Thursday, April 19

Poke Doke, Millenia Walk


Over the past one year, it just felt like organisms in our brains decided poke is cool and literally a wave of poke stores descended upon our shoes.

We visited because a friend had the Entertainer app, which gave you a 1-for-1. We both had a medium and I chose spicy salmon, original salmon and 5 other toppings atop brown rice. To be honest, there isn't a lot of differentiation when it comes to the menu. Choose a size (Small, Medium or Large) that determines how many toppings you get, choose your poke and add-ons... BOOM, grab your order and tuck in.

My pet peeve for Poke Doke is the use of plastic containers - for in-store dining. Is it that difficult to wash #x numbers of bowls (walk-in traffic is not that high) or use biodegradable serve ware?

In fairness, it made for a light and pleasant meal - perhaps, too light as I found myself reaching for snacks within a couple of hours later. This is not the first time this has happened to me and I don't consider myself a huge eater. Is it me or does Poke not do it for you either?

Wednesday, April 11

April DOTM: Counterfeit Duck Confit





When it comes to choosing new Dish of the Month (DOTM) recipes, my train of thought would always leans towards "What would I love to order at a restaurant?"

Out of the all the protein, one that I have not tried is duck so like an inquisitive greedy little fellow, I went on a hunt for duck confit.

There are a few ways to make duck confit and most of which sound incredibly time-consuming and I don't have the patience for. I came across this David Lebovitz recipe ... It was love at first sight thanks to the lack of length and fussiness, and they say, the rest is history. In fairness, it's not the most authentic of recipes. I used extra virgin olive oil, instead of duck fat - the idea of excess animal fat would put off my parents.  C'mon it's David Lebovitz, need I say more?

Crisp skin, moist juicy duck... Duck confit is one of those classic French dishes that I enjoy but hardly get a chance to order. Now, it feels a lot more attainable and achievable, thanks to Mr. Lebovitz.

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tablespoon allspice
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 6 duck legs with thighs
  • About 3 cups duck fat (750ml) / butter / olive oil
Method
  1. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt in the bottom of a dish or plastic container large enough to hold the duck pieces in a single layer. Evenly scatter half the garlic, shallots, and thyme in the container. Arrange the duck, skin-side up, over the salt mixture, then sprinkle with the remaining salt, garlic, shallots, and thyme and a little pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 day to cure the duck. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 225°F (100-110 deg cel). Melt the fat you are using in a small saucepan (if you are using olive oil, skip this step). Brush the salt and seasonings off the duck. Arrange the duck pieces in a single snug layer in a high-sided baking dish or ovenproof saucepan.
  3. Pour the melted fat over the duck (the duck pieces should be covered by fat) and place the confit in the oven. Cook the confit slowly at a very slow simmer — just an occasional bubble — until the duck is tender and can be easily pulled from the bone, 2-3 hours (mine took 2.5 hrs). Remove the confit from the oven. Cool and store the duck fat
  4. To brown and crisp the duck, skin side up, under a broiler 220 deg cel for about 8 minutes.

Friday, April 6

A Very Good Friday Dinner

A week ago on Good Friday, we had the parents (both sets) over for a Friday meal. It's always nice when the family comes over and these days, we derive so much more satisfaction from whipping up a good homecooked meal. The boys were in luck for after the  meal, we had lots of desserts as my mum brought over the softest strawberry shortcake from Flor and my mother-in-law brought over some glorious fruit tarts from Cedele.

Arugula salad with cured shoulder ham,
mixed nuts, herb cheese and caesar dressing 

This was such a throw together salad and it was surprisingly good! I'm super glad I picked up this pack of Serrano Paleta Spanish Cured Shoulder Ham from Cold Storage earlier in the day.

Mussels marinara with sundried tomato bread

I have never made mussels before but this mussels marinara recipe from The Comfort Kitchen looked bright and appealing. I used New Zealnd Greenshell mussels which were huge and tasty. For a person whose is usually not into tomato sauce or marinara, I thought it was really good. The sundried tomato bread was perfect for mopping up the marinara sauce.

Wagyu MB4 steak

And of course, KW's Wagyu MB4 steak was an absolute winner! I have raved about these many times on my blog and today was no exception. I honestly can't remember the last time we had steak in a restaurant as this never disappoints. 

Monday, April 2

Lerouy, Stanley Street

2018 has been weeee-lly interesting so far. We have met our fair share of serendipitous fortune (though not of the 4D lottery kind) and the events provided us with good reason to celebrate. We chose to have lunch at Lerouy as it is still relatively under the radar and not much has been written about it. I’m personally not in the know when it comes to Chef Christophe Lerouy's past stints so we were in for a surprise to say the least.

I loved how the restaurants makes the most of its narrow tight shophouse space. All diners sit around the small open kitchen and you can always pretend to be mesmerized by the chefs should conversation run dry.

Diners get only two choices per meal: Petit ($38 for a three-course lunch, $98 for a five-course dinner) and Grand ($55 for a five-course lunch, $128 for a seven-course dinner). To top it off, the dishes are mostly carte blanche, which means the chef will serve up whatever he desires and you jolly well like it. Kidding. The uncertainty of a bad meal was clearly not on the minds of many as we were there on a Thursday for lunch and the place packed when we left.

There’s jelly, foam, soil and what-not for sure but it was the pairing of ingredients and flavours that showed off the chef’s ingenuity. Sure, not all the dishes will appeal to the masses as they tend to tread the line between “Hmm, that was weird ” and “Ooo, why didn’t I think of that?” As this is carte blanche and we weren’t given any menus, I’m relying on my memory for these dishes. Peace.

Before our 5-course meal officially started, a couple of canapes made their way swiftly.

Squid Ink Crisp, Seafood Mousse, Ikura

Chips and dip in a mouthful. I kid. It was plesant in an issipid but not particularly memorable. I can't say this was a strong start to the meal.

Potato Skin, Potato Salad, Mackerel 

This upscale potato salad teased our tastebuds and while it was not OMFG, it was comforting and kind of put my uncertainty in place.

Beef Tartare, Miso Ice Cream, Ikura, Yuzu 

Thankfully, our first course was amazing! The tartare was smooth and all the elements melded to created a scrumptious starter. On hindsight, this was a really bold dish. Serving up raw beef in a sizable portion might not be everyone’s idea of a superb kick-off but this bold move paid off.  

Sourdough Bread with
Beetroot, Charcoal and Original Butter 

Shortly after the tartare, a bowl of burlap--wrapped sourdough made its way to our table. You know you are eating fancy carbs when you get three different types of butter. Frankly speaking, the beetroot and charcoal butter were pretty forgettable but the original butter - let’s just say, it got plenty of airtime with the sourdough.

The sourdough was INCREDIBLE! Warm, crusty and redolently yeasty. I only had 1.5 thick substantial pieces as it was so darn filling, and I totally regret not bringing the rest back.

Poached Oyster, Dashi, Greem Apple, Wasabi

The one dish I struggled to get on board with was the oyster. The oyster itself was perfectly executed but I just couldn’t take the silvery texture of raw oysters (though this was poached, it bore the unapologetically slimy taste of raw oysters). Oyster lovers are probably probably roll their eyes at me right now but I stand by what I ate. Don’t worry, our resident Oyster Fiend KW enjoyed this dish very much.

Cabbage, Cured Pork Cheek, Lardo, Parsley Butter

The next dish was a real surprise. If you told me I would be getting one-fifteenth of a cabbage for lunch, I might have raised my eyebrows and proceed to lower all forms of expectations. This cabbage had been torched with restraint and drizzled with a punchy parsley butter sauce that made me want to lick the plate clean. The sweetness of the cabbage sparred off well with the salty cured pork cheek.

Confit Pigeon, Pork Jus, Olives

Our main course was a real surprise. I don’t remember all the sauces and bells, but the pastry-wrapped pigeon confit was unlike anything I had ever eaten before. It was richly spice and decadent in flavour. It was like eating an Indian-spaced, French-inspired pan-fried pastry. Bizarre but somehow it worked.

 Passionfruit tart,

I can’t tell you how happy I was when these tarts arrived in front of us. First, I was beginning to hit the wall (damn you, sourdough, I thought you would be kind) and second, when I saw one of the cooks brûlée the tarts, I was filled with such anticipation as tarts are my thing. Sure it wasn’t as funky as the other dishes - but the flavours of caramelised passion fruit and white sesame went incredibly well together. Who would have thought?

 Yuzu Financiers 

Along with this dessert, we had a trio of petit fours - yuzu financier, salted caramel puff bread and cotton candy with beetroot powder. Loved the yuzu financier - those one-bite poppers didn’t live long enough to see the light of day.

Salted Caramel Puff Bread

The puff breads were incurably sweet. It was like eating condensed milk. Look, I love my condensed milk in kopi but eating on its own requires an exchange of cash my way.

Cotton Candy with Beetroot Powder

The cotton candy was really just gimmicky but fun. The beetroot powder was too mild to create any form of impact, perhaps smoked paprika would have been better.

All in all, a surprisingly interesting meal that would have you think a little harder in terms of what it’s trying to do.

Monday, March 26

Seconds at Sushiro

*Cough cough*

Yes, I went backto Sushiro the next day with the husband and boys in tow. In my defense, I'm taking a break from work, it was a Friday and we needed dinner. We were there at 5:30pm and there was a queue  - seriously, where do these people come from? Luckily we didn't wait long and in their defense, the service is pretty good (friendly and quick), given how busy they are.

We shared an upsized Bara Chirashi, Premium Unagi Don and Regular Chirashi. The Bara Chirashi was awesome and  the Premium Unagi Don was exquisite. To be honest, the meal wasn't cheap but yes, very value-for-yerrr-money. Best of all, it's close to where we live and that means more return visits.




Thursday, March 22

Sanshoku Chirashi Don, Sushiro


Marinated seafood chunks, spicy diced salmon and salmon sashimi = 
HEART HEART HEART

Friday, March 16

Soba edamame salad

Request from a reader! Here's the super easy peasy recipe for soba edamame salad. I love how light this salad feels - much lighter than pasta salads. The recipe is more of a guideline...  You like carrrots? Add more! Is edamame your thing? Double up.

Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 200g soba 
  • soy-ginger dressing (see below) 
  • ½ bag edamame, cooked
  • 1 pack spinach 
  • 1 carrot, grated or julienned
  • 1 pack 4g seaweed (or however much you like), shredded
  • 1 pack of enoki mushrooms, sautéed with soy-ginger dressing 
 Soy-ginger dressing
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce 
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil 
  • 2 tbsp water 
  • 1 tbsp white sesame seeds (roasted/toasted) 
  • ¼ tsp ginger, grated
Directions
  1. Make the soy-ginger dressing. Taste and adjust according to your preference. 
  2. Cook soba according to package instructions. 
  3. Mix it all together =)