Friday, November 25, 2011

Ethan's first durian experience

Ethan_eating durian

Mummmee, mummee, I like this smelly durian!!!


No more durian??
(2 seeds is quite enough for one small toddler at one sitting!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Ethan

Music credit: Baby Don't You Cry (The Pie Song) sung by Quincy Coleman

Friday, October 21, 2011

Le Saint Julien, The Fullerton Waterboat House

Our first Restaurant Week meal for this October 2011 edition was at Le Saint Julien. With pleasant memories of our previous lunch at Boathouse, I was eagerly anticipating an even better meal at this stalwart of the french fine dining scene. Unfortunately, we found the experience rather underwhelming.

Our starter, the terrine of foie gras and chicken with medley of mushrooms and cress looked tempting and indeed the foie gras was excellent, silkily creamy and smooth, with hints of warm aromatic cognac. However I felt that the cold chicken was a tad insipid and flavourless. Was it our mistake in eating the two terrines separately? Were the duo supposed to complement each other in both taste and texture? But then, we weren't told whether these should be eaten together.

Le Saint Julien_starter

E's main of garlic and parsley crusted skate fish with bouillabaisse sauce was a little puzzling to our tastebuds accustomed to eating skate fish (aka stingray) smeared with generous lashings of sambal belacan. The beautifully crispy garlicky crust, while delicious on its own, did little to complement or disguise the naturally strong tasting skatefish.

Le Saint Julien_Main1

Thankfully, my main of crispy rice with duck confit and truffle oil emulsion, with smoked duck breast sauce fared better. Beautifully cooked rosey pink duck breast slices, moist and tender. Although I must say that I had better duck in France.

Le Saint Julien_Main2

Our dessert of Clafoutis (french traditional custard cake) with signature caramelized chocolate mousse was adequate but unexciting. And that perhaps sums up my issue with this particular lunch at Le Saint Julien. With an occasion out requiring me to conjure up alternative baby sitting arrangements and Ethan's lunch with what seems like 2 heads and 8 hands, I expect much more than the pedestrian, staid, and mundane. I want to taste sparks, excitement, joie de vivre and passion. Sadly, I didn't get any of that at Le Saint Julien.

Le Saint Julien_Dessert

Le Saint Julien
3 Fullerton Road #02-01
The Fullerton Waterboat House

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Novus (guest post by W)

Note: I ambitiously booked three restaurants for Restaurant Week, and this is the story of the second restaurant. Guest-written by my lovely friend W.

Emma emailed me earlier in the week asking whether I would like to take over one of her two lunch reservations this weekend, as baby E acted up when she and E went out for lunch on Monday, and she didn't think they should leave him at home two days in a row this weekend. Since Z and I were already booked for dinner tomorrow, I decided to take up her offer on Saturday. Just as well, since Z and I have never gone to Novus before..

Turned out to be quite a modern looking restaurant (a little strange, considering it's situated in the National Museum!), with the decor geared more towards its bar than restaurant, perhaps. The service was attentive, possibly coz the restaurant was completely empty when we arrived. For the $40 set menu, there were three options each for starter and main (including one veggie option each), and two for dessert. We were pleasantly surprised by the bread basket, which arrived with olive oil/vinaigrette, flavoured butter and some olives. This was followed by the amuse bouche, crab meat mousse flavoured with wasabi, served on a black sesame cracker. Nice touch!



For starters, Z had the cured salmon, topped with dollops of yuzu gel and oyster leaves - very zesty and refreshing. While I went for the foie gras anglaise, which was like a custard made from duck consommé and foie gras, embedded with strips of duck meat and a chunk of foie gras and some gingko nuts. Certainly a new take on a traditional favourite..



For the main, Z had the red snapper served on risoni, which was cooked to a nice softness. I was disappointed that there were bones in the fillet - not very becoming for a fine dining restaurant, surely! My choice of stuffed and rolled chicken was pretty nice, cooked sous vide to retain the moisture of the chicken breast, stuffed with wild mushroom and served with a medley of seasonal mushrooms..



