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

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

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

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

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

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

everyone loved the salad. 🙂

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

this was a very popular dish among my diners.

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

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

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

my chicken ballotine was very good today, mostly finished.

the thai yellow curry grilled chicken thighs were very good.

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

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

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

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

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

#10 braised belly pork & bits of some unused trotter

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

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

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

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

#1 friend's 清汤牛腩 - my favourite

#1 friend’s 清汤牛腩 – my favourite

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

#11 helper's spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

#11 helper’s spicy black bean sauce pork ribs

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

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

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

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

#13 helper's blanched hk kailan with shitake

#13 helper’s blanched hk kailan with shitake

likewise the blanched hk kailan with shitake.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

c.h.e.f andy


Satisfying Dinner with Son @ Aburiya on 7Aug2015

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

had a great family dinner with son (back for summer holidays) at aburiya on 7.8.2015. ^^ from my 3 previous posts, looks like i come here every 6 months, the last one in mar2015. could be more frequent than that & i did not post, but that’s the value of the posts for me, helping me to savour moments of joy. 🙂

yakiniku smokeless grill

yakiniku smokeless grill

aburiya has a good ventilation system & smokeless grill. i talked about this last time when c/w azmaya omakaseya which was poor in ventilation.


kurobuta S$16.90

we had the kurobuta.

kurobuta S$14.90

kurobuta S$14.90

this time we did not take the kurobuta belly. the meat looked marbled. texture was great but more like a loin than the flavourful fatty meat.

karubi S$10.90

karubi S$10.90

we take the cheaper beef, the karubi or short ribs.

karubi negi S$11.90

karubi negi S$11.90

& we orderd karubi negi which came with a seasoned/pickled negi or leek for S$1 more. love the leeks.

jo karubi S$16.90

jo karubi S$16.90

we also had jo karubi, the prime short ribs.

yakiniku grill

yakiniku grill

the meats were ok, not really special & my own homecooked steak dishes like tagliata di manzo are a lot better basically because i use very much better cuts like grain-fed black angus ribeye or striploin & sometimes aussie or even japanese wagyu. still it was very tasty & nice done this way even for cheap meats & we sometimes do teppanyaki ourselves at home, which is just as wonderful. ^^

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

kimchi chigae 킴치찌개

& i just love the kimchi chigae 킴치찌개 here. not even the kimchi nabe hotpot at shirokiya can compare with this in terms of flavours. maybe i will think of some ways to do this at home.



and we also love the bibimen here.



really like the noodles & the pork & cucumber condiments mixed in the ubiquitous gochujang sauce고추장. such a wonderful comfort food. maybe can try this at home too, not sure. the dinner sans the sake was about S$30nett pax, pretty ok. 🙂

Scrumptious Homecooked Lunch for 30+pax on 25Jul2015

youngest daughter was celebrating an important occasion & invited 30 friends to the house on 25.7.2015.^^

we had a really wonderfully scrumptious family-cooked lunch for her friends.

we did 13 delectable dishes!^^

& her friend made a professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake. 🙂

wife's PIMMS

wife’s PIMMS cocktail

wife also made a PIMMS cocktail!^^

wife's PIMMS

wife’s PIMMS cocktail

i cannot hold liquor but i liked it very much & took maybe 5 or 6 cups & a bit drunk afterwards. 🙂

#1 wife made a lovely pumpkin tofu salad, something she picked up from marmalade after dining there. 🙂

#2 i did a vietnamese chargrilled pork cold beehoon. 🙂

we recently had this dish at mrs pho. i would think that my version was just as good. 🙂

#3 & i made a chicken ballotine.

