Sumptuous Weekend Wine Brunch @ Amber Landmark Mandarin Oriental on 4Apr2015

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

wife booked 3pax weekend wine brunch at amber at landmark mandarin oriental on 4.4.2015.^^

amber has 2 michelin stars 6 years in a row & is the no.4 in asia & no.24 in pellegrino’s world’s top 50 restaurants.

this 1 of the places you have to leave credit card details and will be charged in full if you cancel within 48hrs. i am not sure if it is a new practice but we booked 2pax degustation dinner at joel robuchon maybe 4yrs ago & did not have to do that. & we had been to caprice at four seasons, and pierre at the other mandarin oriental and did not have to do that.

anyway we were happy to try out this place, and our faith were more than rewarded. this was simply the best meal we had in hong kong, not comparing joel robuchon’s degus dinner which cost more than twice this lunch.

baguette, olive & onion bread

baguette, olive & onion bread

after a very pleasant morning stroll along the peak circle walk taking in the hong kong skyline, we took a cab form the peak to landmark mandarin oriental which only cost us hk$55.

we started with a nice champagne.

the baguette and olive & onion bread from the bread basket were warm & very good, with both salted & unsalted butter.

6-course weekend wine brunch with 4 paragons of wine (champagne, 2 whites, 1 red)

6-course weekend wine brunch with 4 paragons of wine (champagne, 2 whites, 1 red)

weekend wine brunch was a 6-course (though that included cheese & 2 desserts) with selection of 4 wines at hk$888.

we found out that it was really an excellent deal even c/w weekday set lunches w/o the wine. so it was an excellent decision & wonderful lunch.

 foie gras lollipop

foie gras lollipop

squidink pita

squidink pita

squidink pita

squidink pita

we had 2 amuse bouche. both were good.

the foie gras lollipop in raspberry jelly had beetroot on one side & some crackers? on the other.

the squid ink pita was better, can’t remember maybe it was some cheese, anyway just remembered it was savoury & nice.^^

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig - very good

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig – very good

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig - very good

#1 foie gras terrine with suckling pig – very good

1st course was served with a riesling which i liked best of the 2 whites & champagne. all were nice anyway.

my son & i picked the foie gras terrine with suckling pig (interleaved) as our first course. it was very good, very flavourful & substantial.

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

wife picked the hokkaido sea urchin in lobster jelly with caviar topped with a gold leaf (which came with a hk$260 supplement). uni was sublime of course but the S$46+ supplement made no sense to us.

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

#1 hokkaido sea urchin with caviar

we all love uni of course, but we are not short of taking them, and we had whole tub of uni in japan for 1500yen (fukuoka recently) & lots of them at kuriya dining for the S$62 chirashi lunch with big serving of uni.

uni is uni. no culinary skill involved, is there?

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

#2 whole abalone with braised oxtail sauce

second course was served with another white chardonnay.

for the second course, wife & i had the whole abalone that came with braised oxtail sauce & oxtail!

it was really well done. the abalone was so well braised or sous vide it was pure tender & the oxtail sauce was an excellent match. the 2 pieces of oxtail were also very tender & tasty & robust. wife loved this though for me, i still prefer the chinese or japanese braised abalone in brown sauce, and the chinese dry abalone over the japanese fresh ones.

son decided to venture a bit & took the battered frog legs. i tried a bit. I must say it was very good, enough for me to say that fie the choice of the whole abalone & the frog leg (it was a no brainer before), i am not sure i will automatically pick abalone every time. 🙂

#3 sole with mussels & razor clams

#3 sole with mussels & razor clams

the mains were served with a selection of red. we picked the spanish wine which was very good.

for the 3rd course, wife had the sole with mussels & razor clams. i think it was excellent, the best you could do with a fish. the sole was very tasty, tender and also firm in texture.

#3 pyrennes lamb

#3 pyrennes lamb

#3 pyrennes lamb

#3 pyrennes lamb

son & i had the pyrenes lamb shoulder. it was braised to perfection & smoked, very tender & smooth consistency w/o strong gamey taste. it was exquisite for a lamb shoulder.^^

#4 cheese platter - reblochon, comte & camembert (all 3 cheese were good, i like comte best, very tasty)

#4 cheese platter – reblochon, comte & camembert
(all 3 cheese were good, i like comte best, very tasty)

we had 2 plates of the cheese platter above for 3pax. it was lots of cheese. i liked all 3 cheese = reblochon, comte & camembert. i liked comte best, very flavourful almost like blue.

raspberry mousse + chestnut mousse on meringue with pear

chestnut mousse on meringue with pear+blackcurrent sorbet

we didn’t think much of the chestnut mousse on meringue, kind of sweet not accustomed to the taste! any sorbet, blackcurrent or otherwise, was good. 🙂

#6 raspberry sorbet & chocolate mousse

#6 raspberry sorbet & chocolate mousse

i liked the raspberry sorbet & chocolate mousse much better.^^

flat white

flat white

we were served coffee & petite four to round of the lunch.

