Good Lunch but Quite Ex @ Kim San Leng Bishan on 3Mar2016

late lunch @ kim san leng

late lunch @ kim san leng

went with 2 close friends to watch stephen chow’s mermaid at GV Bishan yesterday on 3.3.2016.

maybe it was a lightweight movie. a friend & i talked over whatsapp whether to watch spotlight (best picture oscar) or revenant ( leonardo dicarpio best actor oscar) at shaw lido & decided that we would have a light-hearted relax show this time. 🙂

i quite enjoyed the show. for me it was not slapstick, quite respectable in fact, & nothing so irreverent as kungfu hustle. i not much into stephen chow’s show like 1 of my friends, but kungfu hustle i like actually. 🙂

after the show we walked over to kim san leng food centre.

kim san leng food court @ bishan

kim san leng food centre @ bishan

it’s a coffeeshop, and a huge success story. the guy pulled in the good hawker stalls, so it’s crowded, good traffic even though its along the food & away from junction 8. 🙂

kim san leng food court @ bishan

kim san leng food centre @ bishan

i like this place & the food, though they are not cheap.

ngoh hiang

S$7.50 ngoh hiang

the ngoh hiang was pretty good. 🙂

4 items for S$7.50.

ngoh hiang

ngoh hiang

well, sicc’s bukit cafe S$9.50 ngoh hiang (6 items) pretty good too, maybe the sauce better than bukit cafe.

c/w the S$22 indian rojak at ayer rajah food centre (which was excellent), price also ok. i like the indian rojak a lot better though. 🙂

braised duck & kueh chap

yu kee’s S$10 braised duck & S$3 kueh chap

yu kee lor arh

yu kee lor arh

yu kee’s braised duck was good too. i don’t eat this often these days but this was good – flavourful, smooth, not tough.

braised duck

braised duck

S$10 for quarter duck with drumstick i guess not that ex too.

kueh chap

kueh chap

the S$3 kueh chap very tiny plate, but also quite tasty. what can you buy with S$3 these days?

chicken rice & veg

bugis street ming kee S$11 chicken rice & S$6 veg 

bugis street ming kee chicken rice

bugis street ming kee chicken rice

my friend queued up to buy a S$11 plate chicken from the bugis street ming kee chicken rice. he could not recall the price of the beg, which i guess was S$6. we had 2 rice to share among 3.

chicken rice

bugis street ming kee S$11 chicken rice

chicken was good, but nothing special for me really. no much different from xin ji 新记chicken rice at mei ling food centre.

overall the lunch would come to about S$38 for 3, that should be consider ex. maybe we just ate too much…lol! ^^

i like the duck best, chicken & ngoh hiang a toss up. but chicken have to queue so i guess ngoh for my choice. haha! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Hua Ting 华厅’s SG50 6-course Lunch on 3Nov2015

vegetarian goose

vegetarian goose

a good younger friend wanted to buy lunch on 3.11.2015.

huating SG50 6-course lunch menu

hua ting SG50 6-course lunch menu

i wanted to try the hua ting 华厅 SG50 6-course lunch (not shy la..haha!) so suggested the place. ^^

i have not been to hua ting maybe >10yrs? not sure.

used to come here when i was having the millenium & copthorne’s ala carte card which gives 50% discounts for 2pax. liked the braised goose especially but that was like for a very short window & never had that since.

so we mostly had braised duck & also the lobster noodles. but like i was telling my friend, lobster noodles now we can have it anywhere, & 2 of the best for me are tunglok signature & xin cuisine. 🙂

we had a vegetarian goose starter.

mushroom fritters & seafood salad

#1 mushroom fritters & seafood salad

first course was the mushroom fritters & seafood salad.

mushroom fritters

#1 mushroom fritters

mushroom fritters were good, crispy batter & tasty mushrooms.

prawns & scallops salad

#1 prawns & scallops salad

prawns & scallops salad was competent.

overall not a particularly fine starter, but i guess a good restaurant standard, competent.

sweet & sour soup 酸辣汤

#2 sweet & sour soup 酸辣汤

second course was sweet & sour soup 酸辣汤.

this soup is not my favourite. still i remembered it was a rather tasty soup here eons ago. well, dishes change & tastebuds change too.

sweet & sour soup 酸辣汤

#2 sweet & sour soup 酸辣汤

i felt it was a bit below par for a hua ting standard restaurant.

c/w what i had at xin cuisine recently, at least that was fragrant, tasty & chokeful of ingredients as well.

even the colour & look were much better. 🙂

sea perch & minced pork tofu

#3 sea perch & minced pork tofu

i always like sea perch. the taste & texture is like cod. this one sat on an emarld tofu with minced pork sauce.

sea perch & minced pork tofu

#3 sea perch & minced pork tofu

photo looks ok, and overall the taste of both the sea perch & the minced pork tofu were good too.

it was a good restaurant standard. we both thought that the combination was not the best matching – a quite robust minced pork tofu competing with a sea perch.

c/w min jiang’s steamed sea perch, simple & dignified, somehow hua ting’s version look a bit like food from past decades.

lamb rack

#4 lamb rack

the lamb rack was ok. meat was tender, sauce was a bit overpowering. there was a bit of gamey taste which the sauce helped mask.

lamb rack

#4 lamb rack

i would say very competent dish. a bit of tacky decorations?

prawn noodles

#5 prawn noodles

prawn noodles? for me that was really quite below par.

prawn noodles

prawn noodles

alan’s S$5 “why eat har” prawn noodles beat this hands down.

prawn noodles

prawn noodles

so would any at tunglok signature & xin cuisine.

even my own big prawn noodles (copy tunglok’s) better than this la….lol,,,^^

mango pudding dessert

#6 mango pudding dessert

dessert was a mango pudding with fruits.

mango pudding dessert

#6 mango pudding dessert

overall, it was a very enjoyable lunch, catching up with my friend about his business & family.

food was pretty good i supposed considering it’s a S$50pax 6-course set with sea perch & lamb, but really far below the expectations i had for a restaurant like hua ting. so either the restaurant standard has fallen far behind or they are not giving representative dishes for the set (which defeats the purpose of having a promo).

c.h.e.f andy

Expensive Mediocre Teochew Porridge @ Lim Joo Hin Eating House on 16Jan2015

teochew porridge dishes

teochew porridge dishes

went with sis & b-i-l to lim joo hin teochew porridge at bukit ho swee for lunch on 16.1.2015. 🙂

had not been here like forever, maybe 10years? reason is i always feel that teochew porridge is ultra expensive for nothing food. well, today was no exception, just a confirmation, so in a sense i was not overly disappointed since already expecting it to be so!

strange psychology!

bhs teochew muay

lim joo hin teochew muay 潮州麋

place was bright & clean. not crowded yet at 12pm.

servers were rude & unhelpful, not rude in talking to you but rude in mannerism & ignoring you.

mullet 乌鱼

mullet 乌鱼

mullet 乌鱼 was still moist so soft. this not the usual style, her bun 鱼饭 or teochew chilled cooked fish should be cold & dry. meat was sweet & nice dipped in taojeo (bean paste), overall just average. unlike cold crab, we can do this easily at home ourselves.

braised duck

braised duck

braised duck was ok average. my own braised duck though is a lot better, more “pang” i.e. tasty.

"kor" her -method of braising fish

“kor” her -method of braising fish

“kor” her -this method of braising fish is rarely seen nowadays. the fish tasted like sardine (likely was) which was very different fish from the ones my grandma made 50yrs ago. the dish was just slight sour due to the sour dried veg, i think, which made it very appetising.

cabbage

cabbage

bhs teochew muay

lim joo hin teochew muay 潮州麋

bhs teochew muay

lim joo hin teochew muay 潮州麋

leek

leek

the vegetables were nice, especially the leek & “chiu kuay”, a gourd (my sis added 2 veg dishes later – “heng chye” spinach & “chiu kuay”).

3pax lunch cost S$47.40 for eating almost nothing. i am never coming back – well, maybe another 10yrs! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Teochew Cold Crab @ 帝威Di Wei Teochew Restaurant on 28Dec2014

S$16 large cold crab

S$16 large cold crab

帝威Di Wei Teochew Restaurant is located at food canopy @ singapore botanical gardens. it’s a nice airy canteen, not crowded and with ample parking.

di wei teochew restaurant @ food canopy botanical gardens

di wei teochew restaurant @ food canopy botanical gardens

we came here to have roti prata at the muslim food stall S.M. Aisha on 28.12.2014, and was staring at the 2 large cold crabs on display at the teochew stall next to it.

we finally decided 1/2way through our roti prata, to end the staring & all unfulfilled desires and bought one S$16 cold crab.

S$16 large cold crabc

S$16 large cold crabc

it was really good! ^^

it was large, packed with roes, and the meat filled to the shell. meat was sweet.

at first, they gave us a sweet red chilli, the type used in some dimsum restaurant. after some bites, i decided not to let live & asked if they had the teochew “kig you” 桔油.. they had, and very friendly & cheerful about it. so, always ask… ^^

ya..i love this crab..cold crab was S$28++ last time at chui huay lim. this S$16 was just as good.

i plan to come back & try their other teochew food, like braised duck, sambal crayfish etc.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Value Lunch (with Amex Vouchers) @ Chui Huay Lim on 25Jun2014

ter kar tan - S$10

ter kar tan – S$10

jumbo group have an ongoing amex promotion giving out voucher booklets for every S$120nett spend by amex card. i was given a booklet expiring 30jun2014, and 5 of us arranged to have lunch at chui huay lim on 25.6.2014. 🙂

i find chui huay lim kind of on the expensive side, but when there were substantive discounts like the good lunch we had on 4.11.2013, then it was pretty worth it.

for this time, we were using 1 S$60 voucher which require a total bill of S$150nett or above. i ordered the usual pig trotter jelly, hae chor & cold crab. also ordered 1/2 braised duck, 2 vege & a seafood meesua & ended with orh nee. including tea, bill came to S$111 for 5pax after the S$60 discount. & since we could get another voucher booklet if the net bills was S$120, we ordered 2 more ah bo ning (mochi dumplings) at S$4each. 🙂

#1 ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly) always good here.

hae chor - S$10

hae chor – S$10

#2 hae chor good too, very crisp.

teochew cold crab - S$30

teochew cold crab – S$30

#3 cold crab was sweet, among the better ones.

