Fabulous 5-course Wine Dinner @ Da Luca on 30Jul2015

chilled capellini in wild truffle emulsion

#1 chilled capellini in wild truffle emulsion

wife was invited to a credit suisse wine dinner so i tagged along.^^

the menu looked fabulous, that’s why…i not really a wine person though i drink some red for health reasons… haha! 🙂

da luca (wine dinner)

da luca (wine dinner)

restaurant was filled up.  there were 45 diners including quite many bank staff.

da luca (wine dinner)

da luca (wine dinner)

food was excellent. & we had great company, seated with the wine distributor & the CS banker. a most enjoyable evening dining & chatting! ^^

bread

bread

we were served a toasted bread. it was good. i finished all of it. 🙂

& we had a prosecco. 🙂

chilled capellini in wild truffle emulsion

#1 chilled capellini in wild truffle emulsion

#1 first course was chef luca’s signature chilled capellini in wild truffle emulsion. chef luca hailed from garibaldi & gunther.

this was really good! it was so very flavourful, wonderful truffle aroma, with a japanese laver (seaweed) & ceviche of hokkaido scallops.

you can get decent even good chilled capellini at saveur & also just as good ones at concetto for S$7 but this here is the “real thing”.

bacula bididi 2011

maculan bididi 2011

we had the maculan bididi 2011, not that i know what it was. a pretty good, sweet white wine. wife liked it. ok for me too.

slow cooked spanish octopus

#2 slow cooked spanish octopus

#2 the slow cooked spanish octopus was done very nicely too, very tender. ^^

the grilled flavours (server said it was braised then grilled) kind of masked by the tomato sauce. 🙂

slow cooked spanish octopus

#2 slow cooked spanish octopus

the best octopus i had was at alle darsene at bellaggio lake como.

the roasted octopus tentacles at miky monterosso cinque terre was good too.

the preparation at da cula was perhaps more fine i guess, but taste & overall experience wise, alle darsene was just heavenly, and i think i prefer miky monterosso too.

in singapore the best i had was the sous vide octopus tempura we had almost everytime at mikuni.

funghi risotto

#3 funghi porcini risotto con tartufo nero

#3 & the porcini funghi risotto with black truffles was good, great texture, al dente, good taste.

funghi risotto

#3 funghi porcini risotto con tartufo nero

i did not find it as intense & flavourful as the funghi risotto (sans the black truffles) which i had recently at tess bar & kitchen though.

funghi risotto

#3 funghi porcini risotto con tartufo nero

not sure why. maybe the more expensive black truffles overwhelmed the mushrooms?

anyway it was a good risotto.

barolo braised wagyu cheeks

#4 barolo braised wagyu cheeks

the red wine braised wagyu cheeks was very good too. very tender, a very good braise.

barolo braised wagyu cheeks

#4 barolo braised wagyu cheeks

it was beefy but not very beefy so easier on the palate. portion was fairly generous, not totally satiated but almost there. 🙂

chatting with a CS banker, who i found out is a fellow cooking enthusiast. he asked me where to get wagyu beef cheeks. i have not tried cooking wagyu cheeks so have not looked into this. anyway, beef cheeks  & braises not really my favourite.

for a good braise, i think my own spanish slow-braised beef ribs with a vegetable ratatouille gives a more balanced flavour. and i also prefer beef ribs to the beef cheek.

barolo bricco fiasco 2001

barolo bricco fiasco 2001

there was good wine pairing for each course, & i do enjoy just a little of the wine, though they were basically lost on me. 🙂

chef da luca previously with garibaldi & gunther

chef da luca previously with garibaldi & gunther

chef luca came to say a few words.

chef da luca previously with garibaldi & gunther

chef da luca previously with garibaldi & gunther

we all enjoyed his food very much, so chef luca was very popular man for the evening.

crispy apple tart

#5 crispy apple tart

#5 & yes, the crispy apple tart was excellent!^^

crispy apple tart

#5 crispy apple tart

maybe i will give this a try if i can find a good online recipe.

5-course wine dinner at da luca

5-course wine dinner at da luca

it was really a fabulous dinner & company.

one gentleman on our table mentioned that the S$20pax lunch here was very good so i asked for the menu, and indeed definitely worthwhile coming to try the set lunch.

the ala carte menu prices looked pretty ok too, so likely i would come here for dinner too some time.

P.S. i went with wife to an amarone wine dinner at american club last november. looking at the food picture again, that dinner would be a bit better by comparison. still, this one was very good, and we enjoyed every bit of it. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Advertisements

Scrumptious Homecooked Lunch for 30+pax on 25Jul2015

youngest daughter was celebrating an important occasion & invited 30 friends to the house on 25.7.2015.^^

we had a really wonderfully scrumptious family-cooked lunch for her friends.

we did 13 delectable dishes!^^

& her friend made a professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake. 🙂

wife's PIMMS

wife’s PIMMS cocktail

wife also made a PIMMS cocktail!^^

wife's PIMMS

wife’s PIMMS cocktail

i cannot hold liquor but i liked it very much & took maybe 5 or 6 cups & a bit drunk afterwards. 🙂

#1 wife made a lovely pumpkin tofu salad, something she picked up from marmalade after dining there. 🙂

#2 i did a vietnamese chargrilled pork cold beehoon. 🙂

we recently had this dish at mrs pho. i would think that my version was just as good. 🙂

#3 & i made a chicken ballotine.

#3 i steamed the first batch of 2 for 15mins. it was slight overdone.

the second batch i reduced to 12mins. & this was quite perfect! tender, juicy, flavourful.^^

helper's chicken nuggets

#4 helper’s chicken nuggets

#4 my helper did the chicken nuggets. pretty good too. 🙂

helper's deepfried chicken wings

#5 helper’s deepfried chicken wings

#5 & her chicken wings are a perennial favourite. 🙂

#6 i did a thai red curry sotong.

this the first time i cooked this dish. i fried in butter the sotong (squid) like i did for my flamed squid in spinanch veloute, but w/o flaming it (too tedious for quantity for 30+pax!). i tasted the sotong & it was excellent. i made the red curry gravy using the dancing chef’s ready mix with some cut yellow onions. the curry was just superb, so the combination was just crazy, a clear winner!^^

#7 for the chicken thigh, i pan-grilled on a very hot stainless steel pan. it was perfect, and daughters’ friends walloped the 6 pieces of deboned thighs from 3 chicken in double quick time. 🙂

unlike the red curry dish, for this yellow curry, i made it as a sauce similar to busaba’s to-die-for grilled chicken green curry fried rice.^^

there was actually an egg fried rice dish (which was also pretty good) to accompany the thai chicken & sotong curries but i did not have a photo.

