Monday, 29 April 2013

French Toasts

French Toasts

French Toasts Recipe (serves 4-6)
4 Eggs (60g).
1 teaspoon Sugar.
A pinch of Salt.
A few dashes of Cinnamon Powder.
200 – 250ml Fresh Milk (skimmed or full fat).
10 – 12 slices White Bread, cut into triangles.
Unsalted Butter, enough for pan-frying.
Canadian Maple Syrup for serving.

1. Break eggs into a shallow bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Stir in sugar, salt, and milk.

2. Over medium-low fire, heat griddle or skillet coated with a thin layer of butter or margarine.

3. Place the bread slices, one at a time, into the bowl or plate, letting slices soak up egg mixture for a few seconds on both sides. Soak only as many slices as you will be cooking at one time.

4. Transfer bread slices to griddle or skillet, heating slowly until bottom is golden brown. Turn and brown the other side.

5. Serve French toasts hot with butter and maple syrup.
Our breakfast of French Toasts and Sautéed Mushrooms.
Happy breakfasting :)

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Here We Go Again!

One of the tables reserved for us tonight.
In my previous outing to The Coastal Settlement posted in When 19′s Not A Crowd on 9th April 2013 with my Photography Khaki Group (a closed group, to date has 1174 members), Adrian Aw Yong told me that Wu Ting Ting’s mother owns a cze char stall in Commonwealth Drive. In less than a month, another makan session was organised on the 22nd April 2013. This time round, we had the privilege of Calvin Huang’s (Glamour Wave Photography) attendance.
Food Photography Event on 22nd April 2013.
The “About” of Photography Khaki Group is candid:
[We Shoot What We Like even IF the photos are not nice]
I’m looking for people who share the passion of photography to meet up for outing, TCSS or even sharing tips on Photoshop or creating digital artwork.
If you love to meet other photographer or Photoshop users to trade tips, tricks and ideas, I’m looking forward to meet you.
I’m starting this group to meet up with like-minded people to share skills and techniques.
Hope to meet friends with a passion for landscape, portrait, travel or even backpacking tips and experiences.
Explore interesting locations & events in Singapore and slowly expanding to other countries .. We called that MicroAdventure ..
**Usage of offensive remarks within this group page is NOT ALLOWED unless you can say something offensive yet no one can understand, by all means carry on.
Racism, Sexist, Religious, Vulgarity –> I can’t stop you so just minimize it.
Getting tips from Calvin Huang.
Calvin showing us the different angles of shooting to bring out the best in food photography.
Comments made by Calvin on our photographs were constructive and encouraging at the same time :) See captions on photos for his comments.
There is distraction of an object on the top and water reflection on the sides. Need to avoid these…
Try to add chopsticks and the sauce at the top right hand corner… Also, you could have someone using a fork to poke the doufu and lift up from the dish about 1 inch away, then snap the photo.
Too much empty space on top left corner. Try to shoot lower. The cucumber is too prominent.
Too much empty space at top left n right corners, shoot slightly lower and focus on the chicken which is closest to your lens.
Good effort, however try to shoot lower to empathize on the stacking and show a little of bokeh of background.
Overall, this photo looks underexposed, especially on the right hand side. “more light” and zoom out slightly… too much shadows, overpowering.
Anthony Lim’s winning shot.
Other shots taken that night which also ended up as our meal:
The chef was so nice! He said it would be better for our photography if he didn’t cook the fish first, lol…
Calvin’s take on black pepper crab.
The attendees had a good time that evening!
Calvin giving away some tips.
Curry time.
Frank Ho and his charming smile!
Ricky Quah making us laugh along with him.
Time to eat, finally!
Sen Washiyama trying to feed Alex Lim, lol…
Ricky Quah and Jeslin Tan, our lovely co-organiser.
Benjamin GX Lin, Seow Hong and Wilson Wong.
Calvin Huang, our special guest of honour tonight.
Anthony Lim, Benjamin GX Lin and Seow Hong.
Su Suling and Klavier Tan.
Serene Xin and Iva Cung.
Wu Ting Ting, Sam Han, Calvin Huang & Adrian Aw Yong.
Ting Ting, Sam, Calvin and Adrian.
Calvin’s closing speech at the end of dinner and announcement on his selection of winners in a mini contest for best unedited food photos.
Sam and Calvin Huang.
Anthony Lim receiving his prize from Calvin Huang.
Adrian Aw Yong receiving his prize from Calvin Huang.
I am very fortunate to be selected as one of the recipients – this video (over 3 hours) changed Calvin’s life as a photographer and I can’t wait to watch it. Calvin told me he’d watched it more than 20 times!
17 participants in tonight’s food outing plus the lady boss (Ah Yen) of Ju Feng who was so kind to give us a fat discount and quiet corner with good lighting for our event.
Here’s a gallery of some pictures I took that night.

I had a fantastic time learning and bonding with my kakis that night. We had such a great time I’m looking forward to yet another adventure with them!
Thank you for the great company and invaluable lessons!
Happy learning :)

Ju Feng Garden Kitchen serves wonderful cze char with authentic local taste at very reasonable price and friendly service. It was so good some of our kakis (Wilson Wong and Sen Washiyama) are planning their own family trips there. As Su Suling said, "Cooking is excellent. Highly recommended."

Ju Feng Garden Kitchen
Blk 117 Commonwealth Drive,
Singapore 140112.
Tel: +65 64734320

Friday, 26 April 2013

Chinese Tapas, Anyone?

Steaming baskets… What are they for?
Why, is to steam Chinese tapas, of course!
 You place your order by writing on a piece of paper the number according to the pictures in the menu. Just like a karaoke song request.
Your orders go throught the prep station and…
once steamed to the perfect temperature, this uncle will deliver them to your table  :)
Chrysanthemum tea served in a take-away tub. Value for money, eh?
First order that came through is my all time, century egg with lean pork porridge.
It may look plain…
but it’s super yummy!
Luohon Zai – vegetable rolled in beanskin wrap.
Ever tried steamed otah otah? It’s spicy fish paste, coconut egg custard with some slices of fish meat. This item is usually wrapped in banana leaves and grilled.
Yam cake.
Steamed fish head in single portion size. The taucheo (fermented salted soy beans) lends a wonderful aroma and taste to the dish. I seldom, if ever, find this served in “upper” class restaurants.
They may be bony but full of gelatinous “collagen” which I believe to be good for the skin, lol…
There are some chunks of meat too, if you don’t fancy the gelly bits.
Alkaline-soaked cuttlefish and morning glory (kangkong). A little over-cooked for my liking but my friend adored this.
Coconut tarts – a Chinese delicacy for dessert.
See my hamster pouch? Gluttony at work :)

So why is dim sum Chinese tapas? As you can see, they come in small servings and just like the Spanish tapas, one can eat as many variety as one can and tiltilate one’s tastebuds as long as possible until it becomes unbearable for one’s tummy :)

I am quite picky when it comes to dim sum. When I have set my mind to try all (now I can’t try all – the price of getting older) the little wonderful nuggets and the restaurant doesn’t live up to my expectation, I get pretty upset. Afterall, I do not eat 3 meals a day so I expect a decent, unpretentious stimulation of my tongue when I do eat!

This dingy looking place in the dodgy bustling red light district of Singapore is a real gem when it comes to satisfying your dim sum cravings anytime of the week. The place has outdoor and indoor (air-conditioned) dining areas yet they are always full. Luckily they are opened 24 hours a day and to be sure I get a place, I usually visit them in the wee hours of the night.

The set-up is old school Hong Kong style dim dum serving more than 70 yumilicious items ranging from deep-fried, pan-fried, steamed, baked, claypot congee to even crab bee hoon if you can stomach that in the middle of the night. Since there are so many items on their menu, one visit is not enough. I shall go back again to try their roast duck congee served in claypot, lotus leaf rice, chicken curry chee cheong fun, steamed pork ribs, steamed chicken feet (dig that?) and whatever I can gorge on the next and next few more visits. Can I really eat that much? Perhaps a week’s diet can take care of that.

I would definitely recommend anyone who wants to get their dim sum fixes here, any time of the day, for quality affordable… you got it, Chinese tapas!

126 Eating House (揾到食) @ Geylang, Singapore.

This meal (6+1 items) costs around S$25 for two which you probably have to double or triple the price in the shopping mall outlets. For example, Gold Leaf Melbourne where Ray, Vanessa and I went to just before I came back to Singapore, in my Yum Cha Is Chinese Brunch post, the 9 items cost slightly under AU$100.

126 Eating House (揾到食)
No. 126 Sims Avenue (between Geylang Lor 15 and 17)
Singapore 387449.
Tel: 67464757, 67454869

Happy eating :)

By the way, I mentioned this place is located in Singapore’s famous red light district so let’s take a peek behind the restaurant, in the alley…

A patrol car came when I was taking photos of an old building across. The police’s presence alerted me to the existence of these ladies and the shot was captured unintentionally. Also, I thought it better to blackout the car number just in case the car owner might get into “trouble” assuming it’s a he in the wrong place at this ungodly hour of the night.