Sunday, December 16, 2007

tea with the p.schoolers.

This post should have come earlier. I have been caught up recently and forgot that my blog turned 2 on 1 Dec. This coincidentally is also my 100th post since I started this blog 2 years back!

Back on 1 Dec, exactly a week after my Korean cookout, I caught up with the p.gals for a tea cum bbq party. I had a blast and I'm sure I speak the same for the rest of them. As usual, we shared our life updates, new haircuts, laughed at jokes, did silly things and spoke abt stuff. Speaking of silly, our very intelligent Masters graduate, Da was slapping all sorts of condiments on her scone and did not even realise that she had been happily swallowing clumps of mayonnaise mistaken for cream!

Liz really did a fantastic job. We had so much to eat. Homemade meatballs, salami, scones, cheese spreads and nice tea coolers for our afternoon tea.

When the bbq got started, we had beef kebabs, chicken on lemongrass skewers. She even topped it off with a chocolate dessert and VODKA WATERMELON! Basically, she injected vodka into a watermelon and left it to freeze overnight. We were ooh-ing and aah-ing over the watermelon when it came out of the fridge, added more vodka and basically wiped it out by 6pm. Yup. Vodka at home. At 6pm. Us girls. Haa...

Everytime I get together with this group of friends, I feel like I'm back in school. Whatever pressure that I get from adulthood seems to just disappear for that few hours when we're together. I mean, I have known them since the time I was 7 or 8 years old so it's hard to not get sucked into the "schooldays" thing when I'm with them. I suddenly realised how much we've grown since then that day. Some have either graduated with Masters, about to graduate on a 2nd degree or starting a 2nd degree course. Then there are those who found new friends.

Although time has flown by so quickly, I'm glad that after all this while, we're all still together.

Monday, November 26, 2007

almost korean.

I have a whole lot of entries to catch up on but I wanted to post this entry while it's still fresh in my head. This year has been a more fruitful year for me in terms of spending time in the kitchen. I've done the dinner party thing for friends (which I have yet to write about) and I've also done my share of potlucks but last night's was the most memorable for the year so far.

DY had very graciously invited us over to her new place yesterday for a little housewarming cum get-together party. We've been doing quite a bit of refreshing things lately; bowling, "go-stopping" etc. Yesterday was the first time we got into the kitchen to whip up a meal and since we all got together because of Korean classes, the main food theme turned out to be, need I say more? Korean of course!

Everyone did their little part yesterday. Those who could cook, cooked. Those who couldn't, bought. In fact, I would say we were a bit over zealous cos we really ended up with a lot of food on the table. Check out what we had below.

This is one of my favourite Korean side dishes or rather, panchan (반찬). For those who have visited Ju Shin Jung located in either the West or East Coast, you probably would have tried this already. According to my trusty recipe book, it's known as YangNyeumJang Sundubu (양념장 순두부). It's really easy to whip this up and I'll probably share this recipe at a later time.

Regardless of whatever you think this looks like, it IS and TRULY IS a Kimchi Pancake otherwise also known as Kimchi Jeon (김치전). It was quite funny when we were cooking this in the kitchen. There was a whole lot of laughter, 4 gals standing around and a guy who "nicely" came over to ask if I was cooking noodles!! For the record, I just want to say that although it may not have looked all that appetising and came off looking a little burnt, it tasted pretty good with the sauce and all. Must make special mention here cos JL specially bought the Kimchi from Ju Shin Jung so we could make this. *slurp*

This photo doesn't seem to tell much cos of all the egg garnishings but I whipped up a dish of JapChae (잡채) also known as Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef & Vegetables. Most thought the dish was pretty tasty but my "judge" for the evening told me that it wasn't native Korean enough as there was still something lacking in it. Since he couldn't pinpoint it out, I guess I still have try the real deal in Korea before I exactly understand what is lacking in my version. Although tedious, it was loads of fun making this at home.

This was my first attempt at making BoSsam (보쌈); Pork Belly boiled with Bean Paste. You would usually eat this with Kimchi or Lettuce with a spicy bean paste. I thought it tasted pretty ok but I guess the let down was when the meat turned cold. Also, because the meat was sliced so early on, it became a little dry and tough. Bugger...

