Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Souperlicious

After big meals and periods of feasting, it is most often soups that I turn to for comfort. Cantonese soups prepared at home are great. But sometimes my body hungers for equally-comforting creamy, thick Western-style soups. It is at times like these that I head to Cedele.

Alas. The Suntec City outlet has now been replaced by Spinelli. !@#$%. Thankfully I found another soup store which has taken over the unit that was formerly Ben & Jerry's.

Souperlicious sounds cute and promising.


I opted for the Beefy Goulash ($6.50 for regular size) and added $3.90 to make it a Souper Sandwich Combo, which gave me my choice of Half Sandwich and Ice Lemon/Peach Tea.

The Beefy Goulash was a thick stew with soft carrots and tender beef cubes. Opt for sour cream to be added into the stew to enrich it further. The stew had a nice earthy sweetness from paprika though I found it to end off a tad salty. The half sandwich, Cheezy Tuna Melt, was ordinary with insipid focaccia bread and commercial-tasting cheese sauce. The round corn chips that came with it was excellent to munch on and dip into the stew!


Dad took the Shroomy Mushroom ($6.50 for regular size) and scooped the bowl clean. My Cantonese dad generally prefers Chinese food and steers away from cheesy, creamy dishes. So I think the Shroomy Mushroom did well. A few spoonfuls from his bowl made me understand why it was polished clean. Creamy without being heavy. Light without being bland. Fungi sweetness without being overbearing.

Souperlicious indeed.


Souperlicious
#01-152
Suntec City Mall (opposite Carrefour)

Chew On This: Ask for your Souper Card and get a stamp with every $5 purchase. Free goodies like Ice Lemon Tea, SouperCombo Upgrades and Regular Bowl of Soup when you hit certain points.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

938live Foodie Lunch Pick Festive Tasting Dinner


After the lovely lunch at Braise, I was off to town to burn off a couple of hours before dinner. It was a such a foodie's Saturday. Dinner was at the invitation of 938Live and hosted by Goodwood Park Hotel.

The diners present were 938Live Music Director and Senior Producer-Presenter, Eugene Loh, and the other resident foodies on Foodie Lunch Pick. A pity Samuel could not attend or else we would have the complete set from Monday through Friday.

Foodie Lunch Pick (12.15pm weekdays on 938Live)
Monday- Samuel (Yum.sg)
Tuesday- LeRoy (The Hungry Cow)
Wednesday- Irene (Culinary Adventures)
Thursday- Julia (Aroma Cookery)
Friday- Leslie (Ieatishootipost)




Dinner started with a Cream of Tomato soup. It was warm, tangy and had a good depth of flavour. This was my favourite dish.


Next course was the Grilled Scallop with Asparagus. The scallops were fresh and succulent. I thought the Japanese sauce with mirin went well the scallops. This light-tasting dish was no less tasty, though it was on the safe side and maybe a tad boring.


The third course was a choice of Meltique Sirloin with Mushroom Sauce or Baked Cod Fish with Orange Butter Sauce. Being a cannibalistic cow, I opted for the steak. Okay, okay... I was actually intrigued to see how the Meltique beef would turn out here since I don't particularly like the 'artificial' texture of such beef. How did it turn out? Well, I think I still prefer the taste and texture of 'normal' beef sans artificial marbling. But I bet fans of Meltique beef beg to differ.


The next course has got to be one of the most unique Turkeys I've come across. Hainanese Turkey sounds more hawker food than Christmas but it works! The Hainanese Chicken Rice-que presentation and accompanying condiments like the soup with bean sprouts, the tomato and cucumber slices, the rice ball, and the black soy sauce, minced ginger and chili sauce obviously mirrored Chicken Rice.

I really like the way that turkey is presented here. Sure, the rice ball wasn't fragrant enough and the turkey wasn't as tender as chicken but I think the novelty is in taking something festive and linking it to something very familiar to all Singaporeans.


Lastly, dessert came in the form of DIY at the desserts buffet counter. I randomly picked some onto my plate and lamented at the fact that there wasn't durian featured in a hotel that has established itself as a haven for almost all things durian. It is apparently off-season for the King of Fruits. Alas.


For the Hungry Cow, it was an eat-ventful day with a 3-course set lunch at Braise and a 5-course tasting menu dinner at Goodwood Park's Coffee Lounge. It was great finally being able to meet Eugene and Irene in person after chatting with them on air for slightly over a year. O where art thou, Melanie? Haha.

