Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Swirls of Delight

Had fun doing little swirls with a skewer the other day. It wasn't an art piece though it had the feel of it. In reality, it was golden yellow swirls of cheese amidst dark brown swirls of chocolate. Was making my daughter's favourite comfort food cheese brownies as she was pretty stressed from studying for her exams.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Han's black forest cake

The Han's restaurant food chain reminds me a lot of an American diner . Set meals of either grilled or fried chicken chop, black pepper or minute steaks, fish and chips served with soup of the day, garlic bread, coffee or tea. I have very fond memories of the place as it was one of the cheaper options for family dining. Back in the late 80's, a black forest cake was only a staple of hotel coffee houses until Han made it accessible to the masses by introducing a cheaper version at only $1.40 per piece or $14 for a whole cake. It was the cake for many of our family birthday celebrations. Other memorable cakes in Han's selection that have not changed through the years are their peach tarts and rum balls . I haven't tasted their black forest cake in years and just had to when my friends and I drove pass one of their first restaurants at Upper Thomson. Had the black forest cake and a cup of tea and that special moment came back, even if it was for just a while. 

In appreciation of Singapore Zi Char Cuisine

Prawn noodles with bee hoon
Yong Tao Foo

Bitter goud ribs

Prawn paste chicken

Zi Char stalls are very much a part of the cuisine landscape in Singapore. Zi char means stir fry in Chinese and these stalls are commonly found in coffee shops, selling a variety of the most loved dishes in Singapore. There is no need for posh, fancy restaurants if you are on a budget as zi char stalls do serve what most Chinese restaurants do, but at cheaper prices without the air con and posh table settings. Some of Singapore's most loved zi char dishes include prawn paste chicken, Kung Pao chicken, pork ribs, steamed fish both Teochew and Cantonese style , hot plate beef, chilli and black pepper crabs, cereal prawns etc . 

Tourists coming to Singapore should try the food at the hawker centres as well as that from zi char stalls at coffee shops. Savouring authentic local food in the countries we visit is always one of the best parts of travelling. One of the better zi char places that I love to patronise is the Kok Sen Restaurant in Chinatown. The yong tao foo and the prawn noodles bee hoon are really quite exceptional !

Kok Sen Restaurant
30 Keong Saik Road,

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ann Siang Hill

Sometimes I feel like a tourist in my own country. Things in Singapore are moving so fast that if I haven't visited a place for a year or so, chances are things may have changed quite a bit . Was at Ann Siang Hill just yesterday and shops that I remember were just here not too long ago are gone. Swanky boutique hotels have popped up in this conservation area together with cafes and bistros which are quaint and charming. Nice to know that just down the road is the contrast of the bustling Maxwell Road Market, a famous Singaporean food  place where the office crowd descends upon like a flock of seagulls during lunch.  

Most of the elegantly restored shophouses at Ann Siang Road here were built between 1903 and 1941 and were once the traditional homes of clan associations and exclusive social clubs. A nice place for a stroll and to admire the little architectural details that adorn the buildings such as some original art noveau tiles on the exterior.