How often is it that you have a teacher cook something for you? Or rather, how rare is it for a Korean male teacher to cook for you? Forget the stereotypes here cos despite the many times he claimed that he wouldn't be stepping into the kitchen, SK eventually appeared at DY's door with a whole lot of pork belly, meant for making DY's favourite Korean dish, SamGyeopSal (삼겹살); BBQ Pork Belly. I didn't know until yesterday that you could get readily sliced pork belly at Korean supermarkets. Now that I know this, it looks like it'd be making an appearance in my own home very soon.

Honestly, this was delicious. I would have loved to say that it was cos of SK's cooking but who was I kidding, all he needed to make sure was that the meat didn't get burnt! (미안해요 승규오빠~) OK fine, if credit must be given, he did bbq the meat nicely and put in a lot of effort in bbqing each tiny thin slice of pork. However, I think what really made it taste so good was that it was hot and fresh out of the grill when we ate it nicely wrapped in a lettuce leaf together with the spicy bean paste and raw garlic. *drool*

SF, who kept exclaiming before the housewarming that she couldn't cook Korean made a tasty chicken stew. If there weren't that many other dishes, I probably would have had more of it. The meat was soft, practically falling off the bone. The carrots were tender and sweet; just the way I liked them. VW also bought along quite an amount of vegetarian food which I didn't get to take a clear picture of.

We of course, couldn't go without Korean alcohol at a Korean themed dinner. There were actually 3 types we bought but didn't end up drinking much cos most of them were driving (Yes, we are good citizens). I wanted to try the Rice Wine also known as MakGeolLi (막걸리) having heard from a friend that it is a pretty enjoyable drink. I didn't get to this time but I'd make sure I get myself some when next time comes around.

Honestly, I'm not much of a drinker. My face turns beet red just after a few sips and my friends laugh at me cos I look like I'm blushing perpetually. Despite that, I enjoy a little sip of alcohol here and there when having Korean food cos it reminds me a lot of the time when I was holidaying in Korea.

So the night followed with a Korean card game (I swear we're not gamblers!), a heartfelt speech that I will always remember, unravelling of presents, folk song singing (erm...) and piano playing in the dark (long story). Needless to say, we had our usual female vs male banters too.

DY, thanks again for having us over. It was fun last night. I will remember this for a long time to come. I really will.

좋은 친구들아... 고마워요. 진짜 고마워...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a pocky-ish obsession.

This is hardly the entry a real food lover would post but....

Did I fail to mention that I'm obsessed with Pocky?

More accurately, I should say Glico products; Pretz and so on. Actually it's not that I love eating them. I'm not big on snacking or anything. It's just that I am fascinated by all the different bizarre flavours that they come in. The interesting thing is, different countries make their own special flavours. How cool is that?!

Check out my recent findings.

Honestly, taste-wise there was nothing to shout about. The Shark-Fin and Bacon Vegetable flavoured Pretz were just boxes full of MSG and the Lychee and Oolong Tea Pockys were just odd. The only ones which I think were worthy taste-wise were the Mango Pudding and Egg Tart Collons. They were delicious. I have to give credit to the Lychee Pocky though cos I did a smell and taste test on my parents and the only flavour that was recognised was the Lychee.

Besides the Glico stuff, there was also a whole big variety of potato chips I found in Shanghai on my recent trip. I tried the Lay's Cucumber flavour and found it to be really light and refreshing. Definitely worth the try if you're curious how cucumbers and potato chips can taste good put together.

Before I left Shanghai, I spotted some other interesting Pretz flavours such as Peking Duck, Hairy Crab, Sichuan Mala etc. Interesting as they were, I couldn't bear to buy another 60 packets of junk (Each flavour comes in a packet of 12).

Guess those will just have to wait.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

comfort food . 떡볶이

The parents have gone out of town again for a break. Unfortunately, I didn't get to join them this time otherwise I won't be sitting at my computer typing away but busy savouring all the delicious food in Hong Kong or Shenzhen. The parents being away this time suddenly reminded me of a meal I made when they were away the last time. Makes me hungry now that I'm thinking about it and I haven't had lunch!

Hands up those who have tried Korean spicy rice cake!

