Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Eating like the
locals Singaporeans do.
It was already 1.45pm by the time we got to Phetchaburi Soi 15 just before Glow Pratunam Hotel. These guys have moved from a couple of streets down and their legion of adoring fans have moved along with them. All of Singapore was here.
This being my first time ever. And they had already sold out of the braised pork trotters by then.
The choice was clear then.
Wanton noodles or nothing, really.
They moved like clockwork. These two men and their agile hands. One dealing with the art of blanching the noodles and the other spearing wantons and random pieces of char siew for every bowl of noodle.
The wanton soup takes the shortest time to prepare since all these parcels were already wrapped and blanched, needing only a shallow cover of soup.
The filling was too little to be enjoyed.
The minced pork had an unmistakable sweetness to it that I didn't take very well to.
I was watching the family on the next table enjoying their wanton noodles, wondering what it would taste like.
It was only when I saw the man with glisteningly bright lips that I realised what was the thing that drew in all the crowds.
It's all about the lard.
Not the bass.
Pun totally intended.
I couldn't resist.
Unlike our local wanton noodles with a soy sauce, ketchup or chilli base,
this version was just keeping it simple with the allure of pork lard.
The noodles were springy and had no taste of alkaline which I appreciated.
The servings were very manageable.
So much so that many have ordered an extra helping or two just to make for one complete meal.
For 50 baht,
this was affordable but I could hardly understand the draw that it held for the Singaporean crowd besides the fact that it has been featured on one too many blogs, including this post.
And then, try something else next time.
There's too much good food in Bangkok to be savoured elsewhere :)
Sunday, December 07, 2014
My love affair with the nondescript churro happened in Disneyland. The happiest place on Earth made perfect with a piping hot churro in the cold breeze of winter, all too long and much too quickly finished in the hands of an 8 year old and her cousins. Now that, to me, was love. :)
I've given up on the search for a churro that could come close to that experience. Especially after the initial excitement at seeing it in Universal Studios Singapore, it was found to be nothing more than a terribly tough to chew dough stick served lukewarm at best. :(
Well then, with hardly a mission in mind but always the best recommendations from my cousin, we headed from Chocolateria San Churro at Harbourside, Darling Harbour on our walk home from dinner. He didn't mention Disneyland, he just thought I should be trying these out.
They certainly don't come cheap as food often does in Sydney.
But when these arrived at our table...
My heart skipped a beat.
And I restrained myself for just one photo before I just. HAD. TO. EAT. summadat!
Was it the chocolate though?
*one more bite
This was it.
Almost like Disneyland.
Churro sticks that were thinner, not as long but definitely hitting all the right spots on the taste index.
Three each and two pots of milk chocolate.
Devoured all too quickly. And enjoyed all too much.
They've got outlets around Sydney but this was the one closest to home.
And even better?
They've got a Santa Fest special offer now on till Christmas Eve!
Ho! Ho! Ho! Indeed.
Eat up and enjoy! For me :)
Friday, November 07, 2014
The sun was relentless.
But then the doc decides to jog over from his place and wasn't content with just that.
He wanted to do more.
And so he did.
And so we did.
I hardly kept pace!
But onward we go from there to where a new cafe has just sprung up!
At Horne Road.
The Lavender enclave that is home to many cafes but always space for another.
Just a few doors down from Windowsill Pies,
Two Bakers occupies a pretty neat corner unit with gate grilles painted with a pop of yellow.
And adorned with congratulatory flowers.
Yes, these guys are the new kids on the block.
And they offer some yummy grub.
Seafood pasta rich with crabmeat and happy white clams.
Wide open, these guys' mouths were.
The chilli flakes gave a much needed kick to this linguine dish.
And all good food is about sharing isn't it?
Large rings of calamari battered and fried to a delicate golden brown.
Battered to death.
These were served with lemon yoghurt and wasabi mayo.
Lemon yoghurt me anytime. :)
The mozza sticks were yet another deep fried indulgence.
The herb batter gave an added dimension to an otherwise flat mozzarella dish.
Good enough on its own.
Ketchup not needed.
So that was round one.
And we were saving all that space for desserts!
Passionfruit & matcha profiteroles.
