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A Most Memorable & Delicious Homecooked Dinner on 13Nov2015

fried hokkien prawn mee-bestest!

fried hokkien prawn mee-bestest!

a RI friend invited us to her newly done place for homecooked dinner on 13.11.2015. ^^

it was a wonderful evening of fun, laughters & memories.

we decided to have a PCK theme. some friends went to get a S$1yellow helmet for all, and we had the round floor protector pads for molds. haha! ^^

btw, my favourite dish for the evening among all the good food was the fried hokkien prawn mee! (top photo). it was done by the hostest brother, who made a couple other dishes & joined us for dinner.

it was the bestest! i have not tried making that. not sure i can do it. 🙂

cheese board

cheese board

the host & hostess had some cheese board which we enjoyed before & after dinner.

cheese board

cheese board

the blue, an english stilton blue cheese, was excellent! i really enjoyed that. 🙂

chicken wings

chicken wings

chicken wings were good.

good curry chicken

good curry chicken

curry chicken was the thicker, more powdery type. chicken was sweet. curry was tasty.

i quite like this curry though it was different from the nonya curry chicken i make.

roast chicken

roast chicken

roast chicken was good too, moist, tender. 🙂

some veg

some veg

there were broccoli & carrots.

nice long beans

nice chilli long beans

the chilli long beans were done well. 🙂

love the soto ayam

love the soto ayam

& i love the soto ayam! 🙂

love the soto ayam

love the soto ayam

i helped myself with a bit more.

love the soto ayam

love the soto ayam

there was also itek tim, but i did not take photo.

very good pork ribs

very good pork ribs

pork ribs were fork tender, and taste great.

very good pork ribs

very good pork ribs

it inspired me to make my own louisiana styled pork ribs afterwards.

roast pork ribs (or soft bones?) - super

roast pork ribs (or soft bones?) – super

& the roast pork ribs. i had a few pieces. it was fatty but really excellent! maybe it was soft bones rather than ribs.

i want to do this one too. still thinking how to do it. 🙂

very good bread pudding with vanilla ice cream

very good bread pudding with vanilla ice cream

a friend brought a very good bread pudding.

very good bread pudding with vanilla ice cream

very good bread pudding with vanilla ice cream

especially nice served with vanilla ice cream, no need to prepare separately a hot cream custard.

very good bread pudding with vanilla ice cream

very good bread pudding with vanilla ice cream

it was convenient & great party food, no need to cut & you can scoop what you want.

i went home & make one myself, a very good bread pudding also.

very refreshing fruit cokctail jelly dessert

very refreshing fruit cokctail jelly dessert

there was also a very refreshing fruit cocktail jelly dessert. we were full to the brim. still i had 2 helpings.

frozen eclairs

frozen eclairs

& i tried a frozen eclaire, not my favourite though. 🙂

we had a lot of sharing among old friends which now meet frequently in recent years. really good fun & company & delicious food, thanks to the hostess.

c.h.e.f andy

Why Eat Har Prawn Noodles – Good As Always on 10Sep2015

why eat har prawn noodles

why eat har S$5 prawn noodles

7 of us old RI friends decided to go for a uniquely Singapore “cooling-off” morning walk at pulau ubin on 10.9.2015. ^^

we gathered at 7am at changi food centre & had mizzy corner nasi lemak. i forgot to take a photo of the nasi lemak so will not do a post on mizzy corner this time. suffice to say it was just ok & nowhere as good as selara rasa at adam road. rice not as fragrant, chilli not as tasty.

after ubin, we prior arranged to visit our close friend’s brother’s prawn noodle stall, why eat har located at Thye Hwa Heng Canteen, Blk 29 Eunos Avenue 6. another 4 friends joined us there, so we had 11. 🙂

why eat har prawn noodles

why eat har S$6 prawn bakut noodles

the prawns were smaller today so the stall charged S$5 instead of S$6.

i had my usual prawn noodles dry. some friends ordered the prawn bakut noodles. i had tried the bakut here & it was very good, fork tender but good bite not sinewy &  falling apart & good pork rib taste. 2 pieces for just $1 more definitely more than worth it. for this day though, for myself, i just wanted to eat the prawn noodles.

