Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thai Accent @ Vivocity

I quite like the food here - Thai Accent, #02-145. I had the tom yum last time and liked it.

It's quite affordable and it's usually not crowded or noisy so it's quite a nice respite.

I started with their spicy and tangy tom yum soup (SGD9.90). Very spicy, my tastebuds are still tingling!

I ordered green chicken curry (SGD12.90), and then decided to eat it with thin kway teow instead of rice.

See, I made my own Khanom Jin (which is type of traditional thai rice noodle dish eaten with one's choice of curry).

It was really quite a spicy meal, so although I was already quite stuffed, I decided to have a red rubies dessert (SGD4.90). It was creamy, sweet, and cold, just the thing to soothe my palate. The ingredients were very generous, with slices of jackfruit and lots of water chestnuts in green and red tapioca jelly.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Lunch at Culina, Dempsy and Dinner at Home

This weekend, we went to Dempsey Hill for lunch because we promised Cutie that we'd bring him to play balls at Go Go Bambini's (SGD6, unlimited play for kids aged under 2, SGD16, 2 hours for kids aged over 2). He had been looking forward to it all week. We went there just as they were closing up last week, and his disappointment was palpable!

Lunch at Culina Dempsey Hill

So we settled Cutie in the ballpark / playground and ended up at Culina, Grocers and Cafe which was just next door. They sell all sorts of very high-end stuff, which one doesn't normally get at Cold Storage of Jason's.

DH and I shared the antipasto platter (SGD15).

From left: marinated olives, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted artichokes and tomatoes, smoked eel.

In order of preference, go from right to left. I liked the smoked eel best. It had a nice smokey flavour and was not too salty. Very nice. It also had an interesting chewy, yet slightly yielding texture. The other appetisers were fine but not that interesting. The sun-dried tomatoes were sweet, while I was expecting sour / tart. The roasted artichokes and tomatoes were a good balance of mildly sour and sweet. The marinated olives were way too salty. We ordered a basket of ciabatta cos the olives was too salty to eat on its own.

DH ordered the grilled venison (SGD3o), a daily special. The daily specials are written an a blackboard next to the bar. It was quite substantial, but the venison tasted distinctly sour. Was it cos of the marinade or was it bad? We couldn't be sure if meat actually turned sour when it went bad so we didnt send it back. Anyway, by the time I tasted it and pronounced it sour, DH had only 2 slices left on the plate.

I ordered the duck confit (SGD24), on the usual menu. It was also a substantial portion. The meat was a tad salty, and could have been a little more moist. But the skin was very nice and crispy.

We then ordered a brownie to share (SGD12). Originally I didnt intend to put up a photo of it cos it turned out all blurry. I don't know why some of my photos turn out like that these days, with a swirly imprint. But, here it is anyway. Maybe some of you can tell me why this photo turned out like this.

DH ordered a decaf cappucinno (SGD7) that came with a cute little heart.

We had to wait quite a bit for our food to arrive, from starters to bread to mains and the coffee arrived at least 15 min after our dessert arrived (which DH doesn't like cos he enjoys his dessert with his coffee).

The fastest thing to arrive at our table that day was the bill (SGD121) -_-".

Cutie monkeying around at the ball park / playground. He is getting too adorable.

We did some shopping at Culina, it really did have lots of interesting things like foie gras, and parma ham and kobe beef (not wagyu mind you, marbling grade 8). Since they were all favourites of DH, we got some to cook for dinner that night.

Above, is the kobe beef (shrinkwrapped in portions of between 200 g to 300 g), at a whopping SGD230 per kg.

Dinner at Home

This was our dinner menu:

1. cold starter - parma ham with musk melon and wild arugula (rocket leaves)

2. warm starter - seared foie gras with caramelised apple

3. main - kobe ribeye, roasted baby potatoes, mesclun salad

4. no space for dessert - literally.

Preparations for Dinner

Foie Gras
I had to put flour on the foie gras so that it would fry better, and not disintegrate upon contact with the pan.

Kobe beef

This was the first time I was handling something so expensive, I was really worried. On this plate is SGD113. I marinated the beef in a red wine and garlic marinade. On hindsight, I should used salt and pepper so that we could taste the beefy flavour? Ribeye has a ball of fat in the centre. Making this kobe ribeye a double whammy in terms of being a contributing factor to coronary disease.
I scrubbed and boiled the baby potatoes, then seasoned with salt and pepper and put them in the oven to roast.
I sliced 1 green apple very thinly and added sugar and cooked over slow heat. I should have sliced them less thinly so that there was some bite. It was a little mushy.

The foie gras really oozes a lot of oil... just look at this!

I cooked the foie gras just before serving, so, DH who had just gobbled up his parma ham starter, had time to take this pic.

Cold Starter: Parma ham with musk melon and wild aragula

Really easy to assemble. I put this in the fridge to chill before dinner was served. The parma ham, shaved thinly, went really well with the musk melon which was very sweet. I am glad I decided to go for the expensive musk melon instead of rock melon or honeydew. It was well worth it because the sweetness of the melon complemented the parma ham perfectly. I tossed the aragula leaves in balsamic vinaigrette. Nice.

Cost: SGD14.50 for 2: parma ham - SGD8.50 (100 g), musk melon - SGD5.95 (1 fruit), aragula and vinaigrette (negligible).

Warm Starter - Seared Foie Gras with Caramelised Apple

I felt that there was no point in cooking the foie gras early and leaving it to cool, especially since it cooked very quickly so I only seared these just before serving. I did it in 3 batches.

I am glad I put flour on the foie gras, it made the foie gras crispy on the outside and oozingly melt in the mouth on the inside.

First batch was good, but not salty cos i forgot to sprinkle salt.

2nd batch was great, but could be a tad saltier.

Third batch - above - was fantastic. Just the right amount of salt, a crispy crust and a tender melting interior. Paired with sweet caramelised apple, this was fantastic!

Cost: SGD40.60 for 2: Foie Gras - SGD40 (actually, half a frozen goose liver, good for 8 servings), Green Apple - 60 cents.

Main - Kobe Ribeye with Roasted Baby Potatoes and Mesclun Salad

This is DH's ribeye - 260 g.

This is mine - a more manageable 221 g.

They were fantastic. Tender, melt in the mouth. Simply divine. The potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, with just the right amount of salt and pepper.

Cost: SGD113 for 2 - Kobe Ribeye (SGD59 and SGD52), potatoes and mesclun negligible.

I am so proud of myself!

So there you are, above is the most expensive home-cooked meal I have ever had!