#3 i steamed the first batch of 2 for 15mins. it was slight overdone.

the second batch i reduced to 12mins. & this was quite perfect! tender, juicy, flavourful.^^

helper's chicken nuggets

#4 helper’s chicken nuggets

#4 my helper did the chicken nuggets. pretty good too. 🙂

helper's deepfried chicken wings

#5 helper’s deepfried chicken wings

#5 & her chicken wings are a perennial favourite. 🙂

#6 i did a thai red curry sotong.

this the first time i cooked this dish. i fried in butter the sotong (squid) like i did for my flamed squid in spinanch veloute, but w/o flaming it (too tedious for quantity for 30+pax!). i tasted the sotong & it was excellent. i made the red curry gravy using the dancing chef’s ready mix with some cut yellow onions. the curry was just superb, so the combination was just crazy, a clear winner!^^

#7 for the chicken thigh, i pan-grilled on a very hot stainless steel pan. it was perfect, and daughters’ friends walloped the 6 pieces of deboned thighs from 3 chicken in double quick time. 🙂

unlike the red curry dish, for this yellow curry, i made it as a sauce similar to busaba’s to-die-for grilled chicken green curry fried rice.^^

there was actually an egg fried rice dish (which was also pretty good) to accompany the thai chicken & sotong curries but i did not have a photo.

#8 wife made an excellent creamy tomato pasta. she usually use crayfish from chinatown & for me it’s the best pasta ever.

this time, we could not get crayfish at chinatown so she used large prawns as proxy. 🙂

helper's sausage pasta

#9 helper’s sausage pasta

#9 & my helper made her crowd favourite cheese sausage spaghetti.

the whole family like this & all my children’s friends who came to the house previously all enjoyed this pasta by my helper. 🙂

#10 i made an excellent squid ink spaghetti this time, no errors, no horrors, no misses, simply fabulous, par excellence!

very nicely creamy, i added butter (only when tossing with fire off! – you don’t want to boil the butter).^^

& fantastic colour, al dente pasta & irresistible squid ink flavour with wonderful chicken stock & squid.

#11 & the tagliata di manzo had my daughter’s friends swooning & asking for more.

in the end i cooked a second portion, total 4x300g = 1.2kg of 150D grain-fed black angus ribeye.

birthday cake

birthday cake

daughter’s friend made her a totally professional pastry chef standard 2-tier cake.

birthday cake

birthday cake

plus lemon tarts & also cup cakes. every cake item was just fabulous! 🙂

#12 i made my usual tiramisu.

it was as good as ever. daughter’s friends finished an entire tub. ^^ i had a spare tub though. there was too much cake already so we saved that.

& my daughter arranged a photo booth which was a lot of fun, & her friends came in all kinds of costumes.

the photo booth guy just finished national service & is going to london for further studies. that’s what young people do a lot these days, with internet & social media offering excellent reach, connectivity & empowerment! 🙂

what a simply incredible, most enjoyable & memorable occasion to be savoured.

c.h.e.f andy

Protected: RI Reunion Committee & Friends 19pax Homecooked Dinner Get-together on 24Apr2015

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Wonderful Memorable Homecooked 19pax Dinner Get-together on 24Apr2015

had a most wonderful & memorable homecooked dinner get-together on 24apr2015.

a most fun part was the interactivity & excitement with several friends bringing their dishes, from morocan salmon, hummus, biscotti, konnyaku to tofu cheese cake & ma hua 麻花 airflow from tianjin.^^

a friend even set up a separate whatsapp chat (so as not to bore the rest of dinner friends with cooking talk). 🙂

it was just wonderful. excluding bread, humus, ma hua, fruits, konnyaku, biscotti, we had 14 dishes (12+2 desserts). 🙂

bread, hummus, carrot sticks

bread, hummus, carrot sticks

because a friend was bringing hummus, that motivated me to do a onion sunflower seed bread. i didn’t realise i had walnut (was searching for it) for walnut bread, so settled with sunflower seeds.^^

onion sunflower seed bread

onion sunflower seed bread

the laughable thing was after looking at several online recipes i decided hack just used the ariston oven bread function & recipe. of course i tried the recipe once. dough was too sticky & too much salt & i added too much browned onions.

for the actual day, the bread was quite perfect. all the friends like it. crisp not hard outside & fluffy well-risen inside. for the recipe, i used 600g plain flour, 3 packets yeast (33g) dissolved in 1 cup (240ml) warm water, & 1 tsp salt. 🙂

carrot sticks

carrot sticks

leck san's chickpea+avocado hummus leck san's chickpea hummus

my friend made excellent chickpea hummus, and the green coloured one she added avocado. i think it was new to her too, so there was a lot of fun doing this dinner for all our good RI friends.

ma hua - 天津麻花

ma hua – 天津麻花

a friend was with her students in tianjin for some exchange programs & brought back ma hua 麻花. i finished them the next day, pretty good, not sickeningly sweet like the malaysian ones.

pumpkin tofu

#1 pumpkin tofu

pumpkin tofu rockets salad

#1 – pumpkin tofu rockets salad

#1 my wife made a pumpkin tofu salad. this a wonderful salad she made after some lunch at marmalade.^^

#2 i have made tagliata di manzo (sliced beef) many times. it is a common italian dish. i had it at capri, and many time at fresco & cimmino at milan.^^

the angus ribeye was pan-grilled, charred to produce the maillard reaction to impart the flavours & nicely medium rare. 🙂

#3 teriyaki cod was excellent this evening, many commented melt in the mouth goodness.^^

i used my own teriyaki sauce recipe, this time adding 1 tsp of miso. miso cures the cod & give a firmer, less flaky texture.

friend's morocan baked salmon

#4 friend’s morocan baked salmon

Mahen's morocan baked salmon Mahen's morocan baked salmon4 Mahen's morocan baked salmon2 Mahen's condiments - lemon and Chinese chives.

#4 a friend made a very nice morocan baked salmon with pistachios & ritz biscuits, and condiments of chives & lemon. it was also his first time. for me, this was a lot of fun & buzz.^^

#5 i made a chilli crab capellini (angel hair pasta). i had the sauce made the day before, taste was not ideal & i made some adjustments on the day. it turned out quite perfect, an excellent chilli crab sauce & after pasta & prawns were added, the capellini soaked up the flavours remarkably & was very well infused with the shellfish flavours (from prawn heads & shells, and w/o crab). 🙂

& very important pasta was al dente!

#6 i made an excellent very tasty squid ink sauce & a friend came to the kitchen to help out & tasted the sauce. it was superb with a nice chilli padi spike.

unfortunately, after adding linguine, sauce looked low & i made the cardinal mistake of adding some water. did a rescue by removing the pasta & ingredients (so as not to overcook) & reducing the sauce. still when plating though sauce was sufficiently dark colour & slight creamy producing good texture feel on pasta, the top less coated linguine looked off in colour.

fortunately taste wise it was very good. i guess could have been better.

#7 i think my 白斩鸡 – poached chicken was very near perfect, certainly better than most chicken rice out there!

& today i made an excellent chicken rice. as a friend commented, he could smell the very fragrant rice as it was brought to the table!

i browned some shallots in chicken fat (this was a key) & added cut ginger. the other key was a very intense chicken bone soup for cooking the rice. the soup came from making the chicken & adding the bones after i deboned the chicken & boiled for >2hrs.

& i made the chilli sauce & ginger sauce that everyone loved.

Leck San's acahr Leck San's achar2

a friend brought excellent achar, just the right appetising condiments for the chicken rice.

jap miso salmon

#8 jap miso salmon

#8 the jap miso salmon was done like the japanese bento style.

i didn’t have the recipe so experimented myself. i marinated with miso etc & dried it in the fridge for 2 days then 3hrs at 55degC to dry it further. after that it was 15mins in foil+10mins open in tabletop electric oven at 250degC.

i would say result was almost same as the bento salmon & those we brought back from japan. it was best served on japanese rice don with tamago but will do for the chicken rice.

spicy pork ribs

#9 spicy pork ribs

my helper’s spicy pork ribs was also a perennial favourite. 🙂

#10 蒜泥白肉 was a favourite for many. very tender melt in the mouth belly pork (about 5 hrs on crockpot at low fully immersed) & flavourful sichuan chilli sauce.