#8 wife made an excellent creamy tomato pasta. she usually use crayfish from chinatown & for me it’s the best pasta ever.

this time, we could not get crayfish at chinatown so she used large prawns as proxy. 🙂

helper's sausage pasta

#9 helper’s sausage pasta

#9 & my helper made her crowd favourite cheese sausage spaghetti.

the whole family like this & all my children’s friends who came to the house previously all enjoyed this pasta by my helper. 🙂

#10 i made an excellent squid ink spaghetti this time, no errors, no horrors, no misses, simply fabulous, par excellence!

very nicely creamy, i added butter (only when tossing with fire off! – you don’t want to boil the butter).^^

& fantastic colour, al dente pasta & irresistible squid ink flavour with wonderful chicken stock & squid.

#11 & the tagliata di manzo had my daughter’s friends swooning & asking for more.

in the end i cooked a second portion, total 4x300g = 1.2kg of 150D grain-fed black angus ribeye.

birthday cake

birthday cake

daughter’s friend made her a totally professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake.

birthday cake

birthday cake

plus lemon tarts & also cup cakes. every cake item was just fabulous! 🙂

#12 i made my usual tiramisu.

it was as good as ever. daughter’s friends finished an entire tub. ^^ i had a spare tub though. there was too much cake already so we saved that.

& my daughter arranged a photo booth which was a lot of fun, & her friends came in all kinds of costumes.

the photo booth guy just finished national service & is going to london for further studies. that’s what young people do a lot these days, with internet & social media offering excellent reach, connectivity & empowerment! 🙂

what a simply incredible, most enjoyable & memorable occasion to be savoured.

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Dinner @ Tess Bar & Kitchen on 24Jul2015

funghi risotto

funghi risotto

family celebrating a special occasion, so daughter arranged a 7pax dinner at tess bar & kitchen on 24.7.2015.^^

it was a quite wonderful dinner. ambience was very happening with drinking crowd & food was good. 🙂

i was here earlier in march. the food was pretty ok. 🙂

fresh oysters

fresh oysters

we ordered a dozen fresh oysters, S$3ea.

fresh oysters

fresh oysters

they were big, plump & sweet, no metallic aftertaste.

truflle fries

truflle fries

daughters liked the truffles fries. 🙂

truflle fries

truflle fries

there were yam, sweet potatoes & potatoes. i didn’t taste any truffle, didn’t think much of it.

cocktail

cocktail

wife ordered a cocktail to share.

cocktail

cocktail

it came with pink grapefruit, grapes & raspberries etc.

cocktail

cocktail

so you “mixed” your own, kind of anyway. i not into liquor but it was a drinkable cocktail of me. 🙂

bespoke vodka, egg white cocktail

bespoke vodka, egg white cocktail

wife ordered a bespoke cocktail for herself.

bespoke vodka, egg white cocktail

bespoke vodka, egg white cocktail

it was very nice!^^

we had an order of beer & another cocktail.

duck rillette

duck rillette

i loved the duck rillette! 🙂

duck rillette

duck rillette

the best i had was at the clifford. this one here was of no comparison with the favourful duck rilette at the clifford.

smoked duck breast with foie gras

smoked duck breast with foie gras

the smoked duck breast was nice too, with the lentils.

smoked duck breast with foie gras

smoked duck breast with foie gras

i don’t take foie gras these days if i can help it.

camembert cheese

camembert cheese

the camembert cheese was good too! 🙂

camembert cheese

camembert cheese

& the caramelised apples.

crispy skin salmon

crispy skin salmon

the crispy skin salmon was better than i expected, quite nice with the passion fruit sauce & mesclun.

funghi risotto

funghi risotto

the funghi risotto was excellent!^^

this definitely much better than my own funghi risotto.

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

the prawn linguine tomato sauce was good too. 🙂

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

it was nothing special though, just a very competent one. the gamberini linguine at kith looked really good & i must try it sometime.

vongole

vongole

vongole was very good. very tasty!^^

better than my own la. haha!

vongole

vongole

1 of the best vongole i had. & it was quite different from the vongole i had for lunch sometime ago. that seemed from the photos to be a lot drier & if you don’t taste the sauce at the bottom it was not so great. this new version was much better.

wagyu beef with bone marrow

wagyu beef with bone marrow

the wagyu beef with bone marrow was superb!^^

wagyu beef with bone marrow

wagyu beef with bone marrow

wagyu beef was tender & the bone marrow was fantastic! it was quite perfect to have the bread to mop up the bone marrow.

dinner was S$393 nett inclusive of the drinks for 7pax. less drinks it would be like S$280 so about S$40pax nett. pretty ok!

c.h.e.f andy

Durian Picking Adventure @ Pulau Ubin on 20Jun2015

picking durians at pulau ubin - good ones

picking durians at pulau ubin – good ones

a RI friend & her hubby organised an exciting durian picking “expedition”& biking trip at pulau ubin on sunday 20.6.2015.^^

this friend is the meticulous planning big sister kind, thought of every details from what to bring (like backpack, extra plastic bag for durians, helmet/cap, mosquito repellent, sunscreen, towel & change etc), timing & taking the bumboats to the specific locations to find the best durians. 🙂

as one friend mentioned on Facebook post-

Due credit is given to these 4 organizers with their faces shown to the start of this album.

I was very impressed as everything was done with such meticulous planning and with such military precision.

We have our medical and safety officer, to ensure we would be well taken care of in an emergency.

Mmm ….without them,  I think we would have gone home bare-handed

ferry to pulau ubin

ferry to pulau ubin

we had 14pax.

i got up at 5am & was ready to leave for changi jetty at 5.15am. i was on the whatsapp & 1 friend could not make it last minute. as he was fetching another friend, i waited till 5.45am for the other friend to reply messages & come online in order to confirm the pick up location & time.

anyway in the rush we missed the turning from telok paku road to changi village road & went further along loyang avenue before realising & turning back. so we missed the first bumboat load of 12pax. our 12 friends who were there earlier left for pulau ubin (as earlier arranged to do..ie the first to make up 12pax proceed first).

when we were at the changi jetty, we were missing another 3 or 4pax before the bumboats will leave. the system is to wait for 12pax to fill up a bumboat (fare is S$2.50pax) unless you want to pay S$30 to charter the boat.

ferry to pulau ubin

ferry to pulau ubin

we were very shortly on the 10mins bumboat journey from changi point ferry to pulau ubin. 🙂

several of the passengers on the bumboat were talking about picking durians. they all came well armed with backpacks & plastic bags. ^^

pulau ubin

pulau ubin

we arrived at the pulau ubin jetty.

a friend came to meet us, and we took some photos.

pulau ubin

pulau ubin

nice shoreline in morning light. 🙂

bicycle rentals

bicycle rentals

there were many bicycle rental shops near the jetty.

our friends who came earlier rented the bikes. couple brought their own bikes.

pulau ubin

pulau ubin

11 friends who were biking took to the road first. 3 of us took a pleasant morning stroll behind. a very enjoyable walk. 🙂

pulau ubin map

pulau ubin map

from the jetty we walked to belatok hut then turned left to jln ubin batu.

too many durians but few good ones

too many durians but few good ones

we walked passed the yellow hut to the next junction. the cyclist friends were already collecting durians.

i went into one bush & found a durian soon enough. it smelled good. my friend’s hubby who is the expert among us said it was ok. later when we were selecting the good durians to bring home, this was not among the really good ones. we opened it. one part was ok good taste but thin not so creamy, the other parts were not fully riped yet.

too many durians but few good ones

too many durians but few good ones

we collected many durians. just 2 friends & i (3 of us together) collected like 20 durians, but maybe only 3 or 4 were good ones.

rest stop

rest stop

after picking enough durians, we proceeded to puaka hill. again the cyclist went first. we took a slow walk, and a drink at the rest stop. the group stopped at the bridge & took some photos. then we took some photos at puaka hill & at the hut below where some of my energetic friends attempted yoga stunts & headstands???

pulau ubin

pulau ubin

we walked back to the jetty. the main party of cyclists went further ahead and joined us at the jetty afterwards.

pulau ubin

pulau ubin

it was a wonderful outing. lots of fun picking durians & enjoying nature around us.

drink stalls

drink stalls

going back, we stopped near the jetty & had some drinks. we went to the rest room to freshen up & change. it was very hot day & a lot of perspiration.

picking durians at pulau ubin - the good ones

picking durians at pulau ubin – the good ones

after discarding many durians, there were still a lot to bring back.

picking durians at pulau ubin - the good ones

picking durians at pulau ubin – the good ones

i did not bring back any. but those who brought back, thanks to my RI friend & her hubby’s good guidance & pick, enjoyed very good durians.

c.h.e.f andy

Very Good Dinner @ Level 2 at Killiney on 16Jul2015

chicken karaage

chicken karaage

this evening a RI friend arranged our monthly dinner at level 2 at killiney on 16.7.2015.^^

this friend is the district governor (elect) july2016 term for rotary 3310 & they meet often at level 2 at killiney. indeed the restaurant owner sylvia is also a rotary member at suntec.

it’s a small group this evening. at first there was 7 but 2 could not make it last minute so we had 5pax. 🙂

i guess it’s good to have a big group. still even in a large group, we often talked mostly among a few seated next to each other, so it’s quite fine among old friends, whether a big or small group.

place was small. we had a good chat with the lady server. she said there were 2 in the kitchen & 3 servers, though i only saw her serving.

there were 4 tables including ours occupied. the place can take 40pax for a private function. they have a S$30pax 3-course set dinner menu, and a S$9.80 set lunch menu. 🙂

the server gave us a complimentary tapas – chicken karaage to start. 🙂

smoked salmon canapes

smoked salmon canapes

the organiser arranged for a special menu – 3 tapas, lobster bisque, choice of 1 main & dessert of the day.

smoked salmon canapes

smoked salmon canapes

the smoked salmon canapés was ok – smoked salmon average, the pastry was crisp & good, quite a lot of avocado cream?

sausage with mustard &  pickled gerkhins

sausage with mustard & pickled gerkhins

the sausage with mustard & pickled gerkhins was good too. i had 2 pieces.

sausage with mustard &  pickled gerkhins

sausage with mustard & pickled gerkhins

it’s not chorizo, probably chipolata.

lobster bisque

lobster bisque

lobster bisque was competent, had all the right shellfish & bit of liquor flavours. 🙂

lobster bisque

lobster bisque

i guess not the best i had but certainly very competent. it’s also about personal preferences. i like a much more intense lobster bisque & slightly more liquor.

also for myself i prefer a good vegetable base to balance the shellfish flavours which i do for my own lobster bisque.

but i do also like a standalone just intense lobster bisque. ^^

seafood alio olio linguine

seafood alio olio linguine

i thought the seafood alio olio linguine was excellent. very nice garlic taste, very flavourful & al dente.

there were like 5-6prawns & several pieces of sliced scallops. the prawns were good, texture a bit like the chinese crystal prawns (brine treated?). not my preferred texture but overall it was good.

seafood alio olio linguine

seafood alio olio linguine

the server said they added white wine which was not the usual preparation. that’s what i do too for my seafood alio olio spaghetti.

i had the alio olio at kith recently. i liked both but overall i guess i would prefer this preparation.

braised beef cheeks

braised beef cheeks

the braised beef cheeks is 1 of the favourite dishes here. many bloggers had commented favourably.

another new favourite dish is the steak sandwich which had a ribeye steak (server told me about 2/3 normal steak portion). i will try that next time.

server told me they were braised for 4hrs.

