Food Hunter

Guan Kim Restaurant @ Tanglin Halt

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Planning for a meal that requires table space for a big group of people can be troublesome. This is especially so when certain places are unable to accommodate and it is a bummer if you have to split into smaller groups at separate tables. Moreover, it is another challenge when people are on a budget.

With 10 hungry church teens in tow, I decided on Guan Kim Restaurant. Tucked away in a corner of a shop house, this quiet coffee shop is a stone’s throw away from Commonwealth MRT and neighbouring hawker centres.

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The main draw to this place is the chicken rice. Known as “white chicken” (白鸡), the cooked chicken is dipped in ice to produce a jelly-like skin finishing – all that collagen goodness. We ordered a whole chicken and asked for two bowls of Yong Tau Foo soup (clear soup containing various items like fish balls, stuffed bean curd, and vegetables) and a plate of vegetables with oyster sauce.

There definitely has to be an art behind making chicken rice for it to be one of the national dishes of Singapore. It is a hot favourite I would recommend any of my international friends to try.

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The chicken meat was tender and not dry. The ratio of sesame oil to soy sauce in the dressing drizzled over the chicken was just right, making it fragrant and savoury, and adding a delicious ‘smoothness’ to the meat. Best of all? It did not leave an oily after taste! The skin did not look too undercooked and did not have too much of a jelly texture (which I preferred!). A plus point to this is that the chicken had been de-boned (maybe the store owners saw that there were many young people at the table), yet there were a good two plates of meat to go around; doesn’t being served a plateful of bones with a bit of meat hanging off them get to us all the time!

The rice was flavourful – delightfully aromatic with garlic, ginger and chicken fat – and just oily enough to give the mouthfeel that makes you just want another spoonful. And another. And another. Also, what would chicken rice be without that garlicky chilli sauce? The chilli packed just enough heat, was tangy with ginger juice and really hit home with the garlic flavour; it paired really well with the black sauce and their rice. One bite of the meat and a spoonful of rice with the chilli – exactly what the taste and texture of chicken rice should be. In addition, the chicken stock served alongside it was not oily nor was it overly salted. 

The overall ambience of the place left us feeling like we had been transported back in time. One of us even commented that it had the feel of being in a Malaysian coffee shop. Chatting and eating within this setting was quite different and nostalgic as compared to swanky air-conditioned style eateries that are common rendezvous points these days.

The total cost of meal was quite surprising as everyone had to pay a mere $3.60 and yet all of our hunger was nicely satiated.

To sum up it 5 phrases:

Good food, low prices of food, big group seating, casual dining space, old school interior.

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I am the baker boy

Matcha Biscotti with White Chocolate Chips & Almonds recipe

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A good number of my friends have been asking for something with green tea so I decided to go with this recipe from leitesculinaria. I tweaked it by adding white chocolate chips and using light brown sugar instead of turbinado sugar.

The matcha flavour comes through excellently with every crunch and so does the sweetness from the white chocolate chip. I may have over-baked it a little bit thus leading to its dark green colour though. The white chocolate chips should have also been incorporated deeper into the mixture and not so much at the exterior. However I am pretty satisfied with my end result so all is well.

INGREDIENTS :

250g of  all-purpose flour
80g of caster sugar
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of green-tea powder
1/4 tsp of  salt
3 large eggs
60g of unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
30 g of slivered, blanched almonds
30 g of  white chocolate chips
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tbsp of  light brown sugar

RECIPE :

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WHISK sugar, baking powder, matcha, and salt in medium bowl

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BEAT the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla in another bowl

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COMBINE mixture

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ADD white chocolate chips and almonds

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SEPARATE into two even portions (you can see I did a terrible job here. HAHA. )
ROLL into a log the size of your tray and flatten slightly
BRUSH top with egg white and sprinkle generously with light brown sugar

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BAKE for 20-25 mins in pre-heated oven of 175C (make sure it’s firm to the touch and light brown at the top)
COOL for 10 mins or when it’s easier to handle

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CUT into bite size pieces using serrated knife (I haven’t had much biscotti in my life and these are roughly the sizes of the one I had in germany!)

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REDUCE oven temp to 135C
ARRANGE one side of the biscotti on tray
BAKE for 15 mins

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FLIP the biscotti to the other side
BAKE for another 15 mins

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PLACE into jar and serve with coffee

MATCHAEAT

ボナペティ!

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Bostock recipe

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What is Bostock?

Bostock is an almond syrup-soaked, frangipane-topped, caramelized crispy edge bread toast typically made with stale brioche bread.