Those who know me already know I love all things Korean. OK, maybe not EVERY single thing but food I definitely love and this is one dish I really like and is easily available all over Korea. You probably would have tried it if you've visited before.

This dish of course, is like most Korean food, very spicy. Besides the rice cake, the dish had loads of fish cakes and usually a hard boiled egg in it. Locally, I love the version at Togi located on Mosque Street because they mix instant noodles into it as well.

So while the parents were away the last time, I visited a Korean supermarket and picked up a packet of frozen rice cakes. In my haste to get down to throwing everything into the pan, I forgot to take a picture of it but there aren't that many brands so it should be easy to find in case you want to try this at home too. It's easy peasy to put it all together. All I did was to boil the instant noodles, eggs and rice cakes first then mix it altogether with the chilli paste and VOILA! Home-made Korean spicy rice cake!

Now.. I seriously need to think about what I'm having for lunch today.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

this made my day.

This is a totally non-food related entry but I had to post this cos it really made my day.

DC came to work without realising the 'boo boo' he made!

That's just one of those funny things that happen around the office daily. I hate waking up early but spending most of my waking hours with these "crazy" people in the office makes getting out of bed a little less painful.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

back from Shanghai.

Shanghai was fun this time. D & I took our time to walk round the French Concession area, sat down in tea houses and cafes. Basically, I saw a part of Shanghai which I didn't get to explore during my last trip 2 years back. Honestly, I didn't think that I would return so soon but I did. Shanghai is really a charming city with so many things to see and of course, eat. Needless to say I had my share of Xiao Long Baos, a sumptous Hairy Crab dinner and an unforgettable dining experience at XinTianDi.

More details to come in a bit.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

off to shanghai.

Will be back in a couple of days.
More updates then.


Sunday, September 30, 2007

at the new hip part of town.

Jones the Grocer
9 Dempsey Road
#01-12 Tanglin Village
Tel: 6475 2005
Opening Hours: 10.30am - 10.30pm, daily

Culina Quality Food & Beverage
8 Dempsey Road
#01-13 Tanglin Village
Tel: 6474 7338
Opening Hours: 9am to 8pm, Mon - Sat; 9am - 6pm, Sun & PH

Dropped by the much talked about Tanglin Village yesterday just to pop in on the food speciality shops. The first thing that striked me when I was there was that it almost didn't feel like I was in Singapore. The only thing that still made it Singaporean was the sweltering heat. Speaking of that, did anyone realise that the heat has been unbearable lately?!

Anyways, the reason why I felt like I was out of town was cos the population that was hanging around and sipping their cups of tea were mostly Caucasians; at least that was the case on the Saturday afternoon when I visited. Of course there was a flaming red Ferrari in the backdrop too. Not that it really matters but just wanted to give an idea of the crowd there.

Now the main point here is that I've always liked shopping around in supermarkets and food speciality stores and I did enjoy myself quite a bit when I visited the newly opened grocer from Down Under, Jones the Grocer; and the new outlet for Culina. There were stark contrasts between both stores. Jones the Grocer had a very 'clean' feel; typically Aussie whereas Culina had a rustic aire.

I left Jones the Grocer empty handed but did a little shopping at Culina and ended up at home with this.

Funny how this was sold in Culina and not at Jones the Grocer? Beats me too. Anyhow, there's no need now to lug those precious and pretty bottles of Oyster or Salad Vinaigrettes back home from Sydney; you can get them at Culina. I don't know about the difference in prices but this bottle set me back by $29. Bro had bought this when he was at Tetsuya's and he told me that it was amazing when he made a mushroom pasta and added a little bit of the salsa on top. I bought this when he promised me he'd make it for me too.

A lot of suggestions were given by the friendly guy at the store as to how else we could use the truffle salsa. One of it was to cook some soft-boiled eggs, sprinkle some salt and pepper and top it with a little spoon of the salsa. I couldn't wait for breakfast the following morning so I tried that the moment I got home. It was absolutely delicious although a little rich for a small afternoon snack.

You could of course use this as a finishing on a pasta as mentioned earlier or mix it with a little bit of butter to use as a bread spread or just simply have it on toast for breakfast too. You could also top the bottle with more olive oil after using some of the salsa to get a truffle-infused olive oil to use in salads or pastas. Whichever way, it'd turn out wonderful.