1/2 teochew braised duck - S$28

1/2 teochew braised duck – S$28

#4 the teochew braised duck was also good, flavour, tender, moist. 🙂

kai lan with ti pro - S$14

kai lan with ti poh- S$14

#5 kailan with ti poh pretty ok, i guess kind of standard.

#6 i ordered another spinach also S$14 (no photo).

seafood mee sua - S$18

seafood mee sua – S$18

#7 seafood meesua quite ok, also standard issue.

orh nee - S$4.50

orh nee – S$4.50

#8 the orh nee was much better than i expected, very smooth, not too sweet & nicely presented. better than ah orh which served a good orh nee too.

overall, though we did not order too many dishes or expensive ones, it was quite a good lunch for 5pax at only S$121nett & we took back a new voucher booklet include another S$60 voucher for chui huay lim. not bad la! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

P.S. photo credits to my good friend, 1 of the diners as i did not take any photo.

Protected: RI G20 23pax Dinner Get-Together @ Ah Orh on 20Feb2014

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Great Teochew Food 23pax Dinner Get-Together @ Ah Orh on 20Feb2014

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teochew braised duck

had our largest G20 gathering last evening at ah orh at jalan bukit merah on 20.2.2014. 🙂

it was the handy work of 1 of our friends, with his megawatt smile & shining hallo…lol…especially his ability to ring in the gals. we had 23pax (including 3 ladies) on 3 tables, a meeting (or eating!) record! it was 25, but 1 was held up in a meeting, another was ill.

ah orh had mixed reviews & mostly dated. most thought it was expensive for the food (it may still be probably but it often depends on food ordered).  anyhow there was a deal.com offer & the organiser bought 3 vouchers of S$150 worth at S$97.50 each – 1 voucher was allowed for each table. 🙂

some friends went early to order the dishes. we had in total 9 dishes & the cost came to S$23+ all-in (about S$180+ per table) after redeeming the vouchers, so it was in fact very good value-for-money even considering that we did not order the usual teochew pomfret, cold crab etc.

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deep-fried fish skin

there was deep-fried fish skin as table starter. pretty good!

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

#1 the braised duck platter (top photo & above) was good – moist, flavourful. i would say as good as imperial treasure teochew & better than muliangzai liang kee & chui huay lim. 🙂 the lor bah (braised belly pork) was good too.

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fishmaw soup

#2 fishmaw soup was tasty, but maybe just average. the one at beng thin we had recently was substantially better.

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ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly)

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ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly)

#3 the ter kar tan (pig trotter jelly) was very good – firm, flavourful. there was also good chilli & “seng ni cho” 蒜泥醋 dip. this was as good as chui huay lim, imperial treasure teochew & crystal jade.

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yam basket

#4 the yam basket was i supposed really excellent for this dish – yam was tasty & very crisp outside yet “sang” inside & very good combination in texture & taste with the fillings. a very good dish though yam basket not my favourite. 🙂

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kailan with ti poh

#5 the kailan with ti poh was competent. vegetable was fresh & crunchy. the ti poh (a teochew favourite condiment not so often seen) added to the attraction but perhaps the wok hae was kind of lacking a bit.

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teck kia fish with bitter gourd in black bean sauce

#6 not sure about this teck kia fish (竹仔鱼) dish, certainly competent but the fish had more bones than meat. at kok sen, they used some fish head & added chunky fish meat which worked well to accompany the black bean sauce & was much better overall by comparison.

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hae chor

#7 hae chor was quite ok, competent, nothing special.

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orh luah

#8 orh luah was pretty good, large fleshy oysters.

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orh nee

#9 orh nee was better than expected, tasty, i liked it but would have been better with pumpkin though. 🙂

company & fellowship were the key in our get-togethers of course, but we did come to eat & overall the food was quite good & the price of $23pax very reasonable after the deal.com offer, not much different from say muliangzai liang kee, and food we had here were better. 🙂 w/o the offer, it would cost about $30pax which was still not a bad deal, about same as what we had at shin yeh at our last 20pax dinner.

c.h.e.f. andy

Good Teochew Dinner @ Swa Garden on 28Nov2013

teochew cold crab

teochew cold crab

many friends were away. we had a smaller group of 9 for the monthly dinner at swa garden on 28.11.2013. i had wanted to come to this place the longest time but never got to it. had the impression it was expensive but looking at set menus (the one for S$268 looked ok & the more pricy ones included suckling pig), price looked ok.

the friend who organised for this evening pre-order 9 ala carte dishes. we started with the cold crab, it was good. 🙂 perhaps no difference from other teochew restaurants like chui huay lim, but good.

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

scallops with yellow chives

scallops with yellow chives

pig tendon & fish maw

pig tendon & fish maw

steamed mullet with salted vegetables

steamed mullet with salted vegetables

crayfish in XO sauce?

crayfish in XO sauce?

prawn balls & liver roll (or ngoh hiang)

prawn balls & liver roll (or ngoh hiang)

teochew char kuay teow

teochew char kuay teow

orh nee (芋泥)

orh nee (芋泥)

the braised duck was good too, “pang” ie flavourful & not tough or overcooked/fibrous. it said “goose”on paper but they readily admitted it was duck (a 半菜 duck). still my favourite braised duck remained the excellent 1/2 duck for S$28 @ imperial treasure.

the scallop with yellow chives was good, scallops plump & tasty.

& i liked the pot with pig tendon & fish maw, tasty & well done dish, though 1 friend thought the helping was not large enough for 9pax. i thought it was quite ok.

the mullet was a wet steamed version which i very seldom had..usually i took the air dried cold version at some bakuteh stalls like lao ah ti @ boon keng. i liked this version. the chye sim salted vegetables were nice & it was easier to pick up the fish meat c/w the dry version but both version had their own attractiveness. 🙂

the crayfish was a competent dish, tasty. i still preferred the ah orh style though as i felt the sauce masked the sweetness & flavour of the crayfish.

the prawn balls & ngoh hiang was another average, ok dish.

teochew plain char kuay teow was good, had wok hae, though not my favourite. i liked chui huay lim’s seafood beehoon better.

the orh nee was very average, not “pang”. the ones we had recently at much cheaper muliangzai liang kee was better.

S$268 10pax menu

S$268 10pax menu

overall we had 9 dishes for 9pax costing $297nett=S$33pax.  perhaps slightly more expensive c/w with the S$268 10pax set menu (above). price was ok, the food was average to above average. i was not overly impressed but it is a place i would come again for fairly good quality food at ok prices. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Good Teochew Zi Char @ Mu Liang Zai Liang Kee on 12Nov2013

braised duck & tau kua

braised duck & tau kua

6 of us had teochew zi char at muliang zai liang kee on 12.11.2013.  few of us started a hawker & zi char tour some months back. it was mostly touch & go. the zi char at kok sen @ keong siak street was very good. woh hup @ hong lim was quite poor it was not worth a post!

mu liang zai liang kee is located along the same row of shophouses along havelock road at the opposite end of g7 liangkee. it is owned by the 5th son of ng bak liang (so  木亮仔=son of bak liang).  you can read the story of the 3 liang kee here.

we had a very enjoyable dinner, true tecohew comfort food, mostly good standard & tasty & at very affordable prices, w/o service & gst. we had 8 dishes adding up to S$136, about S$22+pax nett. 🙂

ter kar tan - pork trotters jelly (猪脚冻)

ter kar tan – pork trotters jelly (猪脚冻)

hae chor (虾枣)& liver roll (肝花)

hae chor (虾枣)& liver roll (肝花)

deep-fried tofu with minced pork (金牌豆腐)

deep-fried tofu with minced pork (金牌豆腐)

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yellow chives with prawns

yellow chives with prawns

chilli crayfish

chilli crayfish

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orh nee (芋泥)

orh nee (芋泥)

the pork trotters jelly (猪脚冻) was just ok, competent. imperial treasure, crystal jade & chui huay lim versions were much better. it was cheap though, a large portion for S$10.

the hae chor (虾枣) & liver roll (肝花) were quite good, no much different from other teochew restaurants.

the braised sliced duck was surprisingly good. i did not expect much as many teochew restaurant like huat kee had very average (or poor) braised duck, and the braised goose we had recently at chui huay lim was poor c/w with this duck. still i very much prefer eating the style of braised duck like the 1/2 duck for S$28 at imperial treasure c/w this tiny plate of sliced duck for S$18. that was just my personal taste preference though.

the deep-fried tofu with minced pork (金牌豆腐) was excellent, equal to that at kok sen.

the orh nerng or oyster egg was an average & passable dish (passable in both senses – not failed OR can skip). like good teochews the few of us still preferred the sticky orh luar version with sweet potato flour at hawker centres.

the yellow chives with prawns (S$18) came with 7 large prawns. the prawns were large, fresh & springy, so it was not a bad prawn dish. it was though a bad yellow chives dish, no wok hae & swimming in sauce. it should be much dryer with strong wok hae flavour. 🙂

the crayfish (S$28) i did not consider a well done dish (though some of my diner friends were obviously relishing it).  i preferred the ah orh version of teochew crayfish with yellow onions & egg. the crayfish itself were plump, bouncy & tasty. not quite sure what chilli it was, not sambal & not really chilli crab chilli, though it did go well with the steamed buns.

the orh nee (芋泥) was good too – another pleasant surprise!

overall it was a good dinner for S$22nett. will be back again!

c.h.e.f andy

Second 55ers Homecooked 11-course Dinner Buffet on 7Nov2013

See privacy & perspectives.

this the second RI 55ers homecooked dinner before 2013 runs out. the first RI 55ers dinner was on 5.5.2013. 🙂

27pax attended. 2 had to leave earlier, so did not manage to get in the group photo (though we could have had the cake & photo done earlier).

one friend brought a very nice cake for the 3 november birthday boys & the 55ers, wonderful chocolate & a nice biscuit base with contrasting texture. it was an excellent cake. that reminded me that another friend’s sister made excellent cakes (incredible camera cake & cupcakes during his 30yr wedding anniversary dinner last year! btw that dinner was better organised than most young couples’ weddings). we should order from mongstirs next time.

let the party begin – makan time! 🙂

thai prawn tanhoon appetizer

thai prawn tanhoon appetizer

beer can chicken

beer can chicken

teochew briased duck

teochew briased duck

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braised egg, tau kua, tau pok

braised egg, tau kua, tau pok

we had 11 dishes.

#1 the thai tanhoon by my domestic helper was good as always – tasty, spicy, tangy, just the right amount of chilli padi, lime & shallots.

#2 the teochew braised duck was 1 of my best (it was also very good the last 55ers dinner on 5.5.2013 though i did struggle a bit couple other times including cutting my fingers for the 1st & only time preparing meals). it was very “pang” ie flavourful & meat was tender & not “june” ie tough.

#3 the “pang” braising sauce was put to full use with the braised egg, tau kua, tau pok.

#4 the beer can chicken was i guess ok, tasty, but nothing special. the chicken was brined in sugar & little salt for 24hrs, rubbed with oyster sauce, & with herbs & garlic slices pushed under the skin. & roasted for 40mins “standing” on a 100plus can. this way of roasting enable all round browning (almost la!) w/o need to turn over the chicken.

miso belly pork

miso belly pork

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nonya curry chicken

nonya curry chicken

steamed black bean pork ribs

steamed black bean pork ribs

chilli sotong

chilli sotong

steamed red garoupa HK style

steamed red garoupa HK style

blanched HK kailan with shitake

blanched HK kailan with shitake

high heat dry wok garlic prawns

high heat dry wok garlic prawns

#5 the miso belly pork was inspired by a lunch at jason atherton’s pollen @ gardens by the bay. i was doing a good nobu miso cod & decided to use the same 3-day marinade recipe, and the char siew method (oven slow low temp cooking immersed in miso marinade so retaining the juices  & no drying out + high temp broiling). the meat was moist (as seen in the photos, just like the duck & chicken were moist) & tender & the miso flavour was excellent.

#6 nonya curry chicken was my consistently good dish, made w/o curry powder directly using a self-blended spice mix recipe, and of course unhealthy coconut milk, and so very fragrant in smell & taste. i love this curry.

the other dishes (plus #1 thai tanhoon) were ably done by my domestic helper.

#7 chilli sotong was excellent – a craving inducing dish.

#8 the steamed pork ribs looked so wonderful in the photo & was tasty with tender bite.

# 9 steamed red garoupa HK style was always good, & at 20% restaurant prices.

#10 blanched HK kailan was a good accompaniment after all the meat dishes. 🙂

#11 the last was my dry wok garlic prawns. wok needed to be dry & on open high heat to get charred flavour (so cannot cover as condensation would result in steaming the prawns). fish sauce is the chief ingredient to create the flavour & wok hae under high heat. prawns de-veined but not shelled so would bake in shell & not overcook & also not salty with reduced contact with fish sauce. 🙂

all fun moments come to a close. so this post is for memories, till the next get-together. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Homecooked Buffet for 17pax on 19Aug2013 (Public)

ANDY'S HOMECOOKED BUFFET DINNER FOR 17PAX ON 19.8.2013 7.30PM (public)

we had 9 dishes with the usual thai tanhoon, spicy pork ribs, spicy seabass & HK kailan by my domestic helper. i did the other 4 dishes. it was quite easy as i did the buffet twice before. most dishes were precooked & only needed warming up. only the garlic prawn i cooked (only took 5 minutes) while everyone was tucked in to dinner,

chong loong's signature chilli crab

chong loong’s signature chilli crab

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we had lots of food, especially as a friend brought his brother’s famous chilli crab. 🙂

aunty Bes' thai tanhoon salad

thai tanhoon salad

miso char siew (belly pork)

miso char siew (belly pork)

nonya curry chicken

nonya curry chicken

the thai tanhoon always good! spicy, tangy, tasty! & the miso char siew (belly pork) i perfected, and since then it is always good. the nonya curry chicken was very tasty & “pang” (fragrant), and this another quite consistent dish, so far good everytime. 🙂

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

lor neng, tau kua & tau pok

lor neng, tau kua & tau pok

i had my first accident since i started homecooking for groups in mar2012. its probably my own failure but i did exactly the same recipe & timing but i felt the braised duck was tough when cutting (bad workman blaming the tools,,haha). my friends were too polite to say the duck was tough. i thought the flavour was ok & also the lor neng, tau kua & tau pok were quite ok & well received.

white-cut chicken

white-cut chicken

aunty bes' spicy bean sauce pork ribs

spicy bean sauce pork ribs

the chicken was not cut/carved that well, but it was brined with salt & sugar & was very moist, tender & tasty. & spicy bean sauce pork rib – always good! 🙂

garlic prawns

garlic prawns

aunty bes' spicy tau jeon seabass

spicy tau jeon seabass

aunty bes' poached HK kailan with shitake

poached HK kailan with shitake

i did my usual dry wok high heat garlic prawns. this method produced a slight charred bbq taste. at the same time the prawn flesh was not directly in contact with the wok & was in fact baked in its shell & so very moist & tender. a key ingredient is fish sauce.when the wok was dry & very high heat, the fish sauce flavour was fully brought out giving the wok hae & because the prawns were in the shell it was not too salty. 🙂

the spicy tau jeon seabass was a excellent recipe. it turned the seabass which had “mud” taste & a mushy not firm texture into a very flavourful dish! 🙂 & the poached HK kailan with shitake as a perfect accompaniment to all the meaty stuff. 🙂

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a fried brought watermelon. very sweet – he sure knew how to pick. others brought strawberry & cherries.

we all had a wonderful evening chatting & chilling.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Family Lunch @ Imperial Treasure Teochew on 1Sep2013

braised 1/2 duck

braised 1/2 duck

my last post on imperial treasure teochew was on 17.3.2013.

daughter arranged family lunch, 7pax this time & went back to our favourite imperial treasure teochew on 1.9.2013. 🙂

ter kar tan (猪脚冻)

ter kar tan (猪脚冻)

smoked sliced trotters (佛山熏蹄)

smoked sliced trotters (佛山熏蹄)

charcoal bbq pork collar (炭烧猪颈肉)

charcoal bbq pork collar (炭烧猪颈肉)

i ordered the braised duck, pork trotter jelly, smoked sliced trotters & the pork collar char siew; and daughter decided on the dimsums. 🙂

the braised duck was fabulous. the restaurants, whether hua ting or here at imperial treasure, had a way of braising duck (maybe lower temperature) that made the meat tender & consistent yet quite firm not falling apart like overcooked (close to western way sous vide). 🙂

the pig trotter jelly was very good, tasty (though my children were not quite fond of it). western fine dining has a lot of jellied items as their standard fare for degustation as well.

the smoked trotters was also very good, and my children liked it better.

the bbq pork collar was super! 🙂 i read when trying my hands at cooking char siew (not very successfully though as a result  i developed a very good miso char siew recipe of my own) that pork collar was the best cut, as the fat was more distributed than belly pork.

fried carrot cake

fried carrot cake

steamed chicken feet

steamed chicken feet

char siew pao

char siew pao

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

har cheung (虾肠粉)

har cheung (虾肠粉)

carrot puff

carrot puff

咸水饺

咸水饺

xianglongbao (小龙包 )

xianglongbao (小龙包 )

har gao

har gao

i liked all the dimsums. 🙂 fried carrot cake always good with the chilli.  steamed chicken feet looked great though i did not try. char siew pao, an item we rarely tried at dimsums was good too. steamed pork ribs here was the best! very lean & much better than shang palace & also royal china. the har cheung (prawn rolls) was smooth & great. i did not take the carrot puff but it was in good demand too around the table. xiaolongbao was tasty but somehow felt crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao was still better. har gao was always good here! 🙂

yangzhou fried rice

yangzhou fried rice

dried scallop crabmeat fried rice

scallop crabmeat egg white fried rice

for carbo items, 1 of us didn’t take seafood, so we had a yangzhou fried rice w/o prawns only with char siew. first time taking that here but my son had always liked yangzhou fried rice, & my younger daughter liked it a lot too. i liked it too. our regular favourite scallop crabmeat egg white fried rice was not so overwhelming today but still more subtle vs the yangzhou fried rice. though i felt the seafood fried rice at crystal jade xiaolongbao was better than both. 🙂

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

salted egg custard bun (流沙包)

& the salted egg custard bun (流沙包) here was the standard bearer, far better than the salted egg custard bun at royal china (which recently added mango which took away instead of adding to the taste)!

in total we paid S$218 for 7pax, kind of ex for dimsum but it was certainly a very gratifying family lunch. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

11pax Homegourmet Dinner on 11Jun2013

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experimented with chashumen & curry chicken noodles recently with some success. 🙂

chashu is Japanese braised pork belly in mirin, sake, soy sauce & sugar. it is commonly served with ramen as chashumen & can come with tonkotsu, soyu or miso tonkotsu soupbase. 🙂

for curry chicken noodle, the aim was to recreate or model the famous Ah Heng or Heng Kee curry chicken noodle stalls at Hong Lim Park hawker centre. The curry for curry chicken noodle is somewhat different from the usual curry, and there is no internet recipe to be found. so I had to improvise. The chicken is not curry chicken but more like Hainanese chicken rice chicken. anyhow, I cooked quite a good nonya curry chicken so I varied the curry by adding dried prawns (虾米), lemongrass (香茅) but I did not have the special chilli they had.

so I invited my usual gang of friends & this time including the few of us who went together for the Hong Kong Trip 10-13May2013. I designed a menu which included braised duck, curry chicken, spicy bean sauce pork prime ribs, wok fried prawns & HK kailan to go with the 2 carbo dishes, namely the chasumen & curry chicken noodles. 🙂

the top photo was the braised duck. I did a very good one for a 22pax homegourmet buffet dinner on 5May2013. For this one I made some small mistakes but managed to rectify it & the end product was quite flavourful duck & nice colour & presentation too. 🙂

nonya curry chicken

nonya curry chicken

the curry chicken was also very tasty & flavourful. I took off 1/2 the curry though to make the curry for the curry chicken noodles.

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we also had a very good spicy bean sauce pork prime ribs dish made by my domestic helper. she had mostly perfected the wonderful dish. 🙂

dry wok medium prawn

dry wok medium prawn

poached HK kailan with shitake

poached HK kailan with shitake

I cooked the high heat dry wok prawns (kind of my very own speciality recipe) which never fails to please. 🙂 & my helper did the poached HK kailan with shitake mushrooms. 🙂

the braised duck, curry chicken & spicy pork ribs were pre-cooked & only needed warming up. The prawn & poached kailan were whipped up when all the guests arrived, and so we were able to start a relax evening dining with 5 piping hot dishes & plain rice. 🙂

chashu (Japanese braised pork belly)

perfect 6mins runny yoke egg

perfect 6mins runny yoke egg

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the Jap chashu was also done beforehand. So was the perfect runny yoke egg – direct from fridge into boiling water & simmered for exactly 6mins. 🙂 instead of heavy ramen, I used small pinch of thin Japanese light noodles that was cooked just al dante & dropped into ice water to stop after-cooking to ensure the “qq” effect. 🙂

chicken – hainanese chicken rice method

for the curry chicken noodles, I had a really nice, tender & sweet chicken done the Hainanese chicken rice style with smooth, taut skin, again courtesy of the ice-water bath. 🙂

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& we had taupok, potatoes & fishcake added to the yellow noodle & thick beehoon.

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my friends brought durian puff (unfortunately it was frozen though I took out of the freezer for 1/2hr but it was not enough), ice cream & very sweet strawberries & rambutans. 🙂

what a fun evening, company, conversation & food! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

RI Celebration of 55 Yrs of Our Lives Dinner on 5May2013

we had our RI celebration of 55 years dinner on a cool pleasant evening on 5.5.2013. 🙂 it was good fun, great company, enjoyable makan, and strawberries brought by Tiang Chye, and we had our 55th birthday cake courtesy of Choon Hung lit with 5+5 candles. 🙂 all 55ers were singing birthday songs for Chong Lee & Kum Heng, the 2 with the nearest birthdays, and later for ourselves..haha.. 🙂

I cooked a 21pax buffet dinner. I must say that this the best I have done, every dish turned up very nicely. 4 of my 5 dishes (& 2 of aunty Bes’ dishes) were precooked & ready to serve, and I only had to do the prawns (& aunty Bes the fish & kailan) when friends were already tucked in, so it was very relaxed and at the same time a really shiok, thrilled feeling! 🙂

55yrs Get Together - Andy Homecooked 22pax Buffet Menu 7pm Sunday 5.5.2013

Dinner was a  homecooked 9-course buffet + birthday cake courtesy of Choon Hung. 🙂

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we started with a layout of 6 dishes. aunty Bes’s thai tanhoon salad was a great appetizer – spicy, tangy, tasty.

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the pan-roasted brined chicken breast was moist, tender & sweet-This is a great tapas dish I always do for sit-down dinners. 🙂

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teochew braised duck

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I was especially proud of my teochew braised duck today. Chong Lee liked this especially. the flavour was superb & the colour & looks were great! the cutting was also good w/o torn edges,pieces etc. 🙂 the lor neng was just putting to good use the braised duck sauce & was quite a homely addition.

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I also did chashu, which is a Japanese style slow oven-cooked belly pork. This is commonly used in ramen (for chashumen) where the meat is rolled up & cut into thin circular pieces. 🙂 It was much better than the kakuni I did previously (which was also a good Japanese styled slow-braised belly pork), both the texture/bite & the taste. 🙂

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nonya curry chicken

this was a good day for me. my curry chicken were usually quite ok, and today’s curry chicken was truly my best, really tasted like Zion Road nasi padang green curry, sweet, fragrant & lemak. 🙂

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next up – aunty Bes’ spicy bean sauce prime ribs, always good! 🙂

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I cooked my usual dry wok high heat garlic prawns at this point. Wee Woon liked this especially. 🙂

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aunty Bes then brought out her very good spicy tau jeon seabass – quite remarkable that it turned seabass which had mud taste & mushy not great texture to a very different tasty dish.:-)

forgot to take photo of Choon Hung’s very nice chocolate cheese cake, and also aunty Bes’ blanched HK kailan with shitake mushrooms in oyster sauce. 🙂

everyone had a really, really great fun time together. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Great Family Lunch @ Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant Ngee Ann City on 17Mar2013

har gau (蝦饺)

har gau (蝦饺)

See also my review on imperial treasure teochew on 1.9.2013. 🙂

had a really nice family dimsum lunch today @ Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant at Ngee Ann City today.

They are really packed. We managed to book 11.30am and supposed to clear out before 12.30pm. The food came really fast, and though we did not feel rushed at all still we did not have any problem leaving before 12.30pm after a very satisfying lunch indeed. 🙂

We ordered Su Min’s favourite har gau & fun cheung with prawns (or har cheung), pork neck char siew, braised duck, steam pork ribs, a teochew dumpling, and 2 deepfried dumplings. The entire lunch came to $79 for 4pax – a really great lunch, good food, good friendly if speedy service, and very enjoyable meal. 🙂

The har gau was very good, skin not soft or soggy, prawns fresh & firm. The steamed pork ribs were very tasty & have good pieces of meat, not too fatty.

steamed pork ribs

steamed pork ribs

The har cheung was one of the better ones, though still could not compare with the very good smooth ones we had in Hong Kong.

har cheung (虾肠粉)

har cheung (虾肠粉)

The hum sio gok was also very good, fillings were tasty & the dough nice & little sticky too (as it should be).

hum sio gok (咸水饺)

hum sio gok (咸水饺)

And the teochew dumplings were actually better than I expected. I had some not so great ones previously.

teochew dumplings (潮州粉果)

teochew dumplings (潮州粉果)

The pork neck char siu was slightly sweet but overall very good, portion was small but it was only S$8. I have tried cooking this before & I know pork neck is really the best part for char siu, much better than the loin or belly. 🙂

pork neck char siew (炭燒猪项肉) - S$8

pork neck char siu (炭燒猪项肉) – S$8

I could not remember the name of this crispy dumpling,  it was something I used to like much before but did not take often lately. It was still good.

crispy buns

crispy dumplings

The braised duck here & in Crystal Jade were always good. The portion (partially eaten already in the poorly focused photo below) was good for the price – just S$14.

teochew braised duck - S$14

teochew braised duck – S$14

We ended with the salted egg buns which we all liked. This was very good here. The salted egg taste was strong but not overpowering & it was not too sweet. One of the best I had – I liked this a lot.

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

salted egg buns (咸蛋流沙包)

I think Crystal Jade & Imperial Treasure have really improve Singapore’s dimsum & restaurant food quality at affordable price over the last 10 years, and now we have really good eats at prices that do not burn a hole in the pocket. 🙂

Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant @ Ngee Ann City

Imperial Treasure Teochew Restaurant @ Ngee Ann City

c.h.e.f andy

Teochew Braised Duck

 

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

teochew briased duck

teochew briased duck

Now for some Asian cuisine.

Being Teochew (a dialect group from South China at the eastern side of Guangdong province), I am of course a fan of Teochew braised goose (潮州鲁鹅). Unlike Hong Kong, we don’t get much of goose in Singapore, so we settle for the second best aka braised duck. Like the popular Hainanese chicken rice, though perhaps a distant second, braised duck rice is available in hawker centre & food courts all over Singapore & quite cheaply, so there is not that much motivation really (according to my “worthwhile to do or not” philosophy) to attempt Hainanese chicken rice or teochew braised duck unless I can do this easily and produce something of equal or better standard than most I can get easily & cheaply outside.

Well, I have NOT found it yet for chicken rice, BUT I might just have got it for my braised duck!

Tai Wah chicken marinate (大华鲁鸡汁)

Tai Wah chicken marinate (大华鲁鸡汁)

This really a very simple recipe, as all I am doing is like using Tai Wah chicken marinate (大华鲁鸡汁) I bought for S$2.60 at Giant hypermarket, add an entire bulb of peeled garlic cloves (for 1/2 a duck – you can of course use the whole duck if you like, for me I only do 1/duck as my family cannot finish 1 duck & my group dinners include many other dishes so I also do not want to cook 1 whole duck which I did only on the occasion of the 22pax home buffet on 5.5.2013 and 27pax 11-course home buffet on 7.11.2013), cinnamon sticks, star anise and bay leaves, and braise for 1 hour. voila!

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Teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

teochew braised duck

Not much of a recipe really, but my cooking philosophy is always driven by taste (& of course texture & colour, presentation – in Chinese we say 色香味OR colour, fragrance & taste) – so I am no stickler to whether to cook something with herbs from scratch like I do for nonya curry chicken OR to use a premix as I do often for my favourite, favourite dish – bakuteh (肉骨茶). So long as my diners and I like it, and it is easy to make & repeatable, I am all for it irrespective whether it is done from scratch or with premix! 🙂

One thing I am clearly NOT good at is deboning the duck, as seen in the picture of the largely mutilated carcase below. 🙂

teochew braised duck deboned

teochew braised duck deboned

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 duck (about 1.9kg to 2.1kg for whole duck size)
  • 1 cup Tai Wah braised chicken marinate
  • 1.5 – 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

  1. Prepare the duck –  use kitchen scissors to cut off the neck & the feet. cut through the body in 1/2. use a heavy knife or chopper if required. wash, clean & dry with kitchen towels.
  2. Cooking the duck – rub the 1/2 duck with sugar all over the skin side & the inside. In a large wok, stir fry the peeled garlic cloves to brown over low/medium heat, and add star anise, cinnamon sticks & continue to stir-fry until you can feel the aroma. turn to medium & place the duck skin down and using your hands, push the skin onto the wok surface to brown a little for 5 minutes. turn heat to high & add 1 cup of Tai Wah braising sauce and 3 cups of water enough to cover 80% of the 1/2 duck. bring to boil, cover with glass lid & lower fire to minimum and braise for 1 hr. The braising liquid should continue frothing a little & nearly cover the 1/2duck. use a ladle & base the duck with the braising liquid every 15minutes. remove duck from wok & place on a cutting board to rest. empty the sauce (through a strainer if required) into a bowl. lift off the thick layers of oil. The sauce can of course be used to cook eggs & beancurd.
  3. Serving the duck – I debone the duck & place in a serving dish w/o basing the sauce over. I keep the sauce in a bowl next to the serving dish so the dinners can use the sauce as dip if they prefer.