Monday, December 13, 2010

12 Dec 2010 - Salad Sunday

She went to do her hair and was expected to be gone for hours. What did that mean?

Got up around noon and had chicken soup before watching streaming videos, going on a marathon. Felt hungry again at around 3pm, and had a craving for instant noodles. One packet wouldn't be filling enough, so he rummaged through the fridge and found some leftovers. Some lettuce leaves, one slice of cheese, near empty mayonnaise bottle.

Soaked the lettuce while he slurped up the peppery noodles. Gave then lettuce a final rinse before shredding them. Added a teaspoon of olive oil, a teaspoon blob of mayonnaise, sprinkle of black pepper, and shredded some cheese to top it up.

There you go, the movie snack. Leafy vegetables help cool down a little on a hot day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

17 Nov 2010 - home-made oyster vermicelli

Just yesterday, they visited the supermarket. Some of the ingredients were gotten so that they could satiate cravings for oyster vermicelli (mee sua).

What they bought:
1x pack of vermicelli $1.10
1x pack of frozen oysters $4
1x pepper corn grinder $7.08
2x packs of cheese sausages $7.95
1x pack of parsley $0.85

Woke up really late today, so oyster mee sua was to be late brunch. Preparations as below, they used 2 pots of water, 1 for mee sua and another for blanching the oysters. Please note that this tastes nothing like the Taiwanese version which many of us love, it's just homemade and good enough for them.

For the mee sua pot:
1. Put to boil 3 bowls of water in the pot
2. Add 2x chicken stock cubes into the pot, 1x tablespoon premium dark soy sauce and 1x tablespoon standard dark soy sauce into the pot
3. Put mee sua into the pot when water starts boiling again
4. Add corn starch as needed to thicken the broth
(on hindsight, they probably should have tried adding a little Chinese culinary wine too)

For the oysters
1. Defrost and rinse (some of them burst easily, sad)
2. Drain and pat with corn starch
3. Blanch oysters in batches in the other pot of boiling water using a colander ladle (to protect oysters from strong bubbling)
4. Remove and put in a serving bowl to cool

To serve, heap vermicelli into a bowl, then add oysters at the top. Garnish with condiments of your choice. For them, one teaspoon of vinegar adds some zest, another teaspoon of sesame seed oil for aroma, and decorating with a sprig of parsley completes the picture with a certain sense of freshness.

His setting of the bowl for her

Her setting of the bowl for him

Sounds all beautiful, right? In between, they had actually microwaved a remaining potato to make cheese potato. Put the new grinder toy to work, and sprinkled the peppercorns onto the melted cheese. She added a sprig of parsley just for the picture.

They also had a pack of 5 cheese sausages microwaved, but it had all been gobbled up way before they even remembered the camera.

Monday, November 15, 2010

14 Nov 2010 - Yuki Yaki

He saw Citibank 1 for 1 Sunday dinner buffet at Indulge at Grand Park, Grand Park Hotel City Hall. Nothing's free in this world, better check if the deal's still on. He tried calling the listed numbers restaurant reservation, hotel reception, and none of his calls were picked up. Adopted an apprehensive approach and reached the restaurant at 4+pm, where the reservations counter was manned by one lady. They stood in front of her while she was very busy answering 2 telephones that kept ringing, jotting down room service details, etc.

Tired of standing, he approached the hotel reception for help, which couldn't help out in any way. After what seemed like eternity, the desk phone finally stopped ringing and the tired restaurant reservations lady asked what they wanted. He then asked to reserve seating for 2, and she immediately informed them that the Citibank promo quota had been reached. It sounded very nonsensical to him at that moment, and he decided so have dinner elsewhere instead.

Grand Park Hotel City Hall lobby, the only thing we got out of the trip there.

It was a rainy day, and she was unhappy that she didn't get to have her international buffet. Perhaps they should have just continued with the plan. In any case, it was still 1.5 hours to dinner, so he decided for them to try something more novel.

Got over to Marina Square and checked themselves into Yuki Yaki. It's been around for years but it's his first time eating there. Supposed to be a 2-hour buffet and 0.5 hour DIY ice cream session.

