Wednesday, May 31, 2017

9-Inch Fresh & Uncooked Pizza from Cold Storage (Yishun's Northpoint Mall) - Add The Ingredients You Love to the Bake-Yourself Thin & Crispy Pizza [Singapore]

The picture of a burnt pizza on my Instagram was the rare #failbake that i dared to put on the social media page as i found it incredulous to have destroyed what could have been a beautiful (and no doubt delicious) pizza!  

A friend thought i had purchased frozen pizza (hence, the poor control of temperature) but in reality, it was an uncooked pizza from Cold Storage supermarket at Yishun's Northpoint. The failed attempt last Saturday resulted in a nagging craving for pizza and i grabbed another one the following day. This time round, i shall exercise extra caution.

Cooking instructions were straightforward and short enough. I have been buying such pizzas from Cold Storage for a few years already as ingredients were fresher and there's the option to add ingredients you love to the pizza! 

Furthermore, it only cost S$7.95 for a nine-inch pizza and you can choose from ham and pineapple (your classic Hawaiian), vegetarian, pepperoni or simple tomato and cheese. 

I managed to screw up the instructions somewhat last year when i forgot to remove the base board after tearing away the wrapper! My friend was wondering then why the pizza base didn't feel quite right. 

Pizza without the base board. I was thinking of leaving this in its original condition and throwing it immediately to the oven which was already pre-heated. 

That's when i spotted a yellow onion that had been lying beside the oven for about a month or so; let's cut it up as i absolutely adore tons of onions on my pizza! Another hot favourite would be slices of Taiwanese sausages! 

Frankly, i would have covered the entire pizza with sliced onions but for the sake of publicity, let's just adorn it simply with just a few pieces of onion. Leftover onions can be kept in the fridge until it's omelette time.

Damn, another screw up! My eyes saw 220 degrees celcius yet my brain registered 200 degrees celcius. Well, the knob was turned to 220 but my oven had a temperature variance of 20 degrees celcius! 

No wonder the pizza was too "fair" when the 12 minutes were up. I had to add another five minutes before it showed the symptoms of bubbling cheese and browning crust. 

It was so good and although i had the intention to keep half for dinner the next day; i couldn't resist and before i knew it; i felt a deep sense of guilt to have eaten the pizza all by myself! :(

If it's of any psychological consolation to myself, i diligently cut out the crust for each piece so that i wouldn't ingest too much carbohydrate. On second thought, i should have recycled them as "bread-sticks" which would be useful when i cooked western-style soup. 

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Where To Get It
Selected Cold Storage Supermarket Outlets
(for example, the outlet at Northpoint)

Price
9-Inch Pizza - S$7.95 each

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chui Xiang Kitchen (醉香小厨) - Lobster Porridge and Other Tze Char Dishes @ 126 Casuarina Road [Singapore]

It was "eat with your family day" last week and we were officially released at 5pm so that we can bond with our loved ones (including the brats), over what-else-but-food! 

I was on the lookout for a decent tze char restaurant and finally found Chui Xiang Kitchen that came recommended by Singapore's food guru, Dr Leslie Tay of ieatishootipost.sg; every dish he reviewed was at least a rating of 4.0! 

You don't have to click his blog to read his review; just check out the numerous posters pasted outside the tze char restaurant. I wonder if the eatery has to pay Dr Tay a fee to print and paste his review as i remember that our local newspaper, Straits Times, would charge you accordingly for using their article for commercial purpose.

Anyway, while reading the review on ieatishootipost.sg, the one dish that caught my eye was the live lobster porridge as it would appeal more to my mom! The weather that day helped to strengthen the craving as it was drizzling and the evening temperature was rather cool.

Place might appear empty but the above picture shows only half the restaurant; the other half was filled with hungry diners and the entire place was full less than an hour later! 

Pickles - placed immediately on our table together with the wet towels (returned without any resistance), they were crunchy and tasted not too bad even though i prefer our local acar version for its slightly spicier flavour.

