1st RI FGS (For Goodness Sake) Charity Dinner Raised S$16,948 for HCA Hospice on 20May2016

salad

salad

a group of RI friends have the idea that as we all have a good time coming together enjoying the food & company, making new memories together, maybe we can also do a charity fundraising while we are having our makan & chill get-together. ^^

so on 3.12.2016, we got together at a friend’s place to try out the logistics.

there were 28pax. 3 of us did the cooking. it was a good practice too to help with the planning & food logistics, and of course also another good excuse for our usual makan & chill together.

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a lot more organisation had gone into it by the guys this time, and we also discovered that the generous host is a accomplished auctioneer & mob rouser.

he donated 4 macallan rare cask & 3 mac18, & got everyone into the mood. there were like 28 bids for the whisky & the auction closed with 2 equal winning bids at S$1,888 for 2 bottles for each group, so that was S$3,776 in total for the whisky.

a friend donated a book about hawker fares in singapore that went for S$188.

in total the 33pax dinner (about 27 attended inner, the others came to join drink after dinner) raised S$16,948 for HCA Hospice.

what is important is that everyone was in the mood of giving & feeling good about it. & in fact a lot of chat continues afterwards on whatsapp. people were feeling happy about the occasion, the time together & doing something for the needy, & wanting to do this again.

for me whether we had raised more or less is not as important as just spending time together & doing something meaningful together.

which bali resort is this?

which bali resort is this?

this time we had it at another friend’s beautiful home, an architect, on 20.5.2016. ^^

some of us were there early, preparing salad & cutting fruits. i was reheating the curry dishes we shipped over & organising the dishes for dinner.

the vast kitchen looks out into nice greeneries, like in a nature reserve. 🙂

we were saying no need to go ubud la for retreat & relaxation…just come over here & cook…

3 of us did the cooking.

another friend brought the veg to make fresh salad (top photo). & couple other friends brought cut fruits & lots of apples (30). 

mee siam

mee siam

one friend did mee siam with prawns & fish cakes & fried tofu. 🙂

side dish

side dish

he made a very tasty side dish too with ikan bilis & tofu.

mutton stew + pilaf rice

mutton stew + pilaf rice

another friend made mutton stew & pilaf rice. 🙂

mutton stew

mutton stew

he thought of doing mutton rendang. 🙂

i was doing a few curry dishes, so he settled on doing a stew.

pilaf rice

pilaf rice

& nice long grain pilaf rice.

the host was doing some plain rice for the curries. so we reduced the amount of plain rice a bit, & started dinner off with the pilaf rice. still i think there was quite a bit of rice leftover.

i made 7 dishes + chocolate banana cake

i made 7 dishes + chocolate banana cake

i did 6 dishes (2 servings of fish head so 7 dishes) + a chocolate banana cake.

i chose curry because it was very easy to cook, and could feed many.

i figured that one dish of fish head (2 halves) was not enough for 27pax so i cooked 2 separate dishes of fish head.

the serving came with lots of veg – yellow onions, ocra, egg plants & tomatoes.

fish head was easy to cook as i used a ready curry paste – mak’s curry.

i did this couple times already & my friends all liked the curry.

so it’s just frying the rempah (curry paste), yellow onions, ocra, adding fish head & coating with rempah thoroughly, then adding egg plants, chicken (or fish) stock, coconut milk, cover & let it simmered for 10mins, then adding tomatoes.

& it’s done, that simple! 🙂

for nonya curry chicken, i used my own rempah instead of a ready paste.

i prefer to first debone the 2 chickens, and make a tasty stock using the chicken bones & carrots.

again cooking was very easy.

just fried rempah with star anise, cinnamon bark, clove & curry leaves, added chicken to coat with rempah thoroughly, then added coconut milk, chicken stock, covered & let simmer. i removed the chicken pieces after 5-6mins & cooked the wings for another 10mins.

one of the key consideration is logistic.

for curries, i cooked them in the morning so i had complete dishes & tasted them to know they were ok. then removed the fish head & chicken & let the curries cooled. then i transfered them to separate sealed plastic containers & stored in the fridge.

