Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gone for a little while

This is gonna be short. Yummie dummieS are heading to Vietnam to check out the food there. Till we come back... with more food.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tien Lai Rice Stall: Damn good sauce, Damn good pork

Never a big fan of pork, I'm seldom attracted to dishes starring pigs as the leading role. BBQ pork, or char siew, is a different matter altogether. That unique sweet sauce soaked into the meat and then nicely charred around the edges. Ooh, that crunchy feeling combined with the taste is to die for.

Of course, there are many preferences the way char siew is done. Some like it soft and fatty cuts while others, like me, prefer them lean and nicely charred and of course there are those in the middle who like a good crunch with a nice rim of fat. One thing is for sure though, and that is it has got to have a damn good sauce (better sweet than salty in my opinion) and it has to be charred just right.

Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to feast upon a good plate of char siew, roast duck and roast pork. This stall located at Taman Jurong Food Centre was recommended by my good buddy David and it's char siew is comparable to Fatty Cheong's. If you are doubting it's authencity, check this out, the person before us (damnit, us again) ordered 30 packets of roasted chicken rice from them. It wasn't char siew they ordered, but that has gotta hint of something good right?

Over here you have a choice of fatty or lean cuts. The char siew we ordered was nicely sweetened with a slight char around the edges while the texture is slightly harder than Fatty Cheong's. Unlike Fatty Cheong's this one is also thinly sliced to compensate for the firmer bite. The roast duck was quite well done with a nice smokey flavour trapped in the skin and both dabbed with a little he bi hiam chilli will send you over the roof. Of course, what's more orgasmic than that is the sauce they use. Splashed over a plate of white rice, the dark sauce was such a delish that I would have finished the plate of rice by itself if there were more of the sauce. Umami will be the word to describe it as the thick and richly flavoured sauce surpassed even that of Alexandra Village's duck rice sauce!

The roast pork I find average but there's something which amazed or intrigued
me more. That is, they serve skin from the pig's head. Eeeeeeeew, yeah I know exactly what you are thinking. Perhaps this is the norm in roast meat stalls but I haven't heard of it before so please spare me your reprimands alright?

There's isn't much of a vie for taste in the skin as it's only mostly salty and it's quite chewy. People who like QQ (chewy) stuff will like it for I think I'll give it a pass.

Tien Lai Rice Stall
Taman Jurong Food Centre

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Soon Huat Pigs Organs Soup

Once overshadowed by the newly renovated and Chomp Chomp Food Centre, Serangoon Gardens Food Centre is finally putting up a fight and grabbing a fair share of the foodie crowd. Located directly opposite of each other, the new Chomp Chomp Food Centre or Serangoon Circus is no longer its former glory, as an extremely congested floor plan sets the path for a very small eating place which is often overcrowded and hypo ventilated. Similar to the newly renovated Newton Circus, it has also lost most of its stalls with a huge percentage of the current ones comprising of seafood BBQ stalls and other tourist-attracting ones like satay and carrot cake etc.

Seragoon Gardens Food Centre, on the other hand, has evolved from being a ghost town at night, to a buzzing dining place. Previously only opened in the mornings, the food centre is packed with old stalls from the former Botanic Gardens Food Centre with a much attractive variety than its roadside competitor.

One stall worth mentioning is Soon Huat Pigs Organs Soup which commands a long line everytime I pay it a visit. Never a fan of pig innards, I found myself pleasantly intrigued by the wonderful taste of the soup. Deceptively clear but uber tasty, the soup commands a very nice pleasantness to the palate. It is sufficiently porky with a saltiness coming from the salted vegetables which lends a very nice side to the soup and sets it apart from normal Bak Chor Mee-accompanying soup.

Still, I haven't brought myself to chew on that piece of intestine but have learned to enjoy a good piece of liver, which by the way, goes very well with that slightly tangy chilli sauce. The way I see it though, the best way is still to drenched the rice with the soup and slurp it all up.


