Thursday, 17 May 2018

Nutritional Harmony With Frunatic



My Health and Fitness Regime

I used to think I was quite smart when it came to managing my health, nutrition and fitness needs.  After all, I led a fairly active lifestyle, getting a good amount of workout at the gym about 5 times a week, and I would try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals without missing out on my favourite foods.  Every 6 months, I would go for that mandatory medical check-up, and for me, it was a necessary routine because I have a congenital heart defect that needed lots more medical attention.

So yes, when it came to my health, I was definitely on top of it. 

I got so fixated with my nutritional needs that I had even done a DNA test to get better insights into my nutritional and fitness requirements.  After an intense session at the gym, I would immediately have a protein shake chock full of nutrients that I thought could refuel me.

However, really, how much of nutrients would I really need?  Was I consuming unnecessarily more than what my body was absorbing? What nutritional deficiencies do I have since my DNA test about 2 years ago?   I swept these questions under the carpet for as long as I could, till I visited Frunatic a few days ago.  I was mind-blown by the educational experience and thought I had to share it here.


What Is Frunatic?

It was hard to label Frunatic....a restaurant?  That probably would not be very accurate.  Frunatic was set up as a Food and Wellness concept which had a team of highly qualified and passionate nutritionists, dieticians, naturopathy doctors and an executive chef who designed therapeutic nutrient-densed wellness foods using Traditional Chinese Medicinal herbs and whole foods containing superfoods, vitamins, minerals and all other natural wholesome goodness, focused on supporting a client’s nutritional needs and lifestyle.

So if a client was hoping to manage his diabetes condition and lower his blood-sugar levels, Frunatic would craft a program that included nutritional analysis, wellness consultations and a food preparation program to ensure he gets fed right while keeping his blood-sugar level in check.


For someone like myself, who lead a highly stressful lifestyle, bouncing between work, gym, home, my business and multiple passions,  and possibly lack sleep ( I sleep only 4.5hours a day and mom calls it “old people’s problem”), I would probably need a program that is for anti-fatigue support.


The Frunatic Therapeutic Wellness Meal Program

The Frunatic Therapeutic Wellness Meal Program first puts me through a non-invasive nutritional analysis which assesses which nutrients was missing from my body. That means, I know what my body needs specifically.  How many times, I would have been “eating healthily” only to realise that most of the nutrients I had eaten in my healthy meal really were not what I need or were not absorbed enough to benefit me thoroughly?   After the nutritional analysis, and dietary consultations, the team will then curate a weekly 8-course omakase meal plan where the meal which is dairy, gluten, trans-fat, additives, cholesterol and preservatives-free, could be delivered to me or served to me at their restaurant premises.  The program also includes an executive health screening.  Most of us, don’t have just one issue in our hands.  With our complex lifestyles, we often have multitude of issues.  It would not be uncommon for a single person with multiple needs to address from fatigue, stress, lack of sleep, hypertension, diabetes, weight management etc.  So what I ultimately would have, with Frunatic, is a comprehensive wellness program designed specifically for me and backed by my personal team of dieticians, nutritionists, naturopathy doctors and medical doctors…oh and not forgetting the executive chef!  For more than $900 worth of expertise and scientifically- planned meals for this program, I am paying only less than $400 for it.  This was definitely great value for money, especially when it did not add unnecessary stress on me like following a strict diet, or ingesting more supplements.

Frunatic’s therapeutic wellness meals concept is so unique.  It has no competition like it.  And here’s what I ate that day.  I definitely was substantially fed and really had not much space to even finish my main course and dessert.  The food was also absolutely delicious that I would not have thought of it as health food.


My Personalised Frunatic Therapeutic Wellness Meal

I was served an 8-course omakase meal meant for adrenal support because I was deemed to be suffering from fatigue.  I did lack rest and was juggling so many commitments that required my maintaining a certain level of energy throughout the day.  I thought that eating smaller portions each day, would be enough to help me manage my weight and support my health and fitness.  However, I realized that I was not eating enough.  This adrenal support meal contained superfoods like arugula, and flax seeds, and lots more goodness to help reenergized me again.

This was my meal, which was kickstarted with a glass of sparkling probiotic enzyme drink. 



