Sunday 30 August 2009

EAT. Fishball Noodles

EAT. has many chain outlets scatter around different parts of Singapore. Just within my area, I can spot 3 outlets selling different varieties of fishball noodles, laksa and Ngo Hiang(wu xiang) and etc in the Shopping mall.

You can either select the set meal which comes with a bowl of noodle and a drink of either coffee/tea. They have a wide varieties of noodles which you can choose from, like eg. Mee Poh, Kuey Tiao(flat rice noodles), Bee Hoon (rice vermicelli) and etc. Bak Chor Mee is usually served with minced meat, pork slices, fishball, sliced mushrooms, fried dumpling(wonton - 云吞), beansprouts, bits of deep-fried lard and a slice of lettuce.

Apart from the dried version, you can order the soup version too. We ordered a bowl of Lao Shu Fen(Silver needle noodles - 老鼠粉) which is one of my favourite noodle. The soup is great, it taste sweet and fragrant due to the adding of soup bones and etc.

In certain outlets , the stall also prepare some side dishes such as Ngo Hiang(wu xiang), fried beancurd, fishcake, chicken wings and etc. We love to order their Ngo Hiang which consists of meat and carrot, yam and etc that are marinated with seasoning and wrapped with beancrud skin and deep-fry. This can be eaten as finger food itself or it also goes well with the dried noodles.

Seafood Delicacies @ Rabbit Brand

Had being working in CBD area for more than two years plus and yet I have no ideas about this budget Seafood Restaurant. It is located near the Boat Quay Shop Houses which is about less than 10 minutes walk from Clarke Quay MRT. The outlet at Circular Road consists of upper and lower dinning area which draw large crowds during office lunchtime hours.

Although the outlook of the shop and their menu is not well presented, but they do offer seafood delicacies such as shark fin and abalone at an absolutely cheap prices. The cheapest on their menu is about $5.50 to the most expensive at $12.50. So this is indeed a good budget tips for those who craves for abalone, shark fin, sea cucumber or scallops.

Look at the generous amount of ingredients found in this "Buddha Jumps Over The Wall - 佛跳墙". It consists of Fish Maw, thick Abalone slices, Shittake Mushroom, Chicken Shark's Fin, Scallops and etc. Overall the soup was very fragrance, thick and full of taste that is well absorb by the ingredients.

This Set A which is at S$9.50 comes with a personal serving of Mini Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, Rice, Balanced Beansprout, Tea and complimentary dessert. This is sure worth of penny to have such a delicacies for a hearty meal.

We also ordered Set B "- 鲍鱼"@ S$8.50 which included a generous topping of baby abalones and shiitake mushrooms braised in their special thick fragrance gravy that serves with extra balanced vegetables and rice. Even though the so called "Baby abalone" might be as good as the full size Abalone but the gravy and its contain is good enough for you to eat with a second helping of rice. Each set meal is also given a complimentary bowl of dessert, ours for that day is "Snow fungus with dried logan".

Other than the above sets, we also tried their special signature "Spinach Doufu - 菠菜豆腐" dish. The doufu has a very crispy outer layer and soft texture inwards that tops with some shredded spinach leaves. As usual, this deep-fried doufu dish is also served with their special sauce that makes this simple doufu more appetising. This dish can be order as a rice set or as individual dish at S$2.10 each.

Wednesday 26 August 2009

Teh Tarik & Mee Goreng

Teh tarik or "拉茶" in Mandarin is a hot tea beverage which can be commonly found in restaurants, outdoor stalls and kopi tiams in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. The derived from the pouring process of "pulling" the drink during preparation. The mixture is poured back and forth repeatedly giving it a thick frothy top. The purpose of doing this is said to cool the tea to drinking temperatures, and helps mix the tea with the condensed milk more thoroughly.

You can even choose the Ginger flavour Teh Tarik if you like to have something more spicy and consists of that extra ginger fragrance. Some of the stall also severs it with an extra piece of Murukku which is made from a mixture of urad, rice flour, salt, and flavourings such as chili, or cumin.

Mee Goreng meaning "fried noodles" is a dish famous in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is made with thin yellow noodles fried with onion, fried tofu, chili, vegetables, tomatoes, and egg. It is commonly available at stalls in Singapore & Malaysia and is often spicy.

You can find many different preparation styles of Mee Goreng in Singapore, e.g: Malay style(which is shown above), Indian sytle (click link to view picture) which is more reddish in colour and Chinese style (click link to view picture) which consists of prawns and etc. No matter which type you prefer, I am sure there is one that suits your liking .

Sunday 23 August 2009

Chicken Chop With Broccoli & Cheese

Take a look at this interesting dish which will capture your taste bud with 3 different combination of flavour:- (1) Lemon Scented Chicken Chop, spread with a layer of (2)Olive Flavour Broccoli paste and finally baked with a layer of (3) Cheesy Shredded Cheddar.

This is a very interesting sauce that I have ever tried using the combination of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and cooked Broccoli. Broccoli is closely resembles cauliflower, which is a different cultivate group of the same species. It is high in vitamins such as C, K, and A as well as containing multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties,

Ingredients of Broccoli Paste:
100g Broccoli Florets
20ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
10g Of Butter, soften

1. Trim and Washed the Broccoli Florets then blanch in boiling water(add pinch of salt in the water) until soften.
2. Removed, drained well and blend in the food process together with olive oil and butter until it became a smooth paste.
3. Scrap out from the blender into a bowl and set aside for later use.

This is the "Star" of the dish which is the Lemon Scented Chicken Chop. The grated Lemon rind and juice give the chicken an extra tenderness and citric fragrant. While preparing the chicken chop, you need to marinate it for at least 30 minutes or more then you can choose either to shallow pan-fry it or Grill it on a grill-pan.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 Pieces Chicken Maryland, without bone
1/4 Teaspoon of Crushed Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Oyster Sauce
Rind of 1 Lemon
1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Plain Flour

1. Trim, wash and pat dry the chicken portions then combine all the seasoning and marinate it for at least 1 hour or so. (if you are running out of time, you can leave it to marinate for at least 20 - 30 minutes)
2. Removed the chicken from the fridge 5 minutes before cooking to bring it to around normal room temperature.
3. Preheat a pan with about 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil to shallow-fry the marinated chicken chop(skin side down first) over medium high heat until golden brown and cooked through.
Dish up and set aside.

~ Chicken Maryland simply refers to a butcher's cut comprising the thigh and leg of the chicken.

Lastly come the interesting part of the dish where you get to assemble the prepared ingredients together to present the final product.

2 Pieces of Cooked Chicken Chop
Prepared Broccoli Paste
Some Shredded Cheddar Cheese

1. Place the cooked chicken chop on a baking tray wrapped with aluminium foil.
2. Spoon some broccoli paste on top of the chicken chop and spread it out evenly.
3. Sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top.
4. Pop into the toaster oven and baked for about 5 minutes till the cheese melt and turn golden brown.
5. Serve immediately with some lemon wedge, fries or potato gems.

From the view of the pictures, you will find that this dish is towards the "Greenish" side which my son named it as "Tortoise". He said the end-bone of the drumstick resemble the tortoise "head" while the golden brown effect cheese and greenish broccoli paste look kind of like a tortoise shell. So from his perception, in certain angle this dish resemble like a "Tortoise" to him. So after looking at the picture, what is your opinion on his allegation?

Saturday 22 August 2009

Dim Sum @ Mayim Chinese Cuisine

Remember my archives post on the newly open branch of this Mayim - 天乐里 Chinese Cuisine Restaurant @ Northpoint. Finally, after the 3rd week of their grand opening and long queuing we managed to pop-in this afternoon to sample some of their afternoon tea dishes.

They have a eye-catching menu that consists a wide varieties of dishes range from snacks to main course and dessert and I am sure you will be able to find something that suits your taste bud. For a start, we ordered 3 of their signature Fragrance Tea which is serves in individual earthen tea-pot:-

1) Jasmin Tea With Rose Buds (红玫瑰香片): Out of the tea shown in the menu, this is one of my favourite tea due to the name and ingredients used which gives the tea a sweet and fragrance aroma when taste. These dried natural rose petal is often regarded as a health supplement which can be consume regularly to help in blood circulation and digestion.

2) "Shou Mei" With Wolfberry (寿楣杞子茶): This tea has an interesting meaning of "Longevity " due to the word "寿" in Chinese character. Shou Mei(寿楣) is a white tea that is produced from naturally withered upper leaf and tips that has a stronger flavor reminiscent of lighter Oolong teas.

3) "Pu Erh" With Chrysanthemum (贡菊普洱茶) : This tea is the combination of Pu Erh and Gong Ju(a varity of chrysanthemum). The use of Chrysanthemum aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as well act as a "cooling" herb. It is believed to be effective in treating eye pain associated with stress or yin fluid deficiency.

