Thursday, August 23, 2007

Aston's Wagyu Beef

As I was working late on Tuesday night, E and I went to Aston's in East Coast road for a late dinner. Surprise surprise, there were still hordes of people queuing up even at 9.30 pm. I ordered the Wagyu beef which was rather a steal at $38.90 - my first time eating wagyu beef. The texture was indeed meltingly tender, but other than that I didn't feel that this was such a standout dish. In any case, the kitchen messed up E's order of a New York Steak, which came 45 min late. Luckily, it was perfectly cooked. Final verdict? Good quality ingredients, decent cooking at very reasonable prices, but by no means a fancy meal.
N.B. the photo was taken using my new Samsung phone. quality quite good, yes?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Supermarket Bounty Hunters

I think we are so lucky to be able to easily buy lots of interesting ingredients at the supermarket and whip up really good meals at home. Last night, we came across New Zealand green mussels (at a really cheap price of 80 cents for half a kilo) and Kyoho grapes (at a less cheap price of $10 for 300g).

Steamed Mussels in Spicy Broth (from Neil Perry's Good Food)
- 1.5 kg mussels, cleaned and debearded
- 1 red onion, sliced. 4 cloves garlic, sliced.
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes (pepperoncino)
- 2 tablespoon salted baby capers
- 75 g Italian parsley, roughly chopped
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
- juice of 1 lemon
- freshly ground pepper
Heat a little extra virgin olive oil and saute the onion, garlic and chilli flakes for abt 5 min. Add the mussels, capers, parsely and wine, cover and cook till mussels open. Add the butter, lemon juice and combine. Grind some pepper over. Serve over spaghetti or with warm crusty bread.

Kyoho Grapes are extremely large and sweet, with a rich winey syrupy taste. Eat them quickly for they tend to ferment very fast due to the high sugar content. A simple recipe for making jam with them from the Internet, although that seems rather extravagant to me, given the price at which they are sold.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Inagiku, Raffles the Plaza

Me and E went for an expensive Japanese dinner at Inagiku two nights ago, as we have the Feed at Raffles card which gives us 50% off on restaurants in the Raffles group of hotels. And a good thing too, as we ordered the $140 Summer Tempura dinner set, which had the following items:
- Seabass sashimi with apple balsamico dressing
- Seafood Tempura (i had shrimp, abalone and scallop tempura)
- Steamed Sea Urchin, Shrimp and Cucumber covered with Sparemint Jelly
- Vegetable Tempura (i had sweet potato, asparagus, pumpkin and cherry tomato)
- Simmered White Gourd and Sharks Fin soup
- Chirashi Sushi
- Kyoho grape

Quality of the food was undoubtedly good, with the highlight being the chirashi sushi which I was overwhelmed by the variety of sashimi heaped on the bowl, especially my favourite ikura! We were a little surprised by the rather Chinese sharks fin, but found the broth extremely tasty! However, we both felt that the service was not as attentive and warm as we would have expected given the price; perhaps they were a tad short-staffed that night. A good experience though (although we probably might not go back if we did not have the discount card). We'll be back for the Teppanyaki, which look very yummy and are also reasonably priced.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My lovely bridal boutique

The loveliest thing happened to me today... my bridal boutique called me up and said that they were returning me my wedding gown as a present! All singapore brides will know that wedding gowns are usually rented (even for those like mine that are custom made) and the cost of buying one is really quite exorbitant. So whatever the reason why my boutique gave me the gown (maybe they ran out of space to store it), it really got a lot of goodwill from me and their other customers!

3 cheers for Bridal Veil!

Sunday, August 12, 2007


My favourite flower, tulips. This brings back lovely evocative memories of strolling down King's road years ago and buying a bunch for 2 pounds. E, who is always very sweet, bought some to cheer me up this afternoon.

Soft-Boiled Eggs with Foie Gras

Decided to indulge ourselves today with a little decadence for breakfast, given the kind of stress and workload we've been facing lately (my so-called National Day public holiday was completely blown off on non-stop work from 8am to 10 pm at night. And, I am still working this weekend.)

So, half-boiled eggs with pan-seared foie gras seemed like a jolly good reward for breakfast this morning, and real easy to prepare too. The richness and smoothness of foie gras goes extremely well with the creamy sensous texture of half-boiled eggs...calorie overload anyone?? :-)
N.B. I have frozen the rest of my foie gras stash from London and will portion it out slowly e.g. foie gras chawanmushi (an idea from Ikukan), foie gras on toast, tournedos rossini (a french fine-dining dish comprising of tenderloin steaks with foie gras slabs).

Monday, August 6, 2007

How to Open A Coconut

Okay, confession - this is quite a mundane post. On our Bangkok trip we observed so many street vendors expertly and easily opening coconuts that we tried this method ourselves, and it worked to our great surprise! Here's how it goes:
- Use the back of a Chinese cleaver (the blunt and heavy end) to tap with moderate force on the top round part of the coconut. Do not tap the sharp end, as the husk is much thicker there.
- You should see a fracture line / crack start to form. Continue tapping, shifting the coconut, until the fracture line forms a neat circle.
- Use a spoon to gently lift under the fracture line, and the entire top round of the husk should lift off cleanly, giving access to the coconut flesh and juice.
N.B. This method only works for Thai coconuts. Don't try it on the local coconuts, their husks are way too thick for this.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Baan Khanitha, Bangkok

Rounding up our Bangkok trip with this post on Baan Khanitha. This is a well-known Thai restaurant; they have two branches and we went to the one at Sumkhumvit. We have eaten lots of Thai food before, but I thought the food tasted especially flavourful and good: we had spicy pomelo salad, soft-shell crab with green curry, tom yum goong, and sticky rice with mango. In my opinion, this place is better than Blue Elephant, where we went for dinner 3 years ago.