Serangoon Gardens Food Centre
Stall 42
Soon Huat Pigs Organs Soup

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pancake Weekly #5: It's a little bit funny

A rich cream of the milkiest white, set against a backdrop of natural rooty sweetness wrapped around a soft, delicate sponge. Add a slight touch of palm sugar which exudes a subtle but full-bodied taste and you've got yourself... something weird... and tastebud-subjective.

In my latest endeaver, I'm trying a new combination which results I'm not even sure of myself. Utilizing the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes and the full bodied cream of a coconut, I tried blending the two together and creating an entirely never-heard-of pancake.

Combining Japanese sweet potatoes and coconut cream churned out a product quite similar to "Orh nee" or yam paste with a slightly distinguishable sweet potato edge while a drizzle of rich, thick Gula Melaka finished the snack off with a nice rustic feeling.

It's a subjective taste though, and I'm not sure if I even like it myself. I would have liked it, if we had good quality Japanese sweet potatoes here in Singapore. The imports we get, however, usually reeks of a stenchy chemical taste which leaves a really unappetizing aftertaste in the palate and I'm pretty sure there are people who can identify with my situation. Personally, I think it's pretty okay if eaten warm when the components work together harmonously. After it turns cold, the taste becomes a little off, plus sweet potatoes turn green after exposed to light for awhile and developes that weird taste.

In short, I received good and not-so-good feedback on this pancake so try it, if you're feeling brave enough.

3 large sized Japanese sweet potatoes
1 cup of water
10 tbsp of Gula melaka
4 tbsp of coconut cream
2 tbsp of oil

1. Steam sweet potatoes and remove skin
2. Cut potatoes into chunks and blend in a blender with 1 cup of water. Add more water if required
3. Heat 2 tbsp of oil on non stick pan and cook the sweet potato paste till paste-like
4. Remove from heat and add coconut cream and 6 tbsp of Gula melaka. Mix well
5. Spread on pancake and roll up
6. Drizzle remaining Gula melaka and serve warm

*Adjust coconut cream and Gula melaka according to taste

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Poll #2: Getting to know you

When I first started this blog, my goal is simple and straight forward: Reach out to as many people as I can and share with them the places to find damn good food which Qin and I enjoy. Hence the banner slogan; Eat. Enjoy. Share. We eat the goodies, enjoy it to the fullest, and then share with you guys the experience and provide you the address so that you'll be able to enjoy it too!

Why would I wanna go through so much effort just to, tell people? Because I'm a foodie, that's why! Instead of feverishly trying to get my friends to try that super fantastic plate of hokkien mee I ate over the weekend, I figured I could tell more people by using a blog. And I've never seen a selfish foodie in my life because when a foodie finds a gem, he has to share it with people to let them enjoy it as well as he did. Well, that's how I am.

As my blog evolved from getting a puny handful of "passer bys" to the acceptable number of hits nowadays, there also happen to be more "regulars" who drop encouraging comments and good suggestions in this blog. Being a person who really likes to get to know people, I want to get to know my readers. Heck, I want to get to know you reading this right now!

So I'm just gonna start a series of polls with the first poll identifying the largest age group which frequent my blog the most. Gogogo!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Back from the polls!

It's four days late but we're finally back from our first opinions poll. Due to the time needed for the regular blog postings, this mini "side project" may have to take the backseat sometimes though. So lets break down the poll results aight.

A total of 34 people took part in the poll which is really, not an ideal start. But I'm sure it'll get back as we go along :-) Results are pretty equally split among needing better pictures and already having good enough pictures, although the former wins by a slight 3% differences.

Conclusion: I'm actually quite glad that most people think the pictures are all right, since I'm actually using a handphone camera (K750i)for around 98% of my pictures. Of course, I'll try to improve the way I take pictures and try to make them look better and more presentable. Hang on though, as I'll migrate to using a 6.0 megapixel Sony DSC camera as soon as I can get hold of it from my sister. Till then, I'll be cracking my brain for new poll.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


A health advocate refraining from whole wheat may sound like an oxymoron. And other than whole wheat, the list of forbidden foods include nuts, dairy, soy and eggs. Other than fruits and vegetables, I think I've blocked out every item a nutritionist would include in a healthy diet aye?

Guesses aside, welcome to my world. Sad but true, my overly reactive immune system triggers allergic reactions which manifests itself in the form of an itch [one damn irritating bugger] whenever I consume these foods. Never underestimate the power of a simple itch though, for anyone who has been through a bout of itch-scratch cycle can testify to the unforgiving cycles of inflammation and scratching.

My poison? Eczema. A common skin ailment which a good majority of people suffer from in some way or another. Sadly, doctors and researchers have yet to find a cure for it and one of the most widely used solution is still the usage of steroid creams and anti-histamines, both of which suppresses your immune system.

One alternative way to cure this problem, as I found out, is to cut out any or all allergens which my body will react to and though its hard, let's just say that an itch-free lifestyle is a better way to go. Every time an offending food item sneaks into my thoughts, it's met by a firm wall of determination or if that wall breaks, it's more than often met with a firm "NO!" from Qin [sigh, so now a man can't even have his cake and eat it]. So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this huge shelf of organic, allergen-free foodstuff at Marketplace yesterday. I was like a kid who stumbled into Toyland!

Aah, I can finally feel the joy of grocery shopping again. Wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, nut free, they've really got every allergen free item under their belt. In a matter of minutes, I snapped up three [not less than fantastic] items; muesli, chocolate spread and a banana-flavoured snack bar. Dude, can you imagine dairy and nut free chocolate spread?! It's like finding calorie-free cakes man!

The muesli comprises of "corn" flakes which are made with maize and rice flour, rice puff, rice bran, coconut, and dried fruits. It's really awesome and has that full bodied taste from the coconut. I had a bowl of it with rice milk (sorry, can't take real milk remember?) today morning and it was gooooood. Plus, I was getting sick of only eating fruits every morning. ps: It really keeps me full. I lasted for 4 hours without feeling hungry.

The chocolate spread is almost like Nutella but with a much subtler shade of hazelnut. Man, it's so good I lick it off the spoon every morning. Having 60% lesser sugar definitely helps too [on the guilt part].

I haven't gotten down to prying the banana bar open and chomping on it like a chimpanzee yet. But judging from the looks of it, you bet I'm gonna enjoy it.

Why did I write this post? I have no idea. To share my joy, perhaps. Or to share this information with people who needs it as much as me. Rejoice!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hock kee bak kut teh

Never an appreciative figure for pork ribs soup or "Bak Kut Teh", this dish never succeeds in drawing my attention away from that delectable piece of pancake or the smothering smell of carrot cake being fried *goes weak in the knees*. That is, until I tried the Malaysian version of it which "converted" me.

The main difference between the Singapore and Malaysia version is the type of soup that is being used. The former dictates a clear, savoury but peppery broth with a few sticks of ribs while the latter boosts of a dark coloured, herby broth in a claypot filled to the brim with good stuff. Vegetables, mushrooms, tau kee, pig's innards, you name it. Now that I seldom travel to Malaysia, my cravings have increased three-fold.

Recently though, I was introduced by a friend to this stall at Alexandra Village Food Centre which sells bak kut teh. I was admittedly half hearted when I ordered it but was pleasantly surprised afterwards. While this wasn't the Malaysian kind of Bak kut teh, it wasn't the peppery kind either. Now, would any kind soul drop some clue to what it really is?

A slight, subtle herb/tonic essence can be tasted in the broth which thankfully, isn't peppery at all. In fact, it isn't even clear to start with. The dish presents itself in a claypot filled with dark broth and three pieces of pork ribs (which is not very economical for $4). Not richly boiled, it serves as a pleasant bowl of soup to down a bowl of rice with. The pork ribs weren't exactly tender to the point of falling off, nor were they tough to the point of causing a toothache. Slightly tender would be an appropriate description but three pieces of ribs just don't get the job done man.

Only was the food fully digested the next day did I was told that the specialty of the stall was it's ter kah (pork leg), three layer pork and salted vegetables. ..Thanks alot.. Still, I'll be back for more so in case you're still not satisfied, stay tuned!


