Saturday, 3 December 2011

Fattened in Shanghai (1) - Street food/Snacks

It's been more than half a year since this blog had been updated... not that we haven't been eating, so no, we're not cachexic; Nor that there was nothing we ate that was good to share... but it's been quite a packed out and eventful couple of months, so writing on the blog's been the least of my priorities! And it's been so long since i wrote, that i'd forgotten how therapeutic it is just sitting here writing about food... especially in the recent spate of battering and needless attacks from one whom i'm a direct minion to at work... sigh...
So, on this rare Saturday with no work and no call, i present the first of the entries from my recent Shanghai trip!

1. "Fresh Meat Mooncakes"
Well, that's the direct translation!
"Xian(1) Rou(4) Yue(4) Bing(3)"...
We had this (and queued for it!) on the first night we arrived, when we were taken to Nanjing walking street.
This little stall in the corner of a larger snack shop sold this interesting combination of a Bak Pau and a Tau Sar Piah... think Bak Pau filling in a Tau Sar Piah skin... YUM! The meat inside was tasty and juicy... tho for a split second, i thought about what the filling could really be... At 3 Yuen, it's a must try!

2. Nanxiang Xiao Long Bao
Found in Yu Yuan Garden, the snake-like queue to this Xiao Long Bao was phenomenal... but doing the tourist thing, we decided to queue for this famous must-try XLB which my friend brings all her visitors to... The interesting thing about this XLB was how hardy it was... unlike the very thin-skinned counterpart we find at home, which sometimes ruptures prematurely, this one is a little more thick-skinned that it could withstand the rough emptying of a "long(2)" of 16 XLBs into the little cardboard boxes they were served in. Soup remains intact, and everyone's happy!

3. The "straw pau"
This amusing snack comprises of a shallow bamboo dish with minced meat and soup (like a XLB), topped with a regular Pau skin, and a straw stuck into it so you can sip the soup before devouring the rest. Taste-wise, it wasn't great, but hey, for the novelty!

4. Pork chop on Nian Gao
This dish, the neighbour of the straw pau in the photo, was a yummy fried pork chop on chewy slabs of nian gao, drizzled with a salty sauce... the pork chop was good ol' artery clogging food, but the nian gao was just tasteless chewy flour slabs, slightly off what i expected... This one's good for sharing, cos it's really filling!

5. Lillian egg tarts
I'm an egg tart fan... but good egg tarts are hard to come by. Here at home, Tong Heng egg tarts are my favourite, and i never thought i'd find something better... until i found Lillian.
Crisp light pastry holding smooth silky egg custard... when eaten warm, just sent me going "mmmmm....". It's slogan says "Could be Shanghai's most delicious egg tarts". Totally agree. Ten thumbs up.

Ok, til the next installment of Fatttened in Shanghai, keep savouring the little joys of life... :o)

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Have you ever gone back to your childhood neighbourhood, and had that warm fuzzy feeling? I recently did, with the bonus of having the chicken rice I grew up eating.

I spent most of my growing up years in Lorong Ah Soo... and just across the road from my block, was a cluster of shops, including a coffee shop - the one with my favourite chicken rice!

Back then, the coffee shop was an old dingey one, with the chicken rice stall at the left corner. There would always be a queue at lunchtime, and I remember queuing there my dad... and I was so small I couldn't see the food placed on the stall. Then I grew up and would sometimes ta pau lunch there after school... then we moved away. For years, I hadn't gone back to that stall, until a couple of months ago, when I brought a friend there, and to my surprise, the stall was still there, still in the dingey corner of the coffee shop, and STILL had the same fragrance of the rice, exactly as I remembered it!

Last week, I made another trip back, this time with mum and dad, and got to walk around a little more. I was pleasantly surprised that some things haven't changed... the doctor I used to go to is still there... the little Econ mini-mart, the old fruit stall, the messy hardware store... all in their original spots! This time, the coffee shop had been renovated, and the stall moved to the other corner, occupying a more spacious spot, where they continue to roast their meats in the background.

This chicken rice stall may not be an all-famous one, but it remains my favourite. The rice is grainy and fragrant, with just the right consistency. The roasted chicken skin is so tasty and usually doesn't have much fat under the skin, so it doesn't feel so sinful! And the chilli - tangy and citrus, without gingery traces - just make you wanna eat more rice! Plus, the soya sauce is the thick sticky type... Put all that together, it's the perfect chicken rice! In my eyes at least... :p

Shui Ji Chicken Rice

Blk 121 Hougang Ave 1

Monday, 4 April 2011


Decided to do some therapeutic writing on food this breezy calm night, hoping to take the edge off a little. It's been a trying few days as this feeling of 'impending doom' builds up within me. Ok, that sounded a little drastic, but really, the feeling of kinda being in limbo, as I await news of where I am to be 'despatched to', was getting to me a little, since the weekend. And besides, this blog has been rather neglected, so here goes!

Power Teremah! That was the first reaction I had when I first tasted the sauce of the curry crabs. It was SPICY! Much spicier than the usual standards... The chili padi, fresh curry leaves and other spices blended into a magical sauce that tickled my tastebuds.

Mellben seafood was where we had dinner to celebrate my brother's birthday last week. Recommended by my sis-in-law, the crab queen, Mellben was a good choice! Tucked away in some corner of AMK, it was really crowded for a weekday night! Thankfully we were early, or else we would have been in a long queue of fellow hypoglycaemic people.

The crabs were really meaty, so it was worth getting your hands dirty for... you know, rather than getting your hands all mucky and yielding tiny bits of flesh! With the outstanding curry sauce crabs, the rest of the dishes kinda faded

into the background a little.

The crab bee hoon soup did a good job of washing down the heat a little though... milky enough for my liking too! And, thankfully, I had spotted the forbidden (f)root (ginger!) the minute the pot arrived, and swiftly rescued the rest of the pot from its evil infusion.

"Fortune chicken" was rather boring... chicken in a claypot of other seafood things... rather bland too. And what we didn't expect was for an entire chicken to be in the dish, and that really tipped us over, given all this food was ordered for 3 and a half people (yes, the half is my 5 year old nephew!)

Tofu with minced pork sauce was an ok-dish too... nothing too spectacular, though I suspect if I had had it on it's own, I would have liked it better, since the tofu was nice an silken.

All in all, it's a good place to have crab! Hmm...What I think would make a great dish is sliced pork in the power curry sauce!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

My Reunion Lunch

This year's reunion lunch for my family... it's really a REUNION! Thank God that i'm back in Singapore and was allowed to spend a day with my family.

We almost didn't get to go for this meal because before my brother's car couldn't start and was really late in picking me up. Then we had to go to the mechanic to change the battery. Anyway... we still managed.

So.... We went to Resort World, Sentosa. Not that I really want to recommend this restaurant.. because it's EXPENSIVE, but more so of sharing my joy with all of you.

We ate at Fung Shui Inn Restaurant. We had Gourupa fish, asparagus with scallop, soup, Lobster salad, crab meat with Huang Di Miao and roasted chicken. As usual, my brother only remembered to take the photos after we started the meal. What's new... As for the taste, it's so so lah. The ambience was cozy and quiet. It indeed recreated a beautiful atmosphere our our reunion lunch. And, more importantly, my nephew Jevin has got enough space to walk about and crawl under chairs  to entertain himself without us worrying that plates and bowls falling over him.

After our meal, we walked around the Resort World. the place was really huge. It was really a wonderful family outing just walking around and visiting boutiques which it's too ridicules to buy anything from them. Then we ended up at Toast Box which is more affordable for tea before heading back home.  

I'm just so happy to be with my family an of course Jevin, my nephew is the central attention and the joy giver that brings my whole family together. It's just so wonderful..

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Banyak makan

Sometimes what we plan for doesn’t happen... but in it’s place we might find something good.

That was what happened last night. My friends and I decided to have dinner and a chill night out, and to have a breather from people and crowds, so we had planned to have pizzas and pastas at an Italian place at Far East Square, where it’s serene and no one’s in your face. Didn’t work out though... since it was closed :( My first reaction was “What?!! But they’re ALWAYS open on Saturday nights!” *sigh*

But we quickly settled on another place – Pagi-Sore, and Indonesian place just a around the corner – and what a gem it was! I had heard good things about it, but never got down to trying it. So 3 hungry hippos plonked themselves at table and ordered their food - slightly over-enthusiastically. And we only realised what damage we had done when the food arrived – Tahu Telur, Sambal Kangkong, Ayam Bali and Ikan Otah Kukus – all for 3 people who don’t usually eat very much!

The highlight for me was the Ikan Otah Kukus. I had always known Otah as minced up fish with the otah paste, whether in a tray or wrapped up in banana leaf. But this one is different. A whole leatherjacket fish cooked in a pasty otah gravy. I would have liked the gravy slightly more lemak and pedas, but it did well enough!

Slowly but surely, and slightly painfully towards the end (since our tummies were on the verge of bursting!), we finished our food... only to have the sweet waitress come by and ask us if we wanted desserts! Faint. Though the general rule was that desserts belong to a separate compartment, I was so stuffed it spilled over into the dessert compartment. However, Soursop sorbet caught the eye of my friend, and we decided to share it. Yet another good it refreshingly cleansed the palette, and gave a nice closure to dinner.

So, sometimes when certain doors (be it that of restaurants or life in general) close on us, be open to others, and you might be just be pleasantly surprised :o)

Far East Square

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

La La La...

It has been a while since I've put up anything here... thanks to the hectic production line I work in, that has recently left me rather tired and out of sorts.

Today, however, being my long awaited off day, I had the luxury of having some peace and quiet... to just be. A nice change from having to speak incessantly to some 60 - 90 people a day, depending how good or bad the day is. One thing for sure, my vocal cords are thankful... and my blood pressure is doing well :o) Hence the inspiration to write an entry in this rather neglected blog. Besides, I was being introduced to a new makan place today... a cuisine I had never heard of - Heng Hwa - so how can i not write right?

God somehow always had good timing, and the off day coincided with Line's very short visit back to SG. Hence her mum had invited me for lunch at one of her favourite hang outs - Xing Hua Family Restaurant, at Boon Keng. Camouflaged in a row of "void deck shops", this gem of a place served really tasty food!
Auntie, being the regular customer there, quickly rattled off the dishes she so decided for the day - Prawn in herbal broth (served in a bamboo) - interesting!, Deep fried Tenggiri fish - so crispy youcan eat the bones, Stir fried deer meat - nice and tender, Sambal kangkong - quite the usual, La la in spicy sauce - OOOH!, and Fried yam. Though all the dishes were great, 2 made deeper impressions - the La la and the yam.

The spicy sauce of the La la was one of those that was tasty, spicy, but not oily. It infused the fresh little clams such that each mouthful was a flavour burst. Not to mention that mixing the sauce with rice was heavenly! In fact, this dish was so good, we had a second order!

The fried yam was a simple dish. It was, exactly as it's called - Fried yam. Nothing else in the dish, but yam that was fried - not deep fried with a batter, but fried with a caramelised exterior, shelling a soft, moist interior. YUM! (no pun intended :o))
There are still many dishes there that are yet to be tried, so I'll definitely be going back!
Xing Hua Family Restaurant
Block 101 Towner Road

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Famous Terengganu Bread

It’s a long time since the last entry. I hardly get to go out for meals. Even the times when I do go out, I feel unsafe to bring a camera out. Sometimes, I’m also a little shy to take pictures in front of the sisters and friends.

So… this is Terengganu signature bread. Well, it’s actually a round bread with many small buns joined together. And individual buns have fillings. There’s kaya, margarine, etc… but I’m not sure if mixed fillings are available. This particular one has margarine in every little bun.

Now, let me explain why it’s not round in the picture. I only took the shot when all the sisters are resting in their rooms. So, it’s what left after lunch.

It taste really good. Although it’s normal bread, the unique shape and the way we eat it (bun by bun) makes a whole lot of difference.

So, if you come to Terengganu, don’t forget to buy some of me… ha ha….