Thanks to 938Live and the chefs, wait staff and Justina Loh of Goodwood Park for organising this tasting dinner and hosting us.

Coffee Lounge
Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road
Tel: 6730 1746

Chew On This: The Hainanese Turkey was introduced last year. This year, the new item is Turkey Satay! Marinated pieces of turkey and pineapples are skewered, grilled and served with a spicy peanut sauce. How about next year? Turkey curry? Turkey laksa? The chefs remained tight-lipped so only time will tell.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Blessed Christmas!


Have a Blessed Christmas, you guys! Spread some love. See? My doggie loves his festive reindeer. Haha.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Japanese Dinner at Liang Court Basement

The onslaught of turkey, roast beef and ham have started. After one too many Christmas dinners, these goodies become repulsive- a sure sign of festive-weary taste buds.

That is when a simple Japanese dinner at Liang Court's basement brings joy.


The Mini Steam Eel Rice ($1.80) wasn't the best start though. Fishy and bland.... and the eel was reccession-sized.


Thankfully the Beef Curry (~$9-10) was so comforting. Soft root vegetables and tender beef slices were in a mild Japanese curry. Accompanied with warm rice and pickles, it was absolutely yummy! One more plate of rice please.


While eating the Beef Curry, I spied my neighbour's udon and had a sudden craving for it. Udon-lust. I gave in and ordered a simple udon with seaweed and an egg (~$7).

The food's simple and good. Nothing fancy but perfect to combat festive fatigue.

Now back to more turkeys over the next few days.




Liang Court Basement (Outside Meidiya Supermarket)
(the stalls are sectioned according to Rice, Udon, Sushi etc)

Chew On This: Iced water is served at ZERO cost. Cheers to that.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Foodies Lunch @ Braise


A lunch for foodies and food-bloggers was kindly arranged by Hinata at Braise. A total of 28 people signed up and quite a few food-bloggers turned up too. I was happy to catch up with friends such as Recent Runes, The Skinny Epicurean, Joone, Superfinefeline, She Bakes & She Cooks, Dim Sum Dolly and meet new ones like Foodies Queen and The Importance of Salt.


But before lunch was served, a complimentary champagne-tasting was conducted courtesy of Lollapalooza. Perfect way to start a Saturday lunch at Sentosa!


Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Brut Blanc de Blancs. 100% Chardonnay. Floral, spicy and a little sharp.


Champagne Marie Demets Brut Tradition. Mostly Pinot Noir with about 5% Chardonnay. Biscuity and yeasty. Delicious.


Champagne Larmandier-Bernier Rose de Saignee. 100% Pinot Noir. Dry with red berries. Ends off a little bitter at the back of the throat.

And now, officially back to lunch.


A warm bread roll with bits of sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary, paired with a good salted butter certainly whet my appetite. A good sign of things to come.


My choice of starter was the Pressed Foie Gras with Sauternes and Chamomile Jelly, Vegetable a la Greque. The pressed foie gras was rich, earthy and creamy. In fact, the richness was a little overwhelming for me. I guess that's where the sweet jelly and large salt crystals try to balance things out.


Main course for me was Roasted Fillet of Beef with Savoy Cabbage, Beef Cheeks and its own Braising Sauce. The beef cheek wasn't as tender and gelatinous as I was hoping for but top marks for the delicious sauce. What was better was the beef fillet. Sandwiched between creamy mashed potato that was packed with buttery goodness, and a tasty savoy cabbage base, the beef fillet was tender and flavourful.


Here's the pork option of Pork Three Ways- Confit Cheek of Pig, Pan Roasted Pork Belly and Pig Tail Roulade with Spice Port Wine Sauce.


And the fish option of Salmon with Stuffed Zucchini Flower, Vin de Aubois Sauce.


Dessert for me was the Selection of French Cheese with Mesclun Salad. Not really much of a salad but slices of green apples, pine nuts and dried fruits. But I still enjoyed nibbling on these together with the cheeses.


Another dessert that some chose was the Green Tea Cream Brulee with Margarita Sorbet.


But it was the Pear Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream that made me break the Thou Shall Not Covert Thy Neighbour's Dessert commandment.

What a leisurely Saturday lunch at Sentosa it was! The setting of Braise was chic and clean with a predominating white theme. Sitting by the large glass panel watching people play beach volleyball and sweating it out in the sun at Palawan Beach while I remained cool in air-conditioned comforts was just surreal for me. For the first time, I did not break a sweat in Sentosa. Food-wise was generally good and the plating was beautiful.

Big thanks to Hinata for putting this together! Great meeting everyone and glad that Jeremy's Sis and Mum could join us. Dude, I think a revisit is on the cards for your Mum. Cheers!

Braise
60 Palawan Beach Walk
Level 2
Tel: 6271-1929
Opens: Tuesdays-Saturdays 12noon-2.30pm (lunch), 6.30-10pm (dinner)
Sundays 11.30am-3pm (brunch), 7pm-10pm (dinner)
Public Holidays 11.30am-3pm (brunch)
Closes: Mondays

Chew On This: Coming to Braise is actually easier than it seems. For those who drive, park at the Beach car park and take a 5-minute walk. For those who prefer the train from Vivocity, alight at Beach Station and take the tram to Palawan Beach (just one stop!).

Friday, December 05, 2008

Lunch Special @ Braise!

Hinata, a foodie friend and food-blogger who has since placed down her pen, dropped me an email about this special deal at Braise. The menu certainly looks good and at this price, it would be a pity not to be there. To be honest, I have yet to visit Braise because of its rather steep prices for mains but now with this deal, I'll be there next Saturday. :)

Details
Date: Sat, 13 December 2008
Time: 12.oopm
Location: Braise @ 60 Palawan Beach Walk, Level 2, Singapore 098498.

Menu @ S$38++ per person

Starters
Beef Carpaccio with Capers, Onion & Tuna Sauce
Lobster Bisque with Lobster Ceviche & Croutons
Capellini with Seared Hokkaido Scallops, Parmesan Veloute
Pressed Foie Gras with Sauternes & Chamomile Jelly, Vegetables a la Greque

Mains
Pork Three Ways: Confit Cheek of Pig, Pan Roasted Pork Belly
& Pig Tail Roulade with Spice Port Wine Sauce
Roasted Filet of Beef with Savoy Cabbage, Beef Cheeks & its own Roasting Sauce
Tasmanian Pertuma Trout with Stuffed Zucchini Flower, Vin de Aubois Sauce
Cod Fish with Spiced Crust & Pasta, Sabayon of Grain Mustard

Desserts
Pear Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Lava Cake with Coffee Ice Cream
Green Tea Creme Brulee with Margarita Sorbet
Selection of French Cheeses with Mesclun Salad

This special lunch set deal is open to everyone and anyone! So tis the season to grab your friends, spouses, makan kakis, colleagues, neighbours and enjoy a wonderful lunch at Sentosa!

To RSVP, please drop me or Hinata an email at thehungrycow@yahoo.com.sg and samantha.michaela@gmail.com respectively, with your name, contact, number of people and choice of starter, main and dessert by 10th Dec (next Wed). Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can also be catered to.

See ya all there!

Btw, corkage will be waived so please feel free to BYO.

Chew On This: Sign up for this to really chew on this! Haha.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Steak Lovers Association November Dinner

Ok where we go!

I volunteered to help source for a place and negotiate the menu for November's Steak Lovers' Association dinner and gladly fixed it at Cherie's Pan. This small casual bistro has its merits- central location, near an MRT station, good value, above-average food and comfortably air-conditioned. It helps that I've eaten there a few times and gotten to know Aisha, the Manager, who has been extremely helpful with the menu negotiation and dinner details. Big thanks Aisha!

So without further adue, here's my recap of the dinner.

Dinner kicked off with some bread and olive oil (but I was busy herding lost sheep cows and didn't get to take the photo.) Haha.


Then came the starter of Australian Crabmeat Served on a Bed of Baby Spinach with Balsamic Dressing. It was a very nice mix of fresh flavours with the crab meat lightly-seasoned and mixed with chopped bell peppers. The baby spinach provided a lush, soft bed of greens dressed simply with balsamic vinaigrette. Certainly puts the 'A' in 'appetiser', especially at 8pm on a Friday night!


And what better to comfort hungry souls than a warm bowl of Wild Mushroom Soup. This was creamy and dotted with bits of fresh mushrooms.

