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6-course Early Anniversary Dinner for 4pax at Home on 28May2015

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

#3 flamed squid in spinach sauce

wanted to do an anniversary dinner for my wife & children. the logistics was such that it would be easier to do it earlier & then have dinner out with my wife on the actual day. hence 28.5.2015.

during our recent cornwall travels, we had great lunch at porthminster at st ives on 14.5.2015. we had a superb mussels & a charming roasted pineapples dessert.

also i saw the wonderful photos of a flamed squid in spinach sauce and a curry monkfish. so those were the dishes i had initially planned to do. i experimented on some dishes prior to 28.5.2015. 🙂

my mussels though did not turned up so great(blame it on the cheap local mussels from sheng shiong..haha!), so i decided on a carrot soup.

i tried a thai yellow curry for the first time, planning to replace monkfish with cod. & though the curry turned up beautifully (both looks & taste), my wife & i felt that cod was such a nice fish we should not overpower it with strong curry. so i decided to do a steamed cod instead.

calamari & oyster fritters

#1 calamari & oyster fritters

#1 calamari & oyster fritters

as i was doing carrot soup, i decided to pair it with some oyster fritters, and since i am already at it (oil for deep fry, cornflower, egg & breadcrumb), might as well throw in some calamari.^^

i rolled the lightly seasoned oysters & calamari (squid) in corn flour, then egg, then breadcrumb. then placed them (just 4 or 5 pieces) in about 5cm hot oil a small sauce pan (to use less oil).

calamari & oyster fritters

#1 calamari & oyster fritters

the oyster fritters were excellent, i must say, and first time i made them this way. i liked the calamari too, just cooked right nice texture, not rubbery & tough.

cream of carrot soup

#2 cream of carrot soup

#2 cream of carrot soup

i have done-

this was the very first time i did cream of carrot soup.

& it was excellent!^^ it was silky smooth & tasty, among the best soup i made.

cream of carrot soup

#2 cream of carrot soup

i added a lot of sliced/cut vegetables – 1 onion, 1 stalk leek, 1 red pepper, 2 carrots (plus some leftover stems from spinach). i fried them in butter till soft, added 2 cups of chicken stock & boiled for further 20mins. then i used a blender to blend & added salt & pepper to taste.

when about to serve, i added 3 tablespoon thick cream, and i have some chopped basil from my garden.

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

#3 flamed squid in spinach sauce

#3 flamed squid in spinach sauce

this was the best dish of the evening, quite exquisite if i may say so, maybe alongside the soup.

the squid was done just right, excellent texture & taste, and with the bbq flamed flavours. & the sauce was  exquisite. ^^

st ives porthminster chef michael smith's flamed squid

st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s flamed squid

i only saw the photos in the cookbook at porthminster. when i tried to google, there was nothing to be found, perhaps porthminster’s australian chef michael smith is not so famous. haha!

so i invented the recipe myself. practice made perfect though, so i had 1 practice some days before.

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

flamed octopus in spinach sauce

i cross cut (very closely) a large squid into 4 pieces (about 9cmx6cm), placed them on a pan & torched. i knew that’s was not enough to cook the squid, so fried them in butter afterwards.

#3 spinach sauce

#3 spinach sauce

for the sauce, again i used lots of vegetable to make it so tasty. i fried in butter 1/2 onion, 1/2 stalk leek, 1 green pepper & a bunch of spinach leafs. then i placed them in a blender & added 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil & salt & pepper to taste. such a wonderful sauce complementing the flamed squid.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil &soy sauce + wood fungus

there was not much to do regards the cod. i had done this once before & i know the simple olive oil with light soy sauce with chicken stock made a terrific stock base for the steamed cod.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

the cod was really wonderful. wife & children liked it very much.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

for me & for my youngest daughter though, we still like the equally tasty teriyaki cod better.

steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

#4 steamed cod with olive oil & soy sauce + wood fungus

one mistake i made was with the wood fungus. first time i was doing this. apparently this was the wrong fungus. it was the crunchy type & not suitable. if i had looked more thoroughly i would have found the small ones in the shelves.

pan-grilled lobster

#5 pan-grilled lobster

#5 pan-grilled lobster

this was an easy dish to make. however i did not do it right this time & the lobster was overcooked & just slightly tough. wife & daughters said lobster was very tasty & flavourful but i knew meat being just right & being tough made a whole  world of difference.

cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

#5 cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

i bought 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95 at cold storage.

cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

#5 cold storage 2x375g frozen canadian cooked lobster=S$26.95

i cut the lobster in halves & shelled the pincers & legs. i put a lobe of butter in the pan & when it was very hot, i placed the lobster flat on the pan. then i added 2 tablespoon of brandy & flamed. the method was right, but i just did it a bit too long.

roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

i tried to reproduce the roasted pineapples. this i didn’t practice, just use my imagination. unfortunately it was nothing like what we had at porthminster. haha!

roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

i torched the thick sliced pineapples. then i stewed them in lychee syrup.

roasted pineapples

#6 roasted pineapples

i served it with surprising coconut from daily scoop & lychees, and wife roasted some coconut flakes.

i guess it was immensely edible. anyway we were just eating fruit & ice cream so didn’t quite know what it was about.

roasted pineapples

st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s roasted pineapples

nothing like the experience of the real thing – st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s roasted pineapples.^^

c.h.e.f andy

6-course Wagyu OR Seafood Set @ En Grill & Bar on 28May2015

wagyu salad

wagyu salad

saw on groupon a S$38 6-course wagyu set at en grill & bar & decided to go with a friend.

happened that another friend from sydney was in singapore at the time. my friend got his wife to join also, so in the end we had 4pax dinner at en grill on 28.5.2015.^^

i made sure i made the reservations before i bought the groupon deal. 🙂

En Grill & Bar

En Grill & Bar

the last time i came here was in 2008 & my family sat at the bar area. i remember because there were flat screens & i watched safina & ivanovic for the first time & ivanovic won her one & only grand slam at roland garros that year. never been the same since.

today we sat at the restaurant side. 3 of us picked the wagyu set (okinawan wagyu) & 1 the seafood set.

wagyu salad

#1 wagyu salad

6-course wagyu set

#1 wagyu salad

we started with the standard japanese salad with ponzu dressing which i always like. there were like 3 thin slices of wagyu, quite marbled & sweet i guess, not much impact.

wagyu meatball, tataki & misoyaki

wagyu meatball, tataki & misoyaki

#2 wagyu meatball, tataki & misoyaki

very tiny helpings. they supposed to add up i guess.

wagyu meatball

wagyu meatball

wagyu meatball was ok. the crouton went pretty ok with the tomato sauce too.

wagyu tataki

wagyu tataki

wagyu tataki was excellent, marbled & flavourful.

wagyu miso yaki

wagyu miso yaki

the misoyaki? quite odd..didn’t taste anything, like any roast beef.

wagyu foie gras & mini burger

wagyu foie gras & mini burger

#3 wagyu foie gras &mini burger

this was quite excellent!

wagyu foie gras & mini burger

wagyu foie gras & mini burger

liked the roasted sweet potatoes.

