Worst Meal in London @ Poppies Fish & Chip Camden on 24Aug2014

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

thought of having fish & chips since we were in london.

son went to google & found this place poppies fish & chip at camden. as we were taking a morning walk along regent canal to camden town to primrose hill, this seemed a good place to stop for lunch.

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

poppies fish & chip=cod large for GBP13.90

it was however a bad choice. 😦

poppies was evidently among the top 10 fish & chips restaurants in london (the sign said voted No.1) & had quite good reviews on trip advisor. somehow it just did not agree with me or my son.

we ordered the cod large for GBP13.90. somehow, everything was wrong with this fish & chips – “cod” fish was dry, quite tasteless, even with lots of salt & vinegar, didn’t seem fresh or bouncy, batter was thick & poor, & fries were tasteless.

and the price = GBP13.90+ was doubled those on the streets…

but whatever the price it must taste good first! so this fell squarely as our worst meal in london, worse than the street fares like duck confit sandwich & crispy pork belly sandwich & even the chorizo bun at borough market, & even the GBP3.50 gyros (& the fries that came with it) we had earlier at the camden market was many times better than this. totally surprising to me but there it is! 😦

i no fan of fish & chips but old brown shoe (now closed) fish & chips was way way better than this!

c.h.e.f andy

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Interesting Mid-Eastern Lunch @ Honey & Co on 22Aug2014

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

had a very interesting mid-eastern lunch at honey & co on 22.8.2014. 🙂

place was recommended by son. i knew little about mid-eastern food and didn’t think its the kind of food i would like much. but i googled about honey & co, and the reviews were all very good.

honey & co wareen street

honey & co wareen street

it’s a small restaurant by a husband & wife team, aarit packer and itamar srulovich. we were greeted by very friendly & cheerful staff. 🙂

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

messe for 2pax

we enjoyed a very nice GBP15.5 2-course lunch, which came with a messe appetiser dish & a choice of main course. as the main courses on the menu were like GBP14.50, it made sense to do the set. 🙂

the messe for 2pax included warm feta bread, chickpea hummus, beetroot with mint, kalamata olives & another dip with pomegranate & grilled corn on the cob. every item was very nice. i especially liked the beetroot with mint, and the pomegranate dip. the regular chickpea humus was good too. 🙂

roasted sardines

roasted sardines

braised lamb shoulder

braised lamb shoulder

braised lamb shoulder

braised lamb shoulder

we had 2 mains recommended by the server. the roast sardines was excellent, very fresh & flavourful & not liked the fishy stuff i usually associated with sardines, something i would take again. the braised lamb shoulder with cous cous was truly superb, a braised dish that was tender & very tasty & not so sinewy. just purely for comparison of a braised item, i would put this as better than the ox cheek at joel robuchon and about par with the wagyu at hkklondon.

cheese cake

cheese cake

cheese cake

cheese cake

& the GBP6.50 cheesecake with blueberries, almonds & a crispy fill like base was almost out-of-this-world. liked it a lot, so much that i had another order to take away. 🙂

love the food & the service. there was no service charge so we gave a like 15% tip. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Roast Duck (烧鸭) & Roast Pork (烧肉) in London @ Goldmine on 23Aug2014

1 whole boneless roast duck

1 whole boneless roast duck

goldmine is 1 of the favourite places my son & his friends go to for roast duck in london.

i came here once with my son 2 years back & wanted to try the place again. 🙂

the reviews were mostly good. we took the hammersmith line from king’s cross to edgeware road & changed to circle line to bayswater. goldmine was just 100m from the station & the street was lined with chinese restaurants including four seasons. i will probably try four seasons if i come again this trip, though not likely.

stepping into goldmine & seeing the 师傅 deboning the roast duck, one can see straight away that it was good. the roast pork looked amazing too. char siew looked ok. 🙂

son booked table of 5. only 2 of us were there. a son’s friend came shortly. the rule though was that only when all 5pax arrived then they would seat us. i spoke cantonese with the server & managed to get seated but they said we had to vacate by 750pm (we booked 630pm). i supposed it was fair enough under the circumstances. anyway we didn’t need to when the time arrived though restaurant continued to be quite full, but not overflowing.

watercress lie tong (例汤)

watercress lie tong (例汤)

roast pork (烧肉)

roast pork (烧肉)

char siew (叉烧)

char siew (叉烧)

hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐)

hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐)

fried kai lan

fried kai lan

i ordered 1 roast duck deboned, 1 order each of roast pork (烧肉) & char siew (叉烧), and the watercress lie tong (例汤) which son wanted. son ordered the hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐) & fried kai lan. 🙂

we were not disappointed. roast duck was very good. to me it was like hong kong standard. & 1 roast duck for GBP22 is cheaper than most restaurant prices in singapore. i thought the roast pork (烧肉) was really excellent, looked amazing & tasted incredible, so tender & the skin crisp. i can do this again. the char siew (叉烧) was quite average, not poor but no comparison with (say) imperial treasure teochew’s charcoal broiled pork collar or char siew.