There were so many items to choose from the menu and i had to push the responsibility to my elder sister as she would be able to suggest a more balanced diet for the two kids. If i am the one to do the ordering, you would see lots of meat and likely zilch vegetables. 

Like me, she opted for a number of dishes with the "signature dish" marker. It's always good to play safe and should the dish fail to create a positive impression, we can push the blame to the eatery!

Lobster Porridge - given the weather, it's especially warming to the stomach to have this as the first dish! As my sister and her family are not into porridge, i only ordered portion sufficient for two persons with one lobster. 

It's still a large portion that i personally feel is sufficient for three persons! Maybe even four persons if you add in all the other tze char dishes you would be ordering to supplement the porridge! Only issue would be sharing the lobster that's cut into half. 

Fresh and nice lobster meat although compared to all crustaceans, my favourite would still be the crabs, specifically Sri Lankan / mud crabs. However, in porridge form, lobsters are still the best!

Now, it's imperative to compare the lobster porridge with Orchid Live Seafood (which is just a 10-minute drive away) and even though the broth was found to be flavourful, it lacked the oomph that i relished so much at Orchid Live Seafood; maybe more ginger can be added? I also noted that the soup here featured a less oily sheen.

Marmite Pork Ribs (S) - very tender pork smeared with the irresistible marmite that burst with aromatic fireworks as i sank my teeth in! Was looking around for a second piece minutes later but the plate was already cleaned out! :(

Beancurd with Golden Mushroom (S) - nothing exceptional and i guess the beancurd was homemade or something; a given nowadays for some tze char stalls. To be fair, Mom loved it. 

If i am the decision maker for ordering, i would not consider any beancurd dishes. In my family, unfortunately, there's a person who die-die must have beancurd to go with her plain rice. No prize for guessing who. 

Cabbage Chicken - within the restaurant, there were two types of 'signature dish' markers; the one with a white background and another with a yellow background. In makansutra terms, the yellow marker would translate into an equivalent of 3 pairs of chopsticks; die-die must try! 

Visually unappealing, this kind of traditional looking dish (using the classic claypot) would be a hit with the older generation. Cut across the brownish cabbage to get to the meat which had a nice and soft texture that fell off the bones easily. 

Taste wise, there was a hint of 梅菜扣肉 although in general, i found the meat to be on the bland side. Surprisingly, it was the cabbage that tasted more flavourful.

Oyster Omelette (S) - the wok hei was richly featured in this omelette and for those who worry about too much oil, this was definitely manageable and i so loved the eggs which remained gooey inside! No comment on the yucky oysters; p.s. i am those weird individuals who like oyster omelette / fried oyster without the oysters. 

Salted Egg Yolk Cuttlefish (S) - i had been disappointed with the salted egg yolk cuttlefish dish that i ordered from other tze char stalls / restaurants but i couldn't resist ordering it every time i see the dish appearing on the menu! 

Finally, i found one that i can seriously say is the best so far - the batter wasn't thick yet it maintained a nice crisp that just had about the right crunch! 

Envelop that batter with a non rubbery cuttlefish ring and fry them using a yummy salted egg yolk sauce recipe that was perfectly balanced with saltiness and sweetness, and a dash of chilli-padi spiciness. Perfect in every sense. 

Homemade Yam Paste (Pax) - like the salted egg yolk cuttlefish, i had to order yam paste if i see it on the menu and although it was indicated as per pax, the serving was good for two persons! 

Honestly, a bit too watery in my opinion and although acceptable, i would appreciate it better with the additional sweetness from pumpkin! I so miss the yam paste from the now-closed Mong Hing Teochew Restaurant

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The dinner was extremely satisfying and each of us walked out of the restaurant with a bloated tummy even though we ordered "small" where possible! Would definitely be back to try their crab dishes; like heir signature salted egg crab, black pepper crab and white pepper crab! 

Location
126 Casuarina Road,
Singapore 579514

Map
As above.

Operating Hours
11.00 am to 2.30 pm
5.00 pm to 10.30 pm

Reservation
Call 6458-4567

Facebook Page

Pricing
Pickles - S$2.00
Lobster Porridge - S$27.00
Marmite Pork Ribs (S) - S$12.00
Beancurd with Golden Mushroom (S) - S$10.00
Cabbage Chicken - S$18.00
Oyster Omelette (S) - S$10.00
Salted Egg Yolk Cuttlefish (S) - S$12.00
Homemade Yam Paste (Pax) - S$4.50
(NO GST and subject to Service Charge of 5%)

Additional Information
Sets are available!

Monday, May 29, 2017

A Scolding for Jovyn & Her Body Language

I always call the two darlings in my family the two brats as they can be quite a handful to manage, especially when they throw tantrums! 

The most recent incident was at my sister's birthday celebration yesterday where Jovyn had a fight with Jerald over my retro gaming console

The aggressor was Jovyn and of course she had to be reprimanded by someone with authority and the power. The same person who could make her pout back in 2013; her father! 

Darn - she caught me taking pictures of her being scolded and shot a murderous stare. I have just a couple more years before she turns into a rebellious teen who would likely threaten me to delete the photos or else..... 

It was mentioned back in this post that Jovyn had the habit of picking her nails when she was being chastised; there's no change to her body language and this reminded me of a recent Korean drama i watched where the mom of one of the main leads told off her son: "you are my son and i know your body language when you lie". 

Anyway, less than 30 minutes later, both Jovyn and Jerald started playing with each other again. That's the kind of noise i enjoy in my house; one that's filled with laughter and giggles. 

You know Jovyn is back to her usual self when she starts making ugly faces. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Louise's Birthday (and the Marvelous Homemade Carrot Cake) 2017!

One of the reasons for investing in an oven for my own home was because we can save some money on the birthdays of family members. Alas, the failed banana cake for my mom's bird day was a dampener and it took a while for me to pick up the pieces of broken confidence. 

Over eight months had passed since then and i have built up enough confidence to bake a carrot cake requested by my younger sister for her birthday! And from the look above, i thought it has passed the visual test. p.s. rainbow ball sprinkles were added as the kids love them! 

Shall talk about the taste test later as the main star today should be Louise who finally turned 35 years old; the age that all single Singaporeans would be waiting for, as the ruling dictates you could only purchase a government flat as a single upon reaching 35.

Photograph of the ladies in our immediate family; the combined age for the four of them (three generations by the way) would have passed 100.

Now with Jerald, our little boy who is already nine years old; time really flew and i still remember when he was still a never-stopping drooling toddler.

The good thing about growing older (especially for Jerald) is that he has many hand-me-downs! Since he is the eldest grandson from both sets of families, the two persons handing down the clothing to him are my sister (who is about his weight) and i (when i was younger and much lighter)! 

Both kids giving Louise a sloppy wet kiss! I had to photoshop in a "motion blur" filter on my sister as too much wrinkles were showing! Wahaha, hope she doesn't read this paragraph as she has the power to take down the photograph if she doesn't like it. 

Jovyn - my younger sister's darling and when many people actually mistook Jovyn to be Louise's daughter. Anyway, they have a close relationship and Joyce's role as the real mom would be thrown out of the window whenever Louise is around.

Blowing out the candle together after a short birthday song singing comprising of just two languages; English and Chinese. Compare that to a year or two ago when the kids would include Malay and even a Christian version! 

Cake cutting time; excited for me as i would love to hear some reviews from my family members! If the response is good, i can do the same cake again! 

The way she grasped on tightly to the santoku knife while having that sinister smile was disturbing. Shortly after i took this picture, she accidentally cut the skin in between my fingers; just a small cut with minimal blood.  

Time for the verdict!  

This is definitely a recipe keeper as the carrot cake was extremely moist and aside from the occasional crunchiness from the chopped up walnuts, you could bite into pieces of mashed pineapples and strings of carrots enveloped with a batter that contained cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spices and orange zest! Much thanks to the Lau sisters for sharing the delicious recipe! 

And happy birthday, Louise! 

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