Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hainanese Chicken Rice

This is one of my all time favourite dishes. I went to Hainan to try this dish at the source and they did not have this Singaporean version so this is truly unique. It makes a good summer dish. The sliced chicken (usually boneless) is served cool over a bed of sliced cucumbers with soy sauce and sesame oil poured over.

Whilst the rice is served hot and is an event in itself. Cooked in spring onions and either chicken or pork stock, the rice takes on a fragrant, full-bodied flavour and can be eaten on its own. Traditionally, my parents like some thick black sweet sauce on the rice to enhance the flavour. Personally, I like to go without as a little sweet sauce goes a long way. Served with a garlic chili for dipping, the recipe for which is sometimes a closely guarded secret by the stall owner. If you are lucky, the stall might have minced ginger (my favourite) in addition to the chili for dipping.

Everyone in Singapore has their own favourite Chicken Rice stall they patronise regularly. The most famous is TianTian in Maxwell market. I like Wee Nam Kee & Boon Tong Kee, my friends like Five Star and my dad likes Leoung Yeow at Waterloo street. It boils down to personal preference. Some like it not so oily, more cooked etc. But, it's all good.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Club 21 Sale ... again

Sprained ankle aside, I made a trip to the Club 21 Sale. Still reeling from the last Club 21 sale 6 months ago, I was determined to exercise restraint this time around and was successful. My bill had 1 digit less than the last one. Picture above shows a dove grey leather necklace by Natalia Brilli. I bought the matching bag in the last sale.

Scored a bag from Isabela Capeto, the new up & coming label. Handmade in Brazil, This felt and brass bag reeks of the new age yoga vibe. I was lucky too. The sales assistants said there were fewer small label or high-end IT bags. I spied 3 Dolce & Gabbana patent totes that were snapped up the moment they were displayed. Loads of CK and DKNY though.

New fuchsia Dolce & Gabbana flats for me (yay!). I just realized I always get at least 1 item from D&G at these sales.

And 1 more pair of shoes for the road. I always cave in to toy shoes. By Dress Camp a Japanese label.

I also picked up this leather CK organizer. Hhmm...not sure what I am going to use it for.

You know there is more than just clothes and accessories at the Club 21 Sale. There is also stuff for the home and tech gadgets (because Christina Ong also owns Apple Ishop, Shambala Yoga and a Club 21 home section). Had to get my hands on Shambala's house brand "Shelter" shampoo and conditioners.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Singapore National Museum

The newly refurbished grand dame is now a mixture of colonial architecture and modern design. Quite a different vibe offered by mixing the new and old in 1 space.

Museums are always trying to reach out to families like the Zoo. It's always interesting to see the new ways they execute it in.

It's interactive art that even adults can join in on.

Love Tank (The Temple) by S Teddy Darmawan. what's with camouflage and art. Didn't Murakami come up with a camouflage print for LV last year as well?

End the visit at Novus cafe, next to the Museum Gift Shop. With piping hot Italian thin crust pizzas and gourmet sandwiches. For dinner, there is Novus the restaurant with its foam and cheese desserts.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yang's wedding

A traditional Chinese wedding with a twist. Instead of the hotel ballroom, we had it in the Hotel restaurant Hai Tien Lo. The circular 37th floor location with breath-taking views that the staff utilized to maximum effect by drawing the blinds only after all the guests had seated. So we could take in the sumptuous skyline.

The Chinese wedding dinner has a certain order. There is the Cold dish or the appetizer platter followed by Soup, usually Shark's fin. Then a meat, a vegetable, a seafood dish, a fish, carbohydrates then dessert. Out of sentimentality or ostentation's, there may be 1 or 2 more dishes added to this fixed menu. My sister's wedding had an additional roast suckling pig served before the cold dish, imagine 50 piglets culled for just 1 wedding.

True to the restaurant's reputation, the Cantonese cuisine had touches of western influences that added to it's finesse. The first course of Beijing duck with pan fried Foie Gras was a crowd pleaser even with the old folks. Followed by Shark's fin soup, an essential wedding dish known for being rich in collagen. Hai Tien Lo's version isn't so much soup as chunks of shark's fin in a reduction.

Oh, did I mention free flow of alcohol (spirits, wine and hard liquors), Chinese tea and soft drinks are a must as well. Chinese are known to be hard drinkers. Picture above shows a deep fried lobster coated with butter, milk and lemon.

Then there is the fish. It is an understatement that your entire dinner will be judged by this one dish. It will be remembered by all your guests for years to come. It has to be fresh, firm and perfectly cooked (not over, not under) in a clear & light sauce so the fish isn't overpowered. I remember for my Brother's wedding, the chef served the fish separate from the sauce. Pouring in the hot liquid on the fish only at the table. Thereby ensuring the fish was perfectly cooked and pleasantly warm. They did this for all 78 tables.

The evening ended on a cool note with Coconut ice-cream in a pool of avocado cream.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sprained my ankle

Fell down while hurrying to work this morning and sprained my ankle. Somehow I managed to trudge to work. But, by the time I got home my ankle had swelled to a puffy lump. And it's the day before the Club21 Sale starts!! oooohhhh.....=(

Sunday, May 24, 2009

PS Cafe

Just when you cannot stomach another sandwich, you walk by PS Cafe with its made from scratch pesto, freshly baked gourmet breads and sweet juicy chicken. I think you can guess my favourite item on the menu...chicken sandwich, followed closely by the Blood Caesar Salad with half a fresh lemon and egg confit.

During the age when boutique cafes were all the rage (remember DKNY Cafe or even fashion cafe?), Project Shop (same people with Blood Brothers) started their own cafe as well. The food was so good that I stopped bothering with the clothes and started coming here only for the food.

Fresh from renovations, they have new furniture and an updated menu. Some things haven't changed though, like the table arrangements and the daily specials. I really like the PS Burger Club as well as the popcorn appetizers.

Verner Panton Exhibit

The quintessential 60's designer who was known for his experimentation with colour and construction. Every mod house you loved back then had this guy's furniture and influence on it. Sounds similar to Pantone colours doesn't it. Picture above shows his signature Panton Chairs (1968).

He was a true innovator in the field of furniture design. The designs remain relevant even today. Picture above shows Flying Chairs (1964). Seats that are attached to the ceiling and can be raised or lowered to the owner's preference. Below, Wire Chair (1959-1960)

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The ultimate comfort sandwich. Coffee Club serves up Croque Monsieur Remix. It's got 2 types of cheese (Gruyere & Mozzarella) and heaps of it! I couldn't really taste the bread in the thick heady melted mix. yuumm... Then there was the cream, the butter and smoky chicken with drizzles of pesto. All the different textures and medley of flavours at once. I just had to post a picture of this humble sandwich.

Christian Lacroix Exhibition

@ the National Museum until 7th June!

Christian Lacroix got his start as a costume designer for the Opera. Costumes are usually commissioned for the entire cast and designed as a collection so the colours and themes play off each other. Also on show are his drawings for the atelier to construct. His drawings are so beautiful, with the colour, detail on how the fabrics should flow and flights of imagination to create these designs in the first place. The curators will constantly remind you not to use flash photography as the pieces are very old and fragile. Hard to believe they are antiques as you will see similar pieces on the red carpet today.

You are encouraged to donate $2 for a look book on the exhibition.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lladro Demo

Today, they have a Lladro craftsman (woman in this case) do a demo on how the flowers are crafted for each porcelain sculpture. Maria is a specialist on flowers. Each flower is individually crafted from scratch from a block of dough and takes about 5 mins. If you look at how many flowers are on the porcelain piece, you know it takes a while to make one.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nails - gel overlay

May! The month of weddings. I remember doing a similar post at the same time last year.

Weddings are always a good reason to spend some time to get my nails done. The lace is quite delicate and has started peeling even with a gel overlay.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cooler Bag

I usually go to Daiso to stock up on kimono print wrapping paper (Yuzen) and pastel coloured postpaks. More recently, to obtain materials for my floral arrangements. This time I found a reuseable cooler bag for my grocery shopping. $2 from Daiso.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Wig Purifier

I like to surf the net for quirky items from specialist shops. This takes the cake! Priced at an affordable USD 367 each, this contraption will clean and sterilize your wig for you. I can imagine the legal fraternity in HongKong rushing to get this. Touted as a luxury gift for someone who has everything. When you think about it, how often does one launder their wig? It loses it shape or gets ruffled each time you do clean it.

Buy from:

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Steak Tartare

The first time I had steak tartare was at L'Angelus with my colleagues. Since then, I always order steak tartare whenever available. If you've been around Singapore, there are not that many places that serve this, even after including the Japanese restaurants (beef yukke?).

Still, nothing I've tried has come close to L'Angelus version that is absolute delish! Now I understand Karen's enthusiasm for this restaurant. This place serves basic french food in a quaint family run atmosphere. Think bistro food at fine dining prices. Before you write this place off, you have to know the service is warm & friendly and the food definitely above average. Staples like Blue Cheese Steak Frites, Carnard d'Orange. Be forewarned that Steak Tartare and Crepes Suzette are prepared table-side. Reservations are always required.

To see how steak tartare is normally prepared, you can follow this link to a video: Just so you know how fantastic their version is.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Helena Rubinstein Feline Mascara

If I ever bought anything with an animal print, this would be it. My new favourite mascara since Shu Uemura's lengthening mascaras first came out. HR's Lash Queen Mascara range has launched a new Feline Blacks Waterproof. It packs everything you could want in mascara, it has fibres for lengthening, Volume, Waterproof for 24 hrs of wear, it doesn't clump and comes in a cute matte gold and black leopard spots container. Only the price is a little prohibiting. So I probably won't go past tube no. 2. But, I'm sure this will inspire many copycats soon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My new favourite food

Mentaiko (Pollack or Cod Roe) spread on freshly baked baguette.

I have to pick some up whenever I am near Sun Moulin Bakery in Isetan. I know mentaiko is commonly savoured in Jap fusion pasta. But, I love mine spread on a piece of freshly baked crispy bread. The bakery also has some really delicious croquette sandwiches, fluffy tufts of potato piping hot from the oven, with just a drizzle of sauce.

Sometimes, when they fly in the regional Japanese chefs, you can get awesome sushi. With all the authentic local flavours of Japan.