Oh the heat! Do you feel sticky and warm these few days? (or probably weeks)
What do think of having when you are feeling warm? Ice Cream!
We did not know that there are so many ice cream places near our place until we did a count recently. There are 10 of our favourite ice cream places within a 15 minute drive away! The nearest is only a 10 minute walk away!
There ice cream shops are nearby:
Cold Rock (Holland Village), Estivo Gelateria, Frutta La Viva, Haagen Dazs (Holland Village), Haato (Ridgewood), Ice Cream Kingdom, Island Creamery, The Daily Scoop, Udders and Venezia Gelateria.
We picked Venezia because the youngest in the family says so!
We were wondering if we should ordered 2 triple flavours to share (cheaper) or 3 double flavours to share (more convenient). In the end we picked convenience.
The Rum and Raisin + Butterscotch Ice Cream.
The Coconut Sorbet and Yogi Frozen Yoghurt.
The Chocolate and Burnt Sugar Ice Cream.
Everyone had their favourites. I think mixing Burnt Sugar and Butterscotch tastes the best!
1 Fifth Avenue,
Guthrie House #01-01,
Tel: 6468 3656
Friday, April 30, 2010
Oh the heat! Do you feel sticky and warm these few days? (or probably weeks)
Thursday, April 29, 2010
It's another birthday celebration. This time it's our cousin's birthday.
We had the celebration lunch at Megumi Japanese Restaurant at Sunset Way.
This was the Deluxe Sashimi Set. $80. It was good!
It was a mix of different kinds of sashimi except for salmon. No salmon stock in Singapore that week! But we noticed there was salmon belly though. ;-)
The Kuruma Ebi Ramen. $15.80
The prawns were huge prawns. Our cousin liked this ramen.
This was the Karaage Shishamo $6
This was the Tori Karaage Ramen $11.80
The chicken karaage looks a bit 'dark'. ;-)
This was the Katsu Curry $9.80
Ok lah. I think the katsu was a bit too 'done'. But the curry was nice.
This UFO Maki $12 tasted rather nice.
The Unagi Ishi Nabe $13.80
This came in a hot stone pot. It took a long time for this dish to be served though. But it was worth the wait.
Happy Birthday dear cousin!
Megumi Japanese Restaurant
Blk 106 Clementi St 12
Tel: 6779 1411
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Today's post was an invited session by McDonald's Singapore.
Are you one of the over 5 million people who visits McDonald's every month? I know I am.
Last Wednesday evening, a few bloggers and also Quarter Pounder fans were invited to taste the McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese (QPC) just before it is relaunched to the public.
I was told the Quarter Pounder fans have written to McDonald's asking when will the QPC come back. The folks at McDonald's decided to surprise them by inviting them to taste it first before the return of the QPC. Hmmm... You might want to write to them telling them what you want to eat?
This was the Quarter Pounder with Cheese that I had. I was very excited just before opening the box! I must have been really hungry. ;-)
I quickly grabbed the burger out the box! Then I remembered, I got to take photos first!
Did you notice where I placed my burger to take this photo?
On the tray liner! Do you know that the tray liners are food safe?
You can safely put your food on it. I know many people pour their fries on it like me.
Knowing that many people love their beef, McDonald's has also made available the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese! Double the meat! That's half a pound of meat. When they mention half a pound of beef, you know it's half a pound of beef before cooking right?
The last time I had this was in California about a year ago!
This next photo shows exactly how the Double QPC was, still sitting in the box, the burger untouched. I just ripped off the sides of the box to take this photo. This is exactly what you will get when you visit any of the 110 McDonald's in Singapore.
Looking at this burger now, I am thinking if only they have sauteed caramelized onions in it! Do you think it will taste good with caramelized onions?
The QPC is available now at $4.60 for the burger only and $7.20 for the set meal.
The Double QPC is available now at $6.10 for the burger only and $8.70 for the set meal.
McDonald's is running a campaign to ask their customers to cast votes to see if the QPC is more beefy or cheesy. Do you think Beef Rules! or Cheese Rocks?
Log on to www.facebook.com/mcdquarterpounder to vote. Every week 500 lucky voters will get a win a limited Beef Rules! or Cheese Rocks! QPC T-Shirt.
By the way, if you are craving for it now, you can order McDelivery!
Call 6777 3777 or surf to http://www.mcdelivery.com.sg/ They deliver 24/7!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
We have a so called 'tradition' in our office. We all treat the birthday boy / girl lunch and he/she will treat us the desserts/drinks later.
So after the ramen lunch, though we are quite full, we went ahead to have desserts. The birthday girl was so excited about having desserts, we just could not disappoint her. The birthday girl whipped out the U-weekly pull out again. She said let's go visit the imaginary hotel in the imaginary 8th district (arrondissement) of Paris right here in Parco.
A photo of Octa Hotel. It's a Japanese interpretation of a Paris Cafe.
It's the place for tai-tais or tai-tais wannabe to have afternoon tea! It was peaceful and serene inside. The 4 guys in our group stood out like sore thumbs in the place where there were nicely dressed ladies sipping their teas, having their parfait and also their little lunches.
The food we ordered were served in plates with fancy flowery designs.
The cheesecake was ok (only).
We also had the Ga'teaux Chocolat (Chocolate Cake) $8.80.
The description was real chocolate melting in your mouth. Not really what we expected.
This was the Pain Perdu d'orignal (Original French Toast) $13.90
Probably the fanciest french toast I have tried.
Don't expect it to be crispy with toppings and liquids drench over it. :-p
The place is a good pit stop for resting your legs while shopping around this area.
Antique furniture, beautiful interior and gift shop section too at the premises. The ladies might come back, but not the guys. :-)
9 Raffles Boulevard
#01-39 Parco Marina Bay
Monday, April 26, 2010
It's time to celebrate another birthday again!
It was our colleague (HY) birthday last Wednesday. We asked her where she wanted to have her birthday lunch. So she came to work with the Parco Marina Bay pull-out from U-Weekly.
We took a cab to town for lunch! While in the cab she read out the chinese description of Nantsuttei in the pull-out. It sounded so delicious! Yes, it's another new place for Ramen in Singapore. Just like any new place in Singapore, there's a queue.
We had 3 bowls of Chashu Ramen. $16. Compared to the basic version, this had more pork ;-)
You can see the signature 'black aromatic garlic oil' floating on the 24-hour pressure cooked pork bone soup.
It was fragrant. Very salty too. We think that they probably have not localized it yet. We saw that their Mr Furuyo Ichiro is still at the shop. So the taste be probably how it's suppose to be.
Another colleague ordered the Marutoku Negi Chashu Ramen. $17. Which is essentially 'the works' of all the ramen. It looked almost similar so I did not take the photo of it.
The birthday girl had the Negi Ramen. $15.
It had loads of white shredded negi (green onions) and bannou negi (chopped thin green onions) on it. It looks good eh?
If you want to have the eggs, it's a side order.
Ajitsuketamago at $1 each.
The eggs are ok lah. Egg white is soft but the yolk might be a bit over done.
This was the Fuufuenman Gyoza. $6.
Colleague who ate it said so so lah. A health conscious colleague said "chao ta"! :-)
Ramen was good. It meets the expectation of Japanese imported brands of ramen shops.
The broth was rich and salty. Half of us liked it because it was rich and salty. The other half said it's too overpowering for our local tongues.
Should you go and queue for it? If you are bored of eating the same thing all the time, why not try it? I am sure 80% of the people queuing to go in was out of curiosity. Almost everyone in Singapore enjoys doing the 'been there, tasted that'. ;-)
Mr Ichiro Furuya is still around in Singapore on the day we went. He was seen preparing the ramen. While he's still in Singapore, you can expect some 'standard'. ;-)
9 Raffles Boulevard
Friday, April 23, 2010
We were at Bukit Panjang Plaza last Sunday for lunch and also to get some groceries.
For lunch we went to Hock Lam Beef. Aunt had the urge to eat beef noodles. ;-)
So what was for lunch?
This was the Mixed Beef with Tendon, Soup version. Five minutes after we ordered, we were told the tendon's sold out. Sold out before 12 noon? We think it's just some 'standard answer' for items that's not available. :-) The tendon was replaced with meat balls.
