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

The Clan Restaurant @ Bukit Pasoh Singapore on 8Mar2013

had a great lunch with my daughter at The Clan Restaurant at Bukit Pasoh. We had the 5-course set lunch.

This my second time here – I was here with wife 3 weeks back. We both liked the food. The Chef, Ken Teo, was formerly the Executive Chef of Dozo, and we have always liked Dozo’s food. The price of the 5-course lunch, S$42.80 (6-course dinner S$63.80), is slightly higher than Dozo (& w/0 the cooler drink), but I think overall the food quality is better. There are 5 choices of appetizer & dessert, 4 choices of soup & 6 choices of main course.

I suppose the name has got to do with its location at the premises of The Gan Clan Association. Bukit Pasoh locale is home to a good few top restaurants like Majestic, Oso and nearby at Kiong Siak Street – Ember, Nicolas Le & Bistro Soori. The food is I guess nothing “Clanish”, being in the modern european genre similar to Dozo with touch of Japanese fusion – perhaps there is a new “Clan” there slowly in the making. 🙂

just like Dozo, we started with a nice thirst quencher.

The Chef Starter is a trio comprising duck rillette, pan-seared scallop with lots of foam (this is very good & definitely better than Dozo) and a salmon mouche cone (Dozo serves a smoked salmon, tiny pan-seared piece of foie gras & pan-seared scallop).

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duck rillette, salmon mouche cone, pan-seared scallope with foam, thirst quencher

Next we had a choice of appetizer. I had the bamboo clam. This was really very good. the clam was very sweet & bouncy fresh, and the ikura (salmon roe) flavour & saltiness combined very well with the shellfish texture indeed. daughter had the deep-fried foie gras, which was not a common preparation. I stole a bite. It was different & quite good, not sure it would become popular enough to be avant garde but unlikely to displace the all-time favourite pan-seared caramelised foie gras anytime soon. In terms of quality, quantity & presentation, both these appetizer choices certainly qualified as appetizers in a 3-course lunch in a fine-dining restaurant, nevermind a 5-course lunch priced at S$35++pax after 15% discount.

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bamboo clam with ikura, deepfried foie gras

Next up is the soup. I had the cepes mushroom bisque. It was very good, maybe slightly more quantity-wise but not much different from Dozo. daughter had the crab bisque which came with a prawn twister. I think this had a lot more foam than that served at Dozo & was overall better.

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cepes mushroom soup, crab bisque with prawn twister

Next came the 48hr beef short ribs served on hoba leaf on a lava stone. I really, really loved this dish. The quality of the beef was much superior to that at Dozo. The meat was just so sweet & flavourful & the texture was just super.

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48hrs beef short ribs

For the dessert choice, daughter had the chocolate lava cake. It was good but daughter thought it was no better than the one I made at home and perhaps my 70% cocoa chocolate flavour was indeed better. I had the 4-cheese platter-good stuff!

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chocolate lava cake, 4-cheese platter

Overall, it made for an extremely satisfying meal. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy