a RI friend is a proprietor of kith cafe at park mall & sentosa cove (kith has another outlet at robertson quay). kith does all day breakfast (till 5pm) and seems like a good coffee place too.
after our may G20 dinner at peach garden @ metropolis on 26.5.2015, we all agreed we should be young again & be spotted at kith. so this friend volunteered or was volunteered to organise the june dinner at kith cafe @ park mall on 30.6.2015. 🙂
we had 15pax. 🙂
i didn’t know if kith meant anything in particular, but after googling i found out that kith was like kin or kindred or –
a cafe for friends – good name!
a few friends went early & took a short walk at fort canning park. the rest of us got a tour of our friend’s high end office chairs & system furniture shop adjacent to kith cafe.
the friend ordered watermelon & lychee smoothie for a few of us. it was good, refreshing, quenching, not too sweet. not particularly a favourite for me though.
some ordered ABC – apple, beetroot & carrots me think…sounds healthy. i will try that one next time.
couple friends ordered a soup. think it was the soup of the day, maybe a sweet corn soup. looked ok.
my friend ordered some calamari & 2 pizza to share, and each ordered our own pasta dish.
calamari was good. squid was very slightly tough, batter was good.
this a common dish in many restaurants, and it’s quite competent here. 🙂
the gong bao chicken pizza was better than i expected. we all liked the thin crust pizza.
gong bao chicken may have sounded cheesy & chinatown like but it was actually good – no sticky sauce, taste was not too sweet & combined quite well with the pizza. 🙂
parma ham pizza was competent also. pretty ok. 🙂
pizza not particularly my favourite but it is an excellent dish for communal dining & i do enjoy a slice of good pizza (i shared 1/2 gong bao chicken & 1/2 parma ham pizza with a friend) to start the dinner.
the spaghetti alio olio was good!
good helping, very flavourful, good garlic flavours & lots of shiitake mushrooms. I shared 1/2 of it with a friend who shared 1/2 of my squid ink pasta. not a usual dish i would order as i like meat or seafood. 🙂
the linguine gamberini (garlic prawn) looked good. i will order that next time.
carbonara. looked ok. somehow looked a bit like hokkien mee. egg was mixed in the pasta. i think it would taste good as most pasta here were good. though i am more used to the look/colour of carbonara at alfresco gusto.
i had a try of the bolognese, and the tomato sauce was good. meat sauce/ragout preparation not my favourite but this was good.
did not try the vongole. it looked fine. 🙂
they said vongole is a test of a pasta chef. the lala (littleneck clams) have a distinctive shellfish taste & if the linguine is done al dente the combination is quite excellent. my own vongole linguine here.
the veal spinach tortellini looked interesting.
& looked yummy! i must try that next time. 🙂
my friend the proprietor ordered the day’s special, a squid ink spaghetti with seafood alio olio.
i tasted. it was good.
i liked my own squid ink sauce pasta better though. it was more intense & flavourful, though my immediate reaction was it was a bit salty. my own squid ink seafood spaghetti here.
the friend who shared 1/2 my squid ink thought it was very salty, and that the alio olio was also salty. i was good with the alio olio, & salt does bring out the flavours (though too much would kill it).
my friend the proprietor ordered 2 more pizza – a duck & mushroom ragout & a special – with sausage.
my phone died so i did not have photos. duck ragout was good & had some meat pieces. i liked the sausage special pizza a bit more, sausage very flavourful.
the pastry chef among us went to select the dessert.
i didn’t think much of the yuzu cheese cake nor the biscuit base. probably i was programmed to think anything yuzu must be specially good. this was average so-so to me.
didn’t think much of the tiramisu either. i had a small teaspoon scoop near the top, somehow thought it felt like penna cotta.
that did not prepare me for interrogation by our pastry chef. she asked if i tasted the lady finger biscuits. seemed that i didn’t (i guess that’s why i thought it tasted like penna cotta – soft, light w/o the tiramisu texture) nor did i tasted coffee or liquor.
our pastry chef thought it was good, and she said there was liquor at the bottom & she didn’t take coffee anyway, so that suited her. guess i have to defer to pastry chef!^^
anyway my palate a bit hesitant, not very sharp like my daughter…give me excuse to try a few more times.^^
the lemongrass chocolate cake looked really pretty, but it’s not my thing.
my least preferred of the 3 dessert.
it was really enjoyable evening. company was super fun, outdoor ambience was cool & nice open space, & food was great. i will probably come back with my family. 🙂
wife went to chinatown today & bought S$6/kg manila clams, a kind of soft-shell clams or steamers.
manila clams are much lighter & tastier than the hard shell littleneck clams (the usual lala) though some called manila clams lala also. so even though they cost higher per kg, you actually get your money’s worth.
for today i fried it with butter, chilli padi, curry leaves, orange zest, sliced ginger, white wine, oyster sauce + corn flour on high fire.
need to drain (keep sauce) so as not to overcook clams, return sauce to pan to thicken, then return clams to coat with sauce for few seconds.
this time, the result was a super nice wok-fried manila clams – 特好吃香锅蛤蜊。。。
i was thinking probably need not mix the 2 styles also-
i can try the usual butter, chilli padi, orange zest, ginger & white wine which is my usual preparation for mussel pot or clams & mussels for pasta & risotto.
or i can do the curry leaves, chilli padi, sliced ginger, oyster sauce, corn flour good for toa tao & clams the asian style.
this time though the mixture of taste was quite excellent. everyone enjoyed the dish. ^^
subsequently, i did this dish a few times, and they were consistently good.
this was a really fun dinner.
we usually do not eat out on mother’s day or other festive occasions OR would go to places that serve their usual menu & not charge hefty premium prices for usually poorer food & poor service. anyway for mother’s day tomorrow, wife has already decided to go cycling & go to hawker centre for dinner afterwards. 🙂
i decided to try out lobster pasta, having looked at several online recipes & videos, and also how to kill a live lobster (2 i referenced were lobster bisque by chef john of food wishes.com & lobster spaghettini by dude food), supposedly humanely, something one can only take on faith.
i went to sheng shiong & bought a 625g live lobster. price was S$39.90/kg so cost S$24+. there were no mussels today but i managed to get some littleneck clams (“la la”) & also razor clams, so decided to cook seafood risotto. tried this once recently very successfully, emulating the incredibly tasty flamed seafood risotto we had twice at miky at monterosso.
lobster was really quite large & could not fit into the usual metal basin, so i placed it in the roasting tin. poor lobster, looking miserable.
there is supposed humane way to kill the live lobster – i am cooking lobster pasta & killing a live lobster for the first time – so i followed the steps.
#1 i cleaned & placed the lobster in the freezer for 30minutes. lobster was supposed to be knocked out – like in deep sleep? then you plunge the knife just behind the back of the head & just cut the head in 1/2. i watched the videos. it was not difficult.
i removed the head & pincers & cut the lobster tail in 1/2. i lightly browned some garlic to flavour the olive oil, took the pan away from the fire & added the lobster head, tail & pincers, then turned up fire to high. i then added 1/3 cup brandy & let it flamed & burned off the liquor to leave the sweet taste. i cooked the lobster for about 4 minutes (slightly undercooked), then removed from fire. when cooled, i cracked shelled the lobster pincers & knuckles.
i set aside the head & tail & put the remaining lobster shells into the shellfish stock. i had earlier fried in butter prawn shells & heads (from about 1 kg of prawns) then added 600ml vegetable (or chicken) stock. i added some water & let the shellfish stock boiled lightly over 2 hrs, then sieved & reserved the stock for the lobster bisque & risotto.
when ready to serve dinner, i removed the lobster tail from the shell & cut into 2.5cm serving size & added back the lobster head & shells to the pan. i then add diced tomatoes plus a 14oz canned tomatoes & white wine & reduced, and added sea salt & paprika to taste. lastly i added the prepared angel hair (slightly less cooked than al dente) & the lobster tail pieces to the pan, added about 3 teaspoon heavy cream & tossed, and garnished with coriander. voila!
a really, really tasty lobster angel hair pasta. really excellent! 🙂
#2 for the lobster bisque, i added chopped yellow onions, celery & carrots to olive oil & butter, softened the vegetables & added chopped leeks & diced tomatoes, some salt & paprika. i added 1 tablespoon of flour to thicken. then i added 400ml shellfish stock (kept 200ml for my risotto) & added water & boiled for another 1/2hr & reduced to about 600ml. then i used immersion blender to blend to a very smooth, rich soup, then added 3 teaspoon heavy cream & sea salt to taste. 🙂
it was a very intense, tasty soup, smooth & consistent, sweet with lobster & prawn stock & vegetable base, & with a nice mellow brandy flavour. 🙂
#3 for seafood risotto, i cooked the same carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, added turmeric for colour, added 1.5cups of arborio rice & then added the prawn stock & bring to boil. then i placed the oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. then removed & set aside.
meanwhile i fried shelled prawns & cross-cut squid in butter, and also very lightly fried the razor clams which i had earlier removed from shell, cut away the innards & cleaned. then i added ginger & some orange peels & added the littleneck clams to a pan ove high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.
when ready to serve, i added remaining stock & juices from the fried prawns, squid, razor clams & just some from the littleneck clams enough to cover the risotto & placed on high fire w/o cover, added salt & paprika to taste. once risotto was almost cooked i added all the ingredients & covered for 1 minute.
i am very proud of this risotto actually. it was still far from the super tasty one we had at monterosso, and today, as my wife & daughters said, it was not as tasty as my first as i had to split the stock between the lobster bisque & the risotto, it was still a very sweet & tasty dish. will improve next time. 🙂