This was the same thing, Mixed Beef with Tendon, but the dry version.
The tendon was also replaced with beef balls.
I had the Hand Sliced Beef & Chunky Beef.
It was not bad. The ingredients looked fresh. The ingredients were plentiful too (probably because it's nearly $8/$9 per bowl). The sauce is gooey enough for my liking, not too thick. It was quite flavourful too. I likes their beef balls too.
But the soup was a bit on the sweetish side. It's more evident after you eat the noodles then drink the soup! The soup served with the noodles (first photo) tasted better though. We wishes there was more 'xian cai' though. We only spotted a little of it.
It looks like things have gone up-market. The beef noodles were served in claypots with fire gel burning below it. You can see the prices below (taken with a camera phone).
We did notice a weekday lunch time menu and price though at the entrance. Hint: More economical to eat here during the weekdays. (Hey this is the heartlands!)
Beef noodles is close to the hearts of many just like chicken rice. Everyone passionate argue which stall is the best in their opinion. Our tongues thinks it is a little above average compared to the rest, but it's on the sweetish side for the beef noodles served in this branch.
We don't usually want to give suggestions here. But Momo and I think they should get rid of the fire-gel. Their beef noodles were already served nice and hot. Claypots also retains heat well. There's no need to keep it hot with fire below. It gets uncomfortable when the claypot radiates so much heat on your face. I don't think they served it this way in 1911. ;-P
Hock Lam Beef
1 Jelebu Rd,
#01-60/61, Bukit Panjang Plaza
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Earlier today, Momo and I with another friend (LY) went to the “A Day at El Bulli, Past & Present” presentation by 3 Michelin Star Chef Ferran Adria at Capella, Sentosa.
It sure was exciting to meet the man himself! How many of you tried getting a reservation at El Bulli and got rejected because they just could not accommodate so many people? I still have the 'rejection email'. When we know he's coming to Singapore for the World Gourmet Summit, we signed up for the event! Many people from around the region also flew in to see him!
He's not here to cook though! He said he has not cooked anything outside the Bulli (pronounced "Boo Yee", that's how he says it) for the last 20 years. It's just not the same outside the Bulli. He's here to answer questions about what's happening after the 2012 season and also to show a video on "A Day at El Bulli" directed by his brother Albert Adria.
So what will happen after the 2012 season? El Bulli will take a break and Ferran and his team will take a two year break, to seek new inspiration, thinking of ways to push beyond what his cuisine has achieved so far.
In 2014 El Bulli and also Ferran turns 50! In 2014 too, El Bulli will be transformed into the El Bulli Foundation, a 'think-tank' for gastronomy lovers.
Some facts that he mentioned that we did not know. Ferran is at El Bulli every single day that El Bulli is open for business. That's 160 days a year. He said some people think he's not there. They only open for dinner and they serve 50 customers every night. There are around 70 people who works at the Bulli and 40 of them are chefs that prepares the food for the diners.
Every diner gets a personalized menu and the serving chit that's marked as the food gets served at the end of the meal.
Ferran and his assistant (who is the interpreter) telling us plans for El Bulli. Speaking just before the airing of the documentary “A Day at El Bulli, Past & Present”. It was interesting watching the clip. Do you know for every season, the whole place is renovated? All cutlery is new too!
More about the Foundation, it will grant 20 over scholarships annually for chefs to work with the creative team at the Foundation. Someone in the audience asked how the selection will be like? He said it will be a thorough and complex selection. They might seek help from a business school or an organization with relevant experience to help them.
They are looking not only for chefs who have passion and also chefs who can think! They are many things in the gastronomical world that yet has answered.
The Q&A time. One lady asked the most 'dumb question' ever. Everyone looked at each other and shook our heads. She just wasted one question! She asked: "How long does it take to drive to El Bulli from Barcelona?" Hey lady, you can get this answers if you can google / yahoo / bing? It's also on El Bulli's website.
Asked if we would still be able to taste his food from 2014, the answer is "Yes!". He said without customer feedback, they will not be able to improve and do things better. Looks like we still have a chance to get to El Bulli and taste the food!
It was a good session. The session started at 5:30 PM. We were glad we went early.
They served us finger food, delicious finger food! What was served?
There was Jamon Serrano being sliced for us to try. Pots of churizos. Assortment of 'pan'. A selection of cheese and olives. Spanish wines. Huge strawberries. Free flow of San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna (but these are Italian right?) Nespresso and Gryphon tea counters.
Not bad for a $45 ticket to see him. Oh.. you should look at the queue of people who bought the El Bulli book waiting to get Ferran's autograph!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Today's post was an invited session by Asian Food Channel www.asianfoodchannel.com and hosted at AFC Studio www.theafcstudio.com
Last Sunday, I got invited again by Fulford Public Relations to attend the "Taste of the Philippines" by Chef Bruce Lim at the AFC Studio. Can you guess the reason I attended the session? It's because he has the same family name as me!
Here he is. Chef Bruce Lim. He is the co-host with Angel Aquino on Tablescapes: Life on a Plate airing on Asian Food Channel on Thursdays, 9:30 PM. Have you watched the show?
You can see he's a very friendly and chatty guy, just like in the show!
I noticed he loves his pots too! (now you don't see that in his show right? LOL)
He demonstrated 3 Filipinos recipes to us:
- Smoky Banana Heart Salad (Delicately Stewed Heart Shaped-buds and Smoked Fish)
- Chicken Adobo with Aromatic Pandan Rice (Stewed Chicken with Pandan infused Rice)
- Banana Leaf Wrapped Prawns (Baked prawns and mung bean noodles)
The first dish: The Smoky Banana Heart Salad.
The Filipinos uses banana heart in the cooking like our local Malay and Indian dishes too!
But what makes it different is that Filipinos use Smoked Fish (Tinapa) and lots of Chicharon (crispy pork skin) on top of it!
It was fun watching him cook. As he is a classically trained chef, he likes to plate the dishes nicely. This is what Chef Bruce prepared. The salad here was served on the banana heart outer petals.
It's so nice to have two assistants helping when you are the main chef.
After Chef Bruce prepared the dish, these two lovely resident AFC chefs took over and dished out the rest for the audience.
You can see it's not a lot, but at least we got to try it. It tasted good! I brought along my teenage cousin this time and she said it was nice too! Look like our cousin is now game on trying all kinds of food now! She used to be so so picky!
The banana heart taste crunchy texture. Something like black fungus (hei mu er). It's really appetizing! I almost wanted to ask for seconds. But I guess not everyone is as adventurous. I saw one person in the front row barely touching it!
The second dish: Chicken Adobo with Aromatic Pandan Rice
Something funny happened when Chef Bruce prepared the pandan rice. We noticed that it's exactly how we cook our chicken rice in Singapore! It's using the exact same ingredients too! (with chicken fat too!) Someone in the audience could not take it anymore and said it out loud: "Hey chef, this is Singapore Chicken Rice lah.... Not Filipino at all!" Everyone burst out laughing.
So, which country's dish is it? Is the Chicken Rice 'rice' an uniquely Singapore thing?
But the Chicken Adobo part was an eye opener to us. There's lots of vinegar and soy sauce used in the preparation of the chicken adobo. The whole studio smell of the sharp distinct vinegar smell. We were thinking how sour will that dish be! My cousin said hey, it smells like 'vinegar pork trotters'.
Chef Bruce says let the magic begin. Don't be tempted to stir the chicken in the pot and just let it boil. After like 20 minutes, miraculously the vinegary smell is gone. It suddenly begin to smell so pleasant! Wow!
The beautifully plated Chicken Adobo with rice by Chef Bruce.
This was what we ate. I tell you, Filipino dishes are SALTY!
But we were told that's the way they cook it in the Philippines. Most people eat a lot of rice and not so much meat. So a little salty meat and sauce goes a long way with lots of rice.
The flavour was good, just too salty for local tongues. But you could see a group of Filipinos amongst the audience eating it as if they have not eaten such nice homeland food in years!
The third dish: Banana Leaf Wrapped Prawns
The secret to this dish is "Aligue". What is that? It's crab butter! What we usually call it crab roe.
Oh man, you should see how much it goes in! Half a big bowl of it! Cholesterol alert!
Chef Bruce wrapping the prawns in banana leaf.
As this was being baked in the oven. I tell you, the whole studio smell so so good!
The taste? It's like wow!
The sauce was a mixture of Aligue, garlic, ginger, onions, chilli sauce, coconut cream. Imagine all this soaked into the Mung Bean noodles (what we call Tang Hoon in Singapore).
My cousin and I thought of Ming Kee's Crab Bee Hoon! It's like a dry version of it. So tasty. (and salty too lah)
We wanted to laugh at the 4 person sitting on the first row on the left. They were saying that's too much Aligue. Cholesterol ah! Are you sure you want to put so much? (Oh man, shoosh! You are not the chef. haha) Guess what? They finished it all when they were served the dish.
I took a photo of this couple from Philippines who was so excited to see their fellow countryman Chef Bruce Lim cook. They were being interviewed on video when I took a photo of them. I got their permission to post their photo here! They just looked so happy. ;-)
This was my second time attending an AFC Studio course. I would say it is quite a relaxing and enjoyable session. You get to eat what was prepared by the chef as well as a copy of the recipes to take home.
Looking at their course schedule at http://www.theafcstudio.com/courses/ I spotted these interesting sessions coming soon:
Sunday, 25 April there's a Coffee Appreciation Session by Danny Pang. I met Danny before when he was at Geek Terminal. He's a guy who is so passionate about Coffee! Do you know he's also a certified Barista?
Friday, 30 April there will be a healthy ice cream making session! How cool is that? (pun not intended)
You can always pop by the AFC Studio when you are visiting Orchard Central.
181 Orchard Road
#07-02 Orchard Central
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Yesterday's food diary entry was a high end Korean Restaurant. You get good service, nicely renovated restaurant, glossy menu and excellent food. The "Da Chang Jin" palatial standard?
Today's entry is a cheaper, simple Korean Restaurant. It's like the small little Korean eateries you see in Korean dramas. But still you get nice decent food. This place I visited is located on the Food Court level, ie the Roof Top of Beauty World Centre.
Sis and I have seen this place opened for some time. But we never thought of venturing in. So few nights ago, we decided to just walk in. (It was also because the Hawker Centre was just too warm to eat comfortably. hehe)
We were greeted by the Korean couple running this place. We guess it must be a husband and wife team. She asked if it's our first time here because we looked totally lost after 5 mins of staring at the menu. We did not know how or what to order.
She recommended a soup hot-pot dish saying "This one is nice. Can share. Popular" in halting Korean-glish. (Is there a Korean version of Singlish?) It did look good on the menu's photo, but we were not that hungry and we were thinking of snacking instead! We ordered 'snack food' in the end.
For drinks, we saw that their drinks fridge had interesting Korean can drinks. We picked two different drinks from the fridge. You should try the grape drink! The Koreans actually stuff real grapes into the drinks! Skinless green grapes! The Aloe Vera is not bad too. $2 per can.
After waiting for a long time, our snack food finally was served! KFC! Korean Fried Chicken! We ordered the 4 pieces option. $10.80
While we were waiting for our food earlier, we saw the word "Chicken Up" all around the shop. So I pulled out my phone and googled Chicken Up. The search results showed Julia's review on inSing.com. (Same name, but different location) But after reading what Julia wrote, we were looking forward to the chicken!
It did turn out quite nice! Sis who is now "Miss Calorie Counting" actually enjoyed eating the chicken! It was very hot! We could see the stream coming out of the fried chicken. They were huge too! It has super crispy skin. It had really moist meat, even for the breast meat. Very well marinated chicken!
The other snack was the Korean Pancake. Too floury for my liking. Remember I am not a flour person. Maybe we were more interested in the chicken that this. ;-)
To our surprise, even when we were just ordering snack kind of food, we were given side dishes! 10 of it as well! Some was nice, some so so lah. But still, there were a huge variety!
Looking at the next photo, you can tell this place is run by true blue Koreans. This was the order chit, which also doubled as the bill too after the meal. No service charge, no GST.
I took this photo at the counter with my camera phone. hehe... We got no receipt to remember the price.
A note though. It was a week night when we went. There were only 4 or 5 tables occupied. As it was a two person team (not sure if they have help on other days), both of them disappeared to the kitchen to prepare food and no one was outside with the customers. It also took some time for our food to be served.
Not a bad place for fried chicken! Visit if you like Korean style fried chicken and fancy Korean can drinks!
Korean Restaurant CLIFF
Beauty World Centre
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
#04-01 (Same level as hawker centre)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Last Wednesday was one of those days that we really want to go out! Out of the office. Everyone was stressed. Some are moody. We needed therapy. We know there are real psychologist that some of us can talk too in the company, but no... they won't understand.
We went for the tried and tested therapy. Food therapy! We headed out to Holland Village for our therapy session.
We decided to try out the new Korean restaurant at Holland Village. (It was where Sushi Tei used to be.) Just before stepping in, there was some hesitation. It's not the food that we were worried about, but whether we will stink of BBQ after that! You know that BBQ places always leave a lingering smell on your clothes.
We bravely walked in. We were the first group of customers for the day! We were promptly seated. We ordered our drinks and begin scrutinizing their menu! We can't help it. The place is new, the menu is new, everything was new!
It was a hot day, so most of us ordered cold drinks. We had Iced Omija, Ice Roasted Barley Tea, Iced Green Tea. As usual, some will still order hot tea on a hot day! (Are you one who orders hot drinks on hot days too?) The hot drinks ordered were Ginseng Tea, and Red Date Tea. Prices were between $1.50 to $4.20 for the drinks.
'HY' saw this in the menu and was yearning to try it. So we ordered it.
It's Chongpo Muk. (Mung Bean Starch Jelly). $12
It's a small plate, but it's quite refreshing. It has the texture of agar-agar but it's savoury/salty.
Remember I said we were scrutinizing the menu? The prices are mostly on the higher side. We noticed there was a lunch special leaflet on the plastic stand. The lunch specials were more wallet friendly. So other than the drinks and the Chongpo Muk, everything else we ordered were from the lunch special. :-)
The leaflet had four side dishes that were all priced at $6.80. They looked good and we told the service staff, we want them all!
The dumplings or pot stickers. It was not bad.
The Ddukbokki - Spicy Rice Cakes. It tasted spicy and yet sweetish. It has lots of leeks too. Rather addictive!
The Korean Seafood Pancake. This was good too. I know some people eat pancakes because they like the doughy taste. But this is just nice. Not too much flour in it!
The chicken skewers. We thought they tasted like sweet and sour chicken on mini bamboo skewers.
It was already quite tasty by itself, but we wondered why was there a tiny side dish of peppered salt served with it?
We did add a tiny bit of salt to the chicken, it does enhance the taste, but it might be too salty for most of us. Any Koreans reading this, care to enlighten us?
These were the mains we had. All from the lunch specials.
'OC' had the Ginseng Chicken. $10.80
We somehow knew he would order it. He orders Ginseng Chicken soup at most of the Korean places we go! We could tell from the aftermath that he liked it. A huge smile on his face and a face full of sweat! Yet he said, "so so only lah".
Some Korean restaurants serve their Ginseng Chicken soup without salt pre-added. This place happens to be one too. The salt is on the small little side plates (bottom left). You add as much or as little as you please.
'HY' and I, both ordered the Jajang Myon $8.80.
Both of us said we will be back again for this! The noodles are 'que que' (springy/chewy texture). The black sauce also tasted good!
You know how you get dissapointed at Jajang Myon at most places because you don't get the satisfaction like you see on the Korean dramas? We thought it was not bad. It looked really simple and plain, but it did tasted good.
It was even tastier as we added the side dishes into it. Not sure if it's the proper way to eat them, I stirred in the bean sprouts and mixed it. The kimchi, pickles and braised sweet lotus root, I bite them as I ate noodles.
'ET' had the Ramyon. $8.80
Forgot to ask him how it taste, but he was slurping away.
'DP' ordered the Kimchi Rice. $10.80
We recently noticed that if he does not order anything with rice, he will be hungry by 2.30pm! So just as we guessed, he ordered a rice dish. LOL...
The therapy cost us $124.55 after 10% service charge and 7% GST.
Hansang Korean Charcoal BBQ Restaurant.
20 Lorong Mambong,
Tel: 6464 5238