We each chose a different dessert, with Z having the Valrhona Chocolate Test, literally 5 types of chocolate desserts in increasing concentrations of cocoa content. Interesting, though perhaps the first three (aerated mousse, souffle and sorbet) were better than the last two (custard and dehydrated chocolate). I had the Black Sesame & Mango Creme, both of which were very very flavour-full. I particularly liked the fact that there was strawberry ice-cream in the centre of the black 'snowball', even if the taste wasn't particularly strong.

Z and I both enjoyed our meal, and more importantly, felt that the restaurant had gone to great lengths to make the dining experience a lovely one. For each of the courses, the restaurant would provided a little card with some information on the dish or the ingredients used. At the end, on our way out, the service staff also handed us a little Chinese takeaway box with a cupcake each! Very nicely done, and a fitting end to a good meal!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Boy

Ethan_playing with car

i am eleven months old today!
Mummmeee is very very busy so she says i can write this! Yippee!

i forgot what she asked me to's more fun playing with my car....bye bye!

NB: It's been a busy busy three weeks, E was away in the States for work so i had my hands full with Ethan and dealing with the household stuff, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry etc at the same time. Hopefully this blog will see more food related updates soon, now that E is back home and we can resume our weekly lunches.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ten Months Old!


I am a big boy now! I can crawl, I can stand, I can babble, I understand 40 to 50 words and simple instructions, and I can eat! Boy oh boy can I eat! Rice, cheese, strawberries, passionfruit, tomatoes, bell peppers, all disappear into my hippo mouth. But I refuse to clap or point or wave cos mummeee, i am not a performing seal. Tee hee hee!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Fruits, fruits and more fruits

Surprisingly or perhaps unsurprisingly, Ethan loves (almost) all sorts of fruits, especially those which are sour. We've been trying him out all sorts of fruits including passionfruit and strawberries (cut into chunks) and they all just disappeared into his little tummy in no time at all (complete with loud and urgent caveman grunts when he thinks we're not feeding him fast enough). What he didn't like? Papaya and persimmon, we figured that it's because these are purely sweet tasting and therefore very boring to the little epicurean.


Pretending to be a hippo.


I may look innocent, but I just ate up all those passionfruit seeds. No mercy shown.

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Joo Joo, Joo Chiat Road

JooJoo Collage

Joo Joo, one of the new concept restaurants by the founders of Awfully Chocolate (the others being Everything with Fries and Mooshi Bakes), looked promising but turned out disappointing. We had mediocre kushiyaki (about SGD36 for a set for two persons) - there was hardly any grilled aroma, heavy on the salt, the grilling / dipping sauces seemed to have come out of bottles, and the chicken skin was served in the form of deep fried cracklings instead of the grilled crisps I had been eagerly anticipating. The garlic fried rice was also not aromatic at all, tasting instead like it had been mixed with soya sauce and cooked in a rice cooker.
Well, at the least it was a (super) filling lunch. And Ethan had a good time people watching, la-di-dah.


131 East Coast Road

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chiang Mai highlights

Our trip to Chiang Mai went really well, although it was very tiring, as travelling with tiny kids always is. Ethan was tremendously well behaved on the flights and captivated by the planes on the runways, and especially enjoyed the Chiang Mai zoo and aquarium, although he was bored stiff by the sleepy sleepy pandas.


The tiger feeding the jaguar

Dusit Chiang Mai

Never too tired to crawl on the bed, even if the parents are knackered

Dusit D2 hotel, right on the steps of the Chiang Mai night bazaar was in a really ideal location for us, as it meant that we could take turns going out at night for a quick browse and even cheap massages after Ethan had fallen asleep (although as it turned out, I only managed to sneak out for a half hour massage and half hour quick stroll at the market on our third night in Chiang Mai). The hotel itself, although nicely kitted out in a modern style and with excellent service, was not what we typically would have chosen - since our preference runs to more unique boutique-style hotels rather than the rather characterless big chains - but well some adjustments are part and parcel of travelling with kids.

Just Khao Soy

Food was good and cheap too, like the khao soi (a tangy curry-based noodle dish popular in Myanmar and Northern Thailand) that we had from Just Khao Soy. While there are undoubtedly cheaper and more authentic versions to be had on the street, this place scored for its cleanliness and quiet environment.

Riverside_Chiang Mai Sausage

The Riverside restaurant, where we had dinner on another night, was excellent and very affordable. My favourite was the charcoal grilled Chiang Mai sausage (yeah, mystery meat, i know), very aromatic with spices and with a crispy crackling skin.


Chiang Mai was a good holiday and break from the everyday tedium and routine, even if it meant many hours of lost sleep (Ethan couldn't sleep at night, to the extent that I clocked less than 2 hours sleep on one night, carrying and rocking him to sleep every one or two hours). Thankfully (oh thank heavens!!) he has by now adjusted back to his usual sleeping schedule from 7 pm to 7 am, and falling asleep by himself without any carrying or petting (double thanks!!).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back from Chiang Mai

I played and played in Chiang Mai....
mummmee and daddeee bought me a lot of toys....
I'm exhausted now....

Ethan_Sleeping with Toys

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Off to Chiang Mai

We're off to Chiang Mai for a short vacation today. Hope Ethan will be well behaved, especially on the plane and at bedtime.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Love of My Life

Ethan and Mummy 2

The past nine months have just flown by in the twinkling of an eye, in your daily smiles, chuckles, and milestones. Very very soon, all too soon, you will be one year old, then two, then three, then five, and then all grown up. Happy 9 months birthday, my precious boy!

Food note: new foods that Ethan has sampled this month: kiwi, nectarine, lychee, soya beancurd aka tau hway (he loves this), beetroot, bread, pasta, cod, salmon, scallops, fresh button mushrooms, raisins.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sandaime Bunji, Millenia Walk

Sandaime Bunji

This newish restaurant over at Millenia Walk specialises in gyutan (ox tongue) and oden (japanese fish cake). Despite the heavy presence of Japanese families, the food wasn't really anything to get excited about.

Sandaime Bunji_Gyutan

Gyutan-don set (SGD19.90) - the set also included one piece of oden, chawanmushi, sashimi and a whole bunch of other stuff. This was really filling but I concluded that I didn't like the taste nor the texture of gyutan - imagine standard beef flavour *100 in a quivery spongy form - and got a little queasy when eating it.

Sandaime Bunji_umen

E's U-men set (SGD18.90) was equally filling and the noodles were much more to my taste, cooked in a light dashi broth. Even then, this was nothing to write home about. An interesting experience, but not one that we'll be in a hurry to repeat.

Sandaime Bunji
#01-14/15 Millenia Walk (facing Conrad Hotel)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Getting A Haircut

Ethan_Cut Hair 1

happiness! my first professional haircut in a salon!
mummee always makes me look like a girl.
and daddeee doesn't know how to cut hair properly.

Ethan_Cut Hair 2

Auntie, why are you waving that black thing in my face? Can I eat it?

Ethan_Cut Hair 3
hmmm this has gone on long enough. i think i will get out of this car now...

Ethan_Cut Hair 4
mummee, i don't like this! wahhhhhh!


This is not so bad afterall!

(but mummmee says, she prefers my previous hairstyle.

I say, what do girls know? we boys must look manly. )

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saveur - french food in a coffeeshop

It was a most unexpected and welcome surprise to discover French food of this quality and pricing in a rather dingy and run-down coffeeshop. Run by two earnest young chefs, Saveur's offerings were served in white chinaware, with proper cutlery (safico!) and plated beautifully. Most importantly, the food tasted good.


Angel hair pasta with konbu and dried ebi (SGD4). A delicate-tasting dish, the angel hair pasta had been sufficiently infused with the umami flavour of the konbu stock.


Chicken roulade stuffed with foie gras, served on basmati rice (SGD8.90). Frankly, there was hardly any foie gras in the roll and what little there was, was not rich or creamy enough for my taste. But I'm not complaining at this price! The chicken meat was tender and moist (due to the sous vide treatment) and the seasoning was done perfectly, although unfortunately the skin was not crispy. The rice was not too memorable, and in my personal opinion a dash of paprika would have done wonders to lift the entire dish.


The duck confit, at an unbelievable price of SGD8.90, was not bad - the meat was pretty moist and not over salted. But as with the chicken roulade, this suffered from a lack of crisping. Kudos to the pommes puree though, according to E, this was made from real potatoes and not that nasty reconstituted mash. However, I thought it was a little too heavy on the cream.

All in all, some rough edges, but a raw gem nonetheless. Make your way down before the hordes descend (in fact they already have! We went for an early lunch at 12 noon and only had to wait about 10 minuites).

Ali Baba Eating House, Stall no. 3
125 East Coast Road (Junction of Joo Chiat Road and East Coast Road)

Thursday, July 14, 2011



Dusting off the recipe books that had not been used for months, I made this reliable tiramisu dessert for an evening poolside party hosted by S and D. Easy-peasy and a real treat. Even if it was a lot less boozy and coffee-laced than I would have liked (ran out of kahlua).

Whipping cream: 300ml
Icing sugar: 60g
Mascarpone cheese: 250g
Sponge ladyfinger biscuits: approximately 12
Strong expresso coffee: (approximately 1 cup)
Brandy / Tia Maria (I used kahlua)
Cocoa powder for dusting

Mix the mascarpone cheese and sugar together well. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks; be very careful not to overwhisk (which leads to curdling and separation). Add the whisked cream to mascarpone cheese/icing sugar mixture. Dip the ladyfingers into the coffee + alcohol mixture and arrange in a container, alternating with the cream/mascarpone cheese/icing sugar mixture. Chill in fridge. Dust with cocoa powder just before serving.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Puff Time

This is fun! More puffs, mummeee!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Toast to fab cupcakes

Toast is a hidden gem that I was just recently introduced to by my friend Lucy. Tucked away in a nook of Ngee Ann City, near the office tower lifts, this chic cafe under the Marmalade Group seemed to be a well-kept secret among the ladies who lunch. Despite not having a sweet tooth, I was bowled over by this cupcake (Limonata, SGD4.50). Just the right mix of tartness and sweetness, wonderfully crumbly and moist at the same time. Yums. Just thinking about it makes me want to drool. I was secretly kicking myself for only having eaten the sticky date pudding and not trying the cupcakes at Marmalade Pantry.

Not quite so delectable was the Masala Chicken Wrap (about SGD12, I forgot to take down the price). It wasn't bad or anything, just not special enough to take note of. I was also expecting something a little more spicy.

Toast made my day for making me feel like a lady of leisure nibbling on a (not-so-dainty) cupcake! Next time, I'm going back for the Red Velvet cupcake .... or the Strawberries and Cream....or the Nutella.... or all of these....

Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya), #02-11

Monday, July 4, 2011

Vegan Burg


We decided to go healthy this week (and alas, fine dining options were out since the little boy was tagging along with us) and check out Vegan Burg. The concept of healthy vegetarian burgers piqued our interest since that seemed to be the ultimate oxymoron.

We had the Hawaiian Pineapple (pan-grilled pineapple slice, soya patty glazed with sweet plum sauce) and the Smokey BBQ (oven-baked patty of minced mushrooms, smokey BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and alfafa, organic rye bread): $10.85 for a set including seaweed fries and a drink. Reminding me more of sandwiches rather than burgers, these creations were decent but unspectacular, with the most memorable part being the sauces. Surprisingly for an outlet trumpeting the health benefits of its meals, the seaweed fries were crispy and not shy on the salt.


I liked the casual chillax ambience and decor, and that the burgers came in cute mess-tins (army boys will probably think this is a minus point). The little boy got his own mess-tin to eat his puffs off too :-) So is the food worth going back for? Probably not, I've had better "healthy food" elsewhere. So will we go back? Yes, for the ambience and the ease of touting a baby there.

44 Jalan Eunos

N.B. As I typed out this post, I suddenly got cravings for Onaka's wonderfully tasty and healthy dishes - their dumplings, thunder tea rice, salads, in fact just about everything, are simply delicious! Hmm, a visit back to my old workplace is in order.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rose Veranda, Shangri-La Singapore (Pictorial)

A leisurely and laid back high tea at the Rose Veranda. A rare indulgence and treat for the time-starved mummy, to pretend to be a tai tai when in reality one is a slave.

Rose Veranda_1

Rose Veranda_2

Rose Veranda_3

Rose Veranda_sleepycat

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Eight Month Old Baby Eats

Ethan_Car Waverider

Ethan is 8 months old today, and an absolute delight and joy to be around.

He loves his solids (although he is still not keen on milk), and I try my best to vary each of his three daily meals from day to day, so that he gets as much nutrients as possible from a wide variety of foods, powerpacked into that little stomach of his. So far, Ethan has eaten quite a large variety of foods and fruits:
Apples, pears, peaches, apricots, prunes, blueberries, grapes, mango, papaya, cherries, bananas, avocadoes, sweet potato, yam, pumpkin, quinoa, wholegrain rice, oats, barley, wheat biscuits, peas, spinach and other green leafy vegetables, wolfberries, fish (mainly local species e.g. threadfin, pomfret, seabass), pork, beef, chicken, egg yolks, black beans.

I plan to introduce him to cheese, kiwis, lentils, beans, fresh scallops, and the coldwater fish varieties (cod, salmon, sardines) soon, as well as re-introduce carrots, tofu and yogurt, which he had tried earlier but didn't like very much. He's also very much into texture nowadays, and is able to gum and swallow small bits of food, which means that I don't have to finely mash or sieve his food anymore.

Happy 8 months birthday, my little gourmand! May you grow up to have a healthy love and respect for good, wholesome food.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


The hubby looked at me askance when I suggested going to Hippopotamus for lunch one weekend: "What, eat game meat?!?" Not quite! Hippopotamus, a chain restaurant from France, specialises in steaks, and in fact I had eaten there twice on my visits to Paris, with favourable impressions.


Our starter of beef carpaccio (part of a set at SGD19.50), drizzled with olive oil, served with a sprinkling of capers and basil leaves. A refreshing start to the meal, even if raw beef doesn't have any particular taste. Hippopotamus serves up more esoteric and hard to find (in Singapore) fare like bone marrow and beef tartare too, which I did not spot until we were midway through our mains. Definitely ordering the bone marrow (memories of a particularly pleasingly feral marrow abound) on our next visit!

Hippo_Main 2

The Hippo Classic Burger (the other part of the SGD19.50 set), was pretty decent too. A generous slab of minced beef patty, juicy and not overcooked, with minimal garnishings and sauces. I spread my choice of sauce (roquefort! I love smelly cheese!) on the patty and chomped down.

Hippo_Main 1

Our other main of beef skewer (SGD 21.50), with a spread of different cuts: sirloin, rump steak, skirt, and hangar steak. This was fairly good, although of course in a different league from Morton's. I liked the choice of sauces and side dishes (you get a choice of 3 sides for each main, including ratatouille and potato gratin), and we were pleasantly surprised that the green beans were actually french haricot verts.
A very value-for-money mid-range steak restaurant, and definitely trumps the experience at Aston's.
Hippopotamus Restaurant Grill
#01-204/205 Marina Square