Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fishball Story @ Golden Mile Food Centre

Not too long ago, the wife and I were invited to 'take over' HungryGoWhere's Instagram account for a day. Did you catch us that day? We were on a 'things handmade' trail. It was a fun day, taking a day off work to 'pretend' to be hungry tourists going around Singapore in search of food that's made fresh in Singapore.

Are there really a long list of places that made food from scratch and not machine produced in some factories? Yes, there are many places and we had a whole long list. We could not try it all because it's all over the island and it's tiring to go around.

We started by having breakfast at Bukit Timah Food Centre. We had Fried Carrot Cake that's been made from scratch at the stall. If you frequently buy from them, you can see the giant steamer with trays and trays of steamed carrot cake, ready to be fried.

We also had curry puffs at Toa Payoh that's made freshly by the aunties and then fried and sold immediately. Very good ones with fillings inside that's worth your money. We had hand made paus that makes you wanna cry. It's so different from the ones that are resting in steamers in kopitiams and kiosks all around the island. Pan mee that people are willing to wait hours just to taste it. Ice cream that people are willing to pay for. The dish that the wife enjoyed the most was the fishball noodles from this stall.

Fishball Story

The stall, Fishball Story is managed by the 'young' hawkers, young folks who decided that they want to cook real food and food that is fast losing their authentic taste in Singapore. Mr Douglas Ng decided to set up shop at Golden Mile Food Centre using his grandma's recipe.

Their fishballs and fishcakes are really satisfying when you eat them. The texture and taste when you eat it will make you want to order more. It's something that you have to taste and see to understand. That's what happened to us. We decided to order more and eat.

Fishball Story

The fishballs and fishcakes are made from scratch early in the morning and its made with yellowtail fish and they don't use any flour in the process. Their chilli blend in the noodles also has the correct balance that makes you slurp up your noodles and break sweat a little with the spiciness.

This was what I had. I like meepok, so I ordered the meepok version. This costs $3.50.

Fishball Story

The wife prefers 'lao shu fen' and she always orders 'lao shu fen' when it's available. It might look simple, but you need to just bite into one fishball to fall in love with it. This was also $3.50.

Fishball Story

Yup, we ordered another bowl without the noodles. So satisfying we wanted the 3rd bowl. A bowl of fishball soup without noodles also costs $3.50. They give you more fishballs and fishcakes.

If you want to find out more about the places we went and see photos of them, you can continue to read them at the HungryGoWhere website: http://www.hungrygowhere.com/gallery/6-hawkers-who-use-handmade-ingredients-*gid-08493101/photos/


Fishball Story
Golden Mile Food Centre
Stall #01-85
505 Beach Rd
Singapore 199583



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Salt Grill and Sky Bar by Luke Mangan @ ION Orchard

Restaurant Week 2014 started last Saturday and we made 2 bookings at 2 very different places to indulge a bit. I didn't book any restaurants last year, partly because when I realised the booking was opened, the places that I wanted to try had all been fully booked. 

Sis has been quite busy, so I thought it would be a nice treat for her. Managed to snag a booking for Salt Grill and Sky Bar on a Saturday. I managed to get booking this time thanks to the reminder email that American Express sent about having priority bookings 1 week earlier for AMEX Card Members. One of the perks that I finally got to use this year. 
 Salt Grill and Sky Bar

We started our meal with taking photographs of the view! Ya, we happened to be seated right next to the tall glass windows. After a while, these warm breads were served with olive oil and dukkah. The breads went very well with the dukkah and I think it might be sis' next project. I suspect she might be making dukkah for Christmas gifts this year.

Here's what we had:

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
'Glass' Sydney Crab omelette. 

Sis saw the menu online and already wanted to order this. It's Luke Mangan's signature dish and it's a very comforting dish. Soft and creamy omelette with a very appetite stimulating miso mustard broth.

By the way, if you want to replicate this at home, Luke's website has the recipe! I recommend coming here for the dish at least once so that you know what it's suppose to taste like. (Making me miss the meals at Glass Brasserie in Sydney!)

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Tuna Sashimi 

Sis said order something else, so we get to try other things in the Restaurant Week menu. So I had the Tuna Sashimi with ponzu sauce, smoked enoki and puffed rice. These few weeks, I have been tasting food with puffed rice. Makes me want to plate something at home with puffed rice too!

The smoked enoki has quite an intense flavour and it does gives the tuna a nice accompanying flavour.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Cape Grim Striploin

You will expect the Aussie restaurant to use Aussie beef. Sis asked for medium and said later, she should have asked for medium rare. It was a nice cut of meat and nicely prepared. Served with caramelized endive and swirls of eggplant and salsa verde.

Sis also had Dijon Mustard and Wasabi Mustard. The wasabi mustard is something you should try if you like wasabi. To me, it goes well with the beef. If only the beef was a bigger piece, we know it's a lunch menu only.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Mushrooms

There was an extra menu that was presented to us at the start. If we would like additional sides to go with the Restaurant Week set lunch, we could order. So I ordered the mushrooms for $15.

It was a nice addition to our meal. Sis is not a fanatic mushroom lover (ie don't really eat mushrooms), but she said it was 'ok', so it means it is nice. I also order mushroom dishes to try at certain places to see how it comes out and to remember the taste. This is so that the wife who loves mushrooms can get to taste it when she says 'cook some mushrooms please' at home.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Grilled Snapper

I had the Grilled Snapper with Israeli cous cous served in a tomato and dill broth. A piece of fish that was nicely grilled, still so tender as I broke it with my fork and had a nice crispy skin. Ya, our conversation at the table turned to Masterchef Australia that we are catching on TV now. We said, on TV they will always have the skin crisp up between trays separately, here they still have it intact, quite good skill ya. (Things we talk about....)

It's the biggest cous cous that I have seen. I have to say, the first taste, I didn't like it. As I had the my second mouth and more, it grew on me and I finished it all.

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Raspberry Cheese Cake

Sis' favourite part of any meal. Desserts. She already said, we are going to order both on the menu when we sat down. A very beautiful and mesmerizing dessert. For the ladies who loves the slight sourish / tart taste of raspberry. Raspberry cheesecake with raspberry sorbet with a piece of freeze dried raspberry.

Just like how they always say on Masterchef Australia, just one word: Yums!

Salt Grill and Sky Bar
Banana Parfait with Peanut Brittle

The other dessert on the menu. Banana parfait which has a nice ripe banana taste with pieces of the addictive peanut brittle on it. The 'skid marks' chocolate mousse goes well with the banana parfait, loving the taste of the dark chocolate used.  Oh yes, a 'spoonful' (the shape) of salted caramel sauce to go with it too.

After the meal, we went around the viewing deck. Looking at how beautiful the city is and how much it has been changing over the years (and maybe months and days too!)


Salt Grill and Sky Bar
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#55-01 / #56-01
Singapore 238801


p/s:

Since I started by telling you that I got the booking early because of the Amex Platinum card I had, might as well, tell you more. People have been asking me where to go and eat and you want it affordable as well. Get the American Express Platinum Credit Card that now comes with free membership to two dining programmes, the Classic Far Card membership and PALATE programme.

I remember a long time ago, it was FAR only, then it became PALATE only. Now it's both and the sweeter deal is that for 1st year it's free membership now.

With these 2 programmes combined, you have a few months to try different restaurants, if you try one a week. It's best for couples as you get 50% off. There's also the Platinum Private Deals that you can look forward too. 



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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The recent ToTT Taste Challenge and the ToTT 4th Annivesary Sale.

If you have been following me on my Instagram feed which I am more active, you would have know that I was there for the ToTT Taste Challenge. It was a time of fun. Sad to say, I must admit that my taste buds are not as sharp when I am under pressure. I think I am more of a visual person and I can recognise things better with my eyes than my tongue.

For the Taste Challenge, one of the rules is that we were not allowed to smell it, I know people will want to sniff because it's human nature, but I wanted to see how sharp my tongue is, so I didn't want to smell it and pop whatever right into my mouth. Not easy, not easy at all!

Even easy things like strawberry I got it wrong. I got a piece of really crunchy, unripe strawberry, and I thought it was some kind of melon! For mustard and I wrote down wasabi, because for a while it tasted like mustard, for a while wasabi. There was a long list of wrong items. It's too embarrassing to list them here.

ToTT Taste Taste

First of all, the prizes for this year!

Instead of a "winner gets it all" prize they had last year, they heard the requests of people attending last year that they want a share of the prize too. So this year there are 3 prizes and mini prizes for group challenges too. I am sure there are more happy people this year!

ToTT Taste Taste
The contest was similar to last year's. We were blind folded and had to listen to instruction. We all had only 30 seconds to taste and write down your answer. 30 seconds will seem very very short when you are trying to taste and then write something down blind folded! You get panicky when you know what it is, but can't put a name to it!

It was quite a lengthy contest, a contest to get the most worthy winner. There were 3 rounds in total. Round 1 and 2 were tasting individual items rounds. Round 3 was to taste and pick out something missing in a dish. Eg: We were given mee rebus, cottage pie, bruschetta, french toast and laksa. We were to guess from a list of ingredients named, what was not inside.

ToTT Taste Taste
There was a huge crowd like last year. Everyone seems to be well prepared! Putting on apron is important because you will have food all over you when you are careless.

Those who were there last year spotted last year's winner!

ToTT Taste Challenge

This year there was a bonus round for giving out extra prizes. It was in the form of a group contest. We were all seated in rows as you can see in one of the photo above. For this bonus round, the first to the second last person was to be blind folded, taste the item, open their blind folds and draw on the same board. It was to be done person by person. The last person has to guess when the board reaches him/her and see what the ingredient was.

I happened to be the last person in the row, and I had to guess what the other 8 or 9 people have tasted. Look at the drawing above, can you guess what they were trying to draw?

The answer is suppose to be "Curry"! How is that curry?

ToTT Taste Taste

For this year's contest, just as they were going to announce the winners, they said they had to have a tie-breaker round to determine the 3rd place winner. There were 2 persons who had the same number of correct answers for position number 3!

It was a battle between Ms Soo (left) and Ms Sim (right). Wow, both of them are really good. Since we don't know how we look when we were blind folded, looking at them this round, we knew how funny we were. As the tie-breaking moved mid way, we could tell that Ms Sim was going to win. Every item that she put in something into her mouth, she wrote down the answer almost immediately! Such sharp taste buds!

ToTT Taste Taste
The 3rd prize went to Ms Erica Sim! Congratulations!

ToTT Taste Taste
The 2nd prize went to Mr John Teo. He was quite good with only 4 items wrong. Very good!

ToTT Taste Taste
The 1st prize went to Ms Joelyn Koh. She's probably one of the youngest around and she's still a student. Congratulations! Guess what? She got only 1 item wrong!

It was a fun challenge which can be quite exhausting too.
If you want to participate, follow them the various social media channels and join next year's Taste Challenge!


It's ToTT's 4th Anniversary and they are having their Anniversary Sales!

ToTT Taste Taste

I have been going there a few times and picking up stuff for friends, family and myself.
It's good that I live not too far away so it's convenient for me.

ToTT Taste Taste

I think this is a rather good deal. A two sided collapsible microplane. It's only $19.25! I was looking for a gift for a friend the other day and saw this and got a 2nd one for myself! Now, we have 5 different microplanes at home!

ToTT Taste Taste

I also saw this and wanted to buy some, but the wife says no need for the time being. I always wondered where can I get it and I saw it on sale here. You know when you go to certain nice restaurants, they wrap the lemon with this yellow cloth so when you squeeze them, the seeds don't come out? They are sold here! If you are planning a fancy Christmas party this year, you can add this to your fancy items on the dinner table! I am sure your guests will love it!

ToTT Taste Taste

It's usually me who wants to buy kitchen stuff, but the wife saw this and she says we are coming back to get them! The Knife block set is what she has been looking at. She has told me it's very nice 3 times already! (I am not getting the hint!)

ToTT Taste Taste

There are many things that I want to show you, but it will bore you, just go there yourself and slowly walk through the aisles! There are many items on sale and there's an extra 10% off everything till 31 Oct 2014. So you still have a few days to head down to get your own Christmas presents or buy them for family and friends.

If you want to buy me something, I can let you know what I want. Just a few days ago, I was there to get some personal strainers for steamboat, and I discovered more kitchen gadgets, I didn't take photo of it, but it's a bowl which you just soak in water and the ceramic will turn cold. A self-cooling ceramic bowl. I can imagine tonnes of things I can serve on it!

I like walking in person at the shop. You can also go online at www.tottstore.com and view their items too, or even purchase it online and get it delivered to your house.

ToTT Store
896 Dunearn Road
01-01A
Singapore 589472

Tel: 62197077

(I was invited to the Taste Challenge to be a roving reporter to bring you this report.)



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