Great Tapas @ FOC on 27Aug2015

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg

son was back for summer holidays. this evening we went to FOC for a family dinner on 27.8.2015.^^

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

restaurant has a chic ambience.

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

it is supposed to be for fine food & fun dining from barcelona. for us, it’s tapas. 🙂

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

FOC supposed to be fire in catalan.

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg

chorizo & egg was a good start. its was a good tasty dish, the egg gave it a silky texture. maybe its a bit like my spanish omelette but deconstructed, no?

ham croquettes

ham croquettes

like the ham croquettes.

mushroom croquettes

mushroom croquettes

at first taste, the mushroom croquettes had much more intense flavours & bested the ham croquettes by comparison. but i tried the ham croquettes again & it had a very nice lingering flavour. i like both. ^^

patatas bava

patatas bravas

the patatas bravas, a deep-fried potato dish was very good too.

patatas bravas

patatas bravas

really well done enjoyable dish.

pork trotters carpaccio

pork trotters carpaccio

the pork trotters carpaccio was delightful.

pork trotters carpaccio

pork trotters carpaccio

especially with the condiments & sauce it came in.

slow braised & grilled octopus

slow braised & grilled octopus

the slow braised octopus was excellent too.

slow braised & grilled octopus

slow braised & grilled octopus

taste & texture wise, it was almost comparable with the very good ones i tried recently –

the grilled cotopus dish at da luca

the octopus dish at zafferano

& i still prefer the tako kakiage at mikuni. ^^

squid ink paella

squid ink paella

i think this squidink paella is the best of all squidink i had. really flavourful, smooth & buttery. good enough for us to order a second serving.

squid ink risotto

squid ink risotto

i think it is better than (maybe) the dish i squid risotto i had at follia (which was outstanding).

& my own very good squidink pasta.

kith’s squidink pasta would be quite behind by comparison.

scampi fiduea alio olio

scampi fiduea alio olio

the first serving of scampi fiduea alio olio was excellent, very sweet, tasty, intense. unfortunately there was a hair in it!

scampi fiduea alio olio

scampi fiduea alio olio

restaurant did the right thing & replaced it with a new dish. again unfortunately the new dish was not tasty as before. i guess hair made a difference to the taste? :-p

rack of lamb

rack of lamb

rack of lamb was pretty ok.

rack of lamb

rack of lamb

it was very tender yes, but actually flavour-wise, my own pistachio crusted rack of lamb was a lot better!

iberico pork rack

iberico pork rack

the iberico pork rack was superb!

iberico pork rack

iberico pork rack

not only it was fork tender & yet not sinewy, it was very flavourful, excellent!

foc restaurant

foc restaurant

the hanging sculpture.

chocolate galaxy

chocolate galaxy

daughter wanted to try the chocolate galaxy.

it’s the chocolate bomb i thought of trying for my anniversary dinner but didn’t.

apple tart

apple tart

we tried the apple tart. it was ok, nothing special & can do without. nothing like da luca’s crispy apple tart!

french toast

french toast

the french toast was good. looked at a dessert i may try myself at home.

i think minus the drinks it was about S$50pax. not cheap but doable.

c.h.e.f andy

 

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17 Courses of Delectable Dishes for 16pax Homecooked Dinner on 26Aug2015

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

had an exciting evening with my friends on 26.8.2015. ^^

we had 16pax. i planned to serve asian dishes mainly buffet style, and a pasta, beef & lamb dish during the course of dinner. 🙂

a friend brought 清汤牛腩. it was my favourite for the evening. i had a good beef brisket noodles at imperial treasure nanbei few days back on 23.8.2015, one of the few authentic ones. still, that was a bit more beefy. i personally prefer this 清汤牛腩 style. sometimes homecook is the best! ^^

my wife could not join dinner this evening. she organised the quinoa pumpkin tofu salad for me & i mixed in the rockets when serving (so that rockets would not be soggy).

everyone loved the salad. 🙂

i did the spanish omelette. did not do this a the longest time & recently revived it when i served a 10-course vegetarian dinner for 8px for my niece’s birthday.

this was a very popular dish among my diners.

i recently tried out a new preparation for cooking char siew & maybe found the right combination to reproduce easily very flavourful & tender, moist char siew. it is also easy to do, just put on a rack in a preheated oven for 20mins.

& it worked well, very tasty, well charred & quite tender inside. the ends were a bit harder than what i made previously because this roll of pork collar was thinner, so need to adjust the timing say to 18mins for thinner rolls.

i made a  ter kar tan 猪脚冻. it was a bit meaty & not as good as my head cheese terrine 猪头冻, but still a friend who cooked this also thought it was very good. i think the taste was good, i should use either pig’s head meat or a lot of pig skin as pig’s trotter is overly meaty & heavy. & the colour should be lighter, means less or no dark sauce.

my chicken ballotine was very good today, mostly finished.

the thai yellow curry grilled chicken thighs were very good.

there was a bit left though, and when i heat the curry sauce in the microwave & applied it to the cold chicken the next day, for me it was still excellent. 🙂

the thai red curry sotong (squid) was just as lovely. it’s a bit spicier & very good with the rice.

i did the vietnamese chargrilled pork collar w/o the beehoon, just with pickled carrots & peanuts. i tried it after cooking. it was very tasty. i think it was just as good as what i had at mrs pho recently. i think better actually.

but for this evening, maybe there were too much food, it was only 1/2 taken.

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

the braised belly pork was done together with the ter kar tan 猪脚冻, so it was just a small portion. the braise was very tasty & the texture of the belly pork was superb by those who take belly pork. nothing was left.

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

the friend made 3kg of beef briskets & tendons. so i guess we did have a lot of food.

i am not complaining as this was my favourite dish for the evening. 🙂

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

there was some leftover, so i ate the next day & enjoyed it just as much.

#11 helper's spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

#11 helper’s spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

my helper made the spicy black beans pork ribs. it was braised in the pan & then steamed in the steam oven. very tender & great sauce & flavours. it’s one of my perennial favourites. not much left afterwards.

#12 helper's sambal sauce seabass - this everyone's favourite

#12 helper’s sambal sauce seabass – this everyone’s favourite

my helper’s sambal sauce seabass was another dish that was everyone’s favourite. seabass has a slight mud taste & powdery texture, but with the sambal sauce, it was a very appetizing dish. nothing left.

#13 helper's blanched hk kailan with shitake

#13 helper’s blanched hk kailan with shitake

likewise the blanched hk kailan with shitake.

it was time for the pasta, beef & lamb dishes. my friends were all very full so we decided to forgo the pink sauce prawn pasta dish.

my tagliata was just simply fabulous. it was sooooo much better than the ones we had the other evening at the zafferano wine dinner, and haha i will say it again!^^ all my friends at zafferano were here this evening anyway. 🙂

& the pistachio crusted rack of lamb. everyone just loved it! those who eat lamb anyway.

actually we had the lamb at foc the next, and that lamb was a bit more tender than mine, but my lamb was a lot tastier. 🙂 also my pistachio crust was so good it was all mobbed up!

#16 queenie brought chempedak cake from singapore swimming club - very nice

#16 another friend brought chempedak cake from singapore swimming club – very nice

another friend brought a chempedak cake. i like the intense chempedak flavour. it’s a cake i like but won’t take often.

the banoffee (banana toffee) cake was a bit of a failure. the whipping cream was frozen & i heat it up just so lightly, a cardinal sin of laziness. should have just waited for it to get back to room temperature. it did not whipped well & caked up when set.

fortunately the cake itself was quite excellent & many friends liked it. it is indeed a very good combination of texture & taste, banana & toffee. i used very small amount of caramel so it was not too sweet.

it was a very fun get-together. i enjoyed doing all the dishes, and i also had my friend’s excellent beef briskets & my helper’s nice dishes.

c.h.e.f andy

Good 3pax Lunch @ Tess Bar & Kitchen on 13Mar2015

waldorf salad

waldorf salad

had lunch with 2 friends at tess bar & kitchen at 38 seah street last fri on 13.3.2015. 🙂

interior is a pleasant modern industrial chic design. tess is helmed by head chef martin wong, alumni of l’atelier of joel robuchon. ^^

there about 5 tables were occupied & only 1 server who was quite good overall though strangely she did not automatically serve us dessert & coffee when we finished food, and we waited a long time before asking her.

deep-fried belly pork

deep-fried belly pork

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

sous vide baby octopus

we ordered the deep-fried pork belly & sous vide baby octopus for starters to share. we had wanted to order the smoked duck & wagyu cubes we saw on other reviews, but they were not available for lunch.

octopus was excellent, very tender texture & nicely matched & flavoured with chorizo & sundries cherry tomatoes. ^^

pork belly was an ok bear finger food, but not comparable with the standard roast pork in most chinese restaurants like crystal jade, imperial treasure, tunglok & canton paradise.

tomato soup

tomato soup

since there were not many ala carte tapas orders, we decided to order the main courses, which also came with a choice of soup or salad, and a choice of dessert or coffee/tea.^^

1 friend had the tomato soup of the day. 2 of us had the waldorf salad.

salad was good, crunchy veg, & quite a few lovely cheese. tomato soup was good too. it was the standard restaurant fare, not my favourite.

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

prawn linguine

2 of us decided to skip meat main dishes & ordered 2 pasta mains to share to share.

the tiger prawn linguine was good. prawns had the nice bbq flavour, & pasta was tasty with the sauce. ^^

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

vongole

my initial taste of the vongole was much less good. when i took it with a lot for sauce at the bottom of the plate, it was much better. there were a lot of clams. ^^

still it was nothing special c/w my own spicy vongole fettucine. even my helper can dish out something like this anytime. as for the prawn linguine, i guess my lobster angel hair pasta (if i used tiger prawns) or more recently my chilli crab angel hair pasta would be just as good or better. 🙂

lamb

lamb

lamb

lamb

another friend ordered the frenched lamb rack. i tried a small piece. it was good. well, i can do that too, but for now my repertoire is limited to pistachio crusted rack of lamb.^^

profitero

profitero

profitero

profitero

1 friend ordered the profiteros. 2 of us had regular coffee.

the lunch came to about S$120 or S$40pax nett. not too bad. food was pretty good restaurant standard if not overwhelming.

this a place i would come back to try out the other tapas dishes.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Homecooked 11pax Dinner on 22Jan2015

wife's pumpkin tofu salad

#1 wife’s pumpkin tofu salad

made 1 of my best dinners on 22.1.2015. ^^

invited a few close friends. my weekly running partner brought his son, and my dentist friend brought his daughter.

also invited my god sis & her husband.

this time, i reverted to a sit-down course dinner. for a start, i served 3 dishes as tapas.

#1 we had an excellent pumpkin tofu salad. this was my wife’s creation. my helper toasted the pumpkin & fried & cut the tofu & mixed in the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt & agave nectar the night before, and my wife tossed in the rockets just before starting dinner. 🙂

miso cod

miso cod

#2 miso cod is my god sis’ favourite. she mentioned it so many times. ^^

i have not made it for a long time as my wife prefers the texture & taste of plain grilled cod. i had it in the oven for a tad too long but managed to rescue it, only had to take off most of the skin. still it was excellent to my taste, both the firmer texture & also the miso flavour. my god sis liked it very much & had 2 servings. i liked it as much as the plain grilled cod & slightly better than my teriyaki cod. this dish was prior done about 1 hr before dinner.

#3 the tagliata di manzo (using 150D grain-fed ribeye) was really quite excellent this evening, very well charred for maillard reaction. i did the steak only when all guests had arrived. also seasoning the rockets & cherry tomatoes with olive oil & balsamic vinegar was done just before plating & serving so they would not be soggy. plating was a bit rushed & not ideal this evening.

#4 after the 3 tapas, i served the lobster bisque, very nice mellow & intense flavours with good amount of brandy, not too creamy. very nice. my friend’s daughter took a second serving.

#5 lamb is usually not such a favourite among my dinner guests, but my friend’s daughter loves lamb, so i did 1/2 a rack of pistachio crusted lamb. i bought at mmmm at west coast plaza & the lady instead of cutting 1/2 rack started to cut out 2 slices before i could stopped her. so i had to improvise & used a kitchen twine to hold the 1/2rack together. again i have not done this for a while but the rack turned out very well. i managed to cut 5 pieces. my friend’s daughter had 2 helpings, my friend’s son & another 2 friends had the lamb.

lobster spaghetti

lobster spaghetti

#6 lobster spaghetti was just splendid this evening! very tasty & good chunks of lobster meat (i used 2x375g frozen lobster from cold storage). the lobster head & tomalley (liver etc) were excellent. i thought though using capellini (angel hair) i did previously would be better both in looks & texture.

"monterosso miky" seafood risotto

“monterosso miky” seafood risotto

#7 my own version of  “monterosso miky” seafood risotto was wonderful this evening. very very tasty, with excellent lobster & prawn stock balanced with lots of vegetables. the carnaroli rice i bought at stresa, lake maggiore was excellent & the texture was just al dente. 🙂

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

#8 the squid ink pasta was also very good. i had squid & lots of manila clams which were plump & succulent. i agreed with my wife though that the manila clams were much better done the asian zi char style with curry leaves & olive oil, & lose some of the distinct taste & flavours, and tasted only like good littleneck clams “la la” in this preparation.

japanese A4 wagyu - this was soooo good.

#9 japanese A4 wagyu – this was soooo good.

japanese A4 wagyu

japanese A4 wagyu

#9 i had a japanese A4 wagyu which was better served as a separate dish than together with the tagliata di manzo & rockets. the 150D grain fed ribeye earlier was very good, but this was par excellence!^^

#10 we rounded off with my tofu cheese cake, as good as always. ^^ wonderfully light texture, mildly sweet sour with lumen juice, yogurt, whipped cream, silken tofu & cream cheese, & a nice biscuit base.

i was just happy to have the cosy, warm get-together with my close friends, and very happy & satisfied with the dishes & dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy