Monday, October 22, 2007


I was quite happy to discover a new place for nice business lunches around my workplace – Friends @ Jelita. They are located above Cold Storage@Jelita, along Holland Road. Apparently their Serangoon Gardens branch is quite well known, and they’ve now branched out into the west. As my academic researcher friend and I have a standing arrangement to meet for lunch once a month, we went there last Friday to take advantage of their special Citibank one-for-one set lunch offer (two can have a good 4-course set lunch for about $28 which is fantastic).

Friends has absolutely the most delicious foccacia bread that I’ve ever eaten – warm, savoury, and filled with lots of delectable bits of olive, roasted garlic, sundried tomatoes and olives. I ended up taking 2 pieces! The starter of salad wasn’t that extraordinary, but the main course of kami sakura chicken breast fillet stuffed with polenta mushrooms and truffle jus was a real knockout. The writeup described “kami sakura chicken” as being specially bred so that their meat is especially sweet, tender and juicy, and it was indeed true, even with the breast meat which is so prone to drying out. The chicken was complemented perfectly with the earthy mushrooms and redolent truffle jus. However, desserts were very much a let-down with two tiny squares of overly sweet cake per person. This was partly compensated by the good coffee. Other dessert choices on the menu looked equally insipid. If not for the Citibank offer effectively halving the price, I would have thought that Friends could have done much better for the price that they charged.

N.B. Photos will be posted soon. I took a photo with my handphone but left the data transfer cable in the office.

Yet More Running

As E had signed me up for both the Shape and the Great Eastern Women's runs, yesterday morning I found myself pounding the roads around Marina and Shenton Way again. The above photo shows me smiling at the 1 km mark. This second time participating in a road run was less nervous for me, and I managed to finish in a very creditable time (at least for such an unfit person) of 41 min for 5 km, even with a blister on my foot. And, I still felt okay after that (in fact, i went to the gym that evening to do some light weights and workout). I told E that my next target would be to take part in the 10 km run next year. Am I turning into a fitness fanatic?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Michel Roux at Gordon Grill

Goodwood Park Hotel is having a Michelin star guest chef event, where visiting chefs come and present their specialty dishes. E and I were so excited that we made our reservations more than a month ago, for 3 Michelin-star chef Michel Roux, of the Waterside Inn in the UK.

We had the 4-course set lunch, for the rather princely sum of $108 per person. This comprised of a foie gras terrine with chicken and pistachio nuts, shellfish minestrone soup (with scallops, clam and a surprising pesto-filled ravioli inside), oxtail and beef cheek in beaujolais wine, and sliced pears and blueberries in shortbread biscuit and coulis of red fruits. Everything was extremely good - the foie gras terrine was surprisingly light but creamy and infused with rich fragance, and the beef cheek was so meltingly tender. However, one thing that we took issue with was the slowness with which the food came onto the tables - we were kept waiting half an hour for our soup. The waiter's explanation was that this was due to some confusion in the kitchen, probably Chef Roux was not used to the Singapore team and vice-versa.
Just to add, when we walked into the restaurant, we actually came face to face with the great man himself! I was too stunned to ask him for a photograph but he did smile at both of us. Eventually at the end of lunch, I plucked up enough courage and did get his autograph :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Shanghai Hairy Crab

It's crab season! I had been eyeing the live Shanghai hairy crabs sold in the supermarkets for some time now, as I had never eaten hairy crab before. So after an incessant 2-week long barrage of "i wonder how it tastes"; "should we buy some to try" and "look, it's on sale this week", E agreed that we could buy some to steam and try. (These are real easy to cook. Simply steam for 12 - 15 minutes, and eat unadorned or if you prefer, with a dipping sauce of black Chinese vinegar and minced ginger.)

These crabs are not cheap - we bought the "non-branded" type and they already cost $5 for one (they're tiny, each is only about the size of my palm and I have small hands). The "branded" crabs cost $20 - $30 a piece!

The end verdict was that the crabs were quite tasty and sweet, and the crab milt was smooth and fragrant. But nothing spectacular. Maybe we should next buy the "branded" ones to see if there's anything different about those.