Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Dengue Tale

It all happened in a flash.

1 fainting.
15 minutes of unconsciousness.
39 degree celsius.
4 litres drip/day.
20+ bloodtests & needle pricks.
50+ visitors.
7 days of hospitalization.

That week God showed me how blessed i am. Pain aside, he planted caring nurses, pleasant roomies, oodles of friends & family members by my side. And ensured abundance of food. Seriously, i can't say enough thankyous to the many darlings who kept me company.

Shall bypass the bloody needle scenes and zoom straight into edibles....

breakfast in bed (:

One thing for sure, my perception of hospital meals certainly changed. Food at SGH is not bad at all! In Class B1 wards you get a daily selection of chinese/western/vegetarian/indian halal for your meals, served right under your nose. Teatime arrives promptly at 3.

Vegetarian: Potato-stuffed Taupok

Chinese: Fish in Black Bean Sauce

yummy Western: Baked Fish Fillet (even ate up the salted peas)

not-so-yummy Western: Chicken in Tomato Gravy

Teatime: Pumpkin tart & Lipton tea

Of course i couldn't survive solely on hospital meals. I had my fair share of smuggled nosh too.... plus those plushies, balloons, fruit baskets & flowers (in background) to brighten my days. Love my friends!

Mini Taiyakis from Isetan Kyushu Fair
Loved Rare Cheese & Caramel.

Azabu Sabo Matcha Icecream take-home pack. all mine.

14oz of Yami Yogurt natural delight

homemade bento from a colleague. cod & prawns!

I'll never forget how timely this angel arrived. These foods spell B.I.N.G.O

salmon sashimi never tasted better. missed it so bad.

Say Cheeze's Blueberry Cheesecake totally hit the right spot.
*poof* within minutes.

....& many more.

*widest smile ever* (on my awful unadorned face)

Thanks a million to all who came, for making elaine a happy happy patient!

P.s. Please beware of mozzies!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Night of Cake Boss & Cake Decorating

Meet Buddy Valastro. An award-winning pastry chef & cake artist in the United States, master baker of Carlo's City Hall Bake.

CAKE BOSS takes you into Buddy's kitchen, where you can witness behind-the-scene processes of creating edible art out of flour and sugar, churning out old-school recipes and remarkably modern cakes. It's gonna get unimaginable... all baking-enthusiasts should catch this!


As part of CAKE BOSS's launch, i was invited by Discovery Travel & Living to attend a cake decorating session at the Creative Culinaire School. That night we had 3 hours of fun learning basic buttercream piping & fondant techniques from Chef Judy Koh.

refreshments from Cafe Pralet

smoked salmon sandwich & Pralet's signature cake

Lesson begins...

Chef's demonstration, then hands-on!

Bloggers that night: Julia (Aromacookery), me & Keropokman

i like the cheery yellow colour!

my Sunflower Cupcakes with cute ladybugs

the fondant cake i designed.
eeks sorry for amateurish workmanship x)

For real decorating action, be sure to catch CAKE BOSS every Wednesday at 7pm, only on Discovery Travel & Living (Starhub Channel 16). Encores every Wednesday 5am/1pm, Thursday 1am & Sunday 4am/12pm/6pm.

My special thanks to Discovery Travel & Living Asia, and Weber Shandwick for the invitation.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Greetings from SGH

The foodie's been hospitalized ):

Still eating,
But blogging's got to be stalled.

Hope to be back in action in a jiffy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The French Kitchen

After Saint Pierre, instincts led me to visit TFK for their 3-course lunch deal ($36++) next.

One block apart, Emmanuel Stroobant's two french assets is differentiated by a stark factor: Hospitality. The feeling of being welcomed from the chef himself- it's one clear pivotal edge over their pretentious neighbor. I’ll raise both hands for an affable chef!

bread & condiments

Also appealing is Chef Jean-Charles Dubois' approach to food. He gives classic french titles his personal Dubois-tweak, then execute them with attested care. Traditional essences are retained even after his novel strokes, & you can always trust to get a thoughtful surprise or two.

Our lunch's raisin & brown bread slices didn't just arrive with plain-jane butter... Instead we had piped French butter with a ramekin of pink salmon rilettes. Fishy as it may be, those fragrant olive toppings were a huge lifting factor.

Amuse Bouche: Egg cream

The amuse bouche was one of those unpretentious-seeming thing that *BOOM* explodes unexpected pleasure in the mouth. I spooned out puffy eggy mousse, already piquantly seasoned yet further perked by olives & a parmesan crisp. Homemade brioche by the side. oh i think i sniffed some truffle oil too!

Never belittle what can emerge from cutie eggshells.

Bisque de Homard

Moments later he proved that signatures ain't signatures for nothing.

I have to say TFK serves up the best, if not one of the best Lobster Bisque i've had. The splendid garden of pastel orange housed a pair of meaty tiger prawn tempuras and brilliantly correlating leek custard pudding. Every drop of the steamy hot soup was visually & gastronomically accomplished! *slurpsss.


Elaine can never see the word Cod & not order it.

Cabillaud is prepared classic french; primarily salt-seasoned. The flaky oleaginous piece was endowed with salted brown crust, alongside dashes of artichoke puree and skillfully hand-cut potato crisps. A huge pity the scant splat of bouillabaise emulsion was insufficient to moisten the fish, making it badly dry.

Mental note: Loving all cods but Miso Cod definitely tops the satisfaction-o-meter.

Kurobuta Pork Loin

Dad met his lucky day when the server introduced an alternative Kurobuta Pork Loin as Day's special. I knew he's bound to have it. On his plate laid a beautifully browned loin paired with brown sauce and truffle mash, once again overly salt-adorned.

Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee

Here's the signature Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee dessert. Pairing icecream with creme brulee sounds like a rare recruitment but when the vanilla icecream melts into the fluidy dark chocolate custard, whatsoever weirdness is wiped out by the black-&-white blend.

Who would defy a marriage of premium chocolate & quality vanilla?

Sabayon au Champagne

Champagne Sabayon with forest berry icecream was another worthy mention... An egg custard dashed with champagne, embedding bite-sized pear marmalade & berry chunks. It may be slightly off-putting for yolk-shunners, but the addition of fruits and berrylicious icecream are 2 reasons to scoop up.

Chef Jean-Charles Dubois is made of sugar, spice & everything nice..
May cupid be with TFK always.

The French Kitchen
7 Magazine Road
#01-03 Central Mall
Singapore 059572
6438 1823

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Private Affairs

In an era where chef-turn-restauranteurs loom, how nice it is to discover another kitchen passionate! I love it when operations are taken small & punctilious, fresh quality ingredients insisted, sauces made from scratch, and creativity is spontaneous. Totally admire chefs who advocates them.

Meet Private Affairs & Chef Paul Ng.

Private Affairs is an upmarket 40-seater restaurant enclaved in Joo Chiat, offering a unique private dining concept. Chef de Cuisine Paul Ng heads the kitchen to bring diners contemporary European cuisine accessorized with Asian strokes.

Lucky me had a chance to sample The Luscious Affair ($168++), a 6-course menu featuring the restaurant's signatures... plus a touch of chef's innovation.

No supplier credits to disclose here; PA's breads are baked in-house and changes seasonally. The focaccia was studded with sundried tomatoes and perfuming parmesan, which i preferred over the doughy hazelnut walnut twist.

What's really amusing was the meticulous condiment presentation. We had individual butter cones, olive oil in mini pipettes & an appetite-whetting papaya salsa... So good, you can even have it on its own! *thinks gardenia lol.

Vine ripened Tomatoes, Horseradish Meringue & Ginger Flower Vinaigrette

Our affair kickstarted with cherry tomato wedges paired with a horseradish meringue. The chilled quenelle was fibrous and releases pulses of nose-penetrating pungency. Intriguing green thing. Thankfully there's the plum-ish ginger flower vinaigrette to balance the wasabi sharpness.

Duck Carpaccio, Green granny smith & Scallion Gel

Duck has never been on my billboard, let alone raw duck. But the play of textures in Duck Carpaccio managed to rebut my fears. Thinly shaved French Margret duck, topped with clever additions of scallion gel and crunchy granny smith to seal the package beautifully. Roll up & relish.

Beetroot in various forms

One pretty beetroot dish for the non-meat eater.

White Lobster Bisque, Salmon Lobster Cannelloni, capsicum & lemongrass crumbs

Chef took a fancy approach for his White Lobster Bisque. His broth is very evident of cream and salt, which may appear overpowering at first taste... until you dig into that tri-colored cannelloni.

This cigar is a painstaking integration of egg, spinach & squid ink pasta sheets stuffed with lobster and salmon mousse yums. The slightly bland mousse seamlessly aided to neutralize the soup's sodium. Then when you finally reach those capsicum & lemongrass crumble itsy bitsies, you hear the asian accents.


Hokkaido Scallops, corn gnocchi, bed of corn, smoked miso powder, bonito flakes

Everything corn. We've got corn gnocchi strands, corn blanket and smoked miso powder covering two slightly overdone hokkaido scallop pieces. Layout wise, it's a nice mess.

Grilled lobster, espelette jam, sauteed blue foot mushroom, lardon, purple carrot paint, alaskan crab & cauliflower foam

Wagyu Beef Cheek w Potato, Kai Lan Royale, Curry Leaf Cous Cous & Tomato Chutney, port wine grapes reduction

The set's main was a braised Wagyu Beef Cheek. If you shun your veg, try resisting that Kai Lan Royale.. with just a mix of egg butter & cream, it got a carnivore chomping on his greens!

Monkfish Cheeks, femented garlic, oyster glaze, purple carrots & white asparagus

Here's my Monkfish Cheeks encircled with pretty purple. While the innate character of monkfish didn't quite delight, the purple carrots and white asparagus did. Liking purple carrots~

Mangosteen Lime Granita

A Mangosteen Lime Granita as pre-dessert. 10kgs of mangosteens is used to produce every 400 grams of mangosteen espuma whoa. Refreshing when the granita melts to bind with the espuma.

Pistachio and Cheese Sandwich, passionfruit coulis, strawberry, basil gel

Since i'm a cheese-yogurt-fruit-strawberry-basil kind of person, this Pistachio & Cheese Sandwich naturally unlocked my heart. A tart cheese mousse flowing a passionfruit coulis centre, clasped between two fine tuiles. Only felt the basil infusion could be much stronger.

Petit Fours

We ended off with a tray of Pistachio Financiers and.... Chocolate Lipsticks! Surely smearing manjari chocolate ganache sounds better than any Maybelline or ZA lip nourishment, doesn't it?

Meet Chef Paul (:

One intricate dish after another... just imagine the amount of Mise en Place involved. Mind-blowing may not be the word, but Chef's sincere passion & flair for presentation certainly impressed. Dining in Private Affairs feels like chef for hire, all set in an elegant environment. Be prepared for surprises.

Stay tuned for more on Sunday Brunch.

My special thanks to Veronica from SixthSense Communications, Melanie, Ross & of course Chef Paul for the generous invite and hosting.

Private Affairs
45 Joo Chiat Place
6440 0601


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