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Monthly Archives: December 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!! :D

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Yep, he’s a New Year’s Eve baby.. so everyone celebrates his birthday *lol* Mum got him a Lana Cake. It’s an interesting story – the owner, Violet, bakes the cakes herself, and sells only from one tiny store. Yet, almost everyone in the entire country knows and loves her cakes. Thing is, apparently she’s the only one that knows the ‘secret recipe’ so who knows how long Lana Cake will be around if she doesn’t expand/franchise or pass the recipe down to her kids? Anyway, it’s one of my fave cakes. It’s very different to Western-style chocolate cakes – it’s almost salty in comparison and really moist and fudgy, yet doesn’t have that creamy ‘heavy’ feeling that Western cakes have. It’s totally divine :)~ Dad was like “I don’t want just 1 slice, I want a quarter of the cake!” but I managed to stop myself after one slice *pats self on back* I gave him a Ralph Lauren polo but it’s a size Small which is a bit tight on him, so will exchange it for a Medium instead. Fingers crossed they still have the same style! The colours look great on him :D

My aunt (mum’s sister) threw a dinner party for him, which was kinda a quasi-birthday party and also just a fun dinner party.. something we do annually. Mervyn, ‘s fiancee, cooked of course!! He didn’t disappoint :P It’s really tough cooking for around 20 people, so it’s always impressive when the chef accomplishes it and manages to serve up tender, juicy dishes. We kicked off with an assortment of Cheese and crackers, olive bread with olive oil dip, grapes and vegetable dips. My favourite was the Camembert :)~

Cheese and crackers, olive bread with olive oil dip, grapes and vegetable dips

Assorted wines

The actual meal was buffet-style, and very Atkins Diet-like, with no carbs in sight ;) The only alleviation from the meat & seafood was some Salad greens with Balsamic, which turned out to be really tasty. I think Balsamic Vinegar is my favourite salad dressing now.

Salad greens with Balsamic vinegar

The various meat and seafood dishes were simply fantastic. Sometimes, I wonder why we go to restaurants when Mervyn cooks the food just as well, if not better! The assorted dishes:

Massive chunks of pork

The pork was sooo fatty but the taste & flavour was
subtle yet packed with flavour. Divine.

Always a fave of mine, the lamb chops were super tender. My favourite of the night!

Lovely homemade sauces

The fish was delicate and sooo moist

Tender beef ribs that just melted in my mouth

The rich flavour of this was to-die-for.. and I’m not even a fan of yabbies normally!

This was only okay, I’m not adventurous enough ;)

The spread!

My plate, with a Hoegaarden beer. Didn’t take a pic of my 2nd helping
because it was exactly the same as the first :P But the 3rd helping was
just 1 more lamb chop and 2 more slices of pork, was too full for more!

I normally don’t eat apples, but I polished this all off (with vanilla ice cream)

Assorted fruit, but didn’t have any. Bleh!

Booyah!!

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Posted by on 31 December 2006 (Sun) in Food, Living in... Singapore, Uncategorized

 

PINES COUNTRY CLUB


Pine Garden
The Pines Country Club
Singapore
$$$$-

10 of us headed off to Pine Garden at my aunt/uncle’s country club after Church for lunch. It was Yum Cha style, with lots of dishes in the middle of the big table, for all to share. We ordered a bit of a feast, with multiples of multiple dishes, haha! But it was good and we left totally stuffed :)~

Pine Garden Restaurant
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BBQ Char Siew Soh – BBQ pork in flaky pastry crust

Congee

Deep Fried Prawn pastry

Pork and Veg dumplings

Prawn dumplings

Singaporeans call this “carrot cake” but it’s actually made of
radish and has no carrot in it! Go figure.

Xiao Long Bao – hurray!!!

Siew Mai dumplings

Close up of dumpling-goodness

Cheong Fan with BBQ pork

Cheong Fan with prawns

Char Siew buns

Steamed pork ribs

E-Fu noodles

Mango Pudding

Sago with Mango

Mango crepe with coconut shavings

Everyone!

With the cutie baby

Family pic

 
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Posted by on 31 December 2006 (Sun) in Food, Living in... Singapore, Uncategorized

 

DINNER @ AUNT’S PLACE

After that Les Amis luncheon yesterday, I announced loudly, “I’m not gonna eat anything for dinner tonight”. Little did I know that just mere hours later, I would be eating my words.

My aunt (dad’s sister) called at around 5pm.. I heard snippets of the conversation before Dad said over the phone, “Oh no thanks, we’re busy, going out tonight”. After he hung up, I barraged him with questions: who called? What dinner? Who’s cooking? When? Turns out that my uncle was cooking and I love his food.. so I promptly called back and RSVP’d a “YES PLEASE!!! We’ll be there” ;)

After eagerly asking my aunt what was being served, I found out it was “just some salmon and roast beef, for around 6 of us” A nice, simple dinner.. I thought. Which is practically “not eating anything”, right? Wrong!

When we arrived, we were shocked at the number of shoes strewn outside her front door. I’m not talking a few extra pairs.. but like 20-25 extra pairs. Confused, we walked in and were overwhelmed by a party-load of people, with a dinner party going on in full swing! Turns out my aunt ended up inviting a LOT more people than originally intended.. so it turned out to be a big party with tons of food instead, *lol*

My aunt’s pretty kitchen
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Asian “chin chow” drink

Prawn and mango cocktail with passionfruit sauce

Fishballs, cocktail sausage and cucumber

Potato and egg salad with shallots and bacon

Roast beef tenderloin

Herbal chicken – OMG this was my favourite

Salmon Wellington and pasta

Roast lamb

Shepherds Pie

Fresh canteloupe juice

Japanese donuts (we brought these)

Homemade orange chiffon cake

Haagen Daaz “berries & cream” ice cream with fresh berries

D24 durians – so stinky I certainly didn’t have any *yuck*

My uncle’s super-cute Maltese.. eee!!

 
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Posted by on 30 December 2006 (Sat) in Food, Living in... Singapore, Uncategorized

 

LES AMIS


Les Amis
1 Scotts Road
Singapore
$$$$$$

Les Amis
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The bar where we waited before being seated

Les Amis is Singapore’s most famous French restaurant, where you can apparently “Mingle with Singaporean tycoons and celebrities at the island’s finest French restaurant.” We are neither, but that certainly didn’t stop us ;) Helmed by Chef Gunther Hubrechsen, it has minimalist decor and famed for it’s French cuisine. It was my restaurant of choice for Mum’s birthday present and Dad’s quasi birthday present. And not to sound like a stingy bastard or anything, but it honestly had the most expensive menu I’ve ever seen. Such as $60 for an EGG!! Okay, granted it came with truffles, but still mind-boggling. But I figure since we don’t get together much for a nice meal, once or twice a year of all-out dining can’t go wrong :) They’re also the only Singaporean restaurant to win a prestigious Wine award (which I’ve forgotten, haha).. but only Dad got a glass of wine (which was $27, good grief!), whilst Mum and I opted for a Cranberry juice and Carrot juice respectively.

Carrot juice and Cranberry juice

The service was, of course, super. Insanely attentive and prompt, and also really discrete. Beautiful, understated decor but a bit hoity-toity so it was hard having to speak quietly ;) Anyway, we kicked off with the Amuse Bouche of Profiteroles. I didn’t catch what the filling was, but it was a savoury cream, which was a bit bizzare! The pastry was buttery and lovely, served at room temperature. Also had some Walnut bread – I am NOT a bread fan but went through half a slice, which really speaks to the fact that it was really good ;)

Walnut bread, served warm

Amuse Bouche of Profiteroles

For the Appetizer, I opted for Roasted Portobello Mushroom, egg sunny side-up with Italian pancetta. It was filling and almost ‘meaty’ in texture – the mushroom was moist and full of rich flavour, and the egg was so creamy! The waiter had previously gone on and on about their special eggs – with added calcium and imported from France (!) and such.. I was a bit amused, I mean, an egg is an egg, right? But I have to admit the creamy texture of this ‘special’ egg really was divine. Mum and Dad each had the Beaune style escargot which was basically snails in a creamy white wine sauce. They were really generous with the snails, and the rich gravy was so delicious. I stole a few snails off mum :)

Roasted Portobello Mushroom, egg sunny side-up with Italian pancetta

Beaune style escargot

Mains was Pan-Roasted Duck Breast, Braised Endives and Potato Mash. It came larger than I’d expected, so it turned out to be quite a meaty and filling main! I thought the duck could’ve been more tender, it had the texture of pork whereas I was expecting something more along the line of a melty shank-type meat. The Endives weren’t terribly interesting (because veggies never are) but I ate it nevertheless. The Pan-Fried Seabream, Bouillabaisse style that Mum had was lovely – the fish was super moist and smooth and the sauce not too overpowering. Dad’s was the Angel Hair Pasta with Lobster, Crab and Mushrooms. A super choice because the dish was blimmin’ awesome – there was no masses of cream/sauce to take away from the delicate flavour of the seafood. Instead, it was a very light olive/truffile(?) oil that was tossed through the pasta, heaped with fresh lobster and crab meat. Delicious! According to Dad, “They should give double the portion!”.

Pan-Roasted Duck Breast, Braised Endives and Potato Mash

Pan-Fried Seabream, Bouillabaisse style

Angel Hair Pasta with Lobster, Crab and Mushrooms

Solemnly tucking into my main

Dessert was Assorted French Farm Cheese, which caught my eye because I’m a fan of cheese – even the smelly kind ;) Surprisingly, 2 out of the 3 cheese were REALLY smelly! Much to Mum and Dad’s distaste, I think :P They were really whiffy and strong, haha. And the 2 soft cheeses came with a hefty 45% fat content, yikes! I did like the hard cheese best – it was almost sweet compared to the other 2 and really mild on the palette. They were great paired with warm crusty bread. The Homemade Champagne Sorbet was delicious too – chilled and a great palette cleanser.. with a really distinct taste/smell of champagne. A great way to end the meal.

