Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Punjab Grill by Jiggs Kalra @ Marina Bay Sands

Many of you who have walked around in Marina Bay Sands would have noticed this Fine Dining Indian Restaurant and probably did not go in. We were there recently to try out a special festival menu, the Kashmiri Festival. The festival is from 16 - 24 April, so if you want to try the Royal Kashmiri Cuisine, you got to try it quick.

I remember when I was doing my post graduate studies, I did a project with 2 PhDs students and it was so interesting because I partnered with a Pakistani and an Indian. In between project discussions we get to listen about the Kashmir Conflict! There are just too many stories to tell, but I shall save it for next time. This post will be filled with photos of the Kashmiri Cuisine instead, to tempt you to try!

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands

I have to confess I don't know much about fine dining Indian food as the Indian food I have is the usual stuff I have at Singapore or Malaysian restaurants and not from India. So obvious I am quite ignorant about who Jiggs Kalra is until I googled about it. You should too!

Maybe I should visit other places to try out more India version of Indian food. The wife who was recently at Hyderabad for work trip said that their Briyani there is so good. Even the food served in their office canteen is very different from what we usually have here.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
The crackers that was really crispy. I could not catch the name, but it was addictive.
I call it a cousin of 'keropok', it's crispy and I just kep eating it with the dips below.


Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
The 3 different dips for the crackers. I love the last one, which is some sweet chutney the most.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Wondering what to order for drinks, Mr Manu the restaurant manager said he will serve us some in shot glasses. Left: Salty Yoghurt aka Mattha was interesting. It's an acquired taste, after the third or fourth sip, then my brain said it's ok. Centre: This is called Spicy Water aka Jaljeera. It's basically a chilli based drink, and this non-Indian tongue can't take it. The flavour jolts me up too much. Right: Saffron Pistachio Lassi. This is my favourite of the 3 drinks. Sweet and smooth!

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
We were told the menu's Royal Kashmiri Cuisine. This is a fine dining restaurant, so this is the Amuse Bouche. Pretty fancy eh?

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Bhune Badam Ka Shorba

This was the first course we had. It's roasted almond soup. It's very good. The 4 of us who drank it wondered if there's like mushrooms or anything else inside. It has the texture and even slight smell of mushroom soup. The chef said no. It's almond that had been roasted, milk and some spices.

Next came the various Appetizers:

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Left: Kashmiri Kukur Tikka. It's chicken thigh marinated with Kashmiri Whole Red Chilli Paste and Green Saunf Powder (fennel) and cooked in a clay oven. We were told the Guest Chef brought all the Kashmiri spices over to Singapore. It's spices that is hard to find in Singapore.

Middle: Tabakh Maaz. This is Lamb ribs marinated with aniseed powder and saffron milk. It's done in a traditional Royal Kashmiri style of cooking. We were told the same pieces of meat goes through 3 different cooking processes and the last step before serving to us.

Right: Wazwani Handi Aluv. It's potato marinated with fennel powder, ginger garlic paste and Saffron Kewda Milk cooked in the clay oven.

I love the chicken and the lamb! Very nicely done.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Kashmiri Tsaman Sarson Tikka.
A nice cube of paneer tikka infused with Kashmiri yellow chilli powder and mustard oil. Quite an interesting taste.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Nadru Kabab

It's a signature kabab of the Kashmiri Valley. Pan grilled lotus stem marinated with kashmiri red chilli dust and roasted mint leaves powder. They also had some herbs that when I ate it reminded me of incense. So we asked the chef. It has sandalwood powder inside as well. That explains. No, not my kind of food. For some of you, you might find it wonderful.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
After the appetizers that activated all our taste buds we had a special sorbet to cleanse our tongue. Just the appetizers and our taste buds have tasted so many kind of different flavours! My mind's confused. LOL

Now to the mains and we were served this breads from the Kashmiri Bakers.
Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
The Naan is made from whole meal flour and has saffron stands on it. It's really quite nice. It has a nice toasted flavour and has a nice aroma to it too. The bread hidden below is made from refined flour and has fruits and nuts in it. Very filling, so don't take too much before the main meal!

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Gucchi Pulao

This basmati rice with jumbo morels and royal cumin cooked on Dum under flaky puff pastry. This rice is so good! It kind of reminds me of the basmati rice that I watch on TV recently the extravagant Indian weddings serve.

Don't eat it first when the rice is served. There are more things that will come!

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
The mains are being served one by one! Be patient as it comes to your table.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
It's a huge plate and it's a lot of food! Very rich and creamy too. So we were really really stuffed by the end of the mains.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Gushtaba

This is lamb dumpling with fennel and green cardamom in a creamy sauce. I admit, it was not for me. I don't usually like lamb and the texture of the ball was chewy. That proved my ignorance! The chef came later to asked if we liked it. The meat was pounded by hand and it was hard work making this. Made me felt bad and I ate more of it to not waste the person's effort. (don't laugh at me!)

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Gadh Palak. 

Fish cooked in fresh spinach puree, tempered with mustard seeds. This is so good. It looks mushy, but when you bite into it, if you are like me love spinach, you will instantly fall in love with it. The fish is done just nice too.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Rogvan Josh

This the the in house specialty of Rogvan Josh. The meat's from the shoulder of a baby lamb cooked the old fashion way, which is under very low heat. Cooked with a mix of fennel powder, red chilli powder and freshly pound spices. The guest chef said, it's done the most original way and if you taste anything different elsewhere, it's not the true version. Wah....

It indeed is very good! The naan and bread comes to great use now. Mop up all the sauces!

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Dum Aluv

This is potato simmered with fennel seeds, dry ginger and Kashmiri chilli gravy.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Kukur Hindi Rogvanjosh

This is the chicken version of the famous Brahman Roganjosh. It's nice, but the lamb version seems to be nicer. This coming from me, who seldom eat lamb!


We were already quite full and there's still the desserts to come. The sets are quite good value if you consider the list of food you get to try. Here's the desserts we had:

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Chukander E Afroz

This is beetroot halwa. If you like beetroot, try this. It's something very different and it's a dessert! It's surprisingly not that sweet. I always thought Indian desserts are super sweet!

We thought that it tasted familiar although I have not had it before. Something inside made it quite familiar. We asked the chef and he said, there's a bit of condensed milk in it. Aha!

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands

Left: Apple Caramel Kulfi. Home made Indian Frosty infused with Caramel. It melts quickly so hurry up and eat it up! Yummy!

Middle: Shufta. IT's a roasted nuts and cottage cheese pudding.

Right: Beetroot Halwa.


The meal ended with this delicious and wonderful fragrant tea. It's the Kashmiri Kehwa Tea.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Our glasses came with almond bits and saffron threads in it.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
Then the guest Chef's assistant came with a very traditional tea pot! It's very hot and the tea was poured into our glasses.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
I took a look and said to myself, I want this at home! It's so beautiful!
It's quite a beauty isn't it?

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
You know the traditional steamboat pot we are used to? This pot is almost similar. The middle part is where they put in hot charcoals!

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands
This tea is so soothing and it's so good for aiding our digestion. There's no sugar in it, yet it's has a slight sweetish taste.

Royal Kashmiri Cuisine @ Punjab Grill, Marina Bay Sands

The chef in white is Chef Javed who is the Exec Chef of Punjab Grill. Even after this Kashmiri Festival is over he's here to cook you delicious Punjabi cuisine.
The chef in black is the guest Chef, Chef Rehman Mujeebur. 

So if you think this Kashmiri Festival is quite interesting, come dine here by 24 April 2014.
There are set lunches and set dinners. Both comes in Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian option.
You can see the full menu and pricing here: http://www.punjabgrill.com.sg/menus-for-festival/


Punjab Grill By Jiggs Kalra
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands,
B1-01A, South Podium,
2 Bayfront Avenue.
Singapore 018972

Tel: +65 66887395

Hours:  Lunch 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM / Dinner  6:30 PM to 11:00 PM

If you want to make a booking at Punjab Grill, you can click on the Chope icon on the top right. You will  be able to view the online availability of a booking time for this restaurant. ;-)



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Monday, April 21, 2014

Diamond Kitchen @ Laguna Park Condo

Two young entrepreneurs and cousins, Josh 30 and Lambert 27 have embark on their first F&B venture and opened up a restaurant at the Laguna Park Condominium. Since the place has reasonable rent, they are pricing their food at Zhi Char prices.

I had dinner there recently and it is packed and heard that it is now booked for dinner till April. For lunch time, it's still ok. You might have to wait if it's too busy. As it's quite packed, it was a bit slow, but the food that came out was worth the wait.

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

If you like a slightly soupy Bee Hoon dish when you have Zhi Char dishes, you might want to try this Superior Stock Clam Bee Hoon. They were generous with the clams and it is a very comforting homey dish. We were saying it would be best eaten on a wet rainy day. To me, and those who loves a nice Bee Hoon in some thick superior stock.

Prices: $12/$18/$24

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

Prawns having Sauna? They have a dish called Sauna Prawns and it's quite interesting how they do it. They have lava rocks heated on fire till they are red hot, then thrown into a container in a bamboo basket. They then throw live tiger prawns in and then herbal stock into it and cover.

It's so hot and such great steam, the prawns will be cooked in 12 seconds. As the dish is carried to your table, it's probably 12 -30 seconds and the prawns are perfectly cooked. Sounds good? Wait till you taste it!

Prices: $24/$36/$48

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

Champagne Pork Ribs. Many people love ribs because they get to eat like a caveman with their hands holding the ribs. If you think you are too refined to be a caveman, order their pork ribs here. They have deboned the pork ribs, so it's only strips of meat left. It's then marinated overnight and they also added Sparkling wine or what people usually call Champagne to it to tenderise it. It's very tasty and I suspect most people would be able to eat the whole serving themselves.

Prices: $12/$18/$24

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

Pumpkin Beancurd. Many Zhi Char places have their version of signboard worthy beancurd. The ones here are called Pumpkin Beancurd and it's beancurd made by the chef daily at the restaurant. It's then quickly deep fried to give it a nice skin and then pumpkin puree broth poured over it. It's sweetish because of the natural sweetness of the pumpkin.

Prices: $12/$18/$24

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

If you like anything with salted egg yolk, they have done nicely this Salted Egg Sotong that we had.It was nicely done, still had a nice bite and it was slightly crispy outside and had the addictive Salted Egg paste.

Prices: $12/$18/$24

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

Golden Cereal Chicken. Sounds different already? You can order cereal chicken here other than the usual cereal prawns popular with many zhi char places. It's something different.

I am bias but I have always been thinking of the Cereal Crayfish that we used to eat at a Zhi Char stall in Ghim Moh which is no longer around.

Prices: $12/$18/$24


Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

If you have more time or going for dinner, then go for the Gan Xiang Crabs. The price of the crabs are around $55/kg. Gan Xiang is dry spice mix that most respectable Chinese chefs will have. It's their guarded secret, so we don't know the exact quantity and ingredients that's been added into it.

The dry mix is then used with other sauce to create a very delicious Gan Xiang crabs. It's a dry version and spicy and finger licking good!

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

I liked the spiciness of the Gan Xiang mix and these crabs turned out very nice. Worth digging your fingers into it. I must bring my wife and sis here to let them try. They love crabs and love all kinds of crabs. I am quite sure they will like this version.

Prices: $55/kg or rather Market Prices.

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

Gan Xiang Fried Rice here is made using the Gan Xiang spice mix by the chef. It's a nice spicy fried rice and also because it has a nice aroma, you will keep eating it non stop. If you also happen to order the cereal chicken above, save the cereal for this dish. Pour it over and it gives this rice a nice crunch too!

Prices: $8/$12/$24

Diamond Kitchen 钻石小厨

I know many people love Pumpkin & Gingko Yam Paste.  It's not my favourite dessert, so I shall not comment too much on it. I was told it's been one of those that are unhealthily delicious because of the lard that has gone into it. Fellow diners who love it were raving about it. LOL, just not me. I want my sweet dessert.
Price: $12/$24

This place deco has a lot of 'blings'. There's a reason it's called Diamond Kitchen. It's also related to the background of the two entrepreneurs. It's a nice restaurant with air-conditioning to enjoy zhi char dishes. The weather nowadays are turning warm again and you do want to dine at an air-con place. The prices are also reasonable. Have a try if you are in the area!

Got to thank Veronica and Jeannette from Sixth Sense who asked me along for the meal!

Diamond Kitchen
5000F Marine Parade Road,
#01-22/23 Laguna Park Condominium,
Singapore 449289

Tel: +65 6448 0629

Web: Diamondkitchen.com.sg



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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Philips AirFryer is 3 years old! + AirFryer Giveaway!

I am a bit bias when there's a product with my name on it. Yes, my name is Philip and I get excited when I see new kitchen or household gadgets with my name on it.

My toothbrush is a Philips, my shaver is a Philips, my vacuum cleaner is a Philips. LED lights at home are Philips. Electric kettle is Philips. Rice Cooker is Philips. Yes even my pressure cooker at home is Philips (yes, there's electric pressure cooker and we bought it last year). Juicer is a Philips. Food processor also a Philips. The list goes on...

Anyway....

It's Philips Airfryer's 3rd Birthday and there are now 3 different Airfryers. The original Viva Collection Airfryer, the Viva Collection Digital Airfryer and the bigger 1.2 kg capacity Avance Collection Airfryer XL

For Philips Airfryer's 3rd birthday, Philips will be celebrating with everyone by having a Airfryer food truck going around Singapore.  On the truck are crispy bites that you can try, cooked using the Airfryer of course.

Many people have questions and you only read what others say, good or bad. Why not go visit the trucks to touch it, feel it, taste the food cooked by it? See if it's suitable for you and your family depending on your kitchen size or family size.

Philips Airfryer Truck

The trucks will be stationed from 11 am to 8 pm at the following venue:
- 10 April (Thu) : AMK Hub
- 11 to 13 April (Fri - Sun) : Knightsbridge (Orchard Road)
- 14 to 16 April (Mon - Wed) : One Raffles Place

Visit them and get goodie bags too!


GIVEAWAY:
Instagram followers of Keropokman stand a chance to win a Philips Viva Collection Airfryer (RRP: SGD 409) if you do the following:
  • Head down to the locations above and take a selfie with the Philips Airfryer Truck.
  • Upload to Instagram and tag @keropokman + hashtags #PhilipsAirfryer and  #KeropokmanPhilipsAirfryer by 20 April 12 noon.
  • I will pick one winner and the winner collects the prize from the Philips Experience Showroom (Toa Payoh Lorong 1) 
  • Giveaway for Singapore based Instagram users only.
So easy!

If you want to find out more about Philips Airfryer (the detailed specification and different models) or any of the product I own above, you can visit:
http://www.philips.com.sg

For the Birthday Specials visit this link: http://www.philips.com.sg/e/promo/promotions/household-products/philips-airfryer-birthday-treats-.html



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