Friday, August 31, 2012

"LIM KOPI for a Cause" with Toast Box

Toast Box and ABLE (Abilites beyond Limitations and Expectiations) collobrate in "LIM KOPI for a cause" Fund Raising Drive.  ABLE - Abilites beyond Limitations and Expectiations Ltd, a charity organisation that strives to enable and empower the phyiscally challenged community to be reintegrated into the main stream society in Singapore. 

This is the Toast Box's second year partnership with ABLE and through this collobration, Toast Box's "LIM KOPI for a Cause" Campaign hopes to generate $20,000 of funds that will go towards financing ABLE's assistance programs, beneficaries with acquired or congenital physical disabilities as well as their families and caregivers.

Personally for me, its heartwarming to see local companies support charity orgnaisations with their earnings to good causes.  You can do your part too! From now till end to September 2012, Toast Box will donate 30 cents (SGD) towards raising funds for ABLE with the sale of every promotional set.

In line with the campaign, TOAST BOX has introduced the following items:

NEW Hebi Hiam Thick Toast
With Coffee/ $3.00 or With Kumquat Jelly/ $4.00

I used to almost always eat this toast whenever i order the set with Toast Box.  This NEW Hebi Hiam comes with chuckier dried shrimps (hebi hiam).  It has a more texture feel with the added sugar bits, giving it a sweet yet savory taste.  However this makes it less spicier compared to the original version that Toast Box has.  It will be great for those who prefers a less spicy version of the Hebi Hiam Thick Toast.

French Toast Butter Kaya
With Coffee/$3 or With Kumquat Jelly/$4

This is your usual egg-battered French toast, but with a sweet touch, that comes from the kaya.  Its a well balanced taste.  With a combination of egg, butter and kaya - what bliss for breakfast or snack! A tip: Do consume this immediately when it arrives to your table.  Definitely served best with kopi-c-kosong or teh-si

Chicken Curry
With Kumquat Jelly/$6.30

Should you be looking for a filling meal, Toast Box has a long heralded signature Chicken Curry that will definitely leave you coming back for more! This is a flavourful and mildly spicy coconut-based curry served with tender chicken and large chunks of potatoes.  Choose between fragrant rice or freshly grilled thick toast

Kumquat Jelly Drink

Along with the sets, you can choose to have a refreshing, cold Kamquat Jelly drink.  A familiar taste of thirst quenching drink with chunks of jelly to satisfy.  A delight during the hot and humid weather!

Aside from the above promotional items, Toast Box also serves up other items.
Fish Ball Hor Fun Soup/ $6.20 (a la carte)

Ah! This brings back so much fond memories as you tuck into the hot soup and while munching the fishballs, accompanied with kway teow.  I just recalled days when my mum will pack home a bowl of fishball soup after school on rainy days.

Fried Fish Beehoon Soup/ $6.20 (a la carte)

You may not expect Toast Box to serve up this Fried Fish Bee Hoon, but they have certainly done well with this! Chuncks of fried fish soaked in thick been hoon soup, a bite tells you that fresh fish is used to prepare this. The batter is fragrant, giving you a delicious, non-oily meal.

Aside from enjoying Toast Box coffee in-store, you can also make your very own home brewed Nanyang kopi anytime.  Simply purchased the convenient hand-held coffee-making apparatus with a bag of coffee powder at the promotional price of $25.


From now will end of September 2012, every set (Includes: 1 Toast Box Coffee Brew and 250g Toast Box Coffee Power) sold, Toast Box will donate $2 to ABLE.  What more, the coffee brew is BPA free and is available in 3 colours.

Special Thanks to Haylee & Clara of BreadTalk and Mei Yan of Touch Communications for hosting the group of us.

Toast Box @  The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
10 Bayfront Avenue, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
#B2-62 Canal Level, Singapore 018956
Tel: 6636 7131

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guide to Eating Healthy.

You probably know about Eating Healthy. We would have read about it on TV, in the newspaper, magazines etc. We would have been nagged about it by our parents, aunties and uncles. Our teachers in school would probably have told us about it. In Singapore, the Health Promotion Board has been educating the public about eating healthy.

