Wednesday, October 01, 2014

ToTT is 4 Years Old!

ToTT, or Tools of the Trade, will be celebrating her 4th birthday this month. How quickly time flies! For her birthday last year, they had a wonderful sale, which I bought some more new kitchen toys. There was also the taste challenge contest, which gave out a super huge prize for the winner.

So how is ToTT celebrating her 4th birthday?

1) ToTT Taste Challenge 2014!

ToTT 4th Birthday

The very popular ToTT Taste Challenge is back.  You can win up to $3000 in prizes by identifying up to 30 ingredients blindfolded. You might think it’s easy, but trying to name familiar food within 30 seconds blindfolded, your senses might fail on you.  You can read about what happened last year here.

Do you want to try it out?  Go register or find out more at:
Hurry as registration ends 3 October and the taste test is on 4 October 2014.

2) ToTT’s new Cookbook: “365 Days of Fun – Recipes for Any Occasion” with Demo Session.
If you like cooking and always wanted the recipes from some of Singapore’s top chefs, ToTT has compiled some of their recipes into a book called “365 Days of Fun – Recipes for Any Occasion”. Two chefs that have contributed recipes are also having demonstration cooking classes as well.

ToTT 4th Birthday

Tickets for the demo classes are priced at $58 and half of the proceeds will go to Children’s Aid Society and Help Family Services.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the demo class preview and I posted them on Instagram. You probably have seen some of it. We had the honour to see Chef Ian Hioe and Chef Shen Tan demo for us their recipes. They only showed us half of what they will be doing on the real demo class. You can click on the links below to see more details about the class.

Chef Ian Hioe was teaching us how to make burgers and how to make them so that it is moist and consistently moist. You want to know how? Register for the class!

These were the burgers we got to try and yes, they were good. He also showed us how to make blue potato chips from scratch and the secrets to it as well.

Demo Class 1: A Hearty Meal for Father-son Indoor Camp with Chef Ian Hioe
Date: 16 October 2014
Time: 7pm to 9pm

For more details and bookings, click here:
Chef Hioe will be demonstrating how to make Grilled Chicken Tacos and Beef Burgers with Blue Potato Chips.

This is Chef Shen Tan showing how to make a modern version of Kong Bak using the sous vide machine.  If you always wanted to know what the sous vide machine can do, come for this class. It’s also the time to ask the chef everything you wanted to know!

You get to taste the food that’s being prepared too. This was the Kong Bak that was being prepared. For the recipe, it’s all in the cookbook.

Demo Class 2: Welcoming the Out-of-Towners with Chef Shen TanDate: 18 October 2014
Time: 10am to 12pm

For more details and bookings, click here:
Chef Tan will be demonstrating how to make Kong Bak and also Sticky Kaya Buns.

3) ToTT Anniversary Sale, Classes, Meals.

Yes, the anniversary sale, classes and meals.

ToTT 4th Birthday

For their sale, there are having 50% off selected items. I like their 10% off store wide sale.  My mother in law was very happy when got a few items with the extra 10% off last year. The $4 deal with purchase sounds interesting! Check out their Star buys too.

There are also Anniversary Special Demo classes that start from $28. The class comes with a $20 ToTT Cash vouchers too. Check out the classes, some are really interesting!

There’s a “So You ToTT You Can Guess?” contest in store. Purchase a minimum of $40 and take part in the weekends only in store contest. Go to the 3 different stations and guess the mystery product, number of candies, price of a product.

You can check out all their Anniversary offers at:

So for those who likes Kitchen Gadgets, Cookbooks, Demo Classes, you know where to head to!

896 Dunearn Road
Sime Darby Building
Singapore 589472

Tel : +65 6219 7077

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Newby Tea-infused Dinner Menu at ME@OUE

There are those who love good wines, those who love good coffee. Are you one of them? Maybe you totally do not like coffee or wine and like tea? There is quite a huge following of good tea lovers in Singapore. We seem to be getting exclusive access to many hard to get teas here in Singapore. More about that in other posts.

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

This post is about Newby Teas and ME@OUE. I haven't heard of Newby Teas until recently and I am surprised it is a very much awarded brand. They are out to prove that they are good and it has won lots of recognition. You can read more about them and the awards at their website:

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

My siblings live in the UK and they always bring various types and brands of tea for us when they are back. This hasn't appeared in our happy packages yet. Ahem, I might request it from them next time. You know teas are usually cheaper in the UK.

This box of tea showed in the photo above was so fragrant. It's something probably tea lovers will know. Inhaling the aroma before and after brewing it. I am beginning to appreciate tea more and have attended a few talks by different tea masters about tea and tasting them. Glad to know about this brand too.

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

Many first for this post. This was also my first time at ME@OUE and I just realised this place is not a fusion food place as I thought it was. It has an open kitchen concept (seen above) but it's 3 different kitchens serving Japanese, French and Chinese cuisine. You can order from any of them, but it's not fusion of the three.

ME@OUE is on the top floor of OUE Bayfront. The view from here is awesome, you can enjoy the beauty of Marina Bay and the new downtown area. Another place to bring the family for some special occasion meals or just a date with the wife.

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

Butter fanatics in Singapore would love to know the butter they use here. Look above!
Spread a thick layer on their warm rolls!

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUENewby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

I was at ME@OUE to try a specially crafted tea-infused dinner menu. It's prepared by French Executive Chef Jérémy Gillon (left) and Pastry Chef Nicolas Vergnole (right), they worked magic and the following photos are what I had.

First Course:

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE
Foie Gras Terrine, Mango and Strawberry Tea infused Vinegar Syrup. Mango and Strawberry Tea Gelée and Roasted Strawberries

The first dish consist of 2 plates. Foie Gras fans would love this. The Foie Gras Terrine that was very rich was nicely balanced off with the tea infused vinegar syrup. Spreading it on the warm roll was quite a delight.

Roasted strawberries are interesting. I always have my strawberries fresh and haven't tasted the roasted version for some time is a nice treat to the tongue. Roasting strawberries lets out some acid and it sure cut through the richness of the terrine.

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

The Mango and Strawberry Tea Espuma

The tea that has gone through the espuma or gassed looks quite captivating! The pink in it makes it so pretty as well. It was like a little fun added into the whole dining experience. The bubbles burst as you scoop it up, so you got to scoop up a full teaspoon and let it pop in your mouth.

Here's a short Instagram video I took. You will know what I mean by the bubble bursting as you scoop it.

The most common tea-infused food we have would be the 'cha ye dan'. Having the mango and strawberry tea infused into vinegar syrup, gelée or the espuma really makes it an interesting dining experience.

Second Course:

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE
Beef Tartar with Smoked Beetroot, Toasted Peanuts, Lapsang Souchong and Beef Consommé Gelée

This dish sure doesn't look like any beef tartar that I have tasted. First thing that came to my mind, it's so beautiful. It indeed was! Looks elegant doesn't it?

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

I can't help not taking a few more photos to show it off! A slide of beet and basil as seen from the top. Now the 3 dots are the Lapsang Souchong and Beef Consommé Gelée. I bought some Lapsang Souchong 2-3 years ago and really could not take the smokiness. It was too strong and even after diluting it, I could not take more than 2 mouths of it.

Now, the chefs have mixed Lapsang Souchong with Beef Consommé and this was acceptable, more than acceptable that I think I know what I can do with the Lapsang Souchong at home, that's if it's still in good condition.

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

If I remembered correctly, I heard that the tartar was wrapped around by a thin layer of veal. You can see the texture and the hand chopped beef in it. If you love beef tartar, you might like how it's prepared here for this special menu.

Third Course:

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

Now we move on to the next course, the Steamed Dorade. The service staff pours the warm stock after the fish is served to you. Never fails to wow people or people with phones who will take photos of it!

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE
Steamed Dorade, Fruity Berries Tea infused Balsamic Vinegar, Black Radish Skin Celeriac, White Cabbage, Buckwheat Seeds

If you like Dorade or also known as bream, this might look plain, but wait till you try it. It was served to the ladies first. When I got it and was told how to eat it, it really brought out the texture, aroma and taste of both the fish and the tea.

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

Chef said we were suppose to put into our mouth first the tea spoon. It was a mixture of baked buckwheat and the balsamic vinegar that has been infused with the fruity berries tea. The burst of flavour and texture hits you immediately as you put it in your mouth.

I tried to save some of it and only had half of it. I then use the same spoon to scoop up bits of the fish. It was so delightful. The soft and tenderly steamed dorade was just a delight to have with the balsamic vinegar. Wait, there’s more! On top of the fish were bits of salted fruity berries tea bits. More aroma from the berries on the fish.

Fourth Course:

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE
Strawberry Tart Moderne - Sable Bretton,  Jasmine Tea Chantilly, Strawberry Variation, Jasmine Tea Sorbet

The dessert by Pastry Chef Nicolas Vergnole is just beautiful! So photogenic isn't it? It's a Jasmine Tea and strawberries show off in the ingredients. It's also to show off what the Pastry Chef can do and more!

Newby Tea-infused Culinary Delights at ME@OUE

Just another way of presenting a strawberry tart. It reminds me of the competition my sis and I participated in and we were taught how to make these things by different chefs. It's so time consuming to prepare all the individual items - making the sable bretton, the sponge, the chantilly, the puree, the sorbet etc. If you don't have patience, just eat it here!

If you want to try this same medley of 4 course meal that I had, it's only available in the month of September. It's only available for dinner service. There's about half a month more to try it.

It is served at $125 per person. Call and book if you know someone who will appreciate good French food and some good tea used to infused the food.

50 Collyer Quay
Singapore 049321

Tel: +65 6634 4555

Special thanks to the folks at ME@OUE and Newby Teas for the invitation to try this.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

One Night Only: Quique Dacosta in Singapore @ Sofitel So Singapore.

The wife and I were recently in Barcelona and Madrid in Spain for a holiday. This was the aerial photo that we took and we see lots of rectangular shape plots. We are missing Spain and all the Spanish food we had. Some of you probably ate virtually with us on Instagram too.

Spain By Air

After we booked our flight tickets, we were browsing through the World's 50 Top Restaurant to see where we can go. It was a futile effort for us, the places required a few months of booking! It was also difficult to route the cities we wanted to visit to the restaurants as they are like 300 - 700 km apart from where we are.

Flying or taking a train to Valentia from either Barcelona or Madrid will means we will be travelling more than we get to eat and sight see.

Quique Dacosta

105 km from Valencia is the coastal town of Dénia. It's also where Chef Quique Dacosta who is touted to be one to watch out for after El Bulli closed. The NYT says so!

Good News!

If you are into Spanish Avant-Garde cuisine, three-Michelin-star Chef Quique Dacosta will be in Singapore for a ONE DAY only dinner at Sofitel So Singapore. It's a specially crafted five-course menu priced at $538++ and every dish will be paired with fine wines from Spain’s Castell d’Encus winery. The dishes being presented will include:

The Haze – a dish that recreates the taste of humidity and warm of the earth after a storm – featuring pine nuts, raw peas, pig crackling crumble with mushrooms, black truffle and small flowers – paired with a Taleia 2012

Cuba Libre of Foie Gras – a Dacasta signature of melt-in-your-mouth foie gras with cream, veiled with coca-cola and rum and granita of lemon with brioche on the side – paired with Ekam 2012

The Hen of the Golden Eggs – a poached egg cooked at low temperature with a broth of chicken and vegetables, coffee and gold – served with Ascup 2011

Ashes Rice – soft senia rice with smoked black truffle, braised pigeon, chanterelle mushrooms, inspired by the rice of Valencia after harvesting and burning – paired with Quest 2011

Chocolate Sand – a signature delight of textures and tastes of chocolate – paired with Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage Blanc 2006

(This is a sampling of what you will get when you order the tasting menu at his restaurant. )

There's only spaces for 100 diners though. If you are interested in this dinner, you can call  +65 6701 6800

Xperience Restaurant
Sofitel So Singapore
35 Robinson Road
Singapore 068876

Tel:  +65 6701 6800

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