Saturday, August 31, 2013

Embark on Cloudy Bay's Pinot & Duck Tasting Trail

With the increasing number of running events each year, here's one for the foodies. And no, you don't need to actually run. Moohehe.

Cloudy Bay is known for its Sauvignon Blanc and a number of years ago it was probably the winery that made the Marlborough region of New Zealand famous. Cloudy Bay also produces a Pinot Noir and from now until 20 September 2013, diners can embark on the inaugural Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Trail in Singapore.

The trail was started two years ago in New Zealand to celebrate the pairing of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir and duck. In Singapore, 12 participating restaurants are each serving up a specially created duck dish paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011. You can select any of these duck dishes and restaurants as per your fancy.

This cow had a feel of the trail by checking out 3 participating restaurants in one evening of duck and Pinot a "duck moobile" no less. :p

First stop was at Punjab Grill at Marina Bay Sands where Chef Javed Ahmad presented his Tandoori Duck with Wild Garlic and Sesame Seed Naan ($35++ for the dish and a glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011). It was my first time tasting tandoori duck. The duck had good bite, was flavourful and boasted a blend of spices with cloves being at the forefront. Alongside it was a scrumptious sesame seed naan. When this duck dish was enjoyed with the Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011, the relatively high alcohol (almoost 15%) of the wine elevated the spiciness of the dish. Personally, the spices in the dish were a tad too intense for the wine.  

Mooving on!

Next we were whisked off to Golden Peony at the Conrad Centennial Singapore. Here, we were expecting one dish but it turned out to be a few from Chef Ku Keung. My four stomachs certainly won't complain. Moohehe.

The Spiced Duck on Sliced Baguette, Sliced Smoked Duck with Fresh Mango was beautiful with the Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011. Salty, smoky accents from the smoked duck and tangy sweetness of the mango danced with the tannins and fresh acidity of the wine.

Next to arrive was the Golden Peony Trio of Crispy Spiced Duck
- with pan fried foie gras
- with homemade crepe and condiments
- with passion fruit sauce, served in lettuce cup

The Pan Fried Foie Gras was unfortunately quite dry but lent enough of its richness to the meaty duck slices for an added dimension.

The Crispy Spiced Duck with Homemade Crepe and Condiments was pretty enjoyable with the Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011. The sweet, savouriness of the bean paste sauce and the earthy flavours of the duck seemed to have brought out the savoury, juicy edge of the wine.

Overall, I do like the five spice used in the duck with the Pinot Noir. :) There is a 5-course set menu, including the above mentioned dishes, with a glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011 at $108++.

Our final stop took us to Stellar which...

Has a stellar view of Singapore from the top!

The duck dish here was Chef Chris Millar's signature Duck and Its Nest ($38++ for the dish paired with a glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011), with semolina-crusted foie gras, duck rillettes, foie gras parfait, corn pancake and quince compote. The earthy, meaty flavours of the duck rillette matched the cherry and thyme notes in the wine though the foie gras parfait was quite overwhelmingly punchy.

And for dessert, some of us had this yummy cheese platter featuring a selection of 5 assorted cheeses. It is not part of the duck trail but it was a nice way to end the evening...over another glass of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2011 of course and moore conversations. ;)

Thanks to Albert Pang of Mercury PR and to Cloudy Bay for hosting me.

Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Tasting Trail
1 August to 20 September 2013

Chew On This: From now until 20 September 2013, every order of a duck dish on the Cloudy Bay Pinot & Duck Tasting Trail or a bottle of Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir purchased at Cold Storage will entitle you to one feather. Collect these feathers for a chance to win prizes such as exclusive invites to the Official Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Vintage Launch. Moore details here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Seremban Beef Noodles

 It's been a long while since my last visit to this beef noodles stall. It apparently serves Seremban-style beef noodles. The Beef Noodles Dry ($3.50) came with slices of beef that were thankfully not over-tenderised and a dark starchy gravy that was robust, sweet and with the savoury punch of dark soy sauce. A scattering of preserved vegetables, roasted peanuts, sesame seed and spring onions (instead of the usual Chinese parsley) added varied textures and flavours.

Interestingly, the chilli sauce was pretty fruity. It didn't pack a lot of heat but had a fragrance and fruitiness that I suspect came from pineapples being added to it.

Now to get myself to Seremban to try the beef noodles there for a comparison! Or maybe it's faster to just ask foodies here. Moohehe. Anyone?

Mr Wong Seremban Beef Noodles
Marine Parade Central Market & Food Centre

Chew On This: If you are wondering about their soup version, it has a very homely appeal. Reminded me of home-cooked beef soup with carrots and onions that Mum does at home.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Miyazaki Wagyu Comes to Triple Three!

How to tempt a cow? With another cow of course. Moohehe. It was a busy week but the lure of trying Miyazaki wagyu won the battle.

Available for dinner and Sunday brunch only until 31 August 2013, this special promo offers delicacies from Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture at Triple Three. The star produce has to be Miyazaki wagyu.

Order up a Wagyu Sushi from the sushi counter and get an aburi-ed slab of beef draped over a small mound of rice. It was chewy, delectable and with a faint smokiness.

