Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Photographing & Tasting Event @ Sarang, Orchard Central

Last Saturday I was invited to a Food Photographing and Tasting Event at "Sarang" a newly setup Korean Restaurant on the rooftop level of Orchard Central. The main aim of this event is to launch the “OC Foodies” Food photography Contest where they invited local famous food blogger, Leslie Tay(from ieatishootipost) to share with us some of his food photographing tips together with some hands-on session with him.

During this event the chefs from Sarang prepared many tasty dishes for us to have our hands-on photography session together with array of sample tasting dishes to excite our sight and taste bub.  The above photo shows the popular Korean Spicy Hotpot known as “Amy Stew” which consists of ingredients such as:- Kimchi, Sausage, Spam and tofu and etc. This will be a great choice during rainy day.
Price: S$12.80 per pot

This is totally different from our Asian Stir-fried Vermicelli (炒冬粉) with egg, pork or etc. It is known as "Sarang Japchae" with comes with vibrant colour and light fragrant of sesame oil taste.
Price: S$6.80 per plate

Kimchi a traditional fermented Korean dish which is made of vegetables with varied seasonings. In Sarang they also offer "Fresh Kimchi" in their appetiser menu.
Price: S$4.80 per bowl

There are about 9 different types of Main Course available in their menu with interesting names such as "Angry Piggy", "Superstar", "Godfather" and etc. Above is their "Drunken Pork” dish which is wine-marinated pork belly that is grilled and served with kimchi on sizzling hotplate.
Price: S$15.80 per plate

"Godfather" a very special name for this dish that comes with a 300g of grilled beef steak in chef's special spicy sauce.
Price: S$48.00 per plate

Ladies you should not missed out this fruity taste of “Godmother” beef steak if prefer something light and fruity.
Price: S$48.00 per plate

"Sun and Moon" is indeed a very innovative name for this dish where you can see the colour contrast between the kimchi fried rice and the sunny side up egg that is served in a hotplate style. Wonder how it taste like if I would to scramble them together.
Price: S$8.80 per plate

If you prefer something light perhaps this "Ginseng Porridge" with mild ginseng taste and chicken would suits your taste. For me this is quite tasty and fragrant but overall I find it a bit towards the gluey texture which makes it taste like Cantonese “congee”.
Price: S$6.80 per bowl

If you love to take photos of your food, Orchard Central would likes to invite all public to submit their best photographs of food taken at any Orchard Central food and beverage establishment between 21 November to 30 December 2010. Submit your photographs to "http://www.orchardcentralfoodies.com/" to join the contest. I have submitted mine too so please help to give me your valuable supports by clicking on the "LIKE" at this link HERE. Thanks.

The prizes for the winning entries are:-
* Grand Prize: $400 cash + $50 OC F&B voucher
* 2nd Prize: $300 cash + $50 OC F&B voucher
* 3rd Prize: $200 cash + $50 OC F&B voucher
* 4th Prize: $100 cash + $30 OC F&B voucher
* 5th Prize: $50 cash + $30 OC F&B voucher

Guest Judge of the contest Mr Leslie Tay(ieatishootipost) will select 5 lucky winners almong all eligible submissions based on the following criteria:-

~ Creativity/Originality (50%)
~ Quality of Composition (30%)
~ Public Voting/Comments (20%)


Lastly I would like to thank Eunice Lim from Smarter digital marketing & communications and Sarang Korean Restaurant for the invitation.

Sarang - Heartbeat of Seoul
181 Orchard Road
#07-01 Orchard Central
Singapore 238896
Reservation: +65 6773 1322
Website: www.sarang.com.sg
Email: ask@sarang.com.sg


Monday, 29 November 2010

Almond And Apple Tea - 苹果杏仁茶

There is always a saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, and apple itself contains high nutritional value, promotes digestion and help to prevent diseases and other functions too. This common fruit which is suitable for all ages often comes in various sizes and varities from different countries. During recent years studies iit also shows that Apple may prevent or reduce food allergies in human too.

