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Spicy Sichuan Poached Chicken 口水鸡

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

decided to try 口水鸡, the sichuan spicy poached chicken. 🙂

we had 口水鸡 many times at crystal jade lamian xianglongbao. 🙂

poached kampong chicken

poached kampong chicken

i can do a very good poached chicken, so like many dishes, getting the spicy sauce right is the key.

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

口水鸡 sichuan spicy poached chicken

saliva chicken (口水鸡)

crystal jade version of saliva chicken (口水鸡)

i decided to use a modified 蒜泥白肉 sauce recipe, as it was a dish i served several times & everyone liked. 🙂

i did without all the additional stuff like cinnamon bark, clove, anise seeds, cumin, and just added chicken stock, sliced ginger, chopped shallots, chopped garlic, brown sugar & sichuan spicy chilli oil, looks something like this-

  • 1 cup stock (chicken stock or from the pork)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce (80ml)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cm sliced ginger
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 chopped shallots
  • 2 tbsp sichuan spicy chilli oil

the sauce was delicious, mildly sweet & delivering the spicy punch.

comparing with crystal jade version (above photo), it looked just as potent but actually not as 麻辣 as crystal jade version which is itself not very 麻辣. guess i missed the toasted sesame part (i did have coriander for garnishing though not in the photos).

though some like me will take it even spicier, the current preparation is easier on the palate for most. & many friends had enjoyed the 蒜泥白肉 in no small part because of the sauce. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

OK Lunch @ Paradise Dynasty on 29Sep2014

crystal pork (镇江淆肉)

crystal pork (镇江淆肉)

a friend bought lunch at paradise dynasty at level 4 ion orchard today on 29.9.2014. 🙂

they do not take reservations so we arranged to go early at 11.45am to avoid, traffic, carpark issues & avoid queue.

spicy dumplings (抄手)

spicy dumplings (抄手)

we had 2 appetisers.

crystal pork (镇江淆肉) was competent, nothing special.

spicy dumplings (抄手) was good, guess no better than crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao.

belly pork ramen

belly pork lamian

the belly pork lamian was good! the soup was very tasty & smooth, the braised belly pork was excellent & the egg, noodles etc were all good. this was as good as a good japanese chashumen. 🙂

poached sliced beef

poached sliced beef

we tried a poached sliced beef. it was pretty good, the usual tenderised beef. 🙂

paradise dynasty level 4 ion orchard

paradise dynasty level 4 ion orchard

ambience was good & there was a good lunch crowd though not full & there was no queue when we left about 130pm.

pumpkin dessert

pumpkin dessert

my friend ordered a pumpkin dessert. it was non-descript. i guess a “healthy” dessert.

there was a discount on some menu items under PGR (paradise gourmet rewards) + 30% rebates on non-discounted items. i think lunch came to about $50nett & there was a S$4.50 rebate. ok & doable lunch though nothing special. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

King Prawn Noodles (黄焖大虾面) (Part 2)

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

did an almost perfect king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面) today on 28.9.2014, on the third try (top photo). 🙂

tunglok lobster ramen - 龙虾焖拉面

tunglok lobster ramen – 龙虾焖拉面

wife actually said it was better than tunglok’s lobster ramen – 龙虾焖拉面 (above photo).  & the dry wok king prawns better than lobster. i think so also – almost there. sauce was very tasty with no sugar added.

i was very impressed with tunglok’s lobster ramen – 龙虾焖拉面 actually…the 黄焖 golden bisque was always very tasty, smooth & flavourful. it was very similar to & tasty like a good crab roe sharkskin soup. lobster was very good too. for purpose of recreating a dish, lobster is lobster, steamed, grilled or pan-grilled it is not hard to reproduce, so mainly it’s about how to recreate the 黄焖 slight starchy golden bisque.

i tested with egg yoke, mirin, sake, sugar, chicken stock, cornflour, fish sauce. 🙂

braised prawn noodles (黄焖虾面)

braised prawn noodles (黄焖虾面)

braised prawn noodles (黄焖虾面)

braised prawn noodles (黄焖虾面)

my first attempt used small grass prawns & vegetable stock (above 2 photos), whatever was readily available. i had slightly too much starch. i added fish sauce as i thought light soy sauce & oyster sauce might darken the golden colour of sauce.  anyway the sauce was tasty & my daughter liked it, but i could taste the starch – a negative point.

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

last evening i used the king prawns my wife bought from chinatown. these were very large prawns – 7 prawns/kg so like 140g per prawn. i fried cut chilli padi, ginger strips, & garlic in butter on high heat & added the king prawns & did the dry wok prawn method. it turned out beautifully, with perfect char-grilled flavours & texture. it is true that sometimes giant prawns taste even better than lobster. & they cost a lot less when comparing meat to shell ratio.

i did not have stock so i added sugar & more mirin. also i reduced the flour & added 2 egg yokes. the sauce was still ok tasty. my wife felt that the sweetness was artificial, which i agreed too. also 2 egg yokes did not work well as they separated from the mixture during cooking & did not blend fully. 😦