son & friends loved the hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐). it was very average though, the coffeeshop zi char standard & no comparison with (say) braised tofu at a good zi char like kok seng.

overall cost for 5pax came to GBP80. for me it was an enjoyable meal & i would be happy to come back again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Cheap & Good 2-course Dinner + Drink @ Big Easy Covent Gardens on 22Aug2014

plate of mussels

wood roasted mussels (hot & spicy)

son knew his place around london. 🙂

he booked this big easy place in king’s road covent gardens & we went there for late dinner at 10.30pm after watching a play “the curious incident of the dog in night time” at gielgud theatre on 22.8.2014. 🙂

restaurant had 2 levels & was crowded almost full, looked quite happening. we sat in the basement level, nice & roomy place. & they serve this cheap & good GBP9.95 lunch (till 6pm) & late night menu. 🙂

plate of mussels

wood roasted mussels (garlic sauce)

we ordered the 2-course with free brew, slushy or wine menu.

we had the wood roasted mussels. son had garlic sauce & i had hot & spicy. mussels were good, sweet, succulent & tasty. garlic sauce was the better sauce. there were around 15+ to 20 mussels.

margarita

margarita

i tried the margarita. it was good though not my thing.  will take a red if i come again.

bbq 1/2 chicken

bbq 1/2 chicken

bbq 1/2 chicken

bbq 1/2 chicken

prawn fritters & chips (fries)

prawn fritters & chips (fries)

i had the 1/2 bbq chicken. it was done beautifully. chicken was very tender, moist & flavourful, though i am not a fan of the american styled bbq sauce flavour. i took about 1/2 the chicken, and had nothing to complain about.

son took the prawn fritters with the fries. they were large & plump, batter was light enough & all said, again very well done really.

best thing of course was the price. really i mean a walk around borough market would cost more than this & not 1/2 as good. 🙂

it was a bit of the hearty & robust type of food for me, so not something i would really do again in a short while during the same trip (also for equally robust food, my preference would be to go for roast duck & roast pork at goldmine OR at four seasons chinatown etc), but i would certainly do this my next visit to london. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Watch A Play in London=Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (on 22Aug2014)

went to watch the play “the curious incident of the dog in the night time” at geilgud theatre on shaftesbury avenue with son yesterday on 22.8.2014.

timing wise was great as we had morning walk along victoria embankment, house of parliament (big ben), westminster abbey to buckingham palace etc then late lunch 1.30pm at honey & co.

so we had some rest in the afternoon before theatre at 730pm & went for cheap GBP9.95 2-course dinner at big easy at king’s road covent garden at 10.30pm, & returned to apartment as zombies.

gielgud was home to yes prime minister & avenue q, now “the curious incident of the dog in the night time” after national theatre & apollo (where the ceiling collapse-not intended- at the ending some months back)

book by mark haddon was award winning so was the play & current christopher is played by mike noble.

usually we watch musicals (not so intellectually challenging.. haha).  the play (& book) was about a 15 yr old boy christopher with what was described as high functioning autism or savant syndrome, a mathematician with behavioural difficulties, finding the neighbour’s dog dead with a garden fork. police was called & he reacted violently when touched, was arrested then released & later found out his father’s been lying to him about his mother’s death 2 years ago after he found his mother’s unopened letters to him dated few months back in his father’s room…etc…

the synopsis did not quite excite me but i guess the acclaimed play (& book) must be quite good.

anyway the performance by christopher was quite captivating. remarkable how stage actors can memorise all these lines, there is no “NG” & reshoot on stage. he was able to portray a brilliant mind who receive constant overdose of factual & emotional stimuli & emotionally unable to relate to people etc..

production was great & innovative (with technology as well) with 3rd person narrative by christopher’s teacher as he wrote the incident & his investigations in a book & the past & present scenes were acted out as the teacher narrated the “book”…

christopher was assembling a toy train railway track on stage in real time in the midst of frantic dialogue & later the train actually moved representing his journey to london to look for his mother…

still we fell asleep during parts of the second half after a 20mins interval.

overall i quite enjoyed the play, but probably would not go out to get the book to read. not sure maybe my son have the book with him.

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Turtle Soup 7pax Lunch @ Tan Ser Seng on 20Aug2014

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

really enjoyed the turtle soup lunch @ tan ser seng today on 20.8.2014.

we all decided to go early. at 1130am, the – at lor bachok (TSS is at shop unit No.29 lor bachok, alongside geylang lor 21) was quite empty. one friend managed to park along the road right next to TSS. 🙂

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

2xS$50 turtle soup (medium)

we had 5pax taking the turtle soup. the server advised us to get 2xS$50 turtle soup (medium).

2 other friends ordered the S$13 black chicken soup & S$13 cordyceps chicken soup.

i really liked the soup. it was so flavourful, intense yet very smooth. i had turtle soup recently & fu he (OR hock hoe) turtle soup at berseh food centre on 10.8.2014. anyway tan ser seng supplied slaughtered turtles to 15 stalls including all 3 turtle soup stalls at berseh food centre. 🙂 fu he was very good too. i could not be sure, but i think tan ser seng was even better & tastier.

it was more expensive as 2xS$50 shared by 5pax=S$20pax whereas we had S$40 shared by 3 at fu he. but i felt i had more turtle meat which included all the good parts – the legs, the jelly (soft shell) & little bits of fat. overall i am very happy with this lunch.

they have this rule restricting soup refill to 1 time, but the bowl was kind of tiny for refill for a S$50 bowl. at fu he, we got a huge refill of soup. for me though, it was enough & i didn’t need so much soup even though they were wonderfully tasty. 🙂

S$13 black chicken soup

S$13 black chicken soup

S$13 cordyceps chicken soup

S$13 cordyceps chicken soup

the black chicken & cordyceps chicken looked great too. again S$13 was kind of ex, but important thing was it must be good. 🙂

S$1.30 yam rice

S$1.30 yam rice

& we all decided to order the S$1.30pax yam rice! felt like kook, but white rice also S$0.70. anyway the rice was good. 🙂

i will definitely come back here again to enjoy this yummy dish. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Decent Mixed Beef Soup (牛杂汤) @ Scotts Hwa Heng Beef Noodles B4 Ion Orchard on 19Aug2014

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤)

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤) – S$5

went to uniqlo at ion orchard B3 to buy something, so dropped by food opera at B4 to check out the stalls.

ordered a S$5 mixed beef soup (牛杂汤) w/o noodles or rice at hwa heng beef noodles.

heng hwa beef noodles

hwa heng beef noodles

heng hwa beef noodles

hwa heng beef noodles

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤)

mixed beef soup (牛杂汤) – S$5

there were just 2 or 3 slices of beef, 2 pieces of braised beef, 3 beef balls & quite several cut of stomach – decent enough portion for S$5 here i guess. the soup is the usual singapore hainanese beef noodle type soup (stall was supposed to be from 1948), which is slightly sweet & light closer to vietnamese “pho” than thai. pretty good. don’t have the robust beefy flavours & punch of HK beef noodle soup which was ok as i was not expecting it to.

my preference would still be beef noodle soup at thai noodle house, the beef brisket noodles 牛腩面 at noodles restaurant and at  Lao Jie Fang 老街坊 Mei Chin Food Court. but i am also quite happy with this for a change. 🙂

overall, pretty ok.

c.h.e.f andy

RI G20 Dinner @ Hung Kang on 18Aug2014

suckling pig

suckling pig

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.42.38 am

we had our monthly dinner 11pax at hung kang last evening on 18.8.2014.

last time i came here was the birthday whole suckling pig birthday dinner for my brother & sister in Jun2013. 🙂

menu still the same but saw some inflation from S$438 to S$468.

longevity buns

longevity buns

i liked the longevity buns though it was just tau sah. 🙂

appetizer platter - spring rolls, jellyfish, chicken, trotter jelly

#1 appetizer platter – spring rolls, jellyfish, chicken, trotter jelly

#1 appetizer platter of spring rolls, jellyfish, chicken, trotter jelly was pretty ok though presentation (look) not the best. spring roll was good. trotter jelly just average. jellyfish the usual, chicken didn’t look great but tasted fine. 🙂

fish maw soup

#2 sharkskin & fish maw soup

#2 sharkskin & fish maw soup was good very tasty! 🙂

suckling pig

#3 suckling pig

#3 suckling pig good also. though i thought that chui huay lim & even ah yat were tastier.

white cereal prawns

#4 white cereal prawns

#4 white cereal prawns. nothing much to comment, but i liked the usual cereal prawns much better.

teochew steamed pomfret

#5 teochew steamed pomfret

#5 teochew steamed pomfret was very good! not “chow chor” aka fishy taste. excellent dish. 🙂

sliced abalones with jingbai

#6 sliced beiling mushrooms with jingbai (京白)

#6 sliced beiling mushrooms with jingbai (京白) was pretty ok.

fried noodles

#7 fried noodles

#7 fried noodles was just ok.

orh nee

#8 pumpkin orh nee (金瓜芋泥)

#8 pumpkin orh nee (金瓜芋泥) was ok. but not as good as many other places though, like chui huay lim or even muliangzai liang kee.

c.h.e.f andy

Ever Satisfying Lunch @ Imperial Treasure Teochew on 17Aug2014

1/2 teochew braised duck S$28

1/2 teochew braised duck S$28

last time i came imperial treasure teochew at level 4 ngee ann city was on 1.9.2013. wa…almost a year now…

that’s the plus point about blogging. memories do not get better, but at least i can refer back. 🙂

i ordered the usual 1/2 teochew braised duck S$28, and charcoal broiled pork collar. children ordered the rest. 🙂

i think the teochew braised duck is exceedingly good, lots better than all the teochew restaurants like chui huay lim, or cheaper ones like mu liang zai liang kee. it was the usual moist, tender & very flavourful. i do a very good teochew braised duck myself. this though was somewhat different, the meat was tender but firm, not overcooked, and very flavourful. 🙂

charcoal broiled pork collar was good as always, though portion had shrunk!

虾饺

har gao (虾饺)

har gao (虾饺) always good here, thin skin, tasty filling. 🙂

har fun cheong  虾粉肠

har fun cheong (虾粉肠)

char siew fun cheong 叉烧粉肠

char siew fun cheong (叉烧粉肠)

the har fun cheong (虾粉肠) and char siew fun cheong (叉烧粉肠) were almost good HK standard, smooth skin tasty fillings. 🙂

this reminded me that the fun cheong at timhowan were also very good.

charcoal broiled pork collar

charcoal broiled pork collar

this was good – already said!

siew yoke (烧肉)

siew yoke (烧肉)

siew yoke (烧肉) was leaner & very good this time, very nicely pressed, good consistency, crispy skin & tasty. this such a standard common dish but surprisingly many other restaurants can still get it wrong.

chicken feet

chicken feet

this was ok competent.

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

this kind of too much bones & fat. taste was good but many places like royal china did a much better steamed pork ribs.

fried carrot cake

fried carrot cake

this was ok. did not leave any impression.

dried scallop egg white fried rice

dried scallop egg white fried rice

always enjoyed the fried rice here. this had less chilli & less robust flavours than the excellent spicy seafood fried rice at crystal jade lamian xiolongbao. have to put them both as my equal favourites. 🙂

the crystal jade version had inspired my own pretty good seafood fried rice. haha! 🙂

teochew fried kueh teow

teochew fried kueh teow

wife ordered the teochew char kueh teow. kueh teow was too soft but taste was pretty ok & there were quite many prawns. i am ok with this dish, not my favourite & for me neither was the one at chui huay lim.

salted egg custard bun

salted egg custard bun

this was good, better than the salted egg custard bun at royal china (with the strange mango concoction) but canton paradise might be even better than this.

total bill was S$186nett. not cheap at S$31pax nett for dim sum but a tasty enjoyable lunch with variety & quality of food to please all. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Miyazaki A5 Wagyu Dinner @ Arossa on 16Aug2014

uni (sea urchin) pasta

uni (sea urchin) pasta

see also update on my equally scrumptious dinner on 3.9.2014.

saturday & decided to go dinner last minute. didn’t really know where to go if not our usual haunts. anyhow, looked at palate restaurants, and arossa at scotts square beckoned. this the former scotts shopping centre. i had not set foot since its completion in 2011, not that i been to the former scotts much either. 🙂

arossa wine & grill is located on level 2 in scotts square. it belongs to PJ Partners group of restaurants which included sushi ichi next door & salt at ion orchard. it has a nice redbrick tavern setting. servers were well trained, and there was a young lady japanese chef. 🙂

a glass of red

a glass of red

wife ordered a glass of red (S$18, no discounts). it was good, serving size a bit small.

focaccia & walnut bread

focaccia & walnut bread

focaccia & walnut bread & olive dip

focaccia & walnut bread & olive dip

the bread were warm & good. focaccia was soft & great texture & tasty, walnut bread was nice & flavourful. the olive dip was excellent. 🙂

lobster ravioli

lobster ravioli

uni (sea urchin) pasta

uni (sea urchin) pasta

we took the server’s advise & ordered the house favourites a uni (sea urchin) pasta (S$32), & the lobster ravioli (S$28). the lobster broth was very flavourful, a good standard bisque, the ravioli was great.

though different (some would say apples & oranges) & enjoyable i don’t really find ravioli better than chinese shui jiao (水饺) which cost just a fraction. on balance i enjoyed 水饺 more – just my personal taste. 🙂

we decided to forgo the antipasti, and used the 2 pastas as appetizers since we wanted to try both pastas.

though antipasti menu was the usual ‘ordinary’ stuff, but never know. a good creative chef like they obviously have here may whipped up some new sensation. i will try the antipasti the next time.

miyazaki A5 wagyu

miyazaki A5 wagyu

for the meat, we decided to share a miyazaki A5 wagyu striploin (S$88). server recommended medium. overall we expected it to be quite good.

it was excellent! one of the best steaks i had taken, and comparable to a good one in japan. 🙂 there was sea salt on the side & we hardly touched the dip, as the meat was so very tasty & fragrant standalone with just a dab of sea salt. the best beef we had in singapore was at jaan where we were served a dry aged miyazaki wagyu, not sure if it was A5, but it was exquisite. that (serving size) was part of an exquisite degustation menu. the one at arossa was a full 180g steak. i would take a whole steak myself the next visit.

overall, the 3 fabulous dishes came to S$74++ after amex palate’s 50% for 2pax discounts. there was no discounts for the wine, so the total bill was S$92++.

the service was very professional. however the server was professional but not particularly friendly (not the jovial & relax approach). he was very hasty & rushed even though the restaurant was not busy & the body language was one of constantly wanting to move off when i asked a few questions to understand the menu more. 😦 so i guess for my personal experience on this occasion it was good but not excellent.

