Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Dim Sum Buffet @ Ban Heng Pavilion Restaurant

Ban Heng Pavilion Restaurant - 萬興樓(formerly Dragon Gate Restaurant) most probably offers the cheapest Dim Sum Buffet around Singapore with close to 30 different varieties of steamed and deep-fried dim sum together with porridge, soup and desserts.

Having Dim Sum Buffet for weekday lunch is a total blessing while others are rushing for their quick lunch bite within lunch hour. While waiting for the dim sum to be served, you can help yourself with their smooth and fragrant century egg porridge or some dessert of your choice. (Photo: Lotus root soup, century egg porridge, mango sago, read bean soup and almond jelly with cocktail)

The Steamed Custard Bun (香甜奶皇包) comes in a basket of 4 buns but I was quiet disappointed with their custard fillings which is not those flowing lava type which I had from Victor's Kitchen(read more HERE) sometime back. The custard fillings shown above was rather like paste form which is dried and not really towards my preference.

Look at these puffing Steamed Shrimp Paste Dumpling with Parsley (鲜虾香茜饺) that serves in a basket of 4. Each dumpling is filled with fresh and crunchy prawn but pity the skin and texture was too dry perhaps it had being left aside for quite sometime before serving.

Love their Steamed Meat Dumplings with Crab Roes (蚧璜蒸烧卖) as the texture was very crunchy with sweet juicy filling that leaves you craving for more than 1 serving.

From the Deep-fried category we tried both the savory and sweet dim sum such as Deep Fried Wanton(脆炸云吞) and Deep Fried Shrimp Dumplings(沙律明虾枣) on 1st row follow by Deep Fried Sweet Sesame Ball(香甜芝麻枣) and Deep Fried Water-chestnut Cake(脆皮马蹄条)shown on 2nd row. Out of the 4 items above, we love their Sweet Sesame Ball which has a crispy outer skin and not so sweet fillings, very addicting snacks .

If has to make a choice between the Deep Fried Roll with Chicken and Prawn(风凰卷) and Deep Fried Sweet Potato Roll(水果网中卷) I would vote for the sweet potato roll because I love the texture of the nested wrapped with a layer of sweet mashed potato.

Other than the above, we also tried their Stir-fry Spinach, Fried Noodles with Bean Sprout which we love and Barbecued Pork With Honey, Shrimp Paste Wrapped with Bean Curd Skin and etc.

Before coming for this dim sum buffet I have read up a few recommending sites and some it have rather negative feedback on either their food or the service staffs. For us, we find the quality of their food are still quite acceptable for the price that we are paying and the serving staffs of that days are also very friendly towards most of the customers.

But there is one thing that I would like to bring up, I notice that some of their utensils and plates are not thoroughly wash as there are still some porridge or dessert stains found on some of their serving spoons at the buffet line.

BAN HENG PAVILION RESTAURANT
1 Maritime Square
#04-01 Harbour Front Centre
Singapore 099253
Telephone: 6278 0288
Website: http://www.banhengrestaurant.com/

Opening Hours:-
Lunch: 11.30am - 2.30pm
Dinner: 6.00pm - 10.00pm

A clear view of their Weekdays Dim Sum Lunch Menu with pricing range from S$12.80++/adult and S$9.80++/child(age 3 -11 years old). For your information their buffet Lunch hours starts from 11.30am - 2.30pm with a minimum of 4 adults. They also provides "Weekends" Dim Sum Buffet at a slightly higher price which you can call their reservation line @ 6278 0288 for more details.


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Penguins Bento and Bento Making featured in ZaoBao(联合早报)

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Recently my boy was fascinated with "The Penguins of Madagascar" showing on #kto(here) every Monday - Thursday at 6.30pm. He loves those 4 crazy Penguins known as Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private who rule the roost at their Central Park Zoo home with thier all-new adventures together with King Julian. And with his favorite show he has always wanted to make a Penguin Bento.

So finally last Sunday, I managed to come up with this Penguins Bento which is similar to his favourite Madagascar Penguins using Charcoal Bread(read more HERE) bought from "Lavender Bakery" at City Square Mall, Johor. He was so excited when we cut out the penguins shape from the charcoal bread using the cutter and assemble it featured with cheese and carrot. I am sure no matter who you gave this Penguins Bento to the receiver will definitely be thrilled.

This photo shows the tools and steps on how to assemble this cute Penguins Bento.

Ingredients:
1 Slice of Bamboo Charcoal Bread
1 Slice of Sandwich Cheese
2 Thin Slices of Carrot
1/4 Portion of Sweet Corn
Fresh Fruits of your Choice
Some Prawn Crackers
Nori sheet
1 Toothpick

Method:-
1. Blanched Sweetcorn in boiling water for about 2 - 3 minutes, removed and add in the carrot. Cook for 30 seconds, remove and set aside.

2. Using a Penguin shape food cutter to cut out two penguins from the bamboo charcoal bread.

3. Next with the same cutter cut out another two penguins from the cheese and using toothpick and drinking straw to cut out the stomach, mouth and eyes of the penguins.

4. Place the cut out cheese features on the prepared bread (give it a gentle press to stick the cheese on the bread), before securing the legs(you can use a flower shape cutter to cut out semi-circle from the carrot) of the penguins using carrot and thin spaghetti strips.

5. Lastly, assemble the sweetcorn, fruits, crackers and penguins bread into the bento box and serve.



FEATURED in 21.06.2011
ZaoBao(联合早报), Family Page


Here is a screen shot of our bento making featured in today's ZaoBao(联合早报), Family Page which might be an encouraging article for working parents to create a bonding time with kids by making bento as a food art and educational theme for them.

Although bento making in Singapore is not as popular as in Japan and Taiwan but there are still a lot of bento makers and bento item collectors in Asian countries. And my bento journey starts with a group of bento friends whom always inspired me with their creative ideas where you might be interested to take a look and read-up their fabulous bento from their blogs shown below:-

1. Mothering Corner @ http://motheringcorner.com/

2. Bentolicious @ http://www.mybentolicious.com/

3. Susan Yuan @ http://susanyuen.blogspot.com/

4. Hippomum @ http://www.wretch.cc/blog/hippomum/11108126

5. Tona Mummy @ http://ourfirstbabykimiboy.blogspot.com/


The Ultimate Crab & Durian Buffet @ Sentosa Boardwalk

Last Saturday evening we finally went for the "Ultimate Crab and Durian Buffet" after hearing so many different reviews from media, bloggers and friends who had tried. We had booked two tables to cater our usual group of foodie friends as well as a few new comers to feast on this "FULLY" booked buffet which starts from 09 - 26 June 2011, 6.00pm to 11.00pm(daily) at the Promontory along the Sentosa Boardwalk.

The long waiting queue of people was there even 10 minutes before the buffet starts and when enter the venue you will see a long buffet line with over 40 different varieties of food to satisfy your hungry and taste. To begin with the buffet you can start with either their cold/hot appetizer such as "Coral Crab Bisque with Sour Cream Soup" to go with freshly baked roll. Or you can pick up something from the selection of Maki Sushi, Poached Tiger Prawns, Prawn and Mango with Avocado Mousse, Fresh Oysters and etc.

Further down the buffet line of this Ultimate Crab buffet, you would at least get to try 5 different crab dishes such as Wok-Fried Chili Sri Lankan Crab, Black Pepper Sri Lankan Crab, Masala Mud Crab shown above. Or others some others like Salted Egg Yoke Crab, Nonya Curry Crab and Ginger Scallion Flower Crab. I am sure for someone who loves crab there is definitely something that suits you.

Even though when comes to seafood, crab eating it is usually not my cup of tea compare to the others like prawn and fish. I find their Masala Mud Crab taste better than Wok-Fried Chili Cab because of it lovely hot and spicy taste from the Masala spices. And if you like spicy food, don't missed out their "Beef Rendang" which is very tender and comes in thick and fragrant gravy which you would love to dip with the Fried Man Tou or as gravy for the crabmeat fried rice.

One of our friend in group recommend this must try "Whole Baked Salmon in Rock Salt" which served with Chive Butter. The fish itself taste so fresh and juicy with it's nature sweetness even without any serving sauce. And personally I prefer this baked salmon compare to their Salmon Sashimi. Some of us are also quite shock to see the orange-red colour of their sashimi but the texture and taste wise was still quite average which generous thickness of slices.

Look at those baskets of D24 Durians! To be honest, Durian are the main reason why I am coming for this buffet. According to one of our friend she said that everyday at around 7.00pm onwards there will be a non-ending queues waiting eagerly for their turn to get hold of a plate or two of these creamy and delicious freshly open Durian.

Although not every seeds of these durians are of good grade but at least you can expect about 80% of it. And if you would like to have something different, perhaps their Durian Pengat which is on the lighter taste compared to the fresh durian pulps will be a good choice for you. But unfortunately the one that we had that day are not served in individual cups with a extra gula melaka topping like what mentioned in some blogs that I have read about. Instead I think the chef have mixed the gula melaka syrup together with the durian puree for our convenient.

Other than Fresh Durian and Durian Pengat, they also served other accompany desserts such as Fresh Cut Fruits, Nonya Kueh, Ice-cream and pastries such as Dark Chocolate Mousse, Durian Cheesecake, Tiramisu and Durian Mousse.

THE ULTIMATE CRAB AND DURIAN BUFFET
Venue: The Promontory, Sentosa Boardwalk
Time: 6pm - 11pm
Prices: Adult $38++ / Child $21++
(Free flow of ice water but other drinks chargeable)
Telephone: 6279 1767

Special Promotions:
Islanders - 15% discount (max. 10 pax per reservation)
ANZ Credit Card - Every 3 paying Free 1

p/s: By the way the buffet is already fully booked till the last day of the promotion. However you can try walk in and may be lucky to get a table.


Each and everyone of us has a wonderful night with good company of friends, food and excellent view from the promontory where we are able to catch the fabulous fireworks and Crane Dance performance. For more read-up and photos related to this buffet, you can refer to their blog links shown below:-

1. Maureen: http://www.misstamchiak.com/

2. Shi Ting: http://lobsterpaints.blogspot.com/

3. Celes: http://celestialdelish.blogspot.com/

4. Derrick: http://www.sgfoodonfoot.com/

5. Meng Ching: http://jessiefoodtrip.blogspot.com/

6. Sherie: http://www.maameemoomoo.com/blog

7. Priscilla: http://www.iluvmyscooter.com/


Friday, 17 June 2011

Steamed Pandan Cake With Sweet Potatoes

I am sure most of us are familiar with the pandan chiffon cake that is available at most bakery stalls. Here with a twist from the previous steamed cake that I have made, I decided to make some Steamed Pandan Cake with Sweet Potatoes. And to make these steamed cakes more fragrance and delicious, you can add in some home-made pandan juice for a superb and natural jade green colour.

When it comes to steamed cake it might look rather easy compared to those bake version but for some of us this might not be the case. I have received a few emails regarding on the "steamed cake" recipe(s)(read more HERE) that they have tried a few times following the recipe(s) to dot and yet they cannot achieve the desire outcome like what is mention on the blog post. Friendly speaking I have failed at least twice while testing out the recipe(s) before I could perfect them with the right texture and outlook too.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

[Dessert] Sweet Potato Soup

I am sure you can easily find this common sweet soup available at most dessert stalls in Singapore. But are you willing to pay for the price ranging from  S$1.20 - S$2.50 just for a bowl of Sweet Potato Soup - 番薯汤 similar to this?

In fact you can cook this quick and easy sweet soup anytime of the day at your own comfort zone with just minimum ingredients required. But before you starts you have to take note of some tips to make it taste just as good as what you had from those dessert stalls.

The key point of this dessert is to control the sweetness of the soup and texture of the sweet potatoes. The soup base cannot be too bland or too sweet and as for the sweet potato it must not be overcooked or else it will be too soft and affect the overall taste of this dessert. And to enhance the taste of the soup, you can also add in a few slices of ginger and some dried longan for that extra spicy taste and fragrant.

Ingredients: (serves 4)
2 Orange Sweet Potatoes(番薯), peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Japanese Potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
Cane Sugar To Taste
2 - 3 Slices of Ginger, optional
1.8 Litres of Water
5 Pieces Pandan Leaves, tie to knot


Method:-
1. Bring 1.8 litres of water to boil together with pandan leaves and ginger slices for about 3 minutes.

2. Add in all the potatoes and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes or until soft.

3. Lastly add cane sugar and stir till dissolved.

4. Remove from heat, ladle into serving bowl and serve warm.


I simply adore this sweet potato dessert which brings back a lot of my wonderful childhood memories where my mum and I used to patron a dessert stall outside the cinema area where we used to visit after our show for late night supper.


Monday, 13 June 2011

[Singapore Blog Awards 2011] Rally Post!

As usually every year during voting and rally period for the Singapore Blog Awards we would have to either record a 2 minutes video or a blog post to thanks our supporters and etc. For me as being the lucky winner for 2009, Best Food Blog Award, it actually widen out my blogging life in different aspects. And also from there I get to know more friends that share same interest such as "cooking, baking, food hunting and photo shots". On top of that, there are also some very supportive blog readers whom often exchange cooking/baking tips with me via blog comments/facebook page. With all these bits and pieces I would like to say "Thank you" to each and everyone of you who gives me your supports and friendships throughout all these years. Without all your kind comments, feedback and support, Cuisine Paradise will not have gone so far with all its' achievements today. So friends and readers, please continue to cast your precious Vote(s) for this 2011 Best Food Blog Awards because your supports are pillars of this blog.