Started off with fried salmon skin, octopus, nuggets and some sushi.

The attentive young waitress set up the barbecue for them, and left some butter to melt.

The master grilling the different marinated beef

After one grill, the foil would have become charred. To minimise wastage of the foil, they grilled seafood on it before having it changed. The mussels were OK but the bamboo clams were too fishy.

Her favourite snack/appetiser of pickled seaweed.

His - salmon sashimi.

After the foil change, she fought for her turn to grab the food. Salmon chunks, chicken wings mid-joints and more beef.

The second round of sashimi - she liked the prawns while he found them a little squishy, mushy...

Twin-sharing pot of herbal chicken soup and miso soup. She brought over 2 large servings of vegetables and mushrooms nonchalantly, claiming it would be easy to finish them. Guess what? He ended up having to be the receptacle.

After 2 hours of struggle, it was time to switch the hot plate for the cold plate. Ice cream making time! Their waitress transferred them to another table so that they could start making ice cream in a shorter time, instead of waiting for their hot plate to cool.

Let the games begin! DIY ice cream, they played like kids. Choco-mint mix in this picture.

Either chocolate or cappuccino, can't remember.

Mint ice cream

The making of vanilla ice cream. Spread the ice cream on the cold plate, sprinkle in toppings, let it cool for a bit before moulding.

One eyed skull ice cream drawing which they left for a long while, forgetting to flip. Tasted more of ice than cream.

Durian ice cream

Moulding the chocolate ice cream into a rectangular shape.

DIY ice cream roll

When it was time to call it a day, they realised that they had been in the restaurant for 3.5 hours. So tough on the stomach... and health probably took a hit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Food splurge - 13 Nov 2010

had agreed that they would go take photographs instead of the usual shopping at the same malls, same shops every weekend. alighted at dhoby gaut to finalise booking for their cruise first. once that was done, they randomly walked along bras basah road until she claimed to be hungry (which was an understatement, you'll see why later). kopitiam was too crowded, so they continued their walk.

crossed the junction and walked across chijmes. cosafe is still standing, but the other pubs seem to have long gone. with raffles city in sight, and his sweat tap at full blast, they decided to beat the heat and humidity in the shopping mall.

unfortunately, (fortunately to some), the shops she likes are here, there, everywhere. not much of choice but to let her browse till her heart's content, which didn't really happened. it was hijacked halfway through when she remembered that she was hungry. walked around the basement and the big banner of sliders pulled her into The Hand Burger.

sharpening the utensils while waiting

she declared that she wanted to have all four different sliders, and that's what they ordered. available during tea time from 3pm-6.30pm. 1 for $3 and 4 for ~$10.80

the original beef - got grabbed by her.

bacon wrapped chicken - his choice of poultry anyway

dory fish - somehow it tasted like fish cake, liked the spicy flavour though.

pulled pork - she didn't like the barbecue sauce, too sourish for her. so he gladly finished it up.

next up, she wanted some dessert... and they went to for some donuts. horror, horror, 6 donuts ordered. couldn't find the almond one he had the other time, so he let her take her pick.

more sinfully glazed and cream filled stuff

eating the donuts were a mess and they had to visit the washroom again to clean the hands. walking out from the nicely lit aisle led them to Shokudo, a Marche-styled Japanese food bazaar. had some pickled seaweed and braised shellfish. $10++ for these 2 small bowls.

finally could exit from an enclosed area and get some fresh air, walked across the war memorial park. entered the new part of citilink mall through the esplanade exit E for more scares.

her tummy is a bottomless pit, even more bottomless than his! at the right of exit E was a dim sum shop, and she had them seated at a table in no time. total cost came up to $10.40

xiao long bao in baking cups, interesting

teochew siew mai, green and topped with fish roe, first time trying this

sichuan style chicken feet - spicy but she still finished it all

had a hard time nursing the sick stomach back to health, but...we'll see what happens next

Monday, November 8, 2010

07 Nov 2010 - homecooked stuff

stir-fried garlic sprouts with carrots and back bacon. bought it instead of streaky bacon such that they would have healthier meals. the very aroma of this dish wafted into someone's dream who then screamed "what's cooking?!" before falling into slumber again.

stir-fried kelp - her intent was probably to clear stock. too fishy a smell for him... but he ate it anyway

for something more nourishing - soup! bittergourd soup to be exact. he had wanted plain bittergourd soup, but she decided that she would get some pork bones for better flavour. you see carrots in here for the same reasons as the previous dish - to clear stock.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

05 November 2010 stew day

she bought some groceries the night before, and finished cooking them all the very next day.

unagi fried rice - a little soggy for rice, but the texture was soft enough to be passable as porridge. she remembered added some soy sauce, teriyaki sauce in the mix to achieve this. talk about "feel for cooking"...

stewed eggplant with bean sauce - slightly spicy, soft tender flesh. he prefers this to steamed ones that has texture like sponge.

later in the day, they went out shopping where she bought her lancome mascara, some tee shirts for him, and then ushered themselves into Pepper Lunch. they were having a promotion for some combos, and they opted for the rib-eye and beef stew set.

you've seen enough of the sizzling rib-eye before, now for an eyeful of the beef stew. (actually, the stomach had taken over the mind, and by the time he had realised, it was all too late...)

the last time he had this stew was dinner buffet at Hotel Rendezvous. loves how the meat falls apart, with some soft chewy tendons in between. not forgetting the carrots so soft you can pinch apart with delicate chopsticks, onions so sweet and the flavourful potato mash. he can hear his stomach growling again...

the enjoyable 2 weeks down under (17 Oct - 2 Nov 2010)

been away from the country for 2 weeks. this time, the overseas assignment was for them to go to Yeppoon, Queensland, Australia.

every shop in the vicinity would not be opened when they set off for work, and would be closed when they returned at the end of the day. the most important thing was to stock up with fresh produce. their first shopping spree was at Coles, Keppel Bay Plaza. for much of the first week, all he ate was boiled corn, carrots (~AUD1 for a kilo) and cocktail sausages (~AUD2 for 500g). no other cooking method was used, the only medium was water. well, not that bad, he had milk (~AUD1 for 1 litre), carbonated lemonade (~AUD2 for 2 bottles) and XXXX bitter (~AUD30 for a dozen) for drinks.

soon, he got tired of it and decided to get more variety, and this time round, they visited Woolsworth at Yeppoon Central Mall. bought potatoes (~AUD4 a kilo), cheese, eggs (~AUD3 a dozen) and instant noodles(homebrand ~AUD1 for packs for 5).

shown below would be the more palatable pictures.

milk from Coles' housebrand, looks like an advertisement huh

XXXX bitter - his favourite Australian beer

drained instant noodles with melted cheese, sausages and poached egg. first ate this cheese noodles when a classmate cooked for the project group. adds to taste especially when you're cooking with water, and have no oil, salt or pepper. you'll see how much more handy the cheese comes in in the other pictures.

the sun rose at 5am every morning, shining through the shades. signalled that it was time to wake up and make breakfast.

he just loves to eat at the balcony, good breeze, fresh air, infinity view.

close up of the smoking breakfast on another day. the hot potatoes had melted the cheese into a perfect coating. hopefully, it wasn't because he was too hungry that he thought that it was great stuff.

closeup of the melted coating

potato salad with grated carrot - the budget mayonnaise that he bought was not the kind of mayo he had expected. perhaps it lacked the mustard factor? he only attempted this once, and the rest of the mayo become dip for cracker.

on another day when the boss came by, a dinner gathering was organised at Sizzler. he probably had the heaviest meal of them all, a 500g T-bone. he enjoyed the salad bar more than the mains though, haha.

sidetracking a little from the food stuff. his lodging Villa Mar Colina was set upon a bluff, overlooking the sea. very neat.

check out the view from behind the kitchen sink. solid stuff.

but alas, not matter how reluctant one is, all good things have to come to an end...

the beautiful rocky coast...

the beach with fine powdery sand...

he had to leave all these to return to where his heart belonged