Sunday, 26 July 2009

Ikea - Tampines Branch

IKEA has two branches in Singapore that is located @ 317 Alexandra Road and 60 Tampines North Drive 2. Both offer a wide range of well designed, functional Home Furnishing products at reasonable prices that many people will be able to afford them.

And other than the wide range of imported furnitures and home accessories. They also have their own IKEA Restaurant which offers "Traditional Swedish Dishes" like Swedish Meatballs and Poached Salmon at less than S$7.00 a set for adults. Little kids also have special kid's meal which is less than $3.00 and there are microwave available to warm up baby and toddlers food in order to cater for everyone needs in the family.

I love their Poached Salmon served with potatoes and broccoli and topped with a buttery cream sauce that does not taste or feel greasy and it really blend well with the salmon. Other than the poached salmon, we also try their famous Swedish meatballs. Em... the overall taste is great, but then we don't really like the fragrant of the meatball which taste a bit odd for us :)

Other than the above, I also get a bowl of their soup for the day which is - Cream of Mushroom but I am kind of disappointed with it as it taste kind of salty and I can't really get that touch of mushroom taste in it. But as usual, their fried chicken wings are still as good as before. The taste is great and it's best to eat while hot so that it is more crispy and tastier.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Savory Oatmeal Porridge - 麥片粥

Oatmeal is usually used to make porridge or act as an one of the ingredient in oatmeal cookies or oat cakes. Sometime it is use as a topping on many oat bran breads. Research shows that Daily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol, due to its soluble fiber content.

This is my very 1st attempt in cooking Savoury Oatmeal which really worried me before the final end product being served. But to my surprised these really turn out well and it taste just as similar as to those "Cantonese Porridge - 广东粥" texture. To further enhance the fragrant of the porridge, I even prepared some pan-fried shredded ginger to use as garnish.

As for this recipe, I use this "Quaker - Quick Cook Oatmeal" which you can purchase in most supermarket. You can add your preference amount of Oatmeal to the thicken the porridge to the consistency that you want the it to be.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
5 - 6 Tablespoons of Quick Cook Oatmeal
3 Imitation Crab Meat, diced
100g Of Mince Pork
1 Egg, lightly beaten
600ml of Water/Stock
Chopped Spring Onion & Coriander
Pan-fried Shredded Ginger, optional

Methods:
1. Marinate the mince meat with some light soy sauce, pepper and sesame oil and set aside.
2. Preheat a saucepan with some oil, lightly fry the diced crab meat until done, then add in the marinated mince meat.
3. Give it a quick stir until the meat are well separated and cook through.
4. Add in the water and bring it to almost boiling point then add in the quick cook oatmeal.
5. When the mixture come to boil again, low the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes then season to taste.
6. Switch off the heat, remove the pot from the stove, then drizzle in the beaten egg and give it a quick stir.
7. Serve in the bowl with extra topping of chopped coriander, spring onion and shredded ginger.

Notes:
a) To make the pan-fried shredded ginger:-
~ Preheat a small pan with about 1 tablespoon or more of oil, then add in 1 tablespoon of shredded ginger, saute it over medium low heat.
~ Stir consistency until the ginger turns almost golden in colour, switch off the heat, remove the shredded ginger and set aside in a small saucer.
~ Pour some of the oil over it so as to drizzle on the porridge or noodle.

At a glance of it, you will definitely mistaken it as the usual "Mince Pork Porridge" that we used to have in the Asian way of cooking. So do give this a try to serve Oatmeal in a new taste compare to the sweet flavour varieties that we used to have for breakfast.Posted by Picasa

Sakae Sushi - Parkway Parade

There are about 40 Sakae Sushi branches all around Singapore which offer a wide varieties of affordable Japanese cuisine delights which range from Sushi, Ramen to Teppanyaki. Since we are in the East Coast area today, we decided to have our lunch at one of the Sakae branch located in Parkway Parade.

There was quiet a long queue due to the weekend lunch crowd but we still managed to get a seat in less than 20 minutes. Upon seated we were quiet impressed and amused by the different varieties of sushi plates available on their conveyor belt. The first item that caught our eyes it something similar to the California Maki that is top with fresh mango slices, cream cheese and black fish roe. The taste really blend well and the fresh mango slices do give it a refreshing fragrant and taste.

Second items that we grab is the Nigiri sushi that top with a thick gorgeous slice of smoke salmon which is coated with some ground black pepper.

