Friday, September 28, 2007

Dessert Hut

Three consecutive posts on desserts... I certainly have a sweet tooth :)

Was meeting S during tea time and we decided to be adventurous and try this place at People's Park Centre. Would never have guessed there was a dessert stall in this old and run down building, but there were actually two right next to each other and both quite crowded too... We picked the older, more authentic looking one.

Tried the Black Sesame Paste and Tang Yuan in Ginger Soup -

The desserts were not very good... which resulted in me going to Ji De Chi to have another round of desserts after dinner. Can always count on the desserts at Ji De Chi, the black sesame paste is always good... in fact, it's even better than the ones I had in Hong Kong!

If you're in the Chinatown area and are craving desserts, Ji De Chi has a branch in the Chinatown area (46 Upper Cross Street) so go there instead!

Dessert Hut
101 Upper Cross Street
People's Park Centre
#02-48 Tel : 6533 1137

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Tang Yuan with Ginger Soup

I have this unreal obsession with tang yuan... actually pretty much anything of similar consistency - onde onde, mochi, ang ku kueh etc. After being convinced that it's really not that hard to make, I embarked on the adventure of making my very own tang yuan.

Exact measuresments are quite non-existent for making tang yuan, believe me I tried searching on the internet. But having made some myself, I kinda understand why.

Anyway here are the vague instructions :
(1) Add water to glutinous rice flour - enough water to make the dough into a kneadable consistency
(2) Roll into balls of desired size.
(3) Drop the tang yuan one by one into a pot of boiling water. Take the tang yuan out of the pot once they float.
(4) Slice up some ginger and boil in a pot of water, adding sugar to taste.
(5) Put the tang yuan in a bowl of ginger soup and...

Voila! Homemade Tang Yuan in Ginger Soup -

Aren't my little balls of tang yuan just so pretty??

Next challenge will be to make tang yuan with fillings... or maybe even try making onde onde (as the recipe is nearly exactly the same).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ben & Jerry's (Dempsey)

After dinner at Rakuichi, we decided to adjourn here for dessert. The place was packed! Decorated to look like the inside of a ranch home, it give the place a real homely feel.

I have to say, I love my Ben & Jerry's ice-cream. My favourite flavour is Bovinity Divinity (Chocolate and Vanilla ice cream with white chocolate and fudge cows) but that flavour has long been demoted to the Ben & Jerry's Flavour Graveyard :(

My current favourites are Phish Food (Chocolate ice cream with a caramel-marshmallow swirl and fish shaped chocolate chunks) and Chubby Hubby (Chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels in vanilla malt ice cream with fudge and peanut butter swirl). Hmm, come to think of it I haven't had Chubby Hubby in a while...

Anyway I digress... so I ended up ordering Waffles with 2 scoops of ice-cream (phish food, can't remember the other flavour). Everyone there had waffles but K and I were the only ones to have a whole waffle to ourselves :P

Sorry for the dark and blurry photo - bad lighting. Was hilarious seeing G look on in amazement as I finished the whole waffle by myself... right after dinner too.

The waffle was really yummy, and as far as I'm concerned, you can never go wrong with Ben & Jerry's ice cream. A dream combination :)

Definitely come here for dessert if you have the craving for something sweet, but maybe wait for the hype to die down first... otherwise, be prepared to wait for a table.

Ben & Jerry's (Dempsey)
8B Dempsey Road
Tel: 6473-3231

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant

This is the first of four posts of eating places in Tanglin Village. When I got there, I felt like I was so out of touch coz I had no idea this hip and happening had popped up... then found out that it was really quite new, and I'm quite pleased that I've managed to check out so many places already :)

With 7 of us and a prior reservation, we were given a private room which was spacious and had a nice ambience. But it was a real pain having to constantly open the door to get service - only on the rare occasion did they come into the room without us calling them...

As for the food, we ordered dishes to share so I managed to try quite a range of the food here. For the skewers we ordered, (from left to right) Asupara $3.00+++, Enoki Bacon $4.00+++, Buta Kakuni (Grilled Pork) $4.00+++ :

I never fail to order any skewers with enoki in it, and it never disappoints... don't ask me why I love enoki so much - I just do :) The menu was pretty clear in stating that the price was for just one skewer so we knew what to expect, but I think it's a bit overpriced - $3.00+++ for four small pieces of asparagus??

The Tempura Moriawase $18.00+++ was pretty good...

and while still expensive, seems more worth the price than the skewers.

Having had an amazing Tofu Mentai at Kura No Naka, I was quite eager to try the Tofu Mentaiko Cheese $13.00+++ here :

It looked totally different from the one at Kura No Naka and tasted totally different too... it was rich in its own way but nowhere as cheesy as the one at Kura No Naka. Not a dish I would order again here...

An odd dish that we tried was the Tebasaki Bacon Age $9.00+++ :

In case you can't tell from the picture, it's actually a deboned chicken wing, with asparagus wrapped in bacon in the place of the bone. A bizarre combination right? But I quite liked it...

For a taste of sushi, we ordered the Hana Nigiri $36.00+++ :

and Spicy Soft Shell Crab Maki $12.00+++

The nigiri was gorgeous to look at and tasted pretty fresh. The Spicy Soft Shell Crab Maki was ordered mostly for the still starving guys - Jap food is so not for men :)

This place was pricey as expected for a more 'authentic' Japanese restaurant, and the staff need to be trained to check in on the private rooms more often. While the food was ok, it's not good enough for me to want to come back anytime soon. That plus the parking situation at Tanglin Village is a real pain...

Rakuichi Japanese Restaurant
10 Dempsey Road
#01-22 S247700
Tel : 6474 2143

Monday, September 17, 2007

Siem Reap Trip

Was in Siem Reap in July for just two days... and nearly wanted to skip posting about the food I had there coz Cambodian food really wasn't that great. Well, Siem Reap is mostly a tourist town (everyone is there just to see Angkor Wat) so the food is likely not all that authentic... and in the short time I was there, I was more preoccupied with covering all the sights than I was trying the local food.

But there was a good and cheap restaurant along the main stretch of restaurants along Pub Street called Soup Dragon. The menu is a mix of Khmer, Vietnamese and Western cuisine. Decided to adventurous and tried some local fare...

It was a bit of a mystery how the dishes would turn out based on the name of the dish. For example, Prahoc Sauce with Minced Pork US$4 turned out to be this -

It tasted mostly like a Thai curry would, and had bits of pork with bits of fish - weird combination right?

Also ordered the Omelette Trey Pra Ma US$2 -

I can't remember what the description in the menu actually said, but there was definitely some mention of an ingredient in the omelette being "strong-smelling" so I was quite hesistant when the dish arrived... but the "strong-smelling" ingredient turned out to be salted fish. It had a pretty strong smell and taste, but nothing I wasn't used to :)

Also ordered the Fresh Vegetarian Spring Rolls for just US$2 -

Soup Dragon
#369 Group 6 Mondol 1
Siem Reap
Tel : 063 964 933

It was a short trip but I was quite pleased coz I got to see all the things I wanted to see. Started putting the photos up on but erm, it's still a work in progess... so until I've finished doing up those photos, here are a few as a preview...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Café 211

I used to frequent this place during uni time when I was staying at Eusoff Hall. The dinner served is normally random dishes with rice but Tuesdays was always chicken rice, and we would use that as an excuse to eat somewhere else - and more than a few times, ended up here.

I'm a bit surprised that this place has survived all those years as the food is really not fantastic, but it does have very good ambience - the outdoor area of the café is on the roof terrace of Holland Shopping Centre, and is a really nice place to chill out in the evenings.

Came here during lunch time so decided to sit indoors :)

I had the set lunch which consisted of Clam Chowder Soup -

Spaghetti with Beef -

And Dessert -

Was a bit surprised that the beef with the pasta was a whole steak - I kinda expected sliced beef. Didn't have the dessert as I was quite full by then and let S have it instead coz all she had was the Tandoori Salad -

One of those rare times when I forget to keep the receipt hence the lack of prices :P

The food here is just ok, service reasonably attentive, but the real attraction of this place is the relaxing outdoor area. Good place to keep in mind when you're at Holland Village but want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds.

Café 211
211 Holland Avenue
#04-01 Holland Village
Singapore 278967
Tel: 6462 6194

Monday, September 10, 2007

New Collection at the Dotted Line

Congratulations to Dorothy on the successful launch of her new collection!

I am the proud owner of the "It's a Wrap" Dress - for some reason I always fall in love with the only polka-dotted piece in her whole collection... and I'm normally not even a big polka dot fan! But this wrap dress fits beautifully, as wrap dresses are meant to, and I loved the graduated polka dots... so I just had to get it :)

Go check out her new collection at The Dotted Line Shop!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Zi Yean Restaurant

Actually ate here a while back but photos got lost in transit so decided to make a trip back here. This place is pretty famous with quite a few people touting it as one of the best dim sum places in Singapore.

There are three sections to this place - there is a coffeeshop, an alfresco area and an air-conditioned restaurant. All serve the same food and I think the prices are the same but GST is charged in the restaurant. Having sat at the alfresco area the last time, we decided to try the air-con (yay!) area this time...

Before I start on the food, check out the erm, interesting chopstick holder -

So tacky right??

Now for the food... we had the Century Egg Porridge $4.50+ :

Pretty normal but good... goes perfect with dim sum :)

This is the first time I've had Shredded Yam Cake $2.50+ :

Interesting and not like any other dim sum I've ever had. Would have tasted much better if it came straight out of the pan, but it was at room temperature, like it had been sitting there for a while already... very filling though.

Of course we have to order a few classic dim sum dishes so we went with Har Gow $2.50+ :

Char Siew So $2.60+ :

and Prawn Chee Cheong Fun $2.60+ :

The dim sum were all ok, but really nothing to rave about... I think what bothered me most was how the food wasn't hot enough... won't be planning a trip back anytime soon but will keep it in mind for a quick weekday lunch.

I didn't have very good dim sum on my recent trip to HK so I'm totally craving some now... Please let me know if you have recommendations for good (and not too expensive) dim sum in Singapore!

Zi Yean Restaurant
56 Lengkok Bahru