Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pier Eleven: Dinner by the Sea!

How often do you get to dine by the sea in Singapore? Rarely.

East coast? All seafood.

Sentosa? Overbudget.

Marina bay? Now that's something new. And no, I'm not referring to the long row of steamboat BBQ buffet there (which is already gone, by the way), but a hidden gem in the same area. There's a little known pier that ferries people to Indonesia, but my point here is a restaurant that has great view of the sea, cooling alfresco dining and of course, good food!

Beetroot with Scallop and Caviar ($10.00)

Soft Shell Crab with Pork Floss ($10.00)

We started off our meal with these two appetisers. The pan-seared scallop wasn't of top fresh quality, but was well paired with the salty caviar and sweet beetroot. Plus points for bothering with good presentation too.

The soft shell crab was served piping hot with pork floss on it. Never seen such a combination before, it hits off surprisingly well! The crab retained little oil and the savoury floss got rid of the heavy feel of the crab.

Grilled Cod in Soy Sauce ($29.00)

Yorksire Pork with Apple Sauce ($26.00)

The cod was of a sizable chunk, perfectly grilled with a melt in your mouth texture, with the japanese soy sauce adding a light touch to the flavour. It was completed by fluffy mashed potato, some cooked greens and asparagus.

The pork was abit tough on the lean meat, but tastes better on the fattier tender parts. The apple sauce goes well with the char-grilled taste of the pork and was accompanied by the same side dishes.

Another restaurant by the sea, Tex-max.

Sea of Love ($11.00)

After the meal, it was already dark and we went to chill out at the comfortable lounge area that has plenty of cushions and leg space, suitable for large groups of friends to hang out. We had a glass of mocktail (couldn't remember the content, tastes not bad though!) to end off the night while chatting to the sound of waves and enjoying the sea breeze.

Bill for 2 was $101.23 with GST. Overall, Pier Eleven has good ambience with reasonably well food. A little out of the way, but not a problem if you had a car though. Give it a try with your date!
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Notice: Postponing of updates

Sorry for the lack of updates for the past week, but my computer is down at the moment. (fried my motherboard..) Will try to resume postings ASAP. Thanks for waiting!
Thursday, July 10, 2008

Homecook: Birthday Feast!

My mom had been a great cook for as far as I could remember. Western, cantonese, shanghainese, italian, cakes, tarts, desserts.. Just name it, and she will probably knows it. She's the adventurous type who will try different stuffs in restaurants and replica them at home, with good results too. And for my birthday dinner at home this year, she cooked up yet another east-meet-west feast!

Parma ham with melon

One of my favourite italian starter, the unique salty flavour of the cured pork is a perfect match with sweet melon. Usually you get only a few stingy pieces of parma ham in restaurants, but not the case here! This will definitely satisfy your carving for parma ham!

Cold meat platter (Beef salami, smoked duck breast, sliced roast beef)

An assortment of cold meat from a quality deli that my mom knows.

Tossed salad

Comprising of different greens, capsicums, avocado and abalone mushrooms.

Salad tossed in sesame dressing, topped with duck breast and crunchy sunflower seeds. Refreshing!

Shark fin chicken soup

I preferred this clear-boiled type than the starchy Thai Village ones, where you really get to savour the essence of both chicken and shark fin.

Crab with vermicelli in claypot

This might not be as nicely presented as Thai Village, but it certainly doesn't lose out in taste! The sweetness of the fresh crab meat and all the juicy goodness absorbed by the vermicelli. I guess one could never get enough of the vermicelli in this dish and my mom knows that well enough to add in an abundant lot. To die for!

Steamed scallops with garlic and vermicelli.

The flavour you get from this is an all different matter from the crabs or soup. A indescribable taste arises from the scallops and again well-present in the vermicelli. Simply delicious!

The flavours of the 3 different seafood has been brought out nicely in various forms and cooking methods and I simply couldn't be more satisfied. Who needs restaurants when you have a super cooking mama like this!
Saturday, July 05, 2008

Don's & York Hotel: Battle of the Chicken Pies!

I loved chicken pies since I was a kid. From my first of Delifrance to the best-of-those-days of Sweet Secret, I was in constant search of a better chicken pie. Last week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on two of my current favourite chicken pies at the same time!

First up, Don's!

Don's Kids Pie (Personal Size) ($5.50)

I first had this in JC when my GP tutor treated our class to boxes of it. It comes in mainly 3 sizes, large, personal and quarters. And also, there's the normal version which came with lots of black pepper, the kid's pie which is non spicy, and the vegetable pie that contained no egg and chicken. The one shown above is the personal pie, with a diameter of about 14cm.

The pastry crust is wonderfully buttery and fluffy, one bite is enough to make flakes crumbling. The fillings of the pie is really generous, stuffed full of tender chicken pieces, savoury potatoes, mixed vegetables and half a hard-boiled egg.

However, I disliked the moderate overdose of black pepper in the pie, overpowering the original flavour and leaving a spicy aftertaste. The kid's pie also did not turn out too well, as somehow the total lack of pepper makes the pie loses its "kick".

Don's Sheperd's Pie ($?)

Btw, Don's also provided sheperd's pie, too much potato for my liking though, and again overkill of pepper.

The second one is from York Hotel!

Now I'm a bit lost on this. The York Hotel chicken pie seems to be rather popular through words-of-mouth, but I just can't seem to find any info of it on the Internet.

The chicken pie from Cafe 2000 of M hotel, on the other hand, is more well-known through the press/forums as it has been featured and recommended many times already. Judging from what I read, both beared striking resemblences. Furthermore, I had also been told that York Hotel actually get their chicken pies from M hotel! Anyone able to clarify?

York Hotel Chicken Pie ($?)

The size is smaller than Don'e but sill bigger than most chicken pies you get elsewhere. Though not as buttery, the pastry is even flufflier and more layered than Don's. And here's what I really like about this pie: The content is simmered in a creamy white sauce that tastes a lot like cream of mushroom, unlike the usual curry flavoured or potato-ish type. In fact, I don't think this even contains potatoes, as I found only carrots, mushroom slices and chicken chunks, with the inner side of the pastry nicely soaked with the sauce. Eating the pie is like drinking a bowl of musroom soup with puff pastry!

Alas, the real disappointment comes in the form of its choice of chicken part. Only breast meat was used and the tough, dry and rather tasteless meat minused a great deal of marks off this otherwise great pie.

So which pie I like better? Really hard to say, with each having its pros and cons.
Maybe one day I will find a better chicken pie that combines the best of both worlds. On a closing note:

Homemade salad with beef salami in sesame sauce