Third items that we pick is a sushi roll wrapped with cream cheese and Japanese cucumber and also top with extra cucumber slices, prawn mayonnaise and fish roe.
Rey is a Sakae fan who loves their Nigiri Sushi, especially Tamago. He will have at least 3 plates of that whenever he dine in at any of the outlet. And today he is very surprise to find this new outlook of Tamago that they served in this Parkway branch. Look at the slice of Tamago on to of the rice, it is such a big serving that we have ever seen in other outlets before.

Next comes our main course other than the sushi plates that we had. I order this Seafood Set Lunch @ S$12.90 which consists of Half Shell Scallop, 2 Large Prawns, A slice of Pan-fry Salmon, Stir-fry Assorted Vegetable(beansprouts with onion and lot of garilc), Miso Soup, Crab meat Vegetable Salad and with a top-up of another S$2.50 more you can also enjoy their Garlic Rice.

Em... personally, I felt that they have added too much garlic and sauce in preparing the half shell scallop and the assorted vegetables which makes them pretty salty. But overall the salmon and prawn is great, especially the prawn that taste so fresh and "Q".

Although this is the very first time I tried their garlic rice, I was kind of impress by the taste and the extra topping of dried krill. Overall we give this set 75% for the taste and presentation :)

Lastly, if you are a Sushi fan, and happen to be around that area, you might also want to consider their Sushi Buffet at a reasonable price during the specific hours indicated in the pamphlet. Posted by Picasa

Friday, 24 July 2009

Mayim Chinese Cuisine

This is a very special Chinese Cuisine restaurant called "MAYIM - 天乐里" which is going to open soon in Northpoint (义顺纳福坊) at the 2nd story. They have a nice window view which is directly facing the Yishun MRT track and I also love their interior decoration and food varieties which consists a mixture food fusion.

Here is a preview of their menu outside the restaurant. From the look of it you will be looking forward to give a try on their actual dish in no time. The price range of the dishes are reasonable and affordable too. If you can't wait for the branch at Northpoint to open, you can also visit their main branch at 1 Bukit Batok Central Link,#02-04, West Mall, Singapore 658713 Tel: 6794 1590 Posted by Picasa

I will update more on their cuisine after I get to try out their cuisine in the Northpoint branch which is going to open soon.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Banana Leaf Delights - Chicken Briyani

This is one of the famous Indian cuisine store located in the North area, inside Northpoint Shopping Center. It had being there for about almost 10 years I guess, I have started eating their Chicken Briyani since my secondary school day and only until today then I realise that they have actually changed their store name. I wonder is it still under the same management as before.........

They have a lot of variety choices such as mutton, chicken, fish, big tiger prawns and etc at a affordable price range from $5.50 to $8.00. And if you are a vegetarians, don't worry they cater for vegetarian sets too! So far, I still prefer their Chicken Briyani set and it's really a huge serving which you can't probably finished it alone.

For us, usually we will order 1 set and add one some side dishes like fishcake, potato cake, sambal egg or extra vegetables so that we can share between two person.

Personally I loved their Briyani chicken which is tender, juice and the gravy is full of fragrant and brusting favour. It goes really well with their Briyani rice which is cook to the right texture. So if you are staying in the North area, do give this stall a try. You will sure come back for more....... but you have to beware of the long queue during lunch and dinner hours.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Bento #29 - Macar Garden

Thank God for his blessing that today is Sunday again. As usual after our early church service, Rey and I will go to the market and pick up some goodies that he wants me to prepare for him as lunch and dinner. Along at the fruit stall, Rey prompted me that he would like to have some cherries in his bento box to accompany the rest of the berries at home.

Today we are having cheesy macaroni with some blanched broccoli and Komoboko cut into small dual colour flowers using the tools shown. So after showing Rey with an example of how to use the cutter to assemble the flower, I leave the rest of the task to him while I start to work on the macaroni and packing of the bento.

Tata.... so after about 30 minutes of work in the kitchen, we finally come out with Today's lunch bento. We called this Macar Garden because of the flowers, cheese rabbits and colourful fruits. Overall, Rey do enjoy making and eating this bento but he is a bit upset when one of his favourite "Cheese Rabbit" melt while during my photo taking session :p

Err... sorry darling, mummy should have wait for the Macaroni to cool down a bit first before putting the "rabbit" on top of it. Posted by Picasa


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Herbal Fish Mee Suah

After a day of hectic work in the office, what would you prefer to have as a comfort food for dinner? Some home cooked soup or simple home cooked dishes? Or what about having a bowl of hearty Herbal Fish Mee Suah that top with some fish slices, soft-boiled Egg and fried shredded ginger to go with?

