Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I have to say that with this dear pal of mine, a spontaneous decision is all it takes to make things happen.

Earlier in the day, my long-time pal Tini suddenly asked if I'm free to break-fast with her at Badoque later. Apparently, her hubby had asked for their beef ribs (can't make it there in time before they closed) and she's gonna get a take-away.

Come to think of it, both of us has always planned on dining at Badoque together one day. We just never got down to it. Guess this was a good chance as any.

Menu 01 

Menu 02 

Truth to be told, I find the menu to be really confusing. What with the wild colours. The distracting captions & random pictures.

It took me a really looong time to decide what to have. Seriously.

Oh, I also thought that this menu will eventually be used as placemats… Guess not.

Naughty Chocolate Shake & Watermelon Ice-Blended

Tini got a glass of 'Naughty' chocolate shake for her boys to share. She got the Watermelon ice-blended for herself. I like just how finely blended the ice had been.

First time I tried a drink with watermelon-flavoured syrup. Not bad, actually.

Hot Mint tea

Myself meanwhile, has no mood for any icy drinks after a day of fasting. A glass of hot mint tea works nicely to ease this hungry belly.

Seafood Aglio Olio w/ Fettuccine ~ $18

Tini's order. She was going back and forth between several pasta choices and eventually settled on this. I was surprised to see that the fish fillets were battered and fried till crisp.

They were generous with other pieces of seafood too (pretty squid curls, mussels & prawns). I'm lucky enough to dine with someone who doesn't like mussels so I get to relish them!

Salmon en Croute ~ $22

If you see the menu, there's this funny-looking picture of a bespectecled old lady with the quote, "Enough of Asam Pedas! Thank god for Salmon en croute." LOL

But that wasn't why I chose this, anyway. Typical for my very fickle-minded self, it was a last min. decision. I was initially bent on getting myself a plate of pasta. Either the squid-ink or something tomato-based. Eventually settled for the Seafood Marinara.

However, right before calling the server over, I got curious about this salmon dish with the interesting-sounding name. Asked the server as to what it really was. Upon hearing, "…wrapped in pastry…" I decided on it. Deal sealed.

Another angle

Salmon en Croute is a term for pastry-wrapped salmon. There are many variations of this, most commonly (and purists will agree), shortcrust pastry is used. And served with Hollandaise sauce.

However, their rendition came with a single, thick slab of only salmon and wrapped in this thin pastry (almost like 'filo') and coated with breadcrumbs. Usually salmon en croute has 2 layers of salmon fillets, with a layer of green paste (filling) sandwiched in between. The paste is made of mainly lemon zest, basil & dill.

The sauce served here is nicely tangy and complement the fish well, to counter and 'fishiness'. The parcel is served on top of a very generous portion of mashed potato that carried a strong hint of rosemary.

I don't know if those 3 salad leaves are just mere garnishing but I walloped them anyway.

In the background to the left, there's this sauce bottle with an orange liquid. That was one of the most awesome chilli oil ever. I was asked if I want any chilli sauce or chilli oil. I initially decline but then I got curious. Chilli oil…? Why not?

Drizzled some into the hollandaise sauce and it really spiked the heat up several notches. Wow!

Meringue Ice-cream (name to be verified)

My friend, despite being really full from the (unfinished) plate of pasta, actually insist that I have their dessert. Specifically this meringue ice-cream thingy that she's had before.

Seeing her excitement, I caved in, anyway. Despite not polishing my plate (gotta leave some of that mashed potato behind…). The whole presentation was quite impressive. 2 pieces of meringue sandwiching a layer of something creamy in between. A scoop of vanilla ice-cream sitting on a generous squiggle of chocolate sauce. And slices of canned peaches.

I had my first bite together with the ice-cream. It wasn't too bad. But when I had the meringue piece on its own (just because I was curious as to what the layer that was sandwiched in between the 2 pieces of meringue was), I was taken aback by the jarring sweetness. I hastily looked around for a glass of water and had to order a bottle. Even my friend was surprised that the dessert had been too sweet that time. Maybe we got it on a wrong day... Huhu.  

By the way, that layer in between is actually cheesecake.

With the very friendly Farid

All in all, the service rendered had been very good (that's another thing that they're known for, aside from their food).

