Monday, October 31, 2011

Kway Chap from Tai Say Eating House 富成潮州卤鸭果汁

Kway Chap
Places are really closing faster than I can try them. There I was at Geylang Lor 17 to check out the famous Jia Xiang Ho Po Hakka Lei Cha Fan (rated six chopsticks in the Makansutra guide). I had seen it a couple of times when I went to Old Mother Hen, and assumed it would always be there. But it was gone. In its place, some refurbished food court, with a 24-hour dim sum joint.

I was incredulous. I literally called up the owner and they confirmed that they were not selling anymore for the time being. Devastated, I wandered around in a mindless stupor, kicking myself for not coming earlier. But I didn't wander far. Just over at Lor 15, comfort food beckoned - kway chap! This 富成潮州卤鸭果汁 stall at Tai Say Eating House I'd seen numerous times too, but no one seems to have reviewed it much.

Well, the kway chap (S$3.50) fared better than my expectations (which admittedly were not very high in the first place). The innards were clean and came in a lovely gravy. The only let-down was the "kway" rice sheets. The soup did not come piping hot, and the rice sheets did not taste as smooth as I've had elsewhere.

Stall inside Tai Say Eating House 富成潮州卤鸭果汁
They have braised duck too, and lots of strange parts I could not identify. The whole coffee-shop looks rather run-down and old school. But some might just find that adds to the appeal of the place.

Tai Say Eating House
Corner of Geylang Lorong 15 and Sims Avenue

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Antoinette at Mandarin Gallery

Saint Honore L'Amour
"Let them eat cake!" Well, Marie Antoinette may never have said those words often attributed to her, but she apparently did love pastries. As such, she is the inspiration for Chef Pang Kok Keong's new Parisian pâtisserie, salon de thé (tea room) and restaurant, Antoinette.

Chef Pang is well-known for his desserts (most famously at Canelé, and the Les Amis Group), but Antoinette has superb savoury selections as well. But I'll start with dessert, because they are just so pretty and exquisite!

The Saint Honore L'Amour (S$8.50 per slice, S$38 for 500g, S$75 for 1kg) is a rosy elegant tower of red fruit compote and rose petal cream filled profiteroles sitting on an almond tart base. If you love rose-flavoured desserts, this one was made for you.

Antoinette (S$9 each, S$40 for 500g, S$80 for 1kg) is a sweet nod to the last queen of France. Smooth milk chocolate infused with earl grey tea envelops a hazelnut feuillitine enhanced with dark chocolate earl grey tea crémeux. Yes, basically there's lots of earl grey, chocolate, and hazelnut.

But the most interesting thing is the raspberry coulis "cherry" on top. They went to quite a lot of trouble to create this. The raspberry juice had to be frozen first, and then coated with the "bubble" casing and brushed with an edible pearlescent sheen.

Choclicieux (S$9.50) is a popsicle-shaped treat made with dark chocolate, hazelnut nougatine, dark chocolate biscuit and almond chocolate glaze. When it was brought to the table, everyone thought this was ice cream. But surprise! It's a treat that's even richer and more decadent.

There is a beautiful display case at the front of the shop. Your familiar favourites from Canele are here too - the Royale, Mont Blanc, Strawberry Shortcake, macarons and so on.

Antoinette is a cosy haven of Parisian chic
The decor is aptly decadent and deliberately luxurious, as Marie Antoinette was certainly famous for her rich tastes and excesses. But it's designed to feel like a cosy home too. Sink into plush, custom-made velvet chairs for an intimate tête-à-tête, next to a mock fireplace and a birdcage filled with blooms. Bronze lamps cast a romantic glow, and the ceiling that resembles a gold chocolate bar reflects more opulence. It isn't a large space - it fits only 27 patrons - but that only adds to the exclusivity of the place.

Teas served in elegant pots with the initial "A"
Antoinette has quite a selection of custom-blended teas, such as Earl grey d'Antoinette; Fleurs confiture d'oranges, and French apple tart (all S$9 per pot). The taste and aroma of the teas I found very gentle but pleasant. Even the teapots and crockery are all quite ladylike, and embellished with the initial "A".

All right, that's it for dainty desserts and lovely teas. Let's check out their savoury items, which I would gladly come back for.

