Superb Homecooked 6pax Family Dinner on 24Oct2014

wife's quinoa salad

wife’s quinoa salad

had a 6pax family dinner on 24.10.2014. missing our son who is in london. 🙂

wife made a very nice quinoa salad, with some avocado & roasted nuts. i really liked this. she brought this salad with some packed food sometimes for office lunch in.

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

our helper made a pan-grilled portobello mushroom. this was also very nice with simple sea salt, pepper & olive oil.

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

i recently came up with a new very light miso salmon recipe. this was quite different from the miso belly pork & nobu miso cod recipe which used a lot more miso & infused flavours. i served this to my friends during 11pax lunch on 15.10.2014 (first attempt of the new recipe). they all loved it. & i did this the second time this evening. again it was everyone’s favourite. even my wife & eldest daughter who generally didn’t like salmon that much, liked this dish.

pan chargrilled kurobuta

pan chargrilled kurobuta

i did a pan chargrilled kurobuta. it was not as good as the other day. i should not play safe & try to cook it totally well done & have it just a little pink instead.

the tagliata di manzo (sliced pan chargrilled beef) was excellent today, both the USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5, very nicely charred for maillard reaction and nicely medium rare. my wife did the very nice restaurant plating with rockets & cherry tomatoes. 🙂

i did a squid-ink linguine today, with squid & littleneck clams (la la). it was excellent, and the la la were done very nicely. 🙂

& i have kind of perfected my “miky monterosso” seafood risotto, very sweet & tasty prawn stock (head & shells) with vegetables (celery, leek, yellow onions, carrots). 🙂


pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

1 charmed dish was my very first time new dessert – a pumpkin cheese cake. i could taste the cake paste i mixed & knew the taste was good. but it was the first time i baked it so uncertain about timing & texture & how it would turn out. as it turned out it was almost perfect – beginner’s luck! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy


Good Lunch @ Papermoon Milan on 22Apr2014

fungi papardelle - good

fungi papardelle – good

paper moon at via bagutta was just a short walk from our duomo apartments, past piazza san babila fountain. it was also recommended by Giuseppe. well he did recommend us the excellent fresco & cimmino, so we had to try this paper moon. 🙂

clam & mussels pasta

clam & mussels pasta

veal with asparagus - ok

veal with asparagus – ok

veal with asparagus ok

veal with asparagus ok

we were early. paper moon opened at 12noon, so we went around wandering a bit window shopping etc & back at the restaurant 12pm on the dot.

lunch was good (but fresco was still better!)

the veal with asparagus was pretty ok. the clam & mussels pasta was good & creamy fungi papardelle look plain but was tasty. well almost all pasta in all the places we dined in italy were good, with little exception.

we couldn’t be eating lunch & dinner for 3 days at fresco, so i would consider this a pretty good alternative.

c.h.e.f andy

Best Meal at Lake Como @ Alle Darsene on 17Apr2014

7 lake fishes done in different ways

7 lake fishes done in different ways – 15euros

had the best meal at lake como at alle darsene on 17.4.2014. 🙂

alle darsene is located next to villa melzi, but it is on the other side, so a rather long walk from the bellagio ferry jetty. we had a leisurely morning & visited varenna (& the shopping). we walked on the narrow road just bordering villa melzi to reach alle darsene. on the way back we decided to just pay 9euro each & walk through villa melzi. ok was but a pleasant stroll through the gardens. 🙂

our first order was the lake fishes (top photo), since we were at lake como. it was excellent, better even than that at daserna. all the 7 fishes, cured or smoked or pickled, as well as the roe, were all excellent. 2 thumbs up! 🙂

grilled octopus on a very tasty broth

grilled octopus on a very tasty broth – 15euros

and the grilled octopus, that was the best i had during this trip, better even than miky at monterosso, cinque terre. the broth was really good! i would recreate this at home, that is if i can find the octopus. 🙂

beef tartar with burrata & truffle - 15euros

beef tartar with burrata & truffle – 15euros

& the beef carpaccio was again par excellence. so sweet & tasty. my daughter & i loved it(though my wife was a bit off beef tartare). i could have this again! 🙂

fillet of sole pan seared then baked with lentils & mussels - 20euros

fillet of sole pan seared then baked with lentils & mussels – 20euros

and the fillet of sole was so good. even the lentils (though i don’t like too much of it) was very tasty with the sweet, lovely mussels. such great dish this! 🙂 i not so successful with western fish dishes except for my quite excellent cod, but i might try to do this as well. 🙂

very good catavelli with octopus, clams & muscles, excellent seafood broth - 16euros

very good catavelli with octopus, clams & mussels, excellent seafood broth – 16euros

the catavelli pasta was likewise excellent, and the octopus, clams, mussels & the seafood broth. 🙂 this i would also try to recreate.


my daughter ordered a chocolate – so pretty

every single dish was excellent. this a restaurant i would not miss if i come again. 🙂

because of the location, it is inconvenient though for dinner if not staying at bellagio as there is a ferry to catch! 😦 that was why we changed our prior booking from dinner to lunch.

c.h.e.f andy

Spicy Vongole Fettucine with White Wine


spicy vongole fettucine with white wine

I bought “la la” (littleneck clams – see here for interesting write-up about littleneck, topneck clams etc) from Sheng Shiong today. I have never cooked vongole before but since I do pretty ok in the pasta department, I thought I give it a go. Here comes my first vongole! 🙂

There’s only my eldest daughter Su Min at home for dinner, so I cooked just enough vongole fettucine for 2 of us, PLUS trying out a grilled sotong (squid) recipe.

My preferred pasta is spaghetti but since there is an opened yet unfinished packet of fettucine, I used that instead.  I did the usual browning of peeled garlic cloves in olive oil over low fire and soaked in the aroma. I then emptied the olive oil & browned garlic into a bowl. I added some salt & oil to water in a sauce pan and bring it to boil and put a bunch of (say 200g) fettucine in the boiling water for 11 minutes according to the timing instructions. I tested the texture to make sure it is just al dente & transferred the fettucine to a colander & set aside. In the pan still greased with olive oil I added 15g butter & threw in cut chilli padi & cut spring onions (green onions). I transferred the bowl of olive oil with browned garlic back into the pan. I then turned the fire high & put in the clams. Next I added 1.5 cups of white wine & 1 teaspoon sugar, cover the pan & let it reduced for few minutes. The clams opened up when cooked. I added the fettucine, turned off the fire, tossed and added sea salt to taste.


spicy vongole fettucine with white wine

The shellfish broth, sweetness of the white wine, fragrance of garlic & olive oil, & the spicy kick from the chilli padi all combined very nicely to make this a very tasty dish.

c.h.e.f andy


  • 200g fettucine (or liguine or spaghetti)
  • 700g littleneck clams
  • 15g butter
  • 3 stalks spring onions chopped
  • 1-2 chilli padi
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves
  • 1.5 cups white wine
  • 1 tsp sugar OR to taste
  • sea salt to taste


  • Prepare the pasta – add salt & oil to water in a saucepan & bring to boil. add fettucine and boil according to timing instructions. test to make sure the pasta is just al dente & empty into colander & set aside.
  • Cook the vongole pasta – brown whole bulb of peeled garlic cloves in olive oil in a pan over low heat. empty oil & garlic into a bowl. add butter to the pan & throw in cut spring onions & cut chilli padi. add the clams, turn up the fire, add the white wine & sugar, cover while the clams cook. The clams will open up when cooked. add in the fettucine, turn off the fire, toss & add sea salt to taste. serve.