The main guy who served us that evening was Farid, who stood in for his bro who was away performing Umrah. Tini was somewhat acquainted with him sometime back so he even had a nice banter at our table.

He eventually had the dessert waived from the bill. Maybe they've seen me over-reacting when I got to the too-sweet part (I have really low tolerance for most extreme flavours) or maybe it was out of goodwill. Either way… yayy!

Oh, he's also the frontman of this local band called Aryan Band, which is quite established in Malaysia too. Well, considering that they're taken under the wings of a legend, himself - M. Nasir.

…I'm sooo coming back here with more folks just so we can have more dishes to try. I want to get my hands on their famous beef ribs!

Badoque Cafe
298 Bedok Road (Simpang Bedok)
Singapore 469454
Tel: 6446 6928

Opening Hours: 3 -11pm. 12 - 11pm. Closed on Mondays.

Friday, July 26, 2013

IKEA Halal meatballs

I only managed to get my hands on these only last night. So the very backdated, I know. 

I realised only yesterday that the supposed great IKEA Sale will end today so I made a spontaneous decision to drop by there to get my coveted Marius stools that's going for only $4.90 ea. 

The initial plan was to grab a quick snack of hotdog wraps from that GoGo stall in 7-11. Munch on that while waiting for the shuttle bus service. Well, that was when I expect to reach Tampines right around the time to break fast. 

Reality however, had me arrive in Tampines with more that 1/2hr prior to the time for breaking fast. And the shuttle bus service arrived soon after. So there's a change of plans. Maybe I should just dine at the IKEA Restaurant, after all. 

Upon arriving, I made the bistro my first stop, to purchase my favourite Wasa Cream Cheese cracker sandwich; seeing that by the time I check out of there, my hands will be full. 

These plain and bland wholegrain crackers really complement the strong-tasting cream cheese layer that's sandwiched in between. I totally LOVE it! Especially the one with French-Herbs. 

Was dismayed to see that the green packs were absent. Enquired with the lady manning the cashier and she snickered upon hearing my query. Half-giggling, she told me that they're out of stock. 

"That one very nice right?" she asked. I prodded further, wanting to know when the next batch will be arriving. Seeing how serious I was about knowing, she let me in on this open secret: The staff love it so much that they bought it by the cartons!

She personally bought 2 cartons herself… O____o
Why you so popular???!

2nd option

Another option

I like that the chocolate flavour is strong yet we can still taste a hint of the cream cheese. 

Upon checking out later on, I was so thirsty that I queued up, despite the heavy load on my shoulder. Paid $1 for an empty cup and filled it with the cool Lingonberry juice. I really love the help-yourself to free-flow soft-drinks concept because that way, I can get my favourite mix: Sprite with other non-carbonated beverage. 

Usually it's Sprite + Lemon tea. Only at IKEA do I attempt: Sprite + Lingonberry juice…

…Awesome stuff!

Anyway, I went up to the restaurant and was glad to see many empty seats/tables. With around 10mins to breaking fast, I was gleeful about the prospect of getting to eat on time… Until I came upon the queue at the Halal food corner… 


I was curious to see some non-Muslims in the queue. I mean, they have the non-Halal food section with a much wider array of food choices; so why are they adding on to the line?

Only when I overheard the phone conversation that the lady behind me had, do I know why… They want to get the Nasi Biryani. That dish was apparently pretty popular. Either that it was really delicious or that it was more 'substantial' as compared to the other Westernised fare. 

I ended up queuing for another 1/2hour. Even managed to tweet this:

That was when I was still midway through the queue…

Got so hungry that I almost planned on getting the min. order of 4 chicken wings for myself, plus the cheese bites from the kids menu. That'll be ON TOP of the meatballs. 

Oh, hunger sure can mess with your thoughts!

Thankfully, I regained my rationale upon reaching the counter. The server ended up dispensing the last 2 plates of Nasi Biryani right before me. And there's still a snaking queue behind!

Meatballs! - $8 (15pc)

Ok, I planned to get only 10pcs but somehow I didn't see that option on the menu board. So I settled for 15. I thought that, "Hey. I'm very hungry, remember?"

Truth to be told, I almost gave up at the 10th piece… All that meat!

Someone asked me on IG, "Nice, meh?" 

