I don’t seem to have much affinity with pandan desserts – they all require second-tries-and-the-promise-of-practice. in truth, it’s probably not the fault of the screwpine leaf – all the recipes calling for it are inevitably asian desserts, which also inescapably means vagueish instructions and a felicitous mix of finesse and experience (and fengshui, let’s not forget that).
this wasn’t bad actually, just a tad too sweet and lots of I-should-haves on hindsight. no recipe for you today, therefore, but a few notes if you’re thinking of trying this out!
decent noodles and dumplings at this taiwanese chain – I’ve done a post on this one before because I really rather like it, but here’s an update (including one of their best dishes). also – this is an effortless way to say hello(!) in the midst of post-holiday-induced melancholy, and fortuitously, a recommendation for an easy dinner out if you can’t bring yourself to cook tonight.
this is a good fallback restaurant (but not if you’re dining at a typical meal hour, as it’s always full) for decent food and low prices; and while I think the crystal jade empire (and more relevantly, its equivalent la mian xiao long bao outlets) serves better food when their kitchens exert themselves, this place shows a higher degree of consistency in production.
fantastic seafood and zi char at this casual chinese restaurant nearish the singapore expo – really, it’s rather out of the way (for us), but it’s now become my family’s go-to place for crabs and the like, and well-worth travelling to. the place has been packed to the rafters even by early evening (we popped here on two consecutive sundays because it was so good) – but the prices are reasonable, the food is absolutely commendably executed, and service is both sincere and quick.
if you’re not from around here – then zi char refers to a rather casual style of dining-out, where you get local home-style chinese cooking spanning nearly anything you could want – meat, seafood and veg – with some stalls so expert as to provide restaurant-quality cooking at more accessible prices.
great chinese food – almost surprisingly so – hidden away in the gallery wing of the hotel rendezvous. this place has been featured in a couple articles here and there, but never seemed to hold onto the limelight – which truly is a pity, as the food here is great; chinese food with a focus on healthy and nourishing ingredients, tasty and very creative to boot.
the restaurant promotes itself on the health-giving aspects of its offerings, and even has a menu catered to pregnant women (or women going through the confinement period), which I think might scare some diners off – an uncomfortable result of the general perception that healthy means bland – but the food truly is well-seasoned and appealing, and hearty enough to appeal to all you adverse to healthy(-labelled) food.
great, simple grass jelly desert at this taiwanese chain outpost in katong. I may not know a great deal about great chinese desserts, but I do know what i like – and that means lots of sugared beans, silky pudding, and not-too-sweet.
this place is pretty awesome. their specialty is smooth, silky grass jelly – a black, translucent jelly without much discernible taste, usually served in large cubes for dessert or thin slivers in syrup as a drink – as a bed for other toppings: starches such as taro balls, beans cooked in sugar, and various other accoutrements.
this is such a long post – and so many photos! – but see those tau sar piah up in the first photo? they might be gorgeous to look at and perfectly-sized for rapid consumption – but they take a crazy amount of preparation and time, so much so that you start to wonder in between if it’s worth it. I’m really happy I went through with it though – it taught me new techniques, came out really much prettier than I’d expected, and was just the thing for a relaxing (entire) day’s project.
tau sar piah are traditional chinese bean pastries, with a cooked split mung bean filling surrounded by a layer of flaky pastry. these pastries are sold in those old neighborhood bakeries, or brought back in boxes from malaysia – the malaysian ones are supposedly tastier because they they still do things the old way and aren’t shy about using lard. I never thought I’d want to make these for myself since I don’t much eat them anymore now, though that sweet-savoury bean filling is rather addictive once you start.
these were my first attempt, and I made them slightly different with a filling that used the entire green mung bean – as opposed to just the skinless yellow split mung bean – and though there is room for improvement, I was pretty stoked with how they turned out. asian recipes are really difficult to master actually – and very tedious to complete. I have complete admiration for cooks that churn these pastries out regularly, but it also reminds you that it’s the very same reason our old cornerstone bakeries are starting to close.
recipe and steps in the next post! that last photo is a sort of fantasy of mine – I’m not sure I’ll want to be selling these particular pastries, but there is a sense of satisfaction in even just printing out that first box.
utterly fantastic vietnamese food at the basement of the wheelock place shopping mall. this place is such a gem, and really, it’s the best food I’ve had for quite a while since coming back to singapore. great, tasty, savoury, and wholly satisfying food at great low prices – made even more reasonable within context of its location – this is one place worthy of fandom.
better than standard coffee-shop offerings, but not worth the hype dimsum at the kovan area – good if you live here, but don’t bother if you don’t. it’s almost certain that anything with liushabao (or, salted egg custard bun – you must know this by now) will catch the attention of my rather overattentive stomach – and so I was pretty intrigued by this place when I read a blog post on it. the food is pretty alright, but I highly doubt I’ll be returning on purpose for the dimsum.
very good, concise buffet spread at the new parkroyal on pickering. so I’ve told you a bit about this place and how pretty it is in my last post - and now let’s talk about the eatin’.
I feel the need to insert a caveat here – I enjoyed this spread because it had precisely the sort of thing I like to eat, but if you come here expecting the massive sort of round-the-world line-up the shangri-la provides, then you might be a tad disappointed. I don’t personally go in for large spreads – I once filled up on popiah (a cheap local dish of braised radish) at another buffet to the desperation of my partner – and I appreciate quality over quantity.