Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Chickedy chicken

Chicken rice must be the most common food in Singapore. Don't agree? Okay then, find me a single hawker centre or food court which doesn't have a chicken rice store. Ah ha! Bet you can't, can you? What sets a good plate of chicken rice apart is firstly, the fragrance and taste of its rice and secondly, the tenderness and taste of the chicken and last but not least, its chilli sauce! Yup, chilli is probably one of the most important food item in Singapore and to have a complete package, the chicken rice needs to have a kick ass chilli.

Comon, chicken rice is so common that I don't have to blog about it right? Oookay, so how about chicken porridge? Not those congee with shredded chicken meat in it, mind you. I'm talking about Hainanese chicken served with porridge. I was watching this foodie show on channel 8 with Bryan Wong in it and they were introducing this stall which serves chicken with porridge. It looked pretty good on TV so, why not check it out?

Upon reaching, it was CROWDED. The queue was long (no kidding) but it moved pretty fast because you get your orders taken and they will deliver it to you. Food that was served included steamed Hainanese chicken, 5 different kinds of porridge (fish, chicken, sotong, mixed or plain w/ or w/o egg) and teochew yu sheng (raw fish).

Here's what we had:

First and foremost, the chicken. Yum yum! The chicken is quite tender (and I ordered chicken breast) and the serving is quite worth it for $3. I hate it when certain chicken rice stalls will "slap" the chicken with their knife to make it flatter (and thus making it look like there's more) to "tenderise" the chicken. This stall, as you can see, doesn't do that and the meat is still quite tender. The main component which captured this dish is the sauce they used. It tasted lightly of soya sauce and had a very slight hint of chinese wine. Thus making the sauce not too salty and very good to eat on it's own. I almost gobbled the whole plate without the need for any chilli sauce!

I ordered the mixed porridge but apperently, it must have been too noisy because the auntie served me the plain porridge! Oh well, I couldn't be bothered to change it either. The plain porridge was fragrant and tasted quite nice, with chai poh (preserved vegetables) and some sauces (sesame oil and soy sauce I think?) in it. The texture was smooth but not to the extent of a gluey paste, meaning you can still taste the soft rice bits, and was quite nice overall. Besides, it's only 50 cents for a big bowl.

The yu sheng we ordered can be said to be the best teochew yu sheng I've ever had (although I don't eat alot of teochew yu sheng) and agreed to be the best among all three. Once again, the sauce captured our taste buds. It was very lightly but sufficiently flavoured and not too salty. It also doesn't have any oil in it which makes it very, in my opinion, refreshing to have. I could've kept on going without getting sick of it. The fish slices were abit on the low side though. But trust me, it's nice!

Lastly, the chilli! Once again, thumbs up for this chilli sauce. If you thought that it's just your average Joe chicken rice chilli sauce, you're deeply mistaken. This stall must have experimented because they added lemon into it which gave it that extra kick and made it much more nicer. The amount of sweetness and saltiness was also well balanced and gave it more flavour.

Overall, I'll say go for it! If I can travel halfway across Singapore for a good plate of chicken with some well cooked porridge, so can you!

Jurong West Market Street 51
Stall #01-44
Soh Kee Cooked Food

Monday, August 28, 2006

Everybody say CHEESE!!!

Seriously, I don't know what got into me because I, for one, am not a cheese lover. I just don't think cheese is all that nice, or maybe its because I'm a "sweet" person and plus, I seriously think cheesecakes carry a whole lot of calories. But Qin, seeing the picture of the Bull's eye cheesecake on thebaker's blog, just had to try it. Well, she wanted to bake the cake for her friend on her birthday so we had sample it first righttt?
*The original recipe is from Lori of Dessert First and can be found here.

So what's this Bull's eye cheesecake that's got me all flustered up? It's cheese and chocolate cheese in an alternating pattern resulting in a Bull's eye! Amazing right? Don't worry, its the first time I've seen it too so you're forgiven for being so "sua ku" Haha!

This is what it was supposed to be like. *Note: Supposed.

Sadly, the cake got burnt!!! Because we were watching tv in the room and erm, sort of forgot about the cake. This resulted in a slightly brown cheesecake.

