"Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality." – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Archive for October, 2010

Home-cooked Braised Minced Pork with Rice (Taiwan-Style)

You should be very familiar with this braised minced pork in soya sauce put on top of hot fragrant white rice! It is also known as 台湾卤肉饭. I have been to Taiwan twice but have yet to taste one that is as good as my mum’s!!!! The ones I ate in Taiwan were fatty minced pork and the soya sauce which is not fragrant enough.

This minced pork style is called 肉燥饭. You can also cut the pork belly into strips to become 卤肉饭. I prefer it minced.

Here’s to share with you my mum’s recipe!! (Taichung-style). You’ll never expect it to be so easy!

1. pork belly 600 g
2. small shallots 5 pcs
3. Garlic 5 (peeled) pcs
4. Soy sauce 100ml
5. Dark soy sauce 200ml
6. Water 1000ml
7. Rock sugar 1 tablespoon
8. coriander
*9. Star aniseed/anise (八角) 2/3 pcs – optional if you don’t like its taste

1. Minced the pork belly.
2. Heat wok and add in a small amount of oil. Throw in the finely-chopped shallots and fried till fragrant.
3. Add in the minced pork belly and stir-fry together.
4. When the pork belly is almost cooked, throw in the finely-chopped garlic, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water.
5. Bring to boil. Add more water if necessary.
6.  Add in the rock sugar and simmer.
7. Pour gravy over pipping hot white rice. Garnish with corianders and serve hot. Stir and mix the minced meat with the rice evenly and feast!

You may want to reduce or add in more soy sauce to suit your taste buds. The type of soy sauce you use is crucial here as it directly determines how delicious your minced pork is.

You can also add in eggs. Leave it overnight and cook the next day to allow the meat to fully absorb the soy sauce. Yummy!!



Many readers have enquired about the brand of the soya sauce. You may get it at Taiwanese marts and People’s Park Da Xin supermarket. I think there are also many places selling them. The dark sauce is 油膏. Soy sauce is 酱油.  Here is the picture:



Wendy’s Fast Food

“Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers is an international chain of fast food restaurants founded by Dave Thomas on November 15, 1969, in Columbus, Ohio.

As of December 2006, Wendy’s was the world’s third largest hamburger fast food chain with approximately 6,700 locations following McDonald’s 31,000 locations and Burger King’s 11,200 locations.

On April 24, 2008, the company announced a merger with Triarc, the parent company of Arby’s. Despite the new ownership, Wendy’s remains headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. Previously, Wendy’s had rejected more than two buyout offers from Triarc Companies Inc. Following the merger, Triarc became known as Wendy’s/Arby’s Group.”

Wendy’s is an American restaurant which specialises in hamburgers and grilled meats finally opens at my neighbourhood!!!! The previous Royal Sporting House was gone, and is replaced by Wendy’s! There is air-con and al fresco dining area.

So in Tampines Central, we have McDonalds, KFC, Burger King, Long John’s Silver, MOS Burger, Carl’s Junior, Popeyes and now Wendy’s!!! And Texas Chicken is gonna opening soon at TM!

Daddy and I went to grab this fast food which we had eaten in Hong Kong back in the late 90s’. Daddy ordered a 1/2 pounder and me a spicy chicken fillet. The beef patties were tender and full of flavour. The spicy chicken fillet tasted good although not as spicy and crispy as KFC’s. We were delighted by their generous meat servings. And I love the fries!

We visited Wendy’s two days later. Daddy ordered the 3/4 pounder this time and upsized to LARGE combo. He said it was even more delicious than the first time we ate it. I ordered the chili and cheese baked potato and strawberry frosty. The baked potato was big. However, the chili and cheese dressing was not spicy and cheesy enough. The strawberry frosty was not bad at all. It was more like ice cream in shake. I ended up eating it with a spoon than using a straw.

Don’t like beef? No worries, fish and chicken are available too! Going healthy? They have wraps and a variety of salads to choose from!!! Sick of McFlurry and sundaes? They have frosty shake, twisted frosty and frosty float!

1/4 pounder small combo – $6.95
1/2 pounder small combo – $7.95
3/4 pounder small combo – $8.95
Spicy chicken fillet small combo – $6.95
Shrimp Supreme small combo – $6.70
Premium Fish Fillet small combo – $6.35
Chicken Nuggets (6 pcs) small combo – $6.60
Ultimate Chicken Grill small combo – $6.95
Fried Chicken (2 pcs) small combo – $7.50

Add 50 cents to upsize to medium combo. Add $1 to upsize to large combo.

Caesar Salad with Grilled/Spicy Chicken – $6.20
Garden Salad – $4.60
Baked potato (sour cream and chives, butter) – $3.10
Baked potato (broccoli and cheese, bacon and cheese) – $3.50
All Beef Chili – $2.70
Twisted Frosty / Frosty Shake – $2.80
Frosty – $1.50 (S); $2.40 (M)
Frosty Float – $2.60

Wendy’s also serves breakfast.

Now I know how to make Daddy a happy man. Hahaha!!

Address: 2 Tampines Central 5, #01-44/45/46/47, Century Square, Singapore 529509
Telephone: 67890457
Opening Hours: Sun – Thur 7am to 11pm daily; Fri, Sat and Eve of PH 7am to midnight
Website: http://www.wendys.com.sg/
View more photos: http://www.facebook.com/photo_search.php?oid=169788099357&view=all

Other outlets: Liat Towers, Lau Pat Sat and Jurong Point.

Dann’s Daily Pescetarian Cafe

Introducing super healthy, low calorie meal! Housed in a modern black and white setting, you will feel relaxed once stepped in, and mood lightened by the greetings of the friendly owners.

The kitchen is visible from some of the seats. To my delight, it feels just like home! Clean, neat and warm bright light just so apt to have your orders prepared in! Love their kitchen totally!

Adapted from http://pescetarianlife.com/ , a pescetarian diet excludes land animals and birds, but includes fish, mollusks, and crustaceans in addition to fruits, vegetables, plants, legumes, nuts, and grains. Eggs and dairy may or may not be present in the pescetarian’s diet. The pescetarian lifestyle is often adopted by people in transition to becoming vegan or by those interested in a healthier, more ethical, and environmentally friendly way of life.

Alkaline Anti-oxidant water – neutralizes the harmful effects of free radicals in the body, slowing down the ageing process.

Steamed sandwich – warm and moist. Looks so delicious and soft!!

Set Meal $10 – consists of brown with wild rice tossed with sprout, soup of the day and curry/stew of the day.

The rice is steamed and not fried! You will not expect it to be this tasty and full of texture!! I like the long wild rice!!! Very chewy! The toufu and pumpkin curry is light yet full of flavour. The papaya soup is clear and light and surprisingly tasty.

The cafe can improve in their fume hood. I don’t really like my hair and clothes getting smoked.

Who says healthy food are not tasty? 🙂

Restaurant: Dann’s Daily Pescetarian Cafe
Address: 20 Eastwood Road, #01-06, Eastwood Centre, Singapore 486442
Telephone: 64491355
Email: enquiry@danndaily.com
Opening hours: 9 am (Closed on Mondays)
Website: http://www.danndaily.com/Danns_Daily/Home.html

Texas Chicken

Ever since Texas Chicken flew to Singapore, I have not had the chance to taste it! Finally by chance, on my visit to United Square, which has changed quite a lot over the one year, I was surprised to see Texas Chicken at the main entrance. Oh well, good chance to grab some fried chicken home to add on for dinner.

I would say that after travelling home and by the time we had our dinner one hour plus after buying, the skin was still crispy! The chicken was not soft or damp like KFC’s. The meat was more chewy. It has a more subtle taste than KFC’s overpowering seasonings. However, I felt the fries were toooooo salty.

Another fried chicken option besides KFC and Arnolds. Try this out!

8 Piece Meal (with 2 sides and 4 biscuits) – $25.90

Had another chance to eat this while waiting for my flight to Hanoi in Terminal 1:

Kids’ Meal – 2 pc Chicken strips $4.50

Restaurant: Texas Chicken
1. Departure Transit Lounge East, Central Level 3, 80 Airport Boulevard, Texas Chicken, #031-001B, Singapore 819642 (Opens 24 Hr)
2. 101 Thomson Road, #01-02/03 United Square, Singapore 307591. (Opens 1030 am to 10 pm)
3. Singapore Expo, outside Hall 4, 1 Expo Drive #01-42, Singapore Expo, Singapore 486150. (Opens Mon – Fri 11 am to 9 pm; Sat – Sun 11 am to 10 pm)

Website: http://www.texaschicken.com.sg/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/texas.chicken.singapore

The Queen and Mangosteen

My colleagues and I finally went to Queen and Mangosteen at Vivocity. He has been telling us that his friend is the chef there and has always wanted to go there together. Right after our meeting was adjourned, we headed down.

The restaurant is half air-conditioned and half al-fresco, with the lovely waterfront view of Sentosa. The interior consists of simple, raw wood surface and leather furnishings such as high tables, bench seating to give a British pub setting. I really like their fans and lights. With the gentle breeze blowing in, it makes the dining experience a cosy and comfortable one, perfect place to chill and catch up with your friends.

“The name The Queen & Mangosteen reflects the drinking and dining experience of predominantly British influences and rumour has it that the mangosteen was reputedly Queen Victoria’s favourite fruit, she allegedly offered a reward to anyone who could bring it to her!”

Mini Beef Burgers with Thick-cut Chips – $18
Hot Wings with Lemongrass & Chilli Aioli – $14
Lamb Kofta Meatball with Warm Pita Bread – $16
Sandwich of Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, Roma Tomatoes, Brie Cheese, Avocado & served with Chips – $20
Pan-Seared Fillet of Snapper with Chilli Crab Sauce, served with Risotto and Fine Beans – $26
Roasted Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Potatoes, Asparagus and Mint Yoghurt – $29
The Queen’s Famous Fisherman’s Pie topped with Creamy Mashed Potato, served with a fresh Mesclun Salad – $26
Bangers & Mash – Pork, Beef, Lamb served with Caramelised Onion Gravy – $26
1 Pint Irish Ale/Lager – $12
Red wine – $14
Lychee Martini – $16
Cranberry Juice – $8

Prices exclude 10% Service charges and 7% GST.

The food was really great and the portion was BIG! The Thai squids was similar to what my mum made – squids mixed in freshly-squeezed lime juice, chilli padi, onions and corianders. The lamb kofta tastes similar to mutton masala. The sandwich I had was a little dry, and comes with a big bowl of french fries which I couldn’t finish. The Fisherman’s Pie became really “gelad” after a few bites. Order the snapper if you want something lighter.

Thanks to Chef Patrick for the Thai Spicy Squid and Mussels on the house! Our total bill after 10% discount (using DBS credit card) came out to $329.44.

Address: #01-106/107, Vivocity 1 Habourfront Walk, Singapore 098585 (Lift Lobby E or F)
Tel: 6376 9380
Email: enquiries@queenandmangosteen.com
Website: http://www.queenandmangosteen.com/

Mei Heong Yuen Dessert

Introducing this famous dessert stall in Chinatown that always has an endless stream of customers.

They are famous for their ULTRA smooth peanut, walnut, black sesame and almond paste ($2.50). They use their own produce of Farmer’s Brand peanuts (农夫牌花生) in the making of their peanut paste. You should be quite familiar with this peanut as they are widely sold throughout Singapore.

Recently, they have ultra-fine ice shavings ($5) added to their menu. This is a popular iced desserts in Taiwan.

Soursop Ice

Black Sesame Ice

Green Tea Ice

Besides these, they also have Cantonese glutinous rice dumplings ($5), yam paste ($3), carrot cake ($2.20), yam cake ($2.20), pumpkin cake ($2.20), chee cheong fun ($2.20), mango with pomelo and sago ($4), egg pudding ($2.50), milk pudding ($3), glutinous rice balls aka tang yuan ($2.50), etc., a variety of hot and cold desserts suited for all ages.

The stall uses simple metal stools and tables. They even have tables put outside their stall, making the 5-foot walkway even smaller to walk through. There are so many customers that you will be embarrassed to hog the seats for chat after finishing your desserts. Come down and try it if you have not done so!!!

Oh, did I mention the owners are my relatives? They are my Dad’s cousins. I call them 表姑. =)

Stall: Mei Heong Yuen Dessert 味香园甜品
Main Stall Address: No. 65-67, Temple Street, Singapore 058611
Tel: 62211156
Second Stall Address: #B4-34 ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn, Singapore 238801
Tel: 65093301
Opening Hours: Mon–Fri: 10.30am – 8pm; Sat–Sun: 10.30am – 10pm

Home-cooked Potato Chips

Ooooooooooo…. I came across this when my friend was making her own potato chips at home! She followed the steps and her photo was really enticing!!!

Photograph courtesy of Ms Toh 🙂

I’m gonna make this one of these days!!

1) Get some potatoes. I used the little tiny ones, but you can use whatever you have laying around. Experiment to find out which ones you like best.
2) Wash your potatoes. Peel them if you want to, but I like to leave the skin on.
3) Slice the potatoes between one-eighth and one-sixteenth inches thick (about 2-6 mm for you non-American readers), use a mandolin if you have one. Thickness is something that you can experiment with, it’s mostly preference, but it has a pretty big effect on cooking time.
4) Put all of your sliced potatoes into a bowl. Add about a teaspoon of your favorite oil (I like olive oil).
5) Toss the potato slices in the oil. Slowly add more oil and toss if you need to. Go with about a teaspoon at a time. Only add enough to coat, if you have oil pooling in the bottom of the bowl, you have added too much.
6) Get a baking pan and cover it with aluminum foil. Spray that foil with your favorite non-stick spray. If you don’t the chips will stick, and will be really hard to remove.
7) Lay your oil-coated potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
8 ) Heat your oven to 400 degrees (F), set the timer for twenty minutes. This isn’t the total cooking time, since we will watching them to see when they are done.
9) Put the potatoes into the oven and keep an eye on them. They are done when the edges start to curl up. I like mine a little more crispy, so I left mine in a little longer. It’s another personal preference thing that you can play around with.
10) When the chips are done, pull them out and set them aside to cool. If you want to put some seasoning on them, this is the time to do it. Most people will add a little salt, but you can get creative with your toppings. I like mine with some black pepper and Old Bay seasoning.
11) Enjoy!!

Adapted from Website: http://how2dostuff.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-to-make-your-own-healthier-potato.html

Home-cooked Ma Po Toufu

Dad’s rendition of ma po toufu (麻婆豆腐). I have never like this dish. But my dad says I probably have  not eaten a good one. Hence, he tried to whip this up. It’s really nice, but it lacked the spiciness. Perhaps I really need to eat a good one to like this.

Dad’s second try was definitely much better, with the addition of more Sichuan pepper.

Ice Cube Cafe

Me and my String friends went over to this place after watching SMU’s Strings concert. A nice ambience and food and drinks are special. I especially like their Eyes Wide Open. Come over here and chill!!

Mixed Berry Smoothie $11.80

Cookie Monster $12

Eyes Wide Open $12

No GST. Only 10% Service Charge applies.
Online menu: http://www.ice3cafe.com/images/Ice3Editedmenu.pdf

Restaurant: Ice Cube Cafe
Address: 8 Raffles Avenue, Esplanade Mall, Colours By the Bay, #01-13E, Singapore 038981
Website: http://www.ice3cafe.com
Opening  Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

Extra Hot and Spicy Korean Ramen

Introducing you the most spicy Korean instant ramen I’ve found! I bought it at the Korean supermart at Tampines One basement. Try it and be spiced!! LOL!

Gluttons Bay

This place is a gathering of Singapore’s local food, from chendol to bbq sambal stingray. It is also a place I frequent for dinner whenever I go to Esplanade for concerts. However, it now faces some competition to the newly opened Kopi-O which also serves local food fare. The Gluttons Bay is al fresco style, whereas Kopi-O is a comfortable air-conditioned place. Their prices do not vary much.

I have only tried a few dishes from Gluttons Bay – Hokkien Mee, Chendol, Stingray, Oyster Omelette,  Carrot Cake and satay. The food are palatable if you’re there for the first time. The only dish I re-eat is the Hokkien Mee ($4) as I felt the sambal chilli that comes with it is nice. It is not too dry or soupy. It comes with two prawns and juicy squid rings. The only bad thing are the garlic pieces that were not thoroughly cooked. When you bite into the many garlic pieces, it does not taste that nice.

As for the rest, there are more than a dozen better ones at your neighbourhood hawkers. The chendol is a really cannot-make-it dessert.  There was little coconut milk and a miserable bit of gula melaka. The ice shavings were coarse and big. 😦

The fried rice ($4) looks so simple. The corns, carrots and green peas and fake crab stick meat can be bought off from frozen shelves. Would you pay $4 to eat this?

I suggest you check out Kopi-O. If the food is not that delicious there, at least the air-condition will be able to make up for the money and time spent there. ^^

Place: Makansutra Gluttons Bay
Address: 8 Raffles Avenue #01-15 Singapore 039802 (Outside Esplanade)
Opening Hours: Mon – Thurs : 5pm – 2am; Fri & Sat : 5pm – 3am; Sun : 4pm – 1am
Read more: http://www.makansutra.com/eateries_mgb.html

Penang Food Restaurant

Daddy brought us to this air-conditioned place where it serves authentic Penang food! Finally, the real taste!! Even though you can find many hawkers selling them, many are not that authentic. The seasonal Penang food buffet at York Hotel is good, but too pricey.

On the contrary, the prices at Penang Food Restaurant are reasonable and the portions are more than sufficient for one person. Come down and try it for yourself!

Prawn mee (S) – $4
Penang laksa – $4
Seafood fried rice – $4.50
Toufu – $10
Fried Kuay Tiao (M) – $6.50
Fried Kuay Tiao (S) – $4.50

Restaurant Name: Penang Food Restaurant
Address: 76 Lorong 25A Geylang, Singapore 388258
Tel: 6841 3002 ‎
Opening Hours: 10 am to 12 midnight