Celebrating Food! Celebrating Life!

Simple Eats

自製梅酒 Homemade Umeshu (Plum Wine) – A Pictorial Guide

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I love umeshu and I think a lot of you love it too! The standard brand we get off the shelves at wine shops, supermarkets and even at airport DFS is “choya” but you will find that it is quite common for Japanese households to make their own umeshu. It is a process which requires few ingredients and most importantly, doesn’t require a brewery or distillery! It is a simple act of infusion and steeping, which I have been doing for the last couple of years now, so this post is a collation of my journey and experience in making umeshu at home and I am here to share it with you…
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Marmite Pasta ver.1 2017

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The heat is excruciating to the point of being unbearable. But when one’s gotta eat, one’s gotta eat. There is of course the easy way out of running downstairs to the nearby coffeeshop to “tapao” but I seriously don’t wanna move an inch out in the sun. A few ingredients from the pantry and less than 30 min later, I have a quick and easy meal and for today its gonna be marmite pasta!
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Huiji Ku Kueh 汇集龟粿

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I love making angku kueh, always finding the shaping process rather therapeutic from pieces of non-descript looking dough to something intricate looking. While the traditional kuehs are classically red, sometimes when the opportunity arises, creativity can be injected into their making as well. In this case, I’d used Huiji Waist Tonic in the making of the skin and the taste is rather unique yet pleasant at the same time.
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炒粿條 Char Kway Teow

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Among the numerous popular hawker favorites, char kway teow has a special place in the hearts of many. It is a traditional fried noodle dish whipped up by street hawkers who gathered at the now-demolished Ellenborough Market just across Clarke Quay along Singapore River. The area was also a well known enclave of the early Teochew settlers who knew this place as tsah tsun tau 柴船头, owing to the provision of fuel-related goods like firewood, charcoal and kerosene in this area. At night, some of these hawkers take to the nearby old Thong Chai Medical Institution 同济医院  for the supper crowd who flocked here after a session of tua hee 大戏 aka Chinese wayang opera nearby or a movie produced by Cathay Organisation at Majestic cinema just a short stretch down Eu Tong Sen Road. But as peddling of street food waned in the 1980s as it became outlawed, gone were the days when these illegal hawkers had to scurry and run away from the health inspectors, colloquially known as 地牛 “tee gu“. Together with the establishment of hawker centres around the island, local delights like char kway teow spread to the heartlands and became everyone’s favorite as well.

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鮮蝦水餃湯麵 Shrimp Dumpling Soup Noodles

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I used to live along Upper Serangoon Road near the old Lim Tua Tow Market where there was lots of good and cheap hawker food around. Those were the days when our area were the only HDB blocks around and the vicinity was just nothing but a Teochew cemetery. Serangoon Central came later and NEX Shopping Mall didn’t even appear until 20 years had passed. The crocodile farm was still around and Upper Serangoon Shopping Centre was not a ghost town like today. Down my old block there used to be quite a good wanton mee stall, operated single-handedly by a middle-aged lady whom we refer to as the “wanton mee auntie”. Our favorites were her 鳳爪麵 “fung zau meen” with succulently braised chicken feet, that my mother forbade us from enjoying as it was believed that eating chicken feet during one’s pre-pubescent years can result in trembling hands and thus ugly handwriting.  We ate nonetheless, secretly buying from the “wanton mee auntie” of course, telling her they were for my mum! So yummy! How to resist!? For us, wanton mee auntie’s 鮮蝦水餃 sin har shuei gau was something special as well. It was a time when 1.50 can get you a bowl of springy egg noodles in yummy soup along with three plump shuei gau and an additional 50 cents can get you two more. Long gone are the days of cheap and affordable hawker food of course, and long gone are the days of authentically cooked hawker food as well…
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柱侯蘿蔔焖牛腩 Braised Beef and Radish in Chu Hou Sauce – a Revisit

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While many bloggers strive to continually blog on new recipes, sometimes rolling out dishes which they’d tried only on the first attempt, I find myself constantly revisiting my old recipes in hope to find ways to refine them, be it to suggest alternatives for ingredients, or perhaps to streamline the workflow of the recipe to make things work better. Just yesterday, I revisited a dish which I’d cooked many times over the course of the last few years. It is definitely one of my all-time favorites,柱侯蘿蔔焖牛腩 Braised Beef and Radish in Chu Hou Sauce
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Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan Restaurant @ Melaka

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There are lots of interesting eating places in Melaka apart from those that serve Peranakan cuisine. Like the Chinese braised duck noodles and really good “hum jeen pheang” I had recently in Tengkera nearer to Limbongan, as well as uber fresh cockles and clams at Taman Merdeka Batu Berendam. While many of these require a bit of traveling away from Melaka Central and thus often out of the tourist radar, some of these places which have really good food are right smack in town just minutes away from the bustling shopping districts, like Sun May Hiong Satay House in Kota Laksamana, as well as Pak Putra which many purportedly serve the best naan and tandoori chicken in all Malaysia!
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