#11 dry wok prawns was 1 of my standard dish. this time though i did not dry the prawns enough before adding to the wok so it became a bit wet. prawns was fresh & sweet but the charred bbq flavours were missing. some hits & some misses.

romaine lettuce

#12 romaine lettuce

#12 & my helper’s romaine lettuce, complemented the pumpkin salad & good counterpoint to the meat dishes.

#13 a friend brought a tofu cheese cake. i took the cake & taste was pretty good. unfortunately the gelatine he used seemed to be weaker concentration than the ones i got from phono huat. so though he used the same recipe, the cake did not hold. it was a waste really for the effort but i guess doing it was a fun thing we all shared.^^

$14 i did my usual tiramisu & i added quite a good dose of brandy which my friends love. it was good as usual.

friend's jackfruit

friend’s jackfruit

friend's grapes

friend’s grapes

2 friends brought jackfruit & grapes to round off the dinner.

friend's konnyaku

friend’s konnyaku

friend's biscotti

friend’s biscotti

the friend who brought hummus also did 2 very nice petite fours – a konnyaku jelly & biscotti.

it was an evening of fellowship & sharing, a lot of fun, catching up & sharing good food together.^^

c.h.e.f andy

Wonderful Homecooked 11pax Dinner on 22Jan2015

wife's pumpkin tofu salad

#1 wife’s pumpkin tofu salad

made 1 of my best dinners on 22.1.2015. ^^

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

also invited my god sis & her husband.

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

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

miso cod

miso cod

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

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

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

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

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

lobster spaghetti

lobster spaghetti

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

"monterosso miky" seafood risotto

“monterosso miky” seafood risotto

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

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

squid ink manila clams with squid spaghetti

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

japanese A4 wagyu - this was soooo good.

#9 japanese A4 wagyu – this was soooo good.

japanese A4 wagyu

japanese A4 wagyu

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

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

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

c.h.e.f andy

Fun 14pax RI Friends & Spouses Homecooked Dinner on 18Dec2014

invited my regular group of RI friends (this time with spouses) for a homecooked dinner on 18.12.2014.  we had 14pax = 5 couples + 4 guys. 🙂

i prepared mostly pre-cooked food that could be served buffet style, so we could all sit down & enjoy the food & conversation together. 🙂

planning was important. i intended several items which i cooked/made final preparations only when all the guests arrived – tagliata di manzo (angus striploin steak), dry wok prawns, pumpkin salad, fried rice.

in the end timing was quite well managed for dry wok prawns & fried rice. for the salad & the rockets/cherry tomatoes bed for tagliata di manzo, they were done too early & the rockets were soggy (unlike my recent lunch which the pumpkin salad & the rocket bed for tagliata di manzo were quite perfect).

#1 pumpkin tofu salad

#1 pumpkin tofu salad

#1 my wife’s pumpkin tofu salad was an excellent dish when i served during the recent lunch.

this time it was a bit lacklustre. seasoning with sea salt, olive oil & balsamic were done too early. somehow pumpkin was not as sweet.

#2 beer can chicken was good as usual – tender, moist, tasty. 🙂

#3 oven grilled miso salmon belly had been a favourite with my family (& friends also during recent lunches), and again a favourite this evening. 🙂

#4 teriyaki cod was good as cod goes. i made it very much less sweet & healthier (no sugar only mirin this time).

#5 the 6hr “sous vide” miso lamb shoulder chop was ok, very tender, with strong lamb flavours nicely masked by miso.

#6 tagliata di manzo (using angus striploin). the bed of rockets & cherry tomatoes were mixed too early so a bit soggy.

steak was medium rare & flavourful, but i was slightly distracted & the charring was somewhat insufficient to produce good enough mallard reaction. also the angus striploin, unlike ribeye, had a bit of tendon, not so ideal.

#7 spicy belly pork 蒜泥白肉 was simply wonderful. it was slow-braised using cold crockpot on low almost 6 hrs to 79degC. belly was very tender & the sichuan 麻辣 chilli mix was excellent. 🙂

#8 my dry wok prawns is of consistent good standard, charred & flavourful, taste of chilli padi & fish sauce.

#9 my spicy seafood fried rice will never get to crystal jade standard, but it is also consistently good, nice wok hae & flavours with lots of prawns & squid.

#10 stir-fried romaine lettuce

#10 stir-fried romaine lettuce

my helper cooked the romaine lettuce, one of our favourite vegetable dish.

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

a friend brought a #11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake.

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

#11 chocolate ganache vanilla banana cake

it was a lovely 2-layer vanilla cake with banana in between & covered with chocolate ganache – a really standout first attempt by him! 🙂

#12 my no-bake tiramisu is now another crowd favourite. it was 1 of the easiest dessert to make.

healthy peanut candy

#13 healthy peanut candy

a friend brought a #13 healthy peanut candy (held together by maltose instead of unhealthy sugar), it was nice.

i had a #14 pumpkin cheese cake on standby. i sensed that the friends wanted to try, so it was served & we managed to finish 1/2 the cake. it was ok but not as good as the pumpkin cheese cake we had for our recent lunch which was really good.

c.h.e.f andy

10-course Homecooked 11pax Western Buffet for RI Buddies on 6Nov2014

did another of my homecooked meals for my friends for lunch on 6.11.2014.

usually for western dishes,  i did sit-down dinners serving course by course. but there’s advantage in having pre-cooked food & serving as buffet. though i enjoyed every minute of cooking (& often experimentation) for family & friends, the purpose is not just about food & cooking but to be part of the conversation & shared memories. 🙂

for this lunch, i did 10 dishes. 🙂

the best dish, most popular by far & winning hands down, was the #1 oven grilled miso salmon belly – marinated & kept in chiller for 3 days & in the oven for 15mins at 25odegC. taste was excellent, perfect combination of flavours.


#2 miso belly pork


#2 miso belly pork


#2 miso belly pork

the #2 miso belly pork was an experiment. i used the same marinade for the miso salmon belly. i did slow braising using cold crackpot to 79degC, so the pork belly was very tender before marinate. however my marinade was just too little & did not infuse the flavours well. also i used the same 15mins oven grill to do the sliced pork (to save electricity). i think i need to use a hot pan on high heat then the searing could be done very quickly w/o overcooking the already cooked meat.

#3 the beer can chicken was another experiment! i brined a small 1kg whole chicken in usual sugar & salt (but boiled with a packet of chinese tea this time). i put sliced garlic under the skin & use a bbq meat dry rub. then i did the usual beer can chicken oven grill at 250degC for 25mins & 175degC for 15mins.

wa..this chicken was really tasty, moist & tender – my best roast chicken ever. 🙂 but no hint of any tea flavours though!


#4 pumpkin tofu salad


#4 rockets for tossing #4 pumpkin tofu salad

my helper prepared the pumpkin tofu salad. it’s a dish put together by my wife after dining at some place that served that. i could do this but my helper did this regularly for my wife’s packet lunch, so i got her to do it.

i did the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic, sea salt & honey (did not have agave nectar) mix, and did the tossing when about to start the meal. 🙂


#5 striploin – slow crockpot braising to 52degC placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled


#5 striploin – slow crockpot braising to 52degC placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled

#5 striploin was another experiment – slow crockpot braising to 52degC (rare) placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled. i did this before for my daughter’s packed lunch. she said it was very flavourful.

today though it was overshadowed by the #7 tagliata di manzo, which had a better usa harry’s grain-fed angus striploin cut & was done on the spot just before start of the meal. 🙂

#6 kurobuta was prepared in the same way – slow crockpot braising to 79degC (well done) placed in fridge overnight then pan grilled.

the meat itself was very flavourful so the dish was well received. this was an experimental variation of my usual pan-grilled kurobuta.

i wasn’t confident of the result of the slow crockpot striploin so had a back-up usa harry’s grain-fed angus striploin which i decided to cook anyway.

#7 tagliata di manzo is commonly served in italian restaurants. e.g. as 1 friend mentioned during lunch, capri, but also in say alborgo, valentino etc.

i did this #8 “monterosso miky” seafood risotto with a vegetable base & prawn stock, so it’s a tasty dish. the prawns & squid were fried in butter separately, and the live mussels were cooked separately in butter, chilli padi, sliced ginger & orange peel. mussels were very tender & tasty too.

the #9 squid-ink seafood linguine was good too. one friend liked it especially for the mango clams. 🙂

the #10 pumpkin cheese cake was my second try. a really lovely cake. the first i made for family dinner on 24.10.2014 was very good. and it’s great that this one was just as good.

a very nicely balanced cake. it was though a bulkier cake than the other lighter cakes i made, and while i liked it a lot, it was a cake that i would probably not take 2 helpings at one go.

c.h.e.f andy

Superb Homecooked 6pax Family Dinner on 24Oct2014

wife's quinoa salad

wife’s quinoa salad

had a 6pax family dinner on 24.10.2014. missing our son who is in london. 🙂

wife made a very nice quinoa salad, with some avocado & roasted nuts. i really liked this. she brought this salad with some packed food sometimes for office lunch in.

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

pan-grilled portobello mushrooms

our helper made a pan-grilled portobello mushroom. this was also very nice with simple sea salt, pepper & olive oil.

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

oven grilled miso salmon

i recently came up with a new very light miso salmon recipe. this was quite different from the miso belly pork & nobu miso cod recipe which used a lot more miso & infused flavours. i served this to my friends during 11pax lunch on 15.10.2014 (first attempt of the new recipe). they all loved it. & i did this the second time this evening. again it was everyone’s favourite. even my wife & eldest daughter who generally didn’t like salmon that much, liked this dish.

pan chargrilled kurobuta

pan chargrilled kurobuta

i did a pan chargrilled kurobuta. it was not as good as the other day. i should not play safe & try to cook it totally well done & have it just a little pink instead.

the tagliata di manzo (sliced pan chargrilled beef) was excellent today, both the USA grain fed ribeye & australian wagyu MBS 4/5, very nicely charred for maillard reaction and nicely medium rare. my wife did the very nice restaurant plating with rockets & cherry tomatoes. 🙂

i did a squid-ink linguine today, with squid & littleneck clams (la la). it was excellent, and the la la were done very nicely. 🙂

& i have kind of perfected my “miky monterosso” seafood risotto, very sweet & tasty prawn stock (head & shells) with vegetables (celery, leek, yellow onions, carrots). 🙂


pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

pumpkin cheese cake

pumpkin cheese cake (very 1st attempt)

1 charmed dish was my very first time new dessert – a pumpkin cheese cake. i could taste the cake paste i mixed & knew the taste was good. but it was the first time i baked it so uncertain about timing & texture & how it would turn out. as it turned out it was almost perfect – beginner’s luck! 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Excellent Italian tapas @ Sons Bacaro on 4Oct2014

truflle pesto tagliatelle

truffle pesto tagliatelle – S$12

daughter picked sons bacaro for 6pax family dinner on 4.10.2014. she is far more happening than her old folks. 🙂

it was an excellent choice! food was good. 🙂 dishes were served in small plates, kind of like italian tapas.

the restaurant was by beppe devito. somehow i didn’t really fancy il lido much even with 50% for 2pax palate discounts (never tried it under palate actually) & it was “far away” in sentosa. maybe ought to consider trying some time.

the place was chic as advertised on its website, which also showed menu items & prices. not really buzzy on a saturday evening (same for other chic restaurants on nankin street), a pity but no complaints from us…haha! sons was less than 50% full, and interestingly the other 5 tables looked mostly family like us. 🙂

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo wagyu – S$28

we had the wagyu tagliata. it was good, chargrilled flavourful, tender, medium rare. 🙂

baccala (salt cod) cake with uni sauce

baccala (salt cod) cake with uni sauce – S$15

baccala (salt cod) cake with uni sauce was the best dish of the night.  thin crispy crust was excellent, minced salt cod was excellent, and great uni sauce combination.

i would put the light cream, flavourful truffle pesto tagliatelle (top photo) as my second favourite for the night.  no feel of pesto though – not sure how a strong pesto flavour goes with subtle truffle scent.

roasted cod

roasted cod – S$19

the roasted cod was very good. my wife & i both made very good cod ourselves at home. this though had better grilled flavours.

grilled pork neck salad

grilled kurobuta pork neck, balsamic mushrooms – S$16

the grilled kurobuta pork neck was very good, like a good char siew or the charcoal broiled pork collar at imperial treasure teochew. maybe i should try & reinvent this dish at home again.

pork paccheri

iberico pork truffle paccheri – S$16

i liked the iberico pork truffle paccheri too. very agreeable but i preferred the truffle pesto if asked to choose.


burrata, asparagus cream – S$16

burrata was fine, nothing like the supreme version in valentino, after all that cost 3x more.

pasta with uni sauce

spaghetti with uni sauce carbonara – S$16

surprising the same uni sauce did not come out good on this carbonara dish. i would not order this.

potato & cheese ravioli

potato & cheese ravioli – S$9

looked like ah bor ling – mochi dumplings..cheese was very strong, not sure if blue cheese. anyway i liked blue cheese, but its not the most popular dish.

italian tapas

italian tapas

we had a S$55 bottle of wine, 2 beers & 1 mojito. dinner for 6pax came to S$260nett, about S$30nett pax excluding drinks, pretty ok. 🙂

service by the western servers were ok,  not too friendly, kind of unsmiling. one server kept filling water to the glasses, a good thing. 🙂

lunch is cheaper. S$10 pasta etc. the street is quite interesting with mad poets gastrobar, platypus gourmet etc. will go back again. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Cheap & Authentic Italian @ la Botte Stresa on 29Aug2014

€9 funghi pasta

€9 funghi pasta

we went to villa taranto & mottarone cable car on the second day, and decided to go to la botte (which was like 50m from hotel elena) for dinner. we got our hotel to book 2pax table for us on 29.8.2014 7pm.

we were there at 6.55pm. there was a queue about 10pax including us. the others did not have reservations. the restaurant was filled up quickly.

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

la botte stresa

€9 mixed cold meats (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 cold meat platter (goose, wild boar, deer, beef)

€9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese

€9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese

we ordered the €9 cold meat platter (goose, wild boar, deer, beef) & the €9 beef carpaccio with truffle melted cheese.

the cold meat platter was a monstrous serving. the meats were good but it’s something i would like just 2 or 3 slices so it was not a good idea for 2pax unless you did not want to try other starters. also it killed the tastebuds for other more subtle dishes like the fungi pasta. it was very generous for €9 & would be great for like 4pax.

the beef carpaccio did not look great but the taste was excellent with the truffle scented melted cheese. it was better than the usual more classy looking ones with rockets & extra virgin olive oil & balsamic. 🙂

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

€15 tagliata di manzo

the €9 creamy fungi pasta was good, but i felt the cold meat platter aftertaste killed off my appreciation of this more subtle dish.

the tagliata di manzi was kind of ordinary but good for €15, and so much arugula. we had to cancel 1 order of lamb ravioli as we had too much food already & would not really enjoyed it.

my son was also eyeing the guy next to us who was having nice grilled lamb chops. certainly there were several items on the menu we would be happy to come again to try. for me personally it was important to bypass the cold meat next time & enjoy some of the other great dishes here.

the service was indifferent to impatient, not outright rude but they didn’t really need us…it’s no different from any nazi chefs in Singapore where people go just to have the food, in fact probably slightly better. 🙂 the table wine was undrinkable, better to pay for better wine or just pay for bottled water.

the dinner cost about €50 including a 500ml carafe of table wine.

c.h.e.f andy

Best Meals in Milan @ Fresco & Cimmino, Duomo Milano on 21Apr2014

vege cheese pasta was excellent

pasta alla nerano was excellent

after a very satisfying hiking & eating tour of cinque terre & monterosso & levanto, we packed up & left for milano, the last stop in our trip.

we stayed in a huge 1-bedder duomo apartments right next to duomo (“cathedral”). the agent who met us at the apartment Giuseppe (“Joseph”) recommended fresco which was just round the corner and also paper moon which we lunched at the next day.

we decided to take a stroll along the streets, walking past the many shops with famous brands at vittorio emaneule, alongside piazza del duomo & ended up at fresco & cimmino on via ugo foscolo, 4.

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.


vege cheese pasta was excellent

pasta alla nerano was excellent

vege cheese pasta was excellent

pasta alla nerano was excellent

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.

large grilled lobster very tasty bbq flavour.

the restaurant was nice & roomy with double volume high ceiling & a large LED screen showing advertisements & tourist stuff about the city.

it was a very good lunch.

we took the recommendation of the young server & picked pasta alla nerao, a zucchini pasta, which was excellent. it had grilled zucchini & shaved parmesan & the pasta taken with the broth or sauce was so tasty, and unlike those at levanto, it was not overly salty. i came back singapore & tried a pesto pasta, combining this dish & the pesto trofie pastai tried at il ciliegio.

so was the large grilled lobster, very tasty & great bbq flavour.

excellent seafood salad (euro 15 can feed 4pax),

excellent seafood salad (euro 15 can feed 4pax),

tagliata di manzo

tagliata di manzo

pasta & tagliata di manzo

pasta & tagliata di manzo

very good rigatoni

very good rigatoni

after lunch we did a stroll through galleria vittorio emaneule II & some shopping, took some photos of leonardo da vinci staring down at the piazza della scala & took a walk to the brera, which was just beyond the duomo and la scala, it was supposed to be an area full of fabulous art galleries, fun shops, excellent restaurants and small B&Bs. & along via fiori chiari, a cobblestone street, with  lined with boutiques, restaurants and antique shops. on this day though most shops seemed closed. we had some gelato & drinks at one stall.

in the evening we decided instead of travelling around looking for places to dine, to just walk back to fresco, which was like just 200m from our apartment.

and was rewarded with another excellent meal.

we had an excellent seafood salad. just euro 15, a large helping of mussels, clams, prawns & squid enough to feed 4pax, even larger helping than the frutti di mare seafood salad at levanto, we also had a very good rigatoni pasta & tagliata di manzo. excellent meal, i really enjoyed this. 🙂

c.h.e.f andy

Wagyu for Dinner


australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

mmmm was having offer on grain-fed ribeye at S$29.90/kg. i bought some earlier & did 1 of my best pan-grilled ribeye steak, tagliata di manzo for RI buddies 10pax dinner on 24.3.2014.

offer ends on 31.3.2014, so i decided to get some more. it turned out 1.5kg more! it’s quite ok really. i can put most of it in the freezer & eat 1 month later…haha. 🙂

i needed S$50 to get free parking at west coast plaza so i need not rush & try to get to the car before 10mins grace was up, so i picked up a 220g piece of wagyu MBS 6/7 to make the goal past S$50.


australian wagyu MBS 6/7


australian wagyu MBS 6/7


australian wagyu MBS 6/7 – mushrooms & onions

decided to cook the wagyu steak in the evening. for the side i used what was in the fridge – a leftover 1/2 yellow onion, & 1/3 of an open packet of shitake mushrooms (about 50g to 60g) in the chiller.

the technique is quite simple – very high heat (so vegetable oil best as higher smoke temperature than lard or butter or olive oil) & i usually flip once (can add butter at this time if required) or if the first side is not charred enough, i flip a second time. the charring, maillard reaction, gordon ramsay method and heston blumenthal’s video on resting of the meat were discussed in the post tagliata di manzo. 🙂

for the evening, i had a beautifully charred wagyu steak, rare to medium rare. simply heavenly! 🙂

my wife’s friend bought me a torch some weeks back when they came for dinner. i have not tried it out yet. will probably do on some of the grain-fed ribeye later, and experiment on the japanese aburi (烧) & torch recipes.

c.h.e.f andy