Aaahh... looks like things at home will never be the same again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

iggy's . first take

The Regent Singapore
Level Three
1 Cuscaden Road
Tel: 6732 2234

I owe an apology and thanks to DC. An apology because it took me a whole month to write this entry. Everyone who was excited about me taking pictures during the dinner had already given up on asking me when I was going to post the entry. A word of thanks also because thanks to DC (and rising property prices!), I had the privilege of dining at Iggy's; pride and joy of Singapore's dining scene and of course, world's 60th best restaurant. I'm not going to go into much more details about Iggy's since I don't think it needs much introduction. Let's just move to the focus of that night. Sit tight, this is going to be long. Here we go!

We started with the trio of amuse bouche. We were advised to eat them in the order of right to left because of the level of flavours. Very typical fine dining style. I would have simply left what I thought was most delicious 'til the last if I wasn't told. HA!

From left to right: Foie Gras Creme Brulee with Brioche, Sturgeon Mousse with Caviar, Cappellini with Mentaiko & Herbs

Anyways, we started with the Cappellini with Mentaiko & Herbs which was delicious. The mentaiko also gave the pasta a slight spiciness at the end. I've been a fan of mentaiko pasta since my visit to Hong Kong. My only gripe here was that a spoonful was simply not enough! The second amuse bouche was a Sturgeon Mousse with Caviar. Flavours were starting to get a little heavy on the tongue. This was the first time I had mousse which has a fishy flavour and I kinda liked it. Good thing they served this chilled otherwise I don't think the flavour would have gone down well in my throat. The final amuse bouche was also my favourite; Foie Gras Creme Brulee with Brioche. The foie gras was rich and creamy and went well with the lightly toasted brioche. Honestly, I was only short of licking the little bowl.

At the end of the amuse bouche, I started to have thoughts at the back of my mind...

What's next?

So this is what the hype is all about..

YAY! I finally dined at Iggy's!

Wah.. they change my cutlery every time I finish my course!

- Looking at the menu - Long way to go man...

My bag gets to sit on a bag chair!

I'm eating at the best fine dining restaurant in Singapore! And I don't have to pay!! hahaa..

Wagyu Carpaccio with Rocket, White Truffle Mayonnaise & Parmigiano Reggiano

I snapped out of it when my first course arrived at the table. I've had beef carpaccio on previous occasions but never with waygu beef. The beef was fresh and the dish was simple yet excellent. The white truffle mayonnaise however, didn't add much to the dish for me because my tongue was not discerning enough to taste the flavour of the truffles in it. This was one of my favourite courses for the evening.

Mushroom & Summer Truffle Tart, Tapenade Sauce

I thought that this course was one of the more forgettable courses of the evening. It still was delicious but honestly, didn't leave much of an impression because it didn't cause fireworks in my mouth. I can't remember much of it now since I had this a month ago. Like I said, pretty forgettable.

Egg Cocotte with Foie Gras Tempura, Unagi & Baby Spinach Salad

The third course scored full marks and as many As as you can imagine in my books. It was a tad rich I admit with the soft boiled egg and the foie gras tempura but it was oh-so-good. The tempura had a light crispy batter and the unagi was plump and sweet.

It was pretty interesting to eat this cos we had to use a little spoon to stir the beef broth and the soft boiled egg first because we poured it all over the foie gras and the spinach. This was my favourite for the evening; simply because the rich flavours still remain etched in my mind.

Breaded Fish Maw with Champagne Nage, Tomatoes & Avruga Caviar

This course was a little bit of a let down for me. While the fish maw was fried beautifully, it was a very bland dish because the fish maw couldn't absorb any flavours. I though that the cream based sauce wasn't enough to lift the flavours although the tomatoes did help a little with its sweet, tangy nature. I still prefer fish maws in my double boiled soups.

