10-course Homecooked Vegetarian Dinner for 8pax on 17Aug2015

made a 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8pax on 17.8.2015. ^^

it was a belated birthday for my niece who is a buddhist & vegetarian. it’s also the first time i planned & executed vegetarian dishes. 🙂

my niece & her husband are ovo-lacto vegetarians, which means they can take eggs & dairy products like milk, butter & cheese. they are also not strict vegetarians, but they will abstain & avoid meats if they can, and take only the vegetables if it comes with the meat. i like the practical, unassuming, unimposing approach.

but i wanted to do a all-vegtarian course dinner for them. for me that was quite exciting & fun to do. 🙂

for me, my interest was not about mock meats or fusion, just to make something that taste good & look good. & if they are not the usual run-of-the-mill chinese stir-fried vegetables and incorporates some non-chinese styles or good matching of taste, texture or presentation, then so much the better! 🙂

#1 first course was a spanish omelette. it’s a really simple dish.  just 2 eggs, 1.5 sliced large potatoes & 1/2 sliced yellow onions. the ingredients were already vegetarian. i just have to light soy sauce instead of fish sauce for the egg. this dish is also perfect as a tapas, a small bite, for a multi-course meal, so quite nicely each had a good slice of omelette.

#2 wife’s quinoa pumpkin tofu salad is always a great accompaniment for my dinners. the pumpkin & tofu with rockets made a very good salad on its own (wife made this after a lunch at marmalade some years back), and addition of quinoa gave it more texture & some savoury touch. 🙂

#3 shallow fried silken tofu in spinach veloute.

i created this dish (flamed squid in spinach veloute) from looking at a photo (w/o the chance to taste the dish) at porthminster cafe at st ives in cornwall, england. it was an excellent dish & i served it at 12-course dinner for 12pax 2 weeks ago.

this time for vegetarian dish i replaced the squid by a shallow fried silken tofu, so that the texture was crispy outside & soft inside. not a flamed (torched) squid but still very nice! 🙂

#4 for soup, i made a cream of carrot soup. this was tasty & smooth & very popular & everyone had a second helping & finished all the soup.

i used 1.5 large carrots, but also 1 red pepper, 1 stalk leek, 1 small yellow onions & vegetable stock which i prepared the night before. & about 4 tablespoon of cream. its a similar recipe for all my creamy soup.

#5 this the first time i attempted spaghetti alla nerano (zucchini pasta). we first tried this in fresco & cummino in milan & this was 1 of the best vegetarian pasta i had, though i like funghi pasta equally. 🙂

i followed an internet recipe, & blended 1/2 yellow zucchini with some onions after softening them in olive oil. i added some butter when tossing the pasta to give it more body.

it was a very good pasta, al dente & tasty. everyone liked it. son said more parmesan shavings would be good. i think overall it can be improved. for now i would prefer my fungi pasta over this, maybe just slightly.

#6 steamed egg plant with peas & onion sauce

my sis & i had a nice daipaidong 大排档 dinner at 富记大排档tai wai where they served an entire steamed eggplant in minced meat & onion sauce. i had recreated this & made a much better tasting one by adding oyster sauce to balance off the tomato sauce.

for the vegetarian take, i cannot use oyster sauce so only light soy sauce + tsuyu sauce, and i replaced the minced meat with frozen peas i bought from sheng shiong.

the presentation can be improved. the key to this dish is the texture of the eggplant, which has to be just cooked & not mushy. i cut it with kitchen sears (scissors) & if it were mushy it would not hold up. 🙂 the pea onions sauce with corn flour was pretty tasty too.

#7 the egg fried rice was basic, no “wow” dish, but it was good accompaniment for the last 3 dishes – steamed egg plant, thai red curry & the brocoli with cauliflower.

it had good “wok hae”, individually rice grains “tioc tioc” we say in teochew, quite good la. 🙂

#8 the thai red curry vegetables was a variation of my thai red curry sotong (squid) which i served for the 30+pax lunch party for my daughter last month.

i just replaced the sotong by vegetables. i had potato, egg plant, onions, yellow pepper, tomato. for me, a non vegetarian, it was no comparison with the red curry sotong of course but still an excellenty flavoured curry dish.

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 the 3rd dish to be eaten with the egg fried rice was brocoli with cauliflower. i actually asked if the guys wanted eat or they were full..haha! ^^

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

#9 brocoli with cauliflower

my wife, daughter, everyone wanted it. my son said there is no discussion. 🙂

#10 i made a banoffee (banana toffee) cake for dessert. we have been having tiramisu & tofu cheese cake so i wanted a change from usual.

it was a really nice cake. a great combination of flavours – very nice biscuit base, a thin tasty layer of caramel so not too sweet & nice whipped cream topped with chocolate shavings.

D-24 durian...also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

D-24 durian…also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

and we had D-24 & maoshanwang 猫山王 durians!

D-24 durian...also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

D-24 durian…also had 2x maoshanwang durians (forgot to take photo)

an excellent finish to the 10-course vegetarian dinner. i forgot to take photos of the maoshanwang durians though. ate too fast! haha! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Expensive & Very Average Chirashi Don @ Tatsu Asia Square 2 on 7Nov2014

aji sashimi

aji sashimi – S$35

had a 5pax family dinner for a special occasion at tatsu asia square 2 on 7.11.2014. 🙂

daughter was keen to explore the different chirashi don. decided to try this place even though i was not impressed with the photo of the S$40 chirashi don on the website menu.

since we were there, might as well try some of their recommendations.

aji sashimi

aji sashimi – S$35

years ago (almost 20years coming to think of it), my wife & i used to enjoy mezzanine japanese food at the sushi counter with 50% hyatt card. the aji sashimi usually cost about S$45 for the whole fish before discount. & before that, even earlier we had great aji sashimi at unkai at nassim hill, can’t remember the hotel now but i think it was at the current site of ‘the nassim’ (condo).

i don’t know the current price of aji sashimi at sushi restaurants as seldom take now, but S$35 seemed reasonable (though at first the server say S$25 to S28 depending on size, but later became S$35).

the aji did not disappoint. it was very sweet. the presentation though was somewhat disappointing. i told the server they should serve the sashimi as a whole fish like most sushi bar & also in japan, but i get it that they might be offering what they thought was good service by serving up the flesh & having the bones deep-fried. usually sushi bars would serve the sliced sashimi with the fishbones whole, then when you finish the sashimi they would take it away to deep-fry. unkai even did it better by “pengkang” i.e. bbq which was not as convenient as deep-fried but tasted a lot better. 🙂

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

deep fried aji head & bones

we ate up the deep-fried fish head & bones.

gyu tataki

gyu tataki – S$15

gyu tataki

gyu tataki – S$15

gyu tataki was a recommended dish, it was good & a dish i would order if i come again (not likely though!).

kaisen chirashi don

kaisen chirashi don – S$40

kaisen chirashi don

kaisen chirashi don – S$40

the menu showed kaizen (海鲜) chirashi don as S$40 & aburi (torched or flamed) don as S$50. i asked the server & she confirmed that both had exact same ingredients. i guess one needed to pay for the labour & torch. we decided to order 3 chirashi don.

i would say this was a huge disappointment (which was not unexpected i having seen the website photo). it was a good chirashi of course. the fish were fresh & sweet. they were very thin slices though & w/o any quality sashimi cuts.

compare this with the chirashi don at mikuni which has 2 pieces otoro, botan ebi, uni at S$45 (after 50% feed at raffles discounts). actually there was just nothing to compare! or the S$20 chirashi don set at ginza kuroson.  granted kuroson’s is only for lunch & the sashimi cuts were just as thin. or with the sashimi & unagi don set at sun with moon.

i have not yet tried the chirashi don at flying squirrel & sushi kou, but they are around S$25 & it looks to me the quality would be better than here at tatsu.

salmon skin temaki

salmon skin temaki

the salmon skin temaki was also a recommended dish. it was simple but nice & tasty.

crayfish teppanyaki

crayfish teppanyaki – S$28

crayfish teppanyaki

crayfish teppanyaki – S$28

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice – S$13

our helper does not take raw fish. so we ordered a seafood fried rice plus a crayfish teppanyaki. these were good restaurant standard. though the japanese preparation with lots of mayo not my favourite.

tenderloin teppanyaki

tenderloin teppanyaki – S$28

aburi salmon maki

aburi salmon maki

my other daughter ordered a beef tenderloin and a aburi salmon maki. tenderloin was 200g size & quite tasty. & the maki was again good standard.

banoffee cake

banoffee cake

we got back home for the banoffee cake which i made for the occasion.

the cake was quite perfect this time, not so sweet with a bit more bananas, very well balanced cake.

c.h.e.f andy