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:

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Easter Brunch & Mahjong at Home

So blessed to have spent a very relaxing Easter at home waking up to this brunch of pancakes, sausages, mushrooms, bacon, and fruits, all whipped up by the sister.

And then it was followed by hours of moojong. Unfortunately I didn't make enough moolah at the game to be able to even afford a box of onion rings. Thankfully, I don't make a living from moojong. Moohehe. Dinner turned out to be pizzas by Domino's delivery so that we could save some time and play a bit moore. LOL.

I have to say the pizzas were not as good as I had remembered them to be. Maybe it was a public holiday peak season and someone was rushing orders? Hmmm.

A nice bottle of Jacob's Creek Winemaker's Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 with rich dark fruits and a minty, eucalyptus edge rounded up the night.

Moore significantly, Easter marked the day of Jesus' crucifixion. Thanks to his ultimate sacrifice of love, believers not only have direct access to God but enjoy a perfect standing for we are the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. And through His victory at the cross, we have health, salvation, prosperity and all blessings. Are Christians perfect? Hardly. But thankfully we have a perfect saviour. :) 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mala Mee Mystery

After hearing raves about the Mala Mee from this stall at Beauty World, I finally tried it when I was in the Bukit Timah area one recent day. Was it spicy? Yes. Was it numbing? Just a little. Was it shiok? Unfortunately, hardly.  
While the soup might look deceptively mild, it does deliver a spicy punch from the first sip. But that was it. Lacking depth and mooch flavour, it tasted weak and diluted. I also found the version with prawns to be on the pricey side at $6 with the noodles being accompanied by just two prawns, chye sim, two to three small balls of minced pork and a few slices of mushrooms. The pork ball version costs $3.  
Maybe the dry ban mian or the normal version would have been a better choice. There was a line of people queuing up at this stall and I also have a foodie friend who can eat this Mala Mee once every week so I moost be missing something here! Moohehe.

Top 1 Home Made Noodle
Beauty World Centre
144 Upper Bukit Timah Road
Closed: Tuesday and Wednesday

Chew On This: They do not offer a refund for cancelled orders unless the waiting exceeds 30 minutes! o.0

Monday, March 28, 2016

Heng Long Teochew Porridge Hits the Spot

Screw chocolate. Teochew muay is better than sex. Moohaha.

Yes, I do enjoy a gorgeous steak served with fluffed-up baked potato, good French butter and a bottle of red wine but Teochew muay oozes a comfort that seems to almoost reach the soul. My current favourite place for Teochew porridge is Heng Long in the Kovan area despite one very bad run (in) there. Pun intended. Besides the wide variety of dishes to choose from, there are several al fresco tables by the roadside so one can enjoy muay in the (hopefully breezy) outdoors.

My recent dinner there affirmed my fondness for their Teochew muay. The porridge was hot with long rice grains that were soft yet held their individual shape. The plain-looking porridge water, redolent with the flavour of rice, was comfortingly appealing. Perfect as a contrast against the muay were flavoursome dishes like Cai Poh Omelette, Steamed Minced Pork with Tung Cai and Salted Egg, Braised Tau Kwa and Tau Pok, Steamed Sotong, Fish Cake and Stir Fried Spinach. Worth highlighting was the super fresh Steamed Sotong which was simply cooked to perfection.

The total damage for 3 of us was about $24, including 4 bowls of porridge for this cow. Moohehe.

Heng Long Teochew Porridge
1006 Upper Serangoon Road (other branch in Tanjong Katong)

Chew On This: For the super ngeow fussy fish eaters, this stall also offers steamed fish which is only steamed upon order. One can pick the fish from a small selection too.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

New Scandinavian Flavours at Triple Three

Experience New Scandinavian Flavours at Triple Three, Mandarin Orchard's award-wining buffet restaurant, from 24 March to 3 April. It's a great way to be introduced to Nordic dishes and flavours featuring ingredients like herring, smoked haddock and cloudberries (no, these will not make you feel like you're floating. Moohehe).
Here are some of the Nordic dishes from the buffet spread:
Herring on Rye Bread, a canapé with the cured, briny flavours of the herring and punchy, tanginess of mustard against dense rye bread. Pair it with a cocktail made with the classic Scandinavian spirit Aquavit, lime juice, syrup, sparkling wine and blue curacao. The tipple's strong body and herbaceous flavours match the herring nicely. 

These small-ish prawns belie their deliciousness. Caught off the frigid Atlantic ocean and immediately boiled in water on board the fishing vessels before being frozen, these prawns were simply thawed and served chilled. Its flesh is small but sweet while its head is omg intensely flavoured. Distract your dining companion before you unglamourously suck on their heads! Moohehe.

They can also be peeled and assembled with mayonnaise, lettuce, dill and bread to form a tasty, rustic open-faced sandwich. The Scandinavians enjoy this with a bottle of Chablis in the summer. 

The meaty Smoked Mackerel with Sour Cream and Cucumbers played up smoky and salty notes which were quite bold but were cut by the sour cream and pickled fennel and coriander seeds. I wished there was a bit moore freshness in this dish though.

My personal favourite dish of the evening was this Salmon, Vanilla Mash with Capers and Brown Butter. The salmon was lightly seared on one side before being very gently baked in the oven to produce a wonderfully moist, almost confit-like texture. Nuttiness from the browned butter, saltiness from the capers and a perfumed sweetness from the vanilla mash all combined for a pleasant foil to the salmon. A mix of traditional European cooking with a modern touch.

Moore smoked fish! The Smoked Haddock with Leek and Cauliflower offered simple flavours that came together quite nicely. The milk or cream-based sauce tapered the smokiness of the haddock.
Stegt Flæsk Med Persillesovs (don't even ask me to attempt to pronounce it!) Also called Crispy Pork with Parsley Sauce, I found the pork slices too dry and hard for my liking. The sauce could do little to fix it.

For dessert, expect Nordic treats like this Cloudberries with Cream and Brown Cheese. The tart cloudberries get mixed with whipped cream, a little sugar and brown cheese for a unique dessert that has savoury overtones and a breakfast appeal. Moohehe.

Moore "mainstream" in appeal would be the Molten Chocolate Cake served with a Nordic twist- lingonberries. If the name of these berries rings a bell, you've probably come across it with your meatballs at Ikea! Moohehe.
The New Scandinavian Flavours promotion is headed by Norwegian born guest chef Markus Dybwad who has cooked at Michelin starred restaurants such as The Fat Duck, and at Iggys and Equinox in Singapore. Chef Markus features quality produce from Snorre Food and shares that the smoked fish like the mackerel is even smoked at a production plant in Singapore.

Besides unlimited servings of Nordic specialties, diners can also tuck into the regular favourites from Triple Three's buffet spread. Think seafood on ice, French and Irish oysters, roast beef, honey baked ham, tempura, naan and curries, sashimi, teppanyaki, cheeses and a dessert counter.

New Scandinavian Flavours ($118 per adult) is available for dinner daily and also for lunch on Sundays during the promotional period of 24 March to 3 April.

Thank you Mandarin Orchard Singapore for the invitation.

Triple Three
Level 5
Mandarin Orchard Singapore
333 Orchard Road
Tel: 6831 6288

Chew On This: UOB card holders enjoy 50% off every 2nd diner! Subject to a maximum of 8 persons per card.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Grazing on LaBrezza's New Menu Dishes

It's such a luxury to have a wonderful Italian meal amidst tranquillity in town yet away from the maddening crowd. That's possible at LaBrezza, The St. Regis Singapore's Italian restaurant. It recently launched a new menu with Chef de Cuisine Luca presenting "classic Italian nuances with modern influences".
The meal started on a fresh note with the Moioli Insalata di Mare ($29), a seafood salad featuring a medley of scallop, prawns, mussels, clams, octopus and squid with poached and lightly charred vegetables which still retained their crunch. A hint of olive oil, lemon zest and oregano provided just enough lift for the appetiser.
Next up was something warm and comforting. The Zuppa Di Porcini e Pollo ($18) with porcini mushrooms veloute, slow-roasted chicken breast, mushrooms espuma and hazelnut powder was one of the best mushroom soups I have had recently. Creamy, rich, earthy and a nice multi-textural experience.
From the pasta section, the Ravioli Del Plin ($24 for the smaller piccolo size) offered tender pillows of Piemontese Agnolotti filled with chicken, pork and veal, served with its natural braising sauce. There was a good sense of balance in the dish preventing it from being overly rich or big. Scrumptious.
By the way, pastas here come in two sizes so one can decide on the appropriate portion depending on the number of dishes one would like to order or simply the amount of stomach space. Moohehe.  
Another dish to showcase Chef Luca's balanced, restrained touch is the Baccala in Due Maniere ($36). A juxtaposition of delicate pan-seared cod fillet with a richer-tasting oven-stewed cod fish with braised onions and milk reduction. The duo were accompanied by organic polenta and charcoal radicchio which provided a hint of pleasant bitterness.  

To anchor the meal and induce sweet, meaty dreams, the Costoletta di Vitello ($48) provided a substantial bone-in chunk of veal, breaded and fried until golden and presented with buttered Kipfler potatoes, arugula, cherry tomatoes and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. I felt this dish had a certain rustic, homecooked feel beneath that polished veneer. So good that I even ate my friend's portion when she could not finish hers. Yes, I am that helpful. Moohehe.

Dessert took the form of Sicilian Cassata ($14), a classic Italian dessert. Ricotta cheese and candied fruit terrine, citrus coulis and pistachio gelato.

Thank you The St Regis Singapore for the invitation.

Level 2
The St. Regis Singapore
29 Tanglin Road
Tel: 6506 6884

Chew On This:

Thirsty? This Chilean Hemisferio Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2014 by established winery Miguel Torres will slake one's thirst with its refreshing acidity and notes of passion fruit and guava. Oh and it goes pretty well with the oysters which are part of LaBrezza's buffet spread for Barbeque Night ($88 per person) every Friday evening. Other delights include antipasti, cold cuts, seafood on ice, and lobsters, lamb chops, sirloin and seabass grilled upon order.