Al Qasr Lunch

Sunday. Mother’s Day. May 10th.

I ordered in some food from Lebanese / Middle Eastern joint Al Qasr. The food was amazing.

Kebabs came with Arabic bread and a salad, the Cous Cous and Lamb Stew were delicious. The Arabic Rice though was a little to bland for my taste. But the Al Qasr Hommos ( house speciality) was thick, creamy and went well with the Kebabs ( Chicken, Beef and Lamb).

I ordered 2 types of yogurt – one with garlic and one with spices. Both were creamy and complemented the Kebabs and Lamb Chops. Oh and they give loads of dips with the order!!

All in all, great lunch at home as they deliver. Check out www.alqasr.com.sg for their menu

Don Quijote

PAella
Paella

Located at Lorong Kilat, this small little Spanish restaurant is causing ripples in the foodie scene.The Ox-Tail Soup and Seafood Paella are to die for. The ingredients are fresh, service is good and the ambience is perfect.

The prices are decent, and the staff are great. Sunday Brunch is available at pretty good prices as well, with free flow of soft drinks or wine( depending on your budget)

Oh and if you are a Tapas fan, you’ll find some great stuff here.

Go East for Good Fusion Greens

Flavours from NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST

Located in the heart of Marine Parade, NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST is one of the few fusion vegetarian cuisine restaurants located in the East. Though some dishes are unavailable (possibly for the time being), there is still quite a decent choice of dishes categorised under the sections of Rice, Noodles, Western and Side Dishes on the menu.

One highly commendable dish is the Herbal Mee Sua Soup. Served in a hot pot, the soup is flavourful and fragrant, thanks to the good quality herbs which they used to brew the soup. To top it off, the Mee Sua (vermicelli) is smooth and silky you barely need to chew before it vanishes in your mouth!

Next up is the Fo Tiao Qiang (Buddha jumps over the wall). Personally, I’m not a fan of this creative dish that is well-known among Chinese Emperors in the past. But, to have it vegetarian-styled pretty much appeals to me, so I decided to order it and see what goes inside.

Ha and yes, all the types of seafood that are supposed to go into a non-vegetarian Fo Tiao Qiang, go into this one too. You can find mock abalone, sea cucumber and scallops in it. The soup is starchy and yummy. For those who are concerned with the amount of MSG (or ajinomoto) used in it, you can be rest assured. They believe in taking your health a step better, so MSG is off-limits.

One ingredient which I often see in the soup dishes served at NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST is Wolfberry, a traditional Chinese herb known for its nutritious values and antioxidant qualities. So ladies, trot down the restaurant for some tasty treats good for your complexion!

To take my vegetarian experience at NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST a bit further, I went on to try two side dishes: Crispy Mushroom and Thai-style Crispy Beancurd.

Dressed with mayonnaise, the Crispy Mushroom is served piping hot, and cute. You can expect bits of oil (which I’m sure is healthy too) splattering onto your tongue at the first bite. Take a look inside and it’s a button mushroom peeking out coyly at you. The taste is both heavy (comes from the fried outer layer) and light (comes from the boiled button mushroom).

After all the thumbs-up, it’s a bit disappointing that the Thai-style Crispy Beancurd isn’t a wow. But it’s interesting to find garlic chilli sauce that you commonly use for Chicken Rice generously spread over the Beancurd. It’s fairly good but perhaps, not a must-have.

Behold, the sweets are on the line after the savoury! I tried Sweet Osmanthus Plum Tea and Eight Treasures Qing Tang. After a sip of the hot Osmanthus Plum Tea, I’m totally bowled over. It resembles any cup of black coffee, but this sweet and sour tea now proudly sits on my must-have drinks list whenever I need a quench!

The cooling Eight Treasures Qing Tang is great for those who are looking for a refreshing and sugary charge. It is not too heavy for dessert lovers who are worried about the extra inches on the waist. In fact, it is nutritious, with longans and other crunchy ingredients to munch.

The best news is, all in all, my meal costs only slightly over $25! The average price of each dish falls comfortably between S$4 and S$10, so feel free to get more dishes on your table.

NORTH SOUTH EAST WEST is located at Blk 89 Marine Parade Central, #01-750, Singapore 440089 (Near Parkway Parade).

Jenny

5 Earthly Treasures Vegetarian Mutton Stew

Some of the best food discoveries I know are from home-cooked food, and I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation from a friend of mine, whose entire family members are vegans. Entering her flat, I was greeted with the fragrant aroma of an herbal stew put on slow boil. Intrigued, I enquired as to what we were having for dinner. My friend gave me an apologetic shrug and told me that her mother loved to experiment with new ways of cooking, which almost always turned out way better than expected.

It wasn’t€™t long before dinner was served and I finally had a chance to see what was in store for me. A delicate stew, chock-full of traditional Chinese ingredients still steaming hot, was the centre-piece for the dinner. With a sharp yet refreshing aroma riding on the steam, I couldn’t€™t wait to tuck in. As we started wolfing down the food and slurping on the soup, I got my friend’s mother to talk a bit about this wondrously original dish.

The recipe for the 5 Earthly Treasures Vegetarian Mutton Stew originated from the Teochew province in China and is said to strengthen the spleen, nourish the liver and kidneys and replenish the body’s vital energy. In the stew, there is Ginseng, which boosts the body’s immune system; Gingko Nuts: which increases brain-power and relieves asthma and flu-related symptoms; Dried Tangerine Peels, which strengthens the spleen and stomach while discouraging indigestion; Red Dates, which builds up red blood cells; and Chinese Wolfberries, which protects the liver and improves eyesight.

And it tastes great too! My mind was blown away.

When I told my friend and her mother about this blog, they gladly assented to have the recipe posted online and shared with all our readers.

5 Earthly Treasures Vegetarian Mutton Stew (serves 6)
Ingredients

Fresh Ginseng (available at vegetable stalls) 2 pieces
Mock mutton (can be substituted with Chinese mushrooms) As appropriate
Chinese wolfberries 50g
Red dates 12 pcs
Chinese yams 50g
Gingko nuts 20 pcs
Dried tangerine peel 1 whole piece

Seasoning

Small rock sugar 2 pieces
MSG A pinch
Salt A pinch

Cooking Method
Slice the Ginseng, mutton, yams and tangerine peel into bite-sized pieces. Then add all the ingredients, except the mock mutton, into a pot of boiling water and slow-cook for 1 hour over low heat. Add the mock mutton and cook for another 20 minutes.

Add the seasoning before serving.

5 Earthly Treasures
5 Earthly Treasures

It’s amazing what you can do with common fresh ingredients and the right seasoning. This is one healthy dish that will stay on my personal menu for a long time to come!

Pietrasanta

First of all the location is great with nice outdoor. Off Portsdown Road in a Black & white house with green surrounding and peacefully quiet. It’s also worthwhile the cross the street to have a beer at this local beer bar.

The food at Pietrasanta is delicious. We started with a nicely seasoned portabello mushroom and scampis with a pesto dressing. As the main dish we had a large slice of cod exactly well done served with a creamy sauce.

As dessert we had a sweet and fruity pastry. A real southern European delight that goes extremely well with a strong espresso.

Absolutely a great restaurant for a nice romantic dinner. The only thing noticeable is that the building acoustics could be improved because when it’s get busy you can follow every conversation. Nonetheless the service was really good with very friendly people.

Din Tai Fung

Aya! Best dumpling place in Singapore? If it’s not for the food than it would be for the service. You can be in and out in 20 minutes and have tasted delicious dishes for around $40 with the two of you. After being there many times today it had to be it again. We started to feel hungry at 11.30am. That’s so nice about Singapore, at 11am or 4pm, you can eat at any time of the day. Being there early for lunch today we felt lucky because it can get really busy for lunch at every single Din Tai Fung outlet in Singapore.

A selection of our dishes today

Hot and Sour Soup
The Hot and Sour soup is always a good starter to warm up your stomach before starting with all food you're going to have.
Dumplin
The crab and pork dumpling with vinegar and ginger. Din Tai Fung has a description on their chopstick wrapping that explains how to eat them.
Some of the dishes we had today
Some of the dishes we had today

Sorry to have mixed up the spicy dumpling before taking the picture but I couldn’t wait. They’re sooo good! behind the dumpling a spinach and sesame seed dish. And on the left noodles with mushrooms. Somehow we always order too much. 🙂

Arnaud

Cassis

Finding the presentation of French restaurants in Singapore a bit sober, I have to try every single one for sure. Cassis located in one of the black and white houses at Rochester Park automatically earns points if you are looking for romantic dining.

Outside at Cassis
Outside at Cassis

We made a reservation for 7pm which was clearly too early for a Saturday night and most other guest arrived between 8 and 9pm. More people more liveliness, and a remote place like Rochester Park comes to life when at least 50% of th seats are taken. Surprisingly enough it never really got that busy for on this Saturday night.

Being seated and presented with the wine menu it was nice to see that most wines could be ordered by the glass as well. A good thing if you can’t agree on the wine because you’re both having different main courses. The garlic butter served right away really taste like it should. A bit salty, I guess because of the choice of butter and just the right amount of garlic and parsley-like herbs.

The food menu is average in size which makes it easy to decide and the choices are diverse. We had Tuna and the Fois Grass Terrine to start with. The Tuna was perfectly in size and very nice presented. The Fois Grass Terrine on the other hand was a thin slice of Fois Grass and I like them thick. The taste was very good though especially served with the Fig confiture.

We had two delicious main courses beyond reproach. Tenderloin well done exactly as asked and served originally with a nice wine/port sauce and fennel Purée. I had the duck which was also well done and had a nice crust with maximum flavour. Some nice veggies, nicely cooked, to go along with.

Conclusion
Great food at a great and romantic location. The service was good but a little bit to eager to do well. We got served really fast which doesn’t really fit with the relaxed and romantic setting. All together we spent about twice as much as planned. Something makes their prices pretty high compared to other French restaurants like L’ Angelus and Les Bouchons.

Arnaud