Goodbye world! Also, Gwen and Dimitri made us zuccanoes…

Blogging, Cooking with Friends, Life

Dear friends,

This is going to be last blog post for maybe a little while, maybe a lot while, or maybe forever.

I have loved writing this blog and I have loved sharing my life and loves with my readers but it’s now time for me to retreat back into my shell.

I recently realized I was increasingly feeling like this blog was a burden rather than a boon and that planning, photographing and writing these posts felt like it was taking me out of my life, rather than enhancing it. I also felt like I didn’t want to share so much of myself anymore. Weird coming from me, the most extroverted person I know – minus one very boisterous friend I shall not name. And finally if I’m going to do something I want to do it right and I’m not doing this blog right. Snatching moments to write posts, coming up with ideas on the fly – that’s just not giving it my all and I know it.

SO it is time to say farewell!

Dimitri and Gwen <3

Dimitri and Gwen ❤

But before I go here are some pictures and a recipe of the food served at a dinner party I held at home with the most charming couple in the world – Gwen and Dimitri. This was supposed to be posted under my cooking with friends series and the party was so much fun that I realized I didn’t want to be taking pictures of the dinner. I just wanted to spend time with the people there.

Gwen is my colleague and friend and Dimitri is her lovely husband. For your reference Gwen is American and Dimitri is French (so you can imagine the accents, in your head). A little bit about this charming couple’s charming story – don’t worry I won’t give it all away – they met in a random Southeast Asian country where they were both on holiday.  There was some picture-taking, some well-timed rain, some huddling under the umbrella which obviously led to true love.

Listening to the story is one thing but getting to know them has been another. Let’s just say I have a people crush on them and how kind, sharp and charming that these two are – apart and together.

When I put out the call for people to cook with Gwen (a) volunteered to cook, (b) came up with the dish she was going to cook and (c) brought her nice camera along to take pictures of the food for my blog. FYI, this is how to be a good friend.

Gwen and Dimitri decided to make zuccanoes, which is this stuffed zucchini crazy-delicious-ness that is one of her favorite recipes from a while ago.

Artistic mise en place - with a frenchman at the helm - would you expect any less?

Artistic mise en place – with a frenchman at the helm – would you expect any less?

ALL THE COLORS!

ALL THE COLORS!

You start with hollowed out zucchinis... (by the way hollowing them out is SUPER hard - this is when I discovered that Gwen has super-human strength)

You start with hollowed out zucchinis… (by the way hollowing them out is SUPER hard – this is when I discovered that Gwen has super-human strength)

A recipe that puts you to work - mid way through the million steps needed to make this happen.

A recipe that puts you to work – mid way through the million steps needed to make this happen.

More work

More work

Work SO MUCH WORK

Work SO MUCH WORK

My lovely dinner mates

My lovely dinner mates

Bartender for the night

Bartender for the night

I decided to make dark chocolate mousse with a gingersnap base for dessert because DAYAMN. Wouldn’t you too?

#ourstomachsbroke

#ourstomachsbroke

Recipes for the food above can be found here:
Zuccanoes – Mollie Katzen
Dark chocolate pudding with gingersnap crumbs – The Sugar Hit
Espresso Martini – The Telegraph

Happy me with my pudding. ALL MY PUDDING.

Happy, blurry me with my pudding. ALL MY PUDDING.

***

It’s been a blast my friends – I’m going to miss all the positive feedback and love!

See you in the real world!

Bottura

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review
From the bottom to teh top :P: Polenta lasagne (SGD18), Arancini with ragù and tomato sauce (SGD8) and Egg and squid ink tagliolini with shrimp and zucchini (SGD18)

From the bottom to the top :P: Polenta lasagne (SGD18), Arancini with ragù and tomato sauce (SGD8) and Egg and squid ink tagliolini with shrimp and zucchini (SGD18)

What: A casual Italian restaurant located in a very quiet part of Suntec.

Pros: The food is good, fresh and reasonable. I enjoyed my polenta lasagne and Yuka thoroughly enjoyed her tagliolini (the squid ink abomination, above). Also, the wait staff are polite, knowledgeable and helpful.

