Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After too much turkey and ham...

After the past few days of Christmas home parties, I was soooo happpppy to return back to the comforts of warm steamed rice and spices!

Initially we wanted to check out J Pot but it was fully booked and the waiting list was until 9pm. Zzzzz. So we did the next best thing- see if the neighbouring restaurant, Nyonya and Baba Peranakan Restaurant, had space. Moohahaha.

Thankfully they did and so we did not faint from hunger!

The Steam Fish with Nyonya Sauce ($35 for small) featured red snapper- good for those who like their fish firmer. The sauce was pretty appetising with its sweet notes, sourish tang and spicy hints. Pieces of ladies fingers, brinjal and pineapple complete the dish.

White rice and Otak-otak ($6) are good friends. I found the version here a tad dry around the edges but overall nice with a spicy, aromatic paste streaked with mackerel. The slivers of fish gave it a nice bite.

The Nyonya Chap Chye ($10 for small) was savoury (think tau cheo aka fermented soy beans) and sweet. But oh how I wished the cabbage was stewed a little longer. :p

If you've had enough of salads for now, the familiar sight and crunch of Sambal Kang Kong ($10 for small) would be a big welcome. The one here wasn't oily nor saucy. Drier style with sambal and (I'm guessing) ginger.

Ayam Buah Keluah ($12 for small) is probably one of the most popular Peranakan dishes in Singapore. Though I found the one here to be more sour (think assam) than most others, it was indeed appetising. Dig into the black nuts for the buah keluah paste- earthy, almost like a chocolate paste with pleasant slight bitter taste. I love this with rice!

The food is not the best around but after all the festive makaning, this feels good.

Nyonya and Baba Peranakan Restaurant
#01-54/56 Vivo City
Tel: 6376 9138

Chew On This:
They have got very nice sambal. Squeeze a lime in and lagi shiok!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Moo-ry Christmas!

Ahh. I just love the end of the year feeling. With the festive moo-d and a sense of joy in the air, everything looks good. Everything feels good.

And everyone enjoys Christmas. Celebrate the true reason of the season- Jesus Christ! He came for he so loved us and in him we have hope, an abundant life and salvation.

Christmas is usually celebrated at home with the family.

And the maternal extended family. Moohehehe. We also had a Christmas dinner with the paternal side a week earlier this year.

The 5 cousins. We grew up playing together and now everyone is so...erm.. less young. LOL.

Me and couz, Howie Dweeb, with Xiao Yi who brought Kim Chi from her recent trip to Korea. Kim Chi Turkey anyone? Moohehe. I think it might have been this aunt of mine that influenced my fondness for food and wine. All her fault! :p

Speaking of turkey...here's a sexy bird. Our first time getting it from Four Seasons Gourmet Market. Pretty good! And the leftovers became a quick turkey stir-fry the next day and turkey congee a week later.

All photos credited to Mum and Melyi.

Moo-ry Christmas everyone and Happy Birthday, Jesus! Moohohoho.

Chew On This: Cos I can't wait for Christmas to come again! :D

Monday, December 19, 2011

Secret Sensations with Haagen Dazs

Thanks to Jansen and Sarah from Word of Mouth Communications, I was invited to the launch of Haagen Dazs's latest weapon of pleasure- Secret Sensations.

Available in two flavours- Chocolat Fondant and Creme Brulee ($5.95 each; twin pack at $10.95). With the small tubs of ice cream in our hands, we were told to wait for 10 minutes before digging in. If that 10 minutes were not torturous, I don't know what will be. Moohehe.

Here's the Chocolat Fondant and after what I would like to think was 10 minutes, I discovered the inner molten chocolate sauce. Oooo... Think rich chocolate ice cream, bits of brownies and that molten sauce. :)))

The Creme Brulee had a caramel sauce within and crunchy bits of caramelized sugar- to mirror the burnt sugar crust of creme brulee. I'm biased towards chocolate so I preferred the Chocolat Fondant! :p

Oh and yes, for posing for the very challenging word- Sensational, I won some Haagen Dazs vouchers! Here's Class 95's Yasminne Cheng, who hosted the event, very gamely posing with me. Moohahha. Photo thanks to SuperAdrianMe!

Check out their festive creations like Christmas Cassata, Royal Fondue and more! Only available until 2 Jan.

Haagen Dazs

Chew On This: Since I can't eat so much ice cream on my own this is the season of giving again, I'll be giving away $20 Haagen Dazs vouchers each to 3 winners! All you have to do is to comment here and include your name and email address by 26 Dec. I will pick 3 winners using the online random number generator. The vouchers expire end of this month but that should still allow you the next weekend to go grab some fab ice cream....otherwise...it'll all be donated to moo four stomachs! Moohahhaha.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Traits of a Popular Buffet Among Singaporeans

There's no doubt that Singaporeans love buffets. You hear about it. See it on TV programmes. And even participate heartily of course.

But what makes a buffet popular?

While this cow was grazing at the well-received PARKROYAL on Beach Road's Cafe Brasserie, I've noticed a few traits that seem to appeal to the palate of Singaporeans.

#1. The buffet should ideally be in a hotel. Most people tend to associate hotel buffets with better than average quality.

#2. Feature local favourites. The laksa here was pretty yummy with a rich, lemak broth.

Many people here like their Chicken Rice too. Decent stuff.

#3. Must! Have! Sashimi!

#4. Live stations. It's more interesting to watch and food is usually served hot. An Indian chef whipping up prata adds perceived authenticity to the dish.

There was also a Fried Oyster Omelette station.

#5. Variety. It's not only the spice of life but hey, everyone loves to be spoilt for choices at a buffet, no?

Pay one price, try more, eat all! Moohahaha.

#6. Have chefs around. Their presence alone assures quite a few. :p

#7. Feature seafood items. Diners see them as more expensive and hence are drawn to them to "get one's money's worth". Plaza Brasserie's Drunken Prawns were fresh, and I like the fortifying herbal soup- perfect for the recent chilly weather.

#8. Do a meat station. Unless it's a vegetarian buffet, meats are prized and alluring! Brings out the inner caveman in most.

#9. Be seasonal! With Christmas just round the corner, the above meat station became...

This! Awesome Roasted Honey Glazed Ham. The Roasted Turkey was also pretty good and moist.

And it has 12 types of sauces! I particularly liked the Tong Gui Herbal Sauce for its pleasantly bitter notes, Thai Mango Sauce for its perky, fruity flavours and the Sichuan Sauce for its savoury-tangy, mildly spicy taste (though it could have been cranked up a few notches for Singaporean's spicy-loving tongues).

#10. Have a board with some cheeses and condiments. Despite a good proportion of the population being lactose-intolerant, there seems to be a growing number of diners who love their cheese. Also for the ang mohs lah. Afterall, they came up with Who Moved My Cheese. This cow would have just named it Oei! Where My Cheese Go? Moohahaha.

#11. D for desserts! While some people have an extra stomach for sweet stuff, this is the main course area for the even more hardcore ones. The above shows just part of the dessert spread. I've seen bread and butter pudding, green bean soup, chocolate fountain, fresh fruits, ondeh ondeh, cheesecake etc. This festive season expect log cakes, ginger bread, Christmas fruit cake and puddings.

#12. Have signatures to bring people back. Plaza Brasserie's Chocolate Cake had a creamy mousse and sponge with a nice chocolate flavour. Studded with rum-soaked raisins too. Hic.

#Don'tKnowWhatNumberAlreadyLah LOL. Have a big bunch of food-loving people with you! The joys of eating with good company can't be over emphasized. (Group photo courtesy of GourmetEstorie.)

Thanks to Karen Chang of PARKROYAL on Beach Road for the invite and for hosting this cow.

Click here for the festive buffet pricing.

Plaza Brasserie
PARKROYAL on Beach Road
7500 Beach Road
Tel: 6505 5710

Chew On This: Heads up kiddos! Santa Claus will be making an appearance on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to give out goodies to children and the forever young.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Homely Bak Kut Teh

The recent rainy weather has driven my desire for a pipping hot bowl of soup. Bak Kut Teh easily came to mind one afternoon....after lunch part one (the wanton mee in the previous post). Moohehe.

What's not so funny is that Bak Kut Teh seems to be getting pricier. It's now tough finding a bowl at $3.50 and at popular BKT destinations like along Balestier road, it comes to $7 or $8.

How was the one at Song Huat?

Well, I was pretty happy to pay $5 for this bowl- 3-4 long pieces of pork ribs that one can hold and nibble. The meat was tender and had just a nice amount to fat. The soup brought to mind a scene of a happy pig in lush green fields with garlic and pepper. Gentle, clean and flavourful. It had a homely touch which reminded me of bak kut teh at home during my childhood years.

The Pork Trotters ($5) however were so-so. The light sauce reminded me a bit of Teochew braised duck/goose but the meat was unfortunately dry.

Turkey season may be upon us but bak kut teh is definitely here to stay!

Song Huat Bak Kut Teh
1 Rochor Road
Rochor Centre
Opens: 8am-10pm
Closes: Every Monday (except if it's a public holiday)

Chew On This:
Not sure what rice they use but it's surprisingly good! Fluffy and the individual grains held their own. Often, it's the simple things done right that makes a difference. :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

One Ton Mee

Seriously. That's what the signboard says! Moohehe.

Anyway, this stall has been apparently serving up wanton mee for over 30 years! Wow. While I find the char siew disappointingly without any caramelised charred bits, the noodles were nicely done- firm, springy bite with a balanced flavour of egg and alkaline water. Tossed in a bit of oil and chilli, the noodles here would appeal to those who do not like sweet (read ketchup) notes in their noodles.

The one tons wantons were yummy too. Good flavours of minced pork and crunchy bits of water chestnut. Maybe on my next visit I'll do an all-wanton noodles!

Oh and if you prefer mee kia's flatter brother, you can opt for mee pok too! Lol.

One Ton Mee
Kwang Hui Kopitiam
Rochor Centre
1 Rochor Road

Chew On This: Before it's too late. Rochor Centre is slated for redevelopment in 2-3 years time and who knows what might happen to this stall. :(