Mee Suah, which is usually sold in dried form, is made from rice flour and is very brittle in uncooked form as the strands are really thin. We hardly have Mee Suah at home as I always thought that it is more for confinement food cooking or elder people. But on request today, I prepared this light herbal pork ribs soup to serve with the Fish Mee Suah with an additional Soft-boiled egg.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
150g of ShengYu Slices (生鱼片)
3 Bundles of Mee Suah (面线)
4 Pieces of Spare Ribs
2 Big Red Dates (红枣)
2 Slices of Dried Huai Shan(淮山)
5 Slices of Yuzhu (玉竹)
3 – 4 Slices of Dang Gui(当归)
1 Tablespoon Wolfberries (枸杞子)
600ml - 750ml Water
2 Soft Boiled Eggs
10g of Shredded Ginger
Chopped Coriander & Spring Onion for garnish

Method:
1. Clean and wash the spare ribs then blanched in boiling water for about 5 minutes, rinse, clean and set aside for later use.
2. Marinate the fish slices with some shredded ginger and a few drops of sesame oil and light soy sauce then set aside in the fridge.
3. Bring water to boil in a stockpot, add in spare ribs, rinse herbs and half of the wolfberries.
4. Lower the heat and let it simmer over low heat for about 20 – 30 minutes until the spare ribs are tender.
5. While boiling the soup base, pre-heat a small frying pan with about 1 tablespoon of boil, sauté the shredded ginger till fragrant and golden brown, removed and set aside for garnish.
6. Blanched the marinated fish slices in boiling water for about 1 minutes till cooked, remove and set aside.
7. Using the same saucepan, bring some fresh water to boil then cooked about 1½ bundle of the mee suah for about 30 seconds or so, stir occasionally.
8. Remove and place it in a big soup bowl top with some of the remaining wolfberries, 2 spare ribs and some blanched fish slices.
9. Scoop the hot herbal soup over it and serves with some extra garnish of shredded ginger, coriander, spring onion and soft-boiled egg.
10. If you prefer, you can drizzle a few drops of sesame oil over it for extra fragrant.


Methods For Soft-Boiled Egg:
1. To prepare a soft-boiled egg, bring egg and water to boil in a saucepan then low the heat to medium low and continue to boil for about 4 minutes(for runny egg yolk) or 6 minutes(for soft and moist yolk).
2. Remove the heat from heat, peel the shell and set aside.


Em... in order to get that brownish effect for my soft-boiled egg. I actually soaked the cooked egg without shell in a bowl of dark soy sauce water for about 30 minutes or so, but the effect is still not as good as cooking it in dark soy water. And even though this soft-boiled egg is to one of my preference, I still prefer to have it under cooked for maybe another 1 minutes or so less in order to achieve that slightly runny yolk effect. I will try cooking this soft-boiled egg again for 4 minutes instead of the 6 minutes that I have done.Posted by Picasa


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Parents World - July & August Issue

Wow.. just received my latest issue of Parents World for July & August. I was so busy these few weeks that I totally forgot about this bi-montly Parents' and Kids' magazine that I have contributed my recipes with. This month cover page mum is Cecilia Cheung, one of the beautiful Hong Kong Celebrities whom most of us known of.

In this issue you will find a lot of interesting stuffs and factors that might trigger your curiosity of grabbing a copy of it. And further more, my recipes for this issue will be "Buttermilk Pancakes With Strawberry Mint Sauce" which is great for breakfast or tea-time.

Follow by this "Claypot Ginseng Chicken Rice" which I come out with from the idea of Steam Herbal Chicken. And there is another kiddy porridge which is "Cod Porridge with Lotus Seeds & Wolfberries" which is not shown here. But if you are interested in these recipes do check out the copy in your kids' school bag which they might have a complimentary copy from school or you can grab at copy at most 7-11 stores and newsstands. Thank you for your support.Posted by Picasa


Sunday, 12 July 2009

Double-Boiled Egg White & Milk In Coconut

I saw this fresh and beautiful Thai Young Coconut during my market trip this morning and on first sight, I told myself that I am going to make a new dessert from it. As I always heard from my mum who has tried the "Double-boiled hashima and egg whites in coconut" dessert Crystal Jade Kitchen. I decided to come out with my very own version of "Double-Boiled Egg White & Milk With In Coconut".

Coconuts are the fruit of the coconut palm, it has many food uses, including milk, meat, sugar and oil as well as functioning as its own dish and cup. From research, it shows that coconut water is also More Nutritious than whole milk as it contain Less fat and NO cholesterol! As you can see from the photo, the main ingredients that I used are Young Coconut Juice and Flesh, Egg White, Fresh Milk and some wolfberries for colour contrast and sweetness.

Ingredient:
1 Thai Young Coconut
Egg White From 2 Medium Egg
100ml Coconut Juice
70ml Fresh Milk
1/2 Tablespoon Wolfberries
1.5 Teaspoon Sugar
1/2 Red Date, for garnish

Method:
1. Dissolve the sugar in the coconut juice over low heat in a pot, then set aside to cool. (You can use microwave to cook on High 30 second)
2. Use a small knife to life the lip of the coconut, slow not to break it fully open, leave a small gape so the you will be able to cover it back while double-boiled.
3. Use a spoon carefully scrape the flesh from the inner shell and set aside for later use.
3. Whisk the egg whites briefly, then mix in the milk and pour in the cool coconut juice solution.
4. Strain into a bowl, then pour it back into the coconut shell.
5. Stir in 3/4 of the wolfberries and coconut flesh then cover the lip, place the coconut in a deep bowl or place it directly in the pot of boiling water and double-boiled for about 20 minutes.
6. Open the lid after 10 minutes, scatter the remaining 1/4 of wolfberies and coconut flesh and top with half of the red date in the middle.
7. Cover the lip back and continue to steam over medium heat for another 10 minutes. (Open the lip at a 5 minutes interval)
8. Remove the whole bowl from heat and remain cover for 2 minutes before serving.
9. You can either serve warm or cold.


Note:
a) I bought the Thai Young Coconut from Shop And Save or you can get it from most supermarket at less than $2.00 each. (Try to find the one with a nice lid so that u can cover it while double-boiled)
b) The texture of this dessert might not very pudding like, sometime it might be more on the soft or liquid side depend on the kind of milk you used and the steaming technique.


This is a very refreshing and fragrant dessert. The moment when I opened the lip, the aroma of the coconut essence is so wonderful. You should give this a try if you love coconut and it's a very good beauty dessert too... :p Posted by Picasa


Frog & Pumpkin Porridge

This is one of Rey's favourite weekend lunch that I always prepared for him either on Saturday or Sunday. The method is more or less the same but then I will rotate on the ingredients depend on what he prefer during that week. Our "little master" will tell me what he wants for the day before we headed for marketing. Today's menu might sounds a bit "yucky" to some of you because of the use of "Fresh Frog". But in Asian country like Singapore, Frog porridge is very commonly found in most household where the elderly will choose it to cook porridge for kids.

Since Rey is a picky eater who don't really eat meat or vegetable on it's own. We have to work on ways to get things into his mouth, so the most easier way that both me and my mum will do is to put everything into the porridge and serve it to him as one dish meal. This is a very nutritious porridge which consists of his favourite pumpkin and potato. Posted by Picasa

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
3 Pieces of Pork Ribs
1 Fresh Frog(田鸡), skin removed
60g of Pumpkin, without skin
1 Medium Potato, cut into quarters
Some Red Dates & Wolfberries
1/2 Cup Uncooked Rice
600ml - 800ml Water

Method:
1. Pre-wash the rice and soak with some water for about 30 minutes, this is enable the rice to soften and cook faster.
2. Wash and clean the pork ribs and fresh frog then blanch them in boiling water for a about 3 minutes, rinse and set aside.
3. Next bring about 600ml of water to boil then add in the pork rib, frog meat, potato cubes, red dates and wolfberries and let it bring to boil again then simmer for about 15 minutes over low heat.
4. Add in the rice(drained well 1st) and pumpkin(don't cut into small pieces, leave it as it is) let it simmer accordingly until the rice is done to your liking.
5. Season it with some salt and sesame oil if you prefer then serve.


My boy love the pumpkin to be mashed together in the porridge and serve with the soft cooked potato. Usually I cooked this dish with Cod fish but for a change today, I replace the Cod fish with fresh frog meat.

Note:
a) I bought the fresh frog from the wet market which is already without the skin.
b) I use a small claypot to cook the porridge because we love that smooth texture compare to the normal pot.


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