Cons: It’s like on a second floor in Suntec – where NOTHING is open. Ambience is negligible and lighting is fluorescent mall lighting. #justsayin

Verdict: I’m itching to go back and try their degustation menu (Six pastas and a glass of wine for SGD26 – what?!), their desserts and their gelato so clearly, I say go.

Details:
Bottura
Suntec City Mall Tower 1
#02-472/473/474
3 Temasek Boulevard 038983
6238 7527

*Forgive the messy plate.

Super Loco

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review
Super Huevos Rancheros (SGD 20) and the Taco de Desayuno (SGD7) with a side of baconnn

Super Huevos Rancheros (SGD 20) and the Taco de Desayuno (SGD7) with a side of baconnn

What: A beautiful restaurant perched in a very trendy part of the already very trendy Robertson Quay.

Pros: The breeze in your hair and pretty people errwhere. Their food is pretty good, like I enjoyed my breakfast taco, but it’s not as good as the price or the ambiance of the restaurant suggests.

Cons: I had their Sparkling Yuzu Margarita (SGD17) which sounded like it would taste like a party in my mouth but was at very best, passable.

Verdict: I would say… don’t go. The food is better at their sister restaurant Lucha Loco and if you want good food on the river… make yourself a tasty sandwich and sit on the steps in the quay.

Details:
Super Loco
60 Robertson Quay
6235 8900

Etna

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review

 

Ciriole alla Norcina at SGD28 yo

Ciriole alla Norcina at SGD28 yo

What: Tiny, classy, Italian joint in the Duxton area.

Pros: The food is spot-on. We ordered this antipasti which was this gorgeous burrata, rocket and tomato thing and it made me completely forget I had a fake cheese allergy. My pasta (pictured above) was delicious as well, if a little heavy.

Cons: I would not have visited this place – had it been on someone else’s tab (it was my boss – haHA) – that gorgeous antipasti was SGD45 and the pastas are on the pricey side too.

Verdict: I would say, go if someone else is paying – hear me out – the food is good but you can get similar at Pasta Brava AND it’s in a far more charming space.

Details:
Etna
49-50 Duxton Road
Singapore 089513
6220 5513 

Pita and Olives

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review
The vegetarian platter with additional kebabs!

The vegetarian platter with additional kebabs!

What: Teeny-tiny Israeli restaurant located in 100 AM mall.

Pros: The food is delicious, healthy (ish) and comforting. I felt like we were eating in someone’s home. I also loved their smoky baba ghanoush (top-most, middle, green mush) and kept going back to it for just a little more, just a little more.

Cons: The ambiance is non-existent. The food is clearly pre-prepared and then heated up and given to you when you order it. I mean it’s good – but I’m just saying it’s like the opposite of fancy.

Verdict: It’s a good option for Mediterranean food in Singapore – and it’s healthy too. Go with good friends (BECAUSE YOU CAN’T TAKE ANYONE ELSE) and enjoy!

We paid about SGD45 for two people (platter, 3 orders of meat and drinks – we over-ordered, clearly). By the way, I stole the idea of putting the total amount spent from the awesome Rubbish Eat Rubbish Grow.

Details:
Pita and Olives
100AM
​100 Tras Street, #03-10
Singapore 079027
6636-3779

Relish

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review

BURGER

BURGER

What: Best. Burger. Place. Ever. Okay fine, a restaurant/cafe type establishment situated in a mall that services European tai-tais that serves Very. Good. Burgers.

Pros: The burgers – especially the blue cheese, poached pear and walnut burger (I’m literally swooning just typing this) – are so, SO good. Their onion rings served with this curry dip are also divine.

Cons: The service can be patchy and their renovation has made the space a little less cozy and a little more whatever.

Verdict: I would say it’s still one of Singapore’s better kept secrets, restaurant-wise. Go. But don’t tell anyone. And use this Groupon.

Details:
Relish
501 Bukit Timah Road
#02-01 Cluny Court
Singapore 259750
+65 6763 1547 (reservations recommended)

Saveur

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review
Duck confit with potato mash!

Duck confit with potato mash!

What: An affordable french restaurant with very minimal attempts at decor (minus some questionable chandeliers) because: affordable.

Pros: The food is good and it’s really good value-for-money. They have a set lunch and you can choose the entree, main and dessert for SGD22.90. I had a wonderful garden salad that came with hazelnuts (what??), duck confit (a bit heavy but whatchoogonnado) and pandan creme brulee to end. Not too shabby considering how much you would pay ANYWHERE else for something like that.

Cons: The ambiance – it’s very minimalist and very spartan but hey, just squint and you can call it industrial.

Verdict: For Singapore, it’s good value and I say go and enjoy a nice fancy meal (you can even get steak – yo!).

Details:
Saveur – Two outlets but I went to the one @ Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road, #01-7B
Singapore 228213
6736 1121

Lucha Loco

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review
It's so good it's loco!

It’s so good it’s loco!

What: Very hip taqueria (restaurant that serves tacos) and garden bar (aka they have outside seating and some potted plants) situated in trendy Duxton, with more pretty people as customers than I could count.

Pros: The tacos are so good that I literally wolfed them down before I could take any pictures of them. That’s why the only picture you have is of a coaster.

Cons: EXPENSIVE. It’s SGD11 for a teeny taco – no sides – and the drinks are on the pricey side too.

Verdict: OMG go – the food is good, drinks are quite good, the people are “good” and there are twinkly lights. Twinkly lights!

Details:
Lucha Loco
15 Duxton Hill
Tanjong Pagar
6226 3938

Lime House

Eating Out, Flash Restaurant Review
Jerk chicken!

Jerk chicken!

What: A Caribbean-style restaurant and bar in the very trendy Keong Saik neighborhood.

Pros: The vibe and decor is great but the real winner is their banana cake dessert with fig ice-cream. I dream about it when I’m alone at night.

Cons: The jerk chicken, AKA the only savory food I ate the night I visited them, was only ok. I thought Caribbean food was supposed to be spicyful and flavorful and I found it spicy-ish and flavorful-ish. And it’s expensive! Ish.

Verdict: Go but for the drinks and vibe. I have a feeling they make mean drinks. And if you don’t like it you can always go to The Cufflink Club – where, apparently, all of Singapore likes to congregate.

Details:
Lime House
2 Jiak Chuan Road
Singapore 089260

Leftover Gochujang Paste Salad

Cooking, Thoughts, Work

Forgive the fuzziness - look at the pearly keeeen wahhh

Forgive the fuzziness – look at the pearly keeeen wahhh

Friends, my blogging has been patchy and I apologize for that. Work has become all-consuming, and funnily enough I’m happy about it.

My Dad, who worked as the head of HR in a very prominent international bank for many years, once told me that he used to tell his staff that if they liked 30% of their job – they were lucky. I like close to 80 to 90% of my job. So I must be very lucky.

It’s not often that you get paid to “sell” or in my case “communicate” a product that you believe in, so very much.

These past few weeks, as things have gotten busier at work, I have found myself getting more tied to my organisation. Each task I had to do, each press release I had to write and each project I had to manage somehow made me more invested in the outcome of how we were being presented in the public. And it’s not because it’s a KPI or goal I have to meet. It’s because I am so proud of the work we are doing.

Science Comms you know? The researchers are passionate geniuses and I’m lucky to be along for the ride.

Ack – just went off on a tangent about work when I’m clearly supposed to be talking about gochujang and food!

So, since I’ve been working hard, it’s left little time for cooking. Or less, anyway.

One weeknight I wanted a fresh healthy salad, but didn’t want my protein to be that regular grilled chicken with garlic and lemon I eat ALLTHEDAMNTIME. I realized I had gochujang in the fridge (leftover from my last bibimbap-making frenzy). Why does that matter you ask? WELL, gochujang is a fabulous marinade for chicken.

So that same night, after a hard day’s work, I slathered two tablespoons of gochujang on one chicken thigh and stuck it in the fridge to marinade while I ran my 5K.

When I came back – I popped it in the oven for 30 mins (flipping it once in the middle) at 200 degrees and it was gorgeous. I served it with cooked quinoa, chopped cucumber, diced red peppers and mixed salad leaves drizzled with this Asian-y salad dressing.

This baby can keep you going strong for all them working hours. Like it did me 🙂