6pax Homecooked Course Dinner on 9Jul2015

flamed squid in spinach veloute

#1 flamed squid in spinach veloute

did a 6pax homecooked sit-down dinner for my close friends on 9.7.2015.^^

had been doing the buffet style (which is still the more logistically optimised) for larger group of friends. since my helper is away back in philippines for 1 month break, it was easier to do a small group of 6pax, which allows me to pick dishes to be served course by course.

my first course was #1 flamed squid in spinach veloute. i flamed the squid, then fried in butter. when serving i heat up the veloute, plated the sauce, added the flamed squid & topped with a coriander branch. 🙂

i did this very well also for my early home anniversary dinner for 4pax on 28.5.2015.

flamed squid in spinach veloute

#1 flamed squid in spinach veloute

this was the best for the evening. everyone loved the bbq flavour. i was a bit worried it might be overcooked but squid turned out  just nice, succulent, not rubbery.  veloute was excellent very tasty, and plating did make a big difference! 🙂

chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig's ear on toast

#2 chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig’s ear on toast

i should have insisted to plate the second course #2 chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig’s ear on toast. my friends were extremely helpful & wanted to lessen the effort for me.

chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig's ear on toast

chicken ballotine, head cheese terrine (猪头冻) & ragout of pig’s ear on toast

all 3 were my quite new experimental dishes. i am planning to do them at the next larger dinner on 6.8.2015.

1. the ragout of pig’s ears was excellent, best of the trio. this i recreated with my own recipe modelling after the signature dish at the fabulous lunch @ Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

2. the pig’s head meat was excellent too. the jelly, gelatine was awesome. the meat & skin were ok, but head cheese is harder to prepare than belly or trotters, so though i did scrap the skin to remove the hairs, they were not thoroughly removed. i will have to decide which meat to use for this dish.

3. the chicken ballotine was poor though. basically i had over-steamed the meat, so it was “old” and not so tasty & bouncy. the successful ones i did were here.

rockets & cherry tomatoes salad to go with tapas

rockets & cherry tomatoes salad to go with tapas

i mixed some rockets & cherry tomatoes salad to go with tapas dish. again i think the dish would be much better presented if i plated it myself. this i plan to do at the next dinner. 🙂

carrot soup

#3 carrot soup

the #3 carrot soup was very smooth & tasty. it was done with 2 carrots, and lots of vegetables for tasty soup base – 1 stalk leek, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow onions, and the leftover spinach stems (from the spinach veloute).

i added some brandy so there was a good slight liquor flavour.

i was worried that the sharp carrot taste was too strong, but my friends did not feel so.

carrot soup

#3 carrot soup

one friend thought it was too creamy. i think overall it was a very good smooth & tasty soup, and looked lovely too.^^

calamari & oyster fritters

#4 calamari & oyster fritters

i had some #4 calamari & oyster fritters to go with the soup. this was troublesome to do as i had to do the deep frying at the time i am serving the soup. i am going to skip this dish the next time. 🙂

calamari & oyster fritters

#4 calamari & oyster fritters

i think my calamari was not dry enough when i prepare the batter. also because it was rushed when i first started deep-frying the first piece, the oil was not hot enough.

also the oyster did not taste the best this evening, not quite sure why.

prawns to go with fungi linguine

#5 prawns to go with fungi linguine

the #5 prawns to go with fungi linguine were excellent though, very nicely done, fresh, bouncy, good flavours.

creamy mushroom onion sauce for fungi linguine

creamy mushroom onion sauce for fungi linguine

#5 fungi linguine was excellent too.

looked just perfect.

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

& tasted wonderful.

my friends made very good plating for this dish.

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

pan-fried prawns served with fungi linguine

i intend to plate it myself the next round though, for 10pax on 6.8.2015. my helper would be back then. 🙂

squid ink risotto

#6 squid ink risotto

the #6 squid ink risotto was kind of a small disaster. haha! 🙂

i used 5 ink pouches from 5 small/medium squid but they had very little ink.

a friend took the trouble to go to 3 super marts to get for me last minute additional squids, but still with 5 more ink pouches, it didn’t do enough for my squid ink risotto.

also this dish was rushed because the extra squid ink came only when friends arrived for dinner, it was out of sequence with my usual preparation timing & steps & took a long time doing it after serving the #5 course.

i was lazy to go chinatown to buy the large flat cuttlefish which has lots of ink. so sometimes have to improve decision making. it may appear troublesome to do, but it is a lot more troublesome not doing it.

so much for the negative demonstration, for the right way see my squid ink risotto par excellence here.^^

i bought 1 2kg maoshanwang猫山王 + 2 D-24 durians for the evening (unfortunately we gobbled it up before taking photos). the D-24 were pretty good, but maoshanwang猫山王 was crazy, so creamy, tasty, very small seeds & lots of seeds for 2kg.

i had a tofu cheese cake just for backup. anyway we decided not to eat it & 3 friends each carried a piece back home. it’s a cake they all like anyway.

a friend brought angkukueh, & others brought cherries & lychees. 🙂

while there were hiccups it did not diminish any of the fun. overall the dishes were pretty good or ok & everyone had a good time! ^^

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 Monthly Dinner by Chak Joo @ Ban Heng Harbourfront Centre on 24Nov2014

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RI Friends Monthly Dinner @ Ban Heng Harbourfront Centre on 24Nov2014

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork

we had our november RI friends dinner @ ban heng harbourfront centre on 24.11.2014. 🙂

this was the smallest turnout, with 7pax.

i had not been to this ban heng outlet before. the last time G20 had a 23pax dinner at ban heng at orchard central, food was quite average.

this outlet has 2 ala carte buffet menu – one pried at S$28.80++ here, and the other at S$21.80++. from what i can see the main difference is for the S$28.80 menu you get to pick 1 order of abalones, crabs, froglegs, live prawns, scallops.

we took the S$28.80++ menu.

