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Showing posts from June, 2006

La Strada Pizzaria

Pizza Napolitana
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. I got a postcard from Les Amis earlier in the month, informing of their newest concept - La Strada Pizzeria. Being an Italian-style pizza fan, I immediately pinned La Strada on my radar screen but was hindered by lack of an opportunity. Luckily, I was to meet up with an old uni friend last evening so I suggested we give La Strada a try.

La Strada was a combination of 2 concepts - the ristorante, catering to the upper-crust much like Garibaldi, and the pizzaria, located next door, occupying the space of what used to be the Lazy Gourmet Deli. At the pizzeria, the menu was kept primarily to a selected few pizzas of the usual combinations and even fewer pastas for those who so wish to have that in a pizzaria. The pizzas offered was in a standard size of 12" and fixed prix at S$18.

I got the napolitana (tomato salsa, olives and anchovies) to satisfy my craving for salt, while my friend got the prosciuto and rocket. After 8-10 minu…

Uzumaki Wasabi Soft Serve

Uzumaki Wasabi Soft Serve
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. After reading an article from Straits Times a couple weeks ago on this new Japanese soft serve ice cream, Uzumaki (meaning "swirl") located at the basement of Bugis Junction, I could not wait to give it a try and finally I did!

While trying to find the place, I actually walked past the green make-shift stand at first. Anyhow, I managed to find it - it is right across Corochan, and got myself a wasabi soft serve in a waffle cone. There was a promotion going on for wasabi flavor (u.p. $3.50, now $2.80) but really, I chose that because I was intrigued by the sound of "wasabi ice cream". Besides the waffle cone, you can get your ice cream in a cup or a regular cupboard-like cone.

As with most Japanese products, the way the icecream was served was rather interesting. The server will take a cup of ice cream of your choice, peel off a sticker at the bottom to reveal a hole, place it in this contraption and p…

Sticky Cinnamon Buns

Sticky Cinnamon Buns
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. I am not sure what inspired me to make these sticky buns; I just did. The smell of cinnamon and yeast fills the air as the buns are cooling. But alas, I am stuffed from dinner to dig into one right now. That would be so heavenly. I hope they will still make a good breakfast tomorrow morning. Can't wait!

Japanese Grilled Mackerel or Saba

Japanese Grilled Mackerel or Saba
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. I blogged about my soft spot for japanese grilled mackerel or the saba and one kind reader/blogger suggested it would be easy to make my own.

Since then, I checked out various supermarkets to see where I could possibly get saba. There are a few places - Cold Storage at Takashimaya, Isetan Supermarket, as well as the very convenient Jason's supermarket right at my office block.

Today, I went and bought a piece, which is already pre-salted. When I got home, I gave it a rinse before slapping it onto the grill. Viola, less than 15 minutes later, I had a piece of fabulous, skin-blistering piece of saba. Wonderful aroma and deliciously fatty as well. A squeeze of lemon helped to cut the oilyness. I really could eat a few more.

Father's Butter Cake

Father's Day always coincides with my dad's birthday so we usually kill two birds with one stone and have a single dinner to celebrate both occasions together. We had the dinner last night, nothing fancy as dad preferred, simply at a new cze char stall somewhere in Ang Mo Kio.

Since we have not had cake, I baked him his favourite, butter cake, made slightly decadent and a little fancy with a strawberry crumble topping. My dad is such an easy-to-please person. Something so simple like a butter cake with a good cup of local kopi can satisfy him. While the cake was cooling, the entire house was scented with cinnamon. I know this will be good and I can't wait to dig in tomorrow. After dad has his share of course.

Snackish in the afternoon

half eaten raisin oatmeal cookie
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. These raisin oatmeal cookies were baked last night and brought as a Friday treat for the office today. But I could not resist popping a couple when they came out of the oven. They were such a perfect pre-bedtime comfort food, especially good with cold milk.

These slightly soft and chewy cookies are the ultimate - wonderful cinnamony aroma that never fail to burst out everytime I open up the box.

