Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Red House at The Quayside @ Robertson Quay

It is the 6th day of the Lunar New Year, our sister, brother-in-law and nephew flew back, transitting in Singapore to visit us for a few days before flying again to Ipoh to brother-in-law's parents' place.

We picked them up at Changi Airport in the afternoon and told them we shall toss Yu Sheng later in the night. I got a complimentary Red House Yu Sheng voucher so we thought we might as well have our dinner there as well. I did not know that there's a Red House in Robertson Quay! We always go to the one at East Coast.

Red House at Robertson Quay

Oh wow, the place was huge! It's non-aircon but it was not hot at all. Fans turning at full speed and the weather's been really cool. There were so many people there when we went there at 7:30 pm. Though we had a booking, we still had to wait, the serving staff were apologetic saying people have finished their dinner, but they are not getting up.

Red House at Robertson Quay

Red House's version of Prosperity Raw Salmon Yu Sheng. $38++ (for the small one)

Red House at Robertson Quay

After the saying of auspicious sounding greetings, it was time to 'toss'!

Red House at Robertson Quay

Well, it was a very civilised toss! Minimal wastage!
Our 1.5 year old nephew must be thinking these adults are playing with food!

For the other dishes, we passed the menu to our younger sis.
She picked these dishes that she missed eating. They have similar food in London, but not exactly the same.

Red House at Robertson Quay

Spinach Tofu $21
A common dish to us, but to sister and husband, something they missed eating!

Red House at Robertson Quay

Green Pea Shoots ($24)
Had it fried with garlic. We are all vegetable lovers, so we are quite happy to eat it.

Red House at Robertson Quay

Teriyaki Cod Fish, 3 pieces for $48.
Mixed reviews, we the locals thought it was so so, but both our sis (almost similar tastebuds) thinks it's too fishy. Even the baby did not want to eat it.

Red House at Robertson Quay

Chilli Crab ($60)For their chilli crabs, everyone gives it a thumbs up. Comparing to the different seafood places, Red House's chilli crabs has always been one of our favourites. It's spicy yet a tiny bit on the sweeter side. Probably suits our tastebuds as we finished up most of the gravy!

If only their fried man tou was more crispy. We like Jumbo's version of man-tou. We were comparing the different flavours of crabs to eat at each restaurant. This place is for Chilli. Eng Seng for Black Pepper. No Signboard for White Pepper.

Red House at Robertson Quay

Seafood Combination ($42)
We saw this dish in the menu and it's one of the specialties, so we ordered it.
We all liked it, there's prawns and scallops and the sauce was very lemongrassy curry. It's something that's very appetizing and perfect over hot steaming rice.

Red House at Robertson Quay

Ee Fu Noodles ($18)
A noodles dish to symbolize long life! Oh, the little baby loves these noodles! He was slurping away!

We were glad to have our siblings back with us even for a short while.  They are now in Ipoh enjoying their Ipoh Hor Fun and other nice food.

The food above plus all the taxes was $282.20. We paid with an OCBC card and there's some lucky draw.
If you want to have more tossing of Yu Sheng, their version is quite tasty. Their takeaway Yu Sheng is 1-for-1 that we saw on their specials.

If you like us, got a bit lost, look for the fancy bridge, Red House is just near it.

Red House @ The Quayside
60 Robertson Quay
#01-13/14 The Quayside
Singapore 238252

Tel: 67357666
Web: www.redhouseseafood.com

Red House

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crystal Jade Kitchen @ Holland Village

It's the 3rd day of the Lunar New Year. Both KopiKosongGirl and I took leave to have lunch with both sets of parents. We are very grateful that since we got married, both sets of parents have been getting along well. Both sides are so 'ke qi' / superly polite as we the 'middle men' have been bringing new year goodies between the two sides.

We are also 'learning' the rules of politeness or rules of being sort of "respectful / not be greedy / modest" all lumped into one. Giving oranges, taking only part of it, and giving back the rest. Sometimes we don't even know the customs, so both sides are teaching us.

So on the 3rd day of the Lunar New Year, the arrangement was made, we will have lunch at Crystal Jade, Holland Village. It's the nearest Crystal Jade to where both sets of parents are. Just in case it's not opened, we called the restaurant. The lady who picked up said, yes, you are talking to me now! Come quickly, it's going to be really packed today!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
Can't resist now having Yu Sheng!
We noticed that their version here is a little different, they have fried yam strips!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
After the nice and auspicious words were proclaimed, we are ready to toss!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
Woo hoo! The cleanest surface so far! Everyone's so so polite, doing it so slowly.
Both sides calling each other 'chin kei'. A bit can't get used to it!

