T-Bobs-Corner-1

T BOB’s Corner @ Bedok

T BOB’s Corner

T Bobs Corner 1

T Bob’s Corner is a Muslim owned and managed cafe located at the corner of a HDB in a quiet neighbourhood in Bedok. The cafe serves Asian and Western cuisines, the ambience is rustic mixed with wooden themed and the simple deco to provide a western’s countryside dining experience to the diners.

Salted Egg Fries 13.9

T Bobs Corner 2

Crispy yam, sweet potatoes and lotus root tossed in home made salted egg sauce, with curry leaf and chili padi. A great starter with the aroma of the salted egg filled the air, a good snack food worth to order though the portion was a little pathetic for the price we paid.

Salmon Carbonara 16.9

T Bobs Corner 3

The pasta was cooked to the Al-dente texture and taste is generally acceptable, pasta was creamy and rich but could be more flavourful to bring up the cheesy aroma. salmon was deep-pan fried and a bit of overcooked, the fish was a tab of dry.

Sloppy Bob’s 16.9

T Bobs Corner 9

Handmade beef patty topped with melted cheddar cheese, drenched in chilli beef gravy. Unfortunately the beef patty was not refined and lacked of the juiciness, the patty is the soul of the burger dish and when it failed, it is difficult to make up by others.

Classic Carbonara 8.9

T Bobs Corner 4

The creamy pasta is served with sliced chicken breast and mushroom, creamy and Al-dente pasta texture, we are hoping the cheese flavour can be further enhanced to give a little more punches to the flavour.

Sambal Ebi Pasta 13.9

T Bobs Corner 7

With home-made sambal pasta and prawns, sambal was mild and good for those less tolerant of high spiciness, however, for sambal lovers like us, we have to perk up the flavour with additional chili flakes.

Prawn Aglio Olio 13.9

T Bobs Corner 6

Again, it lacked of the garlicky and spice flavour, seasoning has plenty of room to improve.

Buffalo Wings 8.9

T Bobs Corner 8

The seasoning was superficial and not able to permeate into the wings, BBQ sauce doused over the wings were a tad of sweet that is not to our flavour, we prefer wings are savoury.

Our verdict on T Bob’s Corner

The food quality is generally acceptable but would not make your taste buds too excited. Seasoning was on the mild side and the portions served to the listed price may make T Bob’s Corner being perceived on the high side to some for a neighbourhood cafe.

T Bob’s Corner

A: 527 Bedok North Street 3, #01-514 Singapore 460527

H: Sun to Thurs: 12pm to 10pm, Fri and Sat 12pm to 11pm, Closed on Mondays

T: 64498527

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BBQ-Stingray

Neo BBQ Seafood: Origins of BBQ Stingray

My quest for the origins of Singapore hawker dishes has brought me to this BBQ seafood stall at Yuhua Village Food Centre where I met the lady who claimed to be one of the first hawkers to serve BBQ Stingray in Singapore!

I think most Singaporeans would consider BBQ stingray as part of our cultural heritage.   However, this dish has not been around for as long as dishes like chicken rice or satay.  I only realised just how integral it was to our canon of Singapore dishes after Anthony Bourdain mentioned it in the Simpsons episode, “The Food Wife“.  He might have bastardised it by wrapping it in pig stomach and calling it “hung her kway chup”, but any Singaporean watching the episode will know that the “hung her” he mentioned was a nod to the BBQ stingray.

Mdm Neo claims that her husband, Mr Chew Yeo Huat was one of the first hawkers to sell BBQ stingray.  After travelling to Penang to learn the recipe, he returned to start his food stall at  Woodlands Food Centre in 1982.  In those days, stingray was really cheap because hardly anyone knew what to do with the fish which can sometimes wreak of ammonia.   Slathering it with a fiery sambal chilli proved to be the real game changer.  Since ammonia is alkaline, the tamarind juice in the sambal chili acts as an acid to neutralise it and the potent chilli helps mask other off putting flavours.