Scrambled egg gratin with tomato fondue, Paris ham, sauteed mushrooms and parmesan cheese, served with pain de mie toast
Scrambled egg gratin with tomato fondue, Paris ham, sauteed mushrooms and parmesan cheese, served with pain de mie toast (S$15). Supremely hearty and satisfying - my kind of breakfast! It will possibly be the only meal you will ever need for the entire day.

If you prefer a sweet start instead, I hear the French toast with crème Chantilly (about S$10.50) is really good. You can have it with maple syrup, salty caramel, caramelised banana or hot chocolate.

Antoinette Burger
There are various sandwiches too. This is the Antoinette Burger (S$18) - pan-fried apples with chicken leg patty, pommery mustard mayonnaise, butter luttuce, onion chutney, tomatoes, chips and petit salad. You could also opt for Club Antoinette (S$18), a triple decker of pain de mie toast, yuzu crab mimosa, omelette, tomato, chips and fresh lettuce.

Gnocchi carbonara
From the pasta section comes the interesting Gnocchi carbonara (S$16.50) with caramelized bacon, white wine cream sauce, poached egg and aged parmesan cheese. Chef Pang's dumplings are made without potato! It's a mixture of gruyere cheese, herbs, egg and flour that are blanched and sauteed in clarified butter until golden brown before being tossed in the sauce. Fried cheese dumplings! Yes!

Ballotine de poulet a la Grand-Mère; and Bouef Bourguignon
Please note that most of the savoury stuff is in tasting portions. Like this Ballotine de poulet a la Grand-Mère (S$26, left) and Bouef Bourguignon (S$28, right). I thought I would automatically like the beef (it's wagyu beef brisket!) more than the chicken, but the roasted chicken roll was surprisingly tasty. Crisp skin wins. It comes with a Chasseur sauce (white wine, tomatoes and mushroom). Probably still more refined than Grandma would make, but pleasing nonetheless.

Salad Antoinette
For a lighter meal (or if you are just adding on healthy greens), try the Salade Antoinette (S$14.50), which gives you mixed greens with crabmeat, boiled egg, tomatoes, pine nuts, toasted brioche cubes and a zesty yuzu dressing.

Chef Pang has always been fascinated with breads, so there are a few varieties like brioche, pain de mie, and a baguette that takes 24 hours to proof, so that it's more crisp and flavourful.

24-hour baguette with Serrano ham, emmental cheese and French butter
The 24-hour baguette with Serrano ham, emmental cheese and French butter (S$14). Tasting portion shown here, of course. Sometimes all I need is good bread and cheese.

Antoinette at Mandarin Gallery
Antoinette at Mandarin Gallery is Chef Pang's second outlet. The first one is at Penhas Road and is much larger (that one takes reservations, Mandarin Gallery does not). There will be a third outlet at Scarlet Hotel, which is slated to open in November.

It was a great pleasure meeting the effusively cheerful Chef Pang. I like what he's done with Antoinette, and look forward to more of his Sugar Daddy Group ventures.

333A Orchard Road
#02-33/34 Mandarin Gallery
Singapore 238897
Tel: +65 6836-9527
Open daily 9am to 10pm (last order 9.30pm)

Original branch at Penhas Road
30 Penhas Road (off Lavender Street)
Singapore 208188
Tel: 6293-3121
Mon-Thurs: 11am to 10pm
Fri & eve PH: 11am to 11pm
Sat: 10am to 11pm
Sun and PH: 10am to 10pm
(last orders all half hour before closing)

Thanks to Noelle of Sixth Sense Communications for inviting and hosting us, and to Chef Pang too for the dinner.

Monday, October 24, 2011

DBS Underground SupperClub Kicks Off With Chef Anthony Genovese At St Regis

It was an evening of mystique, surprise and delight.

A whispered invitation led me to a mystery meal held in an intimate setting. Only about 20 of us had the privilege to taste Chef Anthony Genovese's specially crafted "Food for the Soul" menu at the Decanter, St Regis Singapore.

