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In Chef Mode


This is not the first time you're seeing a salmon head here as I've cooked a salmon shioyaki before. The difference is that Meidi-ya now knows that we love to eat the salmon heads too and have increased the price from $1.50 for half a head to $4 for a full salmon head. Oh well....it's still cheap.

The Grilled Salmon Head part is really easy - salt it and bake or grill it for 10-15 minutes. I used frozen broccoli here so I did grill my vegetables together with the fish with a bit of salt and sesame oil for added flavour. Came out perfect.

As for the Sweet Potato Mash, my recipe is vegan-friendly so you can cook it for your vegan or vegetarian friends.

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato
2 tbsp almond milk (unsweetened)
1 tsp coconut oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Cut your sweet potato up into cubes and either boil or steam them until they're soft
  2. If you boiled them, drain the water before mashing the sweet potato up
  3. Add in the almond milk and coconut oil. Continue mashing until it's a bit more fluffy.
  4. Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve
Some recipes call for maple syrup for added flavour to the mash but I chose not to do so because I wanted it to be a little less sweet. This is great as a complex carb that will help you last through to the next meal!

I was invited to the media launch of a new supplement in Singapore - Tru Niagen, which was held at COMO Cuisine at Dempsey. But since this is my food blog, I'll be reviewing the food part of whole event while I'll blog about the supplement in my lifestyle blog www.melfann.com.

Located at 18A Dempsey Road, COMO is relatively conveniently located near the main Dempsey Road, further past Huber's Butchery. It's nestled among lush greenery and is unexpectedly welcoming once you've entered the main entrance.

They do have a private room that sits about 20 pax and that was where we were seated for the media launch. I immediately liked the decor and ambience, which was fresh and inviting, modern but yet with touches of shabby chic.


I have no idea what drink we were served but I heard 'mango' and decided to try it. It was quite tasty but I found out later that it can't be found on the menu. Others also tried their "Green & Clean" drink which was a concoction of green apples, fennel, cucumber, spinach, celery, spirulina, sunflower seeds and macadamia nuts. Uh...I got thrown off by the celery. Ugh. Not my favourite vegetable to consume raw.

The cuisine is fusion, where Executive Chef Timothy de Souza uses flavours that are inspired by Singapore's melting pot. The menu that we ate was specially tailored for the media launch so I'm unable to give you prices but I reckon that it is still a good indication of what you can expect from the rest of their menu and whether you should even give them a try.


For appetisers, we had pan seared scallops with a pomelo salad and served with a tamarind chilli sauce. I found this very interesting because it felt like a deconstruction of the Indonesian gado-gado but made lighter with the zesty pomelo and all these went very well with the scallops.


For the mains, I had their Rangers Valley Sirloin (S$42++) which was served with frites (fancy French word for fries) and cafe de Paris. Yes, there's a piece of steak hiding under that foliage. The fries were huge chunks at the bottom and reminded me a little more like roasted potatoes rather than French fries. The steak itself was rather disappointing. I'm not sure whether it's because we were at an event or not, but we were not asked for our preferred doneness and my steak came medium well. As a result, it was a tad dry and not very tender. It wasn't chewy, mind you, but I like my steaks medium rare and juicy.

If the salad on top of my steak wasn't enough, there was a side of Broccolini (S$9++) for us to share and that was really not too bad. Nonetheless, I reckon you can't go wrong with stir fried vegetables with garlic chilli sauce and a squeeze of lemon.


Now, let's talk about dessert. We had a choice between Chocolate Tartlet (S$12++; subject to flavour changes) which was served with summer berries and milk ice cream OR the Sumatra Honey Flan that was served with chamomile pineapples and buttered almonds. I chose the latter because it just sounded a lot more promising and I also found out later that it's not on their regular menu!

Sorry I didn't take any photos of the Chocolate Tartlet as my neighbour had already taken a bite of it before offering a bite to me. The pastry of the tart was a tad too hard but the chocolate filling and milk ice cream were really good. The chocolate filling didn't feel too cloying in the mouth and it was nicely balanced with the milk ice cream. And once you feel that it is getting a tad too sweet, just pop some of the blueberries or raspberries to even it out!

As for the Honey Flan. Mmm...this was really good. It tasted like salted caramel pudding and the buttered almond just made the dish seem a little richer, with added crunch. I didn't care too much for the cubes of pineapples but I could see that the chef wanted some contrast in flavours - again, if it got a bit too sweet or 'boring' on your tastebuds, there's something leaning towards the tart side on the plate.

Overall, I would not mind visiting COMO Cuisine again just to try out the rest of the menu, although I wish their prices were a little more wallet-friendly.