Recently I get to learn how to make this drink from one of my boy's classmates granny who loves to boil soups for her family. She shared with us that this soup is good for health in long run and it also helps to prevent cough and cold due to the ingredients used. Above are some collage photos of the ingredients and steps of preparation.

Sweet & Bitter Almonds(南北杏), Apricot Seed
Warm. Influences the lung and large intestine channels. Stops cough and moistens the intestines. Commonly used to treat dry cough and constipation.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 - 3 Big Apples, cut into wedges
1 Tablespoon Sweet & Better Almond
1 Piece of Candidate Tangerine
4 Strips of Candidate Winter Melon, optional
1 Knot of Pandan Leave
1.5 Litres of Water

Method:
1. Rinse, peel and core the apples then cut them into wedges. (about 6 - 8 wedges per apple)
2. Bring 1.5 litre of water to boil and add in all the ingredient except pandan leaves.
3. When the water comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer on low heat for about 20 - 25 minutes.
4. Add in pandan leaves at the last 5 minutes then continue to let it simmer.
5. When done turn off the heat, remove the sweet & bitter almond pack and pandan leaves from the pot.
6. Serve warm or cold with the cooked apple as drink or dessert.

Note:-
~ Spoon the sweet and bitter almond into stock bag and secure it before adding it to cook with the rest of the ingredients.


This is a very refreshing tea that makes you hook on it due to its sweet and sour taste together with the fragrant of the apples and other pairing ingredients used. You can even boiled this tea and consume it as normal daily fluid by having an option to remove the adding of candidate winter melon to reduce the sweetness. And from some research shown Apples can also reduce high cholesterol, blood pressure and at the same time maintain consistent sugar level in the human body. So this quick and easy tea is sure to be a good keeper in most of our family and it also makes a great drink for kids too.


Sunday, 28 November 2010

Soyato! Healthier Choice of Frozen Dessert!

Soyato is a brand new  frozen dessert  concept that is made of only "Soy Milk" as the base, and contains NO eggs, cream or milk. So this would be a great dessert for those who loves ice cream in a healthier way and it is also suitable for everyone including people who are lactose intolerant, vegans and vegetarians.

This newly set up stall is located at basement level of Bugis junction which is opposite KFC. Unlike Mr Bean, Soyato offers a wide range of more than 10 different flavour soy milk dessert for patrons to select according to their liking. You can start off with any flavour of your choice in a single scoop cup at S$3.60 or add on a dollar more to move your scoop of choice into a "Giant Waffle Cone". But if you prefer some toppings you could always choose from their visible topping ranges of selections from $0.70 per serving. There are also some free flow drizzling sauces such as “Chocolate”, “Strawberry” and “Caramel” for you to go with your dessert too.


My Boy's choice of
Chocolate flavour single scoop with chocolate sauce.


Yancai's choice of "Apple Cinnamon"(the cup at the back) and Maureen's pick of "Royal Tea" to share with Kai.


Alvin and Lobs' settle with this double scoop of "Peanut Butter" and "Yuzu".

Soyato has more then 10 different flavour available for patrons to select and some of the exotic flavours are Yuzu, Black Sesame, Royal Tea and Honey Lemon. Overall I love their Yuzu and Royal Tea and I am yet to try out some other interesting flavour soon.

Their frozen soy desserts churned are made totally from low-fat soy milk which is an ideal choice for people with dietary constraints or those who loves ice-cream but are afraid of its fat and cholesterol contents. So why not the next round when you are in Bugis area pop-by their stall and ask their friendly staffs to let you sample some of their flavours before deciding on which one to go for. I am sure there is definitely more than one that you loves.


Soyato
#B1-K5, Bugis Junction
200 Victoria Street,
Singapore 188021
Website: http://www.soyato.com

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11.00am - 10.30pm


Friday, 26 November 2010

Pooh Pancake Bento

It has being more than a year since my last bento post on making the "Macar Garden". Usually for a traditional bento it consists of rice, fish or meat, and one or more pickled or cooked vegetables that are packed in a box-shaped container. But recent years making of kids’ bento also became a trend in Singapore under the influence of those creative Japanese bento makers. For kids’ bento you can packed anything that your kids prefer in those cute and fashion “bento boxes” that comes in various sizes and designs. (Click HERE for sample)

Here I am packing a "Pancake Bento" which I believes everyone loves pancakes despite whether kids or adults so with some quick and easy pre-packed pancake mixture and extra ingredients like milk and egg you can prepared some delicious pancakes in no time.

I bought this set of "Pooh Face" pancake pan about 2 years back during my craze over these cute bento products. So far I have only tried using it once until recently one of my friend bought me another similar set from her trip. So I decided to use it to make some cute "Pooh Face" pancakes for my boy.

These collage photos show the steps on how to cook the pancake and you could also refer to the instructions below:-

Ingredients:-
200g Pre-mixed Pancake Flour
1 Egg
150ml Fresh Milk
Oil or Soft Butter to grease

Method:
1. In a large mixing bowl add in pancake flour, egg and fresh milk then slowly whisk it with a balloon whisk till well combined.
2. Set the mixture aside for about 2 - 3 minutes, lightly grease and preheat the pooh pancake pan or any small pancake pan till hot.
3. Slowly ladle 1 small scoop of batter and swirl it around the mould/pan.
4. Cook it on low heat for about 2 minutes till the mixture almost dried up and bubbled. (refer to the photo above)
5. Carefully loosen the side of the pancake if using the pooh pancake mould, then flip it over to cook the other side for another 1 minute or so.
6. Remove from pan and continue with the rest of the mixture.
7. Keep it warm and serve with extra butter and maple syrup.


You can easily get a pack of this pre-mixed pancake mixture from any leading supermarkets or you can also use any of your reliable pancake recipes.

My Boy loves Winnie the Pooh so I have some collection of the Pooh related bento items range from bento boxes, food cutters, fork and spoon and etc (Click HERE for sample). So with this lovely "Pooh Pancake Bento" it really brings joy and excitement to him when he gets a set of this for his afternoon tea break. To make this more attractive, I also add in pooh shape butters and some maple syrup in pooh container. Mummies with similar interests I am sure everyone of you can prepared something even better than mine to bring a smile on your kids' face.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Dual Coffee Chiffon Cake

Making chiffon cakes are always one of my greatest enjoyments in the kitchen, as I love to experiment it with different ingredients. Usually after putting the batter in the oven I would be waiting excitedly for the cake to be baked and cool to room temperature before cutting. Personally I love the soft and fuffy texture of these chiffon cakes that always make me go for second helping during tea time.

All along mum has being curious about chiffon cake making and she always wanted to have a hands on session with me so that at least she has some ideas in mind on how to work out the batter and unmould the chiffon cake when it is cooled. So after searching around the kitchen pantry for the necessary ingredients, we decided to make a “Coffee Chiffon Cake” which we could share with our cell-group members.

This coffee chiffon cake used the mixture of instant coffee and Kahlua to bring out that fantastic aroma which filled up the whole kitchen during baking. Here are some of the ingredients and steps for making this Dual Coffee Chiffon Cake.

Ingredients: (for 7" tube pan)
3 Large Egg Yolks
30g Caster Sugar
40ml Corn Oil/Vegetable Oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons of Instant Coffee
45ml Water
1 Tablespoon of Kahlua(coffee liquor)
80g Cake Flour
4 Large Egg Whites
50g Sugar
2 Tablespoon Almond Flakes, optional

Note:-
~ I use the granulated coffee from Robert Timms.




