Everything Else, Food Hunter

Beef Noodle X Lunch

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Kway Teow | Sliced beef | Beef ball | Bean sprouts | Chinese parsley | Tart chilli sauce

The tenderness of the beef is always something to look forward to in a bowl of beef noodles. With a variety of cuts to choose from (triple, brisket, tendon or frank), it is hard to get tired of this dish.

Not only that, there are other parts of the beef noodle that is yummy. The soup entices me with its herbs and spices brew. Plus, the tart chilli sauce is unique of the beef noodle. Made of grated lengkuas (galangal root), squeezed lime and cincaluk (pickled shrimp), the slight sour and spicy taste helps add a different dimension to the taste and not make eating the beef too much on the stomach.

Oh my. I’m now craving for a good bowl of this again.

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Everything Else

Dong Po Colonial Cafe @ Kandahar Street

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After patronising all those modern cafes featuring complex espresso machines churning out steamed milk and exquisite espresso shots, a visit to Dong Po Colonial Cafe almost felt like I had returned to somewhere familiar after a long absence. I remember growing up on kopi from the drinks stall before church, and my parents would try to limit the amount I drank (“small children shouldn’t be drinking so much coffee!”). Coffee came in small porcelain coffee cups with a saucer, unlike how most hawker drinks stalls serve their drinks in glass mugs these days. The drinker would pour a bit of his coffee into the saucer for it to cool and slurp it up from there. This practice has since given way to ‘civilised’ manner of drinking straight from the coffee cup.IMG02682-20131101-1013

However, I observed a number of the well dressed middle aged customers doing just that at Dong Po Colonial Cafe. Perhaps they simply saw it as a necessity to revive habits long tucked away in a setting that seemed so apt. The cafe is done up in an old school nanyang coffee shop style, replete with vintage Flying Pigeon bicycles, tea and coffee kettles as well as furniture.

IMG02699-20131101-1045IMG02694-20131101-1042True to traditional style, you would not expect to find dainty cupcakes or cookies here. What Dong Po serves up instead is a variety of long lost pastries and tartlets, many of these I have never encountered, which goes to show just how long these goodies have disappeared from the food scene here. The pastries all seem to combine both western and local elements, somewhat like little pieces of evidence that our little island was once a British colony.

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Kopi and Bostock Set

Order the little snacks ala carte or get them in sets that consist of a drink and a snack or two. I opted for the Kopi and Bostock set. Having never tried bostock apart from the one Chong Hao made (recipe featured in an earlier post on this blog), I thought it was high time to try another interpretation of it. The one served at Dong Po is made a la minute. My order arrived at the table fresh off the grill, fragrant with frangipane, toasted almonds and caramelised syrup. Instead of the traditional brioche base used in bostock, Dong Po puts a local twist to the delicious almond breakfast bread by using white toast instead. While this might reduce the sweetness of the bostock, it also adds a slighty more savoury flavour and crusty finish to the toasted bostock. A slight orange-y flavour lifted the dish and prevented it from being too cloying. Topped with a generous amount of frangipane and burnished slivered almonds, this is undeniably great breakfast food.

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The coffee, meanwhile, was a good rendition of Nanyang coffee. It was smooth and sweetened with just the right amount of condensed milk. Thankfully, it was not watered down and weak like how some hawker stalls serve up their kopi these days.

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It was a joy to sit in a bustling coffee shop and look out the window on a rainy day, savouring a good cup of coffee and breakfast. I imagine this might have been what it was like when the pace of life was slower in the past and people preferred local coffee and food over higher priced western options. The beauty of being taken back in time wasn’t lost on me and for that (and the urge to try the other little goodies on offer) I will definitely be back.IMG02687-20131101-1018

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Everything Else, Food Hunter

TANGS Market @ Orchard Road

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“Excuse me, are you sure you can finish two bowls?” 

That was the surprising question I got from a Caucasian man who was in the queue behind me.  One look at the food portion and I could have told him that I was able to finish both. But being polite, I told him it was for my friend and myself to have.

At $4, I was a little disappointed that my 85 Redhill Teochew Fishball Noodles was not able to fill my hungry stomach. However, the noodles had a reasonable spicy and sour taste from the chilli and vinegar sauce.  Thankfully it was just the right amount, if not it would have coated my lips in oil. The fishballs were quite springy and it came with a special mushroom / vegetable piece.

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To top off our lunch, we had Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat Original Popiah ($4). Known as the “Poh Piah Maker to Singapore’s Presidnet and Prime Minister,” it was slightly longer than the usual ones. Wrapped with stewed turnip, radish, beansprouts and fresh lettuce, this healthy snack tasted good and each had the right portion and  crunch to it.  The poh piah skin was not too thick and doughy and it slightly soaked up a bit of the chilli, hoisin sauce and turnip stew in it.

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The fishball noodles and popiah were not the only thing found in the TANGS Market. Tucked within the kitchen and household section of TANGS, it also brings Peranakan, Penang and local delights under one roof. Like a noisy street market, the queues snaked around the narrow walkways and people were jostling through looking for seats in the small area.

The interior were furnished in old school items with an eclectic mix of bright colours and Peranakan patterns and prints. Some includes childhood favourites like the Khong Guan little biscuits with sweet star-shaped coating and Nyonya porcelain wares. While the price to the portion of food serving did not whet my appetite, I do think this newly renovated place is breathing life once again to the once quiet underground passageway towards the Orchard Road train station.

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Everything Else, Food Hunter

Hainanese Delicacy Chicken Rice @ Far East Plaza

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Apologies for the lack of post recently! Our tyftfwe friends have been busy lately to let you in on our food and baking adventures!

Food is one of the way to catch up with friends and instead of a cafe, the classic dish of Hainanese Chicken rice was chosen. Conveniently located in town, office people would be seen queuing for this during lunch time. 

One of the reasons is because its reasonably-priced and fuss-free. The chicken was tasty and tender. The rice was fragrant but I found it to be a bit on the oily side. The chilli sauce was not too spicy but just right. Plus it always goes well with a plate of green vegetables topped with fried shallots.

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But was this worth the wait and queue? Its a yes and no, as I have tried other better chicken rice before but this still taste above the average. However, what I found quite interesting was the atmosphere sitting within a narrow corridor, eating out of a hole-in-a-wall and having to share tables with strangers. A mix of English, Cantonese, Hainanese and Mandarin conversations gets peppered across the shop making it quite a lively space.

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Everything Else

Multi-grain Bagel x Breakfast

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Multi-grain Bagel | Philadelphia Cream Cheese

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Bagels are a largely popular American Breakfast food. Popularised in the 1980s-1990s, it was brought to the US by Jewish immigrants. Although the roots of this humble ring of dough are highly debated, legend has it that in 1683 in Vienna, Austria, a local Jewish baker wanted to thank the king of Poland for protecting his countrymen from Turkish invaders. Thus, he made a special hard roll in the shape of a riding stirrup-Bugel in German – commemorating the king’s favourite pastime and giving the bagel its distinct shape (source).

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Bagels are traditionally made of yeasted wheat dough, boiled for a short while in water before being baked, giving it its unique chewy texture. When eaten fresh, bagels are rings of chewy, fragrant comfort food. If kept overnight, they’re equally good sliced in half and toasted till crisp on the cut side and slathered in cream cheese.

Bagels are a common morning pick-me-up along with a cup of coffee in the US but this delicious and convenient breakfast food sadly doesn’t seem to have caught on as much here in Singapore. Thankfully there are places that do sell fresh bagels, but these are few and far between.

Various varieties of bagels can be found in bakeries and common ones include cinnamon raisin, blueberry and chocolate. The one pictured in this post is a healthy take on the bagel, with multi-grain! What better way to start the morning than with healthy breakfast food? Grab a bagel for breakfast to chase away the Monday Blues and here’s TYFTFWE wishing you a very happy Monday and a food-filled week ahead (:

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Everything Else, I am the baker boy

Bake Sale #1 Summary

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I must thank all of you who made this bake sale so successful! 1000 Thank Yous!

For those of you who were wondering what was the purpose of this sale, it was to raise funds for my India mission trip. Although the amount made wasn’t exactly big, I had a glimpse of what it meant to bake commercially and in copious amounts.  I thank you all for giving me this experience! I look forward to developing more recipes and baking more food for you fellas.

Speaking of bake sales, there is a charity bake sale coming up soon! Any aspiring amatuer bakers interested?

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Time to start developing recipes for this.

And speaking of bake offs, I am a passionate fan of The Great British Bake Off and for those of you who have never seen the show, you really ought to catch season 4 off Youtube while it’s still up there! Enjoy!

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