Monday, June 29

Tubby's thoughts on Korean instant noodles

"Oh Papa, that looks divine! *Slurp*"

"Yes, mix it up Papa... It's all about the wrist."


Lunch at Big Mama Korean yesterday and Tubby's reaction towards his Papa's instant noodles absolutely cracks me up. #CaptionParty

Friday, June 26

Cakes from Pine Garden

As a kid, my ticket to TAF Club was deep-fried food and not sugar, thus I rarely had a hankering for cakes and desserts from old school bakeries.  

Yet now, there is an odd allure about these cakes from Pine Garden. Sure, the Chocolate Rice Cake was as artificial and cheap-tasting as they get, but that aside, the Pulut Hitam Cake and Sea Salt Caramel Roll were delightful.

Unlike the original dessert, the Pulut Hitam Cake was surprisingly light and airy, given the layers of cream and sponge, and not forgetting, a lofty dollop of black glutinous rice topping.

I thought the Sea Salt Caramel Roll looked like it tiptoed out of a fancy Japanese patisserie catalogue. Salted caramel buttercream enveloped in a vanila sponge, and coated with a layer of glossy salted caramel frosting.

Wednesday, June 24

Sacha & Sons, Mandarin Gallery

I never met a Reuben I liked. Well, I'm referring to men, and not the sandwich. Questionable acquaintances aside, KW and I decided to have lunch at Sacha & Sons sans our own sons. Decor-wise, the designers/architects worked up a lively deli vibe. Though you order at the counter, the service overall was attentive and prompt  and below minimum age.

He had the corned beef and pastrami hash, and we shared a hunk of chopped liver. No complaints on either end.

What I really enjoyed was my Reuben sandwich. Pastrami, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and zingy Russian dressing, held snugly between 2 slices of buttered rye.

Now, this is one Reuben I'm happy to get to know better.

Monday, June 22

Greek Yogurt Mustard Lamb + Pea Hummus + Guacamole + Salsa

Did you celebrate Father's Day? We didn't... Heck, we didn't even celebrate Mother's Day. Now as a parent myself, I do find unnecessary significance placed on these Hallmark Holidays (like Valentine's Day) and I'm glad my parents aren't into them.

We did change things up with our regular Saturday meal by having my parents over for dinner. I realised how much I missed having people over for a relaxed meal, how much I missed party planning. Each time we have people over, I am always glad we did it but it truly warrants serious bed rest. Now if I am tired, imagine how much more drained my helper must be.

Guacamole, salsa, foie gras with toasted baguette

We kept the starters simple and these are recipes that you can easily Google for. Taste as you make them. You like them chunky, make them chunky. You like theme garlicky, make them garlicky. Free and easy, Susie. Who's Susie? No idea, just thought it rhymes with easy.

I had second thoughts about there being enough food and KW made a run for 车老板's roasted duck. We definitely had enough food to begin with but the roasted duck was dependably good.

There are two types of homecooks - one that scours for recipes and finds the the ingredients that fit the recipe, the other who feels inspired by ingredients and goes with his or her gut. As you can tell spontaneity is not in my DNA but I'm trying to be more of the latter category and keep things somewhat spontaneous.

The main dish was a Greek Yogurt Mustard Lamb based on Donal Skehan's Butterflied Lamb recipe plus 3 generous spoonfuls of mustard Dijon. It lay on a bed of pea hummus, based on this recipe, which was a fancy name for mashed peas. 

Hope you had a good Father's Day weekend. 

Friday, June 19

London Fat Duck, Scotts Square

How is it that our tiny island suddenly pops up with not one but two roast duck specialty restaurants?

It is obvious a not-so-great review in Sunday Times didn't turn the crowds off. That's great because Wong Ah Yoke is quite a quack and his reviews are generally not worth reading. So yeah, we waited close to 1.5 hours at Maison Kayser, snacking on sandwiches. I know sandwiches before roast duck? Yeah, we pulled all the stops to not get hangry. Trust me, it could get ugly.

I guess it wasn't a great time to visit as we were thick in the hype. Throughout the meal, I felt incredibly hassled - not unlike the overwhelmed staff, I'm sure. I'm not sure how long you have to wait for takeaway but take that option and enjoy it from the comfort of anywhere-but-here.

Media reviews seemed unnecessarily harsh, but then again, we stuck to the roast meats and stayed clear of the dim sum. Our expectations matched the absurd waiting time, but thankfully, the quality of the food didn't suffer with the crowds or hype.

The namesake roast duck was ahh-mazing! Fatty, juicy and succulent, it delivered the goods and more. The next time we get this, I'm ordering a whole damn duck so that we won't need to ration.

Excellent smoky char siew. We promptly ordered a second plate as soon as we wiped off the first. You would scrap the plate clean just to get some of that sweet sticky sauce for your rice. Don't be embarrassed, everyone's doing it.

Crunchy crackling skin with good amount of lean meat and little fat. A little porky but dab on some mustard and that ommphy chili, and all will be fine.

The only dim sum we had were these Black Pepper London Duck Buns. They were delectable little pucks filled with peppery and juicy diced duck. Best eaten warm for that crisp wispy crust.

In case you missed the name of the restaurant, London Fat Duck is not a place you would want to bring vegetarians - unless you plan on converting them. The only greens found in the menu - seasonal vegetables with ouster sauce - were overboiled and lackluster.

These wantons were tiny bundles of crunchy shrimp wrapped in paper thin skin.

The name might be a misnomer (hint: it's not from London and has nothing to do with THE Fat Duck), but the grub is genuinely good.

Wednesday, June 17

Fried Carrot Cake Stall, Sembawang Hills Food Centre

We recently started patronizing a fried carrot cake store that my parents used to bring us to when we were kids. It is kind of sweet that my parents are visiting with their grandkid.

The friendly uncle looks forever 35 - I'm pretty sure the grease from all that frying had something to do with it - and he specializes in the black version. I like how the "kway" is softer than his competitors but the fry up can sometimes be uneven and even underdone. And we all into that when you go black, it is all about the charred caramelized bits right?! I'm getting emotional here.

So, the other day, I decided to throw in a simple request:


And what a difference it made!

Monday, June 15

Swinging weekend

The weekend rolled by and was over sooner than you can say, "TGI-!" but it was lovely.

Lucas took to the swing for the first time and we had ourselves a happy dumpling.