Mdm Neo joined her husband at the stall when they got married in 1989.  The business was so good that they soon expanded to a second stall in 1991 in Macpherson.  By the end of the 90’s they had expanded to 15 stalls, all of them using the same sambal and cinchalok made from a central kitchen.

I can still remember the first time I came across BBQ stingray.  It was at an unassuming little stall at Blk 54, Teban Gardens Rd in 1987.  In those days, you could get a whole wing for just $ 5 and the stall sold only one item.  Nowadays, the price of a plate of BBQ stingray has more than doubled to $ 12-15, reflecting the rise of its popularity.

With the information gathered so far, it would seem that BBQ stingray started in Malaysia as ikan bakar and was brought to Singapore in the early 80’s.  We can’t confirm if Mr Chew was the first to start selling BBQ Stingray in Singapore, but he was certainly one of the earliest stalls.  It started to get really popular by the late 80’s and 90’s by which time BBQ seafood became very much a part of the food centre, especially in the evenings.

NB: If anyone remembers eating BBQ stingray in the 70’s, please do write in and let me know!

Mdm Neo’s BBQ stingray is very good and it is one of the few places that still serves it on a sizzling hot plate.  It restored my confidence in the dish after a recent one I had at a famous food centre where razor thin slices of stingray were served on a foam plate and topped with placid sambal chilli with as much ooommph as the cold oatmeal served at the hospital.

The sambal chilli here, on the other hand, will cause the hair on your head to stand.  It was a tad too spicy for me as I don’t have a high threshold for the heat.  But I am sure it will satisfy those of you who enjoy chilli masochism.  The stingray is cooked just nice so that it is still moist and flakes nicely and the hotplate means it arrives on your table with smoke and sizzle! 4.25/5

What is not going for it is its location at the sleepy end of the food centre.   Certain foods, like BBQ stingray just need to be eaten in a certain type of environment.  I am sure you would agree that BBQ stingray is at its best when it is eaten at a bustling food centre at night and preferably under the stars!

Conclusion

One of the few stalls around that are still serving BBQ stingray on a hotplate.   The stingray here is very good and the chilli is very hot. he only thing not going for it is the lack of buzz in that corner of the food centre.

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Xuan Miao Vegetarian – Vegetarian Ban Mian in a Food Court

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With the popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets, lots of hawker food options have been closed off to our vegetable loving friends. Fret not, you can now bring your vegetarian AND vegan friends to Xuan Miao Vegetarian for hawker favourites such as chicken rice, banmian and even bat kut teh!

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We tried the U-Mian Dry ($ 6.50), Banmian Soup ($ 6) and the Bat Kut Teh Soup ($ 7). All of the items here come with fried vegetarian fish maw, mock meat slices, and a generous portion of chinese spinach (amaranth). 

The U-Mian Dry ($ 6.50) has its noodles separated from the ingredients and comes with a blob of xiang chun sauce, a type sauce made with Chinese toon leaves. It coated the noodles evenly after a few tosses and has a strong garlicky taste, which some may find too overwhelming. Black sauce which had more savoury than sweet notes sealed the deal the for us, complementing the xiang chun perfectly. 

If you can take a slight spice, do request for chilli oil to be added to your bowl of dry noodles as the noodles can get a little dry after being left out for some time. *Note that it contains garlic*

While the soup may taste a little bland for some, rest assured that you’re getting in your five a day with the amount of chinese spinach (amaranth) in the bowl! Filled to the brim with vegetables and accompanying ingredients, you’d wonder if you’re ordering noodles with a side of vegetables, or vegetables with a side of noodles. Hmm… No complaints though!

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The Banmian soup ($ 6) surprised us as the noodles texture is similar to kuay teow. Instead of being opaque like our usual banmian noodles, these were ever so slightly translucent.

The portion honestly looks rather intimidating. It comes in a larger bowl since the load of veggies are included in the same bowl as the noodles. This wasn’t as satisfying as the dry version, since the xiang chun and black sauce were absent, leaving the flavours almost bland with none of the tasty goodness to cut through the soup.

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Bak Kut Teh ($ 7) is one of those dishes that two camps of people can never seem to agree on. We have the Teochew camp that prefers the clear peppery soup, and the Hokkien camp that lives for the darker herbal broth. Its surprising to find a vegetarian version of bak kut teh, as the name translates directly into ‘meat bone tea’.

The herbal camp will rejoice in this case, as the bak kut teh here had no peppery taste whatsoever. While we found it disconcerting to drink bak kut teh without huge chunks of pork bones floating in the soup, the absence of jelat-ness from the fat-laden soup that usually kicks in after half a bowl was a welcome change.

The mock meat was different from the ones in the U-mian and Ban Mian, and looked unsettlingly like the real deal. However, it tastes worlds apart from actual pork meat. I would recommend if you’re looking for a healthier choice, but you’re better off getting some non-vegetarian bak kut teh if you’re craving for something heavier.

With long queues during peak hours, Xuan Miao Vegetarian has proven that Vegan food need not be boring and bland. While it might not taste anything like their non-vegetarian originals, you can rest assured that you’re taking one step in the right direction for your health and the environment. Your food might take between 10-15mins to arrive, so grab a seat and keep waiting for the buzzer to beep!

*Other branches in Tampines Mall and Sengkang Compass One.

Address: Paya Lebar Road, #B1-51, Singapore 409051 Paya Lebar Square Canteen, Store 3

Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 12pm to 9.30pm, Open Daily

MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Xuan Miao Vegetarian. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!

Adele Chiang

Can be found on the yoga mat, taking long walks, or stuffing her face silly with chocolate. Can’t sing, roll in the deep or set fire to the rain.

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Ho-Jia-Bo-Fishball-minced-meat-noodle-2

Ho Jia Bo? Fishball Minced Meat Noodle @ MacPherson Food Centre 好吃吗?鱼圆肉胜面

Ho Jia Bo? Fishball Minced Meat Noodle @ MacPherson Food Centre 好吃吗?鱼圆肉胜面

Ho Jia Bo Fishball minced meat noodle 1

“Ho Jia Bo?” is a Chinese dialect means “Taste good?”

The lady boss manning the stall never failed to keep a smile all the time and her friendliness is simply a pleasant that brightened our day.

Ho Jia Bo Fishball minced meat noodle 2

Besides the fishball noodles, Ho Jia Bo offers local laksa as well but with the limited stomach capacity, we can only focus on the fishball noodle.

The dried mee pok was served in a colourful Paranakan bowl, noodle texture was nicely cooked, however, the seasoning sauce especially the chilli was insufficient to heighten the overall flavour. We have to ask for extra chilli sauce to perk up the rather insipid bowl of noodle, otherwise, we have no qualm about the texture and quality of the noodle.

Ho Jia Bo Fishball minced meat noodle 3

Fishballs are springy and chewy, no excessive flour added to allow the appreciation of a real good fishball, likewise the fish cake.

Ho Jia Bo Fishball minced meat noodle 4

Soup is something must be mentioned here, the bowl of soup was full of goodness with the perfect touch of sweetness, taste is just spot on and
a bowl of clear soup with our two thumbs up.

Our verdict on Ho Jia Bo? Fishball Minced Meat Noodle

The soup is tantalizing and we presumably the soupy version of noodle could be heavenly compared to the dried version which need some extra seasoning for a better taste. Ho Jia Bo? Yes, Chin Ho Jia.

Ho Jia Bo? Fishball Minced Meat Noodle

A: 79/79A Circuit Road, #01-59, Singapore 370079

H: 8am – 11pm Closed on Tuesdays

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Tian-Xia-Xiao-Chi-Muah-Chee-1

Tian Xia Xiao Chi @ MacPherson Food Centre 天下小吃

We can sense the heart and soul that went into making those cubes. From the texture of the Muah Chee to the use of the fresh ingredients, presentation and the meticulous preparation work, Tian Xia Xiao Chi knows it has to be real good and we fully endorsed it.

