Monday, February 25, 2008

Daddy's Girl...

Sorry for the blurry pic - my hands were shaking.... it was an emotional moment ;op

Claudia looking clean and poofy after her bath - daddy bathed and groomed her for the first time....

One more thing to love about Barry.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chicken Drummet Salad

We had lots of leftovers of wings from Valentine's Day. To make it less unhealthy, I piled some drummets onto a bed of baby romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber and peppers salad (drizzled with a mix of white wine vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard).

Wings are easy to make : See recipe of my chicken wings here. This time, however, I added chopped cilipadi from my colleagues and then BBQed them drummets to obtain the slightly charred look.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Singapore - February 2008 - Les Amis once more....

Les Amis

In January, I wrote about my experience at Les Amis for lunch. This time around, I had the opportunity to dine at Les Amis for dinner. (We were supposed to go to St. Pierre but it was closed for CNY - I nearly kicked myself for not thinking of Les Amis at Botanic Garden).

Oh yeah, so much about being "proper" and not taking pictures - I did take this time, discreetly and without flash when possible.

Sorry, no SGD58 (3-course) nor SGD68 (4-course) set meals for dinner - only the SGD165 set is available. Anyway, as I am not really a fan of set meals )unless the items are those I really adore or if it's simply real good-value-for-money), I opted for ala carte.

Amuse bouche of cod brandade with mashed potatoes on very thin toasts - brandade can be really salty but not this one. It's light and well-presented.
How could I not order foie gras? Well, they DID run out of Alaskan crab legs...Foie gras with apples (no fig, I guess)... SGD60
Wagyu striploin with haricot verts and fries; a side of mixeds greens was also provided. SGD120
Pear and chocolate sorbet (SGD15/scoop)
Specially requested mini molten chocolate cake - was great of them to oblige but as the cakes were small, they were dry as well - comes with a scoop of raspberry sorbet - I can't remember how much.
Complimentary petite fours - the pate de fruit, macarons, canele and chocolates - if you love chocolates, pick from their tray to your heart's content. I chose black sesame and hazelnut.

In conclusion, lunch at Les Amis was better than their dinner.

Mezza9, Grand Hyatt

I wrote about the lobster noodles from Mezza9, Grand Hyatt Singapore some time back - here is the picture, finally! We asked them to shell the lobsters this time.

We had to ask for more gravy to "soak" the crispy noodles. Though not the best lobster noodles, it's not bad at all. I had this for lunch before dinner at Les Amis.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

It has been nearly 5 months since Barry and I got engaged! 5 months! And we managed to finalise the date and venue of our wedding.

Now, we have just realised our post-engagement honeymoon is over and I am actually feeling a little bit frantic about the things to do! Invitations, dress for me and bridesmaid, decor, bouquets, PHOTOGRAPHERS, make-up, hair, food, drinks, tea set, accommodation for out-of-towners and the list goes on and on..... Goodness! Time really flies when I don't want it to!

Anyway, am happy to say I have done a few things like scouting for dress and make-up/hair person, made appointments to meet photographers and wedding dress designers.... will see the invites people also.... I felt a bit better after making a few appointments....

We spent our first Valentine's Day after our engagement at home with yummylicious cooked-with-love food and a bottle of bubbly.

We had spicy scallops in half-shells as starter (goes really well with champagne!), BBQed black pepper steak and mango salad. We actually prepared some yams and wings but were too stuffed after the steak.

Lovely May gave a dozen of fresh scallops at the office just for Valentine's Day - bless her! And my colleague gave cilipadi grown by her mom-in-law on the same day. I think we were destined to have great food. And I am so thankful to have awesome, awesome people around.

I chopped up garlic and the cilipadi. Place them on scallops with a drizzle of Maggi Seasoning and sesame oil. Steamed them for 5 mins till opaque and voila! 6 delicious scallops each for Barry and me.

Barry couldn't wait to call me his wife, so he got me a VD card for a wifey. Hehe! Me? I made a card for him this year. Made-with-love by Karen. The lovely box is my VD gift from Barry - a super comfy yoga top and pants. Thanks, B!
My flowers (top of blog) for him was delivered to his clinic the next day as the delivery truck broke down.....
Still, we had a great evening at home with puppy (she got a plate of chunky beef VD dinner) and there is nowhere else I would rather be....
Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Japan - January 2008 - French Restaurant Le Trianon, Grand Prince Hotel, Akasaka

We stayed at Grand Prince Akasaka this time while in Tokyo since it was recommended by our new Japanese colleague (mainly due to its close proximity to the office).

I loved the traditional Japanese breakfast of rice gruel with pickles, teriyaki fish, umeboshi, salted fish roe, miso soup etc... I had this every morning alone at the Kioi restaurant (tucked in the basement) while my two Caucasian colleagues preferred Western breakfast at Blue Gardenia located on the topmost floor of the hotel (stunning view, I must admit).

One night, we decided to go French for dinner at the hotel's French restaurant, Le Trianon.

The Frommer's site says : Never out of fashion is the hotel's signature restaurant, Le Trianon, housed in a stately 80-year-old mansion that once belonged to the Imperial family.

The menu was 100% in French (either they could tell immediately if guests can read French or all menus are in French at the resto); I don't know...

Amuse bouche of smoked salmon and coquilles st jacques
My foie gras with poached apple **Happy, happy me**

Colleagues' starter of scallops
My lobster with asparagus... (I asked for half-portion to leave room for dessert) Love, love, love lobsters! Lobster and foie gras - lethal combination to choke my arteries.
Colleague's wagyu beef cheek - apparently it was good... it looked GREAT too! Desert - raspberry tart with meringue
Sorbet (with sugar works)
My molten chocolate cake... had many better ones.. am a chocolate moelleux snob...

The appetisers fared better overall. Not good with dessert. Price : not cheap.... JPY20,000 nd up for 3-course meal without alcohol. We had Moet & Chandon and a bottle of red.

Oreo Cheesecake

I made a cheesecake at the request of Sunny for our post-CNY BBQ dinner - instead of those plain or lemon cheesecakes I used to make, I made an Oreo one for a change this time.

Recipe :

3 packs of 150gms of Oreo chocolate and cookies (1 1/2 packs finely crushed in food processor; which is about 20 cookies)
1/4 cup melted butter
2/3 can of sweetened condensed milk (of 505 gms can) - already very much reduced sweetness
500 gms Philadelphia cream cheese
3 eggs (as those I had were not so large)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method :

1. Preheat oven to 325 deg C

2. Mix crushed cookies with melted butter. Press evenly onto a a 9" springform pan.

3. Cream the cheese till fluffy; add in condensed milk and beat well.

4. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract and lemon juice till well incorporated.

5. Break remaining cookies into quarters or chopped coarsely and mix in.

6. You can place some mini Oreos on top of cake if like (I didn't have mini ones, so, used the large ones instead which made cutting the cake after a bit difficult).

7. Pour mixture onto the springform pan and bake for 50 to 60 mins at 325 deg C. Centre still wobbly but springs back when touched. Run knife or cake tester along the side to loosen cake - toreduce risk of cake cracking in the middle.

8. Let cool before placing in fridge for at least 4 hours to chill. Best is to chill overnight.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

This year, we had our first ever reunion dinner at a restaurant. For the past years, we have had it at home - mom single-handedly cooked for about 25 people year in, year out.After our customary yee sang/yu sheng, this is what we had for appetiser. I went around taking pics of the kids in the family; hence, only 1 food pic. We had sharksfin soup, sang har meen (fresh prawn noodles), chicken cooked 2-style (poached with ginger-garlic chilli sauce and fried with sweet and sour sauce), steamed white pomfret, veggie, dessert of longan soup and pandan glutinous rice balls with lotus paste.

The 2 biggest kids at the dinner..... still eligible to collect angpows (red packets) but not for long..... Haha!


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Japan Airlines - Inflight Food

Kuala Lumpur - Narita, Japan
Two Thumbs Up for food onboard JAL! Great presentation and taste.

Japanese rice crackers and fermentd soya bean at take off at both flights - served with drinks of your choice - I had a champagne.

Starter - did I say I loveeee conger eels? My Japanese breakfast.... loved the porridge and salted grilled cod roe and the umeboshi (sour plum)... I can be very Asian most times... ha!

Kansai Airport, Japan - Kuala Lumpur

Little eats to go with aperitifProbably the only thing I didn't like - herring roe (the yellow thingy at the foreground - must be bad memories of herring when I was in Copenhagen).Puffer fish - I wasn't sure if it was the slaughter-with-care-or-you-will-be-dead fish; I ate one piece with caution and though it was nice, I could not bear to eat it all. Pretty dessert - also, there was vanilla ice-cream and fresh fruits (which I had). Soooo delicate!

Service was stellar! The only thing I wished would change was the seats - currently, they are not those that recline 180 deg. And no English women's mags though the Japanese ones are a nice change...

Oh, the Tiffany & Co. stuffs available for sale onboard made me part with some moolah :o(