Singaporeans having finally caught on the Japanese food bug head on now. All these years there had been a steady fan following on Japanese cuisine here but over the last two years, we saw an explosion of Japanese-themed restaurants opening up not only in the major malls but also in the heartlands. Some of these big chain names from Japan were invited as anchors and crowd-pullers but we also noticed delightfully some gastronomic ventures by locals as well. Tendon seems to be the craze now and and just a bit earlier, udon-yas and menyas. So are donburi-like rice bowls which have sought to be creative with their topping-to-rice combinations instead of sticking to conventions.
Tsukiji Fish Market @ Orchard Central is one of the latest kid on the block which opened for barely 2 months now. It took over the same space where “Sumiya” once occupied on the Sky Garden at level 12 of Orchard Central. Diners can order not just from one but numerous “restaurants” sharing the same roof here, each having their own area of specialisation, a mini version of a “food town” concept which is not unfamiliar to us.
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…
You know when you’d tried a certain dish at a new joint, and after that tell yourself that the “gastrorgasmic” experience you’d gone through had just breached the boundaries of what you’d think was the best rendition that could possibly exist out there for that particular dish, hitting all the right spots, making you nod your head periodically, albeit uncontrollably as you close your eyes in attempt to shut off the other senses so as to concentrate on extracting every ounce of gastronomic pleasure from each bite, smiling to yourself without even knowing you are smiling, only to be overwhelmed by that oddly tingling sense of sadness that creeps in as you partake that last mouthful or slurp, savouring every bit of lingering morsel in the mouth, or waft of aroma in the air, bittersweet as you can’t help but let out a sigh of contentment and gratitude for the experience, interspersed with hopeful yearning for the next episode. Sounding both phenomenal and incredible at the same time while wondering how could that be even mortally possible. Well you could be if you live a life to eat. We’d experienced that before, on several occasions in fact, most notably with Mutekiya Ramen when we first visited a couple of years back and also my first personal encounter with Sugino’s mousse creations, and most recently, 金子半之助天丼 Kaneko Hannosuke Tendon.
Food is such a wondrous thing. Not only does it fuel our body keeping us energised at hours’ ends, it also fills us with much euphoria and a profound sense of contentment, often after a hearty meal and not without the ceremonious burp and customary rubbing of the tummy. More importantly, food brings friends and family together, seated at the same table to have a meal.. be it to celebrate and rejoice, to pour out one’s sorrows and share one’s grief, or simply to catch up and reminiscent the “good o’ days”. What is even more amazing I thought, was how through food, strangers could become acquaintances, and acquaintances become friends…
We love Taiwan and visit the country almost every year. Beautifully scenery, 24-hour bookstores, refined patisseries, local delights…need I say more? And these are just some of the reasons which make us go back all the time. I love browsing at Eslite Bookstore in Taipei, especially the outlets at Dunhua South Road and the flagship store at Xinyi District. The former is a 24-hour bookstore which means that no matter how late it was and as long as we are up for it, we could always visit for some late night book shopping. And it is during one of these bookstore visits where I learnt how to make authentic Taiwanese Braised Beef Shank 台式滷牛腱, not from one of the books off the shelves, but through a Taiwanese “obasan” whom I only got to know as 李媽媽. So here is my story of 李媽媽72h台式滷牛腱 Mrs Li’s 72h Taiwanese Braised Beef Shank…