braised beef cheeks

braised beef cheeks

it was a competent braise. soft, tender. i didn’t think it was special. texture wise i guess it was very good. the flavours were ok, beefy, not specially tasty. braises not really my thing, but for such cut of meat, slow gentle braises or low temperature cooking like sous vide are the way to produce a nice tender meat w/o making it too sinewy & to turn tough connective tissues to flavourful gelatine. for such preparation, i would prefer the more fatty meats & more gelatine. i have not made my spanish slow-braised beef ribs for a long time, maybe i will give it a try again.

dinner came to S$192 for 5pax so about S$38nett. we gave S$40ea & a friend decided to top up the remainder & give S$20 tip to the lady server. it was a great gesture & a good habit to have when you are happy with the service. ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Satisfaction Guaranteed Teochew Muay @ Ye Shanghai on 16Jul2015

10 dishes teochew muay @ ye shanghai

10 dishes teochew muay @ ye shanghai

when i was queueing for shi le yuan 实叻圆糜 the other day, the guy in front of me said ye shanghai was cheaper & had a larger spread, and he only came to shi le yuan because ye shanghai was closed that day.

ye shanghai @ bukit merah view

ye shanghai @ bukit merah view

so i came with my sis & b-i-l to try out ye shanghai on 16.7.2015. it’s not bad!^^

we came at 1030am so no queue, but also not all dishes were ready.

we ordered total 10 dishes. it came to only S$20.60. so the man was right, a bit cheaper than shi le yuan, more variety of dishes just as good but not really better. maybe the veg dishes were better here.

“kee her” fish

there was no ngoh soon (small treadfin) & mullet 乌鱼 they only served those in the evening.

we ordered the “kee her” fish. i thought it was very good actually taken with tau jeon, good proxy to mullet 乌鱼.

big intestines+belly pork

big intestines+belly pork

the big intestines was good very well cleaned, nice texture, slightly milder lor 鲁 taste, i quite like it. 🙂

the kong bak belly pork too.

big intestines

big intestines

nice big intestines.

brinjal

brinjal

veg here very nice. the brinjal was every tasty.

pig's skin

pig’s skin

pig’s skin was very good. just like the ng ah sio one we had recently at rangoon road, no fat, all collagen. 🙂

salted fish minced pork 咸鱼饼

salted fish minced pork 咸鱼饼

salted fish minced pork 咸鱼饼 was very good too. somewhat different from shi le yuan but equally good.

steamed egg

steamed egg

only dish not great was the steamed egg. not much taste, maybe that was to be expected of a steamed egg with nothing in it.

peanuts

peanuts

peanuts nothing to talk about.

spinach

spinach

spinach was very good, tasty!

tau kee

tau kee

tau kee was the usual.

cabbage

cabbage

cabbage was very good, very sweet & tasty.

cabbage

cabbage

we had a second order. so after the 10 dishes, sis went to order 2 more, cabbage for S$1.

steamed pomfret

steamed pomfret

and pomfret for S$4. pomfret was good too. i didn’t mind it but maybe i prefer the kee her more. 🙂

10 dishes teochew muay @ ye shanghai

10 dishes teochew muay @ ye shanghai

so we had 10 dishes (top & above) for S$20.60. then greedy added 2 more dishes so total S$25.60 including 3 porridge.

really good meal & totally satisfying with or w/o the additional 2 dishes.

c.h.e.f andy

6pax Homecooked Course Dinner on 9Jul2015

flamed squid in spinach veloute

#1 flamed squid in spinach veloute

did a 6pax homecooked sit-down dinner for my close friends on 9.7.2015.^^

had been doing the buffet style (which is still the more logistically optimised) for larger group of friends. since my helper is away back in philippines for 1 month break, it was easier to do a small group of 6pax, which allows me to pick dishes to be served course by course.

my first course was #1 flamed squid in spinach veloute. i flamed the squid, then fried in butter. when serving i heat up the veloute, plated the sauce, added the flamed squid & topped with a coriander branch. 🙂

i did this very well also for my early home anniversary dinner for 4pax on 28.5.2015.

flamed squid in spinach veloute

#1 flamed squid in spinach veloute

this was the best for the evening. everyone loved the bbq flavour. i was a bit worried it might be overcooked but squid turned out  just nice, succulent, not rubbery.  veloute was excellent very tasty, and plating did make a big difference! 🙂

chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig's ear on toast

#2 chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig’s ear on toast

i should have insisted to plate the second course #2 chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig’s ear on toast. my friends were extremely helpful & wanted to lessen the effort for me.

chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig's ear on toast

chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig’s ear on toast

all 3 were my quite new experimental dishes. i am planning to do them at the next larger dinner on 6.8.2015.

1. the ragout of pig’s ears was excellent, best of the trio. this i recreated with my own recipe modelling after the signature dish at the fabulous lunch @ Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

2. the pig’s head meat was excellent too. the jelly, gelatine was awesome. the meat & skin were ok, but head cheese is harder to prepare than belly or trotters, so though i did scrap the skin to remove the hairs, they were not thoroughly removed. i will have to decide which meat to use for this dish.

3. the chicken ballotine was poor though. basically i had over-steamed the meat, so it was “old” and not so tasty & bouncy. the successful ones i did were here.

rockets & cherry tomatoes salad to go with tapas

rockets & cherry tomatoes salad to go with tapas

i mixed some rockets & cherry tomatoes salad to go with tapas dish. again i think the dish would be much better presented if i plated it myself. this i plan to do at the next dinner. 🙂

carrot soup

#3 carrot soup

the #3 carrot soup was very smooth & tasty. it was done with 2 carrots, and lots of vegetables for tasty soup base – 1 stalk leek, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow onions, and the leftover spinach stems (from the spinach veloute).

i added some brandy so there was a good slight liquor flavour.

i was worried that the sharp carrot taste was too strong, but my friends did not feel so.

carrot soup

#3 carrot soup

one friend thought it was too creamy. i think overall it was a very good smooth & tasty soup, and looked lovely too.^^

calamari & oyster fritters

#4 calamari & oyster fritters

i had some #4 calamari & oyster fritters to go with the soup. this was troublesome to do as i had to do the deep frying at the time i am serving the soup. i am going to skip this dish the next time. 🙂

calamari & oyster fritters

#4 calamari & oyster fritters

i think my calamari was not dry enough when i prepare the batter. also because it was rushed when i first started deep-frying the first piece, the oil was not hot enough.

also the oyster did not taste the best this evening, not quite sure why.

prawns to go with fungi linguine

#5 prawns to go with fungi linguine

the #5 prawns to go with fungi linguine were excellent though, very nicely done, fresh, bouncy, good flavours.

creamy mushroom onion sauce for fungi linguine

creamy mushroom onion sauce for fungi linguine

#5 fungi linguine was excellent too.

looked just perfect.

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

& tasted wonderful.

my friends made very good plating for this dish.

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

i intend to plate it myself the next round though, for 10pax on 6.8.2015. my helper would be back then. 🙂

squid ink risotto

#6 squid ink risotto

the #6 squid ink risotto was kind of a small disaster. haha! 🙂

i used 5 ink pouches from 5 small/medium squid but they had very little ink.

a friend took the trouble to go to 3 super marts to get for me last minute additional squids, but still with 5 more ink pouches, it didn’t do enough for my squid ink risotto.

also this dish was rushed because the extra squid ink came only when friends arrived for dinner, it was out of sequence with my usual preparation timing & steps & took a long time doing it after serving the #5 course.

i was lazy to go chinatown to buy the large flat cuttlefish which has lots of ink. so sometimes have to improve decision making. it may appear troublesome to do, but it is a lot more troublesome not doing it.

so much for the negative demonstration, for the right way see my squid ink risotto par excellence here.^^

i bought 1 2kg maoshanwang猫山王 + 2 D-24 durians for the evening (unfortunately we gobbled it up before taking photos). the D-24 were pretty good, but maoshanwang猫山王 was crazy, so creamy, tasty, very small seeds & lots of seeds for 2kg.

i had a tofu cheese cake just for backup. anyway we decided not to eat it & 3 friends each carried a piece back home. it’s a cake they all like anyway.

a friend brought angkukueh, & others brought cherries & lychees. 🙂

while there were hiccups it did not diminish any of the fun. overall the dishes were pretty good or ok & everyone had a good time! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Good Vietnamese Food @ Mrs Pho on 14Jul2015

cockles

cockles

was in jalan sultan area to collect a pair of glasses with wife on 14.7.2015. we asked the spectacles shop what to eat around there. they said mrs pho, or fish head soup etc.

mrs pho

mrs pho

we ended up at mrs pho at 349 beach road. ^^

mrs pho

mrs pho

small place. looked pretty ok.

salted lemon & liang teh

salted lemon & liang teh

we had a salted lemon (which tasted like sour plum) & liang teh 凉茶, S$2 each.

cockles

S$6.50 cockles

we added the cockles last. it was hard to eat, having to shell & it was hot to the touch. it was quite enjoyable though i always prefer the blood cockles say at two chefs.

mixed pho

S$9.50 mixed pho

the pho was pretty good.

sliced beef was good, there were 2 pieces of briskets, good too. beef balls ok. quantity wise could have more ingredients. 🙂

mixed pho

S$9.50 mixed pho

for the mixed pho which cost S$1 more there was a egg soup. not sure how this complements the pho but it was pretty ok.

mixed pho

S$9.50 mixed pho

the soup was quite good too.

vietnamese bbq pork

vietnamese bbq pork

the bbq pork with bee hoon was quite nice.

vietnamese bbq pork

vietnamese bbq pork

it is similar to the dish i cooked here except i pan-fried the pork.

vietnamese bbq pork

vietnamese bbq pork

anyway i am trying a oven roasted version of pork collar but with a thai curry flavour. let’s see how that turns out.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Consistently Good Teochew Muay @ Shi Le Yuan on 14Jul2015

teochew muay at shi le yuan redhill market

teochew muay at shi le yuan redhill market

went with sis & b-i-l to shi le yuan 实叻圆糜 for mid morning teochew muay on 14.7.2015. this my second time. ^^

last time i was here was with my RI friends on 29.6.2015, 6pax costing S$43.

there was a queue of about 10pax at 10.15am.

steamed red garoupa

S$9.50 steamed red garoupa

i asked for mullet 乌鱼 or ngoh soon (little treadfin) but they did not have either. i saw someone ordered the steamed red garoupa. it looked ok so i ordered one also.

steamed red garoupa

S$9.50 steamed red garoupa

i guess it was very good really, especially at S$9.50. we do it a lot better at home though, hk steam 港蒸 with lots of scallions, cut chilli & sliced chinese mushrooms.

so i take this often at home buying red garoupa from chinatown market. it would cost S$6 to S$7 at chinatown market fishmonger stalls for this size (400g) so S$9.50 was pretty good.

pig head meat

pig head skin 猪头皮

we ordered the pig head skin 猪头皮. this was really good. texture was perfect & taste excellent.

shark meat

shark meat

shark meat 鲨鱼肉 was good too. i seldom take this dish. usually it is either fried stingray done in a similar way (which is very good) OR chilled shark meat 鲨鱼冻.

pork ribs

pork ribs

steamed pork ribs was good like last time.

salted fish minced pork

salted fish minced pork

& i just love the salted fish minced pork or 咸鱼饼. ^^

spinach

spinach

we had spinach. good too.

total was S$23 for 3pax 6 fishes including the red garoupa & 3 porridge. the garoupa & 3 porridge totalled S$11 so the remain gin 5 dishes only cost S$12. very good food at a really good price!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Just Average Bakuteh @ Ng Ah Sio on 11Jul2015

ng ah sio rangoon road bakuteh dishes

ng ah sio rangoon road bakuteh dishes

a RI friend organised a yoga session at vyasa yoga at civil service club at tessensohn road on 11.7.2015. 10 of us attended. it was a very enjoyable session of cyclic meditation which they branded as smash your stress.^^

after yoga it was closed to 4pm. 4 of us decided to go ng ah sio at rangoon road nearby to have bakuteh. 🙂

S$8.50 prime ribs

S$8.50 prime ribs

i have not come to this ng ah sio for the longest time, maybe 10 years, but i have been to ng ah sio at chui huay lim a few times & my experience there was good.

the prime ribs were expensive, 2 pieces for S$8.50. soup was good, one friend said ng ah sio always too peppery. i thought so too, but found it quite ok this time. but i am more the rib person than soup person.

S$7 spare ribs

S$7 spare ribs

we ordered 2 bowls prime ribs + 1 bowl spare ribs to share among 4pax.

one friend was especially impressed with the ribs which were fork tender falling off the bones. for me i prefer a firmer texture like i used to enjoy at rong cheng 榕城 in sin min (though i hardly go there now as it is so easy to make my own bakuteh at home).

i guess it is personal preference thingy. 🙂

S$2 pig's skin - lagi good we ordered a second

S$2 pig’s skin – lagi good we ordered a second

everyone loved the pig skin, no fat, all collagen, or so we had ourselves believed.^^

peanuts

peanuts

peanuts etc were usual. i don’t normally take extra dishes when i eat bakuteh since i mostly go for the ribs. 🙂

youtiao - soft

youtiao – soft

you char kueh was soft as i expected. usually “lau hong” pre-cut in a bowl.

nai bai奶白

nai bai奶白

nothing much to say about the veg.

mee sua

mee sua

mee sua ok i guess, can replace rice for less carbs. ^^

overall it was just average for me. for S$8.50, i can do my own bakuteh (using 1/2kg fresh indonesian pork ribs from sheng shiong or 1kg of frozen ribs from chinatown market) at home as it is the easiest thing to make.

there are so many good bakuteh places in singapore. for the more recent ones i been to, i still like rong cheng bakuteh best, & song fa bakuteh & also ng ah sio at chui huay lim. last time i went to lao ah tee bakuteh at boon keng i did not like it so much.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Authentic Thai Food @ Thai Gold Food on 10Jul2015

S$10 tomyam goong

S$10 tomyam goong

had a good 2pax thai dinner with wife at thai gold food on 10.7.2015.

wife wanted to see some furniture at “space” located at bencoolen street. we thought might as well eat in the area.

Thai Gold Food

Thai Gold Food

place was small with indoor & outdoor sitting. we were seated 7pm. soon a queue formed.

S$1.50 calamansi

S$1.50 calamansi

calamansi was sour & not too sweet, S$1.50 a glass so quite ok. i refer the more intense lemon but this was quite refreshing.

S$10 tomyam goong

S$10 tomyam goong

we ordered the S$10 tomyam goong (prawns). there were 6 fresh prawns, soup was good. of course not to be compared with patara which cost 2.5x more, but i liked this better than the clear tomyam talay at nakhon @ amk which i had recently.

S$10 green curry chicken

S$10 red curry chicken

we liked the S$10 red curry chicken. this the “dry” curry version. it was very flavourful & the chicken was tender.

S$10 green curry chicken

S$10 red curry chicken

i prefer though the soupy green curry at nakhon @ amk where i finished up all the curries.^^

S$10 bbq pork

S$10 bbq pork

the S$10 bbq pork was a recommended dish. it was good.

S$10 bbq pork

S$10 bbq pork

i am thinking whether i can come up with a version of this. my char siew & roast pork were not great, maybe i should try a different method of doing pork collar.

S$10 bbq pork

S$10 bbq pork

the total bill came to S$34. the dishes were slightly more expensive than nakhon @ amk. they were more satisfying for me though, it really depend on whether the dish preference & what we ordered. e.g. i prefer the red tomyam to the clear version. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Homecooked Zi Char Daipaidong Dishes 郭记大排档美食 (Just Kidding!)

郭记大排档美食 homecooked zi char dishes

郭记大排档美食 homecooked zi char dishes

made a 4pax homecooked zi char dinner for my sis, b-i-l & daughter last evening on 7.7.2015.^^ was back home at 6pm & 5 dishes all done in an hour. dinner ready by 7pm. 🙂

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i washed & steamed the whole eggplant first, about 10mins.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

i portioned about 350g minced pork for the 3 dishes – steamed egg, steamed salted fish minced pork & eggplant. and cut 1 small red onion & 1/2 large tomato.

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

whole eggplant with meat onion sauce

when serving, i browned some garlic in 1tbsp oil, added onions & minced pork then tomato, mixed 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp tomato sauce, 1tsp fish sauce (to taste) & 1 tsp cornflour in 2/3 cup water. i added to the pan & reduced. then i drenched them over the steamed whole egg plant.

this really an excellent dish!^^ eggplant was firm not mushy yet sweet & tender when cut, & combined perfectly with the sauce.

i basically had the inspiration & was recreating the dish from 富记大排档tai wai.

but seriously i think my dish tasted much better. 富记’s meat sauce was purely tomato sauce. by adding oyster sauce, the taste was very much better, at least for my palate haha!^^

i ran out of salted fish so asked sis to buy some on the way. sky time salted fish 250g sky time salted fish 250g2 she got me sky time salted fish which was a lot better than the one i recently used. the flavours were fragrant & you can feel it while steaming & at the table (the reason some may hate salted fish..haha!) there were about 7-8pieces in the 250g bottle which cost S$4.90. 🙂

i used 1 slice, removed the larger bones & did a very small portion about 180g minced pork, & cut lots of slice ginger, some mixed in the minced pork, rest on top, and added about 2tsp of the salted fish oil & 1 tbsp veg oil. steamed for 10mins. this dish was excellent. most comfort of comfort food. i like my own version 咸鱼饼 as much as that of shi le yuan 实叻圆糜, which i also like a lot.^^

i mixed 2 eggs, aded 2 tsp fish sauce & some white pepper. then mixed the remaining about 120g minced pork with chopped large red chilli & spring onions, and added 2tsp fish sauce. i should have added 2 tbsp water but forgot that this evening. steamed for 10mins.

the egg was still very nice & tasty, but the texture would have been better with some water. the best steamed egg with minced pork i did is here 

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

i bought a small mullet 乌鱼from sheng shiong for S$4 (S$8.90/kg). i placed some cut ginger in the belly & steamed for 15mins. then cool & place in the freezer for 15mins.

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷

the teochew chilled mullet 乌鱼打冷 taken with tau jeon was as good as any outside. a thing i observe (a bit of personal preference also) is do not ask the seller to clean the fish. all the livers & delicacies were gone! for my preference also not to ask even to remove the scale (if need be just remove the gills). for me i can remove the gills & clean the fish stomach myself & i feel that keeping the scale is better especially when serving the mullet chilled. then the skin will come off easily together with the scales. otherwise the skin is difficult to break with chopstick & the meat will be meshed uo when eating.

egg fried rice

egg fried rice

& i had some egg fried rice, very firm individual grains coated with egg. ^^ c.h.e.f andy

Squid-ink Risotto Par Excellence

squid-ink risotto with squid

squid-ink risotto with squid

daughter bought me an excellent squid-ink risotto at father’s day dinner at follia recently on 20.6.2015.^^

i really liked the flavours of the risotto with good shellfish stock, smooth & creamy. the proprietor told us later though it was butter & no cream.

so i thought i will do one with butter & no cream.

i do a very good squid-ink pasta myself but have not tried it on risotto.

i decided not to use browned garlic & alio olio flavours. i did not have chicken stock so i cut up 1 carrot, 1 whole yellow onion, some leeks leftover in the chiller & put in the crockpot overnight to make a vegetable stock. that should be enough with the squid ink & sauce from pan-fried squid.

squid-ink risotto with squid

squid-ink risotto with squid

& it was an excellent squid-ink risotto, about same or very close to the follia standard.^^

squid-ink risotto with squid

squid-ink risotto with squid

for the preparation –

get enough squid ink – the normal elongated squid has very little ink so needs about 5 large squids, i happened to have a flat squid (cuttlefish) in the freezer & that has a lot of ink.

i had 2 medium squid. these were very thin, so i cut them in rings instead of the usual cross/chequered cut

i seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper & butter-fried the squid & set aside.

i fried & softened 1 cut red onion in olive oil, added the squid ink & then added 1 cup of carnaroli rice & coat the rice

i added 1.5 cups of stock (including draining the sauce from the fried squid) to cover the rice & bring to boil

then i placed in a preheated 205degC oven for 10minutes.

squid-ink risotto with squid

squid-ink risotto with squid

the rice would be like 80% to 90% cooked, centre still slightly hard not yet al dente. i added salt to taste.

squid-ink risotto with squid

squid-ink risotto with squid

i did not read up any recipe, but i guessed the butter had to be added at the time of tossing, otherwise will be just boiling butter. 🙂

just like adding butter to toss for my mentaiko pasta.

squid-ink risotto with squid

squid-ink risotto with squid

when serving-

i added another cup of stock & boiled & reduced, checking that the risotto is al dente & not overcooked

then i added the pre-fried squid, again so that they were not overcooked & rubbery

i cut about 20g butter into small cubes, off the fire & toss the butter with the risotto

& it worked wonders. i say almost the exact same flavours & texture like what we had at follia.

c.h.e.f andy

Chicken Ballotine

chicken ballotine

chicken ballotine

tried a chicken ballotine the last few days.

when we were in cornwall recently, we had a really good mother’s day lunch at gurnard’s head on 10.5.2015 & the chicken ballotine was excellent. ^^

i googled for the recipe & found a really pretty chicken ballotine at whereismyspoon.com.

chicken balotinechicken balotine

chicken ballotine

in my first attempt, i put too much filling & it was not easy to roll & make it hold tight, especially when cutting.

chicken balotine

chicken balotine

anyway it was easy enough to make (i used chicken breast instead of thigh)-

butterfly a chicken breast (i cut from whole fresh chicken & remove skin)

cover with a large cling film (later used to wrap & steam the chicken) & pound & flatten (i use a metal soup ladle…can use rolling pin)

season with 2 teaspoon fish sauce

i added white pepper, paprika, parsley flakes

chicken balotine

chicken balotine

for the fillings, i –

slightly browned 2 streaky bacons on non stick pan on low fire

fried 1/2 cut onions in butter to soften

then add a bunch of spinach

chicken balotine

chicken ballotine

i laid the bacon strips first, throw on some cheddar cheese shreds, then added the onions & spinach.

i rolled tightly in the cling film & twisted the ends to tighten.

then placed in a metal dish to steam for 15minutes.

#2 chicken ballotine

#2 chicken ballotine

must say the taste was really quite good, steamed meat was very tender not tough or overcooked, & the sweet onions & spinach & not overly strong flavours of the bacon was a great enhancement. 🙂

chicken ballotine

chicken ballotine

can certainly improved on the looks. this one had too much fillings.

chicken balotine

chicken ballotine

fillings were reduced & looked better.

chicken balotine

chicken ballotine

i did not blend the fillings this time. may try that next time or just chopped up the bacon & fry lightly.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Thai Food Good Value @ Nakhon AMK on 3Jul2015

green curry beef

green curry beef

a friend arranged lunch at nakhon @ AMK on 3.7.2015.^^

nakhon @ AMK2

nakhon @ AMK

it’s nice & airy at corner of blk 529 AMK ave 10. there were tables orderly set at a cover extended area w/o encroaching on the walkway.

queue at 12.10pm

queue at 12.10pm

my friend was there 10mins early to get a table. i was there at 11.55am. nakhon starts lunch at 12pm.

a queue started to build up almost immediately.

queue at 12.40pm

queue at 12.40pm

by the time we finished lunch, queue was 10+ long.

pandan chicken

S$6 pandan chicken

my friend ordered 4 dishes. we ordered a S$3 red ruby to share afterwards.

the pandan chicken was not bad for S$6.

condiments

condiments

lots of sauces, i only used the sweet thai chilli for the pandan chicken.

tom yam talay

S$6 tom yam talay

my friend loved the clear tom yam talay (seafood). his whole family adored this dish.

tom yam talay2

S$6 tom yam talay

for me, i prefer the red tom yam. the prawn was ok, so maybe next time i will order tom yam gung.

cannot really compare this S$6 soup with patara’s which cost nearly 5x more.

pineapple fried rice

S$6 pineapple fried rice

i mostly do not take pineapple rice, kind of sweet. usually we take olive rice at patara.

pineapple fried rice2

S$ pineapple fried rice

for S$6, more than ok i think. 🙂

green curry beef2

S$8 green curry beef

i just loved the green curry. beef was fine, not tough, not the tenderised artificial texture, quite ok. i drank most of the curry.^^

bill

bill

red ruby was S$3. ordinary, which is good i guess.

pandan chicken with pineapple fried rice

pandan chicken with pineapple fried rice

i think this is really good authentic thai food. may not be the top restaurant or fine thai kind of food, but it is s authentic as any thai street food, comfort food or small restaurant/shop food. and the price is very reasonable, which accounts for the constant queue. well above average food at very good value prices.

will be back soon!

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 15pax Dinner Great Food & Ambience @ Kith Cafe Park Mall on 30Jun2015

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Great Food & Ambience @ Kith Cafe Park Mall on 30Jun2015

crabmeat linguine in tomato sauce

crabmeat linguine in tomato sauce

a RI friend is a proprietor of kith cafe at park mall & sentosa cove (kith has another outlet at robertson quay). kith does all day breakfast (till 5pm) and seems like a good coffee place too.

after our may G20 dinner at peach garden @ metropolis on 26.5.2015, we all agreed we should be young again & be spotted at kith. so this friend volunteered or was volunteered to organise the june dinner at kith cafe @ park mall on 30.6.2015. 🙂

we had 15pax. 🙂

i didn’t know if kith meant anything in particular, but after googling i found out that kith was like kin or kindred or –

acquaintances, friends, neighbors, or the like; persons living in thesame general locality and forming a more or less cohesive group

a cafe for friends – good name!

a few friends went early & took a short walk at fort canning park. the rest of us got a tour of our friend’s high end office chairs & system furniture shop adjacent to kith cafe.

watermelon & lychee smoothie

watermelon & lychee smoothie

the friend ordered watermelon & lychee smoothie for a few of us. it was good, refreshing, quenching, not too sweet. not particularly a favourite for me though.

some ordered ABC – apple, beetroot & carrots me think…sounds healthy. i will try that one next time.

sweet corn soup

sweet corn soup

couple friends ordered a soup. think it was the soup of the day, maybe a sweet corn soup. looked ok.

calamari

calamari

my friend ordered some calamari & 2 pizza to share, and each ordered our own pasta dish.

calamari was good. squid was very slightly tough, batter was good.

calamari

calamari

this a common dish in many restaurants, and it’s quite competent here. 🙂

gong bao pizza

gong bao chicken pizza

the gong bao chicken pizza was better than i expected. we all liked the thin crust pizza.

gong bao pizza

gong bao chicken pizza

gong bao chicken may have sounded cheesy & chinatown like but it was actually good – no sticky sauce, taste was not too sweet & combined quite well with the pizza. 🙂

parma ham pizza

parma ham pizza

parma ham pizza was competent also. pretty ok. 🙂

parma ham pizza

parma ham pizza

pizza not particularly my favourite but it is an excellent dish for communal dining & i do enjoy a slice of good pizza (i shared 1/2 gong bao chicken & 1/2 parma ham pizza with a friend) to start the dinner.

spaghetti alio olio

spaghetti alio olio

the spaghetti alio olio was good!

good helping, very flavourful, good garlic flavours & lots of shiitake mushrooms. I shared 1/2 of it with a friend who shared 1/2 of my squid ink pasta. not a usual dish i would order as i like meat or seafood. 🙂

linguine gamberini (garlic prawn)

linguine gamberini (garlic prawn)

the linguine gamberini (garlic prawn) looked good. i will order that next time.

carbonara

carbonara

carbonara. looked ok. somehow looked a bit like hokkien mee. egg was mixed in the pasta. i think it would taste good as most pasta here were good. though i am more used to the look/colour of carbonara at alfresco gusto.

bolognese

bolognese

i had a try of the bolognese, and the tomato sauce was good. meat sauce/ragout preparation not my favourite but this was good.

vongole

vongole

did not try the vongole. it looked fine. 🙂

vongole

vongole

they said vongole is a test of a pasta chef. the lala (littleneck clams) have a distinctive shellfish taste & if the linguine is done al dente the combination is quite excellent. my own vongole linguine here.

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

the veal spinach tortellini looked interesting.

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

veal spinach tortellini in tomato sauce

& looked yummy! i must try that next time. 🙂

squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio

squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio

my friend the proprietor ordered the day’s special, a squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio.

i tasted. it was good.

squid ink pasta

squid ink pasta

i liked my own squid ink sauce pasta better though. it was more intense & flavourful, though my immediate reaction was it was a bit salty. my own squid ink seafood spaghetti here.

the friend who shared 1/2 my squid ink thought it was very salty, and that the alio olio was also salty. i was good with the alio olio, & salt does bring out the flavours (though too much would kill it).

my friend the proprietor ordered 2 more pizza – a duck & mushroom ragout & a special – with sausage.

my phone died so i did not have photos. duck ragout was good & had some meat pieces. i liked the sausage special pizza a bit more, sausage very flavourful.

yuzu cheese cake

yuzu cheese cake

the pastry chef among us went to select the dessert.

i didn’t think much of the yuzu cheese cake nor the biscuit base. probably i was programmed to think anything yuzu must be specially good. this was average so-so to me.

tiramisu

tiramisu

didn’t think much of the tiramisu either. i had a small teaspoon scoop near the top, somehow thought it felt like penna cotta.

tiramisu

tiramisu

that did not prepare me for interrogation by our pastry chef. she asked if i tasted the lady finger biscuits. seemed that i didn’t (i guess that’s why i thought it tasted like penna cotta – soft, light w/o the tiramisu texture) nor did i tasted coffee or liquor.

our pastry chef thought it was good, and she said there was liquor at the bottom & she didn’t take coffee anyway, so that suited her. guess i have to defer to pastry chef!^^

anyway my palate a bit hesitant, not very sharp like my daughter…give me excuse to try a few more times.^^

lemongrass chocolate cake

lemongrass chocolate cake

the lemongrass chocolate cake looked really pretty, but it’s not my thing.

lemongrass chocolate cake

lemongrass chocolate cake

my least preferred of the 3 dessert.

i had a flat white afterwards. it was good. but didn’t feel that it was in the chye seng huat, dutch colony, or the assembly coffee category.

it was really enjoyable evening. company was super fun, outdoor ambience was cool & nice open space, & food was great. i will probably come back with my family. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy