Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Novus @ the National Museum of Singapore

We had our company's year end lunch at Novus @ the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) this year. The cuisines seem to be a fusion of Italian and French.

We started with an appetizer of Buffalo Mozzarella with compressed Water Melon:

Followed by Carrot and Ginger Soup with Tiger Prawns, although I thought those prawns looked more like "Kitty" than "Tigers:

Here's a picture of the mushroom pasta which was served as the vegetarian main course option:

Here's main course option 1: Red Snapper with Risotto. The fish was seared to a nice crisp on the outside:

This is what I chose, Black Angus Cheek with Tripled Cooked French Fries, it was stewed to a perfection and was tender-licious inside out:

Finally dessert was French Chocolate Mousse with Vanilla Ice Cream:


I was pleasantly surprised when I received a Christmas gift box from DBS, it was a box-full of baked goodies from a local bakery and cafe, Antoinette.

Here's what they wrote on their website:

Antoinette invites you to share our joie de vivre in our beautiful surroundings reminiscent of
an elegant boudoir with an excess of meticulously crafted cakes, pastries and fine food as
the Queen descends on Singapore’s shores. Marie-Antoinette, the last Queen of France
who was so often revered for her extravagance and fine taste opens her humble abode and
presents a tantalizing treat for the senses both savoury and sweet.

This quintessential Parisian pâtisserie and salon de thé will set the benchmark for the pastry and dessert scene not only in Singapore, but also in the region with her takes on time-honoured French classic desserts. While our restaurant promises a savoury celebration of Chef Pang’s culinary prowess with an excellent selection of classical regional French fare.

Incontestably, L’élégance â la Française at it’s best!

The gift pack consisted of container of Meringues, a muffin, a loaf of fruit and nut bread, a Christmas fruit cake, 3 different varieties of cookies and a bottle of fruit jam. I'm not typically a fan of blatantly sweet stuff, especially Christmas cakes but the meringues with their soft chewy middles were kinda addictive and the fruit and nut loaf wasn't too bad either, but give me fresh bread anytime and it will still beat a sugar coated loaf that is meant to last for days.

I have not been to the cafe itself but I had heard of it's exorbitant price of selling a slice of cake for about $9! Anyone who is keen to check them out can find more information at:

Bon appetite!

Rainier Cherries

Here's an excerpt that I found: The Rainier cherry is the sweetest, prettiest and most pampered of cherries, as delicate as it is lucrative. Washington state requires Rainiers to reach a minimum of 17 brix -- a gauge of sweetness -- before they can be picked. To compare, a peach that registers at 13 brix is considered perfectly sweet. Olmstead doesn't pick until the cherries reach at least 20 brix."

So naturally when the rainiers are in season, there's no reason why we shouldn't just pamper ourselves a little bit especially since we have the comfort of getting this imported fruit readily available in our local supermarkets! If you had ate rainier cherries before, you will know that they are slightly bigger than the dark red variety, with a skin that is so thin that any slight mishandling will bruise it, the yellowish flesh is way sweeter and juicier than the red bing cherries! In fact I tried a little experiment where I savoured some rainier together with some bing cherries and without fail, if I were to eat a rainier first before a bing, the bing cherry would taste sour but never the vice versa. So what are you waiting for? Head out to the nearest Cold Storage or Marketplace and grab yourself a box of these simply wonderful little jewels!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our first Malay wedding

On 13th November, my former neighbor whom I have known for 20 odd years finally decided to get hitched! It was not just any other wedding, but a traditional, Singaporean style Malay wedding held at the void deck! My family and I were thrilled when we received the invitation as it was our very first Malay wedding!

The human traffic along the corridor was drastically increased by at least 20 times two days prior to the big day contributed by hordes of relatives arriving in bus loadfuls from Malaysia. It was hard not to be infected by the joyous atmosphere as adults were busy chipping in their help with the wedding preparations while the kids were having a hell of a time running around and screaming their heads off!

On the big day itself, we arrived at 1pm and it was all very informal. We got to find our own table and the natural choice for us was to choose one away from the loud blasting speakers. The deejay alternated between hosting and playing love songs. It was all so casual but we never expected that friends and relatives be invited to participate in karaoke sessions!

It was buffet style dining where there was a choice of either white rice or briyani followed by 5 to 6 choices of different types of curries: chicken curry, mutton curry, beef curry, vegetable curry and some unlabelled mystery curries. Last but not least, there was also a section dedicated to desserts; mainly Paranakan style.
On each round table, there was also two containers of snacks and in addition, the children were delighted with endless supplies of chocolate biscuits distributed to them.
With families arriving in droves to take over the tables cleared out by earlier families, there was constantly a hype of activities at the void deck. And while it is almost certain to spot a multi-tiered cake in most of the weddings held in Singapore, in this case, I was fascinated to see a three-tiered wedding cake made up of glutinous rice and interestingly decorated with 'animals' such as large prawns and ducks crafted from chicken and quail eggs!
This was definitely an experience for me and I warmly wishes Isman and Suzanne marital bliss. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Buckaroo BBQ & Grill

I only got to know of this cowboy style restaurant from a dated Makansutra programme. It is within walking distance from the Sembawang Park and located in the midst of private residential houses.

It is not hard to spot the restaurant from afar but somehow, I almost walked into another restaurant situated just next to it. There is no parking lot allocated for the restaurant so you would have to be there early in order to find an empty slot along the perimeters of the houses opposite it.

The restaurant has a somewhat laid-back setting and it was already half full when we arrived at 6.30pm on a Sunday evening.

We ordered the cream of mushroom soup (for my son), a BLT sandwich (for my husband who has absolutely no idea what BLT stands for) and a pork tenderloin main (for me).

The cream of mushroom soup came in the form of a huge bun. And when I say huge, it really means HUGE! The soup was creamilicious while the bun was toasted on the outside and soft on the inside!
The pork tenderloin main consisted of two slabs of pork accompanied by apple sauce with steamed vegetables and fries on the side. The serving was slightly too much for me and I had to forgo most of the fries. The pork tenderloins would taste better if it’s seasoned longer though. Nevertheless, the apple sauce gave it a sweet, salty taste that somehow does it for me.
Lastly, for those of you who have no idea what BLT stands for? Try making a guess based on the photo below.
You are right! It simply stands for Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato! The Husband was sort of disappointed as he thought it would be a more satisfying sandwich.

In all, we spent slightly less than $70 which included two drinks as well. It was a nice experience to be trying out new restaurants in relatively remote parts of Singapore. But to just drive out North for Buckaroo BBQ & Grill, it will not be happening for my family.

Address: 12B Andrews Avenue, Singapore 759930

Friday, October 28, 2011

30-minutes Thin Crust Pizza

I got this recipe while chancing upon the 'Jamie's 30-minute meal" programme by Jamie Oliver.

Without thinking that there just might be a website listing all the recipes shown on the programme, I found myself furiously scribbling away on a small notepad while Jamie were busy alternating between the different dishes in his attempt to whip up one pizza and four salads within 30 minutes.

Up till having this recipe, I always found it tedious to make a pizza dough from scratch. Even though with the amount of time spent, it doesn’t always guaranteed me a decent pizza dough albeit an edible one. It would either be too thick, too dry or simply too hard.

I made some modifications to the recipe for simplicity sake and while it doesn’t yield the restaurant type pizza dough, it is nevertheless, a decent one.

30-minutes Thin Crust Pizza

Ingredients (pizza dough):
1 cup self raising flour
1/2 cup water
pinch of salt
drizzle of olive oil

Ingredients (tomato spread):
1 small can of tomato paste
a few basil leaves - finely chopped
drizzle of olive oil

Ingredients (toppings):
1 piece of mozarella cheese
finely grated parmesan cheese
few slices of ham (optional)
diced pineapples (optional)
slices of button mushrooms
drizzle of olive oil

(1) Pour all the ingredients for the pizza dough into a mixer and mix till a dough forms. If necessary, add more flour.
(2) Sprinkle some flour on a table top
(3) With a rolling pin (or a glass bottle), roll the dough to the desired thickness
(4) Drizzle some olive oil in a flat pan over low heat
(5) Mix the ingredients of the tomato spread in a bowl
(6) Transfer the flat pizza dough onto the pan
(7) Spread the tomato paste evenly on the pizza dough
(8) Add the toppings according to your preference before drizzling some olive oil on top
(9) Check that the underside of the pizza dough is slightly browned
(10) Transfer the pan into a pre-heated oven at ~200°C and bake for approximately 10-15 minutes or till the pizza dough browned at the edges

(+) Only simplest of ingredients required!
(+) Pizza can be ready in about 30 minutes! Tried and tested!

(=) Short preparation, fast cooking time and yet decent tasting pizza! Two thumbs up!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Was it MacD hotcakes?

After having explored the website for fluffy pancakes, I finally found THE recipe – tried and tested to produce Macdonald's-like hotcakes! I simply couldn’t describe the state of ecstasy I was in when I was making them!

It’s nice and fluffy eaten on its own - not too plain or too sweet. And the look on my son’s face when he mumbled “mum mum” only goes to show the success of this recipe. Remember, infants can’t lie….yet.
I’m still excited even when I’m blogging about it now.

All thanks to a friend who introduced me to a new blog site – Food 4 Tots! I’ll be sure to be trying out more of the recipes posted there!

Ramen @ Daikokuya, Rafflescity

I chanced upon this small ramen shop many months back on a Friday night when I was supposed to be at Raffles City for a late dinner gathering. All the other restaurants at basement 1 were still crowded with customers with long queues at some popular outlets like Din Tai Fung. So I was more than glad when I walked past this particular ramen restaurant which had no queue and even plentiful seats available.

Initially, I was doubtful on whether the ‘poor patronage’ was due to exorbitant prices charged or the poor quality of food served. However, the former was quickly shot down when I browsed through the menu. I ordered a big bowl of ramen and after having sinked my teeth on the first chopstick’ful’ of ramen, the latter was immediately shot down too! It was simply yummylicious!

The noodles were cooked to perfection – springy and not overcooked. The broth was excellent, thick but not overly salted.

It is now official that Daikokuya is my favourite restaurant in Raffles City. I would give it 10 thumbs up!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

High Tea @ Halia Restaurant, Singapore Botanic Gardens

It has been a long, long time since I went to a nice restaurant for a nice proper meal. The visit to the Halia restaurant was totally unintentional, if not for a couple of factors such as the warm, humid weather and an infant drenched in perspiration.

Just when we thought that refreshments are easily available in all parts of Singapore, with the Singapore Botanic Gardens being part of it, we were disappointed to be proven wrong in this case. Restaurants and small snack kiosks can be found dotted throughout the garden but to have to wheel a stroller from our current location to the nearest pit stop was really not as straightforward. The directions entailed some nicely marked signs telling the visitors the correct way to go and almost certainly, it involves some flights of stairs. If you decide to go the 'stairless' way, then be prepared to travel a longer distance, all the while with signs which stubbornly points you in the direction of some stairs.

Needless to say, we ended up defeated by the signs and had to carry our dear boy, in his big and comfortable stroller up a couple of stairs. So by the time we saw the Halia restaurant, it was an unanimous decision to simply dash into the air-conditioned restaurant.

We were just in time for their weekends high tea which was definitely priced for the tourists given the small selection of pastries and a choice of coffee or tea.

pastry tray with serving size for two

The only pastry that had a bit of the WOW factor would have to be the scones. It was warm and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and not too overly crumbly. The rest of the pastries can only be graded as normal.

I'm not sure I'll be back anytime soon but to the Botanic Gardens, yes we'll be! :)

Housewarming Cupcakes

I am not much of a cupcake fan and I will probably never comprehend why people pay so much for such a tiny plain cake if not for the fancy decorations on it.

Nevertheless, mini cupcakes were the very first gift we received from guests to our new home. It was purchased at the mooncake carnival at the basement of Takashimaya and almost expectedly, it was packaged in a nice long gift box.
With me as the exception, everyone else ohh and ahh over the different cupcake flavours.
I am very sure it is nice, it's just that I'm not a cupcake person. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Bon Bon (28 August 1999 - 19 August 2011)

This entry is dedicated to our dear dog, Bon Bon. She was a white female maltese, almost 12 years of age, extremely clever with exceptional character.

She was only 2 weeks old when she became part of our family. Grandma never failed to be delighted when she performed her little acrobatic act of standing on her two hind legs.

She was a beautiful girl who never had the problem of tear stains.
She was a shy girl.
She was a homely girl who enjoys it best when she's in the comfort of our home.

Thank you for giving us so much joy throughout these 12 years. It wouldn't have been the same without you and we couldn't imagine having any other dogs.

Bon Bon, you were a really good girl!

Books, Tea and a Nice Comfy Armchair

It has been quite some months since I last blogged and I would have totally forgotten about this little café which I visited sometime in May had it not been for the convenience of digital photography.

I couldn't recall how I come to know of this café nor can I remember its name. It is situated along one of those small alleys snaking throughout Tanjong Pagar.

The café has its wall lined with bookshelves from floor to ceiling. Some books are free for customers to read while others are wrapped in "sell-only" condition. For those who are not in the reading mood, there is also a variety of good old board games to choose from or even play a game of pool in the courtyard.

They do not have a wide selection of cakes but the serving is definitely generous!

For those who knows the name or address of the café, please do leave a comment here with the details. I do hope to visit the place again some day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

My Favourite Month - May

May is a very special month for me.

Firstly, there are many birthdays in the family.

Secondly, there are at least 2 public holidays in the wonderful month of May.

Thirdly, the family has yet another excuse to stuff ourselves crazy with Mother's Day!

So to all the great mothers out there:


To my Pa Pa:


and to myself:


Chilli Crab @ Jumbo, East Coast Park

This is my first time eating chilli crab again after having Philip. The other time before this, just when I thought I could use the excuse of pregnancy craving to devour this Singapore speciality, I ended up having a terrible stomache for a night!

So when I decided to dine at Jumbo, I was a little hesitant on whether to order the dish. And rather obviously, in the end, I succumbed to the temptation.

We ordered one Sri Lanka crab to be accompanied by ten deep-fried buns.
Fortunately or not, the dish only arrived at our table long after we finished the rest of the dishes. So my stomach had only space for one large pincer.
Nevertheless, it was delicious! The crab meat was fresh and even the bun-gravy combination is simply heavenly! We practically licked clean the entire dish and all the waitress had to do would be to use it to serve another customer.

Alright...I agree, this is a bit gross but you get the idea.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Swiss Bäckerei

If you are looking for authentic German or Austrian bakeries in Singapore, the choice is rather limited.

We found one aptly named Swiss Bäckerei at Frankel Avenue. It is a little shop located along a row of shophouses nestled in a private residential district.

The selection of bread is limited and mostly baked to suit the local tastebuds. This is understanderably since even I, did not really take to the hard bread loaves which the Europeans devour on a daily basis.

One would have thought that the menu should be designed with bread, cakes and pastries as the primary focus but it was not to be. Having scanned the menu at least twice, I decided to order the ham and mushroom omelette which was probably the least filling breakfast set.

The set consisted of an omelette, coffee and a pastry which was fairly filling and satisfying. But it also means that our search for the ONE bäckerei in Singapore continues...

Shiroi Koibito

Shiroi Kobito, which translates to White Lover, is a popular white chocolate cookie snack from Hokkaido, Japan.

I was totally clueless about this popular Japanese cookie until recently when a family friend presented me with a box of the Original Shiroi Koibito cookies. I have to emphasize the word "original" here as with all things popular, it is inevitable that numerous imitation versions tries to gain a portion of the market share.

The cookie is assembled like a sandwich with a thick slab of white chocolate in between two pieces of squarish butter cookies. The cookies have a crispy, melt-in-your-mouth texture while the white chocolate tastes fairly ordinary. Overall, this snack tastes decent to me but surely not addictive as what I have read in some online forum reviews. So to sum it in layman's term, it is a nice souvenir to buy back but definitely not worth the effort to queue up for.

Putu Mayam Oo~La~La

Served with dessicated coconut and red sugar, this simple South Indian snack of steamed vermicelli-like noodles is one of my favourite choice for breakfast.

Plain and simple as it may seem, not all putu mayam tastes the same. Some sellers heat it up prior to serving the customers while others just dump spoonfuls of 'aged', dry dessicated coconut on it.

For me, I found the perfect putu mayam with the slightly moist vermicelli-like noodles served with fresh dessicated coconut and red sugar in the Bendemeer market.

Eating in Taipei - January 2011

With a little luck, I landed a business trip to Taipei in January this year. I haven't been back there since my last visit which was about 3 years ago, so besides taking full opportunity to check out my local favourites, I also took the chance to try out as many news things as possible. Here's the list of what I ate during my 3 days there!

Live Lobster Shashimi, The poor fellow was still moving when we were eating him...he was a good lobster!

Fresh Beer!

One of the best BBQ place in Taipei and definitely one of the funnest!

大干杯, always make reservations one day ahead and plan to start dinner after 8pm when it's the most fun hour to be there!

Really fun staffs, awesome place to wind down after a day of work!

A new Risotto place I found at 西门町!

My Squid Ink Risotto Set Meal

I was lucky to be there just a week before the Chinese New Year and took the chance to visit the CNY bazaar which happens only once a year! Awesome atmosphere and much nicer weather, despite the drizzle, compared to doing the same thing in hot and humid Singapore!

What I scored from the CNY bazaar!

Dumplings in Ginger Peanut Soup!

The local delights from 淡水!

Japanese Pancakes in the shapes of Spongebob's Characters!

Psuedo Coconut @ Sands Sky Park

If you would like to feast your eyes on a panoramic view of the Singapore skyline, forget about the Singapore Flyer! Instead, hop on to the 200m elevator ride to the Sands Sky Park!

Priced at only $20 per adult with an unlimited and better panoramic view of the skyline, I wonder why tourists still bother going to the Singapore Flyer where the admission is pricier (SGD$29.50) for a limited 30 minutes ride and the highest viewing point reached is only at 165m. Furthermore, if for some unknown reasons that the Singapore Flyer decides to breakdown again, everyone would be pretty much trapped in the capsules! Just imagine being trapped in mid-air for 5 hours with a full bladder! * Glup* I seriously think they should stock up on some adult diapers in each capsule...just in case.

So going back to the Sands Sky Park, with each admission, the visitors have access to the observation deck, the roof top lounge and a limited view of the awesome outdoor swimming pool which only the hotel guests have access to.

The roof top lounge is truly an ideal place to hang out after work or to simply laze around during the weekends. Offering such a beautiful view, one can be certain that the drinks are charged at an outstanding price as well.

However, this is definitely no seaside café judging from the coconut juice that was served to me! Nevertheless, kudos to the packaging team! :)

Random Pics of Food ate in Seoul!

A quick getaway in November 2010 to Seoul brought me to the land of kimchi and more kimchi! I was totally addicted to kimchis when I was there and was always eagerly looking forward to my little dish of kimchi with every meal that I ordered. I had thought that my sensitive stomach would probably give me at least some trouble with the constant intake of such spiciness but to my surprise, I didn't have any problem at all when I was there! So it seems like there must be something which we add to our chicken rice chilli that never fails to give me the runs whenever I eat it, no matter how small the portion is!

I digress, so here are the pictures of the fabulous food that I had in Seoul:

Seafood Kimchi Soup

Ok, I didn't really ate all these cakes but they were so pretty to look at!

Grilled Cuttlefish with Peanut Butter!

How cool is this! A greenhouse with fresh vegetables inside Lotte Mart!

Udon Korean Style with.....

unlimited servings of KIMCHI! Yay!

Not the most conducive eating place but it was packed!

look at how many bowls they are preparing and that's just for lunch!

One of the few Korean BBQ that I had and this one was the most expensive!

Awesome BBQ beef....saliva....

No, I didn't eat him.

A nice cafe along an awesome street

I can never resist a warm waffle with ice cream!'s plastic!

A simple dish of Korean instant noodle that had me going back 2 days in a row!

of Cupcakes and Muffins!

One of the many street vendors selling local snacks

This was a surprise find on the way to the University! Black pork with bean sprouts and rice cakes!

It tasted way more awesome than it looked here

Best of friends

Cats Living ~ A cafe with free roaming cats!

Pork cutlet with curry and rice

Sweet & Sour Pork with Rice

Yes, that same instant noodle again and dumplings!

Pet Lettuces!

Bulgogi with Rice....awesomeness...

Spicy seafood noodles!

Cold noodles....not that appetizing actually...


Korean seaweed roll

the complete meal!

Needs no introduction...baskin robbins!

Baskin Robbin outlet at Myeong-dong, great for people watching!