Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beanstro at Marina Bay Sands

I oftentimes see this restaurant full whenever I'm at the Shoppes at Marina Bay.  It brought me a lot of curiosity since then. So when I had the chance to sample it, I did not anymore hold back. And honestly, the moment the foods hit our table I knew right then that we're on for a nice treat.

 Mushroom Soup

Mashed Potato

 Caesar Salad

 Shrimps and Crab Quiche

 Breakfast Plate

 Classic Lasagna

Rib Eye Steak

Since the Shoppes at Marina Bay is known to house popular restaurants of esteemed celebrity chefs, it's indeed a breather to find a mid range restaurant that's equally acceptable. For the price and the ambiance, Beanstro simply delivers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Genting Highlands, Pahang Malaysia

Gong Xi Fa Cai!! Happy Lunar New Year!! How was your Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration? We spent our CNY break in Genting Highlands, Malaysia. Finally, after hearing so many fun and thrilling stories about this place we got the chance to pay it a visit and spent some rest and relaxation there. The weather was absolutely fantastic. It's a breath of fresh air from the usually humid and hot weather in Singapore. Enjoying the cool breeze at high altitude was truly invigorating. There were some drizzling though in the afternoon but that didn't stop us from enjoying the place.

We stayed at the First World Hotel which caught us by surprise by its enormity. Apparently, the hotel holds a Ripley's record of having the "most number of rooms in the world" at 6,118 rooms. It is by far the longest hotel reception / check in counter I have seen. There are about 30 counters attending to its guests and you need to get a queue number before you can actually checked in. It took us 45 mins before we got accommodated. I'm assuming primarily because it's a peak season since it's Chinese New Year. There are really too many guests at the time of our visit. There were also some DIY check in kiosks where you can do your own check in but it's not for everyone. For those on tour package like us, we have to wait long in the reception counter. Contrary to its humongous size, everything in this hotel is about simplicity. From the ambiance to the interior to its amenities, expect nothing but basics. We stayed at a deluxe room and there's really not much to talk about. I would commend the cleanliness of the toilet though and if for that alone we were already ok for our 2 nights stay.

One of the most popular attractions in Genting is its multi-million ringgit Theme Park. Known to be Malaysia's biggest theme park, there are a lot of things that kids and kids at heart can enjoy in this entertainment venue. However, not all are worth trying. I think the Outdoor and Indoor Theme Parks are the most enjoyable and thrilling. Concept wise, I did like this place. Experiencing fun and adventure with a cool, crisp, fresh air is definitely worth the long travel just to get to this hub. But clearly, most of the resorts' amenities already need an update. The "run down" atmosphere of some attractions contradicts the nice, cool ambiance of the weather. I hope on our next visit, we could see more new things.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Choco - Walnut Brownies

The school has just started and boy, how seriously time flies so fast. I now have a primary 1 student!! How could that happened in just a breeze? With this new milestone in our child's life, inevitable changes are likewise expected. There's now the study habit forming, home works to attend to and of course the "baon" (food) preparation for school. Among all these, I guess the later will bring me more excitement than difficulty. To be able to provide your kids with good foods, as a foodie mom,  I'd rather take it as an opportunity instead of an added responsibility. Anyway, when it comes to personally attending to a child's needs, there shouldn't be such a thing as "busy working mom" isn't it? So, my new found routine simply brought me back to baking goodies and all of us in the family coudn't be happier. On his first day in school, I decided to prepare Ina Garten's popular outrageous Brownies. But since I found the recipe too sweet, I adjusted the level of sugar. Also, I modified the ingredients used to my own liking. Eventually I was more than appeased with the results. It's moist, gooey and decadent. Just the right texture properties for brownies. From now on, I should be keeping this recipe easily accessible for this will only be the start of the many food requests (especially of baked goods) to come.

Ingredients (what you need):

1/2 lb unsalted butter
1/2 lb + 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (Hershey's)
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Hershey's)
3 extra large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 + 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt together the butter, 1/2 lb of chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, vanilla extract  and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
4. In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup of flour, the baking powder and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture.
5. Toss the walnuts and 6 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/8 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Cool down the brownies and slice according to the desired serving size.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Steamed Sea Bass in Light Soy Sauce and Stir-fried Scallops with Vegetables

It's just less than a week before Chinese New Year. Everyone and everywhere are gearing up for this big celebration (well at least in this part of our world). Suffice it to say, chinese influence is also all over and to our delight, it found its way to our home. Last weekend, I stumbled upon fresh and nice seafood produce at Fair Price Extra in Jurong Point Shopping Centre. As I looked through the glass container of live fish and crustaceans, I didn't think twice in getting some. Chinese dishes immediately haunted me and left me craving. That explains for these dishes gracing our dining table. If you're looking for healthy and light dishes to enjoy, you might want to try these 2 recipes.

Steamed Seabass in Light Soy Sauce

What you need:
1 medium size live seabass (cleaned), 1 small red onion (chopped), 3 cloves garlic (minced), 2 tbsps spring onions (julienned), 1 tbsp ginger (julienned), 1 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsps light soy sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 4 tbsps water, 2 tbsp olive oil

How to make:
1. Steam seabass for 7 mins or until tender. Set aside.
2. In a hot wok, saute onion, garlic and ginger in olive oil until fragrant. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, water and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 mins.
3. Pour over the sauce into the steamed seabass and top with spring onions.

Stir Fried Scallops with Vegetables

What you need:
300g scallops, 1 cup button mushrooms (julienned), 1 medium carrots (rounds), 1 big bunch of broccoli (trimmed and cut), 1 med onion (julienned), 5 cloves garlic (chopped), 1/8 cup oyster sauce dissolve in 1/2 cup water, 1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in water, 2 tbsps olive oil

How to make:
1. Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 2 mins or until tender. Soak in water with ice and set aside.
2. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add in scallops, mushrooms and carrots and continue sauteing for 3 mins.
3. Add in blanched broccoli, oyster sauce and dissolved cornstarch. Stir well. Simmer for 1-2 mins until the sauce slightly thickens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

PrimaDeli's Festive Goodies - Fortune Pineapple Tarts

Chinese New Year is now in the air! I can already feel the festive spirit. With the abundance of all things chinese new year related, truly, there's no more stopping for this important celebration from happening. And among the many icons that characterizes this special occasion, festive goodies are perhaps the most essential of all. Primarily because sharing hefty bites of  good eats with your family and loved ones is just second to none. Hence, procuring chinese delicacies to usher in wealth, happiness and good fortune is very typical in celebrating the tradition. I am always amused with the humongous choices of delicacies on offer during CNY. I'm very fortunate to find one food gem through PrimaDeli's Fortune Pineapple Tarts. I had the opportunity of trying it out and boy, it was simply delicious.

Shaped like a pineapple signifying prosperity and good fortune, the pineapple tart exudes the right amount of sweetness, a lasting creaminess and aromatic pineapple pulp. The soft baked crust is flaky and friendly to the bite. It's a luscious treat in its entirety. I also liked the way it's packaged individually in auspicious red mini pouch. That makes it a perfect gift to give. If you're looking for sweet treats to fill in your basket of festive goodies, it's one scrumptious baked good to take.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hot Tomato Cafe & Grill

In an expensive city like Singapore, finding a place to dine that offers affordable eats at a reasonable quality is like unearthing a gem. Thus, when such opportunity is stumbled upon,  I made sure that it's engraved in my memory. If you're looking for a mid range - casual dining place for steaks and meats, Hot Tomato is a fitting choice. Although the restaurant's name doesn't really make a connection to what it basically offers, the food is generally good with a very affordable price.

The meal repertoire includes pasta (Aglio Olio), greens and grill meat (chicken, pork, beef, sausage) or seafood. It's consumed as a set. My family's favorite so far are these...

 Air flown Sirloin Steak

 Lamb Chop - my 6 year old can easily finish this

Mix Grill (Pork chop, Teriyaki Chicken, Bratwurst Sausage)

Hot Tomato Cafe & Grill
#02-11 Causeway Point
1 Woodlands Square

Monday, January 2, 2012


Watami Singapore in Ion Orchard is a casual japanese restaurant that's becoming a favorite of the family. We dined here last Christmas and New Year's Day. And on both occasions (believe it or not) we ordered for the same food items. We enjoyed it so well that we never had second thoughts in trying out the same repertoire again.
 Ebi Tempura

 Pork Tonkotsu (on a hot plate)

 Watami Salad - the sesame dressing is really good!

 Wafu Pizza - crispy, crunchy, creamy

 Salmon Rice in a hot plate

 Beef Sukiyaki

Salmon Sushis and Sashimi

Watami Restaurant
ION Orchard, #B3-23
11:30am - 10:00pm