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. did not get the ask about the F1 (50% wagyu 50% angus) tenderloin. my preference is for striploin & sirloin anyway, but for the same pricing of S$88, can’t see myself picking F1 tenderloin to miyazaki A5 wagyu striploin. 🙂

 

Decent Breakfast @ Delifrance Jelita on 16Aug2014

S$3.60 1 for 1 feuilete (1 curry chicken pie & 1 tuna pie)

S$3.60 1 for 1 feuillete (1 curry chicken pie & 1 tuna pie)

had a decent breakfast with my daughter at deliverance @ jelita on 16.8.2014.

delifrance promotion

delifrance promotion

there is an ongoing promo till 31aug2014.

S$2.90 croissant with egg

S$2.90 scrambled egg croissant sandwich

S$7.90 for 2 lattes

S$7.90 for 2 lattes

S$3.60 1 for 1 feuilete (1 curry chicken pie & 1 tuna pie)

S$3.60 1 for 1 feuillete (1 curry chicken pie & 1 tuna pie)

we decided to have the 1 for 1 feuillete (1 curry chicken pie & 1 tuna pie) for S$3.60, a scrambled egg croissant sandwich for S$2.90, and 1 caramel latte + 1 normal latte for S$7.90 = S$17nett.

the feuillete or pies were pretty good, coffee too. the croissant was tasty. 🙂

the discounts were not much, still coffees alone can be quite ex, so it’s good we gotten some discounts. i hardly do such breakfast (or breakfast at all), anyway it was pretty ok.

c.h.e.f andy

Just Musings on Discerning, Judgmental, Empathy, Caregiving, Acceptance, Belong, Fairness

so many who love & care for robin williams are saddened & devastated by his apparent suicide. as his wife susan schneider said, “…the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings”.

i have mused, verbalised, spoken aloud in my posts under PERSPECTIVES for my own entertainment, freedom of expression (haha…yes..at least for myself, i need a forum to verbalise my own thoughts & feelings), and for continued health & sanity. lol. 🙂

i have talked about negative thoughts, negative emotions, negative energy in my blog posts – Grateful for What We Have, & Happy to Give & Receive.

DISCERNING & JUDGMENTAL

a person can be discerning w/o being judgemental? knowing but NOT judging?

NOT passing comments & NOT judging is NOT the same as NOT having a view, an opinion?

i don’t agree with you. i don’t think the same way as you. i don’t feel the same way as you. but i am not judging you. i am not saying you are wrong. and you have the right to think what you think feel what you feel even though i don’t, and don’t agree. 🙂

of course there are many situations where this doesn’t apply – like the guy is a murderer. 😦

EMPATHY

a person can be more than non judgmental  but even have empathy?

what about say in CAREGIVING for a person in distress?

i think you are wrong. i think your interpretations of the situation is wrong. i think you are mistaken, you misunderstood, you are messed up or even you are totally screwed up & have gone bonkers! BUT because you are a fellow human being, you are a friend or sometimes because i care for you & want the best for you & want you to be happy, i can empathise with you and show you my empathy & my concern & if i can, then make you happy – even if i think you are all & totally wrong & screwed up. 🙂

and of course, often any person who has a problem – unhappy, angry, distressed, depressed – is not totally wrong. maybe you disagree 10%, 50%, 90%.

& of course good counsellors & caregivers know that the first step about care & empathy is not demonstrated by emphasising on disagreements but by showing the person your support & concern & that you are there for him. the immediate need of a person in distress is never a discussion, deliberation, analysis of the subject matter, but just simply the need to be COMFORTED & to feel ACCEPTANCE. once comfort & relieve & acceptance are given, maybe the person is ready to discuss the subject matter?

i am NOT trained in caregiving, but those are my 2 cents worth anyway. haha. 🙂

ACCEPTANCE = HE IS LIKE THAT, BUT I LOVE HIM = BELONG

sometimes we meet people who to us (may not be to others) are kind of not our cup of tea. maybe we think they are nasty, loud, exasperating, ostentatious, egoistic, selfish, exploitative, in-the-face or one-upish, whatever. to us they maybe. yet often these people have their own group of close friends & people who love & treasure them & enjoy their company. basically everyone have their pluses & minuses, and if you are close to them, you see & treasure their pluses and ACCEPT their minuses. you are NOT undiscerning or uncritical of their faults and not just tolerant, but you ACCEPT them & love them with all their faults. 🙂

& i guess everyone need (most need anyway) ACCEPTANCE by people close to them. if people around them are always questioning them, critical, disagreeing & pointing out their faults, not nurturing and do not reassure them of their virtues, appreciate them for what they are, be there & shows solidarity in distress, then the person will feel he does not BELONG. those are also my views & value system on friendship, on parenting, on family.

