Ding Tai Fung – Truffle Xiao Long Bao

I love Ding Tai Fung.

DTF = Outstanding quality, reasonable prices and consistent standard. It is one of my favourite meal places.

Truffle Xiao Long Bao (with DTF’s signature 18 intricate folds) – This is sinfully good but after the second piece, the taste became overwhelming. I guess I prefer my truffles on fries. 😛

The truffles were air flown from France and there was a generous piece in each XLB which explained the $4 a pop price tag. These XLBs were served only to foreign dignitaries and important guests back in Taiwan. This is now offered exclusively in a few of their Singapore branches (Including Katong I12).

I like these seasonal XLB offered by DTF. I tried the chili crab, chocolate, truffle and mini XLBs till date! I had to take leave to try the mini XLBs previously because DTF served them only in the Paragon branch on weekdays. See what I would do for XLBs! 🙂

Overall, truffle XLB is good but the humble pork XLB is better.

Ding Tai Fung
Tel: +65 6636 3909
Opening Hours: Please call (Note that Katong’s DTF opens for supper too)
Add:  112 Katong, 112 East Coast Road #01-04 Singapore 428802
Spent: $40 per pax (Truffle XLB, $4 per piece and $38 for 10 pieces)

Posted in Paya Lebar, Restaurant, Taiwanese | Leave a comment

[Sydney] Double Roasters – Definitely worth the Double Visit

Located in Marrickville (a place once known for its array of vietnamese eateries that has since evolved to become home of many great cafes), Double Roasters is primarily known for its awesome/aromatic freshly roasted beans.

With my rather vibrant cafe-hopping lifestyle of late, this cafe managed to impress my brunch buddy (M) and I quite abit we found ourselves returning to the same place within a span of 1 week.

Visit #1

Shopfront of this establishment which took over the venue of an old warehouse

[LEFT] Interior of the cafe – very in line with the current trends of rusticity and industrial-feel
[RIGHT] Open kitchen – coffee making and food preparation bench behind the till. Their coffee roasting area is located behind the open kitchen and accessible to anyone who is interested to take a peek.

MENU – the very cute illustration on the menu drew my attention 🙂

[RIGHT] MOCHA – notice the random gold and silver spoons on each beverage…they have a massive collection of random classy vintage teaspoons that comes with every hot beverage you order – I LIKE such randomness!

[LEFT] CROQUE MONSIEUR ($10) – such a wonder that something as simple as a grilled ham and cheese sandwich can taste this good….one of those great inventions by the Parisians!
[RIGHT] DOUBLE ROASTERS HOUSE-MADE BAKED BEANS with EGGS PROSCIUTTO  & SPINACH ($12) – Poached eggs and beans were average….unlike prosciutto which can never go wrong.

Around the corner, Bourke Street Bakery – simply could NOT resist leaving this place without popping by for some sausage rolls and tarts. Self control -> FAIL.

Visit #2
Exactly 1 week later: After a hearty brunch at Cornersmith, M & I headed back to Double Roasters hoping to try their Corn & Zucchini Fritters which was sold out during our previous visit. Unfortunately, the fritters were not available on that day – apparently, they serve it on weekends and SOME weekdays ONLY…tough luck!

Since we were already there, we could not resist leaving empty-stomached (figuratively)….

[LEFT] GINGER & MINT ICED TEA – refreshing, rather mild and totally delightful! The perfect consolation drink for those who have to swear off coffee for one reason or another 🙂
[RIGHT] Caramel Slice ($3.50) – exceeded expectations

Overall, Double Roasters offers great coffee and a very attractive menu – both in variety and pricing. Capacity wise, this establishment is rather spacious with seats both indoors and out (very kid-friendly, too). Parking unlikely to pose as a problem with the ample amount of street parking available along Victoria Road.

Double Roasters on Urbanspoon

Posted in All-Day Breakfast, Australian, Café, Sydney - Australia | 2 Comments

Marutama Ramen – Still My Favourite Ramen

Marutama Ramen at United Square

There is a ramen craze in Singapore with big names opening every so often.  Even one of the top restaurants in town (Iggy) jumped on the ramen bandwagon recently and opened Uma Uma ramen.

Marutama Ramen entered the Singapore market several years ago and expanded to the current 4 branches. The flagship store in Central is still attracting long queues during meal times. 🙂

[LEFT] Marutama Ramen – Ramen in chicken stock topped with melt-in-the-mouth char siu and runny egg. TWO THUMBS UP, I think I can eat this everyday.
[RIGHT] Yaki Char Siu (Grilled roast pork)  – This is ohhh-so-good! Very well flavoured tender pork with crispy skin. I love the simplistic plating too

The sides in Marutama are definitely worth a try. My recommendations are the yaki char siu, daikon and gyoza.

Overall – Marutama ramen remains as my favourite ramen place despite the highly competitive ramen scene in Singapore.

Marutama Ramen
Tel: 6352 6369
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-9.30pm & Sat-Sun: 11.30am-9.30pm
Add: 101 Thomson Road #B1-07/08 United Square, Singapore 307591
Spent: $28 per pax

Posted in Japanese, Novena, Restaurant | Leave a comment

[LCB] Superior Cuisine – Week 6 to 9

Now that I am nicely settled into my new home (yes, my third move this year!) and successfully battled the all-evil flu bug, it’s time to start blogging again!

Today, I shall reminisce about my final days in Superior Cuisine class – days of great challenge and fulfillment as we rushed about the kitchen whipping up beautiful dishes (but not forgetting some fun and fooling around :P).

[LEFT] BLUE SWIMMER CRAB CAPPUCCINO (by Me) – Both dishes today were made without first having a demonstration class. Nevertheless, we managed to produce the dishes just by reading the recipe…cool beans! The crab cappuccino is lovely to drink but not so lovely to prepare – I guess I will never be able to enjoy the process of removing meat from the skinny legs of the blue swimmer.
[RIGHT] CODDLED SALMON with PEA and MINT VELOUTE, and CRUSHED POTATOES – Interesting way of poaching the salmon in oil at very low heat for a long period of time – result is a rather bland tasting piece of meat, hmm….

[LEFT] SPINACH RAVIOLI with GOAT’S CURD and LEMON THYME DRESSING (by Me) – A very lovely and rather simple dish to prepare.

[LEFT] QUAIL GALANTINE with FOIE GRAS and HAZELNUT FARCE, RED WINE JUS, POMMES PUREE and BRAISED CABBAGE (by Chef Josef) – sometimes I wonder why we go through all the trouble of deboning a quail and then using it as a wrap for a series of fillings that taste better on its own. Oh wells, classical french food….I guess.
[RIGHT] WARM APPLE CAKE WITH SAUCE ANGLAISE (by Me) – Too heavy for my liking.

[LEFT]SAUTEED LOBSTER with HERB BUTTER and SQUID INK PASTA (by Me) – Most A.W.E.S.O.M.E pasta ever, period.
[RIGHT] ROAST RUMP OF VENISON with MUSHROOM CRUST, PARSNIP and EGGPLANT TIMBALE, REDCURRANT and PORT JUS (by Me) – A rather sophisticated dish…..except that my venison was overly bleu and eggplant slices could be thinner. Look at the lardons we put through the venison – I found the process of larding quite fun 🙂


SQUAB IN HALF-MOURNING, FRENCH-STYLE PEAS and POTATOES BRAISED in BUTTER (by Me) – what a way to name squab that has been stuffed with truffles underneath the skin. Traditionally, these squabs are then put underground to continue marinating. Taste wise, rather gamey – not my cup of tea.

[LEFT] BEEF WELLINGTON with PERIGORD SAUCE, MORELS and SEASONAL VEGETABLES (by Chef Josef) – to be frank, it has been more than 5 years since I heard and wanted this dish (I could not find any restaurants in Singapore serving this dish). At long last, I had a taste of this dish…..it was good, but nothing as spectacular as I imagined.

[LEFT] LIVE ROCK & PACIFIC OYSTERS, NATURAL with LEMON (by Me) – Very happy to finally learn how to shuck my own oysters. One day, I am going to drive down to Hawkesbury River and just shuck and eat and shuck and eat….to my heart’s content 😀
[RIGHT] TOULOUSE CASSOULET (by Me) – Within the pot of ‘gold’ lies a confit of duck leg and loads of home-made sausages, meat and beans. Very hearty but way to heavy for my liking.

[LEFT] MORTON BAY BUG MEAT and PARSLEY GNOCCHI (by Me) – yummy yummy bugs 🙂
[RIGHT] CHOCOLATE PAVE with FRANGELICO ANGLAISE (by Me) – An impressive dessert which I thought we would only find ourselves making in a pastry lesson.

Overall, superior cuisine was definitely one level up. Although time management was less of a struggle, we were taught to constantly challenge ourselves in terms of plating and perfecting each dish. To me, superior cuisine was very enjoyable as I have somewhat learnt to manage my time and work with the confidence I gained over the course of basic and intermediate. However, what I really LOVED LOVED LOVED about superior cuisine is our Restaurant Classes….which I will be blogging on shortly.

Till then, enjoy your week and eat well!

Posted in Le Cordon Bleu Sydney - Australia | 2 Comments

Hatched – Again

[LEFT] Hatched at Evans Lodge. The all-day-breakfast cafe has a second branch in Holland Village now.
[RIGHT] Similar to P – I really like the interesting salt & pepper designs. Every table has a different set.

FROM LEFT – Sir Benedict & Smoked Royale

It’s an eggs benny day! The eggs here were pretty well done. However, I can’t say the same for the mashed potatoes (weirdly topped with tuna mayo) on the side. I guess the intent of the potatoes were just to increase the quantity of food on the plate. 😦

Where’s waffle – The waffle with berries compote was decent but I can’t really understand the name.

Overall – Hatched is an okay but rather forgetable all-day-breakfast place.

Tel: +65 67350012
Address: 26 Evans Road #01-06 Evans Lodge, Singapore 259367
Opening Hours: Tue to Thu – 8am-10pm, Fri to Sat – 8am-11pm, Sun – 8am-10pm
Spend: $32 per pax

Read Hatched – Calling all egg lovers

Posted in All-Day Breakfast, Botanic Gardens, Café | Leave a comment

Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste #4 – My Little Blue Box

My Finale Cake – Simple can be harder than complex (Well said, Jobs).

This classic design turns out to be more challenging than I thought. It is so much harder to cover the corners of a square cake vs. a round cake – The fondant tears easily at the edges. Well….I guess I can’t make a Tiffany using a round cake right? 🙂

Anyway, all ends well. For once, I’m pleased with the outcome.

Read Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste #3
Read Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste #1 & 2
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #4 – The Finale
Read Wilton Decorating Basics – The Corelation between Practice & Perfection
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #3
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #2
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #1

Posted in Dessert, Newton, Product, Wilton Decorating Course | 3 Comments

Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste #3

More gum paste flowers in lesson 3–

[LEFT] Daisy – It became my favourite flower ever since I watched the Korean movie Diasy a few years back…..And don’t you think it resembles a beautiful sunny side up too? 🙂
[RIGHT] Chrysanthemum – A rather easy to make flower.

We also learnt how to cover a cake with fondant. I now know why fondant cakes are so expensive–
1) Fondant itself is expensive – A box of coloured fondant to cover an 8 inch cake costs $16.50.
2) It takes a lot of hard work and skill to cover a cake nicely with fondant.  My arms ached after every lesson – the repeated kneading is no joke.

Look out for my finale cake in the next post. 🙂

Read Wilton Fondant & Gum Paste #1 & 2
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #4 – The Finale
Read Wilton Decorating Basics – The Corelation between Practice & Perfection
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #3
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #2
Read Wilton Decorating Basics #1

Posted in Dessert, Newton, Product, Wilton Decorating Course | 2 Comments