Monday, 20 February 2017

Tai Cheong Bakery – Original Hong Kong Cha Chaan Teng

Tai Cheong Bakery

Tai Cheong Bakery is one of the most popular Egg Tart shops in Hong Kong. It is one of a must-try cafe where you are on a Food Pilgrimage trip in Hong Kong. Luckily with more than a dozen branches in HK, it is not difficult to get the yummy egg tart.

The best news is that now we do not have to travel so far to try these yummy egg tarts, as Tai Cheong Bakery has opened its first cha chaan teng in Holland Village, Singapore due to the overwhelming response to its Takashimaya counter and other pop-up stores. The arrival of Tai Cheong Bakery in Singapore is a collaboration between Food People (a subsidiary of Palm Beach Group) and Tao Heung Group (Owner of Tai Cheong Bakery).

Three Egg Macaroni Soup with Luncheon Meat

Egg Tart ($1.90). The crust is crisp, buttery and did not crumble easily. The egg custard has a solid jelly-like texture, mild egg flavour with a touch of sweetness. It is well balanced, and it is likely people can eat more than one without any problem.

Egg Tart

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

SBCD Korean Tofu House – Healthy Delicious Soontofu & Galbi [MEDIA INVITE]

SBCD Korean Tofu House

SBCD Korean Tofu House ('SBCD') is the latest healthy and hearty Korean restaurant that enter the Singapore dining scene. It specialises in a variety of Korean soontofu soup, where the word “soon” in soontofu mean soft.

The Menu

In the 1970s, Korean soft tofu soup has been regarded as daily comfort staple in Korea. The letter BCD is the abbreviation of Bukchang Dong, a city in Korea where this dish gains its popularity. With migration, the dish even became very popular in K-Town Los Angeles.

Part of the Dining Area

Every soontofu at SBCD is handmade fresh daily in the restaurant, using the soy beans imported from Korean. It has a texture close to Japanese silken tofu, but it retains the custard feel to it. This freshly made tofu will be the base for most dishes in SBCD.

Hot Stone Rice

The Soontofus Cooking

Monday, 13 February 2017

First Time Buyer Dilemma — New Executive Condo or HDB BTO [ADVERTORIAL]

Singapore property buyers or investors do not have the luxury of shopping for landed properties especially when those properties are way beyond reach. With that, first-time buyers are leaning towards buying build-to-own (BTO)
HDB flats or executive condominium (EC) in Singapore. A BTO HDB flat might be a more prudent choice but many Singaporeans are aspiring toward an executive condominium. Before jumping on the bandwagon of those buying an Executive condo or believing at face value that the HDB flats are poorly made and are of low quality, you should see the deep features of both.

Executive Condominiums

EC is a hybrid of public and private housing first introduced in 1994. Built by private developers and with high-quality material, subsidized by the government and can only become private after ten years. An EC is a full suite condo that comes with amenities such as pool, gym, barbeque pits and other facilities you would expect of a private development.

Main difference between BTO HDB flats and EC is that ECs become fully privatized after 10 years. Like other forms of private property, they are opened to be sold even to foreigners or organizations.

Built-to-order (BTO) HDB Flats

BTO HDB flats are first introduced in Singapore in 2001. It is a flat allocation system developed by the Housing and Development Board. Compared to other HDB flats, these are flexible in location and timing. You can apply for an apartment depending on your desired location and when you want to start using the house. Construction of BTO only begins once the applicants reach a minimum of 70% in number.

Both BTO flat and EC are considered as affordable public housing but there are some clear differences when it comes to housing plans, loans, resale profit and finishes or facilities.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Australian Tea Masters Singapore x Kite – Epicurean Tea Pairing [MEDIA INVITE]

Australian Tea Masters x Kite - Epicurean Tea Pairing

In January 2017, I was honoured to be invited for Epicurean Tea Pairing event organised by Australian Tea Masters Singapore and Kite. While the food pairing of Wine, Beer, Whiskey with food has been a common theme, this is actually the first time I heard about Tea with Food pairing. It was indeed a palate opener.

Selections of Tea Leaves

Australian Tea Masters is a well respected tea training and blending organisation in Australia. It was established in 2012, and officially launched its Singapore operation this year. Sharyn Johnston is the CEO and Founder of Australian Tea Masters and she is developer of the Tea Sommelier Course. Julie Wang is the Certified Tea Master and Training Director for its Singapore operations which include professional tea training, tea & food pairing events, tea business advisory and blending service in Singapore.

Official Tea Aroma Wheel

During a high tea session or cafe session, we will normally consume or nurse only one type of tea in one seating. However, during this tasting, we did a six course of Food & Tea pairing, and it is based on each individual dish.

The Tea Apparatus 

We started with snack of Chicken Rice Cracker x Five Hour Cold Brew Taiwanese Oriental Beauty (Single Origin Green Tea). A refreshing chilled tea to quench our thirst during a hot day. The floral aroma in the tea nicely balance the salty and spicy crispy chicken rice cracker.

Five Hour Cold Brew Taiwanese Oriental Beauty (Single Origin Green Tea)

Chicken Rice Cracker

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The Peranakan – High Tea set & Yee Sang Istimewa [MEDIA INVITE]

We are back at The Peranakan to experience The Peranakan High Tea Set ($28 / pax). This set combines the savoury and sweet dishes from the regular menu. In total there will be up to to 14 dishes in the high tea set with a choice of drink that include a pot of Malacca Tea, Coffee, Lemongrass Tea or Pandan Tea.

The Peranakan High Tea Set

The highlights of our high tea session are:

The signature Mee Siam is definitely a must try. Although I am not a mee siam fan, I can recognise the version here is very solid. It is filled with spices and has the right balance of spiciness and tanginess that will open up your appetite to go about the rest of the dishes. Best to consume it when it's hot.

High Tea Mee Siam

Nasi Ulam Istimewa was one of my favourite dish during our last visit and it remain the same. (Check out the full review from our last visit here). The Satay Babi Sum Chan got an upgrade here, where it is wrapped in buns. The portion of the meat and bun is perfect fit. The satay gravy is well-absorbed by the soft pillowy white bun, plus the pork belly just melts in your mouth.

Nasi Ulam Istimewa (Left), Satay Babi Sum Chan (Top)

Kueh Pie Ti was served earlier as snacks, but it is normally part of high tea. Crispy cup filled with well braised turnip and condiments. You have the option to add the chilli, but I give it a miss.

Kueh Pie Ti

For the sweet stuff, Pulot Inti Durian & Pulot Inti Kelapa remain my favourites. The combination of glutinous rice with the richness of coconut milk and fillings never fails to entice my appetite. The durian paste here is velvety and smooth, without being ridiculously pungent.

Pulot Inti Durian (Left), Satay Babi Sum Chan (Right)

The Toast and Durian paste also will give you another shot to fulfill your durian cravings.

Completing the offerings for high tea are Toast Hay Bee Hiam, Ngoh Hiang Pork, Pisang Goreng, Kuih Kosui (Kueh Ko Swee), Pineapple Tart and Love Letter. Please note that the menu on the high tea will be rotated daily.

In case you are wondering if the portion is definitely sufficient as we all struggle to finish all the food. Portion for 6 pax and there are six of us.

The Peranakan High Tea Set
Availability: Daily from 11.00 – 17.30
Price : $24++ Weekday; $28++ Weekend per pax (min of 2 pax required)