Sunday, April 25, 2010

Delicious Porky, Piggy Lunch

Oh yay! My thesis is now done and submitted. Nothing more I can do now but to entrust it into the hands of God. Now it's down to doing up a poster for poster day.

So while there are many memorable experiences (The Grandeur of Wines, Din Tai Fung Xiao Long Bao Workshop, Ultimate Parker in Asia Grand Tasting etc) over the last few weeks to blog about, these tend to come with many photos and would require more time to write on. Stay tune for these!

For a simpler and no less palette-pleasing lunch post, I now present a delicious porky, piggy lunch.


I can imagine this plate of Char Siew & Siew Yok Rice ($2.70 after addition of extra rice) being the perfect food for hard-labourers. So after a tiring period over the thesis, this definitely was a small reward to re-fuel the body. The Char Siew was a good balance of sweet and porky flavours with the meat being neither too fatty nor overly lean. The Siew Yok had delicious alternating layers of meat and bits of fat, rendering it juicy. The dark sauce drizzled over the roasted meats was sweet and savoury- goes very well with rice!


In addition to roasted meats, they also have Chinese-style soups. I tried the Szechuan Vegetables and Pork Ribs Soup ($2) and found its flavours comforting. The preserved vegetables imparted their characteristic salty flavour and the tomato added tartness to the pork rib-based soup.

Twas a hearty, satisfying lunch of pork done 3 ways and without being unbearably greasy. Time to work on that poster.


Leong Wei Roasted Delight
Stall 36
Blk 44 Holland Drive Food Centre

Chew On This: Totally unrelated to food but in a lunch conversation, the topic of double confirmation in Singlish was discussed- Can can; more better. Definitely uniquely Singapore! Haha.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cool-G-Ni


A simple birthday lunch over pastas and pizzas with the family happened at Cugini last Sunday.


Hungry mum ordered a Zupetta di pesce alla Siracusana ($15.90) first while the rest of us browsed the menu. I took a spoonful of the Sicilian-style seafood soup and immediately like the fresh, sweetness of tomato and seafood flavour. If only there was bread with this...

We shared 2 pastas and 2 pizzas.


The Cugini($24.90) spotted five thin slices of Italian bacon that was heavily streaked in fat. The gentle melting of the fat by the heat of the pizza brought forth some of the cured meat's flavour- intense, salty, and slightly nutty.


For fans of gorgonzola, the Club 87 ($24.90) would appeal with its stinky personality that I find alluring. Small round balls of Italian sausage (without casing), and shrimps dotted the pizza.

Generally, I found both pizzas to be a little too wet, which made the crust a tad soggy. But what was really good about the pizzas was the tomato sauce with plump bits of tomatoes that tasted really sweet!

And without further ado, here comes our 2 pasta dishes.


The Spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino alla Cugini ($16.90) was a simple spaghetti dish tossed with olive oil, thin strips of red chilli and green pepper, and thin garlic slices. Simple as it was, it was very good. The pasta had a nice, firm bite which was very much different from most other places. The spaghetti seemed a little thicker and better at holding on to the oil. The garlic slices were fried till golden brown and added a simple yet satisfying touch to the dish.


In quick succession, the Fettucine al nero allo scoglio, con piselli freschi e bottarga di muggine($22.90) arrived at the table. They usually serve this with baby squid but as they weren't available that afternoon, prawns were used as a substitute. The inky pasta was (again!) firm and had that good mouth feel. The slightly creamy sauce with mullet roe that coated each strand tasted very umami with the sweetness of the sea.

For desserts, we had...


The Tiramisu con salsa di cioccolato amaro($9.90) which was a little to dry and cake-like for me. More coffee and liqueur punch would certainly add more weight.


The Tortino caldo di cioccolato con gelato alla vaniglia ($15.90) also failed to excite me. The chocolate seemed a little weak and one-dimensional. The shavings of chocolate were a nice touch to the otherwise, very plain vanilla ice cream.


Thankfully, on a day when the usually dependable choices failed, the Affogato ($13.90) prevailed! The hot liquid of espresso and rum was a potent force to engulf the vanilla ice cream. Strong, sweet, bitter and smooth. Yums.

Cugini- a cosy, homely trattoria that serves very good pastas!

It was a great Sunday. :D


Cugini
87 Club St
Tel: 6221 3791

Chew On This: You do not have to be carrying a Birkin to get a nice bag holder to keep your bag off the floor and clean!

Happy 4th Birthday, Hungry Cow!

Ok now back to thesis writing...

Friday, April 02, 2010

Old Charm Hakka Yong Tau Foo


This entry is on a place that I have been to on a few occasions but unfortunately found them closed on each visit. But since it's in the east and I hear from Mum that the food's worth checking out, we eventually did get to eat here.

So while others had Easter brunches, hot cross buns, eggs and what not, I had Easter Yong Tau Foo! Hehe.


The Yong Tau Foo ($5 for medium) came as a 'standard set'. Forget about picking your favourite items or asking if they have cured cuttlefish. The medium 'standard set' was a generous plate of pieces of fishballs, tofu, chilli, bittergourd, tau pok etc all stuffed with fish paste. The fish paste used tasted very rustic and unlike the almost pure white versions everywhere else, this was off-white. To further give the yong tau foo items an aromatic lift, shallot oil was drizzled. I like the chilli (had a good spicy kick!) and the thick savoury-sweet sauce. Simple, rustic and wholesome dish!

But since one is already there, one should also try the other dishes. Remember increasing productivity?


The Raw Fish ($3) is another simple winner. Take thin slices of raw Ikan Parang and then drizzle splash on copious lashings of sesame oil, then top with lots of spring onions, ginger and red chillies.


Each sliver of fish gets coated with nutty sesame oil- one of my all-time favourite smells/flavours. The texture is firm, smooth and with just a bit of graininess.


The Steamed Lala (~$10) was steamed with ginger, red chillies and Chinese cooking wine. Unfortunately, somehow it didn't appeal to much to me. The clams were a little over-cooked too.


Abacus ($4 for medium), the Hakka dish of yam dumplings, is a very delicious dish that is not very commonly found. The version here spotted a nice chewy texture with a sweet, distinct taste of yam. The toppings (fried dried shrimps and shallots I think) gave a savoury touch.

Though no less yummy, this was quite different from the dish I like in Lavender Food Market. The latter seemed a little more Hokkien with minced pork, Chinese black mushrooms and a potent chilli.

This is a good place with a charm from yesteryear to bring the family to. Food is simple and there is a rustic appeal that I like very much.


Goldhill Hakka Restaurant
299A Changi Road
Opens: 11am - 4.30pm daily

Chew On This: If you did notice, there wasn't rice or noodles to accompany the yong tau foo. I did ask but was informed that they do not serve either! Woah. A carbs freak fanatic like me was disappointed but hey surprisingly, I felt sated after this meal.