Category Archives: Drink & Food

travels: shadowfax winery

Didn’t know where to go after our plan to Werribee Zoo got shelved, C did a quick research and suggested we head to Shadowfax winery, which is just down the road, for lunch.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAShadowfax winery is Melbourne’s closet winery, just 30km from Melbourne CBD and it is only a few minutes drive from my brother’s house!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_2164It was a cool sunny day and we were lucky to snag the last available table. A few groups who came right after us were being turned away! Lucky or what? The outdoor seating was lovely. There was a huge lawn and lots of room for kids to run about. Elisa was exploring the place on her own, we did not have to worry about her one bit!

IMG_2175That allows us to enjoy our wine in a beautiful surrounding 😉

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey are famous for their wood fired pizzas and they did not fail to impress. It was good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHowever, the sea bream that C ordered lacked a bit of seasoning but nothing a pinch of salt can’t solve.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElisa’s pasta – equally good.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATo end the meal – buttermilk panna cotta with mandarin sorbet. So good and so refreshing!

The lunch was a bit pricey but definitely worth it.

IMG_2163Happy Birthday, mister!!

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sunday brunch at mandarin oriental

We love Pan Pacific Sunday Brunch but having been there so many times, I thought maybe we should give others a try. So we went to the one across the road, Melt The World Cafe at Mandarin Oriental.

To be honest, I wasn’t impressed with the buffet spread. I find for a restaurant in a five-star hotel, they can definitely do better in terms of service as well as the quality of the food (except for their dessert and cheese).

But what I love about the Sunday Brunch at Mandarin Oriental Hotel is this…

…a dedicated kids’ corner with their own buffet line – both savory and sweet. There are coloring materials, balloon sculpting as well as face painting for the kids.

…and also thisLook how nicely the cheeses were presented! We couldn’t resist, we kept going back for more!

Will I go back again? I really don’t know. I love their kids’ corner and I’m very sure Elisa loves it a lot too. But if we pay a bit more, we get to enjoy better service and better food at Pan Pacific. Tough choice!

e eats: bunny and pony

It’s so welcoming that more and more cafes are opening in the East. And it is even more welcoming that they are opened in Changi Village which is just a 5 minutes car ride away from our house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA friend shared about this cafe on Instagram and since it’s relatively near our place, we went to check it out. This place is catered for families; there are high chairs available and toys and books to keep the little ones occupied while waiting for their waffles/ice cream.

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This place is lovely-spacious and cosy. It is relatively quiet on a weekday afternoon which is great; I really dislike crowds especially with a toddler in tow.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABelgian waffle with fig and earl grey, and strawberry ice cream

The waffle and ice cream really hit the spot. Elisa finished one scoop of strawberry ice cream and half a waffle!! The waffle looks a bit burnt here but it wasn’t. It was fragrant, eggy, crispy and fluffy. Good stuff!

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This place makes me happy. This place also makes Elisa very happy, which means the world to me. So we’re going back again one of these days 🙂

Bunny and Pony
Blk 1 Changi Village Road #01-2000,
Singapore 500001
Closed on Monday
Tues-Thurs: 12pm-9pm
Fri-Sun: 12pm-10pm

 

 

travels: hammer and tong, melbourne

One of my to-do list in Melbourne was to check out the plethora of cafes the city has to offer. Melbourne is after all famous for its cafe culture scene. The thing about Melbourne is, you can hardly find a lousy cup of coffee…even 7 Eleven’s $1 coffee is good! If you do find one, then I’m sorry, you are very unlucky!

However, it seemed that we are not destined to check out the cafes. We went to Hardware Societe once and Top Paddock twice but we were put off by the snaking queue….on a weekday!!! It’s crazy!

When we went to Fitzroy on our last day, I told C we should check out Hammer & Tong as I’ve read good reviews about them. C was hesitant at first, fearing the long queue and we were quite famished. But we decided to give it a go since it was our last day in Melbourne. If the queue is long, we can just hop into any of the cafes along Brunswick Street.

