Wine Garage

By , December 24, 2009 11:44 am

The holiday seasons are usually the time for bingeing sharing good food and wine drinks. Holiday seasons started early for us this year cos the man has been on holiday since last week, so we started with the good food way before Christmas – I haven’t felt like looking at/ writing about/ trying any food for the week, so fooded out I feel from the big meals.

This is one of the meals – we had intended to head to Brewerkz at Riverside Point (for a light meal of quesadillas) but it was soooo crowded we settled in next door at the Wine Garage. We then proceeded to over order (but still finished everything) because we wanted to try so many things on the menu.

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3 raw oysters served with this foamy red wine vinaigrette instead of the usual salsa/tabasco sauce. Interesting altho a tad too bland to go with the oysters, the man eventually finished the other two with lemon and said they tasted “fresh like the ocean“.

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Steak tartare with crusty country bread (Delicious writing on the menu is a must have). Obviously the man’s choice again, all these raw food. It’s essentially chopped raw beef  with onions and a raw egg atop, served with condiments of mustard, chopped onions, chopped chives and gherkin on the side. I really liked the presentation and the crusty bread (cos that’s all I could have of this obviously), and Dan wiped out the rest with this look of satisfaction on his face so I presume it was good.

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These two were separately ordered sides : On the left is the mushroom risotto, which was creamy, tasty, infused with the flavor of mushrooms and the risotto was cooked just right. I loved it except for the lone sandy mushroom which caused a gritty mouthful, but else thumbs up! On the right, is the truffle macaroni and cheese gratin which was also heavenly! Truffle oil just seem to complement the taste of everything (unless you hate truffle oil) and this is like an atas mac and cheese, served with good cheese. I could go back and just order the sides.

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The tenderloin was tender and chargrilled to perfection. Everytime the knife slid through the meat, it looked very effortless. Oh and according to Jamie Oliver, said the man, this knife is the perfect steak knife cos it has partially serated edges. Wait, let me find a pic :

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Here it is – a knife is a knife is a knife to me but I guess the REAL food connoiseurs know the diff.

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The sausage pizza was the only letdown of the evening – the base was too chewy plus we left it to sit for too long cos the other food were so good we had to finish those first.

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A friend joined us (after we finished all the other good stuff) and ordered the fish presuming that it’d be a fillet, until it arrived. Fortunately, she enjoyed it still cos the meat was white and flaky, signs that it’s very fresh and cooked just right. Also there was a hint of lemon in every mouthful cos the fish was cooked with lemon peel inside of it – refreshing and yummy judging from the skeleton that was remaining at the end of the meal 🙂

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Barely enough space in our tummies for dessert and the man picked Home made donuts with lemon sauce. I scrunched my nose at the choice cos I’m not a big fan of donuts or citrusy desserts, but realised afterwards that I’m a fan of This donut. I presume it was just made cos the donut was warm, fluffy and chewy. Went perfectly with the vanilla ice cream on the side and the spright taste of lemon/berry sauce countered the sweetness of the ice cream and donut. I could just have this (and the sides).

The damage (plus half a bottle of wine) was $250 – pretty reasonable for the level of food/service and qty we ordered 🙂 I’d like to go back when my stomach can start stomaching food again.

Hope you have a blessed Christmas with lotsa good food, laughter and love!! 😀

Chomping down the hawker spread!

By , December 14, 2009 11:06 pm

I love hawker/food court food – it’s a gastronomic celebration of our cosmopolitanity (I made that word up but you know what I mean) Plus it is cheaper than cooking for two in Singapore so what’s not to love, right?

We headed to Chomp Chomp for dinner earlier on and check out our spread!

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This Char Kway Teow was from the stall nearest the entrance. We ordered takeaway yesterday but Dan was dissatisfied with it cos the cockles were overcooked by the time we got home. So we went back today(it Is quite sinful to have it two days in a row but we only live once!!) and it is soooo good. The taste of lard, bits of egg with sweet sauce, and the slippery noodles/rice noodles – good ol’ cholesterol on a plate. I never order this by myself cos I can only manage at most a third of a packet. That’s why it’s great to eat with Dan – he’s the makan machine.

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Obviously, he’s eating cockles with a vengeance to make up for yesterday’s dissatisfaction. I daren’t touch these things pregnant or not 😛 He said they were cooked just right cept that they weren’t big enough. He is big on supersized foods.

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Case in point : this cup of  超級大(super big) sugarcane juice.

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Other than the fact that porridge is comfort food to me, I also had this today cos my tummy didn’t feel so good. My logic is this : If I ‘lace’ my tummy with porridge, I can then have whatever else I want – it works! This tasted rather authentic cos I could still make out grains of rice as opposed to some stalls that masquerade a smooth goo for porridge. I’m not judging if you prefer that, just sharing my preference for texture 🙂

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Dan also ordered stingray and crayfish. I didn’t find them particularly good but am still including the stingray pic cos I like the pic. He liked that they followed his insructions for less chilli while I figure that’s the reason why I didn’t think very much of it. Actually, I didn’t really like their sambal for some reason. He ordered this from a store nearer the back. Try anyone of the other stores nearer the front.

Ok, I think I’ll have to add a disclaimer to the bit about eating out being cheaper than cooking for 2 : It is cheaper to eat out only if Dan isn’t the one ordering 🙂

The Crepe Recipe!

By , December 8, 2009 12:36 am

Crepe cakes remind me of Diya and Carrie (of Project Superstar fame) because they introduced me to them. Brought them all the way from JB too. So I remembered that I was very inspired at that time, to reproduce a crepe cake. I scoured the internet for good recipes, and chanced upon this site. It had this:

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Immediately impressed by this picture that set my saliva glands into overdrive, I set about reading the comments on the blog (it’s great feedback for whether a recipe works or not). I finally decided on making the crepes first, and then worrying about a substitute filling since it was of the general opinion that the filling was too rich/eggy in taste.

Making a crepe cake is essentially making many crepes, and then stacking them up with cream spread between each crepe, to hold them together. Still clueless about the filling, I started with the crepe since I’d have an entire night to think about the filling.

Crêpes batter (To be prepared day before use):

6 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tbsp. sugar
Pinch salt
vegetable oil

1. Cook the butter in a small pan until brown. Set aside.
2. Heat the milk until steaming; allow to cool for 10 minutes.
3. In a mixer on medium-low speed, beat together the eggs, flour, sugar and salt.
4. Slowly add the hot milk and browned butter. The batter should be watery and may have brown bits (of butter) in it.
5.Pour into a container and refrigerate overnight (or at least 3hrs)

So while the batter was in the fridge, I wondered at using whipped cream for its filling. Went back to the comments section – apparently it’s not strong enough to hold the crepes in place and they’ll slip slide over one another. Messy. Ok, will think again.

6. Bring the batter to room temp.
7.  Swab a nonstick 7inchpan with oil and pour in 1/4cup of batter.
8. Cook until the bottom just begins to brown, about 1 minute, then carefully lift an edge and flip the crepe.
9. Cook on the other side for no longer than 5 seconds (or ugly craters will start to form on ur crepe) and remove onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (a plate will do too).
10. Repeat until you have 20 perfect crepes.

Note, the first crepe usually fails – something to do with getting the oil and pan temperature right. Scrape it off and then try the second or third. Because the batter is so watery, it will spread thinly and evenly. It does not become crispy because it’s not a crispy crepe, but it does transform from watery batter to an actual crepe. Isn’t chemistry marvelous? 🙂

I couldn’t wait to do 20 before trying the crepes, and decided to eat the first with whipped cream and maple syrup. It totally blew me away. Very Very Good. So good, that we didn’t have 20 when we were done, to make a crepe cake. It was That good. It just kept disappearing everytime it was off the pan. 

The crepes became such a favourite that we eventually forgot about making a cake and ate it as a crepe – one by one. In fact, we made a whole lot at my nephew’s birthday and had a crepe station that served crepes with different fillings : chocolate/strawberry syrup with banana/strawberries/<insert fruit>.  

Hope you have fun if you try this out – my favourite remains crepe with simple whipped cream and maple syrup 🙂

Celebrity Chow

By , December 7, 2009 11:50 am

Ok, I was lazy to think of a title and ripped it off this picture :

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It’s a foodcourt stall in Plaza Singapura, opened by Terence Cao and Zhang Yao Dong. I hear they have 2 other stalls at Tampines 1 and Jurong Pt.

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Well, they Do sell roast meats – this mixed platter of roast meats was quite the winner. The meats are moist and soft to the bite, well marinated and the skin absolutely yummy (or is it my recent obsession with roast chicken/duck??)

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Their famous “Pontian” noodles – noodles from a state in Malaysia called Pontian known for their noodles apparently. And nope, I don’t think their residents are called Pontianaks. Very lame so let’s get back to the noodles. I don’t know if it’s authentic cos I’ve never been to Pontian, but it is good. It’s QQ and the black sauce reminds me of wanton noodles from KL.

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Their plain rice is served with a small half of a salted egg yolk – I love salted egg yolk with rice/porridge which is why I included this pic. Why else would I mention plain rice, right?

While it does help that they get premium coverage because of what they do, in the long run, it’s still the quality of their food that keeps discerning customers coming back so kudos to the successful entrepreneurs 🙂

PS: What would I sell if I had my own shop? I came close to wanting to open a crepes store… which reminds me – I’ve been talking about that crepe recipe forever. Next post for sure!

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