why eat har prawn noodles

why eat har S$5 prawn noodles

the proprietor, our good friend’s brother, chong loong came by & chatted. i told him the noodles, chilli & soup were now very consistent – QQ noodles, very fragrant, tasty chilli not too oily, and intense flavourful soup. very good in fact!

this the 3rd time i had the prawn noodles here, and unlike (say) ah hui @ balestier food centre which was good one time & so so the next, it is good here every time!

the stall is now only open on even days only ie tuesdays, thursday & saturdays. this is really not an easy commitment, but it is really admirable that chong loong has the passion to continue to dish out such wonderful food.

c.h.e.f andy

Yummy Big Prawn Noodles @ Why Eat Har on 28Apr2015

S$5 prawn nooldes

S$5 prawn noodles

had another round of yummy big prawn nooldes at why eat har, a big prawn noodles stall opened recently by my good friend’s brother.

the last time i tried was with a big group of friends on 6.3.2015. this time we had 10 chap pies.^^

why eat har @ thye hwa heng food centre

why eat har @ thye hwa heng canteen

thye hwa heng canteen is located at blk 29 eunos avenue 6 near to signpost building. many car workshops here.

S$5 prawn nooldes

S$5 prawn noodles

the S$5 prawn noodles looked marvellously yummy! 🙂

the 2 prawns (4 pieces of 1/2-sliced prawns) were quite a bit larger than the S$5 bowl at ah hui at balestier food centre.

S$6 big prawn noodles

S$5 prawn noodles

not so evident from the photo that the S$6 big prawns were much larger than these S$5 ones.

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

6 of us ordered the S$6 big prawn noodles. not sure if this was the usual pricing as the board said S$8, but prawns do vary in size & price on the day & i know the stalls adjust the prices accordingly sometimes. e.g. when we were at wah kee at pekkio food centre, cambridge road recently, the prawns were larger than what they served for S$10 so we had to order S$15 big prawn noodles.

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

most of us added the S$2 pork ribs so total+S$8. i think one friend had the S$6 w/o pork ribs.

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

S$6 big prawn noodles + $2 pork ribs

noodles were lesser than the last round (which was like the 2nd day after stall opened & we feedback that noodles were a bit much).

chilli sauce was more intense, could be because of lesser noodles, but did feel a bit tastier.

prawns were good as last time. the proprietor chong long, my friend’s brother, said the fishmonger told him these prawns were sweeter than anka prawns & a friend agreed it was sweeter. i must say i did not feel much difference. i though the prawns this time were just slightly overdone & not as bouncy as last round, but equally fresh & sweet. 🙂

the pork ribs were very good standard, very tender, consistent but not falling apart & great taste. as a pork rib dish i thought it was very good, very well done. personally though i not specially into the tender pork ribs noodles bit. for pork ribs i prefer bakuteh style with slightly more bite rather than the soft bones teture & feel.

fruits

fruits

a friend bought some fruits from the next stall.

very yummy & enjoyable prawn noodles. will come back again later.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Good Ala Carte Buffet @ Peach Garden Miramar on 8May2014

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drunken chicken

went with sis, b-i-l & a friend to peach garden miramar on 8.5.2014. they were having a 3paying 1 free promotion for 4pax at S$30.80 weekdays. 🙂

#1 the drunken chicken was 1/2 frozen & did not look great (my one looked better..haha) but the taste was good! much better than mine. 🙂

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pork floss with deep-fried eggplant

#2 we all liked the pork floss & also the light battered egg plant, very nice dish! 🙂

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deep-fried soon hock

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deep-fried soon hock

#3 deep-fried soon hock was ok, above average, perhaps a little better than the recent one at ban heng on 25.4.2014, but not the best.

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pork ribs

#4 the pork ribs were flavourful. meat not the most tender, just slightly chewy, taste was good.

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crab sauce tofu

#5 crab sauce & tofu were good. look-wise seems something missing in this dish..maybe some garnish or greens.

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pating fish

#6 pating my favourite fish. this method of preparation not the best. the minced ginger or HK steamed style much better.

roast pork - below par!

roast pork – below par!

#7 it seemed really odd that a roast pork dish in such a restaurant could be bad, but it was, much below par!

char siew

char siew

#8 we were already very full when i spotted the char siew later & had to order it. this was very good! almost imperial treasure standard. 🙂

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losbter claw sharksfin soup

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sea cucumber sharksfin soup

#9 each diner was only allowed 1 order of soup. i had the lobster claw sharksfin soup. it was very average soup (not even as good as any lie tong aka soup of the day from tonglok restaurants or imperial treasure), and the sea cucumber sharksfin seemed no better.

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hotplate venison

#10 venison was very average, like any zi char stall.

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pan-fried kurobuta

#11 kurobuta itself was tender & tasty. this chinese way of preparation though not my favourite.

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dried scallop eggwhite fried rice

#12 fried rice was good, fragrant! 🙂

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yuzu prawn fritters

#13 these were very nice, much better than wasabi mayo prawns preparation. 🙂 may try these at home.

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fried scallop with french beans

#14 this was like a joke. the scallops turned out to be like 1 medium scallop (or maybe 1/2) sliced into 10 pieces. you need real skills to slice it so thinly. a case of disappearing scallop dish. 😦

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indonesian prawn

#15 surprisingly, the indonesian prawn dish was very good. prawn was good & fresh & the curry sauce was very good.

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tofu with vege

#16 this was ok, pretty standard.

brocoli & cauliflower

brocoli & cauliflower

#17 brocoli & cauliflower was very well done, very tasty! 🙂

overall food was quite good for an ala carte buffet, a lot better certainly c/w ban heng.

the service was good, efficient & friendly throughout except when paying the bill. we were charged a really hefty S$1.50pax for ice water & S$1pax for towels, so there was an extra S$10++ tab on the bill. it was a bit high but ok except that we asked specifically at the beginning when deciding whether to order tea & was told by the server that water was FREE, and tea was S$2.50pax. i told the girl closing the bill. she said water was as charged (next time i need to record the conversation. haha!). anyway, the total bill after 1pax free came to $120nett=S$30nett per pax so i was quite ok to just pay it.

i would come back again but buffets were very heavy & not ideal for me to do too often. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Very Average Bakuteh @ Lau Ah Tee (老阿弟) Whampoa on 3Apr2014

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went to boon keng/whompoa area to get something.

so dropped by to have bakuteh @ lau ah tee (老阿弟). this used to be my 2nd favourite after rong chen at sin min. but last time i went rong chen, somehow the taste had changed? or my taste changed?

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anyway they ran out of prime ribs (排骨) so only have pork ribs (肉骨). sorry to say this was not even as good as the bakuteh i do at home.  the ribs i bought from sheng shiong were much better, more tender, sweeter & tastier, though i think their soup still better than my packet ones.

so far, ng ah sio bakuteh @ chui huay lim & song fa @ new bridge road are still the better ones i had recently. i will probably have to try the prime rib here at lau ah tee & also at rong chen again to decide.

c.h.e.f andy

Bakuteh (肉骨茶 Pork Rib Soup)

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Bakuteh (肉骨茶 Pork Rib Soup) is about the easiest delectable dish to cook at home.

usually i used the $7.50/kg frozen pork ribs bought from chinatown market. last evening when i was at sheng shiong, decided to pick up a packet (about 700g) of fresh indonesian pork ribs at S$19/kg. they were good but very fatty & took shorter time to cook (about 40mins).

if i have to compare i guess the fresh pork ribs were slightly better but fatty, and the frozen pork ribs (cost 2.5x less) were almost as good.

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i used a cheap bakuteh spice premix which i liked (photo above). this one is a non-herbal premix which i prefer but i had  very good herbal ones too (bought by a friend). 🙂

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i only added 1 bulb of garlic (about 1.5 bulbs if cooking 1 kg pork rib), and basically nothing else needed. i do not prefer it very peppery but that is something one can easily add to taste.

c.h.e.f andy

Relaxed Fine Dining at Friend’s House on 20Nov2013

slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) salad with fish sauce

slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) salad with fish sauce

a friend’s wife did a wonderful 6-course homegourmet dinner at their lovely home for a few of us last year, so my wife & i were really looking forward to the invitation to their home last evening on 20.11.2013. 🙂

their house sits on difficult terrain but is very well designed with good layout, quality finishes & furnishing. we had a relaxed pre-dinner wine chat (barolo red not that i knew what it was) at the sitting area before moving to dining, which had pool & water feature on 2 sides & LED downlights. 🙂

it was a very relaxed dinner, good food nicely paced, conversation, sharing & chill. 🙂

the first course was a delightful slow-roast chuck tender (1hr) with cabbage & tomatoes. the slight saltiness brought out the flavours of the tender beef (chuck is not an easy cut to make tender). i thought of “chimcharlo” but it was just fish sauce (which i use for my dry wok garlic prawns also with great results of a very “pang” dish). 🙂 the treatment to create a tender meat out of chuck is similar to my chuck pot roast.

