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Restaurant Reviews and Promotion: Si Chuan Dou Hua "The Petites Selection" - Tapas-Sized Offerings

Wed, 10 Jul 2013 23:30:00 +0000

The leading ambassador of Sichuan cuisine, Si Chuan Dou Hua is set to tantalise your taste buds with their tongue-numbing “The Petites Selection” – a kaleidoscopic menu of 30 tapas-sized offerings from now till 31 July for lunch, dinner and high tea at all three outlets – PARKROYAL on Beach Road, PARKROYAL on Kitchener Road, Top of UOB Plaza.Wine PairingEnjoy 5 Petites dishes and 2 wines for $55.UOB cardmembers exclusive: $48 for the above promotion; or enjoy a complimentary bottle of wine with every order of 10 petites dishes, $8.80 each.Tea pairing with Imperial High TeaHandcrafted dim sum, premium Chinese tea and 5 Petites dishes at $30++ per personUOB cardmembers exclusive: Complimentary glass of wineAmong the many exquisite dishes that were on the table that afternoon, HFB found himself delighted with a number of them. The Grilled Spicy Eel with Sichuan Pepper Sauce was one of them. Who would have thought this dish would worked so harmoniously? The flavours really completed each other and really heightened the taste of the dish. Be warned of the spicy pepper though!The Diced Cod Fish with Dried Chilli was also another dish that hits all the right notes with HFB. Nice coated and deep fried to a crisp, the dried chilli really lifted the flavours of the cod fish.One can’t really leave Si Chuan Dou Hua or in fact any Sichuan restaurant without savouring their Sliced Pork in Garlic and Chilli Sauce, 蒜泥白肉 (top right) unless one have a hot date right after the meal. This is awesomeness disguised in a dish that is packed full with flavours from the very aromatic garlic. Not forgetting the hint of spiciness that brings the dish to its fullness. Absolutely delightful!Although HFB is not an avid supporter of sour dishes, the Chilled Sliced Radish wrapped with Sliced Carrot was a crowd favourite especially with the ladies. This labour intensive dish was a refreshing appetiser that ensures diner’s palate is ready for the other dishes ahead.Also made available for tasting was the “Imperial High Tea”, and HFB really took delight with the Deep Fried Yam with Glutinous Rice Roll. The light subtle flavour from the yam was very smoothing and it marriage really well with the savoury of peanuts and Chinese sausage within. Not to mention brilliantly executed too!The Steamed Dumpling with Dried Seafood was definitely well-suited for a savoury person like HFB. The skin was of the right thickness and packed rich with seafood goodness within.Look out how cute these Deep Fried Potato Fritters are! Lovely wasn’t it?Nothing beats having homemade noodles. Si Chuan Dou Hua’s Dan Dan Noodles was really smooth and cooked to the right texture and the sauce was lip-smacking delicious! The Pumpkin Pan Cake was an apt finish to a really high quality meal. The skin is soft without being too chewy and the filling within is not overly sweet, and suits HFB tastebuds. And how can you not fall in love with the lovely cute pumpkin balls???Of course one can never leave Si Chuan Dou Hua without their signatured Soy Beancurd with Wolfberries, and neither could HFB.May HFB add that their hand towel smells very nice too from lemongrass infusion? Very refreshing!!! Heh.Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited media tasting. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Si Chuan Dou Hua for their hospitality. width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com.sg/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Si+Chuan+Dou+Hua+Restaurant&aq=0&oq=si+chuan+&sll=1.343746,103.824045&sspn=0.368627,0.617294&ie=UTF8&hq=Si+Chuan+Dou+Hua+Restaurant&hnear=&ll=1.30011,103.860757&spn=0.00576,0.009645&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&cid=11880319384042882674&output=embed">View Larger Map [...]



Food Article: Are Singapore hawkers REALLY not Michelin-worthy?

Fri, 31 May 2013 06:34:00 +0000

This blogpost is HFB’s response to Hungrygowhere article on “Are Singapore hawkers not Michelin-worthy?”.HFB believed we all agree most hawkers hone only specific skills and dishes throughout their career, perfecting that one dish that crowned them as local heroes, while most restaurant Michelin chefs are constantly coming up with seasonal delights and adding new dishes to their ever-expanding menu, hoping to WOW every walk-in customer with their gastronomical fare – molecular or not.Having that badge of working in a fine-dining restaurant previously, HFB definitely appreciate the tons of hours put in to perfect every ingredient to a tee, every small details on the plating, every bit of sauce and dressing that goes on the food – all in the name of providing that so called “whole dining experience” that tickles your every palate – both sensual and visual – BUT charging you every bloody single $$$ that comes with it, of course!That being said, every darn bit of time and effort, blood and sweat was spent perfecting that one craft that made a hawker legend into who he/she is today. It is also not uncommon to hear hawkers waking up at 3am to start their shift, so as to satisfy the breakfast crowd queuing up way before the shutters are up. A hawker might not be jack-of-all-trades, but he/she can definitely be master-of-one. Much like how the celebrated Joël Robuchon once lauded our local fishmongers that they fillet their fish with such speed and dexterity. That is the beauty of mastery!Then it also boils down to the definition of “good”. What rocks HFB’s world may not be your cup of tea. Taste is always subjective. HFB might have tasted the world-renowned Nobu, Las Vegas (underwhelmed to say the least) recently, but inside his heart he was secretively craving for his bowl of Laksa or a plate of lard laden Fried Hokkien Mee and Char Kway Teow.Michelin GuideOk, let’s just admit it now that the guide is not scaled towards hawker fare but restaurant setups. But HFB says forget about the coin, fork and spoon, price and comfort level!!According to the guide, below are what the star symbolise:- One star: "A very good restaurant in its category"- Two stars: "Excellent cooking, worth a detour"- Three stars: "Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey"So that being that, there are definitely hawkers in HFB’s opinion that is definitely worth a special journey (in true local food guide context “Die, die must try!!”). Hands up if you have ever heard of people driving from one end of our island to the other ulu part just for some hawker kick? Two hands up then if perhaps you are the one doing it.So Who’s Better?In HFB’s opinion, hawker food is similar to mummy’s cooking – no amount of stars accolade can rival that special place in our hearts. It is comforting, and the one thing that HFB misses whenever he is out of town – not the Michelin star meals.But to put things to perspective, let him quote a friend who mentioned, “It's hard to say who's better, it's just different and as a glutton I want both.” Well said. [...]



