Friday, February 28, 2014

me want cookie! raisin & oatmeal or chocolate chip? omnomnom.

When I repeat a recipe,
I know that its for keeps. :)
And sometimes, it's because it's a simple one too!

Cream the butter and sugar.
We use homemade vanilla essence.
And the aroma is irresistable!

Go crazy with Hershey's chocolate chips.

Or my preferred option of raisin and rolled oats.
It almost makes it a healthy balanced diet. :)

Original recipe:

540 g butter
350 g castor sugar
240 g raisins
225 g oat flakes
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
595 g bread flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Lightly mix butter and sugar.
Add raisins, oat flakes and vanilla essence.
Stir in flour and baking soda.
Shape into cookies. :)

Definitely cut down on the sugar.
I usually go for about 300g. Sometimes, 280g.

**Being the rogue baker I am, I don't follow the recipe at all. 
Thrice I've made this and never once the same.
I've tried equal parts of bread and cake flour.
I've tried less butter.
And I've tried less sugar.
Baking is a science. You've gotta run the experiments till you get the results you want!

Happy baking! 

Savour 2014

Mackerel & Squid cakes. Anthony Demetre of Arbutus.

Savour 2014

Singapore's largest gourmet festival, SAVOUR is a perfect event to bring together an international culinary taste fest with a host of activities open to all event participants.

The event venue this year at The Promontory also promises a cooling breeze from the water way nearby. 
The Gourmet Market this year, by Jasons, will have a new feature where participants get to see live filleting of sea catches. Chef Claudio Sandri of Spathe with his unassuming manner and boyish charms will work his magic in the Jasons kitchen again at Savour 2014.

Chef Claudio Sandri of Spathe Public House.

The wide selection of cheese and wine tastings will still remain. The highlight of celebrity chef masterclasses, a hands-on cooking studio, wine workshops and other themed areas will all be featured again at Savour 2014. 

Cooking at Jason Atherton's masterclass was one of life's highlights.

Chef Alvin Leung. Bo Innovation.

The best thing? 
All these are complimentary for event participants. You just have to check these classes out early and plan your time well at the event.

Not forgetting the official coffee co-sponsor Nespresso.
Offering delectable new flavours and hands on workshops.

I'll be there for Savour 2014.
And I'm looking forward to every single bit of palate pleasing, taste sensations at The Promontory!
See you there? :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

joe & dough

Nothing like a coffee date for a Sunday break.

Flat white ($5.30)
It was decent.
But not for a pick-me-up.
It could've really used a stronger shot of coffee.

Teriyaki Chicken ($7.80)
The chicken chunks were well marinated in teriyaki sauce, juicy and tender to the bite.
The zucchini was fresh with a crunch that took away the little greasiness of chicken fat.
And the pineapple chunks were a surprise addition, 
lending a natural sweetness to this sandwich.

Bacon Mushroom Melt ($8)
This was a bun with slight sweetness.
Which was a perfect contrast to its savoury fillings.
The bacon wasn't fatty nor fried to a crisp.
Of course. The portobellos.
The earthy flavours nicely balanced the strong flavours of bacon and mozza melts.
I would be biased in my love of mushroom to say that this was my preferred choice.

But otherwise, speaking on an entirely impartial stomach,
there's an equal chance of my second order for both sandwiches.

Happy campers :)

年年有余 in celebrations for Abundance through the year

I've probably had ten of these in the 15 days of the Lunar New Year.
And they came in all shapes and sizes with different people groups.

But this.
Was 年年有很多鱼!
Bountiful set for 4-6 persons with 18 slices of salmon.
With add-ons of 12 slices of salmon and kajiki.
Do the math.
That's 42 slices.

There's a lot of camaraderie in the tossing of colorful fresh and preserved vegetables alike.

And then you mumble some awkward random chinese prosperity phrases.
But when people just play with the vegetables on the surface, you know some massive help is needed.

Like that.
Otherwise, somebody's gonna end up eating a whole blob of sweet plum sauce.

There's just a lot of fish in there.
And as the chinese saying goes,
my dining partners insisted that we keep one slice of fish aside.
Hopefully that little slice bodes well for us four in the year 2014 :)

Putting size into perspective with the lemon wedge.
These were baby sized shisamos.
I have never seen them like that.
And frankly,
we were hardly pleased.

The hanasaki ika tempura was also more batter than anything actual squid.
I don't know what went wrong there.

Thankfully we had these edamame peas that were faultless.
And really the saving grace after our massive tossed salad.

It was a miss that night at Ichiban Boshi Ngee Ann City.
But I'll be back again.
And see how all that goes.
For the love of affordable Japanese food and the expanse of space and high ceilings at this outlet situated so conveniently in the heart of town.

