Monday, March 10, 2014

Savour 2014 @ lunch

Nothing more the treat than going to Savour a second time with a girlfriend :)
The sun was relentless.

Walking straight into the air conditioned comfort of Barilla Studio for another fuss free pasta recipe.
Yet another traditional recipe.
This time, it was the Bolognese Tagliatelle.
My favourite choice of pasta and a traditional take on the bolognese sauce.
Just to make things easy for the purposes of their demonstrations, a blender was used to chop the mix of vegetables finely before it was stir fried with some extra virgin olive oil and minced beef.

Buon Appetito!

This ended just in time for the Nespresso Atelier class still within the Savour Experience Arcade.

The presenter was very well informed and I've learnt a lot more than I've ever cared to know about the espresso and the reason for all the times I've tasted no difference in the various Grand Crus.

A thick and healthy amount of crema indicates that your coffee is fresh when extracted.
Pushing away the crema really made for a difference in smell and taste.
I'm ashamed to say I've been doing coffee wrong my whole life!

The selection of cheese at the Jasons Market never fails to impress me.
And nothing this camembert and brie could do to disappoint.

There are, of course, treats for the sight as well as for taste. :)

I felt like a kid in a candy shop!
These were much too sweet for my liking though.

Deciding to brave the unforgiving heat, we made our way out to the open air seating area to grab some food.

Since Mao Tai was a must in this crazy heat,
we made our way to Bo Innovation to pick up a xiao long bao to try as well.

Mmmm. :)
It was a tad on the salty side.
But that moment,  releasing the taste so familiar before it just disintegrates into nothingness in your mouth.

Nothing like Mao Tai to beat the heat.

And these truffles from the UAE, were made of 100% cocoa butter.
And these were so rich, they were the epitome of decadence.
The tanginess of raspberry that accentuated the chocolate, simple happiness in cookies and cream, the nibs of coffee beans in coffee and that robust taste of champagne.
We couldn't tell one from the other, but the taste was impeccably unmistakable.
We loved them all.
And a box of 4 for $14 suddenly seemed like a fair price to pay.

That's David Keru who was introducing the slab of beef and preparing the different cuts and explaining painstakingly on the finer essences of each.
Unfortunately I didn't manage to find time to stay for the tastings.
But I've learnt a fair bit from his expertise.

Savour 2014.
It's been great being there for a dinner and a lunch.
Come, celebrate the delicious next year for those who missed it this time! :)

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Savour 2014. Come savour the delicious!

A brand new location at the Marina Promontory.

Getting there is a breeze from Downtown Station on the Downtown Line.
The next nearest station would be Raffles Place Mrt.

Wednesday night is the first day of Savour 2014.

And what a welcome sight for the senses this was. :)

There were changes to the schedules of the Masterclasses and these signages were well posted.

The site map provided in the festival guide in case you wanted to map out your route for the various sessions.

Made our way to the Barilla Cooking Studio in the Arcade Experience Corner and I was impressed with the well-equipped studio.

Slyvia and Stephania are two ladies of Italian descent living in Singapore.
They love their pasta and they loved sharing their recipe for the perfect carbonara.

It was fuss free and easy to replicate.
Keeping the traditions of carbonara and savouring the delicious.

All participants walk away with a goodie bag of pasta and a bottle of pasta sauce compliments of Barilla.

Michael Paucod of Lugdunum Bouchon Lyonnais, Japan. 1 Michelin Star.
with Julien Royer of Jaan stepping in as a translator with his own class of humour. :)

Making cheese eclairs.
It came as a welcome surprise that he shared the ingredients and their exact quantities at this Masterclass.

Cheese and escargot eclair.

Which is also on sale at his unit for $14 a pop.

Made a stop at Alvin Leung's unit for some of his signatures.

Lap Mei Fan.
How does he do it?
These molecular gastronomy foods are in a class of their own.
This was a perfect sharing quantity.
I liked it but I didn't like the greasy aftertaste.

His Mao Tai sour was a welcome respite from the dry heat and it was a delightful palate cleanser.
Flash your Standard Chartered credit card for $2 off.

The Jasons Demo Kitchen was a tiny contrived space sponsored by KitchenAid but it did see Michael Caines of Gidleigh Park, England. 2 Michelin Star, serving up one of his signatures.
Instead of mullet, he used fresh sea bass and it tasted amazing.

A passionate chef sharing his love of food, he invited us to taste the elements as well as the prepared dish.
The browned butter or beurre noisette with ketchup and fennel was a split vinaigrette with an amazing color and tantalizing taste.

And making it in time for the last Masterclass with Chef Daniel Sia of The Disgruntled Chef.
He was really quick, finishing in 30 minutes.
Leaving ample time for questions from curious kids from At-Sunrise academy.

And for tastings of course.
Generously sharing his delicious stewed pork cheeks in Japanese miso.
This is also available at his unit right next to Harry's bar.

I much prefer the venue at the F1 Pit for the layout of the Master classes and various demos. But what the organizing team has done with this new venue must also be commended.
The makeshift toilets are air conditioned and well furnished.
The Jasons market has a sprawling dining area this time for its live sea catch and other light bites.
And I loved dining outdoors in the evenings with a wide expanse of space that goes around the Nespresso arcade and ample tables and seating area.

Plus walking out to a view like that at 11pm at the end of the event was breathtaking.
I've Savour.ed 2014 and I'll be back for more.
See you there!

Friday, February 28, 2014

me want cookie! raisin & oatmeal or chocolate chip? omnomnom.

When I repeat a recipe,
I know that its for keeps. :)
And sometimes, it's because it's a simple one too!

Cream the butter and sugar.
We use homemade vanilla essence.
And the aroma is irresistable!

Go crazy with Hershey's chocolate chips.

Or my preferred option of raisin and rolled oats.
It almost makes it a healthy balanced diet. :)

Original recipe:

540 g butter
350 g castor sugar
240 g raisins
225 g oat flakes
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
595 g bread flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

Lightly mix butter and sugar.
Add raisins, oat flakes and vanilla essence.
Stir in flour and baking soda.
Shape into cookies. :)

Definitely cut down on the sugar.
I usually go for about 300g. Sometimes, 280g.

**Being the rogue baker I am, I don't follow the recipe at all. 
Thrice I've made this and never once the same.
I've tried equal parts of bread and cake flour.
I've tried less butter.
And I've tried less sugar.
Baking is a science. You've gotta run the experiments till you get the results you want!

Happy baking! 

Savour 2014

Mackerel & Squid cakes. Anthony Demetre of Arbutus.

Savour 2014

Singapore's largest gourmet festival, SAVOUR is a perfect event to bring together an international culinary taste fest with a host of activities open to all event participants.

The event venue this year at The Promontory also promises a cooling breeze from the water way nearby. 
The Gourmet Market this year, by Jasons, will have a new feature where participants get to see live filleting of sea catches. Chef Claudio Sandri of Spathe with his unassuming manner and boyish charms will work his magic in the Jasons kitchen again at Savour 2014.

Chef Claudio Sandri of Spathe Public House.

The wide selection of cheese and wine tastings will still remain. The highlight of celebrity chef masterclasses, a hands-on cooking studio, wine workshops and other themed areas will all be featured again at Savour 2014. 

Cooking at Jason Atherton's masterclass was one of life's highlights.

Chef Alvin Leung. Bo Innovation.

The best thing? 
All these are complimentary for event participants. You just have to check these classes out early and plan your time well at the event.

Not forgetting the official coffee co-sponsor Nespresso.
Offering delectable new flavours and hands on workshops.

I'll be there for Savour 2014.
And I'm looking forward to every single bit of palate pleasing, taste sensations at The Promontory!
See you there? :)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

joe & dough

Nothing like a coffee date for a Sunday break.

Flat white ($5.30)
It was decent.
But not for a pick-me-up.
It could've really used a stronger shot of coffee.

Teriyaki Chicken ($7.80)
The chicken chunks were well marinated in teriyaki sauce, juicy and tender to the bite.
The zucchini was fresh with a crunch that took away the little greasiness of chicken fat.
And the pineapple chunks were a surprise addition, 
lending a natural sweetness to this sandwich.

Bacon Mushroom Melt ($8)
This was a bun with slight sweetness.
Which was a perfect contrast to its savoury fillings.
The bacon wasn't fatty nor fried to a crisp.
Of course. The portobellos.
The earthy flavours nicely balanced the strong flavours of bacon and mozza melts.
I would be biased in my love of mushroom to say that this was my preferred choice.

But otherwise, speaking on an entirely impartial stomach,
there's an equal chance of my second order for both sandwiches.

Happy campers :)

年年有余 in celebrations for Abundance through the year

I've probably had ten of these in the 15 days of the Lunar New Year.
And they came in all shapes and sizes with different people groups.

But this.
Was 年年有很多鱼!
Bountiful set for 4-6 persons with 18 slices of salmon.
With add-ons of 12 slices of salmon and kajiki.
Do the math.
That's 42 slices.

There's a lot of camaraderie in the tossing of colorful fresh and preserved vegetables alike.

And then you mumble some awkward random chinese prosperity phrases.
But when people just play with the vegetables on the surface, you know some massive help is needed.

Like that.
Otherwise, somebody's gonna end up eating a whole blob of sweet plum sauce.

There's just a lot of fish in there.
And as the chinese saying goes,
my dining partners insisted that we keep one slice of fish aside.
Hopefully that little slice bodes well for us four in the year 2014 :)

Putting size into perspective with the lemon wedge.
These were baby sized shisamos.
I have never seen them like that.
And frankly,
we were hardly pleased.

The hanasaki ika tempura was also more batter than anything actual squid.
I don't know what went wrong there.

Thankfully we had these edamame peas that were faultless.
And really the saving grace after our massive tossed salad.

It was a miss that night at Ichiban Boshi Ngee Ann City.
But I'll be back again.
And see how all that goes.
For the love of affordable Japanese food and the expanse of space and high ceilings at this outlet situated so conveniently in the heart of town.

To a great year of the Wooden Horse ahead!