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck was passable. but c/w the beautiful roast duck at both canton paradise star vista & canton paradise J-cube or with the noodles restaurant at centrepoint, this would be a poor & distant cousin.

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken was average, competent.

#3 garlic spinach

#3 garlic spinach

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

liked the vegetables, #3 garlic spinach & #4 sambal kang kong.

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock was a standard dish. it was done well. 🙂

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce was also done well. i personally would prefer fish head & meat with black bean bitter gourd, but this was as good as any good zi char, say kok sen at keong saik street or hong kong street chun kee at commonwealth crescent or ah orh at bukit merah.

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns was good like any good seafood restaurant.

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

surprisingly the #8 sharks fin soup though gluey like any served at weddings in yesteryears, had very tasty stock. this was much better than ban heng orchard central.

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions was also a competent dish. not so different from what my family used to have often at ah yat turf city (now grandstand) long in the past.

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork. all my friends liked this a lot. we had a second order. meat looked great, was tender & tasty & skin was crisp. i would say presentation & taste-wise still a tad below what i had recently at tunglok central.

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery – passable, nothing interesting.

#12 char siew

#12 char siew

#12 char siew looked & tasted great. of the 2 dishes, my friends liked the roast pork better.

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach. this was quite good dish also. the braising sauce though was nothing like the really good brown sauce served in good cantonese restaurants say ah yat abalones forum restaurant for abalone dishes (also goose web & spiky sea cucumber dishes) or at chao yue xuan.

#14 deep-fried ilapia in thai sauce

#14 deep-fried tilapia in thai sauce

#14 deep-fried tilapia in thai sauce was an interesting dish. it had less meat so some friends preferred the soon hock dish to this.

#15 scallops in yam nest

#15 scallops in yam nest

#15 scallops in yam nest. scallops were average & overall this dish was poor, below par, not even comparable with a good yam basket say at ah orh w/o expensive scallops.

#16 chai poh with steamed bean curd

#16 chai poh minced pork with steamed bean curd

#16 chai poh minced pork with steamed bean curd, i think this was really poor.

#17 sweet & sour soup

#17 sweet & sour soup

#17 sweet & sour soup. this was a pretty good soup.

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab was quite the usual seafood restaurant standard, for sure better than spices cafe.

pulut hitam

pulut hitam

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

self service dessert were quite standard. aloe vera with jelly was quite refreshing & pulut hitam the usual.

overall, food here was better than ban heng orchard central but not as good as (service especially) peach gardens miramar (menu had wider spread though at ban heng harbour front). for S$28.80++ pax it was 2/3 the price of spices cafe w/o the lobster. i guess quite an ok deal.

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Turtle Soup 7pax Lunch @ Tan Ser Seng on 20Aug2014

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

really enjoyed the turtle soup lunch @ tan ser seng today on 20.8.2014.

we all decided to go early. at 1130am, the – at lor bachok (TSS is at shop unit No.29 lor bachok, alongside geylang lor 21) was quite empty. one friend managed to park along the road right next to TSS. 🙂

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

S$50 turtle soup (medium)

2xS$50 turtle soup (medium)

we had 5pax taking the turtle soup. the server advised us to get 2xS$50 turtle soup (medium).

2 other friends ordered the S$13 black chicken soup & S$13 cordyceps chicken soup.

i really liked the soup. it was so flavourful, intense yet very smooth. i had turtle soup recently & fu he (OR hock hoe) turtle soup at berseh food centre on 10.8.2014. anyway tan ser seng supplied slaughtered turtles to 15 stalls including all 3 turtle soup stalls at berseh food centre. 🙂 fu he was very good too. i could not be sure, but i think tan ser seng was even better & tastier.

it was more expensive as 2xS$50 shared by 5pax=S$20pax whereas we had S$40 shared by 3 at fu he. but i felt i had more turtle meat which included all the good parts – the legs, the jelly (soft shell) & little bits of fat. overall i am very happy with this lunch.

they have this rule restricting soup refill to 1 time, but the bowl was kind of tiny for refill for a S$50 bowl. at fu he, we got a huge refill of soup. for me though, it was enough & i didn’t need so much soup even though they were wonderfully tasty. 🙂

S$13 black chicken soup

S$13 black chicken soup

S$13 cordyceps chicken soup

S$13 cordyceps chicken soup

the black chicken & cordyceps chicken looked great too. again S$13 was kind of ex, but important thing was it must be good. 🙂

S$1.30 yam rice

S$1.30 yam rice

& we all decided to order the S$1.30pax yam rice! felt like kook, but white rice also S$0.70. anyway the rice was good. 🙂

i will definitely come back here again to enjoy this yummy dish. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy