Category Archives: Favourites

Sweet Little Thing

I can’t really say I’ve been an advocate of healthy eating; having stuffed my face with starch, fats and sugar endlessly. Well, healthy eating aside, let’s move on to a delish dessert that you can prepare at home for Iftar…

… Hold it! Stop counting the calories off this sweet little thing, will ya?

The ingredients in the Banana & Granola Parfait needs no introduction about the great things they will do to your body. The best part is, they are common and inexpensive items that most would already have in the fridge or pantry.

A good foundation is to buildings what a good granola mix is to parfaits. I’m guilty of spending an insane amount on organic granola (for days when I feel like eating healthy hehe) off the supermarket shelves, until I stumbled upon a recipe book by the famed Rachel Allen, host of Bake! As I looked through the lengthy list of ingredients, I realise that I’ve been cheating my own moolah for buying something that I could make because all of those were readily available at home.

This simple recipe can be switched around any way you like, following your preference of grains, nuts and dried fruit. I’ll run you through the list for my homemade Granola Mix. It makes a small jar that would last me a whole week and it keeps pretty well.

2 tbsp Cashew nuts

2 tbsp Almonds

2 tbsp Walnuts

1 cup Rolled oats

4 tbsp Honey

2 1/2 tbsp Soft Butter

1 tsp Vanilla Essence

1 tsp Cinnamon powder

1 tsp Salt

2 tbsp Dried Cranberries

2 tbsp Pitted Medjoul Dates

1) Toast the nuts – cashew nuts, almonds and walnuts – in the oven at 150°C for 8 minutes.

Once theyre slightly cooled, you can either cut them into smaller bits or toss them in a Ziploc bag, seal it and crush them with a pestle or a rolling pin.

2) In a cup, mix honey and butter with vanilla, cinnamon and salt. It should be of a viscous consistency and pretty easy to work with.

3) In a baking tray that’s lined with a baking sheet, pour in the rolled oats and nuts mixture and then the butter-honey mixture joins the party!

4) Mix the ingredients well and pop it into the oven at 160°C for 30 minutes. Every 5 minutes, pull out the tray and toss them about. This process is important because the grains and nuts at the rims of your tray will burn fairly quickly. Once that’s done, pour them out on a cooling rack and pepper your granola mix with cranberries and dates.

There you go, your very own granola mix. I toldja it’s simple!

You could have it with breakfast cereal and milk, as an ice cream topping or in your crumble pies and cobblers or you could use it in a Banana & Granola Parfait:

2 tbsp Granola mix

4 tbsp Greek Yoghurt

1 tbsp Strawberry Jam

1/2 Banana

1 tbsp Butterscotch Sauce* (recipe here)

* You can replace this with Honey, Maple Syrup or Golden Syrup

1) In a small cup or a transparent wine glass if you must, start to layer all the ingredients: Yoghurt goes right at the bottom,

followed by jam,

sprinkle the granola mix,

arrange the banana slices and add a good dollop of butterscotch sauce.

2) The parfait is done,

but if you (like me) are a little greedy hehe, repeat the layers till you reach the brim of the glass.

I have been eating parfait everyday for the last 15 days of Iftar, at the start of my meal. And it has been bowel-friendly, no matter what I gorge on right after. Sure, you might be thinking:

“Aiya… Where got time to prepare this every day one?

Very busy you know?”

I’m aware of the vast majority who might not have time on their hands to neatly layer yoghurt, granola and fruits everyday, but it suffices to pack about 2 tbsp of the homemade Granola mix in your handbag, grab a small tub of yoghurt at any convenience store, and have em together.

Now, who said healthy desserts had to taste like hay? Taking a teeny step towards healthy eating this Ramadhan is a great way to start. This recipe’s a definite keeper well after the month ends; granola parfaits make a great lazy weekend afternoon dessert and doubles up on hectic weekdays as a great morning booster!

This post was written for Muzlimbuzz (Travel&Food):

Ramadan Recipe: Banana & Granola Parfait

Muzlimbuzz is an e-magazine that caters to the modern, active, socially-engaged and spiritual Muslim. We aim to document and articulate the Muslim experience, particularly of those in Singapore and in the region.Apart from News and opinion pieces, we have daily columns that cover a wide array of topics from Health to Marriage, Spirituality to Technology, Travel & Photo Essays. In a nutshell, there’s bound to be something that would interest you here at Muzlimbuzz.

