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Showing posts from July, 2005

1st Anniversary, 1st Degustation, Last of Saint Pierre?

I admit, I have not had a degustation before. But that was before last Monday! For the longest time last Sunday night, I was wondering where J had reserved dinner for us to celebrate our first year together as a couple. (Yep, congrats to us; we made it through! :) He was being secretive and I was miserable (in a good way of course) being held in suspense. But come Monday evening, as he drove, I knew exactly where he had chosen. He suggested for us to indulge in the degustation at Saint Pierre and I was initially hesitant to take on the challenge of a nine-course dinner. But I was glad I did it, not only because it was my first time, but more importantly, because it was what J had in mind - for both of us to enjoy good company and good food. Wel the company definitely far exceeded "good" but the food, let's just say, "acceptable" is more like it. Lastly, I also realised that I could do it - I ate through my nine courses with minimal discomfort, accompanied by a …

Le Royale at Canele

J and I went back to Canele yesterday to try the other tempting desserts. Luckily, this time around, my choice of Royale was a delicious one! All the layers (chocolate mousse 66%, hazelnut feuilletine, almond success, chocolate genoise with rum), put together, created this surprisingly light dessert that was easy to down and went well with my jasmine tea. Thehazelnut feuilletine, though lacking in the nutty flavour, added a welcomed crunch to every bite. The cake was not overwhelmingly sweet and I personally liked it that way.

As I expected, there should be some standard to any Les Amis establishments and I am glad we gave it another shot. There are still so many other untried temptations I am already trying to find an excuse to go back again.

SHF#10 - Oh my Honey and Roast Cashew Blondies!

It's Friday again and what better sugar high to get on than HONEY? The appropriate ingredient was chosen by our host, Nic from Bakingsheet, who tempts me with posts of her own baking but at the same time, encourages me to try new things!I actually had a tough time finding a recipe to make because I wanted to showcase the main ingredient and not use it as a supporting role. Searching through my trusty list of recipe finders, I stumbled upon a tantalizing recipe “Maple and Roast Macadamia Blondies”.How delicious is that?Seeing the short list of ingredients and simple steps, I thought these blondies should be able to elevate the character and depth of honey.Immediately after, my mind started thinking of all the substitutions necessary to make this work.Of course, maple syrup would be replaced with honey and I would use have to replace the macadamia nuts too because I had none at hand.Honey and cashews sound like a binding pair so nothing too difficult in making that change.
Now I mu…

Review of Olivio Gelato

I had totally forgotten about the existence of Olivio Gelato until I was in the area last Saturday and this girl was walking past with a green cup. Oooh, I need myself some cold relief too, as it was a hot, hot, morning. Leaving my mom in the queue for banking services, I zipped through the crowd straight to Olivio.

The selection was rather pathetic, several of the metal bins were empty still! Whatever was there looked suspiciously like another chain's. So I tried to pick the most unique one to Olivio. Strawberry gelato waved at me, with a stick that stated "No sugar added". That sounded healthy enough and I was sold. Alas, the gelato was frozen hard and the skinny server don't seem to be able to push back the gelato into the cup. So if you see the next picture, there was obviously a huge cavity left unfilled! I felt a tad jeeped but oh well.

The taste was alright. It was sweetened with fructose (isn't that still a type of sugar??) but was not overly sw…

Dine and Dish no. 3 - Introducing the Freshies @ La Braceria

Dine and Dish - this is yet another food-blogging event organised by Sarah from The Delicious Life. (Check out her blog! I do cuz it's really informative and delicious!) Though the event is already into its 3rd edition, this is my first time joining. How apt! Here I am, a freshie to Dine and Dish, which coincidentally is themed "The Freshman" this time round!

La Braceria is less than a year old but this visit was not my first. In fact, it was my 3rd visit (!!), which also coincides with the edition of this event. Since Sarah has kindly allowed us to interpret the theme as we like, I have chosen to try new items and introduce those freshies to fellow food-bloggers :)

Since La Braceria was a pizza and grill place, we had pizza and grill on both previous visits. This time round, J still stuck to their grill and decided to try their famous homemade sausages. But for me, I wanted to take this opportunity to try beyond their specialities and just to try other items off …

Fried Twists

I had saved half the dough from my lemon bun recipe so early Saturday morning, I decided to use it to make doughnuts. The little rings were formed and left to rise with no problems. But when I had to take them up to fry, they all deflated! Oh well, thinking quick, I just decided to make a variation so I ended up with a ring, a braid, a pretzel, a twist and a handful of doughnut balls. All were tossed in granulated sugar except for the small doughnut balls, which had a cinnamon sugar coating. All were delicious though! What a way to start the day - freshly fried dough! But can somebody teach me how to make perfectly risen doughnuts?

Buko Nero or Hole in Wall

I actually wrote up this post a while ago but I only managed to get the pictures today so here goes.

J and I went to Buko Nero for our 11th month anniversary. This is a hole-in-wall (that's what Buko Nero means literally, as I have found out) Italian-Asian fusion restaurant, discretely tucked away from public's attention. I still remember us walking pass the restaurant on our first occasion while trying to find it. I had chosen Buko Nero for our special day because I like non-pretentious restaurants and this was the ultimate. It is nothing like the fancy sort with fine and exquisite presentations or a long and varied wine list but it serves reliably good food prepared by a passionate Italian chef, Oscar, and served with pleasure by his Singaporean wife, Tracy. That sort of soft factors sell for me and really the main reason for me to re-visit any restaurant.

This time, I was tempted to order ala carte after reading a few reviews online about a few specialties, but ultimately, th…

Garibaldi

Garibaldi is the only Italian restaurant that has consistently delivered on all fronts. Not only do I always get high quality food, their service is also excellent. But of course, all these come with their price so I always go for their business lunch sets, a value at S$29! The menu changes every week so I also get a variation food.

Today, I went for a business lunch again. This time, I started with the salad - a good portion of mixed greens with fennel, ightly tossed with a lemon vinegrette. The slightly bitter greens was balanced with sweet cherry tomato and bits of orange segments. The thinly shaved fennel added a bit of crunch. The dressing was most excellent. Not too sourish as some restaurants tend to stir towards and not too saltish either.

That was followed by a good portion of grilled tuna steakwith braised pearl onions. The tuna steak was seared on the outside and had good and appetizing grill marks. It was a generous portion and just lightly seasoned with a touch of s…

Assurance by Lemon Buns

Yes, I can safely tell the world that Mr Yeast is still my friend :) After Saturday's rising success (pun intended!), I was still a tad uncertain about my relationship with yeast. So I decided to assure myself by baking another bread.

This time, the currently-very-popular Rotiboygave me the inspiration to make these lemon topped sweet buns. Rotiboy and these lemon rolls share a similar recipe in that the topping is a crunchy sugar topping. The recipe requires more steps but the perfectly soft inside, just very slightly stringy as you tear off little chunks, balanced by the sweet and crunchy lemon topping, and the anticipation of hitting the buttery middle, it's well worth every effort!

Lemon Rolls

400 g bread flour
11 g instant yeast
80 g sugar
1 tsp salt
1 medium egg
160 ml milk
60 g unsalted butter, softened

16 x 10g butter, firm for filling

Mix all the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add in the egg and milk and stir until the dough starts to come off the sides. Pour dough onto a lig…

Phew, it poofed!

After feeling slightly down on Saturday, I decided to bake bread. I haven't baked bread in a long time because of a few failed attempts and I started to fear working with yeast. But my need to knead and the perfect hot weather to poof the dough, encouraged me to just do it.

As you can tell, it was a success! I used a simple recipe for sweet rolls, halved the dough and filled one batch with Nutella (left hand side) and mixed in a chopped mixture of walnut and raisins in the other (right hand side).

The collage of pictures below, depicting the steps in order.The only thing was that I accidentally miscalculated the amount of butter called for (used only 30g instead of 90g) so the texture was slightly drier. But taste-wise, nothing beats freshly baked bread!



Sweet Rolls

1 tbsp instant yeast
1/2 cup milk
90 g unsalted, softened butter
1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence

Optional:
8 tsp Nutella
2/3 cup of a mixture of roug…

An Experience at Club Chinois

Club Chinois is a modern Chinese restaurant. Think Chinese food served on big plates and individual (small) portions, ala French style. My friend Nicole went a few months back and raved about it. Since Uncle T loves anything fine, I thought it would be a good opportunity to bring him, together with my mom and sis, to try out this restaurant which I would otherwise probably not visit (I'd rather fill up my tummy!)The unique concept is to individualize so every person can order what he wants and how many courses he prefers. There were also 2 six-course tasting menus for S$68 or S$88 but I chose to go a la carte. Again, I had the opportunity to order for all so I'll list them down somewhere but only review my own food.The restaurant was dimly lit, and the big chairs hindered my movements and were too heavy to adjust easily. But service was attentive with servers constantly refilling our teacups.
Shortly after placing the orders, we were served an amuse of either chicken or fish, t…

Disappointed by Jaan

I returned to Jaan for the second time on Tuesday, together with my mom and our dear friend visiting from overseas, Uncle T. The restaurant came to mind immediately when mom told me to think of a venue for lunch close to my work location.

There were many changes implemented since I last dined at Jaan and I was somewhat disappointed with them, as you will read on to find out very soon. The first change was that there were only 3 options each for appetizers, main and desserts. Choice of dessert used to be from the ala carte menu. But this was still acceptable, given that it was a lunch deal after all.

Since I was given the honor of ordering for all, I took the opportunity to see more of the chef's creations by choosing all the 3 different options for us.

For myself: seared scallops with tapanade, applesauce and jus (I like scallops), prawn and artichoke risotto (never had risotto and I rather like artichokes), yogurt jelly with sour cherries (hmm, yoguurrrt!!)

The scallops were a bit to…