cream of mushrooms with chicken dumplings

cream of mushrooms with chicken dumplings

the cream of mushroom was smooth with intended mushroom bits & not too creamy (health reasons?), and had the added treat of  tasty chicken dumplings.

slow-roast oven pork ribs (5hr at 100degC) with pasta

slow-roast oven pork ribs (5hr at 100degC) with pasta

next was a very tasty tomato sauce pasta dish with fork tender pork ribs (5hrs at 100degC). i tried number of times & my only decent dish was a pork rib arabiatta (spicy tomatoes) but had yet to do such tender ribs. will probably try again soon.

crackling belly pork with fresh apple compote

crackling belly pork with fresh apple compote

next was a crackling belly of pork with a lovely fresh apple compote, the slight sour sweet matched & enhanced the flavour of the tender belly pork. i had tried couple times gordon ramsay’s pressed belly of pork & loin of pork recipe. it was very difficult to get right (& i still didn’t & gave up trying, so i gravitated to my own miso belly pork recipe, and before that my japanese chashu recipe). my friend was talking about the touch & go situation with the crackling skin, this time a little less successful than what they had last. well, i am not fussy or specially enamoured with crackling skin (bonus if have) & that’s why i did not pursue the GR pressed pork belly & in fact my miso belly pork is done sans skin. 🙂

cake & strawberry mousse

cake & strawberry mousse

the cake with a sweet jam & the strawberry mousse was wonderful curtain closing to an excellent homegourmet dinner, the slight sour strawberry balancing the sweet cake. 🙂

these dinners are really fun for me, food, company, conversation, sharing of knowledge, views & perspectives. i will be doing one soon. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Zaobao Maybank Chinese Classics Series Lunch @ Mandarin Grand Ballroom on 27Jul2013

steamed Canadian seaperch

steamed Canadian seaperch

a group of my friends had been going for the Zaobao Maybank chinese classics series lunch. the series combine Singaporean’s favourite activity (eating!) with games & quizzes to raise profile, interest & understanding of chinese culture. 🙂 the current series is based on the 4 chinese classics  红楼梦,三国演义,水浒传 & 西游记 (dreams of the red chamber, romance of the 3 kingdoms, water margin & journey to the west).

for this Zaobao lunch on 27.7.2013, the theme was romance of the 3 kingdoms (魏- 曹操、蜀 – 刘备、东吴- 孙权). 🙂

this the first time i was joining the lunch series. the 6-course lunch (i understand that previously there were even more courses) was priced at S$96nett (S$48nett for Maybank cardholders). 🙂

we had 2 tables of 8pax, and very nicely 2 of our friends brought their 86 & 87 years old moms to savour the lunch & outing, & they had been doing this everytime….toast to my wonderful friends! 🙂

Zaobao Maybank Chinese classics series lunch Menu

Zaobao Maybank Chinese classics series lunch Menu

each item of the menu was named after some major events (stories) from the 3 kingdoms. 🙂

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we had a trio of appetizers – crabmeat salad with what felt like goma (sesame) sauce, a crispy prawn fritters with thousand island dressing & a jellyfish with thai sweet & sour sauce. 🙂

i must say the food was really quite outstanding & much better than expected for this kind of large group lunches (which sometimes could be quite bad even when prepared by famous kitchens) so all credit goes to Mandarin Court (previously Pine Court) and executive chef Sunny Kong. 🙂

minced chicken balls in chinese yellow wine soup

minced chicken balls in chinese yellow wine soup

next was a minced chicken ball with 黄酒chinese yellow wine soup – & a very tasty one-excellent soup! & here the story was 曹操煮酒英雄. 🙂 soup was followed with steamed Canadian sea perch (top photo), similar in taste & texture as Chilean seabass – both my absolute favourite. another superb dish! 🙂

valiant attempt at 草船借箭

valiant attempt at 草船借箭

in between the various quizzes, games & prizes, our 2 tables participated in a art & craft game. above was 1 of the 2 better valiant attempts at retelling the story of 孔明’s 草船借箭! haha. 🙂

baked pork ribs

baked pork ribs

next item was a baked pork rib. this was very good as well. 🙂

fried brown rice with chinese sausage

fried brown rice with chinese sausage

& we had a lovely wok-fried brown rice with chinese sausage – very fragrant, tasty dish. 🙂

aloe vera with jasmine tea

aloe vera with jasmine tea

the last, a dessert item, was very good as well. nice refreshing aloe vera in fruit cocktail & jasmine tea. 🙂

i enjoyed this lunch very much, of course the great company of friends especially. 🙂 i generally do not go out of my way to have quizzes & games distracting me from the food & conversation, but i didn’t mind it really. i knew some of the stories of 3 kingdoms (from watching TV serials) & though several friends commented the loudspeaker was too loud, i was overall quite ok with the way the lunch was managed by the organisers. 🙂

will be looking forward to more zaobao lunches. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

11pax Homegourmet Dinner on 11Jun2013

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experimented with chashumen & curry chicken noodles recently with some success. 🙂

chashu is Japanese braised pork belly in mirin, sake, soy sauce & sugar. it is commonly served with ramen as chashumen & can come with tonkotsu, soyu or miso tonkotsu soupbase. 🙂

for curry chicken noodle, the aim was to recreate or model the famous Ah Heng or Heng Kee curry chicken noodle stalls at Hong Lim Park hawker centre. The curry for curry chicken noodle is somewhat different from the usual curry, and there is no internet recipe to be found. so I had to improvise. The chicken is not curry chicken but more like Hainanese chicken rice chicken. anyhow, I cooked quite a good nonya curry chicken so I varied the curry by adding dried prawns (虾米), lemongrass (香茅) but I did not have the special chilli they had.

so I invited my usual gang of friends & this time including the few of us who went together for the Hong Kong Trip 10-13May2013. I designed a menu which included braised duck, curry chicken, spicy bean sauce pork prime ribs, wok fried prawns & HK kailan to go with the 2 carbo dishes, namely the chasumen & curry chicken noodles. 🙂

the top photo was the braised duck. I did a very good one for a 22pax homegourmet buffet dinner on 5May2013. For this one I made some small mistakes but managed to rectify it & the end product was quite flavourful duck & nice colour & presentation too. 🙂

nonya curry chicken

nonya curry chicken

the curry chicken was also very tasty & flavourful. I took off 1/2 the curry though to make the curry for the curry chicken noodles.

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we also had a very good spicy bean sauce pork prime ribs dish made by my domestic helper. she had mostly perfected the wonderful dish. 🙂

dry wok medium prawn

dry wok medium prawn

poached HK kailan with shitake

poached HK kailan with shitake

I cooked the high heat dry wok prawns (kind of my very own speciality recipe) which never fails to please. 🙂 & my helper did the poached HK kailan with shitake mushrooms. 🙂

the braised duck, curry chicken & spicy pork ribs were pre-cooked & only needed warming up. The prawn & poached kailan were whipped up when all the guests arrived, and so we were able to start a relax evening dining with 5 piping hot dishes & plain rice. 🙂

chashu (Japanese braised pork belly)

perfect 6mins runny yoke egg

perfect 6mins runny yoke egg

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the Jap chashu was also done beforehand. So was the perfect runny yoke egg – direct from fridge into boiling water & simmered for exactly 6mins. 🙂 instead of heavy ramen, I used small pinch of thin Japanese light noodles that was cooked just al dante & dropped into ice water to stop after-cooking to ensure the “qq” effect. 🙂

chicken – hainanese chicken rice method

for the curry chicken noodles, I had a really nice, tender & sweet chicken done the Hainanese chicken rice style with smooth, taut skin, again courtesy of the ice-water bath. 🙂

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& we had taupok, potatoes & fishcake added to the yellow noodle & thick beehoon.

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my friends brought durian puff (unfortunately it was frozen though I took out of the freezer for 1/2hr but it was not enough), ice cream & very sweet strawberries & rambutans. 🙂

what a fun evening, company, conversation & food! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy