Great Tapas @ FOC on 27Aug2015

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg

son was back for summer holidays. this evening we went to FOC for a family dinner on 27.8.2015.^^

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

restaurant has a chic ambience.

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

it is supposed to be for fine food & fun dining from barcelona. for us, it’s tapas. 🙂

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

FOC supposed to be fire in catalan.

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg was a good start. its was a good tasty dish, the egg gave it a silky texture. maybe its a bit like my spanish omelette but deconstructed, no?

ham croquettes

ham croquettes

like the ham croquettes.

mushroom croquettes

mushroom croquettes

at first taste, the mushroom croquettes had much more intense flavours & bested the ham croquettes by comparison. but i tried the ham croquettes again & it had a very nice lingering flavour. i like both. ^^

patatas bava

patatas bravas

the patatas bravas, a deep-fried potato dish was very good too.

patatas bravas

patatas bravas

really well done enjoyable dish.

pork trotters carpaccio

pork trotters carpaccio

the pork trotters carpaccio was delightful.

pork trotters carpaccio

pork trotters carpaccio

especially with the condiments & sauce it came in.

slow braised & grilled octopus

slow braised & grilled octopus

the slow braised octopus was excellent too.

slow braised & grilled octopus

slow braised & grilled octopus

taste & texture wise, it was almost comparable with the very good ones i tried recently –

the grilled cotopus dish at da luca

the octopus dish at zafferano

& i still prefer the tako kakiage at mikuni. ^^

squid ink paella

squid ink paella

i think this squidink paella is the best of all squidink i had. really flavourful, smooth & buttery. good enough for us to order a second serving.

squid ink risotto

squid ink risotto

i think it is better than (maybe) the dish i squid risotto i had at follia (which was outstanding).

& my own very good squidink pasta.

kith’s squidink pasta would be quite behind by comparison.

scampi fiduea alio olio

scampi fiduea alio olio

the first serving of scampi fiduea alio olio was excellent, very sweet, tasty, intense. unfortunately there was a hair in it!

scampi fiduea alio olio

scampi fiduea alio olio

restaurant did the right thing & replaced it with a new dish. again unfortunately the new dish was not tasty as before. i guess hair made a difference to the taste? :-p

rack of lamb

rack of lamb

rack of lamb was pretty ok.

rack of lamb

rack of lamb

it was very tender yes, but actually flavour-wise, my own pistachio crusted rack of lamb was a lot better!

iberico pork rack

iberico pork rack

the iberico pork rack was superb!

iberico pork rack

iberico pork rack

not only it was fork tender & yet not sinewy, it was very flavourful, excellent!

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

the hanging sculpture.

chocolate galaxy

chocolate galaxy

daughter wanted to try the chocolate galaxy.

it’s the chocolate bomb i thought of trying for my anniversary dinner but didn’t.

apple tart

apple tart

we tried the apple tart. it was ok, nothing special & can do without. nothing like da luca’s crispy apple tart!

french toast

french toast

the french toast was good. looked at a dessert i may try myself at home.

i think minus the drinks it was about S$50pax. not cheap but doable.

c.h.e.f andy

 

Flamed Squid in Spinach Veloute

#6 flamed squid in spinach veloute

#6 flamed squid in spinach veloute

wife & i had a really good holiday in cornwall in may this year 2015. ^^

we had many good eats & 1 of them was at porthminster cafe at st ives.

st ives porthminster chef michael smith's flamed squid

st ives porthminster chef michael smith’s flamed squid

i saw the photos of flamed squid (above) at michael smith’s porthminster cafe at st ives. did not try the dish & cannot find the recipe on google. i guess the chef is not that famous. so i tried to recreate the dish w/o the recipe. 🙂

torch - present from a friend diner

torch – present from a friend diner

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

i tested it, pretty easy to use. 🙂

my first attempt was on 20.5.2015, experimenting some dishes for my anniversary dinner. ^^

i followed that up with the actual anniversary dinner & then the best one yet at a really fun 12pax homegourmet 12-course dinner this month on 5.8.2015.

flamed squid - learned to use the torch very first time

flamed squid – learned to use the torch very first time

i cross cut (very closely) a large squid into 4 pieces (about 9cmx6cm), i flamed it on a frying pan. quite smooth going. i knew it was not sufficiently cooked. so i fried in butter over high heat. the key was not to overcook the squid or it would become tough & chewy.

#3 spinach sauce

#3 spinach veloute

for the sauce, again i created my own spinach sauce recipe. i used lots of vegetable to make it so very tasty.

#6 flamed squid in spinach veloute

flamed squid & spinach veloute

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 chicken stock & 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil & salt & pepper to taste.

flamed squid in spinach veloute

flamed squid in spinach veloute

such a wonderful & tasty veloute complementing the flamed squid.

#6 flamed squid in spinach veloute

#6 flamed squid in spinach veloute

when serving i heat up the veloute, plated the sauce, added the flamed squid & topped with a coriander branch. 🙂

flamed squid in spinach veloute

flamed squid in spinach veloute

flamed squid had excellent bbq flavours & looks, and was done just nice, not rubbery.

the veloute was really good. first class!

flamed squid in spinach veloute

flamed squid in spinach veloute

i subsequently did a vegetarian version for my niece’s birthday dinner by replacing the flamed squid with a shallow fried silken tofu, which was crispy outside & soft inside.

tofu is not squid of course, but nice also, & the veloute is marvellous & the whole dish presentation just very charming. 🙂

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