FAIRNESS

One problem I can see with ACCEPTANCE is FAIRNESS.

there was a youtube video about capuchin monkeys & their reactions to unfair treatment. 🙂

so the monkey was perfectly fine with a piece of cucumber. but when a fellow monkey was given a grape (the preferred food of capuchin monkeys…haha), then the first monkey reacted “violently”. so it was NOT about the cucumber (or the intrinsic value of the reward or recognition) but about FAIRNESS.

so we accept a person. he is like that! he is my/our friend, even if he is nasty, loud, exasperating etc etc. and that is a good thing! 🙂 BUT if another person is NOT nasty, loud etc etc (he would have his other faults), is generous & accommodative for the most time, and he may one day or for one instance decide not to be accommodative, then people are not used to it. then he does not get ACCEPTANCE. the UNFAIRNESS arises because someone who is regularly nasty, loud, exasperating is ACCEPTED because “he is like that”, but the other person who is usually accommodative is NOT permitted to be “he is like that!”.

well, i guess life is never fair. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Very Shiok Mutton Soup @ Chai Chuan Tou 柴船头羊肉汤 on 14Aug2014

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chinese mutton soup 羊肉汤

this mutton soup stall at blk115 bukit merah view is my favourite chinese mutton soup place, which is NOT saying much as i don’t know many mutton soup stalls & i had not ate here for quite many years (the ones i had taken more recently were  the excellent kambing soup at bahrakath @ adam road hawker centre).

in fact, i can only remember 1 other very good mutton soup stall, which is the one at amoy street food centre. i think i also tried one along smith street many years back but no impression really. and talking about it now i recall another mutton soup stall at berseh food centre where i took the fu he turtle soup recently, but also not much recollections of the taste.

anyhow today, 2 friends suggested to have 羊肉汤 at bukit merah view. but some of us already planned to go tan ser seng at geylang 21 to have turtle soup. luckily 1 friend called TSS & found out that thursday is their rest day, so 2 of us decided to join the mutton soup gang instead, making up 4pax. 🙂

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chai chuan tou chinese mutton soup 柴船头羊肉汤

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chai chuan tou chinese mutton soup 柴船头羊肉汤

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chinese mutton soup 羊肉汤

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chinese mutton soup 羊肉汤

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chinese mutton soup 羊肉汤

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chinese mutton soup 羊肉汤

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chai chuan tou chinese mutton soup 柴船头羊肉汤

i was at the carpark at 1120am, the LED signboard said FULL alamak! 😦

fortunately turnover was fast & i got my parking lot almost immediately. the 2 friends who were earlier were already in the queue (about 4th in a 10+ person queue which grew), smart guys. we ordered 3 bowls of meat + tendon and for me, 1 bowl meat + tendon + stomach. i did not take rice.

wa….it was really shiok! didn’t miss 羊肉汤 until then as i relished the really tasty broth & the excellent meat, stomach, tendons with the chilli. i must have this again! 🙂

the queue continued to be 10+pax, and my friend said if you came after 1.30pm, likely everything was sold out, and no more liao!

anyhow, few of us are going to tan ser seng turtle soup next wednesday, so maybe i will come back to this later in sep.

c.h.e.f andy

 

OK Lunch @ Farinella Ristorante Pizzeria Milan on 23Apr2014

Euro16 scampi with capellini - outstanding

Euro16 scampi with capellini – outstanding

went to sforzesco castle & decided to have lunch at farinella ristorante pizzeria at piazza del castello

my daughter ordered a euro16 scampi with capellini (above photo) which was very good. i tried the angel hair pasta & it was very tasty. 🙂

Euro12 set - seafood risotto (good, tasty)

Euro12 set – seafood risotto (good, tasty)

Euro12 set - seafood risotto (good, tasty)

Euro12 set – seafood risotto (good, tasty)

Euro12 set - squid (poor)

Euro12 set – squid (poor)

Euro12 set - squid (poor)

Euro12 set – squid (poor)

they had this set lunch or quick business lunch set costing euro12 which had seafood risotto (good, tasty, not much ingredient), and squid (poor, tasted nothing) & coke.

by comparison with the scampi past, the set was just ok & to me not worth trying. might as well pay for a good nice tasty pasta.

