RI Friends 10pax curry rice lunch+bakuteh post JB trip 14Mar2016

had a really fun JB trip last week with my RI buddies. we had really good bakuteh at shoon huat at sentosa JB & roast duck from ya wang opposite, and dinner at canton-i at city square, but we missed out on the kam long fish head curry.

the guys were coming to my place for lunch & watching jeju slides & guide from a friend who had been there.

so i decided to do a curry rice lunch + bakuteh (reminiscence of the recent JB trip) on 14.3.2016. ^^

7 dishes = curry rice + bakuteh + dessert

7 dishes = curry rice + bakuteh + dessert

i had 7 dishes –

bakuteh singapore style
fish head curry
nonya curry chicken
sayur lodeh (using thai red curry)
kueh chap (pig head, pig ear, belly pork)
sio bak (roast pork)
lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉

for bakuteh i bought the frozen prime ribs from sheng shiong. it’s the le bao brand 乐宝, just S$10.95/kg.

i used the usual ILC bakuteh sachet, about S$1.50 for 20g sachet.

the bakuteh was excellent! soup was very tasty. many friends so commented.

1 used hara fried bean curd puff this time, i think this had more sweet 黄豆 flavours than the usual bean curd puff i used, the overall soup flavour was excellent, very tasty. a friend said it enhanced rather than overwhelmed the bakuteh sachet.

i think my soup was almost as good as shoon huat, and my pork ribs itself clearly better, more meaty, fatter & more flavoruful & excellent taken with my dark sauce which was very “pang” & not so salty.

fish head curry

#2 fish head curry

it’s the first time i cooked fish head curry.

mak's curry paste for fish head curry

#2 mak’s curry paste for fish head curry

i went to grab a curry paste from sheng shiong. found this mak’s nonya fish head curry S$2.45 i think, used it for the first time.

fish head curry

#2 fish head curry

wife went to chinatown market on sunday. i didn’t go. she bought a angkoli (sea bream) fish head. i though it was very expensive at S$16, but i had not bought this before not really qualified to comment on the price.

fish head curry

#2 fish head curry

anyway it was super fresh, meat was firm & sweet.

cooking was easy. i just followed instructions at the back of the sachet-

  1. cut okra (lady’s fingers) and fried first with sliced yellow onions, curry rempah & some coconut milk.
  2. added cut egg plant, fried another few minutes.
  3. added fish head & coat with rempah
  4. added chicken stock & coconut milk, covered, simmered about 8 – 10mins
  5. added cut tomatoes.

curry was very tasty, maybe could be stronger, almost as good as outside, think curry wok.

i did my usual nonya curry chicken.

i did this nonya curry chicken recently for teban gardens community breakfast.

today though, it was just slightly below my own expectations.

my friends all liked it. the curry was very flavourful & lemak. they said just like outside nasi padang stall.

i did my usual kueh chap too.

i was also not all that satisfied with the flavours. i felt the texture was great but the braising sauce flavours not “pang” enough.

my friends told me i ate too often. for them it was fine. 🙂

sayur lodeh

#5 sayur lodeh

the sayur lodeh was quite fine. the long beans & hara fried bean curd puffs went very well with the cabbage & curry.

sayur lodeh

#5 sayur lodeh

i used the dancing chef thai curry paste, but added the wrong one yellow instead of red (hard to tell from a previously open sachet w/o cover description) so it looked a bit more yellowish & just like sayur lodeh instead of red colour, by accident…haha! 🙂

sayur lodeh

#5 sayur lodeh

anyway this dish i was quite happy with, nice vegetable for curry rice.

airfryer sio bak

#6 airfryer sio bak

& a repeat of my recently “mastered” airfryer sio bak, learned from a friend.

i thought the belly pork was a bit too fatty. & i over compensated by grilling it 5mins longer. i told them this third time was poorer than the first 2.

airfryer sio bak

#6 airfryer sio bak

but all my friends thought it was very good, the skin was crispy.

one friend said the skin was crispy on most, but some parts were tough. i told him probably because i used a fork to furiously stab the skin, kind of primitive, so not evenly done.

lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉

#7 lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉

i made the easy dessert we all enjoyed at hoe kee dessert 浩记甜品馆 during our jan2016 hong kong trip- lotus ginkyo nut cheng chow 莲子白果凉粉.

just boiled the lotus & ginkyo nuts in syrup & added to the cheng chow from sheng shiong. almost no effort & so enjoyable, refreshing to have.

friends brought strawberries & also longan & a friend brought a red, a bottle of michel torino.

after lunch we watched the slides on jeju. looks like a great place to eat & hike. according to guides, oct & nov are the best time to visit, dry & cool weather.

c.h.e.f andy

RI G20 Mar2016 Dinner – Good But Expensive Food @ First Culinary on 24Feb2016

cold dishes

cold dishes

it’s been a few months since our last G20 dinner at moi lum on 26.11.2015.

we did have another RI get-together attended by 28pax on 3.12.2015.

anyway this time the organiser arranged dinner at first culinary at ITE college central 2 Ang Mo Kio Drive on 24.2.2016. 11pax attended.

S$468 menu

S$468 menu

we had the S$468 menu.

food taste was good actually. but it was quite expensive for the type of dishes & ingredients. we paid S$55 each.

deepfried mantous

deepfried mantous

some didn’t like the longevity buns so we had the deepfried mantous instead. they were nice though they didn’t fit into the dishes & perhaps the original longevity buns would do.

deepfried mantous

cold dishes

the cold dishes was quite good standard. all were quite tasty. roast pork nicely done & standard of any good restaurants like tunglok, imperial treasure etc.

fish skin, baby octopus, ribs & the egg were all good. 🙂

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

our group now more environment conscious, so sharksfin changed to fish maw soup. bravo! 🙂

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

the fish maw was also very good standard, tasty, with good amount of crab & fish maw, not the gluey starchy type.

fish maw soup

fish maw soup

& the stock, soup base was good, so a sweet, tasty soup, beng thin standard la... 🙂

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

there was a wasabi & peanut sauce prawns.

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

wasabi & peanut sauce prawns

both were very well down. same preparation deep-fried very nicely & added sauce. first time i had peanut sauce. it was good too.

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

we had a large soon hock, probably 1 kg size.

