Thursday, September 01, 2016

Oh Jamie's Italian

It has been some time since my last blog post. While the grazing has not dampened, the demands of my new job meant I had to choose pushing out posts on Instagram (@thehungrycow) than crafting blog posts. Moohehe. But I do miss blogging. And there's only so mooch one can express with 140 characters!

But I digress.

Being a fan of Jamie Oliver's TV shows, I was quite excited to try out his restaurant, Jamie's Italian, when it opened in Singapore. But alas. The visit somehow didn't materialize until one recent day, long after the opening hype subsided.

It was a Sunday dinner with the famooly at Jamie's Italian Vivo City.

Served hot from the oven, the white-based Pizza (~$24.50) was eagerly snapped up by us hungry people. Notes of cheese and herbs punctuated with the earthiness from the mushrooms made this white pizza delicious. I like that the pizza base was slightly chewy and not overly thin.

Another winner was the Tagliatelle Bolognese ($26) with its ribbons of pasta swaddled with a rich pork and beef sauce, and dotted with bread crumbs for texture. What was disappointing was the Italian Steak & Fries ($29.50). The thin, straggly pieces of dead cow were miserable and more expected from a local BBQ party than from the kitchen of a proper restaurant. And a celebrity chef restaurant at that.

To fix the disappointed feelings we had, we opted for some antioxidant boost in the form of the Super Food Salad ($18.50). Moohehe. Containing grilled avocado, candied beets, pulses, grains, pomegranate, broccoli, cottage cheese, nuts, grains and harissa, this was a salad that offered a variety of flavours and textures. All it needed was a fat pinch of salt to really bring out its flavours. 

Because desserts are not quite our thing, we ordered up a bread basket. Moohehe. We got tempted by the attractive display of bread in the centre of the restaurant lah. Pity it wasn't worth ordering. Let's just say the Artisan Bread Basket ($7.50) tasted anything but artisan.

It was a night of hits and misses. Oh Jamie's. Maybe we'll just stick to pizzas and pastas the next time.

Vivo City
1 HarbourFront Walk
#01-165 to 167
Tel:  6733 5500

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Moo Sister's Bakes from Her ToTT Cooking Class

The baker in the house, moo sister, went for a ToTT cooking class and brought home some yummy treats! Check out this chocolate fudge brownie which was not too sweet and had a nice chocolate flavor. A scoop of vanilla ice cream and some fresh fruits completed the dessert. 

I thought the apple pie was a tad dry and could do with moore sugar and butter. But still, after heating it up in the oven and spooning some ice cream on top, it made for a tasty snack. Moohehe.
Chew On This: Because it contains love.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Antoinette Launches Baked Cheese Tarts in 5 Flavours!

After the flavoured croissant craze, Chef Pang Kok Keong is at it again. Inspired from a recent trip to Tokyo, he launches a range of baked cheese tarts at Antoinette. Made from a mix of two cheeses and a flaky pastry cup (using French butter no less), each cheese tart is rich, creamy yet balanced. I didn't feel sick even after gobbling down a few of these babies. Moohehe.
The five flavours are Matcha, Salted Caramel, Salted Yolk, Vanilla and Grand Cru Chocolate. I tried all of them except for the chocolate one. My personal favourites are the Matcha, which had a pleasant bitter taste of Japanese green tea, and the sunny, timeless Vanilla. I didn't quite take to the Salted Yolk one though. It was too subtle and hardly arousing.
I moost give special mention to the pastry crust which was light and had a very good butter flavour that stood out in the mid palate.
Prices range from $2.60 to $3.
It is advisable to consume these cheese tarts within an hour of purchase but I doubt they will last that long. Moohaha.
Thank you Antoinette and Gastro Sense for the samples. 
30 Penhas Road
Tel: 62933121
Chew On This: Limited quantities are available daily while stocks last! And only at Antoinette's Penhas Road outlet.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Recipe: Pesto Pasta with Prawns, Clams & French Beans

A perky pesto pasta is a quick meal solution that's especially tasty and refreshing in this seemingly increasingly hot weather. Here's my moosak moosak pesto pasta recipe. Moohehe. The quantity of ingredients can be determined according to one's preference.

