Monday, September 29, 2014

Terrible Thursday

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

Breakfast of champions @ Killiney Kopitiam

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.
Now that. 
Qualifies as breakfast.

But I digress.
So breakfast here at Killiney.
You'd think I'd do the quintessential kaya toast order.
But nope.
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.

Asian pride.
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 :)

Matcha Nama Chocolate 抹茶生チョコレート

First fall.
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.
Be patient.
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

Equinox @ 70th Swissotel

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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 :)


  • (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)


  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.

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.