Euro16 scampi with capellini - outstanding

Euro16 scampi with capellini – outstanding

i would certainly come back for the scampi pasta if i am around the area & maybe give some other dishes a try. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Good Lunch @ Papermoon Milan on 22Apr2014

fungi papardelle - good

fungi papardelle – good

paper moon at via bagutta was just a short walk from our duomo apartments, past piazza san babila fountain. it was also recommended by Giuseppe. well he did recommend us the excellent fresco & cimmino, so we had to try this paper moon. 🙂

clam & mussels pasta

clam & mussels pasta

veal with asparagus - ok

veal with asparagus – ok

veal with asparagus ok

veal with asparagus ok

we were early. paper moon opened at 12noon, so we went around wandering a bit window shopping etc & back at the restaurant 12pm on the dot.

lunch was good (but fresco was still better!)

the veal with asparagus was pretty ok. the clam & mussels pasta was good & creamy fungi papardelle look plain but was tasty. well almost all pasta in all the places we dined in italy were good, with little exception.

we couldn’t be eating lunch & dinner for 3 days at fresco, so i would consider this a pretty good alternative.

c.h.e.f andy

Seafood Fried Rice

#8 spicy seafood fried rice

spicy seafood fried rice

wife had appointment & children eating out this evening.

no dinner plans. found a packet of leftover rice (1 bowl maybe) in the fridge. don’t feel like doing anything else so did a fried rice in double quick time. 🙂

defrosted a packet of prawns (about 10 pieces), shelled & cut off the heads & kept for stock. defrosted a large squid, took off the red skin, dice-cut the body. i seasoned both the squid & prawns separately with little bit fish sauce & white pepper. then put a piece of butter on pan on medium high till quite hot then fried the prawns. then removed the prawns & fried the squid.

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

for the rice, i added 2 tablespoon olive oil, put on medium high heat, added 2 tablespoon garlic & 1.5 tablespoon of the sichuan spicy chilli sauce. then i added the rice & break up the crumby parts with the ladle & let the chilli coat the rice grains. immediately i pushed rice aside, cracked 2 eggs & let the white firmed a bit, then spread over the rice, and mixed for 1 minute. then added the prawns & squid & off the fire, tossed a little & put out on the serving dish. then i added the chopped spring onions. voila!

the whole process including defrosting the prawns & squid, about 15minutes. 🙂

after whatsapping the photos, both son & daughter decided to eat some before going out, so we polished off rather quickly. 🙂

#8 spicy seafood fried rice

spicy seafood fried rice

i did the same fried rice with more elaborate preparations recently during a 9pax 12-course dinner for my friends on 15.7.2014 which everyone liked it a lot. this evening’s was i think just as good.

looking at the photo of the real thing – crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice, i guess it was still kind of far off. both my children though liked it quite a lot, and they felt the rice was very good too. the rice were individual grains well coated not mushy & nice & fragrant. good wok hae! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Best Meals in Milan @ Fresco & Cimmino, Duomo Milano on 21Apr2014

vege cheese pasta was excellent

pasta alla nerano was excellent

after a very satisfying hiking & eating tour of cinque terre & monterosso & levanto, we packed up & left for milano, the last stop in our trip.

we stayed in a huge 1-bedder duomo apartments right next to duomo (“cathedral”). the agent who met us at the apartment Giuseppe (“Joseph”) recommended fresco which was just round the corner and also paper moon which we lunched at the next day.

we decided to take a stroll along the streets, walking past the many shops with famous brands at vittorio emaneule, alongside piazza del duomo & ended up at fresco & cimmino on via ugo foscolo, 4.

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.

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vege cheese pasta was excellent

pasta alla nerano was excellent

vege cheese pasta was excellent

pasta alla nerano was excellent

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.

the restaurant was nice & roomy with double volume high ceiling & a large LED screen showing advertisements & tourist stuff about the city.

it was a very good lunch.

we took the recommendation of the young server & picked pasta alla nerao, a zucchini pasta, which was excellent. it had grilled zucchini & shaved parmesan & the pasta taken with the broth or sauce was so tasty, and unlike those at levanto, it was not overly salty. i came back singapore & tried a pesto pasta, combining this dish & the pesto trofie pastai tried at il ciliegio.

so was the large grilled lobster, very tasty & great bbq flavour.

excellent seafood salad (euro 15 can feed 4pax),

excellent seafood salad (euro 15 can feed 4pax),

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo

pasta & tagliata di manzo

pasta & tagliata di manzo

very good rigatoni

very good rigatoni

after lunch we did a stroll through galleria vittorio emaneule II & some shopping, took some photos of leonardo da vinci staring down at the piazza della scala & took a walk to the brera, which was just beyond the duomo and la scala, it was supposed to be an area full of fabulous art galleries, fun shops, excellent restaurants and small B&Bs. & along via fiori chiari, a cobblestone street, with  lined with boutiques, restaurants and antique shops. on this day though most shops seemed closed. we had some gelato & drinks at one stall.

in the evening we decided instead of travelling around looking for places to dine, to just walk back to fresco, which was like just 200m from our apartment.

and was rewarded with another excellent meal.

we had an excellent seafood salad. just euro 15, a large helping of mussels, clams, prawns & squid enough to feed 4pax, even larger helping than the frutti di mare seafood salad at levanto, we also had a very good rigatoni pasta & tagliata di manzo. excellent meal, i really enjoyed this. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

OK Japanese Food @ Miz Japanese Restaurant on 11Aug2014

S$20 beef sukiyaki

S$20 beef sukiyaki

i was somewhat hasty when i bought 2 groupons S$28 for S$60 for miz japanese restaurant.  i got a bit apprehensive after reading the largely negative reviews on hungrygowhere. the reviews on openrice & trip advisor though were pretty ok.