Honestly, dude. I have no idea. One thing, I was very hungry so I don't care much for tastes. Although I have to admit that the generic brown sauce was a tad salty but when paired with the lingonberry jam… 

…Seriously, I can eat anything with that Lingonberry jam. It's just so nice! I'm a sucker for sweet things that works with savoury foods. Or vice versa. That's why I'm a big fan of salted caramel. 

Now I'm wondering if they'll ever include the 'Poached Salmon with Dill and Butter Sauce' into the Halal menu. I mean, what's so hard about that? I checked the recipe from the SwedeCook Class organised by IKEA, and there's nothing to worry about the ingredients. 

Can someone in IKEA please consider it? Pretty pleasee…?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Breaking of Fast @ Seoul Garden Hotpot

Midway through Ramadhan, I somehow develop some serious hankering to shop and also to eat some Korean food.

I was just thinking too much about this wicker bag that I fell in love with at H&M and though of getting that for Eid (a wicker bag for Eid? yeah). And I've been seeing too much Korean food on their variety shows.

So… H&M just opened at VivoCity, right? And there's Seoul Garden Hotpot at the neighbouring Harbourfront Centre, right? Hmm…

Got my readily available partners-in-crime, in the form of my cousins Tim & Sue.

So excited was I that I started browsing their menu days prior and already made up my mind as to what to order. I think I might have memorised the menu, too!

However, on D-Day, Sue had to back out do to last min. work commitments. Aww.. shucks! But that didn't stop Tim & I from ordering a meal fit for 3 pax, still. Heh.

The spread…

Honestly, it wasn't us being greedy. It's just that some sides came attached with the mains that we ordered.

My cousin's Sliced Chicken Hotplate comes with its own little dish of 'kimchi' and a small dish of chicken nuggets, as part of the Ramadhan promo.

Not knowing that, I excitedly ordered another portion of the cucumber 'namul' (pickle) with 'idako' (baby octopus). Inside the covered metal bowl is plain, white rice for my cousin.

I upgrade my 'bibimbap' for $5; to get a side dish (I chose the deep-fried mid-joint wing), pickle of the day (cucumber 'namul') and a bowl of cold white fungus sweet soup.

Does that explain the full table? Then again, full tables at a Korean restaurant is actually very common; given their penchant to serve numerous 'banchan' (sides) in many small dishes.

Cold white fungus sweet soup + Peach & mango tea

…And my cousin Tim in the background.

The cold white fungus sweet soup was served at the start, surprisingly. I assumed that it will be served after the meal. Well, it made a refreshing start to a very filling dinner…

MY cousin was raving on & on about that Peach & mango tea. The combo sounds a lot like the ubiquitous Sjora to me but it does taste different. Nicer, actually.

My hot cinnamon tea 

This drink is actually available free-flow. Apprehensive, I asked them to top-up and they did. So there.

Pretty strong cinnamon taste, with slices of red dates floating inside.

The various side dishes

My cousin doesn't eat veggies so I walloped all the pickles. To compensate, I only had 1 of the nuggets & chicken wings. Gave her the rest.

Sliced Chicken Hotplate 

Slices of marinated chicken meat that appeared to be stir-fried with kimchi, spring onions, chillies and loads of shitake & enoki mushrooms.

She only ate the chicken meat and let me relished the rest (that explained why I felt so full after).

Marinated beef bibimbap

Having tried the Bulgogi beef bap previously, I decide to go for this version with chunkier-looking beef slices.

Love that this is the 'dolsot' version but instead of a hot stone bowl, it comes in this hot, cast-iron bowl. I like that the rice can get charred and stick to the base of the bowl. The idea of scraping out that burnt rice just seem so enjoyable and not to mention, delicious.

It also helps that I chose the more savoury 'Kimgaru' (shredded seaweed) rice.

Check out that burnt rice bits… and I spot some 'tobiko'!

In my hunger, I immediately poured in the 'gochujang' (spicy bean paste sauce) provided on the side. Even added more from the jar on the table. And then I proceed to mix everything up (especially that raw egg in the middle).

Only after a few scoops did I notice the tobiko (flying fish roe). Gosh, I love those! Makes me love this bibimbap even more.

