Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dinner - Western Home Style

Made dinner last Saturday, western style it was.  I did our favourite Baked Potato with Bacon Bits and Sour Cream.  Quite some effort of fry Bacon Bit, but it is worth the while as compared to buying artifical bacon bits from the supermarket. 

Pork Patties Recipes (Makes 5 large or 10 small patties)

500g minced pork
2 medium size onions (coarsely chopped)
3 tbsp chopped corriander
10g of breadcrumbs
Salt, pepper, sugar for taste

Mix all ingredients together, season accordingly to your taste.  Make them into 5 large patties or 10 smaller patties.  (Corriander helps to give the patties a nice fragrant, so does onion)
Pan fry on slow fire as it takes a while for the patties to be thoroughly cooked, especially if you are making large patties.

Cameralised Onions (Topping for meats or pork patties)
5 large yellow onions  (cut into thin wedges)

Stir fry onion over low fire till cameralised.  Takes about 1hr but worth the while.
Check this Simply Recipe for the details on how to make Cameralised Onions.

I made Lamb Chops using frozen lamb chops from NTUC.  A pack of 10 pieces of frozen lamb chops costs $10 compared to 1 piece of fresh lamb chop costing $6.10.

Lamb chops
Marinate with salt, pepper and dried rosemary.  Rosemary helps to remove some of that lamb odour.  Pan fry shortly, about 1 min per side.  Frying lamb too long will make them tough.  Enjoy them with mint sauce.

Last but not least, make any side dish you fancy to go with  your meats.  Boiled carrots, corn, brocoli, toss salad with French Dressing, French Fries, Onion Rings ... the list goes on....

JB - Hong Kong Street Restaurant 尖沙咀港式烧腊茶餐厅

Hong Kong Street Restaurant 尖沙咀港式烧腊茶餐厅
74, Jalan Indah 8/15, Taman Bukit Indah
Nusa Jaya, Johor 79100
We tried this restaurant near Bukit Indah Tesco.  It is quite a small Hong Kong Cafe serving various types of food.  Many people eat their dish with plain rice.   It was packed during lunch time.

Nice 三色奶茶, which was very frangrant.  After drinking this, it made me want to go home and try to make this with the Gula Melaka that we have bought during our trip to Melaka last year.  We also tried some noodles and roasted pork.  The roasted pork was very crisy.  And the cha siew sauce was very frangrant.  They even placed a bottle of cha siew sauce on each table for your to pour on your rice or noodles.   The salted egg yolk prawn was not that nice.  The prawn was not crispy, in fact tasted soft, could have been fried much earlier in the kitchen.   I did not fancy the noodles or ramen.  However the claypot porridge was delicious. 
Would I visit it again?  Yes, but for the 三色奶茶 and porridge.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Melaka Trip May 2013 - Day 2

Day 2 after breakfast, we headed to buy our usual favourite top hat cookies, coconut cookies from this wholesale provision shop next to Ban Hong Xiang Teahouse. Don't bother to bargain as the lady boss would not give discount to non locals but we are ok since the cookies are not expensive and most importantly, they taste good.    After that we headed down to Tong Hup to buy stationeries. This is wholesales stationery shop which we found it by accident during our last trip.  I bought another 2 boxes of correction tape as someone in our house uses up 1 correction tape per week.  Per correction tape costs about RM$1 which is cheap.  They also sell other stationeries such as Faber Castell brand pens, colour pencils, erasers at wholesale prices.  

After shopping, we tried to locate the Char Siew Stall at Medan Makan Boon Leong again.   It is not easy to find a parking place near the eating place, so be prepared to park elsewhere and do a bit of walking.  At 11am, there was a long queue in the shop.  You only need to queue if you want to pack.  If you are eating there, just take a seat and they will serve you.  You will be served quite fast when you are eating there.  But the general hygiene of the place is not too good, so be mentally prepared.  As we were not hungry yet, we packed rice with Char Siew, roasted pork and fried cabbage.  On top of that, we packed additional Char Siew.  They also have other dishes like beancurd with pork, curry chicken, stir fried chicken, etc, something like 菜饭.  As you see in the picture, they pack their food in plastic sheet and newspaper.  (Save the environment?)  They do have styrofoam boxes upon request.   The Char Siew sauce is nice, not too salty and tastes good with the rice.  I will visit this place again the next time I visit Melaka.

In the afternoon, I ventured out on my own to Jonker Street again to hunt for my Poh Piah Lwee.  It was a long walk from the hotel to the place as it was right in front of the Street.  The Poh Piah was nice with fragrant lard inside.   I also bought a Nonya Chang to try.  The taste of the Chang is different from the ones we find in Singapore.  Generally nice.  I like the Poh Piah but my MIL doesn't.  She says the poh piah skin was too soft and sticks to her teeth.  One thing I notice is the poh piah skin used in Melaka is slightly different from those we find in Singapore.  The skin there is on the softer and chewy side while ours is on the dry side. 