Assorted French Farm Cheese

Homemade Champagne Sorbet

When I made the reservation, I mentioned it was also for Dad’s birthday.. and they gave him a surprise Birthday mousse cake for dessert, on the house! So delightful :) It was a fluffy sponge cake encasing a delicious chilled mousse and dusted with cocoa powder, and topped with a sheet of chocolate and berries. We each had a small slice and even though I normally don’t like mousse/cakes, I polished this one off pronto ;)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY dad!

Birthday mousse cake

Looking grumpy again

We were served Italian coffees and Madeleines to finish off the meal. The coffee was rich and had a fantastic aftertaste, it didn’t even need that much sugar. I wish they’d given more Madeleines though, as they were so moist and yum, one per person just wasn’t enough ;)

Italian coffees

Madeleines

Our family!

Was stuffed afterwards.. but it was a really special meal. It was awesome to be able to take Mum and Dad there! The only silly thing was that I didn’t realise (or rather, forgot) that Singapore has this 10% service charge that’s auto-added to your bill, so you’re essentially ‘forced’ to give a tip. Well, silly me put ANOTHER tip on the bill.. so I ended up giving like a $45 tip in the end. YIKES!! When Dad pointed it out I’d already written it down, so I couldn’t exactly go back and scribble it out ;) No prizes for guessing why they were soooooooooooo nice to us on our way out :P Oh well, I figure it’s like I ended up paying for Dad’s birthday cake anyhow, so it’s not too bad. But we had a great time, and I’ve decided that I’m definitely bringing them to a super-nice meal more often. Next up will be Icebergs @ Bondi when they’re next in Australia!

 
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Posted by on 30 December 2006 (Sat) in Food, Living in... Singapore, Uncategorized

 

LEE KUI (AH HOI) CRAB RESTAURANT


Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant
Mosque Street
Singapore
$$$–

A family friend took us out for dinner, so 9 of us went to Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant. Okay, according to my cousin who was also there, “Lee Kui” is the owner’s name, and “Ah Hoi” means “crab” or something. Anyway, it’s a Teochew restaurant and I’m Teochew, so I was eager to check out the food. It was blimmin’ PACKED in there! Eating what else but crab ;)

Lee Kui (Ah Hoi) Restaurant
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Cold Crab

The crab was really tough to eat, wish they de-shelled them ;)

Deep Fried appetiser – a heart attack in the making

Braised Goose – this was so lovely and tender!

Sambal KangKong – insanely spicy, but yum

Oyster Omelette – my favourite. Juicy little morsels of oysters atop fluffy egg

Intestines – ummm.. way weird. Did not have any of this.

Seafood Noodles – this was SUPER good! So tasty :)~

Or Nee (yam paste) – typical Teochew dessert. Yum

Or Nee served into little bowls

Me and my cousin

 
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Posted by on 29 December 2006 (Fri) in Food, Living in... Singapore, Uncategorized

 

POST-CHRISTMAS SALES (PART 2)

Hit the post-Christmas sales.. again! This time it was the Isetan private sale that started today. We weren’t there for long, maybe about 2 hours. Bought another load of stuff which included this below:

Ralph Lauren cable knit
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Chiffon dress

The Ralph Lauren cable knit will be lovely for the office or on weekends, just worn with a pair of jeans. It looks blah in the pic, but is lovely and fitted when it’s worn. It’s really cosy and I got the only XS available. Hurray!! And since it was bright red, people weren’t interested in it, except me ;) The white chiffon dress was just a simple one – it doesn’t look terribly exciting in the photo but is really nice on – really fitted at the waist and has a girly and swishy skirt. Love it :) Got a bunch of other stuff…. too lazy to take pics of the rest!

We also celebrated my young cousin’s 15th birthday the other day – a family-style BBQ and homecooked food. My favourite was the Oxtail Stew.. super tender and the tomato gravy was slightly spicy. Mmm!

Dad playing the piano

BBQ food

Beef Goulash, Oxtail Stew.. and other bits and bobs!

 
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Posted by on 28 December 2006 (Thu) in Food, Living in... Singapore, Shopping, Uncategorized

 

CHRISTMAS EVE DINNER 2006

A bit backdated, but Christmas eve dinner was at my aunt’s (Dad’s sister) place – it’s a tradition every year. They live in a big, gorgeous house.. decorated country-style. And they own just about everything under the sun :P It’s always great eating there, because all the food is home-cooked and comes in mega portions, You’ll never ever ever leave hungry!

Prawn, scallop, crab and dried/fresh fruit appetizer
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Chinese-style soup (a bit random!)

Beef Wellington – OMG this was so amazing, I had fourths. Haha!!

Mega ham. Went so well with the homemade apple sauce

The mains: Beef Wellington, Cod Fish, Ham, Salad, Pasta, Pumpkin

We each ate a bowl chock-full of Birds Nest.

Chopped fruit

Mud cake

Cupcakes!

My ‘lil cousins playing as Mary and Joseph – complete with dinosaur
(but wrong era, dudes!) Haha!

 
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Posted by on 28 December 2006 (Thu) in Christmas, Food, Living in... Singapore, Uncategorized