Friday, August 10, 2012

Cook for family: Herbs de Provence Roast Chicken

CookForFamily is an initiative conjured up by food blogger and Radio 100.3FM deejay Daniel Ang, with the objective of getting more bloggers and their readers, to start cooking for their families.


I've only cooked for the family once. But I have hosted multiple dinner parties for my friends. My bad. Well, better late than never, right?  

It was National Day, the perfect occasion for a family get together. Big bro had just had a minor op and couldn't drive so Sis and I decided to "journey to the northeast" - sheesh Punggol is far! The thought of seeing my cute nieces made up for the long ride there - Analisa and Adelia are super duper cute.

Serves 5

1 chicken (try to get bigger ones, 1.6kg and above)
2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
0.5 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey

1. Place butter, honey, herbes de Provence, and salt in small bowl; mash with fork until blended to thick granular paste. Starting at neck end of each chicken, loosen skin under breasts and thighs. Rub herb-seasoned butter on chicken under skin and on outside. Put in ziplock bag and chill least 2 hours. Let chickens stand at room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking.

2. Here I did a 2-phased roasting:

(i) Preheat oven to 200°C. For crispier skin, place chicken on a wire rack on top of baking tray (to collect juices). After 30min, take out the chicken and baste it with olive oil/juices. 

(ii) Return chicken to the wire rack in oven and bake at 180°C, until the meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 70-75°C [For my oven, this took another 50min]

Cover chicken with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

TADA~! Operation roast chicken was a huge success - my family loved it (well, at least they said they did - that's what family are for, right?). I thought mixing honey with the herbs was rather genius of me (self-praise) and it gave the chicken that slight tinge of savory sweetness.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Yes, the largest luxury steak company in the world is finally here in Singapore!

Before, you could fly to one of its 7 locations in Asia - HK, Taiwan, Japan etc - to get your fix of New Orleans-style steak but now, it's right at Marina Mandarin Hotel. B and I were invited for the soft "friend and family launch" - very excited - I think being with B has made me a "meatier" person (now where's my "I love red meat" t-shirt?).

Disclaimer: this was an invited complimentary tasting session, sort of like a "practice session" for the kitchen and service staff before the official opening so my comments below are more "feedback" rather than an assessment of the place. 

The resturant itself was a nice space - rather classy with dark wood panelling reminiscent of Morton's with cosy seating - the only negative was that lighting could have been a bit dimmer. It was too brightly lit, a bit uncomfortable even amongst friends not to mention unconducive for romantic dinners.

A proper steakhouse needs to get its cocktails right, so upon arrival at Ruth's, B and I decided to chill at the bar for a bit before dinner. He had the Dirty Ketel Martini (Ketel One Vodka, Noilly Prat “Original” Dry Vermouth, Olive Juice, Hand stuffed Colossal Blue Cheese stuffed Olives) and I had the vintage inspired 50/50 Vesper Martini (Grey Goose Vodka, Tanqueray, Lillet Blanc, Lemon Twist).

Nicely done. B's Dirty Ketel Martini was particularly interesting, the blue cheese definitely added in an unusual (not unpleasant) punch. It made Morton's mortini's, in comparison (though I heart) seem a bit juvenile.

They took a while to seat us but the hostess was friendly and made sure we were settled in. She knew I was starving, so it was a really nice touch when warm toasty bread promptly appeared shortly after we sat down.

We ordered the classic Shrimp Remoulade and Blue Crab Cakes to share. These appetizers were good, especially the shrimp - very fresh and the New Orleans homestyle cocktail sauce was lovely. B liked the crab cakes too, though I preferred the breaded ones from Morton's and Luke's Oyster Bar. 

The lobster bisque was a bit of a disappointment, flat on flavour. The sides of sauteed mushrooms and spinach too, fell short of expectations. A bit tasteless. The spinach, in particular, tasted like it was simply blanched in water and oil.

Then came the highlight of the meal - the MEAT!

I ordered the 8oz petite filet and B my greedy boyfriend ordered the 12oz New York Strip. Now these were excellent quality meat. I loved how perfectly "medium rare" my filet was - deliciously tender and juicy - YUMS. Sheer bliss when paired with the decent house red wine.

B's New York strip was fuller bodied and firmer. He polished it all off so he must have enjoyed it. "Something's missing", he burped. The meat guru has spoken. Verdict : Very good but "lacks that caramelized crust a steak gets from a good sear which seals in the juices". Very demanding meat-eater, this one.   

The desserts were the stars of the meal. First up, the signature bread pudding with whiskey sauce, a traditional New Orleans dish. Wow, I think this is the best bread pudding I have ever had - wonderful texture and the sauce has just the right balance of flavour and consistency. If I thought the bread pudding was good, the second dessert - cheesecake - simply blew me away. LOVE that buttery crust, the lovely cheese flavour and most of all, that tangy lemony cream on top of the cheesecake.

Overall, an excellent meal. A few teething problems but I am sure the management will work them out. Foodwise - hits and misses. For a start, please do something about the sides and the soup. Meats are good enough and desserts.. well, just perfect.

Would I return and pay for a meal here? Honestly, I am not sure. The prices are on the higher-end and to be honest, I much prefer Luke's and Morton's, if I had that budget to work with.

But who knows, it's early days yet and Ruth's Chris Steak House might just be a diamond in the rough waiting to take Singapore's steak scene by storm. Be sure to check them out when they officially open!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Uma Uma Ramen

So Iggy's brought in this Hakata ramen chain from Japan, and Mr and Mrs C (B's parents) wanted to try it.  Sunday lunch seemed the perfect time so the 4 of us met. Them, with high expectations, given all the hype. Me, with a growling tummy. Yes, we slept in and missed breakfast.

The joint, located at Forum, is smallish and there was a long queue in front of us. We waited 45 min for a table. The hungry girl was NOT a happy girl. But she stayed composed and tried to tame her hunger. It'd better be good, she thought.

Finally the party of 4 were seated and given menus to order from. 

Erm.. what a COMPACT menu. It was quite a no-brainer - we just ordered every item on the menu. 

While the jap-looking chefs behind the counter prepared our ramen (maybe it's just me but I thought they had this "ninja" aura about them), we got served our appetizers. The chicken karaage was nicely fried, crispy and tasty. Portions were small for $8 though. 

The yaki charsiu was really good. I loved the burnt charcoal flavour - couldn't get enough of the accompanying chilli bits. Again, there were only a few slices to go around. $8.

At this point, I was so hungry I had to stop myself from ordering another serving of the appetizers. 

Luckily, the ninja chefs (must have heard my growling tummy) then served up our piping hot bowls of ramen. I had the uma uma ramen and B had the spicy charsiu ramen. We both added egg and bamboo shoots.  

                                                               Uma Uma Ramen

                                                          Spicy Charsiu Ramen

I liked the thin noodles and the eggs were perfectly done, but to be very honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by the soup broth. Of the two, the spicy charsiu broth was better (though still not impressive). I liked the nutty flavour which gave it more depth and dimension. Unfortunately,  the uma uma broth tasted like something I had before at Ajisan Ramen.  

Perhaps it's having too high expectations - after all, we did wait 45 minutes - but this was a rather average ramen experience with an extraordinarily long waiting time. Sigh, I miss Menya Shinchan (was at Robertson Walk, now closed). 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cafe Melba

I got pretty excited when Ailing told me about this new cafe over at Goodman Arts Centre. It is right in my hood - would have been the perfect place to chill over nice weekend brunches at... Haiz.

Anyways.. so I arranged a double date for B, myself, Sis and hubby to have saturday brunch and on first impression it looked great - place looked lovely - nice comfy seats and a cool vibe. Unfortunately, the food and service left much to be desired.

My eggs florentine was served without spinach and when I asked about it, they told me it does not come with spinach. "It's written on the menu" I said. The waitress just shrugged. WTF. The portions were miserable and whilst the eggs were well poached, the hollandaise sauce was erm.. tasteless.

B's "big" breakfast looked pathetic. $24 for this?? The picture says it all.

The pancakes we had to share did not fare better. At $18 (or was it more), I could have gone to Macs for better pancakes. Seriously a massive letdown.

I think my bro-in-law's roast beef might well be the best dish for that afternoon. But again, portions were too small. What kind of business are they running?

Not happy. Over-priced with unenthusiastic staff - they better act their act together or else.. Such a good location, I'm hoping a new better-run cafe with (at the minimum) DECENT food takes over the spot.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Masa Steak and Hamburg

B is a big fan of beef so for our 8 month non-anniversary (it's a long story), we decided to check out this relatively new steak place at Robertson Walk. It's just beside Orihara, the sake bar, so when making reservations I made it a point to ask about corkage - it's $20 for wine and $30 for sake (per 750ml bottle).

The decor of the place was simple but welcoming - soft lighting, dark panelling and cosy booths. The price of the steak was not cheap so we both decided to just go with the hamburgs plus some appetizers. B popped next door to buy a bottle of his choice of poison - sake. I had glasses of the house red and white wine which were quite palatable. The red wine - Three Rings Baroosa Shiraz in particular, went well with the hamburg, portions were generous at $12. 

We settled in quickly and waited in anticipation. Luckily, the food did not disappoint. The Masa salad and steak tartare were perfect for starting the meal off with. B has a high standard for beef tartare (I am indifferent) so when he says it's good.. well, trust the meat man.

The french onion soup we had to share was also very tasty. I loved the cheese flavour and the soup was robust, full of onion goodness. Definitely will order again.

The star of the meal were of course the hamburgs. We both had ours with a sunny side egg and B added garlic chips as an add-on. I had the demiglace sauce and B had the traditional. We compared sauces - definitely go with the demiglace. We didn't try the ponzu though.

At $28 for a 200g patty and $38 for 300g,  this was definitely good value hamburg. The hamburg was perfectly done and it was just such an enjoyable meal (excellent company aside). I am definitely going back to Masa!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tatsu Sushi

Chijmes has never been a culinary hotspot for me. Sure there are a few reasonably good places such as Lei Garden but these are likely to be expensive (and often unimpressive).

Well, B proved me wrong by taking me to Tatsu, one Monday afternoon when I needed some respite from the blues. I gotta say, the set lunches here are good value! We took some time deciding which lunch sets to order, mainly because they all looked good and came with so many different permutations of sashimi, sushi, grilled fish and meats and tempura.

Finally I decided to widen my Chiraishi Horizon and ordered the Bara Chiraishi set $20 (comes with Chawamushi, soup, fruits). It wasn't the best I've had (see my post here) but for that price, there was a good mix of sashimi, grilled eel and tamago in the treasure bento box so... I was still happily stuffed.

I thought B's sushi set looked impressive. Note, the pic below was just half of his set - there was still another bento with mixed tempura and misc stuff I didn't take a picture of. All for $26 (if my memory serves me right)!

The star of the lunch were the tofus. I ordered the century egg tofu (yes I'm so predictable) and B tried the sesame tofu. OMG this century egg tofu beats the Shinjuu and Fukuichi versions hands down. It's nothing fancy but the taste of the century egg was just so robust and ... I'll definitely go back for this.

The sesame tofu was great too - very unique beancurd made off seasame with a light sauce and a precious sliver of uni on top. Very unique and well thought out dish, bravo. Another great lunch destination to check out, everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Smoke Shack Breakfast

Yay new breakfast option in the CBD! I love breakfast food (who doesn't) and there's nothing like a hearty eggy meal to kick-start a long hard day at work - takes the pain away (a bit). We loved the meaty sandwiches from Smoke Shack, so when we heard they had a new breakfast menu, we couldn't resist checking it out.

It was a no-brainer for my order - scrambled egg with smoked salmon please! Yes, I am boring this way :)

It was sheer salmon-egg creaminess bliss.. Scrambled perfection without being too jelat (gotta watch that waistline) and I was surprised how generous they were with the smoked salmon. I definitely got my money's worth muhahaha.   

My second choice would have been the english muffin with eggs and cheese and ham/bacon/pastrami. Looks a bit like the Mac's Egg Mcmuffin, doesn't it? Aha! Bite into this and tell me if it tastes the same. 

The quality of the  ham/bacon/pastrami was wayyy superior - this IS the Smoke shack ya know. I don't know about you but paying a couple of dollars more for this version seems reasonable to me.

B loves his meat so I imagine he would love the Corned Beef hash set - with 2 fried eggs, grilled tomato with toast. Done properly, corned beef hash to me is the perfect marriage of savory, sweet and salty succulence. An incomparable pleasure. I haven't tried any other versions in Singapore but this one from Smoke shack was pretty darn good.  

I didn't try this but I thought the smoked salmon bagel (choice of sour cream/ jam/cream cheese) was most photogenic. 

At $3.50-$7 per set (if my memory serves me right) including coffee,  I'd say the gourmet breakfast sets from Smoke shack are a darned good deal.

Not convinced? Go check out the place yourself, it's at the basement of Republic Plaza.  Power breakfast!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Purple Mustard

I had never seen purple mustard in my life. Until today, anyway. It's a pretty colour. Tastewise, it's not as spicy and edgy as I would have liked it but oh well, it's a novelty. Which was what drew B and I into the shop (ICON village), I suppose - we were at a bit of a loss as to where to grab a quick bite before our respective conference calls and the cute decor of the smallish joint caught our eye.

B ordered the signature barnyard dog (ze one with the purple stuff), a side of Asian slaw and the horchata drink. B liked his barnyard dog, though he went through very many napkins and killed many trees. A messy hotdog to eat, that one. I didn't try it but the sausage did look nice and juicy.

I thought the horchata was a tad too sweet. Not my type of drink but I imagine some people might like it.


Me, I decided on the pulled pork wrap - it had a really cute name which I cannot remember). I have been having pulled pork burger cravings for the longest time (if anyone knows of a good place please share)! 

Well the wrap wasn't too bad - I liked the asian slaw in it and they used mesclun which I love. The pork, on the other hand, didn't impress. It was lumpy, rather than pulled. A tad dry too. 

Each hotdog/ wrap cost us about $8 - $10, thereabouts. Not the cheapest snack but it was good enough to cheer me up (slightly) for a late night in the office.

The hotdogs clearly shone more than the wraps though. I still prefer the wraps at Salads and Wraps (Icon Village) - I have the stamp card!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BYOF at the Straits Wine Company (East Coast)

I love the east. I've lived in Katong, Siglap, and now Mountbatten.. It's the best area on the island, I swear - this Katong kia stands her ground!

I also love wine. (Shocker?)
So when I found out that this non-descript wine shop along East Coast Road has a second floor dining/chilling/lazing area and that we can (i) buy a bottle of wine at retail price; (ii) lounge on the nice sofas to drink the wine on-site and (iii) GET THIS - tabao food from any of the food outlets and eat there, I knew I had found a new favourite hangout.

That location is superb for BYOF-ing! There's tze char from my eat-since-young Sin Hoi Shan restaurant and Boon Tong Kee just across the road, this Beijing dumpling place down the road and SO MUCH MORE... 

In the end, we settled (no pain in that) for tze char and a lovely bottle of $60 burgundy white (I don't remember because I was too happy drinking).

I can totally see myself returning here again - hmm need to do some homework on what wine goes with chilli crab *rubs hands in glee*

They have loads of wine magazines for browsing. Impressed with the setup!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Want to be a Domesticated Goddess (Part 4)

An occasion to cook for my family- my dear Sis' Susan's birthday! Look Ma, I can cook!

I think my mum was very proud of me tonight - it's the first time I've seen her whip out her phone to take a food picture - she took about 4 (?) from all angles :p

My dear nephews love pasta so this time, I attempted making aglio olio. Granted, it's a simple dish but hey, to do it well takes some kungfu ok.. I did intensive research on this one, combined the best of the recipes I found online and tweaked the recipe abit for more omphm.

Yes, I should never open a restaurant because I will be making losses from being  too generous with the prawns. They were fresh and sweet, but it sure wasn't a cheap dinner, this one.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIS! I love you for the wonderful (dare I say nurturing) person you are, how you stood by me through my "wildchild" years, gave me a roof over my head when I first moved back home... You are the perfect sister and I will always cherish our bond.


Ok, enough public display of affection. Here's the recipe:

Serves 5

Spicy shrimp:
1 kg jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoon crushed chili padi
4 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
Coarse salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Aglio Olio:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 (100g) tin anchovy fillets
6 to 8 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced
2 teaspoon crushed chili padi
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, a couple of handfuls
Coarse salt
500ml spaghetti, cooked to al dente

Combine shrimp with next 6 ingredients and toss to coat shrimp evenly. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat, then add half of the shrimp. Cook shrimp 3 minutes until pink and just firm. Remove shrimp to a warm platter and repeat process with remaining shrimp.

Return pan to heat and reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Add anchovies, garlic, and pepper flakes to oil. Break up anchovies with a wooden spoon until they melt away into the oil and garlic mixture.

Cook spaghetti and toss in the pan with parsley and the garlic oil, then season with a little coarse salt, to your taste. Top servings of garlic and oil spaghetti with spicy shrimp.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tim Ho Wan (HK IFC Mall)

Tim Ho Wan in Mongkok, HK, is THE cheapest 1-star michelin "restaurant" - if you can call the hole in the wall that - in the world. I have been to HK at least 20 times (yes, my 3rd home, after Singapore and Shanghai) and I am ashamed  to say I have never tried it.

I hate to queue.  Not very Singaporean, I know.

When they opened up a new outlet at IFC Mall, I was thrilled. Yay, I don't even need to travel to the "other" Kowloon side. But I was worried. Would "going commercial", so to speak, compromise the quality of the food? Surely the standards at this new outlet would fall short of the famed Mongkok outlet's?

I don't know how good the Mongkok outlet's food is but OMG the dim sum I had at the IFC outlet was damm freaking good lah. I still dream of the crispy char siew bao....*drools* Best bao I have ever had. Period. This goes on my "10 things I ate before I died" list.

The Sticky rice and chicken in lotus leaf was a winner too. I have had many lotus leaf wrapped rice before but this lotus leaf was so fragrant it surprised me. It went perfectly with the tender chicken and moist mushrooms embedded in the precious package.

The har kow was one of  the best I've had - the "skin" thinness was perfect and that was some explosion of shrimp flavour! The siew mai was a bit too starchy and  floury for my liking, we finished it anyway... and ordered more har kow!


Super full.. For the record, we had this "tea-time snack" at 4pm, after a heavy lunch. 

It was sooooooo cheap we were tempted to order more. Check out the bill. Tell me now, who needs Maxim's and Fook Lam Moon (ok, only for the suckling pig) when you have this fantastic dim sum outlet just below the airport express station? I am so coming back for more more more!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Little Cravings (112 Katong)

When craving, indulge!

We were stuffed from Mother's Day lunch at Canton Paradise (which, for the record, has this century egg with wasabi mayo dim sum that's outta this world) but craving something sweet. We chanced upon Little Cravings, this small brightly lit cafe which serves kopi and nonya desserts, and decided to check it out. 

They serve nian gao! Yes, Chinese New Year came early!

I absolutely adore fried nian gao. It's super unhealthy I know but I'd hit the gym more often just to get my fix. Little cravings serves two versions: the normal fried ones my mum makes every CNY, as well as this "special" fried nian gao in popiah skin. Ever the greedy one, I proclaim to my Sis: "Let's order both!"

Very well-fried. I personally preferred the traditional version, though the crunch of the popiah skin was nice. The cafe also serves up some savoury dishes such as nonya curry and nasi lemak but we didn't try those. B also ordered the ice kachang drenched in gula melaka with mango (or you can choose avocado or durian). Not Jonker walk standard but good enough, I suppose. 

A great find in the east. Oooh that fried nian gao!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Marmalade Pantry

It's been a while since I had an "eggy" weekend brunch (we've been prowling the hawker centres a bit) and what better occasion to indulge in a leisurely chi-chi brunch than with my girlfriends Dee, Bev and Sue. It's nice to have an occasion to wear a new dress *grin*

Marmalade Pantry's been around a long time and shame on me for never checking it out. The not-so-new location at Ion is nice - open, perfect for people watching and gossiping the afternoon away.

I've read a lot of glowing reviews about the crabmeat linguine pasta and had high expectations. Dangerous. Luckily, the dish did not disappoint. I loved it! Lovely spicy tomato based sauce generously loaded with crab meat, perfect al dente pasta and pine nuts for an added crunch factor. Definitely a dish I'll return for.

The sticky date pudding held its own too. I heart the creamy vanilla ice cream - complemented the pudding perfectly. 

It's been a while since I had a girly catch-up with the girls.  Everyone's busy and with Sue in Hanoi and all, it's almost impossible to find a good timing. I'm glad we managed to. Thanks for a lovely afternoon!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I Want to be a Domesticated Goddess (Part 3)

Happy anniversary and another successful culinary experiment! As part of our austerity drive, I suggested cooking for B at home, rather than going out and splurging on a fancy dinner.

"What would you like to have?" I asked. "Vongole", he said.

Erm.. ok, new dish. So in the spirit of Bobby Fray, I went online in (re)search of the "perfect vongole" recipe and tada, this was what I cooked for my darling on this special occasion. Looks good, doesn't it, if I dare (shamelessly) say so myself?

Here's the recipe:

Serves 2

1 kg clams (we used manila clams)
1/2 Onion, Chopped
1.5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1.5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Fish Stock (I couldn’t find clam juice)
1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
500g Chopped Dry Spicy Italian Sausage
1/4 Cup Chopped Clean Parsley
One Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
1/2 chili padi finely chopped

Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add the onion and sausage. Saute slowly until the sausage begins to brown and caramelize slightly on the surface, cook onion until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes (allow garlic to soften without browning).

Turn heat up slightly and add the fish stock, wine, chili and tomatoes (allow wine to simmer and deglaze the pan) and cook until reduced to about 2 cups. Season with salt and pepper. Add the clams, cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the clams have opened. Discard any clams that do not open. Add the bits of butter and new parsley and stir well into the mixture.

Serve immediately with pasta.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Birthday at Labrador Seafood

Birthdays are great excuses to pig out and this year, turning 34, was no exception. Sure, there was that voice in the head nagging “watch it, you and your metabolism ain’t no spring chickens no more” but I hushed it. The diet can wait – I shall remain “fabulously tam chiak!” – to quote my friends.

Labrador Park is one of those places I have never been and you definitely need to drive/cab to get there. K had recommended to try Labrador Seafood so there we were, 12 of my “bear” (and extended) family. It was a bit ulu but kinda surreal, almost as if we were not in Singapore. It was a great location on a cool, breezy Friday evening – super chillax.

Many lovely photographs of the night, thanks to an excellent camera-man.

More than a few flushed faces, thanks to a pre-arranged waiver of corkage for our big group.

For starters, we ordered some cold cucumbers, topshell and grilled squid to go with our (copious bottles of ) white wine while waiting for the rest of the food to arrive.

The squid came highly recommended, B was a happy man, he liked the squid and the topshell (another order please, he said). Promising start to the meal!

We held nothing back and ended up ordering a ton of other dishes, mostly recommended by the staff. There was the signature salted egg crab “must-order” – which was very good indeed.

Being greedy, we also ordered the black pepper crab. I’m glad we did, because that was my favorite dish of the night – love the full flavor of black pepper and oh so juicy!

We indulged in garlic scallops and bamboo clams too. Hard to go wrong with  these dishes. I liked the drunken prawns most, if you do order remember  to ask them to add more Chinese wine for that added kick.

For meats, we had the grilled lamb chops. Mmb and Chong loved these, as did my carnivore boyfriend. I thought it was a bit fatty but I have a low threshold for lard – and I suppose it was necessary to give the lamb chops that nice juiciness.

No meal is complete without carbs and the punggol mee goreng hit the spot for many of my friends. I preferred the beef hor fun though – nice wok hei – eat while hot.    

A dish which surprised me was the chilli kang kong. I dare say it’s one of the better ones I’ve had. See, I’m very low maintenance right – give me a plate of well-cooked vegetables and I’m a happy girl! (B: no need to comment).

The restaurant gave us a complimentary platter of fruits, nice touch.

All in all, it was a lovely night. I feel truly blessed to have all my “families” – mum/sis, bears and let’s not forget the Shanghai family come together to celebrate my birthday. And of course, there's you, B..

Big meal with bears, home-cooked meal by Shanghai family, mummy Tan’s indulgent feast, intimate (pricey but super-memorable) Jap omakase with B – here’s to more food adventures this year!

I hope you’ll join me in eating my way through Singapore (and beyond). Thanks for reading.