Wonderful 7pax Birthday Dinner @ Red House at Prinsep on 4May2016

dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹

#4 dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹 – 1.2kg S$86

we had a wonderful dinner for a very good friend at red house @ prinsep street on 4.5.2016. ^^

my primary school classmate bought lunch here recently (also a birthday). i thought the food was pretty good & might be a good place for the birthday dinner. 🙂

red house @ prinsep street

red house @ prinsep street

my wife & i were early as we wanted to look at some shop nearby. street parking was full at 6pm so we parked at sunshine plaza which had a lot of parking.

ambience was quite good. nice place.

thai lemongrass chilli lobster

#1 thai lemongrass chilli lobster – S$88

i ordered 7 dishes. 🙂

there was a promo thai lemongrass chilli lobster at S$88.

thai lemongrass chilli lobster

#1 thai lemongrass chilli lobster – S$88

the chilli was excellent. everyone loved the taste.

it was quite a large serving too, i later learned it was a 800g blue lobster. 🙂

cereal prawns

#2 cereal prawns – S$28

we ordered cereal prawns 400g at S$7/100g.

cereal prawns

#2 cereal prawns – S$28

this was really good too.

pepper crab

#3 pepper crab – S$58

crabs were priced at S$72/kg.

we ordered a small sri-lankan pepper crab, 800g for S$58.

pepper crab

#3 pepper crab – S$58

this was a red house signature dish, and it was very good!

dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹

#4 dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹 – S$86

the 苏格兰面包螃蟹 (similar to dungeness crabs at pier 39 san francisco, also a common crab dish in hong kong & china seafood restaurants) was priced at the same S$72/kg. it’s 1.2kg so S$86, quite a bit more expensive.

dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹

#4 dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹 – S$86

this also red house signature dish.

the crab meat was quite solid & more firm than sri-lankan crab.

dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹

#4 dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹

i felt sri-lankan crab was tastier & had a better texture.

also my wife & i thought the chilli sauce was quite poor really, quite sweet but not intense with meat sweetness, instead gluey, sweet not spicy, more like a tourist version.

i would say alan’s homecooked chilli crab was a lot better than this la…

actually we ordered the chilli sri-lankan crab but they came with the expensive (heavier at 1.2kg)苏格兰面包螃蟹 . it was ok for us too to try a new crab dish.

dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹

#4 dungeness crab 苏格兰面包螃蟹 – S$86

this crab had a lot of roes & tomalleys.

friends ordered additional 10pieces man tou, so they must like the chilli. 🙂

spinach tofu

#5 spinach tofu – S$21

spinach tofu

#5 spinach tofu – S$21

we ordered a medium spinach tofu, 9 pieces S$21.

i liked this dish. it was very good. 🙂

3 egg heng chai (spinach)

#6 3-egg heng chai (spinach) – S$22

the 3-egg spinach also very good.

3 egg heng chai (spinach)

#6 3 egg heng chai (spinach) – S$22

but really this 3-egg spinach dish the best i had was at uncle leong jurong east.

seafood horfun

#7 seafood hor fun – S$18

we ordered a medium seafood hor fun.

it was pretty good. several friends commented good wok hae! 🙂

seafood horfun

#7 seafood hor fun – S$18

the broad kuay teow was especially flavourful. & the serving had quite a bit of prawns & sotong.

it was a good round-up dish for the dinner.

birthday cake

birthday cake

i didn’t have time so just got a 6″ 500g cake from swissbake at holland village.

this their most popular signature cake paradiso di nicciola. 🙂

cake was pretty good but the double chocolate praline from patissier was just a ot better la…

another friend, my weekly jogging partner, quietly paid for dinner without our knowledge. we were still waiting for the bill but he already settled it. ^^

dinner came to S$409. it was less than S$60pax nett. i think pretty good for this quality of food & actually cheaper than the recent 5pax lunch (which was S$311 for 5pax).

the service here was excellent, very friendly, very attentive, keep changing plates & gave a lot (continuous supply) of wet tissues etc. very good service indeed!

c.h.e.f andy

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Red House 

Address
68 Prinsep Street, Singapore 188661
Contact
Fax = +65 6336 6801
Email = prinsep@redhouseseafood.com
Parking
Sunshine Plaza, POMO and Somerset Bencoolen

Opening Hours

Mon – Fri

11.30am – 2.30pm (last order 2pm) 5pm – 11pm (last order 10.30 pm)

Sat, Sun & PH
11am – 11pm (last order 10.30pm)
Advertisements

Quite Poor Zi Char @ Ban Leong Wah Hoe on 18Oct2015

chilli crab

chilli crab

daughter wanted to buy dinner for family + close family friends at ban leong wah hoe to celebrate an occasion. we went there for a 7pax dinner on 18.10.2015. ^^

ban leong wah hoe

ban leong wah hoe

i looked up hungrygowhere & openrice. the latest 7 reviews in hungrygowhere 2015 & 2014 were all bad. mostly about the bad service but also about lousy food & non transparency. only a single good review going back to mar2014 on hungrygowhere. for openrice it’s going back to 2013.

i noticed also the absence of pricing in the menu. i think that is quite an unacceptable practice today in zi char, restaurant or hawker centre, haha! so that’s why so many comments about non transparency.

ban leong wah hoe

ban leong wah hoe

we found the service ok actually, no nasty lady boss. service was ok & kind of expected for a zi char place.

but the place was quite crowded, so people were coming. youngest daughter managed to find street parking on the next street from casuarina road.

butter prawns

butter prawns

food though was quite poor. quite below the standards of the usual zi char places like –

butter prawns

butter prawns

butter prawns was poor. quite dry. maybe should have ordered cereal prawns instead. the breadcrumbs were the tasty bits so that said much about the prawns.

chilli crab

chilli crab

chilli crab?

ok i guess. the sauce was quite tasty like any chilli crab, not spicy at all (i prefer spicy!)

chilli crab

chilli crab

crabs were good though, firm & meaty! ^^

this crab made me appreciate my friend alan’s homecooked crabs even more. his chilli crab sauce had more intense & lingering crustaceans flavours whereas this sauce was mostly sauce just some crab taste.

alan’s crabs themselves though were not as good, not so “solid”. it could be that the sauce flavours were more intense because he used a lot of crabs (6 crabs!).

toasted buns for chilli crab

toasted buns for chilli crab

anyway ban leong wah hoe’s chilli crab sauce was still nice, and great with the toasted “mantou” buns.

prawn past chicken - har jeon gai

prawn paste chicken – har jeon gai

prawn past chicken or har jeon gai was tasty, nice flavours.

prawn past chicken - har jeon gai

prawn paste chicken – har jeon gai

but the breading was not great, hard & crusty. actually our friend (my daughter’s guests for the evening) does a much better fried chicken, and so does my helper.

dou miao

dou miao

dou miao was mediocre, i think quite poor. i can do a better fried dish with more wok hae anytime.

worst tofu ever!

worst tofu ever!

the tofu dish was almost not edible, hopeless dish! chunky roasted pork (& a quite bad roast pork to boot!). not sure how to comment on this.

zi char dishes

zi char dishes

basically quite poor for zi char.

mee sua

mee sua

mee sua with quails eggs was supposed to be a singature dish??

mee sua

mee sua

it was ok, edible, but i won’t even say competent.

2 crabs were S$120. not cheap but i supposed ok. dinner for 7pax was S$222 or thereabout, so like S$32pax..

a very far cry from my recent zi char dinner at whampoa keng fish head steamboat, which also cost S$33pax

i guess sometimes it depends on whether we order the correct dishes. still, based on this quite poor experience, this is a place where i have no interest to try again.

c.h.e.f andy

3 Days of Non-stop Feasting @ Chinese New Year 2015 (19-21Feb2015)

as usual, had a very foodful chinese new year. it was just a spate of continuous eating, meals & snacks. no matter if i skipped meals, as there were continuous munching of snacks to fill the gaps, so weight watching was quite simply a lost cause.

my happy chinese new year blessings to all my friends here

CNY Eve

for CNY eve we had our reunion dinner at my elder brother’s place.

this year i made buddha-jump-over-the-wall(BJOTW), 1/2spicy duck 盐水鸭 & using the same marinade, a spicy belly pork.

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

the BJOTW was a poor man’s version. apart from a can of 6 pieces small abalones & good thick mushrooms, the other ingredients were cheap (limpets) and mostly unhealthy (pig trotter, pig ear, belly pork, pig head meat).

look was impressive (top photo), taste was pretty good. but i was not overly impressed with my own effort. there was too much food anyway & didn’t really need more unhealthy food – will skip this next CNY.

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

my sis brought the pencai 盆菜. flavours was very good, and the small abalones much better than what i had. this year pencai 盆菜very expensive everywhere. hers was a very much cheaper one only S$138 for 6pax.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

my wife made her usual hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财), and as usual very nice, though the ones she made later on Day2 was even better, tastier.

braised pig stomach

braised pig stomach

my s-i-l’s mom made the braised pig stomach (though nowadays the person actually making it was the helper). this a dish i always like.

char siew & roast pork

char siew & roast pork

my niece made very good char siew & roast pork. she made a small business of it, selling 20kg of the tasty dish over the internet.

my spicy duck 盐水鸭 was good too. it was a lighter version c/w my teochew braised duck. in fact this dish is served as appetiser in shanghai, nanjing, jiangnan locality.

spicy belly pork

spicy belly pork

i used the same spice to do the spicy belly pork. this was ok but not great. i did this again on Day2 & that was miles better!^^

mantis prawn

mantis prawn

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

my brother bought very large mantis prawns, 5 pieces for S$35. i did not take any. it wasn’t too great also but certainly looked nice. the chilli though was very good, better than most chilli crabs. 🙂

pomfret

pomfret

pomfret was usual. i did not try it either, just too much food.

tofu with leeks

tofu with leeks

tofu with leek, and broccoli

tofu with leek, and broccoli

i liked all the vege.

my brother tried eating out for 3 years for CNY eve. we went to joyden (previously called west coast seafood). food was quite good & not too expensive, however with say 13pax or more, it still came to >S$600. all of us cook, so it was so much more fun just to cook some dishes & bring over. i definitely preferred our own homecooked CNY eve dinner. ^^

CNY Day 1

breakfast spread

breakfast spread

again our family tradition, on CNY Day 1, we went over to my brother’s place for breakfast.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

many of the dishes were leftover from CNY eve dinner.

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

there were too much food on CNY eve, so we kept the prawns for Day1 breakfast, and added the rabbit fish知县鱼 (very sweet) & the salmon sashimi my wife bought (very good too!).

tofu & leeks

tofu & leeks

leftovers from last evening!

mushrooms & greens

mushrooms & greens

& some more vegetables. ^^

CNY Day 2

CNY Day2 is my wife’s tradition. she would invite her brothers & sister & their families (nephews & grand nephews & grand niece).

this year we took a family photo. & there are 26pax + our dog rusty. ^^

i made my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this time it was especially good – colour, texture, sweetness! everyone just loved this dish.^^

the miso pork was very good too. this the longest i put in the oven, 8hrs at 90degC/85degC.^^ the result was excellent. the miso marinade gave it excellent flavours & the slow low-temperature braise an excellent texture. i have learned that 90degC is the optimum temperature to convert collagen to tasty gelatine & texture, so this made the miso pork texture & bite really good!

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

i did the same for the flavoured pork 风味五花肉, and this was excellent too, with a different sichuan spice marinade.

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

we had the same tanhoon fungus.

chilli pork ribs

chilli pork ribs

& my helper’s chilli pork ribs.

deepfried chicken wings

deepfried chicken wings

some chicken wigs for the young ones.

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

for my niece & her husband who are vegetarians, i made a funghi linguine. also for my wife’s sister. it was really good. they all loved it, and there was a bit of leftovers for the nephews.

after that it was my tofu cheese cake & tiramisu, which disappeared in no time.

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

i especially liked the ice jelly with longans, palm fruits my wife’s sil made. she always bring that for our gatherings. very refreshing. i had several helpings.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Crab Dinner @ Momma Kong’s on 20Dec2014

crab beehoon soup

crab beehoon soup

daughter & friend bought 6pax family dinner @ mama kong’s at mosque street on 20.12.2014 🙂

we were worried about traffic & parked 2 streets away at temple street, but actually there were quite a few lots at mosque street at 6pm on a saturday.

we seldom eat crabs. mainly because everyone is lazy to do the shells, and crabs are kind of rather ex in singapore. the last time my wife & i had crab at ming kee, very enjoyable of course – the 1.4kg sri lankan crab alone cost S$75.60++. not quite my thing but once in a long while i can be a bit crabby.

momma kong's

momma kong’s

the small restaurant was packed full. we had a table which was comfortable for 4pax but kind of cramped for 6pax.

stir-fried chilli squid

stir-fried chilli squid

i guess everyone came here to eat crabs, so stir-fried chilli squid was the only non crab dish we ordered.

crab beehoon soup

crab beehoon soup

crab beehoon soup

crab beehoon soup

chilli crab

chilli crab

chilli crab

chilli crab

butter crab

butter crab

butter crab

butter crab

we ordered crab beehoon soup, butter crab & chilli crab = any set of 3-crab for S$118 on the menu, a small discount from ordering 3 separate crabs at S$42each.

later we added another crab beehoon soup. no prizes for guessing which crab we liked best. 🙂

all the crabs were good. they were smaller crabs, from vietnam or indonesia maybe, about 800g? not sri lankan crabs. all 4 crabs we ordered, the meat were firm & completely filled the shell and very sweet, so for me it was very good & not overly ex.

the chilli crab sauce was competent but i guess boring. the butter crab sauce tasted like the very nice salted egg pumpkin crab sauce at ah yat which i like a lot. it’s a toss up with the crab beehoon soup. usually the impression is that the crab flavours go into the soup (which it did) so the crab is less tasty. in this case though the crab was still tasty & i guess the beehoon soup trumped the butter crab sauce. ^^

we had buns of course, both deep-fried & steamed to wipe up the chilli sauce & butter sauce. 🙂

overall, it was an excellent dinner. excluding wine & beer etc (seems that corkage is only from second bottle onwards, so first bottle free). table was really cramped & i broke a wine glass when reaching out for food. crab! very sian! a server later broke another glass. maybe my table is jinxed.

i may actually come back again though i am not so very crabby person.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 14pax Monthly Dinner @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Lobster, Crab & Average Buffet @ Spices Cafe on 31Oct2014

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

a friend organised the monthly RI schoolmates dinner at spices cafe, concord hotel yesterday on 31.10.2014. it was a really fun evening with a lot of interesting conversation. i am just quoting our great philosopher-

the analogy we cooked up to explain our senior moments. it was triggered by a friend’s reference to cloud storage as in the IT terminology eg Dropbox. our memory storage is in the cloud. it is just that we forget the password at times to unlock the specific memory storage. that’s why it helps to have shared storage in the cloud. if one forgets, another remembers. we need all the help we can get when our own neurons refuse to do the job.

see how fun our get-togethers are…with genius like this spewing jewels of wisdom…haha! 🙂

cheese baked 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

cheese baked gratin 1/2 lobster (1 order only)

the dinner buffet came with 1 order only of 1/2 cheese baked gratin lobster (or alternatively abalone). they said 200g though it looked bigger. the preparation though was so-so, the meat didn’t feel bouncy so either it was not a live lobster or maybe slight overdone.

the abalone was small c/w say the 2in size & more importantly excellent tasting abalone at ah yat abalone restaurant in a 5-course dinner groupon deal costing only S$28.80.

pepper crab

pepper crab

butter baked crab

butter baked crab

thai basil crab

thai basil crab

the buffet also included unlimited order of crabs prepared 5 ways – thai basil, pepper, chilli, salted egg & butter baked.

the preparations were ok. for me, thai basil & salted egg were best, pepper ok, butter baked so-so. i did not try chilli.

the crab were the indonesian mud crab type or maybe vietnamese, not the large sri lankan crab. meat was sweet, not the very firm standard, but not falling apart also. i think “boleh la” – ok & really i seldom eat crab as they are really expensive in seafood restaurants, so it may actually make sense if you want to “whack” the crabs to come & makan here! 🙂

we were too busy talking & having fun & did not even order a second round, but i made sure i tasted most of it, well except the chilli crab. 🙂

cold appetizers - oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

cold appetizers – oysters, mussels, scallops on shell, salmon, maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi

appetizers - smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

appetizers – smoked salmon, prawns, cold pasta, plus a marinated saba

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba - horse mackerel (ok)

smoked salmon (so so), oysters (good), mussel (ok), salmon belly (good), marinated saba – horse mackerel (ok)

the cold appetiser section had oysters(good), mussels(ok), scallops on shell(i did not want to try, it looked like just taken out of deep freeze & thawed just as 1 blogger commented), salmon belly sashimi (good), maguro & tai sashimi, prawns & some sushi (the last 4 i likewise did not want to try. the sushi looked like the supermarket type).

i also took smoked salmon (so so, i should say poor actually), and a marinated saba (ok). did not try the prawns & cold pasta.

fortunately, salmon belly sashimi was really quite good, and the oyster too, so that was quite enough for me.

satay

satay

satay was good, and they actually had the pineapple sauce (not so common these days).

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good - i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good – i asked for more hum (cockles) & i had a second helping

laksa was good, lemak. as good as any of the “katong laksa” around & the sungei road laksa. i had a second helping, maybe should have gone for a third.

i did not touch any of the cooked food. did not attract me, anyway, with lobster, crab, 2 helpings of oyster & sashimi & laksa, it was kind of enough, not too bad. 🙂

cheese & salad bar

cheese & salad bar

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

fruits & cheese

the cheese & salad bar was ok if limited. i took the brie & the blue. 🙂

the fruits were good. i had 2 helpings of pineapples & watermelon, and they had a lot of dried fruits like figs, apricots & prunes that i liked.

===============

overall, i find spices cafe buffet rather expensive, at S$54++pax for friday & weekend dinners. fortunately there was a 3paying 1 free promotion, so we paid about S$49pax nett for 13pax + 1pax vegetarian alacarte.

if you consider that a good 1/2lobster cost between S$20 and S$30, i guess then the buffet was not overly expensive.

buffet doesn’t attract me, and other than the lobster & crab (which were also so so for me), i would not normally do this buffet.

i would rate this as slightly above olive tree restaurant @ intercontinental hotel (S$34++ after 1 for 1 promotion) & the lunch buffet at edge @ pan pacific (S$43.50++ after 3paying 1 free) but not by much, and of course edge has far superior ambience & in a “higher class hotel” if that is even important haha.

anyway i would only go if i want the crab (i don’t need the lobster), & spices cafe has lunch buffet for senior citizen at S$23pax, so if i really want buffet i can go lunch w/o the lobster & crab. 🙂

for buffet, my favourite is still the semi buffet at equinox (after 50% feed at raffles discounts, that is), and even then i have not been there for the longest time! the view over marina bay skyline & F1 circuit is superb, and the main courses (which i avoid in other buffet) are ala carte orders & of fine dining standard.

the same goes for one ninety mezzo lunch at four seasons, another superior semi buffet. one ninety has better quality of buffet spread than equinox, & the main courses are also ala carte orders of fine dining standard. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Incredible Artisan Fusion Molecular Cuisine @ Labyrinth on 30Apr2014

10308075_10152361246044494_195352641471227117_n

lime sorbet

my wife’s close couple friends bought dinner @ labyrinth by han li guang at neil road on 30.4.2014. 🙂

i knew of the restaurant the day before, started googling, and found the beautiful food photos in bibikgourmand.

there was a reference made on willin low of wild rockets fame. i did like wild rockets & the laksa pesto pasta maybe 15 years back. personally i did not see any similarity just looking at bibikgourmand photos or having seen & tasted the food afterwards. 🙂 one was fusion in combining “western” & “singaporean” ingredients and most importantly, making the result taste good & not for fusion sake (in that both were similar).

in labyrinth’s case, it was going back to the ingredients, reassemble them into something that looked quite different (but very artisan & beautiful) and yet delivering the (excellent!) taste though perhaps not the overall experience eg the chilli crab ice cream combined with deep-fried soft-shell crab tasted like very good chilli crab but it’s not the same as eating a meaty crab, nor was it expected to be. 🙂 the science of taste? molecular cuisine in its finest form? i am NOT qualified to say… 🙂

10155848_10152361246164494_8610706207252561625_n

garlic mousse, olive powder, balsamic jam for focaccia bread

amuse bouche? the lime sorbet was nice, simple, refreshing, nothing special.

we were served focaccia bread with a garlic mousse, olive powder, balsamic jam. quite unique & pretty good & fun. could’t say this would match good freshly baked bread in a good restaurant, but they were good anyway & matched the food theme. balsamic jam was good, garlic mousse too, olive powder too refined for my taste buds..tasted nothing. 🙂

10171640_10152361137234494_5597954619760349095_n

beef tartare masquerade (imposter)

#1 this dish looked very like a beef tartare with the egg yoke even, and the taste was quite exquisite. 🙂 the mango sphere sat on a roasted tomato, which was very tasty & great with the greens. the mango sphere was, to me, amazing only to wonder how it was done but did not add much taste nor texture. it was a thin liquid & did not have the silky egg yolk texture.

1897826_10152361137304494_6167637602843969400_n

chilli crab

#2 the chilli crab looked incredible, a piece of art, so pretty. & excellent flavours, superb dish 🙂 the deep-fried soft-shell crab combined very well indeed with the chilli crab ice cream. they were arranged with the crab mousse, ikura, seaweed on mantou (馒头) sand to give a picture of sea (and tropical island?). not sure if the mantou sand added anything, my palate not sophisticated enough to capture all the taste & texture, need more practice..haha. 🙂

10301360_10152361137369494_4410949613633301481_n

curry chicken rice

there was a choice of mains – curry chicken or siew yoke fan.

#3 the curry chicken was better than what i expected, though my wife did not like the dish so much. deep-fried chicken balls did not sound that great for main course, but these were quite tasty & you could taste the curry. the quinoa (“kin wah”) risotto was tasty too. i am beginning to like quinoa. my son’s friend made a good quinoa salad & my wife too so she was less impressed. as a “deconstructed” or “reconstructed” or “pigeon-holing not important” dish that was plated quite nicely, looked different & yet tasted like curry chicken, the dish was a great success. so it was good & exceeded my expectation but c/w with a good main (fish or meat) in good restaurant, it may or may not measure up after the initial excitement. also, like going back to the excellent chilli crab, it was indeed a “wow” experience, very pleasantly surprised, but not the same as eating a meaty crab. so it’s a different kind of satisfaction & expectation.

10246665_10152361137434494_8332815593492446666_n

siew yoke fan

#4 the siew yoke fan was again superbly executed. 🙂 the crackling belly pork was excellent, though our friends said the ones they had at basilico recently were even better. the risotto was very tasty, though i could not really tell if it was a ramen (tonkotsu?) stock.

10312469_10152361137499494_8318490514275090593_n

chendol xiaolongbao

there were 2 desserts in the set – chendol xiaolongbao & a deconstructed apple crumble.

#5 the chendol xiaolongbao, with red beans, coconut milk ice shavings inside, had genuine chendol taste, was light & quite refreshing. it was pretty ok, i enjoyed it though it was not a favourite for me.

10169438_10152361137594494_5163702350731915593_n

deconstructed apple crumble

#6 the apple crumble was very good. the stewed apple balls, apple crisp, baked white chocolates & yogurt ice cream all very tasty & combined well. an excellent dessert. 🙂

5-course menu

5-course menu

the 5-course menu was S$78pax, a reasonable price for the quality of food & overall a very enjoyable fun experience. the food was very artisan (perhaps that would become an industry standard in due course), very creative (to me it felt totally new & had no peers in Singapore as yet).  the other “affordable” place where the food presentation is very artisan is jaan (where i had the best degustation dinner on 20.1.2014 with the same couple friends), recently just got on to pelligrino world’s best 100, at 100th place. andre, iggy’s, les amis all very costly & i have yet to convince myself it is worth spending the money. it’s all about experience, very subjective, and also depends on expectations and perspectives, and perhaps very importantly on the the company too. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

23pax Dinner @ Ban Heng Orchard Central on 25Apr2014

1902929_10152348756429494_180431386195832186_n

braised small abalones with broccoli

had our dinner get-together for 23pax at ban heng @ orchard central on 25.4.2014. we had 3 tables. sure looks like our monthly dinners are gaining traction and we have sustainable numbers coming together to catch up each month. 🙂

i had never been to ban heng, the original at boon keng & the now many new outlets. they have a weekday ala carte buffet at S$26.80pax i emailed the link to the organiser & he arranged to do it at the orchard central outlet.

10250055_10152348755714494_3785061660402801784_n

chilli crab

10313848_10152348755769494_2136392099350962134_n

sharks fin soup

10155380_10152348755824494_2468732294084514197_n

stir-fried frog legs

10295761_10152348755894494_4078843553559793586_n

drunken prawns

1798501_10152348755959494_8715043722568842163_n

stir-fried scallops with asparagus

10311776_10152348756054494_587674490230530811_n

garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon

10171102_10152348756314494_2929438136504994036_n

deep-fried soon hock

we started with the list of chef’s recommendations above. for me the best dish was the abalone. 🙂 it was about or almost the normal good restaurant standard, not better.

the rest of the dishes were kind of below par or maybe i should say just ok. however everything is relative. the price of S$26.80 is i guess pretty alright for the number of dishes, though these days there were more talks of worthwhile calories & worthwhile cholesterol and focus was more on quality than quantity. 1 friend i asked during dinner said pretty much the same, that relative to price it was ok. another friend commented on FB post afterwards – “The food was actually quite satisfactory for the price and place”.

1 place though i would consider a whole lot better than (after trying) ban heng would be the ala carte buffet at peach garden.

the chilli crab was pretty ok though not spicy (as we were told by the servers), but it was not a dish that the ladies took much nor the rest.

the sharkskin soup was gluey like sometimes served in wedding dinners. i took <1/2 of the portion served.

the drunken prawn was among the better dishes. 1 lady on my table commented that it had nicely herb flavoured soup. the prawns were quite ok.

the frog legs were a bit below par (say) c/w the plump, meaty ones at ah yat turf city.

likewise the garlic steamed scallops with tanhoon. this should be a pretty standard dish if using live scallops, but somehow the scallop & garnishing were not tasty.  i do a much better tasty dish using IQF frozen razor clams from giant, but of course i always prefer razor clams to scallops for this garlic steamed preparation.

the stir-fried scallops with asparagus was also an average dish. the asparagus were quite good in texture & taste. scallops were just average. like the frog leg, this dish was lacking in ‘wok hae”, which was surprising as the baby kailan dish that came later had very good wok hae.

the deep-fried soon hock was also quite average. this was also a standard dish at many restaurants. couldn’t say it was poor but while the fishes were crispy outside, the inside were not moist & tender as the usually good ones at most restaurants, & the sauce were not so tasty as well.

10274227_10152348756614494_6248572823945955837_n

roast duck

10308222_10152348756679494_3497810837823596129_n

steamed sea bass

the lady who commented on the drunken prawns went to spy on the other tables…haha…& we ordered the steamed seabass & the roast duck. good food-spotting, well done!

the 1/2 seabass with spicy bean sauce was good. 🙂 though 1 friend commented that soon hock was a better & more expensive fish…but it goes to show that quality of cooking/preparation is equally or sometime more important than quality of ingredients. 🙂

the roast duck was good too, flavourful but just a tad salty. 🙂 (but compare this with the really good roast duck at noodle restaurant at centrepoint!) it prompted the lady friend to say perhaps the trick was to mine the non chef recommendations.

1488270_10152348757144494_1782694798900778510_n

stir-fried baby kai lans

10178063_10152348757219494_4894090874682252270_n

spinach with superior stock

the 2 vegetables dishes we ordered were quite good, above average. the baby kailan had very good wok hae. & the spinach with superior stock was good. nice tasty stock.

10294413_10152348756534494_6515834032046957718_n

thai deep-fried tofu

10250122_10152348757049494_3249641854941169202_n

prawn cocktail salad

10295816_10152348756949494_9022415318003111282_n

braised goose

10170687_10152348756804494_6603289002782425165_n

hae chor

10294413_10152348756534494_6515834032046957718_n the deep-fried tofu with thai sauce was much below par, both the tofu & also the sauce.

the mayo prawn salad was quite ok & refreshing though not a favourite with me.

the hae chor looks were not so appealing. the taste was just ok.

the braised goose was to me below par, which is kind of surprising for an establishment that started out as teochew restaurant 42years ago in 1972. it was not “pang” i.e. flavourful & texture was over boiled. my favourite is the braised duck at imperial treasure teochew restaurant at ngee ann city. my own teochew braised duck is also more flavourful than this. 1 friend asked whether one could tell between goose & duck. couple of us felt that (say) when eating goose in hong kong the more gamey & fragrant taste was quite apparent. 🙂

desserts were provided on a self-serviced buffet table. the ice jelly was quite refreshing. i had 2 helpings topped up with sea coconut. 🙂

overall, food, ambience & price were quite ok for such a get-together.  ala carte buffet was quite convenient, one price, easy to manage for groups & don’t really have to plan or pre-order the food, pretty much order anything you fancy. we were mostly more interested in talking, with food as a good accompaniment, so i was not paying much attention to the menu too.  it’s probably not a place i would go much or soon.

c.h.e.f andy

Thai Style Curry Fish Head @ Forture Restaurant on 3Apr2014

thai style fish head curry _ S$25

thai style fish head curry _ S$25

had not been to this old holland road coffeeshop 金山岭 for years.

used to love the thai style curry fish head at forture restaurant (still do!), and also the chilli crab many years back, basically because they were good & cheap then. for a while ah yat @ turf city was having 50% weekday discounts (now 40%) and the crab at ah yat at the time (up to 3 – 4 years back) were like S$19.90/kg after discount for indonesian crabs, which was cheaper than the S$26/kg at forture, and ah yat served very cheap seafood like bamboo clams (still does), so only dish that stood out at forture was the thai style fish head curry.

decided to go with a friend to take the fish head  on 3.4.2014 after the long lay off. fish head still very fresh & curry was great. the hor fun though was not good. disappointing really, usually quite good when i “da pao” (take out).

1932414_10152298509374494_993204116_n

hor fun – S$3.50

1794660_10152298509434494_1847831719_n

hor fun – S$3.50

10013649_10152298509579494_1055921715_n

old holland road coffeeshop 金山岭

thai style fish head curry - S$25

thai style fish head curry – S$25

my friend paid for dinner which came to just below S$30. the hot fun was S$3.50, so the fish head must be like S$25 (far cry from the time when it was S$15 & i came often), plus we had 1 rice to share & also the towels. my friend asked for water & the charge was S$0.40.

i guess price was ok. the 1/2 fish head was a large one. it was fresh & the curry was tasty, but taking it after so many years, it was unique but really no better than assam fish head & indian curry fish head – both have more kick than this one. also considering that the spicy bean sauce song fish head at honk kong street cost S$18 (though this one here had vegetables with the curry), S$25 was not cheap.

it was satisfying nonetheless, but the allure was gone. i can have this sometimes & enjoy it, but i can do without too.

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. 🙂

1511144_10152093363234494_1453341894_n1508203_10152093363284494_62631816_n 1503861_10152093363329494_1037638245_n

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

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

IMG_4358 IMG_4360 IMG_4359

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. 🙂

IMG_4383IMG_4382IMG_4381

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 Dinner Chat with Friend @ Jumbo Riverwalk on 3Jun2013

steamed cod

steamed cod

my daughter arranged this dinner at Jumbo Riverwalk with a good friend of mine who has been giving her guidance & good advice. 🙂

I generally like the food at Long Beach & Jumbo. I ordered a 6-course set for 4pax. we had a good chat, most enjoyable dinner & pleasant evening.

lobster with ginger & scallions 姜葱

lobster with ginger & scallions 姜葱

the menu said we start with a 姜葱 lobster with ginger & scallions – this was good standard as expected & I ate a lot of the scallions too. 🙂

sambal spinach

sambal spinach

seafood fried rice

seafood fried rice

for this night though, the restaurant served us the seafood fried rice & sambal spinach first. the menu item was asparagus but the restaurant said they ran out so we chose 蒜茸garlic spinach. when it came to the table it was sambal spinach. not ideal, but the spinach was nice – that’s what counted! 🙂 the seafood fried rice was just ok, average – too average i think for a popular restaurant

the steamed cod (top photo) was very good! 🙂 i think I must try doing it at home.

DSCN5295 DSCN5294

the chilli crab was decent in taste but for me it had no kick. all the foreign tourists in the crowded restaurant were dutifully ordering this and clearly relishing it, so it was good! anyway, my wife could not take too much chilli this evening so nothing lost. 🙂

ice fruit sago dessert

ice fruit sago dessert

the ice fruit sago dessert was very refreshing, a little sweet but no sweeter than usual ice jelly at the hawker centre.

restaurants filled with tourists enjoying chilli crab

restaurants crowded with tourists enjoying chilli crab

there were lots of foreign tourists trying out chilli crab so even the mild version was quite good though I liked it to be better. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Nice Dinner @ Roland Restaurant on 24Apr2013

chilly crab

chilly crab

Roland Restaurant was the venue for our get-together dinner on 24apr2013.

Roland had a long history (from 1956 when Lim Choon Ngee & his wife started a seafood restaurant by the Kallang River, later relocated to Bedok Beach – now the reclaimed ECP – and the current location at Block 89, Marine Parade Central managed by their son Roland after they migrated to Christchurch in 1985) and reputation and the food is certain to be good. 🙂 I have always wanted to try but never quite got round to it. I parked my car at Parkway Parade, not by design but turned out to be not a bad option as parking for the evening was only $1.50! The more seasoned among my peers correctly parked at the multi-storey car park where the restaurant itself was located on level 6.

IMG_3642

appetizer platter

We had 13 pax for the evening.  Dinner started with the appetizer platter (prawn mayo, small octopus, a seasoned pork dish, haechor & a roll item) which was quite good as expected.

IMG_3643

crab meat sharks fin soup

That was followed by a crab meat sharks fin soup – good too if nothing exceptional. Sambal kang kong was next. Roland was a good standard restaurant so all the dishes thus far were good.

IMG_3648

crispy roast chicken

Next was the roast chicken. This was nicely done! The skin was crispy & the meat moist, sweet & tender, very nice taken with a dip of 5-spice salt provided. 🙂

deep-fried tiny squid

deep-fried tiny squid

CH & I thought the deep-fried squid (their signature dish) was par excellence – crispy, crunchy, tasty! 🙂 must say I had not taken it for a really really long time liao (don’t go Long Beach, Jumbo type seafood restaurants often & these days they also do fine dining dishes & deep-fried squid does not feature much).

The chilli crab (top photo) was another of Roland’s signature dish. This was very good too, though these days many restaurants like Long Beach, Jumbo etc do this very well too. 🙂 & of course the deep-fried mantou buns to soak up the chilli crab sauce. yummy! 🙂

IMG_3647 IMG_3652

The fried rice was also of good standard – “pang” got “wokhae” ie fragrant (my favourite though was the Imperial Treasure dried scallop crab-meat egg-white fried rice, and recently I had a very good one at Xin Cuisine). the deep-fried tiny silver fish I supposed gave it added textured complexity though it didn’t really work for me – too crunchy – I preferred my fried rice simple & fragrant. 🙂 IMG_3653 IMG_3654

the orh nee yam puree dessert was like totally bland? I guess no lard no taste la 🙂 such a wonderful, fun evening of food, fun & feel good! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

“Best Of” Dinner on 28Jan2013

ANDY'S HOMECOOKED 10 COURSE 10PAX -BEST OF- DINNER MENU MONDAY 28 JANUARY 2013 c.h.e.fandy

Gathered my gung-ho friends for a meal at my most recent homecooked dinner on 28Jan2013.

“Best Of” refers to the different dishes (French, Spanish, Italian, fusion) I was trying out in the MENU above, NOT that I was best in any of them..lol..I had 3 pan-seared Hokkaido scallops made for a friend who couldn’t take wagyu, & mercifully they turned up very well after I learned of the very simple technique from chef John of foodwishes.com (just make sure the scallops are bone dry at room temperature & the non stick pan is very hot – scallops & fish etc tend to have lots of water & if not dry, then pan temperature will drop instantly and you end up steaming & NOT searing the meat!). 

This was also the first time I tried my skin-on pan-roasted chicken breast on my friends and they all loved it. The slow roast belly pork was still very much a work-in-progress BUT the saving grace was the spicy, sour Spanish mustard sauce. 🙂 This, together with the original sauce from the belly pork made very lovely dips.

Skin-on pan-roasted brined chicken breast

Skin-on pan-roasted brined chicken breast

The Margaret River wagyu striploin with marbling score 4/5 (while pale in comparison with Japanese wagyu), was 1 of the dinner highlights & garnered many supporters. 🙂 I did it the GR (Gordon Ramsay) way – leave steak at room temperature for 1/2 hr, greased non-stick pan with fat from striploin, very high heat, turnover once & add butter, then rest for 5minutes before cutting.

20130128_182236

Margaret River wagyu MBS 4/5

The garlic jumbo prawns (these are 130g size – 10 prawns=1.3 kg) is one of my regular dishes, done with just minced garlic & chilli padi in a dry wok in very high heat, and only adding fish sauce at the very end before removing & serve.

20130128_205227

Garlic jumbo prawns 130g each

I also had a very smooth & sweet tasting Basque seafood soup using stock from prawn shells + chicken stock + leek, carrot & onions strained, adding poached prawn, sotong (squid) and mussels when serving.

Next up were the 2 pastas. The seafood alio olio spaghetti with white wine is my usual fare, and this time I added a fusion pasta using a chilli crab sauce I prepared from the prawn shell stock.

The main course was a Spanish 2hr slow-cooked beef ribs with chorizos, celery, carrots, red peppers, yellow onions & using just a dash of tumeric for the colour. They all loved this very tender & tasty dish.

Image

Spansh slow-cooked beef ribs with chorizos

And after all that, we still had room for a very nice chocolate lava cake (my usual fare) to round out the evening.

Image

Chocolate lava cake oozing lava served with strawberries

c.h.e.f andy

Chilli Crab Spaghetti

Image

chilli crab spaghetti with prawns & crab claws

Like all good Singaporeans, chilli crab is a perennial favourite of mine, and for the past many years, chilli crab has appeared on the fusion pasta menu in some chic restaurants. One of the earliest restaurants that offer fusion pastas must be Wild Rockets, which was serving fusion pastas like laksa pesto many, many years back.

Often enough. after having a feast of chilli crabs, we save some sauce & bring home & toss it with pasta. It is not quite my favourite pasta, but I like it enough to be motivated to try. The most difficult part is the the chilli crab sauce. I googled the recipe, but I am NOT about to buy or cook crabs (something I am not convinced is worthwhile doing as good chilli crab restaurants are everywhere) just to cook a pasta. So I will have to improvise. As my family use a lot of prawns in cooking and have been throwing away the shells for the most part, I thought I can use prawn shell stock (from boiling the prawn shells & heads for 2-3hrs) as a proxy to crab.

Image

chilli crab sauce

I adapted the recipe below for my purpose. The chilli crab sauce involves frying  chopped shallots, ginger, garlic & chilli padi, adding a mixture of ketchup, chilli sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, vinegar. lime juice, and then adding prawn shell stock. before serving, beat 1 egg & stir in to mix well with the chilli crab sauce. I got it right in my first attempt and am able to reproduce it without difficulty every time.

I add shelled medium prawns with tails on and frozen crab pincer meat from NTUC Fairprice or Sheng Shiong but they are not very satisfactory and can do without (good quality canned crabmeat is very expensive, like S$20 for a 400g can).

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 4 chopped shallots
  • 3 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 in chopped ginger
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp garlic chilli sauce
  • 1 chilli padi
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp flat sugar
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsplime juice
  • 2 cup prawn stock
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander

Directions:

  1. Prepare the prawn shell stock – boil prawn shells & heads in a large dutch oven for 3 hrs, strain and set aside the stock
  2. Prepare the chilli crab sauce –
    • mix the ketchup, chilli sauce, oyster sauce, shaoxing wine, vinegar. lime juice in a large bowl.
    • finely chopped the shallots, ginger, garlic and chilli padi (or pulse till finely chopped in a food processor).
    • add oil to a large wok over medium heat. and fry the chopped shallots, ginger, garlic & chilli padi for few minutes.
    • stir in the prepared mix from the large bowl, reduce heat and simmer of 3 or 4 minutes.
    • add the prawn shell stock, bring to boil, turn off the fire and set aside to use when required. before use, beat 1 egg and stir in & mix well.
  3. Prepare the spaghetti– add some salt & oil to water and boil the spaghetti according to timing instructions & drain in a colander.
  4. Cook – empty the prepared olive oil & browned garlic into a hot wok. pour the chilli crab sauce into the wok. heat briefly then turn off the fire, add in the spaghetti & toss & add sea salt to taste. Place the spaghetti in a serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander.