Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mata Thai - $10 Claypot Fish Head

Was craving for some fish head and Ric suggested we try out the 'cheap and good' curry fish head at 508, Bishan St.11 - All year round, the Mata Thai restaurant serves their fish head at $10.

Thai Curry Fish Head ($10)

That was really cheap for the freshness of the fish; one of the best we had so far. It's value for the money. And the curry gravy goes well with plain rice.

Some may argue that this was just some cheap fish head and not the Grouper. But give me an average grouper and the freshness here; i would happily have the latter.

Fried Chicken with Green Mango ($8)

However, the missing sour flavor in the curry left me wanting.

That was quickly put right by the tartly green mango salad. A two dishes in one style, you have the fried chicken and green mango salad in one. Tad spicy, sourish yet sweet with dark soy sauce mix. Good try.

In fact, if you are not having the curry fish head, there's a list of interesting Thai cuisine from their menu.

 Thai Iced Milk Tea ($1.50)

Any special drink? Their Thai milk tea has character. Try it.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

UCC Sumiyaki

UCC Sumiyaki Instant Coffee, 90g ($10.80)

"You want your 'Charcoal'?" Ric teased.

That's how distinct the charcoal roasted beans tasted and smelled. Even its freeze dried clusters were tough, sharply edged, and of a darker shade of brown from the usual. Beautiful.

We like its strong roasted aroma, you may too.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Long Flat - Moscato 2007

Long Flat Moscato 2007, 187ml

Wine drinking from the bottle, i like that. 
And the little bottle is pretty cool to drink from.

Our first Moscato, from Muscat grapes hit me as sweet, like the Welch's but not as dense. It was lighter and clear, with a low alcohol level of 5.5% that makes it so safe, yet hitting the spot for bingeing. Immediate after 2 gulps, i was bracing for air to clear the tipsy brain.

A great celebratory wine. It was refreshingly sweet with a clear hint of berry fruitiness, and spritzy too; you could save lots on champagne and take this instead.

But for that regular drink, i preferred my glass slightly dry, full-bodied. That's of more character.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tomato Ketchup Cauliflower, 茄汁花椰菜。

As much as Grandma does, i believe this would remain our most loved dish of Cauliflower till we grow very old. By then we just have to cook the vegetable for a longer time to soften it for the aged tooth ;) still, it would have tasted great!

The dish is one important traditional Hokkien cooking that was served up during the festive or any main family makan sessions. We love this sweet savory dish, so much - it makes any kids yearn for Cauliflower.

2 Tomatoes, 1 Chili, 1 Carrot, 2 Cauliflower
4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 bottle of Del Monte Ketchup, 170g
About 10 fresh Prawns

1. Wash and cut Tomato in wedges, Carrots in circular slices. Deshell the Prawns. Cut the Cauliflower into small pieces, wash by soaking in water and drain.

2. Parboil Cauliflower in boiling water with pinch of salt for 2-3 minutes to soften. Remove them onto a plate for later.

3. Heat up a wok on mid fire. Add 2 tbsp of Oil. Add in minced Garlic, chopped Red Chili, followed by a tsp Salt. Fry these briefly. When the garlic start browning, add in the Prawns.

4. Cook the Prawns a little, then add the Carrots and Cauliflower. Cover the wok.

5. Remove cover, toss the Cauliflower about, then cover to cook it more.

6. Remove lid, add Tomato Ketchup generously onto the Cauliflower, mix well. Adding more Ketchup does no harm, so do so to your heart's content ;)

7. Cover wok to continue simmer. Give the Cauliflower a good mix from time to time, then add in the Tomato wedges. Water will form from the simmering process and these shall combine well with the Ketchup to produce a nice gravy :)

8. Check readiness of Cauliflower by trying to cut it with the spatula. If you could do so quite easily, the Cauliflower is cooked just nice. Remove from wok, serve over warm rice!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Welch's Grape Juice

Welch's 100% Concord Grape Juice, 1.36L ($8.20)

It wasn't exaggerating to serve the juices in a wine glass; the Welch's grape juice is 100% juice, with added 120% of vitamin C, no sugar added and supports a healthy heart. You'll simply love the taste of it - slight sparkling, thickly flavored, sourly sweet. I am putting this on my shopping list.

A small glass like this packs a punch for a nice after-dinner sip. Serve chilled. 
You could say it's red wine without the alcohol.

This thing really reminds us of the Cup at our Sunday holy communion!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Healthy Rocky Road Brownies

My first Brownie; after baking

This recipe first appeared in Mind Your Body; the Straits Times and i had kept the newspaper cutting for its simple steps - almost fool proof; given my altering the recipe around. Cut down the sugar though. And yes, i would do this again.

(Fills a 16cm square baking tray)

1 cup white sugar  (reduce to ½ cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract  (substitute with almond syrup)
¾ cup sunflower oil
2 egg whites, beaten  (2 whole eggs, i have no use for the yolk ;)
1 cup all-purpose flour  (220g)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder  (110g unsweetened Milo powder ;)
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup mini-marshmallows

The batter before baking

1. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, add the sugar and vanilla to the sunflower oil. Keep mixing them together using a spoon until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Add the beaten egg whites to the mixture. Add spoonfuls of the flour, cocoa and salt to the mixture, stirring well each time after each addition.
4. Using a canola oil spray, spray the inside of the baking tray with oil (I just buttered the baking tray with low fat margarine).
5. Pour the batter, which should be quite thick, into the tray.
6. Bake the batter for 20 minutes in the oven.

7. Meanwhile, mix the walnuts, chocolate chips and the marshmallows in another bowl.
8. Scatter this mixture on top of the batter at the end of 20 minutes.
9. Bake the batter for another 10 minutes in the oven to brown the topping.
10. To check, use a toothpick to poke into the centre of the cake. If it comes out cleanly, the brownie is ready. If it comes out with bits of batter stuck to it, bake for a while longer. But if you prefer the centre soft, remove the brownie anyway.

You should be able to slice the brownie cleanly once it has cooled down.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Xi Le Ting

Red Bean, Barley ($0.80 per bowl)

Blogged about this old dessert stall in Commonwealth Crescent Food Centre, 2009. And we have been returning for their Barley sweet soup, faithfully. The food centre is also one quietly nice place for the afternoon break.

Nothing fanciful here, just some good old stuff.
Visit them before they're gone lah.

三盅两件, Soup Restaurant

Double Boiled Chinese Yam Roots (Waisan) & Ginseng Roots with Chicken Soup ($6.90++)

It was a comfortably healthy meal with my familiar partner as we celebrated our day at the Soup, Suntec City. Contrary to some negative reviews i read, the kitchen here serves up a dishy fare.

Warm herbal soup calms the nerves instantaneously while the succulent steamed chicken tastes most refreshing when ate wrapped in green lettuces, cucumber slices and dollop of the gingery dressing. Light Olive rice provides a tasty carbo albeit the bare ingredient.

Samsui Ginger Chicken, small ($15.90++)

Teochew Olive Rice, small ($5.90++)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dilmah Tea

Free Trial Pack

Having adored Sri Lanka tea for the longest time, i gladly signed up with Dilmah in Aug when they launched their "Exceptional" range of flavored teas in Singapore. Swiftly, a trial pack of their 6 tea flavours were received.

The box, air-tight packed with plastic wrapper, when released, eludes a most charming aroma of crisp tea leaves... ... that was magically therapeutic!

Of these flavors, we really like these 2.

Elegant Earl Grey
Peppermint and English Toffee
Berry Sensation
Rose with French Vanilla
Fragrant Jasmine Green Tea

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

山城, Shan Cheng Ipoh

怡保料粉, Ipoh Liew Fun ($4.80)

"Shan Cheng" more adapt translation would be Hill City as named on their web page. Food offering was not awe-inspiring but was certainly something nice and different from our local fare. If you have a Groupon, it is double the bonus.

The Ipoh Liew Fun was no surprises as it came across as simply curry noodle with their better quality Yong Tau Foo.
怡保猪肠粉, Ipoh Chu Cheong Fun ($3.50)

What Ric really want me to have was their Chee Cheong Fun; rice noodle roll doused in curry and sweet black sauce. Arrrh... this is the special stuff. Simple tasting yet warmheartedly satisfying.

叉烧河粉, Homemade Char Siew Hor Fun ($4.80)

When we mention Ipoh cuisine, it's always the Hor Fun that came to mind. Of finer texture than our kway teow noodles, i always find them irresistible to have.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Market O Real Brownie

Market O Real Brownie, 80g (4,800 won, S$5.28)

Friend was contracted to work in Korea and bought this brownie for us on her visit back. The brownie is bitterly chocolatey with bit of chocolate chips between bites. It is rather nice.

Of course you can't compare it with warm brownies obtain fresh from good bakeries but this is definitely a convenient and tasty choice to accompany that cup of coffee when you do not want to travel out. A comfort for an untimely cocoa craving.

Some Korea supermarket brought in the stock; we saw many boxes at Shine Korea retailing at $4.90.

Friday, October 5, 2012

熔炉, Silenced (2011)

"Movie reviews are generally among my easiest articles to write but this has definitely been one of the most difficult. Why? Because Silenced was both a fabulously well-made movie and one of the most powerful and disturbing movies I’ve ever seen. I almost feel guilty saying good things about it because it’s about such a horrible topic..." Review extract from Banana Times

Young human rights lawyer shielding the child from reading the sign language of the defense lawyer - vaginal sores of the 5 years old was caused by self masturbation!

I didn't like heavy movies, like everyone else i had preferred 'happy ending' story. But go watch this show that was extremely well filmed and acted; given the weightiness of the subject.

Go watch it, and you'll be immediately transported to the reality of a dark, immoral world that's unimaginable to us living in simple, law-abiding Singapore. Get out of the well.

Go watch this movie based on a true story of abuse at a school for hearing-impaired children in Gwangju, South Korea. A movie that prompted a national outcry and the ensuing tighter laws against sex offenders in Korea.

Silenced Official Trailer

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Love Carl's Jr

At Playground Big Splash today, i fell hard for Carl's Jr.

For their French fries with potato skins, lemon tea with real lemon wedges and self-helping sugar syrup - this tastes way above those from cans.

Famous Star with Cheese, Combo Promotion ($7.90)

And their Famous Star burger with thick onion slice! The beef patty a little petty? Never mind, next time we shall have something heftier from their menu ;)

Bacon Swiss Crispy Chicken ($6.90)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Beo Crescent Curry Rice

There's a constant queue in this old coffeeshop next to Beo Crescent Food Centre, under the residential block of blk 40. Interestingly, customers in line were made up of housewife with toddlers in tow and smartly dressed office executives.

Many swear by their curry rice doused with all their different curries and dark soy braised sauce; it was very wet alright, many love it; Ric doesn't. He is one of those who wasn't sold on the curry rice theory - moist wet rice with crunchy pork chop :)

Meal for 2 pax ($11)

Still, he ordered quite a spread for us.

Getting over the onus of food ordering at the poorly lighted stall, we tuck into our cooled dishes... yah, and it certainly feels a little qualmish about taking in cold food, the squids especially... it was good cooking, nonetheless, just wished they have a food warmer or something. 

The 'must-have' Pork Chop

The 'must-have' Cabbage Chap Chye

Curry Sotong

Braised Eggs and Tau Pok