wagyu foie gras

wagyu foie gras

the wagyu was well marbled & tasty. not everyone agreed though. 1 friend thought it tasted like satay beef. i didn’t feel that though, & the beef was great for my taste. 🙂

and the grilled onions infused much of the taste, very good. didn’t feel much of the foie gras, maybe we were busy talking.

wagyu mini burger

wagyu mini burger

the wagyu mini burger was excellent!^^

i can have this again. good that it’s so small, i finished all the carbs. haha! 🙂

wagyu roasted sumikyaki

wagyu roasted sumikyaki

#4 wagyu roasted sumiyaki

a slightly thicker slice!

wagyu roasted sumikyaki

wagyu roasted sumikyaki

don’t know about the orange sauce. the wagyu was well marbled & flavourful. i felt the orange sauce diminished it. not that the sauce was not nice, but i rather have the grilled, intense wagyu taste.

wagyu ragu pasta

wagyu ragu pasta

#5 wagyu ragu pasta

it’s more braised beef than ragout tagliatelle. i guess it was ragout sauce + braised beef. well, as good as a braised wagyu could be. very nice pasta really.

sashimi salad with truffle miso

sashimi salad with truffle miso

6-course seafood set

#1 sashimi salad with truffle miso

1 friend had the 6-course seafood set. didn’t ask but it looked like the same salad with cube-cut sashimi maguro, salmon & maybe kajiki (swordfish). looked good.

tako carpaccio, hotate baikinu & oyster salsa

tako carpaccio, hotate bainiku & oyster salsa

#2 tako carpaccio, hotate bainiku &oyster salsa

this looked very appetising. the sliced scallop with plum jelly on cucumber quite interesting.

gindara teriyaki & mini chicken burger

gindara teriyaki & mini chicken burger

#3 gindara teriyaki &mini chicken burger

the friend was very impressed with the chicken mini burger she mentioned several times during dinner & afterwards on FB that it was one of the best burgers she had.^^

gindara (cod)

gindara (cod)

the gindara like some of the wagyu servings was really thin to feel much impact.

eafood mentaiko yaki (prawn, oyster & hotate

seafood mentaiko yaki (prawn, oyster & hotate)

#4 seafood mentaiko yaki (prawn, oyster & hotate)

japanese shellfish grilled in shells not my favourite preparation. for me, oysters should be taken raw, though occasionally breaded oysters can be quite nice, and scallops pan-fried. however, all these looked grilled (& maybe flamed) & may in fact have been grilled with mentaiko then plated on the shells. if so they should be quite tasty & flavourful.

uni angel hair pasta

uni angel hair pasta

#5 uni angel hair pasta

the uni & ikura capellini was excellent. ^^

uni angel hair pasta

uni angel hair pasta

this the only one from my friend’s set i tasted. very flavourful, matching gordon grill’s and other places. i would be quite happy overall to take this seafood set.

cheese cake with yuzu sorbet

cheese cake with yuzu sorbet

#6 cheese cake with yuzu sorbet

both sets came with cheese cake & yuzu sorbet. the yuzu sorbet was superb, just love it!^^

cheese cake was the usual soft textured japanese cheese cake, which i like also. 🙂

overall, it was very good value set for S$38nett. as a great set meal i will certainly do this again.

for the purpose of having a good steak fix, the wagyu set did not really deliver a steak experience, not like what we had at-

i guess that’s not comparing apple for apple.

c.h.e.f andy

A Relaxing Birthday Dinner at Tunglok Signature @ Central on 27May2015

salted egg prawns

salted egg prawns

last evening, my close dentist friend and godsis & her husband arranged a birthday dinner for another close friend at tunglok signature @ central on 27.5.2015. ^^

my wife & i & another friend joined dinner so there were 7pax.

birthday was several weeks before but some of us were away, anyway it was just fun to get together.

godsis was feeling rich & happy, and displayed great teamwork with her hubby, and managed to best my dentist friend to grab the bill at the end of dinner. 🙂

roast pork烧肉

roast pork烧肉

i just had salted egg prawns & roast pork烧肉 at a 13pax RI friends G20 dinner at peach garden @ metropolis the evening before, and that was good too.

we can see from the photos that the presentation & colours of the 2 dishes at tunglok were better. taste-wise they were close – the roast pork烧肉 about same, the salted egg prawns maybe tunglok a tad better. 🙂

deep-fried fish fillet (also salted egg)

deep-fried cod fish fillet (also salted egg)

deep-fried fish fillet (also salted egg)

deep-fried cod fish fillet (also salted egg)

we had the deep-fried cod fish fillet that seemed to be salted egg flavoured also. it was a well executed dish, somewhat oily. not really a preferred preparation for me.

the same dentist friend & mei mei had a birthday dinner for me in 2013 here at this same tunglok outlet. we had star garoupa fillet with broccoli & lily bulbs & that was very good. of course for me, steamed fish is the best. haha!^^

tunglok's 三层楼

tunglok’s 三层楼

tunglok's 三层楼

tunglok’s 三层楼

we had the elegant 三层楼, which is a tunglok’s long standing dish of fried bean curd on spinach & shimeji mushrooms.

charcoal tofu dish

charcoal tofu dish

charcoal tofu dish

charcoal tofu dish

there was a newer dish of charcoal tofu with lily bulbs 百合.

both tofu dishes were very nice!

string beans with egg plant

string beans with egg plant

next was a string beans with egg plant. just mildly spicy (if any at all) & quite nicely done.

another squash dish with edamame

another squash dish with edamame

another squash dish with edamame

another squash dish with edamame

another dish was a bit unusual combination, some squash with japanese edamame & slightly sweet sauce. can’t figure out this dish.

longevity buns 流沙寿桃

longevity buns 流沙寿桃

as it was a birthday, the restaurant provided complimentary longevity buns 流沙寿桃.

birthday message to 101

birthday message to 101

birthday message to 101

birthday message to 101

they were  presented together with the cake mei mei bought, and handwritten “calligraphy” by a talented restaurant manager. haha!

少年壮志当十一

英俊潇洒二十一

状元高中三十一

年龄岁岁四十一

成就显赫五十一

儿孙满堂六十一

回想当年七十一

福禄寿全八十一

享受人生九十一

要找北京101???

the message changes according to occasions, so the guy must have a whole bookcase of them. haha!^^

i didn’t know the price as mei mei paid for it, estimate about S$175 or S$25pax

c.h.e.f andy

RI Friends G20 13pax Dinner at Peach Gardens @ Metropolis on 26May2015

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

had a fun dinner get together among RI friends at peach garden @ metropolis on 26.5.2015. ^^

happened to be the same friend who organised G20 dinner 2 years ago also at peach garden (@ novena), aug2013.

come to think of it, this was the 3rd time we had G20 dinners at peach garden in as many years. the most recent was at peach garden @ miramar on 30.6.2014, almost 1 year ago.

many of us had not been to metropolis. 1 who had been associated it with MOE as he is a professor at NUS. for another in a brokerage firm, it was CDP that came to mind.

i parked at the openair carpark before metropolis building, very well located next to the bus stop & MRT. there was a lift that took me to level 2 right by peach garden. 🙂

place was new so looked somewhat better than previously at novena & also at miramar. the ala carte buffet menu with 1 free for 3 paying is for steamboat, so we decided to take the ala carte menu instead.

roast pork烧肉

roast pork烧肉

roast pork烧肉

roast pork烧肉

we ordered the roast pork烧肉, a recommended dish. it was good, same standard as the usual places like crystal jade, imperial trasure, tunglok & canton paradise.

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

we were deciding between peking duck & roast duck. they were same price , i think S$56 for 1 duck. more went for roast duck, which was also my preference.

roast duck was good too, very flavourful & tender, & skin was crisp. it was no better than canton paradise. i think the latter still more fragrant & tasty, my gold standard. haha!^^

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

soon hock was S$9/100g. we had 12pax (+ one who came a bit later on), so we ordered a 1kg fish.

i always preferred steam for a very fresh live fish to deep-fried, which is like second best. soon hock was excellently done, very tender, smooth, tasty.

salted egg prawn

salted egg prawn

i was quite wary i.e. distrustful (& weary) of peach garden’s wasabi prawns. it once came with a ton of green wasabi mayo. but looking back at the 2013 photos actually it was not bad. anyhow we ordered the salted egg prawn, which was very good too, though not quite my favourite. 🙂

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

a friend ordered the claypot tofu with naibai 奶白. a simple dish but really quite well executed!^^

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

& we had the chinese cabbage (jinbai 津白i think) with enoki mushrooms. again a very simple dish & very tastefully (both sight & taste) done indeed! 🙂

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice is quite a standard dish in many good chinese restaurants. i used to love it a lot at imperial treasure nanbei, especially with the xo chilli sauce.

somehow this one didn’t wow, quite average to me, not much wok hae. i think i can do better than that myself. my favourite now is the spicy seafood fried rice at crystal jade la mian xiaolongbao.^^

fried kuayteow

fried kuayteow

a friend managed to reach when we were down to the second last dish, so he ordered a fried kuay teow. looked ok i guess, like the usual fare.

芝麻豆沙锅饼

芝麻豆沙锅饼

芝麻豆沙锅饼

芝麻豆沙锅饼

the sesame red bean pancake was another standard dish. it was done pretty nicely – look & certainly taste also.

custard bun 流沙包

custard bun 流沙包

custard bun 流沙包

custard bun 流沙包

the last item was the custard bun. pretty good but i kind of tired of them (like i was tired of the crispy charsiew bao at timhowan).

a very enjoyable dinner & evening with friends.

the price came to S$414 nett for 13pax after a 15% credit card discount=S$32nett. of course we did not order much food too. we did not order expensive ingredients so these were average dishes but very well executed. price was ok, about there i guess.

c.h.e.f andy

Land’s End Hike from Sennen Cove on 9May2015

sennen cove

looking back at sennen cove

after a wonderful hike at porthgwara, we rested at porthgwara cove cafe & enjoyed some crnish cream tea. ^^

actually i was less than enthused.

this cornish cream tea/devonshire cream tea thingy is just scones & clotted cream. when i read up, they say in america the fat content of clotted cream will make it by definition butter!

it was already nearing 2pm. the weather was holding out. we were uncertain if the glorious sunshine would continue, so we decided to drive on to sennen cove and hike to land’s end. ^^

on the way we stopped by for a very cheap but mediocre (i guess not much to complain about) £5 cod & chips at a pub. 🙂

when we reached sennen cove, parked & started hiking, the sky started to become downcast though. 😦

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

a very pleasant hike along the southwestern coast path.

looking back at sennen cove

looking back at sennen cove

looking back at picturesque sennen cove & towards the north, cape cornwall was in the distance.

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

looking southwards is land’s end, the most westerly point of cornwall and england. ^^

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

there was a steeper short climb up mayon cliff to the mayon old coastguard lookout.

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

nearer to land’s end peninsula.

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

lots of rock formation & geology. 🙂

hiking to land's end from sennen cove

hiking to land’s end from sennen cove

a relaxing walk, a bit overcast sky.

cape cornwall

cape cornwall

looking north to cape cornwall in the distance. 🙂

land's end

land’s end

land's end coastline

land’s end coastline

the craggy coastline to land’s end peninsula.

land's end

land’s end

land's end & dr syntax head

land’s end & dr syntax’s head

land's end

land’s end

we could see land’s end, dr syntax’s head on peel point further out to sea & dr johnson’s head.

dr syntax a fictional school master dr syntax's head

we did not venture for a closer look, but apparently there a rock formation that looked exactly like a head with a protruding chin, and somehow named after a fictional headmaster.

land's end

land’s end & dr syntax’s head

land's end

land’s end

the first & last house resting point at land’s end. 🙂

land's end

land’s end & dr syntax’s head

looking at land’s end & dr syntax’s head northwards from the other side.

lookout

lookout

at land’s end, we rested a while at the first & last house. 🙂

on the way back to sennen cove

on the way back to sennen cove

the glorious sunshine in the morning had passed, sky was overcast, foggy & photo lighting a bit low.

on the way back to sennen cove

on the way back to sennen cove

on the way back to sennen cove

on the way back to sennen cove

we walked back to sennen cove.

on the way back to sennen cove

on the way back to sennen cove

on the way back to sennen cove

on the way back to sennen cove

land's end

land’s end

it was a very nice hike even though we could not keep the sunshine.

we had a coffee & shared some bites. after that we drove back & was happy to be back at our very nice glencree house b&b. 🙂

glencree house proprietor booked tolcarn inn at newlyn for us. having rested, we drove a short distance to newlyn & had a really great fish dinner at tolcarne inn!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Fish & Chips on 9May2015

fish & chip

£5 cod & chips

after porthgwarra, we took a short drive to sennen cove on 9.5.2015.

it was past 2.30pm. sun was still bright.

we saw a sign for fish & chips. we turned into a carpark next to a pub restaurant & saw a sign lunch specials:£5 cod & chips outside the shop.

inside, a blackboard said the same thing.

a nice cornish pub restaurant

a nice cornish pub restaurant

it was a nice pub. wife ordered a draft beer.

fish & chip place on the way to sennen cove

a nice cornish pub restaurant

the £5 cod & chips was still available even though past lunch time.^^

fish & chip2

£5 cod & chips

£5 cod & chips

£5 cod & chips

it was just average. & a huge portion. chips were not tasty, peas not great here too. i added a lot of vinegar & salt. haha!

fish was actually ok, but like wife said, cod here is just white fish, somehow a low grade white fish. i wonder.

still, this was no worse than poppies fish & chips, the best in london, maybe this was better!

c.h.e.f andy

Cream Tea & Porthgwarra Hike on 9May2015

privately owned porthgwarra cove

privately owned porthgwarra cove

porthgwarra (in cornish means a very wooded cove) is in fact quite accessible from porthcurno, probably an hour’s walk along the southwest coast path.

we were not certain of the weather & the terrain, so decided to head back to our car after reaching st leaven’s church.

so after minack theatre & the short porthcurno hike, we took a drive instead to porthgwarra. the access road is tricky as for quite a long stretch it is only 1 car width. it seems pure chance that 2 vehicles do not ended head to head & having to reverse (couldn’t imagine how?) but i guess probability of that is low because so few vehicles. there are intervals where there are wider space for 2 vehicles to cross. still we manage to reach & leave portgwarra w/o any difficult manoeuvres.

slipway and winch at porthgwarra

slipway and winch at porthgwarra

apparently porthgwarra cove & the winch & slipway are privately owned, though public are allowed to use them.

porthgwarra cove cafe

porthgwarra cove

porthgwarra cove cafe is left of this building & there is a large carpark beyond that which the cafe proprietress charged £2 for the parking. quite ok.

cave tunnels

cave tunnels

we followed the signs & got up to the southwest coast path.

looking down, some kids were playing hide & seek at a cave tunnel below. seems that there were more tunnels at the foot of the cove’s slipway is a tunnel dug by tin miners from St Just to give farmers horse-and-cart access to the beach to collect seaweed to use as a fertiliser.

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

we were blessed with glorious sunshine. the walk was very pleasant, good wind, not too chilly.

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

for this section, the walk was quite gentle, not too much difficulty.

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike16

porthgwarra hike

we reached the gwennap head lookout station (national coast watch institution).

maybe in the distance is land’s end. the southwest coast path would lead us to land’s end. at our slow progress maybe 1.5hrs. but we were being conservative, uncertain about the sudden change in weather & not wanting to trek back to the car if we went  too far. so we decided to turn back & drive to sennen cove afterwards & walked from there to land’s end.

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

porthgwarra hike

there were these red & black cones along the ridge. we were wondering what they were & the use?

it was until later that i learned that they are “Trinity House navigation daymarks on Gwennap Head”, and “When the red cone obliterates the black and white one the observer at sea is directly above the dangerous Runnel Stone”. wow!

£5.25 cream tea porthgwarra cove cafe

£5.25 cream tea porthgwarra cove cafe

£5.25 cream tea porthgwarra cove cafe

£5.25 cream tea porthgwarra cove cafe

we shared one £5.25 cream tea at the porthgwarra cove cafe.^^

we were not so enthused with this cornish cream tea/devonshire cream tea thingy. just scones & clotted cream. when i read up, they say in america the fat content of clotted cream will make it by definition butter! i do like butter & especially homemade name/fruit preserve etc so i am ok with scones & butter/jam. one is quite enough though. these scones a bit of the crumbly type & not really so “pang” aka tasty.

c.h.e.f andy

The Best Breakfast, Excellent Host & Stay at Glencree House B&B on 9-12May2015

big breakfast at glencree house less sausage & beans

big breakfast at glencree house less sausage & beans

after picking up our car from keddy upon arrival at penzance station, we drove 1.1miles (according to googlemap) to glencree house bed & breakfast in like 5 mins.

glencree house bed & breakfast

glencree house bed & breakfast

wife booked this place for the next 3 nights, 9-12.5.2015. it was an excellent choice.

breakfast at glencree

breakfast at glencree

andrew, the host, was really friendly, cheerful & helpful. he was very busy of course managing the breakfast. the settee was not occupied, and later as he cleared 1 table, he welcomed us to take from the breakfast spread. we took some coffee.

lynsey guided us to couple maps from the bookshelf & andrew told us we could take them with us in our car. we forgot to return the maps when we checked out on 12.5.2015 for st ives. so on 14.5.2015, after leaving st ives, we passed by glencree house & returned the maps. 🙂

breakfast room at glencree house

breakfast room at glencree house

breakfast at glencree house

breakfast at glencree house

breakfast at glencree house

breakfast at glencree house

breakfast was as good as shown on the B&B website!

andrew - great host glencree house proprietor

andrew – great host glencree house proprietor

we later checked into trevose harbour house B&B at st ives, which was another excellent & much more luxurious B&B. breakfast was almost identical though trevose had a bit more expensive stuff, but we both agreed the breakfast at glencree was better. must be andrew’s cooking!^^

smoked salmon on scarmble eggs at glencree house

smoked salmon on scarmble eggs at glencree house

we had breakfast for 3 days. for the first breakfast on 10.5.2015, my wife had the smoked salmon on scrambled eggs.

it was good, but obviously my big breakfast was better, so my wife switch to that for the next 2 days.

big breakfast at glencree house

big breakfast at glencree house

big breakfast at glencree house

big breakfast at glencree house

no need to ask why big breakfast? 2 sausages, 2 back bacon, 2 over easy, good helping of button mushrooms, 1 large tomato, & beans.

big breakfast at glencree house less sausage & beans

big breakfast at glencree house less sausage & beans

the farm sausages & baked beans i could do without so i skipped those the next 2 days. this guy’s over easy really good standard. haha! 🙂

kellog fruit & fibre at glencree house breakfast

kellog fruit & fibre at glencree house breakfast

i liked the kellogg’s fruit & fibre very much.

kellog fruit & fibre at glencree house breakfast

kellog fruit & fibre at glencree house breakfast

strawberries & blueberries at glencree house breakfast

strawberries & blueberries at glencree house breakfast

strawberries & blueberries at glencree house breakfast

strawberries & blueberries at glencree house breakfast

well, actually i liked the strawberries & blueberries very much!

kellog fruit & fibre at glencree house breakfast

kellog fruit & fibre at glencree house breakfast

& they go so well with the kellogg’s fruit & fibre.

bread butter & jam

bread butter & jam

on the second day i also had the bread. i liked especially the homemade jam, fruit preserve.

we had a really excellent & enjoyable stay at glencree house. 🙂

the room?

room was ok. ours on level 3. room was not big but quite ok. bed & bedding were ok. good coffee bags & lots of tea. toilet was small but ok. towel reel was heated in the evening. we never used the tv. wifi in room was ok, sometime a bit slow. basic room really, well provided for the price. we were happy with it.

c.h.e.f andy

Minack Theatre & Porthcurno Hike on 9May2015

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

we were greeted with a morning of glorious sunshine on 9.5.2015. ^^

after depositing our luggage at the glencree house B&B, excellent place we would be staying for the next 3 days, we drove 9miles to minack theatre. 🙂

entrance to minack theatre

entrance to minack theatre

entrance to minack theatre

entrance to minack theatre

there was a large free carpark. we paid the £4.50 entrance fee. these days we view entrance fee as contribution to upkeep a place people want to visit (which is exactly what is for!), so we think only whether we want to visit a place, not the entrance fees. haha!^^

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre is literally an open-air theatre carved out of granite cliffs at porthcurno! 

it’s the most famous cliffside open-air theatre in Britain, possibly in the world.

minack theatre

minack theatre

we could see the lizard peninsula & lizard point in the distance. 🙂

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

porthcurno beach (from minack theatre)

porthcurno beach (from minack theatre)

& porthcurno beach. 🙂

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

it was the work & devotion of rowena cade, who owned & started the project in the 1930s.

minack theatre10 minack theatre11 minack theatre12minack theatre10

many concerts were held at this place & continues to do so. 🙂

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

minack theatre

porthcurno

porthcurno

there is a route leading down to porthcurn0 beach. 🙂

porthcurno beach

porthcurno beach

very small beach!

minack theatre, southwest coast path, porthgwarra

minack theatre, southwest coast path, porthgwarra

we took the southwest coast path, access from the minack theatre carpark. such a wonderful walk! 🙂

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

the meadows. i learned that meadow is an unwooded grassland primarily for making hay & not for livestock grazing.^

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

such beauty!

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

this is porthchapel beach.

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

we walked through the farm.

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

porthcurno hike

st levan’s church

& arrived at st levan’s church. 🙂

st levan's church from up the road

st levan’s church from up the road

we took the road back to minack theatre.

that’s the view of st levan’s church from up the road.

from road leading back to minack theatre

from road leading back to minack theatre

from road leading back to minack theatre

from road leading back to minack theatre

from road leading back to minack theatre

from road leading back to minack theatre

it was a short walk back to minack theatre, like 1/2 mile.

garden alongside minack theatre

garden alongside minack theatre

we arrived where we started, the garden landscape & carpark entrance to minack theatre. such a wonderful morning walk.

after porthcurno, we drove further to porthgwarra. it was a bit of a u-turn in terms of the route, about 3.5miles.

Sleeper Train & Car Rental – Cornwall Holiday Planning on 8-9May2015

single sleeper cabin

single sleeper cabin

wife planned the cornwall trip & the journey to penzance.^^

we took the sleeper train from paddington at 23.45pm on 8.5.2015 & arrived next morning 7.55am at penzance, cornwall. 🙂

it was a good plan. penzance is a great base to explore cornwall. we walked-

the minack theatre, porthcurno, porthgwaraa, sennen cove & land’s end on 9.5.2015;

cape cornwall, botallack mines & dined at gurnard’s head restaurant on 10.5.2015;

the lizard peninsula, starting from kynance cove to lizard point to lizard village & back kynance cove 11.5.2015;

st michael’s mount in the morning before driving to st ives on 12.5.2015.

after day we spent 2 nights at st ives.^^

the advantages are that –

(1) the day journey london to penzance takes 5hrs & cost £215 while the sleeper takes 8hrs, we arrived fresh & no time lost & it cost £100 more per trip (i.e. per night). we had separate cabins (connecting cabins onward journey non connecting return journey). the double bed sleeper cabins were full otherwise the cost is £70 a night no more than a B&B. 🙂

breakfast - croisant

breakfast – croisant

breakfast - bacon sandwich

breakfast – bacon sandwich

breakfast was like irrelevant.

penzance station

penzance station

europcar VW Golf

europcar VW Golf

 (2) we did not want to drive long distances & picking up car from penzance, we drove less than 200miles in 6days, very short distances & quite perfect for us at our age.

we picked up a VW Gold at europcar located right at penzance station. it was a manual car. the automatic cost like 2x more!

we booked the car from rental cars.com which is like a broker/consolidator. the actual rental company was keddy (euorpcar). we guess keddy is like a second brand for europcar.

the car rental price was not that much different, however the waiver of excess insurance by rental cars.com was like 1/2 of keddy & europcar. actually we can claim excess from our usual travel insurance, but usually we just took up the insurance anyway to have less hassle. in this case we found out only at keddy that it does not actually, so it served no purpose to take up the insurance. this was because it was not excess insurance by keddy but by a third party rental cars.com so we would have to pay excess of £1000 & still claim from rentalcars.com. might as well claim from amex.

anyway, journey was smooth & not a scratch. i made sure i took all the photos for record when we returned the car & dropped the key at penzance.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Son Made Dinner for Mom & Dad on 17May2015

guo tie 锅贴

guo tie 锅贴

son made a really yummy dinner for us on 17.5.2015. ^^

we were flying back to singapore on 18.5.2015. 🙂

2 days before he went to chinatown to buy the guo tie 锅贴 because my wife wanted it. 🙂

the guo tie 锅贴 was really yummy! i wonder if i could get the same from qoo10?

brocoli

brocoli

brocoli

brocoli

apparently son had a ottenlenghi cookbook. he was telling us about pan charring the broccoli on high heat. 🙂

carrots & onions

carrots & onions

carrots & onions

carrots & onions

he also made some carrots & onions.

making quinoa

making quinoa

& cooked the quinoa. that’s who my wife learned from, so these days we cart back the quinoa & wife cooked that often for her packet lunch & my dinners.^^

making quinoa, carrots & onions

making quinoa, carrots & onions

quinoa, brocoli, carrots & onions

quinoa, brocoli, carrots & onions

quinoa, brocoli, carrots & onions

quinoa, brocoli, carrots & onions

the quinoa, broccoli, carrots & onions dish was really good! not sure if it is a ottolenghi recipe?

guo tie 锅贴

guo tie 锅贴

guo tie 锅贴

guo tie 锅贴

guo tie 锅贴

guo tie 锅贴

but the guo tie 锅贴 was the best.

i didn’t know the cooking method previously until i last visited son in august2014 & he cooked guo tie 锅贴 for me. son said just follow instructions. 🙂

you actually add water & oil in a frying pan (seems counter intuitive but that is the standard method) & place the guo tie 锅贴. so the guo tie 锅贴 is cooked as the water evaporated & when oil is left guo tie 锅贴 is cooked & browned.

so simple. so yummy!

guo tie 锅贴 quinoa & wine

guo tie 锅贴 quinoa & wine

cheese jam grapes

cheese jam grapes

after the guo tie 锅贴 & quinoa & wine, we had cheese jam & frozen grapes.

a most enjoyable dinner with wife & son before departing for singapore next day.

c.h.e.f andy

Anniversary Dinner Dishes Experimentation on 20May2015

flamed squid with spinach sauce

flamed squid with spinach sauce

i am doing 5 dishes for our coming 29th anniversary.^^

steamed mussels

flamed squid in spinach saucy

curry cod

pan grilled lobster

roasted pineapples

4 of the dishes (excluding lobster) were inspired by our lunch @ porthminster cafe at st ives.

i experimented on 3 of the dishes today on 20.5.2015.^^

torch - present from a friend diner

torch – present from a friend diner

i saw the photos of the monkfish curry & flamed squid at michael smith’s porthminster cafe. cannot find the recipe on google. i guess the chef is not that famous. so i tried to recreate the dishes w/o the recipe. 🙂

my wife’s friend who came for dinner twice bought me a kitchen torch. that was more than a year ago. never used it yet.

i tested it, pretty easy to use. 🙂

flamed squid - learned to use the torch very first time

flamed squid – learned to use the torch very first time

flamed squid - learned to use the torch very first time

flamed squid – learned to use the torch very first time

flamed squid

after i cross-cut the squid & seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper, i flamed it on a frying pan. quite smooth going. i knew it was not sufficiently cooked. so i fry in butter over high heat. the key was not to overcook the squid or it would become tough & chewy.

green pepper onions spinach sauce

green pepper onions spinach sauce

i created my own spinach sauce recipe using 1/2 onions finely sliced, 1/2 green pepper cut into small pieces, and a bunch of spinach (only the leaves). i fry in butter the green pepper & onions, & added 1tsp of garlic & 1 tsp light soy sauce. when the onions & green pepper softened, i added the spinach leaves. then i emptied them into the blender & added 2 tablespoon olive oil. i did not have chicken stock so i opened a can of straw mushrooms & used about 2 tablespoon brine from the canned mushrooms.

and blend.

the sauce was really good. first class!

flamed squid with spinach sauce

flamed squid with spinach sauce

when serving, i heat up the spinach sauce, plated it & placed the flamed squid on top.^^

st ives porthminster chef michael smith's flamed squid

st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s flamed squid

hasn’t got the looks of st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s flamed squid. the dish overall was superb!^^

thai yellow curry paste

thai yellow curry paste

thai yellow curry gravy

thai yellow curry gravy

curry gravy

to give bulk & colour, i cut 2/3 of a yellow pepper to small pieces, 1/2 onions thinly sliced, & the leftover stalk of the spinach in small 1cm cuts. i fried them in butter to soften, added 1 tsp light soy sauce & 1 tsp chopped garlic, 2 tablespoon olive oil & some brine from the straw mushrooms and then blend.

i added 2 tablespoon of coconut cream to a pan, heat to boil then added 1.5tablespoon of thai yellow curry bought from sheng shiong, and fried the paste to get the aroma. then i added the blend & more coconut milk.

the yellow curry (above photo) was really flavourful & yummy!^^

mussels & manila clams

mussels & manila clams

i bought mussels & manila clams from sheng shiong. there were no more mussels in the aerated water so i picked up a packet mussels from the chiller display section. they were supposed to be still live but evidently not as fresh.

curry manila clams

curry manila clams

curry manila clams

curry manila clams

when serving i heat the curry gravy on high heat, added the manila clams & cover to steam the clams, & added chopped tomatoes, then spinach leaves.

i think i made a mistake by adding white wine & a bit more brine from the straw mushrooms.

the curry clams (above photo) looked lemak & beautiful. taste wise it was still flavourful but somewhat diluted & not as intense as before.

st ives porthminster chef michael smith's curry monkfish

st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s curry monkfish

this (above photo) how the st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s curry monkfish looks.

mussels

mussels

mussels

mussels

steamed mussels

i made the mussels my usual way, just adding more butter, fry the sliced onions, ginger & orange peel then added white wine & steamed the mussels in the covered pan over high heat.

st ives porthminster's mussels

st ives porthminster’s mussels

we took the mussels at porthminster cafe (above photo). it was excellent. my version was nowhere near in taste.

the results-

the flamed squid was excellent! squid was tender, succulent, tasty & my own green pepper, onions, spinach blended gravy was super. this dish is good!

the curry manilla clams was intended to be the curry base for my curry cod (replacing the monkfish) was very tasty & flavourful before i added the clams but became diluted, still tasty but less intense…need to make it thicker next time.

the mussels not so great. did not have fresh live mussels at sheng shiong today bought the packet ones which claimed live but not as fresh…anyway my recipe need some rethinking.

c.h.e.f andy

Bricklane Market & Street Eats on 17May2015

vietnamese prok baguette £4.95

vietnamese prok baguette £4.95

son brought us to brick lane market in shoreditch on sunday 17.5.2015.^^

this the first time here for my wife & me. 🙂

we took the hammersmith line to liverpool street. the last time i came here was with my son in jan2011 when i came with him for his college interview & we went to dine at marco pierre white steak & alehouse (so so only, i only started blogging in mar2013).

old spitalfields market

old spitalfields market

we passed by old spitalsfield market on the way. 🙂

old spitalfields market

old spitalfields market

food trolleys.

on the way to bricklane market

on the way to bricklane market

juice stall.

bricklane market

bricklane market

bricklane market

bricklane market

bricklane market. my youngest daughter kind of place.

bricklane market

bricklane market

& my music buff friend’s heaven – beatles, pink floyd, kate bush, sex pistols. ^^ i what sapped the group..”lau nuah” he said.

bricklane market openair food trolleys

bricklane market openair food trolleys

bricklane market openair food trolleys

bricklane market openair food trolleys

broing me only interested in food. 🙂

vietnamese food trolley

vietnamese food trolley

the vietnamese food looked delicious, and the aroma wafted as you walked past.

we had the vietnamese pork baguette, £4.95 cut into 3 pieces. quite ideal really. pork was really good, flavourful. & baguette was good too. i can probably eat one myself though i usually would not. too much carbs. taste was similar to my own vietnamese pork.^^

thai food trolley

thai food trolley

thai food trolley looked good too, the curries looked attractive & yummy. 🙂

bricklane market

bricklane market

we walked down brick lane. wife took a smoothie. nice.

cab cafe at bricklane market

cab cafe at bricklane market

cab cafe at bricklane market

cab cafe at bricklane market

there was a coffee stall serving out of an old london cab. 🙂

salt beef bagel

salt beef bagel

25-man queue at bricklane bakery for salt beef bagel

25-man queue at bricklane bakery for salt beef bagel

there was a obviously popular salt beef bagel stall.

25-man queue at bricklane bakery for salt beef bagel

25-man queue at bricklane bakery for salt beef bagel

queue was like 25-man long, from outside into shop & u-turn back. either it’s really good or a queue just attracted more to queue. 🙂

salt beef bagel £3.70

salt beef bagel £3.70

salt beef bagel £3.70

salt beef bagel £3.70

and it was good! bagel itself nowhere as nice as the baguette for vietnamese pork. but the salt beef (with texture & taste of corn beef. i guess it was in fact corn beef) was good. wife didn’t like it as she said it tasted like the student days luncheon meat kind of. for me & son it was good.

we did not try the ones at borough market last time as we already ate the other food, but this looked just as good & cheaper at £3.70.

brick lane

brick lane

shoreditch

shoreditch

we walked to the junction & walked to busaba shoreditch where we had an excellent thai food lunch.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Thai Food @ Busaba Shoreditch on 15May2015

grilled chicken green curry fried rice

grilled chicken green curry fried rice

wife & son had been talking about busaba eatthai food, especially the grilled chicken green curry fried rice. i had googled too, & that was 1 most recommended dish by many reviewers.

on 17.5.2015, son took us to brick lane markets at shore ditch, 1st time my wife & i were there. he found a newly open busaba shoreditch down the road. we were early, the first customer. service was excellent.^^

busaba shoreditch

busaba shoreditch

busaba shoreditch

busaba shoreditch

place had great ambience. we sat at a glass conservatory section with good sunlight. 🙂

chang beer

chang beer

son had chang draft beer. it was good, light & fragrant.

white wine

white wine

wife had white wine. think it was £3.50. good serving, very affordable. 🙂

calamari

calamari

the grilled chicken green curry fried rice was a truly outstanding dish. grilled chicken was so flavourful with the bbq flavours, & the fried rice was fantastic!^^

we ordered the calamari. it was nicely grilled, very tasty. it was not much of a fritter. batter was very light. for me, squid was just a wee bit tough (meaning overcooked). both wife & son liked it though. & i liked the flavours too, though i think texture wise a tender squid would do a lot better! 🙂

massaman duck curry

massaman duck curry

the massaman duck curry was a great surprise!

i would instinctively go for fish. but the reviews for the tilapia fillet curry was kind of between neutral to negative. the lady server also recommended the duck, so we had that.

it was very nice indeed. i understand it is a “thai” dish mostly muslim origin, the curry texture was closer to rendang, slightly denser & powdery, but the herbs made the dish very flavourful, a bit strong i guess for those not used to it. i liked the dish. 🙂

chilli cod

chilli cod

i was equivocal about the cod.

cannot really understand the cod fish in UK. cod seems to be among the cheaper fish here. its common in cod & chips (& very poor the worst i ever taken at poppies fish & chip at camden) & our UK friend & UK folks we talked to at say tolcarne inn newlyn thought so too & it’s a cheap fish you get at the super mart too. it is nothing like the premium cod we are used to in singapore or the chilean seabass (patagonian toothfish) which is my favourite.

anyhow this cod preparation at busaba was good, very tasty, credit not with the fish but with the preparation. my wife said just consider cod here as any white fish & anyway indeed we were paying the price for just any white fish.

this was a superb dining experience. i may yet try the grilled chicken green curry fried rice, and possibly the massaman curry at home. the main thing is to get the curry taste right. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good Value Lobster Sashimi Boat @ Eat Tokyo Holborn on 16May2015

lobster sashimi boat - £50

lobster sashimi boat – £50

son brought us to eat tokyo holborn for lobster sashimi boat on 16.5.2015.^^

my wife had went with him before. for me it’s the first time. his flatmate joined us so we had 4pax.

eat tokyo has 5 outlets in london & 6 branches in tokyo with 40yrs history. 🙂

lobster sashimi boat - £50

lobster sashimi boat – £50

we ordered the £50 lobster sashimi boat.^^

well basically we came to take this lobster sashimi boat & son confirmed they had it on this day when he made the reservation. 🙂

i think it was fantastic value. there was live lobster sashimi. may not be a very large lobster, but it should be 450g – 500g or so. 🙂 the pincers & legs were cooked & the rest sashimi. the head was used to make 4 bowls of miso soup afterwards, and it was a well done soup, very tasty!^^

atlantic surf clams, tako, hotate & clams

atlantic surf clams, tako, hotate & clams

it was a large serving. in addition to lobster, we had atlantic surf clams, tako, hotate & clams. the clams below the hotate was similar to mirugai (geoduck) but since it was sitting on a large clam shell, i guess it was the large clam variety.

toro, tai, saba, ika, salmon, hamachi

toro, tai, saba, ika, salmon, hamachi

& there was like 6-7 slices of toro and very good helping of the rest – tai, saba, ika, salmon, hamachi (pardon the poor photography) sitting on a whole sea bream!

£50 is fantastic value. in singapore the lobster sashimi alone would cost that & 2 slices of otoro (maybe equal to the 6 small slices) would be S$60.

spider maki & salmon maki

spider maki & salmon maki

spider maki & salmon maki

spider maki & salmon maki

spider maki & salmon maki were inexpensive, about £4 and £8 or so.

this may not be top of the range sashimi but it was far above average quality certainly singapore restaurant standards maybe 50% price. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Best Meal this UK Trip @ The Ledbury on 16May2015

lobster in tea jelly

lobster in tea jelly

wife booked the ledbury for lunch today on 16may2015.^^

ledbury is always full, so she had to like try everyday in order to get an empty slot.

wife’s very close friend who lives north of london came to join us for lunch.

the ledbury is 2-michelin star, just as dinner by heston blumenthal is. from past experience, wife thought it is better. i went to both restaurants for the first time. 🙂

amuse bouche 1=foie gras with jelly

amuse bouche 1=foie gras with jelly

we were served 3 amuse bouche. first was a smoked eel with meringue. great stuff!

amuse bouche 1=foie gras with jelly

amuse bouche 1=foie gras with jelly

second was a foie gras mousse in a cracker. it was literally bursting with flavours on the bite! super!^^

amuse bouche 2=dumpling

amuse bouche 2=dumpling

third was a dumpling with braised veal. yum! 🙂

bread & butter

bread & butter

bread

bread

we had the crusty fluffy bread.

lobster in tea jelly

lobster in tea jelly

first course was lobster in tea jelly. this was excellent, top draw, as good as the jelly dish we had at jaan. 🙂

crispy roll

crispy roll

crispy roll

crispy roll

& it came with a tasty crispy roll, similar to the one taste paradise served for their stone bowl sharkskin soup. 🙂

flamed mackerel

flamed mackerel

the second course was a flamed mackerel. mackerel was very nice. somehow over here it is not as fishy as the mackerel & saba we had in singapore (though i love the oily saba equally).

& there was a mackerel tartare which was so very tasty with the light sauce dressing.

flamed mackerel

flamed mackerel

flamed mackerel

flamed mackerel

my wife & i both thought on the flamed mackerel alone the one we had at tolcarnes inn was even better than this. obviously that did not have the mackerel tartare & overall dining experiences & refineness were not the same.

we thought the strange cucumber with roasted sesame did not belong. maybe it was intended as a cool cucumber to cleanse the palate after the flamed mackerel?

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

the herdwick lamb must be the best lamb loin i had ever!^^

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

lamb loin was so tender & sweet & zero gamey taste. the end bit was just as flavourful with the lamb taste which i like anyway.

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

herdwick lamb, onions & leek flower

the onions were excellent & the leek flower (first time i ate one) was superb.

strawberry sorbet desert

strawberry sorbet desert

strawberry sorbet was good.

petite four=chocolate truffle

petite four=chocolate truffle

petite four=chocolate truffle

petite four=chocolate truffle

cinnamon stick with lemon

cinnamon stick with lemon

the petite four was pretty ok too.

the ledbury is 2-michelin star like the dinner by heston blumenthal.

dinner’s 3-course set lunch is £38 & ledbury’s 4-course set lunch is £50. so i guess it’s a toss-up & depends on the menu at the time. the ledbury offered 3 amuse bouche & dinner none.

just comparing what we had, the meat fruit at dinner had wow factor both the presentation to look like the perfect clementine & the bursting of flavours of the foie gras parfait. likewise ledbury’s lobster in tea jelly pleases in every department. given a choice i would pick the lobster jelly over the meat fruit.

the mackerel at ledbury was very good starter, especially the mackerel tartare. it was more ordinary & less unusual & pleasing as dinner’s ragout of pig’s ear. i liked both almost equally much.

the lamb loin was common dish exceptionally prepared. the sous vide belly pork is becoming a staple in fine dining also exceptionally prepared.

the desserts were just good & ordinary.

the overall dining experience at ledbury though trumps that at dinner. the amuse bouche & dishes were more refine & the ones at dinner were robust. i enjoyed both places & would return next time when i can get a reservation.

c.h.e.f andy

Shiok Indian Dinner @ Dishoom King’s Cross on 15May2015

chicken curry, paneer curry, lamb biryani, garlic naan

chicken curry, paneer curry, lamb biryani, garlic naan

we decided not to go far for dinner. & we decided we didn’t mind to queue for dinner this time.

still it was a long queue at dishoom on 151.5.2015 = 1.5hrs. son went to queue outside the restaurant first. when wife & i arrived 15minutes later, we got inside & waited at the bar area.

cocktail 1

cocktail 1

cocktail 2

cocktail 2

wife & son ordered a cocktail each.

dishoom king's cross bar area

dishoom king’s cross bar area

dishoom king's cross bar area

dishoom king’s cross bar area

it is a very pleasant & happening place. a great place to socialise. the bar is not quite the place for me as music is loud (not so loud here but still loud) and it is noisy with everyone talking. i can see why people love this place. i would not come myself (the bar place) but with family it was quite fun as they enjoyed the drink too. son’s drink was quite good actually. i would take it next time.

chutneys

chutneys

prawn fritters

prawn fritters

calamari

calamari

we started before 9pm & got our table at 10.25pm.

we ordered quite quickly, couple of finger foods like calamari & prawn fritters. the chutneys were served for general use & another one came with the prawns.

calamari & prawn fritters

calamari & prawn fritters

there were good. and we wondered why the restaurant would not serve them at the bar waiting area??

chicken curry

chicken curry

paneer curry

paneer curry

there were only 2 curries. son knew well both were good so we ordered both.

the paneer was good & the chicken was outstanding, very tasty & flavourful. i enjoyed both curries very much. 🙂

lamb biryani

lamb biryani

& we had a lamb biryani.

the biryani was tops. really fragrant, not oily, and fantastic aroma, herbs & all!^^

the lamb was good, tender, a bit understated, felt like a good western or middle eastern lamb to me. i actually prefer some of the singapore ones with more intense flavours.

garlic naan

garlic naan

& we had one naan to share.

we were having a good laugh that it took us 1.5hrs to wait for dinner & just 15mins to wolf everything down. haha!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Fabulous Lunch @ Dinner by Heston Blumenthal on 15May2015

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

wife booked a 3pax lunch at 2 michelin star dinner by heston blumenthal at mandarin priental hyde park on 15.5.2015.^^

it was difficult to book, so we reserved in advance some weeks before.

dinner has 2 michelin stars, was the first restaurant outside bray by blumenthal started in 2011. blumenthal started the 3 michelin star fat duck in bray in 1995 & earned his first michelin star in 1999 when he was 33! fat duck was rated no1 of the world’s 50 best restaurants by pellegrino & second on several years after the french laundry & farren adri’s el bull etc. 🙂

dinner by heston blumenthal

dinner by heston blumenthal

ambience was first class.

the open kitchen

the open kitchen

huge open kitchen with many chefs. i did not read up on dinner, but at fat duck there had 42 chefs to 42 tables, like 1 chef per table!

bread

bread

bread

bread

good bread & butter. the crusty kind & very fluffy inside. 🙂

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

i read a wee bit on meat fruit & recipe only lately before this trip. wasn’t quite sure what the fuss about a chicken liver pate. i was just saying to my wife “it’s just a chicken liver pate” before we ordered it.

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

it turned out that it was simply magnificent!^^ .the best i ever taken…

it was a parfait as it was mousse like in texture light & very smooth & there was slight citrus tanginess..

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

meat fruit chicken liver parfait

well what do you expect when it’s the the famous meat fruit by heston blumenthal. ^^

hay smoked salmon

hay smoked salmon

son had the hay smoked salmon, with smoked beetroot.

hay smoked salmon

hay smoked salmon

hay smoked salmon

hay smoked salmon

the lightly smoked salmon was delicious & quite refine.

ragout of pigs ear

ragout of pigs ear

but we were sold by the server, so my wife & i both ordered the ragout of pigs ear on toast. 🙂

ragout of pigs ear

ragout of pigs ear

ragout of pigs ear

ragout of pigs ear

& it was an outstanding dish. the pigs ear gelatinous texture was exquisite & the sauce & flavours in this preparation was simply special. 🙂

it was robust as the salmon was understated, but very tasty & not satiating as expected. 🙂

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

for the mains, again my wife & i went for the more adventurous belly pork.

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

pork belly 30hr sous vide at 60degC with peas

actually belly pork is these days staples in most fine dining restaurants & nouveau cuisine, still this was quite special, 30hrs sous vide at 60degC. the texture was very tender & totally consistent

i am not a fan of peas, but the combination of belly pork, the sauce & the peas was quite sensational.

pollack - cod like flaky texture

pollack – cod like flaky texture

pollack - cod like flaky texture

pollack – cod like flaky texture

pollack - cod like flaky texture

pollack – cod like flaky texture

my son decided to take the pollack. it was supposed to be cod like with flaky texture. it was pretty good really but could not really count as my favourite fish like chilean seabass. & neither was it better than the fish we had at-

(1)tolcarne inn at newlyn, cornwall

(2)gurnard’s head restaurant, treen, cornwall

rhubarb ice cream with custard tart

rhubarb ice cream with custard tart

for dessert i went for the rhubarb ice cream with custard tart. it was a very good quality dessert. rhubarb had the lovely slightly sour flavours & the custard tart was smooth, not too sweet & the creme brûlée burnt top finish was quite nice.

tipsy cake dessert (good but ordinary)

tipsy cake dessert (good but ordinary)

tipsy cake dessert (good but ordinary)

tipsy cake dessert (good but ordinary)

my wife ordered the tipsy cake. according to the server this was the most difficult dessert to make as the pastor chef had to manage the temperature & to add liquor to the brioche at specified intervals. the roasted pineapples was the easy part.

for us though this was good but ordinary so in a way quite disappointing (unlike the meat fruit). the simple, incredibly pretty & much tastier combination of roasted pineapples at porthminster cafe was so much better than this!

c.h.e.f andy

Another Enjoyable Dinner @ Tolcarne Inn Newlyn on 14May2015

sacllops & broadbeans

sacllops & broadbeans

our london sleeper leaving penzance at 9.45pm & we planned to return the car to europcar penzance station & drop the key at 9pm. that left us sometime to kill so we decided to go back to tolcarne inn for dinner at 7pm on 14.5.2015.

dinner was as enjoyable as our first here on 9.5.2015 though we were nearing our quota of fish having eaten mostly or almost exclusively fish in this cornwall trip. haha!^^ we left st ives at 4pm as planned & drove to mouse hole (pronounced “mowzul”) and walked around the small town a bit. had sometime before dinner, so filled up the car with unleaded & parked at a newlyn carpark (£1.50 after 6pm) & went to mackerel sky newlyn for a flat white before walking over to tolcarnes inn for dinner.

sacllops & broadbeans

sacllops & broadbeans

as before there was no menu & we just ordered from the blackboard, since they do their daily menu depending on what they got from the newlyn market. we each ordered a scallop. this time there was no scallops with apple sauce, which was excellent last time. the scallops were just as well done, and the broad beans were very sweet & combined well with the tasty scallops. still the scallop apple sauce last time was an unmatched experience.

ray & potato terrine

ray & potato terrine

wife ordered a ray & potato terrine. 🙂 we shared all the food anyway!^^

ray & potato terrine

ray & potato terrine

ray & potato terrine

ray & potato terrine

ray & potato terrine

ray & potato terrine

the ray & potato terrine was really good, quite exquisite, somehow the combination of fish & potatoes & herbs was really perfect. there was the aioli sauce (like alio olio butter) & some vegetables. hmmm…maybe i will try cooking this! 🙂

pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

the last time we had john dory. we were having a discussion to the server & the next table old couple who were served the last piece of turbot then about plaice & lemon sole & turbot & they were saying turbot was like the top of the range. probably so, i recalled we had that in jaan’s 8-course degustation dinner as well.

this time they have turbot, no john dory.

 pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

 pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

 pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

pan-fried turbot with lemon, salsify dates & red wine sauce

it was a very good dish, very well done & the sauce with a bit of tangy lemon & sweet date was good…better than the john dory i guess, though both dishes did not blow me away.. the next day son had a pollock at dinner by heston blumenthal which had a flaky, cod like texture. i guess all the fish were as good as they get already, though i still think they were no better than the chilean seabass (patagonian toothfish) at les amis or indeed that which i was served on board SQ!

c.h.e.f andy