Notice the huge (half-eaten) raisin on the side? Those raisins were a gift from a blogger and they were really plump and moist. Delicious on their own but even more so as a partner in a perfect marriage with oatmeal in the cookie.

Another couple of those cookies got me through my peckish stomach this Friday afternoon.

Farfelle with French Bean and Blue Cheese

Farfelle with French Beans and Blue Cheese
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. This photo may not do the pasta justice but you have to believe me, this recipe is simple and the result is simply delicious, the only caveat being you have to like cheese.

Since I am currently obsessed with cheese of all sorts (sans sliced cheese), the recipe caught my eye when I was browsing the web. Here is my modified version but it is close.

Farfelle with French Bean and Blue Cheese
(serves 2)

4 oz farfelle
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped onions
1 tbsp chopped garlic
4 tbsp cream
2 oz blue cheese
20 french beans, cut into diagonal sections
1/2 small tomato, diced

1. Boil pasta accordingly. Set aside with some pasta water.
2. Blanch french beans and set aside.
3. Heat a large shallow pan. Melt butter.
4. Add onions and garlic and sautee until fragrant and onions are soft.
5. Turn heat to low. Add cream, blanched beans, cheese and pasta.
6. Stir around to melt the cheese and coat everything together. If it seems t…

A good time at Papi

Cheers to Colin who humoured me and made a guess where the pizza was from, but no, it was not from Valentino. Perhaps if I reveal the pizza's name, it will ring a familiar bell? Papi - anyone?

Papi is the new pizza pasta trattoria owned by the same folks over at Oso Ristorante. The restaurant had a open concept woodfired oven in the middle of the room so the smell of fresh bread instantenously greets anyone who walks through the doors. Of course, I left smelling of a yeasty scent too.

Onto the food, I knew I had to try the pizza so I just went for the one that caught my eye. Who can resist a pizza with "whole egg, mozzarella cheese and black truffle sauce"? I certainly could not! We had to wait a good twenty minutes for our pizzas to arrive but it was worth it.

About 12 " across, papi had a really thin and even crust that remained crispy even when cold. The tomato sauce was spread thinly and the mozzarella cheese was not overwhelmingly thick. The areas with the black …

My first Uni at Tsukuji

Kaisan Don at Tsukuji
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. I knew I had to make at least one ritual visit to Tsukuji Fish Market (TFM) in my life. The week I was in Japan was Golden week and that meant many public places were closed for the holidays, including TFM. Luckily for me, God is good and I found out the market would be partially open on my very last day in Tokyo.

In the morning, after my obligatory breakfast (it is my quirk - I need to have breakfast first thing in the morning), I packed up our belongings ready to check out. Then we headed out to the crowdless streets of Ikebukero and took a train to Tokyo City. From there, we strolled the streets casually, stopping by a police outpost to ask for the direction towards TFM. There was direct trains there but we had time to kill so we walked instead. After 1/2 hour, we found ourselves in the vicinity of the market! My heartbeat started to escalate; I had waited for this moment for ages, since I started watching food-t…

Saba Shioyaki

Saba Shioyaki
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. Saba shioyaki or grilled mackeral is one of my most freqently ordered dish in a Japanese restaurant. Most places do a decent job but I had really lousy ones where they deep fried the fish instead of doing a slow grill. The really good ones though, grill the fish to a perfection. The flesh is thoroughly cooked yet retains the juiciness from the fat. The skin of the fish is intact, brown to a crisp yet not burnt. When doused with a squeeze of lemon to cut the oiliness and eaten with a dollop of grated daikon, give me a bowl of Japanese sushi rice and leave me be in my happy corner.

When I have a hankering for it, I would go for lunch at Sun or Sun and Moon to satisfy the craving. The one pictured above came from the latter location. If I had time and a date, I would prefer Ikukan, along Club St. because if Sun is good, Ikukan is excellent!

Now I regret sharing that.