Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yummie dummies go to Perth

Hello everyone! First and foremost, Merry Xmas!!!

Yep, don't forget to enjoy yourselves this christmas :)

Well, I myself am back home in Perth (ohhh sweet home...!) with Qin and we're definately having a blast right here checking out wonderful food and places and having fantastic home cooked meals and great company everyday.

We'll be back on the 31st and I'll be posting about our trip then. Till then, adios and once again Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year!

Oh btw, that's a hermit crab we bought at the Sunday market at $2.50. So cute right!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Need durian? Go 727.

There's just something about durians that make me go weak in the knees. Ohhh, durian lovers you may just know what I'm talking about.

It's so good that hardly any words I use can fully describe it! Despite most people preferring the bitter kind, I usually go for the sweet, slightly orangey kind (got to satisfy my sweet tooth). Well, plenty of good durians during the "in" season, nothing to worry about. But what should I do when the durian season ends?! For that, I usually get my fix from 727 durian. They produce the BEST durians puffs and pastries... ever.

You don't get any artificial sugar taste, you don't get any bland or bitter durian fillings. All you get is a thick, rich, sweet durian puree stuffed inside a puff. Oh man... I'll just let the pictures do the talking.

They have durian crepes ($3) which are to die for.

Just look at the amout of durian inside it!

Durian puffs ($3.50 for 6). Oh this is just heavenly. Yellow heaven. Hey kind of rhymes doesn't it! I said kind of.

Oh mama mia...

Durian tarts ($5.30 for 6).

Other than these little guys, they still have many other durian products including the all new durian pie! Imagine, baked durian woohoo! Plus, during the durian season they do sell durians at their store (fresh and opened on the spot mind you). Their durians are imported from Muar and are very, very rich and sweet, definately better than the ones sold at Geylang.
Well, to get a better idea of what products and produce they have, check out their website HERE


Monday, December 18, 2006


If you haven't noticed, this blog is undergoing a major reconstruction.

Please do bear with me for a while.

ps: Beta blogger is such a pain...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Best of the Best

*Warning: The following context may be deemed too sexual for some and should be viewed in moderation*

Remember during my previous posts I always talk about the best min jiang kueh I've eaten in Singapore.

Well, this is it.

This is the king.

Please do not mistake this as any other ordinary min jiang kueh.

Bite into one and you'll go "Ommph..." when you taste the fragrant and soft batter melt in your mouth infused with the generous sweet fillings of either kaya, red bean or peanut.

Look at the pictures. Need I say more?

There's just something different about the batter, as agreed by everyone who has tasted it. The nicely browned batter imparts a fragrant and a certain bite combined with softness which is hard to place, unlike others which are soft and melty but taste like plain starch, or the thick, rubbery ones which makes me go "Ugh...".

And while red bean and peanut butter are the common hot favourites, get the kaya roll from this particular stall because the kaya simply infuses with the batter as one, like a match made in heaven.

Orgasmic. No, seriously.

And while you're at it, get a slice to get a true flavour and quality of the batter.

Kaya (Orgasm)
Red bean (Sweet and good)
Peanut (Heaven)
Cheese (Savoury goodness)

Rolls - $2
Slices 60 cents each or a whole pie for $3.60

Hougang Min Jiang Kueh
Kovan Food Centre

Christmas is the season to be giving

Merry Xmas!!! Well, xmas may not be here yet, but we can definately get into the mood first!

Well, one event coming up is the Christmas Flog Exchange organized by Hinata diaries and Nibble and Scribble.

I'll just let the write up explain itself :)

All you have to do to take part is send an e-mail to with your name, blog, snail mail address and wish by this Thursday, December 14. Joone and I will publish the completed wish list the next day (Friday, December 15), after which you have one week to sign up to fulfil someone else's wish. Needless to say, you only get to make a wish if you're gonna fulfil someone else's in return :)

To keep things fun and friendly, you can wish for anything food-related that's under S$20. It can be something specific (e.g. a box of organic cherries) or something that requires a bit of creativity on your wish fulfiller's part (e.g. "the best cupcakes you've ever eaten").

Of course, feel free to spread the word on your own blogs and get more people involved! Depending on the response, we can either organize a gift exchange dinner or a simpler blogging-by-mail exchange (hence the request for your snail mail address).

So get wishing!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Because I'm Chinese

Sure, there are many styles and techniques of cooking out there and every nationality will have their own unique ways of whipping up a tasty meal. But what always amazed me is the chinese technique of stir-frying.

Growing up in a family where there are always yummilicious chinese food cooked fantastically by my mum, I guess it's only naturally that I've always been interested in cooking, chinese style of course. Not sure on how to go about doing it though, I'll just throw in the ingredients and start acting like a pro, trying to flip the food in the wok (and the outcomes weren't exactly ideal).

Well, it's only recently after I ate a super good beef hor fun at Quan Ji (Amoy St FC) that I tasted the "wok hei", or breath of the wok as some may call it. Man, that subtle, slightly charred taste made me realise that there is much more to the technique of stir-frying.

For one, I didn't know that a high heat must be used with fast strokes and ingredients must be added separately. Hrmm, now that got me thinking.

Anyways, I actually thought of this dish when I was lying in bed one night, thinking of how to enhance claypot olive rice served in Thai restaurants. By simply adding sweet black sauce minced pork (loved it when I was a kid) and frying the rice separately, and then adding olive leaves (can be bought in NTUC), you'll get a savoury and fragrant olive rice with a hint of chilli and sweetness from the pork.

Very well-received by Qin and her brothers.

And then there's San Bei Chicken or Three Cups Chicken. *Slurps* I especially love this kind of strongly flavoured dish such as Gong Bao Chicken etc. Apperently they named it this way because there's a cup of black sesame oil, a cup of soya sauce and a cup of rice wine used. Beware though, it's very heaty and cannot be eaten too often.

Woot! I loved the way it tasted! Btw, these pictures do NO JUSTICE to the taste of the dish and the QQness of the chicken. The black sesame oil and ginger did wonders.

Don't believe me? Just try it yourself.

And just to throw in a vegetable dish for health's sake. As usual, the vegetables were too large. I'll take note to chop them up more finely in the future.

And last but not least, home-made Ching Tang boiled by Qin which ended our dinner nicely.

Recipe (San Bei Chicken):

4 deboned chicken thigh (skin and fat removed)
1/4 black sesame oil, 1/4 cup soya sauce, 1/4 cup rice wine
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 heaping tbsp of garlic
1 portion of ginger thinly sliced.

1. Marinate chicken with 1 tbsp soya sauce, 1 tspn cornstarch and 1 tbsp sugar for 1 hour.
2. Heat wok on medium high and add in sesame oil and ginger. Wait till slightly thickened.
3. Add in garlic and stir fry till the garlic releases it's fragrance.
4. Add in chicken and let it brown slightly before stir-frying briefly.
5. Add in sugar, soy sauce and rice wine stir-frying briefly.
6. Change heat to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Who says must follow queue one HAR?

There are quite a few famous bak chor mee stalls around this island and because good bak chor mee is so scarce, usually these stalls have their own "fan clubs" and you most probably would have to wait half a day for a bowl of bak chor mee. Well, not that I'm complaining because I'd shut my mouth and line up myself.

However, it's suprisingly pleasant to find a good bak chor mee stall nestled in the heartlands without much of a queue. Come to think about it, you'd probably give it a miss if you were to pass it by. Well, that's because there's a stall besides it which uses more fancy bowls and utensils (which has people queueing up for, I don't know why) and another MORE famous bak chor mee stall just behind it (which has MORE people queueing up for, but I don't think it's all that nice).

There isn't any distinctive or spectacular taste in this bak chor mee, however, what you get is a good bowl of noodles with very good sauce accompanying it (Qin thinks that it's fantastic). The amount of oil, black sauce and vinegar is just nice without too much of a zesty flavour and the noodles are cooked just nice too. If you do try it though, ask him to cook the ter kwa (pork liver) a little longer because it turned out undercooked (for me) both times.

The soup is also not your usual bak chor mee soup which is cooked with pork and has a porky taste. The soup here is suan chai tang (preserved vegetables soup) and provides a pleasant twist to the conventional dish. Besides, he takes the effort to add in tau ghey (beansprouts), cut chillies and spring onions to the soup to provide some healthy crunch.

Just over at the opposite lane is another underrated stall selling po piah. The poh piah is well made, very juicy yet able to hold it's pieces together. What you get for $1.20 is also a fairly above-average sized poh piah with a very good and distinguishable garlic taste. It may not be unique or special but it IS a good poh piah which is getting harder to find.

Kovan food centre has alot of good stalls, but consider giving this two stalls a try and you just may have another must-eat addition on your foodie list.


Bak chor mee:
Kovan food centre
Rui Fa Shu Shi

Poh piah:
Kovan food centre
ps: Ask for more garlic for that extra kick!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Flat buns ain't bad buns

Chinatown is one area where you can find loads of gastronomic delights and one such place nestled in the heart of Chinatown is People's Park Food Centre. This newly renovated food centre is brightly lit and spanking clean and has quite a number of good stalls such as Tiong Bahru Pau, Maecy Bakery and of course Tian Jin Fong Kee.

To go into details, Fong Kee pioneered the sale of chinese dumplings in Singapore and was previously selling it's delectable dumplings at Old Market Rd. After the revamp though, it shifted to People's Park and to date has 4 outlets around sunny Singapore.

The outlet in People's Park Food Centre is split into two stores. One sells the dumplings as well as zha jiang mian and stir-fry nian gao while the other sells xiao long bao and a variety of noodles.

Well, I never really liked jiao zi before because of it's starchy skin but walking along Chinatown at night, Qin and I had a sudden craving for dumplings dipped in black vinegar. Mmmmmm...

Which brought me to a quite hilarious yet awkward experience. You see, I was standing there innocently trying to take a decent picture of the stallfront (which I couldn't cause a guy kept blocking my view!) when a particular aunty started asking me a number of questions with a suspicious look in her eye. And after that, she asked me what I was taking the photo for! So of course I said that I was taking the photos just to introduce the food to friends but she kept on asking! Oh man, and that's not all. After that, she walked up and look at my handphone to look at the picture I took!

Omg, it was hilarious!

But while it was kind of funny, it also made me feel a little weird. I mean, it made me feel like I'm a weirdo taking pics of food and the stalls etc. But I guess that's the tag we sometimes carry as food bloggers and not everyone understands what we are doing. Often, the tag we carry when we try to take a picture is either 1) we're food journalist or 2) we're somehow trying to steal their culinary secrets and I guess with my mobile phone I usually fall into category number 2.

Oh well, let's put the unpleasantness aside and talk about the food shall we? Firstly, the pan-fried dumplings were good but nothing to shout about. The filling was good and tasty but I felt that the skin were a little too hard and starchy (which reconfirmed my fear of jiao zi). I also didn't like the greasiness around my mouth after eating it so I think I would've prefered the boiled ones.

The xiao long bao, however, was a totally different matter. When Qin first saw them she said "ee, why so flat one?" and I said "yah lor, like pong chek like that". But when we bit into that xiao long bao, all we could do were stared wide-eyed at each other and go "Mmmmmphh.........." They were THAT good.

It's unlike Crystal Jade's xiao long bao (which are also good) which has a good stock contained in it with a "meatball", thus giving you a certain bite. When you bite into this xiao long bao all you get is an explosion of a large amount of darn good stock and scattered pieces of minced pork. For someone who loves all things soft, this was like heaven. Even Qin who likes a bite in her food said that it was super good.

It was akin to biting into a water bomb. However, this water bomb contained a loosely held piece of minced pork meat and fat which scattered upon biting and made the flavours disperse in your mouth oh-so-easily. There was also a high fat to meat ratio which made the "juice" very, very flavoursome and nice. Total savoury goodness.

Mmm, really good. This is by far the best xiao long bao I have eaten in my life and you ought to try it. Just don't try to take any pictures of the stall.

Tian Jin Fong Kee
1 Park Road
People's Park Food Centre

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What makes the cut?

Besides being a common dish on this little island, I believe the chicken rice is a dish every single Singaporean can relate to. Simply put, it's the food that we grew up eating when every neighborhood coffee shop religiously has a chicken rice stall, or something we can fall back on when there's nothing good to eat around the area. Plus, when asked what you want for a takeaway meal, chicken rice is the most convenient food as almost every place has it.

But what does it take to cook a good plate of chicken rice?

First, the rice must be soft and fluffy, well coated with oil but not too greasy and very importantly it must but fragrant and flavorsome after being well cooked with garlic and the other essential ingredients. The steamed chicken must be tender and succulent while the roasted ones must not be too dry and yet well roasted enough to give out the sweet smelling scent of roast chicken. The sauce is what makes or breaks the dish and it cannot be too salty and must be tasty. And of course not forgetting the sauces; the chilli and ginger combination and dark sauce which must be good to compliment the dish yet not being too overpowering.

Disappointingly, Wah Nam Kee Chicken Rice which I read as being rated among the top 10 chicken rice in Singapore, doesn't make the cut. Well, not to say that it's bad, which it isn't. But being rated as one of the best, one would always expect something more. However, I feel that the food served is only average or only slightly better than what you would be able to order in a coffee shop.

The chicken we ordered was tender which is good but somehow, it all ends there. The sauce was normal tasting and was even on the verge of being too salty. The rice was a complete disappointment. It was slightly undercooked and it wasn't fragrant at all while the chilli sauce was also too salty.

The shrimp dumpling or water dumplings were not bad though to give them some credit. But overall, it better than average, just not quite there yet. Besides, they also have tze char items which most patrons ordered so I wouldn't be passing judgment too quickly.

Well, I've definitely tasted better chicken rice around this sunny island and I hope to review them soon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Run it. Done it.

Woohoo! I did it! The painful (damn painful) half marathon!

Wahaha, not a foodie post but... I don't care! Tralala~

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hoo haa! Thunder LEI CHA!

One thing I DID eat during my flare up of eczema though, was the Hakka dish of Lei Cha after reading that the tea-based soup had alot of healing properties which were reportedly good for the skin.

We had shunned this particular dish in the past due to the weird tea concoction and some not-so-good reviews from friends but actually, it's not really that bad!

Firstly, the rice (which you have an option of white or brown which we went for) portion had long beans, anchovies, beancurd, peanuts and some other stir-fry vegetables tasted pretty good in my opinion. The vegetables were stir-fried very well and the anchovies and peanuts added a tasty crunch to the dish which made it very tasty. I could've eaten it just like that.

The tea-based soup... well... didn't go down so well. Well, it's quite bitter and not exactly appealing. However, if you mix a little into the rice (which is another was of eating the dish), it actually tastes quite decent. Add a little nasi lemak-like chilli, which is DARN GOOD, into the mix and you get a slightly bitter-sweet-savoury mix which is quite yummy.

But then again, it's good for your health and is reported to be good for sleep and improving bodily functions. Some also said that it's good for complexion and slimming down. So ladies, take note!

Truthfully? I like the dish, especially the rice, and would eat it again. For those who had shunned it before, it's worth trying. At the very most, you can just eat the rice and chilli and leave the soup alone :)


Thunder Lei Cha
7 Amoy Street Food Centre
Telok Ayer Street

ps: They also have another branch at Food Republic at the newly opened Vivo City.


Sorry everyone for the short hiatus away from blogging! Due to a major flare up in my eczema (which left me half-alive), the past week I've been pretty sick and thus haven't been blogging. Besides, my diet was mainly fruits and vegetables which I don't think most of you would find interesting to read about right haha.

Don't worry though, I'm feeling better already and will be back to blogging soon. Stay tune!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Alexandra Village II

Alright! Time for more goodies from Alexandra Village! Seriously, thinking about it, everytime I go there, I only eat from the stalls from the back row facing the carpark.

Well, because everything is there! You've got the beef stew, the mutton soup (check this out they even have mutton SPAGHETTI), the chicken rice, the avocado milkshake and the famous tze char (forgot the name but you'll surely notice it at night.).

Also on that row are two good stalls selling yummilicious food. The first stall is Roasted Duck Rice. I've seen this stall around for a long, long time when I was still a young kid but I never got down to trying it out because I'm not really a duck person (and also duck fat and skin is darn hard to remove from the meat). Okay I know, I know the good part is the crispy skin with the fat but don't go throwing tomatoes at me now! I just like it fat-free okay!

As usual, there's an array of advertisements plastered on the glass panel and many "fans" eating their duck rice. Frankly speaking, the duck is seriously good. I didn't take the skin but the meat was well roasted and tender.

The gravy, however... is distinction. Comon, how many times have you heard of a good duck rice stall, went down see check it out, watch them slop a big scoop of nice-smelling, delicious-looking thick gravy on your rice but when you try it? It tastes like... tasteless starch? This gravy is thicken to the right consistency, good portion of oil, and taste super good! It's just very tasty and flavourful, trust me.

The chilli is also another plus point. It's slightly sourish and thus freshens up the dish a little and making it less boring (wouldn't it be boring if everything was salty?)

Go try it out!

Next stall is the well known Lien Fa Shui Jing Pau which was previously at Tiong Bahru food centre. I never liked shui jing pau in the past because whenever I eat them, there are always "stones" or "sand" in the shui jing pau. I'm not really sure what they are though, but I don't like them.

So what prompted me to try it out this time? Well, my dear mother told me it's really good and plus, she told me they have red bean and yam filled ones. Must go!

I felt that the shui jing pau is nice cause the filling is TOTALLY DELICIOUS! It's very tasty with a strong yet not overwhelming dried shrimp flavour. It's also not too oily and the radish is still slightly crunchy. The chilli also has dried shrimps in it and goes well with the pau very well. And of course, no "stones"!

I don't really like the red bean and yam filled ones though cause I felt that the sticky skin prevented the flavour from fully dispersing.

So there you go! Two more nice stalls for you guys to try out. I'll definately be back there to try out the rest of the goodies soon.

Alexandra Village

With all the revamping of food centres going on, most of them despite looking new and spanking clean, has lost much of the old atmosphere which had once made them special. Not to mention that most of them had also lost their much treasured stalls, making the new "kopitiams" just a skeleton of it's old self retaining their names.

Thankfully, there are still gems to be found on this little island. One of which is Alexadra Village Food Centre which is still a good ol' food centre with loads of old stalls still around, most of them selling deliciously good food.

One stall I vividly remember my parents frequenting when I was still a kid was Soon Lee Beef Soup. This stall which is tended by two ladies serve a lip smackingly good beef stew. The kind which is still served in a claypot and heated over a flame, definately hard to find these days.

Well of course they also do sell other items but what I usually go for is the beef stew which contains soft, well stewed beef, tendons, carrots and potatoes in tasty, rich gravy.

The beef is really soft and very well marinated holding a strong flavour in without sacrificing it's beefy taste. The gravy, however, is what draws me back time and again. Eating here, you will not feel cheated by gravy which look thick and dark but taste bland and starchy. The gravy is rich with beef flavour and spices with just the right amount of saltiness and sweetness.

Splash it on some rice and you're good to go!

Just a few stalls away is also an awesome stall which sells avocado milkshake. Yeap, you heard that right. It's AVOCADO milkshake.

Decorated with various foodie recommendations and well arranged fruits, this stall is the first stall to come up with this fantastic concoction. The avocado milk is a thick, light green milk and taste really good. I don't really know how to describe it but I think it's a touch of pandan juice, evaporated milk and avocado blended together to make a drink that is rich and sweet yet not too much to turn you of after a few sips. Instead, I find it suprisingly addictive and I usually order two at a go!

Well, invention will definately lead to copycats and a few other stalls in the food centre has "copied" them by selling the same drink, no doubt noticably lacking in flavour. This original stall is the colourfully decoratoed one beside the duck rice stall at the corner. If I'm not wrong, they also have durian milk which I'm definately gonna try the next time round. It may be a little bit pricey at $2 a cup, but please go for the original stall because the other stalls just don't make it (trust me I've been there).

In the same row, there's also a famous duck rice stall and shui jing pau stall which I'm going to cover in my next post. Not to mention that there's also the famous clapot laksa, tze char, carrot cake, mutton soup, chicken rice, bak kut teh with Da Zhong Guo (which sells good chinese pastries), Lina's confectionary (which sells darn good curry puff and lapis kueh) and a famous Ang ku kueh stall in the vacinity.

Wow, now that's quite a mouthful isn't it?