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

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11pax Homecooked 11-course Family Birthday Dinner on 14.6.2014

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

time passes us by. my brother’s & sister’s birthday fall on 14June.  since i had started cooking for 2 years hence, and had hosted many homecooked dinners, i wanted to do a homecooked chinese dinner for my brother & sister. 🙂

the chinese dishes i planned were simple stuff like chicken & duck & belly pork. there’s also fish & 2 vege as they both like vege. i added a lamb as my sister like lamb. my niece & her husband are buddhist & vegetarian, so i cooked a pesto pasta for them. also i had the tofu cheese cake. 🙂

chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

#1 chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡

#1 chicken rice chicken 白斩鸡 was a favourite when i did my 27pax homecooked buffet for my RI friends recently on 28.5.2014. it was brined in sugar & salt water for 48hrs, then 10minutes simmering & 20 minutes poached in hot water, and placed in ice water bath to taut the skin & stop cooking. this time though i only tried a small slice of breast meat, but it did not seem as sweet, juicy & tasty as it usually were. 😦

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 dry salt spice brined duck 盐水鸭

#2 the 盐水鸭 (dry salt spice brined duck) though was very good this time. it was flavourful yet not too intense, and the meat was tender as the boil-poach preparation (similar to 白斩鸡 but 15mins+30minutes for duck) produced a more gently cooked meat. i applied a dry brine of salt, sugar, cinnamon bark, anise seeds, clove, bay leaves, and sichuan chilli pepper for 48hrs. 🙂

when cutting & tasting the breast which was thicker than the thigh, i felt the breast meat was less flavourful. so perhaps i will reserve thigh meat for this preparation & breast meat for the sous vide duck a l’orange. 🙂

"sous vide" char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew

"sous vide" char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew

#3 “sous vide” char siew was a bit too fat but melt-in-the-mouth tender after 5hrs at 90degC in the oven & quick pan-grilled with butter.  it was marinated for 3 days & well infused & tasty, but after many attempts i felt the marinade recipe i used was still not the best tasting & not comparable with my miso belly pork, which marinade requires a much simpler preparation. 🙂

spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

#4 spicy garlic pork 蒜泥白肉

#4 my brother loved the 蒜泥白肉 ( spicy garlic pork). this was also a crowd favourite during my recent 27pax homecooked buffet dinner for RI friends. 🙂

actually i over added the sichuan chilli so the sauce was overly spicy. i had to drizzle less sauce than i usually did. the sauce was made from light soy sauce, sugar, chopped garlic, chopped onions, sliced ginger,  cinnamon bark, anise seed, dash of cumin & sichuan chilli. the belly pork was done using the crockpot method – in cold water on low for about 4hrs. this another inventive method of slow cooking as it starts from room temperature & very slowly gets to boiling & remain simmering not hard boiling thus retaining the moisture. pork & skin were very tender. 🙂

miso lamb shoulder chop

#5 miso lamb shoulder chop

#5 my sister like lamb so i did a miso preparation for a cheap lamb shoulder chop. the lamb was marinated for 3 days in miso to infuse the flavours. it was then placed in the marinade bath in the oven at 90degC for 5hrs. this meat has lots of connective tissues & so very tough & not easy to make tender. 90degC happens to be the optimum temperature to convert collagen (the tough connective tissues) to tasty excellent texture gelatine. this time though i forgot to remove from oven & it dried out a bit c/w a quite perfect preparation for a 11pax sit-down dinner i had for RI friends recently on 5.5.2014.

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms

as my niece & her husband are vegetarians, i prepared a separate vegetarian dish, a pesto spaghetti with grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms for them. this was a very tasty dish that i experimented/recreated after very good meals during my recent travels to lake como, cinque terre & milan. 🙂

the pesto was made with pine nuts (i used almonds as substitute as pine nuts are very ex), spinach, basil, cheese & olive oil & a dash of salt, and blended. the pesto & grilled eggplant, zucchini & mushrooms were added to the pasta & tossed, with a teaspoon of sugar, some white wine & sea salt to taste. 🙂

fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek

fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek

#6 fried large prawns with leek was quite poor this time. the leek was “sek” somehow very tough. usually i cooked it just right so it was still brightly green but soft & tasty. this time i had to cook it very long till blackish to get it to soften. i did not try the prawns but my wife & daughter both thought the prawns were poor. i knew the prawns were large & very fresh when i cut the heads & shelled. & the butter pan-grilled method always produce a very tasty, slightly bbq flavour prawns. but because i had to heat up the dish 3 times, even though i took out the prawns & put back each time, the steam got into the prawns & the meat became “hu hu” i.e. mushy.

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

#7 poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

poor man's buddha jump over the wall

#7 poor man’s buddha jump over the wall

#7 the shorthand 佛跳墙 (buddha jump over the wall) was a dish i modelled after the very nice soup jh’s father (a chef) made. i used pig trotters, thick mushrooms, belly pork, dried scallops & also 2 cans of cheap limpets (S$10/can). 🙂

#8 auntie bes made a teochew steamed pomfret (did not take photo). this time though the pomfret was not very fresh & had a “chow chor” (fishy) taste. 😦

fermented bean curd raomaine lettuce 腐乳油麦菜

#9 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce 腐乳油麦菜

#9 腐乳油麦菜 (fermented bean curd romaine lettuce) is a common zi char dish e.g. kok sen. this time 腐乳 & chilli were just right & my wife liked it. 🙂

HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 HK steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice(香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭)

#10 香汁蒸蘑菇鸡饭 (HK styled steamed chicken, mushrooms, chinese sausage rice) is the common steamed rice dish in hk’s dim sum restaurants, usually they used chicken feet and/or pork ribs, drizzled with tasty black sauce. the sauce is very important. it is easily made – just 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tsp dark sauce, 1 tbsp sugar & 6 tbsp water or to taste. it looked dark but was not salty & quite perfect taste – mildly sweet & nice soy flavour. 🙂

tofu cheese cake

#11 tofu cheese cake

#11 just as in my 27pax recent gathering, the tofu cheese cake was again a crowd favourite. it is the easiest of dessert, a no bake very light cheese cake. the simplest of recipes = 200g cream cheese, 200g silken tofu, 200ml yogurt, 100ml whipped cream, 4 tbsp brown sugar (60g), 2 tbsp lime juice (30ml), & dissolved 3 tsp gelatine powder (15g) in 50ml hot water, then blend & pour over the biscuit base (made with 7 digestive biscuits (105g) & 60g melted butter). 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: Yong Siu’s & Yong Hui’s 63 Birthday 11pax Homecooked 11-course Dinner on 14.6.2014

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Excellent 5pax Birthday Dinner @ Sun with Moon Wheelock on 16May2014

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bara chirashi don set

daughter booked 5pax dinner at sun with moon @ wheelock to celebrate the birthday of our domestic help on 16.5.2014. 🙂

i really enjoyed the excellent lunch here on 7.5.2014. this the first time i came for dinner.

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salmon fish miso soup for bara chirashi don set

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bara chirashi don set

the bara chirashi don was very tasty, both the fresh sashimi & rice. i supposed in terms of quality of ingredients, it’s hard to beat the S$20 chirashi don lunch set at ginza kuroson, but that was lunch, this dinner. 🙂

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dobin mushi (teapot soup)

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okonomiyaki

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salmon maki

wife & another daughter did not want a heavy set, so ordered a dobin mushi plus a okonomiyaki & salmon maki to share. 🙂

dobin mushi was ok, competent.

okonomiyaki was very good.

& salmon maki was good.

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tori nabe for my unagi kebayaki set

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unagi kebayaki

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salmon sashimi with my unagi kebayaki set

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my unagi kebayaki set

i ordered a unagi kebayaki set for myself. we shared the food of course. 🙂

it was very good. the chicken nabe came with a ball of collagen, made the soup very tasty.

the unagi kebayaki was fresh eel. i had not taken unagi for a while & this one was good! 🙂

the salmon sashimi side dish here is always good. i always add that to my lunch set for S$3.

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teriyaki cod & tempura set

our domestic help ordered a teriyaki cod & tempura set. i did no try. the cod looked great & the tempura had 3 large prawns, really good set! 🙂

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great tea parfait

we were all greedy & ordered 2 parfaits to share for 5pax. this our favourite dessert here! 🙂

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tofu cheese cake

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tofu cheese cake

we were attracted by the tofu cheese cake so ordered take-out to bring home as birthday cake for our domestic helper. 🙂

after eating this tofu cheese cake, i googled & found an excellent internet recipe & made my own very good tofu cheese cake. that was really fun. 🙂

for me, both lunch & dinner sets here were excellent value for money. the 5pax dinner cost S$150 though we only ordered 3 dinner sets plus some ala carte to share.

c.h.e.f andy

4pax Birthday ala Carte Buffet Lunch @ Jing on 28Dec2013

korean-styled beef ribs with kimchi

korean-styled beef ribs with kimchi

was buying a birthday lunch for a friend couple & decided to go Jing for the weekend ala carte buffet lunch on 28.12.2013.  Jing is a joint venture by majestic chef yong bing ngen & low lik peng. the location is better however somehow i always find majestic food better. anyhow had not been to jing for many years so thought i would try it out again. 🙂

the weekend ala carte buffet is S$48pax, with 1 fee for 3paying using citibank credit card. previously it was S$36pax also with the 1 free promotion but perhaps that was sometime ago. anyway these days most better ala carte buffet would have cost this amount. 🙂

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fishmaw soup

fishmaw soup

peking duck

peking duck

previously peking duck was served at a cold cut station. this time it was served as a table order which was preferred. it was competent.

the fish maw soup was good as usual. we also tried the dumpling soup which was very tasty too!

we ordered 3 dim sum – a scallop dumpling, a deep-fried dragon beard scallop dumpling & a abalone crystal dumpling..they were good too.

signature wasabi prawns

signature wasabi prawns

chilean seabass topped with chye poh

chilean seabass topped with chye poh

deep-fried soon hock (marble goby)

deep-fried soon hock (marble goby)

chilli crab

chilli crab

monkey head mushrooms sichuan style

monkey head mushrooms sichuan style

sliced beef with sweet basil

sliced beef with sweet basil

shark fin on rice (泡饭)

shark fin on rice (泡饭)

杨枝甘露 - mango pomelo dessert

杨枝甘露 – mango pomelo dessert

the korean-styled galbi beef ribs with kimchi (top photo) was good as usual. the wasabi prawns were crispy, juicy, good, though my personal preference was for less mayo (like at majestic). the chilean seabass was kind of disappointment as majestic served a very tasty chilean seabass – this one was not firm & flat in taste.

the deep-fried soon hock was competent. the chilli crab was better than i expected as i had previously very poor chilli crab at majestic.

we had the monkey head mushroom dish – quite a meaningless nothing dish for me, just tasting the sweet sour “gong bao” taste.

the sliced beef with sweet basil was poor. most zi char did this better, even the S$9 thai basil beef set at le wu.

the sharkskin “pao fan”, a soupy rice dish, was also a dish that could do w/o, basically just eating carbo.

the mango pomelo dish was very average, nothing like that the 杨枝甘露 at tunglok signature.

birthday cake - swissbake paradiso

birthday cake – swissbake paradiso

overall, my guests felt it was quite a good lunch. i thought i was ok too, though i didn’t really think it was any better than peach garden’s ala carte buffet which was cheaper & had wider choice of food.

i got a birthday cake from swissbake called paradiso, & Jing kept, served & arranged for the birthday boy to bring back the cake. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Birthday Dinner to Remember @ Tung Lok Signature Central on 22Oct2013

roast pork

roast pork

a good friend organised an early birthday dinner for me at tunglok signature @ central which is next to his office on 22.10.2013. we had 4pax for the evening including my wife & a mutual friend. 🙂 my friend’s god-sister pre-ordered an ala carte menu which turned out to be very good indeed!

we had the usual roast pork as a starter.  the look wasn’t that great. taste-wise it was good as usual, especially with the mustard. 🙂

lie tong 例汤 (soup of the day)

lie tong 例汤 (soup of the day)

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wasabi prawns

wasabi prawns

sea cucumber with jinbai (津白)

sea cucumber with jinbai (津白)

deep-fried tofu with enoki mushorroms

deep-fried tofu with shimeji mushrooms

fried garoupa fillet with brocoli

fried garoupa fillet with broccoli

we had a very good lie tong 例汤 (soup of the day) with chicken stock & some roots, again a very competent & enjoyable dish as usual for tunglok restaurants.

the wasabi prawns with light mayo topped with some mangoes were excellent, better than what we had recently at peach garden.

the best dish for the evening was the thick sea cucumbers. this was served in a very nice brown braising sauce which was served commonly with abalones or goose webs. the taste was exquisite, & i liked the jinbai (津白) as well.

next up was the star garoupa fillet with broccoli & lily bulbs. the wok hae was super – another excellently executed dish. & i liked especially the deep-fried tofu with shimeji mushrooms, very flavourful. 🙂

birthday cake & 流沙寿桃 presentation

birthday cake & 流沙寿桃 presentation

birthday cake & 流沙寿桃

birthday cake & 流沙寿桃

alacarte birthday dinner menu

alacarte birthday dinner menu

my friend also arranged for a very nice chocolate truffle birthday cake from swiss bake,and the restaurant made a great presentation with the longevity buns (which came as mini 流沙寿桃) on a plate with calligraphy of meaningful verses by their manager. the servers sand recited the verses & happy birthday song.  service was excellent here – the server had advised us not to order more dishes earlier when my friend asked.

it was a very enjoyable dinner with the company, food & conversation. 🙂 i didn’t ask how much the dinner cost. i estimate the 6 dishes + dessert (excluding the cake to cost S$250. there was a 25% palate discount for 4pax ala carte, so probably about S$220nett.

c.h.e.f andy