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Filed under Breakfast, Desserts, Favourites, Iftar Recipe, Muzlimbuzz, Recipes, Snacks, Teatime

Carnivore’s Dream

It all started with a Whatsapp message from my mister some weeks ago, it read:

“BBBBBB, CHECK OUT MEATWORKS! OMG WE HAVE TO GO TRY IT PLS. LOOK AT THE MENU ON THEIR SITE!”

Yes, in caps, no less.

My almost immediate reaction after checking out their menu? The carnivore in me exclaimed “What time do they close tonight?

Wanna know why?

Let me just begin with delectable starters served at MeatWorks.

Beef Carpaccio

This starter is cleverly-crafted to combine the fresh flavours of greens and mushrooms, sitting pretty on finely-sliced tenderloin, drizzled with wasabi emulsion and sparingly topped with shaved gran padano.

Definitely a yes-please as an appetiser.

I personally love having a little of everything on my fork!

Avocado & Mushroom Salad

I’ve always fancied the creamy texture of avocado in salads, so quite naturally, this one appeased my palate.

It resembled the yu sheng (Teochew-style raw fish salad served during Chinese New Year); only this platter was filled with greens, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, mushrooms and avocado; finished off with a slight tang of vinaigrette.

My mister has a hate-hate relationship with greens so these 2 starters were 90% mine! So there I was, grazing like a cow before I got the cow on my plate lol! Ok, now let’s move on to the real deal.

MeatWorks Burger

If you, like me, enjoy watching American or British cooking shows on tv, you’d have watched chef after chef preparing a homemade patty with ground meat and spices, leaving you salivating for one right after.

The MeatWorks burger is exactly that.

Humongous grilled succulent beef patty, topped with fresh salad and finished generously with mayonnaise-based dressing. And you have got to believe me, the patty was the size of my hand! I had mine with foccacia, but you can choose what you’d like the patty to be sandwiched in.

Hanging Tender

So I’ve read that this cut of beef comes from the cow’s diaphragm and is not conventionally served as a dish or main course; but I applaud MeatWorks for taking the road less travelled. The dish embodies its name and is truly tender to the mighty carnivore’s bite.

We had ordered it well-done (I’ve got a bad case of bloodophobia hehe), and to my amazement, it was neither dry nor tough which was usually the case if you insisted your meat well-done.

This one’s a definite timeless classic of deliciousness.

Wagyu D Rump

Drumroll please while I introduce my favourite main course to date (I say to date, because without a doubt, I will sit on those red seats again & diggin in on a Bronto.) Wagyu, the tenderest of steaks, owes its form to the marbling of the meat. According to Steve (our well-informed & thoughtful waiter), the cows were fed the finest of grains and basically had a great life before they became steak.

As the plate descends on the table before me, I could already steal whiffs of char-grilled goodness!

Oh gosh, the steak was a gorgeous mass of latticed brown crust with a slight glisten of pink that lies beneath.

The phenomenal piece of meat on my plate was a breeze to cut due to its delicate marbled pink structure and it being succulent with aromatic juices.

Well done indeed.

I had mine accompanied with Bearnaise sauce (sans any traces of wine) and what a pair they were! If I go on to describe the Wagyu D Rump, I could well use some expletives to tell you just how &%$!-ing good it was.

Just try it, you’ll thank me later!

Now, what’s a happy meal without sweet treats?

Desserts

Twice, my Mister had the Tiramisu.

The first time was fate, I’d say, having had the waitress come to us twice saying that his dessert choices were unavailable. But now, I’m pretty certain that it’s his ultimate choice at MeatWorks.

The little shot of Tiramisu, had the right balance of sweet, creamy and coffee decadence.

Having always enjoyed crème brulee, there was no question what I was going to order after catching a glimpse at the dessert menu. And this one, peeeeerfect. Just the right amount of not-too-sweet but oh-so-creamy custard, under a veneer of crystallised caramel which glimmered under the chandeliers.


Oh gawd, this was heaven, I thought.

Downside though, frankly, who was I kidding – one ramekin is enough for a crème brulee fan like me? I’d have 6 if I had my way!

Mocktails and Smoothies

With quirky names like C&M, Cape Sunrise, L&P and Very Berry, I know that you’d be quite skeptical to even pick any. But really, their mocktails and smoothies rocked my socks! If I had to pick one though, it’d be the C&M Smoothie, over and over again. I’ll give you 4 reasons why – Caramel, Macadamia, Orange juice and Yoghurt.

Enough reasons?

MeatWorks is perfect for special occasions, like anniversaries or birthdays, or days when you think Hey I’ve done great for myself and I deserve a treat! And my sincerest thanks to Ms Wahida from MeatWorks@ION Orchard for listening to our beef-starved voices and for making our dining experience simply flawless.

Till my next Brontosaurus Steak indulgence,

xoxo T-Rex

MeatWorks Restaurant

#04-12, 27 to 32, ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn

Ramadhan buffet: $38++/adult & $19++/child

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Filed under Desserts, Dinner, Favourites, Iftar Venue

My Food Porn Addiction – CP Gallery

So the saying goes: A picture is worth a thousand words.

If that is really true, then Countless Plates Gallery might be worth a 20,000-word encyclopedia of my personal favourites. I’m no professional photographer, but hell, I enjoy capturing food on photos just as much. Practice makes perfect, so really, this is something I believe everyone is capable of. Thus, I’ve created this gallery of mouthwatering dishes, snacks, desserts and pretty much everything I would pop into my mouth a thousand times over.

If it made you salivate, then why, you’re most welcome! =)

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Filed under Favourites, FOTD

Amirah’s for all Occasions

Middle Eastern cuisine has set a strong foothold here in Singapore. And needless to say, restaurant owners are taking good advantage of this by setting up theirs at locations beyond Arab Street. Albeit, the calmness of Medina-like Arab Street still captures the true essence of dining amidst the aroma of rich spices & puffs of flavoured sheesha.

Amirah’s Grill at Bussorah Street remains a staple go-to for me.

The restaurant interior is heavily-decorated with all things authentically Arab – beautiful embroidered surahs in bright gold on a black velvet canvas, tinted glass lamps, capped swords, camel figurines and intricately woven carpets hung on walls.

Though the restaurant doesn’t exactly boast gold and porcelain sophistication like others do, their top-notch Middle Eastern-Western fusion platters just quite cuts it for me. After all, I am paying for the latter, no?

Food is justly-priced, given the portions are fit for a king. Here’s an example – For $30, you get a delectable meal that is scrumptious all through; from appetizer right up to dessert:

A plate of yummy-to-the-last-swipe hummus with warm pita bread

Chicken or mushroom soup with garlic bread

A main course platter of your choice

Hot/cold drink and Dessert

Enough with the narratives, let’s get on with the feast (for the eyes), shall we?

Hummus with Warm Pita Bread

Remember that hummus I just talked about – it is as good as hummus gets.

Smooth, mild nutty notes, fragrant olive oil and slight tanginess of lemon; warm pita makes the perfect spoon!

Soups (Chicken or Mushroom) with Garlic Bread

The soups are decent-tasting and it definitely whets your appetite for the monstrosity of a plate that comes right after.

After umpteen visits to Amirah’s Grill, these 2 main courses keep appearing in my order list. Mysterious.

1) Turkish Mixed Tenderloin Kebab

Nothing screams Mediterranean more than Kebabs. Quite frankly, this one’s for the fickle-minded who can’t decide the irresistible chicken, lamb and beef selections in the menu. Expect a mixed plate of grilled skewers of boneless chicken, grilled beef tenderloin & pieces of kofta drenched in savoury spiced sauce (read: quadruple YUM); accompanied with choice of Arabic fragrant rice or roasted potatoes.

2) Grilled Lamb Chops

If you’re a die-hard lamb fan, please don’t give this a miss. Please. The fragrant blend of spices that go into this platter does justice to the tender cuts of lamb. The well-marinated fresh lamb is soft and juicy to the bite; is cooked to absolute perfection. Based on experience, I’ve never had the lamb chops reek of any unpleasant mutton odour. Just yummy, juicy, tender chops, dipped in aromatic sauce so good, you’d request for a ladle more!

Drinks & Dessert

When you’re done lapping up your main course, down it with a glass of fresh Alexandria Mango Juice, salty or sweet Labaan, or you may even opt for teapot of hot Morroccan Mint Tea. Refreshing!

And be sure to reserve some space for dessert. You could have a scoop of good ole ice cream or the creme caramel, that is a real treat for a sweet tooth!

All in all, Amirah’s Grill is definitely a great dine-in choice for any occasion – be it bridal showers, boys night out, weekend family lunch or for birthday celebration with your loved ones.

This post was written for Muzlimbuzz (Travel&Food):

Amirah’s for all Occasions 

Muzlimbuzz is an e-magazine that caters to the modern, active, socially-engaged and spiritual Muslim. We aim to document and articulate the Muslim experience, particularly of those in Singapore and in the region. Apart from News and opinion pieces, we have daily columns that cover a wide array of topics from Health to Marriage, Spirituality to Technology, Travel & Photo Essays. In a nutshell, there’s bound to be something that would interest you here at Muzlimbuzz.

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Filed under Desserts, Dinner, Favourites, Lunch, Muzlimbuzz

Sides at Swensen’s

I particularly recall fond childhood memories at the former Swensen’s branch at Changi Airport Terminal 2. Yes, the one with the indoor playground at their doorstep. Parents seated at dinner tables, with their heads outstretched occasionally to look out for their kids monkeying around at the play area. Swensen’s was the chosen venue for when parents get a fatter paycheck or strictly for birthdays only because it had Fish & Chips and Banana Split – which were the luxuries then.

Swensen’s today is a far cry from being a mere Fish & Chips and Banana Split restaurant. Being a synonymous household name means they’re constantly expanding their already wide array of Western, Asian and Dessert selections to suit our expanding appetite. You get seriously spoilt for choice when you’re seated holding up the 14-odd paged menu; focusing mainly on the Main Course and Sundaes & Sweet Treats pages. Probably needs about an hour to browse from cover to cover.

You’d think to yourself – hmm now, that Breaded Chicken Meuniere is definitely a must-have and mmmm, wash it down with a generous serving of Frosted Chocolate Malt.

And as you flip the menu to look at other food selections, Mr Waiter comes by with a warm smile and utters an amicable ”Hi Sir, may I take your order now?” Your order gets noted, it gets transmitted to the kitchen and… that’s when you start flipping to look at the sides.

And by then, you’ll think you’d be too full to add on the side orders. Swensen’s sides are severely under-rated, honest! Here are the 4 M’s in that page of 12 sides that never fail to make it into my order list:

Meatballs in Black Pepper Sauce

The dish is pretty self explanatory – succulent chicken with beef meatballs basking in richly seasoned black pepper sauce with a good dollop of kid-friendly mash.

Dare you say no to meatballs?

Deep-fried Mushrooms

I had tried incessantly to recreate this delish pop-it-in-your-mouths, but they’ll never turn out just like Swensen’s. Hot and tender shiitake mushroom in a light crisp coating of batter, dipped in trusty ole tartar sauce. The initial audible crunch of batter, a whiff of earthy mushroom aroma; and as you sink your teeth in further, feel the velvety texture of the shiitake, rolling around your mouth with tangy hints of sour tartar.


Mmm! Definitely a winner, this one!

Mozarella Cheese Sticks

There is nothing more sinfully gratifying than stringing warm mozarella cheese.
And when you break into these fried crisp mozarella cheese sticks, you get just that – warm ooze of pale yellow goodness!

*Gasps* Bet your jaw just dropped and your salivary glands just went on overdrive, right there.

Baked Mussels

Still on the topic of cheese, though this time baked – are piping hot green mussels under a veneer of cheese and cream and all things magical. The shield of cheese steams mussel on the inside so you get to savour the enticing mix of salty cheese and sweetness from the tender mussel. Use a fork to nudge the base of the shell to loosen the cheesy crusts and slowly slide the whole mollusc into your mouth.

Your tastebuds would flip in excitement, I promise!

4 M’s – Meatballs, Mushroom, Mozarella and Mussels that are definite Must-haves in your next Swensen’s order! Be sure to make some space in your tummy for it!

This post was written for Muzlimbuzz (Travel&Food):

Sides at Swensen’s 

Muzlimbuzz is an e-magazine that caters to the modern, active, socially-engaged and spiritual Muslim. We aim to document and articulate the Muslim experience, particularly of those in Singapore and in the region. Apart from News and opinion pieces, we have daily columns that cover a wide array of topics from Health to Marriage, Spirituality to Technology, Travel & Photo Essays. In a nutshell, there’s bound to be something that would interest you here at Muzlimbuzz.

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Filed under Dinner, Favourites, Lunch, Muzlimbuzz, Snacks, Teatime

Oh it’s nothing Much, really

You know; there are times when you walk through a store, telling yourself you don’t need or want anything, subconsciously vowing to yourself you’re never taking your wallet out and then you walk out the store, peering into the plastic bag, keeping the change in your wallet and under your breath, consoling yourself
“Oh it’s nothing much, really.”

Familiar?

That’s what happened to me today. (That’s what always happens to me when I walk through any Marks & Spencer store. WHY!)

Well, here’s a peek at my oh-it’s-nothing-much-really accidental snags from M&S today! Clue: They’re all chocolate!

1) These babies always make their way into my fridge every month, somehow.
With credits of course, to my all-time favourite domestic goddess Nigella Lawson, for always having new must-try chocolate recipes that call for Chocolate Buttons.

It’s a win-win with these.

New recipe, I’d pop them in.
No new recipe, I’d pop them in(to my mouth).
Win-win?

2) Gotta love these Dark Chocolate Digestives.

So, they say that opposites attract.
Definitely so in their case – hearty wholemeal digestive biscuits
meets indulgent melt-in-your-hands rich dark chocolate.

And they lived happily messily ever after. True story.

3) The thing I adore about M&S confectionery is the
little prose of a description printed on their packaging.
Teasingly tempts you of what lies beneath.

Get your hankies ready, this is gonna get ugly!

Oh, forget the hankies and lick your fingers clean when you’re done with these Toffee Viennese!

Till my next accidental buy; goodnight lovelies!

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The fun starts Here

This one, I promise, would be a more photo-heavy post. One too many recipe posts lately, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking?

This is what happened last Sunday –

Just a few samples of Cold Stone facts (if you don’t already know)!

The first Cold Stone Creamery was officially opened in Tempe, Arizona in 1988, by Donald and Susan Sutherland.

The Cold Stone Creamery’s ice cream cookie sandwiches made its debut in 2009.

Cold Stone Creamery Singapore celebrates their 3rd month as the first franchise outlet in Singapore on 12th June 2011.

Now, here are a few scoops on why I personally love Cold Stone Creamery!

The signs says it all! Love their clever use of wordplay, so stepping in had me bursting into little chuckles.

I love their enthusiastic, friendly and helpful crew! Singing, entertaining, cheering, dancing, smiling, tossing and mixing ice cream – all in a day’s work! Phew!

And most importantly, they serve daaaaaaaaamn good ice cream. Seriously. Every flavour embodies the true taste of its names and texture-wise, really creamy! Simply flawless! Mad love!

And if you’ve got good ice cream, whatever way you serve it – be it with yummy mix-ins or in a smoothie – you just know it’ll be good.

So, last Sunday, I made my way down to Cold Stone Creamery at Orchard Central to get my first nibble of their new Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

Tasted 3 quarter cookie samples and will definitely be back for more (anti-clockwise order):

Kiss N’ Tell Chocolate (my absolute favourite!) is Chocolate ice cream sandwiched in a pair of chocolate chip cookies and rolled in chocolate. Lovelove!

Cookie Crumb Yum is Sweet Cream ice cream hidden in really good chocolate chip cookies and rolled in Oreo crumbs. Now, who doesn’t love Oreos?

Cake Batter Sprinkle is Cake Batter ice cream in chocolate chip cookies, rolled in rainbow sprinkles. This would be a hit for the kids, I reckon.

My take on the cookie sandwich? Like it Love it Gotta have it!

Head to Orchard Central for your Ultimate Ice Cream Experience! And be prepared to queue on weekday nights and weekends, but I’m telling you, it’s totally worth it! Really!

Good service + Good ice cream melts my heart anytime. =)

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Filed under Desserts, Favourites