Wednesday, April 23

Seconds at Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse, Mohamed Sultan Road

On Good Friday, we took KW's parents to lunch at Bistecca Tuscan Steakhouse to mark their return from a 3-week holiday where they visited the newest member of our family - their granddaughter (Hi Yinzi!). 

Feverishly tuning into season 4 of Game of Thrones only served to heighten my senses of anything stag-like and bloody-meat-related. The antler ceiling lights would not look out of place at the House of Baratheon. 

The once-glorious foccacia bread that I raved about last visit tasted blah and stale. Like the fallen Stark family, it was a shade of its former self. The only consolation was I only had a wedge, leaving more stomach room for the beast that we were about to meet in a while 

With two meats to get through, we kept starters light - well, light being a subjective word - with a hunk of fresh burrata, lightly drizzled with balsamic glaze and olive oil. 

The mesclun salad was crisp and pleasant but let's not play games - I am not here for greens; I am here for the animal that eats the greens. 

Lombata (500g striploin on the bone MBS 6+)

You could not wipe that smile off my face when the meats were presented in front of us. From bœuf to bone, I relished every single bite, thanking my lucky stars that the blood type diet recommends Type Os to consume more beef (not that I subscribe to that diet plan, I just pick the stuff I wanna hear).

Costata Wagyu F1 bone-in rib eye, MBS 6+ Single cut, 1.1kg,serves 2

The Costata, in particular, was amazing! If you are thinking of renouncing meat from your lfe, you need to have the Costata before converting to get meat out of your system; then again, you might not turn to the other (green) side after trying this.

Like the Red Wedding, this tomato side dish starts off sweet and almost immediately takes a sour turn. But as a side dish, it was a good plate cleanser from all the meat we had to ingest (not complaining). 

I loved the un-creamy creamed spinach just as much as the last time round and the balsamic-glazed mixed mushrooms was more than delightful too. 

The dessert menu is pretty limited so we ordered the Torta Al Cioccolato and Tiramisu again. 

On hindsight, there was nothing wrong with the "chocolate tart," except it wasn't exactly a chocolate tart. To whoever translated the menu, "torta" ought to be a cake, and not a tart. It was nonetheless very yummy and the chocolate mousse was admirably smooth; however, if you are a big tart person (like yours truly), you will be morbidly disappointed. 

And of course, I still love their creamy, not-too-alcoholic tiramisu! That is one dessert I should try making soon.

If I had to choose to make a third trip to either Bistecca or Bar-Roque Grill, I would choose the latter. Though both places offer well-prepared food, the offering at Bar-Roque has more of an X factor. But I really need to make a trip back to Le Bistrot Du Sommelier before I pledge eternal loyalty to the true House of Bœuf.

Monday, April 21

Seconds at Artisan Boulangerie Co., Great World City

Two Sundays ago, the eight of us sat snugly across two tables at Artisan Boulangerie Co. Compared to our last visit, the bakery cafe was filled with hungry hordes who would not have anything to do with the Atkins or Paleo diet. Luckily, we managed to snag a couple of tables and thankfully, we like each other so moderate elbow-rubbing was tolerated. 

In the mood for something heartier, the egg mayo and corned beef sandwiches were lovely to have and hold. Though I initially turned up my nose at the seemingly plebeian egg mayo filling, the creamy yet chunky egg mayo proved hard to resist.

I also enjoyed the pairing of saltish corned beef and sweet brioche bun. Could I replicate this at home? Absolutely. Would I actually do it? Probably not.

Though we got this smoked salmon quiche for Russell, I ended up eating most of it as he wolfed down a pau that my mum got him in minutes. I swear that kid has an Asian palate and is a cheap date - just like his mama. 

My younger sister loved her roasted red pepper and cheese omelette. 

My dad's incredibly healthy smoked salmon and toast breakfast. 

My mum's not very healthy eggs benedict that my dad stole bites off. Mutual benefit is what keeps the marriage going. 

For some reason, I was feeling ridiculously peckish after the sandwiches and took it upon myself to get desserts for everyone. I feel that with age, my palate becomes more Asian and I find it harder to be satisfied with sandwiches and stuff. 

The pear frangi tart was the favourite of the trio. Quite frankly with its perfect filling-to-tart-shell ratio, there wasn't much to fault - unless you are looking the the elixir to weight loss or something.

The caramel pecan tart was sweet. Very sweet. I ate 80% of it and that kept me going the entire afternoon with the munckin. 

I can't remember anything particularly great about the Bostock but I will remember not to order it the next time. 

The chocolate molten cake that my elder sister got was surprisingly good. Surprisingly as it had been sitting around for quite a while waiting for one of us to valuate its existence; and it was remarkably luscious when I jabbed my fork into it. All together now, Ooo....

Thursday, April 17

YOLO // Have a great long weekend

YOLO - Yuzu, orange, lemon and olive oil

Monday, April 14

Nancy Silverton's Bagna Cauda

Every once in a while, you come across that recipe that makes you go, "OMG" to "OMG, this is soooo good I got to keep this a secret " to "OMG, I got to share this because it is too good!" Since it wasn't mine to begin with, I got to share this incredible recipe by Nancy Silverton with you. Have an awesome Monday, indeed.

Thursday, April 10

The munckin - 21 months

I envy mothers with children who ...  Sleep through the night ... Can entertain themselves ... Are calm-natured ... Are good being on their own ... Put up little resistance at any given time ... Stay in their strollers when they go out for walks ... Are good and fast eaters.

But I can't imagine loving my kid more if he were less intense and spirited. There is so much more to love when he has such a big personality.

Monday, April 7

Baking an orange olive oil cake // A touchpoint map

  • De-stress with Food network before heading to work on a Saturday morning
  • Get inspired by uber perky TV host
  • Spend a productive morning in the office
  • Buy remaining ingredients including 5 oranges though you only need two because the supermarket sells them in a bundle of 5 (on hindsight, it was a good move to get more oranges)
  • Lunch
  • Bake
  • Initiate taste-test with the Mister and Munckin
  • Critique "It's quite dry..." said the Mister
  • Get into problem-solving mode
  • Slather raspberry preserves as Munckin clamours for more "Mama... Mama..." 
  • Use the opportunity to teach him about patience
  • Friends arrive, serve minicakes. Munckin polishes off one on his own.
  • Thank your lucky stars for kinder-than-thou friends  
  • Smother your kid's chubby-cheeks with all the love you can muster

Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian 

Improvisations from the original recipe for mum's birthday lunch:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, instead of 1 1/4 cups
  • 1/2 cup sugar, instead of 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3, instead of 2, eggs
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange (about 4 tablespoons juice, 2 tablespoon zest)

A recipe to have and hold xx

Friday, April 4

Penang Seafood Restaurant, 76 Geylang Lorong 25A

Between work and family time, there really isn't any motivation to sit down and blog properly about meals. However, I thought it would be doing Penang Seafood Restaurant serious injustice if I procrastinated any further.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fog on your monitor is not a technical error. Do not wipe your screens.

The salted egg yolk squid is, by far, the best salted-egg-yolk-something I have ever had! That's some tall order, I realise.

The chewy calamari bears a light breaded coating that poses little resistance to the creamy, slightly spicy salted egg yolk sauce. This dish absolutely calls out to the calamari-loving dork in me.

It seemed as if we each had a favourite that afternoon and KW loved the samba lala that was a saucy, slurpy treat if you are into that suck-on-shell kind of thing. 

The prawn paste chicken was marvellous too. Thickish unctuous batter encasing juicy insides. I have no idea how some people featured on Sunday Times under the Hot Bod section "eat only fried food once a week" - I can't live without at least one serving of something deep-fried everyday.  

For my selectively health-conscious and fish-loving dad, the Assam fish head was gloriously piquant and satisfying. That meant the rest of us didn't have to hear him complain about it for the upcoming weeks. Double bonus.  

The only dish we would not order again is the Neptune fish maw. Goopy, starchy and slimy, it was not fantastic. I am personally not a fan of fish maw to begin with but I didn't hear anyone call out for it either. 

Just in case you are wondering where the "Penang" in Penang Seafood Restaurant is...

The Assam laksa and Penang prawn mee are both very competently done. 

Another goopy, starchy and slimy dish but far less offensive was the san lor hor fun. My mum ordered this for Russell, who inherited kway-teow-loving genes from me.

However, if you are pressed for stomach space, skip this and order the Penang char kway teow instead.

KW and I had a quick chat over this Penang char kway teow - he think the one we had in Penang was better and I thought, Maybe but the plate we had in front of us was absolutely delicious and I wouldn't drive across the causeway with this around. A serious contender for one of the best Penang char kway teows around.

My mum's "birthday cake" - a lovely lemon cream meringue tart from Carpenter & Cook.

On board for Pantone's Color of the Year - Radiant Orchid. Heehee...