Yakiniku Ohji – Japanese Charcoal BBQ

On the first floor of 321 Clementi sits a decent-sized restaurant specializing in Japanese BBQ. It was a working day lunch but thankfully the crowd was minimal.

BBQ buffets start at $19.80++ for a basic with 36 items, $29.80++ for 46 items, and $42.80++ for a whopping 62 items (high-quality too!). Do take note that there is an additional $2.50+ per person for the charcoal stove on the table.

We are big eaters so we went for second choice buffet and went straight for the meats! Classic favourites include sirloin, pork belly, marinated meat, US galbi, and many more.

And of course, we’re omnivores so there had to be vegetables. Leeks, onions, and mushrooms were a big hit with us. Having the charcoal stove was a big bonus as it gave the food a smokey aroma.

Grilling leeks over a charcoal fire makes them extra tasty because of the smokiness from the charcoal as well as the natural sweetness of the leeks itself.

It’s not cheap, but the food made up for it. Meat overdose, yes. But you’ll get your vegetables too!

Address:

321 Clementi Ave 3, #01-01

Singapore 129905

Nearest MRT:

Clementi MRT (EW23)

Opening Hours:

11:30AM – 11:00PM (Mon – Sun)

Kipos Gourmet

Special shoutout to: Chef Gan, Brian, and Daryl
(Thank you very much Chef Gan for the meal, Brian for inviting, and Daryl for hosting me despite being so busy! Thank you and I hope to be back soon!)

Kipos Collective (@kiposcollective) promotes a healthy lifestyle with their meal bowls. On top of a healthy and delicious meal bowl, quality ingredients are essential.

Ingredients are handpicked by their chefs to ensure freshness, quality, and ultimately, taste. Meal bowls start at a base price of $10 and the price increases based on what you add on. Order sheets and pencils are located at the counter and it is extremely easy to order! So here’s my order for reference:

Base (choose 2): Sushi rice, purple & green cabbage

Greens (choose 5): Spinach, cherry tomatoes, radish, cucumber, coriander.

Protein (choose 1): Sous-vide free-range chicken breast.

Dressing (choose 1): Roasted sesame.

Lux it up (choose 1): Onsen egg.

Crunch (choose 3): Crispy shallots, sesame seeds, tobiko (fish roe)

I also had a cup of iced organic apple tea for $3. Keep the glass cup and bring it back for a $1 rebate on your iced teas!

The vegetables are as good as it gets – the crunchiness of the radish, salad greens, and cabbage; the sweet and juicy cherry tomatoes; and the fragrance of the coriander – all good enough on its own without the need for a salad dressing. Sous-vide chicken breast is cooked till tender and moist and the slight tinge of vinegar in the sushi rice refreshes your palate. The addition of the “crunch” gives the meal bowl even more textures as well as the flavour from the shallots (an absolute favourite!). Last but not least, the bowl is topped with an onsen egg and my ritual is to break it and mix it into the rice below. The yolk was just a teeny bit overcooked but was still runny.

My second trip to Kipos was as good as the first. But this time, I went for their mentaiko salmon as it was highly recommended by my friends. True enough, it did not disappoint! I also went with a Yuzu Wasabi dressing which certainly packed a punch. The runny yolk (YES) from the onsen egg certainly aided in reducing the effects from the yuzu wasabi dressing.

Address:
7 Wallich Street, #B2-19
Singapore 078884
(It’s right next to Boost juice bar)

Nearest MRT:
Tanjong Pagar MRT (EW15)

Opening Hours:
9:00AM – 8:30PM (Mon – Thurs)
10:00AM – 8:30PM (Fri)
11:00AM – 6:30PM (Sat)
Closed on Sundays.

Chirashi King Kong

A familiar donburi restaurant, with branches at Millenia Walk and Tanjong Pagar, Chirashi King Kong has its new place at Biopolis. Armed with their signature truffle rice that comes in every bowl, CKK certainly puts a new twist to Japanese rice bowls. For those working in Biopolis, it’s located at Neuros, just next to the prata shop.

There are a number of familiar favorites such as the Bara Chirashi Don (raw fish cut into cubes, marinated, and placed on top of rice), as well as the Unagi Don. I’ve personally tried three different bowls and I must say it triggers your senses.

Mentaiko Salmon Don

The very first one I tried was the Mentaiko Salmon Don. You can’t go wrong when there’s mentaiko and salmon. On top of that, it is seared with a blow torch before serving. The balance was surprising as I expected the truffle rice to overpower the entire dish. The acidity from the pickles help to clear your palate, and the mentaiko’s saltiness paired with the soft salmon completes the dish.

Unagi Truffle Don

The unagi don was pretty decent as the unagi was indeed..huge, and meaty. It was well-marinated with a sweet sauce. However, I could tell that there was probably a batch variation when it comes to the rice as the truffle aroma was a little stronger than usual. But it wasn’t overpowering, fortunately.

Assorted Fish Don

Lastly, the assorted fish rice bowl with thick cuts of sashimi. Salmon, swordfish, scallops, tuna, squid stuffed with shisamo roe, all on top of their signature truffle rice.

Address:
8 Biomedical Grove, #01-14
Neuros
Singapore 138665

1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-06
Singapore 082001

9 Raffles Boulevard, #02-17
Millenia Walk
Singapore 039596

Nearest MRT:
Buona Vista MRT (EW21/CC22)

Tanjong Pagar MRT (EW15)

Promenade MRT (DT15/CC4)

Opening Hours:
11:00AM – 6:00PM (Mon – Fri) – Biopolis branch

11:00AM – 7:00PM (Mon – Sat) – Tanjong Pagar branch

11:00AM – 9:00PM (Mon – Sun) – Millenia Walk branch

Waa Cow!

It HAS been a while since my last post – a full 10 months. I’ve decided to come back on, but I’ll post little by little. And what better way to start of the year by indulging in a delicious bowl of Wagyu Beef Don! Shoutout to my foodie friends who encouraged me to continue blogging.

I’m sure most of my friends working in the CBD area have heard of Waa Cow and since I was in the area, I HAD to give it a try.

There are a number of rice sets but the highly recommended would be the Wagyu Beef Dons along with a few variants such as the addition of mentaiko, or even a truffled cheese version. The meat is so tender and juicy, and occasionally you’ll get tiny nuggets of fat that just melts in your mouth. I ordered the Mentaiko Wagyu Beef Don, so there will be a generous spread of mentaiko sauce right on top of the meat. It will be seared with a flame torch, so do not worry about that aspect.

Mentaiko Wagyu Beef Don

If you prefer a bowl without the mentaiko sauce, there’s always a traditional bowl of Wagyu Beef Don! Oh, and please add the onsen egg.

Wagyu Beef Don

Onsen egg = beautifully cooked. Rice was cooked perfectly, with none of your soggy nonsense. Pickles help to cut the richness of the truffle and the mentaiko sauce. There are number of ways to savour this beauty – you can choose to sample each component separately, each with a mouthful of rice, or break the yolk and mixing it in with the rice. Dee-lish.

Address:
5 Raffles Place, #B1-63
Singapore 048618

Nearest MRT:
Raffles Place (EW14/NS26)

Opening Hours:
Lunch | 11:30AM – 3:00PM (Mon – Fri)

Dinner | 5:30PM – 8:30PM (Mon – Fri)

Lunch | 12:00PM – 2:30PM (Sat)
Closed on Sundays.

Stir-Fried Pork Belly with Kimchi

Thinking of recipe names or rather, cool recipe names, isn’t my forte. But here’s another of my recipe that is extremely easy to follow! All you need is just a few ingredients, seasoning, and about 20-25 minutes to spare (excluding the marinade).

What you’ll need:
– A slab of pork belly, 1 kg
– Gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
– Gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
– Kimchi (Get the ripened ones if possible!)
– Salt
– Pepper
– Onions, sliced
– Garlic, finely chopped
– Sesame Oil
– Carrots and cucumbers, julienned

To marinate:

  1. Slice the pork belly into bite-sized pieces and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Add salt, pepper, gochujang, gochugaru, garlic, and sesame oil. Mix well!
  3. Put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

To cook:

  1. Heat up a large pan with a slightly deep base and add 2 – 3 tbsp of oil.
  2. Fry the meat until both sides are seared nicely.
  3. Add the onions and fry until it softens. When that is done, add the kimchi and fry for about 5 – 10 minutes more.
  4. You can add either water or stock. Stock is very much preferred as it adds even more flavour to it!
  5. Let it bubble away for 15 – 20 minutes.
  6. Serve it immediately with a bowl of rice, some julienned carrots and cucumbers on the top.
  7. Happy days.

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Oven-Roasted Drumsticks with Garlic and Rosemary

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If you’re hosting a dinner for say, 10 people, chicken drumsticks are pretty easy to work with. You save the trouble of roasting a whole chicken and also, you don’t get equal portions of meat per person. As mentioned on my Instagram post, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients (I have omitted the numbers. Adjust accordingly!)

  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Garlic cloves
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon, sliced
  • Smoked paprika
  • Dried rosemary
  • Olive oil
  • White onions, chopped

Steps:

  1. Chicken should be at room temperature – easier to handle as it won’t be very stiff.
  2. Score the meat with a sharp knife – this allows the marinade to penetrate deeper.
  3. Marinate the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, garlic cloves, paprika and lemon slices. Keep the chickens in a large Ziploc bag if you have one, or a plastic container that is big enough. [I marinated mine for at least 3 hours.]
  4. 30 minutes before cooking, take the meat out and pre-heat your oven to “full whack”, or the maximum temperature. Place a deep glass dish into the oven to heat it up.
  5. Add oil into the glass dish, add the chopped onions, and place the chicken (skin side up) + everything else in the marinade, on top of the onions. Bring the temperature down to about 200°C and let it cook for about 30 – 40 minutes. Remember to always baste.
  6. Once the meat is almost cooked, bring the dish up towards the upper levels of your oven and allow the skin to crisp up.
  7. Serve and EAT immediately!

Note: If you have leftover gravy, toss some pasta (of your choice) in it. Or, mix some gravy with a little balsamic vinegar and drizzle it over some salad leaves e.g. rocket/arugula/radicchio etc.

 

La Nonna

‘Nonna’ is the Italian word for grandmother. Grandmothers are highly revered in Italy because of their food! It is unpretentious, traditional and of course, delicious. Here in Holland Village, La Nonna aims to serve a hearty meal to enjoy with good company.

When you’re at La Nonna, you must definitely order their signature wood oven-baked pizza – one that starts with a tomato sauce base, spread with black truffle paste, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, strips of asparagus, and topped with an egg right in the centre of the pizza. This reminded me of my summer holidays spent in Italy where every meal was either pizza or pasta. One might get sick or ‘jelat‘ after every meal but it was very enjoyable.

I am a big fan of thin-crust pizza as it is not very filling, and you get maximum pleasure out of the ingredients. On the other hand, normal pizza crust is too thick and every bite gives you more dough than the toppings.

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Next would be their homemade Pappardelle with an oxtail ragout and rosemary. I’ve been really fortunate to get al dente pasta every single time I order a pasta dish and this meal was no different. The oxtail ragout was packed with flavour from the hours of stewing and the slight acidity from the tomato sauce certainly helps bring out the flavour even more. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough bread for the chance of scarpetta.

Scarpetta
I was introduced to the concept of scarpetta in Rome by one of the best waiters I’ve ever met. Most of the times after finishing a pasta dish, copious amounts of sauce will be left in the serving dish/bowl. This will then be cleared by the service staff and thrown away, which is a waste! Scarpetta simply involves cleaning up or wiping up the remaining sauce with a piece of bread from the bread basket.

Nevertheless, the food was lovely, the staff were attentive especially to both our water and wine glasses thus making the whole experience enjoyable!

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Address:
26/26B Lorong Mambong,
Singapore 277685

Nearest MRT:
Holland Village MRT Station (CC21)

Opening Hours:
Lunch | 12.00-14.30 (Mon-Sun)
Dinner | 18.00-22.30 (Sun-Thu)
Dinner | 18.00-23.00 (Fri-Sat)
Times taken from their website here.

*If you are using the Entertainer app, do note that the 1-for-1 deal only applies to their main course. Pasta and pizza are not included. [Mentioned by their staff on the day of visit.]

**From 6PM – 8PM, you can order a bottle of Prosecco with a complimentary side of assorted Italian Sausages, Bruschetta or Calamari!

 

Roasted Garlic Sour Cream

Another recipe to mark the last day of 2017! Potatoes are pretty much a frequent staple in parties. Roasted, boiled, mashed, on a pie, deep-fried into chips etc. These are great methods to cook them but what about the sauces? Chilli and Ketchup are common favourites but they might get boring after a while.

I’ve improvised a sour cream recipe that was inspired by Nigel Slater. His Salmon and Roasted Garlic Cream recipe involves blending double cream together with roasted garlic and ladling the mixture over salmon that are on crispbreads.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 garlic cloves, skins on
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Approx 1 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
  • Grated lemon zest
  • A small tub of sour cream (200ml)

Steps:

  1. Roast the garlic in a 180°C oven until it is soft.
  2. Spoon out the sour cream into a medium-sized bowl. Mix it gently to loosen the cream.
  3. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the sour cream and dispose of the skins. Make sure you mash the garlic.
  4. Add the lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Eat it with boiled potatoes, spread it on bread with egg slices and bacon, use it in salads too!

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This is extremely easy to make, full of flavour, and can be totally customised. To make it more luxurious, add a few drops of truffle oil to give it “boomz”. This can be used as an appetizer: a bowl of it in the centre of the table with breadsticks around it, or a dollop of cream over smoked salmon.

Tender Pork Chops!

There are times when you head out for Western food and you find that the pork chops are either overcooked, lacking in flavour, too thin or worse, undercooked. However, one of the methods that will ensure a tender chop is brining. Brining is to treat food with a salt solution for a period of time before consuming or cooking them. Salt + water is the foundation of the brining solution, but the solution can be flavoured with various spices as well as fruit.

I made these chops a while back. The recipe is posted on Instagram but I figured that I type it out proper on my site so that it is easier to refer to!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • A few garlic cloves
  • Peppercorns
  • Herbs of your choice (Sage and Rosemary works best, IMO)
  • Lemon zest (I have not tried orange zest but I believe it will work well too.)

Steps:

  1. Heat up 1 cup of water (don’t let it boil), and add the salt to dissolve.
  2. Add the flavouring of your choice. In my case, I added lemon zest, garlic cloves, peppercorns, rosemary, and star anise.
  3. Pour in the rest of the water and let the herbs and spices infuse.
  4. Once the water has cooled down a bit, pour it over the pork chops in a large bowl.
  5. Cover with foil and let it sit in the fridge. I brined my pork chops for a good 6 hours.
  6. Pan-fry them for 3-3.5 minutes per side.
  7. Results are shown below 🙂

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Brining is not limited to pork chops. You can brine a whole chicken/turkey for a few hours before you roast it to ensure a succulent bird. Chicken breast can be a nasty cut of meat as it tends to dry up if not cooked properly thus brining is a good method.

Try it!

Croissant [Bread] & Butter Pudding!

Yes it’s the festive season. Yes it’s nearing the end of 2017. Yes it’s Christmas!

(Well, 2 days ago it was)

I’ve always told my friends that baking wasn’t my thing, and that cooking is much more flexible as you can taste and season your food as you go along. I wasn’t a big fan of measuring ingredients e.g. 50g of butter, 200g of flour etc. Then I realized baking isn’t that tough after making this dish!

Bread and butter pudding is a pudding that is very popular in British cuisine. The concept is to layer slices of buttered bread, scattered with raisins, into an oven dish. A custard made by mixing eggs, cream, sugar and milk, normally seasoned with nutmeg as well as vanilla, is poured over the bread mixture. It is then baked and served with custard or cream.

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I’ve adapted my version from Nigella Lawson’s Bread & Butter Pudding Recipe. Instead of using bread, I’ve opted for croissants as these are packed with butter which will give me a crisp exterior. Oh! Serve with vanilla ice-cream!

Ingredients:
3 eggs
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 cup milk (do not use low fat)
1 cup cream
(1/2 – 1 tsp of vanilla extract)
(Nutmeg)
5 – 6 croissants
50g butter
A handful of raisins

Steps:

  1. Slice the croissants and toast them until slightly crisp. Once the croissant slices are done, tip them into a oven dish along with the raisins.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (356 F).
  3. Mix the eggs, milk, cream, sugar into a large bowl.
  4. Melt the butter over low heat and pour it into the milk mixture while whisking.
  5. Pour the mixture into the croissant-filled oven dish.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Some things to take note of:

  • Vanilla extract and ground nutmeg was not used as I did not have time to get it but these are the must-use ingredients as it really lifts the flavour of the entire pudding.
  • This recipe can be adjusted if you have more people coming for a party e.g. more croissants, eggs, cream etc.
  • Raisins can be soaked in Marsala (like what Nigella did) or rum!
  • Instead of raisins, you can use bananas.
  • Addictive