Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The FIJIWaterLimeTruck Pop-Up

This is an invited writeup

Note: The event has been changed to be held at Orchard Gateway on both days now


One of the biggest regret of my recent West Coast trip is that I didn't manage to catch any bites from food trucks (especially after watching the mouthwatering movie Chef). Well yes I saw a taco truck on the first night in LA, giving it a miss thinking that I have two weeks ahead to catch them, then somehow they were never in sight at San Fran/Napa/Vegas/LA again. Thankfully I might just be able to catch one without flying all the way there again as FIJI Water, in collaboration with Kerbside Gourment, is bringing in The Lime Truck as a pop-up event this Friday and Saturday.



Blue Crab & Jicama Taco, Fresh Fish Ceviche Tostada

Winner of Food Network's "The Great Food Truck Race", The Lime Truck will be helm by celebrity chef Daniel Shemtob, dishing out gourmet snacks such as Braised Pork Belly Taco with Tomatillo Pico de Gallo & Sriracha, Fresh Fish Ceviche Tostada, and Blue Crab & Jicama Taco on wheels, each paired with FIJI water and with all proceeds donated to Willing Hearts, a non-­‐profit organisation for the needys.

While I'm stuck in Seletar Camp and will miss the media preview on Thursday, I might just pop down on my own to have a feel of gourmet on wheels. See you there!

Special thanks to FoodNews for the media photos and press release!
Sunday, August 03, 2014

Almost Updating, Soonish


Santa Monica Pier, California

Hola! I know I haven't updated for a month, but I was indeed a little caught up with work after the two weeks in West Coast. So here's a little teaser photo of my trip and Shima Teppanyaki will be coming right up!

Taken with Nikon D7100
Friday, July 04, 2014

Long trip ahead!


Yes I'm on the go again, this time away for two weeks with the parents. Let's see if I can write some stuff in between. IG-ing as usual! Where I am going? Well Beijing is only a transit!

Oh yeah, happy birthday to me!

Taken with HTC One
Friday, June 27, 2014

Halia at Raffles III: Communal Feasting

This is an invited session



I suppose that communal dining is a pretty Asian thing. Think casual zi char to chinese banquet dinners, dishes are placed in the middle and shared, fostering that unique type of bond by people at the table. On the other hand, western dining is pretty individualistic with its own pros and cons, though you can now enjoy the fun of western communal dining at Halia at Raffles.



The casual eatery at Raffles Hotel shouldn't need too much introduction by now with two previous write-ups, but it is constantly refreshing its menu to keep diners coming back for more. With a brand new 12-course communal dining menu at $260++ (good for 4 pax) and matching communal table mats, Chef Ciaran Armstrong is instilling elements of "sharing fun" into Asian-inspired dishes.



While the communal set includes a jug of barley, it never hurts to have their signature Chilled Halia Tea on a warm, humid day.



Cream of Mushroom Soup, Bread Selection

Thick and creamy with distinct minute pieces of mushroom, this is definitely a hearty bowl to start the meal. The accompanying assorted bread are great for soup-dipping, as well as being paired with olive oil and balsamic, and a certain curry-flavoured oil.



Goats' Cheese Mousse, Oriental Pulled Duck

Pretty garden to look at and equally tasty with dried brioche serving as base for the mix of cheese, tomatoes and honey drizzles. The duck soba was consistently good, being already introduced several times on previous visits.



House Smoked Salmon Pate, Chilli Crab Dip

Trapped in a bottle of smoke, the salmon pate was light and creamy to my liking. Nothing to complain about the other one which is an adaption of their signature Chilli Crab Pasta, perfect for lazy poeple like me who wants their crab meat without the de-shelling hassles.



Baked Kingfish Collar, Wagyu Beef "Zhajiangmian"

With Grilled Hamachi (yellowtail) Collars being pretty common in Japanese restaurants, it was the first time that I had a Kingfish version with plenty of fine meat and refreshing with orange glaze and pickled vegetables. On the other hand, while I usually like all things Wagyu, the "zhajiangmian" (which is really just plenty of vegetable peels with minced beef) wasn't that impressive on texture, but had a nice blend of sweet, savoury meat sauce with greens.



Twice-Cooked Spatchcock of Spring Chicken, 'Gunpowder' Wagyu Topside Mayura Station

Time and again I have little praises for chicken dishes, but this was different as the sous-vide effect produced juice-retaining, tender meat. The last savoury mains was an interesting creation, as the Wagyu topside is marinated to a smokey "gunpowder-like" flavour, then sous vide to break down the tough cut into something more tender. Not your usual steak definitely.



Coconut Parfait, Sticky Toffee Pudding

Moving on to the sweets, the parfait were playfully presented as ice cream popsicles, sprinkled with chocolate balls and popping candy, while the other was yet another Halia classic that could hardly go wrong with.

At about $65++ per pax, the communal dining set is actually pretty good value given the number of courses and portions of food, showcasing several Halia signatures and new creations that are potential crowd pleasers. Tired of sharing chinese stir frys? Give this a go then!

Halia at Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road
#01-22/23 Raffles Hotel
Tel: 9639 1148

Special thanks to Ivy & Cyndiana of FoodNews for the invite!

Taken with Nikon D7100
Thursday, June 19, 2014

Just a Short Hiatus


Toby's Estate, my Cappuccino, E's Skinny Latte

Hola! I know I have disappeared since I promised an update two weeks ago, but I will continue the writing break till next week cos
1. Work overwhelms at times
2. My cough is acting up at night these days
and most importantly 3. The girlfriend is leaving for France next week for a 4 month job attachment and am trying to spend as much time as I can with her.

Much more active on Instagram so do add me @memoirsoffood if you wanna see what I'm sinking my teeth into.

Next week, Halia at Raffles!

Taken with HTC One
Thursday, June 05, 2014

*Coughs*



That's my medicine for you. Down with a slight flu + wheezing cough, so gonna be lazy and skip writing this week. Next up, Communal dining at Halia at Raffles!
Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hanare: Bring on the Chirashi, Many Many



You might have notice that I just came back from a Taipei weekend trip, which I had plenty of awesome sashimi and jap stuff in 42 hours (Yes, Japanese in Taipei, you read that right). While good Japanese food is generally expensive in Singapore, Hanare does serve up an excellent chirashi don at affordable pricing.



Located along Tanjong Pagar Road a few steps away from its sister restaurant, Teppei, Hanare is a no-reservations cafe that has simply two sets on its menu; The Japanese Buffet at $19.90 nett which honestly ain't exactly a steal, and the Bara Set at $17.90 nett that most of the customers go for. Occupying an entire shophouse level, seating is limited with almost half the space dedicated to the buffet line and counter, so you might have to try your luck if your weekday lunchtime is tight. Make payment at the counter, find a table and you're good to go.


Appetisers

The Bara Set also comes with free flow of 3 to 4 types of appetizers and miso soup. Nothing particularly outstanding, but the salad and chicken stew made decent nibbles while waiting for the star.


Bara Chirashi Don

Oh the beauty! Be prepared for a visual feast as your don is topped with an overwhelming amount of chunky, soy-sauce marinated raw fish. The checklist? Salmon, Tuna, Swordfish, Scallop, Clams and Roes. Definitely a mouthful as you enjoy every single cube. While it does seem a tad salty on its own, I find it a perfect match with the homemade wasabi (hot stuff!) and plain rice.

I do have one gripe though; The ingredients are probably pre-marinated and jumbled in a huge pot and scooped out upon order, so the quantity of each item can be unbalanced. Several times we had no scallops in one bowl or a large proportion of tuna in another. I also heard that the portions are getting erratic; overflowing at times and with glaring gaps during others. Let's hope they pick up the consistency.



With Teppei fully booked for third quarter of the year and a slot for their Kaisen Don hard to come by, Hanare might be your best bet to have a satisfying bowl of Chirashi Don. Have already lost count the number of return trips made with more on the way.

Hanare Japanese Cafe
99B Tanjong Pagar Road
Tel: 6222 1976

Taken with Nikon D7100