And yes, the sequence matters:

 Ginseng Lemongrass Tea - Invigorating alkaline water infused with premium American ginseng, lemon slices and a stalk of lemongrass.




Strawberry and Grapefruit Skin Smoothie - Grapefruit, strawberry, banana, baby spinach, and chia seeds.


Asian Fusion Salad With Sesame Ginger Dressing – Fusion salad of shredded cabbage, grated carrots, and sliced onions brought together with a touch of sesame ginger dressing.


Glowing Sunshine Juice - Carrots, grapefruit, ginger and ginko powder.



Hazelnut Cacao Truffle – Hazlenuts, dates, raw cacao powder, and gogi berries.


Roma Kale Chips – Kale leaves marinated with red bell pepper paste, and seasoned paprika.

Vegan Yong Tau Foo With Brown Rice – Ladies finger, eggplant, tofu stuffed with special mushroom and minced water chestnut.


Mango Pandan Cheesecake – Mango mousse with pandan on a bed of crispy almond coconut crust.



Verdict?  -  BELLY WHOLESOME AND HEALTHY YET DELICIOUS

 
*My meal seen here within this blog post was prepared for me, courtesy of the team at Frunatic.  Thank you for the educational experience.
 

About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Steak Frites At The Lokal


In the past few years, the hubby rarely found a good steak here in Singapore.  In fact, every steak he had ordered in the past year alone, was sent back into the kitchen, untouched.  So let me recount a couple of incidents that had happened just a month ago.

 

We visited this restaurant known for its brunch fare, set in the heart of the Mohammed Sultan area near the river.  The hubby ordered steak and eggs after a workout at the gym nearby.  When the medium-rare steak arrived and he cut into it, the inside of that steak was bright pink and looked relatively right for a medium-rare steak.  However, when he bit into it, it was cold, as if it had just been taken out of the refrigerator.  So the steak was sent back.  When they came back with yet another medium-rare steak, it was still cold in the middle. And you know what insulted him most?  When the final bill came, the waitress chirpily announced, “As you did not like the steak, we decided to take the cost of your cup of coffee off the bill.”  Yes, we went ballistic and we swore never to return again.

 

Then, we visited yet another restaurant, well known for its Steak Frites.  It served only Steak Frites as a main course on its menu in fact and had opened a new outlet at Orchard Road.  I loved Steak Frites, but this one, arrived drenched in sauce, so much so that I tasted more sauce than steak.  And I am perhaps a bit pedestrian when it comes to my chips, I like them thickly-cut.  The chips that were served looked like they were re-fried at least 4 times, and heaped on a plate like a stack of over-dried skinny straws.

 

My last attempt was a restaurant at Sentosa that was also well-known for its steak. I thought that perhaps, if I had gone a bit more “atas” (high class) with my steak option, the steak might turn out better.  This one was unfortunately one of the worst. The consistency of that aged steak was more aged than I thought.  It tasted like the bottom of my shoe.

 

Then, when I saw pretty pictures - I am a sucker for pretty pictures - in the Instagram page of The Lokal (@thelokalsingapore), I decided to gather the family together to try its Steak Frites.  My very Singaporean son said in his exaggerated Singlish accent, “Sure or not one…Can make it or not?”  The British hubby who claimed to be a steak aficionado grumbled under his breath “Restaurants in Singapore just can’t do good steaks.” I was of course pissed off with that remark. As a proud Singaporean I found that disconcerting yet I had to agree that I haven’t found a steak good enough for me to re-visit.  However I managed to persuade the both of them to join me for a mid-week “Wine- Down -Wednesday-Steak Frites Dinner” at The Lokal.

 

I was so glad we did put some time away for that enjoyable dinner because the hubby finally approved of the steak he was served.  We ordered the rib eye in medium rare and Joel ordered the sirloin in medium rare.  They came out looking and tasting just perfect.  This was a medium rare steak served the way it should be served, pink and juicy in the middle, melt in the mouth and hot throughout. That restaurant I had mentioned before, that served us the badly cooked steak and eggs,  served us a medium rare steak which was pink in the middle and cold inside! We thought the cow was still mooing and they had just wiped its arse and placed the fella on our plate!   I was so pleased that I had proven the hubby wrong.  THIS is finally, THE restaurant in Singapore that served a great steak after all.