Beautiful setting for the first DBS Underground SupperClub
This is the first ever Underground SupperClub by DBS Indulge (the bank's card dining platform) and it's another series of experiential dining that will gets you dining with renowned chefs in an intimate after-hours setting. There are six of such sessions in the pipeline, and each will feature a different theme.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stellar at 1-Altitude

Stellar at 1-Altitude reigns as one of the 'highest' restaurants in Singapore. At level 62 or 275m above sea levels, it certainly conjures up an image of being very "atas" (Malay for "up", slang for upmarket). But surprisingly, it's a lot more casual than I expected. I immediately liked the white decor and high ceiling - it's got an air of summery chic, and beckons you to relax. It might even cure you of acrophobia.

Group Executive Chef Christopher Millar has also crafted a menu that's fine-dining, but not too intimidating. There's charcuterie, sushi and sashimi, an oyster bar, wood-fired grill and rotisserie, plus patisserie selections from 1-Caramel. It's a modern mix, but not fusion.

Hello Jamon
I spied this leggy beauty from afar, the moment I stepped in. Hello jamon! Ah, things were looking good right off the bat.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chef Wan Tupperware Party

Chef Wan bringing around his seafood risotto
Wow, it's Chef Wan, live in person and bringing you delicious goodies! This is one of the most fun cooking demos ever held at the AFC Studio. Datuk Chef Wan is easily Malaysia's most prominent and entertaining cooking celebrities, and he is also one of the world's most prolific in terms of cooking shows. He has so many series and episodes, you'll likely find him concurrently on different TV stations in Malaysia (especially during festive seasons).

Chef Wan is a natural born performer
Well, this was a Tupperware party, but it wasn't just Tupperware engaging Chef Wan for a demo. I never knew this, but Chef Wan's childhood is deeply intertwined with Tupperware.

He related (with a lot of humour) how his family of many siblings depended on his mom's side income from organising Tupperware parties and sales, since his dad's salary was meagre. Oh, his mom is a Nyonya from Singapore, incidentally. Chef Wan himself sold Tupperware to his teachers! And oh, how glam it was to come to school with sturdy plastic containers when others could only wrap their lunches in newspaper. Over the years, Chef Wan has also tried to help less fortunate women gain financial independence or assistance by getting them to sell Tupperware.

Christine Wong from Tupperware brands introducing the wares
Tupperware has also grown to include many more products than just lifetime-guaranteed plastic storage. Christine Wong from Tupperware Brands introduced the various lines, which now include TupperChef cookware, kitchen gadgets, TupperClean solutions, Natur Care health products and BeautiControl skincare. It's pretty much still a direct sales business, but I hear there is a showroom at their office (85 Defu Lane 10, #01-00; Tel: +65 6285-2988). You can sign up as a member for discounts.

Tupperware Starter Set
Does this look like Tupperware to you? Well, it is! The Tupperware "Fast & Easy Cooking Set" is a great starter set for newly weds, or housewarming gift. It comes with the TupperChef Fryer, Turbo Chopper (the shiny red canister in the middle), Serving Spatula (not pictured cos Chef Wan was using it!) and Spoon, Multi-purpose Shears, and TupperClean Stainless Steel and Copper Cleaner.

We all liked the Turbo Chopper, and wish it was sold separately, but it only comes with this set! Chef Wan demonstrated with great hilarity how it works - no electricity needed, just pull a cord and the blades spin and dice your ingredients. It chops 288 times in less than 15 seconds - even Chef Wan says he can't chop that fast.

Anyway, Chef Wan demonstrated three dishes using the various items. All the recipes are available here on Tupperware's website.

Chef Wan cooking Moroccan Chicken Tajine
Here he is using the 38cm Tupperchef stainless steel wok to cook Moroccan Chicken Tajine with Prunes and Olives. It's got a special 3-ply bottom for better heat distribution, and a high-domed cover.

Ras el Hanout - the exotic Middle-Eastern spice blend
One of the ingredients is the Ras el Hanout, the exotic Middle-Eastern spice blend that truly makes the dish. Every shop and family in Morocco has their own secret blend, which can feature as many as over a hundred ingredients. But here's a sample from Kayotic Kitchen, and from

Moroccan Chicken Tajine with Prunes and Olives
Moroccan Chicken Tajine with Prunes and Olives. Kalamata olives and sweet prunes added the savoury and sweet notes to the dish.

Chef Wan kept us in stitches with his endless jokes
Throughout the whole session, Chef Wan kept us in stitches. We were so busy bursting into laughter, we could barely take photos.