Recipes - Perfect Italiano Masterclass by Chef Lino Sauro, Gattopardo

Sun, 24 Mar 2013 12:29:00 +0000

This was a blog post that was supposedly due eons ago, and HFB could conveniently forget about it, but he had so much fun during the session that he had to share it with everyone. At the beginning of the month, he was invited along with several other bloggers to attend an exclusive Perfect Italiano Masterclass by Chef Lino Sauro from Gattopardo – to learn how to make simple and delicious dishes with Perfect Italiano cooking cheeses.We arrived at Palate Sensations Cooking School at Biopolis, and was quickly briefed on the three dishes that we would be attempting. Why so serious Chef?We started off with the Wanton Ravioli with Soya Marinated Prawns and Parmesan Fondue, and HFB have to say that this was easily the simplest and his favourite dish out of the trio. He could definitely foresee himself recreating this dish next time.Ingredients (serves 4 pax)10pcs Tiger prawns, halved20g Light soya sauce2 Garlic cloves, minced30g Olive oil1 stalk Spring onion100g Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese110g Full cream milk100g Unsalted butter20g White wineTo taste White pepper20pcs Wonton skin (square shape)Method1. Peel and marinate prawns with soya, garlic, olive oil and spring onion.2. Make Parmesan fondue by mixing Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese, milk, butter and white wine.3. Warm up mixture in a bain-marie till creamy and season with white pepper.4. Fill wanton with prawn. Seal nicely with egg wash, and cook in boiling water for 2-3 mins.5. Ladle fondue on plate and lay down the cooked ravioli.6. Garnish with Perfect Italiano Parmesan Grated Cheese and spring onion.Next up, Sushi Rice Roll with Mozzarella Cheese and Smoked Salmon – a fusion of East meets West.Chef Lino contemplating who to throw his cucumber at, hehIngredients (serves 4 pax)4 sheets of nori (seaweed)200g sushi rice, cooked150g cured/smoked salmon100g cucumber (cut into strips)300g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese5g wasabi200g mayonnaiseMethod1. Place a sheet of nori on bamboo mat.2. Distribute the rice evenly over the nori, leaving ¼ from top of the edge.3. Lay down salmon, cucumber and Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese in the middle.4. Hold on to the ends of the bamboo mat and roll, making sure that the ingredients are held inside it.5. Remove bamboo mat and cut sushi roll.6. Sprinkle the top of the sushi with more Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese and gratinate cheese in an oven till it melted.7. Serve with mayonnaise and/or wasabi.Chef Lino gave the last dish an Asian twist from his very own homemade recipe – the Deep Fried Potato with Mozzarella Cheese.Chef Lino finally broke into a smile after much coaxingIngredients (serves 4 pax)400g potatoes5g cinnamon powder5g ground black pepper 5g curry powder50g corn starch50g onion (chopped)2 eggs4 garlic cloves30g lemongrass (minced)20g shallots (minced)Lemon zest 200g Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese300g Japanese breadcrumbs (panko)Some oil to fry Method1. Shred potatoes in food processor and place in strainer. Sprinkle with salt. Drain for 15 min.2. Mix dry seasonings.3 Squeeze potatoes dry and place in mixing bowl.4. Add cornstarch and mix thoroughly. Add all remaining ingredients (except panko crumbs and oil) and mix well.5. Add Perfect Italiano Mozzarella Grated Cheese. Drop a tablespoon mixture into the panko crumbs. Coat all the way around.6. Heat oil in pan. Lower patties into oil and flatten patties with a spatula. Patties should be 2 inches across.7. Fry until crisp and golden on the bottom. Fry the other side.8. Drain the ready to serve. Serve with sweet and sour sauce.Overall, HFB had tons of fun from the cooking session and if you are keen to find out more about their products or other recipes, do visit Perfect Italiano website here. [...]



Restaurant Reviews - Original Sin

Sun, 10 Mar 2013 23:30:00 +0000

Patrons who frequent Holland Village and Chip Bee Gardens along Jalan Merah Saga would certainly be familiar with Michelangelo’s restaurant and his sister outlet Original Sin – the latter in 1997, became Singapore’s first vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant. Unlike the typical boring bland and green usually associated with vegetarian food, Original Sin’s dishes came packed with vibrant colours and full of flavours. This was evident in the Mezze Platter ($22.00 for starter, $30.00 for main), a Middle Eastern platter with a selection of dips consisting of Hummus Chick Pea Dip, Aromatic Pumpkin and Carrot, Eggplant Baba Ganoush and Yoghurt Tzatziki, served with Falafal Ball and Pita Bread. HFB was fascinated with the eggplant baba ganoush that was surprisingly flavoursome, but he was most impressed with the freshly baked pita bread that was baked in-house and served warm, soft and fluffy – so good that one could eat it on its own.Although Original Sin’s version of Magic Mushroom ($18.00), a baked Portobello Mushroom with Ricotta Cheese, Spinach and Pesto topped with Tomato Basil Sauce and Mozzarella, did not come with hallucinogenic effects when eaten, it’s moist and juicy texture served with a balanced sauce that was not too tangy was truly first class and definitely intoxicating.Haloumi ($18.00), a pan fried Haloumi Cheese served with Salad Greens, Roasted Capsicum and a Lentil, Cucumber and Mint Salad, was simply delightful. The texture and the flavour of the cheese were really enjoyable that made this dish a must-have for one’s starter dish. Fantastic!Bosco Misto ($26.00) a dish made of Spinach, Feta and Tofu Patties coated with Crushed Almonds and Sesame Seeds, Asparagus, served with a Button Mushroom Plum Sauce was one of Original Sin’s signature dish. Although HFB is not a huge fan of tofu patties, Original Sin’s version was a refreshing one – the exterior crust was enjoyable and the interior a hint of nice creamy finishing. The sauce was also surprisingly more savoury than sweet, which was a good thing.A staple of Mediterranean cuisine, Original Sin’s version of Capsicum Quinoa ($26.00) came with Roasted Capsicum stuffed with Spiced Quinoa, Carrot, Chickpea and Mint with Tzatiki, with a side of Pickled Grape, Onion, Cherry Tomato, and Olive Salad. The Quinoa was perfectly prepared in a fluffy, almost al-dente-like texture and nicely flavoured with spices. The caramelisation of the roasted capsicum also provided an added sweetness to this dish.Nothing beats a nice cup of Affogato ($8.00), or Espresso with Vanilla Ice-cream, after lunch. Rich and refreshing…… a suiting finish.Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited media tasting. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Original Sin for their hospitality. width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com.sg/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Original+sin&aq=&sll=1.343746,103.824045&sspn=0.368627,0.617294&ie=UTF8&hq=Original+sin&hnear=&ll=1.311212,103.796636&spn=0.00144,0.002411&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&cid=13019754436173822506&output=embed">View Larger Map [...]



Restaurant Reviews - Japanese Dining SUN, A Kyushu Gourmet Experience

Tue, 27 Nov 2012 23:30:00 +0000

Located at the CHIJMES cluster of food and beverage establishments, Japanese Dining SUN, with support of Fukuoka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) is proud to offer the Kyushu Gourmet Experience from now till 8 Jan 2013. The Kyushu Gourmet Experience will introduce not only regional cuisine from the Kyushu prefectures of Miyazaki, Fukuoka, Saga and Oita, but also feature authentic ingredients air-flown in twice weekly (Tuesday and Friday, if you must know) especially for this menu.No Japanese meal would be completed without the starter of Sashimi – the Kyushu Sashimi Mori 7 Kind ($88.80) was an ensemble of Kyushu seasonal fishes including the Fatty Tuna (Otoro), Yellow Sea Bream, Horse Mackerel, Golden-eye Snapper, Striped Jack, Yellowtail and Japanese Sea Bream. Timely for HFB, it was a Tuesday when he went for this tasting session, thus it was expected that the fishes were really fresh and enjoyable. He was particularly drawn to the unique finishing taste of the Yellow Sea Bream and Golden Eye Snapper.With a close proximity to China, Kyushu cuisine is heavily influenced by Chinese culture and culinary techniques. Thus the introduction of Japanese Preserved Mustard Leaf (better known as Kiam Chye, or Salted Vegetables) in the form of the Mentai Salmon Takana Roll ($18.80) was of no surprise to HFB. Purists would probably frown at such a dish, while the adventurous would celebrate – as the preserved leaf left quite an interesting aftertaste. A hint of spiciness could also be experienced from the seasoned cod roe.The Kagoshima Mental Cheese Chigiri Age ($9.80), a fishcake of spicy seasoned cod and cheese would make a great finger food to pop over beer or sake. HFB only gripe would be the cheese wasn’t molten or oozy enough for his preference.Chinese influence was once again evident in the Fukuoka Kurobuta Gyoza ($9.80). The pot stickers were filled with cabbage, chives and garlic and pan-fried perfectly, but it was the highly prized Kurobuta Pork that shone through with its luscious finishing. HFB also found the texture of the skin just right – thick enough to hold the ingredients without breaking, but thin enough without being too chewy. A dunk into the dipping sauce and the orgasmic experience was completed. Definitely the highlight of the session and something one shouldn’t miss.A Kyushu delight that one definitely shouldn’t miss was the Miyazaki Wagyu Steak Ajikurabe ($88.80). Prepared Teppanyaki-style, the Japanese Grade A3 Miyazaki Wagyu Ribeye and Sirloin Steak was used as opposed to the more superior A5 grade, as Japanese Dining SUN felt it was a better balance between the marbling finishing and beefy aftertaste – since most Singaporeans found the A5 grade too greasy and oily for their liking! If you asked HFB, he loved them both as long as it’s well prepared… heh!One of the many food crazes now in Japan, Shiokoji is koji that has been fermented in salt (shio). And koji, or rice malt, is a live food that is rich in enzymes and brings out the umami in foods by imparting a rich savoury flavour. And thus the Shiokoji Moriawase ($15.80) was born – a meat platter consisting of Berkshire Pork, Chicken and Salmon. Although HFB found the meats to be slightly toughen (not too sure whether it was due to the marinating or the cooking process), there was indeed a sweet aftertaste evident in all of them. HFB preferred the chicken best as it kinda reminded him of “Drunken Chicken”.If you enjoy your noodles springy and Q like HFB, you would definitely fall in love with the Saga Nori Udon ($12.80), or the Cold Seaweed Noodle – even more enjoyable eating it when mixed with the condiments provided! Japanese version of the Lei Cha, or Thunder Tea Rice, the Fukuoka Kinmedai & Mentai Chazuke ($15.80) consisted of lightly grilled Golden-eye Snapper fillet slices with seasoned cod roe served with Green Tea Bonito soup. The rice used was imported from Japan and the texture was definitely apparent. [...]



Restaurant Reviews - IKYU

Fri, 23 Nov 2012 07:01:00 +0000

IKYU (pronouced as “E-Q”), which means “Take a Break” when translated to English, is one of the latest contemporary Japanese restaurant that aims to be a respite away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Thus, it was no wonder that the restaurant was tugged away at the quaint, yet hip cluster of Tiong Bahru estate at No. 5 Yong Siak Street. Headed by Executive Chef Takuma Seki (formerly Chef-de-Cuisine of Hide Yamamoto), IKYU serves creative interpretation of traditional Japanese cuisine with East-meets-West culinary techniques – drawing from Chef Seki’s extensive culinary experience in USA, Paris and Japan.The tone was set for the dinner with the introduction of the Pear Sake that was clear and pristine with a slight sweet finishing. A good refreshing start HFB must say. Diners could also enjoy sakes over at the Sake Bar located at the back of the restaurant – which was a little too dim for HFB to get a good photo.Amuse bouche that evening was Cream Cheese with Snapper’s Stomach that surprisingly paired really well with the sake that balance off the richness of the cream cheese. The stomach of the snapper was interestingly chewy and thus provided a distinct contrast in texture. The first starter that HFB sampled that evening was the Century Egg Traditional Potato Salad ($8.50). The century egg provided an added body to the carb-loaded dish, but it was the simple addition of cucumber bits that shone through with its crunchy texture and cooling, uplifting finishing.Most diners at Japanese establishment would have indulged in edamame at any one point in time, but Grilled Edamame flavoured in Truffle ($8.50), well that’s a first for HFB! A tad extravagant, but overall in a good way – the truffled flavour harmonised well with the charred finishing of the edamame.What can you not like about the Wafu Marinated Salmon Carpaccio ($16.50) that was topped with Salmon Roe, and Coral Seaweed? One of IKYU signature dishes, the savouriness and bite of the salmon roe went well with the marinated salmon and the seaweed provided the added layer of texture to lift the dish.HFB loved how the Deep fried Sakura Ebi ($8.50) was lightly salted, thus letting the natural sweetness of the baby prawns to shine through. Highly addictive and definitely make a good bar snack during Happy Hours!The Breaded Oyster from Hiroshima ($12.50) was a real winner for HFB! Really meaty and juicy when HFB sank his teeth into one of them, HFB really enjoyed it, and why shouldn’t you?The Assorted Vegetables wrapped in pork ($15.50) were grilled with nice charmed aroma, and the bacon provided the savouriness to the grilled veggies, but HFB did find it a little too dry for his liking.An exotic off-the-menu Smoked Whale Salad was dished to us during our tasting. How it managed to get here, HFB do not have the answer. However the excitement only lasted a moment as soon as he tasted the smoked whale – it tasted salty (it was smoked remember?) and almost just like ham – a pity he must add, considering he was expecting more from the anticipation.Hoping to maintain the hype during the dinner, the Blow Fish Tatsuta-age with Sansyo ($16.50) was up next. If memory didn’t serve HFB wrongly, he was told the fish was gutted with its poison removed in Japan by license chef before being packed and flew over to Singapore; the fish was fresh and firm with hint of natural sweetness. However in all honesty, the name was more fanciful than the dish itself – it was pretty decent, but regrettably wasn’t enough to blow HFB away.Later, we were introduced to the Grilled Pair Quail Legs ($5.50 each) under the Happy Hour Menu. Grilled to perfection with the meat still tender, those sexy legs were really flavourful and came with a distinctive peppery finishing. The chilli garnish also provided that little added oomph to the dish. HFB only grumble was – why are quails born so tiny? He wished he had more of these fascinatin[...]



Restaurant Reviews & Dining Giveaway - The Boxing Crab

Tue, 06 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000

The Boxing Crab is Food Junction’s newest seafood restaurant located at the beautifully quaint stretch of Sentosa. Over at this 250 seater restaurant, one can tuck into a huge selection of seafood dishes while feasting your eyes on the panoramic sights of the sea – and if lady luck is smiling at you, one would also be exhilarated by the sights of traversing cruise liners passing by.The tasting got off the ground to a really good start with the small bites of Crispy Peppered White Bait ($8.00), and boy was it really crispy and highly addictive! Despite the many dishes that were presented to us throughout the session, HFB managed to make room in his tummy to sneak a piece or two in between the rest of the dishes.The Deep Fried Crispy Baby Squid ($14.00/$18.00/$22.00) definitely lived up to its name with its crispy consistency amidst the tangy and sweet finish from the sauce that coated around it. HFB was pretty keen with this dish.What HFB liked about the Homemade Fresh Mango Prawn Bar ($12.00) was its refreshing twist of using spring roll skin to wrap the mango prawn and deep fried. The added crispy texture was a nice balance to the sweet and slight mushy mango sauce along with crunchiness of the prawn.What was there not to love about the Steamed Bamboo Clam with Minced Garlic (Market Price)? Executed in the classical manner of steaming the clam along with the chewiness of the tang-hoon (mung bean vermicelli), this dish was definitely a crowd pleaser. Be warned though if you are to kiss your date right after the dinner, this dish was heavy-laden with garlic! Haha.For mains, HFB tried the Charcoal Grilled Marinated Red Snapper ($28.00) that was really fresh, indicated by its firm flesh. The marinate came with a hint of spiciness that lend a good flavour to the fish without overpowering the freshness of the fish.For $78.00, one can also opt for the Charcoal Grilled Mixed Seafood (for 2 persons) with a choice of Snapper, Squid, Prawns or Clams. HFB sampled the squid and it was one of his favourite dishes that evening. It was grilled to perfect tenderness and a squeezed of lime makes the dish even more refreshing. Just then, the cruise liner came along and everyone had a break snapping photos of the ship with Reflections at Keppel Bay as the backdrop. A pretty awesome sight HFB must add!Just then, HFB also spotted how the restaurant used numerous woks as a piece of art on their wall. Yes, you heard it right – CHINESE WOK! How cool was that?Now back to the food, the next dish of Wok Fried Prawn with Salted Yolk ($24.00/$34.00/$54.00) was probably one of the more popular dishes that diners ordered nowadays in Tze Char stalls or restaurants. And The Boxing Crab didn’t disappoint with their rendition. The strong flavour from the salted yolk was evident and it nicely enveloped the succulent fresh crunchy prawns. It did get a little heavy on the palate after the second serving, but hey, what’s a little sacrifice for something worthwhile.Using wheat grass, The Boxing Crab Braised Home Made Wheat Tofu with Seafood ($17.00/$21.00/$26.00) is one of their signature items on the menu. What HFB really enjoyed about the tofu was its silky smooth texture. The array of seafood also adds flavour to the dish. Perfect to dig in with a bowl of piping hot steamed rice.What’s the highlight of the evening at The Boxing Crab that evening? Well, their crabs of course! And over here, one can have choices of Mud Crab, Flower Crab and Swimmer Crab (All Market Price), with various cooking methods such as the popular Chilli and Black Pepper, to the more adventurous Steamed with Soya Milk and Braised with Superior Broth and Pumpkin. It even came with Western cooking methods such as Flambé with Herbs and Garlic Butter and cooking with Melted Cheese. How exciting! And before HFB dig in, all guests were invited to suit up for the occasion! HFB really loved the presentation of the Chill[...]



ADV: Restaurant Review & Dining Giveaway – Izzi Restaurant & Bar

Sun, 07 Oct 2012 23:30:00 +0000

Nestled next to an infinity pool overlooking the greenery in a tranquil and serene environment, one would imagined they are transported to a luxury resort and exotic villas of sorts – but instead Izzi Restaurant & Bar (pronounced as “Easy”) is located at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Alumni House, at the end of the road leading to SIM University.Established since June 2010, Izzi Restaurant & Bar opens to public from Monday to Sunday and offers FREE Parking! What’s more, students of SIM and Ngee Ann Polytechnic can enjoy 10% discount off their total bill! And if that’s not generous enough, how does Club Members, along with staffs of Ngee Ann Polytechnic get to enjoy 20% discount off their meal sounds!?!For a start, give the Chicken Tender Strips ($6.00 for 3 pieces) a try. This crowd pleaser with its crusty exterior, along with its accompanying sesame sauce – that was tangy and great to dip in – was simply a delight to munch on. This was highly addictive!Fancy something out of the ordinary? Why not sample the Oven-baked Cod Fish served with a Japanese twist of Cabbage Rolls & Soba Noodles in Seafood Broth ($30.00). A smooth and creamy texture, HFB was pleasantly surprised and took delight by the cabbage that was wrapped with seafood paste. Slurping the soba was also blissful as the seafood broth harmonised the noodles perfectly. Really enjoyable!The Pork Chops ($9.70) was unquestionably a valued option for students seeking a good deal. A 200grams of nicely seasoned and charred pork collar chops comes with 2 choices of sides and accompanying sauce. And if one is up for something spicy, the Black Pepper Sauce is definitely the obvious choice!Part of the Chef Recommendation Menu, the Duck Platter ($30.00) consists of a trio of dishes – Duck Confit, Cold Smoked Duck Breast, and Shredded Duck Meat & Vegetable Spring Roll, served with Mash Potatoes and Berry Sauce. HBF started with the spring roll that came stuffed with generous shreds of duck meat. Splendid! HFB also cannot help but got distracted by the luscious and glistering smoked duck breast and he wasn’t disappointed – it was really flavourful and HFB beyond a doubt enjoyed it.But the highlight of the dish was definitely the duck confit that was savoury and came with nice crisp skin and fork-tender flesh. The tangy berry sauce which provided a nice balance to the palate also offered a nice finishing to the hearty dish. Magnificent!!Cooked to a perfect medium finishing, HFB thoroughly enjoyed the Lamb Rack ($30.00) in Red Wine Mint Sauce. The meat was flawlessly tendered and juicy the way it should be. The meat that was nicely charred along with the accompanied sauce was a marriage-made-in-heaven – red wine provided the depth for the red meat while mint sauce is a classical pairing for lamb. This dish fully deserved maximum marks for execution, and strongly endorsed by HFB.How does than an aromatic cup of Hazelnut Latte ($4.60 for regular, $5.30 for large) after meal sounds? A perfect ending HFB must say – along with the latte art to admire at the same time.Operating HoursMondays to Thursdays: 1130hrs – 0000hrsFridays & Saturdays: 1130hrs – 0100hrsSundays: 1600hrs – 2200hrs (Drinks Only)“Live Band”Mondays to Saturdays: 2100hrs – closing*** Giveaway Contest Details ***1. ALL participants who answer the following question correctly will receive a 20% discount voucher off all food items at Izzi Restaurant & Bar. 2. In addition, all diners who present the discount voucher will stand a chance to enter in a lucky draw where THREE winners will be picked to win food voucher equivalent to the amount they spend (on food only) on the day they dine.Q. When did Izzi Restaurant & Bar join Facebook? (Hint: https://www.facebook.com/IzziRestaurantBar)Please send your answer to shanielui@mabuilders.com.sg with your Name, NRIC, and Contact Number. Closing date for this co[...]



Restaurant Reviews - Marmalade Pantry at the Stables

Tue, 18 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000

Situated amidst the lush greenery which surrounds Bukit Timah Saddle Club, HFB fell head over heels with the Marmalade Pantry at the Stables that offers a refreshingly quaint environment – a hidden gem amid our vibrant cityscape.Take a step into the restaurant and one would be greeted by an interior mix of modern colonial charm, offering a unique combination of contemporary setting with a laid back atmosphere – one that you wouldn’t mind spending the rest of the day or evening away with your loved ones.A most exceptional appetiser to kick-start the lovely evening with, HFB really took pleasure with the Mexican Chicken Salad ($22.00). An exploding mix of flavours and textures from the various ingredients, HFB really enjoyed the Chickpeas, Spiced Corn and Salsa that came with it. Such refreshing goodness that HFB almost caught a glimpse of the Three Amigos!!!The Pan Seared Haloumi ($21.00) came with Roma Tomatoes and Watercress Salad. Originated and popular in Cyprus, the semi-hard cheese is usually fried, grilled or pan-seared due to its high melting point. The cheese was nicely seared to a perfect golden brown and was really addictive to go with the sweet tomatoes as they harmonised perfectly in terms of flavour and texture. The light salad dressing was also brilliant in its own right, allowing the fresh ingredients to dictate the experience.The Crispy Pork Belly ($32.00) was indeed crispy and full-flavoured, but was unfortunately let down by the lack of skin which could have otherwise provided a much-welcomed crackling and moisten the lean meat at the same time.Anything beef cheek always intrigued HFB, as this is one of his favourite cut. And Marmalade Pantry’s version of Braised 120 Days Grain Fed Beef Cheeks ($32.00) surely didn’t disappoint. Executed with perfection, the meat was fork-tendered and robust in flavours. What’s more, the Asparagus, along with Mushrooms and Pickled Onions were the ideal accompaniments to the dish. Brilliant!!Marmalade Pantry’s version of Spaghetti Carbonara ($24.00) was creamy and hearty, and came with a poached egg that looked sous-vide. Not forgetting that the generous serving of bacon was also much welcomed. This was comfort food at its best.HFB looked forward to dessert as he heard rave reviews about them, and he wasn’t disappointed by the Sea Salt Caramel Cheesecake ($8/slice, $60 whole). The cheese cake was a well-orchestrated symphony as the evident caramel taste coupled by a hint of saltiness cuts through the sweetness perfectly. What’s more, the cheese cake was light and dense with a really smooth texture.However, he could not say the same for the Red Velvet Cupcake ($4.50). Though unique on the exterior with its coconut shavings, and using beetroot juice as a “food colouring” in the interior, HFB found the cupcake to be lacking in texture as it was slightly dry and flaky. This experience certainly hadn’t changed his perception for the dessert which he always felt look better than it taste. Lured by the temptation of the Lemon Brulee Tart ($14.00), HFB was totally floored by the perfect balance of sweet-sour finish of this sexy dessert, along with its crust that provided the added texture. This was truly a faultless palate cleanser to draw a close for the evening. Simply awe-inspiring! Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited taste test. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Amanda, FoodNews, and Marmalade Pantry for their hospitality. width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=55+Fairways+Drive,+Singapore+286846&aq=&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=39.371738,79.013672&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=55+Fairways+Dr,+Singapore+286846&ll=1.342773,103.796703&spn=0.012163[...]



#CookForFamily Initiative

Mon, 06 Aug 2012 00:00:00 +0000

HFB is one of the many bloggers that is taking part in the initiative by Daniel’s Food Diary – the #CookForFamily initiative – is basically a bloggers-for-bloggers initiative with a simple objective of getting more bloggers, and hopefully their fans and followers, to start cooking and bonding with their families.

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Despite the many Michelin stars fine-dining establishments that have sprouted on our little island faster than one can say “bon-appétit”, HFB believed that nothing really comes close to home-cook food. Like how a friend previously put it, “No amount of stars or ratings can be accolade to home-cooked food, they are simply the best!”

And since we are at it, why not bring up a notch by cooking something simple, yummy and healthy at the same time. Less oil, more vegetables and throw in some fruits if you wish. Adding various colours of fruits and vegetables not only makes the dish more colourful and aesthetically eye-pleasing, consuming a variety of different colours, also mean one can get the best all-around health benefits as each different colour fruit and vegetables contains unique health components that are essential to our health.

So be inspired, #CookForFamily today and remember the phrase "eating a rainbow", an easy way of remembering to get as much colour variety in your diet as possible through fruits and vegetables, so that you can maximise your intake of a broad range of nutrients!
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Mum's Not Cooking: Favourite Singaporean Recipes for the Near Clueless or Plain Lazy by Denise Fletcher

Fri, 20 Jul 2012 13:24:00 +0000

What do you do when you’re homesick for some Singapore food, but you can’t really cook, mum’s nowhere nearby, or there’s no hawker centre you can shuffle to in your shorts and flip-flops?

Cook some yourself!

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Adopting the loving authority and voice of one who’s accustomed to creating friendly recipes for those who are simply clueless or just rather lazy about cooking, Denise Fletcher, a proud-born-and-bred Singaporean, devotes her culinary experience to creating a companionable book for all the Singapore food favourites that you and your friends or colleagues may crave. Recognising that you may not easily obtain ‘authentic’ ingredients if you’re based overseas where you are, Denise also suggests food substitutions to help you approximate that taste for home. Thumb through this book and search for a recipe that will comfort you!

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The official book launch will be held on Saturday, 21 July 2012, 2-3pm @ Books Kinokuniya, Ngee Ann City.
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Restaurant Review - L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon & Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore

Wed, 18 Jul 2012 00:30:00 +0000

It was a mixed emotional experience when HFB was invited for the new menu tasting of L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Joël Robuchon Restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore. If you hadn’t already knew, HFB was part of the team that was labouring at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon during their opening when Mr Joël Robuchon himself was here to officiate. One year on, the place remained the same, although the team changed much. But the good news is Executive Chef Tomonori Danzaki and Chef de Cuisine Lorenz Hoja still helms the kitchen of Joël Robuchon Restaurant and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon respectively. The tasting session was supposedly to kick-start with Mr Joël Robuchon himself demonstrating one of the dishes at the kitchen of Joël Robuchon Restaurant, but he felt a little under the weather and Chef Eric Bouchenoire, part of Mr Robuchon faithful brigade that travels the world with him, took over and demonstrated how to poach an egg, before Chef Tomonori Danzaki finished off the intricate dish by crumbing the egg and deep-fry it, before completing it with Crème Fraiche, and a very generous quenelle of Caviar! HFB wondered who was the lucky fellow that eventually got to sample it?HFB was then ushered to L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and was promptly served champagne, which he thought was the drink he enjoyed the most throughout the session. It was truly a refreshing experience that he was seated on the other side of the bar-counter, while spotting some of his ex-mates slogging away. Indeed the grass is greener on the other side. Heh!Shortly, the much-celebrated bread basket arrived – painstakingly prepared daily by Baker Chef Yoshihiko Tauchi and his team at the bakery within Resorts World. HFB clearly remembered how some of these breads served him well as his late-night snack after service. Ahhh…sweet memories…!The Amuse Bouche of Pour Commencer was a delightful Avocado and Grapefruit “Ruby Red” with Fresh Coriander. A magnifique start that was refreshing and seek to open up one’s palate readily, HFB enjoyed the contrasting harmony texture of the dish – creamy (avocado), pulpy (grapefruit), and wobbly (gelée) – all at one go.HFB really enjoyed the Le Caviar Imperial that was served chilled, consisting of Imperial Caviar on a Corn Veloute with Shivering Beef Jelly. Using Japanese sweet corn, the veloute was delightfully smooth, creamy and sweet to a smack. Combined it with the savoury umami-ness of the caviar plus the beef consommé jelly and this is a sure winner – brilliantly executed!The most inspirational moment arrived that evening when Mr Robuchon strolled in and quickly made his way to the open kitchen of L'Atelier, along with another of his trusty lieutenant, Chef Philippe Braun, to personally oversee the 3rd dish – La Tomate, made up of “Merinda” Tomato and Mozzarella Méli-Mélo with Spring Vegetables Crisp. A seemingly straightforward dish that spoke volume in its flavours, HFB enjoyed the natural sweetness of the tomato which paired really well with that dash of good quality extra virgin olive oil along with the mozzarella. This was a dish that truly let the ingredients spoke for themselves. Said to be the creation of Chef Yosuke Soga, who is part of Mr Robuchon's entourage this time round, he was also the man that started the first Atelier in Tokyo. The L'Œuf de Poule consisted of Soft Boiled Egg with Piperade Flavoured Iberico – a typical Basque dish prepared with onion, peppers, and tomatoes sautéed and flavoured with Espelette Pepper. HFB felt the full-bodied sauce was a little overwhelming for the egg, which he felt was a little pity.HFB bade his farewell from L’Atelier and was whisked away to Joël Robuchon Restaurant next door, where he was greeted with more of the aw[...]



Restaurant Review and Promotion: PuTien's Summer Menu II

Mon, 02 Jul 2012 00:30:00 +0000

Tofu, also called bean curd, is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds. And before sampling PuTien’s refreshing summer menu at their flagship outlet located along Kitchener Road, HFB had the opportunity to visit PuTien’s Central Kitchen to see first-hand how the restaurant made its bean curd fresh daily using traditional recipes, made without chemical additives. Following the traditional PuTian (the name of the town in Fujian, China) technique, the bean curd is healthier, tastier and has a better texture than mass-market bean curd.Soy bean were freshly milled and soy milk was extracted before brine, or highly concentrate salt solution was added as the basis for tofu formation instead of gypsum, or calcium sulfate – thus the coagulants produced a much smoother and tender texture of tofu.HFB also had the privilege to sample freshly made tofu that was deep-fried in low-temperature virgin oil, and lightly seasoned with a sprinkle of salt. Honestly it couldn’t get any better that this – the tofu was airy and fluffy yet came with a bite at the same time – a product that could only be achieved through excellent temperature control of the oil. In a flash, the whole tray of tofu was gone!Thankfully, HFB arrived at their restaurant in no time to sample their summer menu and the first dish that arrived was... you guessed it, tofu – a Braised Tofu to be precise – using the exact same tofu that we came across at the central kitchen. There’s nothing not to love about this dish, the same texture, with the same unique flavour of the tofu enhanced by the absorption of the braising liquid – truly a comforting dish. HFB first sampled Winter Melon in Orange Juice – a dish where the winter melon was first cooked and then soaked in orange juice – at Chef Chan’s Restaurant 4 years ago. He would rate PuTien’s rendition slightly better with their texture – it was much crunchier with each bite, but on the other hand, he still didn’t take to the artificially-infused sweetness and tanginess of the bottled orange juice. A country take on the homely dish, Ah Yuan Fragrant Herbal Chicken was slow-cooked in a soup of eight herbs using kampong chicken. Served slightly chilled, the chicken was really intense with flavours and the skin of the chicken was actually chewy in a good way, so much so that HFB found it to be really addictive. He wondered whether that was the same chicken that was left dried in their central kitchen, thus producing such awesome texture of the skin! A welcome twist to the usual nutritious bitter gourd, the Thick Bitter Gourd Soup delivered multiple unique flavours in one sip. HFB tasted a mixture of sweet and savoury initially derived from the chicken stock and seafood mix of prawns, dried scallops and crabmeat that were used, with the bitterness and “greeny” taste kicking in on the aftertaste. The winter melon cube also provided the texture within the pureed bitter gourd soup. A really exquisite dish that HFB truly enjoyed.The PuTien Pork Ribs dish is also known as “broken” ribs in PuTian because the bones were exposed. Executive Chef Li Gongba explained that prime ribs were used in this dish and thus the ribs were more on the tendered side. Along with the marvellous marbling, the sauce that came with it gave it a sweet, sour and hint of spiciness to it. A really enjoyable dish if you asked HFB.A mental image of the Stir-fried Prawns with Fruit Salad revealed the sun, the sand and the sea – that was how colourful and cheery the dish looked. Summer fruits, including melon and lychee along with dragon fruit, were paired with succulent prawns providing a savoury and fruity pairing that was healthy and refreshing at the same time. From now til[...]



Restaurant Review: Dean & Deluca All-Day Breakfast Media Preview (Pictorial)

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 00:30:00 +0000

If you haven't already jump into the bandwagon of tasting Dean & Deluca's All-Day Breakfast, here's a sneak peek into some of their offerings.Here's a sampling platter of Dean & Deluca's All-Day Breakfast offering.Eggs Iberico - A very luxurious take of Poached Eggs that one is usually familiar with.The New Yorker - Scrambled Eggs are nicely seasoned with Truffle Salt, served with Smoked Salmon on Bagel. A close second in HFB's opinion.Berries & Flap Jacks - Mixed Berries Pancakes served with Dean & Deluca's Organic Maple Syrup.Brioche French Toast with Salted Caramelised Bananas and Fresh Berries - Served with Ice Cream. This was HFB's favourite among all.Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited media tasting. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dean & Deluca and Fulford PR for their hospitality. frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com.sg/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Orchard+Central&aq=&sll=1.316284,103.83723&sspn=0.097306,0.154324&ie=UTF8&hq=Orchard+Central&ll=1.300825,103.839808&spn=0.024327,0.038581&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&cid=6468027890980814326&output=embed" width="425">View Larger Map [...]



Media Preview of Dean & Deluca (Opens TODAY 22 June)

Thu, 21 Jun 2012 23:00:00 +0000

Be greeted by Cheese and Charcuterie when you stepped into Dean & Deluca located at Level 4 of Orchard Central when they officially open TODAY, 22 June.Staffs were equipped with iPads loaded with information about wines and their region, so feel free to throw them any questions. One may even request them to email the information to you.Look at how colourful these sugar were!!! Seeing them made HFB happy.This was one of those things that gave HFB pure excitement!!Lovely aren't they?Teas of the world - even came with a map to explain where they came from.WOOHOO!!!OMG!!! There goes my diet plans...Look at those lovely buns. Oops.Look! There's even a demo kitchen to educate consumers on how to use Dean & Deluca's products.HFB loved the clocks that show the different time of various Dean & Deluca outlets all over the world.Dean & Deluca is also the sole retail distributor of Papa Palheta Coffee in Singapore.Eat Silver and Gold anyone?HFB predicted that these Dean & Deluca totes will flood the streets of Orchard Road real soon. frameborder="0" height="350" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="https://maps.google.com.sg/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Orchard+Central&aq=&sll=1.316284,103.83723&sspn=0.097306,0.154324&ie=UTF8&hq=Orchard+Central&ll=1.300825,103.839808&spn=0.024327,0.038581&t=m&z=14&iwloc=A&cid=6468027890980814326&output=embed" width="425">View Larger Map [...]



Restaurant Review and Dining Giveaway: Brotzeit Bavarian High Tea

Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:54:00 +0000

Kaffeeklatsch, or have a casual gathering over coffee in the German language... that’s what you can indulge in... with Illy Coffee nevertheless, or TWG Tea, and even a choice of 0.3L draft beer at Brotzeit during their Bavarian Tea Time offering. One can choose any 3 food items (out of 9) and pair it with your choice of beverage for only $15-$18!!!1. Homemade Crepes with Strawberries and Raspberry CreamTruth to be told, HFB wasn’t aware that Germans had their own version of crepe. But unlike their French cousin who usually comes thin, Brotzeit’s version leans towards spongy and fluffy – a description we usually reserved for pancakes. While the taste leaned towards sour (duh!), the raspberries cream was actually reasonably lovely.2. Homemade Crepes with Fresh Banana and Chocolate Hazelnut CreamThis would definitely be one of the 3 food items that HFB would select for his platter. The Hazelnut Cream was really lip-smacking good with flavours and the bananas along with the chocolate sauce harmonised really well together. Awesome!3. Homemade Bavarian Fruit Dumpling coated with Sweet Butter Breadcrumbs served with Plum SauceThis dish deserved a special mention despite not making it into the final 3. It had a nice texture and comes with a nice balance of sweet and sour between the apricot hidden within and that of the plum sauce, which was delightfully rich.4. Vanilla Ice Cream drizzled with a nutty essence of Pumpkin SeedsThe pumpkin seeds provided a nice texture to the soft ice cream, and the ice cream on its own was tasty – but HFB cannot say so about the essence which was distinctly “greeny” in taste. 5. Breaded Camembert served with Cranberry SauceBINGO!!! This would be HFB’s second choice for his tea time platter. The camembert was really addictive and great even on its own without the sauce. The few words that came to HFB’s mind when asked to describe the dish were – creamy, velvety and crusty. 6. Homemade Apple Strudel served with Vanilla SauceThis was not the usual crusty type of apple strudel we are familiar with. This was the more rustic, doughy-style that gave one a more homely feel, with the apple providing the delightful crunchy texture. The light vanilla sauce complemented the apple strudel really well without being too overpowering.7. Bavarian Pork and Beef Meatballs served with Tangy Tomato SauceOk. This was the DA BOMB that everyone on the table unanimously agreed should appear on each and every of our platter. The meatballs were really packed with flavours and the sourness from the tomato sauce provided a good balance. If HFB decided to be boring and doesn’t need variety in his life, he would definitely opt all 3 dishes to be this. It was THAT breath-taking!8. Baked Brezn Stick with Smoked Salmon, Vegetables and Sun-Dried Tomato and Tartare SauceOk. HFB admits he’s not a big fan of bread, and this combination isn’t gonna change his opinion anytime soon. The only positive HFB could see was the smoked salmon.9. Baked Brezn Stick with Smoked Chicken Ham, Vegetables and MayonnaiseRegrettably, this dish wouldn’t make it to HFB’s tea time platter anytime soon. Not a big fan of bread and not a big fan of chicken ham. This simply wasn’t his cup of tea. Thank God for choices in life!***DINING GIVEAWAY CONTEST*** If you would love to do your mix and match, here’s the chance!!! Brotzeit will be generously giving away Tea Time Platters to FIVE (5) lucky readers. All you have to do is answer the following questions and send it to marketing@brotzeit.co with your Name, NRIC, and Contact Number. Closing date for this giveaway contest is 8 Jul 2012 (Sun), 2359hrs.Q1. Name the following Bro[...]



Restaurant Promotion: Grains of Love - Rice Dumplings Selection at Mandarin Orchard Singapore

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 01:00:00 +0000

WOOT!! There you go...more rice dumpling delights to share with everyone...this time from Mandarin Orchard Singapore....Happy Rice Dumpling Sampling Day, Heh Heh (Yes, Of course I know is Dragon Boat Festival)!Traditionally eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival (端午节), rice dumplings signify volumes of rich Chinese history. The festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month in remembrance of patriotic poet, Qu Yuan. At Mandarin Orchard Singapore, Executive Chinese Chef Sunny Kong has added 2 new drool-worthy flavours to the selection of rice dumplings! The Abalone and Seafood Dumpling, a new flavour is packed with rich goodness of abalone, dried scallop, dried oyster, dried shrimp, sea whelk and shiitake mushroom. It is a sure-win recipe of delicacies everyone will enjoy!The Hong Kong-style Rice Dumpling, another new introduction, offers meat lovers a perfect pairing of roasted duck, kurobuta pork, salted egg yolk, shiitake mushroom, chestnut, dried shrimp and lotus seed. Back in demand is the Amoy-style Dumpling which contains layers of pork belly, salted egg yolk, dried shrimp and shiitake mushroom. Also very popular is the XO Nyonya Dumpling with a hint of spice containing XO sauce, nyonya sauce, roasted pork belly and dried shrimp.Savour these tasty bundles of delight that make for the perfect gift to families and friends. The rice dumplings are available for sale from 5-23 June 2012 at Mandarin Court Chinese Restaurant. For orders or enquiries, please call 6831 6262/66 or email mandarincourt.orchard@meritushotels.com. [...]



Restaurant Review: Weekend Brunch at Cocotte

Tue, 29 May 2012 01:15:00 +0000

HFB has a love-hate relationship with Sunday Brunch. You see, he loves the idea of having brunch on a weekend – just idling the day away with a glass of OJ and enjoying his eggs and toasts – but he really hates waking up early just so he could enjoy it. But when Cocotte came knocking on him to sample and review their new a la carte weekend brunch menu with a French twist, he couldn’t say no to it.Sunday Brunch at Cocotte got off to a really brilliant start with their Mixed Baskets consisting Croissants and Pain Au Chocolat ($12), which came with exquisite artisanal jams from Alain Milliat. Head Chef, Chef Anthony Yeoh explained that they brought in their bread from France, a tad costlier, but definitely much better in taste compared to the local ones due to the French butter they incorporated within. The croissants HFB tasted were really awesome and it was light and flaky at the same time. What a big difference it made!It’s always nice to start a meal with fruits and Cocotte’s Fresh Fruit Salad ($14) came with a mixture of Fresh Fruits & Summer Berries tossed in Honey-chardonnay dressing and served with Crème Fraiche. One can also opt to up a notch in the fruity section by washing down with Cocotte’s refreshing Summer Punch ($20 serves 4) of mixed fresh fruits with ginger ale and ginger beer. An excellent thirst quencher in our hot summer climate!Customers can be delighted with their choice of eggs ($5) in any of the following cooking methods – scrambled, poached, French omelette or fried, and pair it with their sides, which by the way HFB really enjoyed every one of them! Texture-wise, the Roast Herb Potatoes ($6) were roasted perfectly, and it was wonderfully flavoured by the herbs. And look at those gorgeous Slow Roasted Vine Tomatoes ($6). They were so succulent and busting with juicy-goodness with every bite. But nothing beats the good o’ Streaky Bacon ($6) that were not greasy and tasted really savoury! Sink your teeth into the Croque Monsieur ($16) and savour the perfect combination of Brioche, Béchamel, Dijon Mustard, Ham and Gruyere. Topped that up with a fried egg that enveloped the whole sandwich to make it a Madame (add $2) and what’s not to love about this dish?!?Crepes are a must have in a typical French brunch. And one should not miss out on Cocotte’s savoury crepe of Creamed Leeks and Scallops ($22). While HFB enjoyed his leeks to be slightly crunchy and firm, he fully appreciated Cocotte’s style of cooking it down till really soft and aromatic, which tasted really appetising when consumed. Although Scallops were seared nicely, it was without much fanfare.Disclaimer: No ratings would be given, as this is an invited media tasting. HFB would also like to take this opportunity to thank Cocotte for their hospitality. width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com.sg/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=cocotte&sll=1.359,103.818&sspn=0.389218,0.617294&ie=UTF8&hq=cocotte&hnear=&t=m&z=11&iwloc=A&cid=9647175547800447541&ll=1.305116,103.854625&output=embed">View Larger Map [...]



Resturant Promotion: Jiang-Nan Chun Dragon Boat Festival Celebration

Fri, 25 May 2012 01:00:00 +0000

HFB loves his rice dumplings and he is pretty certain this restaurant promotion at Jiang-Nan Chun will satisfy his cravings as much as it will satisfy yours.In commemoration of the Dragon Boat Festival, home‐made dumplings generously filled with savoury and sweet ingredients debut at Jiang-Nan Chun, June 1 till 23, 2012.Guests may choose to order a single dumpling or a selection to be enjoyed with their dining companions. Served piping hot, the steamed glutinous dumpling filled with mushrooms, conpoy, lotus seeds and chicken ushers in the meal on a savoury note. For a taste of Chef Alan Chan’s signature X.O. sauce, the steamed dumpling featuring dried shrimps prepared in this sauce will satisfy palates relishing a hint of spice.A nourishing addition to the menu is the steamed dumpling filled with bird’s nest, while those who prefer a sweet option will favour the steamed dumpling filled with red bean paste. Just as highly starred on the menu is the steamed dumpling stuffed with snow lotus, conpoy, pork, salted egg yolk, mushrooms, lotus seeds, green beans and chestnuts.In addition to the a la carte menu of steamed dumplings, diners may gather over a five‐course set lunch menu priced from $58 per person. At dinner time, a six‐course menu highlighting deep‐fried soft shell crab, sautéed lobster with egg white and crispy conpoy, and braised chicken with abalone and black mushrooms; to name a few, is priced from $88 per person. All prices are subject to 10 percent service charge and prevailing taxes.For reservations, please contact Jiang‐Nan Chun:Tel: (65) 6831 7220 or email jnc.sin@fourseasons.com [...]



Sneak Peek of Beerfest Asia 2012

Mon, 21 May 2012 09:06:00 +0000

Beer, despite its bad reputation, actually has a number of natural antioxidants and vitamins that can help prevent heart diseases. The only problem nowadays is the sad fact that irresponsible people (Ferrari drivers or not) drink more than they should, and sobriety becomes non-existence. Thus being responsible by leaving your cars at home is always the key to having fun with friends while enjoying a nice chilled glass of beer.And what better justification to drink responsibly and have fun with friends when Singapore’s premier beer festival, Beerfest Asia 2012, takes place from June 7 to 10 at the Marina Promenade (F1 tracks behind Singapore Flyer). Appreciate the more than 50 new beers on show at Beerfest Asia 2012, hailing from powerhouse brands in Belgium, Germany and the United States, as well as emerging brands from Asian countries like Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and even Singapore!!!HFB was invited to sample some of these beers he had never come across and he was really curious to find out the taste profiles of them.Taiwan’s best-selling Gold Medal Taiwan Beer (5% ABV), is an amber lager beer with a distinct taste produced by the addition of native “Ponlai Rice” (Formosa rice) during the brewing process. HFB thought the body of the beer was rather light on the malting and hopping, and provided a light refreshing finish – an easy beer to consume for a start.Hawthorn Pale Ale (4.7% ABV) hails from Australia and is a Pale Ale that represents a rich and complex malt character derived from a bold blend of five different types of grain. Lightly kilned, the use of specialty malts gives this beer a light copper colour. This beer also happens to be the winner of Australia International Beer Awards 2010 & 2011 – Silver Medal. HFB nosed a pleasant combination of citrus fruits and florals initially, although a light hoppy bitterness rolls in on the aftertaste.The Bali Hai Premium (4.7% ABV) produced from Indonesia is a well balanced tropical lager with pleasant bitterness offering a clean finish palate. Comes with a thin head and offers good carbonation, it feels light in the mouth and goes down very easily. HFB felt this was probably a good Bali hot weather brew but nothing to shout about – although a perfect concoction to combat the current local heat waves.Fashioned in New Zealand, Monteith’s Original Ale (4.0% ABV) comes with strong notes of caramel, burnt sugars and a hint of blackberry originating from the female flowers of the Pacific Gem Hops, this indulgent pale ale delivers a full, round and complete beer flavour. For HFB, he really enjoyed the unique caramel tang!Deriving from one of the powerhouse countries of Germany, Schneider Weisse Kristall (5.3% ABV) comes with a delightful tingle light golden yet crystal clear wheat beer without yeast. Strong fruity banana fragrance complemented by spices, it is sparkling and refreshing with plenty of carbonation. This is recommended as the ideal companion for light fish dishes and a great aperitif. HFB was pretty blown away by this; everyone should definitely give this a try!How about having a stout from our very own local boy? Jungle Beer Kiasu Stout (7% ABV) (how more local can it gets) is a really rich and full-bodied imperial stout with extra complexity from unrefined cane sugar. A sip of it and receive an instant boost of masculinity – not that HFB needed more. Not recommended for the wimpy kid next door.So what are you waiting for? Raise your mugs, drink to it and gather your drinking buddies and purchase tickets from S$15 onwards from SIST[...]



Health Promotion Board (HPB) Healthier Hawker Programme

Tue, 15 May 2012 14:27:00 +0000

Well known by food lovers for their scrumptious Malay fare, selected hawker centres at Geylang Serai, Eunos Crescent and Haig Road will now be celebrated for something else – offering healthier food choices without compromising on taste, price or enjoyment.This is right after Yuhua Market and Hawker Centre became Health Promotion Board (HPB) first healthier hawker centre.As part of HPB’s Healthier Hawker Programme initiative, a launch event took place at Eunos Crescent Hawker Centre.The aim of this launch is to offer intervention solutions in the area of healthy eating targeted at traditional Malay cuisine, due to their casual relation with obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure among the Malay community.Patrons can look out for various Healthier Choice symbols, logos or stickers to enjoy traditional Malay cuisine such as Nasi Lemak that are prepared with healthier oil and less coconut fat, which means reduced saturated fat.Mee Rebus and Mee Siam, along with other Chinese delights such as Yong Tau Foo and Fishball Noodles are also prepared using whole-grain noodles and brown rice bee hoon.Beyond that, Geylang Serai has also become the first Healthier Hawker Centres to go smoke-free, in support of HPB’s Blue Ribbon smoke-free movement. [...]



Brotzeit @ Vivocity - Maifest, Come Celebrate the Arrival of Spring

Mon, 30 Apr 2012 04:45:00 +0000

The four seasons, summer, autumn, winter…. then spring. Although we are unable to celebrate the arrival of spring here in Singapore, but all thanks to Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant, we are able to commemorate one of the oldest traditions of Germany – Maifest, the celebration of spring. Come May, Brotzeit will be bringing you this joyful spirit of Maifest from 10 to 13 May 2012. And to go along with this authentic Bavarian feast, German folk band, Swiss Alpine Lions will also be performing exclusively at the VivoCity outlet for three consecutive nights – Friday to Sunday. And HFB was honoured to have an early celebration along with a few friends when he was invited to sample the Brotzeit Maifest Platter.Dinner commenced with the Crispy Chicken Salad that consisted of mixed salad with chicken fillet and potato salad, tossed with house dressing. HFB definitely enjoyed the potato salad that was balanced in flavours, but was a little disappointed with the chicken fillet that he felt was a little too thin and a tad dry considering that was the star ingredient of the dish.However, there was nothing a Sausage Platter couldn’t make up for – a mix selection of five types of sausages that came with Fries and Sauerkraut (which arrived with a nice touch of fried onions at the top), it was definitely a dish that that would satisfied anyone and everyone. For those who loved a little tingling aftertaste, the Spicy Chicken Sausages were sure to gratify your taste buds. And for those who loved cheese oozing out with every bite of the sausages would sure be pleased with the Pork Cheese Sausages. While HFB did find the Garlic Pork Sausage modestly salty, the flavourful smoky exterior of the sausage more than made up for it. In contrast, the Nurnberger Sausages made without the smoking process and simply grilled was definitely milder in terms of taste and flavour. However one of the highlights for HFB that evening was the amazing Weisswurst, a combination of veal and pork sausage specifically produced from Brotzeit’s own secret recipe which was really robust in flavours and truly tender to the bite!Nevertheless, the focal attraction that evening was definitely the Brotzeit Maifest Platter, priced at $118 featuring Brotzeit’s (yes, more) sausages, Pork Knuckle, Pork Belly and Roast Chicken to share (we had 6 people that day but we couldn’t even stomach everything!!!). What more could HFB comment about the Pork Knuckle apart from AWESOME! He had the serving closest to the bone and boy was the meat really flavourful and the crackling of the skin, simply divine! He had tried a few pork knuckles in his lifetime and that definitely ranked way up the chart. While HFB had a concern with the crackling (or a lack thereof) of the pork belly, HFB was pleased at how nicely marbled the meat was – let’s just say he had a few more pieces than he should – it was that enjoyable! And although the last hurdle HFB had to tackle was the Roast Chicken, he would be more than glad to go through it again. Marinated for hours and really couldn’t be roasted any better, the chicken came really succulent and nicely seasoned; it was a pity he couldn’t stomach a lot more.Sensing that our tummies were really bloated, our hosts suggested ordering Schnapps, a type of European fruit brandy, which supposedly aid in digestion. A quick shot of it brought me back to my clubbing days; it was really intense! But sure enough, we were ready for our dessert.The Emperor’s Cake, or ba[...]



DBS Masterclass with Gunther Hubrechsen of Gunther's Restaurant

Fri, 27 Apr 2012 04:27:00 +0000

HFB was really keyed up to attend a Culinary Masterclass presented by DBS Indulge at the AFC Studio last month. You see, the chef was Chef Gunther Hubrechsen, who formerly worked under the mentorship of Chef Alain Passard, of the famed three-star Michelin restaurant, L’ Arpège in Paris, where his efforts earned him a position from trainee to sous-chef within 5 years.He also did a stint with the Les Amis Group before joining forces with Chef Roberto Galetti of Garibaldi Group of Restaurants to open Gunther’s Restaurant – which was ranked 84th in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s Best 100 Restaurant in 2010.During the session, Chef Gunther clearly showed his food philosophy of simple and light cooking techniques, and letting the fresh ingredients speak for themselves. Really inspiring!This was translated to the three dishes that he presented that evening – Coquille Pasta stuffed with Carpaccio of Langoustine, Steamed Alaskan King Crab with Spicy Gazpacho of Tomato and Blood Orange and lastly, Salt Baked Beetroot.It was also a very nice gesture that HFB got to sample Gunther’s signature dessert to round off the evening – the highly acclaimed Fine Apple Tart “a la dragées” with Havana Rum & Raisin Ice Cream.Disclaimer: HFB would like to take this opportunity to thank DBS Indulge and AFC studio for their hospitality.Recipes (Click to view bigger image): [...]



10 at Claymore "Plates of Pleasure – Our Greatest Hits", Pan Pacific Orchard

Sat, 14 Apr 2012 07:49:00 +0000

Buffet was never a HFB thing – one either get cold food that has been left in the open way too long for its own good, or hot food that has been sitting in the bain-marie for ages and thus overcooked. But when Pan Pacific Orchard (no, not the Marina one but the former Hotel Negara located at Claymore Road) extended an invitation for their “Plates of Pleasure – Our Greatest Hits” that is being offered as part of their buffet offerings, HFB jumped at it. You see, HFB had been there previously, and he was pleasantly surprised that the buffet offers unlimited serving of hot ala carte food that is served straight from the kitchen when you place your order – and the menu changes once every two months. From now till 30 April, the menu offers the Stone-Grilled US Premium Angus Beef Tenderloin, Oven-Roasted Tasmanian Free-Range Rack of Lamb and Pan Seared Victoria Lake Omega Salmon Fillet. And with team of Penang chefs at helm, including their Executive Chef, they are also offering Penang-style favourites such as Wok Fried Char Kway Teow, Rich Aromatic Assam Laksa and the Penang Style Superior Prawn Noodle Soup.While waiting for the dishes to be served, HFB indulged a little in their cold seafood counter – some lobsters, scallops and mussels. HFB remembered it to be better, but the mussels especially were a letdown – they were tasteless and bland, and every inch of that natural sweetness from the sea was missing. But if all else fails, there were always oysters to save the day! On offering were the US Rock Oysters and the French Fine de Bretagne – which HFB promptly opted for the latter. Although not as meaty as its American counterparts, it’s crispier finishing suits HFB just fine.The Stone Grilled US Premium Angus Beef Tenderloin served with Porcini Mushrooms Ragout along with Herbs and Shiraz Reduction was probably the dish that HFB felt could be executed better. No the dish wasn’t bad, it felt the beef tasted really great. But HFB felt the sauce totally overwhelmed the sweetness of the meat by the way it was presented – the sauce should be offered on the side instead of all over the meat. Also, he would definitely prefer a small, thicker version rather than a bigger, but thinner serving for a nice piece of tenderloin.The Oven Roasted Tasmanian Free Range Rack of Lamb served with Old School Smashed Pumpkin and Port Balsamic Glaze was a delight. The flavours and texture of the meat was nothing short of excellence, and he would have definitely indulged in a few more servings if not for the fact there were more dishes to follow. Great dish!With the introduction of Sous-vide cooking technique, most of us are now much pampered by tendered salmon cooked till medium-rare, with HFB likewise. But credit has to be given to the Pan Seared Victoria Lake Omega Salmon Fillet served with Creamy Spinach along with Citrus and Capers. The exterior of the salmon was superbly executed with its crusty finishing and HFB really enjoyed very bit of the fish which went really well with the cream spinach. A really commendable dish!Truth to be told, HFB is not a big fan of Penang Laksa. Having sampled the authentic version in Penang himself, he was rather put off by the type of fishy (for lacked of a better word) fish meat that the hawkers used in their noodles. But HFB was assured that 10 at Claymore only used fresh Barramundi for their version. Indeed after tasting the rich and really aromatic soup, it was a versi[...]



Bo Innovation, Hong Kong (2 Michelin Star) - A Pictorial

Sat, 07 Apr 2012 03:15:00 +0000

For those who visited Savour 2012 at the F1 Pit Building, chances are you would come across Bo Innovation booth at the Gourmet Village, or even attended Chef Alvin Leung's Masterclass and his unique brand of "X-treme Chinese" cuisine at the Gourmet Auditorium. And HFB was glad he had the opportunity last year to sample their menu degustation at their two-Michelin-star restaurant located at 60 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong. width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="http://maps.google.com.sg/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=BO+Innovation,+Johnston+Road,+Hong+Kong&aq=0&oq=Bo+Innovation&sll=1.359,103.818&sspn=0.372743,0.617294&ie=UTF8&hq=BO+Innovation,+Johnston+Road,+Hong+Kong&ll=22.276428,114.171206&spn=0.02065,0.032015&t=m&output=embed">View Larger Map [...]