Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Where to Eat this CNY 2017

Chinese New Year (CNY) usually brings with it the biggest family feast of the year for many of us who are celebrating. It's way less stressful to eat out, and everyone can have a good time. Let's take a look at some of the more interesting choices out there:


A buffet would make sense if you have a large extended family or loved ones with different tastebuds who would not be easily satisfied with a fixed menu.

Seasonal Tastes at The Westin Singapore is rolling out Lunar New Year favourites for reunion dinner. On the eve, enjoy the classic Mini Buddha Jumps Over The Wall, a double-boiled fish maw and crab meat broth with generous amounts of prosperous ingredients such as abalone, fish maw, mushroom, chicken and Chinese cabbage. The rest of the CNY season features Yu Sheng alongside a host of salmon treats – Traditional Smoked Salmon, Thai Smoked Salmon with Coriander Crust, and Beetroot Salmon Crust with Candied Walnuts – and the traditional Four Treasure Fortune Pot (photo above), Braised Pork Belly, and Drunken Fresh Prawns with XO Brandy, among others.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Sakae Sushi Lunar New Year Festive Combo Sets - Yusheng, Sushi and More

Sakae Sushi is offering festive combos for the lunar new year! I got to try the Festive Combo B ($168, photo above) which easily serves 8-10 people and comes with a Salmon Rong Yu Longevity Set, Classic Sushi Platter, Agemono Platter, and Chinmi Platter. To add a touch of luxury to the yu sheng, feel free to top up for the Australian Jumbo Abalone Yu Sheng for $13.

There's another lower priced Festive A (S$116) which serves 6-8 people and comprises the Salmon Rong Yu Sheng Longevity Set featuring Norwegian Salmon, and a Classic Sushi Platter.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Birds of a Feather: Modern Sichuan In Cosy Cafe-Bar

Birds of a Feather is a jewel of a retreat at Amoy Street. It's one of my favourite discoveries of 2016. The all-day dining cafe and bar is a haven of greenery and cosy serene space that's perfect for friends and kindred souls to flock to, as would birds of a feather.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Recipe: Multi-grain Rice with Mushrooms Using Tefal Advanced Spherical Pot Rice Cooker

Happy new year! We are kicking off 2017 with a (somewhat) healthy recipe: brown rice with multi-grains, chestnuts and mushrooms. I cooked this with the new Tefal Advanced Spherical Pot Rice Cooker (model RK8115) and I love how every grain came out perfectly cooked, separate and without any mush. It was al dente with a nice balance of yield vs bite. Best of all, nothing stuck to the pot, unlike my other rice cookers!

The RK8115 rice cooker is a beauty with its metallic and maroon exterior. It's compact and fits into a small kitchen. On top of that, it's super efficient machine that cooks more than just rice. Ten cooking programs include: White Rice, Brown Rice, Glutinous Rice, Congee, Porridge, Claypot, Steam, Soup, Reheat and Keep Warm. The capacity is 1L and you can cook six cups of rice - just right for a small family, or 1-8 individuals.

But what is really innovative is the spherical pot.
The design is inspired by traditional methods of cooking rice over fire. Doesn't it make sense? Tefal's spherical pot is orbed at a 62 degree angle at the brim and bottom to encourage even heat circulation.

With 2D spherical heating technology that emits heat from the pot's sides and bottom, the rice grains are heated evenly by swirling circularly instead of vertically. You get homogenous and deliciously cooked rice.

So here's the recipe for the Multi-grain Mushroom Rice (modified slightly from the original recipe that Tefal provided):


3 cups brown rice
30g multi-grains for rice (I used Hakubaku 16 grains)
50g roasted chestnuts
3 caps dried mushrooms
10g dried dashi (available in sachets)
2 tbsp soy sauce*
1tbsp sugar

*you can be creative and use any soy-based gravy; I tried using kway chap sauce and roast pork dark gravy (and omitted sugar)

1. Mix soy sauce, sugar, and 1/4 cup water.
2. Soak mushrooms til soft and slice. Set aside the soaking water.
3. Add the (rinsed) brown rice and soaking water into the Tefal rice cooker. Add more water to the mark that reads 3 cup rice.
4. Add multi-grains, chestnuts and dashi. Close lid, set to brown rice mode and leave it to cook.
5. When ready, fluff the rice and serve with favourite dishes.

We like it on its own too; it's a one pot meal, and is especially tasty with some spicy chili sauce.

I have to say I'm really pleased with the results.

The Tefal rice cooker comes with a cookbook with recipes for claypot rice, Cantonese boat congee, stirfries, steamed dishes, soups, and even desserts. Yes, you can make chocolate cake with this cooker.

The Tefal Advanved Spherical Pot Rice Cooker RK8115 is priced at S$179 and is available at leading electrical and department stores. Visit the Tefal website and Facebook page for more information.

Thanks to Tefal for providing the rice cooker for review
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