Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cavalock and The Beer Soaked Sausages

It's all about being creative and that about sums up why I enjoy cooking. When previously I used to follow every recipe right down to the last damn milligram ingredient, I now like to 'wing it' once I have scanned through various online recipes or books. Adding my own spin on stuff has been something I have always enjoyed doing since I was a kid, I guess that's one of the main reasons why I went into the creative/media industry.

Anyway, I figured it's about time I posted some home cooked goodness, a dinner-for-one again as usual. :) I got me some bratwurst sausages, peas and cherry tomatoes lying in the fridge so let's try to put something together.

Now why not some sausages with mushy peas and roasted tomatoes? Instead of plowing through all them food magazines I downloaded or books I bought, I decided to just Google "cooking sausages", "cooking tomatoes" etc. well, you get the idea.

Mushy peas are easy. Place them in a saucepan with water and some butter, boil them till they are soft, then mash them while adding some lemon juice (I used yuzu instead) and little more butter. The roasted tomatoes, just drizzle some olive oil and grill them in a pan. Real simple and they taste great! I poached the sausages first in a 1/2 beer, 1/2 water saucepan for about 20 minutes then grill them till they are nice and done.

Couple things that made it work ... first was how I didn't use any salt at all. The sausages were savory enough and with the natural sweetness of those little roasted tomatoes complementing them, I think it all came together.

If you bake or if you really like your desserts, here's something to try. Green tea liqueur! The real made-in-Japan stuff by Suntory and its at our local Isetan supermarket. Lots of possibilities here from green tea tiramisu to green tea vodka.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cavalock and The Unlikely Coffee Joint

So I was told that there's a new coffee joint that's less than a 10-minute walk from my apartment. Chye Seng Huat Hardware, that's gotta be the weirdest name for a coffee place ever. Apparently they serve really great coffee as well as a killer breakfast menu so of course I had to check the place out.

As they were closed on Mondays, I made my way down first thing Tuesday morning at 8.50am. Just in time to be their first customer for the day.... 20 minutes later. I would have been there at 9am sharp had I not spent the last 10 minutes looking for the entrance. Yup, you gotta go past a pair of large metal garage gates to get to the compound entrance along Tyrwhitt Road.

So was it all worth it? Absolutely.  The coffee, or rather 'expresso with milk', was one of the most expensive (S$5.50) I ever bought but also one of the best and most aromatic brews I ever had. Breakfast was french toast with a banana and a strawberry, yes, 'singular' fruits as you can see. It was nonetheless filling but I could certainly do with maybe another little strawberry.

It's a nice little place, I wouldn't say that it's cozy cos it is rather spacious. Couple of other things on the menu that I would like to try so I'll definitely come back.

Looks like there's no love for Nespresso here!

Just wanna post a few more wildlife pix that my 77-year-old Dad took over the last couple weeks.  Ok, no more eagle pix like the last time. ;)

Here's me Dad's camera and stuff. Just one of the few lens that he has. Can't imagine how a 77-year-old man can carry all that up and down hills, and take public transport too. If you like or find any of the pix interesting, gimme a tick below! Thanks!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cavalock and The Vintage Cheongsam Collection

Looks like Orchid Hotel or 1 Tras Link is shaping up to be my new food haunt. While on my way to Two Blur Guys for a second visit, I decided to make a last minute change to my dinner plans and slipped into the neighboring and very cosy-looking Teppei Japanese Restaurant.

This is a really small joint. As in so small that they only have counter seats and seriously that's how I like my Japanese restaurants. A long time ago, whenever I have a !$%&?/*# day at work, I would head to a Japanese restaurant, plant myself at the counter and order a serving of cold soba and sashimi. Well, that's a lifetime ago...

Anyway, I was glad I made the dinner switch. Ordered a side order of Hokke at S$15, not bad. Fish was nicely fried to just the right degree of "crisp and clear" flavor. Main dish was a full bowl of Bara Chirashi Rice, also at S$15. Really huge pieces of tuna and other sashimi. But the star of the evening has got to be the Squid Butter Teppan at S$12. Ah man, the beautiful chewy squidy texture plus the buttery goodness all just came together in an explosive symphony in my mouth.

With Two Blur Guys and Teppei side-by-side, that's more than enough excuses to drop by Orchid Hotel again.

A little update on the status of my late mom's vintage cheongsams from the 50s and 60s. Local designer Audrey from The Girl's Kasksh was kind enough to prop up some of the cheongsams and snap a couple shots of them for me.

Check out these measurements!

Bust - 32"
Waist - 21"
Hips - 31"

That's the smaller one, the "bigger" one is:

Bust - 32"
Waist - 22"
Hips - 32"

Seriously, are there any 21st century young adult women with those measurements?!?

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Cavalock and The New Burger Destination

Who knew you can get a beef burger this good for just over ten bucks? I'm glad to say with Two Blur Guys, I now have a regular burger joint to head to if I ever have a craving for an awesome prime beef burger. Mine was done to a perfect medium. Was deliciously juicy yet not sloppy at all. Plus you gotta luv the truffle mayo sauce in there.

Check out below and what a gorgeous view this is after you sink your teeth into it. Only regret is the burger could maybe be just a little bit bigger. Hey, I really like it ok?

Two Blur Guys is one of several new joints located at 1 Tras Link, Orchid Hotel. Also spotted a new Japanese place that was pretty packed. Might check that out one of these days.

Now, no National Day post would be complete without my annual snapshot of the wash pole patriot! Seems like every year the same guy or gal would come up with new ways to hang the flag on the wash pole, all the way since 2006 ! Sometimes I wonder if he or she just washes the flag every end July, then simply leaves it to dry for a couple weeks?

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Cavalock and The Time Lord Regeneration

This is actually an overdue post bout me having one of the best home-cooked dinners ever. I was extremely fortunate to be invited to a backyard steak dinner last month. The oh-so beautiful and cooked-to-perfection steaks were all done in this here smoker.

Unfortunately once the food started showing up at the dinner table, I pretty much forgot about snapping any more pix. All I can say is it was great food, even greater company and definitely a Saturday nite to remember.

A little geek speak time as I look forward to a new season of Doctor Who starting later this year and you catch the trailer right here.

You know it's kinda weird and mildly amusing to see geeks everywhere these days swooning over a 50-year-old British sci-fi series like Doctor Who. I recall reading the novels when I was in primary school decades ago. The books were primarily novelised adaptations of the TV episodes. Yup, that's how I fell in luv with the series, it was through the books cos I have never watched a single episode back then. I remember rather vividly reading about Terror of the Autons, who were alien beings who started animating innocent plastic objects or possessing fashion mannequins, then going on some killing spree. That certainly freaked me out as a kid.

I can't remember what exactly drew me to the books. Maybe it was the dramatic covers with the Doctor and all those alien creatures, cos that was the only time and place that I got any graphic representation of the stories. I believe I have my overactive imagination to thank for as I began to conjure up my own images of the Doctor's adventures. No Internet, no TV shows and certainly no Doctor Who comics either, just words on paper to turn me into, I like to believe, the first few real Doctor Who fans in this tiny country. Current reprints can now be found at local book stores like Kinokuniya, with the original covers too.

It wasn't until I, still in primary school, found the above book at now-defunct book store chain MPH, the Making of Doctor Who, that I really went nuts. It had everything I ever wanted to know about the BBC TV series in there. Bios of all the actors and characters (humans and aliens), behind-the-scenes notes and my favorite, synopsis of every episode till The Hand of Fear where the fourth Doctor finally parted ways with Sarah. Now again this was before Wiki and the Internet, so this little sci-fi encyclopedia never left my grubby little hands for at least a year. After reading each synopsis I would daydream about how the episode would look like on TV. Almost every story was left to my imagination!

But as the years went by, I had all kinds of other geeky stuff to occupy my time so Doctor Who and his companions took a back seat and I mean, waaaaay back seat. Fast forward to 2005 when news of a relaunch series shocked old geeks like me, not unlike a shot from a reactivated Dalek.

So there I was, caught up with the new or relaunched Doctor Who series with other new hipsters. I actually managed to pick up a bootleg DVD of the ninth Doctor series while in Hong Kong several years ago. And when I was in London, I picked up a more than a couple of official Doctor Who goodies. Today, I'm grateful to able to talk (mostly online) to other fans, something I could never do as little kid growing up.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Cavalock and The Japanese Lunch Roulette

When I'm in town on a weekday afternoon, I would usually try to drop by Izakaya Nijumaru Restaurant at Cuppage Plaza for lunch. It's not just the good food and a very economical price tag of just S$10, but it's the chance to play food roulette! Cos the S$10 daily set lunch changes everyday and I won't know what's available until I get there.

The place is always packed during lunch and so far I have had the unagi set, the sashimi set, the oden set and last Friday was my first fried chicken or karaage set. Frankly I'm not a big fan of Japanese fried chicken so this set didn't really do it for me. Here's hoping that it'll be sashimi or the oden set the next time I'm there. 

With all my errands and taking care of the elderly relatives etc., its been like a month since I been back to Meidi-Ya supermarket. So here's a little update of the new stuff I spotted starting with ner Japanese beer! Always favorite of mine but I was on my way to play some games so I didn't pick any up.

In time for the Olympics? Here's a very Brit item in the cold section. You know something ... I actually don't remember ever having toffee pudding before but like I said earlier, I was on my way to gaming session so decided not to pick up any groceries.