Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homecooked to perfection

Understated beauty.
All my life we've been on the lower ground floors.


 Dinner was a massive affair for a one man show starting from 3pm and only ending at about 630pm.

Starting off with a simple cherry tomato and lettuce salad 
drizzled with basalmic vinaigrette dressing.


A perfectly al dente aglio olio. 
The pasta was boiled and simply stir fried with chopped garlic sauteed and tossed in olive oil and chopped parsley.


Diced red onions and chopped parsley.
These mussles sat simmering in a vin blanc broth cooked till dry.
And they all opened up so beautifully.


Deliciously satisfying tender pork ribs.
What's that addictive sauce?
The secret of V8 veggie juice and Worcester sauce.
Ohyum.



Saving the best for last.
Moussaka fresh out of the oven.
It's everything you could imagine in a moussaka.
Slices of aubergine lightly glazed with oil and baked.
A rich minced beef sauce simmered in tomato puree.
Layer by layer they alternated.
Topped with a rich and creamy bechamel sauce and could we ever forget,
a generous topping of cheese.
A beaten egg added to the bechamel sauce before topping would have made for a more authentic custard-like finish that would have been more filling.
Not that it would stop me from going for seconds, really.


And dinner was served.


No, this was not the Masterchef.
But this was his very adorable nephew who was unfortunately feeling under the weather and was crying his lungs out most of the time we were there.

Thanks for opening up your home.
Cooking your day away for a bunch of girlfriends getting together and catching up.
The food was awesome.
The company was great.
Monday blues...
Say what?
 :)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

上海人家 Shanghai Ren Jia


A tiny enclave in the Ang Mo Kio area serving up shanghainese cuisine.
Tucked away in the void deck of Block 151 in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5,
it's a blink and you'll miss it.


Ordering for four.
They don't have GST or service charges here.
But they do have a table setting fee of $1.20 per person which includes the wet tissues and hot tea.


These were the first to arrive.
The popiah freshly deep fried.
A delightfully crisp exterior with a filling of moist savoury cabbage that melt in your mouth.
$7.20 for 6 pieces.
Once you pop, you can't stop.


猪排鸡丁手拉面
Pork rib and diced chicken cube noodles at $6 a portion.
The pork rib was a bit of a misnomer.
It's just a piece of pork cutlet so painfully thin and tough.
The diced chicken cubes were rightfully so with three pieces, the rest were pieces of tau kwa.
The saving grace?
Their noodles.
Delightfully springy and although pale, were delicious with the shallot oil and dark soy based gravy.
At a price of $6, the toppings were tragic.
And this didn't use to be the case when I had them a couple of years back.



小龙包里的内涵。
This bamboo basket of 5 soup dumplings go for $6.
These were packed full of savoury soup with a hint of ginger.
That would be the reason why they do not serve ginger slices here.
Vinegar is served only on request.
The dumpling skin was a tad too thick for my liking so for the price they are charging, 
I'd rather have the ones at Din Tai Fung.


These pan fried pork buns cost $8.40 for 6 pieces.
Which works out to be $1.40 per bun.


上棉下脆。肉馅多汁。一口的完美。
What I loved was the texture of each bite.
The pork buns had a soft fluffy skin on the upper half.
And a crisp exterior on the lower half where it had been pan fried.
I would've liked the pork filling encased within to be a bit more generous but that pint sized filling packed a punch on its own with its savoury juices aplenty.
It left me a little moreish after every bite.

Would it work if I bought those deliciously fluffy handmade pork buns from dim sum stalls and pan fried them at home?

The cosy interior of the restaurant promises a queue for lunch and dinner since seating space was very limited. 
Wait time for the food was not as long as mentioned in other reviews, we waited for about an average of 10 minutes before the noodles arrived and time in between dishes was about 5-10 minutes.

We will be back to try the other more substantial dishes for dinner. :)

Address: Blk 151, Ang Mo Kio Ave 5 #01-3046
Operating hours: 11.30am to 3pm, 6pm to 10pm, closed on Monday

Friday, September 12, 2014

And it's Selfie Time!

So I love my food.
And I love my friends.

I could take forever to take a perfect picture of my food.
Because it doesn't have to pose for me.

But my friends?
Even I get tired of smiling.
I'm always in the same pose.

That's why capturing moments together needs to be made easier.
With a selfie stick.

With tonnes in the market,

Too cumbersome to bring out?
Not when it's only a little heavier than the iPhone 5.

Who's this suitable for?
It accomodates virtually any mobile phone model with the adjustable phone bracket.
This also can be detached for a point-and-shoot camera to be mounted onto the screw.

Can't fit everyone in?
That's nothing to worry about.
At a maximum extended length of 108cm, it's got you, you and YOU covered. :)

The sun's this way. No, that way.
Oh wait. With 3 different types of rotation together with 2 adjustable knobs for photos?
Take picture perfect photos at any possible angle.

Like this.



I had fun with my monopod in Malacca.
My only gripe would be that the phone bracket works best when there is no phone casing attached.
But I wouldn't want to scratch my phone unnecessarily.
So I used the phone bracket with my phone casing attached and I had to be careful that I didn't make too much of a movement in case my phone fell off.

Do logon to Selfiestick.sg to make your purchases.
Comes in three different colours.
Mine's the trusty black one.
There's a current promotion with each selfie stick going at $14.
A purchase of three gets you one free.

*This was a sponsored review but all opinions are the writer's own.


one minute chocolate obsessions :)


Ingredients

  • (makes enough for a cupcake sized microwaveable container)
  • tablespoon flour
  • teaspoons sugar
  • teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon nutella or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons of egg, lightly whisked
  • tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • teaspoon chocolate chips or more to taste
  • half teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional)

Method

  1. Add dry ingredients to the container and mix well, making a well in the centre.
  2. Add in the egg and mix well.
  3. Add milk and olive oil and mix again.
  4. Add nutella and vanilla extract if used and lastly, add in chocolate chips mix well to get a smooth consistency.
  5. Place in the microwave for 1 minutes on high.
  6. Top with diced fresh fruits or rainbow sprinkles and eat while it's warm! :)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

What's one to do with an insatiable sashimi craving?



The bright and cheery colours of the morning came in the form of these plastic utensils.
A fire-engine red bowl filled with a deliciously smooth fish congee.
Not overly dense.
Just enough liquids to keep the taste of the porridge light.
Skip the soy sauce, it's tasty enough on its own.
The pale yellow green plate held sides of a raw fish salad topped generously with fragrant sesame oil. The heady aroma so deliciously addictive.
The man's hand works like clockwork.
Expertly assembling plates of these raw fish salads.
I could hardly keep up.
Finished with a generous peppering of white sesame seeds, spring onions, a dash of white pepper, ringlets of chopped red chilli for just that little spice.
Topped finally with a mound of chopped raw lettuce.
Don't forget to squeeze those bits of lime on the side.
The chinese version of a sashimi salad does not pale in comparison to its better known japanese counterpart.

What completes the experience is a lovely husband and wife team.
While getting on in age,
they look to be fit and healthy.
Working fast to fill orders yet never missing an opportunity to offer a smile.

The uncle also practices service excellence. 
He even brought over the soy sauce and pepper for me after I had left with my orders.
Because he says, "Just in case you needed it."
:)

This stall has a light green store front, called ___ Ru Yi Porridge is an understated gem.
It is directly opposite Wow Wow West at ABC Brickworks Market.
If anyone knows what their stall name is, please do leave a comment.
Thanks!

Colors of childhood



Colors of childhood. 
Let's start with my favourite food.
Black or white-
Must there really be a fight?
I'd pick them both.
But to Sir Diet I made an oath.
If only to stay away from the darker side.
These days I opt for the lighter ride.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to where it all started.

Last day of the Seventh Month on the Lunar Calendar and the last of the Seventh Month dinners organised by various committees. I'm long past the age of mad auctions and communal dining even if it is, good food. Dad and I were just chauffering Grandma and Mum over to the Foochow Clan Association at Jalan Besar.

So what's for dinner?

Just around the corner was Jalan Besar Stadium and the Broadway coffeeshop right next to it houses five of the original Longhouse stalls. Perfect for a dad and daughter dinner.

Parking spaces were aplenty at the Jalan Besar Stadium with parallel lots lining the sides of the stadium and a multi-storey covered carpark for those who aren't inclined to parallel lots. 
Like me. 
The last time we parked in the multi-storey, it was cashcard operated but now it's been converted to coupon parking. And at 50 cents per half hour, be sure to park safe and eat with a peace of mind.

*Chew on this!
Did you know that the Longhouse was originally a row of shops outside the old Jalan Besar Stadium? It had to move to Upper Thomson in 2000 when the stadium was undergoing renovation works. Fourteen years down the road, they are back to where they started- next to the Jalan Besar Stadium. 

But I digress. 
Let's get down to the food. 

I don't know about you. But I've missed delicious carrot cake and char kway teow from Longhouse Delights. I couldn't stomach them both so I settled for white carrot cake.

If a higher proportion of egg and radish are your standards for a perfect plate of carrot cake, then this must be it.


Mr Kee Chon Leong of Longhouse Delights was still as smiley as I had remembered.

"Want chilli?"
"Yes please. Just put it on the side."
"So should I fry it in? Or do you just want it on the side?"
"Fry it in and can I please have some more on the side?"
He patiently makes sure that he gets my order right before frying it.

Be impressed.


Dad took a pork chop option from Best Western Grill & Pasta.
Mr David Foo was considerably less smiley here.
Busily manning the grills and toasting garlic bread slices.

Thankfully though, he had a female assistant ringing up the cash registers and doling out smiles.


My favourite coleslaw.
And the most uninspiring crinkle cut fries ever.


At $7 for two pieces of these fork tender pork chops,
the fries were negligent to its popularity.
Dad nary made a cut before he was able to pull it off a piece easily with his fork.
So quick I couldn't even manage a focused shot! :)
Savoury marinade that keeps one going for more.
Mopping up the sauce with the fries greatly increased their palatability.

It could've been nostalgia.
But dinner that night was more than simply just satisfying.

We'll be back for the other original Longhouse favourites soon enough. :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five Little Bears 五隻小熊

 The Five Little Bears have moved from their original store at Bugis Junction to Far East Plaza where they have taken up a spacious unit at the first floor.

Boasting authentic food from Taichung,
it was perfect for us both looking forward to some comfort food on this cold and rainy Friday.

Long tables in a canteen style seating arrangement maximises seating capacity in this self service restaurant.

The lunch hour was over by now but still there were a few other groups of diners like us catching a late lunch.

We asked the lady at the cashier for recommendations and she picked just two which was perfect for us both.

The braised pork rice.
At $5.90 for a set that comes with a choice of red/black/wintermelon tea.


The presentation was picture perfect and typically authentic.
This picture was taken without any filter.
The braised pork was tender and melted into one's mouth but the gravy lacked a certain kind of savoury oomph that I had tasted when at Formosa Zhang 鬍鬚張.
The salted vegetables were a perfect accompaniment to take away the oils from the fatty meats.
The braised egg which I saved to the last, was however much too dry. :/

Their other house special was the oyster mee sua.
At a price of $5.50 for a set with the same choices of tea.


The oysters were a welcome sight.
Huge and fatty.
There was no fishy taste present in these oysters and that was a definite plus point here.
The 蚵仔麵線 was cooked with the red mee sua, unlike the white ones we usually cook here in Singapore.
These are flat noodles which are thicker and makes them more resilient to cooking for longer periods of time.
Loved the thoughtful additions of vinegar, grated garlic and chilli.
Perfect bowl of yum when that was all mixed up together.
I just wished it was served piping hot as my last mouthfuls of the noodles were much too quickly cooled under the air conditioning system to be enjoyed.

On the overall though, there was an unmistakable air of simple comfort food that resonates in this cosy restaurant which leaves us feeling happily satiated after our meal even though there were some hits and misses with the food items here.

We'll be back for their desserts sometime soon :)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

I heart lazy Sundays

It's been awhile since.
I've been back for some of these blended beans.


And boy were we ravenous after a mad morning of hide-and-seek and belly-full of laughter from our mad antics at the Alive Museum Singapore.

Just a hop, skip and well, a taxi ride away.
We find ourselves at Anthesis.


While waiting for our orders, my itchy hands picked up their mini chalkboards for their menu specials.
We asked if we could have some chalk to scribble on the back of these boards and the ever obliging staff at this lovely cafe gladly brought us some!

And there, we have my rubbish scribbles.
Together with the food that swiftly arrived at our tables.
In ten minutes tops.

The crisp waffles with glazed bananas was just as promised in its name sake.
The waffles were crisp but not overly dry.
The powdered sugar on top looked like a whole load but it made the waffles perfectly savoury sweet without the syrup.
I loved my dish although I wish I could have a bigger portion of waffle for the price I was paying.


More items to the table.
Our very dependable flat whites. :)


Of particular mention to this pretty plating of Eggs Duo.
Creamy scrambled eggs and ham and a mushroom frittata with a creamy sauce that I could not get enough of.
Mmm.


And the one that stole my heart.
These huge juicy sea prawns.
Just look at them.
Huge.
Definitely juicy.
A bite of these crunchy prawns sends umami juices into one's mouth.
Don't bother trying to share half of these,
the pleasure must be taken on in full.
While you're at it, don't forget the capellini.
The paprika powder added just a touch of spice and pretty colour to this dish.
My only reservation was an over generous use of olive oil which culminated in an oily mess at the base of this pasta.

Our table of 7 also had three orders of the Pegasus.


Be still my heart.
Take not your flight.
Till I have devoured this mythical creature descended from food heaven.
Never too much to be shared.


And here's our parting shot.
A not.so.quiet Sunday by where the Singapore River flows through.
Overfed.
The food was slightly pricey for some menu items.
But it still has my favourite house blend.
And the food standards are consistently maintained.

Kudos to the very obliging staff at Anthesis.
We loved it,
loved you.
And we'll definitely be back for more. :)