or S$165++ for 4pax, really good deal. 🙂

i think i gonna go back just for the chirashi don. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Sashimi & Unagi don Set @ Sun with Moon Wheelock on 22Jun2014

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

my wife & i were in between meals & decided to have “tea” (more of 2 meals dinner & lunch into 1, save time, money, calories..haha) @ sun with moon at wheelock. this is becoming our favourite restaurant. 🙂

we were not really interested in their tea menu. likely we were not the only ones so they provided full meal sets in their “tea” menu.

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi moriwasse for 2 = S$29.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80 (addition chawanmushi S$3.50, salmon sashimi S$3)

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80 (addition chawanmushi S$3.50, salmon sashimi S$3)

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

i was already thinking of the sashimi at sun with moon after the not entirely fulfilling chirashi don dinner at chikuwatei on 17.6.2014, so 1 ordered a sashimi & unagi don set S$34.80. we did not want to have 2 sets so we added another sashimi moriawasse for 2pax at S$29.80.

(P.S. subsequently i had dinner at momoya on 6.7.2014 & it was 1 of the best value sushi & sashimi bento).

the sashimi moriawasse that came with the set had 9 pieces c/w with the ala carte sashimi for 2 (only missing 1 ama ebi & 2 slices of hotate in comparison) , and cost S$5 more. i would consider both quite reasonably priced & vis a vis each other. 🙂

as i mentioned on my post on chikuwatei, the salmon sashimi were sweeter, tastier here. the cut was also quite thick but perhaps just somewhat thinner c/w chikuwatei. the kajiki (swordfish) was a lot sweeter & there were ama ebi & hotate (missing in chikuwatei). for me it was a lot more shiok here. we also added a salmon sashimi side (3 thinner slices for S$3) & a chawanmushi (S$3.50). 🙂

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

sashimi & unagi don set = S$34.80

the set also came with the unagi don which i liked, side dish (vinegared unagi which my wife liked), soup, pickles & a drink.

we also added 1 small green tea parfait S$6.80.

there was a 15% card discount for ocbc, however it only applied to the ala carte order. since i had the members card (cost S$20 & you get back S$20 in points for redemption) which entitled to 10% discount for the whole bill, which came to S$82nett. its somewhat more ex c/w chikuwatei which was an overdose (not complaining!) of average to just above average thick cut sashimi for a S$25++ chirashi don.

c.h.e.f andy

4pax Family Dinner @ Crystal Jade Lamian Xioalongbao at HollandV on 21Jun2014

xiaolongbao 小笼包

xiaolongbao 小笼包

just had a 4pax family dinner at crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao at hollandv. it was 630pm but i managed to get parking across the road at warna road side carpark next to the mrt exit. 🙂

this time i wanted to order the spicy beef lamian 水煮牛肉面 so forgo our favourite XO seafood fried rice.

xiaolongbao 小笼包

xiaolongbao 小笼包

#1 xiaolongbao 小笼包 here was among the best i had tried. a friend commented on facebook that the skin look thick on the photo. but actually the skin was quite thin, and the soup in the dumpling was very tasty. 🙂

spicy dumplings 抄手

spicy dumplings 抄手

spicy dumplings 抄手

spicy dumplings 抄手

#2 spicy dumplings 抄手 was another favourite. enjoyed the spicy kick & also the vinegar flavour.

spicy beef lamian 水煮牛肉面

spicy beef lamian 水煮牛肉面

#3 i was not disappointed. the spicy beef lamian 水煮牛肉面 was not bad at all. fair amount of sliced beef, lots of vegetables & the soup was flavourful not over spicy & quite drinkable. of course it was not near to the real thing 水煮牛肉 or 水煮鱼 but that really is a different dish.

spicy chicken 辣子鸡

spicy chicken 口水鸡

spicy chicken lamian 辣子鸡 拉面

spicy chicken lamian 口水鸡 拉面

#4 & #5 we ordered both the spicy chicken 口水鸡 & the spicy chicken lamian so we could just share the noodles. this another favourite dish. chicken was sweet & the sichuan chilli sauce made it really flavourful.

wanton lamian

wanton lamian

#6 my daughter ordered the plain wanton lamian. it was good too.

the total for the 6 dishes plus 3 barley drinks for 4pax came to S$68, quite ok for a simple family dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy Orh Luah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

continuing on my quest for the starchy orh luah (蚝烙), i bought sweet potato flour from sheng shiong after my passable first attempt on orh jian (蚝煎) – crispy oyster egg.

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

Oyster Omelette (蚝烙) Starchy OrhLuah

this time i tried a smaller portion, so i used only 1 heap tablespoon sweet potato flour & mixed about 30ml water, adding 1 teaspoon fish sauce & some white pepper(& i would add some chopped spring onions if i have). i used only 1 egg, beating well & adding 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce & some pepper.

i added 3 tablespoon oil & make sure the pan is totally greased, then i spread the  sweet potato flour mixture over the pan on low fire. the difference c/w cornflour is that you see the familiar light transparent batter (whereas cornflour batter is opaque). somehow just the familiar look made it feel delicious. haha. 🙂

i then added the egg & 1 tablespoon of chilli paste & spread with the egg. then i turned fire to high to crisp the egg starch mixture, used the spatula to break up into smaller pieces & pushed to 1 side while i added the oysters. i cooked the oysters for (say) 2minutes making sure it was cooked but not overcooked (it would shrink & become tougher if overcooked).

i would probably need to tweak a bit & do proper garnishing with coriander, but this preparation was nearly there in producing a good oyster omelette, certainly it tasted better than the average hawker stalls. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

蒜泥白肉 Spicy Garlic Pork

#5 蒜泥白肉

蒜泥白肉

蒜泥白肉, a spicy garlic pork, is a common sichuan dish which i like but don’t take often.

it was 1 of the dishes i explored when planning a “fine” chinese menu for 11pax RI friends on 5.5.2014. 🙂

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

i also tried drunken chicken. it was ok but several friends though my chicken rice chicken白斩鸡(a much easier preparation) was better. i tried ter kar tan (teochew pig trotter jelly) but so far not very successful. the other which i have not yet try out is 镇江肴肉, a cured pig trotter terrine.

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

i already produced a very tender belly pork by brining in sugar & salt & then using the crockpot method – place the belly pork in a crockpot & add enough brine to cover completely, turn on crockpot to low & cook for about 4hrs (OR use a meat thermometer set at 76degC & off the crockpot when alarm sounds).

i felt that the key to a good 蒜泥白肉 is a good sauce. so i googled & picked what i thought would be a good sauce recipe for 蒜泥白肉.

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

i added 1/3 cup light soy sauce (80ml), 2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 cm sliced ginger, 1 cinnamon bark, 1 clove, 2 anise seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin to 1/2 cup stock (chicken or from the pork) to a pan on low fire. i then added 4 cloves chopped garlic, 2 chopped shallots & 2 tablespoon sichuan spicy chilli oil. i heat it for until fragrant (5mins or more). i checked the taste. it should be very mildly sweet, just slight spicy & quite fragrant/flavourful. sliced the belly pork thinly, lay out on a dish with sliced zucchini, & drizzle the sauce over the pork. serve. 🙂

the result was in the above photos. when i brought out at the 27pax dinner for RI friends on 28.5.2014, everyone liked it. so was the case for the 11pax family birthday dinner on 14.6.2014. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 400g belly pork
  • small zucchini (sliced)

sauce

  • 1/3 cup light soy sauce (80ml)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cm sliced ginger
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • 1 clove
  • 2 anise seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup stock (chicken stock or from the pork)
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp sichuan spicy chilli oil

Directions:

  1. scald the belly pork in boiling water to remove scum. place in 600ml water (or enough to cover the pork fully) with 2 heap tbsp sugar & 1 heap tbsp salt & brine for 48hrs. placed the belly pork in a crockpot (cold) & add enough brine to cover completely, turn on crockpot to low for cook for about 4hrs (or use a meat thermometer set at 76degC & off the crockpot when alarm sounds).
  2. add 1/3 cup light soy sauce (80ml), 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 cm sliced ginger, 1 cinnamon bark, 1 clove, 2 anise seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin to 1/2 cup stock (chicken or from the pork) to pan on low fire. add 4 cloves chopped garlic, 2 chopped shallots & 2 tbsp sichuan spicy chilli oil. heat until fragrant (5mins or more). check the taste. it should be very mildly sweet, just slight spicy & quite fragrant/flavourful.
  3. slice the belly pork thinly, lay out on a dish with sliced zucchini, & drizzle the sauce over the pork. serve.

 

Kaya (Coconut Jam)

kaya toast

kaya toast

this truly a 10 minute kaya (coconut jam)! 🙂

i decided to try after watching this video by kitchen tigress. the same recipe was repeated in many other blogpost. i kind of got inspired after having a scrumptious lunch at a friend’s house on 30.5.2014 & brought home some of his homemade kaya to go with the kee chang he made for us. 🙂

kaya (coconut jam)

kaya (coconut jam)

kaya (coconut jam)

kaya (coconut jam)

kaya (coconut jam)

kaya (coconut jam)

it’s so easy to make, just like in the video. i just added 200ml coconut milk (i used packet ones), added 45g palm sugar (gula melaka), 3 flat tablespoon white sugar (it was supposed to be 45g white sugar but i preferred it less sweet) & 4 pandan leaves. i put under low heat & stirred till the sugar melt & the liquid just began to boil.

i beat 4 egg yolks & added 1/2 the liquid into the egg yolk & stirred continuously. then i added the mixture back to the remaining liquid & stirred & reduced over low heat (as in the video) till i got the right viscosity & texture. it really tasted good. i think much better than kaya you get in the stalls. 🙂

i wonder what you can do with kaya apart from kaya toast & recently i discovered kee chang. perhaps i will try it with cheese! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

11pax Homecooked 11-course Family Birthday Dinner on 14.6.2014

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

time passes us by. my brother’s & sister’s birthday fall on 14June.  since i had started cooking for 2 years hence, and had hosted many homecooked dinners, i wanted to do a homecooked chinese dinner for my brother & sister. 🙂

the chinese dishes i planned were simple stuff like chicken & duck & belly pork. there’s also fish & 2 vege as they both like vege. i added a lamb as my sister like lamb. my niece & her husband are buddhist & vegetarian, so i cooked a pesto pasta for them. also i had the tofu cheese cake. 🙂

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

#1 chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

#1 chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡 was a favourite when i did my 27pax homecooked buffet for my RI friends recently on 28.5.2014. it was brined in sugar & salt water for 48hrs, then 10minutes simmering & 20 minutes poached in hot water, and placed in ice water bath to taut the skin & stop cooking. this time though i only tried a small slice of breast meat, but it did not seem as sweet, juicy & tasty as it usually were. 😦

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 the 盐水鸭 (dry salt spice brined duck) though was very good this time. it was flavourful yet not too intense, and the meat was tender as the boil-poach preparation (similar to 白斩鸡 but 15mins+30minutes for duck) produced a more gently cooked meat. i applied a dry brine of salt, sugar, cinnamon bark, anise seeds, clove, bay leaves, and sichuan chilli pepper for 48hrs. 🙂

when cutting & tasting the breast which was thicker than the thigh, i felt the breast meat was less flavourful. so perhaps i will reserve thigh meat for this preparation & breast meat for the sous vide duck a l’orange. 🙂

"sous vide" char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew

"sous vide" char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew was a bit too fat but melt-in-the-mouth tender after 5hrs at 90degC in the oven & quick pan-grilled with butter.  it was marinated for 3 days & well infused & tasty, but after many attempts i felt the marinade recipe i used was still not the best tasting & not comparable with my miso belly pork, which marinade requires a much simpler preparation. 🙂

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

#4 spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

#4 my brother loved the 蒜泥白肉 ( spicy garlic pork). this was also a crowd favourite during my recent 27pax homecooked buffet dinner for RI friends. 🙂

actually i over added the sichuan chilli so the sauce was overly spicy. i had to drizzle less sauce than i usually did. the sauce was made from light soy sauce, sugar, chopped garlic, chopped onions, sliced ginger,  cinnamon bark, anise seed, dash of cumin & sichuan chilli. the belly pork was done using the crockpot method – in cold water on low for about 4hrs. this another inventive method of slow cooking as it starts from room temperature & very slowly gets to boiling & remain simmering not hard boiling thus retaining the moisture. pork & skin were very tender. 🙂

miso lamb shoulder chop

#5 miso lamb shoulder chop

#5 my sister like lamb so i did a miso preparation for a cheap lamb shoulder chop. the lamb was marinated for 3 days in miso to infuse the flavours. it was then placed in the marinade bath in the oven at 90degC for 5hrs. this meat has lots of connective tissues & so very tough & not easy to make tender. 90degC happens to be the optimum temperature to convert collagen (the tough connective tissues) to tasty excellent texture gelatine. this time though i forgot to remove from oven & it dried out a bit c/w a quite perfect preparation for a 11pax sit-down dinner i had for RI friends recently on 5.5.2014.

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

as my niece & her husband are vegetarians, i prepared a separate vegetarian dish, a pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms for them. this was a very tasty dish that i experimented/recreated after very good meals during my recent travels to lake como, cinque terre & milan. 🙂

the pesto was made with pine nuts (i used almonds as substitute as pine nuts are very ex), spinach, basil, cheese & olive oil & a dash of salt, and blended. the pesto & grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms were added to the pasta & tossed, with a teaspoon of sugar, some white wine & sea salt to taste. 🙂

fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek

fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek was quite poor this time. the leek was “sek” somehow very tough. usually i cooked it just right so it was still brightly green but soft & tasty. this time i had to cook it very long till blackish to get it to soften. i did not try the prawns but my wife & daughter both thought the prawns were poor. i knew the prawns were large & very fresh when i cut the heads & shelled. & the butter pan-grilled method always produce a very tasty, slightly bbq flavour prawns. but because i had to heat up the dish 3 times, even though i took out the prawns & put back each time, the steam got into the prawns & the meat became “hu hu” i.e. mushy.

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

#7 poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

#7 poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

#7 the shorthand 佛跳墙 (buddha jump over the wall) was a dish i modelled after the very nice soup jh’s father (a chef) made. i used pig trotters, thick mushrooms, belly pork, dried scallops & also 2 cans of cheap limpets (S$10/can). 🙂

#8 auntie bes made a teochew steamed pomfret (did not take photo). this time though the pomfret was not very fresh & had a “chow chor” (fishy) taste. 😦

fermented bean curd raomaine lettuce 腐乳油麦菜

#9 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce 腐乳油麦菜

#9 腐乳油麦菜 (fermented bean curd romaine lettuce) is a common zi char dish e.g. kok sen. this time 腐乳 & chilli were just right & my wife liked it. 🙂

HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭 (HK styled steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice) is the common steamed rice dish in hk’s dim sum restaurants, usually they used chicken feet and/or pork ribs, drizzled with tasty black sauce. the sauce is very important. it is easily made – just 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark sauce, 1 tbsp sugar & 6 tbsp water or to taste. it looked dark but was not salty & quite perfect taste – mildly sweet & nice soy flavour. 🙂

tofu cheese cake

#11 tofu cheese cake

#11 just as in my 27pax recent gathering, the tofu cheese cake was again a crowd favourite. it is the easiest of dessert, a no bake very light cheese cake. the simplest of recipes = 200g cream cheese, 200g silken tofu, 200ml yogurt, 100ml whipped cream, 4 tbsp brown sugar (60g), 2 tbsp lime juice (30ml), & dissolved 3 tsp gelatine powder (15g) in 50ml hot water, then blend & pour over the biscuit base (made with 7 digestive biscuits (105g) & 60g melted butter). 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

盐水鸭 Dry Brined Spice Salt Marinade Duck

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭 (thigh)

i started exploring 盐水鸭 as even though my teochew braised duck was pretty ok, especially for large group buffets, i was looking for a “finer” chinese preparation for sit-down dinners. also often if i do my sous vide crispy skin canard a l’orange, i only used the breast & was left with the thighs. i also tried tea smoked duck couple of times. it was ok but the preparation was a bit elaborate & also the method i used with only 15minutes of tea-smoking offered more fragrance aroma when serving than was actually infused in the duck.

盐水鸭 spicy duck – 6.2.2015

盐水鸭 spicy duck – 6.2.2015

i googled & found 1 recipe here 🙂 = http://home.meishichina.com/recipe-33399.html

after couple of tries, i quite perfected it (the above 2 photos) & served this beautiful dish at the 22pax RI friends get-together on 6.2.2015.^^

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭 (thigh)

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭 (breast)

dry salt spice brined duck

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭 (thigh)

the preparation was really quite easy, and much rest with the dry brining marinade.

i added table salt to a non-stick pan, then added sugar, spicy sichuan chilli sauce, and cinnamon bark, anise seeds, clove, sliced ginger, bay leaves & some fennel, and fried over low fire until fragrant, and set aside.

i cut 1/2 duck & exfoliate with salt & dried. then i used a tablespoon to apply the dry brine rub all over the duck, on the skin & on the inside. i then wrapped it in cellophane & left it in the chiller for 48hrs.

when ready to cook, i took out the marinated duck let it rest to room temperature then added to boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt. i let the duck simmered for 15minutes, off fire & poached in the hot water for another 30minutes. the poaching produced a gentler more tender texture & the dry brining produced a very nice flavourful duck.

i tried these twice for my RI friends on 5.5.2014 (only duck thigh) & for my brother & sister birthday on 14.6.2014 (1/2 duck include thigh & breast). i found that (surprisingly) it was better with thigh. i think the breast was thicker & the flavour was not infused enough. anyway it was ok result for me as i can keep the breast for the western sous vide preparation & the thigh for this 盐水鸭. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 duck

dry brine marinade

  • 1 heap tbsp table salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small cinnamon bark
  • 2 anise seeds
  • 1 clove
  • 1cm sliced ginger
  • 1.5 to 2 tbsp spicy sichuan chilli
  • 1 tsp fennel

Directions:

  1. add table salt to a non-stick pan, then added sugar, spicy sichuan chilli sauce, and cinnamon bark, anise seeds, clove, sliced ginger, bay leaves & some fennel, and fry over low fire until fragrant, and set aside.
  2. cut 1/2 duck & exfoliate with salt & dried. use a tablespoon to apply the dry brine marinade rub all over the duck, on the skin on on the inside. wrap it in cellophane & left it in the chiller for 48hrs.
  3. when ready to cook, take out marinated duck let it rest to room temperature then add to boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt. let the duck simmer for 15minutes, off fire & poach in the hot water for another 30minutes. the poaching produced a gentler more tender texture & the dry brining produced a very nice flavourful duck.

Another Fabulous Degustation Dinner @ Jaan on 16Jun2014

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

had another wonderful degustation par excellence at jaan on 16.6.2014. 🙂

regretfully jaan is fully booked for the rest of the year for feed-at-raffles (FAR) discounts. looks like only mikuni & occasionally equinox & prego to  go to.

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

amuse bouche 1

the new amuse bouche of beetroot macaron, an eel mousse, (can’t remember the last) plus the rye cracker with very good hummus was good, pleasant & quite fine, though no better than previous.

amuse bouche 2

amuse bouche 2 – cepe mushroom tea

the second amuse bouche, a cepe mushroom tea, was the best soup ever, so intense & flavourful & lingering. 🙂

#1 ocean - simply delicious!

#1 ocean – simply delicious!

#1 ocean - simply delicious!

#1 ocean – simply delicious!

# the ocean seafood composition was simply delicious! every item was excellent & there were so many – langoustine, oyster (yummy!), scallop, ikura (salmon roe), eel, caviar, another prawn. i could have this again! 🙂

#1 toast

#2 toast

not quite sure what the toast do? anyway a good toast.

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#2 zucchini, tomatoes, olive, burrata

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#2 zucchini, tomatoes, olive, burrata

#2 the zucchini trumbetta was nice, pleasant, refreshing, not quite a standout among so many excellent dishes.

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico ham

#3 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo

#3 the 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo was quite a complete dining experience with the dry ice foam flowing down. the silky egg yolk added texture combination to the crispy iberico chorizo.

#4 foie gras

#4 foie gras

#4 the foie gras preparation/presentation had changed several times but texture wise quite the same. the inside was soft tender tasty. the outside though was different from the more caramelised preparation which we preferred.

monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish, white asparagus

monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish, white asparagus

#5 monk fish was pretty good – firm, bouncy. meat was slightly sweet. somehow all the monkfish i tried in singapore (& this was a better one) could not match the excellent sweet tasting monkfish ala plancha i had in barcelona’s bouqueria market & tapas restaurants. white asparagus was very good, very tasty & tender. 🙂

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 hay roasted pigeon

#6 the hay roasted pigeon was as usual, nothing less than superb. the medium rare sous vide breast was the best. i couldn’t quite decide if amsterdam beulings’ quail was better or this. 🙂

the best dinner we had at jaan though was on 20.1.2014 where we had miyazaki beef in place of pigeon. 🙂

pre-dessert grape granite

pre-dessert grape granite

the grape granite palate cleanser was refreshingly good. 🙂

#7 choconuts - taste & texture

#7 choconuts – taste & texture

#7 choconuts was supposed to offer different temperature, texture & taste. i supposed it did & its a good dessert, but i thought some of the previous choconuts editions were distinctly better.

petit fours

petit fours

the petit four were good or competent for this level of restaurant, not a standout.

well, looks like i have to try the waiting list & see my luck play out.

c.h.e.f andy

 

 

 

Oysters & Chirashi Don @ Chikuwatei on 17Jun2014

japanese oysters

japanese oysters = S$22 for 2

my daughter & jh bought dinner as return treat for my wife & i ‘lombang’ aka enjoyed collateral benefits. 🙂

they suggested chikuwatei, and now thinking back the last time i went there was 3yrs+ ago. these few days i had been thinking of going to chikuwatei again so the time was most fitting.

(P.S. subsequently i had dinner at momoya on 6.7.2014 & it was the best value sushi & sashimi bento, quality equal if not better than chikuwatei & much better value)

not sure if there was any change of ownership but the service was very much better. the lady taking charge at the front counter, showing us to the table, gave good recommendations and was not pushy. the oysters she recommended were excellent. when she was clearing the dishes at the end of the meal she tipped over my wife’s sake cup. later she came back with a full cup of sake. i guess we could have reasonably asked for that too but we did not, & did not really expect it. 🙂

chirashi don

chirashi don = S$25

chirashi don

chirashi don = S$25

teriyaki chicken

teriyaki chicken = S$10

japanese oysters

japanese oysters = S$22 for 2

we ordered 4 chirashi don for 4pax, 2 servings of oysters (4 oysters), teriyaki chicken & a 250ml house sake (S$16).

i was much looking forward for the chirashi don as i had not taken here for so long. in fact i was slightly disappointed. the helpings were just as large – 5 slices of salmon, 3 maguro, 3 kajiki, 2 hamachi & 2 tamago (egg), with a heap of ikura. rice was good, ok not the best. the salmon was not so sweet (2 of the 5 were sweeter). i thought that the salmon sashimi i had at sun with moon wheelock as a S$3 side dish for 3 pieces were better! the kajiki & maguro were also not very sweet, the hamachi was a bit sweeter. the ikura added a slightly salty, flavourful touch to the vinegared rice.

i guessed overall it was not too bad but a bit underwhelming for me & kind of below what i expected. if i were having just sashimi, the S$20 chirashi don lunch set i had recently at ginza kuroson was a lot better quality, but that was lunch. if i wanted combination then the sets at sun with moon would be more attractive than this.

must add though that the oysters were quite large & excellent, juicy, tasty with no metallic taste, very enjoyable. the teriyaki chicken was good too, though not really food i would order.

probably won’t come here too soon unless there are some other specials or promotions.

c.h.e.f andy

Quite Poor Ming Fa (明发) Bakchormee @ HollandV Food Centre on 17Jun2014

ming fa (明发) bakchormee

ming fa (明发) bakchormee

did some errands at hollandv. walking through the food centre & thought the bakchormee stall looked different. i had a good bakchormee at a commonwealth crescent fai zai eatery bakchormee here on 24.9.2013. now the stall is called ming fa (明发). i guess ming fa (明发) has acquired & franchised the stall. it used to be a middle-aged man hawking, now there were 2 women.

i tried ming fa (明发) at upper thomson road couple times recently & it was 1 of the best. the branding was the same so i decided to give it a go.

ming fa (明发) bakchormee

ming fa (明发) bakchormee

ming fa (明发) bakchormee

ming fa (明发) bakchormee

must say this was really quite poor. the meepok noodles were slightly soggy not enough qq (al dente), ingredients were less. taste was just passable but not great. the previous stall commonwealth crescent fai zai eatery bakchormee was a lot better than this, though the ming fa (明发) at upper thomson was far better. but this ming fa (明发) at hollandv is quite poor indeed!

i am not sure this thus the brand any good at all!

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: Yong Siu’s & Yong Hui’s 63 Birthday 11pax Homecooked 11-course Dinner on 14.6.2014

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Romantic Villa del Balbainello Lake Como Italy on 17Apr2014

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villa balbainello

our next visit was to villa balbainello on 17.4.2014. it is a beautiful and romantic attractions at lenno on lake como, at the tip of a small wooded peninsula with beautiful terraced gardens. it was also the filming location for star wars episode 2 – attack of the clones (2002) & casino royale (2006). 🙂

we spent the morning taking the lake shuttle from villa carlotta to varenna, had lunch at alle darsene, strolls through villa melzi & did some fast shopping at bellagio (& earlier at varenna) before picking up our car at villa carlotta jetty, and drove 30mins to villa balbainello at lenno.

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route accès to villa balbainello

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route accès to villa balbainello

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river taxi to villa balbainello

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it was possible to trek/walk to villa balbainello, but it was late afternoon, so we decided to take the private river taxi. the round trip fare including access to the gardens was euro13pax. 🙂

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we strolled around the terraced gardens overlooking the lake.

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loggia at top of the hill

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loggia at top of the hill

the loggia with the famous sunset scene, the kiss (anekin & padme) & the secret marriange. 🙂

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a charming & romantic garden setting, perched on the hill & overlooking the lake. villa carlotta was also facing the lake & had a lot more trees, flowers & plants to admire while you strolled. here at villa balbainello the space were more expansive living space & you could sit in the lawn (as in 007 recuperating in casino royale), rest on the verandah etc.

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1619497_10152329569269494_2734882906825612184_non the return journey, the river taxi took us on a short cruise further south, and we had a good view of villa balbainello & another villa further south of the lake & also lenno from the craft.

it was past 5pm when we got back to our hotel la perla. we liked the panna cotta at pizza balognett so much that we stopped by & ta pao (take-out). la perla has a sprawling scenic terrace patio overlooking the lake. we had couple of macchiatos to go with the panna cotta while enjoying the great views. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Great Lunch @ Boon Tong Kee Balestier on 13Jun2014

chinese cabbage with taupok

chinese cabbage with taupok

a good friend had a S$10 boon tong kee voucher to use & invited us for a 3pax lunch at the balestier branch. this a restaurant with 31 years history. 🙂 the stall at chinatown was started by a thian boon hua in 1979. and the very first btk restaurant opened at balestier road in 1983. 🙂

my friend wanted to book btk at 1pm (as we were all watching world cup soccer opener brazil vs croatia) but it was fully booked. we decided to go early instead at 11.45am, also there were limited kampong chicken so better to be early. 🙂

there is a huge carpark just behind balestier food centre which is adjacent to btk.

we got ourselves a table. the place was aircon-ed. it was full & a queue soon formed outside. about 3 tables were reserved for tourist busload!

chicken liver & gizzard

chicken liver & gizzard

white-cut kampong chicken

white-cut kampong chicken

HK steamed cod with wood fungus

HK steamed cod with wood fungus

chinese cabbage with taupok

chinese cabbage with taupok

HK steamed cod with wood fungus

S$30 HK steamed cod with wood fungus

my friend ordered 4 dishes.

#1 kampong chicken was very good, though my friend the connoisseur felt it was not as good as usual.  for me it was very good, smooth, sweet & not so fatty. 🙂 & the rice was very good, flavourful & not too oily. the thinly chopped ginger oil dip was excellent! 🙂

#2 the chicken liver & gizzard were ok. i am partial though to chicken  intestine which was not offered at this btk branch.

#3 the bean curd with nai bai (奶白) chinese cabbage was very good too, especially the beam curd!

#4 the hk steamed cod fish with wood fungus (木耳) was excellent, the best. 🙂

the meal came to S$84 for 3pax including 3 barley drink (S$2.20 each) before using the S$10 voucher. it was not cheap but it was really a very good meal for me.

btk is more like a zi char than just a chicken rice stall. i don’t take so much chicken rice these days but this was really good relative to many good neighbourhood chicken rice stalls like the ones i had at tanglin halt & 6th avenue. i will certainly come back both for the chicken rice & also the zi char dishes.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Kurobuta Kimchi Nabe Dinner @ Shirokiya on 11Jun2014

kurobuta kimchi nabe

kurobuta kimchi nabe

bought a groupon voucher for a japanese hotpot at shirokiya cuppage terrace branch (S$22.80 voucher for a S$38.80++ nabe) & went with my sis for a 2pax dinner on 11.6.2014. 🙂

there were 3 choices of nabe for the S$38.80 price option, 2 were chicken.  we picked the kurobuta kimchi nabe.

kurobuta kimchi nabe

kurobuta kimchi nabe

there were about 10 large slices of kurobuta belly pork (the restaurant said 160g for 2 servings), and you could add another serving (80g) for S$9++.

kurobuta was quite excellent. nabe also came with 4 mussels (ok la..), tofu, lots of vegetables & kimchi. it was a good tasty & satisfying nabe.

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

broiled kurobuta

the other menu items though did not attract me. sashimi salad at S$20.80++, sushi & sashimi were quite ex, assorted sushi maki was S$25.80++. i would rather take these at mikuni or sun with moon at wheelock.

there was a (limited order) S$17.80 grilled salmon belly that looked great but was too large for 2 of us. we considered a S$13.80++ ishiyaki kurobuta don but decided we didn’t need the carb & selected the S$10.80 broiled kurobuta. this was really good! 🙂 a very tasty, flavourful, generous helping.

both items were very good. dinner came to S$35.50 nett (S$22.80+S$12.70). i bought 2 more shirokiya vouchers when i got home. 🙂

not sure i would do this at the usual price of S$38.80++, but at 1/2 price S$22.80, it was very good value. the very good kimchi chigae at aburiya cost S$13.80 for <1/2 portion & <20% pork (& not kurobuta) by comparison. azmaya used to offer 50% discount for pork shabu shabu ala carte buffer at S$12++. currently there is only a S$17.50 pork shabu shabu set, which comes to S$35 for 2pax c/w S$22.80. so shirokiya’s groupon offer great value. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good Zi Char Dinner @ Keng Eng Kee (KEK) Restaurant & Teochew Opera on 9Jun2014

S$10 claypot liver

S$10 claypot liver

i had wanted to try keng eng kee (KEK) the last time the few of us were doing a hawker & zi char tour but had never gotten to it.

was watching a teochew classical tunes (operatic) concert at singapore concert hall at 7.30pm by ngee ann cultural centre, singapore teochew federation & nan hua opera (南华儒剧社) – program here, so decided to have early dinner at KEK on 9.6.2014.

i must say i really enjoyed the teochew opera singing. used to listen to them a lot when very young, so even though had not listen to some for decades, the songs were still familiar. 🙂

the singing was good & the ones by 孙小华 (芦林会) & 陈纬恬 (刘明珠) was outstanding, extremely emotive, moving & captivating. 陈纬恬, singaporean, is just 11 years old. she performed 小蝴蝶 in (莫愁女) in shantou, china when she was 5! this young girl is set to be a super star.

S$10 claypot liver

S$10 claypot liver

we were there at 5pm on a monday. the indoor aircon seating was fully booked, & 1/2 of the outdoor seating at the coffeeshop was also reserved with the names on the tables.

famous dishes at KEK includes claypot liver, moonlight nor fun, mingzhu rolls (明珠卷) & salted egg crab etc.

#1 i do like liver but am not particularly fond of claypot liver which is like a liver overkill. we ordered it anyhow & it turned out to be really good! the liver was not overcooked, had great wine flavours & very sweet & just the right texture. an excellent dish! 🙂

S$25 nonya song fish head

S$25 nonya song fish head

#2 we were deciding between black beans bitter gourd with sliced snakehead (生鱼) or a song fish head(松鱼头). the server recommended the fish head nonya style. it was very good, the sauce was the same as the very nice fish head at forture seafood but dryer & less curry. i would think that angkoli (red snapper) which forture used would go better than 松鱼 for this dish.

cuttlefish kang kong

cuttlefish kang kong

#3 cuttle fish kang kong was competent & tasty, the sweet sauce though was kind of overpowering.

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明珠卷 mingzhu roll

#4 the 明珠卷 mingzhu roll (6 pieces) was good too. however we did not really need this dish. the other 4 dishes were already too big for 3pax, so we tapao (take out) remaining 3 pieces.

S$5 moonlight hor fun

S$5 moonlight hor fun

#5 the moonlight dry nor fun was a good dish. it was a strange concoction combining char kuay teow with hor fun(河粉), and came with chinese sausage & also prawns & squid with thick hor fun. it was not really my favourite. i would prefer the usual hor fun or san lor hor fun (生捞河粉) to this.

keng eng kee alexandra village

keng eng kee alexandra village

S$25 nonya song fish head

S$25 nonya song fish head

there was no service or get. the bill came up to S$60 for 5 dishes for 3pax. the food would easily have served 4pax. i would rate KEK on par with kok sen & much better than two chefs. i would expect the song fish head(松鱼头) at 香港街珍记 (Hong Kong Street Chun Kee) to be better but then the menu range at the latter is small.

this definitely a eating place that i will come back again! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Squid-ink Seafood Spaghetti

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

reserved the squid-ink pouch in the freezer when i was cooking a grilled large squid. there was also a defrosted squid in the chiller & couple prawns which needed to be used before the head turned black, so decided to cook squid-ink pasta. this my first attempt. 🙂

squid-ink seafood linguine

squid-ink seafood linguine-added 24.10.2014

i used the squid-ink from 3 squids, from the large one & 2 medium ones.

squid-ink linguine with clams & squid

squid-ink linguine with clams & squid – added 24.10.2014

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

squid-ink linguine with clams & squid

squid-ink linguine with clams & squid – added 24.10.2014

as usual i browned a whole bulb of garlic cloves in olive oil over low fire, and set aside. i seasoned the prawns & squid in 1 teaspoon fish sauce & white pepper. i added 2 teaspoon butter to the pan & turned to high fire till it just began to smoke, then i added the squid & prawns & cooked to about 90%. i removed the squid & prawns & added back the garlic olive oil & added 1 chopped chilli padi and the squid ink. then i added white wine & 1 teaspoon sugar & reduced.

meanwhile i boiled some spaghetti till just before specified time (just before al dente). i added back the squid & prawns & then the spaghetti, off the fire & tossed.

it was a really good squid-ink pasta, really tasty. i would say matching in taste the squid-ink pasta at al borgo. well almost la. haha! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Hawker Food @ East Coast Lagoon Food Village then Music & Roland Garros Finals on 8.6.2014

orh luah (oyster egg)

orh luah (oyster egg)

went to a good friend’s house to watch roland garros finals between nadal & djokovic on 8.6.2014.

3 of us started with a leisurely stroll via the underpass to the recently renovated east coast lagoon food village for dinner.

we enjoyed nice music after dinner at my friend’s place with his amazing sound system & acoustics. mostly we listened to david foster, his guest artists & wonderful songs –

  1. katherine mcphee (america idol 2005 runners-up) who also sang “the prayer” with andrea bocelli;
  2. michael buble who sang the very nice song “home” co-written with his wife amy foster with country singer blake shelton,
  3. jackie evancho (america got talent 2010 runners-up), &
  4. lucia micarelli’s simply incredible moving mesmerising lingering violin instrumental with chris botti “emmanuel”.

another friend joined to watch nadal vs djokovic roland garros finals at 9pm. we are all nadal supporters though my friend’s son who joined us supports djokovic. we were not hopeful this time as nadal had lost 3 masters to almegro, ferrer & djokovic in the clay court build-up before roland garros. djokovic is deservedly on the rise & is nadal’s nemesis & tormentor as nadal had been to federer. nadal’s progress into the second week had also been tentative & less convincing than djokovic’s, and my friends & i were not convinced despite his thrashing andy murray in the semi-final.

as it turned out, nadal won again! & for the 9th times (& 5 times in a row, consecutively), something no one has ever done before. djokovic started perfectly. nadal was playing well but djokovic was 1 step ahead in everything, returning every ball & his backhand was simply lethal. nothing nadal did could hurt djokovic. nadal was simply being owned & prospects looked bleak, insurmountable. we were not hopeful. djokovic’s play however dropped towards the end of the second set which nadal won 7-5 & that proved to be the turning point. djokovic looked winded & regurgitated (like vomitting) in the 3rd set which nadal again won. in the fourth though nadal looked worrying, bending over & clutching his wrist & after 1 shot was bending over with back pain (he lost to wawrinka at the australia open finals, playing through his back pain).

there was a very unfortunate, most regrettable incident. at match point, as djokovic threw up the ball for the second serve, someone in the audience intentionally shouted & as a result djokovic double-faulted on match point. (i think with the extensive camera surveillance, the culprit(s) should be hauled up & banned for all future games). djokovic was extremely bitter (as can only be expected with the sweat & blood, hardwork & complete dedication), and applauded the audience in his usual cynical, wry, sacarstic manner (my friend did not like this trait of his but i am ok with djokovic, it is just his make-up & he is a really good sporting guy). djokovic was very gracious through the prize presentation ceremony. i actually quite like him.

a friend whatsapped me the headlines afterwards – “nadal in cloud 9”. yes indeed, nadal had resume 9 to 5 service (normal service). he won a record 9 times roland garros & 5 times consecutively, only interrupted by his second round exit by robert soderling in 2009, where he suffered tendonitis in both knees & laid-off for 2 months.

beef soup noodles

beef soup noodles

for dinner, we ordered a S$5 beef soup kuay teow mee each & a S$8 orh luah to share. 🙂

never taken this style of beef kuayteow mee before. only had the hainanese style starchy thick beehoon (which i don’t quite like), the vietnamese pho & thai thin kuay teow (i like the beef noodles at thai noodle house, even more so in bangkok siam centre or street etc, a lot more than the vietnamese), and nothing like the hong kong beef noodles, my favourite but cannot quite find in singapore, maybe noodles restaurant’s version comes just a bit close. still!

this supposedly famous leng kee beef noodles though was really nondescript. very average.

the orh luah had a long queue. it was pretty good but not special. & since i started trying out orh luah last week, i think it was no better than my own crispy orh luah & the wetter starchy version which i had not posted yet.

i also brought my tofu cheese cake & also some “sous vide” char siew, which we enjoyed before & during the match.

a most enjoyable evening!

c.h.e.f andy