HPB has introduced the Healthier Choice (red circle logo with a food pyramid icon in the centre) logo and asked restaurants and even hawkers to provide healthier options in their menus. You would probably have seen it.

While surfing HPB’s website, I realised they have a site about Healthy Dining too.

It’s easy to talk about having less sugar, less salt, less oil, more fiber, more vegetables, more fruits. The place that I work has a Wellness Division. They organise the ACTIVE day yearly and have activities that help keep us sane and healthy. They’ve gotten the Health Promotion Board to set up a booth too. What the HPB people did in exchange for a little gift was to make us install an iPhone App.

I find it quite interesting and I thought readers of this blog might like it and install it too. Oh yes, it’s free too! Search for iDAT by Health Promotion Board on the Apple AppStore.

Health Promotion Board Singapore (HPB) iDAT AppHealth Promotion Board Singapore (HPB) iDAT App

You can try out the other functions, but I would like to highlight the “Add Meal” part of the App. One way to help us eat healthy is to calculate the calories intake. We should not waste our time eating food that’s not worth the calories.

We know to stay healthy we need to consume enough (not too much nor too little) calories and healthy ones as well so that our bodies can make use of it. Keeping tabs on the food we eat will help. Most of us carry our phones with us, so this App is very convenient!

Many of us would be clueless about how much calories a dish would have. Most Apps would not have the calories of local food.

Health Promotion Board Singapore (HPB) iDAT AppHealth Promotion Board Singapore (HPB) iDAT App

Looking at the list of food does makes me hungry! They must have invested a lot of time in making this app!

Health Promotion Board Singapore (HPB) iDAT AppHealth Promotion Board Singapore (HPB) iDAT App

Other favourite dishes that caught my attention are Bak Kut Teh or Beef Rendang. It doesn’t mean that I won’t eat it. I will just eat less of it, or share some of it with friends or colleagues.

I hope this different view of how to eat healthy was a good read and also some food for thought for you. The food that you see on this blog is mostly dishes that we share with our family or friends.

Before I forget, have you all thought about participating in the HPB’s Let’s Cook Healthy Together- Photo Contest? To help you, here’s a step-by-step on how to participate in the contest.

How to Submit Your Photos in 3 Easy Steps

Not sure what to do?

This 3-step on submitting your Healthy Dish Photo to the Let’s Cook Healthy Together Photo Contest will certainly help you with it!

  1. Go to The Let’s Cook Healthy Together Photo Contest app .
  2. Fill in your personal particulars
  3. To Join: Upload 1 photo of a cooked dish and recipe. And that’s it!

Yam Rice

 Optional Bonus Activity: Upload 1 photo of you cooking together with your friends or family. You will get 5-20 Bonus Points!


Recipe Example

- Yam (diced, 300 grams)
- Mushroom (about 8 rehydrated shitake mushrooms, sliced)
- Pork belly (250 gm, cut into strips, without skin, marinated with pepper, soy sauce and cornflour)
- Dried Shrimps (Hae Bee) (a hand grip)
- Chinese Sausages (Lup Cheong) (1 sausage, sliced thinly)
- Garlic (3 cloves, chopped)
- Shallots (5 bulbs, chopped)
- 3 cups of rice (rinsed, drained)

- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp dark soya sauce
- Salt, pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar

- Rinse and set aside the 3 cups of rice.
- Heat oil, fry the garlic, shallots until fragrant.
- Add pork, sausages, mushrooms and dried shrimps. Fry for 2 minutes.
- Add in yam, rice and all the seasoning. Stir until it becomes fragrant, around 3 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the rice cooker and add water till it just covers the rice.
- Turn on the rice cooker as how you would cook normal white rice.

That’s it!

Cook, Snap and Win at

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance

Have you recently discovered a French garden in Orchard Road? It's located inside Palais Renaissance. This is only 'roofless' gazebo that you can see from the higher floor when you look in the centre of the mall.

This is the newest branch of Antoinette that most ladies in Singapore are familiar with.

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance

If you are one that has eye for details, you should look at the details Chef Pang puts in for the design of this place. He's so hands-on, that I wonder how such a busy can find time to do it. It must be his passion.

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance

From what I heard, these pieces of furniture can't really be found elsewhere. They were partially custom made for this place.

This was a recent invite by Antoinette through their PR folks for a tasting.
It's to taste their new menu and also the 2012 Cake Collection.

The portions shown here are much smaller than the real thing because we were trying out many items. The actual portions are 2-3 times bigger.

Classic French Onion Soup / $16.50

The classic soup that was so appetizing. It was a very rich and aromatic bouillon, full of flavour from the caramalized onions and meats that was used to make it. There was a piece of cheese baguette inside. I love how the gruyere and parmesan crust covers the soup bowl.

Tartine de Nicoise / Butter lettuce, French bean, tomatoes, olives, 3-minute egg, anchovy,
and seared tuna served on levain ($26)

This very light and tasty salad was served with Chef Pang's homemade levain (sourdough bread). If you don't already know, Chef Pang's restaurant makes their own bread and they also culture their yeast. The bread was made using yeast that was culture 16 days.

This reminds me of mum's experiments, she sometimes make bread from yeast spores that floats in the air. It takes a super long time. Am not sure how Chef Pang, but I guess it's from some controlled environment to get the flavour he wants for his bread. Mum's version is not as nice, maybe I should bring mum over and let her try it to improve her version. ;-)

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
Bouchées aux fruits de mer / Seafood in puff pastry case ($30)

The seafood like the scallops, squid and shrimps were done just nice. It's for those who like cream based sauce. 

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
Confit de Poitrine de Porc / Traditional French style pork belly confit served with garlic mash, seasonal vegetables and mustard sauce ($36)

Oh, I like this dish. The pork belly that was not too fatty, was confit in duck fat. It's a dish that 'babitarians' (babi - the word that Peranakan used for pork) would love!

For this dish, how I wished it was the full portions that I think has 3-4 pieces of this delicious pork.

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
Prawn Crumble / Spaghettini aglio olio style with fresh prawns, anchovy crumble and parsley pesto ($26)

This pasta was really unique. The texture of the al dante pasta with anchovy crumble and pesto reminds me of how we sometimes cook 'play cheat' pasta at home. We would use noodles or thin pasta and sprinkle some hae bee hiam on it. The texture is similar, but this of course taste much better!

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
It's a dry version of the regular pasta. You may like it.

A trip to Antoinette is incomplete without tasting their cakes and pastry!
Here's what we sampled:

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
Chloe / Yuzu cremeux, white chocolate vanilla mousse, light sponge cake, almond sable ($9)

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
Tarte Exotique / Almond tart, gula Melaka cremeux, finger sponge with gula Melaka, coconut mousse, exotique coulis ($8.50)

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
Forbidden Fruit / Green apple mousse, maple cremeux, vanilla caramel apple, green apple jelly, financier cake ($9)

The cakes and tarts were all equally good. You need to try them all to pick your favourite!

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
You can pick up all these delightful chocolates for takeaways!

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
And savour all the macarons you want too!
So many choices! Which is your favourite flavour here?

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
Many people will prefer sitting in Le Jardin (Garden), where you get an airy feeling where people in the mall can also see you have your meal.

If you prefer more privacy and want to feel like you are dining in some European aristocratic dining room, you can opt to dine in the inner room called Le Salon d'Antoinette.

Le Jardin D' Antoinette @ Palais Renaissance
If you are organizing a private function, you can also book Le Salon I'Elysee, a private room that can sit 8-10 people. If you want to organize something special for 2 you can also book this place. They can provide customized menu too if you book this room. For rates, do call them.

Thanks to Chef Pang and Hsian Ming from Sixth Sense Comm for hosting the group of us.

Antoinette at Palais Renaissance
390 Orchard Road,
B1-08/09/10C Palais Renaissance
Singapore 238871

Tel: +65 67356392
Hours: 11 am - 10 pm daily

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Sushi Tei - Ngee Ann City

Since June this year, Sushi Tei has moved to Level 5 of the Podium Block of Ngee Ann City. No longer beside the taxi stand at the back of Takashimaya/Ngee Ann City. The new location is bigger and more spacious with private rooms as well.

