Monday, May 30, 2016

Christine's Handmade Gourmet Cookies

Christine's Gourmet Cookies, 225g ($25)
Kiwi Mango Cookies: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Baking Powder, Vanilla Pod, Kiwi, Mango, Honey Macadamia Nuts.
ABC Cookies: Flour, Butter, Sugar, Baking Powder, Vanilla Pod, Apple, Blueberry, Cashew Nuts.

The scent of the cookies was delicate; while i gingerly minced my first bit off the most expensive cookies of my life; trying to explain the lavishness of it all. One cookie led to the other. Distinct taste and fragrance of each of its ingredients were prominent. It was lightly buttery, fluffy, crisp and none cloying. I never felt the guilt that bothered me with factory manufactured cookies.

Notice how eggs and milk are not included in their recipes? I last heard of them using the world's finest vanilla pods from Madagascar.

Proudly produced in Singapore by The Cookie Museum, the Christine's handmade cookies were seasonal. The above launch was for the lunar Chinese New Year. Before this, they did another for Christmas. Such perfect timing to pamper that someone, or yourself.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Strongbow Apple Ciders Honey

Strongbow Apple Ciders Honey, Vol. 5% (330ml, 4s for $17.80)

Guess we'll never like ciders. Not the popular Somersby, or the Strongbow tonight.

It's just something to do with personal preference. When going to alcohol, we are looking for that bitterness and mild kick to be registered. Not a sweet something that's neither here, nor there. A good beer, is already the 'crisp, refreshing and light' options.

Guess we'll never like ciders. Not for any obvious sweetness in our alcohol.

Brunch at Jalan Benaan Kapal - Singapore's Oldest Food Centre (Pt.1)

The Canteen Building

Jalan Benaan Kapal (Malay for "ship building road") is a street near Tanjung Rhu and Geylang. Little known to many, here lies the last of Singapore's old-style Kopitiam. Two stretches of one storey low rise offices lined the street, all of them with flat rooftops. So when you spotted a pitched roof building, that's when you steered into the free parking compound of the canteen.

We were initially drawn by the 50 cents kopi offered here, but we soon discovered that the place has more to offer. There are only 10 stalls; and most doesn't have a name, they go by stall no. 1-10. Here we start on part 1!

On the Part 2, we'll look at the Muslim stalls.

Breakfast Set, without Toast ($1.60)

Stall No. 1 - Drinks and Kopi Breakfast Set

Stall No. 1 and 10 serve cold drinks and coffee, but we thought only Stall No. 1 offers half-boiled eggs and toast? Because everyone gets them here. The hawker uncle works slow, but his coffee is the one you should go to.

We love it too, that the eggs were served, de-shelled.

Fried Bee Hoon Mee, added Fish Cake ($1.30)

Stall No. 3 - Economic Fried Bee Hoon, Steamed Dim Sum and Kway Chap

If you are early, and the Kway Chap is not yet really (only available after 10:30am), do order some of their fried vermicelli first. Many do this, while they kopi and chat, waiting for the Kway Chap.

Nobody is in a rush. This is a Saturday after all.

Kway Chap Set for 2 pax ($6)

Stall No. 7 - Chicken Rice, Braised Meat and Chicken Feet

Chicken rice, or if you fancy an alternative - bowl of braised chicken feet to accompany some fried stuff like the ngoh hiang and fish cake from the stall. They have some glutinous chicken feet for you to suck on!

Braised Chicken Feet ($2)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Nederburg - Western Cape and Wine of Origin Paarl

Nederburg Paarl Riesling 2006
Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon 2004

Nederburg, South Africa - since 1791.

It was usual for wine of South Africa to 'burn'. Nederburg is no exception. The tannins are supple, no less. Rich, bold and full-bodied, you'll greatly appreciate red meat to help down the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon's grapes.

We enjoy the dry Riesling, better. Unlike our usually sweet Austrian White, this one 'kicks' and are of character. I like it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

天翼海鲜, One Ocean Seafood Restaurant

Taiwanese 3 Cup Chicken

$48.80+ Set Menu (Weekdays only)

This was lunch at One Ocean, which ran a brisk zi-char business at the Toa Payoh Industrial Park before relocating to the Mandai Connection building at 7 Mandai Link. At Mandai, they operate a air-conditioned restaurant beside their al fresco Kopitiam.

For the love of steamed fish, i selected Menu B from their weekday set menu (Available for lunch and dinner). But friend was skeptical, and warned if the affordable pricing could deliver a fresh fish for steaming? She has a point.

So when the fish arrived, we quickly took a bite and was relieved. It was very fresh. So good, i could enjoy the sweetness of the tender fish's stomach without any bitter tasting. We wiped off everything on the plate, except for the three cup chicken because of the heavy seasoning. Nonetheless, we are definitely looking forward to return.

Steamed Pomfret 'Hong Kong' style

Chinese Spinach in Superior Stock

One Ocean Home-Style Beancurd

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Miyakori Coffee

Miyakori Kuromitsu Coffee (RM$13.90, S$4.58)

Morning starts at the Miyakori Coffee, in JB City Square Mall.

We tested the cafe by ordering their specialty, the Miyakori Kuromitsu Coffee - with black honey, a Japanese sugar syrup. The sweetness it exudes is light and natural. Well suited with the mildness of the Japanese coffee.

This is no doubt a good change from the strong brews of St*rbucks.

Monday, May 23, 2016

AJ Delights - Muffins!

Vanilla Walnut Streusel ($2), Double Chocolate ($1.80)
White Coffee ($1.80)

An unsatisfying lunch prompted us to look around the Alexandra Village Food Centre. That's when we spotted AJ Delights (#01-82) which is attracting quite a following for their muffins.

Looking hefty in size, their muffins with streusel is indeed heavy! The streusel topping adds a sweet crunch to the muffins, and is yummy. Even without, ingredients were definitely generous in the muffins itself. I say, if prices can be more friendly, this muffin is a must buy, in bulk!

(Disappointing coffee from the White Coffee Corner which had since relocated itself from the Margaret Drive Hawker Centre.)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

中心, Centre Satay Bee Hoon

Cuttlefish Kang Kong ($3.50)

Satay Bee Hoon ($3.50)

Meng Kee in East Coast Park Lagoon, our best Satay Bee Hoon in Singapore is no more. So we have been looking elsewhere. But so far, none came close to Meng Kee's satay sauce.

Centre Satay Bee Hoon in Ang Mo Kio Market & Food Centre has surely earned its credit after 20 years in operation. And their success spurs them for a 2nd outlet in the Sembawang Hill Food Centre.

So it may not seem fair, that we fail to get excited over their fare. The ingredients were right - cuttlefish, prawn, pork, cockles, kang kong, tau pok. But the satay sauce fails to register more emotions. The cuttlefish Kang Kong, however, seems more interesting. We like the sambal chili and the fact that it includes our favorite jellyfish.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Overnight Oats - My Daily Breakfast

Banana Fresh Milk, with Oats, Chia seeds and Walnuts


7 Tbs Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Fresh Milk/ or Soya Bean Milk/ or Yogurt 
1/2 Tsp Chia Seeds
Topping (Optional): Nuts or Fruits of your choice.

This has been my weekday breakfast for the past 4 months - 7 tablespoonfuls of rolled Oats with fresh Soya milk and Chia seeds. Now you don't freak out, because this is a tasty and healthy breakfast to start a busy morning. And it kept me well energized till lunch.

1. Chia seeds, Rolled Oats and few Raisins with Melon seeds.

2. Pour in Soya milk, with just enough to cover.

Every evening, i'll prepare the oats for the next morning. The Chia seeds and rolled oats will go first, then the milk poured to cover them sufficiently. Left in the refrigerator, the oats would have softened up by the next day. Even if you have a change of plans, the oats can be kept till the second morning. My hour journey to the office, left it at a comfortable temperature for consuming. This recipe is certainly more manageable than cooking up a hot gooey cereal paste for breakfast. 

Selecting cow milk over soya milk yield a creamier mix, so we didn't like it so much. It can be made with yogurt too. But our favourite is still the soya milk. And do try to include Chia seeds as it adds a delightful crunch to the otherwise dull mushy bite of the soaked oats; or consider melon seeds and raisins (Lowan Original Harvest has all of this). Play around. Find a taste that best suits you. 

We experiment with the many brands of fresh Soya milk and rolled oats available in our local supermarket. Our favourites are the NTUC Hi-Calcium Fresh Soya Milk Reduced Sugar, 1L ($1.55); NTUC Rolled Oats, 1kg ($4.35); Lowan Rolled Oats, 1kg ($5.75); Lowan Original Harvest, 1kg ($7.95)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The French Table. Again.

Chicken and Shiitake Stroganoff Served With A Mash ($9.90++ Set)

Stolen times are perhaps most treasured.

This is another afternoon off for quiet set lunches at The French Table. If you are here, do remember that their mash is most delectable - fine and creamy. The simplest done at their best. I am feeling all romantic.

All weekday lunch sets are complete with soup of the day and a drink.

Pan-seared Escolar And Aglio Olio With Green Peas And Tomatoes ($9.90++ Set)

Master Tang's Wanton Noodle

Sited in Kopitown Coffeeshop at 10E, Sixth Avenue Bukit Timah, a 82 year old hawker (Mr Tang Siu Nam) works steadily for his constant queue of customers. Many lured by his fame of being the man behind the signature Crystal Jade wanton mee.

And while a plate at the CJ restaurant had gone up to near $10 bucks, Mr Tang charges local hawker prices.

We have always loved CJ's wanton noodle - the al-dente springy egg noodle; big fat juicy dumplings full of shrimp and minced meat; not forgetting the iconic roasty Cantonese style sambal chili paste. Here, Mr Tang offers you the exact!

Wanton Noodle ($3.50)

Dumping Noodle ($4)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Three Bowls, 三碗

Pork Tail Noodle, Soup ($4), Prawn Noodle, Soup ($3)

Apparently, the name 三碗 meant serving 3 types of ingredients with their noodles - prawn noodle/ pork rib noodle/ and pork tail noodle. I opted for their pig's tail noodle which includes prawns too. The pig's tail was a melt in the mouth and the soup was comforting.

This is Monday lunch at the Marsiling Lane Market & Cooked Food Centre. A mediocre bowl of  prawn soup noodle, but ultra satisfying to jump start the afternoon.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Noo Cheng Adam Road Prawn Noodle!

This was our first visit to Noo Cheng Adam Road Prawn Noodle at the Zion Riverside Food Centre. And we seemed to have found our best prawn mee in Singapore - the soup was amazing, the pork ribs were falling off the bones and the $8 bowl has sweet crunchy prawns with orangey roe!

Our only complaint might be their al-denta thick vermicelli that doesn't absorb the flavorsome stock. And the shrimps that were served without deveining? We used the chopsticks to push out the black digestive tract. Easy.

Nothing stops us in the face of good food.

Prawn Bee Hoon, Soup ($8)

Prawn Bee Hoon, Soup ($5)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

老金源, OKG Express at ARC

Peppery Pig Stomach Soup ($5.50)

Pig Trotters in Vinegar ($7.30, White Rice ($0.80)

With Old Kim Guan's humble pricing and high rental in a shopping mall, we can't help being skeptical. What's the standard of food at these prices? 

Then came my craving for the pig's trotters in vinegar soup, and there's no stopping me. You know how rare it is to find this traditional Cantonese dish in our local culinary scene? Yes, it is usually found home-cooked, and specifically prepared during the confinement period - a post-natal healing soup, made to fortify mother's milk!

Quite unlike the Hokkien rendition of savory braised pig's trotters in thick soy sauce, i love the strong vinegary of the Cantonese dish and had learned to drink it up like a soup!

OKG does their soup alright. It was quite good. Ingredients wise, it was lacking. For 2 person sharing, we suggest ordering at least 3 dishes for a satisfying meal. A similar serving at non air-conditioned hawker centre would certainly yield much value for the money. But alas, we can't compare.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Muslim Food Stall

Mutton Rendang, Curry Fish Cutlet, Raw Sprout Salad, Fried Chicken Wings. ($11)

Marsiling Lane Market & Cooked Food Centre is one that closes after lunch hour; but the place is bustling with working man and woman during the 12-1pm slot. Food offers at the many stalls are simple; and you could get a generous plate of chicken rice for $2.

What drew us to this hidden Malay food stall at #01-114 (Yah, the food centre has over 100 stalls across 2 blocks, 20 & 21) are their sambal cockles and crunchy raw bean sprout salad - tossed with julienned carrots, lettuces and toasted coconut shreds! The sambal cockles was not on the menu today, instead they were having sambal mussels.

Pity, the mutton rendang is one of more bite; and the chicken wings seem to be double-fried. One patron helpfully pointed us to the neighboring stall - Cahaya Nasi Padang (#01-08), for soft melting rendang mutton.