Next up was Arroz a la Cazuela (Spanish style Seafood Risotto) - see Chef Wan coming around with a pot of it in the first photo. It smelled so fabulous!

Arroz a la Cazuela (Spanish style Seafood Risotto)
This is the portion they had pre-prepared in the kitchen. It was good but later on, we got to try the one cooked by Chef Wan.

Arroz a la Cazuela (Spanish style Seafood Risotto) as cooked by Chef Wan
Arroz a la Cazuela (Spanish style Seafood Risotto) as cooked by Chef Wan. Oh my goodness, was this the same recipe? It tasted so much nicer!

And now for dessert - Chef Wan made a cake from scratch.

Chef Wan drizzling butterscotch dressing onto his apple cake
Chef Wan drizzling butterscotch dressing onto his apple cake. Ah, the aroma of freshly made butterscotch...

Hot Spiced Apple Cake with Butterscotch Dressing
Hot Spiced Apple Cake with Butterscotch Dressing - simple but delicious!

A happy Chef Wan with a cake well done!
A happy Chef Wan with a cake well done!

His latest book compiles the best recipes from his career
His latest book "The Best of Chef Wan: A Taste of Malaysia" compiles the best recipes he has encountered from all over Malaysia.

I adore Chef Wan!
The one and only Chef Wan. It was a great honour meeting the very creative and enthusiastic man. He's more colourful than our shirts!

Thanks to Tupperware and The Right Spin for the invitation to this phenomenally entertaining event.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Heath Bistro at Singapore EXPO - Cute, Cosy and Great Value for Money

The bistro looks cosy and welcoming
If you are like me, you never really know what to eat at the Singapore Expo. But I am glad I've found Heath Bistro, which opened about four months ago (July 2011) outside Hall 3. It offers really hearty fare in a casual and cosy environment. If you are ravenous after many hours foraging the sales/exhibitions or just need a cuppa to relax with, this is a great place to check out.

Heath Bistro is casual and unpretentious
Green plants and wooden furniture give the place an organic feel, while the clear glass lets in lots of natural light.

If you are wondering about the bistro's name, no, it's not an homage to Mr Ledger, but it pertains to heathland and alludes to "something fertile, supportive of life, and waiting to be discovered". The owners wanted a cosy place for EXPO visitors and people living in the Eastern part of Singapore.

Three young artists hand-painted the mural over two nights
The bistro features some artwork done by three young graphic design graduates of Temasek Polytechnic. They hand-painted this really cute mural on one side of the bistro wall. It took two nights, and as the Expo shuts off all lights at 10pm, they had to continue working using flashlights. But the end result is still so pretty.

I love the movement and whimsy in the art
I love the movement captured in the art, and how the whimsical details evoke feelings of carefree innocence. The way life should be enjoyed - being happy.

The menu has little whimsical drawings
You'll even see it in the little drawings peppered throughout the menu.

You can't help but smile at these cute details
It's bound to bring a smile. Come on. If it doesn't, then I'm afraid some cynic is hardened beyond cure.

Watch the world go by
It's a wonderful place to sit, relax and watch the world go by.

But of course, let's check out the food. It's simple and unpretentious Western fare.

Prosciutto Funghi Pizza
This is their Prosciutto Funghi pizza (S$9.90 nett for 10-inch, S$17.90 nett for 15-inch) - thinly sliced ham and mushrooms on a wafer-thin crisp crust, topped with lots of cheese. It's really very light, and you won't feel like you've overindulged.

Pizza Lava
The Pizza Lava (also S$9.90 nett for 10-inch size) features Italian sausages and olives on a slightly thicker crust. Hmmm, I wish they serve the sausages whole as mains too. They tasted like they had a nice bite to them with snappy skin casing.

Prime Ribs
The Prime Ribs (S$19.80 nett) is a huge slab of ribs coated with the chef's specialty sauce. I enjoyed this, and I appreciated that it came on a lush bed of salad greens. Yes, Heath Bistro is sometimes misread by many as "Health Bistro"...but perhaps that's not entirely a mistake. Their mains do come with a lot of vegetables.

German Pork Knuckle
The German Pork Knuckle (S$37.80 nett) should have been named the Giant Pork Knuckle. It is an ENORMOUS platter that will feed a family of four quite easily. Seriously, you have to share this, although there have been customers who ate the whole thing themselves. There's lots of meat to go around, and the best part, of course, is the crispy skin. The sauce has a slightly Asian taste to it. One patron liked to eat the pork knuckle by rolling up the meat in the full salad leaves that accompany this dish.

Mushroom soup
The Mushroom Soup - available a la carte or as part of a set - is really thick with chunks of mushrooms. Even the garlic croutons are made in-house.

Heath Special Beef Stew
The Heath Special Beef Stew (S$13.80 nett). The meat is pretty lean, but it's been stewed for hours. The carrots and potatoes have soaked up all the flavour too. You can choose either rice or potatoes to go with this, but rice might be a good idea since there are already potatoes in there.

Country Herb Chicken
The Country Herb Chicken (S$14.80 nett) surprised me. Well, besides its enormous size (where did they catch this chicken from?), it was beautifully sweet and tasty. I'm usually not a fan of herbed chicken, but this one was not too bad.

But it's not all a meat extravaganza. Heath Bistro has vegetarian options across most of its menu sections - pizzas, pastas, mains and salads.

There are wines and beers available as well as coffee, tea and juices
There are wines and beers available as well as coffee, tea and juices. They stock various beers - Chang, Guiness, Erdinger, Hoegaarden, Corona and Carlsberg. For wines, they have sourced labels that aren't the commonplace supermarket variety. I'll add the wine list later.

Matta Ragazza - peach tea with mint
Try their signature Matta Ragazza (S$4.80 nett) - peach tea with mint. It's the best antidote to our scorching weather.

The gelato is homemade! Rum and raisin is the best-seller
And don't miss the homemade gelato! Made with low-fat milk and less sugar. Rum and raisin is the best-seller. So much so that it was sold out by lunchtime (there was a pretty good crowd).

Homemade gelato - hazelnut, dark chocolate with crispy wafer, and pistachio
We tried the next most popular flavours - hazelnut, dark chocolate with crispy wafer, and pistachio. All very good, and all go very well together too! The dark chocolate is extremely rich and dense, but the wafer provides interesting texture. Other flavours include strawberry and mango (most popular with kids), but don't ask for vanilla. Each scoop is S$3.80 nett or available with some sets.

Lots of good value promotions daily
Speaking of sets, Heath Bistro has very good deals going on. Like 1-for-1 pizza at S$9.90 (daily between 3-5pm). Or all-day value set meals from S$8.80 nett. Yes, you're seeing all these nett prices? There's no service charge or GST!

There are two different type of set meals. The executive sets feature their a la carte mains served with complimentary soup/drink/gelato. (You can click to see bigger picture).

The daily set has items not on the a la carte menu, but popular favourites like chicken chop and fish & chips. Prices are also the most attractive here, from S$8.80 nett - yes, I'll say it again, there's not GST and no service charge here! You really need to take nearly 20% off these prices to compare them with outlets that charge the extras.

Oktoberfest promotion at Heath Bistro
And here's their promo for Oktoberfest. Two bottles of beer (Erdinger/Heineken) will get you a free platter of snacks. A hefty 25% off beers and wines with any entree. And the giant pork knuckle with two beers at only S$49.90 nett.

They serve illy coffee
They serve dark roast illy coffee here. I've always liked illy.

And what goes well with coffee? Free wi-fi! They have powerpoint sockets too, for those needing some juice for their laptops and portable devices.

Heath Bistro is right outside Hall 3 of the Singapore Expo
The hearty portions, value pricing and cosy decor is more than enough to make one grin like the "H" in the Heath logo. I can see the EXPO has been trying to draw better food outlets but it's definitely a challenge for the F&B outlets, given the inconsistent crowd at an exhibition-based venue.

But for now at least, I know one reliable spot where I can chill and have a bite. There's free parking too after 5pm (fee deducted from food bill) on Mondays to Thursdays.

HEATH BISTRO - Facebook, Blog
1 Expo Drive
#01-31 Singapore EXPO
Singapore 486150
Tel: +65 6260-2002
Open daily
Mon to Sat: 11am to 11pm
Sun, Eve and PH: 11am to midnight

Detail from the roof art
Thanks to Heath Bistro for the invitation. Heath Bistro also commissioned the photos used in this post.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
© CAMEMBERU | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Crafted by pipdig