- Pasta (I used fusilli)
- Pesto (this one was an organic, gluten-free option from Ryan's Grocery)
- Garlic (peeled and sliced average thickness)
- Olive oil
- Cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
- French beans (sliced into short batons)
- Clams (soaked in salt water which was changed a few times)
- Prawns
- White wine
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Fresh basil

- Heat up olive oil in a large sauce pan or pot
- Pan-fry prawns until they are about 80% cooked then remove from pan/pot
- Add in French beans and stir-fry for about one minute. Add a little more olive oil if it gets dry.
- Add in garlic slices and stir-fry for about one to two minutes until fragrant
- Throw in the clams (without the salt water) and cherry tomatoes and stir-fry for another minute
- Pour in white wine and scrape the base of the pan/pot to deglaze any browned bits that stick to the base.
- Once it comes to the boil, cover with a lid (preferably see-through lid). The steam contained within the pan/pot will cook the clams, making them pop open.
- Remove the cover once almost all the clams have opened and stir in the cooked pasta and 80%cooked prawns for a minute or so before turning off the heat
- Spoon the pesto into the pasta and add black pepper, salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to taste. Be sure to taste the pesto on its own to determine saltiness as it contains salt and cheese.
- Mix in thinly sliced strips of fresh basil and garnish with a few whole basil leaves.

Chew On This: For those looking for a guide on which pesto to buy, has published a handy review on supermarket pestos! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Celebrating The Cow's 20th Birthday at Shabu Shabu On-Yasai

Celebrating bovine cannibalism, my birthday dinner had to of course feature beef. Moohehe. I decided on Shabu Shabu On-Yasai after my very good first dining experience at the CHIJMES outlet. But as this cow is an eastie, we headed to the OneKM branch instead. 
The buffet dinner ($39.90/pax) is still pretty good overall although the beef chuck roll and karubi slices were inferior to the ones I had at their CHIJMES outlet. On the other hand, the seafood, in particular the seabass and prawns, were very fresh and sweet. So purely based on my two dining experiences at On-Yasai, it seems that CHIJMES is the place to go to for beef while OneKM does better seafood.
May we see the day that both beef and seafood live happily together under the same roof. Moohehe.
Because famooly. <3 Don't ask me why my birthday cake is pink. Thankfully, the inside was a deep, dark chocolate ice cream. LOL.
Man, it feels great to turn 20! Moohehehehe.
11 Tanjong Katong Road
Tel: 6362 4002
Opens: 12pm to 11pm

Chew On This: If you opt for the truffle flavoured golden soup as the hotpot broth, the staff can prepare a "risotto" towards the end of your meal. All you need to do is keep some stomach space. :p

Friday, April 08, 2016

Vinexpo Returns to Hong Kong

The world's leading wine and spirits expo Vinexpo returns to Asia this year from 24 to 26 May 2016 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. Expect a showcase from top wine and spirits producers from over 34 countries, notable wine personalities and more than 60 dynamic events presenting the latest trends and developments.    
Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise recently hosted a sharing session at Italian restaurant Alba 1836 in Singapore to present what trade visitors can expect from the upcoming Vinexpo in Hong Kong plus interesting trends and forecasts to 2019 from the International Wine and Spirits Research study.    
I share some nuggets (not the McDonald's kind lah. Moohehe) below.

Global Wine Consumption
- Expected to continue to grow to 2019
- Several European countries like France, Italy and Spain have seen decreasing wine consumption over the past few years and this downward trend is predicted to continue to 2019
- The top 3 wine exporters in 2014 are Italy followed by France and then Spain

Global Spirits Consumption
- Baijiu is the most consumed spirit in the world!
- While global rum, gin and vodka consumption are predicted to decline, Scotch whisky, bourbon and tequila consumption are expected to show strong growth

Singapore Wine Consumption
- Wine consumption by volume grew by 11.45% from 2010 to 2014; expected to slow down to 1.95% from 2015 to 2019 but with higher growth in the sparkling wines segment
- Overall wine consumption per capita expected to decline 6.4% from 2015 to 2019 but growth predicted in the sparkling wines segment
- 2015 consumption showed red wine is still majority at 70.3% followed by white wine at 27.9% and rose at 1.7%
- Rose wines are predicted to grow the fastest going into 2019 (The Hungry Cow's comment: "Given the ever increasingly hot weather and the versatility of food pairing with rose wines, I am not surprised. Moohehe")
- Australia is still the number one supplier of wines to Singapore though the figures are declining. Chile and New Zealand have demonstrated the strongest growth in terms of wine exports to Singapore

Singapore Spirits Consumption
- Spirits consumption is expected to continue to grow with estimated increase of 10.3% between 2015 and 2019
- Whisky is the top spirit consumed in Singapore; other spirits predicted to increase include gin and tequila

Highlights of Vinexpo Hong Kong (24-26 May 2016)
- Exhibitors from over 34 countries including France, Italy, USA, South Africa, China, Portugal, Spain, Argentina etc
- Product breakdown: 55% wine, 32% sparkling wine, 13% spirits
- Exhibitors include Louis Roederer, Concha Y Toro, Gaja, Batasiolo, Duckhorn Wine, Paul Jaboulet Aine etc
- New this year! Complimentary one to one meetings which are pre-scheduled and targeted to save time between buyers and producers. This was tested at Vinexpo Bordeaux 2015 and produced 80% conversion rate.
- Italian wines will take centre stage with a special focus
- Shiraz will be the highlighted grape variety on 26 May 2016 with a conference, masterclass, food and wine pairing workshop, and wine tastings all built around the wine

The all-Italian line-up of that evening at Alba 1836. The Blanc de Blanc was lovely with citrus and toasty notes while the Gavi provided a refreshing, clean-tasting appeal.   

I also came across the representative from Coravin who demonstrated how this nifty device can extract wine from a bottle without introducing air into the bottle and hence preventing oxidation.  

Thank you Vinexpo and GHC Asia for the invitation.

Vinexpo Hong Kong
24 to 26 May 2016

Chew On This: Vinexpo hits Tokyo for the first time on 15 to 16 November 2016!

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Ramen Keisuke Lobster King

Ramen Keisuke Lobster King at Clarke Quay continues to attract a healthy queue a few months after its launch. Its star attraction? A bowl of lobster broth ramen, made with lobster heads and shells imported from France which are first roasted then made into a broth after hours of simmering. Chicken feet is also added into the soup pot to give the broth a creamier texture.
There are a few lobster broth ramen variants:
1) Clear Soup (from $13.90)
Lightest in flavour and body. Reminded me a bit of prawn noodles soup and the stock that comes with braised lobster/crab dishes at cze char eateries
2) Miso (from $14.90)
Robust flavours that combined the heady, savoury character of miso with the crustacean flavour. I enjoyed this version over the Clear Soup.
3) Rich (from $14.90)    
Rich, full-on flavours with a creamy feel mooch like lobster bisque. Pretty shiok!

4) Spicy Miso (from $15.90)
For those who need to have chilli in their food. Made from 3 types of chillies including sansho peppers and Sichuan chillies. It has a spicy, umami taste that reminded me of hae bee hiam. Moohehe.

Toppings include the usual seaweed, egg, chasu, bamboo shoots plus prawn wantons and prawn ball. But now before anyone asks #whomovedmylobster, there is no lobster meat in any bowl of ramen here. The owner cited costs as a concern. Well it is labelled as "lobster broth ramen" on the menu anyway.

Another moost try here is the Chicken Nanban with Homemade Tartar Sauce ($9.80). Juicy pieces of fried chicken thigh spot a golden tan and crispy skin. Top each morsel with the creamy and tangy nicely chilled tartar sauce for a cold-on-hot, fat-on-fat sinfully sedap experience. Moohehe. Prefect with the frozen Kirin draft. ;)

For a spot of moore comforting carbs, try the Fluffy Omelet Rice ($10.80). Tomato rice is covered with a soft, fluffy omelette and ladled with a flavoursome piquant gravy that had hints of Worcestershire sauce.

With Zouk moving in next door, Ramen Keisuke Lobster King's opening hours are strategically set to attract the pre and post clubbing crowd. Actually, the post clubbing crowd might actually face less of a queue. Moohehe.

Thank you Ramen Keisuke Lobster King and Saffron Communications for the invitation.

Ramen Keisuke Lobster King
The Cannery, Clarke Quay
3C River Valley Road
Tel: 6255 2928
Opens: 6pm to 5am

Chew On This: