Wednesday, January 29, 2014

松鱼业, Song Fish Dealer

King Crab Legs ($48/kg)

This was probably our first purchase from the Song Fish dealer at 19 Fishery Port Road - King Crab legs for the reunion dinner steamboat with hotplate! Everybody enjoys the taste of the intensified sea-freshness.

Given my tighter working hours, it is a bonus to get a visit to the Fishery Port - just a day in advance of the Chinese New Year's Eve. These photos are for you to take a peek of the seafood pricing this year; if you too, like myself can't make it for shopping at these wholesalers.

Balai Kurau, large ($38/kg), medium ($28/kg) 

Red Snapper Tail ($16/kg), Golden Pomfret ($10/kg), Parang ($10/kg), Batang ($14/kg) 

Squid, large ($12/kg)

Grey Prawns, large ($25/kg), Red Leg Prawns, large ($30/kg)

Grouper Fish, medium/ cleaned ($11 each)

Frozen Rabbit Fish ($8/pkt)

$8 yields a bag of 6 Rabbit Fish; which is cheap. But of the 6, only 1 of the fish comes with fish roe; it is a disappointment. Another bag fare slightly better - 2 fishes with roe.

Chinese Pomfret, large/ cleaned ($60/kg)

The frozen Chinese Pomfret stretches over my chest and weights 1.282kg, costing $76.90!

Overall, Song Fish offers reasonably fresh seafood, even their frozen is good enough after thawing. And the place is popular with customers who came for bulk purchase of air-flown Norway Salmon - minimum purchase of half Salmon fish.

Now, at least, i am feeling the mood of the Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Krispy Kreme - An 80 years old Donut!

Chocolate Dreamcake ($2.60)

What do you think of having a bread that cost as much as your lunch but can't fill you up at all? That is Krispy Kreme for you, my after lunch dessert today.

The doughnut is soft and fluffy; having a unique sponginess that's probably makes Krispy stands out from the rest of the donut-makers. Its sugar glazing is as sweet as any regular donuts while its chocolate filled isn't as cloying or thick; which is good.

It's fair to have a go with Krispy - just to know what's the hype all about. While we certainly have many other dessert choice at $2.60.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Earle Swensen's - Chicken, Fish & Chips

Fried Chicken Delight ($19.90++)
A tenderly juicy golden fried chicken cutlet bursting with flavors and drizzled with Chef's special jackfruit salsa 
that gracefully complements the dish with its rich burst of flavors. Served with crispy fries and Mesclun salad.

After having a taste of Earle's flavorsome and juicy charbroiled-steak, Ric had a hard time convincing me to try the stereotyped of fried chicken cutlet and dory fish fillet. 'How good can that be!?' i had argued. 'How different can it be from that of Swensen?'

And i was dead wrong. Firstly, serving size was bigger than Swensen's! The fried chicken cutlet was seriously delicious! The dory fillet, thick and juicy. And if these wasn't enough, there's always the free-flow-salad-bar for our indulgence on this lazy weekend afternoon..

Fish & Chips ($19.90++)
Our classic all-time favorite! Traditionally prepared tender breaded dory fillet fried to crisp perfection and 
served with US fries and creamy tartar dip for that extra flavorful crunch.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

咏春园, Celebrating CNY at Spring Court

The 5 tables group i'm with tonight at the Spring Court Restaurant is a rowdier crowd than my first 'Lo Hei' dinner. We had a wild time in the private VIP room - singing along, clapping and cheering loud on the in-house Karaoke system.

Of course, nobody forget to grab his/her share when dinner (10 pax set menu, $598++) is served. And these photographs were taken with a race against time as everybody can't wait to dig in! Yes, the run-of-the-mill menu was undoubtedly well executed - it is a good dinner.

As with all Chinese New Year's gathering, the Prosperity Toss of the Yusheng never fails to ignite the excitement of the occasion. Even while the dish was being prepared, spirits ran high and we were all ready to go! It was deafening as the group blasted the room, creating much uproar! Whoa!!

I wish you a very Happy Chinese New Year too! Huat Ah!

Coldcut Platter 
(Seasoned Top Shell, Five Spice Meat Roll, Jellyfish, Egg Foo Yong, Salad Prawns)

Superior Shark's Fin with Fresh Crab Meat

Roasted Suckling Pig

Stir-fried Suckling Pig with Spring Onions and Ginger (Additional order, $17++)

Braised Chinese Cabbage with Dried Scallops

Deep Fried Live Soon Hock

Crispy Roasted Chicken stuffed with Minced Prawns

Deep Fried Live Prawns with Oatmeal

Panfried Noodles with Shredded Chicken and Crab Meat

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sembawang Eating House (Seafood Restaurant)

Teochew Steamed Sea Garoupa

The Sembawang Eating House by the Bottle Tree is operating new at the Marina Barrage - and we had decided the company dinner (10 pax set menu, $368 nett) to be held there for our Muslim colleagues.

While we rarely come across good Chinese cooking from a Halal kitchen, the Bottle Tree done it impressively well with their Teochew steamed Garoupa! The fresh seafood is prepared by trying their hardest to follow an authentic Teochew recipe - Boy! We were certainly pleased!

Prosperity "Lo Hei"

And we did the prosperity 'Lo Hei' Toss across 4 multiracial tables, altogether! It was rowdy!! Memorable and heart-warming as we shout auspicious new year greetings to one another! Huat Ah!!

Roasted Chicken with Cracker

Other Chinese vegetable dishes such as the Sea cucumber with assortment Mushrooms and stir-fried Broccoli were also well done - like any good Chinese restaurant. And our group compliment the Malay-styled roasted chicken which was succulent and full of flavors - the entire plate cleared! 

Albeit the use of less meaty local crabs, this is the place for some fiery and robust chili crabs gravy!

Sea Cucumber with Mushrooms

 Fish Maw Thick Soup

Chili Crab with Deep Fried Buns

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Novena Peranakan Cuisine

Samba Sotong

It takes courage, and an effort to meet up with friends whom you have not for the past ten years! After a planning that took 2 months to fix the date, it was decided at Novena Peranakan Cuisine - a really cosy cafe which encourages quiet conversation; dinner crowd of mainly office workers and small family nucleus of Thomson.

Daily Set Menu for 2 - choose 1 from each section

Pricing is definitely comfortable where they serve a set menu for 2, with each person priced at $12.90+. Makes it so easy to split the bills shall we decide to go Dutch!

Ordering is easy too; just say, "Uncle, give us all the star ones!"

Overall, food is good and satisfying. The ngoh hiang is a 'die die must order' while the fried chicken and sambal sotong offers a savory chomp. The assam pedas should tempt you for a second helping to the free-flowing steam rice while the mildly favored chap chye balances the meal.

Their chendol dessert is wonderful, but as i watched a lady starting off with her pelut hitam, i made a mental note to have that on my next visit!

Assam Pedas Fish Meat

Lady Finger

Ngoh Hiang

Nyonya Chap Chye

Ayam Goreng

Honey Lemon Drink and Chendol

Earle Swensen's - Charbroiled Steak!

I had planned for Ric to enjoy his steak while i indulged in the all-you-can-eat-salad-bar at Earle Swensens today; had never like beef a lot. But frankly, i am very much missing their charbroiled steak now - it is flavorsome, juicy and sweet - probably one of my best steak memory!

For as long as i could remember, i like the taste of beef but usually dread finishing the entire steak on my own. But today is different; the intimidating large portion of the T-bone was devoured by me.

Salad Bar (free-flow salad with all Mains)

The salad bar was splendid as well. It was obviously priced to the Mains, but it was good. It even includes fresh fruits of watermelon and grapes. 

I enjoyed the good selection of compound salads like the Turkey Ham & Cheese, Fruity Macaroni, Spicy Squid, Crab-stick Louis and BBQ Chicken Sausages! While Ric preferred healthier fresh greens with olives, corns, cherry tomatoes, beans, onion and button mushrooms to go with his choice of Earle's dressings.

As if these were not enough, a small table serves crispy fried wanton skin, potato chips and cheese crackers with dipping sauce of rich cheese and tangy mango!

Charbroiled Black Angus Ribeye Steak, medium rare ($35.90++)
New Zealand Black Angus grass-fed ribeye is renowned for its tender but full-bodied, rich flavor. 
Grilled to perfection, this generously sized prime cut of meat has the right amount of marbling of fat to make each bite a melt-in-the-mouth 
experience that is simply sublime! Accompanied with fresh seasonal vegetables and potatoes to complete the gastronomical experience.

This was our first experience with superior Black Angus steak; and i thought it flavorsome and tender! But Ric felt the steak could have been better executed by the seemingly fumbling kitchen staffs (we could look into their open kitchen from where we were seated). 

I just wished their plating could be more professionally done. Most importantly, to serve a baked potato of Jack's standard; else it's just far from being perfect.

Charbroiled T-Bone Steak, medium rare ($36.90++)
This large steak's unique quality is that it contains meat from two of the most prized cuts of beef - the short loin and the tenderloin. 
Meaty with great texture, this steak is a favorite for any backyard grill.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

2005 Penfolds Private Release - Shiraz Cabernet

Penfolds Vintage 2005, 13.5% Alc ($35.30)

Penfolds Australia caught my eyes with their regular promotions on the papers. I've been wanting to try it.

Today opens a nice bottle of its private release. It has nice aromas, with rich supple taste of grapes, smooth and light; none astringent at all. I wished there were lesser people to share the bottle..

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Home Cooked Chilli Sauce!

This is The-Family-Chili sauce. It is our Nasi Lemak chili, Wanton Mee and Fishball  Noodle Chili; also using it to stir-fry the Petai and prepare barbecue Stingray and Squids. I just have to record the recipe for future reference!

Mum will stock the cooked chili sauce in the refrigerator and constantly reminds us to use a clean dry spoon for the chili whenever we wanted some for dipping sauce. This will prevent spoiling the entire bottle of chili with impurities and moisture.

A) Dried Shrimps, 100g
     Shallots, 3 balls
     Cooking Oil, 3 Tbs
B) Dried Chili, 75g
     Chili Padi, 6-7 pieces
     Shallots, 100g
     Garlic, 4-5 cloves
     Buakalat, 4-5 balls
C) Assam, 150g - soak in 2 bowl of water
     Sugar, Salt

1. Soak the Assam piece in water.

2. Blend ingredient 'B' by grinding to a smooth paste in a blender/ or mortar and pestle.

3. In low heat, fry ingredient 'A' until fragrant (under the perfect heat, the oil should be foaming - as picture shown below)

4. Add ingredient 'B' and fry till fragrant, with the paste slightly dried up. Press the paste slightly with the spatula while frying to hastening the process. The entire frying process feels long and tiring on the arms, and should take about 15-20mins on the low fire.

5. When the paste is ready, pour in the Assam water gently. Taking care to leave the Assam seeds and residue behind, do not add them into the cooking wok.

6. Mix well. You should notice that oil now 'floats' on the surface and give the chili sauce a beautiful glaze! Add Sugar and Salt to taste.

7. Leave the cooked chili to cool off in the wok.

8. Bottle and store in the refrigerator.