this was the best meal i had in hk, a very memorable one, and i will definitely come back again with my wife.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Very Good Beef Hotpot @ Budaoweng 不倒翁 iSquare on 3Apr2015

USDA beef

USDA beef

as planned on the first night, we went to budaoweng 不倒翁 hotpot at isquare near our hotel at 9.30pm on 3.4.2015. this late night discounts used to be 40% before, but now it was 20% for the entire menu including drinks.

since we had a late lunch at timhowan shamshuipo, this was rather a good arrangement, except that we also had a bit to eat at the club lounge at marco polo hk hotel. 🙂

we had the usual must-order large portion 金牌肥牛 at HK$368, which was the USDA marbled beef.

budaoweng 不倒翁 hotpot

budaoweng 不倒翁 hotpot

HK$758 geoduck, bamboo clams & grouper

HK$758 geoduck, bamboo clams & grouper

geoduck

geoduck

bamboo clams

bamboo clams

we decided to have geoduck sashimi. it was very expensive though at HK$48 per tael (两) 37.5g。that would make it HK$1280 about S$228/kg = really ex man!

we decided to take their promotion platter which had a portion of geoduck sashimi, grouper head & belly & roar clams. that was HK$758 before 20% discounts. this also very ex. not that much geoduck sashimi, 2 pieces of razor clams & some grouper 头腩, which is a really cheap dish in HK.

1/2 order prawn dumplings

1/2 order prawn dumplings – HK&88

we had 1/2 order (4 pieces) of our favourite prawn dumplings. it had 3 huge prawns inside.

vegetable tray

vegetable tray

& a vegetable tray.

condiments & sauces

condiments & sauces

there were very good condiments & sauces. they charged like HK$22pax.

fruit & jelly

fruit & jelly

they served a complimentary fruit & jelly.

dinner was very enjoyable, but came to be rather expensive after 20% discounts (HK$1800 for 3pax) as we also ordered an expensive sake.

the service was very good actually. servers were polite & responsive. but they tended to push things. one served poured the cane drinks 竹蔗for us. the difference now was that we said we didn’t want it & she took it back. in the past servers in HK would show you a black face. they may still do now at other places. this one was ok.

another practice both here & at lei gardens, the servers tended to hang around, the body language expecting tips. but there was already 10% service, especially when they charged for everything from soup base to condiments & for here sake was very ex too. anyway they do what they need to do, we tip when we feel we want to tip…hahaha!^^

c.h.e.f andy

Great Dinner @ Joel Robuchon London on 24Aug2014

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

i had a very good lunch at gordon ramsey at the claridge’s brook street (now closed), & not so great dinner at marco pierre white in london in 2011. had yet to try joel robuchon. i had joel robuchon in hong kong both the set lunches menu decouvert at l’ artelier & dinner degustation at la cuisine. the set lunches were pretty good & reasonably priced. the degustation was good of course but too expensive for me.

wife & son had been talking about joel robuchon in london & paris, so we decided to go for a pre-theatre at joel robuchon london on 24.8.2014.

it was really good. 🙂

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket=baguette, olive bread, sour dough

bread basket of baguette, olive bread, sour dough was ok for good restaurant standard.

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart

#1 parma ham, goat cheese, melon tart was lovely. my son & i were talking about that this being an assembled dish, but still the presentation was great & all the ingredients came together beautifully. 🙂

crispy sous vide poached egg

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings

#2 crispy sous vide egg with chorizo & cheese shavings was very good too. it’s a bit similar to the excellent 64degC 55mins sous vide egg with iberico chorizo at jaan with the combination of taste & texture – the silky yoke & the salty bits of chorizo PLUS the crispy filo. this was good. jaan’s was much better.

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

open ravioli with clams & razor clams

#2 open ravioli with clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam

#2 the open ravioli with littleneck clams & razor clams with a crispy top & foam was again excellent. the shellfish, crispy top & foam was a wonderful combination. 🙂

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 6hrs braised ox cheeks

#3 the 6hr braised ox cheeks was very good in terms of taste & preparation, however just for comparison of braised items i think the braised lamb shoulder at honey & co was much tastier than this, so was the braised wagyu at hkk london & for my own taste preference = my own spanish beef ribs is also better (of course the meat cuts were different & we are not comparing apples with apples). 🙂

lobster pasta

#3 scottish lobster sea shell pasta

#3 the scottish lobster sea shell pasta, a substantial portion (i think 1/2 a 600g lobster), was tops! the foam & broth like a very good lobster bisque, and the lobster was very sweet & tasty. the pasta too. an excellent pasta dish! 🙂

the price for 3-course was £36 + 13% = S$73++ & there was a £7 supplement for the lobster. at S$73++ for a set lunch/pre theatre menu it was very much more expensive than the fabulous les amis S$45++ 4-course set lunch. both were excellent & JR was more inventive but quality+value wise, les amis would beat this hands down. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Andy’s Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Milan Grand Tour Tasting Menu on 2Jul2014

grand tour tasting menu

coming back from a wonderful trip to amsterdam, lake como, cinque terre, and milan, i was much motivated to recreate some of the delectable dishes we had. 🙂

may calendar was crowded as i had the 11pax RI friends “fine” chinese dinner on 5.5.2014 & also the 27pax G20 RI friends dinner on 28.5.2014. some friends were away in june, so the dinner was fixed on 2.7.2014. 🙂

1 of the (dining) highlights of our cinque terre tour was the flamed pasta seafood risotto at miky restaurant in monterosso on 18.4.2014 (the lobster, langoustine cold platter was likewise excellent). it was so good we went back again 20.4.2014 to enjoy one more time before leaving for milan the next day. we also had very good pasta at manarola, levanto & milan, both pesto & tomota sauce based; & excellent grilled octopus in tremezzo, bellagio, monterosso, manarola, levanto & milan.

for my menu planning, i added lobster pasta, and since i reckoned the reason miky’s risotto was so very tasty was mostly because of the stock & i used prawn shells & heads for the stock, i added lobster bisque which made use of the same stock plus the lobster shells. i had wanted to do a pesto pasta like what we had at fresco in duomo, milan which was very good too, but it was easier to do squidink.

i wanted also to recreate the grilled octopus tentacles (alle darsene at bellagio, miky at monterosso & at manarola) but i could not find any octopus in singapore, the only ones at meidi-ya liang court were the sashimi variety selling at astronomical price.

a popular appetiser in lake como (alle darsene at bellagio, al darsena at tremezzo & miky at monterosso) was 5 or 7 different preparation of fish. i couldn’t do that but i could play with different preparation of seafood.

both the lobster bisque & risotto already included lots of vegetables, so the easiest way was to round up with rockets & mesclun salad to accompany teriyaki cod & pan-seared scallops & bring balance to the seafood tapas. 🙂

teriyaki cod

#1 teriyaki cod

pan seared hokkaido scallops

#2 pan seared hokkaido scallops

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rockets + mesclun salad

squid ala plancha

#3 squid ala plancha

pan seared teriyaki cod, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

pan seared teriyaki cod, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

pan seared teriyaki cod, squid, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

pan seared teriyaki cod, squid, hokkaido scallops, mesclun salad

steamed oysters

#4 steamed oysters

we started with a seafood tapas medley.

#1 teriyaki cod & #2 pan-seared scallop were accompanied with a rockets + mesclun salad. my friends loved the teriyaki cod (marinated 3 day with self-made teriyaki sauce, well infused & very flavourful).

#3 squid ala plancha (teppanyaki) came about as i could not get octopus. as squid cooked very fast & curled every time, i did not use the crockpot or sous vide method. to create flavours i used the same sichuan slight spicy sauce i used for 蒜泥白肉 and marinated 2days. taste was good.

#4 the steamed oysters were a crowd favourite. i just added 2 teaspoon light soy sauce & 2 tablespoon olive oil, some sliced ginger & chilli padi to 9 large oysters of the IQF (individual quick frozen) variety from sheng shiong which i bought for a very inexpensive S$11.95 for 1 kg. i do good orh luah (oyster omelette) with them too. 🙂

the key was the timing. i did 1.5minutes steaming & left it for another 1 minute or so poaching with fire off. the result was a delectable, plump, tasty oyster. 🙂

cured salmon

#5 cured salmon

#5 the cured salmon was another very simple new dish, following chef john of foodwishes.com recipe. i bought a very fresh salmon fillet from sheng shiong, cut like sashimi as in the video, then cured in salt & sugar but for a much longer time like 3-4hrs. the salmon was very tasty, looked great & had firmer texture than sashimi. this was great stand-in dish. i had wanted to do a razor clam ala plancha but there were no razor clams at sheng shiong that morning.

2 live lobsters from sheng shiong

2 live lobsters from sheng shiong

lobster bisque

#6 lobster bisque

lobster angel hair pasta

#7 lobster angel hair pasta

#6 lobster bisque was the another crowd favourite. everyone found it to be very intense & flavourful & smooth, like XO. indeed i had added otard. 🙂 the key to a good shellfish bisque is (1) the stock made from prawn heads & shells with the lobster heads & shells added later (2) a good vegetable base (chopped leek, celery, onions, carrots) to combine the vege sweetness with shellfish sweetness & to give the bisque “body” when blended smooth with hand blender, then adding some heavy cream & brandy ( i used otard).

#7 lobster pasta was a popular dish at restuarant miky monterosso. i did not take it during the recent trip as we already ordered the lobster platter. I bought 2 live lobsters from sheng shiong, grilled the lobsters on very hot pan & flamed with otard, then scooped out the meat & tomalley (the creamy lobster liver & pancreas in the head), and throw the heads & shells into the prawn stock for the lobster bisque & also the stock of the seafood risotto. when tossing the angel hair pasta for serving i scooped back the tomalley to the lobster heads.