Alexandra Village Food Centre
Hock Kee Bak Kut Teh

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pancake Weekly #4: My kind of jam

Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best. Just like how each and everyone of us has a simple comfort food we can always fall back on. The smell of a warm loaf of bread or the bitter sweet taste of dark chocolate may swoon some while the soft chunk of pork belly or a huge tub of Ben & Jerry's may appeal to others.

Its the time when fine dining would suddenly sound boring and unappetizing. Plus, who really cares for salads or chicken breasts when you're feeling in the dumps right?

In my case, the combination of pandan and coconut never fails to get my attention and the best thing that ever resulted from that mix?


Its plain, its simple, its good. That's all I need for my fix. In this week's Pancake Weekly, I'm talking about plain Jane. She's simple, she's real nice with average looks but somehow, I've got the hots for her. Who really needs sophisticated chicks anyway?

There you go. A good douse of coconut jam slapped between two pancakes. Perfect breakfast for a Sunday morning.

PS: Since we're talking about comfort food, why not tell me what's yours? I'd definately interested in hearing about it.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Opinion polls

A frank opinion goes a long way, no matter how flatteringly good or batteringly bad it is. Therefore, to truly improve my blog, I've started an opinion poll which I hope readers will take like 5 seconds to participate in.

So tell me your frank opinions alright, since most don't really leave comments when they drop by. Since this only takes a few seconds and pretty much leaves you anoynomous, pleeeeeeeeeeease please please take some time to vote okay?!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Lee Tong Kee Beef Hor Fun


Apparently so, and just to provide that extra assurance that you'll get a good meal, allow me to cast away any doubts you are harbouring in your unbelieving mind.

Lined in the midst of painting, art, calligraphy and figurine shops, a humble restaurant on the bend facing a newly built Chinese temple blends in perfectly into the setting, a developing fusion between rustic faces and drastic changes. But as time forces on its perpetual charge, changing and modifying and moderning everything standing in its path, people and cultures get absorbed into a whirlwind of change where thinking becomes liberated and cultures start to become obsolete. In the midst of it, food have taken the harsh brutal swipe of reality, losing its tradition, culture and ultimately, the passion that made it unique and with it, taste. Hawkers become food courts, markets have been transformed to tourist attractions and people, instead of cooking for passion, have begun cooking for money to survive in the unrelentless economy as traditionalists deperately cling on to the ways of old.

So as I stood outside this little eatery called Lee Tong Kee which claims to promise the taste of 1948, the ultimate question looms deep, "Has its taste survived the test of time?". That's what we're about to find out.

I certainly do not know the taste of its hor fun in 1948 but right here, right now, its beef hor fun ($5.50) tastes pretty damn good. Made from the silkiest strands of rice noodles, its softness lets you slurp it up and slide it down with the least effort. Really, the hor fun is the softest and silkiest I've eaten! The sauce is uber duperly good! Similar to Guangdong Braised Beef Noodles at Maxwell FC, this one is a thicker, richer, and more potent interpretation. Its hard to put the taste onto paper [or to type into my keyboard] but it coats every strand of noodle so well, the taste fills your mouth as it slides down your throat.

The beef is equally tender and moist, with sporadically spaced portions of melt-in-your-mouth fats. Theres certainly a good flavour in the beef also.

One other item to note is the Lee Tong Kee tender chicken ($8 for small) which is literally, super tender chicken! Unlike those served at chicken rice stalls which are slapped with the cleaver or done with whatever, this chicken is truly tender. So good that I felt the "jelly-ness" as I bit into that succulent piece of chicken. The accompanying sauce compliments the meat and the chilli sauce they provide is a more unique (and better version) of normal chicken rice chilli and brings out the flavour in the chicken and hor fun.

This is one beef hor fun I will recommend to my friends. Heck, its number one on my list now!


Lee Tong Kee Ipoh Sar Hor Fun
278 South Bridge Road

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pancake Weekly #3: Qunitessential

In this era of increasingly fast moving technology, taste buds and everything else on the planet, ham and cheese is so yesterday. Therefore, men often have to seek new, exciting stimulants to reignite (or re-erect) their senses. Corny? Maybe a little. Putting words into action, behold a new flavour that has been created for this week's Pancake Weekly. A flavour so enticing, a combination so bold, that it will bring you to your knees.

Shrouded in a blurry wrap of nutty, sweet darkness, a yellow cream so natural but so unconvincingly good that it get you thinking why you never felt the urge to consume it before. Of course, I certainly hope one day I can somehow teleport my creations for all my readers to sample, but until that day comes, lets just rely on my psychic powers alright?

Now a nut may be addicting, but a nut flavoured chocolate is a product that packs much more punch than that.. much much more. Fast forward a few decades where creative taste bud-talented men used to manually blend nuts into chocolate, we now have Nutella, Aaah! Brilliante! Dig it with a spoon, swipe it with your finger or scoop it out with your tongue [eewww, admit it, I know you do it], Nutella provides the same aphrodisiac-like results to anyone, which is, uber happiness.

But just expand your imagination a little by spreading this brown goo on a pancake; Umm, should be wackingly good. Now come on, try expand your imagination a little more, force your chemoreceptors to work a little harder, or try starving it into creativity [this can be done by eating plain rice 5 meals a day, 7 days a week, please seek medical advice before doing this].

Okay so here's what I got, you've got this nice pancake and you spread Nutella on 3/4 of it right? What happens to the other 1/4 then is you grill a banana right, and mash it right there. Following which you wrap the pancake around the banana, and roll the whole thing up. I'm not going to describe to you how it tastes like (nothing short of spectacular) because I hope that you're gonna try it yourself.

Another way is to sandwich it in a MJK like manner. Now, I know it doesn't look like a lot, but it definately tastes a hell lot more than it looks.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pears and Pizzas

Subtly sweetened, caramelized, soft pear slices on pizzas would be an intriguing and fresh idea to break away from tradition. Its such a pity though, that I'm not here to recommend such a pizza because firstly, I can't seem to find any pizza joints selling fruity pizzas in Singapore [except Pasta Mania which has a chocolate and banana pizza on its belt] and secondly, I haven't got the time, and creative juices in my brain to find a way to make that pizza attractive yet appetizing.

Nonetheless, I'm utterly amazed at the size of this thing. Yep, my mum brought it over from Perth along with a few other amazing things including some extremely delicious and addicting banana chips. Banana chips are really quite the embodiment of perfect chips, even better than apple crings and potato chips if you ask me & my taste buds.

Its subtly sweet with a nice crunch and the starchy feeling you get from it after chewing away really gets your digestive juices flowing.. like a waterfall. Thats right, your hand doesn't stop picking at it. But banana chips are a big fat lie, like a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing, because if you mistake it for a healthy snack, you're screwed [like me] Like they say, all good things come to an end eventually, like how I found out that those chips were deep fried rather than baked [Oh Holy mother of ..something!]

Oh yeah, back to the pear, or bear judging by the size of that "thing", I swear it will keep you full for quite some time. The taste is similar to any other pear but extremely juicy with loads of pear juices dripping down my chin when I devoured it, if that sounds gross then try not to make a picture of it, or simply imagine I'm Brad Pitt. Hey, now thats a good one right!

I hear you asking where's the pizza? It's nothing special really [hands signalling a nothing special gesture *try to use your imagination*] We popped two pizzas from Canadian Pizza yesterday and one of them was pretty good so I thought I'll share it with ya.

BBQ Chicken Bonanza! Hai! Sounds like some Japanese Kung Fu Kamakazi chicken right? Well, it sure got my risible muscle working. The pizza is surprisingly good coming from a 2-for-1 pizza joint. The dough was generously peppered with thick chicken pieces and other ingredients and extra super entizing BBQ sauce (because we asked for more). Mmm! Its good! And cheap! Plus the crust is thin and not too doughy which is such a despicable way to make you feel full. Don't get me wrong though, Canadian Pizza has got the worst Hawaiian pizza ever but they just got it right on this one somehow.

6 235-35-35! That's the number NOT to call. Or the number to call if you want pizza crusts the thickness of the sole of my Nike dunks [which are pretty thick by the way].. or the width of Steven Tyler's mouth.

Instead, check out their website here.