Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fresh-made Cendol at Makan Melaka

Cendol Melaka, red beans ($1.80),
Nasi Lemak ($2.50)

Dr Tay just posted Melaka authentic kampong-style cendol on Makan Melaka at Changi Village and we made our way down immediately. But it was still too late - the durian puree topping which we wanted to try was sold out after the lunch hour.

Quoting Dr Tay, "It isn’t one of those cloyingly rich versions which is usually served in restaurants and hotels, but it is light, fragrant and thirst quenching." Having tasted good gula melaka often at home, we agree the stall serves authentic stuff.

We didn't want to make another long journey here, so the stall owner helpfully offers their other branch address at Jurong West Ave 1, Blk 492 (Maharoni Roti - Beside 7-11 & Guardian Pharmacy). We went and finally got our Cendol Melaka durian ($2.10)!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Royce Chocolate

Petite Truffle "Praline - liquor free" ($12.50, 120g), Marshmallow Chocolate "Milk Coffee" ($12.50, 85g), 
Chocolate Wafers "Tiramisu Cream" ($15, 12pcs)

Royce chocolate makes impressive gift because of their high price tags and recognized quality. These were gifts from my bosses and it certainly made a statement. But it was the hand-made card from them that is touching.

The Tiramisu cream wafers is most delightful with taste of mascarpone cheese and white chocolate, then comes the soft marshmallow coated with rich bitter cocoa.

The truffles fared lowest as i've high expectations for them - Truffettes de France from France is my most gratifying truffles so far. The Japanese can't ever beat.

Fujifilm FinePix X100

Fujifilm X100 on Fujinon lens system, fixed 23mm F2

Let the Sony Nex-5n retires to the dry cabinet while we work out something with the Fujifilm X100 which Ric had bought a year ago, and we had not the time to play with. He was pretty impressed with the good reviews he read.

I was simply drawn to the good feel of its solid, two-tone body. Its convenient analogue controls encourages swift customization of our shots and has the beauty of the 1970s compact classics. Which is why i took to the change.

Low lights has still to be tested while we didn't like the blurry shots taken under its Marco mode. Compared to Sony 5N, richer colors were achieved. Let's see what we have on this blog, following this post.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ayam Penyet Stall at NTU Canteen 2

Ayam Penyet Set ($4.50)

Ikan Grouper Penyet Set ($6)

Whenever we were on a lazy weekend, we headed to the NTU Canteens. Elsewhere outside, is too crowded, rowdy and hurried. 

Lately, we came upon this Ayam Penyet stall at the newly revamped Canteen 2. Food is freshly deep fried upon ordering and you wait for your number to be called when it is ready. Flavorsome curry laded the set plain rice and the accompanying sambal chili is as authentic as the real thing, reminding us of Indonesian dining. And when the grouper penyet got sold out, our next favourite is their steamed chicken laden with sweet black sauce. 

The canteen serves German beer - not a bad idea to chill off the evening here.

Steamed Chicken Set ($4.20)

Tiong Bahru Lien Fa Shui Jing Pau, 水晶包

Chinese Turnip (Bangkuang) Dumpling ($0.70 each)

You know what is this? If you are even too young to visit the old Tiong Bahru Market, i bet you don't know about this very popular finger food we called 'Tiong Bahru Crystal Dumplings'. The taste is uniquely Lien Fa's only.

Lien Fa had since moved to the Alexandra Village Food Centre, situated next to the Dover Road Wanton Mee which i blogged. Their briny dumplings still come in thin chewy skin, tasting sweet and crunchy with turnip, black fungus and water chestnut. A distinct taste of dried sole fillet (flat dried fish, 扁鱼干) and many dried shrimps! Then dribble a little of their special recipe chili, and it is as good as it gets! Nothing has changed.

When we were there this morning, the stall owners were busy with boxes of pre-order! Call them at 6274-5561, if you don't want to risk waiting or running a wasted trip for their yam or sweet beans crystal dumplings, which are not always available.

Sweet Beans, Yam Crystal Dumplings ($0.80 each)

Chinese Turnip (Bangkuang) Dumpling ($0.70 each)

佳记, Dover Road Kai Kee Wanton Noodle

Wanton Mee, dry ($2.50)

At a place like Alexandra Village Food Centre where good food abounds, it's easy to miss out the good stuffs. Kai Kee here serves a luscious fare of local Wanton noodle with handmade noodle textures of the proud Fei Fei's!

If you do not wish to travel all the way to Joo Chiat for Fei Fei's and pay their much inflated prices, give Kai Kee a chance here. No regret.

Hill View Steam Food

It baffles our friends abroad, how Singaporean loves their fried bee hoon and noodles. Well, we too loves this sinful fried carbo! And this is one stall you gotta have - at Blk 91, Whampoa Food Centre.

Because of the extra steps taken to steam their fried vermicelli, it churns out a lovely texture that's soft, springy and non-oily! And when you compare their serving size to another characteristic fried bee hoon at Fatt Kee, Queen Street Market, Fatt Kee's seems ridiculously scanty.

Warmly steamed rice roll and savory rice porridge, this one stall appeased our morning hunger. But i can't get enough of their steam vermicelli and takeaway 2 more bags for tea break :P

Chee Cheong Fun ($1.40), Peanut Porridge ($1.20)

Steam Vermicelli ($1), with Fried Fish Cake ($0.80)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Heart & Soul - South Eastern Australia Sweet Shiraz Moscato

Heart & Soul Sweet Shiraz Shiraz Moscato, 11% vol.


This is our after-dinner wine by Andrew Peace Wines - sparkling sweet and dry at the same time! Now the man has no complaint. Scarcely ever, i'm drinking up faster than he does.

As jovial as seeping Brown Brothers sparkling red...! This is delicious.

Coocci Contemporary Japanese

Tori Nanban, served with rice (ala carte $5.50/ set $6.50)

Coocci at Commonwealth Crescent Market taught us, that going to our neighborhood hawker centre doesn't have to be always Fishball noodles, Chicken rice or Western food, it can be fusion Japanese! Yeah!

After much deliberation, we finally get to try them tonight. Food was great - looked simple but taste should tell you otherwise. It is restaurant standard, at hawker pricing!

Even the side dishes are meticulous! Whoever tells me that tomatoes has to be sour, Coocci proves you double wrong! Tomatoes are sweet here - and we are going to have their tomato salad on our soonest return!

Chicken Roulade (ala carte $4.50/ set $5.50) 

Side Dishes: Cucumber salad, Pumpkin Soup, Kimchee, Fried Lotus Roots, Edamame, Cold Tofu (from top left)
Choose any 3 side dishes with set meal.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1 Dish Meal: Yong Tau Foo Rice!

When the family was quite poor, this type of 1-dish meal completes our day.

This is one of our so-called "Kiam Peng" in Hokkien, meaning Salt Rice, and it is very tasty. It remains our favorite meal till today. And i need to note down the recipe for my future craving.

Rice, 2 cups
Water, 2 cups (Our rice cooker requires 1:1 water/ rice ratio for normal cooking)
Yong Tau Foo, any pieces you like from the market

Cooking Oil, 3 Tbs
Garlic, 2 cloves
Dried Shrimps, 1 Tbs

Oyster Sauce, 1 Tbs
Sesame Oil, 1 Tbs
Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Soak dried shrimps in water to soften it. Remove from water. Finely mince garlic and dried shrimps with chopper/ knife.

2. Heat up cooking oil in a wok. Low fire, fry minced garlic briefly before adding in dried shrimps. Now fry both ingredients till it browned with nice fragrant.

3. Add washed rice into the fried mixture. Top up with oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper to taste. Lastly add in the Yong Tau Foo pieces, frying briefly.

4. Remove everything from wok, transfer to rice cooker. Add in water for rice cooking. When rice is cooked, use a long spatula to give the rice a good stir. Keep warm. Serve!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dairy Queen Blizzard Cake

Chocolate Chips Blizzard Ice-Cream Cake, 6" (Groupon Promo: $23.90, usual: $39.90)

This is our Frozen; not that animation Frozen, but kids should love this as much. It is sweet, very sweet, cloying sweet, especially its Chocolate fudge center and the Chocolate ice-cream. But without a doubt, the white Vanilla Soft Serve is yummy.

If you are still thinking of packing it home, make sure the Dairy Queen has an outlet within 15mins from your destination, because of their lack of proper packaging - just few dry ice packs in a common paper cake box, scotch-taped up. It wouldn't do.

Surely, we prefer any good ice-cream pints to this.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pig Out @ Pasir Panjang Food Centre!

Hotplate Stingray ($10)

"What do you say we have our next meet up in a hawker centre?" Everyone is hands and legs up in agreement, for decent pricing and good food is a guarantee in Singapore's hawker centre.

Alas, these guys didn't mean to scrimp. Just look at the food they ordered for the 4 of us - BBQ seafood from 新福记 (Xin Fu Ji), fried Hokkien mee from Seng Huat, fried kway tiao from Heng Huat, BBQ rojak from the Fruit Rojak and BBQ chicken wings from 216 Choa Chu Kang! And possibly some fat, juicy satay from Yusoff Haji Jalal if only it was opened today.

Fresh sugarcane drinks and ice-chilled beer at hand, we had a hearty get-together at the Pasir Panjang Food Centre.

 La La Golden Frangrance ($12)

Hotplate BBQ Sotong ($10)

BBQ Chicken Wings ($1.30 x10)

 Char Kway Teow ($3)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Braised Chicken Feet (Steamed)

This is a recipe of a 73 years old grandma from Eastern China, Hangzhou! So easy to prepare and yummy, I could easily polish off 5 feet at any 1 time!


Dry ingredients for 1/2kg chicken feet 

1kg of Chicken Feet (washed and drained)
Dark Soy sauce
100ml of Hua Diao wine
1/2 stalk of Scallion, or Green Onion (chopped in 1cm lengths)
1/2 palm-sized Ginger (pounded open)
5 cloves of Garlic (pounded open)
2 Anise stars, 八角
1 tsp of Sichuan Pepper, 花椒
1 tsp of Salt
1 tbsp of Sugar (optional)

1. Marinate all ingredients for 4 hrs. The dark soy sauce should cover half of the chicken feet in the pot, then top up with water till the mixture covers entirely. A heavy porcelain plate over the chicken feets will help push it into the liquid fully.

2. After 4 hrs, remove the chicken feet from marinate. Steam for 1 1/2 hrs. 2 hrs if you prefer an utterly soft texture.

That's it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Mid-Autumn Festival @ The Gardens 2014

Another of our favorite Mid-Autumn festive activities was to view large lanterns display held in few of the public gardens in Singapore. This year, it was at the Gardens by the Bay.

Singapore is really getting heavily populated. Despite the large turnout, we find solace in the large compounds - along the "Dragonfly Lake". We had to skip the jam-packed walking track where many other lanterns were placed.

Treasure Voyages of Cheng Ho

It felt especially peaceful, viewing still images of these colorful water lanterns from afar, taking in the sights and hustles of the nearby crowd. We were just glad, we didn't have to squeeze in there.

Ending the walking trail, we were all sweat and sticky from the humid evening air, but felt the night perfected.

The Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea

Ancient Chinese Palace

Teochew Satay Bee Hoon

Satay Bee Hoon ($4)

Satay Bee Hoon is another of our hawker rare find. When you happened to locate one of them, it's usually quite palatable ones (from our encounters).

This is a new stall in the Alexandra Village Food Centre, numbered #01-62; business was slow but we were in for a pleasant dinner - they are good enough for Daddy's craving.

Cuttlefish Kang Kong ($3)

A tad oily is the satay sauce but we don't really mind - Busying ourselves eating, enjoying the sensory play of the savory and spicy dish, together with some piquant tasting of the cuttlefish Kang Kong salad. Happy!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mandarin Orchard - Spicy Mala Mooncake!?

(From top left to right) 8-Treasure Mala Szechwan spice and Jamon Iberico Ham, Macadamia Nuts and Low Sugar White Lotus Paste, 
Single Yolk and White Lotus Paste, Azuki Red Bean Paste and Pine Nuts

One bite of this spicy mooncake and i thought, "Why in the world does Mandarin Orchard places their bet on a hot, spicy mooncake! God!" After the fire wears off, i actually went back for a second - the nuts, spices and ham works differently, but interestingly teasing the taste buds.

Their other quality product should be the Azuki red beans and pine nuts mooncake.

Still i wasn't satisfied as i'm craving for some traditional Teochew mooncake this Mid-Autumn festival. So Ric bought some from Thye Moh Chan and i thought their newly devised Yuan Yang mooncake - containing spicy pork floss is rather toothsome. Guess, spices does work!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Esplanade Moonfest - Chinese Dance Jubilee!

China Mongolians - Mongolian Dance

China Mongolians - Mongolian communal dance with the audience members

It was a wonderful evening at the Outdoor Theatre of the Esplanade park where Moonfest - a Esplanade Mid-Autumn Celebration was held. While waiting for our dance program, roving stilt walkers from Choy’s Brothers Opera Troupe surprises us on the windy seafront, posing for photographs.

Our much anticipated performance start with students from 华侨中学 (高中部) - Hwa Chong Institution, 光华小学 - Kong Hwa Primary School and 妍錂舞苑 - Yan Ling Dance Academy. With their agile and elegant movements, the dancers surely mesmerize me as they perform traditional Chinese dances from minority tribes in China!

Tonight, i fell in love with dances all over again! It is no wonder that ancient Emperors and their officials love watching them - i tell you, even in our Information Age, these Chinese dances can never be obsolete. They are beautiful art!

China Sichuan - Oh Attractive Hua Dan! "Qiao Hua Dan", the "Florist Role"

 华侨中学 (高中部), Hwa Chong Institution on Dai Bamboo Forest - China, Dai People

 光华小学, Kong Hwa Primary School on Dunhuang Dance - West China, Gansu

华侨中学 (高中部), Hwa Chong Institution on Tibet Dance - China, Tibetan People