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Showing posts from August, 2006

The Soup Spoon

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. On a cold and grey day, it is a no-brainer what I usually crave for - soup! I don't have the exact reasons why but I know I am not alone in this.

If I think just a little bit harder, I suppose it is a combination of a few elements - the comfort of warmth from the soup in both my tummy and heart is non-describable; the minimal efforts required to satisfy my hungry, literally-effortless action of lifting spoon and swallowing soup; the magic of a one-pot dish that is so simple yet still satisfying; and probably some other elements I can never put to words.

Today is such a day when the rain started to pour down and all I longed for was a hot bowl of soup. The Soup Spoon filled the perfect lunch criteria for me today and not surprisingly, the place was packed. I had to endure a good 10-minutes of growling stomach before I got my order of the roasted pumpkin soup with toasted almonds that called out my name the instant I …

Braid of bread

cream cheese braid
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. I have always secretly envy homebakers who seem to whip up a loaf of bread really easily. Each time I read a post on their blogs, I have to remind myself that I need to get over my fear of yeast and start practicing baking bread if I ever want to be a good bread maker myself.

With that intention to practice, I picked up a bag of bread flour a while back. This particular recipe was clipped off King Arthur Flour's website a while ago and seems like a relatively quick prep and sounds like they will turn out looking pretty too so that's all the prompts I need to get started.

Luckily for me, the bread turned out to be all right though it still did not rise as much as I thought it should. At least the bread was soft inside and the cream cheese filling that I modified slightly by mixing in a bit of plum jam, was really complementary! I adore the crusty outsides that were deliciously crunchy with egg wash followed by a s…

The morning after debauchery

cream cheese brownies
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. Who am I kidding when I thought I may actually sleep in this morning given that I had a late night and I also had the morning off from French. I found myself awake before 7am, wide and cheery by 7, not too hungry for breakfast yet somewhat hyper and full of energy.

I had to rid the excess energy somewhere and naturally it was to the kitchen. In view of an invitation to a church friend's house later this evening for a gathering over wine & cheese, I decided to bake a batch of something to bring along. Even though I am still deciding whether to go for that instead of shopping/dinner with a friend, I still went ahead and made these cream cheese brownies. They are so going over to the wine & cheese event regardless of my presence! Anyway, I decided on a cream cheese recipe just because I had cautiously bought one too many block of cream cheese a few weeks ago and I wanted to use it before it turned bad.

This …

Foodbloggers at Sage Restaurant

Foodbloggers' Dinner at Sage Restaurant
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. You will probably be reading about this event that happened last night in many other foodblogs but here is my quick take on it.

1stly, I really want to thank Colin for taking the initiative to organise this event. I was glad to overcome my initial fear of meeting "strangers" because it was great to finally put a face to the blogs that I read religiously everyday.

I was seated at one end of the table and got to know my neighbors a little better. It finally felt normal to talk about food and take pictures and more pictures food. For me, the event even had some sort of support function when some of us complain about the the same sort of issues I face, for the sake of our passion for food blogging. You know, the usual bewildered look when you whip out your camera to take pictures, the impatient looks from friends and family who cannot wait to dig in and the annoying flash that goes off when you are…

Brunch, or, PS Cafe revisited

Big Breakfast Sandwich from PS Cafe Brunch
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. I have heard enough good things about it - the idylic setting in the daytime, the big portions of food, just the whole chill-out type of atmosphere - such that having brunch at PS Cafe sat amongst the top priorities on my to-do list but I finally struck it off by suggesting to WG, that we meet there for our regular catch-up session.

The place was crowded, but not packed, when I arrived at 12 noon. There were more Caucasians than locals I think. Anyway, the weather was beautiful to sit al fresco but WG veto'd; she hates the heat!

Onto the food, I ordered the Big Breakfast Sandwich, (sans bacon), that came with a small portion of home-made baked beans (S$24). Though pricy for what is essentially sandwich comprising of 2 thick slices of toasted homemade bread, slathered on both sides with pesto and tomato sauce, tucked with 2 fried eggs, roasted asparagus, grilled tomato and romaine leaves, the sandwich …

Taste Paradise

Our family friend really enjoyed the Chinese fine dining experience at Club Chinois last year so this time I arranged for us to have try and duplicate that with a dinner at Taste Paradise, having read promising reviews of this upmarket Chinese restaurant.

Physically, the restaurant did look contemporary but restaurant was packed rather tightly and with several round tables. That, plus the lazy susan in the middle, made the words "fine dining" disappear into thin air.

Onto the food, I had pre-arranged a menu with a hostess who was very accomodating and helpful. To start we had an amuse bouche of fried tofu minced with some other ingredients I could not make out, topped with fruit chutney. Tastewise, it was not bad but felt like leftovers to me because the presentation was not very elegant and it was lukewarm.

First course was actually a combination of BBQ pork, wasabi prawn and fried whitebait (pictured). Since I do not eat meat, I got an extra prawn. I found the wasabi kick cou…

Chasing Kuriya

Kuriya Restaurant
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. My original plan to go Iggy's for lunch was shattered when my friend was still in the hotel room at 1pm so we went to Kuriya Restaurant instead.

Last time I went, it was pre-renovation and I have not been back since. The new look is pretty similar to the Kuriya at Raffles City, sleek and more elegant but I missed the original Kuriya's rustic and authentic feel. The menu has also been revamped and there are a lot of set lunches to choose from.

For our little party of 3, we ordered different ones just to try across the menu. The business lunch of the week, very reasonably priced at S$20, was very filling with smaller portions of unagi don, beef sukiyaki udon, fried gyoza, oden, salad and fruit.

The teriyaki gindara (cod) bento (S$22) had a bit of hijiki salad and a good portion of cod. But I found it rather disturbing that the fillet was distintegrating and I could not figure out whether it was the fault of an inexperienced …

Tatsuya

Tatsuya
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. Tatsuya is so centrally located in town yet somehow, given how much I enjoy Japanese food, I have not tried it until today. Not that it's important but apparently the Tatsuya owner is an ex-employee of Tatsu Sushi (@ Chijmes) so I do not think it is such a coincidence that the lunch sets offered are pretty similar to Tatsu's.

That was what we all ordered, the lunch bentos, since they were the most economical. Each one of the four bentos were presented in different and very elegant Japanese lacquered boxes. It is really quite amazing how beautiful presentations can also help whet up an appetite!

I had the sashimi bento ($26.80; pictured), which had a side of sushi rice topped with a sprinkling of tamago cubes, sweet radish pickles and nori strips. Accompanying the rice is the main entree of sashimi comprising of 3 slices of maguro, 2 slices of sake and 2 slices of swordfish, as well as tempura of shrimp and assorted vegetables. To c…

Il Lido

Il Lido
Originally uploaded by Skinny Epicurean. As I was going to be in Sentosa for a company event and it so happened a family friend was in town this week, I took the opportunity to invite him for lunch at Il Lido.

My first time at the much aclaimed restaurant did not leave much of a deep impression. Food-wise, it was not bad but nothing really stood out from the various dishes I tried. While I truely did enjoy the different dining environment and the spectacular view of the sea, I was also feeling slightly stuffy surrounded by a very a chi-chi crowd. Instead of a typical bread basket to start, we were served crispy crostini-like bread slabs topped with herbs. By themselves, they were fine but I wished there was a dip of some sort. For appetizer, I started off with a small leaves salad with grilled vegetables and balsamic dressing (S$18). The chef was a little heavy handed with the olive oil but other than that, this salad was fine. This was followed by a pan-fried escolar with saffr…