COMO Cuisine
18A Dempsey Road
Tel. no.: 1800 301 6688 (local calls only)
Website: http://comodempsey.sg/restaurant/como-cuisine

Opening hours:
Lunch  Mon - Fri  12pm - 4pm
Brunch  Sat, Sun & Public Holidays  10am - 4pm
Dinner  Mon - Sun  4pm - 10.30pm (last seating at 9.30pm)

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Photo credits: Watson's and In Chef Mode

Don't know about you but my initial thought when I heard about this colourless tea was that it was just water with lots of artificial colouring. The fact that it looks like water but tastes like milk tea is quite mind boggling. Hence, it was really intriguing when I read the ingredients
list and it was stated in both English and Japanese as such:

  • Natural mineral water
  • sugar
  • hi-fructose corn syrup
  • maltooligosaccharide
  • lactose
  • tea
  • salt
  • mint extract
  • flavouring
  • magnesium chloride
  • caffeine
  • antioxidant (vitamin C)
  • acidulate (containing milk component)
Suntory even came up with a video to explain how their colourless tea is made in order to dispel the idea that it is made with artificial flavourings.


Need some translation?

Tea 

Water is first boiled and the water vapour passes through the black tea leaves, becoming infused with the flavour of the tea. The infused water vapour is then condensed, leaving behind a clear liquid that has the tea aroma and flavour.

Colourless milk

The next question people would ask would of course, then be about the milk becoming transparent. Suntory was also nice enough to post a diagram on their website to explain:


According to the diagram, milk is made of lactose, milk protein, fats and minerals. The lactose and minerals are transparent. What Suntory did was to extract the lactose and minerals, using these two ingredients to create the milk flavour in the drink while retaining the transparent liquid.

Thus, the drink is low in calories (about 21 calories per bottle) but it's still not suitable for those who are lactose intolerant.

Tastewise, it's really not that great. Tastes like diluted milk tea. I only liked the fact that it isn't very sweet despite having corn syrup inside. Sold at 7-11, Shokuhin Emporium and NTUC Fairprice, Suntory's Colourless teas are rather gimmicky at S$2.70-2.90/bottle. I'll stick to my regular milk tea, thank you very much.

Photo credits: Suntory

I woke up one day with the craving for scrambled eggs stuffed into a croissant and I think this was probably influenced by the fact that my brother had bought a couple of boxes of pastries and a couple of them were croissants!

Since I no longer have a helper, and I'm also the household's unofficial dishwasher, I decided to scramble my eggs the laziest of ways - using the microwave. This ensures that you only have 1 bowl and 1 plate to wash up while still enjoying fluffy eggs in buttery pastry.

What you need:
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
tiny bit of butter or margarine (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 mini croissants or 1 regular croissant

How to prepare:

  1. Toast your croissant and while it's toasting, crack your eggs into a microwavable bowl and whip it with the milk, salt and pepper. You can add in a bit of butter or margarine if you want it to be really decadent. Alternatively, just add in a couple drops of sesame oil or 1 teaspoon of olive oil. This is to add flavour as well as to prevent as much sticking to the bowl as possible.
  2. Take your egg mixture and put it into your microwave for 30 sec on high. 
  3. Stir the mixture and then set it for another 30 sec.
  4. Your egg mixture should be thickening or coagulating by now. It really depends on the power of your microwave. Fork through the mixture and put it in for another 20 or 30 sec, depending on its current consistency. 
  5. When you see that there is still about 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of uncooked egg mixture, this means that your scrambled egg is ready. Take it out of the microwave and just start using your fork to smash the egg and really mix everything together.
  6. Slice your croissants at the side to create pockets to stuff your scrambled eggs.
Voila! It's really very easy and you'll have your breakfast or brunch in 3 min.




Met up with some ex-colleagues over high-tea at Fullerton Bay Hotel's The Landing Point. Fullerton Bay has 2 restaurants that offer high tea: The Landing Point as well as The Clifford Pier. If you prefer local fare, then head onto The Clifford Pier. But if you want something more traditional, then The Landing Point is the place for you.



Check out the view from outside! However, we did move inside later because it started drizzling and we wanted to listen to the pianist too.

At S$45++ per person, the High Tea spread includes free flow of TWG teas and you can pick a different type of tea for each 'refill' as they will give you a fresh pot instead of simply adding hot water into the current pot.


The spread includes a buffet section as well as the 3 tiers of high tea goodies! From the buffet line, we have a summer squash tortellini, truffled egg sandwiches, scones (plain and with cranberry), mushroom puff pastry, hot dog pastry, mini quiches and cream cheese on crackers with dried fruit.




In the tiered plates, we have macrons, smoked salmon wraps, more truffled egg sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, smoked duck open face sandwich, mini quiches, Black Forest Swiss roll, creme brûlée, mince pies and spiced cookies. I may have forgotten some of the other foods that we had. Pardon me.

Yup, the Christmas theme was quite strong in the last tier and all of us were more impressed with the savoury bites than the sweet ones. Generally speaking, these were not refillable unless the staff walks around with a tray, asking whether you'd like more. Noticed that this happened nearer towards the end of high tea service.

We were quite blown away by the truffled egg sandwich because the truffle taste was strong but well balanced. The macarons were pretty good too, although our humidity caused the filling to be a little too soft by the time we got to eating them.

Service wise, you can't really fault it since Fullerton is a 5 star hotel. The food is ok and if you think that the price is high, we kinda justified with the sheer number of pots of TWG teas we drank. Great to go with friends because you can try more types of teas together!

This is a nice way to just chillax with some friends and feel like a tai tai for an afternoon before taking a scenic walk along the Singapore River to walk off the calories!
For some weird reason, this year's Christmas dinner with the family suddenly became my responsibility. I think it has something to do with the fact that a friend gave me 5kg worth of wagyu (uncooked) as a Christmas present.


So here's what I ended up cooking for Christmas dinner: roasted vegetables (broccoli, sweet potatoes, potatoes and carrots), about 2.5kg of wagyu and a roasted chicken. Recipes will be below.


What we drank! Yes...we had the bubbly...thanks to my bro's contribution to it all. Oh Rose wines/ champagne...how I love thee.


The wagyu!!! This was cooking in my oven for almost 2 hours and check out the oil collected at the bottom of the dish that I used!! The wagyu was roasted very simply with salt, pepper and dried rosemary. I followed the recipe from ABC recipes. Turned out really tender, which is probably more so from the amount of marbling in the meat. Oh my. We couldn't finish this lot and had a lot of leftovers which my mum further sliced up and stir fried with teriyaki sauce. Idea!

As for the chicken, I marinated the whole bird with:
1 can of beer
1 tsp of rock salt
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of dark soy sauce
1 tsp of light soy sauce
1 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of honey
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 star anises
4 garlic cloves

After marinating for either 4 hours or overnight, preheat your oven to 180 deg C and roast it for about 1 hour.


For dessert, the brother had brought back mince tarts from Australia! I'm really not quite fond of these...especially if they contain orange (which they did) as I just like sticking to orange juice or eating the fruit itself.

I still have 2.5kg of frozen wagyu in my freezer and I honestly have no idea what I'm gonna do with it. Everyone tells me to cook it for Chinese New Year...but..in what way? I don't have those professional slicing machines to slice my beef for sukiyaki/steamboat. Any suggestions are welcomed!
Some friends and I decided to make a day trip to Johor Bahru (JB) just to spend the afternoon and evening there. Like most typical Singaporeans, we go there for cheap and good food as well as services such as massage and even to do our nails!

But since this is my food blog, let's talk about food. We went to Kinsahi Japanese Restaurant at KSL City, which is supposedly a premium restaurant in JB. The decor and ambience of the place is certainly quite nice and plush, with an artificial 'river' in the middle of the restaurant. I don't suggesting sitting too close to the river as the splashback feels like someone randomly spitting at you.

What we ordered:

Chawanmushi with salmon roe

Agedashi tofu

The chawanmushi was ok. You can't really go quite wrong with this. The agedashi tofu wasn't great. I had an issue with the tofu used as it had a slight sour aftertaste while one of my friends felt that it wasn't crispy enough. I do know that it's tough to make this dish so let's close one eye.

Mixed tempura

I quite liked the green leafy one. I can't remember what leaf it was but it's not your typical Shiso and I think the name was quite local. That I think is worth snacking on. The prawns were ok.

Zaru soba

The soba was overcooked! It didn't have a bit of the bite and was soggy. Sad...since I love my soba.

Sashimi Moriwase for 3 pax

Some of the sashimi slices weren't cold and my friends said that they've tasted fresher ones.

Chirashi sushi


The Chirashi sushi came with mayonnaise sauce, so if that's not your thing...you may find it a tad weird on the taste buds because it is meant to be just raw fish on vinegared rice.

There were 3 of us so we managed to finish everything that we ordered, with no leftovers. In terms of prices, it is not exactly cheap. I would say that it costs about half or 3/4 of what it would've cost in Singapore but in terms of quality, it was a tad disappointing.

Would we go back there again? Perhaps not. I think there are better places for Japanese in JB and we will hunt down for it!

Kinsahi Japanese Restaurant
LG-01 Level Lower Ground, KSL City
33 Jalan Seladang Taman Abad
Johor Bahru 80250
Johor, Malaysia