(basically difficult to transport a dish with liquid unless in properly sealed containers la…).

reheating was easy. the only consideration was that the fish head & curry chicken not be overcooked.

it may seem strange to choose curries with the hassle of transporting but they are easy to cook, can do in bulk & easily reheat to serve hot, and have wider appeal to diners c/w with other dishes.

kou rou 扣肉

kou rou 扣肉

i did a kou rou 扣肉.

among my own dishes this was most popular, & disappeared in double-quick time. & our friends who were early were taking this (to try haha!) before reheating & before dinner started. 🙂

this was done 4hrs in a 90degC oven to have a slow low-temperature gentle braise, then steamed in a steam oven for 1hr 15mins, so it was very tender, flavour-infused, but still have bite & texture, not falling apart.

chap chai

chap chai

i did a chap chai to balance the curries.

chap chai

chap chai

this again a very easy dish, just fry, stew cabbage, add stock, then add beancurd puffs (taupok) and add tanhoon when ready so tanhoon will cook in residual heat & not be overcooked. remember this has to be reheated later when serving.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

someone commented maybe have more veg, so i reduced 1 meat (omitted the teriyaki sutchi fillet) & added 2 veg dishes.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

the sweet peas baby corn with prawns was excellent when my helper made it for our home dinner.

this though was my first time cooking it. it turned out quite badly, i think the worst dish for the evening.

the ingredients were good. prawns were fresh, sweet peas & baby corns were always very tasty.

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

sweat peas baby corns with prawns

however i made a bad mistake of frying the prawns first in butter, like i do for pastas.

unlike double-cooked pork回锅肉, prawns cannot be fried & steamed. it destroyed the texture, so the prawns were no more bouncy but mushy like not-fresh prawns. & this especially so when the dish had to be covered with aluminium foil & kept in a 50degC oven for long periods to keep warm.

on hindsight it was better to serve the dish cold…

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

i used a very nice tasty nonya sauce for the ocra.

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

so this dish was real easy, just fry, make sure it was cooked right then add the nonya sauce at the end.

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

ocra in nonya sauce

looking at the photos, the vibrant green went off quite a bit, though the dish still tasted very good.

on balance, it was better to serve the dish cold w/o additional treatment after cooking.

i made a chocolate banana cake.

this was quite popular. everyone liked it. ^^

it was my second time. the first time my OPS friends talked about awfully chocolate & their chocolate banana cakes. so i went to google & found a recipe & went to phoon huat to get a 9″ by 9″ cake tin to make the dish.

this time i got better quality bananas & also added more bananas. quite a good cake.

cut fruit stall

cut fruit stall

some friends prepared the cut fruits.

watermelon

watermelon

watermelon from our regular watermelon supplier…

yellow watermelon

yellow watermelon

pineapples

pineapples

mango & guava

mango & guava

& others, like pineapples, mangoes, guavas etc…

apples

apples

one friend brought 30 apples. we all ate or brought home some…

it was a really good, fun dinner.

the host was assisted by another equal mob rouser, and our mabuk friends & others were all into the spirit of sharing, whisky & donations in equal parts.

bless them all good people! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

12pax Home Dinner + Silk Road Adventure Briefing on 9may2016

made a simple homecooked 12pax dinner for friends today on 9.5.2016. ^^

a good friend was briefing us on a silk road adventure tour she planned for sep this year.

mouthwatering it was! ^^

it was simple as curry dishes are easy to do & by now i am quite organised for these dinners.

the heavy cooking was only 3 full hours.

so i in fact went to the gym in the morning & a good friend bought a good teochew muay buffet lunch afterwards.

of course that excludes deboning the chicken, making stock, making the paste for nonya curry chicken & making tiramisu, all done the day before. 🙂

great wines brought by 2 friends

great wines brought by 2 friends

2 friends brought 2 nice reds.

we had the yellow label, the michel torino for another occasion.

for this evening’s dinner, i made 7 dishes-

#1 fish head curry
#2 nonya chicken curry
#3 teriyaki sutchi fillet
#4 kou rou (w/o mei cai) + white kong bak (both experimental)
#5 chap chai
#6 fried hokkien noodles
#7 tiramisu

& a friend brought excellent cheng chow dessert

the fish head curry, like the last 2 times, was excellent. everyone loved it.

my nonya curry chicken was very good too.

very lemak, flavourful & a key difference with curry chicken outside, my chicken was very tender not overcooked.

kou rou扣肉 preparation w/o the mei cai 梅菜 (experimental)

kou rou扣肉 preparation w/o the mei cai 梅菜 (experimental)

the kou rou扣肉 preparation w/o the mei cai 梅菜 was experimental. result was excellent. several friends picked this as the best, their favourite. 🙂

i used my mei cai kou rou recipe basically.

this time i used shao xing wine & sea salt & sugar to marinate, put in 90degC oven for 4 hours, browned on non-stick pan, added dark sauce to coat & some sugar, then steam oven for 1hr 15mins.

white kong bak 白腩肉 (experimental)

white kong bak 白腩肉 (experimental)

white kong bak 白腩肉 also experimental.

this after having the teochew white belly pork at bedok north food centre.

this was excellent too. a similar number of friends picked this as their favourite.

today's teriyaki sutchi not so good

today’s teriyaki sutchi not so good

the teriyaki sutchi fillet was not so good today.

i did teriyaki sutchi fillet for teban gardens community meal & bathesda bedok community meal recently. of you look at the photos, the difference is quite evident.

i think it was because i wrap it in aluminium foil in oven for 2 ovens & the fillet sweat.

chap chai was good sweet & tasty

chap chai was good sweet & tasty

chap chai was very good. cabbage sweetness + taupok yellow bean sweetness + chicken stock sweetness & reduced.

tanhoon gave some additional texture.

fried hokkien noodles tasty but soaked up the gravy & a bit mushy

fried hokkien noodles tasty but soaked up the gravy & a bit mushy

this the second time i made fried hokkien noodles.

but amount was doubled that of the first time so quite different.

another big difference was that the first time i served & ate right away, this time it was in a 50dgegC ove to keep warm for 2 hours wrapped in aluminium foil. it was tasty still but noodle soaked up the gravy & became a bit mushy.

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

a friend brought excellent cheng chow dessert.

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

excellent cheng chow mango, longans & aloe vera

it was very nice, with canned longans, freshly prepared aloe vera, lime juice & cut mango with some tanginess.

my usual tiramisu -irresistable for one friend

my usual tiramisu -irresistable for one friend

my usual tiramisu, simply irresistable to one friend, he mopped up all. ^^

korean strawberries quite sweet

korean strawberries quite sweet

korean strawberry was sweet for me, not sweet enuf for some friends.

grapes very sweet

grapes very sweet

a friend brought the grapes, very sweet! 🙂

had a great time with friends. & we had an excellent briefing too on silk road trip which one friend is organising. such a thrilling adventure from the slides presentation! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Enjoyable Curry Rice @ Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice on 22Mar2016

loo's curry rice dishes

loo’s curry rice dishes

a RI friend organised a 8pax “eat-about” on 22.3.2016. ^^

we started with breakfast & coffee at tiong bahru bakery.

then went for early lunch at loo’s hainanese curry rice nearby.

after that we had the hawker centre coffee at tiong bahru food centre.

& the we bought some cakes + lim lam hong angku kueh & came to my place for another cuppa.

we had a day trip to JB recently, so we thought we would recast it for singapore. haha!

we also had a 10pax bakuteh + curry rice lunch at my place post JB. 🙂

a slightly different kind of curries. maybe i will give this curry hainanese pork chop a try also.

loo's curry rice

loo’s curry rice

the loo’s curry rice was quite simple food, dishes a bit limited, but still quite enjoyable.

curry sauce - loo's curry rice

curry sauce – loo’s curry rice

the curry was especially shiok!

not that it was better than the fish head curry or lemak chicken curry. it’s slightly powdery, but overall just very shiok combine with the rice & pork chop.

curry pork chops

curry pork chops

pork chop was good.

not a particularly interesting dish for me. still thinking whether i want to try cooking this. deep-fry is always a bit troublesome & i try to avoid.

curry sotong

curry sotong

curry sotong was good. large sotong, nice think ones. nothing special i guess.

meat balls

meat balls

meat balls were ok.

egg plant

egg plant

the egg plant was good. nice colour & great taste.

chap chai

chap chai

chap chai was quite standard.

loo's curry rice

loo’s curry rice

simple food, limited selection, no really special dishes except curry.

loo's curry rice dishes

loo’s curry rice dishes

but they all combined to give a really enjoyable meal.

greentea & almond pound cakes

green tea & almond pound cakes

after loo’s curry, we had coffee at tiong bahru hawker centre.

a friend bought green tea & almond pound cakes.

lim lam hong angkukueh

lim lam hong angkukueh

lim lam hong angkukueh

lim lam hong angkukueh

we stopped by lim lam hong at jln bukit merah & grabbed some angku kueh.

the guys adjourned to my place for some coffee & tea.

an enjoyable, fun day’s outing with good friends.

c.h.e.f andy

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Loo’s Hainanese Curry Rice

Address

Contact

+65 62253762

Opening Hours

Daily: 08:00 – 14:00

Closed: Alt Thu

Great Fish Head Curry @ Curry Wok on 4Mar2016

S$62 4 dishes set meal for 3-4pax(2) = curry fish head, pig trotters, ngoh hiang & chap chai

S$62 4 dishes set meal for 3-4pax = curry fish head, pig trotters, ngoh hiang & chap chai

went with sis & bil to watch a movie monster hunt 捉妖记 on 4.3.2016. a friend joined the movie. i quite enjoyed it actually – effortless, relaxing. haha!

curry wok @ coronation road

curry wok @ coronation road

before the movie 3 of us went to have dinner at curry wok. friend was busy having dinner with his family.

curry wok @ coronation road

curry wok @ coronation road

i have not been here for very long as son is away no one to eat the pig trotters with me la.. 🙂

S$62 4 dishes set meal for 3-4pax(2) = curry fish head, pig trotters, ngoh hiang & chap chai

S$62 4 dishes set meal for 3-4pax(2) = curry fish head, pig trotters, ngoh hiang & chap chai

we ordered the S$62 set meal, with 4 dishes for 3-4pax. we computed the ala carte price would have been S$67 so just S$5 discount. well still a discount if you wanted the dishes, so ok la.

curry fish head

curry fish head

it came with curry fish head (angkoli), pig trotters, ngoh hiang & chap chai.

curry fish head

curry fish head

the fish head was yum yum, very good, drank up all the curry.

fish was fresh & sweet, quite enough meat for 3 of us.

i like this curry much better than that at sanpo food court, blk 431 clementi ave 3 (like for like). somehow that curry taste a bit off for me, not the one i had in mind whereas this one fits perfectly.

& i like this better than the assam fish head at dulukala peranakan restaurant at beauty world centre. that was a different style & assam not bad too but i prefer this chinese style fish head curry.

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

the braised pig trotters was something i missed, not taken for a long time.

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

it was still good, especially the gelatinous skin, but actually quite below my expectations.

braised pig trotters

braised pig trotters

the starchy sauce was so so for me, & the quite sinewy meat was below par for me thought the skin & gelatinous parts were good.

i think my own braised trotters much better than this in terms of both flavour & the texture of the meat, tender, with bite & not sinewy.

ngoh hiang

ngoh hiang

the ngoh hiang here was really good. crispy skin, & tasty fillings with some crunch. tops!

chap chai

chap chai

chap chai was good too. better than dulukala’s version of chap chai.

dinner for 3pax was S$70. i supposed ok but no particular good value.

i may still come back here for the curry fish head la, but no more the pig trotters.

c.h.e.f andy

So-so Perankan Food @ Dulukala Peranakan Restaurant Beauty World Centre on 29Feb2016

dulukala peranakan restaurant @ beauty world centre

dulukala peranakan restaurant @ beauty world centre

had another expiring groupon to use, and went with sis & bil to dulukala peranakan restaurant at beauty word centre on 29.1.2016. ^^

met my daughter & her bf at the food centre. she was left unsatisfied the other day when we were here as top1 was closed. this time her wish was granted. i will try the stall another time. 🙂

we had 5 peranakan dishes

we had 5 peranakan dishes

i had a S$80 groupon voucher. we ordered 5 dishes including the S$25.90 assam fish head. it came to S$83.70 including service no GST, so effectively about S$51.50 (S$47.80 for S$80 voucher).  🙂

wall display - dulukala peranakan restaurant

wall display – dulukala peranakan restaurant

restaurant was simply furnished, just some display & framed sketches.

peranakan silver belts 1930s

peranakan silver belts 1930s

they had a classic nonya silver belt. this one has 4 tingkat layers on interlocking rings.

assam fish head2 S$25.90

assam fish head S$25.90

assam fish head was ok. fish was fresh, quite meaty. assam was ok, we still finished all the gravy, but it was not like specially tasty, just average, so-so really.

assam fish head2 S$25.90

assam fish head S$25.90

overall the dish fell far short in terms of shiokness c/w the thai style fish head at forture, the zi char at old holland road.

sotong hitam S$13.90

sotong hitam S$13.90

the sotong hitam was quite poor. it was artificially sweet – sugar…a small serving for S$13.90. my first impression was we got a small serving because of groupon discount?? but i didn’t think so as except for this & the small serving of chap chai, the other dishes seemed ok.

sotong hitam S$13.90

sotong hitam S$13.90

i would say this was quite poor dish. the very nice unique squid ink flavour was absent.

ayam bush keluak S$13.90

ayam buah keluak S$13.90

the ayam buah keluak did not resemble anything like the restuarant photo (which looked wonderful!)

ayam buah keluak2

ayam buah keluak S$13.90

chicken itself was very so-so, dry, but the serving was substantial & the gravy was quite excellent, didn’t feel so at first taste but it gets into you. like the dish overall though it is easy to have the chicken a lot more tender.

chap chai S$10.90

chap chai S$10.90

the chap chai also did not resemble the restaurant menu photo.

chap chai S$10.90

chap chai S$10.90

a very small serving. taste was pretty good with the tau jeon.

lady figers with ikan bilis S$9.90

lady fingers with ikan bilis S$9.90

the lady fingers with ikan bilis was tasty. i must try cooking some dishes with ikan bilis.

the simple ikan bilis bee hoon (very ex at S$4) we had recently at ayer rajah food centre also very tasty.

overall with the groupon discounts, S$51.50 for 5 dishes including fish head was quite good price.

still it didn’t give me the same satisfaction of a good S$10 curry rice for 2pax like that at hoower food court in haig road; or a

good nasi padang like that at sinar pagi nasi padang at geylang serai food centre.

on balance, ok to try but for myself don’t think i would want to take this again.

c.h.e.f andy

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Dulukala Peranakan Restaurant

ADDRESS:

OPENING HOURS:

Daily: 12:00 – 15:00

Daily: 18:00 – 21:00

PHONE:

+65 64652036

Good Average Value Nyonya Food @ Curry Wok on 6Feb2014

pig trotters 元蹄

pig trotter 元蹄

had not dined at curry wok for the longest time. it is located next to thai noodle house at coronation arcade.

used to like the great value set which included fish head curry & 元蹄 (stewed pig trotter). i knew the prices had gone up a few years back. anyway i went with sis & b-i-l & a chinese friend to try it on 6.2.2014. 🙂

curry fish head

curry fish head

ngoh hiang

ngoh hiang

chilli sotong (squid) S$10

sambal sotong (squid) S$10

chap chai

chap chai

the set, now S$56 (+1o% service & no GST), included the pig trotter, a small fish head curry, a ngo hiang & a chap chai dish.

the pig trotter was really very good, very tender, gelatinous w/o feeling too oily 肥而不腻, quite excellent! for comparison, i would say it was equal or better than the S$28 pig trotter 元蹄 dish at shin yeh.

the fish head curry was also very good, however my b-i-l commented this was the smallest fish head curry he had ever eaten, and it was! the ala carte menu said the price was S$22 (S$26 for large). it was more like S$12 (for this tiny size)!

the ngo hiang S$10 was pretty good. the chap chai S$8 was another small dish & ordinary.

we were greedy so added a sambal sotong (squid) for S$10 ala carte. it was good but portion was too small.

overall the food was good especially the pig trotters, and the fish head curry was likewise an excellent dish if it came in a more decent size. it was too expensive at S$22. as we took the set for 4pax, the total bill came to about S$77 w/o drinks (just water), so it was not really expensive but it was also not any special value. likewise the ala carte pricing for the sotong, ngo hiang & chap chai – ok not great.

i would come back for the pig trotters though when i have the kakis. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy