Friday, December 23, 2011

paris bites: chez l'ami jean

Chez l'ami Jean
27, Rue Malar
75007 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4705 8689

Before we left for our Europe trip, we were pretty diligent in our planning. We already had in hand a number of places to visit and necessary reservations for the restaurants we wanted to dine at were all made well before we left. Chez l'ami Jean was never in the itinerary. But after dining at quite some crappy places on days we decided to "wing it", we decided to try our luck to get a table at Chez and as you are currently reading this, you guessed right. We got lucky. In fact, we got lucky twice because I went for dinner there 2 nights in a row. Yup, that's how much we liked the place.

Chef Stéphane Jego, originally from Basque, is one of those chefs who has trained in French formal kitchens, worked with top chefs and is now part of the "casual dining" movement. And honestly, I think he is doing extremely well. On both nights, the restaurant was packed. On the 2nd night I was there, the restaurant was still bustling at 11pm (I know Europeans dine late but still!).

Deep Fried Pork Fat

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

paris bites: les cocottes de christian constant

Les Cocottes de Christian Constant
135, rue Saint-Dominique (7th arrondissement)
75007 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4555 1505 (No reservations)
Opening Hours: 12pm - 3pm, 7pm - 10.30pm daily

Chef Christian Constant helmed the kitchens in Michelin Star fine dining restaurants years back but in recent times, has decided to take the route of casual dining, which is pretty much the trend everywhere these days. The return to a more laid back setting means that his restaurant is more accessible as prices are more at a reasonable range. It also means the food is simpler but by no means less delicious or impressive.

Les Cocottes is quite a special little place. Located near the Eiffel Tower, it was the perfect lunch spot after a dreadful morning of queuing to ascend the Eiffel. True to the name of the place, most dishes are served in Staub cast iron cocettes which I find a novelty since the rest of the world are using tiles and chopping boards to serve their food these days (not that I mind).

The food was delicious. We started with a Langoustine Ravioli. The broth although a tad foamy was light and extremely flavourful. There was a substantial amount of langoustines wrapped within the ravioli. An all round favourite.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

paris bites: le cinq at the four seasons

Le Cinq
Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
31 Avenue George V
75008 Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4952 7000

I wish I took a picture of Le Cinq's dining room because words cannot describe how beautiful it is (we had to be considerate cos there were other guests in the room). Have a look at their website and you'll know what I mean. Set in classic Parisian style, it is honestly one of the prettiest dining rooms I've ever been in. It almost feels like I've been transported to a different time, just sitting in the grandness of it.

The moment we settled into our table, our table was delivered with a "little" snack - Deep Fried Calamari! I say it's "little" only because we had more than our fair share. We just couldn't resist another basket when the wait staff came over and asked us, "MORE?" We could only nod and then had to stop ourselves from ruining the meal that was about to follow.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

paris bites: relais de l'entrecôte

Relais de l'Entrecôte
15, Rue Marbeuf
Paris, France
Tel: +33 (01) 4952 0717

Located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris near Champs Elysee lies a typical looking French bistro. That bistro however, starts having a long line formed outside its doors around 6pm; the crowds rushing for the first seating when the bistro opens its doors. And all of them are simply lusting for this.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

paris bites: le chateaubriand

Le Chateaubriand
129 Avenue Parmentier
Paris 75011, France
Tel: +33 (0)1 4357 4595

Le Chateaubriand was probably one of the restaurants I was most excited about visiting, if not the most. It is afterall, ranked 9th on the San Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list. Making a rapid ascend on the San Pel list from number 40 in 2009 to 9 in 2011, one almost gets an impression that owner and chef, Inaki Aizpitarte is the "rebel" of the restaurant scene in Paris - choosing to set up his own uber cool, no frills restaurant in the city of Michelin Stars. He's been talked about on magazines, tv shows you name it. Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert seemed to love it much when they filmed an episode of No Reservations there (and I did confirm that with Tony Bourdain when I met him after the trip). The food did look good but truthfully, I wanted to check out the hype.

6 years and counting..

I only realised today that Dec 1 just came and gone. And then I counted the years that I've been writing here. 6 years and 5 days. For those who have been following, I thank you for hanging around with me although I'm not the most frequent with my updates. I may not be writing but I am still eating, I assure you. So bear with me, those places worth the mention will make it here.. eventually. Let's just wait and see if the 7 year itch will kick in a year from now. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

recipe: spaghetti with pesto and roasted chicken.

Cooking for 2 or 3 can sometimes leave me with lots of leftover ingredients. I especially get the problems with fresh herbs so I always get a 'should I or should I not' situation at the supermarket; wondering if the recipe could do without a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary. So the way I cook these days is to buy what I need for something I want to cook and if there are ingredients leftover, I'll come up with something which will help use up the remainders the next day.

After making the Crispy Chicken with Sweet Tomatoes, I was left with quite a bit of basil and cherry tomatoes. With that and seeing that I had 2 chicken thighs in the freezer, I decided to whip up a Spaghetti with Pesto and Roasted Chicken.

Ingredients (serves 2)
dried spaghetti (enough for 2)
extra virgin olive oil
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To make the pesto:
2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, picked and chopped
a small handful of pine nuts, lightly toasted
½ clove of garlic, chopped
a handful of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

To make the roast chicken:
2 boneless chicken thighs
a bunch of cherry tomatoes, halved
a sprinklng of dried thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil

Note: a bit of judgement call would be required in the making of this recipe. I was using whatever leftovers I had so I don't have the exact measurements for everything I used. Feel free to add or reduce whatever you feel is best and taste as you go along. You should be in a good place if you keep to that rule.

  • To make the pesto, pound the basil and a little bit of salt in a mortar & pestle (or place in food processor). Once the basil has been pretty much smashed up with the salt, add the garlic and the pine nuts and continue pounding.
  • Remove after everything has been bashed up and well combined. Add the parmesan cheese and mix well.
  • Add the extra virgin olive oil and mix well with the basil until you get a smooth consistency that isn't too dry.
  • Season with salt and pepper or add more cheese according to your personal liking. Set aside

  • Making the roast chicken is super simple. Slice open the chicken thigh and remove all the unnecessary fat. The thinness will help it cook quicker.
  • Place the thighs, tomatoes and seasonings in a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a 190℃ oven for about 45 minutes or until cooked.
  • After the chicken is cooked, keep the flavourful juices and shred the meat. Set aside.

  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Drain the water after the pasta is cooked but reserve about a cup of the pasta water.
  • Mix the pasta with the pesto which was prepared earlier and toss well to ensure that the pasta is well coated. Add a little pasta water if you need help to loosen up the pesto so that it's easier to coat the pasta.
  • Assembly is easy. Place the pasta on a plate and top with the shredded chicken, tomatoes and its juices. Finish it off with more parmesan cheese if you like and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on the top.

Dinner (or lunch) is served!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

recipe: crispy chicken with sweet tomatoes.

Been a while since I posted a recipe. It's not that I haven't been doing much cooking. On the contrary, I've been doing a lot of it on weekdays so I can head out exploring on the weekends. I'm being a good girl. ANYWAYS, most of what I usually cook on the weekdays are familiar home favourites which I've grown up with; curry chicken, stir-fried vegs etc. Nothing exciting although always comforting because of the absence of mum's cooking. This week however, I decided to shake things up a little and head for the books for inspiration instead.

I found this recipe from Jamie Oliver's, Jamie's Dinners. I actually highly recommend this book because I find the recipes are easy to follow, aren't over complicated and are basically things that you would eat on a regular basis. Most importantly, THEY WORK! In fact, I'm almost inclined to do the 'Julie & Julia' thing and cook every recipe out of the book daily. Then again, I might cause some sort of a protest.

I admit, I was lazy so hence, the choice of this one pot wonder. Easy cooking, easy clean up. I probably should cook this way more. I did some variations of my own to the recipe and also changed it down to feed 2. It should be very easy to multiply the portions according to the number of people that you have to feed.

Ingredients (serves 2)
4 chicken drumsticks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a large bunch of fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved and 1 ripe plum tomato, quartered
1 whole bulb of garlic, broken up into cloves
1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
zest of 1/4 lemon
2 medium sized potatoes, sliced
olive oil

  • Preheat your oven to 180℃.
  • Season the chicken well and place in a baking tray.
  • Add all the other ingredients to the tray and drizzle just enough to ensure that all the ingredients are well coated. Add more salt and pepper if you desire.
  • Toss all the ingredients in the tray to ensure all the seasoning gets well distributed. Arrange the pan so that the tomatoes land up underneath.
  • Place in oven for approximately 1.5 hours, bring the tomatoes to the top halfway through and cook until the chicken skin is crispy and meat falls off the bone.
  • Squeeze the garlic out of the skins before serving.

Instead of roasting the potatoes, you could serve the chicken with mash potatoes, cannellini beans or remove the meat from the bone, shred it and toss with spaghetti together with the tomatoes and its delicious roasting juices!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

paris bites: restaurant frenchie

Restaurant Frenchie
5-6, Rue du Nil
75002, Paris
Tel: +33 (01) 4039 9619

I had so many different experiences during my trip to Europe. Some I remember more for the awe of being in a fine establishment and some I remember for the delicious food. Frenchie was where the food spoke for itself and thrashed all expectations of what Paris had to offer.

It was no easy feat scoring a table at Frenchie. Over the course of a month and several phone calls in between, I finally had someone on the phone taking my reservation. I remember telling R after I got through, 'for all that trouble, this better be good!' I read a lot about Frenchie online and saw Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert dine there on No Reservations (that episode was tres useful for the trip by the way). And to be honest, my expectations were already high up there by the time I made my booking.

Monday, November 07, 2011

malaysian fix at chinta ria... mood for love

Chinta Ria... Mood For Love
Level 6 Shop 6009
Westfield Sydney
188 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 (02) 8072 8888

Besides being away from the family and loved ones, one other thing that's difficult about living overseas is finding places that sell authentic food from home (other than cooking it myself of course). Unfortunately, I have yet to be proven wrong although I would say that some have come close enough to hitting the spot. Otherwise, I've had to settle for close substitutes from various types of cuisine.

Klang-born restauranteur, Simon Goh has seen success with Chinta Ria at Darling Harbour and in the past year opened up Sassy's Red at the busy Westfield food court. After reading about a couple of positive reviews on Goh's latest venture 'Mood For Love', I decided to drop in to have a taste of (hopefully!) some "home" flavours.

 Otak O Tak
Spanish Mackerel Mousse

Sunday, October 30, 2011

the new kid on the block - momofuku seiōbo

Momofuku Seiōbo
The Star
80 Pyrmont Street, Level G
Entrance at Edward and Union Street
Pyrmont, NSW 2009

It's hard to even describe the kind of excitement that was building up since last year when it was announced that New York famed chef, David Chang of Momofuku was going to be part of Star City's (now known as The Star) multi-million dollar redevelopment. A buzz was quickly created. The food scene is strong in Sydney and for years we've been seeing exports like Tetsuya Wakuda and Luke Mangan setting up Waku Ghin and Salt respectively in Singapore. However, to have one of Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2010, a James Beard award winning chef who has Michelin Stars on his back set up shop here, it's no wonder people have been looking forward to what David Chang was going to bring to Australia.

One of those people was R. I've heard him rave about Momofuku's signature pork buns umpteen times before and he could hardly contain his excitement when he knew that Seiōbo's opening date was drawing near. Needless to say, when we knew that reservations were open, he got in there quick and scored us a table for opening night!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

crave sydney 2011 - just desserts at tomislav.

2/13 Kirketon Road
Darlinghurst, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9356 4535

October is usually an exciting time for food lovers in Sydney. With so many overseas renowned chefs flying into Sydney to participate in the Crave Sydney International Food Festival, so many events going on in different parts of the city for the whole month, it's hard to stay away from all the action.

One of the special dinners which I attended was the Just Desserts event hosted by Tomislav. The meal had 6 courses - 4 sweet, 2 savoury. It was an interesting dinner and I could tell that a lot of thought must have gone into creating the dishes. It's always refreshing to taste new combinations and see all of the ideas transcend well onto the plate. For $130 however, I wished there were more courses or slightly more substantial servings of each dish.

Pineapple Consomme, Sour Cream, Caramel Jelly,
Pineapple, Coconut & Date Ice Cream, Foie Gras Crumbs

Friday, October 21, 2011

breakfast at cafe xxii, pyrmont.

22 Union Street
Pyrmont, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9552 3093

I'm always on the look out for a good, hearty breakfast and R gets his craving for a big eggy breakfast once so very often. In Sydney, there's an abundant number of breakfast places but I have to be honest, sometimes the choices can be a little boring. Not that boring isn't good if it's done well.

Poached Eggs, Toasted Muffin, Smoked Salmon, Spinach, Hollandaise

Truffled Scrambled Eggs on Brioche
with Sides of Hashbrown & Sausage

Cafe XXII's breakfast menu serves up the classic favourites like Eggs Benedict and Big Breakfast but they also have interesting items or two such as a Brioche Crunch French Toast and a Breakfast Bruschetta. I love the casual vibe of the cafe but the food is honestly 'hit and miss'. R's Truffled Scrambled Eggs turned out pretty tasty and cooked really well but I didn't fancy it paired with the crumbly Brioche. Sticking to a simple slice of sourdough or even better, white would have been much better. The additional sides as you can see from the picture, are not there to impress. The Florentine fared better but the eggs were probably 30 to 40 seconds overcooked and I would have loved for the hollandaise to have a tad less acidity. Having said that, I did like it enough to want to order it again if and when I return.

So far, I think I've had better luck finding brekkies places that hit the spot better at Surry Hills. Maybe I should just stick to exploring that area more for a while.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

the pie tin, newtown

The Pie Tin
1A Brown Street
Newtown, NSW 2042
Tel: +61 (02) 9519 7880

I think I might need to move soon.... to Newtown (or somewhere close by).

Newtown seems like the place to be with a couple of good restaurants like Bloodwood and Oscillate Wildly, popular patisseries and cafes like Black Star Pastry (which makes my favourite cake in town), Luxe and Campos, multiple burger outlets and one delicious Roti Bom. The Pie Tin is one of the newer kids on the block which has recently added to Newtown's "hip" quotient.

Pies are a popular thing in Australia and I love my pies. Savoury ones to be specific. The best part of a pie is always the pastry and this always riles up a discussion but I'm a flaky pastry kinda girl. R on the other hand, is all for shortcrust pastry and the sweet pies. So this is where we get the best of both worlds. The Pie Tin sells a wide array of sweet and savoury pies; the classic apple pie, apple & boysenberry, chocolate & gooey caramel, a classic mince pie, chicken & leek, butter chicken and the list goes on.

Southern Style Shredded Pork & Apples with Sides of Baked Beans with Speck
& Sweet Potato Mash with Gravy

 Lemon Meringue Pie

The pies were rather delicious. The filling in the Southern Style Pork pie was generous and the pastry was flaky but given another trip, I will probably choose a more classic pie because I wasn't so crazy about the apples in there. What I remember clearly though were the sides because they were delicious. The sweet potato mash was the better among the 2; smooth, sweet and so tasty with the gravy drizzled all over. The Lemon Meringue pie did pretty well too. I'm not always a lover of meringues but this one I liked cos it was soft, fluffy and not overly sweet. The lemon filling was not too tart as well. I did try the Chocolate & Gooey Caramel Pie on another occasion and loved that better because of the caramel and chocolate base.

Besides pies, they also make a few different types of sweet pastries, sausage rolls etc. so whether you're a fan of pies or not, there will most likely be something for you. So if you're in the neighbourhood, that little detour off King St. might be worth it.

Friday, October 07, 2011

to the life that made a difference

Over the last 2 days, my FB and Twitter account has been flooded with tributes and expressions of sadness at the news of Steve Jobs' death. Did his death come as a surprise? I guess not because the signs were all there. He was frail, lost an extreme amount of weight and most importantly, stepped down from his position with Apple as he knew he could no longer fulfil his duties.

Just as I was watching a mini tribute to him on the television, it struck me hard. Apple will still continue and I believe, will continue strong without Jobs. However, the impact that he's made to this generation is something that only few can match up to. He had changed the way that people communicate today; from making a phonecall to conducting a business presentation. He had changed the way we watch animation today. He has changed the way the entertainment industry works today and even revived the music industry with the invention of iTunes. Long story short, you cannot go anywhere without coming into contact with something related to Steve Jobs or the Apple brand. (Just so you know, this entry that you're reading now was typed from a MacBook as well).

It is surely not only Jobs' work that deserves the credit. The brains and hard work of many others are responsible for the brand's success today but you always need a visionary behind the success. Steve Jobs was that visionary. So RIP Steve Jobs. The world will miss you and your great mind but your legacy lives on.

Friday, September 30, 2011

london eats: hibiscus

29 Maddox Street
London W1S 2PA
Tel: +44 (020) 7629 2999

Hibiscus was one of the "star" restaurants which made it to the CRAZY list. With 2 Michelin Stars under its belt and a resume which boasts of time spent in some of France's best restaurants, Claude Bosi is certainly one of London's acclaimed chefs today. I honestly had high expectations because I had read widely of positive reviews online and heard good comments about the restaurant. However, it might have been precisely because of those expectations, that I left feeling slightly underwhelmed.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

spring weekend in canberra!

So I'm back from a short weekend in Canberra. Whilst it's not the most exciting city in Australia, there is a vastness about the place that I like. Not to mention that the roads are extremely friendly (and parallel parking is a breeze!). Apart from settling the important stuff and viewing the pretty flowers at the annual Floriade, good food definitely played a big part over the weekend. Some I was impressed with and some left a lot to be desired.

One place I liked was Cream Cafe & Bar. High ceilings, white clean walls, buzzing atmosphere, chill- out music, delicious food. What's not to like right?

Omelette with Double Shaved Leg Ham, Persian Feta,
Hickory Smoked Tomato and Chilli Jam

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

london eats: st. john bread and wine

St. John Bread and Wine
94-96 Commercial Street
E1 6LZ
Tel: +44 (020) 3301 8069

Back in London again!

There seems to be a couple of food trends going on at the moment; the movement from fine to casual dining, sharing plates, foraging. There is also one that Asians, in particular the Chinese, have been doing for god knows how long and is now a big hit in the Western world - nose to tail eating. There is one person who is well known for popularising and synonymous with this "new" way of eating and that person is Fergus Henderson (along with Trevor Gulliver), chef and owner of St. John Bar & Restaurant.

Monday, September 05, 2011

french flair at felix.

2 Ash Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Tel: +61 (02) 9240 3000

So I just found out that Leo DiCaprio visited Felix last week just like I did. (He's in town to film a new movie called The Great Gatsby and has been spotted dining out at some of Sydney's fine eating spots) Well, I don't have a story to tell about DiCaprio because we weren't there at the same time and I didn't get to see him in person (not yet at least). What I did get, was one great tasting sandwich!

Reuben Sandwich with a Dill Pickle

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

a look back - Ben Shewry, WGS 2010

Finally, a break from London. I still have tons to write about Europe and I'll get there. Eventually.

So I've always wanted to write about this dinner I had at Singapore's World Gourmet Summit last year. It was nothing short of spectacular and virtually everyone whom I've spoken to about fine dining at some point had already heard me go on and on about how excellent it was. As usual, this fell into my backlog. That's besides the point anyway since I'm here now writing about it.

Friday, August 05, 2011

london eats: harwood arms

The Harwood Arms
27 Walham Grove
London SW6 1QR
Tel: +44 (0)20 7386 1847

When R & I were planning the trip, we made sure that we had a variety of places that we could dine at. We knew that we couldn't leave London without trying the food at a British pub. So The Harwood Arms came into the radar and onto our itinerary. The Harwood Arms is the only pub in London to have landed themselves a Michelin Star and is co-owned by Brett Graham of The Ledbury fame (see my entry on The Ledbury here). Located in the Fulham area, it is nestled among residential housing, out of the usual touristy areas and doesn't look like a Michelin Star recipient from the outside if I'm being honest. Step inside and it is abuzz with chatter and a great amount of warmth. Have a taste of the food and then you'd realise why it is most deserving of an accolade. If pub grub was as good as this back home, I'd have pub grub any day of the week!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

london eats: restaurant gordon ramsay

Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
68 Royal Hospital Road
London SW3 4HP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 4441

A month or two before R & I set off for our trip, we started watching Ramsay's Best Restaurant in hopes to find a couple of restaurants which we could dine at when we were there. The restaurants on the show were divided into different cuisines and the winners in each cuisine category had to battle against each other. There were a few that caught our eyes and we did try the winner of the Spanish category, Fino in the end but the rest were out of London and hence, out of the itinerary.

Visiting a Ramsay restaurant wasn't part of the plan in the beginning. It was only whilst watching the show and seeing the contestants cook and serve in Ramsay's flagship 3 Michelin Star restaurant did I realise that I HAD to get the "Ramsay experience" that he's always been so proud of. Hence, a few adjustments to the itinerary later, we got ourselves a table for lunch!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

turning a year older.

I have much to be thankful for in the past year. I've managed to take some time off, recharge, earned myself another degree (almost there!), made new friends and took on a brand new life in another country. As my birthday was approaching, many asked how I was feeling about turning a year older. Some of my friends were devastated when they turned that so-called 'fearful' age and some embraced it. I believe I fall in the latter category. It's true that I'm now older and nobody likes growing older, but along with age comes many changes and good things that I failed to appreciate when I was younger.

And then there are some things that never change no matter how old you are. There's that bowl of mee sua that I get every year on my birthday cooked by Mom on most years, and by the Sister this year and the last. There are also the friends who have grown up with me that will always be there in time of need no matter how many miles separate us and would send me surprise balloons that make me feel special and loved.

The past year has been filled with ups and downs but a new year marks a new beginning. Having another candle on the birthday cake is just the beginning of a new chapter in life and guess what, I'm so damn looking forward to it!

Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Cream from Black Star Pastry

Friday, July 01, 2011

london eats: dishoom

12 Upper St Martin's Lane
London, WC2H 9FB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7420 9320

You can't pass up on Indian cuisine when you're in London. 2 things come up when you mention Asian food in London; Roast Duck & Indian. Dishoom was great for a late night dinner after watching Matthew Fox rock the theatre stage for 'In the Forest, Dark and Deep' (he was gorgeous!). It was chilly and windy outside and a hearty Indian meal was perfect to warm us up. Lamb biryani, curry chicken, garlic naan and a delicious raita (yoghurt with cucumber and mint) made the perfect dinner combination.

 I feel like Indian all over again.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

london eats: borough market

Borough Market
8 Southwark St
London, SE1 1TL

If you want some of that, you would have to make a trip to Borough Market when you're in London. That is of course if hot melted cheese is your thing as much as it is mine.

Monday, June 20, 2011

london eats: the ledbury

The Ledbury
127 Ledbury Road
Notting Hill, London
W11 2AQ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7792 9090


Planning the places to dine at in London was a whole lot of fun and I would say, rather crazy. R & I packed our schedule full of restaurants that we wanted to try and I honestly thought that I would be sick by the end of the London leg. I was wrong cos it turned out that the current dining scene in London is extremely vibrant and with proper planning, every meal could turn out to be new and exciting! Dining at The Ledbury was a bright spark of the trip and I will remember that for a long time to come.

Friday, June 10, 2011

london eats: breakfast at ottolenghi

63 Ledbury Road
London W11 2AD
Tel: +44 (0)20 7727 1121

If you're in the area...

you can't possibly walk past this...

cos you won't be able to walk away quietly when you peer through that glass window and realise that if you walk in, you will see this...

and this...

before you know it, you will be pointing at this...

Caramel and Macadamia Cheesecake


Lemon and Almond Cake with Blueberries

and that...

Quiche with Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelised Onions, Goat's Cheese & Thyme

The fun really begins when you dig in to the treats and settle in with a nice hot cup of coffee. 

And then of course, it gets better when you overhear a lady with 4 gorgeous children tell a friend about her upcoming weekend trip to Paris to see some art.

Ah.. the life...

Saturday, June 04, 2011

london eats: breakfast at the wolseley

The Wolseley
160 Piccadilly
London W1J 9EB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7499 6996

I cannot think of a single person who doesn't love a good breakfast. I know I do and I had one of the best breakfast experiences in London at The Wolseley. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

london eats: dinner by heston blumenthal

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X7LA
Tel: +44(0)20 7201 3833

When I told a few of my friends about my impending trip to London, most of the conversations ended up being somewhat like this...

Me: I'm stopping by London for a couple of days on the way to Paris.

Friend: Oh! Cool! Are you going to Fat Duck???????

Me: No....

Friend: Why not?! That's like the best restaurant in the world. Everyone goes or at least tries to visit when they're in London!

Me: Erm... it didn't cross my mind? And... no time???

Friend: Oh... 

Now the funny thing is since when did Fat Duck become synonymous with London? It isn't even there! But then of course I'm just being stupid and finding excuses for my "missing out" on a visit. There really just wasn't enough time since I was planning a full eating schedule in London and frankly, it just wasn't high up on my list of 'must-tries'.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

love, food & europe.

I've just got back from a 3 week food experience in London and various parts of France and I must say that it's been the experience of a lifetime. It wasn't my first visit but it was the first since I've started to appreciate food in a different way (not to mention with a bigger budget). There is so much to say and I just don't know where to begin. I'll promise I'll get down to it once I need a breather from studying. There are so many things I miss and one of it is just my Parisian breakfast. This is what it looked like almost every morning.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Thomas Keller's Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Apologies for being away for this long. Over the last few months, I've been back in Singapore and got really busy with work and life. I did have a couple of memorable food experiences though which I HOPE I will get to penning down as soon as time permits. For now, I just wanted to share my new found love for grilled cheese sandwiches. Who doesn't like melting cheese on sandwich right?! Well I definitely love it but when you add butter and fry the bread in a pan, the flavours are way different! Have a go at this recipe because it tastes oh-so-good.

Caution: You might feel your arteries clog as you're preparing the meal. Eat at your own discretion.

ciabatta, cut into thick slices
Swiss Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • Preheat oven to 170〫celcius
  • Lay the ciabatta bread on your work surface and stack the thinly sliced cheese over it. Top with the remaining slices of bread.
  • Over medium heat on a pan, add the butter and cook to brown. Be careful not to burn the butter.
  • Add the sandwiches and cook until brown on one side for approximately 1½ minutes.
  • When brown, flip the sandwiches on to the other side and cook for approximately 40 seconds before removing from pan.
  • Transfer the sandwiches to a baking tray and spread about 1 tsp of butter on each sandwich before placing them in the oven for about 4 minutes to ensure that all the cheese is melted.
  • Remove from oven, serve and ENJOY!

Things to note:
  • The original recipe called for brioche which would have given a sweeter taste to the sandwich given the nature of the bread. I used a rustic ciabatta which worked well too.
  • Ensure that you get enough cheese on the sandwich so that you're not just eating bread. Not too much though since gruyere can be pretty strong tasting but it's really your preference at the end of the day.
  • Ensure you get enough butter in the pan otherwise your pan will start smoking when the bread absorbs all that butter quickly and you won't get that beautiful brown you want on your sandwich. You can always diet another day.
  • Eat it when it's fresh out of the oven cos the cheese will be nice and gooey.
  • I made this to accompany pumpkin soup but it probably works better with tomato soup cos of the acidity. Les Bouchons serves it that way anyway.