Monday, 30 January 2012

What we EAT during Chinese New Year

Every year throughout the 15 days of Chinese Lunar New Year(CNY) celebration we would have some house visiting and food gatherings among relatives and friends. As usual from reunion dinner onwards everyday there is at least 1 food gathering where we get to feast different kinds of CNY goodies or special new year dishes.

This post shows how our family feast during the 1st 7 days of Chinese New Year.


EARLY REUNION DINNER @ JING LONG SEAFOOD RESTAURANT


Again this year our reunion dinner with in-laws is at their favourite Jing Long Seafood Restaurant (last year dinner HERE) located at Bedok North Ave 2. But this year their service was rather bad due to poor planning of dine-in timing and lack of serving staffs.

Deep-fried Soon Hock with Garlic - Crispy outer layer with tender and juicy meat inside.

Deep-fried Prawns with Special Sauce - Love these prawns that soak in tom yum taste gravy together with dong fen(冬粉) in it. The dong fen taste so delicious while soaking up the gravy.

Prosperity Seafood Noodles - This braised  Longevity Noodles with seafood is something new to me and I would want to replicate this yummy dish at home. For the sweet version of this longevity noodles you can refer HERE.


OUR REUNION DINNER AT HOME


This year I have prepared two simple dishes for our reunion dinner which is this Stir-fry Fu Gui Cai and Stuffed Mushrooms with Black Moss. (please refer to recipe HERE)

Second dish is this traditional Hakka Glutinous Rice Wine Chicken(黄酒鸡) where homemade rice wine is used to simmer the chicken pieces with ginger and perhaps some red dates for Chinese New Year auspicious colour. (please refer to recipe HERE)


CHINESE NEW DAY 1 - LUNCH


Braised Sea Cucumber with Mushrooms, Fish Maw, Abalone, Pork Tendons(猪脚筋), Dried Scallop(干贝), Black Moss and etc.

Love this Stir-fry Broccoli with Scallop. Very quick and simple homecook veggies.

One of the traditional Hakka dish - Braised Mushroom with dried oyster, roast pork and black moss.


CHINESE NEW YEAR DAY 2 - DINNER


Since the coffee shop below mum's place is not opening during Day 2 of Chinese New Year, she has to source for another catering to provide the food for evening gatherings. Here are the food that she ordered from "Feng Wei Seafood(Block 5 Tanjong Pagar Plaza)".



Braised Tofu with Mushrooms - Accordingly to mum the stall owner told her that they made this tofu themselves instead of store bought. The tofu is very silky soft and fragrance which blends well with the stewed mushrooms and sauce.




CHINESE NEW YEAR DAY 6 - UNCLE ALAN'S HOUSE


For a chance Aunty Grace did not order her Chinese New Year Buffet from the usual cater company this year. Instead she tried another food catering which is smaller in scale and provide quality style of homecook food buffet.

We all love this Braised Pork Belly(Kong Ba Bao - 扣肉包) which is well-season. Each piece of the pork belly is so soft and tender and it goes very well with the white steamed bun. Can't resists to eat more but have to control :)

This round we have Pork Ribs Curry instead of the usual Chicken Curry. Taste wise still acceptable but there is still room for improvement on their curry spices.

Yummy homemade Cheng Teng(清汤) which is not too sweet and yet taste great with generous amount of ingredients such as dried longan, gingko nuts, barley and etc.


CHINESE NEW YEAR DAY 7 - UNCLE LIANG's HOUSE


Uncle Liang is my mum's 2nd brother who is also known as "2nd Uncle" to me. Every years during Chinese New Year he would invited everyone to his house for lunch where Aunty Irene (aunty-in-laws) would whipped up spread of delicious homecook food for us.

Aunty Irene is very thoughtful and she would always prepared some of these finger food for kids(we always have around 10 young cousin).

This "Braised Sea Cucumber" together with lot of other ingredients such as clam, mushroom, black moss, roast pork and etc is one of Aunty Irene signature dish. Everyone I would look forward to eat this dish and I have tried to replicate once using her recipe too. If you are interested to read up more please refer to the link HERE.

Aunty Irene's fried chicken wings is also another of her signature dish. Her chicken wings is very flavorsome and remains crispy even if it is cold. Everyone loves this and we can have 4 to 5 in one go.

Very colourful homemade YuSheng (鱼生) prepared by my 2nd Aunty-in-laws and everyone praised for its' taste and freshness.

My cute and forever young mum, aunty and aunty-in-laws: (Left from back: Small Aunty, Mum, 2nd Aunty-in-laws and 6th Aunty-in-laws; Left from front: 3rd Aunty-in-laws; Small Aunty-in-laws and Big Aunty-in-laws)

My uncles and uncle-in-law: (Left from back: Big Uncle, 6th Uncle, Uncle-in-laws; Left from Front: 2nd Uncle and Small Uncle)

Although different people has different view of Chinese New Year, some might look forward while others might being "running" away from this festive season. But no matter which category you belong to, my advise it family bonding is always something heartwarming and it's good to gather everyone together and enjoy even a simple homecook meal. For more photos of our Chinese New Year celebration, you can check it out at Cuisine Paradise Facebook page "Usher Into the Year of Dragon" album HERE.


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Sunday, 29 January 2012

Chinese New Year @ Malaysian Food Street plus Sentosa Flowers 2012

Every year during the 2nd day of Chinese New Year our family would usually take a half day off in the morning from the usual house visiting before heading to my mum's place. And since I miss out the earlier Sentosa Flowers 2012 media preview, we decided to drop-by on our own to take some snap shots of thematic photo points such as Dragon Gate, Dinoland and etc.

On top of that we also take the chance to visit the newly launched "Malaysian Food Street" locate at The Bull Ring which is just beside Universal Studios entrance.


MALAYSIAN FOOD STREET @ RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA


Malaysian Food Street at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) is officially opened on 12 January 2012. This is a spacious foodcourt standing at 22,000 square feet that seats up to 516 guests comfortably. It has 17 food stalls offering Authentic Malaysian street food such as Fung Wong Confectionery, Heun Kee Claypot Chicken Rice, KL Jalan Alor Hokkien Mee, Penang Ah Long Lor Bak and etc.

As you can see from the photo above, the place is designed to look and feel of the streets in Malaysia, with facades of old shophouses, detail street stalls and replicas of 1950s-style coffeeshop furniture and street fixtures to set the dinning mood.

Fung Wong Confectionery(Kuala Lumpur)is a well-known pastry business for more than 100 years. Today Fung Wong Confectionery is a famous brand name in Kuala Lumpur with it's tradition and homemade recipes behind the freshly baked and delicious pastries such as their crispy Char Siew Siew Bao and fragrant egg tarts.

Operating Hours: 11.00am – 10.00pm Daily

I have heard good reviews about their egg tarts and how fast it is sold out in the afternoon. So without hesitate, this is the first stall we started our queue because I want to try out this "so-called" famous egg tarts.  Luckily we were early that day(around 11.10am) and we are the 4th on the queue before it gets longer after 20 minutes of waiting time. I was also shock to overheard from those queuing in front us that they orders are at least 6 boxes (6 tarts each box) each.

So when the 2nd batches of egg tarts are out from the oven we were all so excited to see whether it would be our turn to chomp those hot and mouthwatering tarts. Each egg tart is price at S$1.20 each. Their egg tarts are really fragrant with smooth and not too sweet egg custard nested in crispy parties that makes you crave for more after each bites.

Kampung Nasi Lemak (Halal)  -  Nasi Lemak is one of Malaysia’s national bestsellers sample food that has won many hearts over with its simple yet delicious flavour. The simple halal dish includes moist coconut flavoured rice, traditional sambal chilli ikan bilis that served together with tender fried chicken or beef chunks.

Operating Hours: Wednesday - Thursday: 11am – 9pm; Friday – Sunday: 9am – 6pm
Closed on Monday and Tuesday

When having Nasi Lemak, I would first look at it's rice as whether is it flavorsome and whole grains instead of soggy rice with no coconut fragrant. After that I would go for their sambal chilli which cannot be too spicy or else it will overpower the taste of this wonder condiment. Overall we gave this stall 4/5 rating for their rice and sambal chilli which I think it taste better than the Fried Hokkien Mee(below).

They have 3 simple choices pricing at:-
~ Normal(rice, egg, peanut and sambal chilli) @ S$3.00
~ Rice + Chicken (rice, egg, deep-fried chicken pieces, peanut, sambal chilli) @ S$4.00
~ Rice + Randang (rice, egg, beef, peanut, sambal chilli) @ S$5.00

Ampang Yong Tau Foo(Ampang) - If you do a Google search on "Ampang Yong Tau Foo, Singapore" you would see a list of entries showing you different stalls around Singapore where the popular stall is around 928, Upper Thomson Road(featured in ieatishootipost, HERE or Misstamchiak, HERE). So with a local stall via authentic Malaysian style in mind, I also join in the queue(waited around 20 minutes) to try out this popular dish.

Operating Hours: Monday And Thursday: 11am – 9pm; Friday – Sunday: 11am – 10pm
Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday

A set like this is known as Small (6 pieces @ S$5.00) comes with fried tofu, brinjal, bitter gourd, fried wanton, chilli and etc stuffed with fresh Parang fish paste. On top of that you can choose from either plain rice(S$1.00 per bowl) or yam rice (S$1.50 per bowl).

Friendly speaking this Yong Tau Foo is nothing of WOW factors and their yam rice is not as flavorsome as what mentioned in some write-up.  In fact we have eaten better one and even the Yong Xiang Xing Tau Foo, 永祥興豆腐(read more HERE) serve better quality that worth the queuing time.

KL Jalan Alor Hokkien Mee(Kuala Lumpur) has a recipe perfected for over 30 years and it is also renowned for its dark sauce that infuses the noodles with a fragrant aroma and paired with the freshest ingredients making it one of Kuala Lumpur’s signature dishes.

Operating Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday: 12pm – 10pm;
Friday and Saturday: 12pm – 12am
Closed on Wednesday

Me and a few friends were attracted by the advertisements on "Today" and "The Straits Time" featured this mouthwatering dish as on it's write-up cover. But the few of us were quite disappointed with this dish which looks and taste totally different from the write-up. In fact there are about 3 cooks whipping this same dish and each has different style and end products. As you can see from the photo above, mine was slightly lighter in color and the paring chilli sauce is so watery.

Overall we(my friends and I go in separate days) the standard of this dish not consistent and most of the time it is lack of that "wok" taste. With a plate like that, noodles and fish soak in black sauce plus a few witted vegetables cost S$6.00 per plate which I think my Cze Char stall downstairs can produce better Malaysian style Hokkien Noodles than this.

For photos of the Malaysian Food Street stalls can be found over at Cuisine Paradise Facebook page HERE.


SENTOSA FLOWERS 2012


This year for the zodiac year of "Dragons" you can see various shapes and forms of dragons arrived at Sentosa Flowers 2012 (圣淘沙春节花会), in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year! The one week exhibit starts from 22 January till 29 January from 10am - 10pm daily.

For the 7th years of the events Sentosa Flowers 2012 has featured a couple of new highlight such as "First Sand Sculpture" and "Mount Faber Debut". The above shows the "Dragon Gate" entrance unfolds the story of three playful kids as they venture out to discover the beauty of spring!

Floral Zodiac Dragon near the Merlion Walk.

Floral Decorated Memo located at the "Sea World" trail together with other sea creatures near Beach Station.

And if you are there this year, remember to join and submit 3 of your best photos taken at the Sentosa Flowers 2012 to qualify for the "Magic Moment Digital Photography Competition" with Grand Prize worth S$2,000(more details HERE)


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Monday, 16 January 2012

Crystal Jade Chinese New Year Specialties 2012

Chinese New Year is around the corner and I am sure everyone is busying with sending auspicious gifts and hampers to business partners, relatives, friends and etc. And last week while at the mist of our spring cleaning, I received a big surprised from Crystal Jade. I was quite shock when the deliveryman hand over a big bag to me as I was not inform before hand on this "surprised".

At first I thought the big box might be "Yu Sheng - 鱼生" since the packaging is more or less quite similar but after removing the cover we are all excited about the assorted flavour of the steamed cakes inside the "Eternal Bliss Gift Set". As you can see above, isn't it look gorgeous as a gift set for Chinese New Year!

Inside the bag there is also this Fortune Bo Lo Pineapple Tart  - 旺上旺菠箩黄梨挞 that comes in a floral design rectangle box with 2 individual sealed packets contain 8 tarts each. To be honest this is our first time trying Bo Lo Pineapple Tarts which is a signature pastry from Crystal Jade My Bread that comes with a combination inspired from the famous Hong Kong "Bo Lo Bao(菠蘿包)". Each bite you would be surprised by it's hint of sweet crispy crust on top which follows by generous amount of tasty pineapple jam fillings. Indeed our family finds it very special compared to the usual buttery taste pineapple tarts that we used to eat.

This Fortune Bo Lo Pineapple Tarts comes is 4 different packaging ranging from S$14.80 - S$30.80. The twin packet shown above is known as "Double Happiness Pack" priced at S$16.80. (more details HERE)

If you still can't decide on what to get during Chinese New Year gathering for your Potluck dishes or tea-snack to impressive your guest especially the elderly. I suggest you could consider getting this Eternal Bliss Gift Set - 五福临门(S$37.80). This set consists of both sweet(water chestnut cake, pandan aloe vera cake, glutinous rice cake) and savoury cake (carrot cake, yam cake) which represent auspicious meaning during Chinese New Year.

And if you ever tried their Dim Sum served at Crystal Jade Kitchen, I am sure you would love these delicious carrot/yam cake which is so soft, flavorsome and made with generous amount of ingredients.

Other than pastries and cakes from Crystal Jade My Bread, there are other Chinese New Year proudcts such as "Peng Cai - 盆菜", "Yu Sheng - 鱼生", "Pagoda of Eight Treasures - 开运八宝塔", "Buddha Jumps over the Wall - 佛跳墙" and etc which is available at different Crystal Jade outlet. (Detail HERE)

Above shows the "Golden Abalone Treasure Pot - 金装鲍鱼盆菜" at a promotion price of S$408.80(10 pax) or S$248.80(6 pax) available from now till 06 Feb 2012.

Glutinous Rice is another auspicious dish to have during Chinese New Year and this year Crystal Jade has come out with this NEW "Pagoda of Eight Treasures - 开运八宝塔" for S$88.80. There are 8 "treasures" arranged neatly on bamboo basket such as:- Fried Glutinous Rice, Preserved Sausage, Preserved Liver Sausage, Deep-fried Chicken Fillet, Fried Quail Egg, Marinated Octopus, Sauteed French Bean and Sauteed Shrimp with Mushroom.

All the Chinese New Year goodies are available for Promotion Price from 05 Jan - 22 January, 25 Jan - 06 February at selected Crystal Jade Outlets. More details and full promotion booklet can be found HERE.

Lastly I would like to thanks Crystal Jade and Linea Communications for the Fortune Bo Lo Pineapple Tarts and Eternal Bliss Gift Set.


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