Monday, September 22, 2014

Paul's new Executive Set Dinner menu at Tanglin Mall and Westgate

Paul's is an bakery from Paris with a long and interesting history from 1889 in France. They opened their first outlet in Singapore in 2012 in Ngee Ann City.

They introduced an interesting menu of affordable meals in their  outlets in Tanglin Mall and Westgate...both an Executive Set Lunch for S$13.90 and their Executive Set Dinner for S$18.90 from now till October 31.

I went for a tasting at the Tanglin Mall outlet, a quaint restaurant, reminiscent of a boulangerie in France, with a large bread counter at the entrance, and a nice beautifully decorated dining area.

I tried the Set Dinner...first up the soup of the day, which was Cream of Brocolli

Made with ground brocolli, it was rather pleasing, but not spectacular by any stretch of imagination. I rather enjoyed it, as it was hearty and wholesome. The cream was light, and the bits of ground brocolli provided the namesake and the taste.

I also had the traditional beef stew. 

This was a hearty dish. Chunks of beef, nicely stewed till tender, with lots of vegetables, potatos, carrots, leaks and a thick, delicious brown sauce. Served with a green salad on the side and house bread, baked fresh. Loved this dish. Very traditional, very countryside. 

Kin had the chicken in cream sauce

Called Saute de Poulet aux Champignons or roasted chicken with mushrooms in a cream sauce. Rather delectable too. The chicken was nicely roasted, and very tender. The mushrooms were fresh ones, and very flavourful, and went very well with the cream sauce.

The set dinner came with either ice lemon tea or ice mint tea...rather refreshing.

Nice dinner sets, and very affordable and good value. 

#01-16/17 Tanglin Mall
163 Tanglin Road
Singapore 247933
Tel: +65 6736-3257

#01-05 Westgate
3 Gateway Drive
Singapore 065832
Tel: +65 6369-9080

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Stirling at Bukit Timah Village

Great steaks and grills are a passion of mine. And I am always on the lookout for reasonably priced steaks which are grilled correctly.

When the owner Elwyn called to invite me for a tasting, I looked at the menu, and thought very interesting. Most interesting was the CV of the chef, who was trained as a grill master. Interest piqued, I went.

The decor was rather homely...a large long bar on one side, and tables for twos and fours on the other. Outdoors, but under cover of a roof, was more seating. The place boasted a nice selection of craft beers and divers alcohol. 

But we were there for the food...and we started with the grilled appetizers:

Halloumi cheese, pan seared, and served with a salsa like salad with baby spinach, tomatos and capsicum. I found this to be quite superb. The texture of the halloumi cheese, a speciality of the Greeks/Turks was superb. The salsa was just nicely so, and went well with the spinach. Though, I might have longed for some rockets within the greens.

A twist on the traditional Italian parma ham with melons is the chef's interpretation of parma ham with grilled watermelon.

The grilled watermelon was lightly grilled over charcoal, and rested on a bed of rockets and olive slices, and topped with parma ham. I thought this was somewhat less successful than the traditional pairing with raw melons. But the dish still works, and was rather pleasant.

Then came the char grilled steaks

As usual, I ordered the Chicago Medium Rare...medium rare on the inside, but charred on the outside. The 300g cut of ribeye was rather substantial, and served with a sauce and a knob of herb butter. For the sides, I had the grilled vegetables (excellent!) and french fries with truffle sauce, which was also excellent.

I think the chef showed his expertise in the steak. Grilling was perfectly done. Deep within, a touch medium rare, working beautifully to medium just under the wonderfully smokey exterior which was lightly charred. Very good. One of the better steaks I have had in a while. And almost on par with Ruth's Chris and Cut...but at a fraction of the price. This 300g cut of prime Australian beef...grass fed, and corn fed for the final 120 days, is luscious, nicely marbled. 

We also tried the crispy Atlantic King Salmon

This was also superb. The leek dill sauce was perfect foil for the slightly lumpy mash potato, and the piece de resistance is the perfectly grilled, and fried salmon. The skin was very crispy, but the insides still rather moist, and flavourful. Very good fish, and very highly recommended, especially for those who do not eat beef. 

For desserts, we tried the tiramisu

Not quite as special as the mains. For me, the tiramisu lacks the alcohol punch, and a bit pedestrian...though I suspect that remark is a bit overstates the is certainly edible and tastes good, but not great by any stretch of imagination.

The crepes were rather more successful

I rather enjoyed it. The crepes themselves could have been left on the pan a bit longer to develop a light crisp on the outside, but it was cooked well, and with nutella within was nice. Chocolate flakes and berries with vanilla ice cream adorns. 

For me, the standout dishes in this restaurant were the mains. The steaks were truly great, lacking only the slightest to the magnificent steaks at Cut and in the US, because they do not use dry aged beef....hence lacking in the foie gras like flavour imparted by dry aging. I will certainly crave for more steaks here. And the Crispy Atlantic King Salmon is another great dish to saveur.

The chef is a rather youthful looking fellow, having learnt his craft in The Steakhouse at Clarke Quay, and the restaurant is also co-helmed by another chef, who is only 19 years old, and yet to go for his NS.

Remarkable restaurant. Highly recommended.

Sun - Thu: 11:30 - 00:00
Fri - Sat: 11:30 - 01:00

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Yummy Recipes at Kallang Pudding

The name is direct, in your face. The claim, bold. Does it live up to its name?

This interesting restaurant, looking like the set of a Chinese sword fighting movie, and situated right smack in an industrial estate in an industrial building came with very high recommendations from one of my great foodie friends.

The renovations for the restaurant is claimed to be in the upper six figure range, with antique art and furnishings abound. But this is still a family restaurant, and on a sunday evening when I visited, it was rather full, and abuzz with families dining.

First off, we tried the sio bak...roasted pork belly

Instantly memories of the fabulous roasted pork we had in Hong Kong flooded back. This is one of the best roasted pork we have eaten in a long time. The skin is crisp, light, and wonderfully golden brown and fragrant with a hint of charring. The meat was juicy, without being too fat, and beautifully tender and tasty. Very good roast pork.

Their kailan in two styles was also recommended

On the foreground, a nice, succulent kailan, cooked just right, still with a nice crunch, but cooked and no green flavour. Very nice with a nice dose of garlic. On the background is thinly sliced kailan, deep fried till crisp and tossed with deep fried crispy silverfish. The taste reminded us of sea weed, but this is kailan. Very nice. 

As both Ed and I were big fans of pig's stomach soup, being spoilt by my late mother's wonderful rendition of this soup, had to try Yummy's version. The Yummy's version has an interesting twist. A whole chicken is stuffed into the pig's stomach, and the entire package cooked in a thick-ish savoury soup with fish maw, slices of abalone and other goodies. 

Shown above, the entire stomach with the chicken inside is removed from the pot, sliced at the table. The slices of pig's stomach are placed in the bowls and the chicken left on the plate and served. The chicken is extremely tender while still maintaining quite a bit of the juiciness and chicken flavours while being mixed with overtones of pork flavours. The stomach was also tender but as they tend to go, still retaining the springy, texture. Very nice. 

The soup was marvellous. Thick, almost with a collagen like consistency, bursting with wonderful flavours. Within are bits of pork, Korean ginseng, abalone slices and fish maw. We love the soup very much. The dish can serve 10 with each getting a small bowl, or 4-6 with 2 bowls each. We were 3 that evening, and we had a tough time finishing this, even though we adored it. Must order, especially if you have a larger group.

Very interesting restaurant. We will be back to try the lobster porridge, which we were told by friends that is also benchmark setting. As well as other dishes. Probably a larger group next time, so we can sample more delicacies. Definitely highly recommended.

Yummy Recipes

47 Kallang Pudding Road, #01-08,
Crescent @ Kallang S(349318)
T. +65 6343 1818F. +65 6636 0602

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Malaysian Food Street at Resorts World Sentosa

Today's post is a bit unusual...I have featured the food at Malaysian Food Street before. And like the Penang Char Kway Teow and KL Jalan Alor Black Hokkien Mee very much.

I attended a MasterClass where Chef Adolf Tan shared the recipes and some secrets of why these dishes taste better than other places which serve similar in Singapore.

Of course, the reference is still the dishes in the native city. I discussed this with Chef Adolf and he told me that his aim is to achieve about 80% of what can be tasted in Penang or KL. The reason is because some of the ingredients are not available in Singapore, even on special order, as some have a very short shelf life, and others have been restricted by the authorities (like fresh duck eggs which packs a wallop in Penang for their CKT)

The recipe is rather simple...and as usual, simple dishes are the Penang the dish is spelled Char Koay Teow, here is the recipe:

Ingredients: serves 1

200g Koay Teow
35g Bean Sprouts
5g local chives, cut
5g chopped garlic
Chillli paste to taste
35g fresh prawns
15g Chinese sausage
1 egg
30ml pork oil
20ml premium soya sauce, or as an option a dash of fish sauce and pepper


1, Heat up pork oil in wok until can see the oil smoking on the wok. Add chopped garlic and prawns.
2. Stir fry till fragrant, and add koay teow and beansprouts. Fry for about 1 minute.
3. add chilli paste, soya sauce and stir fry untill well coated, then add Chnese sausage and chives.
4. Add egg, cook till the egg is done.
5. Garnish and serve.

The Masterclass CKT was cooked on a portable stove, but the regular CKT in MFS is cooked on a super powerful high pressure gas stove...the one which sounds like a jet engine taking off. This will provide the requisite wok hei to the dish, which is so treasured. Traditionally in Penang, the dish is also cooked in a charcoal fire, where a fan is used to stoke the ambers to very high heat. And the charcoal adds an additional depth to the dish, infusing it with smoky flavours for an even more powerful wok hei.

The next dish demonstrated was the Dai Lok Mee...or KL Black Hokkien Mee. 

The special ingredient used when you eat at MFS is the noodle. I often lament that local renditions o this very special dish lacks authenticity as most use either udon or regular mee. But in KL,  the mee is yellow noodle, but thick and has a special flavour. MFS went to the trouble to get the local Singapore noodle manufacture to make the mee in Singapore to be as close to what is obtainable in KL as possible. Chef Adolf shared with me that the manufacture of this mee is only for MFS and the manufacturer is under contract only to supply to them.

The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients: serves 1
200g Dai Lok Mee
25g Choy Sum, cut
50g Round cabbage, cut
5g chopped garlic'
30g pork oil
25g pork loin, sliced
35g fresh prawn meat
20g brown cuttlefish, cut
10g Premium soya sauce
30g Premium Dark Soya sauce
150ml chicken stock made from 250g of chicken bones and 500ml water boiled and reduced to 250ml.

1. Heat up wok with pork oil and add both cut vegetables, pork slices, cuttlefish, prawn and chopped garlic
2. Fry till fragrant, add chicken stock and mee
3. Add soya sauce and dark soya sauce and simmer till sauce coats the noodles
4. Stir well and serve.

Visually, the noodles look very similar to the ones I have eaten in KL. And the fragrance is absolutely captivating. Tastewise, this is probably the closest to KL I have sampled in Singapore, big thanks to the special noodles used.

Malaysian Food Street
Resorts World Sentosa