Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I PASSED!!

And so after moonths of sipping and studying, I'm proud to share that I've passed my first wine studies exam! Yipee! This cow is now a Certified Alcoholic Specialist of Wine, an international professional certification issued by the Society of Wine Educators, USA.

It was all pretty hard work ok. Moohehe.


Whole Saturdays burnt in Jurong attending wine classes. Thanks to John and Kok Hong for bringing some of their own stash!


Weekday nights burnt having tutorial group discussions with my awesome group mates.


One of the group study sessions happened at My Little Tapas Bar and Kok Hong really spoilt us with the tasty morsels and interesting wines. Thank you, Kok Hong!


William, my wine group tutor, also bought us some bites to accompany the wine revision on USA. But because we are locals, we stuck to our favourite local bites...so no fries, burgers, nachos and sandwiches this time. :p

To line the stomach before the onslaught of wines from 10am at Hwee Peng's Saturday classes, I discovered this good value takeaway breakfast set from Eggs & Berries. Just about $4 including coffee or tea!


Moore goodies in the form of Siew Kiang's fried wantons and ngor hiang, and Derrick's cheeses, specially brought back from Amsterdam, and bread kept both hunger and mabok-ness at bay. Thank you, Siew Kiang and Derrick!


Tears were shed.


Late night bets on knowledge diffusion were placed.


Graveyards of once full bottles were assembled.

But the CSW was a fun course. Of course, when there is drinking on the job what's not to like? Moohehe. I would strongly encourage those who have a personal interest in wines or are in the F&B line to sign up for this course. Topics covered include wine making, viticulture, wine faults, wine grape varieties, wine regions of the world and their wine laws etc etc. Hwee Peng, one of Singapore's moost well-known wine educators, from Wine Craft Marketing & Services conducts these classes and he is one who is very happy to share knowledge and experience. Good sense of humour and a local guy some more! #Singaporepride

The CSW doesn't make me a wine expert but it gives me a good foundation for moore learning to come. Big thanks to Hwee Peng, William and all my fellow batch mates for making this a wonderful experience.

Cheers to moore to come!

Certified Specialist of Wine by Wine Craft Marketing & Services

Chew On This: If you are in the F&B industry, you can get a grant of 60% off the course fees!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Childhood Laksa + You Tiao

A powerful jolt from a childhood memoory recently came in the form of a simple bowl of laksa. This stall has probably been at Bendemeer Market, my childhood hawker centre, for over 15 years.


Their Laksa ($3) is creamy, fragrant and not overly rich. Add the chilli for more spiciness. But what really makes this the bomb is enjoying the laksa with you tiao which can be bought from a neighbouring stall. The crispy hollow fried dough stick readily absorbs all that delicious laksa gravy giving contrast to texture and flavour.

A beautiful combination!


Min Ji Laksa
#01-31
Bendemeer Market Food Centre
Blk 29 Bendemeer Road

Chew On This: They also sell Mee Rebus here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fryday Pork Comfort

After a long hard work week, a solid, substantial dinner of fried pork cutlet is like a nice reward. And getting disappointed is a bummer so when it comes to Japanese fried pork cutlet, Tonkichi is my tried-and-tested comfort place.


The Hire Rosu Katsu Set ($26) came with a nice slab of juicy pork loin and two round pieces of the leaner pork fillet, both coated with panko crumbs and deep fried to spot a glorious, light crisp exterior. The set came with free flow of rice and raw cabbage salad. This is a very important component of the meal for moo. Moohahaha. The cabbage salad provided a refreshing break and when spiked with the Japanese dressing, made for a healthy delicious side.


Grind sesame seeds (in a circular mootion as opposed to banging the pestle onto the seeds) into a fragrant dust before adding some Tonkatsu sauce to create a tasty dipping sauce for the fried pork.

Sashimi lovers who also want their tonkatsu can opt for the Katsu Sashimi Set ($28) which replaces the pork loin with....


SASHIMI! Were you expecting anything else? Moohehe.


A plate of chilled oranges rounded up the meal, cleansed the palate and made the meal feel a tiny weeny bit less sinful.

But hey it's called Fryday for a reason lah!


Tonkichi
#03-26/27
Tampines Mall (Other outlets at Orchard Central, Isetan Scotts & Ngee Ann City)
Tel: 6789 1726

Chew On This: Sign up to be their member and get dining vouchers, discounts and other freebies worth moore than the membership fee!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Beef Noodles that Still Rock Moo Socks

When having to queue up for food, my strategy is almoost always to order a bigger portion to maximise the waiting effort. Or better still, order two portions! Moohaha. #cantdecidebetweensoupordry?

This beef noodles still ranks as my personal favourite. The dry version ($4) comes doused with a dark, rich, tasty gravy spiked with fragrant sesame oil that made slurping each strand a pleasure. There's just something beefy and satisfying about the gravy. Add in chinchalok and chilli sauce for moore omph!

The soup version ($4) which I opted for the "mixed" type has slices of beef, tripe, beef balls and brisket in a cloudy beefy brew full of bovine protein precipitates.

On bowl of each and I'm a happy cow. :)

Oh wait, I see laksa! *runs off*


Toa Payoh Hwa Heng Beef Noodles
#01-01
Bendemeer Market Food Centre
Blk 29 Bendemeer Road
Opens: Wednesday to Friday 10am-2.30pm
                Saturday & Sunday    10am-2.30pm
Closes: Monday & Tuesday

Chew On This: Pray hard there is no one guy who tabaos 10 packets in front of you! LOL. Here's a tip, eat something else first before queuing. You are welcome. 

Monday, July 07, 2014

Brunch Beats at The Westin Singapore

Ok, so I am doing a juice cleanse and probably shouldn't be blogging now but thoughts of a Champagne brunch seem too taunt. So when you can't beat them, might as well join them! Moohehe.

No, I didn't rush out to guzzle Champagne by the magnum loads. Just documenting here a recent experience.

At the The Westin Singapore, which made a new come back to our sunny shores after a hiatus, this cow was invited to check out their Champagne brunch, Brunch Beats at Seasonal Tastes, featuring unlimited flow of Veuve Clicquot NV. And here is moo field report.


The first thing that struck me was the lounge-y, lively and relaxed ambience aided by Dutch DJ Lindo Martinez spinning cool tunes. Also the restaurant Seasonal Tastes is located on the same floor of The Westin Singapore's lobby, level 32. Perhaps the only hotel in Singapore with such a high up lobby.


Who's to complain with a bird's eye view of Marina Bay and the South China Sea while enjoying a glass of bubbly...


Or any of their wines, beers and cocktails. I liked the pretty soft, balanced Argentinean Malbec, and a big, fruity Aussie Shiraz.

Anyway, I digress. Back to the food!


Seafood is a mooch well-loved spread at many a buffet place and there is good reason with Champagne making it a perfect pairing with these juicy prawns, lobsters, scallops and king crabs on ice.


Selected cured meats such as Jamon Iberico, San Daniel ham and prosciutto are also matched well with the effervescence of Champagne refreshing the palate of salty, savoury flavours.


Oysters (from US, Australia and France) waved to passers-by, eliciting temptation with their soft mound of flesh. A glass of Champagne or two with a couple of these babies are known to make some people smile for the next few days. Moohehe.

Ok, you get the message by now. Being a moost versatile beverage, Champagne goes well with almoost everything!

So a buffet spread is a wonderful and fun way to work around the many varied food and bubbly pairings.


Don't miss out on these prawns. Meaty, with a nice grilled aroma, these were very moreish.


There were 3 cuts of steak- tenderloin, striploin and rump, grilled a la minute to your preferred doneness. While the cooking was competent, I generally found the beef's flavour to be rather muted. Mooguahguah.


But here's a pig that saved the day! Look at that chubby fella with that sheen. Tender meat, crisp skin with a very tasty Thai-style dipping sauce. Needless to say, this cow went oink oink.


For desserts, there was a matcha chocolate fountain, assortment of cakes, gelato and sweet treats.


Asian desserts like kueh also pleased those with a sweet tooth and spare stomach for desserts.


Moo? This was my kind of dessert. Moore cheese with honey (they have a nice selection by the way!) and an amoozing olive oil that made me take a slice of bread! Gulp.


The Le Chateau d'Estoublon, a boutique super premium extra virgin olive oil from France, was deliciously rich with citrusy, peppery notes that made me almoost want to take a swig from the bottle. Ahem.

Fine. How can cheese, bread and olive oil count as real desserts right?


So I had a scoop of dark chocolate gelato with a very good oak-aged stout from Brew Dog to anchor the afternoon. Hey it was a pretty awesome pairing and fittingly the bitterness signaled that all good things moost come to an end....after 3 hours of feasting on a relaxing Sunday.

Brunch Beats ($158++/adult with free-flow Veuve Clicquot NV and other alcoholic beverages; $110++/ adult without the alcohol) happens every Sunday from 12 noon to 3pm.

Thank you, Trisha Choo of Mercury PR for the invitation.


Seasonal Tastes
Level 32
The Westin Singapore
Asia Square Tower 2
Tel: 6922 6968

Chew On This: Want something but it is not on the buffet line up? Fret not. Just make a request and the chefs will whip it up for you if they have the ingredients!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Damnwuhua Lobster

Many people think of Boston and Maine lobsters when it comes to the prized crustacean. Maybe even Rainbow and Australian Rock lobsters. But did you know there is also the Damnwuhua lobster?

Yes.

This special lobster available at J Pot Tampines is only priced at a promotional rate of $14.90. Damnwuhua right? MOOHAHA.

It wasn't huge of course but at this price, it was pretty worth ordering. Enjoy a lobster for one person at just $15! Cook it in the hot pot to get succulent white flesh and a sweeter soup.

J Pot serves good quality of food at reasonable prices with a variety of soup bases including a few local-inspired ones like bak kut the, laksa and silky porridge. For moo, I like their herbal soup base best. Tasty thinly sliced beef and live prawns are favourite orders.

Another thing I should mention is the array of sauces for one's dipping pleasure. My personalised favourite, which I sometimes feel like skinny dipping in, seems to be a drool-worthy concoction of sesame paste, , fried and raw garlic, sesame oil, spring onions, chilli padi, chilli oil and sesame oil. 

Ok, now excuse me while I take a dip. LOL.

J Pot
#03-16
Tampines 1
Tel: 6532 3536                          

Chew On This: If you don't want the Damnwuhua lobster, J Pot is also doing a Boston lobster promo at just $39.90.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Mrs Pho's Pho

Wandering off our usual path for lunch, the colleagues and I headed to this new pho place relatively near the office. And was rewarded with a pretty good pho lunch. :)

                        
The Special Beef Combo Pho ($8.90) featured thin rice noodles in a light, tasty broth topped with beef balls, sliced beef and braised brisket. I like that little tenderizer, if any, was used as the beef slices had a natural bite and a good beefy flavour. The brisket was tender and tasted richer. Squeeze a fresh lime, add a dash of fish sauce and throw in some sliced red chillies for good measure. 

Fresh Spring Rolls ($3.50) boasted fresh, crisp flavours but I personally wasn't a fan of the vegetal taste of this dish.

                       
Mooch preferred the Fried Spring Rolls ($3) which were crispy on the outside and moist inside.

                       
Oh yes, but back to my bowl of pho. What I found interesting was a separate small bowl of soup with an egg served together with my pho. It was a simple addition but one that added a comforting touch. Soft boiled egg lovers, you know what I mean! Moohehe

The place is quite small and office folks have already discovered this spot for lunch but it is well worth cramping for. Walk by the nondescript frontage and you might just miss this eatery.

                       
349 Beach Road 
Tel: 6292 0018
Opens: 11am to 10pm Mondays to Saturdays

Chew On This: The "Mrs Pho" in the kitchen is a Vietnamese. ;)