Sakura Ebi Cappellini with Konbu and Home-made Scampi Oil

Halfway through the dinner and we were served an Iggy's favourite. It definitely lived up to its name because this dish was delicious. A lot of work definitely went into the dish because a poor guy in the kitchen had to cut the konbu so finely and evenly. I had a similar dish at Ember over a year ago but Iggy's version was definitely heavier on the flavours because of the scampi oil and konbu. In fact, it was a tad salty but nonetheless, fragrant and delicious. DC was talking about replicating the dish at home and I told him that he could replace the konbu with chye poh in case he didn't know how to handle the konbu! Jokes aside though, this was definitely a winner.

Oven-roasted Tasmanian Lamb Shoulder with Artichokes, Broad Beans & Charcoal-grilled Tomato

The last course for the evening before we hit the dessert. Lamb is one of my favourite meats and I thought this course was perfectly done. The colours were fantastic, the meat had the right doneness, and it was tender and flavourful. I'd even recommend this dish to those who usually stay away from lamb because of its smell.

I was starting to get full even before the desserts arrived but thank goodness, sweets go into a different compartment in my tummy. Yes, self delusion is harmful but I need this once in a while.

Japanese White Peach with Champagne Jelly, Sorbet & Elderflower Foam

The first dessert course arrived and I almost didn't want to eat it cos I thought it looked so pretty. Personally, this wasn't one of my favourite desserts because I thought the alcohol in it was too strong for my liking. The only things I liked about this course was the aromatic elderflower foam and the sweet slice of Japanese white peach.

Blueberry Cheesecake with Mascarpone and Triple Cream Cheese and Mocha Shake

The blueberry cheesecake seemed like a familiar dessert but it was actually pretty unusual cos there was blue cheese in it. It gave the cheesecake a little chalky flavour which I thought was pretty interesting but DC just couldn't bear to eat more than 2 bites of it. The mocha shake was an additional throw in and I wished I had more. The shake was frothy and satisfying. It even had little chocolate balls inside!

Chocolate Mousse Wafer, Brioche French Toast with Maple Syrup Ice Cream

If you thought that my dinner had come to an end, think again. A kind host threw in an additional dessert; his favourite which incidentally turned out to be my favourite dessert of the evening. Apologies to the little chocolate wafer with chocolate mousse. I could have done without it because the french toast and maple syrup ice cream simply outshone everything else. The brioche french toast was light and coated evenly with sugar. It also went extremely well with the maple syrup ice cream. Absolutely to-die-for! I could have this every single day; breakfast, lunch and dinner!

It was a super long dinner; around 3 hours to be exact. I thoroughly enjoyed it though because the company was great and hilarious conversations kept flowing throughout the meal. I also got to meet Iggys himself. He caught me taking some pictures and offered to allow me to take a photo with the whole kitchen crew. It was a bit embarrassing but I did take that picture at the end. That picture will stay in my private collection for memories sake.

Thanks again to DC for the wonderful meal. It was definitely worth the dining experience and something that I will remember for a long time to come. I'm just waiting for SO to make his own deal soon. If that happens, we'll be making dinner arrangements again pretty soon. Lucky me!

Friday, September 14, 2007

good eats in jalan batu.

Chin Sin Huan Eating House
Block 7 Jalan Batu
#01-113 (Off Kampong Arang)

I finally made my way down to this little coffee shop located in the quiet neighbourhood of Jalan Batu. This was almost 2 years after I heard about the delicious wantan mee there from colleagues. All this while, I was only savouring the mini Char Siew Paus which were brought back to the office courtesy of my ex-bosses after they had their bowls of noodles. This little coffeeshop only has 3 stalls; a wantan mee stall, a pau stall and a drinks stall.

Jin Ji Wanton Noodles 金記丹戎禺雲吞麵

Thanks to DC, I managed to find out what the hype was about today. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of wantan mee. Even if I decide to have a bowl, I prefer the dark soy sauce version. I guess it's because I was accustomed to eating it this way during my days across the Causeway.

Jin Ji happens to do their noodles the way I like them. The noodles were nicely done and springy when I had them today. The wantans and soup were pretty tasty too; unlike the watered down, msg-laden versions that I've tried previously. I did however, find the chilli lacking bite although it really wasn't much of a problem because I thought the soy sauce covered noodles were already delicious.