Despite of the crowds, they service was still good and prompt when serving the dishes. The first item to set on the table is this "Spiced and Sour Lai Main served dry with minced pork - 酸辣炸酱干伴面". The taste of the sauce was just nice and it wasn't too spicy for us too. The texture of the noodle was "Q" and overall this dish worth at least 7/10 which cost @ the price of S$6.30 per plate.

Since it's almost 3pm in the afternoon, we decided to grab some "Dim Sum" items on their list. We ordered the Pan-fried Turnip Cake (香煎萝卜糕) with Chinese Sausage and Pan-fried Gyoza (生煎锅贴饺) with Ginger Vinegar. I personally love their pan-fried gyoza which when you bite on the crispy outer skin, the parcel will erupt with some sauce or soup like gravy which make the gyoza so tasty and juicy.

This "Steamed Vermicelli Roll with Crispy Golden Roll - 脆皮与旺肠" is an interesting item to us. It different from the usual "Chee Cheong Fan (猪肠粉)" which is wrapped with shrimp or char siu. This is a double-wrapping version where the inner layer is wrapped using spring-roll with shredded turnip, mushroom, carrot and etc then deep-fry until golden and crispy. After which, they will be wrapped with another layer of steam vermicelli skin and served with their special dipping sauce.

Beside the above, we also ordered a few more items on their Dim Sum list which cost only S$2.00 each item:-

1) Steamed Spiced Chicken Feet with Peanuts - 辣味蒸凤爪: The texture of the steamed chicken feet is soft and tasty with the combination of their special sauce. Other than the usual chicken feet, you can even find some stewed peanut that comes in it for that extra crunch and taste. I love the combi of the sauce and the chicken feet, it is not too oily nor salty, it has just the right taste.

2) Shanghai "Xiao Long Bao" - 上海小笼饱: Typically, I love the taste of those Shanghai Xiao Long Tang Bao - 小笼包, especially the one from Din Tai Feng. So when I saw this item from their Dim Sum menu, I decided to order a plate. To our surprised, the dumpling is place inside another small aluminum cup instead of the usual one that is place on top of baking paper or Chinese cabbage. Although the appearance might not be attractive, but you will be caught in surprised with the "herbal taste" like soup that flows out from the dumpling when you bite at it. But the "soup" might be a bit greasy and salty to those who prefer a lightly taste.

3) Healthy Brown Rice - 健康活力煲饭: This can be found under their Fragrance Fried Rice Menu is a must to try for those healthy conscience folks. This is indeed a very colourful and nutrition dish which consists of mixture of rice and brown rice with carrot, celery, black bean, black fungus, yam, peanut & red bean. On a glance of it, you might not see all the ingredients but when you start tugging in your spoon or chopstick, you will find a lot treasure hidden beneath. This is definitely worth at the price of S$2.00 per rice bowl.

By then when we have finished the above, we are already too full to have any dessert. So I guess shall wait till next round when we try their Ala Cart dish before we have another chance to venture into their dessert. Till then, I can suggest that this is rather a good place for a cosy meal at an afforable price for family and friends. So do check up for the nearest branch near you at their website @ Mayim location.

Baked Herbal Spare Ribs

Most of us would have heard or tried the Steam Herbal Chicken(药材鸡) from either local food stalls or Chinese Restaurant. The chicken is usually wrapped in foil together with some assorted Chinese herbs(eg: dang gui, wolfberries, red dates and etc.) and steam until tender for about an hour plus or so.

This round, instead of the usual Steam or Deep-fried Herbal Chicken I would like to share with you this Baked Herbal Pork Ribs which creates another new fusion of herbal taste. So if you love the taste and gravy of the usual Herbal Chicken, don't hesitate, come and join us to explore the new taste of this Baked Herbal Pork Ribs with just minimum requirement of ingredients from you kitchen pantry.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
8 Pieces of Spare Ribs(排骨)
3/4 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Grated Ginger Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

For Wrapping:
8 small slices of Dang Gui (当归)
1 Tablespoon Wolfberries (枸杞子)
1 Sprig of Coriander, leave only
8 Pieces of Aluminium Foil
8 Pieces of Baking Paper

1. Wash, trim and pad dry the spare ribs then marinate it with the above mentioned ingredients and set side in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to an hour.
2. At the meantime, cut the Aluminium Foil and Baking Paper to the size of about roughly 15 x 20cm each and set aside for later use.
3. Place a piece of the baking paper on top of the aluminium foil, place a few wolfberries, 1 leaf of the coriander, top with 1 piece of marinated spare rib, add another leaf of coriander, 1 slice of dang gui and a few more wolfberries.(refer to the above picture for more detail of the placement)
4. Fold the baking paper into a parcel shape to wrap the spare rib then double-wrapped it wth the foil layer.
5. Repeat the same procedure for the remaining spare ribs, bake the wrapped parcel in pre-heated 200 degree oven for about 20 - 25 minutes (remove a parcel from the oven, use a chopstick to pierce and test whether the meat is cooked through before removing the rest of the parcels)
6. If it is not cook through, continue to bake for another 5 - 10 minutes.

~ You can also drizzle some of the marinated sauce on top of the spare ribs before wrapping.

So as you can see, even with some simple ingredients on hand you can create some amazing and eye appealing dish for your guest. This is great to serve as finger food during gathering or party. I am sure your guests will be impressed by this colourful and aroma dish when they open up each of these individual treasure packet. And other than the spare ribs, you will also be able to taste the herbal gravy which expel from the meat during the baking processes from the high temperature.

Friday 21 August 2009

Double-boiled Pork Essence

Most of us are more familiar with Essence of Chicken, which we get to drink a very small bowl of Essence extracted from the Double-boiled Chicken. Despite of either using the normal Kampung Chicken or the nutrition Black Chicken that is normally used in Confinement, you can also replace it with Lean Pork or Minced Beef.

But today we are going to try out Pork Fillet Essence. To make your Essence more herbal taste, you can add in a small amount of these herbs to have a light double-boiled Essence. But remember, don't add in too much because it will eventually absorb the liquid during the double-boiled process and you will end up with less essence. Previous post, we make use of American Ginseng Root to double-boiled chicken soup so this round, we shall try on the Stem itself which yield the Ginseng Slices.

Ingredients: (serve 1)
500g Pork Fillet, cut into thin slices or minced
1 - 2 Red Dates(红枣), cut into halves
1 Teaspoon Wolfberries(枸杞子)
4 Slices of American Ginseng Slices
150ml of DOM(法国廊酒), optional
4cm Wide of Dried Hui Shan(淮山), optional
1 Slice of Yu Zhu(玉竹), break into small pieces, optional

1. Wash and trim all the fat from the pork fillet, use the back of the knife to roughly pound the pork slices.
2. Rinse and drain all the herbs then place some of it in the middle of the double-boil pot. (refer to the photo below)
3. Use small saucer or rice bowl to cover the herbs.
4. Place the pounded pork slices over the top of the sauce(refer to the photo below).
5. Lastly sprinkler the reserved wolfberries and other herbs on top, covered and place it in the slow cooker.
6. Add enough boiling water to cover almost 3/4 or more of the double-boil pot then cook over low heat for approximately 2hrs then open and drizzle the DOM evenly on the meat.
7. Continue to cook for another 30minutes. Serve immediately or reserved till later consume.

~ If you are using American Ginseng Slices, you can omit the use of DOM and serve it this Essence to kid.

As this Essence is Double-Boiled with DOM(Benedictine DOM Liqueur), it might not be suitable for kids unless you omit the use of this liqueur. You can prepared this in the mid-afternoon and reheat it to consume it before bedtime.

Wednesday 19 August 2009

BAKERZIN - August Promotion

Look at this, isn't it look Luscious............ Saw this Bakerzin Tiramisu advertisement at TODAY newspaper on the way to work. On the first glance, my thought was "WOW~~~~, my favourite Tiramisu. Must go grab it after work today". So I am sure this is also a great news for Tiramisu lover or if you are a fan of Bakerzin products.

Other than the above Promotion on Tiramisu, they are also having a Mooncake sale which valid till this 31st August 2009. Maybe I would like to try their Sesame Truffle Selection which looks interesting to me compare to those traditional flavours. You can check up more details on their official website(here) or run down to any of their outlets(here) near your area.

Sunday 16 August 2009

Japanese Cotton Cheesecake

Japanese-style cheesecake relies upon the emulsification of cornstarch and eggs to make a smooth appearance. The texture is light, fragrant and not as greasy as the usual western baked cheesecake.

Although this recipe require a little bit more steps on the preparation but it is really worth the effort when you taste the end result. I really cannot re-called where I have taken this original recipe from, but after sharing it with one of my friend, she gave me another modify version of hers which use exactly 205g cream cheese. So upon seeing what her wonderful cheesecake, it makes me even wants to give this recipe a try.

The process of making these Japanese Cotton Cheesecake is not really that difficult. All you need to do is to follow the steps closely and you will sure to get the right texture and colour. (click on the picture for larger view)

Ingredients: (8" Round tin)
250g Philadelphia Cream Cheese
140ml Fresh Milk
55g Unsalted Butter
30g Cake Flour
20g Cornflour
4 Egg Whites
4 Egg Yolks
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Grated Rinds of 1 Lemon
95g Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

1. Dice cream cheese into cubes and soak with milk (place mixture in a glass mixing bowl or double boiler) for about 30 minutes.
2. While waiting, melt the butter and set aside.
3. Put the cream cheese mixture in a double boiler(refer to the picture above), stir until smooth and creamy then stir in the melted butter and set aside to cool.
4. After the mixture cools down, stir in the flour mixture(sieved the cornflour and cake flour together) then follow by one egg yolk at a time, whisk the mixture till well combined.
5. Next stir in the lemon juice and rind and whisk the mixture till smooth then set aside.
6. In another clean bowl, add cream of tartar into egg white and whisk until foamy.
7. Divide the sugar into 3 portion and whisk into the egg white mixture until it becomes stiff peak form.(refer to the picture above for the egg white texture, this takes about less then 5 minutes or so)
8. Slowly blend the egg whites into the cream cheese batter and mix well until colour combines.
9. Place the mixture in a greased prepared tin and give it a big bang to released the bubbles.
10. Bake the cake in hot water bath at 170 degree for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 150 degree and bake for another 40 - 45 minutes.
11. Cool the cake in the pan completely, then set aside in the fridge for about 1 hour or more before serving it for a better texture and taste.

~ Water bath is a pan of hot water placed into an oven. The hot water provides a constant, steady heat source and ensures even, slow cooking for recipes.

~ The best type of pan to use for a water bath is a roasting pan or other pan with sides at least 1-1/2 to 2 inches high. That will allow you to put enough water into the pan so it won't all evaporate before your pudding or cheesecake has baked.

I used to love Fiesta Cheesecake (which is now come under Ichiban Sushi Restaurant) that comes in 3 different flavour like original, coffee and can't remember the last one....... So with that soft and irresistible texture of Fiesta Cheesecake, I decided to give this recipe a try and after all those effort and steps. My final products do pay off with a good, soft and cotton like texture cheesecake.Posted by Picasa

Soup Restaurant

Soup Restaurant, the unique Chinatown Heritage Cuisine has been preserved for your palate. Their special dishes like Samsui Ginger Chicken, other steamed dishes and herbal soups are prepared in the traditional way.

This is the 1st time I tried their "Teochew Olives Rice" which is prepared by preserved black olives mixes with plain rice. And also black olive is known to stimulate appetite and aids in the process of slimming. Take a closer look at their Olives Rice, each grain is separately nicely and suprisingly it is not that oily as what I have thought of. The texture of the rice is great and it's very different from the usual Thai Olive Fried Rice.

Soup Restaurant "Samsui Ginger Chicken" is steamed-cooked for a pre-determined duration and temperature, thus maintaining its rich chicken aroma and taste. The chicken is served with their special Ginger & Sesame dipping sauce other than the usual Hainanese Chicken Rice chilli sauce that you use to have.

The art of consuming "Samsui Ginger Chicken" is by dipping the chicken into ginger sauce and wrapping them with fresh lettuce. It taste really refreshing and non greasy too.

Come and catch up with their S$1.00 Lunch Treat promotion which is for limited period only. Upon ordering their signature Samsui Ginger Chicken or set menu any day during lunch hour to enjoy any one of the 6 popular dishes at ONLY S$1.00.

With the S$1 Lunch Treat offer, we order this Tofu Prawn. Although the egg gravy is made with simple ingredients like egg, tomato & chilli sauce. It taste so aroma and robust because they use only the freshest prawns. The sauce really goes well with white rice or bun some fried mantou if they do provide.

As you see we didn't order any of their signature soup for today because we are too fully with all the above dishes. But I would like to recommend their "Double Boiled Waisan & Ginseng Roots with Chicken Soup" and "Double Boiled Lingzhi with Lean Pork" which is I find worth of cent to try.