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

king prawn noodles (黄焖大虾面)

for lunch today, i had chicken stock, added 1 egg yoke & added light soy sauce & oyster sauce, & yuzu salad sauce & could still produce the golden sauce, this time a really, really tasty bisque. excellent! prawns were perfect as before. 🙂

it was important to record the recipe, as there was a bit of experimentation & varying amount of condiments used. that was the reason i blog anyway, as often i have to refer to my own recipes. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 600g king prawns (i had 4 large prawns 560g, but 300g small grass prawns should do also)
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 egg yoke
  • 2 tbsp cooking sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (& add sea salt if required to taste)
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp yuzu salad sauce
  • 1.5tsp cornflour
  • 1 chopped chilli padi
  • 1.5cm ginger (julienned)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic

Directions:

  1. cooke prawn –  season de-veined prawns (keep in shell) with fish sauce & white pepper.  fry cut chilli padi, ginger strips, & garlic in butter on high heat. add king prawns & chargrilled using the dry wok prawn method to get perfect char-grilled flavours & texture. set aside the cooked prawns.
  2. make sauce – add 1 egg yoke, mirin, sake, chicken stock, fish sauce, oyster sauce, cornflour in a mixing bowl & mix thoroughly. fry cut chilli padi, ginger strips, & garlic in olive oil. add the mixture on low fire to boiling. taste the bisque & add salt to taste.
  3. cooke noodles – cook noodles (i used white jade 白玉 noodles which had a bit of ramen texture)to just below al dente & pour into a sieve or colander & add ice & cold water to stop the cooking.
  4. now put together the dish!

S$4 Meepok Tar @ 6th Ave Jalan Tua Kong on 27Sep2014

6th ave jln tua kong meepok tar

6th ave jln tua kong meepok tar

went with wife to 6th avenue jalan tua kong to eat meepok tar.

the stall was back after renovation of good good coffeeshop some months back. to me, it was as good as before, nothing changed. i had it in july and enjoyed as much.

6th ave jln tua kong meepok tar

6th ave jln tua kong meepok tar

now, got high tech, so we have a light buzzle when noodles were ready. not bad!

6th ave jln tua kong meepok tar

6th ave jln tua kong meepok tar

to me, there are 2 things special about this style of meepok tar. 1 is the very spicy chilli, really shiok! the other is the sliced pork & prawn. here everything is done quite perfectly – noodle was qq, chilli potent, fish balls bouncy & lots of minced pork (in the very tasty soup too) & also a few pieces of lar pok (crispy lard)…..just compared that with the mediocre amigo bakchormee we had at changi village food centre,

c.h.e.f andy

Mediocre S$15.90 Set Lunch @ Amirah’s Grill on 26Sep2014

hibiscus drink

hibiscus drink

a RI friend organised a 6pax lunch at amirah’s grill at bussorah street on 26.9.2014. 🙂

parking was horrendous at 1pm on a friday. 😦 after turning a few rounds, and finding no space at the roadside parking & the 3 open carparks and lots of traffic on the small roads, i got over to park at sultan plaza. anyway it was just a short walk. i was 10minutes late as in my whatsapp message. my 5 friends were already at the table. this happened a bit more often lately, i must not make this a habit, parking or traffic aside. 🙂

the recent reviews  (2014) on tripadvisor of this place were quite bad. the reviews on openrice & hungrygowhere were equally bad but more dated (2013).

i checked the website & they had this S$15.90 lunch set so i called & confirmed the lunch sets were still available & that it was 2-course + drink.  you need to ask for the set lunch menu though. we were not given until we asked specifically.

for the drinks, 2 friends had coffee, 2 including me had the hibiscus drink. it tasted like a rose syrup with nice mint, sweet but not overly, it was quite ok for me. 2 other friends probably had tea. i couldn’t quite recall.

chicken soup

chicken soup

the soup of the day was a chicken soup. it was better than a canned soup – i guess very few served canned soup these days. basically a minestrone with chicken stock, mediocre but a pretty ok soup actually.

chicken kebab with rice

chicken kebab with rice

there was a choice of mains. i picked chicken kebab with rice. chicken was tender & had grilled flavours but otherwise not much taste. the sauce added nothing to the taste. the vegetables – cauliflowers, carrots etc were just boiled vege. rice? not much taste.

beef kofta with rice

lamb  kofta with rice

the lamb  kofta with rice seemed quite ok too. basically a minced lamb kebab? they were often served in indian buffets, not really my kind of dish, but perhaps if done well with herbs, it could still be better than the chicken?

vegetarian wrap

vegetarian wrap

a friend who is vegetarian took a vege wrap with fries.

at S$15.90 which came to about S$18+, i guessed nothing much to complain about, and food was actually a bit more than passable.

the 6 of us were the solitary patrons. f&b is really a struggle in singapore with so much competition.  if i were to use the criteria we recently talked much about – worthwhile cholesterol & worthwhile calories, then this lunch didn’t really fall into the category. so far for indian food, the best i had was the S$19++ weekday lunch buffet at yantra at tanglin mall, though it is a bit more expensive. but i guess many restaurants in serangoon would serve cheaper & tastier food than amirah’s grill. i don’t know much about middle-eastern restaurants so cannot really make comparisons. i did have a most memorable middle eastern lunch at honey & co london with my son during my recent trip.

we had great fun. i really enjoyed these lunches & dinners with old RI friends. ambience was fine. we had the whole place to ourselves & we stayed & chatted for quite long after makan. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Suckling Pig Set @ Summer Garden SAFRA Mt Faber on 24Sep2014

#1 suckling pig

#1 suckling pig

a friend organised the sep2014 G20 12pax dinner at summer garden SAFRA Mt Faber on 24.9.2014. summer garden is part of qian xi group of restaurants.

the restaurant was empty save our table + 1 other table, like 10% occupied. it’s a waste really as the food was good & service ok.

the friend ordered the S$398 10pax suckling pig set. guess it was upsized to 12pax & we paid for 12pax, though some dishes like suckling pig was same size whether 10pax or 12pax.

#1 suckling pig was good! not better than hung kang or chui huay lim, but it was good, crispy skin, tasty. one friend commented no strong taste, not that i would mind a good porky flavour. 🙂

dried scallop crab meat sharksfin

#2 dried scallop crab meat sharksfin

#2 dried scallop crab meat sharkskin had good tasty stock & chokeful of ingredients. couldn’t say it was better than hung kang (which sharkskin fish maw soup was very tasty), but it was very good.

roast chicken

#3 roast chicken

#3 roast chicken was one of the best – very crispy skin & nice tender meat, tasty with the five-spice salt. as good as roland & better than yuanxing.

deep-fried soon hock

#4 deep-fried soon hock

#4 deep-fried soon hock good, very competent, as in most restaurants. wonder if it was 10pax would it be still 2 fishes. soon hock tended to be quite standard 600g size so not sure for 10pax they could find 1 larger soon hock or same 2 fishes.

wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

#5 wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

#5 wok grilled king prawns (13/15)

#5 the wok grilled king prawns (13/15) was good. king prawns were large, 13 to 15 pieces per kg so 70g to 80g per prawn.  i would consider this better than the white cereal prawns at hung kang.

flower mushrooms, fish maw, sliced abalone, spinach

#6 flower mushrooms, fish maw, sliced abalone, spinach

#6 the abalone dish came with lots of ingredients – flower mushrooms, fish maw, sliced abalone, spinach. this dish would be superior to hung kang which had a bailing mushroom dish.

seafood heng hwa beehoon

#7 seafood heng hwa beehoon

#7 and my bowl of seafood heng hwa beehoon really chokeful of prawn, squid etc not sure if the rest got the same.

the beehoon was not tasty enough though, and did not have clams so not quite qualified as heng hwa beehoon?? perhaps the sauce was not mixed thoroughly, but the authentic heng hwa beehoon a friend cooked recently at his house was tastier than this one.

bird's nest

#8 bird’s nest

bird's nest

#8 bird’s nest

#8 bird’s nest with rock sugar was very good, not too sweet. i liked it, surprised me actually!

S$398++ suckling pig 10pax promotion menu

S$398++ suckling pig 10pax promotion menu

for me, the S$398++ suckling pig 10pax promotion menu was quite a good deal. i am likely to go back for a family dinner. 🙂

price wise it was cheaper than hung kang’s S$468++ “birthday” suckling pig menu. hung kang had the more expensive pomfret, but depending on taste, some may prefer the soon hock.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Lovely Lunch & Dinner @ Fresco & Cimmino on 30Aug2014

€12 spaghetti alla nerano (zucchini & parmesan)

€12 spaghetti alla nerano (zucchini & parmesan)

we took the 56mins morning train from stresa to milan on 30.8.2014, costing just €16.50 for 2pax, arriving at milano central at 10.35am, then took the metro yellow line 4 stops to duomo & checked in duomo apart hotel. 🙂

i had very good meals at fresco & cimmino last time on 21.4.2014. it was just a short walk away, so we went there for lunch.

€14 frutti di mare seafood salad

€14 frutti di mare seafood salad

€14 frutti di mare seafood salad

€14 frutti di mare seafood salad

the frutti di mare seafood salad was a very generous serving & excellent just like last time.

€12 spaghetti alla nerano (zucchini & parmesan)

€12 spaghetti alla nerano (zucchini & parmesan)

my version of spaghetti alls nerano with squid

my version of spaghetti alla nerano with squid

the spaghetti alla nerano (spaghetti with zucchini & parmesan), a popular serrento dish, was good as before, very flavourful from the parmesan cheese & zucchini with a great sauce.

i tried to reproduce this but was not quite successful – my version looked ok tasted good too but was far from the flavours i was trying to reproduce, so not quite spaghetti alla nerano.

€18 tagliata di manzo

€18 tagliata di manzo

€18 tagliata di manzo

€18 tagliata di manzo

the tagliata di manzo was great as always. 🙂

fresco & cimmino milan

fresco & cimmino milan

fresco & cimmino milan

fresco & cimmino milan

we went back again for dinner – boring people.

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€26 grilled whole lobster

€26 grilled whole lobster

€26 grilled whole lobster

€26 grilled whole lobster

we went back to fresco again for dinner on 30.8.2014.

the grilled lobster here was very good. at €26, price wise it was no different form london’s £20 lobster at burger & lobster. and it was just as good, only w/o the fries. 🙂

my son wanted to try the swordfish tube pasta which did not turn too great. it was kind of expected – the swordfish came in like a ragout sauce which was not my favourite.

c.h.e.f andy

Nasi Lemak Truly Sucks @ Changi Village Food Centre on 21Sep2014

top drinks & dessert

top drinks & dessert

we biked 35km from east coast lagoon to changi village food centre & back early morning on 21.9.2014.

so wanted to try out the hawker food at changi village food centre. turned out to be a huge disappointment.

amigo bakchomee

amigo bakchomee

amigo bakchomee

amigo bakchormee

my wife went first to get her food & came back with bakchormee some 15mins later. she bought from the stall with the longest queue “amigo”.

this amigo bakchormee was really mediocre, which really meant it was quite poor by comparison, far below the standard of 6th avenue jalan tua kong, lau lim @ bedok simpang, ming fa @ upper thomson etc. even the other stall sunny meepok tar at 6th avenue was better. the noodles were not QQ, and the chilli & flavours were what can i say, mediocre! 😦

sri sujana nasi lemak

sri sujana nasi lemak

sri sujana nasi lemak

sri sujana nasi lemak

sri sujana nasi lemak

sri sujana nasi lemak

sri sujana nasi lemak

sri sujana nasi lemak

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mizzy corner nasi lemak

there were 4 nasi lemak stalls. i decided not to queue at “mizzy corner” the one with longest queue. but my short queue (i was the 4th in the queue) at malay stall sri sujana turned out quite long as 2 before were buying 4packets & 5packets. the man was very naggy at every customer. service was poor & not cheerful. 😦

that would be ok if food was ok, but it was not! rice was poor and did not have the fragrant coconut flavours. & sambal chilli the most important ingredient was outright bad & odd tasting. it was salty & like having tau jeoh??? not sure can call it sambal?? to me rice & chilli were like the backbone of good nasi lemak, & both failed completely. 😦

otah was bad, the chicken was quite ok to good, the ikan kuning was ok. this was really poor c/w both stalls no.1 & no.2 nasi lemak at adam road food centre.

i will never eat from this stall again.

ice kacang

ice kacang

soursop ice

soursop ice

top drink & dessert

top drink & dessert

the only thing good was the ice kacang & soursop from top drink & dessert, & it was very good, so luckily i had that, otherwise the whole experience would have been a complete let down, very sian!

not sure if we would eat anything the next time we cycle here, probably just have ice kacang & soursop.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Good Hong Kong Food @ Canton Paradise Star Vista on 21Sep2014

roast duck

1/2 roast duck

had an early 5pax family dinner @ canton paradise on 21.9.2014.  last time we came was also early dinner on 22.2.2014.

it is first come first serve so we went at 5.45pm to avoid long queue. 🙂

it’s hk food. the hk roast duck looked particularly inviting & we decided to order 1/2duck at S$25. it was very good, genuinely hk standard. can’t say it was better than the roast duck at noodles restaurant @ centrepoint, but i would order this again anytime. 🙂

we ordered another roast 2-combo (烧腊双拼) of roast pork & char siew (did not take photos). it was competent but the char siew was not comparable with the excellent charcoal broiled pork neck & also the char siew at imperial treasure teochew ngee an city.

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

tastebuds had not changed since our feb2014 visit. my daughter still likes this crispy char siew pao best & i still preferred the crispy char siew pao @ timhowan toa payoh. for me though, both were not of the standard of timhowan @ shamshuipo hk.

canton paradise @ star vista

canton paradise @ star vista

hat gao

har gao

har gao was good, the skin tore when i picked up one, but the prawns filling was excellent-fresh, bouncy, sweet. 🙂

har fun cheong

charsiew fun cheong

charsiew fun cheong on this occasion was very poor, totally sub-par..the charsiew was not tasty enough & the cheong fun (肠粉) was thick & not smooth. this was the worse dish for me! 😦

we also had a xianglongbao. on this occasion the skin was a bit thick & the soup inside was not as sweet, so a poor second to crystal jade la mian xiaolongbao! 😦

porridge 3-combo=beef, pork live, kidney

porridge 3-combo=beef, pork liver, kidney

plain hk noodles

plain hk noodles

i did not try the noodles but it looked good & no different from hk standard & the children liked it too.

we ordered the porridge 3-combo=beef, pork liver, kidney. the porridge was excellent – velvety smooth & tasted great. the beef, pork liver, kidney were all great! i could come here just for porridge & roast duck. 🙂

salted egg bun

salted egg bun

salted egg bun

salted egg buns (流沙包)

daughter thought salted egg buns (流沙包) here was best. it was very good! for me, the 咸蛋流沙包 at imperial treasure teochew at ngee ann city was just as good. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Cheap & Authentic Italian @ la Botte Stresa on 29Aug2014

€9 funghi pasta

€9 funghi pasta

we went to villa taranto & mottarone cable car on the second day, and decided to go to la botte (which was like 50m from hotel elena) for dinner. we got our hotel to book 2pax table for us on 29.8.2014 7pm.

we were there at 6.55pm. there was a queue about 10pax including us. the others did not have reservations. the restaurant was filled up quickly.

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 cold meat platter (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese

€9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese

we ordered the €9 cold meat platter (goose, wild boar, deer, beef) & the €9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese.

the cold meat platter was a monstrous serving. the meats were good but it’s something i would like just 2 or 3 slices so it was not a good idea for 2pax unless you did not want to try other starters. also it killed the tastebuds for other more subtle dishes like the fungi pasta. it was very generous for €9 & would be great for like 4pax.

the beef carpaccio did not look great but the taste was excellent with the truffle scented melted cheese. it was better than the usual more classy looking ones with rockets & extra virgin olive oil & balsamic. 🙂

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

the €9 creamy fungi pasta was good, but i felt the cold meat platter aftertaste killed off my appreciation of this more subtle dish.

the tagliata di manzi was kind of ordinary but good for €15, and so much arugula. we had to cancel 1 order of lamb ravioli as we had too much food already & would not really enjoyed it.

my son was also eyeing the guy next to us who was having nice grilled lamb chops. certainly there were several items on the menu we would be happy to come again to try. for me personally it was important to bypass the cold meat next time & enjoy some of the other great dishes here.

the service was indifferent to impatient, not outright rude but they didn’t really need us…it’s no different from any nazi chefs in Singapore where people go just to have the food, in fact probably slightly better. 🙂 the table wine was undrinkable, better to pay for better wine or just pay for bottled water.

the dinner cost about €50 including a 500ml carafe of table wine.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Dinner @ il Vicoletto Stresa on 28Aug2014

seafood tagliatelle

seafood tagliatelle

leaving london for milan, my son booked a 5am cab to london gatwick south terminal. it took 1hr 10mins even w/o traffic, so we had to rush a bit to catch our flight departing at 6.55am. we scanned the boarding pass on our phones which got us through the entry gates smoothly but the security was quite thorough. flight time was 2 hrs and milan was 1 hr ahead so we arrived at malpensa terminal 2 at 10am. we were booked on the alibus departure to stresa at 1130am & arrived 1230pm at chiesa at piazza marconi stresa, which was a very short walk to our hotel elena, very conveniently located at a square with restaurants & shops.

ristaronte il vicoletti stresa

ristaronte il vicoletto stresa

we asked the hotel to recommend some eating places, and decided to take their recommendations to try out il vicoletto on 28.8.2014. we were early at 7pm & was able to get a seat. it was full & turning away customers 1/2hr later.

bread basket

bread basket

we had a bread basket which was quite ok.

very good extra virgin olive oil & balsamic

very good extra virgin olive oil & balsamic

the balsamic & extra vurgin olive oil superb. wine was good too. 🙂

octopus salad

octopus salad

we ordered an octopus salad to share. the overall dish was quite ok except that the octopus cannot c/w the very nice grilled octopus at alle darsene in bellagio at lake como.

seafood tagliatelle

seafood tagliatelle

we ordered a seafood tagliatelle to share. it was excellent, nice creamy pasta with fresh mussels & prawns.

braised lamb shoulder

braised lamb shoulder

very tasty braised lamb shoulder though not as good as the braised lamb shoulder at honey & co.

stewed monkfish

stewed monkfish

pretty looking stewed monkfish – nice sauce, fish was bouncy but texture a bit tough, a bit like the texture of swordfish steak.

overall it was a good & enjoyable dinner. we were seated outside (our own choice as we were early & could have seated inside) & getting quite a bit of mosquito bites that went through the jeans & socks so we had to quit the place soon after finishing our food & wine.

vicoletto is a good standard restaurant & not too expensive (our dinner about €71) & sure looked like one of the better places to have dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Kueh Chap Homecooked Lunch for 10pax Friends on 17Sep2014

braised belly pork, pig ears & ter tau bak

braised belly pork, pig ears & ter tau bak

i have been applying the pot roast method using a crockpot (slow cooker) to produce very tender & moist & more gentle slow-braised meats. 🙂

i tried it very successfully on 蒜泥白肉, spicy garlic pork, and i used it once also to make a good braised belly pork, pig ears & ter tau bak (猪头肉).

for this 10pax lunch for my friends on 17.9.2014, i added braised pork trotters & also kampong chicken.

the gentle braising started with a cold crockpot on low & took about 4-5hrs to produce the very tender & still firm texture (“kar kar”) which i prefer over the more overcooked soft texture. i was able to reproduce the same tasty braising sauce. see the detail steps in the recipe here.

tau kua, tau pok, lor nerng

tau kua, tau pok, lor nerng

i used the braising sauce for the tau kua & lor nerng (braised egg) to infuse the flavours. i cheated for the tau pok & added water to dilute the braise as tau pok absorbs too much & i won’t have any sauce left for the “kueh chap”. 🙂

big intestines

big intestines

ter kar (pork trotters)

ter kar (pork trotters)

i braised the ter kar (pork trotters) separately by the same method, and took out some braising sauce to do the big intestines separately.

the big intestines from sheng shiong were already cleaned but i could not take the risk so i washed them thoroughly then rubbed with flour and salt & turned inside out. of course all the meats were scalded with boiling water to remove the scums before braising.