It looked like an overwhelming amount of chantilly creme at first.
But the generous serving of light creme was all gone in an instant.
Nothing like smearing pieces of crisp chewy choux and craquelin with generous amounts of creme before putting it into our mouths.
The matcha flavour was evident but not overwhelming.
And the passionfruit added a nice zing to the light tasting creme.
This key lime tart was a crowd favourite.
A buttery tart shell filled with a deliciously refreshing lime custard.
Subtlety is key.
To the lime tart.
Pun entirely intended.
Give this le chocolate noir some centrestage love.
This was quite the death by chocolate.
Last to be started on.
And last to be finished.
If you had to have some chocolate.
This would be a whole load of chocolate love for you!
And these are a few of my favourite things.
We'll be back.
Because hey, we've still got another half of dessert list left! :)
Monday, November 03, 2014
This is a Pan-European Mediterranean gastropub with a bar counter boasting more than 200 wine labels and cocktails.
And what's to do for a non-alcoholic like I?
Fill up the tummy, I shall!
As I worriedly held onto the bruschetta, I wondered how much of the crisp baguette I could take.
And it was love, and ease at first bite.
I've got tooth issues and they don't do well with anything too hard.
So it was a huge relief to bite into only a crisp exterior and a soft interior.
The minced garlic and diced tomatoes were a delightful burst of refreshing flavour.
But a winner in every way.
Foie gras balancing precariously atop a thick slice of beef.
I'm nary a fan of this. Those images of violence too cruel for me to enjoy this.
So I tried a small piece of foie gras which was pan fried to a delicate crisp.
The liver melted immediately in my mouth.
Taking my first cut into the thick piece of beef, I was presently surprised to see that it was wrapped with a piece of bacon.
Keeping all the juices of the beef locked within.
This was a medium well order with a slightly pinkish hue in the interior.
The beef was full on flavour.
I was full but I could hardly pass up a dish of red meat just like that!
Chilean Sea Bass
A substantial chunk of sea bass arrived on a platter of happy summer colours.
Thick flaky pieces of fish fell apart just with the use of a fork.
This was a brilliant departure from the rich taste of the red meat.
But taken on its own, could be a little bland for some.
The sweet potato patty on the bottom would've been better if there was the addition of some crab meat for an added dimension to taste.
Perhaps a little more sauce to be served on the side as well?
It does get a little too dry with all the pan crusted fried items on this plate, as a matter of personal opinion.
Apple Filo Pastry with Vanilla Ice Cream
Was a paradoxical surprise waiting to be unwrapped.
Altogether hot and cold.
Sweet and salty.
Crisp and moist.
This was my idea of a perfect end to a delicious meal.
I was expecting diced apple pieces alike those in the apple pies from McD's
But in that parcel?
It was a whole apple cored and held together a deliciously creamy cinnamon filling.
Eaten with the crisp warm filo pastry outside and topped with a nib of cold vanilla ice cream.
I'd be back for this.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
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Wednesday, October 08, 2014
How to whip up a meal that impresses.
All the time.
In 30 minutes.
These were some of Jamie's 30 minute meal recipes that we've tried and tested this long weekend.
Adapted from the recipes on
Perfect roast potatoes
Tips & tweaks:
Use Yukon Gold potatoes.
They are my gold standard for baked carbs that are worth every single calorie.
And those cloves of garlic would be so sweet, you wish you put more in the first place.
Mustard chicken with leek
Tips & tweaks:
Even a non mustard lover would eat this all up.
The taste of wholegrain mustard is not the same as mustard from a squeeze bottle on hotdogs.
Just so there was gravy,
some chicken broth was added.
And because bacon ANYTHING tastes like heaven,
some roughly chopped pieces of bacon were thrown in.
More leek definitely.
It was a lot more watery that planned but the unmistakable sweetness from the mustard and savoury tinge from the bacon was unmistakable.
And perhaps the added taste dimensions of some pan fried crisp bacon as toppings in the next attempt.
The best pork chops sans the crackling
Cubed carrots and beetroot.
And a generous drizzle of olive oil.
Roast them for half an hour at 220 degrees celcius.
Tips & tweaks:
The meats were marinated for about 3 hours.
The honey was omitted.
The apple cider did wonders to lock in the juice in the pork chops.
Side salad of lettuce, chopped sundried tomatoes, pitted olives and cubed feta cheese.
Generously drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Top with roughly torn pieces of turkey breast.
Now that's what I call a HAPPY MEAL :)
and a healthy one at that.
Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Located at 4A Maju Avenue,
this outlet at Serangoon Gardens was a breeze for me to locate.
Right above Cedele, opposite myVillage.
The main glass door albeit a little too cluttered with information,
offered everything that one needed to know without having to walk in to ask about services AND prices.
Which I really appreciated. :)
All these weary feet getting their rest upstairs.
I could hardly wait to get up there myself!
I was a little early for my appointment which gave me time to google about Foot Haven.
To be honest, I took the reviews with a pinch of salt.
My only experience of a foot massage was in the Siem Reap night market.
While that was awesomely cheap and good, I wasn't one to take tickles and pain on the soles of my feet and calves well.
Especially not when I'm just a bunch of knots, a day after my Gunung Berlumut climb with Y-Treks.
I was gently jolted from my reverie when the lady at the reception stepped in.
She immediately served some hot tea and even offered some biscuits in case I was hungry.
How's that for service?
She also brought over the treatment menu for me to pick my preferred treatment.
On her recommendation, I picked their popular signature of 30 minutes of foot and 30 minutes of shoulder and neck.
Oxygen therapy- CPR anyone?
This was an interesting product indeed.
I wonder how they're used.
The interior was dimly lit and could have up to 6 people doing their foot massages at the same time.
I saw a couple of customers walking in and the phone line was kept really busy but there were however, only three male masseuses available today.
Too many tired feet, too little hands.
This lady was a regular customer and she had some special tea leaves added to her foot soak.
When she asked her masseuse why?
She was told it was simply because she was special.
And you wonder why people keep coming back.
It's like home. :)
While I didn't get tea leaves, I did get a pair of SPORT shorts!
I was in a short skirt which although would've been covered well by the felt blanket,
would not have been the most comfortable for me to stay in for the session.
Especially not if I was about to squirm in pain.
So Alan, thank you.
It was a gesture I appreciated.
That's what heaven feels like.
Say hello to -almost- happy feet.
What really impressed me was how Alan seemed to know everything at his fingertips.
One press and he knew.
Not general statements that pain on some area of the sole equated to some area in our human system.
But through the course of the massage, he was spot on that my heartbeat was slower than the average.
Which was exactly what my TCM lady had told me.
There was also an area near my shoulder blade which he pressed and left me yelping in pain.
He asked if I always drank cold water- which I unfortunately always do.
When I asked if it meant I shouldn't drink cold water anymore, he wasn't quick to give a definite yes.
He just told me that it could mean early onset of arthritis and told me to get a rubdown more frequently to prevent it from happening.
And he promptly went to prepare a cup of warm water for me at the end of my session.
I am impressed.
I left Feet Haven looking like I am Cloud Nine.
Those spanking reviews were all truth and nothing but the truth.
Although you could definitely take my word for it.
But you should try it to believe it.
Not just for feet.
They have full body massages and even gua sha and ba guan which can be added on to any of the services.
Spoilt for choice?
I don't know about you.
But I've been spoilt by today's session. :)
Quote: Bloggerspecialszemin for a 10% discount.
Monday, October 06, 2014
Marketing started at 8am this morning.
Two packets of baby bokchoi.
A handful of chestnuts, prawns and minced pork.
Blanch the baby bok choi in a pot of boiling water with a dash of oil and a sprinkling of salt.
To the minced pork, diced prawns and chestnuts,
A generous sprinkle of white pepper.
A dash of light soy sauce.
A heaped tablespoon of oyster sauce.
A generous drizzle of sesame oil and shaoxing wine.
Toss them up till well combined.
Rope in the family to join in for the wonton wrapping. :)
Prepare a pot of boiling water to boil up batches of wontons.
Till you get a whole tonne of them.
And while we're at it.
Chop up some onions (since we ran out of shallots)
and fry them over low heat for some shallot oil.
These weren't burnt.
They were actually sweet and pretty yums!
Don't underestimate the fragrance that the shallot (fried onion) oil imparts to the dish.
Add it to the soup or the noodles.
Pick up some of those roasted meats from your friendly local roast meat seller at the wet market.
Which comes with a soy based gravy.
Toss the wonton noodles in a tablespoon of the soy sauce gravy.
Top with blanched baby bokchoi, roast meats and a generous serving of wontons! :)
Serve with a bowl of piping hot chicken broth.
That was one tonne of work for some wonton noodles.
Well worth the effort.
Well fed for the night! :)
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
This is going to be a -pizza- history.
Puns totally intended.
Pizza Hut is running a $10 takeaway promotion on their regular pan pizzas.
I chose the Super Supreme.
Which comes with a whole load of toppings.
We're talking ground beef, Italian sausages, beef pepperoni, chicken ham, capsicum, onions, olives, mushrooms and all the sunshine of pineapple chunks.
Plus all that cheese.
On every slice.
Like you see on the picture above.
And having that pizza just ten minutes after my takeaway made all the difference in the world.
I'm finishing up the crust simple because it's crisp on the outside and chewy on the soft interiors.
All of that melty cheese and all-in toppings.
It was a regular pan-pizza.
But I finished it all just as it were a personal pan-pizza.
Monday, September 29, 2014
Because the exams have been taking a toll on me.
With a terrible breakout and the worst kind of sinking feeling ever.
There's much to be said about faith and blind confidence.
Or none of all that and instead, painful reality.
And she was in the same kind of situation.
A same same but different type.
We desperately needed a break.
Oz Specialty Coffee it was.
Now that would make terrible better.
Yes, it did.
But not till you get past the pursed lips of the girls behind the counter.
The cold shoulder.
The aloof demeanour.
Which made us feel entirely unwelcome.
On a day like today?
That was definitely not what I needed.
And I had half a mind to just cancel my orders and leave.
But really, who else needs a terrible Thursday right?
So we took the outdoor seats along the corridor.
(There's only 4 seats at the bar counter)
Their salted caramel and banana waffles.
Being Belgian liege waffles, they were full on jaw action.
I loved the crisp exterior contrasted with the dense chewy interior.
The premium vanilla ice cream scoop melted quickly in the warm heat and was barely enough for just one waffle.
The other waffle had only bananas for company.
It was filling and pretty darn satisfying.
This would be perfect if the bananas were caramelised.
My order of an iced chocolate was a welcome respite from the heat.
And her ice cream latte was good, she said.
My coffee fast is becoming quite the reality.
I'm hard pressed to come back here because of the kind of service I was given.
But their waffles do deserve a repeat visit.
I'll just have to find someone else to do the ordering. :)
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
1030am on a Saturday morning.
And I find myself at Killiney Kopitiam.
At Killiney Road.
With a whole bunch of other hungry people.
To be honest, breakfast is my worst meal of the day.
Given my early starts, I eat whatever I can just so I don't work on an empty tummy and sometimes I'm so hungry I'm eating up a whole packet of greasy fried economical noodles at 9am and snacking after.
That's not breakfast.
That's like a binge fest.
All day. Everyday.
Which is why I love my weekends.
I'm usually at trainings both days which means I grab two pieces of bread and have that for breakfast.
Qualifies as breakfast.
But I digress.
So breakfast here at Killiney.
You'd think I'd do the quintessential kaya toast order.
I went for the ultimate indulgence.
An order of laksa.
Actually, I do suppose the order of chicken curry and prata would be even more indulgent.
In any case, I was pleased with my order.
I mean, look at that dollop of chilli! :)
It was rich.
Redolent with the richness and fragrance of coconut milk and spices.
Fresh blood cockles would've made this perfect.
A cup of teh halia + milk - ginger tea with milk to help with my digestion of this bowl of yum!
Also popular on the tables was the mee siam.
It did look enticing.
And I'll probably try that on my next visit.
Full of all that eggy goodness and rich coconut milk.
This was hot and freshly packed.
It took all of my willpower to resist opening the bottle for a spoonful of kaya.
Saving it for breakfast spread on Sunday :)
And I've fallen in love.
Now that nama chocolate can be made at home,
I wouldn't have to do a Royce run in a long while yet.
I got the recipe from this website,
by Namiko Chen.
And I made just a few slight tweaks on my version.
I halved her recipe to yield enough for a roughly 10 x 20 cm lock & lock- type tupperware.
200g of white chocolate (I used Cadbury Dream)
65ml whipping cream (President Lait Entier)
12g unsalted butter
1 Tbsp of matcha powder + 1 tsp for sprinkling
Baking sheet lined tupperware
Chop the chocolate up into smaller pieces to allow for faster melting before heating the cream.
Heat the cream and be sure to stir constantly.
Otherwise a film will form on top.
Once it comes to a small boil, remove from heat.
Add in the chopped chocolate and butter and stir till smooth.
It should form a ribbon trail.
Add in the matcha powder and stir till well combined and smooth.
Fill the parchment paper and smoothen out air bubbles if any.
The mixture should be flowy enough to take on the shape of the container.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
The tropical heat here will not allow for this to be kept outside for too long so you have to work fast to cut them up into cubes.
There will be a few times when you have to return the chocolate to the fridge to chill before continuing.
Please also do get a fine sieve or you'll get your matcha powder in ugly blobs like mine.
Excuse the first try.
Might not look like much but...
At least it tasted like nama.
I had a colleague who asked,
Oh, Royce? :)
That's when I knew this recipe was for keeps!
You never know when you need some chocolate comfort.
Especially on Mondays. :p
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Amuse bouche compliments of the chef
Compressed watermelon with pea sauce and chorizo.
This was a palate pleaser- both cleansing and appetizing all at once.
We enjoyed this.
And of course, we loved the bread basket.
Forget the no-carbs diet.
We were on an all carbs and full butter non diet!
My favourite was the cheese and onion bread.
The garlic herb rolls were a hit too.
I reckon we loved them all (we had seconds!) except the sourdough.
Of all things to focus on. He had it on the bread.
Excuse the man, he's a new user of a Sony A6000.
And I'm none the wiser.
A tip for choosing the appetizers,
some of them come in individual portions.
So do check with the servers before placing your orders.
The smoked salmon with pickles and pearl onions were appetizing but lacked a certain kind of oomph.
The wagyu beef tataki was a definite crowd pleaser.
With seared thin pieces of beef served on equally thin slices of pickled daikon.
It kept us wanting.
The arrival of this seafood platter for two caused a collective gasp.
At the sheer size of the serving platter.
That, plus the full sized lobster. :)
We loved the raw salmon and ikura.
The sauces kept us really busy too, selecting and mixing sauces for the different shells and crustaceans.
The only gripe we had about this was that there was just too much work involved in eating.
Enter the Chauteaubriand.
A 500g serving of an A-grade tenderloin.
We had it medium.
And it was simply amazing.
Perhaps a little raw on the inside for our last two slices and that made it hard to cut through.
A little too much jaw action.
The truffle butter sauce is highly recommended.
The bearnaise unfortunately paled (pun totally intended.) in comparison.
We asked for an additional serving of truffle butter but it was simply watered down and tasted terrible.
Massive onion rings.
While they tasted like a sinful indulgence,
I hardly thought 4 rings justified a price tag of $15.
The New York Striploin was a satisfying 300g.
However, there was just too much fat within the slab of beef for anyone's liking.
Definitely go for the Chateaubriand.
Tonight was definitely a dinner with a view.
Some hits and misses.
But the company made it all better. :)
This vanilla cheesecake was exquisite.
Smooth and redolent with the rich taste of vanilla,
the slightly tart raspberry coulis was a perfect accompaniment to this dessert offering.
We moved on to NewAsia Bar upstairs for some after-dinner drinks.
Time for some bubbly to toast the birthday boy.
My allergy stops me from more than just one mouth of alcohol.
I had the Hokkaido Berry made with coconut milk.
Lychee bits and its syrup in coconut milk went surprisingly well together.
A night out to dine.
With company so fine.
Accompanied by wine.
The pleasure was all mine!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
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.
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.