Sunday, 19 September 2010

Really Lazy "Claypot" Rice Obento

you all wanted the recipe so here it is. concept is similar to lazy pineapple rice

Ingredients (for 2):

Rice (1 cup)
Boneless chicken thigh (1) - skinned, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tspn light soy sauce
- 1 tspn sesame oil
- 2 tspn oyster sauce
- dash of pepper

Frozen mixed veg (about 1/2 cup)
Lap Cheong (1)
1 tspn of dark soy sauce (i use the thick type, viscosity like pi pa gao type)
sesame oil
Garnish: Chopped spring onion/cilantro, Fried Shallots

The night before, prepare:
Marinate chicken
Wash and soak the rice in water
Rinse frozen veg, scald w hot water to get rid of "freezer smell", rinse in water, pinch of salt, mix around
Lap Cheong (1) - "condom" removed and sliced
Chop spring onion/wash cilantro

Wrap all in cling wrap and put in fridge

In the morning:
Put rice in rice cooker (i use the water it was soaked in and top up if necessary), add chicken, stir around a little, sprinkle veg and lap cheong, close, press cook. wait (go and do your make-up la).

once cooked, let it steam for about 10-15 mins more. add dark soy sauce and combine til evenly coated. Let steam for a couple of mins more (you may pack your garnish separately or prepare your fruits while waiting). drizzle some sesame oil and stir around.

scoop into tupperware and let cool a little before closing. i pack garnish separately and add in just before eating.

other ingredients you can add: fried salted fish bits (which i don't have. your kitchen will smell like giam her if you fry it at home haha) and dried chinese mushroom (which i also don't have cos i usually cook with fresh mushrooms). do not use fresh mushrooms cos i think it releases moisture and will cause rice to be soggy.

sometimes i cook this for lunch/dinner ^^

Here's my friend ling ling's version which is suitable for dinner or lunch (may be a bit time-consuming for obento) =)

of cos you can invent your own version too!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Restaurant Review: English High Tea at The Drawing Room, St. Regis Hotel

My goodest bestest friend Jiahui brought me there for my birthday =)

Ambience: 6*
lush couches and armchairs with adequate space between tables, perfect for a girlie tête-à-tête.

Service: 5*
the waiter who served us spoke very good English and recommended the popular teas to us. However, the (foreign) waitress forgot to serve us PLATES! *slap forehead*

Tableware: 5.5*
Very pretty fine bone china =) linen napkins and placemats.

Food: 5*
We enjoyed the warm and crisp scones very much =) I ordered Gyokuro Samurai tea. Gyokuro is the most priced green tea and is usually very expensive. One pot (a  la carte) at the restaurant cost a whopping $25+++ Jiahui ordered Yellow Bud Tea, highly recommended by the waiter, which tasted like Long Jing. Teas are from TWG. French pastries are very very pretty. We liked the mango tart =)

Pattern more than badminton. ONE lone quiche on a foot-long plate -.-

Price: $$$
At $56+++ per person with only one serving (no refills) and one choice of tea, this is probably the most expensive English high tea. Nice experience but I'd save my money for Regent Hotel's high tea (also served in tiers but refillable) or Ritz Carlton's high tea (they use Waterford Wedgwood fine bone china)
here are photos of the nice toilet =P

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Restaurant Review: One on the Bund at Fullerton Bay Hotel

Ambience: 5.5*
very nice view of the bay area with MBS right opposite. nice place if you want to kao chabor cos it's very lomantik. indoor seating temperature is sub-zero so unless you brought your fleece jacket, sit outdoors. for dinner, it's actually quite cool cos there's a draft of cold air from indoors. It's also a better choice outside cos the view is very nice... however, we found the place a little too dim. I don't know about you but i like to be able to SEE my food (and take photos of them). the only light we had was a candlelight. hence, all photos are underexposed -.- good if you have pimples and is on a date.

Service: 5*
very prompt. the waiter explained how to eat the peking duck. water was refilled promptly. plates cleared. but they forgot to serve us damp towels at the beginning *grumble grumble*

Food: 4*
I found the braised peanuts a little undercooked. I expect braised peanuts to be soft, roasted peanuts to be crunchy. Their braised peanuts were crunchy so it felt weird. The waitress recommended a pork appetiser that turned out to be very thin slices of pork FAT. I took ONE slice and chris happily ate the rest.

The wood-fired peking duck is very nice. if you walk past the open-concept kitchen, you can see the firewood and oven bursting with flames. the chef sliced it in front of us and within mins, the plate of crisp skin was ready.

i enjoyed the crisp skin and tender meat very much. typically, the skin is wrapped in crepes with sauce, cucumber and scallions while the meat is used for some other dish such as fried vermicelli but here, the skin is to be enjoyed on its own with a dip of sugar while the meat is to be wrapped in the crepes which came in a bamboo steamer. as the temperature indoors was too cold, by the time the crepes were served, they were no longer hot =( they also served a sesame pastry with the duck which i felt could be more flaky and warm. they were cold and a little hard. we also had to ask for more cucumber and scallions because what we were given were insufficient. and typically, the cucumber and scallions are cut into strips for easy wrapping but here, they're presented as circular disks. the bones and drumsticks were used for winter-melon soup which we found very flavourful and comforting. it was a huge pot for two which we couldn't finish and were not allowed to "ta pao" (we asked) so some were wasted =( they must think we're very cheapskate LOL

what really surprised us was the sauteed kai lan. shocked, i asked the waiter, "we ordered kai lan... this is kai lan?" he confirmed it was kai lan... well, there were no leaves and the dish looked like asparagus. all the leaves were GONE. only the stem part, which i usually throw away when i cook kai lan at home cos i like kai lan leaves (so does west). it reminded us of a chinese restaurant in Paris where we ordered xiao bai cai and were served ONLY the stems -.- atas restaurants serve only vegetable stems?? i prefer leaves =P

price: $$$
for a champagne, coke, peking duck, pork appetiser, kai lan, duck soup - $213

will i go back again?

probably not unless someone treats me =P i prefer my good ol' imperial treasures =)

Monday, 13 September 2010

Handicraft in Hanoi, Vietnam (Sep 2010)

Conical hats can be seen everywhere
Embroidered paintings. On the way to Ha Long Bay, we were dropped at this souvenir shop.
We requested that our guide bring us to the egg and lacquer painting workshop. Very interesting. They make a painting out of crushed egg shells

Artist at work

I bought some lacquerware =)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Day Tour in Hanoi, Vietnam (Sep 2010) - Part 3

Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
The house built for Ho Chi Minh which he declined to stay in
He stayed in another small building and this hut beside the mansion instead
Soldiers practising behind the Mausoleum
Temple of Literature where Confucious is worshipped
Vietnamese schoolgirls

Vietnamese students come to this temple to pray for wisdom in the hope of getting good grades

A gift from Emperor Kang Xi
Scholars had their names carved in stone... kinda like our Dean's List
The huge drum... bigger than the Beijing Olympics drums
Water puppets
These puppets are half-submerged in water and controlled using bamboo from underneath. I found it rather interesting but Chris slept through the entire performance -.-
St. Joseph's Cathedral

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Day Tour in Hanoi, Vietnam (Sep 2010) - Part 2

Hanoi is divided into 3 regions: Old Quarter, New Living Area and French Quarter. We stayed at the French Quarter.

Visited the Old Quarter and New Living Area. According to the guide, the Old Quarter sells products mainly from China so they're very very cheap but the quality is not good. He says only the poorer Vietnamese shop there. Even he doesn't dare to buy the food from there because you don't know what sort of chemicals they add in the food. And if you see cheap "branded" bags or sunglasses, they fake. He said all the "branded" stuff in Old Quarters are fake. The designs are so up-to-date that within a week of it appearing in China, it'd be found there... China's fake "branded" stuff are very very up-to-date btw.

Entrance to Old Quarter


Chris wanted very much to eat these but I didn't let him =P
Chris also wanted to eat the beef noodles here but I didn't let him
Lotsa scooters in Hanoi
It's amazing how they can carry such huge loads on the scooter

Dark alley into someone's house
Street food
These people are eating eggs with chick embryo =PPPP YUCK!!!!

Sauteed maggots
AAAWwww.... cute puppies. Thankfully, they're someone's pet, not food