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While waiting for our table, we checked out what other people ordered. Well, they are not your usual brunch fare! Fancypants is the word!!

C chose the salt & pepper french toast with fried duck egg and salted caramel ice cream. We weren’t sure if we made the right choice…french toast, egg and ice cream?? It’s sounds like a weird combi. But I tell ya…this, THIS is the one of the best, if not the best meal we had in Melbourne! I can seriously do one right now!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsalt & pepper french toast, fried duck egg, maple, chorizo smoked oreo crumbs, duck egg & salted caramel ice cream.

We also ordered the soft shell crab which came highly recommended by the reviewers. It was okay, very ordinary. I will not recommend it though.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAsoft shell crab burger

We also had a side of kfc spice halloumi chipsIt’s a tad salty but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAkfc spice halloumi chips

The coffee was splendid and both of us enjoyed our food. C couldn’t stop gushing about their french toast the whole day!

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If there’s one thing to pick on about this place, it would be the music. It was quite loud and throw in the chattering of the humans and the noise from the coffee machine, it can be quite unpleasant. We were glad they put us towards the end of the cafe where the noise level is slightly lower. This is definitely not a baby/toddler friendly place.

Hammer & Tong 412
Rear 412 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
(Enter from Westgarth St)
Sun – Mon 7am – 4pm
Tues – Sat 7am to late

{e cooks} pad thai

It started with me posting a photo of tom yum soup followed by yum voon sen on instagram. I was thinking what to cook next and someone commented “pad thai”. I love all things Thai but pad thai is my least favourite Thai food. But someone in the family loves it. So, challenge accepted.

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Normally when I cook, I’ll look for the easiest dishes to cook which involves minimal preparation and cleaning up. But now, I’m slowly moving on to slightly complicated dishes. I’m ready to expand my culinary skill 😉

 As usual, I turned to my most trusted site on the www for the recipe. After going through the recipe, I set out to buy the ingredients. I have most of the items at home except the chilli powder and the ground peanuts. I thought of leaving both the items out but I reckon they are the two most crucial accompaniments for pad thai. Now, why can’t they sell the ground peanuts and chilli powder in a smaller quantity? I have one big packet of each sitting in the kitchen! Any suggestions how to use ’em up?

To make this dish, it’s important to have your mis en place done. Get everything ready and you are ready to roll 🙂

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Pad Thai (serves 2-3 pax)
Recipe adapted from here

1 tbsp cooking oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 chicken breast meat, cut into strips
8-10 shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tbsp salted Chinese radish (chye po)
1 tbsp dried shrimp
1 pc dried bean curd, cut into cubes

2 dried rice noodles (soak in hot water until soft)
1 tbsp water
Pad Thai Sauce (see below)
1 egg

2-3 Chinese chives (cut into 2 cm strips) – optional
2 handfuls of bean sprouts

Accompaniments
2 tbsp ground peanuts
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sugar – optional

Pad Thai Sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp tamarind juice
1 tbsp oyster sauce (optional)

1. Soak the dried rice noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes until soft. Meanwhile, prepare the Pad Thai sauce by mixing the ingredients together. Set aside.
2. In a wok over medium heat, fry garlic and shallots until fragrant. Add the chicken, shrimp, salted Chinese radish, dried shrimp and dried bean curd. Stir fry until chicken and prawns are cooked.
3. Add the noodles and the water and cook until the noodles are soft.
4. Add in the Pad Thai sauce and mix well. Cook until most of the sauce has evaporated.
5. Push the noodles to one side and add an egg. Scramble the egg. Once it’s slightly cooked, add bean sprouts and Chinese chives. Mix well until cooked.
6. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with accompaniments and serve.

Aroi mak mak!

{e bakes} almond croissant

Whenever I bake or cook, I always have C in mind. He loves pandan chiffon cake, I bake pandan chiffon cake. He loves cinnamon roll, I bake cinnamon rolls (although I’ve not make it for a long time and he’s bugging me now!). He loves buffalo wings, I make buffalo wings. You get the gist?

I don’t know if this a good thing but I always put others before me. I go by this motto – as long as they are happy, I am happy. Very easy to please, huh?!

unnamed (1)Back to the almond croissant. When we were at Dutch Colony a few weeks back, C ordered an almond croissant to share. It was until then that I found out he loves almond croissant. Took me 15 years to find out! Tsk Tsk..

While we were doing grocery shopping, we spotted a box of croissant and immediately, almond croissant came to mind. I have all the ingredients readily at home, so why not almond croissant for tea?

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Until I read the recipe, I didn’t know it would be so easy to recreate something so delicious at home. A little note of caution though. Almond croissants are very delicious BUT also very rich. So eat at your own risk 😀

Almond Croissants (croissants aux amandes)

recipe adapted from here

6 day old medium/large croissants
sliced almonds
icing sugar for dusting

Syrup
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup of hot water
1 tsp rum essence/vanilla essence

Almond cream/crème d’amandes
1/4 cup castor sugar
1 cup almond flour
pinch of salt
100g butter, soften, diced
2 eggs

1. Dissolve sugar with hot water. Add rum essence and set aside.
2. Combine sugar, almond flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix well and then blend in butter until well incorporated. Add in eggs, 1 at a time and mix until the mixture become creamy.
3. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Slice the croissants horizontally (like you would for a sandwich).
5. Generously brush both cut sides with sugar syrup. The croissants should be quite moist but not soaking wet. Arrange the croissants on the baking sheet, cut sides up.
6. Spread about 2 tbsp of almond filling on the bottom half of each croissant and place the top back on. Spread 1 tbsp of almond filling over the top. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.
7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the almond cream is golden. Transfer onto a cooling rack, dust with icing sugar and serve, slightly warm or at room temperature.

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Psst…a little secret with you all. I have never eaten an almond croissant before (until at Dutch Colony). Gah! But now, I am a convert. Can I have an almond croissant please? 🙂

 

{e eats} pranakorn changi village

One day while having brunch at Changi Village, we came across a banner which says “authentic Thai noodle”. We were pretty stoked (one more dining choice in Changi V, yay!). Since then, I have been stalking them on Facebook and counting down to their opening.

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They are having an opening promotion now; a set meal which consist of a main, drink and dessert. They don’t have an extensive menu (makes ordering less challenging!), just a few items in each course which I believe are all carefully curated by the chef. All the food are MSG free, so brownie point to that!

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T
om yum noodle. I was expecting those robust tom yum soup like what is served in most Thai restaurants. But this has a clear soup base which I find it quite similar to ‘mama tom yum noodle’. It comes with two pork patties, a wanton skin and half an egg. Egg in tom yum soup? That’s my first!

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Minced pork noodle. I find this is lacking in flavour. Well, It could be because of the overpowering tom yum soup hence, making this a bit bland. But C like this though. You must be wondering how come his noodles was served in a kid’s bowl, right? The only reason I could think of is they must have assumed it is for Elisa. But I think it would be nice for them to clarify rather than just assume. We didn’t bother to inform the staff. It’s a small matter but I just it funny for a man to be using a kid’s bowl. 

While we find that their noodles are just ordinary (sorry guys, we still prefer Golden Mile’s), their side dishes are rather remarkable. We highly recommend them.

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Homemade fried pork cake with special dipping sauce. Delicious, flavourful and so juicy. Definitely a star dish.

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Spicy and sour fried pork ball. The tangy bed of shallots went very well with the pork balls. The only negative about this dish is that I find the shallots a tad too sour for my liking. Then again, C likes it.

Will we come back again? I don’t see a reason not to! Good food and reasonable prices – these are enough to keep us going back for more.

Pranakorn
4, Changi Village Road #01-2086,
Singapore 500004
Mon-Sun: 11am-9pm
6543 0883
* Cash only