getting feedback from the friends –

  1. they all felt the dishes (belly pork, ear, pig head meat & trotter) were all quite ok comparable with good hawkers, both taste & texture.
  2. one mentioned that the intestines were good w/o the odour (even though it was still a strong tasting dish) and good texture.
  3. another didn’t think the intestine was as good as these were the thicker-walled tua terng tau (大肠头) whereas usually the ones outside were the thinner walled type. it’s just that on this day sheng shiong did not have the thinner walled type. 😦
  4. & of course they all noted as i did that i added the braising sauce to the trotters & big intestines but forgot to add to the 2 large plates of belly pork/ear/pig head meat & tua kua/tau pok/lor nerng. that would have enhanced the flavours. the braising sauce were used up after diluting for the “kueh chap” which i used hor fun to substitute as i could not get the flat sheet kueh chap. one thought the kueh chap sauce was a bit sweet though it was ok for me.
  5. one friend missed the “crunchy” birth intestines (生肠) i made last time. this time round sheng shiong did not have 生肠 so bought large intestines instead. not quite the same i guess. 🙂
  6. & i thought my pig trotters was almost the standard of 幸福潮州小食 pig trotter at whampoa, and much better than the han jia bakuteh pig trotters at east coast lagoon food village.
poached kampong chicken

poached kampong chicken

i was confident of my poached kampong chicken, which was tender, moist & sweet.

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

excellent crackling belly pork (shio bak)

a friend brought 1kg of shi0 bak (roast belly pork). it was really good. just look at the crackling skin + the really nice meat layers colour. texture & taste was excellent. this motivated me to want to try again to do this difficult roast pork dish. 🙂

garlic brocoli

garlic brocoli

my helper did a garlic broccoli everyone liked it!

the lunch spread

the lunch spread

the lunch spread

the lunch spread

i experimented on a slow braised beef briskets & ribs with daikon (radish) & carrots but it was not good & we did not take photos. i will give it another try again, having thought about how i can do it differently & hopefully better. 🙂

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu was a crowd favourite. one friend had 3 helpings and all enjoyed this light & very flavourful tiramisu recipe.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Chinese Herbal Mutton Soup (羊肉汤) @ Yu Ji Whampoa Market on 19Sep2014 Whampoa Market on 19Sep2014

ning kee mutton soup

yu ji (宇记) chinese herbal mutton soup (羊肉汤)

i came to whampoa drive food centre with my sis recently & i had the hoover fish soup & 幸福潮州小食 pig trotters.

i saw then there were 2 stalls with mutton soup so decided to try out yu ji (宇记) chinese herbal mutton soup (羊肉汤) on 19.9.2014.

ning kee mutton soup

yu ji (宇记) chinese herbal mutton soup (羊肉汤)

i ordered the 4 in 1 mixed soup which had mutton balls, mutton ribs, tripes & tendons, small portion for S$7.

the soup was good. the portions were ok overall. mutton balls not good. there were hardly any tripe, very tiny pieces & not many. the mutton ribs were ok. there was 2 pieces of mutton leg so quite a bit of tendons.

comparing with the very shiok S$6 mutton soup at Chai Chuan Tou 柴船头羊肉汤 at blk115 bukit merah view, i have to say that 柴船头羊肉汤 is still better. it had a lot more mutton ribs & they were more tender & tastier, and there were a lot of nice tripe pieces. but it was a 2 in 1 which had only mutton ribs & tripes, so quantity wise maybe quite comparable & tendons are more expensive & yu ji’s tendons were very nice & generous portions. 🙂

anyway this is definitely a stall i would come if i come to whampoa market.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Really Good Coffee @ Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar on 17Sep2014

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

after taking kok kee wanton mee @ lavendar food square on 17.9.2014, we decided to walk over to chye seng huat hardware at tyrwhitt road for our cuppa. 🙂

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

the cafe CSHH coffee bar was located on the ground floor of a building with the name chye seng huat hardware and a cool shophouse facade.

the interior was a nice chill-out ambience. at 430pm there were quite many customers but not full & we sat at a corner wall with a ledge & tall stools & a wall mirror so you could see the whole cafe when sat facing the mirror.

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

flat white @ chye seng huat coffee bar

we had a flat white at S$5.50 each.

the coffee flavour was good & the frothed milk was velvety smooth & combined well with the coffee.

i had 2 really great cuppas during my recent stay in london – one was at monmouth cafe in covent gardens on 22.8.2014, and the other when we stopped for a cuppa at melrose & morgan during our walk along regent’s canal to primrose hill on 24.8.2014.

a nice coffee makes all the difference. i have a jura machine at home. i used to get the rather expensive lavazza coffee at culina but later found caffe aurora at qbfoods that cost 40% the price, and for me they were very good (or good enough). i had nice nespresso at my friend’s house after our weekly jog, and also at my son’s apartment in london. all of them were better than the coffee one gets at starbucks, so if i want to get a coffee outside that is NOT a S$1.20 kopi-c, it has to be a good cuppa to make any sense in spending that money! 🙂

for me, CSHH cafe bar’s flat white falls into that good cuppa category. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Enjoyed this Wanton Noodles @ Kok Kee (国记) on 17Sep2014

wanton noodles @ kok kee

wanton noodles @ kok kee

went with wife to mighty velo to service her bike & buy some stuff.
methink mighty velo prices in outerspace!  a bicycle helmet cost S$280 & the cheapest one that looked like the inner lining of an SAF helmet cost S$125. this shop not for me!
we had to wait 1hr for the service. wanted to have kok kee wanton noodles again before lavendar food square make way for 16-storey freehold development called ARC 380. according to a straits times report on 7.9.2014,
the other stalls to try are the whitley road fishball noodles, kin turtle soup etc…
wanton noodles @ kok kee

wanton noodles @ kok kee

we managed to park at the tiny carpark. there was no queue at kok kee at 4.15pm.
the last time i was here was 22.3.2014. we ordered S$4 wanton mee each. this must be the only wet version in singapore i had tried. the noodles were al dente & not soggy yet not stringy.
S$4 kind of expensive for that tiny amount of noodles. but good tasting was what counted, & this was like the best wanton noodles i had, better than red ring & first centre.
wanton noodles @ kok kee

wanton noodles @ kok kee

this the second time i tried & my views had not changed. may go back before 30sep to try the whitley road fishball noodles etc.

after wanton mee, we decided to take a short walk over to chye seng huat hardware at tyrwhitt road for a nice cup of coffee.

c.h.e.f andy

Walk Regent’s Canal, Primrose Hill & Regent Park on 24Aug2014

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regent’s canal from bridge along york way

this marks my last entry for the enjoyable time in london with my son 22aug to 27aug. we took easyjet to milan malpensa airport & took alibus to stresa at lake maggiore (a €12 55mins journey) on 28.8.2014. 🙂

we were staying at kings quarters apartment along copenhagen street, a short walk from york way & regent canal, which is right by king’s cross saint pancras station.

regent’s canal is 13.8km long linking paddington to limehouse basin in east london, running through the north end of regent’s park before the 78m primrose hill.  there is pleasure cruising & a regular waterbus service operating between Maida Vale and Camden, running hourly during the summer months.

with increase in cycle commuting  and increasing environmental awareness, the canal’s towpath has become a busy cycle route for commuters.

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regent’s canal from bridge along york way (evening)

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Arthouse apartment along york way, looking over regent’s canal

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king’s cross station from along regent canal access

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along regent’s canal outside central saint martins

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regent’s canal

we started from the terrace in front of central saint martins, university of arts london.

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regent’s canal

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regent’s canal

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camden lock

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camden lock

camden lock is located by the camden market. it allows the water crafts to traverse the canal across a change of water level.

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camden market refers to a number of adjoining large retail markets, including camden lock market & horse tunnel market (stables market).  it’s a treasure trove of new & old collectibles, arts & crafts, artefacts and daily use items.

gyros - greek kebab

gyros – greek kebab

we had a greek gyros (pronounced yee ro). it was really good for just £3, so much better & satisfying c/w the very poor £15.90+ cod fish & chips at poppies. my son ordered the chicken. i would have preferred lamb. still the chicken was very tasty & tender & the pita bread was good. even the potato chips were much better than poppies’. 🙂

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after an unfulfilled lunch at poppies, we walked along the canal & came to the signage showing the direction of primrose hill.

we came onto gloucester avenue & stopped for a cuppa at melrose & morgan. it was really good. my son though tit was better than monmouth, but he was probably just having coffee withdrawal. anyway coffee was good! 🙂

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primrose hill

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primrose hill

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primrose hill

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primrose hill

primrose hill sits north of regent’s park. it’s only 78m. weather was good today about 22degC & the children, frisbees, dogs were all out & enjoying the sun, breeze, green fields, wide expanse of sceneries or activities. there was a board showing the various buildings on the skyline, from BT Tower to the Shard to Canary Wharf. 🙂

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

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regent’s park

after primrose hill, we walked through regent’s park, & took a bus back to our kings quarters apartment, had some nice nespresso, did some internet & then got ready for the pre-theatre dinner at joel robuchon. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Mille Crepe & Lady M Cakes on 8Sep2014

lady M's cheese cake

lady M’s cheese cake

on the day the 6 of us had lunch at nuvo on 8.9.2014, we planned also to try out the mille crepe at lady M confections, which came under the same caerus holding group. caerus was set up in 2008 as a wine distribution company in India, Maldives and Malaysia & moved into the crowded f&b business a year later.

we adjourned from nuvo to lady M which was conveniently located next to the escalator at the dining edition with direct access to the car park. 🙂

lady M's mille crepe

lady M’s mille crepe

we ordered the mille crepe & a gateau nuage plus some drinks.

a few of us had lady M couple times before. the last i had though was already some time off, when a friend brought a mille crepe to a dinner at alborgo on 22.11.2013.  the cream was light & not too sweet. it was for sure a nice cake but actually overall there was a lot of cream in it. i actually prefers the ritz apple strudel as i liked a fluffier texture to go with that much cream (even if light) & the apple to jazz it up.

gateau nuage translates to “cloud cake”. it was nice too, a light cheese cake with a cinnamon graham cracker crust with a thin layer of sweetened sour cream to give it a silky finish.

i generally don’t mind cheese cakes. this one was good, but did not hold any special attraction (say) like the cheese cake i had at honey & co, londonrecently on 22.8.2014. my own tofu cheesecake does not look the class but is lighter w/o the crepe pastry & also jazzed up with lemon & yogurt. 🙂

the prices were not cheap. it was though the going price of cakes & coffees for such ambience & location. not a place i would usually go.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Prawn Ramen in Golden Braising Sauce – 黄焖草虾面 (Part 1)

prawn ramen in golden braising sauce – 黄焖草虾面

tunglok lobster ramen - 龙虾焖拉面

tunglok lobster ramen – 姜葱龙虾焖拉面

enjoyed much the lobster 6-course dinner set last evening at tunglok signature orchard parade hotel 0n 13.9.2014.

the  lobster ramen – 姜葱龙虾焖拉面 came with a yummy golden sauce. i didn’t know the recipe but was thinking how i could replicate a sauce that looked the same pleasing golden & had similar texture & taste good.

prawn ramen in golden sauce

prawn ramen in golden braising sauce – 黄焖草虾面

i defrosted 7 small grass prawns & used kitchen sears (scissors) to de-vein the prawns. i marinated lightly with some fish sauce & white pepper.

for the golden sauce, i added 5 tablespoon vegetable stock (leftover soup) – that’s about 75ml approx 1/3 cup. i added 1 tablespoon each of mirin & sake. i then added 1 teaspoon white sugar &1 teaspoon fish sauce. i also added  1 teaspoon corn flour & 1 egg yolk for body & the yellow colour, then whisked.

i boiled a very cheap china noodle called white jade noodles for 4 minutes+ tasted it almost al dente & drained in a strainer & placed in cold water.

i placed a piece of butter (about 10g), some sliced ginger, cut spring onions & chilli padi in the pan. then immersed the prawns in the golden sauce & placed them in the hot pan & cooked for 2 minutes. i then added the golden sauce, cooked the prawns & added some water to achieve the slight starchy consistency.

i placed the noodles in a bowl & added the prawns & golden sauce, then garnished with chopped spring onions & coriander leaves. voila! 🙂

the key experiment here was the golden sauce. the current version was tasty, had the colour & body. it had just a little corn starch taste. egg yoke was fine. i am thinking of trying some pumpkin puree to replace the corn starch & see how it goes.

with a good tasty golden sauce, it would be quite easy to vary the ingredients like using lobster, some better ramen (but this cheap one was light & quite ok), and i can also cook this as a larger dish to serve say 6pax or 8pax as a light carb dish for my dinners.

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. – see latest update @ King Prawn Noodles (黄焖大虾面) – Part 2

Food that Pleases @ Tunglok Signature Orchard Parade Hotel on 13Sep2014

lobster ramen - the best!

lobster ramen – the best!

time flies. almost a year had passed, the last time i took the fabulous 6-course lobster dinner set at tunglok signature orchard parade hotel was on 19.10.2013.

so i was looking forward to relish the wonderful moments on 13.9.2014. we took the exact same S$98 lobster & seafood set. as i noted previously, it was of exceptional quality, both in terms of quality of ingredients & quality of cooking. 🙂

as before & always, every dish pleases. if i have to pick my least favourite, it would be the kurobuta & it was good too. 🙂

foie gras & smoked duck wrap

foie gras & smoked duck wrap

duck & duck liver wrap

foie gras & smoked duck wrap

the foie gras & smoked duck wrap was good, tasty, refreshing. i thought the “pan-fried foie gras” tasted similar to the usual unglamorous poached duck liver though.

crab roe sharksfin soup

crab roe sharksfin soup

crab roe sharksfin soup

crab roe sharksfin soup

the crab roe sharkskin was super & chokeful of ingredients.

steamed garoupa fillet

steamed soon hock fillet

steamed garoupa fillet

steamed soon hock fillet

the steamed soon hock fillet was very well done, very sweet, tasty, smooth, with the garnishes & sauce as well. i am thinking to replicate this for my home dinners.

pan-fried kurobuta

pan-fried kurobuta

pan-fried kurobuta

pan-fried kurobuta

the pan-fried spanish kurobuta was quite delicious too. if there were not other also great dishes, i would consider this pretty good.

lobster ramen - the best!

lobster ramen – the best!

lobster ramen - the best!

lobster ramen – the best!

the lobster ramen was the best. this time the serving came with shelled 1/2 lobster (before it was a 1/2 lobster in shell). lobster meat was fresh, bouncy, sweet. the sauce was excellent. i was impressed with this dish & thinking how to replicate it at home.

(P.S. i subsequently created my own prawn ramen in golden braising sauce – 黄焖草虾面, not quite the same obviously but anyhow pretty good on its own).

雪种情怀

雪种情怀

& i love the dessert 雪种情怀 – 1 vanilla & 1 coconut ice cream on the usual grapefruit mango puree (杨支甘露).

with palate 50% discounts for 2pax, dinner was S$49pax + S$2pax for the tea. wonderful deal! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy