Friday, 5 April 2013

[Day 5] Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場) @ Tokyo, Japan

Visiting Tsukiji Fish Market (築地市場) was listed as one of the "must go" places in our Itinerary. Although with kids in our group and we could not managed to be at the seafood auctions as early as 4.00 am in the morning to witness the show. But we were still able to reach there around 9.00 am in the morning for some fresh sashimi and sushi for brunch.

Other than selling seafood, there are also groceries stalls, marinated products, Japanese kitchen tools (such as plates, bowls and knives), restaurant supplies as well as street food, sushi bar and restaurant for visitors too.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Beanstro by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf‏ @ Takashimaya

About two weeks back during the March school holiday break we went for a tasting at Beanstro which is a casual American-sytle dining restaurant by The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf. Beanstro is at a convenience location at Basement 1 of Takashimaya Shopping and with it's halal-certified menu, Muslim friends are also able to enjoy their range of food too.

Other than the main course, you can also get to enjoy delicious and freshly prepared breakfast all day at Beanstro too. And they have a interesting menu like Muesli and Oatmeal, Buttermilk Waffles, Bagel with Smoked Salmon and etc.

Menu of the Main Courses and Sides from Beanstro
Beanstro's menu comprises a selection of American cuisine and hand=crafted beverages which you will definitely find something that suits your preference.

The usual drinks that are served at The Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf are also available at Beanstro but with additional items like Frozen Swirl Yogurt with Affogato, Parfait and etc.  And due to the hot afternoon we decided to have Ice Cappuccino Frappes, Ice Double Chocolate (SG$6.50) and Double Chocolate Smoothie (SG$7.30).

Seafood Velet @ SG$9.50
For soup range, other than the usual Soup of The Day (SG$8.00) Beanstro also offers Seafood Velet (SG$9.50) and French Onion (SG$8.50) which give you more choices to match your main course.  Since we love seafood base soup, we ordered the Seafood Velvet which has a light creamy texture that resemble chowder.  The soup also comes with a slice of cheese toast plus some peach compote to enhance its flavour.

Tuna Nicoise @ SG$19.00
For greens, we ordered Tuna Nicoise (SG$19.00) because I am craving for Tuna and I think it would be great to start of with something light and refreshing before the main. The salad comes with generous serving of Yellow-fin tuna loin coated with sesame and lightly sealed.  As accompany there are also some baby potatoes, hard-boiled egg, raw onion and etc that toss in tangy vinaigrette sauce that awake your palate.

Seafood Wrapped in Cartoccio @ SG$26.00
Mum loves seafood pasta so without hesitate we ordered the Seafood Wrapped in Cartoccio (SG$26.00) which served with fettuccine and seafood like spiny lobster, scallop and blue mussel toss together in spicy tomato sauce (you can request for less spicy sauce too) and wrapped in parchment paper. Overall the sauce and taste was quite decent but we felt that the noodle was a bit hard rather than al dente texture.

Sirloin Steak (200g) @ SG$24.00
I always love to have either Sirloin or Rib Eye Steak that is cooked till medium rare. Upon recommending by the serving staff, I ordered the Australian grass fed Sirloin Steak (200g, SG$24.00) that served with baby potato, sauteed greens in garlic rosemary sauce. Overall the meat was tender and juicy to our liking but somehow or rather we find there sauteed greens a bit salty perhaps due to uneven seasonings.

Tiramisu @ SG$10.00

Warm Molten Chocolate Cake @ SG$10.00
For those who love to have something sweet after meal or for afternoon tea, Beanstro offers quite a range of all time favourite desserts like as Bread and Butter Pudding, Creme Brulee, Cherry Clafouti, Warm Molten Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu and Warm Apple Crumble.

Chocolate lovers like us, ordered their Tiramisu (SG$10.00) and Warm Molten Chocolate Cake (SG$10.00) which we prefer Tiramisu over the other. Although the Molten Chocolate Cake taste good which is not too sweet but it seems to be a bit too dry (over cooked) which I would prefer it to be a little softer and perhaps with a pudding-like center would be great.

Currently Beanstro has two outlets which located at Marina Bay Sands (Canal Level, B2-20) and Takashimaya (new outlet). And with their local and global expansion, they company has also plans to open another 2 more outlets in Singapore which brings to a total of 4 under the Beanstro brand soon.