The main course was either the Pan-Fried Ribeye Served with Béarnaise Sauce
and Lyonnaise Potatoes, or Pan Oven Roasted Wild Seabass Topped with U.S. Scallop Served with Sautéed Courgettes and Lemon Vinaigrette. Being afraid of being an outcast and accused of not fighting global warming by getting cows off the fields (and into our stomachs), it was a unanimous vote for the ribeye for those opting for the set dinner! Woot!


The steak was a chilled Australian Ribeye, about 300g and though not a fantastically-over-the-moon kind of steak, it was more than decent. As requested, it was seasoned with salt and pepper, and the Bernaise sauce was served on the side. The steak surface had a glaze of caramelized fragrance of beef fats, most possibly oozing from the ribeye's own fat. Hearty and sufficiently tender, it was my pleasure to wolf it down...slowly between sips of wine, pieces of conversations and generally running around.


Then it was time for dessert- Oven-Baked Fuji Apple Served with Vanilla Ice-Cream. The apple was baked with cinnamon and sugar which helped balance out its tartness. Unfortunately, the vanilla ice cream spotted small ice crystals, probably due to slow or uneven freezing. While the texture was more of ice than cream, I was happy that the chef at least made an effort. Real vanilla beans were used and it wasn't conveniently store-bought. After all, this place isn't known for ice cream.

All is forgiven...especially after the wines. Haha. And talk about wines... I had arranged for five Brazilian wines for the dinner- One sparkling, one white, two reds and a dessert. I absolutely loved the sparkling!

Miolo Milesime Brut Espumante 2006
Fortaleza Do Seival Pinot Griggio 2007
Fortaleza Do Seival Pinot Noir 2007
Terranova Cabernet-Shiraz 2006
Terranova Late Harvest Muscat 2005

Forgot to take a pic of them too. Oops! Maybe I'll take a separate picture of new bottles and insert it in later. Haha. Maybe.

A few strokes of genius were struck by SLA-ers coming up with portable heart defibrillator and a suggestion of a durian outing! I think food and wines bred creativity eh.

It was a really great night of food, wines and fun as we met many new faces and indulged in fellowship! Our first Friday SLA dinner guys!! I had fun planning part of this dinner and it was truly this cow's pleasure. Hope you guys had a good time too!


17 happy SLA-ers. Cheers and as always, thanks to Thomas for liaising and coordinating with the SLA-ers!

A side note on the food at Cherie's Pan. You'll find that I've described their food as 'above-average' in the opening of this post. But for the specially-arranged SLA set dinner ($31 nett, excluding wines) that we had, the food was generally much better and a notch higher than their usual menu offerings. So kudos to the kitchen team and great job, Cherie's Pan!!

Cherie's Pan
21 Tan Quee Lan Street
#01-03 Heritage Place
Tel: 6835 7969

Chew On This: Cherie's Pan will be closed for about a week in December for renovations. So do give them a call before you head down. Sadly, with the next-door child-care arm doing better business than the bistro, it has been decided to downsize Cherie's Pan while expanding Cherie's Hearts.

*Group photo courtesy of Thomas.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm Baaaaaaaccccck!

It's a good sign when a friend smsed me this- "Finally... Let's have vintage Ribena to celebrate freedom."

Freedom with a capital F. Still plenty of things to keep me busy this holidays but at least exams are over...for now. I've got to admit. This semester seems like the most challenging. The pressure's still there but it's the lack of mood to study that's worrying. Thank God for adrenalin! Oh well, I guess exams bring out the best of faith.

Between trying to study and trying to study, I was more happy planning for other stuff like the SLA November dinner, fantasizing about the League's year-end dinner at my place, ValenWine etc. And I'm still trying to sleep before 4am!! Dammit. Bloody exams upset normal cycles.

Ok folks, a recount of the freshly-concluded SLA November dinner is coming right up!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Examssss Blabber

Oh yes. Almost 1/2-way through the freaking exams now. Exams are really bad for the body. Upside-down sleeping patterns, mood swings, eating cycle disruption, adrenalin rush for 2.5-hour periods, sudden green tea infusions, midnight biscuit-chomping etc. If it's a chronic lifestyle, it'll be a sad one. No life. No Style.

Oh wells, plenty to look forward to in December!! Yay!! Mr Cow will be right back.


Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Launch of a Literally Cool Product


To stay relevant to the times and to appeal to new market segments, most products have to constantly rebrand and innovate. Cool Rhino is a good example.

It did catch my eye in a 7-Eleven store. A week later, Sean dropped me an email invitation to the launch of Cool Rhino at Eski Bar, where cool met cold.


The bottle on the left would be a familiar sight for many. "Three legs water" anyone? I remember Ah Ma and maybe even Mum who would swear by its cooling properties. But to appeal to the younger generation, the Wen Ken Group has decided to reformulate the drink and market it as Cool Rhino (bottle on the right).


According to their experts, the cooling properties of the drink is attributed to a mineral- Gypsum Fibrosum.


A new mineral, Calcitum, has been added to the new formula to give it a more 'cooling' boost.


Here you see Cool Rhino's spokesperson, Daniel Goh, promoting the product.


Eski Bar was chilly but the food that was catered were certainly not. Sambal fishballs, deep-fried fish fillets, fried chicken wings in Thai chili sauce, nachos with a hearty sauce and fried prawns with chili all had one aim- to induce heatiness. Suicidal you think?


To combat the heatiness, all guests were provided with a cool cocktail, named Rhino Jazz, and many bottles of Cool Rhino. Rhino Jazz was concocted using sour apple, a squeeze of lemon and filled up with Cool Rhino. It was very mild tasting and would appeal on a very hot day, especially to the health conscious as it wasn't sweet.

Hey I think it works. I have a rather sensitive throat (tonsils actually) and I can sense my own heatiness threshold, crossing which would usually lead to sore throat and fever. But after two glasses of Rhino Jazz and a bottle of Cool Rhino each day for the next two days, the heatiness dissipated. Cool!

The drink itself is rather neutral in taste but with a slight alkaline feel. Now I wonder how soups and cooling tea would turn out using Cool Rhino instead of normal water...

Thanks to Sean of Bang Communications for the invitation and the Wen Ken Group for the hospitality. Oh and I met Ladyironchef for the first time too. Yes folks, Ladyironchef's a he! Haha.

Cool Rhino
Available at 7Eleven and most supermarkets including NTUC.

Chew On This:

I think the back labeling is really neat! So instead of printing and labeling with two labels, it's now one! Makes good visible use of the clear bottle.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Oktoberfest @ KR-50

There always seem to be a bit of ramblings and nudging in the League come every Oktoberfest. 2008 this year, we made it.

Having received a publicity email about this particular Oktoberfest from a friend, I shot off emails, smses and msns to sound it out to the League. So those of us who could make it gathered at NUS. Yes, it's a university but it's also where the Oktoberfest was at.

Upon arriving at KR-50, hungry us went straight for the food which was laid out in a buffet setting.


Fresh spinach salad to comfort oneself that dinner is 'balanced', a rather good potato salad and an interesting but dry Laksa pasta started me off.


Being padded for alcohol, I went for my first beer. I was very happy to see the Archipelago range of beers on tap. It was my first time trying them out and I found them interesting with Asian flavours such as orange peel, ginger, lemon grass and star anise and even assam! These beers were brewed to match Asian food. My favourite was the Explorer which was smooth and rich with a bready flavour.


Then it was on to more food with the German sausages, mashed potato, sauerkraut, beef wellington, baked salmon, grilled veggies and pork ribs. Feels like something's missing? You were greatly missed, Pork Knuckles.


And what's Oktoberfest without German beer? Also available on tap were the Erdinger Weiss and Dunkel. Yum.


Tiramisu and fresh sliced fruits were the night's dessert.


It was a good night of food and beers among good friends. The cool gentle evening breeze seemed to ease away the week's stress. Or was it the beer?

Besides the pork knuckle, the other important thing that was missing was the rowdy loud festive, jovial atmosphere that I had heard all about Oktoberfest. Oh well, at $38nett for the buffet and free-flow beers I couldn't possible expect a live band from Munich can I?

Maybe next year, we'll try another Oktoberfest. Hopefully, we'll experience some of that festive magic then.


KR-50 Restuarant + Bar
University Cultural Centre
NUS Cultural Hub
50 Kent Ridge Crescent
Tel: 6778 9878

Chew On This: KR-50 is so named because of its address! 50 Kent Ridge.