Andy's "Monterosso Miky" seafood risotto

#8 Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto

Andy's "Monterosso Miky" seafood risotto

#8 Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto

Andy's "Monterosso Miky" seafood risotto

#8 Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto

#8 i was quite proud of my “Andy’s “Monterosso Miky” seafood risotto“. 🙂 while miky’s risotto has no peers & i was not able to do the flamed pasta which was very good too, my risotto was very tasty & flavourful, infused with sweetness from the prawn stock & also the same vegetable base as the lobster bisque. 🙂

squidink spaghetti

#9 squidink spaghetti

#9 squid ink spaghetti was another late replacement. it was quite good, tasty, just a touch more salty.

i thought of doing a pesto pasta at first. pesto is a good vegetarian pasta, though you can also add prawns & chicken. the vegetables (grilled sliced egg plants, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes etc) actually required more effort. squid ink was a bit easier to do. it was basically alio olio method with white wine & squid ink.

tofu cheese cake

#10 tofu cheese cake

#10 tofu cheese cake was a popular dessert as i only lately discovered. the lime juice & yogurt provided the very mild sour taste, enhanced by the mild sweetness, and a very smooth & light cream cheese & tofu texture. an excellent ending. 2 friends brought very nice rambutans & also the usual strawberries. 🙂

a friend took the very nice photos. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

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Seafood Risotto

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

did another excellent seafood risotto for my friends on 31.7.2014.

was trying to copy/recreate monterosso restaurant miky’s incredibly tasty flamed seafood risotto. couldn’t do the flamed pasta part of course, so just the seafood risotto. 🙂

i used my favourite chef john of foowishes.com shortcut oven-baked paella method.

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

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littleneck clams (“la la”)

10330506_10152382775349494_4010066414812128438_n

razor clams

medium prawns & squid fried with butter

medium prawns & squid fried with butter

for seafood, i fried shelled prawns & cross-cut squid(lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in butter.

i also very lightly fried the razor clams which i had earlier removed from shell, cut away the innards & cleaned.

i fried ginger & some orange peels & added the littleneck clams to a pan over high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

for the stock i sautéed the heads & shells of 10 medium prawns in olive oil & tumeric & added 500ml of vegetable stock & boiled for a hour. as i was preparing lobster pasta, i added the lobster shells to the shellfish stock as well. 🙂

i sauteed carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, added turmeric for colour, added 1 cup of arborio rice (which i bought recently at monterosso) & then added the prawn stock & bring to boil. then i placed the oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. i tasted the risotto. the flavour was excellent, and in this case as the stock already had some salt in it & mindful that the prawns & squid were also seasoned i did not add more salt. the risotto was about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard.

i set it aside. 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. this cooked the risotto to al dente. the taste was excellent, super tasty from the sweetness of the vegetable, stock & also the prawns, squid, razor clams & littleneck clams. 🙂

miky's famous flamed seafood risotto

miky’s (monterosso) famous flamed seafood risotto

miky's famous flamed seafood risotto

miky’s (monterosso) famous flamed seafood risotto

sure, it’s not really comparable to miky’s famous flamed seafood risotto which we had at monterosso during our recent amsterdam, lake como, cinque terre, milan adventure 13-24apr2014. still it was a supremely enjoyable dinner. 🙂

c.h.e.f anfy

Ingredients-

  • 10 medium prawns (shelled & de-veined)
  • 1 large or 2 medium squid (cross-cut)
  • 300g razor clams shelled with innards removed & cleaned
  • 500g of littleneck clams cleaned
  • 1 yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 2 stalks leek (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 500ml prawn & vegetable stock
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric (or saffron)

Directions-

  1. fry shelled prawns & cross-cut squid(lightly seasoned with fish sauce & white pepper) in butter. very lightly fry razor clams (after removing shell, cutting away the innards & clean). fry ginger & some orange peels & add the littleneck clams to a pan over high fire, adding a little white wine. then cover & let the shells open. discarded any unopened clams.
  2. stock – sauté heads & shells of 10 medium prawns in olive oil & tumeric & add 500ml of vegetable stock & boiled for a hour.
  3. cook risotto -saute carrot, celery, onions, then leek & garlic in olive oil as a stock base, add turmeric for colour, add 1 cup arborio rice. add prawn stock & bring to boil. place oven-proof pan in a preheated 210degC oven for 10mins. taste the risotto & add sea salt, paprika to taste. risotto should be about 85%-90% cooked with the centre slightly hard. set it aside. when ready to serve, add remaining stock & juices from fried prawns, squid, razor clams & just some from the littleneck clams enough to cover the risotto & placed on high fire w/o cover. add salt & paprika to taste. once risotto almost cooked add all the ingredients & covered for 1 minute & cook the risotto to al dente. serve.

Pre-Mother’s Day Homecooked 5pax Dinner on 10May2014

lobster angel hair pasta

lobster angel hair pasta

this was a really fun dinner.

lobster angel hair pasta

lobster angel hair pasta

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.

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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!

lobster angel hair pasta

lobster angel hair pasta

a really, really tasty lobster angel hair pasta. really excellent! 🙂

lobster bisque

lobster bisque

#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. 🙂

lobster bisque

lobster bisque

it was a very intense, tasty soup, smooth & consistent, sweet with lobster & prawn stock & vegetable base, & with a nice mellow brandy flavour. 🙂

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seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

#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.

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

seafood risotto prawns, squid, razor clams, littleneck clams)

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. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Post Australian Open 2014 Finals Dinner @ Red House Seafood on 26.1.2014

bbq squid

bbq squid

3 of us went a friend’s condo in the east to watch nadal vs wawrinka autralian open finals on sunday 26.1.2014.  the starting time was 4.30pm. i brought some durians – mao shan wang (猫山王) & mei qiu (美球). both were very good, mei qiu was very creamy but the mao shan wan was still creamier. 4 of us ate durians while the players were warming up.

we were all nadal supporters, but were quite ok for a wawarinka win. i still did not see wawrinka beating nadal. the match did not turn out to be the epic we anticipated, but nadal had given his best in the circumstances (he was clearly in great pain & conflicted & i thought he should retire during or after the second set rather than to risk his career with serious injury, fortunately it did not seem afterwards that the injury had lasting consequences, hope not anyway..), and wawrinka was playing as well as he could without a nadal in top form to bring out his best.

post match, we decided to go to red house seafood 小红楼for dinner. i had not been to 小红楼 for >10 years. the place was quite well patronised on a sunday evening, but its neighbour jumbo was simply overflowing.

my friend ordered the famous bbq squid, 椒盐salt pepper crayfish, 1 steamed sri lankan crab, steamed razor clams, fried garlic asparagus & mee goreng. the food was better than expected. the price was quite steep. with OCBC card 10% discount (20% for lunch) the bill still came to S$238nett for 4pax w/o drinks (only tea).

garlic steamed razor clams with tanhoon

garlic steamed razor clams with tanhoon

pepper salt crayfish

椒盐 pepper salt crayfish

steamed sri lankan crab in wine

steamed sri lankan crab in wine

stir-fried asparagus

garlic asparagus

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the red bbq squid with jelly fish was their house special. like a friend said it was more like cuttlefish (cuttlefish had a cuttlebone & the difference i saw in wet markets being that cuttlefish were squat & flat so looked round & from my experience had a lot more ink for squid-ink pasta, while squid were long & cylindrical) . i had never had this before. it was excellent! the seasoning was a bit sweet but i liked it.

the steamed razor clams with tanhoon in garlic sauce was very good as expected. many restaurants now do this very well. so i didn’t think it was better than long beach or jumbo or ah yat, but anyhow it was a very nice dish. 🙂 i also did a good steamed razor clam in garlic oil myself but of course there was no comparison with what these restaurants produced. 🙂

the crayfish was fresh & sweet. 椒盐 pepper salt was not my preferred preparation as it came with a light batter. i preferred the usual sambal or the teochew style with yellow onions & egg.

the “medium-size” sri lankan crab i estimated about 1.2kg. my friends didn’t want pepper or chilli so we had it steamed with wine. it was quite good, the meat was sweet & quite firm though the crab was not “thiond” meaning firm & filling the shells.

the garlic asparagus was good. the mee goreng was very tasty with good amounts of seafood. my friend picked very nice dishes. the food was good & better than what we anticipated.  great tennis get-together & great dinner! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Another Wonderful Lunch @ Tunglok Signature Orchard Parade on 30Oct2013

razor clams

razor clams S$10.50 each

a good friend bought me an excellent lunch at tunglok signature @ orchard parade on 30.10.2013. according to the service staff, they wanted to promote their set menu hence they offered palate discounts only for set menus on weekends (i had an excellent dinner set here recently on 19.10.2013),  this was a weekday, we could only do ala carte to have the discounts. 🙂

lie tong

lie tong – S$14 for 1/2 pot serves 3-4pax

star garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs

star garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs S$38

lobster in 2 ways

lobster in 2 ways S$32 for 1/2 lobster

ala carte was good too. 🙂

we ordered the razor clams. this was steamed with the usual minced garlic. the sauce looked a bit darker than light soy sauce. the taste was good, and the bite was almost there though my friend felt it was still a wee bit tough. so it wasn’t perfect but still pretty good. btw, i also did a good steamed razor clam in garlic oil myself. 🙂

the lie tong as usual was super! 🙂 the 1/2 pot was enough for 4pax & we had 2 bowls each.

the star garoupa fillet with brocoli & lily bulbs were ok but missing the very evident wok hae, & the fish was not as firm & sweet as the ones i had recently at tunglok signature branch @ central.

the lobster in 2 ways – the flour gratin part was flavourful & the other was sweet & watermelon refreshing. 🙂 still, it was not quite worth S$32pax & both my friend & i would go with lobster steamed with superior sauce (上汤局) anytime. 🙂

durian ice cream in coconut

durian puree in coconut S$12

aloe vera with lime sorbet

aloe vera with lime sorbet S$6

testtube juice - 5 fruits

testtube juice – 5 fruits

for dessert my friend ordered the durian puree in coconut. i tried a teaspoon of the duran. it was excellent! i had the aloe vera with lime sorbet. it was very good too. i love it! 🙂 we also had some complimentary 5 juices in a test tube. 🙂

it was a very enjoyable lunch! the cost came to S$96 for 2 after 50% palate discounts. they only charged S$1.50pax for tea. we had pu er & tea was good tea too. they should see me around more often.

c.h.e.f andy

Cheap Enjoyable Dinner @ Keung Kee 强记鸡粥 on 28Sep2013

small mantis prawns in salt & pepper 椒盐濑尿虾

small mantis prawns in salt & pepper 椒盐濑尿虾

this my second time after an enjoyable dinner at Keung Kee 强记鸡粥 on 10.5.2013. we had 5pax this time so we ordered a bit more food.

keong kee 强记鸡粥 (near Tai Wei MTR)

keong kee 强记鸡粥 (near tai wei mtr)

Keung Kee 强记鸡粥 is a short walk from tai wai mtr.  there was a nearer 新强记 just across the mtr station & i did recall some years ago a hk friend mentioned to me to go there, so maybe i will try next trip. 🙂

chicken porridge - very sweet, tasty porridge & lots of chicken

chicken porridge – very sweet, tasty porridge & lots of chicken

roast pigeon

roast pigeon

spicy 田螺 - very nice

spicy 田螺 – very nice

razor clams steamed with minced garlic & tanhoon

razor clams steamed with minced garlic & tanhoon

romaine lettuce with fermented beancurd

romaine lettuce with fermented beancurd

tau you noodles

tau you noodles

the dishes were cheap & good as before.  the signature chicken porridge was very sweet, tasty porridge & lots of chicken. roast pigeon was good but not my favourite. skin was very crisp. meat was well cooked & not juicy. we also ordered the spicy 田螺 – very nicely done though not my favourite shell fish.

i enjoyed the small mantis prawns in salt & pepper 椒盐濑尿虾 a lot this time (top photo) – last time it was just ok. the meat was sweet & tasty though the prawns being small were harder to eat, of course if it were larger mantis prawns it would be even better. this dish only HK$90 c/w HK$500 for 2 large ones at Rainbow Restaurant on Lamma Isalnd.

the razor clams were also nicely done & went very well when spooned with the minced garlic, tanhoon & light soy sauce – just HK$80, even though the flesh is nowhere c/w plump & succulent large ones. so far in HK, we had not had the same excellent razor clams that we had commonly in any singapore seafood restaurants, probably because we didn’t know where to go to have them. btw, i also did a good steamed razor clam in garlic oil myself.

the romaine lettuce with fermented beancurd was a crowd favourite, wok hae & all. something i can target to get my own version up to. 🙂 1 friend wanted the fried noodles. it was ok but nothing to write about.

the dinner came to just HK$495 for 7 dishes for 5pax or about HK$100pax. 🙂

at a nearby nice dessert place

at a nearby nice dessert place

at a nearby nice dessert place

at a nearby nice dessert place

after the immensely satisfying meal, we found a desert corner just round the back. apart from the 杨枝甘露 which was very poor c/w 许留山, the others like my fruit cocktail with glass jelly & the tianjin pear & snow fungus were very refreshing. 🙂

hk tai pai tong 大牌档 is always my favourite. i would try a teochew stall & the soy goose (which a friend staying in hk brought me to many years back) next time. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

OK but Expensive Seafood @ Rainbow Restaurant Lamma Island on 27Sep2013

油局蟹 - oil or butter baked roe crabs

油局蟹 – oil or butter baked roe crabs

was with a few friends in hong kong over the weekend 27-30.9.2013, mostly just hiking & makan & some shopping. 🙂

a friend booked rainbow restaurant at lamma island which i had also wanted to try. the restaurant offered a private ferry pick-up at central pier no. 9 & also tsimshatsui star ferry pier where we boarded (usually at the private pier no. 5 this time at no. 6). it was quite a fast boat & good fun 30mins ride sitting on the deck level feeling the night breeze & looking at the string of pearl-like lit coastlines & beautiful night skylines of central & repulse bay. 🙂

we were debating how 南丫岛 get to become Lamma Island but soon realised that 南is lam & 丫is ah in cantonese so its like lamah or Lamma Island. 🙂

rainbow seafood restaurant @南丫岛 lamma island hong kong

rainbow seafood restaurant @南丫岛 lamma island hong kong

rainbow seafood restaurant @南丫岛 lamma island hong kong

rainbow seafood restaurant @南丫岛 lamma island hong kong

small lobster at HK$28/tael about S$125/kg kind of ex

small lobster at HK$28/tael about S$125/kg kind of ex

geoduck (pronounced gui-duck) & razor clams

geoduck (pronounced gui-duck) & razor clams

rainbow restaurant occupied the shop lots left & right of sok kwu wan pier. we went to the one on the right (view from pier).

pickled jelly fish & cucumbers

pickled jelly fish & cucumbers

seaweed egg littleneck clams soup

seaweed egg littleneck clams soup

steamed sea prawns

steamed sea prawns

2 large mantis prawns in salt & pepper 椒盐濑尿虾

2 large mantis prawns in salt & pepper 椒盐濑尿虾

we were served (and charged) a pickled jelly fish & cucumber plate, which was good. the seaweed egg littleneck clams (la la) soup was quite good though 1 friend said it was not as good as before. the steamed sea prawns was excellent, really sweet & fresh. the mantis prawns (2 large ones) in salt & pepper 椒盐濑尿虾 was good too. most friends liked this, some felt a bit salty. i was ok with it – meat was sweet stuck a little to shell. the last one i had at chung cuisine at times square was much better though, and the ones we had at Keong Kee the next day was small but also good & a lot cheaper. 🙂

the 油局蟹 (oil or butter baked roe crabs) at the top photo. we had wanted 黄油蟹 yellow roe crab famous in hk & south china. there weren’t any & the stall recommended this which was a poor substitute roe-wise, the crab meat though was very sweet & compact – i liked it but price was ex.

spicy fried razor clams 聖子

spicy fried razor clams 聖子

garlic steamed venus clams with tanhoon 蒜茸贵妃蚌

garlic steamed venus clams with tanhoon 蒜茸贵妃蚌

garlic fried kailan

garlic  fried kailan

we had wanted the larger razor clams 蒜茸蒸garlic steamed. unusually, the seller was more insistent than us that it was better fried & we should have the venus clams garlic steamed instead, so we picked the smaller ones, feeling that it was a waste for the large clams. i quite liked this dish, though would have preferred large ones garlic steamed. it was still better than the garlic steamed razor clams at Keong Kee the next day though this was a lot more ex. so far in HK, we had not had the same excellent razor clams that we had commonly in any singapore seafood restaurants, probably because we didn’t know where to go to have them. btw, i also did a good steamed razor clam in garlic oil myself.

i not much into the garlic steamed venus clams with tanhoon 蒜茸贵妃蚌. it was quite good but never a favourite with me, should have insisted on large bamboo clams. 🙂 a friend loved the garlic fried kailan (just like me, i like all vege in hk). 🙂

very sweet pineapples & melons

very sweet pineapples & melons

ginger syrup tau huay

ginger syrup tau huay

the fruits, particularly the pineapples, were very sweet. a friend went over to the neighbour stall to get ginger syrup tau huay. it was very good & smooth. 🙂

the dinner came to about HK$2300 for 7pax = HK$330. i felt it was rather ex for the food we ordered in a hk seafood restaurant. another friend said he had much better at lei yue mun 鲤鱼门. anyway it was a very pleasant, relaxed & enjoyable evening, night breeze in the hair, string of pearl-like litted coastlines & beautiful night skylines, great company & food. i will definitely come back but, as with any restaurants, will need to pick the right dishes. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Value Lobster Set @ Chao Yue Xuan (潮悦轩) on 1Mar2013

Chao Yue Xuan (潮悦轩) S$35nett 7-course set

Chao Yue Xuan (潮悦轩) S$35nett 8-course set

see also the new S$38 8-course lobster & abalone set (21.8.2013).

bought 2xS$35nett 8-course Chao Yue Xuan (潮悦轩) groupon vouchers, so duly visited the restaurant. 🙂

This is the same Ah Yat branch & location at UE Square along Mohamed Sultan Road, only they have changed the name to mean a “pleasing teochew pavilion”..at S$35nett the meal did turn out pleasing enough though nothing teochew 🙂

decor & ambience wise though the place is a bit dowdy, and in fact though this branch is located at UE Sqaure, Turf City has better ambience! there were 3 tables of Chinese tourists this evening – I guess F&B is really competitive here & people do need to survive. 🙂

salmon sashimi

salmon sashimi

the salmon sashimi was actually quite good but not really the belly or fatty type which now even some buffet serve, but it was good, not poor.

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the double-boiled fishmaw(花膠)soup was very good really – sweet, smooth, tasty.

garlic steamed (蒜茸蒸) razor (bamboo) clam with tanhoon

garlic steamed (蒜茸蒸) razor (bamboo) clam with tanhoon (glass noddles)

the garlic steamed razor (bamboo) clam with tanhoon (glass noodles) was good (every restaurant should really be able to do this well) though Ah Yat at Turf City was better & Long Beach @ Dempsey was better than both, and we didn’t think that serving it without the shell instead of on the shell was a great idea. btw, i also did a good steamed razor clam in garlic oil myself.

deep-fried fish chop with strawberry sauce

deep-fried fish chop with strawberry sauce

I cannot really fault this fish chop (2 pieces – very large serving) . The deep-fry was done right crispy & not soggy, but the meal was really filling & we were not into this sweet strawberry sauce thingy & this asian fusion? dish did not match well with the other menu items. I took 1 piece. My wife did not touch it.

20130301_200650 20130301_200705

the lobster in pumpkin sauce was very nice. It was a mid-size maine lobster, about 450g (& larger than the one we took subsequently at Xin Cuisine). pumpkin sauce is a favourite cooking style with Ah Yat & goes well with crab, I think more so than lobsters. Comparing this with the very light cheese gratin lobster at Xin Cuisine I would think this is better (& of course larger) – though my wife would disagree – but I guess this was more robust in taste & presentation c/w Xin Cuisine’s which can be said to be more fine.

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poached nai bai (奶白) with abalone sauce

This nai bai vege was very good! 🙂

baked prawns with noodles in superior sauce

baked prawns with noodles in superior sauce

I didn’t get this dish though – the prawn was large & fresh (live right..) & in superior sauce how to go wrong? but it was soggy, not “QQ” (al dente)..& with the fish chop, would be the weakest links in this set.

The red bean dessert does not really deserve mention or a photo..haha.:-)

anyway, it was difficult to fault this S$35nett 8-course set – the ingredients like lobster & razor (bamboo) clam were good quality, the salmon & prawn were fresh, soup & vege were good; quality of cooking was not quite there but still above average.

I may not do this too often but I have bought another 2 vouchers, so I am planning to go back before voucher expires. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Steamed Razor Clams with Garlic Oil

steamed razor clams with garlic - beautiful pic taken by Jeanette at 6.10.2012 homecooked dinner

steamed razor clams with garlic oil – beautiful pic taken by Jeanette at 6.10.2012 homecooked dinner

See also Chef=cookhangouteatfun.

Steamed razor clams is a common dish served in many seafood restaurants. I had many times very good ones at Ah Yat Turf City and couple times at Long Beach Dempsey. These days, cooking methods & processes are quite precise and I seldom come across a live fish that is not steamed just right (in older times we get undercooked & overcooked fish). The same with razor clams.

No recipe is needed to cook this dish really. It is just a matter of getting the razor clams, cleaning them (which is a big hassle) and then steaming PLUS doing the lightly browned garlic oil to drench over them.

I get my IQF (Individual Quick Freeze) razor clams from Giant hypermarket & Shop n Save (these days you get IQF everything – mussels, scallops, fish fillets etc). Normal price is S$11.95 for one 500g packet containing 8 to 11 large razor clams. Sometimes I get them during sales and it can be S$8.95, so just about $1 per clam. At the restaurants, you get live ones & will on average pay S$8++ (about $9.40) per clam.

Cleaning as I said is a hassle. I use kitchen scissors to cut away the blackish sag of innards & clean each clam thoroughly in slow running water (there will be a lot of soil & you will feel like you are eating sand if you don’t clean them). For the garlic oil, I just fry minced garlic on low heat with oil to brown them & then set aside the lightly browned garlic with oil in a bowl.

To steam the clams, you can use the usual steamer for about 6 minutes (just make sure you are able to remove the plate holding the clams out of the steamer when it is very hot). I find it easier to just poach the clams (w/o the shell) with the garlic oil & add 1 tablespoon light soy sauce in a covered saucepan for a few (about 4) minutes. Then I remove the steamed clams, place each on an individual cleaned 1/2 shell on a serving dish, and then spoon the garlic oil over the clams.

The result is the beautiful dish above.  I would say it is 95% as good as the restaurants that do them well, and better than those that can’t do them properly.

c.h.e.f andy

Ingredients:

  • 1x500g packet IQF (Instant Quick Freeze) razor clams – OR if you can get fresh ones that are not too costly
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

Directions:

  • Prepare the clams – defrost, cut/remove from shell, cut away the blackish sags of innards & clean thoroughly, airdry in fridge. clean enough 1/2 shells to place the clams on.
  • Cook the clams – lightly brown the minced garlic so you have the garlic oil ready in a large saucepan. add the clams & drizzle 1 tablespoon light soy sauce over it. Turn the fire to high to heat up & then quick lower to medium & cover for 4 minutes until the clams turned a white opaque colour (as in above picture). Turn off the fire, remove the clams & place each on cleaned individual 1/2shells on a large serving dish. spoon the garlic oil over each clam & serve.

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).

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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!

Image

chocolate lava cake, 4-cheese platter

Overall, it made for an extremely satisfying meal. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy