12-course Homecooked Buffet Dinner for RI Reunion Committee & Friends on 6Feb2015

a friend brought shepherd's pie

a friend brought shepherd’s pie

had a homecooked dinner for 22pax RI friends on 6.2.2015. 🙂

these group of friends were mostly of the committee that organised the recent RI reunion dinner on 22.12.2014 attended by 118 old schoolmates & 10 teachers. well done people!^^

i prepared 12 dishes including 2 desserts. & a friend brought shepherd’s pie & another brought cookies.

shepherd’s pie was very good. my daughter had some from the little leftover the next day & she thought the potatoes were moist & soft & the beef flavour was good.

maybe i should try making this too. shepherd’s pie is a great party food.

#1 thai prawn tanhoon

#1 thai prawn tanhoon

#1 my helper’s thai prawn tanhoon is usually a very appetising dish, spicy, tangy, tasty. this evening though it seemed to be a bit dry. about 1/4 was leftover (where usually it is finished). a friend (who comes for dinner regularly) later told me that some parts the taste was not quite the usual he had. not sure why, maybe the quantity was too much for the wok & the tanhoon was not mixed consistently.

#2 i did a Nobu miso cod.  it can be pre cooked & served cold, and the miso firmed up the flaky texture of cod so it is easier to cut into small serving pieces.^^

#3 i did my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this is easy to prepare dish. on this day though, i was dreaming & removed the chicken after 10mins boiling (w/o poaching it for another 20mins) & placed in ice water. though i recovered by poaching it again for longer 25mins, the temperature change caused the parts near the bones to be red/pink when i deboned it later. so i had to poach the cut pieces another time. sian! haha!

i asked several friends afterwards & they all thought the chicken was alright (& well finished), i guess it was quite ok but the moist, glistening look (like the duck had in photos below) was gone & the meat would be less tasty.

#4 盐水鸭 spicy poached duck was a replacement dish (i went 3 times to get salmon belly for miso salmon but they were unavailable). this nanjing 盐水鸭 is a 风味鸭, a bit more exotic flavours with sichuan peppercorn chillies.

it is 1 of my favourites as it has less strong flavours c/w teochew braised duck 卤鸭 & is often served as a starter in taiwanese restaurants & in shanghai, nanjing etc, the 江南region.

#5 蒜泥白肉 spicy garlic pork had been a crowd favourite in my dinners (when i served chinese food). it was easy to make as i adapted the pot roast method (cold crockpot on low slow gentle braising). so i just needed to place the belly pork in a cold crockpot with water (added salt & sugar for brining) on low for 5hrs to temperature 79degC.^^

the only thing left to do was just to prepare the spicy sichuan sauce to drizzle over the pork & japanese cucumbers.

spicy pork ribs

#6 spicy pork ribs

#6 my helper makes a very good spicy pork ribs, so that is a staple in my chinese dinners. one friend repeatedly proclaimed how much he liked the dish.^^

#7 my dry wok prawns combined pan-grilled bbq flavours with a baked-in-shell moist texture + the nice flavours of chilli padi & fish sauce infused under high wok temperature. always a popular dish.

sambal seabass

#8 sambal seabass

#8 my helper’s sambal seabass, another bedrock of my chinese dinners, was almost cleaned up before my “professional photographers” had time to train their cameras.^^

#9 the spicy seafood fried rice was modelled after crystal jade lamian xialongbao’s. unable to match that, but it was pretty good with bismati long grain rice & nice sichuan peppercorn chilli flavours.

poached romaine lettuce with shitake

#10 poached romaine lettuce with shitake

#10 my helper’s poached romaine lettuce with shitake is also a regular in my chinese dinners (usually she uses hk kailan but this time it was romaine lettuce just as good).^^

#11 everyone fell in love with the tofu cheese cake. maybe the trick was just to cut an ultra thin slice, so everyone thought it was so good & clamouring to have more. a friend had 3 helpings.^^