Even though the cake was slightly over done, I have to say it's actually quite tasty! The cheese wasn't strong to the point of making you sick of eating after a few mouthful and the chocolate part really adds to the flavour. I bet it'll be even nicer if it was baked properly. After we finished the cake, there were still some left over batter. Since we didn't want to waste anything, what else was there to do other than to whip out my muffin baking kit! So what do you get when you bake cheesecake in muffin cups?

Flat cakes! Or I supposed thats what you can call it, since they're erm, kinda flat. We also added in dark chocolate chips and banana slices. I hereby declare that banana and chocolate is the ultimate combination of food you can get! Throw in some cheese and baby, I feel like I've gone to heaven. The sweetness of the baked bananas and chocolate and the slight sourness of the cheese made the combination so good that I finished the all the flatcakes at one shot!

If you think that was all for my day of cheese, that's where you're wrong. After baking I rushed down for my best bro, Kev's birthday and guess what was the birthday cake? NYDC's chocolate mousse cheese cake! Despite my pleas and excuses, they still managed to force me to eat a quarter of a slice.

That's one damn huge slice if you ask me. Thank god I pushed it away *Phew*

Omg, I feel sooo sinful. After looking at the numbers on the weighing scale and staring at my growing love handles in the mirror, I've decided to... yeap you guessed it, go on a diet! Therefore, I've decided not to eat any desserts or fatty stuff for a month and just eat healthy! Ah... abstinence is the key. Don't worry though, I'll still checkout nice healthy food places and cook delicious healthy stuff. Adios! To health!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Tomato, the love fruit?

I haven't been cooking lately, not that I've been cooking recently either. Most of what I've been cooking are fried eggs, tuna mixes and just chopping up some random salads. Well, I attribute this to a lack of time, with camp and stuff. Besides, I much prefer baking stuff (thanks to my sweet tooth too).

Have you guys ever noticed that when you cook up some dishes, people may find it nice but you wouldn't appreciated it yourself? *shrugs* Maybe its because after all the hard work and long hours in the kitchan preparing I'm already really shagged out and don't feel like eating it. :p But its really nice when you get to eat good food without having to prepare it! Especially when it's prepared by someone close to your heart. Oh my, sounding like a lazy bum now am I.

Ta da! Check this out. It's parmesan cheese atop tomato stuffed with fried basil leaves and lean minced chicken. Woah, thats quite mouthful isn't it. I was in a sucky mood that day so Qin whipped up some yummy goodies to cheer me up.

She also baked this chicken breast which tasted quite nice but she just wouldn't tell me the recipe!

And lastly, we decided to use that pumpkin which had been sitting inside the fridge for a week. So we got her maid to do something with it(her maid is really quite a good cook btw), which ended up being stir-fried pumpkin with garlic and dried shrimp! It tasted quite nice but once again, I didn't get the recipe. Maybe I'll get it next time.

With the food sitting snugly in my tummy, I feel really fortunate having her in my life :)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

REAL enough for Choco Balls?

Me and my good buddy Des. ps: He's another min jian kueh fanatic

This is the longest run I have ever done in my whole life. 10km Real Run 06 by New Balance! Okay okay, maybe 10km isn't such a long distance. But for me to complete 10km in 59 minutes is an accomplishment, considering the fact that I was once a chubby overweight boy. Sad to say, I wouldn't be able to participate next year :(

Oh well, anyways, after completing the run I headed down to Qin's place because we planned to make ......*drumroll*....... chocolate balls and muffins!!! Actually what we made weren't really chocolate balls, just rum balls without rum (because we don't like alchohol and secondly, we don't have it).

Qin's brother working hard at grinding the vanilla waffles

It's quite easy to make actually, but we missed out an important part of the recipe! Can you guessed what it was? It's RUM! There was no rum so the mixture wasn't sticky enough to be moulded into balls!!! Sadly, I only realised this simple fact AFTER we finished making everything. Overall, the choco balls were quite tasty but a little too sweet. Therefore, I had to roll it over ground almond to lessen the sweetness. I also dipped some into melted dark chocolate and rolled them in ground almonds and I have to say that these tasted and looked the best, as proven by my friends in camp. All of them went for the choco coated ones first! Even though I received quite good comments from them, I'm going to fine tune the recipe abit more before posting it on the blog. I'll even try different flavours or fillings! So stay tuned!

What happened to the muffins I hear you ask? Well, most unfortunately, they got burnt! You see, it turned out that the oven's temperature regulator was spoiled! Oh well, guess we'll try it another day.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Open sesame!

My mum lurrrves sesame paste. But in the past, everytime she offered me some, you should see my face contort in disgust! I mean, Ewww! Despite being nutritious and healthy, most places sell sesame paste that either contains too much husk, tastes too bitter, or are filled with starch. Besides, the black colouring simply adds to the mindset that my tummy will reject the sesame paste in a few ways which I can think of.

However, Qin and I were walking along Liang Seah Street on Saturday and we decided to grab some chinese desserts. I had no idea why, but I was feeling kind of adventurous and so guess what?! If you guessed that I ordered sesame paste, you got it right! Well, half right actually. I actually ordered Yuan Yang Hei Bai (yuan yang stands for coupled and hei bai means black and white) which is a blend of sesame paste and almond paste.

A bold colour and smooth texture:

Man, let me tell you. After eating that first mouth, I was a convert. The sesame paste they served was extremely smooth and lack the usual grainy texture. The taste was also sweet and carried a strong but not overly bold sesame taste. Actually, I suspect that the bitter taste found in most sesame pastes is caused by the sesame husks. This particular stall took the effort to filter away the husks, thus removing the bitterness. The paste was also thick to the right extent and it doesn't look like any starch was added. Coupled with the almond paste, which was a little more sweeter and very smooth as well, it made a really good dessert!

Blended together, you get a nice colour and a treat for your tastebuds:

For anyone who has avoided sesame paste for the same reason as mine, I strongly advice you to consider trying out this stall!

Liang Seah Street
Beside a porridge based steamboat & is Opp and NOT Ah Chew's dessert.
(There are only 2 chinese desserts stall in that lane so it should be easy to find.)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A night of sin

Albeit eating 4 pieces of min jian kueh, I still had an unsatisfied craving for sweet stuff. After picking up Qin from work, we headed down to Clarke Quay to check out the restaurants. Initially, we wanted to dine at Brewerks because I heard that the food was good from my friends. But then again, I just didn't really have the craving for western food that night. I have no idea why, but we settled for some japanese food at the basement of Liang Court. Although the price was average, I didn't really like the food, which left me feeling full but unsatisfied! Man, that is the worst combination of feelings you can ever get and it really left me in a bad mood. I was pacing around not knowing how to satisfy this feeling (so sorry baby for being sulky, haha). In the end, I decided to grab a gelato ice cream (I forgot the brand) at a shop at the same basement. It was quite good actually, but it wasn't enough! I was really yearning for a scoop of ice cream atop of some sort of cake! Alas, walking back to the carpark, guess what I saw... HAAGEN DAAZ! Just what I need! So we plomped down into two comfy seats and got a New York Brownie!

Mmm mmm:

We switched the ice cream to Summer berries and Belgian chocolate. Being a fan of chocolate, I have to say that the Belgian Chocolate definately delivers, not too sweet and it really tastes nice. The Summer Berries, however, was too sweet for my liking and it tastes slightly like medicine? Lastly, the brownie. Omg, it was so warm and soft and mixed with melted chocolate chips, it definately hit the spot. At the end of it, Haagen Daaz saved the day (although it burned a hole in my pocket).

Friday, August 18, 2006

What is your comfort food?

I'm sure everyone has a comfort food. Food you know you need when you get that craving in the middle of the night and you have to have it no matter what! So what's yours? Because I'm pretty sure I know that when my sweet tooth comes knocking, all I wanna do is to sink my teeth into a soft, warm, fragrant min jian kueh! Mmmm mmm, I don't know about you, but I'm nuts about this chinese traditional pancake and I've got this crazy ability to eat 1 large roll all by myself! The fragrant pancake combined with a generous serving of red bean paste, kaya or peanut butter is simply irresistable! Some places also sell fillings of grated coconut, lotus paste, chocolate and even cheese. Of course, I very much prefer softer pastries that melt in your mouth (some pancakes are quite rubbery and takes awhile to chew on). And I'm proud to say that today, I've had my fair share of comfort food *grins*. Qin and I were at Ang Mo Kio Central's S11 foodcourt for dinner yesterday and I saw this stall called Ah gu's Pancake. I was sooo tempted to get some but didn't cause it was already kinda late.
So the next day (which is today), I knew I had to get it and ta da!!!

