Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strawberry Cake Disaster

As much as bloggers like to post nice photos of food or master pieces from their very own kitchen, I gathered it's time I started posting disastrous food photos in my blog. This is to tell all aspiring cooks out there, that's it never as easy as it looks and alot of hardwork and talent goes into whipping palatable dishes!

The opening act would be this Strawberry Cake. While the fat juicy strawberries are a nice cover up, the clump-like icing on the cake is a preview to the horrors that laid within. And yes, it is supposed to be icing and not "Dao Huay - 豆花".

The taste was much more horrible compared to how it looked, so bless you blog readers! The extreme sweetness literally covers the taste for everything else and simply numbed my tongue. I never knew plain water tasted so nice...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Brunch Buffet @ Café Swiss

The Sunday brunch buffet at Café Swiss costs a whopping $50++ for a limited spread. After merely two helpings, I'm already down to the final stage of narrowing down my selection to the favourites before the grand dessert finale.

While the true-blooded Singaporeans flocked to the priciest plate of oysters, I was hovering around the bread section - eyeing the fresh walnut loaf. The combination of walnut bread with melted cheese is truly a match made in heaven...Ohhhh...

The other selections worth mentioning would be the baby octopuses which was a good appetiser to excite my palates before I moved in on the tender beef slices.

There were the usual spread of Chinese cuisines which was good but not yet raving good. The fresh prawns were a disappointment to me. While they were crunchy to the bite, it lacks the natural sweetness of fresh prawns.

Being a sweet-tooth monster myself, the dessert section was a total flop. Not only did I managed to scan the varieties within a mere 5 seconds, the selection didn't entice me to go back for a second helping.

I'm just glad that I didn't pay a single cent that afternoon. :)

Home Cooked Brunch

Lately, I was taken over by the urge to make home-cooked food. So on a fine saturday morning, I met up with a friend and went shopping for ingredients for pizza and mudpie brunch!

The Carrefour supermarket at the basement of Plaza Singapura had me disappointed as there was no active dry yeasts amidst it's huge 'Baking Needs" row and due to the poor sectioning of the supermarket, it took me quite a while to locate the bottle of dry oregano leaves which was hidden in a secluded corner of the massive supermarket! The next time round, I'll definitely be shopping at Cold Storage.

At the end of close to 2 hours of shopping cart pushing and trying to play detectives at locating the various ingredients from our shopping list, we got tired and decided to opt for the ready-made pizza crust instead.

Without having to make the pizza dough, lining the pizza crust was a breeze. After spreading tomato sauce as the base layer, the rest of the job were simply to dice up the ingredients into cubes and do a nice layout.

The pizza was cooked after about 20 minutes of baking and I must say the appearance alone looked promising!

However, a bite into the piping hot pizza kind of had me disappointed all over again. The crust was dry and neither tasted fresh or crispy. Luckily, the ingredients sort of made up for the disappointment. Next time round, I'll surely be making my own pizza dough.

As for the mudpie, the only task was to crush the digestive biscuits leaving some bite size crumps for that extra crunch. Melted butter was then mixed into the crumps before pressing the biscuit dough onto a round cake tin. Melted chocolate ice-cream was then added to the biscuit base and stored in the freezer.

Unfortunately, the sweet tooth monster got into us and we couldn't wait till the mudpie was entirely frozen before we were digging into the dessert with spoons and forks. The best part of the mudpie would have to be the biscuit base while the selection of dark chocolate ice-cream could be better if we went for the slightly more expensive Häagen-Dazs. Such was the compromise I have to make for being such a scrooge.

Farewell, Bacchus Boathouse

Bacchus Boathouse, located along Esplanade Drive, with it's magnificient view of the city and river skyline atop it's rooftop terrace will be closing it's doors for the final time coming end 2009.

The restaurant is more popularly visited for it's private functions rather than walk-in customers. As such, on days when it is not booked, you can expect to spend a quiet evening, sipping wine while taking in the wonderful night scene by the Singapore River.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Jamie Home Cooking

In Britain, they have Jamie Oliver.

In Singapore, there's Jamie Tay who's also an avid cook! :)

Was treated to prawn pasta one fine Saturday afternoon and here's a low down of the 'secret' recipe!

garlic - finely chopped
fresh prawns - shelled (keep the prawn heads)
one can of whole tomatoes - skinned
one can of button mushroom
2 tbs red wine
2 tbs olive oil
dash of sugar
dash of salt
dash of pepper
dash of dried oregano leaves

(1) In a saucepan, fry the finely chopped garlic in olive oil till golden brown

(2) Add in the can of skinned tomatoes and button mushrooms. Depending on your preference, you might want to finely chop the tomatoes and mushrooms or have them in larger pieces.

(3) Add in the prawn heads

(4) Add the shelled prawns

(5) Add the red wine, salt, sugar, pepper and oregano leaves to taste

(6) In a separate pot, cook sphagetti in salted water.

(7) Add the sphagetti to the tomato-based sauce and cook for a minute or so

(8) Serve in a plate garnished with fresh salad at the side