We kind of like Crystal Jade's version of Yu Sheng. The yam strips were quite tasty, giving a bit of crunch to it!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
We were having a Dim Sum lunch. Both sets of dads like fried rice, but I changed it to noodles. Don't really fancy eating fried rice though it's nice. Noodles probably have a nicer meaning too!

Noodles - may we with God's blessing have a long healthy life!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
We had double sets of everything, not because we want double blessings or meaning, it's because each serving only serves portions for 3 persons!

The fried tofu skin with shrimp stuffing. The chef must be really happy after resting two days. That day's version was really nice! Crispy on the outside and inside it's moist, not oily.

Prawns - may we all have a 'ha ha' (prawns in Cantonese) happy year ahead! Wishing all joy in the Lord!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
My favourite, the phoenix claws, the nice name for braised chicken feet.

Phoenix - may we have good fortune and opportunities according to His will.

Crystal Jade Kitchen
Cha Siu Buns, love these buns too.
Eat it hot while it's still soft and fluffy. I know it's carbo, but carbo always taste so nice doesn't it?

Buns - May we through the grace of God have a-BUN-dance in all we do and play!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
Steamed Pork Ribs. My favourite too. So tender and flavourful.
It's easy to prepare this at home too!

Pork - Signifies strength and wealth. May the Lord bestow it to us if He finds us faithful.

Crystal Jade Kitchen
Siew Mai. Someone just has to order it when we have Dim Sum.
I am sure if you go out for Dim Sum, someone will want them.

Siew Mai, looking like little golden ingots. Wishing all you readers a healthy year ahead! May prosperity and blessings rain on you like our current monsoon rain. May graciousness, kindness and love flood and overflow all relationships.

Have a Blessed Year ahead!

Crystal Jade Kitchen
2 Lorong Mambong
Holland Village
Singapore 277671

Tel: 6469 0300

Hours: Mon - Thurs: 7am - 3am, Fri - Sun, PH: 7am - 4am

Crystal Jade Kitchen

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bengawan Solo Chinese New Year Factory Discount @ Woodlands Link

It's a few days more to Chinese New Year. There are so many things to do, change money for Ang Pows, new clothes, cleaning the house and when friends and family visit, the festive goodies! How is New Year without all the usual New Year goodies? 

KopiKosongGirl and I have been buying various stuff to give to both sets of parents and Aunt who has been feeding us the whole year. The wife says, don't buy the same thing every year. It will get boring.  Don't give too much, it will be very difficult to find things to give the next few years.

We bought cans of Abalones that we spotted was on offer at Fairprice, during their '1 day sale' few days ago. It seems they have more sale in today's newspapers. We got some other stuff from Cold Storage too. Enough to form a very nice presentable gift set.  For cookies this year, we got them from Bengawan Solo, because we happened to visit their factory last weekend!

Bengawan Solo Factory Discount

Their Factory Discount has been going on and should be ending soon. Think it was on since Christmas for their Christmas sale. So if you have not gotten your goodies and you need to grab them in bulk, head down here!

Bengawan Solo Factory Discount

If you have not been there, and need the address, it's at 23 Woodlands Link, Singapore 738730.

You would see bus loads of people visiting this area. Some are visiting this factory, others to the other factories nearby. We might be back at this area again, we are thinking of visiting Fassler to get some fish supply and soups to stock up our freezer!

Bengawan Solo Factory Discount

The big air-conditioned tent with rows of goodies for sale.

Bengawan Solo Factory DiscountBengawan Solo Factory Discount

Camemberu and us went for their factory tour and we found out lots of interesting things about Bengawan Solo. Things like they use only fresh coconut in their products, they actually have machines to process and extract the coconut milk. Their eggs are also delivered from Seng Choon Farms daily, sometimes a few times daily if they need more. Those stories would be another post some other day.

We saw the Pineapple tarts being made inside the factory. Their staff busy packing them up. When we finish the tour, we saw the pineapple tarts on sale outside the tent. Now, how fresh can this be? If you are eating them yourself or given to family, you want to give them something good right?

Bengawan Solo Factory DiscountBengawan Solo Factory Discount

Kueh Lapis lovers, you want freshly made lapis? Order them at their different outlets or get them at a discount here. We met Mrs Anastasia Liew and her son Henry who led us for the tour. We saw how tedious it was to make the Kueh Lapis! Each cake takes 3 hours or so to produce. Layers after layers their staff have to pour the cake mixture and bake them. To meet demand, they are working 24 hours during this time!

They said their way of saying Thank You to their customers for the year long patronage is to have a discount for them during this time of the year. You know why so many customers are loyal to them!

Oh, if you are not their usual Kueh Lapis customer, the prices do go up on the last two days before they shut the factory for holidays. Regular customers know that, but some customers still insist they want to collect it on the very last day.  (I know some of you are laughing, because your mum or mum-in-law behaves like that right?)

We got some of the cookies and other munchies, paid for it and that's another tick off our 'to-do' list! Thought this info would be helpful for those who needs to buy to give away and the savings might be helpful.

For non-locals or visitors to Singapore, you would be glad to know that Bengawan Solo has 4 branches at Changi Airport.
Hint: The airport branches charges no 7% GST like most shops at the airport ;-)

Bengawan Solo Factory Discounts
23 Woodlands Link
Singapore 738730

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Kagoshima Fair @ Sky on 57, Marina Bay Sands

If you have been wanting to try out Kagoshima Kuroushi (Black Cattle) Wagyu Beef, Kagoshima Black Berkshire Kurobuta and other Kagoshima Prefecture produce, there's a 4 week Kagoshima Restaurant Fair at Sky on 57, Marina Bay Sands starting from today (17 January 2012).

If you are interested and confident in handing the products and produce yourself instead of being prepared by chefs, you can head down to Isetan (till 18 Jan) or selected Cold Storage from 18 - 21 Jan. There would be Kagoshima Kuroushi Wagyu and Kurobuta Pork for sale and sampling.

Besides Sky on 57, Chikuyotei at InterContinental Singapore, Nadaman at Shangri-La Hotel and Mikuni at Fairmont Hotel is also participating in the Kagoshima Restaurant Fair. (14 - 24 Jan). Call them up for reservation if those are your preferred restaurants.

I had the opportunity to sample these Kagoshima produce at Sky at 57 and here's some photos and my experience about it. Sky at 57 by Chef Justin Quek is the first in Singapore (2nd certificate to be given out) to be presented with the 'Certificate of Recommendation' from Kagoshima Prefecture.

If you, like me wondered, what's the certificate for? It's to certify that the restaurant is serving reliable, safe and finest ingredients that Kagoshima is proud of.

Kagoshima Produce

What's that huge thing? It's the Sakurajima daikon radish. Grown on volcanic soil, it's the world's largest radish and it can weigh as much as 31 kgs! This one doesn't look like it's 31 kg, but it sure was huge! The texture is supposedly firm and it tastes very sweet.

Kagoshima Produce

Other produce from the prefecture, An-nou potato (sweet potato), Dekopon citrus (Dekopon is trademarked orange if it meets certain criterias), pumpkins, musk melon etc. These were some of the ingredients for our lunch!

Kagoshima Wagyu

A chef preparing a shabu-shabu kagoshima wagyu beef. Swish swish and serve.
The broth was very tasty, it tasted of obviously of beef and also daikon, and I wondered if it's from that huge sakurajima daikon!

Kagoshima Wagyu

I should have immediately taken it out of the broth, so that it's more 'raw'.
You should try it!

 *** Lunar New Year Specials ***

There would be a Lunar New Year celebration Luncheon with Kagoshima Products that you can try at Sky on 57. There might be variants depending on what's flown in fresh. The price would be $138++.

The following is the tasting menu, so portions are 'different'.

Ceviche of 'Buri-OH' and Steamed Bamboo Shoot Salad

Ceviche of 'Buri-OH' and Steamed Bamboo Shoot Salad

Buri-Oh is a brand of sorts for Hamachi / Japanese Amberjack from the region of Azuma in the Kagoshima Prefecture.

Ceviche of 'Buri-OH' and Steamed Bamboo Shoot Salad
Buri-Oh marinated in lemon dressing and steamed bamboo shoots in truffle dressing with micro greens.

Oh wow, the buri-oh was so tasty. It was such a refreshing sashimi starter. It doesn't have the fishy taste but a light tangy and sweet and a nice mouth feel to it.

Spring Salad with Kagoshima Vegetables

Spring Salad with Kagoshima Vegetables
A salad of snow peas, fava beans, fried leeks, grilled pumpkin and sweet potatoes and cheese croquettes. 

The grilled pumpkin (hidden inside) was done so nicely. The pumpkin still had a slight soft crunch to it when you bite into it, yet it had no raw taste.

The sweet potatoes and cheese croquettes was intriguing too. Can't figure if it was baked or fried. It was certainly not oily. It had a crispy outer layer but when you cut it, it's like mash potatoes with cheese inside. We wanted more!

Organic Kagoshima Pumpkin

Organic Kagoshima Pumpkin
Organic Pumpkin Veloute with Crabmeat Custard.

The pumpkin veloute has a nice viscosity, if you bake/cook, it's like custard that has started to coat the back of the wooden ladle. The soup though a little salty was such a delight to have. I did not really fancy the crabmeat custard in it. Not a crabmeat custard person. I don't mind having seconds or thirds of the soup though!

Green Pea Risotto

Green Pea Risotto
Sauteed Kagoshima Kurobuta Confit, Green Pea and Bacon, Natural Meat Jus.

Chef Justin who was roaming around the restaruatns, was at our table when this dish was served. He described how it was made and said the bacon were French bacon added to complement the dish. He was right that it will make it really really good.

My first time having green pea risotto which was quite nice. What I really enjoyed was the Kurobuta Confit. You see the piece of kurobuta? When you put in your mouth, it just dissolves. How did the chef do it?

Kagoshima Wagyu

Kagoshima Wagyu
Grilled Minute Steak with Kagoshima Vegetables.

Kagoshima Wagyu

It's called minute steak for a reason, it's minute!
But the taste and texture of the steak all made up for it. The famed Kagoshima Kuroushi Wagyu Beef. You got to try it.

Musk Melon

Mask Melon
Chilled Musk Melon and Mousseline and Sauternes Jelly.

I liked the Sauternes (French sweet wine) jelly with the musk melon. A very nice combination of different kind of sweetness from the fruit and the jelly. Great end to the meal.

Excellent creative interpretations of French cuisine with quality Japanese produce by Chef Justin Quek. Great dining location at the Sands SkyPark to boost too! From 17 January to 7 February 2012, they are having this special menu for the Lunar New Year celebrations.

Sky on 57
Sands SkyPark,
Hotel Tower 1, Level 57
1 Bayfront Ave
Singapore 018971

Tel: 6688 8857

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Paul Singapore @ Ngee Ann City

After dinner the other night on the 6 Jan, KopiKosongGirl and I noticed that Paul's finally open!
(Some of you already saw these photos on Twitter or Instagram when I tweeted it that day)

Paul Singapore

We thought maybe we will come back another day to try since we are so full after dinner. Somehow our legs brought us there. Yes, we are like curious cats.

We saw a lot of people, but realised they were not queuing to go in or to buy things. So we thought we will buy somethings for breakfast the next day.

Paul Singapore

Freshly made chouquettes by presumably the French bakers. Could not resist not buying them to try!
They are sold in 10s. They are $5.60.

Paul Singapore

We packed home 2 tarts. One for ourselves and one for the in-laws.

Paul Singapore

We got 2 croissants as well.  They cost $2.50 each.
The next morning when we took it out, it was smelling very good! The rich buttery aroma whiffs out when we opened the paper bag that it was packed in.

Paul Singapore

The chouquettes have the crunchy pearl sugar melted!
Oh, les chouquettes are meant to be eaten the same day, but we thought we could store them till the next day, if you do, the above is what you get.

Now, I feel like making these cream puffs at home, where can I find the coarse sugar I wonder...

Paul Singapore

Oh not forgetting the Apricot Tart. $6.80
I think we did it injustice by eating it the next morning. It still tasted nice, but I guess eating it fresh at the 'maison' would be much better.

Heard the queues long. Hmm. Probably go there again when the queue's not so long.

Paul Singapore
391 Orchard Road
#03-16/17 Ngee Ann City
Singapore 238872

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

It's less than 2 weeks to Chinese New Year! One of the things that many people are buying are CNY goodies. There are many brands out there and Tai Sun has sent some samples to try and comment.

I have been buying Noya's pineapple tarts for the last few years without knowing they are from Tai Sun until I got these samples. A colleague brought some to the office and I thought they were quite nice and I have been buying them. I remembered their containers were different when I first bought them last time.

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

There are 6 different flavours. I have seen them on sale in both Fairprice and Cold Storage since last 2 weeks, but not all 6 at the same time though. Either they are sold out or different supermarkets carry different range.

I have been serving these to friends and relatives who pop by our place and everyone has different opinions about it. Some really like it, some preferred their mum's or grandma's version. But for a mass produced brand, I think they are quite good.

Here's a short write up of what we think of it:

Pineapple Tarts

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai SunNoya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

The open faced ball of jam pineapple tarts (380g | S$10.80/jar) are my favourite of the lot

It's not too sweet for me and I like the 'ball' of pineapple jam on top of it. I noticed they even have a faint layer of cross over it! It's something that I can pop layer after layer off the jar while watching TV.

Rolled Pineapple Tarts

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai SunNoya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

There are two version of pineapple tarts, this is the Rolled Pineapple Tarts (380g | S$10.80/jar). I assume both pineapple tarts have the same recipe, but somehow the open faced one taste better to me.

Both are very buttery in smell and taste. The pineapple jam taste rather nice too. The open faced somehow makes it more nostalgic as you pop it in your mouth.

Mum makes two version as well! She makes her own pineapple jam too. I know what's missing from these rolled version, cloves! Mum's version has a clove on each rolled tart which makes it more fragrant. Oh well, for $10.80, this version is quite good!

Kueh Bangkek

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai SunNoya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

The Kueh Bangkek (250g | S$6.50/jar) has two different opinions in the house and friends who came and try it. One camp says it does not immediately crumble and dissolve the moment you put it in your mouth. One camp like it because it still holds its shape and only crumble and dissolve when you slightly bit and crush it with you teeth.

From the photo above, it does hold its shape quite well right?

The consensus is that santan (coconut milk) flavour is enough thought some say a bit more would be better. It's not too sweet as well. General Singapore taste buds would like this sweetness but not the Malaysian or Indonesian tongues, they would want it sweeter!

Macadamia Delights

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai SunNoya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

This is the Macadamia Delight (300g | S$11.80/jar). The most expensive of the all the cookies, but to me, my favourite from this lot. When Mum and Aunt came over and saw it, they were just so impressed by the stacking of the cookies inside the container!

For me, a bite into it and I thought they tasted like Horlicks cookies! The cookie is firm but you can't press it too hard. It will crumble. It's fragrant but a little salty.

Almond Delights

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai SunNoya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

Looking almost similar to the Macadamia except without the egg wash on it, these Almond Delights (300g, | S$10.80/jar) are also quite an unstoppable.Quite fragrant and those who like Almonds would like it.

We hosted a dinner the other night and after dinner, we served these snacks and I noticed someone keep taking this. He must be an almond fan!

Traditional Jade Delights

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai SunNoya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

These pastel green cookies called Traditional Jade Delights (300g | S$8.90/jar) are made from green peas.

The wife and sis has different opinions of this. Wife think more peas are needed and sis thinks it's just nice, if too much peas are inside, they would be overpowering. I am not a green pea fan, so I have no comments.

Ah-Ma Traditional Nonya Love Letters

Noya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai SunNoya Chinese New Year Goodies by Tai Sun

Now I like these love letters! (400g | S$11.80/tin)

You open the nostalgic square tin and the smell of santan tingles your nose. Not every piece has the same 'tan' which means it's probably hand made. It's not too sweet as well and I have been nibbling on them! I can eat 1 layer of it at a go, and force myself to stop.

I like the fragrance which is not too strong. One of my guest commented that not too much santan is also good, she did not feel so guilty eating too much of it.

Overall impression and notes:
  • It all tasted rather fresh, no rancid smell or unpleasantness. 
  • The pineapple tarts are good, not too expensive and size of the tarts are good too. Not too expensive per piece which you means you can serve it, and not hide your stash. 
  • The cookies made from nuts range are nice, but it seems to be a bit salty. That's the overall impression from almost all of the 15 people whom I have served them to over the last 2 weeks. 
  • The containers are pretty, easy to open too. (You can hide in the office drawers!)
  • Labels says "Product of Singapore", except for the love letters which is made in Indonesia.
  • Tai Sun sells quality nuts like Almond, Macademia etc, so we can trust their ingredients are of the same quality.

A note of thanks to Esther, the marketing manager of Tai Sun for sending these samples.

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