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

it was HK steamed 港蒸, very nicely done too, fresh, quite the perfect timing, very good.

abalone spinach duck web

abalone spinach duck web

the abalone dish was good standard but nothing special.

abalone spinach duck web

abalone spinach duck web

abalone is abalone, the duck web & brown braising sauce ok but nothing special, bot specially tasty..i had better la…

scallop broccoli basket

scallop broccoli basket

scallops & broccoli were all good. the basket was not yam basket but some potatoes, so so to me, no one took much.

yee meen noodles

yee meen noodles

yee meen noodles were pretty tasty.

sea coconut dessert

sea coconut dessert

sea coconut was the usual.

it was another wonderful evening of old friends coming together, great chat & sharing, strengthening of friendship & bonds.

overall the food was ok or good but pedestrian. nothing special except for the price, which was rather expensive at S$55nett each for the type of dishes. price was not outrageous but not great value also.

still between good value but mediocre food & this, i would rather have good standard food preparation & taste, and not so great value.

i heard hong kong people talking in the streets (actually in the MTR station), “sin you ho sek, yin hao dai sek” 先要好吃,然后抵吃…so first good taste, then good value la…

c.h.e.f andy

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

First Culinary Restaurant (ITE AMK)

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Sun: 10:30 – 15:00

Mon – Sun: 17:30 – 22:00

PHONE:

+65 64815500

Great Value Alacarte Semi-buffet (Beyond Expectations) @ Tim Palace SAFRA Toa Payoh on 24Nov2015

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

went with my sis & b-i-l to tim palace @ SAFRA toa payoh to try out their ala carte semi-buffet on 24.11.2015.

buffet is S$25.80pax. the added attraction is S$5 discounts for SC aka senior citizens! ^^

there’s a S$2pax for water, tea & peanuts (S$2.50pax or more if other drinks). so it was S$22.80pax for 3 of us, S$27nett each.

tim palace

tim palace

tim palace is at level 3 of SAFRA toa payoh clubhouse building.

tim palace

tim palace

it is quite large in capacity, good for functions, tour groups??

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

roast duck, char siew & roast pork station

i did not have high expectation of the roast meat 烧味 station.

but surprise, surprise, the roast duck was really, really good! very flavourful.

char siu

char siu

so was the char siu!. i think this one of the best char siu i had. as good as the excellent chargrilled pork neck at imperial treasure nanbei or (better in fact than) any other good char siu places.

roast duck - second helping

roast duck - second helping

i actually went for a second helping of roast duck, after taking the other food! 🙂

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

roast duck, char siew & roast pork 烧味

i was quite tempted to taste the salt baked chicken 盐炬鸡, but really no space left. sigh!

appetizer station

appetizer station

nothing much to say about the cold station. prawns was large, plump, fresh & sweet.

scallops & mussels all the frozen type, nothing worth taking.

appetizer station

appetizer station

the scallop tips (front) were quite nice. the prawn & squid salad were ok. sos so la!

cold flower crabs

cold flower crabs

the flower crabs were soft, mushy “nua nua”, the frozen type, not worth taking also. all these i took very little just to try.

sushi/sashimi station

sushi/sashimi station

salmon sashimi was ok. quite sweet. colour didn’t look that great.

i skipped the sushi.

appetizers

appetizers

so, mainly prawn was good, salmon sashimi ok too, squid/prawn salad & scallop tips passable.

braised small abalone with brocoli

braised small abalone with broccoli

i ordered most of the dishes that they allowed only one order.

small abalone with broccoli was good restaurant standard. no complaints. 🙂

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup

sharksfin soup was better than most cheaper sharksfin soup, not very gluey & stock quite tasty.

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam

sea cucumber with yam was decent competent dish.

scallops & celery in xo sauce

scallops & celery in xo sauce

the scallops & celery in xo sauce was pretty good.

crayfish

crayfish

crayfish was poor!

crayfish

crayfish

meat has no taste. this dish (thumbs down)!

char siu pao

char siew pao

we did not order the char siew pao, but somehow it was marked on the order sheet, the marking very different from our order markings, think some previous customers marked on it.

anyway no big deal, so we took it. the char siu pao were good!

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

i read that the deep-fried flower garoupa not so good, so we ordered the steamed seabass with sambal sauce.

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

steamed seabass with sambal sauce

seabass not such a great fish. but this preparation quite ok…so again a competent dish. maybe i will try the garoupa next time. don’t mind coming back again. 🙂

honey ribs

honey ribs

the honey ribs were ordinary. as good as any zi char stall i suppose. not my favourite.

honey ribs

honey ribs

cannot really criticise thsi dish, but the char siu was many times better than this.

drunken prawns

drunken prawns

surprisingly also the drunken prawns was very good. must be a very good quality shaoxing wine 绍兴酒.

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

the braised lamb pot was competent dish, but no more.

lamb still retain the gamey taste, and not specially flavourful.

braised lamb pot

braised lamb pot

i would say it’s a robust dish like a beef stew, so unless the herbs & preparation is special (like say at majestic), it’s not a dish i am particularly fond of.

dessert station

dessert station

dessert station the usual fare, with fruits, custard puffs & red bean pan cake etc.

sea coconut & longans

sea coconut & longans

i took the sea coconut…quite refreshing.

lotus seed red beans dessert

lotus seed red beans dessert

and a bit of the lotus seed red beans dessert. pretty ok.

the food quality & cooking were pretty ok, not that much different from (i would say better actually) say peach garden miramar’s ala carte buffet, and certainly better than the ala carte buffet at ban heng orchard central.

the outstanding dishes for me here were the roast duck, char siu(tops), drunken prawns, abalone.

the sea cucumber & scallops were pretty good.

c.h.e.f andy

++++++++++++++++++

Tim Palace

Address : 293 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh #03-01 Safra Club Singapore 319387
Hotline : 6253 5515 (Reservation is needed on Saturday and Sunday)
Fax : 6253 0266
Email : timpalace@gimtim.com.sg

OPENING HOURS:

Mon – Fri: 11:30 – 14:00; 18:00 – 22:00

Sat, Sun & PH: 11:00 – 14:30; 18:00 – 22:00

 

 

Good Authentic Thai Food @ Thai Gold Food on 10Jul2015

S$10 tomyam goong

S$10 tomyam goong

had a good 2pax thai dinner with wife at thai gold food on 10.7.2015.

wife wanted to see some furniture at “space” located at bencoolen street. we thought might as well eat in the area.