And... it's still as popular as ever. It's one of the few branches of Sushi Tei that our family love to go. We have the Sushi Tei card, so we tend to come here for Japanese food now and then. This was a recent trip where we went with my in-laws.

Sushi Tei - Takashimaya
One of the things that we have been trying since being introduced during a tasting few months ago was this Ika Okura / Squid and Lady's Finger.  ($5.20)

It's gooey with crunchy squid and lady's finger. The mother-in-law was hesitant to try it but when she tried it, she loved it. ;-)

We also had Inari / Sweet Beancurd $2.20 that was placed in the same plate.

Sushi Tei - Takashimaya
This was the Tako Wasabi / Octopus with Wasabi. $5.20.
The colour looks a bit 'dull', but if you like octopus and wasabi, it's yummy. It gives you a rush in the head! Probably a cure if you have a stressful day.

Sushi Tei - Takashimaya
This was the sashimi platter from the Seasonal Menu. It's called Sashimi Moriawase "Kushida" (Kanpachi, Ootoro, Salmon, Nama Hotate). $36.

Look at how marbled the tuna was! Such a delight having them. We laughed because KopiKosongGirl's mum does not take sashimi. It comes with 3 pieces each, and we told Mum, luckily you don't eat, so we can have a slice each!

Sushi Tei - Takashimaya
We usually order the Sashimi Salad, but since we already have sashimi, we thought we would try the Yakiniku Salad. $10.

It's quite nice to have warm beef on salad. It's quite addictive too.

Sushi Tei - Takashimaya
The MIL felt like having Unagi, so we ordered the Phoenix Roll. $18.
We like having king prawns and unagi in our mouth together. It looks pretty too!

Sushi Tei - Takashimaya
DIL like yakitori, so this was the Jumbo Yakitori ($6.80).
This is what we say, it's yakitori 'lor...'.

Sushi Tei - Takashimaya
This was another thing that looked so pretty on the menu and sounded so nice, so KopiKosongGirl wanted to try it. Lobster Salad Roll. ($8.80). It did taste very good.

We also ordered the Asari Sakamushi (Asari Clams steamed with Japanese Sake). Not sure why I can't find the photos, maybe it's because we find that it used to taste better, but nowadays KopiKosongGirl says the amount of sake in it seems to be getting less potent.

We liked this new branch and so did the in-laws. It seems it is already quite popular with the crowds. If you go a bit earlier, you get to go in quite quickly without much wait. Send someone over to queue if you are going between 7-8pm :-)  The good thing is that since moving up to Level 5, we don't need to queue with the taxi fumes anymore!

Sushi Tei - Ngee Ann City Branch
391 Orchard Road
#05-30/31 Podium Block
Ngee Ann City
Singapore 238873

Tel: +65 6737 8878
Hours: Mon–Sun: 11.30am–10pm

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Zero.Zero @ The Central

[This was a HungryGoWhere food tasting / review session with the HungryGoWhere folks.]

Zero.Zero, the moment you walk in has a warm cosy feel to it. If you are a woody/brown person the deco here would please you from the start. I like the deco that makes you very comfortable. Probably because I like the earthy tones.

Zero.Zero @ The Central

Zero.Zero is by the same people behind Tao's Restaurant. They serve fusion food that's quite reasonably priced and of quite good quality too.

Zero.Zero @ The Central

There are a few sections in the restaurant. There are a few private rooms, an open place where you can hold private corporate events and also the above, two long parallel tables where I was told, people hold intimate wedding banquet for close family and friends.

Zero.Zero @ The Central

This was the Zero Signature Set that we tried that night.  It's a picked 1 dish from each section style of ordering. 

When you are ordering food, there's a guy who comes with a iPad to take your orders. Take a peep into his iPad like we did. It's quite a cool app that you can view photos of the dishes that you want to order!

Here's the amuse bouche and the 5 courses that I had. 

Amuse Bouche

Zero.Zero @ The Central
We started with a shot glass of icy plum juice. It was served on a wooden container that's filled with ice. The slightly sourish taste activates your saliva glands and you can't wait to have your meal!

Zero.Zero @ The Central
We had 3 little creations for the Amuse Bouche. What was served to us that night was a potato croquet, mini or shall I say micro toast with foie gras on it and seared scallop on watermelon. The potato was nice, but I could not appreciate the foie gras.

Zero.Zero @ The Central
While I did not really like the toast and foie gras because of a personal bias, I really like the seared scallops on watermelon. It has a refreshing feel to it.

Cold Dish

Zero.Zero @ The Central
There were 5 choice for the cold dish and I chose the Smoked Duck Breast with Apple Slices. The slightly salty smoked duck goes well with the apple slices that was crunchy and sweet.

I like how the crunchy and sweet apple slices went with the salty tender yet a little chewy duck meat. If you like you could also pour the shot glass of apple puree over it. The slightly acidic puree will cut through the sweetness and saltiness of the dish, but I prefer it just the apple slices and duck.

Zero.Zero @ The Central

I borrowed my neighbour's dish to take a photo too. If you don't like duck, try the Maguro Tataki Carpaccio. Looks quite good doesn't it?

Side Dish

Zero.Zero @ The Central
For my side dish, I chose the Stewed Beef Tendon. Most of us ordered this because we all heard it's once of the best dishes around.

It is really very good. The tendon had been braised till they just dissolves in your mouth. The braise is very nice too and the 2 bread sticks can be used to soak up the sauce. I would love to have 2 portions of this!

Zero.Zero @ The Central
This was also a 'neighbour's dish' that I borrow to photograph.
It's the Grilled Escargot with Cheese.

Zero.Zero @ The Central
Someone thought of trying Sake and was introduced this Sakura Sake.

Oooo. This very different indeed. It's fragrant and very sweet!
You might forget this is sake and down the whole bottle!


Zero.Zero @ The Central
For the soup, I had the Japanese Clear Fish Soup. I chose this because I saw on the menu that the rest of the soup were cream based and did not feel like having a heavy soup. The soup was all right. Light and tasty, but a little forgettable. ;-)

Zero.Zero @ The Central
The neighbour's Cream of Mushroom Soup with Truffle Oil. He seemed to enjoy it, so I guess it was good.

Main Course

Zero.Zero @ The Central
Everyone heard that this was the best, and almost everyone who liked beef ordered it. It's 'Beef Loin on Houba Leaf'.  The beef was placed on the houba leaf and it's on top of a very heated stone. Very hot stone!

Houba or some spell it as Hoba Leaf is a species of Magnolia that's grown in the higher altitude forest in Japan.

Zero.Zero @ The Central
The beef is only lightly sprinkled with salt and pepper. One of the reasons why the place is called is that they want you to try dishes as it is, with minimal flavouring.

The beef loin was good! The leaf was slightly crackling all the time, and it also gave a slight burnt aroma while you cook it.  The leaf acted like a 'non stick' layer that prevented the beef from sticking on the stone. Cook the beef according to the done-ness you like.

I would highly recommend you to try this!

Zero.Zero @ The Central
If beef is not your thing, maybe you can try what another neighbour tried, this was the Pan Roasted Duck Confit with Mustard Cream.


Zero.Zero @ The Central
I heard everyone said the Zeromisu was excellent, but I wanted to try their Vanilla Mille Feuille, Zero Style. It was I guess all right.

ZeroZero1Zero.Zero @ The Central5
OK, I confess. I ordered this because it comes with a scoop of ice cream!

It was a good meal and also to meet up with some HungryGoWhere reviewers. The neighbour that I was talking about, he looked so familiar, but both of us can't figure out where and when we met!

I think a 5 course meal for $89.80++ was a good deal. The food's of a certain quality too. It's a nice place to bring your date for a meal with a view (depending on where you are seated). I read of a review by a lone diner (on HungryGoWhere) too that says it's a nice place to eat alone.

Hint: There are a few credit cards that either give you a 1-for-1 or 50% off this set meal. Read other reviews on the HungryGoWhere site for the offer updates. ;-)

Read more reviews of this place at the HungryGoWhere site:

6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#04-86 The Central,
Singapore 059817

Tel: 6224 4139
Hours: Daily 11:30 am - 10:00 pm

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