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Archive for January, 2015

Contrary to my previous post, my first lo hei of 2015 was actually at Li Bai, not Jade!

This year, the culinary team at the award-winning cantonese restaurant has curated a celebratory feast, starting with an auspicious 鸿运三文鱼捞起!

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You can create a personalised yu sheng by opting to add more ingredients like shredded abalone, crispy salmon fish skin and lobster. We had the latter and it was so fresh that I wish we had more! By the way, food for thought: carrot represents luck, pomelo for a smooth sailing year and crisp crackers to symbolise abundance. Toss to greater heights, huat ahhhhhh!!!

Lobster “Yu Sheng Loh Hei” Platter (starts from $52+ for small; add lobster for $35+ per 100g)

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I love lo hei-ing at restaurants because it means I don’t have to clean up the mess at home haha. But if you prefer celebrating in the comfort of your home, the yu sheng will be available for takeaway from 2 February to 4 March 2015~

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Good Chinese restaurants will deliver a knockout bowl of soup and Li Bai is no exception. K had a nourishing double-boiled chicken soup with fish maw and morel mushrooms while my pumpkin soup was cutely presented in a steamed whole pumpkin and filled to overflowing with premium assorted seafood. Comforting is an overused word, but it is what it is!

Thick Soup of Pumpkin prawn, scallop, abalone, crab

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More lobster? Yes please! This time in a sauteed form with crunchy asparagus and carrot. There was minimal seasoning so the sweetness of the lobster meat was very apparent.

Sauteed Lobster crispy rice basket

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I was extremely pleased that chef prepared a portion of his signature baked cod fish for me. Loved this dish back in 2013 when I tasted it for the first time; still loving it very much two years later! Points scored for consistency!

Baked Canadian Cod ophiopogon root and honey

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Besides yu sheng, another festive delicacy that can be bought straight out from the kitchen of Li Bai to yours is the 五头南非鮑魚八宝鸭, i.e. 8 treasures duck with abalone. The meat was stewed with a melange of treasures from lotus seed and sea cucumber to salted egg and chestnut to bring out the robust flavours. Now all you need is some fragrant white rice!

Stewed “Eight Treasures” Duck with 5-Head Abalone ($388+) lotus seed, chinese mushroom, sea cucumber, salted egg, barley, chicken, pork, chestnut

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My thanks to the Sheraton team for the kind invitation!

Li Bai Cantonese Restaurant Sheraton Towers Singapore 39 Scotts Road Singapore 228230 6839 5623

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Let’s welcome the year of the goat with an exquisite feast from Jade Restaurant!

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The signature yu sheng features homemade champagne jelly with edible gold leaves, symbolizing an abundance of wealth and prosperity, huat ah! Other than adding a touch of luxury, I like that the jelly is slightly bitter and pairs well with the sweet peachy dressing. And I was most impressed by Master Chef Leong’s auspicious calligraphic designs drawn using olive oil and then dusted with cinnamon powder! Not from stencils, wow.

羊年挥春招财鱼生: 三文鱼金薄香槟冻鱼生
Eight Happiness Gold Rush Yu Sheng (from $68++ per person)
champagne jelly, salmon, olive oil, peach sauce

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I’m not crazy over soups but this braised seafood soup won me over, heart and soul. Rich and comforting bowl of goodness! Full of collagen too so this doubles as a beauty treatment from within!

金满福报: 黄焖花胶海鲜鲍鱼汤
Braised Seafood Soup ($38++ per person)
abalone, fish maw, superior golden broth

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The fresh Boston lobster is simply sautéed with a piquant mixture of spiced fragrant salt, dried chilli and ginger flower. I had mine without the crispy chicken floss and it was already so good, oh my. An extravagant crowd-pleaser for sure!

禧龙添满福: 辛辣鸡松波士顿龙虾
Sautéed Boston Lobster ($88++ for a whole 700g lobster)
chicken floss, spiced fragrant salt

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While others had the pork belly stewed on low heat for 90 minutes, I was equally satisfied with the steamed cod with garlic. A light and healthy dish!

和气融融: 家乡焖花腩
Stewed Pork Belly ($18++ per person)
dried oyster, black fungus, yam, mushroom, green chive flower

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Dessert was a trio of almond cream with bird’s nest, nian gao tart and pistachio mochi. Think of the delicate tart as traditional glutinous rice cake with a twist – each buttery tart shell is filled with nian gao made with gula melaka and yam. Very special! I don’t like chewy muah chee at all but the pistachio glutinous rice balls stuffed with chopped pistachio nuts and sesame paste are pillowy soft! I was quite amazed by the texture. Available till March 5, these lunar new year goodies make great gifts for loved ones!

温馨开心团圆: 杏仁茶燕窝开心果麻滋
Almond Cream with Bird’s Nest
pistachio 开心果 “muah chee” glutinous rice ball ($26+ per box of 8), yam paste ‘nian gao’ tart ($28+ per box of 8)

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My special thanks to Joyce and Pearly for hosting dinner! Happy new year and see you again soon!

Jade Restaurant
Ground Floor, Fullerton Hotel
1 Fullerton Square
6877 8188

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What used to be 1-TwentySix at East Coast Park is now Cotton, named after a real cotton tree planted outside the restaurant. The cuisine is “Asian fusion” and you can find an interestingly bizarre mixture of sushi, sashimi, pasta and grilled mains on the menu.

Honestly, the meal did not started on a good note. A couple of items (sushi rolls!) which caught my interest were sadly unavailable. And while our appetizer of bonsai salad was pretty, the miso dip for the crudites was extremely salted and we sent it back almost untouched. I just checked the menu online and looks like it has been removed from the menu, oh good.

Bad start aside, everything went well thereafter! The assorted sashimi were very fresh (even better than some Japanese restaurants, I bet) and the chef’s knife skill is apparent in how fine the small cuts on the top of the sashimi were. For something more substantial, K highly recommend either the lamb rack or ribeye steak (or get both!). The former had a tender texture with no gamey flavour and the latter was (I quote K) “a good piece of red meat, period” haha. For me, I was mighty pleased with the pan fried cod fish – generous slab, naturally fatty, my favourite! I must also give credit to the chef for pairing the meat/fish with delicious sides such as tempura corn, deep fried spinach and green pea/pumpkin purée. Definitely no boring mash potato!

I wish dinner ended with a bang (read: killer dessert) but alas, we were served a forgettable almond pudding. That said, we’ll be back again for the mains and hopefully by then, the sushi rolls too!

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Bonsai Salad
no longer available

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Assorted Sashimi Platter of 5 ($35++)
ika (squid), mekajiki (swordfish), tai (seabream), hotate (scallop), saké (salmon)

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Amber Jack Carpaccio ($24++)
truffle and ikura

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Lamb Rack ($38++)
green pea purée and tempura corn

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Ribeye Steak ($35++)
asparagus and pumpkin purée

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Cod Fish ($32++)
deep fried spinach and zucchini

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King Prawn Angel Hair Pasta ($24++)
sakura ebi and garlic

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Almond Pudding ($12++)

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My thanks to Brenda for the kind invitation!

Cotton Singapore
#01-26, Big Splash
902 East Coast Parkway
96563126

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Hello hello!

K and I will be setting up a CocoEasy booth at The Local People X SAM Art Week Day Market this coming Sunday from 10-7pm! Please come by and say hi if you are there!!

And we’ll be eternally grateful (I’m not exaggerating haha) if you can show some love and support our CocoEasySG Facebook page here:

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Oh yes, if you are wondering what in the world is CocoEasy, just check out the video below! Don’t you just love the song chosen by K lol.

See you there okie!! 😀

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Mikuni

Let me start by stating the easy conclusion of this post.

We like Mikuni.

Especially when we have the FAR card in hand!

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Mikuni has four seating areas – sushi counter (not the best as it is very near to the entrance), robatayaki zone (cozy room), teppanyaki section and a main dining hall. We always sit at the teppanyaki table because K loves watching the chef in action and I’m, well, more practical – I just love the tray of condiments laid out neatly in front of us ha. It sounds gross but I can drink the sesame sauce, it’s that potently good. And don’t get me started on the crispy garlic. I couldn’t stop munching on those addictive little chips!! Garlic breath so what, haha.

prawn crackers, organic mixed green salad with sesame dressing

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Having been to Mikuni for both lunch and dinner, I prefer the former as their lunch sets are of good quality and value for money. My weirdly-named business bento had everything I like – from heavenly truffle salmon sashimi (cheaper form of the signature truffle kampachi) and soft kinki fish to a juicy grilled miso eggplant which I still crave for! Plus, I was given anago tempura instead of the default chicken karaage, score!

Business Bento ($68++)
soya braised hokkaido kinki fish, truffle salmon sashimi, futomaki (toro, shrimp tempura, unagi, tobiko), anago tempura, grilled miso eggplant

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K likes teppanyaki; I do not. In the 2+ years that we’ve been together, we’ve only had teppanyaki together once (it was one of the first few dates so obviously he didn’t know I’m so fussy about food LOL). Predictably, he jumped at the chance of finally having a teppanyaki meal without subjecting me to the same!

Teppanyaki Set ($68++)
king prawns with golden sauce, miso marinated cod, asparagus, shiitake mushroom

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I have to admit, some of his dishes were pretty good (to a non-teppan lover)! Though the king prawns were smoldered in a creamy eggy sauce, they were bouncy and fresh. Likewise the mildly marinated miso cod, lovely piece that melted in the mouth. And I’m sure K was glad that he didn’t have to share his medium rare tenderloin with me! FYI – chawanmushi, garlic fried rice and miso soup also included!

australian beef tenderloin with garlic soya sauce, crispy garlic, beansprouts

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My eyes are always bigger than my stomach so despite the amount of food we’ve had, I ordered an additional item from the a la carte menu too! All eyes were on us the lobster when it was served. Seriously, everyone looked over and the lady beside K even asked aloud what did we order haha. The lobster topped with torched uni cream was simply delicious. I won’t even bother describing it!

Lobster Uni Yaki ($48++)
grilled boston lobster, sea urchin cream

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The dessert for set lunch is not fixed. On that day, we had an intense espresso ice cream (wish there was more!) and the staff brought out a scoop of green tea ice cream for K since it was an early birthday celebration ❤

espresso ice cream, matcha ice cream, azuki jelly, matcha truffles

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Because we really enjoyed lunch, we went back for dinner shortly after! Fresh tongues of buttery uni with crispy nori on the side were the perfect starter~

Uni Sashimi ($38++)
hakodate sea urchin

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Both unagi and salmon belly maki rolls were nice stomach fillers but nothing spectacularly different from the ones we can get from Koh Sushi or The Sushi Bar. Nevertheless, there’s about 8 other varieties on the menu which I want to try!

Mikuni Maki ($25++)
bbq eel, cream cheese, caviar
~
Salmon Belly ($26++)
grated green apple, salmon roe, avocado

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I’m a sucker for anything sous vide and the tako kari-kari age (love the kari-kari name!) is one of the best octopus dishes ever! Tender meat (K said the texture was similar to chicken!), thin crisp batter, aaaaamazing.

Tako Kari-Kari Age ($30++)
sous vide octopus, shishito, wasabi mayo

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Lobster uni yaki again! Still as good as before!

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I think the wagyu don was the most boring item tried and tested. K won’t order it again, I’m 99.999% sure.

Kagoshimi Wagyu Beef Don ($48++)
wagyu beef, onion, crispy egg, dried seaweed, rice

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Mikuni
Level 3, Fairmont Singapore
80 Bras Basah Road
6431 6156

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My title above says it all. FUKU serves fugu in fine dining kaiseki style.

And I’m sure you already know this – fugu (a.k.a. puffer fish/blowfish/globefish) is potentially fatal if prepared wrongly! Well, for the love of food, just risk it!

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I joke.

I wasn’t even worried at all.

By Japanese law, chefs have to be specially licensed by the government before they can prepare and serve fugu to guests. Likewise for FUKU’s chefs, who have more than 20 years of experience in Shimonoseki (the specialty area of fugu). All the air-flown fish have to be removed of their internal organs and cleaned, then meet strict regulations by recognized Japanese authorities before they can be imported into Singapore.

Hiresake
hot sake with sun-dried fugu

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There are more than 100 species of fugu but only 20 are edible. FUKU, being the first restaurant in Asia outside Japan to serve such a fine delicacy all year-round, imports the prized Tora Fugu (Tiger Puffer Fish) twice a week by air direct from Shiminoseki. Freshness guaranteed! And as you can already imagine, fugu dining is expensive.

Very expensive.

Tessa
thinly sliced fugu sashimi that was once referred to as gun-powder because of its instantaneous death if not prepared right

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Although there is an a la carte menu, the specialization at FUKU is kaiseki – full course traditional set menus which range from $150++ per person for a 6-course (Ebisu) to $580++ per person for a 9-course Wild Fugu set (Shichi-Fuku). Out of the dishes tried and tested, my favourite were the sashimi and yuniki!

Yubiki
parboiled fugu skin

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The sashimi was beautiful; paper-thin shavings intricately presented on a patterned plate. Some may find it bland but I rather like how clean it tasted. Delicate strips of blanched gelatinous fugu skin were served on the side too. Eat more as they are rich in collagen!

Karaage
fugu is served deep-fried giving a crisp and fragrant texture on the outside while maintaining a meaty fleshy bite inside

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After having fugu sashimi, the “normal” sashimi (though fresh) now seemed too mainstream haha.

Assorted Sashimi
salmon, scallop, tuna, ebi, squid

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The most “fear factor” dish of the night had to be the puffer fish’s milt or sperm sacs! I’ve had shirako thrice so far (Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore) and I can safely conclude that I don’t like it. Too creamy, not for me.

Fugu Shirako
fugu sperm sacs

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Coincidentally, it was a cold evening and the fugu hotpot was most welcome. Thick chunks of flesh and bones along with an assortment of vegetables and tofu were stirred into a boiling pot of broth prepared only with dashi water and a big slab of kombu (kelp). Towards the end, rice and egg were added to the rich and sweetened stock from the hotpot and ta-da, a tasty fugu porridge was produced! A very comforting way to end an elaborate spread!

Tecchiri/Zousui
fugu hotpot

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Don’t miss the real fugu hanging from the ceiling near the entrance!

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My thanks to Melody for hosting such an extravagant dinner!

FUKU Fine Fugu Kaiseki Restaurant
14 Mohamed Sultan Road, #01-01
6235-8216

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Shrove Tuesday

Saturday night. Dessert time. K wanted Little Prince. I suggested Shrove Tuesday.

As usual, I get my way hahaha.

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Actually, this place has been on my to-go list for quite some time but due to mixed reviews, I’ve been ignoring it. One waffle and three scoops of gelato later, I’m berating myself for procrastinating!

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The crispy waffle was impressively light – it’s like eating battered air? We didn’t feel full even after it disappeared into our tummies and I like that feeling. That said, I’d give full marks for texture but maybe a fail for taste because it was very bland. Not a major problem to me though since we had gelato! Coconut, roasted peanut, earl grey. Can’t wait to try black sesame next time!

By the way, the two staff were super friendly! If I open a shop, I want to hire them!

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Shrove Tuesday
Block 94 Lorong 4 Toa Payoh #01-32
6258 2254

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