Another simple way to enjoy the Miyazaki wagyu is Shabu Shabu. Thin slices of beef quickly swished around in a simmering stock and served with onions, corn, tofu and spring onions.

Prefer ang moh style to enjoying beef? No problem. The Miyazaki Roast Beef was excellent if a tad fatty for some cuts. Clean, sweet flavours oozed here.

But for moo, the best Miyazaki dish that evening was the Teppanyaki Wagyu! Each piece of fatty beef was rich, smoky and had a lovely sweet-umami flavour. Two hooves up!

Besides the wagyu, there were also other dishes on the buffet spread.

Hello, seafood on ice fans? New Zealand oysters were shucked at another section.

Pasta with shaved black Urbani truffle. Italian truffle. Not Japan hor. Moohehe.

From Miyazaki was this Hamo aka Conger Eel. It was my first time trying this. Very unusual texture with soft, fluffy parts that resembled cooked white fish contrasting a chewy, rubbery portion closer to the skin. Flavour-wise, it was rather neutral.  

Sashimi of salmon, tuna, squid, swordfish and Miyazaki Wild Caught Kampachi were also available.

A huge chunk of Honey Glazed Ham tempted me but I held steady. #stillcannotbelieveit

I did have a bit of the Lamb Rack though. Nicely done here.

Guess which dessert I went for?

Give yourself a big pat on the back if your answer was- moore beef! Moohahaha. With this spread of Miyazaki wagyu, anything else on the plate would be a sin.

Thanks to Crystal Lim of Mandarin Orchard Singapore for the invitation.

Triple Three
Level 5
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
Tel6831 6288

Chew On This:

A cask of sake was hammered open at the opening ceremony to bring good luck. And quench thirsty guests. :p

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pork's the Star in this Prawn Mee

I was around the Katong area for work and was craving for a bowl of prawn noodles dry. Since I had a good 30 mins before my appointment and was just metres from this cool-looking gastrobar-kopitiam, I decided to try this nondescript-ish stall that apparently started in 1949.

My order of Prawn Noodles Dry ($3.50) featured mee pok topped with about 3 small prawns, slices of fish cake, juicy boiled pork belly (instead of the more common lean pork) and..

OH MY LARD! Huge nuggets of crispy pork lard that probably can be measured using carat. Moohehe.

The prawns were meh but the yummy pork belly and lard made sure this prawn mee still made for good eating.

Yong Huat
(Inside AlibabaR)
125 East Coast Road

Chew On This: Order up a plate of Char Kway Teow or Hokkien Mee and get the same lard-packed oomph.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Udon for Lunch

It was a work from outside day for me and my team (If I tell you where, udon say ah. Moohaha.) and this time we decided to head to Takashimaya for lunch as we also needed to get some magazines and craft paper.

I recall seeing a recent tweet by fellow blogger friend Daniel Food's Diary on an udon blog post and mistakenly thought it was at Takashimaya. That tweet was actually about Tamoya opening in Chinatown Point. BUT thankfully there's still an udon stall at Taka- Tsuru-Koshi!

Here's my order of Cha Shu Udon ($11). It was a simple bowl of thick chewy udon strands, two thin slices of pork cha shu and chopped spring onions in a light pork broth. I mooch enjoyed the udon's firm texture and smoothness.

Instead of pork, one can also opt for tempura prawns with your udon like my friend Kherray did, with the Ebi Tempura Udon ($9).

But the moost attention grabbing bowl at our table was Jael's Tan Tan Udon ($9). Udon know how proud she was of how her's looked the most yummy with a soft boiled egg. Moohaha. Break the yolk and stir everything together to get a mouthful of flavours. The sauce tasted like fermented beancurd with chilli and sesame oil that many enjoy with their porridge. The egg provided a smooth coat for each strand.

Udon know what it's like. Baby, udon know what it's like...

Opens: 10am to 9.30pm

Chew On This: Add $2 for moore udon!

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Savour Omi Wagyu at Pan Pacific Singapore!

Besides being said to have four stomachs, I am also named The Hungry Cow due to my love for my favourite meat, beef. This month, fans of wagyu and beef have something to look out for at Pan Pacific Singapore.

From 12 to 31 August 2013, three of the hotel's restaurants, Hai Tien Lo, Edge and Keyaki, will be featuring special Omi Wagyu menus. Specially imported from Daikichi Ranch in Shiga Prefecture for this seasonal promotion, Omi Wagyu is said to be valued for its fine marbling and high fat content.

Here are some dishes, each paired with an alcoholic beverage, one can expect.
From Keyaki, the Wagyu Aburi Sushi (available only as part of the kaiseki set) was outstanding. A slice of Omi Wagyu ribeye was drapped over a small mound of sushi rice which provided a bit of tang to balance the richness of the beef. Using a blowtorch to gently sear the top surface of the wagyu provided a slight smokiness against the sweetness of the beef. It was paired with the robust and full bodied Suiryu Junmai Sake ($120/bottle) which stood up nicely to this sushi. Two hooves up!