i recce on miz the day we went to praelum wine bistro at duxton hill on 1.8.2014. the place did not look so impressive.

anyhow my 2 groupons expire on 12.8.2014 so no option but to go today, on 11.8.2014.

sashimi moriawase

S$30 sashimi moriawase

as it turned out the food was really quite good. 🙂

the S$30 sashimi moriawase included 5 cuts of hotate (scallops), shake (salmon), maguro (tuna), hamachi (yellow tail) & kajiki(sword fish). all including hotatet were very fresh, certainly if you c/w say the quite poor kajiki & sashimi i had at olive restaurant on 15.1.2014. S$30 for a lot of quantity may not quite match sun with moon’s superb sashimi moriawase at S$29.80, but at <s$15, there’s=”” nothing=”” to be=”” said. it’s like=”” cheaper=”” than=”” buying=”” from=”” taka=”” or=”” <span=”” class=”hiddenSpellError” pre=”or ” data-mce-bogus=”1″>meidi-ya at liang court. 🙂

we wanted to change our S$14 kaki furai order to the S$16 salmon belly after seeing our neighbour ordering the very fresh & tempting sashimi, but the proprietress mariko-san asked the kitchen & they had already started preparation, so we forgo that as we already hit the S$120 voucher value.

ebi tempura

S$18 ebi tempura

the S$18 ebi tempura had 6 prawns & the batter was good, crispy & light, a very competent to good tempura. 🙂

unagi kebabyaki

S$18 unagi shirayaki

we ordered the unagi kebayaki – i think it was 1 of their signature dish. it was ok edible but to me not a unagi kebayaki dish at all, so i would not recommend this dish at all. when i saw the bill, i realised that they took the wrong order & it was shira yaki, so it was my fault. when in doubt, query!

kaki fry

S$14 kaki furai

another signature dish was oyster dynamite – 3 oysters for S$18. sounded expensive to me & not sure how the dynamite sauce & cheese turned out. so i opted for the usual kaki furai – 5 oysters fritters for S$14. this was good ok, not the standard of zen japanese cuisine ones we had recently on 21.7.2014, but ok.

total bill after discounts = S$65.25nett

total bill after discounts = S$65.25nett

S$20 beef sukiyaki

S$20 beef sukiyaki

we had ika teriyaki whole squid grilled (forgot to take photo). wouldn’t say it’s poor. jut so-so & not worth ordering as you could order other items like salmon belly etc.

the S$20 beef sukiyaki was ok, competent. S$20 would be expensive but <$10 after discount was pretty much ok. 🙂

our bill came to S$129.25 include 10% service & no GST. so since i paid S$56 for 2xS$60 groupons, i topped up S$9.25 & the meal for 3pax was S$65.25. that would be like S$18++pax & i think more than fair.

i chatted with mariko-san the proprietress. she was a busy, somewhat harried, competent lady, and in no way rude or unfriendly.  i asked her which days were best to come for sashimi. she said tuesday & friday at first but then added that they had fresh sashimi every day as everything was sold. i quite believe her.

not sure if i would come this joint for ala carte if fully priced w/o groupon discounts, but they also have sets, bentos & lunch promotions etc, so i may explore a little more.

c.h.e.f andy

Fu He Turtle Soup @ Berseh Food Centre on 10Aug2014

turtle soup

turtle soup

son wanted to take turtle soup, and that after gobbling up my experimental salted egg curry leaves prawn spaghetti.

this was our favourite turtle soup place, but we had not taken this for a while now. anyhow we went to brightshill to pay respects to ancestors, then proceeded to berseh food centre. it was about 1.45pm on a sunday on 10.8.2014.

jalan berseh turtle soup

jalan berseh fu he turtle soup

turtle soup

turtle soup

turtle soup

turtle soup

turtle soup

turtle soup

turtle soup

turtle soup

jalan berseh turtle soup

jalan berseh fu he turtle soup

we ordered a S$40 pot. it seemed a lot more expensive than the last time which must be several years ago. we used to take like S$25 or a big portion (supposed whole turtle) at S$30. but now they said we don’t get the cartilage if we ordered S$35, so S$40 it was.

it was really good though! 🙂

the soup was heavenly, very sweet & flavourful. and it came with a lot of meat. i liked both the meat pieces like the leg with skin & meat & muscles, and also the plentiful pieces of soft cartilage. real yummy! 🙂

and of course they refilled quite a big portion of the piping hot soup. 🙂

the herbal soup came with lots of cordyceps & i think “huai san”? i remembered in the very early days, i always thought cordyceps (冬虫夏草) were worms that lived through winter & died in summer & became a plant. much later i learned that actually it was a parasitic plant that consumed the worm as it grew.

it was a wonderful dish after not having it for so long. the famous S$2 sungei road laksa was just round the corner so we decided to walk there & take the laksa as well. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy