Wednesday, November 26

V&L's wedding at The Fullerton Hotel

I have always had a soft spot for The Fullerton Hotel. It might not be the swankiest or hippest spot around but this history stalwart shows no signs of losing out to the newest kid in town. On top of its beautiful neo-classical style, every occasion spent there has been filled with great, loving memories.

Last weekend, the hotel played host to another loving occasion - that of Vernon and Ee Ling's solemnization and wedding dinner. It isn't my first time attending a wedding there but it was my first time at The Roof Garden and The Straits Room. I kind of love how this space-starved Grand Dame has these nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered.

After the solemnisation at The Roof Garden, we adjourned to The Straits a Room for the wedding dinner. It is a stately room fit for dignitaries yet perfect for small, intimate gatherings and weddings. The meal was quite incredible; normally, I don't have much expectations for banquet meals but our 6-course Western line-up was a much-welcomed relief from the usual Chinese dinner.

One might typically rely on bread rolls to fill them up but by the time our main course arrived, it was clear that carb-loading wasn't the best idea. The warm mini bread rolls, consisting of soft dinner rolls, multigrain and rye, were really good; I would have found it incredibly difficult to stop at one, especially with lashings of Fullerton-branded butter, had I not been morbidly conscious of the delicate seams of my dress.

Dinner got off to a proper start with a refreshing, spritely platter, consisting of coriander-peppered king prawns, mango salsa and Mediterranean bulgar, drizzled with caviar vinaigrette. It was my first time trying bulgar and what an intriguing grain it was. And by "intriguing," I mean  I am likely to try cooking it myself soon.

This mushroom soup knocked all the other mushroom soups out of the ball park mushroom field. As soon as the plate landed in front of me, the truffle scent reeled me in like a helpless addict. Rich, savoury and intoxicating, I could only finished two-thirds of my soup before passing it onto my funghi-loving better half. The breaded mushroom crouton? Genius.

The olive marinara fusilli was good, considering how much I dislike tomato-based pastas. At least the marinara sauce tasted fresh and the olive slivers were a nice touch.

I had two bites of the champagne sorbet and mint berries before realizing I should not be consuming alcohol. I know it sounds weird to be raving over a palate cleanser but it was good enough to be served as a dessert.

For our mains, I opted for the miso cod while KW had the beef cheeks. Portions were really generous and this is when you would go, "Oh *beep*, I should not have helped myself to a second bread roll."

Unfortunately (a rare dull moment). KW's beef cheek was sinewy and dry - bewildering, considering it was sous vide-d (or sous "verde" accordingly to the menu). However, he enjoyed the Parmesan polenta and the hunk of foie gras was show-and heart-stoppingly good.

My beautifully-plated miso cod was crazy delicious. Delicate and flavourful, every forkful was delightful as before and despite my dress seams, I cleaned out the entire plate with little help. Even the mash, which I usually find meh, was a thing of beauty.

When our molten chocolate cake arrived, most of us were ready to wave our white napkins and surrender. Yet it was impossible to resist the dark force and moments later, you could see people either scrapping their plates or pausing to take breathers before going in for more. 

Yes, it was that good and I especially loved how the cake to molten goodness was literally 1:1. Sensational.

It was a lovely celebration and even more so as Vernon is one of KW's oldest friends. This is surely one occasion that I would readily add to my list of good memories at The Fullerton Hotel.

Monday, November 24

llaollao, United Square

When KW queued up for his iPhone 6 at the M1 313@Somerset, I was taken aback by the perennial snaking queue at llaollao. Throughout the 45-minute wait, the queue hardly diminished in length and eager beavers were happy to join the queue for a cup of Instagram-worthy frozen yogurt. Of course, I didn't join the queue back then but my curiosity was piqued, and it didn't help that a colleague loves – and raves – about it.

One day at United Square, we chanced upon a llaollao outlet with less than 10 people in the queue and less than 10 minutes later, we found ourselves with a cup of frozen yogurt filled with kiwis, strawberries, blueberries and Chips Ahoy cookies, drizzled with caramelized cookies (Lotus biscuits) sauce.

It was expectedly good. The fruits were in-season sweet, the caramelized cookies sauce was lovely and the Chips Ahoy cookies, well, were as decent as packaged cookies go.

Llaollao fans, you can all rejoice for I won't be re-joining the queue anytime soon.

Thursday, November 20

10 years and going somewhat strong

Today marks the 10th year I have kept this blog. It saw me through university, exchange program to Copenhagen, graduation, dating, engagement, wedding and the first of my first child. It used to be a source of pride for me when I was all excited over food blogging, but now, this space of mine has morphed into a quiet and restorative outlet for me.

10 years? Man, that's cra-cra-crazy. Thanks for hanging around!

Tuesday, November 18

Thirds at Sushi Kuu, Palais Renaissance

My elder sister chose Sushi Kuu for her birhday meal, which was awesome because I got to try the barachirashi! Remember how I was salivating over it when my dad order it on his birthday meal? Yeah, you could only imagine how excited I was to trek into forbidden territory in my last trimester. 

So how was it? Did it live up to expectations? Did Muhammad ascend the mountain as dutifully instructed to? Well, the freshness was undeniable but halfway into my meal... Oh wait, I finished it before I realised I was halfway into the dish. For some reason, I feel like portions have shrank. 

For a minute, I doubted myself, thinking my 7-months-pregnant appetite had grown exponentially, but my dad seconded my suspicions. Terribly upsetting, if I may add. 

Granted they now also provide a tasty creamy, citrusy salad and a couldn't-be-smoother chawanmushi, and the al dente udon is still around, I could not help but feel a tinge of sadness at the reduced main portion.  

Instead of ice cream, the complimentary dessert was either yam or matcha pudding. It was rather coarse but I finished it as I literally got hungrier after my barachirashi. 

Thankfully, we had cake too! The Chloe from Antoinette deserved thumbs' up for its delicate yet indulgent yuzu vanilla medley. But of course, the icing on the cake for my sister was getting to cuddle up with her beloved nephew, who unceremoniously blew out her candle.

Friday, November 14

Celebrating our company's 5th Anniversary

... with cupcakes from Kisses Bakery and 40 inch mega balloons, surrounded by beloved ones!

P.S. Cupcakes from Kisses Bakery were surprisingly good! I say "surprisingly" because I am not a cupcake person. Perfect size, creamy icing and spongy bottoms... The Strawberry White Chocolate and Red Velvet stood out for me, while my sister (self-professed cupcake lover who polished off the three that I took away for her in one go) raved about the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.

P.P.S. Man, I love those 40 inch mega balloons. I shall order one for my children every year.

P.P.P.S. If I could reverse time, I would definitely have my wedding at Bob's Bar, Capella Hotel. Seriously, what a beautiful place.

Monday, November 10

The weekend the colleagues came over aagain

It took me a long time write this post because the weekend left me exhausted. The last couple of weeks have been pretty hectic at work and my system threatened to shut down when I needed it the most (when the helper is out!).

But anyway the colleagues came by again for another dinner party and this time, we yanked out the grill for a hearty feast.

I have come to realize I am always trying to cook something that I dislike - as if I were trying to discover a version that I like.

Recipe for anchovies and breadcrumb pasta HERE

Take pasta for instance, I find most variations in restaurants overly fussy, overcooked and over-sauced. I like mine al dente, ballsy and lightly dressed, which resulted in this version with slow-roasted tomatoes, panko breadcrumbs and anchovies.

Recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes HERE

My love for panko breadcrumbs and anchovies isn't newsworthy, but tomatoes? That's a whole different ballgame altogether.

I dislike tomatoes. Seedy, slimy and sourish, I only take tomatoes when I'm too lazy to pick them out of sandwiches. However, these slow-roasted tomatoes are moreish and they bear a subtly charred and sweet flavour. We can safely say, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes are here to stay for good.

Recipe for crispy potatoes HERE and lemon aioli HERE

When it comes to starch, potatoes rank way behind rice and bread. Apart from Jagabee or fries from McD's, I often consider potatoes an insipid waste of space.

Yet this recipe plus the amazing dressing is a recipe after my potato-hating heart. I personally love this recipe. The potatoes keep their crisp and the garlicky-lemony aioli (fancy words for mayo) literally grabs you by the wherever-you-like to-be-grabbed.

Oh yeah, skin-on might be a problem with some of you but I do love the extra texture (sort of rhymes) that it brings to the table.

Recipe for esquites HERE

Yes, I love corn but I love them even more charred from the stovetop, instead of yanking out the grill. When I tasted the esquites, the dish felt like it was missing the X factor, and a steady dash cayenne pepper did the trick. But here I am, typing this out and I realised I forgot to include the cheese.

For our meaty main, KW made his now-famous lo' and slo' ribs. This time round, he used a St Louis cut, instead of the usual babyback. With a more equal distribution of fat and lean meat, I loved how much tender the ribs were after a four-hour workout in the Weber.

Friday, November 7

Toto from Pizzaria Operetta, Icon Village

Pizzaria Operetta is an example of how "sexy sells," especially in our F&B industry.

Certificates aside, the pizza is legit. More so than Pizzeria Mozza and Extra Virgin. Yet every time I visit (which is not very often I'll admit since I'm spoilt by homemade grilled pizza at home), the place is barely half-filled.

Maybe it's because it's not housed in some ex-hardware-shop shophouse or expat-grazing estate but in a sterile mixed development building. Or that there isn't a media-darling chef who could front the news pages. Whatever the reason may be, I hope they survive long enough to last past the rage of hipster cafes.

We had a light lunch that day and though I like my pizza less top heavy, I went along with KW's choice of Toto.

I loved most of the likeable ingredients that blanketed the puffy and chewy dough; the only thing that didn't work for me was the ricotta cheese that resulted in a wet finish.