the home grill

some photos from a recent home dinner – mum’s a great cook, and while I wish I had the opportunity to cook more now that I’m home, it’s difficult to put up a convincing argument (even to myself) when the food’s so good.

this is another post dedicated to our multitasking george foreman grill, and it does an amazing job with crayfish, squid, sausages and pork; and we had loads of leafy greens and mash to go with. it’s a rainy sunday here in singapore – a crazy-heavy curtain of grey outside – and so a nice one for being indoors. see you guys tomorrow!


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egg wash tips

I came across a lovely paragraph while going through the epicure asia magazine today – such lovely photos in this publication – about egg washes, and while I’ve known this sort-of-vaguely, I thought I’d share it with you guys in case you get down to some serious baking over the weekend – those cookies up there are a great start (photos rehashed from the archive!).

types of egg washes

whole eggs with salt create a shiny sheen – this is usually applied on breads
whole eggs with a splash of milk give you a matte finish – usually for cookies
whole eggs with a splash of water bring a golden hue – apparently usually for savouries
plain egg yolks only for a shiny brown finish – especially for pastry (this is my favourite one!)
yolks only with a splash of water will make for a warm golden finish
yolks with a splash of cream or milk renders a darker brown shade on your goods
egg whites only if you’re looking for a lightly-coloured and crisp surface

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taken from epicure asia, april 2013, adapted from a quote by thierry delourneaux, executive pastry chef at the fairmont singapore and swissôtel the stamford.

grocer & grind, bali

pretty decent food at a quiet corner in seminyak, bali. we past this place on the way to the potato head the night before, and ended up at this place when hungry for a spot of dinner. a mix of an air-conditioned cafe with a deli and cake counter, as well as an open-air pizza place, this place was great for a quiet dinner, and had a pretty extensive menu spanning indonesian food to pizzas and grills.

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naughty nuri’s warung, bali

really good ribs – and pretty okay everything else at this small but very famous store in ubud. I had read so much about this place before we left for bali, and was pretty excited about it – I love ribs, and there aren’t many place in singapore that serve it, let alone do a decent version.

we came here on our way from kerobokan to mount batur for a look at the kintamani volcano, and the place filled up very quickly at lunch-time. you’re greeted by the sight of a lady piling up glistening racks of ribs on the barbie, and we quickly headed in to get an order.

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song ngu seafood restaurant, ho chi minh












located at at 70 Suong Nguyet Anh, District 1.

really good seafood in downtown ho chi minh – used to be one of our favourite restaurants but standards seem to have dropped a wee bit, although this place is still a fantastic option for a meal. my family comes to ho chi minh to eat – and shop a little – and not much else, and seafood is our only agenda – lots of it, and as fresh and big as we can get it.

this is my parent’s 7th trip to hcm, and my 4th, and on each trip we have returned to this place for its more refined (than another place I’ll share after this) ambience and good food, as well as the frequent performances from a lady up on a podium in the middle of the restaurant playing a traditional instrument. on this visit, she wasn’t here – and it seems to me that after four years of not coming here, the food is still very good, even if I expected it to be better.

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roadside banhmi, ho chi minh

located at 37 nguyen trai.

we were drawn to this store by the smell of delicious grilled meat on charcoal – vietnamese grilled meats almost always have a touch of sweetness in their marinades, so they caramelize very nicely and make it known to you by way of the maillard effect.

this lady was grilling tiny patties of meat – slider-style, if you’re being hipster – on a tiny grill next to her store, forming them as she went along from a large bowl of mince. we ordered a banh mi – which is a vietnamese sandwich made with pickles, fresh vegetables and certain meat options – and it came with four gorgeous patties slid between a crusty french loaf atop pickled radish and carrot, as well as some crisp lettuce.

street food at its best, and cheapest.

p.s. meds noticed the google results on the side of the store – which led me to find out that this might be saigon’s best banh mi at 37 nguyen trai! what a good find, and so brilliant that she noticed – really made this foodie’s day!

grilled dinner




this is such a strange amalgamation of photos – sometimes zooming in too much on food sort of renders it into this unrecognizable (and almost unappetizing mass). but I thought I’d show you another one of our family dinners, a grilled one this time.

we have had a george foreman indoor grill for quite a few years now, back when it was still being advertised on those terrible infommercials with bad acting. we didn’t buy it then, but did when we saw it being used (also almost definitely with terribly acting, but at least you could smell the food) during a demonstration at a food hall somewhere in singapore.

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shin kushiya, harbourfront







pretty decent japanese part-of-a-chain at vivocity. this is my family’s favourite normal-time japanese restaurant, for having pretty consistent standards and a large menu – as well as its specialty of grilled skewers. I think this is of a higher pedigree than the sushi tei chain, but at the rate that sushi tei is innovating (always impressive to me given how many outlets they have) and the fact that standards here are a tad lower than they used to be, it’s likely that the unique point of this place are its grilled sticks-o’-stuff.

we come here too often, and order far too much to tell you about everything, but I have found the food to be mostly decent. I like that we start off with complimentary bowls of raw vegetables served alongside miso that tide you over until the food comes. service is quick, but we are greedy. here’s some of what we had on this visit: a cold plate of truffled angelhair pasta with fish roe and sea urchin – we didn’t expect this to be cold, but it was pretty good; a mandatory plate of tempuraed okra wrapped with tuna and seaweed; a large piece of grilled mackerel, and a selection of grilled skewers.

if it’s your first time here, I suggest getting the swordfish-and-leek skewer, as well as the salmon mentaiko. both are very nicely flavoured with the best sort of char, and my favourite is actually the very simple stick of okra. I always order the saba here, grilled with salt, because it comes in a large, juicy portion and has never failed me. and also because I like the taste of mackerel.

the menu’s large enough to satisfy a diverse range of tastes, which makes this ideal for family dinners where you know people are just bound to get fussy. it’s also casual enough so you don’t have to dress up if you don’t want to – and almost certainly not-formal enough that my dad could assemble that little bit of art you see in the last photo.

singaporean seafood dinner

hello to you all – I hope you’ve had a great christmas season with family and friends, and managed to squeeze in a little shopping/rest! I’ve been on holiday in vietnam for the last week (loads of photos and things to share with you) and while my family doesn’t explicitly celebrate christmas, it’s always a good time to rest.

before I start off on my vietnam posts, I thought I’d share with you what constitutes a dinner at home for us. we are immensely greedy seafood eaters at home, and go through a rather impressive (even if I do say so) amount of seafood for the four of us at a sitting. I don’t cook while at home – that’s my mum’s milieu and not an activity I’m permitted – and so these shots were takeb while flitting about the kitchen and annoying her as she was cooking.

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