#12 one friend had a photo with him holding up the emptied tiramisu dish & biting the serving spoon (like nadal biting his grand slam champions trophy). i think tiramisu was just as well received but tofu cheesecake was a bit less common so everyone was intrigued by it.^^

cookies instructions

cookies instructions

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought almond, shortbread & mamor cookies

a friend brought very nice cookies – almond, shortbread & mamor.

now i am thinking of trying almond & shortbread. mamor looked too exquisite & too high effort-to-results ratio for lazy & utilitarian me. told her if i want it, i will just invite her. haha!

another friend brought 6 bottles of wine & another the whole ice box with water & softdrinks.

there was also grapes. another friend packed a fruit basket for me so we were eating custard apples, mangosteens, chiku, guava, mango etc for the next several days.

& a friend brought some seaweed & almond biscuits.^^

it was really a fun, enjoyable & most satisfying get-together.

c.h.e.f andy

Another Wonderful Breakfast to Savour @ Gettoan Ryokan 月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 on 27Jan2015

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

this time we were expecting a wonderful breakfast on the second day on 27.1.2015.^^

it proved to be as great as the wonderful breakfast the day before. 🙂

i looked at the dishes for both days and surmised that both basically had rice & good pickles and 4 side dishes.

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

the pickles included a tasty seaweed dish in the middle (i drank up the sauce) + konbu, some veg pickles on the right & another on the left.

breakfast pickles

breakfast pickles

one more with radish, veg & seaweed.

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

steamed tofu dish

1st side dish was a steamed tofu dish. you scooped it out onto a bowl, and added some sauce from the curve beak pot. it was tasty & had excellent texture. i added just enough sauce so i could finished off everything including the sauce.

simmered veg

simmered veg

the second side was a simmered veg with sweet peas, pumpkin etc was very good. this is a common dish for japanese breakfast & course dinners.

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam

the 3rd side was a braised wagyu with sticky mountain yam topped with a dash of grated wasabi & a shiso leaf. this was excellent though the braised wagyu side dish for the dinner kaiseki on 26.1.2015 was even better.^^

grilled fish

grilled fish

the 4th side was a grilled fish, not saba this time but nice too.

pot of rice

pot of rice

gohan (rice)

gohan (rice)

there was some special rice with toasted sesame and dried scallops. i added the pickles. very nice.

raw egg added to rice

raw egg added to rice

the server told us we could cracked an egg & add it over the rice. i did that. i liked it as i liked the silky texture of egg yolk.

the rice was quite fine on its own. & it was nice too with the egg. i liked it both ways.

orange & yuzu jelly

orange & yuzu jelly

dessert was orange & yuzu jelly, nice & refreshing.

great breakfast, this!^^

c.h.e.f andy

A Tale of 2 Dinners Part 2 The Good Ending – A Marvellous Kaiseki Dinner @ Gettoan on 26Jan2015

excellent uni

excellent uni

after the excellent ryokan breakfast this morning, we now had cause to anticipate a nice kaiseki dinner on 26.1.2015.

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

this time we were not disappointed.

hence i had termed these 2 dinners on 25.1.2015 & 26.1.2015 “a tale of 2 dinners”

what a difference a menu change made.

see the sub-par dinner on 25.1.2015

with a good kaiseki dinner & breafast, Gettoan 月灯庵 did fully meet our expectations of a good ryokan.

umeshu梅酒

umeshu梅酒

for this evening, dinner started with umeshu梅酒.

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

excellent chawanmushi with egg & spring onions

the chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) was outstanding. there was bits of minced ginger on top. the texture & flavours were exquisite. maybe i will try this at home.

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

superb braised wagyu & tendons

the braised wagyu & tendons was just superb. texture was almost like gelatinous, had bite yet dissolving in the mouth, and nice mellow beefy flavours, mildly sweet. this was par excellence! ^^

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

grating own wasabi

grating own wasabi

ika

ika

fish sashimi

fish sashimi

we grated our own wasabi roots!

sashimi moriawase was nothing like last evening’s which was below those at sun with moon, or for that matter any supermarket basement sashimi picks in japan!

this time we had good serving each of uni, very sweet! ika was pretty good & the fish slices were very good too. the same lady server initially said it was swordfish, but when i mentioned it did not look remotely like kajiki, she corrected herself but we did not understand what fish it was actually. whatever, what counted was it’s good!

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

excellent anago tempura

& we had an excellent tempura!

the 2 large pieces each of anago (sea or conger eel) was a large helping. the tempura batter was just great & the whole experience wonderful.^^

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

& we had a wonderful bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 shabu shabu. there were 10 large thick slices of wagyu for 2 pax, beef was well marbled and flavourful, very good indeed!

shabu shabu

shabu shabu

noodles, mushrooms, veg

noodles, mushrooms, veg

we had the usual noodles, mushrooms, vegetables.

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

i can have this again! 🙂

if we were to make a comparison with mikuni’s excellent kagoshima wagyu sukiyaki konabe, certainly what we have at Gettoan was much more marbled & better beef quality. in terms of satisfaction, mikuni’s was almost as good & a good approximation to this.

pickles

pickles

we had pickles with the gohan (rice).

cake dessert

cake dessert

dessert was ok. we did not have much interest for the butter cake. it maybe that gettoan indeed is trying to be fusion, with the foie gras tofu last evening (tonight’s chawanmushi would beat tat hands down), and these cake stuff, which some restaurants in Singapore like kuriya etc does too.

anyway, we were immensely satisfied with the kaiseki dinner this second night. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Breakfast – A Redemption @ Gettoan Ryokan 月灯庵 Yufuin汤布院 Kyushu 九州 on 26.1.2015

Gettoan japanese breakfast

Gettoan japanese breakfast

after a totally underwhelming sub-par kaiseki dinner, we could be forgiven for lowering our expectations to base level for the following day breakfast on 26.1.2015. not a great feeling when you are staying 2 nights in an expensive ryokan.

fortunately this time, the breakfast surprised & delighted us, as it should jolly be.^^ redemption!

fresh mixed fruit juice

fresh mixed fruit juice

we started with a freshly made mixed fruit juice which was very good & refreshing.^^

excellent fish with miso & shiso leaf

excellent fish tartare with miso & shiso leaf

then we had an excellent fish tartare with brown miso, decorated with a shiso leaf (edible). this was good!

egg, saba dish

egg, saba dish

egg

egg

grilled saba

grilled saba

grilled saba

grilled saba

there was a dish of egg, grilled saba (horse mackerel), some grated radish. well i guess this time “normal service (i.e. expected good japanese food)” resumed.^^

grilled saba was good, not special but good.

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

deep-fried tofu

the deep-fried tofu was very good – crispy skin, tasty inside, and looked great! this how good japanese cuisine ought to be.

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

nice yuba tofu

the yuba tofu dish was excellent too, in flavours, texture. i drank up the sauce.

mashed potatoes, mentaiko with crisp anchovies, pickles

mashed potatoes, mentaiko with crisp anchovies, pickles

pickled veg with bonito flakes

pickled veg with bonito flakes

the mentaiko, potato dish & pickles was the usual good standard.

pineapples with yuzu jelly

pineapples with yuzu jelly

pineapples & jelly were refreshing.

this not a kaiseki dinner, just a simple breakfast, but it showed some delightful fineness & execution befitting of japanese cuisine. ^^

so finally, we were looking forward to the kaiseki dinner later.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Seafood & Good Value Dinner @ Kamjiazhuang 甘家庄 on 7Feb2015

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

daughter has become the family’s resident food convenor, sourcing out nice, happening makan & coffee places.

this evening she again organised an excellent seafood dinner at kamjiazhuang 甘家庄, located at blk 202 AMK ave3.

kamjiazhuang 甘家庄 AMK Ave3

kamjiazhuang 甘家庄 AMK Ave3

it is located at a coffeeshop. we had a reservation. the place was quite crowded.

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

we ordered a fish maw soup small. the colour did not look great, but the soup was in fact very tasty.^^

东坡肉 braised pork belly

东坡肉 braised pork belly

东坡肉 braised pork belly

东坡肉 braised pork belly

东坡肉 braised pork belly

东坡肉 braised pork belly

we asked for popular & recommended dishes. 东坡肉 braised pork belly was one, and it was done pretty well, very good standards – very tender, moist and w/o the oily taste (肥而不腻).

pumpkin prawns

pumpkin prawns

pumpkin prawns

pumpkin prawns

the pumpkin prawns was good, a slight variation/departure from the usual wasabi prawns. they were same deep-fried but coated with the pumpkin sauce (felt like it had salted egg in it but could not be certain).

conpoy tofu

conpoy tofu

conpoy tofu

conpoy tofu

the conpoy tofu was good too, very tasty, certainly better than the minced pork tofu we had recently at kok sen on 21.12.2014.

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

& the S$60 crab beehoon –

just look at the above photos c/w those at seng kee recently. the crab was huge 1.1-1.2kg, bigger than the one at seng kee (S$70). the crab was also sweeter & firmer than seng kee’s.

however, somehow i was still not fully satisfied with the beehoon. yes, this was much better than seng kee and about same as ming kee live seafood. in my memory (& maybe that was just a memory!) house of steamed fish was much better, tastier, but really cannot tell now.

butter squid with pork floss

butter squid with pork floss

butter squid with pork floss

butter squid with pork floss

daughter wanted to try their butter squid with pork floss. batter was good & squid was not tough. at first bite it was quite crunchy & tasty but i agreed with my wife that the taste was too sweet, perhaps it was the pork floss, couldn’t really tell.

overall, we paid S$124 for 6 dishes including a S$60 crab beehoon with a very good & large crab. for me, that was a very good dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

A Tale of 2 Dinners Part 1 – Disappointing Totally Below Par Kaiseki Dinner @ Gettoan on 25Jan2015

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

we were booked for 2 nights at Gettoan ryokan 月灯庵 at yufuin 汤布院. Gettoan ryokan & its kaiseki dinners had very good reviews, and we were expecting a very good dinner on the first evening we checked into the ryokan on 25.1.2015.

it turned out to be really disappointing. i would say this dinner was below just about every ryokan dinner i had in tohoku (we visited just before the tsunami, sadly cannot go back now), and way below (say) mikuni or hachi or kuriya in singapore.

i need to add here though that the japanese breakfast the next day was excellent (& the day after too) & the shabu shabu kaiseki on our second night 26.1.2015 was just exquisite, par excellence, so i term this a tale of 2 dinners. ^^

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/a-tale-of-2-dinners-part-2-the-good-ending-a-marvellous-kaiseki-dinner-gettoan-on-26jan2015/

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/wonderful-breakfast-a-redemption-gettoan-ryokan-yufuin-kyushu-on-26-1-2015/

https://chefquak.com/2015/02/08/another-wonderful-breakfast-to-savour-gettoan-ryokan-月灯庵-yufuin汤布院-kyushu-九州-on-27jan2015/

kaiseki menu

kaiseki menu

sensai

sensai

sensai-seaweed wrapped mentaiko

sensai-seaweed wrapped minced salmon?

sensai - fish roes

sensai – fish roes

the sensai was ok, but really unexciting for this class of ryokan (i.e. very expensive ryokan). the mini kaiseki lunch at kuriya had far better sensai (前菜). and the omakase lunch at GOTO had just as good sakizuke(先附).

tofu dish with foie gras

tofu dish with foie gras

the foie gras flavoured tofu dish was a nice dish, but really average by japanese kaiseki standards, non descript really.

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

sashimi moriawase

the sashimi moriawase (kampachi, tai maybe?? & hirame) was an immense let down, completely substandard. for me, even sun with moon sashimi is much better standard than this! sashimi was not sweet & was tough – a really low grade cut!

yuba pot

yuba pot

there was a egg, yuba pot with veg. i would give same assessment as the foie gras tofu…underwhelming, just like the entire dinner.

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

clear soup with fish

the clear soup came with a nice tasty piece of fish, maybe snapper? anyway for this dish alone, maybe one could say “normal service resumes??” but this was a non-substantial by-the-way dish in a kaiseki.

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧

of course the bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧 was just excellent. like my wife said, ishiyaki is self service & they did gave a very good beef cut. in a good or at least par-for-the-course kaiseki, one expects to taste good cooking, some creativity & great matching of taste. those were non existent in this dinner!

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

ochazuke

ochazuke (お茶漬け)

other than the bungo wagyu ishiyaki 丰后和牛石烧, the ochazuke (お茶漬け) was the only other dish throughout the dinner that we consider of good standards. the kampachi cut was good & could be taken as sashimi or slightly poached with the rice. the yuzu miso paste was great & the dashi 上汤was just excellent! a very good dish.

deseert

deseert

the dessert was just as bad. any dessert in sun with moon would be better!

one comment on the service. the overall service of the ryokan was top notch as expected of any ryokans of this standard. we were assigned a server who spoke very good english & we were kind of expecting top level service.

but the service was really superficial! the server tried to get us to order red wine instead of sake claiming that the dishes suited wine better. i would say none of the dishes qualified at all as western or fusion & why would one take red or white wine instead of sake for a japanese dinner, they were just not very good japanese food! & it was quite blatant way to get us to spend more money. this the first & only time we encountered that in japan. even in Singapore these days, server will advise you NOT to order things you don’t need/want!

and worse, after the beef before ochazuke she asked us whether we wanted tea. we asked for ocha & was later billed 950yen! of course it was not about the money. she did not tell us it was chargeable, and the way she asked it was evident that she did not intend to reveal it was chargeable. immediately after the ochazuke, we were served another ocha, this one free. does that make any sense??

for me it was a lowly tactic suited for yesteryears, like london chinatown in the 1970s, not a top class ryokan in Japan, or for that matter any ordinary restaurants in Singapore.

fortunately for us, the ryokan redeemed itself the next few meals. we were asked again the next dinner if we wanted tea by the same server, again w/o telling us it was chargeable! some bad habits just do not go away!

c.h.e.f andy

Great Steaks & Views @ Lamp Sha Lake Kinrinko Yufuin on 26Jan2015

bungo steak4 - lamp sha

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

we again had an excellent bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 lunch next day on 26.1.2015. ^^

we googled & originally wanted to go 湯の岳庵 yunotake which is located at kamenoi besso ryokan, also by lake kinrinko. when we enquired at our ryokan Gettoan, they mentioned the lamp sha, and it was really a very good recommendation. 🙂

we decided to both ordered the bungo wagyu 丰后和牛 steak set lunch.^^

sweet corn soup

sweet corn soup

first was the sweet corn soup. it was good! very good restaurant standard indeed!

sauce for steak

sauce for steak

bungo steak - lamp sha

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo steak2 - lamp sha

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

bungo steak3 - lamp sha

bungo wagyu 丰后和牛

next came the steak with the sauce comprising beef broth, onions, garlic, an excellent sauce.

the steak was tender w/o tough connecting tissues. it came in a hot place shielded all round with a cut paper. we were told to add sauce w/o removing the paper, that way the sauce would not splash onto our clothings when coming in touch with a hot surface. 🙂

my wife had a first piece in the middle (which was medium rare) & she said it was so good. we both felt the steak was somewhat overdone towards the end because it continued to cook on the hotplate. would have been so much better had it been medium rare!

lake kinrinko-view from lamp sha

lake kinrinko-view from lamp sha

lake kinrinko-view from lamp sha3

lake kinrinko-view from lamp sha

lamp sha also boast a very nice view, overlooking lake kinrinko! ^^

yuzu sorbet - lamp sha

yuzu sorbet – lamp sha

it was a 3-course lunch for 1650yen. the last item was an yuzu sorbet. that was like just S$17.30++ for 3-course lunch including japanese wagyu!

this was 1 of the most value-for-money lunches. you get to see the incredible views of the lake & an excellent bungo wagyu 丰后和牛steak! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

OK Zi Char Dinner @ Seng Kee on 1Feb2015

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

went to a friend’s place to watch australian open tennis finals between djokovic & murray on 1.2.2015. 🙂

i supported djokovic. my 3 friends all supported murray, though 2 of them betted against him. djokovic won. our common favourite is nadal. cannot tell how long nadal can still go on, though he had came back from injuries twice before.  between federer & djokovic i will support federer. but djokovic against anyone else i will support djokovic. 🙂

after the AO finals, one friend bought 4pax dinner at seng kee black chicken herbal soup, 467 Changi Road. i was here maybe 3yrs back, also a dinner treat from the same friend. ^^

seng kee

seng kee black chicken herbal soup

seng kee

seng kee black chicken herbal soup

seng kee

seng kee black chicken herbal soup

seng kee occupies 2 corner units + one intermediate terrace unit along the terrace shop units adjacent to jalan masjid.

red snapper head

red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

steamed red snapper head

we had a steamed red snapper 1/2 fish head. it was very nice. fish was sweet & tasty. i liked this dish best. ^^

steamed small squid

steamed baby squid

steamed small squid

steamed baby squid

the steamed baby squid was ok, nothing special. somehow the good teochew cold cooked baby squid was a lot sweeter & tastier, but i don’t get to eat that much these days. maybe still can get at teochew porridge stalls.

puay leng - spinach

spinach

puay leng - spinach

spinach

sambal kang kong

sambal potato leaves

sambal kang kong

sambal potato leaves

i liked both the vegetables. the spinach was very good, and the soup with wolfberries & egg was very tasty. same with the sambal potato leaves. loved it.

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

crab beehoon

unfortunately the main event, crab beehoon, one of my favourite dishes, was quite poor. the beehoon did not have any rich infusion of crab flavours. just compare this with the very nice crab beehoon at ming kee on 23.3.2014. or house of steamed fish or golden spoon (though it seemed that golden spoon standard has also dropped substantially??).

there were lots of beehoon, but they tasted like any fried beehoon & not the best ones at that in terms of wok hae, but no hint of crab or shellfish flavours at all! where was the stock?

the crab itself was quit ok. a good, tasty crab, but not really special or outstanding.

steamed minced pork salted fish

steamed minced pork salted fish

steamed minced pork salted fish

steamed minced pork salted fish

the steamed minced pork salted fish was edible, but strangely felt like there was quite a bit of starch in the minced pork. also the pork was well, quite porky (not flavourful but porky). honestly my helper does this a lot better at home. anyway my friends who frequent seng kee every week gave their feedback to the server & the restaurant did not charge this dish.

臭豆 - petai

臭豆 – petai

臭豆 - petai

臭豆 – petai

otah

otah

the 臭豆 – petai was ok, quite a competent preparation but not a favourite dish for me.

the otah was pretty good for me (again otah not my favourite dish) but my friends who were here quite a lot thought it was poor.

the 4pax dinner came to S$140 or S$35pax. i thought it was quite ok in fact for the food we had, though the main event was the crab beehoon & that was a bit of a let down.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Wagyu Yakiniku @ Yufuin Wasaku Kyushu Trip on 25jan2015

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

this the start of our short kyushu vacation. today my wife & i arrived yufuin 汤布院 oita prefecture about noon time, taking the 1hr 40mins highway bus from fukuoka airport.

check-in at our yufuin ryokan Gettoan was not until 3pm, so we planned to take the 30minutes walk from yufuin eki (train station), along the shopping street yunotsubo to lake kinrinko 金麟湖.

we had googled about yakiniku restaurants for lunch, and found wasaku, which was just few minutes walk from yufuin eki along the way to lake kinrinko.

yufuin wasaku yakiniku

yufuin wasaku yakiniku

restaurant was empty & we were the only lunch customer throughout.

it was a nice setting on the usual tatami & with very powerful exhaust suction. 🙂

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu + chicken

kuroge wagyu + chicken

the kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 karubi set (i think 1640yen+8%tax) was very good. the wagyu + chicken set was 1760yen+8%.

chicken seems very popular in many parts of japan for both shabu shabu & yakiniku, not sure why. we found it tough & nothing special. the plain wagyu set was better as it had  7 pieces whereas the combo set had 4 or maybe 5pieces.

salad & sauce dip

salad & sauce dip

wagyu yakiniku set

wagyu yakiniku set

the set came with the usual salad, gohan with pickles, miso soup, & sauce dip for the yakiniku.

kuroge wagyu

kuroge wagyu

we thoroughly enjoyed this first restaurant meal on this kyushu trip (had ramen at fukuoka airport on arrival earlier while waiting for our bus to yufuin). there was no opportunity though to go back. we had kaiseki dinners & breakfasts as part of our 2-day ryokan stay at Gettoan, and we had a nice steak lunch at lamp sha 1561 kawakami yufuincho next to lake kinrinko the next day. ^^

the 2 sets came to about 3672yen or S$36++, a very good deal compared with wagyu yakiniku in Singapore, or even just australian or NZ beef cuts.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Wagyu Yakiniku Dinner at Azmaya & Coffee+Cakes at Laurent on 23jan2015

A5 kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛

A5 kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛-S$60 (i estimatr 120g/150g)

had 4pax dinner with friends at azmaya omakaseya at robertson walk, followed by coffee & cakes at lauraent bernard chocolatier on 23.1.22015. 🙂

i was just at azmaya omakaseya a week ago on 15.1.2015, so this is a quick update. i used 2 qoo10 coupons the last time but was told by the restaurant that i could also get 50% discounts on alacarte orders.

belly pork & beef harami (with leeks) yakiniku

belly pork & beef harami (with leeks) yakiniku

we had the same A5 kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 sirloin S$60 (2 orders) & karubi $29 (2 orders) + 1 order of pork belly S$14 & 1 order of harami (with leeks) S$13, plus 2 drinks. total came to about S$42pax nett after 50% discounts on food. excluding drinks it would have been S$34.

somehow the wagyu sirloin & karubi did not appear to be of the same quality as what i last had, if one were to compare the photos here. so 50% discounts but same quality???

pork belly had not much taste as before, but was ok with leek sauce.

i had the harami (with leek) for the first time. it was quite good. of course it was a tougher meat but taste was ok.

bibimbab ishiyaki

bibimbab ishiyaki

bibimbab ishiyaki

bibimbab ishiyaki – S$16

the stone pot bibimbab S$16 was good. i guess not the best but very competent, and with lots of beef, & at 50% discounts I would say it was very good for the price.

spicy galbi soup

spicy galbi soup – S$10

likewise the spicy galbi soup S$10 was also competent, & again very good for the price.

at S$34pax nett w/o drinks i think it was a very good dinner. i would certainly do this again. 🙂

soufle + lava cake at laurent

soufle + lava cake at laurent

soufle at laurent

soufle at laurent

lava cake at laurent

lava cake at laurent

lava cake at laurent

lava cake at laurent

after dinner we went over to laurent bernard chocolatier for coffee & cakes. they were famous for their chocolate soufle & also lava cake.

both were very good. i liked the soufle a bit better. the lava cake was very good too.

i am not sure taste wise it was actually better than my own chocolate lava cake (however i have not made lava cake for a while & the more recent couple times did not come out that well in terms of producing the lava texture…i must really try again this…)…maybe i will try the chocolate soufle too…i tried the grand marnier soufle once..it was ok but maybe a chocolate flavoured one maybe more the taste for my wife & i.

the flat white was ok, but didn’t feel any better than that at asseemly coffee or at wheedler’s yard. and i still feel that the flat white at chye seng huat & at dutch colony at pasarbella were better.

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Homecooked 11pax Dinner on 22Jan2015

wife's pumpkin tofu salad

#1 wife’s pumpkin tofu salad

made 1 of my best dinners on 22.1.2015. ^^

invited a few close friends. my weekly running partner brought his son, and my dentist friend brought his daughter.

also invited my god sis & her husband.

this time, i reverted to a sit-down course dinner. for a start, i served 3 dishes as tapas.

#1 we had an excellent pumpkin tofu salad. this was my wife’s creation. my helper toasted the pumpkin & fried & cut the tofu & mixed in the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt & agave nectar the night before, and my wife tossed in the rockets just before starting dinner. 🙂

miso cod

miso cod

#2 miso cod is my god sis’ favourite. she mentioned it so many times. ^^

i have not made it for a long time as my wife prefers the texture & taste of plain grilled cod. i had it in the oven for a tad too long but managed to rescue it, only had to take off most of the skin. still it was excellent to my taste, both the firmer texture & also the miso flavour. my god sis liked it very much & had 2 servings. i liked it as much as the plain grilled cod & slightly better than my teriyaki cod. this dish was prior done about 1 hr before dinner.

#3 the tagliata di manzo (using 150D grain-fed ribeye) was really quite excellent this evening, very well charred for maillard reaction. i did the steak only when all guests had arrived. also seasoning the rockets & cherry tomatoes with olive oil & balsamic vinegar was done just before plating & serving so they would not be soggy. plating was a bit rushed & not ideal this evening.

#4 after the 3 tapas, i served the lobster bisque, very nice mellow & intense flavours with good amount of brandy, not too creamy. very nice. my friend’s daughter took a second serving.

#5 lamb is usually not such a favourite among my dinner guests, but my friend’s daughter loves lamb, so i did 1/2 a rack of pistachio crusted lamb. i bought at mmmm at west coast plaza & the lady instead of cutting 1/2 rack started to cut out 2 slices before i could stopped her. so i had to improvise & used a kitchen twine to hold the 1/2rack together. again i have not done this for a while but the rack turned out very well. i managed to cut 5 pieces. my friend’s daughter had 2 helpings, my friend’s son & another 2 friends had the lamb.

lobster spaghetti

lobster spaghetti

#6 lobster spaghetti was just splendid this evening! very tasty & good chunks of lobster meat (i used 2x375g frozen lobster from cold storage). the lobster head & tomalley (liver etc) were excellent. i thought though using capellini (angel hair) i did previously would be better both in looks & texture.

"monterosso miky" seafood risotto

“monterosso miky” seafood risotto

#7 my own version of  “monterosso miky” seafood risotto was wonderful this evening. very very tasty, with excellent lobster & prawn stock balanced with lots of vegetables. the carnaroli rice i bought at stresa, lake maggiore was excellent & the texture was just al dente. 🙂

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

#8 the squid ink pasta was also very good. i had squid & lots of manila clams which were plump & succulent. i agreed with my wife though that the manila clams were much better done the asian zi char style with curry leaves & olive oil, & lose some of the distinct taste & flavours, and tasted only like good littleneck clams “la la” in this preparation.

japanese A4 wagyu - this was soooo good.

#9 japanese A4 wagyu – this was soooo good.

japanese A4 wagyu

japanese A4 wagyu

#9 i had a japanese A4 wagyu which was better served as a separate dish than together with the tagliata di manzo & rockets. the 150D grain fed ribeye earlier was very good, but this was par excellence!^^

#10 we rounded off with my tofu cheese cake, as good as always. ^^ wonderfully light texture, mildly sweet sour with lumen juice, yogurt, whipped cream, silken tofu & cream cheese, & a nice biscuit base.

i was just happy to have the cosy, warm get-together with my close friends, and very happy & satisfied with the dishes & dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy