Macha Lava Cake (Second Experiment)

macha lava cake

macha lava cake

experimented on a macha lava cake today on 25.11.2015. ^^

i used heytheresia’s macha lava cake recipe. 🙂

i tried a second time on 8.12.2015 & the results were much better, so i used the later batch of photos (& recipe). 🙂

i vary it a little = using 3 eggs, 100g white chocolate, 100g butter, NO sugar (instead of 6 tbsp), 2.5 tbsp flour instead of 4

macha lava cake

macha lava cake

i still had problem removing it from the muffin tray, which means the top (bottom when tray was inverted) was not hardened enough.

there were lots of lava, & the taste was what i liked. ^^

it’s exactly the texture i like – not too doughy, very mildly sweet, good macha flavours, and a flowing, a bit less viscous lava, good cake texture too. 🙂

macha lava cake

macha lava cake

it is a substantially different recipe from my usual chocolate lava cake.

here i followed heytheresia’s recipe & put the cake mixture in the freezer for 1 hr & then 11 mins in a preheated 200degC oven.

macha lava cake

macha lava cake

looks i have to use individual cupcake holder instead of a 6-cup muffin tray.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients :-

  • 100g white chocolate
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp flat brown sugar
  • pinch of salt (i used 1/2 tsp)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.5tbsp all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 tbsp macha powder

Directions :-

  1. melt broken chocolate and butter 1mins 10secs in microwave
  2. add macha powder & whisk
  3. crack 3 eggs & whisk
  4. add sugar, flour, salt & whisk
  5. grease 6 cups muffin tray (or ramekins or cups) & pour in the cake mixture (recipe quantity is good for 6 cups muffin tray
  6. place in freezer for 1 hr
  7. then put in 200degC oven for between 10 & 15 mins (i did 11mins for 6 cups muffin tray)
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Excellent + Value Set Lunch @ The White Rabbit on 21Oct2015

alaskan king crab tagliatelle. pork broth

alaskan king crab tagliatelle. pork broth

had a great lunch with wife at the white rabbit on 21.10.2015. ^^

wife was meeting a close friend and had tea first & was waiting for me to join lunch.

i was here recently with another friend just few weeks back on 30.9.2015.

the white rabbit set lunch menu

the white rabbit set lunch menu

the uob 1 for 1 promotion is until 31.10.2015. it is really good value = an excellent 3-course lunch at S$42 for 2. 🙂

wagyu carpaccio. truffle cream

wagyu carpaccio. truffle cream

the wagyu carpaccio with truffle cream was really good. so i ordered that again. 🙂

basically both of us shared all the dishes – appetizer, mains etc. 🙂

wagyu carpaccio. truffle cream

wagyu carpaccio. truffle cream

carpaccio was really good, & just superb taken with the truffle cream.

seared bay scallops. white choc veloute

seared bay scallops. white choc veloute

wife ordered the seared bay scallop.

seared bay scallops. white choc veloute

seared bay scallops. white choc veloute

it was competent, but by comparison with the wagyu carpaccio, a rather mediocre dish. scallops were small. the white veloute was ok.

& no better than my own pan seared scallops really.

i used IQF (individual quick freeze) scallops but my scallops were much larger, double the size. actually i think mine was much better.

alaskan king crab tagliatelle. pork broth

alaskan king crab tagliatelle. pork broth

the alaskan king crab tagliatelle with pork broth & konbu was good.

alaskan king crab tagliatelle. pork broth

alaskan king crab tagliatelle. pork broth

pasta was al dente & broth was very tasty. it’s the kind of good restaurant pasta. not my most preferred pasta but something different from what i do at home. a great dish. 🙂

36hrs short ribs. truffle miso glaze. parsnip puree

36hrs short ribs. truffle miso glaze. parsnip puree

i thought the 36hr beef short rib was really excellent! i think awesome is the oft used word! ^^

36hrs short ribs. truffle miso glaze. parsnip puree

36hrs short ribs. truffle miso glaze. parsnip puree

the beef was really tender, flavourful. i think maybe i will try to make this at home. 🙂

fresh fruit melange. grapefruti shaved ice

fresh fruit melange. grapefruti shaved ice

like the fresh fruits. there was a grapeful shaved ice. very refreshing combination. 🙂

fresh fruit melange. grapefruti shaved ice

fresh fruit melange. grapefruti shaved ice

chocolate was a good match i guess, but i could do without.

chocolate fondant

chocolate fondant

the chocolate fondant was kind of below expectation for me. no much lava at all.

chocolate fondant

chocolate fondant

flavour wise i think my own chocolate lava cake also better.

overall, i think it was really a superb value quality 3-course set lunch at S$21pax after uob 1 for 1.

at the full price, it was actually ok quality but nothing special, so not something i would be much wowed bu.

eg if you (say) c/w les amis 4-course set lunch at S$45, les amis would be a lot better deal.

of course les amis doesn’t have this now, but the point is that is it is S$42pax then i would be looking around first none too anxious to try it.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Wagyu Yakiniku Dinner at Azmaya & Coffee+Cakes at Laurent on 23jan2015

A5 kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛

A5 kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛-S$60 (i estimatr 120g/150g)

had 4pax dinner with friends at azmaya omakaseya at robertson walk, followed by coffee & cakes at lauraent bernard chocolatier on 23.1.22015. 🙂

i was just at azmaya omakaseya a week ago on 15.1.2015, so this is a quick update. i used 2 qoo10 coupons the last time but was told by the restaurant that i could also get 50% discounts on alacarte orders.

belly pork & beef harami (with leeks) yakiniku

belly pork & beef harami (with leeks) yakiniku

we had the same A5 kuroge wagyu 黑毛和牛 sirloin S$60 (2 orders) & karubi $29 (2 orders) + 1 order of pork belly S$14 & 1 order of harami (with leeks) S$13, plus 2 drinks. total came to about S$42pax nett after 50% discounts on food. excluding drinks it would have been S$34.

somehow the wagyu sirloin & karubi did not appear to be of the same quality as what i last had, if one were to compare the photos here. so 50% discounts but same quality???

pork belly had not much taste as before, but was ok with leek sauce.

i had the harami (with leek) for the first time. it was quite good. of course it was a tougher meat but taste was ok.

bibimbab ishiyaki

bibimbab ishiyaki

bibimbab ishiyaki

bibimbab ishiyaki – S$16

the stone pot bibimbab S$16 was good. i guess not the best but very competent, and with lots of beef, & at 50% discounts I would say it was very good for the price.

spicy galbi soup

spicy galbi soup – S$10

likewise the spicy galbi soup S$10 was also competent, & again very good for the price.

at S$34pax nett w/o drinks i think it was a very good dinner. i would certainly do this again. 🙂

soufle + lava cake at laurent

soufle + lava cake at laurent

soufle at laurent

soufle at laurent

lava cake at laurent

lava cake at laurent

lava cake at laurent

lava cake at laurent

after dinner we went over to laurent bernard chocolatier for coffee & cakes. they were famous for their chocolate soufle & also lava cake.

both were very good. i liked the soufle a bit better. the lava cake was very good too.

i am not sure taste wise it was actually better than my own chocolate lava cake (however i have not made lava cake for a while & the more recent couple times did not come out that well in terms of producing the lava texture…i must really try again this…)…maybe i will try the chocolate soufle too…i tried the grand marnier soufle once..it was ok but maybe a chocolate flavoured one maybe more the taste for my wife & i.

the flat white was ok, but didn’t feel any better than that at asseemly coffee or at wheedler’s yard. and i still feel that the flat white at chye seng huat & at dutch colony at pasarbella were better.

c.h.e.f andy

Tiramisu – A Charming Dessert

tiramisu

tiramisu – a charming dessert

my wife & i are not very dessert people. so i never thought i would get into cakes & baking etc. 🙂

i chanced on the chocolate lava cake early on. it was easy to make, had the wow factor and solve my problem of having to buy cakes or just eat fruits after my homecooked dinners which i started in mar2012. 🙂

after that i tried apple pie. it was pretty good or at least ok, but if i also had to make the dough which i did, it was quite a bit of trouble, so i made about 3 apple pies & gave it up.

after a very long break, like almost 2 years since my first lava cake (& i also stopped lava cake for 9 months having gotten tired of it after serving it for many homecooked dinners), i tried a jam crumb cake which was pretty good as well, though it had far less wow factor. then in may2014, after buying the tofu cheesecake from sun with moon wheelock for my domestic helper’s birthday, i again chanced on a tofu cheese cake. it was easy too like the lava cake, all you have to do was blend. 🙂

so tofu cheese cake went on for couple of months, & i made it again for a friend’s party this evening. anyhow i was inspired by 1 of my wife’s friend who did an awesome tiramisu.

after googling for the recipe including videos recipes, i did my no-bake tiramisu for the very first time, and it turned out wonderfully the first time, on 26.7.2014. i was happy enough with it to serve it to my friends at a 11pax lobster menu dinner on 30.7.2014 & everyone simply swore by it, and according to one, it now displaced my lava cake & tofu cheese cake as his favourite, but you know often times it’s just a change, something new for the time. 🙂

tiramisu

tiramisu – a charming dessert

it was a surprise to me but as it turned out, tiramisu was the easiest of all the desserts i have made. 🙂

i used 1/2 portion of the video recipe i saw here.

i separated the egg yolks & white of 3 eggs. my son had bought me a hand mixer from UK when he was back in dec2013 & i decided to use it for the first time.

whisking the eggs to soft peaks was a breeze. 🙂 i added 2 tablespoon sugar as i whisked to soft peaks, as chef john of food wishes.com called, the shaving cream consistency. haha! 🙂

i added 250g mascarpone cheese to the yolks & whisked to get the nice custard. then i folded the meringue in 2 batches into the custard. that’s done.

i put 200ml freshly grounded expresso from my coffee machine in a flat dish & added 1.2 tablespoon of brandy (otard), 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence & 1 teaspoon sugar.

then i took the savoiardi finger biscuits & dipped them lightly in the expresso & lined one layer on the glass dish. i added 1/2 the custard then another layer & the custard again. i finished off by dusting cocoa powder through a sieve & then using a large knife scrapped the chocolate flakes from the back of a chocolate bar & added to the cake. then i left it in the fridge overnight.

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu

tiramisu – a charming dessert

well the result was nothing less than sensational, not too sweet, nice expresso & liquor, and marvellously consistent malleable textured cake. 🙂

i think i know what’s the next cake i will try to make – a banoffee cake!

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients –

  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 3 eggs separate into egg yolks & whites
  • 16 finger savoiardi biscuits
  • 200ml expresso
  • 4 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • default 2 tablespoon brandy (sometimes i use 4 tbsp or 60ml for some of my friends who love more brandy, haha!)^^

Directions –

  1. separate the egg yolks & whites of 3 eggs.
  2. using a hand mixer, whisk the eggs to soft peaks. add 2 tablespoon sugar as you whisk to soft peaks, as chef john of food wishes.com called, the shaving cream consistency.
  3. add 250g mascarpone cheese to the yolks & whisk to get the nice custard. then fold the meringue in 2 batches into the custard.
  4. put 200ml freshly grounded expresso in a flat dish & add 1.5 tablespoon of brandy (otard), 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence & 1 teaspoon sugar.
  5. then take the savoiardi finger biscuits & dip them lightly in the expresso & line one layer on the glass dish. add1/2 the custard then another layer of finger biscuits & the custard again. finish off by dusting cocoa powder through a sieve & then using a large knife scrap chocolate flakes from the back of a chocolate bar & add to the cake. then i leave it in the fridge overnight.

12-course Homecooked Dinner for 9pax on 15Jul2014

#1 cured salmon

#1 cured salmon

an update for memories.

did a 12-course chinese dinner for friends on 15.7.2014. what’s notable this time were 3 new dishes – salted egg prawns,  steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼 & seafood fried rice. dishes all good, except lava cake was disaster as lava cake though taste was good (for a brownie…haha..). 🙂

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#2 steamed oyster with light soy sauce & olive oil

#1 cured salmon & #2 steamed oysters were quite new dishes too, served for the first time during my recent lake como, cinque terre, milan grand tour tasting menu for RI friends on 2.7.2014.

the very fresh salmon fillet was bought on the day itself & brined in salt & sugar solution for 4 hours. nice colour & tasty.

the large oysters were IQF (individual quick frozen) from sheng shiong just S$11.95 for 1 kg pack, steamed with 2 teaspoon light soy sauce, 2 tablespoon olive oil, sliced ginger & chilli padi for 2 minutes.

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken

#3 poached kampong chicken was quite sweet & tasty. this time though the chicken tasted a bit gamey. i used kampong chicken from sheng shiong for the first time couple weeks back. no gamey taste then.

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 spicy dry brined duck

#4 盐水鸭 was dry brined with sichuan spicy chilli sauce, sugar & various spices for 48hrs, simmered for 15minutes & poached for 1/2 hour. it was tender & tasty. i liked it. 🙂

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy garlic pork belly

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 sichuan spicy chilli sauce

#5 蒜泥白肉 – the pork belly was done 5hrs using the crockpot braising method starting cold & on low, so the very slow braise from slow rising temperature produced a very tender belly pork, thinly sliced & drizzled with the mildly sweet sichuan spicy sauce, which was key in this preparation. this was a crowd favourite. 🙂

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb

#6 miso lamb was the best i did, better than the last 2 times & w/o the gamey taste. 3 day miso marinade & 5hrs in 90degC oven. many liked this. 🙂

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7 shorthand buddha jump over the wall

#7  the poor man’s buddha jumps over the wall was another favourite. this time (also last 11pax dinner on 14.6.2014) was the best. it had very tender pig trotters & belly pork, thick mushrooms & limpets. 🙂

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns

#8 salted egg prawns. was quite excited doing this for very first time. prawns was deep-fried. paste was done using salted duck egg york, curry leaves & milk. prawns were very fresh but less crispy as it was done at 4pm like 4hrs before serving & set aside with paste added on in pan before serving. too much milk, paste not viscous enough & salted egg flavour was too dilute. will improve next time. 🙂

#9 steamed japnese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass 小黄鱼

#9 steamed japanese seabass – another first time dish, basically repeating the steamed oysters method on the fish, using light soy sauce, olive oil, sliced ginger , orange peel & chilli padi. quite successful this one, fish very fresh & tasty w/o fishy taste (even though the fish was frozen for more than 1 month in freezer). 🙂

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 fermented bean curd romaine lettuce

#10 romaine lettuce was good as usual. 🙂

#11 seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice

imperial treasure lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao seafood fried rice

#11 seafood fried rice was another new dish, and it turned out to be a crowd favourite also. 🙂

buttered prawns & sotong were done separately. the key was again the sichuan spicy chilli sauce. rice was also pre- fried & set aside. when serving, rice was returned to pan then seafood added, heat & served. 🙂

no comparison with the real thing of course – seafood fried rice from crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao! haha. 🙂

tofu cheese cake

tofu cheese cake

#12 tofu cheese cake was good as usual. 🙂

chocolate lava cake

chocolate lava cake

lava cake was outright bad though even if the taste of the “brownie” it became was good. 😦

not much lava leh, even though i followed the same timing as my much earlier efforts (checked back the records, last time was on 28.8.2014) which were mostly good ones much also had a few failures then.

mango flan

mango flan

friends brought a very nice mango flan, small seeded lychees & strawberries. 🙂

a very fun evening get-together! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Good Mexican Food @ Magarita’s Dempsey on 14Apr2014

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roast pork taco

wife organised a 4pax family dinner at magarita’s @ dempsey on 14.4.2014. 🙂

i was never quite into mexican food, but i guessed this was as good a time to start…haha. 🙂

seemed it was quite difficult to get a booking. 3 of us went early at 630pm, among the first few tables. JH came later as he had to work late. the place was quite full actually, just couple tables unoccupied at 730pm.

the reviews in hungrygowhere wasn’t too great, the few in 2014 commented it was expensive. tripadvisor had more good reviews.

i still learning to tell burritos, fajitas (pronounced fa-hee-tas), enchiladas & what not.

my initial impression hearing about the place was more drinking than food. but as it turned out, food was quite good really. we ordered a nachos, crab enchiladas (their specialty), a mixed chicken & prawns fajitas and a i think roast pork taco, and a 3-milk cake. 🙂 we also had 2 magaritas, 2 mocktails & a beer.

need to try out other places though to compare. heard that cafe iguana is good.

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nachos

nachos picture was too dark. 😦 my wife & i both did not bring our hp. after JH arrived, he used his hp (torch app) to shine the light on the food for my daughter to take, so photos turned out better. all these phone apps are really useful. 🙂

the nachos (a tortilla chip usually served as snack) with melted cheese, refried beans, jalapeno pepper etc was very good i thought. the word refried black beans intrigued me, so i googled. according to wikipedia, apparently the word is a mistranslation=in mexican spanish, re is an informal emphasis for very or well, so refried means very fried or well fried & refers to cooked and mashed beans. learn something everyday! 🙂

the roast pork taco (top photo) was good too. the meat was more like braised than roast, and the texture was a pulled pork. braised & pulled textures not my favourite. the seasoning & taste was good. the corn tortillas were served separately (5 pieces) in a cloth warmer.

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prawns & chicken fajitas

& so was the prawns & chicken fajitas. the prawns were really nice & bouncy & the chicken was tasty & tender. the wheat tortillas were served separately (5 pieces) in a cloth warmer.

all the food were really much above my expectations, though i did not actually expect much to start with…haha..but for me its fun to know new food. 🙂

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crab enchiladas

the crab enchiladas was the restaurant’s specialty & was very good. crab meat & sauce were tasty & overall a very good dish. 🙂

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3-milk cake

we ordered the tres leches (3-milk) cake, with the exuberant encouragement/ suggestion by i think the proprietor. he said everyone thought it was good, especially that it was not too sweet.

cake was ok, quite good. i learned afterwards that you could buy a carton of tres leches mix (say) from belmontemex, let it soaked through a cake for at least 24hrs to make a supposedly luscious 3-milk cake. cake was more dense than a normal cake as a result but still fluffy not dense like a cheesecake.

i quite ok with it but not my favourite c/w (say) my own chocolate lava cake, cheese cake, some chocolate cakes & especially the passion fruit meringue from the patissier. 🙂

service was good & friendly. bill was S$234nett, or about S$154nett less the drinks. we had an enjoyable evening & i got to quite like the food. 🙂

will be back. but maybe will try out cafe iguana or others first.

c.h.e.f andy

Jam Crumb Cake

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jam crumb cake

made a very good jam crumb cake yesterday 19.3.2014. 🙂

i not a very dessert person. so far my solitary repertoire has been the chocolate lava cake. i did a lemon lava cake variation & also an apple pie which were pretty ok & i had served them once or twice during my home dinners with friends, but they didn’t quite inspire me.

i am doing a 10pax dinner on 24.3.2014 & was looking up doable online dessert recipes. last november 2013 a friend’s wife did a very good jam cake which i liked for a lovely home fine dining dinner – so inspired i looked up a few recipes and found this jam crumb cake recipe on epicurean.

the first attempt turned out pretty good, anyway i like it enough to post & share. 🙂

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jam crumb cake

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jam crumb cake

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jam crumb cake

i have never baked a whole cake my entire life. the lava cake was the first but those were in muffin tray. i also did the lemon lava cake variation (in muffin tray as well) & the apple pie. that was about it. & i had badly failed couple times attempting macarons. so i did not know what to expect mixing flour & butter & sugar & milk & making the crumbs. anyway i followed the recipe mostly with some adjustment (like reducing the sugar & the recipe for the crumbs taking in the feedback from comments of others who had attempted the recipe).

the jam crumb cake came up beautifully, by my lowly standard anyway. the flavour & texture were great & not too sweet, and the cinnamon did the magic. I would increase the crumbs a little for my next cake & also swirl in more jam. otherwise everything was near perfect.

my adapted recipe is below. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Ingredients-

For cake

  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup sugar (to reduce further to 1/3)
  3. 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted (i used about 40g)
  6. 1/2 cup milk
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1/2 cup raspberry jam or preserves (i used not enough, need to add more)

For crumb topping

  1. 25g unsalted butter, melted
  2. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  3. 1 tsp cinnamon
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (will increase to 2/3 cup)
  6. preparation

Directions –

Make cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Generously butter a 9-inch square or round cake pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, milk and salt.
  3. Whisk together melted butter and egg in a large bowl, then whisk into flour mixture until just combined. Pour batter into cake pan. Dollop jam all over surface, then swirl into batter with spoon.

Make crumb topping:

  1. Whisk together butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Stir in flour, then blend with your fingertips until incorporated. Sprinkle crumbs in large clumps over top of cake.
  2. Bake cake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and sides begin to pull away from pan, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

S$18pax Set Lunch @ Reddot Brewhouse Dempsey (Quick Update) on 12Mar2014

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we had lunch among the fundonate partners & decided on reddot brewhouse at dempsey. it is convenient, has ample free parking & great ambience & of course has the best value set lunch (S$18pax for 2-course & S$22pax for 3-course, and including drink or coffee as well). 🙂

i had lunch here several times and did an earlier post great lunch with old friend @ reddot brewhouse dempsey on 19nov2013, so this would be just a quick update.

we all took the 2-course set. i had the portobello salad. 2 friends had the bruchetta & the reddot salad. another friend had a melt (lava) cake in place of appetizer. i guess 3 of us were all watching our carbo intake.

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for the mains, 2 friends had the sirloin steak (which looked pretty good), 1 had the chicken breast. i was deciding between my usual halibut (very good here), the steak (which i do rather well at home) and decided on the chef’s special, the beef stroganoff linguine in the above photo. it was excellent. linguine was al dente, very good, and the sauce was excellent. the beef cut was not an expensive one, so just slightly tough, but overall it was an excellent dish, of good restaurant standard, and with nice alfafa & grape tomato garnish. this was a dish i tried at home once previously (pretty ok), so i wanted to try & get some inspiration. 🙂

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the melt cake was a beauty to behold. i had this the last time. the texture (lava) was excellent. the flavour was good too but probably no better than my lava cake. 🙂

1 of my friend was saying he could even come here for lunch if he was dining alone – everything was quite perfect for him.

c.h.e.f andy

Great Lunch with Old Friend @ Reddot Brewhouse Dempsey on 19Nov2013

halibut fish fillet

halibut fish fillet

a very old friend was in town. we first met in 1994 so it was almost 20 years but felt like yesterday. he is dutch & 10 years older but he was in singapore 20 years & asia longer. he left singapore & returned to holland towards end 2012 and is working on the routine of retirement. anyway his son & many friends are here. i tried to get au jardin (super lunch deal!) but it was fully booked, so we went to reddot brewery @ dempsey instead on 19.11.2013. 🙂

reddot salad lots of parmesan

reddot salad lots of parmesan

prawn citrus salad

prawn citrus salad

chocolate melt cake with ice cream

chocolate melt cake with ice cream

chocolate melt cake

chocolate melt cake

i had been to reddot dempsey several times. they served a 2-course S$22pax & 3-course S$28pax lunch which i thought was already very good value. but it’s S$18pax & S$22pax now for 2-course & 3-course menu! if we exclude maybank’s 1 for 1 promotion at les amis restaurants, this would be a really super deal! 🙂

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the place was more of a drinking joint with a micro brewery. it was probably quite busy in the evenings but i had no interest in that. parking was free & the ambience was excellent, with airy high roof ceiling & water feature. we had a great lunch & catching up. 🙂

i had the prawn citrus salad & my friend had the reddot salad. they were good, refreshing & good portion. both of us had the halibut, which was very good, and even came with very sweet vine tomatoes! this dish alone was S$28++ on ala carte previously, and that was not expensive c/w many restaurants. there was also sirloin steak for mains choice, which i had before & it was pretty good too, if ordinary. these days i don’t order beef much when i dine out. 🙂

my dutch friend had the ice cream, and i had the chocolate melt cake, & this lava cake was good! we had coffee but you could choose beer etc as your free drink also. 🙂

nice airy ambience no customers

nice airy ambience no customers

we didn’t go dutch (pun intended!)..haha! it was a very satisfying & cheap meal anyway for the food & ambience & we had a jolly good time. there were only 2 other tables occupied, and we had the huge place mostly for ourselves. i not sure whether it made economic sense to keep it open for lunch & reduce the price but i am not complaining. 🙂

c.h.e.f. andy

Lobster 5-course Lunch for S$22 @ Naked Dining & Bar on 6May2013

lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta

lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta

we bought streetdeal vouchers for a Mother’s Day 5-course lobster set for S$22 for our dining quartet lunch. the restaurant is located at Joo Chiat which was notorious for parking. fortunately this time I was able to secure a roadside parking lot a short distance away. 🙂

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The Restaurant – Naked Dining & Bar!

the restaurant was empty through lunch save our 4pax table. they explained that they were worried about the supply of lobster arriving late so they had asked the diners to move their reservations to dinner or another day. looked like we were the only ones who could not be moved. our reward – we had the entire restaurant for our private 4pax tete a tete. 🙂

tom yam pumpkin soup with tiny lobster morsels

tom yam pumpkin soup with tiny lobster morsels

we had earlier whatsapp among ourselves to temper our expectations (after all it was just S$22pax nett) so we would not be disappointed! anyway the lobster tom yam pumpkin soup was good enough for me –  it was not super but an ok soup in a fairly good restaurant, not the watery soup of the day or canned soup type.. my 2 friends though found it too salty (after the restaurant replaced the soup they were happy so it must be ok). 🙂

lobster (in vietnamese rice) roll

lobster (in vietnamese rice) roll

the lobster roll was ok too, and the sauce was quite nice really.  it was nothing special & if anything the skin was really too thick!

the main event was of course the lobster tail in creamy homemade pasta (in the top photo). I liked it a lot actually. The lobster was good size (I estimated about 400g to 450g size), w/o the pincers, and very fresh and tasty; & I liked the home-made pasta which was just slightly creamy. This the version of creamy pasta that goes with veal ragout or wild boar or duck, and not the very creamy ones that go with carbonara or the Valentino’s lobster in pink sauce (which I also like). good! 🙂

tiny dual dessert - choc lava cake & lobster creme brulee

tiny dual dessert – choc lava cake & lobster creme brulee

for the twin desserts, the lava cake had good lava but the choc taste was too sweet & not the best. the creme brulee was interesting – it was a savoury lobster mousse thingy with a nice burnt cream top. 🙂

overall, I thought it was really a good deal.  the lobster pasta alone would be worth the S$22nett! 🙂 while the soup, lobster roll & desserts were nothing too special, they were of ok to good quality both in taste & presentation, and not just after-thoughts or to make up the numbers for 5-course.

Looking at the ala carte & set menus,, the prices were also quite average w/o this promotion & there was some credit card promotion where 1 free with 2 paying adults, so effectively 33% discount.  there was just some lingering doubt & confidence level thingy about the quality & consistency of cooking, whether I might try the other dishes outside the current promotion.

c.h.e.f andy

Fun Relaxed Dinner @ Bistroquet Pizza & Grill on 25Apr2013

capresse (mozarella with rockets & tomatoes)

caprese (mozzarella with rockets & tomatoes) – S$12

today our monthly dining quartet discovery took us to bistroquet pizza & grill at ARC (Alexandra Retail Centre) @ PSA Building. the host for the evening bought 9 voucherlicious vouchers of S$270 worth for S$135 & we were especially keen to try out the 400g porterhouse steak (which looked very alluring on bistroquet’s Facebook photo). 🙂

the place had the relaxed rustic ambience for a great chillax & drinking joint (though it was not drawing the crowd even with voucher promotion as we stayed till 9pm closing time and traffic was quite light). we were liking it already, though still suspect about the standard of food. 1 of our dear friend had kind of “forgotten” (we guessed correctly huh 🙂 ) & was about settling down to watch TV serial with his mum while our other quartet member was frantically SMS-ing, whatsapp-ing & calling him. 🙂 anyway we ordered a caprese (read ca-pri-seh) salad & a funghi pizza to start. the caprese was the usual mozzarella with rockets & tomatoes, light, good actually, and enjoyable.

thin crust funghi pizza

12″ thin crust funghi pizza – S$18

the large (12″) thin crust funghi pizza was good too (they served a white pizza here but we were the old-fashioned lot who loved tomato sauces on our pizza). our friend was not much into cheese but ok with light mozzarella & the young chef (looked like no more than 28) was most obliging to our request to warm up the quarter pizza we kept for the friend. 🙂

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baby back ribs – full rack S$28

we ordered a full rack S$28 baby back ribs (1/2 rack S$18) to share, and it was good!  fork tender and tasty, well marinated, though some of us would have preferred to have the sauce served separate. and 1 friend liked the purple cabbage with mayo which was too sweet for me

400g porterhouse steak

400g porterhouse steak – S$36

next was the 400g porterhouse – the reason we came for specifically and got 1 of us into the highs. 🙂 however it seemed that the office lunch crowd had taken off most of the porterhouse steaks & we were left with 3 porterhouse to share. we had 2 medium rare and 1 medium, served with beef sauce and the chef brought us some chimichurri sauce (taste like pesto sauce) which went well with the steak. 🙂 it turned out that while the taste was ok the meat was a bit tough on the sirloin side to be considered a good steak. The small tenderloin cut in the photo (what I usually thought of as a tender & tasteless cut) turned out to be quite a world of difference –  tender & nice. also of the 3 only 1 had the T so we were guessing the other 2 pieces were all sirloin or new york strip & no tenderloin..haha. 🙂

we asked the chef later & he admitted that the ribeye would have been more tender. well we would have to do that another time. I wouldn’t mind coming back.. in fact I bought another 5 vouchers (S$150 worth) for S$75 afterwards. 🙂

chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream

chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream – S$8

I am not much of a dessert person and we did not expect much really but since we had the coupon, we ordered a chocolate lava cake and a calzone (a turnover which can be sweet or savoury..in fact they serve a foie gras calzone here as a main course item). As it turned out the lava cake was quite outstanding, and the hardened crust containing the chocolate lava was very good in texture & taste & different from lava cakes in other places. the caramelized walnut with ice cream was a good pairing too.

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calzone – S$8

& the calzone was so pretty. the dough texture was really good too, crispy on the outside not fluffy but a bit like a pizza dough. 🙂 according to the expert among us,  since no one else was in a position to dispute with her “calzone made of the same pizza dough, filled with choc, hazel nuts, pistachio, etc”.

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somehow the young chef took a liking for us, and he showered us with 2 more desserts FREE – a panna cotta which was forgettable and a tiramisu, which was again quite pretty in presentation & tasted quite good albeit not enough liquor for some of us. very good indeed & far above our expectations for dessert in a drinking joint kind of place. 🙂

we paid in total S$124 (7 vouchers=S$105 +S$19cash), and that included 2 cappuccinos + 4 beers on 1 for 1 happy hour promotion. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Homegourmet 8-Course Lunch @ 14Mar2013

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I had another homegourmet 9pax lunch with friends recently.

I had quite some success on the pan-roasted brined chicken breast recipe, and was raring to try it on duck. 🙂 I wanted to test it once before I dumped the dish on my friends.  I did this using both the pan-roasted chicken quick-roast method & the prime rib slow-roast method successfully, the slow-roast method producing an even more tender meat.

The slow-roast pork belly was still a work-in-progress. It turned up very well for my daughter’s 14pax friends lunch on CNY 3rd Day, but I felt it was still mostly touch & go. I would not have time to do on 14Mar if it turned up poorly so I did it in the evening of 13Mar & as it was passable if not great so I kept it in the fridge to warm up & serve the next day.

For the soup. I had been doing a “kick-ass” …self-praise haha…Basque seafood soup using prawn shells but was a bit tired of doing the same soup every time. I looked up some creamy mushroom soup recipe and thought it could not go too far wrong and was worth a gamble, since I had on hand willing devoted risk-taker volunteers high on faith. 🙂

skin-on pan-roasted brined duck breast

skin-on pan-roasted brined duck breast

We started off with 4 tapas – (a) pan-roasted brined chicken breast (b)slow-roast brined duck breast (c)slow-roast pork belly & (d) Margaret River wagyu MBS6/7+angus striploin.

I think all were happy with the brined chicken breast & duck breast (except that I was rushing a little & destroyed the crispy skin of the chicken quite badly, I relaxed and did it right for the duck). They were moist, tender & tasty! 🙂 The belly pork was a bit iffy. This was a rather fatty piece & though the fat & meat were quite soft, the skin was still a tad tough to the bite, so the “mouth feel” 口感 wasn’t quite right. Fortunately, the natural jus was quite tasty & the Spanish spicy mustard sauce was a very good dip to go together with.

I thought the wagyu was below par. I had better marbling for MBS4/5 striploin from the same supplier mmmm previously for the “Best of” dinner on 28Jan2013 (of course my friends would say its the bad carpenter..haha). The rockets were also not good. I forgot to buy on 13Mar & there was no time to get it on 14Mar so went at 1am the night before to Sheng Shiong’s 24hr mart at Ghim Moh & the only ones there were quite old & not fresh. 😦

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I had a separate portion of 3 pan-seared Hokkaido scallops for WL as he does not take beef. It should be quite ok now that I learned the simple technique=very hot pan +very dry scallop (scallops & fish etc contain a lot of water & if not bone dry, pan temperature will drop sharply & you will be steaming/poaching & will not have a hardened seared layer so it will stick to the pan). 🙂

pan-seared Hokkaido scallops

pan-seared Hokkaido scallops

After the tapas, we had a pasta item, which was my seafood alio olio spaghetti with white wine. I was quite confident on the taste department as this dish mostly turned up quite well but I thought the texture was not enough al dente this time. 😦

seafood alio olio spaghetti with white wine

seafood alio olio spaghetti with white wine

Next came my very first attempt at creamy mushroom soup, and gratefully it turned up very well indeed – really quite smooth in texture and tasty – though from the photo below, I could see the caramelised mushrooms but NOT few drops of extra virgin olive oil.

creamy mushroom soup

creamy mushroom soup

The pistachio rusted rack of lamb was also my very first attempt, and this was quite an excitement for me actually. The lamb rack looked fabulous & tasted great! although I found it slightly overdone as I would prefer medium rare. It was moist, tender and did not have much of  the strong lamb gamey taste. 🙂

pistachio crusted rack of lamb

pistachio crusted rack of lamb

The 8-ribs lamb rack was good for 4 serving, and being my first attempt it was actually a stand-in for my more “established” Spanish 2-hr slow-braised beef ribs. This had been very good the few times I served previously, but the taste was a bit off this time, & we were at a lost to explain (other than bad carpenter). The vegetable base ratatouille (celery, carrots, yellow onions) should be sweet & balancing the beefy taste, the Chinese sausage added some sweetness & the chorizo (though may not be everyone’s favourite) had combined very well previously.  I thought that it could be the chuck rib itself, though I bought it from Giant the day before, but I could not be sure how long it was on their shelves. Photo below still looked ok but looks deceived 😦

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Spanish 2-hr slow-braised beef ribs

We had the usual chocolate lava cake.  I was getting a bit bored though, hoping to try out a new soufle recipe next time.

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WL brought very nice tarts and CH his usual strawberries & this time it was especially sweet. All the leftover tarts were polished off by my daughters soon enough. 🙂

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Chocolate lava cake oozing lava served with strawberries

c.h.e.f andy