To a great year of the Wooden Horse ahead!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Seeking a slice of paradise

After a whole day out at the shops, dinner was not simply for the hungry. 
It was for the weary.

Taste paradise seems always to have a ridiculously long queue and the fact that they close in between lunch and dinner service brings the rest of the crowds over to Paradise Dynasty.

And before you start to think this restaurant is nothing but a second best,
I'll have you think again by the end of this post.

I've tried the colorful xiao long baos once too many a time, 
I now only stick by the originals.

These little intricately wrapped parcels of minced meat and juicy soup goodness.

Goes perfectly with a dab of vinegar topped with fresh ginger slices.
There is a recommended way of enjoying this.
First, bite off the dumpling skin on top.
Let the steam escape.
Before you slurp up the soup.
And devour the rest.
At the risk of a burnt tongue,
I let the steamer sit for a bit before I attempt to take a delicate parcel
and pop the whole parcel in. 
Let the juices explode in my mouth.
Is a slice of paradise reached :)

Spicy minced meat noodles is the Chinese answer to the bolognaise I'd like to think.
Firm pulled flour noodles boiled and drained before being topped with a generous amount of spicy minced meat sauce.
Does that not make a bolognaise?
I love them both. Chinese or Italian.
This bowl comes covered with generous greens of refreshing cucumber slices and freshly chopped spring onions.
This may get a little bit too oily for one.
Which is why I always opt to share.
So that I could add another item to the order list.

Now this.
The same firm pulled flour noodles.
With shabu thin slices of pork and chopped seaweed.
This time with a healthier and no less hearty soup base.
A signature milky pork bone broth.
I could never get enough.

Who said anything about second best?

And it just gets better with their weekday promotions. :)
Enjoy $8 Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao with every order of 2 La Mian
*Valid Mon to Fri from 11am to 3pm, excluding eves of PH and PH. Other terms and conditions apply.
Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao + Choice of 1 Shanghai Dim Sum @ $15
*Valid Mon to Fri from 3pm to 5.30pm, excluding eves of PH and PH. Other terms and conditions apply.
To find out more, visit PARADISE DYNASTY at ION Orchard, #04-12A

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Munich brewery Hofbräuhaus in Berlin

'So tonight, we are going to this place that is quite loud and very packed. They have security guards to make sure the people don't get too loud. Sounds dangerous? I will protect you. Just so you know, they also serve amazing pork knuckles.' Where in the world was my uncle bringing us?
A short walk from Alexanderplatz in the heart of East Berlin was a massive beer garden exactly as described. The noise level was loud but not oppressively so. And everywhere I looked were large wooden communal tables littered with massively huge mugs of beer. Forget the half and one pints. Here, you guzzle them by the litres.
We had a jolly server decked out in lederhosen. These leather breeches were cute and even more so on a server who had a perpetual smile and a hop in his step. 

My non-alcoholic beer that kept me really happy :)
But of course I'd much rather my apple cider any day!

A must-eat.
The currywurst.
And what's the must about it?
The thick chunky fries.
The wurst that's big on meat and big on bite.
Then there's the tomato sauce and toppings of curry powder that's so addictive.
It's a side but so hard to share, it's probably better off as a personal main.
Or personal side.
Just personal opinion of course ;)

Mum's got the pork knuckle she wanted.
And a huge one at that.
With a presentation like that...
Wouldn't you kill to eat that?
Served with potato dumplings that were essentially glutinous rice potato balls.
These weren't the easiest to digest but a good palate cleanser for all that crisp layer of skin on the knuckle.
I loved that the sauerkraut was served with a topping of bacon rind.
Let's indulge shall we?

I loved the hearty portions in this place.
Every dish made me smile.
And the oohs and aahs came all around.
The chive butter was a dream when little knobs were put on the slices of perfectly medium well done steak, meltingly inviting before readily devoured!

If we didn't have a schnitzel at einstein the night before,
I wouldn't have known better about the taste.
But this, was lacklustre in comparison.
The schnitzel was overfried and the meat tough.
The least favoured dish on the table.
And no, we weren't missing out our stomach space on all the rest of the good food.

Brilliantly pumped ambience.
It was a very good night out in town with the family :)

Karl-Liebknechtstr. 30
10178 Berlin
Neighbourhood: Mitte
030 679665520
New beer garden Amber Nectar at Robertson Walk serves brews from Hofbräuhaus.
"It’s the only drinking joint in Singapore where you can throw back suds from Hofbräuhaus (from $9)—the royal brewery in the Kingdom of Bavaria—including Hofbräu Original Lager, Hofbräu Schwarze Weisse and Hofbräu Dunkel.
They also have a cool one-for-one happy hour deal (from 5-8pm) that has been attracting folks like bees to honey since the bar’s opening a month ago."
Read More at the Amber Nectar Facebook page.