BeanSTRO Takashimaya
Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Road
Singapore 238872
Telephone: (65) 6235 1610

Operating Hours:
8am - 11pm (daily)

Lastly I would like to thank Beanstro and Ms Agnes from AT Marketing Consultancy for the invited tasting. *All opinions expressed in this post are my own and there is no monetary compensation received.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

[Day 4] Tokyo Disneyland (東京ディズニーランド)

Visiting Tokyo Disneyland is always one of my dream theme park which I would like to bring my kid to enjoy the fun and family time together. So when uncle Hock Cheng includes Disneyland as one the main highlight for this Tokyo trip we were all excited about it till the date we arrived at the park. As you could see from the above photo, we even bought the "open date" tickets way before hand at  JTB (ION Orchard) to avoid the crowds and queuing time just to make sure everything is on the right track.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Okinawan Cuisine By Chef Tadashi Takahashi at La Galerie De Dietrich

About two weeks ago, ShiTing (@ and I were invited by FoodNews to a cooking demo class together with a few food bloggers plus customers who purchased De Dietrich product(s). This cooking demo was conducted by Chef Tadashi Takashi, owner of Hashi Japanese Restaurant on 3 different cuisines using ingredients from Okinawa which were available at Four Seasons Gourmet Market.

The demo kitchen at La Galerie De Dietrich, Cendex Centre


Blanched and Marinate Tuna

Okinawa Mozuku with Tuna
The first demo dish was Okinawa Mozuku with Tuna whereby Chef Tadashi shared with us his tips on handling tuna. He suggested in order for the tuna to absorb the marinade evenly, it would be good if we could blanched the tuna in boiling water then cover it with a layer of kitchen paper towel before putting it into the marinade for better result..

Between Mozuku is a type of "seaweed algae" grown on other seaweed which is a healthy ingredient that contains fiber, mineral, iron, and 18 kinds of Amino acid. So if you are a seaweed lovely, do drop-by Four Seasons Gourmet Market to grab some if you are near Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 1.


Okinawa Vegetable Tempura
Second dish was something with homely taste which you would fall in love immediately. Chef Tadashi prepared 3 different types of vegetables tempura such as Beni Imo (purple sweet potato), Nigauri (bitter gourd) and Shima Ninjin (carrot) to pair with the Okinawa Sea Salt and Yellow Noodles.

Although the blanched yellow noodles might look plain due to it's soy sauce broth. But after adding in some generous amount of grated ginger, the end result was amazing. It taste so refreshing and had a  rather similar flavour like our Asian "Sweet Potato Soup" that infused with lot of ginger in it.

Recipe Adapted from Chef Tadashi Takahashi

(Serves: 4 | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 30 minutes)

The Okinawa Nigauri (bitter gourd) has an unique bitter taste and high level of heat-resistant vitamin C which makes it a popular vegetable that is perfect for stir-fry. As a bitter gourd lover, I find eating the fried nigauri with hint of sea salt gives it a better aftertaste, leaving it a sweet scent instead of bitterness.

170g Beni Imo (紅いも, Purple Sweet Potato)
60g Nigauri ( ゴーヤー, Japanese Bitter gourd)
85g Shima Ninjin (Okinawa Carrot)

Tempura Batter
85g Tempura Flour
125ml Cold Water
1/2 Egg (cold)

1. Wrap Beni Imo in Aluminum foil and bake in De Dietrich oven at 180°C (Degree Celsius) for 25 minutes. (depending on size, adjust the timing accordingly)

2. Cut Nigauri and remove the seeds. Cut into small slices.

3. Peel Shima Ninjin's skin and cut into long sticks.

4. To make tempura batter:- First, make sure all the tempura batter ingredients are cold (this will enable a fluffy and crispy batter) before mixing the egg and water. Then slowly stir in the flour and you could add in more flour / water and mix until the batter is able to coat onto the vegetables.

5. Dip the vegetables in the prepared Tempura batter and fry till golden brown. (remember to test the oil with some batter to make sure that it is hot enough to fry the tempura)

6. To go with the vegetable tempura, Chef Tadashi specially prepared some soup broth (using soy sauce, dashi and water) to serve with the springy yellow noodles which was imported from Okinawa too.


Sweet and Juicy Okinawa Pineapple serve with Koorimo’s Chestnut Ice Cream

The last dish was a quick simple dessert which used Okinawa's famous Pineapple. These pineapples have been cultivated on Okinawa as an agricultural product for around a century and if you do visit Okinawan, don't miss out the opportunity to drop by it's famous pineapple plantation at Nago Pineapple Park.

I am always fascinated by Japanese cuisines but yet I find them very difficult to prepare at home perhaps due to the lack of ingredients and etc. Now after Chef Tadashi's demo class, I think preparing simple Japanese cuisines at home is actually not that difficult too.

Lastly I would like to thanks La Galerie De Dietrich, Four Seasons Gourmet Market and Foodnews for the Okinawan Cooking Demo invite.