had a most wonderful & memorable homecooked dinner get-together on 24apr2015.
a most fun part was the interactivity & excitement with several friends bringing their dishes, from morocan salmon, hummus, biscotti, konnyaku to tofu cheese cake & ma hua 麻花 airflow from tianjin.^^
a friend even set up a separate whatsapp chat (so as not to bore the rest of dinner friends with cooking talk). 🙂
it was just wonderful. excluding bread, humus, ma hua, fruits, konnyaku, biscotti, we had 14 dishes (12+2 desserts). 🙂
because a friend was bringing hummus, that motivated me to do a onion sunflower seed bread. i didn’t realise i had walnut (was searching for it) for walnut bread, so settled with sunflower seeds.^^
the laughable thing was after looking at several online recipes i decided hack just used the ariston oven bread function & recipe. of course i tried the recipe once. dough was too sticky & too much salt & i added too much browned onions.
for the actual day, the bread was quite perfect. all the friends like it. crisp not hard outside & fluffy well-risen inside. for the recipe, i used 600g plain flour, 3 packets yeast (33g) dissolved in 1 cup (240ml) warm water, & 1 tsp salt. 🙂
my friend made excellent chickpea hummus, and the green coloured one she added avocado. i think it was new to her too, so there was a lot of fun doing this dinner for all our good RI friends.
a friend was with her students in tianjin for some exchange programs & brought back ma hua 麻花. i finished them the next day, pretty good, not sickeningly sweet like the malaysian ones.
#1 my wife made a pumpkin tofu salad. this a wonderful salad she made after some lunch at marmalade.^^
the angus ribeye was pan-grilled, charred to produce the maillard reaction to impart the flavours & nicely medium rare. 🙂
i used my own teriyaki sauce recipe, this time adding 1 tsp of miso. miso cures the cod & give a firmer, less flaky texture.
#4 a friend made a very nice morocan baked salmon with pistachios & ritz biscuits, and condiments of chives & lemon. it was also his first time. for me, this was a lot of fun & buzz.^^
#5 i made a chilli crab capellini (angel hair pasta). i had the sauce made the day before, taste was not ideal & i made some adjustments on the day. it turned out quite perfect, an excellent chilli crab sauce & after pasta & prawns were added, the capellini soaked up the flavours remarkably & was very well infused with the shellfish flavours (from prawn heads & shells, and w/o crab). 🙂
& very important pasta was al dente!
#6 i made an excellent very tasty squid ink sauce & a friend came to the kitchen to help out & tasted the sauce. it was superb with a nice chilli padi spike.
unfortunately, after adding linguine, sauce looked low & i made the cardinal mistake of adding some water. did a rescue by removing the pasta & ingredients (so as not to overcook) & reducing the sauce. still when plating though sauce was sufficiently dark colour & slight creamy producing good texture feel on pasta, the top less coated linguine looked off in colour.
fortunately taste wise it was very good. i guess could have been better.
i browned some shallots in chicken fat (this was a key) & added cut ginger. the other key was a very intense chicken bone soup for cooking the rice. the soup came from making the chicken & adding the bones after i deboned the chicken & boiled for >2hrs.
& i made the chilli sauce & ginger sauce that everyone loved.
a friend brought excellent achar, just the right appetising condiments for the chicken rice.
#8 the jap miso salmon was done like the japanese bento style.
i didn’t have the recipe so experimented myself. i marinated with miso etc & dried it in the fridge for 2 days then 3hrs at 55degC to dry it further. after that it was 15mins in foil+10mins open in tabletop electric oven at 250degC.
i would say result was almost same as the bento salmon & those we brought back from japan. it was best served on japanese rice don with tamago but will do for the chicken rice.
my helper’s spicy pork ribs was also a perennial favourite. 🙂
#11 dry wok prawns was 1 of my standard dish. this time though i did not dry the prawns enough before adding to the wok so it became a bit wet. prawns was fresh & sweet but the charred bbq flavours were missing. some hits & some misses.
#12 & my helper’s romaine lettuce, complemented the pumpkin salad & good counterpoint to the meat dishes.
#13 a friend brought a tofu cheese cake. i took the cake & taste was pretty good. unfortunately the gelatine he used seemed to be weaker concentration than the ones i got from phono huat. so though he used the same recipe, the cake did not hold. it was a waste really for the effort but i guess doing it was a fun thing we all shared.^^
2 friends brought jackfruit & grapes to round off the dinner.
the friend who brought hummus also did 2 very nice petite fours – a konnyaku jelly & biscotti.
it was an evening of fellowship & sharing, a lot of fun, catching up & sharing good food together.^^
a good friend bought lunch at les amis on 1.4.2014. no april fool haha. 🙂
i must have not stepped into les amis for 5, maybe 10 years? though i did have excellent meals at au jardin (it’s now closed) couple times a year. always thought it was very ex…some months back they introduced this 4-course set lunch. having taken the food, i think it is excellent value-for-money at S$45pax, one of the nest lunches i had. 🙂
we started with a bread basket of baguette, sour dough & a very good walnut bread PLUS a truly superb bread (brioche texture) with olive, sundried tomatoes? etc. just fabulous! 🙂
#1 & the tomato confit was incredible! 🙂 it was on a bed of grilled aubergine on filo pastry. there are tomato confit & there are tomato confit, but this was just excellent!
#2 green pea soup not my favourite, but this was again very good indeed! very smooth & nicely creamy. i may get to like green pea soup a bit more. 🙂
#3 there was a choice of patagonia toothfish (chilean seabass, my favourite fish, over cod) OR roast pigeon. both of us took the chilean sea bas. it was as good as chilean seabass usually were. the sweet red cabbage was ok but not quite my type – i finished about 40% of it.
while this fish never fails to meet expectations as you need a bad chef to screw this up, the tomato confit way surpassed expectations – most places would get it bad or mediocre.
#4 the dessert of the day a walnut apple pie? was likewise not my favourite, but again it was superbly done. 🙂 fillings not sickeningly sweet & very good pastry. the chilled chocolate mousse was very good too.
the S$60 lunch menu came with line caught seabass & choice of lobster pasta & australian wagyu etc. i had some doubts on the line-caught thingy being any different from usual & seabass like low down c/w the chilean seabass but the cooking standards here really good i will probably try it.
i was also curious about the 6-course S$120 menu. it said grilled dry aged beef so i asked the waiter (he was very knowledgeable) why this was better than the australian wagyu in the S$60 menu. he said it was OHMI WAGYU! i told him omg! ohmi (a top 3 japanese wagyu) & you don’t write that in your menu? my, my!
i had an excellent degustation at jaan on 20.1.2014 with some friends recently, and we were lucky to trade our pigeon (which was good too) for miyazaki dry-aged wagyu, but this was ohmi, not miyazaki!
i told the waiter this the second time i came across dry-aged japanese wagyu (first was jaan). dry ageing intensifies the flavours & results in substantial weight lost. japanese wagyu is so ex & already very marbled & very intense in flavours i don’t see them served dry aged in japan. 🙂