Besides being said to have four stomachs, I am also named The Hungry Cow due to my love for my favourite meat, beef. Fans of wagyu and beef have something to look out for at Pan Pacific Singapore this month.

Also available at Keyaki, the Wagyu Sashimi ($45) derived from the chuck roll, arranged in a floral presentation, was moore than a pretty face. 

Dipped into a tangy-savoury (ponzu?) sauce with the grated ginger, spring onions, micro shiso and radish, the marbled Omi Wagyu Sashimi was a cacophony of flavours bursting with each chew. Blindfold a person and all fears of eating raw beef will melt away with this dish. 

Mooving on the kitchen of Hai Tien Lo, we sampled the Steamed Dice Wagyu Beef Tendon Balls with Pearl Rice and Truffle ($45). The truffle flavour was evident and complemented the beef nicely. Also present was a soy sauce-based seasoning which added umami to the chewy small cubes of flesh and tendon. The pearl rice provided a texture to this meat and rice nugget which reminded me of bak chang (rice dumplings).  Moohehe. 

Paired with the Steamed Wagyu Beef Tendon Balls with Pearl Rice and Truffle was the mysteriously named Red X 2010 Winemaker's Blend ($117/bottle, $25/glass)- a unique blend of 56% Syrah, 17% Petite Sirah, 16% Dolcetto and 11% Malbec. This rich Californian red wine was interesting with red fruits and a nutty character. Some added time in the glass/decanter would be nice. 

Next we were served the Slow-roasted Wagyu Rump with Red Wine Sauce which will be made available at the Edge's buffet spread ($88/pax until end of August). It was soft, tender and juicy with a mild sweetness that developed with each chew. Lovely on its own and when enjoyed with the well-made sauce, asparagus and mashed potatoes.   

It was paired with the Chapel Hill The Parson's Nose Shiraz 2011- a lush medium to full-bodied McLaren Vale Shiraz with spices and plums on the nose and palate. Lovely with the roast beef.  

Now if only there is an awesome wagyu beef hor fun out there! #secretfantasy 

The tasting was held at Keyaki, Pan Pacific Singapore's much lauded in-house Japanese restaurant. 

Thanks to Nathalyn Fong of Pan Pacific Singapore for hosting me.

7 Raffles Boulevard
Tel: 6826 8240

Chew On This: From 12 to 31 August 2013, special Omi Wagyu dishes and menu are available at the above 3 mentioned restaurants so do call and enquire! The above is just a peek into some of the offerings.

Monday, August 05, 2013

A Buffet for Sandra Amelia Tweet's Birthday

Another birthday in the family! Yes, it's that one week in the year where we celebrate mum's, dad's and sis' birthdays. And what surprised me was sis' suggestion of a buffet for mum and dad's birthday dinner. She's not the biggest buffet fan but I guess her reasoning that a buffet offers something for everyone makes sense.

So for her birthday, we had a buffet. Moohehe. I was actually considering between Lime at PARKROYAL on Pickering and Edge at Pan Pacific but the former was fully booked while the latter didn't have anyone answering my calls. With the NDP rehearsals going on, we decided to siam town area and head for somewhere closer to home- Azur at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport.

From the seafood on ice selection, there were oysters, prawns, lobsters, scallops, flower crabs and mussels. The standout was the prawn- meaty and sweet. A good prawn beats a so-so lobster any day!

Roast Beef was pretty good too with a sprinkling of salt, a dab of mustard and shavings of horseradish. I didn't take to their fish dishes, both of which used a rather insipid dory, though.

The Indian section was small but the dishes were yummy. Coconut Rice featured fluffy, lightly spiced Basmati rice that was perfect carbs for the dhal and Marsala Chicken.

Salad leaves, condiments and a selection of dressings provided grass for this cow a green addition to the spread. I also nibbled on the mushroom salad and potato salad.

The heady aroma of herbs from the Drunken Prawns was the first thing that struck me when I entered Azur. The broth was robust, a tad salty and featured 2 very good succulent prawns (again!).

A local touch was the DIY Rojak station. The crispy pieces of you char kway in the sticky prawn paste sauce dotted with crushed peanuts were a nice treat!

Then I mooved on to the cheeses as I wound down dinner. There was an interesting Porter Cheese (the black oblong thing in the background of the above photo). It was savoury and sweet with nutty notes.

Dessert for me was ice cream because sis said they had interesting flavours. The jackfruit ice cream was very good with an attractive blend of fruity fragrance and creaminess. The Raspberry Chocolate and Chilli ice cream was also a perked up option to regular chocolate ice cream with its balance of raspberry and chocolate flavours and a gentle heat at the back of the throat.

There was also sashimi and an array of desserts that I did not take photos of. But what I found to be sorely missing was a noodles/pasta station. That would have completed the spread.

The adult buffet dinner on a Saturday is priced at $55++/pax.

Blessed birthday, Sandra Amelia Tweet! :D

An arty wall as a backdrop for a fa-moo-ly shot.

Level 2
Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
Tel: 6823 5354

Chew On This: Dining as a group but not feeling like doing a buffet? Ask for their ala carte menu.