 

 
 


We capped this exceptional dinner with 2 equally exceptional desserts, the Sticky Date Pudding and the Chocolate Lava Cake.  Joel declared that he was way too full for dessert after his steak frites but ended up polishing that chocolate lava cake.  So, as you can guess, the word good for the food served here would be an understatement.

 

 

The patatas bravas https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/f9/1.5/16/1f954.png🥔 were fab...I thought there wasn’t much of it for a large portion but really, looks can be deceiving. The churros was sublime. 3 Of us had to compete for that plate of churros. Oh and I can’t miss out telling you about the exquisitely presented cheeseboard and the fact that they started our meal with some thinly sliced toasts with a homemade butter made from Spanish red peppers. That was wow!

My verdict? – Could Belly Well Be The Best Steak In Singapore.

 

About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Tapas 26 Wows With Delicious Simplicity


New restaurant alert! We stumbled into Tapas 26 at 26b Dempsey Road, by chance.  It was so well-hidden and nondescript but we were ecstatic about having found the restaurant.  And this was possibly one of the better Spanish restaurants we had come across here in Singapore.

 

They have so much pride in their food. The food quality was excellent. I wanted a carabinero prawn and squid paella without the squid ink because the man requested it, and they obliged with this exquisite plate of goodness where you can taste the rich flavour of seafood infused into every grain of rice. I just wished I could taste some of that crispy bits from the bottom of the pan. In fact, it was so good I wished I could lick that bottom of the pan. Lol!

 


We also had the iberico jamon and truffle and cheese croquettas. The former was great, where the taste and texture of quality ham really came through. I did not quite enjoy the truffle and cheese croquettas and felt that the mushroom croquettas at La Pepa were much better as I was reminded of a mouthful of rich, velvety mushroom soup as I crunched into one of those delightful ball of awesomeness.  But the iberico jamon one was highly recommended.

 
 
 
 


The patatas bravas was fab...I thought there was not much of it for a large portion but really, looks could be deceiving. The churros was sublime. The 3 of us had to compete for that plate of churros. Oh and I could not miss out telling you about the exquisitely presented cheeseboard and the fact that they started our meal with some thinly sliced toasts with a homemade butter made from Spanish red peppers. That was simply wow!

 

I enjoy food that is so simple, yet exquisitely cooked and presented, and Tapas 26 delivered exactly on point with that delicious simplicity.

 

Highly recommended and well worth the trek up Dempsey Hill.

The patatas bravas https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/f9/1.5/16/1f954.png🥔 were fab...I thought there wasn’t much of it for a large portion but really, looks can be deceiving. The churros was sublime. 3 Of us had to compete for that plate of churros. Oh and I can’t miss out telling you about the exquisitely presented cheeseboard and the fact that they started our meal with some thinly sliced toasts with a homemade butter made from Spanish red peppers. That was wow!
Highly recommended and well worth the trek up Dempsey Hill. *Unsponsored PostThe patatas bravas https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/f9/1.5/16/1f954.png🥔 were fab...I thought there wasn’t much of it for a large portion but really, looks can be deceiving. The churros was sublime. 3 Of us had to compete for that plate of churros. Oh and I can’t miss out telling you about the exquisitely presented cheeseboard and the fact that they started our meal with some thinly sliced toasts with a homemade butter made from Spanish red peppers. That was wow! Highly recommended and well worth the trek up Dempsey Hill. *Unsponsored Posts. The former was great, where the taste and texture of quality ham really came through. I didn’t quite enjoy the truffle and cheese croquettas and know of a restaurant here in Singapore that cooked something similar, better. But the iberico jamon one is highly recommended. The patatas bravas https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/f9/1.5/16/1f954.png🥔 were fab...I thought there wasn’t much of it for a large portion but really, looks can be deceiving. The churros was sublime. 3 Of us had to compete for that plate of churros. Oh and I can’t miss out telling you about the exquisitely presented cheeseboard and the fact that they started our meal with some thinly sliced toasts with a homemade butter made from Spanish red peppers. That was wow! My verdict? – @tapas26sg was Belly Yummilicious

 

About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.

Monday, 29 May 2017

The Rabbit Hole Salad


A Salad With Benefits Beyond Health

 
It was not difficult to make a healthier choice when it comes to lunch around the Raffles Place area.  I was surrounded by so many cafes serving salads, sandwiches, soup and cold-pressed juice where I worked.  Even when the temptations of cheap and delicious local fare at the likes of Lau Pa Sat, Market Street and several food courts were just a stone’s throw away, my desire to have a quick lunch that was healthy and guilt-free, within an air-conditioned environment often won hands down as an option for lunch. 

 
Let’s face it, when I indulged in a bowl of salad, I felt relatively happier that I need not have to face the wrath of my personal trainers and explain myself later.  The salad always looked so colourful that it was instagrammable, and that helped because I was a social media whore. I often come out of the café smelling and looking refreshed compared to having come out of a food court smelling like chicken rice.  That was useful particularly when I had to meet the boss after lunch for a presentation. A salad meal meant that I had left enough room within my calorie count for the day to have a cupcake that I might accidentally chance upon at the office pantry.

 
But did we need yet another café serving clean eats when there were already so many that had sprung up across the CBD? How different can another café serving up salad, sandwiches, soup and cold-pressed juice be?  You would still be served a salad bowl with a base of lettuce leaves, and other vegetables and a protein topping of your choice, right? The last time I checked, a lettuce tasted like a lettuce no matter where I bought that box of salad from.  After packing a random box of salad back to the office, could you tell the difference between what had been served at the Daily Cut, Omnivore, Salad Stop, The Salad Shop, Grain Traders, Wheat, Raw Bar, and Lean Bento?  Some salad aficionados might differ in opinion.

 
The truth was that, now that I have been walking on this journey towards better health, and knowing that I needed to eat right so that I could be fuelled enough to get me through my very hectic work schedule, I would not think that there could be too many of such cafes.  I would usually head for the one that was most convenient and had the shortest queue.

 
However, when the Rabbit Hole Salad & Juice opened at One Raffles Place, that would usually be my first stop for salad because that café served up clean eats with a difference.

 
This café is a social enterprise, set up to not only feed people with great tasting and healthy salads complete with a choice of home-made dressings, sandwiches, soup and cold-pressed juice.  It also provided an opportunity for people with autism to integrate into mainstream society by learning valuable skills like food-handling and customer servicing.

 
This was a café after my heart.  If I had bought some lunch, knowing that what I bought was giving someone with autism a chance in life, it made my lunch tasted even better.

 
The Rabbit Hole not only won hands down with me because of their social purpose.  They wowed me with their customer service too. 

 
A few weeks ago, I contacted The Rabbit Hole via Instagram and told them that I wanted to add more kale in my diet.  Super food right?  Must be good.  However, I hated the taste of kale, and if I could drink it all down in one gulp, that would help.  Pure kale juice was not offered within their menu.  However, they obliged and prepared a glass of pure kale juice for me. 

 
Today at lunch, while waiting for them to prepare my kale juice, I was so glad I had the chance to explain to some people at the salad queue about the wonders of kale. 

 
It looks like the Rabbit Hole might need to put pure kale juice within their menu after all.


Verdict?  -  BELLY FULFILLING KNOWING THAT I ATE A SALAD FOR A CAUSE OTHER THAN MY HEALTH

 

About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.

 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

No Bullshit At Bread Street Kitchen


No Bullshit Cuisine

 I spent a few weeks searching for the perfect restaurant to celebrate the hubby’s birthday and our 16th wedding anniversary.  David had always been a practical man.  So yes, he chose to get married on his birthday so he would never forget our wedding anniversary…you know, “Happy Wife, Happy Life” and all that.  Being practical meant that he would appreciate a meal that was practical and without frills.
 
For a cheapskate Scot, that would usually mean Pie and Beans at our local.  However, it was his 53rd birthday and our 16th wedding anniversary, so I was not going to be happy with just that meal of Pie and Beans.

 
That search for the perfect restaurant began with my hunt for the right cuisine that I felt he would enjoy.  Would he prefer the exotic taste of Indian food, or perhaps the comfort of British food, or would he veer towards healthier fare like Japanese food?  To be honest, the choice was a headache, until I walked past Bread Street Kitchen at Marina Bay Sands one day and it dawned on me that my man would truly enjoy a “No Bullshit Cuisine” from a restaurant owned by a “No Bullshit Chef”. 

 
Bread Street Kitchen

 Togged in our No Bullshit casual weekend garb, we sauntered into Bread Street Kitchen expecting not to be served Bullshit and we were not disappointed.
 
We were about an hour early for our reservation, and were promptly ushered to the bar for some pre-dinner drinks.  We ordered some sensible Prosecco to kick-start the evening but our 23 year old son decided to opt for a drink for 13 year olds - the Vanilla milkshake - which was prettily served with chocolate chip sprinkles and wee marshmallows. We had a good laugh over it and the guys at the bar did the same, asking if he wanted a little umbrella to go with his drink.  The jokes and laughter that ensued just put us all right into a relaxed mood and ready to enjoy an evening of great food and even more laughter.

 
Delighting The Customers
 
After our glasses of Prosecco, we were ready to order our bottle of wine.  David chose a bottle of Syrah which we both sampled after the bottle was open.  It tasted terrible.  I rejected the bottle and was prepared to pay for that bottle but the server apologized for my experience with it, and told me not to worry about that bottle of wine.  Mind you, that bottle cost $129 yet they were willing to absorb the cost for my erroneous choice.  I was delighted by that touch of customer-service because I had been to a restaurant where a server once retorted when I rejected a vile bottle of wine,  “Well you chose to have something medium-bodied so this was medium-bodied what!”   Instead, this  server at Bread Street Kitchen was apologizing for my poor choice! What a breath of fresh air.  He asked if we preferred something that was fuller bodied or medium bodied and because David and I loved a full bodied wine, he pointed to the Chateu Le Boscq Saint-Estephe 2008. It was a great choice and I was glad he pointed us to the right choice.  This kid definitely knew his stuff.

 
No Bullshit Food

 We started our meal with a Cider Onion soup.  As unadventurous as we were, we were expecting a clear broth of French Onion soup, “but this one had that bullshit addition of Cider”, I thought.  However, I canned that thought at the first taste of the soup.   It was not bullshit at all. The Cider gave the soup its hint of sweetness, made it richer, full-flavoured and so robust. As David put it, the soup was “bowl-licking” good.  We mopped all that soup up with 2 bread baskets and swore not to order a 3rd one if we could help it.
 

At most fancy celebrity chef-owned restaurants, we would expect food described like this -  “Stout Battered Wild Haddock Served With White Wine, Crème Anglais And Truffle Reduction Fried To A Golden Brown Perfection” and then only to be served 7 thickly battered pieces of shrivelled white bait each served on a single French Fry and plated on what looked like a used diaper when they swirl a dollop of mushy peas on the side of the platter.

 We would not appreciate that kind of Bull Shit.

 David is a simple man.  He would be happy with just steak and chips.  So that was what he ordered.  He ordered a tenderloin, and was asked how he would like it done, what accompanying sauce and what sides he wanted.  There was nothing fancy in the dish.  What was served was a near- perfect medium rare tenderloin, served with a peppercorn sauce on the side and some chips. It was near perfect because David expressed that his steak was not hot enough, as if it had sat on the counter top for awhile as the chef took time to plate it with some cherry tomatoes.  The server was prepared to take the steak back immediately and exchange it for another one but David felt it was a waste of good steak and told him that he was okay with it.  As you can see, the servers did not attempt to offer an excuse.  They were prepared to change it. Perfectly No Bullshit.  



Joel chose to have the Dingley Dell Pork Belly.  I had heard friends raving about the pork belly before and I knew he would thoroughly enjoy the dish with its phenomenal crispy  golden skin yet juicy and tender belly meat served with spiced apple puree on the side.  The portion was huge yet Joel did not leave a single morsel on his plate.  At the end of his meal, he proclaimed, “Speechless.”  That had got to be “delicious” to  the millennial generation I thought.  That pork belly was again a No Bullshit dish.  It was just pork belly cooked to perfection no more no less.  It was not overly dressed with garnishing and anything colourful because the star of that dish was just that piece of pork! They got it.  No Bullshit.


I was vegetarian that day and entered the restaurant thinking that any of Gordon Ramsay’s kitchens worldwide would not know what vegetarian meant. I was surprised that they had a separate vegan menu.  I chose a risotto with semi-dried tomatoes.  Yes that was what it was called in that menu, just “Risotto With Semi-Dried Tomatoes” so I would not expect anything fancy.  Risotto is a dish that is so difficult to cook.  I was often disappointed by over-cooked mushy oatmeal like dishes served at restaurants which tried to tout that as risotto.  This Risotto With Semi-Dried Tomatoes did not bury its lack of meat and other ingredients with any fancy names, sauces, or garnishing.  It was plain and simple – risotto with semi-dried tomatoes served with some arugula for colour.  Semi-dried tomatoes and cheese were a winning combination. They were not overpowering each other and I could taste every grain in that dish.  Even my vegetarian dish was No Bullshit.


The Banana Sticky Toffee Pudding served for dessert and as part of his birthday celebration was a delight.  I had stopped him from having too many sweets for health reasons and was pleased that the pudding was not overly sweet.  This sticky toffee pudding was the best we have had in a long time, definitely unrivalled.

  
Celebrating Real Moments With Real Food


I was glad David enjoyed that dinner.  We were not served Bullshit the way many fancy restaurants would. The team at Bread Street Kitchen had a simple goal to just serve good quality food with great service. It did not claim to be anything else other than a restaurant that was good for casual dining.  Although every table at the restaurant was filled, they never once faltered in their service.  They just wanted to delight their customers in any small way they could.

 Another example of this was that the table allocated to me initially was at Basement 1 level.  While we were about to finish our glasses of Prosecco, the server led us to another table on the same level as the bar, at Level 1.  She said, “I think you might prefer this table because the other table initially allocated to you is just beside a long table which is expecting a party of 8 diners.  It could get noisy.”  Bless her heart.  I would not have written this blog post if I did indeed occupy that table.  Great customer service come from staff that is mindful about fine details like these.  They could have laid the bullshit on about a “fully booked restaurant” and not bothered about it.  But they did not. 
 I love the No Bullshit quality about Bread Street Kitchen and am now keen to explore Ramsay’s other offerings in London at the end of the year during our trip back to the UK.

 
Verdict?  -  BELLY AWESOME AND WORTH REPEAT VISITS

 

About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.

 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Will The True Peranakan Please Stand Up


The Unwavering Search For Authentic Peranakan Food Beyond Home

 
This blogpost was written by my brother Jerome to celebrate our love for Peranakan cuisine.  So do excuse the poetic ramblings of his experience at The Peranakan, located at Clamore Connect along Orchard Road.  He had obviously been whacked in the head with food coma and was in a state of delirium as he wrote this post while shoving wee cups of Kuih Pie Tee into his mouth.  Here’s his story:




Born and bred Peranakan, food has always been a focal point in my family and a gastronomic spread is a sine qua non for all occasions. We celebrate joyous occasions from the Chinese New Year to birthdays, to engagements and weddings through food. Any  Peranakan would confess that home-cooked Peranakan food is unparalleled.  Mom’s THE number 1 culinary genius of Peranakan fare.  My hunt for good Peranakan cuisine across Singapore over the years have resulted only in disappointment.

I was pleasantly surprised when my mother, a finicky eater and fastidious self-professed custodian of this culinary art form told us that there was a relatively new Peranakan restaurant that was worth a visit.  Brimming with excitement and ignoring the very real possibility of getting into a state of postprandial somnolence, I visited this eatery recently over three separate sessions (almost back-to-back) in an enthusiastic attempt to savour the extensive menu offerings.

The quality of the fare here truly matches up to what I have grown accustomed to from my days of youth and left me yearning for more. A consistently impeccable standard of service demonstrated by the serving staff made every visit such an awesome experience and actually made us feel like we were dining in the company of good friends.

 

Kuih Pie Tee

The Kuih Pie Tee was a definite crowd-pleaser and served as a great start to the culinary adventure. Traditionally served deconstructed, the mild sweetness from the julienned turnip coupled with an appetite-whetting house-made zesty chili paste made for an exhilarating blend of flavours in the crisp shell.




Sambal Pisanag Jantung


The Sambal Pisang Jantung is a rarely seen Peranakan "salad" that is regrettably disappearing from so many menus these days and is almost at risk of becoming recherché. A true heritage dish, this welded the banana blossom with shrimps to form a truly spectacular culinary creation.


Ayam Buah Keluak


Just as the Japanese have their fugu and the Icelanders have their hákarl, Peranakans do have a potentially deadly ingredient in their culinary repertoire too. The Buah Keluak, a fruit from the Kepayang tree is poisonous if not prepared correctly. The Ayam Buah Keluak, a much-loved delicacy amongst Straits-born Chinese was a pleasant combination of tender chicken with this ambrosial "Peranakan black truffle". It was meticulously prepared to exacting standards here and the flesh of the Buah Keluak infused the gravy with its rich and smoky flavours to make this an absolute stunner that cannot be missed. If you could have only one dish (which I sincerely hope not), this had to be it. Noteworthy too was that unlike other eateries that mixed the flesh of the Buah Keluak with minced meat in an effort to cut down on the tedious preparation, the ones here were
filled with only the delicate kernel within the shell.


Ayam Sioh


I thoroughly enjoyed the Ayam Sioh too. This flavourful staple had a delectable sweetness from the combination of palm sugar and red sugar. The ketumbar (coriander powder) added so much depth of flavour without over-powering the dish. The more commonly encountered version used duck meat and was known as "Itek Sioh". The Ayam Sioh served  here was a refreshing change indeed for those who might not like the gaminess of duck.



Ayam Goreng Ketumbar and Curry Ayam Istimewa


Fans of poultry would also love the Ayam Goreng Ketumbar and Curry Ayam Istimewa. The former was a dish of fried chicken flavoured with turmeric and coriander whilst the latter was a spice-filled curry elevated to another level with the aromatic tang of lime leaves.




Sotong Masak Asam


Seafood aficionados would be thrilled to bits with the Sotong Masak Asam. This was squid cooked in tamarind with palm sugar and starfruit. A mix of sweet and citrusy notes to tease the palate, this definitely had a lot going on in a single dish without being overwhelming. Another squid item to look out for would be the Sambal Sotong which had just the right mix of spice to complement the springy freshness of the seafood.


Sambal Belachan and Cincalok


When revelling in Peranakan fare, it would be near sacrilegious to pass on the sambal belachan and Cincalok. These are necessities associated with this form of dining and the fine folks here did a brilliant job with combining the latter in an egg dish known as Telur Goreng Cincalok. The robust mixture of fermented krill with fresh lime juice, chili and shallots paired marvellously well with the savoury and fluffy omelette.


Chendol Melaka and Pandan Gula Melaka


What is a great meal without the equally decadent desserts? Both the Chendol Melaka with its velvety palm sugar syrup and Pandan Gula Melaka cake would undoubtedly serve as a fitting cap to a dining experience here. The dessert was a rather unique sweet treat of pillowy soft cushiony chiffon cake crowned with a drizzle of that luscious palm sugar syrup (Yes, we do have a sweet tooth!) and desiccated coconut.



Verdict?  -  BELLY ‘MUST-COME-BACK-AGAIN-AND-AGAIN’ TERRIFIC

 

About The Writer:

This blog post was co-written by my brother Jerome and I. Although we are siblings who grew up 11 years apart, shaped by differing experiences to see the world from different perspectives, we do share a common obsession – FOOD.  We celebrate our passion for life with food.  However, our attitudes to food are quite different and the way we celebrate our love for food are also quite different.  Jerome lives to eat and hoovers everything edible that crosses his path.  As he shovels food into his mouth with that fork in his right hand, he takes photographs of what he eats, and posts pictures and notes up on Facebook with his left.  Often, his beautifully written prose about what he had eaten would be 7 paragraphs in length and would not have any punctuations in between because he had been too busy multi-tasking. 

I, on the other hand, eat to live. It is not just about my attempts to eat healthily. As I am a “cam-whore” and “social media hussy”, I spend about half an hour styling my food, taking photographs, writing notes and posting them across my social media platforms before eating them, right after the hubby has paid for the bill and is about to head out of the restaurant.  I enjoy reading all my posts about what I had eaten because I know that I had lived fully in spite of watching what I eat.  Welcome to the foodie world of the quirky Ong siblings.