Method:
1. Combine the instant coffee, water and kahlua together and mix well. Set aside.
2. Using a balloon whisk to beat the egg yolks with 30g sugar till well combined before adding the oil.
3. Next slowly whisk in the sieved flour and coffee mixture in alternate sequence into the egg mixture till no trace of flour is found.
4. Preheat the oven to 180 degree.
5. Beat egg whites and 1/3 of the 50g caster sugar with an electric mixer until mixture becomes frothy and foamy.
6. Add in another 1/3 of the sugar and continue to beat on medium speed until almost soft peaks form then add in the last 1/3 of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. (the whole process takes about less than 5 minutes)
7. Use a balloon whisk to whisk in the stiff egg white into the egg yolk batter in 3 separate additions, with the 1st addition to incorporate the whites into the yolk mixture till combined leaving no trace of whites.
8. Next add in the 2nd and 3rd addition of whites using the balloon whisk in a gentle manner in order not to knock off the air in the whites, just fold till no trace of whites and the mixture are well combined.
9. Lastly lift up the bowl to height, pour the mixture into the tube pan and tap the pan once or twice on a table top to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the batter.
10. Scatter some almond flakes on top of the batter, bake the cake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes or when the surfaces turns golden brown. (you can insert a skewer into the centre and test if it comes out clean)
11. Remove it from the oven and invert the pan immediately to let it rest on top of a cup. Make sure it cool completely before unmould.
12. To remove the cake from the pan, run a thin-bladed knife(i use a small rubber saptula) around the inside of the pan and the center core.
13. Release the cake and run the knife/spatula along the base of the pan to remove the cake.
14. Cut into serving size and serve with a cup of tea or coffee

Finally after the baking and cooling, this is my mum’s 1st chiffon cake which is well received by our cell group members. So I guess since my mum can get the texture of her first chiffon cake correct I am sure those of you who are keen to bake a chiffon cake would also be able to success in your baking too. Perhaps some hands on or visual guiding would be of great help too!

Remember for those who has not submitted your post to "Aspiring Bakers #1: Chiffon Cakes (Nov 2010)", you can click HERE for more detail. Closing date is 30 November 2010.


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Go Green with Tupperware TaPau Set

BYO (Bring Your Own) TaPau Set is Tupperware's latest innovation which is designed to hold anything from Noodle-soup to Economic Mixed Vegetable Rice, muffins and snacks for tea-break or family picnic which could helps t0 promote an Eco-friendly environment by using own our own containers. Previously I used to "TaPau (takeaway in Cantonese)" or packed my own lunch to work(sample HERE) in order to avoid the peak hour lunch crowds in CBD (Central Business District) area. As sometime it might take more than 10 minutes just to look for a seat and another 10 - 15 minutes queuing up for food. So in order not to waste the precious 1 hour lunch time I always prepared my own lunch using microwave reheatable containers.

Yesterday I have received a complementary 3-tier TaPau set from Tupperware which comes in my favourite bright "yellow" colour that makes it look so trendy compare to those metal type of tingkat tapau containers. In exchange for the complementary set, they would like us to try this new launched product and share our views about using it. Surprising my mum also has a similar 2-tier "TaPau" set which is square in design that she bought about 10 years back. But compared her set with this latest improved design, the new TaPau set that I have possess a better quality of material as well as a vent cap on each covers.

So today I decided to try out this beautiful and handy Eco-friendly container by going around my favourite stalls to “TaPau” some breakfast before heading to work. As this is my very first time bringing along such a “modern” design container I could feel some people in my queue and the stall owner tend to give me that odd “look”. But despite of that I told myself at least I am doing my part to reduce the usage of plastic containers and bags to help a bit on saving the environment.

Finally without much hassle I managed to pack two different types of breakfast using the "dish" container and when my colleagues saw this handy “TaPau” containers they are pretty impressive with the design and function. From there we realise that actually most of us do have a set or two of Tupperware containers at home which we could make good use of it to promote Eco-friendly environment. But still there are many people around who dislike the idea of bringing their own containers due to the extra washing up after meal or carrying around some big bulky container to and from work which they might felt unglam.

Below are some benefits of bring your own Tupperware containers to stay SAFE and at the same time help to SAVE the environment:-

SAFE
* It is made from food-grade materials which is toxin-free.
* Colours conform to the strictest international standards.
* Tested and proven that it do not leach chemicals into food.

SAVE

* Replaces the need for plastic bags and styrofoam containers.
* Using Tupperware containers reduces landfills that leach toxic chemicals into the soil and waterways.
* You can USE and REUSE for a lifetime as it is backed by Tupperware Lifetime Warranty.


For your information, each container is attached with an air-tight cover to prevent linking of food as well as a cute little round Vent Cap on the side.

This vent cap on top of the cover is meant for the steam to escape while reheating the food in the microwave.

This handy TaPau Set comprises of Crystalwave Dish(x2) in 1-Litre capacity, Crystalwave Bowl(x1) in 2-Litres capacity, Noodle Holder (x1) and a Grip-n-Go Cariolier. You could easily assemble the containers from the steps shown below and some help from the photo above.


1. The Tupperware logo must be facing up to ensure proper assembly of Grip-n-Go Cariolier.

2. To secure the Grip-n-Go Cariolier, slotting one side of the handle into the hook from the bottom and push in the other side to snap and lock.

3. Adjust the side handle of all the containers in same direction with the Tupperware logo facing up on the Grip-n-Go Cariolier and snap on all the handles.

4. The fully assembled set which is ready to go.




For those who are interested to know more about this product, recently there is an event organised by Tupperware on "Bring Your Own (BYO) TaPau Campaign". In this campaign there will be a “Be Spotted” event to spot and reward those who brings along their own container during lunch hour between 12.00pm - 2.00pm at the following Banquet Foodcourt starting from:-

~ 26 Nov (Vivo City)
~ 03 Dec (Parkway Parade)
~ 10 Dec (City Square Mall)

If you are working around that area do drop by with your own “tapau” containers and get spotted and reward with Tupperware goodies by a special celebrity guest. I am sure everyone of us can help to do a little bit by bringing along our own container when ordering takeaway as this will to cut down on the usage of disposal containers, utensils and plastic bags which are harmful to the environment in long run.


Preview on Tupperware TaPau Set - Part II:



Other then the two
Crystalwave Dish containers shown above, BYO TaPau set also has a bigger size container that is specially use for noodle with soup and is divided into 3 parts such as:- the Crystalwave bowl Noodle holder (with holes that can keep the noodles warm and moist from the steam of the soup), and a Cover with a Vent cap for steam to escape. I would share with you in details on how to use this bowl on the next upcoming post on the "Tupperware PaPau Set".

Till then, remember to drop by on the above mentioned Banquet Foodcourt on the dates shown with your own food container and get spotted to win some fabulous goodies by Tupperware. Good Luck!





Note:-
This post is sponsored by Tupperware Singapore but the opinions expressed are 100% mine. No photos or text may be reproduced without seeking prior permission.

Cruise Like A Royal with Royal Caribbean

It has being more than 2 years since our family went for the cruise trip to Malacca. And when I received the invitation from Omy.sg a month ago regarding this cruise preview I was very excited and looking forward to the event. And finally on Monday, 22 November I was there together with a group of over 50 local bloggers to onboard the “Legend of the Seas” which is under Royal Caribbean.

After some long waiting time at the boarding area for the staffs to do some verification of our IDs and issusing temporary boarding passes, we finally managed to board the cruise 40 minutes behind the scheduled timing. Below are some of the photos that I would like to share with you on our preview tour onboard.

This is part of the welcome lounge area at Deck 5 located at "Anchors Aweigh Lounge". Passengers can enjoy their welcome drinks, photo taking session with the cruise captain as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery along the window seats area. I am sure this will be a great place to relax with a couple of drinks and music.

Window view seats at the Anchors Aweigh Lounge.

When onboard the cruise you could also enjoy some “Duty Free” shopping at their “Boutiques of Centrum" at level 5 which is near the Anchors Aweigh Lounge. They have many duty free items such as “Jewelry & Gift”, “Perfume”, “Liquor”, "Toys" and etc which is of cheaper rate compare to those the shopping malls.

For a light refreshment or sweet treat in the afternoon, you could pop-by to “Café Latte-tudes” at Deck 6 where the kids can enjoy wide range of premium ice-cream from Ben & Jerry’s.

While for the adults you could always indulge yourself with a cup of freshly brew coffee and a slice of cake or cookie. For your information this café is equipped with WiFi too but you have to check with the staff on how to get the network up.

In the middle of Deck 7, there is also a cozy Library and Card Room available for those who want to have some quiet time with a book of their choice in the afternoon. But if books are not your cup of tea, perhaps you can gather a few friends for some card games or mahjong over at the card room that is opposite the Library.

At the cruise preview we also have the chance to view their different types of staterooms available on the “Legend of the Seas”. Here I would like to share with you some photos of their “luxurious suite” that most of us would envy on. (for more photos on the different types of staterooms, you can click HERE)

Above photo shows the separate main bedroom of the "Royal Family Suite" with private balcony and living room. There are only two similar Family Suites available on Deck 8 with a sq. ft. of 526 and balcony area of 74 sq. ft.

Since this is meant for family, there is another separate room with 2 single beds that can be cater for young children or attached family members.

Compared to the small and cramp washroom in the normal Staterooms this one with personal bathtub and separate washroom is definitely a bonus for a luxury family usage in terms of queuing for turns.

This is the ONE and only “Royal Suite” available at the end corner of Deck 8 which everyone of us are curious about it. For me I don’t think I would ever have a chance to stay in such a luxurious suite so the moment we went in I was shock to see the layout and spacious room space.

Although the interior set-up might not be a posh as those shown in movies such as Titanic but I am sure this is consider to be "Grand" compared to the Interior Staterooms or Ocean View Staterooms.

Ivory white Baby Grand Piano.

Private bathroom with whirlpool tub, shower, hairdryer and vanity area.

Separate bedroom with King-size bed that makes you feel like a "King".

Private spacious balcony with breathtaking view of the ocean for you to relax and enjoy the afternoon breeze or sun bathing.

For outdoor activities you can always go for the Solarium and whirlpool on the Deck 9 or early morning or evening jog on the jogging track at Deck 10. But if you prefer something indoor then perhaps you can go for the indoor pool or video arcade.

Most of the onboard entertainments are free which includes the live music and comedy shows, 9-hole miniature golf course, Casino Royale, Rock-climing wall and etc. I am sure there is always one that suits you and your family members.

On Legend of the Seas, you will experiece culinary adventure that satisfies all tastes and appetites. You can choose from the wide varieties of buffet style food at Deck 9 of "Windjammer Cafe". Here you would enjoy all kind of cuisines, finger food, pastries, salad, fresh fruits and etc.

 

Lovely wraps and sandwiches.

 

Array of cakes and pastries available at the buffet line.

Our complementary lunch was served at the elegant "Romeo & Juliet Dining Room" located at one end of Deck 4. This English like two-tier dining room served fine dining and wine which as a food blogger I would of course shared with you some of those food that we had.

For appetizer we can choose either "Asian Style Chicken Soup" or "Shrimp Cocktail Royal". Wine of your choice of red/white is served together with the food too.

My main course is "Chef's Halibut" which is boiled fillet presented with Spanish soffrito and truffle scented polenta. The fillets goes well with the sauce but I find it rather a bit dry maybe due to the delay of our lunch hour. But the truffle scented polenta was great and I hope I could replicate it at home too.

There are another two main course which is "Shrimp Ravioli" and "Lamb Shank with Rosemary" where you can view the photos HERE.

I love dessert especially Western type with creamy texture so this "Ivory Chocolate Fondue" which comes with sweet berries in white chocolate mousse certainly has filled my day with joys. The sweet and sour taste of the chocoalte fondue goes pretty well with my white wine too.

There is no shortage of excitement onboard where you can enjoy all the facilities and be completely spoilt like a "Royal". Depending on your number of days onboard, if you stay slightly longer you could also join their shore excursion trips lead by professional licensed guides too.

So are you ready to be onboard the "Legend of the Seas"? For more details on their promotion you can refer to Straits Times advertisement or check it out on their website at:- http://www.royalcaribbean-asia.com/



Promotion Details:-
~ YES 93.3FM 21st B'Day Bash Promo (link HERE)

~ Malaysia and S.E Asian Cruise (link HERE)



If I have chance I would definitely give this "Royal Cruise" a go, perhaps a reasonable package with suitable dates for a family of 4 would be a great steal of us. Let’s hope I would have some detail posts on the cruise soon as I still missed out some places and good shots too. But for now you can check out these related photos on this preview tour at Cuisine Paradise Fanpage HERE.


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