Despite the delicious-sounding description, I am sad to inform you that bostock is not commonly found in around Singapore. However all is not lost. With a bit of time, you can do this yourself!
TYFTFWE is here to present the first Singaporean recipe for this. This is possibly the time-consuming recipe I have attempted so far. It required me to learn a lot of new skills (blanching and silvering almonds) but it was definitely worth the effort. Other than that, everything else was relatively easy. For my variation of this amazing, mouth-watering brunch food, I used the mini-loaf baguette from Bakery House Cafe at Upper Thomson.

(EDIT : I used another loaf in the later pictures cause I couldn’t resist finishing the baguette)

PART 1
ingredients

blanched whole almonds
300g of raw almonds
strainer
paring knife
300g water

recipe

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weigh 300g of almonds

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boil water in a medium-size pot
pour almonds into boiling water for exactly 1 minute

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pour almonds onto strainer
dry almonds with water towel or bake them at 150C for 5 minutes

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blanch almonds by squeezing/slipping them gently (the white part of the almond should just pop out, leaving the skin)
sliver/flake 50g of almonds with a paring knife
toast flaked/slivered almonds under high heat for 5 mins

that concludes the first part of this recipe!

PART 2
ingredients

almond paste
250g blanched whole almonds
125g sugar
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 cup of water
30g of butter
food processor
boil honey, sugar and water in medium-size saucepan
process blanched whole almonds till coarse

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pour sugar, honey & water mixture over processed almonds
blend everything together
cool in fridge covered with cling wrap for about 1 hour
add melted butter
mix well

PART 3

ingredients

almond syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar (120g)
1/2 cup water (120g)
1 tablespoons honey (15g)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (7g)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (7g)
pinch of salt
recipe

boil everything together
cool it at room temp for 10 mins
pour enough into bowl for dunking of bread later on (I kept the rest of my almond syrup in a jar and left it in the fridge)

PART 4
ingredients

frangipane
56g of butter
110g of almond paste at room tempature
1 egg
22.5g of plain flour

recipe

melt butter in oven at 220°C for 3 minutes
mix with almond paste
add egg
whisk mixture
pour in flour
mix well (mixture should be smooth and very spreadable)
pour into jar and keep refrigerated till use

PART 5 : BOSTOCK ASSEMBLY

preheat oven to 180°C
grease baking sheet with butter

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cut bread

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prepare everything in place

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dunk bread in almond syrup

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spread frangipane over bread

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sprinkle flaked/slivered almonds over bread

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bake in 180°C oven for 15-20 minutes till edges are caramelized

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Topped with toasted flaked almonds, this almond syrup-soaked, frangipane-topped, caramelized crispy edge bread toast is heavenly. The taste is simply sensational. Even my father who usually doesn’t enjoy sweet stuff enjoyed it. Now all I need is just stale bread to dunk, spread over and bake to get my bostock fix.

What are you waiting for? Time to get cracking!

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Food Hunter

Breadyard @ SUTD

breadyard

The Merry Bird (Seasonal Special)

Orange wholemeal bread | Turkey Ham | Rocket | Cheese | Onion| Cranberry Sauce | Entrée of Roasted Potatoes

This is one of the best kept secrets that not many people know about and only those in this university would.

Breadyard serves simple fare such as sandwiches, bread and bakes. They have four types of bread used in their sandwiches that are not your typical choices found elsewhere (Multi-seed, Olive, Hokkaido Milk, Italian Wholemeal). Plus, it is easy on the wallet!

Something interesting about the small bakery is that you can take a peek into a little corner reserved for the fermentation of their bread dough. The people behind this place do want to share in their joy of creating fresh bread!

If you visit this place, you might want to consider buying one of their home-made bread to take home!

Here is a short clip by them!

Don’t you want to make some bread after watching it? (:

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Flourless Dark Chocolate Coffee Almond Cake recipe

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I originally wanted to do a flourless chocolate cake but SORTED came up with a recipe for a flourless coffee and almond cake and so one thing led to another and thus, the fusion creation. The recipe for the cake is here. I simply added a dark chocolate topping .

Enjoy the photo process!

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Extreme Banana Walnut Bread recipe

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banana walnut bread

2 cups of bread flour [250g]
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter [227g]
1.5 cup of sugar [300g]
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup walnuts [108g]
2.5 cups banana

1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Add 1 tsp vanilla
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition
4. Mix in mashed banana
5. Mix in dry ingredients (other bowl : sifted baking soda, bread flour and salt)
6. Stir in nuts
7. Bake for 55 mins (165 degrees)

The taste is moist, dense and bursting with rich banana flavor, coupled with freshly chopped walnuts for that extra crunch; this is the extreme banana walnut bread.

How did I do it?

For starters, I wanted something healthier so I used dark brown sugar instead of white sugar, thus resulting in a much darker loaf. I tweaked the recipes that I found here and here in order to come up with this recipe. I used way more banana than any other recipe out there, resulting in a heavier and less dense loaf . Well, enough talk.

Time to sink in.

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