Sunday, September 29, 2013

Birthday meal at Seoul Garden HotPot

Day after my actual birthday, brought my family to the Seoul Garden HotPot at HarbourFront, which is nearby my bro's workplace.

Iced Lime Tea - $3.00

My bro's drink order. He loved this. "Very refreshing!" he said.

Got for my parents and myself the hot Cinnamon tea. I didn't know why but the one served on that day was on the sweet side. My mum had to pour some mineral water into her cup before she can properly drink some. 

Deep-fried Oyster Mushroom - $5.90

I tried to order the crispy chicken nuggets for my kiddo. "No stock," I was told. I tried the deep-fried mid-joint chicken wings. No stock, too.

Great. What can I feed my kiddo?

When this was served to our table, my kiddo lunged for a piece, thinking that to be fried chicken. It came piping hot and I took the piece away from him, tore it apart and blew on it. "Please let him think that this is chicken. Please let him think that this is chicken…"

He took a bite of the crunchy piece… And ask for another. Phew!
Hey, mushrooms do have the tendency to taste a bit like chicken, doesn't it??

Because everyone loved this, we ordered another round. Yes, another portion!

Deep-Fried Mandu - 6 pcs: $5.90

Desperate to get something for my kiddo, I ordered this too. The crispy-looking outer layer had looked so promising, until I saw the faint green bits inside. Uh-oh…

True enough. When I pulled a piece apart in an attempt to cool it down (all came straight out of the fryer), kiddo was not only turned off by the specks of green but also the scent of the chopped scallions or chives inside. Pfft.

He may hate it but I LOVE those seafood dumplings. Generously stuffed with savoury minced seafood and perhaps some chicken meat. In fact, the more chives, the better!

Seafood Pancake - $8.90

My parents remarked, "Macam 'lempeng' aje…" (looks like our Javanese pancakes…). LOL.

Truth it, all savoury pancakes have more or less the same formula. Water, flour and eggs. It's the added fillings/toppings that makes the difference.

This was generously topped with seafood. The pancake was pretty bland on its own but there's the accompanying sauce to counter that (behind it). However, we were kinda put off by the sauce's strong-tasting tanginess. Too much vinegar, maybe. We used the 'Gochujang' sauce that's readily available on our table, instead.

It'll be nice if they put some chopped Kimchi into the batter.

Seasoned scallop frills (hotate himo) & Kimgaru rice

I think the 'Hotate Himo' (don't know the Korean name for that) was the 'starter of the day', part of the added $3 promo that comes with the bibimbap. Also included is a soft drink.

Behind that was the Kimgaru rice (shredded seaweed flavoured rice) that I ordered for my bro. He loved it. So much so that he ordered a 2nd bowl later on.

Pollack Fish Bibimbap - $12.90

It looks a lot like the dried fish commonly available here. The 'ikan bulu ayam' variant. So I was highly suspicious. Pollack? Hmph!

Then my mum fed me a spoonful and I realise that the fish wasn't even salted fish. It's deep fried fresh fish. Whoa! Very crispy one, at that. Something different than the usual beef & chicken bibimbap that I always ordered. Nice!

And I can never say enough, just how much I love the 'tobiko' (flying fish roe). My parents shared this bowl, btw.

Braised Beef HotPot

Main reason why I brought them here. I was surprised to see that the hotpot was a bit on the small side. I wondered if it will be enough for us all.

They weren't too impressed, though. My bro even remarked that the taste is akin to, 'Asam Rebus' (similarly spicy & sour Malay-style soup). Really??!

No matter what, I still love it. Love the spicy, sour and hearty taste. The marinated beef slices, the thick Korean vermicelli, the chunky mushrooms etc…

Marinated Sliced Chicken

After all that, my hungry bro still wasn't satiated and wanted to make a last minute order. He browsed through the menu and I recommend him my cousin's favourite dish. He agreed.

Thankfully, the rush hour is over so this one came out pretty fast, much to his relief. Essentialy, slices of chicken marinated with sweet & spicy 'bulgogi' sauce, then stir-fried with kimchi, chillies, scallions & mushrooms before being placed on a hotplate and served. He had this with his 2nd bowl of Kimgaru rice.

He loved this one too. In fact, he may come back here and order this, the Kimgaru rice & the fried mushrooms. For himself. Well, that's what he told me, right then.

Anyway, for my family who love watching Korean programmes; be it drama, documentaries or variety shows. I'm just glad to enjoy the cuisine with them. For my birthday, no less.

Many thanks also to my cousin @TimZahrah for lending me her Zingrill MY Preferred Card, that enable me to get at least 10% discount for this meal.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Birthday Surprise

It was a normal weekend where I will bunk over at my new abode. It's currently no feasible for us to stay there for good, currently so we just stay over on weekends.

My cousin @TimZahrah offered to keep me company. I didn't sense anything amiss since this supposedly carefree girl loves to play with my kiddo, anyway.

Later in the afternoon, another cousin, Ate called me. She's always been wanting to meet up and pass me the cold powder (some kind of scrub) that I ordered. Her daughter is schooling at the centre right under my in-laws block but I was always at my new abode by then. I spontaneously invited her over to my new place just to get thing over and done with.

I got busy cleaning up the place (dust from nearby construction site & neighbouring renovation works), clearing laundry that I washed over the previous weekend etc. Tim came at the same time as I did and it was pretty chaotic. Thankfully my helper also came along.

Later that evening, Ate called me again to confirm my house location. I was quite surprised that she actually knew her way without ever asking for my address. Little do I know…

Anyway, it wasn't long till I heard the doorbell ringing. Opened the door to see Ate and her daughter. I was like, "Only you two (he son didn't come, this time)?" Before she can answer, out sprung a group of people from the lift lobby, one of them holding a cake and all of them saying, "SURPRISE!!"


Aside from Ate and her daughter, there's also Nor with her 2 daughters and her 1-YO granddaughter. There's also Sue and Sakinah, Tim's sister.

Awww....... That was the 2nd time that they sprang a birthday surprise on me but this time, I really was clueless. Maybe because I had a lot on my mind. Hurhur. 

Blackforest cake from Polar

The poor birthday cake that got brought out at the lift lobby and got left in the open before I finally managed to get out of the kitchen for the cake-cutting. Sowie....


Cut the cake with my-most-reluctant-to-take-photo Kiddo. My dear cousins made me hold the present that they give, together with the little bouquet of flowers. 

FYI, the flowers are drying pretty nicely at my kitchen. Will take a pic and post it on IG, one day. 

Choux/Cream puffs

Time brought these empty choux shells and only start to fill them up when she came. Talk about last minute… Tsk. But the were nicely small and crispy. Custard not to sweet. I like!


Time made this cheesecake prior to coming here and it had not set properly. She threw the container into the freezer in the last minute. Gave me half and she brought the other half home.

I only manage to have a taste the next day and realised that it's actually Peanut Butter cheesecake! Sinful or what??

This girl is really taking after her mom. They seem to share a hobby of baking. 

Ate brought those colourful Nutella blossoms, seen in the background. Neon-colours that one. Heh.

These people ah, come in one big group then never bring proper food. I plan to prepare food for ard 6 people, max. I end up having to feed like 10 people?? 

Thankfully I have enough ingredients. And my instincts told me to buy (and boil) another packet of pasta. 

But since I was busy handling kiddo and cleaning up, I didn't really get down to preparing to cook. And these poor, hungry souls have to wait until my pasta was finally done when it was almost 8pm. 

Know why it took so long?? All of them crammed into the kitchen. What I thought was a pretty spacious kitchen ended up being really cramped. Doesn't help that almost everyone is quite 'reasonably' sized. Hurhur.

Baked creamy pasta

A mix of fusili & penne with homemade cream sauce (I dislike the taste of the bottled kind). There's chicken ham, beech mushrooms (buna shimeji) and red capsicum. Oh, and lots of cheese. But it still wasn't enough. Sigh. 

I had a slight panic attack when I realised that I don't have a proper container to bake the pasta in. Until I realised that my mum had brought over my wedding gift that was given by my cousin, Suzy. A large, round casserole dish with a metal stand. Perfect!

After more than 4 years of marriage, I finally utilised this wedding gift. Even this particular designer (forgot his name) teacup set (the teapot came in it's own decorated box) given by my guy-pals; I only used when I moved here. Didn't want to use it actually but I didn't have a proper set to serve to my guests, then!

Oh, did I mention that it was also the first time using my new oven? I was wondering why the cheese on top hadn't browned yet, until I figured out that I've used the wrong setting! Pfft!

Anyway, I'm just so glad that they liked it. Been a looong while since I cooked for so many people. Those asking for recipes, I'm sorry to say that I'm the 'campak-campak' kind of person. I just use my instincts and gut-feel (which sometimes let me down too, boo!) when I cook. 

There's also the uber last minute plan to make Nasi Goreng (fried rice). I let them prepare the ingredients and other whatnot. Using freshly-cooked rice, the Nasi Goreng ended up being pretty clumpy- like some 'lontong' gone wrong. Hurhur. 

Oh, did I mention the attempt at making churros? ROTFL. Nevermind. Let's keep it between us, ok

Once again, THANK YOU my dear cousins for the effort and the gifts etc. Thank you for gracing my humble home with your quirks and antics. Your laughter really fill up the spaces with much joy. Thank you for celebrating my big day. And Thank You for making me happy. Love you all. LOTS. 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Qurban/Aqiqah in Mekkah

Helping my cousin spread the word. he's a student at The Islamic University of al-Madinah al-Munawarah. And he's been doing this annually.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Vietnamese Stall @ NoorJannah's Kitchen

Ever since Mon An Halal Vietnamese food stall moved out of their Eunos Crescent premise, I have been pretty much hankering for their fare. They took sometime before finding another suitable location.

And when they finally announced that they're opening at Amoy Street Food Centre #01-68, I was somewhat disappointed to know that it's quite a distance from their former location(s) in the East-side. Also meaning that we might never get their food during lunch hour (the time when we usually dine there). Huhuuu…

Btw, you can get updates on Mon An at their FB.

ANYWAY, my bro has been telling me that there's another Halal Vietnamese food stall at Kembangan. His student live in that vicinity and he always walked past that stall. I was determined to get him to bring me there one day.

As it turn out, it was located within NoorJannah's Kitchen, an eating house located between Mon An's former stall locations. In fact, the stall assistant appear to be the same person who used to work at Mon An previously.

NoorJannah's Kitchen has quite a number of stalls serving different cuisines. There's the North Indian food stall selling naans and the likes. A prata stall, a stall selling crispy chicken rice (my bro's favourite!), Malay food stall which also sell satay, the famous Bone Steak Horfun and or course, Vietnamese food. 

The Vietnamese food stall

The stall was somewhat hidden in a nook but they do have some laminated menus placed on the tables to grab some attention.


One look and I already knew what to get. My parents opt for the regular beef noodles while I chose the beef + tendon noodles. Tendon!!!

They ran out of the 'Cha Gio' (crispy fried spring rolls) so we just settled for the 'Gui Cuon' (fresh spring roll/summer roll).

Vietnamese Beef Noodle

My parent's bowl. In all honesty, it looked pretty dismal. I mean, if you've seen pictures of the beef noodles from Mon An, you can see why.

One, is the absence of a spoonful of 'Mắm Ruốc' (Vietnamese shrimp paste/hae ko/petis). And the generous topping of herbs like basil and 'Ngò Gai' (saw-tooth herb).

Is that fried shallot I see...? hmm…

Vietnamese beef + tendon noodles

My bowl came like 10 mins after my parents' bowl appeared. Maybe it's made to order?

But it's worth the wait. The tendons were sooo tender! I love those. But not the beef slices though. One, they were sliced a tad thick. Secondly, they seemed pre-cooked (not fresh beef). Less tender too.

And something was definitely amiss with the broth. Sigh…

Gui Cuon

This came like another 10mins after my bowl of noodles. It was decent, at most. There were more beehoon than herbs. And the shredded/minced chicken meat taste a tad weird.

As the stall assistant cleared our table, he asked me if I've tried the 'authentic' version located there previously. I knew right on that he was talking about Mon An. So I told him that I was quite a regular. He woefully remarked that the fare from these 2 stalls are totally different. Especially with the absence of that 'Ngò Gai' (saw-tooth herb).

I really have got to agree. And it's good that he thinks that way; for any unknowing person who saw him and that Vietnamese food stall, might mistakenly thought that Mon An is back at that vicinty.

Looks like, after having been exposed to Mon An's authentic Beef Pho, every others just pale in comparison. I have yet to try Orange Lantern's rendition and Sedap Corner's version is pretty alright. But it's a tad pricey.

Mon An's Beef Pho ftw! Both in terms of taste and value-for-money! Guess, I need to make a trip dow to the CBD…

NoorJannah's Kitchen
2 Jalan Masjid
Singapore 418920

Monday, September 02, 2013

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ~ Ultimate Breakfast

Was feeling somewhat under the weather, that day. Bad combo of exhaustion and renovation dust. Renovation dust is a bad, bad one. Somehow, I always suffer because of that.

More of that day recorded in an ENTRY at my Motherhood Blog.

Anyway, while waiting for my turn at the clinic, my mind drifted to what I want to have for breakfast. I may be sick but the appetite wasn't affected, so delicious thoughts of scrumptious breakfast sets drifted into my mind.

Stuff like McD's Deluxe set (like how am I gonna finish that?!), KFC's Eggs & Waffles, BK's Breakfast Platter, LJS's French Toasts or even Swensen's… How about Penny University?? Mmmph…!

Yet, as I walked towards Downtown East, I realised just how delusional I was. All I want is somewhere comfortable and relaxing. Something hearty because after I go back, I plan to down all those drowsy meds and sleep till afternoon. I don't want to wake up prematurely due to hunger.

Eventually walked into CBTL (it's the most relaxing of the lot), looked through their breakfast menu and realised that they have some new offerings. Being the curious person that I am, I chose the heartiest amongst the new ones.

Ultimate Breakfast - $11.90

In fact, I think that this is the heartiest of the WHOLE LOT… Just look at all that meat!


I opt for tea instead for coffee. I'm taking meds after all and I desperately need to sleep!

The platter consist of side salad (love those dried cranberries and almond slivers), 2 strips of turkey bacon, 2 black-pepper chicken sausage, a very thick burger patty (??), scrambled eggs and 2 pieces of toast (taste like brioche to me). Plus small packs of French butter, strawberry jam, chilli sauce, salt & pepper.

I think that can easily feed 2 small eaters (which I'm not).

Unlike all the (processed) meats, the scrambled egg was somewhat bland. Well, nothing that the given salt & pepper sachets can't help with.

All's well but I admit that I was struggling to finish up that hunk of a beef patty. Especially when it's more like 50% meat and 50% fillers.

Quite a pricey breakfast but it sure was satisfying. Plus, the whole place was very chillax, what with nice jazz music playing over the system… It's was a weekday morning, anyway.