Let your eyes feast on these delicious pies:

A piece of art:

(There was a piece with coconut filling but it ended up in my stomach before I thought of taking a picture)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bye bye sandwiches

I love sandwiches. I mean, who doesn't? Peanut butter and jelly, tuna mayo, egg, ham, chicken. Just slap anything between two slices of bread and you're good to go! But somehow, sandwiches just don't do it for me. You see, I have this problem called eczema and for the past few days, my skin condition got reaaally bad. I had rash everywhere and the itchiness was just driving me crazy! I seriously didn't know what was I eating wrong.

I was wondering, could it be the soy bean milk? Or maybe its the fish oil I was taking? Then it hit me. I had been eating 2 sandwiches everyday for the past week. Ta da! Allergic to wheat I'd say. Well, it's not like I haven't eaten bread in the past. Just not to the extent of having 4 - 5 slices of multigrain bread everyday. It's not like I can help it though, I love the taste of multigrain bread so much I can even eat it on its own! *sigh* Now I've to think of what I can eat with my tuna.

Goodbye my dear sandwich:

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A visit to Golden Mile Complex

After reading about authentic Thai food being served in Golden Mile Complex by thebakerwhocooks, I can't help but to go and check it out myself! It's been a while since my trip to Bangkok and my girlfriend (Qin) has been dying to eat some authentic Thai food again. Sadly though, most Thai cuisine which can be found in Singapore lack in flavour and diversity as compared to those in Thailand, where spices used are kinda strong. Imagine, every table has nuts, chilli powder, sugar and fish sauce to compliment the dish, which is quite tasty already! N so, I was suprised to find this at the restaurant!

Man, it really is authentic! I'll admit, I haven't been to Golden Mile Complex before because it looks kinda run down and I thought it was only full of travel agencies. But I never knew that there could be quite a number of restaurants and shops selling real thai desserts, food stuff, n even DURIAN! (which is really bad because I tried it in Thailand once. So please, DO NOT try it no matter what).

The searching done, we finally found the restaurant which the blog mentioned. Being a fan of nuts, I definately had to try to Claypot olive rice. My girlfriend loved the beef noodles and phad thai in Thailand so we ordered one of each. I was so sad though! I could'nt find the fried mince pork with basil rice on the menu! I seriously wanted to try that cause the picture looked so nice! Well anyways, here goes:

The beef noodles were greeaat! It exactly like those served in Thailand! Its hard to describe how the soup really tastes like but it has quite a strong beef essence and its both sweet and salty at the same time. Imagine normal chinese beef noodle soup, but much stronger and a tad sweeter. Yup, thats it. The beef was also quite tender and chewy at the same time. The beef balls were a dissapointment though, being a little bit on the rubbery side.

The phad thai we ordered was a little dry and the noodles did'nt have much flavour as those served on the streets of Bangkok. The prawns also tasted a little but er... spoilt?

Anyways, the last dish. Claypot olive rice!!! At the first look the dish looks really nice. The rice also carries a hint of olive and the minced meat was quite tasty. Upon mixing, however, I felt like I was only eating fried rice? Granted, the rice had a nice taste to it and the nuts and meat were tasty, however, the meat was just not enough! I really wanted to feel the juiciness of the meat blending together with the rice. I didn't really like the lemon pieces too, abit too sour for me. But then again, its quite a good dish for $6.

Something else we bought:

A kind of Thai dessert. Its green bean paste in agar agar jelly and can also be found in Thai express, although I haven't tried theirs yet. It tastes quite nice actually, worth a try.

What it looks inside:

A last word, for anyone who likes chilli, please don't overdo the dried chilli? Qin added just a little and it had me tearing just after one mouth! (Ok ok... I'm not a good chilli eater... but still!)

The address:
Diandin Leluk
Golden Mile Complex
5001 Beach Road

The start of something

Hello Singapore!!! Due to my love and huge appetite for delicious and mouth watering food, I, as a self confessed foodie have decided to start a blog on the various heavenly food which can be found in Singapore. No doubt there may be already be many blogs advertising local fare, I just wish to do my part and share locations of the many good food places where my girlfriend and I have been to with my friends and family in order for them to enjoy too! :) I may not be a good writer, and my photos may even seem abit noobish, but sit back, relax, and maybe you’ll find out some great places to indulge over the weekend!