Tian Xia Xiao Chi @ MacPherson Food Centre 天下小吃

Tian Xia Xiao Chi Muah Chee 1

For a hawker stall selling only Muah Chee – the sticky glutinous rice, it has to be good.

Tian Xia Xiao Chi Muah Chee 2

Muah Chee or Mochi is a prevalent snack at Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, the ball shape or cube shape with various sweet fillings can be additive with its chewy and soft texture. Local muah chee usually do not have the filling but instead of dusted with a layer of ground peanut or sesame, just like what Tian Xia Xiao Chi presented.

Tian Xia Xiao Chi Muah Chee 4

Tian Xia Xiao Chi moved away from the traditional muah chee way of using scissors cutting, the plate of irregular size and shape muah chee coated with coarse peanut powder is considered an archaic method to Tian Xia Xiao Chi, who has decided to give the local Muah Chee a hipster twist.

Tian Xia Xiao Chi Muah Chee 5

Tian Xia Xiao Chi muah chee is deftly cut into 1 cm cube and tossed in finely ground peanut or sesame. We opted for the “Yuan Yang” that come with both the peanut and sesame flavour and served in a nice boat shape plate, the muah chee is chewy and soft, plenty of ground peanut and sesame, brown sugar is used instead of white sugar for a more subtle taste of sweetness.

Our verdict on Tian Xia Xiao Chi

We can sense the heart and soul that went into making those cubes. From the texture of the Muah Chee to the use of the fresh ingredients, presentation and the meticulous preparation work, Tian Xia Xiao Chi knows it has to be real good and we fully endorsed it.

Tian Xia Xiao Chi- Heavenly Snacks 天下小吃

A:Blk 79A Circuit Road Food Centre Stall 106, Singapore 371079
H:11.30am to 9.30pm (Tues –Sun), Close on Mondays

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img_6865

The Other Room, Marriott Hotel: Secret Bar That You Need to Ring a Doorbell to Enter 

The Other Room at Marriott Hotel is a speakeasy that you would never know its existence if you have not heard of it. You will never be a walk-in guest. There is no signage to announce its presence. And the entrance blends with the wainscoting of Marriott’s wall. Except for a discreet doorbell, there is nothing to signal that behind the wall lies a bar.

When you enter, it is dark and small, allowing maybe 40-50 people if they squeeze. You’re secretly glad you made a reservation so you get a table.

Hanging from the ceiling is a disco ball trapped in a skeletal shade like a birdcage. They play black soul disco songs of the 70s. Groovy baby. All other patrons are white and you wonder if they understand the irony of being in a black bar in Asia. You think of blaxploitation and whitewashing films and you chuckle.

There is a welcome drink (espresso martini in a dropper bottle) to whet your thrist. The waiter, who looks like a handsome version of local singer Lin Junjie, is polite, attentive, and informative that you fall in love with him… just a little bit.

He brings you an unsolicited glass of water and the extensive menu and you ask him for a recommendation. You want something sweet to start the night. He says Midnight in Paris ($ 21). You accept his recommendation although you don’t like the film of that title because you don’t like the egotistical director, Woody Allen, whose films are about him getting beautiful girls when he’s a hideous troll–someone buy him a mirror—and, in real life, he married his own daughter. That’s called grooming, right?

But Midnight in Paris, the cocktail not the movie, is exactly what you needed to get this party started. It is foamy throughout from the egg white; floral and sweet from St Germain elderflower liquer and peach liquer, with a sour aftertaste of lemon.

Your friends are late by 40 minutes. By now you have time to peruse the menu. And you are ready to take a stiff one, Winston Churchill ($ 24) it is. It is an old fashioned smoked with Wide Churchill Romeo y Julieta cigar.

You like the appearance of the cocktail, just a simple whiskey glass with a big block of ice. You take a sip and you try to decide if you like the taste of ashes in your mouth. You like the manliness of the drink but the strength of old fashioned has taken a backseat to the taste of smoke. It is smooth and easy. Huccalyly, who just returned from Hong Kong, relates a story where she drank burnt talisman water in a Michelin-starred restaurant. But she says, this cocktail is better without the sediments of ashes.

It is now three hours after your dinner and you feel peckish. The bar is starting to fill up. You ask the friendly waitress if she prefers the chilli hotdog ($ 14) or the Reuben ($ 19) and she answers without hesitation, “The Reuben.” Indeed, all along, you know you wanted the Reuben because hotdogs are lame.  With your Reuben, you order The Last Supper ($ 21), a cocktail which they infuse bread into wine.  A bar is a good place for sacramental rites.

The Reuben isn’t what you expect it to be. You like stacks of corn beef in between your bun, but this one is anorexic like a panini.  When you bite into it, the sourness of the sauerkraut overtakes your mouth and, in the darkness, without seeing the sandwich, you wonder if there is more sauerkraut than beef. You think this is a Prohibition bar, times are lean, and you shouldn’t expect much beef. On the other hand, it is piquant, which is nice, and you like the bread of good quality, nicely toasted to give a crunch.

But you decidedly do not like The Last Supper. It tastes like Hakka red wine chicken your mom often cooks. In a savory dish, it is delicious but in a cocktail, it is as awkward as running into your neighbors and not knowing the proper etiquette of whether to say hi or not.

That’s it. The law of diminishing utility has set in. No more cocktails for the night. The cocktails are small and they are not potent. Even you as a near teetotaler could handle 3 without a buzz. But you decide that you will return to the bar because it is cozy and because the cocktails are well crafted. Quality over quantity. Your friends and you pay about $ 200 for four persons.


MENU
    


The Other Room
320 Orchard Road, Marriott Hotel, Singapore 238865
tel: +65 8300 6085
M-Th 6pm-3am, F-Sun 6pm-4am

Food & Drinks: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience/decor: 6/10
Price: 5/10


You may be interested in…
Employees Only, Amoy Street
B28, Club Street
Flying Monkey, Kampong Glam
The Library, Keong Saik


Written by A. Nathanael Ho.

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6 Artsy Things To Do At The Esplanade Annexe Open House This Weekend

A weekend of non-stop fun at Esplanade

Indigoism Barter Market - Haircut

Adapted from source

With dreary routines and overly-frequented hangouts, even chill days can get kinda sluggish. But this time’s bound to be different, with a breath of fresh air coming as Esplanade launches its latest creative space.

To celebrate the inception of Esplanade Annexe, the newest arts and lifestyle space is having a kickass open house this weekend. Indulge in a plethora of activities comprising free performances, beautiful handicrafts and engaging workshops. 

Admission is FOC, so there’s really no excuse to give this event a miss. Here are 5 reasons why your plans for this weekend are undisputably settled: 

1. Experience an eargasm, courtesy of local artists

Get turnt as you lose yourself in E-tracX DJ Skool’s demo session. Taking pride in honing their musicality and turntable skills, they’ve held numerous courses and workshops for aspiring DJs. Let your hair down and try jamming with the folks from this rad academy. 

DJ Marvin Gold

Source: David Howarth 

Also keep an eye out for the set from DJ Marvin Gold, SG’s very own funk master. Prepare to get your groove on as you start moving to his addictive beats. 

The Good Life (SG)

Source

Other than sick DJs, bask in delightful tunes by The Good Life as they launch their new EP. You may have caught this soul & funk band at events such as iLight Marina Bay and Getai Soul previously, and now’s your chance to enjoy their upbeat sound once again.

2. Unleash your artsy side at fun craft workshops

Flower Jar Jamming Workshop

Source: @meadows.clouds

Lift your spirits by spending an afternoon surrounded by flowers at Meadow and Clouds’ Baby’s Breath Floral Wristlet Making and Floral Jar Jamming workshops. You’ll get to take home your beautiful creations too!

Essential oil for aromatherapy

Source

Another noteworthy event is the “first-aid kit” aromatherapy workshop by The Naturalist Grandeur. You get to make your own natural remedy to help with ailments, or rejuvenate your senses. This is a less conventional skill and art to pick up, but who nose? You may just be drawn into the world of aromatherapy after attending the session. 

3. Watch a poetry performance by acclaimed writers and poets

Cyril Wong (SG)

Source

Singapore’s poetry scene is a lot more happening than many of us think. Cue Verse Tapas – a Spoken Word event by National Arts Council’s Youth Poet Ambassador Pooja Nansi, Cyril Wong, Shivram Gopinath, Stephanie Dogfoot and William Beale

Ditch the stereotype that poetry is cheem and only for artsy fartsy people. Be enchanted by words and emotions as you lose yourself in some of these thought-provoking poetic works. 

4. Visit a barter market and trade for a haircut

Haircut at barter market

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Go back in time at the Indigoism barter market, where you can exchange a good, skill or service for something else in return. With entirely cashless transitions, you could receive a poetry composition, ceramic ware, have your fortune told or even get a haircut in return! 

5. Check out crafted goods with a unique Singaporean touch

Etsy Crafters in SG

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Take a tangible piece of the event home as you patronize eye-catching pop-up stores. Visit Etsy Craftivist SG’s space, where you will be greeted with an array of handcrafted wares made by a local community of Etsy crafters. 

OIC x Supermama Sticker Pack

Source: @supermamasg

Also stop by the Souvenirs From Singapore Pop-Up, where you will find everything tied to the identity of a true blue Singaporean. Check out anything from exclusive HDB & Shophouse stationery kits to the newly launched Supermama X OIC sticker book – the brainchild of five talented Singaporean illustrators. 

6. Devour a whole selection of tasty grub

Supply & Demand pizzas

Source: @pillowbagzzz

What’s an event without food? Sate your growling bellies and fuel up with the free and easy Esplanade X HungryGoWhere Food Trail, where you will get to taste up to 11 signature dishes at various restaurants depending on which trail you choose.

Alter Ego

Source: @alteregosg

Participating food joints include Supply & Demand, Suzette, No Signboard Seafood Restaurant as well as Alter Ego.

Book your slots here before they run out. 

Esplanade Annexe Open House: an event not to be missed

Esplanade Annexe Open House

Source

With lots to enjoy, this creative space is bound to evolve into the new go-to place for fresh experiences. Instead of suffering from FOMO while binging on K-dramas this weekend, make a trip down for some mad fun, and indulge in the hype at this gathering of passionate artists and lifestyle experts. 

Just a heads up: not every programme mentioned earlier in the article will be running on both days, so be sure to check out the deets online before you make your way down! Some workshops and activities will involve a separate fee too. Entrance to the main event itself is free.

Esplanade Annexe Open House Schedule 2017

Date and time: 20 – 21 May 2017. 12PM till late on Saturday and 10AM till late on Sunday.
Venue: Esplanade Annexe (Next to Esplanade Mall)
Nearest MRT station: Esplanade / City Hall

Find out more about the open house here! 


This post was brought to you by Esplanade.

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Bakery Brera: The Evolution of HDB Bakeries

It is amazing how the HDB bakery has changed over the years!

I still remember the bad old days in the 70’s when there was only one type of bread.  Those were the days before Gardenia introduced sliced white bread which was “so good you can eat it on its own”.  In those days, when mum told me to go buy bread, it meant running down to the kek ai (grocery store) to pick up a loaf of traditional kaya toast bread which the lady would slice on the spot.  They always made sure that they never slice it all the way through, such that all the slices were still attached on one side.  I was told that it was because they didn’t want to severe the relationship with the customer!  Even as a kid, I suspected it was just an excuse to make it easier to pack the loaf into the plastic bag!

I still remember the day mum brought home some hot dog buns from a brand new bakery at Blk 233 Toa Payoh Lor 8.  It was quite a revelation and I fell in love with the soft, sweet, pillowy buns with that first bite.  Nowadays such buns are so common that our kids take them for granted.  But in those days, a pack of fresh buns and a can of Tulip hotdogs was enough to make me happy as a puppy!  (Actually they still make me happy, but the hot dogs have to be upgraded to the deli version)

My earliest memories of European breads was the introduction of baguette sandwiches by Delifrance in the 80’s.  Then in the nineties, bakeries like Cedele started to appear.  Over the last few years, European style breads has started to invade the heartlands with local bakers making the crusty loaves.

Most Singaporeans are familiar with the ubiquitous “French loaf” which is used to accompany curry chicken or fried with eggs to make Roti John.  These “French loaves” have been around for the longest time and was even used in the 50’s to for chilli crabs before they were replaced with the fried mantou.  However, these “French loaves” are probably as close to an authentic French baguette as fried “Singaporean noodles”.

Thankfully, home grown bakeries like Bakery Brera are now making artisanal loaves available in the HDB heartlands!  I’d bet that many people would have walked pass this unassuming little bakery at Empress Mall without even bothering to walk in. (I don’t know why its called a mall when it looks like just another row of HDB shophouses).

I would have done the same too except for the fact that someone had told me that this unassuming little bakery has recently beaten the big boys and got selected to supply the sourdough bread for Wolfgang Puck’s new restaurant at Changi Airport!  What is more surprising is that the baker is a local Malaysian boy who had taught himself how to bake his artisanal loaves from books!

The owners here have made it their mission to provide only all natural loaves made without the use of bread improvers and the breads here are made from French flour using all natural ingredients.  They are also using a locally harvested sourdough starter which was “hatched” right here in the bakery over a year ago!

I love the baguettes here.  When you crack it open, you are greeted with a lovely crumb structure and the aroma of toasted wheat!   I brought one home and had it with some French butter and  was reminded yet again of the adage that the simple things in life are often the best!  4.5/5

It’s already past Easter but they are still  baking their hot cross buns because their customers are still asking for them!  It’s no wonder as these are the best hot cross buns I have come across.  The bread is heavy and doughy and they are filled with five different types of dried fruits.  4.5/5 The croissants are very good but you need to get them when they are straight out of the oven as they turn a little wrinkly after some time.  They also could be a little more buttery, I felt. 4/5

Conclusion

This is a great place for freshly baked, artisanal breads!  And I am so proud of the fact that our local bakers are able to make breads that meet the standards of top chefs like Wolfgang Puck!

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Fish-Soup-Bowl

Fish Soup Recipe: Chef Kang’s Secret Ingredient

One of the most memorable fish soup I have ever had was at Chef Kang’s kitchen.  I must have had it three times already and it never fails to satisfy.  I wanted very much to learn how to make it at home and Chef was happy bring me into the kitchen to explain to me the whole process.  One of the ingredients he uses is this little pea like seeds which are slightly tart and very flavourful.  They turn out to be pickled cordia tree seeds (大同樹子) which are a common ingredient used in Taiwan for steaming fish.  I didn’t get the exact recipe from Chef, but I had enough information to come up with a recipe for a delicious fish soup.  Of course, it isn’t as good as the one chef makes, but my wife was quite happy with it and so for me, it’s “win oredi lor!”

Ingredients

Group A
Chicken backbones 9 pieces
Chicken feet 6 pieces
Ginger 5 slices
Water 3 litres

Group B
Chinese cabbage 1/4 head
Tomatoes 2 medium size
Salted plums 3
Pickled cordia tree seeds (大同樹子) 1 Tbsp
Rock sugar 1 Tbsp
Plaice powder 2 Tbsp or fried solefish 2 pieces
Chinese hua diao wine 3 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Carnation milk 3 Tbsp (optional)

Group C
Red Grouper fish head (chopped)
Cornflour 2 Tbsp

Method
1.  Chop chicken back bones into 2 in pieces.  Bring a pot of water to boil and blanch the chicken bones and feet for five minutes.  Once you see lots of scum on the top, strain the chicken and throw away the water.  Wash the bones to get rid of any scum.  This will remove all the unwanted blood and off flavours.

2.  Fill the pot with fresh water, add the blanched chicken bones, feet, ginger slices and 2 tsp salt.  Ensure that the water just covers the chicken bones by 1-2 cm.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours.  Strain and set aside.

3.  Add 2 Tbsp salt to the grouper pieces and set aside for 20 mins.  After 20 mins, wash away the salt and dry with paper towels.  Coat with cornflour and deep fry until light brown and set aside.

4.  Add cabbage, tomatoes, cordia seeds, salted plums (include some of the pickling water) to the chicken stock and bring to a boil for 5-10 mins.   Add the fried fish and bring to a furious boil.  The bubbling will help to form an emulsion from the oil and water resulting in a creamier texture.  Boil for 10 mins.

5.  Add sugar, salt and plaice powder and adjust to taste.  Add some carnation milk if you want a creamier soup. Just prior to serving, add the Hua Diao wine.  Serve hot!

Notes:

A good stock is important.  I buy chicken bones from the market.  They sell 3 back bones for $ 1 and I usually buy three packets.  Some chicken feet will add more body to the soup as chicken feet is full of collagen which will give the soup a nice body.  If you can’t get hold of chicken feet, you may dissolve 2-3tsp of gelatine powder and add it to the soup.

Tomatoes, salted plums and pickled cordia seeds all add an extra dimension of flavour and gives the soup that slight tang which goes very well with the fish. Tomatoes and salted plums are often used in Teochew style steam fish.

I find these 大同樹子 pickled cordia seeds very delicious.  They are like little cherries with a pip in the middle.  You can buy these at Yue Hwa.

Chinese cabbage give the soup sweetness and is full of natural umami!

I used red grouper head for this recipe but you can use other fish like batang or snakehead .  The heads give the soup extra sweetness as compared to using only the meat.

After salting the fish to draw out the fishy flavours, wash and pat dry and give it a light coating of cornflour.  The cornflour acts like talcum powder to absorb the excess water so that the oil will not splatter.

Deep frying the fish gives it that extra dimension of flavour and the oil will mix with the soup to turn it milky.  You can omit the deep frying if you feel it is too much trouble.

Make sure the water comes to a furious boil so that the oil in the fish can disperse in the stock to make an emulsion.  If the soup is not creamy enough, you can add some carnation milk or gelatine.

I found this very flavourful plaice powder at Yue Hwa which is not salty and full of that savoury fried solefish flavour.  Very useful ingredient to have in the kitchen to add flavour to soups and stir fries! If you can’t get hold of this, you can buy deep fry some sole fish instead or just omit it.

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Pluck – Bringing a New Lease of Life to Local Favourites

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Pluck has its eyes all set on our most familiar memories, bringing together layers of flavours we all love – both the familiar and not-so-familiar. Plus is breaking boundaries, and creating the unexpected. You are in for a gastronomical experience here at pluck as they bring a new lease of life to our local favourites.

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For all my foie gras fans, this is an exceptionally great one. Foie Gras with Chicken Floss ($ 18) is smooth and creamy, the foie gras is elevated by the saltiness of the chinese rou song (chicken floss). The sweet and mildly spicy yellow mustard cuts through the richness of the foie gras, leaving you wanting more. 

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A thai-inspired, mod-sin imaginative twist to our local cereal prawn/fish/sotong/chicken dish, the Tom Yum Cereal Salmon ($ 28) was perfectly cooked. It is so tender, and flakes off easily with the slightest pressure applied. The fish is pink in the middle, and you just know that this is a superbly done salmon before even eating it.  I felt the spicy and tangy tones of the tom yum were not loud enough though. While the cereal bits acted as a nice crust for the salmon, they could be more buttery and crunchy. 

Pluck has raised the bar and redefined what it means to be a gastrobar. Don’t just stop at the tapas – let your tastebuds go wild with their kickass cocktails too.

For the love of good food and good beer, here’s to a plucking good time at pluck! Cheers!

MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

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Let’s build a food community that helps to update the food news in Singapore! Simply comment below if there’s any changes or additional info to Pluck. We will verify and update from our side. Thanks in advance!

Vivian Ho

Unpretentious thrill seeker and a chef at heart.

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Miss Tam Chiak