Prices are pretty cheap considering that a bowl costs around $2 to $2.50. My male colleagues opted for the 'upsize' because they felt the portions were too small but I would advise against it cos there are other things to save your stomach for. The noodles sell out fast during lunch time. At 1pm, they were already out of char siew so I recommend that you don't arrive too late if you're keen on visiting.

Tanjong Rhu Pau

The original outlet of Tanjong Rhu Pau is located in this little coffee shop. You'd see a couple of middle-aged and elderly man kneading the dough and wrapping the fillings in for steaming. It's quite interesting to watch how fast their hands move and how nifty their fingers are.

Never been a pau fan myself. However, I was introduced to the Yin Yang Pau a couple of months back and found it to be irresistable. This is a 3-in-1 pau where you get a combination of red bean paste and lotus seed paste with a salted egg yolk planted right in the centre. Since the Mid-Autumn Festival is nearing, I'd liken eating this to something like a steamed mooncake. This is absolutely fantastic for people who can't decide whether they prefer the red bean paste or the lotus seed (ie. myself) and thus get the best of both worlds. My only gripe is that the egg yolk is a bit dry. In addition, it doesn't do my cholestrol levels good so I usually eat only half of it. I recommend having this right after the noodles so that it's warm and soft. It can give your meal the sweet ending it needs.

Kaya Bread Roll (Drinks Stall)

If you still have space in your tummy, order a kaya bread roll from the drinks stall. The stall owner slaps on kaya and butter onto a piece of soft white bread instead of toasting it like the regular kaya toast you get at most coffee shops. He then rolls up the bread and brings it for steaming. When it arrives on your table, the bread is warm and soft.

Biting into it was such a guilty pleasure because of the kaya dripping and the slightly melted butter which was soaking through the bread. This is definitely not for the faint hearted because the big blob of butter will definitely put the health cautioners off.

I need to hit that treadmill soon!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

authentic korean @ 향토골

Hyang To Gol 향토골
165 Tanjong Pagar Road
Level 2 Amara Hotel
Tel: 6220 7160

It was really nerve wrecking going on radio today, especially when I wasn't really prepared given the short notice. It was fun though and in a way, an enriching experience because I went on air to share something that I felt strongly about. For once, it wasn't because I was going on a game show! 93.8 Live has an ongoing segment around 12.15pm weekdays where they invite food bloggers to go on air to share a daily food pick so be sure to tune in. There are a lot of other floggers out there who really know their stuff when it comes to food so you definitely won't be disappointed. I definitely wasn't when I attended the Floggers' Dinner last Sat. More details on that later.

I thought it'd be good to post whatever I talked about on radio today. I'm going to make a bold statement that Hyang To Gol in my opinion, is the best Korean restaurant in Singapore at the moment. To be fair, I haven't been to ALL Korean restaurants but from the ones that I've tried, this comes out tops cos of the variety of dishes you get there and needless to say, the delicious and authentic cuisine. Prices are also more reasonable compared to other places. I've heard a lot of people saying that Korean food in Singapore just doesn't make the cut but I thought Hyang To Gol isn't faring too badly. I made this judgement comparing the Gam Ja Tang 감자탕 (spicy pork ribs potato soup) which I ate in Seoul last year.

Eating this dish always brings back fond memories of my trip. When I found this dish at Hyang To Gol, I was really excited cos it was a rare find in local Korean restaurants. Although Hyang To Gol uses meaty pork ribs in the dish whereas restaurants in Korea use the spine of the pig for the soup, the soup is still rich, flavorful and satisfying. The soup gets thicker as you boil it cos of the starch that comes out from the potato. At the end when the soup is almost finished, throw in a bowl of rice and kimchi then mix it all up. You will go back for more the next time. Even Dad who isn't a fan of Korean food thinks of visiting Hyang To Gol for the Gam Ja Tang from time to time. This dish is definitely the must-have when you're there.

This was the photo I took of the dish in Seoul. I don't have a photo of it from Hyang To Gol but it looks similar except for the lots of spring onion stuff on the top.

Another dish which I mentioned is also another one of my favourites which I've yet to find at any other Korean restaurants that I've visited locally. It's called Hoe Deop Bap 회덮밥; rice mixed with raw fish and vegetables in a mild chilli sauce. It's something like the hot stone Bibimbap. I really like this dish cos it's very light with the pairing of raw fish and fresh vegetables. There's also the Korean pear that's thrown in there that gives that bit of sweetness. A delicious contrast to the Gam Ja Tang. I always order these 2 together so that the meal isn't all too heavy.

Mix is all up and you get...

There's also another dish that's delicious where you have the boiled pork belly wrapped with lettuce. I can't remember the exact name but its fantastic because you eat it with a chilli paste that has fresh chillis and pine nuts in it. Wrapping it all up with a slice of fresh garlic then putting the whole wrap straight into your mouth produces great flavours with bite. I'll update again the next time I have the name of the dish. They also have an alternative with pork trotters that I've yet to try. I should probably give that a shot to make some comparison.

So that's my food pick for the day. I really hope you'd end up liking this place as much as I do.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

no milk??!

Just got back from an afternoon tea with D at Cedele. I was at AMK after catching a movie and decided to go all the way to VivoCity just for tea. I had intended to visit Corduroy's Cafe since I was having a craving for milk shakes. Actually I had visited previously on a couple of occasions to try their milk shakes and probably because it was always after dinner, I was told at all except one visit that they had ran out. On that one exception where they were still serving milk shakes, I was told they only had vanilla milk shakes left and I had to wait at least an hour for it. So up 'til today, still no milk shakes from Corduroy for me.

I thought today would be different cos I took the effort to travel all the way from the north to the west around 5pm which happened to be tea time and presumably the time where a popular cafe would have a buzzing crowd. Again, I went home empty handed cos they ran out of milk! At 5pm! On a Sunday! Erm... I think the last I checked, Corduroy's Cafe was supposed to have a Milk Bar??! Just because they ran out of milk, almost half the drinks on the menu were unavailable. There were no pies & no quiches. I understand that business is good but after months of business, I thought they should be able to get a gauge of how much their supply should be to meet the demand. If it was late like my other visits, I could understand but I was really a bit put off when they told me that a whole list of things were unavailable at 5pm on a Sunday knowing that their milk shakes are popular!

So I politely told the person at the counter that I was there just for the milk shakes and headed off to Cedele for their delicious soups instead. Am I going to visit again?? As much as I'm inclined to give up visiting, I'm going to say 'yes' just cos I want to know just how good their milk shakes are. The best I've had was at Uberburger because their's was so thick and rich, just like the ones in the US. Sadly, Uber's no longer around. I just hope Corduroy's milk shakes doesn't disappoint. That is of course when I can get a sip of it or rather IF I can get to one day.

Friday, August 17, 2007

are you a flogger??

I attended the Floggers' Dinner last year and had a wonderful time. I was actually quite taken aback cos it's kinda funny how we only knew each other by our blog names but yet we were able to yak non-stop about food for the whole evening! Til today when I share this with my friends, they get appalled at how I managed to have dinner with 17 other "strangers", people whom I've only come to know through their writing but have never met in person. Well, it's all because of one thing, our love and indulgence in good food.

June of Nibbles & Scribbles is doing the honours of organising this year's dinner and I'm sure it's going to be a night of delicious food, great fun and even better company. So if you're a flogger too, sign up now! You can get all the details here.

See you there!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

sushi yoshida . finally

Sushi Yoshida
10 Devonshire Road
Tel: 6735 5014

After several raving reviews from Mia, June & Weylin, I finally paid a lunch time visit to Yoshida on a laid-back Friday (It felt darn good not to be working on a weekday!). It's a pity that I didn't visit earlier when their set lunches were going for $28. After lunch that day, I was really starting to kick myself over "lost" opportunities. The price hike was a little drastic really but understandable I guess. For the food you get, it is pretty priced in now although it really would burn a big hole in my lunch pocket.

For the $38 price tag, you'd get a starter of half-boiled egg with some dashi broth (I think). Simple, yet delicious. Then you'd get a whole list of mains to choose from. D ordered the Sushi Moriawase which looked pretty appetising. He was a little disappointed that day though cos we had a little tasting of Yoshida at a party and he was so impressed. That's partly the reason why we decided to pay the restaurant a visit. He just couldn't forget how great it tasted so he had to satisfy his sushi craving. It's not that it wasn't good; it still was but just not great, so he says. One thing we did agree on was that they make a fabulous tamago. Yoshida's version is of course, freshly made and somehow has this Japanese brown pickle taste. Can't really describe it but you'd have to try it to know what I mean.

After all that recommendation I got from Mia's blog, I had to order the Chirashi. I can now understand why she's so in love with it. The fish was fresh and they certainly were not miserly with their portions. My favourite parts? Biting on my fatty piece of toro and the ikura bursting in my mouth! I have a big thing for ikura cos I really love that sudden burst of saltiness on my tastebuds.

We also had a choice between the miso and clear soup in the set lunch. I chose the clear soup and was pleasantly surprised to find slices of fish in it. That followed by the fresh fruits ended my sumptious lunch on a good note.

I loved the food but honestly still find it a little hefty on the pocket. Afterall, I am used to eating food court after food courts during office hours. Yes, I am a typical desk-bound employee. As sucky as it is, I guess I'd have to put off a second lunch visit to Yoshida to when I'm on leave or when I feel like indulging a little.

Monday, August 13, 2007

lise & ebony . the launch

lise & ebony

I once mentioned on this blog that a close friend of mine made us group of friends a delicious sticky date pudding when we visited her place. It had that flavour which reminded me so much of the good ol' days back in Perth. I also had a couple of opportunites to try some truffles & chocolates she made. I recall one time in Perth where she melted white & milk chocolate, combined them together in swirls with peanut butter and later cut them into bite-sized pieces for a party. Liz always had this thing for 'sweets' and recently decided to put her hands to work with her new online bakery, lise & ebony.

I attended her launch cum tasting party over a week ago. It was fun cos I got to meet old friends and also got to taste a couple of her new items. Her cupcakes were pretty; the carrot cake & tiramisu were yummy but what I felt was noteworthy was her chocolate cake; ebony. Very moist and chocolaty. This is coming from a person who isn't really big on chocolate stuff.

I guess there won't be any more tasting parties since a launch can only happen once. So I say Liz should hold another party in gratitude for all her supporters!

How about that, Liz??

Sunday, July 22, 2007

doughnut plant . new york city

Doughnut Plant
379 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
Tel: +1 212 505 3700

My mom was about to scream becos bro made the whole family walk through Chinatown in the hot sun; just for a doughnut. As much as my mum loved doughnuts (she kept screaming for Krispy Kremes the whole time she was in the US), she hated the sun a lot more. When we finally got to Doughnut Plant located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and mom sinked her teeth into the Raspberry Jelly Doughnut, her "black" face immediately let out a smile.

Honestly, I'm not a big fan of doughnuts. Even when I eat doughnuts, I usually just go for the regular glazed ones. Now, if you give me any flavour from Doughnut Plant, it'd be different cos I'd gladly chomp it all down regardless of how many calories it gives me.

I had the honour of meeting the man behind the doughnuts itself; Mark Israel and I must say that his passion is what drives the success he has today. He's been featured in a couple of newspapers and even on Martha Stewart! It all started with a recipe his grandfather had left behind which he then worked on from a basement to develop many exceptional flavours (I love stories like this!) using seasonal fruits and fresh roasted nuts in his glazes. All the doughnuts are handmade. There are basically 2 types of doughnuts served; the yeast doughnut which is the fluffy kind that's more common and the cake doughnut which is just a 'doughy' version of a doughnut.

Both versions are equally good although my scale tips in favour of the yeast doughnuts just cos they're softer. The Raspberry Jelly and Banana Pecan doughnuts were really memorable and still remain etched in my mind today. However, I think the best flavour that I tried was the Tres Leches, a Doughnut Plant signature. This is only available as a cake doughnut and it has a condensed milk glaze with condensed milk filled in the doughnut itself. It was so good that I headed straight for them the moment I saw their outlet in Tokyo. Yes, that's the only other city in the world that has a Doughnut Plant outlet. Apparently, they make funky flavours like the black sesame and yuzu.

Whether you're a big fan of doughnuts or not, you're bound to love this place. So if you're in NY or Tokyo, don't give this a miss! Don't say I didn't tell you!!

That's not the owner of the store. Just a friendly guy who works there and willingly helped me to pose with the doughnuts.