After swimming and relaxing in the bath tub, we wanted to drive all down to Restaurant Lu Yeh Yen for dinner but MIL said she wanted to stay in the hotel.  So we decided to pack and have dinner at the hotel instead.  We packed Sweet Sour Crab (which was similar to our Chilli Crab version), stir fried vegetables, Thai Chicken, Fried Mee Suah, and Fried Rice.  The food is good and the for the 5 items we paid RM$95.  Again, this is a place that we will visit again on our next trip.  But next round, we will eat there.  

You can visit Carol's blog  to view more details of this place as well as the address, operating hours and menu.

We also bought some fried butterfly and desserts from a corner stall near Lu Yeh Yen Restaurant.  The Fried butterfly was crispy and fragrant but the desserts were not no good.  Do try the fried butterfly if you happen to be near Lu Yeh Yen Restaurant.

Time always flies when you are on holiday.  After all the good food, it was time to say good bye but we will be back.  

Here are some eating places that I wanted to visit but didn't have time to.  We will do it on our next visit.
  1. Sun May Hiong Pork Satay (intestine satay)
  2. Pin Pin Hiong Coffee Shop at Jonker Street (mee suah soup, hainanese pork chop)
  3. Coconut Milkshake
  4. Tengkera Putu Piring

Melaka Trip May 2013 - Day 1

We have arranged a trip to Melaka in May 2013 and this time, instead of staying in Holiday Inn, we decided to try Casa Del Rio which is situated next to Jonker Street.  This is boutique hotel, consisting of 66 rooms.  Not a very big hotel but at a very convenient location around Jonker Street.  Lime and Ginger sobert was served to us upon reaching waiting to be checked in.  We were also given a cold towel to freshen up ourselves.  The stay included a semi-buffet breakfast that included a main course from the menu for 2 days.  There was Egg Benedict, my elder son's favourite.  I chose Big Breakfast for my younger son which has his favourite sunny side up and sausage.    Besides the main course, we had various breads, noodles, rice, cereal and porridge to eat from the buffet.  Not a large buffet but sufficient.  (You won't want to eat too much in the hotel as there are plenty of nice food to try out there on the streets!!)

Egg Benedict

Big Breakfast

On the first evening, we were also served with a small cup of Onde Onde.  The mini onde onde is filled with fragrant gula melaka which burst in your mouth once you bite into it.  Unfortunately though, the skin was made solely from glutinous rice flour.  It would have been made better if sweet potato was included in the making of the skin.  But anyhow, it was a nice touch from the hotel.

So much about the Hotel.  The initial plan was to eat Char Siew Rice at Medan Makan Boon Leong at Bunga Raya, but the GPS coordinates : N2 11.889 E102 15.077 is WRONG.  We were lead to some paddy rice fields.  We aborted out initial plan and went to Jonker Area to try the chicken rice ball.  As it was noon, Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball stall was packed with people and a long queue.  We decided to try Famosa Chicken Rice instead but was quite disappointed with the standard.  

We ordered chicken, chicken rice ball, dumpling soup and vegetables in oyster sauce.  The sauce for the chicken and vegetables were extremely salty.  Chicken rice ball was soft and my sons preferred loose rice to chicken rice ball.  The only item that tasted not too salty was the dumpling soup.  We also ordered some char siew which again was drenched with some salty char siew sauce. Unless you like your food on the salty side, I would not recommend Famosa Chicken Rice at Jonker Street.  Definitely will not eat at this place again.

After lunch, we walked round Jonker Street.  My MIL bought some mee suah from a corner stall near the river.  They sell various types of dried noodles like mee suah, pan mee, etc.   It is not difficult to find as there is an uncle on a push cart selling steamed peanuts just outside that stall.  We also tried Assam Laksa, Nonya Laksa and Chendol from the stall Jonker 88.  The Nonya Laksa was quite Lemak.  Both MIL and I preferred the Assam Laksa which was sourish with kick.  We liked it so much that I bought it again the next day.  Their thick noodles are different from the ones that is sold in Singapore.  More on the QQ side and nice.  I even asked the lady for more fish flakes which increased the price of the laksa to RM$6.50 from the orginal RM$4.50++. 

Chendol from Jonker 88 was also nice.  On the first day, we tried the Eight Treasure Chendol which had the usual Chendol ingredients and on top of that there was big roasted peanuts that was very frangrant, nutmeg shreds and corn.  We didn't really like the nutmeg though.  The gula melaka was thick and frangrant.  As like some bloggers had feedback, it is on the sweet side.  But I don't mind though since the gula melaka is fragrant.

For dinner on the first night, we pack back to the hotel to eat as my MIL didn't want to go out.  Guess she must be tired.  This map was provided by the hotel to locate the eating places near the hotel.  

We walked to location 8 in the map to pack Naan, Butter Chicken and Tandori Chicken from Pak Putra.  We ordered garlic naan, cheese naan and plain naan.  The naan was nice but we preferred the Butter Chicken from Sim Lim Foodcourt in Singapore.  Tandori Chicken tasted quite salty when eaten on its own.  Along the stretch from the hotel to Pak Putra, there are numerous stalls selling food.  But they all open only after 6pm.  There is a Dim Sum, and a small hawker place selling various food items.  We tried the satay and poh piah.  Was quite disappointed as the poh piah contained lard that didn't taste fresh and it ruin the overall taste.  The satay was normal, nothing to shout about. 

After dinner, we went to Bar Rio for Happy Hour on the first night.  We had soft drinks and some light snacks.  The kids were busy eating the muruku from these mini dim sum containers. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ma-Maison @ Bugis

The kids and I were out with my sister and her friend last weekend.  Ma-Maison was recommended by my sister.  It is a small restaurant, a place for people to go there for drinks after work.  The list of food on the menu was quite limited in choices.  I chose the set lunch show above.  It came with some pasta, tomato fried rice in an omelette  burger steak and  a sunny side up.  My elder son chose some kind of a beef stew with fried butter rice in an omelette   We didn't really like the taste of the beef stew.  My sister selected the steak, which out of so many items, we thought that was the best dish.  Strangely enough, the waiter didn't ask how well we want the steak to be cooked.  The steak came cooked medium well.  It was very tender and juicy with a taste of worcestershire sauce.  Extremely yummy and after having a taste of that steak, all of us regretted all the other items we have ordered.  

No pictures for the steak as we were so busy eating that I forgot to snap a picture of it.  The onion soup was tasty with the melted cheese on top of it.  The kids were fighting to eat up all the melted cheese from the top of the soup.

Do go there if you like steaks or beef patties.  The tonkatsu with rice looked nice too from the opposite table.  Limited choices for seafood or chicken dishes.  

Average spending per person ~ SGD $20

Ma-Maison Restaurant 
Address: Bugis Junction #02-51, 200 Victoria Street Singapore 188021  
Tel: 63384819

Thursday, April 11, 2013

小白菜 - Growing Xiao Bai Cai at Home

My second attempt in growing xiao bai cai at home succeeded.  The first round was not very successful as these vegetables need plenty of sunlight and water.  They must be grown in a brightly lighted place preferably with sun shining directly at them.  They need a lot of water also.  I grew 2 pots of these over a period of about 2 months.  There is a sense of satisfaction when you harvest them.  Unfortunately, my 2 pots of vegetables only yielded a small plate of fried vegetables.  It is only then, that you realise how much time and effort it is needed to grow vegetables that we pick up effortlessly from the supermarket everyday and how much we take for granted the efforts of the farmers that grow these vegetables for our consumption.

High Tea at Shang-ri La - Rose Veranda

These pictures were from my recent visit to Shang-ri La Rose Veranda.  Though it was a Tuesday afternoon, the place was pretty much filled up with guests having Lunch cum High Tea here.  The variety of food seems to be much better than my last visit there last year.   Here are some pictures taken using my newly bought hand phone - Sony Xperia Z.  I wanted to take more pictures but was hesitant after my bad experience at another hotel where I was stopped from taking any picture by some Ang Moh waitress which inevitably ruined my day.  

Anyway, for this round, I decided to just snap some shots from what I took on my plates.  Something different this time was that each guest was entitled to 1 tea and 1 coffee for the buffet.  Tea was refillable.  And for addition selection of tea, there would be an extra charge of $7 ++ each.  I recalled previously they had a buffet price for unlimited selection of tea.  Well, no complains for this change as I don't think one can drink that much tea or coffee anyway.  And to get around this limitation, if you were there with a few friends, each person could actually select a different type of tea for all to try.  (Tea is refillable, remember? :) )

What I like about this place is that from Mondays to Fridays, High Tea is served from 11.30am to 6.00pm.  It is a good place for a girlfriends gathering.  If you book online, you get a 15% discount.  There are some credit cards that gives some discounts periodically.
Chicken pies and Crab claws

Finger sandwiches and Dim Sum
Carrot cake, Crunchy cold prawns, Sauteed Mushroom and Butter Chicken
Mee Siam (Thumbs up for this)
Macaroon, Mango Slice and Scones with Clotted Cream
Cheesecake Topped with Honey Dew

There were plenty of other dishes like fresh salmon and tuna, baked salmon in puff pastry, and a variety of pastries and ice creams.  The quality has definitely improved.  Besides the food, it is also the atmosphere that I like there.  It is not only cosy but also the warm and welcoming feeling I get when I am there.  

I was actually there to celebrate my birthday.  You can inform them ahead of time if you are celebrating your birthday and they would prepare a small cake for you and sing you a birthday song.  This round I didn't inform them earlier as I felt quite embarrassed having people singing for me.  My brother seeing other people having birthday cake asked the waitress if she could get a cake for me.  It was quite touching that though this was last minute, the restaurant actually brought me a last minute birthday cake and sang me a song.    

Last but not least .....  I will be back!! :) 

Crispy and Light Waffle

It has been a while since I use my waffle maker.  I managed to find it in the ocean of items in the storeroom. 

I used this recipe from Serious Eats site

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 egg whites

1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl.  Make a well in the centre.
2. In another bowl, beat egg yolks slightly and stir in milk and oil.
3. Add egg yolk mixture into the dry mixture.  Stir till moistened.  (should be lumpy)
4. Beat egg whites till stiff peaks form.
5.  Gently fold in egg white into flour and egg yolk mixture.  Do not overmix.
6. Spoon waffle batter into waffle iron, make sure not to overfill it.
7. Serve with ice cream, and fresh fruits


Thursday, April 04, 2013

Steamed Chicken with Abalone

Chicken with Canned Abalone and Brocoli
Chicken Preparation
1 whole chicken (about 1.2kg)
4 cloves of garlic
2 blades of pandan Leave
1 stalk of lemongrass (bruised)
1tsp salt

Sesame oil

  • Rub salt over chicken, stuff garlic, pandan leave and lemongrass into the cavity of chicken.
  • Fill a pot (make sure the chicken can fit in) with water.  Bring to boil.
  • Place chicken into the boiling water.  Bring pot with lid and bring water back to boil again.
  • Once the water boil, after 30mins of boiling, off water and drain chicken from water.
  • Submerge chicken in a big pot of ice water to cool the chicken.
  • Drain and rub sesame oil on chicken.
  • Chop chicken into bite size.  Arrnage nicely on a plate.
  • Blanch brocoli and place round the chicken.

Abalone Preparation
  • Slice canned abalone, arrange on top of the chicken.

Sauce Preparation
1 tbsp oyster sauce
300ml chicken stock (if use canned chicken stock, dilute 150ml chicken stock with 150ml water)
1tbsp cornflour mix with some water

  • Bring chicken stock to boil, add oyster sauce.  Slowly add cornflour mixture into sauce till slightly thickened.
  • Pour sauce over the chicken, abalone and brocoli.
  • Serve

Assortments of Yakitori

We had a feast of Yakitori a few weeks back.  I made Yakitori of:
  • Pork Belly
  • Pork slices wrapped with straw mushrooms
  • Chicken
  • Chickn Ball
I made the Yakitori Sauce Recipe from Saveur .  It requires some effort and it is worth putting in the effort

You can use this sauce on pork, chicken, etc.  I find this sauce very close to the teriyaki sauce.  Frankly speaking, these japanse sauces are basically made up the main ingredients - mirin, soya sauce, sugar.

Willows - Chinese New Year 2013

This post is like 2 months late.  I happened to see this picture quite nicely taken in my folder and thought it would be nice to place it here. 

This year, my MIL bought some beautiful willows for Chinese New Year.  The fluffy cotton buds actually 'grow' into bushy tails during the next few weeks.  I find it quite amazing and I suspect it must be something that the nursery added while growing them that makes them perk up into life after they are harvested.

Chinese New Year was like just a week ago but now we are already in the 2nd quater of the year 2013.  How time flies!

Prawn and Fish Toast

Prawn Toast Recipe

6-8 thin slices sandwich bread

250g shrimp, peeled and deveined
50g ground pork
1tsp potato starch
1/4 cup chopped corriandor
1/2 egg white
1/2 teaspoons grated ginger

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
white pepper to taste

parsley or sesame seed for garnish
oil for deep frying
sweet Thai chili sauce for dipping

1. Put (A) in a bowl and mix well.
2. Marinade for 2hrs in the fridge before use.
3. Spread a thin layer of prawn and pork paste on the bread.
4. Decorate it with a parsley leaf or some seasame seeds.
5. Deep fry in oil till gold brown.
6. Drain and serve with Thai Chilli Sauce.