But it was seriously filling. There must have been almost 2 bowls of rice in there! My advice is, if you're ordering the hotpot, then get the bibimbap to share.

Both of us ended up waddling to H&M. However, upon seeing the SALE banners, we forgot our discomfort and zoomed right in.

Made ourselves at home at the fitting room while trying the numerous outfits that we dumped into the shopping bag provided. Since our rooms were next to each other, we kept going into each others fitting rooms to get opinions and to give comments. It was some crazy fun!

Thanks a lot, Tim! To Sue, next time, we'll go again ok??


Their menu HERE

Seoul Garden HotPot
HarbourFront Centre (Ala-Carte Menu)

1 Maritime Square #02-03/04
HarbourFront Centre
Singapore 099253
Tel: 6275 6338

Opening hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Home-made Tteokbokki

The first Sunday of Ramadhan, I wanted to break my fast together with my family. I planned to come by a bit early to help my mum with  whatever cooking that needs to be done. I left my hubby to sleep away at home and my bro will fetch him later that evening. Even planned to explore the Ramadhan bazaars at Tampines, while at that.

During my journey there in the bus, my bro called to say that I'm supposed to help my mum to make something like Korean rice cake (he had no idea)???

My eyes widened. What?! Why didn't she tell me?

So right there in the bus, I fervently googled for 'Tteokbokki' (also known as 'ddeokbokki') recipes. I chose one with minimal ingredients, knowing that my mum will surely be unprepared. I chose THIS ONE.

Upon arriving, I hastily asked her to show me what she had. Was relieved to see that she's gotten the tub of 'gochujang' (Korean red chili pepper paste). There's no 'gochugaru' (Korean red chili pepper flakes) but I guess some regular chilli flakes will do.

There's no 'eomuk' (fish cakes) but my mum recalled some fishball in the fridge. Will do. Truthfully, I was quite taken aback to see how small the raw rice cakes looked. I thought that my mum had bought the 'smaller' version. Little do I know…

So we end up with just these. Okay… Let's go!

Basic ingredients

As I was preparing the ingredients, my mum was remarking how my dad made a fuss when she bought those stuff from the Korean food section at the supermarket. He was mumbling something about 'expired food'.

So I picked up the tub of 'gochujang' and looked for the expiry date. Still within the stipulated date. While at that, I decide to browse thru' the ingredients… Erk?!

There's cooking wine! Oopsie!

It's too late to turn back when we were very much ready to start cooking. So this mother-daughter pair came up with this idea to make our rendition of the 'gochujang'. On the spot, with whatever we have.

Ok, so the actual tub of 'gochujang' consist of :
Red chili powder ('gochugaru'), glutinous rice powder ('chapsal') mixed with powdered fermented soybeans, salt and sweeteners like corn syrup.

Ignore the cooking wine.

So we substitute with:
Chilli flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper (the more the merrier!), corn starch, some 'taucheo' (local soy bean paste) and gula melaka (palm sugar).

And another special ingredient. My mum's homemade chilli sauce. Then we mixed all that up. I then had a taste (later rinsed my mouth out since I was fasting).

Miraculously, it's almost the same! No joke!

So we gleefully proceed to cook. Mixed our version of the 'gochujang' with some anchovy stock (a bowl of water with half a cube of anchovy stock). Later, we put in the rice cakes. Apparently, the rice cakes will be left to cook in the stock like normal rice grains would.

Leave it to boil and the rice cakes with soften up and expand in size (that explains why the raw ones are so small). We then add the rest of the ingredients. Used some cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce…


Our rendition of 'tteokbokki'

When it's time to break fast, I incidentally placed the pan in front of my hubby. He asked, "What's this?"

I mentioned," Korean rice cakes." And what do you know? He immediately scooped some onto his plate.

After some chewing (yes, it's pretty chewy), he he said it was alright. My mum and I hurriedly had a taste. We both decide that we've used a wee bit too much 'taucheo' for the taste was a tad glaring. Otherwise, it's pretty alright.

Despite all the different chilli and peppers used, it's still NOT spicy. Hmm…

I'm SO going around to the local Korean marts and hunt down that tub of 'gochujang' that doesn't have any wine in their ingredients list. Apparently, my mum still has another packet of raw rice cakes sitting in her chiller…

Till' next time!