Voting starts from 06 June 2011 - 03 July 2011, for more details click this link HERE for voting instructions. Thanks for your support.


Saturday, 11 June 2011

[Giveaway] Prima Taste Singapore Laksa La Mian

Laksa(叻沙) is a popular spicy noodle soup dish origin from the Peranakan culture, which is a merger of Chinese and Malay ingredients. Basically there are two types of Laksa such as "Curry Laksa" and "Asam Laksa(Penang Laksa)". Curry laksa used coconut curry as soup base together with noodles, tau po, bean sprout, prawns and etc while Asam laksa is a sour fish soup with noodles.


Laksa Leaf also known as Vietnamese mint/cilantro is a kind of herb used in either salad, soup, dish or etc. And in Singapore and Malaysia, the shredded Laksa leaf is an essential ingredient for "Laksa" which is a famous spicy curry noodle soup that is popular between all races.

You can also grow this herb at home for cooking purpose. First just get a handful of this herb from the wet market or supermarkets. Next pluck off most of the leaves leaving only the top, plant the roughly 5 inch stems into the ground and water every morning and you will soon get some freshly grown Laksa leaves.

Although "Thick Rice Noodles(粗米粉)" are most commonly used for Laksa but sometime due to individual preference thin rice vermicelli(幼米粉) or yellow noodles(熟面) are also used. Here for Prima Taste Laksa, La Mian is used instead of the traditional laksa noodles and it taste just as good with it's springy texture.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 Packet of Prima Taste Singapore Laksa La Mian
2 Hard-boiled Egg
1/2 Cup Bean Sprouts
Some Sliced Fish Cake
6 Fried Bean Curd Puffs(Tofu Pok), halves
6 - 8 Medium Shrimped, boiled and shelled
1100ml Water

Method:-
1. Cook shrimps in boiling water for about 5 minutes, remove the heads, shells, veins and set aside.

2. Next blanched bean sprouts, sliced fish cake and fried beancurd puffs separately for about 30 seconds, remove and rinse with water. Set aside.

3. Add label "A" Laksa Paste and "B" Laksa Premix into 1100ml of water, mix well and bring to boil.

4. Put noodles into the boiling Laksa soup and cook for about 5 minutes. Add in beancurd puffs continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

5. Top cooked noodles with cooked shrimps, fish cake, bean sprouts and hard-boiled egg and serve with some finely chopped Laksa leaves.

{Alternatively, you can cooked each individual packet separately for better texture of the noodles.}


Total cost for this dish is about S$8.75 with breakdown shown below:-
Cost of Ingredients:
~ Laksa La Mian = S$4.85
~ Shrimps = S$2.00
~ Bean Curd Puffs = S$0.60
~ Bean Sprouts = S$0.40
~ Fish Cake = S$0.50
~ Eggs = $0.40

I am submitting this post to [June $20 Budget Meal - Noodle] host by Me(Ellena) of Cuisine Paradise at this Link HERE.

Lastly in conjunction with this month [$20 Budget Meal - Noodles] theme I would like to share this new "Prima Taste Singapore Laksa La Mian"(2 packets) with 1 Lucky Reader. If you are interested to try this Singapore favourite just leave your Name and your favourite noodle dish (Laksa, Mee Rebus, Carbonara, Bolognaise), example "I Love Fried Prawn Noodles" in the comment box and I will pick ONE Lucky winner and result will be announce on Thursday, 16 June 2011. (draw open to all readers around the world) Good luck!


[Updated on 16 June 2011]
GIVEAWAY RESULTS!!!!!

Congratulation Gertrude. Please email me your mailing address at ellenaguan@hotmail.com so that I could send out the gift by this week. Thanks.


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Almond Crumbed Chicken Schnitzel with Potato Salad and Caramel Asparagus

One of my friend Alice has set up a weekly cooking theme on facebook for those who loves to cook to share their dishes base on the weekly specify ingredient. And for this week we have "Asparagus" as the key ingredient to challenge our cooking skill on how we incorporate it into our dish. Since Asparagus is one of my favourite ingredients I decided to give it a try and come out with this set of Quick and Easy Western Dish.

Asparagus is high in vitamins B6 and C plus fiber, folate and glutathione as well as with anti-carcinogen and antioxidant. Although asparagus comes in three different colours such as: white, green or purple but the the green variety is the most common to be found. You can eat asparagus with nothing more than a drizzle of good-quality olive oil or use them in different dishes like: in soups, salads, stir-fries, scrambled eggs, pasta and etc.(read more HERE)

Here we have two side dishes to go with the Almond Crumbed Chicken Schnitzel which are the quick and easy boiled potato salad plus Caramel Asparagus. The potatoes act as a source of Carbo intake the accompany Asparagus are crisp and flavoursome with the dressing.

POTATO SALAD
Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
4 Medium Size Potatoes, about 250g
1.5 Tablespoon of Mayonnaise Cream
Freshly Ground Black Pepper


CARAMEL OLIVE ASPARAGUS
Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
1 Bundle of Baby Asparagus
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

Method:-
1. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water for 15 minutes or until tender.

2. Drain. Cool. Peel and cut the cooked potatoes into chunks and place it in a large bowl.

3. Scoop mayonnaise onto potatoes, season with salt and pepper then toss using a chopsticks to combine.

4. Set aside in the fridge while preparing the chicken schnitzel.


Method:-
1. Cook asparagus in a frying pan filled with boiling water(with 1/4 Teaspoon of salt added) for about 1 - 2 minutes until tender but still bright green.

2. Drain and refresh in cold water. Set aside.

3. Using the same frying pan, pour away the water, dried it and preheat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

4. Next add in 1/2 Tablespoon of brown sugar and stir continuously till almost caramelize.

5. Remove and dress asparagus with olive oil dressing.

The crispy crumbs coating together with the nutty fragrance from the flaked almond makes it a very addicting finger food/appetiser to go with icy cold beer too.

ALMOND CRUMBED CHICKEN SCHNITZEL
Ingredients: (serves 2 - 3)
6 - 8 Pieces of Chicken Fillets
1 Egg
1 Cup Breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup Flaked Almonds
Oil for Shallow Frying

Seasonings:
1 Teaspoon cornflour
1/4 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Cooking Wine
1/2 Tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1/4 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
Dash of Pepper

Method:-
1. Marinate chicken fillets with seasonings and egg and set aside for about 5 minutes.

2. Pour cooking oil into a frying pan till about 1cm in depth and heat it up.

3. At the meantime roll the marinated chicken in breadcrumbs which combined with flaked almonds, pressing firmly.

4. Cooked chicken for 2 - 3 minutes on each side until golden brown or cooked through on medium low heat. (do not use high heat or it will burnt the breadcrumbs and almonds)

5. Drain on absorbent paper and serve with prepared side dishes.



Finalist Of Singapore Blog Award 2011

Time flies, this is the 3rd year "Cuisine Paradise" being shortlisted in the Top 10 Finalists of the Singapore Blog Awards category under - "Best Food Blog" host by "OMY.sg". This year we have 10 fabulous food blogs from different categories(written in English and Chinese) with good contents of information from "tested and tried recipes", "local and overseas food reviews", latest food trend, mouth drooling food photographs and etc where you can take a look at all the finalists from their blog URL HERE)

So friends and readers, please help to cast your precious Vote(s) for this event. Voting starts from 06 June 2011 - 03 July 2011, you can starts your "DAILY Vote(s)" today with only ONE vote per day for each category. Below are the steps on how to start your voting:-


Click the link for FOOD BLOG CATEGORY @ http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2011/category/?cat=food. Scroll down the page you will see Cuisine Paradise/Ellena Guan which is 3rd in sequence.You can help to click "Tweet", "Facebook Share" or "Like" in order to share this voting link. And most important thing is to click on the pink colour "VOTE NOW!" icon on the avatar.

You need to "Login" before casting your vote(s) so if you are a registered member login with your ID and Password if not proceed to the "Register Now" link.

To vote you have to register for an Omy.sg user account which similar to this format. For overseas voter, the NRIC/Fin No can be passport number.

When you have done with the login or the new member registration. Click on VOTE NOW! to vote for Cuisine Paradise. (please help to tweet, Facebook share or Facebook like too!)

For this year, Voters also stands a chance to win any of these fabulous goodies when you cast your valuable vote(s) for the finalists. So starts your daily vote today till 03 July 2011. Your votes and supports are the most precious encouragement and acknowledgement for this Cuisine Paradise. Thanks everyone! Have fun voting and good luck for all the Voters and the rest of the 9 Finalists together with me in the Best Food Blog Category!!!

Once again, the voting link for Best Food Blog Award is http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2011/category/?cat=food


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