Thai Gold Food

Thai Gold Food

place was small with indoor & outdoor sitting. we were seated 7pm. soon a queue formed.

S$1.50 calamansi

S$1.50 calamansi

calamansi was sour & not too sweet, S$1.50 a glass so quite ok. i refer the more intense lemon but this was quite refreshing.

S$10 tomyam goong

S$10 tomyam goong

we ordered the S$10 tomyam goong (prawns). there were 6 fresh prawns, soup was good. of course not to be compared with patara which cost 2.5x more, but i liked this better than the clear tomyam talay at nakhon @ amk which i had recently.

S$10 green curry chicken

S$10 red curry chicken

we liked the S$10 red curry chicken. this the “dry” curry version. it was very flavourful & the chicken was tender.

S$10 green curry chicken

S$10 red curry chicken

i prefer though the soupy green curry at nakhon @ amk where i finished up all the curries.^^

S$10 bbq pork

S$10 bbq pork

the S$10 bbq pork was a recommended dish. it was good.

S$10 bbq pork

S$10 bbq pork

i am thinking whether i can come up with a version of this. my char siew & roast pork were not great, maybe i should try a different method of doing pork collar.

S$10 bbq pork

S$10 bbq pork

the total bill came to S$34. the dishes were slightly more expensive than nakhon @ amk. they were more satisfying for me though, it really depend on whether the dish preference & what we ordered. e.g. i prefer the red tomyam to the clear version. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI Friends G20 13pax Dinner at Peach Gardens @ Metropolis on 26May2015

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RI Friends G20 13pax Dinner at Peach Gardens @ Metropolis on 26May2015

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

had a fun dinner get together among RI friends at peach garden @ metropolis on 26.5.2015. ^^

happened to be the same friend who organised G20 dinner 2 years ago also at peach garden (@ novena), aug2013.

come to think of it, this was the 3rd time we had G20 dinners at peach garden in as many years. the most recent was at peach garden @ miramar on 30.6.2014, almost 1 year ago.

many of us had not been to metropolis. 1 who had been associated it with MOE as he is a professor at NUS. for another in a brokerage firm, it was CDP that came to mind.

i parked at the openair carpark before metropolis building, very well located next to the bus stop & MRT. there was a lift that took me to level 2 right by peach garden. 🙂

place was new so looked somewhat better than previously at novena & also at miramar. the ala carte buffet menu with 1 free for 3 paying is for steamboat, so we decided to take the ala carte menu instead.

roast pork烧肉

roast pork烧肉

roast pork烧肉

roast pork烧肉

we ordered the roast pork烧肉, a recommended dish. it was good, same standard as the usual places like crystal jade, imperial trasure, tunglok & canton paradise.

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

roast duck 明炉烧鸭

we were deciding between peking duck & roast duck. they were same price , i think S$56 for 1 duck. more went for roast duck, which was also my preference.

roast duck was good too, very flavourful & tender, & skin was crisp. it was no better than canton paradise. i think the latter still more fragrant & tasty, my gold standard. haha!^^

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

steamed soon hock

soon hock was S$9/100g. we had 12pax (+ one who came a bit later on), so we ordered a 1kg fish.

i always preferred steam for a very fresh live fish to deep-fried, which is like second best. soon hock was excellently done, very tender, smooth, tasty.

salted egg prawn

salted egg prawn

i was quite wary i.e. distrustful (& weary) of peach garden’s wasabi prawns. it once came with a ton of green wasabi mayo. but looking back at the 2013 photos actually it was not bad. anyhow we ordered the salted egg prawn, which was very good too, though not quite my favourite. 🙂

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

claypot tofu with naibai 奶白

a friend ordered the claypot tofu with naibai 奶白. a simple dish but really quite well executed!^^

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

chinese cabbage with golden mushrooms

& we had the chinese cabbage (jinbai 津白i think) with enoki mushrooms. again a very simple dish & very tastefully (both sight & taste) done indeed! 🙂

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice

egg white dried scallops fried rice is quite a standard dish in many good chinese restaurants. i used to love it a lot at imperial treasure nanbei, especially with the xo chilli sauce.

somehow this one didn’t wow, quite average to me, not much wok hae. i think i can do better than that myself. my favourite now is the spicy seafood fried rice at crystal jade la mian xiaolongbao.^^

fried kuayteow

fried kuayteow

a friend managed to reach when we were down to the second last dish, so he ordered a fried kuay teow. looked ok i guess, like the usual fare.

芝麻豆沙锅饼

芝麻豆沙锅饼

芝麻豆沙锅饼

芝麻豆沙锅饼

the sesame red bean pancake was another standard dish. it was done pretty nicely – look & certainly taste also.

custard bun 流沙包

custard bun 流沙包

custard bun 流沙包

custard bun 流沙包

the last item was the custard bun. pretty good but i kind of tired of them (like i was tired of the crispy charsiew bao at timhowan).

a very enjoyable dinner & evening with friends.

the price came to S$414 nett for 13pax after a 15% credit card discount=S$32nett. of course we did not order much food too. we did not order expensive ingredients so these were average dishes but very well executed. price was ok, about there i guess.

c.h.e.f andy

8pax Ala Carte Lohei Dinner @ Mitzo Grand Park Orchard on 3Mar2015

lohei

lohei

a friend organised a lohei dinner at mitzo, grand park orchard on 3.3.2015. 🙂

don’t think i have even stepped into this hotel since crown prince hotel was sold to the park hotel group in 2005. vaguely remember there was some ala carte buffet at long jiang restaurant here back then eons ago.

coming out of the lift on level 4, the entrance was a bit hidden, right at the end of the hall way.

place looked atas, with a japanese sounding name mitzo, and the waiting staff including at the welcome counter were mostly foreigners, took us a while to spot a singaporean. we were served by a spanish guy. must say the service was very polite & cheerful, and the staff were well trained.

it was only later that i read that mitzo was supposedly inspired by “mat zoe” 蜜枣 – honey dates used in cantonese double boiled soup & lie tong 例汤。whatever.^^

mitzo is also apparently positioned as an inventive cocktail bar, serving some cocktails from a teapot. 🙂

lohei

lohei

there were 8 of us.

we ordered a medium lohei. the lady who served us was i think filipino, and she managed to say a few auspicious messages like 年年有鱼(余),大吉大利etc, and some of them in english translations. an interesting diversion was when she used a cocktail tumbler to mix the sweet sauce & oil, not that it would make any difference to the lohei.

c/w with the lohei at char, the amount of salmon here was a lot more, i think 2x more. in terms of taste though, char’s lohei was a lot tastier & more refreshing, and altogether more enjoyable.

here because the end result was a bit too dry, we asked for more sauce & lady came & added what looked like the char siew sauce instead of the sweet sauce & oil, the result was not the taste we associated with lohei.

roast pork

roast pork

roast pork

the roast pork was pretty good. i think better than char but it was quite standard & not a stand-out c/w any of tunglok, imperial treasure, crystal jade, canton paradise.

char siew

char siew

char siew

char siew

the char siew was good. it was featured in their website also i guess one of the signature dishes? it was tender moist flavourful, slightly different from the one at char, not necessarily better. for me though, i prefer this (char’s was unique but sauce slightly on the sweet side).

soft shell crab in curry floss

soft shell crab in curry floss

the spanish waiter recommended the soft shell crab in curry floss. in fact we ordered all his recommended dishes.^^

the curry soft shell crab was good, competent. i liked the curry flavour. though it was kind of unrelated, i just happened to be making a curry miso lamb that evening (which turned out to be fabulous) in the oven at 90degC then 80degC for 10hours while i was dining.

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

the roast duck with truffle was good too, a good restaurant standard. my favourite roast duck though is the one at canton paradise.

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant

eggplant was good, competent.

fried rice

scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice

fried rice

scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice

the scallop, crabmeat, egg white fried rice though was a bit below par, not enough wok hae. this a dish that i always order in imperial treasure nanbei or imperial treasure teochew at taka, so it was rather poor by comparison.

the food was actually quite authentic & better than my first impression that we were walking into an expensive atas place to eat so-so chinese food. i guess we were quite full & ordered very few dishes for 8pax, so we only paid S$30pax for the dinner.

but from what i saw of the set dinner & ala carte prices e.g. 1/2 roast duck was S$36 c/w S$26 at canton paradise, this place is certainly quite a bit more expensive. again it’s not comparing apple with apple as the ambience & location are quite different. 🙂

this not my usual kind of place for cantonese food but i don’t rule out completely also. not coming back anytime soon la…

c.h.e.f andy

Very Good CNY Set Lunch @ Char on 3Mar2015

char siew

char siew

a fundonate partner organised a lohei lunch at char on 3.3.2015.^^

we had the S$38pax CNY set. it was good!

lohei

lohei

some staff were foreigners, so we waited for a chinese speaking local staff to do the lohei.

a friend asked the staff to drizzle just 1/2 the sweet sauce & 1/2 the oil. results was good.

the amount of salmon was puny, unlike what we had for dinner at mitzo. otherwise, i enjoyed this lohei.^^

fishmaw soup

fishmaw soup

the fish maw & scallop soup was excellent! very very tasty, 1 of the best i had!

3 roasts = char siew, roast pork, roast duck

3 roasts = char siew, roast pork, roast duck

the char siew with the special sauce (though a bit sweet) was best! 🙂

the roast pork was tasty, not quite crackling skin but skin was edible. the duck was forgettable, very below par.

steamed garoupa

steamed garoupa

steamed garoupa

steamed garoupa

steamed garoupa was good, fresh, sauce was excellent with a tinge of sesame oil, fish was fresh, sweet & firm.^^

brocoli with crab meat

brocoli with crab meat

brocoli with crab meat

brocoli with crab meat

broccoli with crabmeat was good if quite standard fare.

fried rice

prawn fried rice

prawn fried rice was simple but good too!

red bean paste with lotus seeds

red bean paste with lotus seeds

red bean paste with lotus seed was just ok. no 陈皮 old orange peel & lotus seed not cooked enough.

my friends said this place packed in the evening & he usually just call up & order the char siew.^^

c.h.e.f andy

3 Days of Non-stop Feasting @ Chinese New Year 2015 (19-21Feb2015)

as usual, had a very foodful chinese new year. it was just a spate of continuous eating, meals & snacks. no matter if i skipped meals, as there were continuous munching of snacks to fill the gaps, so weight watching was quite simply a lost cause.

my happy chinese new year blessings to all my friends here

CNY Eve

for CNY eve we had our reunion dinner at my elder brother’s place.

this year i made buddha-jump-over-the-wall(BJOTW), 1/2spicy duck 盐水鸭 & using the same marinade, a spicy belly pork.

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

buddha jump over the wall ingredients

the BJOTW was a poor man’s version. apart from a can of 6 pieces small abalones & good thick mushrooms, the other ingredients were cheap (limpets) and mostly unhealthy (pig trotter, pig ear, belly pork, pig head meat).

look was impressive (top photo), taste was pretty good. but i was not overly impressed with my own effort. there was too much food anyway & didn’t really need more unhealthy food – will skip this next CNY.

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

pencai 盆菜

my sis brought the pencai 盆菜. flavours was very good, and the small abalones much better than what i had. this year pencai 盆菜very expensive everywhere. hers was a very much cheaper one only S$138 for 6pax.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

my wife made her usual hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财), and as usual very nice, though the ones she made later on Day2 was even better, tastier.

braised pig stomach

braised pig stomach

my s-i-l’s mom made the braised pig stomach (though nowadays the person actually making it was the helper). this a dish i always like.

char siew & roast pork

char siew & roast pork

my niece made very good char siew & roast pork. she made a small business of it, selling 20kg of the tasty dish over the internet.

my spicy duck 盐水鸭 was good too. it was a lighter version c/w my teochew braised duck. in fact this dish is served as appetiser in shanghai, nanjing, jiangnan locality.

spicy belly pork

spicy belly pork

i used the same spice to do the spicy belly pork. this was ok but not great. i did this again on Day2 & that was miles better!^^

mantis prawn

mantis prawn

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

chilli mantis prawn & pomfret

my brother bought very large mantis prawns, 5 pieces for S$35. i did not take any. it wasn’t too great also but certainly looked nice. the chilli though was very good, better than most chilli crabs. 🙂

pomfret

pomfret

pomfret was usual. i did not try it either, just too much food.

tofu with leeks

tofu with leeks

tofu with leek, and broccoli

tofu with leek, and broccoli

i liked all the vege.

my brother tried eating out for 3 years for CNY eve. we went to joyden (previously called west coast seafood). food was quite good & not too expensive, however with say 13pax or more, it still came to >S$600. all of us cook, so it was so much more fun just to cook some dishes & bring over. i definitely preferred our own homecooked CNY eve dinner. ^^

CNY Day 1

breakfast spread

breakfast spread

again our family tradition, on CNY Day 1, we went over to my brother’s place for breakfast.

hoe see fat choy2 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

hoe see fat choy 蚝屎发菜(好事发财)

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

many of the dishes were leftover from CNY eve dinner.

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

rabbit fish & salmon sashimi

there were too much food on CNY eve, so we kept the prawns for Day1 breakfast, and added the rabbit fish知县鱼 (very sweet) & the salmon sashimi my wife bought (very good too!).

tofu & leeks

tofu & leeks

leftovers from last evening!

mushrooms & greens

mushrooms & greens

& some more vegetables. ^^

CNY Day 2

CNY Day2 is my wife’s tradition. she would invite her brothers & sister & their families (nephews & grand nephews & grand niece).

this year we took a family photo. & there are 26pax + our dog rusty. ^^

i made my usual poached chicken 白斩鸡. this time it was especially good – colour, texture, sweetness! everyone just loved this dish.^^

the miso pork was very good too. this the longest i put in the oven, 8hrs at 90degC/85degC.^^ the result was excellent. the miso marinade gave it excellent flavours & the slow low-temperature braise an excellent texture. i have learned that 90degC is the optimum temperature to convert collagen to tasty gelatine & texture, so this made the miso pork texture & bite really good!

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

flavoured pork 风味五花肉

i did the same for the flavoured pork 风味五花肉, and this was excellent too, with a different sichuan spice marinade.

tanhoon fungus

tanhoon fungus

we had the same tanhoon fungus.

chilli pork ribs

chilli pork ribs

& my helper’s chilli pork ribs.

deepfried chicken wings

deepfried chicken wings

some chicken wigs for the young ones.

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

funghi linguine

for my niece & her husband who are vegetarians, i made a funghi linguine. also for my wife’s sister. it was really good. they all loved it, and there was a bit of leftovers for the nephews.

after that it was my tofu cheese cake & tiramisu, which disappeared in no time.

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

ice jelly with longans, palm fruits

i especially liked the ice jelly with longans, palm fruits my wife’s sil made. she always bring that for our gatherings. very refreshing. i had several helpings.

c.h.e.f andy

6pax Family Dinner @ Canton Paradise on 28Nov2014 (Update)

crispy deepfried tofu v

crispy deepfried tofu

6pax family dinner at canton paradise @ j-cube on 28.11.2014. 🙂

this a quick update, as we were just here 2 days ago.^^

not that we had a choice. did not read the small prints, & bought 2 groupons which (1) could not be redeemed at canton paradise star vista but at other outlets, nearest being j-cube, & (2) could only redeem 1 voucher per visit. & today the last day for redemption, so we had to come back again before voucher expired.

this time it was 7.30pm on a friday night & parking was near impossible. we came in 2 cars. 4 of us got into the carpark at 7.10pm. the second car was in the queue but decided to try for another carpark, unsuccessfully & returned to queue again after 20 cars lining the way down the car park ramp & outside. so never get out of the queue! they came to the restaurant like 40mins later.

we tried a few new dishes.

the crispy deep-fried tofu (S$5.80) was very good, crisp outside, smooth consistent inside.

crispy cod fritters

crispy cod fritters

crispy cod fritters

crispy cod fritters

my daughters liked the crispy cod fritters (S$9.80). my wife & I taught sauce was a bit sweet.

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

i am a bit tired of this crispy char siew pao, others still liked it.

prawn fun cheong

prawn fun cheong

prawn fun cheong was ok.

xiaolongbao (小笼包)

xiaolongbao (小笼包)

so was xiaolongbao (小笼包), though all of us preferred crystal jade lamian xiaolongbao.

spicy dumplings (抄手)

spicy dumplings (抄手)

liked the spicy dumplings (抄手). 🙂

har gao (虾饺)

har gao (虾饺)

har gao (虾饺) was the best, 2 large prawns, excellent skin & flavours, the best! 🙂

salted egg custard buns (流沙包)

salted egg custard buns (流沙包)

i am getting tired of salted egg custard buns (流沙包) also.

mixd innards congee (状元及第粥)

mixd innards congee (状元及第粥)

this time the mixd innards congee (状元及第粥) below par. they ran out of congee at 8pm after we placed our orders & this was apparently the last bowl. ingredients a bit overcooked.

roast pork

roast pork

roast pork was good.

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck

roast duck, as always, perfect! 🙂

char siew

char siew

char siew

char siew

char siew can skip.

beef hor fun

beef hor fun

beef hor fun was oily, has wok hae, tasted more like sicc char kuay teow, not in my book for dishes here.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 Monthly Dinner by Chak Joo @ Ban Heng Harbourfront Centre on 24Nov2014

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RI Friends Monthly Dinner @ Ban Heng Harbourfront Centre on 24Nov2014

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork

we had our november RI friends dinner @ ban heng harbourfront centre on 24.11.2014. 🙂

this was the smallest turnout, with 7pax.

i had not been to this ban heng outlet before. the last time G20 had a 23pax dinner at ban heng at orchard central, food was quite average.

this outlet has 2 ala carte buffet menu – one pried at S$28.80++ here, and the other at S$21.80++. from what i can see the main difference is for the S$28.80 menu you get to pick 1 order of abalones, crabs, froglegs, live prawns, scallops.

we took the S$28.80++ menu.

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck

#1 roast duck was passable. but c/w the beautiful roast duck at both canton paradise star vista & canton paradise J-cube or with the noodles restaurant at centrepoint, this would be a poor & distant cousin.

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken

#2 drunken chicken was average, competent.

#3 garlic spinach

#3 garlic spinach

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

#4 sambal kang kong

liked the vegetables, #3 garlic spinach & #4 sambal kang kong.

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock

#5 deep-fried soon hock was a standard dish. it was done well. 🙂

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce

#6 beef with bitter gourd black bean sauce was also done well. i personally would prefer fish head & meat with black bean bitter gourd, but this was as good as any good zi char, say kok sen at keong saik street or hong kong street chun kee at commonwealth crescent or ah orh at bukit merah.

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns

#7 steamed prawns was good like any good seafood restaurant.

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

#8 sharks fin soup

surprisingly the #8 sharks fin soup though gluey like any served at weddings in yesteryears, had very tasty stock. this was much better than ban heng orchard central.

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions

#9 frog legs with ginger & spring onions was also a competent dish. not so different from what my family used to have often at ah yat turf city (now grandstand) long in the past.

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork

#10 roast pork. all my friends liked this a lot. we had a second order. meat looked great, was tender & tasty & skin was crisp. i would say presentation & taste-wise still a tad below what i had recently at tunglok central.

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery

#11 fried prawns with celery – passable, nothing interesting.

#12 char siew

#12 char siew

#12 char siew looked & tasted great. of the 2 dishes, my friends liked the roast pork better.

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach

#13 abalones with mushrooms & spinach. this was quite good dish also. the braising sauce though was nothing like the really good brown sauce served in good cantonese restaurants say ah yat abalones forum restaurant for abalone dishes (also goose web & spiky sea cucumber dishes) or at chao yue xuan.

#14 deep-fried ilapia in thai sauce

#14 deep-fried tilapia in thai sauce

#14 deep-fried tilapia in thai sauce was an interesting dish. it had less meat so some friends preferred the soon hock dish to this.

#15 scallops in yam nest

#15 scallops in yam nest

#15 scallops in yam nest. scallops were average & overall this dish was poor, below par, not even comparable with a good yam basket say at ah orh w/o expensive scallops.

#16 chai poh with steamed bean curd

#16 chai poh minced pork with steamed bean curd

#16 chai poh minced pork with steamed bean curd, i think this was really poor.

#17 sweet & sour soup

#17 sweet & sour soup

#17 sweet & sour soup. this was a pretty good soup.

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab

#18 pepper crab was quite the usual seafood restaurant standard, for sure better than spices cafe.

pulut hitam

pulut hitam

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

aloe vera & jelly

self service dessert were quite standard. aloe vera with jelly was quite refreshing & pulut hitam the usual.

overall, food here was better than ban heng orchard central but not as good as (service especially) peach gardens miramar (menu had wider spread though at ban heng harbour front). for S$28.80++ pax it was 2/3 the price of spices cafe w/o the lobster. i guess quite an ok deal.

c.h.e.f andy

Wife’s Belated Birthday by My Buddies @ Tunglok Central on 19Nov2014

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

my buddies organised a belated birthday dinner for my wife on 19.11.2014. 🙂

the place was tunglok signature at central, the same place they did a birthday dinner to remember for me last year.

& i am very happy this year they again did a birthday dinner for me at chef chan & this dinner for my wife. such great friends! 🙂

friend's god sister arranged wine

friend’s god sister arranged wine

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

excellent roast pork (烧肉)

my friend’s god sister again pre-ordered the food. & she arranged the wine & cake too. 🙂

we had the roast pork (烧肉), which was really excellent. skin was very crispy & the texture & taste was marvellous, & not too fatty.

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken

ingredients for the double boiled soup (炖汤)

ingredients for the double boiled soup (炖汤)

the double boiled soup (炖汤) with sea whelk, black garlic & chicken was super too. this 1 of few soups that could match & better the very good lie tong (例汤) here. very sweet & tasty. 🙂

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli

we had the spinach tofu (三层楼) with shimeji mushrooms & broccoli, which is another signature dish here. it was very good. 🙂

salted egg cod fish fillet

salted egg cod fish fillet

salted egg cod fish fillet

salted egg cod fish fillet

next was a salted egg cod fish fillet. it was very well done. cod was very good. for me & also my wife though, the dish was deep-fried & even though it was done well & not very oily, it could not match the simple steamed cod with mui choy (梅菜)。

wasabi mayo prawns

wasabi mayo prawns

likewise wasabi mayo prawns was well done & nicely presented. it came with mangoes & salad.  presentation was superior to peach garden’s yuzu prawns. taste wise peach garden’s equally good. yuzu taste was great & dish better w/o the mayo.

salted egg custrad longevity bun (流沙寿桃)

salted egg custrad longevity bun (流沙寿桃)

star fruit juice

complimentary star fruit juice

complimentary salted egg longevity bun (流沙寿桃) & the 生日快乐十全美 verses

complimentary salted egg longevity bun (流沙寿桃) & the 生日快乐十全美 verses

there was a miscommunication with the server. we thought there were 7 dishes & waited for the noodles & dessert. but it turned out that friend’s god sister arranged 5 dishes & instructed the restaurant to take our orders for the carb & dessert.

anyway we were really full with the 5 dishes & there was also the birthday cake, so we decided to skip the carb & dessert. just as well! 🙂

tunglok provided a complimentary salted egg longevity bun (流沙寿桃) & after singing the birthday song, the servers recited the the 生日快乐十全美 verses. service was excellent! they also provided complimentary star fruit juice. 🙂

the cake was a nutty chocolate banana from swissbake. i liked the cake though could not taste the nutty part. 🙂

it was a very enjoyable, memorable evening.

c.h.e.f andy

Good Hong Kong Food @ Canton Paradise Star Vista on 21Sep2014

roast duck

1/2 roast duck

had an early 5pax family dinner @ canton paradise on 21.9.2014.  last time we came was also early dinner on 22.2.2014.

it is first come first serve so we went at 5.45pm to avoid long queue. 🙂

it’s hk food. the hk roast duck looked particularly inviting & we decided to order 1/2duck at S$25. it was very good, genuinely hk standard. can’t say it was better than the roast duck at noodles restaurant @ centrepoint, but i would order this again anytime. 🙂

we ordered another roast 2-combo (烧腊双拼) of roast pork & char siew (did not take photos). it was competent but the char siew was not comparable with the excellent charcoal broiled pork neck & also the char siew at imperial treasure teochew ngee an city.

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

crispy char siew pao

tastebuds had not changed since our feb2014 visit. my daughter still likes this crispy char siew pao best & i still preferred the crispy char siew pao @ timhowan toa payoh. for me though, both were not of the standard of timhowan @ shamshuipo hk.

canton paradise @ star vista

canton paradise @ star vista

hat gao

har gao

har gao was good, the skin tore when i picked up one, but the prawns filling was excellent-fresh, bouncy, sweet. 🙂

har fun cheong

charsiew fun cheong

charsiew fun cheong on this occasion was very poor, totally sub-par..the charsiew was not tasty enough & the cheong fun (肠粉) was thick & not smooth. this was the worse dish for me! 😦

we also had a xianglongbao. on this occasion the skin was a bit thick & the soup inside was not as sweet, so a poor second to crystal jade la mian xiaolongbao! 😦

porridge 3-combo=beef, pork live, kidney

porridge 3-combo=beef, pork liver, kidney

plain hk noodles

plain hk noodles

i did not try the noodles but it looked good & no different from hk standard & the children liked it too.

we ordered the porridge 3-combo=beef, pork liver, kidney. the porridge was excellent – velvety smooth & tasted great. the beef, pork liver, kidney were all great! i could come here just for porridge & roast duck. 🙂

salted egg bun

salted egg bun

salted egg bun

salted egg buns (流沙包)

daughter thought salted egg buns (流沙包) here was best. it was very good! for me, the 咸蛋流沙包 at imperial treasure teochew at ngee ann city was just as good. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

 

Very Satisfying Comfort Food @ Four Seasons Chinatown London on 25Aug2014

roast duck (烧鸭)

roast duck (烧鸭)

coming back from cambridge, we decided to go to the regent street nespresso outlet to get some capsules for my friend in singapore. we took the piccadilly line from king’s cross to piccadilly. i bought 50each of the black ristretto (intensity 10 arabica) & the purple arpeggio (intensity 9 arabica) capsules. 🙂

as we were near to four seasons in chinatown, we decided to have another go at roast duck just for the 2 of us. 🙂

son felt that the roast duck at four seasons was better & the sauce was sweeter c/w the roast duck gold mine. i could not tell the difference & i really love the roast duck at both restaurants. really shook! 🙂 price wise there wasn’t much to compare either – £12 at gold mine and £12.50 at four seasons.

roast pork (烧肉)  & char siew on rice

roast pork (烧肉) & char siew on rice

as there were only 2 of us & we already had 1/2duck, we decided to have a roast pork (烧肉) & char siew on rice for £7.80. i guessed it would be a smaller portion but this worked out well for us & was cheaper than getting a meat plate for £8.50 + £2.50 for rice.

the roast pork (烧肉)  at gold mine was distinctly superior to this.

my last experience with four seasons was in 2011 & as expected the service was brisk & business like bordering on unfriendly or even rudeness i had come to expect in chinese restaurants (or for that matter in any restaurants like this of so many nasi chefs in singapore, & at la botte in stresa where business was so good & they were always full & so busy).

i spoke cantonese with the 40-ish lady server i mistook as from hong kong. she was fast in words & thoughts & forceful. later when she talked about high teacher’s pay in singapore (which i guessed was misinformation) i realised she not likely to be from hong kong  & she told me she came to UK from malaysia 22 years ago. anyway she was very nice to us & gave 10% student discount when my son asked. we were not expecting that as my son was dining with me & not his student friends. 🙂

well, for me, gold mine & four seasons are the places i will go back every time i am in london.

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Roast Duck (烧鸭) & Roast Pork (烧肉) in London @ Goldmine on 23Aug2014

1 whole boneless roast duck

1 whole boneless roast duck

goldmine is 1 of the favourite places my son & his friends go to for roast duck in london.

i came here once with my son 2 years back & wanted to try the place again. 🙂

the reviews were mostly good. we took the hammersmith line from king’s cross to edgeware road & changed to circle line to bayswater. goldmine was just 100m from the station & the street was lined with chinese restaurants including four seasons. i will probably try four seasons if i come again this trip, though not likely.

stepping into goldmine & seeing the 师傅 deboning the roast duck, one can see straight away that it was good. the roast pork looked amazing too. char siew looked ok. 🙂

son booked table of 5. only 2 of us were there. a son’s friend came shortly. the rule though was that only when all 5pax arrived then they would seat us. i spoke cantonese with the server & managed to get seated but they said we had to vacate by 750pm (we booked 630pm). i supposed it was fair enough under the circumstances. anyway we didn’t need to when the time arrived though restaurant continued to be quite full, but not overflowing.

watercress lie tong (例汤)

watercress lie tong (例汤)

roast pork (烧肉)

roast pork (烧肉)

char siew (叉烧)

char siew (叉烧)

hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐)

hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐)

fried kai lan

fried kai lan

i ordered 1 roast duck deboned, 1 order each of roast pork (烧肉) & char siew (叉烧), and the watercress lie tong (例汤) which son wanted. son ordered the hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐) & fried kai lan. 🙂

we were not disappointed. roast duck was very good. to me it was like hong kong standard. & 1 roast duck for GBP22 is cheaper than most restaurant prices in singapore. i thought the roast pork (烧肉) was really excellent, looked amazing & tasted incredible, so tender & the skin crisp. i can do this again. the char siew (叉烧) was quite average, not poor but no comparison with (say) imperial treasure teochew’s charcoal broiled pork collar or char siew.

son & friends loved the hotplate braised tofu (铁棒豆腐). it was very average though, the coffeeshop zi char standard & no comparison with (say) braised tofu at a good zi char like kok seng.

overall cost for 5pax came to GBP80. for me it was an enjoyable meal & i would be happy to come back again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

13pax ala Carte Buffet Dinner @ Peach Garden Miramar on 30Jun2014

#1 char siew

#1 char siew

#2 roast pork

#2 roast pork

our dinner group decided to have get-together at peach garden miramar on 30.6.2014. food was ala carte buffet at S$30.80++ and 3 paying 1 free, quite good deal really. 🙂

the food was generally good, better than our last group dinner at ban heng orchard central on 25.4.2014. the service was very good too, friendly & jovial, and we all decided to give a substantial tip afterwards. 🙂 it was also 1/2 the price & better quality than the one i had recently at restaurant home on 25.6.2014.

#1 char siew (a charcoaled grilled pork neck) was good as usual.

#2 roast pork was good this evening, crispy & tasty, with the mustard dip.

#3 pork floss egg plant

#3 pork floss egg plant

#3 pork floss egg plant was good here. the egg plant batter was very light & the texture & taste combination was excellent.

#4 drunken chicken

#4 drunken chicken

#4 drunken chicken looked processed in appearance. taste was ok with wine infused flavour.

#5 yuzu prawns

#5 yuzu prawns

#6 wasabi prawns

#6 wasabi mayo prawns

#5 yuzu prawns was very good, crispy, prawns were fresh & the slight citric yuzu flavour was great.

#6 likewise the wasabi mayo prawns.

#7 fish fritters

#7 fish fritters

#7 fish fritters was average. fish was so so, the crispy batter was quite well done.

#8 sharksbone soup with lobster claw

#8 sharks bone soup with lobster claw

#8a crab meat/roe sharksfin

#9 crab meat/roe sharksfin

there was a limit of 1 order of soup per person.

#8 the sharks bone soup was ok. i had it the last time. i thought the lie tongs (例汤), soup of the day, at tunglok & imperial treasure were better.

#9 i tried the crab meat/roe sharkskin this time, it was quite ok.

#10 deep-fried soon hock

#10 deep-fried soon hock

#10 the deep-fried soon hock was good, better than when i had it last time. meat was fresh, moist & tasty. we had 2 orders.

#11 kurobuta pork

#11 kurobuta pork

#11 kurobuta pork was ok.

#12 sauteed beef

#12 sauteed beef

#12 the sautéed beef was overly sweet & artificially tender, edible but not much in demand by the diners.

#13 braised beef briskets & tendon

#13 braised beef briskets & tendon

#13 the braised beef briskets & tendon was quite good. we had 2 orders.

#14 pan-fried venison

#14 pan-fried venison

#14 pan-fried venison. this not really a favourite for me, no different from any coffershop zichar stalls.

#15 pating fish

#15 pating fish

#15 pating fish was a favourite for me. this time it was quite well done, very fresh & tasty. i suggested to the manager that for a live fish, it would be better presentation to serve a fish head portion or 1/2 a fish rather than in cut pieces. he said the fish   might be too big so they had it served in cut portions. hmm..actually most pating served here in singapore were 1kg or 700g fish.

#16 cauliflowers & brocoli

#16 cauliflowers & brocoli

#17 string beans with sliced scallops

#17 string beans with sliced scallops

#18 spinach with 3 eggs

#18 spinach with 3 eggs

we had 3 different vege. they were all good.

$16 cauliflower & brocoli was simple & tasty & great colour combination.

#17 string beans were good too, though the thinnest of sliced scallops didn’t contribute anything to the dish.

#18 spinach with 3 eggs was quite standard, mediocre actually & a very large portion.

#19 杨支甘露

#19 杨支甘露

#20 bubur hiram with ice cream

#20 bubur hitam with ice cream

#21 ice jelly

#21 ice jelly

most of us ordered 2 or 3 dessert each.

#19 i did not try the 杨支甘露. it should be quite standard.

#20 the bubur hitam with ice cream was a crowd favourite.

#21 the ice jelly was kind of plain.

another joyous dinner with good food, company, fellowship & memories. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI G20 13pax Dinner @ Peach Garden Miramar on 30Jun2014

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“Sous Vide” Char Siew

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sous vide char siew

as i mentioned in my recent post on a homecooked 11pax 11-course dinner for RI buddies on 5.5.2014, i always find chinese cooking to be much more challenging than western (re my “worthwhile to do?” philosophy). peking duck for example requires such fine & painstaking preparation as air-blowing the skin to produce a very crispy skin peking duck, and xiaolongbao (小笼包) & 石榴包 are such intricate dumplings c/w ravioli served in modern european fine dining. & while perhaps not quite fine dining, teochew braised duck, chicken rice chicken, 蒜泥白肉, char siew & roast pork are such simple, tasty & very cheap food one can buy anywhere in singapore that it is really challenging to make home-cooking such dishes “worthwhile to do?”. anyhow, i did have quite successful recipes for very cheap & easy to do teochew braised duck & chicken rice chicken, but am unable to make a good crackling belly pork thus far. char siew also was not easy, and i had made quite a few attempts. anyhow finally, i think i have developed a really good “sous vide” char siew recipe, that made for a truly fabulous dish. 🙂

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sous vide char siew

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sous vide char siew

i scalded the belly pork as usual to remove scum. then i cut into several 3in pieces & placed in a ziploc bag when cooled. i prepared a very good marinade after much scouring through internet recipes plus some adjustments of my own. this method is similar to my very good miso belly pork except that the marinade is an adapted char siew marinade & not miso. like miso belly pork, i let it marinate for 3 full days to infuse the wonderful flavours. then i placed the belly pork fully covered/drenched in a marinade bath in a pre-heated oven at 90degC for 5hrs. 90degC is the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours. 🙂 this made the char siew especially the fatty parts, totally tender & delicious, & melt-in-the-mouth, such wonderful texture & flavours combined. 🙂 the final step was just to char over a non-stick pan on high heat. i used butter (if you want higher temperatures, use vegetable oil). i then charred the char siew on all sides which took just minutes. that imparted even more intense flavours to the char siew. 🙂 c.h.e.f andy Ingredients:

  • 500g belly pork

char siew sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp dark sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp cooking sake
  • 2 tbsp brandy (or 2 tbsp shaoxing wine)
  • 3 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic – 3 to 4 cloves
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • pinch of black pepper

Directions:

  1. scald belly pork as usual to remove scum. then cut into several 3in pieces & place in a ziploc bag when cooled. make marinade by combining all the ingredients
  2. marinade for 3 full days to infuse the wonderful flavours. place belly pork fully covered/drenched in a marinade bath in a pre-heated oven at 90degC for 5hrs. 90degC is the optimum temperature (fastest) for conversion of collagen the tough connective tissues to gelatine with excellent texture & flavours. this made the char siew especially the fatty parts, totally tender & delicious, & melt-in-the-mouth, such wonderful texture & flavours combined. 
  3. char on a non-stick pan on high heat. use butter or if you want higher temperatures, use vegetable oil. char the char siew on all sides, just few minutes. that will impart even more intense flavours to the char siew.

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