Monday, November 19

PS Cafe, Raffles City & One Fullerton

I have a soft spot for PS Cafe. It was a regular haunt of mine pre-marriage, pre-kids aka A LIFETIME AGO. If you searched for 'PS Cafe' on my blog, you might find more then 10 articles. Heck, I even did a dessert summary post not once (link), but twice (link). Oh, those young and carefree days.

I found myself at PS Cafe twice over the past couple of weeks - a surprise birthday for a friend at Raffles City and celebrating Russell's graduation with my in-laws at One Fullerton.


PS. TRUFFLE SHOESTRING FRIES

At Raffles City, I tried a couple of new-to-me dishes but before we committed to anything, an order for them truffle fries were made. You should have seen the carnage. It's like watching people overdose on crack - not pretty.


PS. CAESAR SALAD + GRILLED CHICKEN
poached egg, smoked bacon, baby cos, baked croutons, parmesan, chef's dressing


SUZY’S SPAGHETTI CRAB ‘MEE GORENG’ 
wok-fried with fresh crab, king prawns, spicy tomato sauce, silver sprouts

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN
smoked jalapeno aioli & bbq sauce

I don't know what was more amusing - that we ordered mee goreng or that it was actually pretty good. I was really surprised by how much I liked this dish.

Fried chicken isn't groundbreaking but they are absolutely irresistible fresh out of the flyer. Awesome sharing dish.

 

PS CAESAR SALAD 

 

GRILLED CORN RIBS 


WINTER SALAMI MARGHERITA
tomato, mangalista salami, mozzarella, scamorza, cheddar


BIANCA FUNGI
portobello, king oyster & button mushrooms, sage, 
mozzarella, truffle oil, garlic confit


At PS Cafe One Fullerton,the pizzas were good with generous toppings - albeit on the chewy side. Undoubtedly, we ended our meal with a darling sticky date pudding chosen by Russell. 

Wednesday, November 14

Last day / Otaru

Oh hey, I totally missed out this last post on Hokkaido. We kept things light and easy on our last couple of days in Hokkaido. With some research, we found a couple of lovely playgrounds for the boys to exhaust themselves muck around. One of the things I love about playgrounds here is they have facilities for kids of various age groups. My 3.5 year old and 6.5 year old clearly have different interests at playgrounds and the playgrounds here have been really accommodating.

Most people tend to city-hop in Hokkaido but the perils of packing and unpacking was not endearing in any way to me. We did, however, make a day trip to Otaru, which was incredibly charming. Tucking into kaisen bowls and soft serve (yet again)... ending our trip to Hokkaido on a high note.




















Monday, November 12

Nov DOTM: Mala Xiang Guo (Mala Fragrant Pot)

Well well well, what do we have here?

Are you really surprised? I’m not. Ever since I discovered Mala Xiang Guo a couple of months back, I’ve been hooked and trying to convert every single person I know. Convert. Things just got religious.

Anyho, I decided to whip up a Mala feast for a lunch gathering on Deepavali. When I first saw a recipe to make the Mala sauce, let’s just say I couldn’t make myself finish reading the list of ingredients. Till I find that part in me (you know, where patience is deep hidden), instant mix it is for me. I used Chuan Wei Wang Hot And Spicy Stir-Fry Mala Pot - Ma La Xiang Guo Seasoning, which you can purchase quite easily from Redmart, Shopee or the supermarket. Yes I know, I sound like a cop out. A cop out who has regained a sense of fulfilment in life as she has discovered Mala is within her fingertips.

The beauty of this dish is it can be anything you damn well want. Throw in whatever you like ‘cause it’s your damn Mala fragrant pot. Own it.

Of course there are a few things to take note, so here is some friendly advice from a fellow voyager:
  • Ratio is important here. You want a good mix of meat to veg to carbs. 
  • If you are using pork belly or some cuts that might be prone to funky smells, you might want to boil them separately to get rid of the smells.  
  • For the instant noodles, go for your favourite brand. Quality does makes a difference here. 
  • The reason why the ingredients are separated into Part 1 and 2 is because you don't want to overcook the carbs and meat.
  • The ratio of adults to instant mix is 3:1. 3 adults with decent levels of tolerance for spice to 1 pack of instant mix. 
I take no credit for this recipe as it was largely adapted from nookcook.com. If you have never tried Mala before, this is quite the beginner’s level in terms of spice. Go for it, you will at least have a story to tell at your next dinner party.


Ingredients
Serves 6 courageous adults
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil 
  • 8 garlic cloves finely chopped 
  • 4 whole garlic cloves 
  • 6-14 dried chilli cut to small pieces; to taste 
  • 2 x 110 grams packet of instant mala sauce 
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce to taste 
  • 2 tsp fish sauce to taste 
  • Smattering of ikan bilis for garnish

The "works" - Part 1
  • 150g oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 200g enoki mushrooms, separated into small strip chunks 
  • 200g-250g kang kong or any veg of your choice
  • 8 crab sticks, halve
  • 100g bean curd sticks, softened 

The "works" - Part 2
  • 3 packs of instant noodles of your choice, cooked
  • 500g pork belly or your choice cut, thinly sliced  

Instructions 
  1. Par-boil the ingredients. Add water to wok and bring to boil. Add your ingredients from Part 1 to the work and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in wok. Stir fry garlic and chilli until aromatic. Add the mala sauce and stir fry briefly until fragrant, about a minute or two. Add the whole lot of ingredients from Step 1.
  3. Stir fry until almost cooked, then add ingredients from Part 2 soy sauce and fish sauce. Stir fry briefly until everything is cooked and well-mixed.
  4. Once the contents within the wok look like a hot mess, transfer the contents to a large serving bowl and sprinkle the garnish for a finishing touch. Final act can be done to the tune of salt bae - noone's looking.
  5. Serve to the delight of your guests. 

Thursday, November 8

The weekend Russell graduated

Last weekend, I attended my child's first ever graduation ceremony. The firstborn, Russell, has finally graduated from pre-school! While this might signal the end of an era, it's one of the many milestones I know he will go on to achieve. His class put on an awesome musical, which contained surprisingly mature content about war and children; and I felt myself get emotional at times, especially when he got up on stage to receive his certificate. Don't worry, I didn't embarrass anyone.

We had a simple dinner with both sets of grandparents - the folks who ferry him to and fro school (haha!). KW grilled up some hamachi collars (massive yums), while I made a roasted broccoli salad with chipotle sauce, mentaiko shirataki noodles and Russell's favourite clams in garlic butter sauce. We wrapped up the evening with a fruit cake and Russell attacked the chocolate plate before anyone else could get to it - well I guess it makes sense since we were celebrating him.

Happy graduation, my sweet xoxo










Wednesday, November 7

Dalsegno, Odori

We finally broke our streak of Japanese food on our last day with pizza! Dalsegno at Odori serve up some of the best pies I've ever had. We tucked into a red pizza with salami and mozzarella, as well as a white with anchovies and onions. Even the desserts - panna cotta, pear gelato and chiffon cake served with cream - were delightful.





Tuesday, November 6

Toriton Atsubetsu / Jozankei Farm

Ah, what can I say? We love our kaiten sushi here in Japan. I know some sushi snobs amongst us might turn their noses up at kaiten, but it's a different ballgame here in Japan. It might not be Jiro or Mizutani, but you get great value at an incredible price. Oh, who am I kidding? These days, as long as it's relatively healthy and filling, and the boys dig into it without much protest, I'm a happy camper. 

Toriton Atsubetsu is a popular kaiten sushi restaurant, and I say so is because at 11:20am, the restaurant was nearly full and we waited for our 15 minutes for a booth to be freed up for our family of four. I could wax poetic about the sushis we had but I'll let my pictures do the talking. The aburi fatty salmon, in particular, was to-die-for - I must have had at least 5 pieces by myself (no shame). 













Road-trip to  Jozankei Farm with my bubble tea on hand

There are many fruit farms in Hokkaido but a select few operate during autumn. Jozankei is one such farm and we got to pick from apple and prune trees. Being city folks, climbing up a ladder usually means changing the light bulb, so I guess this was a really novel and fun way of securing your vitamins for the day. Instead of stuffing yourselves at the farm, you could bring your hard-earned fruits of labor for a small fee.